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Stressors

1k 1 04 Apr 2019

Too much stress can literally be a killer.  Why?  It weakens the immune system.  That can allow some other disease to kill you. 

Many people are so highly stressed that their lives are actually dysfunctional.  Given the epidemic of low self-esteem in the west, perhaps it’s not surprising that many highly stressed adults actually do little about it.

This explains why the statistics about stress can be misleading.  They often only list the other disease as a cause of death even though it was stress that made death caused by that other disease possible.

The reality is that stress has been implicated in the prevalence of all the major diseases popular here in the west.

Two Important Questions

Here are two questions worth asking yourself.

First, do you seriously value the quality of your life?

Second, if so, are you too stressed?

If both answers happen to be ‘yes,’ what can you actually do?

An obvious first step is to reduce the deleterious effects of common environmental stressors in your life.  These include heat, cold, lack of nutrient intake, lack of nutrient absorption, UV light, insufficient caloric intake, and toxins.

Here’s what’s really interesting:  in small doses, some stressors are actually helpful!

Researchers have a concept for this: “hormesis.”  This refers to the favorable responses of an organism to low doses of stress that would be harmful in higher doses.  (This is evidence that there’s a least one clear sense in which Nietzsche’s famous quote is correct.)

Alcohol

Here are two good examples of hormetic stressors:

Alcohol intake creates bodily stress.

Small doses of alcohol are beneficial, whereas larger doses are harmful.

What’s a small dose?  One drink daily for women and one or two drinks daily for men.  A “drink” here is one shot of spirits, one beer, or one 5 oz. glass of wine.

Of course, if you happen to be an alcoholic, this is not a license to drink.

Fast Food Consumer

Ketosis

Ketosis creates bodily stress.

When digested, all carbohydrates become glucose (sugar).  When we consume lots of carbohydrates, our bodies produce energy by utilizing glucose.  As long as we consume lots of carbohydrates, our bodies will continue to burn sugar. 

When we restrict dietary carbohydrate intake sufficiently to induce ketosis, our bodies shift from burning sugars to burning ketones, which are a fuel derived from fats.  If you have ever deliberately put your body into a state of ketosis, you already understand that it’s difficult and stressful.

However, the mitochondria in your cells actually prefer burning fat and, of course, if you burn fat for a while instead of burning sugar, you’ll reduce your percentage of body fat, which most of us should do.

So, as with other hormetic stressors in appropriately low doses, what is bad or stressful for you is actually good for you.

Furthermore, in this case there’s actually more to the story.  In general as we age, our organs become less efficient.  This is true of our immune systems; as we age, the weaker it becomes.

Our bodies produce stem cells, which are undifferentiated types of cells that can turn into almost any other kind of cell.  As we age, stem cells tend to lose their ability to regenerate unless we stimulate them.  Even though ketosis stresses the body, it also signals stem cells to regenerate.  So, like caloric restriction, ketosis in this way really is a hermetic stressor.

WHAT NEXT?

Judging from their behavior, most adults don’t seriously value (physical) health and longevity.  If so and you happen to be an exception, I encourage you to read Gundry’s THE LONGEVITY PARADOX, which is the best book I’ve ever read on those topics.

It has never made any sense not to learn from experts.  This is why it’s foolish not to be a reader.  Making all the mistakes yourself is simply more harmful than learning from the mistakes that others have made as well as shortening your learning curve by emulating their successes. People who don’t read suffer the unnecessary consequences of being intellectually dead. Literacy is useless unless used.

I was a real estate investor for over 30 years.  If someone were to complain to me that they tried being a landlord and found it too difficult, my question would be, “How many books did you read about being a landlord before you began?”  (I myself read two thorough ones and never had a single serious problem with a tenant.  For example, I never had to evict anyone.)

If you care about physical well-being, how many books have you read recently about it?  If your answer is obviously unsatisfactory, why not start with Gundry’s most recent one?

Identity as Sameness

1k 4 04 Jan 2019

Identity as Sameness

Identity as sameness has been of paramount importance probably for all of human prehistory and nearly all or our history.

When encountering someone new, we initially want to understand whether this person really is a stranger or another member of our same tribe, clan, sect, ethnicity, religion, culture, or sub-culture. 

One’s identity comes from one’s group.

Identity as Individuality

Merely considering the biological imperative of survival reveals the importance of the concept of identity as sameness.

In Middle French, for example, the word ‘identite’ means ‘the quality or condition of being the same’ [The Economist, 4 Jan 19, p. 57].  We still use ‘identity’ in this way when, for example, we think or talk about identical twins.

In the last two-and-one-half centuries, though, identity as individuality has become more and more important.  Instead of coming from one’s group, one’s identity comes from one’s uniqueness.

One reason for this was the development of the laws of nation states that codified rules and practices about harvests, land, and ownership. 

Surnames [last names] were qualifiers added to names that denoted families.  This was necessary to dispel confusion because, for example, even in the late 1700’s in England, 9 out of 10 males had 1 of just 7 names (namely, ‘Charles,’ ‘Edward,’ ‘Henry,’ ‘James,’ ‘John,’ ‘Richard,’ or ‘William’).  Denoting family names was obviously important with respect to inheriting a title or land or other property.

Prior to the creation of civil status, censuses required only enumeration.  After the creation of civil status, censuses began to require identification to fix the state’s relationship with every citizen.

States began enforcing identity as individuality more stringently in the 1800’s by, for example, issuing identity cards and legally prohibiting citizens from changing their names without permission.

States were also very interested in establishing the identity of criminals by using anatomy such as fingerprints and that process continues today by using other biometrics such as retinal scans.

The Truncated World

Using the method of methodological materialism that deliberately ignores consciousness (awareness, thoughts) in order to foster objectivity, modern science has had a lot of success identifying individuals as bodies.

thinking
thinking

Impressed by scientific advances, some have concluded that the world really is just the truncated world.  Metaphysical materialism has become popular among scientists and apologists for modern science.

Put another way, consciousness remains a scientific embarrassment.  Scientists are thrilled about the possibility of coming to understand more about the infinitely large (the cosmos) and the infinitely small (the subatomic world), but they tend to be attached to the delusion that to be real is to be material.  They typically write it off as the accidental by-product of neural activity.

Uniqueness

What makes you unique?  What else could it be except what Eckhart Tolle calls your “form identity.”  Your form identity is your “bodymind,” in other words, your physical form, your mental forms (i.e., your thoughts), and your emotions (which are both physical and mental). It includes your ego and its structure.

A quality (property, characteristic) is what two or more individuals may share or have in common.  Can two or more bodies have the same set of qualities?  As long as we don’t count spatial and temporal qualities, in theory the answer is ‘yes.’  Two balls, for example, could have the same shape, the same size, the same texture, the same taste, the same chemical composition, and so on.

In the truncated world, there’s nothing that could prevent two bodies from having all their monadic (not relational) qualities in common.  Monadic qualities like redness may be had by one individual, whereas relational qualities like leftness cannot be had by one individual.  An individual can be red but obviously cannot be to the left of itself.

So monadic qualities cannot individuate or be the sole reason why two bodies are not identical.

Perhaps, then, relational qualities individuate?  Or is it that two bodies have different sets of relational qualities because they are already different individuals?

What about the real world (as opposed to the truncated world)?  Could thoughts individuate?  Or could two persons think the same thought?  Similar questions arise with respect to emotions.

Don’t we all have a unique form identity? Don’t we all have our own unique stories?  It certainly seems that we do.

Essence Identity

Our form identities are differences, but our essence identity is what makes us the same. 

The English phrase ‘human being’ works perfectly in this context:  as humans we are different, but as beings we are the same.  Our human bodyminds are all unique, at least spatially and temporally, but our human essence is the same.

What is our essence identity?

It’s been called by many different names in many different languages.  It’s really the non-form identity that we share with all other individuals (whether human or not).

Crucially, it’s beyond both space and time.  It is formless and eternal.  I typically call it ‘Being’ but you may prefer ‘Beingness,’ ‘The Divine,’ ‘God,’ ‘The Eternal,’ ‘The Deathless,’ ‘The Formless,’ ‘Aliveness,’ ‘The Plenum Void,’ ‘Life-energy.’ ‘The Great Spirit,’ ‘the Sacred Ground,’ ‘the Formless Godhead,’ ‘the Fertile Void,’ and many other terms including ‘Consciousness.’

Because it’s formless, it’s impossible to conceptualize.  Could it, though, be apprehended nonconceptually, perhaps even directly?

Conclusion

What I invite you to wonder about is the nature of consciousness

Is it an individual?  Well, no.  Since two or more humans, for example, can both be conscious, it would seem to be more like a quality than an individual.

However, if it’s a quality, it’s certainly a peculiar sui generis one.  What is it exactly?

To claim that it’s just awareness is true but unhelpful.

Here’s an important mistake:  do not identify consciousness with only conceptual consciousness (thoughts, judgments, statements).  Descartes’s famous dictum “I think, therefore I am” is too restricted. 

He’d have been closer to the truth if he’d claimed, “I am conscious, therefore I am,” but that, too, as Nietzsche pointed out, is loaded with the assumption of a substantial self.  Although language doesn’t work well at this depth, we might try, “There is consciousness, hence there is reality.”

To echo the theologian Paul Tillich, could consciousness itself be the root and ground of all being?  Could every individual somehow participate in consciousness?  Could consciousness pervade all of reality? There are respectable philosophers who have come to that conclusion, and, if they are mistaken at all, they certainly have not made some simple mistake.

Could consciousness be your essence identity and everything else (including your spatial and temporal qualities as well as your thoughts, emotions, and ego) be merely your form identity?

If so, would it be possible to live well by realizing yourself as consciousness?  The idea that living well is fulfilling our potential goes back in western philosophy at least as far as Aristotle. 

Might awakening experiences be crucially related to realizing yourself as consciousness?

If this short essay has intrigued you, it’s fulfilled its purpose. Wonder on!

(If you’d like to do more reading on this, I recommend is Steve Taylor’s Waking From Sleep as well as his The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

wondering
wondering

Loneliness Cure

1k 1 10 Dec 2018

Loneliness is rampant.

According to a recent study done and reported by The Economist [Sep 18], 22% of adults in the United States always or often felt lonely. Furthermore, 35% of Americans over the age of 45 always or often felt lonely; obviously, that’s more than 1 of every 3 people. 

These “findings complement academic research which uses standardized questionnaires to measure loneliness.”

What is loneliness?  How is it possible to tell if S[omeone] is lonely?

‘Loneliness’ is an abstract noun that stands for a concept.  It should not be confused with either solitude or social isolation. 

If S chooses to be alone, S is solitary.  Like living a life of frequent interaction with family, friends, or tribe, being solitary has advantages and disadvantages.  According to Nietzsche, genuine philosophers (as opposed to, say, those who are only students or professors of philosophy) usually have a taste for the advantages of solitude.

If S interacts infrequently with other human beings, then S is socially isolated.  Being socially isolated is not necessarily a problem.

The only way to tell if S is lonely is to ask S.  If S perceives himself or herself as lacking the social or interpersonal contacts with others that S desires, then and only then is S lonely.  Loneliness is perceived social isolation.  It’s a kind of dissatisfaction.

Although they are difficult to measure, it seems that both social isolation and loneliness are increasing.

There have been correlations noted between both social isolation and loneliness and various health problems including “heart attacks, strokes, cancers, eating disorders, drug abuse, sleep deprivation, depression, alcoholism and anxiety.”

The correct causal explanation for these correlations is unknown.  It may involve behavior (those who suffer from social isolation or loneliness may slide into poor health habits because they lack loved ones to encourage them), biology (those who suffer may experience more stress that, for example, impedes sleep and, so, undermines health), or psychology (those who suffer may experience more intense depression or anxiety).

Not surprisingly, people who cohabitate or are married experience less loneliness than others.  On the other hand, since creating great relationships is difficult, they may also experience other difficulties that are not experienced by those who do not live with someone else.

Sometimes, loneliness has an obvious, specific cause such as the death of a spouse. 

Sometimes, loneliness can be exacerbated by specific causes such as heavy social media use.

The truth is that modern science has no effective cure for chronic loneliness.  Episodic loneliness diminishes with time.

What can be done about chronic loneliness?

The good news is that there is an effective cure for chronic loneliness.

The key is to notice that loneliness is a feeling, an emotion.  If S feels lonely, then S is lonely.

Loneliness is a negative or unwanted emotion. 

Since the biological imperatives are to survive and reproduce and since living in a group enhances survival, it’s likely that Mother Nature or evolution predisposes us to loneliness when we live apart from others.  In other words, not living apart can have survival value.

All unwanted emotions are curable.

The reason is that all emotions are egocentric, which is a thesis I’ve argued for in, for example, EMOTIONAL FACELIFT.  Since, ultimately, the ego is a delusion, everything spawned by the ego is also a delusion.

The reason is that separation is always the cause of dissatisfaction.  Since that is so, whenever you want to find a cure for something that causes dissatisfaction [suffering, discontent, misery], identify the separation and see if it can be replaced by unity.

In the case of loneliness, since solitude is not the same as loneliness, physical separation cannot be the cause of loneliness (or, otherwise, all people such as hermits who choose to live in solitude would be lonely and they are not).

The cause of loneliness comes from thoughts that separate such as “I am  lonely” or “I am apart from others when I don’t want to be apart from them.”

All such thoughts are about what eastern spiritual [yogic, meditative] traditions call the small or little “self”, the ego/I, the historical or temporal self.  Loneliness presupposes exclusive, implicit identification with the small self.

It’s true that we are our stories, our temporal narratives, our autobiographies.  For example, we were born in a certain place at a certain time, we grew up and went to school somewhere, and so on.

However, and this is the critical point, exclusive identification with the small self separates us from everything else.  In fact, we are not separated from everything else; we are part of everything else.  The rest of the world is also us.

Everything else is the big “Self.”  Each of us is Self as well as self.  Furthermore, the Self is infinitely larger than the self.

Although it’s true that, for example, “I am my self,” it’s also true that “I am Self.”  As self I am separated and dissatisfied, but as Self it’s false that I am separated and, so, dissatisfaction is impossible.  [The Upanishads is a classic introduction to these ideas.] 

That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Is it, though, true? 

If it’s true, how can that truth be apprehended?

The critical point is that Self cannot be thought.  Why not?

The reason is that thoughts are conceptualizations.  Since concepts are principles of classification, to conceptualize [think, judge] is to separate [divide, classify, sort, categorize].

There’s nothing wrong with thinking.  We typically solve important problems by breaking them down into their parts.

From the standpoint of dissatisfaction, however, there’s everything wrong with too much thinking, which creates separation that in turn creates dissatisfaction.

So the cure for loneliness (and all unwanted emotions) is to let go of thinking.  Seriously.  It’s to open consciousness or awareness to Being instead of focusing exclusively on impermanent objects [“forms”] in Becoming.

That is realizing one’s wholeness, interconnectedness, or big Self.  It requires nonconceptual apprehension of Being, which is the formless plenum-void or whole. 

Since there can be no loneliness without perceived separation and there is no separation in Being, opening to Being cures loneliness.

troubled

Realization

It’s impossible to think Being.  However, by detaching from incessant thinking, it is possible to apprehend Being.

So how does one detach from incessant thinking?  The traditional way is by mastering some meditative practice or other (such as zazen or aliveness awareness).  Obviously, it’s impossible to think one’s way out of incessant thinking!

Such mastering is not anti-conceptual but non-conceptual.  In other words, wisdom is not just something to be thought about — it’s to be practiced, lived.

Backlink Pyramids

1k 2 19 Nov 2018

What are “backlink pyramids”? Why should you understand them?

This post presupposes that you understand backlinks. If you are unsure about them, read this short introductory post by clicking here: backlinks.

Let’s suppose that you have a webpage that is the sales page for some product or service that you want to sell. It’s called your “money site.”

Your goal is to have lots of high-quality backlinks pointing towards it.

Backlink pyramid

One way to do that is to create a backlink pyramid. Imagine your money site as the single site that is at the top of a pyramid.

The next level down, let’s call it ‘tier 1,’ consists of high-quality backlinks that point to your money site. You may create the content with the backlinks yourself by, for example, writing relevant blog posts or creating videos or posting quote graphs that all link to it.

The problem, you quickly discover, is that creating this content requires a lot of time and effort. You may begin creating it every day enthusiastically; however, you find that your enthusiasm wans after a couple of weeks. Might there be a better way?

You could use spun text or videos. There’s software available that you could use. For example, you could create 1 video and spin it into 30 slightly different videos that YouTube recognizes as 30 rather than as 1. So, you could get 30 backlinks from 1 video instead of just 1 backlink from 1 video.

Since this isn’t a white hat procedure but a grey hat one, you don’t want to risk having the links from such spun content pointing directly to your money site. After all, the search engine algorithms could eventually ban this weaker content and punish the ranking of your money site.

So, instead, create a set of tier 2 links that point to your tier 1 sites that in turn point their links to your money site.

Outsourcing would be another way to add link juice to your tier 1 content so that your tier 1 content would add link juice to your money site.

You could set up multiple tier 2 sites that each provide multiple backlinks for your tier 1 sites. This would boost the power of their backlinks; i.e., the link juice that they eventually pass on to your money site would be more powerful.

What else could you do?

In a similar way, you could set up tier 3 sites that each provide multiple backlinks for your tier 2 sites. These might be very low-quality backlinks such as using software that automatically generates comments for blog posts. This is such a black hat method that not many of them may ever even get indexed by the search engine algorithms, but, if you did enough of them, some might ultimately help boost the ranking of your money site.

This explains both the potential benefits and potential risks of backlink pyramids.

What could you do instead to boost the ranking of your money site without using any grey hat or black hat tactics?

A Better Alternative

You don’t want to give up content marketing. Seth Godin: “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
Instead of interrupting people, why not give them something of value to attract their attention?

Here’s the big idea: set up an autopilot system that generates valuable content that is both effective and sustainable.

Let’s suppose that you have an ordinary WordPress blog for your local business. How many times a week should you post attractive content on it?

Once a month is too infrequent. Once a week is a bare minimum. Once a day would be much better.

How about twice a day? Obviously, that’d be better than once a day.

Is that sustainable?  Possibly, but also possibly not if you create the content yourself.

Question: do visitors to your blog care about who creates the content they find there? Not really. All they want is content that is valuable to them.

Therefore, you could find valuable, popular content elsewhere online and reproduce it on your blog. This is called “curation.”

You could do it manually, buy software that would enable you to do it more quickly and easily, or outsource it.

[We offer a service that posts twice daily to your blog and on up to 10 social media sites for just $199. monthly.  Just contact me if you are interested.  Although they are often more expensive, others offer similar solutions]

An important problem

Presumably, the topic of your business blog is your product or service. For example, an attorney’s blog posts will be about legal matters.

There’s a serious limit to how much busy, ordinary people want to learn about legal matters. The same goes for your field whether it’s carpentry or dentistry.

Remember: the more fresh content that’s posted to your blog every day, the better the search engine algorithms like it.  However, people don’t want to be bothered paying attention to content that is relevant to your product or service multiple times daily.

thinking

So, there’s a serious conflict between what the search engines want and what prospects want. What could you do?

A Great Solution

What if you could post attractive content 160 times daily to your blog? That’s about one post every six minutes.
That would certainly make the search engines happy, wouldn’t it?

If each post had a backlink to your business’s social media sites and they linked to your business’s money site, that would provide it with a minimum of 240,000 high-quality backlinks over the next twelve months – wow!

What, though, about what prospects want? They certainly don’t want so many posts daily related to your product or service. That would be annoying, wouldn’t it?

Well, what would they be interested in? Where’s the requirement that your blog posts must only be about your product or service?

What People Want

Well, we are people. What do we want? We want what we value.

Online, we value content that is useful, entertaining, or both. We also value speed; we don’t usually want to take minutes to absorb something.

Since we are all sometimes inspired by quotations from famous people, especially when they are presented in a visually pleasing way, that’s the best solution to the problem identified in the previous section.

Where are you going to get 60,000+ attractive content graphics that prospects would value?  Unless you are a graphic designer, you couldn’t make them yourself.  It would cost you tens of thousands of dollars to have them made for you.

Even if you had them, how would you get them posted to your business’s blog and social media platforms? In other words, how could you actually use them to generate over 240,000 high-quality backlinks to your money site?

Here’s a recent press release: https://marketersmedia.com/240000-real-traffic-backlinks-service-to-change-local-business-marketing/408131

This is a wholly white hat system.  The content of the quotations is in the public domain.  The graphics are unique and attractive.  The resulting backlinks are like tier 1 backlinks in a backlink pyramid.

You’ll actually be purchasing the graphics and we’ll upload them to your blog and set up software so they drip out over the next year.

Therefore, each month for the next year your money site will enjoy the results of more and more high-quality backlinks, which will remain indefinitely.

This is a new marketing program limited to only a strictly limited number of marketers.

We provide this unique solution for a very reasonable one-time fee, namely, $4995.

Furthermore, because we’d love some initial testimonials, we are offering it for a whopping 70% discount to the first 10 clients!  Would you believe $1495?

Furthermore, our Better Business Bureau rating is perfect.

We guarantee at least 240,000 high-quality backlinks to your money site by the end of the 12 months — and there are more likely to be 300,000!  Just imagine how that would boost your bottom line.

If you may be interested and would like more information, just contact me, Dr. Dennis Bradford, at dennis@ironoxworks.com or (716) 408 – 0343.

Dr. Dennis E. Bradford
Dennis E. Bradford, Ph.D.

Backlinks

1k 2 19 Nov 2018

What are “backlinks”? Why should you understand them?

The greatest single blessing of the world wide web is that it’s possible to find information much more quickly than it used to be able to find it. Of course, it’s good for other reasons (such as for entertainment) as well, but finding answers to problems we consider important is, for me, its most important benefit.

Online Searching

To find information, we simply type relevant phrases into search engines like Google and Bing. If I’m buying a house and want the assistance of an attorney to help me with all the paperwork, I might search for “real estate attorney” and include my geographical location.  My problem is that I need an attorney and searching online is a fast way to find some solutions.

having a problem

Let’s look at this from the other side. Let’s suppose that you are a real estate attorney and want to market your legal services. You hire someone to put up a website for you that you hope will attract prospects who will contact you and become clients.

You want prospects who would like a real estate attorney in your area to be able to find your website quickly and easily. How can they do that online?

When, for example, someone does a Google search for “real estate attorney Buffalo,” Google employees don’t read that and then send you to relevant webpages. Google uses an algorithm to list the results of that search on a search engine results page [SERP].

The algorithm ranks the listings in order.  The search engines want users to find exactly what they are searching for as quickly and easily as possible.  They want their users to have a good search experience — otherwise, they’d eventually go out of business.

As the owner of your website, you want to be listed on the first page of relevant SERP’s. Prospects only infrequently search beyond page 1.

On the first page there are often not just the free (“organic”) listings, but also ads and “3-packs.” There are often ads right at the top of the page. However, they are always marked as ads and, so, searchers can skip them or develop “ad blindness.” Sometimes there are no 3-packs there at all. So, let’s here just focus on the free listings.

You want the listing for your website to be on page 1. How can you get it listed there?

The SEO Problems

There are three important problems here.

Pondering options.

First, the exact nature of the algorithms that search engines use is unknown outside the search engine companies. They don’t want people gaming their systems.

Second, the algorithms change frequently. Minor changes occur nearly daily and major changes may occur several times a year.

Third, the algorithms are complicated.

The result is that researchers outside the search engine companies have to test for results; they work backward to figure out what website features are valued by the algorithms. They deliberately tweak websites, learn how the SERP’s respond to those tweaks, and then alter the feature of websites to get them to rank as highly as possible.

This never-ending process is search engine optimization [SEO].

It’s been well-established that backlinks are an important consideration when it comes to free SERP rankings.

Backlinks

A “backlink” is just an online link that points to a webpage from another webpage. Think of a backlink as like a vote, a citation, or a recommendation similar to (many kinds of) footnotes or endnotes in a printed article or book.

Both the quantity of the backlinks to your website as well as the quality of those backlinks matter.

The quantity is easily measured. The search engine algorithms simply count them.

The quality is either low (artificial) or high (real).

Suppose that you purchased 100,000 backlinks from some link farm to boost the ranking of your site. That would be cheating, right? Those are low-quality backlinks. There are various kinds of sites such as harvested, automated, or spam sites that attempt to boost rankings artificially. Avoid them! Even if they work temporarily, the search engine companies will eventually find out about them and punish websites for using them.

High-quality backlinks are real citations or recommendations. Suppose that you post an article, video, or graphic on your personal blog that has a link to a relevant page of your business’s website. That would be a high-quality backlink.

The backlinks from some domains are much more valuable from other domains. For example, a link from an educational domain ending in .edu is more valuable than from other kinds of domains.

Backlink Terminology (Related Jargon)

An “internal link” is simply a link that goes from one page in a domain to another page in that same domain.

Link juice” or power is passed to your webpage whenever any “do-follow” link points to it. Link juice boosts the ranking power of a page.

If you are writing a webpage and include a link to another page, by default that link will be a do-follow link that passes link juice to that other page. If, though, you tag that link with a “no-follow” tag, it won’t pass any link juice to that other page.

When the search engines count the number (quantity) of links to your website from another website, they’ll only count one link from any other unique domain. For example, if you referred in your WordPress blog to your business website twenty times, the search engine algorithms would only count that as one link instead of twenty.

Anchor text” is text that is used for hyperlinks. Search engine words or phrases such as “real estate attorney Buffalo” are called “keywords.” Hyperlinks work well for keywords.  There’s an example in the second to last sentence of this post.

The Value of  Backlinks

The chief value of having a lot of high-quality backlinks to your website is that its organic listings will be boosted naturally.

There’s no penalty for having lots of fresh, relevant content on your website and backlinks to that content. In fact, the search engines reward it; that’s what they value.  The more, the better.

A second major benefit of having a lot of high-quality backlinks is the quality of the online traffic your website will attract. The people who visit it will be more targeted prospects who will have a much lower bounce rate than other visitors who are less interested or not interested. The search engine algorithms penalize a high [fast] bounce rate, i.e., the longer a visitor stays on your site, the better in terms of its rankings.

A third benefit of having a lot of high-quality backlinks is faster rankings. The search engines send out “bots” or “spyders” that crawl websites. The more high-quality backlinks your site has, the faster the bots will find it and crawl it. This is especially important for new sites.

If you have enjoyed this post and learned something from it, I hope that you’ll leave a comment to that effect.

If you are serious about getting more high-quality backlinks to your website, proceed to the post on backlink pyramids.  I’ve some ideas that may really help you.

win/win

Schema Markup

1k 3 15 Nov 2018

If you are a local business owner looking to attract more online traffic to your website, ignore schema markup at your peril.

The purpose of this post is to enable you to understand the value of schema markup SEO [search engine optimization] so that you can attract more online prospects and convert them into customers, clients, or patients.

SEO

What we want for your website is for people who use search engines like Google, Bing, and others to find it quickly and easily when they search for relevant phrases.  If you are an attorney in Buffalo, for example, we want prospective clients to find your website when they type in phrases such as “family attorney” or “criminal lawyer” for the geographical area around Buffalo.

Google uses a frequently-changing algorithm to list the results of such searches on a search engine results page [SERP]. We’d like you to be found on page 1 and not lower than page 2 of the free (“organic”) results for relevant search phrases.

Actually, it’s best to be listed in the 3-pack, which people often use as a shortcut to find relevant solutions to their problems. However, not all SERP’s have 3-packs and, when they do appear, they may have more than 3 listings. At least the 3-packs are always on page 1.

The exact nature of the search engine algorithms is not public information. Google and others don’t want people to be able to game their systems. That’s why it’s impossible for anyone outside Google to guarantee either a listing in a 3-pack or on page 1 of a SERP. Depending upon how competitive the search phrase used is, it can be very expensive to be listed highly on a SERP – or free!

There are many factors relevant to how Google ranks listings for a given search term.

Wondering what to do.

Backlinks

For example, a very important ranking factor is “backlinks,” which are easily measured.  What are they?

A backlink for your website is simply a hyperlink somewhere else on the world wide web that points to your website; when someone clicks that link, that person is taken to your website. Both the quantity and number of backlinks are search engine ranking factors. Google considers backlinks as like votes or recommendations.

This is why, for example, press releases work to boost SERP rankings. If it is well-written and well-distributed to lots of high-ranking new directories, a single press release can provide hundreds of backlinks. It’s a good idea to do 1 per month. Since the news directories often purge them after 90 days, their backlinks will cease to work, which is why it’s a good idea to keep doing press releases regularly.

(Incidentally, at Ironox Works we offer an affordable press release service. It’s included in a normal client’s monthly fee. However,  we can do an individual press release for you at a modest fee.  If you prefer to do any for yourself, it’s possible to purchase single press releases. If you are interested, one of the best sites for that is prweb.com; they have various packages, but a single press release costs between $99 and $389 depending upon distribution – and more if they write it for you.)

This also explains why social media works well for local businesses.  For example, suppose that you have business pages on some major search engine platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Assuming that those social media pages are properly set up, there will be links going from them to your website and from your website to those pages.

(If you have not set up any or as many social media business pages for your local business as you want, just let me know. I’ll email you written instructions on how to do it. Except for the time spent doing it, there’s no cost to doing it.)

It helps to post regularly to those social media platforms.  Post at least 1 to 3 times daily.  Of course, that’s a lot of work.  If you try to produce fresh content daily, you’ll likely burn out quickly.  A very good solution is to find relevant content that is already popular online and repost it.  That can be done manually yourself or you can use curation software or you can hire someone else to do it.

(We at Ironox Works offer a $199 per month service, which is about one-half the frequently=charged rate, to post twice daily on up to 10 social media platforms for you.  So that’s something like 400 to 600 high-quality backlinks for your business monthly, which will really help boost and maintain your SERP rankings.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention in this context that we at Ironox Works happen to have a backlink special going on for the first 10 who sign up.  It’s a 70% discount on getting at least 240,000 high-quality backlinks to your blog over the next twelve months!  Just contact me for the almost unbelievability low investment required.)

Similarly, suppose that we were to publish 30 video commercials for your company each month on YouTube. Guess what? There will be 30 more high-quality backlinks from those ads to your website. (Since Google owns YouTube, Google really likes those backlinks, too.)

You get the idea about backlinks. Of course, an active local business should also have a well-designed website, one that is mobile-optimized, one with proper legal pages (including those related to the new GDPR regulations), etc.

The point is that, since yours is a business website, it’s important to have it as highly ranked as possible on relevant SERP’s so that prospects can find it quickly.

Websites can be set up poorly or well. A well set up website is one that is optimized to make it as easy as possible for the search engine algorithms to find it. The process of doing that is called “search engine optimization” [SEO].

Since minor changes to the search engine algorithms occur frequently (even daily) and major changes occur not infrequently, the best tactics for SEO are constantly changing. Since they are working hard running their businesses, it’s almost impossible for local business owners and managers to keep up with SEO changes. It’s not even easy for professionals to keep up.

Boosting Rankings

Still, there are some one-time standard improvements that are free to make as well as important.

For example, again, it’s important to set up related pages on at least the major social media platforms.As you understand, regular posting to those related social media pages can be very helpful in boosting and retaining high SERP rankings, but even just having them helps because it shows legitimacy.

For example, it’s important to set up properly the related Google My Business [formerly, “Google Maps”] page for your business.

That’s the big picture.

Schema Markup

Schema markup [schema.org] is a structural data vocabulary that defines online entities, actions, and relationships for pages on websites, emails, and so on. Its purpose is to make it easier for the search engines to provide a better user experience by clarifying the content of online properties.

Google’s main business is search. The Google search engine is the best in the world, and it’s in Google’s interest to keep it that way. Google wants searchers to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. They don’t want, for example, someone who searches for “Buffalo attorney” to find a listing for an Albany lawyer. Contrary to what some people think, the search engine companies want to make online search work well.

Schema markup is simply an HTML code that is put on, say, the homepage of the website of your local business that aids search engines in returning more relevant results to their users. In other words, schema markup helps to structure the information on your website to get more attention from Google and the other search engines.

In return for making it easier for Google, Google makes it easier for local businesses. Google has said that properly structured data can enhance how a website’s listing appears on a SERP.

Google already has the data that is provided by your website. What schema markup does is to ensure that that data is correctly interpreted.

(In case you understand what they are, this is why HTML tags are insufficient. They don’t provide the search engines with any information about what a tag really means. For example, if “AVATAR” were a tag, does it denote a movie or a profile type? Without schema markup, in other words, without more information, there’s no way to tell.)

Schema markup is a powerful way to optimize website pages, but it’s also infrequently utilized.

Once schema data is added to your website, it will give you a ranking advantage compared to the websites of your competitors that lack it. One study showed that websites with schema markup rank on average 4 positions higher in SERP listings. That’s just one improvement. Imagine how much higher rankings can be boosted by using multiple improvements such as press releases and video ads!

Schema markup also has other advantages as well as higher SERP rankings. For example, because users will understand better in advance what they’ll find when they click through to your website, schema markup can increase the rate at which they click through.

Another important advantage is that schema markup also makes a local business’s physical location easy for the search engines to read.

Furthermore, schema data can also add a more professional look to a business’s SERP listings, which can instantly improve credibility.

According to Google itself, only 40% of all searches include schema data. Worse, 95% of local businesses fail either to have schema data or have incorrect or missing data!

There’s no downside to using schema markup. It really just includes all the relevant information about a business such as its name, address, phone number, email, business hours, social media links, geographical location (latitude & longitude), founders’ information, and so on. It’s all potentially useful information. None of it is controversial.

75% of local business websites are HTML websites.  Many of the others are WordPress sites. Once you have the html code for schema data, adding it to either kind of side is quick and easy; it just involves copying-and-pasting the code into the right place.

Understanding.
Aha!

It’s setting up the HTML code properly that can take time. Of course, one has to understand in advance how to set it up; there are hundreds of markup types.  It can be set up manually or using a software program.

(Yes, we at Ironox Works offer that service for a modest fee.  Contact me for more information.)

Bottom lineif you own or manage a local business and want more online traffic to provide you with an increased number of prospective customers, clients, or patients, you should be using schema markup.

Traffic Generation 70% Discount for Local Business Owners

3k 0 12 Oct 2018

Attention: Local Business Owners Who Want More Prospects Contacting Them

Do you want a huge search engine ranking boost for your blog?

For the first 10 clients only, there is a whopping 70% discount on a great new service that didn’t exist a month ago.

Your blog will receive over 244,000 quality backlinks over the next 12 months!

Imagine how you’ll benefit from all that new traffic.

It’s fully guaranteed, too.

Stop wasting time and energy trying to do it yourself.

Forget about hassles with outsourcers.

No recurring fees.  Just a one-time, heavily discounted investment.

This is a temporary offer. Don’t wait to learn more!

Contact Dennis E. Bradford, Ph.D., of IronoxWorks right now.

(716) 408 – 0343

Dennis@IronoxWorks.com

This is the solution to your traffic problem you’ve been waiting for!

How to Start a Blog

1k 2 25 Sep 2018

Are you interested in blogging?  Would you like to understand the right procedure for how to start a blog?

Are you interested in using it as a way of earning income online?  If so, the following may interest you.

(If not, you are already on my blog on well-being, which has hundreds of posts on how to live better and is not monetized.  So you already have an example of a personal blog that is not used as a way of earning income online.)

One Way of Earning Online Income Part-time

A standard method to make money online (or to try to make money online!) is to select an affiliate offer (or create your own product) for which there is demand in a market niche, put up a landing page with an opt-in form, drive traffic to it, send people who opt in to a sales page, and profit from any resulting sales. Even if a prospect fails to purchase, at least with the opt-in form information you are able to generate an email list of people interested in that topic and use it to market to that list repeatedly.

TIP: Never send traffic directly to a sales page; instead, always send traffic to an opt-in or squeeze page to capture email addresses first and then send those who opt-in on to a sales page.

Blogging

Think of a WordPress blog or website as similar to that standard method except that its posts are all landing pages in a single market niche. Instead of being isolated landing pages, they are congregated landing pages. So, instead of driving traffic to an isolated landing page, drive traffic to one website that is a set of landing pages that are related to the topic of the blog.

Understanding.
Aha!

Furthermore, blogging is a way of content marketing. Content marketing educates prospects before pitching anything.  It’s a way of leading with the giving hand. Especially when the content is “edutainment” (i.e., entertaining as well as educating), it is a most effective way of stealthy marketing.

It’s the best way of getting strangers to know, like, and trust you.  After you do that, they are much more likely to take your advice.

Each blog post is specifically designed in advance to have an in-demand topic. Demand is the sine qua non of any business.  Help people solve their problems, which is exactly what I’m doing in this post for those who are considering blogging.

A website is a long-term asset that is built over time. It’s more like running a marathon than sprinting. It can keep gaining traction in the marketplace, i.e., ranking in the search engines for relevant keywords.

There’s no need for any particular blog post to stimulate a lot of sales; instead, only a few or even occasional sales from each post over time can generate significant income if there are plenty of posts, which is why blogging can be very lucrative.

A blog can be built part-time. The key is consistently posting on topics that are in demand, whether that be once a week or five times a week.

Writing the posts can be done oneself or outsourced.

Traffic can be driven not only to the blog itself but to its posts. Using social media like Pinterest skillfully can be an effective way to drive traffic.

It’s false that perfection is required. Imperfect action beats no action.

ACTION STEPS

First, select a niche.

Second, set up a WordPress site focused on that niche.

Third, post consistently, but only after researching possible topics for each post.

Fourth, monetize every post. You can sell your own products or services. You can place ads on a post from ad networks such as Google’s AdSense, Exoic, or Mediavine or simply use Amazon affiliate display ads. You can do affiliate marketing for related products from Amazon, Clickbank, Max Bounty, JVZoo, and lots of others. TIP: reverse engineer what blogs in your niche with lots of traffic are doing to monetize their posts and emulate them.

Fifth, drive traffic to the website as well as to the posts.

REPEAT

Once you have a successful blog that is monetized, set it up so that others such as outsourcers are doing its posting and maintenance for you. Obviously, ensure that your blogs are not alligators that will eat you; in other words, ensure that they are making you more money than they are costing you.  Cash flow is critical.

After you have one blog that’s making money, you’ll have learned a lot about how to do it. So, use that understanding and set up a second blog.

Is it better to have one fruit tree or a whole orchard? Why not have a whole orchard of blogs?

DEMAND

What you think is important is not necessarily what the marketplace thinks is important. Put your values into the background and focus on where in the marketplace demand already exists.

The biggest mistake in business is trying to build a business in situations in which there’s no demand for its products or services.

If you fail to research demand properly, the website will fail to interest and help people with their problems and, so, will fail to make money. So researching is critical, which is why it’s the only one of the six steps discussed here.

How should demand be researched?

Initially, using a Google search, find 5 or 10 blogs in the prospective market niche. Make a written list of them, perhaps on a spreadsheet. It’s not necessary to be an expert in a niche, but it is important at least to have an interest in a niche.

Then check their traffic. One software to use for that is similarweb, which is a free Chrome extension.

Focusing on some of the blogs with the highest traffic, visit some of their posts. What are their topics? How do they monetize them? Are those topics and monetization methods something that interests you? Might you be able to emulate them?

Another way to check for relevant traffic is to use buzzsumo. This free Chrome extension is especially helpful for finding blog topics that go viral.

Another way to check for relevant traffic is to look on Pinterest and Facebook.

Another way to check for relevant traffic is to use keyword software (e.g., Google Adwords Keyword Planner). Install the (free) Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere on your computer and use it in conjunction with the (free) Keyword Shitter software. Used in combination, they can be very helpful in determining demand and a good list of initial keywords for posts.

However, there’s no magic bullet. Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned in the last 20 years about internet marketing is this:

Spend some time and energy doing research and finding a market niche that has demand and interests you before seriously beginning any business.

Once you have that, set up a WordPress blog properly, start posting consistently, and regularly drive traffic to it. There are multiple books and online courses that teach how to do that (including Bloggii).

Remember:  no demand, no business.

I wish you well.

Dr. Dennis E. Bradford
Dennis E. Bradford, Ph.D.

Traffic Online

1k 3 23 Sep 2018

Would you like more traffic online? Could your business use more?

Whether you are trying to influence people by attracting them to your views or trying to sell a product or service, it’s important to understand how to get online traffic.

Understanding the big picture is easy, too.

The way to proceed is to consider the different online traffic sources and decide which might work best for you. This post offers an overview of the 13 sources of online traffic.

Once you have selected one, test it for yourself and determine if your investment in time or money is worth the results you receive.

Each can work. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Each can also fail.

Pondering options.

TWO CAVEATS

First, none is really free. Each requires an investment in time, money, or both.

Second, education is expensive. You might think that trial-and-error is free, but it’s not. It requires an investment of time and energy. If you use it, proceed in small steps (so that mistakes are not too costly) and constantly monitor feedback and make appropriate adjustments.

Usually, it’s much less costly to learn from the successes and failures of others than from your own. I recommend reading articles and books about your topic or market niche as the best initial way to procced.

Since it’s much slower, the second-best way to learn is to watch free training videos about your niche. (We often read 5 or 10 times faster than we speak.)

I also suggest either paying the price to master a traffic source yourself or hiring an expert who has already mastered it.

Situation: Let’s suppose that you have a website that you’d like to receive more traffic. How can you promote its URL (web address)?

WEB ACTIVITY

There are ordinary activities that can help. For example, when you send an email, have a signature block that includes that URL. If you post a comment to a blog or in a forum, include that URL.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are very popular; they have billions of regular users. If you are one of them, instead of not engaging, leave comments or post photos, images, or videos and ensure that they all link back to your URL.

SEO

‘SEO’ abbreviates ‘search engine optimization.’ SEO requires doing things that attract extraordinary attention from search engines like Google or Bing. Search engines try to deliver to users the results they want. They work using algorithms. At least for a while, it’s sometimes possible to trick those algorithms into ranking your content higher than they’d ordinarily be ranked.

Wondering what to do.

CONTENT MARKETING OR SYNDICATION

Seth Godin: “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”

The idea here is to attract people indirectly. Give them content such as words, images, or videos that people value and in return they will give you their attention. (In effect, it’s what I’m doing on this website.)

To be effective, this requires posting at a minimum at least three times daily to your website and to syndicated social media sites. There is software available that can help with this, often by “curating” or replicating the content of others.

OFFLINE ACTIVITY

Especially if you are promoting a product or service, this can be an effective way to get the word out about it.  Begin locally at, say, meetings of local business owners, meet people, and give them your 30-second elevator pitch.

I suggest handing out your business card to ordinary prospects and handing out a copy of your paperback book to hot prospects, which positions you as a generous authority in your field. [The latter tactic is not as expensive or difficult as you might imagine. Cf. HOW TO BECOME HAPPILY PUBLISHED.]

ONLINE-ADS SUCH AS GOOGLE PAY PER CLICK, FACEBOOK, OR YOUTUBE and PRESS RELEASES

Paid advertising and press releases obviously require an advertising budget. If you try this yourself, and it can be very effective, it’s important to get good training on how to do it or hire an expert. Otherwise, it’s very easy to lose money doing it.

BANNER ADS

Even though many people have developed “banner blindness,” these can still be effective when they are done creatively. They require creativity as well as some technical understanding. Either get good, up-to-date training on how to do it yourself or hire an expert.

SOLO ADS

Solo ads can work very well. What are they?

They require you to find someone who already has a following or tribe in your area and then paying that person to promote your URL by, for example, sending an email to the members of that following.

They can work quickly and be very effective in terms of their ROI [return on investment] if you understand what you are doing, or they can be costly and not work at all. Again, get good training or hire an expert.

WEBINARS

If you publicize it properly, offering a free webinar can attract people to your URL. What’s important is leading with the giving hand. Give some training at no cost that will be free for your audience. Allow them to begin to know, like, and trust you.

Then, perhaps, offer them something for free that will help them in exchange for some of their contact information such as their email addresses. Follow up with additional emails (and an autoresponder can be very helpful) and then promote your URL.

BONUS CREATION

Whether or not you do webinars yourself, you may be able to create bonuses for others who do webinars to give away. You’d be helping those others attract visitors to their webinars and in return they’d be helping you publicize your URL.

For example, if you are a golf pro and your passion is training people how to swing golf clubs correctly, you could offer a free introductory sequence of training videos on how to putt, chip, and drive a golf ball.

INTERVIEWS

win/win

If you are not an expert about a subject matter and don’t want to offer webinars yourself, why not contact experts and interview them on a webinar? Experts are generally very enthusiastic about their topics.

You ask them during the webinar questions that beginners ask or should ask. That will benefit the expert because he or she becomes better known. It will benefit anyone engaging in the webinar to understand more about the topic. Furthermore, it will benefit you because some of the expert’s authority will naturally rub off on you – and you’ll be able to pitch your URL.

VIDEO MARKETING

People crave entertainment. People have short attention spans.

So, it’s not surprising that they typically don’t really want to read books or articles on some subject even if they are somewhat interested in it. They want easy-to-absorb images and short videos that entertain as well as instruct (“edutainment”).

There’s lots of low-cost video production software available. If you don’t want to be on camera doing “talking head” videos yourself, you can do explainer videos or slide-show videos.

You can post videos on your website or to video-sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo at no cost. If you produce them consistently, you may be able to attract a following of interested viewers.

JOINT VENTURES

These are similar to solo ads. Start by seeking out the stars or celebrities in your field. They already have a following. How can you piggy-back on that?

Offer the star something of value in exchange for access to his or her following. Simple. There are multiple ways to give value. If one isn’t successful, try another.

So, there are 13 ways to generate traffic online for your offering.

They all can work. They can all fail. Everything depends upon execution.

Good luck!

[I myself sell content marketing and video marketing services. The price is irrelevant if your ROI is positive. Suppose, for example, that you are very busy running a local business. You pay me $1 to do some marketing for you and your bottom line increases by $1.50 each time you do that. How many dollars would you give me? Simply contact me at dennis@ironoxworks.com if you’d like more information.]

Dennis E. Bradford. Ph.D.

Right and Wrong

681 3 28 Jul 2018

ITS IMPORTANCE

Thinking clearly about right and wrong is important.

The reason is that, at least sometimes, we all find ourselves making decisions that will have at least relatively important consequences.

As is obvious and philosophers like Camus have pointed out, the most important question is the question of suicide. If we opt for it, everything else becomes valueless.

Would it be right to kill myself?

THE BAD NEWS

My thesis here is simple; it’s that the author of the oldest extant zen document is correct when he states “If there’s a trace of right and wrong, / True-mind is lost, confused, distraught.”

What?

When we think about what action or inaction would be right or wrong to do or not to do, we inevitably find ourselves imagining the possible future consequences of doing it or not doing it. That’s thinking about the future.

thinking

To think is to conceptualize (categorize, sort, classify, discriminate, evaluate). All judgments are conceptualizations.

For example, if I think “that is a tree,” I’ve conceptualized that object as being an object of a certain kind. I’ve used a principle of classification, namely, my idea of the nature of a tree, to sort that object into one category rather than another.

To think about actions or non-actions as being either right or wrong is to conceptualize them in a certain way.

Are the consequences of an action relevant to its moral evaluation as right or wrong?

Of course they are relevant. It may also be that someone’s intentions in acting a certain way are also relevant, but it would be folly to ignore the consequences of an action in evaluating it morally.

The alternative is absurd. To take an extreme example, if someone whose intentions were wholly loving accidentally did something to initiate World War III, would any sane person claim that that act was right? Certainly not. We’d think that, although it was done with good intentions, the act itself was wrong became of its enormously harmful consequences.

If so, given that an act’s consequences are relevant to its moral evaluation, how can we know (in the present moment) whether or not an act is right or wrong?

We can’t.

The reason is that, used correctly, “knowledge” is the impossibility of mistake. There’s no such thing as false knowledge. Every adult capable of minimal thought already understands that it’s impossible to know the future. There is no foreknowledge.

So, we are left with our opinions (beliefs) about what the future consequences of an act may or may not be. There is such a thing as a false opinion – and there’s no infallible criterion for distinguishing false opinions from true ones. (This is what all fanatics get wrong.)

So, we can, and often do, have opinions about whether or not such-and-such an act is right, but knowing that such-and-such an act is right is impossible.

THE GOOD NEWS

I learned this morning that a close friend of mine is seriously contemplating suicide. If the argument I’ve just given is sound, it’s impossible for my friend to know whether or not that would be the right thing to do.

troubled

What can be done? We want to do what is right, but how? Given that knowledge of right and wrong is impossible, how shall we live?

A “philosopher” is someone who seriously seeks to live well. Successful philosophers succeed in that quest.

Is wisdom possible?

The answer [as I have argued more thoroughly elsewhere in print] is that the moral (ethical) imperative and the spiritual imperative need to coalesce.

The spiritual imperative is “Wake up.” That is opening to what is sometimes called “superconsciousness,” which is beyond all thought. Waking up is opening to Being.

Those who have attained a significant degree of awakening are sages (successful philosophers, saints). They are not only the most peaceful and joyful human beings, but they are also the most loving, which is why they are nearly universally admired.

The moral imperative is “Do right and don’t do wrong.” As we’ve seen, it’s impossible to know how to do that.

However, sages who act from Being (rather than from Becoming) nearly always manage it. I don’t claim that they never make mistakes; they are, after all, human beings.

I do, though, claim that they are the morally best human beings. Anyone who acts from Being is doing the best that is possible for us to do.

The practical consequence of this is that we need to focus more on waking up than on acting rightly. Why?

The more deeply we awaken, the more right our actions are likely to be.

Thinking occurs only in Becoming. Apprehension of Being is beyond thinking; it’s nonconceptual.

Actions done from Becoming are nothing but shots in the dark. On the other hand, actions done from Being are nearly always right. They are the best we’re able to do.

Ego attrition is the way to awakening. It’s difficult, but it’s the requirement for living wisely or well. Wisdom is egoic detachment. It’s that simple.

That’s my message to my friend – and to everyone else.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING

I discuss these topics more thoroughly in some of my books such as ARE YOU LIVING WITHOUT PURPOSE?, LOVE AND RESPECT, and MASTERY IN 7 STEPS and each of them contains my best suggestions with respect to reading the works of others. I also discuss it more in multiple posts in this blog.