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Jan 4, 2023·edited Jan 4, 2023Liked by Latham Turner

Ok. Not what I'd signed up for. But your intro is intriguing and resonant enough that you can strap me in for this ride.

I particularly like the information-knowledge- wisdom exploration. And of course, the conversations on cracking models ...

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I know this is a departure from what I thought I would spend my words writing about. But as I mentioned, you've helped me get to this place where I realize everything is connected. I think this is an exploration of how my interests are all connected and what I can do to bring that back to the world. There will be a lot of discovering new models and exploring wisdom that we can bring back to our daily lives (I hope).

So grateful you've agreed to come along on the ride

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I'm curious about this statement. "I was a developmental test pilot in the US Navy, about as unreligious an upbringing as you could imagine." On one hand, it lines up with our conditioning about war, military, and government to say it's anti-religious. But maybe this is part of why we find it hard to find the mystical, because of our ideas about where it is, and isn't. Your description of your Navy flight training and the demand to maintain situational awareness might have been a significant seed of your interest in the mystical. What if our lives depended upon being fully in the present moment? In the Navy, your physical life depended on it. In the realm of spirit, maybe your mystical life depends on the same skill set. The practice of meditation for me is an exploration of that. I created a unique art project in an attempt to share my experience over time with the practice of presence. If you want to take a look you can find it here. www.unbrandedself.com

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I really like the way you framed that Rick. When I wrote that, it was less a commentary on the military and government, and more a commentary on the type of person who becomes a test pilot. We're very nerdy, deeply analytical, and always seeking to explain and document everything. It's that belief that science and engineering will keep us safe that feels at odds with the mystical, which I think is something that emerges when you let go of a need to know what you're experiencing and be open to not knowing.

I like the idea of always being in the present moment and maybe that training helped m cultivate a skillset that will help on this journey. My default mode of thinking about flight training is that it made me always alert, always scanning for what could go wrong, what my gauges were telling me, and what the battle picture looked like. It makes it difficult to just relax. But I very much appreciate that the other side of that coin may be an ability to be fully present in every moment.

Thank you for sharing Unbranded Self. The empty spaces and the aesthetic of the website is really enjoyable and feels peaceful. I am grateful you shared it.

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Your further backstory definitely fills out the picture for me, and I can see how the mindset and form of attention practiced in the pilot position is not quite the open and relaxed pan-awareness that might lead to a mystical opening. I'll bet there is so much you could talk about from this part of your life we'd all find fascinating. I enjoy hearing just a little about it. Thanks for having a look at the unbranded self. Glad you got some of the peace vibes. : )

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I'm so excited for this direction you are moving in! *waits eagerly for next week's newsletter*

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Thanks Leslie. Me too. I have no idea what next week's newsletter will bring. I have a bad habit of not starting until Tuesday morning, and then spending all day Tuesday erasing stuff that isn't good enough only to come out with something that I'm both scared and excited to publish. All that to say, next week's newsletter is still a mystery to me, but I'm excited to embark on that learning.

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What an interesting shift! Glad to be here to see how it plays out, and proud of you for exploring where you feel life is taking you.

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Thank you Erin. If you had asked me what direction I thought I would take when we first met, this would not have been on the list at all. I'm both incredibly nervous and self-confident that this will be a powerful year for me. I really appreciate you coming along.

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I am so stoked for you to embark on this journey and to read the notes you leave for us along the way.

And hoping we will have some conversations woven in them all.

Already, in contrast to your tweet, from my experience, the acquisition of wisdom is a sage-less experience. Creation is the only guide I have found suitable. And if even in my uneducated, unlettered, and unadorned state I can be a mystic, then I think any one can be in community with the questions of the universe.

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Thank you Steven. I'm very confident we'll have a lot of conversations over the year about this and other learnings. I'm always inspired when I get to talk to you or read your work. Getting more of that is an added benefit of this journey.

I am still figuring out where i stand on the question of sages and sage-less experience. I believe that many people need someone to show them that there is wisdom out there beyond their current knowledge. This is maybe a better way of saying what I think the sage does, which is to help people wake up to something worth creating or exploring. I don't know whether wisdom can actually be revealed or taught from another person (maybe mythology and metaphor are the closest tools we have). That's one of the questions I hope to answer on this exploration.

So much more to come. Thanks for walking with me

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