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Ideas for people pursuing an empowered life,




Weapons in Nature

The media is filling us with images of the latest in sophisticated weapons of death. I haven't seen anything that doesn't already exist in the jungle though. Tanks, for example, first used by the British at the battle of Cambrai in the First World War, are copies from Nature. Safe from small arms fire and free to run over trenches and barbed wire, they were formidable when introduced. You'll find the original in our park in Costa Rica though, it's called an "armadillo". That little creature has a perfect defense: an armor-plated bone structure that's covered with thick scales joined by leathery skin. It can dig burrows up to five feet deep with its long claws and - when threatened - it'll roll itself into a tight ball, jamb itself into a narrow spot and be impenetrable.

Chemical weapons aren't new. Humans have been using them since the Byzantine Empire used Greek Fire - a mix of oil and phosphorous - to incinerate enemies. The Renaissance Europeans tried all kinds of poisons on foes. But consider the bombardier beetle who can fire a caustic soup at boiling temperatures from 50 separate jets on its abdomen.

The whip scorpion sprays enemies with tear gas and giant millipedes ooze cyanide from their pores... but many garden-variety caterpillars and butterflies will surprise you with the nastiness of their chemical brews. You might know about deadly poison in snakes but did you know frogs and toads can be deadly? The poison-arrow frog is so toxic that one ounce of its stuff can kill the population of a medium-sized city.

You can compare helicopters and dragonflies easily enough and but jet aircraft have all copied their wingspreads from insects. And those hi-tech navigation systems like radar or sonar have natural origins, bees even communicate beyond the visible light spectrum. You'll find propulsion and hydraulic systems of the highest complexity throughout the jungle. What kind of people study Nature to learn about weaponry of war? Innovative thinkers, that's who. And how do you distinguish innovators from ordinary folks? Well, there are 7 general characteristics that are common to creative thinkers:

1. Innovators want to improve the quality of life by adding value to a process, a product or a service with a "personal contribution";

2. Innovators look for what needs change or improvement in a regular, organized and systematic way;

3. Innovators recognize and explore opportunities for creative thinking;

4. Innovators are strategic, flexible and passionate "doers";

5. Innovators know their own strengths and limits and seek out collaborators;

6. Innovators meet with end-users and clients to learn how they see things;

7. Innovators only consult data and numbers when it's time to deal with facts.

Copying Nature's death practices is easy enough. The real challenge we face is adhering to the jungle's prime directive... "altruistic self-interest". That way we'll use our innovative thinking to avoid conflict in the first place.



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Why wait? Do it now! Spring cleaning that is.. all it takes is little bit of organization. http://www.homemadesimple.ca/en_CA/organizedlife/chorechecklist.htm is a good place to start and http://www.committment.com/organize.html puts you in touch with a club that's committed to helping you stick to it.

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"In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or soon becomes true." John Lilly

"Oh, it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant." William Shakespeare

"It is from weakness that people reach for dictators and concentrated government power. Only the strong can be free. And only the productive can be strong." Wendell L. Wilkie

"He who has great power should use it lightly." Seneca

"Morals are an acquirement - like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis - no man is born with them." Mark Twain

"Everyone is a genius at least once a year but a real genius has his original ideas closer together." George C. Lichtenberg



A wise woman enjoyed traveling alone in the mountains. She had discovered that angels whisper in the ears of people who walk alone quietly in Nature. Intent on visiting a village a week's trek away, she walked all day while contemplating her link to the whole. She relied on Providence to point out where to camp and where to forage for food.

One day, while drinking cool, clean water from a stream, she found a large chunk of gold. Stunned but hugely pleased, she scooped it up, put it in her bag and thanked Creator for her good luck. And she continued on her way. That night she set up camp under a large plum tree and, after building a fire, she cooked her meal and settled in, thinking about all the good she could do with the gold nugget when she reached the valley where she was headed.

The next morning she met another traveler who - attracted to her fire - stopped by her camp. After greeting him seeing he was hungry, the good woman offered to share her breakfast. He thanked her and praised her generosity and her devotion to God while she broke her bread in half, giving him the larger piece.

She humbly told him that indeed God always provided her with what she needed.

Then - when she opened her bag to get some tea to share - the hungry traveler spied her precious stone. Then while the tea brewed, he gave her a long tale of woe and lament about the extraordinary bad luck that had plagued him. Finally, he asked the woman to please give him what she could to help. All she had was that precious cargo but she immediately gave it to him without hesitation and, with a great smile, said: "Oh I was hoping to do good with this and now I can."

The stranger was amazed and - taking it - he thanked her profusely, praising her to God... He kept thanking her as he stood and slowly backed away, then turned and walked - almost ran - off, not even waiting for his tea. He knew the gold was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime and he thought the woman foolish for not knowing it.

The next day however, that man wandered back into the wise woman's camp and - telling her how happy he was to find her after walking for many hours - he handed her the gold nugget.

"I was thinking..." - he said - "...while I walked. I know how valuable this gold is and at first I thought you didn't. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that you were a good woman... a wise woman who knew its exact worth. Then I thought you must be eccentric and have great wealth. Then I thought about power and how you must be connected to angels. I'm giving it back in the hope that you will give me something even more precious. Please share with me that power that enables you to give away wealth without even blinking."

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