Sunday, December 30, 2007

ANNOUNCING THE AVATAR AWARD


Avatar Award



The Åvatar Award (ÅÅ) is an award given to spiritual resources of exceptional quality and clarity. It is given to those writers, authors, musicians, etc. who have
displayed excellence, clarity, and a non-compromising stance when assisting in humanity's spiritual evolution and awakening. The award is presented by
Avatar publications, and in association with "ALL THINGS THAT MATTER," a blog devoted to exploring issues that confront today's society. The selection committee is comprised of experts in the field of spiritual evolution including authors, publisher's, and academic professionals.

Awards are given in several major categories including music, blocks, articles (general public, academic), and books. Blog awards are given annually and represent continued excellence in posts that repeatedly offer insights, help, and inspiration to readers. Book awards are given annually to those authors who have provided readers with new insights, guidance, and inspiration with respect to personal transformation and global spiritual awakening. Articles (general public) are awarded quarterly to those works that represent breakthroughs in thought, provide superlative inspiration, offer easy to use guidance, and which are written with a high level of clarity and excellence. Articles (academic) are awarded to those articles that are groundbreaking in thought and scope, open new doors of academic pursuit, and which maintain a high degree of academic excellence.

Award recipients can display the award logo on their site, book, or article.
Articles will be posted and archived on the Avatar Award home page. Recipients will be given the opportunity to be a guest and present their thoughts on internet radio.

Criteria


The following criteria are used in the judgment and awarding of the ÅÅ.

Clarity of communication
Accuracy of information
Faithful and non-compromised representation of the high truths of creation
Overall excellence in communication and spiritual standard.
Submission Requirements

Blogs should be sent to awards@avatarpublication.com.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Subject heading should read: AWARD CONSIDERATION: BLOG. Completed articles should be sent as an email word document attachment to awards@avatarpublication.com.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Subjecting heading should read AWARD CONSIDERATION: ARTICLE GENERAL or AWARD CONSIDERATION: ARTICLE ACADEMIC. Articles should be between 1,600 and 20,000 words.


It is not necessary that books be published prior to consideration. One award consideration may include the actual publication of a book through avatar publication, although this is not a gauranteed prize. Book PDFs should be sent as an attachment to awards@avatarpublication.com.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it If the book is already published, hard copies may be requested.

Current Recipients

HMMM, IF THE POPE LIKES IT...

THE PRICE OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS


The price of “political correctness” has been the loss of spirit in the American culture. In order not to offend anyone, we have become morally and spiritually sterile. The holidays have degraded into a time to shop and all inner meaning has been lost from what was once a time of joy.

While I do not advocate any particular religion, it seems a loss to our society when we prohibit celebrations that are rooted in the spirit of love and brotherhood. Working in a school system it was dis-heartening not to be able to celebrate Christmas in the way we did when I was a kid. Gone are the decorations, the songs and the parties. It could just as easily have been April vacation as it was Christmas. After all, saying “Merry Christmas” is not politically correct.

What is wrong with celebrating all major holidays? We could even have an atheist day. By negating these celebrations we have lost the ability to express our inner most spiritual thinking. By making celebrations taboo, we turn holidays into commercialized opportunities for big corporations to get richer. Holidays are now measured by retail shopping and consumer spending reports rather than by how many people were helped, housed or clothed. Times meant for inner reflection have turned into times of increased anxiety, stress and sadness.

In the book “Fahrenheit 450” society became sterile and docile because writing that offended anyone was basically rejected by publishers and society. The move towards political correctness drove society into intellectual stagnation which allowed the many to be dictated to by the very few. The end result was the burning of books that contained any type of offense to anyone. I am sure that my books, like Waking God and Jesus taught It, Too: The early Roots of the Law of Attraction and even Raping Louisiana: A Diary of Deceit would hit the fires because each book offends someone. Will the day come when such books will not see the light of day because they are politically incorrect? When we lose the ability to celebrate traditional holidays in a traditional way, is the day of censorship really that far off?

It is said that one of the chief causes of the decline of the Roman Empire was due to moral and spiritual decay. By moral, I do not mean religious morality, but rather that ideas and values that make a society what it is. Values are societal glue. Why associate with people if there is nothing in common? How can our society remain cohesive if we cannot share and experience the values and traditions of all of our members? Rather than embrace each others differences and celebrate our varied heritages, we ban such interactions all in the name of correctness.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy in this entire “correctness” trend is its impact on the children. They seem to be growing up devoid of values and traditions. To them, the whole purpose of a holiday is to “get.” While “getting” is by no means a negative thing, they have lost the balance to the equation which is “giving.” I do not mean material gifts when I say giving. Here is what I see: fewer calls and visits to grandparents, little concern for the less fortunate, little desire to even explore spiritual issues or share spiritual ideas, a take and no give attitude, loss of respect for just about everything, no concern for taking responsibility and the loss of the ability to just be kids and play.

To be “correct” you cannot really question or ask question for fear of being offensive. You cannot celebrate for fear of being offensive. You cannot discuss meanings of things for fear of being offensive. You cannot express values or stand up for what you believe to be right because it may be offensive. Where will this all lead?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

'IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO LEAD, THEN GET OUT OF THE WAY!"


“If you are not willing to lead, then get out of the way.” This sentiment was shouted at the U.S. by a repetitive at the recent Bali Conference on climate change. This will be the refrain of the world unless we, as a nation, make a determined effort to get our proverbial international act together with respect to climate change specifically and foreign policy in general. The deal signed at the Bali Conference does not require specific climate reduction targets by anyone, thanks to the U.S. Oh, but it does create an agenda for future discussions and negotiations. Some say that at least this keeps the dialogue going and, yes, that is a positive step.

Despite the E.U.’s desire to develop mandatory reductions of greenhouse gases, the U.S., backed by Japan and several other nations prevented stringent actions from being taken. The U.S. argued that numbers should not be assigned until after further negotiations which will not be complete until 2009. So now we will have two more years of discussion and then, maybe, we will sign off on numbers which will still have to go through the treaty process in the U.S. Does everyone think that the GOP will just say, “Sure, let’s put restrictions on big business?” After all, the major reason that the U.S. and China have balked at signing off on limits is because they say it will hurt economic growth. Will it hurt economic growth any less in two years? When India and the E.U. tried to include language that would require monitoring of technology transfer to underdeveloped countries, the U.S. decided it wanted further talks on the issue. While this position was reversed due to massive pressure, the damage to the image of the U.S. had been done.

Thanks to President Bush, the U.S. has bought itself more time to try to figure out how to avoid more regulations that would hamstring multi-billion dollar corporations. A key question is what kind of time do we really have? Will Nature wait for the U.S. and China to get on board with most of the rest of the world? The recent auto emissions standards signed by President Bush are a joke. By 2020 autos are required to get 35mpg. We are not that far from that now and most imports have already reached that goal. The bill also requires more use of ethanol which is basically produced and under the control of oil companies. Who wins? Not the environment and not the consumer. With the tax increase knocked out of the bill to force large corporations to pay for changes, who do you think will be footing the costs to clean up the emissions? Keep in mind that the 35mpg is not required until 2020, what happens to the emissions in the meantime?

With all of these delays it is important to note the condition of the environment is not improving. According to scientists, Artic ice melt reached a new high in 2007 with an area the size of Alaska gone. Sea ice loss up to 2006 was something like an average of 68,000 square miles. The loss of sea ice from 2006 to 2007 was ten times that amount or around 663,000 square miles. It is speculated that the Artic Sea could be ice free in the summer of 2013. The sea temperature has risen an unprecedented 5 degrees Celsius. If this happened in a year’s time, what makes the U.S. think that we have years to decide on a course of action to cope with the issues of climate change?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

INTERVIEW WITH LYNN V. ANDREWS, MEDICINE WOMAN

LISTEN TO MY INTERVIEW WITH LYNN V. ANDREWS ON JAN7TH!!!!!
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pharris


Author of the New York Times and internationally best-selling MEDICINE WOMAN series. A 25th anniversary edition of Medicine Woman which has been translated into over 12 languages and is in its 46th printing, was released by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin Books in 2006..

Leader in the field of spirituality and personal development, ranked as one of the top self-improvement experts in the world, and considered pre-eminent in the field of global shamanic cosmologies,

Lynn is the author of 19 books and workbooks, including Woman at the Edge of Two Worlds, A Spiritual Journey Through Menopause and The Power Deck, Cards of Wisdom.

She is the creator of “Menopause and the Feminine Rites of Passage” -- meditations, ceremonies and exercises for transformation and joy for all stages of a woman's life, from puberty through menopause.

Architect of the Personal Act of Power - tools for spiritual growth and personal empowerment.

Lynn is also a writing teacher, successful female business owner and founder of the Lynn Andrews Center for Sacred Arts and Training, now in its 14th year, and the Joshua Tree Gathering, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2008.

INTERVIEW WITH JAMES REDFIELD, CELESTINE PROPHECY

IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK! JAMES REDFIELD WILL BE MY GUEST ON MY BLOGTALKRADIO SHOW, ALL THINGS THAT MATTER ON FEBRUARY 4TH!!
THE SHOW AIRS AT 8PM,EST.

Phil



When author and therapist James Redfield self-published his first novel in 1993, the immediate ground swell of enthusiasm from booksellers and readers made The Celestine Prophecy one of the most successful self-published books of all time.
Since 1994, when Warner Books published The Celestine Prophecy in hard cover, this adventure parable about a spiritual journey to Peru became one of modern publishing's greatest success stories. According to Publishing Trends, The Celestine Prophecy was the #1 international bestseller of 1996 (#2 in 1995).
In 1995 and 1996, it was the #1 American book in the world. This phenomenal novel spent over 3 years on the New York Times bestsellers list and appeared on lists around the world. In 1996, an eagerly awaited sequel, The Tenth Insight: Holding The Vision, which also became an instant bestseller, joined The Celestine Prophecy. The two books spent a combined 74 weeks on the New York Times list, making James Redfield the best-selling hard cover author in the world in 1996, as cited in BP Report (January 1997).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE


President Bush will probably become known in history as the American leader who began the decline of the American Empire. Pax Americana is at an end! The single most important cause for this decline is his total lack of leadership in addressing the issue of global climate change.

While clear arguments could be made regarding his lack of leadership in such areas as international diplomacy and his failure to address domestic social and economic issues, those failures pale in comparison to his undaunting refusal to take the leadership role in tackling the tough issues of climate change. Despite the debacle in Iraq; despite escalating personal bankruptcies; despite the growing have and have not gap; despite his failure to meet the needs of millions that have suffered through domestic environmental catastrophes, it is climate change that will be his lasting legacy. No issue affects more people on a worldwide scale than the looming alteration of our home world.

At the Bali conference on climate change the United States said that they are not ready to adopt mandatory limits on greenhouse gases and that we will come with our own plan sometime in 2008. That plan, according to most observers, will be voluntary. The European Union has already committed to mandatory reductions by 2020. Despite the dire warnings of ocean expansion, droughts, floods, increased spread of diseases and general environmental mayhem, Bush is still looking for nonbinding ways to reduce emissions. If that would work, why haven’t all of the major polluting industries already adopted nonbinding reductions? As the Bush Administration waffles, the U.S. is losing what remaining credibility is might have had as a world leader.

Of all of the nations in the world, the United States is the one nation that can afford to make reductions. Our lack of leadership will be the nail in the Pax Americana global empire. With international disdain for our foreign policies, even OPEC nations are talking about eliminating the dollar as the basis for oil pricing. As highlighted in my book, RAPING LOUISIANA: A DIARY OF DECEIT, we are seen as the international buffoon with respect to our ability to even care for our own disasters. The negative ripple effect of our sub-prime housing crisis on international banking adds even more skepticism regarding our ability to lead the world in anything.

And now our true colors begin to show and it is not the green of the environment, rather it is the green of money. At the Bali conference the U.S. and the E.U. are pushing to remove economic trade barriers so we can sell our environmental technology to third world and emerging nations. According to the OECD, this market is worth several hundred BILLION dollars each year. While one might argue that this technology should indeed be more readily available, we once again come off as looking for the bottom line in terms of money rather than the bottom line of the environment. If the U.S. had in place mandatory use of alternative technologies in all federally financed or insured projects, such a move would be credible. Since this is not the case, we come across as just seeking more ways to fatten the pockets of large corporations. While in my mind the jury is still out in terms of ethanol, it is interesting that this push to reduce tariffs does not include this technology, much to the consternation of Brazil. Is it possible that we see Brazil as too competitive for American ethanol production efforts?
Depending on the extent of the lessons that Mother Nature chooses to palace before us, Americans will see the decline in the power and status of our nation. Like barbarian hordes that knocked at the doors of the unsuspecting Romans, we, too have a blind eye regarding our status among the world community. While we will probably blame George W. Bush, we all share in that blame as we let our nation sink like the lost continent of Atlantis.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

THE LOST BOOK OF NOSTRADAMUS-PART II


One thing must be clear from the outset; Nostradamus is not a purveyor of doom and gloom. He does not predict the end of the world nor does he foretell of the “second coming” of anyone. Regardless of the words, he does not believe in an anti-Christ. Nostradamus does not tell “all” in the quatrains, rather he reveals his mysteries in his symbols.

The quatrains are like the parables that are understood by the few. There inner truths reserved for the initiates. While many quibble over the meaning of the words, they fail to see the heart that lies beneath. The Universe speaks in images and symbols and Nostradamus was a tool of the Universe – he was an initiate of the highest order and it is to his symbols one must turn to grasp the rudiments of the words. They go hand-in-hand; they are the duality that shapes the entire manifest world.

Perhaps the biggest failure of most is their attempt to try to interpret his symbols from the perspective of religious dogma. While he had to use the words of the day and placate the powers that be, Nostradamus was not under the thumb of religious ideology. He knew how to play the game in order to keep his head. So much has been slipped under the nose of theocracy it is a wonder they have not seen the writing on the wall. There is a famous quote about pearls before swine and so few have really understood its meaning.

As I have said in my writings in the novel, WAKING GOD, certain symbols have been our guide for countless millennia. These symbols became what are commonly called the Tarot. While many will argue that the Tarot was a 16th century creation, that argument also falls under the category of those beautiful pearls. That Nostradamus used that symbology is indisputable. His real story is in the picture and not the text. However, if one uses Christian myth as the basis for interpreting those symbols, you are condemned to mire in the muck of ignorance.

It is little wonder that the Church created devils and demons to gain and maintain their power over the masses. All reasoning people would surely understand that stories of a vengeful god, filled with wrath and contempt for its creation would garner few converts unless they were threatened with eternal damnation for disobedience. The serpents and dragons of Nostradamus do not represent evil. That is merely a lie told by those trying to protect a lie. Certainly, anything that would expose that lie would be considered evil. To them, the “truth” is evil since it underpins their very foundation.

To begin to understand the inner message of Nostradamus, all religious connotations must be cast aside. Do not think of the images of the pope as necessarily being the literal pope. Do not see the serpent as evil, see it as wisdom. When Patrick drove the serpents from Ireland, what he really did was drive the Druids from their homeland. The serpent represents wisdom in the same way it did in the story of Moses. Is DNA involved in his images? In WAKING GOD we talk of the ‘good seed’ imbedded within our DNA and this reference is made in numerous Tarot pictographs. The wisdom of the awakening DNA was no stranger to Nostradamus. Beware of seeing the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam. It is important to note that it is often portrayed as a double image. This deals not only with the inner and hidden meaning of Islam; it also deals with the Goddess whose Tarot card is number two. It is she who is the fount of wisdom. His many female images do not allude to foreshadowing a female pope, but rather to the return of the Goddess and all of her wisdom.

Contrary to very popular belief and error, the burning tower does not represent the end of the world. The tower is man’s dogma undergoing purification of the spiritual fire. This fire is often portrayed as destructive in religious circles, e.g the fires of hell and the lake of fire in Revelations. Contrary to this erroneous thinking, the alchemic fire gave birth to the universe and its purifying nature frees the mind from mental bondage. Even Jesus said he came to” baptize by fire.” I doubt he meant he wanted to burn everyone in the flames of Inquisition. Keeping in mind the importance of numbers and their meaning, note that the tower has three openings. The number three appears everywhere in the Tarot and in the plates of Nostradamus. Card three of the Tarot is the Empress, the Goddess, who gives birth to wisdom. She has one foot on a crescent moon and her crown is adorned by 12 stars. Card 12 is the hanged man who, by reversing his thinking is awakened to the inner truths of the Universe. His coat displays two crescent moons.
***
This is the second piece of a multi-part article on THE LOST BOOK OF NOSTRADAMUS.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

ONE VOICE, DEAF EARS? THE IPCC


When the Tsunami devastated Southeast Asia and hundreds of thousands of lives were lost, the first cry that went out was, “Why was there no warning?” Now, we are faced with an environmental tsunami but the difference is we have a warning. According to the U.N. panel of scientists as reported by AP writer Arthur Max on November 17th, global warming is “unequivocal.” U.N. Secretary General Ban said, “The world’s scientists have spoken clearly and with one voice.”

What are the unequivocal changes that will occur regardless of actions? Here is the short list: A sea rise of 4-6 feet; water shortages for 75-250 million Africans; coastal and river flooding for major Asian cities; heat waves and water competition in North America; and the extinction of up to 70% of all plant and animal species. We are not looking at a distant time frame, many changes are expected by 2020 and that assumes no more unknown environmental factors emerge. We all know predictions as recently as a year ago had to be modified as the environment decided to react on its time plan, and not ours. Everything is happening faster than expected. Secretary Ban said, “Only urgent, global action will do.”

The IPCC has been bold in its warnings and leaves little room for doubt that we are in for some “interesting times.” Keeping in mind that almost nothing has been done by the largest nations to even address the issue, only the foolish would expect that the calamities would not be worse than predicted. When new diseases are added to the picture, aggravated by rising temperatures, water shortages and overcrowding, the scenarios take a turn for the worse.

Obviously, two things must happen; governments must act and, people must heed the warnings. Governments are not acting so that leaves the rest up to us. We have received an early warning, and like the tsunami, if we do not heed that warning, there is no one to blame but ourselves if lives are lost. There is no question that rather than flocking to coastal cities, people need to start thinking about relocating inland. This will reduce exposure to disease and the loss of life and property due to flooding. Just look at Bangladesh, is this the kind of life you want to live? Move to the country and start growing your own food. All one has to do is read my book called, RAPING LOUISIANA: A DIARY OF DECEIT and see how FEMA and governments are not only incapable of evacuating populations, they have no clue how to deal with the aftermath of situations like Hurricane Katrina.

People must begin to leave flood plain areas and areas prone to drought-it will only get worse. Pressure will increase on rural areas and these areas must start thinking now how they will accommodate an influx of population. Precious farms cannot be lost so some real planning is in order. Life as we know is changing and people have a choice, live or die. If you wait until governments order evacuations, it will be way too late.

The consuming public must begin to demand that new and sustainable sources of energy be released at reasonable prices. Reliance on oil serves no one but the oil companies. Current prices of oil is just another wake-up call that all need to heed. Your next vehicle purchase must be a hybrid at a minimum. The fuel will not be there or at least not at an affordable cost. The technology is out there for non-polluting vehicles and the consumer must demand that this technology be made available. All new construction that has even a hint of public financing must demand that alternative energy be incorporated into the design. The public must also demand, for the sake of our children, that rules be passed to reduce the billions of tons of pollutants added to the environment each year. No, is not an option.

Great care must also be spent in preserving our bio diversity. People just do not realize that the numbers being discussed in terms of extinctions will result in ecological collapse. It is not just about saving the polar bear or some exotic species, if the ecological systems collapse, our systems will collapse with them. We are all interconnected and most of the relationships are not even understood. But one thing is certain, lose the number of species discussed by the IPCC and life as we know will be altered forever.

The list of actions could go on but I think you get the point. We have been warned. Change will happen. We can make them changes for the better by altering the way we live and the way we do business. The alternative is to continue to be led like lambs to the slaughter down the road of environmental collapse. This is not science fiction, this is science fact. I can only hope that the “one voice” does not fall on deaf ears!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

F=ma AND THE LAW OF ATTRACTION


THE PHYSICS OF THE LAW OF ATTRACTION

I do not pretend to be a scientist but I am conversant with many of its principles. The purpose of this article is to contrast some of the basic laws in physics with that of the Law of Attraction and to at least to generally illustrate that the two fields of study are not contradictory. In fact, in a Universe that is founded on energy, the laws of energy and spiritual laws that manipulate energy must be linked. Law of Attraction deals with the manipulation of energy to create reality. It therefore must be compatible with the principles of physics, to the degree that science understands the ever-changing knowledge we possess of those principles.
Opposites attract. This law actually confirms the basic principles of the Law of Attraction. Negative energy, in spiritual terms, is merely the absence of a positive charge; it is a place for the positive to flow into. Think of the negative charge as a need or a want. You look at your life and say “I have a need for more prosperity.” This is the negative charge. In response, the positive energy of abundance and prosperity abhors a vacuum and rushes in to fill the void. Opposites attract and the Law of Attraction works.
But science says that like repels like. In a way that is true with respect to magnetic polarity but only to point. There is a force in the Universe called gravity. In this instance, matter attracts matter. It is not opposite matter that attracts but rather all matter seeks to attract other matter. If not, there would be no stars, no planets and no manifest Universe. Like does repel like if the space is full. Fill a cup with water and then try to poor more in. It does not happen. Fill a hay barn with hay and try to throw more bales of hay in. It does not happen. Like only repels like if there is no need for more of the same thing. In the Law of Attraction, love attracts love, thoughts of prosperity attract more prosperity, and thoughts of health attract health. It is hard to say if there is ever enough love so the cup never gets full.
If you lack prosperity and focus on that lack, you will not attract prosperity. All that you are really doing is making the cup, the hole, and the lack bigger. Like attracts like so thoughts of lack, attracts more like. However, when your focus changes to abundance, now opposites attract and the positive energy of abundance rushes in as positive energy to fill the hole you once created. So, you can either keep thinking negative thoughts and make the hole larger and attract a bigger hole, or use the laws of physics to your advantage and fill the hole with positive energy. Either way, the Law of Attraction does not violate the laws of physics; on the contrary, they help to prove those laws.
If like did not attract like there would be no such things as atoms since their nuclei are composed of, among other things, positively charged protons. The protons should have repelled each other, according to critics of the Law of Attraction. If you look at nature you find salt deposits, iron deposits, copper deposits, etc. It is clear that these elements and their atoms were attracted to each. Otherwise, all of the atoms of these elements would just be widely scattered throughout the Universe.
We know like ideas attract. If this was not true, there would be no such thing as groups such as political parties, social and charitable groups, or even societies. The world of people would simply be chaotic with each person out for their own survival. By the same token, opposite sexes attract but it is still among like species so they are not really opposite as much as they are two forces that seek to join for a common purpose. They are two sides of the same coin.
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This means that for every positive thought, there is an equal opposite and negative thought. At first glance, this does not sound very good since it implies that the stronger your positive ideas, the stronger the negative idea. In order to have a manifest Universe this law must exist. If there were no down to accompany up, there would be no dimension. However, with thought we are in the realm of potential. You cannot create a positive thought without a corresponding negative thought. This does not, however, mean that the negative thought must manifest. By continuing to focus on manifesting the positive and ignoring the existence of the negative, the negative remains only in potential and not manifest. If your thought began to focus on the negative, then the potential negative would be brought into manifestation. The key is intention and focus and to make the positive actual and to keep the negative, potential.
“Bodies at rest tend to stay at rest and bodies in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted upon by a net force.” We all know what it means to be in a rut. Whether it is spirituality, politics or economics it is easy to be complacent and to stagnate. This basic Newtonian law applies to the realm of spirituality. As long as things are going “okay” we tend to just trudge along in a comfort zone. Feeling that we have a slight spiritual edge over others, we settle for being, as Pink Floyd once said, “Comfortably numb.” It is not until something happens, a net force, hits our life that we see that stagnation leads nowhere. From personal disaster to things like job loss, divorce, epiphanies and even comments made by others, a force is required to move our life back into action and the road to higher evolution. Conversely, we have all heard the phrase, “being on a roll.” When we are on the spiritual fast track almost no net force can derail our progress. We are in motion and will continue to be so as long as we stay focused and do not allow appearances or negative thoughts derail our progress.
F-ma. Perhaps it is a stretch to use this law in talking about the Law of Attraction but, at least metaphorically, it works. This law states that Force = mass x acceleration. Can you measure the “force” of a thought? I believe that one day we will but for now, I believe the law still offers an important spiritual lesson. I write the formula this way: the Force of a thought equals the importance of the thought (mass) times the urgency (acceleration) with which we desire to manifest that thought. This is why passing thoughts, ones that lack any real importance and urgency, have little force and often dissipate. Conversely, a thought that holds your attention and which is filled with emotion and desire (mass) and which needs to be dealt with relatively soon (acceleration), has a lot of force and is likely to manifest quickly. Keep in mind that this works for both positive and negative thoughts.
Do other permeations of this formula work? Thoughts with a lot of force that “weigh heavy” on the mind tend to manifest quickly. F/m=a. If the thought is powerful but is of little concern to you (less mass), the manifestation is slow (a). Does F/a=m work? Thoughts that have little sense of urgency (a) do yield a low thought force and one with little mass or of little concern. These thoughts will have only a minor impact on your life. Again, while you cannot put actual numbers into the formula, the concept for the Law of Attraction do seem to work. Since form follows thought, those with a lot of thought create a clearer manifestation than those with less thought. While actual times cannot be used, notions of ‘soon,’ ‘later,’ and not at all come to mind. While mass in grams or pounds cannot be used, terms such as ‘heavy,’ ‘important’ or even critical come into play when thinking of mass of a thought.
There are other laws in science that support spiritual ideas and the energy they manipulate. If “resistance” is provided to a current, things heat up. If resistance is faced by an idea, things can certainly heat up. Heat a volume of air and it expands. Heat up an idea with desire and emotion, and it expands. There are many analogies and the details can be left to those more scientifically inclined.
The bottom line here is that the Law of Attraction is not in the least bit contradictory to the laws in physics. When looked at in terms of practical application or spiritual application, it can be seen that these laws are even interchangeable. At a minimum, there is no conflict. The day may well come in the areas of quantum physics when many of these things can be measured and quantified or seen in a complimentary manner. Since matter is energy and thoughts are energy, it is logical and rational to see that the basic laws or principles would have to apply to both the physical and spiritual realms of existence. Ancient mystics knew of the principles of energy and thought and advances in quantum physics are bringing these ideas, one thought to be diametrically opposed, into congruence and unifying theory of existence.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

OIL COMPANIES: WHITE COLLAR CRIME AT ITS WORST!


The recent surge in oil prices is the epitome in white collar crime. One cannot help but wonder how long people and politicians will sit idly by while oil corporations steal from the poor to fatten their overflowing wallets. On Friday oil hit $95.93, down slightly from Wednesdays high of $98.62 a barrel. Just out of shear delight my guess is that forces are at work to reach the $100/barrel mark, just to say that it did.

The rationale for such high prices has become an annual refrain. One reason is the drop in U.S energy reserves. How do people become billionaires by not having enough reserves for the winter? This excuse is heard every year. Do oil companies not have calendars? Why should reserves be low going into heating and holiday travel season? That would be like stores letting their stocks of goods dwindle before the holiday shopping season. Does that make any sense? Is it a secret that people use oil to heat their homes?

Another excuse is the proverbial storm. Okay, a North Sea storm closed some Norwegian platforms. Doesn’t this happen at the beginning of every winter? Of course there are storms. In hurricane season there are, let me guess, hurricanes? We all know this and so do the oil companies. Don’t they plan for this?

These are my favorites: there might be a revolution somewhere so prices go up. There may be a storm somewhere, so prices go up. A prince in Saudi Arabia sneezed, prices go up! This is all ridiculous. There is no question in my mind that oil prices will have to rise. This will probably be the major stimulus to forcing people into using alternative energy, most of which products are owned by oil companies anyway. Oil will not last forever.

The Washington reported that consumers are paying $4-5 billion more per DAY for oil than they did just 5 years ago. This adds some $2 trillion to the oil companies bank accounts. How much more do oil companies want? When oil hits these kinds of levels it affects every aspect of the economy. The list of petrol based products is astounding. As consumer dollars are increasingly spent on energy, little is left for other products. My guess is that this year’s holiday retail sales will be abysmal. Who will lose? The outlook is not good for small businesses who cannot offer deep consumer discounts. So the winners will be Wal-Mart and other super retail chains. Can we see the trend here? Small will not only “not” be beautiful, small will not exist!

So where does this leave us? Up the creek, I would say. Oil companies and speculators are going to destroy small businesses and drive the consumer into the ground while they fill their bank accounts. Where are our political leaders? Why are they not forcing change? Why are they letting oil companies commit the crime of the century? The middle and lower classes in America are bleeding to death and they do nothing. Have they given us an alternative? No! Are their heads in the sand? Yup! Elections are coming and he/she who is willing to take the oil companies on will get my vote!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

THE LOST BOOK OF NOSTRADAMUS: THEY HAVE IT ALL WRONG! PART I


“The Lost Book of Nostradamus” was recently aired on the History Channel. They got it all wrong! While sensationalism sells and controversy attracts listeners, the History Channel should have done more to balance the commentary on this newly discovered manuscript. While their was a hint of mystical inference in some of the commentary, most so called ‘experts’ greatly missed the mark in the interpretation of the text and images in The Prophecies by this well known seer.

In a multi-part series of articles it is my intent to show that the current popular interpretations of the symbols presented in the “Lost Book” are sadly lacking in efficacy. In doing so, the current buzz around this book will have done Nostradamus and humanity a great disservice. It is important to keep in mind that current interpretations are geared to a comparison of the text to Christian ideology, mytghs and scriptures. By spending most of the analysis comparing Nostradamus, prophecies to the Bible in general, and revelations in particular, the effort becomes self-serving and self-fulfilling.

Nostradamus was a mystic with ties to several secret societies, most notably, the Rose Cross. In this context, new levels of observation come to light when viewing the images contained in the text. As a matter of fact, if one examines The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucian’s, it will be clear that there is more than meets the eye with respect to the intent and meaning of the Nostradamus prophecies. Further, while the commentators on the show made mention of tarot symbols, it is clear that their understanding is not at the esoteric levels. In my co-authored novel, “Waking God,” the concept of a Tarot Code was introduced. The book is a mystical treatise in the guise of a spiritual thriller and states that the tarot has hits roots in imagery that preceded the Assyrian Empire and has been carried forth into the modern era. These symbols provide a pictorial history of human evolution as well as clues, or prophecies regarding our future. These symbols are found in almost every civilization and yet are understood by only a few.

Contrary to information and suppositions made in the History Channel’s broadcast, the symbols of Nostradamus transcend those images often touted by biblical scholars as messages of doom and world’s end. Perhaps the only real accurate statement on the show that was symbol related is that the prophecies give clues as to the Apocalypse. But even here, it is important to remember that the term ‘apocalypse’ does not mean the end of the world. The word means ‘revelation, to uncover, knowledge revealed’ and not Armageddon or the destruction of the physical world. The term apocalypse has been hijacked by religious dogma to frighten unsuspecting followers into believing that all prophecies that deal with the word apocalypse support their notion that one day, deity will destroy its creation and only the faithful will survive. The apocalypse of Nostradamus deals with the ‘end of lies, not the end of times.’

While more details will be presented in subsequent articles, it should be understood that the true and inner meaning behind the words of Nostradamus concerns humanity’s spiritual awakening. The prophecies are a light post aimed at leading humanity into a new era of spirituality that is devoid of dogma and founded upon the notion of personal spiritual enlightenment. The same can be said for the much misunderstood Book of Revelations. The accuracy of his predictions serves to underscore the fact that he knew the benchmarks that would be achieved as humanity travels on its path of evolution. He was showing people that tough choices must be made if we, in fact, ever hope to prevent our own self-destruction. He was alerting humanity to the ideas that our choices are leading to such things as environmental, social and political collapse if we do not change our way of thinking. His warnings were meant to divert us from catastrophe rather than suggesting that such catastrophe is inevitable. The goal a person telling you not to go down a certain road because the bridge has collapsed is not to foretell of your death; it is meant to prevent your death.

In future articles I will show that the serpents and dragons in the images of Nostradamus are representative of evil or the devil. The female images are not about women trying to become Pope. The Tower of destruction is not about the end of the world. The images of apparent clashes between Muslims and Christians do not predict inevitable religious wars. The symbols of Nostradamus and the Tarot are not about an anti-Christ. Throughout religious history biblical texts, taken out of context, have been used to justify all manner of crime and injustice. The prophecies of Nostradamus are another voice crying out in the wilderness of human history urging us to change our ways and enter a period of great enlightenment. It is incumbent upon modern interpreters of these messages not to fall into the age old religious trap and of using these words of wisdom to frighten humanity into a set of self-fulfilling prophecies.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

SUB-PRIME MARKETS, THE ENVIRONMENT, CNN'S "PLANET IN PERIL"


We have all heard of the problems relating to the sub-prime mortgage. What may not be readily understood is that events surrounding this economic issue can serve as an example and model for debates over environmental issues. The universe is all about relationships, many of which we do not understand or even recognize.

The events surrounding the sub-prime mortgage have been on all of the news outlets. In an oversimplified summary, people who were at the economic margin borrowed money for homes at very low interest rates. The only way they could even afford the mortgages is because of those low rates. Keep in mind that many lenders enticed people into these markets with a constant barrage of advertising. The problem arose because these very low-interest rate mortgages were variable and not fixed. When interest rates doubled and tripled, the homeowner could not afford the new payments, hence, foreclosure.

What people did not understand was the extent that this phenomenon would impact the world. No one really knew, or let it be known, that many of these mortgages were in the hands of foreign investors. The result? The closure of many foreign banks, many job losses, a downturn in the economy, an increase in bankruptcies, loss of local government tax revenues, lives destroyed, credit crunches, a stalled housing market and the effects are still unfolding.

What does this have to do with the environment and CNN’s show, “Planet in Peril?” Perhaps humanity’s greatest failing is that it fails to learn from its mistakes and its actions. Biologists talk of the ‘web of life.’ It is about the inter-connectedness of all things. In CNN’s “Planet in Peril” numerous examples were given of how one event can trigger many events. The re-introduction of the grey wolf into Yellowstone Park was but one example. From the tiniest insect to the largest mammal, the presence had a profound impact upon the ecosystem. Just as in the sub-prime market, the decision to raise interest rates affected not only the borrower, but its impact was felt globally and throughout the economy. Few of the effects were anticipated. Just as with climate change, few of the effects of our action and ignorance are anticipated. The CNN show, backed by recent UN reports, indicates that basically, we do not know what we are doing. Even our most sophisticated computer models have been in error. Impacts of climate change that were forecast to occur in 2050 are happening now. We seem to have no clue as to what is really happening to the environment, just as lenders had no clue as to the impact of raising interest rates.

The most recent UN report on the environment indicates that despite warnings, there has been no reduction in climate changing emissions in the past 20 years. Having ears, we have not heard the warnings. Having eyes we have not seen the damaging affects of our actions. A recent AP report said that a third of the world’s primates are in danger of extinction. CNN, backed by other reports, said that humanity is causing the 6th major worldwide extinction of animals and plants with the rate of loss 1,000 times the normal rate. Now we see reports of drugs and chemicals that are consumed by humans finding there way into water supplies as we urinate these wastes from our body and flush them into the environment. Effects are now being observed in fish and other wildlife.

Regardless of your political persuasion, the handwriting is on the wall. From the economy to the loss of primates and the chemicalization of the environment, we have set in motion a chain of event that is spinning out of our control. The impact of our actions will be felt regardless of what we do. Of course, we are still doing nothing. Perhaps we should all change our name to Nero since we seem to be fiddling while Rome, or rather civilization as we know, burns.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

SUMMIT OF THE STATES? THE TUNDRA, ATLANTA AND MORE

A recent AP report (10/17) indicates that the Tundra, worldwide, is warming up. Caribou are on the decline as they have a hard time dealing with change and shrubs are taking hold in was once a permanent frozen wasteland. In the article NOAA said that the change was is rapid and occurring from Alaska to Siberia. This past year sea ice saw a reduction of 23%. As shrubs begin to take a foothold in the Tundra, the area warms even further as the darker earth absorbs more heat.

On the other side of the globe, residents of Ghoramara are fleeing rising sea levels as two islands are being swallowed by the sea. They have landed on the Sunderbans and are the first of what is being called “climate change refugees.”

Back on the home front, the city of Atlanta is down to a 90 day water supply. With no plans in place for getting more water, we may see climate refugees here in the good old US of A. According to state officials, Lake Lanier, which supplies water for some 3 million residents, may well go dry in the next three months. A dry summer and no hurricane activity have brought the region to a major crisis. If a La Nina develops the situation may get even worse

Water is also of great concern in India and China. According to an ANI article, the snows of the Himalayas are melting at an alarming rate. Some 500 million people in South Asia and 250 million people in China may also find themselves with dry faucets. One model run by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment indicates that the North Pole may be free of ice by 2070.
An important thing to keep in mind is that many of these models are not capable of keeping pace with rapid changes in the climate. Few were able to take into account the thawing of the Tundra and the release of methane gas and now they have to take into account the greening of the Tundra. The fact that there still has been no real breakthrough in greenhouse gas reduction plans does not bode well.

The upcoming climate change meeting in Bali in December may be “make or break” for the planet. While the U.S. will attend the session, the Bush Administration is still rejecting the idea of mandatory limits of greenhouse gases, pushing instead for voluntary curbs. The problem is the point is being missed. While there is no question that we must reduce greenhouse gasses, climate change is happening now. The effects are being felt now and they only promise to get worse. Yes, we must try to stop making it worse, but we must plan now to deal with the effects that are already happening. We have no real plans for Atlanta; we do not know the impact of a thawing Tundra: glaciers and sea ice are disappearing at a more rapid rate than projected by most models and we have done nothing to deal with these issues.

Most experts had predicted that climate change would mostly affect third world countries. With 43% of the U.S. under a drought and Atlanta about to go dry, this may very well not be the case. Where will the dollars come from to quench a thirsty Atlanta? What will have to cut to pay the bill? We still have not managed to address the issues from Hurricane Katrina so what makes us think we can deal with other looming disasters? Perhaps there should be a Summit of the States here at home and some real planning can get started.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SUPERBUGS, DROUGHTS, ECONOMY: COVER UP?


By now many of you have probably heard the news about the new ‘superbug,’ designated as MRSA infection. A staph infection, this virus is claiming over 18,000 lives each year which is more than AIDS, heart disease and auto accidents combined. Some 90,000 new cases are reported each year. For all practical purposes, the drug is immune to most antibiotics. What is even more disturbing is that these numbers and reported deaths have been around since at least 2005. Why are we just now hearing about this new pandemic? According to the New York Times (10/17/07), the CDC reported 19,000 deaths from this disease in 2005. The article goes on to say that the infection is cropping up in schools nationwide. Outbreaks of the infection of occurred in Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Florida.

This general lack of information concerning the state of our nation makes on wonder if there isn’t a covert conspiracy to keep the truth from the American public. When deaths begin to occur, the information starts to see the light of day but it is almost as if there is a ‘disinformation’ on the part of the government to play down key news that affects us all. Another example is the worsening droughts in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina., Tennessee and Kentucky. According to a recent news story, this is the worst drought on record since the 1800’s. Pictures on the news have shown major reservoirs looking like mud flats. According to an AP report (10/16/07), The Weather Service says that 26% of the southeast is experiencing an ‘exceptional’ drought, the worst Weather Service category. Another report issued by the National Climate Data Center says that 43% of the contiguous U.S. is experiencing moderate to severe drought. The TVA has shut down Brown’s Ferry number 2 nuclear power plant due to inadequate steamflow. What else is not making the headlines? What is happening to agriculture in all of those states and how are major cities going to deal with dried up water supplies. What is FEMA doing about this? If the new book, RAPING LOUISIANA: A DIARY OF DECEIT is any indication, we may all be headed for deep trouble. This is not be doom and gloom but rather to get someone to wake up and start doing some serious planning as to how we are going to cope with problems.

Take a look at the housing crisis. Why have three major banks agreed to pool their resources to create a safety net to deal with the housing mortgage crisis? To hear the government tell it, the economic system will self-correct. If this is so then why did Treasury Secretary Paulson say, "Let me be clear, despite strong economic fundamentals, the housing decline is still unfolding, and I view it as the most significant current risk to our economy. The longer housing prices remain stagnant or fall, the greater the penalty to our future economic growth," (AP). What is happening to the economy that has Paulson sounding the alarm? What is being kept from the American public?

Obviously, these events have made the news and are not being kept a big secret. Although, one cannot help but be skeptical as to whether we are being given all of the information. There is no overt conspiracy to hide this information, but it does have the appearance of a covert conspiracy to downplay some of the serious issues facing our nation. Do they think that the public will panic? Perhaps they will but I, for one, would like to know if I am in the road with a tractor trailer bearing down on me. Give me the choice.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

HOUSE COMMITTEE ADDS GOD TO GENOCIDE LIST!


The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee decided to broaden its resolution condemning the Ottoman Empires genocide of Armenians to include a few more historical events. Not wanting to offend just the Turks, the Committee thought they should spread the condemnations. Citing the contagious new disease, Bush-itis, which makes you want to offend everyone, allies in particular, The Committee felt they should set the historical records straight.

The new resolution has labeled as genocide the following events or actions: the Assyrian Empire, the Peloponnesian War, the Amalekites and the Midianites, the Third Punic War, the Mongols, Christopher Columbus, Spain in general and the Inquisition, the U.S. slaughter of native Americans, the Slave trade, Argentina, the British for their actions in Australia, the French Revolution, the Germans for their actions in South-West Africa, the UK for the Irish famine, the Russians, the Nazis, Croatia, Guatemala, Bangladesh, the Tutsi, the Khmer Rouge, Indonesia, Lebanon, Iraq, the former Soviet Union, China for their actions in Tibet, Brazil, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sudan, and the Pope for the slaughter of the Cathars and Pagans in general, and God and his angels for their action in Egypt and the general smiting of those opposed to Him.

The White said that they were pleased that the Committee did not just single out Turkey since we still need our bases in their Country. Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel said that while more historical could have been a part of the resolution, it will do for now. He added that he hopes the committee will tackle this touchy subject again next year in the hopes of telling historians what should be in the history books rather than relying upon common sense and historical conjecture.

In response to the Committee’s resolution, not only has Turkey recalled its ambassador but the Vatican, England, Spain, Russia, China, most Latin American countries, Indonesia and every country mentioned or implied in the resolution has followed Turkey’s lead. It has been noted that angels have been seen at the U.S. Treasury erasing the words, In God We Trust from U.S. currency in retaliation for the Biblical implications of genocide.

Committee members were not concerned over the recent diplomatic events as they assured each other that their actions would get them some votes at re-election time from the groups that have been targets of the genocides cited in the resolution. Their only real concern was the angelic activity but, they placated themselves by admitting that the removal of the phrase on the currency would gain the votes of the atheists. They were further heartened by the fact that the President had not as yet alienated all of these groups and they were pleased to beat the White house to the punch.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

RAPING LOUISIANA IN PRINT, WINS AWARD, ON AMAZON


The LiFE Award

LiFE Award Recipients

26. Raping Louisiana: A Diary of Deceit by Philip F. Harris, with Stephen Burgoyne.
Publisher: Write Words, Inc. ebooksonthe.net, and cambridgebooks.us
Formats: Trade paperback, PDF, RTF, HTML, and Mobi
ISBN(s)1-59431-495-0 paper 1-59431-541-8 ebook
A non-fictional account of clean-up efforts after the ecological disaster caused in New Orleans and surrounding areas by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This story puts a human face on an area that was raped by nature and then deceived by its government. Based upon the diary of a truck driver by the name of Stephen Burgoyne, we see a first hand account of the daily routine, the challenges and the bureaucratic ineptness that still plagues the residents of Louisiana. Steve tells a story in his diary entries that is far removed from the "official accounts" of government agencies and “spin doctors."
***
Do you worry about the future? Can you see how we are destroying all that is keeping us alive, depriving coming generations of the very basis of existence, stealing from poor countries in order to fuel our extravagant lifestyle? Are you saddened by the loss of species, by the replacement of nature's beauty and bounty by humanity's artificial, noisy, ugly creations of concrete, steel and plastic? If you are a writer, your attitudes and beliefs will have imbued your work. Your book or books may qualify for the LiFE award: Literature For Environment.

Monday, October 8, 2007

WHAT IF THEY WERE PRIESTS?


As the military junta in Burma puts the final nails in the pro-democracy movement an interesting question comes to mind. What would have been the world’s reaction, particularly in the West, if instead of monks, 6,000 priests were arrested? What would have been the reaction if 6,000 ministers were arrested? Or, what might have been the reaction if 6,000 Muslim clerics were arrested?

An October 7th AP report indicated that Burmese military authorities arrested 78 more democracy advocates on Sunday. Military authorities say that they have only arrested 1,000 and are only detaining 135 monks. Outside sources put the numbers at closer to 6,000. Adding insult to injury there are reports on the junta forcing civilians to march in support of the government claiming that dissidents are only a small minority that have been labeled by the Burmese government as terrorists.

While foreign governments have condemned the actions of the ruling junta in Burma, little has been done to offer support to the pro-democracy movement. The EU has widened some sanctions and the U.S. is pushing the UN for more sanctions but it is widely known that both China and Russia will veto such a move. It is easy to talk tough when you know there is little chance you will actually have to act.

Reports out of Burma today indicate that pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will remain under house arrest which she has been for the 12 out of the last 18 years. The state controlled New Light of Myanmar claims that when a new state constitution is completed, all of the demands of the protesters will be within reach. An AAP story notes that work on reform has been “in Process” for the past 14 years and drafts of the new constitution leaves almost all authority in the hands of the commander-in-chief. There is very little light at the end of that tunnel.

Back to my opening question: would Western nations be so complacent and placid if the images come from Rangoon showed thousands of priests or ministers being beaten, shot at, hosed with water canons and arrested? If Catholic monasteries were emptied of their clergy and secreted off to some unknown and horrid prison, would there merely be talk of sanctions? What would Muslim nations do if they saw the U.S. arresting thousands of their clerics and closing mosques? Buddhist monks are probably the most peaceful group of people on the planet. They walk their talk. They seek not power and fight for the rights of all. Where are the churches when people cry out for freedom? What would happen if hundreds of thousands of priest, ministers and clerics defended upon the borders of Burma in support of their Buddhist brethren? What would happen if Burmese troops opened fire upon them? Interesting questions, but ones we will probably never have to answer!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

SIGN A PETITION FOR BURMA?



Just hours after the departure of a U.N. envoy, Myanmar's junta continued a violent crackdown on its own people.

We need to act now to protect monks, activists and innocent civilians from further abuses. Reportedly, more than 10 people have been killed, and thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been detained. "It is an emergency," said Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the U.N. human rights investigator for Myanmar.

Myanmar has an appalling human rights record. Thousands of political prisoners are detained in deteriorating prison conditions and the use of child soldiers, forced labor, and torture are common.

The recent violence has shown the world the extent of Myanmar’s brutal crimes. Urge the United Nations to take urgent steps to get Myanmar’s junta to stop the crackdown.

Sign this petition and stand with the people of Burma.

I support the people of Burma.

After weeks of peaceful demonstrations, the military government has launched a violent crackdown, and I am deeply concerned about the well being of monks and civilians.

As stated by the UN Human Rights specialist on Myanmar, "this is an emergency" and we need to act now to stop these atrocities. The demonstrators in Myanmar have the right to peacefully express their opinion and the Government of Myanmar has a duty to fully respect this right.

I stand with the people of Burma and demand that the UN Security Council takes urgent steps to get the Myanmar military government to stop the violent crackdown on Buddhist monks and civilians and to address the peaceful political protests without violence.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. Please act now before violence against innocent civilians escalates even further.
To the Top/Sign Petition
Email this petition to your friends

Saturday, September 29, 2007

BURMA, "CRY FOR ME!"


The sounds of silence regarding Burma are deafening. Facing certain violence, the Buddhist monks of Burma took to the streets to peacefully demand change in a country that has been ruled for forty-five years by the iron hand of military dictatorship. While it is true that many nations “urged restraint” on the part of the military junta leader General Than Shwe, the basic call for help by the oppressed of Burma have fallen on deaf ears.

Just as the world ignored the early call of the Kurds in Iraq in the time of Hussein, the same deaf ear has been turned to the people of Burma. Lip service aside, there is nothing that the world will do to help the Buddhist monks. If one did not know better, you might think that Burma had oil reserves. But wait, they do have oil reserves and China and India are competing for its control.

A September 29th article by Time/CNN (Simon Robinson) reported that India’s silence on the struggles of its neighbors may well be oil related. Why is the largest democracy in the world and in that region not using its leverage to help end the violence in Burma? The article indicates that the Burmese junta is helping India defeat insurgents in the northeast part of that country. Further, India is seeking to exploit large oil and gas reserves in and around Burma. Having recently lost out in a pipeline contract to China, it is of little wonder that India does not want to upset the military dictatorship in Burma.

It seems that throughout history, the world has been willing to tolerate military rulers if they have control over significant natural resources. The U.S. has long supported such dictatorships in Latin America because such regimes brought relative stability American economic interests. Since it is obvious that both China and India have the corner on the Burma resource market, it is clear that the U.S. has little to loose in condemning the violent actions that have been taken against the monks.

The Buddhist rebellion in Burma is fading. Faced with guns, clubs and water cannons, the peaceful monks are no match for the powerful military. The streets are going empty as soldiers block streets, take over monasteries and silence opposition. By the time the UN envoy actually gets to talk to the military ruler of Burma, the issue will have faded into a footnote in history. One more struggle, one more cry for freedom has gone unheeded all in the name of money and oil. On this day, cry for Burma and its people.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

ECONOMIC BANDAGE WILL NOT HELP ECONOMY!


When you get a cut you add a little antiseptic and seal it off with a bandage. All these treatments do is prevent infection; the actual healing is done by the body and not the treatment. It is a shame that this is not the case with the economy. The FED may cover it with a bandage, but the system is not self-healing.

The sub prime mortgage crisis began in 2006 and just hit its peak, according to some economic analysts. In my opinion, it has been long in coming. The basic issue was that lenders issued mortgages at low rates that were adjustable. At the low rate, home buyers were able to squeak out payments. But, when the interest rates rose and monthly payments rose, the consumer was unable to pay. Many loans were given to people at the economic margin and anyone with an elementary education should have seen that those consumers could not afford a doubling of their payments. Anyone looking for details can easily Google “mortgage crisis” and get more financial information than you could probably use.

One may also recall the savings and loan crisis of the late 70s and early 80s which, according to some, led to the recession in 1991-92. Again, the approach was a bandage in the form of a bailout. And today, we see another bailout, but not a cure. Economic news has seen the current financial woes spread across the world thanks to globalization. The economic markets have become so entangled that if one suffers, they all are affected. This is kind of reminiscent of the web of tangled alliances that led to WWI or the “domino theory” of the Vietnam War era. We all know that markets have been consolidating and control of the economies in the world is spiraling into the hands of the few. Perhaps we should take a lesson from nature.

Diversity is a key for ecological health. As species diversity decreases, an ecological system may collapse. While this is actually happening in the environment today, it should serve as a mirror of our economic systems. As conglomerates grow, diversity is lost and economic systems face collapse. They talk of a tipping point with respect to climate change, the same hold true for economic systems. We are fast approaching the time when the bandage will not work because the system cannot heal itself.

Perhaps the primary reason that the system is in deep financial is “greed.” The powers that be continue to insist that we purchase things that we do not really need and that we do so whether we have the money or not. In one of my articles, “You Are Pre-Approved to Go Deeper into Debt,” I tried to show that we are deluged with offers to take out low interest loans or get starter low interest credit cards in order to purchase that new car, fix the house or take a vacation. Daily offers received in the mail or by email to buy now and pay later are very attractive to those who might be faced with financial difficulties. The offers of thousands of dollars now are even attractive to those with steady incomes who feel that that will be able to keep up in the hopes of growing incomes. Even with the current financial crisis looming over everyone’s head, these cheap credit offers still pour in.

The world cannot sustain wanton consumerism. It is one thing to produce and to purchase products that will enhance the quality of our lives or to decrease our dependence on vanishing fuel systems. It is quite another thing to buy for the sake of buying and to keep up with the latest trends in fashion, the newest junk toys and other products that will soon hit already overburdened landfills. It has been clear that large corporations are not treating consumers and the environment in a responsible manner. We are now in that “pay later” of the buy now syndrome and the question is, “Can we afford the price?”

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

WATER, WATER...


A report this weekend about Lake Superior is both surprising and a bit disconcerting. The report indicated that over the past five years, Lake Superior, the largest body of fresh water on the planet, has lost 12 trillion gallons of water to evaporation. The news story went on to say that the Lake, representing some 20% of the world’s fresh water, has risen some five degrees in temperature. Once deep waters have become shallow and tankers carry such cargo as coal have had to reduce their weights by around 10% to clear the depleted waters. Local docks have become sandbars and owners are losing the ability to meet dredging costs.

So, where all of this has water gone? The latest weather news may give a clue (this is not scientific but it is related). In Sloth Korea a monsoon has taken six lives; in Southeast Asia twenty six more people have died in flooding in India and Bangladesh; in Uganda whole villages, bridges, farms and schools have been washed away by floods; 15 die in floods in Rwanda; and, of course, we have the damage caused buy Hurricane Humberto. There are also reports from Alaska of villagers fleeing floods as storms surges appear to be putting finishing touches on Kivalena, an Arctic island that will soon be lost to the sea.

The UN’s IPCC reported that within twenty five years, 5.4 billion people will be living in areas where water is scarce. Of course, this assumes that computer models are correct. Recent reports indicate that many of these models are actually wrong and that global climate events may occur at an even faster pace. New factors and relationships keep emerging that invalidate projections and events are proceeding at a more rapid pace.

In a book titled “Save Our Species,” author Robin Greenslade gives a litany of climate changes that have gotten out of control. Among the events he cites are: faster Arctic ice melt, the collapse of Thermohaline Circulation, the faster break up of Antarctica ice sheet, a semi-permanent El Nino, massive forest fires, desertification and flooding, rapid glacial retreat and more. Recent global events tend to support these assertions as floods and fires top many of the weather news stories. Fires in the western U.S., Greece and the heat waves this summer in Europe add credence to the dire predictions.

What is beyond reason is the still apparent lack of sense of urgency on the part of policy and lawmakers. Vice President Cheney still wants to debate the issue and the Bush administration as a whole, while finally coming around, is still reluctant to propose sweeping and drastic environmental and energy policy changes. The recent Vermont Federal Court ruling approving several states’ desire to regulate auto emissions is a start but again, time is of the importance and plans to reduce emissions that are still fifteen years in the future will suffice. As a whole, the American public appears to want change but there is a total lack of the sense of urgency.

If the world is to turn these apparent negative climate changes into an advantage, action needs to be taken now. The mass migration of populations to coastal cities, as reported by the UN, is a death march. Concentrating our efforts on bio fuels in the absence of a sound food policy is suicide. Time is rushing by the Nero and the fiddle story cannot be repeated if we want our children to live in a habitable world.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

HELP ME REACH 1,000,000 TEENAGERS!


HELP ME FIGHT TEEN DRUG ABUSE!

This is not just a book promotion effort. Many books are written just to entertain; others are written to send a message. A MAINE CHRISTMAS CAROL is a holiday message to fight teen drug use. Set in contemporary Hallowell, Maine, this retelling of the Dickens classic focuses on the issues that affect today's teens including drug and alcohol abuse and teen suicide.
The reviews of the book have been great. The message is ideally suited for middle and high school aged teens as well as families with teens. Give our youth a gift that not only encourages reading, but that also contains a lesson that is written in today's language that addresses today's issues.
For more information, please visit the books web site at http://dickens111.tripod.com
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND FOR YOUR HELP. PLEASE SPREAD THIS MESSAGE!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

SOMETHING IS FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG!


Something is fundamentally wrong! After two millennia of organized Christianity the world is not a better place. The same can be said for Islam and all organized religions. Faiths that were established upon the teachings of love have become the pillars of hatred. Teachings that claimed we are all brothers and sisters have turned brothers and sisters against one another. Each religion rails against the other and within religions sectarianism will prove their undoing.

What went wrong? There is an award winning video called, “Church Outside The Walls” that has been produced by Family Room Media. One of the basic premises of the video is that there is no real biblical foundation for the concept of a physical church with its corporate styled power structure. Keep in mind, this video was produced largely by former ministers and pastors that spent on average twenty to thirty years as part of that structure. No longer able, in good conscious, to stand before a congregation and act as intermediary between the people and God, these men and women basically took the “church” and left the building. Citing the historical evolution of the modern church as a way for the few to dictate to the many that began with the Roman Emperor Constantine, the video illustrates how the organized religion has no basis in scripture and has, in fact, separated man from God.

Video host David Frederickson, author of the book, “When The Church Leaves The Building,” takes the viewer through a journey that exposes the myths that underlie religious institutions. Noting that versions of the Bible had been re-written to satisfy the needs of a growing church and political power structure, Frederickson sets up the interviews of a growing number of former clergy that, while maintaining their faith in Christ’s teachings, have abandoned the role of leading and dictating to an unsuspecting flock. Those interviewed indicated that since leaving the organized church structure with all of its manmade rules and corporate organization, they have actually developed a more personal relationship with God. Claiming that the “body of Christ” is really the people in a congregation and not the church, these former preachers of the “word’ have discovered that the stifling and divisive nature of organized religion.

The video shows that the early church was really just a casual get-together of like minded people in a community who shared their hopes, dreams, food and shelter to those in need. Rather than preaching, there was discussion and sharing with perhaps a “facilitator” to help those with the finer points of the Christ message. This facilitator evolved into bishops, popes, pastors and deacons who began to assume total authority over teachings and relegating the true congregation to on-lookers and mindless followers. This drastic turn of events began in the year 112 with rules issued by Ignatius and went down hill from there. Even the Protestant Reformation was exposed as a movement that only replaced one authoritarian religious hierarchy with another.

Churches built by Constantine and most since his time were actually designed to prevent the interaction of its members by focusing all eyes toward a podium and building ceilings so high that the focus was on the church leader and the rising arches put God symbolically out of reach from all but those in control. In essence, they built the precursor to the modern cinema where all attention is placed on the screen in front and everyone saying “shhh” if you try to talk. Whether built of simple materials of the most expensive stone and glass, the physical church, according to Frederickson, fosters separation and blind obedience.

The participants in the video, who seem to represent a growing phenomenon, claim that since leaving the church and all of its encumbrances and demands, they have actually moved closer to their families and their God. Rather than spending the typical one or two hours a week at a church service and many more hours performing corporate church functions, these former ministers have found that they actually have made God a more integral part of their lives. One participant said that rather than work for God, God has become his friend and that the relationship is based upon love and not on the number of hours punched in, the donations given, the church taxes prepared or groups created and controlled. Most said that their former “service” was an illusion and not based upon the realities of the teachings of Christ.

Indeed, something is fundamentally wrong with organized religion and the downhill slide began only twelve years after the last apostle’s death. History has witnessed the continuous bloodletting fostered by religious institutions. Sectarian violence has not been confined to Islam, as seen today in the Middle East, but has followed the trail of every major religion as they have struggled to gain theological dominance or world religious thought. As these institutions attempt to fight off their inevitable “green mile,” a growing sense of spirituality, one without walls, is emerging.

From the gifts of giving on the Oprah Show to those discovering how to use the Law of Attraction, a new non-institutionalized spirituality is spreading across the globe. People are waking to the God within and the “Secret” is becoming a household world. From the revelation that Jesus taught esoteric laws to the growing exodus from the confining walls of church steeples, humanity is on the cusp of a Great Awakening where the true congregation is found discussing spiritual principles rather than dictating religious dogma. Perhaps the fundamental flaw in organized religion has served its purpose by showing what not to do and the reaction to its failings will lead humanity into a clearer light of understanding.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

CNN'S GOD'S WARRIORS


“God’s Warriors,” produced and recently aired by CNN should serve as a wake-up call to anyone wondering why the world is in such a state of political, social and religious turmoil. Based upon interviews conducted by Christiane Amanpour who traveled the globe to talk to Jewish, Muslim and Christian “warriors,” the documentary exposes why organized religions are one of the major divisive forces on the planet.

As the show stated, in their drive to save the world, these religions have caused deep divisions. While emphasis was placed upon the fundamentalist elements of these faiths, it is clear that even the mainstream is just as responsible for the great religious divide. According to Amanpour, fundamentalists in these various faiths have become a political force with the aim of re-making society in their own image and to bring God back into power over the affairs of man. With a campaign against the “evils’ modern secularism, their activities have created unprecedented fear and division.

The basic questions raised are obvious. If God does not impose its will upon humanity, what makes these people think they should do it for God? If each is acting according to some divine will, then why are they killing and condemning each other? Is there more than one divine will? In his review of the novel, “Waking God,” Christopher Friesen of BookPleasures.com asked, “What if every Truth you had ever been told was really a mosaic of falsehoods? What if every religious institution that preached salvation was actually an agent of oppression?” These topics are the focal point of that novel and they are the focal point of Amanpour’s reporting in “God’s Warriors.” It is taught that you cannot take heaven by force, yet, that is exactly what fundamentalists seem to be preaching.

What about the mainstream faithful? In each religion extremism is denounced by religious leaders. They say that they abhor the violence. While the words of denouncement come easy, you can certainly know them by their deeds. What are religious leaders doing to stop the violence and hatred? It would seem that very little is being done. If Muslim leaders condemned extremists’ actions and threatened to remove those guilty of such actions from the faith I would imagine we would see a great reduction in terrorism. If evangelical ministers proclaimed violent actions a sin and actively condemned such actions, perhaps there would be a little less hate. The problem is that both Christian and Muslim leaders are seeking to spread their ideas and impose their version of moral authority on the rest of the world. Judaism departs from the others in this category. In an essential elitist fashion, Jews do not seek to convert others or to spread their faith. They really just want to be left alone to live in peace in what they claim to be their Holy Land. Yes, they commit violent acts but not with the intent of converting the world to their faith.

In a book titled, “When the Church Leaves the Building,” by David Frederickson we see that there is a growing movement from those who are spiritually oriented to abandon the religions of their fathers. It is asked on their web site, familyroommedia.com “Is it possible that the Church Christ promised to build looks different than much of what we call 'church' today?” It is estimated that millions of former churchgoers have left the building in search of a more meaningful and personal relationship with their God. The growing disdain for the violence perpetuated by extremists and the lack of action to prevent such action by religious leaders may one day be their undoing.

Amanpour says that we must take note of the actions of religious extremists because they have infiltrated and in many cases control the political debate in many nations. In my mind, there is no question that she is right. These institutions are pitting brother against brother in a power struggle aimed at molding the world in their image. Their actions and words imply that Divine Intelligence is incapable of dealing with the affairs of man or that they are the arm of that Intelligence as “God’s Warriors.” What kind of God needs warriors? What kind of God would sanction car bombing women and children or blowing up health clinics? And, which God is right: the God of the Jews or the God of the Muslims? It makes no sense.

Bestselling author and inspirational speaker, Dr. John Demartini, in an interview printed in the new book, “Jesus Taught It, Too: The Early Roots of the Law of Attraction” had the following to say about religions: “When we subordinate ourselves to the religious system, we basically stop opening our religious heart. If there is a divine order, divine intelligence and divine love and divine wisdom and beauty in everything, then where is God not?” It is clear that “God’s Warriors” do not ascribe to this philosophy. Their passion for violence, hatred and contempt for those of differing opinions are typified in their actions and deeds. It is clear that we need to listen to the message that was contained in the CNN report. These people want and have power and will do anything to spread and impose their views on others. As a major character in the novel, “Waking God” says, “It is not about saving humanity and never has been.” What is required is a ‘great awakening’ where humanity begins to take responsibility for the world in which we live.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

ARREST ME NOW! GUEST BLOG BY SHANNON EVANS


Arrest me now. I may not be Arab, Muslim, or male but I do fit the profile of the two schmucks currently being much maligned by the FBI and the local papers for their “suspicious activities.” You see, I once lived in a fundamentalist Muslim country and was married to a Palestinian. I grew up in a small southern town where the tallest building was the Merchants and Farmer’s Bank and so I often stare up at the buildings in Seattle and any other large city I happen to be wandering. I was a civil engineer in my previous career and find myself fascinated by bridges, viaducts, railroad bridges, locks, dams, and other key pieces of urban infrastructure. I sometimes go on line to study architectural drawings. I have even been known to photograph these critical pieces as well as churches, mosques, and even the airplanes on the tarmac at SEATAC. I live on an island and yet I am still fascinated by the roar of the engines and the speed of the water as it rushes beneath me on the ferry. I still take pictures of the skyline, the Colman Docks, the stern, the bow, the galley, and other urban places that interest me on the ferries that come and go from our bucolic little island port. I once took a picture of the cute little coast guard fellow on the ramp leading to the boat because he was just cute as hell in his battle dress. I feel guilty as hell for all my subversive activities! Where do I turn myself in and to whom? The FBI? The Port Authority? Screw that! Send me the hotties from the Coast Guard!
There are more subversives in my family to arrest as well. Consider my son who is a commissioned officer in the US military currently training at a prestigious flight school sponsored by Uncle Sam. Seems to me he should be an object of great concern. Could he, an Irish/Cherokee/ Scottish/Arab American, be a deeply embedded covert Al Qaeda operative? Due to his deep-seated ancestral roots steeped in carnage and jihadist tribal behaviors could this red-blooded Arab American boy turn? Could he possibly be pre-programmed from infancy to ride his aircraft into a large building all in the name of Allah? Why else would he have gone to university to study to be an aviator? Why else would he have joined the military? He has to be a mole for Osama and the Boys!
How did the Arabs become the bad guys? When did we become so steeped in this new brand of ignorant isolationist bigotry? Islam, Muslim, Arab, Jihad. These words strike fear into the hearts of the ignorant masses of our country. FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, Patriot Act. These are the words that should strike fear in our hearts. They are the weapons of Mass Destruction. Being scared all the time and spying on my neighbors doesn't seem to be a real productive way to live one's life. Less than a century ago some of the finest men in the world fought against this same oppressive behavior in places called Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches along the coast of Normandy. Have we as a nation forgotten the nationalistic behaviors of the Germans as they sought to rid themselves of their Jewish population? Jews were different looking and accused of manipulating the world monetary institutions thus causing the great depression so they could profit and grow their ambitions. The NAZI party was a small but vocal group that instituted a system to spy on and seek out subversives who were Jewish or Jewish-looking. Photos and drawings were circulated to help the common folks identify potential suspects. Watched, photographed, and finally the leadership, knowing what was best for the “real” Germans, instituted a plan to take care of their “Jewish threat.” Their initial solution? Isolated “work camps” in other countries where Jews and non-conformist others (gays, lesbians, jazz musicians, gypsies, the mentally handicapped, and pacifist clergy to name a few) were sent for further interrogation and evaluation. This was all done in the best interest of the German people by their government.

Need we forget our own colorful past rampant with bigotry? I am a child of the south and frankly, I do remember White only/colored only washrooms, drinking fountains, and theatres. I lived through the hangings, the cross burnings, integration and George Wallace. I can remember a hot August when the local sheriff was up for re-election and all the local kids white and black were at the market getting an ice cream. One of the white kids stole a piece of penny bubble gum and slipped it in the shirt pocket of one of the “colored” boys. The minute the black children left the store the kid who planted the evidence said, “Mister, that nigger stole some gum and stuck it in his pocket!” The store owner ran out, confronted the boy, and held him until a deputy showed up. Cuffed, searched, and crammed in the back seat of the squad car he was driven away. The next day the headlines of the local paper screams, “BLACKS RESPONSIBLE FOR SMALL TOWN CRIME WAVE!” The arrest of an 8 year old child sparked near riots in the black community. There were those in the white community who called for a hanging but the prompt gun wielding riot gear clad sheriff’s response quashed the uprising. The grateful white population promptly re-elected the overweight tobacco chewing uneducated bigoted lawman.

If our reason for profiling is to stem terrorism then we better expand the list! Guantanamo will have to be enlarged to house our home grown redneck militia members who have attacked such auspicious government and private sites as the Oklahoma City federal court house, abortion and Planned Parenthood clinics. We should also create a special section on the base for the members of ELF who target the EPA and other environmentally linked facilities.

In the interest of saving the rest of the world from terrorism we better round up and tag all South American communists, Basques, Japanese Cult members, and Irish people. They have a propensity for blowing cars, buses, and trains up as well as carefully placing biological agents. Maybe these are all Al Qaeda satellite organizations that act as cells or Mastermind groups for the mass destruction of those who do not follow Sharia!

So, the next time you are on the Washington State Ferry and notice a skinny, red haired fellow with bad teeth and an Irish accent taking photos, detain him! Notify the authorities! You will only be doing your civic duty and saving us from the Celtic arm of Al Qaeda!



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