Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tex


Reversing MS Using An Evolutionary Diet

Another success story of someone who ditches grains, sugars, legumes, and processed foods.

"Dr. Terry Wahls learned how to properly fuel her body. Using the lessons she learned at the subcellular level, she used diet to cure her MS and get out of her wheelchair."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Medium Of Dancing

This is a trailer of a documentary about the transformative power of dancing. I would really like to watch this sometime...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Simplification


"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."

- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fear





















I ain’t afraid of your Yahweh,
I ain’t afraid of your Allah,
I ain’t afraid of your Jesus,
I’m afraid of what you do in the name of your god.
Rise up to your higher power,
free up from fear, it will devour you,
watch out for the ego of the hour,
the ones who say they know it are the ones who will impose it on you.

- Holly Near, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEJx8cYnUuE

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lighthouse

I have been on a bit of a music binge lately, and felt compelled to share another extremely artistic video.  The lyrics are also great.

No Turning Back


"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes -

Artwork by Ann Krone

You Won't - Television

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Minds


“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, December 5, 2011

Modern Crucifixion


"It was the church in Latin America, especially in Central America and Augusto Pinochet’s Chile, which provided the physical space, moral support and direction for the opposition to dictatorship. It was the church in East Germany that organized the peaceful opposition marches in Leipzig that would bring down the communist regime in that country. It was the church in Czechoslovakia, and its 90-year-old cardinal, that blessed and defended the Velvet Revolution. It was the church, and especially the African-American church, that made possible the civil rights movements. And it is the church, especially Trinity Church in New York City with its open park space at Canal and 6th, which can make manifest its commitment to the Gospel and nonviolent social change by permitting the Occupy movement to use this empty space, just as churches in other cities that hold unused physical space have a moral imperative to turn them over to Occupy movements. If this nonviolent movement fails, it will eventually be replaced by one that will employ violence. And if it fails it will fail in part because good men and women, especially those in the church, did nothing.

Where is the church now? Where are the clergy? Why do so many church doors remain shut? Why do so many churches refuse to carry out the central mandate of the Christian Gospel and lift up the cross?

Some day they are going to have to answer the question: 'Where were you when they crucified my Lord?'"

Entire Essay:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/where_were_you_when_they_crucified_my_movement_20111205/

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know"



This is an incredible music video that captures the difficulty of yesterday's intimacies.

Self Understanding


"I respect my limitations, but I don't use them as an excuse."

- Stephen R. Donaldson

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Trailer: The Greater Good

This film explores the controversy associated with forced vaccinations in America.



- Related music video (which I think is a really awesome work of art): Cloud Cult, "Take Your Medicine"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Thanksgiving


Three years ago I wrote a very emotional reflection about the American holiday known as Thanksgiving.  This time in my life was an incredibly tumultuous period which catapulted me into a transformational journey in which I am still participating in to this day.  Looking back at where I was three years ago is a very humbling experience.  Having one's reality changed so drastically in such a short period of time is like throwing a baby out of a crib.  I would never wish it upon anyone, but at the same time, I would never wish for anyone to knowingly avoid it.  One cannot stay in a crib his or her whole life.  Growth makes the accommodations too small and uncomfortable.  The time to leave the crib came for me whether I wanted it to or not.  And now I am here.

To commemorate my journey, I offer an alternative viewpoint on how to approach this dark and myth-ridden holiday, coming from the hearts of a heroic people.  

Whether you believe in God, the Great Spirit, or even nothing at all, I offer you my thanks for what you offer the world in your own dance of life.  Even more so, I offer my most sincere thanks for all who have helped me in this incredible journey, my life.  Navigating in the dark is sometimes scary, but with support from others I have stayed strong.  Personally, the past couple of years have been rather troubling.  Mental and physical meltdowns have brought me closer to hopelessness than I ever deemed possible.  Even so, with every setback, I received love from different sources--friends, family, or even people who I have never even physically met before--all of you have helped me become strong again.

There is something special about going through a dark tunnel and coming out the other side. Colors are  much more vibrant, and life is more miraculous than ever. I am grateful to experience hardship, and in feeling these hardships, I have come to realize that so many others experience darkness, often much darker than anything I will ever endure.  

I could keep going on, but really, I would just like to thank you. From the depths of my heart and soul I offer you my love, no matter how different or similar we may be. You are all special, I have learned greatly from our interactions, and I am blessed to have you all in my life, physically or digitally.

Happy Thanksgiving.

- Teddy Grahams

"We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children."

- Iroquois -

The Thanksgiving Myth


"'Thanksgiving' is a very ancient concept to American Indian nations. The big problem with the American Thanksgiving holiday is its false association with American Indian people. The infamous 'Indians and pilgrims' myth. It is good to celebrate Thanksgiving, to be thankful for your blessings. It is not good to distort history, to falsely portray the origin of this holiday and lie about the truth of its actual inception. Here are some accurate historical facts about the true origin of this American holiday that may interest you:

'Thanksgiving' did not begin as a great loving relationship between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag, Pequot and Narragansett people. In fact, in October of 1621 when the 'pilgrim' survivors of their first winter in Turtle Island sat down to share the first unofficial 'Thanksgiving' meal, the Indians who were there were not even invited!

There was no turkey, squash, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie. A few days before this alleged feast took place, a company of 'pilgrims' led by Miles Standish actively sought the head of a local Indian leader, and an 11 foot high wall was erected around the entire Plymouth settlement for the very purpose of keeping Indians out! Officially, the holiday we know as 'Thanksgiving' actually came into existence in the year 1637. Governor Winthrop of the Massachussetts Bay Colony proclaimed this first official day of Thanksgiving and feasting to celebrate the return of the colony's men who had arrived safely from what is now Mystic, Connecticut. They had gone there to participate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot men, women and children, and Mr. Winthrop decided to dedicate an official day of thanksgiving complete with a feast to 'give thanks' for their great 'victory.'

As hard as it may be to conceive, this is the actual origin of our current Thanksgiving Day holiday. Many American Indian people these days do not observe this holiday, for obvious reasons. I see nothing wrong with gathering with family to give thanks to our Creator for our blessings and sharing a meal. I do, however, hope that Americans as a whole will one day acknowledge the true origin of this holiday, and remember the pain, loss, and agony of the Indigenous people who suffered at the hands of the so-called 'pilgrims'. It is my hope that children's plays about 'the first Thanksgiving', complete with Indians and pilgrims chumming at the dinner table, will someday be a thing of the past. Why perpetuate a lie? Let us face the truths of the past, and give thanks that we are learning to love one another for the rich human diversity we share."

- John Two-Hawks, http://www.nativecircle.com/mlmThanksgivingmyth.html

- Further details:  http://www.danielnpaul.com/TheRealThanksgiving.html

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Realism


The pessimist complains about the wind;
the optimist expects it to change;
the realist adjusts the sails.

- William A. Ward -

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Revolution Is Love

Omega 6 Fats: An American Heart Association Fallacy

Mainstream nutritional recommendations are often misleading or erroneous:
The research upon which the American Heart Association based their 'eat-your-omega-6-fat' advisory, is fatally flawed, according to the results of a meta-analysis study, which showed that a steady diet of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids increases the risk of heart disease and death, especially for women [1]. British J Nutr. Dec 2010.
Source:  http://omega-6-omega-3-balance.omegaoptimize.com/2010/12/03/meta-analysis-reveals-heart-healthy-omega-6-fat-increases-risk-of-heart-disease.aspx

Friday, November 18, 2011

Buddha Of The Future


“It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of community - a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the earth.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Struck


To look into her deep blue eyes and see sorrow
and then equally feel my own...
This?
This is how it goes sometimes.

Lightning strikes.
A pulse of energy penetrates through the depths of the soul
at first invigorating, rehabilitating, and surprisingly soothing.

But after that initial strike?
Charred emotion.  
Reality sets in.

Lightning can't last forever.
The flash cannot erase the past,
nor can it be kept for the future.
It is only of the present--
A moment, nothing more.

Ah, yes.
Life is full of passionate bursts.

Love the light and enjoy the ride.
Embrace the sparks as they come.

- Teddy Grahams

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Art Of Inclusivity

“I have no interest in participating in the traditional political process. It’s bureaucratic. It’s vertical. It’s exclusive. It’s ruled by money. It’s cumbersome. This is cumbersome too, what we’re doing here, but the principles that I’m pushing and that many people are pushing to uphold here are in direct opposition to the existing structure. This is a counterpoint. This is an acknowledgement of all those things that we hate, or that I hate, which are closed and exclusive. It is about defying status and power, certification and legitimacy, institutional validation to participate. This process has infected our consciousness as far as people being allowed [to participate] or even being given credibility. The wider society creates a situation where people are excluded, people feel like they’re not worth anything. They’re not accepted. The principles here are horizontal in terms of decision-making, transparency, openness, inclusiveness, accessibility. There are people doing sign language at the general assembly now. There are clusters of deaf people that come together and do sign language together. This is an example of the inclusive nature that we want to create here. And as far as redefining participation and the democratic process, my understanding of American history is that it was a bunch of white males in power, mostly. This is radically different. If you’re a homeless person, if you’re a street person, you can be here. There’s a radical inclusion that’s going on. And if it’s not that, then I’m not going to participate.”

- Jon Friesen,  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_master_class_in_occupation_20111031/

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Navigating Noise


A thoughtful sentence shared to me by one of my friends:  "You have to learn to ignore the noise freedom makes to be free."

The journey continues...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vibrations

Big Brother Censoring Populist Protests

"Forget copyright infringement, YouTube is now complying with removal orders from governments to stop populist rage going viral.

In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate."

Source:  http://www.occupyr.com/News/thread.php?id=249

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Denunciation And Disruption


From Christopher Ketcham:
The beauty in all this is that there is no mere demand, not a sliver of legislation the occupiers want passed or special interest they want satisfied—nothing by which to be hemmed in ideologically or politically. The habit in the mainstream media to date has been to bitch and moan that the protesters don’t know what they want, or won’t say what they want, won’t offer up the pre-masticated bullet-point list easily consumed by reporters suckled on press releases and toilet trained for TV. An ex-Marine named Brian Phillips, 25, who traveled to Zuccotti Park from Washington state, tells me what he wants. “We want to start a new way of living,” Phillips says. “We want to start a new society. We want to destroy a system that benefits only the 1 percenters. It’s not working for us. It’s putting us in poverty. We say: ‘No more making laws that benefit corporations or banks.’ ” 
The norm in the political economy of the United States is that the corporations and the banks run things and we all suck it up and smile. With the rise of the occupation, the disruption of this degraded normalcy of affairs is the message and the meaning. The message is that the future of American democracy is not in casting the meaningless vote in the two-party shell game, nor in lobbying over fine dinners, nor in writing letters to robots like Charlie Rangel, nor merely in Facebooking and Twittering one’s dissent. The future lies in people gathered in the streets in solidarity and making trouble.
This is only the beginning.

Entire essay:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/denunciation_and_disruption_the_vision_that_drives_occupy_wall_street_20111/

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lies


"The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves.
We live in denial of what we do, even what we think.
We do this because we're afraid.
We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we'll lose it.
We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy."

- Richard Bach

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chris Hedges Interview

Honesty


"A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. "

- Mohandas Gandhi -

Not Moving

Monday, October 17, 2011

Becoming Alive


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

- Howard Thurman

Daniel Pinchbeck On Revolution


"The path before us requires voluntary renunciation and voluntary simplicity to reduce our burden on the earth. Therefore, the old paradigm that sees accumulation of wealth and immediate material satisfaction as the goal needs to be rejected collectively. We are going to step into a new realization of our purpose -- of the meaning of human life, in itself. We are going to remember, and relearn, what every ancient civilization and traditional culture tells us: that our lives have a spiritual meaning, above all. Existence in this world is an initiatory process to prepare us for the transition to other conditions of being, other worlds or bardo realms beyond this one.

The duality of spirit and matter also needs to be overcome. Indigenous people do not recognize this dualism -- they do not imagine spirit to be above or outside of this realm, but within it. Instead of a sky religion, their spiritual practices are rooted in sensuous connectivity with the earth. In a sense, indigenous cultures are much more truly materialist than our society, as they see the essential value of the natural world as an expression of the Creator, and do not try to impose abstract systems on to it.

Our civilization has been ruled by a mindset that sees life as a means rather than an end. In the past, guilt and postponement were inscribed in a religious creed that put off redemption to some distant future. Recently, science replaced religion with a fundamentalist vision of technological progress, leading to a time when humans merge with silicon or create artificial intelligences that succeed us. This is also a delusion that keeps us alienated from the living present.

We don't know what it will be like to live in a society where life is realized as the ends in itself -- where we seek to benefit the collective by nurturing and supporting each individual. We can only anticipate that it will be wonderful to find out.

The consciousness movement has the sacred task of integrating our understanding of spirit and Psyche into the rapidly unfolding movement for planetary justice and social regeneration. This global movement is part of an initiatory process for humanity as a whole that will bring about a transformation of both the individual and collective ego-structure. The goal is not the destruction of the ego but the attainment of an ego-free state -- liberation from the tyrannical demands of the ego, which can never be satiated. Similarly, we don't want to see the smashing of current institutions, but their alchemical transmutation, so they support our human community and safeguard the resources of the natural world. Humanity, as a whole, is rapidly losing our appetite for violence and destruction. We are increasingly sick of the negative patterns of the past, and ready to overcome the inertia."

- Daniel Pinchbeck

Chris Hedges, "A Movement Too Big To Fail"

"The Occupy Wall Street movement, like all radical movements, has obliterated the narrow political parameters. It proposes something new. It will not make concessions with corrupt systems of corporate power. It holds fast to moral imperatives regardless of the cost. It confronts authority out of a sense of responsibility. It is not interested in formal positions of power. It is not seeking office. It is not trying to get people to vote. It has no resources. It can’t carry suitcases of money to congressional offices or run millions of dollars of advertisements. All it can do is ask us to use our bodies and voices, often at personal risk, to fight back. It has no other way of defying the corporate state. This rebellion creates a real community instead of a managed or virtual one. It affirms our dignity. It permits us to become free and independent human beings."

 Essay in its entirety:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_movement_too_big_to_fail_20111017/

Occupy

“For years, I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions in the South, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you’ve got to have a reconstruction of the entire system, a revolution of values.”

 - Martin Luther King Jr






































- sott.net

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Control



"The fool has a goal.
The gifted person of bliss has no aims."


- The Rambling Taoist

Lanterns On The Lake - "Keep On Trying"

A phenomenal music video. It really captures aging, loneliness, and community quite beautifully.

 

Inclusive Spirituality

"Recently as part of my deep studies of the Tarot I received a teaching that stated, everything is spiritual because everything is spirit. A very simple statement I know but one that at least for me even though I might mentally agree with it and understand it was not something I really lived on a daily basis. I didn’t BEHAVE as if I truly realized it. From this point of view there is nothing that is not spiritual, there is no action that is not spiritual, there simply cannot be. The result of the deep contemplation of this was a great expansion and a redefining of my spirituality to essentially include everything in my life. Now its not so much of a challenge to walk around and see trees, the sky, cute little kittens and lovely works of art as manifestations of spirit. But what about people you detest? What about the aspects of your personality you’ve struggled with the most? What about sexuality? What about destruction? What about your fears?

When spirituality is compartmentalized we create a concept out of it and then proceed to judge ourselves, other people and our experience based on that concept. However that concept is not real except in our minds and it creates separation which cuts us off from reality. Whatever our concept of spirituality is it is in some way problematic because its limited and spirit knows no such limits. Spirit is life itself, the ever flowing life energy of the entire cosmos of which we are a unique expression, just as we are now. Our personalities being a vehicle for the creative expression of Divine Will. We are the means by which the universe becomes aware of itself in an infinite number of forms and actions. Some of those forms are considered beautiful and some are considered horrible but ALL are spirit. There is no form or expression in existence which is not Divine."

- Colin's entire blog post: http://www.awakeninthenow.com/aitn/2011/10/everything-is-spirit/

Soy Protein Found In Virtually All Commercial Eggs

"There is a growing market today of consumers trying to avoid soy in their diet. Many people have developed soy allergies, and a number of people are concerned about the plant estrogen properties of soy protein. Soy protein is linked to the rise in hypothyroidism, early puberty in young girls, and lower testosterone levels in men, among other problems. Much of this research is documented in Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s book The Whole Soy Story.

What most people do not realize, however, is that due to the predominance of soy in animal feeds, soy protein is probably present in your food even if it is not listed as an ingredient anywhere. Very little testing has been done to determine if the soy protein from the animal feed is passed into the end products we consume. Most laboratories do not even have tests available to test for this.

Professor M. Monica Giusti, a poultry biologist of The Ohio State University, is one of the few people who has done research on soy isoflavones appearing in commercial egg yolks. She has designed lab tests to detect soy isoflavones. In 2009 one of her students published a master’s thesis on the transfer of the soy protein into egg yolks and chicken tissue: Quantification of Soy Isoflavones in Commercial Eggs and Their Transfer from Poultry Feed into Eggs and Tissues."

Article in its entirety:  http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/soy-protein-present-in-all-egg-yolks-and-chicken-tissues/

What Is Real


"We have to create culture, don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR; create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you're giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking.

That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told 'no', we're unimportant, we're peripheral. 'Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.' And then you're a player, you don't want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world."

- Terence McKenna

Farming Study: Organic Trumps Conventional

"The results are in from a 30-year side-by-side trial of conventional and organic farming methods at Pennsylvania's Rodale Institute. Contrary to conventional wisdom, organic farming outperformed conventional farming in every measure.

There are about 1,500 organic farmers in Saskatchewan, at last count. They eschew the synthetic fertilizers and toxic sprays that are the mainstay of conventional farms. Study after study indicates the conventional thinking on farming - that we have to tolerate toxic chemicals because organic farming can't feed the world - is wrong.

 In fact, studies like the Rodale trials (www.rodaleinstitute.org/ fst30years) show that after a three-year transition period, organic yields equalled conventional yields. What is more, the study showed organic crops were more resilient. Organic corn yields were 31 per cent higher than conventional in years of drought.

These drought yields are remarkable when compared to genetically modified (GM) 'drought tolerant' varieties, which showed increases of only 6.7 per cent to 13.3 per cent over conventional (non-drought resistant) varieties.

More important than yield, from the farmer's perspective, is income, and here organic is clearly superior. The 30-year comparison showed organic systems were almost three times as profitable as the conventional systems. The average net return for the organic systems was $558/acre/ year versus just $190/acre/year for the conventional systems. The much higher income reflects the premium organic farmers receive and consumers pay for.

But even without a price premium, the Rodale study found organic systems are competitive with the conventional systems because of marginally lower input costs."

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Study+debunks+myths+organic+farms/5462520/story.html#ixzz1axZUgc8q

The Tide


Along the shore the tide always rises,
and then it falls.

I sit on the beach and watch
with my hands tied and feet cemented.
The waters engulf.

Sometimes I flail around,
trying to free myself from that which holds me down.
Mostly, though, I just sit there in the water,
letting it rise above my head.

Stillness.

Pretty soon the liquid crescendos.
I open my mouth and the let the water flood in.

Some would call this illogical,
but it is my only means to survive.

The water is cold.
It is in me.
Chills spread throughout my body,
and yet I sit here minute after minute,
hour after hour.

I am drowning.
I have died many times before.
I will die many times again.

Death is bizarre.
Death is warmth.

Without death, I die
and with it, I thrive.

Along the shore the tide always rises,
and then it falls.

- Teddy Grahams

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Understanding Fear


"Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."

 - Rainer Maria Rilke, via Coyote Prime

Lemon


"We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons"

- Alfred E. Neuman

Geron Hoy: "King of Pangea"

I do not really have words to explain this one. It just feels good.

 

Ripening The Soul


"Each soul harbors a garden where a true story dwells in seed form and waits to be watered with attention and nourished with genuine emotion. The roots of the soul are eternal, yet the braces reach into time and would bear fruit amongst the living. If a person has found a path of meaning in the world, the inner fruits ripen and become a resource and nourishment inside as well as a source of sweetness and reassurance to those we encounter on the way.

If the fruits of the soul fail to ripen they bear a bitter legacy that leaks into life.  This inner bitterness tarnishes the subtle beauty of the world and eats away at the roots of meaning. Bitterness and wisdom cannot dwell in the same place. Unless something ripens within and becomes as a fruit ready to be shared and enjoyed a person grows bitter with age. Bitter or sweet, the soul tends to grow one way or the other."

"People argue about the source and meaning of evil acts found in all parts of this world where light and dark mix as often as day and night exchange places. An old meaning of evil was simply 'unripe.' Until the soul begins to grow towards its own sense of fullness and awareness it remains unripe, 'green' in the wrong way. If the inner motion of the soul be strongly denied the fruits become bitter and vile as the rejected inner seeds spread conflict and division.

No amount of good intentions or positive ideas can remove evil from this world; only that more people learn to ripen the seeds they carry within and find ways to assist meaningful and purposeful things to blossom and ripen in the garden of reality. When something in this world becomes ripe and ready it becomes 'good;' 'good enough to eat,' and beautiful to behold.  Until then it remains like unripened fruit, more likely to produce sour grapes and bitter feelings."

- Michael Meade,  The World Behind The World

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Farmageddon Trailer

Love


"Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time; effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end."

- Madame de Stael

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Moondoggies

A beautifully cartooned music video about one man's heartfelt journey.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Community


“A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living.”

 - Rudolf Steiner

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Personal Update


The time has finally come to fully get back into the swing of things.  My travels will take me to a new land with a new job.  My internet access and available free-time will be limited, so I will not be blogging as much as I have during this summer.

This has been a greatly challenging stretch, I have learned a great deal about myself, and am very glad with how much stronger I have become.  I am very gracious for my parents helping me get back to full speed, and for all my friends who supported me through this rather trying time.  

And now?  The road trip begins.  Let the dancing commence!

- Teddy Grahams

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Power Is Yours


"You have to take seriously the notion that understanding the universe is your responsibility, because the only understanding of the universe that will be useful to you is your own understanding."

- Terence McKenna

The Demise Of Guys: Internet, Video Games, And Porn

"Psychologist Philip Zimbardo asks, 'Why are boys struggling?' He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, greater worries about intimacy and relationships) and suggests a few reasons."

Overlooked


“If we do not expect the unexpected we will not discover it, since it is not to be searched out and is difficult to apprehend.”

- Heraclitus

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

D. H. Lawrence, "Wild Things In Captivity"


"Wild things in captivity
while they keep their own wild purity
won't breed, they mope, they die.

All men are in captivity,
active with captive activity,
and the best won't breed, though they don't know why.

The great cage of our domesticity
kills sex in a man, the simplicity
of desire is distorted and twisted awry.

And so, with bitter perversity,
gritting against the great adversity,
they young ones copulate, hate it, and want to cry.

Sex is a state of grace.
In a cage it can't take place.
Break the cage then, start in and try."

- D. H. Lawrence

Saving The Economy

"'Saving the economy' is the slogan used to defend every sort of injustice and negligence, from defeating health-care legislation to ignoring the Clean Water Act to shunning the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. But should we save an economy in which the finance industry claims over 40 percent of all corporate profits and a single hedge fund manager claims an income equivalent to that of twenty thousand households? Should we save an economy in which the top 1 percent of earners rake in a quarter of all income? Should we embrace an economy in which one in ten households faces foreclosure, 44 million people live in poverty, and 51 million lack health insurance, an economy in which the unemployment rate for African Americans is above 17 percent and for all workers is nearly 10 percent? Should we defend an economy that even in a recession generates a GDP over $14 trillion, a quarter of the world’s total, and yet is supposedly unable to afford to reduce its carbon emissions? Should we serve an economy that represents less than 5 percent of Earth’s population and yet accounts for nearly half of world military spending? A reasonable person might conclude that such an economy is fatally flawed, and that the flaws will not be repaired by those who profit from them the most."

- Scott Russell Sanders

Saturday, August 27, 2011

John Trudell On Fearful Obedience


"I get concerned sometimes that maybe people are afraid to even think about challenging the concept of democracy and that's where all the good little nazis come from, the ones that are afraid to challenge the concepts when they see the contradictions in the concepts. That's where you get the good little nazis. And the distortion and the feeding process off of us to keep us distorted and insecure, that's to help us become good little nazis. It's all got to do with planting that seed and that idea and concept of fear."

- John Trudell

Video: "Subconscious War"

"Subconscious War is a short documentary on media, reality, and the culture of violence, It covers the prophecies of Aldous Huxley and Neil Postman's grim assessment of our Brave New World and relates these to our violence and the cultural influences that fosters it today."

If I could summarize this video using only one word, "chilling" would be most appropriate.

David Foster Wallace On Perception And The Purpose Of An Education

Part of David's Commencement Address to graduates of Kenyon College in 2005. 

"But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she's not usually like this. Maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible. It just depends what you want to consider. If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.

Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're gonna try to see it.

This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship.

Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings.

They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing.

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving.... The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.

I know that this stuff probably doesn't sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational the way a commencement speech is supposed to sound. What it is, as far as I can see, is the capital-T Truth, with a whole lot of rhetorical niceties stripped away. You are, of course, free to think of it whatever you wish. But please don't just dismiss it as just some finger-wagging Dr Laura sermon. None of this stuff is really about morality or religion or dogma or big fancy questions of life after death."

- Wallace's entire speech:  http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/david-foster-wallace-in-his-own-words

Words


"The words you speak become the house you live in."

- Hafiz

Children - Supersaturated With Structure

"In the journal's latest issue, experts argue that a decline in unstructured outdoor play among kids has left today's whippersnappers screen-addled, hyper-protected, or worse. "For every child, there was a dad standing there coaching every move—moving the kids’ arms, catching them as they came down the tiny slide, doing virtually everything for them," former Psychology Today editor-in-chief Hara Estroff Marano writes of her now-wimpy neighborhood playground. 'When my kids were young, we parents sat around the perimeter, let the kids play, and didn’t get involved unless someone had a bloody nose or something like it.'

Marano goes on to argue that while today's helicopter parents agonize over the prospect of sexual predators, germs, and broken bones outside the home, they're really depriving their children of the health benefits of exercise, the immune-strengthening effects of playing in the dirt, the social skill development of spontaneous socialization, and even the ad-hoc training to participate in a democratic society. Anthropologists David F. Lancy and M. Annette Grove write (PDF) that by creating, organizing, and playing games on their own, children develop social intelligence that is lost in highly adult-managed activities like (horrors!) Little League. Peter Gray gets even more serious on play, claiming (PDF) that as kids engage less and less in 'free play,' the're put at greater risk of 'anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism.'"

- Entire Article: "Helicopter Landing: Let Kids Play By Their Own Rules"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Take Your Medicine



Stunning!

Immeasurable Nature


"There is no ‘enough' in nature. It is one vast prodigality. It is a feast. There is no economy: it is all one immense extravagance. It is all giving, giving, giving: no saving, no penury; a golden shower of good things forever descending."

- Richard Jeffries

Thursday, August 25, 2011

HK Stewart, "Where Nothing Is Free"

"Where nothing is free,
nothing is sacred.

Where nothing is feared,
everything is sacred."

- HK Stewart

HK's insightful blog: Christian Taoism

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Soaring


"You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?"

- Rumi

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ukelele Gently Weeps

One of my long-time favorite musical videos.  The second half gets super intense in a super good way.

John Welwood On Love, Relationships, And The Caged Soul


The soul cage
Perhaps you learned to be tough in order to survive in your family, or to gain respect or approval. So you come to think of yourself as "someone who's in command" -- and that becomes your soul cage. When you find a good, loving relationship, it will confront you with how this identity obstructs an open, direct meeting between you and the one you love. Your compulsion to be in control also cuts you off from a whole range of inner resources -- spontaneity, trust, receptivity to love, letting go, facing the unknown, and genuine strength. If you want to be fully present to life and to another person, this identity has to dissolve.
But of course, you're likely to feel tremendous resistance at that point, because your whole sense of self -- your survival, strength, and self-approval -- is so tied up with being tough and in control.
What to do
The operative principle is to start where you are. We need to feel and open to the pain of being stuck inside the prison of our old self-concepts. And we need to recognize that our love is calling on us to break out of this prison and become the vast being we truly are.
We often feel tremendous resistance to letting love all the way into us, because love is a power that can break open the shell of the false self. We start to think: "I didn’t get into a relationship to have my most precious strategy for security and survival threatened like this!" At this point, we imagine something is desperately wrong -- with ourselves, with our partner, or with the relationship. Yet this is actually a tremendous opportunity to break through to a larger and truer sense of who we are.
Focus on suffering
Not just suffering -- because everyone suffers anyway -- but conscious suffering. Making your suffering conscious. Having to maintain control is suffering, but you may not realize that until your love for another shows you how trapped you are in that identity. Because love makes you want to expand and connect, it also lets you see what's keeping you contracted and isolated.
Identity and belief
When we put an identity structure under the microscope of awareness, we find that it is made of a number of little beliefs linked together. Each of those beliefs needs to be exposed. If you always have to be in control, for instance, what beliefs are behind that? Maybe you imagine that if you're not in control, others will control you. Or maybe you think that being in command is the only way you can get respect. It helps to understand what purpose this control identity serves -- because it did serve a useful function at some point in the past. Becoming free of that structure requires this kind of inquiry.
Conscious relationship can be a vehicle for regenerating soul in our culture, for rediscovering community and sacredness in daily life. Through learning to speak truthfully and listen respectfully to one other person, we start to practice genuine meeting and dialogue -- which is exactly what our world most needs on the collective level.


- Excerpts authored by John Welwood, from "Conscious Love and Sacred Community"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Radically Naked Bible Study


A Traditional Interpretation Of 2 Corinthians 12:9,10
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

A Reinterpreted 2 Corinthians 12:9,10
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so the power of the soul may live through me. As a living soul I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. The warm winds of rebuke feel like food to my soul. The hot fire of failure fuels the light of my soul. For when I fail, then I am strong in spirit and walk through its open door to redemption. Therefore I sing the song of my soul without fear, that when my mouth closeth I finally know complete rest in the the kind of silence that is one with the Father within.

If knowing that you do not know is the beginning of wisdom, then questions are like an open door to a new world. The Quest is contained in the question. The question is a journey for which destinations are only temporary. Its complete answer can never arrive, but only deepen in unfolding like another signpost on the way.


- Excerpts fom Lucid Tribe Media's essay, "Naked Compassion"