We Need a Culture That Can Care For Body and Soul

img_0502-2What are our natural resources?  Essentially they are the inherent qualities of the planet we live upon.  None of us created them or contributed to their existence.  However, as we know, many if not all of them are necessary for our lives.  Without the air, water, food, shelter, medicinal substances, that our provided by our natural resources we would die.  Without the beauty and recreational opportunities inherent in our natural resources our lives would be much less enjoyable, if even tolerable.

Natural resources include the plants that grow and the animals that inhabit the Earth.  Natural resources are the source of all the raw materials that all products are made from.  Even what scientists require in order to create “synthetics”.  Without the naturally occurring  base materials there would be no synthetics.  We come to the Earth with nothing and everything we have while we’re here has essentially been provided to us by forces beyond our control.  Everything.  That makes the naturally occurring resources of our planet (and others) pretty valuable, doesn’t it?

It is true that humans very often take a natural resource, add some ingenuity and work, and thereby create something more useful to human life than the raw material alone.  Clothing, houses, automobiles, medicines, works of art, musical instruments, books, computers, jewelry, beer, wine!  Humans have bred some plants to produce more or better food products than they did previously.

However, it’s worked the other way with plants also, nutritional value has been reduced in some strains.  And similar claims can also be made for about every natural resource.  At some time one or more human beings have tried to create something with one or the other natural resources which has ended up being of less value than the raw material.  Trial and error, we humans seem to do a lot of that.

Somewhere along the line some people decided that because of some arbitrary situation in their life they actually own one or more natural resources.  Maybe they were born into a “royal” family with a longstanding (but never the less arbitrary) claim.  Or maybe they had friends within one or more governments that were ready and willing to pass laws that proclaimed they now have ownership of certain natural resources.  In any and all of these cases, assertions of ownership have only worked because there were sufficient other people ready to support that assertion.  All such assertions are arbitrary in that they are devised and implemented solely out of the volition of the human beings involved.  In other words, if I say I now own New York, and if I can get enough people in positions of power and a sufficient army to support the claim, then I own New York.  That’s how it works.  We all came with nothing, everything that is, every single solitary natural resource on Earth, has been provided to us freely by forces beyond our control.  Every product that exists is produced from these resources.

Whether by design or default, currently we are allowing individuals or small groups of individuals to claim ownership of massive amounts of the Earth’s natural resources.  Is this really how we want to conduct ourselves?  This type of practice, among other things, leads to competition among the individuals and groups vying for ownership.  It has led to wars and will undoubtedly lead to more if the practice is continued.  It leads to inflationary, greed based pricing of the resources and works toward the impoverishment of the general population.  The psycho/emotional effects of a competition/greed based culture in general are to be seen within populations around the world:  fear, anxiety, disenfranchisement, depression, or vanity, narcissism.

When enough people wake up to the reality that private ownership of natural resources, and all similar cultural structures, can only exist with the cooperation of the general population, then we will see significant change within systems take place.  In the past this has often just meant that the group controlling the resources changes and the same greed/competition model stays in place.  We need something better.  We need to realize that as a species that our fates are inextricably intertwined.  We need to realize the mutuality of our plight and then to act upon that realization.  We need to utilize, to apply the magnificent body of knowledge that already exists within the disciplines of psychology, physiology, sociology, medicine, anthropology, ethics, and spiritual studies in the design and maintenance of our social and industrial systems.  Economically we don’t need socialism, communism or capitalism.  We need a hybrid born in knowledge and reason with the well-being of all of humanity as a goal!

A key foundational piece of wisdom comes when we realize that, in general, looking at the basics of our biology and spirituality, what is good for one person’s body and spirit provides us with a model of what is good for the body and spirit of humanity as a whole.  

On being free

This article is by an author who lives in Romania. He is writing about a situation going on in Romania. Yet his perspective and sentiment are global and timeless.

Cristian Mihai

jfk-quotes-slideshow-11

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”Carl Sagan

Let me tell you this: there was never a time in history when a government won the battle against its people. Never. When enough people believe in an ideal and are willing to fight for it, willing to go all in, there’s no way to beat them.

But people give up their power easily enough. In the trenches of day to day life, they get lost. They become indecisive and weak. Life has the habit of constantly knocking you down, so…

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I don’t usually write about politics…

Meanwhile, in Romania…

Cristian Mihai

How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told…if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

Last night, the Romanian government issued a decree de-criminalizing the abuse of power and corruption if the damage is less than $50,000. This is not a joke. They made it legal for public officials to steal, while also giving amnesty to those who have been convicted of such crimes in the past. That means a lot of politicians will be getting out of jail. Oh, and the head of the governing party would have been convicted were it not for this decree.

Cool, huh?

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Cures Cancer in 2 to 7 Days

 

(I have edited the title from the initial “Cures Cancer in 2 Days” after finding more sources which expanded the time given.)

The berry of the Australian Blushwood tree has been found to kill cancerous tumors within 48 hours!  Here is an exerpt from an article in the DailyMail.com  (I want to add I did not learn of this from the Daily Mail, but from a television report from a channel 7 in Australia which was posted on Facebook.):

“A team of medical researchers are on their way to finding a cure for cancer after the discovery of a an amazing rainforest berry which holds cancer fighting properties.

Scientists at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland have used an experimental drug produced from the seeds of the rainforest plant, Blushwood tree (Hylandia Dockrillii), which exclusively grows in far north Queensland, to cure solid cancer tumours in pre-clinical trials.” 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2785903/A-cancer-fighting-berry-tree-ONLY-grows-far-North-Queensland-human-trials-approved.html#ixzz4XGSa7taR
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

More links to related news below.  I encourage you to Google this and learn more!

We need to keep this news going.  This discovery will almost certainly come under attack by big pharmaceutical companies.  I would not be surprised if they try to either buy the rights and shelve it or, somehow, try to poison the tree out of existence.

***** PLEASE REBLOG, COPY AND PASTE THIS NEWS INTO FACEBOOK POSTS, EMAIL IT TO FRIENDS, KEEP THIS NEWS ALIVE AND SPREADING IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE POTENTIAL FOR THIS TREATMENT TO ACTUALLY COME INTO WIDESPREAD USE AND TO PROTECT THE TREES!

The video I initially viewed.

News from Australia.

Caution around use of berries.

The Divided States of America

I just watched a video of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and others voicing their outrage at President Trump’s ban of immigrants, refugees and travelers from selected Middle Eastern countries.  Other speakers included Lance Lyttle, Managing Director of SeaTac Airport and Port of Seattle Commissioner, Courtney Gregoire.  Their speeches focused upon the people, the families affected who are at SeaTac and the pain they see this Executive Order creating in the lives of many innocent people.  They made many valid points, none disputing the need for high security and vetting of immigrants from the involved countries.

Initially I personally agreed overall with what these individuals had to say.  After watching a later press conference with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, I realized that there are details not being shared in the press: such as the numbers of those detained, why they were detained and for how long.  Without details it is possible to take away a very inflated view of what is going on.  After getting a little more from both sides of the story, I have to say there is much more to be considered than I think much of the polarized press is bringing forward.

I still am not entirely sure what to think about the temporary bans.  I do understand after how loosely immigration has been handled in the U.S. the past couple decades or more, it may take some time to be sure an adequate system of vetting immigrants from high risk countries is in place.  I am sure that the U.S. has been involved with rendering these countries unlivable for a lot of people and has an inherent responsibility to be involved with assistance and reparations.

What I also realized while watching the video of the press conference regarding SeaTac airport, is that there were references to “our country” and “this country” as if whoever was speaking was vocalizing the sentiment of the general population of the United States.  Right now our nation is so fragmented in our perceptions of what the problems are and how to remedy them that I venture rarely, if ever, can anyone actually take a position and claim to be speaking for “our country”.  Doing so is actually risking being quite presumptuous and misleading.  As a nation, it seems the issues of what our national values are and how they apply to our practical reality are very much up in the air.

As a generalization, it certainly appears the various geographically, economically disparate segments of the population are very much out of touch with each other.  We’re fragmented so badly it is difficult to recognize that this is supposed to be a “united” group of states.  Donald Trump didn’t create this fragmentation.  In the long run will his policies and actions work to remedy it or exacerbate it?  This remains to be seen, but he didn’t create it.

This fragmentation has come about from a variety of contributing factors.  One of these factors which has played a large role in creating the divisions and dissatisfaction within the U.S. population is decades of “business as usual” politics.  Decades of individuals and relatively small groups within the U.S. seeking and acquiring inordinate wealth and power while only valuing and serving their own special agendas.  In light of this reality I have to say I have serious reservations about Donald Trump’s actions serving to correct this underlying condition.  Is there a Donald Trump the public servant who can adequately differentiate himself from Donald Trump the financial profiteer?  Will Donald Trump be able to recognize the need for and wisdom of supporting and strengthening the established social programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, which greatly contribute to a stable, healthy citizenry?  Will he be able to envision ways to ensure needed services such as quality healthcare and education are kept affordable and available to the general population?

Combined with the growing acquisition of power on the part of a relatively small group of extravagantly wealthy individuals, the individuals who hold the high elected offices within our government who we empower to be serving “us” as a whole, have been incrementally opting out of the role of representing the whole of the population.  This has been taking place over the same decades that power has been incrementally acquired by the extravagantly wealthy.  There is much information, evidence, truth behind all the statements going on that our elected officials/representatives have been bought.  We have allowed becoming a President, Senator or Representative to become a career much more akin to private enterprise than public service.  One that not only allows but encourages individuals to capitalize upon their influence and rake in exorbitant wealth for doing so.  We have allowed an unhealthy peer culture to establish itself in the halls of national power.  One that has turned predaceous; feeding upon, pulling apart, the nation it is supposed to be working to preserve.

We, the average citizens, are not going to profit from name calling and engaging in more divisive thinking and rhetoric.  We need to be sitting down together, speaking truthfully, with respect, to one another and listening carefully to what the “other” has to say.  I think by and large we will find there is not a great difference in our motivations, hopes and dreams.  We need to understand how we arrived at this place of perceived and real rifts and disagreements.  Then we can begin to construct remedies that work for most, if not all, of us.

We need to become a citizenry and a regulatory government that think in terms of a national “we”, not just an individual “me”.  And we need to realize that “profit” should not be measured simply in personal material wealth.  The overall well-being of our neighbors, our communities and our nation, including how our nation is seen within the world community, are essential to our personal well-being.   The national well-being is an extremely valuable, essential component of the profit we should all be seeking from our combined efforts.

My Problem with the Left-Right Spectrum in Politics

A timely article about the growing obsolescence of political categories.  Reposted from “A Paradoxical Millennial”.

A Paradoxical Millennial

Following my last post, which touched on a few of the issues below, I thought I may as well write about my problem with the left-right spectrum in politics.

I guess that I should provide some background before proceeding. One of the reasons I dislike the left-right spectrum is that it has never been able to accurately categorize me. I will admit a guilty pleasure in undertaking those online political surveys (the in-depth ones, not the 5-question clickbait quizzes) which purport to tell you where you lie on the spectrum, what party you align with, etc. The algorithms never seem to work for me, and usually give up in frustration (not literally, I would imagine) and place me dead-centre. In UK-specific tests, I have often been said to be almost-equally likely to vote Liberal Democrat or UKIP, which if you know anything about British party politics is so ridiculous…

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Gender Bias in the Meeting Room: How Democracy is affected by Conversation

An excellent article which draws attention to a critical imbalance within our culture (and others). An imbalance which, if corrected, stands to greatly improve the quality of life for everyone.

A primer on illegal immigration.

 

 

The whole of planet Earth is like a sailing ship.  We are on board this ship traveling incredibly fast through the vastness of space.  Without the life support this ship affords us we would all die.

Countries are also like ships.  We travel through our lives on board the ships that are our respective countries. The conditions on board our respective ships affect us a lot.  If the Captain or the officers want to hoard rations or act like tyrants, or make bad decisions about supplies and living conditions, we all suffer for it.  Anxiety between crew members goes up, anger and hatred can start to brew.  It’s even possible, if not probable that mutiny will start to enter some crew members’ minds.

If other ships start experiencing shortages with rations or deck space, or if there are some other conditions which undermine the quality of life:  the crew aboard those ships suffers for it.  If we affect their quality of life by:  firing upon their ship, poisoning their food/water or otherwise shorting their necessary supplies, or by encouraging and/or supporting their Captain and officers to hoard or behave like tyrants:  then sooner or later members of that crew are going to start either engaging in mutiny or jumping ship…or both.

Something I think we very much need to keep in mind is the inescapable law of reciprocal action that exists in our world.

The ones who jump ship are going to look for another ship to climb aboard.  They have no choice.  If our ship is in relatively good shape, and is close enough, they are going to try to climb aboard our ship.  We can count on it.  Once aboard they will use our rations, our food and water and gear.  Some (most?) will also try to work and help keep things going.  If there are enough rations and accommodations, we’re all fine.  If not, eventually there will be shortages.  When there are shortages, tension, anxiety, fear, and anger will escalate.  Or if we start getting all uptight with one another just because of our differences, then we’re also in trouble.  This brings up one aspect of this subject which is more difficult, maybe the most difficult to resolve:  do the “refugees” have the right to expect the host culture to change to accommodate aspects of their culture?  Does cultural change, on anybody’s part, need to happen at all?   Regardless, there are certain rules aboard  every ship that everyone needs to follow in order to prevent chaos and disaster.

Finally, there is no question that if too many climb aboard our ship it will destabilize.  We may even be threatened with capsizing.

It should be clear that it is in our best interests to do what we can to support genuinely good, healthful living conditions for the crew aboard all ships.  

 

Do we care more about the truth relating to objects than we do about the truth relating to events?

Mag picA definition of “coherence” to be found at Merriam-Webster online is:  “1:  the quality or state of cohering: as  a :  systematic or logical connection or consistency…”  In every day terms that might be expressed as “making sense”.  If something is coherent it makes sense, if it isn’t it doesn’t.

One additional term I need to include here is “integrity”.  Merriam-Webster gives us:  “1:  firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :  incorruptibility  2:  an unimpaired condition :  soundness  3:  the quality or state of being complete or undivided :  completeness”  That pretty much says it.

When we combine coherence with integrity within a concept, agency, person, we have something we can know and trust to be what it is and/or claims to be.  How nice is that?

When it comes to the objects in our world, in order to understand them and use them successfully, in a way that will benefit our lives, we need to have coherent and integral information about those objects.  If we do not have such information we are either uninformed or misinformed.  Either condition is a set-up for something to go wrong.  The truth of this is self-evident.  We need good information to make use of the objects:  machines, computers and even the basic tools in our lives.

If there were a movement going on to give Americans (or anybody) false, misleading information about the machines/technology/tools in our lives, in a way that would directly affect our ability to successfully use these devices we would recognize the wrong in doing so very quickly if not immediately.  When people start losing body parts to lawn mowers, chain saws, other power equipment, when people can’t get their coffee makers to work or their computers to function properly: we would recognize something is amiss, it would be apparent.  And we wouldn’t be happy about it.

But what about the events, the actions, that take place in our world?  Do they matter less in terms of affecting our lives than the things, the objects?  No they don’t.  In fact the events, the actions that take place in our world can do affect our lives greatly.  Not just actions but the reports of actions have started wars during my lifetime:  Vietnam and Iraq for example.  So actions and the reports of actions can and do affect our lives every bit as much, if not more, than the objects around us.

Yet while we would not tolerate being given false information about the objects in our lives.  The VW exhaust scandal being a recent example of how we react to such inaccurate information; we repeatedly tolerate inaccurate reports about the important events, the actions taking place.  And we don’t just tolerate them, we act upon them sacrificing lives and treasure.

Now President-elect Donald Trump has offended the U.S. intelligence community with his disparaging treatment of them.  I have to say, while I am not at all generally happy with Donald Trump’s practices, this particular action caught my attention as a potentially positive statement.  Again, during my lifetime, I have seen the “official sources”, citing intelligence data, with the mainstream media in the U.S. blindly following along, handing the American public blatant lie after blatant lie.  And far too many Americans have been duped into believing the lies and either acting upon them or supporting the ill-founded actions based on them.

Examples of such events include:  the Kennedy assassinations, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the events of September 11, 2001 (9/11). While we may not know the full truth of what took place within these events, we can know by looking at the evidence that exists that the official stories are not the truth, not even close.  Sometimes it is just a matter of looking at the authentic mainstream news reports that went out before there was an official story that needed supporting.  And sometimes it takes a little more work accessing the authoritative independent research that has taken place.  There are a lot of theories that exist around the independent research that has taken place around these events.  However, for purposes of this article my goal is not to argue for any of these theories.  My goal is to make the point that the official stories are not accurate and that we, as a people, do not seem to care.  We don’t seem to place the value on coherence and integrity (the truth) regarding events that we do around the objects in our lives.  Why is that?

Is it that the objects are, in their totality, right in front of us where we can see them and directly experience the truth of whether they work properly or not?  On the other hand the events often occur far away and we are dependent upon the reports of others to know what happened?  Is it that, as a population, we haven’t learned how to critically think and analyze the news reports that come to us?  Or is it possibly that we have fallen too completely for the cults of personality that have become so prominent?  Do we accept information because of who (a person, an agency) says something rather than an open, honest, critical examination of what it is they are saying?

No matter what the reason, the result is the same when we accept untruthful information about events as it is when we accept untruthful information about objects:  a profound lack of things working as they should.  When we accept bad information we can’t understand why things are going the way they’re going.  It doesn’t make sense.  When we take information lacking in coherency and integrity into ourselves, make it a part of our internal system, we have subjected ourselves to those deficiencies.  Our thoughts and actions now lack coherence and integrity.  This works on us, eroding our ability to function in a manner which most benefits ourselves and our families.  We become dissonant rather than harmonious with the world around us.  And we experience greater friction, frustration, anxiety, anger wearing us down, robbing us of the life in our years and years of our lives.

 

One key to reclaiming the magic.

Oliver and the fishRemember how optimistic, how magical the world could look when we were having a good day as a child?  Bright with endless, wonderful possibilities.  Then little by little our cultures began working on that gestalt.  We began our journey in learning the structures, the customs which the adults in our world deemed necessary for us to learn.  Even language itself imposes a structure in how we view our world.  Religion, science, history, literature, religion, how to conduct relationships, all taught by authority figures with a gravity to their presentation.  Sometimes it’s like being handed stones to carry:  it can all weigh us down.   Our spirit, our soul can feel depressed by the weight of what we’re carrying.  Sometimes the world, what we perceive from both inside ourselves and in the world around us, can be such a disappointment, a crushing departure from what we envisioned on a good day as a child.  And in all this I haven’t even entered into what being exposed to the trauma of tragic suffering, violence and war can do to us.

How can we reclaim the magic?  Is it even possible?  Does this seem a trivial question when considering the obstacles that may arise in our path, in our lives?  However trivial recapturing the magic we may remember feeling as a child may seem, especially in the face of all the trials and tribulations challenging us every day… it isn’t a trivial thing at all!  The Book of Matthew 18:3, (ESV), puts it this way:  “(Jesus) …and said:  “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”   In this passage Jesus is not talking about becoming child-ish, he goes on to be more specific in verse 4:  “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  The operant word is “humbles”, having humility.

Humility is a tricky word.  Often it is associated with “lowliness”.  In that usage, in modern lingo, it might be characterized as putting oneself down.  Wikipedia gives the origin of the word humility as: “The term “humility” comes from the Latin word humilitas, a noun related to the adjective humilis, which may be translated as “humble”, but also as “grounded”, or “from the earth”, since it derives in turns from humus (earth)…”

It is when I first learned that humility doesn’t mean walking around with one’s head down constantly engaging in self flagellation that the word began to make a lot more sense.  “Grounded”, I can work with that, I think we can work with that!  When I was corrected in my thinking about humility it was presented that humility, essentially, means having a correct assessment of where one’s skills/abilities fit in a realistic relationship with the world at large.  Looking at the stars at night we can feel very small, very much in awe of what is.  That is grounded, healthy, realistic.  On the other hand if one is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and sees an accident victim bleeding and/or injured one may feel a sense of worth, of importance.  Those feelings can lead an EMT to act appropriately to help preserve or even save the life of the victim.  In that moment the EMT is not small but of great importance.  And that also is grounded, healthy, realistic.

Knowing when we are small, neophytes, ignorant (yes, ignorant, it’s not an insult it’s a descriptive term that applies to all of us in relationship to some area of knowledge at any given time) can be very important for us.  We need to have the humility to recognize that reality.  And when we are genuinely knowledgeable, maybe even authoritative, of something it can be very important for us to have the humility to know that also.  For most of us it is strange to think of having humility as knowing when we may possess valuable knowledge, maybe even know more than the others around us about something.  However, with humility, when we recognize our knowledge, or lack thereof, that recognition isn’t coupled with pride, lowliness or false humility, it is simply a grounded assessment of our standing relative to others in a given situation.  In this way humility is synonymous with a healthy ego.  A truly humble, grounded, assessment of ourselves requires neither defending nor surrendering.

What I really like is that if we have a grounded view of ourselves relative to the world around us, there is no way not to feel the wonder, the awe of a child in the face of such a miraculous home.  Awe when we’re appreciating the wonderful achievements of others.  And sometimes, when we’re appreciating our own achievements.  Because, after all, we too are a part of the miraculous world at large!