Category: Culture



Mighty SEISMO is real and not real. His name comes from  the Greek word seismos, earthquake, and seien to shake. He is real by virtue of those root definitions and he is unreal by virtue of his role as the perpetrator of our social disorder. He is like a miasma that weaves its way through entire populations. In his personification he represents an entire milieu of shock and awe events that infect our youngsters, our middle-agers, and our elderly In essence he infects us all at one time or another either directly or by happenstance. Regardless his shock and awe effect disturbs the orderliness, humaneness, tranquility, and virtue of every human life. The above image illustrates both Mighty SEISMO’s presence and the disturbances he creates among us.

So how does Mighty SEISMO produce these behavior aberrations?  Well first, he inspires or enables them, but we are the ones that produce the effects. Since he is an infection, each of us reacts to that infection differently. Some of us become consumed by greed and tend to lose our focus on any other aspect of our lives and of those around us. When interrupted or blocked in our acquisitive pursuits we can be extremely hostile, even vengeful. Shakespeare in his play, Henry VIII (3.2.306-7 Surrey) observes: “Thy ambition, Thy scarlet sin, robbd this bewailing land” which serves to illustrate the fierceness of lust and greed.

Yes, lust, like greed is a forceful infection. Today, it seems Mighty SEISMO has infected so many of us with a burning lust that replaces true love and reduces human affection to the physical assuaging of that lust.  Most knowingly and one of SEISMO’s famous victims, the Marquis de Sade opines. “Lust’s passion will be served; it demands, it militates, it tyrannizes.”  Emotional indifference seems to be a residual and somewhat permanent scar of these lust-feasts. This carries over to a rising dispassion by us for what would otherwise be extremely serious, potentially frightening, and often deadly events or future human actions. Modern warfare, for too many, is met with shrugs of indifference. The declining state of our planet is equally shrugged off by the indifferent. Yes, there is also a lust for one’s own-self with respect to our response to ambition, the acquisitions of position, power and wealth, and as extreme egocentrism. This tends to isolate us from all that is not relevant to our particular focus. The biggest victim in this is often compassion and that is what can hold MightySEISMO at bay.

Perhaps our most dangerous and socially damaging reaction to Mighty SEISMO’s infection are acts of vengeance or revenge. Yes, some major cities report declines in violent crime, but others report an increase. Add to this an almost overwhelming rush on TV shows to push violence into its various forms. All of this is compounded by the extreme right politically pushing for uncontrolled access to guns. As reported in The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence,

  • In their view (NRA and extreme right), unfettered access to firearms is the key ingredient to protecting individual rights from overreaching by government.   They argue that the only way to keep centralized authority in check is to ensure that individual citizens retain the capability to confront the government with force of arms
This twisted and impassioned love of the GUN and its deadly impact is clearly displayed in a recounting of its use by a victim of the Tucson, AZ shooting of Congressperson Gabrielle Giffords, her associates and followers.  Randy Gardner a wounded survivor writes,
  • Over the past years, we have all witnessed an unacceptable level of gun violence in our country. For too long, I’ve sat on the sidelines watching families struggle in their pain and grief with losing a family member to gun violence. I feel the need to do whatever I can to prevent others from experiencing this terrible heartache.”
So, we have the possibility of guns in schools, in bars, in the bedroom, the office; even at the beach; where does it stop?  Are we regressing to the days of the Wild Wild West? Do we need to revive and recruit those paragon gun-slinging law enforcers like the Earp brothers? Seems we are, if you consider the massive increase in security measures that are edging closer to the limits of our personal privacy. Add a gun into the hand of an otherwise law-abiding citizen who is suddenly overwhelmed with some socio-politcal incident and BANG, BANG and a life somewhere stops. Bar fights, of course take on a whole violent and dangerous pattern of behavior. Will bouncers now carry automatic rifles?

Mighty SEISMO must be stopped! This is not an overnight task. An entire change in our social order with an emphasis on greater equality and distribution of wealth is absolutely essential. Right now, Mighty SEISMO and powerful and wealthy interests fight to retain the current imbalanced, unfair and damaging social order. As noted, Mighty SEISMO is an infection so we humans must develop our resistance to that infection. Somehow we must overcome our fascination and obeisance to greed and lust and in that process re-acquaint ourselves with acts of compassion. Those acts need to start at home first then spread out. Finally, we need to resist violence. This becomes easier when we have revived compassion. Yes, I know there is a risk in being compassionate in response to violence, but it is a potential reverse shock and awe that stuns the irate when they face care, concern and a helping hand.  Should we succeed, guess who slides away never to return?  Mighty SEISMO.

Yes, we are all empowered to resist and dispel Mighty SEISMO and we can take both energy and succor from our Cosmic surrounds. The following video stresses this in a soothing and inspiring way. Good bye Mighty SEISMO we can now be free of you.

IMAGE CREDIT:  Mighty SEISMO’s public impact. Courtesy: Crowds of People – popartmachine.com


							

Not to worry, your individual spirituality is not at risk of mockery or abuse. Your awareness of the connectivity of your life with the entire energy matrix throughout the Cosmos is revealed and in that process your value and importance is recognized and encouraged. You are not alone, you have never been alone, and will never be alone here or throughout the Cosmos.

Limited Significance: In our Earthly surrounds some of us are significant while others are not. In some cases the insignificant are relegated to that status by other humans who have self-appointed themselves as significant. In our society, we also elevate some of us to levels of significance based upon our political, philosophical, artistic and humanitarian popularity and or efforts. Sadly, most of us are in that ignored status of insignificance As you will learn here, that is a meaningless status. Although sociologically we seek, even require, recognition from family, friends, communities, workers, etc., those acknowledgments are often fickle or tainted with specific performance requirements. Should we fail to meet these, we stand to drop into the anonymity of insignificance. Crushed and alone some of us leap away from life on Earth while others simply dissolve into permanent hopelessness. None of this is funny or acceptable.

Compassion, not pity, steps in and we insignificant are given new sets of performance requirements to master. Some of us do and rise up to Earthly significance. Rarely, if ever, are we told that we as life-forms hold eternal significance with all life and energy here on Earth and throughout the Cosmos. Yes, various religions seek to do this on a limited basis. They are limited because they too have requirements that must be mastered. Some of us fail here too, and are left to go crashing down again. Hope survives; so hang on.

Its Cosmic: Everything that surrounds us that is alive or supports life (air, water, energy, etc.) has significance here on Earth and throughout the Cosmos. We are part of that everything. All forms of energy surround us, impact us, and are within us and all of that binds us to each other and the Cosmos. The flutter of a bird’s wing matches the flutter of an excited human heart. The joyful thrumming of a happy cricket jangles us awake and then often provokes our giggles. The bright, flaming streak of a meteorite both alarms and invites us to consider what lies well beyond our Earthly confines. All striking reminders that we are not alone, and that we are all one together and are valuable.

On Being Valuable:  Yes, being valuable within the Cosmos may not ring any bells when added to a job resume’, but what that status inspires can fill a multi-paged resume’. Just knowing we are not alone, and knowing that the first and most important human to satisfy is ourselves permanently elevates us to significance status. Certainly, we often need help to sustain our significance and to prosper from it. In this regard, finding the key to the help doorway is often accomplished by being a help doorway ourselves. Our outstretched, helping hand can be the magic key that opens our own development pathway. Compassion is not a sedative, it is a stimulant for both the giver and the recipient. In responding to the grief or confusion of another person we usually find answers to our own quandaries. Enlightenment and hopefulness are mutually shared. Our outreach is not just human to human, it is across the entire spectrum of life here and , as we will learn, throughout the Cosmos. Our efforts to keep our home planet alive and well is as important in sustaining our significance as all that we may do for ourselves and for each other. Nurturing nature, which by virtue of its very existence nurtures us, is a vital and enriching effort. The more we do, in every respect raises us higher and higher.  Voila, we can become enriched and empowered.

Empowerment: The Real and the Fake: “All right, all right, who’s in charge here?” That bossy inquiry is courtesy of your psyche. Your answer should be a strong and confident, “I am.” Yes, the source of our real (virtual) empowerment is us. It begins within each of us and with proper care matures with a solid backbone of self-confidence and skills. Proper care is vital and complex. All life-forms go through this process of becoming empowered. For humans it is first our parents, then our peers and our schooling. Later is will be essentially ourselves and sometimes a caring soul-mate. Soul-mates can be what we term wives or husbands, but they also can be a relative or a trusted friend. In many cases, our only soul-mate is our own selves and our sense of being. This is the framework of true empowerment. It is within us, not external and fleeting.

Some of us fall prey to those who partially fulfill their own empowerment by empowering us in a manipulative way. In these instances we are not free or self-determining, we are rigidly enslaved by others who depend on our bondage to enforce their power. For us to break free from this we usually must stand alone, but as we have stated throughout here, we are never alone and so despite our physical aloneness we are one with the Cosmos. This is how we replace that false empowerment with the real power that is born within ourselves. This is not easy, and it is often emotionally and, sometimes, physically painful. If we prevail, then we are set free.

Freedom’s Obligations: Being free is not a gift. It is an earned reward and as such carries specific obligations. The chief among these is the commitment to promote freedom for others who may be falsely empowered and thus in an inescapable bondage. Traditionally, this has produced war-like actions that seek to liberate, but warfare creates its own bondages and thus sullies out acts of liberation with new enslavement. In these situations the price of freedom is far too expensive. Regardless, we must strive to diminish both physical, cognitive and spiritiual enslavement. The best method is to enable all those interactions discussed above that allow us to determine our own status and to recognize our value to ourselves, to all life on this planet and especially our value within the Cosmos. We can do it, but the challenge is, will we do it?

Enabling Cosmic Significance: If we answer the challenge above and strive for freedom for all life-forms we then begin to enable our Cosmic Significance. As this becomes reality, we are enriched, we are strengthened and as noted above we are set free. This imposes an infinite cycle  in which human life rejoins the Cosmos and then joyfully shares the energy and power of these cosmic alliances. We are strong, we are compassionate, we are creative and most importantly we are uniquely ourselves, but never, never alone.

So What Does All This Mean?: In a word, as we achieve unity with the Cosmos and all life that is within us and that surrounds us, we don’t just experience it, we become JOY.

IMAGE CREDIT: At the gateway to the Cosmos : “LifeZBeautiful http://lifezwonderful.blogspot.com/

SUGGESTED READING LIST:

“Growing Up In The Universe” – Richard Dawkins  http://tinyurl.com/3mspnpp

“Society and Cosmology” http://tinyurl.com/3myn4jf

“No Place Like Home: A Cosmic Imprint” http://tinyurl.com/3f65wbm

“The Cosmically Pivotal Moment” http://tinyurl.com/3wbgnnb

Book Review: “Is There Life Out There” http://tinyurl.com/42tfpxm

HAMLIT: STEM’s Twin Brother


Yes STEM, the acronym for education in science, technology, engineering and math has a twin brother with the acronym, HAMLIT. This translates into education in history, art, music and literature. For years, HAMLIT has been de-emphasized in both high school and college programs where STEM was and is the focus. This approach along with the increased emphasis on STEM education is establishing the mechanism for a continuous roll-out of highly skilled Sci-Tech professionals. So where does HAMLIT come in?
Right now, HAMLIT, is truly facing the classic “To Be Or Not To Be” question, and it looks like “Not To Be” may prevail. STEM and HAMLIT’s parents embodied the classic liberal arts education which was comprised of grammar, logic, rhetoric along with quantitative reasoning which included geometry, astronomy, arithmetic and music (Elements of Liberal Education). None of this limited or restricted the immense progress of humankind‘s advances in the sciences along with demonstrated genius in the arts. The Renaissance freed humanity from the captivity of the Dark Ages and laid the groundwork for amazing advances in our understanding of ourselves and all that surrounds us. We celebrated this with enormous outbursts of creativity in art, music and literature. Historians, both as watchers on the sidelines and as active participants in this cognitive evolution carefully recorded the events and failures that accompanied these heady moments of progress. It was this process that led to HAMLIT’s birth.
Yes, HAMLIT and STEM are twins and were born at the same time, but they are not identical twins and STEM in his early years was overshadowed by his more aggressive and eager brother. This did not mean they were distant. In fact, HAMLIT was quite solicitous of his brother and made sure to share his many varied interests with him and thus laid the foundation for STEM’s eventual success and importance.
Humans are an ever-changing landscape, but deep within there is a core in which resides the twins HAMLIT and STEM. Their relative strength varies with each human and with the times, but it is essential that they both be there. Right now, as we recognize the call for expanded explorations into both our solar system and beyond, STEM is becoming more and more dominant. HAMLIT must keep pace. As we have discussed above, HAMLIT fills many creative voids that would remain as such if only STEM were present. As STEM induces new discoveries and theories (explanations) their full meaning will never be realized without HAMLIT’s involvement. In many cases, the absence of HAMLIT could lead to complete misinterpretations of the true meaning of new discoveries. Instead of expanded explorations inspired by those discoveries we find ourselves in pursuit of vacuous willow-of-the-wisps. On the other hand those moments of great joy of finding another “new” in our life comes from HAMLIT’s annals of human history.
The following video can be considered an artistic summary of the relationship between the twins. There is science by virtue of archtechture, there is art by virtue of the images, and of course there is music. Summed together they are a creative outburst of art and science. HAMLIT and STEM jointly moving humankind forward progressively and joyfully through an endless age of enlightenment.

IMAGE CREDIT: Fractals are a natural celebration of the interaction of science and art. Image courtesy of Kaneva – http://tinyurl.com/44sw5pp


Not to worry, Googling, or Yahooing or Binging Verdantia yields a variety of “what do you means ” or “what are you talking about” questions and no real answers. Verdantia  is a proposed place-name. It is intended to be generic in its application so that it fits all levels and modes of urban life.
My Verdantia: Before I take us on the road, I offer my experience as a resident of a micro-Verdantia. I live right in the core of an urban environment that borders an historic river and has the support of both city and state services because the area is a state capital. It is lush through Spring and Fall and though stark in Winter it carries promise of coming greenery by virtue of its thick, and regal tree population. This is a population that includes residents that date back over 300 years (Elm and Oak trees). Natural wildlife of a wide variety are both residents and seasonal visitors that serve to animate the reality of my Verdantia.
The residents of this area walk, jog , canoe and bike their way in and around this urban green-space and are obviously both soothed and enriched in the process. No long road trips to get here, for most of us it is a 15o foot walk across a busy thoroughfare to the river’s edge. Here are some quick snapshots of what awaits all of us.
Design and Build or Modify and Upgrade:  Or it could be both. The key consideration is that the urban area begins going green from the inside out. By this, it is meant that the inhabitants are the ones that begin the greening process in their own residences, retail centers and offices. For this to happen property owners, landlords and governmental organizations need to facilitate the greening process. The process in the office, for example, can be as simple as a plant on a desk as depicted on the right, or an entire greenery enclave that includes cubicle office spaces like that shown on the left.  Most importantly this individualized process must have full encouragement by management. This will not be an overnight change and will require considerable adjustment by management to insure that employees feel secure in going green at work.
Design and build is equally important and in major urban areas represents a commitment by local government, developers and realtors to replace aging or condemned structures with designs and construction that are totally green-based. In many cases this calls for matching the structures to an overall plan and pattern for urban greening. This, again, is never an overnight event. It will take political and financial actions to bring about the necessary support by all participants to make it a reality. Citizen commitment to action and long-term support is vital. Transportation concepts and programs must change, including automobile access to city centers. It will be a struggle, and unfortunately some areas both economically and politically avoid struggles.
Its about science too: Ignore Nature and even the best efforts will fail and that could fatally set back the greening concept permanently. Plopping trees and plants in the middle of a intensely busy urban area will do little more than exhibit how plants cannot live outside a supportive environment. The greening process must create that necessary environment and this again is not an overnight event. Financial, political and ecological decisions and actions are absolutely necessary to bring about even one city block of long-lived greenery.
Go or No-Go:  This post has barely touched on all the necessary considerations and steps required to create a green city. Suffering from acute phlegmatosis both the public and its politcal leaders find a variety of excuses to at least stall and in many cases never act on the greeening process. So, how do we embed both the idea and the motivation?
Back to school and the woods: We must build within our children a deep love, respect and desire to protect the environment. From this effort comes the fundamentals that produce a populus that not just supports greening, but demands it. Yes, another non-overnighter. Do we give up because the road ahead is long and sometimes bumpy? Did we give up getting where we are today? Chances are we did not, so the vigor is within us; we just need to activate it. Actions to increase public education on the environment and its protection right now face all kinds of political interpretations and incantations; the results of which are more defeating than encouraging. We, therefore cannot simply pass on to our children responsibility for the greening process. Without legislative support for this kind of educational element, it will not happen. Tired already aren’t you? Exactly and that is the high price we face to make a long, lasting roadway to Verdantia.
Oh, one more thing: While we are working up the steam to begin the push toward Verdantia, we must at the same time insure that what we already have is protected and preserved. The chainsaw gangs are always out there and ready to attack if we are not vigilant and dedicated. Chainsaw by-the-way encompasses all elements of environmental endangerment or destruction. It is not just an emotional scene from Avatar, it is often very subtle and goes unnoticed until all the green is either brown or gone.
Our Native American brethren are those of us who were born with greening an inherent belief and force within them. Nature is kin and as such is worshipped, protected and above all else preserved because it is themselves they are preserving. I, as an infant was infused with this spirit by virtue of being nursed into full life by my Navajo nanny. It is real and the ulitmate reward from all life on this planet. You may click here to enjoy that Native American tribute to all that surrounds us.

IMAGE CREDITS:

Top Image:  Atlanta Garden Design  http://tinyurl.com/3c84upb

My Verdantia: All images by the author, Waddell Robey

Office Greenery: (1) Desk plant – http://www.ehow.com  (2) green enclave: http://www.ecofuture.net

Urban Greenery: http://freegreenliving.blogspot.com/


Dead Earth: Click on the image for more information.

At this time, on this planet, Earth, the environment and climate change naysayers constantly dispute the proven fact that humankind is directly contributing to the decline of life. The dispute is based on the belief that whatever is happening is in no way humankind’s fault and that much of the purported dangers are fraudulently conceived to empower liberal politics. This is tragic and even more tragic is the possibility that none of this is unique. It is possible that these sames kinds of disputes and ongoing abuse of the environment and life systems has occurred and is occurring throughout the Cosmos.
Yes, there is what we could call competitive evolution in which one life form in its evolution may threaten the existence of one or more other life forms, but all of this seems to follow a rather random but orderly pattern that appears to be a part of the thrive of planetary life systems (at least on this planet). The evolution of humankind as, for now, the top life-form, introduces a species that does not necessarily follow any orderly pattern and generally threatens a large segment of all life on the planet. At the same time, some segments of the human species is mindful of this threat to other life and seeks to alter human behavior to reduce that damage and also enhance the endurance and progress of all life on the planet. Therein resides the cause for the dispute mentioned above. The net effect right now is that life on Earth is imperiled.
Have we carried Darwin’s theory of “natural selection” too far? Are we convinced that we are the ultimate species and that there is little or no interdependence of life within our environment? Science says it is otherwise. Based on current scientific research and analyses there is a very high probability that life inhabits other planetary bodies (exoplanets) throughout the universe.  It is also possible that some forms of human life exists on some of those exoplanets. Can we also assume that some or all of those human-like lives have evolved and in a manner similar to ours? In my opinion, that answer should be yes. The next question could be, are those humans abusing their environments just as we are or are they like our Native American bretheran who still believe and practice a respectful interrelationship with planet Earth? The intriguing and entrancing scifi movie “Avatar” clearly illustrates this diversity of attitudes toward the environment.
What if it is true, that human life, in whatever form and wherever, is abusing their planetary environments much as we are? Even though life in some form will most likely continue to generate and regenerate throughout the Cosmos, there is also the possibility that there could be a gigantic collapse of life throughout the Cosmos due to widespread abuse of life supporting environments. If this should all come to pass within an envelope of time, it is highly possible that we could have a silent Cosmos. By silent, I mean without life in any form and its evolutionary processes. This is avoidable, and for Earthlings, though a cosmic consciousness is desirable, the key concentration must be on planet Earth. We have the power, the technology, the science, and the economic drive that should enable us to both progress and preserve and protect our environment. On the other hand, if we submit to greed and addiction to power we could quickly accelerate the total extinction of all life on Earth. Capitalistically, that is a lousy investment. Environmentally it is stupid. Sociologically it is suicidal.
Lastly, as mentioned above we are learning and beginning to respect the interdependence of all life here on Earth and to envision that concept prevailing throughout the Cosmos. That is a purely glorious and stimulating realization. We are not alone. We have immense linkages across the universe, and with that we have the power to progress and enrich all that surrounds us. In a cosmic sense, to me at least, this is our ultimate mission and reason for our presence.  Yes, life has a reason, and we should neither neglect nor abuse it.
Like the Na’vi of Pandora we must prevail and in prevailing we could be the incentive that ensures that the Cosmos will never go silent.


It has been over 3 centuries since my earliest ancestors from Scotland and Ireland set foot on this continent. Regardless of that time interval I, to this very day, have deep feelings for my links to both those two countries. Every once in awhile, just like ET, I have this urge to “call home”, but unlike him I am not sure who to call. I do have one compensation in that by posting a few articles for a British online magazine, The Urban Times, I have contact with that broad home-base of my ancestors.
ET’s yearnings will, in my opinion, be ours to experience someday as we succeed in exploring and, in some cases, settling on distant planets both in this galaxy and beyond. I am also certain that those new space-pioneers will experience the ET-effect.
Perhaps there is a genetic link or geological imprint that is passed along from generation after generation. Again, in my opinion, that imprint could be a composite not just of family linkages, but deep seated associations with the physical and emotional pull of our home-base; in this case our planet. Science-fiction notable, Ray Bradbury, documents this in his short story, “The Martian Chronicles.” In that regard, I suspect Bradbury also has experienced the ET-effect.
Going a step further, scientists are researching the source of our beginnings, and are currently documenting the fact that we are “stardust people.” By that they mean, the critical biochemical ingredients that lead to our coming into being have come from the Cosmos. Is it possible then that our deep urging to reach out and explore into deep, deep space, is a cosmic ET-effect? In other words, as stardust people, do we possess a cosmic imprint that makes us yearn to not just call home, but to explore where that home might be? Furthermore, does this imprint have a spiritual impact as well? In either of these cases we can only be enriched if, in fact, they are real.
Perhaps one of the most potentially exciting and rewarding results would be when we have a meet-up with ET, and because of our mutual cosmic imprint we quickly achieve a comradeship that welcomes us into our real home; the COSMOS. Suddenly many of our Earth-born irritations and prejudices shrink to nothing as we embrace our real home. Yes, there will be evolutionary and developmental differences between us and the ETs we meet, but they become insignificant because of our growing mutual sense of unity and belonging. We are really home and among a host of amazing kinfolk. – JOY!

The hand, as far as the article is concerned, is governance (local, state, national and territorial). The cradle is the entire spectrum of commerce and industry that represents the economy of a community of people, commonly known as a nation. Rocking the cradle, barring some horror movie contexts, represents part of the parental nurturing process of offspring. Offspring within the context of this article represents all those productive elements of a nation’s economy. Those productive elements include all the citizens of that national entity.  Governance is, of course, all the above when we think about democratic societies, and this immediately imposes a web of interactions and reactions that affect management.

Considering the complexity of the above cradle-rocking process, it is no wonder that there is often more than one hand on the cradle and that each hand has fingers in which each finger represents an array of nurture elements. So let’s look at nurture within the context we have created for this article.

Nurturing with respect to parenting involves a host of efforts from early life sustenance to the process of enabling the growth and development of the offspring. This includes behavioral adjustments, physical enrichment, education, and, in many ways, moral integrity. Multiply the offspring by a population mix of citizens, businesses, educational institutions (at all levels), and a host of governmental agencies (also at all levels) and rocking the cradle is no easy task. Most critically, the hands doing the rocking are equally required to have been nurtured to the same rigorous standards. As history has informed us, repeatedly, it does not always come out successfully; quite often in the area of moral integrity.

So what can happen?

The focus must be on the hands and fingers, in other words all aspects of governance, but especially the hands. The hands are the choice of the people who jointly and cooperatively decide exactly which hands are best to help rock the cradle. This is good and has served democratic nations well and successfully until the hands come under the influence of special interests (groups, industries, financial). When this happens the cradle gets jiggled more than rocked and the hands become impaired because they no longer respond to the people. Obviously the fingers, become confused, and often dysfunctional. When all this comes together, the cradle is no longer rocked, much less jiggled. It is abandoned!

Inside the cradle are all the operations and policies that insure a nation is safe, economically strong, progressive and dedicated to the enrichment of all life, including the environment. Obviously, when the cradle is only jiggled or, worse, abandoned the entire nation suffers. This can have dreadful, long-range effects that can retard the nation’s global standing which in turn has serious economic impact. The nation struggles and shrinks, the crippled hands are overpowered by special interests and democracy becomes just a tattered label.

What to do? What to do?

Well here are five steps that can help restore the hands and fingers and repopulate the cradle with all the important policies and practices that will help nurture the nation back into a strong, progressive and democratic country.

  1. Completely revise the electoral process to insure that the people select the hands.

  2. Insure that the fingers are carefully controlled to serve the well-being of the nation and its citizens.

  3. Respect the presence of special interests, but only within the framework of the will of the people. Special interests must gain approval from the people, not the hands.

  4. Governance is a mutual process that involves people, hands, fingers and the cradle. This must be sustained and never allowed to weaken. This means the people need to be alert, committed, and active in support of rocking the cradle.

  5. Progress is non-political. It is the joint activity of all elements of governance that move the nation forward. Rocking the cradle is the summary of that process and represents the continual nurturing of democracy.

Right now, the cradle is nearly empty, the hands twisted and manacled by special interests and the people all have either turned away or turned on each other.  We better hurry before there is no cradle to rock.

IMAGE CREDIT: The Constitutional Convention (Philadelphia) courtesy of faculty.polytechnic.org


In the composite image above, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay are at a pinnacle of mutual accomplishment. Alongside those two great achievers are astronauts Bill McCarthur and Valery Tokarev the Commander and Engineer, respectively, of the International Space Station (Expedition: 12 ) They too, are at a pinnacle of mutual achievement. Most importantly neither of these great moments occurred without the full support of each partner for the other.  Furthermore, in each case all of the team members are from different nations. Global success was a fact and not an impossible dream for both of those great moments in history.

Ego is good.  If by that we mean we are stable in both our self awareness and self confidence. We all possess it in varying levels of healthiness. When we say ego is bad are we really talking about ego or are we talking about how it is being misapplied? Following the preceding explanation we would suspect misapplication is the dominant reason.

As parents, friends, employers, in fact all society, declare we are expected to excel. This is good and healthy too. Here again, if we mature, with a balanced awareness between excelling and compassionate fairness to others we should be leaders. Unfortunately there are others who place excelling, by any means, as vital and at the usual expense of others. History records that many of these types become leaders. History also records the ongoing endless and often violent power struggles between these ego-abusive leaders. In these settings, humankind is held hostage, and any progress is more by accident than design.

In the “dynamic duos” depicted above. ego is definitely present and strong. Yes, there are even momentary clashes, but these are modulated by that sense of compassionate fairness that is actively present. So, we should not attempt to stamp out ego in an effort to achieve more peaceful and cooperative global unity. We should both honor it, and strengthen those compassionate elements by giving those who possess and practice them leadership responsibilities. Right now, in a very limited, but successful way, we are doing  just this with our space programs such as the International Space Station.

No, no, there is no way to legislate this type of global relationship. We must work to help it evolve. Our international efforts with the space station, with the Hubble and other space telescopes are exactly the ideal environment. We focus ourselves and our egos on working together toward common goals. We mutually and joyfully share the GLORY of our successes! The host nations beam with pride and welcome compatriots from other nations with honor.

Well, how many disadvantaged, oppressed and hungry will any of this directly affect? Directly, none. Indirectly, many and over time possibly all. How? We do it by boosting global pride (call it ego) and by expanding each nation’s involvement in some level of the exploration of space. This, in turn, can begin to create a national atmosphere that enables changes in governance and care for all its citizens. Yes, individual nations will lose their unique moments of glory, but will greatly enjoy shared progress. Now we know this can happen, it has in the past, high upon Everest and continues today, up there in Low Earth Orbit. It also grows through the multi-national eyes of our powerful space telescopes. Next, way before Mars, we should be jointly establishing another great International Space Station; this time on fair Luna. Luna belongs to all of us, and an international Moon Base will achieve a new, and exciting unity that again can lead to newer and stronger steps toward world peace.

This concentration on mutuality and shared glory could also impart flacid egos. This is definitely a possibility, but it can be avoided by preserving the focus of our international missions and goals. Demand is constant and insistent. Resting on one’s laurels presumes we have all the answers when actually what we have accomplished is a multitude of new questions. Our focus on mutual goals is enlivened and sharpened. We remain motivated.

Well, just how sure-fire successful would all of this be?  We will not know for certain unless we continue what we have started. Nations will begin to change because their citizens now enjoy a real and expanded ego boost as opposed to the vicarious boosts from flawed egos they have regretfully elected to lead them. They will look for new leaders who have those compassionate elements and the desire to share in humankind’s progress. Above all else, those of us who are currently enjoying this progressive status must do all we can together to promote and strengthen it, globally. International efforts for space exploration are very positive ways to put ego in its proper place and humankind back on a progressive path.

Those days of glorious, courageous single nation moments in space history are. past. From this point forward we must go forth again, but jointly, joyously, heroically and for the betterment of all humankind. No longer is space exploration a unique expedition, it is forever now a global obligation.

IMAGE CREDITS:

Image on Mount Everest of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay: Courtesy of “A Continuous Lean” http://tinyurl.com/3cp8sux

Image of astronauts McCarthur and Tokarev Courtesy of Space.com



A Blue Cosmic Hug Courtesy Of Hubble Space Telescope

Looking for a quick and easy, everyday spiritual boost?

Well, have you tried a Cosmic Hug? They are all around you. Right under your nose. Let’s look over some various nearby and distant samples and the reasons why they are cosmic hugs.

Our own cosmos and associated hugs: The image on the left is a part of my local cosmos, but every one of us has one. All we need to do is look for it. It doesn’t hide. If we cannot see it, it is because we are not looking for it.

The image of the gulls in both flight and reflection are cosmic elements that enthrall us. Experiencing that uplifts us just as if we had been given a warm, affectionate hug. The sound of the gulls’ sometimes gleeful, sometimes plaintive cries also draws us in to that cosmic moment and we feel tension; even bitterness or grief fly away from us.

Well, not everybody is for the birds. Be assured they do not mind, and you are not abandoned either. Many of us are often stopped in our tracks by the stunning beauty of a wildflower calmly waiting for our discovery. No musical cries, often not even an enticing odor. The only thing that emanates constantly from it is pure beauty.The lovely wild orchid on the right is also part of my local cosmos, but it can also be yours just as those gulls can be. These cosmic elements are always with us, if we doubt that then most likely we are not paying attention to our local cosmos. While we are taking those hikes in the woods we may also find other stunning examples of our personal cosmos. Like the gulls and the orchid, those examples await us. In each case in some very unique and personal way we are both surprised and renewed. We actually feel it course through our bodies as we welcome a treasured cosmic hug.

Although venturing forth across our earthly cosmos or even beyond and into the great Cosmos is an appealing goal. Our first efforts should begin locally. It will include all that is and all that surrounds us and they will always be rewarding. Yes, there are pockets of ire, sorrow, hate, and abuse within our human cosmos, but we will never find those perils from the natural world or the Cosmos above us. We can take full refuge within our naturally local cosmos. Once we have made those discoveries then our ventures into the deep glory of  the great Cosmos will bring richer more fulfilling hugs. Most importantly, usually those hugs come from a glance, not from prolonged, difficult searches. The image on the left is an example of a surprise embrace that we only receive if we keep an open spirit to all that surrounds and often awaits us.

Often frantic, sporadic hook-ups are physically refreshing, but are cosmically vacant. The stimulation from these hugs starts in the brain and spreads throughout and usually becomes embedded psychologically.  Perhaps the most effective process for finding and benefitting from these embraces is to practice a Star Trek “shields down” attitude.  We are each a cosmos, so a smile, a friendly greeting to all, or a” hello young man/lady” to a youngster are all elements of cosmic hugs. No contact required; just awareness and acknowledgement.

Do you greet beautiful Spring flowers? Do you laugh with a joyful bird? Do you express sympathy to a fractured or dying tree? All are cosmic and when you share and extend a cosmic hug all are enriched; especially you. Above all, we suddenly realize the opportunity for these hugs is both unlimited and universal.

Have you had your cosmic hug today? Have you given a cosmic hug today? If neither, why? Well, you can get an awesome hug by joining Carl Sagan in a walk along the shores of our Cosmic ocean. Just click the Lady Vinca image below to begin a stroll along the shores of that majestic ocean.

May The Cosmos In All Its Ways Be With You.

IMAGE CREDIT: 

Blue Cosmic Hug – courtesy of Hubble Space Telescope and NASA/ESA

Gulls: Waddell Robey (c) 1968

Wild Orchid: Waddell Robey (c) 1965

Shy Racoon: National Wildlife Refuge images

Vinca: Waddell Robey (c) 1970


The Coralyea Community, above, was founded in 1842 on a small Cay near Cat Island in the Bahamas. Catamara Reef was founded approximately 5,000,000 years ago. It is located in  the chain of islands that make up the West Indies. Like the Coyalyea community, Catamara was formed by living organisms. This is the essential vitality that defines all life above the sea, beneath it, and beyond the boundaries of planet Earth.

Coralyea is fictional and exists as an example for this presentation. The coral reefs of the Caribbean are not fictional. Their sister reef in Australia (the Great Barrier Reef) is the largest living organism on this planet. The key phrase is living organism.

The key to life on Earth and as we now know on any Earth-like extra-solar planet is water. Planetary water is primarily what we call oceans, and it is our ocean that is the essential and vital resource that supports our existence. Simple logic: let that vital resource die and soon thereafter all of its dependents will also expire.

Yep, the “ho-hums” crescendo along with cries of “boring” as we under-react to the decline of life on Earth; better known as species extinction. What we are letting happen to our oceans and the life within them and the lives they support outside is an essential act of self-annihilation. This is absurd. There is too much to live for, there are too many adventures yet experienced, and too little life enrichment yet received to toss it all away.  Please, smirky shrugs will not make any of this go away.

No, no, we are not essentially naughty. We are ill-informed, possibly a bit stupid, and generally indifferent to this critical issue. The deniers tell us it is all out of our hands, sprinkling their shouts with mysticism-based threats. They even pontificate that it is happening to us as punishment. Well it is punishment of all life, but it is BY OUR HANDS! Oh, oh, guilt trip coming! Yes, that is definitely the wrong way to even begin to address life on Earth. Let’s start out by agreeing that, overall, it is absolutely beautiful and wonderful. If we can agree on that, then we are set for the greatest love affair in our lives.

I, personally, was blessed by both being raised my first three years by Navajo Native Americans, and also by living right in the middle of a National Forest. Respect for life, for nature and planet Earth were ingrained in me. The Navajo deep reverence for Earth was imprinted on my daily life. This taught me to be always aware of Mom Nature’s blessings. So, I was lucky, that does not mean the rest of you are unlucky. It has just not been a first order of your early childhood education. Well, it is not too late to acquire that deep awareness and appreciation for our planet, and especially our mother oceans.

Today, opponents to environmental awareness bark warnings about what we could lose or what it could cost us in productivity if we become more in love with dear sweet Earth. They either intentionally ignore or simply do not know about the costs to all life if we continue to ignore this planet and all its marvelous resources. Sure, we take advantage of them daily. The problem is we make no effort to preserve those resources to make sure they remain abundant and available. This is no different than all the things sane, healthy humans do each day for themselves to stay well and alive. What those Navajo’s taught me was that the whole idea was a respect for a community of life that included all things within the environment; including humans. This attitude of worshipful respect ensured that we were blessed by Earth’s beneficence because we carefully nurtured that community of life.

We are at a brink now. Our indifference, even in some cases, our defiance of preserving our community of life now threatens our continued existence. Perhaps the most dangerous argument is the one that espouses the inevitability of our extinction. This is a direct disregard of the amazing process that brought human life onto this planet, and most probably across the Cosmos. In short it is blatant self denial. With this philosophy it is no wonder there is a grab and run attitude about this precious Earth.  Most probably, civilizations on other distant planets (exoplanets, if you wish) have faced these same challenges, and we may eventually find out that many failed and became extinct. So can we, but we also can learn to preserve our community of life and thus eventually meet up with those civilizations that also fell in love with their planetary homes and resources.

In my own mind, I consider my Navajo mentors were really emissaries from some distant planetary culture that had learned to save their communities of life and were now here to help us do the same. We can do it. Do we want to? Do we care? Look below to see the probable outcome if we do not care.

Lastly, if you wish, watch this video which is a Cherokee expression of their respect and love for this sweet Earth. Yes, the Eagle, the Wolf, the Bear, and the Lion as well as the Buffalo are special treasures, but they hold to this day that the entire community of life around them is truly an Amazing Grace.

Shall we agree to defy extinction, or…?

A DEAD COMMUNITY IS A DEAD COMMUNITY IS A……?

Publication Code: 88GMF5BV7HTW

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