On becoming what we behold.

Photo by Alexandr Bormotin on Unsplash

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.― Buckminster Fuller

To annihilate the rich tapestry of human potential, you’d only need to erode the individual’s capacity for imagination. Without a collective imagination for what could be, all that is left is the degradation of what is. If that lack of imagination is left to degrade long enough, it can only result in a final destruction: an apocalypse.

To summon is “to call for the presence of, as by command, message, or signal; call”¹. In this sense…

On the importance of inner work and attending to one’s shadow.

Most of us are generally aware that there are both conscious and unconscious aspects to our minds, but most of us know very little about what constitutes either one.

Consciousness as a phenomenon itself is difficult to explain as it is, but most of us understand what we mean when we talk about conscious awareness. It is the unconscious mind where the mysterious depths lie.

We have a vague notion that our unconscious mind plays a role in the unfolding of our lives, but it often remains too abstract to really do anything with. …

On patting your dragon, feeding the dark wolf, and finding harmony within.

Photo by Lewis Burrows from Pexels

Shadows can be ominous. They play tricks on our eyes. We think we are seeing something that we are not. They may trigger our fight or flight mechanism and increase our heart rate, so it’s no wonder that the notion of a shadow self can sound intimidating at first.

Yet what we find with these ominous shadows is that as soon as we turn a light on them, their true form is revealed. The tall elongated figure that stared down upon us with a persistent gaze was only the bedpost. The craggy arm that reached into our room threatening to…

Narrative defines everything, do you know yours?

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Whether a statement is true or false depends entirely on the narrative context it was given in.

Say, for example, I look out at my yard and say, “Those weeds are a real problem.”

A native plant specialist might counter by saying, “Actually, that statement is false. Those weeds provide beneficial life support for migratory butteries. Furthermore, they fix certain nutrients into the soil and help develop a more diverse ecosystem.”

If I were to then look out at my yard and instead say, “Those weeds are great!”

A backyard gardener may come by and say, “Actually, that statement is…

All completely hypothetical of course.

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It is time to shake off your dusty critical-thinking cap and jump into some good old fashioned ethical scenarios.

  1. Your friend has a product that could generate astronomical wealth if widely adopted (say, $26 billion in a single year). Your friend also happens to have immunity from any legal liability for that product. Are you justified in being skeptical of your friend’s claims? Does he/she have an inherent conflict of interest that might cause them to lie or skew information in their favor? Why/why not?
  2. Your old friend Sam calls and invites you to partner with him in business. You…

Looking at the deeper layers of desire for hidden truths.

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

Many of us are driven by the proverbial carrot on a string. For every step we take toward the object dangling in front of us, the object makes an equivalent advancement. We think we can hustle, hack, or maximize our efforts in just the right way to obtain the carrot but the separation remains. Maybe our frenetic bursts allow the carrot to swing toward us for a moment giving us the illusion of progress, but eventually, it finds its equilibrium and we find that the object of our desire is the same distance away it has always been.

If only…

On choosing the thoughts that serve you.

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I recognize that I have limiting beliefs and patterns of thinking that hold me back. It is one thing to identify and become aware of those beliefs. It is another thing to be able to move beyond them.

I’ve made improvements in some areas but still struggle in others. While there is certainly no one answer, I have noticed a pattern in the areas where I’ve seen improvements versus the areas I have not. The areas I’ve grown the most are the areas where I’ve been able to create a new vision for myself.

In other words, I started focusing…

On avoiding the pitfalls of our well-intentioned pursuits.

Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

I enjoy feeling productive and being able to measure my progress toward certain ends. Setting goals has been an important part of my personal growth and development over the years. However, I’ve become more and more aware of how goals can lead us astray if we don’t pay close enough attention.

Two of the more common approaches to long-term goal setting could be overly simplified as:

  1. Envision your future self, who you want to be, and what you want to accomplish. Then, orient your daily tasks and activities toward realizing that future self.
  2. Go deep within yourself to get in…

On protecting your mental and emotional vitality.

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

We are dealing with a major energy problem in our current age — one of internal origination. Each of us has our own fluctuating supply of emotional and mental vitality. And the innumerable forces vying for a portion of that vitality are overwhelmingly neutralizing.

What that means is that we can feel our vitality being drained from us through the things we consume, think, and engage with; but the net result of that vast energy expenditure is largely intangible and unseen. Our vitality is neutralized.

What has anyone manifested through arguing with strangers on the internet? What has anyone gained…

Finding equilibrium and buoyancy in a turbulent world.

Photo by Loic Leray on Unsplash

It is hard to escape the compounding effects of worry and concern. I suppose this is always the case, but the cumulative impact of the past year, months, weeks — sometimes even hours —can have a profound impact on our psyche.

On top of all the circumstantial issues and current events, it seems there has been an exponential shift in the way that we relate to one another. We are continually pushed to judge and segment those around us into categories based on the tenor of their social media posts, who they follow, what they like, or what types of…

Lance Baker

A fellow observer on the journey through life. Trying to cultivate a deeper way of being in the world.

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