Self Worth & A Little Good Advice

Beginning again

DB Space

In order to measure your self worth you need to continuously engage it, KNOW you are DESERVING, never give up, forgive yourself, forgive others (without forgetting the valuable lessons), and learn to trust (but still enable your guard when necessary).

Give yourself a break! Thats means allow yourself to relax once in awhile. Listen to your brain MORE and your heart less. Remember during hard times the following: 1) Beat yourself up just a little less (your human), 2) Life has ups and downs so if your bottoming out – the next round will be up (hold on to this rollercoaster ride), 3) Seek support (this means you will have to open up some), 4) Stand up for yourself (sometimes a good defense is equally valuable to having a game plan), 5) Make it a point to notice every time you smile and why.

When it comes to confidence, it’s…

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Whenever one becomes static, he or she, but what I really mean is me; I must re-assess where I am going, what I need to do, and decide how I will do it. How can time move quickly and slowly at the same time? I wish never to become a victim or prisoner of time and yet it’s reality stares gauntly through me into me in my mirror reflection. How can I balance Kairos and Chronos without having chaos.

Each of us must feed

Static means no change but as a visual concept I see electric static where clothing is clinging or sticking together instead of flowing free, independent.

Where Reality Lies

October  12, 2016

What do you do when someone you trusted and invested your blood, breath, and soul into ends up being a totally different person underneath it all? Someone who you are not sure you know.or ever really knew.

What do you do when you find demons in a person or system or country that you still believe has innocence or repentance or hope? How can a broken person or system be fixed, on what level. And to what extent?

What would you do if you caught a co-worker, friend, or loved one making up lies about you just to frantically hide their own sins or deflect?

Or even this… you are running for a position at your job and the other candidate is gaslighting you and telling lies both public and private to discredit you or make you look insane, ill, or incapable etc.? What if you didn’t even know at all or didn’t know until it was too late?

What about the domestic violence victims who dated and married someone and were made promises of love, safety, loyalty, protection and once they became trapped physically and psychologically and suddenly were being severely beaten. bruised, and broken physically and/or psychologically on a daily or weekly basis and found they were standing eye to eye with a complete stranger. A wolf in sheep’s clothing? Either a person or an institution? Or someone who just always got away with it and was never confronted or counseled? What is known? What is fact?

What even if half or more of the U.S. population were tricked by a political candidate or huge company, media, or maybe someone who is rich and powerful, or someone who has a lot of friends or connections?

When I think about victims of abuse and people who think it could never happen to them, or that its just a choice, or maybe you think they did something to deserve it somehow.>>> I think about all the people who are tricked, manipulated, abused, or gaslighted by people in positions of power, say government or media, by products and ads, by ideas, all of that and more. How some people think a d.v. victim are dumb, weak, damaged, etc but actually they are JUST LIKE YOU. That you could be a victim or survivor in any kind of event and realize you are really human. Did you ever look at that dirty disgusting smelly bum and know that could be you? You could lose your family, you could be assaulted, you could get sick, you could lose it all and not even be a person “at risk.”

Watch yourself, check yourself. Do not lie. Do not believe anything except what you must because smoke screens are real and you and I are flesh and blood. What if you were born in Native land, France, Isreal, Africa, Tahiti, China, Koria, Russia, or somewhere else, perhaps even Syria? Who would you be then?

Any of us can be voting for a psycho or sociopath or narcissist or liar or anything just even lied to and made to believe things that are not true or that commitments are not made as planned or you’re tricked or they only said what they thought you wanted to hear etc etc and You may or may not ever know. No, you are not just a pawn. Life is not a game of chess. For some, there are no rules.

And by the way someone I loved and love, my sister, who was by all means one of the most witty, resourceful, strong, intelligent woman met the man of her dreams who made her feel safe and beautiful later was beat for days, weeks, years and hours and hours until she almost lost her precious life. So don’t think you can’t be fooled by any one or any thing even if your one of the smarter people in this world… or even if you are an American.

(What if you were born a woman instead of a man, man instead of woman, “white” instead of “black”, native instead of Mexican, whatever… how would that change you or your beliefs, how would it change the choices or paths you take? What if you were raised Catholic instead of Mormon? Or atheist rather than Baptist, or ?

There are times you can not know what is really happening unless you are that person, in that place, or part of that event or situation. The complexity of it all even exists on the inside of different situations and circumstances. The truth is not always clear especially from an outside perspective. So for and from what basis do you and I find solace and answers?

Furthermore what lies or realities are we partaking of and to whom do they belong?


It’s quite unfortunate that so many people’s ideas about beauty are determined by mainstream media. It is uncommon not be influenced to some degree by media, commercialism, and local popular culture; which is understandable. All I know is people are judgmental in all the wrong ways. I say all the wrong ways because I don’t believe anyone is free from judgment – it is human nature. So many people are shallow and primarily appearance based but more than that it’s an obsession for too many.

I have my own ideas about beauty of course; but they stem from a much deeper place. What each person finds to be beautiful or attractive is versatile, but in many cases I see too many people attracted not so much to one person but to one person based on visual and mind-altering mass media or just based on what is “in” or “trendy”. Sometimes it just blows my mind how many people become consumed by popular opinion and not just in the case of beauty.

If we base things of only visual stimulation and the millions of micro images which enter our mind throughout each day then we are losing out. By letting only technology and visual brain-washing become us – we are changing our biology by who we select as our partners and this is affected by media and popular culture. Not every area of our culture has the best intentions or ideals.

Where do our ideas stem from? Who and what do you allow to influence the way you think, what you believe, and who you are as an individual?

Real beauty is intricate, multifaceted, emotive, and expressive. The expressions are different and the physicality is as well.




Summary by DB

                Robustisity is one of the most well-know characteristics of a Neanderthal.  Author, Erik Trinkaus, takes us on a journey towards insight and narrows our scope of sight towards a specific subject. What was the bodily and actual physicality in the life of a Neanderthal both in terms of their biology and in their social and physical lives. It is evident, for whatever reason, that the Neanderthals , or at least those in which we have the remains of, truly did have hard times.

Humans have noticed such a large correlation between ourselves and Neanderthals, we now consider them to be in the genus Homo Sapien as well. No doubt, many today can look both into our past and even today and see the physically laborious tasks we handle and physical hardship and even pain which is inflicted upon many of us. The most noticeable difference, though, between us and Neanderthals is their robusticity and our gracile bodies. What is even more interesting to me is how much modern day humans are capable of when it comes to physical strength and even our dealings with physical labor and pain even though we are much more fragile. It could be like the saying: mind over matter.

Neanderthals evolved from humans about 100,000 years ago in Europe and a little further into Asia, but were replaced approximately 35,000 years ago by us during the period of time called the Middle Paleolithic. Why? How could these stocky, muscular people die out and Homo Sapien Sapien live. It makes me think long and hard about what does make us unique; socialism and community, communication skills, forethought, persistence, determination, and desire – to name a few. What, though, were the qualities in which Neandertals possessed? Research on Neanderthals now include both archeological data and analysis of fossils in order to reconstruct their behavior which has aided us in learning about them. The skeletons showed muscle and ligament attachments which were much larger and etched deeply into the bones. The tubular structure of their bones showed how much weight they could carry and how it would be dispersed throughout the bones without causing damage. It has been determined that the amount of muscle around the shoulders, trunk, and arms would have been ideal or applicable to powerful downward movements. Even  a Neanderthals hands were massive and strong which is obvious by the bony crests in the hand bones and sized to be three times larger then modern human size. The massive bones do also show a significant amount of stress.

From the limb bones developmental stage it has been deduced that  the Neanderthals were considerably active. These massive people’s remains  show evidence of continual trauma and injury as well. The remains of several Neandertals named Shanidar (1-6) display various injuries including:  a head wound, superficial cuts, scars, jajory blow to the body, fractures, a broken arm,  an atrophied arm, and a collapssed eye socket. There is arthrities throught the bones. Violence is suggestive in these cases but among Neandertals not with the involvement of humans who lived for sometime in the same time and location. All these injuries point towards a very hard life. They were physical both biologically and in their daily lives but for what exact reason did such robust people have more injuries  (if these bones are a consistent example of most Neanderthals) than modern humans? Through continued thorough examination and research we may someday have a more conclusive answer.

Many of these wounded people lived to an old age or, at least, the wounds did not lead to their demise which suggests, among other evidence (such as archeological information) that they were adequately taken care of. It is likely then in combination with evidence of ceremony and burials that they had compassion and/or value for one another and that they had a social network of a community .

Relationship Analysis – Film Review – Interpersonal Communications Class


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom & Christine Diaae

Some of the Concepts:

Identity Management, Ineffective Expression of Emotions, Intimacy & Disclosure, Non-Verbal Communication, and Defensive & Supportive Behaviors

In the film, The Phantom of the Opera, the relationship between the Phantom and Christine Diaaѐ is emotional, long-term, and also dysfunctional. Christine is a dancer in several of the shows in the Paris opera house and the Phantom lives in the underground cave beneath the opera house. He had made residence there since he was a child, perhaps nine years old. There he fantasizes and plans how he wants the Opera house shows to be conducted. The Phantom, played by actor Gerard Butler, seems to use most of his time up by trying to frighten and control the residents of the opera house. He first arrived at the opera house when he was brought there by a French girl (who later became the Madam of the girls in the opera house) after he escaped his “master” in the freak show extravaganza by murdering him. Half of the Phantom’s face was deformed. It looked like it was burned. He was treated like an animal, that is, he was severely abused and neglected. He was damaged emotional and mentally in so many ways, including by being laughed and mocked at by the freak show spectators. Christine had been living in the opera house since she was a child. The Phantom had sung to her through the walls, taught her to sing…and to sing beautifully. It seemed as though he was not just trying to make a connection but that he was also conditioning her, taking advantage, and he was in dire need of a more intimate relationship as he lived in secrecy and he felt ashamed or embarrassed his deformed face.  He was significantly older then Christine (approximately the age of her best friend’s mother) and became obsessed and in love or lust with her. When new owners took over the opera house and Christine was becoming a woman, the Phantom came for her and also caused a lot of destruction and chaos to make sure Christine was put as the lead singer or actress. When he retrieved her to bring her to his hideaway (and home); she seemed to be in a trance. As she grew up she had believed he was her very own angel sent by her father, the angel of music. Part of the reason for this is that when her father had died, she was a young child and he had told her an angel would watch over her.

“Meg, when your mother brought me here to live, whenever I’d come down here alone to light a candle for my father. A voice from above and in my dreams… He was always there. You see, when my father lay dying, he told me I would be protected by an angel, an angel of music.”

– Christine Diaaѐ

She, in some way, may have needed companionship, reassurance, and fantasy, a dream, and at least, some kind of focus; which I believe was music and the arts. This also was what the Phantom needed as well. Unfortunately, unlike Christine, the Phantom was damaged both externally and internally and had poor interpersonal or social communication skills; which is why I’m sure he choose a child to create a bond with. A child can be less judgmental or more accepting, easier to direct and fragile like him. Christine may have been especially sensitive or willing either as a child or adult because of her gentle nature and because she was an orphan. The Phantom was also an orphan which was an especially interesting concept to me.

When Ms. Diaae first meets the Phantom, there seems to be a mutual attraction between them but the reasons for it are abnormal or distorted. In their initial communication with each other, both are benefited in certain ways, Christine learns to sing and gets into the spotlight and the Phantom gets to feel powerful. He has a “halo effect” on her because of the positive characteristic – his beautiful voice. The Phantom expresses most of his desires for himself and for the relationship he has with Christine in non-verbal ways because he lives secrecy to a certain extent. He sends notes and a rose as a gift. He disturbs the set/stage by manipulating the mechanics to drop the curtains and other objects and people in the studio set to make accidents happen that will affect what will happen in the dynamics of the show and people so he can put his apprentice and love interest, Christine, in the spotlight.

The chaos he creates may be because he is out of control but also because he wants to be seen. He wants to communicate to the world, “I am here, and I am somebody!” With Ms. Diaaѐ, when hurt, he lashes out physically, by smashing or breaking objects. He cries in front of her. His body gestures and movements are dramatic towards her. He changes the tone and pitch of his voice and uses sarcasm as well. He is highly expressive in a physical way; by touching, pushing her down, knocking something over, using dramatic gestures or body movements. The Phantom keeps a large amount of distance from himself and other people (usually a public or social distance even when in close proximity) and undoubtedly has had few conversations and interactions, including haptics.

In the relationship between them the Phantom discloses information about himself by showing her where he lives, by singing to her, and by revealing some of his deepest emotions. Christine doesn’t disclose much to him except through her facial expressions and body language. You can see the following in her facial expressions: wonder, lust, curiosity, relaxation, passion, compassion, and fear. Some of the non-verbal and emotional physiological signs Christine revealed was that her chest was rising up and down dramatically as if her breathing was labored and heart pumping quickly. Her skin became flushed; her pupils enlarged, and eyed wide open.

He wants to live in the light and Christine is a way for him to do that. What he sees in her is probably everything he has always wanted for himself, to be beautiful, to be loved, to be noticed, and to be admired. He uses her to get his voice into the public and to have a face – to be known. It is important to be able to express yourself and to other people and to be regarded. How people see you and treat you impact a person’s self-esteem and identity. The Phantom’s relationship with Christine was affected by his self-concept.  In the “freak” show he was called the devil’s child; he was put into chains and his head was obscured by a bag. In the opera house, he was called a ghost and the Phantom. His self-talk was negative. He called himself a monster and a repulsive carcass.  He didn’t exist in reality or in the world of social norms where competent communication skills are a day to day necessity. His identity was shaped by his the climate created by the abuse he suffered as a child and by his isolation. His social role and appearance caused him to obscure his face with a mask, live in hiding, feel hideous, and react appallingly when Christine removed the mask from his face.  Originally when he communicated with Christine it was from behind walls or mirrors. His influence over her may not have been the same if he would have been known publicly or if he had been in social situations surrounded by many people. His communication skills would likely have failed him. What ultimately is Christine’s feeling in regard to The Phantom’s identity? She says, “This haunted face holds no horror for me now, it’s in your soul that the true distortion lies.”

Christine is compassionate, no doubt she has empathy, but despite that she recognizes how the Phantom is a shattered and dangerous person. She is also drawn to him as he is to her, as many of us are, because of the excitement; a thrill, adrenaline rush, risk taking, curiosity. You can see her perceptiveness and care by how she responds to him, by the way she speaks to him, and by her facial expressions; especially her eyes.  After she removed his mask to see his face, he revealed his true self-concept of himself. Christine’s eyes filled with tears, she looks at him with sympathy, care, and surprise. She gets in close physical proximity and gently puts his mask back on. She does not speak cruel words to him or tell him she is horrified by his deformity.

There is obvious contrast between the Phantom and her childhood sweetheart, Raoul. The Phantom is angry, possessive, unruly, depressed, insecure, and chaotic. He lives in darkness and manages his relationship with the outside world by using “crazy-making” techniques. Raoul, on the other hand, represents light, honor, and wholesomeness. More importantly, there is an obvious contrast in her relationship with each man. This becomes obvious when you observe their communicative behaviors. In the music, The Phantom expresses that he wants Christine to belong to him and Raoul sings, “Let me be your freedom.”

Some people say Christine Diaaѐ should have chosen The Phantom. To those people I would say, “How would you like to live your life in darkness, away from everyone you know and love, to have limited or no communication with world for the rest of your life? Why do we need to communicate? We need to communicate because it is a vital yet basic necessity of being human. A life with limited or dysfunctional communication would negatively affect our identities and leave us imprisoned. The communication that would exist in a relationship with someone like the Phantom would be inadequate, plagued by tragedy, and jeopardizes your health and happiness.”

The Phantom communicates by using control, aggression, and violence. He communicated in defensive ways because of his minimal trust and the communication climate that he had created revolved completely around his own desires. He had come to believe that he was held accountable to no one. Christine responded to his defensive and crazy-making behaviors mostly in indirect ways. Throughout most of their relationship, Christine was passive and when she realized who he really was even though at the first meeting he had lashed out with hostility; she responded by accommodating, compromising, and avoiding! What is understandable is that she was confused and fragile. What she believed once to be a blessing – an angel from heaven, for most of her life, turned out to be a flesh and blood man; damaged, imperfect, a murderer.

The Phantom used evaluative speech including using “you” when he felt betrayed by Christine when she was with her childhood sweetheart, Raoul. He believed it was him against the world and behaved in a superior way. He used manipulation, a strategy to evoke certain responses from Christine and others. It used control by imposing his wants upon Christine whereas Christine was empathetic and treated him with a sense of equality. Even so, she saw his deeply flawed psyche and perceptions and knew his reign of terror should not continue. At the end she finally used other techniques including some manipulation in order to deal with the reality of the situation. The best part was when she became empowered and spoke with a clear message of her intentions without the fear she had for so long. When she got to the point of losing the fear, he could see that, he could see that it was he who was powerless and that combined with her compassion and lack of cruelty resulted in the Phantom agreeing to basically quit his insanity to kill Raoul and kidnap Christine.

The Phantom’s thinking was irrational at times. He engaged in negative self-talk and most likely ruminated because of his isolation and emotional memories or learned behaviors.  These things likely contributed to his lack of competent communication skills and inadequate socialization with Christine and the rest of the world. Christine’s relationship towards the Phantom was partly affected by her own emotional memories of the Phantom as an “angel of music” and her father. In the relationship between Christine and the Phantom there was a struggle to bring two worlds together. Despite their similarities, there were just as many differences; and one of those main differences is how they each communicated with the world and with their environments.

Side Notes: What I learned or found interesting was that sometimes a situation can never be changed no matter how well you communicate – or I should say a person might not be able to change but your situation can change. For the most part competent communication is beneficial for everyone but as is said “it take two” – and I say “but it starts with you.” I never Realized before how much fear or control could impact a person’s ability to communicate. Christine, for example, was speechless many times.. until the final scenes. Also, her empathy may have actually put her in more danger. She may have been using more of a low context communication style. I realize how greatly communicating can shape our personalities and impact our social lives. It begins as a child with our parents, siblings, teachers, other adults, or perhaps church. An example of how important communication is: Christine went to her father’s grave alone without telling anyone that she left or where she was going.



Tay-Sachs Disease: Curse and Blessing of the Ghetto Article Review


Click to access article43.pdf


There are diseases produced by our environments (or way of living) and genetic heritage in every populace of humans around the world and each has their own vulnerabilities to certain ones. Jared Diamond discusses the disease, Tay-Sachs, both as a scientist and with a personal awareness. His concern stems from his experience as a parent-to-be as he and his wife are expectant and have genetic testing performed due to their susceptibility to Tay-Sachs. The risk stems primarily from their Easter European Jewish decent. In his description of Tay-Sachs in an infant, he reveals that it is, “incurable, unpreventable, and pre-programmed.” It affects an infant in an alarming, heart-breaking, and rapid manner leading to death likely by the age of four and no doubt causing devastation to the family. Tay-Sachs disease is found around the world but appears a hundred times more frequently among descendents of Eastern European Jews known as Ashkenazim. Several theories have been made as to the reason for such a high rate of occurrence in the Ashkenazim population. Evidence researched by Jared strongly suggests it is due to a dramatic environmental circumstance which forced Jews to be “ghetto-bound” and have a significant exposure to TB.  Natural selection then gave way to evolve a resistance to TB by using the Tay-Sachs gene’s heterozygotes.

In 1962 researchers discovered a biochemical abnormality – an excessive amount of a fatty substance called Gм₂ ganglioside lacking in an enzyme, hexosaminidase A. The result of this is Tay-Sachs disease. When both parents have one good copy of the gene and one defective they are therefore heterozygous which means they can pass it on to their offspring.  If a person inherits both defective genes; he will have Tay-Sachs, die at an early age, and never pass it on. In short, it is a recessive gene which passes on this disease therefore persisting over many generations. Molecular biologists discovered numerous mutations in Tay-Sachs DNA. In 1972 a questionnaire answered by U.S. Ashkenazim parents of Tay-Sachs children showed only one of 306 of the grandparents died of tuberculosis. At that time TB was a large threat killing up to 20 percent of all deaths. It seems to be a viable possibility to consider that Tay-Sachs heterozygote’s had a protection or resistance to tuberculosis. When there is a large threat to a species or select group as seen throughout time, natural selection kicks in. An illustration of this is in Africa where malaria is the biggest risk and the sickle-cell gene is copious. The “ghetto-bound” circumstances were when Jews of Eastern Europe were confined to live in specific areas and where tuberculosis thrived beginning and culminating over hundreds of years because of continuous persecution.

In all the research and the theories formed, whether correct or not, scientists have learned about the disease. It is a process and like a disease, evolves over time. In his article, Jared may discount some of those theories, but he also is able to take parts of information after careful examination and complex thought to utilize in his own argument. He reveals a slightly bitter undertone as, it seems, and this formidable disease caused a large amount of stress and anxiety as an expecting parent, especially with the knowledge of how horrific the disease affects a newborn. Jared and his wife did discover that they both are not carriers of the Tay-Sachs gene but Jared’s connection both culturally and as a scientist brings this disease to the fore-front  in order to be understood. He admits to his evidence being speculative, but perhaps it will help bring new information to be contemplated as well as for diseases and situations like it; leading us closer to making new discoveries and even working toward prevention or better methods of treatment.

Evolution in Action Summary: Biological Anthropology


My Summary:

Charles Darwin’s theories about natural selection have been a subject of debate among a number of scientists according to Jonathan Weiner, a professor in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. His article, Evolution in Action, from the magazine Natural History discusses how biological life is changing rapidly, right before our eyes! Although many are split on their viewpoints or acceptance of Darwin’s theory about evolution, there is and has been evidence of natural selection. Even more thought-provoking is how several species seem to be evolving on a cumulative level by the changes in their environments caused by humankind. Several species have been studied by biologists and enthusiasts and revealed significant evidence of “evolution in action.” This means that evolution of bacteria, mammals, and other life forms are changing on molecular and phenotypic levels.

Finches studied in the Galapagos by biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant were tested genetically after rapid and noticeable changes were observed in their beaks. The genetic coding for a specific molecule that changes the shape of the beak was discovered. Due to this revelation, scientists also found the same gene in humans which shapes the face in a fetus. This renewed knowledge of genes by observing nature changes how we think as a culture and how we apply it to our health technology systems. Humans influence on not just the lives of species but the biology of them can be realized by studying individual populations of animals. In Alberta, Canada hunters killed the largest bighorn mountain sheep for over thirty years and now the rams have become smaller. This happened with fish such as the Atlantic cod off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador as well. Less for humans to consume? It has been concluded that the smaller ram have had better chance of passing on their genes. Antibiotics use is abundant. Penicillin has been implemented in medicine since 1943; just three years later the first resistance to it was noticed. This resistance has also been observed in the use of pesticides and herbicides in bugs and plants. Organic materials are morphing in order to adapt. The environmental changes in its chemical components can change our everyday lives and health; including the weather and our consumption of nutrients to exist.

As a writer who has focused his work around the subject of evolution since 1990, Jonathan Weiner is no doubt keenly interested in evolution. Throughout his article he seems to be an admirer of Darwin, he says, “Darwinism is most vigorously alive.” The concentration and abundance of information supporting evolution in action in the article demonstrates a likeliness that Mr. Weiner is a believer. He is working on a book about human longevity which makes me wonder if the biological changes he has been writing about has brought him to the conclusion or idea of changing human biology to increase life span using information we learn from the geneology and evolution of the life around us; specifically the more obvious ones such as discussed in his article. Jonathan states that he spent “some ofthe best years” of his life as a science writer and watching biologists – particularly around Darwinian concepts. He views the scientists and process of examination as extraordinary and remarkable.

Surfing for Wisdom

July 23, 2007
Surfing the internet is primarily used to gather information, but this does not mean it has no impact on a profound level to the human psyche. Have you ever become engrossed in reading material or images on the internet? Perhaps you were deeply moved by a song, poem, or an e-mail from a friend or family member. Do people experience resonance in today’s high-tech world? Resonance is defined by the on-line American Heritage Dictionary as “richness or significance, especially in evoking an association or strong emotion.” When speaking of rsonance, Sven Birkerts, in his essay “The Owl Has Flown,” describes it as “a natural phenomenon” which “cannot flourish except in deep time.” What comes into question is whether or not reading on the internet provides vertical enlightenment or deep time as described by Birkerts.

Birkerts describes vertical reading as “intensive.” According to Birkerts, vertical reading is a meticulous manner to notice and interpret extensively. He also describes vertical reading as an awareness which has purpose and attempts to “discover the truth of things.” His essay discusses and seeks to explain his view of the differences between the way people read in past generations and the way people read now. He believes the quality of reading has significantly shifted from its normal, natural, or finest place, in part, by technology. For example, he says, “Where the electronic impulse rules, and where the psyche is conditioned to work with data, the experience of deep time is impossible. No deep time, no resonance; no wisdom.” Birkerts seems deeply invested in the act of reading or the art of reading. His own passion for reading may have been what prompted his concern or wish to understand how and why others read. Birkerts discusses horizontal and vertical not just in terms of reading but as a “societal shift” and “awareness.” In short, people have become less disciplined and generally do not live in a simplistic way. In his essay he discusses – with favor – the value of nostalgia, being personable, and the sensous aspects of reading, for example, readin gin the light of a lantern, in silence, and without being bombarded by the outside world, especially on a global scale. The previous sentences describe Birkerts’ illustration of a “villager” lifestyle. Reading and living in such a way can definately by a humbling, as well as, a relaxing experience which allows great focus.

Although much of what Birkerts says is true, ther are exceptions. I question Birkerts’ opinion that wisdom and resonance can only be achieved through vertical reading and challenge that a “loss of depth” has occured in the 21st century and way of living or reading. Even bits or bytes of information can be accumulated from the internet into the depths of our minds or long-termy memory to be used at a later time. Knowledge requires recongintion and is acquired by soting out information and appropriately selecting what is required to perform a task. Wisdom requires connections to be made between the tangible and the senses in addition to cognitive ability. As odd and sometimes difficult at technology can be, it is still part of the world we live in and can be utilized as an extension of intense meaning. Another aspect of wisdom is modesty. Allowing doubt, being willing to admit no human is all-knowing, and incorportating the experiences of other people, worlds, and ideas into the imagination can also create an environment for resonance and wisdom to thrive.

Sitting idle at my computer, I switch back and forth between writing my essay and looking at the web. I have purpose, I am looking for widsom. Unfortunately, widsom can not be merely summoned. It is not that simple. There are several distractions; my husband with his always loud voice talking on the phone to his brother, the dialogue of a Shirley Temple movie my step-daughter is watching, the intermittent running in through the door of my step-son. It’s a bit of a scatter brained fix I’m in. I’ve got a beer sitting to the right of my computer monitor, but it doesn’t seem to want to help me out much. I wonder, is mult-tasking wise? If I am able to have fewer distractions, my concentration will improve, therefore allowing me to make better sense of what I am doing and strenthen the pathways of my memory. Speaking of distractions, I found it was much to warm so I opened the windows. Comfort and concentration then are both helpful in creating an atmosphre for deep thinking or at least for semi-thoughtful writing. Mood is also vital. There seems to be a combination, perhaps different for each person, to get into an aesthetic frame of mind. If deep time is, in part, the ability to concentrate, then I may have a better grasp on Birkerts’ concept of vertical reading and living.

Internet use alone may not be conducive to grasping complex concepts, but the internet can energize a peson’s mind or emotions and promote or lead to deep thinking. There has been numerous times in which I have slipped into a spiritual or emotional existence while typing on the computer, reading on the internet, listening to the radio, or watching a television program. In my English class, I went on-line to get a better comprehension of binary thinking and came upon several websites and blogs which discussed that topic. Did I gain wisdom? Not immediately. Wisdom begins with knowledge, and then a person is left to his own resources. In time, I did experience insight. Wisdom sometimes comes in the combination of “oh!” and “ah.” For me, it often comes when I least expect it, like an epiphany, when I’m not making any effort. It’s as if my mind has been busy doing the work while I’m not there. While relaxing in a hot bubble bath, swimming at a lake, laying the shade of a robust tree while escap9ing a humid sunny day, or dreaming as I sleep, wisdom and resonance have appeared – as if by magic. It often hits, when I least expect it, when I am not thinking about anything. Although deep-time requires focus and an increasingly disciplined environment, allowing rest or play is often essential to gaining wisdom because it provides the brain time to absorb information and a person time to ponder at ease.

Does wisdom require effort? If vertical reading requires effort such as reading the same script repeatedly, meticulously, and using strategies such as analyzing and interpreting, then what about wisdom? Wisdom is often seen as something ethereal or other-worldly, transcending facts (as Birkerts notes) and perhaps comes from the soul; however, it is partly physics which means there are certain ingredients which can be combined, therefore increasing the probability of wisdom to show itself. If a person knows how to work towards the physics of wisdom or is already, either through practice or genetics, a vertical type, then it is inevitable. Deep time is possible on the internet but often difficult because of distractions which can lead to a “loss of deep time.” A person who is able or willing to learn through reading or manipulating information on the internet is building a foundation to allow growth. Patience, discipline, focus, and even romance and simplicity play an important role in creating vertical awareness. What Birkerts presents about wisdom through reading and lifestyle is worth consideration, “The beauty of vertical engagement is that it does not have to argue for itself. It is self-contained, a fulfillement.”

This is Our World

Journal Write
June 28, 2007

“Art should surprise and astonish, and hopefully make you think something you had not though until you saw it.” Dorothy Allison makes this statement in her essay, This is our World. What does Allison mean when she says this? Perhaps Allison is saying art is a tool greater than just composition and color, but rather something which moves the human mind in thought and emotion. Art judged in the context of its capability to surprise and astonish could change depending on the perspectives of what is surprising to each individual on varying levels. Because we are all different, as is art, what one finds astonishing may be mediocre to another. Allison does speak of this in her essay by saying, “We are not the same. . . Art makes that plain.”

Although Allison used the word “should” which could be considered authoratative, it is obvious in her writing that she observes art as being unique on an individual basis. So art should surprise or to put it another way, art should evoke some emotion, memory, or deeper sense of self and awareness. Because of the vast array of people and art in form, style, and history; there is no doubt a piece of heaven in imagery for each of us.

I believe Allison is saying that art should speak to the observer. It is not simply about the art itself, but the persons who are viewing it. What she means is, if you don’t see yourself, your story, if it doesn’t tap a vein in your heart or a nerve in your head than perhaps you are holding back and not allowing yourself to open up, and remove boundaries. It seems according to Allison, people must let down their guard and connect to outside images by relating them to the inner consciousness.