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I tried to commit suicide at age 24 and came frighteningly close to succeeding…if success is ever the right word to use in such situations. As such, I have a lot to say about Robin Williams, not because I knew him but because I know exactly how he was thinking and feeling when he made the decision to try.
I would first say to those who would second guess his motives, his financial situation or his degree of “selfishness” as I have heard it referred to: DON’T… unless, of course, you’ve been to the point of consciously, albeit irrationally, trying to die by your own hand.
It’s not about the money, it’s not about the fame, it’s not about the lack or excess of anything other than feeling. It’s about feeling too much in a world that does not have enough love or compassion. It’s about living a lie and becoming the comic, the drama queen, the rebel, the alcoholic, or the workaholic in order to harden you sufficiently to withstand all the insensitivity, separation and denial.
I’m not a big proponent of medicating depression. In fact, I was coming off of anti-depressants when I used those same pills to try to kill myself. And, while one of the first thoughts I recall having upon surviving the attempt was what hell I had put my family through, it never entered my mind at the moment I made the decision. You see, when the pain gets bad enough and the fog gets thick enough, the realization that you have finally figured out a way to stop the suffering seems like a relief and that single realization takes precedent over anything resembling rational thought.
When a person tries to commit suicide, they don’t really want to die. They’ve just misplaced hope. Hope that things can and will change. Hope that the pain will ease. Hope that the fog will lift. Hope that they will ever feel joy again. Hope that on balance, life is actually worth living through all its trials and tribulations. Hope that tomorrow, or even an hour from now, it will be possible to give and receive love again. Which is why everyone, not just people who are depressed, should sit up and pay attention to what Robin Williams was driven to do.
We are living in a world overwhelming us with so much negativity that we are losing hope. You see it in the growing apathy. Apathy unchecked leads to hopelessness. Where is the outrage and help for innocents beheaded or buried alive? Where is the outrage, and help, for the Iraqi’s stranded on a mountain top? Where is the outrage and help for children being used as sex slaves and pawns in a political game? Where is the outrage for female genital mutilation as a “religious” practice? Where is the outrage for corrupt, lying, greedy politicians who prosper at our expense and our decline? Where is the outrage at what’s happening on our border? Where is the outrage at what we do to animals every minute of every day in the name of science? Where is the outrage at the manipulation of our economy for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many?
I know. I know. You are tired. You are overwhelmed. You feel powerless. You are dancing as fast as you can dance. So was Robin Williams. That’s the cautionary tale he bequeaths us.
His most important message and he brought us many through his seemingly endless creativity, is that having to feel less, or dying, is not the answer. The message of immediate importance is for each one of us to finally embark upon creating a world where kindness, cooperation, compassion and love are the norm not the aberration.
A world where feeling too much will only get you more joy.
Compassion and reality are not mutually exclusive. Although, when examining the U.S. government’s response to the current invasion by illegal aliens and the world’s response to the current war between Israel and Hamas one can only wonder.
As a lawyer, there’s a saying I’ve always liked: “Facts are pesky things.” They demand acknowledgement and, in the absence of opposing facts, stand as legal truth. We have some border facts confronting us so let’s give them their due:
1. The U.S. Border is the line of demarcation for identifying those legally residing within its parameters (U.S. citizens) and those living outside those parameters (foreigners).
2. The Constitution of the United States leaves room for interpretation as to who is obligated to enforce the U.S. borders (the Executive branch or the States) but it’s undisputed that it’s one, the other, or both.
3. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) sets forth the legal requirement and process for entering the United States and subsequently obtaining citizenship.
4. With limited and narrowly defined exceptions, people entering the country in violation of the INA commit a crime.
5. The Presidential Oath of Office is explicitly clear that it is the obligation of the President of the United States to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
6. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 created two territories: a homeland for the Jewish People (Israel) and Palestine.
7. Every Arab nation rejected the establishment of the Arab state and refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli state.
8. In 1948, following war between the Arabs and the Jews, the State of Israel formally came into existence
9. Arab nations and Islamic terror groups have been the aggressors and waged repeated wars and terrorist attacks on Israel and its citizens since 1948.
10. In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel was attacked by surprise by 6 Arab nations, prevailed in that war, and subsequently returned to Egypt over 26,000 square miles of territory Israel captured in return for peace with Egypt.
11. Israel subsequently relinquished all sovereignty over the Gaza strip to Palestinians.
12. Arabs and Islamic terrorists have been continuously attacking Israel on a daily basis from both the Sinai and Gaza.
13. Children do not wage war of their own accord nor do they willingly violate borders and should not be used as pawns to further a political agenda.
Let’s temporarily feed, clothe and provide emergency medical attention to the tens of thousands of illegal foreign children crossing the U.S. border. Then as quickly as possibly send them back to their countries of origin.
Israel has a right to defend itself while protecting and maintaining its legal borders. In 1967, then Israeli Prime Minister Gold Meir said, “There will be peace in the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”
Compassion and reality are not mutually exclusive.
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.
I am not in favor of anyone who is ill being unable to get medical care. I can’t imagine any rational, compassionate person who would be. But perfection is hard to come by, even in healthcare, and so for quite some time now we in the United States have been the beneficiaries of an imperfect healthcare system…albeit the best in the world.
So, in full disclosure, I was never in favor of Obamacare. From Obamacare’s inception until today, I believe the free market to be the best arena in which good ideas can be born and maintained within a free society. Government runs very little, if anything, efficiently. The prospect of it successfully overseeing the creation and “enforcement” of healthcare for 317,000,000 citizens seemed almost laughable.
As far back as 2003 during his days as a U.S. Senator, President Obama was an advocate of a “single-payer” system whereby the private insurance industry would be eliminated and replaced by the federal government. Single-payer is what is also referred to as nationalized or socialized medicine. The government that would run Obama’s single-payer system is the same government that cannot seem to efficiently run the U.S. Postal Service or effectively manage immigration.
Now, with the fiasco that has become known as Obamacare, President Obama may be on the road to getting his wish. The progressive state of Vermont is attempting to implement single-payer healthcare to circumvent the seemingly endless challenges and foibles that are Obamacare.
It’s been a long, circuitous, and deceptive route getting to where we are but it may yet payoff for those who, like New Yorkers with the recent election of Bill de Blasio as Mayor, think that Socialism and Communism are inherently more efficient and just systems than the Constitutional Republic under which we in the United States have lived since our inception. This, of course, will come as a shock to the hundreds of millions of people slaughtered by tyrannical or fascistic leaders in countries that have tried both alternative systems.
Economic equality is not equal opportunity. Economic equality among a populace is sought, but never achieved, by way of redistribution of wealth…which always ends with a few having achieved their wealth, literally, upon the bodies of those who bought the fiction that a government can and will give you all things for nothing. There is, in such cases, always a price paid in blood. On the other hand, equal opportunity is the right of every individual living in a free society to pursue their dreams unobstructed by specifically targeted governmental restraints .
Obamacare was the wrong solution. Vermont is on the wrong track. Free market health care, with purchase rights across state lines and accountability for insurers and providers alike, with provisions for preexisting conditions and those truly unable to secure health insurance is the answer.
But the slope from freedom to bondage is a slippery one. Vermont’s efforts are the latest indication that we are on the down slope.
I like to think I know history in spite of what I was taught in public school and private universities. That’s because I have an inquisitive nature and love to read. Which is why I know who Margaret Sanger was and what she espoused. So it comes as no surprise, although no less revulsion, that the CEO of Planned Parenthood for Southeast Pennsylvania admitted this week that her organization knew of the atrocities and murder taking place at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion house of horrors and did nothing about it.
You see, Ms. Steinberg was being a good foot soldier in the army Sanger founded to control reproduction of minorities (read as African Americans) and undesirables (read as anyone deemed of insufficient-value-production-capability to enrich society). Sanger was a eugenicist. So was Adolph Hitler. Not hyperbole…just an apt reference point. Sanger would have done away with anyone she and other like-minded elitists believed to be a burden to society or a poor cost-benefit risk. Like-minded thinking can be found in The Affordable Care Act (read as Obamacare).
Many years ago I started out as a Liberal Democrat. I was raised in a house, a religion and a community that pretty much all gravitated in that direction. It has only been through actual life experience and the slow demise of this great Nation that I have come to not only adamantly espouse and defend most Conservative, even Libertarian, values but also abhor the hypocrisy of the political Left.
Liberals and Leftists are no more hypocritical than on the issue of abortion. While thinking and marketing themselves as compassionate advocates of the downtrodden and needy, they time and time again act as did Dayle Steinberg when she knowingly turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the slaughter of truly innocent human life.
Why? It’s simple, really.
Dayle Steinberg carried out the mission statement of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood and what she herself believes with integrity and perfection. Do whatever it takes regardless of however barbaric the manner to eliminate those who a select few, filled with hubris and self-aggrandizement, deem unworthy of life.
I find Margaret Sanger and what she stood for to be, posthumously, despicable. I find Planned Parenthood to be an organization dedicated to murder. And I find Dayle Steinberg a shameless human being who lacks anything resembling a conscience.
She’ll probably get promoted.
A Palestinian terrorist breaks into the home of an Isreali woman asleep with her two children. He is wielding a knife and a pipe. His intentions are clear. Absent a miracle, the horrific scene from Itamar where the Fogel family was slaughtered in their sleep will be repeated. I am uncertain whether this qualifies as a miracle or just good defensive planning…but the mother, Yael Matzpun, trained in Krav Maga (an Israeli defense technique) battles her attacker, secures him in a bathroom, and calls for help. Upon trying to escape the bathroom window while refusing to put down his weapons, the terrorist is killed by the arriving IDF forces.
I have a few politically incorrect questions.
2. What is wrong with a culture/religion that breeds such men, labels them martyrs and celebrates their atrocities?
3. How amoral or blind has the worldwide media become that it sees no distinction, or lacks the courage to articulate, the difference between the basic humanity of these two societies?
If you approach it like a quiz, the answers are 1) there are none; 2) it is perverse; and 3) very amoral and cowardly.
There comes a time when those with eyes to see and ears to ear are called upon to use their voices to speak truth to power. We are living in such times. The world should cease deluding itself while labeling terrorists as freedom fighters. Both use violence to achieve their ends but that is where the commonality stops.
Freedom fighters seek autonomy and a free society. Terrorists seek death and total destruction using fear as their means of achieving it. The people living in Gaza have an autonomous society (Hamas is their “democratically” elected government) that is free of Jews. It is not enough because neither freedom nor autonomy are their goals. Their goal is murdering every Jew until none remain then obliterating the Jewish homeland.
The terrorist who broke into the Matzpun home to carry out Hamas’ mission is where he belongs; Yael Matzpun is a hero whose children are alive as I write this because she knows who she is dealing with; and I have called it as I see it.
To hell with political correctness.
I live in two worlds…the physical and the metaphysical. We all do to some extent. The physical world is what we can see, hear, smell, touch and sometime prove with objective means. It is a world evaluated and acted upon by our Conscious Mind. The metaphysical world is less easily defined but no less real. It is comprised of the branch of philosophy that treats the underlying theoretical principles of a subject. It studies the relation of universals to particulars, and the teleological doctrine of causation. Its scope is broad enough to include the theologian, the philosopher, the mystic, and the fortune teller.
Some people, like myself, acknowledge and live in both of these worlds in a more or less balanced degree. It wasn’t always so for me but I have worked deliberately, and at times accidentally, to achieve that balance…that harmony.
Others, such as Nikolai Tesla physicist and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of alternating current (AC) electrical supply system said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”
So what is our resistance to that beginning? What is our fear around opening up to the unknown? Again, Tesla leads us in the direction of the answer. “If the genius of invention was to reveal tomorrow the secret of immortality, of eternal beauty and youth, for which all humanity is aching, the same inexorable agents which prevent a mass from changing suddenly its velocity would likewise resist the force of the new knowledge until time gradually modifies human thought.”
We are living in a time when such “genius of invention” is opening up new ways of perceiving the physical and the non-physical, relating to one another and healing the body. We are being gifted the opportunity to open the heart frequency to receive more enlightened information than the mind frequency has the capacity to receive. But remember what Tesla said about the resistance “mass” puts up to “sudden changes in its velocity.” We humans are mass and as such, are not immune to the natural actions and reactions of matter. However, the Universal Laws of Change and Movement that affect all matter also subject us to that “gradual wearing down” of resistance Tesla identified.
Nature is The Answer because it holds all the answers. I live by the same desire that drove Tesla when he said, “The desire that guides me in all I do is the desire to harness the forces of nature to the service of mankind.”
Dogs cannot see color but colors exists to all who can see them. There are worlds around and within us operating under the same Universal Laws that apply to the reality science studies and relentlessly pursues. If you want to know those worlds, if you want to see where others cannot, relinquish the grasp your mind has on the physical world and open your heart to those worlds that are beyond its grasp.
I have consistently watched the Republican Presidential debates because I like to form my own opinion of what occurred rather than be told by someone else what they saw and heard… especially when its main stream media doing the recap. Last night was no exception. I watched the debate from New Hampshire and my disappointment was palpable. All of the candidates are, for the most part, missing two ingredients: honesty and passion.
The passion I can live without. I think we all can. While it makes for compelling TV and equally compelling campaigning, I think it entirely possible to have vision without passion. After all, we had a charismatic, passionate candidate in 2008 who took the White House by storm. In hindsight I suspect most of the electorate, given the opportunity, would gladly rewind and trade-in all that “Hope and Change” for “Honesty and Character.” But hindsight is what it is.
However, while we can live without the passion I don’t think we can live without the honesty.
President James Garfield said, “The truth will set you free but first it will make you miserable.” We have arrived at this low point in American politics precisely because we have acquiesced in allowing ourselves to be deceived for a very long time. As long as the money was flowing and our lifestyles weren’t affected, we stayed unconscious. And while we slept, the monster we were feeding grew. I’ve always believed that people get the leader they deserve.
If we are prepared to face the necessary corrections to get the ship of State, and the culture, back on track then I think we will call forth a candidate who is willing and able to speak truth to us. If not, then we will have much more to concern ourselves with than the 2012 election. We will be struggling for our very survival.
I think we are ready for the truth. I think we have exhausted the emptiness of materialism and the alienation of technology. But it’s up to each of us to make that readiness known. It’s up to each of us to say, “No, I will not choose between two people who have been chosen for me by the powers that be.”
We in the West, raised on Aristotelian logic, think there are only two choices. It’s called a dilemma: “di” meaning “two” and “lemma” meaning problem. The 2012 Presidential election is not a dilemma. It’s a tetra-lemma taught by the Buddhist philosopher, Nagarjuna. There are at least 4 possible choices and, maybe even more. And I don’t mean there are 4 viable candidates at the moment. I mean there are many ways out of this situation other than the two obvious ones. But we have to refuse to respond like trained animals that cannot think for ourselves. We have to be heard saying, “I reject A or not A” as my only choices. I demand competency and honesty and until I have that as one of my choices I will not sit down and I will not be silent.
Socrates was one voice. So was Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs. I’m not comparing missions. I’m only shining Light on the power of one voice imbued with determination and certainty who will not sit down, will not be quiet and demands an alternative way of doing things.
You have one voice. Are you standing?
Fear unchecked is a breeding ground for violence.
This is what we are seeing around the globe and, most disturbingly, here in the U.S. It’s particularly apparent in our youth. This past weekend Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit, the District of Columbia, and even Kansas City were plagued by teen flash mobs, stabbings and even murders. It’s fair to say we are on the verge of, or in the throes of, an epidemic of violence among our youth.
I think there is an identifiable cause, as well as an ongoing influence, that we can point to as being at the heart of this phenomenon.
The cause is fear. As we go through remarkable changes that are taking place on every level of existence, each of us is facing the unknown. With so much breaking down around us, there is a palpable undercurrent of fear emerging across the globe as we struggle to identify new solutions in these changing times. We humans 1) like to rely on what is familiar and 2) we like permanence.
During periods of rapid change, familiarity is anathema and anything resembling permanence is impossible.
Add to this fear the desire of those historically in positions of power to retain that power and you have the aggravating influence that progresses fear to violence.
The best way to hold onto power is to frighten those for whom you are responsible into believing that they need you to keep them safe. As violence erupts in our cities, it is the powers that be that we will call upon to quell it… thus inadvertently re-establishing and re-legitimizing their control.
Gandhi knew the answer. It was peaceful resistance not violent overthrow. Violence begets violence. It’s just a matter of time. But the peaceful exertion of intractable resistance in the form of certainty is transformative.
Do not buy into fear and anger expressed as violence. The young are merely a reflection… a visible “acting out” of what they feel happening around them. We, around the globe, have abdicated personal responsibility for ourselves and we have abdicated responsibility for our children. Children without guidance, boundaries and the benefit of wisdom from responsible adults have no concept of the proper use of power. To them, force is the most expeditious solution.
Start in your home and in your communities by being an example of navigating change without fear and by setting boundaries that define, by the choices you make, peace as a priority above all else.
Then you can light the way through this temporary darkness.
It is sometimes the case that certain words or phrases quickly find their way into our lexicon due to their poignancy and precision. For example, following the O.J. Simpson trial, the phrase “rush to judgment” became the watch-phrase for drawing precipitous conclusions. The phrase remains over-used to this day (in my opinion) but presents no particular harm.
Such is not the case with “Day of Rage.” In the past thirty days, usage of the phrase has spread from Cairo, Egypt to Iran, Bahrain, Tunisia and most recently Madison Wisconsin. Unlike “Rush to Judgment” these words bear significant harm.
In my just released inspirational book, The Lightworker’s Handbook: A Spiritual Guide To Eliminating Fear, (also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble) there is a supplemental “English To Spirit Dictionary” where I define words and phrases for the new paradigm. Because language is one of the ways we share information, we need to communicate with words that honor what we believe in and support how we intend to live our lives.
If change is what the world seeks at this moment in time, is it really through rage that we choose to achieve it? Is rage what we want to call our approach to transcending the limitations of the past? Is rage what we really want the message to be?
Throughout human history, there have always been individuals and groups skilled at manipulating others through fear and violence. In Egypt this past week, it was two hundred “pro-democracy” demonstrators who violently and repeatedly assaulted and raped a female CBS reporter. Those individuals were easily moved to commit brutal acts of aggression because they were already engaged in a movement based upon and identified by rage.
If change is what we seek, and I believe it is, then let us move in that direction with the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of several thousand years. Violence, which includes violent language, is a brutal means to what will be a brutal end. Because whether you power over something, such as a nation, through physical force … or over someone, such as a spouse, with verbal abuse … all that you accomplish is the sowing of seeds of resentment and hatred that inevitably lead to violence in return.
If citizens of the world seek to designate days to express their concerns, may I suggest global “Days of Voice” as a viable alternative. Where humanity winds up will be a direct result of not only where we choose to go but, most definitely, how we choose to get there. Personally I want to wind up having a voice in my country’s future and in my own life as well.
Not raging about them.