When a person's connection to the Creator is external, there is fear. When a person's connection to the Creator is internal, there is freedom. --Larry Trefz
Do I Believe In Praying? Larry Trefz
People have wondered if I believe in praying. Here’s how I see it. At a fundamental level, it is much more important to listen to the wisdom of the Higher Power than to speak to it. After all, do I really know what to ask for? That’s a big question. But, if I quiet my mind enough, the answers always come, and without the need for beseeching, pleading or demanding. At a certain level, God does not need to be communicated with using small mouth noises, or even mental language. Too many times to count, I have seen prayer used as a manipulative tool to pressure others under the pray(er)’s dominance hierarchy, or, just for show in public. These types of prayer should be quickly seen for what they are, and held as distinct from the concept of an individual attempting to communicate with the Higher Power. That said, I think there is a definite place for prayer, especially in private if one is feeling lost. Prayer can be a means to comfort and calm, and to connect with more than the mundane, wearying, and sometimes frightening predicament called life. Public prayer, if not done for the purposes of manipulation, or show, can be valuable, in that it binds together, comforts and encourages. So, the short answer is; yes, I believe in prayer.
Heaven and Hell in Daily Life, Larry Trefz
One can get an idea of how close someone is to heaven or hell in their daily lives by looking at how a person reacts to something they don’t like. Are they willing to listen to an opposing idea and consider if it has any merit. Maybe play with it a little. This shows a certain spaciousness of mindset that is a very pleasant place to be in. On the other hand, does a person, upon hearing something that doesn’t quite fit their ideological mold, try to immediately silence the person offering a different perspective? This shows tremendous fragility, a very precarious place to be. Kind of an entrance to hell, so to speak. Because, this way means that the person’s ideological structure is not entirely their own. They are not familiar enough with it to have it be opened to examination. They fear that an unexplored part of themselves may be exposed, making them appear ridiculous. I think it takes a lot of humility and courage to take a hard, honest look at what one claims to believe and then ask themselves if they really own that 100%. If so, that becomes your truth and you get a little closer to heaven.
Teaching and Learning About Responsibility, Larry Trefz
I've noticed something quite useful in the process of raising children in regards to how individuals conceptualize responsibility. As the child becomes more aware, they begin to be able to take responsibility for themselves; cleaning their own room for example. As their concept of individual responsibility expands, they start to draw the lines in their own minds as to what they are responsible for. At a certain stage of the child's development they are quite likely to say; "that's not my fault that the kitchen floor is dirty". They may be correct or at least partially correct in that but it shows how limited their conception of responsibility is. One of the very valuable lessons of being a parent is that you are forced to expand your scope of responsibility. You must handle all kinds of things that are "not your fault" per se. When one really takes responsibility, with the right attitude, they become the king of their situation, rather than the slave of the situation. Teaching and learning this is a great skill that is very valuable to develop. I think it very useful to consider how this echoes through society.
Robin Williams And The Game, Larry Trefz
For the majority of Robin Williams' life, he experienced success upon success but eventually a downturn came. He had several divorces over the years and recently came to the point of having to take work that he was not thrilled about in an attempt to pay the bills. To most people the concept of taking work that they are not thrilled about to pay the bills is the story of their life.
In this aspect of the Robin Williams story, I think we can find an important lesson. The order of nature and the universe is cyclical. The sun rises and sets, we are born and die, we plant and harvest, we breathe in and we breathe out, waves have troughs and crests.
Most people's lives follow a similar pattern. Society at large tends to call these failures and successes. The tendency is to call the troughs failures and the crests successes. But how can you have a crest without a trough? It is not possible, they are dependent in relative aspect on one another.
The only thing that is constant is change. Yet, we cling tightly to the successes and detest the failures. We are prideful on the ascent and despondent on the descent. When we consider this as an abstract concept it seems rather silly that we would take either so terribly seriously because we can't have one without the reference point of the other and we really can't predict the timing.
Society praises the crests and
criticizes the troughs. Understanding this is essential to playing
the game called life. The result of this one-sided societal pressure
is beneficial to the advance of civilization, as it encourages
organization, invention, ingenuity and diligence. However, if one
loses sight of the big picture due to being overly absorbed in the
game of life, the fear of descending into a trough can appear too
costly to bear. It is possible that this was the case with Robin
Williams. --Larry Trefz
The Present Moment, By Larry Trefz
The concepts of time and space are tools that the human brain uses to organize the universe into something that is understandable. Time and space have made it possible for us to conceptualize material things but the true nature of reality is deeper than that.
There is a place where pure spirit is to be found. This place can be accessed by any person. This place is the present moment, free from past regrets and future worries. By dwelling fully in the present moment and stilling the mind from wandering into the past or the future, a place is found that is completely free from pain, physical or psychological. Pain can only be experienced when we allow a mental bridge from the past to the future across the present moment. Lift the twin drawbridge, the one side leading to the past and the other to the future, in the space between the calm of spirit lies unperturbed.
The Archetypal Elements Of The Michael Brown Case --by Larry Trefz
I think that the archetypal elements of
the situation in question have much to do with the perception of the
system. The law and its enforcement officers (policemen) are an
integral part of the system which is the essence of society and
civilization. However, most would admit that the system at large is
an ungainly, clumsy beast. As Winston Churchill put it; Democracy is
the worst form of government, except for all the others.
generally starts when a person or group feels that they are excluded
from the system or that the system is fundamentally unjust. This
leads to rebellion and revolt against the system. The system is
generally more than capable of defending itself so long as it retains
the majority support. It is easy to see how a negative feedback loop
can be started by someone feeling disenfranchised from the system,
rebelling against the system and then the system responding with
punishment against the offenses against the system. The long-term
answer lies in educating those that feel outside the system about the
benefits of the system (obeying the law is a good start).
There is a
large responsibility carried by each person involved with making the
laws for the system (voters and representatives) and those that
enforcement those laws (policemen) to do all in their power to make
sure that the laws and the enforcement of them is just. And to help
those that may feel that they are outside the system understand that
it does indeed lie within the power of each person to choose their
own path and to assist others whose vision may be less clear to make
choices that are beneficial to all in the long run.
This issue is not limited to race. It is seen on many strata in our society, people are increasing separating themselves according to what they perceive as their tribe, this is a natural human reaction during times of fear and stress. Ideology tends to separate, understanding tends to unite. All good laws have their root in the golden concept—Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Child's Transition To Self Dependance --by Larry Trefz
Unexplained outbursts of anger from a child
toward his parents are often the result of the child going through a
stage of growth where they are feeling fearful about taking on more
responsibility for themselves. Anger is rooted in fear. Fear is always fear of an unknown future event.
A child starts from a state of nearly complete dependence on his parents. Growing up is a constant transfer of responsibility, from depending on his parents to depending on himself. If completed, this process will result in a healthy independence.
At times, the child will resist this transfer of responsibility and have bursts of seemingly inexplicable anger at his parents. These are expressions of fear, generally fear that the parent will not be carrying as much responsibility for them as in the past.
This is an important place to discuss eagles and God with the child.
I found a Youtube video of an eagle pushing the baby eagle out of the nest to show our son. Letting the child know that you as the parent will not push them until they are ready but will push them when needed, will help them understand what is going on.
Teaching the child that there is a source of infinite wisdom that they can tap into directly, gives them the tools to effectively manage this transfer of responsibility onto their own shoulders.
Rome was not built in a day. This process obviously works best gradually and reassuring the child and reminding oneself that there is plenty of time helps take the edge off.
Does Washing Your Car Make It Run Better? --by Larry Trefz
It sounds like a ridiculous question on the surface but at the very smallest level of matter--the subatomic level--we find that matter does not actually consist of solid particles but rather waves.
These waves are directly affected by a conscious observer--you. The act of observing an electron, for example, causes the wave to collapse into a particle. These particles are the building blocks of what our senses perceive to be solid matter.
Our attitude affects how these waves of potential collapse. In studies done on freezing water into ice, it has been shown that if feelings of hostility, anger and fear are focused at the water while it is freezing, the ice crystals form into a completely different shape than when feelings of love are present.
Studies have also shown that approximately twice as many DNA are activated in a person's brain when they are feeling love as opposed to feeling fear.
A car is composed of more than 10,000 moving parts, many of them moving simultaneously to make the car run. The attitude of the person has an effect on the car on a very basic level, just like it would on any other matter. Fear, especially fear of breaking down will also have its effect, especially if attention is focused on something in particular. Fear focused on a transmission noise, for example, will cause those parts to become less dense and can in time lead to bearing failure, etc.
Washing the car is generally done in a spirit of caring for the car, so as long as you aren't feeling angry when you wash it, the car should indeed run a bit better.
This same effect is constantly at work in our physical bodies. King Solomon clearly understood quantum physics long before it was known as such, when he said; “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”.
Points to consider when trying to resolve a disagreement. --by Larry Trefz
1. Understand that conflicts arise out of fear on both sides.
2. Understand that both sides come with their own bias. Attempt to understand the bias of the other side.
3. Open the channel of communication with respect, speaking and acting respectfully.
4. Give time and conscious consideration to the views of the other side. Ask them to do the same for you.
5. Utilize the tools of emotional intelligence. Don't have knee-jerk reactions.
6. Do not tell the other person they are wrong. This will close the channel of communication.
7. Refrain from attempting to defend your ideology.
8. Offer a benefit from agreement. Even something as simple as a relief from stress.
9. Be ready and willing to forgive and also ready to ask for forgiveness.
Conservatives, Liberals And
Progressives –My View --by Larry Trefz
Conservative, liberal, progressive; mention any of those words almost anywhere and you are likely to spark intense feelings and heated discussions. But what do those words really mean and what do they say about how we view the world.
I think each of those three words represents a view on time.
A conservative puts their emphasis on referencing the past and “conserving” it. The lessons and information from the past is generally their guide to the future. Conservatives often appear stuffy and “stuck in the mud” to liberals and progressives.
A liberal intends to live primarily in the present moment with little or no reference to the past or the future. They are “open minded”. Practically speaking however, this is a difficult balancing act because, like it or not, each of us is affected by the past and our hopes and aspirations for the future.
A progressive, intends to live in reference to the future. They appear to have the desire to leave the past behind and give its lessons little or no weight. They are ready to venture into the future and don't want to be restrained by the past. Given that the future has yet to unfold, the progressive often appears impractical, unrealistic and a dreamer to the other two groups but more so to the conservative.
Liberals seem silly to conservatives because they appear to refuse the lessons of the past and do not appear take seriously the consequences of their actions on the future, as the future appears to a conservative.
It could be said that the conservative values stability very highly. Since the past is quite clear, the conservative values the lessons from the past and assumes that the future will unfold according to similar guidelines as the past. Much to the surprise of conservatives, the way things work out for liberals is often less dire than would have been predicted by conservatives. This is due to the fact that the liberal is more open to new possibilities and changes in the moment, they tend to adapt quickly and go with the flow. The progressive is the most concerning to the conservative because they appear to have a dangerous derision for the lessons of the past. The conservative grates on the nerves of the progressive because the conservative appears to refuse to “get with the program” and move forward.
Practically speaking, we each have to deal with the past, the present and the future. How we do that is part of what makes us unique as individuals and gets us labeled as a conservative, liberal or progressive.
Conserving the good and valuable lessons from the past seems important to me.
Being able to adapt quickly to changing situations in the present moment is something I consider very valuable.
Being willing to take the risk of
plunging ahead and venturing into the future gives life spice --so
you could call me a ConservativeLiberalProgressive. Thats my view. --Larry Trefz
Loving What You Do - Larry Trefz
Effectiveness in any line of work requires focused attention in the present moment and a clear intention of what you want to accomplish in the future. It is obvious when someone loves their work, they give it their focused attention in the present moment and are not distracted by concerns like; "When is this day going to end?"
We could call the focused attention in the present moment, the process. And the intention, the result. To the extent that we remove our attention from the process, we also short-circuit the very result we intend to get.
This problem is amplified in lines of work that involve cycles or are more prone to market changes. When a person gets used to a certain amount of success and then their income slows, the natural tendency is to start skipping that golden attention in the present moment and start focusing on chasing the end result. This gives more and more negative results until the person is exhausted and is forced to change.
Sometimes the person changes their line of work and sometimes they change their attitude but change from that short-circuit state is necessary to get back to giving golden attention to your work in the present moment.
Giving our focused attention to the process in the present moment is the surest path to getting the results we intend. Focused attention to your work in the present moment is loving what you do. --LT
Believing vs. Knowing -- By Larry Trefz
One of the greatest benefits of raising children is being able to observe the clear difference between belief and knowing. Then to be able to take that intellectual understanding and turning it into a developmental tool for ourselves and them, where belief becoming knowledge is a constant practice.
An example would be the difference between believing you can ride a bike and knowing you can ride a bike. A 3 or 4 year old kid may watch other kids riding bikes and believe that they can do it too, even though they have never tried it. But if they get on the bike and try to ride they will, if persistent, eventually after falling down a few dozen times, get to the point where they can ride. Then they KNOW they can ride and from then on do not need to rely on belief.
The same goes for believing you can swim and knowing you can swim... and you could go on and on, as childhood development and adult development, for that matter, are a series of progressions from awareness (see a person riding a bike for the first time), to belief (believing that you can do what you observe others doing) and finally knowing (experiencing for oneself).
The highest lesson in this developmental chain is the difference between believing in God and knowing God. Believing is largely based on other people's experiences and is, in my view, identified with religion which can be helpful but still a ways off from KNOWING God for oneself.
The ultimate knowing, is knowing God, or commonly called spirituality. That is my view on one of the major differences between religion and spirituality--Belief vs. Knowing. --LT
As Albert Einstein said; "I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
Feedback Investing -- By Larry Trefz
The intent of what I call feedback investing is to participate in and perpetuate a positive feedback loop that benefits both the investor and the country or entity that is the object of investment. In a situation of depressed economic conditions, a lack of liquidity is often to blame for perpetuating a negative feedback loop of decreased confidence, lower asset prices and economic stagnation or contraction.
These situations can provide an excellent opportunity for investors to get a great deal on low priced assets and contribute to a growth cycle whereby their added liquidity raises asset prices, lowers borrowing costs, increases employment and GDP, while returning profits to the investors. This “rising tide” concept lifts all boats.
I attempt to identify broad trends that show the beginning stages of positive economic feedback loops in cases where asset prices have been depressed and are ready for a comeback. I do not provide specific investment advice but rather broad concepts.
In an increasingly interconnected global economy we are constantly reminded that nothing is truly separate, what affects one, in some way also affects the other.
Making Decisions - by Larry Trefz, December 2013
talk with our 7 year old son, Tristan, this morning about making
decisions. He was a touch hazy on the concept so we went over some
ideas to understand the importance of making decisions.
1. In order to make a decision we have to be aware.
2. Understand that everything we do involves making a decision on some level whether we realize it or not. The more aware we are, the more we are able to make conscious decisions.
3. Observe the actions and consequences of decisions that you and other people make. This will help you understand the cause-and-effect relationship of making a good decision or a bad one.
4. Understand and remember that every decision we make affects ourselves and others in some way.
5. Being aware helps us make our own decisions and not just blindly follow others.
6. Realize that you can have way more fun and get in less trouble if you are more aware of your decisions and make good ones.
Perception of Time - by Larry Trefz
Scientists at Duke University did a study to determine how cocaine and marijuana can alter the perception of time. Rats with no chemicals in their system were trained to press a button at precisely twelve seconds. If the rat pushed the button at precisely twelve seconds the rat was rewarded with a food pellet. If the rat pushed the button any sooner or later than twelve seconds they got nothing. The rats became very consistent and precise using their internal stopwatches to calculate the twelve seconds, hit the button and get their pellet.
After the extensive training in using their internal stopwatches the rats were injected with different chemicals. One rat got cocaine, another marijuana, and the third saline. They were given 20 minutes to allow the chemicals to take effect and then put to work on getting their pellets. The rat on cocaine pushed the button in 8 seconds. The rat on marijuana pushed the button after 16 seconds and the rat on saline (chemically unaltered) pushed the button precisely at 12 seconds.
Experiments have shown that people who try to estimate time second, by second, for one minute while someone else minds a stopwatch are generally off the mark. Younger people tend to underestimate the time it actually takes to reach one minute, while older people generally overestimate time against the clock.
Scientists have determined that each person has an internal stopwatch located in their brain, they can pinpoint the spot in the brain where there is a group of cells that make our internal time calculation. This internal stopwatch is triggered by a chemical reaction. This chemical process tends to weaken as we age, which leads to the perception that time is moving more quickly as we get older.
There are also some people who have chemical imbalances in their brain which causes them to perceive time differently than the norm. For example, a person who has an excessive chemical reaction in their brain's stopwatch will consistently feel that time is endless and dragging by very slowly. This type of person has the tendency to seek external stimulus and desires a constant whirlwind of activity to fight boredom.
On the other hand, someone with an underdeveloped chemical brain stopwatch will perceive that the the world is moving too quickly and have the feeling of not being able to keep up. This type of person will generally seek solitude and have the tendency to be more comfortable in slower paced environments.
Neuro science had repeatedly proven that our conscious choices, which when repeated often enough become habits, do indeed alter the neuro pathways of the brain thereby making it possible to alter the amount and type of chemicals that stimulate the cells that control our inner stopwatch.
When we obsess over the past, we tend to perceive time moving much more slowly. Worrying about the future causes the opposite feeling; time seems to move by so quickly that we cannot keep up. How we choose to perceive time can alter our brains in the long run and thereby affect our experiences and quality of life.
Ego And Fear - Larry Trefz
and fear go together. Generally, fear that the image we present of
ourselves to others will not be taken seriously. The fear that our
carefully crafted image may be seen through leads to acting cocky and
aggressive to protect the image.
Perfect love removes fear. When we drop our carefully crafted image (ego) and the need to protect it, our thoughts can become calmer and more peaceful and our relationships with others will flow more easily.
Making Sense of Non-Judgement - Larry Trefz
For non-judgement to make sense in the practical world, we need to understand that there will always be a disparity, to a greater or lesser extent, between a person's core motivation (heart) and their actions. If we are judging a person's heart based on how that person's actions appear, we will never be accurate. This is why it is important to let our heart guide when it comes to understanding another's core motivation.
Those who have a wide disparity between their core motivation and their actions are generally operating from a place of fear and insecurity. This also explains that those with the most personal power are generally those whose actions most closely match their core motivation. This takes courage but the rewards are great.
Cycles - People First, Markets Second - Larry Trefz
One thing is constant in business and life--that always present element is the person or group of people. This does not mean that the people or the person is consistent, far from it. However, each person has a core set of ideas, concepts, talents and beliefs—we could call them values.
In my experience there are generally two values that are most dominant, a positive value and a negative value.
A positive value is one that leads to a better life, higher productivity, positive contributions to the lives of others—in other words, the GOOD.
A negative value as one that leads to a worse life, lower productivity, negative effects on the lives of other—in other words, the BAD.
Generally speaking these dominant positive and negative values remain fairly consistent over a lifetime. What changes is the extent to which either value is engaged. These values tend to trade off in cycles. We often hear and speak of people who have gotten on the “wrong track”. Unfortunately we often don't pay as much notice to the people who are on the “right track”.
These tracks or cycles often become self-reinforcing, meaning that the longer the person is on the right track the more that tendency reinforces itself and the person performs better and better. Often the trend will continue until a circumstance or pride and cockiness sets in which, for a short time, will cause the person to go into the hyper phase of the cycle where it appears that they can do no wrong and are ultimately successful—with seemingly no challenges. This phase often precedes the bust phase where the trend will reverse and suddenly everything appears to be negative.
The reversal of the positive trend is often the start of the negative cycle where the negative value is given precedence. The longer the negative value is given dominance the more it reinforces itself, causing a downward spiral. The negative often goes so far that it too reaches a hyper phase where everything appears hopeless, terrible and incredibly negative. This extremely negative phase is often accompanied by some event which shocks the person into action which reverses the negative trend, at which time a positive cycle can resume.
With most people these cycles last for years. They can also be derailed at any point by the person recognizing the issue, making a conscious change and sticking with it. The hyper or extreme phases generally occur without the person realizing it until it is too late. The hyper phases are usually produced by a long term self-reinforced trend.
By identifying the core values of a person or a group we can start to understand where a person my be in a cycle, especially if there are several cycles that have happened before. Being aware of a developing cycle we can be in a position to help ourselves and others avoid trouble or take advantage of opportunities.
copyright 2014, Larry Trefz