ABOUT BOB PODOLSKY

 

About Bob Podolsky

  • My life is primarily driven by curiosity. At the age of five I got hold of my parents’ alarm clock and took it apart because I wanted to see how it worked. (Oooops!) My folks weren’t happy about this, but my father, a famous physicist (Boris Podolsky), understood my urge to know how the world works and encouraged me in this ever after.BOB AT HOME
  • My father Boris, also taught me, at an early age, the basic principles of science and the scientific method  which exist only to distinguish true information from false information  so I became a devotee of truth, and remain so to this day.
  • As a student I followed in my father’s footsteps by studying math and physics in high school, Williams College, the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, the University of Hawaii (where I received a National Science Foundation Fellowship for research in quantum electrodynamics), and Harvard.  I have a Master’s degree in theoretical physics,In 1962, then a graduate student,  I had the honor of meeting some of the world’s top physicists at the conference depicted below. Can you spot me in the picture?

QM Conference Attendees Picture

Top Row: Jack Rivers, Harold Glaser, Eugen Merzbacher, John B. Hart, Jack A. Soules, Eugene Guth, Abner Shimony, Robert Podolsky, Austin Towle Middle row: Willian Band, Gideon Carmi, Solomon L Schwebel, Dieter Brill, O.von Roos, Michael M. Yanasee, S.J. Bottom Row: Eugene P. Wigner, Nathan Rosen, Paul A. M.  Dirac, Boris Podolsky, Yakir Aharonov, Wendell H. Furry. Not Pictured : Fredrick G. Werner and Kaiser S. Kunz

Physics / Systems Analysis Career

After receiving a masters degree in physics from Xavier university, I attended the University of Hawaii, and Harvard. I spent ten years doing mathematical physics and systems analysis in industry and government. I came up with all kinds of solutions for this and that and the other thing.  As a result of my experience in Systems Analysis I enjoyed looking at the big picture. I got bored with working for know-nothings in bureaucratic environments.

I worked in industry (Avco, GE, Bendix) and in the Civil Service (USAF Avionics Lab and Coast Guard HQ) performing mathematical modeling of complex physical systems, such as atomic reactors, guided missiles, electron microscope lenses, external combustion engines, and the like.

After ten years of this work, I tired of the “Dilbert” lifestyle and its bureaucratic environment; so I got trained in various methods and techniques of psychotherapy and operated a private practice in this field for some twenty-five years.

Psychotherapy Career

I got involved with therapy as a therapist because therapy had personally made great improvements in my own life.  I received thousands of hours of training in Gestalt Therapy, Bioenergetic Therapy, Strategic Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and Ericksonian Hypnosis. My trainers were some of the best in the world in these fields – especially, Jim Cox, Ilana Rubinfeld, John Grinder, and Jeff Zeig.

I then spent twenty-five years doing psychotherapy in private practice – during which time I taught myself to apply these methods simultaneously. When I worked for the VA Vet Center in Oregon, my case load was comprised of the toughest cases.  One client came to me with a gun in his belt and said, “I’m going to kill someone today – maybe you – maybe myself – maybe both”.   He never did and I was the only therapist at the center who never lost a patient to suicide.  I have extensive training in PTSD.

Not only did I have the pleasure, for the first time in my life, of seeing other people’s lives improve dramatically through my personal efforts; but I also managed to do this without supporting the cartels that have since dominated the psychiatric, psychological, social work, and counseling fields – so I was able to practice the most effective methods of doing therapy without yielding to the prohibitions imposed upon members of these self-serving cartels – whose members don’t know these methods, can’t apply them, and don’t control them financially.

Author Career

By 1992 I had begun writing articles, and subsequently books, about ethics, law, and government. My research in the intervening years showed me unequivocally that the institutions that we usually look to, to solve societal problems, were actually the cause of all the major problems that our species faces. After the work I had done analyzing physical systems, the analysis of societal systems turned out to be a very simple matter. The three big offenders in this respect turn out to be Big Business (especially Big Banking Business), Organized Religion, and Government. Borrowing an idea from Star Trek, I have coined the phrase B.O.R.G when referencing these three institutions collectively.  To date I’ve written seven books about the B.O.R.G. problem and what can be done about it. Two of these (self-published) books are in print, and two more are ready for publication at any time.

My Mentors:

Boris Podolsky

Boris Podolsky

Boris Podolsky

My father was Boris Podolsky, the physicist who achieved considerable notice for the work he did with Albert Einstein in 1935 for his work on the EPR Paradox.  But Einstein didn’t like the idea that the momentum of a particle, if its position was known, was completely unknowable – random. In 1935 he got together with two other physicists, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, and wrote a famous paper entitled Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality be Considered Complete? We now refer to it as simply the EPR Paradox. It was the first paper to predict what has come to be called “quantum entanglement”.

Of Boris, Einstein once said, “Podolsky goes directly to the heart of the problem”. Boris was also a brilliant teacher. So I was very early-on introduced to the scientific method, logic, and the operational point of view, the philosophical cornerstones of science.

John Grinder

John Grinder

John Grinder

One of the most profound learning experiences in my background was the six month training I did with John Grinder, the co-inventor of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). At the time, I had already been using NLP for about a year – so I was well prepared to integrate into my therapeutic repertoire many of the fine points of Grinder’s technology. As a result my entire understanding of the human condition acquired a powerful new perspective that serves me well today.

John David Garcia

John David Garcia

John David Garcia

In 1984 I met John David Garcia, the brilliant author of “Creative Transformation” and remained friends with him until his death in 2001. Under John David’s tutelage I came to understand and value the field of ethics that I had scorned as a young man. I have since seen it as the most important field that anyone can master; because, through the lens of ethics, one can make vastly better decisions than one can by any other means.

At the time I met John David, he was performing frequent experiments to increase the creativity of people working in groups. I participated in a number of these experiments and was able to make some substantive contributions to the methodology that resulted.

As a direct result of my work with John David, I am the  Founding member of Titania, a non hierarchical society dedicated to peace, love and truth; through ethics and creativity and utilizing the organizational principles that I learned from him. This methodology is the only one I have found that has the potential to provide a fundamentally “grass roots” driven ethical society. Humanity must make this fundamental change to an ethical society, else humanity will find itself extinct, no matter what political leaders are “elected” or -isms are followed.  The Titanians.org website and our Creativity Enhancement Mastermind Group, located in Mesa Arizona, is the cutting edge in spreading the word.  I am looking forward to connecting with you in the real world (five-six-one-five-four-two-fifty-eight-hundred) or online b-o-r-i-s-h-e-i-r-at-y-a-h-o-o.com

 

Apr 092013
 

Bitcoin valuation surpasses 20 national currencies

By

Published March 29, 2013 FoxNews.com

More than $1 billion dollars worth of a digital currency known as “bitcoins” now circulate on the web – an amount that exceeds the value of the entire currency stock of small countries like Liberia (which uses “Liberian dollars”), Bhutan (which uses the “Ngultrum”), and 18 other countries.So what is a “bitcoin,” and why would anyone use it?Unlike traditional currency, bitcoins are not issued by a government or even a private company. Instead, the currency is run by computer code that distributes new bitcoins at a set rate to people who devote web servers to keep the code running. The bitcoins are then bought and sold for regular U.S. dollars online.

‘They buy gold, they put it under the mattress, or they buy bitcoin.’

– Tony Gallippi, the CEO “BitPay.com,

Bitcoin is in high demand right now — each bitcoin currently sells for more than $90 U.S. dollars — which bitcoin insiders say is because of world events that have shaken confidence in government-issued currencies.

“Because of what’s going on in Cyprus and Europe, people are trying to pull their money out of banks there,” Tony Gallippi, the CEO “BitPay.com,” which enables businesses to easily accept bitcoins as payment, told FoxNews.com.

In Cyprus, the government is considering taking a percentage of all citizens’ bank accounts to solve its fiscal woes. That has led Cypriots — and other Europeans worried about the same thing happening to them — to take their money out of banks.

“So they buy gold, they put it under the mattress, or they buy bitcoin,” Gallippi said.

Bitcoin demand has also increased, Gallippi says, because last week U.S. regulators issued the first official guidelines for private digital currencies. Prior to the regulations, the legal status of the currencies was in doubt.

“Now people can see that it’s not illegal, that it’s not banned,” Gallippi said.

Bitcoin is controversial because the currency can be exchanged anonymously online — it is in a sense the digital equivalent of using hard cash — and so some have criticized it for facilitating online drug markets. On the site known as “the Silk Road,” for instance, users pay bitcoins for illegal drugs and other forbidden items.

Bitcoin Targeted by Cyberattack

Just as Bitcoin explodes beyond the $1 billion mark thanks to Europe’s debt crisis, the emerging virtual currency was dealt a setback this week after a key exchange was hit by a powerful cyber attack that caused delays.

Read more at Fox Business.

In a 2011 letter to the Attorney General, Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) argued for strict enforcement.

“After purchasing bitcoins through an exchange, a user can create an account on Silk Road and start purchasing illegal drugs from individuals around the world and have them delivered to their homes within days,” the Senators wrote. “We urge you to take immediate action and shut down the Silk Road network.”

But the Silk Road is still running, and a recent study estimates that $23 million dollars of illicit items are sold for bitcoins on the site every year.

The regulatory guidelines issued last week by the government agency known as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), however, will not stop that.

The regulations say that digital currencies like bitcoin are to be treated essentially as foreign currencies. Companies that exchange digital bitcoins for real money will have to comply with the same regulations as traditional currency exchangers — namely, they must verify the identity of anyone exchanging money for bitcoins and report large transactions to the government.

Using bitcoins to purchase goods, however, is specifically exempted.

“A user who obtains convertible virtual currency and uses it to purchase real or virtual goods or services is not… under FinCEN’s regulations,” the guidance reads.

Some bitcoin defenders say the use of bitcoins to buy illegal items shouldn’t obscure the legal uses.

“With any technology… Criminals are going to use it for something, and regular people are going to use it for something,” Gallippi said. “You can’t ban cell phones just because criminals are using them to do drug deals. You can’t ban e-mail just because people are using them to do phishing scams in Nigeria. You have to start just prosecuting people who are committing crimes — you can’t just completely wipe out the new technology.”

Gallippi says one reason to use bitcoins for legal transactions is a lower risk of identity theft.

“If you are buying something online and you have the choice of paying with a credit card or bitcoins – think about what you have to do to use a credit card. You have to fill out this whole long form, name, address, account number, sometimes more… coincidentally, that’s all the info a thief would need to steal to pretend to be you.”

Between that, bitcoin’s anonymity, and worries about conventional currency, bitcoin demand is as high as ever, according to Alan Safahi, who runs “Zip Zap” – a company that facilitates cash deposits at stores like CVS and Wal-Mart for transfer to a site that can convert the money to bitcoins.

“We’re processing millions of dollars a month. We’ve seen tremendous surge in activity,” he said.

Contact the author at maxim.lott@foxnews.com.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/03/29/digital-currency-bitcoin-surpasses-20-national-currencies-in-value/#ixzz2PzyM5Cmc

 

 

Apr 072013
 

Bitcoin Really Is an Existential Threat to the Modern Liberal State

By Evan Soltas Apr 5, 2013 1:43 PM MT

So far, Bitcoin is not a big deal. Its total value in circulation was $1.4 billion as of this week. That’s equivalent to the currency stock of a small nation — somewhere between Iceland and Uruguay — and just one-thousandth of the total value of U.S. dollars in circulation. The volume of transactions in Bitcoin is growing only slowly, relative to the massive increase in demand for the currency: This discrepancy is strong evidence that Bitcoin’s rise is a speculative bubble.

Nonetheless, Bitcoin raises some interesting questions. One is whether it might undermine the modern state — which, for many of its libertarian-anarchist advocates, is the whole idea.

Technology enabled governments to grow more powerful and more centralized in the 19th and 20th centuries, as Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, has argued. The intriguing possibility is that technologies of the 21st century — such as Bitcoin — might push the other way.

Physical cash is used in a rapidly shrinking share of transactions: 27 percent in 2011, 23 percent by 2017, and so on, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, a financial-services research firm. The central banks of Sweden and Nigeria have both declared goals of a cashless economy. In Europe, the volume of non-cash transactions is forecasted to rise by 7 percent per year, despite economic stagnation.

What’s going on? First, a global shift to mobile payments and credit and debit cards. Second, a rise in online retail — one that could put 15 to 20 percent of all retail sales online in the U.S., U.K., China, and Europe, according to Bain & Company.

Electronic payments aren’t new. Bitcoin’s only innovations are its status as an independent currency and its decentralized network design. But those differences might make Bitcoin — or rather, crypto-currency in general — an existential threat to the modern liberal state. If widely adopted, crypto-currencies would cripple government in three central functions: taxation, police and macroeconomic stabilization. That is exactly what Bitcoin’s biggest fans are hoping.

  1. Taxation: How do governments collect taxes on transactions in Bitcoin? The answer is they don’t, and they can’t. Crypto-currency’s strong protections on anonymity make it impossible for any state to know who is buying what, who is paying whom, who earns what, and who has what in savings. That poses a direct challenge to the power of states to levy taxes.

    The problem is that Bitcoin makes tax evasion easier. States could enforce reporting of Bitcoin income for individuals and businesses, as they try to do for cash, which is also hard to track. But encryption and the peer-to-peer network structure make Bitcoin even harder to follow than physical cash, and digital cash is much better than the physical kind for storage and transactions, so the scale of the challenge could end up being much bigger.

  2. Police:It would be almost impossible for states to detect certain crimes. One of the major alleged uses of Bitcoin — though, of course, one can never truly know — is buying illicit drugs. Bitcoin’s cryptography makes it uniquely able to facilitate money laundering, insider trading, fraud, and bribery. The transactions would be untraceable, and the money doesn’t ever have to return to the bank, where the financial crime might have been detected.
  3. Macroeconomic policy:A Bitcoin economy would undermine the power of real-world central banks to make monetary policy. Yes, governments can influence the demand for national currencies by requiring taxes to be paid in them. But the monetary lever on private transactions and lending would be gone if such commerce was denominated in Bitcoin. And by displacing governments as currency issuers, Bitcoin also threatens their ability to finance public debt. In a world where many transactions are anonymous, it’s unclear how governments could even compile accurate economic data, without which macroeconomic policy is impossible. Economic depression in a Bitcoin regime could be an insoluble problem.

If Bitcoin remains on the fringes, then the state is safe. The question is, if it shows signs of becoming a widely used currency, what could governments do to crush it?

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the wing of the U.S. Treasury Department that investigates money laundering, said last month that it has the authority to regulate transactions involving both Bitcoin and U.S. dollars under the Bank Secrecy Act. These inter-currency exchanges appear to be the best foothold for regulation. Governments could require records of all purchases and sales of Bitcoin, for instance.

But this approach has severe limits. There are, by design, no direct avenues for government to interpose itself in Bitcoin-only transactions. Government does have some enforcement leverage over the individuals and businesses. Bitcoin transactions have a real-world side. The problem, though, is that the usual mechanisms for detection and enforcement are very weak against Bitcoin. Ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bitcoin presents “distinct challenges for deterring illicit activity,” according to a leaked intelligence assessment that was prepared in April 2012. “Bitcoin is unique because it is the only decentralized, P2P network-based virtual currency,” the FBI’s Cyber Intelligence and Criminal Intelligence Sections wrote. “The way it creates, operates, and distributes bitcoins makes it distinctively susceptible to illicit money transfers.”

Bitcoin may be a bubble that will burst. If it does, other forms of digital cash will come along. The state was intimately involved in the development of money — but that was before networked computers. In the next chapter of the history of currency, money might very well turn on its creator, and roll back government.

(Evan Soltas is a contributor to the Ticker. Follow him on Twitter.)

Apr 042013
 

BitCoin Poised to Change Society

Bitcoin Morpheus Titania

Bitcoin

There is a bitcoin craze at the moment, with prices of bitcoin skyrocketing. Bitcoin is still far from ready for prime time, but as it matures, it will change society’s fundamental operations much more than the Internet did. The net, after all, only allowed people to talk and shop more efficiently. By comparison, bitcoin eradicates the government’s ability to operate.

Let’s begin by looking at what a bitcoin is. It is money. It is a new form of money that isn’t issued by a government. Governments don’t have a monopoly on coming up with things you can trade and barter with, and bitcoin is one such non-governmental barter instrument. The difference between bitcoin and all other such tokens of value that have been invented over the years is that nobody is in control of the money supply, and nobody is in control of the money flow. This means that nobody can start the printing presses to eradicate your savings, and nobody can seize or see your wealth or income. You can think of it as an open-source currency compared to proprietary, state-issued currencies.

There is no central bank. This is a revolutionary concept. People can trade cash at a distance without going through an intermediary. The first time you send the value of a cup of coffee to a friend in India on a Sunday, without any transaction fees, and they have the money instantly, without anybody but you knowing of the transaction, your jaw drops.

This would have been but a curiosity, if it weren’t for the ridiculously strong business case to cut banks and credit card processors out of the sales loop for corporations, which could roughly double the profits in retail sales. This means that there’s a very strong force for universal uptake of this new currency.

As nobody is in control of the money supply (it is set to grow predictably at a slowing rate until 2140), and demand increases with a limited supply, the price for each bitcoin increases. This is what we’re seeing now, as more and more people realize bitcoin’s business potential. Also, there is value in the concept that you don’t have to trust any single person to store or to transfer bitcoin – not your government, not your bank, not Western Union – is something completely new.

Erik Voorhees writes, “Bitcoin is thus the only currency and money system in the world which has no counter-party risk to hold and to transfer. This is absolutely revolutionary and you should read the preceding sentence again. […] Never in the history of the world has an individual had this ability. It is unprecedented.”

So why does bitcoin have value? How is it, strictly speaking, money? People who ask this tend to be stuck in the idea that only states and governments can issue money, but that’s not the case. What we see as money has changed many times, and when Marco Polo came back to Europe from China in the 13th century, people were mocking him for bringing home banknotes. “This is not money”, they would say, and burn the Chinese banknotes. Money was coins. If you dismiss bitcoin just because you’re not used to seeing sequences of rare prime numbers as money, make sure you’re not scoffing at banknotes as people were in the 13th century. If people use it as money to trade, it’s money.

Jon Matonis has an excellent piece over at Forbes where he challenges the notion that money must be state-issued, and explains that a transactional currency can compete on its own merits and its own market.

It is important to realize that while the Internet has changed life in the IT industry tremendously, from a government standpoint, the net hasn’t changed much at all. If anything, it has reinforced existing structures: consumers spend their state-issued money more efficiently, credit is borrowed more and better from state-regulated banks which expands the money supply and keeps people happy, and it has created new industries that can fuel the economy. Oh, and it also lets citizens submit governmental forms more efficiently.

The only flip side to the net, from a government angle, would be that some people use the Internet to violate state-issued monopolies on entertainment distribution, which has been seen as a problem that needs to be dealt with swiftly and harshly, but other than that, the internet really isn’t much new from a government standpoint. Think about that the next time you see a politician who doesn’t appear to get the net: for them, if they’ve been in government too long, there is nothing much to get.

So we essentially have four different types of players that keep the economy going, and by extension, the government funded and operational. One, there is the government itself, which issues money and regulates banks. (For this exercise, I include the central bank in “government”.) Two, there are commercial banks which are in complete control of the money flow, in exchange for sharing that insight with the government and letting it siphon off as much as it likes to operate itself. Also, commercial banks expand the money supply when people ask for credit, so credit is good as the economy is measured today (“growth”). At the bottom of the food chain are, three, corporations which are tasked with using this system, running all its operations through these banks, and four, the ordinary citizen, who is supposed to be doing actual work and actually produce something that fuels the entire ecosystem.

What bitcoin does is cut the banks out of the loop, and by extension, the government’s ability to operate.

Those wars you have seen on TV? They are all fueled by this mechanism – the ability for banks to keep people happy in letting them spend imaginary money, while simultaneously giving the nation-state the ability to control as much of the money flow as it likes (and siphon as much as it likes off for itself).

Now, bitcoin isn’t going to drive its adoption just because it is impervious to state control and insight. Rather, its adoption is going to be driven by the strong business case for corporations to cut banks out of the loop – more specifically, cut bank profits out of their own profits.

The normal reaction for a government would be to use its entire arsenal of force against any phenomenon that threatens the government’s ability to function to this degree. But bitcoin is resilient to that. There is no central point to shut down. You can’t point a gun at a prime number and expect things to change. And we all know how effective governmental attempts to shut down peer-to-peer networks have been (even if it has been a low-priority issue so far that they haven’t really cared about).

A while back, I wrote that bitcoin is “The Napster of banking”. Perhaps there is a better analogy – perhaps it is the Skynet of banking. There is no central mainframe to shut down, and the intelligence in bitcoin is completely distributed with the single goal of obsoleting central banking.

In this regard, people at Business Insider who compare the bitcoin trade and its current price spike with the bubble around Beanie Babies in the early century come across as dangerously shortsighted and ignorant. Bitcoin is not a plush toy, it is not a commodity. It is an economic agreement, and as such, has value like any other contract that improves your business. This particular contract improves every business except banks.

So is bitcoin ready to take over the world? Far from it.

There are many problems with bitcoin today, but they are becoming less severe than the problems that plagued it one, two, and three years ago. In short, we’re seeing kinks being worked out, scratches being polished, and dents being straightened. But there are many reasons why bitcoin couldn’t take the place of state-issued money today, even if it is on a strong trajectory to do so in the next decade or decades.

The liquidity to state-issued money is one thing that strikes me immediately. In any economy, you need bridges between payment systems that are in use. Today, the vast majority of such bridging is handled by a Japanese bitcoin exchange known as MtGox. This is an unacceptable single point of failure in an ecosystem (proven by two hours of outage today). Further, lags of 10 minutes are common with MtGox’s trading engine (I’m seeing 400 seconds of lag right as I type this), which is just ridiculous when the financial world at large is dealing with micro- and nanosecond trading.

Bitcoin is getting there. But it’s not there yet. When it gets there, expect governments to panic and society to be reshaped into something where governments cannot rely on taxing income nor wealth for running their operations.

That is a bigger change to society’s fundamental structure than the ability to seek and share culture and knowledge we got with the net.

by: Rick Falkvinge

http://falkvinge.net/2013/04/03/why-bitcoin-is-poised-to-change-society-much-more-than-the-internet-did/

Apr 022013
 

Bob Podolsky on Declare your Independence

Robert Podolsky, is the son of famous physicist Boris Podolsky.

Podolsky who was a key in formulating the Einstein – Podolsky – Rosen (EPR) paper on quantum entanglement. Bob is promoting the Titania Project; self-organizing networks of humans which would displace hierarchical government, i.e. anarchy but not chaos.

2013-02-06 Hour 3 Robert Podolsky from Ernest Hancock on Vimeo.

Mar 252013
 

Napoleon Hill – Think And Grow Rich – ORIGINAL Full Length

Here is the full length original First edition video footage published by Napoleon Hill in march 1937 This video is perfectly named Think And Grow Rich which first popularized the Law Of Attraction.

The Law of attraction is defined simply by acknowledging that thoughts are things… to define clearer…. You Are What You Think…. Like Attracts Like…. You Become Your Dominant Thoughts…

For Anybody who is looking to change there life for the good and become successful in all areas not just business but personally, i would advise them to study this material.

Napoleon hill compiled this knowledge from the worlds millionaires back at the turn of the century..

Mar 192013
 

After I read “The Four Agreements”, by don Miguel Ruiz, my life has been forever changed.  It was an eye opener and a game changer.  I realized that everything in life is a sum total of all the agreements every human being has ever made.  So now is the time to make new ethical agreements and learn to live that way.  Below it says Living The Four Agreements can be one of the most difficult and the same time the easiest habit to keep.  I agree.  Once I committed to doing it it became easier and easier.  This is why I dislike the word “t-r-y” so much it is impossible to be impeccable with your word using it.   T-r-y implies failure and when I say I am going to do something there is no t-r-y.  Like Yoda said in Star Wars “there is no t-r-y either do or don not”.

I love how The Four Agreements integrates with the concept of Titania so beautifully.  By living The Four Agreements makes living the Titanian Ethic so much easier.

Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
Always do your best.

Living your life with these ideas in mind will only aid one in being more ethical and creative.  I know  it has for me.  See how it works for you.

Living the Four Agreements: A life changing Journey

In the best selling book The Four Agreements don Miguel Ruiz gives four ethical principles to practice in order to create love, truth  and personal evolution in your life. Adopting and committing to these agreements is simple. Actually living and keeping these Four Agreements can  be one of the hardest things  you will ever do. It can also be one of the most life changing things you will ever do.

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As you practice living these four practices your life will dramatically change. In the beginning these new habits will be challenging and you will lapse countless times. With practice these agreements become integrated into your being and every area of your life and become easy habits to keep.

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Understanding how to Integrate and Live the practices

Upon reading don Miguel’s wisdom many people have their eyes opened to a new possibility for living life. They get excited when they see the potential for happiness, love, and respect with themselves and their relationships. What they fail to see is the challenges and resistance the mind will have to living just one of the agreements. Don Miguel briefly mentions these challenges in his book, but people fixate on the four chapters with the agreements and seem to miss these other important points. This is often the set up for expectations that lead to disappointment and frustration.

Domestication

During our early life we began making agreements. Our parents rewarded us when we did what they wanted and they punished us when we didn’t. We also learned behaviors and habits in school, church, and from other adults and children on the playground. The tools of reward and punishment were often emotional and sometimes physical. The impact of other people’s opinions and reactions to us became a very strong force in the habits we created. In this process we created agreements in our mind of who we should be, what we shouldn’t be, who we were, and who we were not. Over time we learned to live our life based on the agreements in our own mind. We learned to live according to the agreements that came from the opinion of others. In this process of domestication it turns out that the choices we make and the life we live is more driven by the opinions we learned from others than one we would choose on our own.

Why Living the Four Agreements Is Such a Challenge

We have out of years of habit not paid attention to how we express our self. The responses that come out of our mouth are often automatic. They were learned from years of habit living by the agreements we learned. We do not consciously choose our words, or the emotion, tone, and attitude that we express.

Over years our mind has filled with beliefs that generate incessant thinking. In all that thinking we have many assumptions that we are not aware of. We even make the assumption that what we think is true. We imagine and assume what others think of us and how they will react. We also assume that the judgments and self criticisms we have are true. We have learned to make so many assumptions that we aren’t aware of. These assumptions are not the truth. These assumptions and the faith we express in them is just one way that we are not impeccable with our word.

Through our domestication we have also learned to take things personally. We assume that when someone has an opinion about us that their opinion is valid.  Their opinion becomes our belief about our self.   We end up having an emotional reaction to our own belief because  we assumed their opinion it is true.   We can also take personally our own opinions. We take personally our own self judgments. These self judgments are nothing more than an assumption. Over years the mind has developed many habits of making assumptions and taking them personally.

Just because you adopt the Four Agreements doesn’t mean that all these habits in the mind will stop with that commitment.

When you decide to change your life and adopt the Four Agreements you are challenging the beliefs you learned and the habits you practiced since your childhood domestication.

Adopting the Four Agreements creates a conflict in the mind between expressing your self Impeccably with love and your existing fear based beliefs.

Avoiding Double Jeopardy

One of the hidden assumptions that people often make when adopting the Four Agreements is about time. Without awareness the mind makes the assumption that they should immediately be able to keep the Four Agreements 100% of the time. The mind completely ignores that there are already existing agreements and habits of taking things personally that have been in place for years.

With the expectation of the new agreement that we will not break any of the Four Agreements we are set up for failure. We have an emotional reaction and take something personally which feels bad. (but is completely normal part of our old habits) But then the inner judge reprimands us for failing to not take something personally. Now we feel twice as bad. The inner judge tells us that we failed and the voice of the victim in the mind accepts this proposal.

The result is that we are not only upset, but we also feel like a failure. If you just look at your emotional state at this point it will seem like things are getting worse instead of better. It can seem like attempting to keep the Four Agreements is causing more problems and making you feel worse.

If you are aware that you are judging your self for taking something personally, you can feel even worse.  Your inner judge might use that awareness to judge and reject your self for judging your self for taking something personally. In the beginning the myriad of voices in your head are likely to use your new found awareness as material for self judgment.  This is when the fourth agreement, Always Do Your Best, is most important.  It gives you immunity from self judgment.  Your best isn’t perfect practice of these agreements on day one.  Your best will include a lot of stumbling in the beginning and  improve over time as you practice.  Just like walking, learning a language, or playing a sport, you can’t play at top level on your first day learning.

Awakening

In actuality the problem is not that you adopted the Four Agreements. Nor is the problem that you are a failure. What is really happening is that you are having an awakening. You are waking up to how your mind makes assumptions, has emotional reactions, and is so quick to make self judgments. These realizations about the belief system in your mind are not usually pleasant but are part of an awakening. It is usually uncomfortable realization, but through it your awareness is growing.

With some more awareness and practice you can move beyond this uncomfortable awakening about the mind. You will come to see that it is not You that is judging your self for failing. It is the inner judge. With practice you will see the ridiculous expectations and assumptions for what they are and not feel like a failure when you lapse in your journey to impeccability. This comes as you gain more awareness and gain more personal power over your agreements.

The Challenge of a Spiritual Warrior

Don Miguel refers to some of these challenges throughout the book. However, in the excitement of the Truth in what don Miguel writes, people often overlook where he points out that this endeavor is not easy. The agreements may be simple, but he never says they are easy to keep.

At the same time living the Four Agreements has taken me on the most rewarding and profound journey of happiness and fulfillment beyond anything I could have imagined. The hard work in the beginning is rewarded to me in every interaction every day of my life. This is a very big return for a small investment of time and effort.

Don Miguel refers to people who decide to adopt the Four Agreements and create love and happiness in their life as Spiritual Warriors. It is Spiritual because it is about living your Life. It is also referred to as a war because you are challenging the old fear based beliefs in your mind. It will take more than a week and a half to break free of fear, the tyranny of the inner judge, and old emotional habits. There will be some battles lost along the way, but that is of minor concern in the longer term strategy of creating happiness in your life.

The Quest for Personal Freedom

The quest of a Spiritual Warrior is for Personal Freedom. Personal Freedom means freedom from fear, illusions, and the fear based beliefs in the mind. In essence it means to win the war over the beliefs in the mind. It is with Personal Freedom that we are free of the human condition of emotional suffering. Spiritual traditions around the world have their own names for this state of awareness including nirvana and heaven. It is a state that is simply described as living your life with unconditional love, gratitude, and respect, for your self, and for others.

The Opportunity

I’ve spent many years personally studying with don Miguel Ruiz. After my life and relationships were completely transformed I asked him if there was anything that I could do for him in return. He said, “If you want to, share with others what you have learned and how you live your life so they can be happy as well.”

That help has taken the form of material on my web sites, personal coaching guidance, online audio course in Self Mastery, and Spiritual Intensive Journeys. I am also working on a book about my experiences.

There are many practical actions you can take to speed up changing your life and live more impeccably.  In my years of study with don Miguel what he has written in his books is a small fraction of his teachings.

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While don Miguel is no longer teaching, you can still learn the practices, process, wisdom and insights from those he trained.   You are invited to take advantage of the material in my web sites, my personal coaching services, and the workshops and Power Journeys I lead.

The best place to start is the Self Mastery Audio Series.   It is a self paced program of mp3 audio files that you download and listen to.  Each session has very specific practical exercises to help you implement aspects of mastering the Four Agreements.  The first four sessions are free so that you can sample the material and see if it will work for you.  The next 10 sessions are only $99.

As an alternative you can listen to many of the free mp3 audios that I have placed on line that deal with issues like, How not to take thing personally, Changing Core Beliefs, Free Will,  Feeling Not Good Enough, Hidden Assumptions, Do We Have Free Will, and others.

I wish you much Love, Joy, and Laughter in your Journey,

Gary van Warmerdam

Mar 122013
 

50 Truths about Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution

Global Research, March 11, 2013
hugo chavez Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez, who died on March 5, 2013 of cancer at age 58, marked forever the history of Venezuela and Latin America.

1. Never in the history of Latin America, has a political leader had such incontestable democratic legitimacy. Since coming to power in 1999, there were 16 elections in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez won 15, the last on October 7, 2012. He defeated his rivals with a margin of 10-20 percentage points.

2. All international bodies, from the European Union to the Organization of American States, to the Union of South American Nations and the Carter Center, were unanimous in recognizing the transparency of the vote counts.

3. James Carter, former U.S. President, declared that Venezuela’s electoral system was “the best in the world.”

4. Universal access to education introduced in 1998 had exceptional results. About 1.5 million Venezuelans learned to read and write thanks to the literacy campaign called Mission Robinson I.

5. In December 2005, UNESCO said that Venezuela had eradicated illiteracy.

6. The number of children attending school increased from 6 million in 1998 to 13 million in 2011 and the enrollment rate is now 93.2%.

7. Mission Robinson II was launched to bring the entire population up to secondary level. Thus, the rate of secondary school enrollment rose from 53.6% in 2000 to 73.3% in 2011.

8. Missions Ribas and Sucre allowed tens of thousands of young adults to undertake university studies. Thus, the number of tertiary students increased from 895,000 in 2000 to 2.3 million in 2011, assisted by the creation of new universities.

9. With regard to health, they created the National Public System to ensure free access to health care for all Venezuelans. Between 2005 and 2012, 7873 new medical centers were created in Venezuela.

10. The number of doctors increased from 20 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 80 per 100,000 in 2010, or an increase of 400%.

11. Mission Barrio Adentro I provided 534 million medical consultations. About 17 million people were attended, while in 1998 less than 3 million people had regular access to health. 1.7 million lives were saved, between 2003 and 2011.

12. The infant mortality rate fell from 19.1 per thousand in 1999 to 10 per thousand in 2012, a reduction of 49%.

13. Average life expectancy increased from 72.2 years in 1999 to 74.3 years in 2011.

14. Thanks to Operation Miracle, launched in 2004, 1.5 million Venezuelans who were victims of cataracts or other eye diseases, regained their sight.

15. From 1999 to 2011, the poverty rate decreased from 42.8% to 26.5% and the rate of extreme poverty fell from 16.6% in 1999 to 7% in 2011.

16. In the rankings of the Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP), Venezuela jumped from 83 in 2000 (0.656) at position 73 in 2011 (0.735), and entered into the category Nations with ‘High HDI’.

17. The GINI coefficient, which allows calculation of inequality in a country, fell from 0.46 in 1999 to 0.39 in 2011.

18. According to the UNDP, Venezuela holds the lowest recorded Gini coefficient in Latin America, that is, Venezuela is the country in the region with the least inequality.

19. Child malnutrition was reduced by 40% since 1999.

20. In 1999, 82% of the population had access to safe drinking water. Now it is 95%.

21. Under President Chavez social expenditures increased by 60.6%.

22. Before 1999, only 387,000 elderly people received a pension. Now the figure is 2.1 million.

23. Since 1999, 700,000 homes have been built in Venezuela.

24. Since 1999, the government provided / returned more than one million hectares of land to Aboriginal people.

25. Land reform enabled tens of thousands of farmers to own their land. In total, Venezuela distributed more than 3 million hectares.

26. In 1999, Venezuela was producing 51% of food consumed. In 2012, production was 71%, while food consumption increased by 81% since 1999. If consumption of 2012 was similar to that of 1999, Venezuela produced 140% of the food it consumed.

27. Since 1999, the average calories consumed by Venezuelans increased by 50% thanks to the Food Mission that created a chain of 22,000 food stores (MERCAL, Houses Food, Red PDVAL), where products are subsidized up to 30%. Meat consumption increased by 75% since 1999.

28. Five million children now receive free meals through the School Feeding Programme. The figure was 250,000 in 1999.

29. The malnutrition rate fell from 21% in 1998 to less than 3% in 2012.

30. According to the FAO, Venezuela is the most advanced country in Latin America and the Caribbean in the erradication of hunger.

31. The nationalization of the oil company PDVSA in 2003 allowed Venezuela to regain its energy sovereignty.

32. The nationalization of the electrical and telecommunications sectors (CANTV and Electricidad de Caracas) allowed the end of private monopolies and guaranteed universal access to these services.

33. Since 1999, more than 50,000 cooperatives have been created in all sectors of the economy.

34. The unemployment rate fell from 15.2% in 1998 to 6.4% in 2012, with the creation of more than 4 million jobs.

35. The minimum wage increased from 100 bolivars ($ 16) in 1998 to 247.52 bolivars ($ 330) in 2012, ie an increase of over 2,000%. This is the highest minimum wage in Latin America.

36. In 1999, 65% of the workforce earned the minimum wage. In 2012 only 21.1% of workers have only this level of pay.

37. Adults at a certain age who have never worked still get an income equivalent to 60% of the minimum wage.

38. Women without income and disabled people receive a pension equivalent to 80% of the minimum wage.

39. Working hours were reduced to 6 hours a day and 36 hours per week, without loss of pay.

40. Public debt fell from 45% of GDP in 1998 to 20% in 2011. Venezuela withdrew from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, after early repayment of all its debts.

41. In 2012, the growth rate was 5.5% in Venezuela, one of the highest in the world.

42. GDP per capita rose from $ 4,100 in 1999 to $ 10,810 in 2011.

43. According to the annual World Happiness 2012, Venezuela is the second happiest country in Latin America, behind Costa Rica, and the nineteenth worldwide, ahead of Germany and Spain.

44. Venezuela offers more direct support to the American continent than the United States. In 2007, Chávez spent more than 8,800 million dollars in grants, loans and energy aid as against 3,000 million from the Bush administration.

45. For the first time in its history, Venezuela has its own satellites (Bolivar and Miranda) and is now sovereign in the field of space technology. The entire country has internet and telecommunications coverage.

46. The creation of Petrocaribe in 2005 allows 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, or 90 million people, secure energy supply, by oil subsidies of between 40% to 60%.

47. Venezuela also provides assistance to disadvantaged communities in the United States by providing fuel at subsidized rates.

48. The creation of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) in 2004 between Cuba and Venezuela laid the foundations of an inclusive alliance based on cooperation and reciprocity. It now comprises eight member countries which places the human being in the center of the social project, with the aim of combating poverty and social exclusion.

49. Hugo Chavez was at the heart of the creation in 2011 of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which brings together for the first time the 33 nations of the region, emancipated from the tutelage of the United States and Canada.

50. Hugo Chavez played a key role in the peace process in Colombia. According to President Juan Manuel Santos, “if we go into a solid peace project, with clear and concrete progress, progress achieved ever before with the FARC, is also due to the dedication and commitment of Chavez and the government of Venezuela.”
Translation by Tim Anderson

Mar 102013
 

Is Bitcoin the Currency of the Resistance?

Here is an in depth article on Bitcoin; we interview Swedish Pirate Founder Rick Falkvinge in the second half and were going to talk to him about the fact that he converted all of his savings to Bitcoin. Alas, we never got a chance this interview but we’ll interview him again in the next week or two to find out specifically why he did this and Max will not ask him any other questions but about his decision to do this! [Also, anyone concerned about Bitcoin, not to worry because Wall Street’s man in the Senate – Chuck Schumer – is co-sponsoring a bill to ban Bitcoin.] Recall also that, in our interview with Jon Matonis, he predicted that Bitcoin would become more valuable/legitimate if politicians tried to ban it.

Here is the LibertarianNews’ response to the immediate hostility by the gold crowd to Bitcoin.


What Is Bitcoin? Tom Woods Talks to Erik Voorhees

Filling in as host of the Peter Schiff Show, bestselling author Tom Woods interviews Erik Voorhees of BitInstant about Bitcoin, and takes listener calls. Visit these sites:
http://www.WeUseCoins.org
http://www.BitInstant.com
And read Erik’s “Bitcoin: A Libertarian Introduction