INTRODUCTION 

       Elder Voices offers suggestions for discovering a person’s problem-solving abilities to help create guidelines for our physical, personal and community survival in the 21st century. Guidelines that respect individual diversity and our universal human rights. 

     Our suggestions are based on the research and practice in psychology and neurology of Kara Bennett PhD and Susan Patrice Weiner, MD MPH.  They are presented in a book entitled Mind Dances: Journey into the Heart of Intelligence and the introduction for the book can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dO_uXiQavm-t8-gIN1ta4x-gqnqOZNPx/view?usp=sharing This book offers a dynamic theory of intelligence based on a person’s ability to create guidelines for survival over their life span, not only physical, but for choices of personal and humanitarian values. The theory is presented within a real life story about the quest to prove the intelligence of a person who suffered an unusual brain injury; he remembers what he loves and how to respect life, but not more mundane information necessary to live in modern times. Depending on one’s definition of intelligence, he might be considered very intelligent, or need a legal guardian to make decisions for him.

      The story is about Dr. Bennett’s father and takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area of California during the beginning of the information revolution. This setting offers the remarkable experience of trying to protect her father’s right to make his own decisions, while computer scientists discuss when machines and robots could become more intelligent than people. Comparisons between machine intelligence and her father’s abilities help define what is important about being human and what kind of problem-solving abilities are essential to create our health guidelines. 

 

WAYS OF EXPLORING YOUR HEALTH GUIDELINES 

ASKING UNIVERSAL QUESTIONS      

     Our book, Mind Dances, includes a Journey Guidebook that can be used by the person to begin to tell their own health story. The Guidebook presents universal questions we can all ask while finding our own personal answers. They are listed here for people to begin exploring.

 1. What are your most important values? What is the range of possibilities their definition can have and still hold the essence of your values? What kind of obstacles and events might harm or destroy what you value? 

    For example, the World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” What does health mean to you?   

2. What are examples of how you might experience these values at the present time?   

       For example, to keep track of the daily life experience of your health find ways to document the stability and change in your sensory experiences to describe the personal information you need to compare what you value with your present situation. 

3. Do you know what guidelines you can use as a map to see the distance you might need to cross between what you are experiencing now and where you want to be?    

       Finding how to fit your daily life personal experiences into the larger possibilities of health information involves designing maps to see the past, present, and future possibilities of a person’s health and find the similarity and differences to your goal state of health.   The number of possibilities we can explore about our personal experience can be shown in the mental representations we create like abstract designs that could refer to many possibilities, or simply the picture of a unique event. However, whatever methods are used this kind of map can help make your personal experience into a more objective kind of health information. 

 4. How can you use your map to create a path toward your goals?    

      Using a map that gives information about the fit between your state of health now and where you want to be offers a way to begin designing a path to move into the position of your health goals. This will involve discovering the cause-effect relationships that can hold and/or change the knowledge you have to achieve your goals and values. Then with your map and guidelines for action, it is time to try them out and see how well they work. 

5. How will you express the actions you need to take in the present situation you hope will lead to your desired destination?       

     For example, as in a dance, you can imagine the steps you want to take and then fit them to the physical moves you need. The result of each move can be evaluated by comparing it to the definition of your goals and values and then decide the next best step. 

6. What guidelines did you find work best for you?     

7. How can you share your guidelines with others in your community and around the world?

 

INTERACTING WITH STORIES  

         Besides our book we have continued to develop nonfiction and fiction stories as examples of how people use their problem-solving abilities to define their survival guidelines in daily life situations and how their choices can result in respecting or acting against human rights. A story can help learn how someone creates a character who tries to achieve their values as they encounter life supportive and threatening experiences. Each story has “discovery” places for people to interact with the story that uses the same kind of questions given above. For example, the questions ask how a person defines their goals and values and compares their present circumstances to the preferred situation, uses feedback from this comparison to decide on the actions to take, then performs the actions and compares the result to their desired goals.  

Non-Fiction Stories 

Mind Dances: Journey into the Heart of Intelligence Kara Bennett, PhD and Susan Patrice, MD, MPH(Description given above)   

Searching for Borrelia      

     The problem-solving strategies necessary to make an accurate health care diagnosis are not well understood, but our lives depend on knowing how to identify what state of health we are in, and what is necessary to keep or change to survive. 

       One of today’s most controversial and difficult illnesses to diagnose and treat is Lyme disease, an infection caused by an insect bite carrying the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi.  Lyme disease has two different sets of opposing guidelines. One set is simpler and more accepted than the other, but considered discriminatory against people who need longer treatment and more specialized care.

    Join the search for this mysterious and life threatening spirochete that can attack any part of a person or animal. Learn how information about a person’s health is made into a bigger picture of the patient that fits their unique symptoms, and helps create guidelines that suggest a path toward health.  

Fiction Stories 

The Galaxy Language  Screenplay 

    Join us to discover what kind of language we need to communicate with Extraterrestrials if we receive a message from outer space or they visit us!

    Today there is hope of finding Intelligent Life somewhere in this vast mysterious Universe. For example, Citizen Scientists are joining the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) to look for unusual signals and send our messages to planets that might support life. Learning about The Galaxy Language is a chance to explore a universal language based on what an intelligent life might need to survive with meaning and purpose. A language that could involve common problem-solving abilities for respecting the value of life, no matter where you live.   

Discover the Galaxy Language  Game

Based on the screenplay, a game is being developed that offers a chance for everyone to learn the Galaxy language. This role playing strategy game brings together people from different cultures on the planet Earth to learn how to communicate with visiting extraterrestrials. To discover the visual and musical images of the language, people will need to experience a situation from a variety of points of view and discover magical maps that will guide them on a mythic journey.

Virtual Journey Stories      

      Experience our educational material that include some of these stories in the three dimensional environment of the virtual world of Second Life. Using an Avatar to represent oneself in real time, a person can interact with text, images, and voice with anyone in the world, also represented by their Avatar as they explore their health guidelines and share their stories with a global community.  Visit Elder Voices Virtual at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Health%20Commons/243/107/23