Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness ~ Power & Powerlessness

Dedicated to Marshall Slade Agresto Smith, who killed himself the day after his 22nd birthday. His family includes French, Spanish, Native American and Lebanese blood. The blood of his life is on all of our hands.

suicide, cultural ills, guns, Marshall Smith

Marshall Slade Agresto Smith candlelight vigil dedicated to his life, which he ended with suicide with his own gun.

He was an acquaintance whom i met at the bar where I asked to dj and incorporate my own music with the set. He hung out there from time to time, when he wasn’t working as a chef. Cooking was his passion.

Mashall Slade Agresto Smith

Mashall Slade Agresto Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spoke to him, commenting that the way he dressed, he looked like the carpenter apprentices in Germany who wear a particular uniform and only walk between their apprenticeships, Zimmerman. I couldn’t remember the name, and intended to tell Marshall the next time i saw him.

Zimmerman is a tradition that is hundreds of years old, still practiced in Germany and parts of France.

Zimmerman is a tradition that is hundreds of years old, still practiced in Germany and parts of France.

A Zimmerman is basically a journeyman.

I noticed the last time I saw him to my astonishment that he had a real gun in a holster carried on his belt, hanging at his stomach. He said “yeah, it’s legal here in New Mexico”. Bout a week later, i was swinging by the plaza of Santa Fe coming into town at dusk and saw all these people standing holding candles and ‘CANDELARIOS’ lined up around the center.

Candlelight vigil for Marshall Smith

Candlelight vigil for Marshall Smith

I thought to myself, which tragedy happened now around the world, a new bombing or flight disaster? I approached and tried to see in the darkness the picture setting there. I soon learned that it was a vigil for Marshall, who killed himself several days earlier. The day after his 22nd birthday he shot himself with his won gun. His family stated in the announcement of his obituary, to not let people who drink be near guns, and not let people with guns near alcohol.

I came across this article a few days ago and sensed it that it’s appropriate to the current zeitgeist.

Broken Open, Heidi Barr, grief

Broken Open Heidi Barr on grief

“Politics.  Human decency.  Disrespect for women.  Self hatred.  Governmental control.  Fear. Complacency.  Planetary destruction.  Stealing.   Dishonoring sacred sites.  Destroying nations.  The despair of the poor.   The despair of the rich.  Outrage.  Ignorance.  Brushing it under the rug.  Dishonesty.  Hope.  Hopelessness. Wondering.  Paying the bills.  Running away.  Feeling stuck.

So I don’t think we need more guilt, or rage, or powerlessness.  We surely don’t need more entitlement, self hatred, or shame.   But we do need to grieve that which has been lost, that which has died, that which we or our children will never have, and that which is at this very moment fading away.  Stephen Jenkins says, “Grief requires us to know the time we are in.  We don’t require hope to proceed.  We require grief to proceed.”

Marshall’s one grandfather had been president of a local college, St. Johns. The other, a Native American who’s a fantastic chef, bringing the family together through this ritual and art, which his grandson Marshall adopted with a passion.

I feel that this is representative of a sickness of our culture.

We’re all ‘expected’ – by whom – cultural norms and habitual responses – to conform; i.e. in our economic incentives, the way we dress, the appendages and material possessions we obtain, through the work we do, the way we express ourselves and how we view and even interpret reality. It’s a structural conformity, that filters down to our routines and habits, the ‘weekend’ celebration, the time allotted from our economic machine to gather… otherwise – put your head down and don’t question. French, Ukrainians…question. Americans are severely brainwashed. Noam Chomsky communicated how the media contribute to this structural conformity in Manufacturing Consent. “proposing that the mass communication media of the U.S. are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion, by means of the propaganda model of communication.”

Suicides, drug addiction are all representative of cultural ills. War is a condoned, anticipated and enculturated norm which is uncanny. War and artillery, weapons and the military industrial complex are viewed through the cloak of nationalism. It is your duty, and is equated with loyalty and honor to your country. I become so disgusted with this that I often feel just disappointment with my fellow man, and have more affection, adoration & praise for other animal & life forms, including plants.

This young man was not a conformist by any means>>>>and our culture screams for conformity. Consumerism overpowers the urge for genuine communication and cooperation. We all quickly assess and judge by clothes. How do you dress? What kind of automobile do you drive? What are these things broadcasting about you? What is your job or profession? How do you make your way in the world to pay for your housing and clothes…so that you have a place to sleep when your weekend respite arrives to spend some time at home enjoying these? We drive by one another insulated in our automobiles or interact while attending an entertainment event which we usually need to pay for. The entertainment standard is something we passively ‘watch’, rather than interactively participate in. I have been viscerally thinking about this and wrote while waiting to attend the ‘visitation’…that I’m disgusted with Marshall’s suicide, feel it is representative of cultural ills – not merely family.

fiery orange sunset

fiery orange sunset

The same day that I walked out of the visitation for Marshal and caught a glimpse of this fiery orange sunset which lingered pink on the horizon as I rode away, I later communicated the circumstances to a friend living in New Mexico who also saw this sunset. She said that just that day she had been reading about the Bridgend suicides, which were this sudden increase in suicides among mostly teenagers and young adults in the last few years in Wales. I found this article about it. The Mystery Suicides of Bridgend county

“The author talks to “cluster suicide” experts…Outbreaks like this are rare but not new…They have happened in Germany, Australia, Japan, the U.S., Canada, and Micronesia…Psychologists familiar with the phenomenon are saying that what’s going on in Wales is a classic case of the Werther effect, named for Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, about a young man who puts a gun to his head to end the agony of unrequited love and because he can’t find his place in the provincial bourgeois society of the day. The novel’s publication, in 1774, prompted young men all over Europe to dress like Werther and take their lives. It’s also called the contagion effect and copycat suicide: one person does it, and that lowers the threshold, making it easier and more permissible for the next…”

“These suicides are a symptom of a deeper societal malaise.”

This was just one individual, yet it prompted me to wonder how common suicides have been in history. It’s something I’ve never really wondered aboutinternational suicide rates. It appeared from my search that this has been on the rise in a number of different countries. I can’t imagine that this was common hundreds of years ago somehow.

International suicide statistics

International suicide statistics

About the same time that this occurred, George Monbiot – an environmental, social, economic and political writer – wrote this blog. “There Is Such a Thing As Society

Why should plagues of mental illness surprise us, in a world being ripped apart?

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 12th October 2016

“What greater indictment of a system could there be than an epidemic of mental illness? Yet plagues of anxiety, stress, depression, social phobia, eating disorders, self-harm and loneliness now strike people down all over the world. The latest, catastrophic figures for children’s mental health in England reflect a global crisis…There are plenty of secondary reasons for this distress, but it seems to me that the underlying cause is everywhere the same. Human beings, the ultrasocial mammals, whose brains are wired to respond to other people, are being peeled apart. Economic and technological change play a major role, but so does ideology.”

“Though our well-being is inextricably linked to the lives of others, everywhere we are told that we will prosper through competitive self-interest and extreme individualism.”

Another article and preview of the film which it refers to also presented itself during these same last few days.
From Brexit to Donald Trump: welcome to the age of hypernormalisation in London

“No one talks about power these days. We are encouraged to see ourselves as free, independent individuals not controlled by anybody, and we despise politicians as corrupt and empty of all ideas…But power is all around us. It’s just that it has shifted and mutated into a massive system of management and control, whose tentacles reach into all parts of our lives. But we can’t see it because we still think of power in the old terms—of politicians telling us what to do.”

Hyper normalization Living in an Unreal World

Hyper normalization Living in an Unreal World

Hyper normalization, film, Adam Curtis

Still from trailer of Hypernormalization film by Adam Curtis

“The aim of the film I have made — HyperNormalisation — is to bring that new power into focus, and show its true dimensions. It ranges from a giant computer high up in the mountains of northeast America that manages and controls over 7 percent of the worlds total wealth, to the complex algorithms that constantly monitor every move and choice you make online- giant computer constantly compares events happening around the world to events in the past. If it sees a dangerous pattern, it immediately adjusts its trillions of dollars to keep things stable. That is real power. The algorithms on social media constantly look at the patterns of what you like and then feed you more of that—so you enter into an echo chamber that constantly feeds you back to you. So again nothing changes—and you learn nothing new that would contradict how you feel. That too is real power.”

In the meantime, Native Americans and a handful of white people are in North Dakota trying to defend their land.

In North Dakota, Dakota Pipeline, protestors, Water Protectors

In North Dakota, the Dakota Pipeline protestors are actually Water Protectors

By the way, I learned the other day from a man I met who had been adopted by a Native American family who is a Native American Literature professor, that in contributing to the writing of the United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was inspired by the Iroquois. The Six Nations: the Oldest Living Participatory Democracy on Earth

“The people of the Six Nations, also known by the French term, Iroquois Confederacy, call themselves the Hau de no sau nee (ho dee noe sho nee) meaning People Building a Long House… The original United States representative democracy, fashioned by such central authors as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, drew much inspiration from this confederacy of nations. Together these peoples comprise the oldest living participatory democracy on earth. Their story, and governance truly based on the consent of the governed, contains a great deal of life-promoting intelligence for those of us not familiar with this area of American history.”

Iroquois, 6-nations, Participatory Democracy

Iroquois 6-nations Oldest Living Participatory-Democracy on Earth

Karl Marx was also influenced by the Iroquois in his political philosophy.

In fact, every kid in school is indoctrinated into this with the daily pledge of allegiance.

United States Declaration of Independence

Second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence

And yet, I don’t particularly feel that we are all created equal, especially when those who inspired the declaration are the very people who live in sacrifice zones – A sacrifice zone is a geographic area that has been permanently impaired by environmental damage or economic disinvestment. These zones are most commonly found in low-income and minority communities.

Speaking of Democracy, wikileaks now reveals that it is not ‘we the people’ in a Democracy who vote for our representatives, but in fact just before the last election it was Citibank who were already planning even before Obama was elected, who were going to be taking the top posts in the Federal government. This New Republic describes The Most Important WikiLeaks Revelation Isn’t About Hillary Clinton

What John Podesta’s emails from 2008 reveal about the way power works in the Democratic Party.
BY DAVID DAYEN October 14, 201

“Michael Froman, who is now U.S. trade representative but at the time was an executive at Citigroup, wrote an email to Podesta on October 6, 2008, with the subject “Lists.”

This was October 6. The election was November 4. And yet Froman, an executive at Citigroup, which would ultimately become the recipient of the largest bailout from the federal government during the financial crisis, had mapped out virtually the entire Obama cabinet, a month before votes were counted. And according to the Froman/Podesta emails, lists were floating around even before that.”

 Is Compassion the Antidote to Neoliberalism

Is Compassion the Antidote to Neoliberalism

Meanwhile in his article addressing climate change and the disasters and devastation of the petroleum industries’, Monbiot writes in his blog “What Lies Beneath” – a nice play on words – is as biting and bold as his honest assessments always are.

“All this nonsense is a substitute for a simple proposition: stop digging. There is only one form of carbon capture and storage that is scientifically proven and can be deployed immediately: leaving fossil fuels in the ground.

“Their (governments in the pocket of the oil industry) choices are as follows. 1. a gradual, managed decline of existing production and its replacement with renewable energy and low-carbon infrastructure, which offer great potential for employment. 2. allowing fossil fuel production to continue at current rates for a while longer, followed by a sudden and severe termination of the sector, with dire consequences for both jobs and economies. 3. continuing to produce fossil fuels as we do today, followed by climate breakdown. Why is this a hard choice to make?”

In the meantime,

Great Barrier Reef officially declared Dead after 25 million years

Great Barrier Reef officially declared Dead after 25 million years

The Great Barrier Reef is officially dead: http://www.theearthchild.co.za/great-barrier-reef-officially-declared-dead-25-million-years/

I am in the library with my laptop, the only place to come to, not having residual cash to pay at a cafe to sit and linger in communication with the rest of the world. I’m here among library patrons along with a regular homeless population, of which, I guess i’m sort of one. In Tucson, at the grandiose university student library, there were a lot of homeless people too. There are no places to congregate really, unless you have money to spend. I wish to continue writing blogs and doing the research to complete my book, wish to continue playing bass guitar and piano and composing music with computer programs. I am lost as to how to find an artist residency.

… I entertain myself through learning and reading and doing various creative projects, which except for the tools – is free – all the time and effort put in to it have returns in the delivery of delight and joy gained through doing something. It is empowerment through action, not through consumption.

I have been kicked out of numerous places over the last year; parent’s home in PA, the workaway on a ferry in Brooklyn, my friend’s house in PA, the WWOOF i had arranged in the middle of nowhere in Arizona, and then voluntarily from the place i could no longer afford by paying rent with my credit card…and a few other places among familiar people, because people need their space. In fact there are a lot of quite large homes here in Santa Fe and people with homes left vacant while they live in their other homes….and I now have even more stuff that I’ve aggregated to my side; a suitcase of clothes, my laptop, bass guitar, favorite piano book, camera, now a few more frisbees since I’ve joined in on local ultimate frisbee pickup games in each towns I’ve lived in…and yet am almost homeless again, as I’m living so far up into the hills – literally encroaching on the animal habitats of the animals that have no more space for their own territory to live and survive – that my back is started to feel the weight of carrying everything with me down the hill and then trekking back.

I’m going to attend the debates tonight again in a public forum, just to exchange with people around me in their loathing. I had found a place and exchanged a friendly conversation for almost two hours with the woman with whom i thought we had a lot in common, and she said she had to sleep on it, and then never bothered to call me to say she didn’t want me as a housemate. then i moved to this mountain home guest of a man living alone there whose dog I walk, and the other woman who i was going to move in with and had to wait 2 weeks + to move in, called it off at the last moment, after i’d taken down all my signs, stopped looking for housing. a day before move-in i received an email in blue ink, very comforting looking, saying that she wasn’t moving in. then i had my first day at a job substitute teaching and instead of the principal telling me that it wasn’t going to work while I talked to her about potentially exchanging positions with the music teacher substitute who didn’t know how to read music…didn’t bother to tell me to my face that the job was off, but i found a ‘system response’ later that night. Had i not seen it, i would have gotten up again at 5:30 am to get there. then last night, i went to practice bass with a band, and neither of the guys bothered to phone to tell me that this was off, in fact they were playing earlier together with another guy on bass, when the day before i was trying to arrange an alternative night to accommodate the one guys’ new job.

It appears to me that gay men control the fashion and the art industry and then a small percentage of people control everything else. I’ve put out housing ads, and there have been a few people who randomly contact me with obscure cryptic texts, and then there have been a few men who send me pics, practically sexting, to their abs in pictures.

In the meantime, An eye-opening flight over California’s dying forests
By Kurtis Alexander Updated: August 6, 2016 8:00pm

Dead trees sweeping across the Sierras, California's dying forests

Dead trees sweeping across the Sierras – California’s dying forests

The four crew members were halfway through two weeks of flights over landscapes shifting ominously from green to brown, and already they’d begun to draw their conclusion: The mind-boggling number of trees that have died in California due to drought — an estimated 66 million over five years — is only the beginning.

It’s creeping farther north, and to higher elevations, not only providing tinder for wildfires, but also obstructing the forests’ fundamental ability to provide clean water and absorb carbon dioxide.

All i want is an artist residency where I can physically contribute to learning about and maintaining sustainable living, while also helping to ensure animal habitat conservation. My dream; a community of people contributing this, who are also committed to completing new works on an ongoing basis, the work which blends into education and awareness of the fragile planet and interrelationships that need to be sustained. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHRE THESE EXIST? WITHOUT A WAITING LIST?

guess i'm going to have to adjust the sails

guess i’m going to have to adjust the sails

Le plus dur n’est pas de rêver, mais de ce réveiller

….the most difficult is not to dream, but to wake up…..

Carol Keiter, blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger

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the War on Terror is a malignant outgrowth of the Terror of War | Chilcot report: War on Iraq

Much is in the news about the recently released Chilcot report by Sir John Chilcot, chairman of the United Kingdom’s Iraq war inquiry. He was one of the bureaucrats in office during the time the United States and subsequently Great Britain governments’ decided to go to war on Iraq in 2003. The Chilcot report exposes the fact that there were no grounds to go to war on Iraq. There were lies, confounded by more lies that lead to this grave decision, which has subsequently ignited ISIS (whatever acronym you wish to call it), unleashing an insurmountable backlash of violence by groups coping with their own destabilization and horrors. Violence fueled by hatred in ever swirling spirals.

Carne Ross wrote for the New York Times July 6, 2016 Chilcot Report: How Tony Blair Sold the War

“Thus the invasion that was justified by an imaginary threat in Iraq helped create a crisis of global insecurity that will endure for a generation, at least.

The ministers and officials who enabled Mr. Blair to perpetrate this catastrophe must also bear blame. Brave after the event, many testified before Mr. Chilcot that they knew the war was a mistake — yet they went along with it. But without them, it could not have happened. The “threat” of weapons of mass destruction was repeated by many diplomats and officials even when they, like me, were well aware that the scant intelligence we had could not substantiate the claim.”

Matthew Schweitzer on the 8th of July 2016 writes in Mondediplio – the English version of Le Monde Diplomatique, Iraq’s trauma: the Chilcot inquiry

Schweitzer describes the history leading up to this, which has already been destabilizing the area years before. He mentions,

“In 1991, over 10 years before the events described by the Chilcot inquiry occurred, a United Nations report concluded that ‘the children of Iraq up to the ages of puberty are the most traumatized children of war ever described.’ The report arrived at the end of the first Gulf war, in which 20,000-35,000 Iraqi soldiers perished along with nearly 3,700 civilians.”

On July 7th, George Monbiot published on the Guardian’s website The Judgement of History: The Chilcot report is utterly damning; but it’s still not justice

“Mr Blair, the co-author of these crimes, whose lethal combination of appalling judgement and tremendous powers of persuasion made the Iraq war possible, saunters the world, picking up prizes and massive fees, regally granting interviews, cloaked in a force field of denial and legal impunity.

The crucial issue – the legality of the war – was, of course, beyond Sir John Chilcot’s remit…Justice is inseparable from democracy. If a prime minister can avoid indictment for waging aggressive war, the entire body politic is corrupted. In the Chilcot report, there is a reckoning, firm and tough and long overdue. But it’s still not justice.”

George W. Bush,  Tony Blair, Guardian, Chilcot report, Trevor Timm

George W. Bush and Tony Blair the Guardian The US needs its own Chilcot report Trevor Timm

As a United States citizen born and raised in this country, who protested going to war in the streets back then, it occurred to me that I had read an indictment a few years ago from someone within the United States government exposing the US government’s ill conceived decision to go to war in Iraq. I googled, and came up with this article The US needs its own Chilcot report, written by Trevor Timm

“The former US president most responsible for the foreign policy catastrophe has led a peaceful existence since he left office. Not only has he avoided any post-administration inquiries into his conduct, he has inexplicably seen his approval ratings rise (despite the carnage left in his wake only getting worse).”

And in the politics of injustice, in which corpocrisy rules, it is really up to all of us to actually make a difference.

I beckon comments and suggestions regarding answers on ways to deal with the conundrum of hatred and violence. Perhaps if a large part of the citizens of the United States and Great Britain – for starters – would have the will and courage to make our voices heard and actually demand prosecution for the Crime of War, the consequences could be felt worldwide. That is, rather than passively watching this, actively making clear that you are behind persecuting these criminals – behind which are a bunch of corporations whose goal certainly was to invade Iraq for their own profit motives.

If the message sent to the rest of the world is that we care about other peoples lives who are embroiled in war and the injustice of it – rising above the political veil of democracy – to actually send clear messages of humanitarian love and peace, this in itself could begin wakening quite different responses from people who have only felt desperation and experienced hopelessness and horror.

I will promptly write in my digesthis blog about the concept of ‘othering’ (distancing oneself); a concept of Edward Said, mentioned by Naomi Klein in a larger context, together with the inspiring words of Akala regarding status quo racism built into Empire.

Another means of extracting ourselves from the rather undemocratic government we are in which is ensconced in the politics of money, as politicians are placed by corporate powers to parlay their wishes, is to have a GREEN SUSTAINABILITY REVOLUTION.

Perhaps as one person recently commented, the more that we involve ourselves in our own communities in DIY Doing it Ourselves: to grow our own food, actively engage in community building, build inexpensive systems to collect your own rain water, collect energy from the sun with solar, build community projects such as community gardens and windmills or whatever renewable technology is available and adaptable to the climate and geography of place…the more we will be energizing ourselves without paying into a corrupt system that is bent on continually receiving fees. And the more that people grow their own food and acquire energy from their own self sustaining systems, the healthier and happier and more independent they will be, so that they won’t need to support industries which are reaping huge monetary gains while delivering little. As people take responsibility for their own health and happiness, they will less and less need to buy into a system that keeps them locked into it: i.e. pharmaceutical industry.

Here I go again. Moved to create a blog, pulling together content from a variety of sources by established journalists who have done their rigorous investigative journalism, scrutinizing information to put it out there. I float these out to consecrate their points and add some of my own. I considered researching which print or online publication I could send a query to, to submit an article for which I’m paid, and I guess two factors are dissuading me.

The first, that I want to immediately get this information out there. Secondly, I realize that I am for the most part reading and re-circulating other peoples’ dredging labor involved in investigative journalism. Nevertheless, the more the information is circulated, the better.

Carol Keiter in Tucson, AZ

Carol Keiter in Tucson, AZ

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Transformation | Presents of Presence | Asking the Right Questions

I suddenly have very limited time. Nothing like time constraints to force one into action! In fact, the underlying current of this blog is about constraints put on from the outside, which have actually been blessings because they have been lighting the flames to blaze my path. I’ve fortunately welcomed these, as I have wished to set into motion my path and cast a net of wider options. Aiming for excellence as opposed to perfection, I’m striving to accomplish projects as efficiently as possible and simply ‘get them out there’.

I’m presently living on a ranch on the dusty outskirts of Florence, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

Entrance, Ranch, Florence, Arizona

Entrance and front porch to my living quarters on Ranch near Florence, Arizona

A town I had never heard of and a place I hadn’t fathomed living in several weeks ago. A month ago I shoveled two and a half feet of snow

2.5 feet, snow, Pennsylvania

2.5 feet of snow in Pennsylvania

in Pennsylvania, the largest snowfall in a decade, despite 2015 being the warmest year globally, on record. Here are some pics of my 1st WWOOF experience on Veteran’s Ranch off the town of Florence, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

Here are some pics of my 1st WWOOF, Veteran’s Ranch, Florence, Arizona, Sonoran desert.

Here are some pics of my 1st WWOOF experience on Veteran’s Ranch off the town of Florence, Arizona in the Sonoran desert.

Back in midsummer I was suddenly pushed to move out of my ‘childhood’ home, where I had been residing once again after moving back from Berlin, Germany. I anticipated having to leave this residence, eventually, yet had – from my perspective – an enormous task ahead of me. I needed to ‘go through’ a large closet packed with my possessions that had been stored there while I lived on the East and West coasts of the US and several European countries. The beginning of tackling this was through the serendipitously timed message of an online coworking coach, regarding approaching large tasks much more easily, by setting oneself very small goals: ‘mini habits’. This invoked me to begin stretching, meditating and eventually to begin ‘going through’ one, then another box, in un-intimidating doses. The task felt enormous, because rather than dealing with large pieces of furniture, it was with minute pieces of paper – boxes upon boxes of journals, sketches, letters – which I would eventually sift through and decide what to recycle and what to photograph and digitize, along with creating folders and a methodology of cataloguing so that I could easily retrieve this mass of media.

When I was forced to leave the home with a very short notice, my first response was not to panic and scramble looking for where to immediately go, but to pour my heart and mind into the intent of where I would ultimately love to go. I put out this notice https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/posting-a-jobhomecommunity-relocation-info-ad-for-myself/

The timing of it triggered me to go through my stuff, while awaiting an opening at a workaway position in Brooklyn, New York on a Ferry Boat – another deadline. I fortunately was offered a temporary residence which gave me the space to accomplish this task. A friend of my housing host repeatedly asked me “Aren’t you excited about moving to Brooklyn?”, to which I responded that I wasn’t in the least bit thinking about it, as I was focused in the present; doing the best job that I could in sorting through and digitizing a huge glutton of my past.

I made it through this material, while continuing to eat healthy foods, stretching daily and practicing heart-rhthym meditations. Then another synchronisitic event occurred. Aware that the Paris Climate Talks were approaching, as someone who blogs consistently about corpocrisy, animal rights, environmental, political and economic topics, I now happened upon the concept from the textbook of the ‘iamheart School of Heart Rhythm meditations‘ about directing a question during the meditation exercise. Some of the letters which kept surfacing while sifting through my stuff, connected with a discovery that emerged during and within hours of this meditation. A week later I was on a flight on my way to Paris within days of the beginning of the COP21. I joined a crew of 600 others to participate in the learning and transformative activist and journalism movement of Place to B, a gathering of people involved in actively engaging and transforming our relationship to the world ecologically.

Within the first minute of getting into my seat of the WOW airlines flight from Baltimore Washington to Reykjavik Airport, connecting to a flight to Paris; Kadi and I introduced ourselves and discovered that we were each headed to the same destination, Paris, for the COP21. We high-fived! I was heading to PlacetoB whereas she had a pass to enter the floor of dignitaries of the COP.

Carol Keiter, USA, Kadi Kenk, Estonia, WOW airlines, Paris COP21, Climate Talks

Carol Keiter from the USA and Kadi Kenk from Estonia sitting next to one another on the WOW airlines flight from Baltimore Washington to Reykjavik Airport, connecting to a flight to Paris; Each going to the Paris COP21 Climate Talks

She mentioned an Estonian designer who recognized the enormity of waste in the design industry of unused fabric, who started a ‘trash to trend’ movement. The ‘Reet Aus’ label means ‘up made’.

Trash to Trend, Estonian, Upcycled, Clothing Design

‘Trash to Trend’ Estonian 100% Upcycled Clothing Design Line

It implies all of the leftover fabric that is used instead of being thrown away. The designer works not with recycled, but 100% upcycled clothing line. As we talked, Kadi mentioned that she’s a lawyer in tax law. She had started to volunteer at letsdoitworld a World Cleanup Day designated for 2018. Once she finished her position and realized she had no limitations, she began to open up to see things that were always there, but that she hadn’t noticed before: not just opportunities, but a completely different way of living one’s life.

She mentioned that things open up for people who are willing to open themselves to seeing things in a new way.

By going with the flow and trusting in one’s intuition, this allows one to be able to now see things, even though they were always there, but which one wasn’t able to see.

Let's do It, World Cleanup Day 2018

Let’s do It World Cleanup Day 2018

One of the first distinctions I realized upon sitting in my first day seminar at the PlacetoB, was a palatable spiritual essence within the presentations. Here were people who gathered because of their longing to make positive changes in the world. Changemakers, innovators, creatives and media professionals here in Paris to explore solutions to sustainable living, with the intent to share stories and seed their own media in ways to help create change. People with ideals they believe in, and the incentive and intent act on their creative instincts in whatever ways they conceptualized. I would say that one common denominator is that all think outside of the box; going with their hearts to manifest what they believe in. It was no accident that my heart meditations brought me there. On my first day there attending a seminar at PlacetoB, the host of the Transformational Media Summit, Jeremy Wickremer’s message reverberated with me. He spoke of the importance of asking the right questions. More important than driving towards answers, is asking questions, as this already is less limiting, and opening oneself up to a field of creativity. Wickremer prompted zealously emphasizing that “The quality of our questions affects the quality of our lives. It affects where we focus our efforts and what we achieve.”

I am daily asking questions within my meditations of how best I can serve, doing what I love to do and what I feel passionately about. Trusting in this, with the steady stream of various messages that have helped to guide and nudge me into a secure space, despite having subsequently moved to this workaway Ferry boat gig in Brooklyn, New York days following my return from Paris and told that it wasn’t going to work. And then moving back to the place which was my temporary refuge while I sifted through my stuff, and was told that this as well was not going to work, I felt that each was a gift, to push me to move on towards what will be the better way for me to manifest my dreams and use my skills best.

Once again rather than panicking about having shelter, my first instinct was to follow through with a blog I was putting together, that suddenly erupted into yet another synchronistic series of connections; the fact that in my research I happened upon the same organization that I later discovered was what had also been sent to me by one of my PlacetoB comrades. I delved first into contacting an organization with an introduction to myself and defining what I would love to do with them, using a set of skills from illustration to writing, conceptualizing to marketing their service abroad with my language skills. I then prompted myself to put out another pair of blogs as a christening of the job application. My approaching deadline of potential homelessness now serendipitously called me to consider paring down to what I could carry on my back, as in Paris, just two backpacks. Now my Facebook groups emerged with concepts of hitchhiking South (having just shoveled two and a half feet of snow in PA days earlier). Now I was looking at posts in the hitchhiking group about ways to travel and sleep for free, several of which I had already been acquainted with. In this process of investigation into now the possibility of simply beginning to travel South, with the idea of contacting and interviewing successful agroforestry farmers in Central and South America, I learned of a Frenchman born in 1937 who basically hitchhiked and traveled more extensively than anyone, André Antoine Brugiroux, who between 1955 and 2005, visited every country and territory in the world.

Having not heard back from the Center for Ecoliteracy organization in Berkeley, California where I created my own position which I presented to them, and having little savings and an ever increasing credit card debt, I now was inspired to begin hitching, however then the Zika virus scare erupted into the news. I then aimed towards the idea of searching for workaways in Europe, where ultimately I would love to reside, to ever expand my language skills. From Sicily to France, the idea of learning ecological practices from the pros, those with their own farms to then communicate in writing, this was now my pursuit. I went as far as investigating universities in France to combine studying French as a foreign language with ecological studies, yet the timing was not quite right, the semester was just starting and I had yet to acquire a student VISA. A sister of mine then reminded me of the WWOOFing concept which I new of vaguely. Within days of joining and creating yet another online profile about what I can offer and lots of investigation, I received an answer. Within minutes I remembered autodriveaway as possibility of transporting myself as I had use previously when driving back to the East coast from California with the car packed with my own stuff. This time there were only two autos on their entire list – in February – that needed to be transported. I opted for the one from the East to the West coast. The person who had been lined up to transport this car backed out at the last minute and now it was urgent. I had just enough money with more cc debt to manage the deposit, and now my plan was coalescing. I coordinated what I’d need to be a Ranch hand (hiking boots, sturdy clothes to get mucked up and gloves, sunscreen) and hitched to the location to pick up the car. My first ride within minutes of standing by the road in central PA with a sign to the next highway, was a guy who was listening while he drove to ‘The Secret‘ on his laptop in his van, and decided that there was ‘a reason for picking me up’. He drove me most of the way, having no specific jobs of urgency that morning. As he pulled into a gas station for us to find out where we were in relation to Washington D.C., he had just gotten a text about a job that sprung up, and I saw a well dressed man in his hat walking to his car. Something told me to launch out, leaving my luggage to approach this man and ask if he was driving towards D.C. He was my ride to one of the outer metro stops that would bring me from the northern tip of the Washington District of Columbia metropolitan subway transit system to where I needed to go on the southern end in Alexandria, Virginia to pick up the car. The woman working for the transit system was my third hitch, she gave me a pass to show upon arrival at my station stop.

I drove a Honda Civic (same automobile that I was driving of my mother) across the country. Leaving behind as a gift, the magnets a friend handcrafted in Taos, New Mexico – signifying to me the spiritual essence of life’s path.

Magical Magnets handcrafted by Betsy Pierce

Magical Magnets handcrafted by Betsy Pierce

and was off

the last sunset shot in Pennsylvania

the last sunset shot in Pennsylvania

And having taken a photo of the last sunset I saw in central Pennsylvania, I met my new host after climbing into her truck to take a lovely sunset photo here in my new environment, the Arizona desert.

Arizona sunset at the pickup point off Interstate 10.

Arizona sunset at the pickup point off Interstate 10.

Besides the changing landscapes that evolved from the thick moist air of the Washington D.C. area to then the hills of Tennessee and then the obvious encroaching desert of Oklahoma, were the accompanying radio stations which were now broadcasting more Christian radio shows and Christian rock, the further south and west I drove. By the time I was in the Pan Handle of Texas, there was a preacher-like radio caster who denounced Planned Parenthood as something to be handcuffed, and that the applauded birth-rate drop while it was still in existence, was to him, nothing to boast about. I guess he doesn’t notice the global problems due to overpopulation…

I managed to pull a 17 hour day drive so that I could arrive in Albuquerque NM the following day at a reasonable hour to meet up with my friend since the days when I lived in Taos. The timing was perfect, non-calculated yet having driven with the incentive to have some spare time.

The down sleeping bag that the former captain of my Berlin Ultimate Frisbee team gifted to me.

Glad I had the down sleeping bag that my former captain of my Berlin Ultimate Frisbee team “Yeehaw” gifted to me, as the windshield upon waking was sketched with crystals of ice.

I stopped at the Ranch to drop off my two backpacks and to become introduced to what I was about to commit to. I wasn’t yet sure how I’d return to Arizona from Los Angeles once I delivered the car. However after investigating Greyhound, then put some ads in the LA craigslist rideshare, and even scouted out local public and private Los Angeles airports with the idea of hitching a plan, I sent out a message to a friend who lives there. We had lived in San Francisco at the same time, then met up randomly at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and then became housemates in Santa Fe, New Mexico and he tipped me to get a job working at the Santa Fe Ski Basin. We then were for a period both living in Berlin, Germany at the same time and now each back in the States. It turned out that though numerous people answered my craigslist ad looking for a ride, my friend Paul was just returning from a day’s ski trip and was leaving in another day and a half to drive to Tucson, Arizona to attend the Gem and Jam music festival which he had purchased tickets for in advance. It just so happened that he’d be driving on Interstate 10, which is the route I took to CA from AZ, and where I could be picked up by the Rancher. Yep, another rather scintillating example of synchronistic timing! Here are pics of the road trip

flickr pics of my East to West autodriveaway trip transporting a Honda Civic (I love these cars) and of some scenes in Los Angeles

flickr pics of my East to West autodriveaway trip transporting a Honda Civic (I love these cars) and of some scenes in Los Angeles

and also of some interesting Los Angeles scenes.

Now I’m working rather long hours and doing physically harder work than I’ve ever done in my life, yet with absolute love for the animals I’m helping to take care of for a rancher who is a tremendously hard worker. She is teaching me efficiency, as she juggles multiple tasks; a job, milking goats with a machine, raising chickens, turkeys, two pot-bellied pigs and making lotions and soap with the goat milk base. She is also part of a volunteer Search & Rescue team who must ride horses for their operation; the most efficacious way to search for a lost person in the desert is not with an automobile, but by horse. Her husband tends to the horses and cattle. They have 6 dogs, three of which are ‘working dogs’ yet completely lovable pets, and all of which are at least 80 pounds a piece. WWOOFing is excellent for the hosts, who as farmers and ranchers typically have endless chores and work to maintain their operations, and great for people like myself who can step into a completely new environment, and learn continuously about aspects of farming etc. that are new; offering one’s physical help in exchange for room and board. I specified in my search that I needed internet access. Voila! In this solitude, living in the middle of nowhere in the sonoran desert with no vehicle (except for my thumb), I opted to bring a folder of all of my Paris paraphernalia and my digital camera and laptop; to continue to spread all that I learned during the two weeks in Paris and to complete my book and start composing more music. It is a purposeful isolation, and really quite unique. As someone who has still not marketed myself nor find an artist residency, nor a publisher willing to gamble on an unpublished writer, nor any grants or funds from a foundation to assist, this seemed to be the best option – specifically since the whole theme of the Paris COP21 and PlacetoB is about transforming all of our habits towards ecologically healthy ones for humans and all inhabitants of the planet, for a better world.

For anyone who has read this far, I can say that this is giving me a taste of what it is like to be a prisoner. I am the only worker here, so all of the load is falling on me, and it is sort of endless and presently a bit overwhelming. I have no days off, must be up at 6am every day, and rarely are the hours contained to the typical WWOOF schedule of 5 hours/day, totaling 30 hours a week. I have felt at times like what it must be like to be an indentured servant; for example a Pakistani immigrant worker in Saudi Arabia, working for ‘masters’ who may not be very gracious or kind. I feel like I am consistently fighting to keep the hours per day to a reasonable workload so that I can have time to work on my own projects, and it has been a continued struggle. Now I am wondering what it is that I can do, where to go, as I am earning no money whatsoever. It sounded like a reasonable way to accomplish things and this place seemed ideal in my minds eye; to put myself into solitude where I would just work on my projects. Up front it was stated that no smoking, drinking or drugs would be tolerated. I typically have a glass of red wine with my dinner, a smoke once in a while and yet certainly I am demonstrating that I’m not addicted to any of these because I can carry on fine without. Yet I feel like I hardly have any time. I am now questioning why it is that I somehow can not manage to find work that employs my skills; illustrating, writing, conversational German, French and Spanish and administrative skills and plenty of creative and conceptual ideas. I’m also a very social person who presently is sort of marooned in an area so rural with no vehicle or bicycle, so that I can’t go out at all. In fact, I feel that I am not being treated with much dignity or respect, and wondering why I have come to this place? What was it in the stars that compelled me to idealize this one, and launch myself here? Perhaps the lesson is that I have not worked on completing my book or composing any new music. I am not sure what the ‘universe’ is telling me? Perhaps it is that the joke is on me for not having had the courage or belief in myself to really dive into crafting my own skills and putting this out there. Therefore, I am definitely on a transition, and I’m not sure to where? Hmmm, within an hour of writing this paragraph and perusing Facebook while eating my dinner, I came across this post which my sister shared. It seems to hold the key!

self-sabotage, limiting beliefs

Within an Hour of adding this previous paragraph, I discovered this post which my sister had shared on her Facebook Wall | Are you Blocking your own Success

In retrospect, though the message is essentially solid, once I checked out this woman’s video I got a little annoyed with the typical selling strategy: buy now or you’ll lose out, and with this offer, you’ll get such and such for free, only while it lasts!!!! I just don’t go for these gimmicks and sales techniques, they turn me off. Funny, when I first tuned in to get my free counseling video, suddenly my computer decided to ‘update my safari browser’ and then the whole ‘streaming’ was glitchy using another browser. I do appreciate the information; about the ways that a person can be self-sabotaging through subconscious thoughts and ‘limiting beliefs’ that were imprinted into the unconscious during childhood when a person is operating mostly on ‘Theta Brainwaves’. And her points about repetition of empowering and positive thoughts envisioned and surrounding oneself with positive and supportive people who take action and make creative changes in their lives….yet I think that one can tap into this through meditation, opening up a channel to the ‘intelligence of the universe’ or whatever you wish to call IT.

Here I am,

carol_keiter_blogger_wwoof_res_feb20

carol_keiter_blogger_wwoof_res_feb20

the blogger in my ‘moose lake lodge’ in the Sonoran desert where I’m participating in my first WWOOF experience on the Veteran’s Ranch, a means of avoiding homelessness while at the same time being very interested in learning about farming techniques from the pros – the people who run the farms and ranches – and I absolutely love and adore animals of every type.

 

When I’m not working with the animals or on my own projects, I’m taking pictures of the sunsets, which have been gorgeous lately.

the sunset from all angles on this Sonoran desert feb 19th evening

the sunset from all angles on this Sonoran desert feb 19th evening

As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook to complete it and and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously to please donate, if you are able. !-))

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United States of Anxiety | the Commercial Messiah

Yet another mass shooting in the United States of Anxiety. Why did he do it? Where does the anger come from? or feelings of powerlessness?…Well, after watching the newscast which switched to a commercial break (which I usually mute and ignore), I looked at the commercials as a stranger in a strange land. Advertisements about happy, carefree, beautiful people who are laughing and having fun together … about to purchase more things to embellish their perfectly happy lives. Thou Shalt Buy I thought to myself; these messages are enough to drive a person who is already borderline weak and emotionally unstable, to feel even less worthy and more resistant & envious; magnifying what they lack, and increasing their loneliness and neediness…

I’m looking at this (shooting trend) not from a behavioral standpoint of an individual who’s been diminished and criticized with words by their parents -emotional abuse, physical abuse, or neglected completely – or as someone who perhaps all his/her life was deprived of comforts and security. I’m not looking at it from a psychological or chemical imbalance standpoint or the lack of nurturing families.

I’m just looking at it from the container of the cultural message packaged and sent out – of which TV is the most powerful medium – the lure of the commercials within the belly of this heavily lopsided consumerism bent world. The message; to buy more, purchase this or that and you’ll be happy. The message is laden with competition, to strive to be as cool as your peers.
Buy More
Television and film/video is such a powerful medium: images fused with music to hit the emotional chords. The messages could be: the world is a wonderful place and we are in this together… kind and loving people here to help you and guide you… this world is awesome with all of its creatures and look at how happy and joyful you can be through the simplest activities. Well, yes, these messages are out there, and yes, one can turn off the television and electronic devices. Yet instead, the predominant messages coming from the TV is, if you don’t have this, or own that, you are ‘left out’ and socially bankrupt. If you don’t get in with the action and buy this or have this, you won’t get the attention you want and you won’t be able to pretend to fabricate this gleaming and glittering reality. If you are unattractive or weak or not in the ‘in crowd’, these commercial messages will be even more venomously received with anger and hatred.

That was my response looking at the commercials after listening to Obama’s words to the nation after yet another massacre. For the most part, the perpetrators of mass school killings are not doing it out of racism or inequality – they are typically caucasian males who randomly shoot without much care of the target. The killings seem to be rage from people who feel outcast within their own groups/schools/communities who see reality and their prospects as bleak.

Add the easy accessibility of guns to the equation and it gives the people with the anger, emotional rage, chemical imbalance or a history of being victims of torment and abuse the ability to easily carry out their impulsive or well-thought-out plans of (suicide / homicide ) with ease.

Buy what thou hast no need of

Buy what thou hast no need of

So I’m saying that this stems from the dis ease of the messages of rampant consumerism infiltrating our culture. It’s the slickness of the mirage that advertisers create for the companies who wish to sell their merchandise, at any cost. Okay, i’ve said enough, or not enough. Buy NowWestern culture is so bent on profit and short-term, short-sighted goals – at the risk of genuine human happiness and the welfare of all the different creatures that share our planet – that both the haves and the have-nots, have anxiety; the former, because of the threat of it being taken away, the latter, because of the material things dangling before them, which they can’t have.

 

Just a theory about a culture that keeps getting further and further away from the real, simple joys in life, enjoyment through sharing company with oneself, with others and with the natural world around them.

better place DaykEgner Mamasweed Kurci and Kay Degner

better place DaykEgner Mamasweed Kurci and Kay Degner

Go out into Nature and get Lost, without anything

Go out into Nature and get Lost, without anything

Certainly this epidemic can not be reduced to blaming it on capitalistic commercialism. What’s the remedy? Go out into nature, without any electronic gadgets or stuff, and get lost.

Carol Keiter horse NYC Climate March '14

Carol Keiter horse NYC Climate March ’14

Propose a “Humanity Without Borders” Commission made of Collaborative countries to Create Jobs & Place Refugees Worldwide into 1. Renewable Energy Production Operations 2. Affordable Elderly Care Positions

Propose a “Humanity Without Borders” Commission made of Collaborative countries to Create Jobs>Place Refugees Worldwide into 1. Renewable Energy Production Operations (Wind, Solar, Wave, Geothermal) 2. Affordable Elderly Care Positions

renewable energy wordcloud

renewable energy wordcloud

Given: there are as many opinions as there are fingerprints. Some are more molded into particular alignments with a given fraternity, community, language group or identification with a particular religious, political or economic regime. I’ve listened to a number of different opinions in the last 10 days, all pretty educated ones; ranging from the idealistic to the pragmatic. Each provide lessons.

helping hands elderly care

helping hands elderly care

I think that the whole world needs to make some radical, revolutionary changes in response to all of the things happening right now. There is no choice to maintain the status quo of how things are. People need to step out of their comfort zones and into more proactive than reactive stances. Step out of their insular communities and look and act with a larger incentive; that of recapturing a sense that there is more to life than merely the exchange rate and a particular point of view. What is happening now with the climate, the pollution, the higher levels of economic and racial inequality and the dissemination of species and the mass exodus of peoples from lands all over the world due to economic or political crisis, is unprecedented. And that this flow of migration away from the regions with such bleak circumstances is in many ways connected to and because of what is happening or produced and exported – directly or indirectly – from other more powerful nations of the world. This exodus from lower altitude lying countries, along with Carbon Dioxide levels, will only rise, unless we do something about it.

heart wordcloud ederly care

heart wordcloud ederly care

Everyone is going to have to face this challenge. A challenge beyond aeons of fraternal arguing, religious opposition, power mongering and basing everything on the GDP and finance. Man’s energy choices have resulted in the degradation of the earth and all of its creatures, along with more severe extreme weather patterns. And now, amalgamating into a flood of people from their bleak circumstances. The additional challenge is a growing aging population that also deserve the respect and dignity of having their needs met.

I propose “Humanity Without Borders

I say, create the room and motive to solve several crises with the same goal; to relocate people by establishing a Humanity Without Borders board made up of dozens of different membership countries. Their mission: to relocate refugees with dignity, and placement into work.

The world has been watching a flood of refugees from all over the world; central American towards their Northern neighbors, Syria, North, East and Central Africans into Europe, lured by smugglers, who like drug dealers, are mostly intent on making a profit, by any means possible. We’ve been watching as people have been herded into horrific conditions and treated with anger, fright and contempt.

This is something that is bigger than any one nation can handle, and once again, perhaps created because of these foreign lands that they are fleeing towards, indirectly from the financial model and directly because of the CO2 levels rising, affecting the weather patterns to such an extreme that their resources are depleting as the unrest and political turmoil rises. These small-time smugglers are profiteering on delivering people out of their sordid environments as if they’re fugitives.

Yet we could construct something to solve the tensions, perhaps even slow down the desire to abandon their own countries, by creating a global panel representative of a host of different ethnicities and governments worldwide, to join in this emergent “Humanity Without Borders” mission: to place refugees worldwide into working towards the production of renewable energy plants worldwide, and the service of the elderly in the growing populations of elderly and declining birthrates in several nations of the Western World including the USA and Germany as well as Japan and China in the Eastern Hemisphere, to be trained in healthcare.

This would be creating jobs and placing people into sustainable economic conditions, while helping with the crushing demand of restructuring our infrastucture towards renewable and clean energy to curb the pollution and destructive dirty energy practices of oil and coal, and fulfill the need for human assistance to elderly. Empowerment, a growth in quality of life, a renewal of the environment and a cross-generational reach to honor the dignity of life into old age, would be just some of the positive repercussions of this placement.

Perhaps, a mass transformation of building towards renewable and ecologically sustainable production and practices, would dramatically improve the quality of well, everything.

jobs 2012 renewable energy

jobs 2012 renewable energy

There is no shortage of jobs! There is a shortage of the means of funding a complete restructuring of the industries as we know them. But there are examples of great ingenuity and success stories of renewable energy everywhere.

There is no shortage of money! Just look at the amount of campaign money in the United States presidential race. A Choice of Billionaires. There are two categories in demand globally in goods and services: 1. restructuring energy production to put large scale renewable energy systems in place – solar, wind, geothermal, wave, etc. and 2. the service of care, particularly for aging populations in the US, Japan, China etc,

My idea to curtail and meet the worldwide refugee challenge: the creation of a non-denominational, non-politically or religiously aligned panel of members of the world community Humanity Without Borders, based at the UN Headquarters for example.

It can be done. China has exemplified achieving massive construction in an astoundingly short period of time. Though clearly not without experiencing the fallout of industrialization, they have also created some quite green enterprises.

This is my proposal, and if you want to read further, here’s how I arrived at this idea, what influenced me.

green planet renewable energy

green planet renewable energy

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

I listened to Annie Leonard’s Story of Solutions; her response to our Western consumer driven capitalistic mode. I’ve listened to the historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz talk of the growing trends that point to the systemic failures of the current model of Capitalism. His book discusses decentralizing alternatives, leading to the democratization of wealth and ownership. “If you don’t like capitalism or state socialism, what do you want?” He talks of systemic change nurturing principles of Democracy, Ownership, Community and Ecological Sustainability; a Pluralist Commonwealth.

I’ve listened to the Pope and read Daily Kos : excerpts of The Popes Encyclical. Time magazine September 28, 2015 issue with Bernie Sanders on the cover, has an article about the Pope by Elizabeth Dias, “The New Roman Empire”, http://time.com in which she describes his impact in the world. “The Pope’s activism will be put to the test on his visit to the U.S.…seen by many as a wellspring of some of the global ills he has attacked – corporate greed, colonial exploitation, economic inequality – and his pronouncements on everything from climate change to immigration…His climate encyclical scope was wide: it talked about everything from individuals’ air-conditioning use to how environmental degradation is causing poverty and migration…calling for a bold cultural revolution, for example, Francis said the rich and powerful were pushing a model of development based on fossil-fuel consumption that ended up hurting the poor.”

I’ve also learned of the Band of Sisters, the Universe Story & Ecotheology, a transformative view of Catholic priests which is becoming a movement, identifying the supremacy of nature and our place in it as ecotheology. Wherein the quality of life is based on our spiritual relationship to the Earth, as opposed to being economically based.

I listened to my brother in law, Graeam Cohen, a well learned British businessman and historian with knowledge and understanding of the conflicts occurring presently between different religious groups in Europe and the Middle East as well as an historic understanding of the roots of the world as it is today. His pragmatic understanding of the status quo, is that the hegemonies of the world are run through economics and power/money and military might. He points out that the history of western civilization stems back to the Greeks and Romans, in which the military was an irrevocable part of the larger scheme of rule and control. Today, corporations as any other business enterprises are ultimately protected under the sovereignty of the land in which they are incorporated. Corporations don’t have military to protect themselves, they have lobbyists, as do every other group.

He spoke casually of the fallouts of an occasional polluted stream or earth quake as being perhaps burdensome, but inevitable natural consequences of moving ahead with the production of the economic machine, which must, must keep producing and making a profit. This is measuring the world’s teetering economic balance with the stick of the GDP. Easier said, when you aren’t living directly next to a petroleum or coal based industry that borders your back yard. I can understand his points, and don’t doubt that they are exceedingly accurate in capturing what most businessmen would also be inclined to view as what is of utmost importance: economic strength, military might which protects the hegemony in a world which is heavily dependent on finance. A world of business that mostly responds to the urgency of making a profit and often with short-sighted, short-term goals and not much of an inspiration to think beyond that model.

Yet I believe, as the speakers at the New Economy forum and https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/economist-john-maynard-keynes-vision-of-the-wto/, that there are indeed alternatives.

What if, everyone would grow gardens in their back yards, along with town, community and neighborhood gardens. What if fruit and nut trees were planted everywhere – with plants and crops suitable climatically and geographically to that region – with the surplus going directly back into the community? what if a massive infrastructure for recycling, waste, water run-off and transportation overhauls were created > with the intention to create cleaner, safer, less polluted, ecologically sustainable and more attractive communities. What if there was an overhaul in creating green transportation alternatives; bike lanes, bicycles, hydrogen cell/solar/electric/salt water powered automobiles, maglev high speed train lines, clean and energy efficient interregional train systems.

And that a new expedient United Nations driven unilaterally representative group help to expedite the strategic placement of people all over the world.
What if it actually could be done?

Systemic Failure of Consumer-driven Corporate Capitalism births a New Economy

“This economic revolution isn’t being consciously driven, yet, however it’s an option that could prevail”, says Gar Alperovitz. It is spawning and evolving from the discontent and pains that our current system and its failures and lack of alternatives, is giving birth to. We’re at the pre-history, of something quite historic!

earth_digital_flow copy

I sat among the choir. A note about Annie Leonard speaking in Baltimore, an environmental activist whose Story of Stuff first sparked my attention, arrived in my inbox. We attended the “People and Planet First” IPS conference to educate ourselves, exchange information and spread the word. It was hosted at the University of Baltimore, September 19th, 2015. The final session was moderated by ‘Institute for Policy Studies’ Director, John Cavanagh.

The conference looked at our current challenges from a wider perspective; seeing the various systemic problems ensuing from our current corporate capitalism model, as quite interdependent. The environmental problems of mass extinction, pollution and rising carbon dioxide levels along with the social problems of inequality and injustice, are all tied to the current economic model; which maintains and concentrates its wealth by funneling it back to the source (the 1%), instead of redistributing wealth and power (and empowerment) among the citizens and the community. And spoke of an emerging business model from community gardens, composting, water run-off and waste management to setting up local business alliances, local banks, farmer cooperatives and student civic actions that join the local alliances to promote investments in local businesses.

Annie Leonard, US Greenpeace director of ‘Story of Stuff’ fame, presented her more recent informational video “Story of Solutions”. It points to the fact that we need to completely step out of what is driving the capitalism machine of quantity, to an entirely different game which seeks quality of life – equality and freedom for people and quality of life for all creation. A model beyond merely consumption.

Historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz presented his ideas amassed in the preparation for his latest book, “What Then Must We Do by Gar Alperovitz?”, talking of alternatives to Corporate Capitalism and Socialism, as clearly the American empire is in decay. On almost every indicator, there’s a deeper trend over the past decades which reveals that there’s a systemic crisis in the United States. The systemic design that we’ve lived with for a long time, in which corporations control the capital, reveal that the surplus is not being returned to benefit the communities and the people, but siphoned off to make the 1% who are the owners, more and more wealthy. This trend of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, of increasing inequality, increasing sickness within populations due to pollutants, decreasing prosperity among the 99%.

Corporate Capitalism and the American Empire as we know it, is giving birth to something new, which innovative Americans are creating all over the country. Gar Alperovitz mentions that this certainly isn’t anything the media is covering. In fact, many don’t believe that alternatives exist, until they see examples of what other groups and communities have accomplished. “Often we don’t know what our neighbors are doing”, says Gar. “Systems typically revolve around ‘who has control of the wealth’. The rule of royalty in the feudalism of the middle ages, in the present day manifests itself as ‘Corporate Capitalism’, of which the extreme is fascism, control by authoritarian rule.”

Sometimes noisily, but often times quietly, communities around the country – of which Maryland is an example of being ahead of the wave – are transforming our culture by decentralizing ownership. By democratizing the wealth through becoming owners of their own goods and services, they are able to maintain a number of things; circulating surplus back into their own operations and communities (rather than it being syphoned off to the 1%), empowering themselves, making conscious decisions to ensure that all aspects of operations have the lightest ecological footprint possible and generating freedom through participation in ownership and production and wealth.

We currently have a system of enormous waste, in which we continue to manufacture and create more stuff, because that is a NEED embedded in capitalism. Capitalism must produce more, to ensure profit.

Examples of alternatives are in cooperative enterprises, worker-owned companies, credit unions, 25% of American electricity is socialist in structure, social enterprises like CREDO (using profits for social and political purposes), neighborhood corporations, land-trusts that are socialized (to control land inflation and gentrification).

Following examples of success such as Mondragón in the Basque region of Spain. Mondragon Corporation networked democratized ownership where capital is being decentralized to empower and enrich the communities by circulating surplus back into local communities. Consciously making decisions to connect to all other suppliers and parts connected to the whole system, with conscientious efforts to localize and work within a ‘green’ system. It is just the beginning.

I apologize for any grammatical errors or gaps in information, however I must now leave to hitch to Washington D.C. to attend the People for Climate Justice Climate Rally in Washington D.C., coinciding with Pope Francis’ delivering his tenets of wisdom to the White House.

What Humans Currently Do | Excerpt from “The Universe Story”

Our Solar System arose 4.5 Billion years ago. The Earth has evolved – through a series of transformations – to even enable life to form.

From the beginning, as our universe continues to evolve in its cosmogenesis, intelligent intent is present – at all levels > towards differentiation, autopoiesis and communion.

NASA image, Cygnus Loop, Supernova Stellar Explosion, 15,000 years ago

NASA image Cygnus Loop Supernova Stellar Explosion 15,000 years ago

 

Excerpts from the authors

Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry of “The Universe Story”

Ecological Buddhism – A Buddhist Response to Global Warming

Presently, the human race enters the The Ecozoic Era.

Brian Swimme is one of the main people with whom to study, to understand the cosmological shift necessary to a new cosmology.

 

 

“As the natural world recedes in its diversity and abundance, so the human finds itself impoverished in its economic resources, its imaginative powers, its human sensitivities and in significant aspects of its intellectual intuitions.”

Devastation of Rainforest

Davastation of a Rainforest

 

Here’s a link to the footage of Forest Heroes from a drone of the devastation of a rainforest: Astra’s forest destruction in Indonesia.

 

“The pathos is that we are presently deliberately terminating the most awesome splendor that the planet has yet attained. We are extinguishing the rainforests, the most luxuriant life system of the entire planet, at the rate of an acre each second of each day. Each year we are destroying a rainforest area the size of Oklahoma.

Throughout the planet we are not only extinguishing present forms of life, yet also eliminating the very conditions for the renewal of life in some of its more elaborate forms.

We have moved from such evils as suicide, homicide, and genocide, to biocide and geocide, the killing of the life systems of the planet and the severe degradation if not the killing of the planet itself. We have moved from simple physical assault on the planet, to disturbance of the chemical balance of the planet through our petrochemical industries, to questionable manipulation of the genetic constitution of the living being of the planet by our genetic engineering, to the radioactive wasting of the planet through our nuclear industries.”

Bird sanctuary,  Gulf Petrochemicals Industries Co.

Bird sanctuary at Gulf Petrochemicals Industries Co.

 

Ironically, this image of a bird sanctuary at Gulf Petrochemicals Industries Co., is courtesy of the president of the Petro company. A public relations blog on how hunky dory everything is, with the company sitting on top of a fragile ecosystem.

 

 

“That human well-being could be achieved by diminishing the well being of the Earth, that a rising Gross Domestic Product could ignore the declining Gross Earth Product, is the basic flaw in the Wonderland Myth.”

momgoesgreen.com:my-thoughts-on-the-gulf-oil-spill

momgoesgreen.com:my-thoughts-on-the-gulf-oil-spill

 

 

“These centuries of “progress” are now ending with increasing stress for the human is final evidence that;

what humans do to the outer world they do to their own interior world.

 

! Next Blog ¡ What we humans need to do in our emerging Echoic Era, to allow the paradigm shift in our conscious awareness to emerge.

We are Earth> Occupy the Planet!

Introduction to my book “Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion”

Introduction

http://spinonmatter.carbonmade.com/projects/4800092#1

Though this tale is fiction, the book is woven throughout with supporting factual theories, that emerge as the story evolves. This non-fiction evidence is laced with science; biology, geology, cosmology and physics, which substantiates how this theoretical world can exist. The scientific basis of this book with its substantial bibliography to allow the reader for further exploration of the topic, is proof of how this world which the characters encounter, can exist at all. I invite you on this intellectual and spiritual adventure.

Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion trailer thumbnails

Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion trailer thumbnails

As the writers of “The Universe StoryBrian Swimme and Thomas Berry indicate. All of the energy of the entire universe today was present in the initial Flaring Forth. And though no carbon-based life or stabilized forms of matter that we see today could have lasted for even a fraction of an instant during this, it was the birth of time and space, from which all creation is intricately related.

The authors mention the evolution of the human species up to the present, stating in their prologue: “The dominant entity that emerged was not any particular nation-state but the multi-national corporation. These new institutions directed vast scientific, technological, financial and bureaucratic powers toward controlling Earth processes for the benefit of the human economy. By the end of the twentieth century, the destruction left by the wars between nations was dwarfed in significance by the destruction of the natural systems by industrial plunder. In geological terms, human activities in the twentieth century ended the sixty-seven-million-year venture called the Cenozoic era. … Th future of Earth’s community rests in significant ways upon the decisions to be made by the humans who have inserted themselves so deeply into even the genetic codes of Earth’s process. The future will be worked out in the tensions between those committed to the Technozoic, a future of increased exploitation of Earth as resource, all for the benefit of humans, and those committed to the Ecozoic, a new mode of human-Earth relations, one where the well-being of the entire Earth community is the primary concern.”

http://spinonmatter.carbonmade.com/projects/4800092#1

Carol Keiter's drawing of dolphins jumping, one of the characters in "Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion"

Carol Keiter’s drawing of dolphins jumping, one of the characters in “Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion”

Hope walks through the fire, faith leaps over it.

Donations towards Carol Keiter’s writing, eBook, music composition, photography & illustrations are graciously accepted! PayPal Donate Button

Carol Keiter the blogger with camera in hand at MMNY-MakeMusicNewYork

Carol Keiter the blogger with camera in hand at MMNY-MakeMusicNewYork

Carol Keiter the blogger in New York city attending a Make Music New York event at Times Square presented by Yoko Ono

Carol Keiter the blogger in New York city attending a Make Music New York event at Times Square presented by Yoko Ono

Donations would be appreciated, since I’m not under any corporate umbrella, but drifting out here in cyberspace, fortunately connected to all of the information that has contributed to this book.

“Man” | animation by Steve Cutts | rEvoLuTioN

I just saw this video for the first time a few moments ago (December 8th, late night 2014). Every once in a while I publish the same content on each blog, when I feel that the information is potent enough. http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/man-animation-by-steve-cutts-revolution/

This is one of those times. It is an exquisite telling of the story.

In his 3 minute animation, “Man”, Steve Cutts reveals the stark reality of man’s cruelty throughout history. Not representative of all cultures, but most.

It’s a scary bunch of images, that we really need to wake up to.

Something’s gotta change!

Time for an evolution, for a revolution.

Man, animation, Steve Cutts

“Man” animation by Steve Cutts displaying the history of human beings’ cruelty towards life forms in 3 minutes.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfGMYdalClU

Free-fall Dream | Money | Barely Subsisting vs. Unparalleled Wealth

About a week ago I had another vivid dream. I was falling rapidly through a vertical shoot, with buildings and vegetation flying by me at an enormous rate of speed. I was however not ‘out of control’, but able to steer myself and reverse the gravity when I desired. The next morning, scanning the news on the online New York Times, I was struck when I saw this image,

"For the Love of Money" article in the New York Times by Sam Polk

“For the Love of Money” article in the New York Times by Sam Polk

This image was an astounding replication of my memory and perception of my free-fall dream. Sam Polk’s autobiographical story is about his Wall Street escapades and exodus. The irony is that both of these themes concern money. His story of someone suffering from an addiction to money, in which getting multi-million bonus’s was still never enough. My anxiety dream about not having enough money, was from someone barely scraping by. I delivered myself into my risky circumstances by moving to live abroad without having lined up a job ahead of time, which I did because of my familiarity of what I was getting into. My struggle is beginning to diminish presently, with projects springing up on the horizon.

Same topic – other end of the spectrum.

How is it that top executives and brokers are making bonus’s of multi-millions and still not satisfied, when in fact I can live quite contentedly, on a fraction of what they earn? Granted, I don’t have any dependents currently. Yet, I’ve learned to appreciate and value a different type of interaction with my reality. My happiness is less built on consuming, and more on creating. I derive appreciation from little things (the delight of the plethora of life forms surrounding us on this planet, albeit diminishing rapidly) and contentment from accomplishments built from what I have put effort into, deriving satisfaction in seeing the results. You can read about the millionaire’s discontents and discoveries in this OpEd article, “For the Love of Money“.

In light of this, a recent article in the Huffington Post by Robert Reich “Why There’s No Outcry“, mentions why Americans are too fearful to destabilize the little bit of security they have, to participate in a revolution similar to the “New Deal” or other ground-shaking reforms. I had alluded to this, suggesting what Obama could do, by putting people to work and dramatically turning around the economy. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/notch-up-the-governments-role-with-obamaworks-a-version-of-roosevelts-wpa/

“Change is coming anyway. We cannot abide an ever-greater share of the nation’s income and wealth going to the top while median household incomes continue too drop, one out of five of our children living in dire poverty, and big money taking over our democracy.

At some point, working people, students, and the broad public will have had enough. They will reclaim our economy and our democracy. This has been the central lesson of American history.

Reform is less risky than revolution, but the longer we wait the more likely it will be the latter.”