The Content of Their Character

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January 18, 2021-

In the decades recently passed, we have seen the most consistently proven of truths and facts dissected, disputed and set on equal footing with the most outlandish and refutable of falsehoods, all in the name of false equivalency and moral relativism. Very often, this is done in the name of preserving a social system which itself depends on hierarchy.

So it is, that the importance placed by Martin Luther King, Jr, in his 1963 speech at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D.C., on “the content of their character”, with respect to the judgment people make of one another, has become the speech’s second centerpiece, after “I have a dream…” As important as character is, it is not grounds for ignoring all other aspects of a person’s being. Character, indeed, can change-and hopefully for the better, with edification and growing awareness.

Thomas Jefferson’s hidebound, fear-laden writings, which denied the ability of enslaved African-Americans to produce intellectual works, such as Phillis Wheatley’s volume of poetry, could be said to betray a lack of character on his part. The flaw, however, and other parts of his character, would later be balanced, however, by his producing the Declaration of Independence, and contributions towards the United States Constitution.

Abraham Lincoln’s anger towards Native Americans, a product of his coming of age, in a contested area of the Midwest and his assessment that enslaved people were 3/5 of a free citizen, would be challenged by Frederick Douglass, and others, leading to the Emancipation Proclamation, and a pardoning of Sioux warriors-the latter largely ignored by military officers on the ground, in the High Plains.

Character matters, yet it must be, as Lincoln also said, affected by “the better angels of our nature”. A rogue can be edified, tamed and redirected to be a person of willing service. A charlatan can be, albeit through consistent retribution for misdeeds, made to regard others in an honest and loving light. The great figures of the Twentieth Century-Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mandela, Churchill, and King himself, all had roguish tendencies, in their early years, negative qualities that were, to a greater or lesser extent, subsumed or overcome, by a draw towards advancing the common good.

So it is that, when individually assessing another person, in the age of instant judgement and cynicism, looking towards that person’s better angels becomes imperative, both for the mutual good of the judge and adjudicated and for the common weal.

“It Can’t Happen Here”

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January 17, 2021-

In the turbulence of the late 1960s, people in cities like New Haven, CT, Seattle, Minneapolis and San Diego could be heard saying, with regard to racial unrest, “It can’t happen here.” The notion was that because there were leading segments of the community which were liberal and practiced a measure of enlightenment, that the city would be free of strife. Nonetheless, violence did occur in each of those cities, in the 1960s-as well as last year, when Minneapolis found itself answering for homegrown practices of race-based imbalance.

There is a flip side of this, which a balanced society would do well to heed. Those who follow a philosophy of social traditionalism, religious fundamentalism and individualism have found themselves, thanks in large part to the excesses of January 6, as somewhat on the outs with a broad segment of American society.

They must not remain ostracized in perpetuity. Those who merely express a longing for things as they once were, without advocating violent overthrow of our government, are likely to accept changes which they can understand, and which don’t feed their worst fears. I am seeing friends, with whom I have profound philosophical differences, finally taking the stance of “wait and see”, with regard to the next administration.

One of the alternatives would see reasonable people pushed into a corner-and like the people of colour who were pushed, consistently, beyond their limits, those who see their points of view denigrated and their very being constantly castigated would, in due time, lash out in far more deadly ways than we saw on January 6.

I have held the same view, regarding people of colour, since I was a child. If God didn’t want diversity among human beings, He’d have made us all uniform. So, in order for “it” to not keep happening, social strife coming from “parting on the right”, then, yes, enforce justice towards those who both fomented and carried out the violence of Epiphany Day, and any other violence that may happen this week. Otherwise, let’s listen, reassure and counsel patience, with those expressing fear that the rest of us regard as unfounded. Let us encourage giving the new President a chance-as many of us did with those angry at the results of the election of 2016-and at every election since 2000.

It must not happen here- again.

United and Independent

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January 16, 2021-

Today, my focus has been on two things: Sharing things I no longer need and attending to the unity of all life. I am presently reading Amalia Camateros’ “Spirit of the Stones”, an account of her life that focuses on her growth as an embodied soul and deep connection with the elements of Earth: Air, water, mineral and fire. Amalia is a native of Australia, whose primary connection with North America has been with Sedona, our sister city to the northeast.

In one chapter, she relates her most intense visit to Cathedral Rock, perhaps the most energy-laden of the Sedona area’s many vortices. She describes the promontory as appearing to be two souls, standing back to back-united and independent. The standing rocks are often described by those who have spent time on Cathedral Rock as representing a man and a woman- married, but also each their own person.

That set me to thinking: I was in such a marriage, and when one of us needed the other most, we were inseparable. No pun intended, we were one another’s rock. I am seeing more married adults, among my circle of friends, celebrating their spouses. This is a reverse of what I used to see, from the ’90s into the 2010s, though I know many will reply: “I’ve always been in love with my spouse.” There was more bickering, not so many years ago, and I sense that, with life hard enough as it is, people are realizing what matters most in life.

There is also a rise in the understanding that each human being is a unique soul and that there is no ownership of one by another. Even the use of “my”, in reference to a spouse, or even a child, is fading. Not that many years ago, I was taken to task for using the term “my wife”. The critic was right, though not for the reason he gave (“Only a misogynist would claim to own a woman”). No one owns anyone else, period. It has nothing to do with a person’s psychosexual baggage. Words do matter, though, and when rererring to one’s beloved, children or family members, it’s become my wont to use given names-as well as relationships- end of digression.

Getting back to the blend of unity and independence, the other revelation that came today was with regard to the process of global unity. It must come from the ground up. No downwardly imposed world order will last long. As a community is only as strong as its families, so a planetary order will depend on strong individual nations, each committed to work with the others. This will largely depend, at least initially, on the human race taking the wisdom of the ancients and blending it with the native adaptability of children, in solving novel problems. (I saw this ability, this past week, with a new focus).

The days and months ahead will likely see a clash, of sorts, between those who favour the present, conventional ways of doing things and those who favour such a blend of knowledge, as is described above. There is, though, a new energy taking root.

The Pyramid

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January 15, 2021-

I closed my eyes during meditation, a few moments ago, and saw the image of a shining pyramid. The message came to me that I was positioned in the lower left angle of the pyramid, and those whose presence challenges me, were in the lower right angle. The Creative Force was at the pinnacle of the structure. I thought of all those who impose themselves in my life, with requests and comments that are just reasonable enough for me to not be inclined to dismiss them from this life. It occurs that this is part and parcel of wanting to be able to choose with whom I associate and to what extent.

The message further stated that such feelings on my part are merely a sign of mental fatigue, and that, if I don’t indulge those impulses, my mental stamina will get stronger. Those who seem to impose themselves on others are often coming from a place of serious abandonment issues, which have nothing to do with the people to whom they are attaching themselves now. Further, the message said- Look at what happened with Adolf Hitler, bruised and battered from childhood; in a different manner, this also seems to have happened with Donald Trump-and, in turn, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama- indeed many who have risen to prominence have overcome abandonment issues, but the scars have led to the less-laudatory apsects of their lives.

I draw some such people into my life, still-mainly children, but occasionally, severely scarred adults, as well. It has only been recently that I have gained a semblance of how to properly communicate with such adults, in a helpful manner. So, the Pyramid cautioned me, it is best to neither jump when summoned, nor to ignore them at length, but to set aside a few minutes and address their concerns in a succinct manner. If it is merely a message of routine greeting, return the courtesy and go on with my flow of activity.

Simple images, coming in a meditative state, can offer a lot of information.

Lifelong Learning

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January 14, 2021-

The forthright girl stood at the whiteboard, and explained the same concept, five times, before three of her classmates finally grasped what she was saying. Two very different styles of learning met, grappled with one another and, in the end, meshed.

It is instructive, and advisable, for adults to see, in real time, how children work out problems, step by step. Only in the meat of the solution process can one truly understand the heart and soul of another human being. Only by allowing a person to explain something, from his or her own point of view, without prematurely inserting one’s own input, can there be the beginnings of a bond.

I am, for all intents and purposes, retired from education. There is, however, this lingering, stagnant presence of cornonavirusdisease 2019. This pandemic will, probably for some months yet, continue to affect regular classroom teachers, as it has so many other walks of life. I am, to a certain extent, immune to the virus, and still have the energy to devote some of my time to the elevation and advancement of another magnificent generation. Alphas are given to showing far more patience with selves, surety as to their purpose in life and acceptance of differences, than the generations which came before them, as children. Perhaps it’s just the energy that envelops us all now, combined with the purity of the child. Maybe we are all evolving, and the children reap the benefits of being innocent and bathed in a greater cosmic energy.

In any event, I have been blessed, yet again, with a week’s chapter, in learning from watching others learn.

Sacred/Profane

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January 13, 2021-

The scene at the United States Capitol building today was, in terms of non-legislative presence, the opposite of what it was a week ago. Law enforcement, backed by a formidable National Guard presence, ensured that no one would interfere with the proceedings in the House of Representatives chamber. Capitol Police officers who may have shown questionable loyalty, last week, were nowhere in sight; their more resolute comrades held the front line- against adversaries who simply did not return.

I have read, and heard, several references to the Capitol as a sacred place, and as a repository of democratic values and practices, in many ways it is that. It is also a place where the most profane of deals have been struck. It was those unseemly affairs, done mostly in secret, which sparked a few (though not many) of the violent acts committed in the Capitol’s halls and chambers, on January 6.

Two wrongs, or a thousand, do not make a right. I approach grand public buildings and monuments, however, with respect, with reverence-even if there have been occasions when those in the buildings have committed acts worthy of reproach. Indeed, even when the initial premise behind the building’s construction has been questionable, I honour the larger context of its relevance to humanity. I am thinking here of The Alamo, the Spanish Missions, Yuma Territorial Prison and Forts McHenry & Sumter. Our grand Federal buildings and monuments, in the nation’s capital, were built largely with the labour of the enslaved. All, however, have elements of the sacred, which energy has served as a protection in the worst of times.

There is no human institution, no human being, who can reasonably claim to have never committed a profane act. Thus, it falls to each of us to find, and encourage, the angels of each other’s better nature-while bearing in mind the fallability that has shown its face, every so often.

Solutions Rule

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January 12, 2021-

As one group of leaders sees their rule of the United States wind down, and another group prepares to take the reins, it’s crucial to keep an eye on what answers are offered to the problems that face both the nation and the planet.

The pandemic being at the top of most lists, among matters to be resolved, I place most of my hopes for its control and eventual banishment on fostering wellness. This is actually true for most, if not all, microbial diseases. A virus or bacteria is programmed to mutate, and so can do an end run around vaccines, year after year. Those who have not contracted a given disease, even when its occurrence is pandemic, can point to their strict adherence to a wellness-infused lifestyle, with an organic-based diet, avoidance of processed sugar, regular and hearty exercise and a regular regimen of proper rest, meditation and a solutions-based mindset. I am not 100% there yet, but am working on it, consistently.

Human relations will outlast the current pandemic, as a key societal concern. To my mind, the biggest barriers to peaceful human relations are three: Insecurity; the egoism that stems from insecurity and the “silo-mentality” which follows from those two. Racial tension is a symptom of these three barriers, as is ideological division. A friend posted today about the roots of insecurity largely coming from children not being valued and nurtured, which is something I’ve noticed in the most difficult people from my past. The love they did not seem to have received led to their bullying and egosim. It also led to all manner of illness, both physical and psychological. Look at an addict, and see the mirror of failure to thrive; likewise, tyrannical behaviour and manipulative personalities.

So, as I’ve indicated in other posts, enveloping a person with love and the sooner the better, the less chance we will see a problematic individual, further along the line. The more a young woman feels treasured and supported, the less likely she is to even find herself in the position of unwanted motherhood, much less to seek deadly solutions to that predicament. The more any person feels wanted and cherished, the less likely s(he) is to pursue life-defeating alternatives to wellness or to a solutions-based lifestyle.

This is, of course, a synopsis, an encapsulated view, yet a culture of authentic love is much more likely to lead to solutions for even the most intractible of issues. Solutions, not surrenders, are what rule.

Quo Dehinc?

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January 11, 2021-

The title phrase, Latin for “Where to from here?”, often begs consideration on a wide scale. With regard to the Capitol mayhem, of last week, there are a host of ways in which it may be pondered. They all start with how one regards the incident, in the first place. Was it a mob riot? an insurrection? domestic terror? a caper? Everyone is entitled to their view, certainly, with the attendant burden of proof escalating along with the level of seriousness.

I choose to regard it as a riot, with elements of insurrection. Most of the thousand or so who entered the Capitol complex came across as undisciplined rubes, hooligans who gave no thought to their actions-and who gave vent to whatever impulse hit them at the moment. These are the ones who are now expressing remorse, and who are suffering the immediate consequences of their actions. They are those who are responsible for the stomping to death of their wounded comrade, Ashli Babbitt.

Then, there were the two or three hundred mixed in with the multitude, whose purpose was far more sinister. There were the laptop thieves, maybe looking for evidence to back up the QAnon conspiracy theory about human trafficking and satanic rituals going on, under the noses of broader humanity or to support unguarded documentation of election fraud- or maybe to steal the devices, so as to plant such evidence. The devices have not been found, and may never be. That the devices should NOT have unsecured information on them, in the first place, surely has occurred to their lawful owners and users.

There were the vigilantes, as indicated by the amount of weaponry and ammunition, makeshift shackles and at least one guillotine, that were seized by law enforcement and/or photographed during the incident. There were vocalized death threats against the Vice President and Speaker of the House. There was the fact that a lone Capitol Police Officer distracted the advance of the mob, long enough for the oldest and slowest of the Senators to disappear around the corner. To my knowledge, only one of the (suspected) terrorists, one Cleveland Meredith, has been apprehended. That leaves several on the loose, perhaps to return, as promised, on January 17, or 20, or maybe on February 2.

It is the last group which concerns me the most. Relatively few of those, for whom the fate of Donald J. Trump is the Cause du Jour, in their wider plan to put the masses in their place, have yet made their presence known. Read “Democracy In Chains”, by Nancy McLean, for a clearer picture of the matter. Listen, just once, to one Simon Parkes speaking, clearly and confidently, of the plan for one elite branch to take down the other. Read, just once, the posts on Parler (if you can find them) that promise bloodshed in Washington, next week.

There is much that needs cleansing, in our society. Those who have turned from their own spirituality have much for which to atone: With regard to pushing abortion and then leaving the grieving parents to themselves; with regard to excusing and normalizing antisocial language and behaviour; with regard to turning blind eye and deaf ear to children, youth and elders who suffer; with regard to ridiculing people whose views differ from their own; with regard to hiding in their silos and refusing to even consider the views of those more progressive or conservative than their own.

Yes, I work on my own shortcomings- all day, every day. Where do we go, from here? Let us start with making a redoubled effort to seek and accept truth, even when we find it hard to do so. The rest will reveal itself, a little at a time.

Ad Intensium

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January 10, 2021-

(The above is my own coinage, meaning continuously building in strength or force.)

The cold continues, leaving mornings here, in the Teens

and brings snow to the Texas Prairie,

even to the Piney Woods to its east.

The obfuscation continues,

taking advantage of a quiet weekend,

and foretelling extralegal events,

over the next two weeks,

with a surety born of either

delusion, or collusion.

I sit here, in my cozy home,

getting residual chills,

from memories of last Sunday night,

when I walked in the vastness

of a majestic, but nearly frozen,

wilderness.

I read of another soul’s

peregrinations,

in Sedona and near Hopiland,

and recall my having been

greeted,

by spirit lights,

nine years ago,

in a place named

Shalako,

at the bottom of

Palo Duro Canyon,

and not too long after,

in the bed of the Hassayampa River.

I see and feel

the days and weeks to come,

ad intensium.

Keeping Truth Safe

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January 9, 2020-

In this age of instant communication, we deal on a daily basis with a welter of material, which combines elements of truth with overexuberant opinion and sloppy research. I see this at all points along the political spectrum, and have been guilty myself of the same, on occasion. There have, in the wider sense of this phenomenon, been several “documents” popping up, which purport to show the 2020 Presidential election was rigged. As of now, my assessment is, it wasn’t. The papers appearing on social media are uniformly rushed, would never have passed Mr. Bly’s Business Law class, back in my Saugus High School days, and quite often seem written when the author was in a fever dream. This lends credence to the notion that the ONLY way to rid our society of the notion that the election was indeed rigged, is to conduct a forensic audit-thoroughly, without haste. (I am quite certain that incontrovetible proof of cheating would be grounds for impeachment, so the winning candidate would do best to let the process flow-and fully co-operate, if for no other reason than to show there is nothing to worry about.)

Haste always raises suspicion. My mother was a past master at smelling guilt, and it is no accident that the most dogged adherents of conspiracy theories are so often seasoned mothers of grown children-having heard all the stories and sniffed out all the lies. A truly innocent person has no cause for prevarication.

At least one of the Democratic Senators recommended just telling the truth. Sounds like a plan to me, and it’d be most welcome. Just to be clear-it works both ways.