Thursday, December 30, 2010


With help from the fabulous Jesse Jennings in the December SOM Magazine.

“Abundance is a state of consciousness. It’s knowing that your needs are easily and naturally met – that you can relax and express creatively and generously. You realize you don’t have to finesse life or work the angles in order to thrive. Nor do you need other people to be fastened onto for support, which allows relationships to breathe and be balanced, where each party is of equal value.

“Abundance is the feeling of being enough and experiencing inner contentment, even when seeking change and growth. Frantic acquisitiveness and conspicuous consumption are not at all signs of inner abundance consciousness,” but its opposite. “we are not what we have, or what we do. These things are merely temporal effects.”

“Abundance is a context in which we view ourselves and our world. Money isn’t the summary of abundance any more than a greeting card is the summary of one’s love and caring. Abundance is as universal as gratitude.” Be grateful for what is, being appreciative even for the things that you’d like to change. “Suspend any disbelief in the idea that there now is more than enough of everything for all people everywhere. Acknowledge one infinite, limitless Source that has emanating from within It an infinite array of re-Sources for our use as powerfully creative beings.”

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spirit and Matter

From the SOM Magazine reading for 12/25/10:

“The Spirit shall look out through Matter’s gaze and Matter shall reveal the Spirit’s face and all the Earth become a single life,” Sri Aurobindo.

“Christ is Universal Idea, and each one ‘puts on the Christ’ to the degree that s/he surrenders a limited sense of Life to the Divine Realization of wholeness and unity with Good, Spirit, God.” SOM Text, p 579

Now, this very moment, is the Christ born in me as I awaken to a deeper realization of my wholeness. Communing with my innermost being, I become attuned to my transcendent self. I see beyond what seems to be and am not misled by appearances, knowing separation is an illusion and not what is ultimately true, right now, in this moment.

I shift my perspective to that Truth. I release all sense of smallness, lack and limitation and know spirit is the source and essence of all and as Jesus said, meaning this as the truth for you and I, not just for himself, “I and my father are one.”

I practice in realizing this truth and seeing beyond the appearances of separation: lack, fear, limitation and scarcity. I am ever more receptive to the gifts of goodness, love and peace that are my birthright, and yours, as a child of God. Surrendering any sense of myself as limited or separate, I celebrate a glorious renewal of my life and the way before me is made straight and grace filled.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An alternative to the ego

God’s teachers – you and I when we know who we are, beings connected to spirit and thus because spirit is back of and within everything and everyone – represent another choice, which has been forgotten, an alternative to the ego. When Jesus the great example and way-shower, not the idol we have made of him, healed the sick, he did not heal them, but reminded them of the remedy God had already given them. So, too, our holiness blesses, by asking nothing of another. Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.

With ego, because ego is the separation from source, and therefore lack and scarcity personified, if we look honestly at our relationships, we’ll realize we’re always making demands because we’re always feeling something’s missing, which of course, it is. Sometimes it’s quite obvious, others it’s quite subtle. The sense of lack must be there as long as I believe I’m an individual, separate from God and each other, and I do believe that, I do, I do, I do. As long as this underlying belief remains uncorrected, it will generate a continual need to fill up what is missing, to substitute material things for spiritual lace.

But when I fill myself with spirit, or better, allow the spirit that’s already there to enter my awareness, when I identify with holiness, I ask nothing of anyone because I am everything and have everything. Having and being are the same. Healing the sick and saving the world really means saving myself from the belief that there is a world. Since all minds are joined in the holiness of spirit, if my mind is healed in any given instant, the world’s mind is healed, too.

None of this is completely understandable from the world’s perspective and can’t make sense within our experience here. It can be grasped and understood only by giving up everything I think I know and believe and go above the battlefield with spirit, to be with spirit and have spirit as my teacher. From there I can look back on the world and see it differently, realizing what has to be saved are my thoughts about the world, which result from my thoughts about myself.

Friday, December 24, 2010

What is born on Christmas Day

The babe born on Christmas day, the light of the world, the star that guided the wise men is awareness – awareness of our, and everyone’s, reality as spirit - mindfulness – awakening to the truth that we are spirit first, then physical. It’s not necessary wait for Christmas to do this, or do it once a year. In fact, that’s blasphemy. Christ consciousness, the awareness of the benign blessings and the absence of the ego’s fear, loathing and hatred, is always there in the manger of our everyday consciousness, calling out to us, a pure innocent babe, wanting to be nurtured. It’s not for some people, the baptized, or for a special day, Christmas, but for all human beings all the time. Jesus was and wanted to be, the great example, not the great exception. We are, right now, as holy as he was. “Greater things than this shall you do also,” he said.

And in Lesson 37 in the Workbook of his Course, he gives us this affirmation: “My holiness blesses the world.” He’s not telling us that we should bless the world outside us, for that would contradict everything he’s been teaching so far in his Course. Rather, he is teaching the world is nothing more than a mirror of out thoughts; saying that if we choose his blessing – within our minds, which is all that is truly real - our minds, not our brains – and see ourselves as holy because we have joined with him, because holy and loving and all-inclusive is all he is - there is no duality or judgment, guilt or blame in spirit, holiness will automatically extend through us and envelop everything se see.

Our purpose is to see the world through our own holiness. The problem is that we see the world through our own un-holiness, as separated ego/bodies whose mission in life is to protect and preserve our separate specialness. Our focus is to be on our thoughts and which teacher we’re allowing to guide us, not on the world. The world is only a reflection of our thoughts.

If we see things we don’t like in the world, we need to realize we’ve been looking with ego, go back into our minds, and ask spirit to help restore us to our right minds. Fixing things in the world without going inside and connecting with spirit first, will not work, because we’re still coming from ego. It’s like trying to fix an out of focus movie by going up to the screen. It’s the projector, our minds, that needs to be adjusted.

The principle is: ideas leave not their source. If my holiness is the source, the idea of the world must be holy as well. The ideas that comprise our perceptual world are merely the projected self image that has its source, either spirit or ego, in our minds, and thus what is projected out always remains within.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Claiming the good

Ervin Seale said, “It is the light of the mind which determines whether you see confusion and limitation or whether you see order and abundance.” I’m not sure who Mr. Seale was, but those are wise words. Page 406 of the SOM text continues Seals’s theme: “We must learn to think in the Absolute. This means to think independently of any given or experienced effect.”

We’ve just past the Winter Solstice, the day the sun shines least, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In actuality, the sun is always shining, whether or not we can see it, just as spirit is always present no matter what appearances and conditions may suggest. We’ve got to look beyond appearances of disharmony and lack and realize that omnipresent spirit is always shining in our lives.

Just as daylight may last for a shorter or longer time, depending on the time of year tho the sun is always shining, so spirit is always shining in our lives, even when it does not appear to be. I now claim spirit as the cause and essence of my life and see beyond the darkness of temporary appearances.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I could see peace instead of this

Course Lesson 34: the affirmation: “I could see peace instead of this,” is an appeal to the decision maker within that hears both the still small voice of spirit and the raucous shrieks of the ego, to choose spirit, even tho the ego speaks first and loudest, and even tho we identify most completely with the external reality of the ego world. It’s an inside-out job. “It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.” No peace within the mind, no peace in the world. To ask for external peace is to have first made the ego’s world of conflict within real, then projected it out.
There is no world apart from the way the decision maker perceives it and how s/he perceives it depends on which teacher we’re using, spirit or the ego. What matters as a student of the Course is correcting how I perceive, which I involves correcting how I think, which in turn involves correcting my choice of teachers. I can affirm: “I could see peace instead of this,” and/or “I could see spirit instead of this.”

It’s important to be mindful and aware of our unloving thoughts and not deny, hide or suppress them. This is a big part of the process. I want to look at the darkness and bring it to the light. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false.”

In other words, you can’t let a thought go if you’re not aware of it. And, you can’t let it go unless you have something to let it go to, have chosen spirit as your teacher/guide. It’s a process of mindfulness, watching my mind and noting my ego/cloud/thoughts floating by and noting them casually, without making a big deal about them. As soon as I make a big deal about them, or judge some better than others, I’m making them real and thinking with ego. Choosing not to look also makes them into a big deal, because it usually means I’ve taken them so seriously, I’m afraid to look at them.

Taking things lightly, slowly, steadily and gently is the kind of mindfulness process we want to practice. As soon as we experience ourselves taking things too, seriously or making a big deal about them, which I do often, we want to remember to say, “I could see peace in this situation instead of what I see now,” or, “I could see spirit in this situation instead of what I see now.” I’ve been saying this a lot lately, especially as I hear about what our Republican friends in the Senate are doing, and it helps a lot. Try it; it works equally well with Democratic friends, with family members and co-workers, too.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spirit's view an alternative to Ego's view

The alternative to the ego’s view of the world is spirit’s view. It’s knowing it’s all still just clouds and getting involved with some of them, but also knowing by intuition – the still small voice within, the sun behind the ego/cloud/thoughts, that “there is something, beyond what we have so far consciously experienced in this world,” SOM Text, p 465. It’s understanding that the experience of limitation results from not calling forth the greatness that is my, and your, true nature that usually lies dormant.

I can decide right now, as you can, to call forth my greatness and move beyond my comfort zone, and freeing myself from perceived, most imagined limits, enter into the new and unknown loving relationship with spirit in the world. I can turn from the ego’s fear, lack and limitation expand and extend my awareness of my oneness with a loving, all-good spirit, and allow that to manifest here, in the world.

Realizing that spirit is my true nature and essence, I now call forth my wondrous gifts, talents and abilities! I know that the more I call upon these gifts and abilities, the more fully they come forth into expression. Such is the primacy of thought and awareness of the still small voice, not external conditions. I cultivate my awareness of my partnership with spirit by consciously aligning my thoughts, feelings and actions with all that is great and magnificent, turning from all that is hateful, mean-spirited and fearful and keeping my eyes fixed on my, and everyone’s, larger possibilities. Now I dare to dream big, and invite you to do so also, and to join with me in contributing to a world that works for everyone and everything.

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's a process

Lesson 31 in the Course: “I am not the victim of the world I see.”

This is about betting it all on black, about being completely in my ‘right mind,’ about shifting from the ego’s projection of guilt to spirit’s extension of forgiveness and love – the key to the practice of A Course in Miracles. It’s about being with spirit, only. If I’m not the victim of the world I see, then I’m entirely with spirit and need no defenses.

In traditional psychology, if I am without defenses I would be thought to be psychotic, and from the ego’s perspective on the world that would be true. To be completely identified with the Love of God is indeed a form of psychosis as the world sees it, because it goes against everything judged to be reality. I don’t want to be considered insane and tho I long to bet it all on black, don’t really feel I can. I’m not about to walk in front of a moving car or give all my money away.

But I can, moment by moment, choose to be with spirit instead of ego; choose to be guided by intuition and the still small voice of spirit, and make the moment to moment choosing a habit. This is being mindful. This is knowing the ego always speaks first and loudest and to repent, to choose again, before acting. It’s living with a pause, and allowing my true reality to manifest. It’s not judging myself or beating myself up for having an ego, but rather saying, “oops, there I go again,” and choosing to see things differently, with spirit and experience that reality here.

It’s about recognizing the primacy of thought, that my thoughts alone are important, not the world outside. It’s the mindfulness of watching the images my imagination presents to my awareness and allowing them to drift in and out, like clouds across the face of the sun, and realizing that I’ll see shapes and meaning in some clouds, but that they’re still only clouds. That’s what I’m endeavoring to do and from that relatively egoless, guilt free, non-judgmental place to make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything.

But, and oh, God help me with this, I’ve got to remember it’s a process! It’s not done once and for all; oh no, that would be too, easy. It’s an ongoing, never ending process, each moment a new choice. And tho looking at this as something I’ve got to do each moment for the rest of my life is daunting, it’s also comforting to know that its cumulative, that it is a process and I’m building new spiritual, mental, emotional and physical habits, that it gets easier each time, and in fact, some moments take care of themselves without me having to choose.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A new kind of projection

Lesson #30 in the Course Workbook: “God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.”

“Today we are trying to use a new kind of ‘projection.’ We are not attempting to get rid of what we do not like by (projecting it and) seeing it outside.” Remembering that we look within first and choose either spirit or the ego as our guide, this lesson is about extension, about choosing spirit as our guide and extending our reality as spirit’s love, the other half of the dynamic of looking within, and having that affect what we see outside.

With projection I see my sinfulness and guilt for accepting the separation from God as real, judge against it, and project it onto others, thus creating a world of specifics to have someone and something else to blame for having separated from, and denied my source.
I seek to get rid of what I don’t like within, literally making up the world, “thus were specifics made.” It is this that I want to forgive and be forgiven for.

Now we are to learn about forgiveness and experience a new kind of projection - extension, in which we take the love we first looked at within – the love of spirit which we really are because there is no way we could separate from God, and have it extend so we see it and not guilt and fear, all around us. Unlike projecting our imagined guilt, with extension I do not see love as separate from me. Spirit’s love, which is first seen within, when I accept my reality as spirit and choose spirit as my guide, is now experienced in everyone and everything, regardless of the veils of fear and hate I use to unconsciously conceal it. I experience the love and oneness of spirit in everyone and everything because I have first experienced it in myself – God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.

This is the shift from ego to what the Course calls our ‘right minds,’ from the ego’s projection of guilt to spirit’s extension of forgiveness and love – the key to the practice of A Course in Miracles. “We are trying to see in the world what is in our minds, and what we want to recognize there” - what I want to recognize, what I choose to recognize there – a world that works for everyone and everything. “Perception seems to teach what you see. Yet it but witnesses to what you taught (and the teacher you chose). It is the outward picture of a wish; an image that you wanted to be true.”

So, what do I want to be true? Who do I want to be my teacher, spirit or ego? And what about you, what do you want to be true? Who do you want to be your teacher, spirit or ego? Do you want to contribute to a world that works for everyone and everything, or one that works only for true believers such as yourself, and the rich, powerful and politically connected?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

God is in everything I see

Lesson 29 in the Workbook of a Course in Miracles says, “God is in everything I see.” This does not mean that God is literally found in the materiality we see around us. It means that the purpose of God – forgiveness, is in everything I see. Everything I see offers the opportunity to awake to my reality as a spiritual being having an earthly experience, as you are, too, and to know that I am one with, and connect to spirit. To see as the Course means it, has nothing to do with the body’s eyes, but with the mind, not the brain. To see, as the Course means it, to have vision, means I have chosen spirit as my teacher and see from the inside out with Its eyes.

Since the inner and outer are the same, what I perceive outside is a projection, like a movie on a movie screen, nothing more than a shadow of what I have first perceived within, a reflection of the teacher I have chosen. When the Course says, “God is in everything I see,” it means God is in everything I think, because seeing and thinking are the same: perception comes from thoughts, and remains one with them.

“God is in everything I see,” because I have chosen spirit’s inner vision, forgiveness, not blaming nor feeling guilt for making the error of outside-in thinking real. I am centered in the present moment, empty and free of past beliefs and constraints, ready to be filled, open to the all encompassing, loving reality of just being with nothing to prove or to do, like the lilies of the field. Looking with vision, I forgive and am forgiven, seeing God in everything because I have fired the ego as my teacher, and hired spirit. I let go of my pathetic attempts to control things and instead, bet it all on black – on spirit, hoping, no knowing, that, that’s what’s best for all concerned, the only possible way to build a world that works for everyone and everything.

“Resign now as your own teacher for you were badly taught,” the Course says. Boy, that’s right! “God is in everything I see,” means the opportunity to forgive, awake and experience God in everything I see, is present if I choose to accept it. Everything offers this opportunity, everything, good, bad and in between, it’s all the same to spirit; only I in my ego ‘wisdom’ arrogantly choose to label some things good and others bad. The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. Everything I experience is an opportunity to learn to look on all things with love, to know spirit’s reality and mine as one with it, to identify with love, to look with appreciation on the world because I see in it the opportunity to learn that I am forgiven and that the ego can be undone.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Economics of Abundance

Inspired by two articles in the October issue of Ode Magazine.

Scarcity is the central principle of economics. How do we handle something we have too little of, like money or food, and how can the cost and price it best? We take this way of looking at things as normal and never question it. But, what are the effects, the cost/benefit ratio of this focus on scarcity? Most metaphysical systems say what you focus on and think about with deep feeling is what manifests in your life. What would happen if we focused on the abundance of the universe instead? In just one growing season, plants yield a return of thousands of percent. Trees take a little longer, but once they’ve grown, they shower us with revenue. The law of the cosmos is abundance, one big celebration of giving and pleasure.

Sure, in most parts of the world, nature’s abundance is seasonal; so we learn to cope by balancing it with scarcity; to fill our storehouses during the seven years of abundance to tide us over the seven lean years – as Joseph taught Pharaoh. Still, an emphasis on balance is different than an emphasis on scarcity, just as an economic model based on balance would be different than one based on scarcity.

An economics of balance might be more inclusive, less harsh and punitive, and might create less of the gross imbalance between rich and poor. It might reduce or even eliminate the wide boom/bust cycles produced by the so-called ‘free market’; so called ‘free’ because it’s not really ‘free’ but full of government manipulation from the tax code to hidden subsidies. An emphasis on balance might require government manipulation to be more transparent, less subject to special interest influences and more favorable to the broad public interests of the vast majority of citizens, rather than to the interests of only a few.

From the metaphysical perspective, an economics of abundance, even allowing for seasonal fluctuations, would be best and even most realistic, because spirit/source is abundant and everywhere equally present. To rely on such power is the most sensible thing. But that’s not possible because we’re so full of fear, lack and scarcity thinking, we can’t even imagine the possibility of relying on manna, what God fed the Hebrews during the Exodus, and what Jesus tried to get us to see in the parable of the lilies of the field, that neither struggle nor toil, but are fed.

Yet a vital sense of ever present abundance and our oneness with it can inspire us to innovation and creativity and to brief moments when lack, limitation and scarcity are forgotten. From such moments of clarity and vision come our greatest breakthroughs and innovations. Such moments balance our fear, terror and anxiety about lack and turn us to an awareness of abundance, compassion and inclusiveness. From such moments we can build a model of economics that focuses on abundance, not just scarcity. From such moments we can contribute to building a world that works for everybody and everything.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Course Corrections 2

In an article in Ode Magazine, Amy Domini, wrote about something that really made me think, and feel guilty. Writing about garbage and trash disposal and Julia Hill’s question: where is away when I throw things away, Domini asks, “are we unwittingly destroying our own ecosystem” when we think and say, “throw it away?” Where is “away”? The world is an island, but a part of a universe. There is no “away.”

Tho I accept the idea that the world is an island, in practice I throw lot’s of stuff “away,” and hadn’t connected this behavior with the idea that there is no away. As I read Domini’s article, I felt stupid, then guilty. I recycle and thought it was enough, what else could I do? The article suggested more things that could be done, most of which I thought were too much effort for too little return. But it’s still a marvelous question, not just for thinking about throwing away physical garbage, but mental and emotional “garbage” as well – where is away?

What do I do with the thoughts, ideas, feelings and emotions I consider to be garbage? Do I ‘stuff’ ‘em, suppress ‘em, deny, disown and project them, blaming others for my shit? Is it shit at all? Can it be used for fertilizer? Is the way I think and feel sometimes toxic, polluting my life and others’ lives? Are the thoughts and feelings I label “garbage” really garbage at all? What if I could stop labeling them as “garbage” and start seeing them as incentives, motivation and catalysts calling for a course correction?

Yes, I’d like to see my garbage differently, am ‘working’ on that, and perhaps in 75% of the cases, I am able to see it differently. But the rest of it, the remaining 25% of my physical, mental and emotional stuff really is garbage and does have to be thrown away. What then? Just stopping, works for a lot of it. Buying things that last longer and have less packaging to throw away, giving up painful thoughts and feelings and turning them over to source, these are non-toxic ways to throw away my garbage. Most effective so far for me, is simply being aware of what’s not working, that is not leading where I want to go and changing, making the necessary course corrections as quickly as the need for them arises.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Course Corrections

More inspiration from the SOM reading for 12/10/10:

“There is One Supreme Intelligence which governs, guides and guards, tells me what to do, when to act and how to act.”

When a plane is in the air, or a ship is at sea, they frequently drift off course, but by continuously making course corrections, the captain arrives at the destination. Continuous course corrections are a routine part of getting there. That’s what I’m blogging about. To me, our shared, common destination, as individuals, members of communities, nations and planetary citizens, is not just to have enough, safety and love for ourselves, but, without sacrificing ourselves, to contribute, in our own way, with our own heartfelt gifts, to building a world that works for everyone and everything.

We live most successfully and joyously with an eye on our destination, understanding that when we see fear, prejudice, inequality and injustice, that’s our cue for making course corrections as individuals, members of communities, nations and planetary citizens. A course correction isn’t a condemnation or a judgment calling for punishment, nor is it even a failure, it’s just a course correction, same as the captains of ships and planes make all the time. We’re the captains, especially in a democracy, if we don’t make the course corrections, we might find ourselves arriving at a destination we’re not happy with.

When I veer off course and my life ceases to feel meaningful or engaging, I try to see that situation as an opportunity to make a course correction. I ask, “What is truly important to me as an individual, member of various communities, the nation and a planetary citizen? What’s my destination, my purpose? What is the One Supreme Intelligence which governs, guides and guards, telling me to do, how to act and when?”

Course corrections are inevitable, everyone must make them. In the midst of making one, when I feel scared, confused or overwhelmed, if I simply allow myself to be still, allow the spaciousness of Source surrounding me to become real to me, I make room for the awareness of who I truly am – a spiritual being having an earthly experience – I can hear the response of Spirit. Think of the need for course corrections as the deep Self calling Itself forth into fuller expression. My life is God’s life expressing. I am always being guided into the right and perfect expression of that life. I am on the right course, right now, making corrections as needed.

Friday, December 10, 2010


A little humor – high quality puns.

1. King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war
with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the
Euphrates , the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he
went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.
Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."
"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know
who I am? I am the king!"
Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who
you are."

2. Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid
bowlers.. Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a
fire, ...and so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

3. A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted, "Doctor! I think
I'm shrinking!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll
just have to be a little patient."

4. A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered
dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of
seagulls. One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out
and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the
road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them.
Immediately, he was arrested and charged with-- transporting gulls across
sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

5. Back in the 1800's the Tate's Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to
produce other products, and since they already made the cases for
watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so
bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California
This, of course, is the origin of the expression -- "He who has a Tate's is lost!"

6. A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the
toilets and urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as
saying, "We have absolutely nothing to go on."

7. An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine
man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin
strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off,
chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the
medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief
shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

8. A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his
name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to
the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have
taken Leif off my census."

9. There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one
slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All
three became pregnant. The first two each had a baby boy. The one who
slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This just goes to prove
that... the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws
of the other two hides. (Some of you may need help with this one).

10. A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk
remedies with the assistance of a tribal Brujo who indicated that the
leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of
constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the Brujo
looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these,
you don't need enemas."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Be still and know

From the SOM (Science of Mind Magazine) reading for today, by Kathy Juline.

“To be still is to be conscious without thought. You are never more essentially, more deeply yourself than when you are still.” – Eckhart Tolle

If my mind or yours, is preoccupied with worry or we feel burdened with problems, this is a good time simply to be still and know. I can regain a conscious awareness of my true nature as Spirit, and you can, too, as I remove my attention from the mental activity of thinking and instead become rooted in being. Remember, we are human beings, not human doings.

Happiness and peace arise in me when I step out of the movement of thought and simply let myself be, opening to the quiet presence within. In this attitude of thoughtless presence, I am not forgetting or negating my current experiences. Rather I am seeing how much deeper I am than my personal story: I am rising above it. Through entering the silence of the present moment and simply being in it, I discover the true essence of my being.

A significant value of cultivating present moment awareness is the creativity that arises from it. The ideas, actions, and inspirations that spring from this awareness are the seeds of healing and peace. As I enter the quiet, inner space of my own beingness, something transcendent is bubbles up. Spiritual consciousness comes alive in my heart and mind, and the ‘I Am’ presence opens its mysteries of divine wisdom and love within me.

Try it; go within right now and allow the holy presence within to speak to you of your wholeness and perfection. Be still and know.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


From the SOM daily reading for 11/12, I’m finally getting around to sharing it! “It would be a wonderful experiment if the world [or even just me or you] would try to solve all of its [our] problems through the power of Spirit.”

The less I distinguish the spiritual realm from the material, the better off I am. Religion means to ‘bind back.’ Often this is taken to mean adhering to certain moral precepts and staying on the straight and narrow. But it means more than that. With every one of my thoughts, feelings and actions, I am binding to world back to its essence as spirit.

I’ve been taught that the way to succeed in life is to ferret out spiritual truth from amid the rubbish of material falsehood. This sets me to sorting, judging and weighing each component of my life for its spiritual worth – a very personal exercise, not to mention endless and unrewarding because I give as much power to what I’m sorting out as in, and so my energy dwindles. Being mindful is just simple awareness without sorting and judging. Being mindful, I can watch the binding back process at work, and see how I create meaning and experience from spirit.

If it’s all good and all God as I truly believe, why not be mindful, love what is (as Byron Katie says) - good or bad [after all, what seems good now may turn out not so good, and what seems bad now, may turn out quite good] and wrap spirit and matter up as one. Then, holding it all lightly, I can choose to be mindful and know it’s all good and all God and focus my mind and heart on what my heart and intuition guide me to.

This mindfulness process heals the sense of separation which is the only thing that really needs healing anyhow. And when my oneness with source is clearly known, that knowing and sense of peace, calm and loving what is, is reflected back in the material realm of daily doings. When I bet it all on black – live from the space of responsible, victimless, mindful oneness, not only is my own life better, but I’m contributing to building a world that works for everyone and everything.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


“If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice,” said the 13th century mystic Meister Echart, and he was correct. Gratitude is a powerful creative act. It is less an ending to a successful transaction and more the seed planter for all the exchanges of energy that follow it. Gratitude is proactive. When I feel it, I am not thanking any god or goddess, the way one would send a thank you note, I am declaring that right now, before anything has come to pass, I choose to stand in an attitude of arms-wide welcoming to a new reality. Being grateful in advance, embodies the new state or condition I am inviting, to allow it and lay down a carpet of thanks.

And so I am grateful for the great good present, but sleeping in the collective consciousness of the USA, even as I seek to awaken it to a greater flourishing. I gratefully release the following blocks to our goodness, knowing that our good will then manifest.

According to the Monitor, the US now accounts for 75% of NATO defense spending, up from just under half a decade ago, and still going up. Are we getting our money’s worth? Do we want to spend our money on this or something else?

Something else: in both two year and higher earned degrees, we have dropped from our formerly dominant position to 18th of 35 nations with the largest economies. We are the only nation of this group that is not increasing the percentage of degree holders. This impacts our ability to compete worldwide and even to take care of ourselves. 53% of future jobs will require an AA degree or higher. Yet only 68.8% of our youth are graduating from high school, with only 40% directly entering college, and 27% earning a 4 year degree.

In the recent election, Oklahoma voters gave what Leonard Pitts described as, “emphatic approval to a measure outlawing Sharia law – a strict and often brutal interpretation of Islamic religious strictures – in state courts. Sharia is not known to be a problem in Oklahoma, or anywhere else in the US, something even the bill’s backers concede.

“We move through a perilous time that demands serious consideration of serious issues, but we, profoundly unserious people that we are, fret instead about saving Oklahoma from Sharia law, solving a problem we do not and will not have,” while the serious problems go a-glimmering. “Thoughtful people ought to be alarmed.”

Who benefits from this state of affairs, from the status quo? How is it this small minority manages to keep the rest us at bay, losing ground while they prosper at our expense, and we could all, together, build a world that works for everyone and everything?

“One recalls,” Pitts says, “how Bush stood beneath a banner that crowed of a victory against terrorism. But to the degree Oklahoma accurately reflects our national mindset, it is the terrorists [and their domestic fear-mongering allies found more in one party than the other] who deserve to hoist that banner. America is scared stupid. Mission accomplished.”

Monday, December 6, 2010

David is Dead, Long Live David

David is on the cover of the National Geographic, and in a box it says: “Despite decades of searching, archaeologists had found no solid evidence that David or Solomon ever built anything.” And, “Maybe Goliath never existed,” says Garfinkel as he drives across the bridge over the brook of Elah where the famous confrontation is said to have taken place. “The story is that Goliath came from a giant city, and in the telling of it over the centuries, he became a giant himself. It’s a metaphor.”

“Tel Aviv University’s contrarian-in-residence Israel Finkelstein, who has made a career out of merrily demolishing assumptions,” such as those of archaeologist Eilat Mazar who claims to have found David’s palace and whose work is funded by two organizations – the City of David Foundation and the Shalem Center – dedicated to the literal truth of the Bible. According to Finkelstein, and the vast preponderance of science and scholarship, during David’s time Jerusalem was little more than a “hill-country village,” and David himself a raggedy upstart akin to Pancho Villa, and his legion of followers more like “500 people with sticks in their hands shouting and cursing and spitting – not the stuff of great armies of chariots described in the text.”

“Many archaeologists question whether the obsessive scramble to prove the biblical narrative is a healthy enterprise,” say the Geographic. “One of them, Tel Aviv University’s Raphael Greenberg, flatly states, ‘It’s bad for archaeology. What we’re supposed to contribute is a point of view that isn’t available from texts or preconceived notions of history – an alternative vision of the past: relations between rich and poor, between men and women. Something richer, in other words, than just validating the Bible.’”

“But does David, with all his metaphorical power, cease to matter if his deeds and empire are ultimately fiction? ‘Look,’ says Finkelstein, David’s dethroner, ‘when I’m doing research, I have to distinguish between the culture of David and the historical David. David is extremely important for my cultural identity. In the same way, I can celebrate the Exodus without seeing it as a purely historic event. David is alive. David is not a plaque on the wall, not even merely a leader of a tenth-centruy BC band. No. Much more than that.”

For me, too, and I suspect for many people as well. See the story I’m writing about him, Devorah, Saul and Solomon at:

Friday, December 3, 2010


Yesterday I wrote - Light has the power to overcome darkness; not by combating darkness, but by being exactly what it is: light. The light of love is always present, even when it does not at first appear. The eternal light shines in the life of each of us, even in times that seem darkest, like now. So here’s something for us to be proud of, a way the light is shining right now.

“With wealth comes responsibility to help make the world a better place,” Ted Turner said. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett agree. According to the Christian Science Monitor’s 11/22 issue, these attitudes “represent a particularly American vision of the common good – one that includes proclaiming a cause with all the moral fervor of an evangelist. It’s a vision that highlights stark differences between this country and the rest of the world. Even in today’s harsh economic climate, Americans as a whole gave about $304 billion in 2009, but that’s down from $315 billion in 2008.

“When Alexis de Tocqueville observed the peculiar traits of an emerging American society in the 1830’s, he noticed how Americans struggled to find a balance between their unprecedented commitment to individual liberty and the needs of the common good. It’s a struggle that continues, in many ways to define American political discourse to this day.”

De Tocqueville noted that Americans formed “voluntary associations” as a way to bridge the gap between the common good and the commitment to individual liberty. “Rooted in a deep ambivalence about the sweeping power of government,” these voluntary associations worked well for a long time.

But here’s where the light begins to fade and the darkness seeps in. Voluntary associations seem to be fading, see the book “Bowling Alone,” and transforming with the internet, so that more and more individuals are abdicating their responsibility for the common good, practically abandoning it to government at all levels and for profit corporations running prisons and hospitals, that used to be a community responsibility.

As this ‘professionalization’ of the common good has gone forward, costs have gone up, as might be expected, and starting with Proposition 13 in California, Americans are experiencing a tax revolt, as people refuse to pay for professional services and at the same time refuse to take responsibility for providing them. So, the common good goes begging. Corporations won’t do it for nothing, government can’t raise the money to pay for it and the private associations are disappearing.

If de Tocqueville were to come again, he would note that the struggle to balance the common good and individual liberty is being lost; deep ambivalence toward the sweeping power of government and the commitment to individual liberty is gaining and the common good is losing. So while philanthropy is a shining light and Americans lead the world in it, unfortunately we are in great need of it and it will never replace what is being lost as government retreats and private associations disappear.

But a little light, it need not be this way. We can still find ways to balance the common good and individual liberty, we can still build a world that works for everyone and everything.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I was planning to be more “positive” today. I’ve got an article on philanthropy from the Monitor I wanted to share and a great article from November’s SOM – Science of Mind, magazine. However, between the Wiki Leaks on Afghanistan and the President’s proposal to freeze Federal employee pay, and his refusal to stand up to the Republican terrorists and represent his amazingly silent middle class constituency, I’m rarin’ to rant again.

But before I do, the SOM reading for today by Kathy Juline, will add some balance and indeed get at my spiritual truth, and I hope yours as well, the truth I really want to actualize. She begins with this from the SOM text: “Light has the power to overcome darkness; not by combating darkness, but by being exactly what it is: light.” That is what I want to remember, actualize and live by; and probably, if you reflect on it, which is my hope, you do, too.

I want to know that the light of love is always present, even when it does not at first appear. The eternal light, which is the message of Hanukkah which begins today, shines in the life of each of us, even in times that seem darkest, like now. Today’s affirmation: I allow the light that dwells eternally within me to reveal the truth of my oneness and wholeness. So alright, now for the rant, but done with the belief that it, too, reveals the ever-present light and in so doing, allows us to be more aware of that light and thus dissipate the seeming darkness.

It seems we’ve got a pretty clear choice between taking care of ourselves here in the good old US of A, or throwing our money away in Afghan. Only our political so-called leaders, including Obama, don’t seem to see that choice clearly, even with the big deficits they say they’re so concerned about.

As I’ve posted before, the vast bulk of info available about Afghan, now augmented by the Wiki Leaks, is that tho we are doing somewhat better militarily, that success is irrelevant and will not lead to over all success for a number of reasons. First, the official Afghan so-called government is no government at all, at least by our standards. It can not protect it’s citizens, run an honest election, or keep from taking bribes – which after all if we weren’t so arrogant about our way of looking at the world, we would realize is just a normal, acceptable way of doing business there.

Second, this so-called government along with our so-called intelligence guided generals and diplomats negotiated with and gave lot’s of money to someone who was supposed to be the second in command of the Taliban, but who turned out to be an imposter who absconded with the money.

Third and related to number two, the Taliban is not a unitary monolithic force but a lose alliance of various points of view and levels of commitment. In other words, no single person can speak for it or negotiate with it, because there is no “it.”

Then, fourth, there’s Karzai himself said to be a manic depressive off his meds and a ‘patriot’ who doesn’t want foreigners in his country, tho it’s OK for him and his so-called government to take money, and lot’s of it, from Iran.

Fifth, our so-called counter insurgency strategy, endorsed by General Petreus and all our High Level Decision Makers, admits the country cannot be secured solely by military means and requires we have a viable civilian authority to work with, which given points one thru four above, is clearly not present now and seems like it never will be.
Six, we are also working with repressive, nasty ‘war lords,’ who are playing all sides against each other.

So now The Powers That Be want to not give Federal employees a raise for two years. These same compassionate Powers want to cut your, and mine, Medicare and Social Security. All while we spend enough in the Afghan to solve all our problems here. The choice is clear. Not only are you and I already sacrificing for this useless, no-win foreign adventure, but The Powers That Be want us to make even greater sacrifices and cut deeper. I say enough, and I invite you to join me and also say “Enough!”

Enough of the so-called War on Terror and the, “We’ve got to fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them over here,” bull shit. Enough! After 243 marines were killed in their sleep by a terrorist attack, Ronald Reagan pulled our troops out of Lebanon. After the so-called Paris Peace Talks, we declared victory, which we could have done at any time, and pulled out of Nam, leaving the country to the so-called communists. Let’s do that now, in the Afghan. We can no longer afford guns and butter. The choice is stark and clear. Eliminate the deficit and solve our problems here at one stroke and exit Afghanistan as quickly and decently as possible.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Food Insecurity, 2

According to the Monitor, “one in 10 South Americans – about 38 million people – escaped poverty during the past decade. That’s remarkable progress by any measure. Contrast that with the United States, where poverty has been growing due to a decade-long stagnation of income for the middle class. In 2009, the US had more poor people than in any of the 51 years since poverty levels have been estimated.” Wow! And with the exception of the last almost two years, who’s been in charge? And what does that tell you about the focus of those people and who they represent?

“Of course, America’s poor are far better off than South America’s poor. And the US still has a much lower poverty rate (14.2 percent versus around 70 percent.)” But still, the trend line is clearly up for South America as progressive governments have made much social progress, and down for the US, as non-progressive governments have reduced or eliminated commitments to social progress in favor of the magic of the so-called ‘fee market.’

And ‘good news’ Leonard Pitts reported in last Wednesday’s Miami Herald, “an average of 17.7% of all Americans were at times unable to feed themselves” in the past twelve months. “You may be wondering : In what universe does a 17.7% ‘food insecurity’ rate qualify as good news,” especially in this the so-called greatest nation on earth? The good news is that “figure represents a drop from the 18.5% rate at the end of 2009. That means that just under 55 million Americans had to go without food at least occasionally.” You might want to “drop a line to your elected representative and let her or him know you consider it unacceptable that children – and even their working parents – hunger in the richest nation on Earth.” We need to “take the critical first step in becoming a nation where everybody eats,” not just the fat cats; where our compassion and common sense (I mean starving people make poor citizens and starving children probably won’t earn enough to pay our Social Security), rise above our political rhetoric, fear, loathing and need to blame.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Food Insecurity

I’ve been hinting at ranting less and I will, eventually, I hope. But in this the season of what Mary Sanchez calls “national gluttony” [remember when Gluttony was one of the Seven Deadly Sins?] it is “unacceptable that we tolerate a growing number of hungry children.” In classic Federal double speak, the reality of hungry people in this the so-called ‘greatest nation on earth’ is called “food insecurity.” Cool! Food insecurity. I guess calling it that makes it easier for the food secure to ignore it. That’s kind of like changing the name of the War Department to the Defense Department – it just makes everything easier to swallow.

Food insecurity impacts 50 million Americans and means that these people “worry if they or their children will eat that day, or if what they can afford will be adequate.” Yes. And what can they afford? Not the healthy organic stuff. No. What they can afford is the greasy, salty, fatty sugary stuff – fries, coke and a big mac. The greasy, salty, fatty sugary stuff is priced lower, thanks to our Federal taxes subsidizing huge agri-business corporations, than water, fresh fruit and vegetables. Could this have anything to do with the ‘epidemic’ of obesity? Duh!

A Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act is now pending in Congress. Will our ideologue politicians and their political terrorist allies, terrorists because Republican Senators and Congressmen are in mortal fear of a so-called Tea Party challenge on the right, so will not do anything vaguely compassionate for fear of being labeled ‘socialist,’ kill this, too?
What is ‘leadership’ about if not standing up for kids? “Passing the bill would help rectify this atrocious statistic: One a typical school day, more than 55 percent of the children who qualify for free or reduced-rice school breakfasts don’t get one.

“We’re a country that wisely demands children must attend school until a certain age. And with No Child Left Behind, we’ve laid down some pretty tough expectations about performance. But it’s doubtful we’ll meet those goals until we also enact No Child Comes to Class Hungry.” Quotes are from Mary Sanchez’ article, “Hunger shouldn’t exist here,” in the Miami Herald last Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bread and Circuses, Reprised

Happy Thanksgiving! In spite of my spate of rants lately, and what is to follow, we DO have much to be grateful for! As always, my purpose is to encourage you not to take our blessings for granted and to understand our degenerating situation as well as how many of our fellow citizens are in distress this year, and to use our blessings as a place to start extending blessings to everyone and everything. Now, bread and circuses.

Two months ago, I did a post on bread and circuses, which I will reprise briefly to relate it to the current Big News Story on privacy, scanning and airport security. Bread and Circuses. When the Roman Republic was crumbling and in the hands of wealthy oligarchy, to distract people from what they’d lost and what the oligarchy was stealing and destroying, the oligarchs and government officials gave the people bread, so they didn’t have to struggle to make ends meet, and circuses in the arena, to distract them. Bread and circuses, bloody circuses, to distract the masses from the important issues of the day.

See any parallels in our day?

We have our own version of Bread and Circuses right now distracting us from the important things like global climate change, energy reform, and political corruption. The distractions, which dominate the so-called news, are trivial by comparison: Privacy vs Airport Security; Sara Palin; Gay Marriage; Big Gov’t vs No Gov’t, the Kardashians, Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. This is what is in our faces and taking our time, distracting us from talking about the more important things.

Who benefits from this condition? Who wants to keep healthy, decent, caring people distracted, disgusted and dropping out – disengaging from serious discourse and the honest exchange of ideas between compassionate citizens, not voting, and not running for office so people like Michelle Bachman and Christine O’Donnel can run instead? Who likes things as they are and the trajectory things are on? Follow the money. Who’s getting rich? Who’s not? Who’s winning and who’s losing? Bread and Circuses are paying off big time for somebody, is it you?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

American Exceptionalism from Afar

From the Economist in London excerpted in the Monitor, “America has for more going for it than its current mood suggests,” states the editorial. “It is still the most innovative economy on earth, the place where the world’s greatest universities meet the world’s deepest pockets…. It has a flexible and hard working labor force. Its ultra-low bond yields are a sign that the world’s investors still think it a good long-term bet. The most enterprising individuals on earth still clamor to come to America. And it still has a talented president who can surely do better than he has thus far.” How’s that for American Exceptionalism from afar?

A lot of superlatives there, many of them true – for now. We can continue this if we see ourselves clearly, address what needs addressing and stop kidding ourselves. A holistic, integrated, systematic approach is needed. Immigration, health care, energy, tax structure and full employment are not as separate as they seem. Keeping them in silos, walled off from each other, taking gradual, incremental steps is the old, traditional way of doing things. We can’t afford that anymore. Some central convening point is necessary to focus and pull our efforts together for the benefit of the entire nation.

Selfish special interests seemingly unconcerned about the nation or killing the goose that lays the golden egg, thrive on the traditional incremental silo approach. Divide and conquer! It worked for Caesar and every leader since. It’s working now. Have you heard that more than half of Congress are multi-millionaires. How’d they get that way? Did they abuse their positions? Sell out the nation for special interest support?

As the Economist pointed out, we’ve got a lot going for us. Let’s pull together, adopt a holistic, integrated, systematic approach, assert ourselves, pay attention to the flow of money and build a world that works for everyone and everything.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Privitizing Profits and Socializing Costs

Today, I’m mellower, not as angry, not feeling so threatened, not so much the innocent victim, nor as heart broken, and a tad more spiritual. But there’s no doubt I’ll be back to the anger and heart broken innocent victim so enough. I do have some spiritual things to share, but I have one more ‘ranty’ thing to talk about today. It’s in an article by Fred Grimm of the Miami Herald, always a great source of ‘ranty’ things, entitled, “Private prisons the force behind immigrant law?”

I share this with you in the hopes that it will help you awaken and choose differently, but with the belief that it probably won’t matter, or that the people who need to awaken and repent [choose again] do not read this blog.

“The notion of requiring state and local policemen to lock up suspects who have no proof they entered the country legally,” beside fitting in nicely with the Tea Party hazarai [write me and I’ll explain what that words means] “is being pushed by the Corrections Corporation of America, which operates private prisons in 19 states. CCA, according to the company’s own reports, projects ‘a significant portion of our revenues’ coming from locking up illegal immigrants. With national crime rates down and prison populations shrinking, illegal immigration has become a crucial segment for the private prison industry.

“The private prison industry already has plenty of lobbying muscle in Florida. In 2008, House Speaker Ray Sansom (since disgraced, arrested and ousted) [not for this, but for something else] inserted $113 million into the budget for a 2,000 bed private prison, despite the state’s financial crisis. When the prison was finally finished the Department of Corrections didn’t have the prisoners to fill it. The new prison sat empty.

“Lobbyists went to work. Legislation passed last spring required the DoC to move 2,224 inmates into the facility and to guarantee the prison company that the new prison would stay at least 90% full.” This is happening everywhere these private prisons operate and is the hallmark of the whole ‘privatization’ charade – which means privatize profits and socialize costs. This is corporate welfare at its most blatant. Because of the fierce, evil and life-threatening Budget Deficit, your Social Security needs to be ‘fixed’ you need to retire later and get no COLAs, but it’s OK for these corporations to feed at the public trough. I’d rather feed there, but I don’t have any lobbyists, not even any representatives in the legislature or Congress. They’ve all been bought and paid for, already.

Privatization, private prisons in this case, allegedly “save taxpayers money. But a study by the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy released in April discovered ‘simply no data to suggest that’s true.’ What lower costs there may be come from ‘creaming’ taking the less troublesome, less expensive class of prisoners. ‘The private prison industry has no incentive to reduce crime or rehabilitate prisoners. Only to lock up more prisoners.’” Given this, Florida’s, Arizona’s, Texas’ considerable population of undocumented immigrants, no rehab required, must look like a mighty cash crop ready for harvest.”

Thank you, Fred Grimm and John Hall of the Center, and thank you, reader, for waking up, realizing it doesn’t have to be this way and choosing again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

More American Exceptionalism

Before I rant on and share some more ‘bad’ news about our beloved country, I want to assure you and myself, that it is my beloved country. It’s breaking my heart now, because I love it so. Also, from a New Thought, Science of Mind and Course in Miracles perspective, I know that I’m stuck in ego and looking with ego and that I need to shift out of ego – fear, anger and doubt, and look with spirit – love, forgiveness and mindfulness, to free myself from the horror and dread. Having said that, and needlessly struggling to do that, on with the horror and dread! God how the ego loves anger, fear, horror and dread. Mmm mm; bring it on! Let me feed on the carrion.

I already said 18 veterans a day commit suicide. Do you think that number will go up or down? The Monitor says that a report last month on perceived public-sector corruption found that the US had slipped from being the 19th least corrupt nation, to 22nd, behind Chile and Ireland. Wow – behind Chile and Ireland – how’s that for the fools who run around saying, thinking and acting, ‘We’re #1!’? How’s that arrogance working for us?

The Republicans in the Senate, the #1, ‘We’re #1’ sayers, are challenging the President of the United States on the nuclear weapons treaty with Russia. This is the same basic treaty that their great god Reagan endorsed and worked so hard to achieve. Their hatred of Obama, their avowed desire to bring him down at any price, even at the price of our national security, economic and social success, seems to know no bounds. They seem not to understand he’s their President, too, that he’s the President of the United States, who despite their rhetoric, which they now seem to be believing, is an American, was born here, is Christian, is not a ‘socialist’ and does love his country.

In their lust to destroy him, and only God knows why, they seem willing to embarrass the nation before the world and even destroy it. Could this be a new version the Spanish Inquisition in which the body is burned to save the soul? But it’s not fair to blame the Republicans. The real blame goes to the people who vote for them despite their history, especially their recent history. Clinton only abused Monica Lewinsky. The Republicans and their supporters are abusing the nation.

The style, ideas and actions of these people go way beyond Washington, too. The Miami Herald had a story Wednesday with the headline, “’Wage theft’ widens.” According to the article, “Wage theft is when workers are paid below the minimum wage, not paid for overtime, forced to work off the clock, have their time cards altered, are misclassified as independent contractors, or are simply not paid a wage for work performed.” This is the natural result of the dog-eat-dog, I’ve got mine fuck you, ‘free market,’ too much regulation, get the gov’t off our backs and let the market rule attitudes espoused by Republicans and their supporters.

Wage theft was below the radar as long as it impacted immigrant laborers like maids, whores, and gardeners, who could not complain for fear of being sent back. But according to the article it is also becoming prominent in “professional and higher salary jobs, including those in the legal profession, at architecture and accounting firms, public and private schools and in medical fields.” Cool! The equal opportunity promise of the American Dream almost fully realized at last, everybody, or almost everybody, being equally abused. Clinton only abused Monica Lewinsky; the Republicans and their supporters are abusing everybody. How’d you like to have a surgical nurse who’s having her wages stolen, attend you at your next surgery?

Government is a counter-weight against greed, and abuse of people with less power by people with greater power. Perhaps it was funny when Reagan said, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” But thirty years later that attitude has a metastasized into a cancer. Awake! See this, understand it, repent, which means ‘choose again.’ Be responsible and stop dancing to the dirge of fear, prejudice, loathing and hate. We can, together, letting go of the fear and hate, and trusting in spirit, build a world that works for everyone and every thing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Fisher House

Yesterday, we dedicated the Fisher House at the Miami VA Hospital. My wife and I contributed to its construction and worked to raise money, too. The Fisher House, there are fifty three of them around the US and Europe, like Ronald McDonald House, is a place for family of hospitalized vets to stay, at no charge, until their loved one is released. This is a splendid, good thing to be a part of! It’s named after the Fisher family and its Fisher House Foundation which matches money from the local community to build the house. For the beautifully appointed, twenty one room Miami Fisher House, the local community raised $2 million and the Fisher Foundation kicked in the rest.

I was proud to attend the dedication and proud of our support. Being there was a bitter sweet moment. Bitter, because as I said in previous posts, we’re squandering the priceless lives and talents of our military people and their families in almost pointless un-winnable wars. And sweet because, still having done that, some of us have the decency and compassion to repair, the almost un-repairable damage.

The ‘decider,’ the person who blew our quick victory in Afghanistan by invading Iraq, wasn’t there. He’s on a book tour, still seemingly without a clue. But other deciders were there and I pray that they are able to sort out the distinction between supporting our troops and fighting useless, immoral wars. I pray for that and write this for that hoping my fellow deciders will awaken and realize there’s a difference between supporting the troops and wasting them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

American Exceptionalism, 3

I’m a disabled Viet Vet, proud of my service and grateful for the care I’ve been receiving from the VA. I think Viet Nam was a colossal mistake, as have been almost everything we’ve done militarily since with the exception of Serbia and the first Gulf War, but I’m still proud to have served. Nor am I bitter over my service connected disabilities.

This month the, DAV – Disabled American Veterans, magazine said 18 veterans a day commit suicide. 18 a day commit suicide.

It also said that the latest diseases added to the presumptive list (those diseases which are automatically attributed to) Agent Orange and other herbicides used to defoliate the jungles in Viet, Laos and Cambodia will cost $42.6 billion – just the latest diseases added, not including the others already on the list. $42.6 billion and that does not include all the other VA costs.

When a decision is made to go to war and some kind of budget is drawn up, are the costs of fixing broken veterans factored in? The costs of ruined families, divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction, homelessness, broken and ruined children and suicide?

Oh sure, now-a-days, all our service people are volunteers, so tough shit, right, they knew what they were getting into, right, they knew what the risks were? I was a volunteer, too, and believe me, I had no idea - none. What about the fact that most of these ‘volunteers’ come from the poorest segments of our society with few opportunities so that military service is a step up for them. How many Wharton MBAs are in Iraq or Afghanistan as service people, not as contractors?

We should honor and take care of our veterans and war fighters, it’s truly a sacred obligation. Yet, we must be careful not to confuse honoring and caring for them with supporting misguided wars. The two are not the same. Supporting, honoring and caring for our war fighters is not the same as supporting misguided wars. Not. We do not honor our troops by sending them into harm’s way for no good reason. We support our troops by using them carefully in good causes.

We support our troops by voting intelligently so we get leaders who understand the horror of war, know it is not a video game and will use our military carefully in good causes; who will not lie to us about WMD and who attacked the World Trade Center. Vote for leaders who will not allow the current rampant corruption by the majority of military contractors; and who will seek to accomplish our good ends by means other than war and use war only as a last resort.

We support the troops by getting our heads out of our asses and not making the same foreign policy mistakes over and over – forcing democracy where it is not yet ready to succeed, backing weak and corrupt governments not trusted by their own people, bringing Western Judeo/Christian ideals to primitive, Islamic, tribal civilizations. We support our troops by innovating and finding ways to reduce our dependence on oil, foreign or domestic.

The way we use and support our troops is another example of the malfunction of American Exceptionalism. But please, wake and arise, it need not be this way!

Monday, November 15, 2010

American Exceptionalism, 2

The Truth shall set you free. Is this so even if the truth is ‘negative?’ Even if we don’t want to hear it, or see it, or face it? I think so mostly because if we face the truth we can move on whereas if we’re denying it, lying about it, deluding ourselves and covering it up we’re stuck. Not only stuck, but the energy that might go into moving on and making things better is being squandered on the lies and cover up. Enough!

Is it true that people have to hit bottom before they’ll face the truth? Well, maybe not a complete ‘bottom,’ a total breakdown or bankruptcy, but a bottom somewhere, perhaps in their willingness to lie, keep their heads in the sand, cling to their illusions and ignorance, deny and cover up. They have to hit bottom with that, say Enough! to that, give that up, realize that doesn’t work [if it ever did]. They have to bottom out on the bull shit, say I’ve had enough and am not going to take it anymore, then choose to separate what does work from what doesn’t. It’s not all bad, just as its not all good. Actually, its mostly neutral and we’re the ones that label it good or bad. But we want to keep the baby, we do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

That’s what I’m trying to help myself and you, my readers, do with this discussion of American Exceptionalism, keep the baby, face the truth, and say enough to the ‘we’re #1 bullshit.’ The truth is [to me] that what we’ve been doing as a nation, perhaps for the last thirty years ever since greed became good, hasn’t worked real well, except for a few.
We’ve got to face that truth, free ourselves from the bullshit about why and how it’s not true - that our shit doesn’t stink, and move on. Just stop doing what’s not working and start doing what will work.

Don’t kid yourself; we know the difference, we do know what to stop doing and start doing. No cover-ups, no political games, no winners and losers, just Americans taking responsibility for their decisions and pulling together to build a world that works for everyone and everything. If the world we’re building only works for Americans, both rich and poor [which it clearly doesn’t], destroys flora and fauna and the planet, creates problems in Mexico and other countries, we’re not facing the truth, we’re clinging to our ignorance and illusions and insisting our shit doesn’t stink.

Friday, November 12, 2010

American Exceptionalism

Continuing with the ‘bad’ news of yesterday, the Christian Science Monitor is the latest media outlet to report in its 11/8 issue that Iraq may be preparing a request to retain our troops ‘a bit’ longer. Alright! Wow, we’re #1! Nothing succeeds like success. We’re the best hired gun in town. And why not? These countries don’t have to do anything to get our blood and treasure; we’re just there for them, in a way we’re not just there for our own people. We’re happy to give and sacrifice because they are so appreciative. They need do nothing, just fuck things up and count on us to go in there and bail them out.

My god, you’d think they were American banks, Wall Street, or corporations! There’s no free lunch for you and me, and especially the poor people who need it, too bad for them and us it’s their own fault, after all as John Calvin pointed out, if they were good, god would smile on them. But the biggest banks, corporations, industries, well, alright, they get whatever they need, obviously they’re good and god smiles on them. After all, we have the best government money can buy. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, too, right? I mean after all, if the rich and powerful can’t get what they want, the rest of us be damned, in this the greatest capitalist democracy in the world, what are things coming to?

Shit, I wish that rant made me feel better. It did in a way. But my heart breaks when I see our noble experiment, the US of A, becoming, no being, the very things we really don’t want to be, the very things we wanted to shun when our country was founded and the noble experiment begun. It hurts when I think of us as just another empire doomed to sink beneath the tides of history. I thought we were better than that. Obviously we’re not. Our shit does stink. I’d like us to acknowledge that, that our shit does stink; that we’re just another failed and failing nation state if - if we keep on as we have as if our shit doesn’t stink.

Come on, folks, smell it; rub your face in it; if it looks like shit, smells like shit and makes you want to flush it down, it is shit! But everything that lives shits, so why not us? It’s OK to take a crap, but please, let’s not pretend it isn’t crap or that our crap is golden. As I said two days ago, we can do better. But first we have to quit deluding ourselves and see our shit as shit.

From the Ynetnews in Tel Aviv as reported in the Monitor, “The tens of thousands of documents exposed by Wikileaks portray an awful picture of a brutal American thug,” writes Eitan Haber. “America is under attack [and justifiably so, until we face our shit and start living up to our ideals]. It’s being blasted from every direction. This is the same America that was aiming to teach us a lesson; the same America that failed to understand (and will continue to fail) that war does not work in line with the noble vision of our Biblical prophets…. So what shall happen now? America is America – the world’s lone superpower [tho China and Russia are closing the gap]. Hence, it will continue to slam us, while carrying the banner of morality, justice, and model behavior.”

Is there more than a grain of truth in this? Or should we fall back on the idea that they’re jealous and hate us for our freedoms? American Exceptionalism. That’s the name of the concept. We can use it to build a world that works for everyone and everything, or we can use it to continue as we are building a world that soon will work for no one, not even the rich.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So here we go, the deadline for the Afghan pullout is now more ‘flexible.’ The part of me that is a war fighter knows that this is the correct, most effective way to go. You can’t beat an ‘enemy’ especially the kind we’re fighting in the Afghan, if they know you’re outta there on a date certain. All they have to do is hold on ‘till we’re gone, which we will be eventually. But just as an aside, the British had an open-ended commitment there and that didn’t work out.

But the peace loving part, or, not so much the ‘peace loving’ part, but the ‘realistic’ part says given Karzai, the nature of the Taliban and the Afghan people, the nature of our own people, the debt crisis here, our inability to deal with the clearly documented corruption in our own military contracting and aid systems, we haven’t got much of a chance of ‘winning’ which by the way, has not yet been defined.

The conventional wisdom says we can’t just leave, that’ll give us a credibility problem [How about if we stay and don’t get anywhere. Will that give us a credibility problem too?] and need to save face, so if this ‘flexible’ exit date is a bargaining position, all well and good. But if it’s for real and I fear that it is, the best thing we can do is define victory, declare it soon, save lives, take our money back and spend it here on education, infrastructure and clean energy industries. Unfortunately, much as I favor a both/and approach, winning and taking care of things here, the Afghan situation seems to be an either/or situation. Either we spend our blood and treasure there or here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Burning Bodies to Save Souls

Now in all this writing about intentions, I’ve been thinking and talking about ‘good’ intentions, not ‘evil’ ones. A person can have the intention of winning no matter what; Hitler and Stalin come to mind. Yet, ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ the intention setting process is the same. Some people can look at the deaths of millions, the destruction and perversion of dreams and ideals, and calmly accept them as necessary and congruent. The Inquisition burned bodies to save souls. In Viet Nam we burned villages to save villagers. Two examples of an ‘evil’ intention in which means and ends are perfectly congruent – fighting fire with fire we like to say as we “man up.” Jesus said, “the Lord makes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike.’

But I can’t just leave it that way and I don’t think Jesus wanted to either. We can make better choices. We’ve learned to stop burning bodies to save souls, but we’re still burning villages to save villagers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and soon will be in Yemen or Iran. Maybe we can also learn to have our intention to bring peace, prosperity and democracy to the world more congruent and use peace, prosperity and democracy to build peace, prosperity and democracy, instead of using war. I’ll bet we could, I really think we could.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Intentions & Goals

The difference between intentions and goals is similar to the difference between process and product. Intentions are process, they emphasize the journey more than the destination, while goals are products, more concerned with bottom line results than how those results are achieved. Means/ends is a similar distinction. Both are important; obviously one can’t have a journey without a destination or ends without means. They must be congruent; one can’t actually achieve ‘good’ ends by ‘evil’ means, tho it often appears as if the world works this way.

Yet, the difference between intentions and goals is less clear and more subtle than the difference between process and product. I perceive intentions as goals more broadly conceived and held in an inclusive, holistic, metaphysical context, with preferences for process, means and journey included. Means and ends, journey and destination, product and process are not artificially separated with intentions. With these aspects more or less aligned in intentions, one experiences less conflict. In fact setting intentions involves taking means and ends, journey and destination, product and process into consideration, integrating them and making them congruent.

This is the both/and approach I’ve posted about before. It’s not either profit or the environment, but both profit and the environment. They need not be traded off against one another, need not be mutually exclusionary. That they so often are, points to areas of opportunity. Mutually beneficial outcomes, a world that works for everyone and everything, is possible. Either/or thinking is of the ego, the thinking of a lonely frightened entity, cut off from Source. Both/and thinking embodies connectedness and the possibility of mutually beneficial outcomes. Setting intentions embodies that kind of thinking and connectedness.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back to Intentions

Now there’s an if/then aspect to this shadow work and indeed to setting intentions in general that I’ll call the shadow of the shadow. In earlier posts, I said that the if/then proposition was a set-up for failure and unhappiness; that it sets up an equation that says, if I get what I want, then I’ll be happy, or successful, or whatever. In the case of intentions, the if/then proposition says I can only be happy if my intentions are achieved. It’s important to be aware of the if/then proposition shadowing intentions.

Happiness comes from the inside out, it might be greater or lesser if my intentions are achieved, but it is not dependent on achieving them. Happiness arises from a choice to live from the place of connection with Source, not from accomplishing things.

Besides, intentions are not goals with a fixed, measurable aspect. Intentions can make me happy, are alive and well, as long as I’m alive and well. Intentions emanate from Source, not ego. As long as I stay centered in Source and open to It and build intentions from Source like - living in such a way that builds a world that works for everyone and everything, including myself - then my intentions are intentions, not addictions, they are alive and well and I can be happy. But if I say I must build a world that works for everyone before I die, that I’ll go to hell if I don’t, then not only will I not be happy, I’m addicted, deep in pain, fearful, frustrated and constantly angry.

Friday, November 5, 2010

American Elections

I know in my head, that if I feel I ‘have to’ do something or ‘must do’ something I’m with ego and addicted. After all, this is what I’ve been blogging about recently. Well, I’m with ego and addicted ‘cause I feel like I ‘must’ talk about the recent elections. I’m trying to stay centered in Source and have faith that all of what seems so ‘evil’ and ‘wrong’ to me is going someplace ‘good;’ and I’m having a lot of success with that. I’m not as mad as often. But when I read the paper, watch or listen to the so-called ‘news,’ I let myself rush into anger, fear and victim-hood.

So part of my healing and moving on is writing this. One of the things that I allow to get me most is this talk, mostly from the Republicans about ‘the American people.’ This bothers me on two levels: the factual and the process. Factual first [the following numbers are approximations, not meant to be exact or precise, but rather to give a ‘feel’ for the actual numbers]. The facts are that of those eligible to vote, perhaps 200 million in a population of 330 million, only approximately 100 million registered to vote. Of those, only 40 odd percent actually voted, say 40 million people, and of those, slightly more than half, say 20 million people, in only slightly more than half of the Congressional districts, 220 to 193, contributed to the so-called Republican ‘tsunami’ and ‘landslide,’ and ‘mandate.’

Do those numbers warrant being called, the ‘American people?’ The fact seems to be that the ‘American people’ sat out this election and want nothing to do with voting or our so-called ‘democracy’ as presently constituted. We have 20 million people that voted Republican, winning slightly more than half of the Congressional districts they voted in.
Hardly the American people, a mandate, tsunami [don’t you love how that word is so pop now?] or landslide. Yet, inaccurate as those words are, that’s all we hear in the ‘lame street media.’

Which brings me to the second source of the aggravation I allow myself to feel: the media. It feels very hypocritical to find myself criticizing the media and the Supreme Court, as I’m old enough to remember that it was the Goldwater Conservatives and the western/southern branch of the Republican Party during the sixties and early seventies that specialized in this lament, tho Sarah Palin and her friends also use it when it suits them. Its kind of ironic and humorous, but I guess turn around is fair play.

Why do the ‘facts’ that I sited above, go unreported? Worse, why, not only are the facts not reported, but deliberately ignored and misrepresented? There’s always been a tendency to do this. Think about how the media led us frothing at the mouth for victory and righteous, truth, justice and the American way into the disaster of Iraq. But it seems much worse and much grosser, with much more serious consequences, now. Who decides what constitutes the so-called ‘news?’ And who decides what language to use to describe it? I blogged about this awhile back, but I guess I didn’t get it out of my system yet.

So, when I hear from the media that the ‘American people’ have spoken and the Republicans have a clear mandate, I allow myself to get very pissed. I know I’m with ego and addicted, but in spite of that, I really don’t see why we can’t get the facts more often, and less of whatever it is we get that passes for facts and news. Clearly, we do get some facts, otherwise where would I have gotten the numbers I used, but more facts and less spin would be healthier and contribute more to a world that works for everyone and everything.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Intentions 4

I’m not saying all the intentions we are in conflict with come from outside influences and authority figures. Most do, but a large number have been developed on our own and codified in the form of rules, ethical codes, standards and the like. Once appropriate and useful, conflict arises as we begin to see that these no longer serve. Looking at them is just as painful and time consuming as looking at the ‘outside’ influences. Tho claiming our loyalty and allegiance and are often what we think is best, most vital and worthwhile about us, the things we ‘stand for’ and are proudest of, these intentions can create our greatest problems and cause us to sacrifice parts of ourselves, relationships, compassion and love in the name of ‘principle.’

Such strongly held intentions are not really intentions, but addictions. If you would step over your grandmother for the President, as Charles Colson said and did, tho he is now born again, if you must do it because it’s the right thing to do and Jesus wants you to do it, its an addiction, not an intention. You’re being arrogant and putting words in God’s mouth. Source doesn’t work that way, ego does.

Addictions of heart and mind and soul, tho seemingly right and the best and brightest can have their roots deep in pain, suffering, anger and fear. Look at these and see if you can’t hold them more lightly and convert them to intentions. A lot of the pain, suffering, anger and fear that anchor addictions, keep us addicted and in denial that we are in fact addicted, come from things that once were intentions and are now frequently dark and in the dark, seemingly with ‘personalities’ of their own that don’t want to be disturbed or looked at. Carl Jung called these the “shadow,” the parts of ourselves – intentions, concepts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors, we have suppressed, cut off and rejected.

Bringing this shadow into the light – thinking about it, clearly, without guilt or judgment, and reintegrating it – accepting it with compassion and gratitude, is how to best work with it and reclaim the energy that is both used to suppress it and inherent within it. This is work, but its spiritual work worth doing, with a big pay-off. So here’s another intention I’m setting: I bring my shadow into the light and reintegrate it on an ongoing basis as opportunities arise to do so.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Intentions 2

Having an intention is a way to combine having a goal and not having a goal. An intention is more open, wider and spacious, less narrow and specific and time-bound, more preferential. My intention is to live in a such a way that my life contributes to a world that works for everyone.

We hear two things about intentions: the road to hell is paved with good intentions and, your good intentions are not enough. The second idea antidotes the first. If I have only good intentions and do not act in accord with them, I’m on the road to hell. The intention is merely a framework that I honor with my thoughts, feelings and behavior. Intentions allow me to be gentle with myself and others, more forgiving. If whatever I intended doesn’t get done this minute, no sweat. There will be another minute, and another after that. With intentions I can come from a centered, spiritually connected place, realizing my identity doesn’t depend on what I accomplish, when.

Intentions create less stress and encourage a longer time frame, a greater more compassionate and inclusive vision allowing me and others to bring their full attributes, skills and talents to bear. With preferences, perfection is a process, not a result, and failure is not an option because failure only happens when I say I’ve failed and give up. Preferences enable me to see that there are more ways to skin a cat than I may be aware of in a given moment, and that if I stop, take a break or pause, without judging myself and others a ‘failure,’ new and better ways to proceed will be revealed.

Intentions are life scale, about the purpose and meaning of my entire life, not about what I’m going to do this weekend or with this job or relationship. When I look at this weekend, job or relationship in the context of my intentions, my life’s purpose and meaning, deciding and choosing are richer, more enjoyable, and more effective. Intentions put me in charge, make me responsible and enable me to stop being a victim. They are MY intentions, I set them and I can change them.

Trouble with intentions comes when they’re not mine, when they’re somebody else’s; when I’ve adopted them unconsciously and uncritically and my actual life experience conflicts with them. My parents, church, ethnic group, political party, work organization all have intentions for me. If they’re in line with my own, what life has taught me, and what I’ve come to understand of spirit, metaphysics and reality, all well and good. If other people’s intentions that I’ve internalized are out of alignment with my own deepest intentions and preferences, I experience conflict. To the extent that this conflict remains unconscious and I fail to take responsibility for it, I blame, become angry and hurt myself and others. But if I find myself blaming, being angry and hurting myself and others, take responsibility for that and look inward, I may be able to resolve the conflict.

Where are your own intentions and preferences in conflict with those of your parents, church, ethnic group, political party, and work organization? What can you do to resolve the conflict, and if you’re angry, blaming and hurting yourself and others, what would happen if you paused, took a moment and realized how nice it would be to stop doing that and experience that life does not have to be that way?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Having an intention is a way to combine having a goal and not having a goal. An intention is more open, wider and spacious, less narrow and specific and time-bound, more preferential. My intention is to live in a such a way that my life contributes to a world that works for everyone.

We hear two things about intentions: the road to hell is paved with good intentions and, your good intentions are not enough. The second idea antidotes the first. If I have only good intentions and do not act in accord with them, I’m on the road to hell. The intention is merely a framework that I honor with my thoughts, feelings and behavior. Intentions allow me to be gentle with myself and others, more forgiving. If whatever I intended doesn’t get done this minute, no sweat. There will be another minute, and another after that. With intentions I can come from a centered, spiritually connected place, realizing my identity doesn’t depend on what I accomplish, when.

Intentions create less stress and encourage a longer time frame, a greater more compassionate and inclusive vision allowing me and others to bring their full attributes, skills and talents to bear. With preferences, perfection is a process, not a result, and failure is not an option because failure only happens when I say I’ve failed and give up. Preferences enable me to see that there are more ways to skin a cat than I may be aware of in a given moment, and that if I stop, take a break or pause, without judging myself and others a ‘failure,’ new and better ways to proceed will be revealed.

Intentions are life scale, about the purpose and meaning of my entire life, not about what I’m going to do this weekend or with this job or relationship. When I look at this weekend, job or relationship in the context of my intentions, my life’s purpose and meaning, deciding and choosing are richer, more enjoyable, and more effective. Intentions put me in charge, make me responsible and enable me to stop being a victim. They are MY intentions, I set them and I can change them.

Trouble with intentions comes when they’re not mine, when they’re somebody else’s; when I’ve adopted them unconsciously and uncritically and my actual life experience conflicts with them. My parents, church, ethnic group, political party, work organization all have intentions for me. If they’re in line with my own, what life has taught me, and what I’ve come to understand of spirit, metaphysics and reality, all well and good. If other people’s intentions that I’ve internalized are out of alignment with my own deepest intentions and preferences, I experience conflict. To the extent that this conflict remains unconscious and I fail to take responsibility for it, I blame, become angry and hurt myself and others. But if I find myself blaming, being angry and hurting myself and others, take responsibility for that and look inward, I may be able to resolve the conflict.

Where are your own intentions and preferences in conflict with those of your parents, church, ethnic group, political party, and work organization? What can you do to resolve the conflict, and if you’re angry, blaming and hurting yourself and others, what would happen if you paused, took a moment and realized how nice it would be to stop doing that and experience that life does not have to be that way?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The big, metaphysical idea is not to need or have to have an effect in the built manifest world. The idea is to go for a connection with Source first. Let go of the need and have to because they are of the material ego world and instead, connect with the primary reality of being a spiritual being having an earthly experience. Go from the inside-out.

Because the Source is in and through everything and everyone, when I connect with Source, I am connected with everything and everyone, and as I realize this and allow this power to guide me and work through me, the result or effect I seek in the ego world manifests. Provided I am congruent and fully aligned spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It’s a paradox.

If I must have something, or need something, I’m most likely coming from fear and lack, am not aligned and not feeling centered in Source. But if I don’t need something and don’t have to have it, I am not in fear and lack, but feel my connection with Source, and the thing I want manifests. It’s about having a preference, instead of an addiction.

Addicted, the thing or experience, usually something outside myself, rules me. If I have only a preference, I rule the thing or experience; I can take it or leave and be fine whichever way it goes.

This is counter intuitive because the predominant way of being and thinking is: have a clear cut goal – some thing or some experience you really, really want and must have and pursue it vigorously with single minded devotion. Do whatever it takes; focus on it, eat, sleep and dream it; persist; overcome resistance; win because winning is the only thing. This outlook is especially strong in the U.S.A today.

There’s lots that is incorrect and ineffective about this way of being, from lack of awareness of the larger picture and context to unanticipated consequences or side-effects, but let’s cut to the chase. What happens after you win, have your experience, achieve the goal? What happens? What’s next? Remember, the song, “Is That All There Is?”

Having a preference and going for what you want by being centered and aligning with Source works better, has less let down and fewer side effects. Go within and let your connection with the Source of all work for you. Stop struggling, blaming and hating and allow the Source which is love, peace and compassion guide and work through you and experience what happens. You’ll be quite pleased and proud.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A World that Works for Everyone

Yesterday, as I have before, I posted about wanting to build a world that works for everyone. I mean this to be understood as a way of being, of living as an individual and member of a society, community, nation and planet, so that I do as little harm or evil as possible and as much good as possible. Living this way is an ideal which I very much want to actualize. It gives me hope and purpose and a sense of optimism. But when it seems things are not changing and we’re not building a world that works for everyone, but are in fact going in the opposite direction and building a world that works for the few and the wealthy, I get very sad, deeply disappointed, depressed and angry.
Joseph Campbell is optimistic about the world. “It’s great just the way it is,” he says. “And you are not gong to fix it up. Nobody has ever made it any better. It is never going to be any better. This is it, so take it or leave it. You are not going to correct and improve it.”

Wow! So doesn’t that lead to a passive attitude in the face of evil?

“You yourself are participating in evil,” he says. “Or you are not alive. Whatever you do is evil for somebody or something. This is one of the ironies of the whole creation.”

And what of the conflict between good and evil, the forces of darkness and of light?

“That is a Zorostrian idea, which has come over into Judaism and Christianity. In other traditions, good and evil are relative to the position in which you are standing. What is good for one, is evil for another. You play your part, not withdrawing from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but seeing that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder, a mystery. All life is sorrowful is the first Buddhist saying, and so it is. It wouldn’t be life if there were not temporality involved, which is sorrow – loss, loss, loss. You’ve got to say yes to life and see it as magnificent this way.”

Yet it is “joyful just as it is, too. I don’t believe there was anybody such as God who intended it, but this is the way it is. James Joyce has a memorable line: ‘History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.’ To awake is not to be afraid, but to recognize that all of this, as it is, is a manifestation of the horrendous [neutral] power [neither good nor evil] that is all creation.”

So, you wouldn’t fight any battles or strive for any ideals? Isn’t that the logical conclusion from accepting everything as it is?

Yes, it’s logical “but not the necessary conclusion. You could say, ‘I will participate in this life, I will join the army” or the peace corps. I will do the best I can. “I will participate in the game. It is a wonderful, wonderful opera – except that it hurts. Affirmation is difficult. We always affirm with conditions. I affirm the world on condition that it gets to be the way my ideals want it to be. But affirming it the way it is – that’s the hard thing.”

Rituals help us with that. “Rituals are group participation in the most hideous act, which is the act of life – namely, killing and eating another living thing. We do it together, and this is the way life is. The hero is the one who comes to participate in life courageously and decently, in the way of nature, not the way of personal rancor, disappointment, or revenge.”

So wanting to build a world that works for everyone is a hero’s journey, fraught with disappointment and joy.