Perry Gruber is founder of Perry Gruber Limited, a socially responsible company delivering dynamic, inspiring, engaging and informative keynote speeches, presentations and events to businesses, universities, conferences and community organizations. Perry
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Kudos to Intent!~ It’s been a while since I’ve been here as I’ve focused in the last few months on my start up. Such improvements! No more virtual class-system where celebrity posts dominate ordinary-folk posts on the home page. Better functionality, also seems to be an improvement as well….However, I see the text and HTML editor still remain like apparitions…sometimes they’re there, sometimes not…..(I notice if I hit the "stop" refresh button, the toolbar shows up)
I see also that people continue to be very optimistic here on intent. It reminds me of a group recently formed on Facebook called: "I’m not participating in the Recession." In this group, my good friend Laurie Daven created a movement that struck a nerve. In just a few days, the group swelled from 2 people to over 500! And it’s still growing. The intent is…well, instead of paraphrasing, you can read it yourself:
"This group is for anyone who wishes to declare his or her choice to not participate in the recession. Our global and domestic resources today are no less than we’ve had in the past; it is only our collective belief in scarcity right now that is crippling the economy. As more people choose to believe in and act from a consciousness of abundance, rather than the arbitrary and current media-fed belief in lack, there will be less and less evidence of limitation and a faster turnaround to a healthy economy."
That’s pretty powerful if you ask me. I ask if you’re supportive of this intent that you go to Facebook (assuming you’re a member) and join this group, then connect with new friends who, like you, are not falling for the ballyhoo that the sky is falling. Here’s the link http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=65037136893
Obama said it. Now Forbes is saying it: the wost is yet to come. The fact is, we haven’t seen nothing yet when it comes to our economic downturn.
So, why am I optimistic?
One thing is because in situations like these, when what we take for granted fails us, there occurs a window of opportunity where people are open to new ideas, new ways of doing things. Several times in his inaugural address, President Obama alluded to this.
The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth… …What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.
These words combined with the economic condition we face represent an unprecedented opportunity for those with the insight and daring to do it differently – in our national economy, in our workplaces, in our relationships and in our personal lives. As we respond in disgust at greed-oriented, clueless corporate executives intent on business as usual and preserving the status quo, we have the opportunity to shift the ground beneath them and create something that will support connections between all people, yes, even those who lavish themselves with French executive jets and thousand-dollar wastepaper baskets.
For, remember what a dynamic Spiritual Leader once said long ago: "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."
It is fitting that our financial downturn hit us in full in the winter. For winter is a time to turn energies inward, to store that energy and build up our reserves for the coming spring. Our economic winter may last well beyond the coming of the spring, but its duration and severity allows us to look deeply into our hearts and souls and ask: is there a way we can do things differently that offers a more promising future?
A woman and I were chatting up the impending inauguration last week. I didn’t know this woman, but she was attractive, young and Caucasian. We were talking about dating when the subject turned to interracial dating. At a point in our conversation she acknowledged that she had up until now never dated outside her race and then, she laughed loudly and said, “But hey, with Obama in the Whitehouse, Black has become the new White.”
Her statement rolled off her tongue as though she had been practicing the phrase, waiting for the opportune time to fire it off and that time obviously had arrived. I wasn’t offended by the remark. Actually, I laughed along with her as I did find it funny…
Last night I attended a post inauguration party where probably 60 people crammed themselves into a tiny cottage in Northeast Portland to relive the inaugural not 12 hours old. For readers who may not know, Portland is, while a great city with many things going for itself, conspicuously a white city. And its demographics were well represented that night as I was the only one who would have been barred from such a gathering 60 years ago. As we listened to President Obama’s speech replayed on the cottage-owner’s home-made version of a jumbo-tron, I reflected on the nature of dating, particularly interracial dating and whether Obama’s rise to the Whitehouse was going to have an impact on the way blacks are viewed in the singles world and the world in general.
For example, it occurs to me, although this may not be a fact, that in the dating world, African American women tend to be the last chosen among potential prospects. Like that guy nobody wants on their team, African American women sometimes end up the last considered in the dating world. I recognize this is an overgeneralization, but perhaps some people will see an element of truth here. Now, I’ve seen representative black-female-white-male couples, even here in Portland. And I’m aware of a few such paired married interracial couples in real life and a couple of them represented at one time on television. And yet I recall a time not too far back when black women looked disdainfully (and at other times, plainly angry) at a black man caught out with a white woman. Has this circumstance changed? And if it has, why? Are black women accepting this as a fact of life now? Are they indifferent? Or are they getting their own taste of “chocolate looking for its milk” as one dating profile I saw put it?
Several years ago, I attended a medium –sized gathering of black men and women who came together to try to work through issues between black women and black men around dating each other. One issue was the fact that some black men seemed to prefer white women. That discussion didn’t go so well. That was quite a few years ago, but have things changed? And now that there’s a black man in the White House, will things change even more?
What about the workplace? Will affirmative action give way to something different now that Obama’s in place? Will blacks be given a benefit of the doubt generally speaking? Or have we reached the point where each man is judged according to his merits?
“Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around … when yellow will be mellow … when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.”
Similar to my acquaintance’s quip about dating black being in vogue for white women, I had to laugh at Lowery’s words, as did President Obama. Humor can go a long way in lightening our heats to harsh realities. If Obama’s Presidency can incite the kind of change this woman and Lowery humorously point too, good on us. I can’t help feeling that it will…..and it won’t.
Some of my friends and colleagues are familiar with this question, but for those fixated to TV, sports, your children, pet, your job or whatever favorite diversion keeps you unaware of how your future is changing, this question may seem absurd. Death being an option? What are you smoking, Perry?
But the facts are that there is a tremendous movement rising – hell, it has risen – with real solutions promising to make aging and death really optional. Ok, true disclosure here: death will always be with us; you could be smashed by a bus or die in a plane crash, shot in the head by a criminal, or blown to smithereens by a terrorist, but the solutions I’m talking about will make lifespans in the four digits a reality and in doing so raise new questions about what it means to die.
Don’t take my word for it, take Aubrey de Grey’s, the prominent figure in all this. Below are two YouTube videos wherein he goes into great detail about it. Don’t let his appearance fool you: this guy is brilliant.
The first video is only 15 minutes and was delivered some time ago at TED, but the second, which is about an hour, was delivered last year at Google Headquarters and shows real progress being made in the area. To summarize the recent breakthroughs: de Grey is proposing, and nearly every expert is agreeing with him, that bioremediation promises to not only greatly expand human lifespans, but allow people choosing such a life experience an unprecedented level of vitality. Essentially, what he describes in his talk at Google is that the human body falls apart and dies because of waste products produced in the metabolic process. Eventually, you ability to eliminate that waste – what he calls "damage" – fails to keep pace with our bodies production of the stuff and becoming overwhelmed by the amount of waste, our bodies give in.
But, he argues, what if we could engineer a process that helps the body not only keep up with the waste production, but also remediate waste levels back to non-life-threatening levels and keep them there? Then a human body could live on perpetually, with waste never rising at a point where it causes damage of any kind, including aging, which is the result of damage at the cellular level. de Grey and his gang already have discovered promising living systems that could be adapted to this purpose. What are they? I won’t steal his thunder. Instead, I urge you to look at the videos. The first one is an overview, but the second goes in to sufficient detail to convince most skeptics in my opinion.
When we find a cure to death, which de Grey has always called a disease, and human beings live 1000 years and more, some interesting questions are going to arise that will shake the foundations of many people’s world view. First, notice I said "When" not "if". This technology is coming whether you feel comfortable about it or not. It’s only a matter of time and resources. de Grey asserts in both videos that those in middle age and younger today, may in fact have the choice of living very long, productive and vibrant lives.
But I digress.
Wordviews we accept as sancrosant are going to come into some serious credibility problems when we reach this level of accomplishment. For most common folk, a breakthrough like this raises knee-jerk questions about overpopulation, food, water and land shortages that will result if people stop dying, etc. But these questions really are boring. Because if you really think them through, there are answers to all of them. These questions pale in comparison to these, which I believe people need to start thinking about now or risk having this technology unavailable for everyone:
What’s the use of salvation in the afterlife, if "afterlife" becomes optional?
What’s the use of an all powerful god if we close the door on something we thought so certain, namely that we all die?
What about that concept of hell in the context of 1000+ year life spans?
Will we finally as a society begin having real, substantial, meaningful conversations about dying and come to grips with what death really is?
What implications for business arise when people live for so long?
What about legacy, inheritance, progeny etc?
Will we still pass the buck to future generations, as we have done with the cost of the two wars and the poorly devised bail-out strategies, when we are the future generations?
You can probably come up with other questions, but I assure you as real as were the changes the internet has brought to human life, business and civilization, overcoming death will be the harbinger of a new reality that will make the Internet age look like a trip to grandmas house.
And this is why it is so important that people start taking a serious look at old, antiquated belief systems that may still work, but aren’t fit for the times, and discover who and what they really are….then act from that place, in thier personal lives, their lives in relation to others, in business and in society. We need to do it all differently. And we need to start now.
Good golly. Just when I thought I had tamed my feisty ego, here comes Twitter, the micro social networking tool that people are flocking too, to rile it’s ever-present…uh…presence….
If you don’t know Twitter, I’m not going to suggest you need to. But this post may not make sense if you don’t. Apologies in advance. You see, there are some people on Twitter with tens of thousands of followers. Others are following thousands and more.
Me? I have a small number of people following my micro posts, called tweets. A week ago, there were only three. Last week that number mysteriously began growing. The day before yesterday, there were 17.
Today there are 11.
What happened to the other six people? Were my tweets boring? Did I not tweet enough? I rarely tweet unless I have something to say and when I do, it usually has to do with my key themes. My ego is taking this loss very seriously; much more seriously than the financial downturn, the loss of life underway in the Gaza strip and the Obamas’ moving-in-to-the Whitehouse activities. After all, this is about me! (thus says my ego)
Good grief. Give it up ego. Your interests are bankrupt. There’s nothing there for me. I laugh at your attachments.
While much research has been done that concludes intuition is an unreliable source of inspiration and direction, I’m not so sure. In stillness, I find intuition comes like a pack of wild horses, thundering into my consciousness. Sometimes is comes as a tender consort, catching my attention with a whisper behind the thin veil that are my random thoughts. When they subside, it comes to me, holding me in delicate hands, and there, it offers guidance.
Studies have concluded that relying on intuition is a 50-50 game, no different than any other random event. Really? This morning for example, as I eased into stillness meditation, a voice – quiet and gossamer light, suggested how to connect with people who perceive themselves as suffering from "The Financial Crisis." In fact, this inspiration, intuition, spirit guide, God….whatever name you care to affix to it – it doesn’t matter – laid out a complete plan for me to reach these people. It stirred a quicking in me that reminds me of the famous quote by Martha Graham Paul Hawken uses to open his book Blessed Unrest. It is from this stirring that I’m writing this post.
I am here to serve others. So are you. Serving others is serving ourselves. We are, afterall, one consciousness experiencing our co-creation from a trillion different points of consciousness. In reality, I’m being humbly inaccurate when I refer to intuition as an "inner voice", as coming from somewhere else…because, really, that voice is me. And it is you.
Perfect practice is what allows one to access this voice on a constant basis. I find my own connection strengthening the more I practice. "Perfect" practice too is a skill that must be cultivated in order to perfect connecting to your deepest center. It is this connection that had me leave my six-figure, high profile position to follow my calling…which has become my passion and my profession.
Imagine what workplaces would be like if managers saw their employees as portals to this collective intuitive voice. Really that’s what they are, but managers don’t see them that way and fail to nurture them and listen to them as extremely valuable sources to insight. Insight that could lead to greater business success.
Imagine what your experience in your workplace would be like if you recognized yourself as the source of creativity, and grace. Not the as in "the only" but the as in "one of the whole." You likely would speak up at crucial moments for the benefit of the company, for the benefit of others, and, most importantly, in honor of your integrity.
How many times have you swallowed the words you knew had to be said, in order to preserve business as usual, to make insecure colleagues feel safe, to preserve your manager’s fragile ego?
Yes, some researchers have concluded that intuition is a 50-50 bet. Me, I’m seeing it show up all the time. And in that, I take not only comfort, but also, a sense of knowing that my service to the world is right for me.
I noticed a post here and some comments related to that post decrying the lack of interaction between Intent community members and Mr/Dr Chopra. I’d like to add my point of view.
Mr/Dr. Chopra is nobody special. This is very important to understand. The fact that he charges so much for his retreats/workshops whatever is unfortunate for those who can’t afford them, but really, in many cases, the people who have the money to go to those things are likely the people most in need of them. His prices are also a natural economic response to demand. It’s basic economic and business theory that one way to control demand is to raise prices. That is likley why his events cost so much. As for his lack of interaction here, there is common wisdom among those familiar with famous people that at a certain point in one’s rise to fame, it is simply impossible to communicate with all the people who want to communicate with you. Imagine what your life would be like if you were that famous. It looks glamorous from the outside, but it is not a glamorous life in the least. Poor Mr Chopra probably can’t even take a poop without and aid for goodness sakes!
Finally, and this is most important: there is NOTHING Mr. Chopra knows that you do not know. Craving for Mr.Chopra’s attention is an attachment. It is an affliction and it is seeking your salvation outside of yourself. There is nothing outside of you! Everything you experience outside yourself is a reflection of what is in you. So when you pine for Mr. Chopra’s attention, what are you saying about your own attention and its value?
Don’t be a cultish follower. I’m sure Mr. Chopra does not condone people begging for his grace or his attention or a reply to an email as though he’s the pope or something. He’s just a human being (as is the pope). Seeing him as anything else is plain worship and there is no one anywhere deserving of that, not me, not you and certainly not Deepak Chopra.
These are not my words but they speak so intimately to my heart and where I am professionally and spiritually, I had to share…
“Make a Bonfire of Your Reputations”By John Jay Chapman, Commencement Address to the graduating class at Hobart College, 1900
“When I was asked to make this address I wondered what I had to say to you boys who are graduating. And I think I have one thing to say: If you wish to be useful, never take a course that will silence you. Refuse to learn anything that implies collusion, whether it be a clerkship or a curacy, a legal fee or a post in a university. Retain the power of speech no matter what other power you may lose. If you can take this course, and in so far as you can take it, you will bless this country. In so far as you depart from this course you become dampers, mutes, and hooded executioners.
“As a practical matter a mere failure to speak out upon occasions where no opinion is asked or expected of you, and when the utterance of an uncalled-for suspicion is odious, will often hold you to a concurrence in palpable iniquity. Try to raise a voice that will be heard from here to Albany and watch what comes forward to shut off the sound. It is not a German sergeant, nor a Russian officer of the precinct. It is a note from a friend or your father’s offering you a place in his office. This is your warning from the secret police. Why, if any of you young gentleman have a mind to make himself heard a mile off, you must make a bonfire of your reputations and a close enemy of most men who would wish you well.
“I have seen ten years of young men who rush out into the world with their messages, and when they find how deaf the world is, they think they must save their strength and wait. They believe that after a while they will be able to get up on some little eminence from which they can make themselves heard. “In a few years,” reasons one of them, “I shall have gained a standing, and then I will use my powers for good.” Next year comes and with it a strange discovery: The man has lost his horizon of thought. His ambition has evaporated; he has nothing to say. I give you this one rule of conduct: Do what you will, but speak out always. Be shunned, be hated, be ridiculed, be scared, be in doubt, but don’t be gagged. The time of trial is always. Now is the appointed time.“
It is always now. Now is the plain whereupon enlightened leaders join battle against those ideas that would keep humanity from its ascention: scarcity, lack, fear, separation. I count myself among those leaders. Do you?
I was talking with my roommate today and sharing with her that the majority of Americans are happy and satisfied with their lives. But she didn’t believe me. I was surprised at her disbelief. Do many people presume that the majority of Americans are not happy nor satisfied with their lives? Perhaps many people are like my roommate and believe that the world is getting worse instead of better. But the facts are that the world and humanity, in nearly every measure, are indeed getting better. Don’t take my word for it, take Greg Easterbrook’s. In 2003 Easterbrook wrote a book about the trends and he wondered why people seem to be feeling worse, when in fact everything is getting better. His book, The Progress Paradox details what he found.
Statistics can be a paradox themselves because they can be used to argue nearly any side of an issue, so one must be careful to tread thougtfully through inferences drawn from them. That said, you may find interesting, as I did, the remarkable results two Gallup Poll surveys reveal about American’s personal satisfaction and happiness. One poll was taken this time in 2007 and the other taken this month. Last year’s poll shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans are… you got it, happy and satisfied. Twelve months later, the same poll taken just a few days ago shows – unsurprisingly – a drop in national happiness and personal life satisfaction among Americans and yet, the results are still extremely high.
The Gallup results are contrary to Easterbrook’s thesis. In Blogcritics Magazine, writer Eric Whelchel, , reviewed The Progress Paradox and got a lot right, in my opinion. Near the end, Whelchel speculates on the apparent dissonance between the Gallup results and Easterbrook’s claims:
"…relying on polls to gauge trends in human happiness is inherently problematic; someone polled one day as being “happy” could have a different outlook on another day, or hell, five minutes after being asked the questions the first
time. Easterbrook also sometimes comes across as a dry intellectual by focusing on poll numbers a bit too much. He tends to de-emphasize the impact that daily events (loss of job, birth of child, filing of restraining order) have on a person’s outlook on life in favor of broader and impersonal categories."
Are the Gallup statistics right? Or is it possible that poll’s problems are introducing errors in the results? I don’t know, but my roommate didn’t buy them. How about you?