Tag Archives: Energy

The Future is (Still) Ours

Jim Dempsey added this inspired and thoughtful comment which I felt should be foregrounded here in the archives.

After reading this post I decided to purchase the book The Future is Ours.

It was extremely interesting and covered the banking system, money, inflation, deflation and basic stabilizing the economy but with a focus on allowing all citizens to have enough money/buying power as they needed to get by. This current economic crisis that began in 2008 is very relevant to the discussion in the book. It is clear that some of the solutions in the book are based on economic theories and are used to varying extent in our current economy. Likewise infrastructure spending is recommended as a mechanism to increase the money supply when excess capacity exists, but no money in the system to access this capacity. It is quite interesting because economics is about human energy or ability and the interaction between humans in the utilization of their energy or goods/services is the essense of economics.

In the quotes and theories section of the book Shamcher has questions and then answers them. One is: “How do most of us want it to be?” The answer is “Prosperous, adventurous, unrestricted, secure. We want opportunities for realizing our abilities and resources. We want free choice in every walk of life, no shortages in our stream of supplies, good and happy neighbors”

Economics is about people not money. Economic instability creates imbalance and can cause problems for all society. We need to work towards economic balance for all this will allow our minds to be free to explore more important areas of human existance.

The chapter quoted in this blog on clearing centres was of extreme interest to me. While Shamcher discusses inflation, deflation, deficits, surpluses, money supply, etc. and the associated solutions to a balanced system. The clearing system discussed above was interwoven into the discussion and its benefit of minimum inflationary impact on the money system was very interesting.

But more interesting was the idea of a mechanism for people/businesses to get credit for goods/services and use these to access others goods/services through a clearing system. I recognized this as a way to generate an economy and not being dependent on the money supply. How many communities are money poor but human energy rich and if these energies could be tapped through a clearing system described in this posting we could allow people/businesses to access the goods/services they require in exchange for their goods/services therebye rejuvenating the community and its economy.

Another quick thought is look at developing countries and specifically places like Afganistan or Iraq or any other country in distress. Many of the problems stem from lack of jobs which creates money to purchase the goods/services needed to survive. A bank where people could deposit goods/service credits and exchange with others for their requirements would create an economy from the human energy in these places. Likewise it would strengthen the community as they would be creating most of their needs internally.

Another interesting quote from Shamcher in the book is: “The scientific method can be used to explore the the atom, but let it be applied to human affairs and at once the pressure of …. party loyalty, of nationalism, or merely of established customs prevent the acceptance of valid conclusions. It is the full revelation of the spirit of science, and the fact that it envisages all of civilization and not merely useful gadgets that will bring us to the age of science. To call on present science for help is futile. To call on politicians, lawyers, clergymen, economists, is equally futile until they have learned, from science perhaps, the spirit and method of research.”

The interesting thing about this quote for me is that it suggests that we have to understand research the concept of critical thinking and looking at the facts and coming to a conclusion that makes sense.

The “Future is Ours” discusses the facts and issues trying to create understanding. There is so much that needs to happen in the world and the process of faciliating this is through researching and understanding topics and coming to balanced approachs that can be tested and adjusted helping stablize humanity.

Within the context of the above context I am currently interested in two areas of research and development:

1. The clearing bank model: I am interested in more information on this topic with the goal of fully understanding the various models available. I then plan to develop a framework for these type of bank(s) that could be used to start actual banks. I then hope to start a bank of this type and work with others to do the same. If anyone has further information on these types of banks from the past or current models please let me know.

2. The second area is the topic of research and development or the scientific model. More specifically this is an area I have been interested in a while in conjunction with some reading I have been doing of Harold Innis works on communication and media as well as some thoughts regarding frameworks for creating venues for dialogue on topics for those interested in researching and developing thoughts and projects in specific areas of human/planetary/universal interest.

Again I have a similiar idea of development of a framework for dialogue on topics through multiple medias that could help progress thought and development patterns influencing social/human development. The “spirit and method of research” Shamcher quotes aligned with the ideas regarding dialogue and information that have been percolating in my mind lately.

If anyone has any interest in either of these areas or ideas please feel free to contact me for further discussion. I have started writing on # 2 and plan on working on #1 in the near future, further information will be available somewhere on the internet as they progress. I can be reached at jim.dempsey@shaw.ca.

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To SAM: Sufis, OTEC

12 October 1963

My dear Sam,

Your welcome letter came just as I was trying to find where Evelyn had hidden your former letter with your address. I was going to write you that your great success and following will be with other intellectuals than those with whom you now have battle, though the battle serves the purpose of attracting attention. I see from your letter that you received my message through the air as sufis should. Apart from that you have other messages for me which you have not written.

In some respects you are the greatest living sufi (and in other respects l am) but just for that reason it seems, as you say, unwise to adorn yourself with a title such as murshid, here in America, for it will repel more than it attracts. A few will see in you more than that and the more the less ostentatious you are — yet, in a society such as ours a certain ostentation is required to have working chance.

While I had lengthy correspondence with Indian government, now Portugal seems to become the first to try out Some of my special sea water conversion methods — and what irony! India will come to learn at the feet of Portuguese! Not directly and knowingly perhaps, but actually, technically. But is just a small part of my life as horticulture is with you.

Back to titles again: I agree with Vilayat when he does not call himself nor wishes any one else to call himself even Murshid, far less Pir-O-Murshid — in reverence to great Inayat Khan. When Ali Khan called himself Pir-O-Murshid that was between God and himself, and not my concern but I deeply prefer Vilayat’s words, although in some respects Vilayat is greater than his father or, should I say, more appropriate for delivering the message in the Western World — all of which was according to Inayat’s wishes.

Do not worry about how the established sufis will receive you or us. They have no duty to receive anybody nor do we have any duty or wish to be received. We live among us and act and take what reaction comes and often I have felt new and hitherto unheard of souls will carry the burden onwards. Even at an early stage many old sufis who had considered lnayat their personal pet, left in disgust when there was talk of a world message and a world teaching. Others left when Maheboob and Ali took over — for Vilayat (which was even better, the free and large side of the sufi movement) or for private practice as Van Tuyll, or for no more sufis at all.

I am going to Cleveland 25th, then on to New York. Tell me all about these centers. In New York I do not know a single remaining sufi any more. Are there any?


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To SAM: OTEC and Middle East, 2

21 November 1958

My dear Sam:

Yes, indeed, it’s about time Nasser had some expert advice on water. However, it may be the only place in the Middle East where specifically the thermal difference will be a cinch is at the Dead Sea. This is bordered jointly by Israel and — is it Jordan? Is any of the Dead Sea on Nasser’s property? If so we can do business. But anyway, there should be grand survey of his whole area in regard to water. So let’s get in touch with Dr. Schawarbi or whoever may be the best link. Though as the world’ s leading expert on certain types of sea water conversion I could command the highest fees, I would have no such thought with Nasser but would go just on expenses paid and so that the family can live in their modest way — either going along (best) or staying here. But it shouldn’t wait much longer.

Whoever he now has as advisers, of whatever nation, there is none who can advise him so accurately on these matters, except professor Howe, Mr. Beau of France or myself.

You should perhaps write Nasser directly, in addition to whatever his envoys may accomplish with us.

Israel has not, as you think, a good method for sea water conversion but a certain Zarkin, a sincere but impractical fanatic, has inveigled them to try a freezing process. On the other hand, Mr. Beau has talked to them about a Dead Sea plant on thermal difference principle which would be excellent if they accept.

Very interesting to hear about your writings and experiences. Prevail upon Peter to go start build the temple.

Family greets you fondly


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To SAM: OTEC and Middle East

1 Aug 58

Dear Sam (but I ought to have noted your sufi name including Mullah, the enlightened one)

It was delightful to read you again (as the French say) and hear of your continued interest in water. Yes, you are so right, while the foreigner’s interest in the Middle East (most Europeans and to some extent Americans) is oil, their own interest is water and also simple plain friendship as a former school teacher in Iraq said here. But we often act as the raw recruit who asked an oncoming person three times quickly “Friend or foe” and then shot, not waiting even for an answer.

Of course, a wise man never asks are you friend or foe but he makes friends, even of the foes, and in the waiting time, before they know they are friends he forgives and sees the future must, “for they know not what they do.”

The specific approach to sea water conversion I am concerned with (and which is the only cheap way so far) is only applicable under certain natural conditions including: Tropical enough to have 15-20 centigrade temp. diff between surface and 500-1000 meter depth and steep enough bottom slope to reach depth required not more than five miles from shore. Pakistan would most probably meet these requirements. But though after our meetings with Pak. officials in SF I made the whole Pakistan embassy in Paris meet my French friends in Paris last year, and though the commercial attaché at the embassy was both enthused and insistent on alerting his government — no measurements to make this point sure has as yet been made.

As to Egypt most coast lines have very faint slope so I am suspicious the method may not apply there but again, no measurement has been made to make sure. But for this reason the Aswan dam may be right for Egypt and I believe we should have helped finance it in spite of all. We are running around guessing who are our friends instead of making them so — making not meaning simply giving or financing dams of course, but above all feeling and knowing that they are friends, actual or potential.

When you wrote I had been thinking about you for a long time, thinking whether to write you and ask whether you would come here help establish or rather expand the sufi cause which has gone slowly, but I thought that perhaps SF was more important and your natural hunting ground. Have you caused Peter to establish and run a center yet? He has all the necessary qualities including stamina, silence and punctuality. SF is a natural center, nationally unique. Seattle is a much tougher spot, with loads of unsound spiritualism, racial bigotry — therefore sufism much needed but also in difficulty finding suitable people and getting a hearing and a setting. Please marry the Karachi fiancé and get things going.

Apropos Peter: We have sent him letters and things, no reply, so I thought he had gone to Paris or perhaps we know not right address? Please contact for us. All here greets you warmly


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Very late in my life, in 48 when I was 52 years old… I had chosen engineering before I knew Inayat Khan. In fact, I didn’t know what I wanted to study. My father asked me and I said, “Well, something in the line of physics, medicine, geology, jusrisprudence, the whole lot.” And finally I had to concentrate on one thing so I took engineering because then you can travel and see things in various countries, and I wanted to travel, I wanted to see if the world was round. So one time I when I was the managing director of a small company, and I was in Paris I saw in the National Science Foundation of France a story about energy from the ocean. There were tides, waves, but especially the temperature difference between surface water and deep water. You put in a steam engine there. The warm water of the surface near the tropics evaporates, boils in a boiler, when you lower the pressure, when you pump air out. That steam that develops from this boiling runs a turbine, the turbine runs a generator. And after the turbine, the steam is condensed and this steam apart from being condensed is then fresh water. So you do two things with this machine: you produce energy and water. In California we had a great water shortage at that time. We still have but we have forgotten that, now we have a power shortage. Our power and water government agencies cannot cooperate, they have nothing to do with each other. That is one reason why it is so difficult to promote OTEC. Anyway, I dropped everything else when I found out about this, I said to myself, “This is what the world needs. This is what California needs, the United States, Canada, the world.”

(From a talk given in the late ’70s)

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OTEC Power Point

As today is Earth Day, I created this little slide presentation to introduce some of the ideas around OTEC, that Shamcher had worked so diligently on for decades.

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It’s Not Enough to Sit There

Should we talk about it at all? Or should we keep meditating upon the light? One sufi, the same Sam Lewis, said, “In order to be a masterful sufi, in order to become really a light, you have to go into the darkness and fight the darkness.” Its not enough to sit there and meditate upon the light and do all these things. Well, if you are concerned mainly with yourself and your progress, that’s all you can do. but if you understand the reality of the whole flowing universe, you are not satisfied with helping yourself, you must bring everybody with you. As it is said in the Buddhist scripture, before the Buddha can go up to heaven he had to have the whole humanity with him. Well this is sufism essentially. It has been expressed as a difference between sufism and yoga. That isn’t quite true anymore because the better yogis also have this view, you must have the whole humanity with you.

So a real yogi or a real sufi isn’t the least bit interested in doing phenomenal things. He is interested in bringing humanity forward – by delving into dirty economics, war-mongering, energy, food supplies.

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