It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Chance Encounter and Very Special Gift

I don’t know what to say; feel like crying; tears welling as I write.

It’s October 29. The year is 2012. It is said that there are no coincidences, and I believe it. It is said that we can never know the chain of cause-and-effect consequences of any action we take or don’t take, big or small, and I believe it. It is even said that there is no such thing as cause and effect, anyway, since that implies time and time is but an illusion; that there is only relationship; and I can believe that, too. It is said that we encounter angels in our lives every day if we would but be present and notice them. And I definitely believe that, as well, for today I met one.

I’m sitting at a table on the patio outside the Starbuck’s in Big Bear Lake, California, nursing a large medium roast coffee as I read friend Sharon’s just published book. A couple of young men sit nearby, chatting. A homeless man walks up and stands to the side, muttering like he wants to start a conversation. And most likely panhandle, I figure. The other two young men get up and sort of drift away. My first reaction is to focus on my book, pretend I don’t hear or see, and hope he gives up and wanders away to seek his fortune elsewhere.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Veil of Time: A Remebrance of Today

It's a funny thing about time and remembrances. Some say that the arrow of time is an illusion, that all is happening simultaneously in some multidimensional universe and that remembrances are leaks across the veil between them. For Marcel Proust, the taste of a small teacake, une petite madeleine, opened in the veil a floodgate of memories that then filled his seven-volume opus, A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. For me, today, it was an obituary that transported me suddenly through such a hole to six years ago to the day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Innocents" Abroad?

As usual, Robert Koehler perceives and tells the truth that lies (Or is it “lays”? I can’t really ever remember how it goes. Actually, though, “lies” works for its ironic double entendre.) behind  our so-called “news” media, our foreign policy, and, basically, our culture, which, for all its positive values and strengths, nevertheless so persistently and eagerly, like those three monkeys, covers its eyes, ears, and mouth; closes its heart and mind; and opens its wallet to the mongering of hate and fear.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Choice to Be Peace Every Day

Furthering the conversation in the comments on my previous post about Desert Silence on the International Day of Peace, I want to suggest that it's not a case of peace one day vs. peace every day. Rather, as usual, it's a both-and situation.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Desert Silence on the International Day of Peace 2012

Friday, September 21, is the International Day of Peace. On that day each year, people all over the world observe a moment of silence at noon (local time wherever they are). See the Facebook Events invitation if you'd like to register your intention to join in, or just do it.

It's very meaningful for me this year in particular in that, at that very moment, noon Pacific Daylight Time, I'll be crossing the Tehachapis (mountain range east of Bakersfield) and entering the Mojave Desert on the way to Joshua Tree for Part 2 of the Nine Gates Mystery School course I'm enrolled in.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dawning of the Age of Aquarius

A friend mentioned in a recent email that this is a time of “transmutation” and the move to a “5th dimension” of being.

Well, that got me into a chain of free association …. And, revealing my age, I thought of the pop group The Fifth Dimension of the 1960s and their hit “The Age of Aquarius”, from the show “Hair” -- and of the age that we are in today.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Green Phoenix - Models for a Culture of Peace

Although I am not likely to be able to go to the Green Phoenix Congress in Switzerland this October 24-28, just knowing that this type of thing is going on gives me so much hope and excitement about the emergence of a culture of peace. Like the Occupy Movement (however that may continue to organically evolve), the Green Phoenix Congress provides amazing evidence of that self-organizing, co-creative process.

The imaginal cells of a culture of peace are effervescing all over the world, and the human social organization is metamorphosing -- as it must.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Balance in Bali

Bali is all about balance – of good and bad, male and female, pure and impure, sacred and profane, light and dark, life and death, sekala and niskala. Eagle and Condor.  This I learned on a recent three-week journey to that small Indonesian island in the Indian Ocean.

The Balinese belief system, a mixture of Hindu and indigenous traditions that go back thousands of years, recognizes that the world we experience is a product of the interaction of sekala and niskala. Sekala is the surface, external, material aspects of the world. Niskala is the meaning, spirit, or essential life force underlying what we can see and touch.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wisdomkeepers of Native America

I recently read a book first published in 1990 called Wisdomkeepers: Meetings with Native American Spiritual Elders.  The authors, journalists Harvey Arden and Steve Wall, chronicle in text and beautiful photographs their journey to “the land of the Wisdomkeepers, which lies “[j]ust off the map, beyond the Interstates, out past the power lines and the shopping malls, up that little side road without a sign on it … .”

Saturday, April 14, 2012

An Epochal Moment: Eagle and Condor Fly Together

People in the United States and around the world are experiencing a period of change of historic magnitude. It is an epochal moment, as worldviews shift from separateness, fear, and security through competitive dominance and win-lose violence to oneness, hope, and security through cooperative interdependence and win-win peace.

It is a time of breakdown and breakthrough. It is a time in which economic, social, political and other human systems created out of a culture of violence are, at last, increasingly being recognized as just not working any more. It is a time in which those systems are necessarily giving way to new systems based on a very different view of reality, a culture of peace. It is a time in which the eagle and the condor are learning to fly together once again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hanging On and Hanging In There

There is much news almost every day about the old order hanging on for dear life by going to greater and greater extremes in mongering fear and, hence, the critical need for even more military interventions, securing of the borders, secret drone assassinations, internet censorship, military arrest and trial for U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, increased authority for domestic surveillance, and so on. A friend of mine, upon reading yet another such news item, asked in desperation, "How can we look at this constructively?" 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Presidential Politics 2012 #2 - Values, Principles, and Occupy

My initial post on this topic called for the emergence in this presidential election cycle of an alliance of inclusivity as an alternative to the existing or potentially expanded array of divisive political parties. I concluded by noting that "the platform of such an alliance would value and give top priority to the common good."

But what does that mean? What would the platform of such an alliance look like?