Announcing Cloud River Creations Gallery!

 

Shot by D.E. Lamont on Thanksgiving, November 1979, at my friend Myron’s farm.

Cloud River Creations Gallery

I’m happy to announce I’ve opened an online gallery and shop displaying my landscape and impressionistic photographic art!  More work is being added regularly.  My work is intended to be overtly beautiful and to evoke deep emotions and a love of nature.  The prints are available on beautiful wrapped canvas in long-lasting inks and many look like paintings.  Soon they will also be available in high quality poster prints.  As I continue to fill the space with my work, please come and view it, spread the word if you enjoy it, and follow me on my gallery home page to help my work and me to become better known.

My latest piece is titled “Out Back at Myron’s Farm” – a rustic and honest view of my old friend Myron’s farmyard in southern Minnesota (above). The warm colors, light dusting of snow, the corn crib and stalks and piles of corncobs all blend into a vintage farm still-life.  Each print is signed with my e-signature and dated (and the watermark you see above in the photo is not part of the printed work).

Here is another rural piece I just put up:

https://www.zazzle.com/blue_stream_in_meadow_with_clouds_peaceful_scene_canvas_print-192851925300609443

D.E. Lamont

Cloud River Creations Gallery

Copyright (c) 1979 and 2019 by Daveda Lamont, All rights reserved.

Happiness – Your Birthright and Native Condition

 

Many have said that happiness is our most desired quality and state of being.  When we are happy, we feel pleasurable emotions and states of mind – carefree, warm, active, loving, devil-may-care, adventurous – or secure and confident – or more powerful than anyone who would try to harm us!  When we’re happy, we feel at home in our skin and our world, or we are busting out of them with ambition and anticipation for the future. We take joy in our own endeavors and also in helping others achieve something they want.

Thinking about this, and thinking about how many countries in the world repress individual initiative and compel or coerce behavior and actions, and dictate where you can live and where you can go, I realized that the freedom to seek and find happiness is a precious human right.

But I’m not the first to say this, not by a long shot! The farseeing authors of the United States’ founding documents enshrined this beautiful idea in the U.S. Declaration of Independence:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Even today it seems amazing to realize that such a basic freedom-promoting idea was stated as one of the key purposes for the founding of a nation.

Bringing this back down to the personal level, this is not to say that it is anyone ELSE’s job to make us happy, but that each human being, no matter where he or she is born or lives, has the inborn right to be left alone to discover and realize his and her own happiness.  Even those living under a tyranny realize this innately, because it IS part of them at the deepest level.

So life is most enjoyable when we have the reward of pleasure, joy and happiness – and are not being FORCED to do something, or live a life, that we do not desire.

So at times on our journey through life, sometimes for extended periods, our inner spark may flicker and seem to dim down, and we lose our belief and feeling we can do whatever we wish, conquer the world, and be happy.  While people are often told that being depressed is a mental or emotional illness, common sense and ability to think tell us that life circumstances are often changing, often unexpectedly or frequently, and we change.  An accident or loss can’t always be prevented.  It is rational to reject that circumstance and to fight back against it.  To find we can’t change it back can deflate one’s mood.  But it is very true that we all contain within us the inner resources and ability to come back up.  The ability to bring ourselves back up from bad things which happen lies within us – not within a bottle.

And there are very practical things we can do to help us recover.

The first step toward doing so is the decision to do it.  A firm decision.  You know, you can actually make a positive decision even when you are feeling down.  You may not feel like it, but you can! Decisions are powerful energizers.

Then put your attention and focus on doing the things in life that interest you – things that you like or love or consider worthwhile.  Each of us can be a positive and inspiring spirit in our own world, circle, family, group.  It takes getting back into action.  And that action itself – even if you are initially just going through the motions – will boost you up and help you rise above it.  You have to keep at it, to persist. Keep going through the motions, and it will work.

You contain within you all that makes you a unique, powerful and happy individual.  Sometimes you have to work hard to get it to resurface – but it is always there.

Take more control over your life, learn about Scientology.  Check out our beautifully designed and interesting new TV network, Scientology TV.

Your life and fire deserve to burn bright in the world.  Shine on!

Are We Really Living in Wonderland?

Used with permission of iStockPhoto.com

Here’s some food for thought – a different view than you usually hear about.

Everyone agrees that the physical universe is solid and real. It contains awesome levels of energy, unimaginable reaches of space, and immense solidity of matter.  It also persists through infinite expanses of time. Most physical objects last indefinitely until they are either blasted into bits and components by some sun exploding (or a kid with a hammer) – or just break down slowly into their physical components, which go on existing in a different form, like the carpet of moss lying underneath the forest floor, formed from decaying leaves and other plant debris.

Now, to state the obvious, as humans we are affected in many ways by objects and spaces in the physical universe.  That’s what life consists of, for the most part.

But how do we affect the physical universe and exert our will and power of intention upon it? Of course, we do it by moving things around physically through contact with our bodies – or by directing other people or machines to do it.

But here’s the big question:  is it possible to directly and/or instantly have an effect on physical reality through the power of your mind or through a decision? Is the physical universe, as solid as it is, still in some way subject to the will and intention of an individual?

Well, simply put, it is. It is entirely possible and it is not even that uncommon.

How can it be possible?  It can be, if you first realize the following:  that a human being comprises several clearly definable parts, one of which is the individual spiritual identity that runs the body (which you can just think of as you).  If this is a concept that is not very real to you, that’s okay.  Consider what I’m saying anyway. Many truths about us have become obscured in the modern, machine and electronic culture we live in.

The capabilities and potential of the human spirit are many, and are described in detail in a book I’ll recommend below. But one of the spirit’s intrinsic, innate qualities, as amazing as it may sound, is that it is senior to the physical universe.

So can we actually see or use this capability in everyday life? Many people do it all the time, in the normal course of existence, without even thinking anything of it. One way we use this often, without really realizing it, is through our intention. If you have a firm but lighthearted intention for something to happen and you aren’t putting a lot of negative thoughts or emotion into the mix, you can often see quite startling things happen.

I used to have quite a knack for this when I lived in Los Angeles and had to drive somewhere and find a parking space. Perhaps you have done this as well. I would set out without any worry that I would have a parking space at my destination, even if it was in a crowded area. Notice that it was my intention to have a space when I arrived. And so it sometimes occurred that I would be driving along slowly, looking for a space, and a car would jump out right in front of me, leaving a space I could go right into. Sometimes they almost hit me, they seemed so eager to get out of my way!  More frequently, I would just come to an empty space right where I wanted to go, even if it was a crowded block.

What about other types of occurrences? What about the time you dropped a decorated birthday cake on the floor and it landed upright, undamaged? What about the time everything was riding on a seemingly impossible move, or sports play, or “coincidence” – and you did it? Two people’s intentions can also coordinate in this way – what about the time you had to meet somebody in a huge, crowded room or arena and you didn’t know how you were going to find them…but you just walked into the crowd and there they were?

You might be thinking that these are such mundane, everyday occurrences, it is just chance and good luck, right?  I went through my own doubts with it. But when this “ability” remained with me over a period of many years, my attitude gradually changed. And what is luck, anyway? Some people are lucky all the time. There is something apparently unseen at work with such people. My point here is that it likely was some kind of magic – the magic of willpower!

My realization about this and other similar happenings was that, with a very clear, clean intention, the physical universe, and even other people who may be involved in the scenario, can instantly bend or change. I think of it as pliable or plastic – it will change instantly and reconstitute to conform with your demonstration of clean, strong intention.

And this is why I pose the question: “Are we really living in Wonderland?” I want to bring your attention to the possibility that we all have the power to bring into existence control over the physical universe and the various aspects of our lives. Above I’ve mentioned simple examples. But this idea can be applied to help you change more important things in your life so that you are headed more in the direction you really want. Even if you’ve gotten where you are due to seemingly accidental circumstances, you can alter that and bring things more under your own control – the power of decision.  We can do this because of our real nature – that “X factor” part of us all with potentially unlimited ability: the living, intelligent and aware spiritual quality that is YOU.

Here is a one of the greatest inspirational quotations I’ve seen. This says exactly what I’ve been talking about here.  It is by the mountaineer/writer W.H. Murray, excerpted from his book, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition:

“This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence.  Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:  that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.  A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.  I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

“‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!'”

~   ~   ~

Start applying that!  Additionally, if you would like to learn more about the exact capabilities of the human spirit (you!), read a very unusual book called Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, by L. Ron Hubbard.  I think of this as the handbook on the human spirit.  Fundamentals of Thought reveals the makeup and actual capabilities of individuals, and it is written to be applied.  Also, the wisdom contained in this book is for anyone, no matter your religion or philosophy. If it makes sense and is useful to you, it is yours to use freely!

D.E.

True or False – Find Out for Yourself

The search for truth is obviously an enormous subject that has been debated endlessly down the ages by plenty of wise – and not-so-wise – people.  But the ability to distinguish or recognize truth is an essential ability that everyone can use on a daily basis. If you can’t work out the truth of something, how can you speak or act correctly about it?  How can you make important decisions without the truth about things and how can you make sure of the consequences?

So I’d like to talk about the subject of “truth” in a more down-to-earth way here and leave “cosmic truth” for another time.

Everybody today deals with information – tons of it, gigabytes of it.  The internet has made so much information available instantly to us.  But what IS this information that flows through onto your social media, comes in your email, that you see in blogs and on websites?

Raw information is like raw chicken

Raw information isn’t ready to use.  Raw information is the unfiltered and often unasked-for pieces that flood your incoming channels every day.  You should find out first if something is relevant to you, meaning if you need or want it, or even just love it.  That’s the first thing you should do.

And you should be ruthless with it.  It may seem obvious, but sometimes an inner imp or impulse can make you do things you really don’t want to.  If you look at some piece of news or information and instantly say “so what!” to yourself, don’t look at it anyway – just delete it!  If you get that nagging feeling that you “should” read it (because your mother or Great Uncle Jack would have said you should), delete it.  If you already KNOW it’s going to be b.s., delete it.  If you’re choosing it because you want to re-post it just to show people how educated or cool you are, when you really aren’t on that subject … delete it!  Come on, we don’t have to be THAT dependent on what people think, do we???  (Been there, done that myself!)

Also, if you have the urge to read it for a distorted reason – say because you think it’s going to be deliciously critical or rip somebody big-time, well, I’d say delete it.  You really shouldn’t waste your time on other people’s dirt or nasty leavings, because your time is worth more than that.  And you might want to start creating things yourself rather than just soaking up other people’s gunk.  Everybody is creative in some or many ways!

So delete irrelevant emails and feeds, and click away from irrelevant blogs and articles.  Unsubscribe freely from things that don’t excite you.  This is how you sort out what things you will actually want to read and also buy yourself the time to check out things that are really worthwhile – or start creating them yourself.

So how do you tell what is true or not?

Strip off your prejudices and let the nude YOU look well and hard at what’s in front of you

I’m speaking of the real YOU, the logical being of reason, the perceptive being of seeingness, the intuitive being of knowingness.  Use your native mind, free of automated thoughts or glitched thinking.

In other words, develop and use your common sense.  If something doesn’t strike you right about what somebody is saying or writing, then your intuition is almost certainly correct – reject it!  Don’t puzzle over it, because it probably doesn’t deserve it.

Take note of specific things that don’t seem right or are definitely not right.  If someone is including errors of fact or misleading statements that can’t be proven, these are points of untruth.  If there are careless mistakes, they still show that the person is not taking care to adhere to the truth.  If there are intentional falsehoods or omissions, facts that contradict each other, failure to state the date which gives a totally wrong impression of things – well, the writer obviously can’t be trusted for accuracy and truthfulness, and is probably trying to get readers to believe things that are really not true.

Truth does not need to be a covert operation

Speaking of someone who can’t be trusted – here is another heads-up in the truth department:  It is a symptom of the state of our current world that the news media (which is usually owned by groups, companies or people with some agenda to push), as well as other writers and groups on the internet, publish reams and streams of information that is slanted (biased) toward a particular point of view or against another, and intended to sway us through our emotions or through leaving out information or including other illogicalities rather than just presenting the truth and allowing us to use our reason and intelligence to come to our own conclusions.

Realize that if someone is using trickery to try to persuade you of something (meaning they are lying to you), they don’t have your best interests at heart, because they don’t TRUST you (to think for yourself)!  So you need to realize that before you are taken in by it.

Such slanting is done as a covert operation, cleverly disguised so that you won’t be aware that you are being manipulated.  It’s OK for someone to openly try to persuade us of something with reason, but when the writer tries to convince us by leaving out important facts, or adding other info that is untrue or partly untrue, we don’t have the full or correct “input” our minds need to make a sound decision.  Only if we have all the truth about something can we actually understand it and make the right decision.

A final point – adhere to your OWN sense of reality and truth

Author and educator L. Ron Hubbard wrote, in the “Code of Honor”:

“Never compromise with your own reality.”

(Reference below.)

This may seem to contradict the first part of this article, but it doesn’t, as you’ll see.  All of your perceptions, observations, beliefs, ideals and dreams and thoughts combine to form your reality.  Your reality is composed of those things you feel certain are true – what you believe to be true no matter what anybody thinks or says or writes, or even what supposed evidence is presented.  Each of us has what should be considered an inviolable, sacred right to observe for ourselves and make our own decisions about what is true for us.

If something is true for you, then it is true, period!  It forms part of your own reality and view of things.  Your beliefs and your sense of reality are not inconsequential things; they are important.  Of your own free will, you can make all the choices and new observations and conclusions you want.  This is how you learn new things.

But… if you are certain about something, don’t let someone push or force you off your certainty into uncertainty or confusion – not even if they are an expert or an important person.

Only YOU have the right to change your own mind.  You can learn new things which then change your view of things, or you can observe things more closely, which then may change your views.  But never let anyone manipulate or force you to change your mind or beliefs.  And that includes teachers and college professors, who are notorious for collecting groups of worshipful student followers (disciples) to bolster their own pitiful self-esteem.

Only YOU have the right to change your own mind!

 

____________________

(Ref.) Scientology 08, The Book of Basics, p. 391

A Christmas Visit

Copyright 2012 D.E. Lamont

The prospect of death can be terrifying or depressing and for some can make living and life seem worthless. After all the greatness and creativity and pleasure that human beings can enjoy and invest into life, it seems the greatest bad joke of the universe that our awareness and our participation in life can simply be cut off forever.

Perhaps you, like many others, were taught that when your life stops, you stop – that you cease to exist and your awareness is gone. That is, after all, what our bodily senses and perceptions seem to indicate.

Others try to get you to accept it. “It’s a natural part of life,” they say. But the whole time you’re thinking that that really doesn’t help at all or make you feel any better.  Who wants to feel good about death?  For that matter, who wants to accept it, under any circumstances?

Well, maybe that really isn’t what happens. Maybe something entirely different occurs that has nothing to do with either ceasing to exist or going to heaven and floating on clouds and playing harps for eternity (no disrespect to religion intended).

Throughout the world, many religions and many people believe and have believed for uncounted ages that humans are really “composite” beings consisting of a soul, or spirit, and a body. Many also believe that the mind is not part of the brain, but part of the spirit. The spirit is immortal; it goes on existing through eternity, and so does the mind and the personality that is you.

A physical analogy for the spirit is electricity, which powers machines and electronics. It is obvious that when someone dies, something has left the body. Its source of power is gone. That something, many believe, is the life force – the spirit.

What the spirit does after the body dies may be somewhat different in each case, but it is not necessarily true that you are automatically sucked up into a dark tunnel with a bright light at its end.

I have personally had a few direct experiences with spirits. The most spectacular and wonderful such experience was a night shortly before Christmas back in the late 1980s.

I lived in a dramatic 2-story-tall apartment in West Los Angeles with a spiral staircase leading up to a small bedroom loft.  I had decided to decorate the apartment for Christmas by wiring faux pine garlands to the railings bordering the loft area and also down the spiral railings for the staircase. I began fairly late in the evening, and cut off pieces of green wire twist-tie from a big roll I had, to fasten the pine garlands to the rails. (Twist-ties are wire wrapped with plastic, used as fasteners around loaves of bread in the U.S.)

As I worked, I had the wistful thought that it was too bad that nobody but me would see my decorations, since they were looking so pretty!  I didn’t have plans for anyone to come over that Christmas – but I wanted to decorate anyway!

After I was done with the garlands, I used more twist-tie to put little clusters of bright red holly berries along the garlands.  I was upstairs when I finished, so I surveyed my work from above, then dropped the by-then largely undone spool of green twist-tie – which then looked like a big spiral spring – down to the floor through the spiral staircase. It fell on the carpet under the stair case.

I then busied myself straightening up in the loft. At one point I heard a noise downstairs – a definite medium-soft “thunk” of something hitting something. It gave me a start, because nobody was in the house. I instantly discounted it, because it wasn’t something that should have been possible, and kept working.

A little while later, I went downstairs to clean up, intending to pick up the loose roll of twist-tie I had dropped onto the carpet.  But it wasn’t there!  I very clearly recalled having dropped it through to the carpet and noticing how it unwound, looking much like a big green spring.  I was bewildered, to say the least.

I looked around, and then I spotted it. The roll of green twist-tie wire was sitting in the middle of my old wood eating table. And no longer was it a large disarrayed spiral resembling a spring. No! Instead it was rolled up tightly and neatly in a little spool and secured with a clever tie that I didn’t even know how to do!  It reminded me of something a seaman would know how to do. 

I became pretty creeped-out then, because I KNEW I hadn’t done that.  I nervously searched all through the apartment, checking everywhere to make sure nobody was there. There was nobody there and all the windows and the door were locked tight. The only possibility was one which I was
not entirely ready or able to accept, and it took me some time to buck up my courage and get used to the idea. And that was that I had had a disembodied visitor with remarkable capabilities, able to manipulate physical objects. 

While still somewhat nervous about it, I also felt shy, because I wasn’t sure whether he might still be there. I decided to address him (I felt that he had once been male), in case he was still there, and thanked him/her for wrapping my twist-ties back up and for coming to visit me and show me that he had been there.

This experience was so amazing and hard to believe, yet impossible not to believe, that it changed my overall view of things. It confirmed for me utterly, once and for all, the existence of the spiritual plane. I had seen for myself (and heard for myself) that a spiritual being was real – a personality that could indeed act and make himself or herself known to us. And could move objects without the need of a body!  It was a confirmation on a different level of what I had already believed, and it meant the world to me that my visitor had come to visit me and show me this truth in a whimsical and instructive way.

A postscript to this story:  As I was standing there thinking about what had occurred, I remembered that earlier in the evening, when I was downstairs and before I had started decorating, I had been walking toward my office area when I suddenly felt an overwhelming rush of love and loyalty for a certain very wonderful friend who had passed away a few years earlier.  My emotion was very powerful, and I felt just like I had walked right into a pool of intense love.

Standing there, as I recalled that event, my eyes misted over and I thought that perhaps, just maybe, my beloved old friend had been my unseen visitor that night. And that indeed, someone very, very special had come, after all, to see my Christmas decorations.

So, I would ask you, is dying the end of us?

I think not.  

D.E. Lamont

Dreams – Random Imaginings or Gateway to our Spiritual Selves?

Copyright 2004, 2012 by D.E. LamontLittle-Understood and Mysterious, but Part of Us All

Everyone has their own ideas of what dreams are, and what they mean – if anything! Dreams might be the most often discussed yet little understood phenomenon common to all humans – though animals also dream. Certain professions claim dreams as their exclusive turf to define and label – but seem to want to insist that dreams are always symbolic. That is nonsense.

What Are Dreams?

Though superficially dreams seem similar one to the next, not all are of the same character. Dreams can actually be many different things, from a random creation out of imagination and experience with no additional significance, to a spiritual experience that is actual. At times they seem to offer a door into an unexplored and supernatural realm; sometimes they offer a glimpse of incredible beauty. While most seem to be happenstance, some appear not to be. Here are some of the things dreams can be:

  • Random creations of a person’s mind, recombining experience and imagination. This may be the most common type of dream. When remembered after awakening, often the events, objects and concepts make no sense at all, even though they made perfect sense in the dream. Some concepts can’t even be expressed! This is a fascinating aspect of dreams. The way I figure it out is this: if you suppose that each human being has his or her very own self-created spiritual universe, completely apart from the physical universe we all interact in, composed of the mind and anything else the person has put there, then it is possible to see that events, ideas, and objects can be created within that universe which bear no relation to our own, and can’t even be expressed in physical universe terms.
  • A reflection of troubling or threatening events or ideas, or of delightful, pleasant or exhilarating events or thoughts, changed, mixed and magnified in the mind
  • A reflection or elaboration of some actual incident or thought the person had while awake
  • A response to a person’s conscious desire to dream about something specific, such as the creative development of a storyline that a writer wishes to explore. When I am in the frame of mind of creating stories, I sometimes dream a story. Sometimes I am viewing it as an outsider, and sometimes I am participating in the story!
  • A recollection of an intense or beautiful experience or ability from the person’s distant past – even a past he doesn’t know he has, such as past-life existences. Over my lifetime, I’ve had vivid dreams in which I had the ability to create in art forms I didn’t know in real life. I have vividly dreamed of singing improvisationally in an intensely beautiful, otherworldly manner; I’ve improvised beautiful music on the piano; I’ve danced in a medieval castle with such grace and power that I literally flew; I’ve felt love as a spirit in an amazingly intense manner never felt while awake. From all of these dreams I gained a new reality: a wonderful sense that, having had these dream abilities and experiences, I had the potential to experience these sensations and abilities for real.
  • A perception of one’s own spiritual universe, or those of others. When a person sleeps, it’s possible that his/her abilities, normally limited to those of their body’s senses  when awake, can expand unfettered. In such a state, we can be in someone else’s presence, and perhaps share the thoughts and images of their own mind/universe.
  • A trip to another place as a spirit during sleep (out of body, or through viewing at a distance). A couple of times, with my body asleep, I have found myself inadvertently in someone’s private space where I shouldn’t have been (OK, someone’s bedroom!). In one instance, the person became aware of me and demanded to know what I was doing there! It sounded like they were yelling, though it had to be thought transference.) I hightailed it out of there and awoke in my own bedroom! I have also felt myself (as a separate awareness) floating distinctly above my sleeping body that was lying in the bed – a most wonderful sensation.
  • A communication from another person to the sleeper via the thought wavelength, where the recipient receives the communication in thoughts and images during sleep. A type of this kind of dream is a lesson sent from a spiritually aware person or teacher to the sleeper, in moving, living images in the dream, such as in story form. Such experiences can be interactive, containing 2-way communication, with both the teacher and the recipient affecting and changing the images in the dream.
  • A dream foretelling events in the future. I believe it is true that some people have the ability to foretell the future. But I am personally not interested in this ability, because I also believe we all have the ability, even if not always realized, to change and direct our futures in directions we determine. We need not fear the future, because it is ours to create. 
  • A symbol of some existing condition or omen of a future event in the dreamer’s awake life. Here we get to symbols – things in dreams that stand for or mean something else. For example, different cultures or groups may have traditional understandings about dreams and what they mean. These understandings, being widely agreed upon in the group, therefore do prove true among their members, even if untrue beyond that culture. An example is one group’s belief, told to me by one of its members, that if a woman dreams about fish, it means she is pregnant. She related several personal experiences in which that actually had occurred. Her comments were a revelation to me, because it showed that the nature of dreams varied widely from person to person and group to group, and may indeed be carried along with a person’s culture.

As you can see, dreams can be useful and revelatory. They can provide us clues to our own spiritual natures that might otherwise be difficult to experience on our own. All that said, I have realized something very important about this subject.

We shouldn’t let ourselves become too caught up in thinking about dreams, introverting into them or our own minds, and in trying to understand them or assign meaning to them. We should always prefer the real world by doing our best to live a vital, full, rich existence in it, filled with actual communication, face-to-face with other people and facing the real environment around us. We should live and love in the real world. We should put away the smartphones whenever we can and develop interest in and relationships with the real people around us. Therein lies the real satisfaction and happiness of a life well-lived.

All the best!

D.E. Lamont

Read my illustrated novella, The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening.

Copyright 2012 by D.E. Lamont. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

How Takoda Taught Tacu: Learning Through Observation, Experience & Practice

 

American Indians have always had many ways of passing skills, knowledge and wisdom about life to their children. America’s First People knew that observation, experience and practice were essential in preparing young tribe members to participate in tribal life and excel in their skills.

One of the most interesting and effective ways was to take each child out into the plains, the mountains and the forests to observe. Anything could be observed – an animal, its tracks, the clouds over the mountains, birds, rodents, game, deer – anything could be watched until the child attained certain knowledge of the way that that thing or animal behaved. A child came to see for himself how things in nature worked, and he or she discovered how to apply that knowledge to their lives. 

In my book, The Way of the Eagle, the young brave Tacu has been instructed to stay out on a grassy hill all day until he learns the lesson waiting there to be grasped. His teacher, Takoda, has challenged him further by withholding from Tacu what sort of lesson he is supposed to learn. So Tacu must use all his powers of observation as he lies there, to try to discern what Takoda wishes him to learn. Eventually, as he attunes himself to his surroundings, he learns something quite important and realizes what the lesson was about. Even better is the fact that he had to discover it all himself, requiring him to exercise his powers of observation and his mind, both of which allowed him to heighten his awareness.

When American Indians learned a physical skill such as hunting with a knife or bow, or preparing slain animals for eating and other uses, practice was the key. Relatives or someone skilled in that art showed the child how to do it, and the child spent many hours and days practicing that skill until he was adept at it. As soon as he was good enough, the child began participating in that activity for real, and was able to continue learning and improving through direct experience.

These methods of teaching were natural, arising out of experience and common sense—they worked and they were so innate that they were simply a part of everyone’s early life. We can look back and realize how essential they were, because it is obvious how well these methods enabled them to survive and flourish in their environment.

Education was not compartmented away from daily life or any other aspect of life in the same way that modern Americans and Europeans separate education from work from recreation from religion. In the current U.S. system of public education, the greatest amount of teaching time in most subjects is spent having children read textbooks to get information and/or having them listen to a teacher verbally pass along information. While these methods are effective for some subjects, only in a few areas of study is the students’ time devoted to actual observation, handling and operation of the physical objects concerned with the subject being taught, such as the American Indians did. 

When children are kept away from the real objects of life though they are being expected to learn about them, they can give up in frustration. They aren’t allowed to relate the subjects they are studying directly to the real world they will eventually have to use them in. While trying to study, they may experience all kinds of uncomfortable physical or mental symptoms simply as a result of being denied the real objects and actions of the subject they are learning about, at the time that they need them. They often give up in frustration.

These difficulties and others are called the “Barriers to Study” and are explained in the work of educator and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard in his educational development, “Study Technology.” This is an easy, workable method for locating and resolving problems students encounter in study. Study Technology describes three primary barriers to study, and the one we’re talking about here is the “First Barrier to Study: Absence of Mass.” Mr. Hubbard explains this barrier in this way:

“In Study Technology, we refer to the mass and the significance of a subject. By mass we mean the actual physical objects, the things of life. The significance of a subject is the meaning or ideas or theory of it.

“Education attempted in the absence of the mass in which the technology will be involved is hard on a student. 

“If you were studying about tractors, the mass would be a tractor.  You could study a textbook all about tractors, how to operate the controls, the different types of attachments that can be used – in other words, all the significance – but can you imagine how little you would understand if you had never actually seen a tractor?

“Such an absence of mass can actually make a student feel squashed. It can make him feel bent, sort of dizzy, sort of dead, bored and exasperated.”*

I think you can see why it’s likely that the First Barrier to Study, “Absence of Mass,” was rarely if ever experienced by early American Indian youth— and also see that this learning concept explains how my character, Tacu, was finally able to work out and understand the lesson Takoda had given him. He was surrounded by and immersed in the objects, plants, animals and overall environment of his world, and had a strong desire to discover what it was that Takoda wished him to learn. 

You can find out what the other two barriers to study are, and how to deal with them, here. They apply to anyone of any age attempting to learn any subject. 
_______________

*Excerpted from “Barriers to Study,” by L. Ron Hubbard, from the website Scientology Handbook, located at http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/study/SH1_2.HTM

“Lost Without Love” on Kindle Now $.99!

Copyright 2012 by D.E. Lamont

“Great book! Unlimited future for this author! Shows that times may change, but people don’t. If this doesn’t become a bestseller, I’ll be surprised. Oh, great cover, too. Makes one want to know more.”
– PullUpNow

“This story starts in a normal setting…for Hollywood. A set in summer. From there it gets more and more mysterious until the triple twist ending you could not have seen coming! A masterful writer, D. E. Lamont spins a powerful tale.”
– C. Firstman

It’s a mystery set on a film shoot in the Fed-infested Hollywood of the mid-21st Century. It’s not your usual romance story – it’s a humorous, sly look at Hollywood through a future lens, with a twist.  If you enjoy romance, mystery, the film industry, stories about actors, try my new novelette.  

Buy the Kindle ebook here:  Lost Without Love on Amazon.com

Lost Without Love on Amazon.com

GREAT NEWS!  Kindle books are now available for all devices, not just Kindles – just download the free software application for your PC or laptop or mobile device from the Kindle section of Amazon.com, here!

If you enjoy it, please share this giveaway message with all your Facebook and Twitter friends using the buttons below – it will help me get the word out!

Good reading! 

D.E. Lamont

 


Are Animals Spiritual Beings?

Hello after an absence of some months!  I look forward to continuing to explore the world of spirit in a common-sense manner through this website.  I want to begin by reposting this article from a year ago.  Many people enjoyed it  – I hope new readers will find it now.

This article is addressed to those people who aren’t sure about the answer to this question. I am sure that many animal lovers will reply without hesitation that animals demonstrate spiritual characteristics, often to a greater degree than some humans. (!) But others aren’t so sure.

A brief manifesto here. My comments are not based on scientific evidence, but on common sense. Heaven help us humans when certain authorities insist that we cannot and should not rely on, or give credence to, the evidence of our senses, our own personal observations and our powers of deduction. How dull and meaningless life would be if we forfeited our own powers of intelligence, observation, and even knowingness – those qualities which are inborn and ours to use as we see fit.  I love science and the scientific method, but it is not the end-all of existence. It has its important uses, but should not supplant our innate abilities.

So, back to the question of animals. To tell the truth, I didn’t feel like I had the picture for many years. Not all animals demonstrate the level of intelligence of humans, and so it was hard for me to conceive of what kind of spirits animals and creatures might be.

However, there are people who do communicate with animals through the exchange of thoughts and images.  In fact, many around us do so naturally and without making a big deal out of it.  My husband has great affinity with birds and often can tune into what our pet cockatiel wants, or get him to behave differently by simply acknowledging the bird’s concern.  He does this verbally, and the bird obviously understands.  If there were no spiritual side to an animal, it wouldn’t be able to receive – and send – that communication. A dead piece of wood and a stone normally do not think or speak. They do not possess living energy. But an animal does, and it is that living energy which is the spiritual part of the animal. 

My friend, Khanada, told me of things she does with her dog that demonstrate the dog’s psychic ability to read her thoughts. She wrote to me:

      “You know if you have a pet there are ways to test this ability and get instant results. One of my dogs cannot help but come to me when I visualize an invisible collar and leash and I pull her toward me when she doesn’t want to come.

“When my other dog doesn’t want to come then I visualize petting and loving on her and she cannot help but come to me. Of course, once she gets to me I always reward her with that love before doing what I originally intended to do (such as clip her nails). Anyway, the power of the mind is awesome. I’ve found that animals are 100% attuned to this power and I believe it is how they communicate since they don’t use words.”

I do not believe that dogs could have such sensitivity to their humans’ thoughts if they themselves did not themselves have extra-sensory abilities – that is, have a spiritual nature. 

Native Americans had a profound belief in the spiritual nature of everything in the universe; their spirit guides were and are invariably an animal or bird or other creature.  In fact, they believe that every object and animal was created from and possesses spirit.

To the modern person, that may seem extreme. I do not believe it is extreme in the least. I agree that it is profound, particularly from the perspective that the entire universe may have been created by one – or more – great beings.  What is it that keeps matter together?  At its heart, and not in contradiction of the scientific laws which bind the universe, it could be the original commanding thought, “Let there be matter.”

                              *            *            *

Many many years ago in the chaparral hills of Southern California I heard coyotes howling together at the moon in an eerie and haunting wail.  I wondered what impulse created the urge to make such a mournful, wistful sound.  The thought came to me that they were mourning their ancient loss of freedom… they were longing for the days when they flew free of earthly bonds, as powerful, free spirits.

Perhaps…

 

New Interview of Author D.E. Lamont!

A new interview of me has just appeared on the Phoenix Book Review site.  In the discussion I talk about my writing and other things close to my heart.  Check it out!

Here is the link:
Phoenix Booksite

The reviewer is fiction writer Phoenix, who has herself written a fascinating fictional adventure containing a wealth of well researched detail about the Mandan, a North American tribe whose roots in the not-so-distant past may extend back to Europe.  It’s called A Whisper from Eden

On the book review page, if you look in the upper right corner, you’ll see a link to buy the Kindle copy of A Whisper from Eden!  Note that you can read Kindle books without a Kindle – just download the free software for any of your computers or devices, here:

Kindle Reading Apps

All the best wishes for the Holidays!
D.E. Lamont

Review and Interview of The Way of the Eagle

November 26, 2012

Laurie, a well known book blogger, recently reviewed The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening and interviewed me on her site, “Laurie’s Paranormal Features.”  I was honored to be selected for a review on this busy and interesting blogsite.

Here is the link!

Laurie’s Paranormal Features

All the best,
D.E. Lamont

“Lost Without Love” #28 on Amazon “Future Romance” List!

I’m proud to announce that my novelette, Lost Without Love – A Hollywood Tale of the Future, just reached No. 28 on the Amazon Kindle “Future Romance” list!  You can get it for $.99 for Kindle at this link:  

Lost Without Love for Kindle

And here is the link to the Amazon Kindle “Future Romance” list:

“Future Romance” List for Kindle Books

Good Reading!
D.E. Lamont

Fly with Hawks!

A little interlude of beauty while I work on the next piece…

For those who love the sky, eagles and hawks –
this video is so unusual and beautiful – I found it very inspiring.
These men are obviously pro bird handlers and seem very careful with the birds – I don’t think we need
fear for their safety.  They all seem very at home with each other
in the sky. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd5BMP_41bI&feature=player_embedded

Fiction Lovers – My New E-book Free One More Day!


ONE MORE DAY FREE!!!  My new e-novelette at Amazon.com – after that it will be $2.99. 

Lost Without Love – A Hollywood Tale of the Future.” It’s a romantic mystery set on a film shoot in the Fed-infested Hollywood of the mid-21st Century. It’s not your usual romance story – it’s a humorous, sly look at Hollywood through a future lens, with a twist.  Get it here:

Lost Without Love on Amazon.com

The ebook is in Kindle format, which is now available for all devices and phones, not just Kindles – just download the free software application for your PC or laptop or mobile device from the Kindle section of Amazon.com, here

Check it out and please share this giveaway message with all your Facebook and Twitter friends so more people can find the story! 

The Way of the Eagle Wins Third National Award!


I am so happy to announce that my novella, The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening, has won its third national award!  It has been named Finalist in the 2012 National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA), in the Cross-Genre Fiction category. 

The announcement showing the book cover is located on the NIEA website, HERE.

Apparently there was a slight mix-up because not all winners and finalists were notified, so when the awards were first announced in a general email, I didn’t think it had won anything.  Fortunately the award organizer realized the problem and sent a new email August 1st.  And that’s how I found out, to my great delight. 

Check out the book if you haven’t already – it’s available for $3.99 on Kindle, HERE! on Amazon.com.  It’s illustrated with five beautiful pieces of original art by award-winning artist, J.H. Soeder. 

You can read the Kindle book even if you don’t have a Kindle, since Amazon now has apps for all devices, PCs, and you can also sign up for their Cloud Reader and just read it online. When you check out, you are given the option to select which format(s) you want it and how/where you want to read. Pretty cool!