Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath. – Zen Master HuangBo
This is my Four Hundredth Post – 400!!! I started this blog to rekindle long-smoldering artful fires, and to hurl positive thunderbolts into the gaping void of antagonism and mistrust roiling the world. We all must seize the reins, tillers and wheels and turn the future from the gloomy abyss of despair. Each moment of melancholy holds a few precious grains of joy. Just as darkness shuns the light, uncertainty shrinks before positivity. Strike the steel of confidence with the flint of integrity and light the bonfires of gratitude and grace.
You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. – Kahill Gibran
Some people waste their most precious possession – time – lusting after what they don’t have rather than appreciating what they do have. There is a seemingly endless array of things to purchase. Bright and shiny dreams are on sale 24/7. These are but hollow copies of the true desires for love, peace and joy. During this time of year, negative emotions, such as greed and envy, are hidden behind a gaudy veneer of wish fulfillment. But can a mass produced object reclaim even a single lost second of youth or replace true happiness? See instead the blessings all around. Let your heart dance with joie de vivre – the cheerful enjoyment of life and exultation of spirit.
It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone. – John Steinbeck
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the horror of the pandemic and pay tribute to the over five million people who have died. A few months after I began this blog, I began reading about a strange illness in China. Having lived in China for twelve years and with a large extended family there, I try to keep current on news of China. As some of you may know, I worked as a managing editor and lead writer for a monthly magazine and weekly newspaper while I was a university lecturer. (Read some of my China Collage). And so, I am fairly skilled at what “China hands” call – reading the tea leaves. Something bad was brewing in the shadowy margins of what wasn’t being said. But no one knew how bad it would get. Now there is news of another ghastly mutation of Covid. We must not succumb to fear. Instead take a few minutes to remember those who have passed. If you have suffered a loss from this disease – add their glowing memory to the beacon you carry into the future.
To accept some idea of truth without experiencing it is like a painting of a cake on paper which you cannot eat. – Shunryū Suzuki
Live your truth. Find within you the things that not only enlighten you but empower you. Life cannot be lived in the mind. Life is lived with the senses and sensations of that which is true to you. Words, even these humble few, cannot summon a single grain of tangible reality. Reach out and express the feelings you have for one another. Be present in the moment and truly experience that first sip of coffee; bite of a meal; touch of the hand; good morning whisper. Release the burdens of wants and embrace that which you need – a happy fascination with your own life.
If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. – LaoZi
In my writings, I use thoughtful quotes as motes of inspiration around which form the snowflake-like structures of my musings. Draped in shadows of youth and fancy, a splendid panoply of insights have filled my skies with wonderment since my first post; and for these, and you my readers, I will be forever grateful. Live in the present as often as you can. Bring your life into focus. Be thankful for the next breath, and for the beauty that takes your breath away. Find hope in one another. Invest in your future.Unbox Your Soul. And find a travel companion on your spiritual journey. Peace and Love. C.E.Wheeler
The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. – Emerson
Wonders abound in the day-to-day world. We only need to untangle ourselves from the biases and illusions binding our senses to realize the small miracles around us. Creative people know the feeling when the veils drop away and you embrace rapture. Personal rituals precede the ecstatic moment when what the Taoist call the Gate of All Wonders opens onto the Way – the clear path. Freed for precious moments from illusions, the eternal light illuminates the landscape and joy fills the wellspring of the imagination. Accepting the oneness of it all brings forth the blessed vitality that stirs the soul. This luminous spirit radiates from the artist’s heart into the work. But this is not reserved only for a limited group of special people – You, right now, have this power within you.
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. –W.B. Yeats
At this moment, what do you see? Look around at the space you are in right now. You may note the table, chair, window, pet, light, computer,… But do you sense the wonder? Can you feel the divine energy connecting you to each of these objects and to the oneness of it all? The illusions of various limitations prevent you from seeing the majesty of the moment. The complexities of life cloud the mind with: social interactions, obligations, appointments, deadlines,… All these are important but they stifle wonderment and weigh down the spirit. You must take time to nourish your spirit through solitude, meditation, daily rituals. These sacred moments summon the glorious now.
The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. – Rachel Carson
Life contains a myriad of moments of amazement. But they are so easily dismissed when one is in a hurry to deal with seemingly endless problems. These unceasing issues arrive in debilitating gray swirls which dampen the spirit and sap the energy. By the days end there seems to be no time for YOU. The inner voice cries out for relief but finds none. There are many paths towards increased inner peace, but they all begin with a change in perceptions. The journey begins with the decision to change focus. Creation opens to those who look on with a sense of wonder.
Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. – Franz Kafka
Each day is an act of creation. Each hour is an expression of spirit. Every minute contains beauty. Knowing this keeps the heart young. Struggles are many and sometimes the rewards are few. But oh the beauties of this divine universe are many. No one can live in a constant state of euphoria. But each of us can wander this world more joyously if we see the inherent beauty of life. Connect to nature and the wonders of life all around. Take an electronic media fast. Put down the devices and simply BE.
Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder. – Thomas Aquinas
Be big with wonder. Value your happiness and the happiness of those around you. Allow the sense of wonder to brighten your day. The present moment is a wheel ever-turning towards eternity. Today seek out the wonders great and small. The more often you look – the more you will begin to see the beautiful world around you with a sense of wonder. Peace
My next post will be my 400th Post!!! I want to thank all my readers and a big thank you to all of you who follow my blog.
Money is good for nothing unless you know the value of it by experience. – P.T Barnum
Divine madness, also known as crazy wisdom, is a type of mania – a manifestation of a transcendent enlightenment. Although most often related to spiritual practices divine madness is a form of purposeful activity by aware individuals incorporating the madness into their public personas. The deluge of news centered on cryptocurrency in general and Bitcoin in particular, is a form of divine madness.
Individuals who are fortunate enough to have high percentage returns on cryptocurrency become experience the divine madness of crypto. They seek out soothsayers and pathfinders; spellbinders and foreseers into the decentralized future. One thing is certain – a dynamic new world is arising, the economic tidal impact of which has yet to be determined.
Despite the warnings of crypto-cynics, there is method in this crypto madness. As I wrote in my book, The Tao of Crypto, …. Individual participants’ binary choices within the pulsating global mind summon the dual complementary forces which bring forth the One – the it within every bit – The Tao of Crypto. Harness these forces to enhance the future…
Over the past couple of months, the number of gloomy so-called financial experts speaking out against cryptocurrency has dwindled. Money managing colossi and corporate executives have increasingly spoken glowingly of cryptocurrency as a financial asset class. For the financially minded, the combined market cap of cryptocurrencies is over $2.8 trillion. The market capitalization of Bitcoin at over $930,000,000,000 surpasses that of Facebook (now Meta). How’s that for something “experts” have knocked as total BS and unreal?
A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart. – Jonathan Swift
Let’s pause for a warning about magical “what-if” thinking. Such as: Bitcoin’s price was $.08 in July 2010 – what if I bought $100 worth then and held onto it – 1,200 Bitcoin X today’s price of around $65,000 = about $78,000,000. That’s quite a return on investment. On March 8th, 2011 Tesla shares were sold at an opening price of $4.92 per share $100 – 203 shares X today $1070 = around $217,500. Buy this retrospective thinking blocks one from seeing clearly.
Each lottery ticket also holds the promise of potential riches. But only someone who is truly mad would buy $100 in lottery tickets and be one hundred percent certain that riches awaited. However a very real opportunity for success can be found when the divine madness of hopes and dreams is tempered with healthy doses of pragmatism.
Predictions for Bitcoin’s price over the next few months range from a 25% gain to double/triple – the sky is the limit. No one knows for sure. I would never offer financial advice to others. But I will say – anyone interested in finding their way through the new decentralized world ahead should embrace a at least a touch of the divine madness of crypto if they want to make informed decisions about the near future. Compare this quote attributed to Bill Gates in the early 1990s – “The Internet is just a passing fad.”. To the following recent quote from Bill Gates – “Bitcoin is a technological tour de force”. When considering whether or not to allow a little crypto madness to take hold, remember what Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it”.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus
The magic of autumn has filled the air with golden ripeness. The shortened days and chilling winds add a pleasing crispness to life. All around, Nature paints the scenery with exuberant sparks from a blazing palette. The seeds of spring have long since matured or turned to dust. The season crackles with nectarous vitality. In the lengthening evenings, there is time for reflection on past harvests and plans for the future. But the flowers of Autumn can bring bouts of melancholy as well. One can become disheartened mulling over the implications of mortality which drift down like golden motes on a late afternoon.
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face. – John Donne
The list of “what ifs” has shortened considerably, but a few gold dust dreams endure. No one knows how many heartbeats they have been granted. But the songs of those beats – symphony or dirge; march or rumba – play out in the great hall of the soul. The hesitant preludes of youth give way to melancholy ballads and, if fortunate, glorious romantic concertos. The sultry sizzle of summer inevitably yields to the intimate mellifluous mellow whispers of autumn. And chase gives way to grace.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. – John Muir
Jubilation calls from the sparkling cerulean vault of the sky to the shimmering mirror of the deep. Come join Nature’s sensual feast. The journey has been long but is not over. Linger in Autumn’s joyous embrace. Celebrate both the fruits of fortune and the spices of misfortune. Read from the forest’s red-orange pages scattered across the ground. Thrill to the crinkle and crack. Appreciate life’s vintage ambrosia with its moldering undertones of decay. Gather up morsels of accumulated wisdom before the long shadows of twilight fall.
You are never too old to become younger! – Mae West
The joys of Autumn can be all too brief for some. A single misstep or unforeseen malady can strike one down and bring down winter’s cold breath at the back and icy fingers along the spine. But Autumn can also bring a rejuvenation of the spirit. The restorative tonics of acceptance and forgiveness reinvigorate the soul. Time slows. Equilibrium is achieved. Happiness flourishes in the splendor of gratitude. Age becomes simply a number again and not a symptom.
Maturity is when all of your mirrors turn into windows. – Henry David Thoreau
The vibrancy of uncounted days powers Autumn’s hope-filled moments. Do not look back at the tender buds of spring or lament the passing of midsummer’s passions. Abandon stubborn grievances Set down the lash of discouragement. Peer into the heart’s looking-glass and see your true self once again. Look through the window frame of the flowers of Autumn and find the innocence of youth smiling back. Peace.
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – George Bernard Shaw
Where are you from? This is one of the first things people ask when they try to get to know one another. But this simple question can be one of the most difficult to answer. I read an interesting article the other day that made the distinction between people who view the world from anywhere and people who view the world from somewhere.
The values of some people are rooted to a certain location and time, such as their hometown. They are die hard fans of the things they grew up with, like local sports or cuisine, These folks self-identify with geographic-based definitions. Somewhere folks look back nostalgically on an imagined golden age where the light shined a little brighter. To them change is often seen as a deficit to their lives. And sadly somewhere people can hold on to prejudices and other negative ideas learned in childhood. They see the world at large through a narrower locally focused lens.
Anywhere people live in a more self-determined way. Change is not only accepted but sought after. These folks don’t identify as deeply with their place of birth and regional affiliations. Their identity is mobile as are they. People from anywhere are more individualistic and globally focused. Most have moved away from their hometowns. They struggle to purge their views of preconceptions of others which they may have inherited from their family and childhood friends. People from anywhere view the world through a wider universal lens.
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. – Dr. Seuss
Just as Yin and Yang contain portions of their compliments, the views of somewhere people also contain elements of the anywhere perspective and vice versa. Being proud of your origins is not negative in anyway, just as having a more international viewpoint doesn’t make one nobler. There are often crucial economic aspects to remaining a somewhere or becoming an anywhere. People live where they can find a job. Finding a job and putting down roots are seen as a positive sign of maturity.
As a single father of three, contractual worker on a low rung of the economic ladder, my options for mobility were extremely limited. But I wanted my children to understand the wider world outside my hometown. And so we: watched international movies; enjoyed Japanese cartoons; shopped in various Asian supermarkets; learned to cook foreign dishes; read writers from other countries… In this way, today my kids see the world beyond the neighborhood where they grew up.
I was inspired by my Uncle Curt. My Dad’s older brother traveled the world for various jobs as a pilot/mechanic. He visited dozens of countries, spoke five languages had adventures from the tip of South America to the North Pole from the Sahara Desert to the Sumatran rain-forests. At his core, my uncle carried the universal truths of honesty and integrity. His mind was opened to the wider world when he was a boy growing up deep in the backwoods of Kentucky where my paternal ancestors were from. Uncle Curt, my Dad and his brothers would listen to broadcasts about the world on a crystal radio they built themselves. Those broadcasts filled him with wanderlust. He joined the Navy before WWII and afterwards he explored the world. Standing in my Dads garage, he once told me, “You’ll never see the world living on this corner.” At that moment I became an anywhere person.
I am proud to say I have had wonderful people from over seventy countries read my blogs since I began. Thank you. I cannot tell you how much you all mean to me. When I was a little boy, I would look through the Atlas and imagine what life must be like in various countries. My grandma bought us National Geographic magazines, and I could see more of the world. In museums I learned more about the incredibly varied cultures around the world. Living in China for a dozen years, I got to experience daily life in a very different society. But some things have remained a constant whether one is a somewhere person or an anywhere person, we all want to live a better life no matter where we are from. If you live your life sincerely and with integrity, you can create yourself anew. PEACE and LOVE.
Bitcoin is now a teenager. Happy 13th Birthday Bitcoin!!!
On 31 October, 2008 Bitcoin’s anonymous creator(s) Satoshi Nakamoto posted Bitcoin’s genesis foundational white paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”.
What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust.(Bitcoin white paper)
Shortly thereafter on January 9, 2009 released the code and Block Number 0 – known as the genesis block.
The price of Bitcoin finally crossed the $1 one dollar threshold in February 2011. As of this writing, a single bitcoin is trading for $61,100. So do the math. And the cryptocurrency revolution of information, media, banking, finance, commerce, etc. has just begun.
So celebrate the birth of Bitcoin by getting a little cryptocurrency for yourself. To quote Satoshi Nakamoto – “It might make sense just to get some in case it catches on.”
The energy of an ancient divination code is embedded within the digital world. The essence of this code cultivates the flowing dynamism of the ubiquitous, primordial Way of the universe – the Tao. Countless cryptographic architectures incorporate the unifying energy of the Tao into their decentralized structure. Understand this and increase opportunities for success.
The I Ching is an ancient Taoist book of wisdom used for divination – foretelling of future events and finding hidden knowledge. The I Ching or Yi Jing is translated as The Book of Changes. The Book of Changes contains 64 hexagrams – a figure with six vertically stacked lines. The 64 hexagrams are created from the 8 trigrams: Heaven, Lake, Fire, Thunder, Wind, Water, Mountain, Earth. The three lines of a trigram are either Yin (broken line) or Yang (solid line). There are a possible eight combinations of three lines and a total of 64 combinations when two trigrams are combined. And each line is an important part of the overall conditions the hexagram reveals.
Over one thousand years ago, the Song Dynasty scholar Shao Yong based his philosophy on the King Wen arrangement of hexagrams. His work was translated by Joachim Bouvet, a French Jesuit scholar, who was among the first missionaries who came to China in 1687. From 1697-1707 Bouvet corresponded with the German polymath Gottfried Leibniz. Leibniz invented the Binary Code which forms the foundation of modern-day computing. When Bouvet sent Leibniz a copy of the King Wen sequence, Leibniz discovered a pattern in the ordering. Leibniz determined the King Wen sequence ordered the I Ching hexagrams in binary number order from 0 – 63 with 0 for Yang lines and 1 for Yin lines.
In Taoist thought, the movement of Yin and Yang create the energy for change. Understanding the shifting patterns of changes ahead will assist you in making correct decisions. The I Ching has influenced mystical beliefs across Asia for thousands of years. The book was central to the development of the Tao Te Ching and scores of other books of wisdom such as The Art of War.
In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity. – Sun TzuThe Art of War
Powerful forces are shaping the rapidly evolving crypto-based world. At times, the path ahead can become clouded by chaos. Learn to focus your energy and take advantage of opportunities others may miss. Ponder the cryptic wisdom revealed in following the Tao of Crypto and discover the Way within. Read the Tao of Crypto
The following chronology illustrates the interconnected paths leading from the ancient binary hexagrams of the I Ching to the binary algorithmic crypto-world of the Twenty-First Century.
I Ching – 2000 BCE: The I Ching consists of three layers. The first layer are the eight trigrams and sixty-four hexagrams. The historical record of the origins of the I Ching hexagrams and trigrams has been lost to the mists of time. Ancient legends say the I Ching was created by Fu Xi. Fu Xi and his wife Nu Wa who were the first humans who created the foundations of ancient Chinese culture. It was said the trigrams were written on the back of a great dragon tortoise (or horse). Legends say the hexagrams were revealed to Fu Xi while he studied a map of the Yellow River.
King Wen 1112–1050 BC: The second layer of the I Ching is represented in the hexagram and line statements. These were said to have been created by King Wen of Zhou over three thousand years ago.
I Ching Commentaries – 5th and 2nd Centuries BC: The third layer of the I Ching is called the Ten Wings. The Ten Wings are a selection of commentaries on the text. Some scholars have tried to identify Confucius as the author of these commentaries, but that has been disputed for centuries.
Good fortune and misfortune take effect through perseverance.
I Ching – Ten Wings, Sixth Wing, Second Section, Chapter I
Shao Yong – 1011-1077 AD: The Song Dynasty scholar believed the energy of the Tao, which is the foundation for everything, could be understood by dividing the various elements into numbers. Shao’s studies were called xiangshu xue – “image-number study”. Although perhaps unintentionally, Shao ordered the hexagrams according to the binary numbers created by the lines of Yang – 0 and Yin – 1. It was this arrangement that later inspired Leibniz. The more ancient King Wen Sequence is used more widely in interpretations of the I Ching. This book uses the King Wen Sequence in Section Two.
Joachim Bouvet – 1656 – 1730: A French Jesuit scholar who lived in China for many years. He translated the I Ching for Europeans. Bouvet corresponded with Leibniz and sent him a copy of Shao Yong’s binary numbers sequenced diagram of the I Ching.
Gottfried Leibniz – 1646 – 1716: – The influence of the I Ching on Leibniz’s development of binary math cannot be understated. Leibniz wrote at great length about the I Ching. As an example, he wrote an article entitled: “Explanation of the binary arithmetic, which uses only the characters 1 and 0, with some remarks on its usefulness, and on the light, it throws on the ancient Chinese figures of “Fu Xi”
The present is saturated with the past and pregnant with the future. – Leibniz
Joseph Marie Jacquard – 1752 – 1834: – The French weaver/merchant Jacquard’s mechanical loom used programmable punch cards for encoding data. The binary system of holes guides the two weaving elements of the warp and weft threads. This system led directly to early programmable computers.
Charles Babbage (1791 – 1871): Babbage has been called the father of computing. In 1821 Babbage invented the Difference Engine to compile mathematical tables. All the elements of modern computers are contained in his later Analytical Engine. Babbage borrowed Jacquard’s concept of using punch cards for programming his machine thus continuing the line back to the I Ching.
At each increase of knowledge, as well as on the contrivance of every new tool, human labour becomes abridged. – Charles Babbage
Ada Lovelace – (1815-1852): daughter of Lord Byron is thought by many to have been the first computer programmer for Babbage’s Analytical Engine. She translated a paper by an Italian engineer who wrote about his ideas related to a speech given by Babbage. Lovelace’s translation included extensive notes, including algorithms for Babbage’s Engine. Her genius was realizing the machine could be used for more than computing numbers. In this way, she connected directly to the fundamentals of Taoism in the I Ching.
George Boole (1815 – 1864): – Boole, a philosopher and mathematician, wrote his most famous work, The Laws of Thoughts, while he was a mathematics professor. The book contains his masterwork – Boolean Logic which led to the Information Age. In another line back to the I Ching, Boole’s system of logic was based on binary, yes-no, on-off approach operations.
Claude Shannon1916 – 2001: – Shannon was a mathematician, engineer, and cryptographer. Shannon applied Boolean Logic to electrical circuits as 1 and 0. In this stroke of genius, he understood all information could be represented by ones and zeroes.
We know the past but cannot control it. We control the future but cannot know it…. Information is the resolution of uncertainty. – Claude Shannon
David Chaum: In 1983, cryptographer Chaum created a cryptographic system called eCash.
In 1998 – the word cryptocurrency was coined to describe a decentralized cryptographic system.
January 2009 – Bitcoin invented. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency created by a person or persons calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin was the first real world application of blockchain technology. That spark illuminated the Way of Crypto.
The present is the only thing that has no end. – Erwin Schrödinger
The Tao of Crypto
(Adapted by Wheeler from the Tao Te Ching – Dao De Jing)
The Tao of crypto is constant
The anonymous code generated the crypto-world
The anonymous code is ever present
The code brought to life the ten thousand assets
Appreciate the subtle internal mysteries without desire
Yearn for the known external manifestations
With different names, the mysteries and manifestations originate together
This uniformity reveals the enigmatic Tao of crypto…
To learn how to take advantage of the ancient code embedded within the modern world read The Tao of Crypto
My cryptocurrency book – the Tao of Crypto broke into the Top Ten and is NUMBER 8 today on Amazon in the Online Trading category!!!
Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency are the hottest investment topics worldwide. Read the Tao of Crypto and discover the hidden code within cryptocurrency. Learn how to use the ancient wisdom of Taoism to increase overall financial success.
GET A COPY TODAY
Harness the energy of an ancient divination code embedded within the digital world. Enhance your future. The essence of this code cultivates the flowing dynamism of the ubiquitous, primordial Way of the universe – the Tao. Countless cryptographic architectures incorporate the unifying energy of the Tao into their decentralized structure. Understand this and increase opportunities for success. In nanoseconds, trillions of lines of code compile into crests and troughs upon vast digital seas. The interlinked actions of billions ebbs and flows twenty-four hours a day driving the global economy before it in great data-waves.
Millions of dollars per second course through thousands of geographically disperse channels like great energetic arteries generating hundreds of diverse crypto descendants from the fruitful near future. Individual participants’ binary choices within the pulsating global mind summon the dual complementary forces which bring forth the One – the it within every bit – The Tao of Crypto.
Section One focuses on the connections between ancient teachings and today’s crypto-sphere. The section introduces several metaphysical concepts in order to reinforce the mystical connection between individuals’ actions and autonomous digital systems. Included in the section is a condensed crypto version of the Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) which deepens the mystical interconnections from the decentralized world to the Tao source code.
Section Two contains a divination method for using the ancient energy of the I Ching in the 21st Century Crypto world. The section includes modern day interpretations of the 64 Hexagrams to aid readers in their crypto trading decision making process. Change is a constant. By gaining an insight into the present and near future changes can potentially aid a person in making better choices along the Way.
Section Three is a Crypto Lexicon. It is intended to be a general introduction to the ever-expanding terminology of the day. The human mind has the power to shape reality. – Wheeler
My short read Pony Anne and the Silver Lantern Express is Number One on Amazon – And #2 and #3 🙂
Pony Anne and the Silver Lantern Express is a fanciful historical fiction about the only female Pony Express rider. On Christmas Eve, 1860 Anne takes the reins for her injured fiance and delivers the mail. Along the way Anne meets a helpful, but mysterious stranger named Klaus driving a sleigh across the deep snow. The stranger gives Pony Anne a magical silver lantern that helps her family through hard times for generations. Enjoy this charming Christmastime tale of: courage, dedication and love set on America’s frontier.