elephants
I finished the dice man this morning and was contemplating what to read next. And then at 9 o’clock this morning the postman delivered an unexpected package. I opened it to find a book that I didn’t remember ordering. I opened the front cover and there was a note from my best friend Ed. The book is called No Destination an autobiography by Satish Kumar. From the back cover I see that this is the fascinating story of Satish Kumar – monk, peace activist, pilgrim extraordinaire, and ecological campaigner. And from one reader: ˜Satish Kumar is among the most important educators of the 20th century. His lifelong odyssey adds a compelling flesh and blood reality to the wisdom of the East.”

I don’t believe in coincidences so I accept that this book has literally arrived on my doorstep with an important message for me. And right away I was struck with inspiration from the very first paragraph in the book. I won’t butcher it by paraphrasing it. I’ll get to you as an excerpt:

“Before I was born, while my mother was still pregnant with me, she often had a dream – always the same one. A wise old man with a long beard was riding with her on the back of an elephant into a forest. He promised to take her to a land of gold and jewels. ˜Why are we on the back of an elephant?” mother asked. ˜Let’s go on horseback so we can arrive more quickly.” The wise man said, ˜I don’t know the way. Only the elephant knows the way.” Mother argued, ˜This is stupid. A horse is much more intelligent than an elephant.” The wise man replied, “It’s not a question of intelligence but a question of going the right way.” Mother’s dream always ended with her and the wise man riding on the elephant, never reaching their destination.

I think I will enjoy reading this book.

I had lunch with my friend Beth of Mosaic fame. I haven’t seen her for months. Yesterday I texted her and when ended up getting into a lively discussion about the merits or demerits of living a green, healthy, spiritually rich life and what is the nature of good energy and bad energy, and past life regression. The conversation was so engaging that it spilled over into lunch today. I mainly took a contrarian view to most everything Beth had to say, which what I am inclined to do when I am a dark mood like I’ve been for the past couple of days. I won’t go into great detail right now, one because I am still digesting some of our discussion and two because it’s Friday evening and time to let my non-existing hair down. But to give you a flavor of our good cop bad cop discussion she explained the whole green ideology to me and I countered with the fact that nature is a sadomasochistic whore and doesn’t give a damn about us. So this whole green nonsense is really about saving humanity, not saving the planet. Nature will take care of herself, destroy us on a whim, and be here long after we are gone. And so the rest of the afternoon went.

Somewhere between bites of my beef burger, we got to talking about the third eye. I asked Beth what she saw in my third eye. She said she saw a golden light – a good light. I countered that it was a bad light that was spreading out like a plague amongst men. I asked her what else she saw. She said she saw in me that I was weary, downbeat, and restless. She was 100% accurate. As we were examining my spirit, I asked her how would she normally describe me if she were describing me to someone who didn’t know me. And she came up with: intense, philosophical, knowledgeable about life, flaky, and unreliable (as in I float in and out of people’s lives very whimsically. Apparently she had collaborated this idea with a mutual friend of ours who described me as being totally engaged one day and then disappearing in a white cloud the next day, not to be heard from for days, weeks, months etc). Again I would have to say she was 100% accurate on this account. I was happy to receive this feedback. I think it’s helpful for personal growth to see how others see you. Of course there’s always the danger that they are projecting their stuff onto.

A very enlightening lunch.


In my mind’s eye
I am standing on
a road

I can only see
as far as my
eyes can see

I stand on the road
and I think about
taking a step

Is my life governed
by God, by Fate
or by Chance?

I take a step.

Is it a step of
my own will?

A step destined
before I was
born?

A step guided
by the hand
of God?

Or is my step
by chance,
a random step

on a random road

My book, even with a map you can still get lost, is nearing it’s final stages before it sees print.  The book is basically a collection of short reflective essays designed to be read whenever you have a spare moment and are looking for a quick hit on the inspiration pipe.

I need some help to finish the book.  I am looking for readers and reviewers to read the book and provide feedback on any typos, misspellings, etc.  And if you like the book, to provide a 2-3 sentence blurp that I can potentially use for the back cover and inside page.

If you’d like a copy to review, send me an email.  Please, only request a copy if you know you have some spare time to read it and provide feedback.

Thanks,

Clay


I had another crazy dream last night.  Maybe some of you who know about dreams can tell what it might mean.

In my dream I was checking into a hotel with a large group of people.  The hotel folks for some reason didn’t have me listed on the manifest. I ensured them I was meant to be there.  They checked their paperwork again and decided they had made a mistake and mixed my paperwork up with a lady named Sarah.  They booked me into my room.

As I was unpacking and getting settled in my room, there was a loud disturbance in the hallway.  A angry man was shouting.  I looked through my peep hole.  What I saw was 3 or 4 security men trying to subdue the angry man.  Things got violent.  I backed away from the door to continue unpacking.  Suddenly there was a loud crash against my door.  The angry man was trying to break my door down.

I heard the security men yell for me not to open the door.

I was scared.

I weighed up my options.

If the angry broke the door down he might to take me hostage or hurt me.  I thought about locking myself in the bathroom, but decided that if the angry man broke down the room door, he would probably break down the bathroom door as well and still get me.

I thought about jumping out the window and escaping.  Then I thought about hiding under the bed. I didn’t like either of those options.  My final option and the one I decided to go with was to arm myself with the chair from the desk.  My plan was to smash the guy in the head with chair if he broke through the door.

The angry man smashed into the door again so hard that noise woke me up from my dream.

I checked the clock, it was 3.30 am.

I’d love to know what some of you think the dream might mean.

I’m reading Richard Wiseman’s book, Quirkology: the curious science of everyday lives, and in it he talks about the personality profiling work of Hans Eysenck a pioneer in the field of personality research. Through research and statistical analysis Eysenck determined that personality is composed of three main elements: Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Psychoticism. Most current researchers agree on the significance of the first two traits, but there is less consensus on the third (so he may be wrong about it’s central importance but it clearly plays some role in personality). Most people will score lower on Psychoticism. While Psychoticism implies more negative qualities than the other two traits (typically), a link has been found is several studies between higher creativity and higher scores on Psychoticism.

This morning while idly surfing the Net, I came across an Eysenck profile questionnaire. I couldn’t resist answering the 46 questions. I wasn’t surprised by the results. I gave the results a 4 out of 5 rating.  I don’t agree that I neglect my own individual interest and internally based identity.
Here’s how I scored:

Eysenck’s Test Results
Extraversion (84%) very high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.
Neuroticism (32%) moderately low which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.
Psychoticism (56%) moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly selfish, uncooperative, and difficult at the expense of the well being of others

Take Eysenck Personality Test (similar to EPQ-R)
personality tests by similarminds.com

I’ve been on the move essentially since I’ve been back from Poland. I had a day and bit off and then I had to pack my suitcase and hit the road again for a few days to deliver another leadership course. My blogging has slowed down a bit mainly from being on the move, but also because I have been spending my spare time editing my book of little essays. I want to get the puppy finished as soon as possible. I have so many ideas stacked up on each other. They are taking up too much space in my head. I need to get them out.

Something that I have done in the past few weeks is return to two of my favorite past times, which are music and movies. I bought a decent pair of headphones that have brought my listening pleasure to whole new height. And I joined I love film and have watched some classic films like Annie Hall, Manhattan, The Verdict, Kramer versus Kramer and the Seventh Seal.

Tomorrow I’m in Birmingham in the morning to meet an old friend who wants me to speak at one of her functions. I’m excited about that because one of my goals this year is do more public speaking. I’ve only done a couple of speaking gigs this year so far. I want to do more. So if you know anyone who?s looking for speakers, please let me know.

That’s all for now.

Chow.