Financial Crises Do Happen — Prepare

When I was very young, there was a recession in the US. Ten years ago, there was a recession in the US. A few times in the 20th century, there have been recessions. The reality is, recessions happen. Economies falter and none are perfect. Recently, Bill Gates said it’s certain we will have another financial crisis like in 2008. As a billionaire founder of one of the largest empiricist enterprises in modern times, he has access to data and advisers, and a track record in commerce that lends credence to his forecast. We do not know when the economy will falter and what will trigger it, but we know it happens.

Materially and professionally, I did not survive the last recession though I did not starve. A $1 salad and a $1 drink can go far. A bag of nacho chips and a case of bottled water can get you through some rough spots for weeks at a time. You may vomit later on, but you are still going, breathing. The last recession is a time I will never forget and will remember vividly.

Some generations of humans and some people can live prosperously from cradle to grave. Sometime you have a year or two of good time, maybe a decade. Many people however, live in times where the good times eventually come to an end. The good news is you can learn from the past, realize that you can live through tough times. Though many people may have lives that are not ideal on balance, being alive is greater than than the material prosperity lost or rarely attained.

Yet, if you know that the overall societal conditions that work to foster income and a higher quality lifestyle rarely ebb and flow, you can prepare. Ultimately, disaster prepping is never obsolete and you can see indications of the oncoming season of decline. Failure to acknowledge the boom bust cycle is a combination of denial and the fostering of a superficial perspective about life. Know in advance what you can give up materially (should be just about everything) and where you are willing to go (either anywhere or only where you are from or both). Always know your fundamental gear: Backpack, 2 or 3 shirts, pants, underwear, etc. and be fully prepared to be fully mobile. Lose the social image as that impairs your ability to live (no job or life situation is beneath you). Understand that the worse thing you can do is become paralyzed by brooding over fairness and loss. You must move forward, you must move on.


Sadhana – Anthony de Mello – Part 2

The book is a great read as I mentioned a while back. Anthony de Mello did a great job showing how to pursue Yeshua and Yahweh not just through reading and public pronouncement but by meditation. The problem today is not unchanged from Anthony de Mello’s time. Societies in the Western Hemisphere tend to view meditation with caution and sometimes suspicion. Part of the reason is many cultures and spiritual practices emphasize mediation. What Anthony has done for today’s audience, as did Ignatius in his time, is make the case that mediation itself is universal. The issue then is not mediation but the purpose to which you apply it.

Meditation is a means of detaching yourself from the world outside to amplify the world within which we call the spirit. How does your spirit unite with God in a way that more completely informs it? Anthony summarizes meditation in a way that shows you steps to get your mind and heart to a place where you are more apt to be influenced by God. Very useful to the development of one’s spirit.

Does reading it make you accomplished? Not necessarily as it is my sense that just being in this world makes its difficult to reach the ideal. Instead, we all have a lot of journey ahead yet despite the length of road already traveled. Ongoing temporal existence seems to necessitate continuous growth. Improvement in one area may uncover problems and possibilities in another. That is the way of life with part of the goal to shape more dimensions of the spiritual person. Peer more into the essence of the divine. The primary goal however is to expand our capacity to love, receive love, and understand love.

The challenge for people who read about, read of, hear about, and receive word about Yeshua and Yahweh is what to do next with belief. Actions are good, charity is vital, and giving can enrich the human experience. However, actions and doing things without further insight into the spirit and realm of the spirit can seem to be a partial effort. People have questions and seek revelation. The exercises described by Anthony de Mello fills that gap and provides a window into the possibilities of spiritual exploration centered in Yeshua and Yahweh.

Reading the book reminded me of Frank Tuoti’s description of an anonymous Syrian who may have come from the 4th century. Frank discusses the book, “The Book of Degrees” in his own book, “Why Not Be a Mystic” in which he discusses the 3 churches in chapter 8. The Visible Church, the Church of the Heart, and the Church On High. He quotes the author as stating that disregarding the Visible Church for the other two is an error. Instead, all 3 work together to as a complete experience of the divine. In simpler language, you cannot just go to church and skip the higher spiritual journey and you cannot seek the higher spiritual journey and decide to leave aside church. Going to church and the higher spiritual journey work together to develop the spirit.

Anthony’s book is not boring but quite the opposite. It is very engaging and colorful in metaphor and unexpected analogy. Yet, solid, serious, critical information is interwoven with a gentle presentation of inner spiritual journeying towards God. The rule of 3 pervades the book and indirectly reinforces many messages. An example is the triad of reading scripture, praying on scripture, and meditating on scripture. The first of these acts are well-known. The second possibly understood depending on spiritual practice. The third however may be confused with the second in terms of prayer that is inwardly and/or outwardly verbalized. Meditation works more in the silencing of the mind, attaining stillness and seeing with the inner eye towards the divine presence within as the quietest surest path to the universal uncreated divine without. Sadhana by Anthony de Mello describes this process in such variety as to be wholly useful to those seeking an additional means to further a deeper understanding of self, motive, and place in relationship to God.

Clean Body from What You Eat

Many years ago I chose to eat only vegetables and not touch meat. I read labels and if I do not understand the ingredients, I am less likely to go forward with the food item. I also avoid meat ingredients such as eggs so that excludes several baked goods. Last year, I learned about the dangers of acrylamide in fried potatoes and have abstained from french fries and most fried food including potato chips. I am food conscious. Continue reading

Digital Enhancement Destroys Authentic Memories

More pictures are taken with phones and those pictures still do not stack up to a traditional camera. While it is true that any snapshot of a rare or fleeting situation is better than none at all, when you do have a choice, a phone camera may not be the right way. Brian talks about this in, What smartphone photography is doing to our memories. He focuses on the distraction that phone pose in disrupting our own memory of the event photographed. However, what is not mentioned is the effect photographic enhancement has on accurately capturing a moment in time. Continue reading

No More Warnings about Digital Apocalypse

The digital apocalypse will be survived. People can definitely live without computers. Yet, any critique of computers is not fatal. They are very useful devices that just happen to be used in the wrong way in some cases. With all the data breaches, identify misappropriation, and easily automated leakage of information, we humans have not learned that these machines cannot keep our secrets … for long. The machines can slow down or prevent you doing things when you cannot access a website because you no longer use paper. Continue reading

More Political Data Harvesting in the Future

The controversy involving data harvesting exposed last week to influence elections will not be the last time. Digital data is easy to scoop up. We all give data to the big social networks. Just clicking on a link from an e-mail or reading a news article contributes to this cycle. Scooping up digital data and selling it is easy money. Maybe the easiest money ever. Why wouldn’t digital spying and profiling occur? Digital advertising is everywhere and many ads contain or are directly connected to computer code that simply records what, when, and where. The stakes are increased power. Cookies are the past, tracking technology has advanced. Your profile can and will be used to manipulate you. Not just in elections which have consequences on regulations you live under; regulations of those in power and without; but all aspects of your life.

Surveillance Capitalism: It’s not just Facebook. Thousands of companies are spying on you

Movie: Black Panther

The movie was tastefully done and world-class. The layers of morality woven throughout the film was addressed strove towards an ideal in a realistic way. The portrayal of an advanced African society was dignified, consistent with tribal expressions, and had real life. The blend of a restive, relaxed, connected Wakanda rural and metro city life (with clean bazaars and merchant activity, kids playing in the streets without fear) was a clear and refreshing contrast with the lives experienced in first world nations in reality and the Marvel’s echo of that reality. A lead character T’Challa was presented with various dilemmas and I found the portrayal of how he ultimately expressed himself and emphasized to be a true model of authentically noble leadership. Continue reading