The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 42: Wirepullers

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July 12, 2020-

Jessica Whitaker never made it home, early in the morning of July 5, as she walked with her boyfriend and two other friends, in Indianapolis. She told a group of people, who were supporting Black Lives Matter, that she felt “All lives Matter”, leading to the sort of argument that has become all too common, these past several months. The argument ran its course, the two groups went their separate ways and then, someone gunned Jessica down. It is still unclear as to whether the shooting was directly related to the argument, or was committed by an opportunist, seeking to tie BLM to violent crime.

There are wirepullers, agitators, working both sides of the fear-ridden fence. Sloganeering draws such individuals, who have no strong commitment to the beliefs expressed by either side, but who like the mayhem- or the control over one group or the other- or over both groups. I saw this in the 1960’s, when right wing agitators infiltrated the Weather Underground, Students for A Democratic Society and even the Black Panther Party (Yes, there are a few right wing agitators who happen to be Black.) There were, conversely, left-wing agitators who followed Young Americans for Freedom around and behaved badly.

There are those who seek power and control, also with scant actual commitment to one cause or another. Their aim is to create disturbance and to set ordinary people against one another. Then, laws and ordinances can be established, curbing people’s freedom of expression.

I have no dog in the fight over “Masks vs. No Masks”. There is a time and place for wearing masks; a time and place for not wearing them. I will not argue with anyone on either side. It is a prime example of people letting someone manipulate their feelings.

I feel that all life is sacred and have lost friends for having said that adoption is preferable to abortion, while I still maintain that it is a decision best made by the person who is carrying the child. I also remember that, when I was a child, I was the oldest of five and there were times when one of my siblings had needs that eclipsed mine. It’s the same, in my view, with Black Lives Matter. Had more people conducted themselves as if that phrase were embedded in their consciousness, the slogan would not have been deemed necessary and would not have gained traction. Those who seem to need protection are those who deserve immediate attention.


The pendulum has swung back a bit, with the killing of Jessica Whitaker. I don’t hear any Black people saying that she does not deserve justice. Quite the contrary, BLM seems to realize that its credibility is on the line. Hopefully, the social justice movement will see the rights of a now motherless three-year-old and justice for his mother, as equal in value to the rights of those treated so egregiously in Black, First Nations and Latino communities.

I see this as yet another wake-up call, and it is for those who too readily follow one side or another, to re-assess any and all movements initiated too quickly by power brokers on both the Right and the Left.

We, the People, need to take back responsibility for our lives and not be so ready to follow the loudest, or wealthiest, voices in the room.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 41: They, Too, Will Walk Tall

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July 11, 2020-

Every people has its heroes.

One of the great revelations that has come out of COVID19 is the resurgence of Dineh (Navajo) and Hopi people, who are standing up and taking responsibility in providing for their fellows-especially for the elders. There are those who go out each day, without much rest, and tend to the needs of those in remote parts of the Navajo Nation, bringing critical clean water and other items that are necessary, in fighting the virus. There are those, in the Hopi villages, who bring key items to thei elders, as well, and who watch out for people from outside, who may bring the dreaded pandemic.

These are people with a courageous warrior past, who know how to face even an invisible enemy. They have been hit hard, both by the virus and by the infighting between people inside their respective tribal governments. The people, though, are collectively noticing, and will face down those who are not putting their needs first. They will honour the pandemic warriors, who have swept beyond tribal politics.

There is another part of the world, also with several strong warrior traditions, where people are facing both types of plagues: Africa. I have had several people from that continent approach me as friends-most genuinely, some as mendicants. I have chosen to assist two of the genuine friends, in a concrete and limited manner. Others, as I have anticipated, are emerging-dropping subtle hints that they, too, would like specific assistance.

I am not taking on these additional cases; indeed, as an individual, whose resources are not unlimited, aiding the entire continent-or even more than those with whom I am already involved, is not practical. As a researcher, though, I will post links to organizations which could be contacted by anyone who wishes to rise as a warrior for peace, and assist the people of his/her nation.

Here are several; so my Facebook friends who see this, please take note. I am only one person, and am in late middle age, at that. These organizations, though, are likely to address your personal or communal concerns and issues:

http://www.aag.org/cs/programs/international/developingregions/africa/NGOs

https://www.ongood.ngo/info/resources/25-must-follow-ngos-in-africa

https://ironline.american.edu/five-innovative-ngos-agriculture/

https://www.farmafrica.org/

http://www.raptim.org

I believe that many of those who are approaching people in the West, in a sincere belief that we have individual fortunes, which can be tapped to the advantage of African peasants, will find it far more advantageous to follow the lead of the continent’s many rising entrepreneurs, several of whom may be found in the organizations listed above.

May every nation find its path to prosperity.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 39: Oppression

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July 9, 2020-

The Baha’i world commemorated the Martyrdom of al-Bab, the Herald of our Founder’s coming and a Messenger of God, in His own right. Al-Bab announced His Mission, to a lone seeker, in May, 1844. Just six years later, despite having been incarcerated three times, in three separate prisons, by a fearful Muslim clergy and government, His followers numbered in the hundreds of thousands. In that sixth year of His Mission, on July 9, 1850, al-Bab faced a firing squad, in the main public square of Tabriz, a large city in northwest Iran. Accompanied by a steadfast young follower, named Anis, He stood with confidence, as 750 soldiers fired at Him. When the smoke cleared, Anis stood alone. Al-Bab was found, in a room in another part of the prison, completing business He had with another follower, which had been interrupted by the execution. Once the papers were signed, He went with the guards, back to the courtyard. This time, 750 other men stood in file, and fired. When the smoke cleared again, the bodies of al-Bab and Anis were fused together, and their faces untouched, and serene.

This has been corroborated by foreign emissaries, who witnessed the event, and had no impetus to weave a falsehood. As Christ suffered horrifically, at the hands of the Roman Centurions and the Sanhedrin priests, so did al-Bab suffer at the hands of the Muslim clergy and representatives of the Shah.

Oppression has ever been the lot of those whose existence is marginalized by those in power. This is true today, in a good many nations of the world, whether it be directed at African-Americans, First Nations people and cross-border immigrants, in nearly every country of the Western Hemisphere; at Roma people, across the European continent and in the Middle East; at Palestinian Arabs, in several west Asian nations-not just Israel; at lower caste people, Christians and Muslims in India, as well as Christians and Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh; at Dravidians and Black First Nations people, across south Asia; at non-Bantus, across sub-Saharan Africa; and at those not of the Han nation, in China, at non-Burmese, in Myanmar or those not Javanese, in Indonesia. Australian First Nations people face an uphill battle in their country, as do Maoris and other Pacific Islanders, in New Zealand. Whites in South Africa and Zimbabwe find the tables turned on them, with a vengeance. Ainus in Japan, and “Negritos” in the Philippines are still struggling for acceptance.

There are those who want to turn the tables on conservative Christians, in this country. This reflects poorly on those taking that stance. I stand, now, for those oppressed, according to the historical record. This will not be addressed, or corrected, by counter-oppression. The conservative, for one thing, will not change his/her own behaviour, or opinion, by being subjected to reverse oppression. I will not stand idly by, if this happens.

We are all sacred beings, and the time to change our behaviour towards other sacred beings has drawn nigh.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 37: Only Love

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July 7, 2020-

Today is Aram’s birthday. My calls to/from him are most often open-ended, both in terms of time and subjects of conversation. This morning was no different. Two hours and change about covered the gamut.

These sorts of exchanges with family are all too rare, even in COVID times, but they are invariably infused with love. Today’s topic for Harmonic Convergence was “The Leadership of Love”. There were a wide range of subtopics covered, from how to direct love towards someone who comes across as unloving, to the roots of materialistic society-and what a non-materialistic (love-based) society might resemble.

Aram used to raise the last possibility, in his late teens. I would always point out that we are hard-wired, as a species, to need a medium of exchange-and that currency has been with us, at least since the first coins were minted at the order of King Croesus, if not since his predecessor, Midas of Lydia, amassed gold.

There was a lengthy, and rather ultraconservative, argument presented, this afternoon, that the entire system of financial transaction, from monetized housing to wages themselves, despite having been in place for so many millennia, is not divinely ordained in perpetuity.

Indeed, Baha’u’llah teaches that man is free to continue using money and compound interest as tools to amass such wealth as can be used for the good of mankind-and yet, it is love, not material wealth, that will be the guarantor of the fullness of a spiritually-rooted civilization. Money’s present role as the “lifeblood” of civilization is not guaranteed to remain so.

This is quite simple, when one gives it thought. Money comes and goes, in the lives of most people, as does fame and even public approval. Love, however, can outlast all of these, as it is the bedrock of all life, of all consciousness.

It has ever been, and will always be.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 36: Courage and Chaos

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July 6, 2020-

The day started early, with the rise and shine spirits getting me out of bed at 5:30. The heat of summer is a pretty strong cue. There was also some inspiration for what I have been asked to do. I have thought to myself that, even if this is coming from a less than honest person, I will not be divulging any personal information, as I am a document preparer and little more. So, I cranked out the preliminary report and sent it to him for review, by 10:30.

Most of the day, again, was spent on Harmonic Convergence, which today addressed the topic, “Facing the Shadow”. How apropos for this time! Each of us is facing the shadow of opposition to our own views; the shadow of demands upon our time, energy and, if we’re not careful, our money; the shadow of self-doubt; the shadow of gaslighting of our experiences.

The greatest of these shadows, and one which could face us all, is the shadow of chaos. Christians identify this force as Satan, or Lucifer, the chaos of ego run amok and of opposition to the Divine.

Only courage, literally coeurage, the strength of the heart, can face down this conniving, but listless, absence of light and lack of conviction. Courage can, and will, bring caution those who seek to instill excess in the wake of true justice-as those who demand that figures of the past must adhere to the standards of the present, in order to be honoured in the least manner are attempting to do. Following the rightful retirement, of those who fought against our country, from public honour, it is wise to hit the pause button on destruction of honours given to those whose life stories are more mixed. Who among US has a sterling record?

There is much to tidy, to cleanse, from our national story, without tearing down more broadly-based monuments and without forbidding study of the dark chapters of our country’s treatment of people of African descent, whether free or enslaved; of those who are our continent’s First Nations, including, by extension, Native Hawaiians; of those who come to this country from our southern neighbours; of those who come from all parts of the Asian continent and from the southern islands of the Pacific.

White people have been mistreated, too, and by the same forces who profited from enslavement of Black people and slaughter of Native peoples. Nicola Tesla and Preston Tucker were threatened, marginalized and ultimately banished from pursuing technological advances that put the wealthy, the powerful and the mass media at risk of financial loss, even though that loss would have been short term. Each newly arrived ethnic group from Europe faced discrimination from those who came before them. Women faced a long, and often tortuous, fight for equality with men before the law, and it’s not over yet. Jews, and their distant cousins, the Arabs, face blame for anything that may discomfit European-Americans.

Courage faces all these, and if triage is necessary to stanch the bleeding of African-Americans, indigenous people or children who are at risk of separation from their parents, along our southern border-then triage it is. It will not mean amnesia, with regard to the legitimate claims of Whites, or of conservatives who happen to be Black or Hispanic. It will mean, as any parent with several children knows, that the greatest need gets addressed first; that the most vulnerable are made secure, first.

Courage is not fazed by criticism, rage or ridicule. Courage does what it does, because it is, along with truth and love, a basic element of Justice.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 35: Walking My Path

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July 5, 2020-

Upon going through my usual morning rituals, I found a message on my phone, informing me that I was expected to start up a Non-Governmental Organization, the purpose of which would be to “save the world’s destitute children.” I was to found the organization and become its president.

Just so we’re clear, this is the wish of an over-exuberant online contact, whom I’ve never met, but who regards me as a family member. What is also clear is that I will help this person with legitimate goals, but I am NOT going to undertake the founding of an NGO, and become its head.

I will always strive, in an unofficial and voluntary capacity, to help the children of this world and support those of normal working age, whose careers are still underway. I will be 70 years of age, in late November, and while I realize that the election just prior to my birthday will be between two septuagenarians, that is THEIR choice. After forty-four years of working, I will be finished with being at someone else’s beck and call. I will still be robust, but am not working 60 hours a week.

My inner being is getting attention, especially during this period of sequestering. I am, and will be, taking part in the Harmonic Convergence that is goiong on, from today until July 14. Spirit guides, who these days prefer to be called Soul, are still telling me to prepare for time on the road, later this year and early next, and to go abroad, for much of the next four years.

Jesus once alluded to the fruits of presumption as despair. I take each day as it comes.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 34: Independence

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July 4, 2020-

This morning, as I stirred my brain, I noticed that someone had stomped away from this page in anger, over what apparently was my disagreeing with those who see things strictly in black and white terms. (No pun intended).

I’ve always marched to my own drummer, and have seen no contradiction between the fierce independence and love for tradition of the conservative and the unconditional love and inclusivity of the progressive. It’s always the extremists, the disquiet ones-often, but not always, self-centered and self-absorbed, who wheedle their way in and among those on both sides of the aisle-and sow doubt.

I don’t buy their wares. I personally share all four of the traits mentioned above. As I’ve mentioned many times, my upbringing made this second nature. There is a hole in my heart, right now, in feeling that each side, more than ever, feels shut out by the other AND is more than willing to “simplify” matters, by reacting in kind.

Regarding historical figures, I remind one and all that every person who has ever lived is a complex, imperfect and not universally-loved figure. Public figures are all the more subject to this. Abrahma Lincoln, for example, was as enlightened on the subject of race, as a Midwesterner of the mid-Nineteenth Century could be expected to be. He opposed the expansion of slavery into Kansas, saw that slavery was an organically dying institution in the North, and thus focused his Emancipation Proclamation on the Confederacy-both to crash its economy and to release people from bondage. We have no idea how Reconstruction would have played out, had he lived through his second term. Yet, those who rush to judgment point out his having said that Blacks would never be equal to Whites (Lincoln-Douglas Debate, 1858) was proof of his undying disdain for the Black race. The eminent historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., however, leaves the door open, seeing the 16th President as being on “an upward arc”, with regard to his views on the subject. (“Lincoln On Race and Slavery”).

Here, for good measure, is also an assessment of his 1862 condemnation to death, of 38 (out of the 300 who were convicted) Santee Sioux warriors, in the aftermath of the Mankato Massacre. While not exactly sympathetic to their particular case, he was beginning to pay attention to the degradation being suffered by the Plains tribes. Again, it may be argued that he was on an “upward arc”. Then came Booth.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/300-santee-sioux-sentenced-to-hang-in-minnesota

I maintain my own independence of both left and right, and seek only to grow further in the light. If I disagree with anyone’s baser points of view, it is for that reason alone. I love you all, regardless.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 33: Staying Un-Ugly

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July 3, 2020-

In the end, the Fourth of July observance at Mt. Rushmore did not result in death, explosions or wildfire. I don’t share, in wholesale fashon, either the conservative or liberal vision of America’s future-but I see good points in both.

I believe in hard work, and I believe in equal pay for that hard work. I believe in preserving, and learning from, history; I also believe in not sugar-coating the hard aspects of that history. If a story is brutal, tell it anyway. If a story is uplifting, so much the better.

I believe in freedom to innovate, and I believe in following a fair and just set of laws-which do not fall victim to either the urge for vengeance or the urge for unbridled anarchy.

I see many good things that have come out of our hybrid culture. I also see much room for improvement. I see goodness in a pioneering spirit. I also see that it is only a good thing for this country to acknowledge and celebrate the foundation that was already here, with my First Nations ancestors, when that pioneering spirit took root on the periphery of this continent, and our neighbour to the south.

European-Americans have given much to our society, but they are far from the whole ball of yarn. We would be, and could still be, a lesser nation, were it not for the African-Americans who are yet rising from the ashes of enslavement; were it not for the First Nations, who already had a civilization when Europeans arrived; were it not for the Asians who built the transcontinental railroads, only to be kicked and beaten, literally and figuratively, by those who saw menace in what they did not understand; were it not for the Hispanics, who also predated English-speaking people, in much of the country.

Some, on both ideological ends of the spectrum, have given in to a subculture of fear-with its propensity for violence, for lies about the other side and for hubris about the “superiority” of their arguments. In both cases, there is much anger, rooted in pain. That is why, while cutting off and deleting messages and comments that I know are completely false, I will listen to those of any philosophical position, who come from a place of truth.

No group of people is lacking in value, in strength, in beauty, in worthiness.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 32: Tendrils Out of the Cocoon

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July 2,2020-

I stayed in, all day, except to step outside, this evening and appreciate the stars and Moon. The galaxy and, in the late night, our solar system neighbours, transmit a certain energy, that does affect our moods and can impart spiritual energy, if we are open to it.

Most of us realize that there is no point in planning to travel out of the country, as long as we, collectively, represent a definite threat to the well-being of people who have largely done their due diligence, have suffered from their own homegrown cases of the pandemic virus and who have embarked on a road to recovery.

That has not stopped some of the more innocent and tender-hearted souls among my friends in other countries from contacting me over social media-asking when I am going to add a Whatsapp account (not until at least 2022, when I still hope to visit Asia and the Pacific basin); when I will get to Africa (2023) and when I can write up proposals that will help energetic, but uneducated, farmers get assistance from NGO’s. I have already begun sending one group some information about Microgreens-a labour intensive effort that will bring a highly nutritious means to food security. Actually putting together a scholarly “grant-type” proposal is not something with which I have much experience-but it’s something I can try, which will certainly be more beneficial to people in disadvantaged communities than sending them money- a simplistic and, ultimately, debilitating act.

The rest of the world does not want Americans to flood out of this country, in the midst of the pandemic. At the same time, the rest of the world is not going to let Americans just sit behind these borders and act as if the people of other nations do not exist-nor should they.

No matter how dire things get, between now and October-or even beyond, we remain one human race and only by caring for one another as for ourselves, can we truly rise from whatever rubble piles up-and shine again.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 31: Halfway Mark

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July 1, 2020-

The year masquerading a decade is halfway gone. I see my preferred candidate for president is back-going to be with families who have lost a loved one, to show support. I see there is no end to the egoism and snarkiness of people who claim to be in the avant-garde (There is no such thing, in reality). I see no end to the rage and mayhem that are on the agenda of extremists. I see that schools will be closed here, until mid-August. I see that the wisest of parents are letting their children breathe fresh air and get a goodly amount of sunshine. I see people are arguing, because that is the only thing that seems permissible in the name of fighting the virus.

My Cosmic Advisor says to focus on what we are for, not what we are against. So, I am for microgreens; hydroponic food projects; grassroots efforts to tutor and safeguard children; listening to one another-without feeling the need to one-up or dominate; taking natural supplements; supporting troubled pregnant women and teen girls-so that they don’t subject themselves and their babies to abortion; relieving police officers of both their need to use excessive force and their being required to perform social counseling services-because the designated social agencies are too caught up in office politics and stroking the egos of their agency heads; supporting local small businesses; people learning new skills.

The year that is masquerading as a decade is halfway done. There are many things which I support.