“River of Light” an Art-prize 2013 Exhibit


“River of Light” is a colorful, flowing, prismatic light exhibit. This is accomplished by reflecting digitally projected light off pieces of heat-deformed plexi-glass panes; which, when rotated, casts an artful cyclical light effect. In addition, a customized music track shifts in ambiance as subtle color shifts ensue. I have applied this art-form to room sized spaces in the past–(see youtube videos below). My goals for a 2013 exhibit would be threefold. One, to garner an enclosed (dark) venue space with large walls. Two, cast the light effect so it is a great deal larger than in previous exhibits by using more plexi-glass and digital projectors. Three, allow spectators to move in and out of the exhibit at their own pace, take their time and absorb the art, so they may become hypnotized by its flowing movement.

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My name is Brent Saulic. Email: brentsaulic@yahoo.com. You can find me on Linked-In. I am a business minded designer/artist, and easy to get along with. The prismatic light path needs to be customized to the venue space–it takes some creativity. Setup may take anywhere from 3-10 hours depending upon the constraints (sound and spatial) I am working with. I’ll consider an outdoor space if it has power, is secure, enclosed and dark. I prefer a walled space, but if you have an dark unconventional space in mind I can work with that too. To ensure spectator safety, walk path space of exhibit may need to be dimly lit. I plan on spending $800 on materials–a cost which which will chiefly consist of buying large panes of plexiglass to hang. I will be utilizing my own computer and projector; however, I would prefer a venue patron who is willing to lend additional resources, like additional projectors, which greatly enhance the visual strength of the effect.


The Fundamentals of the Dying Sun

PREFACE WARNING:This is a long unedited essay that is not in a final definitive form. Although most of it is fleshed out I have yet to finish large swaths of it.  I go back and forth editing its content and meaning.  It is meant to be a philosophic introduction to New-Life Naturalism. An proactive form of Pantheism that takes a contemporary religious stance. Image

An Introduction to the Dying Sun:

Let every notion, that the Sun will thrive forever, die. Let the belief in the Sun’s immortal being fall away from our minds. The intense heat and light it gives out so freely now will dim, and at some future point the star that supported us and our ancestors for countless generations will fade into something else entirely. We know this by observing the other stars in our universe meeting similar fates. It is a natural end, not at all a unique story to tell. Countless things live and die by the same principle; but in the deep darkness that penetrates around these bright burning things, we find it remarkable that we ourselves are affected and aware of this circumstance. In a strange trance brought about by these musings we might come to compare our own mortalities, our lives, to those momentous stars and wonder as to our purpose for being. We walk into those inevitable and ancient questions. Why are we here? What value is there to our lives? What value is there to our living, or the sun‘s burning, or the universe existing? How can we live and die without fully understanding the fundamental purpose of our being, the fundamental purpose of the dying sun?

In attempting to answer these questions I think it is important not to extend beyond the realm of the apparent and observable. To speculate or hypothesize beyond the scope of our mortalities would be self-defeating in this regard. To look for answers in other hypothetical planes, beyond the realm of the observable, of the natural; to be un-grounded or unconcerned with this world and context we inhabit would only paint a truth with our own desires, fantasies, and insecurities reflected. It is apparent that it is the natural that binds us to this realm of being, and so in that understanding we should endeavor to frame the fundamentally apparent axioms of our existence, through the senses and experiences we all share and can recognize in the natural.  Yes, of course there are limits to our perspectives, critical failings in thought, feeling, and sense which garble efforts to understand the world clearly. I do not deny these limits, but embrace them, because in their imperfection they give us a perfect context to grow a common understanding from.

And if we are to grow from this philosophical journey we may still need a suitable construct to frame this journey‘s path of thought. If we are truly seeking to understand the “fundamentals of the dying sun” we should symbolize the effort. With this metaphor in mind I have derived an eight point star, a symbolic compass  most suitable in defining our direction and context; as well as illustrating the analogy which invoked this journey–the comparing our own mortalities to that of a dying sun. In keeping with the symbolic representation we should further use its characteristics to hone our thoughts.

There are an infinite number of directions we might wander but should we make it a disciplined effort to refine eight directions, eight fundamental revelations about the purpose of our existence that are apparent and lead us to deeper thoughts.  We should find our thoughts crystalize around this practical number of axioms to build understanding from. In this way we might also begin our journey knowing it too will end in eight axioms, all based on natural and apparent observations, fundamental to our existence.  In accordance, it is also imperative that we use simple and common place analogies when necessary to elaborate on core principles.  Now we may test this assertions logic. Is this analogy true and apparent?With our philosophic strategy now defined we may begin in hopes of gaining those eight focused insights into our fundamental purpose of our being, into the fundamentals of the dying sun.

Fundamental #1

Why are we here? it is one of life‘s biggest mysteries and most epic philosophical questions. The question is often assumed to be unanswerable, as many great minds and belief systems have endeavored to justify life in terms of many things and experiences. Many lifetimes of adventure and toil have en-graved observations into stone and parchment, rendered explanations into poetic last words and cryptic reasons for the folly of it all; but none seem to ever resonate as universally conclusive. To begin let‘s first be clear about some important assumptions built into the question.

In posing this question, I would argue that we are fundamentally accepting three assumptions: firstly, we are assuming that we “exist”, and we are “real”; secondly, it points to the fact that we are aware of existing; and finally, it begets the inherent assumption that we are here for a purpose. Indeed if we did not exist, if we were not real, and completely unaware and purposeless, the question would be seemingly meaningless to pose. In such a case, where one was inclined to principally disagree with these three assumptions, I would argue that they, in effect, would be conceding that there is no real difference between our awareness and nothingness; however, the majority of us should value our lives enough to see the distinction between nothingness and awareness. Any principled effort forward can only be made, if realizing we are aware, we value being aware in spite of the inherent struggle of living. Valuing our awareness is essential to persisting in it. Consequently, this notion points to four assumptions we must make to continue. Fundamental #1: we exist, we are aware of existence, we value our awareness (experience), and our existence is purposeful.

If you come to realized this, then a second stage of thought would kick in and may lead us to conclude that a long time ago some greater beings or being created us and imbued us with this unknown purpose. In doing so we would be walking down the path that laid the foundation for most religious thought; however, by choosing to speculate on something beyond our apparent means to observe, we would also be creating a series of doubts which may come to undermine our journey‘s promise, to stay within the limits of the natural, apparent, and observable.

In the observable world the consequence for the belief or non-belief of gods or a single god would seem to be negligible. I can pair the idea with any form of practical living and be no worse off for it, as long as I did not take on any detrimental rituals—like human sacrifice; and my culture tolerated my differences. Nonetheless, human kind has walked down this road quite a while, and so this ”something created us” has come to dogmatically answer, overshadow, and ignore that original question of, “Why are we here.” An analogy might shed some insight into the pitfalls of this predicament, and so we might find it useful to make our existence and purpose analogous to a tool on a workbench.

The Apparent Analogy #1: The Tool on the Workbench

In this endeavor I will lead us to an empty room which holds a typical workbench of tools. There I will focus our attention on a small tool on that workbench. Could we state conclusively, in a sure way, “who” specifically put this tool on it, before we walked into the room? We can ponder this question quite a while. I might be the prime suspect of course, but you could never be absolutely sure that I didn‘t have someone else do it. You might ask me outright if I put it there, and although I brought your attention to this place, I will not provide an answer; however, at this point someone else might suggest that he, she, they, some natural process, or even a god placed the tool there or guided it into being there. We might continue to speculate on which belief held more weight, but it is sufficient to say we are not in the position to really know something beyond our apparent means to perceive; in this circumstance we could only speculate, only guess and investigate probabilities and folk knowledge. One of your guesses might be right, or none of them.  Having the right answer to the question or deriving your own might be useful, and allow you to complete this exercise  but in any answer there will be a degree of doubt, experience, and personal conviction that will need to be measured. It is a puzzle that has plagued man for centuries. a mental puzzle where ambiguity over comes us and we are made to cope with irrational belief or narrow paradigms which guide us to limit thought on this manner.  And we should. Realizing this insurmountable ambiguity is insolvable from our limited perspectives, we defer this problem to the religiouly minded and philosphers among us to frett about for a lifetime; while we continue with our practical lives.

But what if we realized we made a mistake in thinking this way? Maybe it‘s an error of thought to be fixated on the “whom created it” when our goal is to understand its purpose for being. Although we may never be able to answer conclusively who or what put this tool on the workbench, we may become enlightened as to why it was put there by being observant of its properties, how it is used, how it‘s not used, what effects it inspires in its environment, and what benefits it garners us.  Fundamentally we can only be assured that it exists and it must exist for some purposes, and we can further assume those purposes are what compels it to be on this workbench. If it is indeed purposeful, its intrinsic value should be apparent in its being used, not in speculating upon who created it or did not create it.

I would argue that the purpose of the tool, its properties, its relations, and usefulness, is what compelled someone or inspired some process to place it on that workbench. In the same way, I would argue, knowing ―what created us should not become more important than fundamentally understanding our inherent purposes and fulfilling those purposes, because if our existence is purposeful, then those purposes compel us to be here and sustain our being here.

Fundamental #2

If we recognize the inherent error of being fixated on the “whom created us,” we find ourselves back at the original supposition, “Why are we here?” Well the most obvious answer to the question is that our parents are responsible, our ancestors. In this we would be right in many respects; their choices did spawn us; however, in a broader sense, our parents did not choose to exist either. So a better question arises, what purpose compels us to be here? I don‘t ever remember asking to exist, or being given a choice whether to be born. So then, what compels me with purpose? I would argue we can render this down conclusively to one very broad actor, Life itself.

I need only ask you to feel the pulsing of our heartbeats to assure you that there is purpose in our lives. Even if we fail to fully value that purpose, we cannot pull ourselves from those primal purposes which constitute us. We can ignore them, take them for granted, but never excise our separation from them without separating the awareness we value. Therefore, we might act and think ourselves purposeless, while in fact we are linked to so many automatic and critical purposes that support us, that even in our purposelessness, we are purposeful.

Life compelled us all to be here, life forms bear us and rear us, many lifecycles and webs of life sustain us on this world; its complex processes nurture us, its adaptations protect us, and continually sustain our forms of existence at any given moment. Unless I do something to harm myself, my heart will continue to beat without my permission, pumping blood through my body, lungs pulling oxygen from the air and depositing it into my bloodstream – both are important parts of this visible container of a vastly complex intricate effort called Life.

The Apparent Analogy #2: The Cup of Water

There are many definitions for life. What it constitutes and what qualifies, but inherently no matter what container I pour water in, it is undoubtedly still water. So too Life and its properties exhibit a similar circumstance. No matter what structure it is made, what form it holds, or cycles of elements it uses to regenerate that form, we know and recognize the inherent qualities and compulsions are similar in all life. The waters of life, and the myriad forms which contain it, are diverse and sometimes radically different, but fundamentally we understand the machinations behind those forms are the same. Although we are biased toward our own form of living we can recognize that the essence of life is formless. The countless manifestations are variations of the same underlying theme that compels us all to be here and connects us. Consequently, this notion points to a second apparent disposition. Fundamental #2: A formless effort of awareness and stored experience called Life compels us to be here,  and provides the context which connects everything (other life and physical existence). 

Fundamental #3

Well thank you, Mr. Obvious, “Mother Nature” made us and connects us but it does not explain the “why”. What is Life‘s purpose then? Why does it do it, why did it bring me here? To dig deeper we will need to elaborate our disposition with another analogy and define two apparent aspects of life that compel us all be here, and its relation to our minds and bodies.

The Apparent Analogy #3: The Goldfish Bowl

Like us, a goldfish may one day come to pose the same questions about its life while living in its watery glass container. In its philosophical anguish, the goldfish may frantically examine every facet of its world for evidence of purpose, exploring its heights and depths, examining itself thoughtfully through the reflections of the glass. After becoming quite knowledgeable, he may even become aware of the possibility of leaving its home, and by using those things afforded to it, flip out of his container; however, upon landing outside it will encounters a grizzly reality.

Without its container to protect it, or water to breathe, the fish languishes, its life slowly dims, its jerks and spasms cease; in these final moments, as the darkness creeps in on it, the fish might realize the gift and the truly remarkable circumstance of its glass bowl. Then a moment passes when all the functions of its life stop and it becomes completely unaware of itself; eventually with time its body will fade into dust. However, I am not one to kill-off our curious friend to make this point, and so I will place the goldfish back into his fish bowl. After a time, he stirs with life again and becomes aware. To us it would seem that the purpose of the glass bowl is to preserve life, to be out of this bowl is to cease to be aware. So too with us it is fundamentally apparent that we cannot separate ourselves from Life‘s functions and cycles without losing awareness. This leads me to a third apparent realization. Fundamental #3: Our self-awareness is preserved and dependent upon life and its patterns of connection.  

Now we may test this assertions logic. Is this analogy true and apparent? Can something be self-aware but not be supported by life‘s functions? Well, if I stop my heart from pumping, can I still be aware? For a time, but soon I will fade into unconscious-ness. If I stop my lungs from breathing oxygen can I still be aware? For a time, but soon I will fade into unconsciousness. What if I cut my arm off? People have been known to lose limbs and still be self-aware and active. It would seem some life functions are more important than others in preserving awareness; but in the case when vital life functions retard or are damaged beyond repair, it is apparent and inevitable that that a life cycles and awareness will cease to be.

Then one might ask, “Can something be alive but not self-aware?” I find myself in this predicament every night I go to bed; long spans of time seem to elapse in non-awareness, but as long as I am connected to life through its processes built into me, as long as those functions persist, I can awaken back into awareness. Again this is a very obvious predicament, but fundamentally it represents the fact that self-awareness is preserved and dependent upon life and its cycles. There can be no separating our awareness from life, without losing that awareness of being.

Ideas and investmeants.

Fundamental #4

Here you may argue an obvious limit of analogy #3. When the goldfish dies, the container no longer preserves life and the analogy becomes empty and irrelevant. In other words, I could say that with my death, life’s purpose becomes empty and irrelevant; and to many it would seem that way: what is the purpose of Life when it all if it all just ends?  Well, this is a valid point.

The Apparent Analogy #4: The Growing Goldfish Bowl

This is where the metaphor breaks down if it is not expanded into time, so we will add another goldfish; and wait a couple weeks and “tada” we have a third goldfish. Wait many more years, and undoubtedly the two original goldfish have died but we should be left with many more goldfish and are going to need a bigger bowl. It seems that a very fundamental part of life is its persistence and growth. That even in death the original goldfish‘s form of life and experience persist through its creative renewal of offspring. Apparently then, the purpose of the goldfish bowl is to preserve and expand upon and renew its self. So too, an apparent purpose of Life seems to be to preserve and expand upon life, upon itself; and for this apparent cause, it has brought us all into being, encouraged diverse forms, and has granted us awareness in this effort.

This persistence and growth is not easy; it can be a very desperate game of survival, full of pain and strife. Our form of life is a testament to this creative desperation; it is apparent when we look into the mirror and see a form with eyes, nose, mouth, ear, hands, feet – all very creative solutions to practical problems of living. Take a step outside and you will see a rather diverse array of plants, animals, people, and insects, all with their own creative niche that sustains their awareness. This is not a perfect process, but it is a process that attempts to become more perfected within its context over time. Some have label this “evolution”, I would deflate the word in favor of the term “ purposeful changes over time”, and emphasis the apparent fact that, in the sometimes desperate effort to exist, life forms will change, adapt, and be forced into diversification of experience in order to survive their surroundings and circumstances.  This diversification of experience and subsequently physical being; may leads us to an apparent fourth realization.  Fundamental #4: The purpose of Life is a creative effort to persist, preserve, and expand upon life (awareness & experience) in diverse forms.

I am more. human hunger for more knowledge, for more life, for more everything.  Its a constant stuggle with our own compusions for growth, and where stagnation occurs adversity is bread. Like the sun we must accept death and control these compuolsions.

Fundamental #5:

In our philosophic journey thus far we have defined the primary compulsions which serve to constitute and compell our awareness.  We have obtained a measure of philosophical consistency in this process of thought in stating plainly the apparent purposes that persist our being. Yet, there is a seemingly self serving paradox in our reasons for existing thus far. We have not defined the apparent reasoning for our existence beyond that of the intrinsic goals of life. Surely, life could not have willed itself into being by its own self serving merits alone; greater orders of magnitude must be at work, which much lend life domain in this context?  A thing cannot will itself into existence. Existence is full of contrasts and imbalances which perpetuate actions and patterns-but a pattern cannot originate itself from nothing?

If indeed Life is a purposeful endeavor, its purpose and value should extended beyond itself and be of consequence to greater orders of magnitude, outside its-self, should it not?  If we assume life is granted domain by this relation to greater orders, we should find a more broader value to life cycles in relation it its environment. If Life plays a role of greater consequence we must further refine its affects and relations to make it apparent. It will become essential for us to revisit analogy #1, the tool on the workbench, and expand upon it to develop a better understanding of the relationship between life and its broader environment.

The Apparent Analogy #5: The Uncaring Workbench

If I am to imagine myself as a craftsman set upon using Life as a tool to leverage a greater end, what broader use could life afford me? In Life we have a formless tool that is good at replicating itself, protecting its self, preserving awareness of itself, repair its-self  change its-self, and recreating its-self, but what use is it beyond its own interest? It seems like a very selfish tool. Why is it on the workbench? What other tools surround it? Well, metaphorically, what does the workbench represent?  To help understand the broader purpose of the tool, we must undoubtedly try to understand the broader purpose of the workbench. What is the purpose of the workbench? What does life leverage on it?

Human kind has given numerous names to this physical medium that surrounds and constitutes life; the vast spans of matter, energy, and seemingly empty space.  Scientists have studied the natural laws of this physical stuff, identifying many of its unique phases and elemental structures, on very small and large scales.  Philosophers have come to label this myriad totality of physical stuff as part of “metaphysical reality”, a big word; a favorite philosopher of mine, Ayn Rand, often called it “objective reality,” and that has always stuck with me because it highlights an apparent observation we are all likely familiar with, that the “objective nature” of reality has no apparent concern for us.

This “physical stuff” around us, which constitute us, is not concerned with, or affected by, moral judgments or the happenings of our lives.  The apparent nature of our existence forces us to realize our relation to this “physical stuff” in very practical and profound ways: the rumbles of our stomachs, the strength of our shelters, the waters that quench our thirst; however, if I had a hammer in my hand it and dropped it on my foot, the hammer and the natural laws governing it, the materials constituting it, would feel no remorse for my foot being injured. The sun sets, regardless of my concern of being blind in darkness, or my want of warmth.  Nearly every one of us has encountered death, personal agony, or suffering while these momentous waves of matter continue to flow and ebb without regard.  For theses vast seas of matter and energy to exist but be unconcerned with our plight, and indifferent to life, even though we are largely supported and connected by them is a disturbing circumstance.  A paradox of mortal risk that persists to this day. This apparent fact, however disturbing, is indicative of the role of life and draws out an important realization.

Although we could speculate on what or who brought the universe about, it’s undeniable that it is bent on balancing itself.  Vast and intricate ladders of contrast in matter and energy pervade all known existence. Galaxies, forces, energies, matter, planetary rotations, and the roots of flowers–every observed natural phenomenon conveys a sense of balance and imbalance. From these two relative states the material world of atoms and energies dance in a remarkably efficient concert, downstream to lower energy levels and stable patterns reckoned at compromise. In this uncaring physical medium which we find ourselves, all energies and matter are organized, sifted, and pressured into countless forms and phases of physical existence to attain balance and imbalance. Every atom wants to get to its lowest energy state. An item in free-fall wants the support of the ground. Every contrast seeks balance or invokes imbalance. This indifference seems to mock the struggle of all life–reminding us of our insignificance in comparison with this overriding purpose. Consequently, this notion points to an apparent fifth disposition. Fundamental #5: Objective reality has no other purpose than to balance and imbalance those contrast which exists in its-self. 

Fundamental #6:

If the broader orders of objective reality consists of a heartless balancing of contrast–what possible benefit could this broader order garner from life? What possible use could an objective reality have for such a construct, for such a tool, on its otherwise uncaring workbench? Well, from us it must derive something important to it, and it is apparent that balancing contrast is important to it is balance, so from us this broader purpose must derive sorts of balance and imbalance it can utilize and leverage?

The Apparent Analogy #6: The Broader Orders of Balance

If we imagine the workbench we will see stars, solar systems, atoms, molecules, and galaxies all essential tools for resolving balance and  imbalance. While these tools are plentiful and vast and useful, there is a rarer tool that can arise and pervade the atomic, molecular, and grow out in diverse forms to engulf whole planetary environments.  We know this tool to be Life; it is apparent, and we find ourselves living this role by our nature. We connect and leverage many contrast and cycles of balance and imbalane in our living and acting.

From the perspective of analogy#5, the uncaring workbench, life can be considered a very fragile but adaptive tool surrounded by a rather large assortment of dangerous power tools.  Plant life, insect life, human life, and sea life all impose natural balances and imbalances upon energies and materials of objective reality in their respective context. We sift, organize, order, bond, and produce new combinations to suit our needs in curious and sometimes creative ways. In as far as life thrives it thrives because it is managing a creative balance or leveraging an imbalance it can grow from.

It is apparent then, that from life the objective nature of reality derives a broad set of creative balances and imbalances which are enhanced by a persisting awareness. All existence consists of balance and imbalance, and life struggles to leverage these balances and imbalances to preserves and expand upon itself in as many forms it can manage. Beyond its adapted circumstance it is very fragile and has some apparent limitations.  Just as we would not use a hammer to leverage a door open, life (in the forms we know of) cannot garner any meaningful effects of balance and imbalance outside the scope of its planetary scale, and the interdependent networks of life, which requires a wide linkage of biodiversity.

It is important to point out here that although life is useful at deriving creative balances it does not mean the objective nature of reality would overly warrant its favor.  Just as a larger tool might chip away at a smaller tool that it encounters on the workbench, life too is susceptible to the great balances and imbalances that arise in the celestial (solar radiations, comets, asteroids) and planetary scales (weather phenomenon, earthquakes). It is apparent that these greater balances and imbalances take precedence over life.  That’s not to say the tool of life could not be re-adapted over time to meet those circumstances better; it just highlights the fact that the workbench draws favor only to that which can affect greater balance and imbalance. In as far as life thrives it thrives because it is creating and managing balances and imbalances it can nurture, sustain, and grow from. This leads us to an apparent sixth realization. Fundamental #6: From Life the objective nature of reality derives rare and creative forms of contrast. From objective reality life derives a leverage context to persist in broader awareness. 

Fundamental #7: 

So we are confronted by realization that our lives have been brought about by the contrast of the universe, and the persistence of awareness in living things.  It might rationally explain our existence, why we feel compelled to breed, to eat, to persist in our lives. But the axioms don’t clearly articulate our purpose in awareness.  If we value our awareness, we are obliged to preserve and expand that which it rest upon life.  Indeed if this purpose is true, we should find ourselves living this axium by nature.  Do we?  Is it a concious effort, a self serving effort, which leverages contact to harness balances and impallances to expand awareness? Yes, it seems apparent it is. But what of the counter inlinations. Life has cycles of imbalance that mirrors the greater order orders of energy and matter.  Self destructive streaks which constrain its growth and diversification.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________-______This is Where the reasoning Starts to Fall Apart.

Fundamental #7: We are obliged, and have an inherent purpose, to expand awareness and encourage the propagation of life in diverse forms to secure its persistence and perseverance admist perpetual adversity.

The Apparent Analogy #7: The Amoral Domian of life

Life is both selfish and unselfish undertaking. Renewl requires many kinds of death. Whats more life formes can be ruthless and alienating in there dominin and leveraging of contrast for awareness.  Further the conuation of life is a strong instinct built into our awarness.  Is life an aoral stuggle that requires sacrifices of many kinds of life.  Life is both a destroyer and creator, devouring and destroying other weaker forms of life(life that leverages weaker contrasts) to preserve itself.

Is life then an amoral act?  Should I feel remorse, or struggle with concience about killing another lifeform to preserve or ehnance my life? From the foundations of this journey we have layed a ground devoid of moral guidance beyong our own self serving interest to know ourselves and our purpose better.  From the start of this journey it has been our prejudicial perspective we wish to explore. Our form of life is dominant, our domain is vast, our variates are many and scattered across the globe in diverse incarnations.  But ours however vast is but a speck in the diverse and lush bounty of life this world holds and which we use to support that domain.  Like the many tools on a workbench, life too has many different variations.  And we are so fragile, might not think of ourselves as dominate, when specias of virses and pathogens have curtailed lives in great numbers.

Morality only exist where there is mortality, the prospect of death and creative rebirth.  Like the varying magnitudes of existence there are varying magnitudes of Life, contrast leveraged which endow greater propigation and preseverances of some life over others. In this way life is ordered and connected.

As contrast shift it may less favor our specias and aid an other thats better leverage contrasts adapted to the circumstances of awarness on this world.  It is life’s diversity that should cherished, because its web supports and maintains the unique circumstace of our enviorments, and draws out an unbrella which isn so many diverse ways leverages contrast in support of the greatest awareness being acheived.  Competion and dysfunction are as plentiful as cooperation and symbiotic cycles of growth in diverse networks in life–thier morality is mute, thier results inspire balances and imbalances which fluxuated awareness more or less. In our selfserving nature to preserve and expand our awareness, we are inherently concouly or incuoosly preserving and expanding the wareness of others forems of life.  But even in our selfish design and amoral behavior we are fufilling atruistic ends that serve the perseverance and proponderance of life.  However should a species domain be too harmful to the perseverance of life and awareness this specias existence will be in jeapordy too.  As the alienation and extinction of supporting networks and compettion of life can bring about an imbalance which will curtail and inibit the dominate species survivial into te futre as well.  These are apparent cycles which can be observed to happen.

Decadence. Self indulgence leads to corruption.   It allows men to become imbalanced, and trade pleasure for rational growth, fairness with others, and justice in thier dealing.

Fundamental #8: 

To fundentally we must be proactive in understanding life its relations, connections, functions, and commpusions.  The knowledge should be aquied in a way respectful to life and awaness and perpetuation in diverse forms.  It should also be respectful if how we use and apply this knowledge as our limited and prejudical perspective may ignorant and not prone to curosity to straking imbalances we can create by apply this knoeledge.  The only cure to this lies in deivestment in the silf and the material world.  If we can seperate our more imbalanced mental and bodily attachments, invoke greater levels of empathy and creative adabitibility we migtht uncover greater efficenies and symiotic resourse contrast and attain effective balances of growth for our species while mainting greater levels of awareness in diverse forms.  The level of investment in the material, and in our own modes of patterns of thought whill need to develop and evolve in higher rates to accomplish this–especially when facing increasigly complex and challeging circustances.  In this realization it is nesseary to apply the principles of the natual world to our modes of thinking.  And it is here that we must embrace death. For its only in letting go of old ways of tinking and acting new ways can develop. .It allows life to renewal and adaptive in change. Allow yourselves to die. Expands awareness. beyond contracta   is

Fundamental #8: To live morally we must cherish and embrace death and  be willing to voluntarily  sacrifice for life’s sake.  We must be willing to voluntary  sacrife ourselves and our investments to contue and renew life??

No this

Tere was a time it was common for a woman to die in child birth.  We must not value our lives more tan our deaths. We must be willing to sacrifice ourselves to see life persist. Every moment we are dying.  Every day we come closer to fading away. In tose moments we can take nothing with us, we fade into ourselves and become forced to embrace the end of life.  All our efforts, accomplishments, ideas, beleifs, persist only in living tings wit mortalities.

Let every notion, that the Sun will thrive forever, die. Let the belief in the Sun’s immortal being fall away from our minds. Let us realize its precious nature is attained by embracing self-destruction. Its character is born of continual sacrifice and self-effacing change. For in this discipline the sun garners continual renewal. And if we are perceptive, in the present moment, we should apply this truth and introduce in ourselves the Dying Sun.

Let the sun continually die in our minds. Know the sun continually dies, and cherish every moment of renewal brought by this death. For in this death burns momentous amounts of matter which radiates for many millions of miles to meet us; bathing us in an energy which in turn renews the earth. Every moment which passes the Sun sacrifices itself, burning off it chaotic plasma swirls–investments of matter boiling for millions of years, searing into wisps of radiant light which fade and flicker away. A momentous and continual death, which once embraced bears a new sun every moment and renders onto us renewal. A rare freedom, the sun will not last forever, nor should it; because its purpose is to burn what it is made of, and eventually collapse in upon itself.  The sun is meant to die.

We must let the sun die in our minds. Imagine every flickering flame wisp away into cold and distant emptiness of space. Be mindful of every moment it serves this nature. Be observant, how it does not wallow in the past, nor hold back its brightness for fear of futures of diming facility. Know the sun rages in continuous writhing change, feeding on the death of every moment before, and surging into every moment thereafter, born anew.

In this realization, highlight the naivety and narrowness of your own thoughts and inclinations. Let all notions and self investments be broken from your mind. Let fleeting moments pass, where you sacrifice your searing thoughts and routine swirls of being. Let them die. Let them die deeply and continually. Let every investment you hold dear, be sacrificed in those moments. Every cherish memory of pain and pleasure, every hope and fear, die. Let even yourself burn away, fade and wander from your mind and body into wisps.

Turn inward and let every aspect of yourself die. Cherish every moment you can keep this state, and embrace that self-sustained death of the self. For in that fleeting moment, you embrace death you are free to change and be renewed. A rare freedom, our lives will not last forever, nor should they; because our purpose is to burn what we are made of, and eventually collapse in upon ourselves. Thhe sun is meant to die. We are meant to die.

Let every notion, that the Sun will thrive forever, die. Let the belief in the Sun’s immortal being fall away from our minds. Let us realize its precious nature is attained by embracing self-destruction. Its character is born of continual sacrifice and self-effacing change. For in this discipline the sun garners continual renewal. And if we are perceptive, in the present moment, we should apply this truth and introduce in ourselves the Dying Sun.

The Apparent Analogy #8: The Sun is meant to die.

new life without sacrifice. There is only one evil wich manifest where there is a lack of self-sacrifice and indulgence in self at the expense of life.  Sould the sun forever burn, and we sould forever live there will be great imbalances wrougt. Where there is no death and no change there can be no renewl.  Where thhere is no renew life decays.  Were there is no new contrasts to leverage or be discovered there is no growth.  In stagnation life eats ways at itself, forcing itself to die.  It is an ending life brings upon itself, for its own sake–the more we figt it the more we extend anguish and taper renewal. Life leverages contrast, when its ability weakens it destroys itself, when it can no longer doo this it dies.  Who ever does not acceppt this is beyond redemption, and will run from the reality of tier purppose. Like a wheel that turns full circles, life is meant to end, to be sacrifeced for greater life. where this challenged greater death will result and less life will be renewed.  We are given a gift and we must give up that gift as freely. dissolution of his individual ego in the Great Sea (remember that opening scene?) becomes an ossified, corrupted entity called a ‘Black Brother’ who can create no new life, and lives on as a sterile, emasculated husk.

Fundamental #1: (I am aware) we exist, we are aware of existence, we value our awareness, and our existence is purposeful.

Fundamental #2: (aware of my connections ) A formless effort of awareness called Life compels us to be here.

 Fundamental #3:( and Investments) Our self-awareness is preserved and dependent upon life and its cycles. Investmeant.  Ideas and patterns. 

Fundamental #4: (I am more than these) The purpose of Life is a creative effort to persist, preserve, and expand upon life (awareness) in diverse forms. I am more. human hunger for more knowledge, for more life, for more everything.

Fundamental #5: (I greater purposes) Objective reality has no other purpose than to leverage (balance and imbalance) those contrast which exists.

Fundamental #6: (I must leverage my connections )From Life the objective nature of reality derives creative forms of contrast to leverage (balance and imbalance) that which exist.

Fundamental #7: (I must let go of my investments) We are obliged, and have an inherent purpose, to expand awareness and encourage the propigation of life in diverse forms to secure its persistence and perseverance admist perpetually changing contrast which exist.

Fundamental #8: (I must alow myself to die) To live morally we must cherish and embrace change for its renewal and adaptive. Allow sacrifice yourselves and our investments. Expands awareness.And fold creative contrasts to the best of life. 


New-Life Naturalism is a form of Naturalistic Pantheism I’m developing emphasizing a holistic perspective relating to Life and its perseverance. The New-Life Naturalist Assembly (NNA) is a group of pantheist thinkers I’ve charged with crafting the fundamental tenants of this philosophic perspective. The philosophy is meant for the coming generations; who will need it to create more profound balances for life to prosper, and be dedicated in its perseverance.

What defines a new-life naturalist is their innate drive to derive balances for life to prosper.  We have organized the first assembly in Grand Rapids MI to draw in naturalist, agnostics, and pantheist to work toward that end; under a unifying obligation, concern, and “belief in life”.  We will elaborate on naturalist stances hopefully leading to a treatise of principles; and culminating in a nonprofit to lobby and apply those principles; a rather ambitious undertaking but possible taken in small steps, with passionate participants.  If you are an agnostic, pantheist, or naturalist with free time to collaborate in this effort, join us.

Philosophical Objectives.

The primal objective of the New Naturalist Assembly is to assemble a simple, straightforward philosophy of ethics and  morality based on  Life, and a “belief in life”.   This philosophy sets up an inclusive context of faith and belief where everyone, religious and non-religious, are welcome and bound with a common concern and obligation to preserve, balance, and nourish life.   Naturalism manifests itself wherever a living being is forced to analyze and assess the natural world and their disposition in relation to the earth and phenomenon surrounding them. Naturalist attitudes often stagnate during in prosperity, and reemerge when sufficient imbalances arise to warrant more critical examinations of reality, it systems, and their underlying natures. It is the need to understand these underlying principles, to understand the world around us and persist effectively on earth.

In the development of a New Naturalism we might highlight the old tenants and further refine them for its growing future roles.  The New Naturalist’s Argument is an argument for the persistence of life, and the prominence of life over ideology and extremes, by developing balances in ourselves and the observable world. The New Naturalist Assembly will unfold and expand upon the core of the old naturalist philosophies while building an inclusive framework dedicate to the preservation and persistence of life.

Reaffirming the Context of Life.

New Naturalism is a philosophical stance drawn from the realization that the context for all  value judgments and  ethical moral standards, be they  philosophical,  ideological, or  religious, must invariably be based on Life.  If a belief or moral system hampers or degrades life to the point where effective progress in living cannot be maintained, its influence in turn will degrade, be modified, or abandoned. Conversely, if a particular practical moral code is abandoned without regard for its effect on life, this too may hamper life’s progress and the code will likely be reestablished.  All the moral systems that survive into the future persist by serving Life. In this realization we recognize that human beings should judge good and bad based on how those acts and belief effect the life they are connected to, as this is the true context, and natural valid check, of all moral or ethical standards.

Without life, all abstract systems of faith and schemes of belief are useless because they have no context to be manifested from. Without a living being to profess and act in line with a moral standard, the moral standard ceases to exist in reality. In other words, if every human on earth died tomorrow the ideas and systems of thought they carry would have no living medium to survive or act from. Ideas and ideologies only matter because Life gives them a context to act from, so the proper value structure begins with Life first and foremost.


What I learned from Taoism.

I was drawn to Taoism partly because of its foreign nature, and mystery that shrouds its flexible tenants; I eventually became a sincere practitioner of its concepts when I began to recognize the substance of its philosophical arguments concerning human nature and the best practice of it. There are so few religious and societal institutions, in the West, that teach or emphasis balance, balanced in mood, balance in sight, balance in mind, balance in striving, balance in ambition, balance in family, balance in life; Taoist writing inject you with a thirst for balance in all things. They warn of the pitfalls of excess, the taking of extreme positions and practices; the over indulgence in the senses that can causes inner turmoil and imbalances that can degrade your life and the life of things you are connected to. It also breaks down many illusions concerning the physical world and the myriad of things surrounding us. It points out the constant cycles of change, in life and death, the inflite and complex mixings of earth and sky and mind. In this it teaches the need to let go to move forward, how small things, small steps, and small efforts sum up over time to do astounding things. It argues for the practical needs of life to seek and choose substance over superficial ideas and beauties; because the Taoist philosophers recognized, and want you to recognize, that only by choosing and filling things with substance, are the efforts of life truly nurtured and sustained.

This philosophy enlightens you upon the many natures of change and growth, and instructs how these things can be divorced from ambition and extremes and still come about naturally in unique, authentic, and surprising ways. The Doa de jing guides readers not by excessive definitions and labeling of virtues and laws to live by, but by encouraging persons to trust their intuition, by pointing out the apparent practical pitfalls, nearly all related to excesses of our lives and how they can work against us if taken too far for too long. The Dao de jing highlights the importance of work and how, under the proper practice of it, we should feel fully consume, and immersed with purpose. All these principles coalesce into a seemingly unformed (formless) yet fully adaptable and encompassing set of guidelines that can serve all human purposes in all endeavors in very important ways. It is here that I point out again the Taoist philosophical emphasis for balance and its strong impression on me as a young adult. Although I didn’t always practice what I learned from it in life, it became a nagging opinion and mindset that I would turn to, often consult, and make decisions from—and it served my life very well when I applied it—so its value became well proven in my own life.

What Globalization Means.

imagesI read Freidman’s book a few months ago. I skimmed most of it but I liked many of his key points.  I think his insights make a good context for starting a conversation but he does a lousy job for feeling out where these trends are leading, and what we should do to make ourselves think more deeply about the ramifications of them.  Nor does he attempt to get at the larger ethical issues of  economic globalization and cultural integration.  I think he misses a larger point by attacking the smaller obvious pieces.

What globalization means is always different for a different region or local—to some it means more work opportunities, for some it means an influx of tourist, others become millionaires because a certain kind a plant, that’s rare on this earth grows so well there and so bad everywhere else..  In essence the contrast of resources and perspectives surrounding the mystique of globalization is pretty brutally customized to locals already.  Freidman overlooked this obvious insight.  Each culture and region is different, the world might be flat, but that doesn’t makes it any less complicated.  And instead of understanding those complications, those perspectives, global communication hasn’t overcome the language barrier or national interest walls, which is stopping the free reign of communication—and instead is allowing communication to be heavily edited by government and leveraged by business interests.  The audacity of human creation and compulsion to connect faster and more freely Is obvious, it’s been obvious since spoken word and the printing press.  The bigger question I hoped he would talk about was more complex. In a world not unified under common law or common culture, how can the first world’s free market flourish, contextualize, and connect fairly with the third world for mutual benefit?

I believe Freidman is smart to walk into the third world (BangaloreIndia) and recognize the large amount of talented labor.  He is also keen to recognize their acceptance and opportunistic attitude toward the computer, software, technology work, and labor intensive manufacturing labor, which they do for seemingly peanuts.  He is right, multinational corporations have led the 3rd world into integrating these countries into the global economy, for better and worse.  But while in India he does not recognize the differences in their law and culture and the trade-offs in values they are making as a country.

We don’t go overseas to invest in a new community, to learn about a new culture or market, we are going there to get something for cheap—I can make my margins by valuing another human’s self-worth a little less than where I live.  Let’s make something C for everyone in country A, but let’s build it in country B, so we can sell C to country A for cheaper.  There has to be a substantive difference between the two to leverage this magic, right? The differences in law, culture, and perspective create something I can leverage to compete better. MBA reasoning at its worst.

Competition is not always to answer.  China bet a lot of its deflated money on competing on price on a global scale.  It devalues its productive labor and values the American currency and innovative insightful thinkers more. Well, when the global economy collapsed (in large part due to those innovative Americans) so did China’s economy— it got hit it harder socially, environmentally, and politically? Large emptied cities appeared, industrial parks abandoned, cities covered in smog so thick you can’t make out a factory burning two blocks away. A more sustainable approach would be to build a brain trust that has innovative insights it can build into products versus just a labor force that can just manufacture innovative products, because the margins are on the side of the former—but they require investments in people and communities over the long term to rear.  Communities can’t be sustained on competition, poisoned air, bad or unsafe working conditions. Freidman never gives fair credence to the long term effects of short terms bets of third world countries. He takes note of the challenges and implications of environmental, and energy consumption  but does not focus on the lack of cultural integrations.  Only long term cooperative environment can leverage the insights and create the well network social fabric to leverage them for effect.

I dislike Freidman’s argument that we should keep updating our work skills.  Let’s keep going to school and retaining ourselves every time the market crashes?  It’s getting old.  People want to be affirmed in their work, respected, they want stability; they want their work to align with tier dreams and ambitions for themselves, their families, their communities.  Most outsourced corporate work sucks; the individual is usually lost and institutionalized for the sake of the task.  People love work when it actualizes them in their local communities.  Scientists, engineers, and mathematicians only exist because communities invest in their education, give them a stable job, and inspire them with challenges to experiment with.  When inspiration and experiment is outsourced or long term investments in education are cut — less scientist are generated.

I liked his insight that companies are becoming more flexible with tier value propositions, looking to serve customers in more custom ways when it’s mutually beneficial.  That is a great concept. But Individuals not aligned closely with industry (resources, problems, and networks) are at a disadvantage to fostering insights for far reaching effect–because when not directly connected to industry there is often a lesser preponderance of drivers beyond “persistent curiosity” to compel humans into new perspectives–and align them towards the right resources, problems, and networks for effect. Even a Genius Vision needs to work within the context of real-time industrial practices, business interest—or create his own—and have some segment of customers engaged simultaneously to have great orders of effect. If we outsource a component of this network, we are in effect stifling innovation. In America, wholistic development is becoming harder and harder because you are separating the makers from the thinkers. It cuts cost and liabilities, but over times it also devalues communities and the potential of innovation.

Charon Kransen Professional Practices Seminar at Kendall College of Art and Design.

charon-kransenCharon Kransen held a two day seminar last weekend (Feb 2nd & 3rd) at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids MI. His “master class is based on the concept of encouraging jewelry artists to work from their unique talent instead of relying on the more common route of commercial work that is often dictated by main-stream demand/taste. This involves insight in the often psychological and emotional barriers we consciously or unconsciously have put up within ourselves.”

I personally participated and enjoyed the seminar.  I gained a deeper understanding of myself, my motivations as a designer, and left with a greater understanding of innovation. I was very impressed his seminar and facilitation. Here were some of the themes of the workshop.

Dream out-loud exercise:

Becoming familiar with your own unique voice, coming to terms with your own artistic rhythm, and develop integrity as an artist or designer is difficult. There are many impediments to gaining the clarity necessary. To gain this clarity, develop professional confidence, and self-affirming professional networks; you must understand yourself, be in tuned with your feelings, and at a deep level know why you are doing what you are doing. Understand why you are drawn to the things you are drawn too. Can you leave your comfort zone and begin an honest conversation about yourself and career goals? Are you willing to listen to yourself, think deeply about what makes you happy, and really reflect upon the direction of your work?


(1) Can you verbalize your dream? Express your dream out-loud. Say it in your own words (don’t read from a script), try not to tell a story, exaggerate what you are passionate about so in can invoke feeling in yourself—and others can see it. Repeat exercises until you are comfortable expressing your dream.

Seminar Notes:

Try to always be in touch with your dreams. It’s why you get up. Dreams are meant to inspire you, nourish you, give you enthusiasm, and hope in living. You need to be in touch with your dreams. Allow the emotion and longing that the dream inspires to bubble up to the surface. Invoke those feelings in yourself and don’t be afraid to show it to others. Others will be inspired and attracted to you. Invoke feeling in yourself and it will invoke feeling in others. Allow others to see and react to the feeling your dreams inspire in you. Others recognize them in you, and they can become attracted to you because of them. The further you are removed from your dream the less attractive you will seem to be to them. It will make you authentic, unconscious salesmen of a personal vision.


(2) Are you living your dream? Be specific about what satisfaction or dissatisfaction you have. Where you think you should be, what you think you should have.

Seminar Notes:

Know your threshold, where you want to be, and do what feels right. Where will you draw the line in terms of how you value your skill and self-worth? You must develop a sense of your limits, what you are willing and unwilling to do. You must have the Integrity within yourself to draw a line, a threshold where you will not sacrifice, undervalue, or degrade yourself. Be in sync with your rhythm and what feels right to you. If there is a disconnect, if what your doing doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. This does not mean you become a starving artist, belly empty with your idealism. Doing a stupid job on the side is ok, if it gives you the freedom or opportunity to make what you want to make. Doing what feels right is not always easy. Stay connected to your work and your passions. Never give up on what makes you happy. Never give up on your dream.

Leave your comfort zone to overcome stagnation and refine your unique perspective.
In comparing yourself to others you will inevitable encounter dissatisfaction; feelings of despair, envy, of being stuck, not growing, and stagnating professionally. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s ok to be inspired by others; it’s counter-productive and degrading to compete with others. You should be more concerned with growing and developing your own unique vision. Instead of focusing on copying others you have to leave your comfort zone, conduct deep investigations, experiments, do hard things, take risks, and flex unused muscles.
Constantly leave your comfort zone to refine your unique insight. It’s the best measure of ensuring growth, and the best benchmark for setting a bar to challenging yourself.

(3) What are some of the voices you hear (in your mind) which are keeping you from living your dream? Where do they come from; family, friends, grandparents, co-workers, culture, environment?

Seminar Notes:

Become aware of all those external voices and mentalities that come from your environment and settle in your mind. It is important to be aware of those voices, know where they come from, and understand their effect on your work and life. It’s important to identify and control these voices, or they will unconsciously control/influence you. You must be committed to hearing them, and being aware of them when they surface. They affect the work you are and are not doing. The stronger theses negative voices are in your life the more they dampen your dream. These voices have written scripts for you, stereotyped you into a role to follow. They keep you from writing your own script.

These voices are only going to go away when you acknowledge them and understand where they come from. Voices that are blocking you from growing and responding to opportunity; your parents expectations or a mentors lack of guidance; feelings of being lost, unworthy, not able to prioritize what’s important. Look into yourself and label these things in the inside and try to identify where they come from. Try to understand how these voices are sabotaging you. Why these contrasting values clash within you.


(4) Establish your own affirmations. Voices you didn’t get that you wish you would have gotten from your parents, mentors, and role models? Voice affirmations that you would have liked to hear. Speak them to yourself.

Seminar Notes:

Establish your own voices that affirm who you are and give you what you need. Breaking old ways of thinking, and overcoming things holding you back from living your dream, requires that you are affirmed as a person—if you can’t gain this affirmation from others you must give it to yourself. Love is not meant to be painful or devastating, it’s not meant to hurt, disadvantage you, or separate you from yourself—but in dysfunctional relationships/environments it can. You must learn to find the affirmations you need, and me mindful and remove/ignore those relationships and mentalities that drain you or dampen your spirit. It’s never too late to establish you own voices and affirmations to nourish yourself.

You must leave environments and break ties with people who are not building you up and affirming who you are as a person. There must be equality and integrity in the trade between people. Doing what feels right (a gut instinct) often means that trade is building up your self-worth and affirming who you are as a person. Situations where you are feeling undervalued, underappreciated, and if feels like you are prostituting yourself usually gives you that gut instinct that something is wrong. It’s important to know and being aware of that threshold where you are losing yourself, where your artistic integrity is being compromised, and your self-worth is neither being improved or who you are as a person being affirmed, is important. Do what you feel is right, what you feel you have to do. Trust yourself and learn how to remove yourself from dysfunctional relationships. If you do not act on those instincts it will quickly dampen your enthusiasm for your work and possibly even turn your dreams into a nightmare.


(5) What is the unique perspective you wish to communicate through your work? What is it in your work that you want to convey? What do you want people to get out of your work? What part of yourself do you wish to show through your work? How does your work medium help you channel this perspective?

Seminar Notes:

The relationship between the external world and your inner self is like a self-reflecting mirror. The external and internal struggles you encounter in life are reflecting back and forth within you, outside you, and in your work. Your work, your, art, your designs, your medium of expression are a way of coping with that tension. They help us work through those changes, that challenge, and we grow and develop unique perspectives through that effort. It affects why we make, how we make it, and what we project into the world.

There is value in becoming familiar with your own voice and expressing that unique perspective you have. The radical accumulation and application of insight, perspectives, and self-awareness is where innovation comes from. It’s that genuineness of perspective that invokes the world to see things anew. Innovation requires developing a unique perspective; it requires challenge, being honest about the realities, and leveraging the constraints which confront you. It is only by expressing that unique perspective and infusing that into your work, that you are nourished and pushing forward the larger world around you. You can express these unique perspectives through any medium; and any process, material, or technique related to that medium, will need to serve and grows out of your voice. There is high value in exclusivity; a unique perspective can inspire unique products and services with high margins.

It is not an easy process; it requires deep thought, effort, and time to work through. It’s important to become in-tune with your own strengths, artistic rhythm, follow your intuitions, and instinct. Give your self-time to sit, think deeply, and express yourself through a medium. Let it happen naturally, create the space and time to do it—without deadlines and pressures. It means putting yourself in it, your emotion, your intellect, your drive, your passion. Accessing those unique perspectives, and allowing you to connect with what you are doing in a deeper way.

Something of yourself has to surface in your work. Quality and nature of your innovation and how you communicate it will largely depend upon how in tuned you are with yourself. To move beyond mediocre work you must infuse your individual excellence into your work. It’s important to infuse your work with your dreams, feelings, and passions—it will allow your voice to develop and grow. What of you is in your work? What do you want people to get out of your work? What is it that you want to convey? It is the gift of the artist to share what is in his or her mind, to communicate their unique perspective. Show that part of yourself that needs to get smarter. Show that part of yourself you wish to touch in others. People are looking to be touched by it, and it’s easy to spot when it’s not there. It’s supposed to always be there. The problems we choose to focus on and communicate a medium can quite often become a reality, or cause unintended realities to arise. When allow apart of yourself to surface in your people can’t help but be attracted to it, “Wow this person has something.”

Don’t believe having genius and vision is a rare capacity or special circumstance. Genius and vision—like the capacity for design, expression, and creative thought—are commonly expressed in human nature; they’re just not always developed to a radical degree. Experiments and attempts in innovative thought are not always recognized, appreciated, or have great effect–but that does not minimize the special importance of the compulsion in human endeavors. Those who we term “Geniuses” are just people who have developed the clarity and discipline to persistently pursue a line of intensive investigation, organized their insights into a rough framework of understanding, and being inspired by this knowledge develop a creative visions to apply it for effect. To some extent, either consciously or unconsciously they have learned to control that process and guide an inner compulsion. More often than not, that compulsion is encouraged by a unique inner drive, a desperate need, a dire circumstance, persistent curiosity, a random convergence of thought, or dissatisfaction. These inner and external drivers spurn people toward these investigations with the required rigor of intensity or frequency, to encounter a new perspective capable of great effect.

When you gain clarity others will see you more clearly, and align themselves properly with you ambitions. Although much of life is unplanned, if you hold on to this inner clarity it is easier for others to see it in you and align themselves accordingly. When this occurring wait and be patient, jobs will come to you. You should not have to fight for it or compromise your integrity for an opportunity. Opportunities should appear organically and with intrinsic integrity. Allow your customers who value you to be drawn to you and your work. Wait and be patient for the right customers and clients. You can develop ideal situations from the people you choose. Be selective and move toward those people you align with. Seek sponsorship, network through specialized groups, and customer interests (new clientele) who seem to align with your own dreams and ambitions. Seek out representatives or individuals conducting industrial experiments, labs, customers or stakeholders with interest similar to yours. Does the infrastructure and network in your environment support you? Is it conducive to your growth and where you want to go; if not, those groups are not the ones you should be aligned with.

Human Centered Design: Framing Challenges and Possible Marketing Solutions.

Objective: Devised some marketing ideas, insights, and apparent assumptions which may greatly improve marketability, scalability, and participation in HCD workshops.

Motivations: I value HDC workshops and the service they provide to non-professionally creative workforce. I have participated in a number of HCD workshops from many different organizations. I’ve even paid for a number of them out of pocket. Each had its own applied learning style, framework, and workshop goals. I believe it’s important for these workshops to persist because of the value of the conversations they inspire, skillsets they impart, and new insights and connections they generate.

I have given a lot of critical thought to these workshops (financial sustainability, community engagement, and marketing) challenges.  Every so often new conversations I have make me reevaluate and reframe my understanding of those challenges. I share these insights to aid in the increase the preponderance and quality of these workshops, gain more feedback, and refine my understanding of their effects on cultural psychology.

In this effort, I have devised some marketing ideas, insights, and apparent assumptions which may greatly improve marketability, scalability, and participation in HCD workshops. I’ve organized this understanding under 5 key insights with explanation with assumptions and justifications supporting them. I share them freely in hopes they inspire further research and thought into the subject.

Synopsis: I have organized 5 key insights. (1) Social mobility and prestige may be the core cultural motivations which could assist in HCD workshop scalability and adoption. (2) The symbolic marketing themes of “renewal and new sight” may be best suited for quickly conveying the value of HDC workshops.  (3) Industry Specific HCD workshops may create better revenues, participation, and sponsorship viability. (4) The problem of Price Points for HCD workshops may be overcome by connecting diverse target markets groups in networks of mutual benefit. (5) Effectively applying the design science of HCD tools and methods should be the main priority of the workshop instruction, taking precedence before the central topic and overarching sponsorship goals of the workshop.

(1)  Social mobility and prestige may be the core cultural motivations which could assist in HCD workshop scalability and adoption.

  1. Playing the cards of customers “gaining social mobility through connections that could be made” and speakers “gaining prestige and exposure through limited speaking engagements”, is your best bet for attaining scalability. It is imperative that the speakers be local to rein in costs and provide regional relevance to the workshop conversations.

i.    Customers: Sell the workshop as a tool for networking and getting to meet local Industry leaders and experts answer questions, and discuss their industry or field candidly (honestly without filters).

ii.    Speakers: Ask local industry experts to come to your workshops for an hour, not to watch but speak during the workshop, answer questions, imparting their knowledge and perspective to the workshop discussion. Honor them in some way (money, gift basket, speaker’s award) highlight their expertise (so they gain prestige) in your marketing material.

Secondary Supporting Research: Successful application of principle Examples: Ted Talks, Industry Associations, Speaking Events, Conferences.   

(2)  The symbolic marketing themes of “renewal and new sight” may be best suited for quickly conveying the value of HDC workshops.

  1. Ingrained in their long history in a given industry, a customer’s experience hardens their ability to see new opportunities. It’s often hard to exactly describe the benefits of these types of workshops in practical terms to them quickly. The simplest description and most potent ancient symbolism revolve around renewal and new sight.   Sell the workshop as an investment (in learning a new set of tools) which helps people see the world anew, shaking up their brain to see new connections and opportunities.
  2. I would suggest developing a short video overview of your workshop to engage the person’s senses better about the experience using this “Refreshes the mind” theme.

Secondary Supporting Research: More to follow.

(3)  Industry Specific HCD workshops may create better revenues, participation, and sponsorship viability.

  1. The value proposition and content of the workshop needs to be tailored to a specific industry to be compelling to specific classes of corporate executives, managers, and business interest groups (sponsors).
  2. They may not regard HCD as having relevance to their industry if it’s not explicitly stating why this workshop is important to their current Industry challenges and standing. Generic Design, all inclusive workshops cannot target specific market segments effectively or quantify effectiveness per industry. The adoption of HCD and rates of innovation in a given industry may be correlated if a conscious effort toward segmentation is pursued.
  3. Each Industry (Healthcare, Engineering, Manufacturing, Education, Church administration, etc.) has its own yearly cycles (of intense work). It may be more viable to plan HCD industry workshops to fit these industry specific business cycles relaxed times.
  4. Quantifying potential participants may be practical and easier to estimate and market to regionally if you utilize specific HCD workshop industry themes.  By sending out flyers and emails to specific companies in particular industries, you could actually rate your marketing effectiveness for specific industries, and create more targeted and grounded attendance projections which you could base yearly revenue and cost projections.
  5.  The staying power of HDC workshops is weak, they become one-off workshops, once or a year events, instead of long term cultural engagements with communities and cultures. By breaking up your efforts into a number of specific industries specific workshops, HCD workshops contact with communities could be extended, having dozens of distinct industry specific HCD workshops a year.

Secondary Supporting Research: More to follow.

(4)  The problem of Price Points for HCD workshops may be overcome by connecting diverse target markets groups in networks of mutual benefit.

  1. I have found a good number of them HCD workshops try not to distinguish between the corporate, non-profit, and the entrepreneurial cultures–in an attempt to cater as broadly as possible. But each of these cultures has significantly different mentalities, motivations, insights, and price points. So it is a struggling point when marketing these types of workshop and devising financial models to sustain their occurrence. And because they are often weighed more toward corporate price points they often cut out a large segment of the potential audience and market.
  1. I believe in order to engage the west Michigan community (beyond the corporate world) more effectively you need to tailor your pricing to cater more broadly. The key may be to leverage these groups for creative mutual benefits. You may have different tiers of workshops motivations and benefits which can be leverage between stakeholder groups.
  1. The key to low cost public events is sponsorship from corporate interests and public institutions.  In this effort HCD workshop elements could be design to overtly elicit similar deliverables of a focus group of a typical market research study at lower cost and expense to sponsorship companies—while giving workshops participants a central theme to practice the new HCD toolsets and methods. This could spark greater sponsorship revenues and subsidize workshop cost for broader audiences, while still making a profit.
  1. In essence you could design a workshop that in it is in tandem conducting market research for a company, using keenly enthused customers working through the human centered design process, toolsets, and even paying a nominal subsidized fee for the privilege.  If a company could elicit complex creative feedback and focused insights from a group of participant customers, with authentic perspectives, whose training  in HCD process toolsets makes them keener at communicating their thoughts it could be compelling two sided service solution. This business model may be interesting to explore further.

Secondary Supporting Research: More to follow.

(5)  Effectively applying HCD tools and methods should be of primary concern in workshop Instruction, even beyond the central topic and overarching sponsorship goals of the workshop.

  1. a.    There is a lateral organization of principles, a range of design methods and analytically divergent and convergent tools for navigating the Human centered design process.  HCD principles should not be merely stated and memorized as the main strategy for adoption, the main but learned through the applied process of the HCD tools.
  2. b.    A workshop’s diversity aids in idea generation, and compelling conversations, if participants are already familiar and comfortable with the design tools and processes. Diversity may actually hinder initial adoption of a new cultural behavior in the initial learning of HDC workshop tools.
  3. c.    Having some sort of physical reference takeaway from a HCD workshop is essential.


Secondary Supporting Research: More to follow.

(6)  Conclusion:

  1. Confines of Brief: These are my personal thoughts and ideas, mainly acquired through personal experience and conversations with friends and acquaintances.  I have largely left out more hard secondary facts and data to support my insights at this time, so I can further flesh out their meaning intuitively before substantiating with real world evidence.  This is not meant to be definitive outline but a draft of well thought out concepts spelling out creative ways to frame an ongoing set of problems related to HCD marketability. Practical action plans related to these insights need also be defined further as well.


Emotive 1_BrentASaulic

Comportus by Brent Saulic


When you buy a laptop computer it’s ALL or NOTHING value proposition. It’s hard to upgrade, costly to replace, on average only lasts 2 years! It’s beyond the capabilities of a typical consumer to upgrade and modify. So we end up buying a whole new computer! Why not make a more flexible, modular-portable computer framework? A portable modular computer, which has easily upgradable hardware and detachable wireless HDMI touch display.

I know this doesn’t fit the typical quirky product convention–as it is very technical. However, I think it would be worth ten bucks to get some feedback on the idea–from this ocean of inventors and designers. I want to look at the statistics from the quirky community to see if certain segments understand the value proposition.

If you like the idea you can also vote for it on http://startgarden.com/ideas/detail/comportus. I’m trying to get some research money for it. You can also see a 3d animation of the design at the end of a video I made https://vimeo.com/41188075.


Comportus is a portable modular computer, which has easily customizable hardware, with the ability to stack and share components, and a detachable wireless HDMI display, that can be separated from the main hardware, and connect to other devices via wireless HDMI.

Describe the nearest player in your field.
The current market is split across the fields of modularity and portability. Computer manufactures are forcing consumers to make a choice between the two, this is a false choice made at the consumers expense. We must break the monopoly of big computer manufacturer’s “motherboard integrations”.

(1) This framework gives the consumer more flexibility and customization to fit their needs and budgets. I can buy the mix of modules, hardware I need, instead of buying them prepackaged. If one of the hardware parts fail I can replace it myself–no costly tech support.

(2) May greatly enhance the sustainability and longevity of laptop computers, beyond the conventional 2 years.

(3)The consumer can easily interchange the hardware components. Plug and play motherboard, graphics card, processor, hard-drive, display.

How’s the world different with your idea in it?
We can design a modular-portable computer; a stepping stone for cloud computing, by starting on the consumer level with “modular” laptops. We can learn to carry around our detachable displays through different computing cloud environments to share resources in school and work mainframes.


I’ve done some extensive research and created an opportunity map to make my point–it basically creates a new market.


  • This computer framework gives the consumer more flexibility and customization to fit their needs and budgets.
  • May greatly enhance the sustainability and longevity of laptop computers, beyond the conventional 2 years.
  • The consumer can easily interchange the hardware components. Plug and play motherboard, graphics card, processor, hard-drive, display.


Computers with Ultra-Modular up-gradable hardware and detachable wireless HDMI touch display.

We need to give consumers the ability to easily upgrade their own computers from Ultra-Modular standardized components. Computers are getting ever smaller and more integrated. However, when you buy a laptop computer it’s often not a very sustainable value proposition. It’s beyond the capabilities of a typical consumer to upgrade and modify. So we end up buying a whole new computer every time one component breaks or some aspect becomes antiquated! We need a retofitable, interchangeable, while still portable, computer framework.

Longer Presentation: https://vimeo.com/41188075′

Describe the nearest player in your field.

The current computer market is split across the fields of modularity and portability. The more portable, the more integrated the components (iPad, ultra-books); the more modular the more bulky and stationary the components(Mac desktop, Dell desktops, HP desktops.)

How are you different from that player?

Ultra-Modular computers could inspire more diversity in interchangeable components, competition which could drive more flexible (lower cost)value propositions for consumers. The focus shifts the computer paradigm from integration to interchangeability and system personalization.

How’s the world different with your idea in it?

A person would use their displays to connects to hardware surrounding them. This could also be a stepping stone for local cloud computing networks, using portable wireless HDMI touch displays to interact with modular hardware integrated into the environment or working areas.

I believe Michigan should get into on the computer industry, to diversify our economy better.  I believe this Ultra-Modular, interchangeable component strategy, might be the best opportunity to create a new market for us to get a foothold into the Industry .