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Social Conditioning

Related very closely to the concept of Groupthink is a process called Social Conditioning .  However, where Groupthink relates to cognitive issues in a small group, Social Conditioning is concerned more with broad social implications – typically nationwide. Definition: Social conditioning is the sociological process of training individuals in a society to respond in a manner generally approved by the society in general and peer groups within society. Manifestations of social conditioning are vast, but …

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Groupthink

In a continuing series of articles regarding barriers to Proper Thinking let’s address Groupthink. “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.”  – Walter Lippmann What is Groupthink? Wikipedia:  “Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation …

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Dogma

What is Dogma? Dogma is any ideology that demands of its followers unquestioned loyalty and faith.  Faith in its doctrines . . . in its leaders . . . in its proclamations.  Behind its ‘scripture’ may stand elements of truths – some of which can (and are) useful at times.  However, it demands no questioning of its current tenets – particularly by laypersons and “outsiders.”  Violators of this edict are either ignored and/or ridiculed and …

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Sleepthief – Afterthoughts

A beautiful piece of music from Sleepthief: Afterthoughts featuring vocalist Lauren Edman. Heavenly . . . . .  Ethereal . . . . . (Featured image by James L. Patterson)

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Values – Personal Core

What Exactly Are Values? Value can fall into several arenas: Economic – the material worth of something compared to the monetary price paid. Utility/Importance – something held in high regard due to its usefulness or importance to you. Aesthetic – this could technically be a part of Utility/Importance, above, but has a more specific relation to art, beauty, harmony and nature such that it elicits a pleasurable experience for the viewer. Personal-Core/Ethical – what’s most …

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Don’t Believe Everything You Think

I saw this on a car’s bumper sticker today: “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” It definitely struck me and resonated with what I continually try to focus upon.  Always question your basic beliefs and assumptions.  Objectively (truly objectively) look at all points of an argument or belief.  Use the Clinical Attitude whenever possible. Embrace intellectual integrity and be willing to admit that beliefs you’ve held for many years may be wrong when you’re presented with …

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Sleepthief – Sublunar (Sweet Angel)

Sleepthief – Sublunar (Sweet Angel) Probably my favorite female vocalist for ethereal/dream-pop/angelic/trance-type music, Kristy Thirsk. Hauntingly beautiful (as is all of her music with Sleepthief, Delerium, Balligomingo, and Conjure One). (Featured image by James L. Patterson)

Samson and the Lion by Gleb W. Derujinsky (sculpture)

Samson and the Lion – by Gleb Derujinsky

Samson and the Lion Gleb Derujinsky Limestone, 1949 Brookgreen Gardens – Murrells Inlet, SC Mr. Derujinsky must have been one of Anna Hyatt Huntington’s favorites, as there are numerous scultpures by him on the grounds of Brookgreen Gardens.  And . . . they all seem to resonate with me.   🙂 (All images by the Author: James L. Patterson)

Man Carving His Own Destiny by Albin Polasek (sculpture)

Man Carving His Own Destiny – by Albin Polášek

Man Carving His Own Destiny Albin Polášek Indiana Limestone, 1961 Brookgreen Gardens – Murrells Inlet, SC I very much like the description on the placard sign about the artist’s vision of “man chiseling himself, struggling to hack out his own character, carving his future by the effort of his will.”   This aligns in my mind with an individual’s effort to create the best person they can be during their short sojourn on this Earth – …

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What is Science?

I originally wanted to start the “Science” category with a short series of posts discussing some very basic introductory concepts to serve as a baseline/reference for future discussion.  However, I happened to be in the middle of some great research involving the helical motion of the solar system, so I chose to grab the fire while it was burning and go ahead with that article first. So, stepping back a bit to address the basics …

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Galactic plane at about 60-degrees to the ecliptic - Photo by Hristo Fidanov from Pexels

Helical Solar System Motion Through the Galaxy: Heretical Revelation or Well-known Fact? – Part 2

Part 1 can be found here Summary of Part 1 So . . . . in a similar manner to my experience, we have someone (DjSadhu) discover a fact that: was never before shared with him in any form (school, documentaries, books, web sites, etc.), and was a revolutionary idea totally different from what he did learn, so he had to share his “aha” moment with others. Unlike me (no video animation expertise) DjSadhu produces …

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Galactic plane at about 60-degrees to the ecliptic - Photo by Frank Cone from Pexels

Helical Solar System Motion Through the Galaxy: Heretical Revelation or Well-known Fact? – Part 1

An instinctive visualization? Based on science classes in school, books we’ve seen, images online, and even TV  documentaries, most of us (laypersons) visualize the Solar System something like this or this. We are taught the planets circle the sun in elliptical orbits at various distances and speeds, and for the most part the orbits are very nearly in the same flat, geometric plane (Pluto being the obvious exception) .  Through life we end up carrying …

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Heretic, Part 1 – The path of Casual Catholic, to Born Again Christian, to Atheist, to (maybe) Agnostic

her·e·tic ˈherəˌtik/ noun  – a person believing in or practicing religious heresy 1.1  – a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted. (source: Oxford dictionary) I’ve spent years as a seeker – looking for answers to questions; keys to life; secrets of success; hidden/esoteric knowledge; ultimately the truth.  I think it started sometime in the mid- to late-90s when I was in my late 30s. However, when I really think back …

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“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. . .

I love this quote: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  – Buckminster Fuller (Featured image by Steve Yelvington on Wikimedia Commons, licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)

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Knowing is not enough . . .

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Featured image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay)

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All truth passes through three stages . . .

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”  – Arthur Schopenhauer (Featured image by Robert on flickr, licensed by CC BY-NC 2.0)

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If you would not be forgotten . . .

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.”  – Benjamin Franklin (Featured image by Chad Cooper on flickr, licensed by CC BY-NC 2.0)

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Paul Cardall – Life and Death

Such a moving and melancholy song.  So wonderfully written and performed. The piano and strings are incredible!  It’s a piece I’d like to have played at my funeral. (Featured image by Debbie D. Patterson)

Carpe Diem, pop-open cards

Carpe Diem!

Over the last several months my wonderful wife bought some really nice pop-open cards, all titled “CARPE DIEM.”  She hides them here-and-there for me to find and writes something sweet on the back of them. After popping open the perforated cover of the card, inside each is a quote that shares an inspiring thought for personal growth and self-actualization.  This is particularly nice because it fits right into the niche I’ve been passionately pursuing for …

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Walking Question Mark

Rosicrucians, because of their world view of questioning everything, are frequently known as Walking Question Marks.  Some applicable quotes from the monograms include: “A true Rosicrucian is a walking question mark.” “A lack of explanations or obscure statements never satisfy a Rosicrucian.” “This is the spirit of the Rosicrucian – a person who is not so quick to accept as truth that which they are told is truth.  Rather, a Rosicrucian is one who is …

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Two Steps From Hell – Heart of Courage

Powerful. Inspiring. Epic. Invincible! I was surprised to hear this being played in the opening video montage at recent University of Louisville football games.  I had heard it numerous times previously on my Pandora shuffle of Delerium, Blue Stone, Sleepthief & Conjure One.  It’s composed by Thomas J. Bergerson and has  been used in numerous film trailers, television shows and advertisements.  This song gives me chills; moves me; envelopes me.  It makes me feel like …

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Elysium's Knot Garden (five years)

Knot Garden

Elysium’s Knot Garden . . . . My wife and I always make a point of visiting gorgeous public gardens when traveling.  The beauty is breathtaking and inspiring!  Of particularly fascination for me are those places that include a “knot” garden.  “Knot,” meaning that two or more varieties of plants are arranged in an intricate pattern and trimmed such that they appear to be a ribbon passing over-and-under each other – giving a knot effect.  …

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Our gardens, 2008

The creation of our gardens – Elysium

My wife Debbie and I cut our teeth attempting our small landscape in our first tiny home.  At that time we couldn’t tell you the name of most plants and shrubs.  We moved into our current home in May 1989.  Although the house was only thirteen years old at the time, it needed work to achieve the potential that Deb and I saw in its structure and grounds. Here are a series of before-during-after photos …

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