Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 2010

Research on brain or mind: How done? 

I attended a session of TEDx talk in Awkar (Lebanon).  The meeting started around 10 pm and ended at 1:30 am.  And we watched several TED talks on brain research and language.  The discussion and the friendly association inspired this article.

Since the Italian Galvani’s experiments on reactions of frog to electrical impulses in the 18th century, study on brain functions basically relied on binary (on/off) activities of neurons and nerves.

Currently, experiments are done using non-intrusive tools and techniques such as photo-voltaic (light) energy impulses.  The pores of particular axons in network of neurons and synapses in insects are activated by the light; the insect is thus programmed to behave as lights go on/off.

Research is focusing on selecting specialized network of neurons that can be activated and programmed so that particular functions of the brain are localized and controlled.  This strategy says: “let us investigate sets of neuron networks with definite functions.  As more networks are identified then, extrapolating procedures might shed better lights on how the brain function”.

It seems that this strategy in research is adopted frequently among teams of neuro-scientists.

Basically,  although the brain does not function as current computers do (advanced computers are being tested, working on living organisms such as bacteria that are programmed with artificial intelligence rules), the brain and nervous systems are activated in binary modes as computer by surges of energy impulses.  Hormones (chemical compounds) in body activate and deactivate neurons for particular functions in the brain and the body.

I like to suggest a complementary strategy for neuron research based on investigating pairs of hormones as a guiding program.

The idea is to mapping particular pairs of hormones, among the hundred of them, that are specialized in firing and cancelling out stimulus for activating certain tasks.

The next step is to construct a taxonomy for all the tasks and functions of the body and then regrouping the tasks that share the same network of neurons activated by particular pairs of hormones.

The set of tasks for a pair of hormones do not necessarily engage a direct function: they may be accessory and complementary to a function such as controlling, maintaining, decision, motor, feedback critics, actors, learning…

The variety of hormones correspond to different external senses, internal senses, and special nervous structures and molecular cells in the body and the brain.    The number of hormones is countable, but combinations of pairs of (on/off) hormones are vast. I suppose that a hormone might be playing a valid role in several tasks while its opposite hormones might be different for other sets of tasks.

I have this strong impression that research on animals and insects are not solely based on moral grounds or ethical standards.  The practical premises are that animals are far more “rational” in their “well-behaved” habits than mankind.  And thus, experiments on mostly male insects (even female insects have more complex behaviors and body instability) are more adequate to logical designs.

The variability (in types and number) in experimenting with particular animal species are vastly less systematic than experimenting with mankind:  For one thing, we are unable to communicate effectively with animal species and we have excuses to hide under the carpet our design shortcomings.

I think there is a high positive correlation between longevity in the animal kingdom and level of “intelligence”.

Species that live long must have a flexible nervous systems that rejuvenate, instead of the mostly early hard-wired nervous systems in short-lived species.

Consequently, the brains of long-lived species are constantly “shaking”, meaning cogitating and thinking when faced with new conditions and environments.

Mankind observed the short-lived species (with mostly hard-wired nervous systems) and applied control mechanisms on societies based on those “well-behaving” animals for control and organization models of communities of mankind.  

It is of no surprise that control mechanisms on human societies failed so far in the long-term:  Man is endowed with a brain shaking constantly and rejuvenating most of his nervous cells and submit but momentarily to control mechanism, long enough to subdue a community for many years.

Note:  You may read my article on bacteria running supercomputers on

Don The Porsche drives a yellow Porsche to work and wears cotton shirts double knitted; he is a super trader at a multinational bank and is in demand speaking to schools and universities.  Don is now enjoying big bonuses from the billion in profit that the bank is generating by buying and selling financial papers (such as forms of credit derivatives, Treasury Bills, short-term contracts…) through million of financial transactions a day; kind of making profit on high rate of turnover for small profit as in supermarkets.  Multinational banks take advantage of opportunities in the financial market, an  “incoherent” market with frequent fluctuations in interest rates through million of financial transaction a day.

Don The Porsche has climbed the ranks of this “drug cartel” kind of structure by learning the rules of the game:  Total loyalty to the institution that pays for your Porsche and standard of living, in return for damping your moral values and ethical conducts.  Don has learned to make a clean blackboard on previously acquired values. Don is now in the middle of the food chain, between the shark and the hyena.

The bank trades by shuffling “financial products” from one debtor State to another debtor State, as political programs and plans are announced by governments for stated goals to satisfying States’ economies.  Actually, all 192 States in the UN are debtor nations with “sovereign debts” to creditors, private or other governments.  The difference is that powerful nations pay lower interests on loans than the poorer nations, and thus, the strong nations loan to poorer nation for profit on difference in interest rates.  How that mechanism works?

The previous G8 of the developed nations (initially the previous colonial powers) have created rating companies such as Standard & Poors, Moody’s, and Fitch; they control and supervise these “private” rating companies that are assigned the task of attributing rating of financial and economical viabilities of State governments for paying off interests on loans and the principal on due dates.

The rating companies are politically motivated and obey the G8 of the Western powers political decisions for rating less harshly governments that follow their political lines (in the UN) and programs.  The rating companies punish “rogue governments” that dared contradict the “consensus politics” with very bad ratings, thus, pressuring rogue States paying high interest rates on badly needed loans.  Consequently, the biggest debtor nations get credits at low interest rates and in return their multinational financial institutions and International institutions (World Bank and Monetary Fund…) loans to developing nations at high interest rates.  Consequently, the former “colonies” that got their physical “independence” 50 years ago are still controlled financially “soft control” and subjugated to remaining in a developing conditions.

An individual asks Don this pertinent question: “The more a State is in difficulty, the more it needs to borrow, the poorer its financial rating, the costlier the loans, and the deeper in trouble the State is plunged in.”  Don’s reaction is a ready placating answer such as: “You cannot comprehend the complex world of finance.  If it was that simple a logic then, how could financial institutions transact 5 trillion dollars in every single day?” Don is very much aware of the simple logic empowering developed nations to impoverishing developing nations; but Don has learned not to get sentimental and accumulating “headaches for other people problems”:  He has to purchase a newer more powerful versions of Porsche and is awaiting an even bigger bonus.

Like most “successful” traders, Don earned a university degree in the finance field.  He probably was initiated in the university at producing statistical analysis from various updated mathematical models that compute trends in the financial market.  It is not difficult a job since data are instantly produced and displayed:  The computer is automatically programmed to run the math models at the click of key on the keyboard.  Don learned to look at the graphs and analyzing trends.  Don was initially hired to be in the background consultant for the “in-the-field” traders in the “Hall market”.

Basically, Don’s initial job position is for “arbitrating rate products”; he uses a set of techniques to generating profits due to market incoherences; he keeps an eye on opportunities created on the screen of his monitor.  (The financial field applies advanced mathematics in probability, statistics, numerical analysis, signal treatment, genetics laws, fluid mechanics and dynamics laws and all kinds of natural and human behavior laws that seem applicable to market finance.  Most of these models and techniques can be applied to irrigation network, fighting diseases, reducing environmental pollution, safeguarding biodiversity, retaining virgin forests…but most of the bright minds are attracted to financial institutions with wages four times higher than in other engineering fields.)

After a few years as a low-paid financial consultant, Don is promoted as assistant to a trader who by now, has forgotten how to use statistical modeling or has no time for this task, and rely of the freshly hired consultants.   Don was again gratified to the rank of supporting trader and then to full fledged trader working in the “Hall of trading”.  Don is set to earning large bonuses after doing his penitence in the background, envying traders and yearning for years to earning big bucks.

Now Don sits behind a 1.2 meter desk studded with a computer, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse… Don is sitting in a supermarket of lined desks, raws after raws.  He is clicking on two important keys or icons “buy” or “sell”.  The more successful Don is, the more confident are his clients in his ability for maintaining his “fiduciary” duty of acting on their behalf (for their best interest).

Note 1:  Paul Krugman, another Nobel laureate for economics, wrote: “The ratio of financial profit to the GNP jumped from 4% to 8% in the last two decades but it resulted in no economic real growth.  The economy was rendered less stable and less performing due to financial deregulation.”  All indicates that even Europe has not experienced any real growth in that period.

Note 2:  This story was inspired by the French book “Foul Express” written by Marwan Muhammad.  He was an “engineer in financial mathematical modeling” and worked for a French multinational bank and resigned after learning the immoral and unethical procedures for generating profit at the expense of suffering and humiliation of the poorer nations.

Note 3:  How developing nations remain poor?  The rich developed States subsidize their agriculture and dump the foodstuff products on the open market of the poorer nations at lower prices that local peasants can compete with.  Consequently, the unsubsidized peasants of the poor nations leave their fields and transfer to urban centers lacking running water, electricity, and opportunities for work.  They end up living in the poorest quarters and shantytowns and are used and abused as menial workers.  They join the lower classes, kept at 20% of the population, in order to maintaining and up keeping the daily running economy.

Once the sovereign debt of a developing State is high enough requiring 50% of the budget to be earmarked for servicing the interests on loans then, the powerful nations instruct their multinational agribusinesses to purchase fertile lands (or renting for 99 years) at ridiculous low prices in the former colonial countries.  Fertile lands are transformed to harvesting products for “green” alternative sources of energy like sugar cane …  The natives lack the ingredients for their staple daily meals and famine is frequently rampant (blamed on environmental conditions by the western States).  You may read detailed cases in my category “Africa/Agriculture”

Solving the communication conflict in the Middle-Eastern, or not. Part 1

The conversation is taking place at Zicco house, Beirut (Dec. 16, 2010. very late into the night).

Note: sections in parentheses are mine

A few had left the premises after a heart-warming dinner for the TEDxRamallah community.  We are sitting in a chaotic circle, we watch a TEDtalk courtesy of TEDxSKE, and a discussion starts. I’m confused; it sounds like it revolves around solving the middle-eastern conflict.

I sit back. I don’t interfere. I’m aware of the energies in the room. I’m aware of the emotions. I’m aware of the uncontrolled reactions. I say nothing.

I observe with a birds-eye’s view; completely disconnected from the conversation, yet completely immersed in the chemistry of the group.

A few try to put the discussion back on track, with little success. There are too much emotions involved.  Suddenly, a realization starts to seep into my awareness.

It’s only when the gathering ends, that this realization is complete: all arguments start before anyone begins talking.

This is what was happening: most of us believe that there can only be one truth around a specific topic.  Thus, whenever anyone in the circle starts talking, the rest expect to hear a truth.

Then, they took this truth and compared it with the truth stored in their archive.  If the expected pronouncement was a match, green light, they nodded; if it was a mis-match, red light, emotions rose, and they reacted uncontrollably: the truth they expected to hear turned out to be a lie, or even a personal insult.

This cycle of arguments was happening so often that there was no communication taking place. There they were, a group of people, all passionate about solving the middle-eastern conflict, yet unable to perform the most basic requirement in solving any type of conflict: they couldn’t communicate.  Why?

Very simply, because every time anyone talked, they expected to hear a ‘truth’. What’s the cure?

People don’t share truths: people share experiences, feelings, emotions, perceptions, thoughts, etc. and we can all agree that two people can have different experiences around the same topic (even if there can only be one truth).

This is what you can do: when someone talks to you, never expect to hear a truth, expect to hear an experience. In his way, what you hear will never clash with your archive of information, because you genuinely believe that both experiences can co-exist. your mind would still be receptive and open, your emotions would still be contained, and communication would still be possible.

This discussion would surely not solve the middle-eastern conflict, but it can definitely help in solving the communication conflict, middle-eastern or not.

Part 2: Solving the communication conflict, middle-eastern or not.

Myfutileblabs said:”[…] What you have said above, is quite difficult to do when you’re faced with people who would NOT reciprocate it. As in…I could see their view as what they FEEL to be true, but they would always believe their truth to be the ONE and ONLY truth. Makes it hard for me to be understanding. […] but I guess that’s pretty selfish of me isn’t it? I should be the understanding party to BE understanding….it shouldn’t be a bargain ‘I’ll be understanding if you are too’ […]”

So what do you do if you understand that people share experiences, not truths, but the other people don’t? They start the argument, they attack, and they refuse to listen? they shut you out.

For example, my brother and I were discussing relativism and that’s such a relative topic by itself, that disagreement is inevitable, except if you approach it this way:

My brother said “relativism is this…”

(Note: The brother was reading the book published by World Youth Alliance WYA, Track a Training for applicants to their training semester in New York.  This document included articles on Relativism written by William Gairdner who lambasted cultures and philosophical views that promoted a relative view of nature and mankind’s morality and ethical conducts; in a sense the WYA wanted to disseminate a particular ideology camouflaged under training sessions for training trainers for their ideology.  Applicants were to write articles based on the suggested pieces in the handbook and sending them to the center by email.  It happened that Cedric sent one of his articles that was counter to the ideological expectation of the WYA and was denied acceptance to the program after initially encouraging him.  I was present during the discussion of William and his younger brother and participated in the final few minutes)

I replied “I think you’re right, because I believe that different people understand realism differently depending on what they know about the subject, which definition they read, from which education and cultural background they come from, etc.  What I read and know about relativism gave me my own understanding of it. I feel relativism could be a label, understood differently by different people. I would usually try not to use labels, as they could lead to misunderstandings.

Instead, I prefer to explain the way I see things; to explain my own experience of things; just to prevent these labels from creating misinterpretations.  I believe that sometimes, a big percentage of the population can explain a label in the same way.  And for that group, they would have reached a common understanding. And i feel each should explain his understanding of the label, so that they can all agree that they understand it similarly, and also share it with those who have experienced it differently.

The way I understand relativism, which I’m sure is different from the way other people understand it, is this…” (I doubt that William has read any philosophical or articles pertaining to relativism in order to sustain an argument in that topic.  It does not matter: the point is how to turn a discussion around with pertinent questions in order to comprehend the other’s view and acquire an understanding of the topic for a friendly communication.)

Note that my brother started with ‘relativism IS…’ which was my cue.  It means (for me) that he believes he’s sharing a truth, not his understanding of the label, and that he’s also expecting to hear a truth in return. I could have very simply said: “no! that’s not relativism…” or “yes, but that’s not what it is…”

This kind of reply would have instantly created a clash in the mind of my brother:  he expects to hear a truth.

By taking the approach of the ‘yes-but’ or ‘no’ options, I would have also supported his unhealthy expectations, and made him believe that he is wrong, that I am right, and that I’m going to lie to him by telling him something that isn’t THE truth.

This instantly stops him from listening; this causes his brain to think of ways to fight back and attack, regardless of what I’m going to say next. even if I say ‘yes, but…’ and I just repeat exactly what his definition, he will answer back with ‘you’re wrong…’ and add something meaningless to his own definition.

So let me dissect my first reply to my brother, and explain why I believe it works:  it has proven to really work in 100% of the times I engaged in such situations so far.

I also have to mention that in most cases, only steps 1 through 5 are required. I’ve included 6 through 9 to cover some extreme cases of truth expectation, or when you have no idea how the other person will react. Use them as you see fit and never change the order.

That’s how I’ve experienced the mind to work, and this is the order that the mind generally responds to.  Here’s the dissection:

  1. ‘i think you’re right…’ this drops his defenses, and he’s ready to listen now, because he expects to hear a truth, and you just approved that what you will say will match his archive of truths; he can relax and listen now. notice I didn’t use the word ‘but’. because as a general rule, the way the word ‘but’ is perceived, is that it automatically deletes or negates everything before it. if I say ‘yes, but’, I just cancelled the yes. meaning that I just told my brother that he lied to me, because he told me the WRONG truth.
  2. ‘[…], because…’ after I told my brother that he’s right, the word ‘because’ creates curiosity. people love to know the ‘why’. they love to understand, and hear someone telling them ‘why’ they are right. this makes them 100% receptive to what you’re going to say next.
  3. ‘I believe that…’ now that my brother is 100% receptive, I switch his expectations from: ‘he’s going to tell me the REAL reason to why I’m right’ to: ‘he’s going to tell me why HE believes I’m right, which might or might not the true’. and since people love to be right, and I’m telling him why I believe he’s right, his mind will find ways to justify what I’m saying, and convince itself that what I’m saying is true.
  4. ‘different people understand things differently…’ here I give him the reason why he’s right. I’ve prepared his mind to convince itself that what I’m going to say is true. and this makes him accept that the way he presented relativism might be different from the way I will present it, AND it will not clash with his presentation, because each of us can understand it differently. this also justifies why he’s right. he’s entitled to his own explanation, and for him to remain ‘right’ he was to also allow me to be ‘right’.
  5. ‘I feel relativism is…’ this goes hand in hand with the expectation I planted in my brother, he expects my interpretation, I gave him something even better: ‘a feeling’. which is something more personal than ‘I think’, and it’s even more justifiable in his head that 2 people can completely feel 2 different things about the same topic.
  6. ‘[…] i would usually try not to use labels, as they could lead to misunderstandings, and instead…’ after setting up the stage to explain my experience of relativism, there’s one last vital thing I did before I actually shared my experience. I gently diffused his belief that a word has only one definition, and i de-associated the word ‘relativism’ from his definition of the word. I also called it a label. people generally agree that the same object can have many labels, and many objects can have one label. now he’s ready to listen to how ‘i’ label relativism, and he’s totally ok and even expecting it to be different from his label.
  7. ‘[…] my own experience of things, just to prevent these labels from creating misinterpretations, I believe that…’ here I’ve explicitly told him that I will share an experience, prepared him for one, and explained the consequences to expecting a truth. now it’s also important to keep reminding him that I’m sharing an experience. you can see the keywords that I used throughout my reply to do just that.
  8. ‘i believe […] a big percentage of the population can explain a label in the same way […] and reach a common understanding; and i feel each should explain his understanding […] so that they can all agree […] and also share it with those who have experienced it differently…’ here, I gave the mind of my brother a justification to this objection that he had: ‘but there are facts, truths, and these have nothing to do with how people perceive them!’ and since he still wants to be right, he will use the explanation that I just fed him to self-diffuse his own objection.
  9. ‘ […] the way I understand relativism, which I’m sure is different from the way other people understand it, is this…’ finally, I share my experience of the subject. without forgetting to remind him first, that I’m still sharing an experience. and that this experience might be different for every person.

Expect to hear an experience and prepare the other to hear an experience every time you engage in a discussion.

Now you can understand the mind; learn the steps, and you’ll be armed with one of the more powerful tools to deal with people who believe their truth is the only truth.

Now you can help solve the communication conflict, middle-eastern or not.

let’s all get together on April 16th, 2011 and really communicate and share. that’s when TEDxRamallah is happening in Ramallah, in Amman, and in Beirut.  (End of quote).

Note 1:  This post was extracted from articles published by my nephew William Choukeir as notes in two parts, related to conversations on solving the communication conflict.  You may read the notes integrally on

Since I am writing this post to add my comments and inputs then, I will take the liberty of editing and abridging sections for convenience and for the flow of my thoughts. Paragraphs in parentheses are mine.

Note 2:  You may read my full reply and comments on


How “High-Energy” people recharge?

My previous article explained William Choukeir’s notes on on how to recharge in energy by meeting with high-energy individuals and how to go about recharging in energy associating in team-type energy-loaded activities.

Young people instinctively revolve around a “circle of friends” to recharge in energy from the “tribe”:  They may be lucky if one or more members in the tribe are of the high-energy types.

I am wondering:

First, how can people recharge in a polluted environment and eating manufactured poisoned food and consuming all kinds of drugs when they feel sick or under the weather, or depressed?

Second, what recharging medium is better or more effective:  walking in clean fresh nature as a team or  associating in conversation with high-energy people?

I suggest to William to  move on from subjective observations to experiment designed to observing cause and effects.

First, William has to measure “exponential explosion of energy“, not only from personal vibration levels in synch with another high-energy person but also using non-intrusive measuring tools that indicate levels of vibrations and observing (taking notes and recording) the quality of conversation and topic discussed, away from argumentation.

I know that William is proficient and ingenious investigating and researching appropriate tools when he sets his mind to it, and is convinced that his experimentation is ripe for scientific validation.

Second, I suggest to William to investigate with “tribes” or what I would prefer to call “circles of friends” of different age groups.

For example, it is important to realize that older group of people need to know the kinds of energy-loaded activities that are more appropriate to them.  We need to know if urban people recharge as quickly as rural people do, and how fast their energy is dissipated.  We need to know how this energy capturing, recharging, and dissipation change with age and environmental conditions.

Third, William need to investigate if tribes of rural only members behave differently than urban only tribes, quantitatively and qualitatively; and how a mixture of rural and urban members behave, how the tribe behaves in combination of gender, how tribe members working in urban settings but living in rural area differ from members working in rural conditions but living in urban conditions…

I conjecture (hypothesis) that the working environment (unhealthy, unsafe workplace, a job not liked, and uncooperative colleagues) deplete energy much faster than the pollution of the environment or living in close quarters where members of families sleep in the same room for lack of living space.

Any reforms applied to the capitalist financial institutions?

Almost 3 years to the onset of the financial crash of the century and we have the firm conviction that no reforms to the financial institutions have been applied so far.

The International Regulatory Bank has issued a report in June 2010 and proposed a “moderate” attitude to reforms stating: “Instead of attempting to eradicate financial crisis, which is impossible, we have to reduce the frequency and severity of crisis.”

What that means?

How frequently must crisis take place for mankind to suffer and support; and how level of severity is quantified?

Are there any indicators and measuring sticks to appropriate number of crisis and corresponding severity?

Who is supposed to be bearing the brunt of the impending crisis?

Barack Obama wanted to downsize  multinational financial institutions that are “too big to allow them to fail” so that the tax payers should not be obligated to maintain systemic dangerous institutions.

Congress was not pleased with the suggested reforms:  The financial lobby engaged over 1,500 professionals (lawyers, financiers, and politicians) and spent $350 million to “redirect” the project law under discussion.

That amount earmarked for lobbying congress represents less than one per thousand of the 400 billion profit generated in the last semester of 2009. This profit accounts for 38% of the total profit of the USA in that semester.

Let us put things in perspective:

1. First, the four largest banks in the US has 42% of all the assets in 2009 and held 96% of the 300 billion of the derivative products.

2.Second, every day witnesses financial transactions amounting to 5 trillion while the total saving for all the nations is less than 4 trillion per year.

Nobel laureate Joseph Stieglitz reminded us that

Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner (finance minister) were the same individuals who impose deregulation during Clinton and prohibited any interventions in regulating market derivative products.  It is the multinational financial institutions that are “lending” their experts to governments:  Government is claiming to being helpless faced with the shortage of financial experts willing to working for the government”

Paul Krugman, another laureate, wrote: “The ratio of finance profit to the GNP jumped from 4% to 8% in the last two decades, but the resulted in no economic real growth.  The economy was rendered less stable and less performing due to financial deregulation.”

Paul Volcker, ex-chief of the Federal Reserves during Reagan, said: “You don’t find a single American graduating with superior diploma in engineering, math, or physics.  Wall Street has drained all the bright minds into the financial world.”

Paul Volcker is the same guy who predicted that his financial policies during Reagan will let “blood flow knee-deep” in Latin America.  Indeed, most of the Latin States were ravaged by civil wars and internal unrest and upheaval for two decades.

You might think that the financial crisis and its everyday repercussions on unemployment and lower standard of living has dissipated the illusion that “increased financial transactions can be counted as increase in internal market trade“;  this illusion is still maintained by the media at the sold of the multinationals.

There was no real economic growth in the US and Europe in the last 10 years:  Just a big bubble of the illusion of growth.

I borrowed the idea for this article from a post on   My nephew has decided to publish notes and experimented with a varieties of methods and techniques in order to recharging his energy level and radiating energy, confidence, and sharing his happiness.  My nephew went through the hard and old methods for learning meditation for many years and had to succumb and obey the thousands of “do and don’t” commandments and recommendations of meditation cults and organizations.  He got it right and is spreading his notes to circles of friends for replenishing on energy and sharing their activities.  The following is an edited version:  I cannot just paste-copy and I have to publish in my own style.

When meeting with three people radiating high-energy you cannot deplete their level of energy and conversation does not turn into arguments.  Remember that you cannot fool people and keep relying on their energy for constant supply without deciding to engage in their energy loaded activities.

Three principles to retain:

First, you must do activities that require high-energy demands

Second,you must learn to enjoy those activities,

Third, energy loaded activities should be done in groups or teams (circle of friends, clan or club members…)

How do you prevent someone from stealing your energy and relying on your energy for support (attachment)?  How do you raise your energy level if your battery is low? Where to get energy from?  How to keep your energy high, and get real indicators when it’s falling?

“There are many ways to recharge your energy. most are not really practical for most people. Meditation is one of those ways and it takes years to master.  Special meditation techniques take lots of dedication and effort, and you need a community around you that meditates effectively. Most of the time, the community comes with its own rules and regulations. You start by just wanting to boost your energy level, and then they either ask you to stop meat, or they ask you to wake up at a certain time, or sleep at a certain time. or you have to watch what you eat,  and when you eat it. or you have to fast before you meditate, etc.  These recommendations are fine for someone who’s looking for a spiritual path and doesn’t mind waiting 3 years to see results.  You are not one of those dedicated patient starters, are you?

What if you want to go on with your normal life, doing the things you love, being with the people you like, and at the same time be fully recharged, happy, stress-free, and radiating energy? What if you want today to stop stealing the energy of people and help them not steal yours?   Is it really possible? I believe it is.   I have confirmation of people who read my notes and feel different and their relationship changed:  Couples are no longer depleting one another energies and living in constant arguments.

Keep in mind, although it’s simple enough, and it completely integrates into your daily life, it does take conscious effort to actually initiate it at first.   If you’re looking for a lazy-way to improve you will NEVER find method to recharge you low-level of energy. Time to choose: you can either be lazy, or a happy person.  It is hard, especially if your energy level is very low initially. but once you start, it basically maintains itself,  grows, matures you, evolves you uncontrollably, and greatly expands your comfort zone: spiritually, mentally, socially, and emotionally.

I’ll just plainly state it, and then explain exactly the process, how it works, and why it works. and don’t be fooled by its simplicity: “do hard and challenging things that you enjoy + surround yourself with the tribe and culture around those things.”  Doing things that you simply enjoy and do not require effort will not work. Why? Doing easy things require little energy, and no effort. For example, you can enjoy eating, sleeping, shopping, watching DVDs, but that won’t boost your energy. that will just make you feel ok temporarily:  Once the activity is done, you’ll probably feel worst than when you started.

Doing hard and challenging things require high levels of energy, effort, and hard work. and the first step to raising your energy level is for you to enjoy doing those challenging things. I’ll get the why soon.   First I want to give examples of challenging activities that I love doing so you can get a clearer picture: running, hiking, climbing, TEDx salon gatherings, challenging conversations with geeks, technical problem solving, visiting old villages and mingling with strangers and elders, collective cooking, etc. now as you can see, besides the first two, I can’t really do these activities by myself. and even those that I can do by myself, I don’t.

There are always other people involved for the high-energy demand activities.  First, let me tell you why it’s vital for the activities to be hard.  Imagine you have a thermometer, but instead of temperature, it gauges the amount of effort each activity requires. sleeping, eating, shopping are on the very bottom of the thermometer scale. climbing, mentally demanding conversations, and problem solving score very high on the scale. this means that for you to climb, you need a high level of energy. which also means that if you climb often, you’re constantly making sure that your level of energy is high, or else you can’t climb.

This is the only sign that I need to make sure that my energy is alway high.  If the day I’ve planned to go to TEDx comes, but I don’t feel like it, I’d rather not get out of bed, showering, and driving at 9pm seems like a chore:  I like to sleep early.   That’s my cue. my energy level is low. and laziness is seeping in and the only way to prevent my energy from going down even further, is to actually get up, shower, get dressed, and leave. and I’m sure you’re wondering:

You get this question: “but if your energy is low, how can you do the hard activities in the first place?  If these activities actually require lots of energy, wouldn’t doing them actually cause you to lose energy?!”  The answer is simple.

A friend who initiated this note told me: “but I never stopped dancing, nor any of my other activities, but I feel so drained and stressed anyways.” I ask her: “what do you do after your dancing class?” she says “nothing, everyone leaves. you see now what the problem is?” The single most overlooked habit that makes you think you’re “getting a life” is not sharing activities with circles of friends.

The hard activities are never about the activities themselves: they’re about the tribes that join in them and comes with them, the people. the energies of the people. the collective.  Imagine you’re constantly surrounded by people who have a very high energy. imagine you’re constantly interacting with these people. imagine the explosions, and exponential multiplication of the collective energy in the group.

“The best possible scenario in any relationship is where both couples have a lot of energy to spare, and when they get together, no one tries to steal.  Instead, they share, they give, they exchange, they grow into each other. and amazingly this creates an explosive atmosphere of energy. The energy that they both came in with, multiplies exponentially.  They both have an experience that takes their breath away: it feels like paradise. it is. and they both end up with an energy tenfold more than they came in with, and also a different, higher, more vibrant quality. and an experience that’s out of this world.”

Now imagine the very same experience in every single activity that you do.  How can you be unhappy? How can you have low energy? How can you feel depleted? You absolutely can’t: these are hard and challenging activities that require high energy, and you are surrounded by a tribe with tenfold more energy than is required by these activities.   So even if your energy is depleted, just get up and go.

As soon as you get to your tribe, you will recharge in a few  minutes out of the energy of the collective, and this is different from stealing energy.  In a one-on-one situation, one person can only take from the other. In a 3 person situation, if 2 people with high energy are already creating explosions of energy, the 3rd can absorb all he wants without depleting anyones energy. In a group where most members have very high energy, explosions are happening constantly, and energy is radiated in abundance; everyone is free to take all he wants, because once these low energy members are recharged, they will then contribute to the collective explosions of the group. t This is what a tribe is: the tribe collectively supports and boosts members to raise them all to the collective high level of energy.

This is how you can prevent yourself from stealing someone else’s energy, and prevent someone else from stealing yours: if someone is trying to steal yours, involve at least a 3rd person with a high level of energy. If you’re trying to steal someone else’s, then go out and do hard and challenging activities, and most importantly, surround yourself with the tribe around those activities. Don’t make the mistake that my friend did; don’t just go to dancing class and leave. Mingle with the tribe, share, interact, and multiply the collective energy exponentially.

That’s how you not only repair your relationship, but also fix your life.  That’s how you never have an argument again. That’s how you grow, you evolve, and you find happiness in everything that you do.  One activity isn’t enough, the more activities you have, the more variety you have, the better the quality of energy that you radiate; and the move value you bring to your tribes, and ultimately to your life.

Easy tasks require little energy: you don’t need high energy to get them done and they are done by people with low energy.  Hard activities ensure that you always have a high level of energy to perform them; and they are always surrounded by people creating explosions of energy. Go out, find your tribes, and mingle.

That’s meditation for the rest of us.

Note: You may read the integral article without editing and written by william choukeir on

Does it make any sense to you when scholars and proselytizer  disseminate the notion of promoting a culture of life?  You quickly realize that in order to defining and describing this “culture” people revert to describing the culture of death:  It is as if mankind is best qualified to automatically transpose the opposite meaning of a culture, comprehend it, and retaining the opposite notion.  If culture of life has no meaning then, culture of death is not supposed to extending any meaning either.  Life itself is an abstract notion and only the dying of living creatures gives grounds to extrapolate into what life could mean.

If you tell me you are actually promoting the  “culture of living”, I might jump to the misplaced notion that you want to start on the historic philosophical debate from the sophists, to the Stoics, to Socrates, to Platon, to Aristotle… of whether we need to enjoy life as it comes and handed down to us, or struggling, or sacrificing our earthly graced life for the glorification of another abstract God, or….  Obviously, you didn’t mean that when you imagined a culture for living:  You had never had any patience for philosophical debating, arguing, or reading these kinds of stuff.

Most probably you mean talking about “culture for the living”, regardless of why we are living or how we were created and what happens after death.  All you want is to witness, while still alive, for all kinds of wars and physical violence to end and for negotiation, communication, and diplomacy be the only remedy for settling mankind unlimited enmities with one another.

The trouble is that all discussions or proposals for initiating culture of life or of living begin by enumerating religious initial precepts for preserving life and then lambasting the practical applications of the sacerdotal castes of turning original religious preaching into the ideology of physically fighting those not members of the same religious caste such as “war of the just”, “small jihad”….

Let us not flee forward and lie to ourselves and to others that there are ways of turning the tide around, that religions can be counted on for rectifying what is harmful to mankind.  All religions, once organized and structured, ended up either enticing to wars, planning for wars, or implicitly backing wars of the power-to-be in the name of their “GOD”.  More people died from wars among same religions or sects than among different religions; the “civil wars” among the sects of the same religion are started by labeling the other sects as “heretics”, a label far worse than treason, homosexual, “barbaric”, or pagan…

If you want to disseminate culture for the living then, first principle is to abolish all privileges enjoyed by the sacerdotal caste members that any common citizen does not enjoy.  The clergy must pay tax, work for a living, and be judged when uttering political speeches denigrating other citizens, denying equal human rights, hijacking freedom of opinion, and encouraging the spirit of physical wars and violence.  If religious beliefs are guaranteed, politically organizing religious members to supporting religious earthly interests is not within a belief religious system to be guaranteed.

The complete separation of State affairs and religion is the cornerstone principle for establishing a sustainable culture of life, of living, or for the living.  Any religion that do politics as an organization, finance political campaigns, or drum up support as an organization should be banned as a legitimate religion; in this case, the guarantee for religious belief does not apply to the politically organized religion.  Speaking in the name of an abstract concept such as God is the most dangerous trend that promotes conflicts among people.  Why should an elected official be consecrated in the name of God:  It is the citizens who brought him into office of responsibilities.

Consequently, all culture in art, music, theater…must banish focusing on abstract notions that divide instead of investigating and promoting the spirit of eliminating tendencies of physical and psychological violence.  Promoting programs for eradicating famine in the world is culture for the living.  The UN organization was planing to reducing by half the number of people dying of famine and malnutrition; instead of 750 million famished people in 1996 we are witnessing this number climb to one billion due to policies of open market for the multinational agribusinesses. The rural peasants are flocking to cities because prices of their harvest cannot compete with multinational enterprises.  Culture for the living is teaching, and maintaining programs on how to staying in rural areas and not delivering products from far away.

Elder people are dying in isolation in cities and their body discovered weeks later in state of putrefaction.  Culture for the living is for a community to knowing each member in its area, tending to their needs, and keeping a record and a schedule for visiting regularly the living who are down physically and psychologically.

All the hard drugs you need: Available in the family medicine cabinet?

I have been wondering why the hard drug barons of producers, manufacturers, and distributors in Colombia, Mexico, Afghanistan, and South East Asia do business the hard way, and go into so much trouble inventing ways to dispatching tons of pure and semi-pure hard drugs via mind-boggling varieties of transport systems.

Wouldn’t it be much simpler if they buy pharmaceutical companies and manufacture drugs available in family medicine cabinet?

First, they reap high added values

Second, the distribution is easier, and

Third, they could erect better defense positions when caught Multinational pharmaceutical companies would help in their defense in order for their image not be tarnished and resume manufacturing all the hard drugs prescribed by psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians…

For example, I read a post displaying 10 most used hard drugs available in normal family medicine cabinets.

Here are a few of the most common and potent drugs that youth and family members use without the need of getting into the trouble of being caught red-handed and facing trials.

1. Ambien (zolpidem) is a hypnotic and sedative drug:  It is stronger than drinking too much alcohol and feeling a “night I can’t remember”

2. Seroquel (quetiapine) is prescribed for antipsychotics effects such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and insomnia.  It is named “jailhouse heroine” that provides a careless state of mind.  Combined with cocaine and you get “Suzie Q”, the most unintelligent drug one could do?

3. Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is an “all or nothing” pharmaceutical drug for pain and bad cough.  It has the closest to heaven opiate effects.

4. Xanax (alprazolam) is prescribed for panic disorders and insomnia.  It is a potent drug that increases apathy in users and enhances sociability like Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan.

5. Desoxyn (methamphetamine) like “speed, crank, and ice“.  It is considered a “good batch” all day.

6. syrups (codeine and hydrocodone) used as cough syrups such as Tussoinex and Phenergan).  It gives euphoria and is pleasantly itchy.  It becomes harmful when combined to acetaminophen and guaifen such as Tylenol 1-4 and Vicodin.

7. Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts) is “speed in a pill” such as Ecstasy. It is valued for boosting energy and stimulating euphoric effects such as Ritalin.

8. Laudanum (tincture of opium) is alcohol mixed with opium powder.  It is used for newborn of opiate addicted mothers.

9. OxyContin (oxycodone) or Percocet or Roxicodone extends a blissful, heavenly euphoria unmatched in the narcotic world.  It is used for pain-free drug for the entire day and cancer patients.

10. Opana (oxymorphone) is potentially the most misused painkiller.

Note 1:  If our medicine cabinet had such kinds of drugs, I would have tried to experiment once, one drug at a time.

It is nice of enrich our knowledge that our body and mind can open up feelings and potentials you were not aware of.

I assume that these drugs are not manufactured to be harmful if a single pill is used.

Note 2:  It was unlikely that our family had a medicine cabinet.  Once, a physician prescribed a strong pain-killer to mother, and it must have contained hallucination ingredients because mother slept like a baby for 12 straight hours.

Mother needs to be in full control and totally conscious all the times.  The next morning, mother demanded to return the medicine to the pharmacy because she has work to do!   I was such a fool not to consider taking one pill for the experiment.  I guess that I was not feeling any pain then.  If I was in pain and didn’t take a single pill then I would have been convinced that I am stupid.

So far, hope is still standing that I might not have been such a fool.  Would I become addicted?

Well, I am a smoker!  Anyway, why any family would buy drugs in quantities and store them in cabinets?




December 2010

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