Insights and Healing with Patrick Moore


Saguaro Harvest will be a Good One!
May 30, 2018, 12:37 pm
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Judging from the profuse flowering of saguaro cactus in the city limits of Tucson, I am predicting a great harvest of saguaro fruits by June 15. You don’t need a pole to get the best fruits, you simply look around the bottom of saguaros. When to look? Look up at the tops of the Saguaros. Right now you see white flowers open, or flowers that have closed and look like knobs. When you see what looks like open red flowers, that look like Stargazer Lillies, those are not flowers.. Those are fruits! 

Saguaro Two Perfect fruits like Lillies

This photo shows two perfect saguaro fruits just as I found them lying on the ground near the base of the tall cactus. What look like flower petals, are the fruit skin. In the hot sun, the fruit opens and peels itself. The inner fruit that starts out juicy and wet, dehydrates during the day. Often just the dried fruit falls out of the peel. Often you find perfect non-messy soft but not juicy sweet fruits on the ground. Since they have partially dehydrated they do not pick up dirt, maybe a little dirt but you can blow them off and pop them in your mouth. Yum! This is my favorite fruit!!

The fruit peel may have a few stickers but I am very sensitive to stickers and I handle the fruit peels with my bare hands. Once the fruit has opened, the inner fruit has no stickers and you can eat it without fear of stickers in your mouth. (UNlike “prickly pear” fruit. Prickly Pear are small bushy cacti with flat pancake shapes that look like hands. Prickly pear are usually about the height of your knee or hip. Saguaro are usually twenty feet tall, like a light pole, sometimes with arms, sometimes without).

I have twice attended a saguaro harvesting class, where we were shown how to pull down saguaro fruits with a pole. I have done it that way myself but gave it up for two reasons. 1) the fruits that have fallen on the ground are so much more abundant that there is no need to go through all the work. You can get more fruits per hour just foraging on the ground. 2) the ones on the ground are dry, and the ones you push off the cactus twenty feet in the air are wet. Once they fall, the wet ones gather dirt and gravel.  Difficult to eat today, difficult to separate out the dirt and gravel if you want to eat raw fruits for the next few weeks.

Sometimes the fruit falls and hits a branch of a palo verde tree, and hangs there at the level of your eye or hand. You don’t even need to bend over, the fruit is offered for you there just perfect for your reach! How generous these tall beings are!

Last year I posted a plate full of dried saguaro, I will find that photo and post it again. In the middle of the season I filled up a 2-quart plastic container with mostly dry saguaro fruit in about two hours.

The season ends when the rains begin, maybe around July 3.

Saguaro fruit is low-glycemic sugar so it is healthier for people watching their sugar. That means it is metabolized slower than some other fruits. That is, unless you cook it. Once you boil saguaro fruit down to jelly, then the sugar is just as potent as other sugars. I feel cooking spoils the flavor of saguaro. They taste so good raw!! As the fruit has been hanging out on the peel all day, sometimes it ferments a little which gives it a sweet tang, ah!

It is illegal to harvest saguaro fruit in Saguaro National Park and many other places. It is against the policies to pick any fruits at the Desert Museum. Be sure to check and ask permission before harvesting. That said, since there has been so much flowering in local Tucson homes, you might have a bounty of fruits in your own yard, or your neighbor’s yard. My neighbor has given me permission to harvest her saguaro fruits. I have counted over a hundred blossoms on her several saguaros so I am drooling!

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And, There She Was
April 29, 2018, 3:42 pm
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This is from my jogging coach, Stephen. At his suggestion I began jogging at age 35 and have been jogging more and more miles each year since then. Some people spend a lot of effort improving their minds, some improving their bodies, some improving their hearts, and I am learning all are important in balance.

scan0087 Running a high school varsity cross country race. I always ran barefoot.

Many years ago, when I was vegan, I ran sixteen miles nearly every day while living in Phoenix, Arizona. I would run from my home along the city streets until I reached the canals. Most of my run on the canal was solitary. I was at the peak of my physical capability, even better than in high school and college.

One day it was about 118° and extremely high humidity. I thought I would be okay to run as I had found a great way to stay hydrated. I would wear light running shorts and T-shirt along with the best running shoes I could afford. I wore a dual pack of water bottles strapped to my lower back. I would freeze the water bottles overnight, so they remained frozen during the early portion of my run. At the…

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Quincy, a Dachshund Co-Therapist
April 9, 2018, 10:28 pm
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a fun short story of healing from my mentor Stephen

Many people have wonderful stories about their animal companions which are sometimes about how the actions of the cat, dog or another animal saved their life. Here is my story about my animal companion, Quincy, a miniature Dachshund.

Many years ago, I provided psychological counseling through private practice in my office and sometimes in my home. One day, I received a referral from a psychologist at a local school district about a male high school student. The psychologist told me that the individual was very resistant to therapy and refused to communicate in any sessions, so they decided on referring him to me.

In the first session in the home office, I briefly greeted the young high school student who sat on the couch facing me while I sat in the recliner. Quincy chose that day for the first time to climb up on my lap, with my help, and…

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Sweetwater Trail, Saguaro Nat’l Park
January 15, 2018, 7:42 pm
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A wonderful way to do “activism” is by using creative arts like painting! Betina Fink shows an excellent example of doing this in her recent post…

Betina Fink

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Park lands in the western states are being threatened on a daily basis. The natural beauty and stark intensity of desert lands just aren’t important to some people in power. The land is seen as valuable only in terms of what it can give up for money: mining, uranium, rooftops.

Close to my home are the Tucson Mountains, and the Sweetwater Trail, which still has National Park status, but lots of new rooftops dotting the pristine hills. I had a free day and went to walk the washes and animal trails just off the main human trail. Found a spot to set up and do an oil sketch.

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It was so peaceful, yes warm because it has been the warmest recorded temps for this time of year, regardless of what some might say. But no snakes! Just coyotes howling a little in the distance and some birds rustling about.

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Prince of Peace 1985
August 18, 2017, 11:10 pm
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I was just sharing this story with some friends last night and I thought it would be worth sharing to a larger audience..

In 1985 I went to the Prince concert, Purple Rain tour at the Tacoma Dome.

Prince of Peace 1985

The line was long getting in to the Tacoma Dome. As we moved so slowly in the line we noticed a protester carrying a sign. The sign said, “Jesus is the REAL PRINCE of peace.” I thought, that’s not such a bad protest. The guy was probably twenty or thirty feet away from us.

Years later I found out that Prince was a Jehova’s Witness. My friend John followed Prince and told me Prince would actually go out door to door just like all the other Jehova’s Witnesses. I thought that was integrity.

I remember playing a Prince album and noticing there was some garbled message at the end of the LP. I knew that some hard rock bands from the 70s had put messages recorded backwards on their albums. So I unplugged my turntable and ran the turntable backwards with my finger, to hear the message. The message was Prince singing, “I’m so glad / that the Lord / is coming soon! / Coming / Coming / soo–ooon. / Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.” I thought that was pretty clever and cool, since the 70’s bands had put satanic or demonic messages on their albums, and Prince was doing something like the opposite. Some of his songs spoke of things like “positivity,” which enhanced his value to me.

A few years ago I was telling the story of the protester at the Purple Rain concert, now with the added knowledge that Prince had been a Christian evangelist, which I didn’t know in 1985. And something occurred to me. I think the protester was Prince, in makeup and a costume so we couldn’t recognize him. I think he protested his own concert! I think he protested his own name, “Prince,” or rather he used it as a way to celebrate another Prince whom he revered far more, the Prince of Peace.

I have never read or heard anyone talk about this. But if he stood outside with a sign at the Tacoma concert, he might have done the same at other locations in his Purple Rain tour in 1984-85. Did anyone else notice a protester with this sign?

I drew this drawing to show the picture in my mind of the moment. It wasn’t actually raining. There was a lot of concrete, with the dome in the background. I was wearing a pink long sleeve button down shirt with a skinny purple tie. I had a haircut something like David Bowie on the Ziggy Stardust album cover.



30 % WHOLE Facts
June 2, 2017, 8:56 am
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My wife, writer Traci Moore at her “fun desk” this morning, made me this collage:

30% WHOLE

Facts

generously blended with

Nutrition

roasted and kneaded

born of century old

tradition, faithfully produced

IN A COOL DRY PLACE the Swiss Alps!

Incomparable flavor!

 

I believe this inspired message comes from her training in the “Wild Mind” process that she’s been learning in Alameda and will be teaching in new workshops this summer… traci-moore.com



A Little Princess and Is the Sun Conscious? — Both Cause Identity Crisis.
October 28, 2016, 8:45 am
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Literature again meets Science meets Religion, with Eriksonian Stage-Psychology

This morning I listened to a podcast that asked the question, Is the Sun Conscious? The two scholars who spoke seemed to say, yes, it is very probable the sun is conscious, or it could be. Here is the link for the podcast but don’t listen to it yet… http://www.sheldrake.org/audios/science-set-free-podcast

I would start differently. Because we are likely to answer the question to immediately to ourselves, before we even read it. Instead I suggest you just imagine it as a thought-experiment. Like, I don’t believe the sun is conscious but what if I were reading a sci-fi story of the future, or fantasy story from the past, of a race of people (say Egyptians) who considered the sun conscious?

I think it is important to start off with this skepticism, and I will tell you why. I think those who listen to Rupert Sheldrake podcasts are probably already convinced. He is preaching to the choir. That is fine to do. My life goals are different. I would like to non-preach to the non-choir. I would like for there to no longer be choir members and choir non-members, but one group of humans who consider many things, with an appropriate balance of appropriate skepticism and appropriate willingness to consider new things.

What I would like to talk about in today’s paper is not whether the sun is conscious or not, but what it would mean to individuals, to shift from a belief of no, to a belief of maybe.

I read a lot of psychology classsics as I have blogged about in the past: Kohlberg, Maslow, Perls, Burns, Ellis, and their antecedants Epictetus, etc. One that bears on today’s question is Erik Erikson’s Identity Youth and Crisis. For a person to go from a no to a maybe, would trigger an identity crisis. Most people cannot tolerate an identity crisis and so they stop short. New models that threaten the identity cannot be considered. The individual personality has several extremely potent methods of dealing with information that threatens how one identifies oneself. The information seems to vanish.

We have seen this in literature and history. Or, we should see more of this in literature. Let me paint a story the way it should be written. Take A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett. I love the movie. My daughter and I watched it numerous times together and I always got a tear in my eye at the reuniting scene.

sarah-patrick-a-little-prin

But it is not realistic to how Erikson accurately describes youth identity. The story goes like this: During WWI, a girl and her father are separated because the father must go to fight in the war. She is told he died in the war, which makes her an orphan. The comfy living is gone, and she must work for Miss Minchen, who shames the girl and makes her do endless chores. In the movie the girl maintains an identity, I am a princess. All girls are princesses, because my father said so. But in reality her personality would develop around the reality of her situation: I am a low class servant, I am shameful and bitter. Life dealt me a cruel blow when it took my father from me. Life continues to cruelly assault me daily because this is a world in which life is cruel. I am a low class shameful bitter person. Years after the war, there is the discovery of a man who has lost his memory, and it turns out to be her father. They are reunited and everything is wonderful. She is restored to her status of princess. But in reality, a child whose personality has formed around the identity of shameful bitter low class, would not be flexible enough to adjust itself to the new discovery. Even though the new situation is preferable, personalities just don’t do that. They resist even truth, even reality. The girl would resist believing this was her father, and even if she were reunited with him, she would continue to behave as if life were cruel and she were shameful and low class. Because personality is formed early. Now, some will argue with me. Yes, if the girl’s personality were fully formed and resilient before the father went off to war, she might be able to continue her identity as princess even through all the tortures of Miss Minchen. It all depends on when personality formation begins and ends. Experts are pushing it earlier and earlier. Some are now saying personality structure is completely formed by age 3.

How does A Little Princess relate to Is the Sun Conscious? We humans perhaps once (experts on Egyptology tell us in the podcast) considered themselves children of the sun. It is likely that 20,000 years ago, 10,000 years ago, the sun was considered Our Father. At some point we were taken from this father, and then we were told this father had died, and then we were told this father never existed, it was just a superstition. Those of us alive today would not even dream that the sun could be our father. Our personalities were formed under different circumstances. Our identities are invested in a much different “reality.” To listen to a podcast today, and hear the sun may be our long lost father, is inconceivable. Of course it is farfetched, at least to modern thinkers. But besides being farfetched, it is literally inconceivable because our personalities forbid our conceiving it. Why do our personalities forbid our conceiving it? Not because it wouldn’t be good for us, it could be fantastically good for us to think this way. We are forbidden from conceiving this because it would mean the identity we have built for ourselves, is built upon faulty assumptions. Were we to conceive that the sun could be conscious, and that it is like a Father to humanity, to individual humans, this concept would question the foundation upon which we have built our identity. To even conceive this possibility means our identity could be built upon sand. Our personalities find it intolerable to ask: if who I always thought I was is not true, then who am I? It is too painful. Our personality replies: Creating the first identity was painful enough! You want me to recreate a new one, now that I am fairly secure? NO WAY!  

According to Erik Erikson’s theories of youth identity formation, for us to have a reconsideration, a complete review of the question, who am I, or even, WHAT am I? would lead to an identity crisis. Most of us are unwilling to face an identity crisis. Our personality simply puts on the brakes. No way. Dealbreaker. I am not going there. That’s the end of the story. We will go to our deaths grasping at an identity that is not accurate. Those of us who have dealt with, or are dealing with aging parents know this is true: they will hold fast to an outdated identity, one that does not even serve them in today’s world, one that limits their sense of freedom and fulfillment in life, until their final breath. Because they are unwilling to go through another identity formation, to pass across an identity crisis.

Passing across an identity crisis doesn’t have to be walking on coals. If there is someone to help you, who has done it already (perhaps multiple times), then it can be like a vigorous hike. Or a series of vigorous hikes over uncharted territories.. But the personality fears the unknown so dramatically that it will put in all kinds of resistance and diversions rather than go there.

Think of it from the personality’s perspective: facing a reformulation of identity, is like death. The personality thinks it is going to die. It isn’t going to die, in fact it is going to be improved, greatly improved, since it will be able to perceive far more of reality rather than filtering so much out. The potential for fulfillment will be multiplied a hundredfold. Relationships all improve. Intelligence improves. There is no downside except the struggles during the rites of passage. But the personality does not know this. None of my friends have done this. Our society has not done this. The whole culture and society is formed around defending the old identity, and only this one guy Rupert Sheldrake, and other outliers are suggesting this new identity. It seems like a bad wager, and most people pass before they even give it a second look.

My advice: don’t commit to the new identity, be skeptical, but do give it a second look. Treat it as a thought-experiment. What if the sun were conscious? What would that mean for me personally? How difficult would it be for me to adjust my personality, my lifestyle, my relationships, if I were to even agree the sun COULD be conscious?

I do not advocate identity crises. It is more likely to end in a reversion to the old way, when it is too sharp, too painful. I advocate gradual transition. Don’t listen to Sheldrake’s podcast. Just consider that there are other ways to identify oneself than the ways I identified myself when I was 3 or 6 or 9. And see if in a year or two, you actually want to listen to Sheldrake’s podcast. At some point it will feel like a drink of cool water after a long hike. Even if you don’t buy Sheldrake wholeheartedly, it is still refreshing (for those rebuilding their identities) to get as many different perspectives as possible.