clearskies, bluewater

Insights, reflections and creative imaginings for our awakening world


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Why embracing idealism is being a realist now

It is the end of September, 2016. Here in the United States, the presidential elections loom before us in about six weeks. As I am sure you are aware, the ostensible choices for the next president (POTUS) are leaving the majority of us quite disgusted, to say the least. Never before have the American people had such absurdly unpopular humans running from the two main political parties. Never before have so many had the quandary of feeling they are not being represented by their political leaders. In short, this election is a fiasco.

But: We, The People, in fact DO have choices that many simply do not, or cannot yet see. The old and extremely tired argument that we MUST vote the lesser of two evils is simply one of the biggest lies ever fed to Americans by the power-elite. It is simply not true that we must vote for one or the other party, or else we throw our vote away. If only people would wake up to realize this, our votes would have infinitely more power than they do. There is no law stating that an American must vote for either the Republicans or the Democrats. It is not mandated by the laws. In other words, we have the ability to change our system by voting for a third, fourth or fifth party.

Reclaimpower

Look, most of us realize by now that the American system is grossly corrupted, that there is no actual democracy (if there ever was) and that the power-elite are running this world. The United States is a major, though not the only, decider of what goes on in our world. Folks, when you look around you, what do you see? Obviously we are in a tremendous crisis moment here on Earth. However, within crisis is opportunity, as Taoism reminds us. And right now, this election, is one of those opportunities to actually change our trajectory from disaster towards a world that is healthy.

When I look around and listen to what others are saying and feeling, I observe great cynicism, denial, resignation, anger and fear. All of these are the tools of the power-elite, to keep us ‘in our place’. What is that place? One word sums it up: Powerlessness. The solution? Take our power back.

When Bernie Sanders ran his presidential campaign, millions of people in America, and also the world, heard him. Millions of people got behind him, because he was speaking Truth to power.

Speaking Truth to power.  Isn’t this what we really need to do? Where is your power, where does it live? We are a country made up of 320 million humans, and we are astoundingly diverse. And, we are simultaneously similar. I firmly believe that the vast majority of us desire to be free to live our lives and raise our kids in peaceful and healthy ways. We desperately want to save our planet from further destruction. And yet, we give our power away to idiots and blackhearts every single day. Why? Because we are living from a place of deeply rooted fear. Fear blocks us at every turn, and paralyzes us from standing up and speaking out for what we deeply believe in. As long as we do not raise our voices and our fists to the elite power structure (read: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and all of their supporters and money-backers) NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

Tragically, Bernie Sanders stepped down from his fight for the presidency. The real reasons for his decision are still unknown, but I can imagine he had good ones. But, Jill Stein is still in this race as the Green party candidate. If you haven’t yet heard her platform, please look her up and hear what she is standing up for: it is for the human beings, the animals, the land, for the Earth and for peace. These values are at the very heart of what the whole mess we call Life is about. If you don’t think so, then I implore you to look inside your heart and find out what is inside it. Where do you stand? Why are you taking up space on this planet, if you are not here to help the Earth, the animals, the land, and the people?

nodapl

The times of ‘it’s all about me’ are done. This is a new time and the time is now to stand up for what you truly believe in, to awaken to the realization that we are the ones we came here for. Our first nation tribes are fighting for the Earth, for the Water, Land, Animals and People in North Dakota. They are putting their bodies on the line, they are opening their mouths, they are shouting, dancing, singing, standing up and praying: Save our Earth. It’s really so simple. Save our Earth, save ourselves.

dapl5

Will you vote with your fear voice in November? Or will you finally allow your heart’s voice to sing out loud and clear across this country, across this world? Our future is being created now. What do you choose?


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Tell It Like It Is

At the start of this new year, 2016, the world is looking messier and more chaotic than ever before.

In nearly every arena, from political to economic to cultural to environmental, people are behaving badly, with cruel and barbaric actions the norm for far too many humans on Earth. How much longer will we collectively tolerate such inhumanity on this planet? Why do we keep allowing it to play out this way? What can we do to turn this boat around, if anything?

As I look around at the industrialized world (both in the larger world via various internet sites and my own small, personal world), a few things feel crystal clear. One, the vast majority of people remain committed first and foremost to their own small world of themselves, their families, friends, pets, and work. This accounts for (I am guessing) about 90% of their thoughts, feelings and actions in the world. The other 9% seems to be divided into leisure activities such as drinking and eating, sex, shopping, and entertainment. For those few humans who have 1% of their thoughts, feelings and time free, the ideas of charity, do-gooding and saving the world belong here. Hence the state of our planet currently.

Perhaps this completely unscientific analysis seems rather harsh or unfair to you, dear Readers. After all, the people who read this blog are those few and rare individuals who probably spend considerably more than the average person’s amount of time and resources on doing good in and for this world. For that, I can only simply say, Thank You. But tonight, after seeing too much news, mainstream television (about 5 minutes is too much for me), and listening to ‘regular folks’ talking during the past week at my new job (as cheesemonger for my local grocery store), this is what I have surmised: few, if any, care about anything other than themselves and their own lives.

This is not the first time I have felt discouraged about the state of humanity, obviously. But at this moment at the beginning of this new year, this knowledge saddens me more than I can express. Even the simplest actions, such as recycling metal cans or glass bottles, fails to register as even mildly possible to do for far, far too many people. Sometimes I feel pretty hopeful about the future of this planet and its humans, even contemplating the idea that one fine day we will wake up as a collective and realize that killing each other and destroying our home, Gaia, is senseless and an utter waste, and we will stop it. Then I remember. People can’t even figure out how to set a can in a recycle bin, how are they possibly going to find out how to live with each other and the planet in a non-harmful way?

My big fascination right now is following all the folks who are grassroots organizing for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. In the past month, thousands of people across the United States have sprung into action to help get him the Democratic nomination. It has been very inspiring for me to see what seems like many people actually rally around this humble man, as he bravely and tirelessly tells us all where it is really at in this country, and why it seriously needs changing. The word he and his followers is using is one that is at the heart of what the United States was founded upon: REVOLUTION. It is a word that some people (the ones who have had an iron grip on this country for far too long) are deathly afraid of, and will probably stop at nothing to prevent from happening. And yet:

Stop it they cannot, for the time has come, things have coalesced to the point in time and space where The People (at least some of them) are standing up and shouting, with Bernie Sanders as their leader: NO MORE BULLSHIT. WE WANT CHANGE IN OUR GOVERNMENT THIS YEAR. EQUALITY. LIBERTY. JUSTICE. INTEGRITY. HONESTY. WE WANT OUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT TO WORK FOR US, HERE AND NOW. WE ARE MAD AS HELL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.

SANDERS_Bostonrally

Americans are pinning their hopes on Bernie for president in this year’s election.

Words and rants similar to these were used during the American Revolutionary War. Those were also some dark and painful days in the history of the United States, and hope seemed dim against huge, nearly insurmountable odds. Yet the Americans eventually won that war against the English king and government. Some of the most beautiful words ever written were used as the foundation of the new constitution. And now, 240 years later, it is time to declare them again, just as vehemently: Give Us Liberty or Give Us Death!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, Bernie-WEderiving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” The United States Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

 


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Relics, artifacts and books

A new phenomenon has arrived on street corners here and there in the United States and England. You may have seen small, sometimes cleverly decorated boxes, much like an old-fashioned postbox, with a sign offering “Free Books, take one or leave one.” When I first discovered these in England last summer, I was sincerely charmed. What a gracious, lovely idea, to freely share books among the populace. By now, however, I have realized a darker (more sinister?) side to this free book giveaway.

Are book giveaways as innocent as they seem?

Are book giveaways as innocent as they seem?

Perhaps it is obvious to some of you already, dear Readers, that one probable reason for all these free book giveaways is, there are simply millions of books floating around in the hemisphere, and not enough people reading them. Books are starting to enter the classification of relics, artifacts from a time fast disappearing, when people loved and enjoyed them, carried them around, re-read them, passed them on to family and friends.

The age of technology has its merits and its drawbacks. In an extraordinarily short span of human time, computers have entrenched themselves in our collective psyche like a virus infecting a body, deeply and somehow irreversibly. The powers-that-make-technology in our world are working hard to make sure that everyone alive is signed up on the plan. That means every man, woman and child, no matter how young or old, is to be inextricably hooked into the beast of technology forever more. They are pushing to make sure babies are weaned from the breast to the computer screen, that no hand goes without a computerized phone-internet-camera-toaster-oven-what-have-you device, and the list just goes on ad infinitum and ad nauseam.

The death of bound books is nearly inevitable in our lifetimes, I lament. Not only is it a sad commentary on the state of our society, but just a sad thought altogether. When all the written words are available only on virtual screens or in your eyeglasses or whatever, how will that affect us as a people; our thinking, our motor skills, our ideas about life? The implications are truly enormous if one ponders them. What will become of libraries, our esteemed repository of the worlds’ wisdom, literature and knowledge? What will become of us?

The digital age we find ourselves in today has vast implications for our world. One of the most maddening is the inevitable loss of sensory perception and basic motor skills. Young children who most need to develop these skills as their bodies are growing and changing the most are at risk of not learning them, and that affects their brain development and basically their whole physiognomy. Using a keyboard or touch screen does not do the same job for developing bodies and minds as making sure a child can pick up a pencil or scissors and use them effectively. I shudder to think of how tomorrow’s children will manage in the physical world of which they are still a part. What will humans do when they have lost the ability to use their hands, their fingers, their bodies?

Will children in the future still know how to read bound books?

Will children in the future still know how to read bound books?

The world is changing so fast right now, society itself is spinning ever faster on its axis. I am watching it happen, even as I am turning into a relic of the past, along with bound books and dead philosophers. I admit that I do not wish to live in a world without books, sensory stimulus, physicality. I was born into physicality and I will remain within it for the rest of this lifetime. Probably I sound hideously old-fashioned, like those parents who frowned disapprovingly upon early rock and roll music and its proponents. And yet. This new technology age is profoundly disturbing. It seems we have been sold a bill of goods, yet what have we really purchased– if not the death of our souls?


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Attempting to keep calm and carry on

Dear Readers, as the sun shines so extremely brightly today in Denver, reflecting upon the white, frozen snow and ice everywhere, I feel I can hardly stand all the energies that are pounding us puny humans right now. Weird happenings are popping up all over, including school alarms and closings due to strange chemical leaks and possible bursting pipes the past two days at both schools I was to work at in the afternoons. Accidents, the possibility for accidents, and just all around INTENSITY is the order of the day and night. Plus, the temperatures here have broken records for cold on this date: Not so hideously frigid as the midwest has been this winter, granted, but still miserable enough for this body to try to grapple with. I despise extremes, and with extremes becoming the norm, there is not much one can do except to work on the ‘Accepting What Is’ theory of life. Sigh.

It feels like the rubber band of polarity is becoming stretched to the point of soon breaking completely. What will happen when it does, is anyone’s guess. One thing it clear to me, there is no such thing as ‘business as usual’ anymore. The past couple of days have been rough. Yesterday I spent two hours traveling by buses to the farthest outpost of civilization (well, sort of), at a big school for my after-school art class, only to be greeted by a police officer who was reluctant to allow me to enter, as a chemical leak of some kind or other had closed down school and all activities for the day. There I was, in the middle of nowhere, in freezing cold temps, with no choice but to turn around and wait for another bus to bring me back to central Denver. No phone, (because I have no funds to sign up for the plan yet) no car of course, and I really felt helpless. What the hell (that has frozen over) is going on here, I asked God. What am I doing here and why? The futility of the situation was ready to overwhelm me. Then, mercifully, the site coordinator for the after-school program drove up in her warm car, and offered to take me home, miles out of her way. The moment of Grace arrived once again.

Knowing that I am not the only one having a hard time is cold comfort, however. I am trying to find the humor in all of this, or the irony, or basically ANYTHING redeeming in it, but am not having much luck. My mind wanders, as bits of all sorts of strange thoughts, memories, song snippets, lines of poetry, overheard conversations and all manner of detritus float through it. At moments I feel as if I am in a waking dream, unable to fully focus or grasp what is really happening here, on Earth. It becomes surreal, unreal, with only the biting cold or empty purse to remind me that oh, yes, I am still embodied, I am a human in a physical body, and it is not pleasant right about now!!

I read positive words galore: rejoice Humans!! You are doing great, you are magnificent beings, doing great work on behalf of us, your spiritual counterparts. I read lots of stuff by other humans, who sound so wise and positive and upbeat, like nothing unusual is going on, like everything is hunky-dory.

But it sounds hollow to me, not quite real. If ever there was an unusual time to be alive, this has got to be it, wouldn’t you agree? England is drowning in floods, California is dry as the driest of bones, snow in Cairo a few months ago– and weather extremes are only the most obvious signs of significant changes for us humans.

Keep-Calm-and-Carry-OnThe collective energies are imploring us to “keep calm and carry on,” as evidenced by this slogan, from WWII England era, now revived and popping up everywhere. It is an apt reminder for us all. In moments of near despair, I find myself torn between wanting to stay under the covers all day, and being down on my knees in prayer. The prayers often do not even have words, though. Because what is going on is so huge, so beyond anything we have experience with in recent memory, that it is more like a state of profound awe. These words from Aisha North’s blog seem to sum it up for me right about now:

“By and by, you will find yourself becoming very new indeed, but still, it may not even feel like that to you. At least, not superficially, for as all of those brand new parts of you start to kick in, your focus will automatically shift, and you will switch seamlessly into your very new way of BEing. Those deepest and most profound transformations that you go through may not be perceived as such, for they are so profound, you will lose any contact with that old version of you, and looking back, it will be like looking back on someone else’s life altogether. Or it will be like looking at a piece of fiction if you will, a play acted out by actors, each one performing their designated part in what has been titled “your life.” And this is in fact exactly what has taken place up until now, for what you have lived through, has all been designed to give you the opportunity to be exactly where you are at this exact point in time and so, as you are reading these lines, we can only congratulate you all on a job very well done indeed.” – Aisha North, Manuscript of survival part 394


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Life gives you what you need

“God doesn’t give you the people you want, He gives you the people you NEED, to help you , to hurt you , to leave you, to love you and to make you into the person you were meant to be…”– anonymous

Hello again, Dear Readers. This morning the sun is shining and the sky is blue overhead. There can be no denying that Spring has finally come to Denmark. Thank goodness.

Many thoughts are spinning around in my head today. I wish to try to write something cohesive but please bear with me if it comes out a bit of a mess. Guess my soul is in a process right now (is there ever a time when it isn’t?) If I had a life motto, it would be, Work in Progress.

Last night my husband and I watched a movie by the filmmaker Robert Altman, called Short Cuts. It was made twenty years ago. The story takes place around Los Angeles and Bakersfield, and is filled with many characters who are neurotic, dysfunctional, angry, lustful, bored, frustrated, and just trying to get by in this crazy life. There are stories within the larger story, and they are woven loosely together through their relationships to one another. There is much irony in this film, just as there is in life. It was a long story, three hours running. Within this time, we witness people living in the middle of modern life’s sicknesses and excesses, trying to cope with themselves and each other. All the large themes are present: love, jealousy, avarice, lust, deceit, vengeance, desperation, despair, death. People living lives of not so quiet desperation. We watch, helplessly, as the characters hurt one another, lying to each other and themselves, without much compassion. Few of them are innocent, and the one character who is blameless (the good wife and mother, played by Andie Macdowell) is rewarded by having her just-turning eight year old son get hit by a car, go into a coma, and die during the course of a couple of days. This film takes no prisoners, there is no redemption for these people; only the continuation (for most of them) of this endless, sometimes utterly senseless and absurd theatre we know as Life.

The film did what all good stories ought to do; it showed us ourselves in the rough, without gloss or soft lighting. Whatever else you can say about life in a human body, you can also say that, shortly put, we’ve got issues. We’ve ALL got them, there is no one walking the planet today who is immune. We are in turns small, scared, angry, frustrated, guilty, guilt-ridden, loving, sweet, selfish and selfless. We toil, endure endless drudgery and suffering of many fools, not the least of which is our own self. We suffer, and suffer some more. We make decisions out of need, desperation, and desire for relief. What helps, what heals?

Facing the trouble, whatever it is, is a help. Naming it, speaking it out loud, seeing that we are not, are never alone in it. No matter what the trouble is, no matter how ashamed or filled with pain and remorse we may be, we must remember that we are not alone, not the only one with that heartache. On the contrary, there are many others with that same wound, carrying that same pain as us. Rilke once wrote that ‘perhaps all the dragons of our lives are simply princesses who are waiting for us to see them for who they truly are.’ My interpretation of his words is that even the most dark and terrible secret that a person can hold is something to help us learn how to love, how to become more human. The holes in the heart of one can and are healed by sharing them with another. It is painful to share these, yes. It takes time, maybe many years, for the healing to happen. But it CAN happen, it does happen, the miraculous thing is that by sharing one’s wound with others, instead of hiding it away, the wound can be cleansed, dressed, cared for, attended to, healing balm applied, sunshine and fresh air given it until it becomes smaller and smaller, and finally is gone.

We all want healing. We all have wounds and broken places. We are all of us singing over the lost bones of our lives, singing them alive again, calling them back into being. Yes we have lost our way and forgotten totally who we actually are and where we come from. Anyone looking around at the current state of the world will readily agree with that. The question is, are we lost forever? Will we continue sleepwalking through our lives, unwilling to feel or see that others’ pain is equal or perhaps greater than our own? Will we succumb to our own feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, letting the weight of life’s cares crush our spirits and smash any small sprouts of hope?

sometimes all you can do is laugh....

sometimes all you can do is laugh….

There is no one solution to this problem of living, but there are wise ones who have found some tools to help. I have a slip of paper (one of many) at my desk that states, “Practice looking at each situation in your life and forgiving everyone and everything throughout this lifetime, and most especially, yourself.” This is ongoing, daily practice. And it makes good sense, because if I cannot forgive myself for the messes I have made and the hurts I have given to others, then how can they ever forgive me? We are our own judge and jury in this life, ultimately. As in the Robert Altman film, each of us is walking about trying to keep our heads above the swirling waters of insanity which are all around us. How can we cope, unless we begin with self-forgiveness? And after that, forgiveness of everyone else, as difficult as that may seem, is really essential. We cannot possibly change this world into something kinder, more loving and peaceful, as long as each of us still carries hatred, greed and revenge around in our souls. In the movie, there is a woman blues singer who sings at a jazz club every evening. One of the songs she sings talks about being a ‘prisoner of life.’ You could say that this idea is the main underlying theme of this film. It is so easy to feel this way! I have, a thousand times over, and have felt quite justified in doing so. And yet. I am realizing more and more, that if I am life’s prisoner it is because I myself have been my own jailer. Realizing this makes finding the key to unlock the door much easier.

In the end, it is true that Life gives you what you need to grow and become a better, not a worse, human being. In the kitchen last night, after the intense experience of watching the three-hour long film, my husband and I spoke together. He mused, “I actually suffer much more than you do, however I carry my suffering with a lot of dignity.” I gazed at him a moment, and then replied, “Yes, you certainly do. You really have a lot of dignity, and it is one of your most beautiful qualities.” He was pleased to hear my words, and I meant them sincerely. Carrying one’s suffering with dignity is extremely important. So is the ability to laugh at the craziness of this life.

 


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On offering one’s essence to the world, and being blissed out

“ My essence, no matter how hesitant or shy, attracts to it those things that would nourish it. Your essence revealed attracts experiences, sensations, and people that re-inspire your lagging spirit as you throw out yet another failed piece of work or end a once vital relationship. When we allow ourselves to shine in this way, we are led- slowly but surely- to the heart of things, to our gift. I believe the art of real living, in whatever form it takes, is our essence revealed and expressed. And, to me, this act of courageously offering your essence to the world regardless of the reception is a powerful act of love that benefits others”–Ann O’Shaughnessy from http://makebelieveboutique.com/2013/03/12/5364/

Hello again Dear Readers! I realize that my blog posts have become more infrequent than they once were. For me, as well as probably for some of you, these are quite introspective times. Whereas a year ago I was questioning nearly everything and writing about it all, these days I am more simply Being with the world, both the outer and my own inner realms. Perhaps some of you can relate, dear Readers?

Tonight I received a comment from my dear friend, Dr. David Banner, telling me that he was ‘nearly ashamed’ to report that he is feeling ‘blissed out’ basically 24-7 these days. On top of that, I read one of the blogs that I follow, which asked its readers, “How often do you create drama and chaos of a situation that is easy and effortless?” and then recommended to “Release your ‘need’ for disorder and everything will come more easily.” To which my immediate knee-jerk reaction was, ‘tsk, hmm…” and frowning, I closed the window. Are we a bit grumpy tonight?  I could hear that sweet voice in the back of my mind asking.

Dear Readers, my honest confession is that I too would LOVE to be blissed out 24-7, having reached that lofty level of ascension that I have been hearing so much about. I too would like to reach a state of awareness so keen that I had no more NEED for grouchiness nor grumpiness, but instead could simply float effortlessly through my remaining days on this gorgeous planet, knowing to the depths of my soul that, no matter WHAT it looks like on the outside, All is Truly Well, Love has Won, our New Earth has arrived, we made it! We did it! From here on out, it is smooooth sailing…….

And yet. Again and again, this delightful feeling of utter joy, experienced now by so many lucky ducks on the very same planet as I am currently residing, eludes me. I have to wonder by now, What Am I missing? Why am I so dumb, so ignorant of the ways of wonder, that I simply cannot find out how to live in bliss and constant joy?

In the above quote, Ann O’ Shaughnessy writes ‘ I believe the art of real living, in whatever form it takes, is our essence revealed and expressed.’ But what does she really mean by ‘our essence revealed and expressed?’ Is our human essence truly supposed to be about learning the magic trick of becoming blissed out 24-7, with nary a care in the world anymore? Who cares about world domination, global warming, fascist dictatorships, things going to hell in a handbasket, hey I am blissed out! Somehow I don’t think so. Will the world really take care of itself and somehow straighten itself out if I also join the ranks of the blissed? And as more and more people become blissful, reaching those lofty heights of nirvana and turning themselves into pillars of light and love, will all the bad, evil, darkness that has held Earth and her humans captive for so many eons of time, simply disappear like a bad dream, to be relegated to the annuals of far-distant history books that one day nobody will even remember anymore?

It doesn't take miracles to make a person blissed out, but then again... they couldn't hurt!

It doesn’t take miracles to make a person blissed out, but then again… they couldn’t hurt!

I wish. The idealistic, wishing to be enlightened part of me wishes that the future world (in the not too distant future!) will happen like that. Rainbow people living in the new world of Love, Light and Peace and Joy forever more. A thousand years (or why not million?) of peace, beginning today. Why not, dear Readers? What is stopping us from having this new, blissful world we all really want, I ask you all?

In the meantime, the squeeze continues. I also read today about the Sequester (I had to look up what this word even means on Google) that the United States government is about to instigate. It does not look good, although I am all for reducing the number of billions of dollars allotted to military spending over the next ten years. And I am all for cutting immigration enforcement and airport security. But cutting the Library of Congress? Food to Women, Infants and Children? Public Employees? Medicare and Medicaid? Head Start programs for little kids? Global health programs? NASA? Public housing? Disaster relief (are they kidding??) And possibly the meanest of all, budget cuts to the Patent and Trademark office– what the heck, those people have got to be overworked and knee-deep in paperwork as it is!

In all fairness to my dear friend David Banner, being blissed out on happiness and joy does not necessarily mean that a person cannot participate in changing the world for the better, far from it. He is a great example of a nearly Super-Human, working tirelessly for years for the causes of the Good, the True and the Beautiful in his own life. He is an inspiring human, and I am glad for him if he has found the key to lasting happiness and joy.

In the meantime, I would like to wish you all the week of Easter to be filled with beauty, joy, fun and laughter…. and as much bliss as you can possibly manage.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/20/the-sequester-absolutely-everything-you-could-possibly-need-to-know-in-one-faq/

  • Bliss (my3shankar.wordpress.com)


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Ranting and Beingness

“BEingness is embracing your energetic truth, as a divine being, as a human being of light, on the planet, at this time. And as you do that, as you shine in your truth, your life can only improve. As you are just as you are, as you allow that to shine, you will draw to you all of the wondrous things that you hold. This is mastery, Dear Ones, this is how you do it.” from http://trinityesoterics.com/2013/03/01/how-to-surrender-and-be-channeled-february-24-2013/

(Dear Readers, Please forgive me, but tonight I simply have to rant. If you prefer to not read a rant today, then simply skip this post. This is, after all, my blog. So I guess this is the best place for me to get it out of me, and into the ether.)

Frankly, at this moment, I have just about had it. All of it. I have been trying to quell my ego, get out of my head, and center all my energy on my heart, to practice being a loving, divine being, a human being of light, as they say in the above quote. But I just cannot do it right now. I cannot find the place of Peace, of Love, of Freedom, of Truth. For days now I have been agitated, full of sorrow, of pain, of anguish, of regret. And today I found Anger.

It’s not only about my own life, my own personal sorrow and pain at how my life has played out. I mean of course it is, but it is not ONLY about me. Yes, my ego is clinging on for dear life, obviously. But I am also angry and outraged about the whole mess: This world. I am just so utterly, completely disgusted by it all right now. I do not feel nice, nor kind, nor sweet nor gentle. AT ALL.

I had this thought recently: If you were to find yourself surrounded by a bunch of people who are all acting quite crazy (one could even say out of their minds) for long enough, and you were the only one who wasn’t acting like the others, it seems like it would only be a matter of time before you started questioning your own sanity. You might even end up believing that you were the one who was actually crazy, since everyone else seemed so happy the way that they were.

So it seems to be with the world at large. Life is becoming ever more absurd. Who is to say what is right? And yet. Where are people’s sense of moral outrage? Buried, asleep, or maybe they simply do not have any, they simply were born without any sense of truth, beauty, justice, goodness. I am walking around my life these days, honestly not understanding much of anything anymore. (I guess at one point in time I thought I did, a little at least.) But not now.

A blog post I read tonight that gives spiritual counsel, advises to ‘surrender to Source, God, Goddess, All That Is, the Angels, Jesus, Buddha, or whatever name you wish to give to a higher power.‘ They said that usually the only way that humans will surrender their perceived control over their lives is when they are completely at their wit’s end, due to the prevailing strength of the human ego. Well I think I am there.

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I cannot stomach any more clichés, platitudes, ‘that’s just how it is” attitudes, and ‘What the fuck’ simplistic solutions. If I, along with all the portion of humanity who are a bit more awake than the rest of the sleepwalkers and zombie people, am to find my power through that much over-used and very misunderstood word, LOVE, then by God, teach me what it actually IS!! It has to be more than some simplistic, hand-holding, guitar-playing hippie-new-age-AUM-sounding idea of what Love is. It has to be more than just closing one’s eyes and breathing deeply while sitting in a lotus position. It has to be more than feeling peaceful and oh-so-happy at this wonderful new world we have entered now. It can be ALL of these things, they are all fine and I believe in all of it. But tonight, and in general, I implore the Gods and Angels and whichever benevolent beings of Light that might be listening in, there simply HAS to be more! The world is a bloody mess, unspeakable horrors are being wrought upon people, Nature and Earth every single day many times over….. and I simply do not, cannot believe that my smiling and embracing my own divinity is going to be enough to stop the casualties, madness and gross inhumanities occurring every day here on Earth. How many of us can walk on water yet?

Another blog post, another tall order: “practice looking at each situation in your life and forgiving everyone and everything throughout this lifetime and most especially yourself.” I have to pause, and breathe into this directive. It is simply too difficult for me to be able to truly forgive everyone, everything, and most of all, myself. At least right now.

Sometimes lately I feel so tired, so exhausted from wandering about this planet that I simply want to give up. Totally. To give up on life. I know these are dangerous words to utter, highly politically incorrect, forbidden. Even the thought of giving up is forbidden, right, dear Readers? Some things are simply not allowed to be spoken or written out loud.
Well, I told you it would be a rant. Rants don’t have to be logical, or careful, or make sense. Words can also be used to express one’s soul, one’s deepest gut, one’s worst anxieties. We need strong words that can cut through the politics, the niceties, the superficialities. Please know I am so strongly for Life, for Peace, for Love. Does this make me a hippie-weirdo? Haven’t there always been humans walking the planet who stood for these things? Some of them were killed for believing in them. Somehow I still have hope that enough of us believe in these words now to miraculously turn the tide and stop the madness. That little hope at times (like lately) is not much more than a faint glimmer, a few embers. But it never extinguishes completely.

One thing seems quite clear: the world as we have known it is crumbling before our eyes, more and more with each passing day. Did anyone see the news clip on Youtube that showed the Vatican, a few hours after the Pope announced his resignation, when a bolt of lightning came down and hit the very tip of its roof? The world we have all been living in is breaking up, and we all know it, we can see evidence all around us. What will come to take its place is up to us. Every single one of us. Even me.


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Waiting on the world to change

Today’s musings are about various impressions I’ve had throughout the past days, the nicest being the simple fact that the sun has been shining upon us here for nearly three days. This has made the snow melt, the birds sing, and the first spring flowers bloom. Small yellow flowers which resemble a kind of buttercup, and small, white snowdrops are the first flowers to appear in Denmark at this time of year.

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I find that no matter how many springs I have seen, the very beginning of the growing season never ceases to make my heart glad. I have never once taken this time of year for granted and have always seen its sacredness. New life, something to truly rejoice over. No matter how low I go during the dark, grey and lifeless days of January and February, I cannot help but find hope again when I feel the first stirrings of spring in the air and on the land.

Today I walked home again along the edge of the farmers fields and the highway. The sky was blue and the sun shining. As I walked I noticed all the garbage that thoughtless, sleeping Danish people had strewn along the roadside: beer cans, sandwich wrappers, empty liquor flasks, papers…. and then I came across a magazine which had also been carelessly tossed down. It was a magazine full of nude and semi-nude young women in various poses, from simply welcoming to outright biology lessons. One picture was of a smiling young woman, gazing at the viewer over her shoulder, as a man’s penis was up inside of her crotch. Of course all the viewer could see was that part of him, and all of her. I couldn’t help it, I took the magazine, rolled it up tightly as I could, threw it down into the ditch, and kicked dirt and rocks over it until it was almost buried. And as I walked on, I pondered this. The magazine and the women had provoked strong emotions inside of me. I wondered about who those girls (none were older than probably twenty) were, what kind of lives they had led, what made them agree to be photographed in all their open glory, some while having intercourse, while knowing that all sorts of strange men and boys would see their most intimate parts revealed. I wondered about their families, their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers and friends, and how they might feel knowing that their daughter (sister, best friend) willingly posed in those ways for a porn magazine. I wondered how those girls must have felt about themselves, to let themselves be used in that way in exchange for some money, maybe some alcohol and a few compliments along the way.

It’s not that I simply am a prude. Yes, I admit I do find pornography highly repulsive. But not simply because it shows people having sex or inviting the viewer to look upon their bodies. I find the human form very beautiful, and believe that lovemaking is a beautiful act, when it is. What I find intolerable is to see people having such little regard for the sacredness of the body, who see their own and others’ bodies as simply another commodity, easily bought and sold, traded for money or other things, as carelessly thrown away as those liquor bottles, cans and other trash on the side of the road.

Seeing those pictures of those women just made me incredibly sad today. Sad at the utter lack of people’s consciousness  here, to throw so much garbage out of their cars as they drive along the highway, to look at the most intimate area of a woman’s body and throw it carelessly away like it was just another piece of trash.

There is so much that is simply Wrong in this world right now. I really am trying to not get up on my high morality horse and ride, dear Readers. But I really do believe that as long as we collectively look the other way, saying “oh it is just the way things are, no big deal’” to all the obviously unjust things that are allowed to continue in this world, the world cannot and will not change. One example has to be that ludicrous Youtube video of the Korean guy called ‘Gangham style.’ The kids in the school showed it to me one day a few months ago. Later I found out that on December 21st, one billion views of that video had been reached. To me (and I daresay to anyone who has any inkling of good taste) this video pretty much sums up what is wrong in this world, all in one neat package. It is absurdity in the highest, an Asian man flaunting his materialism, his body, his garish women, in the most grossly obscene way. It is homage to American-style materialistic ugliness, and a billion viewers (I assume) think it is pretty cool to act that way. I asked the boy who showed it to me what he thought of that video, to which he answered, “ it’s funny.” Well, there is really no accounting for taste in post-post-post modern life, is there?

That’s my rant for today, dear Readers. I hope to go beyond this low mood I have been mired in lately, and find more positive themes to muse upon in the days to come. Until then, I wish you all a beautiful early spring, wherever you are.


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Bringing the light into darkness

Today is 11-22-2012 (or if you are in Europe, it is 22-11-2012.) Either way, it is a powerful number sequence, and a special day for those of us who have grown up knowing that this is the day when we give thanks for all that we have, for the people who love us and whom we love, and for life itself.

Oh but there is much within my heart today, dear Readers. As well as gratitude for my life, my family, and for all of the things I love, I am also feeling deeply the troubles on Earth, the chaos and turmoil, and especially the sense of disconnection from the source of life itself that so many humans walking the planet must be experiencing. I am making this large assumption because it seems so obviously true. I wonder how people can really feel connected to life, to the source of life, how can they know it when they spend the majority of their time using their senses to engage in quite useless activities with electronic devices, or otherwise waste their time involved in mostly empty and useless engagements. I look around and see people becoming ever more stupid and disconnected. What I wonder the most these days is, How can people wake up and become conscious: of themselves, of each other, and of their source, when they are being constantly bombarded with materialism in an ever more streamlined package?

We are now into the darkest days of the year, here in the northern hemisphere. Between now and the end of January we must endure the least daylight and the most darkness. But beyond the seasons, from all ostensible observations, one could argue that we are also in a period of extreme darkness within humanity, if darkness means ignorance, stupidity and unconsciousness. Even though I read blogs and articles nearly every day which speak of the amount of light we are constantly receiving, and that so many people are waking up and isn’t it so wonderful, etc., somehow the obvious signs of this are alluding me. Where are all of these awake, aware and fully connected human beings they are speaking of? Wherever they are must be wonderful, but I have to honestly say, they don’t really live around here.

That sounds pretty harsh, I admit. And yet. Electronic devices seem to be swallowing the soul of humanity bit by bit, along with humans’ capacities to read real (as in the old-fashioned kind with paper and ink) books, write oh, most anything, by using a pen or pencil and their hands, to add and subtract, and to otherwise engage their minds in an activity that used to be known as ‘thinking.’ I am not referring to thoughts on the level of “when will I meet my friends so we can go shopping, out for dinner and drinking?” This is not really thinking. I mean thinking as in, ‘Who am I, and why am I here? What is the meaning of life on Earth? What is love?’ and similar ponderings. Except for a few of us fifty-somethings and older folk, I wonder if anybody walking around the planet gives much time to consider life’s most important questions.

I mourn the loss of the Big Questions. I mourn the loss of knowledge of history. I mourn the loss of Art and Culture and Beauty. I mourn, maybe most of all, the loss of curiosity about life. It seems that young people have lost their ability to ask Why? after about age 7. The loss of these and many other valuable things that humans have wondered about and created over millenia, have combined to make our world so much less: less interesting, less wonderful, less worth living for.

Even so, I remain an idealist to the end. There is a stubborn part of my soul which simply refuses to give into the massive loss of culture and art and meaning, which clings tenaciously to the small hope that somehow, someday, things will change, people will wake up and throw their ipads and phones and screens away; instead they will look around at the world and at one another, not with cynicism and derision, but with openness, with friendliness, with curiosity. Like awakening from a nightmare, people will awaken to what has been here all along and be able to see it with new eyes, clearly.

In my last post, I quoted some song lyrics to an old song by Patti Smith. She wrote that “people have the power to wrestle the earth from fools. Then it is decreed, the People rule.” But these words are making a large assumption: that the People themselves are no longer fools, and that they have the capacity to rule themselves. At this moment in the history of mankind, it is doubtful as to whether We, the People, actually are wise enough to do it. It is not impossible, but in order to overthrow the fools, we need help from beyond our own limited knowledge. This is simply the plain and obvious fact.

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, dear Readers, I wish you a blessed time with your families, friends and in celebration of home and all you hold dear. For the rest of you, and the world of humanity at large, my wish today is for the light of clarity, wisdom, and grace, to bless you and keep you whole.


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What it means to be Educated

It was one of ‘those’ days today…. probably would’ve been smartest to have stayed in bed, had it been possible. You know the kind, that leaves you shaking your head as you mutter to yourself halfway through the day… and in the end, you just have to laugh or cry… or maybe both. As they say in Denmark, ‘Whoo-heh…’

Life has been giving me lots of food for thought these days. I have been forced, through recent experience, to give a lot of thought to the whole idea of what it means to be educated, or ‘to educate.’ This is, obviously, a huge subject, that many people all over the world are currently grappling with. Now that I find myself among the ranks of those noble souls referred to as ‘educators’ or ‘teachers’ or ‘pedagogues’ I am no longer outside of their circle, but find myself in the curious situation of being on the front lines; in the classroom everyday with a group of adolescent Danish kids who would be called ‘alternative’ if we were in the U.S. In Denmark, a small country made up of over 95% Danish people (I am guessing about the percentage) when people are ‘different’ from the norm, there is little tolerance for them and their status in society diminishes in proportion to just how ‘different’ they are. Where I am currently spending my days teaching might be considered to be in the ‘loser’ or ‘outcast’ segment of society to those who are all-too-normal to consider anything out of the ordinary okay. No matter, but what I do find fascinating now is just how quickly my own previously solid and unwavering ideas about Education are evaporating and shifting like so many clouds over Denmark on any given day.

Having grown up in the good ol’ US of A in the 60s and 70s, I grew up believing in The Basics+: of course everybody has to learn to read, write, and learn English from kindergarten until 12th grade and then even more in college, along with mathematics (as far as you can possibly learn it), science, social studies, history (well world history was somewhat sketchy even back then), physical education (of course); music and art and even drama were part of the curriculum. A basic education included all of the above, and also a foreign language from middle school on. There was no questioning this, it was just what everybody did, at least if they weren’t too dysfunctional to graduate from high school, and then continue on to college, etc.

Yeah. Now it is forty years later. Times have changed, as we all know only too well. But being in Denmark and living with a teacher who is the son of a teacher who was there when the revolution in education occurred in Denmark in the late 60s, I have slowly learned that there are more sides to this puzzle of Education of the Child than I ever realized for all those years. Now my head is full of questions, like, ‘do kids really Need to be able to memorize the multiplication table?” and, ‘if they go through school until age 16 and come out not knowing all kinds of facts and figures and history, will they be much worse off than someone who does know all that stuff?” and, “what will the world be like in ten or twenty years, and what will these young people end up doing with themselves? Will they remember anything they learned back in 8th grade anyway?” and, “what is the real reason to go to school every day?” Yes, many questions are going through my mind these days, with not many answers.

If going to school every day actually isn’t about academics as much as other things, then what exactly is it about? I am holding this question inside of me every day when I go to the school now, and hoping that time and experience will reveal the answers. One thing has become painfully clear: my (and I suppose many others) old ideas about it are no longer enough, the old ways no longer really work and now is time to find some new ideas about what is education, why do we all bother to get up and go to school every day, and what is most important to strive for in the coming years? We need to go beyond pat answers and empty platitudes, beyond superficial rationale and rhetoric born of complacency. The children who are in school now and in the near future are not of the same stock as we were, they have a different energy, demand different things, a different way of learning and seeing the world. The old ways simply are no longer working. We cannot force them into an outdated mold, we must instead break that mold, forget the cookie cutters altogether, and work together to learn how and what to teach the young people who will soon enough be running the world.

In the meantime, some days are simply grueling. Then again, there are some moments as precious and beautiful as jewels. Yesterday contained such moments. For about an hour in the morning, I had the whole class, even the one who is often such a troublemaker, perfectly still, concentrating, focused on their art lesson. I had to stop at a certain point to simply watch them all as they quietly worked, and admire their excellent behaviour, even as I knew full well that it would vanish again all too quickly.

Dear Readers, once again I turn to you. Where do we go from here in regards to educating our youth? It is a big question, and one of the most important we can ask ourselves. Not only in America, of course, but living outside of it I can see the plain fact that as does the United States, the rest of the world follows. It is pitiable how much useless, empty, worthless trends America has created that the rest of the world is now blindly following. More than pitiable, it is pathetic. And yet. America is also a land full of creativity, innovation, pioneering in many ways. Surely it is high time to begin to export some of its most brilliant and creative and health-bringing ideas, including ones about education, isn’t it?

There is a fine balance between the concrete and the abstract, between what we think about, theorize on, dream about… and what we actually do in a day. It is easy to tip the scales and be much more in one realm than the other. We need both in order to progress and learn. One of my colleagues gave me her picture of what is, perhaps, the best we can hope for: that one day in the future, when the kids we are with now are grown up, that they might look back at their years at school and see that it wasn’t so much what the teacher taught them that was important, so much as who they were, what they stood for, and what they accomplished and modeled through their will. Tonight I am pondering her words, as I recall another wise woman’s words: “In the end, it isn’t the words that someone says to you, but how they make you feel that is important.” – Maya Angelou

Related article:

http://suite101.com/article/back-to-school-how-to-keep-kids-motivated-a154247