SEJ Talks is like TED Talks, but with an open bar, followed by a cosmic bazaar.  

Each event is akin to a pop-up think tank with the set intention to create space and stimulation for new insights (#brainhoney) to emerge naturally.

‘SEJ Talks’ is an innovative platform for elevated social interaction meant to generate valuable shared experiences, which in turn create stronger, more meaningfully connected communities.

We recognize the universal truth that relationships and communities are formed through shared experiences, and valuable shared experiences form valuable relationships and communities.  When a society stops sharing valuable experiences, it begins to rot and decay.  Without shared vision, the people will perish.  

All Helping Friendly Initiatives - SEJ Talks, Helping Friendly Book Club, and the Helping Friendly Book Stands - are designed to be engines for valuable shared experiences to occur. Each initiative is devoted to helping elevate the public conversation and connecting people through books and culture in convivial ways. 

The goal of a SEJ Talk - a 10-15 minute talk on any topic that Illuminates Curiosity for the Purpose of Forward Motion - is to illuminate a person's curiosity to such a degree that they engage with the topic and actively begin searching for more answers on their own. 

When people who like to read get together and let loose, things get frothy, and great ideas phorph.  SEJ Talks is where community influencers from various fields can come together to interact and connect with each other in a unique way.  We attract local literati, philosophers, readers, thinkers, enthusiasts, philanthropists, and artists who value interacting with their contemporaries in a convivial and stimulating atmosphere.

The purpose of SEJ Talks is to provide the Helping Friendly Community-at-Large with an annual opportunity to come together, exchange ideas, generate insights, and form new friendships.

The goal for each event is to create something greater than the sum of all its parts, together. Those we create with we forge our strongest friendships.

What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua...that’s the only name I can think of for the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated. “What’s new?” is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question “What is best?,” a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and “best” was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfillment of its own internal momentum. Some channel deepening seems called for.
— Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Q&A from our first SEJ Talks

Q: What the heck does SEJ stand for?

A: Well, legend has it that long long ago, in a land far far away, a book was written which contained within it all the inherent Knowledge of the Universe.  This book was called The Helping Friendly Book, and it held within its pages the Secrets of Eternal Joy and Never Ending Splendor (SEJNES).  The trouble is, it was written so long ago that nobody remembers who actually wrote it.  Over the centuries, the SEJNES have become lost and found and lost and found again by brave and intrepid questers with the gumption and willpower to follow their pine cone down any path with a heart.  

So the SEJ in SEJ Talks stands for “Secrets of Eternal Joy” Talks.  A SEJ Talk is a 10-15 minute talk on any topic that illuminates curiosity for the purpose of forward motion.

Q: What does “Illuminate curiosity for the purpose of forward motion” mean?

A: It means we believe that curiosity is an end in itself.  You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.  The best thing you can do to start someone down the path to enlightenment (forward motion) is to blow their mind a little bit and allow curiosity to seep in through the cracks of the break.  Once the internal spark of curiosity is lit, the person can begin “following their pine cone” to see where to go next.

The only way to learn something new is to be curious about it. Without curiosity, the willingness to learn is nonexistent.  You can’t force anyone to learn anything; much less something they aren’t curious about.  But once you’re curious about something, it lights it up and you become open to receive insights from it. Thus, instilling/igniting a sense of curiosity in someone is the best thing you can do to help them on their quest.

Curiosity is an attitude, something you take with you, a way of living in the world that catalyzes the universe to send you messages.

Q:  What is phyllotaxis?

A:  Phyllotaxis is a pattern of development in response to a stimulus over time in order to maximize utility. Think of it as the way a cactus grows, or the geometric pattern on pinecones and pineapples.  The natural pattern of development has incredible mathematical principles (Golden Ration, Fibonacci Sequence) that boggle the mind and can be found in nature everywhere when you know how to look.  Think of phyllotaxis as the way a rose grows/unfolds in response to the stimulus of light.  The pattern is not random, but rather the unfolding of an inner potential when nurtured with the proper stimulus.

Spiritual Phyllotaxis is essentially living with enough alert curiosity to notice the stimulus in your life that leads you to the highest good.  

Q:  What is the stimulus?

A:  The stimulus comes from learning to observe the non-randomness of things.  The subconscious manifests its answers in response to the incessant thoughts of the conscious mind through the manifestation of synchronicity in the “external” world.  The seemingly “random” coincidences that happen in your life are actually not-random.  They are the opposite of random. They are responses to your thoughts in an ongoing conversation with the Universe.

By being programmed to call things random we are trained to discredit all weird, statistically improbable coincidences as being JUST random.  In truth, those instances aren’t actually random, they’re the OPPOSITE of random!  Wow!  Think of the implications!

In any situation, out of a million possible possibilities, ONE thing actually does happen.  That one thing doesn’t seem random to me.  That seems to me to be the opposite random. The ONLY thing that actually does happen out of all that foam of possibilities.  In an instant, everything that COULD have happened becomes hypothetical nonsense.  Instead of writing off coincidences as having less meaning because of their seeming randomness, realize the opposite is true, that they have MORE meaning.  They are cosmic breadcrumbs from the universe.  Follow your pinecone and put them all together.

Q:  What is this foam you speak of?

A:  Well, imagine that every moment is like a bubble, a conditional set of probable outcomes held together by the barometric pressure of your Self and the necessary tension of opposites, and then try to think about how many different possible possibilities there are.  How many different bubbles of experience, of what actually happens, are there?  You could go left or right, blink once or twice, and every possible data manipulation creates another realm of possibilities.  Out of all those possibilities however, you are experiencing the world within one of those bubbles at any given single moment in time. And if you put a bunch of bubbles together, what do you get?

You get foam.  And foam gets frothy.

Picture it like a giant electromagnetic field of telepathic static electricity, within which is your awareness. Frothy quantum foam is essentially when the energy field becomes energetically stimulated to such a degree that it begins to increase the frequency of certain types of (nonrandom) bubbles.  You can think of these bubbles as synchronicity, and you can imagine them rising to the surface of your mind and popping there, like the bubbles in the champagne glass of your mind, thus sending their gaseous contents into the arena of your mental awareness and creating the magical, slippery, subjective  experience of having a thought.  Some thoughts are more potent than others and these we call “Phorphs” or insights. A phorph is essentially the subjective experience of having an insight.

As you begin to learn the SEJNES you begin to be able to stimulate more and more frothy quantum foam in your life, and synchronistic bubbles are the ideal stimulation for forward motion.  

This is a very important first hurdle of awareness to be reached.  Nothing past this step will make sense until this step makes sense and you have had real, personal experiences with the correlation between your thoughts and the world that appears to manifest around you.

The people in power know this, and so they created the concept of “random” which programs us to discredit the frothy quantum foam when it is nearby.  They do not want us all becoming super self-aware, that bucks the stability of the system.  Have you ever seen the Lego Movie?  Go see it.  It is full of secret messages about this.

Q:  So how does one know that frothy quantum foam is nearby?

A: Frothy quantum foam manifests itself as synchronicity.  I hesitate to use the word “coincidence” because of what a bad wrap the word coincidence has gotten lately.  They have used the term “random” to pull the meaning of “coincidence” down.  

It isn’t JUST a coincidence you happened to run into your best friend from middle school you haven’t talked to in years while traveling in Japan this summer; it’s a COINCIDENCE!  You should be excited!  It’s a clue from the universe!  It’s a frothy quantum meta-bubble reaching the surface of your mind!


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