Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When Nothing Else Will Burn


~Mark Nepo

Of Note: Many think we are here to be happy. Far from it. The School of Earth is the path of pain and ultimately liberation from the thralldom of matter. Thus, pain and liberation are inextricably linked. Life after life we reach one plateau of liberation after another through pain and move our way up the ladder of evolution. It is the same for nations as it is for individuals. This is what we are seeing in the Middle East where the beleaguered throngs are literally fighting for the life of their nations. While a majority of people of this region lived on less than $2 a day, the former dictators thought they could escape the lessons of pain by living on the billions stolen from their nation's treasuries. The largess was secretly hidden in banks and real estate all over the world, but particularly in Switzerland, the United States, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Britain where vanguards of attorneys, accountants and bankers watched over the stolen goods. Not anymore. Because of global pressure to clean up its act, Switzerland led the way with laws that make it easier to trace ill-gotten gain. Many other countries have followed. The former head of the US Justice Department unit that tracks such things reflected: "Banks must now take reasonable measures to establish the source of wealth and source of funds related to their customers and the beneficial owners of the funds." Following the circuitous path traveled by this stolen money is quite difficult as the bad guys have had quite a head start. However, the gap is closing as governments begin to take this problem seriously. The sums are staggering. A January report from Global Financial Integrity put the figure at $1 trillion annually. That is each and every year $1 trillion is going into the coffers of a handful of kleptocrats and their families. A day is coming when those enormous funds will go to the people to whom they belong. The enriched citizenry will discover that Earth is still a school of pain but by pushing their thieving leaders out they will take their nation's lessons up a notch on the evolutionary path to freedom. It is quite an inspiration to watch, and we help the lighted cause by sending our energy.

Today's Weather Report: At 39 degrees Fahrenheit, water is dripping from the roof. It is quite warm outside; a light jacket is all that is required. No gloves. I have often wondered what turtles do in the winter. Come to find out, not much. After burying themselves in the mud, they turn off their oxygenating systems and go without for the duration. They do this by breathing once every ten minutes with little brain activity. Their shells produce minerals that offset a buildup of lactic acid, which would otherwise kill. The whole recently discovered process is quite amazing for a lowly turtle, which resides in great multitudes in the lake out front. It will make me look on them with more respect as they bask in the sun on shoreline logs or steal the fish bait for the umpteenth time.

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