Category: World



A full understanding of human history can keep us safe from tyranny’s cauldron.

Nero fiddled, Hitler ethnically cleansed, Lincoln died in preserving the republic and unity, Martin Luther King died in his fight for equal rights, and G.W. Bush used panic and fear to start a needless war. The preceding are just a few examples of a history of humankind that clearly describes some leaders and their leadership as either accidental or intentionally histrionic, and others that strive for unity and equality for all at great cost to themselves.

In the absence of a clear understanding and appreciation for both those sacrifices and moments of madness, modern humans may not understand or appreciate the legacies of those leaders that fought for equality and unity and those that used fear and prejudice to induce panic and support for the suppression of liberty.  Lacking a clear knowledge about both legacies we have only a political publicist’s definition of democracy which misleads us to  stumble blindly from one pothole of damaged governance to another. Those stumbles could, as history has documented, lead us right to the edge of a deep, boiling cauldron of tyranny.

History lessons sometimes come to us in unusual, superficially fictional ways, that are really lively messages of both warnings and celebration. An example is the story, Alice in Wonderland. It is both a delightful children’s story, but also a definitely adult dissertation on political and social failings and dangers. In other words human history does not have to be as bitter and dry as burnt toast. The charge is to present it in a way that gets comfortably and actively established in our memory. Wacky, histrionic politicians suddenly become models of the Mad Hatter. Dedicated, honest and progressive leaders are best represented by themselves in literature and in live news presentations such as Lincoln’s famed and important Gettysburg Address.

Yes, many historical moments have high emotion (anger, sorrow, joy, relief, etc) attached to them, and this is not wrong. This aids in insuring that those critical steps in both our stumbles and our steps forward are remembered as both reminders and lessons. Right now, real history is being severely distorted to suit political advantage or to negate policies or practices some individuals and organizations wish to banish from our memory and conscience. When this happens we are weakened by virtue of our loss of understanding of the continuity of both our progress and our pratfalls.

Is there any hope that we can begin to think for ourselves? Is there a way we can reach back into our memory and recall human history? If we can then  that will serve to both encourage and to also alert us to the proper path we should be traveling to continue our progress and to sustain liberty? Now of course, we must truly understand democracy and how it differs from the ideal concept of a republic which our forefathers crafted for us. We then can use it as a measure of our own nation’s status and future. Without this understanding we stand to either over-react and destroy our republic or under-react and let an oligarchy replace the glorious freedom we have enjoyed and fought to preserve.

Lastly there are those who rely upon our ignorance or disregard of human history to persuade us to accept some twisted mix of an oligarchy and pseudo-democracy to produce a nation that is now governed not for we-the-people but for the elite few. When this happens, history is replaced by histrionics expressed to induce fear, suspicion and acceptance of our own loss of freedom and equality as the inevitable. We, in our ignorance have been duped by the few. We must not let this happen and only our complete understanding of our beginnings and our future will enable our defense of our freedom and well-being.

Listen carefully to the political advocates. Measure their proclamations and promises against the real history of this nation and of humankind. Look well beyond your immediate needs and hopes into the promise of the future. If that promise is not visible then we have been  blinded and our minds imprisoned.

IMAGE CREDIT:

Tyranny’s Cauldron – wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com

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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, 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.


WHIMSYIt has existed since humankind began, but it didn’t acquire its name and general definition until around 1605.  Some are inclined to call it brain spooling, but that includes more than just whimsy. It is the position of this blog article that whimsy is the root source for imagination, creative ideation, simple silly thoughts, and more. The above image maps out that inter-connective influence of whimsy.
Yes, the definition Meisters indicate that whimsy is akin to fanciful, silly, giddy, and more (see the image above for more examples). We see it as a state of mind where the brain is essentially allowed to spool on its own and at its own pace and direction. No, it is not night-dreaming. It could be day-dreaming. It could also be essentially sub-conscious in that we are generally unaware.  In most cases it is very relaxing and can lead to drowsiness and sleep or it can ease us into awareness as fanciful thoughts dance around and suddenly grab our attention.
Review of the literature essentially places the products of whimsy in the arts; in either the forms of art, music or literature. Well, what about science; no whimsy? We think it is there too, but being able to separate it from the very orderly and precise concepts that characterize scientific ideas is difficult. For example, when Einstein, as a very young man was musing about light and light rays he considered what it would be like to be at the extreme forward end of a beam of light. Hmm,  could this have started as a whimsical thought that grew quickly into a serious question and  then a serious scientific theory? In our view, we tend to credit whimsy as the possible spark that eventually gave us E=MC^2.
In the very popular modern movie, “Avatar” there is definitely a large supply of whimsy, but no viewer can watch the entire movie and come away with only an awareness of some fanciful fiction without any appreciation for the social messages hammered home in the movie. Here whimsy is both obvious and dominant, but we believe that for most viewers that whimsy fires off an array of ideas, reactions, and emotions. Our minds are fuller on exit than when we began watching. Depending on our particular philosophies, experiences, and social concepts “Avatar” and its solid dose of whimsy stimulates our thinking in a host of different ways and often for a prolonged period of time. Moreover, comments from some viewers indicate that the Avatar whimsies induced a whole, related set of their own whimsical thoughts. This, of course, is exactly what the author, producer and director wanted to have happen.
Would it be ridiculous to consider the Cosmos in a whimsical way? We think not. In fact if you carefully listen to those wonderful commentaries by the scientist Carl Sagan you cannot help but sense a subtle application of whimsy. It does not detract from his messages. It gently and almost surreptitiously pulls you into his explanations of  the Cosmos. “We are stardust people” is both lovely whimsy and solid science.
The human brain is so versatile, so astoundingly powerful and its abilities to integrate and assimilate definitely produces the seeds of whimsy. Unfortunately some of the more reality-driven tend to downplay, even cruelly mock evidences of whimsy even in the arts. This should be avoided at all costs. If nothing other than moments of delight, imaginative escapes or delirious excursions into a fantasy world are all that we experience, they are moments of respite for our minds, our emotions and even our spirituality. With a little practice and an increased appreciation for whimsy we may find we have gained a powerful stimulus for our own creative output.

IMAGE CREDIT: The whimsy diagram image is from: http://tinyurl.com/3sqzva2


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


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


An urgent reminder that applies globally

Hello, please consider clicking <HERE> for a You Tube presentation that is a good prelude to this blog article. Hope you will take some time to view and enjoy it. Thanks.

The young girl-child, an eleven year old, had the typical social behaviors of children with one of the forms of autism. Direct exchanges with even family could be an extreme variable with the child often secluding herself in her room with shouts of “go away. go away.”

That same child was an incredible artist. Her sketches were detailed, balanced and accurate. Most of her drawings involved human figures and they were all attractive and often animated (she often drew complete scenes of human activity). There were never any signs of fear or hostility in her work. They were so striking they took your breath away. Problems arose only when someone would stop to view and compliment her on her work. The “go away” demand arose at once, and if a person persisted then the youngster would begin to shout and try to flee. I was one of those admiring persons and my reaction to the girl’s pleas was sadness. I was sad for her; that so much talent was so tightly locked in autism’s grip.

The young girl was not one of my clients, but because of my work with another client I was able to follow her progress. Through the wonderful efforts of a talented therapist and her loving parents, she began to understand her reactions and learned to begin to control them. As this happened she responded more openly and happily to praise and was encouraged by it. I am hoping that now, somewhere she is a successful illustrator and artist; finally at peace with herself and her world.

Yes, the youngster discussed above had clearly obvious talents and could be considered an exception. She is exceptional, but that does not deny the existence of hidden talents or gifts in other children with either severe disorders or with cognitive weaknesses. It is most severe in those children besieged with behavioral problems Those demand therapeutic and parental focus at the price of never discovering those hidden treasures within. Usually through aggressive applications of medications and some therapy these “behaviorally challenged” youngsters are quieted down and then overlooked; mostly from relief than from indifference. This must change to not let “calm” become the ultimate goal.

Regardless of the particular disorder or disability, the process of helping the child to achieve individuality and to expose that hidden gift is expensive, often tension filled, and elaborately time-consuming. Parents, schools, therapist all reach their respective levels of exhaustion and many children end up in a caretaker environment. We are talking about our future, and we need to innovate ways to improve each child’s opportunity to develop to their individual utmost. Right now, organizationally, financially, and professionally we have not got it right.

Part of the answer is extended individual attention, both therapeutic and emotionally supportive. In this regard, the strongest medication is parental love. Yes, even this vital support gets tattered and bruised. In fact it can tear families apart. For the wealthy this is less of a problem because of their ability to bring on “live in” support or at least daily support. For the rest, it is a terrible struggle that is often just levels of coping with limited or no active efforts to help the child control the child. Hidden behind all of this is that one skill or interest that is the key that can liberate the entire family. Finding and nurturing it is extremely challenging, if it is even initiated.

Here are six actions that need full implementation and support: (None of the following are unique and are only partially practiced today. What is needed is better organization, funding and direct prescriptive implementation for each child that is both followed and enforced).

  1. Increase a sustained program of support for families, especially the parents. This includes instructing the parents in ways they can be more helpful to the child, but also ways that they can ease their own anxieties and frustrations.

  2. Intervention therapies should be started as early as possible, and ideally well in advance of school age. Some of this should occur in the home to avoid separating the child from its most important support group.

  3. Behavioral modification based on earned reward concepts does not help the child understand what is going on inside. We must never assume the child does not or cannot understand. The child needs to be an active partner in the therapeutic process not just a recipient.

  4. There are very good existing therapy programs in speech, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, and occupational therapy, but all are severely limited by costs and variability of the diagnostic process and subsequent recommendations. It would not hurt, in my opinion, to ban the DSM IV and DSM V guides.

  5. The current reliance on pharmaceutical controls and not working to help the child develop self-controls abuses the use of medications and eliminates the vital “one-on-one” therapeutic exchange between therapist and child.  In a great many cases, the speech therapist winds up being the most successful in that important one-on-one therapy.

  6. The special aide or professional Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) person is a vital element in the entire process both in the home and in the schools. Costs, more than any other reason, are the biggest barrier, although some parents, schools and teachers resent the TSS. This professional is the extension of that “one-on-one” vital process that can fully enable a successful liberation of the real child. A partnership develops and out of that partnership the child can begin to understand the child, and most importantly begin to like the child it gets to know. This opens the door to discovery of those hidden gifts.  For the child and for its parents it represents a newly found freedom and opportunity. For the lucky TSS it is a never forgotten reward.

I close with the story of an encounter between a therapist and a now college age youngster. The youngster, a young man, greeted and hugged that therapist exclaiming fondly. “you helped to liberate me and taught me to learn who I was and who I could be. I shall remember you and our times together, forever.” This kind of moment must become standard and to do that there must be changes across the entire spectrum of treatment, education and respite protocols for the child, the parents and the entire family.

Are we there yet?


GALILEO ARRESTED AND BEFORE THE COLLEGE OF CARDINALS. SCIENCE UNDER DURESS.

The image above is from a painting by Joseph Nicolas Robert-Puery (1797-1890). It dramatizes Galileo’s trial before the Roman Inquisition who had charged him with heresy. He spent the last years of his life under house arrest. (Notation courtesy of “Wired“)

It is an effortless leap of association to regard the current administrative and political censure of NASA scientist Dr. Richard Hoover as a reprise of Galileo’s historic arrest and censure. This is not some idle bit of rabble rousing, it is a documented case of officialdom cutting short the normal process of research, hypotheses, and experimental validation that either establishes or disproves a proposed theory. As reported by Dr. Hoover’s publisher, the Journal of Cosmology, no such valid scientific disputation of Dr. Hoovers findings have yet to be officially expressed and validated. So what now?

When we allow our pursuit of explanations of all that surrounds us to be halted or even prevented from starting we implant ourselves firmly in place and become immovable edifices of the past.  We become markers of our own extinction.  We also block our ever-increasing awareness of the glory, beauty and promise of  the system we call cosmos. This is biologically counter to our very existence. We actually are in a continual intellectual , philosophical and physical evolutionary process by virtue of our curiosity and the amazing revelations that come from that. So, again when all of this ceases, in very short order we cease!

For centuries scientific research has closeted itself within the strict scientific domain. The public only became aware of most of the scientific breakthroughs after they had been carefully tested and proven to be sound theory. As humankind’s urge to know more about our universe grew, science grew and in growing it needed to gain expanded and extensive financing for its research efforts. Governments became the principal funding source and along with that came  more openness about those research programs. This is fundamentally good and a source of strength for the sciences by virtue of a stronger public interest and support.

Governments too, depend upon public interest and support; usually in the form of politics. Unfortunately politics are fickle and as such can randomly and perversely abrogate areas of scientific progress. Suddenly politics defines science by virtue of its control of the purse strings, and if the politics of the day are dominated by extreme fundamentalist and/or anti-science views then the purse can snap shut. This includes the abrupt cancelling of important research and even the public humiliation of the scientists involved if the research reveals results that are unpopular or appear suspicious to political eyes.

Humankind was meant to come into existence and to evolve. We are critical to the entire dynamics of the cosmos. We explore and in exploring we discover and in discovering we then seek to explain and in explaining we add to that we call science. Yes, within the cosmos we are sub-atomic in size, but we are gigantic with respect to our commitment to show the reasons, the beauty and the glory of all that surrounds us.  This is science and its uninterrupted practice moves humankind closer to understanding ourselves and our celestial environment.  Science is ultimately enriching, encouraging and reassuring and induces a spirituality as we come to recognize that we are as one with the cosmos.

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