All Notions of Good Posture are Grossly Incomplete and Obsolete

Why are all notions of good posture grossly incomplete and obsolete?

They’re incomplete because they apply to a non-moving position — and life is altogether about movement.  If it isn’t moving, it’s dead.

So, to take “spinal curves”, for example, the lower-back (or lumbar) curve exists to distribute the weights above (chest, shoulders and head) and below (pelvis and legs) for balance.  When you bend over to pick something up, your curve changes.  If it doesn’t change, you’re stiff.  Same with your neck curve.

Balance-in-movement is the overriding “imperative” (or necessary purpose) of all posture; balance is what makes all other actions possible. If you’re out of balance, you’re unstable — and then what happens to you, whichever movement or activity you are involved in?

Your curves change continually, as you move, to maintain easy balance.

This is not to say that there’s no such thing as too much or too little curvature in the spine. There are such things — but they can’t be corrected in any lasting way by adjustments or by holding on to “good posture”.  Adjustments don’t last and holding on to good posture doesn’t lend itself to good movement.  You can’t go through life holding on to “good posture”; as soon as your attention goes to something else, you forget about posture. So, that approach is entirely impractical.

That’s why notions of “good posture” are obsolete.

What’s the alternative?

Good movement.  Good movement takes care of good posture, automatically.

Improving Movement (“Muscle”) Memory

Good movement isn’t something that you maintain by moment to moment discipline, by efforts to maintain good movement.  That’s no more practical than holding on to “good posture”.  Good movement is “good movement memory” — done automatically and fine-tuned by the movements of the moment.

How do you develop good movement memory?  You develop it the same way as you develop any other memory:  repeated experience until the memory forms.  It’s a temporary discipline.

It’s also a discipline that few undertake.  With movement, as with most other activities, most people stop developing with the minimum learning needed to get by, just as with handwriting, cooking — and walking.

Next time you’re out in public, watch people walk.  How few are a pleasure to watch!  Many people lumber; some plod; some bounce; many lean to one side or come down heavier on one side than the other — or come down heavy on each side, as they walk.  So many are ungainly — and it isn’t genetic; it’s movement memory.

Few efforts to improve movement memory work.  Most involve stretching and strengthening.  Just try stretching or strengthening any other kind of memory and see how far you get, changing it.

To be fair, let’s look at each:  stretching and strengthening.


Stretching muscles generally involves pitting one muscle group against another — even the muscles of one person against the muscles of another (as in assisted stretching, massage, or professional adjustments).

The experience is generally uncomfortable and, if at all successful, is only temporarily so.  Old muscular tensions (and posture) reappear in short order.  (That’s why there’s a term, “chiropractic lifestyle”.)  So, movement memory isn’t changed, but only temporarily overpowered.

Now, apply that to other kinds of memory.  Think of an unpleasant memory.  I’m not suggesting this to torture you, but to illustrated a point more quickly.

Stretching an unpleasant memory would be like trying to avoid remembering it — or practicing denial.  How effective is that?  You tend to react the same old way in a similar situation, don’t you.There’s always a strain, isn’t there?

Movement memory is just that: the memory of the feeling of a movement (how to move) that controls action.

If you want to change movement memory, you need another approach, one that deals with memory the way memory actually works.  I’ll get to that once I’ve dealt with strengthening.


Strengthening muscles to improve posture means only one thing:  that those muscles aren’t strong enough to overpower their opposing muscle groups, which are always tight.  

Generally, those “weaker” muscles aren’t really weaker, but just tired from working against their opposing muscles.  They don’t need strengthening, but refreshment — and that refreshment is possible only when their opposing muscles relax from being tight all the time. 

Another effect of muscles being held tight (by movement memory) is that your brain causes their opposing muscles to slacken to allow the tight muscles to cause movement without counter-interference.  We feel that slackening as weakness, but it isn’t weakness; it’s how coordination works.  Although strengthening muscles to improve posture may be meant to work against that, it doesn’t work.

By the way, tight muscles are usually ticklish, sore to pressure, or painful from muscle fatigue —  so, you’ve got painful muscles on one side and “weak” (tired) muscles on the other.  Tight muscles drag you out of good posture and that make good posturing tiring.

Do you think you’re going to strengthen muscles to correct your posture and have it stay “corrected” under those conditions?  You’ll only make them tighter and sore — and make yourself stiffer.

Good posture is natural only as a condition of freely coordinated balance, not as a condition of effort (which you can’t maintain under ordinary conditions of life because you can’t continually pay attention, to it).  You’ve got to free the tight muscles, not make the tired muscles stronger.

Now, let’s take on memory in terms of strengthening.

That would be like trying to convince yourself that things happened differently than they did, that the old memory wan’t real.  That’s known as self-deception.  You can work really hard to convince yourself, but how effective is that?  You will still tend to have stress and strain in that area of life, won’t you?

So, we’ve dispensed with stretching and strengthening as approaches to good posture (because they don’t effectively deal with movement memory) and with the standard notion of good posture, itself.

We’re in the home stretch, now (pun unintentional, but recognized!)

Improving Movement (“muscle”) Memory

By, “improving”, I mean “developing a more satisfactory experience of something”.

A more satisfactory experience of movement memory is a more satisfactory experience of movement — both in terms of comfort and in terms of motion or action.

There’s an alternative to stretching or strengthening that’s entirely natural and that everybody’s experienced in a simple form.  It involves relaxation, rather than stretching, and refreshment, rather than strengthening.  It’s called, “pandiculation”.

I’ll let the video tell and show you, about it.  Click, below:

If you want good posture, learn pandiculation to free yourself of muscle tensions that drag you down, out of good posture, and that make good posture tiring.  Learn pandiculation to make good posture natural.  Learn pandiculation to refresh yourself.  Learn pandiculation.

So, that’s why all notions of good posture are grossly incomplete and obsolete — and what you can do that feels better and works better at making good posture easy and natural.

Lawrence Gold has practiced clinical somatic education professionally since 1990, with a world-wide clientele composed generally of people needing to get out of pain.  All of his clients end up with better posture and movement, along with being pain-free.  You can free the tight muscles that drag you down, by yourself, with  the general program of somatic education (pandiculation) exercises called, The Cat Stretch Exercises (involves neither a cat, nor stretching).

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How Civilization has Put Itself in Peril, The Dumbing Down of Humanity and Refreshing Human Intelligence to Save Ourselves

How Civilization has Put Itself in Peril, The Dumbing Down of Humanity and Refreshing Human Intelligence to Save Ourselves

People need to use more of their intelligence a lot better if we are to avoid a civilization crash — a crash starting with the consequences of overpopulation — pollution, wars, crime, economic fluctuations and crashes, overfishing of the oceans, deforestation, and others, and continuing with climate shifts and a likely crisis of agriculture (declining food quality and quantity).

Human civilization, as a whole, needs to rehabilitate the truth-sense — and that means both recognizing the ring of truth and recognizing (and allowing) the sense of mystery that signals us when we really don’t know what’s what. We need both — equally — for reasons I explain, here.

People are bogged down in everything we think we know and one symptom is that our ability to pay attention has been reduced.  People are chronically disturbed by what’s inside and distracted by what’s outside, and that’s called “ADD” and “ADHD”.

The problems facing civilization have been compounded by people’s inability (and unwillingness) to take in new information, and that has to do with more than just the “information glut”; it has to do with a slowed-down “attention refreshment rate” — the ability to clear the mind.  It’s both.  I’ll explain that, too.

This piece is about what keeps human civilization bogged down and what it will take, most basically, to stop and to reverse a “civilization nosedive” (and planetary calamity).  I’m not being presumptuous.  I’m being starkly truthful.


Now, by, “intelligence”, I don’t mean, “intellect”.  Those are not the same.  “Intellect”, as it commonly appears, these days, is just the ability to link concepts together and put words (or symbols) to them.  Nothing about intellect guarantees wisdom — the truth-sense that underlies the ability to generate and sustain well-being.


There are four aspects (factors) of intelligence, upon which the truth-sense depend

imagination | intention |  memory | attention

They inter-relate, like this:


Now, that may be a lot to swallow. It’s rather big.  Just put your attention on each of the word-sets and notice how the meanings interconnect. It will appeal to your intuition and it will make sense.

The Truth-Sense depends upon all four.  Without all four operating and well-integrated with each other, ideas of “truth” get reduced to words and facts of a narrowed significance that doesn’t take the broad realities of the world into account; the truth-sense gets distorted or faint, leading to multiple problems — and I’ll say plenty about that as we get into this piece.

So, intellect, the “coin-of-the-realm” of our technological society, these days, is often deficient in “truth-sense” and has gone astray — and I’ll say more about that, too.

For now, I’m just going to launch into a series a points that show how our educational approaches and habits of technology have put civilization in jeopardy — and offer a way out that MUST be taken if we are to bring our civilization out of a nosedive.


From the heading to this section, you may think that what follows is going to be obvious; I think you’ll be surprised — both by the origin of the massive problems we face and by the basic, required solution. I’ll be specific.

Three Advantages Tempt Toward Three Pitfalls

Three evolutionary developments have led to the success of humanity as a species. In their extreme states of development, they’ve gone in an unbalanced direction and have now made humanity a hazard to ourselves as a species and a danger to the rest of the earth’s living life-support system.

Those three evolutionary developments are memory, language, and products of “the hand” (technology and art).

They worked for a time in human history.  Now, they are out of balance in ways that I will recognizably describe.

Humanity faces a crisis of integrity.


The way I mean, INTEGRITY, is not the usual sense confused with “honesty”.  I mean it in the purest sense of the term: the sense of “something recognizable being there — something that holds together and can withstand participating in experience”.

Integrity is just a matter of things working together to do what they can’t do, by themselves.

As an example, an airplane consists of parts put together. Without the “together” part, we don’t have an airplane; what we have is a pile of parts.

An airplane is said to have “structural integrity” if it can keep together and function under a range of conditions.  If, in a test flight, it breaks apart, it’s said to have lost structural integrity.  Integrity means, “wholeness”.

When you remember anything, you’re remembering an arrangement, the wholeness of which looks like the thing you’re remembering and which persists through some span of time.


What follows isn’t just for you to memorize or intellectually to understand. This isn’t a high school or college course where you get a grade for remembering something you’ve been told.  It’s for you to “locate” in yourself, as a set of experiences that everybody has.

The way most people regard memory is




You may not have thought about it, but if you consider it, you’ll see it’s so, in your case.

That formulation leaves the impression of three ingredients of memory, doesn’t it?  But, when we remember things, we remember whole things, not “ingredients”.

I’d like to present a different way of looking at memory (again, four factors):




The “times” symbols ( ” * ” ) are deliberate and may bewilder you; you’re just not used to them. They signify, “transformation”, not “addition” ( ” + ” ) — not “the collection of ingredients”, anymore, but something new.

That “sense of something new” requires you to let go of remembering the ingredients, to take a fresh look at that “something new”.  A cake is different from a collection of ingredients; it’s the transformation of those ingredients into something new.

You can’t imagine the cake that’s going to come out of a new recipe, in advance.  You may know the new ingredients, but the cake that will come from them is unknown.

Memory, alone, leaves reality incomplete.  Memory, alone, is an incomplete view of reality

That said, the development of memory and the acquisition of knowledge have been an obvious advantage to humanity’s development of civilization and is now becoming a gigantic disadvantage.

Knowledge Has Gotten Too Big for Its Britches.

Things change.  Everything that we remember is “the way that it was.” We have no certainty, no assurance, that the way anything was is the way that it is or will continue to be.

To assert that the way something was is the way it is, is to misrepresent our degree knowledge. It may or may not be so.

But people everywhere represent that they know more than they actually do.  There’s a reason, for that, that I will get into.

This cultural habit of clinging to the appearance of being, “a knower”, has led to humanity being bound up in ways of perceiving, thinking and acting that have led to chronic conflict and failure to change with the necessities of the times.

It interferes even with efforts to seek knowledge to overcome problems.  Even in the face of new knowledge, people go for the familiar.  That’s how advertising works: by making what is new seem familiar.  People go for “the familiar”.

Not surprising — but there’s a deeper problem:

Education Perpetuated Civilization — and is Now Bringing it Down.

Education is the foundation of civilization and its continuance from generation to generation. Education, the way it’s been done, is relies heavily upon memory.

While that seems inevitable and necessary and to have worked for most of human history, the way it’s been done is not sufficient, anymore.

Memory-dominant education has a gigantic pitfall that didn’t become obvious until the knowledge-base of humanity became too great for any one individual to contain, until the world population grew so large that different cultures had to interact with each other, and until human technology because a dominant force accelerating cultural change faster than people could keep up.

People are drowning in memories — and don’t even know or recognize it.

The Pitfall

All new developments of culture come in through “the imagination channel” — art (“the beautiful”), morality (“the good”), and technology (“the true”) — and there’s the rub: two things can’t occupy the same space at the same time.  When memory dominates, imagination recedes. Knowledge and tradition that at first kept things aloft are now ballast.

Education and Pride in Knowing

The “educational” orientation teaches people “pride in knowing”.  Along with that goes, “shame in not-knowing” or fear of not knowing or fear of being wrong.

Accordingly, people become conceited about their knowledge — and unreceptive to new understandings, particularly breakthroughs that alter their understanding (and the apparent validity) of current knowledge.

People become resistant to (or uncomfortable with) change because change ALWAYS involves a temporary state of not-knowing (which I call, “Being in The Zone of Incomprehensibility”).  In other words, when people cling to “the old”, nothing new can come in.  That state defeats (or impedes) the recognition of new developments — and the emergence of new understanding.

So, one of the side-effects of the current “educational” orientation is apparent (learned) stupidity.

The fundamental requirement of emerging insight and understanding is a sense (or a tolerance) of mystery, of simple not-knowing (not mystery of the spooky kind). Mystery is a kind of mental “space” into which new understanding emerges.  The sense of curiosity attracts new things to fill it; it’s a hunger. Curiosity is an appetite the way hunger is an appetite.  Curiosity depends on mystery.

When the sense of knowing dominates the sense of mystery, nothing new can come in. “The appetite is satisfied.”

Knowledge overshadowing the sense of mystery defeats or impedes all human development — all human development. The satisfied appetite hopes things won’t change, so it can continue to be satisfied. People want to keep their money, their self-image, and their social status.  (That’s the original meaning of the political term, “conservative”.)

People Seem Reasonably Intelligent …

Memory gives the illusion of intelligence.  Observe people’s behavior in public places, such as restaurants and entertainment venues.  Generally, people seem reasonable, normal, and for the most part, reasonably intelligent.  That’s because they “know the rules” of their situation — and know how to play by them — or break them.

Even rough-hewn individuals may seem reasonably intelligent — some of the time. That’s a sign that people have become used to a low standard of intelligence and of decorum (behavior).

But that’s not intelligence; that’s memory in action.  Memory just makes things seem reliable.

When Things Change, However . . .

What does someone who operates from memory do when “something happens”? They consult memory for what to do.  Conventional thinking.

Put people into an unfamiliar, or more open-ended, circumstance (such as a political campaign, a political rally, a political office — or a job promotion or relocation). They lose their bearings and you notice how unintelligent they (you) feel.

Now, I’m going to use a “charged” term, and so I need to tell you what I mean, by it. The term is, “idiocy”.  As I define it, “idiocy” is, “an automatic, habitual, detrimental action not appropriate to the situation”. It’s not just an insult; it’s a technical term.

Idiocy shows up as . . .

  • the pomp that surrounds government and political activitiesGovernment is supposed to be a matter of public service.  That makes pomp a form of idiocy.
  • consumerism and endless economic growth (beyond planetary capacity)
  • unregulated pollution (goes with consumerism and population growth)
  • tax cuts for the wealthy and unlimited wealth acquisition (which leads to economic system “diabetes” and self-anaesthetizing addictions of numerous sorts)
  • Trickle-Down Theory (depends upon the wealthy wanting it to trickle down)
  • market (and bank) deregulation (which lead to economic “obesity” — fat cats)

Conventional thinking is approximate, sometimes, very approximate.  Going by conventional thinking (memory — “We’ve always done it that way” or “That’s standard operating procedure,” or “That would be the standard of practice”) can and does tend toward idiotic behavior all over the place — where people substitute, “can’t” for “won’t”.

What people should do is cultivate all four factors, in themselves so that, while accumulated memory helps them recognize something about a situation, continued attention stimulates imagination that arouses an intention better fitting to that situation — than to the situation remembered.

attend * recognize * imagine * inten

It’s fine-tuning that is possible when all four factors of intelligence are accessible and well-integrated, for the individual, when the individual’s intelligence isn’t being confined to memory.  Otherwise, we have a dunderheaded individual who is like steering out of alignment or like a stick through the spokes of a wheel.

Ring a bell?

Scientific Knowledge is Real Knowledge?

Scientific knowledge is only approximate.  That’s why science requires multiple measurements of anything and why “rounding” is used.  That’s why engineering speaks in terms of “tolerances”; ask the engineers who designed the Space Shuttle.  Any measurement (the mainstay of science) is approximate; ask any astronomer. Error is “built in” to measurement; that’s why the term, “margin of error” is used.

So engineers and scientists get used to accepting “relative certainty” as “practically absolute certainty, where a margin of tolerance or error is involved. It’s an artificial certainty used as a “go” signal. It becomes an aggressive conventional attitude, that something approximately known is certainly known.

Feel the attitude.  Familiar?

Quantum physicists devised an experiment related to computing in which they discovered that the behavior of two interrelated systems can be predicted at most 85% of the time.  The 15% is unknown.

So, to assume the sufficiency of memory for predicting new experiences is a case of “knowledge being too big for its britches.”

Even Measurement is only Approximate.

“Measurement” is the basis of science — but every scientist and every engineer knows that measurement always involves some degree of error, called, “measurement error.”  Tolerances for error are always built into design specifications.

By disregarding measurement errors, technologists discard the portion of Mystery that exists in every calculation.  They disregard the margin of error part and assume knowledge, based on the rest — knowledge good enough for action, good enough to make a product that will perform adequately.

But measurement errors are always there.  That’s why product warranties exist.

The Seeming Solidity of Experience is the Experience of Your Own Mental Solidity.
The sense of “solidity” is what makes a memory seem reliable and correct — whether or not it happens to be reliable or correct.  The solidity exists, not in the event or object, but in your sense of memory.  The solidity of your memory provides a relatively fixed attention-point for pegging an experience.  It’s not the experience that you experience as, “solid”, but your own four-factor intelligence.

attending to the appearance of it
having a persistent intention toward it

Feel that?

Your perception is approximate, and so is your sense of the reality of anything.  But it seems true and reliable because you override the uncertainty of your “margin of error”.

If you really “get” that, if you get how the words, above, connect, that recognition changes your mind from “hard certainty” about apparently objective reality to a recognition that the “hardness” is you. You may then intuit the “portion” of Mystery that exceeds hard science and technology.  “Your elevator” might not work right, for all time!  There’s the possibility of “the unexpected”.  That’s why they have that red button, right?

The upshot of all this?  To the degree that you feel “certain” about something, to that degree you’re consulting your memory and disregarding your “margin of error”.  Rather than the direct experience of the moment (which has elements of “unknown” to it), you’re experiencing indirectly through your acquired (known) memories of experience.

If you’re intelligently present to the present moment, you’re uncertain, but receptive — directly confronting the mystery of reality, not “already knowing”, as the next moment of ordinary experience occurs.

Knowledge is approximate, but helps us put our attention on something.  Direct experience is always*already unknown in any absolute sense, but known relative to accumulated memories.

When the weight of those accumulated memories fades, so does the apparent “certainty of knowing” fade.  We realize Mystery to be the case.  We don’t know.

Distinguish clearly between the two — relative knowledge (sufficiently knowing) and absolute knowledge (truthfully unknowing).  Know the difference between direct experience (in mystery about what’s coming next) and memory (approximate expectation based on what came, before).

Do you?


Language gives us a handle on things. That’s useful, obviously — but it’s also approximate because it depends on memory.

Language also puts something between ourselves and direct experience: words.  People commonly pay more attention to words (and thinking) than we do to direct experience; we even confuse the two, thinking they are the same.

Because the emphasis on language and knowing is the foundation of education, the noise of the word-mind gets “louder” than our direct experience and our “truth-sense”.  People lose touch with reality, more in touch with thinking — their thinking — than with direct experience.  They become more and more “conventional” thinkers, conformists, mediocre persons — inside “the box”.  They even override conscience.

People who know something about something may act as if what they know is all they need to know about it, or even all there is to know about it.

As soon as we get recognize something, that’s it; we tend to cease to pay attention to details. Our attention becomes superficial. Errors of judgment occur.  Actions get taken in haste. Mistakes get made. Quality of life ceases to improve or goes down.

People get reluctant to adjust to change, to “make an exception”, when called for by a situation.  They miss opportunities because they feel as if, “I already know what’s what — and that ain’t it.”

When people run their lives by “word-knowledge”, they tend to give their intelligence over to those who seem to have more word-knowledge, for example, to the news media.

If you can “talk a good talk”, you get credibility.

Assuming that others are more intelligent than we are because they can talk the talk better than we can is the perfect description of the mind of a child.

When people don’t think things through, for themselves, they blithely (casually and automatically) accept popular views of things. They get intellectually lazy.  Critical thinking goes out the window.

But there exists an even more insidious effect of language:

Hardened attitudes form.

People automatically believe and act as if their own thinking is correct (even if they claim to be “open minded” or “skeptical”); they lose intelligence.

The “I already know” mentality leads to anxieties and, sometimes, to unnecessary pre-emptive actions (such as wars or breaking up from an intimate friend or partner).

People who operate primarily from their “word-minds” tend to override their feelings (e.g., conscience) in favor of “what they know” (what reason suggests is necessary). That explains The News, politics, economic catastrophes, wars, racism (and other ‘isms’), educational incompetence and social injustices.

It also explains people’s unwillingness to acknowledge and correct their mistakes — especially in politics  (where correcting mistakes may be unfairly criticized as, “flip-flopping” or incompetence) and large-scale control situations, like corporations.

Unfortunately, people have been “educated” to make knowledge their (unacknowledged) religion (and indeed, the basis of all organized religion) and their stream of thought is uninterrupted and interminable.  They commonly go with (and defend) their own thinking as if they were correct and wise because the appearance of knowledge makes people look good, and not to know makes them look bad.

Experience is a lot more fluid than what language can contain.  Life is mysterious.  You don’t even know your next thought, never mind what’s going to happen next. Our knowledge and expectations are approximate and often entirely wrong.

The “knowledge cult” of “education” makes people dense.

Knowledge has gotten too big for its britches.

Combine The Pitfall of Memory with The Pitfall of Language, You Get The Entry of Untruth.

Memory and language started with the intention to be truthful and useful.

However, once someone recognized that they could manipulate others with language, the possibility of dishonesty entered the picture.

Now, “truth” is regarded as “a fashionable way of looking at something” — and dishonest terms, such as “alternate facts” and “fake news”, have gained entry.

Now, people use language without regard for truthfulness to manipulate others.

Language, which previously was an instrument for manipulating experience, has become something to be manipulated, itself.

Enter advertising, fiction, political speeches and falsehoods of all kinds.

Am I touching a nerve, here?

The Price of Truthfulness?

People have commonly come to regard truthfulness as having a cost that may be greater than the cost of untruth.  True?

Memories of experience, or memories of stories, may make it seem, so.  Common social attitudes about truthfulness, as portrayed in entertainment, may make it seem so.

So, people’s truth-sense has been blunted.

Some people consider it, “sophisticated”, to distort the truth and get away, with it.

The Price of Being False

Being false has a heavy price — and people sell out their integrity, for cheap.

The heavy price comes in the form of loss of the reliability of memory, the loss of trust, and the loss of the full use of ones faculties that comes from the loss of integrity.  People sell out “for cheap” — and they don’t recognize the price because they suppress that knowledge, in themselves.  When they sell out for cheap, they betray themselves.

Enter stupidity, incompetence, criminal investigations, and divorce lawyers.  Mental health goes downhill; depression sets in. Alcohol and drug use increase.  Actions needed never happen.  Money and resources get wasted.  With the impairment of mental capacity and the loss of trust, commerce slows and falters (also known as, “recession” or “depression”).

Make sense?

The solution to this abuse of language is to recognize that “truth” is not something that can be made up and that integrity is not something “costs”; it is to recognize that truth and integrity gird the power to accomplish.  A blunted truth-sense is one meaning of “the blind leading the blind.”

To clean up a situation, we must intervene where the problem is — not outside us, but in our “truth sense”.

Our “truth sense” gets distorted when we put “word-mind” and memory ahead of direct experience ( about being in mystery of “what’s coming next”).

We must get control of the balance between memory and imagination; we must rehabilitate our “truth sense”.

We’ll get to that at the end.



Up to a point, technology gives us more freedom. However, that freedom exacts a price: obliviousness, stagnation, irresponsibility — and it eats up our time.


Up to a point, art enhances our lives. By distilling the truth of things in refined expressions, art makes us feel better. That’s its purpose.

But art has been dumbed-down to the point where unrefined junk has been legitimized as “artistic expression”.

Even Feeling Better May Exact a Price

That “feeling better”, whether from technology or from art, exacts a price: it distracts us from what we feel, without it.

Both technology and art start out as a boon to humanity and become “opiates of the masses”.

Accumulating wealth has the same effect. Often, people pursue wealth as a way to feel better.  As a rule of thumb, you can tell how emotionally unbalanced and dependent wealthy people are on the consolations of ownership by the degree of their pursuit of wealth.


People become preoccupied by the technologies they use.

Let’s talk about two major technologies (that have significant overlap):

  • Smart Phones
  • Video Entertainment

Take smart phones.

Smart Phones

A smart phone is a computer in your pocket. It’s great for getting information on the fly.

As a communication device, however, smart phones exact a heavy price when people would rather text than talk.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of texting (in case they’re not obvious):


  • Texting slows conversations down so people may consider what’s they’re about to say before they say it
  • Texting removes the need for both parties to be available at the same time.


  • Texting removes spontaneity from conversation — and with it, honesty or authenticity.
  • Texting leaves out the subtlety of communication that comes from tone of voice and pacing of a response.

Texting makes communication into “thin soup” — and many people prefer it that way.

Users of social media like Facebook substitute frequency of trivial communications for depth of relationship — and they may not know any better if they’ve grown up with smart phones.

People confuse the little “lift” they get when they hear a “message chime” with the feeling of actual connection with someone else, which is far richer and more detailed than a chime — and also more demanding of their intelligence and emotional maturity.

So, people substitute “hello” for depth of interaction. The quality of relationships goes down. More “thin soup”.

Smart phones have another effect — an obvious one.  What’s the most obvious sign that someone is occupied with his or her smart phone?

Their head is forward and face-down and they’re completely oblivious to their surroundings.

Smart phones teach people to narrow their attention — the opposite of what happens with maturation (expansion of their field of attention to include more of the world) — and the opposite of what’s needed in a healthy society.

More than that, the “head down” position is the position of non-involvement or even of submission (as to “the status quo”).

So, for many, using a smart phone cultivates obliviousness, superficiality, a narrowed field of activity and non-involvement.

Those effects lead to boredom — and to intensified dependency on the most distraction-rich object in the immediate environment: their smart phone.

And the civilization nosedive continues.

Watching Video

Video entertainment and entertainment, in general, train people to be more spectator than participant.  There’s a price, for that, which has placed civilization at higher risk.

Entertainment distracts.  The distraction is distraction from their own lives.

So, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, movies were the great distraction.  They featured stories about wealthy people with servants, top hats, high-ceilings, polished floors, art deco apartments and big houses.

Nowadays, the makers of video content mostly go for “catching people’s attention”, rather than for excellent entertainment — hence, the frequency of material involving guns, violence, danger, and alarming messages — all of which catch attention on “the Stress Channel”. It’s “junk food” — bad entertainment put out there just because “it sells” — not because it’s high quality entertainment.  That goes for The News, too.

People live their lives in “the swimming pool of culture”.  Because the “waters” of the “swimming pool” have become so dirty with emotional disturbance and stress, almost anything that distracts (and gives some relief from the sense of being immersed in “dirty emotional waters”) will “sell” — so the makers of video content (and movies, and music) sell almost anything that will sell, as entertainment.

Have you noticed?

Video has another effect on people:  it teaches them to be unresponsive spectators.  That’s why they call it “watching” video.  What can anyone do about the calamities reported in the news?  Nothing but watch.

So, apart from sports (about which fans get all emotional, but do nothing more), people sit in front of video and just watch.

Video trains people are to see, hear, and experience emotion — and not to take action.

For fiction, that’s appropriate.

For political news, the “passivity-training” of video leads to a passive, controllable population of consumers.


So, smart phones may be interactive, but they narrow people’s focus to themselves and train them to be uninvolved with what’s around them (and you can see that in any store where people appear to be oblivious to the people around them).

Video may broaden people’s view of life, but it trains them to take no initiative, to let others take the initiative.

Video and smart phones are a microcosm of what goes on in a technological culture, as a whole.  They “contain” people in a stagnant, or degenerative, way of life.

They dumb people down.


Other kinds of technology complete the “enclosure” or “encapsulation” of “the swimming pool of culture” — everything from religion to shopping malls. They’re all built upon the same rehash of standard (remembered) attitudes and standard (subliminally remembered) values, generally, money, food, and sex and the emergencies of life.

The conveniences of technology have led people to become complacent and numb (dumb) about the precarious and degenerating state of civilization.  This state of degeneration is so familiar that the very idea that things could be very different seems novel, inconvenient, or hard to understand, for some (many) people.


Now, I want to address the “creator side”.

Up to this point, I’ve addressed the “consumer side” of technology.  However, there’s a darker side:  technology taken too far or the wrong direction.

In science fiction stories, there exists the character called, The Mad Scientist.

In Sci-Fi stories, The Mad Scientist is always involved in doing what should not be done — what others feel should not be done and what they, themselves, feel should not be done.  Mad Scientists go too far.  Like adolescents, they chafe against limits — just like adolescents.

Mad Scientists really exist and provide profit centers for big businesses such as Monsanto, Bayer, and the Big Pharma companies.

Mad scientists develop artificial “food products”.  “Frankenfood” is a term applied to food products derived from genetic engineering.

Let me offer a statement of something that should be obvious:

Just because something could be done doesn’t mean that it should be done.

With this statement, I’m going against the preferences of enthusiasts of bioengineering and artificial intelligence.

They feel that

  1. Any direction they can explore, with science, they should explore, as if that were a moral imperative of science.
  2. They have no responsibility for how their findings are used.

That’s like saying they have no responsibility for how their offspring (children) relate to others or how others relate to their offspring.

They may say, “But that’s different.”

I’m saying that it isn’t different.  Their scientific and technological developments are their offspring.  I’m saying that the responsibility is exactly the same, whether it’s biology or technology.  “Do your best, responsibly, to see to it that your offspring are a benign influence in the world; don’t just let them loose like bats out of a belfry,” — or practice “contraception”.  Since innovators don’t often have control of their offspring, perhaps they should use good judgment and sometimes, practice the latter:  refuse to participate.

I’m saying that the, “That’s not my responsibility,” attitude is irresponsible, more irresponsible than the attitude of Dr. Frankenstein because they may not claim innocence.

Whether or not it’s your job and someone is paying you to do it, you are to be responsible.

Now, to make some points, I’ll say more about two of the pet projects of science and technology: bioengineering and artificial intelligence.


By this term, I’m referring to genetic engineering and “cyborg” technology — and I’ll explain.

Genetic engineering involves tinkering with the DNA sequencing that controls the development and behavior of living creatures.

Cyborg technology involves implanting devices into living creatures.

I’ll talk about both.

Genetic Engineering

Enthusiasts of genetic engineering cite the benefits — treating diseases, more productive agriculture, and technical problem-solving.

What they’re enthusiastic about, really, is the profit potential.  What they don’t seem to care about are the side-effects.

How can we tell?  Look at how business take advantage of profit potential and avoid responsibility for the greater effects on affected populations.  Look at Flint, Michigan; look at the lawsuits filed by Monsanto against farmers who don’t use their GMO seed; look at the decimation of bee populations by Bayer products.


For all actions, there are side effects.  There are no exceptions.  Some are greater than others, but side-effects always occur and they are always unanticipated (just as a combination of new ingredients produces new results).

Cooking makes a mess.  Sex complicates relationships.  High finance increases economic burdens.  All political solutions make some people unhappy.  All technology creates pollution.  Even peeing creates splashes in all directions!  Side-effects.

Humans are inherently unprepared for side-effects because they can’t predict them all.  The side-effects they know about (from past experience), they manage for better, for worse, or not at all — and their managing of them produces more side-effects.

Managing Side-Effects Produces More Side-effects

For example, pharmaceutical drugs have side-effects (including drug interactions) — which physicians attempt to manage by prescribing additional drugs — but which produce additional side-effects.  This practice leads to “drug toxicity (pile-up)”.

That’s true of drugs that have been extensively tested.

What of the unanticipated side-effects of genetic tinkering that spill into society and into our environment?  Humans don’t understand living eco-systems, very well.  They can describe what they see, but they can’t predict changes.

Humans can’t predict drug interactions (until after they have happened); how are they going to predict side-effects from genetic engineering?  How are they going to manage them?

Humans are in over their heads, when it comes to genetic engineering, regardless of the individual, predicted effects it can produce.

There’s that matter of responsibility.

Cyborg Technology

Replacements for lost organs or limbs are examples of cyborg technology.  “Better than original” enhancements are on the agenda. You can find out about them on

Combining cyborg technology with genetic tinkering, Mad Scientists (who think of themselves as “legitimate scientists”) envision “super-individuals”.

Humanity can’t competently manage societies as they are, never mind societies that include artificially enhanced individuals or classes of individuals.  Just look at the controversy surrounding “doping” in athletics, a bare hint of what may come.

Controversy Depends on the Legitimacy of Two Views

Talk of these topics as being, “controversial”, seems to hold that there is comparable legitimacy to advancing bioengineering in the ways I have been discussing.

There is no legitimacy to arguments in favor of this kind of bioengineering because it’s sanctioned and conducted by people whose ability (and willingness) to imagine and manage side-effects (foresight and conscience) is either inadequate to the scope of their undertaking — or suppressed in favor of “foreseeable profits and ego status”.

I’m saying that they should restrain themselves and, at least, retrain themselves, so that the four factors of intelligence in them are well-turned-on and integrated before they go dabbling in the irreversible.

Asking them to do that may be like asking adolescents to practice abstinence.

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”)

The term, “artificial intelligence” covers everything from “devices that think” to the notion of transferring individual (personal) consciousness from a living body to an electronic device.  Just ask Siri (Apple computer OS) or Alexa (Windows OS).

It’s all ridiculous — for two reasons:

  • “Devices that think” put more power into the hands of self-serving individuals who already abuse the power that they have — think of the invasion of privacy by the NSA
  • Artificial Intelligence creates the risk of devices taking over civilization as humans hand more and more responsibility and control over to them (as humans are prone to do). Unpredicted side-effects are inevitable.
  • Consciousness is not a product of the brain that can be moved about.

A brain is just a matter-energy arrangement.  Changing an arrangement only changes the experience of the arrangement.  Ask yourself, “How can re-arranging something produce consciousness?”

Consciousness is a property of matter/energy, whatever the arrangement.

Here’s a related question:  The operation of the brain consists of electro-chemical impulses.  How do electrical impulses become sensations (never mind, consciousness)?

I haven’t even started talking about emotions.

The idea of “exporting consciousness” rests upon unfound assumptions.  These people are going to export consciousness to electronic devices?

Again, it’s a case of irresponsibility and self-indulgence adding massive complexity to a civilization that is already “under water” (bogged down) managing the complexity that already exists.

Who pays?  Humanity and the biosphere pay.  Who profits?  You know.

This is what happens when Mad Scientists get paid to do their work.

In a way, the Mad Scientist is an exaggerated form of the corrupt politician and “the organization man“.  They do what should not be done for the benefit of their special interests, rather than looking after the common good for current and future generations.


In each of these three areas, language, memory, and technology, those who are somewhat more advanced have tended to seek dominion, or advantage over, those who are less advanced — and they think that’s O.K. because their truth-sense has been blunted by their cultural conditioning.

However, that state of affairs isn’t necessary or built into language, memory and technology; it’s that people are poorly educated and complacent.

Because people are complacent, they don’t take responsibility for social conditions that, on one hand, cause social (e.g., economic) imbalances and unnecessary suffering or for the exploiters-in-power who create those conditions. They tolerate them because they are pacified into complacency by distraction and nominal satisfaction of needs.

Meanwhile, “Rome burns” as crises converge on human civilization.

All of this happens because a dumbed-down population allows scientists and technologists who aren’t playing with a full deck to have free rein.

And that’s the fault of the current “cult of education”.  Here’s how.


The fault lies entirely with those who control education, or who pass on tradition, both of which seek to give “ownership” power to those in the know and in possession.

The very purpose of education has to do with continuity of what has gone before.  Education is the means by which civilization passes from generation to generation. But it has been cheapened and degraded by making education the servant of commerce, i.e., money.

But education, as currently practiced, is out of balance.  It’s not playing with a full deck.

The result?  a stunted and blunted “truth sense”, stunted creativity — and stunted conscience and lack of self-regulation


There are four basic “suits” of intelligence:

imagination | intention | memory | attention

Every learned ability depends upon all four, not just upon any one of them.

But education (both basic and higher) primarily emphasizes only one of those four basic aspects of intelligence — memory — and leaves the others to “fend for themselves”.

Because the idea that there are four basic aspects of intelligence that underlie ALL expressions of intelligence, may be a new idea, to you, I will point you to a resource (at the end of this piece) to help you get a better handle on the four.

For now, I will talk more in summary about them.

The Fault Lies with an Educational Process — Whether Formal or Informal — that Fails to Educate all of the Suits of Intelligence.

Education is overwhelmingly about memorizing, memorizing, memorizing. That’s what makes it so unpleasant, so boring.

Even the idea of “understanding” something has more to do with stringing remembered together things than of awakening intuitive depth of understanding. Intuitive understanding is even disparaged in “hard” fields of study like mathematics and science, even though those fields emerged on the “coattails” of intuition.

The three other suits of intelligence, if equally emphasized, would enhance human development far more than memorization, alone — and would rehabilitate people’s truth-sense.

To re-state, those three other “suits” are …


Of those, imagination is what gives flavor to a learning experience. Imagination is the “incoming channel” for new experiences, for insight, for ingenuity, and for intuition.

Developing imagination (in tandem with memory, attention, and deliberate intention) leads to new discoveries; developing attention (in tandem with intention and memory) sharpens the ability to see details and relationships; developing intention (in tandem with imagination, memory and attention) leads to fine work.  New discoveries, details and relationships, fine work.

See how bringing all four up to speed would rehabilitate people’s truth-sense?

However, in education, imagination has been made into the handmaiden of memorization.

Playing with a Full Deck

Only secondarily is education (as practiced) about the other three mental faculties. For example, attention is only demanded (and hoped for), but not intelligently (that is, directly) cultivated in educational settings.

Doesn’t it seem so, to you?

Intention and Attention

Back to “the four suits”, in educational settings, the exercise of the intention (to pass on knowledge) gets enforced by means of bribery and threats (grades and approval or disapproval).

So, students develop the intention to pay attention, in class — more or less — and become more and more habituated, in general, to bribery and threats being standard operating procedure.

That’s about as far as developing intention and attention go in education — the intention to pay attention enough to memorize something.


Only secondarily is education about imagination, which in educational settings is barely cultivated and remains subject to the approval of authorities in the educational settings. In fact, instead of using the power of daydreaming in learning situations, educators want to prevent daydreaming in their students!

So, as a result, you’ve noticed, if you’ve been paying attention, that imaginativeness has declined under our present educational approach; the quality of entertainment has declined in recent times because of the decline of imaginativeness (even if technical execution has improved because of technology).

Imagining and Remembering are Part of Each Other.

In common learning, if you want to memorize something, you imagine it repeatedly, to yourself, until it “sticks” (consolidates as a memory).

However, it’s common for one to dominate the other.  Imagination is the flow of newness from the unknown; memory is the consolidation and perpetuation of what has gone before.

When memory dominates, we expect that how things have been is how they will be, again.  Memory inherently biases imagination.

It’s also possible for imagination to dominate memory, as in situations of denial, as well as in situations of inspiration.  Imagination transcends memory; imagination is the “mouth” that is open to Mystery.

In formal education, term projects and term papers are more about showing that you have memorized the material than about creating anything new (too far in advance of the standard view of things), so memory dominates.


There once existed a rationale for the curriculum required to earn a degree, “to develop well-rounded individuals”. That rationale has been abandoned.  Few well-rounded individuals emerge from education. Education turns out idiots; just read the news.

The process so disproportionately emphasizes memory — inclusion of studies in the humanities and in the sciences notwithstanding — that the few well-rounded individuals who do emerge are well-rounded because they followed their own interests, not the educational curriculum.  Such “well-rounded individuals” are called, “visionaries.”


People generally don’t change unless they feel they have to – and the recognition that they have to depends upon their ability (and willingness) to take changing conditions into account — changing conditions that they tend to overlook or ignore if those conditions are new and no memories exist, of them — as in the changes, these days.

The cultural acceptance of new things relies entirely upon the willingness of people to relax their grip on what they already know and to open themselves to what they do not already know. But they can’t — due to the indoctrination of conventional, knowledge-based education into the habit of having a tight grip on memory.

Humanity has become bound up in patterns of memory that perpetuate “ethnic cleansing” (an abomination of a term for culture wars and attempted genocide), corporate competition, political unscrupulousness, obsolete ways of doing things, entrenched wealth, power and status; denial of problems that absolutely need solving, and value systems that confer advantage to the few at the disadvantage of the many.

Sound like the governments of totalitarian regimes? or the U.S. government?

Acceptance of Change Requires Trust as Well as Abstract Faith.

One of the requirements for accepting cultural change, is trust.  Trust is trust in the truth.

Ordinarily the sense of truth comes from memory.  If something fits our memory or is plausible because of what we remember, we are inclined to accept its truth.

We find it easier to imagine things we remember, and that’s the basis for our truth-sense and our ability to recognize anything.

If we can’t imagine something, we tend not to consider it, truth, and don’t trust it.

When the changes of the times are unprecedented or don’t correspond to our memory of how things have been, they don’t trigger our truth-sense. We may remain doubtful.

In addition, belief in the legitimacy of “alternative truths” undermines trust in the truth, and that leaves us unprepared for great changes, such as we are experiencing, these days.

That’s what happens when people operate primarily from memory, as trained by conventional education.  People remain mistrustful and slow to change.

The whole orientation of education is at fault. It’s at fault for two simple reasons:

  1. It uses memorization without equally cultivating  imagination, attention, and intentionality, so people most always develop with handicapped intelligence.
  2. It teaches people to evaluate reality on based on memory and to avoid “not knowing” (“being in mystery”).  People become slower to recognize changes and remain slow to do something new, even when something new is called for.

Under memorization-based education, the response to drastically changing conditions tends to be either an emergency response to perpetuate the old order and old knowledge, mere denial, or the emergency seeking of new solutions while ensnared by old ways of acting and thinking.

What people need is a “re-set” of the truth-sense back to “clear”.

The term, attention refreshment-rate, is apt.

Let me explain the term, a bit more.

I’ll use the example of video.

The earliest video technology, moving pictures (film) consisted of a series of still photographs taken in rapid succession on a long strip of film at a rate of 16 frames per second. Those films, when viewed at their original rate, have a jerky appearance. The jerky appearance is due to the amount of change that occurs from frame to frame missing all of the changes that occurred between frames. The refresh rate of film, at that time, being 16 frames per second, was much slower than the refresh rate of human attention, so we perceive the jerkiness and the lost detail of change from frame to frame. It’s for that reason that the frame rate of film was increased to 24 frames per second, and of electronic video, to 30 frames per second.

Human attention has a refresh rate. Unlike video, which has a set refresh rate, human attention has a very variable attention-refreshment rate. Smart people have a high attention-refreshment rate; they can take in a lot of information because they are capable of capturing more detail because of their higher attention-refreshment rate. Stupid people have a slow attention-refreshment rate. They can take in much less detail because of that lower rate. They’re even called, slow.

The refresh-rate of humanity has failed to speed up enough for people either to take in the details of new conditions sufficiently quickly and sufficiently intelligently to change quickly or effectively enough to face the onslaught of accelerating change.

Memory puts drag into the refresh rate of attention. Attention has to come free of memory enough to allow new impressions to come in. Two things can’t occupy the same space at the same time.

This is not to say that stupid people are stupid because they have too many memories, though that’s true. Consider feuds and long-standing ethnic antagonisms.

It is to say that even a smart person, when he or she becomes too attached to memories and knowledge, loses mental flexibility (the capacity to imagine,  to “think outside the box”) and so to lag in ability to change. They become entrenched, and with entrenchment, all of the systems through which authority leads to action become mired in the incompetence that comes from failure to change.

That’s why technological breakthroughs generally come from outside the main stream.

Attention to memory without the counter-balancing of imagination acted upon intentionally, bogs us down.


Language, for all the advantages it has brought to humanity, has the ultimate disadvantage of representing all experiences as, “knowns” when things are changing at an accelerating pace.

Language brings premature closure to the openness of intelligence that can see things as they are, rather than as they are known or as they are remembered.

Language makes experiences seem like objectively-existing things, reliable and with predictable substantiality that no longer need observation in order to know what to do. It gives apparent substantiality to reality.

The lack of descriptive language about something  or someone (new) makes it unknown, unpredictable, and so, a possible danger.


When people run their lives based on what they think they know, without having the “grain of sale” provided by the truth that Mystery pertains to every situation, where “knowing” means, “having words for” and “being ready for”, they are out of touch with reality. They can become a danger to themselves and to others. Do you follow the news?

The general population, who are not so smart, are even more affected by the accumulation of memories. Their “attention refreshment” rate is slowed down; their minds are gummed up. They are less willing than the better educated — or even unable to change — because of their sense of being over-challenged by the requirement to change with the times. They stick with what they know and avoid change as much as possible. They are laggard, in a state of arrested development at a time when change is accelerating.

For that reason, things get out of hand and change seems to happen at a rate faster than the general population can handle – and so they (and political “conservatives”) try to slow change down.

So, the enshrinement of word-mind memory by education, entertainment, propaganda, and tradition (memory) has started out as a boon to humanity and become an impending disaster due to learned incapacity, laggardness and stupidity — all this in a population that generally considers itself reasonably intelligent.

Get the picture?


Alcohol, the most publicly approved intoxicant of choice, specifically makes the problem worse. Alcohol slows down the attention refresh rate.

That’s why people use it: so that they take in less of their lives and don’t feel so much distress at the way their lives actually are. That’s the reality behind the saying, “I need a drink.”

Alcohol inhibits the prefrontal cortex of the brain — the seat of discerning intelligence and self-control of behavior — and stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain – making being dull-witted or stupid a pleasure.  That’s how it works as a “social lubricant”.

Opioids have similar effects.  Know about the “opioid epidemic”?

So, we see the bias of humanity toward a lower attention-refreshment rate, toward the enthronement of “the thinking mind”, and toward a generally lower level of intelligence in the face of drastically changing planetary conditions.

The educational processes reflect that bias.

That bias, in turn, reflects the evolutionary state of humanity. For the past 10,000 years of recorded history, we have seen the advantages of learning (knowledge), in the development of human civilization: cultural development, language development, and technology.

Humanity has become so successful from these evolutionary developments that it has become a threat to itself and our environment.

The development of memory, the memory-bias of education, and the valuing of knowledge and power that come from education have led to an unsustainable convergence of world-situations into one giant situation: an overpopulated planet controlled by memory bound individuals bent upon maintaining and extending what they have and what they know (remember) against the wills of others who have different sets of memories and different self-interests.

That mentality, today, is analogous to that of a morbidly obese person (who is in no danger of starvation) constantly having food on their mind and intent upon stealing the food of others. How smart is that?

I’m also not saying to abolish knowledge. That would obviously be ridiculous.

What I’m saying is, teach humans to increase their attention-refreshment-rate, so they can take in new information and let go of ways that no longer work or are no longer sustainable.

That’s the needed “pivot point” of the times and the missing – and next necessary – dimension of education:  to teach people to increase their attention refresh rate by learning to dissolve the grip of memory — and to rehabilitate the recognition of Mystery, for perspective.  This rehabilitation is not a product of knowing intellect, but a truth-based intuitive foundation of existence that rehabilitates creativity, conscience, and self-restraint.

Higher Intelligence

To dissolve the grip of memories doesn’t make them inaccessible; it just makes space for the new to emerge. Memory impressions remain, but in a less dense state that leaves them out of the way unless experience calls for them.  To dissolve the grip of memories (on an item by item basis) decreases people’s density as human beings.  It makes people more perceptive, quicker-witted, more freely spontaneous … better fine-tuned to the moment.

This “dissolving the grip” process is exactly what is meant by, “lightening things up”; it’s what psychotherapy is supposed to accomplish; it’s what forgiveness is supposed to be about; it’s what meditation is supposed to do; it’s what the term, “open-minded” signifies, it’s the prerequisite for adjusting to new situations, for doing new things in a new way, for clearing the way for intelligence, for surviving and thriving in a changing world that requires different things of us, as individuals and as a species, than in the past.

Times are changing more quickly. The accelerating rate of world change requires a higher attention refresh rate — the ability to take in more detail more quickly that results from less mental noise (persistent memory) gumming up the learning mechanism.

We need to be a smarter humanity. The way to develop intelligence better, in the educational process, is to integrate memory with its three complementary aspects of intelligence, imagination, attention, and intention.  That very integration restores the sense of Mystery — something you may not have anticipated.

The deliberate dissolution of the grip of memory may call up a certain anxiety, in you. That’s evidence in you of the bias in your education and in the way our current civilization has conditioned you. That anxiety is not a sign of what should not be done; it’s a sign of exactly what should be done. The dissolution is a freeing and a relief.

You may feel that you don’t know how to do that. That’s exactly my point. You’ve been taught to memorize, memorize, memorize, but not taught how to integrate memory with the three other “suits” of intelligence that make all the difference.

Because you’re not used to the idea, it may make you anxious. But there’s nothing daunting, threatening or dangerous about it. It’s about clarity — just that.


The bias toward persistent memory that made humanity so successful has become so successful that it is pandemic and is endangering human civilization.

The enthronement of language-based learning that has made humanity so successful has deluded humanity about what is real and what is remembered or imagined.

The products of “mind and hand” that have so enhanced humanity’s survival have led to complacency and to the limitations that now so jeopardize civilization.

People need to “get it straight”.

We, the human species must now use more of our intelligence and reduce the stupidities of corporate identity, national identity, ethnic identity, and personal identity — or else the memories of our civilization may be dissolved by an onslaught of calamities, along with the human species, ourselves.

I promised you a way to get more information on the four “suits” of intelligence that must be integrated to increase the attention-refreshment rate an to open the way to intelligent change.

Here are links on-line:


The Four Universal Aspects of Intelligence: The TetraSeed


The Gold Key Release (for increasing intelligence)

This item is reprinted from Full-Spectrum Somatics,, by the author.

(c) COPYRIGHT 2019 Lawrence Gold

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How to Get Lower Back Pain Relief


If you want to know how to get lower back pain relief, you need to learn how to get your back muscles, which never relax, to relax. That’s exactly what’s necessary and is usually entirely sufficient. I explain, below.

To relax your back is not something someone can do, for you; you have to learn to do it, yourself. It’s not difficult, but you have to do it entirely differently from the usual way you try to relax.

To relax your back this way brings lasting relief faster than the usual therapies and without need for long periods of repeated therapy sessions.  It comes from a new discipline in the field of healthcare, called clinical somatic education.

I explain this new way of getting muscles to relax, and the differences between the usual back pain therapies and clinical somatic education, in this piece.  If you’ve been frustrated by the lack of lasting relief from the usual therapies, you’ll like this approach.

Searching For A Solution

I’ll start with a listing of approaches you may have tried, so you know that I’m taking your experience into account.

There are strengthening and stretching exercises, pain meds, muscle relaxants, skeletal manipulation, spinal decompression devices, acupuncture, bodywork of various sorts, yoga and laser therapy.

You may be familiar with these therapeutic approaches. You may have found that they bring relief that lasts no more than a few days or a few hours. Practitioners end up administering the same treatment again, and again and, if asked, tell you that’s what you should expect.

Of the approaches I listed, the ones that sound like they come closest to relaxing your back muscles are stretching and massage. Neither of these approaches works any better than the others because any relaxation they produce is temporary. It’s temporary because your brain controls your muscle tension and your brain is conditioned to maintain your muscular tension at a “set point” to which your back muscles return: always tight.

So, what you need is a way to change your brain-conditioning to change the resting state of your back muscles to relaxation, instead of to, “always tight.”

Another way of saying, “change your brain-conditioning” is, “relearn control of your muscles.” “Conditioning” and “learning” are the same thing.

If, after reading this article, you still want to explore some of the usual therapeutic approaches, perhaps you’d best bookmark this page. You can come back to it after you’ve finished your tour (and testing) of those other approaches. I expect you’ll be back.


What the usual approaches have in common is that they all attempt to counteract  or oppose symptoms that keep reappearing. They address symptoms, not the causes of those symptoms.  “Symptoms” include back muscle pain, spinal mis-alignment, subluxations, disc bulges, facet joint irritation, muscle spasms and sciatica; these symptoms are effects, not causes. 

For example, misalignment doesn’t cause muscle spasms; it’s the other way around: muscle spasms cause misalignment. Bones (vertebrae) go where muscles pull them.

While counteracting symptoms may seem reasonable (and is all many people care about, as long as they get some relief), it’s ineffective in the long term and leaves you having to limit your activities to protect your back.

That’s what happens when therapy doesn’t address the underlying cause.

What’s necessary is not to counteract, oppose, or suppress symptoms, but to undo their underlying cause, altogether. Counteracting, opposing, and suppressing are different from undoing the underlying cause, as I will explain, shortly.

Let’s slow down, here, and make that point clearer.


People often mistake symptoms for causes. The usual therapies all treat lower back pain symptoms as if they’re a sign of something happening to the body, rather than something that the body is doing to itself that causes the symptoms.

In that view, misalignment and subluxations “just happen”; discs bulge and degenerate because of “degenerative disc disease” (the cause of which, therapists wrongly attribute to aging, to your genes, or can’t explain). Sciatica “just happens”. Lower back pain is supposedly caused by conditions beyond our control.

But these symptoms are within your control — if you take the approach that addresses the underlying cause.

The Underlying Cause

Tight back muscles cause most back pain. The usual causes of tight back muscles are

  • an injury such as an accident or hard fall
  • frequent and ongoing repetition of bending and lifting movements
  • long-term stress (nervous tension).

In an accident, the pain, violent motions, and shock of the accident cause muscular cringing, or tightening, a reaction that sets in long-term.

In repetitive bending and lifting movements, we get so ready to do those movements that we never relax completely, and strain patterns form.

In long-term stress, we get tense and stay tense for so long that we get used to being tense and stay tense, automatically.

These situations lead to abnormal brain conditioning. Muscles stay tight, from then, on.

(A “lifting injury” isn’t an injury, at all, but a sudden spasm triggered by an increase of muscular contraction in already-too-right muscles. Contraction – burn – pain – cringe – tighter contraction – worse pain — sounds like a spasm, doesn’t it?)

Abnormal brain conditioning causes overly tight back muscles. Another term for “abnormal brain conditioning” is “abnormal habit”.

Habit keeps the muscles tight, automatically. Habit is what makes the way we move move different from the way someone else moves. Habit controls posture. Habit controls spinal alignment. Habit keeps the muscles in the state of tension originally triggered by injury, repetitive movement, or stress.

Habitual back muscle tension makes muscle spasms more likely; the tighter the habit, the more likely spasm is to occur.

Habitual back muscle tension causes most back pain.

Relief of  habitual tension can’t be done by stretching, manipulation, or any of the usual approaches I mentioned because those approaches only oppose the habit that keeps muscles tight. They don’t change itdon’t normalize it. They try to counteract it. They “resist” it. The tension habit persists.

Symptoms return shortly after the usual kinds of therapy.

Where muscles are concerned, habitual patterns of muscular tension have a special name: muscle memory (more properly called movement memory).

Ring a bell?


When chronic muscle tension ends, pain ends. Pressure comes off discs. Nerves come free from entrapment. The facet joints of vertebrae no longer rub together. Alignment corrects itself to a healthy flexibility. If tissue healing is needed (such as for irritated facet joints of vertebrae) healing can now occur.

Why Did Your Back Muscles Start To Hurt?

Simple answer: muscle fatigue, “the burn” they say to go for, in athletics. What “the burn” is, is oxygen starvation of the muscles from being too tight for too long.

Make sense?

If you pay attention to what happens in you when you’re in a hurry or in a state of intense attention (“stress”), you’ll notice that your back muscles always tighten up.

Over your lifetime, that kind of situation has happened over and over so often and for such prolonged periods of time (in your “way of life”) that you stayed tense and formed a tension habit.

You may never have noticed that you were tense that way until your back muscles started to hurt — and it may not have occurred to you that your symptoms (i.e., pain, etc.) came from your muscles being tight all the time.

Other Conditions of Low Back Pain

Tight back muscles pull neighboring vertebrae closer together, squeeze the discs in between, and cause a host of problems commonly regarded by therapists as different “disease entities” called by different names, but all from the same cause:

  • disc bulges
  • degenerative disc disease
  • spontaneous fusion of vertebrae
  • disc herniation
  • sciatica (pinched sciatic nerve)

The cure for all is the same.

Clinical Somatic Education

The purpose of clinical somatic education and somatic education exercises is to for you to relearn control of overly tight muscles, to create a new movement memory free of the muscle-tension habit. Your back muscles come free and symptoms disappear. It’s a long-term change that occurs relatively quickly, in this approach.

Clinical somatic education has two forms: clinical techniques and somatic education exercises. You may resort to either or both.

How it Works

What makes somatic education different from the usual therapies is that it uses an action related to yawning to relearn control of muscles. That action is called, pandiculation.

Usually, a person with back pain can relax only so far and no farther. They’re stuck tight. Pandiculation causes a much deeper relaxation, so so rest at true rest — which is to say, relaxed, pliant, strong and comfortable.

By pandiculating, you re-learn control of muscles. As you saw in the video, pandiculation produces results different from the usual therapies. You may have noticed that many of the “before” and “after” changes occurred after one session.

What therapies do you know of that produce that much change after one session — a lasting change? So, clinical somatic education is an exception to the rule.

Re-Learning to Control Your Back Muscles

The word, re-learn, might not quite seem to you, to fit, since you have no memory of learning control of your back muscles to begin with. That learning at first occurred when you were very young, at about three months of age, when you were first learning to lift your head and to sit up and to stand and to walk.

You need to re-learn control because, over the course of your life, you went through situations that made you tense up in ways that involved your back muscles.

You developed the unconscious habit of holding yourself tight (as if to be tight were your normal state).

Eventually, you got stuck with tight back muscles and a diagnosis of low back pain, lumbar pain, subluxation, degenerative disc disease (“DDD“), sciatica, spinal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis, or something similar and frightening-sounding.

All you really need is to re-learn control of your back muscles.

If that seems too simple, it’s likely that you are in the grip of the memories of your previous experience of therapy or the prognosis of doctors and therapists and expect this to be like that. People often try to understand something new in terms of something they already know. But this isn’t like that.

Clinical Sessions

During clinical somatic education sessions, muscle relax and comfort improves during the session. Usually, a few sessions are required for a complete change. You come to a practitioner of clinical somatic education who guides you through pandiculation actions — which are comfortable-to-do (and which rapidly reprogram muscle/movement memory, long-term).

Below, you see a video that shows part of a typical clinical session for clearing up lower back pain.

Some practitioners offer a money-back guarantee of satisfaction.

Somatic Education Exercises

If you can’t get to a practitioner, you can get lasting relief (more gradually) by somatic education (pandiculation) exercises.

Unlike strengthening exercises or stretching, somatic education exercises work by improving control of your own muscle tension. Your muscles lengthen as you relax, accomplishing the hoped-for result of stretching. As you relax, your muscles get refreshed, again, and being refreshed, are stronger, accomplishing the hoped-for result of strengthening exercises. Pandiculation accomplishes the hoped-for result of strengthening exercises and stretching — only better.

In both cases, clinical sessions and somatic education exercises, back muscle tension virtually never returns to the painful level, but increases or decreases within a normal range under life’s stresses.

The exercises enable you to keep yourself free and comfortable so that a recurrence of symptoms is unlikely.

There is an exception. If someone’s back has been so tight for so long that discs have ruptured, or spontaneous fusion of vertebrae has started to occur, or narrowing of nerve channels (stenosis) has occurred, it’s too late. Then, it’s surgery. After that, it’s clinical somatic education to prevent a recurrence.

Clinical somatic education is a highly personalized process, not a one size fits all process, so you will have a functional assessment done of your condition before starting sessions and you’ll know, with a high degree of accuracy, how many sessions will be required (generally, a small number). You can expect relief that lasts because the underlying cause — the muscular tension habit — has been undone.

The most common question I hear from clients after a session is, “Why isn’t this better known?”

How To Get Lower Back Pain Relief

You relearn control of your back muscles and the pain disappears. This result stands in stark contrast to the approach and result of the usual therapies.

So now I’ve told you something new about back pain and how to get lower back pain relief. Consider it fully and choose what you will do. If you’re serious about getting relief from low back pain, you’ll like clinical somatic education.

Lawrence Gold is a Hanna Somatic Educator in clinical practice since 1990.  He spent 1997-1999 on-staff at The Wellness and Rehabilitation Center of the Watsonville Community Hospital, in California, before returning to private practice for a worldwide clientele. Reach him, here, if you’d like to consult him about your back pain; note the free consultation option.

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How To Treat Hip-Groin Pain On Your Own

With common approaches, hip-groin pain is  hard to treat and improvement is slow-going. You need a better approach. This is it.

If you’ve had therapy for hip-groin pain and still have the pain, you may be wondering why therapy didn’t work. Perhaps you’ve started to wonder if you can do better to treat your pain on your own.

The good news is, there is something you can do for yourself that works better than physical therapy, pain meds, or surgery.

Why Therapy Didn’t Work

Therapy didn’t work because the practitioner didn’t correctly understand what he or she was dealing with and/or because the therapeutic techniques at his or her disposal were incapable of making the necessary corrections. Sorry, but that’s what the results indicate.

In the case of combined hip and groin pain, that’s a combination of two symptoms. Typical therapy addresses those symptoms at their locations, as if their cause were where the symptoms are. In the case of this combination of symptoms, the cause is elsewhere than where the symptoms are, usually at the sacrum, the middle bone at the back of the pelvis that starts at the waist and ends at the tailbone. It’s turned,and one side, one of the two S-I joints, is jammed.

What a Twisted Sacrum Looks Like

When the resting position of the sacrum gets straightened and resumes normal movement in walking, symptoms disappear without having to be addressed directly.

What You Can Do for Yourself

The solution consists of exercises that retrain muscle movement memory to exert symmetrical forces on your pelvis; the symmetrical forces cause the position of your sacrum to straighten over time.  I developed these exercises from principles of clinical somatic education and designed the instruction in them for people to use at home, by themselves.

Why retrain muscle movement memory?

Muscle movement memory gets changed by injuries, and in particular, by the pain of injuries, which triggers a cringing response that often becomes chronic. The cringing response makes muscles tight enough to hurt, causes joint compression and pain, and causes nerves to get trapped and cause nerve pain.

With changes of muscle movement memory come changes of skeletal alignment, and you can’t get a lasting change of skeletal alignment by any form of manipulation, which explains why therapy didn’t work very well.

Somatic education exercises do the job well, however.

With hip groin pain, the cause is usually a twisted sacrum, usually the result of a hard fall or a hard blow to your hipbone or tailbone, a fall or impact that jammed one leg up into the pelvis, as in a fall from a ladder, from a height, or an automobile accident where one foot was hard on the brake. Such pain may come on mysteriously decades after the original injury (as happened to me).

Many symptoms, in addition to hip groin pain, commonly ensue, such as nerve pain in the front or side of the thigh, pain around the rim of the pelvis, a gripping sensation at the lower front of the abdomen, and even neck pain.Locations of Hip Groin Pain You can see a list of common symptoms and what makes them occur, here.

A twisted sacrum can’t effectively be corrected by manipulation, skeletal or otherwise — including bodywork. However, you can correct it by restoring muscle movement memory to a healthy, balanced pattern.

It happens that self-correction done this way works far better than the standard medical solutions for hip groin pain. “Far better” means faster, more completely, and lastingly.

Here’s how to treat hip-groin pain.

In the healthy pattern, the muscles of the two sides of the body support balanced movement. When an injury has distorted the coordination of muscles into an unbalanced pattern, distortion of the pelvis (and so, the position of the sacrum) follows. That kind of distortion and the attendant pains that result can and often do last for decades, unless corrected. You may have noticed.

The first step is to identify which way your sacrum is twisted. What we look for is one sacroiliac joint being deeper set than the other. That means that that side of the sacrum is jammed forward and muscle movement memory has changed, accordingly.

There’s a way to examine yourself to find out which side is jammed deeper.

Once you’ve determined which side is deeper, you do a somatic education exercise, a structured action pattern that decompresses the jammed S-I joint. That sets the stage for later exercises that develop a balanced pattern of muscle movement memory.

That balanced pattern, by exerting similar forces left and right, reshapes your pelvis, the bones of which are secured by ligaments that, in the healthy state, allow for some degree of movement.

For hip groin pain, a specific set of somatic education exercises causes the pelvic shape to square, over time, and reinforces the new, balanced pattern of muscle movement memory.

So this is it, in a nutshell:

  1. Determine which way the sacrum is jammed.
  2. Unlock the jammed sacroiliac joint.
  3. Re-pattern muscle movement memory.

That’s it.

What are these exercises like?

You can see and test these exercises on the page for getting started with the self-correction program, Comforting Your S-I Jointsfor free.

I developed these exercises, originally for my own use. When long-standing pelvic discomfort of mine suddenly (that made me want to pop my back, all the time, became much worse in a crisis that made it impossible for me to bend forward enough to put on socks, practically immobilized my walking, made turning over in bed and ordeal, made leaning forward to flush the toilet cause muscle spasms throughout my pelvis and back, and caused gripping pain, burning, and numbness at various places in my body, I had to develop a solution for myself which, over a period of time, I did. Developing the solution was easier said, than done, by the way.

Do the reading on that page, as well.

Once I had gotten results – disappearance of pain and recovery of mobility, I published videos of the exercises I had developed in the Full-Spectrum Somatics blog for public consumption. The feedback I got told me that I had something that would work for people, in general. That’s what you’ll be seeing at the page linked, above.

So, there is something effective that you can do, for yourself, to end hip groin pain.

If you’re intent on getting relief from hip/groin pain and you’ve accepted that you may have to do the work of getting it, by yourself, you’ll like these exercises.

Lawrence Gold is a certified clinical somatic educator practicing Hanna Somatic Education since 1990, with two years’ experience on-staff at a hospital rehabilitation center and a world-wide clientele. Find out more about his background, here [ ]. Email him, here, to ask him about your situation [ ].

Posted in #Comforting_Your_S-I_Joints, #somatics, #somatics #somatic_education, exercises for sij dysfunction, for S I Joints | Centering the Sacrum 2015 10 13, Lawrence Gold Comfort Your S I Joints, Lawrence Gold Comfort Your S I Joints Unit 1 Part 1 INTRODUCTION 2016 6 1, Lawrence Gold Comfort Your S I Joints Unit 1 part 2 INTRODUCTION 2016 6 1, Lawrence Gold Comfort Your S I Joints | Gentle Spine Waves to Relax Your Back 2015 7 2, Lawrence Gold Comfort Your S-I Joints Unit 1 2016-7-11 INTRODUCTION, Lawrence Gold for S I Joints | Centering the Sacrum 2015 10 13, Lawrence Gold Freeing and Balancing Hip Joint Muscles | from Comfort Your S-I Joints, Lawrence Gold Freeing and Coordinating Jaws | INTRODUCTION | from Comfort Your S-I Joints, Lawrence Gold In Pain? The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make to Get Out of Pain, Lawrence Gold Nose in the Hole | from Comfort Your S-I Joints | preliminary, Lawrence Gold S I Joint Dysfunction, Lawrence Gold S I Joint Pain Exercises, Lawrence Gold S-I Joint Pain | Trunk Integration 2016 26 16 | Comfort Your S I Joints, Lawrence Gold Self-Correcting and Overcoming S-I Joint Dysfunction | an offering, Lawrence Gold Sidelying Sacral Self Decompression 2015 11 23 INSTR fin, Lawrence Gold The Wheels of Synchrony | Comfort Your S-I Joints | INSTRUCTION, S-I joint sprain, sacroiliac joint disease, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, sacroiliac joint dysfunction exercises, sacroiliac joint dysfunction treatment, sacroiliac pain, sacroiliac pain exercises, sacroiliac pain relief, sacroiliitis exercises, Self-Correcting and Overcoming S-I Joint Dysfunction | an offering, si joint dysfunction cure, Straight and Bent Leg Integration | INTRODUCTION | from Comfort Your S-I Joints, The Scotsman's (Old Scotch Geezer's) Walk, The Wheels of Synchrony | Comfort Your S-I Joints | INSTRUCTION | 2 Comments

Somatic Education as a Way to End Pain, Speed Recovery, and Reduce Injuries

The years take their toll on our agility and speed of recovery not through the passage of time, but through the accumulated effects of stress and injury — effects that are largely avoidable and even reversible.

Everyone’s initial reaction to insult and injury is the same: we tighten up. Sometimes, we are able to release that reaction quickly; at other times, we retain it — and suffer the effects mis-labeled as “aging” or “injury”. This “tightening up” reaction is the secret origin of the loss of agility and the lengthening of recovery time that accompany aging and that bring many athletes’ sports careers to a premature close.What these effects have in common are habituated muscular tension, restricted movement and chronic muscle fatigue.

What makes these effects mysterious is that people commonly think that if “nothing was broken”, the injury wasn’t “serious”; they ignore pain and fail to notice or give adequate care to changes of movement. So, people don’t connect their injuries (and the neuromuscular protective reflexes triggered by injuries and stress) to gradual and cumulative functional changes in performance. These changes persist because brain-conditioning doesn’t diminish with age; as a form of learning, brain conditioning (residual “muscle memory” of injuries) tends to accumulate as we become “set in our ways” in reflexive muscular tension patterns. “Injuries” don’t heal because they are not injuries; they are habituated muscular tension patterns that often outlive therapy or surgeries.

When muscles go into reflexive contraction from injuries, they generate metabolic waste products (lactic acid and others) continuously. Habituated muscular contraction blocks circulation, slowing tissue regeneration; they muscular contractions lengthen recovery times, often indefinitely.

So, to recover from injuries, two things are necessary: to erase the conditioning affecting our brain and muscular system and to reclaim control of our own bodies. To do so is possible for nearly anyone, once they are shown how.

As part of a general, pre-warmup conditioning regimen, somatic education exercises improve movement and recovery time and reduce the likelihood of injuries, even during maximum athletic activity. These patterned exercises refresh bodily-awareness and improve muscular responsiveness and coordination. Athletes can enhance their performance and reduce the likelihood of future injury.

Brain conditioning is a large part of aging. That is a large part of why pain and stiffness persists and gets worse, whatever part genetics may play. With somatic education, older athletes can improve their mobility, balance and recovery times to younger performance levels. Improvements consistent with age-reversals of ten to twenty years are common.

Somatic education helps prevent sport- and overuse-injuries, reduces post-surgical pain and speeds recovery. To clear up multiple old injures, clients typically need four to eight sessions of clinical somatic education for a definitive outcome– or an appropriate somatic education exercise program.

After recovery, new injuries can be cleared up much more quickly and self-maintenance (somatic education exercises) can reduce the likelihood of future injury.

The Institute for Somatic Study and Development
Santa Fe, NM
This article may be reproduced only in its entirety.
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Avoiding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other ‘terminal’ Diseases

Silicon Valley: home of the computer and of the computer terminal.

A large percentage of people in Silicon Valley have at least one thing in common: they spend many hours at the keyboard of a computer terminal. They have another thing in common: tight shoulders, back pain, tendinitis, and in many cases, carpal tunnel syndrome — “repetitive use injuries”.

So let me say a few words about work hygiene — things beyond “keyboard hygiene” that you may not have heard before — because if you’re going to avoid stress or repetitive use injuries, you’re going to do something different to take care of yourself. More on that, later.

Repetitive use injuries do not come from mechanical problems of the body; they, Themselves, are mechanical problems caused by habitual action patterns, ways of working. Habitual ways of working set up habitual tension patterns in your muscles and habitual states of stress. Repetitive use injuries are one physical manifestation of stress.

Your brain is an organ of learning and the master control center for your muscles and movements. If your muscles are too tight, the problem lies not in your muscles, but in your brain, which controls them. You have conditioned yourself to maintain a state of muscular tension. The mechanical problems of the body come from how you have applied yourself to your work.


You may notice that people who work at a keyboard spend long periods sitting in one position. As they do, three things happen: they enter a heightened state of concentration, they hold relatively still during those periods of concentration (except for their hands), and their breathing and circulation decrease.

Let’s look at what happens with each of those aspects of self-programming.

High Concentration for Long Periods

Usually, keyboard workers enter not merely a heightened state of concentration; they enter a state of high-speed concentration — the race to beat the deadline or to meet the quota. To work at high speed involves a heightened state of tension.

This heightened tension affects workers in two ways: their whole body gets tense, particularly in the low back, neck and shoulders; and the muscles of their forearms, which control the movements of the hands, get especially tense, possibly leading to tendinitis in the wrists or carpal tunnel syndrome. Neck tension pulls the neck vertebrae closer together and can cause pinched nerves.

Long periods of tension, like long periods of exercise, create a kind of conditioning. As someone programs themselves (i.e., learns) to meet the demands of a job — they get used to the tensions it entails. These tensions tax the body and form the bodily basis for job stress, burnout, and medical consequences.

This kind of self-conditioning also creates carpal tunnel syndrome. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which involves burning sensations and numbness down the arms, has the same origins.

Lack of Movement 

Movement interrupts tension habits. Conversely, lack of movement while under tension leads to conditioning into a state of tension. Postures become set; people “set up” like jello –but without the jiggle! They get stiff on the job. Stiff jello.

The position most people adopt when working at the keyboard involves suspending their arms with bent elbows, hands over the keyboard. This position places strain on the muscles of the back and shoulders below the shoulder blades, which prevent the shoulders from rolling forward. Those muscles get tired and sore and produce mid-back pain.

The combination of intense concentration and lack of movement is a sure formula for stiffness and stagnation. It is an often unrecognized fact that muscles pump blood as they relax and contract. Muscles that stay in heightened tension produce metabolic waste products that accumulate. The effect is stagnation and fatigue.

Circulation Decreases

In addition, muscular tension blocks blood circulation (since blood must circulate through the muscles). This tension-induced blockage makes the job of the heart even harder, deprived as it already is of the pumping action of muscles in movement.

Decreased breathing leads to decreased mental clarity and decreased productivity — not to mention decreased vitality.

Lack of good keyboard hygiene contributes to tight shoulders, to low back pain, and to Worker’s Compensation costs.


Take “stretch breaks”. A stretch break interrupts the formation of a tension habit and flushes out stagnant body fluids. There are certain movements that you can perform to prevent tension from accumulating in your back, shoulders, and forearms — not stretches, actually, but related to yawning.

Here’s a video that talks about and shows what I am talking about.

Better than a stretch break, however, is an exercise break. Five minutes of calisthenics — windmills, side-bends, and running in place — can make your morning break feel like a vacation (or at least highly refreshing).

Another way in which you can reverse the effects of prolonged keyboarding is with somatic exercises. These exercises reverse the conditioning that result in habitually tight muscles; they refresh your ability to relax.

So break your concentration. Interrupt your “productivity program”. Take care of yourself. You’ll be more productive.



Accumulated tension takes its toll. Once accumulated past a certain point, tension cannot sufficiently be eliminated by mere stretching and calisthenics. The person has lost too much bodily awareness to release the stored tensions; you can voluntarily release only the tension you can feel. So the “tension program” continues to run on automatic.

People at that point turn increasingly to massage therapists. Massage therapy produces healthful benefits, and it can be habit forming! On-site massage has become increasingly popular in recent years.

However, massage therapy has a big limitation: its benefits are temporary. Due to the need for repetition, massage therapy can become an ongoing expense of which people may tire — at the expense of repetitive use injury. Often, by the time chronic tension has produced a Worker’s Compensation claim, the person is generally beyond the help of a massage therapist. Their brain is too conditioned to let the muscles relax for long. Something else is needed.

That “something else” is control of your own muscular tension. One name for the training process that gives you back control of yourself is, “somatic education.” Somatic education is a kind of self-preservation through grooming out accumulated tension.

Somatic education gives you back control of the brain conditioning that keeps you tight. Once done, you don’t need to pay special attention to your muscles or state of tension; you’re freed — and you have sufficient bodily awareness to notice when you need a break — basically, because you notice that you’re not comfortable, any more. You take a break and take care of yourself.

Somatic Education improves or restores natural control of muscular tension by a short-term, physical learning process in which you participate actively, coached as necessary by a somatic educator. The somatic educator’s job is to make it easy for you to regain control of your muscular tension. This approach differs from massage and chiropractic because it leaves you self-sufficient and able to manage conditions that might otherwise ultimately worsen until you require medical intervention, such as surgery. There are numerous forms of somatic education: the Alexander Technique, the Trager Approach, Feldenkrais Somatic Integration, Rolfing Movement, Hanna Somatic Education, and others. Some produce results faster than others, and some produce significant improvements nearly immediately.

Of course, if you let things go for too long, you do have a last resort: your doctor — or his favorite surgeon.


Lawrence Gold is a certified clinical somatic educator who has been in practice since 1990. His clients are typically people in pain who have not gotten help from standard therapies. Contact Lawrence Gold, here. Read about his background, here.

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What Happens When We Ignore Pain?

The question seems to bring its own answers: “Uh-oh!” or its opposite, “No pain, no gain.” But there’s more to it than that, a bigger picture.

True of Everybody

People have a universal reaction to injury: we tighten up. This reaction occurs in everyone, from infants to adults, and in all animals. It is a universal reaction: to cringe, to pull away, to avoid pain. Our brain senses the pain of injury and causes muscles to contract. It guards the injured part. Everyone has experienced the guarding reaction, but the role of the brain may be new information for some.

Most injuries heal in days or weeks. When pain persists for a long period, it warrants attention. Such pain may indicate, not an injury, but the residual reaction to an old injury, and that reaction can and often does create more consequences than the original injury.

Injuries That Linger, Injuries That Mysteriously Surface

Reactions to injury often persist, sometimes for years after an injury has healed. In my experience, it is common for the muscular tension of the guarding reaction triggered by injury to persist decades after healing has occurred — and even to surface mysteriously, decades after. The reason: the brain, the master-control organ of the muscles, has made a conditioned habit of the guarding reaction. The guarding-habit becomes part of the brain’s conditioning.

Interestingly, it is also common for pain to surface long after an injury has healed. What is interesting is that the pain signals, not an injury, but the brain conditioning that keeps muscles contracted after an injury. Contracted muscles get tired and sore.

Why the pain surfaces when it does involves numerous factors. It could be nervous tension, or overuse, or poor posture has added to the muscular tension of the guarding habit.

Consequences of Unattended, Lingering Pain

Another factor: joints and soft-tissue degenerate under the unrelenting tension and pressure of contracted muscles – with consequences: arthritis, bursitis, disk problems, bone spurs, facet joint syndrome, spondylosis.

That’s what may happen in the long-term when you ignore pain: pain, tissue degeneration, poor aging, loss of mobility and at last, for many, decrepitude. Even if you’ve tended the injury, if you haven’t tended the residual muscular tensions, this may become your destiny. It’s what we haven’t handled that gets us.

Where Do You Go to Correct the Problem?

Having heard this explanation and recognized that it applies to themselves, some people may turn to their chiropractor, their massage therapist, their acupuncturist, their herbalist, their nutritionalist, their surgeon, not recognizing that these health professionals don’t deal with the condition described: the brain conditioning that causes residual muscular tension. People sometimes choose a familiar course of action, rather than a relevant one. They act out of habit; the habitual guarding reaction persists, the pain returns.

Others may hear this explanation and do nothing. They may not believe that this explanation is correct and remain unmoved. They may adopt a wait and see attitude. They may lack the will to take action until the situation is unbearable. Sometimes, it’s a matter of whether someone is interested in handling the problem or entertaining it. This solution is for handling the problem quickly and directly.

A word, to the wise, is sufficient: Somatic education typically ends the pain and can protect you from the effects of reflexive muscular contractions by easing those contractions.

Lawrence Gold was certified to practice Hanna somatic education® in 1990. For two years, he was on-staff at the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center of the Watsonville Community Hospital, in California. Click, here, for his background, credentials, published articles, and public speaking engagements. Here’s his email address:

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Activation Energy | The TetraSeed

ONE OF THE PRIME CHALLENGES OF ANYONE WORKING with transformative processes, self-generated evolutionary processes, is the matter of Activation Energy.

The intensity of your impulse to change (cumulatively, to evolve) must be at least equal to the intensity of the tendency of things to stay as they are (the intensity of  their integrity).

What that means in Earth language is that the urge to move something must be at least equal to the force keeping it in place for a change to be possible. That amount of force, in any particular case, we call, its Activation Energy. This much is obvious, upon looking at it.

Working at transformation with insufficient Activation Energy makes the going slow, at best, and one never really gets to the root. So, one keeps pursuing the root more and more. This takes time, but it does eventually result in your gathering Activation Energy and you will eventually get to the root and dissolve it.


Recognizing and not being satisfied with, “eventually”, practitioners of certain approaches employ a measure to “charge up” Activation Energy — everything from Bellows Breathing (pranayama) to Holographic Breathwork, BioEnergetics, and related approaches.

Other approaches use awakening and self-grooming practices: The Avatar Course, The Lineage of Don Juan’s Warrior’s Way, and numerous others. These latter teachings employ practices used to gather or recover the force of one’s being from ensnarement by subconscious memory patterns. They are grooming processes, preparation for personal evolutionary (and maturational) changes.

Other practices involve wisdom-contemplations that lead beyond mind, leaving a trail of “clean-up” in their wake.

For my part, what I found, when confronted with dense activation patterns in myself, that felt like they would never change, was that the way that works easiest was to confront each such dense activation pattern, as felt (as an involuntary state of tension), to find in it the four operation sets of intelligence:


nicknamed, The TetraSeed.
Upon sufficient activation of that set of four operations, the denseness of one’s condition is overcome and it starts to soften. It does so without any special extra effort to make it soften — just by virtue of finding those operations in that item, that stress pattern, whatever it may be: the operation sets of 
and their corresponding objective aspects, as shown, above (color-coded)

One might immediately wonder how one does that. There exist procedures that use those four operation sets in special patterns, patterns that produce specific kinds of changes to how one operates. In other words, they tune up your operating system, they debug you. They allow you to uncover mental viruses in yourself that are pervasive in these times, and to remove, dissolve, or tame them.

In other words, instead of them having you, you have them, and you discover the previously unconscious way you are keeping yourself that way, and then you can relax something in yourself and have those things simply dissolve away, commonly with postural shifts of shape.

The success of all of this depends upon your having sufficient Activation Energy available to match the intensity of the integrity of the item in yourself you want to change, upgrade, or dissolve. You’ve got to be equal to it — and that’s what the TetraSeed Transformation procedures end up doing.

That being so, these procedure would jet-assist other kinds of transformational procedures and processes from various transformational teachings.

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More Detail about Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

If you’ve arrived at this article from a search, you may wish to see the basic article (of which this entry is a more detailed version), first:

Understanding Sacroiliac Joint Pain | Stopping the Pain and Weird Symptoms



This article is for you if . . .

  • you have found the information provided both by medical practitioners and “alternative” medical practitioners to be “thin soup” that doesn’t make you feel particularly optimistic about your recovery from sacroiliac joint dysfunction and doesn’t increase your understanding, much, but only leaves you feeling faintly hopeful — hope perhaps tinged with desperation or despair.
  • you have found pain medications inadequate to deal with the pain.
  • you have tried therapies and/or surgery and are still in pain.
  • you want lasting relief and are willing to do the work to get it.


am a former sufferer of sacroiliac joint dysfunction and a long-time
practitioner (since 1990) of a clinical discipline whose principles and
techniques I applied to myself to clear up sacroiliac joint dysfunction
in myself: Hanna somatic education.


What Do Your Sacroiliac Joints Do?


Your S-I joints allow the walking movements of your legs to move flexibly, through your pelvis (which flexes at the S-I joints), to your trunk. Your S-I joints lend “cushion” to your spine and pelvis, when you sit. If the joints are jammed or the muscles of your pelvis are tight, there’s no cushion and sitting can be fatiguing.

These distortions affect the muscles of the trunk (primarily the back, the psoas muscles, and the quadratus lumborum (“QL”).

What Happens to Your Sacrum in Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Your sacrum gets twisted, usually jammed one side forward, one side back. That causes your whole pelvis to twist, the opposite side forward. (More rarely, both sides are jammed forward — more about that, later.) In addition, one side may jammed downward, causing the appearance of unequal leg length — even though the legs are the same length — and the appearance of one hip being higher. You may have heard all this, before, from your health practitioner; now you understand it, better.

Distortions of movement and spine shape may follow, with pain as far as the jaws and down the legs.

The pain triggers muscles of the abdomen to tighten, especially when bending forward or turning over, in bed. It’s often a very delicate situation — as you may have experienced.

Muscular pulls where the legs connect to the pelvis (the psoas muscles, the inner and front thigh muscles, the hamstrings, and buttocks) interfere with walking and add pain. Pulling forces interfere with walking and sitting and affect the S-I joints. In the healthy condition, everything is comfortable; in the unhealthy, jammed condition, there’s strain and pain.

How a Twisted Sacrum Causes Sacroiliac Joint Pain

When a sacrum is twisted from its home position in the pelvis, we call that, “displacement”. It’s out of place. With displacement comes distortion of pelvic shape, which puts strain on ligaments of the pelvis, puts pressure on internal organs, and generates pain. The brain senses those strains and pain, and, as a reflexive response, causes muscular contractions that generate a “gripping” sensation in the pelvis that gets worse with movements such as bending forward to put on socks or flush the toilet, rolling over in bed or attempting to stand up straight. The pain triggers cringing, in which muscles tighten up, potentially anywhere.

Non-spasm pain may radiate from the S-I joints into the pelvis, lower abdomen, groin, or sex organs. One person with whom I worked had a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (intense bladder pain) — and a twisted sacrum from falls from horses.

Therapists unfamiliar with the bizarre symptoms of S-I Joint Dysfunction may attempt to treat symptoms as if they originate where they appear. Such treatment attempts fail. They don’t address the symptoms at their origin — the twisted sacrum.


In investigating sacroiliac joint dysfunction in myself, I came to understand the condition and its causes. At that point, I had an idea of what I could do to correct it: set up ongoing, symmetrical muscular forces to make my pelvis (sacral position) become symmetrical. I was the first “guinea pig”; I developed the exercises, in myself, and refined them based on the effects I felt. Remember — I was qualified to do that, having been in clinical practice, since 1990.

As I stated, earlier, S-I joint pain comes from excessive and unbalanced forces on the S-I joints that trigger muscular reactions. Now, I’ll go into more detail.

Most cases of SIJD start with an accident, such as a hard fall (athletic injury, fall from a bicycle or horse, ladder, tree, or rooftop); I told you what I think caused it, in me. Because the changes of muscular tension from an injury are asymmetrical — meaning, the right and left sides no longer mirror each other, they keep the pelvis distorted. These muscular forces don’t change in any lasting way with stretching because they’re programmed into muscle/movement memory and so reappear, shortly after stretching or manipulation.

The brain recognizes the strains felt in the pelvis as an emergency situation: the integrity of the person’s movement system is in crisis. Brain-triggered contraction patterns follow (as an emergency response) to reflexively stabilize the situation — but it’s a grip, not a correction to pelvic shape because the correct sense of pelvic shape has been lost in the injury. 

The term we use in clinical somatic education is, “sensory-motor amnesia” (S-MA). These muscular contractions are so strong that they hurt and trigger pain-related tightening, throughout the body, but one isn’t in touch with holding them tight because the tightness is “on automatic”. 

Radiating pain follows from the distortion.


What happens to ligaments chronically under strain? They get inflamed. Inflammation is nature’s way of forcing fluids and nutrients into tissue that is strained (or injured) so it can heal. But under this kind of strain, no healing is possible — basically because it is not a “damage” situation, but an ongoing strain-and-irritation situation. Suppressing the inflammation is of no help. The ligaments aren’t the problem, anyway.

Muscles Triggered into Contraction by Injury

Isn’t it true that injuries usually occur from one side, rather than exactly centered at the back or front?

What happens with any injury, then, is that a cringe response gets triggered — a tightening centered at the injured region and radiating outward like the cracks in a damaged windshield — but off-center, and the tightening isn’t just momentary, but commonly lasts indefinitely.

The psoas muscles commonly tighten in reaction to a twisted sacrum. The video, below, tells about the psoas muscles.

It’s common to misdiagnose tight psoas muscles as the problem causing the pain, when the psoas muscles are tightening in reaction to a twisted sacrum. When the sacrum straightens, psoas pain disappears.


  • Two-sided (bi-lateral) S-I Joint Pain
  • One-sided (uni-lateral) S-I Joint Pain (more common)

Two-Sided SIJD

Bi-lateral (two-sided) S-I joint pain is simpler than one-sided S-I joint pain. Bilateral S-I joint pain involves compression at both S-I joints.

One cause of bi-lateral SIJD is sitting too long, perched on the edge of a chair in a condition of high tension and stress, as at a desk doing work by phone or on a computer. That pattern of tension involves the groin, hip joint flexors and psoas muscles in front, and the back muscles. The combination produces strain on the iliosacral ligaments — and soreness. Sometimes, it can be corrected by retraining the psoas muscles and hip joint flexors — an easy “fix”.

One-Sided SIJD

One-sided sacroiliac joint dysfunction is worse than two-sided SIJD and accounts for nearly all the chronic S-I joint pain I have seen.

Asymmetrical (off-center) muscle pulls and posture place more stress on one S-I joint than on the other.

Symptoms commonly appear at different locations on each side and people commonly mistake the locations of pain as the locations of the problems. Clinicians may also mistake groin pain as a sign of psoas muscle dysfunction, rather than as pain radiating from an S-I joint.


you’re used to exercises or therapies that produce such small changes
that you can hardly tell if anything is different, this isn’t that. With
somatic education exercises, you can feel changes rather quickly
(obvious after two practice sessions). As, your movement and posture
change, the symptoms of SIJD fade out.

To get started with the
program, Comforting Your S-I Joints and to see a statement of the
expected result of each section of exercises, you may enter your
information, below.

Enter where to send “get started for free” emails with instructional video links.

quick-response email message will come to your email address requesting
permission to mail to you. Once you give permission, “Getting Started
for Free” emails will come to you with bite-size steps for Unit 1 of
Comforting Your S-I Joints. 

Unit 1 is preparatory for the section of the program that causes
your sacrum position to straighten. Getting started will allow you to
evaluate how well these exercises work, for you, in general.
Comforting Your S-I Joints
is a system of movement-based exercises that reprograms muscle/movement
memory. You’ll feel changes for the better with each practice session;
changes accumulate over time. The entire system extinguishes the pain
and restores mobility. 

These exercises got me me back to my life with no limitations.

exercises are refreshing, not tiring. If you’re feeling too tired to
practice the exercises, practice them and get refreshed.


Click the image, above, to find out about
availability of personal mentoring through the program
with me, Lawrence Gold.

~~ Since 1996, I have offered a Lifetime Satisfaction Refund Guarantee ~~

copyright 2014-2018 Lawrence Gold
This writing may be reproduced only in its entirety,
with accurate attribution of its authorship
and contact information.

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Posted in back and groin pain, iliosacral pain, natural remedies for sacroiliac joint pain, sacroiliac joint disease, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, sacroiliac pain relief, si joint dysfunction cure | 1 Comment

Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction | Sacroiliac Pain

If you came to this page from a search and want to understand what’s going on with you and what has to happen to clear it up, click to visit this page

If you have two or more of the symptoms listed below and want to purchase the program to clear them up, Comforting Your S-I Joints, click to visit this page.


This is a fairly comprehensive list of symptoms.

If you’ve arrived at this page from a search for symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, you may read the related article that explains sacroiliac joint pain more clearly than you usually find in published articles. Click, here to see the article.

Because more than one condition can cause a symptom, we look for combinations of symptoms — at minimum, two or more. When symptoms from a single cause appear in clusters, that’s called, a “syndrome”.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

I have grouped these symptoms in terms of





Do you have two or more of these symptoms? 


  • pain at the groin and waistline in back, same side – combination | COMBINATION OF MUSCULAR PAIN and RADIATING PAIN

  • sharp, stabbing pain at the back waist area, on one side | LIGAMENT STRAIN 

  • pain around the top rim of the pelvis, usually at one side or in back | RADIATING PAIN
  • a “deep pulling” sensation in the lower spine, like a taut wire | DEEP SPINAL MUSCLE PAIN
  • a tired feeling across the low back, both sides | MUSCLE FATIGUE, QUADRATUS LUMBORUM (“QL”) and SPINAL EXTENSORS
  • buttock pain, one side, that doesn’t respond to direct treatment (sometimes mistaken for piriformis syndrome) | NERVE IMPINGEMENT PAIN
  • deep pelvic/lower abdominal pain (“lightning”-like burning, or gripping pain), | UNNATURAL STRETCH OF THE LINING OF THE ABDOMINAL CAVITY FROM SACRUM DISPLACEMENT
  • pelvic floor disorder, one side more than the other, tailbone pain
  • thigh numbness in the front or side | NERVE IMPINGEMENT
  • iliotibial (“I-T”) band pain or numbness (sometimes mistaken for a tight gluteus medius muscle)| NERVE IMPINGEMENT PAIN 
  • pain deep in one hip joint (sometimes mistaken for gluteus medius muscle pain) | RADIATING PAIN FROM THE S-I JOINT 
  • pain at the attachment of hamstring(s) at the “sitbones” (ischial tuberosities) | RADIATING PAIN (hamstrings often tighten reflexively, as well, but the sensation of tight hamstrings would be at the back of the thigh)
  • sciatica-like pain down the back of (usually) one leg at thigh, back of knee, or foot | NERVE IMPINGEMENT PAIN FROM EXCESSIVE “FOLD” AT L5/S1
  • pain along the thoracic (upper) spine, one side | MUSCLES IN “CRINGE” SPASM IN REACTION TO THE PELVIC PAIN 
  • restricted
    or the sense that the breathing diaphragm is restricted |
  • a feeling of your head being jammed down onto your neck | MUSCLES IN “CRINGE” SPASM IN REACTION TO THE PELVIC PAIN
  • a feeling like the pelvis is spread open, in front, jammed in back on one side
  • upper ribs and shoulders tight | MUSCULAR TENSIONS


  • pelvis rotated around a vertical axis

  • anterior pelvic tilt with twist around a horizontal axis, one side forward and the other side backward
  • twisted sacrum, one sacro-iliac joint deeper
  • pubic bone misalignment/pubic symphysis pubis separation
  • low back arched more on one side than the other
  • ribs and shoulder blade pulled down and back
    on one side
  • neck pulled to one side
  • one foot pronated (“flat arches”)


  • tight TFL (tensor fascia lata) and IT band
  • walking with legs/knees involuntarily turned out
  • inability to sit cross-legged with knees down
  • tight hamstrings
  • one knee“shaky” or weak
  • painful forward bending (“tight wire” feeling down spine into pelvis)
  • impossible to stand fully upright without “jamming” pain in the low back
  • abdominal muscles tighten protectively, when bending forward

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS (combined with two or more symptoms from the other two categories)

  • chronic anxiety 

  • unremitting sadness 

  • irritability 

If you have two or more of these symptoms, you may do a manual self-examination of your own S-I joints, as shown in the instructional video in this article. It takes 2 minutes, or so to learn how to do it and to do it. If you find that one S-i joint is deeper than the other, you have a twisted sacrum, sacroiliac joint dysfunction. 

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Posted in anterior pelvic tilt, can't stand up straight, painful forward bending, pelvis rotated, S-I joint, S-I joint sprain, sacroiliac pain, symphysis pubis separation, tight TFL muscle, twisted sacrum | 1 Comment