Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category
We are living in extraordinary times. There isn’t anyone I know who does not feel the profound upheaval and changes we are experiencing both globally and personally. One of the awakenings taking place is the realization that we are free to see, and therefore create, a world of our choosing. We need not be enslaved any longer to someone else’s reality or to the perspective fed us daily by a variety of media outlets and politicians.
Which leads me to write about “compassionate war.” I realize the phrase itself seems like an oxymoron. How can you have something as violent and destructive as war and see it in terms of compassion? The answer lies in the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.
My focus is not the politics of the conflict nor is it the terrorist designation of Hamas. It’s about Israel and the manner in which it has chosen to prepare for and proceed with this inevitable clash.
In two weeks of fighting, Israel has agreed unilaterally to 4 separate halts in the armed fighting. Two of those were humanitarian requests, one by Hamas itself, which Israel honored and Hamas did not. Israel literally built a hospital at one of the border-crossing check-points to treat any wounded Palestinians who would need treatment. No one has showed up. Israel offered and readied millions of shekels, (Israeli currency is 3.5 :1 as against the US dollar) so at least one million dollars, of medical supplies and equipment to deliver to Gaza but the Palestinian Authority rejected the offer.
Israel has spent millions of dollars building bomb shelters throughout Israel and in these past two weeks, 75% of its population has had to use them. In Gaza, tens of thousands of tons of cement and building supplies intended for schools, office buildings and homes were diverted by Hamas over the past five years to burrow and build elaborate tunnels underground from Gaza to Israel to be used in a mass terror attack scheduled for this coming September 25th, the first night of the Jewish New Year.
Perhaps most astonishingly, Israel has done what no other nation in the history of the world has done. It gives advance warning to Gaza’s citizens where and when they will strike. By way of leaflets dropped by the Israeli Air Force, cell phone text messages and twitter postings, Israel gives the Palestinians every opportunity to flee a known missile launch site before striking. Hamas has deliberately positioned those sites in homes, schools, graveyards, and mosques while ordering Palestinian men, women and children to remain where they are despite certainty of injury or death.
Just today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any lasting truce will require 1) the “demilitarization of Gaza and social and economic relief for the Palestinian people there.” Even in the midst of war, the Israeli’s are looking out for the well-being of their adversary.
All civilized people who revere life want a world without war. However, as long as there remain uncivilized people who glorify violence and death there will be a need for defensive action.
In the Torah, the Old Testament, it talks about the nation of Israel being a “light unto the Nations.” I think it is fair to say that in a defensive war thrust upon it, Israel has and continues to act in ways that exemplify how even in the darkest of times, honorable men and women can shine a light upon their humanity and reflect for the world our connectedness to one another.
Steve Clark (my co-host on Above The Fray Podcast) and I post independently of one another. I get to read his blogs the same way you do which is when they’re published. Yesterday, when I read his post titled “We’re All Drug Addicts” I knew I had to write my own thoughts on a topic about which I have first-hand knowledge. In fact, when Heath Ledger overdosed, I was contacted by several media outlets to weigh in on the subjects of addiction, suicide and drug overdose. (A fully developed interview of me following Ledger’s death can be listened to here.)
Anti-depressants are proven to lead to and/or increase incidents of suicidal thinking. In my twenties I battled depression and anxiety. A physician put me on anti-depressants and tranquilizers to combat the condition. When I realized I was addicted to the medications I decided to stop taking them. Shortly thereafter, I tried to commit suicide and came very close to succeeding. It was a turning point in my life as it awakened me to the realization that I had to either do it again and succeed or begin to live my life differently. I choose the latter.
It is now decades later and I live a joyful and rewarding life. In no small part it’s due to a different addiction. I mediate daily. Your reaction may be “Well, that’s stretching it a bit since mediation is hardly an addiction.”
But it is.
I need to meditate every day. I’m at a loss when I don’t get my “fix” of that meditative state. Without those feelings of peace, joy, calm and clarity that I receive from meditation I feel tense, discontent, frazzled and off my game. So you see, I am addicted. But I’ve also consciously chosen my addiction because it enhances rather than diminishes the quality of my life.
The point is that it may just be human nature to be addicted. Some choose alcohol, drugs, pornography, chocolate, gambling, serial adultery, masturbation, twitter, clothes shopping…whatever. Regardless, we humans have Free Will and so get to choose that to which we are addicted.
For me, the contrast is no contest. On drugs, I was sedated, slow of thought and harming vital organs with unnecessary and toxic side effects. On meditation, I am sharp of mind, peaceful of spirit, accepting of life and creative of soul.
So to paraphrase Steve, if we’re all addicted remember: You get to choose to what.
It’s certainly easy to become frustrated, angered, even enraged at national and global events. Terrorists are summarily released from Guantanamo to inevitably return to their pursuit of our destruction; original IRS files under investigation, allegedly lacking any archived copies, suddenly disappear and the hard drive that housed them is destroyed; literally thousands of illegal immigrants pour across our southern border daily while the Federal government, charged with our protection, stands by idle and silent; the most radical of radical Islamic terrorists murderously and savagely tear their way through Iraq seizing cities and imposing Sharia Law as they go, negating the efforts we made and the lives we sacrificed to bring that nation a chance for freedom; food and energy prices soar upward while we are told there is no inflation and one hundred million, one third of our population, are unemployed.
Overwhelmed people feel victimized and are susceptible to manipulation by anyone promising an end to their frustrations. Enraged people are reactive, fail to reason and consequently, think before they act. Neither false prophets nor indiscriminate actions can serve us now.
What’s needed is very simple, if not necessarily easy:
1. Pull back to your most basic and immediate needs and environment.
2. Ask yourself, “How will gratuitous anger serve me?
3. Ask yourself,” What can I do to simplify my life and reduce stress?”
4. Reach out to neighbors, friends or colleagues to establish a community of support for one another.
5. Commit to not allowing yourself to be seduced into blame, violence or hatred of others.
6. Identify and stand firm in your core beliefs regardless of their political correctness…so long as those beliefs are not at the expense of another.
7. Hold fast to faith in humankind’s awakening to the realization that united we stand and divided we fall as All are One.
8. Allow truth to emerge from within you rather than allow an agenda to be imposed upon you.
Every historical period has its challenges. This one is no exception. What causes pain and suffering is not change. It’s our resistance to change. The world is changing in rapid and profound ways. Old patterns of behavior and correction will not work. When we switched from horse and buggy to the combustion engine, you could not fuel that engine with oats…although those oats worked just fine under the old system.
Rather than judge who did what and how we got here, let’s use our intellects, our hearts, and our individual uniqueness to co-create solutions. The dawn of a new day brings the opportunity to either repeat yesterday or live today anew.
Free Will. You get to choose.
Many scoffed at members of the “spiritual communities” that began warning at least 5-7 years ago that we were going through a “paradigm shift.” The forewarning was that systems which had been in place for hundreds, if not thousands, of years would be breaking down. The breakdown in the integrity and effectiveness of the Federal government and its administrative agencies has been increasingly evident over that same time period but nothing can compare to the VA scandal… and for very good reason.
It was inevitable that without awakening and addressing the negligence and corruption of government, we were destined to come face to face with the undeniable. For it is only the undeniable that has historically, too often, been the only catalyst for our awareness and action. The VA scandal, the total disregard for the well-being of honorable men and women who served this country upon a belief and a promise that they would be cared for and supported both in battle and upon their return is the undeniable proof of the incompetence, impotence and corruption endemic within our government.
Just as it isn’t change that causes stress but rather resistance to change that is its cause, so too is it not our system of governance that is corrupt and broken but rather the deliberate misuse of that system by its leaders for personal aggrandizement, financial gain and control.
Within and during the worst of times there is always a purpose and a higher perspective. Sadly, we humans too often fail to see either until adverse circumstances reach critical mass. The VA scandal is such a moment of critical mass. It is also, therefore, a moment of profound enlightenment and transcendence for those with eyes to see and the courage to act.
We are awake and able to discern deception in any disguise. We are awake and feel insincerity wherever it resides. We are awake and throw off the bonds of an enslaved consciousness. We are awake and know fear and separation for the tools of manipulation that they are. We are awake and as loving expressions of Creator we own our role in Divine Being. We are awake and we will never be returned to ignorance, slumber, and denial.
Knowing plus action is the key. Let those currently in service, as well as our Veterans, now be served.
In every other aspect of our lives, let Truth be spoken, let Love unite and above all let darkness be enveloped and transformed by Light.
Neither gun control, knife control nor any legislation can or will make us better people or more able to resist what is the very human inclination to misuse energy in all its forms. Tragedies, such as what occurred in Santa Barbara this week, have been part of human history for as long as that history has been passed down orally or memorialized in writing. Cain killed Abel without a gun.
Whether you believe the Torah/Old Testament as the literal word of God or only a warning of what has been human nature from time immemorial…it matters not. There is evidence as far back as humankind that we have refused to accept that life can be disappointing and others may have what we desire. Then, failing to obtain either satisfaction or those things we covet, we compound our mistaken perspective by concluding that we have the right to use violence to get what we deem to have been denied.
Whether it’s a sick, tortured and delusional young man in California, neighbor against neighbor, or nation against nation the use of violence is born of the illusion of separation. The illusion that I can hurt the other without hurting me. That what I think and feel and do are limited to me and the small world in which I believe myself to be the epicenter.
Five Thousand plus years of this illusion have proven to be not only wrong but consistently and repeatedly destructive. Now, for the first time in humankind’s history the capability to be thoroughly self-annihilating as a species is before us as is the means to actualize that destruction with unprecedented speed.
Free Will is what can save us from making an irreversible mistake. But exercising that will in an era of technological addiction and deliberate manipulation of human consciousness requires great courage and focus. It requires that each of us unplug from the sources and forces that would keep us enslaved to a separation mentality. It requires enough awareness to know that no political solution is uncorrupted. It requires joining the masculine, scientific mind with the feminine, compassionate heart so that balance can be restored to a species that has chosen to live under the illusion that we as individuals are helpless and need rely upon political power to accomplish miraculous deeds.
Nothing could be further from Truth.
Do not believe what you read. Do not believe what you hear. Do not believe what you see. Believe only in the knowing that you are Infinite Divine Being in action. You are a co-creator and absolutely everything you think, say and do matters.
Thereby comes the correction.
I’ve had an “aha” moment. This isn’t a conspiracy theory although it may read like one. Oftentimes, a new and innovative way of looking at the status quo, that calls into question an established view or pattern, can be misinterpreted as conspiratorial. Let’s not go there. Keep an open mind as you read on and you may have an “aha” moment of your own.
In his latest book “Focus” Daniel Goleman states:
“Survival in the wild, some neuroscientists argue, may have depended at crucial moments on a rapidly shifting attention and swift action, without hesitation to think what to do. What we now diagnose as Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) may reflect a natural variation in focusing styles that had an advantage in evolution–and so continue to be dispersed in our gene pool.”
Goleman’s words gave me that “aha” moment.
We are living in a time when political, economic and social systems are breaking down all around us. Its certainly reasonable to posit that all the resulting chaos raises a “warning/danger” response in the primal area of our brains. Accordingly, we are hard wired to respond to threats to our well being and/or our very existence exactly as Goleman and his neuroscientsists observed… “with rapidly shifting attention and swift action, without hesitation to think what to do.” Also known as A.D.D.
Here’s where you’ll have to suspend your tendency to conclude conspiracy.
Approximately 7.5% of school aged children in the United States have been diagnosed with A.D.D. Unmedicated, they are also (to use Darwin’s phrase) the “fittest” for this phase of conscious evolution we must now navigate. I suddenly understood why the “powers that be” want to medicate A.D.D. A narrowly focused population that cannot think expansively, change focus rapidly, or multitask with ease is more readily controlled that one that can. These A.D.D individuals are the seers and the innovators of our day. It is they who will be the ones to usher in new ways of doing things in this age of breakdowns
If you have A.D.D, or know someone who does, perhaps you might want to pay more attention to the wanderings of that rapid mind….and less attention to what “the experts” say about medication.
All our futures may depend on it.
Do you remember the scene in the “Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy’s dog, Toto, pulls down the curtain to reveal the “Wizard” to be nothing more than an old man who has intimidated a land and its inhabitants with his “smoke and mirror” powers? And do you remember that as the fallen curtain exposes his fraud to Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion the old man continues to speak into the microphone and turn the wheel of his deceptive light and sound show in a last ditch, desperate attempt to hold onto the fiction of his power? Yes? Your recall it? Good.
Think about President Obama and Vladimir Putin and Hafetz Assad and Monsanto and Wall Street and the mass media and the pharmaceutical industry and an almost endless list of other apparent power brokers. Notice any similarity? Get the picture?
The Light (a/k/a Toto in my Oz analogy) has pulled down the curtain that’s been obscuring the illusion of power and control under which humankind has been living for thousands of years. What we are seeing and feeling, if only we will open our eyes and our hearts, is the end of illusion. True power, the power given the free-willed individual to understand and live her or his own connection to Source, and to all sentient beings, is what has emerged.
Look at Ukraine or Egypt. Look at Justina Pelletier now being returned to Tufts Hospital for the medical treatment she desperately needs because of public outcry against Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Look at the stunning Homeland Security decision issued today that flies in the face and reverses Eric Holder’s and the Justice Department’s efforts to extradite the Romeike family who have been seeking political asylum in the United States under grounds of religious persecution in Germany. These are each inspiring and remarkable examples of an awakened Consciousness that finally sees past the illusions of fear and control that has kept we humans confined and dependent upon our keepers…like animals trapped in a zoo.
Both we and the animals were created to be free.
The curtain is lifted. There is no omnipotent power called government or DOW Jones or GE or Google running your life or mine. There is no “cost of living” increase the government or the corporation needs to provide for your financial security because there is no “cost of living.” Life is a gift. The only way to pay back is to pay it forward, in gratitude to Source, by way of service to one another
Breaking News: Look behind the curtain. You are the Wizard of You… and We are the Wizards of Us.
Its been an astonishing week for the Light…if you know what I mean. If not, keep reading anyway and you’ll understand by the time you finish the post.
1. The Federal Communicatons Commision (FCC) has backed off an intended study of American newsrooms that would have violated the First Amendment. They did so because Republican lawmakers and media personalities and groups reacted swiftly and forcefully to the intended intrusion.
2. Thousands of people flocked to Twitter and the hashtag “#FreeJustina” demanding that custody of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier be returned to her parents. Custody was taken from them when Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families conspired to reverse a prior medical diagnosis of the child’s condition made at Tuft’s Hospital and substitute a psychiatric one in its place, denying the child any and all medical treatment.
3. In Kiev, capital of Ukraine, a true revolution by the people overthrew the corrupt government, ousting the President, and now intending to implement justice and freedom modeled on a more European rather than Russian model.
4. In Italy, Matteo Renzi, age 39, was elected as the youngest Prime Minister in the country’s history. He is politically center-Left and supports Israel, seeing Iran as the major problem in the Middle East.
5. In Mexico City, authorities there captured the world’s most powerful drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. His organization is the leading supplier of cocaine in the U.S.
So now do you know why it was a great week for the Light?
We are living in extraordinary times. Most of us realize the almost daily advances and breakthroughs in technology. But how many of us are aware of the powerful and life-altering influx of Light upon the planet that has created a metaphysical platform for nothing short of revelation. I’m not talking religious revelation. I’m talking exposure of deceit, manipulation, enslavement and the use of fear as a tool for control.
The 5 events I mentioned in this post are escalating examples of 1) how powerful the individual is when aligned with like-minded poeple and 2) that those who have perpetuated deceit, manipulation and victimization will no longer be able to hide in the shadows. In the presence of the Light, all will be known and those who seek power at the expense of others will increasingly find their plans thwarted and their intentions exposed.
THIS is hope and change. Welcome to the new reality.
In the book African Genesis the author puts forth the concept of “Blessed Anger.” Blessed Anger is what an animal in the wild exhibits when the minimal amount of space it needs to survive is encroached upon. Animals have an instinct to “stake out” conceptually where that line of safety is in relation to their location. If another animal approaches, there will be no action taken unless the approaching animal crosses that invisible line. Should that occur, the resting animal will go on offense and attack the incoming foe.
I think its reasonable to assume that such Blessed Anger would be exhibited, and justifiable, by any parent in regard to their child. Anyone who has ever had a child knows the instinctive, protective feeling of rising to meet any person or force that poses a threat to your child’s safety and well being. With that in mind, meet Joe Pelletier.
Joe Pelletier has today been charged with Contempt of Court for violating a gag Order imposed by a judge in Massachusetts. Mr. Pelletier is, in fact, in violation of that Order. He knowingly and willfully chose to speak out publicly about the kidnapping and medical malpractice that his teenage daughter, Justina, is now the victim of as perpetuated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
Mr. Pelletier’s decision to violate that Order was made in an effort to save his daughter’s life. Justina suffers from mitochondrial disease, a medical condition diagnosed by Tufts Hospital in Connecticut and for which treating physicians there performed abdominal surgery, where, among other procedures, an elimination tube was inserted in her torso. Yet subsequently and without basis, Boston Children’s Hospital has found that Justina has no medical conditions but rather a psychiatric condition whereby she imagines all of her symptoms, one of which is continual pain. Therefore, the hospital has denied her ALL medical treatment and forces her to attend psychiatric sessions. Further, with Justina now in a wheelchair as her physical condition deteriorates, Boston Children’s Hospital has transferred her to a facility that houses only non-medical, short-term recovering psychiatric and drug rehab patients.
As a former lawyer who practiced Family Law for 13 years and had my share of custody cases involving the state and agenicies such as DCF, I can assure you that the abuses perpetrated by both the Courts and state child protective service agencies can far exceed the conditions from which the child has been removed under the legal standard of “in the best interest of the child.”
Justina Pelletier is my child and your child. She is everyone’s child. And this is every parent’s nightmare. Justina is running out of time. The Pelletier family is mentally, physically and emotionally devastated. They have been financially ruined.
We are the reserves and the reinforcements. Each person reading this must choose one of the below listed methods to be heard and immediately do something about it. Every minute you hesitate is another minute you now know the Pelletier family is suffering. Ever minute you hesitate Justina Pelletier is deteriorating and denied medical attention.
You now have knowing. You now have personal responsibility. We are all connected. You have the right to Blessed Anger.
Allow it to move you.
Governor Duval Patrick
Phone: 617.725.4005 (out of state)
888.870.7770 (in state)
Olga Roche, DCF Commissioner / email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Coakley, Massachusetts Attorney General
Phone: (617) 727-2200
Boston Children’s Hospital
“Lone Survivor” opened in theaters this past weekend to become the second highest grossing movie ever in the month of January. It’s both a war film and a profoundly moving account of ethics, determination and sheer courage in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Yet, the most important message of the movie (and the book upon which the screenplay is based) occurs off screen.
“It went bad for us over there, but that was our job. That’s what we did. We didn’t complain about it. We never gave up. We never felt like we were losing…until we were actually dead.”
What first caught my attention about Mr. Luttrell’s response was his use of the words “we” and “our.” His choice of pronouns may not seem all that extraordinary…after all, these four men trained and performed as a unit. However, it’s the last half of the last sentence that riveted me.
“…until we were dead.”
Marcus Luttrell returns to us to do much more than write a book or make a movie. He returns to us to personify the living manifestation of the unifying principle of Oneness. Four men died on that mountain in Afghanistan, not three. You know that through Mr. Luttrell’s statement. His experience was that “we were dead.” However, four men crawled off that mountain as well and have survived to tell their story through Mr. Luttrell.
Yes, it is a story of war and its ravages as well as of courage, compassion and endurance in the face of overwhelming odds. But above all else, it is a story of our connectedness to one another. What happens to one of us happens to all of us. Until we own that reality, we will continue to tear one another apart both in and out of war.
The solutions we seek to the world’s challenges are not political, they are of the heart. True unity is no better expressed or understood than in the manner that Mr. Luttrell speaks of his/their experience, his/their bond and, most tellingly, his/their deaths. Four men went to Afghanistan and all four have returned to speak to us with one voice.
If Marcus Luttrell still questions why he made it back, my prayer is that he wonders no longer. Every morning that he awakens his three friends awaken as well. It is the highest form of resurrection and it is his purpose to exemplify this reality for the rest of us. I, for one, am eternally grateful to him for the integrity and commitment he brings to the calling. May the Nation, and the world, be awake enough to seize this profound moment to finally understand what divinity in action is all about.
There is only One of Us
Listen to Carole discuss Marcus Lutrell in an excerpt from her radio show “An Hour of Inspirational Gold” on BlogTalk Radio.
Note: click on the gray play button below