Monday, July 30, 2007

Fatherhood #2

I'm happy to say, the cult of Father is a warm and friendly place. People are coming out of the woodwork to lend a hand, give advice, offer support. The funniest thing is that it comes from strangers as often as from family/friends.

The most recent phenomenon of spontaneous support comes from my Child Seat Safety Check people. I volunteered last year to help parents safely install their baby/child seats in their cars. Since then, I've done around 250 installs total (including my training installs). Of the 170 live installs, guess how many parents did it right on their own? Yup, 5. Five parents installed their baby seats correctly.

Anyhow, I strike up conversations with them during the process (takes about an hour, includes training as well as installation). Typically, I sound like I have children myself. They were so shocked to hear I didn't actually have my own children that when they heard it they quite often became crestfallen. Since then, of course, my wife and I have become pregnant with our potential first child. The difference in their camaraderie is night and day!

Not that they disliked me before, but they really get jacked up when they know I'm in their parent cult. It's again like getting a new lens, but more like I know the lensmakers themselves!

They give me a great deal of advice, but the best advice I have received from them so far came from a new father who effectively said "there's no real preparation, no book you can read that will really tell you how it's going to be with your particular situation. Live in the moment and do everything you can to stay positive."

That's my motto already, but it's totally cool to know that I can apply to this new situation... no matter what comes....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ideas about Ideas

Let's just say I am addicted. Addicted to it all, of course, but specifically to ideas.
I think it could also be said that I have pretty dodgy organization of those ideas. Couple that with my apparent perennial difficulty with following through on those ideas and you get some pretty serious insanity built up....


I have more than a few ideas posted on the Global Ideas Bank but I got a bit frustrated with the format and the fact that a great deal of the contributors were in England and nowhere that I could meet them personally. That's a weak excuse now that I think about it, but that's what happened. Here are the ideas I came up with.

I worked for a bit with a company called SolutionPeople and they were trying to help people generate, collect, and choose good ideas in a more corporate setting. That was cool but I was grossly underpaid and underutilized. Plus, I want to focus my ideas in a particular direction now, the Progressive Party and Alternative Energy. Simply coming up with ideas is like eating candy for dinner. Yummy but empty and slightly unhealthy.

I've bumped into a few other people with this bend, but in the end because I had a hard time CAPITALizing on idea$, the idea of getting paid for idea$ kind of flopped on me. I've seen the concept of ideas for sale work at the BrainStore and Idea-Sandbox people, but why must these people not actually have a couch to meet on in North Seattle?

The concept of coming up with a company that got paid to come up with ideas isn't new, but it's been pretty hard to do. The company I tried to start in 1999, Anythink, which eventually changed to RocketForge and then stopped doing the idea thing altogether was frustrating as well.

Now that I have more of a focus, I think it can be done again, but perhaps in a different way. I confess I do not know that way yet. Alternative Thinking about Alternative Energy, something like that. I don't want to dive back into small business ownership right now anyway, but it's something that I cannot seem to shake, the idea of selling ideas.

Perhaps that's the issue, the selling part. If I just continue to post my ideas, maybe the idea itself will arise, or people who like one or another idea will come out of the woodwork and help with the capitalization. Perhaps it should be free...freeeee!

I know I want to brainstorm for a living, but I need to find an outlet and a place to pour the ideas into it. I have literally hundreds of unexplored ideas written down, with no real place to arrange them (some have already been realized, too).

I did some good informal versions of the idea idea in a very social format: two friends of mine went out to a bar and we talked about ideas, calling the weekly event "ThinkTanked".

Perhaps the internet is just one place to do this. I know it also has to happen in person, though, and it has to be a part of my Right Livelihood. I know enough just to come up with the question, but the answer is just out of reach right now. Weird, I have an idea to come up with ideas, but I don't yet have the idea launching idea fleshed out concretely. Grrr!

Any thoughts on the thought thinking and leveraging concept welcome... Please go ahead and leave a comment if you think you might have a strand to add to the rope...

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Part 1: Aaron realizes the lens that he's been seeing with is now different. I can't re-frame my experiences with pre-fatherhood eyes. I must move forward with this new vision.

I'm half responsible for a brand new lifeform on this Earth. An animal is now growing inside my loving and wise wife, and soon it will be thinking, breathing, growing on its own. Damn, yo.

Taking stock is something I have been doing nearly every day now. What have I got? What do I need to purge? What more do I need? What does my wife have? What will the baby need? How much does my community have that I can share, and to what extent do I need to continuously re-evaluate this entire stock again?

What I came to is that I have way too much, and/or exactly the right amount of everything. I am over-blessed if that's possible. Was it my previous provable Karmic additions to my community that made it possible to receive so much in return? Probably. Blessed.

I have love. I have a house. I have my family close by. I have a right livelihood, I can bike or walk to work. I have my health. I frankly deserve no more than I have.

But there it is, a newborn baby growing inside my loving wife and I have a hard time grokking my blessing overflow. Was it my father's early death? My efforts at being a good person? Biodiesel advocacy? What makes it possible for me to deserve it, and feel like it's the right thing for the Universe to bless me with?

It kinda makes me nervous. What would it mean if the baby didn't survive? What would it mean if it was born, but had a tragically short life filled with pain? What, exactly, does it mean?

I have to get my head around it, and it is growing all the while, ever-evading my intellectualizing of it. I'm thinking that this is yet another nod at my tendency to take things as they come, to accept the whole package, and to assume that ALL of the meaning is inherently good in the end. The Universe filled with chaotic beautiful particles interacting in rhythm isn't thinking particularly about little ol ABC, but it's not completely ignoring me it seems.

Fatherhood (in utero at least) also makes me ponder my particular particles...

My DNA is not my own anymore. Although my father has passed, I have his actual DNA in all my cells. He's actually inside me, and by that token all the things I do have been also done by him and my mother in equal parts. Accordingly, my wife and I have equal gifts of DNA combined to make this new little individual. It's an awesome responsibility.

I am as ready as I can be for all this, but I still haven't a clue what's really happening yet...

Send us some good vibes if you can spare them!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A single idea

It's all you need to start with. Then you add the aforementioned healthy obsession, and watch the idea grow and flourish.

I was around 20. I was writing frantically in my journal, when something happened to my pen and hand. They seemed to work on their own, without "me". The ink seemed to flow out of the tip of the pen, drag across the paper fibers and create words, seemingly without my input.

It was getting more and more feverish, and "I" realized that something pretty big was building up. I engaged as the pen continued to write, battling with it a bit, questioning the thing that was happening, wondering out loud about who was in charge, how silly it was that I was acting like someone or something was in charge of my pen other than my very self.

My heart got to pounding as I wrote, more and more I realized that Peace was coming up through my subconscious into my pen and out of the inky socket, rolling out onto the fibers of the journal.

The spirit of Peace, the idea itself, was acting. Obviously, it wasn't a mythical beast or a white-haired man in the clouds, but it was a spirit nevertheless. The spirit inside me of the dream of peace. Not theoretical, not illusionary. It was inside me and I had been cooking it for years. In a moment of openness, in a moment of mental and spiritual glasnost, I was about to let it out of its earthly human cage and into another, my journal.

As I wrote, the phrase that was yearning to burst forth was "Peace is the Kingdom".

I had never thought that thought before, never written it out, never contemplated beforehand what the "Kingdom" was. The moment I wrote it, however, I realized immediately what it meant. It meant the Kingdom of what people refer to as God.

Now, I am an avowed non-anthropomorphic unifying presence believer, but I shy away from using the phrase "God". It's way too sticky, and it violates my neo-athiesm ethic among other things.

As you might know already, I believe in God- but not the only one you are currently thinking of, chances are good. I believe in the pervasive scientific idea that all things are fundamentally built of identical packet-pulses of energy. All space and everything inside and outside space is made up of these tiny mass/energy packets. The packets are obviously the smallest possible things in the Universe, and I believe that they make up everything in it.

Fortunately, there is no way to see that smallest thing to prove my theory, but its evidence of existence is all around. Quantum Physics practitioners (if you will) have been looking for the final piece of the quantum puzzle, and this is my personal theory that fits that empty puzzle-gap. The Higgs-Boson might be that very piece, or it might be still smaller than that.

In any case, that smallest particle/energy packet moves in a particular way. I believe it moves in a modified figure eight ∞ path around its own center of mass. It cannot be said to "be" in the center nor the outer curves of the figure, it's in that general vicinity all-at-once. We can point toward it, but not directly at it. Heisenberg.

That's it. There's a smallest thing, it makes up everything, and it's impossible to see.
From there I came to the conclusion that it was, in fact, Faith that I was using and no longer the raw repeatable science that led me to that final point. Science opens the door, and you yourself must go through it. At that threshold, at that gate, at that either-or space, you are standing on science, and the final reach above your outstretched arms is Faith.

Faith is that same thing that gives me Hope. Faith, the internal system that allows what isn't yet to become in the future without fail. I have Faith that this is the solution, this is the way to Peace, and that gives me Hope. I can continue to hack seemingly fruitlessly on a theory that is too simplistic and un-provable, because I have hope that the idea is itself not needing me to push it forward. It has its own power.

I am simply telling you about my experience of things, not telling you that you have to have the same faith I have. The smallest thing already exists, it's already doing what it needs to do. I am not required to "promote" it or myself per se, but I am required to tell the truth about what has been going on in my head all these years.

Back to the moment....I wrote "Peace is the Kingdom" with my heart racing and my hand now trembling uncontrollably. I had to fling the journal across the room in order to breathe properly again. This was my enlightenment. It happened in the past, and I have been struggling for years to find my way back to it. This is yet another post that tries to get that idea out, putting it in a tangible format that hopefully everyone can understand. This is it.

Here I am, July 4, 2007 in a house I own with my wife in north Seattle, Washington, USA. I am typing on my G5 PowerMac into a window of Blogger in the Firefox browser. I'm listening to Alexi Murdoch's Orange Sky on repeat. I'm sober and happy, reveling in my manifold blessings. I have to share this with you, I have no choice, and I require nothing from you but contemplation of the single idea of Peace.

I ask that you consider this one idea: that "all religions have the same god that is created by and creates everything in the universe, and that all science points to the same one invisible particle/wave that makes up everything in that universe in the same way god does, and that idea makes us all fundamentally equal."

It requires the exact same faith that religious people have in their god to come to the idea that there is a "smallest thing" and that the entire universe is made of those smallest things. The order of the universe is clear, so is the chaos. It's all due to the mysterious interaction between these smallest things, working in perfect chaos and harmony. That order/disorder is how the universe continues to "be". Flux between order and disorder is itself order. And, obviously, disorder. But within those is the space, the sacred space between.

This space between particle/waves of the smallest things is not void, it is absolutely filled, but then instantly and simultaneously emptied. This space is the attraction between any two of these smallest particle waves, this is the space that both propels the particle waves toward each other, and also repels them.

This space, this theoretical full-emptiness attraction can easily be called something else:


Literally, love is the space between two things that both attracts and repels it. Magnetically, lovingly playing the two things with each other. Mass is also energy, and all things with mass have this spiritual force that both brings them together and at the smallest level also pushes them away.

In the end, there is no such thing as apart-ness as these smallest things are exactly the same, they are built of the exact same material/energy, have the same potential, are built in the own god's image, if you will. Exactly in god's image. In its own image as well, therefore. Therefore, being of the same original thing, having come from the one singularity at the beginning of time, they are One but they are dispersed.

At the same time they are the same thing just busted into infinite pieces (think Kaballah), they are also individual pieces of that original piece. Like humans, we are all the exact same spieces, all humans, but we are all individuals with our own particular sovereignty. People like to call that original sovereignty the "soul". It's an unkillable piece of you that bonds you in a collective to the original soul that bore you during the Big Bang.

It's hard sometimes to keep the thoughts straight, I know. It has made lesser men crazy, for sure. I am not sure I am not crazy in that cosmic sense either, but I keep seeing this stuff happening and thinking that it all must make sense somehow. This theory, that Peace is the Kingdom and it's born out of the realization that we're all made of the same stuff at a sub-quantum level, is not at all new. It's just the way it's coming out for me in particular.

Notice that it plays on all other forms of this same idea: That there's a Big Force out there that created us, and that we all deserve the life we are given by that Force. We need to realize the inherent equality in all people, that we're one animal of many on this planet, and we have to take care of each other rather than kill each other to get what we want or to "protect" ourselves.

I thought previously that my biggest trouble was finding a way to make money from the idea, honestly. I'm ashamed of that, but there it is. I thought, maybe I needed to use this big idea to make a religion of my own! Talk about super-hubris. I knew I was eventually going to share the idea, but I thought since it's my one big idea that I should somehow make my right livlihood from the idea. I was blind, but now I see...

So, to sum again: The symbol I have tatooed on my hand is an infinity "∞" surrounded by a set of brackets. In math, it's the set of infinity. It's the shape of the path that I believe the smallest particle/wave traces in space. It represents the faith of the religious that there is one unknowable mysterious force that rules the entire universe, and the faith that sciencists have that things can be understood in terms of micro-macro rules that can be proven over and over again. Those groups, the religious and the non-religious can be brought together under the idea that at the final moment things are not perfectly provable, even this theory itself. It's the mystery that brings us together, the faith and the love of each other that can bring Heaven to Earth.
This is the Kingdom.

Peace is the Kingdom of god, on the real earth in real time, while you are still alive, even as you read this or hear this read.

Pray on this, meditate on it, skeptically discard it, do what you think you have to do with the idea. It's not mine anymore, and it frankly wasn't mine in the first place. It was Yours.

Independence Day

People keep calling it the 4th of July. It's much more than that, and we best never forget. It's the day that the country became itself, declare itself independent of the King George and the British Monarchy. That's huge. Would that we remember that a country, its people sovereign, can "declare independence". Think it over for a bit, toss the word "King George" around in your head, and remember that it only took a few dedicated people and a single idea to create an entirely new nation, flawed and beautiful as it is.