Osho on Love, Freedom and Aloneness

Love, Freedom & Aloneness - The Koan on Relationships by Osho Rajneesh
A long time ago I read a book by the Indian mystic Osho: Love, Freedom & Aloneness – The Koan on Relationships. This is one of those rare gems that explains and perhaps introduces you to the authentic love that is sorely missing from life. The taboo that is sex, the misunderstandings about love, and the freedom you never have when you try to posses or control the others in your relationships. Give it all up and you may find the difference between loneliness and aloneness.

There is a story in the book that is profound for me: A man and woman meet and fall in love. The woman is wealth and owns a great land through inheritance. The man wants to marry her. She says on one condition: You must love on the other side of the land where I will build you your own house. And if we meet in at the lake maybe I will invite you over or you can invite me over. And if we meet in the field maybe I will talk to you and you will talk to me. The man thought about this and decided he cannot marry the woman under these conditions

Anyway I’m paraphrasing the story as I cannot find the exact page on the book right now. There was something that struck a cord with me and whenever I have tried to explain this to women I’m dating they rarely get it. There is so much brainwashing I can see in the world when it comes to relationships and dating. How needy the man or the woman has become. And what is left? Almost nothing. An emptiness that is more a heavy burden than the elusive lightness of love.

Anyway here’s a short video with Osho talking about Love and Hate

Two sides of the same coin:

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Announcing the next TED Africa 2008 in Cape Town!

Ramon Thomas & Emeka OkaforIt seemed that all discussions around the next TED Africa had gone quiet. Now I get this email in my Inbox and the excitement from Tanzania returns with thunder! Wow I knew Cape Town is a good choice, but I’m biased because I spend so much time there.

Anyway read my own blogging from TEDGlobal 2007: Africa the Next Chapter. And here’s the full announcement of the next conference.

Dear TEDizens,

We’re delighted to tell you that there will be another TED conference in Africa next year and that we hope to make it an annual event on the continent!

TED Logo Ideas Worth SpreadingTEDAfrica will be held in Cape Town, South Africa on September 29-October 1, 2008 (save the date!), and will follow the format of this year’s event in Arusha, Tanzania.

The conference will be organized by a wonderful local team with whom we have just signed a license agreement. The four-person team includes TED Fellow Kelo Kubu and the conference will be operated out of a new South Africa-based non-profit organization devoted to promoting a better future for the continent, the “TED Africa Foundation”.

We will be supporting the foundation both financially and logistically to help ensure that the event maintains and builds on the quality and success of the Arusha event.

Initially we had intended that conference to be a one-off, but we received such enthusiastic feedback that we had to find a way to bring it back and in the summer we invited groups to apply for a license to host the conference. Kelo’s team were one of several who submitted bid and we were stunned by the quality of the proposals. The winning bid included several brilliant ideas to make TED Africa even better, and also featured a strong plan to ensure the event’s financial success and long-term sustainability. We therefore have enormous confidence that the next TED will every bit as exciting as Arusha was.

The organizers have already begun feverish preparations and when registration for the event formally opens, we will put out another note. Meanwhile, if you want to suggest a speaker, discuss sponsorship, or offer other help, you can write to contact@tedafrica.org. A new website promoting the conference will eventually be launched at www.tedafrica.org.

Kelo wanted us to forward the following note:

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the TED Africa process . The team is naturally excited to be hosting TEDAfrica 2008, and we look forward to the challenge of generating the usual TED cocktail of inspiration and magic. The task is undoubtedly a daunting one but Africa provides the perfect platform, and Cape Town the ideal location for yet another memorable event.

We look forward to welcoming the world to the southern most tip of Africa to share, spread and nurture groundbreaking ideas that could open new possibilities to growth and prosperity on the continent.”

Our congratulations to her and her team. We hope to see you in Cape Town!

Very best,

Chris Anderson
Emeka Okafor

Michael Tsarion on Relationships

Michael TsarionWhat is a “Relationship?”

Is it: Dependency under another name? Insecurity under another name? Vampirism under another name? I’m empty and I need you. You’re empty and you need me!…(often called “Falling in Love“). Christians were told marriage was an alternative to damnation. Better to marry than burn! Fear paves the way.

Relationships! The bane of the Piscean Age, and on its way out. Are you ready? Another question you may want to be asking yourself today and for the rest of your lives…

WHAT IS IT THAT OTHERS MAKE ME FEEL THAT I NEED FROM THEM?

We always know what it is that we need from others. We often know quickly what others want from us. But finding out what it is that others may subtly make us feel we require from them (and which eventually makes us dependent upon them) is not so obvious. Love is not part of a transaction. It is the most PRIVATE thing there is or can be, in the full sense of that word. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, and don’t continue deluding yourself. Forget what the priests have said, and mummy and daddy, and all those without a clue who, in their egregious error, have made the world what it is today. You won’t get it from the girl or the boy, the man or the woman, or from Jesus, or Allah. So stop looking for it in where it is not to be found! Realize that this very looking and seeking arises because of its absence within. The deer smells the tree bark for the musk produced by its own glands. You could laugh at that paradox. There is a greater madness abroad:

Men looking for love from a stranger, for that which only his own heart and mind can produce. This is the secret of man’s delirium.

Republished from the Michael Tsarion Forum on Red Ice Creations.

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Taalgenoot interview on the impact of Technololgy on Human Relationships

online dating1. How does communication technology change the interaction of people (for example: from as young as 11 years children start to MXit and spend as much as 3 hours per day in their own virtual world.. But on Facebook long lost friends can keep in contact. Kindly give positive and negative comment)

Technology allows people to stay in touch with friends or family in remote places that could be very difficult or expensive otherwise. One of the first stories I discovered about MXit, was that of a grandmother in South Africa who was communicating with her grandsons in the UK. She was using MXit, and they were using MSN Messenger on a PC. Skype also allows people to make free voice calls over the Internet at no cost to anyone in the world using Skype.

The problem with technology as a communication medium is that increasingly people do not take responsibility for their actions. So for example people are cancelling appointments or meetings using SMS. Teenagers and adults are breaking up relationships and asking for a divorce using SMS. So technology allows people to avoid any negative reaction from other people. And the really bad part of this behaviour is that you never get to learn, through feedback, a valuable lesson in human relationships.

2. What can parents do to keep tabs on their children’s technology use (such as MXit and Facebook)

With MXit parents can install it on their own phones and add their children as a contacts. This way they can see when their children go online and when they go offline. Be warned that many children will refuse or delete their parents as a contact. When they delete your contact, after accepting you. You will see them as offline all the time, which defeats the purpose of monitoring them. If you have a good relationship with your children this will work.

With Facebook, simply register with Facebook, and search for their profiles. Again be warned you cannot see their profile unless they have accepted you as a Facebook friend. And most teenagers will not do this because it’s just not cool. If you have an open relationship ask them to show you how Facebook works, including a detailed explanation of their profiles.

3. What does communication technology do to the one to one and group communication skills of teens and young people. (eg. to introverts MXit is a way to express themselves but they lack the ability to build relationships etc.)

It can both increase their social contact and decrease their social skills. On MXit, the chat rooms are anonymous because people use nicknames. You may be able to say something in a chat room you could never say in person. So you never learn how to be assertive. And if you are already shy you may after a lot of time practising improve your ability to communicate. The challenge is that when you communicate online, either MXit, or Facebook, you cannot read body language or voice tone, and this reduces the amount of information you have available. So it’s a short term solution for a introverted child to use technology to communicate with people. They should, with help from their parents and teachers, learn how to communicate face to face. Debating clubs and public speaking classes is very good for this

4. Does technology changes the psyche? (Do people become more directed towards technology than their fellow-men?)

There is a growing amount of research that proves that multitasking is a myth. Also with technology many people are learning how to intelligently avoid real work in companies. When people in an office is surfing the Web (including Facebook) it can seem like they are working and yet they are not doing anything work related at all. It’s likely that South Africa is loosing hundreds of millions of Rand due to unproductive employees. And the responsibility lies with the companies to educate their employees on good online etiquette. More specifically I’m becoming very pessimistic about the impact of technology because so much of it is a form of escapism from reality: everything from playstations, to chat room, or online social networks. Nothing beats the real thing!

5. How do you personally use communication technology (Facebook) and how much time do you spend on it

I use or at least try out all new technology as it emerges. I am also a regular blogger and contribute to many online forums. The most important technology for me is email, cellphones and Skype. My primary focus is using technology to communicate with large numbers of people in a personalised way. What I mean is I can use a bulk email software to email 1,000 people using their first name like “Hi Karen” and this gets a much higher response rate. In terms of time I spend to much time using the Internet because its at the core of my business. I spend about 8-10 hours online 6 days a week. I also switch my cellphone off after 8pm and have been working toward ONE Technology FREE day per week, usually Saturdays.

6. Which communication technology is used the most by the different generations?

  • Preteens and teens – MXit and other instant messaging platforms
  • 20 and 30 year olds – Facebook and email, yes
  • 40 – 60 year olds – Cellphone and email, yes

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Severn Suzuki speaks at UN Earth Summit in 1992 about loving the Environment

Boys don’t cry? Well maybe it’s good for boys to cry every now and then. This video brought tears to my eyes because of how sincere and deep the message is by Severn Suzuki. In 1992, at the age of 12, Suzuki raised money with members of ECO, the Environmental Childrens Organization (a group she founded) to attend the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro. How long has it been that I sat down in nature or hugged a tree? How long has it been since I rolled around on grass or walked bare foot in a stream? How long will it take for us to realise that we and the environment are one – and if we continue to poison it, we only poison ourselves?

The more we love the environment the more we love ourselves and vice versa. Do not wait for someone else to do something about it. You go and do something about it in your yard or your neighbourhood.

Eben Pagan interviewed by Joe Polish about Hiring Tips

In this video series Eben Pagan is interviewed by Über-information marketer Joe Polish. I just signed up for his Genius Network Interviews and I’m blown away by the content of the interviews and the value for money.

Anyway Eben Pagan is the founder of the Altitude program and is extremely astute entrepreneur and trainer. In this interview he shares some radical ideas on hiring staff, how to ask good questions, managing teams

You can continue to watch the next 3 parts of these interviews from here: Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.I’ve incorporated some of his advice in a 1 hour talk I do for employers and employees (job seekers) on using Social Networking for Recruitment, HR and Staffing. Here’s the presentation:

New Books from Take2 this November

I’ve been checking out Take2 for a long time because its prices are just the best in South Africa. Take2 is one of those online retail stores like Kalahari.net and the international poster boy Amazon.com which offers a selection of books, music CDs, DVDs and other products. What I really love about Take2 is that their prices are better than Exclusive Books or Kalahari.net all year long. In the past I have bought a lot of books from Kalahari.net when they run their regular sales or had a R50 discount voucher.

Now with Take2 they do not offer any discounts or sales and even with shipping costs most purchases are cheaper than their closest competitors. So I highly recommend you switch to Take2 and if you have any doubts just compare some prices for the following books I’ve just received from a recent order:

Books Take2 Kalahari.net Exclusive Books
4-Hour Work Week R134.00 R186.95 R204.00
Complete Idiot’s Guide: Growing Your Business with Google R134.00 R186.95 R143.00
Laws of Lifetime Growth R81.00 R123.95 R176.00
Shipping Cost R29.00 R29.00 R30.00
TOTALS R378.00 R526.85 R553.00
* Note: Free shipping is available from Kalahari.net if you order is more than R350 and with Exclusive Books is more than R400 per order.

So as you can see even if the shipping from Kalahari.net or Exclusive Books was free it would cost more than Take2. What’s your experience been in shopping online in South Africa?

Take2 cheap onlie shopping

Keys to keeping kids safe online

Net filters, Web sites help shield children from predators

By Jeff Smith, Rocky Mountain News

Englewood physician Gregory Papadeas already has gone through the experience of his 9-year-old seeing an obscene image inadvertently pop up on a computer screen. She told him about it.

He’s already gone through the frank talk with his 13-year-old daughter about the pros and cons of social-networking sites such as MySpace.

“We felt it put her at risk and exposed her to things we as parents were not comfortable with.”

He said his daughter agreed she shouldn’t participate at this time.

Still, Papadeas recently was looking for even more information about how to keep his children safe on the Internet. “It’s an important topic,” he said.

Papadeas and his wife have four children ages 6 to 13, “so we’re in the thick of the whole thing. It’s a whole new world. We want to make sure that together we identify the bad things.”

Bad things can range from Internet pornography to online bullying to being stalked by strangers and sexual predators.

The good news for parents is there are plenty of resources to help out.

“There’s never been a time when parents have had more tools to protect their children,” Adam Thierer, who has written extensively about Internet safety for the Progress & Freedom Foundation, said at a recent communications summit.

Tools include Internet filters or “parental controls” and Web sites that offer videos, handbooks and other educational materials.

But Thierer and other experts point out that it’s unclear to what degree parents are aware of the tools, are comfortable with the Internet and know exactly what their kids are doing online.

Mitch Bowling, Comcast’s general manager of online business, echoes many experts when he says that parents need to be engaged and “try not be intimidated” by what they don’t know.

“My message to parents is to be proactive,” Bowling said.

Take time to talk to children. Take time to learn how to set up parental controls. Seek additional help if needed.

As a father of three children ages 4 to 12, Bowling blocks Internet sites that he doesn’t want his children to see. He sets up automated controls that enable his children to surf the Internet only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. He spends time talking with his children and telling them never to respond to an e-mail or an instant message from a stranger.

Of course, strategies change depending on a child’s age, but experts urge parents to get involved as soon as their children start using the Internet.

Linda Young, a Seattle psychologist Qwest Communications has hired as a consultant, advocates using the Internet in an open space in the house and working closely with children on the rules.

Mutual agreements are ideal but not always possible. Parents must be clear about the rules and practice what they preach, Young said.

She warns against parents adopting authoritarian positions, which she says “drives kids underground” and encourages them to “figure out ways to beat the system.”

Young talks about parental controls in terms of “walls and windows.”

“As they earn your trust, show them your trust by giving them more freedom,” she said.

Even with all the bad stuff out there, Young is optimistic and believes research shows that Internet safety is winning the battle.

She cited a report this year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that found the majority of teens actively manage their online profiles to protect sensitive information from the “unwanted gaze of strangers, parents and other adults.”

For example, teens rarely post information such as addresses or cell-phone numbers that would help strangers locate them.

The most recent Pew survey, released in mid-October, found that while 32 percent of online teens had been contacted by someone they didn’t know, only 7 percent of those encounters had made them feel scared or uncomfortable.

But some troubling indicators exist in this year’s surveys as well, a reason for parents to remain vigilant.

Nearly two-thirds of the teens with online profiles believe a motivated person could eventually identify them from the information they provide on the Internet.

One in three teens online has experienced online “harassment,” such as threatening messages, having an embarrassing photo posted without their permission or being subject to rumors placed on the Internet.

And teens who post photos online are more likely to be contacted by strangers – with girls more likely than boys to report the contact made them feel scared or uncomfortable.

Read the rest of the article for the following information:

  • Parental tips
  • 7 Reasons why good kids do bad things on the Internet
  • Kids’ sample rules for online safety
  • How to set-up parental controls
  • more Online Safety resources

Gauteng Online is a failure doomed from the beginning

What where they thinking when the Gauteng department of Education promised to connect all the schools in Gauteng to the Internet within 5 years? This is a rhetorical questions about the stupidity of infrastructure projects of this nature. The government themselves are the most inefficient users of technology and with this project they were meant to install computers and Internet access for all the schools in the richest province in the country. It remind me of my time in the United Arab Emirates. These Arab people had money coming out of their ears but did not know how to use it and relied on foreign workers from South Africa, India, Pakistan, Europe, UK and America to do their thinking for them.

Anyway back to South Africa. If you think about the lack of mathematics and science teachers we have in the country, it’s certainly no surprise that Gauteng Online has been such a dismal failure. While doing research for this article most media mentions and even blog postings date back from 2005. So that means people either forgot about it in the last 2 years or have blatantly ignored this project.

The original amount set aside for this project was R500 million! Now tell wouldn’t that money could not have been better used at the schools. For example to put in telephone lines to the thousands of schools with no telephones, or better yet fix the sanitation and make sure they all have running water.

A few years ago I came across Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. He basically says that our physiological needs must be met, before we move onto safety, love, self-esteem and eventually self-actualisation. Now for kids to have Internet access is a need that most likely falls between love and self-esteem because it allows them to communicate with others, as well as express themselves by publishing websites. All I would like to say is that we should put pressure on the national Government to get its priorities in order.

It’s probably safe to say that this project is costing the Gauteng Provincial Government more than R500 million with all the disappointments from the previous companies involved. It’s no surprise they have re-issued the tender once again.

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What I learned from Bruce Lee about Flowing in Relationships

It’s been months since I’ve been to my Tai Chi class and I’m starting to feel really itchy about it. So even though I’ve been doing my Tai Chi Chuan at home its not the same as doing in a group. One of the things I’ve done to console myself is to go back to re-read the Chinese classic Tao Te Ching.

On another note as I’m approaching my 10th Toastmasters speech, to complete my Compitant Communicator, the first manual. I’ve decided to start with a quote from Bruce Lee, which he repeated in the famous Lost Interview with Pierre Burton. However, watching the entire interview I cam across a reference to Tai Chi Chuan. Pierre Burton asks him to explain all the fancy moves he sees people doing on the roof tops of buildings. Bruce goes into an explanation of Tai Chi Chuan and the philosophy behind it. And this quote from Bruce just struck me as applicable to relationships as well, “I mean to them the idea is ‘running water never grows stale.’ so you’ve got to just ‘keep on flowing.'”

When you realise a relationship has run its course its very likely because you’ve stopped flowing. When things become to predictable, when you become bored or tired all the time time. The passion you may have had and the physical attraction dies down. Now of course you can resurrect it with some effort. But you’re missing the point. The whole idea behind Taoism is effortlessness. Many people seem to think of an end-goal to relationships being marriage. I believe this is a fundamentally flawed presupposition. And therefore you’re setting yourself up for failure. Again most self-help books on relationships will persuade that relationships or marriage is hard work. It shouldn’t be hard work it should just flow.

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