Erebus Memories

Erebus Memories

Ships and Explorers

Last night I attended a talk from the globe-trotting Monty Pythoner, Michael Palin. He’s currently doing the rounds promoting his new book Erebus (the story of a ship).

All very interesting and informative, especially if you’re interested, in the history of nautical exploration and sunken treasure. This post isn’t a review of Mr Palin’s book or talk, however, I would like it to act as a lead-in to the subject of exploration.

After last night’s history lesson, I’m in no doubt at all, about the bravery exhibited by the nautical explorers of past and present

Be it circumnavigating the world, climbing mountains or charting new territory, explorers are a certain breed. Individuals who are prepared to move out of their comfort zone, and into the unknown, set us all fabulous example. We could say they’re the epitome of the tenacious human spirit.

The vast majority of us don’t find our way into the history books

Most of us live out our lives occasionally making small triumphs – that may seem quite large to us – and we do our best to make a difference. In this sense we could say that from day-to-day, to a greater or lesser extent, we’re all explorers of life. Of course we are and sometimes we need to move into uncharted territory.

From a Personal Development perspective

The exploration, into uncharted territory, begins when we’re able to physically map out the links and connections, that make us who we are. The ability to see and understand, in plain sight, the processes involved in how our minds move from one belief to another, has proved to be an invaluable resource for early explorers. It enabled them to see how the mind restricts itself through its internal maps.

The  nautical explorers of the past, moved their ships beyond the edges, of the known

They moved beyond their maps and charts. For us to follow their example, means we’re able to break into new ground, and become greater then the sum of our parts. To become more than the sum of our beliefs. To be shown in clear and simple terms, how to move beyond the restrictions of our limiting beliefs, is unique.

Being the explorers that broke into new territory, came at great cost, to those of HMS Erebus. As can be seen though, due to the endeavours of those early explorers, we all benefit from their courage.

We’ve ‘come out of the dark’ as a result of their courage

The GOLD Counselling Methodology along with the Create Beautiful Partnerships philosophies are exclusive to The Freedman College and its associates. The first step, into your exploration and development, can be found here. Come out of the dark.

Defence Against the Lies

Truth and Lies

How can we tell if someone is lying? How can we defend ourselves against the damage of lies?

If we start with understanding what a lie is, and why they’re so common, we begin the process of understanding how to defend ourselves against them.

Let’s just take ourselves back to being young for a moment, and gently ponder, on the lies we told at that time. Straight away, there might now be a few who tell a lie, to themselves. They might be saying: “I never told lies.” Whoops, let’s just let that one go then shall we, and start again. We all tell lies. That’s right, all of us.

“The truth, and the truth of our opinions can be hurtful, so of course, we protect people’s feelings. We protect them against the truth of either our opinion, or indeed, the truth itself”

In this instance, we can consider the lie as being driven by our empathy, and consideration for the feelings of others. Even when we tell lies under such circumstances though, in a deeper part of our minds, we do understand lying isn’t necessarily useful. The lie may protect someone’s feelings, however, in the long term, the lie may do harm. For example, if someone close to you were to ask: “Do you love me?” And you’re answer is: “Yes,” when the truth is you’re no longer certain, eventually the truth will out, and the lie will then be seen as harmful. When the eventual break up comes, the question will be: “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I could have moved on with my life years ago.”

So we can easily see, the issue of lies, is a complicated one. Telling the truth, in the above example, would take great courage. Now, pause for a moment if you will. Can we spot the real lie in the above example? Is it not the case, the real lie, is the reason for saying yes? Indeed we do want to protect feelings, however, because we’re fearful of loss, through making a mistake, the real lie, is that we tell ourselves we’re protecting someone else. What would the pain of loss cost you? Truth, it would seem, is often avoided in order to protect ourselves, as well as the feelings of others. Self preservation, is the lot of the lie, is it not?

“Now, when it comes to defending ourselves against lies, this is where it gets very interesting”

There are those individuals who are specially trained at spotting lies. Police detectives, psychologists and therapists, are potentially the best at spotting them. They deal with them all the time. With this said though, how competent are the rest of us at spotting lies? Can you easily spot one? Here’s a clue to the truth of that question: Everyone is lying to you right now. Almost everything you hear is laced with some kind of lie.

We must take on board the self preservation aspect of lies. To help with understanding this, let’s form the presupposition that everyone, is fearful of being alone. Let’s also state, that on one level, everyone is in fact already aware of this, and all we’re doing, is playing psychological games, through our lies, in order to escape accepting this truth.

With these presuppositions and understandings in place, defending oneself against the potential harm of lies, is easy. All we need do, is accept our own aloneness. Once we’re able to do this, there is no longer any need for us to lie, and lies from others, can be seen for what they are: A cry for love. Should anyone reject us through our truth, it will no longer matter, because we already understand ourselves as alone.

“Alone, is when no other person is able to be part of our mind, body, or soul. Can any other person be part of your mind, to the extent they could read your thoughts? No. As such, you are alone.”

In order to take our understandings of lies a little deeper, I need to change tack slightly. I need to talk about those people who’re able to create the illusion of being part of your mind. Once this illusion is created, you feel less alone, and as such, safer. There is great danger here. You can potentially become owned, controlled and dependant, on a person who has the ability to create such an illusion. The lie, is that they’re part of your mind; that they have some kind of connection with you, that’s more than mere similarity. You are the one who’s creating the lie incidentally. You’re lying to yourself.

“I’m going to give you a clear example of this. Take some time here”

Imagine a conversation with someone close, who starts talking to you, with the assumption you already know part of what they’ve been thinking. For example, they start the conversation, like this: “She said she didn’t know.”

Okay, a conversation initiated in such a fashion, could go one of two ways. You either ask them: “WTF are you talking about? Or you could take a moment to work out who they might be referring to: – There might be some tenuous link with a previous conversation, or you might be able to easily work out who’s been spoken about. Firstly, your attention has been grabbed. Secondly, in the process of you working out who’s been spoken about, you’ll be creating the illusion of being inside someone else’s mind. Something that creates a very powerful bond. Always bear in mind. This. Is. An. Illusion.

“Remember where the lie is here”

The lie is that it’s possible to be inside someone else’s mind. Don’t be fooled, once you buy into such a lie, you can be very easily manipulated. All of us humans are looking for one thing: to be less alone. Those who’re able to create the illusion of mind reading, will have immense power over you.

To the point. Lies are used as a means of protecting the self: the ego. The ego is excellent at lying. We only ever lie to ourselves and we do this as a means of self-preservation. We defend ourselves against the potential harm of lies, when we acknowledge, our aloneness. Knowledge removes fear.

Allow me to give you further example of the protective nature of lies. I work closely with a compulsive liar. She lies as a means of protecting her ego. Her ego is in fact extremely fragile. The person in question has been placed in a position of authority that well exceeds her abilities (resources). As a means of compensating for this, her opinions and conversation, are always laced with lies. This is now at the point that nearly everything she says seems made up. I’ve stopped hearing almost everything she says to me. I once saw a T-shirt with the words: “I’m not hearing a word you’re saying to me, I’m just smiling and nodding in all the right places, in the hope this works.” That’s the place I’m in with the lairs of liars. I barely hear a word anyone says to me.

Main Point:

As in childhood, the ego will recognise lack of resources and compensate for this, through lies. Some never grow out of the need to tell lies, because they’ve never grown out, of childhood. Sound familiar? Do you know anyone like this? Are there some – on the world stage right now – who need to tell lies, because their child-mind needs to protect itself?  

We must now understand:

“It’s not so much truth, that sets us free, it’s the fact only the free, speak it. Freedom is when you’re no longer afraid”

The Chains That Bind Us


We must recognise, sometimes it’s the very things we strive for, that are the very things holding us down.

I read recently, once again, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We may find ourselves insane from time to time, however, as long as we recognise the error, eventually, we’re progressing. It’s those who fail in this recognition that potentially waste their lives, and a fortune, pursuing something that doesn’t want them.

This something could be a person or potential future. No matter how hard we try and what choices we make, it can be the case, that a certain future just isn’t a possibility. As strange as it may sound, it could well be, that it just isn’t available. The reasons for this can be myriad. Exploring this can also become a bind in itself. Far better, once we’ve recognised the insanity of our situation, to just drop it, and move on. This can take courage.


To recognise that we may have been wrong; that we may have been pursuing the wrong idea, or wrong person for that matter, does take courage. It is only courage though.


Take heart, because once you begin to move away from the insanity of stagnation – of needless and futile repetition – you’ll be moving toward the sanity of change. One of the few certainties that’s pointless to try and avoid. Embrace change and never look back.


The Truth is Ignored Because it Hurts

Yep, games. Here’s the truth of the matter: We’re all just playing each other in order to get what we want. We’re playing each other in order to get what we believe makes us happy. Be it control, money, power, comfort, security, stability or perhaps just a hassle free, easy life, you’re playing those around you, and you’re being playing in return. They know it, you know it, and yet we continue the abuse.

Is it a bit strong or melodramatic to call this game abuse? Well, I don’t think so, and the reason I don’t think so, is because all the time we spend looking to get the upper hand over others, we’re actually missing the point. To call it abuse, is to raise our awareness of it’s destructive nature.

The point, of this whole experience of life, is to learn how to love each other, best treat each other, and understand how to respect the world around us. Take a step back and you – like me – will see that we really are missing the point. So wrapped up in ourselves are we, that we’re losing sight of our true objective.

To remain mindful of the importance of gaining greater understanding of love, how to respect the world and each other, is to pass this on to the next generation. Are we doing that? Or are we too busy looking to play each other for the upper hand and gain what we self-centerdly want from life? Of course we are.

The cure, as ever, is awareness. It can’t be my place to stand in judgement of my fellow man, I’m simply not qualified to do that. However, I am a realist, who’s able to see my own negative behaviour objectively, and then own up to it. So what if we stopped the games of the ego and actually loved each other instead?

Once we lose the need for power, and one-upmanship, something strange happens. We realise we actually need none of the tools necessary for the game. For example, the mother who buys the latest massive – ridiculously oversized car – to ferry the kids around, no longer needs it, once she losses the need for power and control. She will also lose the need to justify the ridiculous oversized (planet damaging) nature of her car as: “I need it to keep the kids safe.” Far better to learn how to drive defensively, surely?

Learning how to love is mainly about losing fear. Fear of looking inferior potentially drives the need for our excessiveness. Letting go of the need for power over each other enables us to focus on loving each other. There’s no love in playing each other for power, control, or gaining what we believe makes us happy. When we understand, happiness and love, are gained through letting go of the need for control and power, magic happens.

“We’re currently doing all the opposites of what’s required to gain love. This is potentially because we’ve lost sight of what love actually is. Most peculiar.”

To explain – and I’ve had a sense of this before – it’s almost as if we’re living inside the mirror opposite of the world we should be living in. When will we step out and see the true method?

A valuable experiment is to simply imagine the scenario where you have nothing. That’s right, absolutely nothing, except the clothes on your back. I believe that if we all either experienced this first hand, or we’re able to imagine it clearly enough, it would change our perception of what life needs to be. The first thing we need, in order to experience the full value of this experiment though, is confidence, or self-power. Some call it self-possessed. You know, the he’s very ‘self-possessed’ type comment. In other words we need courage.

Imagine the courage it would take to simply walk away from a life you know with only the clothes on your back. And not only this, what courage would it take to do this knowing you’re alone. I can tell you something right now: some homeless people are the bravest people you’ll ever meet. Brave, because they’ve had to accept the loneliness of it all.

“When loneliness changes to aloneness people are able to find love. Aloneness actually means something very different to loneliness.”

The constant need for wilfulness and the need to exert our will over others is destroying us. If we were to let this go – by becoming courageous – we’d have room for love. Love is empowerment yet only once we’ve lost the need for power, and then understand how we gain greater knowledge of love and ourselves, through giving it.

We’re not giving love through buying massive cars or playing each other for gain, these things are only symptoms of fear. Loving ourselves, is when we give of our time and attention, so others (most importantly future generations) may gain. Constantly feeding off each other is the behaviour of parasites. A parasitic nature will never be conducive to learning how best to love ourselves, each other, and our home. It starts with you.


“Only Human” The Biggest Cop Out of all.

“I’ve gotta tell ya it’s an expression I’ve never found myself using. It’s a cop out and it’s cowardly. It’s a way of saying “well I’ve fucked up but you know what? It doesn’t matter, because after all, I’m only human.” How about upping your fucking game instead of gently fading out.”

What exactly does the expression “I’m only human” actually mean anyway? Does it mean: because we’re human, it follows that we’re flawed and weak? And by this mentality it’s okay to accept defeat? To just give in and fade away, to give in to the majority of people who don’t listen because they’re looking for the easy way out. The bullshit way, so they can escape their responsibilities to themselves and others? Human beings have conquered the fucking planet and its not been an easy journey. Show your ancestors some respect. Only human indeed.

Masters of our environment

Don’t ever say to me “I’m only human” I don’t wanna fucking hear it.

There are those of us that take life and our future rather seriously. We don’t give in, we don’t make excuses, we just get on with the job of swimming against the current tide of ignorance and failings.

There is so much confusion in the world today with no absolutes and exacts. No correct meaningful guidance and it seems chaos prevails. It’s as if everyone is running around with no real idea or sense of direction and purpose. Make a plan. What do you want to achieve in life? And don’t make it so fucking predictable that I could simply pick it out of your fucking brain. Make a fucking difference by swimming against the tide. Yes you’ll feel alone. Yes you’ll feel ostracised. But these are the things that don’t matter. Be alone because without that – your ability to be in solitude – we’re all buggered. Mass approval is worthless.

I read a book recently that suggested that there really isn’t such a thing as individuality and the self. Well, here’s the thing, that doesn’t fucking matter either. What matters is that you continue to believe that there is, because without individuals, who show the strength, tenacity and courage, to break free from the crowd, my time here is empty. Besides, the author was only reiterating what the coward-buddhists have been saying all along: Life is suffering blah, blah, blah. Fuck em. A crowd of people who gave up on life thousands of years ago. It was bullshit then, and it’s still bullshit now.


If you’re scared to be in a crowd, that doesn’t matter either. It doesn’t matter because there’s a reason for this: you don’t need the crowd and be assured, in the long term the crowd will need the individual. Crowds can be dangerous. They seem to attract psychopaths; the most recent: a fucked-up misogynist, and little else, who decided it would be a good idea to blow himself up. As someone I used to know said: “Well there’s one less nutter in the world for us to worry about.” So sad he took innocent lives with him. If it was up to me I’d hunt his inept, bastard parents down, and hang them up from the fucking yardarm.


freeform-poppy-300pxThere are people, alone in the world, who are this way, simply because they’re powerful individuals. Individuals who love others and want the best for them. They want the same happiness and love they’re able to experience, without the crowd, for others too. Their aloneness, is strength, never illness. Stop believing the bullshit propaganda from the fearful-needy crowds. 

Build Quality


“It’s a certain fact the Germans are good at building cars. And so with this in mind, does it automatically follow, that we should all buy German? I know that if I were in the market for a new car I’d want the best.”

So how about if there were two near identical cars, with the main, discernible differences between them, being the price and where they’re manufactured? Well this is the very situation: two near identical cars, one built in the Czech Republic, the other built in Germany. The most obvious difference between them is the badge on the bonnet.

“If we’re honest most people will opt for the badge that represents the car manufacturer they know and trust. Yet what is becoming increasingly clear, is we can never really be sure who or what we know, and who we can trust.”

In real terms, the badge on the bonnet, is worth very little in comparison to the thousands we’re likely to part with when buying the car it’s attached to. Where the symbolism of a badge comes into its own is when it represents something we believe in. Symbols and the associated beliefs are worth a lot of money.

Valuable Symbols – To some

The belief is the key. If we believe in it, we can be blinded, even hoodwinked into spending so much more than we needed to. Who would’ve believed that a car company millions believed in and trusted would be accused of deliberately misleading governments and its customers? It was all quite a surprise was it not?

This aside, the other issue we must consider, is build quality. When a product goes on the market, sold at a markedly cheaper price, again our first instinct is to question why? We wonder how the difference in price can be explained, and again we come to the conclusion, that the cheaper product is potentially substandard in some way. Again this is often down to our beliefs and expectations. If there is a large difference in price we immediately become suspicious.

“Build quality is often improved through errors, and oh boy, have Škoda made a few of those.”

There are those of us who are able to suspend beliefs and expectations though. Consider the car manufacturer Subaru. Thirty years ago you’d have been considered a fool if you’d bought one, and now? Now, the name Subaru, is synonymous with sexy.

Sexy Quality“When we’re able to suspend our beliefs and expectations, not only do we open ourselves up to new and unexpected experiences, we can save thousands (our time and energy).”

The sting in the tale to this story is that both cars, referred to at the top of this post, are built by people who work for the same company, so the only real difference, is where they’re built. So who should you trust now then?

Quality Symbol?

“Perhaps it’s a leap of faith that will enable us to suspend our expectations and beliefs.”

And so when it comes to understanding your mind and beliefs – through personal and professional development – there may be a few options to choose from. We’re certainly not the cheapest, yet if you need to understand the price difference, it’s simply because our heads are held the highest, and our overheads the lowest.

Just Curious: How exactly do we all get to sleep at night?

“It came to mind. When we really think of it, how exactly do we get to sleep at night, whilst all this shit goes on around us?”

You know the wars and the suffering. A more refined version of my question is this: how do we get to sleep at night whilst just one of our children is suffering. It’s my opinion, that there only needs to be one suffering child in the world, for the rest of us to be living a charade.

Shed some light on the real charade

It’s easy when we see it, in order to sleep, all we do is put the horrors from our minds. In fact, it would be detrimental to our health, if those of us who’re looking to help in this regard (easing the suffering of children), didn’t. If we don’t sleep our health will also be damaged.

“Yet the question remains and gets even bigger: how can we live the ridiculous charade of modern life whilst children suffer?”

Wouldn’t true equality be for ALL of us to be suffering in the same way our abused children currently are? And so how exactly could we find this type of equality? Perhaps we could make do with slightly less, or perhaps we could self flagellate; you know, the thing with the whips. Hold on though, some of us humans are turned on sexually by that shit, (because of violence confused with pleasure in childhood) and so then we’re into pleasure through sadism, so no, that doesn’t work.

“Hold on, I tell you what we could do, we could imagine ourselves back in childhood.”

We could then lock ourselves in a dark, cold room, full of unknown horrors (imagined or real), and get someone to call in, on a regular basis, to beat us and commit annul rape; that could work. Oh, then we’d need to sort out our diet. Yeah, now I’m on a role.

For a start, we could feed ourselves with sugar and shitty processed food, and then wash it all down with pop! For entertainment we could have a TV, phone and nothing else, and just to make our suffering all the worse, we could be surrounded by people who’re unable to listen, have very limited vocabulary, limited skills, limited imagination and don’t give a shit about anything or anyone else outside their limited scope of attention. Limited company to say the least.

“I think we need more! There’s always more of this shit.”

Outside our window we’d need to have bombs going off and we’d also need to see women and children being slaughtered, and all on a daily basis, yay! Oh, and let’s not forget the starving children, sitting in the dust, with their swollen bellies and fly’s in their crusty eyes. Our charity has certainly fixed that one, hey? Now, I wonder if we have enough fear and discomfort, to match that of an abused child yet? Probably not.

“I just can’t help wondering: how do we all sleep at night when there’s one of our children living like this?”

A child – in a civilised society – living with this fear. There’s no fear for us though: most of us can live in our lovely homes, jump in our comfortable cars, ride in our beautiful planes, feed on our lush vegetation, and chomp on our farmed lamb (remember the mint sauce). Why should we give a damn about all the suffering, abused children of the world, when we have all this! And of course whilst we do, we don’t.

“Never assume the answer to alleviating our guilt, is to give charitably, this is no answer at all. The answer, is to be aware; aware of the suffering of the abused child. Until we choose awareness, nothing will change.”

When we choose to wake up to what’s going on around us – instead of being lost to the illusions of comfort we propagate and blinded by our ignorance – only then we will fight the abuse and ignorance. When we cut-away all the nonsense of modern day life, it’s possible to clearly see, what our children have needed all along: More. Love. There’s more of that too. Just look. א




“What is courage? Do you know any truly courageous people? What character traits would define a courageous person? Someone who can climb mountains?”

Perhaps this would depend on whether this was a real or metaphorical mountain, some might say the real ones are easy, and climbing has nothing to do with courage, just everything to do with bravado, and stamina.

Is a person who spends their life doing what they feel they must do, as opposed to what they want to do, a courageous person? You know, the person who bravely caries out their duty to others. Is that bravery or simply foolishness?

What about the firefighter or the soldier, are they brave? Saving lives or taking lives, surely there’s bravery there? Could you walk into a burning building, pull the trigger or go into battle, putting your life on the line? Bravery or simply foolishness? Testosterone and bravado? You decide.

And what about professionals? The people who hold high positions in society, such as representatives of government or professional bodies such as doctors, dentists and surgeons, they’re brave people right?

“Holding such a position must carry certain responsibilities that require strength of character and courage to endure.”

For example, is it a brave thing for a professor – who represents dental surgeons – to be on the side of the children, who come to see his dentists, as opposed to the parents who bring them? Can we just assume, that a person who holds such a lofty position in society, naturally understands his duty?

Does such a person naturally understand that he has a duty to display backbone and strongly advise and educate parents to do the right thing by our children? Surely denying a child time with a dentist, is a reflection of ignorance and neglect, is it not?

The reality is, when it comes to protecting the rights of the child, many professionals are unlikely to ‘commit career suicide’ by siding with the child and admonishing neglectful parents. It seems the parent is the one with all the rights and the child is secondary; another example of our topsy turvy world.

It has been noted that as many as 187,000 fewer children experienced the excellent services of a dentist in 2015/2016 simply because – as the professor mentioned above stated: “parents may have different priorities than taking their child to a dentist.”

Courage and how it’s viewed will obviously depend on the beliefs, views and experiences of the individual. Some may consider the bravest individuals to be the ones who simply devote themselves to living a good life and doing the right thing by the vulnerable.

“Doing the right thing is something that demands courage. Swimming against the tide takes courage. Standing firmly by your convictions takes courage.”

When we truly understand what integrity is, what love is, and what it means to protect the rights of the vulnerable, courage is demanded in such measure, that it becomes hard to define.

When we begin to see our children as the precious – so precious – investment in our future that they are, all of us will come to understand: if we don’t start showing the necessary courage and fortitude needed to protect the rights of the child, professional suicide or not, our future will be lost.

True courage is displayed by those who understand what fear is, and how the human mind may look to rid itself of this emotion, in a negative and destructive way.

Climbing mountains and stepping into burning buildings, is how understanding, emphatic individuals, rid themselves of this fear. Cowards rid themselves of fear by looking to control and frighten our vulnerable. Failing to protect our children is the worst kind of cowardice. A cowardice, that unfortunately for many of our children, is all too common.