I’m Sigurd, son of Sigurd (an easy rhyme is “triggered”). [from the Wikipedia entry]: Sigurd appears in Norse and German tales that vary, but with some common themes. Sigurd slays the dragon Fafnir for his foster father. After, he interacts with the dragon’s blood – tasting, drinking, bathing in, eating the roasted heart … (depending on which version of the tale) – and gains new powers – to understand the language of the birds, invulnerability, gains “wisdom” (prophecy). Not sure what all that means about my own life; here as an interesting connection.
Many things that interest me are rarely topics for discussion with others. So I present this web site as a way of opening to finding kindred spirits. For most of my life, I’ve striven to understand System (in various ways) and to learn/experience how Spirit finds its way into my life.
Spirit: I’ve encountered a variety of religious traditions. Our family attended the local Episcopal church, our neighbors included those in Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, and other traditions. I had a Buddhist roommate from Malaysia at Princeton. Went into the Peace Corps part-way to a degree, to Nepal, where I first encountered Hinduism. After returning to the US and to Princeton, a yoga instructor introduced me to two exceptional teachers from India – Harish Johari (affectionately known by Dada (“older brother”)) and Shyam Bhatnagar – who have been a strong,continuing (through my daily practice) influence in my life. I was once close with a Mevlevi Sufi group led by Kabir and Camille Helminski – was with them for two of their Summer retreats in Burke, VT. Locally, I’ve found some sense of sangha (roughly, “spiritual family”) with two groups (both in Barnet, VT) with roots in Tibetan Buddhism.
System: I’ve always been good at math, and interested in patterns. Buckminster Fuller was an early intellectual hero for me. He led a life of exploration, striving to bring something new into the world. In addition to introducing new ways of thinking about the workings of the world, he sparked my interest in the Platonic solids. Another influence has been the lesser known Stafford Beer. The recursive nature of his model of systems is unique in the approaches I’ve encountered.
In Stafford Beer‘s model, a “Viable System” has five levels – the first level has the collection of “component” systems that interact in / are the building blocks of the larger system. The higher levels deal with communication, control, etc. Beer was strongly influenced by cyberneticist W. Ross Ashby and introduced me to Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety.
My father introduced me to John Bennett, and through him, Gurdjieff. Bennett studied the fundamental aspects of the monad, dyad, triad etc. (systems of one, two, three or more [components is not quite the right word]) that hold true through their various incarnations. Via the Bennett community I met Tony Blake, and attended a number of the events he pulled together in and near Baltimore a few decades ago, when I lived relatively close by. Tony studied with both Bennett and physicist David Bohm. Architect Christopher Alexander has been an interest. Lately I have been reading and thinking about Goethe‘s approach to scientific inquiry, in good part through the writings of Henri Bortoft, Craig Holdrege, and others.
Some fundamental questions engage me – What does it mean to be human, to have life, to be a facet of the vastness of life – matter, sensation, thought and spirit – as all of this “co-volves” through time. How does life (individual, species, all life) learn, change, adapt? What range of states can be experienced by a human? What do I have the will to practice daily so as to be more open to deeper states along the spectrum of [dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), samadhi]?
My Work Life: Since moving to Vermont in 1998, most of my work has been other than as an employee. Almost since moving here, through fall of 2014, I worked part-time for various small rural schools as technology coordinator or as one of a tech support team. Other lines of work include creating custom applications built around databases (using Microsoft Access) and building web sites for local businesses.
I’d be interested in talking with others about how to bring into being an education environment that is more self-directed, with more intensely focused students, than one finds in today’s schools. While actively involved in education, I collected interesting educational links at a wordpress.com site.
Other Web Presence: I created the site solvt.com, also using WordPress, to put forth a professional face beyond the Solbakken Technology Partners web site through which my wife and I present our business.
This Site: I’m posting information both in occasional blog posts, which are open for comments (should anyone wish to leave such). Some of this I’m re-organizing and refining into pages – so you’ll see some duplication of material in these two sides of the site.