Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Noetic Posting...??


Sometimes the topic is a little different. This is the case with the concept of Noetic Sciences. This posting was actually begun 3 postings ago and I kept putting it back, don't know why. Yet, today, it felt right to complete it and post it. Nothing earth shattering or changing; yet, for me it opens the door to many thought threads and possibilities of issues and circumstances in the past that I m not sure I want to get into. Anyway... there it goes and yes, you should "google it"; it is actually very interesting.

I’m not really sure where the saying that heads this post originated, but probably somewhere within the halls of a casino, the table manager turning the roulette and commending everyone’s luck to the hands of the Good Lady. Today it has evolved into everyday use, mostly to express our complete lack of knowledge about what life has in store for us at any given time.

In a recent posting, the concept of Noetic Sciences was incorporated into the flow. I am very far from being an expert on this topic since, as such, it just came into my attention recently. However, it totally supports feelings and thoughts I have had and come to accept over the years, even when not truly understanding them; without really knowing what they were, or from whence they came. Mind over matter; mind moving the circumstances that develop your life and shaping events that come to pass. There is not much I can elucidate on this, I am but beginning to read some of these books and studies. That is, I do it as time allows me to do so. What I have come to understand, however, is that reactions to individual and collective thoughts have been effectively measured in major events.

In retrospect I can point to several instances in my life, even at a relatively early age, when conscious thoughts seemed to modify what normal course of events should have been. These did not always happen directly to me but to people I knew; some of whom were members of my family. However a few did involve me and I remember when, after very badly controlled, concentrated efforts, circumstances seemed to be “rearranging” themselves over the course of a few days or weeks in order to help me get to where I needed to go. People would appear to guide me or be of help, and events would occur which had no reason to be. In reading about Noetic Sciences, I find out this is not as uncommon a happening as might be thought. Mental concentration, including the “vibes” this sends out into the immediate universe, is thought to actually influence the environment around the sender. Whether for the positive or the negative; it all depends on the kind of projection that is being sent out. A person who always expects to receive good things, seems to always receive them. On the other hand, a person who always complains about “Why me?” or is always complaining about his/her “constant” bad luck, seems to live like Chuck’s friend of the Peanuts stories: always covered in a cloud of dust.

Some thoughts about Noetic Sciences. Most who read this will no doubt, doubt. At best, dismiss it as a mental meandering without much “meat”. Don’t dismiss it; read into it before you do. Last year when I was treated for cancer and later had hip surgery, I assumed a totally positive attitude. It just never occurred to me that CA was going to in any possible way, win out. The treatments never bothered me, and the results were outstanding. In talking with the doctor he told me that, in his experience, those who truly expected to be “cured” would show a remarkable improvement. Even in the most difficult of circumstances, the treatment would go a lot smoother and with better results than in the case of those patients who came and did their best to be depressed, always expecting the worst. Dr. T. told me, in conversation, that indeed the mind is a little known instrument and that if we as a human race lived long enough, there was the possibility that we could learn to practice self-cure for most minor ailments, without the intervention of an MD. In fact, this is being already researched.

Where else can we go today? The weather finally has turned a little bit and the suffocating heat we have had for two weeks, seems to be subsiding. When I was Florida, it was 95+; when we arrived back here, it was 96+. Not the kind of weather you might expect for the foothills of North Carolina. It truly felt stagnant.

In “futbol” World Cup we are now down to 8 teams and, for the first time ever, fully half of that contingent is from South America. Paraguay eked out a penalty victory against Japan in order to become the 4th team from South America to make it: Brasil (nothing new here!!), Argentina(also a familiar face at this level), Uruguay, first time at this advanced level in many years and Paraguay, first time ever. Good luck to them all although, in the end, there will only be one team holding The Trophy.

Be Well, back soon!!

RJA

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Of Futbol and Other Issues...


I have not been well these past couple of days. A bout of laryngitis which is now just going away, and just plain tired. Nonetheless, life does go on and we, along for the ride, go on with it. Nothing earth shattering, just wanted not to lose the newly reacquired habit of seating at the computer and writing a little bit...

It is that time in the life of a “Futbol” (As Soccer is known in the rest of the world) fanatic to go nuts. From 07:30 hours to well past 16:00 hours, every day –at least during the first round robin- there is soccer on the tube, the radio, the papers, on the street corners... People who wouldn’t know a penalty from a free throw become overnight mavens, quick to discuss their internet found knowledge with those who have followed the sport for many years… just one more way to make instant fools of ourselves; as if we didn’t have enough means to brilliantly do so already. This “little” tournament that happens every four years is known as the FIFA World Cup and it is the culmination of a long and often tortuous elimination road. Eventually, 32 countries get their teams in, and the fun begins.
In this 2010 edition, so far, the French are behaving like French in a quick first round ouster, going home in disgrace… they are traveling now “coach class” under security, their national committee not wanting to waste any more money on this bad imitation of a team... Mon Dieu!!... no truffles and champagne??; the Italians, several of whom are pedaling on wheels older than should be fought valiantly, but also fell in the first round. The vaunted Germans and British barely made it to the second round and the Dutch, perennial force, went through although not easily. The Spanish “Red Fury” must win their second and third game if they are to pass; yet, they came into the tournament as one of the odds-on favorites. US and Latin American squads have done well in the first round including a couple of sensational last second goals by the US; most of them are making it to the second round, where they will face their brethren and eliminate each other.
Most of the participating world stops to watch, especially when the national team is playing. This holds true for first, second and third world countries (or fourth, tenth, etc…) What is it about this sport that, in some countries, even the president gets into the act and allows a no-work day (or two) when the national team is playing. This, for a fledgling economy can be a costly measure. Yet, it is political coin and seen from a pragmatic viewpoint, no one will be working anyway. I remember living in Argentina; during the WC of 1986 whenever Argentina played, I could have probably set up a field tent in the middle of a main avenue which, when carrying normal traffic, would be a life experience just to cross. Anyway, Long Live Futbol!!
I’m just getting over a bad case of laryngitis. Every 2 years or so, I go through this ritual and I’m told it is a remnant from my smoking days, when I used to put away as many as three packs per day. Even though it has been just about 30 years since I smoked my last “Lucky” (what a name for a killer stick!!), the bronchial system is still more susceptible to infections than it may have been without that prior history. Anyway, for someone whose voice is a primary work instrument, this has laid me off for the duration of the week. The problem is that as soon as it feels that the voice is coming back, the normal tendency is to start using it again. When this is done, without full healing having taken place, it brings back the vocal chord irritation and, again, loss of voice. So, a lot of will power has to be exercised to not fall into the trap of overusing the voice; the second time the ability to make sounds is lost, it takes longer to recoup.
So… shut up and write!!!
Somewhere in the background, there is a TV blaring with The Game… I’m not sure who is playing although I assume it to be Holland, since the term “orange machine” is being used fairly often. Do they have oranges in the Netherlands? I thought not… The team’s nickname should the “Tulip Machine”; after all, the national image is more closely linked to these last than to oranges… On the other hand, it would not sound very intimidating to be told that your next opponent is the dreaded Tulip Machine…”
On to other issues… except there aren’t may others that come to mind. Well…yeah, there are many issues, but those are really not for airing at this time. Some of them will eventually make it onto this blog, or elsewhere… I think…
Colombian voters elected to continue on with the policies of current Pres. Uribe. To many, this is a call to continued internal strife. To others, in what is an absolute majority of the voters voting (70%), this is the line of action that is preferred. In other words: to the guerrillas, no easy way out. After 40+ years and several generations being reared in the middle of this violent environment, it will be a very difficult task to rectify the internal culture in the country. And it will not be accomplished in one or two or even 5 presidencies, it will be a generational healing process when it eventually comes to pass.
We face the same issue in Cuba, when this regime eventually comes to pass, as all things human will. There will be a lot of generational healing and retraining to do, and those better trained to do it will be the people who were able to survive within the beast, not those who have been yelling and posturing on this other side of the water.
Before I get off on a political tangent…
Bye for now…Be Well…
RJA

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Little Cheat...


No, not that kind of cheat... I have been working on and off (isn't everything on-'n-off?) on a story of my "life", going back to the early 1980's. I am not a very good long writer, usually prefer to do short stuff, like the blog entries and so on. However, it is being tried and the decision was made to take an excerpt from that "manuscript sitting in the computer", and air it here. It picks up in the story, around the time of life in which issues began to get out of hand and some of them outright eventually went to deep south. I'm not too sure as to how far the original story will go to; maybe I will air little pieces now and then...

“…In the early 1980’s (as good a point as any), after some 10 years in insurance sales, my experience brought me to work with an international consulting firm. This was in the field of life insurance, and it was an association comprised of related companies from just about all corners of the world. My job, as described by my eventual supervisor during the hiring process, would be to bring assistance, consultation services and sales and marketing training to the personnel of the affiliated companies in my territory. Oh, and by the way, sell more seminars and also bring new companies into the fold. We need to grow. OK.

My initial territory would be Latin America (good chunk of real estate, just to get started!!…). Eventually, some other countries were added: Spain (this seemed Ok; after all they do speak Spanish there!), England (well, I do all right in English also) However, when management added India, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, it became somewhat of a burden. After all, there are only so many hours in a month that can be spent on a plane.

I remember there was a time when mail would actually be sent to the Eastern Airlines (Remember: “The Wings of Man” airline…?) Ionosphere Club at the Miami Intl. Airport. Even though I lived in Connecticut then, Miami was the crossroads for all my southbound connecting flights. -“Oh, hi Mr. Alcazar. Coming through again? Welcome” “Oh and by the way, here is this package of mail waiting for you” “Would you like some coffee?” (They did still actually still serve it in those days). Remember: back in the early 80’s, laptops, cell-phones and PDA’s were still a thing of the future. You actually had to get someplace before you could place a call to another place. I am still not sure those toys have actually improved upon the overall quality of everyday life.

Anyway, travel became very extensive and marriage was becoming a problem spot for both my wife and I. And not just because of the travel time. Our relationship was becoming questionable and, at best, on hold. It is indeed very difficult to manage a family which, much like a personal corporation–actually much more than-, requires attention and dedication. And also, lots of love… I got to travel the world (literally!!) and my wife got to raise the children. When I was home, I did dedicate my time to them, especially to the children. We participated in all school functions and could be counted on to be the loudest boosters… well, me anyway; my wife would get annoyed at my yelling and noise making, while the kids would love it. I would also either coach them in the different sports in which they participated, or assisted their coach… But this was truly not enough. I probably logged -over a 5 year period- an average of 400,000 air miles per year. One year in particular, 1985, was a real killer. Two trips to India and Japan were added to my regular trips to various countries in Latin America.

Because of the (usual) economic problems brewing in South America, my services were being offered in the different Far Eastern countries and, as time would pass, I would spend more time over there.

This was the message management gave me: “the income is over there, not in Latin America”. As a business executive, I could see this clearly. As a person, it was very difficult for me to want to allow my time to be spent in parts other than Latin America. I had made many friends (some of them I still call friends, after these many years have passed) and had also made many commitments…”

Monday, June 14, 2010

Once a Week, Keeps the Dr. Away...


As said before, it is not an easy task to get going after a long period of nothing. Hopefully the next entries will get easier and better...
No, is not what you think although it might, at that… I have been looking at my past production on this blog and what I have been able to produce over the last 2 months. Not what I would like; definitely not… Too many issues and too many potholes to sidestep. We moved, re-started a new/old line of work, my wife became very ill due to an infection and then we went away for a few days… Just returned last night, with a host of resolutions to be nurtured and developed into realities. One of them was to actually sit and write at least once a week into the blog; the topic(s)? Well, whatever came into mind at the time of the sitting.
So, here I sit and wait for Mr. Topic to come a-waltzing into my head. Guess what? Not a miserable clue, not even a feeble note of music is being produced at this time. At least none I can hear. I look around my work station and I see an envelope which has to be opened and the contents rerouted to their eventual destiny, a phone which is actually becoming somewhat of a pest, a book with a number of “leads” of people who eagerly await my call so they can buy my product (or so I’m told); a number of papers, all containing some such message informing me of issues that should be attended. A couple of pens; one with black ink, one with blue ink. The one with blue ink is to sign those original documents that should not be copied. I guess some people have not heard of up to date color copiers. A copy from one of these will look better than the original. What else is there? I see a folder with copies of applications from past clients and one with copies of rejections from the insurance company. Luckily, this last folder is much thinner than the other one… There is also email to go and sort. Most of this tends to be junk mail. Amazing, isn’t it? Just a few years ago it took a letter anywhere from 3 to 5 days to be delivered anywhere in the US. Junk mail was limited to the few store flyers that would come in with the Saturday mail; while these still come in my electronic mail is flooded with stupid messages and letters which are usually sent by another computer, to the tune of some 75-90 messages per day.
During this last trip, I did not have the opportunity to check my mail for 3 days and when I did… there were some 285 messages to be dumped. I think I like the old system better… slower, but a lot cleaner. I love it when some geezer in the UK or Nigeria lets me know that my name has been miraculously picked by some higher force and that, as a result, I am now the presumed heir to some unknown “relative” in a country where I have never been, and usually to the tune of not less than 15 Million US$$$$. It gets even better when the friendly fella tells me that even if I have no idea of what they are talking about, he/she will swear before all their courts that indeed not only am I that long lost relative, but that Uncle Theodore wrote me into his will as the sole heir right before he bought the farm. Just for a 20% participation in the loot and after, of course, covering some “minor” up front expenses. Would you buy into this? Apparently, there are enough people who respond and follow up.
This scam has been going on for the better part of 25 years; now being aided and abetted by the electronic mail monster. Imagine: if you are the happy fraudster you can now send your message, with a simple keystroke, to several thousand recipients at once.
This dearth of topics is getting on my nerves. Our outside plants died while we were away. The one big plant inside was OK when we returned from the trip. Oh yes, we bought the water bottles and put them into the pots, but these were meant for the 3-4 days we were going to be away, not for the 8 days it took us to get back. Poor little flowers. Just took the remaining dry stems off the planters and threw them away into the garbage this afternoon… not even a requiem. I know… too sappy, but they were beautiful and did bring happiness in the afternoons, the different color flowers hanging from the baskets. Have to go to Home Depot (or I should say Loews, since we are in the Carolinas and they are the local boys) and pick up a new batch of flowers to plant. They are indeed living entities; they do respond well to a little care.
While away, I started reading “The Lost Symbol” from Dan Brown. Although I could not complete the book –it wasn’t mine to bring back- enough was read to learn about the heroine’s development of experiments within the Noetic Sciences field… Huhh?? Well, I said the same at the beginning. Yet, when more information was gathered, it became a very interesting topic indeed. It has been around as such since the earlier part of the 1900’s and it deals, in a scientific manner, with the concept of mind over matter. If you like this sort of thing (I love it!!) look into it on the internet or, as the knowing crowd would say: “Google It”…
And, Oh yes… this morning I started my exercise routine again after being a lazy bum for over a month… it hurts!!
Bye’ for now… Be Well…
RJA

From Wally’s Pond… Again…

This will become entry #400 for this blog. It started late 2009; a means to pass convalescencing time from my cancer treatment and the firs...