mercredi, juin 29, 2005

a great website to check out

Lish's vote is for the sng "Theory Girl." I quite approve.

Is there anyone out there who reads my blog? If so, please leave me a messsage.. I'm curious to know if anyone reads my stuff.

dimanche, juin 26, 2005

a compilation of things

this is an interesting court case

Apparently in colorado you don't have an entitlement to police enforcement of a restrainign order, since there is no proof of a property interest.. ... odd, that one's children cannot be claimed to be a property interest...

if anyone knows this case and tell me more about it i would be most interested. is an interesting site to keep track of.

unsung heroes
Here's a bunch of good stuff from Aussie news

I want to be out there in the trenches someday helping people one by one.. and one-on-one. I think sometimes that that kind of work is the real work that needs to be done. and is the real material that is what life ... well, at least, my life,... is all about.

a project I would love to get involved with and help out on someday

Mariuma Klein and Beit Hashanti in central tel aviv, supported by the pratt foundation.

The idea is venture philanthropy.. and idea that like venture capitalism, we can apply those principles to philanthropy and give people a better life... a better quality of life.

Maybe it sounds crazy, but there's a part of me that calls me to this kind of thing. I really really really want to have this out there in the world and really really really want to be a part of it myself.

I learned once a teaching from R'Elazar from R'cHanina that "wise students (scholars) increase peace in the world. As it is said: and all your children are students of G-d, and they will have great peace." [It is taught that "your children" means "your builders."] -brachot 64a . I want to be a part of that building of the world. Maybe someday, i can help to make the world a better place.

a piece of the world, being built ... for peace

Beslan survivors frolic at Jewish camp
Ruth Ellen Gruber

SZARVAS, Hungary — In T-shirts, jeans and sneakers, the children chewing on kosher chicken in a brightly- decorated dining hall looked like kids at any other Jewish summer camp.

They clowned a little, linked arms and swayed to after-lunch songs, and cheered when a teenage girl was hoisted on a chair to celebrate her birthday.

But these kids were different. The 75 boys and girls were survivors of the bloody terrorist siege and massacre last September that took the lives of more than 300 people at a school in the town of Beslan, in southern Russia.

Aged seven to 18, most of the kids had lost a brother, sister or parent in the carnage, and many had themselves suffered serious injuries during the three-day ordeal.

None of them were Jewish, and few even knew anything about Jews or Judaism.

But thanks to the initiative of one of Russia’s two chief rabbis, Adolf Shayevich, they were brought to Hungary this month for a week of rest and recuperation at the Ronald S Lauder Foundation/American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) International Jewish Summer Camp at Szarvas.

mardi, juin 21, 2005

concreete from recylcables and other ideas I've been mulling over for a year or so but never got anywhere with

I've been thinking for a while of studying the structure of concrete and finding a way to incorporate ground up bits and pieces of currently-non-recyclable plastics e.g. old printers, etc. into concrete and using it for low stresss applications like sidewalks, etc.
say add in corn husks, for fibers.. and add in other strong cellular strand type materials which would normally be consdiered waste and bascially making building materials out of waste is the idea i have...
I wish I knew how to implement this idea and run with it.

I also think that designing multi-bin trashcans to encourage recycling would also be helpful.

I have no idea where to go to manufacture these things, but I'll bet that it would be useful to work on this kind of hting.

I additionally think that we should start "playing/trading card trends" wherein we make trading cards --build and produce hype to get people to be involved in buying and trading --but that we put for the frum crowds famous rabbanim on them or for the non-religious Jew crowd, we could put important thinkers of our world on them... i have to refine this idea more, but i really bet it could be works out.

meow, if all else fails, I still want to go to law school for that LLM. sigh, meowmeow.

lundi, juin 20, 2005

cats like taoism apparently, sleepy was lying with his book open to this...

Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature:
when it blows, there is only wind;
when it rains, there is only rain;
when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.

If you open yourself to the Tao,
you are at one with the Tao
and you can embody it completely.
If you open yourself to insight,
you are at one with insight
and you can use it completely.
If you open yourself to loss,
you are at one with loss
and you can accept it completely.

Open yourself to the Tao,
then trust your natural responses;
and everything will fall into place.


If you want to become whole,
let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight,
let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full,
let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn,
let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything,
give everything up.

The Master, by residing in the Tao,
sets an example for all beings.
Because he doesn't display himself,
people can see his light.
Because he has nothing to prove,
people can trust his words.
Because he doesn't know who he is,
people recognize themselves in him.
Because he has no goal in mind,
everything he does succeeds.

When the ancient Masters said,
"If you want to be given everything, give everything up,"
they weren't using empty phrases.
Only in being lived by the Tao can you be truly yourself.

Being in the moment...

I've heard a lot of students say that what they love the most about Israel is some indescribable feeling of "just being" when they're there. It gives them a connection they long for... it never comes for ome students though...

I've heard analysts tell me that military leaders and traders on Wall Street are soulmates, because they live in that zone of the mind wherein the split-second and quick decision comes --in a blinking moment of momentary cognition. (Yes, yes, I'll admit readily, I've been reading that book _Blink_ by Malcolm Gladwell. It IS really really interesting! ...and a fast read.)

thoreau urged people to be in touch with themselves and with nature by being present in the moment...
what if both of these phenomena were related? I suspect that they are.

Many people stop thinking about the future in such looming "me, me, me" and fearful terms of personal success or failure when they're in Israel... that movement/shift in thinking provides a background for a unique moment of unity and --say mindfulness. A person stands in that moment and is acutely aware of the world around them.. the flowers, the sky's blueness and the promise contained in that day... I seriously think there's something to it. If we could find a way to extend that feeling or recreate it ...transfer those conditions.. mimic them into a program to give people a shot at connecting with the world on a really deep level.. we could connect people to one another in a really powerful and strong way. Tapping into the reactionary cognition moment which has the ablity to teach a person deeply about what to be aware of within their minds and how to use that awareness could really be a valuable thing to train into young people today.

For so many people, introspection ruins what they really "know" intuitively. Breaking down one's intutive thoughts, because one's intuition is locked beneath the layers of subconscious thinking, tends to make us second guess and doubt what's really there... either you teach people to trust and go "with their gut" or you teach people the skills necessary to unlock that door and see what is running on the background computer in their subconscious mind. The former is how more eperts do it, the latter is how trained meditative practioners do it. so I seriously think that if one primed kids at the teenage level to become aware of themselves in a really deep way that these kids would have a leg up on the world... and it could honestly be one way to lift certain groups of kids to a new level of performance and give them an opportunity to do well. Could we teach inner city kids to meditate? Heck, I can't get teenage ashkenaz Jews to meditate... and they're more culturally and socially predisposed to it. Still if I could find a way to give the idea some polish so they don't think that that is what they're doing... it could really make a huge difference to their quality of life.

If you can make people aware of the great volume of negative self-talk they give themselves... and quiet it down, I bet you would find people responding to each other in a different way... and resopnding t themselves in a different way. People might just become more confident... and in that security would they be more likely to think deeply and creatively? No guarantees, but it mayb be worth a shot in certain groups to try.

dimanche, juin 19, 2005

Here's a good series of quotes...make of them what you will

Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as empty as fear.
Whether you climb up or down the ladder, your position is shaky. When you stand with your two feet on the ground, you will always keep your balance. Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When I don't see me as a stuggle against the world, what do I have to fear? Have faith in the way things are. Love the world as your self; then you can care for all things.

The ancient Masters were profound and subtle. Their wisdom was unfathomable.
There is no way to describe it; all we can describe is their appearance.
They were careful as someone crossing an iced-over stream. Alert as a warrior in enemy territory.
Courteous as a guest. Fluid as melting ice. Shapable as a block of wood. Receptive as a valley.
Clear as a glass of water.

Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?

The Governor doesn't seek fulfillment. Not seeking, not expecting, a leader is present, and can welcome all things.
Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil of beings, but contemplate their return.
Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source. Returning to the source is serenity.
If you don't realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow. When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, disinterested, amused, kindhearted as a grandmother, dignified as a king. Immersed in the wonder of the Tao, you can deal with whatever life brings you, and when death comes, you are ready.

When the leader governs, the people are hardly aware that the master exists. Next best is a leader who is loved. Next, one who is feared. The worst is one who is despised.
If you don't trust the people, you make them untrustworthy.
The Master doesn't talk, but rather acts. When the work is done, the people say, "Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!"

Translation by Stephen Mitchell.
Site © Copyright 2003-5 Glen Sanford.
All Rights Reserved.

samedi, juin 18, 2005

oh, coolness...

I think when I go hiking in Estes Prk, I might try to take some of these with me to see if it works out.. meow meow,

jeudi, juin 16, 2005

an article in ha'aretz about HaRav HaGaon Yehuda Amital, shlita... one of the greatest men ever of our generation

I remember the crying baby story, told to me so many times, too. Honestly, I credit Rav Amital with a great deal of the non-judgmental push of my Torah learning. Rav Lichtenshtein and Rav Amital are two of the very select number of rabbis that I really respect so deeply. I remember reading Rav Lichtenshtein's response to the Knesset regarding a position on abortion and I was struck with it's depth of caring and sensitivity. Likewise, Ive been a devotee of Rav Amital's Shiurim ont he VBM and found that in so many ways his words speak to my heart and teach me again and again that in my core I'm struggling on a good path. Here's the article, I hope you enjoy it.

A rare breed, this `simple Jew'
By Yair Sheleg

Every graduate of the Har Etzion hesder yeshiva (combining religious studies and army service) in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Bethlehem knows the story that Rabbi Yehuda Amital, the head of the yeshiva, tells about the "crying baby." So well do they know it that for the graduates it has become a code - beginning to mention it is enough to evoke the yeshiva and the rabbi. He has told the story countless times, whenever he is asked about what sets the yeshiva apart and about its educational conception.

The story is about the founder of the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic sect, Rabbi Shneur-Zalman of Liadi, who was once sitting and studying Torah. In the next room his grandson (who would himself one day become a Chabad leader) was also studying, and in a third room a baby was sleeping. Suddenly the baby woke up and started to cry. The grandson was so immersed in his study that he did not hear the crying, and the grandfather, whose room was farther away, got up and calmed the baby. Afterward he told his grandson: If you are studying Torah and do not hear the weeping of someone who is crying for help, your studying is flawed.

Two weeks ago, on the Lag Ba'omer holiday, the yeshiva marked Amital's 80th birthday in a mass event at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, attended by hundreds of the 3,000 graduates who have studied at the yeshiva. On this occasion the "crying baby" was repeatedly mentioned to explain not only Amital's worldview but also various aspects of his biography.

It was by means of this story that Amital in the past explained his foray into politics, in order to establish Meimad, a religious party that espoused a moderate viewpoint. He also uses the story to explain his identification with those of his students who have turned to public activity completely different from his.

Years ago, when Rabbi Yaakov Medan, a member of the yeshiva's first graduating class - scheduled to replace Amital as head of the yeshiva in a few months - told him that he was going to stage a hunger strike against the Oslo Accords, Amital told him: "You know that I am against hunger strikes in principle, and I also see the political map differently from you. But I cannot hide from you that I feel a sense of pride: The yeshiva's first student is fulfilling its educational message - when a Jewish child cries he closes the Gemara and looks after the needs of the crying baby."

To this day, he says, he views the yeshiva's greatest achievement to be that "we succeeded in cultivating the approach that it is all right for the students to think differently from the head of the yeshiva, and on the other hand, that one must respect those with whom one differs." In the same spirit he explains that "already when we established the yeshiva I said that two groups would not enter here: Merkaz Harav and Chabad, because both think that the truth is theirs alone and are unwilling to listen to others."

Dovish outlook

Many of his students "repay him" in the same currency. One of the speakers at the event marking his 80th birthday was Bentzi Lieberman, chairman of the Yesha Council of settlements (in the West Bank and Gaza) and a graduate of the yeshiva, whose views are certainly far from Amital's dovish outlook. In his remarks Lieberman noted that at critical junctures of his public activity, he often asks himself what Rabbi Amital would advise him to do. "It is clear to me that he does not agree with the content of my activity, but I believe he is proud that I am working for what I believe in."

Still, this tolerance does not always exist even at the yeshiva itself. Just recently an invitation to Dror Etkes, one of the leaders of Peace Now, to address a group of students from the yeshiva was canceled. Amital admits that he backed the decision: "We will invite him another time, but at this point it would have caused demonstrations, and that I did not want."

On the occasion of the festive event, Amital agreed to break the public silence he has imposed on himself in recent years, when he ceased his activity in Meimad and gave very few interviews. He explained that he stopped doing so because "I felt the media was exploiting me. They like to interview me to tarnish the religious sector and the rabbinic establishment, but when I had other things to say they didn't want to publish them."

As for his political activity, he left "because of my age. I felt I had reached an age at which I had to be focused. Shimon Peres chose to focus on politics, I chose the yeshiva. So for several years I have not agreed to appear at any event or lecture, but only to be at the yeshiva." He also used the time to write, and recently published a book about halakha (Jewish religious law) entitled "Resisei tal" ("Fragments of Dew"). He is now working on a new book, explaining that "these books make it possible for things I wrote in other spheres to be accepted more."

Amital is a yeshiva head of a rare breed, a person who is proud to describe himself - and not as a pretense of humility - as a "simple Jew." In the same spirit, he enjoys quoting what Rabbi Medan said last Hanukkah, at an event during which it was announced that Medan and Rabbi Baruch Gigi would be the new yeshiva heads. Medan related that he chose Amital as his rabbi because "I was looking for a rabbi that would not be an angel and would not be holy. A rabbi who would be a human being." There are quite a few rabbis, especially yeshiva heads, who would not be proud of such a "human" description; Amital views it as a great compliment.

As a "simple Jew," his worldview is based on basic feelings and on common sense more than on a precise theological doctrine. Indeed, not only is he ideologically opposed to phenomena reflecting extreme religious severity - he also mocks them. Not long ago, for example, he described a student who asked him why he was not strict concerning a certain matter, about which it is written that those who are God-fearing should be severe. The rabbi's reply: "When you read an admonition to the God-fearing, you are convinced that it is you who is being referred to. I have no such pretense." In one interview he speaks mockingly about a neighbors' son, who took to wearing "a skullcap the size of a dish." He especially does not like those who insist on asking the rabbis about every possible subject, as "that attests to a situation of serious insecurity, and when adults behave like that they also display insecurity to their children."

Holocaust questions

One might have thought that someone like Amital, who constantly emphasizes the importance of simple human and religious feeling over halakhic severity and detached learning, would "connect" to the "Jewish New Age" phenomenon, which has spread through the religious Zionist movement in recent years (via a connection through music and Hasidic studies with various influences of the Eastern religions). In practice, though, Amital is one of the greatest critics of the phenomenon and in the past few years has used some of his sermons to castigate it. He attacks the phenomenon first of all because it concentrates on personal elevation at the expense of engagement with problems of society: "I do not understand what people see in India. After all, they have not solved any social problems there. All they say is that it is possible to die quietly, without making noise. In contrast, in Judaism tikkun olam [repairing or healing the world] is at the center."

But the rabbi's criticism is also prompted by his concern about conditional religiosity - the approach whereby one only observes those commandments to which one "connects." With all his fondness for religious feeling, he nevertheless believes, like traditional yeshiva heads, that the main thing is learning, and not the Bible or Jewish thought but Gemara: "The intellect is the cardinal quality of human beings, and that is also the way it should be in worshiping God. It is inconceivable that we should worship God with all our organs, just not with the mind."

Rabbi Amital is a Holocaust survivor from Hungary. His entire nuclear family - his parents and two siblings - perished in the Holocaust. He does not hesitate to say that from a religious perspective, the Holocaust was and remains a "great question" for him, "a question to which I do not have an answer." In the same spirit, he is also sharply critical of rabbis who seek to ascribe to the Holocaust theological "justification": "Rabbi Zvi-Yehuda Kook [the rabbi of the Gush Emunim - Bloc of the Faithful - settlement movement, who headed Merkaz Harav in Jerusalem] said once that the Holocaust `was intended' to hasten the Jews in getting to the Land of Israel faster. That is something I cannot accept under any circumstances. A million-and-a-half children were murdered to `hasten' the Jews to get to the Land of Israel?"

To a friend, also a Holocaust survivor, who once asked him how he remained religiously observant, Amital replied: "And if I had not remained religious, would the questions be understandable?"

Under the influence of the Holocaust he also assails those who are now promising - in relation to the disengagement plan or any other subject - that "God will not let it happen": "Sixty years after the Holocaust, how is it possible to make promises like that?" His personal lesson from the Holocaust is "the feeling that I have to act also in the name of those who did not survive. That is what gives me strength."

After the Yom Kippur War Amital wrote a book, "Ma'alot mima'amakim," which develops the doctrine of redemption as propounded by Rabbi Kook, and ironically the book became one of the basic texts of Gush Emunim. He began to give expression to a more dovish approach during the Lebanon War. Some of his students say the change occurred because of the trauma that was inflicted by the hesder yeshiva students who were killed - the rate of casualties among them was particularly high at the start of the war. That explanation may sound logical, but becomes problematic in the light of the fact that nine years earlier, in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, eight students from Har Etzion Yeshiva were killed.

Amital himself maintains that there has been no substantive change in his attitude, or at most in the emphases: "Even when I wrote `Ma'alot mima'amakim,' I did not think that the doctrine of redemption is a recipe for everyday policy. But when I saw that many were interpreting redemption in that way, I started to make clear my objections to that publicly."

Today he is a sharp opponent of the Greater Israel approach. In a sermon he delivered in the yeshiva just a month ago, he said: "A Palestinian state is the light at the end of the tunnel of what we have undergone in the past few years, because only a Palestinian state will save us from losing the Jewish state." That sentence, he relates with a twinkle of pleasure in his eyes, was apparently considered so radical by his students that they decided on their own to censor it in the printed version of the sermon. At the same time, Amital is definitely not an advocate of the disengagement plan: "I am very unhappy with that plan, mainly because of its unilateral aspect. The fact that it is unilateral also adds to the pain the evacuees feel, because in this situation they also do not understand why they have to undergo the pain."

In regard to the reactions to the evacuation he is less worried about possible violence ("With that [the authorities] will be able to cope") than about two other matters: "First of all, I hope the parents there will have the good sense at least to evacuate their children in advance. Can you imagine that children will witness their parents being dragged out of the house by soldiers? What a trauma that could foment in them!" Even more than this he is concerned about a scenario of "the disengagement of religious Zionism from the state, just when the society is so much in need of a Jewish identity."

Harmonious relations

He is one of the rabbis who spoke about the need to address the social distress long before it became fashionable among the rabbis of the religious Zionist movement. At the same time, now he emphasizes that "the social alienation is even worse than the poverty," and he feels that "we must first of all address the alienation." What most worries him in the public sphere is "the level of the leadership," because "after all, the leading candidates today are those who already failed in the past. Is this all we have to offer?"

One of the things that most impress those who are familiar with the history of the yeshiva world, and perhaps with institutions and organizations in general, is the long-term success of the model of two yeshiva heads at Har Etzion Yeshiva. Rabbi Amital and Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein both carry the same title and the identical status, yet have managed to maintain excellent and harmonious relations for 36 years. At the birthday event, the two revealed to their graduates that Amital had long ago suggested to Lichtenstein that he serve as yeshiva head on his own, while he would make do with the title of "spiritual supervisor." Lichtenstein rejected the offer and the rest, as they say, is history - not least in the light of the pronounced personality differences between them: Amital the tempestuous and outgoing versus Lichtenstein, the introverted scholar - "he with a doctorate from Harvard [in English literature] and me with my four years of schooling."

Half a year ago, the two set another precedent when they announced their intention to resign and to pass on their posts this coming Hannukah - a move rarely made by yeshiva heads. Amital explains: "We saw what happened in other yeshivas, in which wars of succession simply destroyed the yeshiva from within. We did not want that to happen here."

Thus Medan and Gigi were appointed the successors. Not a few people who are familiar with the yeshiva are asking themselves whether the successors will be able to fill the big shoes of the two serving yeshiva heads, each in his own way: Lichtenstein with his vast religious and general knowledge, Amital with his public and social sensitivity. Amital admits that this question underlay the decision to continue the model of two yeshiva heads in the future, too: "At first we thought to appoint one yeshiva head this time, but we found that there is no one candidate with all the qualities we sought. So we decided to choose two heads again."

vendredi, juin 10, 2005


I like dates to the zoo.

I can't believe I've stayed up now three nights in a row to work. I'm exhaustd, tired, and really losing my grip on reality and productivity. If only I would stop being an idiot and just get this over with. sigh.

mercredi, juin 08, 2005

Hi, My name is ... and I am a...

I'm a compulsive gum-chewer. It seems like sometimes when I'm up working late at night that all I really need or want is a wad of gum and some rousing music.

Here I am, working late at night, tired as all hell, wishing I could scream, sleep, or find some kind of inner peace. I miss having Kevin around to hang out with me while we work. Someday if or when I settle down, I need to find buddies like that, who will stay up and work with me. It's just more fun that way, not necessary, but more fun for sure. Kev, I miss you.

mardi, juin 07, 2005

this just came to my attention today

first, an interesting entry for Jews and Judaism

second, a message from someone else regarding someone I knew... "It saddens me to announce that Tony Reynolds, who ran the chemistry stockroom, passed away last night. Tony had suffered a major heart attack last Thursday and had been in surgery several times over the weekend. Tony was a tremendous asset to our department: he contributed to the functioning of the department in many ways (sometime invisible to the outside but always valued by us) and had a wonderful, wry sense of humor. He will be missed by all."

It makes me sad, becuae I liked Tony. He was nice. He was nice to me. He had an awesome sense of humor and alwasy greeted people with a wave and a smile. I borrowed tools from him sometimes and he was really good about helping me move things wen my labmates weren't being helpful. He taught me about using forklifts and had a sense of humor about me cartibg off a 700lb laser and power supply on a truck cart all by myself. He was really so so soo kind. Now I'm worried that Gerri will die. Isn't that bananas?

I just want to say.. COULD PEOPLE STOP DROPPING LIKE FLIES, PLEASE!?!?! I would be most grateful if people would postpone their plans for dying until we can space out the deaths a bit more. I would really really really appreciate that.

I really don't like it when people die. I wish I could remmember always to tell people all the time how much they mean to me, before they die.

dimanche, juin 05, 2005

the mind's protective techniques in hyperdrive

If you lose your freedom, because "friends" of yours have incarcerated you “for your own good,” and as a result, your trust in the world has been accordingly bartered for a bitterness, which translates into wanting desperately to protect yourself from everyone, so much so that you no longer invest yourself into learning about others and listening to them the way you used to... how do you rebuild your trust so you might recover?

When one is given special information regarding an assignment, and one figures the information was given in confidence and one should act accordingly, but one finds in the course of completing the assignment that one's cover is blown, the special information leads to a trap, in fact a deadly trap ... well, one learned not to trust anyone in training, but it is remarkably difficult to ever get to know another person and to trust another human. Such a betrayal affects one’s ability to have an intimate relationship with another human. Is there any way to rebuild the capacity for trust and for such intimate relationships?

A woman, with a remarkable budding career in politics and media, grows successful -- her speeches win prizes, her articles draw attention, her radio show gains a following, her acute analysis is touted at the forums. Men or boys, who are ostensibly her colleagues, yet nonetheless immature, grow jealous and have a perverse desire to "take her down." As a result, one evening, she is raped to "teach her a lesson." Her life changes in an instant. The walls that need to exist to keep going in life go up, simply to allow her to move from one day to the next, but that protective measure hides the broken shards of her former conception of how safe the world was and her former self-confidence. Her career takes an abrupt turn and she moves down a totally different path and a totally different life. Fear becomes the currency of her daily life. Can she learn to trust again? Is it possible for her to regain the self she was before the rape? And if she does regain that self, can she be happy as if it never happened?

A boy is molested by a family member from the age of five until the age of nine. Here no prior persona exists to which we could attempt to restore that child. In fact, that piece of mental judo necessary to interact with the world successfully and to build reasonable social relationships has been supplanted by the idea that no one is safe and no one can be relied upon to look out for the boy. He exhibits a refusal to talk that impedes creating the bonds necessary to establish his trust that others might be able to fulfill his needs and wants if he would ask. How do we cross even the first barrier and make it safe enough for him to be willing to try to communicate?

So, where do we start? First of all we acknowledge that there are many ways to approach these things and our way presented below is not the only way. That caveat, being said, we begin our discussion with the fear. Ultimately, combating the fear is what is the most important thing. People rarely ever know how to ask for what they want and get it. Persuasive argument is one thing, but simply wanting things to be simple, clear, and good is something totally different. It makes total sense why at the bottom of one's trauma lies a fear or multiple fears. What's important to us is that we put words into that fear. Identify it clearly, so that its power as some unknown thing lurking in the background is lessened.

Then where do we go? We get the person tired, sick, fed up with the fear and how it is holding him or her back. (This requires enough self-awareness to know howthe fear holds the person back.) Then through experiences that bolster an understanding that fear is not ever going to totally go away as long as one is living, but how one handles fear is up to that person. The suffering one endures from being afraid is often greater than the pain from being afraid itself.

A few truths about fear: 1) It's okay to be afraid, because I am not in control of the world. My job is to be proactive and try to do my best. 2) The only way to get rid of a fear of doing something is to go outthere and doit. 3) The action of trying and doing will inherently make me feel better, so I will be less and less afraid as I practice this effort. It's okay if I fail at what I am trying, because it is all part of the process to getting where i want to go. 4) Everyone is scared of something. 5) Pushing through the fear is the means of conquering it. Don't hide, don't avoid it, don't come up with excuses, because the point is the journey (life) and not the destination. One last tidbit irrelevant to this discussion, but useful to know for life: only the people who are not afraid to learn and grow become great and do their best. (Be willing to look stupid for now so that later on you can really contribute.)

Okay, once that goes over, then what? Then maybe this is where G-d comes in. You have to have faith... blind faith, that it will all be okay. I've found that religious people often have and easier time with this part.

samedi, juin 04, 2005

quote from the intro Halliday, Walker, and Resnick physics text...

"Apparently, such small objects as electrons, protons, atoms, and molecules travel as matter waves. However, as we consider larger and more complex objects, there must come a point at which we are no longer justified in considering the wave nature of an object. At that point, we are back in our familiar non-quantum world, with the physics of earlier chapters of this book. In short, an electron is a matter wave and can undergo interference with itself, but a cat is not a matter wave and cannot undergo interference with itself (which must be a relief to cats)."

*snicker, snicker* I think Walker must have written that line.
lovely, meow meow,... back to my contemplation of tuna in QED.

Labor (Housing Minister) puts out the fires set by Likud (Finance Minister)

Harvard graduate Bibi Netanyahu sets fire to himself... only to be informed by a reporter that he was on fire. (This reminds us of the joke that you can tell a Harvard grad some, but not much. See below for more details.) Anyway, point is that Israeli Finance Minister Netanyahu of the Likkud party had a small accident on May 29, 2005, in which according to most accounts he hastily tucked a cigar in his pocket when approached by reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting. When a reporter noticed that his jacket was smoking, Labor Party Housing Minister Yitzhak Hertzog took Netanyahu's jacket and stamped out the fire.

Oddly, Israel's Environmental Minister in a purportedly unconnected move requested that law banning and controlling smoking be tightened. (I wonder where he got that idea...?) (Sadly, the 70-80% destruction of the Ein Gedi Froest Preserve is probably the motinvating reason for this call. That destruction is a real tragedy.)

more on it if youre interested...
Bibi on fire

Finance minister shoves lit cigar into jacket pocket while answering reporters' questions
By Diana Bahur-Nir

JERUSALEM - Too hot to handle: Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a little unexpected mishap on Sunday when he shoved a lit cigar into his jacket pocket, which subsequently caught fire.

Fortunately for Bibi, the cigar was safely extinguished and Netanyahu survived the ordeal unharmed.

Notably, the finance minister, who is an avid cigar smoker, does not like to be seen in public with a cigar in his mouth.

As he approached journalists waiting for him to answer questions following the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu hurriedly shoved his cigar in his jacket pocket.

However, the lit cigar caught fire at the exact moment Netanyahu attempted to explain his reasons for opposing the release of 400 Palestinian prisoners earlier Sunday.

Kol Israel radio reporter Shmuel Tal was the first to notice the smoke rising from Netanyahu's pocket and wondered “what’s this smell?” is anyone burning here?”

At that point, the finance minister spotted the danger and pulled out the cigar from his pocket. Housing Minister Isaac Herzog promptly came to his colleague’s aid and put out the fire with his shoe.

Netanyahu’s big rival, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, happened to pass by at the time of the incident and was overheard saying “I hope the finance minister is not on fire.”

'Knows how to operate under fire'

The reporters could not control themselves and burst out in laughter at the unusual sight. Once they were able to clam down, Netanyahu proceeded to explain his motive for opposing the latest goodwill gesture to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

"The Palestinians failed to act against those terror groups,” he said. “Therefore, I see no reason to reward Hamas while the army chief and others warn about the Hamas getting stronger,” he said.

However, despite Bib's objection and a burning jacket pocket, the government voted in favor of the release, by an 18 to 3 margin.

Netanyahu's media advisor Ofir Akonis said the minister was not injured in the incident and that his jacket was not ruined.

"This just proves the finance minister knows how to operate under fire," he said.
a slighlty contrasting view
The British don't get any staories about Israel wuite right of course, so they difference in the two story situations is notable and unfortunate.

This cat reporter signing off in mirthful glee.

mercredi, juin 01, 2005

Don Miguel Ruiz teaches us the four agreements? They are innately known, but we need to be reminded of them.

1) to have integrity with my words... saying only what I mean and not gossiping about others or myself. Using words to build and create with love and truth.

2) not to take anything personally. no one does anything because of me. their actions are a projection of their reality and their internal issues. Being immune to others' opinions and actions releases me from suffering without cause.

3) not to make any assumptions, but rather to have the courage to ask questions and to express what I really want. Communicating clearly wih others is really important to me. I want to avoid the drama, the sadness, and the confusion and misunderstandings that come from not communicating clearly.

4) to always do my best. While my best changes from moment to moment, I can avoid judging myself, regretting my actions, and any incumbent self-abuse that comes from not holding myself to that level of integrity.

Thoughts on these four points of Ruiz's?

Truly we are all part of a tapestry in life. There is no way to extricate ourselves from the fine web that we are all a part of. If one person bhaves with integrity than slowly others around that person are similarly affected. It is important to be graceful and to show that internal elegance of spirit in one's life at all times.