Today is the final installment of this series on humor – I know, I know, parting is such sweet sorrow.
I’ll also be on hiatus next week, so this is the last article until Tuesday, May 4, when a new series begins. So keep laughing until then – better yet, keep laughing all the time, always.
As I pointed out right at the outset of this series, humor and laughter can help us to feel lighter of body, mind and spirit, and in the process, help us to live a Low Density Lifestyle.
And so today, thanks to the folks at collegehumor.com, I give you some very funny movie spoofs.
The video at the top is ambiguous film endings that are resolved – you’ll see such films as The Wrestler, Lost in Translation, No Country for Old Men, and The Graduate resolve exactly how they end , as opposed to us scratching our heads at the end of the film, wondering what exactly happened.
Below, are two other videos: one is, If All Movies Had Cell Phones. As you’ll see from the video, it sure would resolve the movie a heck of a lot sooner if cell phones were used during the film – I’m sure you’ll agree with me once you watch the video.
And the final video is the sad story of that cute Pixar lamp gone bad – what happened and what made it go homicidal we’ll never know, but as we all know, bad things can happen to good people, even when those people are lamps.
So whether you’re a people or you’re a lamp, I hope you enjoy the videos, and enjoy the laughs.
See you back here on Tuesday, May 4 with an all new series.
If there’s to be a series on humor, which for the last few weeks, if I’m not mistaken there has been, then it would be remiss to not mention one of the funniest comedy groups of the 20th century, Monty Python.
They were a British comedy group that created the influential Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC in October 1969. From there, the Python phenomenon developed into something larger in scope and impact, spawning touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books and a stage musical. The group’s influence on comedy has been compared to The Beatles’ influence on music.
The television series, broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974, was conceived, written and performed by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.
Their most current hit is the play Spamalot.
And so today, without further ado, are 10 of the funniest Monty Python sketches – of course, technically, the video at the top of the page, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, is not a sketch but instead a segment from their film, The Life of Brian, but if you promise not to tell, neither will I.
I’ve written articles during this series on peace and war being over, on being bold, on listening to your heart and following your creative pulse, on working together to make this a better world, and on people who are helping to make this a better world.
Ultimately, a Low Density Lifestyle World is one in which our heart and soul resonate with the poetic lyricism that fuels the universe.
When we feel lighter of body, mind and spirit, that is when we are living a Low Density Lifestyle; and when we feel lighter, we are truly poetry in motion.
With that being said, today’s article is about poetry and is guest written by Susan Jefts.
Susan Jefts, MS, is a poet who lives in Saratoga Springs, NY. She runs writing groups in therapeutic and community settings using poetry as a tool for exploring life issues and healing.
Susan teaches writing and advises students for Empire State College and has had her poetry published in several journals and books regionally and throughout the country, including Big City Lit, Parnassus Literary Journal, The Hudson River Anthology and Metroland, among others.
Her website is www.saratogapoetryroom.com.
Meeting a Poem
First, something catches. The movement of a word on your tongue or a spark from its flight through your throat. Often it’s not the one you’d expect, not what you were thinking about or where you were going that day. But there it is, like beautiful music or a call from a cherished friend. And so you listen.
To know what a poem is about for you, look to the images that most speak to you, the ones that linger in your ear or on your tongue, or hover in your soul. It is after all images that feed the soul. And it is in metaphor, the heart of poetry, where psyche (soul) and soma (body) meet. Metaphor comes from a Greek word meaning to transport or carry across. We can be transported by poetry, if we are willing, to new levels of experience and insight, places where the soul and spirit are more closely involved.
The following poem How it is by Peter Everwine, is one I’ve had in my favorite poem folder for years. I knew upon first reading, that this poem said far more than its ten short lines and that I would return to it again and again. I find it an especially rich antidote for a busy life, as it speaks to the reader of what returning means, of what actually being in our life means.
This is how it is —
One turns away
and walks out into the evening.
There is a white horse on the prairie, or a river
that slips away among dark rocks.
One speaks, or is about to speak,
not that it matters.
What matters is this —
It is evening.
I have been away a long time.
There is a strong presence from the start of the poem of something beyond words and feeling. And a strong sense of seeing, a kind that only evening allows, as it is a time of day for nuance, both visually and emotionally. What is described is a white horse on the prairie. But right next to that is a river “that slips away among dark rocks.” Right away, we are presented with contrasting images and a sense of paradox, with the first image suggesting stillness and permanence and the second one, movement and impermanence.
Soon we know we are not in a world of ordinary language but it feels very real; the language is open and encompassing, and we are pulled into its richness and wholeness. Good poetry is like that; it allows room for everything. And as in many poems, there is more going on here than first meets the eye. Listen for what is going on for you. Is it the image of the white horse that speaks to you, the dark rocks, or the river that slips away? Perhaps it is the “turning away,” or a subtle feeling of the poem that speaks to you. What is it about that image? Pay attention to the ones that speak to you, as they are likely speaking to your soul.
While there may be a sense of leave taking in the poem, there is also a sense of opening to new awareness. The speaker at first appears to be turning away from something and finding escape or solace in nature. But soon we see that he is really returning. Re-turning to a kind of purity, to something beyond words and images. Returning to what is essential.
And in the midst of all this turning, there is a sense of embracing and of being embraced. “I have been away a long time,” he says. We almost wonder and know, both at the same time where he has been and what he is returning to. The specifics of those places will vary for each of us, as will the messages they carry. Where have you been, and what are you returning to?
I posed the question, What Would a Low Density Lifestyle World Look Like? in yesterday’s introductory article in this series.
And I answered that it would be quite the awesome world – it would be a world of peace and of many great things, and a world filled with bold thinking visionaries who put their positive visions into action.
In today’s article, I want to focus on someone who has worked tirelessly for peace, for the cultivation of the imagination, and for the integration of the two, originally with her husband John Lennon, and then by herself. That person is Yoko Ono.
John of course, wrote the anthem for imagining peace, with his song Imagine. That song is featured in the video above.
Yoko Ono has, since John’s untimely passing, continued on in the same vein, with many varied activities, doing many things to encourage people to imagine peace, and imagine a more peaceful world.
***This past summer, in collaboration with the Youngstown, Ohio State University Museum of Art, a billboard of hers was put up in downtown Youngstown. The billboard says quite simply enough, “Imagine Peace.”
***In April of this year, in Montreal, the Montreal Transit Corp. began broadcasting a 17-second message of peace and love from Yoko Ono on its public address system throughout the métro network.
“Bonjour Montréal, ici Yoko Ono!” it begins.
The rest of the message, in English, said, “Hi. This is Yoko! It’s time for action, and action is peace. Think peace; act peace; spread Peace and tell your friends to IMAGINE PEACE I love you!”
***On October 9, 2007, Yoko dedicated a new memorial called the Imagine Peace Tower located on the island of Vioey, 1 km outside the Skarfabakki harbor in Reykjavik, Iceland. Each year, between October 9 and December 8, it projects a vertical beam of light high into the sky.
It consists of a tall “tower of light,” projected from a white stone monument that has the words “Imagine Peace” carved into it in 24 languages. The Tower consists of 15 searchlights with prisms that act as mirrors, reflecting the column of light vertically into the sky from a 10-metre wide wishing well.
It often reaches cloudbase and can be seen penetrating the cloud cover. On a clear night it appears to reach an altitude of at least 4000m. The power for the lights is provided by Iceland’s unique geo-thermal energy grid.
Buried underneath the light tower are upward of 500,000 written wishes that Yoko Ono gathered over the years in another project, called “Wish Trees.” She plans to have the tower lit every year from October 9, John Lennon’s birthday, through December 8, the date he died. Iceland was selected for the project because of its beauty and its eco-friendly use of geothermal energy.
In case you’re interested, you can see a live view of the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, courtesy of the Imagine Peace Tower MegaPixel Cam.
***Yoko Ono’s most recent action was a Thanksgiving message she sent out on Nov. 25, 2009. It is:
THE AFFIRMATION FOR PLANET PEACE
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Our planet is healthy and whole.
Every part of the planet is revitalized and healed.
We, the people of Earth
See clearly, Hear clearly, Think clearly.
Express and communicate our thoughts clearly,
Spiritually, mentally, and physically
For the benefit of ours and other planets.
We make the right judgement, right decision, right move
At the right time
At the right place
For ourselves and others.
We are now bathing in the light of Dawn
Standing in the Heaven we have created on Earth.
Sharing the Age of Joy
With all Lives in the Universe,
United with infinite and eternal love.
For the highest good of all concerned, So be it.
I love you!
You can read more about Yoko Ono and her work at her website, Imagine Peace.
If you are doing what you love, you may have to create your own work.
It’s not always easy to fit into a defined and set job if you are doing what you love, because it often means that you are listening to your own muse and setting out on your own path and finding your own way to express who you truly are.
If you decide to go your own way and create your own work, you are following the time-honored path of entrepreneurship.
It is the entrepreneurs who are the innovators, who move forward even when the naysayers say it can’t be done.
In fact, failure is not part of the vocabulary of an entrepreneur, because as long as they are doing what they love, whatever the outcome, they are succeeding.
They see failure as not pursuing their dream.
The reality is, is that entrepreneurs can change the world – watch the above video and you will be inspired as you realize this is true.
Just by pursuing their dreams, entrepreneurs are changing the world, by also inspiring others to pursue their dreams.
And with their creative imagination and innovative drive, entrepreneurs are changing the world, by creating new ways of doing things, or by making adaptations to current ways of doing things.
Entrepreneurs are also changing the world by shining the light of hope where there once was darkness.
It takes a Low Density Lifestyle mind to be an entrepreneur with a fertile creative imagination.
Which isn’t hard to do. It just starts with doing what you love.
Yesterday’s article was about doing what you love and following your bliss, which is a term developed by Joseph Campbell.
What does following your bliss and doing what you love look like? It obviously is different for every person. But ultimately it will be the best thing you do, because it will allow you to be in alignment with your true nature.
Today, I give you the incredible case study of Paul Potts. Paul was a mobile phone salesman in England with a majestic operatic singing voice, yet lacked the confidence to follow his dream of pursuing a career in opera.
He had sung opera on and off for a few years, but had not sung for years when he decided in 2007 to audition for the British televison show, Britain’s Got Talent, a show similar to the American television show, American Idol. Both shows feature Simon Cowell as one of the judges.
The first of the above videos is Potts’ audition in front of Cowell and the judges, along with the studio audience of 2,000.
Potts came out, and the judges sized him up. Potts was nervous, and the judges assumed by his temperament and makeup that he would not have much to offer.
But once Paul Potts began to sing, hearts melted and tears flowed out of many people in the audience, including one of the judges. In fact, you will have to see if you can keep dry eyes while watching him sing.
The second video above is of Paul Potts being interviewed by a Hong Kong television station on a recent trip that he took through China to promote an album. Paul talks about following your dreams and the importance of doing what you love.
It makes all the world of difference if you are. And it’s not hard to do so.
All you have to do is dream.
Can You Imagine? Can You Use Your Creative Intelligence and Vision? Can You Dream, Can You Vision?
Today, for the series finale on Creative Intelligence, I present you with a video that I hope will inspire you and move you to continue to use your Creative Intelligence, and to Dream, Vision and Imagine.
In words and pictures, the video will tell the story.
See you next time……
What happens if a company determines that they want to encourage Creative Intelligence and Visionary Thinking in all their employees? What could possibly result from it?
Before I tell you who the company is and some of the results of the creative intelligence of the employees, I just want to say that imagine if all companies cultivated creative intelligence and vision?
And how about schools? Imagine if creative intelligence and visionary thinking was the guiding force behind the education process? (Hint: creative intelligence is not cultivated in the education process and is usually squashed.)
So if all companies—and schools—truly cultivated creative intelligence and vision, all I can say is: Wow! This would be a world of creative thinking visionaries, people who were willing to dream up big ideas and put them into practice.
It would be a world filled with people living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Ok, so now back to about that specific company. You may have heard of them. Their name: Google.
Google allows all employees to spend 20% of their time on whatever endeavors they fancy. They are totally allowed the free rein to do whatever they want with their work time, and to dream up ideas and then to see if they can come to fruition.
And this is why the folks at Google have created a cutting edge company that is never at a loss for new and fascinating ideas. By letting employees truly use their creative intelligence and by encouraging them to live a Low Density Lifestyle, they are a rich resource of original thinking.
How do I know Google encourages employees to live a Low Density Lifeestyle? Google offers a free dining facility for their employees that serves organic whole foods, offers free massage services to their employees and has places on their campus where employees can go to take a nap. These things are part of the 12 steps to attaining a Low Density Lifestyle.
And so, whether you are a technophile or technophobe, it’s worth checking out some of the really cool things Google employees have developed, thanks to the corporate climate of encouraging creative intelligence. It may not be your inclination to think up these kinds of things, but I just wanted to show you the possibility of what can be done, if it is cultivated and encouraged, in order to inspire you:
IGOOGLE: At iGoogle (google.com/ig), you can dress up all that white space with useful miniboxes containing additional info. Hundreds of useful displays are available: a clock, local weather, movie listings, incoming e-mail, news, daily horoscope, to-do list, Twitter updates and whatever-of-the-day (joke, vocabulary word, quotation, Bible verse and so on).
GOOGLE READER: Why spend your time finding and navigating to the Web sites that cover your favorite topics? They can all come to you — all nicely congregated on a single page, called Google Reader (reader.google.com).
You type in a topic, inspect the search results, and click the Subscribe buttons that look interesting. After that, Reader displays the first paragraph from each site or blog; click to read more. Star items to read later, or pass along your favorites to friends.
FLU TRENDS: Google figured out that whenever people get sick, they use Google to search for more information. By collating these searches, Google has created an early-warning system for flu outbreaks in your area, with color-coded graphs. Google says that Flu Trends (google.org/flutrends) has recognized outbreaks two weeks sooner than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has.
GOOGLE MAPS: You probably know this one, but it’s still worth pointing out (maps.google.com). Choose the directions you want: by car, by public transit or on foot. Drag the path line with your mouse around construction sites or down interesting streets. View current traffic conditions. Turn on Street View to see actual photographs of your destination.
GMAIL LABS: Gmail is already the world’s best free Web-based e-mail service, with terrific organization tools and a superb spam blocker. But if you click Settings and then Labs, you find a huge list of on/off switches for cool enhancements.
There’s Text Message in Chat (send text messages to your friends’ cellphones from within Google Chat or Gmail); Offline Mail (work on Gmail when you’re not online); Canned Responses (build a menu of stock answers to your mail); Multiple Inboxes (manages mail by auto-creating multiple mail folders); and Send & Archive (one click sends your reply and removes the original from the list).
TRANSLATOR: Translate any text or Web page to or from 40 languages (translate.google.com). It’s not perfect, but you’ll get the gist of that spam from Russia.
800-GOOG-411: Possibly the best voice-recognition cellphone service in existence. Call the number, say what you’re looking for (“comedy clubs, Chicago” or “Domino’s Pizza, Cleveland”), and Google’s auto-voice reads off the closest eight matches. You can speak the number of the one you want, and he’ll connect your call automatically — no charge. You never know or care what the phone number was; it’s like having a personal secretary.
Or you can say “text message” at any time to have the address and phone number zapped to your cellphone in one second.
GOOGLE SMS: Send a message to GOOGL (46645). In the body of the message, type the sort of information you want: weather report (“weather dallas”), stock quotes (“amzn”), movie showtimes (type “slumdog millionaire 44120”), definitions (“define schadenfreude”), directions (“miami fl to 60609”), unit conversions (“liters in 5 gallons”), currency conversions (“25 usd in euros”), and so on. Five seconds later, Google texts back the details.
GOOGLE SETS: At labs.google.com/sets, type in several items in a series (like “cleveland browns” and “dallas cowboys”); Google fleshes out the list with others like it (all the other football teams). Great when something’s on the tip of your tongue (a kind of fruit, president, car, holiday, currency) but can remember only something like it.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR: You can search all published academic papers at once, at scholar.google.com, for whatever subject you are interested in.
SECRETS OF THE SEARCH BOX: Usually, whatever you type into Google’s Search box is treated as a quest for Web pages. Certain kinds of information, however, get special treatment.
For example, you can type in an equation (like “23*9/3.4+234”); press Enter to see the answer.
Think of Google, too, for conversions. For example, type “83 yards in inches,” “500 euros in dollars,” or “grams in 3.2 pounds”; then press Enter.
The search box can also serve as a dictionary (type “define:ersatz”), package tracker (type your FedEx or U.P.S. tracking number), global Yellow Pages (“phonebook:home depot norwalk ct”), meteorologist (“weather san diego”), flight tracker (“AA 15”), stock ticker (“AAPL” or “MSFT”), and movie-listings (type “movies:10024,” or whatever your ZIP code is).
And there’s more, but that’s all space allows.
That’s one company with mega amounts of Creative Intelligence and Vision.
Come back tomorrow for a final article on Creative Intelligence and Vision. It will be a video that will move and inspire you.
I’ve been talking for a few weeks about Creative Intelligence, and the last few days about Vision and how being a Visionary is something innate we all have brewing within.
So today for some inspiration I would share with you quotes of some noted visionaries of the 20th and 21st centuries. I hope this gets your wheels turning and encourages you to start cultivating and evolving your own vision.
Words of Visionaries
Muhammed Ali: To be able to give away riches is mandatory if you wish to possess them. This is the only way that you will be truly rich.
Winston Churchill: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Albert Einstein: The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
Anne Frank: Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
Buckminster Fuller: Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.
Mohandas Gandhi: An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Vaclav Havel: Genuine politics—even politics worthy of the name—the only politics I am willing to devote myself to—is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.
Helen Keller: No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
John F. Kennedy: The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.
Robert F. Kennedy: There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Dalai Lama: With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.
John Lennon: My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
Nelson Mandela: I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Rosa Parks: I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
Pablo Picasso: The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Jackie Robinson: A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
Eleanor Roosevelt: Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer: By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world. By practicing reverence for life we become good, deep and alive.
Dr. Benjamin Spock: Happiness is mostly a by-product of doing what makes us feel fulfilled.
Mother Teresa: It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.
Desmond Tutu: If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Kurt Vonnegut: Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.
Every person takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. – Arthur Schopenhauer
High IQ doesn’t guarantee being a visionary and a leader. It takes a different type of intelligence. It takes using your VQ – your Vision Intelligence.
When you live a Low Density Lifestyle, your Vision Intelligence will naturally be higher.
For most people, having a vision and being a visionary is a learned skill, even though it is innate in everyone. Over the years, the various impediments of life that stop us from using our visionary capabilities and also stop us from freeing our mind and tapping into our genius nature get in the way.
Here is a self-quiz, a VQ test, to see if you are using your visionary abilities. Actually, it’s not so much a quiz as much as a listing of the traits of a visionary. You can make it a quiz by asking yourself if you have each of these traits, and then score each trait that you have on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
There are 10 traits. Score it this way:
60 and under: Your vision hasn’t yet manifested.
61-70: You occasionally are able to see in a visionary way.
71-80: You are starting to become a visionary.
81-90: Your visionary abilities are shining through.
91-99: You are someone who has a strong vision.
100: You are a true visionary.
1. Mindfulness - Do you know who you really are? How much of the time are you present and fully aware?
2. Idealism – Are you an idealist and someone who prefers to live a principled life?
3. The Capacity to Face and Use Adversity – We all make mistakes and we all face adversity. Do you own your mistakes and use adversity and the pain that goes with it to learn?
4. Being Holistic – Do you see the interconnections between everything?
5. Being Open – Are you open to new ideas, to things that are different? Or do you just have a knee-jerk reaction when something comes your way that is not the same-old same-old?
6. Thinking with Head and Heart – Do you integrate critical thinking with what your heart tells you? In other words, do you think with both your head and heart?
7. Courage – Do you have the courage to be independent, to not do what is expedient or what the group wants you to do? Are you willing to stand on your own two feet for what you believe in, and to do the right thing?
8. Asking Questions – Do you take things at face value or do you want to know more, and to get at the heart of the matter, in order to form your own opinion and to think for yourself?
9. Re-Framing Ideas – Do you take things you are presented with and put it into a larger context of meaning, something that has practical value for you and others?
10. Spontaneity – Do you make decisions and react to things based on fear, so that you have an immediate and negative knee-jerk reaction? Or are your responses based on the situation at hand, so that your response is appropriate to the situation?