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Archive for the ‘Solving problems’ Category

“LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT ANSWER IN ALL THE WRONG QUESTIONS”

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

HOW TO GET THE ANSWER TO YOUR BURNING QUESTION?

Don’t assume you know the right question to ask. Like this cow. She’s asking, “Will you take that annoying green thing off my ear? ” I don’t know how to do that. But if she is asking, “Will you take my picture?” She’s asking the right guy the right question. That I can do.

Too often we don’t ask the right question and as a result become frustrated because the answer we’re seeking isn’t forthcoming.

But, according to the most reliable universe sources, the answer you want will appear when you ask the right question. The most effective question you will ever ask, according to A Course in Miracles is, “What’s the question?”

Now the question you’re probably asking at this point is “Why is that the question?” That’s close enough. Let’s start with that.

Simply stated, from ACIM point of view…the answer that you seek already IS, because you are not separate from it, or anything else, for that matter. The answer is just waiting for you to ask the “right” question…the question that will release the best answer to your current level of awareness and for your best use.

The universe is very obliging with its answers. Like the answer to the question, “How do you stay together as a unity and not just fly off into the universal smithereens…answer: Gravity & Suns (as in Smith & Sons)

EXAMPLES OF RIGHT AND WRONG QUESTIONS TO ASK:

I took a series of science courses at San Francisco City College “for the fun of it’,just to learn the subjects…Physics, Genetics, Geology, Physiology, etc. and I was planning on taking a course in what most likely would be way over my head, Organic Chemistry.

So I decided to bone up on some algebra…I got an algebra book and started working problems. After I finished one problem, I went to the back of the book to find the answer and compare it with the answer I came up with. The book’s answer was different than mine. My gut reaction question, “What did I do wrong?” As it turns out…that was the wrong question. When I compared my answer with the “correct” answer, I realized I hadn’t done anything wrong. I simply had not taken the answer the next couple steps needed to be the definitive and irreducible answer. All my steps were correct. I just hadn’t taken the problem far enough.

Could it be that some of our answers may not be wrong, just incomplete? We just don’t take them far enough…all the way out, or in, as the case may be, to the ultimate answer. For ultimately, the answer to life exists in…the Ultimate.

So, back to the question, “Why is ‘What’s the question?’ the question?” If your head is spinning, keep in mind that everything is spinning…you’re right on track.

When confronted by some of life’s more resistive conundrums…we might start asking our conditioned default questions like: “What should I do?” “How long will this take?” “Will it hurt?” “When will it stop hurting? “What will this cost?” “Can we afford this?” “Will we be late?” or one of our most popular questions, “What’s the matter with me/him/her or it?”

Or the unspoken questions…next layer down:

“Will he like me?” “Am I doing this right?” “Will they see how embarrassed I am?” “Will this lie I’m telling keep the pain away?” “Why can’t they see the rightness of my point of view?” “When will he/she stop talking?” “Will I hurt their feelings?” “What if they say no…will I be crushed…like I was all those other times?” etc. etc…all the many expressed and un-expressed questions that surge to the forefront of our minds when confronted by dilemma, contradiction or puzzlement.

My spouse, Rochelle, was trying to watch a video on my computer. She was having trouble seeing the picture on the screen because it appeared too dark. The question she asked was, “Why is the picture so dark?” Wrong question. As it turns out the screen appeared dark because she was sitting at an angle below the screen which made it look dark. All she had to do was either tilt the screen or sit higher. Which is why “Why is the screen so dark?” not the right question. It wasn’t dark. Right question… “What position do I need assume to be in relationship with the screen so that I can see it correctly?”

What’s a questioner to do?

How do we get from wrong question to right question? Again, don’t assume you know the right question. Instead, take a minute to notice the series of assumptions that have led you to what is, if not the “wrong” question, then the question that won’t actually give you the answer you requested.

See if you can apply this example to areas of your life that may look like a dark screen and lead you to assume that they are dark, when in fact, it may be a matter of changing your relationship to the screen through which you see life—changing your perspective.
Another example. It was 1973, I was performing my first one-man theatrical show and I was presenting it at a church in Burlingame, CA. just south of San Francisco where I was living at the time. The directions I was given were to take Hwy. 101 to Broadway, take a right, go over to Camino Real, and go South to the church in Burlingame.
After the performance I was on my way back going North on Camino Real looking for Broadway to get me to 101 and then up to the city. I went up and down Camino Real but could not find Broadway. Finally, after enough frustration, I pulled into a gas station to ask the attendant, “Where is Broadway?” He didn’t know. Hmm…wrong question. So then I asked, “How do I get back to San Fransicso?” at which point he said, “Oh, just take a right at the corner. That street will take you to the highway. You’ll see the on ramp North 101, just take it.”

In this case I was looking for the “means” to the end, rather than focusing on what I truly wanted and asking, if not the “right” question, then perhaps the “best” question. “How do I get to San Francisco?” That lesson has served me well.

So what becomes apparent is that our knee-jerk-reaction questions are conditioned by our perspectives and assumptions. In order to change your perspective so that you can tee up the best possible question, it’s helpful to realize that the perspective that launched the question in the first place thought seemingly correct, is, in fact, only a perspective, and will eventually give way to, what is hopefuyly, a broader and deeper point of view..

Well, you may justifiably ask, “In order to function, don’t we need to operate from certain assumptions?” Of course, as long as we continue to challenge and refine those assumptions…just as I needed to refine my “answer’ in the algebra problem, my question to the gas station attendant, and Rochelle’s question to the computer.

So operating on assumptions and habitual perspectives to guide us in our choices are certainly, though relatively, useful…Newtonian Mechanics helps us solve certain problem, but we kind of have to leave those principles behind as we get closer to the speed of light, and even more so, to the speed of LOVE, which probably transcends the concept of speed and any and all time space questions…and just IS… but that’s another essay.
So from a Benevolent Universe perspective, are we not already plugged into the answer?…which is why the it is always available to us and why we need to pose the “correct” question in order to gain access to that timid answer.
Then again, maybe the right question was articulated by my mother-in-law, Esther, several years ago when my spouse and I were visiting her in Brooklyn and we went for a ride with her in her car. At one point she pulled into a service station and asked the guy (yeah, this is when they still had ‘the guy” who came over to your car) “Would you look under the hood…and see what’s doing?”

What if we looked under the “hood” of human perceptions and asked, “What’s doing?” We might be surprised to discover deep in the entrails of all those assumptioins, the right question, and even more astonished to discover just underneath that…the best answer.

“It’s your carburetor, lady. And no, I don’t know how to get that damn blue thing off the cow’s ear?”

Think on’t.

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Errol Strider
(415) 459-4512
http://striderinnertainment.com/
estrider@gmail.com

“YEAH…BUT…”

Thursday, December 10th, 2009
Once you start off on a spiritual journey, you will be assigned several companions. One of them is “Yeah, but…” Every time you attempt to step more fully into self-realization and spiritual intent, especially in the early stages, you can pretty well count on “Yeah, but…” to show up at your door.

As expected, “Yeah, but…” came by to see me today. I was attempting to hang out with another companion, “Why Worry? God’s got you covered.”

Now“Yeah, but…” always brings an entourage. You’ve heard of “Yes men.” Well, “Yeah, but…” brings along a lot of ““Yeah, but… men”–Lobbyists, witnesses and experts to prove its case and justify its position. (“You won’t have enough money.” “Nobody cares for you.” “People are undependable. “Get what you can while you can.” “You can’t trust men… or women.” “Life on this planet is doomed unless we get with the program and we’re too far gone in apathy and denial to do that.” “God is irrelevant to your daily life” “Life sucks!” etc.)

Now, “Yeah, but…” usually doesn’t tell me what action I actually need to take to address these annoying issues. That’s not its job. Its job is just to incite worry, assuming that if it stokes up enough anxiety and reinforces it with adequate justifications, proofs and corroborations happily supplied by its “Yeah, but… men,” I will forsake “Don’t worry, God’s got you covered.” and “Get real.” (One of “Yeah, but’s favorite injunctions.)

You see, from “Yeah, but’s…” point of view “Don’t worry, God’s got you covered.” is not only preposterous, but actually illegal… according to its laws. Anyone guilty of promoting this point of view deserves punishment and annihilation, even better, crucifixion, if they still allowed it. At the very least, mounted on the rack of ridicule.

When I tried to explain to “Yeah, but…” that the reason I need not worry is that I am realizing that I’m enfolded in the embrace of an all loving, all supportive Presence that has my best interests at heart.

“Oh, that,” “Yeah, but…” says disparagingly, insisting that IT has my best interests at heart, while attempting to persuade me that “Don’t worry, God’s got you covered.” is stupid, useless, irresponsible, fucked up, or any other adjective that can describe the utter insanity of allowing this perspective into my mind and why I need to do something about it…before…(and here it resorts to some projected time in the future that “Yeah, but…” predicts, with great conviction and the exhaustive research supplied by its expert witnesses)… calamity occurs…if I don’t change my ways, get busy worrying and take control.

Now part of why “Yeah, but…” is so convincing is that it can point to an almost infinite number of instances in which people who don’t respond to it’s highly trained and credible experts get their asses kicked and lose shit.

“Yeah, but…” can easily demonstrate through history that there is no “god” to cover my ass in troubling circumstances, let alone break my fall or pay my bills..

What “Yeah, but…” fails to mention, by cleverly hiding this reality, is that all this worry doesn’t actually prevent life from kicking my ass or taking away my shit.

Nevertheless, I implore “Why worry? God’s got you covered,” “what do you have to say to that.”

“Why worry, God’s got you covered,” humbly but authoritatively asks, “Do you do anything to beat your heart? Bring your self into existence? Breathe your lungs? Run your metabolism? Send messages throughout your nervous system? Continually feed and cleanse every cell in your body? Keep gravity operating? And does any amount of worry cause those things to happen?”

I turn to “Yeah, but…” who very deftly changes it’s first name to “Well” and starts,
“Well, but…”‘

“Oh, now you’re “Well, but…” are you? “Well…but”…does it?”

“Well…no…”

“So if none of this angst makes the most essential processes of your life happen without you even being conscious of them, let alone worrying about them, then do you think agonizing will help our host solve any of the problems that confront him?

But “Yeah, but…” makes one more attempt to validate its position by bringing in its tag team partner, “No, but…” who trots out its list of very compelling “or else’s.” (“You better get real about all of this or…”You’ll be homeless.” “You won’t have electricity.” “You’ll be rejected.” “You can’t pay your bills.” You’ll be downsized.” “You’ll be old, decrepit, alone, homeless and helpless, etc.)

“But doesn’t all that worry just sap your energy and keep you from creatively engaging your problems?” “Don’t worry. God’s got you covered” retorts.
“Yeah, but…”

“So, isn’t worry absolutely ridiculous and totally counterproductive…and that’s why you, “Yeah, but…” are nothing but a worry wart and all your “or else’s” are totally bogus?

“Well…yeah…

but…”

(Think on’t…)

Errol Strider
(415) 459-4512
http://striderinnertainment.com/
estrider@gmail.com

WHAT’S WRONG…AT THE VERY CORE OF IT ALL?

Friday, November 6th, 2009

AND HOW DO YOU FIX IT?

I asked myself the question…is there a specific, even single impetus for the mass amount of dysfunctionality experienced by humankind?

“Yes,” came the reply from the digitized burning bush, “Just type in the following letters in this particular sequence (not case sensitive) and you’ll have your answer.”

“Okay.”

“B-E-T-R-A-W-A-L”

“Well, when you put it like that…” was my almost first response when the “AWAL” at the end of the word jumped out at me. Then the digitized burning bush continued, anticipating my next, inevitable question…

“Here’s how it works.”

“It is the accumulated experience of life not responding to you the ways you’d like or expect it to, and, depending on the severity or the quantities of the pain, you will tend to respond to these betrayals with one of or a combination of the following five reaction states: ANGER, CYNICISM, DENIAL, SELF-BETRAYAL, PARANOIA, as articulated by James Hillman in his definitive essay on “Betrayal.”

“Eventually these attitudes become chronic orientations to life…your default template basic judgment screen, as it were, through which you filter all that life sends your way. (And you’re not limited to one…oh, no, they work better in combination, and if they’re used effectively, they will deprive you of the primary rights of your existence. (oh, that Pesky ol’ existence again)… which colors all your perceptions and in consequence of that, all your decisions…from which your life experience evolves…and which predictably determines your “Next.”

“You see, when your “Next” triggers pain and resistance to it, that’s what we’re calling, “Betrayal.” It happens from the git-go…being thrust out of a very pleasant watery environment into one in which you’re going to have to work for a living. Whoa!

But wait…there’s more…you are thrust out into circumstances that are demanding, confusing, frustrating, etc. (you fill in your word that denotes “expletive-ing) and that you’re sure you… did not order.

“Then you go to one of the default responses, or you mix and match as needed.

Question: Your preferred response to betrawal?
A. Anger

B. Cynicism

C. Denial

D. Self-betrayal

E. Paranoia

F. All of the above

G. A unique mixture of all of the above depending on what triggers the memory of the pain of betrayal.

“So… it’s kind of like you create this swimming pool and you fill it with one of the above, (anger, denial, cynicism, self-betrayal, paranoia). Basically, you swim around in this stuff, breathing it and looking out at life through the distorted picture that it necessarily gives you. That gooey mixture becomes the interface between you and life.

“As the irritant in the oyster triggers the creation of a pearl, the one of great price perhaps, the irritance of betrawal creates the equivalent of the chaos of cancer cells trying their best to not get with the program.

“Since we swim about in this mental slush (your own patented combo of anger, denial, cynicism, self-betrayal, paranoia du jour) it will ultimately deprive you of innocent point of view and you could very well end up living a soul-less life.

(While you can’t really completely obliterate your soul, you certainly can handicap it, and deprive it of your awareness…not realizing that your awareness of your soul and it’s awareness of you provide the equivalent of the ever-spontaneous-power-generating system of Being otherwise called, “Life.”

So, there you have it. What’s to be done?

Three R’s:

  • Re-cognize: Start by learning to catch yourself in the act
  • Re-frame: Pick out a point of view that you’d like to have even though you cannot justify in any way having that point of view…(go to our web site, ww.betterpointsofview.com aka www.sexmoneygod.com for options)
  • Re-solve: Make a commitment to yourself to live your life as if this “superior” (or at least preferable) point of view IS valid for YOU, and keep choosing/making up your life according to that perspective (practice, perservere, ask for support…from me for instance)

Oh, and by the way…leave your expectations at the door of the next… “Next.”