Thursday, January 31, 2013

Inside Out

It’s not what you pray for, it’s where you pray from. It’s not what you work towards, wish for or dream of that holds the power. It’s who and what you identify with and think you are as you pray, work, wish and dream, that holds the power. “Of myself I can do nothing,” the famous rabbi said. “It is my father who doeth the work.”


It’s inside-out. When I identify with myself instead of mySelf, I can work hard, struggle and do everything right and still not get the results I seek. But when I identify with mySelf, instead of myself, I can be free of struggle and hard work, do almost nothing and have the results fall into my life like a ripe fruit falling from a tree.


It’s inside-out. It’s inside-out first. It’s not like it’s either inside or outside. It’s both inside and outside. Results can be achieved either way, but inside out first gets the most accomplished with the least amount of effort. Inside out first is the most effective and efficient way to be. It’s about being a human being, instead of a human doing.


It’s accepting my oneness with the Source of all, in all and through all – including myself as mySelf, and allowing It to flow through me. It’s about removing the blocks to this flow; about getting my bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits. It’s about intuition, gut, hope, wishes dreams and passion - the inside stuff - first, then rationality, analysis, planning, structure and organization for support. It’s inside-out first. Not either inside or outside, but both inside and outside.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Forgiveness Works! 2

As I forgive, I am aware that I am dreaming and have a choice to awake; and being aware and having a choice means I am with the decision maker, outside the dream. As I forgive I am able to see that you and I are the same, not in appearance, not in form, but in content—as either an expression of love or a call for love. And who among us, in our right minds, would not respond to a call for love with love?


The daily, hourly, moment to moment practice of forgiveness frees me from the heavy burdens of being responsible for the whole world and having to take things so seriously all the time.  Forgiveness allows me to become less involved with world as an ego, and more involved in the world as a mind. I am able to transcend the world as it seems to be and act in it as I would have it be, as a reflection of spirit. By forgiving and withdrawing my projections, I see the innocence of my brothers and sisters and thus my own innocence. By forgiving you and changing my mind about you, I learn to change my mind about me. The world does not change. But how I look at it has changed. “Seek not to change the world,” The Course says, “but choose to change your mind about the world.”


Forgiving makes sin unreal. Forgiving says nothing has happened. If there is sin, there must be a sinner and a sinned against. If you are the sinner, I am the sinless. Sin reflects separation, and expresses the ego’s principle of one or the other.  But when I see only spirit’s sinless in me, I cannot see sin in another because projection makes perception. Thus, perceiving innocence, peace, joy, fearlessness and creativity in myself, I perceive it all around me. Together, forgiven, we will not be annihilated but gently disappear into spirit, “not to be lost but found.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why Forgiveness Works

Forgiveness shows me that I am aware of the contrast and have chosen spirit instead of ego. Forgiveness says ‘no harm, no foul,’ it says since I am aware of mySelf, and mySelf is spirit, I know I’m only dreaming that I’m an ego that can be hurt or damaged, but in fact that is not so. Nothing has or ever can happen to mySelf so there is nothing to forgive. But often you and I forgot ourSelves, think something has happened and have done something that caused harm. We take things too seriously. My forgiveness says ‘no, mySelf is fine, nothing has happened’ and allows you to also see that mySelf is unharmed and wake from the ego’s nightmare, to choose again and become aware of yourSelf.


Forgiveness corrects the belief in separation and shows that the separation never happened. Forgiveness is unlearning the ego’s lessons. It is using the world as a classroom to learn that the world is an illusion. Forgiveness is a way of taking things less seriously here. Forgiveness is another illusion in an illusory world. But, unlike other illusions, forgiveness’ purpose is to lead me away from the decision for the ego and not deeper into it. Unlike the things of the world that keep us believing in what the ego made up, forgiveness leads me beyond itself to what spirit made.


Forgiveness helps me bridge the gap between where I think I am—here with ego, and where I really am—asleep with God, dreaming I’m here. The ego tells me that in spirit’s presence, myself will be annihilated. That’s true as far as it goes, but the whole truth is in spirit’s presence, the fearsome illusion the ego has made of myself, would gently melt back into mySelf. It warms and encourages me to think about my at-one-ment with spirit that way—gently melting back….


But my fear of annihilation keeps me from letting go. I need little steps, happy dreams, that will heal my misperceptions. Forgiveness--constantly forgiving myself and others, is first among the little steps and is ongoing. As I forgive and experience the peace and compassion and joy that comes from that, I am able to gradually, with each experience, step by step, transcend the ego’s fear of annihilation and move closer to mySelf.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Are You Sure? 3

“We cannot really make a definition for what the ego is,” The Course says, “but we can say what it is not. And this is shown with perfect clarity. Look at its opposite [the miracle] and see the only answer that is meaningful.” As the ego is the heart of the decision maker’s mistaken choice to believe that it is a self separated from spirit, so the miracle is the heart of the choice to be mySelf and identify with spirit. As the ego’s thought system of separation, division, and exclusion takes me from the mind—the place where the original choice was made and the only place it can be unmade, the miracle returns me to the mind where my correct choice allows everything to be different, and lets the truth set me free!


The world we seem to live in is the effect, the ego thought system the cause: ideas leave not their source. The belief in my identity as a separated self, remains in my mind where it first arose. So the physical world has never left its source—the decision maker’s choice for separation, though it seems to have. Cause and effect are one, as are source and idea. The content of hate and separation is one with the form of hate and separation. The miracle—the experience of returning to the mind, choosing again and experiencing the happy dream, helps me understand this causal connection.


“Where there was darkness,” The Course says, “now we see the light. What is the ego? What the darkness was. Where is the ego? Where the darkness was. What is it now and where can it be found? Nothing and nowhere.” Ken Wapnick says, “These words make perfect sense when read with the heart and not the brain, where they infuriate because they seem not to say anything. Yet they are not supposed to, because there is nothing meaningful to say about the ego itself. Once you have an experience of truth, you will understand the ego’s nothingness.”


It is the contrast between my experience of the ego and the miracle that reveals the ego’s true nature, not studying, analyzing or explaining it. Understanding and change come only when I let the ego go and step beyond it. So the miracle leads me back to the decision maker in my mind who can observe the results of its mistaken choice and gently without blame, guilt or shame, not take that original choice so seriously, not make a sin out of it but simply choose again and gently smile the darkness away.


Dreams remain - both the ego’s nightmare and spirit’s happy dream, because I alternate between a sense of myself and mySelf. The more I choose mySelf, the more I will experience that and the less I will experience myself. With practice and help from spirit my decision maker can be aware of the contrast, and choose spirit more often than ego.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Are You Sure? 2

I move away from the ego by understanding, forgiving, being kind, patient, generous and grateful—with myself first. When I accept the reality of my at-one-ment with spirit first, I can then act from that place with others—Self to Self.  Each time I indulge a thought of my specialness, have a pain, become angry or feel unfairly treated, I give life and power to the ego nightmare, reinforcing my identity as an ego, separate from mySelf. The stark truth here is that I suffer to prove I am alive; that ‘I’ don’t exist here because ‘here’ is a dream, a nightmare, the ego created to preserve itself.


“There is no definition for a lie,” The Course says, that serves to make it true. Nor, can there be a truth that lies conceal effectively.” The light will penetrate the ego’s darkness; we will have moments when we know our true identities as spiritual beings having an earthly experience. “The ego’s unreality is not denied by words nor is its meaning clear because its nature seems to have a form. Who can define the indefinable? And yet there is an answer even here.”


No matter how much I seek to study, describe, explain, analyze or define something, I can’t make it what it is not. Yet I arrogantly insist—everything the ego thinks and does is arrogantly insistent and urgent, that by defining the ego I can in fact change illusion into truth, to make myself mySelf. So there is an answer to the ego but not to the question of what the ego is and how it arose. The answer to the ego is the miracle for which The Course was named.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Are You Sure?

It is the experience of the contrast between ego and spirit that motivates and guides me to shift. It is the experience of spirit’s unconditional love, abundance forgiveness, grace, fearlessness and creativity that teaches me I don’t want the ego’s fear, hate, blame, lack and punishment. I’m seeking only the experience of spirit and can’t let theology delay me.  “Who asks you to define the ego,” The Course says, “and explain how it arose can be but he who thinks it real, and seeks by definition to ensure that its illusive nature is concealed behind the words that seem to make it so.”


Engaging in such discussions ensures that the ego’s illusory nature and the fact that it is only a thought, an option, an experience we choose to have that arises from that thought, an experience we project from the inside out, is hidden behind words and theories. Thus the ego loves theology, philosophy and all the speculative disciplines, because the study the original error—the decision maker’s choice to identify with the ego instead of spirit, as if it were actually there to study. But it is not actually there. It’s a dream arising from a mistaken choice. What’s really there and the truth is we’re with spirit dreaming we’re there/here.


By allowing myself to experience the contrast, the difference between the ego’s nightmare and spirit’s happy dream, by realizing I can make another choice, that I am not only myself but also mySelf and experiencing the contrast between what comes of my inner choices, what I project out, I can learn to choose differently and have more of what my soul yearns for and less of what my ego wants.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our Only Real Protection

There were gun safety laws in Newtown, yet in spite of them what happened, happened. Clearly we need gun safety laws and more regulation of military style weapons and clips, but these are not enough. At the core it was the relationship between the shooter and his mother, the relationship between the mother and the so-called safety net/support network, and the mother’s attitude about weapons that led to the crime.


External actions and things like more cops in schools, more laws and better enforcement will never substitute for healthy, supportive and nurturing relationships between people. Such relationships are inside-out things, arising from an individual’s and community’s natural sense of compassion, inclusion and beliefs—their sense of spiritual connection. Spiritual connection is an individual thing, clearly supported or not by communities of individuals. Choosing to connect with spirit and live from the inside-out, compassionately and inclusively, is an individual thing. But it can be as contagious as fear mongering——fearing, hating and blaming--choosing to live from the outside-in.


 “What happened in Newtown reminds us of just how much our survival depends on unspoken social contracts and strong communities [inside-out stuff],” Courtney Martin, author of Do It anyway: The New Generation of Activists, wrote. “People feel safer externalizing ‘evil’ and pathologizing individuals [the outside-in stuff]. But the large scale social inequality [that breeds this ‘evil,’ and the anger, fear and poverty that goes with it] is never labeled the ‘monster.’”


In, The Culture of Fear, Barry Glassner wrote that the “media is fun-house mirror on reality—‘a distorted view [pathologizing individuals and externalizing ‘evil’]making the community, the nation and the world appear much more dangerous than is actually the case.’”


Let’s take responsibility as individuals and do the inner work of connecting with spirit first. From there, “let’s create [healthy, nurturing] places and relationships where difficult truths can be spoken before they curdle and endanger. Children are watching us to see what monsters we have made up - and what communities [and relationships] we have created as the real safeguard against what threatens them.”


We can go up to the movie screen (the external) to fix the out of focus picture (with more police and laws) or we can go to the projection booth (the inner source) to fix it by getting our bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits and allowing our natural compassion and desire for healthy relationships, inclusion and sense of community to flow. Until more of us are able to do the inner work and build the nurturing relationships and communities that are our only real protection, we will need the laws and regulations to shield us.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Let's Not Throw Out the Baby With the Bathwater

The Christian Science Monitor Magazine’s December 24 issue has an American gratitude list going into 2013.


“Despite talk of two Americas and secessionist petitions (hundreds of thousands have signed them for every state in the Union), it is inconceivable that we will have another civil war. Second, the assessment of American decline is not as persuasive as it might appear, depending, as it does, on the ‘good old days’ being as rosy as many people recall [which they weren’t]. [And tho] the US is often said to have achieved ‘hegemony’—having its own way, after WWII, only to have become impotent in recent years this period was rife with setbacks.


“The US accounts for roughly a fifth of gross world product, has the world’s only reserve currency, maintains a higher-education system that attracts the most international students, and nurtures and entrepreneurial environment that continues to entice many of the world’s most creative thinkers. [Also] the US is aging much less quickly than countries like Japan and Germany. Brzezinski tells a story of a top Chinese policymaker quipping, ‘please, let America not decline too quickly.’”


We have lot’s to do, lots to live up to and lot’s to do it with. We’ve made mistakes and will make more and have to see those mistakes clearly, then we can use our strengths to overcome our weaknesses. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.


Friday, January 18, 2013


Commitment matters. Especially to the pig! The bacon and eggs breakfast story goes: The chicken participates, the pig is committed.


Joy, love, creativity, compassion and success all flow from commitment. But it doesn’t have to be like the pig’s commitment. What good is it if I’m constantly stressed out, debilitated or dead. Balance. The idea is to experience joy, love, creativity, compassion and success and commitment. Both/and, not either/or. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it,” wrote Goethe. “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”


“Until one is committed,” wrote William H. Murray, “there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of kills countless ideas and splendid plans—that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the Providence moves, too.


“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no [one] could have dreamed would have come their way.”

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Future Comes One Day at a Time

The National Chaplain for the DAV--Disabled Veterans of America, quoted Lincoln as saying: “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” Cool, hugh? And still useful today. To me, that means I don’t have to get it all done now, today. But I can start today. It means there’s less stress and more letting go and letting God. It means allowing for grace and the realization that it is not I but my Father who doeth the work, and that when opportunities for action arise, I can seize them. And it means that my work isn’t so much doing, but undoing, of getting my bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits. “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”


The role of military chaplains has changed a great deal since Viet Nam. Chaplains used to be about convincing soldiers that God wanted them to fight. That they were to overcome their fear and moral concerns and kill the bad guys.


It’s not like that now. Now many chaplains are about standing for individual conscious and supporting, sometimes even representing, individual soldiers within the military community.


Fighting and killing must be the exception. When we have to fight, alright. But let’s stop being so quick to kill and maim and spend our blood and treasure, not to speak of the other guy’s blood and treasure, on it. Let’s cut the so-called ‘defense’ budget. It’s way too big, anyhow. A few judicious cuts and our deficit problems are over. Let’s start now. We don’t have to get it all done now. “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” Let’s use this day wisely and well.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fiscal Shmiscal!

Utne Magazine reviewed The People’s Guide To The Federal Budget by Mattea Kramer,  in the latest edition. Reviewer Sam Ross-Brown said: “The crash [of 2008] seemed to vindicate what conservative commentators had been warning about for years: the US debt was unsustainable, and sooner or later, the economy would be punished for it. But then a weird thing happened. Just as the market was crashing, high demand saw prices on US Treasuries jump. If US debt was unsustainable, why were investors buying up more” of it?


The 2011 debt ceiling debate, most of the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ discussions and most of the fiscal rhetoric in general, especially on the Republican side, is “rife with misinformation about government spending, economic policy and exactly what it means for Washington to be in debt.” When Uncle Sam is in debt, it’s not like when you and I are in debt. Analogies and metaphors comparing Federal debt to personal debt are incorrect, misleading and dangerous.


The facts are that “as a share of the total economy, our debt levels have historically been much higher [and] corporate tax rates in the US are among the lowest in the world [and] many prominent economists have been calling for an increase in US debt to stimulate recovery.” More popular understanding and involvement is needed to dispel the misinformation and get these facts and others into the public discourse. “Ideally,” Barbara Ehrenreich wrote in her forward, “the federal budget should be an expression of our collective values; something owned and shaped by all of us.”

Friday, January 11, 2013

Veterans for Peace

Yesterday I renewed my membership in Veterans For Peace—VFP,


I am a proud veteran of our misguided actions in Vietnam. I was RA—Regular Army, not drafted. I feel rotten and guilty about what we did there—what I did there, for no good reason, but I am also proud I served; proud to put my life on the line for the ideals I thought we were fighting for. I went over in 1968, with doubts which were soon confirmed by the first Tet Offensive. When I left, fraggings were becoming common as were atrocities like souvenir ears and fingers. It was horrible, useless and apparently all for naught because we seem not to have learned from our mistakes. The same kind of thinking and attitudes are still alive and well today in the neocon agitation for attacking Iran and their opposition to Chuck Hagel.


In the pie charts the media sometimes uses when ‘explaining’ our fiscal tribulations, we see that the three largest segments are Social Security, Medicare and defense. Yet in all subsequent discussions, the so-called ‘news’ rarely talks about cutting ‘defense’ but only about cutting the life-sustaining programs.  We constantly hear about the bureaucracy and waste in Social Security and Medicare, but rarely about the gargantuan waste in the DOD.’


What kind of people are we that we let our children and elderly go without food and health care so we can have more tanks and aircraft carriers? How are we ‘defending’ our ideals and society if we gut the life-sustaining, safety net programs? Why are we so deeply afraid that we believe we must defend ourselves so vigorously? Where is the ‘threat’ coming from? We are told that warfare is now asymmetrical—that a few individuals armed with box cutters can take down the World Trade Center. If this is so, and I believe the facts show it is, then why do we need more tanks and aircraft carriers?


A few years ago, I recall reading that one of the DOD’s international threat assessments said that the greatest threat to American security were food and water shortages leading to price increases pushing people in poorer nations to rise up. Apparently, Lindsay Graham and John McCain (isn’t it sad, what’s happened to McCain?) haven’t read that document. Global climate change—another thing Graham and McCain don’t believe in, impacts food and water supplies.


Clearly it is not Social Security and Medicare that needs to be cut, but our so-called ‘defense’ which defends us against the wrong things. Yes, we need a DOD. Yes, there are people out to get us. But will more tanks and aircraft carriers protect us? Let’s stop talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare and start talking about making intelligent cuts in defense. Let’s also take advantage of the DOD threat assessment and shift some of the resources to dealing with global climate change and its impacts on food and water.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reforming the Tax Cpde

Fixing the tax code is an excellent example - a micro of the macro, of the kind of thinking and methodology described in the latest series of posts. According to Bruce Bartlett in, The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform-Why We Need It and What It Will Take, as discussed in the December AARP Bulletin, the US tax code is incomprehensible to the vast majority of Americans including the accounts and other experts responsible for it. The key problem, Bartlett says, is conceptual and has to do with what constitutes the tax base. This is not a problem that can be fixed by redesigning tax forms or providing clearer instructions.


For 100 years, taxation has been based on income and today, income is just to slippery a concept to form the basis of taxation. It is too mobile, too hard to locate geographically, too easily redefined into different forms or masked in various financial structures. The two tax bases that are best suited to the current economic environment are consumption and real property.


Moving from an income tax system to one based on consumption and property will be painful, complicated, difficult, politically contentious, time consuming, and will probably take decades. But if we want ‘fairness’—everybody including corporations paying their fair share, and if we want to close all the loopholes and capture most of the revenue available, then some form of a tax system to one based on consumption and property will be necessary.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Vision for the New Year and Beyond, End/Beginning

The centralization would focus on guaranteeing the essentials of life, the decentralization to recognize and reward different degrees of individual talent and initiative. The Nation, with input from all stakeholders, would guarantee the essentials of life. Local communities, with input from all stakeholders, would determine how to recognize and reward different degrees of individual talent and initiative. Again, the resources to do this would come from recognizing the hidden costs and interdependencies and shifting those existing resources to achieve more of what we want and less of what we don’t want, less waste, corruption, unfairness and inequality to a sustainable world that works compassionately to bring out the full potential and best for everyone and everything in it.

We’d be saying, “as a citizen, irrespective of race, sex, religion, blah, blah, blah (as we’re supposed to be now and are not), you are guaranteed X. As a resident of this community, here’s how you can use your initiative and talent to have more than the minimum guarantee. It might be working with kids or senior citizens, mowing lawns, analyzing budgets, being a fire fighter or police officer.”


Of course there are holes you could drive a Mack truck thru in this vision. It’s inconsistent and not ready for prime time. But there is much of relevance, much food for thought, much that can be used to create a better, more effective and efficient vision and a sustainable world that works compassionately to bring out the full potential and best for everyone and everything in it.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Vision for the New Year and Beyond, Part 5

Factoring in the hidden costs and considering the interdependence of our so-called ‘systems’ would enable us to more accurately see where the resources are going and what we’re getting for them (follow the money). Then we could shift resources around to get more of what we want and less of what we don’t want. Doing this analysis and subsequent shifting will unbalance current power alignments and will be resisted by these alignments. We need to persist anyway and expect this resistance.


So, instead of thinking in terms of an employment contract between a worker and an employer, looking at the ‘hidden’ costs and interrelationships inherent in such a concept we might perhaps realize that the most effective and efficient thing to do for all concerned—employee, government, capital, etc., would be to simply guarantee every person health care, education, and the essentials of life, then find a way to recognize and reward different degrees of individual talent and initiative.


How we go from where we are to this radical new view, allowing that one can even understand and accept the new view, is the challenge. In addition to committing to the idea that a sustainable world that works compassionately to bring out the full potential and best for everyone and everything in it, a mix of centralization and decentralization, private and public (a distinction without much meaning) would be needed, as well as a commitment to a benign world view based on cooperation, not competition, on both community and individuals, both spirit and science, values other that the dog-eat-dog, exploitative, original sin view of life that have created, sustained and maintained much of traditional western, christian, capitalist civilization.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Vision for the New Year and Beyond, Part 4

So here are some thoughts on a new gestalt, a re-shuffling and re-arrangement of the relationships within and between our so-called ‘systems’ of politics, society and economics that are more consistent with the best ideals of humanity.


First, let’s look at the ‘hidden’ back end costs of how we’re doing things now. For example, the costs of air pollution in asthma, medical care, illness, stress, days lost from school and work, inability to learn and earn, crime, violence, abuse because children and adults couldn’t learn and earn, etc. Let’s factor these costs into our energy policy. With these costs factored in, what’s the real cost of burning polluting fuels? Such ‘hidden’ costs, costs that somehow must be paid either in higher prices, fees, insurance bills or taxes, abound in all our so-called ‘systems.’


Take universal health care. There’s an upfront cost associated with that, but one of the hidden costs of doing things as we are is that businesses—large and small, must pay for it and that makes our business less competitive with the businesses in countries that have universal health care. So looking at the ‘hidden’ back end costs and factoring them into our planning and budgeting will make a huge contribution to a sustainable world that works compassionately to bring out the full potential and best for everyone and everything in it. This will be difficult to do, but not beyond the range of our super computers.


Next, as mentioned earlier, consider the interrelationship, interdependence and interconnections within and between our so-called ‘systems’ primarily the political, social and economic. Stop viewing these in isolation each with its own set of rules, principles and outcomes, but as a whole, valuing them only if they contribute to a sustainable world that works compassionately to bring out the full potential and best for everyone and everything in it and tweaking and changing them if they don’t.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Vision for the New Year and Beyond, Part 3

Dealing with these systems in isolation, ignoring the interrelationships and interdependence is bull shit! It’s a big part of the problem and its solution. We just can’t afford to keep doing that. The lack of parenting skills (you need a license to drive, but not to be a parent or own a gun), violence, child and spousal abuse, being macho, drinking, eating junk food and soda (cause they’re cheaper), stress at work, no work, guilt about being on ‘welfare,’ the disappearance of the so-called ‘safety net’, the cost of insurance—car, home & medical, the disappearance of retirement benefits or even the option to retire, too much leisure time or not enough leisure time, more crime, more prisons, more money for prisons, prison corporations and their lobbyists in legislatures, boring classrooms, too much emphasis on testing, the disappearance of parks, libraries and community spaces, lack of preventative medical care, polluted air and water, global climate change, all of these things are interrelated and interconnected and we pay for them (especially their lack of performance – it’s like paying twice—once to get them to perform and the second time when their lack of performance impacts some other ‘system’), don’t kid yourself, one way or another they cost and we pay, front end, back end, on line or offline, they cost and we pay.


But in spite of all this, we can have more of what we want and less of what we don’t want; we can get there from here, but only if we think differently about how things are and take responsibility for making them as we want them to be. If we always do what we always did, we’ll always get what we always got. We have the technology, the technology that is rapidly disrupting our traditional views of politics, society and economics. We can use this technology to have more of what we want and less of what we don’t want. It’s up to us to choose. We can see the disruption of traditional relationships as a breakdown or failure, or we can choose to see the disruption as an opportunity for reform and the birth of new sets of relationships more consistent with our ideals. Now is the time! Now is all there is. Try breathing for five minutes into the future. If not now, when?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Vision for the New Year and Beyond, Part 2

No more ‘trickle down,’ no more ‘survival of the fittest,’ no more ‘winner take all,’ no more ‘good guys and bad guys’—only guys and gals doing their best, making mistakes and learning to do better, no more, ‘silent majority’ or ‘99% and 1%’, no more heaven and hell, sinners and saints, and no more religious and other justifications for discriminating against human beings, no more ‘white trash’ or even the idea that human beings are disposable and can even be trash, no more ‘if you want to make and omelet you’ve got to break some eggs—none of that, only win/win, cooperation, compassion, inclusiveness and community, honest and sincere gratitude, fearlessness and equal opportunity.


Do we really need the so-called ‘criminal justice system’ to work the way it does, so many lawyers, so many people in jail, so much punishment and so little rehabilitation, so much inequality, rich guys and big corporations getting away with god knows what and you and me going to jail for wising off to a cop?


And the ‘educational system,’ how’s that working for you? Happy with the quality of our schools and colleges? Think we’re getting value for the dollar, especially in college? Does the best medical system in the world (not) really need to be so expensive? Must we really have the biggest, best most expensive military in the world? If we’re so great and strong militarily, how come we’re still fucking around in Afghanistan and worrying about Iran?


Seems like we’re not getting much value for what we’re paying. The list of so-called ‘systems’ that aren’t systems and aren’t working is the same as the list of ‘systems’ we rely on. We’ve patched them, bandaged them, and covered gaping wounds with band aids. All of these ‘systems’ are barely functioning and are being held together with bubble gum and duct tape. It’s only a matter of time….


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Vision for the New Year and Beyond, Part 1

A vision for the new year and beyond.


A vision, a sense of the possible, a sense of hopes, dreams and values realized, a set of intentions, a desired future, and a vision of the strategy to achieve the vision. It is not a fully operationalized, totally practical step-by-step, do this then that view. It is a vision, a dream a set of desired outcomes and strategies.


The vision/outcome is a world that works for everyone and everything—a sustainable world that works compassionately to bring out the full potential and best for everyone and everything.  At its heart, this vision is based on a benign world view, one based on cooperation, not competition, on both community and individuals, both spirit and science. This vision is based on values other than the dog-eat-dog, exploitative, original sin view of life that have created, sustained and maintained much of traditional western, capitalist, christian civilization.


How can we re-arrange our current political, social and economic relationships so that they contribute to a sustainable world that works compassionately to bring out the full potential and best for everyone and everything in it? How can we look at our current political, social and economic relationships, not in isolation--each with its own set of rules, principles and outcomes, but as a whole, valuing them only if they contribute to a sustainable world that works compassionately to bring out the full potential and best for everyone and everything in it and tweaking them and changing them if they don’t.