Andee's Elephant in the Room

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    • #4164

      Here’s a game I’d like to run by my fellow inmates. This game requires a brief background. I was a very different person right from a baby. Never knew why. What I did know is that I was pathologically shy, tended to be predominantly strangely intelligent, but occasionally completely lacking, not much in between. I love music, listened to classical as a child. Love animals and nature. Not comfortable with people in general although very intense one on one. Religious people label me an atheist, don’t have a pony in that race. I was very curious and questioned everything, completely lacking in blind faith but open minded to every possibility. Never had a close or special buddy and never chummed with any co workers for my entire career. I was always happy. The day I turned 16 I quit high school and left home without anger and on good terms, and succeeded in life. Finding my soul mate 8 years ago enabled me to explore myself further and we discovered that my mind found residence at the low end of the Asperger’s spectrum. What a beautiful revelation. Everything makes sense now. We get so many laughs out of the stupid and strange things I do. Anyways enough background and clues. I just think it’s important that everyone understands where the game came from, especially those that relate to who I am. I’m hoping it will help bring them out too.

      So here is our game.
      Through my life it never had a name, didn’t need one. There was no one to talk to about it. It was just something I did. Since I was usually sitting alone in the shadows I would absorb a situation that involved people thinking and making decisions, giving special attention to their output and motivations. Then I would search for what is now referred to as “the elephant in the room.” What is it that no one is talking about and often not even aware, often hidden by their biases that when considered would totally change their view and direction. To qualify, the elephant if exposed would have to be of interest or knowledge to all concerned and have sufficient weight and value so as to have at the very least a substantial effect on the direction of the situation or as is more often the case, cause a complete 180.

      Now let’s have some fun. I put to you my fellow asylum inmates, what is our elephant in the room right now?

      Keep in mind that I have never been outside the asylum. All that’s changed is this weird guy that goes by the name Cog came through the gate a few years back and now he’s invited his friends over. As far as I’m concerned you’re in my home now. Could get interesting.

      What is the elephant in this TIF room?

      The best way for this to unfold would be for anyone interested to take a stab at it. When that’s done and no has found it I’ll give a clue as to where I usually find the elephant and see if that helps. Finally if someone guesses or failing that, if I have to expose the elephant, I can safely say we’ll have lot’s to chew on for a few days. From there we can run with more scenarios and will certainly be open for others to present past or even current scenarios for consideration. There’s a beautiful part to this that I will not reveal yet so as not to give away too many clues. Hang in there . You won’t be disappointed.


    • #4167
      AvatarMrs Cog

      ‘As far as I’m concerned you’re in my home now. Could get interesting’

      This is what inspired the whole concept of Member Created Forums. Thank you Andeee. :-)

      I have little doubt I will be chewing on the elephant in the room in my sleep now lol. Oh, I’m working on this one. ;-)



    • #4175

      Know who the clever fox is…but I’m going to sleep on the elephant.

      Thanks for being you!

    • #4178

      Take your time Dynosaur. I’ll give it a few days to see if I lured anyone in.

    • #4270

      Ooh you’ve hooked me but good Andeee! I can’t resist a puzzle. I’m also a braniac teacher’s pet that always wants to have the right answer. I read your post a 2nd time just to make sure that I understood the question. I gather the following:

      a) the elephant is not actually exactly the same
      b) is frequently found somewhere in the same area
      (people being people)
      c) the elephant is somehow still present despite the fact that the individuals here are interacting in an anonymous way that conceals, at least to a degree, personal characteristics.


      This is the part where I want to have the “right” answer. You seem to be interested in evoking guesses, though. I want to start playing “twenty questions” and narrowing the field some before taking a stab.

      Is the Elephant something about the nature of consciousness? Something about politics? If it’s generally found “in the same area” and observed when people are interacting in “real time” then there is a clue that the Elephant is interpersonal in nature.

      In my own subjective experience I have been thrown some “180-generating” curve balls in the last couple of months by some of the material I have read but not yet accepted and integrated. An example: (paraphrased) “Don’t worry about what you eat and how long you’ll live; the real you is an immortal spirit that chose this life experience and already chose your date and manner of death, so do what you enjoy and forget the rest.” Another: (also paraphrased) “The self-centered and the selfless will always be at odds with each other, and feeding off one another’s energy, so the only way to win is to become unattached to the drama of this conflict and accept that both sides are responsible for creating the situation.” Each one of these thought patterns itself (if accepted) would have a cascade effect on my decision pattern going forward. I realize that I may be very far off the mark (neither issue is particularly interpersonal) but I’m just saying that without a frame of reference around the nature of the Elephant I am “lost in the sauce.”

      If this game is normally played in “real-time” then I would suppose that the Elephant had something to do with how the group of people ended up in the same place, ergo had something to do with the hosts and their agenda.


    • #4273

      This is exciting Mrs. Cog, Zenscreamer and Dynosaur. My mental trap bore fruit.
      Zenscreamer, yes, very close, your last statement was dead on. I’ll divulge the clue that I referred to in the original piece and then give you a couple more days to mull it over. If the elephant is difficult to find and/or not obvious, I will always find it in my next level of consciousness. When I say “next” I am referring to the level next to where pretty much all of us operate as we go about our activities. My experience has shown that most never experience other levels. When I try to explain they look at me as if I was speaking Chinese, while some like me, and obviously CD and I suspect many here, go there at will when the situation requires. At this next level I find amazing clarity, not perfect but magnitudes better than my base level. Almost always, whatever may have been a consensus at base evaporates at the next level. When this situation presents, that’s the elephant. I believe this answers most of your curiosities Zen. So now you all need to figure out is, what is it that on our base level we Cogites all probably think we have figured out but at a deeper level gets thrown out the window? I suspect that CD knows but probably never quite looked at it this way.

      And just because I like messing with brains, here’s an add on. If I want I can usually, not always, make the elephant disappear. Figure that one out!

      Picture is from the bow of our yacht at anchor by Jack Sparrow Island a couple weeks ago.


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    • #4281

      quis sum?

      • #4362

        Got me there Yowie. Since you pose it as a question, I’m stuck. Keep in mind I have very little formal education. I spent 8 years memorizing a catechism and prayers and begging for forgiveness and the next 3 years staring out of windows, that’s it. The rest is school of hard knocks so quis sum back at ya.

        • #4395

          Are you so sure it was a question?  I don’t know what answer it is that you propose, but I think this one is as good as any!

    • #4365

      In the immortal words of Popeye the Sailor man, “I yam what I yam”

      or in other words, sum qui sum…

      Does this elephant have anything to do with the subconscious*  interconnectedness of humanity(Whether we like it or not.) 5D beings stuck in a 3D world of maya?

      * Or would the word unconscious, in this day and age, serve better here?


       When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained – Mark Twain

      "There is a dream dreaming all of us." ~ Kalahari Bushmen

      • #4367

        Not to day that it would be the same for everyone but for me, an elephant, if not obvious can always be found from an objective observer position, in other words, a deeper level of consciousness rarely used in most decision making processes, beyond where daily life occurs.

        So what I’m saying is, CD has attracted this interesting group of not normal people. What is this about? Why is it happening? What is not being said? (nothing nefarious CD :)

        There’s often several elephants and I wouldn’t be at all surprised with some dialogue here we may come up with some that have not even entered my mind.

        • #4401

          @Andeee #4367

          I may be a little bit crabby today, but I have a hard time with the term

          an objective observer position

          as used in your remark. IMHO, the premise of the existence of an “objective observer” is a semantic fiction that allows the subjective ego to discount its own biases in its assessment of events. (“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!”)

          As to subjects the group has not yet opened, I feel like this is the first half-hour of a very interesting cocktail party, when people are just getting to know one another and getting a feel for the vibe of the room. There also may be a tendency amongst this group to be a little gun-shy, considering that most were recruited from a site where a lot of verbal bombs are being thrown as a matter of course, even on relatively non-contraversial subjects. Give us time — we’re just warming up. ;-)

          • #4403

            On your last paragraph there Zenscreamer. Bingo! We have a winner…LOL!

            "There is a dream dreaming all of us." ~ Kalahari Bushmen

          • #4495

            I mean “objective observer in it’s most general way I suppose, much as a referee would be considered officiating a game, not participating, only observing in it’s entirety, rather than from a single participants view.

            Indeed we are just warming up and it may be one hell of a cocktail party, I couldn’t agree more. Yes we are just getting to know each other but there’s always something lurking in the shadows that really is deserving of some daylite.

    • #4388

      Ok, I’ll take a stab. We are all a bunch of +50 year-old Old Farts? The voice of Millenials is not represented here?

      • #4392

        Maybe the millenials haven’t managed to locate TIF on their smart gadgets yet… Should we text or tweet them with the 411?

        "There is a dream dreaming all of us." ~ Kalahari Bushmen

        • #4409
          AvatarMrs Cog

          @Disenchanted – Am I detecting some negativity here? Perhaps a bit of smart phone envy lol? Just because some of us (not mentioning names) insist upon attempting to communicate with antiques that can’t read simple Matrix code (or load Space Weather pages) does not mean Smart Device users cannot locate their TIF.

          – some of us Twofers (or Floers as @Zenscreamer calls us) are still a ways from 50. Rushing towards us it may be but a few more years will be needed to get acclimated to “Old Fart” jokes lol.

          • #4431

            No not envy, but I apologize. That was more of  a Fight Club style comment then it should have been.

            I am trying to keep a leash on that at your place.

            "There is a dream dreaming all of us." ~ Kalahari Bushmen

            • #4432
              AvatarMrs Cog

              No need to apologize, please. I was teasing you about the long life you have extracted from your device, I was playing as well. I too come from ZH threads and have to remind myself of my TIF(ly) manners on occasion (see why I don’t do interviews lol.)

              I did make the Ψψ symbols extra big for the Smart gadget icons. ;-)

      • #4496

        Excellent point Ohmyheck. If you don’t include millennials in every plan or vision for where you’re going you would be doing your self a huge disservice, and yet they are pretty much ignored.

        That’s the process, keep digging. There’s always more than one elephant, that’s the fun of this. Once the process becomes second nature you may surprise yourself.

    • #4434

      Ah! So the answer is we are all just getting to know one another and we are all a bit gun-shy from past ZH experiences? It that it?

      @Mrs.Cog — Good to know TIF has a wider representation than just Old Farts. I don’t consider myself an Old Fart, until I look in the mirror and cannot figure out who that is looking back. Whah happind?!

      That said, when it comes to smart phones…I don’t have one. I can text though! And I have a twitter account. I just don’t know how to use it. But I have one follower! His name is “Confucius”.  I love that!

      I’m sure this place will attract an array of different people soon.  My son and his friends would really like it here, these are topics they talk about, but they are all caught up in college demands.

    • #4451

      Good to see all the participation. I’ll be back this evening to move this along and respond to the posts.

    • #4490

      I believe there is a set maximum length for submissions (help me Mrs. Cog) so this will come out over several nites.

      No shortage of weird ideas in my head. This is my first attempt to transfer a complex though in a manner that makes sense to more than my partner. For this first go, I of course welcome all posts, and thanks to those that have joined me here, just be patient for replies. To get to our destination we have to walk a very specific path. For this exercise, try not to think about whether you agree or disagree, all I need is the allowance that it’s within the realm of possibility. We can talk about numbers later.

      For tonite I’ll give you a simple example just to get the arrows pointing in the right direction, nothing more. Do you remember the Viagra commercial with the elephant? As long as the problem stayed in the subconscious it didn’t exist. That’s where I want the arrows to point.

      Next post I’ll present another easy example, difference being it will deal with all the inmates at TIF. This example will expose you to the mechanism I’ll be using to transfer my thought. In prep for the next step I need to put down a bit of a base. It’s safe to say that most if not all here at TIF are more realistic about what they see coming than the average person. Does this necessarily denote higher intelligence? You’ll see the significance of this question later.

      Gotta run, I think I see Mrs. Cog coming with a big stick in her hand.

      • #4494
        AvatarMrs Cog

        Oh my gosh that is hilarious. I had NO idea about the commercial you were referring to… so I googled it.

        the link:

        • #4497

          Must have a bad setting on my computer because the video is blank.

    • #4540
      On the BeachOn the Beach

      Hi Andee:

      What an interesting question. I honestly would not have have thought to ask it of the group but then that is one of the reasons for people to come together and talk about things. I think you and Zen already partially answered your question. First we have to ask why we are in CD and Mrs Cog’s living room before we can ask about the elephant standing in there with us.

      I suspect we are meeting in the TIF living room because we were attracted to the message of challenging existing beliefs and exploring alternative systems of consciousness that CD has been writing about for years on ZH. That would be our commonality. If we are very lucky and grace smiles on us, perhaps a little community can be born.

      I suspect the elephant in the room is that some, many, most, almost all of the group in the TIF living room have experience with alternate/unusual/extraordinary consciousness but don’t talk about their own personal experiences.

      You did in your reply to Zen. I never do with strangers. Just don’t. Wish it were not that way but I have learned the hard way to keep such issues closed. Talking about challenging beliefs is OK, just not alternate consciousness. It will be interesting to see what you think the elephant is. And what others might think.

      Thank you Andee for being so open in your discussion of your life.

      • #4549

        Hello again On The Beach

        I try to limit personal information about myself to only that which is necessary to give proper depth to what I am relating. This is the first time in my life that I’ve opened up to people I don’t personally know. Don’t know why, it just feels right.

        What you have said and others like Zen, it seems everyone is pretty much on side with where this is going. There may be a bit of preaching to the choir here but generally I’m pretty lonely in these thoughts.

        If I can get my thoughts organized I’ll be back later tonite to move the game along.

    • #4564

      I’m back. For our second example here’s an easy elephant in the TIF room. First I need to repeat a couple points from an earlier post of mine. It won’t do any good to think about whether you agree or disagree. It’s best to consider if what I’m saying lies within the realm of possibility, that’s all. For now this is only a game so work with me.

      When I stand back and observe our presence at TIF, I see something major that most of us probably see but are not talking about, in other words, an elephant. Something that should be talked about. With the exception of Cog’s writings I have not seen one post on this yet . At the end the question will always be, Does exposing the elephant sufficiently color our thoughts to effect our view, direction or output in a significant way? Something that once exposed will then be considered. Here we go.

      This is what I believe about Cog. CD has dreamed of being a writer almost all his life. He sources his material from where he finds his greatest wisdom. His skills were tested through his contributions to Zero Hedge. Very interesting and intelligent people appreciate his work. He’s on to something and he’s taking it to the next step. Recently he’s made several major changes in his life and now hopes to fulfill his dream. Coincidently, just when CD is going through this evolution he decides to massively burden his time with Two Ice Floes. Would there be a connection here? I think it’s safe to say that TIF is a product of Cog’s new challenge in life.

      We’re all here being ok with not jumping into anything too big for now while we take some time to get to know each other better and see where things go naturally and that’s fine. I just think it’s more than appropriate to bring this topic to a conscious level and discuss it since it may even end out being a primary focus of this site for a while. We could do a lot worse. Cog wants to write and at some level believes inviting all of us into Mrs. and Mr. Cog’s living room would at the very least not be detrimental and at the best help him on his journey.

      If this even has a possibility of being the underlying reason why we’re here, why are we not talking about it? If I’m even partially right, all I can say is let’s not disappoint him. How about we start by asking Cog if I might be at least a little bit right. Maybe ask how he thinks we might be able to help. Having a very clear focus it could be one hell of a topic for a few weeks. When I observe, I wonder why it’s silent.

      I’d love for that thought to gain some traction but for now need to stick with the game. The purpose of this example was to familiarize yourself with the process. Now knowing how the game goes, that was a elephant. What is the elephant?

      • #4598

        Hmmm…. upon reading your remark

        just when CD is going through this evolution he decides to massively burden his time with Two Ice Floes

        my first reaction was guilt/fear based and I felt responsible that perhaps TIF would be distracting CD from his mission. Once I let go of the illusion of responsibility for the situation, I remembered that CD said something about getting the most out of the comments that have accompanied his posts on ZH. Perhaps TIF participation can be viewed in this context as a search for a better signal-to-noise ratio in reader reaction to CD’s work.

        Perhaps I am somehow insensitive, but I had not up ’til now considered the possibility that we had been “summoned” to be an audience for CD’s work per se. To me the invitation seemed much more open-ended and social; this may be a feature of my own psychological make-up, but I did not feel any direct pressure to act as a sounding board for CD’s work, only an opportunity to do so.

        To me, I imagine an elephant in the TIF environment would be liable to be a bit more exotic: I recall the old parable about the group of blind men examining an elephant and each coming to different conclusions as to its nature based upon his subjective experience. I am intrigued by the possibility that the majority here share a history of experiences as “outsiders” and “oddballs” within each’s own social environment that in each case led to a sense of alienation and an urge to find a community of others with a shared background of nonconformity. The strange and sometimes unclassifiable experiences of individuals who allow themselves to explore conceptual realms beyond the boundaries of social convention form a fertile ground for a shared understanding of the nature of subjective reality.

        I have had any number of such anomalous subjective experiences, but I have come to the conclusion that absolutely no-one wants to hear about them and explore their meaning; the is not a surprise to me, as I have come to the conclusion that people are in general only interested in themselves. This is not a condemnation of the situation, merely a report of what I have experienced. I am interested to find out what others think about this topic.

        • #4603

          Greetings Zenscreamer
          I too believe that we were not consciously summoned here to be an audience. I’m sure the invitation was open ended and social so as to provide all inmates with fertile ground to contribute and grow. What everyone needs to Keep in mind, this is just one more example of a thought that exists but not on an openly conscious level, in other words an elephant in the room. Had it not been for CD’s desire to further his writing career it could certainly be argued that TIF might not exist. Maybe not the best example but I’m sure you get the idea. This thought certainly exists in the realm of possibility and in my opinion deserves some daylight.

          An aside here. I do not know CD any better than anyone else here. I speak only of what my mind sees.

          My mind was wired right from birth in such a way that I see elephants everywhere, whether it’s in designing things or observing others or any situation at all. With my next example I hope to influence some of the inmates to explore this slightly unusual way of seeing the world. It can do no harm. It has worked very well for me. This frame of mind removes a lot of clutter to expose hidden aspects, not only the elephants but also silver linings, which may very well be the greatest benefit. So often in dire situations I find a hidden silver lining. While not necessarily relieving the immediate pain, it at least makes the road out a lot shorter and more bearable. I’m hoping my game will encourage others to hone that skill, use it more often and reap the rewards. It does become second nature with some practice. In fact it can be fun to apply it to even simple and routine scenarios.

          There’s always an elephant, there’s always a silver lining.

          Below is Co Pilot Grady, reporting for duty.


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    • #4566

      Sorry, first I post in the wrong chronological order then when trying to delete it ends out posting again.

      • #4568
        AvatarMrs Cog

        @Andeee – no worries. If you have a comment in the forums that is NOT a reply to someone else and it posts out of order, you can go in to edit your comment, then save it again (by clicking the submit button), it usually will drop to it’s correct place at the bottom.

        Up way too early, I read your post from last night aloud to Cog and we pondered your game. I tried the “Be the elephant, honey” approach but he wouldn’t give me the answer. :-p

        I suspect I know what you are getting at here, but I can’t play just now as I seem to be expecting company in my living room and need to make some more iced tea and tidy up a bit. :-)

    • #4715

      Excuse the delay. I’m having trouble with the mechanism of transferring my thoughts to you. Although they’ve been in my head all my life, this is a first. I’ve never had to put an intellectual concept of this nature into small bites, put the thought bites into some sensible order, convert them to words and expect a reasonable facsimile in your mind. I have to say, I admire CD’s ability in that department. For me, thoughts leave words behind.

      Anyway, with this in mind, I’m going to shorten the “Elephant in the Room”. Rather than another example I’ll jump to the end.

      No matter what situation I find myself in, I can always find something of value just out of sight, always, even after I find it. That’s it.

      Here’s a few hints and tips. Finding one elephant tends to illuminate the next, there’s always another. Silver linings hide in the same place and are just as plentiful and live by the same rules. Look where others aren’t. This works at any level, spiritual, mechanical, financial, relationships, anywhere at all. An important point. Dismissing a controversial thought derails the process so no elephant. Go back to my last example. Was CD’s desire to write influential in the creation of TIF? Assume that it may have been, however remote. Can you imagine the fun we could have with that. If you had dismissed the thought, the process would have ended right there. Allowing that it may have been possible positions you to expose and explore the potential elephant. It’s a necessary part of this process that you find and examine the elephant before you dismiss the possibility of it’s validity. From the perspective of having found and examined the thought and then looking back to the original question makes you shudder that it may never have seen the light of day. The better you suppress your biases the easier the elephant is to find.

      Often you will see the situation at hand in a new way that will substantially change how you may otherwise have progressed. I always seemed to have an advantage in almost every aspect of my life. I attribute it to seeing what others chose not to.

      This is not words of inspiration, this is a tool. Hope it resonates with at least one.


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      • #4716
        On the BeachOn the Beach

        Andee………… very very nice. Thanks for posting this. You have a great advantage in having control over you physical mental voice. Everyone does but most have to exercise that control habitually or else they lose the ability to get away from the physical voice. Usually the physical mental voice is not authentic or complete.

        • #4732

          Thanks On the Beach, I love the way you put it.

          It is a fact that I came into this world wired slightly different than “normal”. In a very general sense, my intake leans towards being multi dimensional. When I listen to good music, especially instrumental or foreign language so that my mind is not restricted by someone else’s thoughts, I hear every instrument and sound separately, even separate from the energy flow. I found that CD’s writings fit so well with that process. With my little “game” here I hoped to shed some light on a tool that everyone by virtue of being at TIF probably uses but possibly not to it’s potential.

          One of my favourite movies is “Life is Beautiful”.

          I’ll hang back a bit for now to see if there is an appetite/opportunity for anything further.

          I put Mrs. Cog to work again fixing up my too large photo file, sorry. I took this picture in my barn. Rhetorically, is this 5 baby swallows sitting in a nest, or do you see 5 individual living entities in majestic harmony, among many other thoughts obviously accepting me as their friend while exercising their sense of curiosity? Their lack of fear tells me we have a special connection. What would be going through their minds I wonder?

    • #4739

      A couple of thoughts—

      “What would be going through their minds I wonder?”

      Wierdly, when I thought I read this, I read, “What could go wrong when their minds wander?” (humans, not the birds…)

      Not even close to what you wrote, but there it is.

      Answer to my question–“Nothing. Maybe mind-wandering is a good thing. More humans should try it.”

      Then I saw the word, “Asylum”.  What is the definition of “Asylum”?

      “a place of retreat and security”

      “the protection or inviolability afforded by an asylum”

      So yes, you are correct about the elephant here at TIF.

      But maybe we all have been given an opportunity, to express ourselves without the usual recriminations we find.

      We are all the audience for each other?

      • #4812

        Hi Ohmyheck
        I actually do something that I guess could be labelled as “mind wandering”. This could be a whole nother forum topic but since you suggested more humans should try it, let me say I couldn’t agree more. I often put myself in the most relaxed state possible and purposely blank my mind. I do not consciously encourage any particular thought. In fact I shoo away any lingering noise of the day. I try to hold as vacant as possible. After a few minutes a thought deserving if not demanding my attention will quietly fill the vacuum. What is most interesting though is that often this thought may never have crossed my conscious mind. In the proper relaxed state, for me if something is in need of my attention it generally will surface. I could go on but I think you know what I’m saying.

        On another note, there are always lots of elephants but it may not be the best use of others time.

    • #4868
      On the BeachOn the Beach

      Hi Andee:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to describe what you do and how you do it to expand your consciousness. I consider your being able to more easily do this thing of yours as a gift and a statement of you being more “normal” than the current larger group only too ready to label normality. It is a gift to anyone who wants to hear you say that this ability has given you advantages in almost all areas of your life. And this advantage, as I understand what you are saying, is your willingness to not be biased by your waking mental voice. That you are willing and able to let events unfold on their own and take the time to look deeper at what life is presenting to you instead of being blocked from this by your awake mental voice.

      Imagine what the world would be like if everyone were able and were doing what you are doing at all moments in their normal waking life? People, instead of being asleep when they thought themselves awake, would be much more deeply engaged with life and the others around them in that life. The lies of civilization would be so much more difficult to pull off with an awake and aware people.

      And your ability is just one of many possible that a person can enjoy when freed of the restrictions of our conditioning. Consciousness is infinite.

      The consciousness of the little birds in your photo is an example of one more type of consciousness. A natural awareness of their life around them is their birthright, as ours should be. And, contrary to our arrogant cultural biases, their consciousness is no smaller or worse or less than ours. All consciousness are equal in their own right and just exist on a continuum of awareness of the universe.

      One of my assertions is that our conscious awareness is able to connect to many different beings’ consciousnesses. This gift of mankind’s special consciousness is its ability to connect to many different species and become aware of them and how they view their world. This would allow man to become one with almost all aspects of life on this earth, perhaps spreading out into the universe in all its realms. This ability has been suppressed and basically lost in modern man. The excesses of modernity would be impossible for a person connected to life in this way.

      Thank you Andee. You are more than normal. Why be normal? What’s so good about being normal?

    • #4901

      Not much to add to that On the Beach, beautifully put.

      Here’s something “abnormal”. Often I wonder why more people can’t slow down enough to appreciate a fine piece of music. I often ask people, do you ever listen to music for the sole purpose of enjoying that piece, as opposed to just something in the background. Very, very few do. I wonder what the world would be like if everyone was taught at a young age how to understand music and from that, took the time to listen to something relaxing or inspiring before they retired at night. I can’t imagine anyone appreciating Beethoven and then going out warring and killing people.

      You touched on a topic that fascinates me. I thought about mentioning it here at TIF at some point but since you have experienced it, here goes. Connecting consciousness between different species. I have several interesting examples. I’d like to share my favourite. Since I live on a farm I’m surrounded with animals. You may have run across a picture here of my buddy Grady. He hangs with me all day, we do a lot of cool stuff together. Sometimes when we’re both relaxed in the living room in the evening, enjoying some fine music, I’ll lay on the floor beside him and think only of two conscious entities, no bodies, nothing physical. Absolutely no sense of superiority, domination, master, nothing like that at all. It takes a few minute to get into that space but what’s interesting is as soon as I find him on his level he becomes aware of our connection. At first it made him slightly uncomfortable. I’m sure it was strange for him, me normally being his master. After a while he came to enjoy it. Sometimes he will even reach out so that his paw will be touching me. I believe he feels that to be his contribution to our special connection. Many more stories like this but I’ll save them for another time.

      Thanks On the Beach for stirring that one up for me.

    • #4906
      On the BeachOn the Beach

      Hi Andee. I am seriously thinking about starting a conversation on expanded consciousness.

      One of the hallmarks of modernity is its insistence on keeping us from exploring deeper aspects of ourselves. Nothing is allowed to get in the way of the constant noise of modernity and anything that might is declared illegal and forbidden. Hard to forbid music but look at what passes for music for most young people today. People just don’t know that they can connect to music in deeper ways that allow the vibrations of the physical music to open them up in unexpected ways.

      Without going into the specifics, one time I was drifting along in a mild trance and forgot the radio was playing classical music. About 3 AM Igor Stravinsky’s Right of Spring came on. I had never liked that piece and never really was able to connect emotionally to it. I don’t think I had ever listened to the whole thing in my life. This time was different! Goodness. After about one bar I felt my consciousness fall into the music. Each musical voice in the music became an individual entity in my consciousness. The music actually became alive in a very real sense. The music is actually the score to a ballet based on a pagan celebration of spring. I had never seen the ballet but what I felt was a wild celebration of life. I experienced a wild party of all sorts of magical creatures. It was not “G” rated. One of the most amazing things I had ever experienced. Now I find it much easier to flow into music but nothing was ever as powerful or strange as rite of spring.

      I have personal opinions about what our big brains are really supposed to do and someday will talk about that. But, I do know that we can easily connect with any consciousness of any creature on earth. As in your experience with Grady, they can connect with us, but it is a different experience for them. At least in my experience they will feel us as a kind of themselves, while we can see them very separately and uniquely different that our own consciousness. This should or would or could put us in the unique position of being stewards of life on earth, learning what it means to create and manage large interactions of life. Instead we are stewards of death on massive scales.

    • #4937

      Hello again On the Beach

      All topics near and dear to my heart. Looking forward to your continuing submissions here in the asylum.

      Where I was going with my elephant game was to a different place but decided to abort. I just wasn’t getting the right feel. I’d love to share it with you and anyone else still on this forum.

      I strongly believe we are far beyond the tipping point on so many fronts that the remaining time for our species on this planet is very limited, at least in any manner we are familiar with. I’m ok with that. I have to wonder though why everyone is so afraid to admit that even though almost everything is failing and dying, in the grand scheme humans may actually have done remarkably well, considering our limited knowledge. We could be proud that we made it as far as we did. Strange that most take for granted that good will prevail, that we will come out of this mess for sure. Possibly some denial here? I’d love to debate this at some point down the road.

      For now, I’m enjoying the ride, eyes wide open. Why not?

      • #4991
        On the BeachOn the Beach

        Hello Andee:

        I look forward to hunting elephants with you.

        Some things are just very very difficult to express. Our languages are sometimes not nearly subtle enough for what we need.

        I share your feelings as you have expressed them above about man and the future on this earth. In fact, seeing this mess coming like a freight train down the tracks for the last 50 years, was one reason I have hidden out in the shadows most of my life. I also feel mankind should be very proud to have managed anything at all considering the forces behind some of the conditioning he has been subjected to for thousands of years.

        I view what is coming as a war on many fronts and in many realms. This does not make me happy at all. No one knows that will happen or what will be the outcome. There is no omnipotence. As connected as I am I can not get a clear answer, in fact I am verbally denied an answer when I directly ask what will happen. I am told to do what I can, that other issues will be taken care of by others.

        They don’t know.

        This is not comforting at all.

        I will certainly enjoy the ride but will also do some small things capable by a small man.

        • #5006

          My friend On the Beach

          As a continuation of my reply to Lion Lady, yet another thought provoking gem. You have me thinking for the first time in my life, that quite likely my 30 year career of driving trains may have been a contributing factor in how I process my path through life. Because of the nature of my job, while I enjoyed it very much and credit it with giving me a good life, I never considered it more than my primary source of income. I was not my job. My job was a part of my life and nothing more. So when you use the analogy of the mess ahead of us as a freight train coming down the tracks, you smacked something in my subconscious. Driving a train forces you into a unique mindset where you are always planning ahead and constantly reviewing to ensure when something happens, as it always does, that it was not of your making. Nothing much at the immediate mattered. In fact, a detail most find unsettling, if there is a vehicle or obstruction on the tracks you don’t even start to brake the train until you hit. It wouldn’t make any difference anyways and what if it moves out of the way at the last moment. Often it could take several kilometers to stop, and we’re not even talking about going downhill here. My point being, I’ve never before considered that being that way on the job for 30 years may have caused me to see life in the same way.

          Thanks On the Beach for that gem. Thanks to TIF for enlightening me as to who I am. Amazing stuff.

    • #4978

      Just sidling out of the shadows here, On the Beach with Andeee . . .

      I’m sooo late for this party – but wanted to add my own two cents’ worth on several points brought out here – before the closing bell rings:

      First – What a wonderful thread/conversation/conundrum of elephants! I loved your game, Andeee. I can identify with your reason for setting it up and for wanting to explore the aspects of what you have now revealed with your most recent comment.

      The ‘elephant gambit’ is a good one. I think the ‘shy kids’ learned to ID the elephants very early on – it was part of our social camo that protected us from damage/rejection by heading off the social issues that drove our ‘peers’. We had to be there ‘way ahead of them to just survive in the schoolyard shadows of our worlds. It turned out to be extremely useful later on in life as well, especially in the nightmare world called ‘corporate’.

      Elephants come in ‘bites’. Onions come in layers. Both apply to the subject. Or, dances of the 7 veils, if you will! :) Everything in time – and the journey is everything. At the end, the elephant is et, the onion is peeled and the dance is over. So, let’s dance! And to hell with the endings – even if its ours we’re contemplating. BTW, I’m with you, Andeee re: where we’re at and what’s goin’ on. If there’s an elephant to be et, I think this is it. It’s the rogue elephant in this milling herd of issues-rumbling-in-the-thorntrees. So, if either you or OtheB start such a topic thread . . . I’ll show up for sure.

      Next, I’d like to offer another POV regarding the raison d’être for TIF:

      I think this Cog’s-Asylum-for-Confrontationally-Battered-ZH’ers and their running dogs (such as myself, a non-ZH commenter but avid reader, due to fear of verbal fisticuffs) exists as a much-needed counterpoint to the kind of fight club energies that tend to dominate the scene at ZH – and in the world at large, right now. Granted, everything has it’s place in the cosmos, ZH included. However, TIF is like being able to come up for air and finding it not only fresh, but bracing and beautiful to boot. I’m still pinching myself regarding being here, wandering around and gawking at all the intelligence, humor, brilliance, wit and good will swirling about. Wow. Just . . . W-O-W.

      Thank Gawd for this beautifully designed Asylum for the not-so-‘normal’ amongst us (I’m using the ‘normal’ terminology for ‘normal’ here), and for its tentatively emerging hot-house varieties of exotic and fine-feathered members. Something for everyone, yes? WHAT a yum! cocktail party vibe – with a nod to ZenS for that analogy. And, I think this party is site-wide, frankly.

      I’m sure there are a lot of us member-crazies still lurking in the conversational bushes – legions, even – but hey! that’s A-OK. We’re all real good at that. But I truly think that this is a place where the wallflowers can finally come in from the cold and tap out a few steps on the TIF dance floor with a good chance of not getting their toes stepped on too hard.

      As for sharing personal info with strangers, I think that ranks right up there with remaining anonymous – one may choose what to reveal – or not. The veils can fall slowly, in a flurry . . . or not at all. I remember something pithy that once prefaced a seriously challenging immersion event in my early life: “What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.” I think that holds true here as well.

      OtheB, I’ve had heaps and piles of weird experiences in my life, have shared about them with others – selectively, to be sure – and I’m still standing. I’d bet that most of us who decided to punch the ‘pay’ button for joining this site have vast histories of direct experience with ‘Alternate Consciousness’ – or a deep and abiding curiosity about same. If there’s a wistful elephant in the room, I’d say that’s it. No one wants to feel that their personal reality is rejectable – but MAN! would we love to discuss it with someone who took us totally seriously and really listened.

      After all, each of us is busy crafting our Own Personal Idaho each moment and what my state-of-mind looks like may be far from the one you’ve wandered through. But – unless you decide that you are safe giving me the Grand Tour, I’ll never have a chance to visit yours – or to expand my own horizons. And that’s why I’m here, frankly. Life is about expansion, exploration, risk-taking and simply BE-ing with others. So, I’ll be bringing my own elephant to each and every TIF party and, if you want to meet him, just walk up and ask.

      You mentioned community in one of your comments, OtheB – that’s another reason I’m here. I think the Cogs have a real, solid chance of creating exactly that within the borders of this particular Asylum – and at this point I’m using the classic version of the word, i.e. a place for RESPITE and RETREAT. As I wander about here, the folks I’ve bumped into are, without exception, folks I’d like to know better. Now THAT is exceptional in it’s own right.

      ZenS has confided in this thread that she has ‘. . . come to the conclusion that people are in general only interested in themselves.’ I think there may be a myriad of surprises within the realms of TIF on that point. At least, I hope that’s true – it’s why I came here and why I am honestly seeking to exchange insights and experiences with others who are also sincerely wanting to expand their horizons in all directions. I can only speak from my own conclusions about what’s what . . . and using others’ experiences as examples isn’t kosher – so I’ll use my own. Doesn’t mean I’m stuck on myself . . . but rather that I’d like to stay true to the topic/POV from experience rather than from opinion, if possible.

      If anyone wants to ID a ‘silver lining’ in the Cogosphere, I think it’s the potential for community/honest discussion/finding accord and acceptance for even the truly odd that could be the real raison d’être for each of us choosing to be here. Even at this late stage of The Game.

      Be Well!

      • #4992
        On the BeachOn the Beach

        Hi LionLady:

        I also look forward to experiencing some genuine strangeness from others in this group. Even if we have to start with tiny tiny steps at the very back edge of the dance floor.

        And yes, I was one of the most terminally shy you could imagine.

        So, like you, I hope Zens will share her stories too. I would be honored by that.

        Perhaps together we can craft a better way of viewing this place of physical life and our position in it.
        Because when it comes to community, we must have a narrative. NO social group of humans banded together exist without a story that they all share that holds them together. Control that story and you control the group. Humans lost control of their story thousands of years ago. We now live in a lie of a story, top to bottom, a lie of a story.

        • #5027

          Hi, OtheB:

          Just read your comments on collective versions of reality – excellent, btw – over on the Scientific Studies on Consciousness thread, and think you’ve essentially hit the community nail on the head.

          You described two perfect community narratives in your outlines of two very different forms of reality, i.e. the transparents vs. the slugs. Not that they are community models within which everyone could function – one is an ideal and the other is a nightmare – but they are still genuine examples of community.

          It never ceases to amaze me what shows up when I ask someone to describe what ‘community’ is. The answers vary so greatly that it’s very clear that the concept really was lost in the ozone, sometime back.

          The true nature of functional, living community is something I am very keen to dig into and explore, as I’ve had immersion experiences living in indigenous community and it flat-out WORKS. There are good reasons and they are still very much alive and kicking if one knows where to look for them. They have to be, given the short end of the economic stick that many of those folks deal with daily. Since money doesn’t form the core of their reality, they fall back on something much more potent: each other.

          Humans overall may have lost track of some kind of communal story, in the highly-condensed move towards mass communal living . . . but the real nature of community lives and breathes in the smaller, under-150-member units where everyone knows everyone and there IS a group narrative.

          Would L-O-V-E to explore and discuss if you and others are up for it.


      • #5004

        Hey Lion Lady

        You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into your post. What I am very much enjoying about TIF is the contributions from other inmates. They never fail to offer a gem or two that sets me back to reviewing my sometimes worn out perspective. Outside of TIF this rarely happened. For example your statement ” I think the ‘shy kids’ learned to ID the elephants very early on – it was part of our social camo that protected us from damage/rejection by heading off the social issues that drove our ‘peers’. We had to be there ‘way ahead of them to just survive in the schoolyard shadows of our worlds. It turned out to be extremely useful later on in life as well, especially in the nightmare world called ‘corporate’.” I’m almost embarrassed to admit, I never connected the two. I was pathologically shy and I could always see elephants. I knew my shyness was largely responsible for my drive to succeed in life, to show everyone that I was someone, but when you suggest the EitR as the tool of choice for us introverts, WOW. I’m going to have to review a few things to see how that all fits in, darn you.

        Much more to say but thanks for that gem.

        • #5028

          Ahhhh, Andeee:

          What a treat to exchange views with you. Yep – I worked that post right into the ground (I usually do). Gotta do it right (very much like the drive to succeed; mine was/is the drive to excel :) Got it from D-A-D and it’s still limpeted to my psyche – for better or for worse.

          I can see that we share some of the same wiring regarding the ‘I gotta prove it’ stuff. Me too! Me too! The reason I got to see how valuable the ability to step back, fade into the shadows, let the mind wander open and free, and observe the other natives in the room is that by doing so, I was easily able to identify the issue/s that absolutely needed to be addressed and solved before the discussion on the table went anywhere useful.

          That was a lot of what I did in corporate and how I solved problems before they became obstacles. I got a rep for problem-solving and hoop-jumping that was secretly based upon the Ele-ID business perfected early-on in grade school. Unfortunately, it led to being piled with more and more and more demands and impossible-to-achieve goals (but hey! SHE can do it!). Killed me, almost, in the end – and was the catalyst that booted me out of that rat-cage lifestyle. After that, I worked only for myself and started to recover. I think you know the drill, yes?

          Darn me, indeed. :) I have a habit of shaking the bushes – and stuff flies out. Please do say ‘much more’ as we go along. It’s all fascinating and thought-provoking and delicious. I love games. I love good conversation. And you’re good at both. Should be fun.

          :) L/L

          • #5032

            What a nice email to enjoy with my easter morning coffee Lion Lady. I will put some serious thought into further exchanges with you and the others that have joined me on this forum. I take your last paragraph as a challenge and will explore my mind for something to share, befitting the interesting and unusual minds here.

            I’ll be back.

    • #5110

      This will be my last post for this forum. I picked up a years worth of gems in a few short weeks.Thanks to all that shared their time with me here.I’m heading over to the comment section following CD’s latest series to hunt some real live elephants.

      Hope to see you there.

    • #7025

      I’ll probably be late to my own funeral, but here’s my 2 cents, and I think the elephant is the approach/avoidance dilemma of fight or flight.


    • #15281


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