Category Archives: Economy

The friend of contentment

Last month, I ventured a business in Florida, New York, that provides ample opportunities to cross paths with individuals I wouldn’t otherwise meet. The crossings last about ten minutes or thirty and usually spark conversations.

It reminds me of family reunions, when finally meeting spouses or children of distant, but known, relatives. Conversations begin with a mission to acknowledge parallels and oftentimes, similarities click, and fun ensues.

At the business, I cross paths with people on a quest to find a specific item. As if we’re on a treasure hunt together. We start yakking it up and before we know it, we’re practicing friendliness.

When it comes time to parting ways, I blurt, “Come back again and bring you friends.”

Naturally, many reply “I will.” But a few reply “I don’t have any friends.”

The statement, I don’t have any friends, may sound funny,  but I don’t laugh. I don’t doubt them. I don’t call them back to probe their psyche. I don’t argue with them.

I nod at the revealing implication. It carries a tone of contentment, as if contentment is their friend.

To have the friend of contentment with one’s self and purpose at hand, goes against today’s definition of friend as broadcast by social media, which imposes the burden of numbering or trying to keep others happy.

Whereas, friends of contentment appear content with working and discovering, rather than with numbers or persons. This appearance begs the question, how do contentment and being solo connect?

Now, I’m not an etymologist but I feel as though the word solo is related to the word solitude. And when I think of solitude, I think of loneliness, however the statement, “I don’t have any friends,” can rebuke the lonely image of solitude.

I can feel lonely in a jam-packed audience of Elton John or at a family reunion where I feel misunderstood.

So, at and after these crossings, I continue mulling the statement, “I don’t have any friends,” as a sign, pointing to the friend of contentment with good-old fashion work and discovery. Whether I’m solo or surrounded by people.

 

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Artificial vs Divine Intelligence

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has announced that it will be co-hosting four public workshops over the coming months on topics in Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial intelligence is a field showing rapid growth. It’s been around since the advent of computers. I remember when the calculator came into being and I was able to use it in my algebra class in high school. My bulky calculator was definitely quicker than me when working through complicated mathematical equations.

Despite the benefits. Many people are concerned that AI can be taken too far. AI has opponents. Machines would replace people in jobs. And, what if the machine backlashes human beings? Can a machine become more intelligent than its creator?

It comes across as robots against human beings. But, let’s look at this closer.

Human beings exhibit the same template as artificial intelligence.

Usually, I feel as though my mind is in charge. I tell my body to get out of bed and enter each glorious day. But sometimes, my body overrules. Is my human intelligence only artificial?

Maybe, maybe not, but I do know that it is only spiritual truths that are able to overrule the overruling.

Positive thinking or “mentally getting after my body” work unreliably. My human intelligence isn’t up to the task of governing my body. And, maybe human beings aren’t up to the task of governing more sophisticated artificial intelligence either.

At times when conflict arises, this is when I pray to be aware of my spiritual consciousness. Of course, I wish I could always be aware of my spiritual consciousness, but it requires effort and time. The results though are fantastic. Spiritual truths, such as one divine Mind, always maintaining useful, health, or, that substance is purely spiritual can enlighten my mind and invigorate my body. It also reminds me my human intelligence, no matter how smart, is still secondary to divine intelligence.

While society investigates artificial intelligence, let’s investigate spiritual intelligence, which is in control.

 

 

Stretching soap

When taking a shower, I’m the type to use a bar of soap, rather than like my sister who uses “body wash.” When the bar of soap wears down so thin that it breaks, I put them together. But, when the piece is too thin to rub on the wash cloth, I used to throw it in the garbage. It bothered me, throwing out perfectly fine soap, but too small to handle usefully.

So, I started saving the broken halves.

After about a year, I had quite a gathering of these pieces of soap.

soap in panThe day came when I decided it was time to do something with them. After a little research, I found I could heat the pieces of soap in a pan on the stove and melt them down to eventually pour into a mold for a whole new bar of soap.

I put all the pieces into a pan and added a little milk before turning on the stove burner.

I turned the burner to medium heat and started stirring the mixture. Within one minute knew I made a mistake.

The soap mess started burning on the bottom. Instead of giving up, I carefully poured the mixture into another pan without disturbing the burnt bottom layer. I put aside the first pan to clean later.

I put the second pan, full of the soap pieces, on the burner and turned the heat level way down to melt, then added water. About a quarter cup.

I stirred patiently.

soap next to box soap barSure enough, it melted. Even when there were a few chunks in the mix, I poured it into a box, lined with wax paper. The box was one of those boxes I buy berries in at the store.

A day later, the bar of soap, shaped like none other, was retrieved from the box. It will last quite a while since it’s rather bulky.

Bulk aside, I now see how much soap I threw away in the past. No more. The process of re-forming the little pieces into a useful bar of soap is too easy. I’ll keep doing it.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.–Ps. 51:10, ESV

A mental scientific method

Human beings are naturally inquisitive. There will always be bodies of thinkers who want to discover truth. They can deflect confirmation bias—the tendency to look for and see only evidence that confirms what they already believe—and discover avenues of progress.

I became acquainted with a man who survived the Holocaust. He is well-adapted in the world and raised a strong, loving family that contributes to society in positive, just ways. The survivor lacks animosity.

I took this evidence and tried to reproduce it, following the scientific method.

Though not nearly resembling the Holocaust, I am under the control of outside forces. Laws of the land, the economy, and leaders of organizations I work for, all dictate in some degree what I have to do and how I live.

Instead of letting animosity build up, I concede to the control, while fighting in my mind for justice and love.

Sometimes I fall short of the ideal of the scientific method and don’t reproduce the same results of a well-adapted human being. I become anxious. This isn’t so much because the survivor isn’t transparent and may have anxiety also. It isn’t because I fill up with animosity.

It’s because the scientific method isn’t ideal. The method isn’t always reliable.

Therefore, I turn to what I refer to as a divine method. This method is purely mental and exposes all spiritual factors. I may not have animosity but I could have jealousy that makes me anxious and throws me off balance.

The mental method of reproducing good results only works when my ideal is truthful, empathic, and brave. Moral courage and wisdom are needed for me to love in a way that promotes constructive action at the right time.

When raising children, I could not speak to them all the same, or the results would be different. I prayed to know what to say, when.

I even talk to myself differently.

chocolateSome days I can eat a piece of chocolate. Some days I know I’m supposed to tell myself no chocolate. It’s a mental method of following divine thoughts of honesty. It produces more reliable, balanced results than measuring and eating chocolate.

Remember to vote

It can be a little overwhelming to know who to vote for. If there are too many candidates and issues, I study and become aware of the ones that seem most important to me. I search for material to read on the candidates and issues. Wisdom can lead us.

From Psalm 51:6, English Standard Version:

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

When technology replaces labor

Steam power, electrification, and industrial farming removed many manual laborers from the work force. Technology today continues to shift manual laborers to higher-value jobs.

Every new invention is sparked by thought. From 21st Century Science and Health, “In this world, thought rapidly brings to light many useful wonders.”

When my husband and I farmed a cherry orchard, we installed an underground irrigation system with automatic timers. We no longer needed to move irrigation pipe, or hand-line, every day. We no longer had to manually turn valves.

The time was spent learning how to use a computer so we could report mandated state and federal requirements in conjunction with farming.

Losing our job of moving hand line wasn’t depressing, like losing a job can be. But, losing our job forced me not to believe I was a robot, or human machine repeating the same behavior.

I slowly yield to new ideas. I look away from physics to metaphysics and discover ongoing divine Mind, ever supplying those very ideas that make, not only life, but myself, interesting.

courtesy modern farmer

courtesy modern farmer

Don’t bite the hook of the Phisher

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

While using technology, we learn not to give our information freely. We update our passwords with strong passwords. We don’t download everything that comes our way.

Is there spiritual phishing?

Is someone or something masquerading as a trustworthy entity only to catch your attention in a trap of remorse or ill ease?

The key to not biting the hook of the phisher is knowing the real McCoy. We are spiritual, not mortal. We are attentive and responsive to divine Spirit, with the intent to live and love.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “The real person is spiritual and immortal, but the human and imperfect so-called children of human beings are counterfeits from the beginning, to be laid aside for the pure reality. Mortality is put off and spirituality is put on in proportion as human beings realize the Science of true identity and seek the true model.”

 

 

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