Tag Archive: blogging


It is the stuff in between things that is important.
It is not the things themselves that truly matter.
Like the intangibility of love, hate, or other emotions that holds people together, or pushes them apart.
Like the substance that Dark Matter is made of; the stuff that strings the galaxies of the universe together, that the scientists are searching for.
Like the walls of a building define and contain useful space. The walls themselves, having less useful properties.
Like the lines on a football field, and the rules of the game, they are in themselves useless, but it is what they describe that matters.
Like the timing between the notes of a piece of music, rather than the notes themselves.

It is the understanding of the relationship between things that holds more value than the things themselves.
It is the supporting framework that places things and events in the right places to create the illusion of importance of material things. But it is our relationship to those things that we really need see and perceive.

To become truly wise, seek this understanding as all things are linked by the space between them, not the things themselves.
This is what is meant by ‘all things are one’.

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Just a few realisations I’ve been storing…

———–
A person should do that which pleases the heart,
not that which pleases the mind.

———–
Fear…
I realize now, that I have seen both the moment of creation of a learned fear, and the moment of realization of a primal fear. Sometimes these are rational and true. Sometimes they are irrational and simply believed to be real.
The pattern seems to revolve around the learned fears being mostly irrational, and the primal fears being real and rational.

———–
Men and Women are equal, but that’s not to say that they are the same.
They are opposing sides of a duality.

———–
A ha! Of course!
As a species we have never had to think about what we eat in terms of health, quite simply because unhealthy food didn’t exist until the last few decades when companies started pumping unnatural chemicals into their products.
What we are suffering from today is something that is brand new to evolution, and as much as, as an organism we are capable of quick adaptation to changes in our diet, that capability will have developed from millions of years of changes in the natural food supply of the local environment throughout the lifetimes of our genetic ancestors.
This, along with all the other things we’re doing to our environment, is another lit fuse in the ticking timebomb of the mass extinction event we are unwittingly creating.
I suppose that this little revelation means that I should no longer buy or consume unnatural food stuffs as I will then be guilty of perpetuating the impending disaster.

———–
A person cannot rightfully place blame on another for their actions, if their actions are due to a lack of knowledge.
However, once made aware of said lack of knowledge, it then becomes the responsibility of that person to lift themselves to a higher place, or rightfully face blame the next time their actions fall short of expectations.

———–
One cannot plan a journey of discovery,
just as one cannot plan a sculpture.
Sculptures, paintings, dance, music and other arts come from a process of creativity,
each step revealing its own self,
ready for the discovery of what the next step will become.
It is the same with the discovery of the self, each new step of awakening revealing the start of the next.
If you are working to a plan, you are unlikely to discover anything of worth.
Let go of plans, and choose goals instead, for they provide direction, but without a planned journey.

———–
The Universe is made of existence and non-existence,
interaction and change.
It cares not for the aspirations of man,
nor of his vanities or love of money.
The rules of the Universe provide the potential
for utterly limitless creation.
The Universe expresses itself through form, and radiation, and life,
and in one form of life it even looks back on itself and once said:
– “We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.” – Carl Sagan

————
So many are so interested in how they look, they forget to pay attention to how they are.

———–
An artist can be so intent on capturing the moment on canvas, on film, in a poem… that they forget that the one chance to enjoy that moment is ‘now’!
(Realised when trying to capture a sunset in a photo – I was so busy trying to capture the moment, I nearly missed the moment itself!)

———–
I now know that cancer is not like a virus;
…something to be endured and overcome,
but is a battle to be fought and won.

———–
Before a certain age, children don’t see ‘do not pass’ barriers, they only see an obstacle in the way of what they want to get.
So the concept of ‘no go’ areas is a learned skill, or a conditioned skill.

———–
Try acting as the person that you want to become.
If you truly want to be that person, then act as if your life depends upon it… which is probably more true than you realise!

———–
I think my greatest fear is not that there isn’t or is an afterlife, but that I get to the end of this life and find that I missed out on the chances that were available.

———–
Like gravity is a universal force that is only noticed when two objects with mass react with each other (think of the cause of craters), and magnetism is a universal force that shows itself through reacting with ferrous materials (patterns in iron filings), is life a universal force that reveals itself through the collation of atoms and molecules to create organisms?

———–
I wonder… do animals feel ill when they are ill, or do they just feel different to their usual?
When we feel ill, do we feel ill because we’ve defined it as illness… and does that then make it worse through the psychosomatic phenomenon…?

———–
Ref something out of your control… if you keep banging your head against a brick wall, you’ll keep getting a sore head.
Work around it, not through it.
…or walk away from it!

———–
Another property of the universe: the more energy you store or apply to something, the faster it degrades.
Stress in the mind,
Stress in a piece of metal or plastic (perhaps stored in a stressed position…),
Stress of life on a wild animal as opposed to a domesticated one,
Stress of constant and repeated sunlight on dyed fabrics, plastic toys, skin…

———–
It’s interesting to note that those who are most interesting, are often quiet and ‘boring’ on the surface, but often those who are most interesting and fun on the surface, are often boring, with little to talk about underneath.
It’s as if all the bells and whistles are there to hide the fact that they have nothing else to offer. But those who have more, have no need to offer the bells and whistles.

Within the last couple of weeks, I have discovered something that I thought was true, but now I have experienced it, I know it to be true.
Six months ago I was diagnosed as having testicular cancer. Thankfully this was caught early and after having the offending anatomical item removed and analysed , I was told that I was in the 5% to 10% bracket of not having to do anything else.
Great news!
However, this was not to be true. Four months later I got the call that a CT scan showed that three lymph nodes in typical positions for the spread of this cancer were a little enlarged and I was going to have to go through a course of chemotherapy.

After following the sad demise of a friend who suffered from a far more aggressive form of cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma), and her experience of chemotherapy, I was more than a little anxious as to how bad this experience was going to be.
The course I was put on was a nine week course of three lots of three week cycles, back to back, with the chemotherapy drugs known as BEP. The first five days of each three week cycle was as an in-patient, then on day’s nine and sixteen I would go in for a top-up of one of the chemo drugs in particular.
After the first cycle I went home and felt a little under the weather, but to be honest it wasn’t anything more than the feeling of contracting a heavy cold for a few days. I was still able to function and think and do all the usual day-to-day tasks, just without the energy to do any physical activity.
Not too bad.
The second cycle was a little heavier, and so when I came home on day five I went straight to bed with a low level of energy, then was pretty incapable of anything useful for a couple of days after that. By day nine I was feeling a lot more alive and able to do most things slowly.

However, the ‘something I discovered’ that I speak of in the first line was learned after coming out of the third cycle (and I’m still in it at the moment – I’m typing this at day ten).
Until last night – day nine – my energy level has been so low that even sitting up was an immense effort. To walk would require something to hold onto every ten metres or so. Even just standing was so exhausting I couldn’t do it for any longer than a couple of minutes.
For a person who is used to leading an active life, I found this complete physical inability emotionally and spiritually draining. Being dragged down so low and not being able to do anything was quite possibly the worst experience of my life. It was like the essence of me had been removed… it was quite literally draining my life–force from me.

…and this is where the lesson was learned…

Something so important to my life… my feeling of purpose… my method of achieving self-worth and accomplishment… the ability to be physically active… having had it so completely removed allowed me to see that that ability is the very essence of what makes my life worth living. The loss of it is something that I NEVER want to experience again.

If life is most profoundly experienced by doing that which makes the spirit soar,
then death is to have that ability removed from ones being, and mere existence is all that is left.

For the rest of my life I vow to be active to whatever degree my body allows… because if I am not, then I am already dead!

Untied

Lying supine,
the notes drifting gently into my ears,
eyes closed,
my soul caressed, lifted, freed unnoticed from earthly encumbrance.
Wings expanding, flexing, testing,
catching the breeze of floating notes,
turning skyward…
Whoosh!
Upwards, outwards, everywherewards,
expanding, speeding, soaring, accelerating, twisting, turning,
pure expression of being glowing intensely,
trailing a wingtip through Jupiter’s gas clouds,
speeding a hairsbreadth above Saturn’s rings,
teardrops of blissful ecstasy falling onto the sun,
then out and up past the stars, eons flying by, in a second’s passing,
flying alongside icy comets on their way to fiery deaths,
their icy glittering trailing plumes, a witness to their brief existence.
The notes of musical magic resonating in perfect harmony with the tuning fork of my soul,
finally reaching pitch in the glass of my being,
shattering, exploding firework-like into a thousand million pieces of glittering stardust,
falling, returning, drifting down through a peppermint sky,
completely and utterly untied.

The new battle

And so, it begins…

“The end is nigh!” they cry
for anyone caught by cancer’s snare.
Lie down, accept it, there’s nothing you can do.
Cancer’s got you, it doesn’t give a care.

I look on, incredulous, eyebrows raised high,
as the multitudes simply accept nature’s cruel gift,
…it must be accepted, cannot be denied.

The end is nigh? What tosh!
Cancer, you showed up early, announced yourself,
what hope do you really think you’ve got!?

I’ve spent 10 years waiting for you, preparing my mind, pacing the floor,
just in case you should decide to come knocking on my door,
and you know what, I’m almost pleased that you’re here.
Ha ha! Oh yes! I like a challenge I do, a battle, a just fight.
And you’re taking me on? You’re going for my life?!

Well have I got news for you sonny Jim.
I’ve got strength like you wouldn’t believe.
I’m a black belt in self belief,
with friends and family that’ll prop me back up when I fall,
to dust me down and push me back into the ring.

I’ve got all that… and what have you got, eh?
What have you got?
What. Have. You. Got.

Those who would laugh at you, ridicule your attempts to show them something of worth, mock you for the cheap trick of getting a laugh themselves; do they have something to offer that is greater?

If not, then don’t take their words to heart, they are merely jealous of your greater ability (…though they probably don’t realise it) and their jibes can be ignored, because if all they have to offer is derision without substance, then they have nothing to offer at all.

Be confidant with your gifts and skills.

Go forth and express your being; your self, show the world who and what you are!

Now there’s an interesting thought…!

This reason that blog has the title of ‘The Colour of My Mind’ is because some years ago when I was searching for a suitable name for my book (this blog is a continuation of the book…), it dawned on me that everything I was writing about, the ideas I put forward, and the observations and the following successes and failures of those ideas, were all centred on the way that I see the world.
So, the mind that has developed within me is a continuing, developing summation of my experiences, observations, perceptions and thoughts, and so, it is a unique mind… just like yours!
To capture this, the title was chosen as a metaphor for the above, because of the obvious parallel with the question of; When I see the colour red, do you see the same colour red?
What I mean is, if I was able to experience what you experience, would I recognise the colour that you perceive as being the same as what I experience? Or is it simply that our experiences teach us that that particular visual stimulus is the same as those around us also call ‘red’?

Are you still with me…?
Good.

So, the interesting thought I just had, is based upon the fact that my sister recently had a Cochlear Implant inserted as her hearing had deteriorated so far that she could hear almost nothing.
After three weeks, the implant was turned on for the first time and she could then hear the world around her in all its glory for the time in many years.
However, there is a bit of a known hurdle to get over first for anyone going through the same experience.
The brain has to re-learn sounds!

To give a quick anatomical lesson, hearing is the ability to detect vibrations in the air (pressure waves) by way of those vibrations being captured and directed by the ‘flappy’ bit of the external ear (the bit you hang your sunglasses on) into and along the ear canal (earhole).
At the far end of the canal is the eardrum (a thin membrane of skin) and is a physical barrier that prevents water, dirt, insects, etc from reaching the inner ear.
As the sound hits it, it vibrates and transfers the pressure waves into a rapid physical movement of three tiny bones in your ear (the Ossicles – the ‘hammer’ which is attached to the eardrum, the ‘anvil’, this is what the hammer hits, and the ‘stirrup’ which looks literally like a horse rider’s stirrup. This stirrup is attached to the side of the Cochlear).
Their movements are further transferred into the Cochlear (another tiny bone that looks a bit like a snail shell and is hollow and filled with fluid) and in there becomes pressure waves again in the fluid.
So when sound travels into the ear, by way of the above action path, it makes this fluid ‘wobble’, and this wobble is picked up by tiny hairs that project from the inner walls of the Cochlear into the fluid. As it wobbles, they wobble. When they wobble an electrical signal is produced and travels along the auditory nerve to the brain.
From there the brain interprets the signals as sound.

Sooo… you might be wondering where am I going with this?
Well, as can be seen above, the brain does not get to actually hear sound. It only gets the chance to interpret electrical signals in a learned fashion.
When it comes to seeing a colour, the electrical signal that reaches the brain comes via a different mechanism, but ends as being an electrical signal that requires interpreting nonetheless.

In my sister’s case, the tiny hairs had all but disappeared, so the vibrations weren’t getting turned into electrical signals.
If I understand correctly, the Cochlear Implant is an electrode that is placed into the tiny snail-like bone (that’s bloody amazing on its own!) and the electrical signals are emitted from it for the nerve endings to pick up.
After my sister had the implant turned on, she reported that the first thing she could hear was Geese… then Ducks… but she wasn’t anywhere near a farm or wildfowl sanctuary… everything just sounded like that!!
This was the interpretation that her brain was making of the new method of receiving the electrical signals.

Shortly afterwards, her brain started making the links between what she was seeing and the sound that it was supposed to be hearing… then things started to make more sense to her conscious mind.

Personally I found this absolutely fascinating, but now I’ve just realised that her brain was deciding what those visual stimuli should actually be sounding like, based upon what it believes! …i.e. what it has previously experienced.
In other words, the sound of a glass dropping and shattering is interpreted within her brain in a certain way, and when this interpretation is communicated to her conscious mind, she recognises it as the sound of breaking glass.
It is her interpretation.
It is what it sounds like to her.
…therefore it is NOT the same as my interpretation!
It cannot be the same as what I hear!
It is only by association between the action and the stimulus that we both understand what the stimulus actually is!

So… when she sees the colour red, she does not see the same colour as what I see.
She only sees what she interprets as red.

To take this just a smidgen further… we must each see our own personal version of the world around us.
And so, what I am witness to is the same as what you witness, but my experience is different, even though the association is the same.

Utterly fascinating!!!

Traveling daily on spinning wheels of freedom,
I pass so many faces in their steel boxes,
all with the same expression of spiritual deadness
…but making me feel all the more alive!
I smile inside… not at their loss,
but because I am not them.
My mind, coming from another place,
my soul’s energy buzzing, singing, responding to the beauty of life all around,
seeing and feeling Mother Nature,
in the form of rain and wind, sunlight and smells,
bearing witness to her wrapping herself around those steel boxes,
each of them a barricade to her,
each of them individually trapping a small part of the universe,
making it false,
holding it still, unchanging, stagnating,
changing nothing, creating nothing, feeding nothing,
and with no spirit being fed,
the spirit behind those faces lies dead.

If, like me, you are a person that sees dieting as a way of controlling what is eaten for the purposes of physical and mental performance, rather than reducing the amount that is eaten simply in order to get thinner, then perhaps you have been confused and baffled by the plethora of often conflicting advice found on websites and in magazines.
So, as a thinker, rather than scientist, I thought I’d try and work out a diet plan (for performance remember…) that made sense to me. Probably as good as any other!

So… what makes a healthy diet?
Well as a thinker, not a scientist, I’d like to go back to square one, back to the roots of our ancestral diet and intuitively, the diet that must suit us the most in the natural sense!

Square one:
Humans evolved as a part of the mammalian chain which if you go back far enough (perhaps as far back as 225 MYA) is found to branch off from the reptilian evolutionary path.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I reckon it’s a pretty safe bet to say that weren’t any food stores or fast food outlets at that time, so the available food in this natural state would have consisted of whatever they could forage or scavenge, or catch and kill.

Fast forward to perhaps only 200,000 years ago and the first of modern-day humans (Homo Sapien) appeared… and possibly the ability to control fire and therefore cook food had already been discovered. Certainly there is evidence that the use of fire predates this time.
It is easy to appreciate that the diet of those first humans, and the diets of all other animals surrounding them, will still have only consisted of whatever they could forage or scavenge, or catch and kill… and I still don’t think that there was a drive-in Burger King or similar.
Therefore, it is also self-evident that the diets of the very first modern-day humans would simply be that which they were taught by their parents and peers, and be limited to that which was available in their immediate surroundings and of course, that which was available at that time of year… so as a side note, it can be appreciated that a truly natural diet is also related to the seasons.
Also, much of what was easily available would be limited by how easy it was to gather, so as plant matter would be easier to gather than animal (except insects) because it doesn’t run away, it stands to reason that the majority of the diet of the day would be vegetarian, but supplemented with the occasional meat meal, and perhaps more often with eggs.
I can imagine that the individuals of the day would naturally tend to go for food with a higher calorific value, i.e. foods with fat and natural sugars, rather than leaves or other tougher foodstuffs that was more difficult to digest within the human digestive system i.e. grass or leaves. I’m sure that the unit of measurement of this, would be how tasty it was!

(Incidentally, within our western diets today, this measuring stick of tastiness, is something that can no longer be trusted, as we, as a species, have managed to be ‘clever’ enough to create what I refer to as ‘pseudo foods’. Look at sweets for instance. They appear to be food because they taste great and can be eaten, and if you have enough, then they can fill you up too. But the actual nutritional value is generally limited to that which can be provided by refined and then processed cane sugar. So essentially, all that is eaten is simple carbohydrates. Apart from the energy value, they are of very little use for the body.
All the other false ingredients (colourings, preservatives, etc) are not something that we are evolutionarily equipped to deal with, meaning that our genetically bequeathed knowledge gathered by the millions of generations of our ancestors, has no knowledge base to call upon in order to understand what to do with these ‘synthetic’ materials. So either the body ejects these unnatural chemicals, or it stores them because it doesn’t know what else to do. So those that are stored, now start creating a toxic reservoir within our bodies – doesn’t sound a good thing to me!)

So, to my mind, the food part of life’s pressures that would have helped create our inherent design, would be driven by the combined forces of evolution (changes due to environmental stresses), necessity (hunger driving changes in diet when a part of the staple diet ran out), food flavour and availability (for when there was enough that there were options), and the balance of energy expenditure vs danger vs energy gathered, i.e. hunting large dangerous prey;
…this resultant design then of our species, must be best suited to predominantly vegetarian whole foods as they don’t run away, so fruits, nuts and berries, and other vegetable matter such as cabbage, spinach, fat hen; and root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips; with handfuls of insects when you can get them, supplemented with meat and innards on the few occasions you can carry out a successful hunt. Not forgetting that none of this would have been washed any more than to get rid of excess soil or similar… so plenty of soil (rotting vegetation and animal matter) would also have been consumed on a meal by meal basis.
So as an example, perhaps in summer and autumn when the abundance of fruits, berries and nuts are at their highest, there would be less hunting and more gathering, but through the changes in seasons, the abundance of certain food types would cycle, so at colder times the risks of hunting would be outweighed by the fight for survival, and so at these colder parts of the year the meat intake may have been greater.

So… back to the present day.
It is generally accepted amongst anthropologists, that we are going to be physiologically similar to our distant Homo Sapien ancestors, so whatever they would eat, we can also eat (putting aside the bacterial resistance of the gut that would naturally grow from being exposed to the harshness of a Palaeolithic lifestyle).

As a result of my own observations over the years, demonstrated by this thought train, my personal recommendations for a healthy diet are simply to eat whole foods, not processed, predominantly vegetarian in the warm months, and more meat based through the colder months of the year.
In this age where food is available ‘on tap’, the only other problem for us is to only eat enough, never too much – a little bit of abstinence becomes key!

I cannot see the need to define diet control any more ‘accurately’ than this.
To my mind, all the scientific studies, and all the expert nutritional advice, should only be required for special cases such as where we are aiming for specific sporting goals, or where today as a community, we try to keep everyone alive, rather than where in the past a person would have died through not being able to be provided for, or being able to provide for themselves.

So, todays Palaeolithic diet fad makes sense in my head as it self-evidently comes from a ‘natural place’, but I think some of the other points above, such as seasonally available foods, and handfuls of insects should also be considered to be truly paleolithic.

Hmm… I wonder what that beetle tastes like…?

Increasingly, I find it frustrating when I hear of people saying with a resigned air:
I’d like to, but no, I don’t do that sport anymore [insert pursuit of choice…], ‘cause… well, you know what it’s like when you get married and have kids, get promoted at work, etc… you know… life gets in the way doesn’t it.

Yes, I DO know what it’s like, but I’ve never ever seen it as a reason to stop doing whatever it is I pursue at that time.
Surely that’s what life is about? About finding something of value that makes the hard work all worthwhile. Something that you can look forward to, even in the knowledge that it is going to be difficult to arrange things like babysitters, or transportation, finance, etc, …but also knowing that when you’re doing this thing that you love, that all the stress goes away. It’s a relief valve…
Equally, it eventually becomes something that you can look back upon through memories and friendships and laughs, when the body no longer allows you to carry on.
Surely life is about enjoying this chance we each have to make the experience of living worthwhile… and not only through our children.

Now, perhaps some people would say that I’m not the best of parent’s when I say that you should not fully sacrifice your passions so that you can give your children the best chance at pursuing theirs.
Partially, yes. But not fully.
After all, isn’t that the same as giving away a life to save a life? No net gain…? Surely better if you both have a passion to pursue…?

I actually feel that even though it is logistically a harder path, I feel that I am being a better parent by demonstrating to my children that I can have passions and interests of my own, as well as helping them find and develop theirs. I feel that I am setting a better example to follow, and a more useful one for them, for when they one day, find themselves in the same position with children of their own.

Is it not an almost equal waste of a life to live a life of living though others as opposed to living a life of not bothering with pursuing anything of interest…?
Perhaps a little bit of selfishness is a good thing.