1.26.2013

Elaborating on Greed, oppression, apathy and pollution.


I am apparently writing an essay...
If you aren't sure what I am saying by ...reevaluating everything about my life down to the dental floss to make sure that I am not participating in tyranny... think on this...

In Jamaica there are bauxite mines. Bauxite is used to make aluminum and it is toxic. The extraction of alumina from bauxite produces a highly toxic residue, termed bauxite refinery residue (BRR) or red mud. The toxicity of this material is due to chemical and biological effects of high pH, alkalinity, electrical conductivity. It effects the ground water, dries up and blows all over the area, and displaces the farmers from their land. For Aluminum.

Aluminum foil, soda and beer cans, lightweight bicycles, keys, medical equipment, carabiners, and cooking pots.... and rockets. yes, Rockets.

Can I do without these things? I can try. Can I do something about the toxicity in Jamaica's environment, and India and Cameroon and all the places where this industry is going to move in, take over, make a mess and make the land poisoned and the people sick? Yes. I can tell you now, and I can tell someone else tomorrow, and I can say “So, don't use aluminum. Stop participating in using aluminum. The less we use, the less it will be needed or wanted, the less it will be mined.” And that is a start to stopping greed and tyranny. One small step. Because it is money that is gained by the people who own and operate the bauxite mines and refineries. It is money they are seeking. They only mine it to get money. NOT to make the world a better place. NOT AT ALL. There are other things to put beer and soda in, there are other ways to cook a baked potato. I don’t need aluminum to live my life well, and neither do you. I don’t need it enough to displace or sicken people in another land far from mine.

A short list of the most toxic things you use but don’t need in your life every day:
plastic water bottle, juice bottle, milk bottle
styrofoam coffee cup, plastic fork
aluminum foil
aluminum can
car to drive you 2 blocks or 10 blocks
1 hour of internet or 4 hours or …
perfume
nail polish
hair spray, shampoo, body wash
Fabric softener
paper towels
plastic wrap, Plastic Bags!!
lipstick, mascara
think of all the plastic plastic plastic plastic...
where does it go ? It doesn't go anywhere... it sits in piles all over the earth in countries we cant see from our back yard... it floats in the ocean and kills all forms of marine life....

Remember the thing about wasting paper?
Well, it turns out Trees are a renewable resource that we actually NEED to provide clean air and filter out carbons!!!! We NEED Trees so, Stop using plastic bottles for everything. MILK ,OJ and other juices come in paper cartons. Use wax paper and washable glass containers. Stop using plastic wrap Stop it. Plastic is poisonous to us and destroys the environment with horrible carbon released into the air during processing... It comes from oil and gas refining. It is bad bad bad. We NEED TO GROW TREES!!!  Farm them and replant them, use them and reuse them. Plastic is a big NON BIODEGRADABLE MESS. And it is just Making Somebody Rich. Nobody needs it. It is NOT NECESSARY for normal household use. Stop using it. Make the world a better place. Think about your impact on the whole world and generations to come every time you take a step. Every sip of water, every time you wrap a sandwich Think about the air clogged with poisonous toxins and the water poisoned and the tadpoles and the children of the future.... because you can not unknow what I have told you today, you can not conveniently forget... you can only choose to perpetuate the status quo.... Or NOT. 

Love as a means to effect change ...


Ok, Everyone has seen an image of the Grand Canyon. It is 1,904 square miles of space. Over 1,218,000 acres. And only about 500 Havasupai people live there. There are 6.9 Billion people on earth. If we put them all in the same place in the population density of let's say New York city, it would require the area of Texas, roughly 268,000 square miles. Not much really. The grand canyon is 5,000 feet deep. Multiply that by 1,904 square miles you get 5.45 Trillion cubic yards. Plenty of room to fit all of the people on earth in one big anthill of a pile.(well we might spill over a little) Think of us all scrambling around on top of each other like ants trying to hurry the hell out of there in search of food and scurry back later to some strange nest of sand in tiny tunnels.       http://flowingdata.com/2011/07/27/if-the-world-lived-in-a-single-city/
But, we don't have to live in just one place.... the earth's land mass is 57,505,693.767 sq mi which is about 29.2% of the total surface of the earth. We can basically live wherever we want. We don't have to live on top of each other like ants scurrying around frantic to find and hoard food. 

What we do have to do is live with each other on 29.2% of this planet peacefully, equally and healthily. Which, we do actually, pretty effectively everywhere on earth. Very effectively, really, when you think about it for a minute. We actually live with each other really well. Our neighbors, our towns, our countries for the most part don't kill each other day and night like rabid weasels in heat... No, we don't. This is why I believe that we are capable of an even better reality than what we have now. 

Civility is not quite the best that we can do. It is good, great really... but it breaks down into mere tolerance and then resentment and then paranoia and then hate. Because that is what civility is constructed upon, rivalries and hate quelled by tolerance. There must be a better way. A CORE Way to Internally ... emancipate ourselves from the mental slavery of what our parents, society, culture, religion, history, education has taught us.... INTO a Different Perception of TRUTH. 

The Truth Is that people get along. Look what they did in NY and NJ after Hurricane Sandy. People went to the beach towns and looked for victims door to door. They fed them. They felt a driving need to help and organize injured communities of their fellow people. Look what the allies did for the Jews during WWII. Men who otherwise might have not really liked a Jew for whatever social and religious prejudices willingly did their duty to save them, and stop a tyrant. Stop A Tyrant.

That's where I am going with this. Tyrants.

Tyrant: 
1.  a : an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution
     b : a usurper of sovereignty
2.
     a : a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally
     b : one resembling an oppressive ruler in the harsh use of authority or power

I have heard a lot of this word lately... being used to posit what if scenarios around the gun control issue. I am MORE CONCERNED with Real Tyrants all over the world exhibiting Actual Tyranny right now, Today. 

Tyrants, and other forms of unkind selfish leaders are the real problem in the world. They threaten every aspect of peace and the health of humanity. ( I define health here as well being, equality, level of pollution and hunger in the population) Tyrants are by definition totally unconcerned with any one but themselves. They are self interested to the point of fascism and genocide. Their motivation is Power and in that, Greed. So, if you are wondering Why there is hunger and pollution in the world look to the greedy, the hatefilled, the self interested, the polluting and there is the answer. 

Not all tyrants are obvious and not all greed is evident and not all fascism is bold. 

So, what do I do about this?  I am asking myself.
What am I going to do about this to effect change that is real? for EveryOne.

First of all I need to identify it. I need to look for every thing that I do that promotes greed and tyranny in the world. Every thing. So, my food, clothes, housing, money, job, entertainment, insurance, houseplants, pets, garbage shampoo nail polish socks.... thoughts, beliefs, methods, words... I have to look at them with new eyes and start deciding where to prioritize and begin removing my participation in Pollution, resource waste, cruelty, thoughtlessness, hoarding, greed, fascism... AND REPLACE Those things with safe, loving, renewable, local, community oriented behavior and practice. I need to do that Every Day, All Day, and Talk to my friends and family about that Way. I need to set an example to myself and to my friends and encourage everyone else to this Way of thinking about our participation in the global community. It means to me that I become Active in the process of a total consciousness shift. 

We might sometimes miss the meaning of "Waste not, Want not"  It means that if you do not waste what you have, then you will not want for it later.   It's brilliant.    And even better yet; 
"Talk not of wasted affection, affection never was wasted,
If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters returning
Back to their springs, like the rain shall fill them full of refreshment;
That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain."
      -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (My Grandmother's favorite quote.)

Once, when I was five or six, at the bottom of a stairway in the mall my grandmother turned to me and said, "God is Love, God is Everywhere, and God is Inside of You." At that moment she touched her finger lightly to my heart.
I will remember this forever. It was a transformative moment of my life, with the stairway rising behind her and the people moving past us. But all that I felt was this light touch on my chest and this sense of the greatness and the mystical truth of what she was telling me and the real connection that I made in that moment. I had asked her what God was, because a lady in the bathroom had told me that I was pretty and I had said "thank you, I know." after which a discussion ensued about accepting a compliment with Grace and she had said that God had given me this gift. (I remember this because my grandmother retold this story occasionally while I was growing up.) 

If that story doesn't get you, what will? It illustrates something that every one of us either encounters or seeks in some way, that is ... Love, Unity, Sense of Purpose, Meaning, Fulfillment.  It is loosely, what the Sioux call The Touching. The Full Circle. It is Why We Are Here. I got it at 5. I Received the Total Experience in a fleeting second at the bottom of the stairs near the ladies room in the Cooky's restaurant in the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station New York. I've been searching for it ever since. Once in a while I get a taste, a glimmer, a flicker...and it is always sweet. It is the reason to wake up in the morning, to go out into the world and encounter other people, to work, to live, to strive, to Love, to Be. And it is the reason to ask ourselves How can we do Better?


.............."Pointing across the Aegean toward the neighboring island of Samos, he said: “Just 15 kilometers over there is a completely different world. There they are much more developed. There are high-rises and resorts and homes worth a million euros. In Samos, they care about money. Here, we don’t. For the many religious and cultural holidays, people pool their money and buy food and wine. If there is money left over, they give it to the poor. It’s not a ‘me’ place. It’s an ‘us’ place.”    

1.24.2013

We need to show mercy

I have something to say that most people will think silly at first view... but bear with me. No matter who you are or what faith you are there is this certain thing that makes every one of us feel better and really feel loved. And it is portrayed to us in the movies about Jesus. He is the living embodiment of pure love and is so perfect and compassionate.. If you have ever seen one of these movies you know what I am talking about. Especially if you saw it as a child. Scenes in which Jesus steps out and does something really generous and loving and everyone is shocked and he has this look on his face like Hey I'm the son of God... and this is how I want everyone to act from now on... and the person that he just connected with and helped or vindicated or healed looks up at him with genuine admiration and gratitude... Because He Stopped and Helped them, because he was Kind. I remember as a kid actually tearing up and feeling great joy in those moments. Every person feels loved and helped when someone stops and takes time out to really help them. To look at them and See them. We are all the same person, no matter how different. In the end the maniac kills himself because he thinks that he cant be loved, the autistic child holds the mothers hand, the masked gunman asks to see his mother, the fundamentalist terrorist is discovered to be a porn addict... It all points to the need for love no matter how weird or unintelligible the scribbled line appears. We all want the purest being to look at our face and see a child, a helpless needy baby, and to coo, to bathe us in their smile and take away our sins, our pain our fear our need.... So the story of Jesus, no matter what you think or believe about him, the STORY of Jesus is there to help us Get something about how to use your heart because the world is merciless and We need to show mercy. That's why the story ends so badly. We have to look at atrocity to realize it is wrong. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT ATROCITY TO REALIZE IT IS WRONG. And still even after that he was forgiving. That's LOVE.

thoughts on compassion in light of recent events...

I have seen much written about mental illness in relation to the tragedy in Connecticut. I even posted a film commentary about prescription drugs being a useless panacea to really just make people disappear.... the blanket over the face of pain. I am one of the most Anti pharmaceutical people you will ever meet. I know Exactly what these drugs do to people. They take something away... slowly by slowly... and it is society's fault. We just don't care enough about people. I lived with the reality of drug addiction in my family and saw the same addiction translate to prescription nightmare. Nothing works for most patients. they just go from one script to the next. slowly slowly they fade away or remain in a static unwell place. I live with the sadness of not being able to connect and help my father, and other loved ones in my life because of drugs, and because of mental illness. This country is Full of people with major depression. Children, little little children with severe schizophrenia! Having the Will to EMBODY Enough Love to bring people out of their pain.... This is a mighty task, and incredibly difficult, I can say with deepest regret. No One is really teaching us in any faith or social group how to REALLY Embody LOVE in a way that truly connects us, and gives us Peace. We can all feel the fleetingness of that love... we can all sense that moment when our heart squeezes and our throats tighten and our eyes water...or those moments of exhilaration but how do we use it? We are shown how to hold our forks and pencils with our Hands; How to use our minds to think logically, put 2 and 2 together; How to pronounciate words and speak... but our hearts??? Our COMPASSION Training? It is religions job and they fail. It is a parents role, and they fail. It is society's role and it fails. Because Our media driven Hate culture has actually kicked and hit and punched and shrieked all of the compassion out of us... Think about Everything that you do for the next 72 hours and check out where you are coming from about that. It is incumbent upon us to become our own teachers, to reevaluate all our inner workings and to ask ourselves what kind of world do we truly want to live in? How do we create that one little circle at a time?

Being Human

The human being is capable of a range of emotions for various reasons.

Each is useful and should be honored and utilized with presence of mind and heart.

Even rage is a useful tool in the face of outright attack on ones person or family to protect life.

Even fear and caution should be honored for helping protect us.

Even grief and depression is useful to us.

It is helpful for us to all remember that we are endowed with our physical bodies
as gifts not hindrances,

and that the lessons we learn in life bring us closer
to what is truly spiritual in us

No Matter How we come to such awareness.

It is our individuality that we are given and our persistent drive towards Unity
that we must come to terms with.

How ever one does this is not for anyone else to judge,
Only to also learn from.

Shining a light onto someone in their times of need, that is the way of the Bodhisattva, the teacher, the enlightened one.

Each time that you can look into the eyes of your brother and see him exactly as he is and love him, (and to see yourself in this way as well)

that is the expression of JOY in its purest form, which is Unconditional Love.

What is your happiness based on?

The thing is, we are a culture that likes to have things, as Bill O'Reilly recently pointed out in his own ignorant way. We are Very privileged despite our growing numbers of those who lack... We're obsessed with youth, we love and cherish our Rights, we want our 1st and 2nd amendments untouched, we Believe in our right to the pursuit of happiness to our detriment (ie: ALCOHOLISM, DRUG ABUSE, porn addiction, plastic surgery, gambling addiction,etc... and we LOVE Toys. We are Hoarders to the most revolting health hazard extremes; collectors, gamers, hobbyists, and on and on. We love our things, our toys, and to us Everything is a toy in the pursuit of happiness. A Stamp, a coin, a CAR, a Twinkie, a Barbie, a newspaper, a big gulp cup, an old toothbrush, And A GUN. Many people have more than 1 Gun. As my last two items in the list suggest, even garbage, even useless things are treasures to the sickest among us who can't determine properly for themselves that their living room is not a garbage dump. And our world is a garbage dump with a depleted ozone layer because we all want our things to the point of extinction... doesn't the rat keep pushing the button until it dies? Yes, the rats kept pushing the button until they died. And we are not so far off. Toys and hobbies and pursuit of happiness? What IS Happiness? I ASK YOU. Is it possible in the wake of terror, in the wake of fear, murder, tragedy? What is your happiness based upon NOW? TODAY.