Chapter One

Paola Kansas Farm Home Of Jeff Peckman Author Of POWER UP

Journey of a Solutionist

From a Hydrogen Bomb to a Kansas Farm

Are you ready for the big tour of how to create a solution-based world in 100 days? 


The starting point is where my journey, or “tour” of life, began. The picture above is of my late father’s painting of our family farm about one mile outside of Paola, Kansas. It was a wonderland of adventure. It also served as a place to learn about the mysteries and magic of nature.


The five years on the farm set me on the quest for truth and the path of my life’s mission. That mission is ultimately about universal and unlimited LOVE. Clearing the path is necessary for any area of life. The tree in the foreground became pivotal in my quest. Before sharing that story, there is one about my birthday.


Blowing Out Birthday Candles with Godzilla

The original Godzilla movie hit theaters in 1954. It began with the blast of an atomic bomb in the South Pacific that woke up Godzilla from hibernation. Coincidentally, there was a real atomic blast in the South Pacific, on March 1, 1954, called Castle Bravo. It was the largest explosion of a hydrogen bomb by the U.S. in its history. The blast was 1,100 times greater than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and 2.5 times larger than expected, due to a miscalculation. An environmental tragedy resulted. According to the book, Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation, by Timothy J. Jorgensen, Pacific Islanders are still suffering the aftereffects. 


Another coincidence is that I was born on March 1, in Kansas, about 17 hours after the Castle Bravo blast. Maybe that explains why I promote clean energy technologies that use hydrogen and plasma. Godzilla breathed out plasma to incinerate buildings and army tanks, as well as birthday candles. 


As for the tree in the painting, I recall that my 8 year-old big brother was shooting his BB gun at some birds near the tree. My mother saw him from the kitchen window and took me out with her to meet my brother. While she was scolding him, she took the BB gun from his hands and gave it to me to hold. He said it was not loaded, as most mischievous kids would say in their defense. At about age five, I did not question my older brother. Still, his claim seemed doubtful and left me with only one option. I put my finger at the end of the BB gun barrel and pulled the trigger. I screamed all the way to the hospital about a mile away, where my mother took me with my finger bleeding from the wound.


The experience left a lasting impression and a scar on me. My curiosity and search for truth never ended, but I found better ways of satisfying them. I also learned early in life that the road of truth is lined with corn and alfalfa, and leads straight to the barn. However, if you venture beyond the barn, you can enjoy the fun of the creek. Apply the symbolism how you like. Just realize that fun is a vital part of this tour.


Are you a “solutionist”? That is someone who solves puzzles or problems, even on a global scale. That word best describes my life and mission. I would add “discoverer of possibilities” to that definition. Activists and advocates do vital work in raising awareness concerning a range of problems. My approach is to offer proven and affordable solutions. This chapter shares my journey that led me to write a book about transforming your life and the world. Everyone has his story. You do too. Maybe we even have some things in common.


Vowing to Solve Global Problems at Age 10

My start down the path of “solutionism” began in elementary school. That was my first big wake-up call. It happened on the playground, not in class. Kids talked about all kinds of things. One day a friend walked up to a few of us who were already in a conversation. He casually remarked, "My dad said you are using only one tenth of your brain." That comment most likely had roots in American psychologist William James' view that people rarely achieve more than just a small percentage of their full human potential. Regardless of the validity of that view, the comment by my friend shook me to the core.


The comment made me angry, and I probably insulted his dad. After the shock and anger had settled down, it hit me that if the claim was true, it might explain terrible things in the world and in life. These included the assassination of JFK in the previous year, the Cold War and escalation of the Vietnam War. On a smaller scale, I saw bullying at school.


The “awakening” compelled me to vow two things. The first was to develop my full brain. The second was to find solutions to the big and little problems in the world and life in general. It seemed simple. Why would a 10 year-old child dare to have such bold goals? I did not ask that question at the time. My path and vision were clear. No reason came to mind why these goals were not achievable.


How does anyone start down those two paths? I did what everyone does who has ever achieved anything – I committed. If there is just one thing you take away from this book, it might be the insight of William H. Murray, Scottish Climber of Mt. Everest. I read it for the first time in T. Harv Eker’s superb book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. It has been especially true in all of my larger projects. Murray revealed a vital truth about success. He explained how the single step of committing oneself to any endeavor sets favorable circumstances in motion that would otherwise not have occurred, or been dreamed possible. 


Starting on My Paths

The first steps on my paths were challenging. There were no maps or signs, but resources came to my attention. Plato’s Republic was one. Other comments from unexpected sources helped too. Balance in everything seemed important. Mind-body coordination and eating right were part of that.


About that same time in elementary school, I got straight A's and won the most Blue Ribbons on field day. I taught myself to do handstands and handsprings. One year later the students elected me as president of the student council, even though I did not run for the position. However, it became apparent that I could do little to help anyone in my school. It did not propel me into politics. Instead, it made me resolve to find solutions in other ways.

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Crystallizing a Better Future

Another story in elementary school greatly influenced my life. A friend told me about an unusual group of people. They would find out when lakes or ponds were nearing the point of freezing. They would carefully sneak up to a body of water. With the most delicate touch, one person would place a seed ice crystal into the still water. Suddenly, as they expected, the surface of the water started to crystallize. It made a unique crackling sound. The delicate patterns spread in all directions across the water. It was a thrilling sight and sound, according to my friend.


Was that event possible? I did not know, but I have seen opportunities throughout my life to inject a tiny crystal of an idea into situations at what turned out to be perfect timing. I believe that such opportunities exist right now around the world. Each could allow significant advances for humanity with the right “crystal” idea. What is your “crystal” idea? 


Coherent symmetrical designs, like those of crystals, always fascinated me. Below are some of my drawings from elementary school. A piece of paper, a pin to poke holes, a ruler and some colored pens were all I used. I believe these images ultimately planted seeds for writing this book, and I did not know it.


Choking on Rocks to Speak Better

I heard about Demosthenes, the prominent Greek citizen and orator in Ancient Athens. He put a pebble in his mouth and spoke out over the sea to improve his speech. I talked with small objects in my mouth over the parking lot next to our house. After swallowing or choking on too many rocks, marbles and quarters, I moved on to other ways to develop my full brain.  


Other attempts included trying a more balanced and healthy diet. That meant primarily one thing to me. I would take some of just about everything in the refrigerator and pile it all between two slices of white bread. The sandwich would be about three inches high. After eating it, I would wash it down with gulps of milk, then carbonated soda, orange juice and Kool-Aid. I drank straight from all the containers. Life was balanced! I am not sure my stomach was. At least my intentions were good. A few years later, I learned about truly healthy habits such as eating organic vegetables and even growing my own.    


Meditating to Survive Teenage Life   

In junior high, I tried juggling, judo and yoga. They all felt right and good. I also got into mild drugs. That was not good, but it got me through some stressful times. In high school, I went to a lecture on Transcendental Meditation(TM). The teacher said, "Psychologists tell us we use only 5-10% of our full mental potential. Transcendental Meditation helps to develop the rest of our brain.”  


That was enough to convince me to learn TM right away. In my first experience, a huge cloud of stress lifted from me. The natural high that I felt from TM was so much better than pot or other drugs that I immediately lost interest in them. That was the first real breakthrough in developing my full potential. I continued my meditation practice daily since then.    


Buckminster Fuller’s Influence   

Buckminster Fuller was another great inspiration. The story I remember about Bucky Fuller is that he almost did not live long enough to achieve the great things for which he is most well known. Fuller was despondent about the death of his young daughter and considered ending his life in Lake Michigan. As he stood there in deep sorrow, contemplating the last moments of his life, he pondered a question. He wondered, “How much can one person achieve?” His curiosity compelled him to walk out of the lake. Fuller went on to become a legendary inventor, futurist, and visionary who inspired millions with his solutions. His research concluded that it was possible to make war obsolete and provide everyone on Earth with an extremely high standard of living.   


“You Should Be Called Blue Cloud”   

Promoting solutions for chronic problems has been my life's mission. In 2009, a dream triggered my renewed efforts to promote one of the most extraordinary solutions I know. Vivid dreams have been common for me since childhood. Some were “lucid” in that I seemed to be in control. I could explain things during a dream as clearly as if in waking state. A few have shown me things that did not exist at the time or had not yet happened. They occurred later in remarkable detail.  


One particular dream was both symbolic and prophetic. It was powerful enough to play a big part in inspiring me to write this book. In the dream, I was on a public bus traveling north on Federal Boulevard in Denver. I have never taken that route on a bus. The only people on the bus were three Native American children and me.  


They looked at me curiously for a short time. One of them asked my name. I answered "Jeffrey." They looked at each other in a disapproving way. Then one of them said, "That is not a very good name for you. You should be called Blue Cloud.” The response surprised me. We all sat quietly without talking. I had never heard the name of Blue Cloud before. 


The bus stopped about one block south of the next main intersection of West Alameda Avenue and Federal Boulevard. It is next to what is now the Far East Asian shopping center. We all got off the bus. They knew where to go. I followed them out of curiosity. We walked west along a side street in an area that my family drove through every Sunday to a Lutheran church. It was three blocks west of where we got off the bus.  


We arrived where the church would have been. The street intersection, and nearby area, had transformed into a grassy open clearing, surrounded by pine trees. It was pristine and beautiful, as I would expect to see in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In the clearing were four Native American adults. Two of them were 30-40 feet in front of me. Two were about ten feet to my left. 


In front of me was a row of at least twelve colorful closed egg-shaped baskets. They looked like traditional Native American designs on large Easter eggs. The colors were vibrant and the designs were intricate. The baskets were on wooden tables about four feet high. It was a beautiful exhibit of Native American artistry. There was no conversation with the adults. Then, through what seemed to be both intuition and telepathic communication, my heart suddenly sank in deep sadness. 


The row of baskets was a group of papooses. One definition of papoose is a backpack or basket to carry a Native American child. Another definition of papoose is the child itself. The raised tables, or platforms, were for cremation of the children. Grief overwhelmed me, and I could only weep from the sudden realization. Telepathically, the adults told me that the infants had died from a harsh winter. In today’s terms, we think of extreme weather patterns from human-caused climate change.   


Vision of Preventable Disaster   

Seeing my deep sadness, they quickly explained that it was only one vision of a possible future. The harsh winter had not happened yet. They added that it did not need to happen. They said there were things I could do to prevent it. Naturally, I was relieved and yet confused. What could I do? What could anyone do? I woke up, literally and metaphorically. Immediately I searched the Internet for “Blue Cloud” and found a few references. One said it was a cloud containing nourishing rain. To me, that meant balance in nature and the good fortune of rain.  


The dream strongly affected my plans going forward. I looked for clues for what I could do to prevent the harsh winter. How could I help avoid the tragic deaths of the precious children in the beautiful baskets? Was it a premonition for children all over the world? Months later, a detail finally struck me. The intersection where we got off the bus was South Federal Boulevard and West Dakota Avenue. Symbolically, I had gotten off the government (Federal) bus and walked with the Native American (Dakota) children in the pristine environment that they regard as sacred. I kept searching for any means to prevent that “harsh winter,” concerned that it was not just a dozen children, but also all of human life. This book shares some of what I found.   


Four Feet of Hail Woke Me Up   

Jumping to June 2015, another shockwave hit me. This time, it was in the waking state of real life. A major hailstorm hit Denver in early June. It happened to be "bike-to-work" day. I was at home, frantically covered my amazing organic strawberries as the intense storm started. The next day, the Denver Post reported on June 5:  


          “One Denver block buried under up to 4 feet of hail.”   


The article stated that the affected area was between Dakota and Alaska." I was awestruck. That area along South Irving Street was the exact location of where I was standing with the Native American adults and children in the dream six years earlier. The message was clear. It was time to speed up promoting a breakthrough global solution. 


An Air Pollution Solution for the Rich and Famous   

It was still June. Many of the top “A-list” celebrities had been in the headlines for supporting different kinds of campaigns on environmental issues. These included raising awareness about air pollution and the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change. Others had a long history of supporting various philanthropic efforts for the environment. It was time to bring a "push-button solution" to their attention, and help them power up. I knew of just such a solution. 


One month after the rare hail pile-up in Denver, I sent a letter to over 50 of these A-list stars. It was a long shot, as you never know if your letter will get past the filter of agents, publicists and other gatekeepers. Only about five of the letters came back to me, but there were no replies. It did not matter at the time because my priorities suddenly shifted.  


My dear mother, whom I was caring for, had worsening respiratory health problems. That is a common effect of high levels of ozone. However, all I could do was to make her as comfortable as possible in her remaining days. She finally passed away in August that summer. It reinforced my commitment to do something about air pollution and its related health disorders.   


Robert Redford’s Reply   

In September 2015, the assistant to Robert Redford sent me a very kind and thoughtful letter of appreciation from Mr. Redford. He said Redford had too much on his plate to become involved in what I proposed. Knowing his longtime commitment to the environment, I knew that had to be true. At least it was one ray of light from the dawn of a new day to inspire me further. 


It was clear that I should attempt myself what my proposal asked of the celebrities. At the first opportunity, in October 2015, I obtained an agreement with an inventor to replicate the pilot study done with his technology 25 years before. That type of technology is the main topic of Chapters Eleven and Twelve. He agreed to a pilot test in Denver.  


His test results in 1990 were amazing. According to the data collected then, Los Angeles air quality improved over 40% during three months! The intervention of his extraordinary technology seemed to have the predicted effect of reducing air pollution. He merely plugged his technology device into an electrical outlet. Chapter Eleven explains more details of the test. The test was to begin in November and run for six months. Shortly before the project starting date, the inventor postponed the test. He wanted to "tweak" the device to monitor the results more easily and objectively. I sent it back to him in January 2016. He also wanted to finalize a mathematical and scientific explanation for how the technology creates its valuable benefits. One of those benefits could help solve the problem of global air pollution.  


It seemed like a good time for me to write a book about that and other extraordinary technologies while his tweaking was in progress. Even though it was disappointing to wait longer, the inventor’s commitment to ensuring the highest and best use of his breakthrough technology was encouraging.  


My journey as a solutionist has put me in many places and unusual situations that I never dreamed were possible. POWER UP shares some of those stories. They are just part of the adventure and mystery of life. They will also help illustrate the power of making a commitment to achieve any goal, no matter how big or seemingly impossible.