Anonymous asks:

"And what of the child's choice? A child is vulnerable, dependent, yes. But what of the child choosing it's parents before it is born? What about a child/person choosing a difficult life in order to help others grow?"


Great question, Anon, and one that takes into account the big picture view from where we do indeed choose the circumstances of our birth for a variety of reasons. To that Higher Self aspect of ourselves, we are never victims, even as children.

My blog piece in question addressed the personality/physical/emotional body level of self, which in 3D reality is where we all start our incarnations. In that sense, a human child doesn't choose its traumatic childhood situations; its Higher Self does, knowing full well that there is a higher purpose and infinite well-being to existence. Through the course of a lifetime, the evolving human being can come to understand its greater purpose and embrace its early suffering, though.

Thanks so much for your comment!



This is a submission by an FPL reader, "F," some honest reflections around the holidays on the human condition.

Thank you, F

Here's are his reflections:

All of this warring that takes place in Washington D.C. with our elected officials reminds me of a dysfunctional family. Maybe "dysfunctional family" is redundant but that is perhaps a subject for future writing and or exploration.

It's hard not to to feel the yin and yang of it all. I would, for the purposes of this piece, akin the democrats to the yin, the female, the wife trying to hold it together. Or, the quarterback that sees the whole field and makes the best decision he can, at the time, for the team. Not the wide receiver fighting with him in the huddle for the ball. Yes, that makes us, the american people, the family. I shy from using "children " here. Young adults just sounds a little better (and is a great movie).

I was fascinated as a child to watch my parents "war" from the top of the stairs. Much like the Viet Cong at the time, they only fought at night. I had a birds eye view into the kitchen from my perch between the hamper and bedroom door. They only did battle in the kitchen. Later in life I assumed this was because my mother was a lousy cook. I now know that if it happened anywhere else in the house I would not have been able to witness it.

My father, also a former Marine, went at her like a crazed drill instructor. Using his raised hands only to point in her face to drive and trap her into corners where he could concentrate his field of fire most effectively. The corner trap by the oven was also an effective tactic to keep her on her feet and thus engaged. A couple years later, after he left and I got his job, I learned a lot while serving my apprenticeship. I learned that as a child my mother was also physically and verbally abused by both of her parents. That's a lot of hurt. A lot of warring.

I am glad our country's quarterback won one yesterday. I also hope he marches us down the field in 2012. I really do, I think he is presently the best person for the job. He really does see the whole field, I believe that.

Please stop the fighting. Both sides. You will get more done. It's counter-productive and hurtful to the kids, young adults, family, nation, world. If we. a democracy with over 235 years experience can't get it together, how can we expect it from others?

Fellow humans, lets try harder. With all of our collective years of experience and education to draw on we are running out of excuses. Happy Holidays to all.


Okay, let's start right out with the admission:

I went to Disneyworld last week!

There. I said it. It's a long story how and why I ended up there, but that's why I wasn't on the FPL blog last week... because when you're at WALT DISNEY WORLD (WDW), there's no time for communication with the outside world, and believe it, the world at large is outside of Disney, certainly if you live on one of the coasts of the United States!

So, here's the good, the bad and the ugly of it...

The last time I was at Disneyworld was 35 years ago, right before Epcot opened up at the 23 square mile property in Orlando, Florida. Jimmy Carter was about to be elected president that fall and our "long, national nightmares," as interim President Gerald Ford put it, of Watergate and Viet Nam were over. (Who knew that the even longer national nightmare of Reaganomics lie ahead.)

It seemed like the future heralded by the advances in technology and civil rights in the 1960's was about to finally begin. Walt Disney himself, who envisioned WDW and especially Epcot as positive, forward-looking examples of his vision of a world united in common cause and connection, soaring into the future, led of course by America, never lived to see the project completed. Nonetheless, in 1976 when I was last there, it still bore the imprint of a visionary.

Today, not so much.

In the decades that followed the Seventies, "conservatism" took hold of our 3rd-dimensional society in a big way. The conservative philosophy essentially espouses that more good comes from remaining the same, or even reverting backwards, politically and culturally, than from progressivism, changing and growing, and moving forward. Conservatism quickly became the perfect environment for rampant corporatism, greed and corruption at the institutional levels of our country, and in keeping with that shift, the once "Wonderful World of Disney" became the Disney Corporation. And consequently, Disneyworld became a surreal Stepford village meets Truman Show of American capitalism on steroids set in the now retro cultural universe of America as it was three generations ago... or middle America as it is today.

And speaking of middle America, I have never in my life seen such a concentration of 300+ pound white people anywhere, not even on "The Biggest Loser!" It is not a small world in Disney, after all. It is apparently a haven for obesity, the park now more famous more for it's enhanced jumbo turkey legs at $10 and 2 pounds apiece, than for the cool, sustainable hydroponic garden that Walt envisioned feeding the world one day, now hidden in Epcot, hardly advertised or visited.

So, that's the bad and the ugly.

What's the good?

Well, the good was that even in this museum piece of 3D reality, we had a 4th-dimensional experience, creating a reality where cab-rides and plane rides were impossibly smooth and on time, where we avoided the infamous long lines for attractions and rides, where the food was decent (no turkey legs for us), where we bonded as a family, laughed and reveled in a world so outwardly foreign from our own vortex here at home. (Oh yeah, the one really creepy thing about Disney is the way they say,"Welcome Home!' when you arrive. Yuk!)

And finally, there was Cirque de Soleil. Never having seen it in New York, and knowing my homebody tendencies, not likely to see it in the near future here, we attended the show in Disneyworld one evening. Folks, it was truly jaw-dropping! Tears in my eyes amazing, my hands hurt from applauding so much during the standing ovation at the end. All I could think of when watching those performers in graceful, breathtaking feats of physical prowess was that when the soul is allowed to come through a human being, anything is possible.

Anything is possible.

I do believe that was the original belief held by Walt Disney when he envisioned Disneyworld all those decades ago. And apparently, in spite of all the retrogressive forces we've been buffeted by since his demise, the intention of his dream still lives.


Here's L56:

Hey PL - Long time no see. Sorry for the absence, but I've been reading the blog, just haven't had much to say until now.

I just have to pipe in briefly regarding the Cirque show you saw in Disney World. Not to ruin the experience for you - after all in theater the ends do in fact always justify the means. If your experience was of amazement that is still worth exactly what it was worth. However I do feel obliged to tell you that the outpouring of soul that you described is probably as far from reality as possible. Aside the fact that those shows are designed with with manipulative music, and lighting and special effects, most of those "spectaculars" and Cirque specifically have a really bad track record of really bad employment practices. Those shows are obviously very dangerous, and I don't know exactly, but I'm guessing the show you saw may do anywhere from 10, 12, maybe as many as 18 shows a week! Generally, none of those performers are protected by a union, benefits (like health insurance) are really hard to come by, salaries are really meager - all for a show where you literately put your life on the line twice or more times a day! I've also heard that Cirque is particularly heavy handed about not allowing people to take a lot of time off and also about their performers maintaining their physique (beyond the reasonable extent that maintaining your weight for example is a safety concern for that show.)

Anyway, from my understanding the only thing going on with the souls of those performers is probably a lot of "crushing"! But, I'm sure there are some of them that still enjoy doing it despite the obstacles - and all of those performers are the cream of the crop in their field. It's just too bad that the Cirque company doesn't particularly take good care of their folks.

I should add a disclaimer that all that I say is second hand info from informal conversations with people that have worked or have known people who have worked at Cirque. It's entirely possible that that info is outdated too - maybe Cirque has cleaned up their act. (No pun intended).

Here's PL:

Great to "hear" from you again, L56. The FPL blog is always enhanced by your thoughtful comments.

I just recently heard similar concerns from someone else about Cirque not treating their performers well, though like you, it was second hand and in the past. I certainly hope they have "cleaned up their act." The Disney version that we saw included a lot of safety precautions - wires and a net for tightrope walkers and trapeze artists - and they also only do 2 performances per week in their own specially designed theater. That being said, there certainly is a history of abuse and exploitation in circuses, just like there is in Olympic sports like gymnastics and, of course, college football!

As far as the soul aspect, it is not unusual for those moribund corporate "owner"-types and such, whose opening to their own higher selves in so constricted, to exploit those who have a wide-open channel. Maybe the soul is okay with allowing that dichotomy for highlighting purposes.

Interesting to ponder, and as always, L56, you give us food for thought.




Christopher Hitchens died last night. Here are but a few of some select quotes I found delicious:

“Nothing optional—from homosexuality to adultery—is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishment) have a repressed desire to participate.”

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are god.”

“George W. Bush is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things.”


In a class I taught once, I described five levels of consciousness: reflex - awareness - understanding - knowing - being.

Here's a summary:

Reflex is the level of consciousness attained by most animals, and all human beings. It is akin to instinct, though in human beings operating at this level it can be distorted by a primitive ego with its irrational fears and stock-piles of rage. We all know individuals who are easily proned to explosive outbursts or who become paralysed with fear in the blink of an eye.

They are reacting reflexively to imagined threats usually (like bigots and perpetrators of most violent crimes), and this tends to become a chronic state for such people, unlike animals in the wild who react to actual threats in the immediate present, then return to a relaxed state when the danger is passed.

Awareness and understanding are the next two higher levels of consciousness. They are arrived at by freeing up the mind. This is accomplished first by clearly seeing what is going on in one's inner and outer life (awareness), and then making the cause and effect connections about the events (understanding).

Awareness can begin increasing right right from the get-go in a self-work process. Often, even in a first session, a patient may say in response to a therapist's observations about something, “Oh! I never realized that before.” His awareness has been activated and increased.

Understanding comes somewhat afterwards as connections are made mentally and repetitive patterns that were previously thought of as mysterious or cruelly random are seen in their predictable light. Hidden agendas, intentions and beliefs are accepted as personal realities.

Knowing comes with freeing up the emotions in the body. It is only from our gut, from within our bodies, that we can ever say “I know” something with certainty. That is why we say, “I just feel it”, when we are definite about something. The person who truly feels, knows their own truth confidently. Getting to a place of knowing takes hard work and determined effort. In addition to developing awareness and understanding, one must now undertake the “breaking” of the body's defenses and armoring, and really feel, especially, at first, the difficult feelings of sorrow, rage and fear. This is the “point of no return.” If a person breaks through here - and it could take several years - they will never go back to their previous levels of functioning. They are on their way to being.

Being is simply living, spontaneously and naturally, and comes from letting go. Of everything! It is living without attachment. Although awareness, understanding and knowing are part of being, they are incorporated now without effort, without thinking in the usual sense. Basic trust has been firmly re-established, but now combined with the knowledge, courage and wisdom of an adult.

The re-establishment of basic trust leads to the rediscovery that at its root, life “works”, and that at our own cores, we are loving, creative, compassionate beings. At this phase of development, a person knows that he or she creates their own reality and accepts responsibility for one's creations without judgement or blame. This person lives without attachment to outcomes, without regrets about past events, without worry about future happenings. Dualistic thinking falls by the wayside, and there is a true sense of oneness felt in connection with all others and with life. Body, mind and spirit are felt to be one. The person here doesn't think of themselves as “sick” when having a symptom, but rather experiences pain as information and guidance. There is no irrational fear of death…or life. Perfection is not demanded from oneself or others. Life is lived spontaneously.


Interesting study written about HERE in a blog piece on the Huffington Post called: "Why Daydreamers Are More Creative."

It speaks to, from a cognitive point of view, why those who are considered easily "distracted" or "spacey" actually have access to the more creative realms of the mind. I myself have found that since I've crossed the boundaries of character structure to a fair degree that my way of "concentrating" has changed. When I really need to solve a puzzle or understand an apparent mystery, instead of putting my brain in high gear, I "go fuzzy." That is, I let go of my thinking brain, breathe and relax into a kind of altered state of consciousness that allows information to "come through." When I receive or "hear" the answer, it is with much more certainty than when I resort to deductive reasoning or calculating, the methods of the brain.

What is tragic is that many, many children who are referred to derogatorily as "daydreamers" are often labeled as having an "attention deficit," and put on drugs, which cut off their creativity in the service of getting more rote activities done.

Here's something I posted a couple of years ago that is related:

Did you ever end your day with an unresolved problem? A knot of some sort you couldn't untangle at work, or a relationship conflict that seemed to have no clear resolution? Who hasn't? But have you had the experience of waking up the next day with the solution suddenly as clear as could be, as if it had been there all along? Most of you have had such experiences, which is why the notion of "sleeping on it" is part of the common wisdom in all cultures.

I just had one of those waking-up light bulbs this morning. Last night, our kids somehow managed, as kids do, to break a contraption in our house (I'll spare you the details) that was essential to our domestic tranquility. It had to be fixed before I started sessions this afternoon. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to fix the darn thing last night. The better part of my wisdom told me to let it go because I was tired and ready to relax for the evening.

"Forget it. I'll sleep on it." I declared.

Low and behold, I woke up wide-eyed at 5 AM with the answer in its entirety right before me in a picture in my mind. I saw it. I knew what to do. I went back to sleep. A few hours later, and yes, now it's fixed!

Just as I talked about in my essay on "Gut Feelings", I was reminded that the bigger decisions and harder problems in life are better left to our unconscious mind, where our higher self wisdom, the knowledge of our entire species in the collective consciousness, and our imagination reside, along with all the knowledge of the Universe.

An article in New Scientist a couple of years ago referenced a study at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands that concurs: "Sleeping on it best for complex decisions."

Here's an excerpt:

"Complex decisions are best left to your unconscious mind to work out, according to a new study, and over-thinking a problem could lead to expensive mistakes. The research suggests the conscious mind should be trusted only with simple decisions, such as selecting a brand of oven glove. Sleeping on a big decision, such as buying a car or house, is more likely to produce a result people remain happy with than consciously weighing up the pros and cons of the problem, the researchers say."

Go fuzzy, folks, and have a good sleep!


A new study just released listed the states with the highest rates per capita of cigarette smoking. They are in order: Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Ohio, Missouri, West Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and Michigan.

Is it biased to point out that these are also the states with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, spanking of children and a consistent tradition of voting for conservative candidates in presidential elections?

I mean, really?!


Thursday is the 31st anniversary of John's Lennon's murder, which is commemorated in the pilot episode of my TV series, City Rock. I found myself having a sort of perverted political twist on John's song, "Imagine," in my head this morning, kind of a flip-side of his lyrics in which he imagines doing away with the worst of 3D - religion, nationalism, greed, etc.

My negative revery was imagining a world in which the right wing, Tea Party, or any one of the group of Republican miscreants vying for the nomination of their party, actually had their way in this coming era.

It went something like this:

Imagine there's no universal health care, not even for kids, soldiers or the elderly, no regulation on corporate thievery, no equality for women, people of color, gays or those born in other countries; Imagine no democratically-elected body making sure our roads, hospitals and schools are maintained in optimum condition, no limits on killing people in other countries because they might have a desire to cause us harm one day; Imagine no restrictions on what kind of lethal weapons everyone can own and carry, no laws against executions, no laws protecting the rights of a mother who has been raped to safely end the pregnancy, no laws monitoring what may go into our food or water or air.

Imagine that.


"Today, the condition remains a mystery... it is still poorly understood, and often misdiagnosed."
Casey Schwartz, a graduate of Brown University with a master's degree in psychodynamic neuroscience from University College London, on the subject of "hysteria."

Dear Casey -


As a psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist for over 30 years, I can tell you that the causes of this disorder are quite discernible and commonplace, and so I must object to the above statement in your piece on The Daily Beast, entitled "Hysteria: Is the Condition Mental, Physical, or Made Up?"

In fact, the repression of sexual and/or aggressive impulses and ideations still remains the cause of most conversion symptoms. It is only since the medical/pharmaceutical/insurance cartel took over the diagnosis and treatment of hysteria that the original understandings of Freud have been ignored. Problem is, the Old Master was right. It's just that psychoanalytic treatment, effective when done properly, is tedious and offers no renumeration to physicians or drug companies, and costs too much for insurance companies.

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