Human Flow An Existential Glimpse Into the Future?

Human Flow is a rare documentary film “experience” because it has you wading into the experience of being a refugee, not the cause of your refugee status, but the experience of it, the long lines, mud, ambiguity, uncertainty. Above all, it is a very uncomfortable way of being. “Je ne suis pas bien dans my peau” (I don’t feel right in my skin).

This is not an esoteric academic concern. I have been leading the go-to-market strategy of EyeZone Films, a film production company that produces humanitarian films, the first of which are about (mostly) Syrian refugees in Turkey, Germany, and the USA. However, EyeZone’s point of view is that we, all of us, have to change the experience of being refugee.

More and more people are fleeing where they were born, due to war, famine, or persecution, and the figures are accelerating. The Syrian war is the latest driver to reflect the impact of human violence, but climate change will soon eclipse war as the main reason people leave.

What is striking is the common experience reflected in people’s faces, eyes, and voices.

Continue reading “Human Flow An Existential Glimpse Into the Future?”

Capricorn New Moon [Astro Weather]

newmoon-capEvery moon cycle tells a story, which is revealed in the event chart of New Moon, the beginning of its cycle. Its story is told by the configuration of energies as represented by its bodies and angles, and I call this “astro weather” because it sets the overall context for the month. By knowing its energies, you can harmonize with them and interact better with people and the universe in general. And you can dress for the weather ;^). Continue reading “Capricorn New Moon [Astro Weather]”

Spiritual Reflections on Two Classic Sci-fi Films

Quest for Fire and The Matrix are both classic sci-fi films about survival within adversity, but I found that their parallels were eclipsed by striking differences. Moreover these differences hold insights into the importance of humans’ relationship to nature and the universe (or god) and its effect on human survival. I’ll reflect on each film first and add my observations and spiritual reflections at the end. Continue reading “Spiritual Reflections on Two Classic Sci-fi Films”

Freedom from the Known/Jiddu Krishnamurti

freedomknownHave you ever read a book that feels so clear and familiar that its thoughts felt like your own? This is my experience of Freedom from the Known, which expresses thoughts and practices I have been developing for some time, but in a much more elegant, powerful and simple way than I could ever do. The small book is truly revolutionary, and I think you can use many of its suggestions to make profound change in your life.

Krishnamurti communicates so simply and cleanly that I think the book is accessible to anyone who is interested in confronting his/her ideas. At various points in the book, I felt myself objecting and creating mental friction, but that is about my reaction, not the book. Its ideas and observations are very clear to an open mind. If you are used to reading philosophy, it will probably be easy for you to grasp (although perhaps not easy to practice, at least it isn’t for me). Here, I’ll summarize each chapter before attaching my reflections at the end. I will also share how I am practicing some of the book’s suggestions.

If you are curious and feel mental resistance to the chapter summaries, try skipping to my interpretation and reflections where I’ll discuss how I think this works from a practical perspective and how I have been using the concepts. Continue reading “Freedom from the Known/Jiddu Krishnamurti”

Commuting as Dancing

black-and-white-people-road-white-street-urban-524047-pxhere.com-smToday while bike commuting, I had an epiphany that might help you defuse frustration you may feel during your commute. My epiphany was touched off by the scene while I was approaching an intersection on Southport around one in the afternoon. A mother with a stroller was crossing the street while completely transfixed to her smartphone. A car mercifully stopped for her, as did I, and she never looked up. Continue reading “Commuting as Dancing”

Why There Are So Few Cooks in America

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Sweet potato hash with bacon & onion

 

Last week, I released Drive to Trust’s Cohort One, which includes Teens Cook, a program to help organizations that help teens to cook their own food. In connection with Teens Cook, I’ve been conducting some ethnographic research on families, cooking, eating habits and food. After several hours of this, I noticed an astounding thing: although there are organizations and people who try to help teens and families improve their health by learning home cooking, they focus on recipes. And I’ll argue here that cooking with recipes is not really cooking because it omits the two most important parts of cooking: practicality and creativity. I hope that this short riff will help you discover the secret that’s hidden in plain view, that unlocks the true power of cooking for yourself and your loved ones—and loving it.

Cooking with recipes is not really cooking because it omits the two most important parts of cooking: practicality and creativity.

Continue reading “Why There Are So Few Cooks in America”

Reversing the Tragedy of the Commons

The Tragedy of the CommonsTop of mind for me most days is the Tragedy of the Commons, because I see it everywhere.

I perceive that the United States as a country tends to emphasize individuals more than the collective. Moreover, the ebbing importance of local community diminishes the sense of shared destiny in which community members feel that “we’re in this together.” Continue reading “Reversing the Tragedy of the Commons”