16 January 2012

I Had A Dream -- Martin Luther King Revisited... LITERALLY...A Strange Trip

I had a dream last night.  No seriously, hear me out on this one.  It was me and Dr. King hanging out.  You might have remembered I wrote a letter to him yesterday.  After which, I sought to deepen my connection and understanding of this man a little further.  What ended up happening caught me completely off guard, but was a pleasant, if not slightly spooky surprise.


Having a life long fascination with all matters brain related, and a particular emphasis on paranormal activity and behavior, I especially like to delve into studying dreams and altered states of consciousness.

After downloading over 24 hours of audio of Martin Luther King speeches and sermons yesterday (see end of story for links on this), including some rarely heard or publicized , I planned to fully immerse my self in all things King in honor of his birthday.

I've always admired and looked up to him as a great example of leadership, courage and integrity to be emulated, so why not learn more about him?  Not merely through the writings and recollections of others, but through his own words.

Being a student of history in general, studying the lives of great people who've lived before us is quite enjoyable.  As a researcher, when I get into a subject I like to dig deep.  I wanted to get to know Dr. King beyond popular soundbites, quotes and common perceptions.


Near the end of a long day, I thought of a little experiment.  What if I played the speeches and sermons of Dr. King while I slept?

Going with the theory that our subconscious is a massive recorder, able to grab hold of data at a much greater rate than we're consciously aware. I've long had the practice of listening to audio books with the device set to play at two times, or even three times normal speed.  There seems to be something about faster pace audio that helps deter drifting off, and possibly causing the subconscious to tune in closer.

My personal results have been greatly increased recollection and retention.  I'm able to pour through a great amount of material in a fraction of the time it would ordinarily take.  To deepen the impression and understanding, I sometimes listen to the same material at warp speed, several times in a row.  This sort of  feels like programming my own mind.  Not much different than the well known experiments on subliminal messages, discovered to be so powerful, their use on the unsuspecting is considered highly unethical.


Somewhere in the night, after a beautiful introduction by Coretta Scott King, I fell asleep to the words of the great orator.  Then came the dream ...

There I was hanging out with Dr. King.  I distinctly remember the whole scene being set in the kind of grainy black and white we see on television clips from that era.

I was fully involved in the scene.  Dr. King spoke to me, laughed and joked, and even posed for me to take photographs.  After a few serious poses, he started to smile broadly as he sat for my lens.


The strangest part of the whole thing is, within the dream, I was keenly aware of the future.  Though I was there with him, I was overwhelmed with sadness knowing how his life would end.  It was clear in the dream, that during our time together, Dr. King had no idea what was to come, but like a strange time traveler from the future, I knew his eventual fate.

Making matters worse, much as I wanted to share with him where things were going and what was to happen, I felt a heavy inner urging to stay silent on the matter, and not to interfere with fate or future, for it wasn't my place to do this.

At some point, the whole thing became too much, I woke up and in a sleeping daze, must have paused the audio and dozed back to sleep.  When I finally arose for the day, looking at the timer, over five hours of audio had played before it was stopped.

I do not intend to even try to conjure up some sort of deep meaning or conclusion to this dream.  Its presented to you in the interest of sharing.  Did I really travel back in time? Am I some sort of deranged delusional, neurosymptomatic patient needing to be institutionalized?  I leave that for you to decide.  None the less, I found the whole thing quite interesting, indeed I had a dream.

Additional Resources:

A Call to Conscience -- The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.: The Ultimate Collection Part 1Speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.: The Ultimate Collection Part 2

15 January 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. King -- Thank You For All You Have Done

Dear Dr. King!


I realize it'll probably be a while till you see this, but I wanted to take a few moments to record some of my thoughts on how much you've meant to me, and how far we've come since you've been gone.

Although today's your birthday, most of America will not actually recognize or honor you until tomorrow.  Well, I'm not sure about the honoring part, but a lot of people will have a day off.  How many will truly recognize they have you to thank for this?  Who knows!

Real men wore hats, cool cats wore fedoras!
This may seem a bit odd, but really you're in good company.  They celebrate the birthdays of Jesus and Presidents Washington and  Lincoln on days other than the actual dates also, and they give them about the same recognition and honor.  A great time for picnics, parties, parades and car sales.

Speaking of your birthday, you don't even want me to begin to tell you about how much resistance there was to designating it a federal holiday.  It's peculiar how we celebrate with a holiday, Christopher Columbus who was neither American nor president.  Come to think of it, actually quite strange' for other than yourself, he's the only man who was never president, but has been honored with a national holiday.

Kind of ironic really.  In some ways, Christopher Columbus could be thought of as one of the founding fathers of American slavery of black people.  Where as, you're most definitely one of the founding fathers of our modern day freedom and liberation.

By the time you read this, I guess you'll already know, they killed Bobby Kennedy too.

Dr. King, a lot has happened in America since you last walked the Earth.  We've gained all sorts of freedoms, made all kinds of progress, even to the point of having a black president.

Remember that dream you had? Could you believe I went to school and sat next to white girls and white boys.  Got invited to their homes for dinner, and even went on dates with some of the white girls and lived to tell about it.
Even Martin Luther King found time for fun on occasion.

Looking back over the years, we really have come a long way, but today I've become worried.  More worried than I've ever been in my entire life.  While we've marched ahead and made great strides, I fear we may have started to slowly slip backwards and nobody's paying attention.

There's this thing called the Patriot Act.  Oh Dr. King, I can't even begin to describe how horrific it is once you dig into the details.  If it were around in your day, long before your great March On Washington, you probably would have been locked away and never seen or heard from again under the guise of "national security."

After all, to many in government and to the powers that be, you were considered a grave threat, but I guess you already know this.  There's been many more incremental threats and scaling back of our freedoms, but most of us seemed unconcerned or too busy living our lives to pay attention.

I hope some of us will wake up before it's too late.  So much of what you fought for, so much of what you believed in, so much of the very essence of the spirit of what you stood for is at risk today in America.

You probably have a ton of others letters to read, so I'll wrap this up now.  There's much more I'd like to share with you, but I suppose that will have to wait.  Perhaps if it's OK I'll write you again sometime.

Thanks for all that you have done, thank you for fighting for our freedoms, thank you for inspiring a generation, thank you for paying the ultimate sacrifice.

Tearfully yours, with love,

A.F. James MacArthur

P.S. We shall overcome!

P.P.S. Response not necessary.

12 January 2012

Working With What You Have

A motivational moment with A.F. James MacArthur Ph.A.L.

The greatest journey begins with a single step.

Most of us at one point or another have had big dreams and grand goals of things we want to do, achievements we wish to attain, even places we desire to find be, but often times, before we begin, we talk ourselves out of it.

Under the guise of being "reasonable" or rational, we give ourselves all manner of excuse and explanation as to why what we want to do cannot be done.  Of course, thought patterns like this are self limiting and absolutely only guarantee one thing. If you think you can't, you're right! 

Some of us want to be right so bad, that we constantly tell ourselves what we can't do, then subtly and unconsciously follow a path of self fulfilling prophecy, so in the end we can feel gratified we were right all along.

What's amazing is, for most of us, everything we need to get started on the most lofty, most ambitious, most grandiose goals, are already within our possession.  For to begin, does not require having all ingredients necessary for completion.

Example: I've driven back and forth across the country so many times I've lost track.  Not once at the start of my journey, did I have enough gas in my tank to make it all the way.  This fact never stopped me from getting started.

Now obviously, to get to my destination, I would have to refuel several times, but observe closely as I break this down on how that really works.  Before I can refuel, I need to make space in my gas tank.  The way to do this, is by using the gas that's already in there. 

Driving down the road, in the direction of my ultimate destination, is the most effective and efficient way to use what I already have; a full tank of gas.  Note, it is impossible to add more fuel until I use at least some of what I already have.  See where I'm going with this?

In life it is often this way.  For those of faith, it is said God never gives you more than you can handle.  Most people think of this in terms of trials and tribulations, but I like to think it applies to talents and means too.  That is, to quote a song I love; "you only get what you give."

Driving down the road and using 10 gallons of gas means there's now room for me to add 10 more gallons. This contributes to my progress, because getting started with what I have already allowed me the potential to get to the point to where I needed more fuel.  No doubt, closer to my goal, then when I began.

It would be absurd of me to sit at the start of a long journey and fill my mind with doubt and trepidation because where I needed to go, took more gas than I had to get there.

Admitedly this story is a bit simplistic, but I've found in life, often things are far more simple than we make them out to be. Truly, much of it is on how we choose to look at things.

Whatever it is you think you really want to do, get started now! Don't tell yourself; I don't have enough money, not enough time, talent, education or what have you. Just begin! You already have more than you know, and by using what you got, or for the believers, showing yourself faithful with a little, allows room for you to have so much more.

My 10 gallon gas tank can take me from here to anywhere, 10 gallons at a time, or no where at all, if I sit and stall. It's all up to me. Just as your choices are up to you. 

Remember, you do not need everything necessary for completion, in order to begin. What a simple concept.

This was written on my phone lacking spell check and with tiny keys using fat fingers. You will pardon typos or errors.