Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Instinctive behavior is built-in, an “automatic” for you. Instinct is the way you are, the way you roll, how you do things. If you excel, then you on the easy path. If not, life is hard.An ash road.
“Choice architecture” makes use of in-built instincts to guide you through the supermarket of life. Scientists arrange shelves to meet up with behavioral patterns. The instinct that commonly motivates you is pleasure. Because it is “automatic, instinctive” behavior is that during which you are essentially sleeping, “going through the motions” as they say, “doing what comes naturally.” It is what makes animals migrate.
Instinctive behavior is the most difficult to change. “Muscle memory” – how you walk, use your hands, sit, jump, swing a baseball bat are very hard to change. That’s why few people are willing to put in the time and energy to attempt to change. That is why addiction is so powerful.
But, you can change. You can go from hardwired to instinctive velcro. Really?  Isn’t “hardwired” permanent? Forever? Nope. Depends on how lazy you are. You can re-model your heart after a cardiac blockage. You can build new neurons to overcome addiction or habitual behavior like smoking, changing your stance in boxing, or your swing in baseball. You gotta want it.

Instinct says: you must always remain just as you are for this to work out for the best. Just go do the same round of golf on the same golf course with the same clubs at the same time day after day. Stay with the same group of friends. Watch TV, don’t read (you don’t read very well.) You can’t learn another language, lose weight, learn to use the computer. Stay in your comfort zone. You are still that inner 10 year old, this is how you’ve always done things. That inner child would be very afraid if you abandon them. Better to suffer the fear, shame or accept your “averageness” of sticking with the past than changing something.
When things become routine, rote – when they become “automatic” you can reach a level of performance in which you are “stuck” When you feel, “This is as good as it gets.” The “trap” of instinct has got you. Animals live in instinct which for them is permanent.
Velcro? Are you kidding me?
The first step to change is the desire to change. The recognition that you are habituated, working on instinct. Velcro gives you the opportunity to make adjustments, renew, refresh, create a new attitude, altar, adjust slightly. “Make all things new.”

One must not remain comfortably in anything. One must overcome the desire to remain “good” at something. You must always find the edge of instinct, the moment when something from the past is brought into the present.
     The “Speed Bag” is how boxers change their instinctive footwork. Hour after hour they change their balance, move their feet and punch all at the same time. They re-model the neurological patterns. Baseball players re-learn how to stand or swing in the box and undo patterns learned in childhood.  “Pick and roll” exercises become instinctive for the life-long basketball player. Any of these exercises may be called a “spiritual practice” – they are repetitive, they require a certain mental attitude of expectancy, they are a preparation.
Do something like this and you will meet your worst features when you focus on changing one instinct or habit. They naturally emerge. They want you to stay as you are. This is too hard. You’re no good at it.
     When the spiritual practice you undertake gets beyond those parts of your instinctive self and eventually you do change the instinctive just slightly – then it is possible that your spiritual practice may become a spiritual experience. Surprise! A new and improved you emerges. 

© Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life

A book published of the first 6-months of posts of this blog. Softcover $11.95 or eBook @ $3.95. 
Read chapters of this book at BUBLISH.COM

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Th3 Simple Questions - Slice Open Everyday Life by Mr. Jean W. Yeager.
116 pages, 45 chapters
Honestly I have been in a slump for awhile when it comes to reading books until I got my hands on this one... let's just say this amazing book found me and I am ecstatic that it did. The style of short essays or "slices" each with the "Who am I", "Why am I here", and "What do I want", format took me by surprise as it was an energizing way to read and process thought provoking concepts with each "slice" only being a few pages long and the analogies were artfully presented as real life experiences to which most anyone can relate.
My favorite slice was "Dandelion Wine: Alchemical Batting Practice" as I fully immersed myself into this "slice" with my own imagery which I could completely relate to as it left me with the warmth of sunshine still in my mind. All of the "slices" were masterfully crafted without needing page after page of extra words to get the author's intended thought provoking points across.
Mr. Jean - Willie Mays would have been impressed with "Another Willie Mays Miracle" as you hit this one "out of the park" worth reading more than once...... 5 Stars
Many Thanks :=}
Mark Krausman - Goodreads Reviewer 

Recent reviews on
Jean Yeager's simple little gems November 5, 2015
Full disclosure: the author is a friend and neighbor and has asked me to review this book. He provided the copy for review. When I first looked at the book, I saw that it was a mere 116 pages and I thought I could just sit down and read it in about an hour or so. I was wrong. The reader COULD just pick up the book and start reading and go straight through to the end. The reader might have some appreciation of the genius of the book, but likely not. As the author puts it, each entry is a slice of life to be taken up by the reader for reflection/contemplation or what have you.
The book is a work of unexpected genius. JY has taken the best of his blog entries from January to June of 2014 and packaged them into this unassuming little volume. He uses a particular style that can really draw the reader in. He asks, in each entry, 3 questions. They are: Who am I? Why am I here? And, What Do I Want?
Who am I? can be a very simple aspect of life such as, "The Midnight Shift" to something much more complicated, such as, "The Monsters That Keep Us All Safe." From there he speaks in the first person as if he were, for example, "The Midnight Shift" and describes just who he is and why he is here and what he wants of the reader.
It is pure brilliance how JY manages to bring the reader to consider aspects and meanings of things often not noticed or go taken for granted in everyday life, cuts them into "slices" and offers the reader the opportunity to stop the ordinary flow of his/her thinking and seriously consider some things and their meaning for themselves, the readers, things they have not likely pondered before.
The book is provocative and thoughtful. It is an open invitation to look at life in an entirely new way. I give it my highest recommendation. It should be in the library of anyone who consider themselves to be reflective. It also makes a great starting point for people who may never have given much thought to their lives and what is going on around them.

Much to mull over! September 6, 2015
The questions may be simple, but the explorations thereof can be profound, thought-provoking, maybe even life-changing. Jean turns the spotlight on many aspects of life today, highlighting facets of our culture that influence us whether consciously or unconsciously. See 'I am the mask' or, read 'I am grass' for a powerful indictment of pastoral policy, its results and demands. Are we deaf? On the other hand, "Dandelion wine" was definitely inspirational for me.

You'll want to own this book so you can return to various sections to peruse them once again, be intrigued, challenged and inspired. Plus, there's the privilege of gaining some insights into the soul of another human being... in this case, Jean himself.
A small book with large wisdom August 9, 2015
very interesting book providing new perspectives

Monday, November 16, 2015


Some say the Democratic Presidential candidates were "feckless" in their response to what to do in response to the terrorist attack in Paris the night before.
     "Feckless" means "weak spiritless, worthless."

Others say Republican Presidential candidates would be "fearless" in their response to what to do in response to terrorist attacks in Paris the night before.
     "Fearless" means
free from fear, caution or concern; ready to plunge imto battle."

Some say to rush in is "Foolhardy".
     "Foolhardy" means "daring without judgment."

All would agree we need "courageous" leadership.
     "Courageous" means "firmness of mind and purpose." "Courageous spirit" suggests "less vitality than mettle to keep up one's morale indefinitely."

What say you?

(c) Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 6, 2015


     When you go into major supermarket, most shelves are arranged according to a “Plan-O-Gram” which is a lay-out. Positions of “influence” on each shelf facing – meaning those from which the highest volume of products are sold, usually at “child eye level” from the shopping cart – are sold to the highest bidding company. Usually these positions are purchased as part of an ad campaign. Kids and parents see an ad on TV, then “lo and behold” when they go into the store, there is the product so the kids ask, cry, demand them; parents buy them.
     The same is true for other sections of the store: frozen foods, breads, chips, soda, etc. – positioning is significant for behavior.  It’s called “Choice Architecture” and manipulating its factors is the backbone of advertising.
     And, it goes further. Choice Architecture, based on outcomes to choices someone else wishes you to make, are a factor in many, many things in our lives which you take for granted: video production, product design, internet, city planning (zoning), heroin accessibility, voting districts (gerrymandering), my family’s history, a legal system which enforces laws of privilege, grocery retail, military, food products, health care, genetics, casino gaming, cancer, dating and environmentalism – not to mention architecture from which it draws its name.
     Unfortunately, forces and groups are our “Choice Architects” and we live with the choices which they design for us and with the eventual results of the choices they have made for us. Many times our choices make them rich, so they are happy.

     Let’s presume that your “lower self” is the one in the shopping cart which your “higher self” is pushing through the Choice Architecture Complex 1, 2 or 3, or more of your life.
     Is our life only to be lived as “a chooser” (opposite of “decider” as George W. Bush once said) for our limited, pre-ordained options offered by the architects? When Totalitarianism arises, you see that choices are extremely narrowed to options offered only by the State-run enterprises. Fascism only offers options to industries who do the State’s bidding and carry out contracts granted by the State. In these examples, the domination is powerful, but it does not last forever. Dominating capitalistic economic “Choice Architecture”, which we saw in the early 1800s, has the same flaw.
     You may think that whichever of these systems you live under can or will not change. Consumers, cities and states may feel powerless now. Life, however, is based on spiritual / physical cycles. Things can, and do, change. Regularly. It’s part of the cycle. Things grow, mature, decline and change.
When things get most fixed, most intense then a phenomena called “antimony” occurs. When a factor – or form of domination of one kind or another - reaches its “maximum” - it will collapse back into its opposite. This is when a revolution happens, or laws are changed to bring other ideals into play such as competition or freedom. Many examples of antimony are in nature, and in society.
     An “oil boom” with accelerating prices, great demand, extreme capitalistic greed, etc. will lead to an “oil bust” because of some factor perhaps unrelated. I remember Dallas, Texas in the 80s where I saw the bumper sticker: “Oh, Lord! Give me another Oil Boom – I promise I won’t piss it away!”
     How many stories are there of highly successful people who have lost it all for one reason or another (internal or external)?  How many men who I have taught in our local jail recount tales of great lives, happy families – which they have lost, one way or another, through addiction?
Antimony - good, or the bad, will collapse into its opposite. That’s an eventual factor in Choice Architecture. Even genocide will be overcome by the world’s conscience.

It is possible to re-model your life, contemplate the choices you assume you must make. Re-think the decisions and examine the architecture behind the choice which led to your choice. There are choices between the big retailers and the small. There are major brands and local. What is offered on television and local theatre.
Do not misunderstand!  Mall and local may not be best.There is not one way of being which is better or protects you! Perhaps the best surgeon at the largest hospital in your half of the country, with years of experience, in exactly your critical illness, is exactly what you need to save your life. But, Choice Architecture might be telling you that the regional hospital has been “voted best” by local residents.  O-k-a-a-y.
The point is, we should study the Choice Architecture around us. Learn why you are making your decision. You create the Plan-O-Gram for your life.  Oh, and by the way, you may decide you choose to change yourself so that the old Plan-O-Gram doesn’t apply and you decide an entirely new set of choices are required. Maybe choices less about the material world and more about values and ideals – spiritual components. Believe me, that is possible, too.

© Copyright 2015, Jean w. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life
A book published of the first 6-months of posts of this blog. Softcover $11.95 or eBook @ $3.95. Read chapters of this book at BUBLISH.COM