Greatest hits (or misses)

Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
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When I started this blog in February of last year, I had no expectation that people would actually read it. At the very least it would provide a mechanism for me to record my thoughts, musings and opinions. Now 600+ people from over 70 countries read this blog. Frankly that blows me away. As there are both a lot of new readers, I decided to high-lite 5 of the more popular earlier posts that newer readers may have missed.

Once again, thank you to those that read this. Please feel free to comment, email me and recommend Consensual Delusion to your friends, colleagues, and family.

This entry on how my 1st son’s birth changed my perspective was picked up by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Tina Kelly and the New York Times “Local” blog last year.

This post, “Die Once”, is about my dad wrestling with his mortality.

After reading “Crisis and Opportunity”, a friend from high school asked me “when did you become so smart?” I’ll take the back-handed compliment.

I am actually grouping these 2 posts together as they both illustrate the very fuzzy boundaries that define science and mysticism. Both posts attempt to show the reader that we believe we know much more than we actually know. And that is both supremely arrogant and very dangerous; “master planned obsolescence” and  “Is your reality, really reality?”

Lastly, in my opinion, this may be one of my most useful posts from a day to day living perspective. If my kids take anything away from this blog, hopefully it will be this message, “Don’t count on 2nd chances.”

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You can't get there from here, because you are already there.

Posted: February 3rd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

My friend, Rabbi Amy Joy Small, posted an article that illustrates how we can long for and even try to chase down simplicity but never actually achieve it. She points out that it is not just about doing less stuff, but that we actually need to take time for ourselves, to replenish and regain our perspective. For example, after a challenging day, Rabbi Amy comes home and says that she wants to be a muffin maker in her next life (how many Rabbis do you know that not only address but are making plans for their reincarnation?). But then she quickly recognizes that this is simply a transient reaction to the frustrations of her day, which still linger, fresh in her mind. And with that, she lets go of both the day and its associated stresses.

I would take her concept even further. From my perspective it is not about doing anything, be it doing more or doing less; it is about how we, as individuals, choose to perceive our own situations in any given moment. For example, on Monday you hate your job and you are determined to quit. On Tuesday you are let go. On Wednesday you wake up and desperately long for the job that you were about to quit 2 days before. Would you feel different if you actually quit on Monday? The end result is the same, it is just your perception of the moment that is different.

I’ve written about how our science is unable to understand or even identify what makes up “reality”. Frankly it doesn’t (or isn’t) matter. Actuality simply is. Reality is an illusion, it is what we each choose to impart to actuality. My reality is not your reality. And its not hers or the cat in the box’s reality. While they are all separate and distinct, they share many overlapping points of commonality which conveniently provide us with a frame of reference in which can interact and share experiences. It is those shared experiences, the interactions with those we love and care about, caring about and extending help to those who we don’t and may never know and simply finding the value in a given moment which impart that elusive satisfaction into our own lives.

Open secret number 1: the reality of control

Posted: March 12th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

We can’t control the weather, traffic or the economy. We can’t control our family, friends or the random people that may enter our lives. The only thing that we can actually control is how we respond; we can control ourselves. And taking control over ourselves is truly what really matters. It is the single most significant factor in making a difference in our own lives and the lives of those around us.

Is your reality really reality?

Posted: March 4th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Wilkinson microwave anisotropy probe, aka WMAP, was launched in 2001. The larger mission of the probe was to retrieve residual data from “the big bang” and thus allow us to gain a greater understanding of our universe and its origins. What it actually accomplished was to change our understanding of what makes up reality.

Data from the WMAP has shown that the vast majority of our universe is composed of unknown matter and energy. This undefined dark matter makes up approximately 23% of the universe, while undefined dark energy makes up approximately 73%. That means that what has been conventionally understood to make up reality is just 4% of the actual universe. Further, the vast majority of that 4% is made up of  hydrogen and helium (the stars), while the heavier elements (what we consider solid matter) is only approximately 0.03%.

So 96% of reality is not understood, not really quantifiable and apparently can’t be directly perceived. Whereas everything with which we interact and what we believe that we understand only makes up between 0.03 and 4% of actual reality. The entire tangible and intangible world as we conventionally experience it, relate to it and interact with it is a statistically insignificant fraction of actuality.

So what is really real? Or more precisely, what is really significant? Are the things that we can hold more real or more significant than our thoughts and ideals? Are our emotions any less real or less significant than our actions? Are our perceived abilities more real and more significant than our unacknowledged limitations? Is our shared concept of reality any more real or more significant than own individual realities? Are the questions we ask any less real or less significant than the answers that we are given?