“People say that we’re searching for the meaning of life.  I don’t think that’s it at all.  I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences in the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.â€?  – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

Nike had a brilliant ad campaign to inspire people to action.  The commercials asked the question:  why ask why. Just do it.

Why do we search for meaning in our being here?  Why do we question what our lives are for?  Why can’t we be happy just to be?  The ancients tried to make sense of the world by finding out how things worked rationally.

So in the beginning man worshiped the sun and the moon and mother earth and all these things were gods to them.  They used the gods to explain why things happened the way they did.

And then something happened.

People decided to test the system.  What would happen if I didn’t sacrifice my goat to appease the thunder god?  When nothing happened man said ah.  So what makes thunder happen then?

We began our search for how our world really worked.

In the 17th century, the age of reason, we went in search how things worked using reason to understand how our world worked.  In the 18th century, the age of exploration, we went in search of where we were on the planet.  We went in search of the physical space in our geography.  In the 19th century, the industrial revolution, we went into what to do what with the knowledge we had gained and built big factories and machines to harness what we had learned.  The 20th century became the age of me.  People went in search of a better lifestyle through brokering information and gaining personal power through material wealth.  In the 21st century, we find ourselves searching for meaning again.  Why am I here?  There is sense of lack of spirituality.  The 21st century has become the age of self-help.

The search for meaning is gnawing at our minds.  It is the splinter in our mind’s eye that is sending us in search of the question.  It’s the question that drives us as Trinity reminded Neo.  A lot of the people I coach seem to be searching for something – something more out of life.  They look around at where they are now and in terms of material well being they have the things they need to survive and for the most part to live comfortably.

But being comfortable is no longer a comfort.  They want more.  They are tired of being comfortably numb.

In the Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac describes a scene where all the middle-class people are sitting at home plugged into the same television shows, being pumped full of nothing, while characters like Jaffry prowl the wilderness, embracing life.

We don’t want to be comfortably numb anymore.  We want to live on purpose.  What is the point of life?  We marvel at what we have and what we have created yet we cannot understand why we are here.

A growing discontent is out there.  We have books springing up like the Celestine Prophecy that gnaw at the edges of the societal angst that consumes us.  It’s about a lack of spirituality – a lack of understanding of who we are, and why we are here.  We long to find our place and purpose in the universe.

Our comfort zones have become prisons that hold us in place and keep us from reaching our full potential.  I can image the faces pressed against the plastic bubble of our comfort zones as we look out beyond the edge and wonder what our my lives could be like on the other side of this wall?

Echoing Morpheus’ words, we are slave; guarded by walls that we cannot see, or touch, or taste – a prison for our minds

Janine, my dream, I drink you up
like a Kasteel Cru on a lonely night

Like the night we first met
I was passing through without a lot to do.
You were behind the desk on the headset
While Benny Goodman played Roll ’em on the clarinet
I was dreaming of nothing until I walked into you

Janine, my dream, I drink you up
like a Kasteel Cru on a lonely night

I couldn’t escape your soft brown eyes
They held me in place transfixed, mesmerized
Like a cool mountain lake on a hot summer day
I wanted to dive right into you
Lost forever in your eyes

Janine, my dream, I drink you up
like a Kasteel Cru on a lonely night

I want to wrap myself up in your smile
I’d tell you that I love you, but how could I reconcile
The distance between the mile I’d have to crawl
To cross the divide between the real and imagined
How could I ever tell you how I feel?

Janine, my dream, I drink you up
like a Kasteel Cru on a lonely night

And so I find myself sitting in a dingy café that lured me in with the offer of free Internet access.  Only the access is not really free.  You have to buy their coffee, of course.  But also the only ‘free’ Internet access is their website!  I could have just as well stayed in my hotel room had I known such was the case.  And to top it all off, it’s been 20 minutes and I still don’t have my cup of coffee yet.

It’s a Monday evening.  I’ve been up since 4 am.  I flew up to Scotland on the red eye and went straight into work with my client until 17.30.  Egats man! I’m tired, but I feel obligated to get some words on the page and post on the blog.

This whole writer’s journey thing has been a crazy up and down ride.  Every time I think I have it sussed, I get side tracked by something else.  And then I get back on the Path after a sabbatical of how ever long.  Only to notice that more time has passed.

But I recon, I am reaching the perfect age to start reflecting on and sharing my experiences over the last 39 years.

My areas of passion are philosophy, psychology, spirituality, and religion and being a fallible human being.  More specifically, how these disciplines and fallibility help us to understand ourselves in order that we can fully realise our potential.

I am an everyday man.  A scholar I am not.  So I don’t see myself approaching these topics from an academic perspective.  I see myself approaching them as a naked philosopher and poet trying to make sense of the world I live in.

I don’t know where this is going to lead me.  But at this point, I think it is irrelevant.  What matters is I want to pursue an idea – a dream – I have long harboured for many years.

During my Saturday morning surfing, I came upon these three sites:

http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com/

http://www.nikinielsen.com/bio.html

http://www.areyoumywife.blogspot.com/

These sites have really got me thinking about my dreams.  I have tended to do one thing to the next without much connection between any two points. I have an idle dream of being a writer, but have struggled with finding my writer self over the many long years.

What these websites reminded of is that you have to PURSUE your dreams, not sit idle and WISH your dreams to come true.

No turkey for me today. Being an expat, I haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving in 6 years and it was only reading a post from Raw Dawg that reminded that today is Thanksgiving.

I am about as far away from the Thanksgiving tradition as I can get. I’m away from home, alone, in Scotland having a Chinese buffet for dinner.

I don’t often take the time to reflect on just how far remove from America I am. I no longer have a feel for what is going on in America at the street level and the only news I get is through the British press, which of course has a European slant. I guess I could read the local news on the Internet, but I’m too busy reading all the great blogs out in blogshere to bother.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here is what I am thankful for:

– I am thankful for my family and friends
– I am thankful for my health and the health of those close to me
– I am thankful for having a life not full of strife and contention
– I am thankful that I have material comfort
– I am thankful for my spiritual well-being
– I am thankful for being on The Path
– I am thankful for all the cool people I have met through this blog

I am sure there a thousand other things I could give thanks for, but at the risk of boring everyone to death, I’ll stop there.

God Bless and have a great Thanksgiving holiday,

Clay Lowe

“Writers are always watching people. In order to have output, we need to have input.”

I am a tired puppy tonight. And once again, I ate the foulest tasting hamburger in the world. But there you go; at least I had something to eat.

I need to go on a reading sabbatical. I started Ken Wilber’s One Taste and within the first few pages I had a long list of philosophers, thinkers, scientists, poets, psychoanalysts, and writers whose work I feel compelled to find and explore. The list includes:

Kant
Hegel
Spinoza
Marx
Fichte
Freud
Nietzsche
Einstein
Schopenhauer
Leibniz
Aldous Huxley
Thomas Mann
Christopher Isherwood
Gerald Heard
Krishnamuriti

I better get started then…

A quick commercial for a really cool event we’re running in December. If you’re in the area, please do come along. I promise it will be fun, informative, and full of magical moments.


How can an evening’s learning be so much fun and still be life changing? How can you learn some tools and techniques in just 3 hours that will enable you to achieve your goals, manage how you feel and respond to situations and improve the quality of your personal and professional relationships?

How would you like to learn the techniques used by people like Paul McKenna & Derren Brown?

Well, the simple answer is to come along to Trinity College in Leamington Spa on December 7th and find out.

We’re launching a brand new course through Trinity College in NLP – Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It’s an approach to developing personal performance, based on understanding and changing our mental processes and view of the world.

Just imagine – if you could develop better relationships, communicate even more effectively and realise your wildest dreams, what would that mean to you, and to the people close to you?

To give you a unique opportunity to find out more we’re running a taster evening. There’s no cost, and it’s the perfect time to see NLP in action, discover how it works for you, take away some powerful tools that you can use right away and meet the training team. You can ask questions, make friends, chat, relax, be entertained and of course learn skills that have the potential to change the course of your life.

The course itself comprises 12 evenings, and if you want to take it further, a 4 day certification module.

All you have to do now is use the form above or call Sarah Bartlett at Trinity College on 01926 428416 to secure your place.

Labels. Labels. Labels.

We have this innate need to label things. I realise labelling is a part of our survival mechanism. Back in the day running around in the jungle, we needed to label things, good, bad, dangerous, poisonous, friend or foe.

And the labels were signals to the brain to act accordingly in relationship to the label.

So if I stumbled upon another human in the jungle, I might label the person friend and go up and hug the person and exchange juicy gossip about what so and so was caught doing in the village.

If I labeled the person foe then my brain would either give me the signal to fight or flee. This same functionality is still with us today.

Soren Kierkegaard turned us on to the problem with labels: once you label me, you negate me. This equally applies to how we label ourselves. I often struggle with how to label myself for other people. Am I a writer, coach, trainer, philosopher, or consultant?

We tend to answer the question ‘what do you do?’ by saying what we are. The dialogue goes like this:

“So what do you do?�

“I am a writer…�

When in fact I should answer the question by saying “I write.�

Now if the person asks me ‘who are you?’ I answer with my name. ‘I am Clay.’ And ‘what do you do Clay?’

I am a:

a writer

a coach

a trainer

I run my own business

In fact labels can be changed and interchanged depending on what you need to use the label to do.

Writer is a label that is useful for me.

Philosopher is a label that is useful for me.

Thinker is a label that is useful for me.

Coach is a label that is useful for me.

Training Consultant is a label that is useful for me.

In a world that wasn’t obsessed with labels, I would be happy to just say “I AM.”

wicked thoughts between Chardonnay and pizza blond delivers wife waits.

Note: This poem is written in the poetic form made famous by Allen Ginsberg known as American Sentences. It’s basically a derivative of the Japanese Haiku. Instead of three lines totaling 17 syllables, American Sentences are written as a single poetic sentence totaling 17 syllables. The above is my first attempt at this form.