Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What is Being In-love Part I

“What is love?” was the driving question left unanswered in my heart following divorce well over thirty years ago. The question was so powerful it set me off on a quest, a journey that morphed into a full-scale search for meaning. That journey has opened my eyes, healed my heart, introduced me to the nature of reality, and led me to understand that the concept of love, used as a verb, is the root cause of all life.

I’m going to discuss the subject of being in-love as I came to understand it during my life. (This topic is an important part of the unfolding book I’m working on tentatively entitled The Above Average Man. You can follow the under-construction outline on my website:

In the beginning—looking for the answer to the question—I almost immediately realized I didn’t have a clue what love was. That logically led to facing the fact that I hadn’t ever been in-love, and it left me riddled in guilt and consumed with remorse and self-pity.

In my situation, I’d just been rejected out of hand without any harbingers. The first “knee jerk” reaction was to shore up my shattered self-worth. I wanted confirmation that women could be attracted to me. And I wanted to know how being in-love felt. Did the feeling last? What did you have to do to maintain its vibrancy?

This led to a plethora of encounters—while at the same time delving into books by the experts and gurus. The books gave me an intellectual understanding of the love concept and its “sub-varieties.” (See very simply written, short books by John Powell.) The encounters allowed me to seriously examine my feelings as I went along and brought me closer to comprehension through experiencing some of what romantic love wasn’t: it wasn’t just physical and it wasn’t infatuation—which usually doesn’t last but is great while it’s around. It’s particularly pleasant when you’ve already experienced it at least once and have an idea of what to expect. On the other hand, it can be the beginning of being in-love.

The ensuing years on the journey to find meaning have given me a progressively deeper appreciation of what love is by introducing me to my true spiritual nature; this included the importance of fulfillment through worthy purposes—a necessary life goal and the essence of self-love. An understanding of what being in-love is was an accruing consequence of the journey.

My next blog post will take you on a short excursion into how I see the process of “being in love” taking place—the necessary ingredients that can produce that special relationship—all in the sincere hope of provoking personal insight beneficial to readers.

For those interested in fiction thrillers, the status of coming adventure-thrillers and other books under construction can be found on my website: www.marshallchamberlain.com.

Chao for Now,

A Skill-set for Understanding People

I was lucky enough many years ago—okay it was the mid-nineties—to have been exposed to a methodology for quickly analyzing people by observing some of their most obvious personality characteristics. It isn’t a perfect system, but it’s very helpful, especially when time is of the essence as it often is in business relationships.
These observations can assist you in classifying people into a framework of “social types” and will help in understanding where they are coming from and how to more effectively interact with them. A good reference is "Knowing About Social Styles," by Merrill and Reid. The descriptions below are meant to be representative and typical rather than absolute.
The Four Personality Types

The Driver: Drivers are action and goal oriented and need to see results quickly. They are very disciplined, decisive, practical and efficient. They employ facts and data to make their points and are quick to speak as well as act. In conversations they will lean forward, point, and make direct eye contact, displaying contrived facial expressions and rigid body posture. They don’t waste time on preliminaries or personal exchanges and are perceived as dominating, harsh, and severe in pursuit of goals. Comfortable in positions of power and control, their offices are arranged in businesslike fashion with certificates and commendations hanging on the walls. In times of stress, drivers can become autocratic. They drive bronze or silver cars.

The Analytical: Analyticals are over organized and want to have the facts before taking action. They need to be accurate, right, precise, orderly, and methodical. They conform to organizational procedures and rules. They work more slowly and carefully than drivers and are perceived as industrious, persistent perfectionists. When talking, they speak slowly and gesture with their hands. Seldom will they make direct eye contact, and they tend to control their facial expressions. They are seen as stuffy, indecisive, critical, hard to please and didactic. They relish being in positions where they can check facts and figures to ensure they are right. Their offices are neat, well-organized and often drab. In times of stress, analyticals avoid conflict. They drive white or black cars.

The Expressive: Expressives enjoy interpersonal action and excitement. They are socially stimulating and enthusiastic. They are idea centered and effective in involving and motivating others. Having little concern for routine, they are future oriented. Their response to stimuli is often more extreme than necessary. They are friendly, want to be accepted, and will focus on people instead of tasks. They use opinions, hearsay, and stories rather than facts and data. In conversations, they are relaxed and lean forward, speak quickly, vary their vocal tones, point and make random eye contact. The way they are feeling is written across their faces, and others perceive them as emotional, rash, willful, dramatic, manipulative, ambitious and egotistical. Their offices are highly disorganized. In stressful situations, expressives are inclined to resort to personal attack. They will talk about anything that comes into their heads without a care as to whether anyone is interested. They drive red or yellow cars.

The Amiable: Amiables strive for co-operation, personal security and recognition. They will avoid conflict at all costs. Valuing personal relationships, they enjoy helping others and want to be liked. They will sacrifice their own objectives to gain the approval of others. They prefer to work as part of a team, rather than by themselves, and they are unhurried in reaction to stimuli and have little concern for effecting change. They are people oriented, always friendly, respectful, willing and dependable. Like expressives, they rely on opinions and hearsay rather than facts and data. In conversations they speak softly and methodically, using vocal inflection more than drivers or analyticals, and their posture is casual, their expression animated. They lean back while talking and seldom make eye contact. They are perceived by others as conforming, hesitant, malleable, dependent and ill at ease. Their offices are homely with family photographs, plants etc. An amiable's reaction to stress is to conform to the will of others. They drive green, off-white, brown or green cars.

Most people have dominance in two of the social types, and they may show minor influences of one or both of the other two. It is helpful to give a person a grade based on a scale of one to ten for each of the types to get a more complete handle on the whole personality, e.g. Driver—6; Analytical—7; Expressive—2; Amiable—5. That’s me.

Remember, this is just a technique to help you better adjust to who you are dealing with. It can help you paint an advance picture of what to expect, e.g. as a potential friend, employee or employer. An observation of interest is, in general, analyticals don’t get along well with amiables, and drivers don’t like dealing with expressives. Analyticals and drivers are typically okay together as are expressives and amiables.

For those interested in fiction thrillers, the status of coming adventure-thrillers and other books under construction can be found on my website: www.marshallchamberlain.com.

Best Wishes,

Impeccability, a Behavioral Code

I first became interested in the concept of impeccability when I began taking my life apart and examining the pieces. During this part of my search for meaning, the goal was to understand how to become a “good” person.

I discovered it was important to respect yourself for the way you interacted with the world and men. It came down to principles and morals and the creation of a behavioral code.

Then the question became could I discover a guide—or filter—for considering potential principles and morals to include in a behavioral code that would produce the desired result: being a good person?
I embraced the concept of impeccability: the structural goal and heart—the master guide—of a wise man’s behavioral code. I live my life—interacting with the world and men—centered in this concept.

The American Heritage Dictionary puts impeccable this way: “Having no flaws. Incapable of sin or wrongdoing.” On the surface this appears to be a heavy burden—unattainable. But if one has a grasp on the possible flaws, sin, and wrongdoing, then appropriate decision-making can produce impeccable behavior.

I thought it would be insightful to briefly discuss some examples of guides within the master guide of impeccability to show how the concept works:

·       “Do no harm,” the medical code, has merit; but requires discernment: What harm is in a broader sense, leaves the concept vulnerable to an individual’s judgment—e.g., if one has accumulated a reasonably, robust degree of wisdom, then that person will know judging what is harmful to another—unless it’s physical—is most often not possible—doing so assumes you are that person…. E.g., be respectful of the environment.

·       Always tell the truth: I believe in this guide wholeheartedly. A wise man will know not telling the truth to another deprives that person of a clear picture from which to more effectively live his life. E.g., if I tell my girlfriend I love her, and I don’t, then I deprive her of experiencing the adventure of her life, keeping her a prisoner to false elusion.

·       “Go the extra mile,” a well-known adage: I also hold his guide dear. E.g., take your cart back to store; pick up that stray beer can in the parking lot; make sure your jobs are completed beyond expectations; help a turtle across a busy highway.

·       Listen to intuition and take action: The first time I followed this guide I was driving somewhere and the little voice inside prodded me to turn into a subdivision. I did so, wandered around briefly, and then got back on the road to where I was going. I always said to myself, “Who knows what the effect was on possible events due to my little detour.”

·       Never be in a hurry: Smell the roses. You will miss opportunities for insight and inspiration if you don’t linger with your minutes. Make the adventurer mindset—living your life without expectations or a closed mind—your gateway to happiness and fulfillment.

Sure, the ball is going to get dropped every now and then. Forgive yourself, and move on. And be aware that the concept of impeccability will be ever changing, reflecting the attainment of new levels of wisdom that bring with it deeper understanding of, and broader responsibilities for, the quality of actions and interactions.

What do you get from becoming a “good person?” You get a sense of well-being, oneness with the world, and satisfaction you’re doing your very best. It’s spiritual and positive for your Karma.

Note:  See the unfolding outline on my website (www.marshallchamberlain.com) of a future book, entitled The Above Average Man. It is my very sincere desire to present an experiential memoir of my personal transformation journey-in the next few years.

For those interested in fiction thrillers, the status of coming adventure-thrillers and other books under construction can be found on my website: www.marshallchamberlain.com.


Monday, December 16, 2013

My Daily Prayer

Dear Father,

Thank you for my life. Thank you for this glorious day. And thank you for my good health and the bottomless resources of insight and inspiration. And thank you for serendipitous financial prosperity. But most of all, I thank you for all of material substance in which to be and have opportunities to grow wise. Amen.

I will be posting an addition to this blog, explaining the concepts and terminology that give it credible power, at a later date.

For those interested in fiction thrillers, the status of coming adventure-thrillers and other books under construction can be found on my website: www.marshallchamberlain.com.

Best Wishes,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Big Voice

 The following is a description of a mysterious incident that has had a profound impact on my life.

It was about 6:30 in the morning on a mid-summer day some thirty-two years ago. I’d just finished a seven-mile run along deserted streets in the dark silence of suburban Atlanta. The sun was up just enough to feel its heat on my face, and I was walking it off immersed in a wonderful endorphin high. Suddenly a booming voice said plainly and unmistakably, “patience brings clarity.” Terrified at the intensity of the voice, I cowered behind a tree and looked around for the source. Nothing but the quiet of the new day, and I noticed the birds weren't chirping. I have no explanation for this communication, but clearly that was what it was; and it could not be ignored as so many of us do with the smaller voice of intuition. No this was the big voice, and I've never heard it since.

At that time in my life, I was at the beginning of a search for meaning that has gone on to this day. Back then, the search held only questions and few answers, which at my level of understanding was causing me a lot of anxiety. So, the message from the voice had an immediate application for me. I applied the principle, patience brings clarity, to my search, and it proved out every time. I let my anxiety and stress go—just refused to allow them—ignored them—diligently pursued the questions in the search, and eventually experienced clarity.

I believe if you will experiment with this powerful principle, you will be successful in adding to the excitement of life’s adventure. Results can’t be rushed, but after you experience a few successes, you will know in future applications results will be forthcoming without fail. Your life challenges will clear away if you are patient and purposeful. And that is spiritually powerful. I believe this principle is a universal law.

It is my intention to share pieces of my search-for-meaning journey in future posts. Please feel free to comment; or if you have appropriate questions, email me: marshall(at)marshallchamberlain.com

For those interested in fiction thrillers, the status of coming adventure-thrillers and other books under construction can be found on my website: www.marshallchamberlain.com.