Stephen's blog

Missing the connections

I've recently read that there's been a significant drop in the levels of empathy by young people. No big deal you might think in regards to achievement.

But, as Jeremy Rifkin's clever animation might suggest, empathy is likely to be the winning factor in future business relationships - simply because anyone with high levels of empathy will stand out like ... well, they'll stand out. They'll attract clientele, easy as.

The drop in empathy is clearly an indication that we're becoming more disconnected from those in our communities. It would seem that technology in the form of online chat-rooms, forums and social media (such as Facebook) is not bringing people together in ways that foster care, connection and empathy.

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The Power and Importance of Blindspots

Blindspots in our awareness can have devastating effects upon our lives. Blindspots can be bad for business, health and personal wellbeing.

  • Business and Finance - The recent Global Financial Crisis was a blindspot that caused havoc for millions. In business, blindspots are commonly known as inefficiencies, poor employee morale, or unproductive investments that can end in bankruptcy.
  • Wellbeing and relationships - Research reveals that the majority of relationship breakups are initiated by women, and that men usually don't see them coming. Many men report being caught off-guard and left feeling bereft and suicidal. "In a study of 4000 suicides ... 70 per cent were caused by relationship breakups. Men were more likely to commit suicide than women by a factor of nine to one."1
  • Health - Cancers, and other illnesses are example of blindspots in our awareness that can lead to physical impairment and death.
  • Accident and injury-  With the latest research from the field of quantum physics, we can appreciate and learn to use the deeper interconnections of events, both good and bad. That is, we can learn to check for the ubiquitous (albeit subtle) nonlocal2 signals that can help us avoid danger, accident and injury.

By their very nature, blindspots are difficult to spot - hence the name. But as the world recently witnessed, their effects are highly visible and almost impossible to ignore. Blindspots can remain blind to us on approach, but prove devastating on arrival.

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Come to the edge, he said

In my previous article, "Calling Gurus to Account" I mentioned a blind-spot that affects all of us. I inferred that sometimes we get carried away with the idea of possibility and endless happiness, forgetting about those we may leave behind.

That blind-spot sees us ignoring the systems and communities that support us. It's the community and technical infrastructure that enables us to achieve our goals – imagine being dropped into war-torn Somalia, without cells phones, money or an embassy to hide in. What things might we expect to 'attract' in that environment?

Those who do our plumbing, our carpentry, cooking and care-taking all play a vital role in each of us achieving our dreams.

It's the integration and marriage of dreams, desires and potentials with the inherent limitations of systems that is my primary work as a belief doctor. My work involves understanding and explaining how this integration is ignored or denied. It's this lack of integration of supportive systems with individual desires and potentials that is the primary cause of the growing epidemic of depression in the world today. It's people's expectations exceeding the capacity of the present community to support individual dreams and aspirations that causes the upset.

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Calling Gurus to Account

There appears to be a large and significant blind-spot in the awareness of many people. This blind-spot can’t usually be seen or recognised directly. Like a galactic black-hole, we usually only learn of its presence by how it sucks the life and light out of surrounding bodies — in this case, ourselves and others in our communities, cities and world.

We can learn of its presence by the high and growing incidence of depression which is now recognised by the World Health Organization as “the leading cause of disability.”1

To some extent this black-hole, or blind-spot can be ignored by being busy, taking drugs, acquiring wealth or enjoying ourselves … but it remains in the background, sucking the energy and light from all. And no more importantly is its effect felt, than in the area of health and wellbeing .. the main focus for my contributions to this column.

It’s about time

I recently learned of this ‘blind-spot’ after reading about a self-development teacher who had achieved success; met and positively influenced world-leaders, and done or achieved many other wonderful things.

Why then did I feel deflated after reading about this person? Was it that, by way of comparison, I was left feeling inadequate, or a failure? Was it because I felt I hadn’t achieved great things?

No, I realised it went deeper and after sitting quietly and reflecting on the cause, recognised it … the blind-spot that many of us, if not most, don’t seem to notice. Part of the reason it is not recognised is that it is so simple to feel – it’s too obvious and taken for granted. So we ignore it.

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The travesty of modern science

Overview

There are many who argue in various scientific circles and forums that mathematical theories based on unending, contiguous numerical continuity (infinite-series, calculus) are able to explain a series of perplexing theoretical dilemmas dating back nearly 2,500 years.

Those dilemmas, widely known as Zeno's Paradoxes raise issues relating to the apparent impossibility of everyday physical movement, which is assumed to occur continuously and smoothly.

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What's wrong with science, religion & new-age

In the midst of the 'swine-flu' scare a while back it struck me ... how science, religion and various new-age philosophies are very similar.

The swine-flu scare has gained considerable media coverage, despite 30+ years of research confirming that physical things (bugs, bad genes, obesity, bad diet) account for a minority of the cause of disease, disability and premature death. We now know it is poor 'psycho-social eco-systems' that are the majority cause of early death and illness. But still the panic, or at least the media hype.

It's clear ... they each (in a strikingly similar manner) place the 'cause' of life 'out there' -- with religion it's God, with science it's 'chance' and new-age it's the planets, or some set of numbers or some reclusive soul that never seems to show up when it counts.

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Psychic abilities and skeptics

Being sceptical is perhaps one of the easiest means by which to protect ourselves from silliness, naivety and from being enlisted into the ranks of 'space cadets'.

Scepticism (or skepticism) naturally motivates one to question, to devise experiments, or thought-experiments to test the credibility of ideas. And asking questions is, in my opinion, one of the most noble, useful and valuable tools anyone can possess. It could be argued that a healthy scepticism amongst the populace and judiciary would have seen off some of the more pernicious superstitions and crowd behaviours in times past, such as the executions of those suspected of being witches during the Salem witch trials.

But from my experience the not-so-good side to being sceptical far outweighs the benefits. Being quick to dismiss claims of religious, spiritual, or psychic experience leaves one closed to possibility, and closed to finding deeper congruent frameworks of belief. As I have found, that closed-mindedness can result in quite debilitating health issues. 

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In the presence of passion

I was recently having coffee with a friend when she explained how much she enjoyed doing her numerology workshops. Her energy, passion and excitement was obvious.

As I sat there, her grin and body language got me thinking about belief-systems and new-age practices such as astrology, numerology and other 'ologies'.

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