margonaut blog archive (2004-2014)


Cherryville checkin

I am on site in Cherryville getting ready for the Entheos Gathering and it feels like the most important production I've ever been involved with.

I will be mostly offline for another week. We have to drive several kilometers even for celphone access!

If you're looking for an adventure this weekend, consider coming out...


healing and the mind

Here's a marvellous article (with some great vocabulary words) about how attitude has a huge impact on one's healing path.

I've realized my own "ailment" was something that at some level I was identifying with and using as an excuse as to why I couldn't do certain things.

What helps? Staying hopeful and curbing the need to constantly complain about it. Though it's important to talk about things sometimes (preferably to a health professional, though it's important for our loved ones to know also) constantly using words to vocally (or mentally) obsess is counterproductive.

Another one I've learned: when someone asks, "How are you?" they aren't asking for a lowdown on your bodily functions ;)

A Psychology of the Miraculous
Under a compulsion to sort out my own strange experiences, I spent years interviewing dozens of people who claimed to have had unusual healings. This was no academic pursuit, but a survival exercise; a way to ride out the aftershocks of a catastrophe still rumbling through my life. I was oddly gratified to discover that many of those I spoke to had also undergone inward shiftings of tectonic magnitude. Their crisis of the flesh had become, as had mine, a dilemma of the spirit.

A few people I met seemed to have had a spontaneous remission of an incurable condition, such a rara avis of an event that its every sighting is doubted. They ply the circuit, these grateful, sometimes baffled beneficiaries of healing: the man trimmed out in polyester making televised couch-chat out of his vanished polyps; a woman telling Joan Rivers how the tumor-the-size-of-an-orange that once straddled her left ovary just... disappeared. "Incredible," Rivers brays. "You hear these stories, you just go... unbelievable!"

As well you might, if you retain a phosphor of native skepticism. But if you also possess a scintilla of innate curiosity, you cannot help but wonder, Could it be? Do miracles really happen? It is only lately that you might hear science reply, with quiet, uncomprehending vehemence, Believe it.


optimism in action

The current homepage on my browser is a little inspirational animation video about optimism featuring text from 1912 which I have duplicated below.

I am finding it useful to review each morning after I turn on my computer.

The Optimist's Creed
I promise myself:

To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.

To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet.

To give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of myself and to proclaim this to the world , not in loud words but great deeds.

To live in faith that the whole word is on my side , so long as I am true to the best that is in me.


teddy bear’s picnic

I am lucky enough to appear in the first "Illuminated and Glowing Travels of Chocobear" video playing flute in Stanley Park.

A fun afternoon indeed.

Filed under: chocobear, flute, video 5 Comments

organizational democracy

The link below describes companies which apply democracy in their decision making. While there are challenges around how to do it effectively, this can lead to better decisions, happier people, and higher quality results.

This is a smart idea in a time when employee loyalty is low in the corporate world (largely due to the way many companies treat employees!)

Profit sharing based on results is also a good idea ;)

WorldBlu: Designing Democratic Organizations
No two democratic organizations are alike. However, our research shows that democratic organizations often exhibit the following characteristics:

* Relationships are adult-to-adult, not parent-to-child.
* Leadership happens at every level of the organization, not just at the top.
* You're paid for the value you bring to the organization, not your job title.
* Everyone knows to whom and for what they're accountable.
* Transparency isn't considered scary.
* Formality and polices are avoided in favor of informality and principles.
* Humor and having fun is actually encouraged.
* You can access real-time financial information about your organization's performance anytime you want.
* Change = life, not death.
* The employee manual can be summed up in one sentence: "Use common sense!"
* You look forward to meetings where you can collaborate and share ideas.
* There's a spirit of ownership in every project in which you're involved.
* You either helped create or strongly share in the organization's purpose and vision statements.
* Incentives aren't used to motivate employees - meaningful work is.
* You never have to ask to go to the bathroom.
* Your life outside of work is as valued as your life at work.
* You receive real-time, ongoing constructive feedback from your co-workers, and you're often publicly acknowledged for excellent work.
* Failure is seen as a right-of-passage to success.
* Thinking differently and challenging assumptions is encouraged.
* Alignment comes from a shared sense of purpose, not automatic agreement.
* Your job is one of your favorite places to be.

Sound utopian? Hardly. Organizational democracy is more than a management or leadership style. It's both a mind-set and a system of principles practiced at all levels of a company as a coherent organizational system.

We're not talking about a bunch of job perks here. We're talking about creating an environment and culture any organization must develop in order to survive in a fast-paced, decentralized, and globalized world.

We're the people who design these kinds of organizations. Welcome to our world.


can’t eat just one?

Here's an idea around why certain foods are considered extra tasty...

Who's umami? Human taste now comes in five flavours
When Craig Purdy, a New York entrepreneur, asked chef Jonathan Pratt for an innovative restaurant concept, Pratt jumped at the chance to tell him about umami.

He had come to think of it as a clandestine fifth taste, added to the list of what humans already savour — salty, sweet, bitter, sour.

Pratt believed it was also the secret to getting customers to return time and again.

Filed under: diet & health 1 Comment


Today I discovered the concept of neurotheology via the article below. The author of this particular article is skeptical, however in this case it made all the more interested.

It seems there's a whole network of like minded types I didn't know about out there!

Colour me stoked.

How to Wire Your Brain for Religious Ecstasy
Neurotheology may nonetheless have a profound social impact, by yielding more potent, reliable methods of inducing spiritual experiences.

Surveys suggest that only about one in three people has ever had a mystical experience, defined by one poll as the sensation of "a powerful spiritual force that seemed to lift you out of yourself." Humans have long sought such experiences through meditation, yoga, prayer, guru-worship, fasting, and flagellation, but these methods are unreliable, notes James Austin, author of Zen and the Brain, one of the best books on neurotheology.

Austin hopes that neurotheology will eventually yield much more potent, precise methods of inducing transcendent experiences, from fleeting feelings of connectedness all the way up to "the full moon of enlightenment." Persinger's God machine may not have done much for me, but here's a brief status report on four mystical technologies with potential: