The Science of Grieving Video

This video is a brief overview help understand the impact that death has on those associated with the deceased. It is a subject close to my heart after losing my beloved wife Kate Louise Hyne (45) to cancer 4 years ago. The information is to help have a broader perspective because a lot of models presented about grief don’t have scientific models to explain it clearly. For example the traditional 5 stages of grief is so simplistic and outdated and culturally ignorant and insensitive to a persons intellect and feelings.

The thieving magpie

This is a short story I wrote about 28 years ago, enjoy.

Photo by shravan khare on

It was a cold wet morning in December and the birds making a noise heard outside amongst the rustle of the wind as it brushed against the naked trees. A middle-aged woman awoke from her peaceful rest to another repetitive day. Her husband was away to a demanding day at the factory, supervising all the local working classes. She drew back the curtains slowly to inspect the garden with all its commotions of collaborations between the natural beauty of wildlife. The squirrels were covering their supplies while the Robins were hopping around in search of food. The other birds flying from tree to tree spying out the land while the magpies were looking for an innocent victim to devour or steal from.

The woman’s name was Mrs Emily Redgrave, a wealthy mistress of the Howard Redgrave, an influential business manager. He was a devoted husband of Emily. She walked down the stairs in her silk dressing gown towards the front door to collect the milk. She opened the door and noticed that the birds have been at the milk again.” Those wretched birds why can’t they just leave my milk alone”.

Miss Redgrave had a regular visitor every Thursday. A so-called friend from years ago who attended the same school. There was once a close relationship like a sister, but over the years they drifted apart. The conversation would start with the mundane events in life. It would lead to a heated argument about each other’s life in competition. Mrs Redgrave knew there was a jealous heart in her friend Helena Foster but dismayed it as an insecurity and lack of experience. The clock struck 11 and not a minute after, there was a knock at the door.

“Hello Helena, please come in from the cold and rain. Even in this shocking weather you always arrive just after 11.”

“Well, my sweet friend, when you live alone like me you don’t have the pleasure of looking after a handsome husband.” said the spiteful lady as she wiped her feet on the doormat.

“Oh, please come into the lounge and have a cup of tea with me.”

“How is Howard?”

“He seemed very anxious the other day at the wedding in Florence. Because of pressure from work, he’s had very demanding contracts to meet, and the employees are revolting with accusations.”

Helena replies subtly as a cunning leopard hunting her prey, “Your husband needs reassurance and support. What have you done for him recently apart from looking after the house? I’m not surprised. Have you been neglecting him? If you don’t watch it, he will leave you or even do something worse.” Mrs Redgrave couldn’t understand and can’t believe her ears from a friend.

“I’ve been so caught up with the wedding of our beloved daughter I’ve been feeling very low recently.”
“Don’t worry too much, my dear. I will be here to look after Howard and you. We can be one big happy family.” The hunter smiled to herself, thinking if only she could have Howard all to herself.

Miss foster left the house and Emily wept bitterly with a heart open with a violent storm of sadness. The tears were falling down her cheeks like the rain outside. The rain lashed against the window, slowly drifting towards the ground in confusion. Losing her daughter in marriage caused loneliness in the Redgrave home. She didn’t know where to turn for support because her husband was under a lot of pressure. Her life sank into a deep depression and melancholy.

The noise of the machines was chattering away like a mechanical orchestra at a steady pace in the factory. The occasional break as the machinist finished one rotation. Men with solemn faces and worn-out hands working precisely with the huge machines. Rain was tapping on the huge, corrugated roof, and drips of water descended into the buckets dotted around the factory floor. In the building’s corner’ was an office elevated above the factory floor like a prison guard’s control post. You could see two men shouting and waving their hands. It was Mr Redgrave and Mr Jean Mitchell, a French investor. 

“Mr Redgrave, if you don’t reach your targets on time, we will have to do something drastic to you.” said the Frenchman emphatically. 

“I’m at the limits already and my men can’t work any harder without revolting.” Mr Redgrave said pleadingly.

Later that day there was a general meeting for all the workers in the factory, from the cleaner to the supervisor. All 300 men gathered in the large dining hall with anxious looks with envious hard faces. “Men, we all know the tremendous competition we are against to survive. First, we will have to make cutbacks, with one hour a day. Redundancy will have to be made and lastly reduction in wages. With that it caused an opera of tragedy, with the men shouting, “traitor traitor traitor” and stamping their feet. There was animosity against Mr Redgrave saying “all he was concerned about was keeping his job to please his wife, what about our wives and our families. The volatile anger immersed with emotional outburst towards Mr Redgrave and his and wife life if they lost their jobs.

The factory supervisor went to Mr Redgrave’s office to speak to him privately. “What would you do then, Mr Ballard, I have targets to meet or all of us would be out of jobs? 

James, the factory supervisor, replied, “Whatever happens, don’t fire anyone. We all will work harder. We’re also willing to have a reduction in wages that must include you and the other supervisors”. 

Mr Redgrave replied “We have to get rid of at least 5% of our staff to make a profit and that’s final” James Ballard slammed the office door and walked down the stairs. 

That evening on the way home from work Mr Redgrave pulled in to see Eleanor foster the only friend he could think of he had left to turn to. “Sorry to disturb you Helena, can I come in for a couple of minutes, please?” 

“Oh, please come in, my dear. You look exhausted. Put your feet up and I will make you a lovely hot drink of coffee with a wee bit of dram.” Helena had devious eyes with a snide smile while she was making the coffee. As she was making the coffee, she filled the cup half full of strong whiskey. “They you are my dear take your time I’ll make you a quick snack”. She put more coal on the fire and pulled the curtains closed. 

“Don’t worry Helena, Emily will have my dinner ready as soon as I arrive home,” Howard said as he relaxed and yawned. Before he knew it, he fell asleep in the comfortable chair next to the blazing fire.

It was about 10:00 pm and Mr Redgrave had been in a deep sleep for several hours at Helena’s home. He woke up bewilder and confused. He was like a cat after a cosy rest next to the fire, not wanting to move. “What time is it, Helena?” Howard asked anxiously.

“It has just passed 10, my love. Why don’t you have a quick coffee before you go.”

“I must get straight home. Emily will worry about me.” Howard quickly slipped his shoes on and searched for his coat in the dimly lit room.

“I’ll get your coat. Are you sure you don’t want another quick coffee to wake you up?”

“No, thank you again Helena I must shoot off. Why did you let me sleep? Howard asked cautiously.

“You looked contented, like a baby in his mother’s arms. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

Mr Redgrave walked down the gravel path towards his car in the winter rain underneath the dark night. When he came in proximity to his car, he notices that all four tyres slashed. He was cold and annoyed, waving his arms in the air shouting and cursing while kicking the car. He walked back up the path. Helena was smiling as she watched her victim staggered back.

“I’m going to have to use your phone to let Emily know what’s happened,” he said while panting with fear and frustration. 

“It’s not working, my dear I think the storms must have disconnected the lines”.

“Are there any telephones nearby?”

“My neighbours are away on holiday and the nearest telephone is several miles away.”

“I’m going to have to use your car, Helena, please.”

” You can stay if you want to. My car was playing up today when I was visiting Emily.” 
“I can’t stay”. Mr Redgrave tried starting the engine. Once, twice, and up to six times with no response. He was feeling more exasperated and hit the dashboard than a wire dropped underneath the ignition key. Howard’s mind couldn’t understand why this was happening to him. Then he had ago to reconnect the wire. 1,2,3 hey presto it started. Miss foster was amazed he started the car. Her smile turned to disgust, like the transition from Doctor Hyde to Doctor Jackal. 

“Thanks a lot for letting me use your car. I drop it back tomorrow”. He sped off into the night, leaving a trail of smoke from the clutches of the hungry predator.

“Honey, I’m home I’m extremely sorry I am late. You would never believe what happened”. 

Howard slammed the door behind him, securely locking it. There was still no reply. Howard thought Emily must have gone to bed. He crept up the stairs towards their bedroom while removing his wet shirt. He opened the door, glanced across the room to see his beloved laying peacefully. He strolled across the soft carpet floor and realised Emily must be in a deep sleep, because she normally wakes up. The rain rattled against the window; the wind was whistling through the trees with the sound of an owl in the distant. Emily was very silent. “Emily,” Howard said loudly, but there was no response. “Emily, dear, I’m home,” but still no reply. Howard was worried and rushed towards the bed and shook her. “Emily, wake up” he shouted and rocked her and panicked. He was screaming at her, holding her close in his arms. She was cold and rigid. Not one breath was in her body.

The Doctor arrived “Doctor, what happened to her?” asked Mr Redgrave in a distraught state. 

“It looks like a toxin or poison which has caused severe swelling around the glands then she had a fatal heart attack.”

“But why, doctor?” Mr Redgrave sobbed and wept bitterly.

“I’ll have to do some tests and call the Chief Inspector Winslow to tie up some of those loose ends.”

“Are you suggesting murder, Doctor?” Mr Redgrave replied in a high-pitched voice?”

“Well, my dear old friend, it’s better to clear any conspicuous rumours and find the truth of the death of your beloved wife.”

As the doctor left, Mr Redgrave was full of remorse. He was pondering on the fact, if he had never dropped into Helena’s home, he could have saved his wife. He was full of guilt, blaming himself for everything that happened. 

Then there was a knock on the door. It was James Ballard “Hello Sir I’m sorry It is late, but I tried phoning you earlier but there was no reply and I had to see you urgently.”

“What do you want James, why couldn’t you wait until tomorrow when I would be at the factory?”
“I had to warn you of the threat from the workers. I overheard some of them planning to frighten you and your wife.”

“It’s too late, my wife is dead just leave me alone”. 

The factory supervisor left, and Mr Redgrave shut the door. He then went down on his knees, crying in the hallway. After about 10 minutes he composed himself and headed towards his only friend left in the lounge. He opened his drinks cabinet and poured half a tumbler of whiskey to drown his sorrows. As Mr Redgrave sat down in his chair with his whiskey bottle next to him, he looked around at the neat room and saw a cup and saucer on the floor half full of lukewarm tea. He puzzled because Emily was very particular about leaving dirty dishes around the house. 

A knock on the door Bang, Bang. It was Chief Inspector Winslow. Mr Redgrave dragged his feet towards the door with his whisky glass in his hand.

“Hello, is this Mr Redgrave’s house?” asked a small old frail man with an educated German accent. He wore a long black coat with a smart Black Hat with drips of water descending from the rim.

“Yes, it is, and I am Mr Redgrave. You must be Mr Winslow?

“You are most correct, Sir, can I come in please it’s very wet out here.”

“Oh, certainly come into the lounge, don’t worry about your wet coat and shoes”. 

He walked along the hallway with Mr Windsor following slowly behind, observing the carpet. “Mr Redgrave, that smells like a single malt whisky, probably about 20 years old?”.

“How did you know that Mr Winslow?”

“You could say if I had a previous life, I must have been a dog or a Scotsman”.

“Do you want a drink, Sir?” Mr Redgrave offered him as he poured another glass while Mr Windsor was looking at the window. 

“Thank you very much, but I want to have my strongest concentration powers of observation being fully alert, maybe after this case is sealed and wrapped up.” 

The inspector turned around, scratching his chin, and had a vacant look on his face.

“Mr Redgrave, what time did you arrive home tonight night?”

“I arrived home about 11:00 o’clock, then I found my wife dead on the bed. Then I telephoned the doctor.”

“Can I look at your wife, please? You can stay in here if you want to.”
“She’s upstairs. I will show you just follow me, Sir.”

They walked upstairs towards the bedroom while Mr Winslow was observing everything as he followed Mr Redgrave. He notices all the rooms upstairs were closed, apart from the bathroom and the bedroom door. He could smell a strong disinfectant that has been used recently. As they entered the bedroom, Mr Winslow looked around as he usually did, looking at the windows and at the door again. Emily laid out across the bed neatly with a silk nightgown on with her arms crossed. Inspector Windsor took off his hat and coat and gave them to Mr Redgrave to hold while he examined the body. 

“Just as I thought, cardiac arrest caused by poisoning Mr Redgrave”.

“Who could have done that, inspector?” Mr Redgrave asked in a state of shock.

“Mr Redgrave, please draw up a list of acquaintances and friends, work associates and anyone you can think of. Also, trace your last week’s activities and yours, and especially your wife, if you can.” 

Mr Winslow left and arranged to call back early in the morning to further his investigations. 

The dawn was breaking, and the sun rose on a fresh winter’s morning frost on the grass, with the spiders’ webs shining in the sunlight. The Chief Inspector walked down the path towards Mr Redgrave’s house. The magpies have been at the milk again, stealing the cream. 

He knocked on the door “Good morning, Mr Redgrave, what a pleasant day break.”

“Good morning Mr Winslow, please come in. Do you want a coffee?”

“I’m quite content now, thankyou sir,” 

They went into the lounge and sat down.

“I’ll have that whiskey now, if you don’t mind,” said Inspector Winslow. 

“Does that mean you will have solved the case with my wife’s death?”

“I am quite convinced. I will have to wait for the coroner’s report and the test on a few things to be 100 percent. I’m rarely wrong. Have you drawn up a list of your wife’s activities and so-called suspects?’ 

The inspector looked at the list and nodded his head, smiling. He takes a sip of the whiskey and looks at the sheet of paper. 

“It looks very interesting, Miss Helena Foster, James Ballard, Jean Mitchel and your employees, etc. There are a few other options you’ve left out. Yourself, suicide and natural causes.”

There was a knock at the door it, was the Doctor and he joined the inspector in the lounge. 

“Hello doctor, do you have the results yet?” asked inspector Winslow. 

The Doctor and Mr Redgrave sat down. The inspector was sitting back in his chair drinking another sip of his whiskey.

He said” well gentlemen, it couldn’t of have been an intruder because all the windows were locked. There were no fresh footprints last night apart from the doctor’s shoes and yours, Mr Redgrave. I notice your wife had a visitor yesterday Helena foster who I paid a visit to last night after I met with you. There was a different type of lipstick on a second cup and a scent of woman’s perfume in the air despite your whiskey. I concluded and realised your wife must have been violently sick because of the smell of disinfecting in the bathroom. My intuition told me it had to come from outside the house because there was no evidence linking you or Helena to your wife’s death. It was unusual to notice a milk bottle top outside last night and spilt milk on the carpet in the hallway. A thieving creature tragically killed your wife when she was physically weak suffering from depression. It’s a rare disease carried by the birds, and it can be fatal in humans. The suspects stole some of your milk and Helena doesn’t drink milk”

Who was it Inspector?

“It was a thieving magpie”.

The Pineapple and the Sweet Taste of Knowledge الأناناس وطعم المعرفة الحلو

This Post is done in the traditional Sufi Style like Rumi stories or parables. I have done much research on the topic and discovered that mystics and many religious teachings have spread their web across Europe from Arabic tradition hence the Arabic translation below (google translate probably inaccurate). The idea came from the word pine apple and there are many symbolic references throughout different cultures. The point of the story is not just words you read on the page but there are deeper meanings from any readers perspective. I am not of any religious institution but curious how perception in the past has influenced religious and state thinking far deeper than we appreciate. Its can be philosophical or light hearted it is the interpretation of the reader.

There was a poor woman who had very little money. 

The woman lived in a city where many said to her “you have to work harder”.

The work she did used all her energy and was tired every day.

One evening an old man gave her a gift.

She asked the old man “what is it?”

The man said to her “truth of the matter is in the eating”.

She looked at him and thought he was mad.

The next 3 days she looked at this strange gift.

She asked her neighbour to examine it.

Her neighbour was an intelligent man with much knowledge. 

He said, “it looks like a porcupine maybe it’s dead”.

“An old man said you can eat it “replied the woman.

The neighbour said, “don’t be foolish, it is too dangerous and difficult to eat”.

The dead porcupine didn’t move but the woman was afraid to touch it.

One day the women asked her boss to look at her dead porcupine.

Her boss laughed at her when she described her gift. 

He said” I am too busy eating and drinking the good things in life examine your gift”.

The next day her boss died, so the woman lost her job.

She said, “how am I going to eat with no money, food or job”.

On her way home she prayed for help to solve her problem.

Just outside her house was a very young monkey who was hungry. 

She felt sorry for the young monkey and gave the monkey the dead porcupine. 

She said, “this is all I have my friend, maybe you can play with it”.

The lady went inside and cried because she couldn’t find a job.

She had no energy to beg for food.

The young monkey opened the gift that the old man gave her.

Inside the gift the monkey was eating the delicious fruit and laughed.

The poor women stopped crying because she heard the monkey laughing. 

She went outside and the monkey gave her a piece of the dead porcupine. 

She was hungry and couldn’t wait anymore and took a bite.

“Thank you divine one for sending the monkey to show me the way to a sweet taste”. 

“I am thankful for the gift from the old man,” said the women.

The next day the woman woke up listening for the sound of the monkey.

She went outside and the monkey and fruit were gone.

The monkey left the head of the porcupine behind.

The poor lady decided to offer it to the gods in her garden.

She prayed and thanked the beloved for his mercy and kindness.

The poor lady on the next day went in search for a job.

She looked all day to find work, but no one gave her a job.

On the way home she decided to look for the old man.

She wanted to thank the old man for her the gift. 

She prayed to the divine from her heart for wisdom to find the old man.

She passed a shop, and a man was sitting next to the door of the shop.

He said to her “I have lost everything, all my money and my family they have left me.

“All I have left is all these dead porcupines in my shop and no one wants buy them”.

The poor woman said, “I have the sweet taste of knowledge and you will be rich again and you will have love again.”

The man said, “you are crazy women, the only knowledge I want is to sell these dead porcupines”.

The woman said “the fruit you desire is hidden, but the knowledge I have will open your eyes because many have laughed, many have rejected, and many have ignored. 

The sweet taste of knowledge is before your very eyes because a monkey will show you that the truth is within.

Love – Control – Greatness

“Love has no age, no limit; and no death”. John Galsworthy

“Because we are afraid of life, we seek to control or master it”. Alexander Lowen

“We expect nothing but greatness from ourselves”. Karl-Anthony Towns

An author, a psychologist and an athlete coined the 3 quotes above. I have written down on these 3 words Love-Control-Greatness on the top of my white board in my office. In this post we will explore these 3 concepts from my humble perspective on how it can have a positive effect in a person life. Life is very different for everyone and at 53 years of age I am discovering that humanity has the greatest diversity of species on this planet. Not from biological model although genetic hereditary is different in every soul. The expression of human thought, voice and action is overwhelmingly diverse. If we examined each of these concepts, I’m sure the reader will say, BUT what about? I encourage you to contradict my perspective because then the words are not just words on this post but ideas to assimilate. The brain loves familiarity, and it seeks the easiest route via thought to action. When you have a new appraisal of a familiar idea it will add a new dimension to your mind because of neuroplasticity of the inner workings in your biological mechanism of reality. Civilisations are here with all its splendour and manifestations because someone had new perspective or idea to share and made it grow by different perceptions. Here goes challenge your perspective and the author concept.

 “Love has no age, no limit, and no death” John Galsworthy an author

What does love mean to you? In therapy a therapist is taught to have unconditional love for the client. What does that mean in practice? The individual has internal conflicts that often spills out into the real world. The results affect their relationships and in turn that effects their life. For example, a person has internal anger for a million different reasons. The inner conflict of anger is threatening to their homeostasis (Body at optimum potential with no conflicts) because naturally humans want to feel at peace biologically and psychologically etc. We know the effect of being around an anger person because we want peace to thrive. The angry person vents their inner conflicts to the therapist if they desire. The therapist is trained to manage their personal feelings so the person can feel accepted and feel safe and unconditionally loved despite the eruption of volatile emotions. The relationship does have boundaries for the safety of all. The object of unconditional love allows the angry person to understand the anger they have internally. The therapist has empathy for the person because nobody really wants to be angry all the time it’s not natural live like that for anyone. A trained therapist is one example of what unconditional love is from a different perspective. 

Humans equate love very often in terms of love = something in return. For example, the parent may say to the child I love you if you do this or don’t do that? What if the child can’t do this or that? Many parenting styles have been introduced into society through various domains and have changed their modals of behaviour. I am a parent and what I know today is different from what I knew 20 years ago about child rearing. Having 4 children each of them are totally different, yet all from same biological parents.  The point of this is acknowledging diversity in a family cannot be restricted to one shoe fits all approach in parent child relationship.  John Galsworthy said “Love has no age, no limit”. Healthy Relationships are the glue that holds humanity together in love. 

Love for humanity starts from within not externally. The baby can learn love from birth but sadly like a bruised apple being mishandled incorrectly they can be misshaped in their perspective and identity. The human spirit can show a magnitude of goodness despite falling from the tree. The love from within will affect the outer world of the person reality. The inspirational example of human resilience is all around us because many people love life, and they love others.  John Galsworthy said at the end of the quote love has no death. My neighbour was a lovely old lady who had challenges the last two years of her life. Her husband after 68 years of marriage had go into a home during the covid restrictions, he was a gentle man and she had restrictions on seeing her husband. She had complications of her legs. On one occasion shell feel and I had to get the ambulance because she was stranded on the floor with broken ankle. She went in and out of hospital with ongoing health complications. She didn’t give up because she loved her family and she loved life despite her limitations. Six months after her husband death she died and now she is at peace. Her mother died when she was 6 years old and was raised by her grandmother for a while. She had other challenges in her life, but she loved life because it came from within not her circumstances. Finally on this story to emphasis about love, her daughter text me and said she will be missed by many, or I would say she is still loved even though she dead.

The big question is how can I develope the love from within? One simple word is compassion. Being compassionate is about perspective and what better place to start with is with self. The inner voice we carry can either be compassionate or opposite. The antonyms are animosity, cruelty, meanness, mercilessness, hatred, harshness, and indifference. These negative traits are fuelled by core beliefs, ignorance, and inner conflicts with projections of unresolved conflicts of a person life. The narratives we carry are linked to past histories and often not our own ideas or words but others. The compassionate soul would say I can’t do that, but the harsh dictator says in a person head “I’m lazy, they want love me if I don’t do it, I need to do it because etc…” Learning compassion isn’t easy for many because of a lifetime of not having compassion or understanding the term. It wasn’t until my wife was fighting cancer, then dying that I am now beginning to understand compassion. My body in the past would often say to me via my inner voice says, “You need to do it”. Now I am learning to be kind to my body give it what it needs.

Compassion covers all areas of life with the relationship we have with ourselves first then to others. The work we choose to do, the life we live and the impact we have on the world around us. Let us go back to the quote again and reflect about life “Love has no age, no limit, and no death” Love has no age is a great reference for living because society and the brain like to classify and label abstract ideas, so it is easier to navigate. In different cultures the parameters of age are very different. In some cultures, age for marriage, sexuality and love is vastly different. The other end of the spectrum the age a person in society effects what responsibilities and employment choices. We are influenced by age as a negative catalyst in the media of the endless youthful lust on screens and magazines only the young can have. The stereotypes of love = age constraints stop a person embracing love for themselves and others. For example, the saying “you’re too old” or “you’re too young” is simple way of classification without examining the actual situation and person. With this limiting belief stops individuals trying new opportunities. Changing your career, that person is too old or too young for you and give up work and retire etc. Love has no limits with age its only a perception of a person life.

 “Because we are afraid of life, we seek to control or master it”.

The simple reason why we don’t do certain actions or avoid it is based in fear. I have written a book all about fear and how it relates to life, for further reading. Closely related to fear is control either imagined or real. The brain is in simple terms is lazy in making decisions. Let’s face it if it was that easy there would be no obesity, no debt, no upsets, and every task we started would be finished. I am a very determined guy and many times I have taken the easiest route knowing it’s not the best route. Remember we are all human and it is a part of life to fail or give up at times. The brain must have quick decision responses for survival, or we would die. The brain of the average adult in a resting state, consumes about 20 percent of the body’s energy. In real terms that about a fifth of your resources without exertion. The brain uses binary system of response yes or no simply put. Imagine our neurons on the synapse gap across a nerve cell or neuron had multiple choices to transmit energy on a roundabout of 10 exits before it sends an impulse to another neuron. In essence the time delay would cause the body to a standstill and all systems couldn’t work together in synchronicity and collapse. 

Have you ever been in the presence of someone who is like a control traffic light? They act in such a way as when the light says stop, everyone must stop or when the light says go everyone must go. Living or working with someone like that is exhausting and do they really have full control. Since the industrial resolution the control factor in life has been fabricated by the institutions. Modern work life, family life and social life time tables are all constrained by other people’s ideas. The realty is in large part of our life we are in the control of others. At this juncture I will say there are many benefits to the structure and management in society so we can function as a group. 

I love the origins of words in the English language and one example is the word control. Defintion “To check the accuracy of, verify; to regulate,” “a counter, register,”

diminutive of rota “wheel” medieval method of checking accounts by a duplicate register. https://www.etymonline.comThe root word suggests revaluating for mistakes not the idea of do or die of binary thinking that many conceptualize in their world. The control an individual seeks is often connected to emotional response. The fight or flight response which is fantastic mechanism to help us escape from the danger. The control response of fear is associated to trauma that is not resolved in a person inner world. Problem with being stuck in the fight or flight response the brain is not present to make a proper appraisal of a situation. For example, as a child we were keen to have our approval from friends and parents which is natural. But the high expectations for example of passing all your grades reflected on your identity either as a good or negative label. Imagine the young child who doesn’t have the ability at that time to fulfil their parents’ expectations. Thankfully my parents were not like that, but they were too much the other way which is not the best solution either. The young child who failed to have approval of others the brain will remember that. The child will have the fight or fear response when similar situations in the future. For example, the child is an adult and is doing well in their career. A chance for promotion is encouraged but the individual needs to go on few courses or night school. The friends or partners could take on the role of the adult’s parents pushing the adult to succeed, or they may disapprove of them for not trying hard enough. This is a simple illustration seek to control the situation of others. The first quote Love has no limits is the foundation of healthy life as the motivation of why we and others act not by control.

We seek to control or master it is a powerful motivation for personal growth. The great athletes didn’t take the easy option. Reading the pages of history, the amazing feats of human’s accomplishments is inspirational. I am thankful to the scientist through their diligence and perseverance, the inventors, the scholars, the authors, and many more for sharing their efforts. We have examples who can motivate and teach us to become greater.

I am reading parts of Confucius Analects every morning when I get up to start my day.  He was alive between 770–481 BCE and lived in China. Often the Analects would start with “The Master said… sayings and teachings about everyday life from past sages in China. Confucius philosophy was to keep learning or seek knowledge of self and the world as the beginning of heaven on earth. For example, Analects V:26 “The Master said” It is all over! I have not yet seen one who could perceive his faults, and inwardly accuse himself”. Maybe one reason we don’t want to examine our inner world because afraid of what we might find and don’t want to change our faults.  Remember the 2nd quote “Because we are afraid of life, we seek to control or master it”. When we acknowledge our faults is the beginning of healing and knowledge to become a better version of ourselves. Carl Jung calls this shadow work or it is introspection in Psychology. The inner mind or subconscious thoughts are the real you are driving your reality. One reference put it this way “The unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that are outside of our conscious awareness”.  

The big question is how can we access that reservoir and fill it with what we want to be conscious? The simple or direct answer is changing your life patterns and guess what I have written a book about that. The book is about life patterns and the law of attraction if you want to read further with science and useful tips. I’m not trying sell my books but by synchronisation they are in this post, it must be my subconscious manipulating me lol. In brief conclusion on this point on change, less is more and we are all working progress to master the life we would like.

“We expect nothing but greatness from ourselves”

If life sucks or you are stuck the reason is you’re at a plateau probably. The Chinese word Dao means a way or a path. Confucians used the term Dao to speak of the way or lifestyle. The Dao De Jing says: ‘Humanity follows the Earth, the Earth follows Heaven, Heaven follows the Dao, and the Dao follows what is natural”. (Lao Tzu) I believe life is like a stream that has its own route and water can effortlessly flow over or around a pebble or stone. When water is restricted or stopped in its track it becomes stagnant and polluted. All streams flow into the rivers and all rivers flow into the oceans. Similar way our life path or course may seem like an insignificant stream, but the big wide oceans need the contribution of many streams. Our perspective on what greatness means to us now at this moment not yesterday or tomorrow. When you compare yourself with others you will truly despair with a distorted view.  When your path or stream is not flowing with greater intentions of being great the river may dry up.

There could be many reasons why we are at a plateau or feel stuck or even life may suck. The change of greatness is not what we do but how we think and believe. Our friend the brain doesn’t like change or unfamiliarity, so it takes the most comfortable route. Go back to the fight or fight response the brain remembers failure and avoids disaster again for survival mechanism. The brain likes reward because of dopamine response so use that as a trigger to get started for change to become great. The secret is to start small achievable goals then you will feel great and be motivated to try again. For example, you want to lose weight. The Best way to lose weight is to reduce calories or use calories in a positive way. Exercise will help but its not always guaranteed because you can’t always exercise. You can guarantee whether what you are going eat or too fast.  Many individuals go from a high calorie then straight to a prisoner diet which is a shock for the body. Reduce your intake slowly adjusting your lifestyle then it’s not too taxing on the brain and body. The idea is small changes over time will create big impact, they call it compound interest.

Being great requires motivation and knowledge. Learn everything you can about changing a part of your world. Feed your unconscious with positive information and learn why, where, and how and have a go. What has helped me to be motivated when my brain says otherwise, I tell myself “I am a samurai and want to follow the path” I envision myself as a mighty samurai who can take on the world because of my honour. Think of a role model who can teach you and inspire you to become the greatest version of you.

I want to finish with a Sufi story that will encapsulate deeper significance of this post as a gift. The allegory help you see not the present situation or future goal but the work. 

There was once a man on his death bed, and he asked his 7 lazy sons to sit next to him as he was dying. He told them he had buried gold in the field, and they would become rich. He said also to them, when he is dead, they can find the treasure. After their father death the lazy sons started digging for gold in the field but couldn’t find any. Instead of just digging they decided to plant wheat after working hard looking for the treasure. They did this every year, and they repeated the process of planting wheat. They became rich selling the wheat and honest hard-working farmers and forgot what their father said about the hidden treasure.

The bird in The cage. Allegory of the human mind

This story is about the human mind in traditional Sufi style with elements of philosophy , religion , mysticism and poetry. The depths of a story depends on the readers interpretation. Often there are several layers with correlation of ideas to expand the conscious thought in many dirrections..

In a later post I will add notes give some details about the different parts of the story perspective in relation to the mind.

How many Dimensions Are there in Your Realty?

How do you see the universe

“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” Lao Tzu

The theoretical framework of Superstring Theory posits that the universe exists in ten different dimensions.

According to Hinduism there are 64 main dimensions and each dimension is further divided into many sub-dimensions.

The Buddhism in essence focus is one present realtiy, the focus is on here and now. In a simple way it teaches there is only one dimension the present truth and all or everything is connected, obviously it is more more complicated than that statement. Buddha said: “As a net is made up of a series of ties, so everything in this world is connected by a series of ties. If anyone thinks that the mesh of a net is an independent, isolated thing, he is mistaken. It is called a net because it is made up of a series of interconnected meshes, and each mesh has its place and responsibility in relation to the other meshes.”

Christianity has different views on the topic. The extra dimension of Spiritual realm is mystery to many in defining it within oneself or outside. The Bible said “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1 . From my perspective there is at least 3 dimensions mentioned, one that God is in , then one dimension of heaven and one for earth earth.

Islam is similar to other religious philosophy ( I am not expert on Islam) The concepts of dimensions are many or just one, I would say it is how you interpret or personal beliefs according to one’s perspective.

Finally a Sufi teacher told me there are at least 8 dimensions or worlds but all in the same world or dimension. He explained trying to describe colour to a blind person. I have read much of Rumi work and often he explains the reality what we see is not the actual reality through the use of many wonderful stories or parables.

The humble human for centuries has relied on spiritual doctrine or sages to define the dimensions of reality. Then science through its lens of perception of measuring through the analytical brain of the senses comes to its own conclusions.

The aspect of a person mind will interpret how many dimensions through intuitive, cognitive assessment with core beliefs as the foundation of a person experiences. The psychological models of a child’s mind and old person mind is totally different because of not just core beliefs and experiences but biological underpinnings of perspective.

In conclusion in this brief synopsis of dimensions I encourage you to think of new dimensions when Captain Kirk said on the enterprise “: To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man one has gone before!

Graphic by Steve Hyne