Want to actually be wiser, instead of just appear to be smarter?
Try evolving your mind, rather than just training, or drug boosting, your brain.
Go for real inner discipline, not just chemistry or puzzle games.

The Rising of the Sun in the Mind

an App for individual self-development/education
at the beginning of the Third Millennium

no guru, master, initiate, priest, or whatever, needed - those days are over

except for such oddities as those who succumb to the fantasies of the Ray Kurzweil Effect.

Self-education in its broadest sense is twofold ... the self-directed acquiring of knowledge of what
lives outside us, and the self-directed acquiring of knowledge of what lives inside us.
These two realms (outside and inside) are not separate by the way,
but are rather two sides of one "coin". 

Caveat Emptor (buyer beware), ... except, ... this App is free,
because gifts of the spirit* should always be free.
All the same, BEWARE ... this App is not for everyone,
and its true value comes from the effort YOU put into it. 
It is a only a map. YOU are the actual territory.

*Everyone has gifts of the spirit.  Often more than one.  Many are artistic in nature.  They can be
as simple as being a very good listener, or to seeing quickly to the heart of a problem.  Learn to trust your own intuition.

Hopi symbol, meaning: "Together with all nations we protect both land and life and hold the world in balance.”
For more in depth material on the Hopi Prophecy, go here.

Some where along the lines and patterns of your life, you have to ask yourself how much you are interested in the truth.
Not the Truth with a capital "T" but the truth as in scientifically and factually correct.   That search may be far more important
than anything else you do in your life.  If this seeking of the truth - the ordinary truth - is your guiding Star, then that's all you will ever need,
to direct Your Course in Life.  As usual there is a little "trick", we might say, because truth is linked to goodness and to beauty. 
So ordinary extraordinary truths will always be: true, beautiful, and good. 

What is this App is about?  The most crucial stuff will be in "red", like this. 

The core scientific questions for the modern human being are: What is thought and what is thinking?
How we individually answer those questions is crucial to knowledge about ourselves and about the world.
Why?  Because there is no mental life - no
- without thinking and without thought, and
the so-called brain sciences don't actually study this.  They just assume that thought and thinking,
consciousness and self-consciousness, are a product of brain chemistry and nothing else.  This
is sort of like a CSI that believes they already know who the murderer is,
 and then never actually follows the evidence to its source.

"a music leads the mind through the starry night
and the brain must expand to contain the flight
like a tree growing branches at the speed of light"

The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance
 By Kim Stanley Robinson

Are mind and brain the same?

I am not my brain: the map is not the territory

Outside us is the world of the senses, and we might believe that what is there
has no relationship to thought and thinking, but that would be incorrect.

Every object our senses experience acquires its identity and meaning from thought and thinking. 
The existence of sense objects - its "being" nature arises in a different way.  Identity and meaning
is one aspect of all objects of experience, while their seeming independent existence arises otherwise.

A cup is just a cup (the object named), but a cup received as a gift to which we
attach a sentimental value, is an object that not only has a "name", it also has "meaning".

Plato understood this, and spoke of the World of Pure Forms -
 the world of the uncreated and unformed from which there descends into
corporeal existence, the thoughts and thinking of Cosmic Beings.

We mirror, or imitate, this activity, when we create objects that did not exist before.  Thus, the whole Electronic
Age came to birth through human thoughts and thinking.  We are the "Gods" of the Electronic Age.
At the same time we did not create the carbon and silicon, and oil from which the plastics came.
Nor the electricity which powers these technological wonders.  Someone else created them.
We just picked up the wonders of The Creation and began to make it into something new.

Every object of the sense world has its corresponding "Idea", and with our minds we can journey
into the realms were all "Ideas" are created.  Our minds are naturally united with the Great Mind.

You do not have to believe any of this.  At the same time, your own mind can prove this
fact of existential reality to itself.  That "proving" is the journey
of the Rising of the Sun in the Mind.

Assabet River at flood, as seen from River House where I used to live.

{meanwhile, for the fun of it ... a shaggy-dog tale/tail}

shaggy-dog story: "a long, rambling story or joke, typically one that is amusing only because it is absurdly inconsequential or pointless".

Three men walk into a bar: a wizard, a blackhat hacker, and a fool.  We can tell who is who by how they are dressed. 
The wizard is in robe covered with stars, and is wearing a pointed hat.  Has a long mostly gray beard,
and is carrying a staff, which he places on the top of the bar, next to which he places his hat.  The hacker is wearing
 a food stained t-shirt for Def Con 23, is overweight, and even tho’ probably in his forties, still has pimples.
 He puts one of those weird roll-up keyboards on the bar next to the wizards staff.

The wizards staff has a glowing from within white crystal on the top, and the hacker connects
his keyboard to it, finding a USB port at the base of the crystal.

The fool looks like he just stepped off of the Cliff in one of those Tarot card images. 
He is carrying a small dog, and places that on the bar too.

The bartender, a middle-aged woman having seen it all before, is not surprised
and even sets out a dish of water for the dog on the bar top, while at the same time she asks: 
What would the rest of you like to drink

{to be continued somewhere below}

[A multitude of active links are included, in order to provide various source material. 
Their reading is not entirely necessary, but at the same time could be a lot of fun,
especially if you don't decide to bow down to those ideas, and instead
seek individual freedom of thought above all else.]

Take breaks.  Your mind needs to play.  Your job may force you to use your mind (and heart and hands) too much
for the benefit of your employer.  Read this App in bits and pieces.  Take the time to digest it. 
Our inner life often needs time to harmonize many kinds of experiences.  Take a rest from any excess of concentrated
effort.  Your life and this App will find a meeting place, all defined by you.  Trust yourself.

Metaphorical Warning!!!!!  If for some reason you are afraid of books, and don't like to read too much stuff ... you may have become a victim of the Decepticons.  There is good tech (the Autobots) and bad tech (the Decepticons).  Bad tech is addictive, makes you want to shoot selfies all the time, take pictures of your food, and constantly check out what your friends are up to because you can't YET discover who YOU want to be among all the modern tech-noise.  Tech-noise is to young people, like Fox-noise News is to old people.  Too much can make you stupid.   That smart phone you carry around, and can't seem to leave alone, ... that phone may well own you ... you might not own it.  Its a tool, not a personal secretary or a god.  Good tech, by the way, does not disparage the cultural Past - but rather honors what has gone before.  In fact, your whole life stands on what that Past has built.   Start to engage in the practice of the reading of books.  Each contains a whole universe.  A generation that rats out the past destroys the future.  You have been Metaphorically Warned!!!!!

Are we having fun yet?

A "book" is the consequence of the creative activity of (at least) a single mind.  Like yours,
each mind is unique, and to read books is to go to another universe of Ideas.  In this sense
we already can travel the multiverse through reading.  Were did we get the Idea of the
multiverse in the first place?  And where can we go, but into books of the imagination
in order to explore the Idea of that multiverse.  We don't need to bend the laws
of physics.   We just need to understand the laws of thinking and thought.

There already exists a counter-Copernican revolution.  The original Copernican revolution fought against doctrines of
the Roman Catholic Church that defined what was real - or not - such as did the Sun revolve around the Earth, and is the Earth
the Center of the Universe.  That original revolution was basically won, except that it "threw out the baby with the bathwater".
Now there exists a new "church" - the "church" of scientific materialism - that declares that any explanation of reality is false,
 that sees
there is not only matter, but also spirit.  The big bang theory and the theory of evolution, all require "matter only"
explanations for reality.  Like the Roman Church's middle-ages doctrines, the modern Copernican "doctrines' are only partially correct.
we have the Romantics, the Transcendentalists, the Anthroposophists, the Goethean Scientists - all manner of folk who have said: "Wait
a minute.  There is a lot more going one here".   For example, from Wikipedia: "Philosophers have come to understand the distinction between
the optical spectrum, as observed by Newton, and the phenomenon of human colour perception as presented by Goethe—a subject
 analyzed at length by Wittgenstein in his exegesis of Goethe in Remarks on Colour."  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Colours

This App, and the links it contains, are all part of the growing counter-Copernican revolution. 
Do you think you might like to join?

Here is someone in the growing counter-Copernican  revolution without even know it:
Rupert Sheldrake, giving a talk to TED, that TED has hidden.

Some basic questions to ask yourself on the way to beginning the Journey that this App makes possible:

1.  Do I know everything?
2.  If I don't know everything, is it possible that if I learn something new, that this new learning might cause me to change what I already believe I know?
3.  Am I willing to learn, even if it is about stuff I already believe I know?
4.  Do you know that the best way to learn is to play?
5.  How frequently do you practice - with zero guilt - the Art of Fucking-off?

or these five questions from Michael J. Straczynski, creator of Babylon Five and Crusade:

1.  Who are you?
2.  What do you want?
3.  Where are you going?
4.  Who do you serve?
5.  Who do you trust?
Did you know that the word "silly" used to mean possessed by the sacred?

more dog tails}

In answer to the bartender’s question, the Wizard says: Dragon Piss Wine. 
The hacker wants a 2 liter bottle of cherry Dr. Pepper, and some mixed nuts. 
The fool wants goats milk and fresh bread.

The bartender considers this for a minute, and replies: Sorry, I don’t have any of that stuff. 
Ask for something semi-normal.  If you can’t manage that, I’ll have to 86 your asses

The hacker raises a finger, suggesting she wait a minute.  He plays with the keyboard a bit,
and a kind of holographic image appears in space above the crystal.  It is like a browser window,
and seems to be a picture of something like the Amazon website, but the title reads: Xanadu. 
There is more quick typing, with images changing too fast for the bartender to follow. 

Shortly after closing down the floating image, the hacker tells her that a drone will appear
 at the door in a few minutes, bearing their requests.   Before the bartender can make her next remark
asking how will she make any money out of this process,
the wizard raises his pointed hat off of the bar, and underneath
 it is a small black cauldron-like object full of gold coins.

The wizard slides this object down the bar to the fool, who begins to juggle several of the coins,
 and then selects three, which he places on the bar before the bartender.   They are three American Eagle, one oz. gold coins,
whose total worth is at least over $4000.00, which the bartender recognizes
because for this story to go forward she needs to be an amateur numismatist.

Next, there is a loud noise of someone kicking on the door to the bar and seeking entry ...

{there might be more later, I’m not yet certain.  After all, who can predict the future?}

[at various places below there will be links to music - so as to provide a break. 
These links will be found in red brackets.   The related aesthetic experience
of music is a valid place to take your mind.  You already do it all the time.
You are going to find out that you are way smarter, and wiser, than you might
otherwise believe.
  Each of us enjoys as well the visual arts, such as films
and television.  All over the world different "minds" create remarkable
artifacts of culture.  This is why fundamentalists - such as ISIS - hate modern
and ancient "culture".  To maintain their own tragic mental aberrations,
they must hide their own true nature, as potentially free spirits, from themselves.
They are just history's latest child having a tantrum because the world isn't like what it wants,
without having thought through the consequences of their actions.
(thanks to Dr. Who* - "the Zygon Inversion" - for that idea)]

*wisdom is everywhere

There is material in this App you will not find anywhere else.  Anywhere.
Enter by the Narrow Gate - the Door inside your own Mind

Do you believe you have an interior life (consciousness)?  Do you believe you have a self, or self-consciousness?  Do you believe you have free will?  Before the unjustified seeming omniscience of natural science started to fancy we were ruled by a meat organ called: the brain, we used to use the word mind to describe our inwardness.  Before we used "mind" (an English usage), Western Civilization, even during the Enlightenment, used the words soul and spirit  (See Freud and Man's Soul, by Bruno Bettelheim).  Let's back up a little, and take a second look at soul (consciousness) and spirit (self-consciousness).  Do you believe Science knows everything?  Did you know Newton was an alchemist, and Kepler an astrologer?  Science still too frequently tells lies about its own history.  [See: Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions]  For fun details on this way of seeing consciousness and self consciousness, coupled with some instruction on such aspects of our human nature as regards "sex", see this sequence of videos: Misery Loves Company - the Redemption of Eros.

[  Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah  ]

The Twelve Basic Structural Rules for an Operating Manual of Consciousness and Self Consciousness

The situation as regards these "Rules" is that while we are not required to "believe" in them, they are - like "gravity" - there.
They operate irrespective of our belief.  Observation and perception of their operation, however, will enable our understanding of
the world in which we live to deepen.   As Ruskin said in The Queen of the Air, (I paraphrase): While Newton noticed that:
 the apple fell to earth, he forgot to really wonder about the question of how it got up there in the first place.

A) There are no simple questions and there are therefore no simple answers; and

B) your own judgment is the best for deciding a lot of this ...

Some general statements that are true, but I'm not selling them and you don't have to buy them:

1) We are immortal spirits going through sequences of incarnations in order to learn Love.

2) In any given life we have a particular biography, that is meant to give us what we need in that life.

3) Our world view (belief in Aliens, New World Order, Catholic, the New Atheism, etc.) in any given life is secondary to the relationships we have with others in that particular life. The biography is the primary teacher, and each biography is unique, because each individual is unique. The Universe multitasks on a level we can hardly imagine and there are no accidents.

4) Karma brings us into these relationships concerning which we have shared wounds (soul-pains needing healing) and destiny meetings (unpredictable events that take us places we didn't imagine we would end up).

5) We have then two kinds of soul pain and joy: One concerns the wider world and its conditions (such as the Arab Spring and 9/11 etc) about which we are mostly on-looking observers, and the other concerns what we need to learn from our immediate intimate biography (parents, siblings, lovers, co-workers, jobs etc.), that is: All  that which we often see as mundane and unimportant or perhaps so difficult we don't want to face it, but instead want to run away - all that "Life" may well be the most important aspect of our personal Path.  Except, when that early life is so empty or otherwise horrible, that we are completely wise to flee and make another.

6) The key place of work (which sometimes seems like a battlefield) is our own mind, not the outer world. The cliche is you can't change the world, but you can change yourself.

7) Now the Universe loves us just as we are, and places no demands upon us that we change or become anything other. [ The Beatles had it right in the song: Let it Be. ]

8) However, our immortal spirit has the itch to change in itself ... we want to become, the Universe doesn't demand it, except to the extent we can acknowledge our personal immortal spirit as itself  an aspect of the Divine Mystery.  The source of wanting to change comes from the divine in our Self.

9) Inner freedom is a major key, not just outer freedom. One of my favorite teachers, Rudolf Steiner*, writes: "One must be able to confront an idea and experience it, otherwise one will fall into its bondage."

10) Inner work in the "battlefield" of thinking mind involves two basic gestures: prayer and meditation. Don't make assumptions about those qualities of our inner life.  Prayer is like a conversation, more than it is like lining up at a store and asking for gifts. "Ask, seek and knock" said Christ. We talk to the Universe, and sometimes the Universe talks back. Meditation is about coming awake within - noticing things that are there. So we have to sit still and let the thinking mind wander and learn from how it goes about this wandering and learning. The biography that teaches us includes the personal stuff of our own thinking mind; and, we can engage in prayer and meditation simultaneously.  These (meditation and prayer) are practice for the daily art of awake living thinking.

11) Soul is consciousness, and Spirit is self-consciousness. Learning about our own within, and trying to learn to love those intimately in our biography, - these will teach us far more than any book.  It is like riding a bicycle.  You have to actually do it, not just imagine doing it.  See, for some interesting details,: Bicycles: a Children's Christmas Story for Adults.

12) Is consciousness confined only to human beings and animals?  Watch this Lakota Sioux prayer to "All my relations". 

*[About Rudolf Steiner.  A genius, but betrayed by the Society (the Anthroposophical Society) that excessively borrows his works and name.  Here's a link to my** videos on Real Anthroposophy.]
**[About me: The Tree, which includes links to some of my own writing.]

{dog tales continued}

The fool gets up and goes to the door.  He holds it open while a Borg drone comes in carrying
all the objects ordered from Xanadu.  The Borg drone puts these objects on the bar,
looks around as if in a kind of daze, turns and walks out the door, disappearing in a flash of gray light, once outside.

A black cat jumps up on the bar, and while walking across right in between
 the three characters and the bartender, the cat seems to jump backwards a couple of inches
and then repeats its prior  movements.  The bartender then reaches below the level of the bar
and puts out a couple of bowls - red pills in one, and blue pills in another. 
All four take one from each bowl and dry swallow them.

The bartender next reaches below the bar again, and pulls up a light-saber,
which is turned off, and lays it on the bar parallel to the wizards staff.

The fool, returning to his seat says: “hmmm, a serious cliche’ standoff, dudes”,
in a reasonable imitation of the voice of the actor Jeff Bridges in the Coen brothers’ film: the Big Lebowski

{if you think I am enjoying writing this trash, you are right.
Whether you are enjoying this ... that's up to you.}

For some people, in certain circumstances, it is helpful to read
and study together.  Many "minds" can make the "work" more like play.
Conversation is sometimes called: the Royal Art.  Learn how to practice it.

The mystery of the individual human being: "the Rainbow Warrior"

all bead-work posted here is by the author of the App

Does God Exist?  Is Religion a Fraud?  Does Science Know Everything?  Do you care?

In the movie 2012, starring John Cusack, a young monk is saying goodby to his teacher.  The teacher pours his student a cup of tea, and keeps pouring and pouring, causing the cup to overflow.  The student exclaims: "What are you doing?"  The teacher says, essentially: "This cup is your mind.  If it is too full there is really no room for anything else, but what you already believe."

An essential question is: Is spirit real?  A related question is: Is there a God?  Variations are: With so many "religions", how
can any single one be true?  This App is designed to leave you free to decide those questions for yourself.  A number
of links below provide various types of evidence.  If you don't read the thoughts of others, you may miss out on a
great deal of this "evidence".  The most crucial "evidence", however, is present in your own mind, when you seriously
consider the implications of a true study of thought and thinking.

[  Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven  ]

The Universe Loves Each of Us

So far, each sentence you have read represents an Idea.  Reading is more than just words on the page, but a very crucial
act of the mind.   Try not to sleep through that act.  Think about the fact that the "idea" of the sentence is not in
the words dancing across the page.  We construct/perceive the "idea" of the  sentence when we read. 
Try not to read unconsciously.  Savor each word and phrase as if you we enjoying
the finest Idea-meal possible.  You can always later reflect and decide
  whether or not what you just read was complete bullshit.

Trust you own sense of what is, or is not, true.

{is the tale wagging the dog?}

The bartender wanders down to the end of the bar, above where there is a large flat-screen TV. 
She fiddles with some controls below it, and reruns of CNN start to play. 
The “news” seems to be about five or six years old.  The hacker looks at the bartender, raises an eyebrow,
and the bartender says she hasn’t had any live news on that TV in years. 
She just plays old recordings of CNN and no one seems to notice.

There is a small thunderclap outside, the door is blown open by a bit of a strong breeze,
and out of the just arriving rain a small figure dressed in a black robe with a cowl,
walks into the bar, followed by a small black rain cloud about three feet in circumference sitting over its head. 
  The figure sits at the end of the bar, and the bartender makes a complicated mixed drink without being asked. 
The drink is made in front of the three earlier arrivals, and the bartender sets it on a small white napkin,
with these words on it: “the bar at the beginning of the universe”.

There is next a strange familiar sound, and everyone but the new arrival turns toward
the rear of the bar where the sound originated, discovering that the door to the mens/womens room
has been replaced with something absurdly looking like the door into the Tardis. 
This door opens from the inside, and a young woman’s face peeps around it, asking: “Is Dr Who here?”

The fool responds: “Who’s on first”.  After which the usual confusion wanders in
as everyone tries to imitate whatever parts of the famous Abbot and Costello comedy routine they can remember. 
While this is going on, the Tardis door closes and it disappears leaving a strange very dark hole in the wall.
Meanwhile the fellow under the cloud puts down his drink in disgust, and takes the small storm back outside.

{the reader is urged to follow one of the links somewhere else in the App,
in order to maintain some sense of personal insanity}

There are two crucial Books to learn to read.  They are right in front of you, and could not be more dynamic, intimate, and real.  One Book is your own life - your own story - your own biography.   Study it.   The Universe has given great care in preparing your life for you.  It is personalized in ways that are haunting, terrible, remarkable and beautiful.   You are special.  Everything is important, and nothing is wasted.   Every life is unique.

The Second Book is your own mind.  We all have one, and not one of them is entirely the same.  Your own mind too tells a story.  Observe it.  Study it as well.  All the secrets of the Universe are right there in front of you.  Neither modern science, or religion, or art, have a clue of that which the mind is truly capable.  Only you can know the amazing potential of your own mind.  These two Books are like a vast feast, which every human being is able to enjoy.  It is also a feast that can be individualized, and you will best learn its open secrets by designing your own experiments in preparing this feast.

Thinking is the key.  We all know how to do thinking instinctively.  It is a natural activity.  Mostly, however, we sleep through that activity.  We do it, but do not notice it.  Many ancient traditions disparage this aspect of the mind - the thinking, conceiving, inner picturing, concept creating, idea inventing aspect.  Those old tired Ways are dead.  Their time is past.  What is new and alive is you - thinking your own thoughts and having a free mind.   Right now you are using an App.  Where do Apps come from?  From the thinking mind.  Where did the Universe come from?  From the Universe's Own Thinking Mind.  We then are, ourselves, potential individual universes.   Learn to read these two Books, the Book of Life and the Book of the Own Mind.  That's where the Universe is teaching you directly - personally.  Again, ... life is a feast.  Sadly, even the terrible parts.  Pain and Joy both teach.

[ Gary Jule's Mad World ] 

  Learn to Make Your Own Menu

We are the principle cooks in the stew-pot of our own life.  We have to eat the consequences of our choices.  Don't worry.  Emerson wrote: "In self trust all virtues are comprehended"  Yet, as we all know, there are a lot of aspects of our lives we don't and can't (and perhaps shouldn't) control.  Leave some space for the other cooks in your individual biography.  You did have a mother, didn't you?  Teachers?  Friends?  Lovers?  We are not alone in our journeys, unless we want or need to be.  In a very real sense, each biography is its own holy grail.

The human being dances into the death of the future,
intimately interdependent with silicon.  Dare
we leave behind the natural world in our
rush for technological evolution?  Are
not we ourselves fully natural?
Do we want to end up saying: We are Borg?
or ...

"We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil's bargain
And we've got to get ourselves
back to the garden"

[  Joni Mitchell: Woodstock  ]

"the devil's bargain":  We are light and dark.  Have consciousness, self-consciousness, a sub-conscious and an unconscious.  Thoughts, Feelings, and Impulses of Will.  In Star Wars episode V, Luke goes underground, meets Darth Vadar and when Vadar's mask breaks open it is Luke's face that is inside.  In one way or another everyone has dark parts, many of which can and should be called: addictions.  To be in love, for example, ... To be in love with something,‭ ‬and to need something,‭ ‬on occasion desperately,‭ ‬is very very human.   We can be addicted to sex, love, drugs, alcohol, shopping, computer games, food, power, wealth - And, when our craving is too much, then we have to ask if we are in control of our lives or not.  Some comments on the Twelve Steps, from a certain point of view.

{did we manage to forget there is both
a cat and a dog now lounging on the top of the bar?}

Later investigations by psychics and mediums would reveal that the man with the rain cloud over his head
 was a ghost-researcher for the NSA, who came to “the bar at the beginning of the world”
in order to find sources for seeing into the future and the past.  The cat was a plant by the CIA,
 and actually a zombie, while the dog worked for the FBI, trained to relieve himself in specific places to mark their territory.

The Fool had just been handed the dog, right before he entered the bar, by Clea, who was a disciple of Dr. Strange.
 Clea told the Fool that the dog was a familiar, often used by witches during the trials in Salem.
  Not only that, reported Clea, but the dog had been Clara Barton in its most recent human incarnation.

From the black-hole in the former restroom doorway, there emerged a young man who sat down next to the Wizard,
 and announced to all that he was a stringer for the San Jose Mercury News, looking
 for information implicating the Federal Government in Washington,
in a plot to use Country Music to do psychological propaganda operations against the American people.

The hacker asked the reporter why he thought this was news. 
The bartender made a circling motion with her left hand, and there then appeared in that hand a large joint, already lit.
  The zombie cat started to cough up a hairball. 
The wizard put his hat on and faded away from their presence, in a rather odd way. 
He seem to grow smaller and smaller from all directions, until with a slight “pop” he was gone. 
With him went his staff, although there then appeared in the empty space a kind of white object that floated down in the air,
 coming to rest on the bar, revealing a business card, which the Fool read aloud.  
“Stranger in a Strange Land Magical Services: call 23232323 to make an appointment”.

{does the dog eat the cat’s hairball?}

One of the virtues of this App is the number of choices offered.  There is not One Way, there is only Your Way.  The following are a variety of ingredients from which to create your personal stew.  Try them out.  Discard as necessary.  Revisit later if desired.

One of the more curious facts of our mental existence is sometimes called: discursive thinking.  We talk to ourselves in our own mind.
Usually we have a particular worry or subject matter for this internal discourse.  Suppose you just focused on a single thought, or conception?
For example: "I".  We use this term all the time when we speak.  We also use its relatives, the various personal pronouns, such as: you, me, we, us
it, them theirs, ours, yours, and so forth.  What is the "object" of those terms?  In general we have the idea of our having a self of our own,
and that each individual is also a "self".  Not a meat organ - a brain - but an ego, or an identity.  We can't but say, when we slam our finger in a door:
"oh shit, "I" just smashed "my" finger in a door".  So sit quietly, and in your mind, using your inner voice, say the various personal pronouns,
and notice what you "think-about" when you say them.  That noticing what "you" "think" is the tricky part.  "You" are simultaneously the
thinking subject, and at the same time the object of "your" own thinking.  If you have drunk the Kool-Aid of too much Eastern "thought",
you might think that the "I" is not real.  That's a tradition, and an assumption, that is no longer true.  But the question of subject and
object brings us right into the heart of something very special.  It is worth applying a lot of your own thought to that question.
For details on that "Eastern problem", there is this: "West and East: or Wendt’s “critique” of Osho’s critique of Rudolf Steiner"

If you want to further develop the quality of awake thinking about language and grammar usages, spend some time
contemplating the "parts" of speech: nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, pronouns, prepositions, articles etc.  See if
your subjectivity can "taste" the differences among these parts of speech.  Try to write (organize) the parts
of speech according to their abstract vs. concrete nature.  Are articles more abstract than verbs and nouns?
What does the difference "feel" like? 

self portrait by the author of this App, from 1973 or so,
where after a rather unusual spiritual experience I tried
to teach something I called: Martian Meditation.  I failed.

Regular Books: (some have Kindle versions)

There are millions of books, but not all of them belong to this journey.  Keep in mind that for a long time other travelers have been at work and may know a great deal we can find inspiring and useful.  All the same don't put your own thinking in orbit around their ideas.  Just use them for inspiration, and for an introduction to some details that spark your interest.   Not one of us knows everything.  I've selected some of my favorites, with comments.   If you want to have just a few, these are among the very best, with the added virtue that these lead to the real science of the future.  [There are thousands of books that could be read, if we want to learn to think free of the dogmas of scientific, religious, and artistic fundamentalism, while remaining completely scientific in the best sense of that term: logical, coherent, precise, careful, truth seeking; and, spiritual in the best sense of that term: imaginative, playful, artistic, and in awe of ourselves, and all of life.  All of us, in a way, are mad scientists of the kind like the character Walter Bishop in the TV series Fringe.  Delighted as much by the gross as the unimaginable.  Lest ye become again as little children.]

These books are aspects of the other-world (spiritual) nature of the efforts of different thinkers.  They are excellent examples of this difference,
and as well important factual matters of which to become aware.  They contain a new and living understanding of outsides and insides,
of subjectivity and objectivity in action.

The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeQuin.  A novel: Beautiful writing, deeply philosophical, great story, and excellent observations of the necessary elements for a future Society of Free Individuals.

A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception, by Rudolf Steiner (his second book, published in 1886 when he was only age 25 or so).  Yes philosophy, but regardless of the current criticisms by physicists that philosophy has had it day in the sun; and, while mathematics may be the Queen of the Sciences, philosophy is the King.  Anyone who wants to actually "think", needs to marry both disciplines.  In this book Steiner writes: "It is really the genuine, and indeed the truest, form of Nature, which comes to manifestation in the human mind, whereas for a mere sense-being only Nature's external aspect would exist. Knowledge plays here a role of world significance. It is the conclusion of a work of creation. What takes place in human consciousness is the interpretation of Nature to itself. Thought is the last member in a series of processes whereby Nature is formed."  In a similar light, Emerson wrote, fifty years earlier in 1836, in his essay Nature: "Nature is the incarnation of a thought, and turns to thought again as ice becomes water and then gas.  The world is mind precipitated, and the volatile essence is forever escaping into the state of free thought."

Speaker's Meaning, and Worlds Apart, by Owen Barfield.  Barfield was an "Inkling", and a friend for years of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.  Barfield is a master of the knowledge of the evolution of consciousness, a fact essential to not only understanding our present and future, but perhaps more crucially our past  The deeper into the past we go, the less the soul and spiritual life of ancient peoples - their inwardness - is like ours.   Understanding this will change your view of the world, down to its bedrock.  Barfield works here as a philologist - a scientist of language.  Support for this work in the field of Art is found here: Art and Human Consciousness, by Gottfried Richter.  Additional support is here in the history of science - including the coming future, Man or Matter, by Ernst Lehrs, as well as Catching the Light, the entwined history of light and the mind, by Arthur Zajonc.

Feel a need for some future mathematics? Physical and Ethereal Spaces, a brief examination of certain little known aspects of Projective Geometry, by George Adams.

How about a taste of the future of Chemistry?  The Nature of Substance, Rudolf Hauschka.

The Future of Medicine? An Introduction to Anthroposophical Medicine: Extending the Art of Healing, by Victor Bott.  And, The Four-fold Path to Healing, by Tom Cowan.

[  Celtic Woman  Amazing Grace  ]

Institutions: (places and people to get to know better)

Waldorf Schools: a product of Rudolf Steiner's genius, and the hard work of thousands of parents and teachers.  Can be a bit goofy on Anthroposophy ... some schools have too many true believers.  Some cautionary tales from my own research: The Social-Spiritual Organism of a Waldorf School Community; and Waldorf Charter Schools in America - some social observations.

Biodynamic Agriculture: another product of Steiner's genius.  Less goofy, ... farmers having to be more pragmatic and down to earth. 

The Bioneers - cutting edge thinking and learning about nature with a marvelous depth.

The Nature Institute - remarkable integrative thinking on ongoing work in biology.

All of such works are fuel for careful thinking.  You can pick your own  as well.  Each phrase, sentence, and paragraph contains various types of mental
phenomena.  Let me describe some examples with which you should become very familiar.  "Mental pictures", such as the image we have of a particular book
we see through the senses.  "Generalized Concepts", such as the concept of "books" in general, which enables us to see sense objects that are books and
identify them as such.  "Pure Concepts", which are capable of becoming a metaphor, such as the use of the terms: "the Book of Nature", that was used
by Goethe in his scientific works.    Then there are "Ideas - Ideos", in the sense of Plato, which are objects in the mental world, or the world of thought
which are Beings, that are independent of our own conscious "I".   Take material you are reading, and try to notice how various terms, that
appear as individual words, were united in the mind during reading, into mental pictures, generalized concepts, pure concepts and perhaps even ideas.
What is happening here is that you are turning aspects of the world of your own mind into objects.  You the subject are learning to see mental phenomena as
objects in relationship to which you (your own "I" or spirit) is the subject.    It is kind of like having a natural instinctive gift and waking up to its presence.

This study is the central act missing in the "brain" sciences.  Those scientists never study their own mind, which is a very bad mistake.

{cosmic regurgitation and its wondrous effects}

The jukebox, in a corner away from the bar, but by the door, and not playable for many years, comes on by itself.  
It morphs into a new shape, and becomes a combination video and DVD player, keeping at the same time the part
 that lists what is available (and numbers them), and the small keyboard to punch in your selection’s number. 
Over time the items on the list change, but basically right now the list is mostly of zombie shows,
whether film, or TV.  It starts running the original “The Returned” on its large screen. 
The one that was on Sundance, and was French with subtitles.

This film's haunting music attracts the attention of the fool, whose face turns sad,
after which he begins to fade away, getting more and more indistinct until he completely vanishes.

The hacker sips at his cherry Dr. Pepper, and pushes his can of mixed nuts toward the young reporter in a gesture of sharing.  
The reporter asks the bartender for an artisanal beer, and then notices the odd fact that the bar has Red Bull on tap, and asks for that.

After drinking a full glass down, the reporter heads for the black hole where the bathroom door used to be,
followed by the cat and the dog.

The hacker then plugs his keyboard to a USB port he finds on the side of the light-saber, which was still lying on the bar. 
The saber comes on for an instant, and the hacker turns into a hologram, only to quickly dissolve key board and all.

The now client-less bar surrenders in silence to the haunting mood music of The Returned, and the occasional spoken French. 
The bartender starts to clear and clean the surface of the bar, having already pocketed the gold coins.

{is there a need for more?
of course!

[   USA for Africa  We Are The World  ]

Going Down - facing evil in ourselves and in the world,
and: Is evil in fact a useful concept at all?

Here we get into the gritty down to earth aspects of human natureStuff we don't like about ourselves and we don't like about others.  An acquaintance of mine, says in her book On Becoming an Alchemist a Guide for the Modern Magician,*** that no one chooses to do evil, and most everyone sees what they are doing as good.  At this level of self-education and self-exploration, we have to face the dark inside and outside.  The primary point is rule 7 above: "the Universe loves us just as we are, and places no demands upon us that we change or become anything other. The Beatles had it right in the song: Let it Be."  Yet, as rule 8 recognized: "However, our immortal spirit has the itch to change in itself ... we want to become, the Universe doesn't demand it, except to the extent we can acknowledge our personal immortal spirit as an aspect of the Divine Mystery.  The source of wanting to change comes from the divine in our self."

***[I made my own efforts at providing some substance for the Harry Potter generation - a series of videos: On Becoming a Real Wizard.  And, no it is not about waving a magic wand and turning an enemy into a frog.  The term wizard comes from wise-heart and wise head, and modern wizardry is about actively seeking wisdom.]

Some works of my own that may help.  Keep in mind that we now are going into that area where the situation gets difficult because we wander near the idea of what is the moral, or what is the good; and, if we can do those, we can also do their opposite.  Contrary to expectation, the Universe has made it so that the modern human being, in its current stage of development in the evolution of consciousness (see Barfield et al above), is able to freely create their own moral truth.  The Universe trusts us.  Which is, as you might guess, rather contrary to the basic impulses of the three monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Historically, the arising of those religions also meant the destruction of the prior Goddess religions, and the beginning of the modern patriarchies by which women have now for centuries been dominated socially by men.  Yet, all that is changing ... Western Civilization is dying, and a whole new human culture is being born.  This is serious stuff.  See my videos on the Hopi Prophecy here ... you know those folks whose current elders are alleged to have said: "We are the people we have been waiting for".  Part of the potential of this App is for people to realize how much their own choices for personal transformation also have an effect on the future course of civilization at the beginning of the Third Millennium.
For fun, lets start here: Sex, Porn, and the Return of the Divine Feminine.   For all of us sex is a very big deal, so lets not be shy about talking about it.  Also the previously noted wisdom/videos on sex remain relevant: Misery Loves Company: the Redemption of Eros.  Most of what is in that set of videos men should study, but it is more likely that women should study it as a way of learning what to teach to young men something they very much need, because modern culture doesn't teach it.  A lot of women are aware that many young men behave like boys.  They don't go through the same kind of adolescence as do women, where for women learning about your feelings and how to express them is the core.  For boys, this is mostly missing, and fixing/healing this dysfunction is one of the ways women can bring in more consciously the Return of the Divine Feminine.

Let us also not forget our Elders, for they have lived a lot of life, and their accumulated wisdom is not to be ignored.  Dragon Riders - the human being in maturity.

Maps to the mind - after 40 plus years of studying that Books of Life and of my own Mind, this: Sacramental Thinking  Don't believe what I've written, but use those essays in that book to suggest some questions to ask yourselves.

Nature too has dark and light: Electricity and the Spirit in Nature

And, let us be charitable.  If there is a reality to spirit, that means the older Goddess religions were not all that much based on flawed thinking as scientific materialism likes to suggest.  Although, the modern religious are perhaps presently stuck in traditions that are no longer living, see: The Mystery of Evil in the Light of the Sermon on the Mount; and, by my friend Stephen Clarke, a fascinating discussion of the flaws in the asserted opposites of good and evil in Western Civilization (challenging, and possibly mostly for scholars):  "Some Notes Toward a Resolution of the Dilemma".

Probably no aspect of modern human existential crises arises outside the existence in life of moral questions.  We cannot live life and not face them.
All of us have a sense of what is right, and are disturbed when others do not agree.  If we think about the fact of multiple viewpoints, we might well
appreciate that the existence of moral differences, and religious differences, tells us what is perhaps one of the great issues
of the Third Millennium.  There will be those who gravely dislike this next "Idea", but modern life is more and more
shaped according to the desire of the Great Mind - the Universe - to free us from any other moral authority than our own. 
My book: The Way of the Fool looks at this individual moral freedom question from a yet to be known
Christian perspective.  It is not the only possible perspective.

"the heart of the matter"

it matters to me
for Matter to be
and that I, to Matter
do matter

[  Muse's Uprising  ]

If civilization is failing, or undergoing a metamorphosis -
a dying into a new becoming - how do we relate to that?

Meanwhile, watch out for the Bill Gates Syndrome ... which is:
believing that just because you made a lot of money it means you know how to fix everything.
Lots of high tech billionaires are falling down that rabbit hole.  See the last Season of
Newsroom on HBO for a story arc about a rich guy who is so in love with his own
genius, he has no clue what chaos and stupidity he is creating.


Three men walk into a bar: a wizard, a blackhat hacker, and a fool.  Upon seeing them, again,
the bartender reached under the bar, lifting up an AK-47, and hosed them into oblivion. 
At which point the software governing the virtual environment, opened some panels in the floor,
and various bots of different shapes and skill sets crawled out to clean things up.

Back in his office, the ex-lawyer, who had been using the virtual environment for relaxation and play,
called up his friend Hiro Protagonist, who was one of the major designers of this aspect of the Metaverse environment,
to advise Hiro there must be some kind of glitch. 

Hiro never called the ex-lawyer back.  So after a while, he just played the “game”, as it were,
over and over again, varying the bartender’s responses, and leaving the software
for the virtual environment to do whatever it wanted to do. 
Just like in life, some days were worse, some days better.

{This is never going to end, is it.}

The artifice and agony of politics

Thinking about the moral questions in politics may well be the most socially important
thinking any of us do.   We are capable of various "modes" of thinking, once we start to
seriously explore our minds.  Some names for such modes: comparative thinking,
associative thinking, warm thinking, cold thinking, heart thinking, imaginative
picture thinking, thinking-about, thinking-with, thinking-within and thinking-as.

All such thinking modes are influenced by moods, or feelings.  Such as anger, sadness, joy, fear, antipathy,
sympathy, pain, pleasure, and such cultivated (intentional) moods as wonder and awe.

Modes and moods combine in the mind in a great variety of Ways.  Notice your own "habits" of mind.
Consider changing some of them.  In this sense the mind is an "instrument" we instinctively know
how to play.  Learn to go beyond instinct and play the instrument of your mind consciously.

In our minds there are capacities of the own will: the attention and the intention.  The attention is
where we direct the mind - what are the "objects" of thought to which we "attend". 
The intention is the reason, moral or otherwise, that we form thoughts.
Play with these capacities.  Experiment with them.  Learn from their existence.

While all minds can potentially do all things, your individual mind will have habits
from a lifetime of dealing with "life".  Trust your habits, but at the same time,
consider whether or not you need/want to continue doing them.

Given that politics also leads us to a great deal of "emotions", I wrote
a special essay for this App on the recent film by Pixar (on emotions) "Inside Out"

If the Universe didn't have a purpose for the 1% of the 1%  they would not exist.  Everything has meaning.  Apply the idea of ecology to society - there is a social-ecology, and everything has its niche.  Not to say we are wrong to want to change things.  However, to change society in a healthy living way may well require we find the wisdom that belongs to that problem.  Mere Ideological solutions don't work.  The wars on Poverty, Drugs, and Terror, are all colossal failures.

Aboriginal people lived in communion with the natural world, not in dominion over it.  But humanity evolves, and the current primary aspect of our evolution is the evolution of consciousness itself (see Barfield above, for an introduction).    Our physical evolution is mostly over, while our spiritual evolution is just now becoming completely in our own hands.  People before the Age of Science were not idiots.  Far from it.  They mostly had a different kind of consciousness.  Keep in mind how difficult it would be even today to build Stonehenge or the Egyptian Pyramids, using the tools they had available.  Maybe there was more going on there than we yet imagine. 

If we picture social changes over time (go here for an introduction to a spiritual social science), we will discover that as humanity evolved in the nature of its consciousness, we more and more began to emancipate ourselves from raw nature.  City dwellers are not able to live in raw nature anymore - they are adapted to something entirely different.  Yes, certain tendencies have gone too far, but how do we take the next steps?  You want to go back to living in caves and being a victim of the weather?  People paying attention are aware that there have come to be all manner of technical fixes for real world problems.  Our mastery of the nature of matter has not been a waste of time.  Our real problem is not just whether we can feed, and find water, for everyone, but whether something in our societies itself is out of whack.  Why is there no political will to do what is obviously right?

Is there a point to present social conditions? 

Historical social processes have led to individualization.  In prior conditions of the evolution of consciousness we were less individual and more easily members of a group.  This is, from a spiritual point of view, such a remarkable situation that I had to write an over 300 page book about it, that is dense with ideas, and therefore hard work to read.  All the same, it provides knowledge of matters that are crucial to understand.  Not everyone needs to understand them, but if you want to be a leader into a new human future, you better trouble yourself to understand this: The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything.  In this book I took the religious question, drafted it in the form of a "theory", in order to place it inside the stream of scientific thinking.  Scientific thinking is a very modern and crucial Way of Knowledge, and Religion and Art need to serve the moral essence of the true scientific method.  However, be advised that a lot of what passes for science today does not practice the true method.  Read this, by Ronald Brady: Dogma and Doubt.

In the social ecology of the modern world we can observe concentrations of wealth.  Many would like to see this wealth more distributed, but the wise evolution of the world didn't do that.  The Genius of History did something else.  It takes a certain kind of "intelligence" to manage wealth.  A group wanting to vote on every decision is about as awkward and clumsy as possible when it comes to directing complex industrial organizations.  Also, ... no one is perfect.  There are no perfect nuns, popes, presidents, CEO's, bankers, senators, mothers, fathers, children, teachers etc. etc. etc.  Everywhere the incomplete, the psychologically wounded, and the outrageously beautifully individual.  

In my book The Art of God, the point of human to human conflict is excruciatingly explained as completely necessary.  The World is what It is, and if you want change It then you very much need to understand Its Ways.  For groups, rather than individuals, I've made another App: Surfing the Coming Tsunami of Future History: an App advertising a service.

The tendency to concentrate wealth has been with us since Pharaohs, Kings, Queens and so forth.  The Founding Fathers of America were an elite.  They participated in slavery, and the near genocide of the Native peoples that were already living here when the Europeans came.  The Old World aristocracies of blood became, around the time of the founding of America, replaced with aristocracies of wealth.  The New World is meant to be New.  For details go here: Uncommon Sense: the Degeneration, and the Redemption, of Political Life in America. ("Why play by the rules, when the game is already fixed?")  Then there is this: Economic and Social Rebellion ("a money debt owed bankers is merely a number ... while what lives in the hearts of a People is a spiritual currency of infinitely greater value").  And, this: the grandmother war (why we need to no longer Consent).  With the increasing effect of the return of the Divine Feminine, social processes are changing everywhere.  We can choose to fight the currents and waves of history, or to learn to see them, and then surf them into the future.

Remember ... this App is about self-development and self-education.
If you are not up to the work/play of learning the new, the fresh, and
the living, - the truly spiritual, then that's on you.

"the invisible Beings of the Four Directions"

[  Moody Blues' One Step into the Light  ]

{The ex-lawyer opened up his virtual reality “game” one day to discover it had been hacked,
by the character of the virtual hacker himself, who appeared to have become a sentient AI}.
At the commencement of this particular “game”, the fool walked through the door of the bar and sang the following, in a fairly reasonable tenor.
Although in terms of melody and mood it seem more like the droning tones of the Rains of Castamere from Game of Thrones,
that accompanied the scene known as The Red Wedding:

There is no proof that the brain “calculates” at all. Brain scientists have simply imposed ideas, that come from computer science, on the phenomena they observe with respect to the brain. The brain, which is a living organ, has no similarities with a mechanical device using electricity and various kinds of software to make the hardware useful.

Since the dictates of scientific materialism require matter only explanations for phenomena, consciousness studies have borrowed from computer science all sorts of “explanatory metaphors” to tell us what the brain does. The fact is they don’t know what the brain does, and worse, they never study the mind (in spite of all of them having one of their own) and a great deal can be learned by studying our own mind.

Further, having their theory of evolution (which is not empirical at all - no one has ever actually observed the transformation of one species into another, for example), the brain scientist assumes billions of years of evolution can do anything, including create something the brain scientist fancies to be true, but does not factually observe.

The human physical body is an exact metaphorical analogue to the “avatar” (artificially created) bodies from the movie of the same name, which then can receive the consciousness from a human - i.e., ... somewhat inexactly the film imagines what is actually closer to the truth.

Human physical evolution had the task of creating physical bodies with a sufficiently complicated nervous system, that the individual divine spark could inhabit this body during waking. When we go to sleep the divine spark leaves the body. The nervous system is an “interface” between spirit and matter. This “interface” took all of physical evolution for the divine powers behind its nature to create.

We think (today) that matter is all, but this arrangement of matter with spirit is also a kind of analogue of the virtual reality we imagine. Except that physical and sense experience is the “virtual” reality (maya in the older sense of this) into which the spark is inserted during waking in the physical each day. The brain is the “interface” for this spirit into the physical immersion, although the term “interface” is really very horrible.

The nervous system (which actually has three centers, not just one - brain, spinal column, and solar plexus including its nerve extensions into the limbs), is built of kinds of living matter that have sacrificed (renounced) their own intrinsic nature to serve the divine spark. Nerves, having no ability to heal or reanimate after they die, are then living matter which is more dead than normal, allowing consciousness a better “grip”, as it were.

“It matters to me
for Matter to be,
and that I,
to Matter,
do matter.”

When the scientist of consciousness sees the brain light up in his experiments he makes many assumptions about what that means, most of which (because they are dependent on his/her intellect, which unguided by the heart is the dark god within), lead to errors of perception and thinking. This set of errors will only be corrected by folks who seriously study their own minds.

The intellect, having created the computer via rigid mathematical conceptions, then sees in the brain a mirror of its own nature. To do this the intellect has to discard what human beings have done and are doing with this tool (the computer), when in many cases this “use” is driven by impulses of the heart.

{let us now hope, with all sincerity, this torture of the tale's tail is over}

Oh, and by the Way, just a tidbit of fun, for the seriously curious ... Suppose the Cosmos - the stellar world - is non-material.  That the "out-there" of what we imagine to be physical galaxies and planets and black holes and places to go with our star-ships that can travel at warp speed - i.e. faster than the speed of light ... imagine that this is exactly what an awake mind does - has contact with intelligences from outside of our solar system.  This is why the ancients all depicted "creatures" that seemed non-human, and related those non-human creatures to the starry realm.  Our long long ago ancestors interacted with beings from "galaxies" far far away, and called them "gods" and "angels" and such because that is exactly what their ancient consciousness experienced.  Again, read Barfield, such as Saving the Appearances: a Study in Idolatry.  Then, or in the alternative, go here: "The Misconception of Cosmic Space As Appears In the Ideas of Modern Astronomy - and as contained in the understandably limited thinking embodied in the conceptions of the nature of parallax and redshift."  See also, "The Fermi Paradox Resolved."

Don't want to wait for the universe of Star Wars and Star Trek to arrive?  Study your mind, and while on that trip learn some very interesting speculative physics contained in novels, two of which we've pointed to before.  In LeGuin's The Dispossessed, we learn about the question of what if we think about time as both sequential (how we experience it) and simultaneous (as the divine in us can experience it, which some people call living in the Now.  In Robinson's The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance, we get intriguing questions about the relationship of music, number, time and space.  Meanwhile in the little known Five-Twelfths of Heaven, by Mellissa Scott, is imagined a space vessel that has an alchemically tinctured keel, that rises against the field of gravity via sound harmonics.  Once outside the gravity field of a planet, the "pilot" and "ship" become transcendent, nearly transparent, and then using symbol systems remarkably like Tarot, follow maps to other worlds.

The Imagination, which those novelists use, is very amazing.  Even Einstein knew that: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."

Recall the value of books - they are very good friends, and
part of a good self-education is to read unusual books - many of them
are a kind of yoga for the mind
Good Art illuminates, and
the play of deep ideas as aspects of very human stories
still has a lot to give us.  Reading for pleasure is a virtue.
Right now the academic world loves the cannon of Western
Civilization.  But the cannon of the future is being born elsewhere.

Where did the word "cyberspace" come from, but via the imagination of the novelist William Gibson.

Some of the best books then are fiction, and fiction has the advantage of taking us away
from the more dread aspects of mundane reality, while at the same time seriously
stimulating our thinking, with the unusual thoughts of remarkable individuals:

The six Dune novels by Frank Herbert - an extraordinary imaginative discourse on religion, politics and social existence.
Neil Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle.  A wonderful re-enlivening of recent history, coupled to a great yarn.
Then there is the Night's Dawn Trilogy, by Peter Hamilton.  Space Opera, grand themes,
with an amazing discussion of what happens to a future scientific civilization,
 when it discovers consciousness survives death.

And, while we are near the technical end of the App, most who have read this far are well aware
that they skipped over many many links that might have been read.  The App is just the opening of
a door.  On the other side of that door are invisible intelligences - spirits, as it were.  Some of the more
profound are Spirits of Nature.  Nature has Consciousness and Being, just as do we.  We look at Nature
and Nature looks back.  Are you ready for that adventure? "The Quiet Suffering of Nature".

Oh, I almost forgot ... You know that "meaning of life" stuff people sometimes talk about?
There isn't some "meaning of life" lurking around the corner somewhere.   You make it.
That's right, you create the "meaning of life" with every choice you make out of your own freedom.
How's that for a bonus?

Please go onward on your journey, with my best wishes for your immediate success.
Just keep in mind that any help I might be able to personally give,
to the best of my ability, is already on the App, or available
at my bookstore
my website
or my Youtube Channel
I am then, otherwise engaged in enjoying my retirement.
Don't call.   Don't write.  Take responsibility for yourselves.
Joel A. Wendt, social philosopher, and occasional fool.

It would be dangerous to think of me as your, or anyone else's "teacher".
Think about it this Way.  You are/in a remarkable playground, and you see another
child doing something interesting, which you try out for yourself,
and from that learn something interesting.  Is that other child
your teacher?  Or, are you your own teacher?

What I play with are ideas.  That is where what is on this App comes from - from me "playing".

A child at play is naturally a poet warrior/sage in action,
possessing infinite wisdom coupled with the finest feelings of the heart.

At the same time, we don't really play alone.  So while this App is about self-development,
social reality is a We-process not an I-process.  Find the ones You want to play with,
and maybe this App will help You help the whole world to become.

For more on We-processes, go here:

Surfing the Coming Tsunami of Future History

The Mystery of the Primal Paradox

The Social-Political World - the arena where human biographies unfold - is simultaneously imperfect and perfect.  From the point of view of Love this World is perfect, for each single biography is one note in a melody of biographies involving the same individuality - multiple incarnations often spread out over great eons of time.  Love, existing in Eternity, is able to oversee all the details and has countless helpers for this Art.  From the point of view of the individual, whose biographies are experienced in linear time, the world is imperfect.  We see the world as imperfect as an aspect of our yet unfinished, and often wounded, nature.  This "fractured and incomplete seeing" then is necessary to our choices in life.  So we will be aware of the suffering of others, for example, and feel called to alleviate that suffering.  Or we will feel our own suffering, and seek to heal that as well.   Even the differing ideas, religions, and other points of view, all belong to those who hold to them.  The individualized world of concepts held by each is necessary for each.  We don't need to think the same, or feel the same, or believe the same. 

{After the Song, the bartender took out a tarot deck, from behind the bar.
It was wrapped in cloth, and as she unwrapped it she treated it as a sacred relic.
The ex-lawyer, seeing through the eyes of his avatar - the bartender, gazed carefully
at the deck, having opened it to the Card "The Devil".  As was his practice,
after re-memorizing it, he closed his eyes and re-created the image in
his imagination.  Tarot symbols were a language, that was not to be
read the way words on a page were read - left to right using the
gifts of the intellect.  These symbols were read with the imagination -
with the pictorial capacity of the thinking-mind.  One contemplated the
images as a means of becoming prepared to meet the Beings of the invisible
world, who spoke to human beings via symbols at the initial encounters.  After
such encounters, these Beings might speak with voices, and then even later, if one
was ready, they would accept our surrender to their nature, and merge with us, allowing
us to become as them.  The "Devil" card did not foster a meeting with evil, and was not so
much about good and evil as it was about human weaknesses, and the chains they create in
the soul.  For the ex-lawyer, this was a regular practice, making himself accept the reality of his own
darkness.  This encounter led to a proper humility, which was fully necessary in order to meet higher
order Beings.  While many of his fellow humans felt disfavor toward the law, his practice was to learn to
see in the Law a reflection of the highest aspirations of human civilizations.  Laws, such as the Constitution,
were one way in which humanity learned to be free of the Gods - by making social agreements in which all were
bound to the same rules.  This was the ideal he strove to express in all his work in the legal and political spheres:
Our capacity to Consent to being united with each other in a harmony based upon a self-chosen set of agreed limits.}

- huh? -

The material in this App is based on the work of many people, not just me.  I've taken no money for my
part of this Art.  For those who have liked what is here, and may want to offer some financial remuneration,
here are three links to places that could use additional financing, all of whom I have relied upon in my own research.
RSF Social Finance   The Nature Institute   Bioneers: revolution from the Heart of Nature