Bill Russell

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August 3, 2022- On July 31, one of the greatest professional basketball players to push forward, even when he was tired and feeling out of shape, took his last breath. Bill Russell did not compromise on a good many things. He spoke off the cuff, a good many times, sometimes alienating long-time personal friends and infuriating those who felt “victimized” by his vitriol.

I have been one to look carefully at the anger expressed by people of colour-even when they object to the term “people of colour”. In 1968, when Martin Luther King was assassinated, the reaction of far too many people in my town was, essentially, “good riddance”. At the high school, the next day, the two African-American students were not, to my knowledge, directly threatened, but a small group of male students stood, within earshot of one of the boys, and said what a great day it was for America. Not that many years later, a half-in-jest, half-in-earnest movement was begun to celebrate the life of James Earl Ray, Dr. King’s convicted assassin. It never went far, of course, and Dr. King’s stature has grown, over the years, while few remember Ray, or the doctor who supposedly put a pillow over the reverend’s face, thereby completing the act.

Maybe because I was something of an outlier, or because my personality is given to inclusion of everyone, active racism has made me sick-whether it came from other Whites, Asians reacting to White hubris or any other group exhibiting a sense of superiority. None of us walks on water; none of us is created by other than the Almighty. I have had to acknowledge, and gradually jettison, the racial blind spots and ingrained attitudes that were imparted by those of my elders, and peers, who did not examine their behaviour’s effect on those around them. While not loving them any less, I could not continue to hold those attitudes, or ignore areas where I needed to grow.

Bill Russell might have glared at me, had we ever met, and I may have had a hard time dealing with that, but in the end, his pain-coming from all the way back to his childhood, youth and young adulthood, became my pain, too. I learned from the anger of my fellow soldiers, the guarded indignation of people on the street, here and there, and the righteous chastisement of a beautiful, articulate woman at a Baha’i event, of all places, that “Bring thyself to account each day” meant what it said: Not to wallow in self-pity, not to flagellate oneself, but to acknowledge flaws and grow out of them.

Rest in Power, Mr. William Felton Russell. You were one of the good ones, and one of the greats.

Integration of Masculine and Feminine, and That Solstice Thing

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December 21, 2018, Prescott-

I love balance. Today featured several imbalances in the wider world, not the least of which is what happens every year at this time, with regard to day and night.  The  Winter Solstice has power to heal, though, by initiating a gradual, minute-a-day increase in daylight and by summoning so much collective spiritual energy.  It is no accident that Holy Days based on hope and resilience:  Hanukkah and Christmas, occur during this time.  It is also no accident that those whose concerns are primarily material suffer so many setbacks during December.  This last month of the year has been tough on the governmental and financial sectors, for four of the past five years-with 2016 being an anomaly, for the world of finance.

Let me get to the main point of today, however.  This evening, I spent ninety minutes on a conference call with four women.  The topic was the integration of masculine and feminine energy, which exists in each human being.  As we concurred in the discussion, this is not a gender matter nor is it a question of sexual orientation.  I am happy to be a man, have never been sexually attracted to other males and have always valued my nurturing energy as much as I have my building energy.  Every other person on Earth has both, and those who have experienced the most lifelong success are those who have tapped into both, on a regular basis.

I pondered my current friendships, as I listened to the women and offered some of my own thoughts.  Of the ten people I regard as my best friends, outside of immediate and extended family, four are women who are in committed relationships.  Three others are single women, to whom I am either not physically attracted or who are not so drawn to me, and three are men.  So, romance is not a factor in my present circle of friends.  This, in one who has been bonkers over the female of our species, from the age of eight-and probably earlier, is quite a self-revelation.

The other thing that occurred to me during this discussion, is that I have arrived at a point in my life where my only concern, regarding others, is that I am prepared to do everything possible to help them advance.  This is true  regardless of any physical, mental, or circumstantial status of an individual.  Many, if not most, of the two rising generations are already at this level of understanding.  Perhaps this is why I feel such a psychic closeness to the young.

It all boils down to intuition, and to self-awareness. I credit Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz, whose book, “Awakening Intuition”, started me on this path of self-examination; Ms. Corina Luna Dea, whose online group has offered boundless insights into the process of self-awareness; Ms. Medea Bavarella Chichik, who co-moderated this evening’s call; and a person, who shall remain anonymous, whose challenges of  two months ago led me to a long-overdue self-examination, as to the level of my presence in day-to-day interactions.

The work of integrating feminine and masculine energy is ongoing, and as I said above, it is independent of  both gender identification and sexual orientation.  It is about the total human being.