The Demoralized Mind essay by John F. Schumaker | The Moral Order by Anthropologist Raoul Naroll

“Western consumer culture is creating a psycho-spiritual crisis that leaves us disoriented and bereft of purpose” states John F Schumaker in his essay in the New Internationalist The Demoralized Mind. How can we treat our sick culture and make ourselves well?

John F Schumaker is a Clinical Psychologist who also has a 25-year career as a university lecturer across nations including the United States, Zambia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. He has researched and published articles on cross-cultural mental health, depression, psychology of religion, eating disorders and human suggestibility.

The Demoralized Mind, essay, John F Schumaker, New Internationalist magazine

The Demoralized Mind essay by John F Schumaker in New Internationalist magazine

By contrast to many traditional cultures that lack depression entirely, or even a word for it, Western consumer culture is certainly depression-prone…In the largest study of its kind, Ramin Mojtabai of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health sampled over 5,600 cases and found that only 38 per cent of them met the criteria for depression.

Contributing to the confusion is the equally insidious epidemic of demoralization that also afflicts modern culture. Since it shares some symptoms with depression, demoralization tends to be mislabelled and treated as if it were depression. A major reason for the poor 28-per-cent success rate of anti-depressant drugs is that a high percentage of ‘depression’ cases are actually demoralization, a condition unresponsive to drugs.

In the past, our understanding of demoralization was limited to specific extreme situations, such as debilitating physical injury, terminal illness, prisoner-of-war camps, or anti-morale military tactics.

But there is also a cultural variety of demoralization that can express itself more subtly and develop behind the scenes of normal everyday life under pathological cultural conditions such as we have today. This culturally generated demoralization is nearly impossible to avoid for the modern ‘consumer’.

Rather than a depressive disorder, demoralization is a type of existential disorder associated with the breakdown of a person’s ‘cognitive map’. It is an overarching psycho-spiritual crisis –
Its driving features – individualism, materialism, hyper-competition, greed, over-complication, overwork, hurriedness and debt – all correlate negatively with psychological health and/or social wellbeing.

The level of intimacy, trust and true friendship in people’s lives has plummeted.

Without an existential compass, the commercialized mind gravitates toward a ‘philosophy of futility’, as Noam Chomsky calls it, in which people feel naked of power and significance beyond their conditioned role as pliant consumers.

Individualistic models of mind have stymied our understanding of many disorders that are primarily of cultural origin.

But recent years have seen a growing interest in the topic of cultural health and ill-health as they impact upon general wellbeing. At the same time, we are moving away from naïve behavioural models and returning to the obvious fact that the human being has a fundamental nature, as well as a distinct set of human needs, that must be addressed by a cultural blueprint.

In his groundbreaking book The Moral Order, anthropologist Raoul Naroll used the term ‘moral net’ to indicate the cultural infrastructure that is required for the mental wellbeing of its members.

Without an existential compass, the commercialized mind gravitates toward a ‘philosophy of futility’, as Noam Chomsky calls it, in which people feel naked of power and significance beyond their conditioned role as pliant consumers. Lacking substance and depth, and adrift from others and themselves, the thin and fragile consumer self is easily fragmented and dispirited.

Individualistic models of mind have stymied our understanding of many disorders that are primarily of cultural origin.

Human culture has mutated into a sociopathic marketing machine dominated by economic priorities and psychological manipulation.

Human culture has mutated into a sociopathic marketing machine dominated by economic priorities and psychological manipulation. Never before has a cultural system inculcated its followers to suppress so much of their humanity. Leading this hostile takeover of the collective psyche are increasingly sophisticated propaganda and misinformation industries that traffic the illusion of consumer happiness by wildly amplifying our expectations of the material world. Today’s consumers are by far the most propagandized people in history. The relentless and repetitive effect is highly hypnotic, diminishing critical faculties, reducing one’s sense of self, and transforming commercial unreality into a surrogate for meaning and purpose.

Cultural deprogramming is essential, along with ‘culture proofing’, disobedience training and character development strategies, all aimed at constructing a worldview that better connects the person to self, others and the natural world.

Erich Fromm sums up this challenge: ‘We can’t make people sane by making them adjust to this society. We need a society that is adjusted to the needs of people.’

Democracy in its present guise is a guardian of cultural insanity.
We are long overdue a cultural revolution that would force a radical revamp of the political process, economics, work, family and environmental policy.

It might seem that credibility, meaning and purposeful action would derive from the multiple threats to our safety and survival posed by the fatal mismatch between consumer culture and the needs of the planet. The fact that it has not highlights the degree of demoralization that infects the consumer age. With its infrastructure firmly entrenched, and minimal signs of collective resistance, all signs suggest that our obsolete system – what some call ‘disaster capitalism’ – will prevail until global catastrophe dictates for us new cultural directions.”

Though I am physically and emotionally fit, I’m financially challenged – affected more recently by dealings with several unscrupulous people in a recent housing situation. I’m happy however, and appreciate any donations towards my blog writing, eBook with science links, illustration, photography and music composition.
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Carol Keiter, blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger

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The Great Awakening | EcoSpirituality | Now Is The Time | The Giver

What is it that causes me to keep putting off taking my own work seriously? I have endowed ‘work’ for others all my life as something to value and adhere to? I learned the message from my parent’s, properly socialized into endowing ‘work’ from the outside, a duty, as something more of value than listening to the calls of my own destiny. It is true that I am presently suddenly endowed with heaps of ‘work’, that is helping to pay my credit card bills and rent. I am also working the hardest I ever have physically, to bicycle to get to these jobs; often commuting no less than 15 miles a day by bicycle.

I have however been given circumstances that have tremendously helped me in retrospect. One apartment that I moved into provided me with adequate warm clothing that I have been able to use towards my ski instructor job, for which I had had no adequate clothing with me since coming West a year ago. I have been able to acquire just what I needed to survive and make my little sphere of activity complete – allowing me to have the tools to prepare meals, something that i greatly value for health and aesthetics. I also have a favorite piano book with me which I use to go to a public place with a piano to practice. I have my bass guitar here as well to regularly practice a repertoire of songs that are part of that. I have been leant a bicycle to allow me to get to where I need to go. I am however feeling that I have been selling myself short.

I have had intellectual and spiritual nudges arrive just in the times that I have needed them. A week ago I suddenly became ill with a flu, which allowed me to now have a pause in work and the time to reflect and act in my own path. I have been so busy with working jobs for other organizations, that I’ve allowed my own path of completing my book, writing my blogs and composing music, to just drift to the side.

Prince Ea, Everybody Dies but not Everybody Lives

The path to a new beginning starts within you, with love. people-dont-choose-their-dreams-dreams-choose-them-prince-ea-everydody-dies-but-not-everybody-lives

I’ve been re-awakened again and again by the artist I recently discovered, Prince Ea, regarding not letting your own dreams drift away, and recognizing that to live fully, one must put effort and time behind one’s own dreams. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-mcdeez/what-prince-ea-wants-you-to-know_b_5945938.html

I read about this national immigrant walk-out day, after I experienced showing up to a local middle school and having all classes cancelled, and the entire school day disrupted, due to the fact that perhaps a third of the student body hadn’t shown up to school, as they were immigrant children. Santa fe is a sanctuary for immigrants.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-day-without-immigrants-20170216-htmlstory.html

During this day of no classes, I was privy to watching a film held for 8th graders, which suddenly put into very real and understood terms, the ‘analogy’ of this. It was directed by Phillip Noyce, and the book written by the same title by Hannah Arendt.

The Giver,-film-by Phillip Noyce, book by Lois Lowry

The Giver,-film-by Phillip Noyce
Book by Lois Lowry

Funny how despite reading a typically critical (easer to critique and find fault than to understand the messages) review, I suddenly had a eureka moment upon seeing this film. Brilliantly done to stage a fantasy, the filmmaker Phillip Noyce reveals in a series of images and story, what the intellectual Noam Chomsky has been saying for decades about the human race 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.

I watched the film and realized that the analogy, is actually what is happening. We are mutually ‘enculturated’ through https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enculturation what we learn through the media we consume (tv, commercial news, film & video and especially commercials) to learn what to value and believe in.

Sure, there are noble professions in which people strive to educate themselves and learn in order to bring a service or product that is helping humanity, but there is also a tremendous imbalance taking place, in which many people are working to live, and actually believe that they have freedom. As long as we are enslaved into believing that working to acquire a vehicle and to live up to the expectations of our peers in terms of material consumption, we are living a lie.

All those who are ‘studying business’ with the idea of making profit in mind, are even more demonstrating this. As long as we believe that our freedom is in material accumulation, the amount of time we can focus our attention on our electronic devices and not think twice about noticing a creature or sunset, then these corporate powers have accomplished their goal.

People are not free. As I was leaving the film riding home on my bicycle, I realize how this local community are completely isolated from one another in their automobiles; which they hold as their truest value, their acquisition and their demonstration of power. I realized that the corpocrisy is what is in control. And when I though about the huge, huge prominence of pharmaceuticals (both legally and ‘medically sanctioned’ and illegal) I realized that this dumbing down and diffusing of emotions and passion into black and white and grey, through (accepted diagnostic treatment) is indeed a tool of control by the powers which control us. We don’t even see it, because we accept that these are normal adaptations. Commercial advertising dictate what is important, physical beauty and prestige through material possession. I have stepped into the public school system and see that these are institutions designed in the treatment of the students as if they are in a penal system in which the utmost demonstration is not curiosity but obedience to authority.

Just days ago one of these insight gifts tumbled into my awareness, this article by Dahr Jamail, interviewing the ecologist Joanna Macy.

Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe: An Interview With Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout

Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe: An Interview With Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy By Dahr Jamail, Truthout, Interview

Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe: An Interview With Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Interview

In it she speaks of the philosopher and writer Hanna Arendt, who wrote “The Origins of Totalitarianism

“The inhuman economic machine does not love us back. It makes us into robots. It sucks us into the destruction of all that is. And even if we can’t turn it around now, at least we can wake up, so that in the time that is left we can discover who we are, just looking into each other’s eyes. Just looking into the face of the moon at night, or the trees, or the faces of our children and free ourselves. I think we want that.”

Now Is The Time, Leonardo DiCaprio, Speech on Climate Change

“Now Is The Time” Leonardo DiCaprio’s Moving Speech on Climate Change

Man, animation by Steve Cutts

Man, animation by Steve Cutts

Interesting that a few weeks ago I got a ride hitching down the Santa fe Ski mountain with a scientist who picked me up. We began talking about Trump and the environment. This man has been working with the National Park Service. He mentioned that within the first two days of Trump’s presidency, when Trump noticed a reference to ‘Climate Change’ among the National Park Service, that he immediately blocked off the entire National Park Service twitter account. Immediately frozen. Yet, that within just hours of this occurring, a brilliant IT person hastily established an ‘alt national park service twitter account’, to which more than a Million scientists joined within the first day. The ‘alt twitter account’ has been embraced by NOAA, NASA and other scientists and agencies just as swiftly. The man said to me with a twinkle in his eye

“Who would have thought that the resistance would be lead by Park Rangers?”

I happened to hear the same theme coming up in my own mind spontaneously and through the words of friends and communication of writer’s and artists simultaneously all around me, is that love does conquer fear. And I happened with delight within a text by Thick Nhat Hanh and reminder of the same concept that I heard associated with the Aboriginees, Indigenous people of Australia, that to truly love something and to have empathy for it, to become it, is the only way that people will wake up to loving every aspect of creation. As long as we are separated and isolated to our true nature by this imposed economic viewpoint that the pursuit of money and material accoutrements is the only goal, we will be perpetually living the lie, that is conveniently continually jammed down our throat. No peace and love and harmony do not arrive through full-throttle blinded identification with money and its pursuit, but by grasping in each moment the miracle of life that surrounds us.

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/band-of-sisters-universe-story-ecotheology/

Wildlife Conservation Agenda, Defenders of Wildlife

Wildlife Conservation Agenda, Defenders of Wildlife

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Carol Keiter the blogger back in Tucson, Arizona summer '16

Carol Keiter the blogger back in Tucson, Arizona summer ’16

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?

My Body is Contained Within the Limitlessness of My Soul | Jim Carrey Commencement Address

Every once in a while I post the exact same blog simultaneously on each of my sites. This is one of those times. It occurs when I come across something that I feel is so profound and important, that it must be shared.

It is this! Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address to the 2014 graduating class of Maharishi University (MUM).

Jim Carey’s Secret of Life The Journey of Purpose

Jim Carey’s Secret of Life The Journey of Purpose

I’m obviously big on the subject matter of Jim Carrey’s speeches, as I’d posted a blog referencing one this past summer. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/love-over-fear-jim-carrey-supermoon-hitchabout-lakota-sioux-secret-within/ Same-same, but different. I also recently wrote about a similar subject; matters of heart and choosing love over fear. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/addendum-to-journey-in-space-time-ignited-by-matters-of-heart-epigenetics-heartmath/

Jim Carrey announces that he’s found his ministry in the Church of Freedom from Concern (FFC)

You can spend your whole life worrying about ghosts and about the path to the future.

So many of us choose our path out of fear, disguised as practicality. He mentions that his father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that it was possible for him. Instead, he took the conservative path and chose a safe job as an accountant. And ironically was sooner than later ‘let go’ by the firm. Point of the story:

You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance in doing what you love.

Carrey says I’m here to plant a seed, to help you move forward in life.

Will that seed be allowed to take root? Or will you be forced by Monsanto to use their seed? which causes knowing laughter to ripple through the audience.

Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. Ask the universe for it!

sunset

sunset


He goes on to say, I used to believe that who I was, ended at the edge of my skin. Then I learned that everything outside the vehicle is part of me too! We have no limits…you can’t contain the container.

How can you serve the world?

Look at what the world needs, that your talent can provide.

The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.

Finding true peace lies beyond personality, beyond the perception of others, invention and disguise, beyond effort itself.

• To find real peace, you have to let the armor go.

• Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world.

• Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form!

• Risk being seen in all of your glory.

• The imagination is always manufacturing scenarios, both good and bad. The ego tries to keep you trapped in the multiplex of the mind.

• Our eyes are not merely viewers, they are also projectors, running a second story over the picture.

• Fear is writing the script; the working title “I’ll never be enough.”

• How tricky this ego is, with the promise of something, that we already possess!

• Let the universe know what you want, and work toward it, while letting go of how it comes about.

• Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen, but to open the door in your head. Then when the door appears in your life, just walk through it.

• Don’t worry if you miss your cue, there are always doors opening.

Take a chance on faith. Not religion, but faith. Not hope, but faith.
He says I don’t believe in hope. Hope is a beggar.

Hope walks through the fire and faith leaps over it.

Carol among crowd in New York city attending a Make Music New York event at Times Square presented by Yoko Ono

Carol among crowd in New York city attending a Make Music New York event at Times Square presented by Yoko Ono

Carol Keiter, blogger, Make Music New York,Times Square, Yoko Ono

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

“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

Spiritual Revolution | Mind Shift | Change the Collective Cultural Operating System

I dramatically recommend taking a few moments to watch this interview and discussion between a few brilliant minds with good intentions – with active, undivided attention. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PYpHFwcITI

Full Length – Mind Shift: Enlightening Our Global Culture. And interview by Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and creator of the online newsletter http://realitysandwich.com/
with the actor & comedian Russell Brand, currently doing a world tour called “the Messiah Complex” and Eve Ensler who created V-Day through her play “the Vagina Monologues“. As stated in wikipedia, “Ensler is a prominent activist addressing issues of violence against women and girls. In 1998, her experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls.”

Eve states that “the only salvation is kindness”. Russell agrees, a spiritual revolution can be achieved simply with kindness.

I have a very small ecological ‘footprint’. I mostly ride bicycle. I’m not under ANY umbrella, corporate or otherwise, nor have funding or grants. I’m asking that if you read this far, either to make a donation yourself, or ask a friend with more capital (more disposable income) to make one on your behalf! I’ll take .001% of any billionaires that might happen to be reading this. ‘-)) I’m campaigning for myself and asking you to contribute, if you can. The donation button below leads to my German PayPal. The info to fill out is pretty self-explanatory. I need to purchase a new Mac 2nd hand computer, and start all over to acquire software towards writing, design and music composition. The credit card or direct deposit transactions are completely secure! Thank you very much. Feedback is always welcome as well. With love!

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mind closed eyes wide open

mind closed
eyes wide open

mind open  eyes wide shut

mind open
eyes wide shut

Greed & Profit-driven Aims to Protect Wealth & Power = Path of Destruction

This blog was incited by having read a comment on someone’s Facebook page, regarding a man’s decision to NOT give a TED Talk, because he wouldn’t be paid.

The idea of some kind of monetary compensation for presenting a TED talk never occurred to me. Of the many excellent presentations I’ve seen, shouldn’t the fact that one’s ideas are considered worthy enough to present them to an audience of potentially hundreds of millions of people, suffice? I was under the impression that the point of TED Talks is to spread ideas, for the good of humanity and all of the other species that cohabit this planet. Through the education and perspective I personally received through my family heritage and genetics, I have been granted a great deal of wealth; health, intelligence, analytical skills and an abundance of creativity. On top of that, I am physically fit, allowing me to move through this world unencumbered. I have education and knowledge, and the resourcefulness and curiosity to obtain more. Yet, I am teetering on the edge of financial poverty. Not because of poor planning, but because of my adventurous spirit combined with idealism, which leads to risk-taking. The wisdom I follow is from those who genuinely care about humanity and all of the other species with whom we share this planet. People like Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Carl Gustav Jung, Deepak Chopra among others, including the wisdom coming from Native American Indians and literary and spiritual guides from the Middle East and Asia. I wish to continually create possibilities to learn and develop my skills, to be the best that I can be in order to give something back to the world. Reading about a person complaining because the TED talk doesn’t pay the presenter, irked me. It made me stop everything else, to comment. It ignited the fuse of my annoyance regarding the injustices I see presently in the world today.

Our world is corrupted by money, and the greed and drive of people to make a profit and protect their power, no matter the consequences. It is the large, incorporated manufacturers of the world, those who have invested in the extraction and transport of non-renewable energy, telecommunications, technology, pharmaceutical industries and those who control information, that often are responsible for the careless and myopic profit-making, resulting in the path of destruction of the environment and eradication of many of the species. The imbalance of wealth, lack of education and instability of the planet (human industry-induced global warming) are all a result of this misplaced greed of a small percentile. The vast majority of people and species, are all suffering from overpopulation and economic misfortune, driven by sustained ignorance.

Many of the scientists, teachers, artists and people with creative insights and ideas who genuinely help to guide people and make the world a better place, are NOT the movers and shakers. Presently, the “leaders” of the United States government are not elected for their insight and desire to do good and justly represent the people, they are corporate sponsored actors who tug the line, speak the voice of those who place them in these positions, for an inflationary cost that is disproportionate to what democratically chosen elections should cost. In the world today, those who have more wealth, are more easily able to carve paths that slide around the rules that everyone else must follow, making deductions, avoiding taxes through all sorts of loopholes, while the vast majority are just getting by. I am absolutely disgusted with the idea of people protecting their wealth and power, at the cost of others.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

Do you think that Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who passionately wants to improve the condition of women in Pakistan, by voicing the right of girls to receive an education (which will ripple to affect many other parts of the world) who was shot by the Taliban because of her courage and honesty, is driven by profit? I could go on, but I’ll share this in another forum – my own blog, for which incidentally, I earn absolutely no money, but am driven by my own passion to recirculate ideas and events, purely because of their value and the wish to share. Thank fucking DOG, because even the concept of GOD, by most religions, has been distorted and compelled by those wishing to sustain their wealth and power.

The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude | SoulPancake | Upworthy: Things that Matter

Since I’ve been blogging about happiness a number of times and then had the surprise and delight while living back in the United States to attend these college courses for several semesters at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania – a consortium on the subject of “Happiness” – I’m very happy to share this with all of you. I’m really starting to like upworthy.com the more I receive the postings. This particular video made me cry, bringing tears of gratitude, to realize what is truly important in life. ‘-)

Soul Pancake is, in their words, a brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humor.

SoulPancake is, in their words, a brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humor.

According to this SoulPancake production, scientists have discovered that one of the overwhelming indicators of how happy you are in your life, is how much gratitude you show.

They did an experiment, and encourage you to do the same.

one of the subjects of the experiment

one of the subjects of the experiment

 

another subject in the experiment on gratitude

another subject in the experiment on gratitude

The experiment, conducted by SoulPancake, can be watched in this short video on the ‘Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude’, presented by upworthy.

I’ll have to test it out too! As the saying goes, we can’t choose our family or genetics, but we can choose what kinds of people we associate with and our ‘responses’ to situations. I choose to be around people who have tolerance, respect and gratitude along with sharing humor and joy in life. ‘-) Feeling self worth and recognizing one’s value, can be disfigured, if you hang around people who constantly criticize, or for that matter, completely ignore you. Listening to one’s intuition is very important, in terms of moving towards or staying away from people, in terms of how they respond to you. Ultimately, tuning in to what makes you happy and what you love to do most, reflects those things you do best, and the path that you should be following. Often what is truly worthwhile, what has value in life, are the simple things. It has little to do with material acquisitions or wealth, and everything to do with how much one appreciates the little things and how one navigates through the little decisions and circumstances. As a single female, I recently encountered a scenario in which I began sharing company with someone who I felt did not value my presence or company. Fortunately, the ‘red flags’ went up. I can’t be happier to go in the opposite direction, and enjoy being. Enjoy!

Earlier in the year, before even concretely making the decision to return to Berlin, I was also blogging about the Science of Happiness https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/tools-for-decision-making-freewill-astrology-the-science-of-happiness/

The blog links to the Futurist, featuring two articles having to do with the subject of happiness. One written by two psychologists, David G. Myers and Ed Diener on the “Science of Happiness”. The second is about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of the “flow” theory of happiness, in which he hones into the connection between creativity and happiness.

Following are two poignant quotes by Albert Einstein:

Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Think about it and well, feel and digest what he means!

Pursuit of Happiness  | IDEA  | Authentic Happiness  |  PERMA | Motion

In my pursuit of happiness, a couple months ago I decided to take a trip. It appeared to be pretty spontaneous, yet I had intended to eventually make this circuit, after having lived for the last 6 years in Europe. I had moved to Barcelona in 2004 and then Berlin, Germany for a second time in 2005. It had been a while since I had physically visited these former communities and friends living there, upon returning to the United States on the eve of Christmas, 2011. My first prompt was to reach San Francisco by the day of the How Weird Street Faire http://howweird.org, which would certainly bring a lot of people together in one place, from among the community of people I knew while living in the ccc warehouse, back in the day when my housemate Brad Olsen had established the first How Weird. En route, I decided that I could visit friends in Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico, as I made my way to the West coast. I was originally drawn to Taos, a high desert town not far from the Colorado border and nestled in the lower reaches of the Rocky mountains, for snow skiing. I had worked at the ski area there teaching skiing for several years, then later lived in Santa Fe in 2003, teaching skiing at the Ski Basin. The point of this trip was to assess where I might wish to relocate, if it happens to be in the United States, and also to visit with friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. As I mentioned in the last blog, I found a flight to Denver, with the intention of hitch-hiking to Taos, as my first destination. After staying in Taos for the first stretch, I continued hitching on to several additional New Mexico locations, and further on to California. I successfully made it to the street fair on time, and really had a delightful visit throughout. I cut my journey short however, because of a number of reasons. Though my initial incentive was to investigate Portland and Seattle as well as Los Angeles, as potential places to consider relocating, I opted against them. Basically, I intuited that probably each of these towns offer a combination of what I’m looking for in a residence; lots of opportunities for people to participate in music, cultural, art related and outdoor sports like mt. biking, ultimate frisbee and nearby mountains for skiing and snow boarding, as well as having a solid infrastructure for bicycle routes along with a good public transportation network (with the exception of LA). However, what I would miss, is the accessibility of dipping into different European languages on a regular basis, which is typical in Berlin. I studied cultural anthropology and am fascinated by languages and the movement of them along cultural migratory routes. I have to admit that I am not too keen on monotone weather either, and really prefer the dynamics of four seasons.

My visiting adventure came to a poignant exclamation mark wrap-up, when I found myself seated on a return flight to the East coast next to a woman who had just written an article http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/elaine-obrien/2012053122448 in Positive Psychology News about health, fitness and general well being. She was touching on the subject of happiness, which I’ve ironically been blogging about numerous times. The mantra of many of my friends is ‘there are no coincidences’. Elain was returning from the 2012 IDEA Health and Fitness Convention, and had just published an article about it, writing specifically about the association. Here are their publications. http://www.ideafit.com/idea-fitness-journal

With her aura of helpfulness and kindness, Elaine was ebullient as she offered information about the subject of fitness, health and Kinesiology (movement). Years ago when I lived in San Francisco and was sketching a guy sitting next to me at a bar, he asked me to draw my ‘favorite thing’. I responded with an impromptu picture of concentric circles, indicating that this was an image of the concept of motion. Here’s the original sketch on a napkin

and a subsequent version on a card I created.

Motion

I spontaneously revealed that motion is my favorite thing; both geographical, intellectual, physical, spiritual…indicating that through moving to a new place/perspective, can one acquire a new insight. I later read Elaine’s article and saw a quote of Plato’s prominently placed at the beginning: “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical exercise save it and preserve it.”

Elaine writes that Peter and Kathie Davis started the group IDEA, to ‘inspire the world to fitness and wellness’, back in 1982, which has now grown to 65,000 members worldwide. They wanted to create “an association where fitness professionals could learn from each other and from the experts”. According to Peter, “Fitness professionals focused mostly on the body for the first 25 years. What we at IDEA have tried to do in the last few years, is to encourage fitness leaders to understand the mind, the body, and the spirit together in a wholeness model. Through this, we can inspire wellness and positive transformation.” Their incentive is to re-frame the way that people look at health and fitness, to recognize how integrally these are related to the pursuit of happiness. They wish to inspire people to make healthier behavioral changes towards wellness.

She also quotes Tal Ben-Shahar, “Exercise feels good, enhances self-esteem, induces calm, improves thinking, makes you feel more attractive, has virtually no negative side effects, is legal, and is free.” He teaches a course on ‘Happiness’ within the Positive Psychology department at Harvard, University, and has written a book “Happier”. Interviewed on The Daily Show, he mentions that students claim that the course makes them feel happier. He hopes to raise the level of happiness and quality of life in the community.

How do we understand happiness and how can we apply this to our lives? There’s a growing movement in positive psychology and for the first time a ‘science of Happiness’. A study done by the Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, not to be confused with con man’-)) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Kahneman has found that people are less happy if they are too distracted. Therefore, this is not merely about physical fitness and motion, but the necessity of being ‘present’ in what you’re doing. In addition, studies demonstrate that meditation can actually affect how the brain works, so that people can feel the positive emotions more fully and be more resilient to deal with negative ones. Incidentally, my frustration with my refusal to specialize, and insistence in juggling multiple projects in disparate areas, sometimes causes me to feel like I’m not making enough headway. A few weeks ago as I was sensing this, I decided to ‘randomly’ pull a magazine out from a pile of “Utne Readers” to see if the one I picked might synchronistically deliver a message. Ahhh, the one that I slid out from near the bottom of the stack spoke ardently about my ‘problem’.

A Focused Life

It was the issue with the theme of “Focus” and “Why We Are So Distracted and What to Do About It

My airplane neighbor Elaine also talked about Dr. Martin Seligman, the Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It’s more than serendipity, that his homepage is “Authentic Happiness” His website welcomes visitors to use the tools and resources available for free.

An excerpt of his book, “Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being” “What Is Well-Being? The Original Theory: Authentic Happiness” describes that we not only make choices because something makes us feel good, with more measurable happiness; such as pleasure, comfort, delight, joy, ecstasy. But we also can really derive happiness by being ‘in the flow’ of an activity, when we are totally engaged. This is when time appears to stop, because we are so completely absorbed in an activity that we lose track of time. Engagement is different, even opposite to positive emotion he says, because people often become so involved in an activity that they are aware of nothing, and are not thinking or feeling. The flow involves having to employ your highest strengths and skills. With respect to this, I like to make the analogy of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, when he talks about “using the force”. Seligman states that the third element of happiness that he defines in his book, is meaning. Summarizing his well-being theory since revising it further, it is encompassed in these measurable elements which all contribute to happiness, expressed in the acronym PERMA. Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning/purpose and Accomplishment.

I like the fact that my journey pulled me back to these same themes, motion and happiness, which I am engaged in perpetually, in my pursuit of happiness, fulfillment and meaning. My intention is to aspire to and maintain health, resilience and awareness, balanced with forever engaging in what I love to do, so that I can somehow contribute to inspiring and guiding others to find their own path.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/happiness/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/guides-to-living-longer-happier-lives-right-here-right-now/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/speaking-of-happiness-laughter-yoga-giggling-guru-madan-kataria/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/happyness-making-the-best-of-what-you-have/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/gross_domestic_problem_-why-measurement-of-wealth-depends-on-a-healthy-environment/

a new chapter of de.light at the end of the tunnel

After being so exhilarated with my recent quest and adventure, and wanting nothing more than to devote my full attention, time and energy to describing and adding to it, ultimately, life got in the way. My present only source of income, after having been cut off from an earlier employer who had subsidized my housing – which afforded me the luxury of time to devote to my own writings – I have had to throw all of my time and attention into making my living. That is, I do business writing, on the topic of consulting. I learn a great deal through the subject matter which I write about, however, I’ve calculated that since my aim is quality rather than quantity, and I am paid per page, my income works out to about 4.50 euro/hour. In other words, it relegates very little time for me to concentrate on any of my other pursuits; of doing outdoor physical sports, writing my blog(s), my children’s book, playing bass guitar and composing music; all which in a perfect world, would and should have priority!

Part of de.light at the end of the tunnel, was the awakening recognition of how I was robbing myself – through the relationship I was devoted to – of celebrating myself & the pleasure of living life devoted to creativity to the fullest. I have realized during this process of awakening, that in fact, I am the only person responsible for the choices that I have made, which have lead to me continually being beaten down and not valued. I have therefore decided to share this letter I wrote, which in itself, is part of my process, of trying to understand, why I chose to commit myself to a person who didn’t value me. I am trying to finally resolve, a series of unfulfilling and unsupportive relationships, with the attempt to break the trend and my own tendency, to keep jumping back into the fire. As my dear father says: I’m like a moth attracted to the flame. Maybe some of this is the adventure of a conquest, but it is rather, a thinly disguised self-loathing, of never feeling that I’m good enough. It’s about time to resolve it and move on, and to start shining the light from within. I share this very personal letter to my ex-flame ha! the irony in that choice of words! I promise to once again continue with stories of my last adventure, and more to come. It appears that Carol the ex-patriot, is about to return from Berlin, Germany to the States, to continue my adventures from there. And if I play the cards right, I will be bounding on even wider adventures – with the help of financial security through grants and sponsors – to assist and support my ability to devote 111% of my precious life’s time towards doing what I passionately love to do the most, and which I do best.

the end of the last chapter:

To the ex-flame,

As usual, I wrote a long email to you, but decided to rewrite this instead. I have already told you many times the things that gratify ‘you’ and what I loved about what we shared. However, there are many things that I did not like, and which I tolerated. I mostly felt very alone, isolated and neglected during our relationship. There was a part of you that I completely respected, a voice that spoke with authority….But that’s not the point here, this isn’t about you, it is about me.

I have not loved and adored ‘myself’. Deep within myself, I have never felt that I deserved love, or that anyone could love me. That’s why I got together with you, and returned again and again, for you to mirror this self-loathing, right back to me! You reflected with your behavior, anger, disappointment, criticism, disrespect, annoyance and disgust with me, exACTly what I felt about myself and what I felt I deserved in life.

At times you may have thought that you saw someone who is confident & arrogant, who appears to know it all, who is fearless and adventurous,
but the other side of this
is a woman highly critical of herself, not confident, and feeling replaceable by anyone.

I was like an object on the periphery from the start when you were together with K. and even when you were ‘together’ with me. You rarely included me in your life or wished for me to know you, or wanted to get to know me. You didn’t value me, support and appreciate who I am and what I do, rarely wanted to spend time with me alone; to go swimming, hiking, traveling together, go on adventures, to go ‘out’ to art & music events, dancing, or even to take time to talk about life.

Hidden there, barely visible, is me, who at times feels attractive, graceful, intelligent, talented, patient, creative, devoted, faithful, compassionate, loving… Every once in a while you would see this part of me, and I think you hated seeing me confident; assuming that I act like I know everything and only want to take advantage of everyone.

It’s true that I am selfish, fearful & not very generous, believe me, I know my negative attributes! I have an addictive personality and such feeble self esteem burning beneath the flicker of confidence and superiority, that I chose to be with you, as you beat me up emotionally and physically.

I have to forgive myself, for incessantly giving all of my power and devotion to you, instead of honoring myself.

all the best,

carol