I had this brilliant idea to write about Lanza’s Biocentrism theories, tackle his ideas regarding time, discuss the withering criticisms he has received, and make some grand statement regarding my beliefs . . . and after a quick search, I realized that I had written about ALL of that before; in May of 2012, to be exact. That sent shivers up my spine, thinking that maybe I have officially run out of new things to say or novel avenues to explore. After all, I’ve stated more than once that after my big ‘direct experience’ illuminations, there’s not much left to say. However, I have at least another 43 years on the planet, so the spiritual search can’t truly be over. I have to give this another shot. 

I still disagree that the moon isn’t there if no conscious observer is viewing it. Lanza seems to believe that all of material reality is created by us. Did he ever address the fact that quantum experiments have demonstrated that no conscious observer is necessary to collapse a wave function? On the other hand, his critics fiercely attack the very idea of consciousness not arising from brain functions, and make equally radical statements regarding promissory materialism (one day, we’ll explain everything, including the hard problem of consciousness). If you want to sound smugly superior to Lanza, Chopra, or anyone with whom you disagree about the nature of consciousness, just employ the term ‘woo’ to describe your rival’s theories, and you will magically appear logical, scientific, super smart, and way too sophisticated to be taken in by crazy, New Age crap like disappearing moons. But I digress. 

As a language teacher, I often wonder about critics who turn nasty. I think the venom and insults come from a place of fear and misunderstanding. When one’s world view is challenged or threatened, we generally result to a defensive posture. Lanza and Chopra place consciousness in a primary position and equate humans to God, in some respects; that detonates insecurity and outrage, resulting in linguistic smack downs on the part of the existentially aggrieved. However, the real problem is that we don’t know what we’re talking about when we use terms like ‘consciousness’ and ‘awareness’. Words are referents, of course, but sometimes the concept we are referring to is so nebulous as to defy consensual definitions. We rely on a community of peers to validate reality, which is another way of saying that we rely on said community to agree on what words mean, what they ‘refer’ to; we all struggle with what ‘consciousness’ points to, how it’s experienced, and what could possibly ‘produce’ it. In addition, we assume that only one form of this nebulous concept is valid, i.e., ‘normal, waking, consensus consciousness’. We assume that one state of consciousness can give us all accurate and substantially similar versions of what we experience ‘out there’ in the world, and that we can accurately communicate that reality to each other and assume that we all agree, mostly, on what’s observed. 

We define reality itself based on a linguistic agreement that our words refer to the same phenomena out there in the observable world. Where we find consensus, we discover what is real and quantifyable; but, all we have done is discover that we agree on the proper language with which to discuss and analyze what we experience. It can never be anything but an approximation, an inexact description of what we perceive. We confuse our translation of experience into language for reality itself. In other words, you and I agree on descriptors for a rose bush, and our five senses appear to be giving us the same feedback (again, based on communications between us), so we assume that the rosebush is ‘out there’ and real, because we can compare notes, talk about it, bleed from the prick of the thorns, inhale a lovely fragrance, and so on. Our common culture understands the experience of the rosebush a certain way; we name things according to our language and our shared use of that language, and therefore that rosebush is materially real, because we have enough consensus to declare it thus. 

But let’s say that I dreamt of a rosebush, and in that dream, the roses have emotional and symbolic content that is later explained by a Jungian therapist and disciple of Freud. Suddenly, the rosebush becomes the expression of blooming sexuality fraught with the dangers of unbridled desires (thorns). Does my dream rosebush exist? It does for me and the representatives of psychoanalysis; there is a community of professionals out there who can interpret the rosebush that I experienced in an altered state of consciousness. But, you might argue, that rosebush is a product of my mind; I am the only one who experienced it in that particular way. But what of all the people who have rosebush dreams? There are more than just a few of us. Is our dream flower unreal? Materialism requires a consensus and real, physical effects; but what if several of us who have dreamt of roses were all deeply affected by the experience and were healed of deep, emotional scars resulting from sexual repression? 

Could it be that all rosebushes, no matter where or how we run into them, are products of the mind? We privilege waking consciousness as the only state of mind that can provide information on the ‘real’ world. Imagine for a moment that you and five of your friends ate a few grams of ‘magic’ mushrooms and were told to observe a rosebush. In an hour or so, you would all be gathering data on that rosebush that would be unavailable to those operating in ordinary consciousness. Does that mean that there is far more to a rosebush than our ‘normal’ awareness is capable of perceiving? If those flowers become infinitely more complex and expanded, then which version of the rosebush is the ‘true’ one? Are we seeing the ‘real’ rosebush when our consciousness allows enlarged perception, or when we’re dreaming? Or, as the materialists would argue, is the rosebush only as real as our consciousness is ‘normal’ and our community is in agreement? What if all of the psychedelic observers notice similar phenomena affecting the presentation of the rosebush? Does that mean the rosebush is something other than what we perceive it to be after the psychedelic effect has faded? Does a fly see the same rosebush? A dog? A squirrel? A praying mantis? Of course not. Yet whatever they see is not included in ‘reality,’ because reality can only be defined by sober, sane, culturally homogenous human adults who speak a common language and share common assumptions. 

The more one considers ‘reality,’ the more it seems clear that the outside world clearly exists outside of us, but is a product of interpretation and consensus. The fact that material reality APPEARS stable and consistent (I know that the same drinking glass I used last night will still be sitting on the counter in the morning) and is subject to entropy in predictable ways (I know what kind of mold is going to grow on the cheese I left in the fridge, and I know approximately when it’s going to start creeping across the edges), makes reality testing fairly simple for the sane, sober, adult, human participating in the Western scientific paradigm. We are so good at reality interpretation that we almost never have to wonder if the sun is going to come up or if the cat will barf on the rug. These things are bound to happen; reality is predictable. 

Ah, but not always. Reality can crack and bend and warp in many, many, ways. I have written extensively on how what we assume is real melts away or transforms into something that does not follow the rules. In the end, the world is a collaboration. There is something out there, clearly; we can call it a rosebush or a moon, but there is a reality that swarms around us in constant interplay with our brains and spirits. It’s a creative vortex of information that we organize and label for our convenience. There may never be a single rosebush out there, but rather a multilayered one shimmering in and out of multiple dimensions and imagined and reimagined by all the creatures who ‘see’ it. And while the thorns prick our fingers and make us bleed, to the aphid it’s just another mountain to climb on the way to the paradise of nectar that awaits in a few hours’ travel–not that time means anything to an aphid. 

I do realize that I strayed far from Deepak Chopra and Robert Lanza, but only in appearance. I like to think that this would make perfect sense to them, and that I have summarized at least a small portion of what they’ve been saying all along. As to what I ‘believe’, well, everything is a collaboration and a creation. I appreciate the fact that the world appears predictable and solid and that I know what’s on T.V. tonight. I also know that it takes very little for that illusion to break down and fall apart, only to reconstitute itself in the next moment. I am happy that it appears time exists, so that I can make plans, dream of the future, review the past, and watch us all move into new ages and adventures. I need the appearance of space and time and objects and events and things and cats and people, and I would not give all that up for anything in the world. Except that I will give it up, just like every, single, living creature on this planet. Death will strip away all the illusions for us and hurl us back into a place where we will have to awaken completely from the material realities that consume us. Will we miss the rosebush? 

Or will we, like the aphid, have an entirely new reality to explore, forever cradled in the softness of the petals and the intoxicating scent of what might be eternity?

I had an anxiety attack today that made my hands shake so hard that I couldn’t hold a chip. It went on for quite a long time. Sitting there in Mission Burrito, I texted a friend, tried to breathe slowly, and finally started naming things I saw around me. “Table, television, fork, person eating a burrito, floor, booths.” Then, I focused on the other senses: the tang of salsa, the sounds of a busy restaurant, the smell of chip grease and hot beans; lastly, how it felt to touch the table, the feel of vinyl under my fingertips, and the cool metal of the fork. Bit by bit, reality returned from wherever I had banished it, and I was able to drive home and continue my day in relative peace. 

I haven’t meditated in a long time. If you have anxiety, then you know that you have to have a spiritual practice of some sort, whether it’s walking, praying, meditating, gardening, writing, composing music, or any activity that takes you out of your crazy thoughts and places you firmly in the present moment. Anxiety sucks your soul and spirit into a liminal, non-existent space: the future. At some point, you notice that you’ve lost part of your consciousness, that you’re not fully in the moment or occupying your current reality; fear takes you to the Land of the Lost, to invented lands ruled by fantasy scenarios. Anxiety creates dystopias and horror-scapes that DO NOT EXIST. Once you are in that place that isn’t a place, the panic starts. 

So I meditated. At first, it was quite difficult. My mind raced, my thoughts were scattered, and I couldn’t find my spirit companions. There were no visions, no cool, morphing colors, no pretty experiences; just a quiet exchange with the Voice, who might be God, my spirit guide, my subconscious mind, my Higher Self, or some combination of all of that. As the reader, you will erase what you don’t believe in and choose what you do, so I leave that up to you. For me, this is the voice of God–or at least, it was today. So what does God have to say to the overly-anxious? 

It was an odd message that I had not considered before. Anxiety is the result of not committing fully to your life. Your life is, after all, what’s happening in the present moment. Your life is also a set up circumstances that you’ve set up in part, with a good deal of randomness thrown in and the luck of the draw. There may be some karma involved as you work out the various Universal Issues that you’re dragging around from all the other lives you’ve experienced. In any case, your life can only be experienced and understood from the present moment perspective. Anything you think or analyze about your life is happening now. What happens when anxiety swoops in and hijacks your brain? You stop living in the present moment and start conjecturing, worrying, and spinning out fearful scenarios that by definition haven’t happened. A scenario is always about the future. As soon as you are no longer living right now, something is lost. That something is your connection to the Divine, to spirit, to God: for God is not found in hypothetical spaces, but in the strength of your connection to the present moment. 

It’s a hoary old chestnut, but it happens to be true: depression is rumination on past events, and anxiety is fearful projection into the future. When you are living in those imaginary spaces, you are in what I conceive to be purgatory. Purgatory is paralysis and inaction, a space where you hide from present moment communion with God and your true self. It’s the waiting room where you attempt to evade divine connection in favor of a wrong-headed notion of personal safety. The present moment connection to God can be overwhelming to the scared soul, so the waiting room feels safe; you don’t have to open up, connect, accept change and death; you can just hang out there, pretending that you’re invisible and not subject to the terrifying forces of transformation that push you relentlessly forward into the present. Change and death cannot be avoided, but the anxious and depressed mind seeks to manipulate reality so that it appears to be elsewhere. Nothing to see here, folks, move on. Anxiety is an attempt to run away from your reality and the Ultimate Reality that infuses it. To flee the present moment is to attempt to hide from the truth, and the truth is always cosmic and universal. Anxiety seeks to reduce the cosmic to manageable proportions, to make everything small and distant. It never works. 

 Once you realize that you can’t mentally project yourself into imaginary spaces, you have to come back into present moment awareness. Once you’re back in your body and in the moment, you have to face your emotions and everything you’re running from. Pain exists in the present moment, of that there’s no doubt. Projection into the past or the future might seem like a good strategy to avoid the painful emotions of your current reality, but again, it never works. All you do is add the additional torture of fear and despondency to the circumstances you wish to evade. So what do I wish to run from?

Ah, there is so much. I can’t save the world, or my students, or my family, from what ails them. I can barely help myself. I don’t want to live in the dark world of December, and Christmas makes me terribly sad. It’s like a constant reminder of loss, of the world of childhood that we have forever left behind. Christmas is for innocents. Christmas is for children who haven’t fully left the spirit world and are ignorant of the horrors of this one. This may be another reason that I struggle to commit to this life and live in a sort of limbo this time of year: this world is so painful. And yet, as I sit here and write, the house is quiet, my kid is laughing downstairs, the tree is lit, the bird is making small noises as she eats, and nothing is wrong or out of place. As I write this, there is no war, death, suffering, disease, or cruelty. There is only my little house, my animals, the tree, and these words. 

Somehow, I think, the answer lies in that. The answer is very simple. It seems almost too simple to believe. There is pleasure in the present moment, and only in this moment; when you surrender to the here and now, suddenly there is this kind of nascent joy and bliss that seeks to express itself. Pleasure is the opposite of anxiety; it annihilates it. Another message from meditation is that pleasure is the creative principle of reality; without it, there would be nothing, no impetus to create and play. Pleasure is the Holy Spirit in all that exists. Pleasure cannot be experienced in hypothetical time frames; it can only be experienced right now. As such, it is the glue that bonds us to all that is holy. 

There is more to say, but I have to let it go here. I’m no longer writing to prove anything to anyone, or to solve big problems. I don’t much care if science proves any of this to be true, or if all my readers are convinced of what I say. All I care about now is connection: to God, to the creative and pleasurable spirit of Life, and to all the forms that life takes. That, of course, includes all of you who might be out there reading these words someday. 

Un fuerte abrazo,

Kirsten A. Thorne


How To Find a Ghost

Spirit is everywhere. You don’t need to seek it; you need to discover it. What most investigators forget is that they are spirit themselves; we are looking for our own essence ‘out there’ when, in reality, to connect to spirit we must first connect to our authentic selves. 

This requires silence, meditation, ‘tuning in’, contemplation, and for some, an alteration of normal consciousness (trance states). The ‘ghosts’ out there can be perceived not through gadgets and devices (if it were possible to prove anything that way, it would have happened already), but through adjusting our brain waves to match the frequencies of expanded consciousness. What do I mean by that? Simply that you must be in the right state of mind to make contact with a non-material human consciousness. If you maintain your ‘normal’, waking state of business and distraction, you don’t–you can’t–contact subtle energies. 

This time of year–December into January–is the best for contact with spirit. The separation between our waking consciousness and the worlds where spirits roam is very thin. Anyone who wishes to make contact with spirit will find it far easier now than any other time of year. Of course, that’s not a rule–our best investigation happened in July of 2013–but the long, dark hours and the contemplative feeling of the season allow for a deeper communion between our deep, spiritual selves and the dimensions where all kinds of beings find their expression: both human and other. 

The trick this season is to find your deepest self and allow its expression and communion with the souls that wander in the soft darkness of December. Once you’ve allowed for that to happen, you won’t need to search for anyone; the ghosts will find you.

–Kirsten A. Thorne

There is this paradox that we all live with concerning language. As soon as you translate experience into words, you have substantially altered the experience. In essence, you have destroyed experience and created something new: a story. Most of the goals and desires that we formulate for ourselves end up as a narrative: we tell ourselves a story of what desirable looks like for us, and we set about to ‘make’ our desires come true. Our entire culture is based upon the fulfillment of our wishes and dreams. However, our wishes and dreams are by their very nature unreal, fabricated by the mind. We often discover that the distance between our dreams and our lived experience is so vast that we find ourselves disappointed, upset, and even angry; so, we set about to creating new goals. This is especially pernicious and problematic when one’s ego seizes upon a ‘spiritual’ goal and places it on a to-do list. 

One example of this is surrender to God or to one’s Higher Power. This is, undeniably, a good idea. We are not in control of so much of what happens around us, and our illusion that we can influence events, other people, and the general course of History creates intense suffering. What happens, however, is that a good idea becomes the next Spiritual Goal. The ego takes over and applies Material World understandings to God consciousness. The same person who makes lists of future accomplishments for her profession, housing and entertainment needs, perfect partner characteristics, and so on, decides that ‘surrendering to God’ is number one on the Spiritual List. This is an impossible undertaking, since the very act of placing a concept like surrendering or letting go on a list of things to accomplish destroys the goal itself. 

When any aspect of ‘spirituality’ becomes a goal or a challenge for the ‘seeker’, the game is lost. The very moment one decides that one ‘wants’ a spiritual experience, one has missed the point completely and enters into ego territory where everything is a commodity and desire destroys the potential experience. As soon as you start seeking what we all already have, you are wandering far from what you say you want. Looking for God or for spirit in any form is futile; God and spirit are accessible through your state of mind, not the state of your desires. Spirit shows up when you prepare yourself to receive it, or when you are given the grace to perceive it. You don’t ‘find’ Spirit; you become aware of its presence and allow it to work through you. This is as much the case with those who ‘hunt ghosts’ as for those who ‘hunt God’. Whatever it is that you try to track down will evade and elude you; whatever you are ready to receive will find you. Your intentions and your state of awareness matter–your desires and needs do not. 

Serious meditators, psychonauts, healers, channelers, mediums, and shamans enter into trance states with the goal of arranging a spiritual meeting with another. For this to happen, their sense of self is often erased, leading to what some call ‘ego loss’ or ‘ego death’. This state facilitates communication with a higher power, but it not a goal in itself, unless one makes it so. Ego loss becomes the goal when one doesn’t have a larger purpose for their practice, such as learning to surrender to situations and people over whom we have no control. When ‘ego death’ becomes a goal in and of itself, the ego has–ironically–taken over and made a spiritual state into a challenge. The ego loves challenges and competitions; especially ‘spiritual’ challenges, because the ego’s desires can hide behind the cloak of a ‘higher purpose’. This is why spiritual leaders can become criminal despots or moral disasters: think gurus who lead their flock to commit suicide (Jonestown) or priests who molest and abuse children who trust them. Although these are extreme examples, anyone who enjoys the window dressing of spirituality and makes a show of their enlightenment has fallen into the same trap. 

My epiphany of late is simply this: there is nothing to seek and nothing to find. There is much to accept and to embrace. And yes, you have to voluntarily place yourself into a state of grace in order to receive the gifts of a multifaceted and multidimensional reality that includes everything that people seek: ghosts, God, aliens, Oneness. This requires an alteration in perception. Your stories, your drama, your upsets, your grudges, your ambitions, and even your intellect and critical thinking skills will all block you from the experience of a complex and ultimately incomprehensible reality. Do not attempt to understand or explain Ultimate Reality. If you do, you will fall into the trap that consumes me on a regular basis: the idea that one can explain and convince others to believe the existence of what we call the ‘paranormal’. 

What is, after all, the paranormal? The paranormal is what the ego, what the individual self, cannot explain or make sense of with our current scientific or philosophical paradigms. The paranormal is that space where we hit the wall, where our language breaks down, where we can no longer make reality intelligible for ourselves, much less for anyone else. It’s that space where we live. It’s who we are, but are afraid to admit it. For nothing is stranger than the fact that we exist and perceive ourselves to exist in isolation from everything and everyone else. There is no journey; simply a remembering of something ineffable that we always seem to forget. 

–Kirsten A. Thorne

When the Guru Vanishes

What then?

It’s pretty annoying to realize that I have spent hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of hours working on something that has no answer. I don’t wish to complain, but when the ultimate goal of the ‘spiritual’ search is for that goal to implode and destroy itself, I feel like I was swindled or the butt of a massive joke. 

Seriously, folks. This blog was all about that. I thought that I would end up with something true and evidential. I believed with great sincerity that Kirsten A. Thorne would be the person who revealed what is reasonable to believe in based on science, philosophy, religion, quantum physics, and various types of psychology, from transpersonal to abnormal. I looked at university programs and doctoral programs in Scotland, scouring catalogs for courses and degrees that would confer respectability to the search for immortality. Of course, I spent a great deal of time hanging out at churches and talking to priests. I also interviewed gurus and all kinds of spiritual leaders. Of course, there was always the ‘ghost hunting’ and everything that came with paranormal investigating. When you hit one wall after another, you eventually give up on finding the Holy Grail. Everything, as it turns out, is paranormal. When your entire reality is revealed as spiritual and eternal, what is there to look for?

I read hundreds of ‘trip reports’ from people’s psychedelic experiences. I scoured the literature for fantastic meditation stories. I have read so many damn ‘spiritual’ and New Age books that I am sick to death of the topic. I’m happy that a snake swallowed you in your last Ayahuasca journey or that you visited the Lower Realms during a shamanic drumming circle, but what does any of that mean for anyone besides you? And that is where we all get stuck. It’s great that individuals end up feeling enlightened or finding their personal answers. I’m happy for all of us that have managed that, however we arrived at that point. But part of me keeps thinking how narcissistic the spiritual path seems when it always points back to you. 

I’m starting to think that there is only one real purpose to the ‘spiritual’ experience, and that’s to connect you to others and your natural habitat in such a way that you show up more and care more. It’s so you call in sick less to work and are a better friend. It’s about less wallowing in your depression and anxiety and more creative relationships. It’s about making decisions based on love, not fear. 

As far as ‘finding’ God, the Holy Spirit, Buddha, Jesus, ghosts, UFOs, aliens (I don’t mean to say that all these categories are equal), or whatever other wild, paranormal phenom out there, those spirits ARE RIGHT HERE, in your current reality, in your universe, and don’t require any searching. It may require some intense discipline and dedication, but all things spiritual are built into the very structure of the material. There is no separation. There is no ‘place’ to look, and no particular practice to follow. Be a Catholic or take mushrooms and go to Burning Man. You will eventually end up coming to the same conclusions (that comment should outrage some of you, I’m guessing). 

Whatever you do, make sure you do it with love and respect. What else can I possibly say?

–Kirsten A. Thorne

How to Give Up

shallow focus photography of multicolored floral decor

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

I won’t list all the tragedies. We know them too well. We are quiet as we struggle to live with mass murder on a weekly basis. What can we say? What can we do? Whom can we blame? We are tired of looking for reasons, sick to death of the political arguments, exhausted from listening to the news, from the endless social media posts, the photos, the interviews, the grieving, the candles, the prayers, the stuffed animals, the crosses, the funerals, the waiting for the next massacre. It will come. It always does, these days. What does it mean to surrender? Simply this: know when you can do something, and know when there is nothing to do but accept the reality of our and your circumstances. Once your limitations become clear, do what you can and let the rest go. I won’t pretend the God has some ‘plan’ in place here, or that all this death has ‘meaning’ that we simply can’t comprehend. I don’t think God is a personal force, some being that intervenes or doesn’t based on some code that I can’t figure out. I don’t know what God is, but I do know that our circumstances are ours to fight, to struggle with, or to accept, no matter how awful. Surrendering is not about passivity or blind acceptance of situations and events that you could do something about if you had the strength or will; it’s about realizing that there are some scenarios where you have zero ability to influence the outcome or change the consequences. When confronted with situations that you didn’t have a hand in creating and can’t change, let go. Stop trying to fix things, change things, or influence their inevitable path. That giving in is not giving up. Surrendering means that you have the energy to comfort survivors, to work on a PAC, to write poetry, to publish an article, or to simply reflect into the world the peace that you hope will infuse our sad, troubled, little planet. –Kirsten A. Thorne

IMG_7879So . . . Let’s start with a confession. It hurts that my readers have made it clear that they don’t want to read about human rights or social justice issues. My last post on the kids separated from their families at the southern border was the least popular post I have ever written. I lost quite a few Facebook friends due to my eagerness to raise awareness on the issue, which for me had nothing to do with politics; it was about the human spirit and how we, as a nation, were attempting to crush it. It’s painful to lose friends and readers over a situation that desperately requires our compassion, our action, and our sustained interest. However . . . it’s also true that Soulbank was always about the paranormal, the survival of consciousness, alternate realities, and all things that we can’t explain. It’s easier to think about the afterlife than to deal with the harsh realities of this one.

Confession #2: I lost myself in the spirit world, and it’s time to come back to the material world. Paranormal investigators, intense meditators, religious devotees, gurus, and spiritual enthusiasts of all stripes tend to go out into the ether as a way of avoiding the sometimes crushing misery of ordinary consciousness and everyday reality. Think about it: when you’re busy contacting the dead, you are turning away from the living. The dead are so much easier to handle, since they rarely talk back, can’t hit you, fire you, bully you, or betray you. They mostly just breathe into your recorder and knock on walls. You can, under normal circumstances, walk away from them with zero consequences until your next investigation. I often used investigations, research into the paranormal, meditation and other spiritual practices as a way to keep the brutality of the ‘real’ world at bay.

I didn’t want to spend more time than absolutely necessary interacting with people and attempting to figure out what they needed, so that I could be helpful and self sacrificial. As a people pleaser, the real world was very draining and confusing. I rarely asked myself what I needed to be happy, or thought much about my future. Heading out into the spirit worlds, I was not required to ‘read’ other people and their infinitely changing desires and drives; ghosts and spirits do not ask such work of us. All we have to do is ask them lots of questions and wait for the answers. That is much easier to do than calibrate a living person’s energy and intentions and then mold ourselves accordingly. The materially challenged do not ask us to work so hard. We are in control on an investigation; we decide what to say, when to say it, what counts as meaningful interaction, what to take seriously, what to discard, and how to interpret reality. It’s a power trip to chase down entities.

Secret: I don’t like most people. I find them at best confusing, at worst, threatening. However, I am improving my real people skills; I investigate the material world now, as if I were chasing ghosts in an old mental hospital. After all, people are just ghosts with a body and better communication skills (usually). I really, truly, want to connect with my fellow humans on a deeper and more meaningful level. I want to understand what makes people tick, what they love, what they enjoy, what fascinates them–without falling in the trap of trying to make people happy. That rarely works.

In other words, I want to investigate these days because I miss my friends, both the ones I know, and the ones I haven’t met yet. I want human contact: deep conversation, laughter, shared confidences, and building a web of connections so that none of has to feel alone. “Likes” on FB posts or stats on a blog are not real signs of affection or interest. If anyone wants to go exploring, bowling, see a movie, or just have a long conversation about something fascinating at your local coffee shop, hey–you know where to find me. I’m right here . . .