Posted on

Mind-stuff

 

I knew almost nothing  about the (non-human) beings we share this universe with  –  till I spent time in a religious order (gccalliance.org).  That’s where I was, from 1995 – 2012.  About 100 people.  God-centered.  Highly (wonderfully) cooperative.  An eco-village.  All adults attend evening classes; much of which study is of The Urantia Book.

The U.B. is more than 2,000 pages long, and contains a great deal of information – for the people of this world (which the celestials refer to as  “Urantia”.  So, you see, the U.B. is rather like the little book in your glove compartment, which will have a title matching the car that you drive.)

 

I was at GCCA for 17 years; and, after a year or so, (because of all the study) I developed some comprehension of who our companions are.   (from here, mostly invisible)

 

All humans benefit from the watch-care of a guardian angel; mostly these are seraphim.  All orders of angels have a great deal in common with us lowly mortals: emotionally we are quite similar (except that angels are a bit baffled by human ‘fear’).  Seraphim are smart, but are not omniscient, nor does your guardian seraphim indwell your mind  (as your Thought Adjuster does  –  a pre-personal fragment of the Universal Father).  Your guardian seraphim had to LEARN your language (prior to their assignment); so, if you want your guardian angel to be in on any of your prayers, you need to speak that prayer out loud.  Seraphim are (quite) capable, but not infallible.  

If I should fail to survive (as a soul.  Most souls survive, but some do not.) – then my seraphic guardian would be adjudicated (to determine whether he was complicit in my failure.  My Thought Adjuster would NOT be adjudicated.  God does not make mistakes.)

 

[You may think I am telling you a lot;  but I assure you, I am not.  I just want to give you a glimpse of who else is around]

 

Also there are Midwayers.  These are the closest to us, vibrationally.  They are not celestials.  Midwayers are the permanent inhabitants of the Earth / (Urantia).  From their point of view, we live and die so quickly – we’re like grass.  There happen to be 1111 Loyal Midwayers on this planet.  (If you often see this number, it’s them).      They are smarter than we are; and they’re better than we are.  AND they have the ability to connect with a human mind.  As angels are, midway creatures are normally invisible to human eyes.  (They have helped me numerous times.  And, I DID see one once, I’m certain.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It’s the Midwayer Commission that took action / went to work and got the Urantia Book to happen.  No small feat.

 

I suspect that many of us have a ‘celestial support team’ (including a midwayer, and, of course, a seraphim)

 

I do not (really) know what beings have been working with me, bringing me along (even from a young age).  But I now have done enough study (and have had some undeniable personal experiences) that I am stuck with believing that someone has (been giving me ideas, and/or teaching me).

As to whether it would be correct  to say   that I was ‘trained in a mystery school’  –  I am uncertain   (but it may be accurate / proper.    That’s a semantical matter anyway.)

 

When I was walking home (from next door) one evening, when I was about 6, I stopped in the middle of the grape arbor and looked up toward my grandma & grandpa’s back porch.  It was dark-dusk  and the porch light was on.  There was no one to be seen; but I knew that if there had been someone there on the porch, that I would (of course)  have been able to see them ~ but that they would NOT have been able to see ME. 

I did not really know what to DO with this realization, but it struck me as being quite interesting (and not unimportant).   Perhaps this was an early ‘noticing’ that the direction of perception is INWARD  (and that our ‘sight’ does not really go out from our eye, as it seems to)

 

While there is no way to be certain, I’m inclined to believe that that bit of thinking came from myself, from my own mind & curiosity.

But –

 

That time when I was sitting on the studio couch (on an evening, when I was about 12,  in our dining room, in the house I grew up in, in Ohio) – reading the ‘Post Scripts’ in the center of a Saturday Evening Post magazine … and the thought suddenly came into my head – that “The issue as to whether or not God exists – will NEVER be proven by any argument” … I find myself unable to believe – that that thought came from ME !

It was completely (as they say) “out of the blue”.    Someone (non-human) PUT that thought into my mind.

For MY part – I DID recognize the Truth of it.  I knew it was true.  (and perhaps that is not insignificant)

 

When I was quite young, say – from the age of 4 or 5 – I noticed that my root chakra would flare up (I could feel it clearly, in my groin.  That is, at the very bottom of my abdomen,  and midway between the front of my belly, and my back-side.  At this age  I did not know about chakras; but I WAS familiar with this sensation.  It would happen when I would see someone (probably on TV) get hurt, or mistreated.  

Anyway, I am confident there are beings around capable of noticing such a reaction in my etheric body, and realizing that I was compassionate, by nature.

 

When I was in the 9th grade, writing assignments (in English class) were common  –  weekly,  I suppose, at least.  The thing is – I doubt whether my fellow students suffered as much as I did, in the completion of these assignments.

Because – I always felt compelled to write something which was not only coherent, readable, and grammatically correct … it had to be true, as well.  I had no real CHOICE in this matter.  Shawnee School required that I function as a Writer … and my soul required that I function as a Philosopher (as well).  

Painful as it was,  I could not escape it.   It’s who I am.

Those early writing assignments were always painful, never easy.

 

In my family of origin, I was the middle of three sons.  About three years between me and each of my brothers.  Dan’s the oldest, then me, then Jack.

I doubt whether I got more than the “normal” amount of abuse from my older brother (as families go).  But I can tell you it was more than I would have liked.  And, I am ashamed to say, Jack got it from both of us.  By the time Jack was ready to go into high school, he sort of ‘got quiet’.

When I saw this, I felt sorry.  Because I knew what it was from:  the long unrelenting diet of mistreatment       from two older brothers.

Maybe this ‘sibling hazing’ is a million years old.  Maybe two million.  Maybe more.  Anyway, our mom (who grew up with a dozen siblings) called it “teasing”.  It took me a decade or so to realize that this is a misnomer.  It’s abuse.  Cruelty.

We need to learn to tell the truth.  To call things what they are.

 

Fortunately, when my brothers and I got to high school (approaching college) the sibling dynamic shifted.  We then saw each other as a “scarce commodity”; we knew we’d be leaving the nest soon and going out into the big world.

Luckily –  I was a senior in high school  the same year that Jack was a freshman;  so we got to spend this year together   as true friends.    This was a great blessing.

 

When Dan left high school, he went to GMI (General Motors Institute) in Flint, Michigan  –  an engineering school.   When Jack graduated high school, he also went to GMI.   And while there, he got to be good friends with Denny.  They were both smart and decent; they drank beer together, rode motorcycles, and enjoyed their lives.  After GMI, they went to Arizona State, in Tempe, for grad school (Business).  Denny was a year ahead, but Jack joined him there. 

 A little ways into Jack’s first year there, they both died one night, from carbon monoxide poisoning.  From a poorly vented gas, apartment heater.  It had no stack (to help it draw the exhaust fumes.  I went and saw it for myself; it was vented like a dryer)  Also, the heater had to be pulled away (from the wall and the vent) in order to light it.  They had gone skiing, and when they came home, they lit their heater.  And I reckon they did not get it properly engaged with the vent   when they pushed it back.  Anyway, that night they both died in their sleep. 

 Denny’s girlfriend found them the next morning.  She thought Denny was alive, as he was standing up, leaning (naked) against the bathroom wall, by the toilet.  He had gotten up to pee.  That’s the way she found him.  (and, a year or so previous, she had lost her husband. So that was hard on her)

 

And this was a rough one for our family as well.

But Denny was an only child. (I knew him a bit, through Jack.  Denny was good looking, intelligent, sweet.  A really good person)   He was everything to that family.  They were just devastated when they lost him.

 

It was of some consolation to me, when we lost Jack, that I knew that  (because of  those 5 ½ years or so, that we had spent  together as real friends) –  he knew that I loved him.  That I knew him, and appreciated him.  That I enjoyed him.

It may seem that Jack’s life was short (he was 24).   Too short.   But I am unable to believe that his life was not valuable and meaningful.  Maybe it was not a good death, but it had been a good life.  I knew that.                            And (perhaps a bit later on)   I knew I’d see him again.

 

 

We don’t know why we’re here.  One day – we just show up.  We don’t know how, or why.  (and we still don’t know why).  Our gifts are considerable and numerous.  Not least among them – the people close to us.         If we should fail to recognize these gifts and value them,   that’s on us.

 

Whether I was brought up in some Mystery School (or not)    I can tell you that I would (most likely) never have understood the nature of the Waking Dream    without the (considerable) help that I got    from members of my ‘Family’,  who from here – seem to be invisible.

I wish to thank them.     THEY know who they are. 

Even if I don’t.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I recently realized that I want to write up this (following) idea   in a long version.  In a book:  Relaxed,
Beautiful (with numerous photos & paintings.  Colorful) Uplifting, & (I hope)  Enjoyable.

Maybe it could even be of use to people who have suffered greatly.

 

TED talks are 18 minutes (maximum).  TEDx talks are usually shorter – 10, maybe 12 minutes.

I’m hoping to deliver this (below) talk on a TEDx stage.  At the earliest opportunity. (hopefully within a year)

 

This (following) essay / talk is a consolidation of three previously published essays:

https://worldfamilytrading.com/the-great-illusion/?v=7516fd43adaa 

https://worldfamilytrading.com/the-waking-state/?v=7516fd43adaa 

https://worldfamilytrading.com/the-dream/?v=7516fd43adaa 

 

and is also a (much shortened) version of a talk I put onto youtube, the trailer for which is:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlfqsL3hTK0

And links for its six segments are:

1.a = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBqIyIlIb9E

 

1.b = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYLM3tXAkMc

 

1.c = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBWHbp08q9I

 

1.d = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsgBZ1Y47-w

 

1.e = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvWpgXNIpK8

 

1.f = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muRoPmS2q8E      (Sailor’s Prayer)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

As I am thinking I may call the (future) book – “Mind-stuff”, I’ll call it that, here.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, 

it’s queerer than we can suppose.

                                                                                                               –   J.B.S. Haldane

In 1960, when I was 14, I entered high school – Shawnee High School, in northwest Ohio.  And soon after that,  I found I had also matriculated into a school I could not see.  And though my instruction in this mystery school never occurred anywhere but in the brick-and-mortar school, I presumed that it was not part of the Shawnee School system.   I found I was being instructed sometimes by teachers I could not see.  There was never any homework.  And my “instruction” was (always) in the form of having my attention directed – to some interaction happening in the classroom.

 

For example – (and this is the one that sticks with me)  the teacher  (the visible teacher) was conversing with a certain student.  And during that interaction I could see the student become aware of a ‘blank spot’  in their Personal Paradigm (their understanding of reality); and they hastily filled in that hole with something handy.  And I realized – that they did this because they felt uncomfortable with the HOLE  in their world view (once they saw there was a blank).  

 

And what I can tell you is that    on the spot   I vowed I would never do that.  I did NOT want such an understanding in my mind.  I would wait till I died, if I had to, before I would answer a question with just any old thing.  I would WAIT till the answer came.

 

About 15 years later (when I was in my house in Wallingford, in Seattle) I was asked to do something (by a being, not a human being, but by someone I could not see.  It may have been my teacher from high school.  I do not know.)

This was not ‘in words’ exactly, but I understood it okay:  I was being asked to work through the (human)  free will – determinism paradox.  (Do we humans actually have free will, or is that just an illusion?  I reckon this is NOT a simple question to sort through)   Anyway, I agreed to  think on it.

 

I had thought about it before, but it had been some years prior;  and I had no reason (of my own) to be thinking about it.

 

Well, after a couple weeks or so, I came to the realization I had considered this issue about as well as I could.

So I ‘handed in my work’.   I didn’t write anything down, or say anything out loud.  I reckoned that whoever had given me this task could handle the format I was offering.

 

Then I got the sense that whoever it was I was dealing with   considered my thought-work to be satisfactory.  I didn’t hear any applause, or anything;  but that was the only time that I had the distinct sense that there was more than just one person there, on the other side of the veil.

 

A few days later, I was out in the driveway, when the idea came into my mind that –  “Experience (here-and-now experience) has TWO components:  an Outer (material) aspect, AND an Inner (non-material) aspect.”       

   

Now this is nothing new; everybody knows this.  

 

But ~ attached to this idea was a sense of Urgency.  Intense urgency!

 

And since I KNEW  that that sense of urgency had NOT come from me.  (nor had I put that idea there either)   ~   I found myself forced to the realization :  that   I had been auditioned,  AND   I had now been given an assignment. 

 

I did not really know what I was supposed to DO with this assignment, but there was NO doubt in my mind that the assignment was real.  Nor did the attached urgency ever go away.

 

It never occurred to me NOT to accept the assignment.  (Nor did it occur to me that I should do library-type research)   But in my heart, I gave myself to this project.  Completely.  I was about as True to this task, as a person could be.  I never pushed it aside or avoided it.  Despite the fact that I did NOT know how to proceed – (to understand whatever I was supposed to understand)    and complete the assignment.

 

That fall (of  1976) I went back to college.  I had gone to University of Idaho directly out of high school, on a football scholarship.  But after three years there, (in the College of Letters & Sciences)   had flunked out.

 

But this time (two decades later) I went to MIU (Maharishi International University) – a liberal arts school in southeast Iowa, where everybody – faculty, staff, students – does Transcendental Meditation.  I had learned TM a year or two earlier.  (and I still do this practice)

 

I found the environment at MIU to be about ideal for the ‘project’ I was ‘working on’; and the people were delightful.

 

Consciousness   at MIU is regarded as Fundamental.  The Basis of all disciplines, as well as the basis to the spiritual technique of Transcendental Meditation.

 

There were many opportunities for students to participate in (in-class) discussions.  And quite often, these discussions were about consciousness.  And whenever it seemed relevant, I would say something about the Two aspects of Experience (inner & outer). 

 

There were about 200 students in my class; and I guess they sensed my passion for my “idea”, because students seemed to come up to me (usually in the dining hall)  almost in a steady stream.  To encourage me.  

I felt as though I was being ‘fed under the table’.

 

Things went on like this  for about a year and a half.

 

It was late in the fall semester of my sophomore year (1977) when I finally figured it out.

 

We were in a month-long Philosophy block.  And one day we were shown a film-strip:  A baby is seen sitting in his high chair, playing with some toy on the tray; and he inadvertently knocks it off the tray and it lands somewhere beyond his field of view.  But he does NOT hunt for it.

Then

a little later: the same scene – he knocks a toy off the high-chair tray, and it lands where he cannot see it.  But now – he HUNTS FOR IT.

 

THIS struck me as being really significant.  Really important  (though I did not know WHY).   And, about two weeks later (which is often about how long it takes me to come to a new idea) I understood what was going on:  we watch the inner     and we learn to recognize it AS the outer.

 

                         ~        I (basically) had completed my assignment.    ~

 

Piaget (the father of developmental psychology) would say that the child learns to ascribe to objects   the property of object permanence.  But this description (while basically true)  does NOT do justice to the Momentous Transformation that we (all) went through in the middle of our first year of life.  Infant’s Consciousness deserves to be recognized as a major state of consciousness ( along with – dream state, sleep state, waking state).  

 

What did we have to do      in order to gain entrance into the Society of Doers? /  into the Waking State?

 

               We POSTULATED THE EXISTENCE OF THE WORLD!       Audacious.   Outrageous.

 

THIS (cognition) is what we had to have    in order to be able to participate in the events of the world.

 

BEFORE our Great Transition (out of Infant’s Consciousness) we had already developed quite a few (small) cognitive categories:  Mama, bed, floor, water, milk, food, music, binky, blanket.  And many more.

But we needed a Wholistic one:  Reality  /  the World.

 

      All recognitions (really are) re – cognitions.  We must formulate the original cognition FIRST.

      THEN we can recognize that thing.

 

What happens when we see something?

Light comes into our eye  (maybe we are looking at a maple tree).  The image (upside-down and backwards) forms on our retina, signals get sent to the back of the brain, which works it up into (an accurate but) raw image, called the Percept.   Which we do not see; but this gets sent (quickly) to the front of the brain (home to all our cognitive categories); and, on the basis of similarity, the percept ‘shakes loose’ whatever cognitive categories it is able to.  And once these (recognitions) get coupled to the Percept – we (at last, consciously) ‘see’ the maple tree.

 

And – what are the REQUIREMENTS for Recognition?  HOW similar must the percept be to the contents of the cognitive categories?

 

Let us suppose for a moment – that a 100% match (or 99%) was the requirement.  Identicality (or nearly)

What would happen?

 

You’re a four-month-old baby, and your mother walks into the room you’re in.  Will you recognize her?

Yes:  IF the light is just right, if she is wearing what she always wears, if the expression on her face is the same as always.   Mmm?

 

But that’s NOT the way the world is.  If the requirements for Recognition were  Completely Strict, we would never recognize ANYTHING.   The world would appear brand new all the time.  And such a version of consciousness would be useless.  

 

Mmm?     No good.

 

In order for our consciousness to be of use to us, (for it to WORK at ALL), the requirements for Recognition MUST be a bit sloppy!

 

This means that we are hard-wired for error.      Misrecognitions, then, are bound to be common.

 

The first time I heard the Beattles’ song – ‘Yellow Submarine’, I thought they were saying “jealous of Marie” (not ‘yellow submarine’).   I probably heard it like that for YEARS.

And that’s not because I’m stupid.  It’s because I’m human.  I’m making do with Standard Issue gear.

 

Generally though, our consciousness is pretty hi-fi.   We can get into our car, and GO somewhere, and return  (probably)  without killing someone or ourselves.  Pretty impressive.

 

Our waking state experience is basically a ‘mosaic of recognitions’.  This show is handed to us by our consciousness and our brain & nervous system.  Automatically.

Inside our mind   there is a constant (automatic)  ‘snow-storm’ of recognitions.  All the time, when we’re awake.

But (besides recognizing the pieces:   shoes, sister, broccoli, the road, headlights, turn signals) there are ALSO wholistic recognitions.

 

When we watch a movie, we know it isn’t real.  And yet, we still manage (willingly) to experience it (at least to some extent) as though it were real.

 

And a similar thing can happen with a dream that we have at night, when we’re asleep.  Sometimes we have a dream that seems absolutely real… such that, when we awake in the morning, we are astonished as we’re forced to the realization –  that it was “just a dream”!       

 

Well, the difference between a sleeping dream and the Waking State, is that the sleeping dream occurs IRRESPECTIVE of our surroundings; whereas the Waking State is a dream OF our (actual) surroundings.   In real time.

THIS is what makes the world ‘visible’ to us.

 

There is (good) reason to believe that the World really DOES exist.  (and, to a considerable extent – the WAY we see it)

But, in a strict sense, it’s not the WORLD itself that we see.  Our own consciousness POSES as the world (to the best of its ability, which is Considerable).  It’s a Dream.  A creation IN and OF our own consciousness.  A projection.  That we continuously create.   And live IN.

 

It’s altogether astonishing.

 

A tiger knows he is a tiger.  What he does NOT know – is that he is (also) NOT a tiger.  That part of him which thinks he is a tiger ~ that is NO tiger.

Nor does he realize that what he takes to be “the World” is really his Own Dream of it !

 

We say that we look OUT of a window.  “I can’t see out through this windshield; there’s too much ice on it.”

We think that our sight goes OUT from our eye and “sees” our environment (the trees, the mountains, the traffic)   OUT THERE   where those things ARE.

 

THIS (the apparent ‘whereness‘ of everything)  this is what makes our projection SO (inescapably) CONVINCING.          Mmm?

 

Let us work with an example.  Something HERE and NOW.   Mmm?

 

How about the rim of the stage?  the EDGE of the stage I’m standing on.  You can all see it; and I can see it too.   Okay?

 

Now, I dare say that we have NO disagreement as to WHERE this edge of the stage is.

But – it’s not the location of the stage   that I want you to consider.  It’s the location of the SEEING!

I want you to hold in your mind TWO QUESTIONS    at the same time.  And let us be honest with our answers.

 

Where does the SEEING seem to occur?   AND    Where does it actually occur?

 

Where do I SEEM to see the edge of the stage?   

AND 

Where do I actually  see the edge of the stage?

 

(I’ll give you a little time  –  to arrive at the Truth of the matter)

 

Okay?

 

We SEEM to see the rim of the stage – right there, exactly WHERE IT IS.   

But

We ACTUALLY  see it inside our own minds, within our Brain-Space.   

 

Is it not true?

 

You see – we imagine that our SIGHT goes OUT from our eye     and (instantaneously) STRIKES  the things in our environment:  the road, the buildings, the trees, the mountains, the clouds, the stars.

But this does not happen.

Here’s the truth:   that Thing (that Big Thing) we are completely accustomed to recognizing as “The World”   –  is actually our Projection.    And we live IN it; we are a part of it.

 

Ever notice that everyone (in the world) thinks they’re RIGHT (all the time)?

Well, since we all think we see the world DIRECTLY (without our own consciousness mediating for us) we are left with the impression that we are (constantly) in direct contact with Reality.

We are all under constant pressure  –  to think we’re RIGHT.  [because the illusion is constant.  It never lets up.]

 

            And this causes some problems, doesn’t it?

 

No one can escape these Fundamental Illusions.  But, once we SEE them, we can ALLOW for them.   Mmm?

 

But I do not consider this (understanding why everyone thinks they’re right) to be the Main Takeaway.

THAT should be:   Astonishment, wonder, an elevated and enhanced appreciation for oneself, and for others (and even all the animals, since we ALL live in the world THROUGH the functioning of our Waking State of consciousness, which (unavoidably) operates on the BASIS of a fundamental misrecognition)

 

And, if THIS is true ~

 

       All Creatures are miraculous.  

 

            There is abundant room for Spirituality.

 

                  We are Multidimensional Beings.

 

                        All of Life is Sacred.

 

                              We must NOT allow this planet to perish.

 

                                     The Universe is Alive.

 

Rumi says –           (and I offer you this as a “Commissioning”)

 

You should try to hear the name the Holy One  has for things.

There is something in the phrase:  “The Holy One taught him names.”

We name everything according to the number of legs it has;

The holy one names it according to what is inside.

Moses waved his stick; he thought it was a “rod.”

But inside its name was “dragonish snake.”

We thought the name of Umar meant: “agitator against priests”;

But in eternity his name is “the one who believes.”

 

No one knows our name until our last breath goes out.

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted on

Death and a Thick Body

 

 

What has death and a thick body

     dances before

          what has no thick body and no death.

 

–    Kabir

 

 

 

This essay is offered as an extension of an earlier post:  “Multiple Dimensions of Reality” (published in June of 2018  –  

 

   https://worldfamilytrading.com/multiple-dimensions-of-reality/?v=7516fd43adaa     )

 

I am (still) arguing that we humans (& the realms we live in) are not merely physical, but in fact – multidimensional.

 

It so happened that, when my little brother Jack was 24 – he died from carbon monoxide poisoning (from an improperly vented gas apartment heater).  He and I were very close.  

 

When Jack died, I began looking into Spirituality (in general) and into “Life after Death” (in particular).  And my enquiries included a look into Eckankar, the ancient science of soul travel.  I took an Experimental College course in Eckankar (at U/W in Seattle), read a couple books, and met others who were following that path.  I found these folks likable – sincere, decent, cheerful.  That I did not continue long on that path was not because I did not have a high regard for the practice (or the people who were pursuing it).  It’s just that I happened to get involved with Transcendental Meditation, and then felt I had to make a choice – (not that Eckankar and TM are mutually exclusive.  But one must make decisions about how to spend one’s time.  Mmm?)   That was 5 decades ago; and I’m still doing TM.  

 

You may have noticed that we live in a devoutly materialistic society.  (by which I do NOT mean that we are money hungry.  I mean – we ARE that; but that’s not what I’m talking about)

What I mean is  –  that we think there’s an “equals sign”  between Materiality and Reality.  

[R = M]   We think that Reality EQUALS Materiality, and that Materiality EQUALS Reality.  We think THEY ARE THE SAME THING !.         This is a Bad Mistake. (& also Childish Nonsense)

 

Many years ago I heard Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (on TV) declare that “life after death” is no longer just a theory, but an established Scientific Fact (because of the enormous body of data from dying people – all over the world, of all ages and religions).  These reports (while subjective) are so numerous and corroborative as to be inescapable. 

                                  [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_K%C3%BCbler-Ross  ]

 

But any child (or teen or adult) is capable of noticing the (enormous) difference between a Living Person … and a Dead Body.

That’s why the epigram (for this essay):  “What has death and a thick body

     dances before

                         what has no thick body and no death.”

 

If you wish to try to invigorate your notion of your (abstract / non-material)  self  (the thing which has no thick body and no death), you may want to have a look at          https://worldfamilytrading.com/the-great-illusion/?v=7516fd43adaa  (published in July of 2019)  plus the two subsequent essays.  Also see       https://worldfamilytrading.com/attention/?v=7516fd43adaa  (published in September, 2018)

 

Anyway, from Eckankar’s point of view – their first five Planes of Existence      are:

                                                                                                          Physical, Astral, Causal, Mental, & Etheric.

Plus they reckon there are six planes HIGHER than the Etheric

        https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10150563836504997&set=the-worlds-of-eckthe-god-worlds-can-best-be-described-as-planes-of-reality-each-     (Eckankar’s Planes of Existence)

 

And if you’d like a one-page explanation of Eckankar, you can see one here:  

 

                                                       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eckankar     

 

Now let’s hear from Gibran:

 

The Great Longing

 

Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea. 

 

We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together

is deep and strong and strange.  Nay, it is deeper than my sister’s

depth and stronger than my brother’s strength, and stranger than

the strangeness of my madness.

 

Aeons upon aeons have passed since the first grey dawn made us

visible to one another; and though we have seen the birth and the

fullness and the death of many worlds, we are still eager and young.

 

We are young and eager and yet we are mateless and unvisited, and

though we lie in unbroken half embrace, we are uncomforted.  And

what comfort is there for controlled desire and unspent passion?

Whence shall come the flaming god to warm my sister’s bed?  And

what she-torrent shall quench my brother’s fire?  And who is the

woman that shall command my heart?

 

In the stillness of the night my sister murmurs in her sleep the

fire-god’s unknown name, and my brother calls afar upon the cool

and distant goddess.  But upon whom I call in my sleep I know not.

 

 

Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea.

We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together

is deep and strong and strange.

                                                                        –     Kahlil Gibran

                                                                                                    (from   The Madman)

 

Here is my own (brief) interpretation of this ‘poem’ 

 

The ‘sea’ (emotions) Gibran casts as ‘feminine’.  His material body (the mountain) he casts as masculine.  Each has their own dreams & yearnings.  He casts himself (the abstract self) as somewhere in the center of all this turmoil.  All    are lonely.         He acknowledges love to be what unifies the whole mess.

 

Every human being is capable of contemplating the Human Condition, and so we are –  in some sense fully qualified to say whether Gibran is ‘telling the truth’.

And if he IS telling the truth, you can see why such a situation would be enough to drive ANYONE mad.    Mmm?                    A Human Life   –   it’s a tough gig.

 

The world of inanimate matter is governed by the laws of physics.  The wind blows because the air moves from a place of greater pressure to a place of less pressure.  The snow falls slowly because the air (near sea-level) is somewhat dense, because all the air above is piled on top, which compresses it.  (we live at the bottom of a ‘sea of air’).

But the world of Living Creatures functions under additional laws: principally – DESIRE.  If I hold my hand out, in front of my face, then if I want my hand to go UP,  it just goes up !  We conduct our bodies here and there (miraculously) by mere intention.  (snowflakes, as they fall, do NOT do such things; they simply submit to gravity and to however the air is moving.  They do not make choices.  Nor do they get themselves into trouble.

The fact that we GO here or there by mere intention    should convince us that  the soul owns the body, and not the other way round.  Or, if not that, we should need no further convincing – that we consist of MORE than merely a physical component.

Every child who can run around – knows perfectly well that he can do things that a stone or a stick can NOT.  (with or WITHOUT contemplation of the matter).

 

Such considerations, by the way, are ontological, which is to say – they have to do with issues of Being (“What is our Nature?”).  I bring this up – because, as a culture, we have NOT done a good job with our ontological enquiry (who ARE we?)  We mainly neglect it.

 

Well here is an ontological folk song  (that is  –  it talks about  ‘who we are’):

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlPjUvOxAf0    (Harry Belafonte – Turn The World Around)

 

Heart = water

Body = mountain

Spirit = sunlight / (or fire)

 

“Do you know   who I am?     Do I know   who you are?”

“See one another clearly   –   Do we know   who we are?”

“We are of the Spirit     Truly of the Spirit”

“Only can the Spirit     turn the world around.”

 

I think this song has a lot going for it.    A few centuries ago  the Four (or Five) Elements

were considered to be:   

                                             Earth

                                                       Air

                                                             Fire

                                                                     Water

                                                                               Spirit

 

So, for me, this song says that we ARE (ALL) these things       so we should COME BACK to these Elements.  We should BE who we really are.  And if we can do that, we can change the world.  Together (in our true Selves) we can set the world aright.  Take care of the Great Mother.

Mmm?

Also, it’s a fun song.  Perky.     It’s in ‘5’ !!     Maybe 15% of all the songs we’ve ever heard  are in ‘3’  (skipping time, or walz time); and most of the rest are in “4”.  Almost NONE are in ‘5’.

(The most well-known ‘in-five’ song is :  

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmDDOFXSgAs     (Dave Brubeck – Take Five)                  a jazz piece, of course.

(and by the way, the 5-beat is about the same in these two songs:  [‘Turn the World Around’  & ‘Take Five’.     Same tempo  /  speed ] )

 

And surely there are many (real) things which cannot be seen –  (e.g. –  our feelings, hopes, purposes, dreams, plans, aspirations,          love)

 

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvT31UAIcdI    (The 13th Warrior (1999)  The duel between Herger the Joyous and Angus     4:05)         [take note of the dialog at the end of this clip]

 

Yes, and what about Love?   (notice the acknowledgement, late in the song:  “Do you believe in something that you’ve never seen before?”):

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xHc5yQojAY    (The Wedding Song  –  Paul Stookey)

 

And Szymborska has something to say about it  (love):

 

 

“True Love”

 

True love. Is it normal

is it serious, is it practical?

What does the world get from two people

who exist in a world of their own?

Placed on the same pedestal for no good reason,

drawn randomly from millions but convinced

it had to happen this way – in reward for what?

For nothing.

The light descends from nowhere.

Why on these two and not on others?

Doesn’t this outrage justice? Yes it does.

Doesn’t it disrupt our painstakingly erected principles,

and cast the moral from the peak? Yes on both accounts.

Look at the happy couple.

Couldn’t they at least try to hide it,

fake a little depression for their friends’ sake?

Listen to them laughing – it’s an insult.

The language they use – deceptively clear.

And their little celebrations, rituals,

the elaborate mutual routines –

it’s obviously a plot behind the human race’s back!

It’s hard even to guess how far things might go

if people start to follow their example.

What could religion and poetry count on?

What would be remembered? What renounced?

Who’d want to stay within bounds?

True love. Is it really necessary?

Tact and common sense tell us to pass over it in silence,

like a scandal in Life’s highest circles.

Perfectly good children are born without its help.

It couldn’t populate the planet in a million years,

it comes along so rarely.

Let the people who never find true love

keep saying that there’s no such thing.

Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die. 

 

                                                                                       –  Wislawa Szymborska

 

And – what do you suppose Mirabai is talking about?:

 

Why Mira Can’t Go Back to her Old House

 

The colors of the Dark One have penetrated Mira’s body; all the other colors washed out.

Making love with the Dark One and eating little, those are my pearls and my carnelians.

Meditation beads and the forehead streak, those are my scarves and my rings.

That’s enough feminine wiles for me. My teacher taught me this.

Approve me or disapprove me: I praise the Mountain Energy night and day.

I take the path that ecstatic human beings have taken for centuries.

I don’t steal money, I don’t hit anyone. What will you charge me with?

I have felt the swaying of the elephant’s shoulders;

and now you want me to climb on a jackass?

Try to be serious.

                                                                                                                      –  Mirabai

 

or Rumi?:

 

Someone who does not run

toward the allure of love

walks a road where nothing

lives.  But this dove here

senses the love hawk floating

above, and waits, and will not

be driven or scared to safety 

                                                                         –   Rumi

 

 

It turns out that what cannot be seen is more important (& essential) than what can.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You may also want to have a look at:

    

https://worldfamilytrading.com/lifting-a-person-using-subtle-energies-and-teamwork/?v=7516fd43adaa 

 

and maybe:   https://worldfamilytrading.com/both/?v=7516fd43adaa     (which deals with our “mutual exclusivity” hang-up  –   published in July of 2019). 

                                      

Posted on

Lifting a Person, Using Subtle Energies and Teamwork

 

We are like flies crawling across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel: we cannot see what angels and gods lie underneath the threshold of our perceptions.  We do not live in reality; we live in our paradigms, our habituated perceptions, our illusions; the illusions we share through culture we call reality; but the true historical reality of our condition is invisible to us.
                                                                                                                                   –    William Irwin Thompson

 

 

When I got out of the Navy in 1973, I moved to Seattle, and I lived there till 1985.

 

In 1974 (or ‘75) I happened to go to a weirdo party.  It was there that I met Bruce Myron (one of the other weirdos).  We became friends.  

Well, Bruce was an astrologer and a clairvoyant; that is, he could see auras & chakras.  I hired him numerous times as an astrologer; but he would always give me feedback as to the condition of my lighter bodies.

 

Now, at the party (where we’d met) there were some people playing a ‘party game’.  One person was lying on their back, on the floor, with six people squatting (or kneeling, I can’t recall) close to them (three on the right and three on the left – in ‘pairs’: one pair at the shoulders, another pair at the waist, and the 3rd pair just below the knees)  

What was meant to happen was – the six people kneeling were supposed to lift their person up (high).  The lifters had been instructed to put their two hands close together with their index fingers extended (and slide them under the liftee).  And then, at some point, lift them up (just with their index fingers.)

 

I was not one of the participants, but I was sitting next to Bruce; and we were both watching the proceedings.  But, in fact, nothing much happened.  The person was NOT lifted up.  (And I don’t think anyone there was greatly surprised.  I mean, HOW could such a thing happen, anyway?)

But at that moment (of “failure”) Bruce said to me (discreetly) that a certain woman (he knew her name – one of the “lifters”) “didn’t connect” with her lifting partner opposite her.  That was his (clairvoyant’s) explanation.

 

I did not discuss this incident (with anyone, ever); but I did not doubt the truth of what Bruce had told me he had seen.

 

And some fourteen years later, I thought the time had come to test it.

 

It so happened that (at an education conference in 1985) I met a certain British-Canadian woman, Moira Morningstar; and I moved to Canada.  We lived in Burnaby, B.C. and on Saturna Island; then moved to Quadra Island and were married there in 1986.

 

In 1989 I accepted a job – of running a “Time-Out” room at Phoenix Junior School, a short ferry ride across Discovery Passage, .  Phoenix is in the town of Campbell River, on Vancouver Island.

 

You should know that Campbell River is a mill town.  Plenty of alcohol consumption, and drugs.  Spouse abuse.  Child abuse.

Many Phoenix students led unenviable lives.  A lot of adult (and peer) mistreatment.  A lot of unhappiness.

It was my view that the culture of the school was (mainly) owned by the students, not the teachers (or administration).  I think many of the students regarded the adults in the school the way an “occupied” people  regards its occupiers.  With resentment.                If a student were, somehow, able to get the better of a teacher – humiliate them in some way, that student would ‘earn a lot of points‘ with his peers.  Such a transaction was probably the Most Valuable one of All, within that micro-culture & social economy.  

A culture is a complicated thing, and is made up of things such as Language, Customs, the shared Paradigm, Songs (& other art), and shared Values.  (but one’s values basically fall out of what one thinks is true.  Is it not so?)  And if you’re convinced that the adults in your life are ‘the enemy’, you will not be eager to follow their lead.  Any self-respecting people will resist and fight against their occupiers.   Mmm?   (in as far as they can get away with it)

Peer bullying was (among the students) accepted as ‘normal’.  Brutality, cruelty.  Many times I observed a boy give another boy a ‘wedgie‘ – by grasping the back of the lad’s underpants and then lifting up very hard.  I am glad to report that I never observed this practice being done to a female.  Even so, I think it is not simply cruel, it’s a version of sexual abuse.  ( &, like rape, it’s a power transaction).           Now, when I say that peer cruelty was accepted as normal, I’m pretty sure that many of the students (most of them, perhaps) did not approve of it; however, I never saw any student attempt to intervene (in any transaction of bullying).    But when it was feasible, I would give the perpetrator my standard lecture of the nature of fun.  That is – that “there are TWO kinds of fun: one where everyone has fun, and one where some people have fun and others don’t.”

 And, as I routinely rode the ferry to & from work, I would (often) overhear a student bragging to his friends about how ‘last night I ingested poison and survived’.  (that is – bragging about    how they did some drug, or drank a lot of alcohol [substances that the grown-ups considered Bad] … but I did it anyway, and I’m still here to tell you about it.)   And of course, they wouldn’t be bragging to their friends about their superiority/invulnerability, if they weren’t accruing social currency/status   by doing so.

 

Anyway, many students really did not want to be in class.  Sometimes a student might, for example, make a pool of spit, on the floor, till the teacher would kick them out of the class.  That student would then report to the office, where the Vice-Principal would speak with them.  And then they would sit in the office till the bell rang for the next class.

That’s why I was hired.  To try to do something worthwhile with these troubled students once the vice-principal had said to them what he could.

My time-out room was across the hall from the office, and next to the Library.  It was pretty large with black boards along one wall and a round table in the center.  That was my ‘desk’.  I kept a potted cyclamen on that table.  Something beautiful, and alive. 

Much of my efforts were – to convince my charges that we (actually) live in the SAME world.

 

Also there were a few students who got assigned to me – to teach them (math, or social studies, or science, or whatever) when that seemed more promising than the regular classroom (for whatever reason).

I enjoyed all these tasks.

 

I will admit that there was one student I did not like. ( And I am sure that was due to my own spiritual immaturity.)  But otherwise I liked everyone.  And I did my best for them.

 

Well, a bit before the school year ended, there was a Special Day. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was meant to be a ‘fun day’ for the students.  Non-academic, and a complete break from their regular classes.

 

The students were assigned to groups (or ‘teams’) of 7 or 8 students per team.  Throughout the day, the bell would ring every 25 minutes or so (I forget, exactly); and each team had instructions where to go next, each time the ‘ending’ bell rang.

Meanwhile all the teachers (and I was included that day, as a Teacher, though technically I was an Educational Aide) were assigned a certain room (for that day), where we could offer the students some activity of our choosing.  I chose this exercise (party game) described above.

 

Somewhere I found a book with  pictures of etheric energy extending from the ends of a person’s fingers.  And I used these visuals to instruct the teams of students, as each new group of teams would arrive.

I told each new “class” (comprised of perhaps four teams) what I wanted them to do (or attempt to do):  That – one among them, from each team, would lie on the floor – the one to be lifted.  And the others should form pairs and squat down (at the shoulders, at the waist, and at the calves)  And that each pair of lifters should endeavor to connect their etheric energies together, like in the pictures I showed them.  (And, when they were ready, they should try to lift their person, using just their index fingers + the web of etheric energy)

 

I guess I’ll tell you – that I came to school early for this day – so that I could do a psychic cleaning on the room I was to use (which was not my regular “time-out” room), just a regular classroom.

The students at Phoenix are seventh, eighth, and  ninth graders.  (That’s how it is in British Columbia.)  It’s a tough age group.  
By the time students get to High School, they begin to behave more like Human Beings.  Mmm?   (Junior High is the worst)  I figured the room needed to be “cleaned”.  I wanted to ‘prepare the ground’ as best I could.  I reckoned what I was asking them to attempt  –  well, it would be quite a stretch.

 

Here’s what happened (in my room) that day.

 

New sets of teams arrived (all day, except for a lunch break) about every half hour.  I explained to each new ‘class’ what I wanted them to do.    And they all failed.

 

That is – they all failed – except for ONE team.  (and this was at or near the end of the day)  

 

But I saw it with my own eyes.  Those kids picked up their person – LIKE THEY DIDN’T WEIGH ANYTHING !  and held them momentarily up there, higher than their heads.  Then they lowered them safely back to the floor.   

 

I went to that team, and I told them – “Remember this.”

 

It must have had some effect.  Those who LIFTED their person high into the air (& those present in the room who saw it happen) were no doubt impacted.  And the whole student body of Phoenix Jr. School has a well-functioning communications (gossip) system.  So I presume it got around.

 

As William Irwin Thompson points out  –  [ref: the epigram]  –  “We do not live in reality; we live in our paradigms, our habituated perceptions, our illusions; the illusions we share through culture we call reality.”  And (I would add)  –  “Proof is whatever convinces you.”               

In Campbell River, like everyplace else, there is no shortage of conviction (& little shortage of agreement) about the Nature of Reality.  And we’re a Materialistic culture, aren’t we?  This means that the students of Phoenix Junior School showed up that day ALREADY KNOWING the “Nature of Reality”; but they were (somewhat) willing to suspend their disbelief in Subtle Energies.  (and this is probably because I was generally liked by the students).

I think it’s likely that every small group/team that came through my room that day was ‘mixed’; that is, some were able to suspend their disbelief, and some were not.  But – if even ONE group member is stuck in (the agreed-upon, Material) paradigm   that will be enough to disable that whole group.  That’s why every group failed.  All but one, that is.  In THAT group each and every person managed to suspend their disbelief in a higher paradigm.  In that moment when they attempted their (“impossible”) assigned task (of lifting one of their number) they took a step into a Higher Reality.  Together.  If it had not been unanimous, they would have failed too, like all the other groups did.

All the students who showed up that day were essentially in the same Situation  –  They each belonged to a Small Group / a Team (for the day).  And each brought with them their Beliefs about the nature of Reality (their Personal Paradigm).  And these views (of course) were largely SHARED (and agreed upon) by the greater society of which they were a part.  There was no one around to ask.  No ‘authorities’.  No wise men.  No parents.  (“Mother, should I trust the government?”)      Nor did I ask them to discuss amongst themselves whether they believed the task I assigned to them was Possible or not … and WHY they thought so.  I simply asked them to DO it.  They were EACH on their own;  they had to make their own (private) decision – as to whether to attempt the Suspension of Belief that would be required to accomplish the assigned task.           I think it’s likely that most of them found it easier to ‘succeed by failing’.  That is – if they simply STAYED in the agreed-upon (devoutly materialistic) “Reality”, they might “fail” with regard to completing the Assigned Task, but (if they should fail) they would “prove themselves Right” with regard to “what they already believed was true”.  They could ‘win’ by ‘losing’.  THIS was the path requiring the Least Effort.  Mmm?

Their (shared) Situation reminds me of a certain movie:  [‘10,000 BC’  (2008)]    wherein we see a small village of people who subsist largely by hunting Wooly Mammoths].  Rather early in the story the main character happens to fall into a pit, into which is flowing a considerable amount of water (because of a raging storm.  And I think this was a pit that was dug by his own village for the purpose of  capturing and killing a mammoth).  But he soon realizes that he is not the only one in peril in this pit.  There is also a saber-tooth tiger there – entangled in debris and in immanent danger of drowning.  He is tempted to kill this cat, but instead, he decides to try to free him.  And this he manages to do.  And then, of course, the tiger is at liberty to kill HIM.  The cat does come close to him, but he does not kill the man, which would have been an easy matter (and consistent with the dominant & well agreed-upon paradigm).        Later on, in a foreign land, in which the man finds himself in a situation where he may be killed by the people who live there, the cat appears (out of nowhere) and places himself between the man and the people who are threatening him.   The man had taken the initiative (in stepping out of the “normal” paradigm, and treated the cat ‘like Family’) and in so doing the cat ‘came along’;  he accepted the offer and became ‘Family’ to the man, as well.

One of the things which makes us so sure about whatever it is we happen to believe – is the fact that we think we are in direct contact with Reality; but this is an illusion.  The World (as it appears to us) is NOT the world itself.  It is a (high-fidelity) “work-up”  –  in & of our own consciousness.  It’s a projection.  (And this is not at all obvious).  You may like to have a look at a previous essay:  https://worldfamilytrading.com/the-great-illusion/?v=7516fd43adaa

Also – the choices that were set before (all of) the students who were assigned the ‘impossible’ task of lifting a person  –  brings to mind the Great War of Ideas.  Particularly how this war has always been with us, how it rages all around us … AND within us.

 

 

                                  The geneticist J. B. S. Haldane says that  “The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, it’s queerer than we can suppose.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world. . . . 

This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud. . . . I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.

Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. . . But this cannot be seen, only believed and ‘understood’ by a peculiar gift.”

Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

Posted on 2 Comments

Valentine’s Day

 

 

Why is Valentine’s Day such a popular holiday?  (& why is it a holiday AT ALL?)

 

No doubt – the people who have learned how to make money from holidays   have promoted it.  But there’s more to its popularity than that, surely.

 

It’s a rather unusual holiday, don’t you think?  In the way that Halloween is peculiar.  Mmm?

Halloween is our only holiday which celebrates (& validates) darkness / (evil).

Valentine’s Day, though, celebrates Love.  Love ITSELF.  Especially romantic love.

 

Even though it’s mainly romantic love that’s being celebrated, and even though our notions about the nature of romantic love are deeply flawed / (inaccurate), I still feel it’s a good sign.

I mean – that we have the good sense to regard Love as being really important – suggests (I think) – that we’re not completely crazy.

(One needn’t look hard, or look far these days to see plenty of craziness.)

 

Our Valentine’s Day is a good sign.

 

We now know that loneliness is as bad for our health & well-being as heavy smoking is   or obesity.

 

While we are unaccustomed to regarding loneliness as particularly important, it is not difficult to appreciate that the (enormous & world-wide) industries of 

 

     Slavery / (the international sex trade)

     Prostitution

     Pornography

     Weight-loss

     Beauty

     Fashion

     Dating (now mostly online)

 

– – that these are all substantially driven by loneliness.   Mmm?   Are they not?

 

These are all manifestations of the fact that the Human Condition (in general) and human Loneliness (in particular) is rather more than we can handle.

 

So –

 

Looking to Love as a solution of our suffering

Strikes me as being rooted in good intuition, or maybe even wisdom!

 

Rumi says –

 

Someone who does not run

toward the allure of love

walks a road where nothing

lives.  But this dove here

senses the love hawk floating

above, and waits, and will not

be driven or scared to safety

 

Rumi is telling us that 

if we are not living a life organized around LOVE (or at least moving toward it)

that we might as well be dead.  Or maybe even – that we are already dead.

 

Paul in his “Hymn to Love” (in a letter to the church in Corinth) tells us something quite similar:

 

If I speak all tongues of men and of angels, but speak without love, I am no more than a noisy gong or clanging cymbal. If I can prophesy and fathom all mysteries and knowledge and if I have so much faith that I can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to the poor, or even give my body to be burnt, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 

So –

 

If love is the only thing which makes life worth living, then it’s quite a marvel (don’t you think?) that we spend so little effort toward coming into right relationship with it!

 

About a decade ago I realized that I was so lonely that I was at risk.  I felt I was near the edge of insanity.  I therefore set out to find a life partner.

I began online dating.  Locally at first.  But after about half a year with that – came to the realization that what I was doing was NOT going to take me anywhere I really wanted to go.

So I began corresponding with Slavic women.  (I had spent a year, when in the Navy, studying the Russian language, and had sometimes wondered if maybe I had a sweetheart ‘over there’, somewhere, on the opposite side of the world)

Well, I am still doing this (corresponding with Slavic women); and I wish I could report that I have succeeded in my efforts; but that would be an overstatement.  However, I can certainly claim to have learned some things.

One thing I know for sure is – that I have been deceived (by women, online) no fewer than five times.  (Quite possibly more … but five, at least)

 

But, you know what I found out?  I learned that – even when I am being scammed – I might GROW.  Even if what was happening wasn’t real for her, it was still real for me!

 

I’ve learned a couple things –

 

     The inner (psychic / spiritual) realm is PRIMARY.

     &

     Whatever I attain there cannot be taken from me.

 

Let’s have a look at some of the aspects of LOVE –

 

WE LOVE PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE.

  

True (actual) love is really quite simple.  And it is not selfish.

We do not love people for how they FEEL, or for what we may get from them.  (Such things happen, of course, but we should resist the temptation to categorize them as ‘Love’.  

‘Trading’ perhaps.  ‘Commerce’ maybe.  ‘Need’ maybe.   But not love.)

 

Desire (in itself) is not an attainment.  Loneliness (in itself) is not an achievement.

But the ability to be aware of one’s emotions … and the willingness to suffer through them – 

these skills are not trivial, and are worth celebrating.  Worth being glad about.

 


When I am able to foster within myself (my own heart, my own psyche) – the ability to feel real (unselfish) love for another person, and commitment to their well-being, growth, & happiness … this is an achievement. 

Even if the other (the one I am loving) should prove false … what I have attained cannot be taken from me.

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Hymn to Love

 

And now I will show you the best Way of all.

 

If I speak all tongues of men and of angels, but speak without love, I am no more than a noisy gong or clanging cymbal. If I can prophesy and fathom all mysteries and knowledge and if I have so much faith that I can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to the poor, or even give my body to be burnt, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude. It does not insist on its own way. It does not take offense, nor does it keep a record of wrongs. Love does not enjoy evildoing but enjoys the truth. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance.

 

Love never ends. Prophecy will cease. Tongues will be stilled. Knowledge will fail. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the Fulfillment comes, the partial will be done away with. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I saw as a child, I thought and reasoned as a child. When I became a man, I put away the things of a child. Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror, but then we shall see him face to face. I do not know everything now, but then I will, just as God completely understands me.

 

In a word, there are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love: but the greatest of them all is love.

 

                                                             Paul of Tarsus /  1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

Posted on 74 Comments

The Trump Phenomenon

The Trump Phenomenon is reasonably divided into two components:  a): Trump himself    and    b):  his followers.

 

For some thoughts on the first aspect (Trump himself), you may want to look at the series of essays I published in January and February (of 2020):

                          

https://worldfamilytrading.com/impeach/?v=7516fd43adaa  

https://worldfamilytrading.com/relativity/?v=7516fd43adaa  

https://worldfamilytrading.com/the-first-law-of-ideas-reconsidered/?v=7516fd43adaa  

https://worldfamilytrading.com/truth-reality/?v=7516fd43adaa  

https://worldfamilytrading.com/trump-snowden/?v=7516fd43adaa  

Donald Trump’s behavior (“The Trump Show” … He thinks he’s still doing Reality TV) is being observed through TWO different ‘windows’ –  that is: by Those who Believe him … and (through the other window) – by  Those who Don’t.   And of course the ‘Show’ is the SAME through either window … but the interpretation (of the show) is hugely different.

 

For example –

Many of the things our Mr. Trump does are distinctly bold and unapologetic.  He pursues his (own, private) business interests FROM THE OFFICE of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, apparently with NO concern about Conflict of Interest.  He fires people from his staff whenever he feels like it (for ‘disloyalty’ generally –  to HIM, PERSONALLY).  He openly attacks anyone who he thinks is not supporting him (the press, journalists, politicians).  He grants a pardon to whatever (felonious) buddy of his he feels like pardoning.

 

Now, his Base regards such behavior as corroboration of his Honesty and Forthrightness –  Transparency, you might say.  An indication that he has NO DESIRE TO DECEIVE.  (Some of them even really LIKE it – that he’s so ‘fearless’ and willing to shake things up)

 

Whereas these same behaviors are regarded (through the other window) as outrageous … shameless.

 

Some regard him as a Fountain of Truth.  They are able to overlook his (constant) lying   because he’s such a Good Guy  (our Hope, our Savior).  He’s our Leader.   AND – he is (after all) OUR PRESIDENT!   (He’s Our DAD).

 

And they are VERY disinclined to change their minds and regard Trump as a scoundrel.

 

But (as John Bradshaw points out) –  the young child of an alcoholic is NOT going to announce to his parents – “Dad, you’re an abusive Alcoholic.  Mom, you’re an Enabler.  I have packed my bags, and I’m leaving!  I’m going to move in with Jimmy, down the street.”      This just ISN’T going to happen.  A six-year-old simply can NOT do such a thing.

This, you see, is a serious problem.

 

Because of Trump’s unapologetic Boldness, you might (ironically)  hear someone from EITHER group say –  “Trump is what he is.”       Now, if a Trumper says this, he (or she) would mean – that  “Trump is a Real Man.  A True Patriot.   He tells it like it is!  He’s not afraid of anybody! – so he’s not going to apologize for his beliefs.  He’s not trying to fool anybody.”      Whereas (from the other window)  that person would have meant something quite different:  “Aside from the fact that Trump lies constantly, he’s consistent, and in a way predictable.  Yesterday he did not care about the Country or the Constitution or Democracy (or telling the truth) … and tomorrow he’ll be the SAME.  He doesn’t care about ANYTHING but HIMSELF.  He’s completely Shameless.”

 

It seems to me that the fundamental (& PIVOTAL) thing about our President Trump is – that    

 

HE IS A POSER.  (He is pretending to be someone he is not.  He pretends to speak the truth … but he does not … etc.)                                          

 

 Remember the words of Vaclav Havel –

 

“Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to prosecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.”

 

But there are MILLIONS of people who are deceived, and do not REALIZE that our Mr. Trump is a poser.

 

THIS is what’s interesting!  (and terrifying)

 

HOW does such deception take place?

 

I hope I can make (good) use of the times I have been deceived.  (If you ask me in person for a full account of this, I will be happy to give it; but for now …) allow me to refer to how I was taken in, when I read “The Life of Pi”.  I enjoyed this book (very much).  And when I finished it, I made some efforts to find Pi Patel, the main character of the story, in hopes of making contact with him.  And got nowhere!       Then at some point I found out that the author –  Yann Martel  –  regarded this book as something of an experiment in credulity.

 

I came to the realization that the author had taken me in by using (what seems to me to be) a ‘dirty trick’.  We all know that a novel is a ‘made-up story’.  Or, it may be a story that is built around a skeleton of truth, but the entire work is offered NOT as a factual account, but as entertainment … or art).  But in the case of THIS novel, the writer speaks to us in the ‘front matter’ – prior to the beginning of Chapter One.  He tells us there – HOW (in India) he ‘came upon’ the story (which he ‘relays’ in the book.)  

 The ‘front matter’ (usually, in a volume of non-fiction) often includes an introduction (which may not be by the author, but by some person of distinction.)  There may also be a preface, in which the author makes some comments he feels are necessary, so the main body of the work may be properly understood.  In any case, we are accustomed to BELIEVING whatever we are told in the front matter.  It is UNDERSTOOD – that (even if the main body of the work is complete fiction) in the front matter we are spoken to TRUTHFULLY.  And, if the author himself is speaking to us, he speaks to us in a (privileged and) different voice from the one he uses in the body of the work.

Yann Martel uses an “Author’s Note” in the front matter; and this is where he sets up the story (which supposedly begins with Chapter One, etc.)  Probably he’s thinking that ‘it’s fair to lie in the Front Matter, as it’s within the covers of the book, and after all, everyone knows that a novel is fiction.

 

But, you see –  it’s a trick.   As far as I know, there is no precedent for lying in the front matter.

Anyway,  from THIS experience I learned that deception is not only sequential, but hierarchical.

Once I believed the lie that was told in the front matter, that belief contextualized everything which followed it: (everything, starting with Chapter One)

 

Now back to Trump.  We should admit – that Donald Trump is a GOOD actor.  (George Burns says – “Once you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made”.  [as an actor, he means])

 

Whenever I watch Donald Trump (on TV … doing his act), I am (distinctly) impressed with how good he looks.  How convincing.  Now, it is no secret – that the weightiest parts of inter-human communication are NOT the words themselves, but our body language, posture, tone of voice, inflections,  facial expressions, pauses, etc.

Mainly without saying so in words, Mr. Trump is constantly telling us (his Base, at least  –  the ones who have ‘bought the front-matter lie’) –  “I’m Sincere.  I’m your Leader.  I’m a Patriot.  I care about you & America.  I’m Rich.  I’m Smart.  I’m Good.  I’m Strong.  I’m telling you the Truth; I’m your Source for The Truth.   I’m Normal; I’m like You.  I’m Not-a-Politician; I’m an Outsider (like you). I have Character.  I’m your Best Hope”   etc.

 

When I watch Trump, I am able to “receive” all these messages (on a visceral level).  And (on that same visceral level) I believe him.

 

Because – he’s a Good Actor.

 

And THIS means – that if I am to come to the conclusion that he’s lying to me, that realization will NOT come from immediate here-&-now observation of “the Actor Doing his Act”.  It will have to come from elsewhere!  (from reading books, or listening to Facts Checkers, or doing my own research into Trump’s history, his motives.  Maybe listening to his niece Mary, or to Tony Schwartz, or Michael Cohen … or to Rachel Madow.    Somewhere.)         Somewhere else.

 

But – if I have already come to the conclusion that Mr. Trump is who he says he is (that he’s Telling the Truth), I may well be able to find an explanation for the fact that some other people have a different (crappy) view.   In Yorkshire they say –  “Everyone in the world is queer but thee and me.  And Thou’s a bit queer.”   

 

If you have a [strong] interest in this fact (-  that we’re all very much inclined to think that we are right, and everyone else is wrong) … I invite you to watch my video:             

(  trailer = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlfqsL3hTK0

1.a = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBqIyIlIb9E

1.b = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYLM3tXAkMc

1.c = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBWHbp08q9I

1.d = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsgBZ1Y47-w

1.e = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvWpgXNIpK8

1.f = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muRoPmS2q8E     )

             

 

Anyway, the people who watch Donald Trump (on TV)   sort themselves into two categories:  those who believe him … and those who don’t.

 

There might be a dozen (important) factors which play into  which of these two piles a given person is going to land in, (and while I do not claim to know a great deal about them and what they all are …) I understand that the white adults who are Trumpers turn out to be mostly  ‘uneducated’; and from this we may infer that Education plays a significant role in this sorting process.

 

It happens to be my view – that ALL HUMAN BEHAVIOR (i.e., anything anybody has ever done) is but an example of what every one of us is capable of. So – we need to do our best NOT to be snotty (superior) about it.  That would be inappropriate.  We are all (mainly) the same.

 

Yet our DIVIDE (how we have sorted ourselves) has become very great;  and it’s of some importance that we understand it.

And of course, the entire (Trump) phenomenon is now dripping with Judgement problems and taboos of ‘Political Correctness’.

 

But it still has to be done.  We need to deal with it.

 

I think  Chris Hayes does a pretty good job of making sense of the situation –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_uV0RZZn98    (How Do You Govern When Half The Country Is Trapped In A Disinformation Bubble?)

 

Just because our Mr. Trump seems to be (consistently) failing in his attempts to use the courts (etc.) to overturn the election, we should realize that he is doing mainly a good job of taking advantage of the possibilities that are available to him … and that he’s smarter than we are (in some ways).  He realizes that he is in a position of Epistemological Authority for millions of people (his ‘base’).  Because they have decided that HE is the one they trust to tell them the truth about (whatever) situation we’re in; and THIS is an enormous power !  I suspect he is (with all his ‘efforts’ to overturn the election) positioning himself to be able to explain to his base – that the System is rigged (against him).  [And, of course, one of his best ‘hooks’ is – “I’m an Outsider, like you”!         When General Washington crossed the Delaware, the (British) general, Cornwallis, had ‘gone home’, because he reckoned the ‘war was over’!  We were a rag-tag bunch, with almost no budget and very little logistical support.    The (Rebel &) Underdog are deeply ingrained into the American psyche.]

 

Suppose someone were to pass him (Trump) a note on which is written a fairly simple (and true) piece of information: that ‘his actions are weakening the structure of our democracy’.   Would that dissuade him?  Of course not.  He doesn’t think like that.  He is not love-driven; and he is not truth-oriented.  He is more like a disembodied (evil) force … which DOES (unfortunately) have a body to work through; but it has NO INTERNAL MEANS OF CONSTRAINING ITSELF.  He has become a (truly) terrible hazard.

He is such an accomplished actor that whatever he says    is (now) going to be believed by tens of millions of people.  The fact that his legal efforts are proving ineffectual may well prove to be of less importance   than his (‘well-earned’) ability to say (to his base,  in the very final days of his presidency) –  “We have been sorely wronged!  Everybody knows the truth  –  the election was rigged ; and I was the winner.  The Whole System is rigged!”

 

And we should NOT expect him (ever) to admit defeat, or to admit that he (ever) did anything wrong.

 

But as Michael Cohen points out    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBpg0DYTIpQ    we need to take seriously the matter of how to minimize the damage Trump will be able to do in the future.

 

We should (all) pray for Healing … and hope for the Grace to work toward unity.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miz1V13QWsU    (Freedom Writers  [trailer] ) 

I mention this film here (“Freedom Writers”)  because it offers an image of healing … of becoming a Family.  And this is exactly the task before us.  (and it’s based on a true story.)

Posted on 15 Comments

Anxiety

 

Give us today

Our bread for tomorrow.

 

There’s a black and white cat who lives with me.  Max.  He’s not a young cat.  Most of his life he lived near Banks (Oregon), 150 miles west of here.  This cat is clearly neurotic regarding food.  But I reckon he came by it honestly.

His owner (my part-time housemate) tells me that (in his former place of residence) Max was always trying to get someone to feed him.  And I think this is what made him crazy.  There were several people living in (his) house, but nobody had the ‘job’ of feeding the cat.  There WAS food there, but it would get dispensed ONLY when Max could get someone to feed him.  This was very stressful for Max.

He has lived here for a couple years now … and he STILL will come find me (maybe when I’m cooking my own dinner) – and he’ll want me to come “feed him”.  And this is in SPITE of the fact that he’s (now) NEVER without food.  There’s ALWAYS a dish of food on the dryer (which is in the bathroom.  We have a small apartment.)  But he wants me to BE THERE (so he can feel like someone is feeding him.)  He wants love, I reckon.  And who can blame him for that?  We’re all the same, it seems to me.  I used to tease him a bit (for being so crazy), but I’ve stopped doing that.  He is my teacher after all.

Max eats about ½ cup of (dry) cat food a day  (or maybe just a little more than that).  Every morning, as part of my routine, I see to it that he has “enough” food.  And, in HIS case, I figure that’s about TWO day’s worth of food … about one Cup.  Most evenings he wants to go outside (which of course, I let him do.  I tell him to watch out for the owls.  But he has his own adventures.  Sometimes, he may be gone even for a couple days.  Anyway, his eating habits vary somewhat.)  So every now and then, he’ll actually finish off what’s in his dish.  But when that happens, I always feel a bit sad, and like I’ve let him down.  Not that he’s actually going hungry … but because he’ll WORRY.  (And I want him to be happy.)

 

If the Urantia Book is correct, Jesus was reluctant to share with his apostles ANY set prayer … because he understood that prayer should be authentic and from the heart.  But after considerable pestering, he finally gave in and taught them the prayer he had taught his (younger) brothers and sisters (from when he was obliged to care for them after the death of Joseph.  Jesus was 12 at the time, and the oldest child of a large family.)

 

Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come; your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our bread for tomorrow;

Refresh our souls with the water of life.

And forgive us every one our debts

As we also have forgiven our debtors.

Save us in temptation, deliver us from evil,

And increasingly make us perfect like yourself.

                                                                            –    p. 1620

 

We know this, of course, as the ‘Lord’s Prayer’.  [I’ll include it ‘in context’ at the end of this essay.]

 

Whenever I write and post a blog, I try to make the title short.   But really, this essay is more about Love (to help counteract the anxieties of life) than it is about anxiety itself.  Having a Human Life …    it’s a tough gig.

 

Personally, I’m rather sorry – that the wording was lost from the line (in The Lord’s Prayer).  ‘Give us today our daily bread’ … is not quite as good as  –  ‘Give us today our bread for tomorrow’.  Because –  if we cannot see HOW tomorrow’s sustenance is to be obtained … then we’re going to WORRY about it.

ANY loving father (human or otherwise) will not only PROVIDE for his children … but will also see to their happiness.  Anxiety and worry should be minimized.  Mmm?

 

And I cannot help but mention – that the man who is (currently) the President of the United States … does NOT partake of this parental love.  (The leader of ANY group has a parental role   and a [natural] responsibility to care for those he leads.  And it may well be that he just does not know HOW.  But in any case, he does not DO it.)

 

(Why good leaders make you feel safe  –  Simon Sinek     [12 min.])

~~~~~~~~

 

  (Goodness   [1 minute])

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

[from the Urantia Book:  Paper 144. Sections 2 – 5.

 

You may like to see the 7 prayers that are in sec. 5;  some of which originate from other planets.] :

 

2. The Discourse on Prayer

144:2.1 (1618.5) “John indeed taught you a simple form of prayer: ‘O Father, cleanse us from sin, show us your glory, reveal your love, and let your spirit sanctify our hearts forevermore, Amen!’ He taught this prayer that you might have something to teach the multitude. He did not intend that you should use such a set and formal petition as the expression of your own souls in prayer.

144:2.2 (1618.6) “Prayer is entirely a personal and spontaneous expression of the attitude of the soul toward the spirit; prayer should be the communion of sonship and the expression of fellowship. Prayer, when indited by the spirit, leads to co-operative spiritual progress. The ideal prayer is a form of spiritual communion which leads to intelligent worship. True praying is the sincere attitude of reaching heavenward for the attainment of your ideals.

144:2.3 (1619.1) “Prayer is the breath of the soul and should lead you to be persistent in your attempt to ascertain the Father’s will. If any one of you has a neighbor, and you go to him at midnight and say: ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine on a journey has come to see me, and I have nothing to set before him’; and if your neighbor answers, ‘Trouble me not, for the door is now shut and the children and I are in bed; therefore I cannot rise and give you bread,’ you will persist, explaining that your friend hungers, and that you have no food to offer him. I say to you, though your neighbor will not rise and give you bread because he is your friend, yet because of your importunity he will get up and give you as many loaves as you need. If, then, persistence will win favors even from mortal man, how much more will your persistence in the spirit win the bread of life for you from the willing hands of the Father in heaven. Again I say to you: Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For every one who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door of salvation will be opened.

144:2.4 (1619.2) “Which of you who is a father, if his son asks unwisely, would hesitate to give in accordance with parental wisdom rather than in the terms of the son’s faulty petition? If the child needs a loaf, will you give him a stone just because he unwisely asks for it? If your son needs a fish, will you give him a watersnake just because it may chance to come up in the net with the fish and the child foolishly asks for the serpent? If you, then, being mortal and finite, know how to answer prayer and give good and appropriate gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the spirit and many additional blessings to those who ask him? Men ought always to pray and not become discouraged.

144:2.5 (1619.3) “Let me tell you the story of a certain judge who lived in a wicked city. This judge feared not God nor had respect for man. Now there was a needy widow in that city who came repeatedly to this unjust judge, saying, ‘Protect me from my adversary.’ For some time he would not give ear to her, but presently he said to himself: ‘Though I fear not God nor have regard for man, yet because this widow ceases not to trouble me, I will vindicate her lest she wear me out by her continual coming.’ These stories I tell you to encourage you to persist in praying and not to intimate that your petitions will change the just and righteous Father above. Your persistence, however, is not to win favor with God but to change your earth attitude and to enlarge your soul’s capacity for spirit receptivity.

144:2.6 (1619.4) “But when you pray, you exercise so little faith. Genuine faith will remove mountains of material difficulty which may chance to lie in the path of soul expansion and spiritual progress.”

3. The Believer’s Prayer

144:3.1 (1619.5) But the apostles were not yet satisfied; they desired Jesus to give them a model prayer which they could teach the new disciples. After listening to this discourse on prayer, James Zebedee said: “Very good, Master, but we do not desire a form of prayer for ourselves so much as for the newer believers who so frequently beseech us, ‘Teach us how acceptably to pray to the Father in heaven.’”

144:3.2 (1619.6) When James had finished speaking, Jesus said: “If, then, you still desire such a prayer, I would present the one which I taught my brothers and sisters in Nazareth”:

144:3.3 (1620.1) Our Father who is in heaven,

144:3.4 (1620.2) Hallowed be your name.

144:3.5 (1620.3) Your kingdom come; your will be done

144:3.6 (1620.4) On earth as it is in heaven.

144:3.7 (1620.5) Give us this day our bread for tomorrow;

144:3.8 (1620.6) Refresh our souls with the water of life.

144:3.9 (1620.7) And forgive us every one our debts

144:3.10 (1620.8) As we also have forgiven our debtors.

144:3.11 (1620.9) Save us in temptation, deliver us from evil,

144:3.12 (1620.10) And increasingly make us perfect like yourself.

144:3.13 (1620.11) It is not strange that the apostles desired Jesus to teach them a model prayer for believers. John the Baptist had taught his followers several prayers; all great teachers had formulated prayers for their pupils. The religious teachers of the Jews had some twenty-five or thirty set prayers which they recited in the synagogues and even on the street corners. Jesus was particularly averse to praying in public. Up to this time the twelve had heard him pray only a few times. They observed him spending entire nights at prayer or worship, and they were very curious to know the manner or form of his petitions. They were really hard pressed to know what to answer the multitudes when they asked to be taught how to pray as John had taught his disciples.

144:3.14 (1620.12) Jesus taught the twelve always to pray in secret; to go off by themselves amidst the quiet surroundings of nature or to go in their rooms and shut the doors when they engaged in prayer.

144:3.15 (1620.13) After Jesus’ death and ascension to the Father it became the practice of many believers to finish this so-called Lord’s prayer by the addition of—“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Still later on, two lines were lost in copying, and there was added to this prayer an extra clause, reading: “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forevermore.”

144:3.16 (1620.14) Jesus gave the apostles the prayer in collective form as they had prayed it in the Nazareth home. He never taught a formal personal prayer, only group, family, or social petitions. And he never volunteered to do that.

144:3.17 (1620.15) Jesus taught that effective prayer must be:

144:3.18 (1620.16) 1. Unselfish—not alone for oneself.

144:3.19 (1620.17) 2. Believing—according to faith.

144:3.20 (1620.18) 3. Sincere—honest of heart.

144:3.21 (1620.19) 4. Intelligent—according to light.

144:3.22 (1620.20) 5. Trustful—in submission to the Father’s all-wise will.

144:3.23 (1620.21) When Jesus spent whole nights on the mountain in prayer, it was mainly for his disciples, particularly for the twelve. The Master prayed very little for himself, although he engaged in much worship of the nature of understanding communion with his Paradise Father.

4. More About Prayer

144:4.1 (1620.22) For days after the discourse on prayer the apostles continued to ask the Master questions regarding this all-important and worshipful practice. Jesus’ instruction to the apostles during these days, regarding prayer and worship, may be summarized and restated in modern phraseology as follows:

144:4.2 (1621.1) The earnest and longing repetition of any petition, when such a prayer is the sincere expression of a child of God and is uttered in faith, no matter how ill-advised or impossible of direct answer, never fails to expand the soul’s capacity for spiritual receptivity.

144:4.3 (1621.2) In all praying, remember that sonship is a gift. No child has aught to do with earning the status of son or daughter. The earth child comes into being by the will of its parents. Even so, the child of God comes into grace and the new life of the spirit by the will of the Father in heaven. Therefore must the kingdom of heaven—divine sonship—be received as by a little child. You earn righteousness—progressive character development—but you receive sonship by grace and through faith.

144:4.4 (1621.3) Prayer led Jesus up to the supercommunion of his soul with the Supreme Rulers of the universe of universes. Prayer will lead the mortals of earth up to the communion of true worship. The soul’s spiritual capacity for receptivity determines the quantity of heavenly blessings which can be personally appropriated and consciously realized as an answer to prayer.

144:4.5 (1621.4) Prayer and its associated worship is a technique of detachment from the daily routine of life, from the monotonous grind of material existence. It is an avenue of approach to spiritualized self-realization and individuality of intellectual and religious attainment.

144:4.6 (1621.5) Prayer is an antidote for harmful introspection. At least, prayer as the Master taught it is such a beneficent ministry to the soul. Jesus consistently employed the beneficial influence of praying for one’s fellows. The Master usually prayed in the plural, not in the singular. Only in the great crises of his earth life did Jesus ever pray for himself.

144:4.7 (1621.6) Prayer is the breath of the spirit life in the midst of the material civilization of the races of mankind. Worship is salvation for the pleasure-seeking generations of mortals.

144:4.8 (1621.7) As prayer may be likened to recharging the spiritual batteries of the soul, so worship may be compared to the act of tuning in the soul to catch the universe broadcasts of the infinite spirit of the Universal Father.

144:4.9 (1621.8) Prayer is the sincere and longing look of the child to its spirit Father; it is a psychologic process of exchanging the human will for the divine will. Prayer is a part of the divine plan for making over that which is into that which ought to be.

144:4.10 (1621.9) One of the reasons why Peter, James, and John, who so often accompanied Jesus on his long night vigils, never heard Jesus pray, was because their Master so rarely uttered his prayers as spoken words. Practically all of Jesus’ praying was done in the spirit and in the heart—silently.

144:4.11 (1621.10) Of all the apostles, Peter and James came the nearest to comprehending the Master’s teaching about prayer and worship.

5. Other Forms of Prayer

144:5.1 (1621.11) From time to time, during the remainder of Jesus’ sojourn on earth, he brought to the notice of the apostles several additional forms of prayer, but he did this only in illustration of other matters, and he enjoined that these “parable prayers” should not be taught to the multitudes. Many of them were from other inhabited planets, but this fact Jesus did not reveal to the twelve. Among these prayers were the following:

144:5.2 (1622.1) Our Father in whom consist the universe realms,

144:5.3 (1622.2) Uplifted be your name and all-glorious your character.

144:5.4 (1622.3) Your presence encompasses us, and your glory is manifested

144:5.5 (1622.4) Imperfectly through us as it is in perfection shown on high.

144:5.6 (1622.5) Give us this day the vivifying forces of light,

144:5.7 (1622.6) And let us not stray into the evil bypaths of our imagination,

144:5.8 (1622.7) For yours is the glorious indwelling, the everlasting power,

144:5.9 (1622.8) And to us, the eternal gift of the infinite love of your Son.

144:5.10 (1622.9) Even so, and everlastingly true.

* * *

144:5.12 (1622.10) Our creative Parent, who is in the center of the universe,

144:5.13 (1622.11) Bestow upon us your nature and give to us your character.

144:5.14 (1622.12) Make us sons and daughters of yours by grace

144:5.15 (1622.13) And glorify your name through our eternal achievement.

144:5.16 (1622.14) Your adjusting and controlling spirit give to live and dwell within us

144:5.17 (1622.15) That we may do your will on this sphere as angels do your bidding in light.

144:5.18 (1622.16) Sustain us this day in our progress along the path of truth.

144:5.19 (1622.17) Deliver us from inertia, evil, and all sinful transgression.

144:5.20 (1622.18) Be patient with us as we show loving-kindness to our fellows.

144:5.21 (1622.19) Shed abroad the spirit of your mercy in our creature hearts.

144:5.22 (1622.20) Lead us by your own hand, step by step, through the uncertain maze of life,

144:5.23 (1622.21) And when our end shall come, receive into your own bosom our faithful spirits.

144:5.24 (1622.22) Even so, not our desires but your will be done.

* * *

144:5.26 (1622.23) Our perfect and righteous heavenly Father,

144:5.27 (1622.24) This day guide and direct our journey.

144:5.28 (1622.25) Sanctify our steps and co-ordinate our thoughts.

144:5.29 (1622.26) Ever lead us in the ways of eternal progress.

144:5.30 (1622.27) Fill us with wisdom to the fullness of power

144:5.31 (1622.28) And vitalize us with your infinite energy.

144:5.32 (1622.29) Inspire us with the divine consciousness of

144:5.33 (1622.30) The presence and guidance of the seraphic hosts.

144:5.34 (1622.31) Guide us ever upward in the pathway of light;

144:5.35 (1622.32) Justify us fully in the day of the great judgment.

144:5.36 (1622.33) Make us like yourself in eternal glory

144:5.37 (1622.34) And receive us into your endless service on high.

* * *

144:5.39 (1622.35) Our Father who is in the mystery,

144:5.40 (1622.36) Reveal to us your holy character.

144:5.41 (1622.37) Give your children on earth this day

144:5.42 (1622.38) To see the way, the light, and the truth.

144:5.43 (1622.39) Show us the pathway of eternal progress

144:5.44 (1622.40) And give us the will to walk therein.

144:5.45 (1622.41) Establish within us your divine kingship

144:5.46 (1622.42) And thereby bestow upon us the full mastery of self.

144:5.47 (1622.43) Let us not stray into paths of darkness and death;

144:5.48 (1622.44) Lead us everlastingly beside the waters of life.

144:5.49 (1622.45) Hear these our prayers for your own sake;

144:5.50 (1622.46) Be pleased to make us more and more like yourself.

144:5.51 (1623.1) At the end, for the sake of the divine Son,

144:5.52 (1623.2) Receive us into the eternal arms.

144:5.53 (1623.3) Even so, not our will but yours be done.

* * *

144:5.55 (1623.4) Glorious Father and Mother, in one parent combined,

144:5.56 (1623.5) Loyal would we be to your divine nature.

144:5.57 (1623.6) Your own self to live again in and through us

144:5.58 (1623.7) By the gift and bestowal of your divine spirit,

144:5.59 (1623.8) Thus reproducing you imperfectly in this sphere

144:5.60 (1623.9) As you are perfectly and majestically shown on high.

144:5.61 (1623.10) Give us day by day your sweet ministry of brotherhood

144:5.62 (1623.11) And lead us moment by moment in the pathway of loving service.

144:5.63 (1623.12) Be you ever and unfailingly patient with us

144:5.64 (1623.13) Even as we show forth your patience to our children.

144:5.65 (1623.14) Give us the divine wisdom that does all things well

144:5.66 (1623.15) And the infinite love that is gracious to every creature.

144:5.67 (1623.16) Bestow upon us your patience and loving-kindness

144:5.68 (1623.17) That our charity may enfold the weak of the realm.

144:5.69 (1623.18) And when our career is finished, make it an honor to your name,

144:5.70 (1623.19) A pleasure to your good spirit, and a satisfaction to our soul helpers.

144:5.71 (1623.20) Not as we wish, our loving Father, but as you desire the eternal good of your mortal children,

144:5.72 (1623.21) Even so may it be.

* * *

144:5.74 (1623.22) Our all-faithful Source and all-powerful Center,

144:5.75 (1623.23) Reverent and holy be the name of your all-gracious Son.

144:5.76 (1623.24) Your bounties and your blessings have descended upon us,

144:5.77 (1623.25) Thus empowering us to perform your will and execute your bidding.

144:5.78 (1623.26) Give us moment by moment the sustenance of the tree of life;

144:5.79 (1623.27) Refresh us day by day with the living waters of the river thereof.

144:5.80 (1623.28) Step by step lead us out of darkness and into the divine light.

144:5.81 (1623.29) Renew our minds by the transformations of the indwelling spirit,

144:5.82 (1623.30) And when the mortal end shall finally come upon us,

144:5.83 (1623.31) Receive us to yourself and send us forth in eternity.

144:5.84 (1623.32) Crown us with celestial diadems of fruitful service,

144:5.85 (1623.33) And we shall glorify the Father, the Son, and the Holy Influence.

144:5.86 (1623.34) Even so, throughout a universe without end.

* * *

144:5.88 (1623.35) Our Father who dwells in the secret places of the universe,

144:5.89 (1623.36) Honored be your name, reverenced your mercy, and respected your judgment.

144:5.90 (1623.37) Let the sun of righteousness shine upon us at noontime,

144:5.91 (1623.38) While we beseech you to guide our wayward steps in the twilight.

144:5.92 (1623.39) Lead us by the hand in the ways of your own choosing

144:5.93 (1623.40) And forsake us not when the path is hard and the hours are dark.

144:5.94 (1623.41) Forget us not as we so often neglect and forget you.

144:5.95 (1623.42) But be you merciful and love us as we desire to love you.

144:5.96 (1623.43) Look down upon us in kindness and forgive us in mercy

144:5.97 (1623.44) As we in justice forgive those who distress and injure us.

144:5.98 (1624.1) May the love, devotion, and bestowal of the majestic Son

144:5.99 (1624.2) Make available life everlasting with your endless mercy and love.

144:5.100 (1624.3) May the God of universes bestow upon us the full measure of his spirit;

144:5.101 (1624.4) Give us grace to yield to the leading of this spirit.

144:5.102 (1624.5) By the loving ministry of devoted seraphic hosts

144:5.103 (1624.6) May the Son guide and lead us to the end of the age.

144:5.104 (1624.7) Make us ever and increasingly like yourself

144:5.105 (1624.8) And at our end receive us into the eternal Paradise embrace.

144:5.106 (1624.9) Even so, in the name of the bestowal Son

144:5.107 (1624.10) And for the honor and glory of the Supreme Father.

144:5.108 (1624.11) Though the apostles were not at liberty to present these prayer lessons in their public teachings, they profited much from all of these revelations in their personal religious experiences. Jesus utilized these and other prayer models as illustrations in connection with the intimate instruction of the twelve, and specific permission has been granted for transcribing these seven specimen prayers into this record.

Posted on 3 Comments

Home Schooling / Children’s Books

 

 

Before I comment on a few (certain, very good) works of children’s literature, I’d like to make some general comments on ‘children and their stories’.

I expect you have noticed how human children are ENTIRELY ‘at home’ with animals as characters in a story.  I’ve never known a child to complain that it’s UNREALISTIC for animals to talk, or wear clothes (like people),  or live in a house (the kind a human might live in)

We are BORN with mirror neurons  –  We are hard-wired for EMPATHY.   It is apparently very easy for (human) children to regard animals (as well as humans) as :  US we.

 

[At the end of this article I will include the link to “This is the Earth, this is the Sky”  which includes a brief discussion on (that) form of ‘children’s art”]

 

 

 

 

The Amazing Bone             –   William Steig

 

This is a delightful book.  The main character is Pearl (who is a pig)   –  a schoolgirl.  On her way home from school one day – in the forest – she discovers a talking bone.  “But you’re a BONE ! “says Pearl.  “How come you can TALK?”  “I don’t know.” says the bone.  “I didn’t make the world.”  

Well – they quickly become great friends.  Proceeding on through the forest, they are beset by thieves; but the bone (from Pearl’s purse) roars like a lion and frightens away the robbers. 
So (it turns out  –  that the bone is able to produce ANY sound which may be imagined!)

 

The (scary) climax of the story is when (a bit further along) they are captured by a wiley fox (who is too smart to be fooled by any of the bone’s noises).  The fox (quite delighted with the bone himself)  sets about building a fire – to roast Pearl for his dinner.  Pearl, greatly distraught, says to the bone – “Say something to comfort me!”  “You are very dear to me.” says the bone.  Then – to everyone’s surprise, the bone shouts a series of magic spells – shrinking the fox, finally, to the size of a mouse … saving Pearl!

 

Finally arriving home, Pearl introduces the bone to her parents ; and the bone is greatly appreciated … given a place of honor (on a special tray) and becomes part of the family.

 

I consider this to be a priceless piece of work.  It is not merely fun and full of magic (and with lovely color illustrations) … but also contains profound truths about the Nature of Life – (that we are all the beneficiaries of life … and that Love   and enjoying the gift of life are what really matter)

 

It was William Steig, by the way, who was the creator of Shrek!

 

 

 

 

The Quiltmaker’s Gift       –  Jeff Brumbeau

 

I have heard it said – that this story is about GENEROSITY;  but I do not consider that to be quite right.  I would say that it is about deliverance from the (great and common evil of) greed & selfishness.

The heroine of the story is a woman who makes quilts and gives them to the poor (homeless) people down in the town, who at night suffer from the cold.

The Main Character is the king of that land, who is very rich and who owns countless (precious) objects of every sort and description.  Yet he just can’t ‘get enough’ of them and always covets more.

Our society (let us say Western Civilization) continues to suffer from the (great) Pathology of Greed & Selfishness.  [I am confident that Neil Young entitled his song “After the Gold Rush” for a REASON –  –  such as  –  looking forward to / yearning for the time when we shall have outgrown this Sickness]

Anyway, the king in our story is the embodiment of this disease.  And when he hears of the exquisite beauty of the work of the Quiltmaker, he requests (demands) that she gift him with one.  She refuses.  And this (same) transaction persists through several iterations … until she finally agrees … she WILL give the king one of her quilts  –  IF (& after) he gives away ALL his (many) possessions!  Well, the King is certainly not fond of this proposal.  But after much stewing and pondering, he decides to make a beginning … and he gives something away!  And eventually he ‘takes it on’.  But because he had acquired SO many possessions, it takes him a very long time to complete it.  By and by, he returns home  –  ragged and happy.  He has discovered that giving things away to others brought him true joy whereas his former ‘love’ of possessions was merely an (unfulfilling) lust, which never really made him happy.

The quiltmaker can see that he has earned his quilt.  And, what is more, he has become a person who is fit to BE with.

 

 

 

 

Miss Rumphius            –    Barbara Cooney

 

I wish to begin this ‘review’ with an epigram

(a poem by Mary Oliver)

 

The Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

 

This book is beautiful and charming enough … to be valuable.   But what makes it precious is that it manages (in a beguiling way) to present to the child / (the reader) the (great) Question  –  “What would you like to DO with your life?  How would you like to spend it?”

 

Here is an excerpt (from the book):

 

   In the evening Alice sat on her grandfather’s knee and listened to his stories of faraway places.  When he had finished, Alice would say, “When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when I grow old, I too will live beside the sea.”

   “That is all very well, little Alice,” said her grandfather. “but there is a third thing you must do.”

   “What is that?” asked Alice.

   “You must do something to make the world more beautiful,” said her grandfather.

   “All right,” said Alice.  But she did not know what that could be.

   In the meantime Alice got up and washed her face and ate porridge for breakfast.  She went to school and came home and did her homework.

   And pretty soon she was grown up.

 

As you can see, Ms. Cooney’s way with a story is charming.  And the counsel (from the grandfather) is worthwhile and sound, certainly.

However …

I (eventually) realized that the counsel (to make the world more beautiful) … is (unnecessarily) narrow.

Truth, beauty, and goodness.

These (three) are what should be offered … and set before the young life … as a worthy goal.  Any one   (or any combination).

Mmm?  Is it not so?

 

Goodness = Mother Teresa.

 

Truth = Madame Curie  or  Einstein    or   Malcom X  or Rumi.  

(And the fact that we humans have a tendency to kill our prophets – when they tell us the truth – is perhaps not a very good reason NOT to pursue the truth.)

 

Beauty = Michelangelo.  

 

There are (of course) many human lives which have furthered   truth or beauty or goodness.  (Maybe give it some thought)

 

 

 

 

What the Dormouse Said        –   Amy Gash

 

This is (technically) not a children’s book.  It is rather a collection of pithy excerpts from Children’s Literature.  (The full title is  “What the Dormouse Said    Lessons for Grown-ups from Children’s Books”)

But

It may happen  that you will read through this book … and be so smitten by certain of the excerpts … that you will obtain the book it is from  … and read it to your children.

I think it is delightful and intriguing.  And I like it very much.

Allow me to focus on a certain single entry:

“The life of a Marionette has grown very tiresome to me and I want to become a boy, no matter how hard it is.”  (from The Adventures of Pinocchio   by C. Collodi, 1883)

Is not this yearning for authenticity  close to the heart of the human predicament?  We want to have a Real Life … but we want to be Safe!

 

She’d teach them [her children] these things are nothing, the clothes, toys, and furniture.  These things fool people into thinking they must stay where the things are.  Leave it all, she’d teach them even . . .  all your dreams of safe, calm places.  Go with what is most terrifying.  … Always choose love over safety, if you can tell the difference.           – Josephine Humphreys         Dreams of Sleep

 

What sort of things do old people say when they are at the end of their life?  They say they wish they had taken more risks.  Mmm?

And aren’t Pinocchio’s sentiments also behind stories like “I, Robot”?  There are LOTS of ‘Pinocchio stories’.

And we can all relate to them, can we not?  (even us humans)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[regarding  –  truth, beauty, & goodness]:

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/search?keys=truth%2C+beauty%2C+and+goodness&op=Search

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is the earth, this is the sky, this is me …

Posted on

Our Monuments to the Confederacy

 

 

As of July 2nd 2020 –

 

More than 80 Confederate monuments have come down from public land since the Charleston, S.C., church shooting in 2015, more than a third of them since George Floyd was killed in police custody May 25, 2020.

                                                                                                                                        https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/confederate-monuments/

 

You may want to have a look at my blog (of 13 Jan. 2018) – 

 

   https://worldfamilytrading.com/the-costliness-of-our-materialism/

 

for some comments about the Great War of Ideas … and the nature / source of our racism.

 

I happened across a video last night.  I didn’t expect to watch the whole thing … but I did.

It’s excellent – 

 

(The Truth About the Confederacy in the United States  [1 hr  40 min]  Jeffery Robinson, the ACLU’s top racial justice expert, discusses the dark history of Confederate symbols across the country and outlines what we can do to learn from our past and combat systemic racism.) 

 

[I’ll add a bio about Mr. Robinson  at the end of this essay]

 

Robinson says – that we do not know our history … because it has been stolen from us.  Rewritten.  Withheld.  (On purpose)

 

He does a great job of supporting his contentions by making use of graphics that he shows on the screen in the (big) lecture hall that he’s in  [about 2 years ago].  He’s a highly experienced trial lawyer.

He works hard not to alienate anyone; yet he is straightforward and has great common sense.

 

He spends considerable time supporting his notion that the South fought the Civil War (mainly) to preserve Slavery (their great economic advantage – free labor.  [Follow the money!]  and the money, in this case – was HUGE).

 

He says that (numerous … hundreds of)  Confederate Monuments were NOT erected by people who fought in the Civil War, but much later.  Many of them around 1900 (and a little after) … and again in the 40’s.  And he explains what was HAPPENING in America at those times – which made people who still cling to white supremacy & slavery – WANT to do something to promote their long-cherished ideals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Birth of a Movement | ‘The Clansman’ | PBS   [1 min.])

 

The Clansman was (first) a novel … then a stage play … then a (silent, black & white) movie; and ALL were very popular. 

 

(The Birth of a Nation (1915) aka The Clansman – Ku Klux Klan Propaganda Film   [3 hrs. 13 min])

 

Robinson acknowledges that the removal of the Confederate monuments (all of which commemorate and honor the doctrines of White Supremacy and the ‘right’ to own other Human Beings as chattel) will NOT solve many of our problems.  But it might help us to begin to be honest about what (this part of) the Great War of Ideas  … is really about.  It could help us begin to reclaim our (true) history.  It’s an opportunity for us to begin to deal with our own darkness.

 

If you will listen to his presentation, I’m betting that you will find it worthwhile.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

https://www.aclu.org/bio/jeffery-robinson   –

 

 

JEFFERY ROBINSON

Deputy Legal Director and Director of the Trone Center for Justice and Equality

 

Jeffery Robinson is a deputy legal director and the director of the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality, which houses the organization’s work on criminal justice, racial justice, and reform issues. Since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1981, Jeff has three decades of experience working on these issues. For seven years, he represented indigent clients in state court at The Defender Association and then in federal court at the Federal Public Defender’s Office, both in Seattle. In 1988, Jeff began a 27-year private practice at the Seattle firm of Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, where he represented a broad range of clients in local, state, and federal courts on charges ranging from shoplifting to securities fraud and first degree murder. He has tried over 200 criminal cases to verdict and has tried more than a dozen civil cases representing plaintiffs suing corporate and government entities. Jeff was one of the original members of the John Adams Project and worked on the behalf of one of five men held at Guantanamo Bay charged with carrying out the 9/11 attacks.

In addition to being a nationally recognized trial attorney, Jeff is also a respected teacher of trial advocacy. He is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and has lectured on trial skills all over the United States. He has also spoken nationally to diverse audiences on the role of race in the criminal justice system. He is past president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a life member and past member of the board of directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Jeff is also an elected fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

JEFFERY ‘S BLOG POSTS

 

It’s Time To Tell the Truth About the Confederacy and its Symbols

JULY 3, 2020

 

The Time for Thoughts and Prayers is Over

JUNE 3, 2020

 

America, It Is Time to Talk About Reparations

MAY 22, 2020

 

Honoring Black History Month Means Respecting the Foundation That it Stands On

FEBRUARY 24, 2020

 

Tulsa’s Troubling Past is Not Far Removed from Its Present

JANUARY 6, 2020

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

(James Baldwin & Nikki Giovanni     

 [1 hr. 56 min])

 

~~~~~

 

(Racism in Mississippi and America  –  Jeff Robinson)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

“If You Are Over Staying Woke”

Water

the plants. Drink

plenty of water.

Don’t hear

the news. Get

bored. Complain

about the weather.

Keep a corkscrew

in your purse.

Swipe right

sometimes.

Don’t smile

unless you want

to.  Sleep in.

Don’t see the news.

Remember what

the world is like

for white people.

Listen to

cricket songs.

Floss. Take pills.

Keep an

empty mind.

When you are

hungover

do not say

I’m never drinking

again. Be honest

when you’re up

to it. Otherwise

drink water

lie to yourself

turn off the news

burn the papers

skip the funerals

take pills

laugh at dumb shit

fuck people you

don’t care about

use the crockpot

use the juicer

use the smoothie maker

drink water

from the sky

don’t think

too much about the sky

don’t think about water

skip the funerals

close your eyes

whenever possible

When you toast

look everyone in the eyes

Never punctuate

the President

Write the news

Turn

into water

Water

the fire escape

Burn the paper

Crumble the letters

Instead of

hyacinths pick

hydrangeas

Water the hydrangeas

Wilt the news

White the hydrangeas

Drink the white

Waterfall the

cricket songs

Keep a song mind

Don’t smile

Don’t wilt

funeral

funeral

                            –     Morgan Parker

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

“Whitey on the Moon”

A rat done bit my sister Nell.

(with Whitey on the moon)

Her face and arms began to swell.

(and Whitey’s on the moon)

I can’t pay no doctor bill.

(but Whitey’s on the moon)

Ten years from now I’ll be paying still.

(while Whitey’s on the moon)

The man just upped my rent last night.

(’cause Whitey’s on the moon)

No hot water, no toilets, no lights.

(but Whitey’s on the moon)

I wonder why he’s upping me?

(’cause Whitey’s on the moon?)

I wuz already paying him fifty a week.

(with Whitey on the moon)

Taxes taking my whole damn check,

Junkies making me a nervous wreck,

The price of food is going up,

An’ as if all that shit wasn’t enough:

A rat done bit my sister Nell.

(with Whitey on the moon)

Her face and arm began to swell.

(but Whitey’s on the moon)

Was all that money I made last year

(for Whitey on the moon?)

How come there ain’t no money here?

(Hmm! Whitey’s on the moon)

Y’know I just about had my fill

(of Whitey on the moon)

I think I’ll send these doctor bills,

Airmail special

(to Whitey on the moon)

                     – Gil Scott-Heron

Posted on 1 Comment

Knowing What is What

 

I think over again

My small adventures

When from a shore wind

I drifted out in my kayak

And thought I was in danger.

My fears

Those small ones that seemed so big.

For all the vital things

I had to get and to reach.

And yet there is only one great thing –

The only thing.

To live to see

In huts and on journeys

The great day that dawns

And the light that fills the world.

                                  –   Inuit song, from the Kitlinuharmiut
                                                                            (Copper Eskimo)

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

The writer of this Inuit song is someone who had the good fortune to grow old.

 

I (myself) am similar.  [I have not written many blogs lately; and my (best) excuse is that (nearly) eight weeks ago I underwent open heart surgery.  But I am recovering satisfactorily (and have a “new” mitral valve in my heart).  I am grateful … and hope to resume my writing duties.]    Anyway, I am 74.  And I can affirm that one of the advantages of growing older … is that we may see things more clearly than we did before.  This improved vision does not, of course, belong exclusively to the aging … but I have to admit – that (as I grow older) I have noticed it.  (And I’m grateful for that too.)

 

Now, I do not wish to support the notion that we shouldn’t deal with our difficulties … the REAL ones.  But sometimes we get ourselves (emotionally) worked up about something which (in reality) is of little consequence.  

The author of the Inuit song acknowledges this : (“My fears: those small ones that seemed so big – for all the vital things I had to get and to reach”)

 

And there is an account (recorded in the Urantia Book, [p. 1610]) which I wish to share with you –

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    1.               Diversion and Relaxation

143:3.1 (1610.4) About this time a state of great nervous and emotional tension developed among the apostles and their immediate disciple associates. They had hardly become accustomed to living and working together. They were experiencing increasing difficulties in maintaining harmonious relations with John’s disciples. The contact with the gentiles and the Samaritans was a great trial to these Jews. And besides all this, the recent utterances of Jesus had augmented their disturbed state of mind. Andrew was almost beside himself; he did not know what next to do, and so he went to the Master with his problems and perplexities. When Jesus had listened to the apostolic chief relate his troubles, he said: “Andrew, you cannot talk men out of their perplexities when they reach such a stage of involvement, and when so many persons with strong feelings are concerned. I cannot do what you ask of me—I will not participate in these personal social difficulties—but I will join you in the enjoyment of a three-day period of rest and relaxation. Go to your brethren and announce that all of you are to go with me up on Mount Sartaba, where I desire to rest for a day or two.

143:3.2 (1610.5) “Now you should go to each of your eleven brethren and talk with him privately, saying: ‘The Master desires that we go apart with him for a season to rest and relax. Since we all have recently experienced much vexation of spirit and stress of mind, I suggest that no mention be made of our trials and troubles while on this holiday. Can I depend upon you to co-operate with me in this matter?’ In this way privately and personally approach each of your brethren.” And Andrew did as the Master had instructed him.

143:3.3 (1611.1) This was a marvelous occasion in the experience of each of them; they never forgot the day going up the mountain. Throughout the entire trip hardly a word was said about their troubles. Upon reaching the top of the mountain, Jesus seated them about him while he said: “My brethren, you must all learn the value of rest and the efficacy of relaxation. You must realize that the best method of solving some entangled problems is to forsake them for a time. Then when you go back fresh from your rest or worship, you are able to attack your troubles with a clearer head and a steadier hand, not to mention a more resolute heart. Again, many times your problem is found to have shrunk in size and proportions while you have been resting your mind and body.”

143:3.4 (1611.2) The next day Jesus assigned to each of the twelve a topic for discussion. The whole day was devoted to reminiscences and to talking over matters not related to their religious work. They were momentarily shocked when Jesus even neglected to give thanks—verbally—when he broke bread for their noontide lunch. This was the first time they had ever observed him to neglect such formalities.

143:3.5 (1611.3) When they went up the mountain, Andrew’s head was full of problems. John was inordinately perplexed in his heart. James was grievously troubled in his soul. Matthew was hard pressed for funds inasmuch as they had been sojourning among the gentiles. Peter was overwrought and had recently been more temperamental than usual. Judas was suffering from a periodic attack of sensitiveness and selfishness. Simon was unusually upset in his efforts to reconcile his patriotism with the love of the brotherhood of man. Philip was more and more nonplused by the way things were going. Nathaniel had been less humorous since they had come in contact with the gentile populations, and Thomas was in the midst of a severe season of depression. Only the twins were normal and unperturbed. All of them were exceedingly perplexed about how to get along peaceably with John’s disciples.

143:3.6 (1611.4) The third day when they started down the mountain and back to their camp, a great change had come over them. They had made the important discovery that many human perplexities are in reality nonexistent, that many pressing troubles are the creations of exaggerated fear and the offspring of augmented apprehension. They had learned that all such perplexities are best handled by being forsaken; by going off they had left such problems to solve themselves.

143:3.7 (1611.5) Their return from this holiday marked the beginning of a period of greatly improved relations with the followers of John. Many of the twelve really gave way to mirth when they noted the changed state of everybody’s mind and observed the freedom from nervous irritability which had come to them as a result of their three days’ vacation from the routine duties of life. There is always danger that monotony of human contact will greatly multiply perplexities and magnify difficulties.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Carl Jung says that people spend the first half of life getting “into the world” … and the 2nd half of life getting out of it.

 

This generalization he arrived at through having seen many many people as clients, as he worked as a psychotherapist.

 

I have great respect for Carl Jung; and I trust him.       And I make sense of his generalization mainly in this way:

 

We are multidimensional beings [we have a material aspect … AND we have a spiritual aspect] yet – we are forced to live in a (devoutly) Materialistic Society.  Our culture believes that there is a Big Equals Sign    between   REALITY    and   Materiality.  We believe that Materiality IS  Reality … that   Reality = Materiality    (which is NOT true).

 

By the time our (Inuit) author (of the epigram) wrote his song … he had largely transcended his (own and his culture’s) Materiality … Mmm?

 

As Maharishi says – “Enlightenment means – knowing what is What.”

 

It’s something to hope for.  

Maybe even strive for.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The Inuit are the descendants of what anthropologists call the Thule culture, who emerged from western Alaska around 1000 AD and spread eastwards across the Arctic, displacing the related Dorsets, the last major Paleo-Eskimo culture (in Inuktitut, the Tuniit). Inuit legends speak of the Tuniit as “giants”, although they were sometimes called “dwarfs”, people who were taller and stronger than the Inuit. Researchers believe that the Dorset culture lacked dogs, larger weapons and other technologies that gave the expanding Inuit society an advantage. By 1300, the Inuit had settled in west Greenland, and they moved into east Greenland over the following century.

Inuit (plural; the singular Inuk means “man” or “person”) is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, Russia and the United States.The Inuit language is grouped under Eskimo-Aleut languages.

 

The Inuit people live throughout most of the Canadian Arctic and subarctic: in the territory of Nunavut (“our land”); the northern third of Quebec, in an area called Nunavik (“place to live”); the coastal region of Labrador, in an area called Nunatsiavut (“our beautiful land”); in various parts of the Northwest Territories, mainly on the coast of the Arctic Ocean and formerly in the Yukon. Collectively these areas are known as Inuit Nunangat. In the US, Alaskan Inupiat live on the North Slope of Alaska and the Seward Peninsula. Greenland’s Kalaallit are citizens of Denmark. The Yupik live in both Alaska and the Russian Far East.

 

In Alaska, the term Eskimo is commonly used, because it includes both Yupik and Inupiat, while Inuit is not accepted as a collective term or even specifically used for Inupiat (which technically is Inuit). No universal replacement term for Eskimo, inclusive of all Inuit and Yupik people, is accepted across the geographical area inhabited by the Inuit and Yupik peoples. In Canada and Greenland, the term Eskimo has fallen out of favour, as it is considered pejorative by the natives and has been replaced by the term Inuit. In Canada, the Constitution Act of 1982, sections 25 and 35 recognised the Inuit as a distinctive group of Canadian aboriginals, who are neither First Nations nor Métis.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Urantia Book excerpt –

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-standardized/paper-143-going-through-samaria?term=%22143%22#U143_0_1

(Scroll down to get to Section 3)

Posted on

Gender Balance & the Earth

 

According to NPR  –  in this world

WOMEN

  do 2/3 of the work

    bring home 10% of the pay

      and own 1% of the property !

 

~~~~~~

 

“The world is a ghetto”

                    –  the rock group, ‘War

 

 

~~~~~

 

If Mama ain’t happy

ain’t nobody happy.

 

 

~~~~~~

 

Our relationship with the Earth is (clearly) reflected   in how we treat women.

 

I want to share with you here a recent Truthout article … by Marla Dolan.

I want to (fully) acknowledge her and thank her for her work.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hawaii Considers an Explicitly Feminist Plan for COVID-Era Economic Recovery

 

  • “The road to economic recovery should not be across women’s backs,” reads the first sentence of Hawaii’s Feminist Economic Recovery Plan.

    As states put forth dozens of recovery plans that all aim to redress the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii’s remains the first and only that is explicitly “feminist.”

    The plan — which was released on April 14 by the Hawaii Department of Human Services’ State Commission on the Status of Women — does not seek to reinstate a status quo riddled with inequality. Instead it recognizes the current crisis as the “moment to build a system that is capable of delivering gender equality.”

    It calls for a universal basic income, countering the systemic wage and wealth gender gap. It calls for free, publicly provided child care for essential workers, a nearly $25/hour minimum wage for single mothers, and the creation of public emergency funds available for high-risk groups, like undocumented women who are ineligible for the federal cash refund, domestic workers who are experiencing financial hardship, and people classified as “sex trafficking survivors who have recently exited the commercial sex industry.”

    The plan calls for a reinvestment in midwifery services to provide maternal health care as hospitals become strained with pandemic response. It calls for a 20 percent pro-rata share of the state’s COVID-19-response funds to go immediately, no strings attached, to Native Hawaiian communities. The 23-page document is a vision for a new kind of economy while also conveying concrete policy recommendations, delivered directly to Hawaii legislators as they begin to apportion state funds toward recovery.

    Khara Jabola-Carolus saw the writing on the wall early. Jabola-Carolus works as the executive director of the State Commission on the Status of Women, and by early March, had seen enough to know that this would be a severely gendered crisis. Women, burdened with the vast amount of unpaid care work, were most impacted by stay-at-home orders, child care and school closures. Women quarantined in abusive homes with their perpetrators had little to no access to financial and social support systems. Women were performing the majority of essential, high-risk health care positions and other essential care work positions like teaching, but weren’t even receiving enough protective equipment or livable wages. Any policy response that ignored these gendered realities would only reinforce them.

    Jabola-Carolus recalls the exact moment she knew she needed to push for a feminist response. As the head of the Commission on the Status of Women, she was asked by legislators working on the state budget to provide a pro-woman plan to restructure and stimulate the economy — in less than half a day. “I was given only a few hours to answer these enormous questions and it made me damn angry. How could executives and bureaucrats, so far removed from the edge and illiterate in the struggles of women, define their future in a few hours?”

    She wanted to draft the recommendations in a very different way, one that modeled a community-based consultative process that prioritized Native, immigrant and working-class women and LGBTQIA+ peoples. “We were careful to go beyond the elite, white-dominated ‘advocates’ circles,” she told Truthout. The contributors in this circle were organizers, academics, activists, midwives and mothers, representing grassroots organizations, large nonprofits, unions and government agencies.

    “This is how we should be doing all of our policy making and planning,” said Kathleen Algire, director of the Hawaii Children’s Action Network, who was a member of the task force. “We can no longer say that ‘we can’t wait for the time community collaboration takes.’ We did it fast and we didn’t sacrifice the community to get it done.”

    Mykie Ozoa, an organizer with AF3IRM Hawaii, the state’s largest grassroots feminist network, saw this collaboration as key to producing pragmatic recommendations. “The Commission was adamant that the voices of women organizing to address issues on the ground in our communities were included, and I believe it is one reason this plan is so unique and offers urgent but easily attainable recommendations.”

    Within the plan itself, the attention given to care work, such as child care and elder care, is substantial. “You cannot separate women from caregiving, unpaid or paid,” said Algire, who helped draft the child care recommendations. They include universal free child care for all emergency and essential workers, paid family and sick leave, and mandated pay parity for child care workers to educators and nurses. “What we keep repeating is ‘there is no economic recovery without child care.’ For parents to go back to work, their children need to be cared for.”

    Algire pointed out the stark shortage of child care spaces available in Hawaii, even before the pandemic, with space for only 1 in 37 toddlers in the state. For many, child care costs are already their second-highest expense, after rent. “When families don’t have access to safe, affordable, quality child care, they are put in an impossible situation,” Algire told Truthout. “If it’s a two-parent household, one parent will likely leave the workforce. Because women are paid less, they are typically who we see staying home.”

    This often cost two-parent households a second income and many single mothers their only income, and it also impacts the employment side of the child care industry, too, where the workforce is mostly women. “Like many other professions, you may see men owning or serving as directors of large centers, but the primary workforce is women,” Algire said. “Child care is a low-paying job and [that fact] is a disgrace. These are the people we are entrusting our children’s lives to and they should be paid more than minimum wage.”

    The plan emphasizes that the industry cannot return to this unsustainable “normal” — state economic policies must help it change. “If a community, state or country wants to see workforce participation like we had [pre-pandemic], child care as an industry will need support. It will need to be subsidized,” Algire said. “The folks that are supporting, teaching, guiding, caring and loving our kids deserve better. Caring for children is hard, draining work. It is undervalued because it is seen as ‘women’s work.’ We’ve got to change that.”

    Health care for women and LGBTQIA+ people is also centered in the plan, with significant attention paid to supporting maternal health services in the state. Tanya Smith-Johnson, who worked at an organization called The Big Push for Midwives, told Truthout that maternal care policy must include deep and consistent consultation with pregnant and birthing people in order to fully address their needs, especially Black and Native people, who face additional marginalization within the maternal health care system.

    In fact, one of the five key recommendations made in diversifying and reshaping the economy is “to harness the role of midwifery to improve deficits in maternal and neonatal health care in Hawaii, especially in rural areas.” The plan’s recommendations include ensuring that insurance companies and Medicaid cover midwifery services fully, and matching hospital-based midwives with community midwives to meet the increasing demand for out-of-hospital birth options, as many who are pregnant wish to give birth out of hospitals to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk.

    The writers of the plan wanted the word “feminism” front and center — in the report itself and in the conversations it will spur. “If the plan isn’t feminist, it’s patriarchal and will fail to deliver a resilient, strong economy,” Jabola-Carolus said, and urged that the individual policy recommendations put forth cannot be removed from the systemic critique that “feminism” actually articulates. “Feminism, in terms of policy, is mostly stuff that has broad public support, but we need to say ‘feminist’ in order to actually talk about the culture surrounding those policies. It has to be about root causes,” Jabola-Carolus said.

    Take paid family leave, for example. It’s an incredibly popular policy, and would decrease one form of gender inequality in the workplace, where women are often forced out of careers in order to perform unpaid care work for family members. But if paid family leave is not introduced as an explicitly feminist policy, it can erase the broader structures of inequality that allow other forms of workplace discrimination to persist. It just seems like one problem with one policy fix, and not part of anything systemic. For Jabola-Carolus, “this was a call to the left to be explicitly feminist in the same way that it’s finally, explicitly naming systemic racism.” She says naming feminism is critical for progressive movements’ policy platforms to adequately address institutionalized oppression.

    The word “feminism” might be used in popular culture more than ever before, but this is not reflected in policy. Only one federal bill has ever been proposed that uses it: a 2017 piece of legislation to commemorate women’s rights leader Bella Abzug for her “feminist presence” in Congress.

    Jabola-Carolus said she wasn’t aware of any other state-level economic plan that put feminism in its title. All of the advocates Truthout spoke to also viewed this first-time inclusion of “feminist” as hugely significant. Sarah Michal Hamid, a youth organizer who also sat on the committee, said it was “groundbreaking,” as “it means that finally a government agency is recognizing that women and non-men are unevenly burdened under our current economy, and that this needs to change.”

    But the goal is for its usage in policy to be eventually commonplace, a consequence of serious gender consideration in all planning. “It shouldn’t be unique that a state plan centers women and girls. When the most marginalized are centered, everyone else’s needs will also be met,” Ozoa said. “I hope that other states use this opportunity to take stock and reprioritize.”

    The women who put together the Hawaii plan do believe that their work can provide a pathway for feminists’ engagement in other states.

    “I hope other states adapt it to their needs, keeping the essence of the document, because it really is a plan that is universal and necessary,” Smith-Johnson told Truthout. This might look different based on each state’s demographic, employment and industry needs, but could share common commitments to tackling economic realities that marginalize women.

    For other states embarking on their own drafting processes, Hawaii’s advocates are the first to admit that there is room for these recommendations to grow. In future iterations, both Jabola-Carolus and Ozoa noted they would like to see a stronger integration of transformative justice frameworks that pursue gender-based violence prevention without relying on mass incarceration. Smith-Johnson would like to see how these recommendations could influence federal-level feminist economic policy: “Can you imagine the impact that would have?”

    For now, the report lives in the halls of Hawaii’s House and Senate, as legislators review proposals and apportion COVID-19 recovery funds in the weeks that follow. “I know this plan will have a ripple effect on how we move forward,” said Algire. “Unlike other plans that will sit on a shelf and be forgotten, this will be a guiding document for years to come.”

    Hamid said she hopes that the questions raised in this report reverberate all around the country. “As other governments begin this ‘road to recovery,’ they should carefully consider who is allowed on that road, and whose backs it is being built on.”