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The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Journey of Transformation by Jerry Wennstrom Submitter: Reviewed by Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-01-22 08:52:25 GMT


A true writer reaches us in some way. The words may open our hearts, touch our souls, or stir us to action.

A true writer, whether it seems intangibly or monumentally, alters our perspective, alters our lives.

The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Journey of Transformation is Jerry Wennstrom's first book. Among the many other things he has become through his incredible journey, Jerry has truly become a writer.

Join him, his words will shimmmer, alter, and benefit your path; highlight, perhaps, which direction to take when "two roads converge" in your wood.

Open yourself enough, find trust enough to put yourself in the Hands of Alchemy. You will learn what the true philosopher's gold is.

Blessings on your journey.


At one time or another, all of us come to a moment in our lives when we choose what the rest of our lives will be; what we will allow ourselves to become. It is the moment when we decide to follow our heart’s desire; or the moment to give ourselves permission to truly find our heart’s desire and purpose if we are not sure what that is; or the moment to settle for what is and stay with that until we draw the last breath.

The Inspired Heart: An Artist’s Journey of Transformation is the deeply spiritual tale of Jerry Wennstrom’s making the choice to open himself by trusting the Universe, and seeking God.

It has been said that courage is showing up despite the fear we feel. Yet opening ourselves to find our purpose goes beyond courage. Totally opening ourselves to the universe is an act of absolute trust in its inherent good. Opening ourselves that way questions the very premise of whether or not God truly exists. Is there, will there be, Someone, Something, Holy, watching over us, kneading us to rise to someone new, holy, and purposeful, when we leave ourselves entirely vulnerable?

In 1979, at a stage in which his work as an artist was coming into fruition, when a movie had been made of it, Jerry Wennstrom made a choice.

He destroyed his work.
He gave everything he had away.
He placed himself in a position of opennness to whatever the Universe, to whatever God, would bring his way.

This act goes beyond courage.

This is an act of faith, of trust. During this period he knew hunger and fasting; he knew much time of deep silence; he knew celibacy.
He learned the quiet of waiting for the proper response to whatever the situation was to come.
He learned that formlessness was necessary to find the true path.

Before the journey, even the creative act of art as a kind of worship had reached the point where it no longer nurtured the spirit, personal or creative. The only path to the spirit became the acceptance of letting go, of trusting.

The choice was made: emptiness, living as Erich Fromm’s “nowhere man,” as a commodity to produce profits within the market’s parameters, or accepting the spiritual demand of what each life is truly about.

As Jerry specifies:
My life was not about the world; it was about God.

He chose the trust to learn the knowing.

To walk a path as Jerry chose to do requires unlearning; releasing the competitive voice with which we were raised and educated. It demands shedding layer after layer of the projected demands and judgments of others. It demands quieting the repetitive brain chatter. It means others will question, some will support, others will just shake their heads in disbelief. It means waiting, however long it takes, whatever it takes, until the right new place, new voice, right new work comes.

It demands nothing less than total surrender:
I ate when I had food and I fasted when I did not. I accepted whatever came into my life. It was that simple.

And yet, it is even more demanding. We live in a world still dominated by old god Mars.

We live in a world where we quickly learn to wear masks, to cover our true identities, often to the point where we lose them.

We still live in a world dominated by fear, by a quest for the illusive, and truly non-existent, security. We still live in a world of apathy, perhaps not so much because we have grown callous, but because we are exhausted from following a path not truly our own; denying spirit, feeling empty and blocked from the Universe.

Jerry Wennstrom chose the unknown, the trust, the quest for God. The Inspired Heart: An Artist’s Journey of Transformation is a mythic tale of letting go; of plunging in; of leaving behind traditional religious organizations; of going beyond our own efforts and plunging intosomething holy, which is ancient and yet truly new; of being blessed with passage to fly, formless.

Wennstrom chose to totally unmask all of it.
If you have begun your own journey to something holy, to trust in the Creation, to a personal relationship with God, Wennstrom’s words will chime your heart’s bells with the joys of empathy and understanding. If you have been reluctant to accept the quest with which your spirit calls to you, The Inspired Heart will assist you in answering that call.

Join Jerry as he travels from New York through his spiritual quest to find himself across the continent on Whidbey Island, his new art, his found peace, love, and his knowing that God, indeed, IS.

The Inspired Heart graces us with photos of Jerry’s art, explanations of how some of it came to be, as well as his intentions for it. As a companion piece, you must also allow yourself the inspiration of the Parabol produced video,In The Hands of Alchemy: The Art and Life of Jerry Wennstrom.

I reiterate:
At one time or another, all of us come to a moment in our lives when we choose what the rest of our lives will be, what we will allow ourselves to become.

The Inspired Heart will assist you in not letting that moment go by unheeded, left to fester in the soul as:
What might have been if I dared to find, in one way or another,what I truly might have known?
What might have been my life if I had trusted enough to open to truly touch the holy in the Universe, and in myself, a part of that vastness?


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Small Business Submitter: Paul Rodriquez (pmr@niquahanam.com)
Date: 2002-12-01 16:04:49 GMT

It is worth noting that it is small business which drives economies: even large business are profitable only insofar as they are agglomerations of small businesses. One might then propose, that the key to keeping money moving around--as Keynes considered to be, in an admittely obtuse way, the criterion of the health of an economy--is to keep businesses small and buying from one another, rather than in small corporate circles?

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Cloudpuncher by Tony McNally Submitter: Reviewed by Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-01-22 09:13:23 GMT


Our lives are made up of all kinds of relationships.
Each type of relationship implies some kind of mutual responsibility.

One of those relationships is between those we send to serve, and we who send them. I usually refer to this particular relationship as a covenant: if you will be there for us, we will be there for you.

A “Cloudpuncher” is a Rapier Missile designed to be launched from land to take enemy planes out of the sky.

In Tony McNally’s case, the Rapier with which he did battle brought down two enemy planes in the Falklands War that his country waged with Argentina. However, on the day that enemy planes came swooping down on two of his country’s ships, the Rapier that Tony and his mates engaged to fire, gave only the sound of a “woodpecker tapping on a tree,’ which meant that it had blown a fuse and was inoperative. He watched the carnage that followed.

A young man dreams of being a soldier. The dream is not always what was expected when it comes to reality. Mack tells the story of a young man gone to soldiering, gone to war, taking pride in his service; faced with helplessness when the ships were attacked; blaming himself for the carnage for a long time to come. Yet it takes awhile for things like this to sink in; there is a period of denial, a period of non-acceptance, a mental trauma that puts on hold for awhile that which eventually comes out; that eventually becomes recognized as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

From the Falklands, Mack was sent to Northern Ireland where he and his mates learned of the extent that hatred for fellow beings can reach.

After the war, the bombing of the Galahad, the conditions existing in Northern Ireland, with the return to the normalcy of everyday civilian life Mack found himself besieged with nightmares, extreme depression, lost of employment, lost of a marriage, all common symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

At first unaware that the terrible depression was caused by PTSD, Mack was tortured with feelings of helplessness, angst, and thoughts of suicide. Like other governments, his did not recognize the PTSD, battle fatigue, soldier’s heart, shell shock, by whatever name it is, and has been called, Mack, and his fellow Falkland’s and Northern Ireland Veteran, Edward Denmark, author of Not for Queen and Country, went to Downing Street to turn in their medals as protest about non-recognition, and refusal to help when help was so needed.

Cloudpuncher is written as it was lived capturing raw emotions, great pain, terrible frustration, and feelings of betrayal by those who should have been there for those they sent into battle. It is not that Mack did not serve with a soldier’s pride but that those at home chose not to accept their responsibility, their part of the covenant. It is not a new story; it is not a new malady. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome has existed throughout history in war and battle survivors, as well as from many other sources.

We no longer treat soldiers with electric shock, or sometimes execution, as was done after the War to End All Wars. Sometimes governments refuse to treat them at all, or even recognize that the condition exists.

Mack, like others who have found themselves in this position, was told to try to write it out, write himself home. Cloudpuncher is the result of this writing. He shares a story directly, openly, with great candor, holding nothing back. His is a story that is not uncommon, but yet a story, like many thousand others, that needs to become common knowledge, faced up to up close and personal, for all who go to war, live through war, are potential candidates.

Mack poses an interesting question, a question that has been asked by many Veterans in many countries:
How can you be a soldier one second and a civilian the next and carry on as if nothing has happened?

He also makes an interesting observation, one that demands that we contemplate its true meaning:
It’s only many years after the war that I have read books about the battles and realized the real savagery of modern warfare. I had no comprehension of the loss of life that was occurring a few miles away.

Both Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the “real savagery of modern warfare” are things with which we need to deal.

High praise to Mack for his openness, for sharing his private hell, so that others may learn, may understand, may begin, finally, to deal with the realities of.



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Not for Queen or Country by Edward Denmark Submitter: Reviewed by Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-01-22 09:14:58 GMT


This is an honest book, an account of life in the military by a man who served as a British soldier in Northern Ireland and in the Falklands War.

Denmark notes that his initial attraction to the armed services had a lot to do with extravagant recruitment posters of soldiers skiing, of soldiers walking sunny beaches. It also had a lot to do with relief from the drudgery of factory work. In fact, after a brief hiatus from the military, Denmark re-enlisted and attempted Para training.


What is intriguing is his honesty that the posters, the idea of the trim uniform caught a young man’s yearning for adventure, for place, and pride. When he says that:
People may think me stupid or gullible or both, but I never realized until the Falklands war that I had joined an organization whose business is killing.

He also notes that while watching the television pictures of soldiers dealing with rioters in Northern Ireland he did not consider the dangers inherent in that.

Denmark takes us through his initiation, basic training, time in the Falklands, time in Northern Ireland. As he speaks to us we feel the pride of accomplishment, the drudgery of monotony, the fear in war, the disbelief that the IRA could perpetrate such horrors on civilians and on the British forces there to try to keep the peace.
He takes us through a flooded North Ireland town when the British soldiers, who are normally persona non grata, are suddenly called upon for help by the local residents.


Most importantly, Denmark makes it clear what so many soldiers of so many wars in so many countries have said, and keep saying. When it gets down to it, when you face the elephant, the politics of it all fall by the wayside. The soldier falls into a survival mode, doing everything possible to stay alive, to keep those closest to him, alive. There is commitment to each other at work, there is fear of being shown not to have the courage to face it, to come through it. There is the stupid joke, or bravado, to break the tension when it is over and everyone is trying to not show the fear they are still feeling.

War, as he says, becomes very personal when the shooting starts. When life is threatened, the adrenaline flows. Survival becomes everything, and survival is non-political. When the battle dims, when the fields are cleared, and medics and evacs have, and are, doing what they do best, then it becomes important of how many of the enemy are counted as incapacitated in whatever form.

Denmark left service with an incapacitated knee. Surgery has not proven helpful.
He left the service with pride in his service.

Yet he left the service with something else that more and more soldiers are beginning to openly talk about: that those in power should be looking at war and seeing “the real misery of death and injury and the wrecked lives of all those involved.”

He indicates that perhaps what is needed is more study of what war is, what war truly is, than study of how to make it.

Then those who have served, who have written of the verities of war, will have served twice, with pride, and the voice of experience.

Join Edward Denmark as he learns the difference between the fantasy and the reality.

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Excessive Freedoms? Submitter: Stan Scislowski
Date: 2003-04-28 08:54:08 GMT

It's not easy to keep the spirits up.

It's tough, awfully tough to watch how things are going with society these days! How can anyone keep the spirit up when one reads and hears and sees the way things are going on in the world-Kosovo-the Middle East-the massacre in the high school outside Denver-what's portrayed on TV-the abhorrent behaviour of University students-the scum that abounds on the Internet.

It sure makes it hard for anyone to feel any pride in the way things are progressing, or I should say, regressing-regressing into a depraved society in which so many things we used to think as being despicable are looked upon today as not really all that bad - freedom of expression they call it.

Laugh and be merry! as the saying goes, but tell me how can anyone laugh and be merry when you see society descending into something as terrible as we've been witnessing in the last twenty years -and the rate of this degradation accelerates with each passing day-or so it seems to me.

No one yet amongst the learned and the mighty have adequately explained the 'why' of it all. Oh yeah, they skip around various psychological reasons that to me are nothing but a lot of double-speak, the jargon of psychology and sociologists.

But I put it into simpler terminology- I say that what's happening to the minds of far too many people, young, old and in-between, are the freedoms that every Tom, Dick, Harry and Sally have been demanding in strident voices and riotous behaviour. Everybody screams they want freedom-demand freedom to do this, freedom to do that-freedom of expression-freedom of speech-freedom in every conceivable form you can think of.

And what does all this freedom beget? Abuse. It begets chaos. It spawns anarchy. It could bring on a collapse of society into something that would be frightening to behold, and even worse to suffer the consequences thereof. The ancient Roman Empire saw it happen, as did other seemingly invincible empires. And there's no reason I can think of that it won't or can't happen here in Canada and the U.S. We've been too smug, too self-centered for much too long.

All I can say is, and it might not mean anything to most people because it comes from a humble man's mind, a man who hasn't accumulated University diplomas, but has had experience of life enough to see beyond what those of greater intellect have thus far seen and failed to make necessary adjustments to. Some decisions by the most learned have been so out-of-whack, so ill-formed that it fairly boggles the mind. It makes you wonder about their intrinsic intelligence.

Yes, I'm deeply afraid of where we're headed. What's the answer? I've said it before and been condemned, but I'll say it again. . . some freedoms have to be restricted, have to be taken away. What those freedoms I'm referring to are, I have my own opinions, you may have your own, but somebody up there in the higher echelons of the government and the justice system have to start looking seriously at this Freedom 'bit'.

When a child misbehaves, its freedom to do certain things is taken away, although temporarily until that child begins to understand and behave as it should. When you do things in school that you shouldn't do, you receive punishment(or it used to be that way) and again certain freedoms are taken away. When as an adult you break laws, you are subject to a fine or imprisonment according to the severity and type of criminal activity you resorted to. In other words. You've lost a good portion of freedom for a time.

We've never been without wars, crime, societal disruptions, and all the other upheavals of people's inability to contain the wild forces that lurk within their minds, yet we've somehow, miraculously, been able to maintain some sense of equilibrium and been able to enjoy what good has come our way from time to time.

Not all has been darkness and strife.

And in these intervals of sunshine and bright spirits we thrilled to the experiences of good fellowship.

But how long can our senses take the battering such as we've been subjected to of late? I, along with everybody else of good heart, certainly do not know. I can only hope that some person of great wisdom comes along, or some intangible force manifests itself in the world society and reverses the downward spiral that we are all now witnessing.

God help us if things keep going the way they are.

Stan Scislowski.

Canadian World War II Veteran, author of Not All of Us Were Brave, and Editor of Royal Canadian Branch Newsletter.

(You may rate the importance of this proposal: proposals are presented on pages like this in order of rating. You may also contribute to a discussion of it.)

The Blue Star Millennium Submitter:
Date: 2003-05-04 04:14:07 GMT



The Blue Star Millennium/Quest for Genesis by David Gau-Ghan
by Reviewed by Remy Benoit

David Gau-Ghan has presented us with a serious work; a work that is mind-stretching, soul touching, and possibility awakening. Yet he has not presented us with a sermon but with an exciting action adventure story for us, for our terrestrial home, and throughout our galaxy.
We know, we feel, instinctively when the paths we are following are the right ones, not only for us as individuals, but for our home planet.

Nevertheless, sometimes we need someone slightly removed from us: someone with a different perspective, a different vantage point to align us with our proper course.

Or, Someones?


How many times have we heard the question; have we asked the question:
ARE WE ALONE IN THE GALAXY?

Could there be others who have a vested interest in how we treat our planet; in how we treat each other?

Do forces for good or evil in our lives work only through us following our particular paths, or could there be other forces at work beside, around, us?

Are there Others interweaving with our lives; influencing our lives?

What would their intentions be?

Suppose, just suppose, these Others were far in advance of us; that they could tap into the Akashic records, those ephemeral store houses of all experiences, to see where we’ve been, predict where we are headed, and try to help us to our best course.

Just suppose there was a Blue Star Commander, an Astar star-ship Commander who went by the name of Zakeera. And that this Commander, desiring, learning to overcome his own imperfections on the way to White Star status, was willing to give up his own being to take on different human forms to complete his missions, his dedication, to helping us.

The adventures of Commander Zakeera in The Blue Star will open you to considering just a little bit closer, on each and every day, in each and every way, how you relate to others, and to the planet.

David Gau-Gahn’s work is very entertaining, but it is so much more than that. It is eye-opening, conscience tripping, right to the events being played out on the world stage today.

Do join him for the birth of a planet, the cataclysms of Atlantis and Lemuria; the terrible terrestrial ruptures from oil, war, and intemperance.

Take a ride in a Star Ship, slip on a comfy garment that will allow you to be physically at ease on a strange planet, and then, then come on home again, and maybe those left of us can get it right this time.

Were you looking for bad guys, Bad Others?

Look around.

They go by the name Darkets.

But remember, whatever happens, we are Co-Creators of all our experiences. Consider the impact of positive thought and action from humans, and company, on the environment. There is a reason to do that.

The alternative, the flip side of the coin, in untenable.

The Blue Star Millenium is 5 Star.

Meet David Gau Ghan, at:
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Quest of Genesis Submitter:
Date: 2003-05-04 04:19:42 GMT

Reviewed by Remy Benoit "Legends abound throughout human history about civilizations deep within the heart of the planet." Read my new review of Quest for Genesis at: Quest for Genesis. You will find it at Amazon.com: Quest for Genesis. Join Commander Zakeera as he journeys to the interior of the earth as well as his own deeply buried self. Once again a 5 Star read. Enjoy - think - act!

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Global Wildlife Center Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-04 04:33:38 GMT

Located in beautiful Folsom, Louisiana the Global Wildlife Center is home to over 3000 threatened species.

They range free, and you are free to visit with them!!

Cut and paste and go to: Global Wildlife Center.


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Sharing Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-07 09:31:04 GMT

  I came across an interview with Howard Zinn, History Professor emeritus at Boston University.

  Howard Zinn,author of A People's History of the United States, speaks in an interview for Hope Magazine with Kimberly Ridley.

  The article, called Speaking His Peace calls for the United States to be a different kind of superpower.

  You may find his ideas interesting; you will definitely find them controversial; you will absolutely find them filled with hope.

Speaking His Peace.

A People's History of the United States.

The Power of Nonviolence : Writings by Advocates of Peace.

You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train : A Personal History of Our Times.


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Sharing Your Chicken Soup Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-08 05:57:30 GMT

   Chicken Soup has long been regarded as a cure for many things. We have even come to a time when scientists are finding that all the mamas and all our ladeling of Chicken Soup has been, indeed, beneficial.

   (By the way, to get the soup just that right golden color, cook the brown skins of the onions in the pot, and if you like, remove before serving. Well, of course, I make Chicken Soup!)

  Mark David Hansen and Jack Canfield came together to create the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  They were told they wouldn't make it with the reading public. The naysayers were wrong, big time wrong!

  Chicken Soup for the Soul is just as curative as Chicken Soup for the belly. In fact, I so believe that, that I reviewed Chicken Soup for the Veterans Soul for you at Welcome Home Soldier.

  Today I want to share with you a tiny treasure that Mark Victor Hansen wants to share with you. I have read it, and it is a delight. Moreover, the principle he espouses is true.

  Join Mark Victor Hansen at The Miracle of Tithing.

  True to its idea, The Miracle of Tithing. is his gift to you.

  Thank you, Mark, for Sharing.

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Freedom of Speech Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-08 07:21:26 GMT

   Articles 1-10 of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to our Constitution, quite specifically spell out our personal rights.

Amendment I


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


  During this action in Iraq massive worldwide demonstrations were carried out in opposition to US actions.

  Voices at home were raised in opposition. Voices were raised in opposition to the opposition.

  I am linking to Tim Robbins speech which was presented at the National Press Club on April 15, 2003. Tim raises some interesting points for consideration and discussion.

Published on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 by CommonDreams.org  
'A Chill Wind is Blowing in This Nation...'Transcript of the speech given by actor Tim Robbins to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2003.
  

USA Patriot Act.

Center for Public Integrity: Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act Center Publishes Secret Draft of ‘Patriot II’ Legislation
By Charles Lewis and Adam Mayle.




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Newspapers Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-08 07:58:16 GMT

   A wide range of opinions and insights helps us to find the truth of things.

   Here are links to newspapers worldwide for your perusal.


Washington Post: Washington Post.

Times of London: Times.

Times-Picayune, New Orleans: Times-Picayune.

Le Monde, Paris:   - in German:

Il Messaggero, Rome: in Italian
Il Messaggero.

Canadian Newspapers: Canadian Newspapers.

Native American Newspapers:Native American Newspapers.

San Francisco Chronicle:
San Francisco Chronicle.

Boston Globe.Boston Globe.


Russian Newspapers: in Russian, English, etc.:Russian Newsources.

Islamic News/Culture Sources: Islamic News/Culture Sources.

South American Newspapers: South American Newspapers.

Central American Newspapers:Central American Newspapers.

African Newspapers:African Newspapers.

Chinese Newspaers: Chinese Newspapers.

Southeast Asian Newspapers:Southeast Asian Newspapers.

Vietnamese Newspapers:Vietnamese Newspapers.

Indian Newspapers:Indian Newspapers.

Pakistani Newspapers:Pakistani Newspapers.

Will you share the site of your favorite newspaper with us? Thanks!

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Seeking a New Path Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-12 11:00:16 GMT

   Those who seek a better way come from all walks of life.

   From the legal community we have Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy:Lawyers.

   You may join others who seek resolution at:Global Action to Prevent War.

   If you are a member of a group seeking a better way, please share your ideas and your website with us.

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Education About War Crimes Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-12 11:11:06 GMT


The Crimes of War Project is dedicated to increasing public awareness concerning the laws of war and their applications to conflict areas.

Since the end of World War II, a vast body of laws, centering on the Geneva Conventions of 1949, has developed to determine rules of conflict between warring nations.

The Crimes of War Project was begun in 1999. You may visit the site at: Crimes of War Project.

You may read about the Geneva Conventions relative to POW's at: Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

Additional Protocols may be found at:Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1).

Red Cross.

There are many sites relative to the above.

For histories of War Crimes Trials:Harvard Law School Library: The War Crimes Trials at Nuremberg.
World War II Multimedia Database:Japanese War Crimes Trials, 1946-1948.

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Homeless Veterans Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-12 12:16:29 GMT

   When the dogs of war growl, we send our own to fight.

   When the hungry gods of war are satiated, those we sent come home, at least some of them.

   Only problem is, many of them don't have homes.
  
   To learn how you can help: National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

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Pearls from White Star Submitter: David Gau-Ghan
Date: 2003-05-19 20:14:01 GMT

"The way you think, not only affects your own life, but others around you - it affects your world. You have the power to change the world you live in." – White Star

So who, you may ask, is White Star?

On face value, White Star is a fictional character in the series of books The Blue Star Millennium and Quest for Genesis. Many readers, after viewing these books, have invariably asked the question “were these books channeled?”

Of course, that query begs another question, “What is channeling?”

Well, there are various possibilities, including the Channel being a vehicle for another entity to speak through them, or simply verbalizing their own subconscious thoughts. Hmmm, subconscious…Yes! But what about the super-conscious?

"There are several parts of your Essence living simultaneous lives. A part of you will always remain in the higher realms. This is your Higher Self, which is a spark of the Essence that permeates all of creation, and which is the Creator. You are all Sons and Daughters of this Essence, Co-creators of all that you see and experience."– White Star

Okay, from this point of view, isn’t it possible that we are ALL capable of channeling these higher wisdoms? After all, isn’t it just tapping into the higher force, the fountain of wisdom of which we are all a part? So why do so many of us choose to go to others to hear the messages?

Admittedly, in times of emotional trauma it’s often comforting to go to others for guidance. Such experiences, perhaps, could be viewed as valuable stepping stones that eventually lead to the question “Are they any more capable of tapping into the source than you are?”

"Every individual has the potential to heal the planet and to help unify the people in co-operation and understanding. Every individual has the power of creative visualization. Each of you has the potential to use your power of thought to bring about change in your own environment. There is power in numbers and the more people who project positive thought-forms at the same time, the more powerful the effect. Now the future is in your hands. Put a little effort into creating the future that you desire, and you will achieve miraculous rewards. It is up to you!"

In that case, you may ask, why do we limit ourselves by incarnating on this physical plane at all? It is as though we have temporary amnesia of our true origins – our true divinity.

"You are on a wondrous journey of self-discovery. From the moment you separated from the Source you chose to go through certain experiences in order to learn and develop through these trials. It is not wise to seek the end of the journey prematurely. There is much to be gained along the way. Become engrossed in the excitement of your quest and you will suddenly realise that you are a Co-Creator in the Divine Plan. You create your own reality. You re-affirm your reality through your beliefs. If you dwell on the negative, you will manifest that negativity in your life.  Similarly, if you concentrate on the positive, you re-affirm that reality, in your personal life, and throughout the universe."

So is it all positive, love and light? You would be right in pointing out that there seems to be so much negativity in the world. How does this equate with the above statements? Hmmm…perhaps we should ask the White Star.

"Each of us has a negative aspect of ourselves, although most of us would prefer not to acknowledge that darker side. The darker side can be so powerful as to form its own identity. We keep it alive through feeding it on a constant diet of negative thoughts and emotions. It can reach a stage where it will fight for its very survival, as a separate entity. If its existence is threatened, the Dark Side will come out from the shadows to confront us. It will try and destroy us if we allow it to do so."

Whew! Okay, so if we’re honest with ourselves, we all have the potential for the destructive negative side of our nature to gain the upper hand. If this happens, how do we conquer that negative aspect?

"You cannot fight your negative side. The more you deny it, the more you empower it. The ultimate test is to accept and recognize the negative aspect of your Being. As long as you deny it, it will have power over you. When you accept it, you love it into submission. By merging with it, you transform it."

So why, I hear many of you ask, would we come to the Earth in the first place. Why come to a world where duality exists, where positive and negative forces are in perpetual conflict?

"The physical plane holds the greatest lessons. It is the ultimate testing ground. When trapped in the physical form, you are forced to confront your main obstacles to spiritual development. If you are able to conquer these tests while in the physical body, you make the greatest progress spiritually."

"The choice is yours. The choice has always been yours. You can either use your power of thought to manifest unity and harmony in your life, or you can add to the discord by allowing negative thoughts to dominate. Which is it to be? It is your decision. The way you think, not only affects your own life, but others around you; it affects your loved ones; it affects your world. You have the power to change the world you live in."

White Star, as stated above, is a fictional character. The intention of making these quotes available is to stimulate ideas in YOU, the reader, to help you discover your own power. The initial response to White Star quotes has been very positive and in recent times, many ezine, newsletter and magazine editors use these quotes as a supplement to their articles.

The quotes are excerpts from the books displayed on the web site http://www.1-inspirational-quote-book.com   The stories are fiction, written in an exciting and action packed format that is a medium for ideas to help bring about positive change in our world. As one reader wrote “The story slowly engulfed me, drew me in until I was on my own journey, opening my mind, enticing me to read more. I ask, is this just a novel or a key to our future…? Inspirational-Quote-Book.  

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Pearls from White Star Submitter: David Gau-Ghan
Date: 2003-05-19 20:18:16 GMT

"The way you think, not only affects your own life, but others around you - it affects your world. You have the power to change the world you live in." – White Star

So who, you may ask, is White Star?

On face value, White Star is a fictional character in the series of books The Blue Star Millennium and Quest for Genesis. Many readers, after viewing these books, have invariably asked the question “were these books channeled?”

Of course, that query begs another question, “What is channeling?”

Well, there are various possibilities, including the Channel being a vehicle for another entity to speak through them, or simply verbalizing their own subconscious thoughts. Hmmm, subconscious…Yes! But what about the super-conscious?

"There are several parts of your Essence living simultaneous lives. A part of you will always remain in the higher realms. This is your Higher Self, which is a spark of the Essence that permeates all of creation, and which is the Creator. You are all Sons and Daughters of this Essence, Co-creators of all that you see and experience." – White Star



Okay, from this point of view, isn’t it possible that we are ALL capable of channeling these higher wisdoms? After all, isn’t it just tapping into the higher force, the fountain of wisdom of which we are all a part? So why do so many of us choose to go to others to hear the messages?

Admittedly, in times of emotional trauma it’s often comforting to go to others for guidance. Such experiences, perhaps, could be viewed as valuable stepping stones that eventually lead to the question “Are they any more capable of tapping into the source than you are?”

"Every individual has the potential to heal the planet and to help unify the people in co-operation and understanding. Every individual has the power of creative visualization. Each of you has the potential to use your power of thought to bring about change in your own environment. There is power in numbers and the more people who project positive thought-forms at the same time, the more powerful the effect. Now the future is in your hands. Put a little effort into creating the future that you desire, and you will achieve miraculous rewards. It is up to you!"

In that case, you may ask, why do we limit ourselves by incarnating on this physical plane at all? It is as though we have temporary amnesia of our true origins – our true divinity.

"You are on a wondrous journey of self-discovery. From the moment you separated from the Source you chose to go through certain experiences in order to learn and develop through these trials. It is not wise to seek the end of the journey prematurely. There is much to be gained along the way. Become engrossed in the excitement of your quest and you will suddenly realise that you are a Co-Creator in the Divine Plan. You create your own reality. You re-affirm your reality through your beliefs. If you dwell on the negative, you will manifest that negativity in your life.  Similarly, if you concentrate on the positive, you re-affirm that reality, in your personal life, and throughout the universe."

So is it all positive, love and light? You would be right in pointing out that there seems to be so much negativity in the world. How does this equate with the above statements? Hmmm…perhaps we should ask the White Star.

"Each of us has a negative aspect of ourselves, although most of us would prefer not to acknowledge that darker side. The darker side can be so powerful as to form its own identity. We keep it alive through feeding it on a constant diet of negative thoughts and emotions. It can reach a stage where it will fight for its very survival, as a separate entity. If its existence is threatened, the Dark Side will come out from the shadows to confront us. It will try and destroy us if we allow it to do so."

Whew! Okay, so if we’re honest with ourselves, we all have the potential for the destructive negative side of our nature to gain the upper hand. If this happens, how do we conquer that negative aspect?

"You cannot fight your negative side. The more you deny it, the more you empower it. The ultimate test is to accept and recognize the negative aspect of your Being. As long as you deny it, it will have power over you. When you accept it, you love it into submission. By merging with it, you transform it."

So why, I hear many of you ask, would we come to the Earth in the first place. Why come to a world where duality exists, where positive and negative forces are in perpetual conflict?

"The physical plane holds the greatest lessons. It is the ultimate testing ground. When trapped in the physical form, you are forced to confront your main obstacles to spiritual development. If you are able to conquer these tests while in the physical body, you make the greatest progress spiritually."

"The choice is yours. The choice has always been yours. You can either use your power of thought to manifest unity and harmony in your life, or you can add to the discord by allowing negative thoughts to dominate. Which is it to be? It is your decision. The way you think, not only affects your own life, but others around you; it affects your loved ones; it affects your world. You have the power to change the world you live in."

White Star, as stated above, is a fictional character. The intention of making these quotes available is to stimulate ideas in YOU, the reader, to help you discover your own power. The initial response to White Star quotes has been very positive and in recent times, many ezine, newsletter and magazine editors use these quotes as a supplement to their articles.

The quotes are excerpts from the books displayed on the web site http://www.1-inspirational-quote-book.com   The stories are fiction, written in an exciting and action packed format that is a medium for ideas to help bring about positive change in our world. As one reader wrote “The story slowly engulfed me, drew me in until I was on my own journey, opening my mind, enticing me to read more. I ask, is this just a novel or a key to our future…?Inspirational-Quote-Book.  

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How much are you using? Submitter:
Date: 2003-05-22 06:18:51 GMT

We all want enough to go around for everyone. Unfortunately with the way that the North lives there will never be enough for all to go around. Take this survey to find out how many Earths it would take for everyone to live the way you, you might be surprised.

http://www.lead.org/leadnet/footprint/intro.htm

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Truths/Consequences Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-23 06:30:44 GMT

   As the pacification of Iraq continues, many questions are being raised about objectives in the country freed of the tyranny of Saddam Hussein.

  Senator Robert Byrd, born in 1917, is a long time standing member of that body. In 2000 he was elected to his 8th consecutive term. You may find his biography at: Biography.

   Throughout such a long term in office a person's views change, grow, expand. Senator Byrd addressed the Senate on May 21, 2003 about his concerns for the country. Common Dreams.org presents us with the text of that speech. The Truth Will Emerge by US Senator Robert Byrd Senate Floor Remarks - May 21, 2003.

  Whether you agree or disagree with his perspective, Senator Byrd raises some interesting points about the national character of Americans.
  

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In the Hands of Alchemy Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-23 14:51:29 GMT

  You will find a review of Jerry Wennstrom's work here in the Niquahanam Community.

  These are special events in Seattle where you can meet Marilyn Strong and Jerry Wennstrom.

  His story is inspiring;  his work inspirational; his message one you don't want to miss!


  So for those of you for whom Seattle is within the realm of an adventure, you may join them at the following events:

The Inspired Heart:
An Artists Journey of Transformation
By Jerry Wennstrom
Foreword by Thomas Moore
-AND-
In The Hands Of Alchemy--The Art and Life Jerry Wennstrom
Marilyn will sing, we will show the film and Jerry will speak at all
events:


Friday May 30th 7:30 - 9:00pm
East West Books
6500 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA
Crystal- 206-523-3726
East West Bookshop Contact
East West Bookshop.



Friday June 13th 7:00 pm
Books By The Way
P.O. Box 367
Vashon, WA 98070
Juli or Susan- 463-2696
Books By The Way Contact.

       For more information:
Marilyn Strong & Jerry Wennstrom
               PO Box 522
Clinton, Whidbey Island WA 98236
              360-341-3382
         Soluna at Whitbey Contact.
   Hands of Alchemy.




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In The Hands of Alchemy Submitter: Marilyn Strong
Date: 2003-05-24 00:30:53 GMT

You are the master alchemist.

Through your loving,

Existence and nonexistence merge.
All opposites unite.

All that is profane
Becomes sacred again.

RUMI


Come Place Yourself in the

Hands of Alchemy:



      An Experiential and Mythic Five-Day Intensive                                                                          With Jerry Wennstrom and Marilyn Strong

July 9 – 14, 2003
Stay at Their Retreat Center on
Beautiful Whidbey Island, Washington
Cost: $395
Please send your mailing address if you would like a full brochure,

or email: Whidbey Contact. for further information

Hands of Alchemy.             Phone-36o-341-3382


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Memorial Day Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-05-25 10:53:23 GMT

As we celebrate this Memorial Day holiday, honoring those who gave all to preserve who we are, a thought occurred to me.

We have come to think of the governance of this country as "them" and "us."

They are the ones elected to represent us. We are the ones who are represented.


But that is not the true way of it. It is  not the way  the Founding Fathers  intended it, for, indeed, they  were in the majority opposed to the formation of  political parties.

Governance of this great Union was to be of, for, and by the people.

Casting a vote during an election  does  not excuse us from the responsibility of  governance. There is no them and us, there is US,  bound together for the preservation of  Freedom. Not just  the Four Freedoms from want, from fear, of expression, and of religion but also the Freedoms of growth, creativity, choice, and sharing these vast ideals of the inheritance we the living, and those who have gone on ahead in preseving it,  owe to future generations.

I recall the words of  Aurelius coming from JFK...what, what can you do for  your country. It is  not  their  job, it is, and always was, in the final analysis the job of all of us, to preserve, protect, and defend.

Blessings to all. Honor to those who have served, who do serve.
May God Bless and guide US, and keep us on our true path.
Let our FOCUS be there.
Remy

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Brain Food Submitter: Lafcadio
Date: 2003-06-01 05:53:55 GMT

Read Ecotopia.

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Ramblings of the Heart Submitter: Lafcadio
Date: 2003-06-01 07:31:30 GMT

Tonight I tried to watch "The Pianist", but due to recent events in my life, violence makes me physically sick now, and I came to surf the net instead.  As I sat down, all I could think of was, "What kind of world do we live in?"  And this website was on the first page, though not near the top of the selections.  Sports news came first for some reason.  I hope a few people make it past those other selections to this site and grab a few seeds from here to cultivate in their own lives.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a severly dysfunctional family like millions of other people in the world.  Above all the things from my childhood I remember my mother stressing how important an education was.  She stressed it so much so that I graduated a year early from high school when I was 16.  This did not mean that I was smart.  I only knew the hoops to jump through in order to run free from the abuse around me.  But I went on to college for a year to be a lawyer.  After I took a few law classes, I found out I could never be that kind of person.  Instead I dropped out of college and traveled for the next 7 years.  It was the best education I ever could have had.  I learned about life, and hardships, loss, love, hunger, homelessness, and kindness.  I learned something everyday.  And of course the more I learned, the more I knew nothing at all.  I learned that hate is everywhere, and that you can find love and friendship in the most unexpected places.  Love is the greatest thing I have learned.

I believe that almost every single problem that we have in the world is because a child was not loved enough.  I know that I can not change the entire world, but I know that I have changed the world of at least one child.  So can you.

I came to this website looking for answers, and found more people looking for answers.  I have the answer because I am the answer.  You are the answer.  Get off your butt and make the world directly around you a better place.  

You as one single human being can not feed all of Nigeria, or Kosovo, but you can feed the stranger on the street.  Or help at you local shelter.  Start your own neighborhood food drives, or start them in your church, or even just within your family.  This will not feed the world, but its a start.  When you have friends that you know are not doing so well, help them.  I have learned this because I have been hungry before.

When you have a friend who is abused by their spouse, help them.  Complacency does not help.  Speak up when you see things happening that you believe should not be happening.  Sometimes people actually think that it is okay to abuse their significant other, and they even think it is okay to be abused by their significant other.  This does not have to be done in an in your face type of way.  Go to your nearest women's shelter and find out how.  Many people think that it isn't their place to get involved, or that it isn't their problem.  Well it should be.  What is wrong with taking care of each other?  I learned all of this because I was in an abusive relationship.  I learned all of this  because a couple of months ago my step-brothers' father, who was my P.E. teacher when I was growing up, killed my "aunt", her daughter, and her neice after my "aunt" broke up with him.  Of course there was alcohol involved.  He was an alcoholic.  But he was an upstanding member of the community.  A functioning alcoholic.  He got 2 guns, went to my aunts, held her hostage, and when my two "cousins" saw his truck at the house and went to my "aunt's" rescue, he shot them and then himself.  My cousins were 18 and 24.  My 18 year old cousin would have graduated a couple weeks ago.  Her best friend was there at the time.  She was the only one to escape.  My 24 year old cousin left behind two children.

It has been a long time since I have been surprised with violence.  Take a look at the world we live in.  Take a good look.  Look at the world around you.

Education does not only take place in the schools.  Educate your nieces, nephews, cousins, friends.  Teach them about love, kindness, strength, tolerance.  Teach them that good things happen in this world even if all we see in the media is bad things. Teach them to love for the sake of loving, not to just get love in return.  Teach them that love is an amazing force.  

"We must love each other or die." - W.H. Auden

During a time of oppression is the perfect time for uprisings.  The entire world is being oppressed right now.  The entire world is being bombarded with hatred, anger, intolerance, and ignorance right now and it is not going to stop anytime soon.  It will never stop if we don't get off the couch and do something about it.  

I know it is hard to save the world in between work and the Simpsons.  But we need to start some time, and what better time than now.  And if you don't have the time to go out into the world and do it, start in the world around you.  Maybe you will set the seed in the right child's mind that makes her strive to find the cure for AIDS.  Maybe you set the seed into the right child's mind that makes him start mens' safe shelters.

I was abused all my childhood.  I was molested and raped.  I have been beaten.  I have been disowned, (and reowned).  I have been in abusive relationships.  I have lived on the streets and found kindness from junkies when no church would help me.  I have been mugged.  I have seen many of my friends go down many wrong paths and never come back.  I have held the hands of many dying people, young and old, as a Nurse's Aid, and an EMT.  I have had so many friends die of AIDS I have stopped counting.  I have had so many friends and family die of an alcohol related death, I have chose to quit drinking even though I personally did not have a problem with it.  I hope I have learned from most of my experiences.  I will continue to learn.  

I will learn with love.  I will teach with love.  I will share with love.  I will make my decisions with love.  I will make many mistakes.  Some days I will be angry, sad, confused, and/or frustrated.  Some days I will lay in bed and pull the covers over my head and cry.  Some days I will watch the Simpsons instead of helping a friend.  But the next day I will try again. I will always be thankful for this life that I have been given, for all that I have learned, and every chance I have been given to love. I am going to be a teahcer.  I will try to make the immediate world around me a better place.  I am only 25 years old, but I might burn out soon.  I can not do it on my own, will you help me?

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What Everyone Should Know Aboout War Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-06-15 13:58:37 GMT

  This article by Steven Rosenfiled with Chris Hedges came to my attention.

  It talks about the verities of war.

  Join them at: What Every Person Should Know About War.

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Sharing the Earth Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-06-18 13:52:21 GMT

  I have just moved back to the country. I believe there is something in us Boomers that draws us back to the land.
Two  huge live oaks stand centinnel in the  front yard that you come to from a lumpy, bumpy road. Across  the road from us is the Global Wildlife Center, so when I  get my mail, I am greeted by all sorts of our co-habitors on this planet grazing in innocence, unaware of the capabilities for destruction of their human brothers.
  When dark falls here, it is a deep, deep penetrating dark that even blinks out the massive live oaks.
  A rooster crows in the morning, a horse pastures on the bumpy road.

  It is a good reminder that once all was not cement, city lights and parking lots. It is a good place to  touch Creation. So when I read Jane Goodall's words this morning they stuck home.
  What is our responsibility to this tiny blue planet, and how long will we keep it vital?

Devastating the Earth By Jane Goodall, Resurgence June 16, 2003.

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Holistic Medicine Submitter: W.Roger Lee
Date: 2003-06-25 13:24:41 GMT


Need a home remedy?


From colds to cancer.


    
Contact:


WROGERLEE.


        
FREE



Download FREE E-BOOKS:FREE E-BOOKS.


1. The Untold Story About Cancer


2. The Home Remedy Guide

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Library Esoterica Submitter: Sean Alonso
Date: 2003-06-26 10:58:06 GMT

SeanAlonzo.com is the official site of occult fiction author Sean-Alonzo,
exploring symbolism, alternative history, philosophy, secret societies and other areas of the esoteric tradition.

Sean Alonzo.

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4th of July Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-06-29 11:04:31 GMT

  We are coming  quickly to the 4th of July.
  What does that mean to us?
  A day off from work?
  A barbecue and baseball game?

  Is there somewhere in there a moment spent contemplating Independence Day?


  Have we learned our history well enough to know what that means, to appreciate what that means, or have we become complacent taking it for granted?

  It can never be taken for granted.

  We must take a stand that it is to  be preserved each in our own way.

  So while the hamburgers grill, while the ball scores add up, take a moment to accept the responsibility the Founding Fathers passed along:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  In the movie Independence Day there is a rousing speech about protecting freedom. But alien invasion is not the greatest challenge to it; complacency is.

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In Our Hands Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-07-02 20:49:24 GMT

Friday July 18, 2003, "In Our Hands",  a 90 minutes documentary will be telecasted for the first time, on PBS / WNET / 13 in New York at 10 p.m. by The Hague Appeal for Peace.

For information, visit: IN OUR HANDS.

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Member: Humanity Submitter: David, the other one
Date: 2003-07-14 14:17:55 GMT

The KISS theory of Peace:  it all starts with me.  And that is the most reasonable price anyone can think of.  

Steven Hawkins proposed the GUT theory - the great unification theory - of course it works for peace too.

God Bless and smile, laugh, cry and

Be Peace!

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Proposed Cuts for Combat Soldiers and Their Families Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-08-15 13:49:36 GMT

I refer you to: Bush Pushes $225 Per Month Pay Cut for US Soldiers Fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan Edward Epstein San Francisco Chronicle.

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My Name is Peace Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-09-11 12:25:28 GMT

My Name is Peace

by Remy Benoit

  Let us all, all over the world, reflect on this terrible anniversary.

It has been said that we will be judged by the world we leave our children, and grandchildren.

Like all else, we have choice in that too.
Let us learn from our history on the planet so that we may buid a future.


My Name is Peace


I wait for you.

I wait in the verdant crests of the ocean; in blue, cloud puffed skies.
I rest in sanguinary sunsets.

I was there in the laterite of Southeast Asia; in Korean snow;
in the depths of Verdun while you fed me a blood sacrifice that defoliated my sweet refuge.

I was in the Russian snow when Napoleon found Moscow empty.

I wanted to skate with you in joy across Lake Ladoga tasting the sweetness of the White Nights.

But I still wait for you.

I wait in tormented households,
on ghetto streets,
in refugee camps;
on the Wailing  Wall
just as I waited in salted Carthaginian soil.

Just as I keep waiting when your reved engines fly by me filled with road rage.

I wait while you play discordant symphonies of angst, greed, and fear.

I will continue to wait-

Which one of you will step forward first to dine, to share my feast's abundance and joy?

While you decide, well, I will wait for you to call my name.


  Copyright: Remy Benoit, 2002

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The Hijab and School Authorities Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-10-11 12:12:51 GMT

Nashala "Tallah" Hern is 11 years old and a sixth grader in Oklahoma City.

She has been suspended from school for wearing her hijab, the traditional headress called for by her Muslim faith.

The district has a rule about not wearing head gear, ie. hats, etc., to  prevent gang identity problems.

Tallah is not a gang member. She is a little girl practicing her faith. Where is "no child left behind" in this?

As a teacher for many years I have seen so much inflexibility in school authorities. It is incongruous that we fight to bring freedom of choice to a Muslim country while we deny a child the right to wear the hijab here in school.

For the full story visit Muslim girl suspended for head scarf.

If multi-culturalism is the platform in our schools then we must allow for its expression.

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Attitude Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-10-24 23:09:57 GMT



Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
William James (1842 - 1910)

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Review of Al Beck's Conversations with Lizard's Bones and Wizard's Stones Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-11-21 12:48:13 GMT

I have never met Al Beck, and yet I know him.
I was never in his classroom and yet, he has taught me.
Here in Conversations with Lizard’s Bones and Wizard’s Stones, his ninth book of poems, prose and drawings, he once again reaches out, touches, inspires, and asks much of us.
He is an artist.
He is a poet.
He is a writer.

He is a teacher in the truest sense of the word because he transmits ideas that insist that we each find our creative expression..

He insists that the educational system assist us in finding our creative expression.
He entertains, he makes us sometimes uncomfortable with truths to be faced.
He challenges the entire educational process that is in place, that has been in place for decade upon decade.
He asks that we consider that education is meant to enlighten, encourage, and bring out the best of our own personal creativity instead of just “just giving back the facts” without ever really learning what they mean.
He could have slipped into the pedantic mode in his crusade against educational pedantics. He did not do that. He speaks to us, with us, in drawings, in insightful lyrics. This Veteran of the Korean Conflict; Professor Emeritus from Culver –Stockton College; folk singer; creator of the Pyrapod; this champion trying to overcome “the traditional autocratic attiude which continues to be prevalent in many classrooms today,” challenges our creativity with his insights, with his creative ways of sharing them.Pyrapod

The subservient
mind’s a sponge absorbing
someone else’s chaos.


Al’s poems, verse, drawings leave us with the question, what do we really want for the education of our children? Do we want to hear the answer I heard when I asked a young friend just graduated from high school, What did you learn in the last twelve years of school? I learned to regurgitate information.
Or do we want to hear I began to learn who I am, I began to see my vast potential.
As Al puts it:


My handle on life
is broken. Now I grab it
by the cutting edge.



Grab the cutting edge of this special gift Al Beck is offering and delight in, be challenged by Conversations With Lizard’s Bones and Wizard’s Stones.

You may reach Al Beck at: 5987 County Road 231 Monroe City, MO 63456
Or e-mail him at abeck@marktwain.net.
The cost of this treasure is$11. Contact Al for an autographed copy.

Conversations With Lizard’s Bones and Wizard’s Stories by Al Beckhas just been released by the publisher Lorien House Press.
Beck comments that this book reflects the confrontation with both ferociuosly reptilian minds as well as magical creative spirits.
Many of his fresh ideas often have their origin in ancient traditions. Beck’s ninth book blends poetry, drawings, stories and songs in an entertaining manner.
Al, Beck, Professor Emeritus of Art from Culver-Stockton College is included in the the international reference book 2000 Outstanding Writers of the 20th Century by the International Biographickal Center in England. In addition to his recognition as a creative writer and educator, he has won numberous art awards and prizes through his career in clay, glass, papercasting, painting and design. Beck has also been a professional folksinger for the past half century, singing in Chicago night clubs as well as giving concerts throughout France for the United States Information Agency.

In addition to life’s insights on time, nature and the human spirit through his poetry, CONVERSATIONS incorporates both stories Beck refers to as “autobiographitti” as well as articles on his methods for developing changes in our present educational process.

Marjan Glavac, Editor of The Busy Educator’s National Newletter says, “After one of THOSE weeks teaching school, I read Al Beck’s book in the park on a sunny and warm day amid the laughter of children, romantic couples and other quiet readers at picnic tables. Beck gives a great overview of the highs and lows of teaching and the institution of education with all its flaws and how to overcome them. There are profound thoughts simply told for those new and old to education. The poems, stories, stongs and illustrations leap out at you and hold you, making you reflect on your own life.”

Others have found a “playful irreverence” for conventional expectations in his work.

Beck comments, “I enjoy piercing minds with a verbalor visual knife. My focusis to wed personal expression to the universal cry for a connection of our human spirit to our intellect.”

His new book, Conversations With Lizard Bones and Wizard’s Stones, can be obtained from the author for eleven dollars which includes mailing expenses. To contact the author for an autographed copy of his book, write him at 5987 County Road 231, Monroe City, MO. 63456 or e-mail him at abeck@marktwain.net.

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Project Gutenberg Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-12-23 05:17:15 GMT

Project Gutenberg is helping to preserve literature.

Can you help?

Do you have time to proofread a page a day?

Project Gutenberg.

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Hero Miles-You Can Help A GI Get Home Submitter:
Date: 2003-12-23 06:20:06 GMT

Hero Miles.

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The Quest for Immortality Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2003-12-23 19:08:48 GMT

I spent today in New Orleans at the New Orleans Museum of Art gifted by the people of Egypt who have loaned us an extraordinary collection. If you are anywhere near the Crescent City from now until the 25th of February 2004 this is a MUST SEE collection.

The exhibit, The Quest for Immortality, is presented with grace, attended with respect. The people, and there were many, visiting today, were hushed, intent, and awed by this loan from the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Cairo.

The exhibition was organized by United Exhibits Group, Copenhagen and the National Gallery of Art in cooperation with the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

An added delight is the recently completed Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden just behind the museum. The lush almost 5 acre garden is home to fifty scupltures, live oaks, pines, magnolias, and camellias.

Designed by Lee Ledbetter of Lee Ledbetter Architects of New Orleans, and landscape architect Brian Sawyer of Sawyer/Berson, New York the Sculpture Garden is open to the public at no charge.

It is beautiful, an enchanted oasis, and again something you do not want to miss.

NOMA.

That you Egypt for sharing with New Orleans.

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The In-Sight.com Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-02-05 05:48:19 GMT

This is a wonderful site that brings you a great diversity of information on topics relating to health, religion, spirituality, and yoga.

Be sure to browse through the extravagant number of links to all these topics. There is a good chance that you will find something there that relates to a question you have.

The-Insight.

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Matching grant to support the work of Jerry Wennstrom and Marilyn Strong Submitter: Marilyn Strong
Date: 2004-03-17 17:02:34 GMT


Marilyn Strong J Jerry Wennstrom
               PO Box 522
Clinton, Whidbey Island WA 98236
              360-341-3382
       Soluna at Whidbey.

The Inspired Heart & Parabola Video:
  Hands of Alchemy.


MATCHING FUND
To help support the work of Marilyn Strong and Jerry Wennstrom

There’s a $5,000.00 Matching Fund We’d Like Your Help With! 
       
Each tax-deductible dollar you give to support our work becomes two!  

We have been blessed with a $10,000 grant of which $5,000.00 is a matching fund to support our work.  Charlie and Patricia Hess, founders of the spiritual community in Princeton, New Jersey, Center Heart, in cooperation with The Society for the Study of Myth and Tradition/ Parabola Magazine are participating in an effort to help raise the necessary funds for the continuation of our work. .  

If you would like to contribute to the matching grant please make your tax-deductible checks payable to The Society for the Study of Myth and Tradition, earmarked- Marilyn and Jerry.

If there are others whom you think might want to support our work, please pass this letter along. We thank you so very much for your support.

Pledges and Contributions can be sent to:  
Joe Kulin, Publisher
Parabola (SSMT)
656 Broadway Suite 615
New York, NY 10012
Phone 1-800-560-6984 Extension 306
Or 1-212-505-6200
                                                                 Parabola.
                
                        
A MESSAGE FROM OUR DONOR AT CENTER HEART
Offerings from the heart:

I sit at the altar of Center Heart smiling at the images of the many manifestations of the Divine before me.  Among them is a wonderfully whimsical figure of St. Francis with dancing birds preparing to land on his outstretched hands and the outline of a huge golden heart upon his chest.  This statue, a gift from Jerry after a visit with us last February, never ceases to delight me as I am reminded of the pure joy of being that went into its creation and the divine love, embodied in Jerry, that was its inspiration.

Last summer Charlie and I visited Jerry and Marilyn at their magical sanctuary on Whidbey Island and were awed to realize that their way of being in the world, the trust, the joy, the love that had charmed us so much during their visit to Center Heart, was deeply embodied in every detail of their lives.  These are two people who fully practice their truth, looking deeply inside of themselves for their personal experience of the Divine and then, through their work, witnessing for others as they remember their own divine connection.

When we learned that the funding for their work would be coming to an end we immediately recognized that we were being offered a special gift, the opportunity to share the resources that flow through our lives (our time, our energy, our money, our wisdom) with people who fully embody our highest values and manifest them daily in their lives. At Center Heart we have been learning the practice of “offering and welcoming gifts of the heart.”  Jerry and Marilyn live their lives, through a divine trust, with a deep personal understanding of this practice.  The gift they offer is one the world needs now in abundance.  ~ Patricia Hess- Founder of Center Heart ~

Blessings
      


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An International Priority  List Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-03-30 06:53:17 GMT

Hello,

Early this morning I took our little puppy Boo out  for a walk. The sun was just  coming up and its  rays filtered and dispersed through the mist  onto a patch of clover.  It was lovely, quiet, and yes, holy.

As I  read and listen to the news, I am, like you are bombarded with negativity, fear,  anger.  It doesn't make me feel  like the sun on the clover did this morning.

Here in the States it is an election year with all kinds of questions being raised, all kinds of accusations being made, all  kinds of special interest groups with their own  particular voices.

The international news  is of the  same nature.

We  tend to have our  priority lists of what needs to be done this day, this  week, this month, this year.   What we haven't  caught on to is that what happens  everywhere else on this fragile blue planet impacts on that list.  

People are starving in huge numbers "out there;" wars are waging across the globe.  Some of you may  have someone you love involved in one of them. Some of you are living with, suffering with the residuals of another one. Some of those "out there starving" are just  around the corner from you.

There are children from ghettos who  cannot conceive of what the word forest means, nor what a warm bed is, or food enough to keep the pains away.

There are adults trying to make it  with no  jobs available; with bills piling  up with no way of repayment. There are  people with two minimum  wage jobs, and no health benefits from either, who are still not making it.

There  are people living in tin covered, leaking, non-heated hovels sans  plumbing  on poor and non-productive soil that they are trying to bring to fruition.

There is  religious,  racial, gender, international intolerance, misunderstanding, and non-communication. And because of that, the long, but only partial list of ills, above will continue.

There is the  "bottom line" in numbers in ledgers with no thought of the human component of the  bottom line.

The media assaults  our sensitivities with increasingly vulgar  displays and call it  "family entertainment."

It is said that we get what we accept. These things all continue because we allow them to. Your  voice  can make a difference.

The Niquahanam Project: Help to Heal the World is a place where you can share your ideas about how to start prioritizing the above list which is  barely inclusive. You many add to that environmental concerns, child care, needs for substantial reforms in education, the need to keep the morals observed on your respective weekly Holy Day in tact during the week. The moral structure of the workplace should  reflect those propounded on the  Holy Days,  not the bottom line. If you do not observe one of those a week, well, then the old Golden Rule will do nicely.

Does your village need a well, need schoolbooks? Let us know on the site so others can see your need and hopefully move to fulfill it. School textbooks by the  gross go into dust bins  each and every June here.      

By the way, the folks down in Key West  have more chickens and turkeys than they know what to do with. Maybe  you need some?

If you are alone, or want someone to  "talk with" on line, to share ideas with, let them know.

If you have an idea  but not the technical skill to work it  out, ask for help.

Ask  questions  that you would like answered;  give answers you have to questions.

Share a story, share a poem, an experience, something that you have learned that might help someone else; in helping someone else, you are  helping all of us.  

If you need a link or an e-mail activated, click on Feedback and I will see to it.

Do not just sit back and say it is all  falling apart, that there is no hope. Do something, say something, share something.

When I  was  growing up, we had that insane policy of Mutually Assured Destruction. Yes, it truly was quite MAD. But if we don't try to learn  about each other, help each other, factor in the humanity being crushed  in bottom lines, dying from  residuals of wars in their bloodstreams, we are still so much  following that path.

Are  you aware that all across Europe and Russia, active munitions are still being dug out of the  ground from WWII, WWII  and in some cases the  1870  war?

Are you aware of what landmines are doing across the globe?
Are you aware that the US is a non-signatory to landmine regulation?

The only way we can prioritize the needs of the planet  is if we work together on it.

Express  your views, ideas, book  reviews, site  recommendations, frustrations, observations,  ideas, needs with  grace and dignity. This is an international family site and vulgarity  is not the thing to be bringing to it.  Bombs generate more bombs,  and so does lack of control in  expressing your self generate more fear, hate, and anger. Be for something, try to steer it into a human and planet friendly course.

Again, again, again...it is all in the choices we make.

Again, again, again...it is like Einstein said you cannot solve problems with the same thinking that made them.

Step  out of the box and into some new shoes,  your own, or take that proverbial walk in someone  else's and blaze a new path.

Join us at The Niquahanam  Project: Help to Heal the World a pro bono  site for  the well being of all of us. Please  forward this link to your friends  as an Open Invitation to share themselves and their ideas with all of us.

Blessings,

Remy Benoit

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It is About Choices Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-04-20 07:51:47 GMT

This is an interesting perspective on Consumerism that I wanted to share with you. AHN INTERVIEW: Bill Talen, Artist and Activist.

Read also the review of Jerry Wennstrom's Book, The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Journey of Transformation and join EcoTalk by Betsy Rosenberg:
The Green Art of Radio Programming

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Artist's Response's to Consumerism Submitter: Marilyn Strong
Date: 2004-04-20 08:33:40 GMT

The Arts and Healing Network's subject of the month, "Artist's Responses to Consumerism"
<http://www.artheals.org/news_2004/feb04.html>

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Dean Koontz: The Taking Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-06-11 08:44:41 GMT

We all have them.

The “to do” lists; the “priority” lists.

The taxes are due; the car needs a tune-up; you have a dentist appointment.
The lists are endless, time consuming, nerve wracking. We are followed by a sense of urgency in so many, many things. We call it survival.

But we often fail to see that word, that “survival” word as it applies to others and as it applies to the world we choose to live in and to leave to our children.

Oh, yes, the children.
Where are they on your priority list?

What if you woke tonight, in deep dark of the middle of the night, to find a hard rain falling; a hard, alien rain that was washing away all you knew the earth and civilization to be?

What then would be on your priority list?

What then would be of the most importance?

And how are you personally up to dealing with a hard washing away of all you knew of the world?

Dean Koontz’, The Taking, has some questions and answers for you. Dare to ask these questions of yourself.

The Taking. Please note: This book is not for young children.

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The Role of the Bhagavad Gita in Our Lives Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-07-12 17:17:12 GMT

This article came to us from India to be shared with you from M.P. Bhattathiry.

M.P.Bhattathiry.

Mind is very restless, forceful and strong, O Krishna, it is more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind ~ Arjuna to Sri Krishna  Introduction

One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is Holy Gita. Arjuna got mentally depressed when he saw his relatives with whom he has to fight. The Bhagavad Gita is preached in the battle field Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as a counseling to do his duty. It has got all the management tactics to achieve the mental equilibrium.

Management has become a part of everyday life, be it at home, office, factory, Government, or in any other organization where a group of human beings assemble for a common purpose, management principles come into play through their various facets like management of time, resources, personnel, materials, machinery, finance, planning, priorities, policies and practice.

Management is a systematic way of doing all activities in any field of human effort. It is about keeping oneself engaged in interactive relationship with other human beings in the course of performing one's duty. Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their weaknesses irrelevant -so says the Management Guru Peter Drucker.

It strikes harmony in working -equilibrium in thoughts and actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and markets. It resolves situations of scarcities be they in the physical, technical or human fields through maximum utilization with the minimum available processes to achieve the goal.

The lack of management will cause disorder, confusion, wastage, delay, destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and material in the best possible way according to circumstances and environment is the most important and essential factor for a successful management. Managing men is supposed have the best tactics. Man is the first syllable in management which speaks volumes on the role and significance of man in a scheme of management practices. From the pre-historic days of aborigines to the present day of robots and computers the ideas of managing available resources have been in existence in some form or other. When the world has become a big global village now, management practices have become more complex and what was once considered a golden rule is now thought to be an anachronism.

Management guidelines from the Bhagavad Gita

There is an important distinction between effectiveness and efficiency in managing. Effectiveness is doing the right things and efficiency is doing things right. The general principles of effective management can be applied in every fields the differences being mainly in the application than in principles. Again, effective management is not limited in its application only to business or industrial enterprises but to all organizations where the aim is to reach a given goal through a chief executive or a manager with the help of a group of workers.

The manager's functions can be briefly summed up as under:

. Forming a vision and planning the strategy to realize such vision

. Cultivating the art of leadership

. Establishing the institutional excellence and building an innovative organization

. Developing human resources

. Team building and teamwork

. Delegation, motivation, and communication

. Reviewing performance and taking corrective steps whenever called for

Thus management is a process in search of excellence to align people and get them committed to work for a common goal to the maximum social benefit. The critical question in every manager's mind is how to be effective in his job. The answer to this fundamental question is found in the Bhagavad Gita which repeatedly proclaims that 'you try to manage yourself'. The reason is that unless the manager reaches a level of excellence and effectiveness that sets him apart from the others whom he is managing, he will be merely a face in the crowd and not an achiever.

In this context the Bhagavad Gita expounded thousands of years ago by the super management Guru Bhagawan Sri Krishna enlightens us on all managerial techniques leading to a harmonious and blissful state of affairs as against conflicts, tensions, lowest efficiency and least productivity, absence of motivation and lack of work culture etc common to most of the Indian enterprises today.

The modern management concepts like vision, leadership, motivation, excellence in work, achieving goals, meaning of work, attitude towards work, nature of individual, decision making, planning etc., are all discussed in the Bhagavad Gita with a sharp insight and finest analysis to drive through our confused grey matter making it highly eligible to become a part of the modem management syllabus.

It may be noted that while Western design on management deals with the problems at superficial, material, external and peripheral levels, the ideas contained in the Bhagavad Gita tackle the issues from the grass roots level of human thinking because once the basic thinking of man is improved it will automatically enhance the quality of his actions and their results.

The management thoughts emanating from the Western countries particularly the U.S.A. are based mostly on the lure for materialism and a perennial thirst for profit irrespective of the quality of the means adopted to achieve that goal. This phenomenon has its source in abundance in the West particularly the U.S.A. management by materialism caught the fancy of all the countries the world over, India being no exception to this trend.

Our country has been in the forefront in importing those ideas mainly because of its centuries old indoctrination by the colonial rulers which inculcated in us a feeling that anything Western is always good and anything Indian is always inferior. Hence our management schools have sprung up on the foundations of materialistic approach wherein no place of importance was given to a holistic view.

The result is while huge funds have been invested in building these temples of modem management education, no perceptible changes are visible in the improvement of the quality of life although the standard of living of a few has gone up. The same old struggles in almost all sectors of the economy, criminalization of institutions, more and more social violence, exploitation and such other vices have gone deep in the body politic.

The reasons for this sorry state of affairs are not far to seek. The western idea of management has placed utmost reliance on the worker (which includes managers also) -to make him more efficient, to increase his productivity. They pay him more so that he may work more, produce more, sell more and will stick to the organization without looking for alternatives. The sole aim of extracting better and more work from him is for improving the bottom-line of the enterprise. Worker has become a hireable commodity, which can be used, replaced and discarded at will.

The workers have also seen through the game plan of their paymasters who have reduced them to the state of a mercantile product. They changed their attitude to work and started adopting such measures as uncalled for strikes, gheraos, sit-ins, dharnas, go-slows, work-to-rule etc to get maximum benefit for themselves from the organizations without caring the least for the adverse impact that such coercive methods will cause to the society at large.

Thus we have reached a situation where management and workers have become separate and contradictory entities wherein their approaches are different and interests are conflicting. There is no common goal or understanding which predictably leads to constant suspicion, friction, disillusions and mistrust because of working at cross purposes. The absence of human values and erosion of human touch in the organizational structure resulted in a permanent crisis of confidence.

The western management thoughts, although acquired prosperity to some for some time, have absolutely failed in their aim to ensure betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by and large a soulless management edifice and an oasis of plenty for a chosen few in the midst of poor quality of life to many. Hence there is an urgent need to have a re-look at the prevalent management discipline on its objectives, scope and content.

It should be redefined so as to underline the development of the worker as a man, as a human being with all his positive and negative characteristics and not as a mere wage-earner. In this changed perspective, management ceases to be a career-agent but becomes an instrument in the process of national development in all its segments.

Bhagavad Gita and managerial effectiveness

Now let us re-examine some of the modern management concepts in the light of the Bhagavad Gita which is a primer of management by values.

Utilisation of available resources

The first lesson in the management science is to choose wisely and utilize optimally the scarce resources if one has to succeed in his venture. During the curtain raiser before the Mahabharata War Duryodhana chose Sri Krishna's large army for his help while Arjuna selected Sri Krishna's wisdom for his support. This episode gives us a clue as to who is an effective manager.

Attitude towards work

Three stone-cutters were engaged in erecting a temple. As usual a H.R.D. consultant asked them what they were doing. The response of the three workers to this seemingly innocent question is illuminating. 'I am a poor man. I have to maintain my family. I am making a living here,' said the first stone-cutter with a dejected face. 'Well, I work because I want to show that I am the best stone-cutter in the country,' said the second one with a sense of pride. 'Oh, I want to build the most beautiful temple in the country,' said the third one with a visionary gleam. Their jobs were identical but their perspectives were different. What Gita tells us is to develop the visionary perspective in the work we do. It tells us to develop a sense of larger vision in one's work for the common good.

Work commitment

The popular verse 2.47 of the Gita advises non- attachment to the fruits or results of actions performed in the course of one's duty. Dedicated work has to mean 'work for the sake of work'. If we are always calculating the date of promotion for putting in our efforts, then such work cannot be commitment-oriented causing excellence in the results but it will be promotion-oriented resulting in inevitable disappointments. By tilting the performance towards the anticipated benefits, the quality of performance of the present duty suffers on account of the mental agitations caused by the anxieties of the future. Another reason for non-attachment to results is the fact that workings of the world are not designed to positively respond to our calculations and hence expected fruits may not always be forthcoming.

So, the Gita tells us not to mortgage the present commitment to an uncertain future. If we are not able to measure up to this height, then surly the fault lies with us and not with the teaching.

Some people argue that being unattached to the consequences of one's action would make one un-accountable as accountability is a much touted word these days with the vigilance department sitting on our shoulders. However, we have to understand that the entire second chapter has arisen as a sequel to the temporarily lost sense of accountability on the part of Arjuna in the first chapter of the Gita in performing his swadharma.

Bhagavad Gita is full of advice on the theory of cause and effect, making the doer responsible for the consequences of his deeds. The Gita, while advising detachment from the avarice of selfish gains by discharging one's accepted duty, does not absolve anybody of the consequences arising from discharge of his responsibilities.

This verse is a brilliant guide to the operating Manager for psychological energy conservation and a preventive method against stress and burn-outs in the work situations. Learning managerial stress prevention methods is quite costly now days and if only we understand the Gita we get the required cure free of cost.

Thus the best means for effective work performance is to become the work itself. Attaining this state of nishkama karma is the right attitude to work because it prevents the ego, the mind from dissipation through speculation on future gains or losses.

It has been presumed for long that satisfying lower needs of a worker like adequate food, clothing and shelter, recognition, appreciation, status, personality development etc are the key factors in the motivational theory of personnel management.

It is the common experience that the spirit of grievances from the clerk to the director is identical and only their scales and composition vary. It should have been that once the lower-order needs are more than satisfied, the director should have no problem in optimizing his contribution to the organization. But more often than not, it does not happen like that; the eagle soars high but keeps its eyes firmly fixed on the dead animal below. On the contrary a lowly paid school teacher, a self-employed artisan, ordinary artistes demonstrate higher levels of self- realization despite poor satisfaction of their lower- order needs.

This situation is explained by the theory of self-transcendence or self-realization propounded in the Gita. Self-transcendence is overcoming insuperable obstacles in one's path. It involves renouncing egoism, putting others before oneself, team work, dignity, sharing, co-operation, harmony, trust, sacrificing lower needs for higher goals, seeing others in you and yourself in others etc. The portrait of a self-realizing person is that he is a man who aims at his own position and underrates everything else. On the other hand the self-transcenders are the visionaries and innovators. Their resolute efforts enable them to achieve the apparently impossible. They overcome all barriers to reach their goal.

The work must be done with detachment. This is because it is the ego which spoils the work. If this is not the backbone of the Theory of Motivation which the modern scholars talk about what else is it? I would say that this is not merely a theory of motivation but it is a theory of inspiration.

The Gita further advises to perform action with loving attention to the Divine which implies redirection of the empirical self away from its egocentric needs, desires, and passions for creating suitable conditions to perform actions in pursuit of excellence. Tagore says working for love is freedom in action which is described as disinterested work in the Gita. It is on the basis of the holistic vision that Indians have developed the work-ethos of life. They found that all work irrespective of its nature have to be directed towards a single purpose that is the manifestation of essential divinity in man by working for the good of all beings -lokasangraha.

This vision was presented to us in the very first mantra of lsopanishad which says that whatever exists in the Universe is enveloped by God. How shall we enjoy this life then, if all are one? The answer it provides is enjoy and strengthen life by sacrificing your selfishness by not coveting other's wealth. The same motivation is given by Sri Krishna in the Third Chapter of Gita when He says that 'He who shares the wealth generated only after serving the people, through work done as a sacrifice for them, is freed from all the sins. On the contrary those who earn wealth only for themselves, eat sins that lead to frustration and failure.

The disinterested work finds expression in devotion, surrender and equipoise. The former two are psychological while the third is the strong-willed determination to keep the mind free of and above the dualistic pulls of daily experiences. Detached involvement in work is the key to mental equanimity or the state of nirdwanda. This attitude leads to a stage where the worker begins to feel the presence of the Supreme Intelligence guiding the empirical individual intelligence. Such de-personified intelligence is best suited for those who sincerely believe in the supremacy of organizational goals as compared to narrow personal success and achievement.

Work culture means vigorous and arduous effort in pursuit of a given or chosen task. When Bhagawan Sri Krishna rebukes Arjuna in the strongest words for his unmanliness and imbecility in recoiling from his righteous duty it is nothing but a clarion call for the highest work culture. Poor work culture is the result of tamo guna overtaking one's mindset. Bhagawan's stinging rebuke is to bring out the temporarily dormant rajo guna in Arjuna. In Chapter 16 of the Gita Sri Krishna elaborates on two types of Work Ethic viz. daivi sampat or divine work culture and asuri sampat or demonic work culture.

Daivi work culture - means fearlessness, purity, self-control, sacrifice, straightforwardness, self-denial, calmness, absence of fault-finding, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of envy and pride.

Asuri work culture - means egoism, delusion, desire-centric, improper performance, work which is not oriented towards service. It is to be noted that mere work ethic is not enough in as much as a hardened criminal has also a very good work culture. What is needed is a work ethic conditioned by ethics in work.

It is in this light that the counsel yogah karmasu kausalam should be understood. Kausalam means skill or method or technique of work which is an indispensable component of work ethic. Yogah is defined in the Gita itself as samatvam yogah uchyate meaning unchanging equipoise of mind. Tilak tells us that performing actions with the special device of an equable mind is Yoga. By making the equable mind as the bed-rock of all actions Gita evolved the goal of unification of work ethic with ethics in work, for without ethical process no mind can attain equipoise. Adi Sankara says that the skill in performance of one's duty consists in maintaining the evenness of mind in success and failure because the calm mind in failure will lead him to deeper introspection and see clearly where the process went wrong so that corrective steps could be taken to avoid such shortcomings in future.

The principle of reducing our attachment to personal gains from the work done or controlling the aversion to personal losses enunciated in Ch.2 Verse 47 of the Gita is the foolproof prescription for attaining equanimity. The common apprehension about this principle that it will lead to lack of incentive for effort and work, striking at the very root of work ethic, is not valid because the advice is to be judged as relevant to man's overriding quest for true mental happiness. Thus while the common place theories on motivation lead us to bondage, the Gita theory takes us to freedom and real happiness.

Work results

The Gita further explains the theory of non- attachment to the results of work in Ch.18 Verses 13-15 the import of which is as under:

. If the result of sincere effort is a success, the entire credit should not be appropriated by the doer alone.

. If the result of sincere effort is a failure, then too the entire blame does not accrue to the doer.

The former attitude mollifies arrogance and conceit while the latter prevents excessive despondency, de-motivation and self-pity. Thus both these dispositions safeguard the doer against psychological vulnerability which is the cause for the Modem Managers' companions like Diabetes, High B.P. Ulcers etc.

Assimilation of the ideas behind 2.47 and 18.13-15 of the Gita leads us to the wider spectrum of lokasamgraha or general welfare. There is also another dimension in the work ethic. If the karm ayoga is blended with bhaktiyoga then the work itself becomes worship, a seva yoga.

Manager's mental health

The ideas mentioned above have a close bearing on the end-state of a manager which is his mental health. Sound mental health is the very goal of any human activity more so management. An expert describes sound mental health as that state of mind which can maintain a calm, positive poise or regain it when unsettled in the midst of all the external vagaries of work life and social existence. Internal constancy and peace are the pre- requisites for a healthy stress-free mind.

Some of the impediments to sound mental health are:

. Greed -for power, position, prestige and money

. Envy-regarding others' achievements, success, rewards

. Egotism -about one's own accomplishments

. Suspicion, anger and frustration

. Anguish through comparisons

The driving forces in today's rat-race are speed and greed as well as ambition and competition. The natural fallout from these forces is erosion of one's ethico-moral fiber which supersedes the value system as a means in the entrepreneurial path like tax evasion, undercutting, spreading canards against the competitors, entrepreneurial spying, instigating industrial strife in the business rivals' establishments etc. Although these practices are taken as normal business hazards for achieving progress, they always end up as a pursuit of mirage -the more the needs the more the disappointments. This phenomenon may be called as yayati-syndrome.

In Mahabharata we come across a king called Yayati who, in order to revel in the endless enjoyment of flesh exchanged his old age with the youth of his obliging youngest son for a mythical thousand years. However, he lost himself in the pursuit of sensual enjoyments and felt penitent. He came back to his son pleading to take back his youth. This yayati syndrome shows the conflict between externally directed acquisitions, motivations and inner reasoning, emotions and conscience.

Gita tells us how to get out of this universal phenomenon by prescribing the following capsules.

Cultivate sound philosophy of life

Identify with inner core of self-sufficiency

Get out of the habitual mindset towards the pairs of opposites

Strive for excellence through work is worship

Build up an internal integrated reference point to face contrary impulses, and emotions

Pursue ethico-moral rectitude

Cultivating this understanding by a manager would lead him to emancipation from falsifying ego-conscious state of confusion and distortion, to a state of pure and free mind i.e. universal, supreme consciousness wherefrom he can prove his effectiveness in discharging whatever duties that have fallen to his domain.

Bhagawan's advice is relevant here:

tasmaat sarveshu kaaleshu mamanusmarah yuddha cha  Therefore under all circumstances remember Me and then fight (Fight means perform your duties).

Management needs those Who practise what the preach

Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow, so says Sri Krishna in the Gita. This is the leadership quality prescribed in the Gita. The visionary leader must also be a missionary, extremely practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an inspired and spontaneous motivation to help others. "I am the strength of those who are devoid of personal desire and attachment. O Arjuna, I am the legitimate desire in those, who are not opposed to righteousness" says Sri Krishna in the 10th Chapter of the Gita.

The ultimate message of Gita for managers

The despondent position of Arjuna in the first chapter of the Gita is a typical human situation which may come in the life of all men of action some time or other. Sri Krishna by sheer power of his inspiring words raised the level of Arjuna's mind from the state of inertia to the state of righteous action, from the state of faithlessness to the state of faith and self-confidence in the ultimate victory of Dharma(ethical action). They are the powerful words of courage of strength, of self confidence, of faith in one's own infinite power, of the glory, of valor in the life of active people and of the need for intense calmness in the midst of intense action.

When Arjuna got over his despondency and stood ready to fight, Sri Krishna gave him the gospel for using his spirit of intense action not for his own benefit, not for satisfying his own greed and desire, but for using his action for the good of many, with faith in the ultimate victory of ethics over unethical actions and truth over untruth. Arjuna responds by emphatically declaring that all his delusions were removed and that he is ready to do what is expected of him in the given situation.

Sri Krishna's advice with regard to temporary failures in actions is 'No doer of good ever ends in misery'. Every action should produce results: good action produces good results and evil begets nothing but evil. Therefore always act well and be rewarded.

And finally the Gita's consoling message for all men of action is : He who follows My ideal in all walks of life without losing faith in the ideal or never deviating from it, I provide him with all that he needs (Yoga) and protect what he has already got (Kshema).

In conclusion the purport of this essay is not to suggest discarding of the western model of efficiency, dynamism and striving for excellence but to make these ideals tuned to the India's holistic attitude of lokasangraha -for the welfare of many, for the good of many. The idea is that these management skills should be India-centric and not America-centric. Swami Vivekananda says a combination of both these approaches will certainly create future leaders of India who will be far superior to any that have ever been in the world.



Praise for Bhagavad-gita (click here to read Bhagavad-gita and Management)

"No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is better loved, in the West, than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme and a verbal artistry. For the poem is a symphony in which God is seen in all things. . . . The Swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has lead to this illuminating work."

Dr. Geddes MacGregor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy University of Southern California

"The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita."

Thomas Merton, Theologian

"I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita. It is a most valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book."

Dr. Samuel D. Atkins Professor of Sanskrit, Princeton University

"As a successor in direct line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest that his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers us an authorized interpretation according to the principles of the Caitanya tradition."

Olivier Lacombe Professor of Sanskrit and Indology, Sorbonne University, Paris

"I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is particularly true of the BBT edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita."

Dr. Frederick B. Underwood Professor of Religion, Columbia University

"If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people."

Dr. Elwin H. Powell Professor of Sociology State University of New York, Buffalo

"There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada's translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight."

Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins Professor of Religion, Franklin and Marshall College

"The Bhagavad-gita, one of the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a common part of our cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien per se than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a commentary written from not only a scholar's but a practitioner's, a dedicated lifelong devotee's point of view."

Denise Levertov, Poet

"The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our understanding manyfold."

Dr. Edward C Dimock, Jr. Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization University of Chicago

"The scholarly world is again indebted to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of singular importance with his commentary."

Dr. J. Stillson Judah, Professor of the History of Religions and Director of Libraries Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California

"Srila Prabhupada's edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first penetrated India. "Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable. For many this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India."

Francois Chenique, Professor of Religious Sciences Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France

"As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized 'gurus' and 'yogis' and will give an opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture."

Dr. Kailash Vajpeye, Director of Indian Studies Center for Oriental Studies, The University of Mexico

"It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don't know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-gita, its daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I have never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important voice and style. . . . It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come."

Dr. Shaligram Shukla Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University

"I can say that in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found explanations and answers to questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations of this sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the aesceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more fraternal place."

Dr. Paul Lesourd, Author Professeur Honoraire, Catholic University of Paris

"When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous."

Albert Einstein

"When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day."

Mahatma Gandhi

"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial."

Henry David Thoreau

"The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions."

Dr. Albert Schweitzer

"The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization."

Sri Aurobindo

"The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus in which it states 'behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly plant.' This correlation can be discerned by what Krishna expresses in chapter 15 of Bhagavad-Gita."

Carl Jung

"The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe."

Prime Minister Nehru

"The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion."

Herman Hesse

"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it."

Rudolph Steiner

"From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures."

Adi Shankara

"The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity."

Aldous Huxley

"The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of devotion to God which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Lord Krishna's primary purpose for descending and incarnating is relieve the world of any demoniac and negative, undesirable influences that are opposed to spiritual development, yet simultaneously it is His incomparable intention to be perpetually within reach of all humanity."

Ramanuja

The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the Vaishnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam fully reveals the true import of this doctrine which is transmigation of the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord.

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati

"The Mahabharata has all the essential ingredients necessary to evolve and protect humanity and that within it the Bhagavad-Gita is the epitome of the Mahabharata just as ghee is the essence of milk and pollen is the essence of flowers."

Madhvacarya                

(You may rate the importance of this proposal: proposals are presented on pages like this in order of rating. You may also contribute to a discussion of it.)

Vet Friends.com Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-07-20 20:52:35 GMT

Want to help a Veteran?

Do business with one :)

Veterans Business Directory.

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A Vision: A New Path for Education Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-07-29 08:01:46 GMT

Does the idea of higher education for Social Justice and Democracy appeal to you?

Then you want to check this one out:

Southwestern University and Global College.

You will also want to read the May/June issue of HOPE Magazine to learn the vision of James Gittings that is coming to fruition there.

(You may rate the importance of this proposal: proposals are presented on pages like this in order of rating. You may also contribute to a discussion of it.)

Some Things to Consider Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-08-14 10:42:13 GMT

Center for a New American Dream.

Heifer Project International.

Fair Economy.

(You may rate the importance of this proposal: proposals are presented on pages like this in order of rating. You may also contribute to a discussion of it.)

Veterans Health Care Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-08-17 16:51:01 GMT


From Veterans Groups This We Believe.

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Wanted serviceman & woman with PTSD Submitter: Mack
Date: 2004-08-20 08:34:06 GMT

I am looking for men and woman who have suffered from PTSD due to their military service and have ended up in prison or with a criminal record, please contact me mack619@yahoo.co.uk

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Loving Submitter:
Date: 2004-09-17 17:26:47 GMT

Pharaoh Press is pleased to announce the publication of Remy Benoit's newest novel, LOVING

Rhea and Jordan Deveraux had it all - undying devotion, a tender love, and a grand passion. And then the Vietnam War separated them.

Follow the course of their love across time and space. Journey with them through the steaming jungle; dance with Mardi Gras revellers while revolution unseats Louis XV1, and protestors on the Washington Mall scream, "Hell, NO! We won't go!"

Sail with Laffite's pirates into Devil's Isle and rejoice as an unconditional and timeless love emerges victorious.

Buy the book here from the 30th September.

Pharaoh Press.

You will also enjoy Remy's other novels, Letty., Island Quilts., and Peace, Now.

(You may rate the importance of this proposal: proposals are presented on pages like this in order of rating. You may also contribute to a discussion of it.)

"Getting America Back on Track" Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-09-21 05:20:11 GMT

From the Citizen-Times and Kerra L. Bolton - a North Carolina citizen, World War II Veteran Les Roark, has written a book - Getting America Back on Track rather than just sitting idly by.

N.C. man decided to take action, wrote book about improving country.

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Science in Hinduism Submitter: Bhattathiri
Date: 2004-10-06 08:04:28 GMT



Article


May be pubished after editing if necessary
(datas collected from various websites.)





Scientifically ancient India was developed and our ancient saints discovered many things and lost everything under the foreign rule.Sacred texts like Srimad Bhagavatham , Holy Gita, Vedas, Upanishads contain technical and scientifical advancd informations. In astrology we were well advanced.


1. First of all, Bhagavatam had its origin from Bhagavan Himself when he told to Brahma sitting in the lotus of his navel in four verses called the cathussloki Bhagavata (II-9).

2. Brahma communicated the Bhagavata he heard from Bhagavan, to his son Narada (II-5).

3. Narad communicated it to Vyasa Maharshi (I-4,5,6,7).

4. Vyasa complied the Bhagavata and taught it to his son, Suka (I-3 and II-1).

5. Suka gave discourses in Bhagavata in seven days to King Parikshit on the banks of the Ganges (I-3).

6. Suta who was in the assembly of rishis along with Parikshit, heard it from Suka and gives a discourse in the assembly of Rishis to the chief listner Saunaka at Naimisaranya.

Vyasa ha written the Bhagavata, as spoken by Suta to Saunaka at Naimisaranya. Suta was merely reporting what Suka said to Parikshit.

Suka himself traces another origin of Bhagavata:

1. Samkarshana Murti gave the Bhagavata to Sanatkumara (III-8)

2. Sanatkumara communicated it to Samkhyayana Maharshi (III-8)

3. Samkhyayana communicated it to sgae Parasara and to Brihaspati(IV-8)

4. Sage Parasara communicated it to his disciple Maitreya.

5. Maitreya told Bhagavata to Vidura (III-8)

Adisesha propagated Bhagavata in Patala, Brihaspati in Heaven, Parasara on this earth and Sanathkumara brothers in worlds beyond heaven.


ORIGIN OF LIFE

The Jivatma gets human body and mind, after having been embodied in eightyfour lakhs of inferior births. Prior to the Jivatma acquiring this body, he had undergone births and deaths and births and deaths, as trees, insects, worms, beasts and assumed many other bodies like those of bugs and buffaloes and bees and beetles. At long last, by the grace of GOD, he come to acquire a human body. To acquire a human body again after death, he has to undergo another long cycle of births and deaths through various unpleasant vicissitudes. Thus , our life as a human being, is preceded by and succeeded by, many many years of innumerable other lives.

The main purpose of this rare and prcious life as a human being, should be to know, who we are and to realize the Self and thereby, cut off all sorrows at one stroke. This is not possible in any other life, because, among all creatures, man alone has the wonderful equipment of the intellect with its great potentiality developed to the highest.




Why Bhagavan Lord Krishna says that among flowers I am the basil (thulasi) flower. US scientists found out after research that

thulasi flower can only produce Ozone which acts as a protective cover in the ionosphere preventing radiation from sun and this plant is also be used for making life saving medicines.

Banyan tree, among the trees I am the Banyan tree which can produce maximum oxygen and are usually seen in almost all temples so the air in 5 Kms radious will be purified around a big banyan tree.

Fetus (fully developed embryo in the womb) from 7th month onwards can understand and study. For this examples are Prahlada and Abhimanue who got knowledge when they were 7 months old in the womb. Gynaecology and Sankhyayoga are preached to mother Devahuti by Lord Kapila an incarnation of Vishnu.

The importance of Homam. One Agnihotra Homaam was going on in a family at Bhopal when the Union Carbide Gas accident took place. The whole members of the family were safe eventhough it was near the to the factory, since smoke emenated from the Homam neutralised the effect of poisonous gas from the factory.Resaerch on this is going on in West Verginia in America where the mother Union Carbide factory is situated.

Maharshi Kardama’s space journey with his wife Devahuti in his supersonic space vehicle is far advanced than the present one.

In the dakshayga when Daksha’s head was cut he is given life by joining the head of a goat with the trunk of Daksha a form of plastic surgery.

It is mentioned that yogis can live for thousands of years. This is proved that by reducing the metabolic rate (body activities,such as respiration, excretion, reproduction etc.) it may be possible to extend life. Bhagavatham gives many clues for health and happy long life.

King Priyavrata has gone round the earth seven times in his chariot between sunrise and sunset. This may be related to modern satellite technology. Earth is revolving the sun at 30kms/sec velocity. Normally satellites circle round the earth once in 90 minutes. Hence for seven revolutions ten hours and thirty minutes duration is required. Otherwise we may see that during twelve hour duration eight revolutions can be made. Chariot was bright as sun may mean it was fitted with something similar to solar cells.

One of the well-known laws in elementary physics (or chemistry) is the conservation of matter (or mass) usually attributed to Lavoisier from the late eighteenth century. Simply put, the law states: “Matter can neither be created nor be destroyed.” There are other laws of conservation found in science textbooks, but the law of conservation of matter is perhaps the most well known. Bhagawan says this repeatedly at various occasion. This actually can be regarded as the mother of all conservation laws. It is said that the amount of energy released from the destruction of matter is given by E = MC2 where M represents mass lost and C represents the speed of light. The same formula is said to give the amount of mass converted into energy when it gets trapped in a blackhole. In that sense, matter and energy are two different forms of the same thing. The law did not have the energy component when it (the law) was first proposed. From the original standpoint, the law turned out to be wrong when it was discovered that matter could be destroyed to release energy. Then the theory was put back together by augmenting the energy part. However, the verse in Bhagavatham does not have to go through such a revision with each new revelation, as it does not direct this law to a particular form of the contents of this universe but rather takes a general approach. It was ironical that the law of conservation. Brahman'. Our ancient saints have coined a symbol AUM to represent it (just like Ca is used for calcium, for example). Actually, such an indestructible thing by which the universe is pervaded is mentioned. The third law of motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Karma and its result (or fruit) mentioned can be considered equivalent to an action and its reaction, respectively.



. Chapter.1

Brahmacharya

By preserving the energy, strength and vitality of mind and various organs one can lead a happy, energetic and healthy life. The mind will be clear and brain will superb for a Brhmachari. It enhances the strength, life span and health since it is the mine of all virtues .Brahmacharya is the dam of all pleasures of life and only learned people keep it and their power and life increases and all sickness is destroyed. It is easy to preach and to practice is very difficult. One should try to be always in the company of noble people and control their senses as far as possible to get the actual reward of human life. A man is known by the company he keeps. If one always move in the company of good, learned and noble ones there is no doubt that he can be one among them one day. Company is contagious and man changes his colors accordingly sooner or later. He cannot remain unaffected for long best company means not only noble people but also good books written by great scholars, Sages, Saints, Prophets, Rishis, and Munis. These contain vast treasures of wealth and will make one so rich that the worldly riches would appear very insignificiant. One of the verses in YajurVeda state that learned people who are actually endowed with divine powers should do two things in this world. One is that they should propagate the teachings of Brahmacharya and control of senses so that people may become strong and healthy leading a full vigorous life. Next thing is by education and practice thereof, they should teach one and all how to develop their inner strength and power so that people may enjoy their blissful life fully in all respects. In another verse it is stated that such people who abandon the company of bad people and give up all bad evil habits and keep away from immoral life increasing their vitality beget good children, they will strength and glorify their race and their country.

Brahmacharya will give the power to face and solve any problems as a boat can ferry people through turbulent waters of the sea. A Brahmachai will be liked and respected in all the societies and meetings. In one verse it is explained that the age of a boy begins at twenty-sixth year and for a girl it is seventeen and up to this period they should practice Brahmacharya at any cost and can get married. Those who get education following the rules of Brahmacharya, they shine like sun are quick in all what they do, like a hawk and become the hallmark of respect, enjoying their life skipping like a deer.

In the student life it would be better to preserve their vital fluid which is the life thread, so that they can utilize their energy and strength for their education and learning. In vedic period student is imparted with all the knowledge right from the Earth to the sun and in this way all divinity reside in his body and such students in future will assets to their country and world. They will have harmony of the head, heart and hand in such a way which will be beneficial to the society as a whole. It has been truly said that if our hearts are strong, our heads are right in vain. A person without education is beast and a person without Dharma is like a beast.

Education and knowledge are like two eyes of a person which enable him to see things correctly and assess his own position. The purpose of education is to make man what he ought to be.


According to Srimad Bhagavatham education on arts and material science is not enough and perfection can be achieved by studying spiritual sceince. The aim of life and education is that we may live a new life in the realm of self and the creation, with harmony and happiness and will become virtuous. Every second of the life should be fully utilised so that there is no room left for idling. It may be noted that “ An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.” Of course relaxation and enjoyment should be there along with study to keep one fit and fresh and ready to face any challenges of life.

If proper education is not given to children parents become enemies since they get isolated in society. Teachers should take utmost care for understanding to develop good character and affection along with studies. They should be taught that all women are like mother, sister or daughter according to their age and they should be protectd whenever necessay.

In bhagavatham it is also stated that

Not to earn wealth at the cost of others pain and suffering
It is not good to be fatigue self too much both physically and mentally.
Hard-work is the keystone to virtuous earning with the sweat of one’s own brow, not by lottery, speculation and gambling.
Don’t do anything undesirable and harmful to the society
Acquire knowledge which can’t be stolen away by thieves than material wealth.
A great scholar of ancient India Sri Pathanjali in his book Yogasutra also explains the importance of Brahmacharya and it is studied by foreign scholars and one such famous scholar is Dr. Louis an eminent physician opined that most precious atoms of the blood
enter into the composition of semen (in his book Chastity) . So preservation
of semen by practicing continence helps the better development of brain ,
body, and mind .Dr. Nicholas another famous scientist also says that the best blood in the body goes to form the elements of reproduction in both the sexes .So if anybody waste
semen he is loosing the best part of the blood and he becomes weak
physically and intellectually. If preserved he becomes strong, intellectual, heroic and powerful.
.
So especially youth in whom the future of our country rests, should practice
celibacy as far as possible to lead the country and countrymen to have a prosperous future.


Brahmacharya will give the power to face and solve any problems as a boat can ferry people through turbulent waters of the sea. A Brahmachai will be liked and respected in all the societies and meetings.. Those who get education following the rules of Brahmacharya, they shine like sun are quick in all what they do, and become the hallmark of respect, enjoying their life.





Chapter 2.

Cosmology

This sacred text also reveals unexpected depths of knowledge in ancient cosmology. Mysteries of the Sacred Universe shows that the cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana is a sophisticated system, with multiple levels of meaning that encode at least four different astronomical, geographical, and spiritual world models.
By viewing the text in the light of modern astronomy, it can be seen that how ancient scientists expressed exact knowledge in apparently mythological terms. Comparison with the ancient traditions of Egypt and the Near East shows early cultural connections between India and these regions—including a surprisingly advanced science. However, quantitative science is only part of the picture. It also offers a clear understanding of how the spiritual dimension was integrated into ancient Indian cosmology.


Jambudvipa: The Srimad-Bhagavatam describes that the universe lies within a series of spherical shells which is divided in two by an earth plane called Bhu-mandala. A series of dvipas, or ‘islands,’ and oceans make up Bhu-mandala. In the center of Bhu-mandala is the circular ‘island’ of Jambudvipa whose most prominent feature is the cone-shaped Mount Meru. The main illustration here shows a closer view of Jambudvipa and the base of Mount Meru.


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When one structure is used to represent several things in a composite map, there are bound to be contradictions. But these do not cause a problem if we understand the underlying intent. The Bhagavatam, which uses one model to represent different features of the cosmos.

The Fifth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam tells of innumerable universes. Each one is contained in a spherical shell surrounded by layers of elemental matter that mark the boundary between mundane space and the unlimited spiritual world.

.




We can compare Bhu-mandala with an astronomical instrument called an astrolabe, popular in the Middle Ages. On the astrolabe, an off-centered circle represents the orbit of the sun—the ecliptic. The Earth is represented in stereographic projection on a flat plate, called the mater. The ecliptic circle and important stars are represented on another plate, called the rete. Different planetary orbits could likewise be represented by different plates, and these would be seen projected onto the Earth plate when one looks down on the instrument.
The Bhagavatam similarly presents the orbits of the sun, the moon, planets, and important stars on a series of planes parallel to Bhu-mandala.
Seeing Bhu-mandala as a polar projection is one example of how it doesn’t represent a flat Earth.




One striking feature of the Bhagavatam’s descriptions has to do with size. If we compare Bhu-mandala with the Earth, the solar system out to Saturn, and the Milky Way galaxy, Bhu-mandala matches the solar system closely, while radically differing in size from Earth and the galaxy.
Furthermore, the structures of Bhu-mandala correspond with the planetary orbits of the solar system





If we compare the rings of Bhu-mandala with the orbits of Mercury, Venus , Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, we find several close alignments that give weight to the hypothesis that Bhu-mandala was deliberately designed as a map of the solar system.
Until recent times, astronomers generally underestimated the distance from the earth to the sun. In particular, Claudius Ptolemy, the greatest astronomer of classical antiquity, seriously underestimated the Earth-sun distance and the size of the solar system. It is remarkable, therefore, that the dimensions of Bhu-mandala in the Bhagavatam are consistent with modern data on the size of the sun’s orbit and the solar system as a whole.


First of all, consider the very large sizes of mountains and land areas in Jambudvipa. For example, India is said to be 72,000 miles (9,000 yojanas) from north to south, or nearly three times the circumference of the Earth. Likewise, the Himalayas are said to be 80,000 miles high.




People in India in ancient times used to go in pilgrimage on foot from one end of India to the other, so they knew how large India is. Why does the Bhagavatam give such unrealistic distances? The answer is that Jambudvipa doubles as a model of the heavenly realm, in which everything is on a superhuman scale. The Bhagavatam portrays the demigods and other divine beings that inhabit this realm to be correspondingly large.
Why would the Bhagavatam describe Jambudvipa as both part of the earth and part of the celestial realm? Because there’s a connection between the two. To understand, let’s consider the idea of parallel worlds. By siddhis, or mystic perfections, one can take shortcuts across space. This is illustrated by a story from the Bhagavatam in which the mystic yogini Citralekha abducts Aniruddha from his bed in Dvaraka and transports him mystically to a distant city .
Besides moving from one place to another in ordinary space, the mystic siddhis enable one to travel in the all-pervading ether or to enter another continuum. The classical example of a parallel continuum is Krishna’s transcendental realm of Vrindavana, said to be unlimitedly expansive and to exist in parallel to the finite, earthly Vrindavana in India.








For centuries the cosmology of the Bhagavatam has seemed incomprehensible to most observers, encouraging many people either to summarily reject it or to accept it literally with unquestioning faith. If we take it literally, the cosmology of the Bhagavatam not only differs from modern astronomy, but, more important, it also suffers from internal contradictions and violations of common sense. These very contradictions, however, point the way to a different understanding of Bhagavata cosmology in which it emerges as a deep and scientifically sophisticated system of thought. The contradictions show that they are caused by overlapping self-consistent interpretations that use the same textual elements to expound different ideas.
Each of the four interpretations I’ve presented deserves to be taken seriously because each is supported by many points in the text that are consistent with one another while agreeing with modern astronomy. I’ve applied the context-sensitive or multiple-aspect approach, in which the same subject has different meanings in different contexts. This approach allows for the greatest amount of information to be stored in a picture or text, reducing the work required by the artist or writer. At the same time, it means that the work cannot be taken literally as a one-to-one model of reality, and it requires the viewer or reader to understand the different relevant contexts. This can be difficult when knowledge of context is lost over long periods of time.
In the Bhavagatam, the context-sensitive approach was rendered particularly appropriate by the conviction that reality, in the ultimate issue, is avak-manasam, or beyond the reach of the mundane mind or words. This implies that a literal, one-to-one model of reality is unattainable, and so one may as well pack as much meaning as possible into a necessarily incomplete description of the universe. The cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana is a sophisticated system of thought, with multiple layers of meaning, both physical and metaphysical. It combines practical understanding of astronomy with spiritual conceptions to produce a meaningful picture of the universe and reality.






Chapter 3.

Can modern inventions give real happiness.

Oncee a famous scientist came to Swami Sivananda and said: "The Srimad Bhagavatha Purana, Upanishads and the Brahma-Sutras have not been written scientifically" He laughed and said : "My dear scientist-friend! These are revelations. Brahma-vidya is transcendental. The Atman is transcendental. You cannot take your test-tubes and spirit lamps near Him. The scientists' conclusions cannot approach His region. Their observations are one-sided, as they concern the waking state alone. Their experiences are relative experiences." The scientist kept quiet, put down his head in shame, and walked away quietly.

As life has been made physically comfortable and comparatively effortless by modern inventions, the ease-loving man is prone to disregard the place of religion in his life and exalt the values of materialistic civilization. But events have always disclosed the unreliability of the purely objective views and methods of physical science, the experience of man that he is not really happier, and the world is not in fact better, even after his arduous attempts at extracting out of external nature its latent resources in order to utilize them for his own purposes. Where is satisfaction, where is happiness, and where is peace then?

Some wise scientists are fully conscious now of the limitations of science, and of its methods, in the investigation of phenomena in planes of subtler states of matter. The reality of the spiritual world is closed book to them. They are equally conscious of the limitations of science in the regeneration of unregenerate human nature, and in the attainment of the Supreme Good or Eternal Bliss, the summum bonum of life.

Scientists are very, very busy in studying the external world. They have entirely forgotten to study the internal world. Science gives you knowledge only of the phenomenal appearances, and not of the Reality behind them. Science has not been able to solve the ultimate questions: What is the ultimate stuff of the world ? Who am I ? What is the ultimate truth ?

Science tells us that the ultimate goal of everything is unknown, and unknowable. But, Srimad Bhagavatham teaches that the ultimate goal is Brahman or the Infinite, and that It can be realized through hearing, reflection and meditation.

Science has got its limitations. Science does not have an instrument by which they could just collect the supersensual or spiritual data, or those divine facts which exist in a subtle form but which we cannot see. True experiences include the experiences of the three states, namely, the waking, dream and deep sleep states. The Vedantin studies the three states. He gains more real knowledge from deep sleep state. He gets a clue for the existence of the fourth state or the state of Turiya from the deep sleep state.

The soul is beyond the realm of physical science. The soul is beyond the reach of material science. Man is a soul, wearing the physical body. The soul is extremely subtle. It is subtler than ether, mind and energy. Consciousness and intelligence are of the soul, and not of the body. Consciousness is evidence of the existence of the soul. The soul is the immortal part of man.

Science is a systematic study of facts. It tries to reduce observations or observed facts into a system. In order that the fact may be valid for science, it must be perceptible to the senses. Sensing is false knowledge. Intuition is right knowledge. Intuitive knowledge alone is the highest knowledge. It is imperishable, infinite knowledge of Truth.

Both religion and science are engaged in the search for Truth. Their attitudes are essentially the same. But the fields of applications vary. Raja-Yoga described in Bhagavatham is an exact science. Its methods are very scientific. A scientist is an external Raja Yogi. Hindu Rishis,seers and sages have recognized the harmonious relation between religion and science. The divorce of science from religion is the cause of confusion and conflict. Science is religion as applied to the investigation of Truth in the finite nature outside - the object. Religion is science as applied to the realization of the Infinite, the Bhuma, the Truth that underlies all objects - the Subject.

Science interprets on the phenomenal plane the One as energy. Religion interprets the One as the Self, "the Atman". Science analyzes, classifies and explains phenomena. But Brahma-vidya teaches you to transcend phenomena and attain immortality.

The scientific and the religious approaches to Truth are really complementary, and not contradictory. Religion and science are the twin-brothers. They should help mutually and harmoniously to search Truth and live the life of Truth here.

Science has to do with facts; religion with values. Where science ends, religion begins. A close study of the observations and revelations of science brings a man nearer to God. Who gave power to electrons ? What is at the bottom of these electrons ? What is that power that has combined four parts of nitrogen and one part of oxygen ? Who has framed the laws of nature ? Nature is blind. What is that intelligence that moves nature ? Who is the primum mobile ? A study of the physical forces and the physical laws, an understanding of the mental forces and the mental laws, are not sufficient to make us perfect. We should have a thorough knowledge and realization of the substratum that lies hidden behind these names and forms and all physical and mental phenomena. Then only we will become perfect masters or full-blown adepts or Arhatas or Buddhas.

Mind and intellect are finite instruments. They cannot realize the infinite Reality. But, they are a means. When the intellect has passed through the various stages of reasoning, and when it has been completely purified, then revelation dawns. True religion begins where the intellect ends.

Let it not be thought that religion is dogmatic, other-worldly, a pet tradition of blind believers or irrational emotionalists. Religion is the most rational science, the science of life itself, the science of man as he essentially is, not merely as he presumes himself to be. The basis for all the secular sciences is Brahma-vidya or the Adhyatmic science. Brahma-vidya is the foremost among all sciences, because by it one attains immortality. Secular experiences are partial, while spiritual experiences is the experience-whole. If you know this supreme science of Brahma-vidya through direct intuition, you will have knowledge of all other worldly sciences; just as you will have knowledge of all articles made of clay, if you have knowledge of clay itself. You cannot learn this Science of sciences in any university. Matter cannot be totally ignored; but, matter should be subordinated to spirit. Science should be subordinate to Brahma-vidya. Science cannot be the be-all and end-all. If you end your life in the laboratory alone, you cannot enjoy the eternal bliss of the Soul. You cannot attain the supreme wisdom which can free you from births and deaths. Science cannot give you salvation.


ATOMIC THEORY

Division of Time Expanding from the Atom.

In Srimad Bhagavatham Chapter 3 Chanto 2 we can see a desrcription of atomic theory in 42 verses.

1.Maitreya said: 'The ultimate truth of what shows itself in the many as the indivisible, should always be seen as the atomic from which the oneness of men is misunderstood.

2. Surely is, of the truth of physical bodies [of atoms] that keep the same form till the end of time, that which emancipates to the Supreme ever composed into unlimited forms.

3. And thus, to the subtle as well as the gross forms, can time be measured, my best, by the motion of the combination of atoms of which the Supreme unmanifest Lord is the great force controlling all physical action.

4. That eternal time of the atoms is ascertained by means of the entire aggregate of the space taken by the atoms in their non-dual existence [their expansion], which is the supreme or great of [cosmic] time.

5. Three times the double of two atoms becomes a hexatom of which one is reminded by what can be known to lighten up in the fluid of ones eye [as a dust-particle], seeing it go up when one looks in the sky.

6. The time formed by the combination of three hexatoms [in their expanding to the space they take] is called a truti [calculated as 1/1687.5 of a second] of which one hundred are called a vedha; the three of them happen to be called but a lava.

7. The duration of three lava's is to be known as one nimesa [± 0.53 second] and the time of three of them is called a khsana [± 1.6 seconds], five of those should be known as a kâsthâ [± 8 seconds] of which a laghu is the fifteen of them [± 2 minutes].

8. The exact of fifteen of those laghus is called a nâdhika [or danda, ± 30 minutes] and two of them make a muhurta [about an hour] while six to seven of them form one yama [a quarter of a lightday or night] depending on human calculation [the season, the latitude].

9. The measuring pot (water-clock) has the weight of six palas [14 ounces] and has a four masa [17 karats] golden probe four fingers long covering a hole through which it fills with water till next sunrise.

10 Four yama's form the duration of both the day and the night of the human being and fifteen days [of eight yama's each] make one paksah [fortnight] which measured is known as being either black or white [depending on whether there is a full moon or new moon in it].

11. The aggregate of such a 'day' and 'night' is called an ancestral [traditional and solar] month with two of them forming a season of which there are six [resp. 'cold' or hentanta, 'dew' or shirshira, 'spring' or vasanta, 'warm' or grishma, 'rainy' or varsha and 'autumn' or sarad, counted from the 22 of dec.] according the movement of the sun going through the southern and the northern sky.

12. This movement of the sun is said to form one day of the demigods and is called a vatsara [a tropical year] of twelve months. The duration of life of the human being is estimated to be of a great many of those years

13. The planets, the heavenly bodies [like the moon] and the stars all rotate along with the atoms in the universe completing their orbits as a conclusion of years in the Almighty [or cyclic] of the eternal of time.

14. The orbiting around the sun of the earth and of the other planets as well, the orbiting of our stars [in our galaxy around Sagittarius A in the sky] and also the orbiting moon is, o Vidura, thus spoken of as being of one [and the same cakra- or scheduled calendar-]year.

15. Unto the one [the sun] who in various ways gives life to the seeds of creation by His own energy and which, dissipating the darkness during the day, is moving distinct from all other material forms in the name of cyclic time - to which one's offers there is an increase of material outcome - one should by all means exercise respect once in a five years [like one does with leaping every four years].

16. Vidura said: 'Given the traditional, divine and human of the final calculation in the measurement of the timeperiods of the lives of all the supreme living entities, what would be the calculation of the periods that take more than a millennium, o greatly learned one? 17. O mighty one of the Spirit, by dint of the eyes of your yogic vision you are the one that in your self-realization does see of eternal time the movements of the Supreme Lord in the form of the entire universe. '

18. Maitreya said: 'The four yuga's [ages or millennia] called Satya, Tretâ, Dvâpara and Kali take together approximately 12000 years [or one maha-yuga] of the demigods [which are assigned360 vatsara's each] .

19. The subsequent yuga's starting with satya-yuga each are respectively four, three, two and one time 1200 demigod years long. 20. Experts say that the transitional periods at the beginning and end of each yuga cover several hundreds of demigod years and that they are the millennia [like the millennia we live in now] wherein all kinds of religious activities take place.

21. The complete sense of duty of mankind in its four principles of religion [of satya, dayâ, tapa, sauca; truth, compassion, penance and cleanliness] was during Sathya-yuga properly maintained, but certainly in the other yuga's the principles gradually declined one by one with irreligion proportionately being more and more admitted.

22. Apart from the one thousand [maha-]yuga's for the three worlds [the heavenly, svarga; earthly, martya and lower, pâtâla ones] in the realm of the Absolute [Brahmaloka] that for sure make one day of Brâhma [of 4,32 billion years], o dear one, there is also a night just as long wherein the Creator of the universe goes asleep.

23. Following the end of the night with the beginning of another day of Lord Brahmâ the creation of the three worlds begins again in its totality covering the lives of fourteen Manus.

24. Each Manu enjoys a time of living of a little more than seventy-one [maha- that is a set of four] yuga's.

25. With the ending of each Manu, the next one follows along with the flourishing of his descendants, the seven sages, the god-conscious and the demigods with all of the following after them.

26. All these creations of the lower animals, the human beings, the ancestors and the demigods belonging to the one creation of a day of Brahmâ, are revolving through the three worlds appearing therein in the cycles of their own fruitive activities.

27. In the change of each Manu, the Supreme Lord manifests His goodness in His different incarnations as the Manu Himself that maintains this universe for the unfolding of the divine potencies.

28. Towards the darkness only the relatively small portion of physical interest facing the suspension of all manifestation merges by the eternal of time and of that do the innumerable living entities remain silent at the end of the day.

29. For sure after that are all the realities of the three worlds that entered into the night of Brahmâ, just as it is with an ordinary night, without the glare of the sun and the moon.

30. When the life-spheres of the three worlds are being set afire by the potency of the fire that emanates from the mouth of Lord Sankarsana , then the sage Brighu and others who are agitated by the heat move from the world of the saints [maharloka, the fourth world] to the world of men [janaloka, the next world].

31. Immediately after the beginning of the devastation of the three worlds all the seas overflow with the agitation of violent winds and hurricanes that are blowing the waves.

32. In the water there is on the seat of Ananta the Lord in His mystic slumber with His eyes closed being glorified by the inhabitants of the worlds of men.

33. Thus in the course of time there is decline trough these days and nights of ending His [Brahmâ's] life just like it is with our lives, although it takes a hundred years [to him: two parârdha's or 2 times 155.5 trillion years.

34. The first half of the duration of His life called one parârdha has now passed and surely in this age we have begun with the second half.

35. In the beginning of the superior first half there was a millennium named the Brahmâ-kalpa in which the great was manifested whereupon Lord Brahmâ and the known sounds of the Veda appeared.

36. And thereafter at the end of the Brahmâ-millennium came into being what is called the Padma-kalpa in which from the Lord His navel the lotus of the universe sprouted.

37. This current millennium at the beginning of the second half is factually celebrated, o descendant of Bharata, as the one of Vârâha in which the Lord appeared in the form alike that of a hog.

38. This eternal time of the two halves of Brahmâ's life is but a second compared to the unchanging, unlimited and surely beginningless Soul of the universe.

39. This eternal time beginning from the atom up to the final duration of two parârdha's, for sure is never the controller; it is only capable to exercise control as Lord of the earth over those who are of body-consciousness.

40. Along with the transformation of the elements the henceforth united manifestations expanded outside covering with a universe of half a billion.

41. Enlarged up to ten times these units [or the secondary elements] that like atoms entered into it evidently came together and clustered with oneother into huge universes [or galaxies].

42. That is said to be the infallible supreme cause of all causes, the supreme abode of the Maintainer and without doubt the original incarnation of the person of the Universal Mind [Maha-Vishnu].

Ref. Srimab Bhagavatham published by BBT ( Hare Krishna).


Chapter 4.

Five elements.

In modern physics, the idea of a 'field' is introduced by thinking of an object like a magnet. The magnet somehow influences the space around it, so as to attract or to repel other magnetic objects. This influence on space is described as a 'field', generated by the magnet. Similarly, our planet earth is said to create a gravitational field, which pulls us down onto the ground beneath our feet. So also, the nucleus of an atom creates an electrical field, which attracts electrons and keeps them circling around it.

However, this idea, that objects create fields, is only an introductory one. This is just an initial indication, made rather crudely at first, on the way to a more subtle and sophisticated understanding. As a student learns more physics, the idea is actually reversed. It isn't objects that create fields, but the other way around. What our gross senses see as objects are only partial and inaccurate appearances. More accurately viewed, these seeming objects are made up from subtle fields that underlie them.

In quantum theory, all objects are conceived to be made of sub-atomic particles, which are not just little bits of matter. Instead, they are quantum elements in subtle fields that condition all space and time. Through some rather abstract mathematics, this subtle field conditioning is theoretically described. It cannot be seen directly by our gross senses and our material instruments. But it is everywhere..

The theory of relativity goes even further. Instead of describing subtle fields of force, it gives up the idea of 'force' altogether. It thus describes a four-dimensional continuum, with three dimensions for space and one for time. In this continuum, all movement is entirely unforced. Each line of travel is always the most natural. It is always a straight line, taking always the shortest path in a four-dimensional geometry that joins together the differing events of space and time.

That interconnecting geometry is curved, rather like the bumpy surface of our planet earth, with its mountains and valleys. The earth's surface is of course only two-dimensional, with one dimension for latitude and the other for longitude. But where this two-dimensional surface is bumpy, as in a mountainous region, the shortest and straightest path often seems to twist and turn, in a forced and unnatural way; when it is seen from a one-dimensional perspective that looks at the path point by point, as one travels along it.

Something similar happens in the four-dimensional geometry of the space-time continuum. In our usual perspective, through our immediate senses, we see a world of three dimensions in space, changing from moment to moment. As the bumpy geometry of space-time is seen from this three-dimensional perspective, the four-dimensional bumpiness produces the appearance of separate material objects and the forced motions that they seem to inflict upon each other.

In our habitual perspective, we are material observers, travelling through a world of objects that are located in the three dimensions of space, at each point of time. The theory of relativity describes a more fundamental perspective, in which space and time are taken together, as an underlying continuum that subtly interconnects all different seeming things.

In Srimad Bhagavatham the details of five traditional elements: called 'prithivi' or 'earth', 'apas' or 'water', 'tejas' or 'fire', 'vayu' or 'air', and 'akasha' or 'ether'. These names must not be taken too literally; for they represent a progression of increasingly subtle levels, in our experience of the world.

• 'Earth' is the 'solid' element, found at the level of gross matter that is separated into different objects.
• 'Water' is the 'fluid' element, found at the level of dynamic energy that flows in organic patterns of changing activity.
• 'Fire' is the 'illuminating' element, found at the level of meaningful information that enables a further perception of represented things.
• 'Air' is the 'qualitative' element, found at the level of conditioned character that may be contrasted and compared in different and changing things.
• 'Ether' is the 'pervading' element, found at the level of underlying continuity that is implied by all difference and change.

These five levels are found in modern physics as well, but with a difference. The older sciences include a profound consideration of life and living process, as expressing an underlying consciousness. So, where modern physics is restricted to investigate the macrocosm of the external world, the older sciences go on to analyze the microcosm of individual experience.

Thus, corresponding to the 'pancha-mahabhutas', or the 'five elements' of the macrocosm, there are five 'koshas' or 'coverings' of personality. These coverings are layers or levels of experience. As they are penetrated, by reflecting inwardly, we go down towards the depth of consciousness. And here the traditional descriptions are more abstract, so their scientific character becomes a little clearer.

The outermost layer is the 'annamaya-kosha' or the 'covering of food'. It is the external body, made of matter, like other objects seen outside by our gross senses. Here, matter is called 'food', thus conceiving it organically. It is what gets consumed by natural processes that function to produce and to transform the different objects of the outside world.

Reflecting inwards, the second layer is the 'pranamaya kosha' or the 'covering of energy'. Here, energy is described as 'prana', which also means 'living breath'. This is an energy that is inspired from within. It is not an energy of artificial force, exerted by one object upon another. Instead, it is a living energy that naturally expresses consciousness. In everyone's experience, this living energy arises quite spontaneously, from an inner ground of consciousness that we all share in common. We share that inner ground of life in common with each other, and with the whole universe. It is the ground of nature's life, in every person and in the world outside. In the world as a whole, the living energy of prana is expressed impersonally, through the impartiality of nature's ordered functioning. In the limited bodies of living creatures, the same energy is expressed more personally, through our partial faculties of physical and sensual and mental activity.

Beneath the level of living energy, there is a third layer, called the 'manomaya-kosha' or the 'covering of mind'. This is the conceiving intellect, made up of thoughts that interpret the patterns of activity that our senses perceive. Thus interpreted, these patterns are conceived as meaningful information, telling us about an intelligible world. Here, as information is meaningfully represented, modern physics is confined to quantitative measurements and calculations of mathematical variables like distance, time, speed, mass, momentum and energy. But the older sciences go on to a broader and fuller investigation of language, thought and meaningful experience.

Next, beneath the level of information and its interpretation, there is a fourth layer, called the 'vijnyanamaya-kosha' or the 'covering of discernment'. This is our discernment of qualities and values, which we compare and contrast in the information that we perceive and interpret and describe. In modern physics, the comparison is strictly quantitative, ascribing a mathematical value to each point of space and time, and thus formally describing a mathematically abstracted 'field'. By contrast, the older sciences consider quality and value in a much fuller way, as a conditioning that we discern and judge intuitively, through our inner feelings. So, instead of being restricted to calculating theories that have to be applied by an external technology of material instruments, the older sciences are more essentially concerned with a systematic and reasoned clarification of our discerning faculties.

Further still, beneath the level of quality and its discernment, there is a fifth layer, called the 'anandamaya-kosha' or the 'covering of happiness'. This is the co-ordinating layer of personality, with the word 'ananda' or 'happiness' being used in the sense of 'harmony' and 'integration'. The co-ordination takes place through assimilated understanding. Through it we comprehend the continuity of underlying principles, beneath the change and the variety of superficial appearances.

Here, at the level of continuity and integration, the old sciences show up their subjective basis. When the concept of 'akasha' or 'ether' is rightly understood, it corresponds closely with the space-time continuum of modern physics. 'Akasha' means 'pervading space'. It is the continuity of space and time, pervading through all experience. But this same word, 'akasha', also implies a knowing light, which is subjective. The continuity of akasha includes both objective and subjective experience.

When it is considered subjectively, this continuity is called 'prajnyana' or 'consciousness'. It is the knowing ground that lights up all appearances, no matter where, no matter when, no matter in whose experience. On that subjective ground, the old sciences are based.

But, if these sciences are founded in this way, on a subjective basis, that might seem to make them merely personal. How then can they be scientific? The answer is that they are meant to be based upon an impersonal subjectivity. They depend upon a ground of consciousness that is at once subjective and impersonal.

Chapter.5


zero and infinity

In science, zero and infinity are mathematical concepts. Mathematicians consider zero as a finite number although physicists do not always agree with that view. Infinity of course cannot be regarded as a number. In Bhagavatham zero and infinity are explained. Shunya is far more comprehensive in meaning than zero; it means zero only in the context of numbers. Its general meaning is void or emptiness, a concept that the mind cannot comprehend unless it itself is empty. (It should be noted that the mind that we usually speak of is the lowest level of chitta.) The same is true for infinity. Even in mathematics, strictly speaking, zero and infinity cannot be arrived at -- any variable can only tend to either. Asking for the smallest number greater than zero or the largest number less than infinity is meaningless. In Sanskrit there is no single word for infinity. Several words like anadi (without beginning) and ananta (without end) are used. Bhagavatham characterize Brahma as 'smaller than the smallest and larger than the largest. In the usual sense in which the words small and large are commonly used, this statement may seem to be a contradiction in terms. This is because our perception of small and large is tied to the mental construct of space and time. Small and large are a pair of opposites like pleasure and pain, happiness and misery, etc. The small is contained in the large, and the large is contained in the small in latent form, just as a huge banyan tree is contained in the tiny seed. Even in mathematics (more precisely in geometry and in set theory), it can be shown that the infinite is contained in the finite. The notion of space-time leads to that of causation -- cause preceding effect. In order to realize the meaning of zero and infinity one has to transcend space-time.

We exist in space-time. We, as well as everything else in the universe, are events in space-time. There are no objects, only events. Every event has a lifetime, and on the cosmological scale most of the events are transient. Anything that has a name and form (naam, roop) is limited in space-time. How do we transcend space-time? Physically, we cannot. But we are not the physical body, we just live in it. Human beings are capable of recognizing the fact that besides the gross body there is also a subtle body. It is the subtle body that can go beyond space-time and experience things outside of the phenomenal world. When one think of an object one is already bringing in a separation; the object is something different than oneself the subject. If there is no object there is no separation. When every object is viewed as an event and the object vanishes, space-time also vanishes. The vanishing of the subject-object duality essentially means that the person has merged himself with the universe. In this state, one has transcended space-time and zero and infinity come together.. “One who sees everything in himself and himself in everything does not have ill will against anyone.

In science, space and time were regarded absolute entities until Einstein shattered that notion with the Relativity Theory. In Bhagavatam, the only absolute entity is Brahman the Ultimate Reality. Space and time both imply separation, i.e. distance relative to positions or events. Anything that is relative cannot be absolute. According to quantum theory, the position and time of an individual event are random and unpredictable. This is known as the Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Quantum physics also showed that the observer and observed are not separate but form an integrated system along with everything else involved in the process of observation. It has also done away with the concept of elementary particles; now there are no elementary particles. The fundamental unit is supposed to be a vibration of a super string; different specific configurations of these vibrations condense into particles that combine to form atoms, molecules and matter. Vibrations represent energy. Thus the empty space is no longer empty but filled with energy, and myriads of virtual particles keep appearing and disappearing constantly. So at the most fundamental level there can be effects without causes and vice versa. In other words, there is no distinction between cause and effect, and the idea of causation becomes irrelevant. This is exactly what vivartavad of Vedanta implies. Matter comes from energy and disappears into energy; what happens is simply a transformation. Thus science is coming close to the viewpoint of Bhagavatham that the ultimate source of energy is Brahman and the entire universe comes out of this source. According to the generally accepted Big Bang Theory in cosmology, the universe originated from a single concentrated source -- the space-time singularity. Here also, zero and infinity come together -- zero space-time and infinite energy. But science has no idea (at least not yet) why this source exploded with a big bang or what was happening before. Bhagavatham has an explanation (even though philosophical) for how the universe originated from the one energy source, Brahma. Physics can explain the conversion of mass into energy but has no clear idea of how mass, let alone consciousness, is created from energy.

In quantum theory, void is not void after all; it is full of cosmic energy. Once space-time is transcended, void and emptiness take different meanings. As long as one is in the realm of space-time, whatever one knows or can ever know is relative. Zero and infinity (Shunya and ananta) are absolute. As soon as we try to put anything absolute into words, it ceases to be absolute because the very purpose of language is to isolate and put labels. Every thought involves the subject-object duality. We cannot be conscious of consciousness in the same way as we are conscious of an object. Consciousness is not an object; as soon as we think about consciousness, it becomes an object and ceases to be consciousness. The aim of any thought process is to know something. We cannot know consciousness. And that is why Bhagavatam say: how can the knower be known. The absolute cannot be known, it can only be realized.

Both, the Relativity Theory and quantum theory, point to an undivided wholeness of the universe in which there are no autonomous parts -- everything is in everything. Starting from the premises of these theories. Everything is enfolded into everything else and what one observes is the unfolding of the enfolded version at a given instant. Like a hologram, the part contains the whole as the whole contains the part. The fractal theory (which is a part of chaos theory) shows this graphically. Thus, the microcosm is a mirror image of the macrocosm, which is Vedanta's view. Prigogine, a pioneer in the field of dynamic system theory (commonly known as mathematics of complexity) says, “The world we see outside and the world we see within are converging”. In the life sciences, the idea of wholeness has been there for a long time but it has come into prominence only in the last few decades. Every living organism depends on the process of feedback and thus all parts of the organism are not only interconnected but also interdependent. A living organism is not a thing but a smoothly flowing process, and its flow is determined by two things: its pattern of organization and its structure. The pattern determines its identity, while the structure formed by a sequence of changes or modifications, determines the system behavior. So the course of evolution of a living system including human beings is both determined and free. This is what the doctrine of karma implies.

The concept of undivided wholeness is basic to bhagavatam. Everything in the universe is Brahma because it is simply a manifestation of that Ultimate Reality. He moves and remains still at the same time; He is near as well as far; He is inside as well as outside The first of the four great sentences (mahavakyas) of Vedanta is 'I am Brahma (Aham brahmasmi)'. If I am everywhere at the same time, for me there is no space and there is no time. There is movement because energy is dynamic. However, the concept of movement is now totally different. Space and time are not involved in it. The concept of non-locality in modern physics has come very close to this view.

We have seen that according to philosophy as well as science the primordial form of the universe is energy. What is energy? We really do not know. We cannot see energy, we can feel its presence only through its effects on our senses. Our sensory perceptions are only quantitative not qualitative. That is why there is a threshold for every sense organ. We cannot hear sound unless it is above a certain intensity level; we cannot see anything unless the light falling on it has a certain minimum intensity. And that is true for all sense perceptions. So we do not know anything about the quality of energy. Out there, there is no light and no color, there are only electromagnetic waves. Out there, there is no sound or music only acoustic waves, periodic variations of the air pressure. What we finally sense is the projection by the mind after it processes the signals sent by the sense organs. This is true for everything that we see out there in the universe. Everything is a packet of waves -- the dynamic representation of energy. According to quantum physics, everything in the universe can be mathematically represented by wave functions. An object is seen at a given place at a given time only as a result of bunching together of the wave functions. Technically it is called wave function collapse or state vector reduction in mathematical terms. Thus, modern science is also coming to the viewpoint, although from a different direction, that the universe as we know it, is built and experienced entirely within our heads. Energy is also consciousness and once realized, it is the highest state of happiness and contentedness. The ultimate source of energy is Brahma. That is why He is known as Reality-Consciousness-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Anand).

Chapter.6

Pranayama is an exact health science. It is the fourth Anga or limb of Ashtanga Yoga. “Tasmin Sati Svasa prasvasayorgativicchedah Pranayamah”—Regulation of breath or the control of Prana is the stoppage of inhalation and exhalation, which follows after securing that steadiness of posture or seat, Asana. ‘Svasa’ means inspiratory breath and ‘Prasvasa’ is expiratory breath. Breath is external manifestation of Prana, the vital force. Breath like electricity, is gross Prana. Breath is Sthula, gross. Prana is Sukshma, subtle. By exercising control over this breathing you can control the subtle Prana inside. Control of Prana means control of mind. Mind cannot operate without the help of Prana. The vibrations of Prana only produce thoughts in the mind. It is Prana that moves the mind. It is Prana that sets the mind in motion. It is the Sukshma Prana or Psychic Prana that is intimately connected with the mind. This breath represents the important fly-wheel of an engine. Just as the other wheels stop when the driver stops the fly-wheel, so also other organs cease working, when the Yogi stops the breath. If you can control the fly-wheel, you can easily control the other wheels. Likewise, if you can control the external breath, you can easily control the inner vital force, Prana. The process by which the Prana is controlled by regulation of external breath, is termed Pranayama.

Just as a goldsmith removes the impurities of gold by heating it in the hot furnace, by strongly blowing the blow-pipe, so also the Yogic student removes the impurities of the body and the Indriyas by blowing his lungs, i.e., by practising Pranayama.

The chief aim of Pranayama is to unite the Prana with the Apana and take the united Pranapana slowly towards the head. The effect or fruit of Pranayama is Udghata or awakening of the sleeping Kundalini.

This body of Vayu is 96 digits (6 feet) in length as a standard. The ordinary length of the air-current, when exhaled is 12 digits (9 inches). In singing, its length becomes 16 digits (1 foot), in eating it comes to 20 digits (15 inches), in sleeping 30 digits (22 1/2 inches), in copulation 36 digits (27 inches) and in doing physical exercise it is much more than that. By decreasing the natural length of the expirer air-currents (from 9 inches), life is prolonged and by increasing the current, duration of life is decreased.



Once in his speech, Swami chinmayananda said, "To expalain and communicate with you
about Krishna or Bhagavat Gita or about the misterious glory that kept up the culture of this
nation for thousands of years, in one hour or one and half hours, only Lord Krishna can do that.."


This is not another interpretation of the Srimad Bhagavatham or an attempt to use science as a crutch to elevate this. It is very difficult to provide an accurate interpretation of the intention of theVeda Vysa. One reason being: it was written/told so long ago, in a completely different societal, temporal and behavioral setting than today; the meanings may have been altered due to its poetic form although the form may have made it easier to remember it from generation to generation, etc.





Ref.  1. Hare Krishna

        2. Chinmaya kendra



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Essence of all Religions Submitter: bhattathiri
Date: 2004-10-06 08:08:26 GMT

THE ESSENCE OF ALL RELIGIONS.

1. Please know that God is within you.

2 God is infinite love and peace.

3. God is the eternal light and joy that shine the whole universe.

4. People should rise to the occasion to do their duty.

5. People should reach the height and glory of God’s supreme presence.

6. The feeling that I and mine should be given up and see every thing equal.

7. Have an elevated thinking.

8. Remember God in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end for all ventures.

9. Be humble, pure, simple, and innocent and God is yours.

10. God in the form of love reside in everybody’ heart and be conscious of this at all times

      Then your thoughts, words and actions will be of love.

11. The light of God will always illuminate the heart and light only can be seen inside and outside.

12. Come out of the darkness of ignorance enter into the light of knowledge then only we can feel the presence of God the light of all lights.

13. Let all our actions be as per the directions of God within us.

14. Ego should be avoided to allow everything to be done at the will of God.

15. God is the only reality, truth, and live for God alone.

16. Detachment to perishable things and attachment to only God will give peace of mind.

17. Desire for material things is the cause for all sorrows.

18. Taking more than one’s requirement will ultimately give grief.

19. Acquire knowledge which can’t be stolen or lost.

20. Enjoy always the sunshine of God’s splendor and glory.

21. Remember always God and live in tune with him.

22. Be happy and calm in all situations.

23. See, hear, and speak only good things,

23. Serve the needy and sick wholeheartedly.

24. Total surrender to God will give peace of mind.

25. Remember always the God’s grace for all achievements..

26. Avoid self praise and say only good things about others.

27. See everybody with respect irrespective of caste color and creed.

28. Anger, lust and ego are the only enemies.

29. Purify the heart for the God to sit in.

30. There is no greater virtue than humility, no vice greater than pride.

31. Be sincere in all works, work is worship.

32. Make God your friend, philosopher and guide.

33. Don’t get dejected in failure and fall, God’s grace will be upon us.

34. Always you are one with God and different from Him.

35. Like a flower give always the perfume of love and joy.

36. Pray for the awareness that always you may be in Him and He in you.

37. Remember always that everything in the Universe belongs to God, nothing is ours

38. We have got this birth at the will of God and we are on our way to Him.

39. Know that our goal is to rest in peace with God.

40. Always remember that we are the immortal spirit.

41. Chanting the name of God will save us from fear, doubt and anxiety.

42. Supreme knowledge is ultimate devotion to God.

43. What ever we do will be seen by the God.

44. Overeating, earning money by unlawful means, desire for others property are our weakness.  



45 .We are all safe in the hands of God.

46. God manifesting Himself as a person; the object of worship of the bhaktas. By worshipping God as a person, devotees are able to assume human-like relationships with God, for example: God as parent, devotee as child; God as Lord, devotee as servant. It is also much easier for many people to develop love toward God when He is regarded as a person. Such love is capable of triggering a spiritual awakening once it is a pure, selfless love.

47. In this kaliyuga Chant always the name of God.

48. God can assume any form to protect the devotees.

49. To serve the devotees is equal to serve the God.

50.Awake, arise and do your duty justifiably . God will be always with you.

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PHILOSOPHY OF CELIBACY Submitter: Bhattathiri
Date: 2004-10-06 08:13:46 GMT







The importance of CELIBACY( “Brahmacharya”) is clearly explained in Yejurveda. In this modern life very few only understand this and practice it. All Vedas and other scriptures of Hinduism lay great emphasis regarding Brahmacharya. In vedic period a student is also known as Brahmachari. By preserving the energy, strength and vitality of mind and various organs one can lead a happy, energetic and healthy life. The mind will be clear and brain will superb for a Brhmachari. It enhances the strength, life span and health since it is the mine of all virtues .Brahmacharya is the dam of all pleasures of life and only learned people keep it and their power and life increases and all sickness is destroyed. It is easy to preach and to practice is very difficult. One should try to be always in the company of noble people and control their senses as far as possible to get the actual reward of human life. A man is known by the company he keeps. If one always move in the company of good, learned and noble ones there is no doubt that he can be one among them one day. Company is contagious and man changes his colors accordingly sooner or later. He cannot remain unaffected for long best company means not only noble people but also good books written by great scholars, Sages, Saints, Prophets, Rishis, and  Munis. These contain vast treasures of wealth and will make one so rich that the worldly riches would appear very insignificant. One of the verses in YajurVeda state that taught people who are actually endowed with divine powers should do two things in this world. One is that they should propagate the teachings of Brahmacharya and control of senses so that people may become strong and healthy leading a full vigorous life. Next thing is by education and practice thereof, they should teach one and all how to develop their inner strength and power so that people may enjoy their blissful life fully in all respects. In another verse it is stated that such people who abandon the company of bad people and give up all bad evil habits and keep away from immoral life increasing their vitality beget good children, they strength and  glorify their race and their country.

Brahmacharya will give the power to face and solve any problems as a boat can ferry people through turbulent waters of the sea. A Brahmachari will be liked and respected in all the societies and meetings. In one verse it is explained that the age of a boy begins at twenty-sixth year and for a girl it is seventeen and up to this period they should practice Brahmacharya at any cost and can get married. Those who get education following the rules of Brahmacharya, they shine like sun are quick in all what they do, like a hawk and become the hallmark of respect, enjoying their life skipping like a deer.

In the student life it would be better to preserve their vital fluid which is the life thread, so that they can utilize their energy and strength for their education and learning. In vedic period student is imparted with all the knowledge right from the Earth to the sun and in this way all divinity reside in his body and such students in future will assets to their country and world. They will have harmony of the head, heart and hand in such a way which will be beneficial to the society as a whole. It has been truly said that if our hearts are strong, our heads are right in vain. A person without education is beast and a person without Dharma is like a beast.

Education and knowledge are like two eyes of a person which enable him to see things correctly and assess his own position. The purpose of education is to make man what he ought to be.



According to Vedas education on arts and material science is not enough and because major portion of achieving perfection can be achieved by studying spiritual science. The aim of life and education is that we may live a new life in the realm of self and the creation, with harmony and happiness and will become virtuous. Every second of the life should be fully utilized so that there is no room left for idling. It may be noted that “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.” Of course relaxation and enjoyment should be there along with study to keep one fit and fresh and ready to face any challenges of life.

If proper education is not given to children parents become enemies since they get isolated in society. Teachers should take utmost care for understanding to develop good character and affection along with studies. They should be taught that all women are like mother, sister or daughter according to their age and they should be protected whenever necessary.

In Vedas it is also stated that

Not to earn wealth at the cost of others pain and suffering
It is not good to be fatigue self too much both physically and mentally.
Hard-work is the keystone to virtuous earning with the sweat of one’s own brow, not by lottery, speculation and gambling.
Don’t do anything undesirable and harmful to the society
Acquire knowledge which can’t be stolen away by thieves than material wealth.
A great scholar of ancient India Sri Pathanjali's in his  teachings  explains the importance of Brahmacharya and it is studied by foreign scholars and one such famous scholar
Dr. Louis an eminent physician opined that most precious atoms of the blood
enter into the composition of semen (in his book Chastity) . So preservation
of semen by  practicing continence helps the better development of brain ,
body, and mind .Dr. Nicholas says that the best blood in the body goes to
form the elements of reproduction in both the sexes .So if anybody waste
semen he is loosing the best part of the blood and he becomes weak physically and

intellegently. If preserved he becomes strong, intellectual, heroic and powerful.

Brahmacharya can be practiced by married people also. Chastity and fidelity are the foundation on which a strong and happy marital relationship stands and should be understood by husband and wife. In Srimad Bhagavatham a holy book of Hinduism it is clearly mentioned that practice of brahmacharya is also one of the important duties in married life and it is waived only for the purpose of procreation, austerity, purity, contentment and friendliness towards all. (11.18.43)
Ancient Rishi of India Pathanjali  also says in his Yogasutra
that CONTNENCE IS LIFE AND INCOTINENCE IS EQUAL TO DEATH.
LORD SHIVA in the  Jnanasamkalani Tantra says that " The wise do not regard the
ordinary forms of asceticism as real asceticism. Continence is the highest
asceticism. He who is a continent is equal to God.
So especially youth in whom the future of our country rests, should practice
celibacy as far as possible to lead the country and countrymen to have a prosperous future.

Those who acquired power by observing celibacy are Indian President Sri. Abdul kalam, foemer PM. Sri A.B Vajpai, Sai Baba, Mata Amritanadamayi Devi and the list goes on.

    


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Spirituality of Holy Gita Submitter: bhattathiri
Date: 2004-10-13 02:29:28 GMT







Your website is divine,  informative and excellant.


Article  by M.P. Bhattathiri, Retired Chief  Technical Examiner , Govt. of Kerala, it may be published in your website and magazine after editing if necessary.  



Bhagavad Gita and  Management


by M.P. Bhattathiri


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Mind is very restless, forceful and strong, O Krishna, it is more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind ~ Arjuna to Sri Krishna

Introduction

One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is Holy Gita which is considered to be the first revelations from God. The managent lessons in this holy book  were brought in to light of the world by divine Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and the spiritual philosophy by Theophosical Society. Maharishi calls the Bhagavad-Gita the essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide to practical life. It provides “all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level.” Maharishi reveals the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the needs and aspirations of everyone. Arjuna got mentally depressed when he saw his relatives with whom he has to fight.( Mental health has become a major international public health concern now). To motivate him the Bhagavad Gita is preached in the battle field Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as a counseling to do his duty while multitudes of men stood by waiting . It has got all the management tactics to achieve the mental equilibrium and to overcome any crisis situation. The Bhagavad Gita can be experienced as a powerful catalyst for transformation. Bhagavad gita means song of the Spirit, song of the Lord.  The Holy Gita has become a secret driving force behind the unfoldment of one's life. In the days of doubt this divine book will support all  spiritual search.This divine  book will contribute to self reflection, finer feeling and deepen one's inner process. Then life in the world can become a real education—dynamic, full and joyful—no matter what the circumstance. May the wisdom of loving consciousness ever guide us on our journey. What makes the Holy Gita a practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence and we must learn to participate in the battle of life with right knowledge.

Mind can be one's friend or enemy. Mind is the cause for both bondage and liberation. The word mind is derived from man to think and the word man derived from manu (sanskrit word for man).

"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy."

There is no theory to be internalized and applied in this psychology. Ancient practices spontaneously induce what each person needs as the individual and the universal coincide. The work proceeds through intellectual knowledge of the playing field(jnana yoga), emotional devotion to the ideal(bhakti yoga) and right action that includes both feeling and knowledge(karma yoga). With ongoing purification we approach wisdom. The Bhagavad Gita is a message addressed to each and every human individual to help him or her to solve the vexing problem of overcoming the present and progressing towards a bright future. Within its eighteen chapters is revealed a human drama. This is the experience of everyone in this world, the drama of the ascent of man from a state of utter dejection, sorrow and total breakdown and hopelessness to a state of perfect understanding, clarity, renewed strength and triumph.  

Introduction
Management has become a part and parcel of everyday life, be it at home, in the office or factory and in Government. In all organizations, where a group of human beings assemble for a common purpose, management principles come into play through the management of resources, finance and planning, priorities, policies and practice. Management is a systematic way of carrying out activities in any field of human effort.

Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their weaknesses irrelevant, says the Management Guru Peter Drucker. It creates harmony in working together - equilibrium in thoughts and actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and markets. It resolves situations of scarcity, be they in the physical, technical or human fields, through maximum utilization with the minimum available processes to achieve the goal. Lack of management causes disorder, confusion, wastage, delay, destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and materials in the best possible way, according to circumstances and environment, is the most important and essential factor for a successful management.

Management guidelines from the Bhagavad Gita
There is an important distinction between effectiveness and efficiency in managing.

Effectiveness is doing the right things.
Efficiency is doing things right.
The general principles of effective management can be applied in every field, the differences being more in application than in principle. The Manager's functions can be summed up as:

Forming a vision
Planning the strategy to realise the vision.
Cultivating the art of leadership.
Establishing institutional excellence.
Building an innovative organisation.
Developing human resources.
Building teams and teamwork.
Delegation, motivation, and communication.
Reviewing performance and taking corrective steps when called for.
Thus, management is a process of aligning people and getting them committed to work for a common goal to the maximum social benefit - in search of excellence.

The critical question in all managers’ minds is how to be effective in their job. The answer to this fundamental question is found in the Bhagavad Gita, which repeatedly proclaims that “you must try to manage yourself.” The reason is that unless a manager reaches a level of excellence and effectiveness, he or she will be merely a face in the crowd.

Old truths in a new context
The Bhagavad Gita, written thousands of years ago, enlightens us on all managerial techniques leading us towards a harmonious and blissful state of affairs in place of the conflict, tensions, poor productivity, absence of motivation and so on, common in most of Indian enterprises today – and probably in enterprises in many other countries.

The modern (Western) management concepts of vision, leadership, motivation, excellence in work, achieving goals, giving work meaning, decision making and planning, are all discussed in the Bhagavad Gita. There is one major difference. While Western management thought too often deals with problems at material, external and peripheral levels, the Bhagavad Gita tackles the issues from the grass roots level of human thinking. Once the basic thinking of man is improved, it will automatically enhance the quality of his actions and their results.

The management philosophy emanating from the West, is based on the lure of materialism and on a perennial thirst for profit, irrespective of the quality of the means adopted to achieve that goal. This phenomenon has its source in the abundant wealth of the West and so 'management by materialism' has caught the fancy of all the countries the world over, India being no exception to this trend. My country, India, has been in the forefront in importing these ideas mainly because of its centuries old indoctrination by colonial rulers, which has inculcated in us a feeling that anything Western is good and anything Indian is inferior.

The result is that, while huge funds have been invested in building temples of modem management education, no perceptible changes are visible in the improvement of the general quality of life - although the standards of living of a few has gone up. The same old struggles in almost all sectors of the economy, criminalisation of institutions, social violence, exploitation and other vices are seen deep in the body politic.

The source of the problem
The reasons for this sorry state of affairs are not far to seek. The Western idea of management centres on making the worker (and the manager) more efficient and more productive. Companies offer workers more to work more, produce more, sell more and to stick to the organisation without looking for alternatives. The sole aim of extracting better and more work from the worker is to improve the bottom-line of the enterprise. The worker has become a hireable commodity, which can be used, replaced and discarded at will.

Thus, workers have been reduced to the state of a mercantile product. In such a state, it should come as no surprise to us that workers start using strikes (gheraos) sit-ins, (dharnas) go-slows, work-to-rule etc. to get maximum benefit for themselves from the organisations. Society-at-large is damaged. Thus we reach a situation in which management and workers become separate and contradictory entities with conflicting interests. There is no common goal or understanding. This, predictably, leads to suspicion, friction, disillusion and mistrust, with managers and workers at cross purposes. The absence of human values and erosion of human touch in the organisational structure has resulted in a crisis of confidence.

Western management philosophy may have created prosperity – for some people some of the time at least - but it has failed in the aim of ensuring betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by and large a soulless edifice and an oasis of plenty for a few in the midst of poor quality of life for many.

Hence, there is an urgent need to re-examine prevailing management disciplines - their objectives, scope and content. Management should be redefined to underline the development of the worker as a person, as a human being, and not as a mere wage-earner. With this changed perspective, management can become an instrument in the process of social, and indeed national, development.

Now let us re-examine some of the modern management concepts in the light of the Bhagavad Gita which is a primer of management-by-values.

Utilisation of available resources
The first lesson of management science is to choose wisely and utilise scarce resources optimally. During the curtain raiser before the Mahabharata War, Duryodhana chose Sri Krishna's large army for his help while Arjuna selected Sri Krishna's wisdom for his support. This episode gives us a clue as to the nature of the effective manager - the former chose numbers, the latter, wisdom.

Attitudes towards work
Three stone-cutters were engaged in erecting a temple. An HRD Consultant asked them what they were doing. The response of the three workers to this innocent-looking question is illuminating.

'I am a poor man. I have to maintain my family. I am making a living here,' said the first stone-cutter with a dejected face.
'Well, I work because I want to show that I am the best stone-cutter in the country,' said the second one with a sense of pride.
'Oh, I want to build the most beautiful temple in the country,' said the third one with a visionary gleam.
Their jobs were identical but their perspectives were different. What the Gita tells us is to develop the visionary perspective in the work we do. It tells us to develop a sense of larger vision in our work for the common good.

Work commitment
A popular verse of the Gita advises “detachment” from the fruits or results of actions performed in the course of one's duty. Being dedicated work has to mean “working for the sake of work, generating excellence for its own sake.” If we are always calculating the date of promotion or the rate of commission before putting in our efforts, then such work is not detached. It is not “generating excellence for its own sake” but working only for the extrinsic reward that may (or may not) result.

Working only with an eye to the anticipated benefits, means that the quality of performance of the current job or duty suffers - through mental agitation of anxiety for the future. In fact, the way the world works means that events do not always respond positively to our calculations and hence expected fruits may not always be forthcoming. So, the Gita tells us not to mortgage present commitment to an uncertain future.

Some people might argue that not seeking the business result of work and actions, makes one unaccountable. In fact, the Bhagavad Gita is full of advice on the theory of cause and effect, making the doer responsible for the consequences of his deeds. While advising detachment from the avarice of selfish gains in discharging one's accepted duty, the Gita does not absolve anybody of the consequences arising from discharge of his or her responsibilities.

Thus the best means of effective performance management is the work itself. Attaining this state of mind (called “nishkama karma”) is the right attitude to work because it prevents the ego, the mind, from dissipation of attention through speculation on future gains or losses.

Motivation – self and self-transcendence
It has been presumed for many years that satisfying lower order needs of workers - adequate food, clothing and shelter, etc. are key factors in motivation. However, it is a common experience that the dissatisfaction of the clerk and of the Director is identical - only their scales and composition vary. It should be true that once the lower-order needs are more than satisfied, the Director should have little problem in optimising his contribution to the organisation and society. But more often than not, it does not happen like that. (“The eagle soars high but keeps its eyes firmly fixed on the dead animal below.”) On the contrary, a lowly paid schoolteacher, or a self-employed artisan, may well demonstrate higher levels of self-actualisation despite poorer satisfaction of their lower-order needs.

This situation is explained by the theory of self-transcendence propounded in the Gita. Self-transcendence involves renouncing egoism, putting others before oneself, emphasising team work, dignity, co-operation, harmony and trust – and, indeed potentially sacrificing lower needs for higher goals, the opposite of Maslow.

“Work must be done with detachment.” It is the ego that spoils work and the ego is the centrepiece of most theories of motivation. We need not merely a theory of motivation but a theory of inspiration.

The Great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941, known as "Gurudev") says working for love is freedom in action. A concept which is described as “disinterested work" in the Gita where Sri Krishna says,

“He who shares the wealth generated only after serving the people, through work done as a sacrifice for them, is freed from all sins. On the contrary those who earn wealth only for themselves, eat sins that lead to frustration and failure.”

Disinterested work finds expression in devotion, surrender and equipoise. The former two are psychological while the third is determination to keep the mind free of the dualistic (usually taken to mean "materialistic") pulls of daily experiences. Detached involvement in work is the key to mental equanimity or the state of “nirdwanda.” This attitude leads to a stage where the worker begins to feel the presence of the Supreme Intelligence guiding the embodied individual intelligence. Such de-personified intelligence is best suited for those who sincerely believe in the supremacy of organisational goals as compared to narrow personal success and achievement.

Work culture
An effective work culture is about vigorous and arduous efforts in pursuit of given or chosen tasks. Sri Krishna elaborates on two types of work culture – “daivi sampat” or divine work culture and “asuri sampat” or demonic work culture.

Daivi work culture - involves fearlessness, purity, self-control, sacrifice, straightforwardness, self-denial, calmness, absence of fault-finding, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of envy and pride.
Asuri work culture - involves egoism, delusion, personal desires, improper performance, work not oriented towards service.
Mere work ethic is not enough. The hardened criminal exhibits an excellent work ethic. What is needed is a work ethic conditioned by ethics in work.

It is in this light that the counsel, “yogah karmasu kausalam” should be understood. “Kausalam” means skill or technique of work which is an indispensable component of a work ethic. “Yogah” is defined in the Gita itself as “samatvam yogah uchyate” meaning an unchanging equipoise of mind (detachment.) Tilak tells us that acting with an equable mind is Yoga.

(Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 1856-1920, the precursor of Gandhiji, hailed by the people of India as "Lokmanya," probably the most learned among the country's political leaders. For a description of the meanings of the word "Yoga", see foot of this page.)

By making the equable mind the bed-rock of all actions, the Gita evolved the goal of unification of work ethic with ethics in work, for without ethical process no mind can attain an equipoise. The guru, Adi Sankara (born circa 800 AD), says that the skill necessary in the performance of one's duty is that of maintaining an evenness of mind in face of success and failure. The calm mind in the face of failure will lead to deeper introspection and see clearly where the process went wrong so that corrective steps could be taken to avoid shortcomings in future.

The principle of reducing our attachment to personal gains from the work done is the Gita’s prescription for attaining equanimity. It has been held that this principle leads to lack of incentive for effort, striking at the very root of work ethic. To the contrary, concentration on the task for its own sake leads to the achievement of excellence – and indeed to the true mental happiness of the worker. Thus, while commonplace theories of motivation may be said to lead us to the bondage or extrinsic rewards, the Gita’s principle leads us to the intrinsic rewards of mental, and indeed moral, satisfaction.

Work results
The Gita further explains the theory of “detachment” from the extrinsic rewards of work in saying:

If the result of sincere effort is a success, the entire credit should not be appropriated by the doer alone.
If the result of sincere effort is a failure, then too the entire blame does not accrue to the doer.
The former attitude mollifies arrogance and conceit while the latter prevents excessive despondency, de-motivation and self-pity. Thus both these dispositions safeguard the doer against psychological vulnerability, the cause of the modem managers' companions of diabetes, high blood pressure and ulcers.

Assimilation of the ideas of the Gita leads us to the wider spectrum of “lokasamgraha” (general welfare) but there is also another dimension to the work ethic - if the “karmayoga” (service) is blended with “bhaktiyoga” (devotion), then the work itself becomes worship, a “sevayoga" (service for its own sake.)

(This may sound a peculiarly religious idea but it has a wider application. It could be taken to mean doing something because it is worthwhile, to serve others, to make the world a better place – ed.)

Manager's mental health
Sound mental health is the very goal of any human activity - more so management. Sound mental health is that state of mind which can maintain a calm, positive poise, or regain it when unsettled, in the midst of all the external vagaries of work life and social existence. Internal constancy and peace are the pre-requisites for a healthy stress-free mind.

Some of the impediments to sound mental health are:

Greed - for power, position, prestige and money.
Envy - regarding others' achievements, success, rewards.
Egotism - about one's own accomplishments.
Suspicion, anger and frustration.
Anguish through comparisons.
The driving forces in today's businesses are speed and competition. There is a distinct danger that these forces cause erosion of the moral fibre, that in seeking the end, one permits oneself immoral means - tax evasion, illegitimate financial holdings, being “economical with the truth”, deliberate oversight in the audit, too-clever financial reporting and so on. This phenomenon may be called as “yayati syndrome”.

In the book, the Mahabharata, we come across a king by the name of Yayati who, in order to revel in the endless enjoyment of flesh exchanged his old age with the youth of his obliging youngest son for a thousand years. However, he found the pursuit of sensual enjoyments ultimately unsatisfying and came back to his son pleading him to take back his youth. This “yayati syndrome” shows the conflict between externally directed acquisitions (extrinsic motivation) and inner value and conscience (intrinsic motivation.)

Management needs those who practise what they preach
“Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow,” says Sri Krishna in the Gita. The visionary leader must be a missionary, extremely practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an inspired and spontaneous motivation to help others. "I am the strength of those who are devoid of personal desire and attachment. O Arjuna, I am the legitimate desire in those, who are not opposed to righteousness," says Sri Krishna in the 10th Chapter of the Gita.

In conclusion
The despondency of Arjuna in the first chapter of the Gita is typically human. Sri Krishna, by sheer power of his inspiring words, changes Arjuna's mind from a state of inertia to one of righteous action, from the state of what the French philosophers call “anomie” or even alienation, to a state of self-confidence in the ultimate victory of “dharma” (ethical action.)

When Arjuna got over his despondency and stood ready to fight, Sri Krishna reminded him of the purpose of his new-found spirit of intense action - not for his own benefit, not for satisfying his own greed and desire, but for the good of many, with faith in the ultimate victory of ethics over unethical actions and of truth over untruth.

Sri Krishna's advice with regard to temporary failures is, “No doer of good ever ends in misery.” Every action should produce results. Good action produces good results and evil begets nothing but evil. Therefore, always act well and be rewarded.

My purport is not to suggest discarding of the Western model of efficiency, dynamism and striving for excellence but to tune these ideals to India's holistic attitude of “lokasangraha” - for the welfare of many, for the good of many. There is indeed a moral dimension to business life. What we do in business is no different, in this regard, to what we do in our personal lives. The means do not justify the ends. Pursuit of results for their own sake, is ultimately self-defeating. (“Profit,” said Matsushita-san in another tradition, “is the reward of correct behaviour.” – ed.)

A note on the word "yoga".

Yoga has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things. The technical meaning is “a state of stability and peace and the means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses the word with both meanings.




M.P.Bhattathiri.


Let us go through what scholars say about Holy Gita.


"No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is better loved, in the West, than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme and a verbal artistry. For the poem is a symphony in which God is seen in all things. . . . The Swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has lead to this illuminating work."

Dr. Geddes MacGregor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy University of Southern California


"The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita."

Thomas Merton, Theologian


"I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita. It is a most valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book."

Dr. Samuel D. Atkins Professor of Sanskrit, Princeton University


"As a successor in direct line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest that his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers us an authorized interpretation according to the principles of the Caitanya tradition."

Olivier Lacombe Professor of Sanskrit and Indology, Sorbonne University, Paris


"I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is particularly true of the BBT edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita."

Dr. Frederick B. Underwood Professor of Religion, Columbia University


"If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people."

Dr. Elwin H. Powell Professor of Sociology State University of New York, Buffalo


"There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada's translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight."

Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins Professor of Religion, Franklin and Marshall College


"The Bhagavad-gita, one of the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a common part of our cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien per se than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a commentary written from not only a scholar's but a practitioner's, a dedicated lifelong devotee's point of view."

Denise Levertov, Poet


"The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our understanding manyfold."

Dr. Edward C Dimock, Jr. Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization University of Chicago


"The scholarly world is again indebted to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of singular importance with his commentary."

Dr. J. Stillson Judah, Professor of the History of Religions and Director of Libraries Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California


"Srila Prabhupada's edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first penetrated India.
"Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable. For many this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India."

Francois Chenique, Professor of Religious Sciences Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France


"As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized 'gurus' and 'yogis' and will give an opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture."

Dr. Kailash Vajpeye, Director of Indian Studies Center for Oriental Studies, The University of Mexico

"The Gita is one of the clearest and most comprehensive one, of the summaries and systematic spiritual statements
of the perennial philosophy ever to have been done" __________________________________________Aldous Huxley  


"It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don't know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-gita, its daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I have never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important voice and style. . . . It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come."

Dr. Shaligram Shukla Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University


"I can say that in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found explanations and answers to questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations of this sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the aesceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more fraternal place."

Dr. Paul Lesourd, Author Professeur Honoraire, Catholic University of Paris


"When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous."

Albert Einstein


"When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day."

Mahatma Gandhi

"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial."

Henry David Thoreau

"The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions."

Dr. Albert Schweitzer

"The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization."

Sri Aurobindo

"The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus in which it states 'behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly plant.' This correlation can be discerned by what Krishna expresses in chapter 15 of Bhagavad-Gita."

Carl Jung


"The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe."

Prime Minister Nehru


"The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion."

Herman Hesse


"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it."

Rudolph Steiner


"From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures."

Adi Shankara


"The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity."

Aldous Huxley


"The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of devotion to God which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Lord Krishna's primary purpose for descending and incarnating is relieve the world of any demoniac and negative, undesirable influences that are opposed to spiritual development, yet simultaneously it is His incomparable intention to be perpetually within reach of all humanity."

Ramanuja

The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the Vaishnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam fully reveals the true import of this doctrine which is transmigation of the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord.

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati


"The Mahabharata has all the essential ingredients necessary to evolve and protect humanity and that within it the Bhagavad-Gita is the epitome of the Mahabharata just as ghee is the essence of milk and pollen is the essence of flowers."

Madhvacarya

Yoga has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things. The technical meaning is “a state of stability and peace and the means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses the word with both meanings. Lord  Krishna is real Yogi   who can maintain a peaceful mind in the midst of any crisis."


Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.



Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana are but three paths to this end. And common to all the three is renunciation. Renounce the desires, even of going to heaven, for every desire related with body and mind creates bondage. Our focus of action is neither to save the humanity nor to engage in social reforms, not to seek personal gains, but to realize the indwelling Self itself.

Swami Vivekananda (England, London; 1895-96 )



"Science describes the structures and processess; philosophy attempts at their explaination.-----
When such a perfect combination of both science and philosophy is sung to perfection that Krishna was,
we have in this piece of work an appeal both to the head annd heart. " ____________Swamy Chinmayanand on Gita

I seek that Divine Knowledge by knowing which nothing remains to be known!' For such a person knowledge and ignorance has only one meaning: Have you knowledge of God? If yes, you a Jnani! If not, you are ignorant.As said in the Gita, chapter XIII/11,  knowledge of Self, observing everywhere the object of true Knowledge i.e. God, all this is declared to be true Knowledge (wisdom); what is contrary to this is ignorance."

Sri Ramakrishna .

Maharishi calls the Bhagavad-Gita the essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide to practical life. It provides “all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level.” Maharishi reveals the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the needs and aspirations of everyone.

Maharshi Mahesh Yogi

The Gita was preached as a preparatory lesson for living worldly life with an eye to Release, Nirvana. My last prayer to everyone, therefore, is that one should not fail to thoroughly understand this ancient science of worldly life as early as possible in one’s life.    
--- Lokmanya Tilak

I believe that in all the living languages of the world, there is no book so full of true knowledge, and yet so handy. It teaches self-control, austerity, non-violence, compassion, obedience to the call of duty for the sake of duty, and putting up a fight against unrighteousness (Adharma).  To my knowledge, there is no book in the whole range of the world’s literature so high above as the Bhagavad-Gita, which is the treasure-house of Dharma nor only for the Hindus but foe all mankind.  
--- M. M. Malaviya




ref. bbt.org, kamakoti.org, amritapuri.org, mahrshi.com, sai.org,chinmaya.org, vivekanada.org,neovedanta/gospel.com

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Department of Peace Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-10-21 13:16:17 GMT

Eleven States Support Department of Peace.

Peace is Possible A Conference on Establishing a U.S. Dept of Peace! Berkeley California, November 5th, 6th and 7th- Register Now!

A Department Of Peace? BY WALTER CRONKITE
King Features Syndicate.

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Lifepsychles Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-10-22 05:51:56 GMT

Sweet words might drape it;

but to think outside the box

one must escape it.





Lifepsychles, Al Beck’s tenth volume of poetry, prose, and artwork sparkles with vibrancy and challenge.



Beck has become an elder statesman, a wise counselor, a mentor demanding of us that we re-evaluate at societal, creative, and

soul levels all the inherited boxes that we have allowed to constrict our lives and our journeys.



His words, his drawings, demand that we pull ourselves out of our complacency and grab, grasp, jump at passion, inspiration, enthusiasm, curiosity and creativity.



Beck offers us a choice:

We are at History’s

human ridge. Do we build
a bridge or fall off?




We may interpret those words on a personal or a global level.

Perhaps it would be best for the planet if we grasped them at both.



What will you find when it becomes time for you to look back at your Lifepsychles?



Banality?



Complacency?


Passion?



Creativity?



Choose well, and you can be instructed by a Master, Al Beck, in Lifepsychles.


Allow his words, his art, his zest for all that is real, to help set you free..




Beck Named to Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals.




To contact the author for an autographed copy of his book, write him at 5987 County Road 231, Monroe City, Mo. 63456 or e-mail him at Beck Contact.

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Veterans Day Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-10-23 16:00:51 GMT

I am posting this early so you may feel free to copy and post it in its entirety without alteration or removal of author's information to whomever you feel needs to see it.

To all of you - Thank you for your service, and Welcome Home.

Blessings,
Remy


Veterans Day

He walked the city streets at night all through the late forties.

A car backfired, and he hit the ground.

It is in the eyes; in the eyes where they have been, what they have seen.

“Oh, you’re back.”

No one who was not there, wherever there was, be it the Meuse-Argonne; the beachheads at Normandy; the snow of Korea; the green heat of Vietnam; the mountains of Afghanistan; the dry sand of Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom; or a hundred other places, can really know what lies behind what is in the eyes.

Yet we must be here for them; we must let them know that whatever they saw there, whatever they had to do there to survive belongs to all of us; for we have made a Covenant with our soldiers; wherever they went, wherever we sent them, we would be here for them when they came home. It is a covenant too often not honored, and yet it must be.

When they were small children they were -- hopefully, though not always -- loved and cherished. When they became young men and women we sent them to far off places to fight for us. Very often in those places all the rules were turned upside down; all the belief systems challenged; survival became the intake and outlet of breath in strange and terrifying, soul-burning, situations.

There are a lot of Veterans waiting to hear that "Welcome Home and Thank You for your service."

There are a lot of Veterans who need treatment in VA hospitals and are not getting it; and sadly also, in some situations, are not getting respect from those who are supposed to treat them.

Many Veterans have told me they do not get respect.

We are a nation at war.

We need to remember that.

We need to honor those who serve regardless of our feelings about a particular war.

We need to be there for those in active service.

We need to be there for those who have served previously.

Buy a poppy.

Say "Thank you for your service." Only those who have served in far away lands know how very much those few words mean.

When I said those very words just a few days ago to a Vietnam Veteran, after a stunning silence, he told me it was the first time in all these years he had heard them, or the "Welcome Home" that I added to them.

A few weeks ago, my father, a Navy Veteran of World War II, said those same words to a Veteran of his own war. This man too had never had them personally directed to him before and his eyes filled with tears.

That can change with you, today. The words are simple:

"Thank you for your service, and Welcome Home."

That is a good beginning. From there you can start becoming aware of what their needs are, and looking into whether or not they are being met.

Remy Benoit, Webmistress Welcome Home Soldier.com.


Healing@niquahanam.com.





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Preserve, Protect, and Defend Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-10-31 08:25:15 GMT

Preserve, Protect, and Defend


The fog rests heavy outside the window this morning; the air is heavy and still.

There is a fog across this nation this morning as just about forty-eight hours remain until the voting for the highest office in the land begins. This has been, as so many have pointed out, the nastiest campaign in our lifetime. And yet the "pundits" say too that they are expecting a huge turnout for the election - one source said maybe as much as 56%.

Wow, just a little over half of us. Shame on us if that is the best we can do.

The campaign followers have made this a race of personalities, of glib lines, of accusations and protestations. Yes, questions have been asked in debates and answers given in the limited time available for them along with the concomitant responses and counters.

But the real questions have gone begging even at this late date.

What are those real questions? They are very, very basic.

The first one is - Who are we, really?

The second one is - For what do we stand, really?

When the Framers of this government took their stand against tyranny the general consensus was that this grand experiment would fail because it was based upon an untried idea that simply couldn't hold together over so vast a territory.

That "ideal," that untried leap of faith is stated simply:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

That ideal is based on this one:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


Note the words Unalienable, Tranquil, Blessings, and Posterity.

These are not words based on reactive behavior, nor on fear.

They are strong, proactive, words, based on strong self-evident principles.

They are words based on concern for humanity, for posterity; they are not reactive words based on fear; they are proactive words set on establishing a legal framework for justice, for truth, for government accountable to the People; very accountable to the People.

Those who would lead that new government would have to be real statesmen.

What the real character of a real statesman, what the true definition of that terms is, is still open to argumentation but it is without doubt that it includes the ability to best present the best of who we are in the best light to other nations - to be a Communicator of our ideals, a Guardian of our ideals, a Preserver of our ideals, a Protector of our Ideals.

And, perhaps most importantly a Preserver, a Guardian, a Communicator of the very principles that make us who we are.

That calls for truth, for openness with the People of this country.

It does not call for endless secret classification of documents.

It does not call for the inability to say, "I made a mistake."

It does not call for controls on the media draped in empty words about the feelings of the family. This nation survived long, long posted lists of the dead and wounded in World War I and World War II. It survived the long list in Korea; we survived the body bags coming home from Vietnam, from Desert Storm. and from many other areas of engagement. We too often forget our Veterans, both still with us and not and yet in today's war we don't see them come home having given their all, or suffering terrible, life altering, injuries.

I ask why?

I speculate that it is not desired for us to see the true cost in American lives in this encounter, let alone that of Iraqi. And again, I ask why?

We have turned upside down the meaning of the word Patriot these days.

A true Patriot asks: Why?

A true Patriot does not permit the erosion of the basic rights of who we are by signing on to an Act that begins to abrogate them. A true Patriot acts in a proactive way for the country; not in a fear filled reactive way.

When you cast your ballot on Tuesday, ask yourself a few other basic questions:

Which one of these candidates has served his country, in all capacities, based on the principles inherent in the Declaration of Independence, in the Constitution.

Which candidate will be serve us proactively, forging the alliances that are necessary for the survival of all; the kind of alliances that pulled us through the "Big Ones."

Which candidate will serve us proactively with a constructive foreign and domestic policy based on hope, based on who we really are, and not based on reactive fear mongering.

The choice is there for you to make.

Millions of lives have been spent over the lifespan of this country to protect, preserve, and defend our basic rights, our ideals, and our freedom. Honor them with a vote based on hope, determination, and not on fear. They say that courage is showing up, defending what you hold to be true no matter how scared you are. Again, millions have shown courage to defend those ideals and who we really are. Actions based on fear are destructive - actions based on courage of conviction, on the justice and truth of our dream that is still unfolding are constructive.

Be a Patriot - vote with conscience, vote with the precious heritage that gave you the life you have here. We may not be perfect but we are the best dream of getting there, if we don't give away our precious, blood preserved, inheritance.

Blessings,
Remy Benoit

WelcomeHomeSoldier.com.


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Let's Talk America Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-11-03 19:10:25 GMT


The election is over and the nation is still divided.

We need to talk - so from here and abroad - Let's Talk and learn to listen too.

Pick your topic; have your say; and say it with dignity.

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Choose Hope Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-11-15 10:37:07 GMT

From Inner Self.com

Choose Hope by David Krieger and Daisaku Ikeda.

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November 17 World Peace Day Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-11-17 04:44:31 GMT

We are coming more and more to understand the realities of war; the cost in lives, the cost in pain.

Today is World Peace Day. How can you contribute to peace?

World Peace Day.

Like everything else in life, this too is a choice.

The longest road begins with the first step.

And while you are thinking about it, DEPARTMENT OF PEACE - HR 1673 in 108th CONGRESS.

"There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized peace. -- Woodrow Wilson.

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A Curriculum of Peace: Selected Essays from English Journal Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-11-30 11:24:11 GMT


A Curriculum of Peace: Selected Essays from English Journal, editor Virginia R. Monseau - Published by the National Council of Teachers of English.



This collection of essays includes a piece by Larry R. Johannessen Director, Undergraduate Studies Department of English Northern Illinois University.



"Chapter 1: Young-Adult Literature and the Vietnam War." Larry teaches the Literature of the Vietnam War and thus helps you pass on your legacy.



A Curriculum of Peace.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish."

Proverbs 29:18

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Let's Talk - From Indianapolis Submitter: Janet Kieninger
Date: 2004-11-07 07:06:49 GMT


I am so bitter about the election results that I don't even feel like an American! If I could, I would move to Canada! The utter arrogance, pride, and disregard for the "little guy" that this administration exudes makes me physically sick. Hey, I'm one of those small business owners (very small) to whom Bush claims to have given "tax cuts" and I can tell you that the life is being squeezed out of me by big business. The average American is such an insignificant part of the Bush administration's agenda that jobs, health care, social security, and equality for minorities will remain only an afterthought. The top priority of the Bush dynasty is summed up in the following statement. The present administration is determined to control the oil resources of the world period! The war in Iraq has absolutely nothing to do with bringing democracy to the citizens of Iraq, but rather to position the US to control a vital resource needed by more and more countries of the world. Today even China is more dependent on oil than it has ever been. Just think of the power the US will wield when it controls the oil in Iraq!



Last Thursday, the day after elections, I heard an interview on PRI (Public Radio International) with a high ranking government official of India (I don't remember his name). He was asked by the interviewer how India felt about the US election results. He said his government was very happy that the Bush administration was reelected because, "The policy of his administration means many jobs for India." Doesn't that just say it all? I'm not sure there will be healing for this country. I'm not sure we will ever be united, at least for the next four years. Unfortunately, I'm not optimistic about my personal future.

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RE: Gonzales Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2004-12-02 13:15:26 GMT

From Civil Rights.org Leadership Council on Civil Rights: The Nomination of Alberto Gonzales to U.S. Attorney General.

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Commentary from Free Press Founder Robert W. McChesney Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-01-04 09:50:22 GMT

Are you satisfied with the reportage from the media?

If you are not, if you are wondering where it gets its news, how it is funded, who profits from news reportage, read this Commentary: 2005 A Look Ahead and download in pdf booklets on how you can become involved in media reform.

2005 A Look Ahead.

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An Interview With Jerry Wennstrom Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-01-04 15:48:23 GMT

From Lapis Magazine.org SPEAKING WITH JERRY WENNSTROM.



Jerry's journey is an incredible story that has something to teach all of us. For my review of The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Journey of Transformation look under Spirtuality.

You may visit with Jerry at In the Hands of Alchemy.

Do visit; his story may change your life.

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Radical Hope Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-01-09 07:07:55 GMT

From the Tikkun Community and Rabbi Michael Lerner two articles on Radical Hope and a Global Marshall Plan.

The Neverending Story.

Tikkun at Eighteen: The Voice of Radical Hope and Practical Utopianism
An editorial by Tikkun's Founding Editor .

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Question song Submitter: David Iles
Date: 2006-03-20 10:27:41 GMT



Is it possible that cruelty can survive and compassion die?
Can fear be more powerful then courage?
Can lies be more believable then truth?
Can stupidity be more interesting then brilliance?
Could dogma be more enriching then creativity?

How could it be that ruts are better then firm ground,
that pesticides are better then soil,
that seeking death is wiser then embracing life,
that barren lands are more fruitful then forests,
that coke-a-cola is healthier then water?

Could weapons be more useful then schools?
Is Armageddon preferable to a reasoned discussion?
Could a fist be sweeter then a kiss?
Is pornography more beautiful then flesh?
Is pessimism easier then hope?

How can intelligence be gathered with torture?
How can war keep peace?
Do we defend ourselves by killing families?
Are our children more intrinsically valuable then other peoples?
Do we have responsibilities for what we make?
Or responsibilities for how we live, or who we kill?

Are nuclear weapons an expression of the sacredness of life?
Are corporate interests greater then rivers?
Are stock dividends the ultimate morality?
Are profits more valuable then health?
Is accumulation the ultimate purpose of life?

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DeFazio To Bush: Iran Military Strikes Require Congressional Authorization Submitter:
Date: 2006-04-23 06:47:36 GMT


The Honorable George W. Bush
President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Bush:

We are concerned by the growing number of stories that your Administration is planning for military action against Iran. We are writing to remind you that you are constitutionally bound to seek congressional authorization before launching any preventive military strikes against Iran.

As you know, Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power "to declare war," to lay and collect taxes to "provide for the common defense" and general welfare of the United States, to "raise and support armies," to "provide and maintain a navy," to "make rules for the regulation for the land and naval forces," to "provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions," to "provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia," and to "make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution...all...powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States." Congress is also given exclusive power over the purse. The Constitution says, "No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law."

By contrast, the sole war powers granted to the Executive Branch through the President can be found in Article II, Section 2, which states, "The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into actual Service of the United States…"

Your Administration has argued that this "Commander-in-Chief" clause grants the President wide latitude to engage U.S. military forces abroad without prior authorization from Congress. You further argue that previous unilateral actions by presidents of both political parties add credence to your interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

Contrary to your Administration’s broad reading, nothing in the history of the "Commander-in-Chief" clause suggests that the authors of the provision intended it to grant the Executive Branch the authority to engage U.S. forces in military action whenever and wherever it sees fit without any prior authorization from Congress. The founders of our country intended this power to allow the President to repel sudden attacks and immediate threats, not to unilaterally launch, without congressional approval, large-scale preventive military actions against foreign threats that are likely years away from materializing. With respect to Iran, according to the most definitive U.S. intelligence report, Iran is likely a decade away from developing a nuclear weapon. Even the most pessimistic analysis by outside experts puts the timeline at least three years away, but that's only if everything in Iran's development program proceeds flawlessly, which would defy the history of nuclear programs around the world, including Iran's.

The architects of the U.S. Constitution were well aware of government models, like the monarchy in Great Britain, which vested the power to go to war with the head of state. Instead, the Founding Fathers made a conscious decision to grant the solemn war-making powers to the Legislative Branch. The intent of the authors of the U.S. Constitution is clear.

In the Federalist Paper Number 69, while comparing the lesser war-making power of the U.S. president versus the King of Great Britain, Alexander Hamilton wrote, "...the President is to be commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the King of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to raising and regulating of fleets and armies, all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature."

James Madison declared that it is necessary to adhere to the "fundamental doctrine of the Constitution that the power to declare war is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature."

In 1793, President George Washington, when considering how to protect inhabitants of the American frontier, instructed his Administration that "no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after [Congress] have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure."

In 1801, Thomas Jefferson sent a small squadron of frigates to the Mediterranean to protect against possible attacks by the Barbary powers. He told Congress that he was "unauthorized by the Constitution, without the sanction of Congress, to go beyond the line of defense." He further noted that it was up to Congress to authorize "measures of offense also."

While presidents in the latter half of the 20th Century have initiated military action without prior authorization by Congress, "everybody does it" is not a legitimate defense to ignore the plain words of the U.S. Constitution, the clear intent of the authors of the U.S. Constitution, and more than 150 years of legal precedent.

We also want to go on record that the Authorization of Force Resolution (Public Law 107-40) approved by Congress to go after those responsible for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on our country does not, explicitly or implicitly, extend to authorizing military action against Iran over its nuclear program. The legislation specifically says, "The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons." There is no evidence that Iran was involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks. Nor is there any evidence that Iran harbored those who were responsible for the attacks.

Further, the Authorization of Force Resolution (Public Law 107-243) approved by Congress to go to war with Iraq does not extend to military action against Iran over its nuclear program. This resolution only authorized you to "(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." Like P.L. 107-40, there is no explicit or implicit authorization on the part of Congress in P.L. 107-243 that would allow you to attack Iran without first coming to Congress to seek a new authorization.

When asked about reports of your administration planning for war with Iran, you said on April 10, 2006, "It [prevention] doesn't mean force, necessarily. In this case, it means diplomacy." We agree with the focus on diplomacy. But, we want to be clear, should you decide that force is necessary, seeking congressional authority prior to taking military action against Iran is not discretionary. It is legally and constitutionally necessary.

Sincerely,
/s/
PETER DeFAZIO
Member of Congress

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WE Need to Think Ahead Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-03-25 10:41:13 GMT

We are caretakers of a fragile planet.

Some of its resources are limited.

We need to plan for tomorrow, and the day after that.

This is a good place to start Earth Policy Institute.

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Global Warming Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-03-26 13:32:54 GMT

From CNN and Time Be worried, be very worried.



Global Change at the National Academies.



NPR: Three Views of Global Warming.



The Earth Institute at Columbia University.



From CBS News Rewriting The Science.



The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.



From Environmental Magazine ALASKA: The Big Meltdown.



From Kansas City and Cindy Bauers of Knight Ridder, Public service ads aim to raise awareness about global warming.



Fight Global Warming.

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The state of the world? It is on the brink of disaster Submitter:
Date: 2005-04-02 01:34:10 GMT

From The Independent, UK and Steve Connor, an article that needs to be read The state of the world? It is on the brink of disaster.

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lack of sleep Submitter:
Date: 2005-04-08 11:36:52 GMT


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lack of sleep Submitter: jasmine hardwrick
Date: 2005-04-08 11:40:24 GMT

I would find some important imfomation about lack of sleep like what it does to you and why is it so important THIS IS ARGENT PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ron Kovic: Born on the Fourth of July Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-06-16 06:30:23 GMT

Many years ago, Ron Kovic came home from war.



He did not come home the same young man who went.



He came home bound to a wheelchair.



In the years between that homecoming and now, Ron has found his place as an advocate for peace.



His book, Born on the Fourth of July, is well known to many of us either from the book itself, or from the movie of the same name. If you do not know this story, it is time you did. Akashic Books. has released a new edition of Born on the Fourth of July.



Join Ron at AlterNet Born on the Fourth of July: The Long Journey Home. as he has some thoughts to share with you.

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Check this out! Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-07-03 10:15:05 GMT

Watched a show on the TV yesterday about the foot pump developed by Kick Start for poverty areas needing irrigation.

Check out this site and see how a simple foot pump is enhancing lives, and then set to thinking about ideas you might have to help.

KickStart.

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Raging Grannies Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-08-08 10:04:31 GMT

Join the Ladies of a certain age who have been there and feel a new direction is needed.

May I present the Raging Grannies.

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Swamiji's speech and Sept.11th Terrorist Attackh Submitter: bhattathiri
Date: 2005-09-10 16:40:24 GMT









Article  by M.P. Bhattathiri, Retired Chief  Technical Examiner , Govt. of Kerala, it may be published in your website and magazine after editing if necessary.




September 11th.
Come september, many disasters are happening around the world.. Katrina storm in US, earthquake in Japan,air accidents in many countries, flood in India and so on.
In this context let us remember the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack in NewYorkThis day has changed the history of the world .People have seen cruelty in the original form and some have not even recovered from the great mental depression. Ne sweetenings words can satisfy those affected. It appears that NewYork city is stiil not fully recoveerd from that shock. Billions of dollars have been lost and business and economy is affected heavily.

Let us express our feelings towards the sufferers of the tragedy on September 11, 2001, at New York and  share with all some of the feelings of millions of educated on "Terrorism" and about the difference it has made in our lives, individual and collective.

"Terrorism is the the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimindation or coercion or instilling fear among civilians creating anarchy and pandemonium. The targets of terrorist acts can be government officials, military personnel, people serving the interests of governments, or civilians and women and children are the most affected one. Acts of terror against military targets tend to blend into a strategy of guerrilla warfare. According to one view, one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. Random violence against civilians (noncombatants) is the type of action."


Let us also recollect the other great historical event that occurred on the soil of United states Of America a superpower on the same date viz. 11th September. Coincidently the appearance of Swami Vivekananda on the platform of the Parliament of Religions of Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago is also on September 11th in 1893 and preached the importance of love among all religions. Strangely the great Swami, in his very first lecture, spoke mainly on tolerance and Universal Acceptance. He said, `we believe not only in Universal tolerance but we accept all religions as true'. He quoted from a famous hymn to God Siva written by Pushpadanta several centuries ago, which stated, `As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in to the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee'.

He then concluded with the following wonderful words, which appear  most appropriate to be quoted before: `Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendent, fanaticism have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair Ö let us sincerely hope that the actions taken during the last one year  may be the death knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the weapon or with the pen and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal'

Though we are yet to find out what all ideas worked behind that tragedy of September 11, 2001, we can be sure that an extreme fanatic ideology that considered all other ideologies as worth nothing and itself as the only worth living ideology was behind the dastardly act. The further events have revealed that this fanatic ideology was inculcated into receptive minds of the youth who become the instruments of terror that revealed itself at the W.T.O. and other important places,in America. Fanaticism drives away all reason and thus persons with fanatic ideas act like robots, rather, like animals. Fanaticism is the fuel by which the machine of terrorism works.

Fanaticism has been there in human life whenever people have been deprived of their spiritual food. What is this spiritual food? The disciplines or values of life that lead persons to realize their oneness with the Universe and with God and thus come to love humanity and God resulting into peace evrywhere.

The Vedas, the oldest available scriptures to humanity,The Holy Bible, The Holy Koran and all other religious scriptures say that all this creation is God alone and should love each other -. It implies that this Divinity is in every creature as its fundamental, inalienable nature. That is why Swami Vivekananda proclaimed the `Divinity of man' in his many lectures in America. He thundered, `Ye, the divinities on earth, sinners? It is a libel to call a man so'.

When this idea of the Divinity of man is widely taught, not only in our schools and colleges but also in all churches, mosques, pagodas, Tabenacles and Temples where most innocent minds throng in millions, then only people will get their highest respect and regard, irrespective of their gender, wealth, intelligence, power etc. Then only the very idea of harming anyone, be it for any cause, would appear abhorring. Then alone can violence be radically uprooted from society.

In spite of the utmost technical and science education that people are getting now a days, the love and respect for fellowmen as a brother in God is lacking. This is what has made our scientists and politicians prepare nuclear weapons, biological bombs, ultimately killing all the fellow-feelings in the hearts of people. Is there any wonder if such people indulge in wholesale destruction of their fellow-beings as in the `program of Hitler' or `the tragedy of September 11 of 2001' in New York? This is the mental impact that Terrorism of September 11 has made on the thinking men like us.

The difference it has made in our  life is that it has awakened a sense of urgency to educate people against falling a prey to the `brain-washing' ideologies masked under various garbs . In killing innocents, there can be no religion except Demon's dance.

Men who join such fanatic's training camps are generally the poor and the deprived. They are `brainwashed' to think that by killing others not of their fold, will confer on them the gift of `Heaven and its unending joys' as a reward for their religious and pious act!

This is made possible in general where people don't have basic freedoms of democratic rule,  but are lead by nose as it were by selfish politicians. We have to stop all help to such non-democracies and pseudo-democracies. We have to push on with meaningful education supplemented with scientific skills and spiritual `values' that will make our men and women not only efficient but also good. Goodness can be summarized as truthfulness, a feeling of brotherhood of whole humanity, a  sympathy to serve the needy and a firm conviction that humanity is one Divine family and to hurt anyone would mean bringing unhappiness on ourselves. Let us make a simple prayer thus: `Oh God, please bless us all with the will to spread these ideas of love and brotherhood to all our brothers from wherever irrespective of cast, creed and religion.

Let all the nations, organisations, cultural societies  join together to spread the worst after effect of terrorism.
bhattathiry@yahoo.com



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West Point Graduates Against the War Launches Campaign Submitter:
Date: 2006-04-23 06:08:29 GMT


West Point Graduates Against the War.


West Point Graduates Against the War Launches Campaign Against the Deceit of the US Government


NEW YORK - April 21 - Three alumni of the United States Military Academy at West Point have launched a grassroots movement to convert the disgrace of governmental lies and evasions about the assault on Iraq into a force to redeem the honor of their country. At issue –which directly assaults the West Point honor code which forges the character of all graduates – are the falsehoods by administration officials, culminating in Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the United Nations on February 5, 2003, which catapulted the United States into a preventive war.

“This fraudulent war has done such enormous damage to the reputation and prestige of the United States and its military forces,” said co-founder James Ryan. “Unless remedied, this will prove catastrophic to our country’s interests over the longer term.”

“The West Point honor code, which mandates cadets will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do, defines honor and duty,” said Joseph Wojcik, co-founder of West Point Graduates Against the War. “And this provides us with a lifelong sense of duty, a shared responsibility for graduates to do the right thing, even if that means admonishing our country’s leadership.”

West Point Graduates Against The War calls on all graduates of the military academy to speak out against the destruction of the honor of the United States and the dissipation of its military caused by the deceitful policies of the present administration.

* Instilled by the Cadet Honor System with a fundamental, longstanding respect for truth, the founding alumni and member graduates of the United States Military Academy believe honor is a basic attribute of character and abides lifelong. To that end, they are uniting to speak out about the deceitful behavior of the government of the United States and its widely known malefactors. At issue is the lying, cheating, stealing, delivering evasive statements and quibbling, which is placing vast numbers of innocent people in deadly peril and adversely affecting the country’s integrity domestically and internationally.

* The war in Iraq was launched illegally. It has since killed tens of thousands of innocents, causing incalculable damage to Iraq and the Iraqi people, as well as the reputation of the United States of America. The grassroots organization seeks justice for all victims of this illegal war, both servicemen and servicewomen, and the citizens of Iraq.

* When West Point graduates took their commissioning oath of office, they swore to protect the nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The deceitful connivances of the current administration have resulted in a war catastrophic to our nation’s interests: politically, economically, militarily, and morally. The time has come for West Point graduates to speak out about these deplorable conditions.

“We are a positive organization, pro-military and pro-USA,” notes William Cross, a co-founder of West Point Graduates Against the War. “We have been inspired by the words and actions of great leaders, including the 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said ‘never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion’ – and those honorable words inspire action.”

The three founding members, James Ryan, William Cross, and Joseph Wojcik graduated from West Point in 1962, and have been close friends since 1958, their first year as cadets. To help support its grassroots case, the organization cites the statements of earlier graduates of West Point:

* “Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them, must share the guilt for the dead,” Omar N. Bradley, Class of 1915, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York

* And regarding the current obsession with the protection of Homeland USA in conjunction with the suspension of Constitutional protections: “The powers in charge kept us in a perpetual state of fear – kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor – with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real,” Douglas MacArthur, Class of 1903, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York

Membership is open to all alumni of the United States Military Academy, and widows, widowers, parents, and children of deceased graduates. Membership has been growing steadily since the website was launched earlier this month, and includes retired and active duty graduates.


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Re: Iran Submitter:
Date: 2006-04-18 06:28:19 GMT

From Daniel Ellsberg, Scott Galindez, and Truthout out Leaker in Chief.

A video to make you think about consequences.

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Agenda for the near future Submitter: David Iles
Date: 2006-03-20 10:22:05 GMT


The first priority has to be this years congressional campaign we are much more likely to be heard on our other agenda items with a majority of democrats in the house and senate then republicans. We will need to win by margins above the five percent or so by which the republicans can rig the elections.

Next we will need to push for impeachment of the president, as much to show the world that we do care about them as to protect our children and ourselves from further disaster.

We need to push hard for election reform. As long as our politics are run by private money the wealthiest among us (corporations and there major stock holders) will be well represented and the rest of us will not. We need to figure out how to have a fair voting system that can be recounted with accuracy. I think it should be a paper ballet and a pen.

We need to end all funding for nuclear weapons,sign the test ban treaty, reinstate the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and start unilateral reducing our nuclear stockpiles.

We need to stop exporting weapons all over the globe. And force the arms manufacturers into another line of work (possibly renewable energy technologies).

We need to cut the military budget and send that money towards teams of negotiators and mediators who can be deployed around the world to listen to the various sides in disputes and work on solving these problems.

We need to address our energy problems with solar powered roofing and siding materials, and get the outer shells of our homes producing energy for us, and massively export this technology.

We need to directly address global warming with a large research and development budget to figure out ways to reduce our green house gasses and get some of the co2 back out of the atmosphere.

We need to institute a single payer healthcare system.

We need to develop system by which clean fresh water can be produced and distributed to every citizen of the world.

We need to encourage local organic farming in every neighborhood around the world and redistribute the surpluses to the areas that cannot produce enough food.

There is a start to what we could be doing to live up to or potentials as compassionate human beings who really to believe that every person has the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Maybe I am a dreamer but at least I am not the only one.

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World Future Society Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-01-10 15:41:58 GMT

From The World Future Society- The Future: An Owner's Manual.

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An Important Interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-02-24 10:59:06 GMT

Colin Sullivan and reporter Darren Samuelsohn with Robert Kennedy Jr.OnPoint.

Good ideas on oil independence!

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CREATIVE ENERGY Al Beck, Professor Emeritus Culver-Stockton College Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-03-17 21:14:42 GMT

Pyrapod

This article was originally published in LIFEPSYCHLES - book ten in his series of essays on education, poetry, drawing, songs, autobiographitti and photography. I can assure you that Beck has wonderful ideas on creativity in education to share and that his books are thought provoking and a delight. He is also a terrific entertainer as a folksinger!



America's doddering power grid has nothing wrong with it compared to our present educational structure. Even now we're in a creative energy blackout.

When one thinks "point", a second layer of imagery emerges: perhaps finger, point well-taken, sharp end of a stick, to indicate direction or object, etc. It is an extension of definition and, subsequently, a third level of mind activity connects to it: sharp pain, to point out, purpose for pointing, place pointed at, etc.

And mind magic takes us into a fourth, even fifth level of thinking where implication and metaphor lay alert on their haunches, licking their tongues, salivating - I can hear them growling.

Implication and Metaphor are partners in the development of creative energy. It is critical the conventional learning process not ignore this aspect of human thought.

A sensitive teacher is capable of opening imagination's door in another human being by first, guarding against the enemies of creative thinking- i.e., preconception, logic and analytical reasoning.

They are the hammers waiting to nail it shut.

Or, maybe "finger" went to touch or to reach or to perhaps toe, or well, you get what I'm saying, right? And we begin the process all over again.

Of course if it's "toe", the next level could be . . . sandals? dip? nail?

Oh dear, we're back to that hammer again; but on another level.

Too often the traditional educator wants everyone in the classroom "on the same page" - at the same time. This pay-close-attention-to-what-I'm-saying, is a formula for developing skills but not for developing individual expression. Sensitive teachers open the "dream door" only a crack and permit each student to push it open as wide as necessary for him or her to go through it - into a brighter light.

Eido T. Shimano Roshi writes in the May, 2003 issue of Shambhala Sun: "I give you one corner, or hint, and the other three you have to figure out. By doing so, you will make them your blood, your priceless treasure. The hint is this: what we habitually think of as important is, in fact, not important at all."

The word freedom is often misused in a context for creative energy.

One is continually bound by space, by time, by personal history.

So the concept of being "free" loses its traditional character and enters one's life as an intuitive force.

It has been said that small, insignificant miscalculations and fortuitous accidental circumstances have been the catalysts for innumerable events in history.

Considering the fact that it really doesn't take much to alter the course of world events, it occurs to me we might structure educational circumstances to allow for dynamic (positive) "accidental" influences. Planning for such incidents may not be as outrageous nor as difficult an activity as it first appears.

There are those who would accuse me of advocating a form of classroom chaos. There is some truth to this idea.

However, I would prefer to identify creative energy as a tool to develop structured chaos.

Essential Balance

There is a critical need in the world for balance between Compromise and Individuality. It is particularly applicable in the world of education. This attitude goes hand-in-hand with the essential balance needed in a teacher's presentation between expectations and empathy. All creative art is fundamentally a blend of these two supposedly opposing forces. The Japanese call it Wabi-Sabi - the edge of dusk where light and dark meet, the tart taste of a fresh McIntosh apple - neither sour nor sweet, broken stem of flower in full bloom - more than a visual treat, lush summer's foliage with its farewell autumn flush as winter withers a woodland. To distinguish differences between beauty and ugliness under these circumstances would not be a rewarding task. It is, in all cases, a sense of the unconventional which eventually lures us into self-examination.

Speaking of rewarding tasks, the present edu-system employing written examinations for measuring successful understanding in our learning system is so far out-of-step with the nature of creative energy growth in humans, this writer has merely two words to express his incredulity: "wabi-sabi".

But I digress from my previous remark focusing on balance between compromise and individuality. One's unique talents, if appropriately nourished, may well provide our culture with survival skills heretofore missing. Similarly a discovery of cooperative experiences in the learning process is an essential social ingredient. Sharing is the essence of compromise thinking. It must be encouraged and rewarded at a very early age (unlike organized sports at this time which is often mentally detrimental).

I have introduced into many of my classes the group exercise called A Human Knot which confronts this very issue. Another example of inspiration and creative energy through the process of sharing came in an interdisciplinary course I co-coordinated with Professor Richard Holmes at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri called Mythology,Fairy Tales and the Clay Experience.

An aspect of this experience dealt with group rumination on the three dimensional clay interpretations of readings from mythology and/or fairytales. Guidelines for the sharing exercise were: 1. the presentation by the student creating the art work and explaining a key moment in the story which inspired it.

2. Reactions from the group in two ways: a. a positive, supporting comment about what had been done; b. a statement which would begin - "Your art work is very nice. However, if I had chosen that key moment, I would have . . . and complete the thought as to how he or she would have done the same art piece but perhaps a little differently. 3. The student-artist's response to group reaction. But every now and then, an epiphany of a different sort rises to impress everyone in the room. Professor Holmes remembers it this way:

"I cited a generic reaction involving one student pointing out how another student had done something in her sculpture that she herself had not noticed.

Student One [observer reaction]: I really like your use of the three trees near the doorway of the house to represent the Trinity. They could also be the three wooden crosses on Calvary.

Student Two [the artist]: Wow! I didn't even realize that I had done that.

Student One [observer reaction]: It also fits the number of knights who made contact with the grail on their quest.

Student Two [the artist]: Where did that come from?

Professor Holmes: Your art work seems to be an example of Jung's conceptof the archetype. You have illustrated how we all are part of or we possess the Collective Unconscious."

Finally, it my deepest conviction that we must be alert to the plebian roadblocks which often disrupt creative energy's journey such as:

- "That's not logical!"

- "Let's be sensible about this!"

- perfection as the ultimate goal

- becoming victimized by hostility or criticism

- focusing on the word "talent" which one must understand is a false concept, rationalized and perpetuated by non-risk-takers.



Julia Cameron, in her dynamic book The Artist's Way -A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, shares some thoughts about creative energy: "Art is an act of the soul, not the intellect. When we are dealing with people's dreams - their visions, really - we are in the realm of the sacred. We are involved with forces and energies larger than our own. We are engaged in a sacred transaction of which we know only a little: the shadow, not the shape." These thoughts apply equally to both individual artists as well as gatherings of more than one. So little attention has been devoted to developing creative group dynamics in our schools - in our society, it is no wonder we invest much misdirected energy into violence.

Creative Energy is a life-force. It will heal a wounded soul.

Beck Named to Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals.

Al Beck.abeck@marktwain.net


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A Vast Array of Articles on Education Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-03-18 08:08:05 GMT

For my articles, The Buck Starts Here. and Assembly Line Education. plus many more eye-opening pieces on the current state of education, please visit with
The Irascible ProfessorSM Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America Today by Dr. Mark H. Shapiro.

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When Towers Fall by Jerry Wennstrom Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-03-22 20:43:49 GMT

Jerry Wennstrom is a very gifted artist. You may visit with him at In the Hands of Alchemy. I also very highly recommend his book The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Journey to Transformation. which I have reviewed for you at this site.

Tonight I wish to bring to your attention a piece by Jerry that we need to contemplate. When Towers Fall. His piece is all the more important with all that has transpired since that terrible day.

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Marilyn Strong, Jerry Wennstrom, and Friends Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-03-30 06:32:56 GMT

OUR UPCOMING EVENTS

Two Events with Marilyn Strong and Jerry Wennstrom Sponsored by C.G. Jung Society, Seattle- Jung Seattle.

Friday, May 6th 7:30 - 9:30 - A presentation of the Parabola video "In The Hands Of Alchemy" with Live Music by Marilyn Strong, followed by a talk by Jerry Wennstrom. The event is being held at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle, Room 202.

Good Shepherd Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 547-8127

Saturday, May 7th - The Healing Power of Image: Living the Symbolic Life. A workshop with Marilyn Strong and Jerry Wennstrom at their studio on Whidbey Island.

"Jung called the symbol-making function of the unconscious, 'transcendent,'for not only does it transcend our conscious grasp, but it is the one thing which, through symbol-formation, enables man to pass from one state to another. We would be forever stuck in an acquired habit of consciousness if this transcendent function of the psyche did not help us over into new attitudes, by creating the symbol, which shares in both worlds. The symbol is associated with both present and future psychic states, and therefore helps us over." --
Marie Louise von Franz

In this workshop we will draw upon Jung's understanding of the individuation process, or how a person changes and grows, and the role that image and symbol play in this process. We will also draw from personal stories and experience to investigate how the "transcendent function" helps us to move from conflict to resolution, as long as we contain ourselves and hold the tension between the opposites. We will explore together how these personal and transpersonal images that "help us over" become known, how to court them and how to work with them as uniting symbols that resolve tensions by combining seemingly contradictory elements into a unique whole, leading to new directions and patterns for growth. Using drumming and chanting, storytelling, personal sharing and artistic expression, the goal of this workshop is to create a space for joyful and willing exploration of the unconscious and the healing power of the images and symbols that arise from it.

For directions or more information call - 360-341-3382 or email -
Soluna.

Hands of Alchemy.

To register, contact the C.G. Jung Society - Seattle
(206) 547-3956, or email- Jung Office.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~AND~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 4 & 5, 2005 Celebrating Body, Mind & Spirit Expo With Special Guest Deepak Chopra and a Presentation by Jerry Wennstrom.

Jerry will also show the Parabola video, In The Hands of Alchemy and several of his interactive sculptures will be on display.

Spokane Convention Center
Spokane, Washington
Conscious Living, Inc.
Conscious Living.
For More information phone: 509.624.1873
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~AND~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We have set the date for our 3rd Annual Five Day Intensive called The Union of Opposites: Exploring the Sacred Marriage Within. It will be in the early fall this year - September 21st - 26th. Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~AND~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Interviews with Jerry Wennstrom
Global Arts Review- Open Grove Cultural Audio Magazine.

Radio-

The Career Clinic Radio.


Featured book on Esolibris.
The Inspired Heart.

Thank you Chris Bache for the wonderful new review of In The Hands of
Alchemy.
Chris wrote the review to go on the new Parabola DVD cover:

When Jerry Wennstrom destroyed his art in 1979, he threw himself into the great unknown searching for a more authentic life. Walking the road of radical emptiness, the result was the emergence of a completely genuine voice, gentle, sensitive to the stirrings of the divine in everyday life, and creative beyond reasonable bounds. Wedding compassion and creativity, In the Hands of Alchemy is a rare celebration of life and the joy of spiritual surrender. Chris Bache, author of Dark Night, Early Dawn

And A Little Help for Our Friends:


THE 24TH LAURA SIMMS STORYTELLING RESIDENCY

It¹s time to register for this summer August 7-15th, 2005, at the beautiful Wellspring Renewal Center in Philo, California

We are happy to announce the foremost storytelling course in America. For seven days and nights students join Laura Simms and her staff in a rich exploration of the Art of the Storyteller. The Residency is an opportunity to discover the way in which a storytelling event can bring great happiness, meaning and inspiration to audiences and social action endeavors. Each participant brings a single traditional story to work with and explores personal story, symbol, sound and reciprocity in a conducive and supportive setting. Each day includes meditation, movement, in-depth classes, discussion and special guest events and culminates in a day-long festival throughout the marvelous landscape of forests, meadows and the Navarro River. The goal of the residency is to offer each individual a way of learning about story and the magic of presence in performance that is profound and engaging.

The Residency is limited to 16 participants in order to provide personal and sustaining coaching and insight. Laura Simms is a master teacher and an insightful muse for professional performers, beginners, educators, business people and those involved in healing and community development.

For further information please call Lenore Jackson at:
(206) 284-2976 or send an email to Laura Simms at Laura Simms.

To read more about the week, and about Laura Simms, go to
Laura Simms.


An Event by Poet and author, Judith Adams

Saturday May 7th at 7.30 pm- Judith Adams will host a benefit performance, "Living Between the Lines". This will be an evening of poetry, music and dance at Whidbey Island Center for the Enso House, a Buddhist hospice that cares for the physical and spiritual
needs of the dying here on Whidbey. In its beautiful surroundings and peaceful rooms, Enso House offers quiet their journey across the threshold.

Judith will be accompanied by cellist Siri Sobatka, flamenco dancer RacAdams, soloist Claudia Walker, Paul Houser and chorus. We are all very
provided by WICA to support Enso House.
Tickets $10.00 Please come and join us for this very special evening.


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Excerpt: The Left Hand of God Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-03-29 13:41:39 GMT

Join Rabbi Michael Lerner at AlterNet Excerpt: The Left Hand of God.

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Voices of New Orleans Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-03-30 08:02:55 GMT

People ask me what is happening here.


Half of New Orleans still doesn't have power.

People in some places are living in their cars outside their ravaged homes and FEMA trailers waiting for power.

Watch and listen to voices from New Orleans. Click on the appropriate connection on the right hand side. From Truthout Katrina Plus Seven Months A Film by Chris Hume.

LA Hurricane: Adopt a School Effort.

Please help if you can.

Please pass this along.

Thanks so much.

Miz' Remy
http://www.welcomehomesoldier.com
http://www.niquahanam.com
http://www.frenchquarterfiction.com

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Bill Moyers: A Culture of Corruption Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-04-06 13:08:36 GMT

From The Washington Spectator, Bill Moyers, and Common Dreams A Culture of Corruption.

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Healing the Divide Submitter:
Date: 2006-04-30 15:04:01 GMT

Please join Richard Gere at Healing the Divide.

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The Motherhood Manifesto Submitter:
Date: 2006-05-03 14:33:05 GMT

The Motherhood Manifesto.

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Our Energy Future Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-05-22 09:38:12 GMT

From Tom Paine and K.C. Golden Energy Futures.

From Reuters, Pat Jackson, and Yahoo news Clinton says must "get off our butts" to stop warming.

From Real Climate and Eric Steig Al Gore: An Inconvenient Truth.

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Education in America Submitter: Al Beck
Date: 2006-05-27 08:27:11 GMT

EDUCATION IN AMERICA,
Random Thoughts

This section will feature varied thoughts about teaching and the educational process. In addition, I have published several articles in School Arts Magazine during the late 60's and early to mid '70s which might be researched at some point.

This article, published for the first time in this book, deals with the educational bureaucracy. Are these people facilitators or inhibitors of the learning experience?

LOSING SOMETHING IN THE SMOKE (a commentary on structure in American Education from a long-time educator)
Pretend there is a school somewhere. Pretend there is a teacher in that school who believes learning is the vital link to the future of civilization. Furthermore, this teacher believes that teaching is the forge where strong links are made.

Pretend once more that this teacher discovers a fire (read educational predicament) smoldering in a place other than the proper hearth. The first recourse would be to extinguish the fire, notify the "authorities" and get on with class activities. But a bucket of water is not to be found.

To take appropriate action, the teacher would have to requisition a bucket (which might or might not be approved by an unsympathetic Business Manager with his own agenda).

So, with a concern for the smoke affecting the students' learning-effectiveness, not to mention the effect on the teacher's normally healthy perception of classroom operations, the teacher notifies his immediate superior (Department Head - hereinafter designated as D.H.) who reacts with sufficient alarm and says he will get right back to her/him with a solution as soon as he makes contact with the administrator in charge of Curriculum Development (or is it Building and Grounds?).

Not wishing to take an action without correct connection higher in the educational structure (pecking notwithstanding), the D.H. passes the original concern on to the Director of Educational Services (D.E.S.) by a carefully worded memo making certain to give the details on information about the fire in such a manner as to convey the conviction that he, the D.H., should not be held responsible for this unexpected turn of events. The D.E.S., uncertain of the urgency, places the item on his agenda for the monthly meeting of the Educational Executive Council (E.E.C.) headed by the Vice President for Program and Personnel (V.P.P.P.).

"Any problems worth mentioning?" the President casually asks the VPPP one day passing each other in the hallway. "Nothing we can't handle," the VPPP replies.

Meanwhile, the "victims" (teacher and pupils) continue to persist in spite of the inconvenient smokey atmosphere. The students begin to believe that smoke is a normal part of the living and learning process.

The teacher, who should know better, exhausts everything but the smoke in her/his effort to get the administration to deal with this situation. Questionnaire is sent to the teacher by the Business Manager (via the DES & DH) questioning the necessity to keep her/his rooms' windows cracked when "we all know how this affects the efficiency of the heating system". Is she/he spending enough time preparing for each class? Are the seats in the room arranged in a manner conducive for good learning?

Is there anything the school system could do to improve the quality of learning in her/his opinion? Then please send this suggestion to your immediate superior (ie: DH).

To interrupt this "fairy tale" for a moment, there is a presumption that each person in the administrative pecking order of this educational structure is well qualified for the position he/she holds. And, to further extend the fantasy, pretend each person in this tale really cares about the education of young people

("We all have the interests of the children in mind. It's just some teachers, parents or students don't have an opportunity to see the big picture"). If, by some fluke, one of the people up the line isn't qualified for the position (or has another agenda), it can short-circuit the entire system (more smoke) further.

It is generally observed that Presidents, VPPPs, & DESs rarely speak to the victims directly about their perception of the situation. The students cough their way from one teacher to another until they graduate.

Some recover. Teachers, as victims, generally "die" about 5 years prior to retirement. They spend those years slowly shaking their heads from side to side, wondering how it would have turned out if they hadn't told anyone about the fire and, avoiding further obfuscation, went out and bought their own buckets.

There is a common understanding among medical doctors that the first rule in health care is that foremost doctors should at least do no harm. The same axiom might be applied to educational administrators. However, it might be more realistic to adjust the saying to read: Educational administrators should do the least harm possible to the learning experience. Clearly an administrator who is also a facilitator is an archetypical oxymoron. Ideally let him or her at best do no harm.


(copyright 2003 - Al Beck's ninth book
Conversations With Lizard's Bones And Wizard's Stones)






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Where Was God in The Tsunami Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2005-01-10 07:27:35 GMT

Have You Ever Asked Yourself the Question: Is That All There Is?

It seems to be a reasonable assumption that we have, indeed, from time to time asked ourselves that question - Is that all there is?

I think too most of us have gone to the place where we think, But what can I do? I am only one person.

I truly believe that there is so very much more; that each and every single thought and action each of us thinks and performs has an impact on the life and well being of this planet, indeed, this universe.

If you feel the need, the desire, to connect, to make a difference, Rabbi Michael Lerner and the Tikkun Community., invite you to an interfaith community where through conversation, compassion, and a whole lot more you can begin to smile then those questions come to mind, knowing that there is so much more, and that we can be, and do, so very much more.

Core Vision and Founding Principles Tikkun Community.

With Rabbi Lerner's permission, in its entirety, you may read his response to the a question on an ABC radio call-in show, Where Was God in The Tsunami?

Where Was God in The Tsunami?
And where has humanity been?
Rabbi Michael Lerner | 01.05.2005


God, the Tsunami and Human Generosity by Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun Magazine www.tikkun.org

The unimaginable levels of suffering caused by the Tsunami have reminded all of us of the fragility of human life. We at Tikkun want to encourage all our community to do whatever you can to assist the efforts at rescue and repair. We strongly encourage you to donate monies to relief efforts through American Jewish World Service, Asia Tsunami Relief, 45 West 36th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10018, 800- 889-7146, the American Friends Service Committee, Crisis Fund, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102 215-241 7000; or Doctors Without Borders PO Box 1856, Merrifield, Va. 22116-8056 1-888-392-0392.

We know that our individual efforts to send money, sacred and important though they are, cannot come close to reaching the level of the tens of billions of dollars that will be needed to help the millions of people who have lost homes, work, and everything the own or with which they could make a living. Only a full-scale governmental effort on the part of all the countries of the world, and most particularly the wealthy countries, could make much of an impact at this level of financial need. So it is particularly distressing to find once again that those of us who live in the U.S. have to witness our own country giving a pathetically small amount of money (even after Pres. Bush decided to up the initial offer of aid ten-fold after seeiing what a public relations disaster his original stinginess was, the U.S. contribution is a fraction of what it should be). The hundreds of billions of dollars being sunk into a war against Sunnis in Iraq is monies that could have been spent on providing the kind of advanced warning systems, and solid construction of buildings, that might have dramatically limited the damage and deaths caused by this terrible storm. Once again, the unequal distribution of wealth on the planet plays out dramatically in the poorest and most defenseless being those most hurt.

So when I was asked last night, during a guest appearance on an ABC radio call-in show, “Where was God During the Tsunami?”, my first response was to say, as I’ve said about God during the Holocaust, “Isn’t this an attempt to avoid the more pressing question of “Where was humanity? Why have we been so unwilling to take serious responsibility for the well-being of others on the planet?”

But I want to get to the theological questions, also, once we begin to understand a bit more about the political role the Tsunami and similar disasters play in the consciousness of many in the advanced industrial world.

To get there, some context is needed.

Two weeks ago the United Nations issued a report detailing the deaths of more than 29,000 children every single day as a result of avoidable diseases and malnutrition. Over ten million children a year!! The difference between the almost non-existent coverage of this on-going human-created disaster and the huge focus on the terrible tsunami-generated suffering in South East Asia reveals some deep and ugly truths about our collective self-deceptions.

Imagine if every single day there were headlines in every newspaper in the world and every television show saying: "29,000 children died yesterday from preventable diseases and malnutrition" and then the rest of the stories alternated between detailed personal accounts of families where this devastation was taking place, and side bar features detailing what was happening in advanced industrial countries, like this: "all this suffering was happening while the wealthiest people in the world enjoyed excesses of food, worried about how to lose weight because they eat too much, spent monies trying to convince farmers not to grow too much food for fear that doing so would drive down prices, and were cutting the taxes of their wealthiest rather than seeking to redistribute their excess millions of dollars of personal income." If the story were told that way every day, the goodness of human beings would rebel quickly against these social systems that made all this suffering possible, suffering far far far far far in excess of all the suffering caused by tsunamis and other natural disasters.

If we were being told this true story every day, we'd quickly find that the progressive forces seeking a new global reality would come to power in democratic elections, and that the ideas that we in The Tikkun Community propose, like the Global Marshall Plan (let the U.S. lead the advanced industrial societies in a global consortium dedicating 5% of their combined GNP each year for the next twenty years to alleviating hunger, homelessness, poverty, inadequate education and inadequate health care), would no longer seem "unrealistic" to most people on the planet, but immediate survival necessities.

One important reason that this doesn’t happen, whereas the suffering from the Tsunami does get the coverage, is that the Tsunami can be seen as “natural” and therefore no one is being blamed, no one has to feel guilty about consuming a disproportionate amount of the world’s resources, and no one is mobilized to challenge the existing systems of power which fund and control the mass media. However devastating, the Tsunami’s story line is safe and predictable and unlikely to challenge the current global distribution of wealth or power.

Most reporters and news editors have internalized their sense of what the top-management in their industry considers “news-worthy” and thus they didn’t give much attention to the U.N. story and its dramatic and tragic dimensions. It you pressed them, they would probably say something like this: these stories about global poverty don’t really interest anyone, because most people know that nothing can be done about it, given that everyone they know is more interested in getting their own material needs satisfied than in worrying about global redistribution of wealth—so there is no point in pursuing that story, because the kinds of changes needed to deal with it will never happen anyway.

One reason that social change seems so unrealistic is because not only these news people but almost everyone else has been taught that others are only motivated by narrow material self-interest. Yet when we watch the response of the people of the world to this tragedy we see just the opposite—a huge outpouring of generosity. Millions of people are making contributions, and billions are showing signs of caring. And it is this way whenever we face a situation in which the official media lets down its normal “cynical realism” and tells us that it’s o.k. to show our caring side.

Those who despair are mistaken--the goodness of humanity is always just a few inches from the surface, on the verge of being released. One reason why Right-wing Christian churches have been so successful is that they give people a spiritual context within which to let out their caring sides without worrying that they will face cynical put-downs from others around them. One task for progressives interested in social change is to find the best way to facilitate that process in a progressive context, but that will require a new sensitivity to a spiritual framework that validates and supports that spirit of generosity within most people.

Yet in the rest of our lives, few of us are ever encouraged to show caring beyond our small circles of friends and families, and if we are urged to show caring, it is only for the victims of some kind of natural disaster, but not for the kinds of problems we could actually deal with through collective restructuring of the world's economic and political arrangements--because that would threaten the interests of the powerful. They are all too glad to divert our attention to the disasters that can't be changed, and to channeling our anger into anger at God instead of anger at our social system.

So here we get to the question of blaming God.

It’s quite amazing to behold, actually, how many people responded to the question on last night’s a.m. radio by calling in to give messages that were roughly of the following sort: I am really angry at God, and this is precisely why I don’t believe in Him.

I don't know any other non-existing being who gets such a bad rap. It’s as if people need to invent God in order to blame Him for something about which they are justifiably in despair.

But of course, I do believe in God, so how can I think about this God and His/Her/Its role in the Tsunami?

I don't know. I think that whatever else I say below, I want to start with the fact that I do not know, that there is a limitation of knowledge and understanding built into being a human being at this stage in the develoment of the consciousness of the universe. I was not there when the foundations of the universe were being put together-and that is a point that was made too in the Book of Job long ago when he similarly questioned the lack of justice in the world God had designed
.

I have no answers—where answers dissolve the question. I have responses, where a response is understood to be a way of staying in connection with the validity of the question and the questioner. Actually, I want to consider two possible Responses.

1. Global Judaism and a New Conception of God

For several thousand years, at least since the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE, Jews have been grappling with the absence of God in history. That thinking must now move to a new stage in the 21st century in which we fundamentally transcend some of the older stories we told ourselves about God.

To put it bluntly (for the radio talk show audience): stop thinking of God as some big man up in heaven sitting there and making individual judgments about who shall live and who shall die, where he should put a tsunami and where he should put a beautiful sunset.

Instead, understand God as THE FORCE OF HEALING AND TRANSFORMATION IN THE UNIVERSE, the aspect of the universe that is the source of love, kindness, generosity, social justice, peace and evolving consciousness, and that this aspect of the universe permeates every ounce of being, every cell, and unifies all being as it moves the being of the universe toward greater and greater levels of love and connection and consciousness, and makes possible the transcending of that which is toward that which ought to be. Seen this way, God is not the all-powerful being that determines every moment of creation, but rather the part of creation aspiring toward love, kindness, generosity, peace,and social justice which is evolving toward greater power to shape our common destiny to the extent that we choose to embody it more fully. Or in more traditional theological language, God is a Creator, and the creation is still taking place as the God energy of the universe develops and manifests more and more through the universe, shaping it to be more fully in accord with God’s aspiration for a world of love, compassion, justice, peace and generosity.

Heresy, you say? Only if your conception of God derives from a Greek notion of the All-Knowing, All Powerful Unmoved Mover-a conception which at times has seeped into and shaped medieval theologies of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but which isn't the only possible way to understand God.

If, on the other hand, we take our cues from parts of Torah that think of God as bemoaning the choices that human beings made, even at times thinking that maybe S/He made a mistake in creating humans, or as weeping over the consequences of Diaspora (Shechina, the Divine presence, going into Exile with the Jews according to one midrash), or as sufferiing from the consequences of human choices, or the Christian vision of God as needing to suffer on the Cross, then you get a different and more vulnerable vision of God, one more in accord with the notion of God not as the one responsible for everything that happens, but as an emerging voice of compassion and love in the midst of a world not totally under His/Her control.

In that case, God is joining us in mourning for the victims of the Tsunami, not its cause.

Or, to put it another way, God is the part of Being (including the part of us) that is yearning for a world in which this kind of suffering will be diminished and in which those parts of the suffering that can't be stopped will be accompanied by responses of generosity and kindness. God is in need of human beings (and, perhaps in other planets, other kinds of beings) to participate in this process of building more love, generosity, caring and compassion throughout the universe. Our task is to be God’s partner in tikkun, in the healing and transformation of the world, and in the mourning for those aspects of suffering that cannot be overcome.

2. The Ethical Biosphere. This is a second approach, not continuous with the first, which I think deserves some attention—the view that the natural disasters of the universe are connected in ways that we cannot know yet with the ethical and spiritual distortions of life and consciousness at its current stage of development. The living planet, the gaia energy of our planet, cannot reach a state of being settled and calm until the moral and spiritual realms are more centered and connected with the universe’s ultimate moral design.

On this account, about which I have some serious worries, the tectonic moves of the earth are part of a totally integrated moral system that has been in place since the earth began to evolve as gaia, a living being. In its most sophisticated form, this view recognizes that the moral system described by the Bible is only one of a series of attempts by humanity as we develop deeper self-understanding, to articulate what the God of the universe wants from us, and that at every subsequent moment that understanding has evolved as we have evolved, but that nevertheless at its core the universe does want a world of more love, generosity, kindness, caring for others, peace, and joy. On this view, the physical world will be unable to function in a peaceful and gentle way until the moral/spiritual dimension manifest in the behavior of God's creatures coheres with God's will: that is, is filled with justice, peace, generosity, love and kindness. Till then, gaia will be restless, its tectonic plates shifting, its weathers unpredictable, its diseases finding new ways to reproduce.

So on this view, the earth is a biological/ethical/spiritual unity, and its functioning is in accord with its aspirations toward consciousness, love, enviromental sensitivity, generosity, and social justice. But when there are contradictions or constraints in the development of love, consciousness, environmental sensitivity, social justice, and generosity then there is a malfunction which eventually manifests in physical disorders, whether they be disease or whether they be earthquakes or tornadoes or floods or other disruptions of nature.

This is basically the point of the Bible's account of the plagues facing Egypt, but now working on a global level.

I find this way of thinking both quite powerful and quite dangerous. The danger is that it can easily be misunderstood as blaming individuals for their suffering. And this is exactly what happened on the radio call-in show I was on last night on ABC radio. The moment one person had called to ask me “Where was God?” a second called up to say that she was certain that the hundred thousand plus people who have died were people who had not yet accepted Jesus Christ into their lives and that this is what happened to such people. A Muslim called in with a slightly more compassionate message: these people were not to blame, but instead be seen as “martyrs” who would go straight to heaven and enjoy enternal bliss. I wasn’t happy with either response, the second because I don’t think we need to reduce our level of upset about what happened by reassuring ourselves about some future world of bliss, and the first because I don’t believe that the individuals impacted by natural disasters have any direct responsibility or blame but are innocent victims.

The Torah makes clear that this karmic order doesn't happen on a one-to-one basis: i.e. it isn't as if everyone who suffered in the plagues of Egypt was directly responsible for the enslavement and oppression of Jewish slaves, The Torah's claim-- that if we do not create a society based on love, kindness, generosity, justice and peace then we will face ecological disaster-- is not a claim that each person who suffers from this disaster will be equally responsible for the moral disorder that generated the ecological crisis.

But what the Torah is also implying is this: there is no-one alive on the planet who doesn't have some part of the responsibility for the craziness that manifests in lack of justice, kindness, generosity, peace and love. On the social and political level, we’ve all allowed the world to get out of hand, and every decision we make to leave it to others, either because we are too satisfied with our lives to bother about the suffering of others, or too certain of the inevitability of the fruitlessness of our political efforts, is a decision which helps make the world the way we say we don’t want it to be.

We are all ONE, and that means the totality of the moral craziness is our collective responsibility, and the environmental dysfunction that that moral craziness produces will eventually impact on all of us alike. Now, if you answer, "but why strike the weak in SouthEast Asia and not the strongin the US?" the answer might be, "it will happen here as well, has been happening in many ways already in the form of cancer epidemics and other environmental diseases," but it might also be, "we are all one, and when the earth is morally dysfunctional the tectonic movement of its plates manifests all over and not in ways that we can directly correlate in a one to one relationship with who did the latest moral outrage and where."

An analogy: when we inhale and eat various environmental poisions which we ourselves created in the factories of advanced industrial societies, they may eventually cause cancer of the liver or the kidneys or the stomach. Now imagine a stomach or liver cell making the following argument: "It wasn't me who took in this cancer-causing material, but the brain, the mouth, the hands-so it is unfair that I should be suffering when it was done by these other organs!" Well, it has a case to be made, but only on the supposition that the liver cell or the kidney or stomach cell isn't part of the same unity as the hand, brain or mouth that ingested the poison in the first place. In any event, this is the current form of the argument that there is in fact a karmic explanation for what is happening today that should alert us to the need to do immediate tikkun olam to bring the world into a lasting harmony.

It’s easier for me to accept this point when it applies to the coming environmental disaster facing the human race than when it is applied to earthquakes and tsunamis. And yet I’m certain that we do not yet know enough about scientific causation to be able to rule this hypthesis out of the realm of rational thought, and will only be able to fully test the hypothesis when we actually reach the messianic era in which love and kindness, justice and peace, ecological sanity and generosity of spirit are the bottom lines of all people on the planet.

So what, you may ask, does all this have to do with tikkun olam? Well, in what I've written here I've tried to block some of the ways that theology gets used as a way to diminish our need to engage in movements for social justice. Blaming God won't work. We need to be doing something. I hope you'll consider this a good moment to begin working more seriously with The Tikkun Community on our plan for social healing.
Our agenda includes:

1.support for the Genbeva Accord and getting Congress to stop pandering to AIPAC and instead help support peace efforts in Israel/Palestine (will you come with us to our annual teach-in to Congress in D.C.--the one event where Jews and non-Jews work together to let Congress and the media know that there is another voice besides "pro-Occupation" in the interfaith world);

2. support for a Global Marshall Plan in which the US would lead the advanced industrial countries to commit 5% of GNP for each of the next twenty years to be used to end poverty, hunger, homelessness and provide adequate health care and education for the 1/3 of the world's population now living on less than $2 a day;

3. a transformation of the anti-spiritual, anti-religious culture of the Left and the creation of a progressive spiritual left capable of winning away from the Right a significant section of people who don't necessarily buy the Right's homophobia and racism and sexism but do feel attracted to a politics that aligns itself with spiritual and ethical sensitivity (we will be holding a national conference on Spiritual Activism in California this summer--and hope you will come--details will be available once you join The Tikkun Community atThe Tikkun Community.

4. Creating a campaign for Ethical Consumption (eco-kashrut): convincing people to only buy goods that have been produced in ways that are ecologically sustainable and social-justice sensitive (i.e. where workers involved in production and marketing of the goods are paid decent wages and benefits and have decent work conditions)

5. New Bottom Line in the Professions--organizing people at their work places to imagine what changes would be needed to make your work or profession reflect a bottom line of generosity and caring--more of this is explained in our core vision. Admittedly, it is a large and futuristic plan-but it can happen if help us by joining with us in the sacred work of world healing . Please read our Core Vision and Join as a dues-paying member at Core Vision.

As I said, I submit this with humility, knowing the limits of my understanding, and thus putting it forward more as a way of taking the questions seriously than pretending to have a fully adequate response. But pursuing these issues is another dimension of the work of Tikkun, and that is why I am happy to invite you to respond to this with your own thinking (let me know if you object to me posting your response on our website or even in our magazine—unless you indicate to the contrary, everything you send to a magazine editor is fair game for inclusion in the magazine or its website or Tikkun mail).

Let me bless you for a Happy New Year and a world in which there are fewer and fewer disasters of this sort!

Love, Rabbi Michael Lerner Michael Lerner. and if you can't get through my Spam Arrest, send a copy of whatever you write to me to Jordan@tikkun.org.

Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun Magazine, co-chair of The Tikkun Community, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in San Francisco. Tikkun, 2324 Shattuck Ave, Suite 1200, Berkeley, Ca. 94708

(Feel free to copy and circulate this widely. Also, you are invited to feel morally inclined to join The Tikkun Community right now--to help us spread these kinds of analyses!!! At Tikkun Community. or by calling 510 644 1200 ).
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WE WANT TO HEAR from you! Use our direct link to share your views. Or write to "Letters," Tikkun Magazine, 2342 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 1200, Berkeley, CA 94704; Fax: (510) 644-1255. Please include your name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

All contents copyright Remy Benoit or their respective authors. The advice on this site should not be construed as professional advice. If you are in a state of crisis, you should seek professional aid in your area.

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Ron Kovic: Breaking the Silence of the Night Submitter:
Date: 2006-10-12 05:36:51 GMT


From Ron Kovic Common Dreams and Truthdig Breaking the Silence of the Night.

Read Ron Kovic's New Introduction to Born on the 4th of July re-released by Akashic Books.


My Hero Project: Peacemaker Ron Kovic.


Akashic Books: Born on the 4th of July.


Video: Born on the 4th of July.


If you do not yet know Ron Kovic's story, it is time you do.


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Mike Tidwell Bayou Farewell Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-10-01 07:00:05 GMT

We need to be aware that the United States is in the process of losing 25% of nation's coastal wetlands here in Louisiana. For the whole, heartbreaking story, please, for the welfare of the whole country, read Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast. This is a MUST read for everyone interested in the preservation of our environment. When you have read it, write, call, e-mail your Senators and Representatives as to what needs to be done to preserve these wetlands. Thanks so much!

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New Orleans Dangerously Unprepared for Hurricane Season Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-06-01 06:17:50 GMT

Hurricane Season opens today, June 1.

From The Institute for Southern Studies/Gulf Coast Reconstruction, Sue Sturgis, and Common Dreams New Orleans Dangerously Unprepared for Hurricane Season.


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VFA's Garret Reppenhagen Speaks on PTSD Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-10-01 08:13:55 GMT

From Veterans for America VFA's Garret Reppenhagen Speaks on PTSD.

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Elizabeth Edwards: Saving Graces Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-09-21 11:25:16 GMT

Next Tuesday, September 26, Elizabeth Edwards' Saving Graces. will be released by Broadway Publishers.


As the wife of John Edwards, Vice-Presidential Candidate in 2004, a former Navy wife, and a survivor of breast cancer, Mrs. Edwards has a great deal to tell you about courage, about community, and, indeed, about Saving Graces.


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We Need a New Mythology Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-16 19:29:21 GMT


War is the ultimate myth and the ultimate death ritual that we walk into with flags flying, brass fanfares, and colossal ignorance.


War is death and destruction, rooted and mythologized in power over a dehumanized enemy.


War is ugly, yet we have painted it with dark beauty.


War is death, yet we have powerful, extravagant, glorified word pictures that call upon our children to be blood sacrifices to protect the community, its ideas, ideals, and its concept of a Creator.


We have perpetrated the myth that there is more intense life in the moment of facing death Pro Patria that in all the endless, seemingly purposeless days of normal life. Summoning that courage to stand with and for your brothers and now sisters in arms, is the stuff of the hero legends surrounding war.


We know that hundreds of thousands of men were vaporized on the crater-pocked, blood soaked, muddied battlefields of World War I. We know that the tides at Normandy beached red with blood. We know, but we do not know because we refuse to understand it. If that were not so, if we chose to know there would have been no complaints that Saving Private Ryan on TV would be too much violence to be aired. Would it be too violent to let children see even this film imitation of war, removed from tactile reality, if we admitted these same children will grow to adulthood to go through the ritual of induction into war?


Is that hypocrisy? Or is there something deeper in our psyche that cannot admit to the underlying blood dark belly of the battlefield? Does it take ignorance of war to become a warrior in the moment of trial?


Warrior is an old word, tormented by thousands of years of images.


David slays Goliath; Roman legions butcher woad painted Celtic warriors.
Audie Murphy had 240 kills, wounded and captured many others during World War II.


By definition a warrior is “one engaged or experienced in battle.” Yet in myth, the warrior is so very much more.


He protects the innocent, the community, the nation, and is the ever enduring champion of his god. He has seen evil; he has gone into chaos; he has come to know his own Jungian shadow side; he has made the tortuous journey into his unknown self; he has come out above it all, braver, stronger, and determined to be there again when he is needed.


He has cheated the unknown territory, the unknown mystery of death, but only in part.


Although he may emerge alive, as a breathing, standing, archetypal force, he has already known death — even to the point of knowing that he has lost all of, or some parts of his very soul.


He has learned that when he goes to war, in the company of others, he actually goes alone never knowing as a ‘newbie’ what may be brought up from inside himself to muster to the moment of extremity.


He is often too young to as yet have any idea of the possible person he might have been without the war experience. It is, indeed, true, that no one who has known war emerges the same person. He is perhaps the young man who was told in school that differences must be talked out, not fought out. She is the young woman who learned as a child the Commandment, Thou shalt not kill.


All that was known before is no longer valid.


He, or she, is the person who has gone through a rugged boot camp, designed to strip him, or her, of the pre-military persona whether it be nerd, high school football hero, academic wonder, or prom queen. The warrior training has begun, but it is no longer the tribal warrior training of days gone by;not training to enhance the individual’s skill as an individual entity, but training to become part of a fighting force, the ‘grunt’ of Army military lingo. This young person will not follow the tribal leaders onto the battlefield because the tribal leaders are no longer there, but far, far away with their lower ranking representatives, of representatives, of representatives in place.


When not engaged in total war, these warriors are on their own. There may be letters from home, from strangers as young as elementary school children, but if without the total war effort,deprivation, and impact on the civilian population, the soldiers are left feeling isolated.


They are left alone to face the second of the deaths of war — that of their innocence.


A World War II private said that they were so tightly packed on the amphibious landing boats, so crushed against each other, that they were anxious to get off even knowing the enemy’s bullets were awaiting them. Others de-planed from commercial jets into the war zone in Vietnam,watched the planes take off again immediately to get their private passengers to safety. The feeling of literally being dropped into a war zone while others went off to business or vacation certainly enhanced their feelings of separation from the rest of their nation. They were on their own. Paul Reickhoff wonders in Chasing Ghosts if the soldiers going to Iraq on planes would really be chastised for catching a smoke in the plane’s bathroom. Would the flight attendants who were being nice to them enforce that rule as they were going off to fight, perhaps die, in Iraq?


Vets have said that they went to war because they thought that that was what you did to ‘be a man.’ Many have said that they have learned over the course of the years what that means, but that when they were young and told to be a man, no one ever explained what that meant. Today, with women in the military, new definitions — indeed new mythologies — will have to emerge defining what it means to be a man or a woman. At a time when men are being told to explore their feminine side, women are calling up the warrior side.


In combat, all normal sense of place, order, life rules, and any kind of control over environment as previously known are gone to be quickly replaced with being tested, with falling into the routine of war that finds its own normalcy in filth, extreme wet heat, extreme dry heat, in freezing temperatures, on foreign soil surrounded by foreign ways and language barriers. There is no tomorrow’s dream in combat; only the need to pull up survival skills for yourself, for your buddies; survival skills where you learn that courage is showing up regardless of how much fear, how much terror, how much sense of futility you feel. The very climate can remind you of human frailty, when water is the priority, when dampness rots parts of you, while insects and rodents compete for the rest. Death, the big death, the ultimate death, lies in wait, just down the road; around the corner; in spider holes; in being told to leave foxholes and charge into no man’s land; in tunnels; in IED’s.


Once upon a time, a long time ago, I had a student teacher, a retired Chief Petty Officer, who constantly used the phrase, “Let’s look at the big picture when thinking of history.” In the jungle, on the streets of Baghdad, in trenches, or in ice and snow the picture is limited; the hero myth becomes the survival reality, being there for your buddies, being unwilling to show fear, breaking the intensity of the just-ending engagement with dark humor.


The reality is in the staying alive, in the killing. This is no longer the fantasy, the myth, only the reality. Death stinks, eviscerates, dismembers, is blood soaking into the earth, no matter if that earth is covered in snow, in sand, or in mud on the jungle floor. Life bleeds into the earth and out of the combatants, cloying, heavy, the ground unmindful of the end of what that person’s life might have been.


Combat zones are filled with boredom, terror, impatience, pride, disgust, courage, feelings of futility. Friends “go away” right next to you; the ability to connect begins to shut down. Home becomes more distant. The odor of weapons fired mixes with violence, with sexual arousal, with the crumbling of previous personal standards, with the blood lust of the moment. There is no time in combat to mourn the loss of so much self. There is in modern warfare no real transition time coming home to mourn the loss of friends, of so much self. There is the hearing of Get on with it, the war is over for you.


But the war is never over; the measure of its experience is held up against the old mythic image of hero; and the measure is tied to survivor guilt; loss of body parts; of mind parts; of spirit parts; of soul parts.


Audie Murphy who was extravagantly decorated, who was treated as a War Hero when he came home, suffered deeply from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He became a spokesman for the care for Veterans.


War is a HUGE thing for those who know it, military or civilian.


We lack the rituals for coming home. We are not even today permitted to honor the caskets as they come home.


A few get parades. Others have said, “There were no parades for me.”


A wife speaks of a husband who walked the dark streets at night.


A Korean Vet gets the greeting, Oh, you’re back.


A ‘Nam Vet tells a taxi driver he is home from the green and is asked, So what?


They are separate, again.


They can talk with each other, but are asked the abusive question by non-combatants, ‘What is it like to kill someone?’ They have lost trust in any but brothers in arms.


Where are the modern day shamans to heal the wounds?


Are they in the endless waiting lists at the VA?


Are they at the VA where a friend had a psychiatrist who did not know what PTSD was?


Are we all suffering from PTSD since World War II, a mass killing of a scope we cannot wrap our minds around, while we went back for more, many more, wars? Are we all suffering from post-World War II PTSD with its Normandy, Bulge, Dresden, Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Inchon, Khe Sahn, Cu Chi, Sarajevo, Baghdad while we go on making more technologically advanced machines and munitions of war; go on making nuclear weapons because we are caught in the treadmill of myths of defending god-kings, kings by divine right, mixing religion with politics and nations with isms that separate? We know that we can destroy most of human life on the planet, but we do not accept it at gut level. If we did, we would move to change it.


We know that if we defoliate greenery, we take away one of the main the sources that turns carbon dioxide into oxygen for us to breathe.


How many of us accept that we have been generating, are generating, our own destruction?


How many of us know what one combat Veteran told me he came to know: the importance of a hot meal, a hot shower, privacy for bodily functions. Those are the verities that come out of combat; that, and knowing that several layers of death have been gone through, and that something of the person has survived. Finding out what has survived is the beginning of another long journey into the mystery, that needs help from all of us, that needs a new mythology. Acknowledging that, in fact, we send men and women to fight; they are not the old gods from Olympus, or their minions; that they are us, just women, just men, asked to do the impossible for nations not grateful enough to care for them in their time of need.


They carry talismans into battle. Perhaps only Holy Water in tiny insecticide bottles in their helmets, or an almost too close bullet pried out of a tree. What talismans will we give them? What mythology of their experience will we re-write until we learn that war is several layers of death of the self, if not total destruction of physical, mental, spiritual self?


We send them off in groups to face themselves and the mission alone; we bring them home and tell them to get on with it, leaving them alone again.


Where is the myth in that? Or is it that there is just the cruelty of ignorance and lack of real attempts to understand what they have been through. We expect them to rise from the ashes of their burned brothers and sisters and souls, day after day. That is not a myth, that is the a horror story that they live through each and everyday.


Is it our thinking that the hero, the warrior protects us, protects and cares for herself or himself, and not us her or him?.


We contribute to the old myth with the dehumanizing language of war; with terms like collateral damage when we mean civilians killed and cities leveled. We have built, through our staying with old, outdated myths, an assembly line, a self-serving, always insatiable assembly line of war that must feed itself to rationalize its own existence. We damn the blood lust when it leads on any side to atrocity, and yet we feed the blood lust with parades, with brass trumpets, with not asking if there is another way.


We really need to examine what myths we are following, what myths need to be re-written. We need to understand that war is ugly, destructive of people, of civilizations, of the very Creation of the god of our choice, or we will continue piling our young as standardized parts on the assembly line of war.


We have boxed ourselves into the war factory; we need new thinking to re-write the mythology of war, not as the ultimate living in the face of death, but to bring ultimate living, instead of dying, to enhance the Creation for all of us. The underlying principles of the new mythology must be power with rather than power over; care of the planet; must be recognition that there is enough for all if we think outside old thoughts and create new myths of ending poverty, greed, misunderstanding.


What is more precious to us; our daughters and sons, or the acceptance of there being no other way than war? Which of those do we choose to know?


Perhaps the old Arthurian Myth can be re-written anew.


Might for Right.


Now Right must be defined by all for the survival of the planet so we may wage peace and compassion.


We can choose to live and create, or to continue the dark dance with the macabre myth of the death ritual of war.


I would really like for you to share your thoughts on this.

Blessings,

Miz' Remy


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Soldiers' Heart Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2006-11-13 10:22:57 GMT

Please visit Soldiers' Heart. and keep on supporting our Veterans.

I highly recommend Dr. Tick's book, War and the Soul that is available at the above site.

Blessings,
Miz' Remy

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March 17th March on the Pentagon Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-13 05:44:38 GMT

Campus Antiwar Movement Begins to Make Its MarkBy Ron Jacobs Campus Antiwar Movement Begins to Make Its Mark.

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Susan Larson: Home Truths - A Review of Louisiana in Words Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-15 07:24:17 GMT

Read this stunning review of Louisiana in Words which we have all put so much love into!
From The Times Picayune and Susan Larson Home Truths.

And much, much thanks to Josh Clark for all his work and dedication to this project and to Louisiana! You will find my review of Louisiana in Words at Louisiana in Words.

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Stop Iran War.com Submitter:
Date: 2007-02-28 14:56:41 GMT

Urgent...we need to stop this -
Please join Wes Clark and Vote Vets to STOP A WAR WITH IRAN

Stop Iran War.
Stop Iran War.

Watch the video - sign the petition.
Blessings,
Miz' Remy
Welcome Home Soldier.com.

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A Challenge from Jon Soltz of Vote Vets to Senator Lieberman Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-01 08:36:16 GMT


From the Huffington Post and Jon Soltz Senator Lieberman - Take the Troops Challenge!.


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Conditions at Walter Reed Make Waves Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-02 16:33:23 GMT

An Opinion Piece from Wade Sanders at Military.com Another One Bites the Dust.

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George McGovern: An Impartial Interrogation of George W. Bush Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-05 10:39:26 GMT


From The Nation and George McGovern An Impartial Interrogation of George W. Bush.



George McGovern and William R. Polk Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now.

William R. Polk - Understanding Iraq: The Whole Sweep of Iraqi History, from Genghis Khan's Mongols to the Ottoman Turks to the British Mandate to the American Occupation.


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"It's Not Just Walter Reed" Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-05 13:18:42 GMT


From The Washington Post, Anne Hull and Dana Priest, and Truthout "It Is Just Not Walter Reed".


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A Message From General Clark and John Soltz Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-07 13:49:19 GMT

Watch the video, do what needs doing, before it is too late.

Stop Iran War.

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Wetlands and Levees Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-08 04:57:47 GMT

From The Huffington Post and Harry Shearer The Times-Picayune Predicts the Future, Again.


Just as Mr. Spock noted that it was "illogical" to hunt a species to extinction, it is illogical to destroy wetlands.


From The Times Picayune and Bob Marshall, Part I LAST CHANCE: The fight to save a disappearing coast

It took the Mississippi River 6,000 years to build the La. coast. It took man 75 years to wash away a third of it. Experts agree we have 10 years or less to act before the loss becomes irreversible.


Part II by Bob Marshall and Mark Schleifstein LOSING GROUND

Since 1989, Louisiana has spent $600 million to stabilize 95 square miles of vanishing coastline barely making a dent in the 2,000 sq. miles lost in the past 70 years.


Part III Mark Schleifstein LAYING THE GROUNDWORK

Success stories like the Atchafalaya River Basin hold the promise of restoring lost.


You may fill out the form on the front page of the Times Picayune at NOLA for your ideas on how to save the coast. Speak Out.



You can also help out at Levees.org. and Louisiana Speaks. where you can get a Planning Toolkit for South Louisiana. Let's do it - after all, "We Are Louisiana."





For those of you in Louisiana, do come to the release party for Louisiana in Words. It is a book you do not want to miss!


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Do You Know a Hero? Submitter:
Date: 2006-12-15 06:22:57 GMT

Do you know someone who goes beyond to do what needs doing?

Visit with the The Giraffe Heroes Project.

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From Bill Moyers: For America's Sake Submitter:
Date: 2007-01-05 07:35:18 GMT

Bill Moyers For America's Sake.

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Joe Galloway: Troops Deserve Decent Treatment Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-12 06:46:48 GMT

From Joe Galloway at Military.com Troops Deserve Decent Treatment.

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Read This, Weep, and Then Use Your Voice to Fix It Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-12 07:29:21 GMT


From The McClatchy Newspapers and Chris Adams and Alison Young Discharged and dishonored: Shortchanging America's veterans

When help is needed, ex-soldiers battle delays, inconsistent rulings, inadequate representation.


From the McClatchy Newspapers Regional offices Department of Veterans Administration.



Contacting Congress.



Contacting the White House.


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Ron Kovic: Surging Past the Tipping Point Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-01-12 05:51:32 GMT

Ron Kovic: Surging Past the Tipping Point.

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Scott Ritter: Stop the Iran War Before it Starts Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-01-26 08:10:55 GMT

The weapons inspector has much to say to you. Join him and The Nation at Common Dreams Stop the Iran War Before it Starts.

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47 Million Americans Lack Health Insurance Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-24 06:31:54 GMT

The question is: what are we going to do about it?

This, like the care of our Veterans, is a national problem.

We are the nation - how do we handle this?

From Roger Hickey at Tom Paine The Health Care Answers We Need.

From The Seattle Times and Lance Dickie Winds of change carrying cries for health care toward the Hill.

From The Kansas City Star and Julius A. Karash Report finds medical insurance coverage inadequate Even those who are insured struggle making medical payments.

From Physicians for A National Health Care Program Our Mission: Single-Payer National Health Insurance.

From Medical News Today 'Doughnut Hole' in Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Is Just One of Its 'Awful' Features, Krugman Writes, USA.

Wake up, America - speak your piece - let Congress know what YOU want. Contacting Congress. And while you are there, ask your Senators to Support S.479 S. 479: A bill to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans.

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Rebuild New Orleans, Rebuild America Submitter:
Date: 2007-02-05 08:19:06 GMT

From Tom Paine Rebuild New Orleans, Rebuild America
Toni McElroy and Kevin Whelan.


What about a new CCC, or a new WPA? How can we expect to rebuild other countries if we can't take care of our own? We need to ask WHY we aren't taking care of our own.

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Step It Up 2007 Submitter:
Date: 2007-02-05 19:17:50 GMT

From Tara Lohan and Truthout The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Stop Global Warming.

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Unity08 Submitter:
Date: 2007-02-07 16:48:51 GMT

Interested in a grassroots way?

Unity08.

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Panda foundation Submitter:
Date: 2007-02-09 01:21:09 GMT

The panda checjet foundation is more expensive, that me
<a href="http://www.pxcheck.info/1101333.html"> http://www.pxcheck.info/1101333.html </a>

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Louisiana in Words Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-02-27 09:15:45 GMT


Pelican Publishing Company and Joshua Clark of French Quarter Fiction announce the release Louisiana in Words. at the Maple Leaf (8316 Oak Street) on Sunday, March 18, 3 - 6 pm!


The is truly an awesome collection of moments in the life of Louisiana. Each of us wrote on just one minute in Louisiana that was precious to us as part of its life, of our own lives here. There are minutes from all over the state, from every possible viewpoint.


Joshua Clark edited this anthology as he did French Quarter Fiction: Newest Stories of America's Oldest Bohemia. which was Voted 2003 Book of the Year by New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association.


As always, it was a delight to work with Josh on this new anthology. This is a man who stayed in New Orleans for all of Katrina and wrote many pieces for Salon. on the terrible problems faced by our city during this catastrophe. Josh loves New Orleans deeply and his love of our city shines through again in his editing of Louisiana in Words


Come out, Ya'll to the Maple Leaf (8316 Oak Street) on Sunday, March 18, 3 - 6 pm to meet with the authors, get your copies signed. The Garden District Book Shop. will be selling the books at the Maple Leaf.


This is a book you don't want to miss!! It is the heart and soul of Louisiana and hey, "We are Louisiana" so come out and be a part of this celebration of her!


For those of you who are Veterans, you will not want to miss 3:22 PM by Marc David. His writing touched my soul, brought tears to my eyes, and once again, reminded me of how much work we have to do to bring all of you home safely and cared for.


Blessings,

Miz'Remy


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Facing "An Inconvenient Truth" Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-02-26 11:11:00 GMT

Congratulations to Al Gore on the Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth.

This is one "inconvenient truth" that we cannot ignore.

Please visit with Trees for the Future.

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Joe Galloway: No Way to Treat Our Wounded Submitter:
Date: 2007-02-26 05:58:20 GMT

No Way to Treat Our Wounded.

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Jeremy Scahill: Bush's Shadow Army Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-17 10:46:49 GMT

From The Nation, Jeremy Scahill, and Common Dreams Bush's Shadow Army.

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A Cold Wake Up Call Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-18 05:55:53 GMT

From The Independent UK, Andrew Gumbel and Truthout One Woman, Fighting to Save Her People From Extinction.

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Richard. W. Behan Impeachments As An Act of Patriotism Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-20 06:42:40 GMT

From Richard W. Behan at Common Dreams Impeachment As an Act of Patriotism
by Richard W. Behan.


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"This Isn't Right" Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-20 16:29:51 GMT

From Newsweek, Eve Conant, and MSNBC ‘This Isn’t Right’.

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Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-22 03:54:51 GMT

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) Denouement on Iraq: First Stop the Bleeding.

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Bill McKibben: Global Warming Can't Buy Happiness Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-22 04:48:08 GMT

Bill McKibben: Global Warming Can't Buy Happiness. This is an interesting article about rebuilding communities; about buying food locally to enjoy freshness and to reduce the costs to the environment of shipping.

Here, we buy our produce from a local farmer.

Are you planting a vegetable garden this year? We have started ours, hoping that we will not have drought conditions again.

Are you planting trees? We are planting fig trees, hazelnuts tree in an interesting program with National Arbor Day Foundation.. A magnolia will go in on the front lawn while we decide where the holly will live here. Muscadines will grace the pasture fences, as will wisteria line the driveway.

Let us know your garden plans for this year. The garden is a place to not only produce food, but to find peace. If you are limited in space in the city, window herb gardens are a delight adding fragrance and seasonings.

Do watch Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. and let your Representatives and Senators know that leaving a muddled planet is not what you want your legacy to be for future generations. The choice, as always, is ours.

Here, at Garden Notes. you will find many interesting and useful hints.

And gardening is good exercise too!

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What "response" could the Corps possibly give to what has happened to lives here? Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-22 07:13:22 GMT

From the AP, The Houston Chronicle and Janet McConnaughey Army Corps of Engineers blamed for Katrina flooding.

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PLEASE DO THIS Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-22 14:59:50 GMT

Yesterday the House passed the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act.

Please go to the IAVA and watch this video CBS: One Soldier's Harrowing Journey.

Now do you have the time to make the calls?

Now we need YOU to tell the Senate to follow through with S.479 - NOW.

Contact your Senators at Congress.

Please - they were there 24/7 - can you give them 5 minutes? I think so. Keep the Covenant - Be there for them, as they were there for you.

Blessings,
Miz' Remy

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Washington State's National Treasure Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-03-23 08:31:06 GMT

The work of this incredible woman, Vi Hilbert. was brought to my attention by Jerry Wennstrom, author of The Inspired Heart.


It is good for us to remember that there are many, many ways of life in this great country, and that many people work very hard to preserve them, protect them, and hand them down through the generations. Those who do this, are, indeed, National Living Treasures.


If you know someone who does something special to help others, do let us know.


This man, Dr. Edward Tick, author of War and the Soul. offers help and sanctuary to those who protect our ways of life. Do visit with him too.



For a lovely look inside life here in Louisiana, visit with me with my review, Moment to Moment, at Louisiana in Words.


For my review of The Inspired Heart. - and do visit with Jerry Wennstrom. His art work makes him too a National Treasure!

While you are there, do not miss Marilyn Strong's Songs for Sophia. It is a truly beautiful CD and will introduce those of you who are unfamiliar with chanting to something quite amazing.


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Senator James Webb at National Press Club Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-24 06:13:21 GMT

Born Fighting.

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Bill Moyers: A Time For Anger, A Call to Action Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-24 15:19:03 GMT

From Bill Moyers at Common Dreams A Time For Anger, A Call To Action.

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The War in the Words of the Dead Submitter:
Date: 2007-03-25 08:23:58 GMT

From Newsweek and John Meacham at MSNBC The War in the Words of the Dead.

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This is the Way We Treat Our Veterans Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-04-01 07:22:34 GMT

The question is, what are YOU going to do about it?


From The Nation and Joshua Kors How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits. Also, letters relating to this Responses.


From The Nation and Ari Berman Looking Out for Veterans.


Contact Info:


Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Congressman Robert Filner.


VA Secretary James Nicholson.


IAVA Petition to Nicholson to Increase Mental Health Staffing.


Congressman John Murtha.


Speaker Pelosi.


Senator James Webb: Born Fighting.



Military Order of the Purple Heart.



National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.



White House.


Former U.S. Senator, Vietnam Combat Veteran Max Cleland Endorses Iraq Accountability Act.


Vietnam Veterans of America.


Veterans for America.


Veterans of Foreign Wars.


Department of Veterans Affairs.


Paralyzed Veterans of America.


Disabled American Veterans.


Keep the Covenant - they are there for you - be there for them. It is the right thing to do.





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Andrew Greeley: Will we fall for war vs. Iran? Submitter:
Date: 2007-10-18 07:35:23 GMT

From Father Andrew Greeley, well known author, at The Chicago Sun Times Will we fall for war vs. Iran?

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John Cory: America, Land of Fear? Submitter:
Date: 2007-10-18 07:47:36 GMT

John Cory, a Vietnam Veteran, Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V Device, at Truthout
America, Land of Fear?.

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Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson Submitter:
Date: 2007-11-10 03:46:52 GMT

Address by Mayor Rocky Anderson - Enough!

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Jerry Wennstrom: Reverent Generosity Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-10-20 17:49:15 GMT


I have invited you to share in the wonder of the creativity of Jerry Wennstrom on a number of occasions. He is a celebrated artist of enormous talent who very shortly will be sharing with you his newest creation which, take my word for it, is both sacred and beautiful. Ah, just as I was doing this, these pictures came in of the new piece. Piano.

Jerry is truly a Living National Treasure - a gentle man in the truest sense of the word - a creative genius.


When I asked all of you to share your words, to share your stories, Jerry sent me this piece on Reverent Generosity which I share with you below.


You may join Jerry and his very talented wife, Marilyn Strong at Hands of Alchemy. The poem at the end of Jerry's piece is by a friend of his who, by his words, is a friend to the pathways of our souls.


Thank you, gentlemen, for your sharing.


You will find my review of Jerry Wennstrom's, new, expanded DVD of In the Hands of Alchemy at Review - Jerry Wennstrom's, In the Hands of Alchemy: The Art and Life of Jerry Wennstrom.


Reverent Generosity.



I live on Whidbey Island, Washington and, as often happens in the winter months, a windstorm knocked out the power for a good part of our Island. A friend living in Seattle offered my wife and me her “spare condominium” on Queen Ann Hill, a nicer part of Seattle. Overlooking the city and a beautiful stretch of the Puget Sound, the condominium is nicely situated. I had a writing deadline so I took her up on her offer to continue my writing project with the luxury of warmth, light and power for my computer. I was grateful and happy to be staying at such a nice place in Seattle and got up early my first morning to go for a walk.


After walking some distance, stopping for a cup of tea and winding my way back to the apartment, I happened upon an older, homeless man in an alley. He was surrounded by several overstuffed plastic bags and had apparently spent the night in the alley.



When our eyes met, we held the moment for an unusually long time. I held the gaze longer than usual, hoping he might ask for money -- but he did not. His sad, sweet eyes unexpectedly brought tears to my own. I continued walking as I spontaneously said a little prayer for him. As I continued on my way, feeling his sadness, I looked up and was startled to see a well dressed, woman staring at me in a most intense and compassionate way. She smiled enthusiastically when our eyes met, perhaps thinking it was my own sadness I held. I walked on.


Several blocks down the street, as I neared a storefront, I spotted a young man in his late teens just getting up from his pile of dirty blankets. He, too, had spent the night on the street. He looked so young and vulnerable as he tried to pull his shirtsleeves down over his cold hands. As I passed, he looked at me and smiled. I slowed, but he didn’t ask for anything either. I came home unable to shake the feeling of sadness for these men and for the imbalance in our world. Yet, all I felt I could do was hold the sadness I was feeling in a reverent, prayerful way. From past experience, I know and have come to trust this way of holding others. When no other action is called for, it, in itself can be a gift.


To many, non-action in a situation like this may not make sense. However, sometimes literal “giving” can be a way to avoid the weight of another’s burden. The Spirit of the moment can ask something different of us – something different from our ideas of what it means to give. Reverently holding the suffering of others can be a moment’s greatest offering and it is a moment many of us often avoid by trying to buy our way out with literal acts of “goodness.” Many of do this by giving, materially, too much to our kids and the results are showing up in a strange disease being called “affluenza.” When one sees the activity of this holding as a formless act of compassion, one goes about it with reverence. Where literal action fails, reverent generosity succeeds by becoming a container able to hold the tears of the world.


The delicate refinement of reverent generosity is one of the loftiest disciplines of embodied life. Reverence is the only appropriate response to the mystery we are surrounded by and it requires unrelenting attention. Lao Tsu says, “ How great the difference between eah and Oh!” The “eah” response to life represents an attitude of indifference, while the “Oh!” response represents openness and surprise in the face of an awesome and mysterious universe. One’s natural impulse to inspire others with that which reverence has awakened in one’s own heart creates sublime beauty in the world. With reverence, the difficulties in life become grist for the mill – chaos, hopelessness, suffering, even death -- everything may be placed on the altar, for transformation in the eternal. What comes through may be a sweet word, a gift, a joke, wisdom, or even the use of the sword; inspiration finds a way to undo the illusion of limitation. Inspiration enters the heart through the portal of reverence. With inspiration rippling through the collective, the heart of the world grows unalterably stronger.


We are all potential vessels for such moments, and one’s participation must spontaneously be born of reverence, mystery and an uncalculated generosity of spirit. One is able to take outrageous risks when these three elements are in place, and all for the glory of one inspired moment. Without being empowered by the passion and commitment that comes with the heart-inspired we would never be able to take those risks when we fear we have something to lose. It is only when we discover what we are willing to die for that we come to know and fully embody what we are willing to live for. As dramatic as this may sound, it is often in the quiet, lonely moments of our lives where this inner drama unfolds. It happens by remaining present and being fully with a difficult moment we may not necessarily have chosen to encounter.


Perhaps, most importantly, there is an abstract element of Grace that is needed to tap the reverent generosity of heart we know is possible. One must fearlessly trust in things unseen, things beyond what is “known.” There are things that have the potential to keep us from acting spontaneously from the heart. They exist in the realm of reason, logic, personal advantage and security. In this realm, to give is to lose that which has been given. Only an act of reverent generosity can transform and transcend the limits of such a literal fixation. Where there is reverence and a generosity of spirit, the potential of the moment is essentially served and fluidly expressed as creation and form. Here, in the place of Mystery, a life-affirming act of generosity becomes its own reward. That reward is nothing less than renewal and the remembering of essence for all involved. In this way, an act of reverent generosity is healing and happens at all levels – physical, emotional and spiritual. It carries with it an impulse to share the gift, which is kept alive by the sharing through the dynamic nature of the exchange as it moves through the collective.


There is one last refinement required of reverent generosity and that is the detachment from goodness. When we know we don’t know, we come to see that externally perceived ways of “giving” or “not giving” have equal potential in an act of reverent generosity. When we can be fully in the moment, without ideas, fear-driven impulses or guilt, we are free to silently ask, “How can I serve the spirit of this moment?” … and then receive an answer and respond!


Pathways


I see in your eyes

a pathway

through the wilderness of time.

It is light

and it beckons me

back through the ages

evaporating

like an early frost

on the turning leaves.


Moving in unison

with the ardent air,

you return,

flowers in your hand

and moonlight in your eyes.


I am a bandit,

a thief in the night,

trying in vain

to catch this coveted air

only to find

I am bathed in

moonlight.


Mud *


To order Mud's (Steven Weitzman's) book of poetry click Landscape of the Misty Eye.


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Senator Ted Kennedy: Restoring the Rule of Law Submitter:
Date: 2007-04-07 07:52:27 GMT

Restoring the Rule of Law Senator Edward Kennedy.

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John Nichols: Conservatives for the Constitution Submitter:
Date: 2007-04-08 05:39:35 GMT

From John Nichols and The Nation Conservatives for the Constitution.

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Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances Submitter:
Date: 2007-04-08 06:26:30 GMT

Checks and Balances.

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Chris Hedges: Praying for the Apocalypse Submitter:
Date: 2007-04-10 10:01:41 GMT

Praying for the Apocalypse.

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Robert Jensen: Impeachment, All Down the Line Submitter:
Date: 2007-04-10 10:03:11 GMT

Impeachment, All Down The Line.

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Remember Me? Lizzie Palmer Submitter:
Date: 2007-10-14 18:39:11 GMT

Just the other day I stood in the parking lot of the local market
chatting with a Veteran of Vietnam; a man who had served as an
Airborne Ranger.

All these so many years later, he shared the
terrible pain he still felt with me - pain that came from being
spurned, from being walked away, from being treated
like he carried some plague; pain from when he came home
through an airport on the West Coast.

He is one of oh so many still aching from that experience;
still aching from not hearing Welcome home, and thank you for your service.

Today, well, are we really saying that, even if we smile, even if we mouth the words,
if we are not standing up and demanding loud and clear that our Veterans get
proper, respectful, and immediate care at the physical, mental, heart, and soul level?

Let your Welcome home, and thank you for your service be heard by our
Veterans; let it resound throughout the halls of power in D.C. until they have no
choice but to listen.

Don't miss this one - and, yes, please pass it along.

Remember Me by Lizzie Palmer
Remember Me?

Blessings,
Miz' Remy

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War and the Soul by Dr. Ed Tick Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-04-16 18:30:17 GMT

At my request, the good folks at Sanctuary got Quest Publishing to make this book available from Amazon UK Dr. Ed Tick: War and the Soul.


For those of you with PTSD from whatever your war, you will find solace, understanding, compassion, and caring here in Dr. Tick's work. Please let me know when you read this book what your reactions are. It was originally recommended to me by a Veteran.


For those of you here in the States War and the Soul:Healing Our Nation's Veterans from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.


Blessings to you all, and thanks Ms. Paula and Ms. Emily for seeing to this.


And special thanks to Dr. Tick for his compassion for, devotion to, and understanding of the problems Veterans carry.


Miz' Remy


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Theodore C. Sorensen: A New Vision Submitter:
Date: 2007-06-29 05:47:18 GMT

From The Washington Monthly and Theodore C. Sorensen The New Vision
The speech I want the Democratic nominee to give.

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Rocky Hollow Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-06-30 06:03:50 GMT

The Internet has many critics; some say ‘it takes too much of your time, you can become a computer junkie.’ Perhaps, just perhaps, in some cases that can be true.

But the Internet is an awesome gift. I have said many times to my children how wonderful it would have been in college, in grad school, to have access to it, rather than driving hundreds of miles to seek out a few facts to substantiate a position taken on a paper.

Yet the Internet is much more than a study tool.

It is a connector. It brings the world and its people together as nothing else ever has. How we use that connection is up to us – for the good - or for spewing more disconnection.

The ‘Net allows us to say to the MSM that we would really, really, really, really like it to present us some real news. It allows us to constantly remind incumbents at all levels of government why they were elected – and that they are there, first and foremost to protect our Constitution, our rights, including Habeas corpus. When they don’t, the ‘Net allows us to remind them again, and again, and again that that is what they were elected for.

The ‘Net gives us a means to say there are things seriously wrong in our schools, in our cities, in our tax system, in our health care system – let’s fix them.

The ‘Net allows us to say that there are things still seriously wrong and untended to all along the Gulf Coast and in our beloved N’Awlins and to keep the pressure on to fix them..

The ‘Net lets us again, and again, and again to remind Congress and the Executive that when you make Veterans it is incumbent upon you to care for them with respect, with celerity, with proper loving concern. It is the moral thing to do.

The ‘Net allows us to be there for Veterans who just need someone to tell of the dreams, of the night terrors, of the pain – just to be there to let them know that there are so many of us who really care, and are here, day after day, working to see that they get what they need.

The ‘Net allows us to share books, in my case to review and edit them; to share ideas, to share concerns; to share a vision that we hold and are dedicated to working toward for our country.

The ‘Net allows us to be there via e-mail to tell those dear to us that we are there when
they are hurting – that we are always just an e-mail or a phone call away in a time of need.

The ‘Net allows us to instantly share the joy at a new grandbaby joining a family.

The ‘Net allows us to share our creativity, our arts, our language and to learn those of others.

The ‘Net brings us new friends; friends from distant places; friends we may never actually sit down to table with a cuppa, but friends with whom we share our lives, our concerns, our joys, our outrage at the contemporary mess in our country; and friends with whom we can share possible solutions, and spread the word about them.

The Internet has brought me many friends and today I would like to share some special ones with you. I have reviewed poetry books of Professor Emeritus Al Beck before with you. Al is a Veteran of Korea, a veteran of decades of actions and words to reform our so sinking educational system. He is a poet, a folk singer, an essayist, a husband to his lovely Carmen, a father, and a true patriot with deep concerns for his country. He is a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. To me, it is a deep and precious honor that we share a friendship over many hundreds of miles.

And today I take you to visit with him at Rocky Hollow.
RockyHollow.

Your comments, concerns, ideas are always welcome.

Blessings,
Miz’ Remy

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Lee Iacocca: Where Have All The Leaders Gone? Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-06-16 11:17:13 GMT

If you have had "enuf", you will find Lee Iacocca in total agreement with you Where Have All The Leaders Gone?


Mr. Iacocca is outraged - wondering what the Founding Fathers, and yes, Mothers, would say to the State of the Union, to the democracy; to the non-hearing Congress and White House.


From Iraq, to Katrina; from global warming, to the treatment of Max Cleland and John Murtha; from corporate greed and war profiteering, to Karl Rove, Mr. Iacocca sets his aim and shoots straight.


If you have asked the questions, Where Have All the Leaders Gone? - Where are the real Statesmen? - this is a book that will touch your heart and your grassroots loving democracy soul. You may read it on the couch, but this declaration of democracy and what it really is, will definitely get you on your feet to do something to protect it.


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Tony McNally: Watching Men Burn Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-06-19 05:46:56 GMT

Those who know war live it not only once in the actual engagement in combat and its immediate aftermath, but know it for the rest of their lives at gut, heart, mind, and soul level.

As so many young do, Tony “Mack” McNally signed up to serve his country to find the exuberance of youth often conflicting with the discipline of life in the military.
But then, the reality of service, the reality of war, became that of Mack and his mates when they were shipped thousands of miles away from the United Kingdom to the South Atlantic to fight a war against the attempted take-over of the Falkland Islands by Argentina.

Mack’s specialty was Rapier missiles – high tech, anti-aircraft missiles that require very careful handling, very careful transport, and constant re-calibration by technical experts.
The missiles did not get the first two all so important types of care in transport on their trans-Atlantic voyage. There would be heavy human cost to pay for that neglect.

Mack speaks to the intrusive question so often asked of Veterans – What does it feel like to kill someone? It is the question he, like most of them, walk away from.

But about the question – What does it feel like when you are the Rapier gunner and the enemy aircraft are closing in on the Sir Galahad which is still packed with troops who could have disembarked hours before – What does it feel like when you push the button to launch the missile and all you hear is the noise that comes with a malfunction?

What does it feel like when men you were there to protect begin to scream as they begin to die?

What does it feel like to watch men burn?

Mack tells you.

Britain won the engagement – took the victory. Her soldiers celebrated; let off tension, sometimes in ways inexplicable to those who have not know war; inexplicable to those who in engaged in post combat acts that they would later not even begin to comprehend their part in; inexplicable behavior then which developed into mental, spiritual, and psychic disabilities. Like many Veterans, Mack and his mates were not even aware at first that their “not normal” behaviors, night terrors, fears, traumas were common post-war experiences that we have come to know as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD equals tortured lives unless properly treated. It can be diagnosed early on – it too, too often isn’t because many war Veterans are unaware that it has existed since we first picked up clubs; because if it is known there is the feeling that there is a “stigma” attached to having pieces of soul splintered by war; because governments would rather not fund the care of their Veterans.

After the Falklands, Mack left the service, tried civilian life, only to re-up and volunteer for soldiering in Northern Ireland where, once again, he witnessed savage act perpetrated by people upon other people.

In Watching Men Die, Mack tells an honest and deeply personal story of the impact of PTSD on his life and thus, on that of thousands of others. He speaks to horrific nightmares, “aberrant” behaviors; sleeping in outside trenches, overuse of alcohol for release. His experience of PTSD is known by countless others. Mack brings it to the non-military public to taste the horror of.

His story is not unique to the UK; it is a story known to soldiers in all times, in all places that too often falls on deaf government ears; that too often is unknown at all to those who have not “been there.”

But not only does Mack tell his story so vividly, he gifts his readers with entries from his personal journal offering eye opening terror by sharing some of his traumatic suffering. Other Veterans will know the truth there – civilians must open their eyes to the truths there.

He gives us the UK Court ruling that puts the onus of the burden of PTSD suffering on the Veterans, who again, often do not know why they suffer rather than on the military that knows, without doubt, that PSD is often a concomitant of service in the war; that knows, if diagnosed, it can be treated if understood as a normal reaction to not normal, mind-bending, experiences.

Tony McNally gives us a great truth – read it – feel it and then answer this question:
What does it feel like to know, up close and quite personal, that this is what we, no matter our country, allow to continue – lack of treatment; lack of respect; lack of gratitude; understaffed and closed Veterans hospitals; long waiting lists for treatments; and lack of pre-combat teaching of what combat can do to the heart, mind, and soul so that Veterans understand when the night terrors come from whence they come.

What does it feel like to really know this from Mack’s story and to not close ranks with those who have served and demand what is right and just?

What does it feel like to let Veterans minds, hearts, and souls burn?

How much better would you feel if you launched your voice and vote “missiles” and demand what is right?

Read the gift of truth that Tony McNally has given you; learn his truths and launch those voices and votes toward the right targets so we can watch our Veterans heal – all over the world.

Tony McNally: Watching Men Burn.

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Bicycling for Soldier's Heart Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-06-09 05:33:21 GMT


Please, this is so important and so needs your support.


Wayne is bicycling across the country, from Seattle to Boston, to connect with people, with you; to raise financial support for Soldier's Heart: to tell you about the wonderful work that Dr. Ed Tick is doing with our Veterans through Sanctuary: Soldier's Heart.


Soldier's Heart is an old expression for PTSD. You know that the VA is not adequately handling the needs of our Veterans in this area. Dr. Ed Tick helps in many ways to care for our Veterans. I have so often recommended his War and the Soul. and have been told by numerous Veterans that the book, Dr. Tick's insights, are so very much helping them.

Wayne's incredible journey, taken by choice, in support of the work of Soldier's Heart, in support of our Veterans, needs your help to become a successful ride.


Please, pledge whatever you can in support of Bicycling for Soldier's Heart. The soldiers were there for you - keep the Covenant - the unspoken agreement that we will be there for them as they were there for us. To do less, well, just doesn't work heart wise, now does it? They need you now - help Wayne, help Soldier's Heart, and do, please pass this link along.


Blessings,

Miz'Remy Bicycling for Soldier's Heart.


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An Art Directory Submitter:
Date: 2007-06-12 07:14:11 GMT

This is a site that will interest all interested in all the Arts. Artdesy.net - An Art Directory.

Check it out!

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New Campaign Submitter: Patrick McElwee, Just Foreign Policy
Date: 2007-06-15 14:26:55 GMT

Just Foreign Policy Food Aid Badge

With one common sense reform to the U.S. food aid program, we can save many more lives without spending one cent more.

If you have a website or a page on MySpace or other social networks, please help us spread the word and build a critical mass to convince Congress by posting the following web badge, linked to this page:
Just Foreign Policy: Food Aid.

Just Foreign Policy Food Aid Badge

The United States provides food aid to millions of hungry people in places where war, famine, or severe poverty have disrupted food production or distribution. But U.S. law requires that nearly all food aid be grown in the U.S. and shipped at great expense across vast oceans.

Much of the aid winds up subsidizing U.S. agricultural and shipping companies and often undercutting poor farmers in the affected country, making it less likely they will be able to feed themselves in the future.

We can save more lives by changing the rules to allow some aid to be provided in cash either to purchase food locally or to allow poor people to buy food for themselves.

The Bush adminstration has already been convinced to support with this reform. We just need to convince Congress. (Take action here.)

If this reform goes through, at least three-quarters of food aid will continue to function the same way it does today. But it is an important change.

Under the current program, needy people may die because food from the United States cannot arrive in time. Farmers in poor countries may see the price of their product fall due to an influx of cheap or free food from the United States. The cost involved in shipping food means less food can be delivered.

A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that, over the last five years, as a result of rising business and shipping costs, delivered food has fallen by half even as the number of hungry people worldwide has stayed the same.

The Bush administration, supported by development groups like Oxfam, has taken a good position on this issue. They would like the change the law to allow up to a quarter of U.S. food aid to be used to purchase food directly in developing countries.

A key obstacle to change is intense lobbying from corporate agricultural and shipping interests. We can form a larger group of citizen lobbyists with an interest in a common sense reform that will ultimately save more lives.

Although the administration has been pushing this reform for the past two years, until recently, news media have given limited attention to this issue and the majority of the U.S. public has not heard of it. We can transform the debate on food aid and help save hundreds of thousands of lives.

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David Michael Green: What Every American Should Know About Iraq Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-06-16 07:52:25 GMT

From David Michael Green at Common Dreams What Every American Should Know About Iraq.

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Joshua Clark: Heart Like Water:Joshua Clark: Heart Like Water:Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone. Submitter: Reviewed by Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-07-10 06:40:41 GMT

Joshua Clark: Heart Like Water:Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone.




Louisiana is about life: a rich, full, raucous, outrageous will to life, claiming itself no matter what.


Here, about fifty miles north of New Orleans, it was 5:45 in morning when the power went down. It would be 5:45 PM, eighteen very long, very hard, very hot days later when the power came back on.


During that time we had no true pictures of what our beloved city was going through, nor the coast, nor the surrounding parishes—just voices on the radio crying of the horror and soul-tearing destruction which Katrina had wrought.


When the power came back on, we began to get an idea, only an idea because pain like that, loss like that does not truly translate into camera shots, into sound bytes.




Joshua Clark, Heart Like Water:Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone. is heart-tearing, mind-bending, for those who love the Gulf Coast, who love the Crescent City, because it is intensely, oh so intensely, personal.


There is something resilient, heroic, about folks who love their city taking brooms to hand to clear the banquettes; there is something life-affirming in reading of those same folks clearing the streets for emergency vehicles to pass through.




Joshua Clark, Heart Like Water. takes us back to 1718, when New Orleans first began, yet to become the realization of insight, far sight, and a dream of an incredible port city. She is a dream carved out of the river lands; a vision birthed so long ago, held onto with desperation in the post-hurricane times despite intense heat, suffocating humidity, ravenous mosquitoes, and other things best left in dark corners and crevices unseen, but so visible after these storms.




Joshua Clark, Heart Like Water. makes this catastrophe personal be it the missing fingers of Jesus behind the St. Luke Cathedral; sheets, or a mud filled sock, hanging suspended from a tree in Lakeview; the devastation of the 9th Ward; the wave-eaten town of Waveland on the Mississippi Gulf Coast—gone, just gone, pulverized by wind by the first eye wall; tidal surged and dragged out to sea by the heart of Katrina, pulling out every cell of the town.


Josh and a handful of others stayed—to witness, to tell the story of the heart of the Crescent City being bled by Katrina. They stayed, they survived to share the story—to take us to the warehouse that was filled with produce while people hungered in the Superdome; to that same warehouse as it blows sky high with its adjacent building, yet another victim of the post storm chaos.


It is Josh who baptizes himself in the muddied waters of the main water artery of this country, as he eases himself into the mighty Mississippi in a kind of spiritual joining.


Josh and those with him have lived in a place apart—lived in it, lived through it—and found parts of themselves that could survive it all, just as New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast has. He tells us a story of the city; of parishes and counties; of a coast ripped, blown, muddied, burned and gouged apart—that can only be brought together again with the massive effort, coordination, and cooperation that comes from joined hearts and minds.




Joshua Clark, Heart Like Water:Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone. is intoxicating—and that has nothing to do with the liquor consumed in the aftermath of this city, town, and coast-eating event. Heart Like Water intoxicates because of its truth, its visceral reality. I could not but sip slowly from its pages; walking with Josh through the Quarter; aching in Lakeview; crying on the bridge looking down at the 9th Ward; venturing inside homes and lives shredded by this cataclysmic storm.


He gives us water, mud, and things we would rather had always stayed in the dark. He hands us soaked family pictures, unredeemable. He tears out our hearts with pieces of homes, of furniture, of jobs, of lives tangled in the wreckage of the pain of this unnecessary horror.


And yet he shows us, step by step, street by street, town by town, that we go on, despite life-eviscerating winds, home-gagging water, hollow promises made in our Jackson Square.


In shared meals, shared produce, rare frosted drinks, in a cell phone and a laptop charged here or there by the famous ‘kindness of strangers,’ he gives us the great truth, that we go on, we can go on.


Indeed, we must go on.




Joshua Clark, Heart Like Water. reminds us that homes, towns, cities are not the buildings, but the people; that they are the dreams, the resilience, the determination of those same people.


It makes us understand why so many post-war European cities were rebuilt stone-for-stone.


We are the world we make; the world we preserve, rebuild, hold dear.


Josh Clark has given us a great, great gift in the pages of

Joshua Clark, Heart Like Water:Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone. Sip it slowly, page by page, day by day—coming up from under the ravages of wind and water to remember who the people of the Gulf Coast are—can do people—born and raised here in this mud —who, while we may have hearts like everyone else’s made mostly of water, the rest is the pure gold of love of place.


Come to New Orleans, to the Gulf Coast with Josh through the pages of

Joshua Clark, Heart Like Water:Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone.

—it will be a journey you will never forget. And then follow the lead he gives you, and help us help the Crescent City, the wetlands, the Gulf Coast—understand what you personally have to lose if we lose our wetlands, the port, and the coast we hold so dear.



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Mythic Imagination Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-08-20 11:00:48 GMT

For those of you looking for a new mythology, this is a great place to go
Mythic Imagination.

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John Dean:Surveillance Submitter:
Date: 2007-10-20 06:37:15 GMT

From John Dean, Find Law, at Truthout Why, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide, Government Surveillance Threatens Your Freedom
The Case Against Expanding Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Powers.

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Editing Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-10-06 10:00:11 GMT

If you are fulfilling your dream by writing the book only you can write and need some help, join me at Gentle Editing - Your words - Your way.

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Global Warming Work Wins Nobel Peace Prize Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-10-12 06:23:20 GMT

From MSNBC Staff Al Gore, U.N. panel win Nobel Peace Prize
Ex-VP, intergovernmental body jointly honored for global warming work.


I was just looking at a picture from after school in my classroom in 1968. The students, who were then 12, and are at least 50 now, wanted to work with
ecological issues. They needed a faculty adviser and they came to me for that.

We are slow learners. Perhaps we need to catch up with what we are doing to the planet?

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What are we really asking for? Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-10-11 06:16:11 GMT


From Jim Rutenberg, The New York Times, at MSNBC Gore backers lead movement without candidate

Draft effort fueled by dissatisfaction with present candidates.


For those of you interested Draft Gore.


What the candidates, none of them, seem to "get" is that the public wants them to take a stand for what is right - not partisan, but right. The only way for them to come to that place, is for the voters to constantly remind them of what is needed; for the voters to remind them that governing by fear is destructive.


The public needs to remind those "in power" that any limitation of freedoms does not protect freedom - the Constitution sets up the guidelines - it would not have been ratified without the Bill of Rights.



The public needs to remind those placed "in power" that the Constitution calls for a separation of Church and State.


The public needs to remind those placed "in power" that no one starts a war without an exit plan; that no one with a heart rooted in our Constitution seeks to unbalance the balance of power.


The public needs to remind those placed "in power" that they are there to serve the best, the vital interests of the welfare of the country - not their own ends, not the ends of those who give massive campaign contributions.


The public needs to remind those placed "in power" that they represent the people, not a handful of corporations.


The public needs to remind those placed "in power" that we are all born, we all die, and that in between we need the best health care possible and that we don't need to be bankrupted by it.

The public needs to remind those placed "in power" that if you make Veterans you are responsible for their well being.


Just that simple - just that hard.


Use your voice - speak your mind.


It might well be worth public funding of campaigns to eliminate the lobbyists with their special interests so that the interests of the country might be represented, and tended to.


It might be well worth sitting down and reading your Constitution to remember what its intent is - and that is not special interests, unbalanced power, nor pre-emptive war.


Where exactly are those WMD's? The public might do well to ask where the ones that Saddam once did have came from. You won't like the answers, but the answers will raise serious questions that the responsible public should ask - what is being done, by whom, in my name?



We need to be aware that we need a new mythology; that we need a new vision. You might find some new paths, new ideas to examine at these sites - opened minds help to open hearts - open hearts learn compassion - open hearts have no need to be ruled by fear - face realities and work through them.



MetaHistory - Beyond the Tyranny of Beliefs.



Mythic Imagination.



Future Primitive.


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The Rich Get Richer and the Middle and Lower Classes, Get, well you get the point Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-10-12 16:59:10 GMT


"Equality for all" is still a dream, but a dream at least most of us still believe in it - despite the odds.


From Greg Ip, The Wall Street Journal, at Truthout Income-Inequality Gap Widens.


Ah, oh yeah, if you have even one credit card, you really, really, really need to know about this little thing called the universal default rate. Once you learn about it, do give your Representatives and Senators a holler about it. Be a friend, let your friends in on this great awakening. Are You Being Cheated by Universal Default Rates?. And just think, you never have to pay any bill late; never have to pay a fee for an overdraft and have this happen as an additional penalty - they just let you play when they feel like it!


Anyone remember the American Dream? Time for Mr. Stewart to take to the banking again - or to go to Washington - with your voice.


But things are looking up on the war profiteering front - The Gavel: War Profiteering Prevention Act. Maybe there is hope for us.


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Akbar Ganji: A Plea From the Iranian People Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-26 05:47:40 GMT

At The Nation Akbar Ganji A Plea From the Iranian People.


From Michelle Michelle Malsbury, BSBM, MM at the American Chronicle Lieberm's KYL Amendment.

Contact Congress.

White House.


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Editing Services Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-09-27 09:23:34 GMT

If you are writing a book and need help with editing, proofing, etc., you have come to the right place. Join me at Gentle Editing - Your Words - Your Way. Reduced rates for Veterans.

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Editing Services Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-09-28 04:50:10 GMT

If you are writing a book and need help with editing, proofing, etc., you have come to the right place. Join me at Gentle Editing - Your Words - Your Way. Reduced rates for Veterans.

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Blackwater Hearings Live Submitter:
Date: 2007-10-02 08:27:37 GMT

Provided by The Washington Post House Blackwater Hearings.

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The Fable of the Whale and the Dolphin Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-08-25 05:44:26 GMT

For illuminating essays and short stories that will encourage you to think, respond, and perhaps even pick up a pen yourself, please join P.M. Rodriguez The Ruricolist: The Fable of the Whale and the Dolphin. To answer your question, a ruricolist is someone who lives in the country1

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Gentle Editing Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-08-25 05:47:56 GMT


If you are writing a book and need gentle editing, you have come to the right place. Join me at Gentle Editing - Help With Your Words - Your Way.


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A Question Only You Can Answer: Where are you, America? Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-09-23 11:39:59 GMT


It has never been a secret that our Veterans are not given the best possible care.


It has been 4 decades since Ron Kovic told his story in Born on the 4th of July which graphically outlined treatment at the VA.


It is no secret that soldiers were exposed to nuclear testing National Association of Atomic Veterans, Inc.


The cases, suits, horrid illnesses associated with Agent Orange are no secret. Agent Orange.


It is no secret that living with PTSD is living in a living hell. National Center for PTSD.


It is no secret that any given evening about a quarter of a million of our Veterans are sleeping on the streets. National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.


It is no secret that there are about 600,000 Veterans on VA waiting lists - often for months.

Dogen Hannah at the Oakland Tribune ( Find Articles )
Vets sue VA over lapses in care.



It is no secret that depleted uranium may cause health problems when it enters the body.Depleted Uranium. Look for the upcoming book by Lonnie D. Story An excerpt from the book “Without A Shot Fired: The Dustin Brim Story” by Lonnie D. Story.


Let's assume that it is a given that we know that historically there have been, and currently are, major issues involving the care of our Veterans.


Last week, Senator Jim Webb's bill that soldiers be given down time proportionate to their time in combat was voted down. From The Washington Post, Shailagh Murray and Jonathan Weisman Longer Leaves for Troops Blocked.


Again, all of this is common knowledge.


If, if each family with someone in active duty wrote, e-mailed, called Congress or the White House there would be at the very least a half a million contacts. If multiple family members did that, the numbers would grow.


If every Veteran and his or her family did that, the numbers would explode.



If all Americans did that, the numbers would burst out with a voice that could not be denied.


These are the numbers you need:


Contacting Congress.


Contact the White House.


So, back to the initial question - Where are you, America? The problems above can be taken righteous care of if you pick up the phones, write the letters, click the keys and demand they are.


Today, this day, every day, we are making more Veterans. Their care is up to you.


One more time, Where are you, America? Keep the Covenant. Be there for them as they are, and have been for you. It is the right, it is the only decent, moral thing to do.





As always, I need your comments and your guidance.


Blessings,

Miz' Remy



And here is an FYI for you from The Washington Post, Megan Greenwell at Truthout Cholera Spreads From Northern Iraq to Baghdad.


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From Mother Jones Magazine: The Unlearned Lessons of Katrina Submitter:
Date: 2007-08-27 09:15:06 GMT

From A former reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, John McQuaid at Mother Jones Magazine Storm Warning: The Unlearned Lessons of Katrina.

You may read all three parts of the article at this site starting on August 28 and 29, the latter the second anniversary of Katrina.

Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms by John McQuaid and Mark Schleifstein.

John McQuaid: A Hundred Katrinas: Climate Change and the Threat to the U.S. Coast News: If you thought Katrina was the big one, wait till you see what's coming to your neighborhood.

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Walter Mosley: Shouting Underwater Submitter:
Date: 2007-08-27 18:20:12 GMT

From Walter Mosley at The Nation Shouting Underwater.

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Katrina: Two Years Later Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-08-28 15:53:57 GMT


From You Tube Willie Nelson and The Highwaymen: City Of New Orleans.



From Voices From the Gulf Voices from the Gulf.


Joshua Clark: Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone.


John McQuaid and Mark Schleifstein: Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms.


Join us for Louisiana In Words. and come on home!



From You Tube Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong - do you know what it means to miss New Orleans.



Join us also for our award winning French Quarter Fiction: The Newest Stories of America's Oldest Bohemia.



We are the music - WE ARE LOUISIANA - We sing on.


Please keep reminding those up there in D.C. that the Gulf Coast is a vital part of this country and must be restored.




If you are writing a book and need gentle editing, you have come to the right place. Join me at Gentle Editing - Help With Your Words - Your Way.

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Hurricane Katrina 2007 Submitter:
Date: 2007-08-29 06:16:37 GMT

Join us down here on the Gulf Coast for Hurricane Katrina 2007 Your Go-To Page Everything you need and need to know is right here.

Find out what you need to know with this extensive site!

Contact numbers for help are available here, as well as links to lots of organizations dealing with the aftermath of Katrina.

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Charles Sheehan-Miles: Republic: A Novel of America's Future Submitter:
Date: 2007-08-30 05:05:14 GMT

A must read - Republic: A Novel of America's Future.

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Joe Galloway: Commentary: Bush fulfills H.L. Mencken's prophecy Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-22 08:03:03 GMT

From Joe Galloway at the McClatchy Newspapers Commentary: Bush fulfills H.L. Mencken's prophecy.

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Alive Day: The Film Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-11 16:22:09 GMT

From James Gandolfini at HBO

HBO Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq From Executive Producer James Gandolfini

Premieres Sunday, September 9 at 10:30PM.

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Chris Weigant: Open Letter To Speaker Pelosi And Majority Leader Reid Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-11 09:06:02 GMT

From Chris Weignat at The Huffington Post Open Letter To Speaker Pelosi And Majority Leader Reid.

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Katrina Two Years Later Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-09-03 06:41:14 GMT


As Felix bears down on places ill prepared to deal with 165 mph winds, Josh's observations on Katrina here on the Gulf Coast are all the more important.


Heart Like Water is a book you do not want to miss. My review is at Amazon. For a signed copy, without postage costs Heart Like Water.


Thinking About New Orleans: Joshua Clark on Katrina's Second Anniversary.





Write yourself home - write a solution to our country's problems. I can help you Gentle Editing.


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S1606 in Jeopardy from Opposition from Bush and Nicholson Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-03 06:52:41 GMT

From Rick Maze, Navy Times, at Veterans for Common Sense S 1606 In Jeopardy As Bush and Nicholson Oppose Increase in VA Funding.

We must understand that if we make Veterans we must take care of them. "Dropping into" Iraq for a surprise visit does not bring health care to Veterans. Funding the VA does that. Stand by our Veterans, and do work actively to find solutions that will permit not constantly making them.

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Paul O'Neill Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-22 09:56:14 GMT

From CBS, 60 Minutes Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq?.

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Imaginal Cells: Mythic Journeys Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-22 11:22:49 GMT

If you believe there is a better way - if you believe we can be oh so much more , please do visit with Mythic Journeys.

It is a 17MB file - be patient with the loading!

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New Orleans Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-16 12:17:29 GMT

From Jim Hightower BUSH’S NEW ORLEANS TAP DANCE.

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Keith Olbermann: Special Comment Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-04 19:14:32 GMT

From Keith Olbermann at MSNBC a Special Comment on conflicting comments by President Bush on "Staying the Course" and troops, maybe, when, reductions Special Comment Text after the jump....

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Some Ideas That Make Sense Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-05 08:45:26 GMT

From Andi McDaniel at Ode Magazine Designing a better world.

From Mattlev also at Ode Magazine Project good makes choosing good simple.

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General Wes Clark: The Next War Submitter:
Date: 2007-09-17 16:30:13 GMT

From General Wes Clark and The Washington Post The Next War.

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Dr. Michael Sartisky at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-09-23 12:44:51 GMT


We invite you to visit with The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities., Louisiana Cultural Vistas Magazine and its Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Michael Sartisky.


As Dr. Sartisky points out below, we have a unique, rich, and varied culture here that must be preserved. We need your help for that. Please, subscribe to Louisiana Cultural Vistas Magazine. as it will bring our voices to your home, touch your hearts with our hearts, and make you understand why we say, We are Louisiana and we are coming back rich in pride, rich in culture, and, as always, welcoming you to share in it all.


With Permission - From Dr. Michael Sartisky - Fall 2007 -

Editor's Column -
Louisiana Cultural Vistas.:


In the Wake of Cultural Damages


During and immediately following the passage of Hurricane Katrina, virtually 100 percent of the inhabited areas of St. Bernard Parish and 80 percent of the inhabited areas of New Orleans flooded, destroying and harming in unprecedented ways a culture and inventory of cultural assets and practices unique in the United States and all the world.


In Louisiana, as distinct from any other of the United States, particular forms of cultural expression have taken on unique forms acknowledged throughout the world as a result of the influence of an unusual mingling in the colonial period of cultural streams from France, Spain, Africa, the Caribbean, Canary Islands, and Native America, with additional influences from later immigrants such as Italians, Yugoslavs, Irish, Germans, and Anglos, among others.


As a result and in the wake of Katrina, damage and harm to an unprecedented degree has been inflicted upon an original and fragile culture and the community that for generations has produced, enjoyed and whose very identity is defined by it, literally thousands upon thousands of people from across the social and economic spectrum.


The Unique Cultural Geography


Of all the cities in the United States, New Orleans is universally acknowledged to occupy a special place, precisely because of its history, culture, and cultural practices. These are enjoyed, valued, and contribute to the lives and identity of not only the citizens who live in the most historic neighborhoods and amidst their architecture, but by literally all of the surrounding communities which likely would not exist at all were it not for New Orleans and who practice, contribute, and partake of that culture and define themselves and their communities in relation to it.

I should specify that culture in this context embraces and includes both "high" culture - often represented by major institutions and art forms such as museums, the symphony and opera, and large historic buildings and residences such the Cabildo, Gallier Hall, and the mansions of the Garden District - and also so-called "low" culture - including vernacular architecture such as the classic shotgun or Creole cottage and cultural practices which pervade daily life such as funerals, and second lines, or even the making of gumbo.

First and foremost, New Orleans is universally acknowledged to be the birthplace of jazz, the only indisputably American art form, but the inventory of New Orleans cultural uniqueness hardly stops there. These cultural manifestations include such general celebrations as Mardi Gras - both the huge parades down St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street - but also the more localized versions practiced in all the surrounding communities, including the fishing and shrimp boat parade in St. Bernard Parish. Mardi Gras is remarkable in that it transcends all class and racial divisions and engages the community as an entirety - uptown, downtown, inner-city and the mansions lining St. Charles Ave. They also include the Mardi Gras Indians who parade most visibly on Mardi Gras Day, but also St. Joseph's Day, Super Sunday, and other special occasions, weaving in and out of dozens of inner-city communities.


A Cultural Inventory Like No Other


New Orleans is unique among all American cities in the manifold ways the culture bubbles out from and onto the street: the jazz funerals and other brass-band parades and their related activities of such groups as the Baby Dolls, the Skeletons, and Social Aid and Pleasure clubs commemorating untold numbers of events: weddings, sports victories, birthdays, building and exhibit openings, and second-lining, in which virtually the entire community participates.


Apart from the obvious public manifestations of culture are communal cultural practices such as the building of St. Joseph's Day altars, crawfish boils, the making of gumbo - especially with recipes passed down through generations. Others are somewhat more arcane, but nonetheless unique and now imperiled for all time. For example, Louisiana and especially New Orleans, has been able to maintain its unique blend of accents, dialects, and patois, largely due to its unusual confluence of cultures, unique in the United States, and the fierce adherence of the people to the place. Fully 81 percent of Louisiana residents were born in the state. This was especially true of the Isleños of St. Bernard Parish whose distinctive language and forms of literary expressions, such as their narrative songs called decimas, linguists have traced back to the Renaissance and possibly even the Middle Ages. The same is true of the distinctive accents of New Orleans. The Diaspora of this population will dramatically compromise the continuation of this tradition if not wipe it out wholesale.


The failure of the Army Corps of Engineers to protect New Orleans placed in extreme jeopardy and subsequently caused catastrophic damage to both the United States' and the world's cultural patrimony and assets. The value of the damage is not just the wetlands, but what the wetlands protected, i.e. the city of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish and their buildings, architecture, industries and business, but also their history and culture, a crucial distinction.


_____Thank you, Dr. Sartisky for sharing. And please, again, do subscribe to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. and get your own awesome issues of Louisiana Cultural Vistas.You will be sharing our culture and helping us rebuild, and for that, we thank you in advance.


Blessings to all,

Miz' Remy


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EVA Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-09-07 07:16:52 GMT

I enter the house through the vestibule adjoining a sun porch whose filtered rays have not warmed anyone since I was a child.
The faded, old, flower print sofa still rests there with its sagging cushions and pillows casually tossed, when?

Leaving its light behind, I step inside the door to the darkness of heavy furniture in a drape shrouded living room that serves as a formal antechamber to Grandmother's apartment. My fingers run across the surface of the harsh horsehair sofa and pick up images of my cousin and I sitting, one on each end, young feet not reaching the floor, not allowed to cross the middle line, told to behave properly. The shadowed light falls on the silver and amber cordial set on the server; the cordial set that now rests in my china closet.

I choose not the banistered steps that lead up to the second and third floors but open instead the heavily draped French doors that lead to her bedroom. Two dressers, a heavy mahogany bed, towering mirrored armoire, and triptych silvered dressing table crowd the room. There are no signs of the man who once shared it. Every surface is covered with female trappings of feathers, hats, letters, jewelry, gloves.

Grandmother sits, her back slightly bent with her 63 years, at her dressing table. She is unaware of my presence. The air is sweet, heavy with her fragrance, tied to the inseparable aroma of coffee simmering two rooms that pot, filled with grounds, egg shells and salt, wasn't simmering. There is complete silence in the room and time is suspended as I look beyond Eva to the top of her dressing table. There rest fancy glass perfume bottles, jars of guaranteed freckle vanishing creams, and an ordinary kitchen glass filled with water. A long, rat-tailed comb sits in the water.
Hairpins of various shapes are scattered amidst lipsticks, rouges, and a pink powder puff in a round box of loose facial powder.

The rising and falling of my breathing is the only movement in the room until the left side of the dressing mirror shimmers and fills the room with light. The Eva who is sitting there now is in the full bloom of young womanhood, golden red hair cascading down a straight back. I follow those gray, sparkling eyes to where they see a young woman who left behind a youth spent helping to raise five brothers and sisters. I see the girl's brief flirtation with the escape of becoming a nun. There is the promise of love for a tall dark-haired man; she the chambermaid, he the million dollar bell-hop sporting spats and a walking stick. They come together for a little while, joined in need for experiences, for adventure; joined in marriage. I feel the pain of them torn apart by his obsession with gambling.

Eva's eyes move, this time to the center mirror, the light dimming a little, her hair done up in a crown of rat supported curls. Divorced now, actress, she is doing Uncle Tom's Cabin. A box of Valentine chocolates follows her from post box to post box, arriving, cracked and dried. Her shoulders curve forward a little. The light grows dimmer.

I watch her walk into an Iowa restaurant, holding in her hand a sign that reads Waitress Wanted. She needs the job. The Armenian widower behind the gleaming glass counter, standing in front of rows of sparkling glasses, is smitten with her luxurious hair, her sparkling gray eyes, her intensity. She takes the job, his heart, and his hand in marriage.

He sells his restaurants. Together they back plays that fold in the night like gypsy camps.
Her acting is now to fit herself into a new role in a new place.

They come to Philadelphia in an old red truck with a daughter, a big German Shepard dog, and a yellow canary. There is no money for even one more gallon of gas. Odd jobs, a down payment borrowed from a sister, puts them in a three story house, with servant stairs.

This house.

I watch her run this boarding house for twenty-five years. This bedroom becomes her refuge, her tomb. Her back bends more, the grey eyes loose their light, become somber and dark.

They move past the vanity, past the chenille spread on the bed, to the dark armoire. Inside one of its open doors hangs an old rose boa and a new pastel, silk robe.

Eva turns and sees me.

We leave the bedroom, walk through her sitting room and sit down at the table in the kitchen.

This is her stage. Here she entertains, her right leg bouncing to keep her circulation going.

The coffee pot gurgles. On the table sits an oversized sugar bowl. Her insulin is in the refrigerator.

Eva hums, mixing Beautiful Dreamer and The Prison Song. I gaze out the only uncovered window at the pansies that grow in profusion, the only flowers that grew within miles of her birthplace in Butte, Montana.

I am fifteen when Eva dies. That was forty-five years ago. The house has long been sold, with the armoire. The dressing table is gone, as are her travel diaries, the silk robe, the boa.

But there is that one day, just before her show moves on, when she looks at me and says, I am going to buy a trailer, go out West to look for those spats, that walking stick.

She holds my eyes across the table, grins, says Never say never, and pours another cup of coffee, no sugar.


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Naomi Klein: Lost Worlds: Is Another World Possible Submitter:
Date: 2007-08-17 07:59:05 GMT

Join Naomi Klein at Common Dreams Lost Worlds: Is Another World Possible?.

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The Children Submitter:
Date: 2007-10-31 14:48:55 GMT


At You Tube We, the children of Iran.


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Joe Galloway: the Inexorable March Toward War With Iran? Submitter:
Date: 2007-11-01 16:35:47 GMT

From Joe Galloway, at the McClatchy Newspapers Commentary: Inexorable march toward war with Iran?.



May I suggest Barbara Tuchman's work?



The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam. and The Guns of August.



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Who are we, America? Submitter:
Date: 2007-11-02 17:42:42 GMT

If we cannot bring ourselves to define waterboarding as torture, what have we become?


Once more, key Democrats act as enablers. From CNN Bush attorney general nominee gets key Democratic support.


Down History Lane with The St. Petersburg Times and Robyn Blumner We sentenced Japanese for this.


From Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont On The Nomination Of Michael B. Mukasey. Read or Listen to Senator Leahy.


Who are we, America?


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From Lonnie Story: The Dustin Brim Story ( Depleted Uranium) Submitter: Press Release
Date: 2008-01-11 05:52:44 GMT


From Lonnie Story, author of The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg. For my review of this beautifully written WWII story Lest We Forget.




TWO YEARS LATER



BY LONNIE D. STORY

Freelance Writer/Author/Biographer

Holly Hill, Florida




Did Dustin Brim truly die from exposure to depleted uranium? How can we adequately justify the contentions that this thing is real and not just some fearful cloud of theorist drumming away at those “powers that be?” Is it real or not? If it is not true, then why has so much time been spent by so many people making this contention and for what ultimate purpose? If it is true, then why hasn’t the contention been put to the forefront of the people of the United States, the United States government and worldwide attention?



Wouldn’t the whole world want to know the truth? Wouldn’t the whole world want to get to the bottom of the contention that depleted uranium is harmful and the use of it in military munitions a disastrous nightmare perpetrated upon the planet earth? Wouldn’t the whole world want to know if they are subject to being poisoned by this stuff; if the environment in the Middle East and other places being poisoned for ages to come, birth defects, sickened people, men, women and children?



The first answer to any of those questions cannot and will not come until one thing happens that has not happened as of the time of this writing. Simply put: The whole world doesn’t know about it! The whole world has not heard of depleted uranium. In fact, practically every time I have brought up the subject, 99% of the people I speak to, have never heard of it. How could a person know about nuclear power, nuclear waste, the atomic bomb, WWII, on and on, and NOT even have a clue about this stuff that is a byproduct of all those things mentioned above? In my eyes, it truly is practically unfathomable. But the difference is; I heard about it two years ago and became curious.



It has been hard to believe that it has been two years already since that day that I first met Lori Brim in her office and listened to her story about her son. Like so many others, and as I wrote before in the previous so titled article “I’ve Never Heard of It.”



From the very beginning it simply just did not compute. All these facts and figures that started to come up in my own research and the research of others. My first step, like many others that have since heard of it, was to go directly to my computer and simply type in the words “depleted uranium” in an Internet search. When I did- Ta da! An Internet explosion of information came flooding to the screen. A flood that washed me away tumbling, stumbling and falling into a vast sea, ocean of information and head-spinning education.



Now that it is two years later, I look back and wonder, how could so much more work, news and discussion still have no palpable results in the eyes and ears of the general public? How could so many people be blind to such a raging subject, right or wrong, and yet, be so preoccupied with the daily babbling about starlets, stars and politicians? Cats and dogs got more air time and column space in the mainstream media. All the while, the questions and debate as to whether or not depleted uranium was in whole, not at all or in some part, responsible for thousands upon thousands of sick military personnel that had been in the Gulf War I and the, to date, ongoing wars in the Middle East.



Each day, from morning through night, the news media and otherwise, churned through the clock and ticked away the latest tidbit of feel good stories, tragedies, daily bombings, political moves, religious activities all related to the region and not one mention of this subject. Has the average reporter in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world genuinely never heard of it or discussed it? How could that be? It just doesn’t make sense and, actually, the odds would be astronomical if it were true. No, there has to be more to it than that and somehow it just didn’t have the star appeal, power or other requirements to get some attention in the media and/or the public at large in the world. Somehow, an entire planet of people, with exception to a few in comparison, had been kept ignorant or just wanted to be ignorant.



How could it be that, that two years later from my own discoveries and education, the subject remains hidden in the dark recesses of closet Internet researchers, University professors, Medical experts, Military Analyst and a host of others and yet, not one major media outlet conduct a full-blown inquiry? Didn’t ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX (among others) not notice that there was something (literally) in the air? Something potentially dangerous, poisonous and disastrous enough to be compared by some as an all-out, low level nuclear war?



Didn’t these major media outlets notice that there had been top government level hearings held before the Senate and House on the subject? One such investigation even being led by, now presidential hopeful, Senator Hillary Clinton? How could they have missed or disregarded the fact that States such as Connecticut, New Hampshire, Mississippi, New Mexico, Washington, Louisiana, Hawaii and many more had already passed State legislation or brought forth such, to address the issue and, in fact, try to get their own National Guard, Reserve and prior-service military members tested for exposure? Is it Agent Orange all over again but a thousand times worse and no one seems to know or care?



Didn’t the mainstream media notice that the President of the United States, George H. W. Bush signed an investigative Bill into effect to make a one year study in October, 2006? And where is that study now? What was the outcome? Did Senator McDermott, a respected medical doctor and legislator work so hard for that Bill and study for nothing? Didn’t the Associated Press notice that numerous newspapers around the planet were running front page articles? Articles such as the 150,000 plus readership newspaper The Daytona Beach News Journal running front page, 1A, on Sunday, Memorial Day, May, 2006?



These are a lot of questions, sadly, there are many, many more still unanswered and more to come. Will anyone take notice? Will you, the reader, google search Dustin Brim, Depleted Uranium or the State legislative Bills passed, possibly even in your own home State? The rest is up to you, if not, then maybe someone, like myself, continue to spit in the wind, harp and chirp at one person at a time as usual with the same results. Could it be that those I speak to are correct when they say, as they have literally hundreds of times after hearing me “Don’t you think that there are people that don’t want you to do what you are doing? You are putting yourself in danger.” So far, the only danger I fear is that there will be another two years with the same results as the last; Dustin Brim dead, depleted uranium unheard of and people content to let business continue as usual. After all, there is great amounts of money to be made from the use of depleted uranium, especially when the United States government gives it away free to large Corporations for personal, profitable gain.




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Former US Intelligence Officers: On Mukasey and Waterboarding Submitter:
Date: 2007-11-08 03:53:31 GMT

From Twenty-four Former Intelligence and National Security Officials Former US Intelligence Officers: On Mukasey and Waterboarding. at Common Dreams.

From The Nation HOW GOP TORTURE TALK DAMAGES OUR NATIONAL SECURITY.

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John Cory: The Cost of War Submitter:
Date: 2007-11-08 06:49:58 GMT


From John Cory, Buzz Flash, at Veterans for Common Sense Editorial Column: The Cost of of the Iraq War.


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Dr. Ed Tick at Walter Reed Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-10-22 06:16:11 GMT

With permission from Sanctuary. I am passing along Dr. Ed Tick's comments on his visit to Walter from his newsletter. Again, if you haven't read his War and the Soul:Healing Our Nation's Veterans from ost-traumatic Stress Disorder. please do so. Put it on your holiday list - everyone should read this book!



Speaking of the holidays - there is the old confusion, angst, and upset that comes up with holidays. Some people do the Why didn't you tell me what you really wanted? thing; others respond with I thought you...you should have known what I really wanted. That kind of thinking only causes grief, hurt, and unfulfilled wishes and needs. That is why it is so very important that you, the Veterans, tell your stories; tell them loud and clear - in written words, in speeches, over a beer. No, people who have not been there cannot possibly understand it all, but you could be the one to begin to open their eyes to the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of our Veterans. Do not assume they should know what you need. They don't, won't, and can't know until you tell them. Yes, of course, there are probably areas of experience where you don't want to go, most likely shouldn't go, with those who have not been there - but you can make them understand the needs of Veterans - the need to end the separation of you and them. That is the way to get help - make them know that you are them. With huge public support, Congress and the Executive will have to listen Thank you for your service, then, and now with this. Blessings, Miz' Remy


Dr. Ed Tick



HEALING WARRIORS:
A REPORT FROM WALTER REED
ARMY MEDICAL CENTER




Walter Reed Army Medical Center now touts the motto: "We provide Warrior Care." Indeed, many indications are that this esteemed facility provides the best and most up-to-date medical and technological care for physically wounded soldiers. New patients arrive almost directly from Iraq every week. Hundreds of soldiers are in-patients, hundreds more out-patients. Men and women who have lost limbs in the present wars are visible everywhere, wearing short pants and sleeves to display their new prosthetic devices. They are taught, as in warrior traditions of old, to be proud of their wounds and display them to public view.



I had the honor of visiting WRAMC on Oct. 5 to provide a day-long seminar on "Spirituality and Traumatic Stress." The seminar was organized by Chaplain Major Kristi Pappas and sponsored by the Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care. The hundred or so seminar participants included chaplains, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, medical doctors of all specialties, social workers, administrators, patients and family members, as well as government and civilian institution representatives. Among the attendees were Kate Dahlstedt, John Fisher, Kristin Van Huysen and Joan Nelson from our Soldier's Heart community.



Staff at Walter Reed expressed great gratitude that we were there. They agreed with our assessment of the disordered relationship between the military and civilian sectors, and that this was one unfortunate social condition exacerbating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. They were glad that civilian individuals and organizations wanted to cooperate with the military toward the mutual goal of healing our veterans and want to create strategies by which this can happen. They stressed that once wounded soldiers leave Walter Reed to return to their communities, there is a dearth of referral and support services so that traumatized vets and families must often survive alone, without adequate guidance and support. We agree that cooperation between military and civilian caregivers should increase to fill this gap.



Walter Reed staff from many disciplines expressed the need for spirituality as a strategy for healing PTSD. Members of disciplines as divergent as medicine, psychology, social work and ministry expressed mutual willingness to take a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to PTSD treatment and affirmed that no one discipline has a lock on its interpretation or treatment, but all of us are needed to effectively respond to its demands. Ed, Kate and John facilitated a breakfast seminar for combat chaplains that reinforced this sensibility. Chaplains define themselves as men and women of peace whose purpose is to provide comfort to the war-wounded soul right in the combat zone or upon return. The chaplaincy declared that while they know spirituality is needed for such an effort, they need to deepen their own understanding and participation in active and experiential spirituality of all traditions in order to know how to use it effectively. At present, they receive their own religious education and preparation, which lacks any deep exploration of world spirituality as it manifests in the warrior tradition. They also lack the clinical expertise in interpreting and treating traumatic stress symptoms as spiritual disorder and soul wounding. Many of these good chaplains have been in the combat zone and carry their own PTSD as well.



Walter Reed staff believes in and foster the warrior tradition. They teach wounded troops to think of themselves as warriors and carry their wounds with honor. Many officers think of themselves as members of an elite warrior class. These men and women have studied Homer, Herodotus, Euripides and Shakespeare and understand the universal dimensions of the war experience. They seek ways of developing such a consciousness among lower ranking troops who may come from dysfunctional backgrounds and have pre-existing vulnerabilities and little education. They affirm that there is a divide in military culture between soldier and warrior classes, just as there is a divide in mainstream culture between veterans and civilians. These divides are harmful to our society and contribute to the social dimensions of PTSD. Remember, the acronym should be read as "post terror social disorder" as well.



There were troubling matters revealed during this visit as well. Care for physical wounds and disabilities is both extraordinary and extraordinarily expensive. Some staff complained that psychological and spiritual wounds retain the lowest rung on the ladder of concern (as they do in the civilian sector) and far less wisdom and resources are available for care and healing of the invisible wounding that is PTSD. The divide between warriors and soldiers is significant and the warriors do not know how to heal it. Officers affirm that soldiers need to learn ethical decision making to reduce unnecessary killing, and that this may put individual soldiers in conflict with their missions or commanders. Individual chaplains come from very different religious backgrounds and define their roles differently, ranging from peaceful spiritual support of traumatized troops to combat zone missionary work. Also based upon their religious orientations, they can have very different interpretations of the present wars, ranging from hating it and calling themselves people of peace to believing in and encouraging this war as a holy and just crusade. I have heard from combat veterans that the spiritual succor available to them in the field ranges greatly depending on their chaplain's orientation. A morally traumatized soldier may find a chaplain able to listen to his soul's anguish. Or he may be guided to pray and, as one chaplain put it, "renegotiate his covenant with God" so that the killing he participated in no longer feels disturbing.



We must examine all these issues with great care and without judgment. We must work together to insure that our soldiers and veterans receive the greatest possible spiritual support for healing the soul wound and social disorder that is PTSD. We must use the wisdom of spirituality and religion wisely and carefully for healing our honorable and deserving troops and their families. And the staff and wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and elsewhere deserve our utmost honor, respect and concern. To a soldier of honor, political debates do not matter. Their job is to willingly bear the battle for all of us. In return, it is incumbent upon all of us to be utterly vigilant, willing and proactive in doing right by them before, during and after the storm.


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Bravo to Missouri! Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-10-31 06:22:53 GMT

From Jason Beaubien at NPR Missouri Sees Teen Offenders as Kids, Not Inmates.


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Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-11-25 05:29:04 GMT

From Thom Hartmann, Berrett-Koehler Publishing, at Truthout Whatever Happened to "We the People"?. You may visit with Thom Hartmann.


Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America's Original Vision.



We seem to have forgotten the concept of We the People perhaps because it seems easier to let others make the decisions. Do we think they know more than us; that they have our best interests at heart? It is pretty clear that we need to rethink those concepts and do that now.



From Paul Krugman, The New York Times, at Truthout Banks Gone Wild.



From Robert H. Reid, AP, at Army Times Probe into Iraq contract fraud centers on Camp Arifjan.

May I suggest Barbara Tuchman's The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam. We have suffered a great loss with Ms. Tuchman's passing (1912-1989). It would be quite enlightening to be able to share her views on our situation today. Ms. Tuchman's basic questions remain unanswered: why do we so often, most often, work against our own best interests: why do we allow ourselves to be governed by folly, by "wooden headedness"; why do we work so hard for war, when we could work collectively for an active peace? Why do we still insist upon bringing the wooden horse within our gates when we know, we know, what is in it?

Do join Jerry Wennstrom at Mythic Passages for insight into the metaphor becoming reality. Timely Undoing: Metaphor Becoming Reality.


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Crescent City Blues Submitter:
Date: 2007-12-29 06:43:56 GMT


From Bill Quigley at Truthout New Orleans: Locked Outside the Gates.


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Congress Takes on Credit Card Firms Submitter:
Date: 2007-12-04 06:30:14 GMT

From the AP at MSNBC Members of Congress take-on credit card firms
Critics say some companies boost rates even when customers pay on time.


If your life and credit have been impacted by unjust and usurious rates, perhaps this is the time to let your Senator know that you are not pleased with that and seek to see it stopped and to see rates retroactively adjusted to fair ones, and recompense given.

Who is responsible for this?
Who answers for this?

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Is there a better way? Submitter:
Date: 2007-12-05 10:44:40 GMT


Tired of fear ruling lives?


Tired of despair at it all?


Trying to find some meaning in it all?


Visit with artist, writer, lecturer Jerry Wennstrom for Meaning and Distraction.


Then try this site - Evolve: Conscious Evolution - Barbara Marx Hubbard.


Imagine, working together to help each other, to share resources, to make the world a place of hope and cooperation rather than fear and war.


Hope these ideas brought a glimmer of a smile to you, and some hope for the future.


As always, it is all in our choices. p>

Perhaps we need to learn more -

From William Golding Thinking as a Hobby.

From Danielle Maestretti at Utne Reader Pseudo-science Debunked.

Perhaps if we can find our own way, we can be available to find the way for all life.


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More Congressional Say in War Making Submitter:
Date: 2007-11-25 11:41:03 GMT

Which is what our Constitution calls for!


From Andrew Miga, AP, at Army Times Lawmaker wants stronger say in declaring war.


There are no politics in war. Politics is the luxury of the safe-at-home. War is a lottery of survival.


John Cory.

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Wounded Vets Being Asked to Return Enlistment Bonuses Submitter:
Date: 2007-11-27 05:59:21 GMT

With close to 4,000 U.S. troops KIA and thousands of wounded with life altering severity - with PTSD rampant - with huge waiting lists at the VA - with the conditions at Walter Reed, et.al. - From the AP at Truthout Wounded Vets Asked to Pay Up.


Stand up, America for your Vets! Do we dare to face their reality?

From Brian Ross, Robert Lewis, and Kate McCarthy, ABC News, at Veterans for Common Sense VCS on ABC News -- The Looming Catastrophe of Drug Abuse Among Our Iraq War Veterans.


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Joe Galloway: The Disgraceful Treatment of Our Veterans Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-12-15 07:55:02 GMT


From Joe Galloway of The McClatchy Newspapers Commentary: The disgraceful treatment of our veterans.



Perhaps, as we cannot send holiday greetings to "Recovering Soldiers" or to "Any Soldier," we should send those greetings to our Representatives and Senators, as well as to the White House, demanding care for our Veterans. Contacting Congress. Contacting the White House. We need to be their voices - we need our voices to be loud and clear - CARE FOR OUR VETERANS WITH RESPECT, WITH IMMEDIACY, WITH THE BEST CARE POSSIBLE - AND DO IT NOW.



Please, make the time, use the stamp, make the call, send the e-mail, send the faxes and make it known that we can, we must, do better - we must do it the way, by all that is moral, the way it should be done. Ask your friends, your fellow Veterans, to do the same.



From CBS at Veterans for Common Sense Veteran Suicides - How CBS Got the Numbers.



From Vic Lee KGO - TV (ABC News, San Francisco) at Veterans for Common Sense Veterans' Lawsuit Moves Forward (VCS v. VA).



Blessings, Miz' Remy


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Robert Parry: Why the Democracts Could Lose in 2008 Submitter:
Date: 2007-12-13 06:17:29 GMT

Consortium News at AlterNet Why the Democrats Could Lose in 2008.



From Ray McGovern at Consortium News
Are Americans 'Better Than That'?.

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S 1959 Submitter:
Date: 2007-12-05 05:34:24 GMT


S. 1959: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007.


What problems can ambiguity of language lead to? Just something to consider.


Contact Your Senators.


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Moore and Galloway: We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam Submitter:
Date: 2008-07-31 15:59:19 GMT

From Harold Moore and Joe Galloway, the book you have been waiting for We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam.

We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam.

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An Open Letter from Jack Kornfield, Ram Dass, and Sharon Salzberg Submitter:
Date: 2008-01-16 05:05:06 GMT

An Open Letter from Jack Kornfield, Ram Dass, and Sharon Salzberg

Dear Friends,

We are writing to ask your support for two beloved friends of ours, Stephen and Ondrea Levine. They are currently facing significant difficulty. After a life-time of giving, they are now at a time to receive from those of us whose lives have been touched by their presence and teaching.

Their greatest needs are financial. Ondrea has Leukemia and the costs of her insurance and treatment have used up their savings. Stephen's health is not good either, and he is too frail to travel or teach. When we heard about this, we felt moved to contribute to a fund set up for them, and to encourage others to do the same.

Stephen and Ondrea have been among our generation's most important teachers, demonstrating and encouraging others to embrace the power of love and generosity. For three years, they ran a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week free phone line for those dying or in need of support. When the phone bills got too high, they sold their house to keep the project going. For decades they regularly corresponded with thousands people who were seeking spiritual guidance, giving freely to those in need, many of whom were sick or in the final years of their life.

The circle has now come around, allowing us the opportunity to give to these two life-long givers. We hope to raise several hundred thousand dollars in small and large donations to help them through this time.

Caring for friends and teachers is an essential part of any spiritual life. As we age, spiritual friends are more important than ever. Stephen and Ondrea have been dear spiritual friends to us and to thousands of others through their books, workshops, and correspondence.

If you are one of these people and are moved to give, below are three ways to donate to the Levine Fund at Bread for the Journey. Bread for the Journey informs us that donations are tax deductible.

With gratitude and love,

Jack Kornfield, Ram Dass, and Sharon Salzberg

Mail: Send to: Bread for the Journey, 267 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, California 94941. In the letter, please enclose a note indicating that your gift is for the Stephen and Ondrea Levine Fund and in the note section of your check write "Levine Fund." In honor of the immeasurable gifts Stephen and Ondrea have given to the family of the earth, Bread for the Journey has generously offered to manage the fund with 100% of your donation going to the Levine Fund.

Online: click here and designate the donation to the Levine Fund: Charity. Just Give.


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Pantene Beautiful Lengths Submitter:
Date: 2008-01-16 07:41:30 GMT

When there are cancer treatments, there is hair loss. You can help.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

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Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968 Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2008-07-12 08:55:00 GMT


Over the last several months, I have had the privilege and honor of working closely with the members of the West Point Class of 1968.


Our work together has resulted in this unique preservation of the history of this War Class.

It is truly an heirloom volume.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we proudly present to you, Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968. Edited by Remy Benoit

You supported it.
You nurtured it.
And together we’ve made it happen!
  


The 40th Reunion Committee is Proud to Announce
The Immediate Availability for Advance Orders Of Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968
. at a
Special Advance Order Price
of $29.95 per copy*
Until July 30, 2008


The price for orders received after July 30, 2008 will be $35.00 per copy* if any copies are available.


*A packing and shipping charge of an additional $10 per copy will apply for books not picked up by the purchaser at the 40th reunion.


Click Here to Order: Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968. Edited by Remy Benoit

About the Book.  This extraordinary anthology contains selections authored by over 120 members of the class who share their thoughts and bare their souls.  The vignettes range from whimsical recollections of cadet hijinks to weighty reflections on our times – on our service to the nation - on the painful loss of departed classmates, including our twenty friends who fell, all too young, in Vietnam—on Duty, Honor, Country.

Come through the sally port into Central Area of Barracks; report to the man in the red sash. Relive the travails of Plebe year.  Savor the 1964 victory of the Army football team over a Navy team led by Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach, and the first-ever Christmas leave for Plebes.  Delight in the clandestine appropriation of Billy XV, the great Sugar Bowl incident, the dunking of the reveille cannon.  Sorrow at the sad return of fallen comrades from earlier classes for interment in the West Point Cemetery.  Feel the anxious anticipation of branch and first assignment selection and the extraordinary elation of graduation day.  Sail your white hat far into a cloudless summer sky; take a solemn oath at a commissioning ceremony.  Party hearty at classmate weddings and graduation leave. Train hard enroute to your first unit.  Take a long plane ride ‘til you’re so far west you’re east.  Hump ruck through the boonies.  Know again the soaring elation and irrational guilt of survival.  Mourn lost friends and comrades, celebrate their lives and honor their selfless service and sacrifice.  These are the reflections waiting for you within the pages of this beautiful hardbound book—these and many, many more.


Don’t Delay!  Order Online Today!


Click Here to Order: Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968.>


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Gentle Editing: Your Words, Your Way Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2008-08-14 16:33:55 GMT

If you are writing a book, or if you really want to write one and have no idea where to start, please join me at Gentle Editing: Your Words, Your Way.

If you are a Veteran, my special rate applies to you!

War and Peace started with a single word; so will your book.

It is important that we preserve our history for future generations—writing your book, telling your story will enhance their lives.

So...Once upon a time.... Go ahead, finish the sentence and my guess is there will be lots of sentences to follow. You are on your way. I can help you, so please, visit with me at Gentle Editing: Your Words, Your Way.

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Arts Directory Submitter:
Date: 2008-01-29 14:15:50 GMT

Arts Directory.

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War Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2007-11-17 06:14:15 GMT


From the AP at MSNBC Senate votes to block Iraq war funds

Republicans halt Iraq withdrawal plan and block bill to pay for Iraq.
The battle lines have been drawn up over these issues. You can use your voice to let your Senators know what you think.


Down History Lane with two different views of what war asks for of us from the time of WWI.




Who’s for the Game?

Jessie Pope


Who’s for the game, the biggest that’s played,

The red crashing game of a fight?

Who’ll grip and tackle the job unafraid?

And who thinks he’d rather sit tight?


Who’ll toe the line for the signal to ‘Go!’?

Who’ll give his country a hand?

Who wants a turn to himself in the show?

And who wants a seat in the stand?


Who knows it won’t be a picnic—not much—

Yet eagerly shoulders a gun?

Who would much rather come back with a crutch

Than lie low and be out of the fun?


Come along, lads— but you’ll come on all right—

For there’s only one course to pursue,

Your country is up to her neck in a fight,

And she’s looking and calling for you.


From Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart, some comments on the writing of Ms. Pope and on war writing itself.Break of Day in the Trenches.


This is a totally different view of war.


Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

by Wilfred Owen.


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.


Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,

And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.


If in some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est

Pro patria mori.


What are your thoughts on war?


If you write you will find these thoughts by P.M. Rodriguez on the benefits of writing by hand in a notebook of interest to you. Do you write by hand; do you write on a computer? Which method would you defend as the only way to write? Visit with The Ruricolist Writing on the Computer.


If you are writing and you need some help, visit with me at Gentle Editing - Your Words - Your Way.


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Crohn' s & Colitis Fundraising Submitter:
Date: 2008-04-06 07:34:07 GMT

I would like you to meet a young woman with an enormous amount of "spunk." She has suffered a great deal the last few years with this disease - I know, she is the daughter of a friend.

Liana is asking for your help with a little fund raising. Please help her out if you can Liana's Fundraising Page.

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The War - Where We Were - a Film by F.C. Rumbaugh Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2008-03-30 07:42:33 GMT

This video was sent to me and it is something for us all to look at - and think about. Wars are fought by individuals who then carry their experiences for the rest of their lives, if they are fortunate enough to have the rest of a life to live.


War, as the elder Mrs. Bush pointed out "is not nice." Have you ever asked yourself why we work so hard for war and apply ourselves so much less for the search for peace? If you haven't, perhaps you should.


War is fought a survival level. How many could be spared its horrors if we sought to learn history, to understand underlying causes for war, and work to resolve them with open hands rather than with munitions?


At You Tube a film by F.C. Rumbaugh The War.


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Britta Reque-Draicevic: Close to Home A  Soldier's Guide to Returning from War Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2008-07-07 07:20:10 GMT


Several months ago, Britta Reque-Dragicevic's book, Close to Home: A Soldier's Guide to Returning from War was sent to me. As writers do, we cooperated on this venture and Veterans with whom I work have added their writing to this gentle, loving, and compassion guide to coming home. Britta worked as an AP journalist in post-war Bosnia, thus she knows what war can do.

In this e-book version which includes writing from John Cory, Lonnie D. Story, Harry Kieninger. and me among others Britta Reque-Dragicevic. shares her insights and compassion with you—be you a soldier returning from war, a family member, or a friend.

We are currently preparing the hardback version of this book that you will be able to hold in your hand to serve as a companion for you along the road coming home. For now, meet Britta, learn from her thoughts and observations in this e-book, and Welcome Home. Close to Home: A Soldier's Guide to Returning from War.

This is what Ron Kovic, author of Born on the 4th of July. and Around the World in Eight Days. has to say about Close to Home.


Close to Home: A Soldier's Guide to Returning from War is a beautifully written, courageous and inspiring guide to surviving the difficult and often agonizing return home from war. One of the most important books to be published since 9/11. It is a life-saver, compassionate, well-researched and timely. It should be required reading for every American."


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Submitter:
Date: 2008-04-08 17:50:04 GMT


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New Dimensions Radio Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2008-02-22 06:17:51 GMT


From some other paths to consider, try New Dimensions Radio Changing the World, One Broadcast at a Time.

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Submitter:
Date: 2008-02-26 17:47:03 GMT


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Bill Moyers: Is the Fourth Estate a Fifth Column? Submitter:
Date: 2008-07-16 06:14:39 GMT

From Bill Moyers at Truthout Is the Fourth Estate a Fifth Column?

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Joe Galloway: How we can really honor our Veterans Submitter:
Date: 2008-05-24 06:58:46 GMT

From Joe Galloway at the McClatchy Press How We Can Really Honor Our Veterans

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Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968 Edited by Remy Benoit Submitter:
Date: 2008-06-28 08:28:32 GMT


Over the last several months, I have had the privilege and honor of working closely with the members of the West Point Class of 1968.


Our work together has resulted in this unique preservation of the history of this War Class.


It is truly an heirloom volume.


Ladies and Gentlemen, we proudly present to you, Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968.Edited by Remy Benoit



You supported it.

You nurtured it.

And together we’ve made it happen!



The 40th Reunion Committee is Proud to Announce

The Immediate Availability for Advance Orders Of Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968



at a


Special Advance Order Price

of $29.95 per copy*
Until July 30, 2008


The price for orders received after July 30, 2008 will be $35.00 per copy* if any copies are available.


*A packing and shipping charge of an additional $10 per copy will apply for books not picked up by the purchaser at the 40th reunion.


Click Here to Order: Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968. Edited by Remy Benoit

About the Book. This extraordinary anthology contains selections authored by over 120 members of the class who share their thoughts and bare their souls. The vignettes range from whimsical recollections of cadet hijinks to weighty reflections on our times – on our service to the nation - on the painful loss of departed classmates, including our twenty friends who fell, all too young, in Vietnam—on Duty, Honor, Country.

Come through the sally port into Central Area of Barracks; report to the man in the red sash. Relive the travails of Plebe year. Savor the 1964 victory of the Army football team over a Navy team led by Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach, and the first-ever Christmas leave for Plebes. Delight in the clandestine appropriation of Billy XV, the great Sugar Bowl incident, the dunking of the reveille cannon. Sorrow at the sad return of fallen comrades from earlier classes for interment in the West Point Cemetery. Feel the anxious anticipation of branch and first assignment selection and the extraordinary elation of graduation day. Sail your white hat far into a cloudless summer sky; take a solemn oath at a commissioning ceremony. Party hearty at classmate weddings and graduation leave. Train hard enroute to your first unit. Take a long plane ride ‘til you’re so far west you’re east. Hump ruck through the boonies. Know again the soaring elation and irrational guilt of survival. Mourn lost friends and comrades, celebrate their lives and honor their selfless service and sacrifice. These are the reflections waiting for you within the pages of this beautiful hardbound book—these and many, many more.


Don’t Delay! Order Online Today!

Click Here to Order: Both Sides of the Wall Reflections of the West Point Class of 1968.



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Dr. Ed Tick: Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country Submitter: REmy Benoit
Date: 2008-05-26 06:29:10 GMT

With Permission from YES! and thanks to the magazine for sharing this with us, I give you Dr. Ed Tick, author of War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation's Veterans from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. If you have a problem with PTSD, I am here to help and you may also go to Soldier's Heart. Just ask for Miz' Paula and tell her I sent you. She is deeply committed to helping you and a grand lady!



Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country


by Edward Tick

Breaking the cycle of war making: our country will not find peace until we take responsibility for our wars.


Guilt, shame, slaughter without purpose, alienation from homeland and life itself—this was the legacy that Günter passed on to his son Walt from his World War II combat service in Hitler's Wehrmacht. Walt, "the only child born in freedom," was born in the United States shortly after his parents emigrated here from Germany. Growing up in the Cold War 1950s, Walt longed to be an all-American boy, but was always the Indian to his friends' cowboys and the "Kraut" to their G.I. Joes.


When he turned 18, Walt enlisted and volunteered for Vietnam. "I wanted to finally be one of the good guys," Walt said. "Service in the American military in a righteous cause would expunge my family's past and earn our place in society." He could not know that, instead, he would return with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), feeling less than ever like "one of the good guys."


The Warrior's Path


Our troops do not enlist because they want to destroy or kill. No matter the political climate, most troops seek to serve traditional warrior values: to protect the country they love, its ideals, and especially their families, communities, and each other. If they must kill or be killed, they need transcendent reasons to do so. Throughout history, the only reason for fighting that has survived moral scrutiny is a direct attack with real, immediate threat to one's people. PTSD is, in part, the tortured conscience of good people who did their best under conditions that would dehumanize anyone.


Almost all cultures, past and present, have had warriors. They have also had complex stories and rituals to help them recover from combat and guide them through the life cycle. The occurrence of warriors is so universal that depth psychologists understand Warrior to be one of our foundational psycho-spiritual archetypes.


In traditional cultures, boys and men studied a "warrior's path." In these societies a warrior was not the same as a soldier; not merely a member of a huge, anonymous military institution used for the violent execution of political ends. Rather, warrior was one of the foundational roles that kept societies whole and strong. Warriors were fundamentally protectors, not destroyers.


People respond to the same call today. Michael, a Marine who served in Afghanistan, proudly declares that at age 18 he was the first in his state to enlist after 9/11. Nick, an army officer who served in Iraq, enlisted because of a lifelong desire "to be like Hector defending the gates of Troy."


Warriorhood, however, is not so valued or nurtured in modern society. "Warrior" is not even a recognized social class. A veteran, especially one with disabilities, appears to many, and sometimes to him or herself, as a failure in terms of normal civilian identity. Michael fears that, as an experienced combat veteran, the only place on the planet he now fits is in the French Foreign Legion.


The Echoes of War

War abroad fosters war at home. When we go to war, we inevitably bring its violence and horror back to our homes and streets. We cannot help it.


Rather than feeling that he had restored his family's honor, Walt spent years ravaged by nightmares, homeless, abusing drugs and alcohol, and sitting with a shotgun in his mouth trying to find the will to end it all. He married and had children, then divorced and neglected his kids. He could not keep a job. He could not come home.


War echoes down the generations. Known or hidden, we all carry the wounds of war. Walt was wounded by his father's history. His children were wounded by his.


When a veteran has PTSD, his or her entire family and community are inevitably affected. The individual symptoms of PTSD—sleep disturbances, substance abuse, depression, and problems with intimacy, employment and authority—are the same symptoms that are epidemic in our society. When we take a close and unprotected look, we see: We are a nation and a planet of wounded warriors, their offspring, and their neighbors.


Cleansing the Warrior


War poisons the spirit, and warriors return tainted. This is why, among Native American, Zulu, Buddhist, ancient Israeli, and other traditional cultures, returning warriors were put through significant rituals of purification before re-entering their families and communities. Traditional cultures recognized that unpurified warriors could, in fact, be dangerous. The absence of these rituals in modern society helps explain why suicide, homicide, and other destructive acts are common among veterans.


In Viet Nam Walt had exhumed bodies of enemy dead from mass graves and reburied them. He felt like he had dirtied and damaged his soul. Nick declared that, though he had wished to be a great champion of his people, "all they gave me was this dirty stinking little Iraq War."


In traditional cultures, warrior cleansing was often guided by shamans, and particular shamans presided over "warrior medicine." Among his many offices and honors, for example, Sitting Bull served as Medicine Chief of the Hunkpapa Warrior Society, responsible for overseeing the spiritual lives and well-being of the society's warriors. Sitting Bull considered this to be the most important of all the offices he held.


Walt entered individual and group psychotherapy for combat veterans. It helped to tell his stories, have his feelings and losses confirmed by other vets, and receive honor as part of a brotherhood. But he was in search of more cleansing, blessing, and soul healing than traditional therapy could provide. He eventually partnered with a Native American woman. He studied her culture, and participated in sweat lodges and other traditional rituals. He attended a Pow Wow where he was honored as a returned warrior. He was accepted by the Native community far more than he had been by mainstream America.


I annually lead healing journeys back to Viet Nam, and there, too, vets report feeling more welcomed and honored by their former foes than they have ever felt at home.



A Double Wound


Sitting Bull and his warriors, and other bands from innumerable traditional cultures, were never plagued with self-doubt about the value of their mission, as many of our soldiers are today. In order to do battle with a whole heart, the danger and threat to one's home must be real, and the people must experience it as immediate and about to threaten their total existence; there must be no alternative. A people and their warriors must be in unity.


The effect of that unity shows in Nguyen Van Tam, known as Mr. Tiger, a robust, friendly, and serene man of 87 living in Viet Nam's Mekong Delta. He is a veteran of wars against the Japanese, French, and Americans. Though at war for a quarter century, he has no disturbing symptoms. "We Vietnamese," he says, "do not have PTSD because we never hated Americans. We only fought to protect our families and homes from invaders."


When, to the contrary, wars are based on false pretenses, a moral vacuum results. As Martin Luther King Jr. observed, troops then experience "not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war," but also "cynicism to the process of death, for our troops must know after a short time that none of the things we are fighting for are really involved."


Walt explained, "I didn't realize until it was too late that I was just like my father—a good man fighting on the wrong side for the wrong cause." Moral trauma is at the core of PTSD. An idealistic and sincere young soldier discovering that he is in fact fighting for false or distorted political, economic, or historical agendas can experience deeper and more complicated psychic wounds than those traditional warriors experienced.


The severity and extent to which veterans suffer with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a direct response to our culture's blindness about war's true cost. PTSD is the expression of the anguish, dislocation, and rage of the self as it attempts to cope with its loss of innocence, reformulate a new personal identity and cultural role, and awaken from massive denial. Veterans with PTSD are people whose belief systems have been shattered. We can better understand PTSD as an identity disorder and soul wound rather than a stress and anxiety disorder, as it is presently classified. War dehumanizes anyone it touches, but especially a veteran who questions the cause he served.


Most conventional therapies teach healers to avoid talk of morality. But war is inherently a moral enterprise and veterans in search of healing are on a profound moral journey. Healers and communities must walk with them. As a society, we must honor those wounds in ways that recognize their depth and degree of psychic suffering.


Lifting the Burden


Warriors in traditional societies served the need for protection, and all that was done was done in the tribe's name. They had rituals transferring responsibility for actions during warfare from veterans to the entire culture. Ultimately leaders, not ordinary troops, were held responsible for the results of battle and for the deaths that occurred.


Our veterans cannot heal unless society accepts responsibility for its war making. To the veteran, our leaders and people must say, "You did this in our name, because you were subject to our orders, and because we put you in untenable and even atrocity-producing situations. We lift the burden of your actions from you and take it onto our shoulders. We are responsible for you, for what you did, and for the consequences."


Walt received this acceptance from Native American communities. In my seven trips to Viet Nam, and with every veteran and civilian I have met who has visited Viet Nam since the war, the Vietnamese people have offered such acceptance and forgiveness to any American returning to the country to reconcile. In contrast, since Afghanistan, Michael says, "I still love America, but America does not love me."


Without this transfer of responsibility, the veteran carries war's secret grief and guilt for us all. Too many veterans collapse into a silent suffering disability and thus serve as our broken scapegoats while the rest of us proceed with "business as usual." In contrast, during my healing retreats, veterans tell their stories, civilians speak of their lost loved ones, and everyone shares their damaged values and broken dreams. Finally, our vets enter the center of our circle and civilians pledge to accept responsibility for any harm done in their name and to help carry the veterans' stories for the rest of their lives. By sharing this burden we become a community united in service to war-healing.


Healing for All


We wish, as the gospel song says, "to study war no more." But scholars count over 14,600 wars in the last 5,600 years of recorded history. War is so epidemic in its occurrence, devastating in its impact, and lasting in its aftermath, that we must study it and tend to it and treat it. If we are to return war to its proper place as a last defense when absolutely necessary, we must heal the wounds of our soldiers and communities. We cannot achieve peace-making without first achieving true and comprehensive war-healing.


Walt finally put away his shotgun and quit drinking. He enjoyed a successful relationship with his new partner and was adopted by her tribe and its warrior society. He took up a spiritual path that restored his belief in the goodness of life and order of the universe. He volunteered with more disabled veterans, visiting the infirm at his regional V.A. hospital and helping create annual veteran reunions. Both in therapy and beyond, we created rituals that allowed this soldier to find healing. The Native American and veteran communities helped support and bring this warrior's wandering spirit home. In turn, Walt became a devoted advocate for other veterans more wounded than he. The disabled veteran became an elder warrior.


But war completed its damage. Only in his 50s, Walt died of Agent Orange-related cancer last year.


We cannot heal from war without involving the entire community and society, and without invoking transpersonal help. We must develop modern rituals that acknowledge the additional wounds caused by war fought for non-defense reasons. Much as we might disagree with a war, our rituals must include purification, public storytelling, and community acceptance of responsibility for what the soldier has done.


These war-healing rituals and practices serve us all. They bring home to us the need to break the cycles of war-making and violence both within the individual soldier and within the society. When we return to our veterans their silenced voices, when we accept our true responsibility as individuals and communities, we will no longer see war as an adventure or a legitimate tool of power politics. Then, perhaps, we may see that all over our country and world, we share the same legacy of war-wounding. When we join together to address those wounds wherever they appear, we will finally "study war no more."


I asked Walt's permission to tell his story during our farewell visit in the hospital where he was dying of Agent Orange cancers. He was surprised at first, but finally said, "I was afraid my life was worthless. But please tell my story. Please make it mean something. Maybe it can help some other poor souls avoid my fate."


--------


Edward Tick wrote this article as part of A Just Foreign Policy, the Summer 2008 issue of YES! Magazine. Edward is author of War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation's Veterans from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. and three other books. He has worked with veterans for three decades and is director and senior psychotherapist of Soldier's Heart: Veteran's Safe Return Initiatives.

Yes! Magazine: A Just Foreign Policy.




"Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness,
transformation, understanding, and peace, they can share
with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach
us how to make peace with ourselves and each other, so we
never have to use violence to resolve conflicts again".


Thich Nhat Hahn




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Memorial Day Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2008-05-24 05:40:55 GMT

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence he helped to launch one of the greatest experiments of all time—a nation governed by its PEOPLE. Most of the world said that we would fail, that it couldn't be done.

Well, it has been done—done because our PEOPLE stood behind it; protected; gave their limbs, hearts, souls, and lives to see that it endured. This Memorial Day Holiday is NOT about sales on barbecues, and yet it is. It is because so many have given so much so that you would live free—to thrive, to grow, to be educated contributors to this society of ours. And, indeed, to indulge in barbecues on this holiday.

As a nation we are woefully unaware of the wealth of our history. We are not cognizant of individuals all along the way who devoted their lives to improving it; making it grow. We are woefully unaware that sometimes, despite a paucity of leadership, we have continued because WE are the American Dream.

If you are sitting by and not demanding real answers, real positions, from the candidates for the highest office in the land; if you are sitting by and not demanding the right care for our Veterans, then you are not taking your place in the caravan of history that will determine if we will continue to grow, to thrive, to see that All have access to the best we can be.

If there is poverty in this country, and there is; if there is inadequate treatment for our Veterans, and there is; if our cities, roads, levees, bridges, school systems, and health systems are not what they should be, and they are not, the fault lies not with the millions who have died for them to be what they should be, but with us.

This Memorial Day, make a determination to stand up, just as the Founding Fathers stood up; just as countless generations of Veterans have stood up. Read your children and grandchildren their Bill of Rights.. Thank a Veteran—reach out and help a Veteran. Demand of Congress a viable GI Bill; demand real recognition of PTSD as a concomitant of war; demand respectful treatment of Soldier's Heart—of PTSD for our Veterans; demand a viable VA system as a way of really thanking them for putting their lives on hold for you; of letting their lives end so you could live yours. Stand up as they have and make your voice be counted.

For a history, and YES, READ HISTORY, go here History.com for A History of Memorial Day.

Blessings,
Remy


'The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive how veterans of earlier wars were treated by their nation.'

George Washington


Special Broadcast about Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday from Veterans Radio. Thanks to Michael Orban, author of Souled Out: A Memoir of War and Inner Peace. for letting us know about this.


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Memorial Day Message Submitter: Michael Orban
Date: 2008-05-24 05:47:21 GMT

Today our visitor is Michael Orban, author of Souled Out: A Memoir of War and Inner Peace. Michael was drafted for service in Vietnam in 1971 and served with the Infantry- First Cavalry Division. You may read my review of his book here at Review: Michael Orban: Souled Out: A Memoir of War and Inner Peace.


Michael is a Veteran Activist, writing, speaking out for Veterans, for education about PTSD. Join him today with his Memorial Day thoughts.

Michael S. Orban

Drafted- Vietnam 1971

Infantry- First Cavalry Division

Author: Souled Out, A Memoir of War and Inner Peace


One of the greatest hurdles to readjustment from war and combat is the ‘social stigma’ of PTSD. Let’s disarm this. There is this pervasive, subliminal idea that PTSD is somehow a failure of the soldier, a cowardice. Though primarily an idea held by folks who have not been to war, soldiers seem quick to accept this idea, unfounded as it is and not based on facts. The picture of the soldier in the movie Patton who ‘just can’t take it’ while at war is the standard many have attached to PTSD. This is absurd, untrue and distorted thinking. I never saw this reaction at war. I never saw a soldier retreat, cower or in any way fail or refuse to perform his/her duties at war. I want to provide a more accurate, personal account of how I came to be diagnosed with PTSD 30 years AFTER returning from Vietnam NOT while in Vietnam.


Parents, school, religious beliefs and social laws provided the guidelines for my reality before war. These all fail at war. A new reality of primal survivalrises to take their place. I served in the Central Highland Mountains of Vietnam, all senses were focused on pure survival. Sleeping on the jungle floor my body slept a deep refreshing sleep but my mind seemed wide awake and alert, ready to defend and prepared to survive. To this day I do not understand this ability to simultaneously separate physical sleep from mental alertness, but it happened. The senses of sight, smell, sound and even touch became intensely focused on nothing but staying alive. Simple distractions, girl friend, home, all had to be avoided in favor of this intense, complete and endless attention to anything or anyone who might kill you. Combat is a savage fury to stay alive. The horrible sights in the aftermath of combat cannot be mourned you remain in a combat zone under the continuing threat of death. This forces the senses to remain intensely alert. To remain effective in combat and to stay alive the mind begins to numb itself to these experiences. I was not conscious that my mind was doing this. It seemed an instinct that comes from a part of natural human survival that arose unconsciously from the genes of life formed long before me. However, while I had numbed myself to these experiences, my mind was recording all it had seen.


After a year of this intense focus on staying alive, war was over and I was going home. Now, this is a time for critical thinking. I thought I was going home to life as it had been before war. Softball, beer, my girl friend, job all awaited me and I was anxious to return to them. Having completed our tours at war, not myself nor any soldier I knew had failed in their duties in combat. I had earned the bronze star, combat infantryman’s badge and air medal. How can PTSD, which was not even a symptom on our departure from Vietnam, be attributed to performance at war? PTSD simply wasn’t there at the time.


I did not expect that the numbing and survival instincts of hyper-alertness to continue when I returned home, but they did. Now at home and in a safe environment, all the memories my mind had recorded at war began to play back in my mind. These memories came back in a volume and intensity that overwhelmed my mind and froze it in that time at war. Intellectually I knew how to act before family and friends, after all, I had lived their life for 20 years before going to war. Emotionally, mentally I was still at war. This new war had shifted from the external participation of war, mission, the guys, the helicopters, jets, artillery, mortars, radios etc. to an internal, lonely reflection of those experiences and a mind happy to provide endless reels of information to feed that reflection.This is where the symptoms of PTSD begin to show their head, not at war.


So intense, overwhelming and incomprehensible were the thoughts that attacked and tormented my mind that I fled to live deep in the jungles of Africa. There among a people steeped in omens, superstitions, witchcraft, disease and death I found an extraordinary beauty in the life they lived among their ancestral and spiritual beliefs. Their beautiful connection to life, all life, helped restore my soul.


It would be thirty years later that I was given a document prepared by Dr. Patti Levin, a psychologist with over 30 years experience in treating PTSD. When I read her ‘Common Responses to Trauma’, I was at once spellbound and furious. I identified with most responses detailed on the list. I remember thinking, “I’ll be a son of a bitch, that’s what this is”! I was furious that we had not been as equally instructed on these known psychological reactions to war as we had been trained in physical injuries. I am convinced that had I known what to expect psychologically on my return from war that I would have been better prepared to identify and deal with those reactions. Thirty years of suffering because of a very cruel, sick social stigma.


What activity experienced in life has only a physical component and no psychological component? I can’t think of one. Yet, the most savage activity is the one we expect the participants not to have any psychological response. It is this stigma that is so profoundly sick and damaging. The stigma must be exposed and disarmed.


When we here a deadly car accident involving high school students, the school is flooded with grief counselors. Students who never saw the accident and may have casually known the victims are offered counseling. They are in an atmosphere of psychological trauma and treated as participants. In the following one, two, three years, these same people may go to war and experience a savagery far more destructive than a car accident and be expected to absorb this without any psychological reaction. This thinking is deeply flawed causing extensive, punishing suffering through its folly.



You may link to Dr. Patti Levins ‘Common Response to Trauma’. Please double click on double click on 'Educational Materials' then click on 'Common Response to Trauma'.

My book recounts my struggle with PTSD and the beauty of Africa that helped heal those spiritual and psychological wounds. The book is available through my Michael Orban.website, through Amazon.com Souled Out: A Memoir of War and Inner Peace., and local bookstores.


We must see through the stigma of PTSD and refuse to suffer for decades unnecessarily simply because of a severely flawed social stigma. When our military service is over we owe no more to anyone at the expense of ourselves.


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We NEED a NEW NATIONAL CONVERSATION Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2008-05-24 06:26:42 GMT

we are NOT functioning as a nation, but as splinter groups. We are all, hopefully, of the thought that A nation divided against itself cannot stand.


We new a new national conversation; a new national commitment, and we need to come to that NOW.


I refer you to these four articles at Utne by Nan Mooney, from the book Nan Mooney: (Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents. at Reimagining the American Dream.


Once again, it is up to us, the PEOPLE to care for this country while the politicos bicker and waste, leave to ruin, our national heritage and place.


May I also draw your attention to another article at Utne The POWER of Kindness by Dacher Keltner.


As he notes in his article:

In the words of the Taoist philosopher Lao-tzu,
“To lead the people, walk behind them.”

I would also like to draw your attention to this article by George Packer, originally from World Affiars republished at Utne KINDNESS Amid CARNAGE.


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Andrew Bacevich: The Limits of Power Submitter:
Date: 2008-08-14 16:42:06 GMT


Andrew Bacevich's new work is reviewed at Tom Dispatch, Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Lessons of Endless War.


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Date: 2008-08-16 10:21:16 GMT

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Submitter:
Date: 2008-12-16 14:35:40 GMT


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Russ Guthrie Submitter: James Charles
Date: 2008-11-12 18:16:15 GMT

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Lindsey Lamb Submitter: Carroll Walters
Date: 2008-11-12 22:08:04 GMT

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What if we stood up as Americans? Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2008-11-14 10:29:06 GMT


I have been watching the doom and gloomers on TV—all but calling for the sky to fall. We know, when we really think about it, that we make our lives with our thoughts, our actions, our visions. If we choose to constantly think negatively; if we choose to constantly only think of self with the idea of lack—if I don't have it all my life will be miserable and the rest of them, well the rest of them, let them fend for themselves—if we constantly are re-active rather than pro-active, we will just keep digging ourselves into deeper holes.


What if the media reported businesses that, and householders who, are making it and interview them about how they are achieving success; what if corporations thought in the long run for the greater good; what if we threw the lobbyists out of the Hall of Congress and replaced them with everyday Americans telling how life is at the bread and butter level, maybe then we could get and support legislation that nutured the country, nutured this ever shrinking planet.


What if we listened to our Veterans about what is happening in the combat zones they know; if we listened to their families about how they are faring with loved ones away for a third, or fourth, or fifth tour?


What if we listened to our Veterans each and everyday about what they are experiencing at the VA?


What if we stood up and reminded those in the halls of power that this country belongs to us and we are its keepers and willing to do the work to accept that responsibility?


What if we keep sending in ideas; speaking out about wrongs; providing ideas for solutions that really work and are not bandages on suppurating wounds?


What if we contacted the Transition Team and spoke our voices? Obama-Biden Transition Team.


What if we said, like Leo Gerard at Campaign for America's Future that This Moment Screams For Boldness. and then stood up and worked for our country? What if we really stood up for a better world for our children?


That would be how a Patriot acts.


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Geoffrey Conley Submitter: Janet Medina
Date: 2008-11-15 11:15:34 GMT

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Terri Bailey Submitter: Major Francis
Date: 2008-11-16 06:25:48 GMT

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Tillers International Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2008-11-02 09:32:37 GMT

We are coming to the end of a very long campaign trail. We are living through a time when the personal and corporate greed that has ruled unchecked is coming up for payment—from us for a bailout for them. We are told there is not enough for everyone; we are told that we will always have wars.

But what if we choose a path that does say We choose differently. Tillers International has been around for almost three decades sharing knowledge, sharing hands on know-how, sharing compassion and caring while passing on and preserving traditional skills.

Visit with them at Tillers International: "Sharing our Rural Heritage with the World"
for a more Peaceful Earth.

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Simon Case Submitter: Oscar Grant
Date: 2008-11-20 08:29:09 GMT

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Erik Chaney Submitter: Britt Bush
Date: 2008-11-21 03:56:57 GMT

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Juliette Dawson Submitter: Elton Nash
Date: 2008-11-19 17:29:06 GMT

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Heriberto Watkins Submitter: Merrill Pope
Date: 2008-11-22 19:14:22 GMT

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Neil Pierce Submitter: Candi Livingston
Date: 2008-11-23 07:39:36 GMT

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Roderick Kerr Submitter: Sammy Maxwell
Date: 2008-11-22 09:35:48 GMT

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Hubert Thomas Submitter: Jeri Hensley
Date: 2008-11-16 23:52:17 GMT

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Wendi Thornton Submitter: Grady Hayes
Date: 2008-11-17 07:20:57 GMT

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Deepak Chopra: Nine Steps to Peace for Obama in the New Year Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2009-01-03 19:17:09 GMT

From Deepak Chopra, AlterNet, at Truthout Nine Steps to Peace for Obama in the New Year.


Einstein pointed out that we cannot solve problems with the same thinking that caused them. Perhaps some consideration should be given to this perspective from Dr. Chopra.



And while we are thinking about changing the way we think about things, please consider this.
From Aaron Glantz, New America Media at AlterNet Did You Know 200,000 Vets Are Sleeping on the Streets? This number is a low estimate. Wake up to the reality of our Veterans.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.



Yes, we need to rethink things.


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Pat Swayze: Dance for Life Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2009-01-11 10:45:03 GMT


Once in awhile we are graced with a talent that makes the actor a living myth, an archetype of strength, courage, truth, and grace. For many years, Patrick Swayze has been one of those men.


Pat is fighting pancreatic cancer in his mid-50's. It is a wretched disease—one, so far without cure. It is truly a "wasting disease," which chemo/radiation can only hold off for unspecified, unknown, quantities of time. At our house we have total empathy with Pat because one of our family is in the same position. Many of our Veterans are too.


Like the fight for what is right for our Veterans, the push for research into this deadly disease is up to you. Please help in any way that you can. There is much information here: Hirschberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cance Research.


Remember Pat as Jed in Red Dawn. along with his fellow freedom fighters raising their weapons to the cry of Wolverines. You have the"weapons," the tools to help fight this. Your voice, your dollars.


This Thursday night, Pat airs a new show on A&E made while he has been fighting this miserable and debilitating disease. Be there with him, with your prayers for him, for all others caught in this inescapable net. Demand research on this, on all forms of cancer. The Beast.


Hold this vision of Pat in your heart—send him your strength, help make this the time of his life feeling all who have so admired his work are there with him now when he needs you. From Dirty Dancing a pure classic of grace, talent, strength, control which I bring you through my tears. The Time of My Life.


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William Astore, Lt.Col. Air Force Ret. Is the US Military Now an Imperial Police Force? Submitter:
Date: 2009-02-16 13:12:58 GMT


From William Astore, Lt.Col. Air Force, Ret. Tom Dispatch at Common Dreams Is the US Military Now an Imperial Police Force?

An American Foreign Legion.


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Recovery.gov Submitter:
Date: 2009-02-17 19:22:46 GMT


Do you want to know where every dollar, every job is under the Stimulus Plan?


Recovery.gov.


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Losing Wet Lands Submitter:
Date: 2009-02-18 09:28:17 GMT


From Renee Schoof at McClatchy Press Wetlands decline along East, Gulf coasts, report shows.


As we here well know from Katrina, the loss of wetlands is catastrophic on many levels. With National Guard troops being sent out of the country, they can not be there in their own states when needed. Bring the Guard Home! It's the Law.


Having mercenaries patrol the streets of our cities as New Orleans did is not a comfortable situation. Where is the place for mercenary troops in a democracy, no matter how many times they change their names? There is something out of kilter with those who are horrified by an armed citizenry, but have no problem with mercenaries on city streets.



Lauren Fox—DAILY EMERALD: House Bill 2556 aims to keep National Guard troops home.


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Tom Andrews: Shoot First, Ask Questions Later? Submitter:
Date: 2009-02-19 07:02:38 GMT

From Tom Andrews at The Huffington Post Shoot First, Ask Questions Later? Say It Ain't So, Mr. President.


From Clancy Chassay, Guardian UK, in Kabul Corruption and incompetence cripple reconstruction effort, say aid workers.


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A Small  Blue Planet Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2009-02-20 21:51:14 GMT


There is a great deal of talk about many things—economic recovery, troop increases, troop decreases, mortgages gone under, food not on tables, jobs lost, culpability and accountability of former leaders, truth commissions, lives and dreams broken by the greed of others, nuclear arsenals, and a hundred thousand other things.


I listened to Robert Ballard speak last night for a few moments about how more than half of the country is water if we consider the 200 mile offshore "owning" of the oceans. We have not yet even truly begun to explore these regions where there are myriad forms of life and resources as yet unknown to us.


Little concern is given to diminishing drinking water, diminishing forests, food shortages, violent weather.


Are we looking at small pictures, "pork," partisanship, oneupsmanship, when the big canvas is losing its color?


May I bring your attention to this article that reminds us that we and our planet are truly all connected at InnerSelf from Daisaku Ikeda Environmental Compassion.


It has long been my contention that we live too far from nature, and I offer this small suggestion during these tough economic times as we are bludgeoned by ever rising food costs—a new kind of Victory Garden, be it a kitchen garden, a patio garden, or even herbs grown in small pots on your windowsill, on my windsill, in my yard—in yards and windowsills all around the world.




Perhaps getting our hands back into the soil, enjoying the fruits, herbs, and vegetables of our labor, of sharing a bountiful harvest would help rekindle that tie to Mother Nature, to each other.


If you have the proverbial "brown thumb," well then, how about a crock pot with a cup of water added to a cup of flour—a little stirring, a few days settling, and you have your own sour dough starter and are not paying almost $3.00 for 3 tablespoons of yeast. It may take a little longer to rise, but the taste is more pungent and you just might get to sit down a bit and write an e-mail to a Senator expressing your views while your bread or coffee cake is rising.


Perhaps the dollars we save could be shared with those trying so hard to stay alive, to keep their homes. Perhaps you could take the time to do one tiny click a day at The Hunger Site. and give a cup of food a day—just one click enough to keep someone alive.


When was the last time you sat at the shoreline and wondered about how those across the horizon line were doing? Until we all worry about how all are doing we will live with the concomitants of the greed of the few; we will live with war.


Until we all pick up a brush filled with our particular passion and speak up for it, work for it, not stop until we achieve something better for all, we will be subtracting from, rather than adding to, the canvas we call Mother Earth.


Like all else, it is in the choices of each and everyone of us. How we care for our country, how we care for the Veterans we so continually make; how we care for other countries, for the planet all takes its place on the canvas of the planet.


If a child goes to bed hungry anywhere it will have an impact in some way on the child you tucked in tonight.


What do we want to see on that canvas—life and compassion or greed, hate, and war. The choice lives with each and every one of us whether we live in a city, on a mountaintop, in the desert, on the plateau, on an island.


The choice lies with us—bright, vibrant canvas, or the grey death of all of it and all of us.


Please share your ideas, share your "Victory Garden" stories. Your crop yield can be veggies and fruit; your garden may be one of ideas to help; it may be your story that you need to share, but share, talk, listen, and help we must.


Plant a seed today, some kind of seed, for something better and then stay with it until it comes to fruition.


Let the gloom and doomers know that we are not taking delivery on their negativity. We know there is a better way, and we must commit to finding it, watering it, nurturing and growing it for all.

Blessings,

Miz' Remy


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Submitter:
Date: 2009-02-23 16:42:12 GMT


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Submitter:
Date: 2009-03-11 10:45:15 GMT


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Date: 2009-03-12 11:11:00 GMT

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President Obama: "And to keep our sacred trust with those who serve, we will raise their pay, and give our veterans the expanded health care and benefits that they have earned." Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2009-02-24 21:03:51 GMT


For the full text of President Obama's Speech to Congress at CBS Text: Obama's Speech To Congress.


NOW IS THE TIME to be there for our Veterans, to be there for your country, to be there for the re st of the world. If you are there, tell the President that you are at Contact the White House. and please do mention that you want the best for our troops in combat, and coming home—and that well used diplomacy makes less Vets! Problems must, again, again, again, be solved with new ways of thinking, not with the ways that started the problems in the first place.



Concerning all of it there is only one answer—If we all stand up, YES WE CAN!


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Jon Stewart: The Daily Show—Responsibility of Media Financial Advice Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2009-03-13 06:05:08 GMT

Sometimes things need to be said—brought out into the open. Last night, Jon Stewart did that.

Posted by Eric March at the Daily Show Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Daily Show Interview.

If others spoke up about what they really feel about the economic situation, about advice given on TV and the responsibility of the advice, Congress would have to listen.

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Did you know? Submitter:
Date: 2009-03-13 14:17:29 GMT

At You Tube Did you know?

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Food Lines in Indiana Submitter: Remy Benoit
Date: 2009-03-11 07:46:58 GMT


From Truth Staff, The Elkhart Truth, at MSNBC Food caravan stops in hard-hit Ind. county

Thousands in town that Obama visited line up to get free supplies.


We cannot let Congress rest until they get this situation fixed. We need jobs here.


Makes you wonder how much those billions that went missing in Iraq could have helped people today to make it through this man made monster. Accountability is needed here, or it will happen again.


We will recover; the question is will we allow so few again to make so many lives so miserable for decent folk who played by the rules and lost anyway because of someone else's greed.



So, what can you as an individual do? Get those seeds sprouting for a Victory Garden and share with your neighbors, with a local food bank.



Clean out your closets and call your local Vietnam Veteran Organization to pick them up. You will help them, and others.



Donate that old car so someone else can get to work when they find a job. It is also a tax write off. You also could get your local churches to have a clothes bank, a food bank.



And keep those phones ringing, those e-mails filling up e-mail inboxes at Contact Congress.
Remind them too that they need to do something to bring down usurious interest rates on credit cards. Contact The White House.



And one more thing. Let broadcasters know that you don't want to be hearing their gloom and doom; that yellow journalism playing on fear is no part of your life. If they keep it up, turn them off. They will catch on as their ratings drop.



We are not powerless. We are the People and this country belongs to us, not to just a few who haven't stood in a supermarket line with a half full basket wondering if they can pay for even that. They are not the ones having to say no to their kids for needed things. Let them know that this won't do, that we demand as much of them as we do of ourselves—and that means a health care plan as good as theirs for the rest of us. That also means a rational foreign policy; that also means care for our Veterans.



Have a block party, get to know your neighbors and help each with things that are just sitting around attics and garages. Let the lawn grow a few days more and save the price of the gas and donate those few dollars to a local food bank. And, do please, make sure that everyone on the block can meet that heating bill. If you have elderly on your block, make sure someone has contact numbers for their families if the need should occur.



This is a can do, if each and everyone gets up and does something to help ourselves and someone else.



Learn all the verses to Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger/ This Land Is Your Land.



This Land is Your Land



(by Woody Guthrie)

This land is your land,

This land is my land,

From California

To the New York Island,

From the redwood forest,

To the Gulf stream waters,

This land was made for you and me.



As I was walking,

That ribbon of highway,

I saw above me

That endless skyway,

I saw below me

That golden valley.

This land was made for you and me.



I've roamed and rambled

And I've followed my footsteps

To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts

And all around me a voice was sounding

This land was made for you and me



The sun comes shining

As I was strolling

The wheat fields waving

And the dust clouds rolling

The fog was lifting a voice come chanting

This land was made for you and me



As I was walkin'

I saw a sign there

And that sign said no trespassin'

But on the other side

It didn't say nothin!

Now that side was made for you and me!



In the squares of the city

In the shadow of the steeple

Near the relief office

I see my people

And some are grumblin'

And some are wonderin'

If this land's still made for you and me.



Nobody living can ever stop me

As I go walking

That freedom highway

Nobody living can make me turn back

This land was made for you and me





Like "The Boss?" This is his version Springsteen: This Land is Your Land



Come on, America—let them know we are not taking delivery on hard times. And please, tell us how you are making it; how your neighborhood is making it; what your community it doing to help you through this. We have been apart too long as a nation. Fly your flag—remind us that we are Red, White, and Blue.

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