Note from the founder…
In April of 2014, having just retired from a diversified business career, I re-engaged a long-fermenting writing exercise that has morphed into this endeavor, On Just Being.
My 47-year professional career was rich in challenging engagements with a wide variety of interesting projects (synopsized below). But my income-producing work has never been my life’s calling, at least not after the age of 23 when a single-minded pursuit became the driving force in my life and is now the central theme of this work.
I have come to designate this preoccupation as the quest for self-knowledge, in the spirit of the ancient Delphic maxim to “know thyself.” I have not taken up this pursuit as a philosopher or theologian, nor as a psychologist, scientist, mystic or scholar, but simply as a highly inquisitive, keenly interested person intently observing and studying the life stirring within and swirling around me. So while I make no claim to being ‘properly credentialed’ I likewise offer no apologies for answering the call to “know thyself” from my standing as a fellow traveller born into a mysterious existence that each of us struggles in our own way to make sense of from our moment of birth.
I will be adding personal information as this work develops, relating experiences that have made important contributions to my understanding of life.
A brief recap of my continually evolving journey.…
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I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and have resided in California most of my life, living in many different areas throughout the Golden State. The exceptions are three less-than-a-year residencies in New York City, Hawaii and Costa Rica, plus a fair amount of domestic and international travel.
As stated, my ardent pursuit of personal/psychological/spiritual/consciousness development has been conducted largely independent of my day job. However, my deeper passion emerged into the foreground of my work life a handful of times in my 30s:
- When I was 30 and living in the Bay Area, I developed a 15-hour consciousness development seminar I called “Realization.” I held the workshop over several sessions with two groups of four and six people. It was well-received and personally rewarding, yet I moved on to other engagements.
- In my early 30s I served for six months as a live-in counselor at a home for ‘socially disadvantaged’ teenage boys in Ft. Bragg, California. (Now that was a learning experience.)
- In my mid-30s, living in the Sierra Nevada foothills, I held local classes, gave some talks to groups, and wrote a series of articles on meditation, based on my own method.
- In my late 30s I served for a year as the executive director of a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to consciousness research and education. While there, I launched an effort called the All-Win Network, building on the “win-win” social interaction/negotiation strategy popularized in the 1970s. Long on ideals but short on execution, the project was short-lived.
These efforts notwithstanding, I have mostly carried on my personal quest behind the scenes in the deeper currents of my psyche as I conducted my career and lived a robust and kaleidoscopic personal life of relationships, family and friendships.
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My business career contributed to my quest for self-knowledge in important ways. First, this is true of any and all life events, as each and every experience can be a learning vehicle and testing ground for growth if one is so directed.
In the expandable section below, I offer some additional insights about how professional writing has contributed to my personal communications effort. And I briefly expound on how writing infused my process of seeking wisdom by observing and participating in the endlessly fascinating adventure of life.
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Many of my noteworthy experiences over a long life have been joyous, others painful, a few deeply tragic. Some of these stories will be told as this work progresses. All in all I consider myself extremely fortunate in life’s lottery. And virtually all my experiences – euphoric, ordinary and distressing alike – have enriched my ongoing quest for self-knowledge.
– Ronald Fel Jones