Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Five stresses theory revisited

Readers may recall that the sustainable society PORENA regards the management of the five stresses as a foundation of sustainable living. These factors, if applied too much or two little for too long were detrimental to the long term functioning of the human organism.

Here they are again
1) Nutrition
2) Shelter
3) Mechanical
4) Societal, communal
5) Toxic

The first one I have some interesting input on. I thought originally that if you got too much food you became overweight - and that was the main stress. It appears researchers on population and sustainability are finding if you get too much food the population grows possibly to outgrow carrying capacity. For example if fossil fuels are used to temporarily increase food production, population numbers will rise naturally. This will raise population above natural carrying capacity. Only a lack of food will bring population growth rate down,

Read more on the website.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Water Purification

Tapescript – Drinking water


I am in my tenth year of image streaming. In the earliest sessions I was requesting to closely study a settlement with ecological and sustainable living arrangements. I started concentrating on the social organization rather than the technological infrastructure. After having completing a few writing assignments in the water industry I realized that in none of my streams did I understand how good, clean, healthy drinking water was supplied.

This is a bit of an oversight on my part – I got transport, manufacturing, organization of work, energy – most of the essentials. I need to go and look at water.


To visit a place, PORENA or similar, that in the framework of a sustainable way of living, provides good quality drinking water for residents.

On the bench in the departure area. Everything is so familiar I notice many of the lifts, trains and other departure possibilities from earlier streams.

I wander up to a train station. A fast train attracts my attention; it is aerodynamically formed, pointed at both ends and painted in white with red stripes. A large wide door opens, I get in and sit down. The door closes and we are off.

It's a train to Porena. It shakes and rattles as we go over the points, picking its way out over the multitude of tracks that lead from the station. Next it travels over a river bridge and into an old fashioned tunnel.

We start to pick up speed and are quickly into the countryside. I see the unmistakable white walls of Porena and we glide into the tunnel that goes under the city. The train stops at the underground station.

I walk up the stairs and into the corridor of the work section of the central building. The sign Water Board on the door beckons me in. As I enter I see several people busily working at their desks. One looks up and comes over to me.

‘Hi - you are here to visit us?’

‘Yes,’ I say. 'I need to know about drinking water'.

He takes me over to a tap and pours out a glass of water.

‘Taste it!’

It tastes good, and I detect no trace of chlorine.

‘How do you do it?’

I start to pick up key words. Rain - Sand – Collector.

They have a big sand bed, the rain falls on it and it runs through the sand and is collected into one pipe, by gravity. Questions pop up rapidly. How deep is the sand? And how wide is the bed? How many people use it?

The system supplies one million residents. The beds are separated and localized to provide the immediate neighbourhood. They show me a picture of how the sand beds are spread around the city, between the houses.

‘Not surface water?’ I ask.

‘No, rain water,’ they reply.

They collect the rainfall. And as they never pollute it, the rain is always a good source. Furthermore, they explained that theirs was not a universal solution. It depends on climate. Their climate is temperate and enough falls as rain for their needs. They do not seem to collect water off the roofs so much, just that which falls onto the sand bed.

‘Can I see one,’ I ask?

They show me on the map where the sand beds are, between the housing areas. You are not allowed to walk on them, or dirty them in any way. We decide to go and look at the ones in the central area.

We walk out through the back and down some steps. We arrive in the park area, and quite close we see the circular sand bed, about 20m in diameter – 2 or 4 meters of sand deep. I get a rush of disbelief but I shall carry on anyway.

This one is inside the circle in the clean area, the park. It's as high as me – higher almost. A set of steps lead up to the edge so you can look over the bed.

I climb up and look over. I ask if I can touch the sand - they say no but I can look at it. The sand looks fairly clean except for some small plants growing on top of it. They rake these off now and again. This makes it look like a Zen garden – with rake marks in various patterns over the whole surface. I can imagine raking these beds can be a bit of a meditative exercise. The rain water drains through the sand and runs into a collector at its base.

Because it is rainwater there are no organic pollutants in it. Other particles are removed as it drains though the sand....

I ask; ‘How did you get the sand here?

‘We went and got it. It took a lot of work but it was worth it. This is a - build once use forever - system.’

‘How do you clean it?’

‘We’ll tell you later.’

We go back up to the Water Board offices. I get to see a model – there is a drain at the bottom, a plastic tray, like a leaf. It is UV resistant, light and trough shaped. The water drains though to the bottom where it runs into a collecting point, an underground well or storage tank.

It was built cut and cover. They dug out a pit. In the base they built the tank with watertight bricks. Then they laid the collector plates and over that they filled the bed with sand. A pump pumps water up to a tank in the roof. From the tank the water runs under gravity to feed the taps in the household.

They show me a diagram. A pressurized submerged pump is controlled from a pump-house. They also show me how there are two systems: white water for drinking and grey water for other uses.

I comment: ‘This seems fairly clear. What about cleaning?’

‘You just drink it.’

They are saying it's clean there is never any bacteria that can get into it as long as the network is kept clean. I ask about samples and stuff.

'They take regular samples. There is no point of use cleaning.’

All seems very simple. One of my guides is an expert. I ask to borrow his eyes.

I get the feeling of a water reservoir –

I will ask questions first.

Q. How is it taken from the artificial well to the roof tanks?

A. A pump in the pump house pumps it round and keeps it under pressure.

Q. How many of these beds are in use and where are they situated?

A. They are situated in the green area, between the houses around the outer part of PORENA city. They get some roof run-off from the roof it seems out here. In the central park area they just collected rainfall.

I explore the way they clean the top of the sand. The rake needs to be long enough to reach the centre from both sides of the bed wall. Depending on where it is situated and how much run off is diverted through it, one bed can supply 20 to 100 people with 10 to 20 litres a day.

I ask to visit the residential area. We leave the office and start off towards the canal. We walk through rather charming narrow cobbled streets. Between the rows of houses there are growing areas. The housing is quite dense and full of variety.

‘We like variety,’ my guide says.

The placement of the beds has something to do with the train. They locate the sand beds at the furthest points from the train. Two beds are located together, and they do not allow trees to grow around them. They look like swimming pools.

I walk around to inspect these installations. I see they get some water from the roof which is led via a gutter through the air. I ask about the history of these installations. They must have put a lot of effort into making them.

I gather that after work was abolished, sustainable drinking water was among their top priorities. They came up with the sand bed ideas and started to try it out. They came up with the ideas of building the well in waterproof brick.

To ensure no contamination, the beds were located between the stations, and an integral part of radiality thinking. I glean that the sand bed in the centre of the park is a fountain as well – a combined fountain water feature and water purification installation.

My next question: what about cleaning the sand?

The top layer is taken away and it is replenished now and again. Rain brings with it particles and bacteria. This aerial plankton and stuff only gets in the top layer.

‘We rake it off the water board looks after it with volunteers. The sand is taken away for compost. We get the sand from the sand pit – there are plenty of places to get it.’

My guides start winding up: ‘Have you seen everything – any last questions?’

I ask about grey water.

‘Grey water is another story – come back to see how we do that connected to biogas and etc. A whole new ballgame.’

I understand from my hosts that the important thing is to stop polluting the air. Then rainwater becomes the best water solution. If you are going to have a city with people living close together you need on work on creating infrastructure. This is needed from the beginning and planned from the beginning. You need to work out the areas rainfall etc. Once you decide on the mathematics and the planning constraints it’s easy to do.

They welcome me back with other questions. I take my leave back to the station and the train which is already waiting.

Facilitators still trying to do it by yourself?

Clue for you? Facilitation that is needed.

What surprised me

I was surprised by the simplicity in just filtering through sand. I would be thinking they need to disinfect or use UV light or all kinds of industry standard solutions.

I was also surprised I missed it earlier visits – you can really see here you get what you ask for.

The attitude that each area has its own micro climate and its own conditions to work under should not have surprised me. A one size fits all solution does not work when you are re-localising.


Internet search of Water purification methods show that sand beds are common and well known –but not for rain.

A few rainwater purifying experiments turn up on search.

I can ask industry experts if this could work. Otherwise a simple model could be built

What could you use TODAY and what could be done TODAY?

This exercise has made it painfully obvious that NO EMISSIONS should be permitted into the air that can pollute rainwater. Lobbying for stricter regulations is one thing to do.

Remaining questions.

Grey water purification hangs together with this but how?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

888 symbol of union struggle

Photo from Melbourne, Australia: food for thought as the guide said "we wish!" about this monument. It is to commemorate the union struggle for the 40 hour week. Eight hours work, eight hours leisure, eight hours sleep.

In the sustainable world of PORENA, people in the go-along society probably not even need this.

The other interesting thing about this in the maths is to work out how many hours a year this would make and how many days work a year.

I make it 200 days gives 1600 hours a year and
225 gives 1800.

Anyway, taking the higher figure of 1800 hours of work a year, that means you get 365-225 = 140 hours of weekends and bank holidays
16* 140 = 2,240
225 *8 = 1,800

TOTAL = 4040 hours of lesiure a year


Why the go-along society uses less hours is that it REQUIRES LESS WORK as it is focussed on direct provision of the living services needed by citizens, instead of the round about tooing and froing of information and goods and large amounts of materials required to run our present set-up.

Even today, if you want to work for sustainability reckon you could take, say an eigth of that for working in say, a voluntary currency scheme or even in the eco-unit.

But why does it not feel like we have 124% more lesiure time than worktime?

1) we spend a lot of time in cars
2) we spend a lot of time travelling to work
3) we are tired after work and it is harder to appreciate it
4) we never really got into the perspective we have lots of time we have the attitude we don't have enough time and then we feel we don't.
5) another reason I can't think of

Anyway, my conclusion is

Reduce commuting time
Reduce travelling time
Work on the attitude
Get in schemes that produce living services directly without the need for round-about.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Curing addiction to temporary happiness hits

Preamble: Neil Crofts ( does not mix words. He says the modern person is working in indentured slavery and/or is addicted to temporary hits of happiness. “Happiness seems like the end of the rainbow.”

…the happiness we feel is usually fleeting and attached to events or things. In this way we develop and understanding that happiness is external and comes from the outside.
This then leads to a constant search for happiness in external events or things.
In fact like any addiction it turns into the spiral of diminishing returns.

Recently, people have been talking about a world addicted to oil. A lot of our “comfortable” life style comes from using fossil fuels. Some call oil “slave replacements”. And yet we are probably not happier for all the oil generated comfort.

Now, my quest is visit a place that provides an excellent service for people who have, perhapsthough through lack of self confidence, got into addiction to hits of happiness and are feeling theneed to break away from it. This place provides therapies and or treatments and a way to helppeople deal with and get off the addiction.

Tapescript: Journey to the cure part one.
I am in the departure lounge, sitting on a nice redwood polished bench. I look around for a lift. I seem to be recalling many past visits from this point. Behind me is a grey lift, one I haven’t tried. I get a feeling of hospital. A cream coloured lift is next to it.
I hesitate but take the cream one.
“Happiness hits addiction” is written on the sign near the button.
The lift goes up just one flight. It opens onto what looks like a hospital corridor. Beds on either side. Should I be here? I walk along this huge corridor that at last opens onto a shopping mall, lots of busy shops on two floors.
I wonder if you can get rid of this addiction by buying something.
Can you buy your way out? Sick if you can! But I realize it is not true. Shopping gives a temporary relief to this feeling but it never lasts.

If you are really sensitive you can go into a shop and feel all that excitement from all the thingsthere, and how they will make you feel if you own them. But it is all about how you will fell aboutyourself. I mean, why do people not feel good about themselves anyway?

I enter into a waiting room on the right, and go in and ask for an appointment.
“Someone will be available shortly,” says the woman behind the desk.
It looks like a beauty parlor to me here, staff are walking around in white coats. I park my self in the waiting room and ask a person sitting next to me about money and costs.

“That is the last thing you should worry about” came the reply.
“Mr. Wahlter!” Someone invites me to their office.
I meet a man in his 50s, dressed in a dark suit. “How can I help you?”
“The addiction to happiness and all that follows from it. I would like to do something about it. A course of treatments, or a way of dealing with it. Can you tell me what you offer?” I ask.
It seems they offer retreats, physiological tests, treatments etc.
I get a self-test diagnostic on paper.

Tick if the following apply to you
√ Can’t sleep
√ Generally bad self confidence
√ Shopping doesn' t makes you happy or work for you any more
√ Nothing makes you happy
√ Slight depression
√ Stomach problems
√ Generally lack of self-care on basic levels, heath hygiene nutrition and living space
√ Love life affected
√ Working life functioning poorly

I tick yes to all. Looks like I am suffering.
“What can you do for me- to help me get myself together?”
“Life Planning and retreats,” comes the reply.
Life planning is when you review your life.
Then we offer a series of treatments to help you relax and get in touch with yourself and a new eating regime and exercise regimen.
And something to do with water …spa.
They have everything it seems
“Well, we ARE a centre of well-being,” comes the reply and I link back to earlier quests.
I wonder; ”is there any special treatment just for the addiction like a step program or something?”
“We can’t do a step program. Human beings are so delicate and deep and sensitive, so in need of good experience. They are such incredible creatures; multi-faceted and complex emotionally. You cannot just apply any one solution.”
I ask the guy about his job.
“My job is to front the people who come here and help them make choices about the way forward.”
And about me?
“You are obviously suffering from the effects of happiness addiction - you can’t buy your way out. “
I go into borrowed genius mode. Looking through his eyes I see it is a clinic; they have everything- fitness and personal trainers.
I see the possibility for a doctor’s consultation.
Leaving the borrowed genius I ask for an appointment. A doctor is available immediately. I enter the examination room lie on the examination table. He connects a machine up to me to measure stress levels. Alpha and beta wave patterns can show extreme signs of stress, which appear when the body goes too far into addiction and stays outside the comfort zone.
far Borrowing his genius I see the comfort zone concept includes all the factors mentioned before, your home, food exercise, relationships, work, etc. There is a zone to get into. When you get too out of the zone it gets you showing effects.

“You are showing effects,” he says.
“You have to get yourself back into the zone. Life planning is one way, an exercise regime is part of that. Life planning is to get you into the zone. It’s about the addiction. When you get outsidethe zone it is as if you are stuck outside the fence and cannot get back in.”

Humans I see posters on the wall explaining how it works. Addiction is in fact the result of a naturalreaction that some how goes too far .. or you go “outside the zone”. You should be bounced back into the zone when you come to the edge. It’s natural you bounce back into the comfort zone.are steered by the need for strong experience and feelings. But if you get outside thezone you can get stuck outside and can’t get back. You have to pull yourself back consciously.You have to learn to pull yourself back. And it needs a lot of effort.

The life planning exercises help you identify the boundaries of the comfort zones to createcomfort. I see that comfort zones are not really about comfort as we might see it. These zones are aboutremaining within levels of stress. Maybe I need another term for it.
If you are in the comfort zone you will still feel a thirst inside to be really happy. The need to be really happy is there and it is a good need as it will guide you onto your next steps ofdevelopment. You should feel it. But not let it force you outside the zone.

If you are in the comfort zone you can take the next step. If your life is always outside the comfort zone you do not have the opportunity as long as you are being knocked around like a ping pong ball in the wrong place.
Their suggestion is to go on a life planning course, organize one and come back.
As I take my leave he tells me to work on my weight.
I say goodbye to the man on the desk. And thank him for his help.
I take the brochure for life planning. I’ll come back and go on a course.
A weekend full of treatment and exercises to get you going.
End Tapescript 1 Journey to the cure.

Alpha and Beta waves probably referred to EEG waves. According to the Web, Alpha are more like relaxed. Aware and creative waves, Beta are associated with doing things. A stressed person shows reduction in Alpha waves.
Alcoholics have successfully been treated with biofeedback where they learned to increase their Alpha waves, so the link between stress and addiction and brain waves seems viable.
An article in Newsweek talks about the latest research. Addicts shown pictures of people, for example taking cocaine show stimulation of the frontal parts of the brain. This stimulation is not demonstrated when they look at people in other activities. The theory is then that addiction is partly at least a kind of learnt reflex. Where the mind anticipates pleasure.

Other experiments point to how alcoholics who were given a new drug to suppress this reaction in the brain stopped their addiction, even being able to drink moderately – something no other treatment has been able to demonstrate.
Perhaps the most surprising result was that the alcoholics also starting eating less and stopped smoking. So maybe there is a drug to bring the whole of western civilization out of its addictive state.
People talk about mid life crises. Maybe that is when the addiction stops working as you require more and more “hits.”
Someone says that Feng Shui is about the same thing. I’ll look it up.
End of verifications for The Cure.
Tapescript 2 search for the cure for happiness addiction

Yesterday I wrote up the notes above for the first trip. There might be something there or not. My task today is to experience how life planning helps individuals address the problems of living a life affected by addiction to short hits of happiness.

I sit on the redwood bench and immediately see the facilitator saying “I have had enough of you!”
He turns to walk away.

I run after him saying; “don’t get upset, I need you!”

“You need me like a hole in your head!” he replies.

I run after and ask what he is trying to tell me. “You run and have fun but you need to deal with community action it needs to be spread and needs more work. What you are doing is not going to lead anywhere.”

Now I feel really enthusiastic about the quest – not.

A woman comes up and says “Are you ready for your treatment?”

“Err sure,” I say.
Follow me.
She goes over to the grey lift and I follow. She is rather “nurse-like” in her manner and dress.

Anyway “OK,” nylon smock says, “I am going to take you to the place, just follow me”.

We walk into quite a nice place, like a Japanese bath house, we pass a swimming pool, where people are relaxing.

She shows me a chalet; “this is your room. Get undressed and put a robe on with swimming trunks underneath.”

It’s a normal hotel room, quite pleasant, some green tea available. A nice and peaceful place. A bell sounds, we are all meant to go into a little meeting room. NO furniture, just a polished wooden floor. We sit down in a circle. Another bell sounds. The vibrations of these bells seem important for getting us in the right mood.

The bell goes off - bong bong bong-.

We sit in a circle, the leader speaks;”we are all here to address life planning”.

“Any questions or anyone want to share anything?”

“No no no “, everyone mutters in low voiced.

So, what we are going to do uses a large circle drawn on the floor of the room. This is our task: the segments of the circle represent different aspects of the lives we lead. While the bell is sounding we have to walk around the different sections of the circle. As we walk around we have to feel. Fell which aspects of our lives tense us, or make us feel good or just how we feel. And we have to feel how much of our energy we give daily to that aspect. High, medium or low.

I think we can stand in the circle or out of the circle depending on the strength of the feeling.

I go to work: love life, eating, free time, exercise, self image, level of control, personal development, relationship family/kids,

I walk round feeling like I would be at a low level with relationships with family, low with work but feel stressed, uncomfortable with money, love life - low energy but comfortable.

Personal development low and uncomfortable, living uncomfortable, use of living space, low energy.

I could go round many times. As I go round I get more and more understanding how I feel about that area. You can walk inwards and outwards to see how you feel about the levels of energy you are giving to these different areas.

Everyone walks around the room.

We sit down. We sit quiet for a few moments to let the experience catch up on us. We felt a lot during the exercise; it was confrontational – but necessary. You have to face all of this. These feelings act as a compass and guide.

I realize you can make up your own circle categories - these here are just a start. The next stage is to get a bit of paper with the circle on it and you put in the sections that are valid to you. You can even divide the circle section up into sub sections.

In the inner circle you put a dot to show level of discomfort. And the outer circle shows if you have a high or low level of activity in it.

We sit round again in a circle and have the diagram in front of us.

“What do we do now - any ideas?” The leader asks.
“Obviously you should address the areas of discomfort – and if you have too many you could be in trouble.”


Areas of discomfort are both ones where we are putting in a lot of energy and feeling stressed, or one where we are putting in little energy and feeling stressed.

But how would you address them?

I ask: “If I give low how do I know it is actually low? I could think I am low but I am high compared to the average Joe. How do I evaluate what does that means to me?”

The leader explains that I need to understand what I need to do to get into the comfort zone.
The best way is to talk to some one who knows about this particular area.

We are now invited to break up into groups to get expert help for the areas.

Home space planning is what I choose.

Who is helping out with that? We form groups as more than one chose that area.

The leader has a file, containing what is comfortable practice, high and low. And you have to work out what you do and don’t do compared to normal practice, best practice and mistakes to avoid. You work out where you are missing out.

He reads out what is regarded as best practice:
• A place for everything and everything in its place
• Clean regularly
• Tidy as you go

So I do not really do any of those. But I have to. You have to make a conscious effort to do it - and the longer you leave it the worse it gets. YOU HAVE TO if you want to get yourself back to stability and life enjoyment.

I realize that this has to do with the earlier impression about going over natural limits. If you do, then it is only conscious effort that will bring you over that line again.

You have to prioritize to get yourself back. But first you have to understand the negative effects - how they make you feel and affect your life.

We get given a new worksheet. We list negative effect, and priorities for reducing them.
Then we make a plan for each of the best practices we decide to implement.

I now have a plan.

That was that little session. We get a binder to take with us, with more notes, and to put our worksheets in.

We return to the group. I got some sort of insight from this exercise - a place for everything and a time for everything and everything in its time.

The next exercise is to set the day up. You have to do that properly too.

We are now asked to walk through the day and do the same exercise with the day.

Another circle now, the 24 hr clock.

Sections are marked out for the night, morning and breakfast and the lunch and the afternoon etc. I am asked to reflect on the different energy levels and what we do and how we do it.

YOU have to set YOUR day up. I walk through mine seeing it is a bit of a mess.

I do not settle down in the evening and that ruins the next day.

We walk through the day and back, using the same approach as before.
Where am I stressed?
Where do I put most/least energy?

The evening is my priority. We are reminded we should also look at what we are good at. At least I get things done, I see. Even if the execution is not so organized.

Addiction upsets your life as you and not doing in your time what you CAN do. Being satisfied with what you have got though is also important. If you have got a poor self image you are always tying to do more than you can.

So some people need to reduce their activity or stress for activity, and review and realign their standards to what is reasonable.

Actually it seems like a Japanese is leading this group. I might be able to borrow his genius – but it is not quite time for that. I am still walking up and down my day.

We sit down around the day circle.

The leader asks us what we can do about stressed parts of the day.
There are little theories about calming down. Generally coming down to another level and you’ve got music, candle light smells, aroma therapy - all that sort of thing.

I shall need a time to do that. OK - if my space organization is up the spout maybe my day rhythm is also up the spout. The day rhythm does not compare to my discomfort levels.

I have a suggestion about how to handle the day

Match day and levels to see they get the attention they need.

Before I can take the suggestion further we break for lunch. And for relaxation in the hot bath.

After lunch we will reconvene and carry on.

End of Journey to the Cure 2 tapescript.

Tapescript three
The front lobes of an addict’s brain shows a high level of stimulation while looking at a picture of or thinking of the situation (substance, use of substance or circumstances) in which they experience the “high” compared to looking at something they are not addicted to, according to Newsweek. For example, cocaine addicts show frontal lob stimulation just looking at someone snorting coke. It is as if the brain gets wired to expect the buzz. So addiction is in the brain in part at least. Chemical addiction has something to do with that and how the brain is working.

I have been reading up on addiction - how humans are built for pleasure and in some environments that can get us into trouble. The radar system we have inbuilt does not always guide us right, especially in the modern context.

Just been taking Bach drops against exhaustion: oak and pine for sense of guilt. Guilt drives addiction I am sure, this started to come clear during the earlier sessions.

This is the third image stream. First I had some tests and booked into a life planning. The second was to experience a life planning sessions.

It is not about happiness it is about creating a comfort level - reducing stress and addictive behaviour - to be able to pursue happiness. What came out of the previous sessions for me was the need to take control of the day. It was how you can apply elements of best practice learnt from others.

Back on the bench in the departure lounge my nurse is waiting for me. “Lunch break’s over.”

I have missed something it looks like.

“Can you get me in?” I plead.

Following her to the grey lift it seems as if she is angry with me for missing a session orsomething. She turns and says, “continuity is important”.

The lift opens onto a hospital corridor I follow her through the shopping mall and into the centre. My room is still there. She gets me into a group’s afternoon session.

The room reminds me of a Yasugari room. There is a glass object made up of many vertical tubes. I get the idea you hit it and it will stimulate Alpha waves and relaxation.

The group appears, I put my robe on.

You are meant to go to lunch with the group. Being in the group helps you.

To surprise myself (prepare for answers) I shut my eyes. When I open them I shall be prepared for the course.

A Japanese guy is running the whole thing; everyone is sitting around in the circle.

Silence and contemplative atmosphere is important. I look at the others kneeling down. Quiet.

You need your quiet time every day.

To tackle addiction. You can’t always be chasing the next thing. Quietness is one of the tools to handle addiction.

Quieting the mind and stilling the body, something about Alpha waves. That is what this session is about.

End of session.


Tapescript: The workbook.

Looking for a cure for addiction to short term hits of happiness. An addiction-fostering environment means that there is no “natural” way for you to handle the addiction once you have started to exhibit additive behaviour. You simply have to consciously bring yourself out of it.

In this series of Imagestreams I am in a program of treatments.

In the departure hall the leaves of the rubber plant appear behind my bench in the waiting area.

I go to the grey lift, the nurse catches me up. “Wait for me”

Getting in the lift I press “3” I don’t know why.

As the lift ascends I check her uniform out – fairly standard.

“You are nearly finished with the sessions,” she says.

The lift opens and she takes me to my room where I get changed. I walk past the swimming pool and enter the room where the others were before. We wait for the leader. She takes her leave.

In the corner stands the Alpha wave sculpture, filled with water to a certain point. I wonder what you strike it with. Metal?

I pick up a metal hammer and give it the lightest tap - and get a chunky sound.

The guy enters saying he’ll show us the sculpture later and asks us to sit in the ring.

“Have you been practicing finding a quiet time? The quietness is your anchor in the story of this modern life,” he says.

Adrenaline exhaustion is what I have probably; I am living close to burning myself out.

He asks: “What shall we do now do you think?”

“We need to consciously work out how to get ourselves back- how we can pull ourselves away from the addiction side of the line,” I venture.

“Yes!” He says. “Now you know what best practice is, and you know what worst practice is as you are doing it so you need to draw the line between them.”

Everyone is in a ring around the circle on the floor.

When then is the formula?

He explains: “When that happens then I do this…that is drawing the line. That is the line you need to focus on to bring you back.”

We break up into groups I go into the handling personal living space group, which is my chosen problem area.

When I pick something up and don’t have a place to put it what do I do then?

I put it in a place …the place for things with no place.

Then they will pile up

When they Pile up THEN I will organize a place for them.

The others have a go.

“WHEN my house looks dirty THEN I will immediately decide a time when I will do the cleaning.”

“When I see something lying around THEN I will go and put it back immediately.”

(“I’ll be at it all day,” I object in my thoughts but then realize if I did this regularly I would not be at it all day)

“Is it this easy?” I ask.

“Yes, if the situation is draining your energy.”


“How long do you do it for?”
“All the time till it becomes automatic.”

Then you do it for the other areas as well.

You start with what is your situation..

A workbook is good, to have everything available and to draw the sections out and your priorities.

In the zone you will feel what you want to do and naturally get back.

The thing in the corner does not work - it is probably just a joke I think.

“If you run your finger round the rim you will get a sound. It is meant to stimulate alpha waves.” The leader says.

I think I understand, I must fill my form in for the when then bottom line. What it is and how it makes you feel. For each area, describe the situation - how bad does it make you feel, how do you want to fell. What is best practice and what is your strategy application of best practice. And then what are you going to do to keep yourself in the zone. And then everything will happen naturally. Your deeper desires will come to you and you will get the chance to adjust more naturally. With quiet time you will attune yourself more to yourself.

Look at your file everyday to keep yourself on track everyday.

To keep inspired to keep on track put a letter to yourself in the front of the file.

Follow up this treatment to write

• Why you care what your situation was
• How you were feeling
• What you found out
• What you decided to do about it, what you hope for so you can go back and see where you came from and see your own progress.
• What you decided
• Your request to yourself to help keep you on track.

The final part is the planning. Then there are other treatments you can do to help with relaxation, the physical side, the physical regime of exercise to help you.

You can go now on your way and good luck.

I ask the nurse if that is it, what I do next. She thinks I should do the treatment. Construct the workbook for myself and go through it. Then maybe use that to work out what is best for what I should do.

I thank everyone and return back to the exit hearing the facilitator say he needs me to keep to program development up and not let it slide.

“We have given you the answer how to sell it, you have to try.”
“OK,” I say.

Keep coming with the questions,.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How to debrief Imagestreams

I have found debriefing to be extremely valuable. Imagestreaming produces such a rich flow of insights and ideas that things continue to fall into place sometimes years after an imagestream. These notes are my suggestions based on experience. Take what works for you and leave the rest. I encourage everyone to work out their own methodology as they go along. And then break it – you don’t want to get into a rut!

It is good to keep an archive of your imagestreams. I recommend after trying several methods, that you always record your streams, even if you do them with a live partner. The best format is a digital voice recorder, and transfer them over to your computer. Always back-up on CD regularly.

Type up the notes, adding as much as you remember to make the meaning clear. A good idea is to succinctly write down the

· background to why you are doing just this imagestream

· purpose and goal

One reason for doing this framing is that you always get what you ask for. In your attempt to formulate your quest you may ask inadvertently for things that you are not exactly after. This is especially true of restrictions. Say you want to go to a place that has solved a certain problem, if you did not specify that the place should have the same societal structure as the one we are living in you may find they have something completely different. If you were looking for a solution that will work in your context you should specify that.

I then like to clean the notes up and publish them on my website. This is not necessary, but the discipline of writing for others forces you to take their standpoint and be clearer in your communication. In this context we extend the idea of “live listener” to a much wider audience.

Keep both the notes and the sound recording. Sometimes I need to read the notes a few times to "get" what the insight is. Re-reading tapescripts often raises questions of what exactly was going on during the session. You can get insights you do not manage to describe – or they come as fleeting impressions. You can always go back to the tapescript to help re-capture the moment. (You can always go back and do a new imagestream as well.)

But that it just the beginning.

If you are just going to imagestream and not interact with the world in new ways, you are missing out on what imagestreaming can give you. However, the gap between insight and action is often very wide. You will need to take small steps towards implementation.

Here is my list of questions I ask myself after having done the first typing up. It is good practice to ask these methodically, and keep them in your notebook for future

1) List everything that surprised you.
2) Draw diagrams and write descriptions of inventions you found.
3) Try to sketch "realia" e.g. information posters, signs,
powerpoints - make models maybe. I have never tried it with children but I would love to teach imagestreaming, then do a beachhead session and then point them to craft materials to get them to sketch and make models of their inventions.
4) List what is to be verified and go do it. Internet works just fine. Do not just use search engines, there are encyclopedias like Wikipedia and Encyclopedia of the Earth.
5) What could you use TODAY and what could be done TODAY? This is a fantastic way to start bringing insights into practice. You can often find small actions that are fun and easy to do. My experience is that insights from imagestreams often work surprisingly well.
6) What questions remain- List these as targets for future image streams.
7) Notes about the methodology itself - if I can improve it for
next time, what I learned.

9) Other ways to describe the insights: write an article from the future, a research paper, a power point presentation, do a documentary or build a model.
8) Other musings, sidebands etc.

Remember too that the answer you get is right and WILL work in the appropriate context. However, you may not understand WHY it is right. To convince others you will need to approach the insight again, this time as a salesman learning a new product to sell. So don’t be surprised if you explain your insight and get funny looks, and not be able to answer people’s objections. Listen to them and address them. They will help you sell your idea later on.

My last imagestream experiment was to find a way to use conventional
money to promote sustainable development. It became "units of trust"

Monday, March 19, 2007

debriefing imagestreams

I have found debriefing to be extremely valuable. And insights continue to fall into place sometimes years after an imagestream.

I always like to tape the session on my digital recorder (mp3 player) and then type up the notes.

I then like to clean the notes up and publish on my website.

Sometimes I need to read them a few times to “get” what the insight is.

But that it just the beginning.

Here is my list of questions I ask myself. And it is good practice to ask these methodically, and keep them in your notebook for future reference.

1) List everything that surprised you

2) Draw diagrams and write descriptions of inventions you found

3) Try to sketch “realia” e.g. information posters, signs, powerpoints – make models maybe

4) List what is to be verified and go do it.

5) What could you use TODAY

6) What questions remain

7) Notes about the methodology itself – if I can improve it for next time, what I learned.

8) Other musings, sidebands etc.

My last imagestream experiment was to find a way to use conventional money to promote sustainable development. It became “units of trust”.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Our inappropriate culture

There is a whole debate about individualism. About how we give up parts of ourselves to fit in to the group.

See Dave Pollards Blog

This thing about adapting to the group is of course about survival - the group needs to function as a whole to survive. The best example in the mammal world are killer whales. they have developed "cultures" to be able to live where they do eg some living off seals, some eating small fishes, some hunting tuna. In these cases - playfulness adn experimentation, communication and group learning are all at the base of this culture development. so you could say that the difference, the play, the experimentation is important to learn new things - like when whales learned to follow fishing boats (equipped with sonar and after their food) and get there first. On the other hand learnign to act like a group is essential for survival.

In Brave new world and Brave new world revisited Aldous Huxley says the development of man moving to cities, being surrounded by a vast interconnecting system of technical infrastructure, was driving a development, albeit coming from the good purpose of ORDER, to turn people into insects Insects all act in exactly the same way and if they do not they get killed by the others. He sees civilisation as a giant termite stack of unhappy people.

So I agree with you Dave, it IS an important subject - it is not oil peaking or community gardens that will see manking through the next decade but development of a culture appropriate to
  • the earth we live on
  • our bodies in terms of organisms
  • the reason we are here

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Think out of the box my fanny

I saw this advert ”think outside of the box”. This company were selling a car.
As a champion of sustainability my first reaction was ”If that is the best they can do when they think out of the box – come up with a CAR- god help us all” and ”If that is what they want consumers to do, if thinking out of the box is buying a CAR there really is no hope for this oil addicted society”

Think outside of the box – buy a CAR – Jesus - I am on the wrong planet.

O yeah and while I’m railing off – SAABs adverts in Stockholm ”If Saab had built this escalator is would do 200 km/hr. ” Jesus H Christ that would mean very few could afford it, it would kill quite a few a year and be responsible for a large amount of global warming. And the ad was place by the stairs.

Where is sustainable planet thinking? Is this a last desperate attempt by the oil based industries to get us to part with our money so they can carry on their conservative ways?
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