Category Archives: Mysticism

Quotes for A Snowy Thursday

Yep, it’s snowing again in Western Washington.  Very pretty, just an inch or so here in Chehalis.  I expect it will be gone soon, but as daylight appeared, the neighborhood was especially appealing to the eye.

I collect quotes.  They are useful in so many ways.  Sometimes the author captures something large in very few words.  That’s a good feat.  Sometimes, the quote reminds us that our current problems may be the same one that we have faced for generations. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the problems aren’t real or worthy of our attention, it may just remind us to be patient, to consider challenges in larger time frames.

I am thinking about unfettered capitalism, the dominant current cultural love affair with free market economics  and thinking that Dresden James’ quote below is on the mark.  To question capitalism is preposterous and the questioner appears to be a raving lunatic.  I am raving these days.

I am also thinking about socialism: medicare – universal health care – public services from garbage pickup/recycling to higher education and thinking that Tallyrand is right about new names.  How would we propose economics and public governance as if people mattered without getting isolated as socialists or communists.  How did these terms become so odious?

Commune, a couple of definitions:

1. To be in a state of intimate, heightened sensitivity and receptivity, as with one’s surroundings: hikers communing with nature.

2. To receive the Eucharist.

 “An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public.”      —     Talleyrand,      Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-1838)   1st Prince de Bénévent, French diplomat

“Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us?”
— William O. Douglas (1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”
— Dresden James

“It is the growing custom to narrow control, concentrate power, disregard and disfranchise the public;
and assuming that certain powers by divine right of money-raising or by sheer assumption, have the power to do as they think best without consulting the wisdom of mankind.”
— W. E. B. Du Bois
(1868-1963) Professor, Civil Rights Activist, NAACP Founding Member

“We are not liberated until we liberate others. So long as we need to control other people, however benign our motives, we are captive to that need. In giving them freedom, we free ourselves.”
— Marilyn Ferguson  1938- ) American author, Source: The Aquarian Conspiracy

Get out there and do great things today.


Come To Olympia If The Economy Has Put You On The Street

What better place than Olympia to gather if the Washington State economy hDo you know where your children are?as put you on the street?  Come to Olympia to assemble and petition for redress of grievance.   Come and sit on the streets of Olympia as a demonstration and act of free speech.  Come to Olympia and greet the legislators and the policy makers who will have to step over you, or walk around you, as they move around in their daily lives.  The City of Olympia is criminalizing poverty in the downtown area, but the First Amendment comes in…    uh…  First!  We have the right to sit, recline, sing, grieve, and beg for good public policy in Washington State.  Come to Olympia.

Camera and I not getting along yesterdayIf you get hassled by the Olympia Police Department for exercising your free speech rights, email the particulars:  Where, when, police officer name to and we will challenge the City and the Police Department to justify the violation of your first amendment rights.

I know that some folks get scared when they have to be close to houseless people.  I encourage those folks to come down to the Artesian Well during daylight and introduce themselves to the people who move through that setting.  There are lots of tattoos, piercings, and a fair amount of cursing, but there is also a lot of openness, music, support, and community. There are scary, dangerous folks everywhere, on the street, in the burbs, in the police force, but most of the folks everywhere are just human being like you and me.  Make the effort to connect and see what happens.  Stop thinking, “there but for the grace of God, go I” and start thinking “there by the grace of God, go I.” Really attempt to connect with the folks and see what happens.  If they ask you or tell you to leave them alone, leave them alone.  It ain’t rocket science.

I have no problem Empty Houses, have you seen any? with an ordinance against aggressive panhandling.  I am politely asked to share what I have in my pocket on regularly and I share what I can.  When I say, hey, wish I could, but I am short, I almost always get an “ok, thanks” type of response.  I don’t want to be harassed when I say no, and it doesn’t happen to me. I suspect it doesn’t happen because I really engage with the people asking, I look them in the eye when I tell them I am short.  I don’t avoid the folks.  I treat them with respect and they respond in kind.

Although I am not keen on the whole idea of prohibition (I have some libertarian impulses) I think I am supportive of a ban on fortified wines in downtown.  I hope for a day when there alcohol, drug consumption and possession are not a crime and when the money saved from the “war on drugs” is redirected to substance abuse treatment on request, fully funded. I guarantee you that this approach to dealing with drugs will be more cost-effective and humane.

Come to Olympia.  I will see you in the streets.

We Can’t Live with Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power Plants

The annual peace walk to the Ground Zero Center in Bangor is wrapping up today with a talk by Dennis Kucinich at 6:30 pm.   I was able to speak with Senji Kanaeda for a few minutes on July 31st and am finishing up a short video with Senji’s thoughts front and center.

I still have a little tweaking to do on the video, but it’s almost finished and I wanted to get this up.  I am also using the video to publicize the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant event at Traditions on Monday, August 8th at 7 pm.  We have to stop nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.  This is a road that leads nowhere.

Prisoner of Conscience Needs our Help Today

Prisoner of conscience, Jackie Hudson, is at the Irwin PlowsharesCounty Detention Center and is having chest pains.  We need to put pressure on the facility to transfer Jackie to a hospital emergency room for evaluation right away.  The facility is reported to be monitoring Jackie’s condition, but has refused to transfer Jackie to an ER for evaluation.

Here is contact information for the Irwin County Detention Center:

Irwin County Detention Center
132 Cotton Drive, Ocilla, GA 31774
Telephone: 229-468-4121 



Thank you to Leonard at Ground Zero for sending out the call for help.

have you been to jail for justice?

Let’s Talk about How to Talk About the Weather

Global warming is real.  It’s a scientific fact and it’s deadly.  We are leaving a legacy of a planet buffeted by unstable and catastrophic weather to our children and grandchildren.  I know that lots of spend a lot of time and effort attempting to educate and recruit more members of our somnambulatory species to step up and address the problem.  Every change we make now saves lives and dollars in the future.  You pick the value you want: lives, dollars, whatever.   This is the issue we should be working on today.  It’s more important than the economic downturn, though coincidentally, it is the solution to the dearth of jobs that is driving the economic downturn into the future.

The climate is the jobs program.  That might work.  Don’t even bother with the science, the deadly outcomes, just start pushing the jobs program.  Not just jobs, the right jobs.

Big thinker, guru, big soul – Noam Chomsky – has a piece in The Nation – How Global Warming Became a Liberal Hoax.  He’s thinking about peak oil as well.  Thanks, Noam.  For everything.

I think we have to figure out how to reach Christians in this country who have become trapped in Revelations’ story of armageddon.  Revelations is a single book in the Bible, a wild hallucinatory book in my experience, but this is not the end all – be all of being impressed by the words of Jesus.  The seven seals, the trials and tribulations, the end times, wars and rumors of war, paranoia and divine retribution are in full force in Revelations.  I can barely stand to scan Revelations while I can read the sermon on the mount, the parables and other stuff in the NT over and over and keep coming back with anticipation of experiencing something amazing and uplifting.  Wheat and chaff.  Revelations does not make the cut for me.

But Revelations is powerful stuff for televangelists and preachers who want to jump on the fire and brimstone stuff.

And as this country leads the world into an era of unstable weather created primarily by our activities, misguided folks who choose may evoke the end times and entice the population to see this man made disaster as a revelation, a sign of the end times.  How do we reach these folks?  I think we remind them not to get lost in Revelations, to read the sermon on the mount, the parables and more.  Wouldn’t hurt to read a little science and recognize that the world is not 6,000 years old, that there were no brontosaurs on the Ark for a reason.  Wouldn’t hurt to understand that spirit is a poetic realm, not a scientific realm.  And I mean no disrespect, it’s simply that faith and science are not required to align.  They are not mutually exclusive or inhibitory.

Say Amen, somebody.

How about a little Pablo Neruda?

From Peaceful Rivers:

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still.


This one time upon the earth, let’s not speak any language,

let’s stop for one second, and not move our arms so much.

It would be a delicious moment, without hurry, without locomotives,

all of us would be together in a sudden uneasiness.

The fishermen in the cold sea would do no harm to the whales

and the peasant gathering salt would look at his torn hands.

Those who prepare green wars, wars of gas, wars of fire,

victories without survivors, would put on clean clothing

and would walk alongside their brothers in the shade, without doing a thing.


There is more, of course, but you get the sense of it.

Tibet and China

The situation for the people of Tibet over the past 50 years is really not that different from the plight of the Palestinian people.  The Chinese invasion of Tibet and the subsequent damage and destruction of the Tibetan way of life should be a concern for aKundun, Holinessnyone committed to a just and peaceful planet.  Even at this late date, it might still make sense and be possible for China to release the occupied territories of Tibet and allow the Tibetan culture to once again take up residence in the roof of the world.  The disparity in technological ability to wage war or engage in self-defense make it impossible for Tibet to evict the Chinese.  Like the Palestinian people, the Tibetans wait for justice.  Could it be that cultures that are not at the leading edge of science and technology hold some powerful knowledge about what it means to be human on a small planet?  If you wonder about that, please take an hour or two and listen to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. 

The Value of Less Industrialized Cultures, Part III

So, today, there are many cultures and peoples who are being oppressed and killed through systematic interactions between more and less industrialized cultures.  A couple of simple examples are the people of Afghanistan and Iraq who are under attack and occupation by armed forces of the United States and any of the “coalition of the willing” who are still engaged in these conflicts. 

And then there is the plight of the Palestinian people.