Filed under: Justice, Politics, Scotland | Tags: Better Together, independence, language, media, Sir Ian Wood, Yes Scotland
When you are reading or listening to the cut and thrust of the independence debate in the media you would be well advised to take into account the language used. You will find that the language used is designed to influence you to accept some arguments and reject or ignore others. For example when Sir Ian Woods comments about North Sea Oil stocks were reported they were prefaced by a lengthy introduction telling us that he is very experienced, an expert, acknowledged by both sides, an oilman’s oilman. What the reports ignore is that he is just one voice and that there are contrary estimates, even when these are reported the introduction tends to be, “the Yes Campaign claimed” which immediately suggests the response is partisan and unreliable whereas Sir Ian is impartial, encouraging you to ignore the support for Better Together implicit in the other answers he gives in the interview, particularly about the size of economic units. Opinions that contradict Better Together tend not to be reported or acknowledged no matter how reputable the source, the only time we hear them is when something favouring Better Together is reported in order to give an illusion of balance. Things that sport independence like the Claire Ridge field and Clyde explorations are ignored as far as possible.
Another use of language occurs in the name of the organisations whose figures are quoted most often the Office of Budget Responsibility, often introduced as, “the independent Office of Budget Responsibility”. Technically now that the Tories are in government it is independent. However the OBR was set up by George Osborne to provide justification for Conservative policies, it was appointed by Osborne, it is independent in name only. Interestingly Osborne is quite properly referred to as ” the Chancellor ” and Alex Salmond as, “the First Minister”. However these titles imply an authority not always appropriate, calling Osborne, ” the Chancellor ” conceals that he has no experience of business nor economics qualifications while calling Salmond, “the First Minister” conceals that he has both.
Finally, you may want to be aware of the language used to introduce comments. How often often are remarks supporting independence prefaced by ” claimed ” or “alleged”, hardly as compelling as, ” verified ” or, “asserted”. Before you swallow what the media tells you about independence, check how much sugar they are using to coat the pill.
Filed under: personal development, success | Tags: Darren Eden, Listography, My Daily Greatness Journal, The Power of Sovereignty, The Transformation, Your Call To Greatness
It is a few years since I first encountered Darren Eden, probably around 2010 when Neelam and I went on what I think was called, “Call to Adventure”, with some changes it has now become, “Your Call to Greatness“. In January we did Your Call to Greatness and found it so powerful we wanted to do Darren’s eight weekend course, “”The Transformation“. Unfortunately, because of family commitments, this year we could not sign up for the whole course, but it is set up in such a way we could, and did, sign up for the first weekend.
In Your Call To Greatness I learned how people are either driven by results or by love and I realised how much I allow my beliefs to run my life. Darren’s course teaches experientially so by the end you don’t just know your beliefs intellectually, but have experienced their impact on your identity. In the personal development field we are often told to follow our heart; Your Call To Greatness uses intuitive exercises to identify what you truly love. Darren’s course, uses the Hero’s Journey, identified by Joseph Campbell, to explain the path to accomplishing what you really love. It is a hero’s journey because it occurs as dangerous, the safe path is to follow your received beliefs, it may bring what the world considers success, but if it is not what you really love, it won’t bring you joy! When faced by obstacles you can always turn back to the safe way. However, having once set foot on the Hero’s Journey, any turning back, no matter how sensible the decision may seem, or what apparent success it may bring, will always leave the erstwhile hero with a feeling of defeat.
Were that all I got from that first weekend it would have been enough, but there was so much more. I came away with an understanding of how my focus creates my reality. I learned a lot about the nature of my beliefs, but most importantly Darren taught us a powerful process for accessing the reality of who we are without the construction of beliefs. During the second day I learned an amazing amount about love as a creative force, I shall never look at goal setting in the same way again.
I learned a lot on the weekend, or perhaps learned in an even more useful way much I already knew, but the the most important and powerful thing was that I experienced it. In experiencing it I made connections to other people travelling on their own journey and, for a while, we supported each other along the way. I came away knowing I had a network of people upon whom I could depend in the years ahead. Having learned so much and built those friendships, having learned to focus on what I love, I was determined to walk this path further.
As a gift to all those who signed up for the first weekend of The Transformation, Darren offered his new weekend course, “The Power of Sovereignty” for free. When I say, “for free” for every participant there is a personal cost in terms of the comfortable presuppositions they give up, but in cash terms the course was free. Neelam and I spent the day before the course wandering about London which, as it so often does, meant a visit to Watkins Books in Cecil Court. As I browsed without any particular purchase in mind, my gaze fell on a book, “Daily Greatness Journal” subtitled, “A Practical Guide For Consciously Creating Your Days” which, at the least, was a curious synchronicity. On looking at the book, I fell in love with it immediately. Lyndelle Palmer – Clarke has created a beautiful tool for introducing a measured mindfulness into everyday living. I decided that, as Darren’s course finished on Sunday, on Monday I would start to use the Daily Greatness Journal’s eight daily steps to order my day. Before I could do that there were a number of parts of the book to complete, self analysis and goals to set. I decided to do it over the weekend, what an amazing weekend to commence a daily practice of greatness!
Darren Eden’s “Power of Sovereignty” is a weekend learning about Leadership, Relationships, Communicating and Negotiating. Darren showed that as we all interact with others we are always leading, although we may not always recognise our leadership. A central tenet of the course is that we are leading either with our beliefs or with love. Building upon the lessons of Your Call To Greatness we identified how our beliefs usually run our relationships and how we oscillate between different beliefs to manipulate others. Once again we used experiential exercises to identify different types of relationship and the beliefs that underpin them. Happily we also learned how the techniques we had learned in Call To Greatness could give us a powerful, non-manipulative way to relate with others that respected and acknowledged their greatness regardless of how much their beliefs might be running them at that moment.
I learned how to negotiate as a trade union official, I realise that what I learned were simply techniques and strategies to manipulate others. What the Power of Sovereignty does is to throw out everything we ever learned about communication and negotiation and replace it with a new way of communicating based on love in its purest form. In Darren’s first course we had learned that “tension seeks resolution”, rather than move past the tension we seek a quick fix, in negotiation perhaps we change an offer, throw in a threat like, “if you don’t buy before midnight the material will revert to full price”. However we learned how, by resting in our sovereignty, we could not only be with the tension, but let it guide us, whereas resolution robbed us of all the tension could teach us.
Again there were so many connections to be made, but also the joy of reuniting with the friends already made and the deepening of those connections. We had together passed a little further on our journeys and together, while separate, we journey on, sharing our triumphs, challenges and lessons. I was in a powerful place as I completed my journal preparation and settled down to sleep in the train home.
The next morning, today, I began my first day using the eight steps of the journal. I began with meditation, into which I introduced, as an integral element, creating my circle of Sovereignty, as practiced over the weekend. It is a great place in which to look at the day to come; the second step asked “Today I would love….” It was just such an appropriate step in the light of the course on which I’d just been. Sovereignty is also a powerful place from which to consider those things in life for which I’m grateful; it illuminated my intentions for the day and the actions I would take. Above all sovereignty is a powerful place from which to encounter all the people of my day, travelling home through Glasgow, and my family, people are so much nicer when you see them in their greatness. So today I began my journal and the road goes ever on.
I think it is time to update this post. I knew I really wanted to do The Transformation, but as I said at the start of the piece, I would have had to miss the second weekend. I spoke to Darren negotiating from my sovereignty, but he could not change his days and so it appeared that I would have to content myself with just the first weekend. However when you negotiate in sovereignty magic happens and, shortly after we had used the money I had earmarked for the course, Darren emailed because he had worked out how it would be possible for me to do the course. We worked out the logistics and now I’m on the course. When you are in your greatness magic happens!
Filed under: personal development, success | Tags: Academy of Greatness, Darren Eden, enlightenment, est, feelings, intuition, spirituality, The Power of Sovereignty, The Transformation, thoughts, Werner Erhard
The other day someone commented that they had not been using an intuitive process because they were not in a good place, as in the right state of mind. I think we all sometimes feel like this, we all have times when we feel we should do something, but we’re “not in the mood”. That we need to be in a certain frame of mind before meditating or engaging in any form of spiritual practice is an unfortunate and disempowering belief. It occurs to me that the process Darren Eden uses, in his work, for accessing one’s intuition begins with a first step which should be the first step of any spiritual or personal development exercise.
The essential first step is to acknowledge one’s thoughts and feelings. This requires honesty; I have been involved in the field of spiritual growth for over half a century and I know how difficult some people find this. People believe “enlightenment” looks a particular way and that they should not think or feel a particular way and so they adopt a “spiritual identity”. It is bad enough that they are lying to others, worse they are lying to themselves and, worse still, they are believing it. There is a story from the days of the est Training that when Werner Erhard went back to clear things up with his family, at one point he stepped outside for a cigarette; one of Werner’s brothers saw him and jokingly asked the question, “God smokes?” To which Werner replied, “Yes, and he also fucks.” The point is that it does not serve us, or anyone, to pretend be what we are not, or indeed, harbour illusions about others.
Honestly acknowledging our thoughts and feelings, however shitty they be, however much we dislike them, and however much they offend and embarrass us, puts us into a space of clarity. When we try to perform meditation or any spiritual practice without being honest with ourselves we are operating from a constructed identity and there is no room for intuition; any inspiration or insight that we have is merely something we have constructed to serve that identity. Intuition, as Darren Eden observes, only operates in the clearing that is left when identity gets out of the way, and the only way we can get it out of the way is to recognize it and that requires us to be honest with ourselves. As long as we are aware of our identity, we can operate freely, and still be aware of it running somewhere in our thinking minds.
Human beings are programmed to have feelings, feelings are valuable they provide us with insight into how are thinking and being. It is inevitable that sometimes we will be hiding behind a constructed identity, we use our identities as instruments through which we interact with others, there are times when the use of an identity is entirely appropriate. However we should use our identities, they should not use us, and as long as we are aware of them they will not, but that awareness only comes through honestly acknowledging our thoughts and feelings.
I personally find that it makes it easier if, every morning as I wake, and every evening before I sleep, and at quiet moments between I follow the steps to create my Circle of Sovereignty to step into innocence. It has largely replaced my other daily practices. The more I do it the easier it becomes, and so too does acknowledging my thoughts and feelings because intuition tells me we all have times when we don’t like what think and feel and that’s ok, we don’t need to like them, just be aware of them, then get with what we love.