April 19, 2018

Meditations

Stoicism

* Training attention to remain in the present moment.
* Daily reflection on everyday problems and possible solutions.
* Emotions are destructive.
* Stoic seeks to transform emotions via natural asceticism which enables a person to develop clear judgement and inner calm.
* There is an active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom.
* The best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how a person behaved.
* Everything is rooted in nature.




NOTES
Define Nature. Naturalism is the idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world.

Neostocism - combined stoicism and christianity
Modern Stoicism - 20th-21st century on ancient stoicism referring to works related to sognitive bahvioral therapy.

Virtue is in accordance with nature.
To practice Stoicism is to be free from anger, envy, and jealousy. And apparently consideration for other's "irrational" emotions. haha. 

All "being" (not all things) is material (matter).


VISUALIZATION
4 categories

substance (ὑποκείμενον)
The primary matter, formless substance, (ousia) that things are made of
quality (ποιόν)
The way matter is organized to form an individual object; in Stoic physics, a physical ingredient (pneuma: air or breath), which informs the matter
somehow disposed (πως ἔχον)
Particular characteristics, not present within the object, such as size, shape, action, and posture
Somehow disposed in relation to something (πρός τί πως ἔχον)
Characteristics related to other phenomena, such as the position of an object within time and space relative to other objects




PRACTICES
Knowledge can be attained through the use of reason.

Methods of self-discipline
-Logic
-Reflection
-Concentration

Follow where reason leads.



PRINCIPLES
The four cardinal virtues (aretai) of Stoic philosophy is a classification derived from the teachings of Plato (Republic IV. 426–435):

Wisdom (σοφία "sophia")
Courage (ανδρεία "andreia")
Justice (δικαιοσύνη "dikaiosyne")
Temperance (σωφροσύνη "sophrosyne")

Understanding of reason breeds empathy.
Natural equality of all human beings. This does not follow in the thought that money is reason.


THEORIES
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns
in cognitions (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes), behaviors, and emotional regulation.

Govt 315 : Founding the Just Regime
Can a corrupt people create a just regime? What role must violence, deception, persuasion, and reflection play in promoting political justice?
What are the ground and scope of citizens' political obligations? This course studies the difficulties of creating and reforming political communities.



QUESTIONS
Question:  Has the natural world changed due to the internet where this constant access to more unimportant material than ever before or can we still
have this awareness of nature, virtue, morals, and reason?

Question: Do Stoics even care if there is a "just" regime or not?
Ex: Cato seems to?
"All people are manifestations of the one universal spirit and should, according to the Stoics, live in brotherly love and readily help one another."
"Each human being is primarily a citizen of his own commonwealth; but he is also a member of the great city of gods and men, whereof the city political
is only a copy"

* A Stoic lives his life by the philosophy of Stoicism and this inherently influences the rest of the "community".
* A Stoic lives life by example.

Would a Stoic disagree with the following?
* Machiavelli described immoral behavior, such as dishonesty and killing innocents, as being normal and effective in politics.
Most Stoics do not necessarily rise to power upon their Stoic beliefs?
Is it normal and effective in politics only if you want to stay in power?

Statement: A Stoic believes rank and class are of no importance in social relationships --> Question: Then how can they have an effective regime?

Question: How can a Stoic regime be just? Would a Stoic community have a "government"? Can Stoics govern justly?

HYPOTHESIS
If Stoics believe and truly behave in the following manner,
1. all people should live in brotherly love and help one another
2. All people are equal
3. rank and class are of no importance in social relationships
4. each person can only control how they behave but as a member of a community can have an influence on the city political by living as an example.

Than...
1. True Stoics can never have power or control in order to govern.
2. there is no just regime where there is no Stoic community ( a group of true Stoics that live together in harmony)
3. there is no just regime where money and class are valued greater than human life.

Human Needs
1. Food
2. Shelter
3. Clothes
4. Health

Stoic Human Needs
1. Reason
2. Logic
3. Self-reflection
4. Food

How to get food
1. Plant
2. Hunt
3. Buy
4. Trade
5. Beg

Efficiency in Trade
Currency is destructive to the ethics of trade.
Currency has added an immoral value to a material that should only be valued, according to a Stoic, by the level of need associated with that material at
that particular time.
Per Stoicism, one should follow where reason leads, not currency or money.

Question: Is trade fair and just?
It can be if there is time to become creative and innovative in your craft/trade. Marketing can have a great impact on the stoic value of an item
(aka how much a thing is needed).
If this craft/trade is monetary or used to enhance the immoral and unnecessary value of any item, it is not
considered a Stoic material.

MORE THEORIES
 "Natural asceticism" consists of a lifestyle where material aspects of life are reduced to utmost simplicity and a minimum.
Where the simple is sufficient, the bliss is within, the frugal is plenty.

Ex: The 20th-century American psychological theorist David McClelland suggested worldly asceticism is specifically targeting worldly pleasures
that "distract" people from their calling and may accept worldly pleasures that are not distracting. As an example, he pointed out Quakers have
historically objected to bright-coloured clothing, but wealthy Quakers often made their drab clothing out of expensive materials. The color was
considered distracting, but the materials were not. Amish groups use similar criteria to make decisions about which modern technologies to use and
which to avoid.[136]

Emigrate


Straya...

Farewell to the West now
Welcome to the East

Farewell to the East
Welcome to Down Under

After 4 years in America, I quit a job I loved, and sold a condo I loved, and moved to Sydney Australia with my significant other.  It is about time I find him.

Welcome to the next adventure.

Arrived in Melbourne, Australia in August 2017.
Drove from Melbourne to Sydney which was the best thing we have ever done, Australia has a beautiful countryside, amazing food, and kick ass wildlife.
Once in Sydney I got the apartment set up, got the dogs settled, and started looking for jobs.

Sydney is a first world city, even with it's somewhat poor construction and lack of comprehensive and helpful websites.  It is still beautiful even with it's slow connection, lengthier response time, and passive social behaviors. After 6 months in with a few vacations, I am not ready to dismiss it.

The beauty will reveal itself in time.

"This earth, I never damage. I look after. Fire is nothing, just clean up. When you burn, new grass coming up. That means good animal soon, Might be goanna, possum, wallaby. Burn him off, new grass coming up, new life all over. "
-Bill Neidjie






2016. End.

"It's that moment of dawning comprehension I live for". I search for it but sometimes I lose my way.
Paulo Ceolho stated "if you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal" Your everyday life will completely kill that moment of dawning comprehension. I want an "every-last-day"life and I do not want to be afraid of failure for that is the only thing that will encourage me to learn and grow even more.








January 17, 2016

The Sound of Silence

Jim Carrey's Message

I want to find out who you are without saying a word.

Choose love~ (not the "in love" kind of love, but the universal love for one another that forces us to make a leap of faith and rely on a person)

This is the message I try to communicate with whoever I meet. I am 100% open, but I am afraid it may be misunderstood due to expectations or previous encounters of a person's life. I am curious and expect more, I am never satisfied and always want to know more.  This should be a flattering feeling - someone is taking the time to listen and remember and meet you. Not just for a second, or base their opinion about you upon that brief encounter, but being dependable enough to give you the opportunity to grace them with your presence.  People are impatient and get distracted from what is in front of them easily.  When lacking the ability to discover who a human being is, then a true connection can never be met. Only true connections take time and reliability is the facilitator of this connection.

"I'm afraid of many things, but loneliness is not among them, and it’s actually quite depressing to have to witness the lengths most people are willing to go just to avoid being alone.”

To be open to loneliness is to be open to others. Because it is the mindset where you do not need to chase the social life, or seek attention from it but graciously accept it when it is there and appreciate it when it is not.

"Within each of us, there is a silence, a silence as vast as the universe. And when we experience that silence we remember who we are" - Gunilla Norris

When that silence is explored by each individual the level of your relationship with other excels to the next level. The way a conductor leads an orchestra. Without a sound. 
"The conductor does not make a sound, he depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful" - Benjamin Zander
This is what makes a person powerful, influential, memorable, effective in what they do. What leaders need most is an unspoken understanding through trust and respect.

If I need to say it - you are not reading between the lines.
 I can understand how this can cause confusion - but there is a sense that we all have but most ignore.

 Why are these individuals:
David Bowie
Alan Rickman
Robin Williams
and many other artists able to create this universal sadness? They have appreciated that silence and gift that Jim Carrey speaks of in his message and have been able to share and deliver it to the public.

Respect comes from within.

January 16, 2016

Update 2016

It is the beginning of 2016.

In April 2013 I had just returned home from abroad and started working at a local organic farm. I applied to some classes at the community college as prerequisites for the Masters program I recently finished.

Masters of Agribusiness from KSU via their Global Campus. I began the master's program while working part-time at a snack food headquarters in KC. First semester was rough, but met good friends and fun professors and decided to stick it out. Job went full-time, passing my classes and learning about the people I work with and developing these relationships.

Be an asset to your company, and if the company/organization/department is too big, find a way to do so. There is always a way.

Challenge yourself. Always.

Welcome back~

April 7, 2013

Reflections and Home

I'm back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the the lowly gypsum weed
Back in the saddle again

Ridin' the range once more
Totin' my old .44
Where you sleep out every night
And the only law is right
Back in the saddle again...


Reflections
Many people tell me that it is a good thing I came home. Obviously I agree or I wouldn't have done so. But I believe their reasoning is different and for a media frenzied population I can understand why.  It still amazes me that people do not look beyond their own boundaries to discover that a place not be what you are told it is or how the media says it is.  No worries guys!  I'm okay!...no big deal...but I can say this and yet if Kim Jun Un does blow up something, I would not know what I was talking about even if I had lived in the South and experienced the culture.

If anybody has the time and interest enough to do so, please read Daniel Tudor's book Korea: The Impossible Country.  Because it is impossible to imagine, so you need to educate yourself.  North and South Korea are brothers.  However the alliance the South has with the US hurts its relationship with its brother.

What were North and South Korea but conquered countries dependent upon another superpower?  Did they really have any say in their own history? And not long before these wars, the Japanese were their Imperialists...and they would say the same thing English teachers in the classrooms are saying... "No Korean!"


Also check out what the students think...

Today Seoul is ALIVE, but to restate the high schooler in the previous link, "I  don't wish Korea to be the wealthiest country in the world.  I would rather it be a country where its people's right to be happy is secured" - Love & Peace.  Korea is not happy (anymore) and it shows through the distrust, shallow status flaunts, and customer service.  Just because there are billions of people does not mean they cannot treat each other with respect: Review THIS!


Culture, language, respect for your own country takes a lot more effort when you are being bullied into thinking like the bigger guy. However, many Koreans are still proud of the sadness and struggle their country went to to become an economic force in the world today.  But an economic force is about all they have become.  Korea produces many products and provides what is most important -  cheap labor.  Minimum wage is $4/hour. Who in the US would work for that?!  Most 20 year olds there do, and it is a 'part-time' job done while studying or supposedly doing something else. So what is the cost of this economic force?  And why do English teachers, who are the same age with the same degree, get paid $27/hour, part-time as well.

How can people respect you, if you do not respect yourself?  Is respecting your country the same thing as respecting it's citizens? Think about it from a Korean, Asian, social, communal, perspective.  Respecting yourself above your country is selfish. In America the well-being of Americans is what makes the US respectable. That is why when you are obese, lazy, welfare-fed, the respect goes out the window.

The comparison of the two countries is almost ridiculous because of the major differences involving geography, culture, and history.  But the relationship South Korea and the US have together today and in the past is unavoidable. US influences the division between the North and South.  We think democratization is good for everyone.  When in fact people who have been living a life of servitude of the state for most of their history think that democracy/capitalism is different and perhaps selfish, making people themselves selfish.  Countries were created for a reason. Nations were built differently because of the different people who built them.  We are the same as a species, meaning we are born and then we die, but not as a race, and I mean human race.

Are democracies built upon capitalism only? Lions for Lambs is a movie that restates the birth of democracy, or the American dream, when they discuss in a classroom when has a big house with high walls not been the American dream? The answers the presenters gave was "1775, 2001, etc"...so the answer I believe is no.  And can Korea really be a democracy with a different kind of history? Or is the effort through capitalism just creating a bigger gap between the haves and the have-nots?

I believed in democracy to my core in college, and now I am not quite sure it is for everyone.  Asia is on its own standard now. And what comes next might blow democracy out of the water.  Things change, as do people, whether you like it or not. And the big footprint US left in North and South Korea is still there.  Koreans are like elephants, they never forget.  And when you can't forget, it is often impossible to forgive.

                                                                     Home

Full time job 7 days/week doesn't seem like such  a big deal after meeting a friend's boyfriend who works the fields in western Kansas, or after meeting bankers in Korea who work 8am to 11pm then are expected to go out and drink until they puke afterwards, and do it all over again in the morning. Work can be a life, or a living. Where is the time to consider the questions asked above.  Who cares about anything else besides putting food on your table and a roof over your head?  Who cares?....

The value of your life is dependent upon how you see it, not how others see it.

Investment in relationships, in businesses, in hobbies, in having a social life all comes at various risk levels. But not doing them is the greatest risk of all. There is a difference between hoarding and investing, usually you are always thinking about yourself, but when you invest you are also thinking of your connection with others.  It creates a financial tie (usually most important) that you want to take care of.  So if you do not care, you make just enough for you and nobody else matters.  When in fact everything you do involves someone else whether you like it or not. You cannot go out in the woods and expect to wing it on your own, there is not only the natural world but the obvious encounters with other unpredictable living things that will happen.  Your well-being depends on the well-being of others.  One job requires another job.  Like taking care of the fields..is it more efficient to have a piece of equipment for tilling, planting, spraying and irrigating and YOU do all the work?  When in God's name would you ever get that done?!  Or should one person be assigned to working each piece of equipment separately and follow each other down the line, saving time and money.

If you do not care, you will not hold up your end of the bargain and no one will trust you to work with them.  In Korea, each person has a job, creating more pointless employment for the massive amounts of people living in Seoul.  However pointless each person's job depends on the job done by the next person.  And even though there are many jobs, there are even more people without jobs. The unemployment rate is insane. And besides that they still spend! Like typical  capitalists...you could call it greed, selfishness, but in Korea it is a necessity..socially.  Korea racks up credit debt faster than the 50s 60s and 70s 80s in the US combined. "If thrift is an Asian virtue, then it is one that South Koreans are notably lacking: each adult has almost five credit cards on average, and the household debt burden exceeds that of the United States before the subprime crisis".

How is capitalism helping this situation? When the rule of law in Korea is anything but respected and the people who will suffer from this debt will be the have-nots.  Trust is impossible in this country when dealing with money.  There are few well-to-do people who are honest, because of the cutthroat environment South Korea has created for itself.  It's dream to succeed in the international world has abandoned its domestic labor force. Forced retirement at 50 and what Daniel Tudor calls the "angry 30-40 year olds". And there is a LOT of middle class, normal people who are not creating this debt but will suffer from it because of the selfish consumerism by the rich.  Wake up South Korea!  You have great people in your country!





Relationships are important and how you treat the ones you work with is a major indicator in how successful you will be in the long run, which, in the end, your relationships with those people are all that matter.






May 8, 2012

The Excess and The Lack of Law




"as teachers we should strive to be the ordinary heros the moral exemplars to the people we mentor"


"Tunnelling is the awarding of contracts to firms owned by family members. Chaebol heads typically own only a small portion of their firms, but are able to maintain control through complex cross-holdings; tunnelling offers a means of exploiting that control to get richer, quicker. In 2007, for instance, the Fair Trade Commission, an official watchdog, fined Hyundai Motor for, among other things, giving 1.3 trillion won ($1.4 billion) of business to Glovis, a firm owned by the son of Hyundai’s chairman—without any tendering."  The conglomerate forces of South Korea have a similar impact on governance as the Chinese conglomerates, also running in the same (non democratic) fashion, but as all governments are business run, including the United States, we should give fair notice to the rising economies of the day and how nothings changed.  

Another similarity between China and South Korea has to do with the leader being a business man himself (Lee Myung Bak) ordering all conglomerates to do something whether it is hire more women or more youth without a degree.  Glutted with Grads 

Once you go up, you must come down.  South Korea is an amazing feat.  Very interesting among economists and IR scholars alike.  Due to its rise a mix of people have been thrown together.  Those who knew life without technology or even electricity are suddenly thrown into the mix with the iPhone.  Generation gap is much bigger, culture, etiquette, and tradition seemed to be melting in the face of technological development for the sake of making a buck.  Well not just any buck, a lot of bucks.  But can South Korea handle the natural flow of an economy's downturn?  When such a spike of success leads to great wealth and overspending, just like the US is there regulation and watchdogs or moderate the natural downward flow? Can Koreans of this generation live without all the accessories if need be.  Asia is pretty good at doing what is needed or the whole, however basic community values, as I have said, have been lost.  Such as humility and selflessness.  I think nowadays that is only found in the country side where less than 1/3 of the country's population lives.  

We are trying so hard to protect ourselves, in the US, that we lose site of what really founded the innovative country we are so proud of.  That the freedom to create something out of nothing.  Nowadays with the numerous regulations everyone needs just to get an entry level job people are being squeezed into this Korean-like education system of higher is better.  Whats wrong with vocational school?  Does nobody want to fix cars anymore?  If no one fixes, improves, sells the cars, where is our automobile industry headed?

"His ideas are of particular importance in the context of this country’s ongoing shortage of students entering the critical STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and math. And the irony was certainly not lost on Jobs—a remarkably astute observer of social norms, cultural dynamics, and the behavior of young people—that a country with a ravenous appetite for technology must figure out some way to increase the production of it."

If you want to get back in the game allow Americans to innovate education themselves.  If making it a business is what it takes, we have the legislation to protect workers when people get too greedy.... now just implement it and let those innovators go!


Overall a balance between the rule of law and the slack there of is needed to improve our education system in the US and drive innovators to compete on a level playing field with the Asian conglomerates.  Asia also needs a balance to protect their citizen's investments and avoid fraud and overworked citizens.