Monday, February 28, 2011

Duality as Manifestation of Unity

The apparently contradictory
principles and operations and forces
of nature are in reality positive and
negative aspects of the same thing.

The duality which we find throughout
nature is merely a manifestation of unity.

~ Dr. A.S. Raleigh

Of Note: As Libya goes up in flames and Egypt and Tunisia settle in with new governance, another quiet revolution is taking place. This is not a revolution of tanks and guns, which represent the positive, outgoing aspect of men but liberating change brought by the negative, receptive aspect of women. Repeatedly research has shown that "if you want to change the world, invest in girls." Problem is that less than 2 cents of every development dollar goes toward girls, and 90% of programs are aimed at boys. This must change. Those in the know agree that education and health care directed specifically to the needs of girls, whose safety must be guaranteed, is urgently needed. An official at the World Bank wrote: "Investment in girls' education may well be the highest return investment available in the developing world." But this lofty goal will go unrealized if families depend on girls to survive. Some spend as much as 15 hours a day fetching water, wood or tending the fields. Thus, infrastructure that provides water and fuel is often the first step in communities not accustomed to educating girls. Humanity can only reach its Divine Destiny when both its aspects are expressing their full potential. When that day comes, and it will, a Great Revolution called Awakening will sweep the globe, and peace will surely prevail. Until then, investment in girls is the key to an incremental, quiet revolution, a necessary precursor to the big day.

Today's Weather Report: Another balmy day at 24 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun was out in all its refulgence. That's a fancy way of saying it was crisp and bright with just a hint of sparkle in the air. March is quickly approaching and with that comes the winds of the changing seasons. As winter departs, spring surges in forcefully. We know then that spring is on the way. My sister, Marie, sent pictures today of her lovely daffodils blooming in Dallas. Seems hard to believe any place on Earth has daffodils blooming when we have a foot of snow on the ground in places. But it was nice reminder that our daffodils won't be that far behind--only two months. Not too long in the scheme of things.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Love Everything


~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Of Note: Love is not an emotion nor is it an action; rather it is a Way of Being, our natural state of existence. To arrive at this natural state, however, we must experience love on every plane. Thus, for our consciousness to evolve, we must do loving things, feel love while doing them and have the right loving thoughts......over and over for many lifetimes until we get into a habit of love. At first it is a struggle because the lower self does not recognize that it is a Divine Being of Love. Eventually with enough striving, the light bulb goes off and recognition after recognition pours in until the Path back to the Father's house is trod. This trek is inevitable, and we have been assured that no matter what it looks like from the outside, all paths lead to the same Source. It is the timing that differs. Some take the more difficult path up the mountain while most take the longer path around it. No matter. Striving toward Love starts it all.

Today's Weather Report: Here I go on again about it being a balmy 22 degrees Fahrenheit but that is indeed the case. It doesn't beat the 70 degrees in Texas or Florida. I got to hear about this truly balmy weather from my Mom and daughter today as we chatted on the phone. They wanted to wish me a happy birthday as did many others by email. I appreciate the outreach from each and every one as today was a quiet day here with little going on. This marks the third anniversary of my George W. Bush Time Capsule in which I put articles about him during his last year in office. It was that year in particular that he was truly disliked. I plan to open this time capsule in 2034 when I am 80 to see how the world has judged him. If I am not here, I've asked my daughter to do so and, rest assured, I will be watching from the other side.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Difference in Belief


~ James Russell Lowell

Of Note: The people of the Middle East now believe that liberation from tyranny could well be close at hand. This change has gotten the attention of various leaders in the region, who have shown decidedly different responses. The King of Saudi Arabia, just back from a three month's stay in Morocco where he had surgery, has announced reforms that his people have wanted for years. However, many have said he has not gone far enough and are demanding more. Even the "liberated" people of Iraq staged a "Day of Rage." The most curious response was that from Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who lectured the Libyan leader for gunning down protesters in the streets while at the same time doing it himself. Recent clashes in Iran with police over solidarity marches for Egyptians left at least two dead. Ahmadinejad ranted on TV: "This is very grotesque. It is unimaginable that there is someone who kills and bombards his own people. I strongly advise them to let nations have their say and meet their nation's demands if they claim to be officials of those nations. Of course, anyone who does not heed the demands of his own nation will have a clear fate." Hear, hear. The president should pack his bags as these words, though probably blocked in Iran, will get back to the beleaguered citizens of that nation through other sources. Certainly they will take exception with such political hypocrisy. It might be the final straw for them.

Today's Weather Report: It is 16 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. Good news! There is plenty of snow for the Birkie cross country ski race set for Hayward tomorrow. 11,000 people have signed up, which is an all-time record. Most of us will stay home because of the crowds, though a friend and I will venture forth in mid-afternoon to see the race stragglers ski to the finish line. The elite skiers finish in a few hours; the back-of-the-packers take hours and hours, and I'm sure appreciate the cheers as they finish the race.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Source of All That Is

Eternal spirit --
Earth-Maker, Pain-Bearer, Life-Giver;
Source of all that is and that shall be;
Father and Mother of all.

Loving God, in who is heaven,
the hallowing of Your name echoes
through the universe!

~The New Zealand Prayer Book

Of Note: Have you ever asked why God needs us at all? Why He just doesn't do it without us--certainly an Entity which is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent doesn't need a mere human. Or does He? The answer is yes, He does. Ageless wisdom teaches that God is not conscious as we understand the term and comes to KNOW through us as He evolves. The breadth and depth of this "knowing" is beyond our imagination but the synthesis of all our experience is Humanity's contribution to the universe and ultimately God. Our responsibility is enormous, but Humanity slowly but surely appears to be awakening to its destiny as a Light-bearer. Ever onward and upward--both for Humanity and for God.

Today's Weather Report: It's another balmy day of 22 degrees Fahrenheit, though cloudy as well. Everyone agrees that this winter has been more cloudy than usual. Of course, that is just anecdotal information coming from residents with cabin fever. The message above is a reprint of the blog from December 4, 2009, which I came across when creating the blog book yesterday. It could be called an "oldie but goody" and provides information that may be new to some people, that of an evolving God.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Subtlest Form of Torture


~ Robert Johnson

Of Note: Many believe that the United States has a destiny to disseminate democratic principles to the rest of the world. Proponents of the proselytizing avenue think that books about creating democracies are an excellent way to spread the word. As a matter of fact, the U.S. State Department is one such advocate and has had a project to do so for 25-years called the Arabic Book Program. Its objectives have included "translating into Arabic, publishing and distributing selected books from American writers in various areas including economics, management sciences, politics, humanities, arts and the environment." That basically covers all the bases, though philosophy and religion are not mentioned. So how has it done over the years with its stated objectives? A recent report by the State Department's Inspector General gives it poor marks. For beginners, the program has only translated 6 to 10 titles a year and distributed few of those to libraries in the Middle East. Many of the titles are chronically out of stock. What's more, translated works include Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and several recent works on environmentalism. While these may be entertaining or informative, core documents have been left untouched, such as The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. Further, there is no prioritization of its limited resources "on primary source documents of political philosophy or books that constitute expositions on core principles that can assist struggling nations." The United Nations has even weighed in on the issue. A 2002 Arab Human Development report stated: "Translation is one of the most important channels for the dissemination of information and communication with the rest of the world." Many believe it is time for the Arab Book Program to step up to the plate and take seriously its charge. With the current fiery energy engulfing the region, minds may be clamoring for information on democratic principles that has been kept for years just out of reach.

Today's Weather Report: The sunshine today has made the difference between a gloomy disposition and a happier outcome. At 24 degrees Fahrenheit, it's almost balmy. My sister, Marie, teased me recently about calling anything in the 20's balmy. But it's the truth after a long winter with many days of subzero temperatures. Today I will finish up the last of three books that contain all the blogs I wrote from 2007 through 2010. There are over 800 pages of blog material plus the same number of pictures. Marie has kept me in pictures since the beginning, although I've contributed some as well. Thanks to her, the blog is enlivened daily with a gorgeous scene of one kind or another. Plus, she keeps taking new ones from which to select. All I can say is please keep it up.....I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Something has to Change


~ Mark Nepo

Of Note: Many thought that Moammar Gadhafi, the dictator of Libya, was on the way to reform when he turned over his nuclear arsenal a few years back. The United States and others responded by opening trade to the country. Eventually, oil began to flow. Last week all that changed when protests erupted in the capital of Tripoli. Over the weekend, the obviously frightened regime sent in the heavy guns including military aircraft and mowed down protesters. 200 were reported dead. During this drama, other protesters took over the coastal city of Benghazi after bloody fighting. Gadhafi's son vowed to fight until the last bullet. Many wondered what they were thinking by brutally killing their own citizens. Two military pilots defected to Malta with their aircraft because they refused to fire on protesters. Libya's ambassador to the United Nations called for the feckless leader to step down and declared allegiance to the Libyan people as did other Libyan diplomats around the world. The Libyan Justice Minister stepped down as well to "protest the excessive use of force against unarmed protesters." Many pundits predicted the end of the Gadhafi regime. One said: "These really seem to be last, desperate acts. If you're bombing your own capital, it's really hard to see how you can survive." Others said, yes, but he and his regime will go down fighting. Around the world, freedom-loving people are joining with the protesters in solidarity during these raging days in Libya. Where this fire storm takes the region is anyone's guess at this point. It appears not to be abating, however, as the winds of change sweep Yemen, Syria, Algeria and other Middle Eastern countries.

Today's Weather Report: It is a mild 16 degrees Fahrenheit and overcast, deeply so. A very small amount of snow fell this morning, but nothing is happening now. We didn't get the 3 inches forecast for Cable let alone the 12 inches for Hayward. The storm must have dumped someplace else. Apparently, Minneapolis got 13 inches by 9 am. The Birkie cross-country ski race people must be unhappy at this outcome since we needed the snow for the race. However, we do have snow unlike some years when we had zilch at this point in the season.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sit Down Before the Fact as a Child


~ Thomas H. Huxley

Of Note: Food is becoming a problem. In several countries around the globe, rising food prices are creating social unrest and instability. Two entomologists from Wageningen University in the Netherlands have suggested that a cure for food insecurity might be found in eating bugs. Yes, those six legged creatures we usually like to eradicate from our homes, yards and gardens. These insect proponents tell us that we need an alternate supply of protein other than meat, and insects provide a source high in protein, B vitamins and minerals and low in fat. As we look toward a more sustainable future, other reasons surface as well. Consider this. Ten pounds of feed equal one pound of beef but six pounds of insects. They produce less waste including greenhouse gas emissions, use little water compared to their 4-legged brethren, and like to live stacked up in crowded conditions. Besides that, they can be raised in urban areas, including a garage. We could eventually go to our insect growing box and extract dinner. Insects have actually been eaten for thousands of years, and we get some every time we eat peanut butter or chocolate. The two professors provided a recipe for Crispy Crickets so we could see for ourselves how tasty insects were: preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Strip the antennae and wings from 20 - 30 clean, frozen adult crickets or 40 - 60 cricket nymphs. Spread the stripped crickets on a lightly oiled baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until crickets are crisp, about 20 minutes. Yield: one cup. These can be used in salad or combine in a Chex Mix for added protein. Bon appetit! More enticing recipes are available in The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook by David George Gordon. Who knows, we could be on the cutting edge of the next big food movement.

Today's Weather Report: The wind is howling, and we are preparing for a winter storm to hit at any time. The question is the amount of snow we are to get. 12 miles south of here a foot is predicted; 7 miles north, 3 inches. That leaves us almost square in the middle so who knows. We will know more when we awaken in the morning. Minneapolis is supposed to get 18 inches or more. They have really gotten bombarded with large amounts of snow this winter. Not here in the northwoods, and we would have welcomed it. The Birkie cross-country ski race is next weekend, and the foot of snow, if it materializes in Hayward, will be a godsend. The 40 degree temps we had last week really reduced the snow, and the organizers were getting worried. No more.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Governed by Fire


~ Master Morya, Infinity II

Of Note: Everything that we can see is a product of the Fire of Mind; that is God's Mind. Fire has three aspects: electric, solar and fire by friction, the latter representing all that is visible. Fire is governed by universal law and follows a cyclical pattern of construction, destruction and rest--over and over until the final product has attained perfection. Real perfection is liberation from matter but that is in the distant future. In the here and now, what we are seeing in the Middle East is cyclical energies governed by universal law and directed by the fiery minds of men and women bent on liberation. The spark of freedom is a Divine Fire planted in each of us and when fanned, its flaming forth is unstoppable, especially when motivated by Love. The news today holds stories of protesters killed in Bahrain, threats of death to the opposition leaders in Iran and violent protests in Libya and Yemen. Thousands of Syrians held a peaceful protest in Damascus. The Middle Eastern leaders seem to be in shock at the rapidity of the spreading fire, and most are responding in their usual thuggish ways. Someone should send them a memo: the time has come, and they should pack their bags. The energy of change has come and will only get brighter with further oppression. Danger lurks, however, and the successful protesters should be aware than into any vacuum can come good or bad. They will find that it is easier to succeed in fanning the flame than in governing. This is where the United Nations could play a leading, non-partisan role. We can only hope that its leadership is working to assure meaningful transitions in any overthrown governments that result from this current Middle Eastern conflagration.

Today's Weather Report: Apparently, at 5 am a blizzard was forecast, and it was snowing to beat the band. When I got up a few hours later, the sky was clear, and the sun was shining brightly. It was hard to believe that snow had been falling only a few hours before. Icy conditions are so perilous outside, it is dangerous to walk. The dogs are even slipping. Today, planning for a wilderness arts conference begins at the house of a friend. It is tentatively scheduled to take place in the fall at a local college. Some might ask what a wilderness arts conference is? The gathering will bring artists of all stripes, photographers, authors, singers and songwriters to share their ideas and artistic work in an environment set afire by a common interest in wilderness and the environment. If successful, this could become an annual event.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We All Have the Potential to Turn a Life Around


~ Leo Buscaglia

Of Note: We often think we have to serve in the soup kitchen line to make a difference. Or give money to a good cause in order to offset karma. Or go to church regularly and give generously. While there is no doubt these are good things to do, such action is not necessarily a requirement. Leo Buscaglia has it right; the energy transmitted from one person to another through the simplest acts create a field in which love flows freely. Both giver and receiver benefit as does the entire planet and all kingdoms of nature thereon. This is Love-in-action, another name for redemptive service. No training is necessary and anyone can do it. What's more, the giving is free. It is up to humanity to open this force field of Love through compassion activity while at the same time learning to be Love itself. The natural state of humanity is Love, and the day we recognize this fact is the day we are truly set free.

Today's Weather Report: Egad, it was in the mid-forties Fahrenheit today. Melt water is flowing everywhere, and the townspeople were more cheery than I've seen them in months. It won't be long, and sunflowers like this will be peeking their heads above the ground. Well, a few months yet, but I'm optimistic about an early spring. Today I received the book I produced from the 2010 blogs. It is not intended for sale but will be a record for future generations what "grandma" was doing last year. When time permits, I will go back to the beginning in December 2007 and publish those as well. A Website called Blurb, of all names, made the process simple although not exactly inexpensive. On another note, the Esoteric Glossary is in its second proof stage and, hopefully, will be ready for publication next weekend. These two projects have kept my winter full of purposeful activity, another name for Love-in-action.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Make the Path as We Walk


~ Antonio Machado

Of Note: 99% of the voters in the recent southern Sudanese election voted to secede from Sudan. By any measure, that is called overwhelming consensus for independence. Now the populace must translate the desire for liberation into governance of a post-war nation with little infrastructure, education, healthcare or commerce. They must forge a new path out of whole cloth. One such visionary, Driuni Jakani, is transforming his rural home town through an organization he created called Lacha Community and Economic Development (LCED,) which was recently recognized as a Community-based Organization of Excellence by the USAID. Jakani enthusiastically described the three-fold mission of his organization as promotion of peace, agriculture and gender equality. This project now employs 10 people as it carries out its various activities including the introduction of oxen to plow local farms, which has increased agricultural production substantially. Its biggest success to date has been the election of three women as village chiefs. Jakani worked for two years with local women to increase their skills and confidence. In addition, he convinced the men to agree to have women at their meetings. He explained: "What happened when the women began to participate is that when they spoke they made a lot of sense to people." He predicts a real turnaround when women, the previously silent half of their population, learn to read and write and participate in decision-making. Others have found that the prevalence of peace increases when women participate in government because they are more reluctant to send their sons to war. We can only hope for the same in Southern Sudan. With advocates like Jakani working in their communities, this new path to peaceful freedom will undoubtedly be successful.

Today's Weather Report: What a gorgeous day at 40 degrees Fahrenheit! Only a light jacket was required when venturing forth. The sun even cooperated and shone brightly all day. Cabin fever was forgotten as the rays flowed through the eyes and enlightened every brain cell. It was slippery, however, and caution was in order. My Mom said her daffodils are already coming up in Dallas. I told her to send me a picture once they grew a little taller. In New Zealand, summer would be coming to an end. That thought brings some global perspective to the cycles we call seasons.

Monday, February 14, 2011

You Tread on my Dreams


~ William Butler Yeats

Of Note: It comes as no surprise that the opposition movement in Iran has latched on to the energy of liberation streaming from Egypt. After all, they were the forerunners, who in June 2009 took to the streets after allegedly fraudulent elections kept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power. Even after a strident governmental backlash, the Iranian opposition was barely contained and ran right under the surface of a seemingly peaceful social fabric. Not any longer. Tens of thousands took to the streets after a rally was called by opposition leaders as a show of solidarity for their Egyptian brethren. Spewing tear gas and beating anyone in their path, the Iranian security forces came down hard on the protesters. Government officials also cut phone lines, continued their blockade of the Internet and prevented opposition leaders from attending the event. Visiting President of Turkey urged Middle Eastern governments "to listen to the demands of their people." He implored: "When leaders and heads of countries do not pay attention to the demands of their nations, the people themselves take action to achieve their demands." It is a wise man who understands that little can stop the dream of freedom from coming to fruition once set loose. Iranian opposition leaders, feeding on the energy of liberation flowing from Egypt, would undoubtedly agree and have said the protest today was just the beginning. Based on recent history, Ahmadinejad and his gang would be smart to pack their bags for a speedy exit.

Today's Weather Report: The sun keeps teasing us by peeking out from behind the clouds then disappearing again. It's like a game of hide and seek. Walking today is treacherous at 26 degrees Fahrenheit. The 40 degrees we had yesterday melted the surface and made it slick. During other spells like this in years gone by, many have fallen; emergency rooms have filled with people complaining of broken bones and other mishaps. On another note, the snowplow is now working again but needs further repair because of a screeching noise under the hood. We need to take care of that pronto before the next snowfall. I purchased this snowplow a few years back when the old one became totally unreliable and will make sure this one does not end up the same way.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Origen: Thou Art aSecond World in Miniature


~ Origen

Of Note: Legend has it that Origen, who returned to guide the fledgling Christian church from 185 - 254 AD, was an incarnation of Jesus. This theologian and Church Father was the first Christian scholar of his day and was "largely and ultimately responsible for the coalescence of Christian writing, which became the New Testament." During his heyday, he kept seven stenographers and an equal number of scribes busy taking down his works and was called upon to provide the final word on all matters relating to Christian theology. Origen promulgated the belief of Universal Salvation and the underlying need for purification of the soul through reincarnation. This idea was held by four of the six schools of Christian philosophy at the time and continued until the 6th century. During the politically-motivated Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553, Emperor Justinian's opposing idea of eternal damnation and torment was recognized as the truth. Following this pivotal gathering, Origen and others were declared heretics after which all their writings were destroyed. For this reason, Origen is little known outside academic circles and few of his works remain. It is a pity for he carried the torch of knowledge brought by Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato, whose scholarship has inspired and informed every generation since. It is predicted that one day Origen will return and take the reins of the Church, which denounced him. At that time, He will reintroduce the concept of Universal Salvation so sorely needed on Earth at this time, and the reign of terror brought by the concept of eternal damnation will end. That is the true meaning of liberation of which the recent Egyptian success is but a foreshadowing.

Today's Weather Report: Our January thaw has finally arrived at 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow is melting from the roof. No sunshine has accompanied the day, however, so I would not go so far as to say it's balmy. My Esoteric Glossary: From the Writings of Blavatsky, Bailey and Roerich is in the proof stage and near publication. It is amazing to see years of work in one 264-page book, which will be available within two weeks on All proceeds will go to the Lucis Trust, which has kept the works of Alice Bailey and Master DK in circulation for 90 years or more.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love Knoweth No Laws


~John Lyly

Of Note: Love is messy and often chaotic. If we want to see Love-in-action, we need look no farther than the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, the Ukraine, Poland and, yes, even France and America in days gone by. During these protests for freedom, the masses "bring their heart into tune with God." When tension is at the right note, nothing can stop the energy released. Harnessing the power of the masses is also being used to outsource science projects around the globe. Thousands of volunteers use their Internet connections to accelerate solutions to scientifically-based problems such as "scouring microscope images of interstellar dust particles collected from the tail of a comet." If that one brings yawns, gamers in particular have been invited to solve on-line puzzles that "figure out the shapes of hundreds of proteins, which in turn can lead to new medicines" All of these projects recognize the love-in-action means relationship and the Internet can be its tool. Interestingly, when the Egyptian government totally severed this connection for the whole nation, determined protesters created work-arounds in no time, and the government's actions simply added fuel to the fire. That should provide a cautionary note to other repressive nations, which are undoubtedly taking notes. A few weeks ago over his morning cup of tea, President Mubarak was thinking about the upcoming election in which his son would run and win. Today, he is gone. Power of the people also translates as Love-in-action, which has the potency to release vast amounts of energy when motivated by the good of all. That should not be forgotten by any ruler.

Today's Weather Report: Another cloudy day in the neighborhood at 18 degrees Fahrenheit. That beats the very frigid weather we have had this past week. Tomorrow the temps are forecast to be in the upper 20's or low 30's! This might be our late January thaw. The malfunctioning snowplow will appreciate the warmth. So will I when I go to fix it tomorrow. On another note: Discover magazine named the five worst countries to surf the Web. The first was China, which came as a surprise. If we had any doubts, however, we were prompted to go to China's most popular search engine and type in "Tiananmen Square massacre." The other four repressive Internet countries came as no surprise: North Korea, Burma/Myanmar, Iran and Cuba. It is my guess that all are primed for revolutions of their own. As a matter of fact, Cuba has been mentioned as possibly the next target outside of the Middle East. Maybe by coincidence, maybe not, just this week Cuba was connected to Venezuela with its first fiber-optic line. Seems that Internet connection = change, so Fidel and Raul should be wary.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not Shut Up in a Cloister




Of Note: Heloise, a French nun, writer, scholar, mystic and abbess who lived from 1098 - 1164, knew of what she spoke. Before becoming a nun, she lived a double-life as consort and then secret wife of the famed nobleman and philosopher Peter Abelard. Back then, a nobleman could not marry a woman from a humble background but that social more did not stop a destined couple from uniting and producing a son, names Astrolabe. Heloise's uncle and protector did not take this lying down and proceeded to have Abelard attacked and castrated while at the same time physically abusing the new mother. The star-crossed couple then entered separate monasteries to escape the uncle's wrath, only to begin a florid, romantic correspondence that lasted many years. Abelard put an end to it eventually and the writings that followed showed the brilliance of both minds at a time when European scholarship was in a dark. period. Heloise eventually overtook Abelard in renown for her insightful and scholarly writing at a time when women did not rise to such heights. Abelard's greatest claim to fame was his marriage to this remarkable woman. Both are remembered for their deep and abiding love for the other, and the names Heloise and Abelard have gone down in history as the quintessential example of star-crossed lovers.

Today's Weather Report: It was a frigid -25 degrees Fahrenheit last night--surprising for a February day. This is typically a January temperature. While it is colder than cold here, it has been heating up even more in Egypt where President Mubarak has announced that he will step down this evening. Even though the masses may not understand it, the energy they have been producing is shooting out in all directions and having a profound effect upon the environment. While gloating over the fall of perceived enemies, the leaders of Iran and Syria believe they are immune from fiery trajectories. That is surely a misconception on their part, and they should watch their backs. A window may be opening where the beleaguered population in the Middle East will use the fire produced to proclaim freedom from dictators, who have held them down for so long. Freedom is not something we gain; it is something we already have as part of our divine inheritance. We give it away until we recognize these facts. One recognized, however, the energy released will not be held back and will burn anything in its path. That is just what we are seeing now. We can help by consciously adding our supportive thoughts to the crowds, many of whom are making the ultimate sacrifice for the good of all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Tolerable World


~ Anais Nin

Of Note: When Egypt erupted in protests a few weeks ago, nine criminal-minded individuals took advantage of the ensuing chaos to loot the Egyptian Museum, which had been abandoned by police. The thieves broke the prominent glass roof, rappelled down by ropes and then proceeded to break cases and rummage through the exquisitely displayed antiquities. The locals were not amused by these thuggish activities so cornered the thieves and held them, much to the surprise of the museum's storied overseer, Dr. Zahi Hawass. At the same time, after 1,000 looters rampaged through the building, protesters formed a human fence around the institution until the military arrived in tanks. A professor of Egyptology in Cairo proclaimed: "It's remarkable, really. People are protecting their cultural heritage and reconnecting with their past. It's a shift." Much of this change can be attributed to Dr. Hawass's tireless efforts to educate the public and create more cultural appreciation of their pharaoh ancestors. Meanwhile, at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the 10-year old library funded by UNESCO, the Egyptian government and others, youths held hands around the structure to prevent similar looting or vandalism. The director stated that not one stone had been thrown at the glass facade even though many other buildings in Alexandria had been destroyed or severely damaged since protests began. Since it opened, the library has served as a bastion of political reform and civil liberties and would have been an easy target. 50 volunteers and 50 staff members made sure it was not. As Egypt goes up in flames, the Phoenix of liberation may arise out of the ashes. Many can thank concerned and caring locals for making sure the ashes did not include irreplaceable antiquities and books.

Today's Weather Report: Man, was it ever cold today at 4 degrees Fahrenheit with a stiff wind! The wind chill must have been well below zero. Unfortunately, I had to work on the snowplow today but my -40 degree Iditarod suit made the job possible. It did not make the truck start, however. So, tomorrow the task will continue in warmer weather; at least that is the forecast. Errands took me to Hayward, and surprisingly town was very busy though everyone walked VERY quickly to get into a store. There was no dawdling, that was for sure.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Go and Catch a Falling Star


~ John Donne

Of Note: Romania, the land of Dracula, doesn't know where to stop in its current witch hunt. Just last month, the country began taxing witches, fortune tellers and soothsayers. Some of the ladies thought that gave credibility to the ancient profession while others threw poisonous mandrake root into the Danube "in order to put a hex" on government officials. Now a bill is in the works that would impose a fine or even prison if the seer's predictions did not come true. Furthermore, the new legislation would require all witches to have a permit, provide receipts to customers and bar them from locations close to schools and churches. Last week the controversial bill passed the Romanian Senate but must go through other steps before becoming law. Now the beleaguered women have been joined by political pundits, who say the government has gone too far. One politico remarked: "The government doesn't have real solutions, so it invents problems." The moon-worshiping witches have more problems than this. Last year scientist determined that the moon was shrinking. According to the teachings of ageless wisdom, one day it will actually disappear. When that day comes, witches will have to turn in their cards and capes. Before then, however, they might have to move out of their ancestral home to a friendlier environment. Maybe California should send out an invitation and see what the group could do about the state's enormous deficit, which is larger than the budget of many countries.

Today's Weather Report: A cold front moved in last night, and it dipped to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. By morning it had risen to -4 degrees. Right now it is 4 degrees above zero but will fall again during the night. The sun shone brightly today and was quite welcome after days of gloom. We have plenty of snow to protect the perennials in the garden but those getting hit with cold, sleet and snow in other parts of the country might not be so lucky. According to family in Dallas, more bad weather is expected tomorrow, which could affect their flower gardens. Only time will tell.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Comet Speeding through the Infinite

The purifying fires of the Universe
penetrate all regions of the planet.
The sparks of conflagration spread
along all channels of karmic action.
The Cosmic course is directed toward
these purifying conflagrations;
hence the comet speeding through
the infinite.

~Master Morya
Infinity II (1930)

Of Note: President Ronald Reagan convened an international meeting to discuss the fate of Earth if struck by an asteroid. It may come as a surprise to many that governments and scientists take this possibility very seriously. NASA even has an operation called the Near Earth Object Program, and Russia has a similar agency. Recently, that Russian group announced that an asteroid called Apophis, larger than two football fields, was on a collision course with Earth. They predict that we will take a direct hit on April 13, 2036. Officials at NASA were quick to pooh-pooh the idea: "Technically, the Russians are correct; there is a chance in 2036 that Apophis will hit the Earth. However, that chance is just 1-in-250,000." It all comes down to a gravitational keyhole, an area in space only slightly larger than the asteroid itself. If Apophis in 2029 goes through the tiny keyhole, it will be drawn inextricably to Earth. That is why NASA said the chances are slim to none. A more likely scenario? As the asteroid swings by Earth in 2012 or 2013, space agencies around the globe will collect data about its path. If there is any chance the hefty celestial object will hit the planet, NASA and the other space agencies will change its course through an arsenal of asteroid-adjusters. If it sounds like the stuff of which Sci-Fi is made, it is. However, back in 1930, Master Morya spoke of an approaching comet that would bring karmically purifying fires. Could it be that Apophis is the one of which He was speaking?

Today's Weather Report: Having just been outside trying to get the snowplow working, I can attest that it is frigid and feels much colder than the 9 degrees Fahrenheit it is. Must be the wind, which does it every time. Until talking with family last night, I had no idea that northern Texas took such a hit last week with ice and snow. Egad, last Friday they had 5 inches of snow! What's more, they are expecting more this week. Can't remember a year when Dallas got hit with winter storms more than us. Al Gore blames these freaky conditions here and in other countries on global warming. Many laugh at him because of the apparent paradox of his statement, but who is to say. I could see a scenario where excessively cold, snowy and rainy weather conditions could be caused by unusual warming elsewhere.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

This is Perfect



~ The Upanishads

Of Note: The Upanishads presented a grand lesson in higher mathematics. Perfect + Perfect = Perfect while Perfect - Perfect = Perfect. If this was so, however, it would defy the laws of mathematics. What the ancients knew that we generally do not is the interior laws of the universe which are often unintelligible to those living exclusively exterior lives. They knew and thus lived the simple Truth that everything is Perfect because it springs from a Be-ing called Perfect. Most of us cannot imagine such an exalted BE-ing. Meditation provides the method to meet Perfect--not that it will happen overnight. But eventually, over many lives, the eyes to see open, and, oh, what a sight! Striving toward this recognition is our destiny as human beings. When humanity as a whole knows Perfect, the Universe will rejoice and move on in Its own evolution. It awaits the day with great anticipation.

Today's Weather Report: Our warm spell continues at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Many are preparing for Super Bowl parties this evening. Some of us have other things to do though wish everyone watching the game well. On another note: the Esoteric Glossary upon which I have been working is now at the "ordering the proof" stage. This culminates three years of work and is a labor of love. It is still amazing to me that an 10-inch long box of index cards all painstakingly handwritten with definitions and quotes from a myriad of sources translated into a 264 page book. All proceeds, if any there be, will go to the Lucis Trust, who pointed the way.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Preserving Sacred Places


~ N. Scott Momaday

Of Note: Wangari Maathai has always been a practical woman. That's why in the 1970's when she wanted to tackle environmental issues in her native Africa, she started off with a simple solution to a seemingly complex problem like soil erosion. She thought: "Why not plant trees? They will hold down the soil, are inexpensive and have both symbolic and real value." She saw herself as the hummingbird, who flew above a fire and released a few drops of water from its beak onto the towering flames. Asked why it bothered, the tiny bird replied: "I'm doing the best I can." Maathai felt the same way. In the last 40 years, her Billion Tree Campaign has planted 11 billion trees across the globe, and it won her the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. Her Green Belt movement espouses four key values: love for the environment, gratitude and respect for the Earth's resources, self-empowerment and self-betterment and the spirit of service and volunteerism. She said these ideas came from God. That may be true because they are quite similar to the spiritual values often mentioned in this blog. Her next project is the building of the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi and "will emphasize learning by doing and applying knowledge to real problems," particularly in her own backyard. These practical visionaries with simple solutions are the hope of Africa. We can then watch ideas spawned here by lighted and loving energy spread to rest of the world. The developed countries might be in for a surprise when solutions come out of Africa that may well save the planet.

Today's Weather Report: I called yesterday balmy at 18 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, right now we have that beat with 29 degrees! This is me last July sitting under a tree like a toad next to the Namekagon National Wild River, which runs adjacent to my house. Back in the 1960's, a salvaging project was begun to save this river from further development and eventually bring it back to its original state. Little by little easements were purchased and homes bought out. Those that got to stay for a spell have died or moved on. The river is now enjoyed by anyone who wants to venture forth into the swarms of mosquitoes that guard the shoreline. They were thick the day of this photo--thankfully, insect repellent now has a more pleasing odor than in the 1960's when this all began.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Risk to Bloom


~Anais Nin

Of Note: Few would believe that during World War II Muslims would protect Jews from the Nazis. But that is exactly what happened. Turns out that Albania, Europe's only Muslim country, offered visas to fleeing Jews. Honoring an ancient code to take in all guests, this movement was led by King Zog himself. Other countries offered limited visas which took weeks to procure; the United States had a quota system. In the midst of this, Albania stepped up to the plate and offered all-told 3,160 visas the very day they were requested. A Canadian-Albanian man, who has been documenting this story for years, emotionally reported: "It is the greatest untold story. This is the only country in Europe where all Jews were saved....The only country. It reflects what a society can be at its best." Another writer said that this was not a case of a person here or there taking in a Jewish family rather whole villages protecting its Jewish occupants. Under the ancient social protocol called Kanun an "Albanian's home is first the home of God and second the home of the guest." It has been invoked numerous occasions in the past such as the times when the impoverished Albanians took in Austro-Hungarians in 1917 and former Italian occupiers during World War II. In a recent interview, one Albanian reflected: "Why did we do it? We saw the Jews as brothers. As religious but liberal Muslims, we were only doing our duty." It would appear that the Albanian's have something to teach the rest of the world through this story of "hospitality, sacrifice and religious harmony." Now it is up to us to repeat it over and over until the energy of these actions reach every corner of the globe.

Today's Weather Report: Right now it is snowing to beat the band and stands at 18 degrees Fahrenheit. Interesting that we get snow AFTER the huge storm that pummeled the Midwest this week. That's AOK, because we needed it to freshen up the scenery. After awhile, the crisp, white snow gets dingy and dirty and screams for a new layer so that the landscape looks picture-perfect again. The two dogs came in covered with snow and wherever they laid down, a puddle of water was the result. Thankfully, we have cement floors downstairs and wooden floors upstairs, which makes cleaning up the water a cinch. I will be venturing forth this afternoon to town for errands and hope to have a safe trip. If nothing else, it will be a winter adventure in the northwoods.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Simple Smile


~Blessed Mother Teresa

Of Note: Ever notice how flowers seem to be smiling? Or how they automatically bring a smile to the face of anyone seeing their beauty and grace? It is like flowers emanate the energy that brings on a smile by being a smile itself. They don't even have to try like we humans, who must "put on a smile" in order to appear cheery. Few people do it without effort. Just think how the world would change if we emanated the same smile energy as a flower. Someday we will learn that lesson but right now we will just have to take notes from our vegetable kingdom friends.

Today's Weather Report: The plants are sleeping under the snow while the sun shone brightly today across the snow. It has created a heat wave at 19 degrees Fahrenheit. The poor Midwest got dumped with record-breaking snow and ice the last few days. In northern Wisconsin, we did not see any precipitation at all. Darn. Many locals say the cold of winter is behind us, and an early spring is on the way. Last year we saw spring in March, and that is next month already. Can't imagine with all the snow we have at the moment, spring next month. But we can't discount the venerable locals.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One Touch of Nature


~ William Shakespeare

Of Note: Oil has made the whole world kin. This abundant natural resource has grown to influence all aspects of global life particularly in the political and economic realms. Governments are created and broken over oil revenues as factions fight over the black crude. Many African nations suffer from the "resource curse" that describes how billions of dollars can be produced annually from oil production but the majority is lost to corruption, conflict and mismanagement while the bulk of the people live on less than $1 a day. What to do? Nigeria has an idea. The leaders of that nation want to create a sovereign wealth fund, which would invest excess oil revenues directed to building national infrastructure and an economic stabilization program with the balance set aside for future generations. The Nigerian Parliament will vote on the proposal April 9th. If the idea succeeds, its energy could influence other western African nations, which also suffer from the "resource curse," and those nations, which have recently discovered oil, like Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Today's Weather Report: Wow, the sun shone brightly today and the high was 8 degrees Fahrenheit. I say "Wow" because almost a third of the country was getting pummeled by snow and ice. The mega-storm apparently touched 100 million people in one way or another. While this was going on, Australia was assaulted by a huge cyclone that disrupted life on its Barrier Reef side. On the heels of the apocalyptic flooding last month in other parts of the country, the people are wondering what possibly can happen next.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why Should We Feel Alone


~Henry David Thoreau

Of Note: The Internet connects every corner of the world these days. Or at least it should. Without Internet connection, a country is isolated and incapable of advancement in every arena including political, financial, social, educational and medical. Africa, where connectivity is often simply a dream, is a case in point. Why? Civil wars and other unrest plus corruption poisoned the continent particularly during the 1990's when underwater broadband cables were being laid. Where satellite connection exists making Internet connection available, the cost for service is often 100 times or more what developed nations spend. For example, a modest one-megabit-per-second connection can cost $5000 a month in Sierra Leone compared with $35 in the USA. Based on this sorry state of affairs, the World Bank stepped up to the plate on January 20th and approved a project in Sierra Leone and Liberia that promised a "major infrastructure revolution." This came on the heels of a similar project in 2010 that connected the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal with high speed cable to Europe. The World Bank and others realized that connectivity was essential for sub-Saharan Africa to evolve. One official said: "A good Internet connection is a means of reaching development goals. Affordable Internet can help farmers bypass middlemen, allow sick people in rural areas to get medical care remotely and help increase government transparency." Of course, other infrastructure is essential for the connectivity everyone envisions, including electricity, which is rare in rural areas. But the city folk look toward an immediate future when they will be able to actively engage in world activities electronically. We can then welcome these nations into the global network and watch as the connectivity changes them forever.

Today's Weather Report: As the rest of the USA anticipated the mega-winter storm from hell, we are looking at sunny skies and 17 degrees Fahrenheit. From the weather map, it looked like we were right on the edge but others won't be so lucky. I say lucky, but am jealous that some will get snow they don't want, and we in northern Wisconsin would welcome a little freshening up.