Self Enrichment

Table of Contents:

I: Output Specification: Self Enrichment

II: Introduction: Transformation and Setting

III: Main Report: Methodology and Actualization

IV: Conclusion: Integration and Synthesis

V: Process Reflection: Reflecting Process

VI: Learning Journal Excerpts: Raw & Uncut

a) Medicine Cards

b) 2 PDC’s

c) A Thought On Listening

d) Lyrics to ‘Ulysses’ by Mason Jennings

e) Background

f) More on EOL

VII: Evidence of Outcomes & Participation

IIX: Digiphon

IX: Annotated Resource Review

X: Extra Materials

a) Creative Commons License

b) Bibliography


I: Output Specification: Self Enrichment:

This output packet focuses on the beneficial and self-transformative activities that I have undertaken since deciding to enroll in Gaia University in October 2012.  The pivotal events of my life leading up to that time can be read in output packets 1A and 1B.  This output packet has titled sections to help guide the reader through.  The titles are meant to encapsulate and illustrate the overall message from each phase of my life so that the reader can have a feeling of what I was going through at that time.  The ‘medicine cards’ that I chose in Colorado are located on the right column of the output packet to give the reader an idea of what messages were coming to me externally during this time.  I explain the medicine cards in more detail in the ‘Learning Journal Excerpts’ section VI (a) after the main report.  You can also read about more recent events that have led up to the experiences in this output packet in the ‘Learning Journal Excerpts’ section after the main report.  I sincerely hope you enjoy reading about how I have undertaken a path of self enrichment.

II: Introduction: Transformation and Setting:

Self-transformation is like body surfing in the waves of a lifetime.  Each wave approaches, crashes, and passes; and it is the decisions that one makes that determines whether or not you have an amazing ride, get caught in an undertoe, or end up drowning.  This process of change for me includes connecting with my authentic self, and actualizing myself as a loving and compassionate being.  The process also includes shedding traits that decrease happiness and no longer serve my goals nor allow me to be the best person that I can be.  I am realizing a fuller and richer self that is in integrity with my roots and who I want to become, open to change and spontaneity, sourced in love and a beginner’s mind, and dedicated to positive growth in all areas of life.

Life has been teaching me many lessons in the past few years.  I have encountered many challenges, navigated transitions, and resolved conflicts.  Traveling and living out of a car from April through August of 2011 was an amazing journey, and also very difficult and tiring.  Since then, I have been dedicating my life to family, permaculture and self, and there have been amazing results.  I have redesigned my mother’s yard by adding garden plots, weatherproofing the decks and planting fruit trees.  Practicing meditation, I am newly attentative to maintaining a beginner’s mind, focusing on the breathe, and engaging in deep listening. I have learned that the time that I took to discover, “what I want to do with my life,” was invaluable.  As a result, I am now on a path of international adventure, self-discovery and ancient knowledge.  During this time I feel as though I am a budding permaculture designer, photographer, ecologist, author, artist, musician, martial artist, gardener, and Uncle.

During my time living in the bay area from October 2011 to March 2012, I had to overcome the feeling of ‘living with my parents,’ and my parents had to overcome the feeling of, ‘not having launched their kids yet.’  This was an amazing process and we connected with each other as adults during this time.  An essential aspect of the new society that we as ecosocial designers and permaculturalists must take into account is inter-generational cohesion.  This process, much like many others, starts at home, in zone 1.  During this time I was also taking care of my niece, Shaylin, part-time.  I helped Shaylin plant her first garden in a patch of bare dirt in a planter box in her apartment’s backyard.  As autumn changed into winter, I would drive from my niece’s martial arts class in Palo Alto to my permaculture design class in San Francisco.  Then I would drive from my design class in San Francisco to the leadership class in Bolinas.  Acting within the Gaia University  framework and challenging myself to grow, I thrived in a self-created curriculum that included leadership, meditation, permaculture and family.

III: Main Report: Methodology and Actualization:

Ecology of Leadership (EOL) at the Regenerative Design Institute (RDI) introduced me to a functional methodology to work on myself.  By becoming more conscious of, and intimate with myself, I am happy and at ease.  When I decide powerfully to be responsible for my situation, I can be the most effective and helpful.  I would drive up to Bolinas one weekend per month from November 2011 to March 2012 to attend EOL classes.  On the same weekends that I dedicated to EOL, my life was full of momentous events that I missed, such as the 1st birthday of my nephew and the 30th birthday of my brother.  Over the foggy Golden Gate Bridge, through the windy road of Mt. Tamalpais and Stinson Beach, the first left after the lagoon and then another left at the honor system produce stand.  I would arrive at RDI and the energy in the air would be different, more magical in a way.  Everyone in the group would share hugs, and the teachers would share the most earnest of teachings as we sat in circular council.

In one of the teachings, the self is viewed as a tree with the soil as the emotional body.  The roots are the internal self that others cannot see, and the canopy the external self that others can see.  This metaphor is extended by recognizing that past hurt, shame, and loss can be held on as ‘nuggets’ in the soil-emotional body.  As George Lakoff and Mark Johnson write in their book, The Metaphors We Live By, “Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.  The concepts that govern our thought are not just matters of the intellect.  They also govern our everyday functioning, down to the most mundane details.”  The practice with the tree metaphor is first to track nuggets, and second to compost them.  “Nugget Tracking” is a practice that comes in uncertain ways, and can almost certainly be said to be as much subconscious as conscious work.  The way that I discovered my ‘shame nugget’ is when I felt as though I needed to take a shower at RDI.  One Sunday morning after camping, everyone in the group was told to please not shower, but I had a rash on my back, and needed to take care of my skin.  I couldn’t find the voice to speak up for myself, and brought my towel and soap back to the car feeling angry.  I spent the rest of the day unable to listen to the teachings, until I finally shared in a small group what I was experiencing.  I was overcome with shame.  I felt ashamed that I had a rash on my back where I couldn’t reach, ashamed of showering in front of others who weren’t allowed to, and ashamed to speak up for myself and my needs.  It was an extremely powerful moment for me to recognize this shame for what it actually is.  I eventually expressed my needs and was granted permission to shower.  I went during lunch time, and when I returned from the shower I was greeted by a huge amount of food!  I forgot to bring a lunch myself, and I felt as though I was being rewarded for speaking up for myself and taking care of my needs.

Upon discovering this ‘shame nugget,’ I could then begin the work of composting it.  Part of the composting included how I noticed other ways in which I expressed shame.  I observed that I didn’t sing or dance much, and I didn’t want others to look at my artwork.  However, as the teachings from EOL instructed, I did not get angry at myself or put myself down for recognizing the true content of this ‘nugget.’  As in meditation, there is no judgment of what is.  The work is simply to observe what is actually for what it is, without distractions or ego-defensive mental gymnastics involved.  Then to hold what is lightly, accept the feedback from what is, and to integrate that feedback with yourself according to your true integrity.  In doing the work to compost this shame nugget, I have started large discussions in my family, engaged parts of myself that I have neglected for a long time, and reconnected with a renewed sense of kinetic, musical, academic and artistic expression.

I would then drive from Bolinas to Palo Alto to attend the meditation class that my parents were teaching.  Sitting in the same space that I brought my niece to practice self-defense, I had the unique opportunity to observe my parents in their role as teachers and leaders in the community.  I felt like another community member of Palo Alto in this circle, and it reminded me of EOL, only the focus in this class is on developing the self via mindfulness of breathe.  As Jon Kabat-Zinn writes in his book,Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Pain, Stress and Illness, “When we are mindful of our breathing, it helps us to calm the body and the mind.  Then we are able to be aware of our thoughts and feelings with a greater degree of calmness and with a more discerning eye.  And with this awareness comes a feeling of having more room to move, of having more options, of being free to choose effective and appropriate responses in stressful situations rather than losing our equilibrium and sense of self as a result of feeling overwhelmed, thrown off balance by our own knee-jerk reactions.”  Practicing the meditations and reading Full Catastrophe Living has been a powerful source of knowledge and insight for self-actualization.

I have learned, and also witnessed, that there are times when ‘non-doing’ is much more effective than ‘doing.’  This has been expressed in my efforts to create an abundant garden at my parents house, to relationships, creativity, and conflict.  When my management efforts are not producing the desired outcome, it is time to step aside, and allow things to grow on their own.  I also found a new joy in practicing to take care of myself.  Along with this comes self-love, and self-forgiveness; which are personal challenges for me to practice habitually.  Vital ‘un-learnings’ during this phase have been: to not allow forgiveness, not be gentle on the self, and to not be aware of self needs/wants.  I find it interesting that there is a pattern in humans that we are contradictory in nature, which leads us to be harder on ourselves than on others.  Furthermore, humans also tend to focus on what is negative or wrong about a situation or day, rather than the beautiful or delicious things.  I am grateful for the teachings from my parents in the meditation class to question these cultural traps and to be more aware of my attitude towards situations.

It was during the time that I was enrolled in EOL that I started working with Teryl Chapel, a colleague at Gaia University, on “imagination activation” work.  Imagination activation includes the rephrasing of the words that you use into positive and affirming statements.  The way it works is that you utter statements that are the limits of your hearts desires in a way that sends a signal to the universe that they have already manifested in that same instant.  Instead of, “I hope one day to have a shop where I make permaculture machines and manage my own business,” the imaginative rephrasing becomes, “I have a shop and my own business.  I have the space and time to design and create, and I am successful and happy.”  Some of the things that I said were true in my phone call with Teryl became true, and in a surprisingly short amount of time.  There are other visions that I have phrased in the present although they are actually further into the future, and I continue to send positive intentions towards my goals and dreams from where I am now.  This was a big lesson in positive affirmation, and in sending out the right messages to the world around me.

One way that I rephrased my position towards myself is, instead of saying, “I wish I could play music,” I began to say, “I am a musician.”  I began playing the electric guitar in 2008.  I was living in a studio by myself at the time and I would practice playing open E chords and the minor pentatonic scale.  Since then I have learned various songs and techniques.  I began studying music theory, and although I still have a basic level of understanding, I am enjoying learning a new skill that brings me great happiness.  I feel as though I have grown musically, and that this new creative energy output has impacted other areas of my life in a positive way.  For example, I feel as though I am better able to express myself with visual art and writing when I practice music.

The guitar has also been a message of realizing intent, and manifesting will.  I didn’t want to travel with an electric guitar and an amp, and was concerned about how I would not be able to practice while traveling.  I told my father about this dilemma, and coincidentally he had an acoustic guitar that he never used!  He gave me the guitar, and now I am practicing on that and learning to play guitar with different techniques.  The acoustic has larger frets than an electric, and also you have to push the strings down farther in order to get the note that you want to play.  Because of this, it has been a work out for my fingers and wrist.  One afternoon in Oakland, my brother Max taught me the chord progression to the song, “Ulysses,” by Mason Jennings: (Am, C, G, C repeat); and then I learned the lyrics.  (*See “VI: Learning Journal Excerpts: Raw & Uncut (d)”)  I played the song in front of an audience at the (un)talent show at the end of the PDC at Sunrise Ranch.  It was the first time that I have played music in front of an audience since I was taking piano lessons as a 7 year old.  I have been working on intentions and manifesting my goals since before enrolling in Gaia, however, it is great to have taken workshops and found mentors that can guide me in the process.  Embracing the musical side of myself has been amazing, and a wonderful way to connect with who I was as a child, and who I want to be.

IV:  Conclusion: Integration and Synthesis

I am merging back into the lane of self-authenticity, and a place of ownership of my personal issues rather than pointing the finger or blaming others for my frustrations.  Of course my expectations weren’t met exactly as I set them, and this realization has given me a sense of freedom from my expectations.  I feel seasoned and at ease with ‘being comfortable with being uncomfortable,’ as the wisdom from Carlos Castaneda proclaims.  EOL has caused me to be more in tune with myself.  The realization of self-shame, and the understanding of triggers to be gifts of growth have drastically changed my outlook on life, my actions in the present and my reaction to situations.

I have also come to understand that I need to honor the intuitive side of myself when it comes to creative outlets.  For example, given the choice to create my own reality, I choose to photograph people, places and things in an intimate way.  I would only begin to take pictures after having first spent a lot of time with that person, place or thing; connecting and observing.  I will record places that I think are good vantage points, and note them down.  I will then return at a later date during sunrise or sunset with my tripod, in order to get the best possible lighting at the best possible view.  In this way I think that permaculture and photography can be bridged together.  In both art forms, observation is the primary element that is the foundation to build upon.  In addition, in both art forms, there is an unlimited amount of possibilities and places that one’s observations can take them, in any geographic area.

By practicing more self-awareness and practicing the knowledge that inspires me I am growing in a direction that I want to grow.  By working on communication with my family and growing up together with the new generation, I am manifesting my will to have cohesion across generation gaps.  By choosing to be enrolled in a masters program, and choosing to work on a farm for an educational experience, rather than work for money, I am intentionally slowing down and ‘not doing.’  By doing all of these things I am expressing my authentic self in the present.  I am a musician and an artist.  I am a builder, and a permaculture designer.  I practice meditation.  I have an in depth knowledge of myself, and I am aware of my breathe, which allows me to remain calm in stressful situations.

V: Process Reflection: Reflecting Process:

The way in which I arrive (and travel, for that matter) is similar to how I express myself creatively.  There is intuition and willpower involved.  I don’t just ‘go to Yellowstone,’ or, ‘drive across the country.’  There are events that happen, and decisions to be made.  Artistic self-expression is paramount in each interwoven yet distinct situation.

The way in which I arrived to Seattle early one rainy spring morning is by staying in one lane during traffic.  After the lane to the right was moving substantially faster for some time, I switched over to it, as the fog drifted over the buildings of the damp skyline.  I don’t usually switch lanes during traffic, but this time I did.  After a short while in the right lane, I realized that there was soon to be a merge, and that the lane that I had switched into would shortly be clogged up.  Upon realizing this and witnessing the early effects of it, I switched back to the original lane that I was in, in a calm and relaxed manner.  Although I was aware of the fact that I was behaving strangely, I did not allow this disturbance to disrupt my concentration nor sense of self.  It is as though this maneuvering upon arrival (although space is relative and I was simply in that certain location of displacement at that time) reflected back to me my entire life process up until this point.  I was on one track as a younger child: athletic, musical, academic and centered.  Then, somewhere along the way, looking ahead and viewing my 3 older brothers who were already further along, I chose another track.  A track that, because of my own unwillingness to let go of certain feelings, led me to feel jaded towards my self and others.  I took the time to analyze my relative displacement from my younger self, traveled for a broader perspective, and I am now getting back on my original track.  I am not going to beat myself up for not being on the ‘right’ track for a certain amount of time.  I am grateful for the experiences that I’ve had, and I am choosing, from this point forward, to proceed with integrity and authenticity with all of my self.

I arrive with a slight smirk when I am pleased, or perhaps an earnest gaze if I am preoccupied.  I show up in different ways when observed through different perspectives.  I carry with me the recent past that I am still digesting, the soon-to-be future that I am actively willing, and the omnipresent yet ever-changing current moment that I am decisively constructing.  I am grateful for each new experience and happy to be on the path that I’m on.

VI: Learning Journal Excerpts: Raw & Uncut:

a) Medicine Cards: 

My first experience with medicine cards at Sunrise Ranch with my friend Colors who is an amazing artist.  The medicine cards that I pulled were Moose, Bat (contrary), and Turtle (contrary).  The message was intriguingly similar to the knowledge that is given by my guiding I-Ching hexagram.  The very next day was my second experience with the medicine cards, led by Soma, the facilitator of the sweat lodge at Sunrise Ranch; and I pulled Turkey.  Turkey medicine advises that, “A person who claims more than his or her share is looked upon as selfish or crazy or both. … The person who gives away the most and carries the burdens of the Peopls is one of the most respected. … Celebrate if you have Turkey medicine.  Your virtures are many.  You have transcended self.  You act and react on the behalf of others.  You aspire to help those who need help.  This is not out of some sense of self-righteous moralism or religious guilt.  Help and sustenance are given by Turkey out of the realization that all life is sacred.”


Medicine Cards Pulled during a reading:

Medicine Card Pulled for the focus of the sweat lodge:

b) 2 PDC’s: 

Another way that I have manifested my intentions to the fullest is by taking 2 Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) courses.  The first was titled an, “Urban PDC,” and was held in the Portero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco.  The second was the 11-day intensive PDC offered at Sunrise Ranch in Colorado.  By reiterating the class I have practiced keeping a beginner’s mind while fortifying my understanding of the basic principles of permaculture.  I remember my first martial arts teacher told me how one of his friends would win tournaments because he was an expert at the front-kick, the most basic move that white belts learn on the first day.  This story underscores the importance of being an expert with the basics.  The information presented followed the same general curriculum, however one was focused on urban development and California, while the other one was focused on the semi-arid front range of the Rocky Mountains.  I will write an upcoming output packet on “Becoming a Permaculture Designer.”

 c) A Thought On Listening:

          A point of value in deep listening is:  To not think about your response to what another person is saying, while you are listening to them.

d) Lyrics to ‘Ulysses’ by Mason Jennings:


(Am)            (C)                  (G)                      (C)

I went in to twelve bookstores looking for Ulysses

(Am)                   (C)                          (G)                           (C)

Motherwell led me to believe all my questions would be answered

(Am)          (C)                (G)                 (C)

Now I have it here sitting on the table

(Am)      (C)        (G)              (C)

Another word for the universe

Loose green tea and a bonsai tree, an underground apartment

Check my e-mail and wash my clothes while my rice is cooking

Oh jesus christ, how I hate making phonecalls

So I lead a lonely life

A waterfall from a higher place told me all about you

The funeral of the man i was told me not to doubt you

Oh what we could do with your dress up round your shoulders

We could leave all our fear behind

I went in to the liquor store looking for a bottle

Of my favorite Bombay gin, the answer to my problems

But to my delight the bottles were all taken

Ah yeah, another hero’s night

e) Background:  

My love, Taylor, and I were the artists in residence at the Omega Institute, and our adventures together have been a fulcrum of growth and development.  His mother had passed away in March of 2010, and we then embarked on a cross-country road trip, where we worked on a farm in Tennessee, camped at the Havasupai Reservation in the Grand Canyon, celebrated my 27th birthday in New Orleans during record flood waters, and experienced much more of the USA.  I had my first sweat lodge experience in the Lakota-Sioux tradition at this holistic institute in the summer of 2011.  “Aho, mµtokwoyasi” was said as we touched our foreheads to the earth upon entering and exiting the dark, blanket covered symbolic womb.  The ceremony provided me with self-guidance, and the ability to shed false ego and personality misconceptions that were acting as ‘blockages.’  Being in that dark hole that represents the womb and Mother Earth with 30 other individuals and glowing red rocks from the Catskill Mountains, made me feel the interconnectedness between myself and the others around me (although I could not see them).  Breathing in the ancient wisdom from the steam that the granite furnaces gave off, sharing 1,500 year old tobacco found buried in an Anazasi pot whose seeds germinated, struggling to stay in each of the 4 phases, sweating and chanting.

We took the northern route back west, driving through Detroit, Chicago, Yellowstone and the Cascade Mountains.  Around Detroit or Chicago I did an internet search for “Masters in Sustainability” or something else similar, and Gaia University was one of the first to pop up.  It was during this momentous road trip that I applied for this masters program.  I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area in September 2011, after a year of living away from home in Los Angeles, having been accepted to the MSc in Integrative Ecosocial Design with Gaia University while on the road.  Before the Gaia Orientation, I signed up for the Ecology of Leadership (EOL) at the Regenerative Design Institute (RDI).  I also agreed to help take care of my niece two days a week while I was living at home.  In October, immediately following the Gaia orientation, I participated in the Revaluation Counseling (RC) course at Quaker Center in Ben Lomond.  During these months, from November 2011 to March 2012, I was concurrently enrolled in an Urban PDC course with the Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco, a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction meditation class at Hiruko Wellness Center of Palo Alto, and the Ecology of Leadership program at the Regenerative Design Institute.  The plans had been made for the busiest academic season that I have had since my undergraduate studies at UC Santa Cruz from 2002-06.

f) More on EOL: 

Another assignment in EOL was Creative Scenes that were due each month.  Creative Scenes included positive affirming statements about different aspects of life.  For example, in the creative scene that I wrote about relationships, I wrote that, “I am a source of light, happiness, energy and information for others to glean off of; I am free of stress/worry; I am extremely intimate and knowledgeable about myself and my needs and my goals; I have reached stronger levels of connection/respect/spirituality.”  Delivering this message and creating my goals in the present with intentional phrasing of words has had amazing outcomes.  It is great to have clarity in various aspects of life, for example, “What do you want out of relationships?” was an amazing question for me to ponder.  I realized that my initial response was, “I don’t know,” and then I became aware of how problems in the relationships that I’m in stem off of my own unawareness of my wants and needs.  Understanding more about what I want out of relationships has been another huge and impactful lesson on self-awareness.  With all of the composting and digesting of self going on internally, I have definitely also had similar effects of positive growth expressed outwardly.

Please view the photo gallery on my personal flickr page,

IIX: Digiphon

*Nikon D90, digital camera

*Canon G9, digital camera

*Apple MacBook Pro, personal computer

*1992 Toyota Camry

*Flickr RSS Photo Feed (a back-end method to have a photo gallery on Mahara without actually putting the files of the images onto the Mahara site; in effect, one can have many more photos on their OP’s, and maintain extra open space for other files)

*Gmail phone service.  100% free calls within the USA.  Free with an email account.

*The Khan Academy:

 IX: Annotated Resource Review:

Excerpt from:  Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein:

I read Science Fiction as much for research and ideas than for pleasure.  Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein and Ellison.  I love the classics from the ‘Golden Age of Science Fiction.’  I have found this book at a perfect time in my life.  The manner in which The Man from Mars uses meditation and intuition to ‘grok’ the world around him has been parallel to my own discover of my intuitive nature.

Language as a map for understanding the world:

“I grok it,” agreed Jubal.  “Language itself shapes a man’s basic ideas.”

“Yes, but-Doctor, you speak Arabic?”

“Eh?  Badly,” admitted Jubal.  “Put in a while as an army surgeon in North Africa.  I still read it because I prefer the words of the Prophet in the original.”

“Proper.  The Koran cannot be translated-the ‘map’ changes no matter how one tries.  You understand, then, how difficult Ifound English.  It was not alone that my native language has simpler inflections; the ‘map’ changed.  English is the largest human tongue; its variety, subtlety, and irrational, idiomatic complexity make it possible to say things in English which cannot be said in any other language.  It almost drove me crazy … until I learned to think in it-and that put a new ‘map’ of the world on top of the one I grew up with.  A better one perhaps-certainly a more detailed one.

“But there are things which can be said in Arabic that cannot be said in English.”

When Mike ‘groks’ human humor and love:

“Suddenly the mistreated monkey rushed across the cage, picked a mokey still smaller, bowled it over and gave it a drubbing worse than the one he had suffered.  The third monkey crawled away, whimpering.  The other monkeys paid no attention.

Mike threw back his head and laughed- and went on laughing, uncontrollably.  He gasped for breath, started to tremble and sink to the floor, still laughing…

(‘I speak rightly, Little Brother.  I grok.’)  ‘I grok people now, Jill… Little Brother… precious darling… little imp with lively legs and lovely lewd lascivious lecherous licentious libido… beautiful bumps and pert posterior… soft voice and gentle hands.  My baby darling.’ … ‘I grok people!’… ‘I’ve found out why people laugh.  They laugh because it hurts… because it’s the only thing that’ll make it stop hurting.  You grok it so automatically that you don’t have to think about it.  Because you grew up with people.’… ‘Of course it wasn’t funny; it was tragic.  That’s why I had to laugh.  I looked at a cageful of monkeys and suddenly I saw all the mean and cruel and utterly unexplainable things I’ve seen and heared and read about in the time I’ve been with my own people- and suddenly it hurt so much I found myself laughing.’… ‘I had thought- I had been told- that a ‘funny’ thing is a thing of goodness.  It isn’t.  Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to.  Like that sheriff without his pants.  The goodness is in the laughing.  I grok it is a bravery… and a sharing… against pain and sorrow and defeat.'”

Excerpt from: The Great Work, by Thomas Berry, (On continued emergence):

“For our present Earth is not the Earth as it always was and always will be.  It is the Earth at a highly developed phase in its continuing emergence.  We need to see the Earth in its sequence of transformations as so many movements in a musical composition.  The sequence of events that emerge in time needs to be understood simultaneously, as in music: the earlier notes are gone when the later notes are played, but the musical phrase, indeed the entire symphony, needs to be heard simultaneously.  We do not fully understand the opening notes until the later notes are heard.  Each new theme alters the meaning of the earlier themes and the entire composition.  The opening theme resonates throughout all the later parts of the piece.”

“Colour:  Why the World Isn’t Grey,” by Hazel Rossotti

This has been my text of choice to improve my photography.  It covers the physics of color, as well as the physical sensations, literature and art that colors produce and influence.  Rather than read about a certain photographic technique, I find it valuable to read about what color is, to get to the root of what is happening in a photographic interaction.  If I were to start with the print, and washed over the capturing of vibrating electron clouds, then I would have skipped over the origin and cause of the ultimate interaction that occurs during a photograph.

“What is colour?  When confronted with such a question, one turns for help to The Oxford English Dictionary, which states: ‘The particular colour of a body depends upon the molecular constitution of its surfaces, as determing the character and number of light vibrations it reflects.’  This seems satisfactorily lucid, if somewhat prosaic, until one reads on:  ‘Subjectively, colour may be viewed as the particular sensation produced by the stimulation of the optic nerve by particular light vibrations…’  And, at a still further remove from any colourd object:  ‘This sensation can be produced by other means, such as pressure on the eye-back or an electric current.'”

“So the characteristic colour of an object, in daylight, depends on the wavelength needed to produce a readjustment of electrons, because it is these energies which determine the composition of that remaining mixture of light which enters our eye and causes the sensation of colour.”

“A block of coloured glass looks the deepest colour if viewed through the greatest thickness, because the light then encounters the greatest number of absorbing electron clouds before it reaches the eye.”

“As we add water, we naturally dilute all the particles in the juice: those which affect the acidity as well as those which absorb visible light.  And it is this change in the acidity of the juice which alters the energy of the electron clouds in these vegetable dyes and hence the colour of the liquid.”

a) Creative Commons License:

Creative Commons License
OP2 Self Enrichment by Daniel Brodell-Lake is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

b) Bibliography:

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Pain, Stress and Illness, by John Kabat-Zinn. A Delta Book Published by Dell Publishing, 1990.

Stranger In a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein. Berkeley Publishing, 1961.

Colour: Why the World Isn’t Grey, by Hazel Rossotti.  Princeton University Press, 1983.

The Great Work, by Thomas Berry.  A Belltower Book Published by Randomhouse, 1999.

Metaphors We Live By, by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson


About danblake222

*MSc "Integrative Ecosocial Design" with Gaia University *BA "Ethnography & Photography" with Minor in Spanish Linguistics from UCSC *Artist in Residence at Omega Institute *Handyman, House Painter, Writer, Photographer, Permaculture Designer, Gardener *Photography portfolio at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: