ME and Ophelia

Monday, July 05, 2004

Because of the clarity and answers that come with it

Someone once asked me, "if you could have any job in the world, what would it be?" I replied, "to be paid to think". Which I thought at the time probably sounded daft. Until I saw an entry in Who's Who where a chap had listed "thinking" as his one and only hobby.

My late father (who was a soldier in the Royal Army Medical Corps) often told me I thought too much. I never understood what he was getting at. "Don't talk about it, do it", he'd say when I'd float an idea. He was amused when the helicopter design planners he worked with complained of not having enough "thinking time". The British army trains soldiers not to think. I can see why, but don't agree with it outside of the military. I feel it would be good if people thought more deeply.

Seems it's possible our "mind's eye" can be trained to travel distances and "see" things. Years ago, I came across a report of 30 monks (Tibetan I think) who, after decades of training their minds, had reached such a clear and "high" level of thinking, they could communicate with each other, across distances, telepathically. Similar experiences are known by people who are into Scientology. Even the US military experimented with Remote Viewing.

In a declassified CIA/Stanford research report on Remote Viewing, a Research Manager concludes, "Despite the ambiguities inherent in the type of exploration covered in these programs, the integrated results appear to provide unequivocal evidence of a human capacity to access events remote in space and time, however falteringly, by some cognitive process not yet understood."

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Thinking too hard can be "immobilising", says Lion Kimbro

Last week, the BBC reported that Lion Kimbro, a 26-year-old geek and computer games tester from Seattle, armed himself with pen and paper (no computer was up to the job) for three months, and wrote down every thought that came into his head.

'Why would anyone in their right mind want to do this?' asked the reporter. Lion answered: "Because of the incredibly clarity that comes with it. It may feel that for the first time in your life, you really have a clear idea of what kinds of thoughts are going through your head. I wanted to see if I could make myself smarter, by strategically placing notes to myself. Intelligence, as I define it, is getting the right information at the right time at the right place, towards whatever you are going for."

Lion emerged from his experiment a changed man. As a result of spending months thinking and writing down his thoughts with a pen, his brain had started to work in new ways. He said, "You can think about hidden subjects - things that are really important, but that people don't have the time to think about, such as: How to we communicate? How is thinking structured? What am I doing? And you find answers. Basically, it feels like watching Atlantis come up."

He predicts that within a few years, computers will be able to take and manage notes like his, and do as good a job as paper and pen.

In the meantime, he has taken to immersing himself in the closest existing equivalent - a type of website known as wiki that allows anyone to edit any page, instantly. He said "other popular communication systems like e-mail, chat and message boards are all message-based. Wiki is document-based - it's designed to exist across time. You can point wiki pages to each other. It's my notebook system all over again."

Lion's system is explained in his book which can be downloaded for free in the BBC report. Yesterday, after spending a few hours reading his Lion's Den it inspired me to google search for a good photo of Rodin's Thinker, and draft a post for tomorrow on two amazing Buddhist monasteries in California (one of which Lion's friend is planning to attend).
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French artist Francois-Auguste-Rene-Rodin was born on Nov. 12, 1840, in Paris. Auguste Rodin had a profound influence on 20th-century sculpture. His works are distinguished by their stunning strength and realism. Rodin refused to ignore the negative aspects of humanity, and his works confront distress and moral weakness as well as passion and beauty.

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The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

In 1908 Rodin moved to the Hôtel Biron outside Paris. The Hôtel Biron had previously been home to a religious community before the separation of church and state. The rent was very low and Rodin was able to occupy much of the ground floor. Several famous or soon to be famous tenants also lived there such as writer Jean Cocteau, painter Henri Matisse, and dancer Isadora Duncan.

In 1912, the state scheduled the Hôtel Biron for demolition and ordered the tenants to vacate. After persuading state officials, Rodin was allowed to stay. As an exchange, Rodin offered to bequeath his entire estate to the French government if he could reside at the Hôtel Biron for the remainder of his days and if they would convert the Hotel to a musuem for his work after he died. After much debate the state finally accepted the terms and he was allowed to live and work there for the remainder of his life. The final seal of the agreement, however, was not actually settled until one year before his death.

During his last year Rodin married his lifetime companion Rose Beuret on January 29, 1917. Rose died three weeks later and Rodin followed shortly, passing away on November 17, 1917. Friends and dignitaries came to Rodin's funeral to see him laid to rest beside Rose at Meudon with The Thinker at the base of his tomb.

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Rodin's Funeral in Meudon, November 24, 1917

Rodin was 76 years old when he gave the French government the entire collection of his own works and other art objects he had acquired. They occupy the Hotel Biron in Paris as the Musee Rodin and are still placed as Rodin set them.

Source courtesy Rodin's biography.
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A hip-shaking young truck driver by the name of Elvis Presley records his first single today in 1954. The young Elvis records a version of blues singer Arthur Crudup's 'That's Alright Mama' and the rest is rock'n'roll history. Thang'ya very much.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 7/05/2004
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