Ten Substantive Ideas

  1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

    – perhaps the single most indivisible sentence ever uttered.
    – it challenges us to clean up our violent nature and live the only way that justifies our existence.
    – every civilization through time has articulated this value.

    2. there are no core truths, there are only core opinions

    – absolute truth is hard to come by.
    – 99% of what we have heard during a lifetime is personal opinion.

    3. There is no center

    – it’s onions all the way down, and all the way up, and all the way in.
    – you peel away the layers and what do you find? Nothing. Just more peeling.
    – the most center you and I will experience is right here, right now.

    4. Love is profound

    – young love is like no other experience one has at a young age.
    – love hard won over a lifetime, is the experience worthy of going through life.

    5. Genetics is out pacing religion and philosophy in helping us understand who we are and what we are

    – there is no end to the advancement of technology.
    – don’t fight what it will find. Adjust.
    – religion and philosophy grabble with torture, pain, and death.
    – genetics, et al, will alleviate most of that.

    6. Thank goodness for art, music and literature

    – from the primitive cave art, flute music, and Greek plays, we can enjoy life and can be taken away to wonderful places.
    – without such stuff we are bound to go crazy from tedium.
    – Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards helped me find the southern blues of the muddy waters of the Mississippi Delta. That’s where the pain, and sweat, and tears of the American soul rose up. We are no better than the marrow in those bones.

    7. Having a feeling of being at one with the universe can be experienced in an urban/suburban setting, as well as in a forest

    – 85% of Americans now live in urban/suburban settings.
    – my first out of body experience happened on the harbor freeway at dusk when all the cars are moving at the same speed and the red rear lights come on. It was like being out of my body and being at one with that moving ribbon of light.
    – my next one happened while I was mowing my front yard. I heard a voice speaking to me outside of my head.

    8. The examined life results in the insight that the self is not able to be completely understood

    – I have spent most of my life trying to understand myself. The conclusion is, as far as our personalities are concerned, there are constant feedback loops. Who we think we are changes as the cycle of the feedback loop comes back around.
    – duality. One thought gives birth to another. We are many things.

    9. We will evolve out of being Homo sapiens just as we evolved into being Homo sapiens

    – this is a place in time. To be conscious of who you are, to be able to reflect on the past, the present and the future is a gift. Will the next species going forward be even more gifted? I certainly hope so. If technology has anything to say about it, that’s a definite possibility.

    10. This life is the place and time to live big

    – we know little, if anything, of life beyond this one. If we don’t plan and dream big now, there is no guarantee it will happen anywhere else.