The Global Brain

I heard an interesting analogy the other day. Someone referred to the internet as a global brain. In this analogy, all of the internet users are neurons in a giant brain the encompasses the globe. We are all part of the living organism that represents the entire group of users of the internet.

This concept suddenly clicked with me when I considered it in conjunction with the content on the internet. All the potty and posturing that is on the internet doesn’t really make sense. Why do people behave the way they do?Backstabbing, infighting, brazen stupidity, simple ignorance. Most people would never be this rude in front of a another person.

With the brain analogy it suddenly begins to make sense. My brain says all sorts of crazy crap that never makes it to my mouth (gratefully).  All the random chatter that meditation seeks to calm. All the processes in our brain that fire on autopilot. Imagine how it would appear being observed from the outside. It would look like complete gibberish at best and bile at worst if we could actually read someone else’s thoughts and see everything that’s happening in their heads.

Many of the posts and content on the internet seem easy to interpret, but in reality they are all deeply out of context, absent from the individual’s brain that generated them. With context lost the overarching message starts to distill as others join into the chorus of voices. Themes appear, patterns stabilize and the global brain distills a thought. Or, more often, the thought simply sparks and then dies out, un-noted and anonymous

Reading through the internet, thinking in terms of a global brain, you can see how this starts to resonate. In a way you’re able to see the global mind at work and read it’s thoughts. Frequently this is useless and frustrating. It’s hard to understand why some things would happen, or appear to take shape the way they do. It’s easier to allow space for the chaos when you realize you’re tapped into a mind and reading random thoughts on it.

Thinking about this, I reconsider the value of telepathy. If you could read someone’s mind, I’m guessing the bulk of the information you would come away with would not be worth the reams of paper you wrote it down on. True telepathy would probably just be an exercise in frustration. Out of context thoughts would appear random and frustrating.

There may be something tangible and useful to the concept of the internet as a global brain. Or perhaps it’s just a powerful thought experiment to look at something familiar in a new way. Either way my internal brain is having a field day churning on the implications.

Namaste,

Kevin

All I Ever Wanted

All I ever wanted was to help people understand.

All I ever wanted was for the world to make sense.

I was told I was silly, over-ambitious. I don’t like to look the fool.

But I was driven. Driven. So driven.

I refused to believe their chatter.

The chatter became the voice of malcontent in the back of my mind, but my mind went on.

So I strived. strove? struggled. I tried and I tried.

Reaching in all directions. Driven, but directionless.

Seeking a presence, but lacking the tools to present.

I tried and I tried. Reaching in all directions.

Wearing myself down to the nub.

 

Finally, I realized they were right.

I was a fool. This can’t be done. I am lost and wasted.

Was my epiphany the product of awareness?

Or the side effect of resignation?

Had I put enough time into being foolish?

Should I proceed?

 

So much time lost. So much effort lost.

Lost in the gap.

So much fallen through the cracks.

So much lost effort trying to measure up.

Effort lost, giving up. All gone.

 

They were right. I was wrong.

All I wanted was to have an impact. Simple impact.

 

And yet, even in my resignation, I feel it. Calling me to share.

Reaching out to me to reach out to others. Help them understand.

All cannot be lost. The work of a lifetime isn’t finished in an afternoon.

Or 30 afternoons. Or 3000…

 

Heartbreak. Yes.

Pain. Yes.

So many shut down feelings. So much pain avoided by voiding my heart.

Block the pain by ignoring the present. Focus on the elsewhere.

The work remains. It is always there.

 

All I ever wanted was to have an impact.

My work is not over. And only a fool would proceed.

So I must now become the fool.

 

I look back at the others. The voice of dissent. The voices that cautioned me.

They come from their own malcontent. Their own inner demons.

They are not happy voices. They haven’t discovered the path.

They do not know. So, how can they say?

 

Yes, I do not know the path.

But I do not believe I should take direction from the lost.

And so I embrace my role.

I must become the fool.

Or perhaps I must embrace the fool that I have become.

 

All I ever wanted…

All I ever wanted…

The work continues.

 

Namaste,

Kevin

 

special thanks to ‘The Weather Station’ for inspiration: Thirty – here

Mission Critical

Wow, I have absolutely nothing to write about today… It’s not that there is nothing to write about. It’s that there is too much to write about. It’s not that I have no opinion on the state of the world today. I have many opinions. I’m impressed by humanity. I’m depressed by humanity. My frustration and confusion has often lead to inaction. How can I fix what appears so intractably broken? How can I focus my energies on being part of the positive forces in the universe? I have a difficult time focus my energies to  make a change. But I want to make a change. I want to see grand forces unleashed from my efforts. With a big enough metaphysical lever, can I fix the world?

I saw a tremendous bumper sticker the other day:

Relax. Nothing is under control.

It reminded me, that even as I struggled to control the small things, I am wasting my time. As I shift my focus from the big items beyond my control to the little items that I have control over, I’m fooling myself. Everything I struggle to become master over is another struggle that doesn’t need to happen.

This isn’t futility. This isn’t me giving up. I must be an active participant in creating the universe around me, that’s why I came to this mortal plain.

But I don’t need to take it so seriously.

When things don’t make sense, maybe they aren’t meant to.

Have you been watching game of thrones? (don’t worry, no spoilers) It’s a violent drama show about kingdom building and battles. We are made privy to the machinations and control attempts by lords, kings and queens, over the world around them. Eventually, almost every plot point ties back and we are given the bigger picture.  We get to see what both sides are thinking and the growth of each situation as it develops. We’ve come to believe that real life is that way. It’s not.

We have come to believe if we watch the news long enough we’ll get the full story and everything will make sense. It won’t.

The people making up the news are as clueless and grasping at straws as much as you are. Yes, context is researched more deeply and more information is divulged. But you aren’t being given access to the backstory in a plot. We often confuse news reporters with the omnipotent narrator in a story. It’s more akin to the faulty narrator in a story where you’re being given a glimpse into the psyche of the story teller. You’re being told about the world as a faulty narrator sees it. There is no objective analysis. There is no omnipotent force informing the report. They are just people, like you. They have agenda and motives and they are part of the story, not an omnipotent narrator. Remember that.

It’s easy to forget when faced with threats from North Korea, that we don’t know the whole story. The parts of the story we see are disturbing. It’s easy to pick sides and draw conclusions. It is especially easy when you have skin in the game. They can fire as far as South Korea? Bummer. Then can fire as far as Japan? That’s rough. They can hit California? WTF, DO SOMETHING!!!

It’s nice to treat it as someone else’s problem. Until it happens to you. But remember, nothing has actually happened yet… But when it does, what will it be? Will war change it? Can we have a positive impact? Would we resolve the problem faster if we found oil in North Korea?

Do I have any control or influence over the situation at all?

Then, suddenly, nature turns it’s attention toward you. Suddenly North Korea drops off the top of the headlines as a hurricane hits Texas. We watch in helpless wonder as our friends and family struggle to escape flooding and survive one of the worst hurricanes we’ve seen in a while.

Feeling helpless sucks.

Then, I read this:

Environmentalists crowd fund a forest

Yes, it’s politically motivated. Yes, the article does a lot bashing. But they are taking a negative situation and making something positive out of it. People are doing something good.

The world is full of good people doing good things. Some for the right reasons, some for the wrong reasons, but they are making a difference.

You are making a difference.

You need to keep making a difference.

Be the person the world needs and let go of the outcome.

Don’t control, simply Be.

If you need a boost, try here:

Uplifting news on Reddit

This subreddit has articles posted that remind you the world isn’t a cesspool.

The world is a better place than the media makes it out to be.

You are a better person than your mind makes you out to be.

Be you. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. We will get to where we need to be. That’s all we can ask for.

 

Namaste,

Kevin

 

Love Them Beautiful

Is everyone actually beautiful? Is there beauty everywhere? Am I beautiful?

Yes! Correction, “HELL YES!” You are beautiful, I am beautiful. Even that ass-hat at the office that did that thing to you the other day, they are beautiful.

Ugly is really just an energetic state. A very low level of energy. Hate, greed, fear, these are low energy states. They are powerful, but they can be overcome with high energy states. Love, Compassion, Joy.

A smile is a powerful tool for a face and for feeling. The joy and release that come from smiling at someone is powerful. To see the face of a skeptical person as you approach them, both sides wary, both uncertain, then you crack a smile. It is like seeing the sun coming out from behind clouds. The skeptical face softens, relaxes, and a smile dawns. It is truly a thing of beauty.

If you have challenging people in your life, one powerful approach, is to love them. Love them beautiful. Approach them with compassion and love. This doesn’t mean you have to expose your delicate underbelly to the ass-hat at work. But somebody has to start the flow of love. Trust is gained over time. Love can be immediately given.

Grudges hurt you more than the person you hold a grudge against. Don’t punish yourself for someone else’s actions.

Embrace your own loveliness and beauty and spread it to the rest of the world with love and a smile.

Namaste, Kevin

 

 

You’re not as fat as you think, but you will be

I have felt fat for much of my life. I’ve discovered as I get older that it is, at least in part, a state of mind. In part it is a state of society. There is an image of the perfect body, and I haven’t ever had it. Which is interesting because I look back on how I used to look and what I used to weight and I realize I looked and weighed a pretty healthy amount. But that’s not what the world told me.

I am a big guy, I always have been, ever since that final growth spurt in college. But I’ve been working off charts made by the AMA (American Medical Association) that say I’m obese. Doctors have been telling me for years that I need to get off the excess weight. The result has been occasional “success” followed by my body returning to it’s comfortable weight. In retrospect, my comfortable weight was more of the success.

My mindset that I was fat has lead more frequently to me giving up on eating healthy. My belief I was fat has not lead me to lose weight, it’s lead me to being fat. When I get stressed I eat. When I feel overweight I feel like it doesn’t matter what I eat. When I get stressed and eat it’s usually not good quality food. I very rarely get so stressed out that I need to go eat a salad.

So I came across pictures from 6 years ago. And I look at that young guy in the pictures and think, I was looking pretty good. For an obese man (thanks AMA).

While we’re on the topic of obesity, let me highlight that having a single chart that it supposed to tell you your ideal weight, that doesn’t take into account your frame size, skeletal mass, really anything about you specifically, and then making a medical claim off that average of humanity is TOTAL B@**SH*@. The average person isn’t average and to tell someone what they should do or be based on what the average of everyone else did or was is a complete fallacy.

As a man I get the impression that I’m not supposed to care. Or that I am not a typical demographic that is supposed to mind.  But I do and I have. There is a lot in society that tells me what I’m supposed to be and I tend to internalize this and criticize myself for not being what I could never be.

In a way this feeds into all the messages I’ve ever written on this blog. You are okay as you are. You are not broken, you just don’t conform to a false image of what you should be and what you should believe. You have been fed a bill of goods by society stating what you are supposed to be and how you are supposed to act and what your body should look like, it is a lie.

Be you! Be okay with you!

I’m working on being okay with me, and the first step is admitting that I’ve lied to myself about what I should be. I am F&@#ING AWESOME! And I have the body of an Adonis. Which is nice.

Then again the phrase “Body of an Adonis” has it’s own judgement in it. Body shaming is built into my language. I have the body of a human. I am exactly who and what I need to be for the moment that I am in.

Maybe I’ll lose some weight this year. Maybe I’ll gain some weight this year. But what I really wish for this year is the power to be me, as I am, as I need to be. It is easy being perfect, because I’m already there. Next step is accepting my perfection.

Please look at yourself today and accept your perfection. There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with me.

Namaste and Love, Kevin

The Importance Of Being Human

I was working on the dishes this morning, in the kitchen.

“Oh NO!!!” I hollered as a pile of dishes in a mixing bowl shifted and the water sloshed out of the bowl, out of the sink, onto the floor and my pants and my shoes.

My daughter came running over, “Where is the broken glass?”

“There isn’t any broken glass,” I responded. A little disgruntled and a little agitated.

“Well at least nothing is broken,” She responded with a smile.

I considered for a moment. I softened. “Yes, at least nothing is broken.”

At least nothing was broken. It’s true. It was just a puddle on the ground and a rag later, and a wipe down of my pants, everything was more or less, good as new.

It’s hard sometimes to remember how good we have it. It can be easy to get buried in a problem and think the world is coming to an end. It isn’t likely to.

Individual worlds do collapse.

Illusions shatter all the time.

But we are here. We are alive. We are a miracle.

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact we are human. We are miraculous.

I spend much of my day buried in my thoughts. In a world I have constructed in my head. I fold and craft a reality around me from the images I build in my mind of what I believe is happening around me. It’s not real. It’s not as bad as it seems.

At least there is no broken glass. Yes, sometimes there is a mess. Sometimes there is broken glass. But we are here. We are human.

Human is a very loaded word.

It can be an excuse for behavior and mistakes. “He’s only human.”

It can be a burden to overcome. “Held back by humanity.”

It can be a low water mark above which some rise, “She’s superhuman.”

It can represent disgraceful behavior or shocking catastrophe, “Oh, the humanity!”

It can represent the best of us, “It is beautiful to see human kindness.”

It’s easy to forget it represents us. With all our foibles and all our strengths. It’s important to remember that we are human.

Yes, sometimes we are a mess. But that is okay. After all, we are, only human.

Namaste,

Kevin

It’s Complicated

“It’s complicated”. This phrase has been leaving my mouth a lot recently. It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m talking about how to interact with my 4 year old or the state of global politics. I consider all the things that are going on around me and when I try to explain them, or put them into words, all I can come up with is “It’s complicated”. Which I suppose is a way of throwing up my hands in the air and saying “Hell if I know”… But it’s a little more polite in conversation.

It’s a clear sign of being overwhelmed. Inundated. Past my threshold.

I miss being 20 something. Even then I had a lot going on and a lot of doubts about things. But the world seemed a lot simpler. My problems seemed a lot more… Well I was going to say easy. But in reality, I look back at them and they appear easier. Many appear trivial. But they look easy, because they are past. I know I survived them, or overcame them. I know it’s going to be okay, because it was okay. Everything turned out, more or less, for the best.

I feel like living in the world today takes more than it did back then. But that may be a fallacy. My world has changed dramatically since I was in my 20’s. I have kids and a wife. I have many more bills to pay and responsibilities. It’s hard to look objectively and state that the world today is different because of X or Y, when in reality the world is different because of everything.

Is the world today better or worse? Are people devolving or evolving?

It seems the more I learn about how the world ticks, the less I accept as being understood.

My world view has evolved.

My reasons for doing things have changed.

I am still me, and I am still optimistic. But I have adapted, I have changed. I am not the same as I was when I set out on this journey. Which, to be fair, I believe is the reason for the journey.

What I’m trying to say is, “It’s complicated”. But it’s going to be okay.

Namaste and Love,

Kevin

You can’t always get what you want

No, you can’t always get what you want.

But if you try some times,

you just might find,

you get what you need.

 

Who do you want to be today?

Who do you want to be?

Who do you want to be today?

Do you want to be just like someone on TV?

Just like somebody on TV.

 

Sweet dreams are made of these.

Who am I to disagree?

I traveled the world and the seven seas,

Everybody’s looking for something.

 

Some days are dry

Some days are leaky

Some days come clean

Other days are squeaky

Some days just drop in on us

Some days are better than others

 

I’ve found a new friend, underneath my pillow.

 

She’s a maniac, maniac, at your door.

And she’s dancing like she’s never danced before.

 

Enid we never really knew each other anyway.

Enid we always saw right through each other anyway.

It took me a year to admit it was over

And it took me two more to get over the loss

 

 

Where are you going?

To see a crazy old man.

What will he tell you?

He’ll tell me where I am going.

What will you do then?

I might just quit my job.

What will you do then?

I’m going to find my way home again

home again

home again

 

Namaste,

Kevin

 

Credits:

Rolling Stones – You can’t always get what you want

Oingo Boingo – Who Do You Want To Be Today?

Eurhythmics – Sweet dreams

U2 – Some days are better than others

They Might Be Giants – Fingertips

Hall and Oats – She’s a maniac

Barenaked Ladies – Enid

Danny Elfman – Home Again

 

 

Don’t worry about the spelling

Thanks for your feedback on last week’s flow writing. I often enjoy sitting back and watching my fingers flow across the keyboard as I absently try to follow what is coming out.

The words usually surprise me, often pleasantly. I like the feeling that comes from being a part of something bigger than myself. Flow writing lends to that feeling. My brain kicks in for spell checking. The spirit of inspiration has reasonable grammar and spelling, but things slip through.

I’ve actually had people unsubscribe from my mailing list after complaining to me about my poor grammar or spelling. As an admitted OCD personality I know how it feels to come across spelling errors and not be able to move forward.

I was watching a presentation yesterday a slide came up with a great deal of useful information on it, the information was correlated with time frames for release (which years the activity had occurred). On the middle time bar, the window of time was from 20013-2014… I was hung. I couldn’t take in the rest of the slide. I was completed stuck on the idea that one of the releases would occur 18,000 years in the future.

It’s hard to turn off your brains difference engine. It’s difficult, especially if it’s your core strength, to be able to shut down a part of your personality, your training.

Yet, that’s exactly what we need. Our strengths come easier. When weaknesses start to show up, we have to lean on our strengths. When your bad knee acts up, you have to favor the other leg. But if you keep going, if you start to depend on the other leg all the time, you’ll end up with two bad knees. The bad knee won’t get any better and the good knee will get worse. You need to rest, and recuperate. You need to shut down for a bit.

So remember, especially when reading my blog :), that it’s not all about spelling. It’s not all about presentation. Look for the good intentions. Look for the motivation. Look for the light shining behind the message. Look past any obvious warts and focus on the inherent beauty.

Everything is beautiful, in its own way.

-Namaste, Kevin

 

Nothing

I yearn for nothing.

I seek nothing.

I desire nothing.

 

My mind is everything, everywhere, every-need.

My mind spins and loops and jump and wiggles and wobbles.

 

I need nothing.

I need the peace that comes from silence.

I need the moment that comes between the moments.

I need nothing.

 

Yet I continue doing everything.

I continue working down the nub.

 

I am worn.

I am spent.

I am good for nothing.

 

Yet I avoid nothing.

I am afraid of nothing.

 

I feel like I must do everything.

I must try something.

 

What can be accomplished with nothing?

Nothing.

 

What can be accomplished with everything?

Nothing.

 

If I do nothing to get to nothing.

I am left with nothing.

 

If I do everything to get to nothing.

I am left with nothing, but I am also spent.

 

Nothing is inevitable.

Yet I fight nothing.

Nothing will save me.

Nothing can be lost.

Nothing will come from nothing.

 

Namaste,

Kevin