Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Looking Inside for Truth

My father is fond of saying that the problem with human society is that we were born without an operating manual.

Clever I thought. Once. But thinking more carefully, I realize it’s actually not true at all.

We have endless advice passed down through tradition and testament and even tablet that lays out pretty unequivocally how we should live. And it’s surprisingly consistent. From Buddhism to Christianity, Confucius to Mohammed, the great mandate has always been to do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

So that’s out there, and it shows up again and again in social conventions and cultural upbringing and even on fridge magnets and coffee mugs. Constitutions and declarations and proclamations for centuries have laid it all out. This is not the problem, Dad. Our problem is that we don’t want to follow it. Yes, it’s an obedience thing. When confronted with what we should do, we human beings like to say, “Oh yeah? Who says so?”

Defiance to the truth then … this is deep, isn’t it. And it deep inside us all.

Looking Inside for Truth, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Honouring the Christmas Spirit

I published this wonderful radio program last December, but felt it deserved another airing. Hope you enjoy another reminder of the need to honour the Christmas spirit.

Another Christmas period, and all that that brings. The packed parking lots, the festive yuletide happy hours, cooking – and eating – the fatted calf.

And maybe, in a quiet, reflective moment, a spark of Christmas spirit will catch flame inside you and for a few seconds or moments or, if you’re lucky, hours, you’ll feel a deep sense of piece and connection with your fellow man and the universe that you recognize as the Christmas spirit.

Those tantalizing moments are tragically short-lived. Some complain that they don’t like this time of year because we should have this spirit all round. “It’s fake and phony,” they say. But it doesn’t feel that way to any who are still enough to allow themselves to receive the grace and depth of that spirit. The Holy Spirit we can call it, and we should take time to remember that this time of year is for honouring that divine presence. Yes, Christmas, of all times, is time to remember that.

Honouring the Christmas Spirit, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Human Being's Magnetic Inner Life

The Urban Dictionary offers a comprehensive definition of what is a magnetic personality. It's a person with a sense of calm self-confidence and authenticity, they say, who others are drawn to instinctively.

There's a lot in that statement. It could be a keen intellect, a personal charm and highly developed capacity to connect with others, an impressive competence in something, but a magnetic personality does attract us. If we're not too envious, we notice and admire the difference in these people.

We also know the deceptions that occur in this personality type. Hitler, after all, was said to be very charismatic and attentive when he wanted to, and psychopaths are often notorious charmers. So there would appear to be some significant other requirements necessary for the magnetic personality in question to be valuable and useful for society. And it is in this area that we must turn to metaphysics if we're to really understand this phenomenon.

And perhaps unlock the door to our own nascent magnetism. The Human Being's Magnetic Inner Life, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Removing the Blocks to Progress

We've all had the experience. You go to sleep concerned about something or other. A thorny problem at work, a creative block, a difficult communication you have to make, and you wake in the morning with a way through.

Showering or shaving or frying an egg, the solution appears in a flash. The challenge is holding that inspiration as the day unfolds. Doubts creep in, phone calls and emergencies arise, and what seemed clear and defined in the waking moments can pale or even disappear rather quickly in the maelstrom of modern life.

Except this distancing from inspiration is not only from the pressing of text messages and Twitter updates. If speaks of a pathological force and counterforce habit we have. A tendency we have to take one step forward and two steps back, as the saying puts it. And this, despite Newton's premise of action/reaction, is not a true thing. We should be all action ... and continuation. Moving forward and upward constantly.

Removing the Blocks to Progress, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Arts and Beauty - The Soul of Society

If we open a discussion about civilization, we open ourselves to the possibility of particularly dull and wooden exclamations about the renunciation of instinct or the enshrinement of rights.

There's been the tendency to equate the progress of civilization with technological advance, but surely we see the incompleteness of this view in our polluted and violent modern world. Not to advocate returning to the land, which some suggest would solve our problems, but it must be clear to any thinking citizen that our modern world, while containing numerous labor-saving devices, is a far cry from civilized.

For true civilization goes much beyond democracy and freedom to consider goodness and truth in their universal definitions, and perhaps most importantly, must include beauty if it is to be a civilized world.

And herein lies the rub: we as a species have been particularly dismissive of reality. Let's address that today.

Arts and Beauty - the soul of society, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Liberating the People

Never trust a person over 30. All you need is love. Hell no, we won't go. These were the slogans of the last great manifestation against the system. That great flower power movement of the '60s, where American youth were burning draft cards and putting flowers in the rifle barrels of national guardsmen on college campuses.

It got intense at times. Four students killed at Kent State. The self-immolation of Norman Morrison underneath Secretary of Defense McNamara's office window. Anger and hatred mounting on both sides of the Vietnam War debate.

But slowly, as the war ended and the protestors got older and the lure of big money in Reagan's "let the bull loose" economy, the protest dwindled away.

But the ideals worth fighting for never really disappeared. And now, they're back in full flower in Arabia and Greece and Turkey. And, perhaps most interestingly, in Brazil.

In a resurgence of democratic idealism many thought lost, the youth and concerned people worldwide are marching. Liberating the People, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Medicating Ourselves Into Oblivion

Eight or nine years ago, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell, wrote a book called The Truth About the Drug Companies. It was an often searing critique of their deceptive research methods and business practices that really pulled back the veil on what Dr. Angell calls the marketing machine that the pharmaceutical industry has become.

This is important consciousness, because the pressure for profits above all other objectives of business has led to a state whereby we're medicating more and more Americans unnecessarily to feed the profit goals of shareholders and executives and not the health goal of the drug takers.

Fabricated diseases, diminished alternatives and multi-billion dollar advertising mean our medical system turns only in one direction now to alleviate suffering - towards the pharmacy. It's putting big money into drug company coffers, and deteriorating the medical education of doctors worldwide.

But it's doing something even more sinister. It's killing us.

Medicating Ourselves Into Oblivion, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How Money Stops Growth

Line up all the economists in the world, it is said, and they'll all point in different directions. And while it's true that economists do view society through the particular lens of their political or sociological ideology, there are some general economics principles that seem widely held in the field.

One is that you can point to economic performance as an indicator of a household's or a company's or even a nation's success. And therefore the need to look after the drivers of this all-important economy - banks and corporations and GDP and all that stuff.

Economic performance is even one of the most important indices when considering happiness and quality of life on those top 10 countries to live in lists that pop up once or twice a year.

But yet, there is something obviously missing in a person who gives attention only to the financial side of things in life, something out of kilter and off balance - even psychotic - in running the world based on what the bean counters have to say.

We'll explore what's wrong with this view today. How Money Stops Growth, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Final Conflict

It would be difficult to ignore the problems all around us. In fact, I was watching a disturbing video on the weekend about the serious consequences of Geo-Engineering - this manipulation of the jet streams through chem trails and the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska and Russia - and how it's threatening to finish up with the Arctic ice flows in 2 to 3 years and liberate massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere and generally demolish life as we know it.

It's a horrifying scenario, and coupled with the massive damage being caused economically by the secret banking cabals, and it can really make you lose sleep.

Good to remember, then, that there's good action all around us, too. Well intentioned people working in their communities for justice and equality and environmental sustainability.

This tension has always existed between the forces of evil and the forces of good, but it seems the stakes are higher today than they've ever been. It is no exaggeration to say we're living in important, even apocalyptic, times.

The Final Conflict, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Friday, May 03, 2013

What a Normal Life Should Be

Check out a modern photography exhibition and you'll often find disturbing pictures of conflict and misery, along with the usual justifications of "Hey man, that's the reality!"

We all remember those generation defining images of the naked girl running down a dirt road in Vietnam, the young student defying the tanks in Tiananmen Square, the vulture stalking the child in the Sudan. And it's easy, in the face of those stark scenes, to think that this does indeed show reality.

I'm not so sure about that. If we look around us, we can certainly see enough disgrace and horror to make that argument that life is suffering.

But a humble psychoanalyst and social scientist in Brazil is forcing us to re-think all that. "Evil," states Norberto Keppe, "is just the destruction of good, not the natural state."

And that profound truth, although hinted at throughout history, has never been entrenched as a core pillar of any scientific philosophy. Until now.

What a Normal Life Should Be, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Why a Better Society Isn't Happening

There is a common misconception in many parts of the world that society is improving. "Hey, we don't draw and quarter people in the public square anymore," goes that common wisdom. "We've got central heating and watch on demand."

Yes, we do. We've also got very sophisticated killing machines, and for all our vaunted technological forensic wizardry there are still some disturbingly unanswered questions about 9-11.

I could make a strong case for us not advancing much at all in some fundamental aspects of what it means to be human - especially if we compare ourselves to the first humans described in the folklore of all peoples in earth.

Development of society from misery to relative abundance for all is more than a misconception - it's wrong in a fundamental sense because we come hard-wired for peace and justice and goodness, and the hows and whys we act against that basic programming deserve more consideration. "We're good but choose to act bad" is very different from "we're bad but we're getting better."

Why a better society isn't happening, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Paradise Now and the Universal Society

Way back in English Lit class at Reynolds High School in my hometown of Victoria, I remember Mrs. Kent waxing rhapsodically about Milton's Paradise Lost, and asking us if we believed in paradise regained.

I, with my thoughts on the basketball game that night against arch-rivals, Oak Bay, thought she was a bit loopy. But something must have got through for I've found myself not infrequently since reflecting on that very question.

I have never felt completely comfortable in society as it's been elaborated, and yearned not only for something better, but for how I might play a part in improving it. And it is this, of course, that's led me to Brazil and the profound work of Dr. Norberto Keppe.

Because, I'm happy to report, there is in this science of psycho-socio pathology, both a sublime analysis of how we painted ourselves into such a tight corner, and a therapy to help us get out. If we apply Keppe's findings, we have a chance.

Paradise Now and the Universal Society, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Metaphysical Basis of Keppe's New Physics

In the 1500s, the scientific revolution was in full bloom. Scientists were fighting for independence from the theological dogmas that were unchallengeable. The Bible was literally interpreted back then, so when it said the sun rises and sets, that was the final word.

One of the lead revolutionaries - the scientific Che Guevara, if you will - was Galileo, who proposed that actually it was the Earth that was moving, not the sun. This caused quite the furor back in the 1630s.

Today, there is another scientific revolution emerging. There are no Inquisition trials, but Norberto Keppe's scientific perspective is receiving the modern day equivalent - silence from the scientific mainstream. His views, though, are still shaking the foundations of science just as Galileo and Bacon did 600 years ago.

Keppe doesn't make the mistake the 16th century scientific radicals did, however, of throwing out philosophy and theology from his scientific proposals. It makes for a comprehensive science that's poised to lead us to a new society.

The Metaphysical Basis of Keppe's New Physics, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Power of Cooperative Living

I'm Richard Lloyd Jones, and welcome to Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

In season one of HBO's The Newsroom, Jeff Daniel's character, Will McAvoy, launches into a wild tirade when prompted by a student's question at a college debate. The student asks the panelists to say in a sentence why America is the greatest country in the world, and McAvoy is off on a rant reminiscent of Howard Beale in the movie, Network, from the '70s.And you'll be struck if you're at all cognizant of what's going on, how right on McAvoy is.

OK, it's a TV show. But modern art, as Brazilian psychoanalyst and social scientist, Norberto Keppe says, should be about denouncing social errors. This Newsroom excerpt does that.

But it's interesting to watch the reaction. Audience members are shocked, fellow panelists are horrified. But why are we so taken aback in North America when we see any problems in ourselves? The world is in big trouble. And this monster that is our First World-imposed economic social structure is making us sick. Let's take some steps to healing this.

The Power of Cooperative Living, this week on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The New World of Free Energy

In the early 1900s, a well-known Serbian inventor-turned-American embarked on the project of his life - the wireless transmission of electromagnetic and high frequency waves. To fund his ambitious project, he turned to the foremost financial wizard of this day, J.P. Morgan.

The inventor was the great Nikola Tesla, whose work in the transmission of electricity and the a/c motor was among the most important scientific achievements ever, and Morgan had a keen eye for a good investment, but ... wireless transmission of energy? He couldn't charge for that, and pulled the plug on Tesla's funding.

It's been a similar story ever since - a promising and sustainable alternative to oil and coal gains some headway and suddenly the lab is burned down or the scientist dies in a strange accident or the media ridicules him. And we are forced to continue with the destructive technology controlled by the sick powerful.

It's a pattern that needs to come to an end.

The New World of Free Energy, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hope for a Better Society

Welcome to Thinking with Somebody Else's Head. Martin Luther King foretold of a promised land. Thoreau wrote of a transcendent time when wise men would ennoble the population. Thomas More dreamed his utopia. Lennon imagined all the people living life in peace.

The dream of a better society doesn't easily vacate the human heart. In all ages, from all continents, come dreamers with their inner vision turned outward or upward, hopeful of a time when all men and women would be free. And this vision has been sanctified in documents and constitutions and even poetry.

Mystics and prophets and artists have convoked and lamented. And we should ask, "Why?"  Why does this impossible dream persist? Perhaps because we, all of us, know, in our quiet moments, in the deepest parts of our souls, that it's not impossible. That, as Blake wrote, we should "live in eternity's sunrise."

Hope for a better society, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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