Tag Archives: Robert Heinlein

To Grok in Fullness


“I am all that I grok.”
― Robert A. Heinlein


Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein is one of the most amazing novels I’ve ever read. It tells the story of Michael Valentine Smith, as a child lost on Mars then found a few decades later. The novel explores many aspects of what it means to be human and also how our world may be seen through the eyes of a stranger. It most importantly introduces the word grok and the concept of groking. I use the word quite a bit because I don’t know that there is a current word in the English language that expresses the idea as well.
To Grok something is to understand it so fully that it becomes part of you. To grok a chair for instance would mean that you understand the very essence of what the chair is, what its purpose is and how well it performs its purpose. To Grok a concept means that you understand it so fully that you can inhabit it and vice versa. Something that is often lacking. To Grok a person means that you get them on every level possible and carry them within you.
At various times in the novel Michael Valentine Smith talks about groking something or someone in their fullness. That is total and complete understanding and empathy. He talks about waiting and sitting with something before he can grok it in its fullness and won’t speak of it except to ask clarifying questions until he does. I only wish that I and many others I knew had the patience to sit with something or someone until groking in fullness came. Do you grok groking?
Blessings, G


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Thoughts Falling Like Rocks Thoughts Rising Like ButterfliesThoughts Falling like Rock and Rising Like Butterflies by G A Rosenberg


Stepping Out2Stepping Out by G A Rosenberg


Persisting Through Time….


“It’s a funny word, persistence. It means not giving up, but it also means just passing on through time.”
― Questlove, Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove


There are times when I feel down. Oh I’m good at rationalizing things and normally I can keep it upbeat but some days just suck and I find new ways in which I fall short of my own ideals. I fantasize about throwing in the towel, throwing out the baby with the bath water and escaping tho I know the fallacy there. Each moment is a chance to start again but all unfinished business comes back until it is handled. Call it my own variation on Heinlein’s law that “There Ain’t No Such Thing as A Free Lunch.”
Luckily all fantasizing about escaping aside, I know that I can find words and stories about what ails me that will help bring perspective. To some extent, this is how my quotes of the day started. Therefore tonight I started looking up quotes about persistence. I found some good ones and then went on Facebook. I was overwhelmed to see how many stories and statuses tonight shared by random Facebook friends had to do with precisely that topic. Of Persisting. Of falling down, laughing about it and getting up again, about failing and still continuing… about passing on continuing in time. It was nice after a rather difficult day to feel that I am not alone and that others get it too. It makes laughing and getting up again that much easier.
Blessings, G


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Shared PerspectiveShared Perspective by G A Rosenberg


Spun offSpun Off by G A Rosenberg

Spending TIme

“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please—this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time—and squawk for more!
So learn to say No—and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.
(This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.)”
― Robert A. Heinlein


Years ago I realized that while money comes and money goes, that the main currency we have is our time and our attention. This gets affirmed to me daily when I see people doing anything possible to get money, including spending almost every moment they have. It’s true that money pays for food and shelter and our so called basic needs but any of our other needs such as companionship, love, relaxation, meditation and pursuit of enjoyment it is time that becomes the more valuable commodity. Yet so often we are spendthrift with our time, doling it out to everyone who asks or demands it leaving very little for ourselves. That’s ok if we are living the moments we spend on others and ourself, fulfilling our true selves (in Thelemic terms our true will). But if what we do with our time has no value than we are wasting that currency. We can do better.
Blessings, G


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Rise or FallRise or Fall? by G A Rosenberg


Crimson and AmythystCrimson and Amethyst by G A Rosenberg

Manners – Social Lubrication

“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot…”
― Robert A. Heinlein


It seems to me that there is a difference between intentional and unintentional rudeness. When people are rude intentionally most often they are trying to make a point. “I feel anger towards you and want you to know it.”, “I am afraid or uneasy and I don’t want you to know it” or “I find you ridiculous and / or self important and I want to show it.” Each of these three show a special consideration for the object of their rudeness. A fourth case of intentional rudeness would be “I am demonstrating our relative importance by showing I can be rude to you.” This also in its way demonstrates consideration. In each case it is a form of communication, perhaps dubious in execution but shows awareness of the other person.
Unintentional rudeness however is almost the opposite. It involves being so preoccupied with whatever one is doing that the other person does not even register. It could be as simple as a teenager texting on their cell phone to a clerk in a store, being so busy modelling or hoping for a particular type of customer to approach them that everyone else gets dismissed. This is the type of rudeness that I believe Mr. Heinlein referred to and is becoming more and more prevalent in our culture. We have lost touch with the niceties. Everything from inquiring about how the person you are talking to is doing to holding doors for another, even down to saying please and thank you. Since most of us are raised with these niceties drummed into us, it causes a certain amount of cognitive dissonance every time we avoid them. It definitely involves a loss of empathy and awareness that is crucial if we are ever to approach maintaining this world as a fit place to live.
Blessings, G

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Strange Shades of OpalStrange Shades of Opal by G A Rosenberg


Worlds Within Worlds, a Flower GrowsWorlds Within Worlds, A Flower Grows by G A Rosenberg

Obscurity, the Refuge of Incompetence

“It’s up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code. Most of these jokers don’t even want to use language you and I know or can learn . . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we ‘fail’ to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything–obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence.”
― Robert A. Heinlein


Is the purpose of language communication? I believe most of us would agree that it is. I wonder at times what it is that we seek to communicate. Do we mean exactly what our words say or do we carry another message? Do we use simple language that conveys simple meaning no matter how complex the idea. I mean “I love you” is a simple phrase yet it is one that can mean anything from “I’m glad you’re here” to “Do as I say” to “I need you to love me” and about 150 others. How often when two people speak does it seem as if despite the fact they use the same words, they are speaking two totally different languages. What’s worse is that they realize that communication isn’t taking place and are so busy blaming the other one that they don’t even realize this fact.
I have come to the conclusion that what we say always communicates something even if that something is “I have no intention of communicating with you. I will hold tight to the language I am using even tho you seem to have a problem understanding it. Then I will blame you for not understanding me. If I am not understanding what you say I will tell you that the problem lies with you.” Wouldn’t it be easier at times to drop the pretense and not claim communication in the first place? It would be more honest anyway.
Quite often experts in a given field will talk to laymen in the jargon of their field and claim they are communicating clearly. Tho this happens most often with doctors and lawyers and academics, I have also seen it done by philosophers and subscribers to spirituality. Jargon is their membership badge and rather than compare maps with others to the benefit of both, they use language to exclude,. “If you were one of us, you would get what I’m saying but oh so sorry you’re not”
Thus we go on building our towers of words and wonder when they crash to the ground under the weight of their own verbiage.
Blessings, G


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Multi-FitFitness of Mind and Spirit by  G A Rosenberg


CommunionCommunion by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – July 3 2012

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”
― Robert A. Heinlein


I love Robert Heinlein. In a way he along with a few other writers raised me to think for myself through a stormy adolescence. I learned it was ok to be myself no matter who i was and it was ok to love always. In his books, he also introduced me to both the idea of sentient computers and libertarian ideals, which I still lean towards many years later.


A few more Heinlein quotes just because :


““Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it.”


“Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”


“Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.”


Recommended books by Robert Heinlein:

  • Stranger in a Strange Land

  • Time Enough For Love

  • Moon is a Harsh Mistress

  • Number of the Beast

    Blessings, G

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    Ankh Appearing by G A Rosenberg

    Hall of Being by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – June 12 2012

“Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not a sin – just stupid.) ”
~Robert A. Heinlein

He should have known that the gun was loaded. When you ask someone what’s wrong sometimes they tell you. Well the question wasn’t what’s wrong it was far more leading than that. He had asked his friend “What has changed for you in the last month?” Well that and implied that his friend had been less than honest with himself and with his art. Rick acknowledged all of his points and then went on to describe in detail what had changed in the past month. How assumptions that he had carried around his whole life were shown to have no foundation, a literal interpretation of the Tower card tho in this case literally with no Star in sight.

From there he continued he went on to talk about his inability to show in his writing what was really going on in his head because of family concerns and from there went on to describe other ways he was living a lie in both his personal and expressive life. Well Samuel thought, he did ask…

Drafting story wise…More fragments
Blessings, G

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Coral Musing  by G A Rosenberg