The right therapist...

...can make such a big difference. I found a good one, Keith Louw, who has no qualms about addressing the difficult things form my past. Others are good at talking about them, but the conscious is but 10% of what's in my head; the other 90% is unconscious, and he knows that's where a lot of work needs to be done. He's in North Orem.

Process Communication Model

An interesting psychological/personality model that Becky is looking into is PCM, Process Communicaiton Model. Invented in the 1970's by a guy named Talib Kahler, and marketed heavily to businesses, it categorizes people by what general schema they use to interpret the world around them.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR STRUCTURE THE TYPES First, note that you are not one of these types instead, you have all six types within you with some being more pronounced. Below are the six types with a brief explanation. More detailed descriptions of each are available in the reference material at the back of this profile.

Harmonizers are warm, compassionate, and sensitive people who see the world through a filter of emotions or feelings. They prize relationships with family and friends. They are motivated by unconditional love, emotional safety, and environments that please the senses.

Thinkers are logical, responsible, and organized people who see the world through a filter of their thoughts. They prize data and information. They are motivated by recognizing work done efficiently and time that is structured appropriately.

Persisters are dedicated, observant, and conscientious people who see the world through a filter of their values. They prize loyalty and commitment. They are motivated by recognizing work that furthers their values and by sharing their conviction.

Imaginers are calm, reflective, and imaginative people who see the world through a filter of their imagination. They prize space and privacy. They are motivated by having solitude.

Promoters are adaptable, persuasive, and charming people who see the world through a filter of action. They prize resourcefulness and self-sufficiency. They are motivated by incidence, defined as lots of action in a short period of time.

Rebels are spontaneous, creative, and playful people who see the world through a filter of reaction or likes and dislikes. They prize originality and authenticity. They are motivated by playful contact.

Nobody is just one, but there is at least one which was the basis of most of your interactions as a kid. And there is one you are using now. Managers and friends can do well by understanding which is being used now and what the fallback is. The fallback is where we go when under stress. It's been difficult for me to understand all the permutations because they don't seem to be presented well anywhere.

I'm a bit unusual because I have three bases, which means I changed the way I dealt with the world twice. I probably started as an Imaginer, became a Thinker in Junior High or High School, and became a Persister in Graduate School. I think I changed to feel loved and have a place, but it doesn't work that way. My current working set is Harmonizer.

I took a test (had to pay for it) and here are my results:

14844+Bruce+Wilson+(ENSBDIP).PDF (2.09 mb)

As I say, it's an interesting way to look at people and interact with them better.

Pre-alchemy (Alchemy 01)

What is known of how much chemistry was done before 600 BC? 

Lots, and none. We have artifacts. Lots of them. Glass from Egypt.

Clays and potteries form everywhere.

Metals from India, Persia, and all around the Old World. Even some early samples of steel. Gold and silver working. Lots of copper, some zinc, thus some bronze.

We have paints, glazes, dyes. There is soap.

And we don't have a single word on how any of it was made. The manufacture of all these things seemed to be ensconced firmly in the crafts. No one was asking "Why?" or "How?" They just made it, probably passed from master to apprentice. No instructions exist. Nothing but what they made.

Dying and metallurgy were probably the most difficult, with glassmaking and paint close behind.

Dying requires a good permanent dye, and a mordant to make it stick to the leather or cloth fibers. Once you have them by experimentation, you have a good method. Then you simply need a good source of supplies. The dyes came from plants or insects. The mordant was typically something like alum, KAl(SO4)2 . 12H2O. Use the trade routes to get it in from the distant lands where it was mined. Some of the dyes needed to be shipped in also, when the plant of insect was found only far away. 

Metallurgy is straightforward when you have the ore close by. Most was done using charcoal (wood heated in the absence of air) and bellows to blow it hot. Iron was possible bit needed a very hot fire. Steel was made probably by accident in a few locations. Most of the metallurgy was copper and zinc, which combined to make bronze. Bronze was hard and workable, and the bronze age sword was state of the art for a very long time. But zinc is hard to find because it is rather more soluble in water than most metal ores. Gold and silver smithing was more common because, well, looks and longevity.

Glass making requires sand, borax, and trace metal ores for color. And a very hot flame. And a pot to melt it in. Early Egyptian glass was mostly flat-poured glass. No vessels or shaped items, just flat cracked colored glass.

All this we know because we have it in museums and have studied it.

Paint was known, but required brilliant minerals you grind and combine with egg whites to make them stick to surfaces. It doesn't work perfectly, and most painted items don't look painted anymore, so it has a darkened past.

Alchemy probably had something of a start in these crafts, but alchemy went an entirely different direction than making pretty things.

It first needed philosophy.

The History of Alchemy (Alchemy 00)

I want to start a series about what alchemy is and where it went. It existed form about 200 A.D. to into the early 1700's. It is the most incorrect theory of matter humanity has held, and also the most long-lived. I want to explain how that paradox happened.

These are more public notes to myself than a well-considered series. I read a lot, and I remember what I think is important, not necessarily what you think is important. Sorry about that.

Next: Egyptian creation myths and Thales of Miletus.

New Blog

I've finally installed a new blog. I've been posting things to a private account, but there are in the odd moment things I want to say. Here is where I will say them. 

Starting off: a movie review of one of the worst movies ever made, reviewed by Adam Scovill of the BBC. The movie was The Devils from the 1970's. Truly awful. But in the review the author says a few things that are so true.

The message is that outrage and heresy can easily be weaponized by the powerful.

It is a story of the gullible descending into a mob. "You have to seduce the people in order to destroy them," shouts Grandier to the court when facing his charges. Truth is a scarce commodity in times of strife.

Malice succeeds by veiling itself in piety and social sanctity.

I'll get to work moving all my old blog posts over to this one, and keep it up to date.


The Untold Want by Whitman

THE untold want, by life and land
                                  ne’er granted, 

Now, Voyager, sail thou forth,
                                  to seek and find.


Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying by Charles C. Finn

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
and I know it.
That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to, I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.

I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings--
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator--
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

Charles C. Finn
September 1966

You can read a collection of stories about the poem's impact in Please Hear What I'm Not Saying: a Poem's Reach around the World

Hierarchy of Human Needs

I always thought Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs (the colorful 5-layered pyramid we've all seen) completely useless.

Here is the real list, from Charles Whitfield's "Healing the Child Within:"

  1. Survival
  2. Safety
  3. Touching, skin contact
  4. Attention
  5. Mirroring and echoing
  6. Guidance
  7. Listening
  8. Being real
  9. Participating
  10. Acceptance
    Others are aware of, take seriously, and admire the Real You
    Freedom to be the Real You
    Tolerance of your feelings
    Belonging and love
  11. Opportunity to grieve losses and to grow
  12. Support
  13. Loyalty and trust
  14. Accomplishment
    Mastery, "Power," "Control"
    Having a sense of completion
    Making a contribution
  15. Altering one's state of consciousness, transcending the ordinary
  16. Sexuality
  17. Enjoyment or fun
  18. Freedom
  19. Nurturing
  20. Unconditional love (including connecting with a Higher Power)

This is the list I'll work on. Since finding my real self I've struggled to find out how to feel being real. Knowing I have a real self wasn't enough to be happy. I finally found out how. Some I missed out on growing up (those are in italics). Some I found as an adult. Some important ones I found when I married Becky. Some I discovered in books, some with a therapist. Not done yet.

Giving a Voice to My Real Self

There is one thing my real self never got to ask, because of the rather distant way I was raised: if I let anyone see my real self, "will they still like me?" I felt as a kid that no-one did, especially my parents. Last week I finally let my real self ask that, and now that black thing I was keeping safe inside me, the reason I developed my false self back when I was 5 or so, isn't there any more. It's been sort of blissful since.

Plato: Public Enemy Number One

I hate Plato.

He by himself set back science at least a thousand years, maybe two thousand.

Here is how he did it: he said all matter was the same stuff, and only the "spirit" of matter changed to give this prima materia its properties. With this idea he could propose the transformation of substances into other substances (for example, he said a fire converted "earth" (the solid wood) into air (the hot exhalation of a fire) and a different earth (the smoke) and a third earth (ash). Idiot. Why couldn't the doofus have just paid attention to what he saw? Or the water cycle: water became air through evaporation over a fire (fire + water = air, what a nincompoop), then as it cools it becomes water again (duh!). Why the heck could he not just admit that it remained water the entire time.

From this came alchemy, pretty much a waste of 1400 years of good brains. And Galen's four humors. And hundreds of thousands of patients killed by well-meaning but ill-informed teachers.