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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Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea | Stand for Trees | Severn Suzuki | Anjali Appadurai

I just came across these messages which echo in their empathy for the inhabitants of the earth affected by their environment and for the habitat loss of species; it’s about what we can and must do to actively engage in changes.

Dear Future Generations, Sorry, Prince Ea

Dear Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea

Prince Ea describes what a future generation may come across, when the Amazon Rain Forest becomes the Amazon desert…or when a tree is a thing of the past, yet stops himself to beckon the audience that it is not too late.

Dear Future Generations, Sorry, Prince Ea, I am not sorry, error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it

He urges to “look at the root, not at the branches of government…..we must globally warm our hearts….If we don’t all work together to save the environment, we will be equally extinct.”

Dear Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea. If we do nothing, regardless of racism, sexism, inequality... we will be Equally Extinct

Dear Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea. If we do nothing, regardless of racism, sexism, inequality… we will be Equally Extinct

Prince Ea says he was inspired to write this piece after visiting Africa and witnessing the destruction of the rain forest, where animals are losing their habitat at enormous rates.

And with reference to sorry doesn’t cut it, because we still have a chance to act; he brings up Stand For Trees, what he has chosen as an action to offset carbon.

buy Stand For Trees Certificate, forest communities, specific forest, tonne, CO2, earth's atmosphere.

Every time you buy a Stand For Trees Certificate, you help local forest communities around the world keep a specific forest standing and prevent a tonne of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere.

Stand for Trees certificate

Stand for Trees certificate

Stand for Trees How it Works You Buy a Stand for Trees Certificate, offsetting a 'tonne' of CO2, allowing forest to stand

Stand for Trees How it Works You Buy a Stand for Trees Certificate – offsetting a ‘tonne’ of CO2 – allowing forest to stand

This will naturally help communities living within these local forests to protect and honor their trees and want to maintain the forest as well as maintaining the corridor of land for all the species whose habitat is within these forests.

I came across the speeches of two young girls who had the courage to extend their voice to adults meeting in two separate climate summit events.

One features the Words of Wisdom of the 12 year old girl at the time of here speech in 1992, uploaded April, 2008 onto youtube.

Severn Suzuki, Rio De Janeiro, Earth Summit 1992

Severn Suzuki in Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit 1992

Severn Suzuki was the ‘girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes‘.

I am only a child, and yet I know, that if all of the money that is spent on war, was instead spent on environmental policies, Severne Suzuki girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes. She claimed that her father informed her, “You are not what you say, you are what you do.” She was speaking at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 1992 – United Nation’s Conference on Environment and Development (1992)

Severn said that her father informed her, “You are not what you say, you are what you do.” Investigating, I found that her father is certainly saying and doing things to inspire us. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/sustainability-david-suzuki-creative-consciousness-same-name-but-different/

At that time, Severn Suzuki was speaking for (ECO) The Environmental Children’s Organization – which she and several 12 and 13 year old friends started to engage with the world to make a difference. She came 5,000 miles from British Columbia to Rio to tell adults how their actions were causing her to lose her future. “I am only a child, and yet I know, that if all of the money that is spent on war, was instead spent on environmental policies.”

Severn Suzuki, Earth Summit Rio 1992, if money were invested in education, solutions to poverty and environmental devastation,  rather than  war

Severn Suzuki speaking at Earth Summit Rio 1992 if all the money spend on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental solutions.

Severn Suzuki grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In her speech she said, “In my country we make so much waste, we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to lose some of our wealth, afraid to share…

If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!”

Here is the full text of Severn Suzuki’s speech at the Earth Summit Conference in Rio, 1992.

She is since married with two children, intent still in making a difference through her education and activism. Think Global Green, listing Facts and Solutions about the environment.

19 years later, another young articulate and bold young woman spoke to a different climate conference, this time the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa in 2011. As a representative of the College of the Atlantic representing the Youth Delegation, Anjali Appadurai urged the dignitaries attending the UN summit for climate justice, demanding them to “Get It Done”!

Anjali Appadurai, Youth Delegation, College of the Atlantic, United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban, South Africa 2011, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

Anjali Appadurai, representing the Youth Delegation of the College of the Atlantic speaking to United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa 2011, covered by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz ~ 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 and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

Carol Keiter the blogger with Tibetan prayer flags, Native American dream catchers and green plants

Carol Keiter the blogger with Tibetan prayer flags, Native American dream catchers and green plants

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Earth to Paris | Place to B | Heart Dimension

Earth to Paris , Paris to Earth

Earth to Paris Paris to Earth

UN Foundation, Earth to Paris,  message to combat climate change to world leaders

Earth to Paris rallied people to urge world leaders to make bold committments to combat climate change World Leaders need to Hear from the World

As I excitedly told the custom’s agent returning from Paris with the words gushing out of me describing my adventure and the phenomenal gathering of people I had just been a part of, he responded smilingly, “Sounds like it was the place to be”. “Bah Oui Hey, THAT IS the NAME of it, Place to B!” And that is how the synchronicities were flying the entire time, in fact even before I knew that I’d be going there to participate.

And Indeed it was the Place to B.

Place to B and the Place to Brief homepage

Place to B and the Place to Brief homepage

It was the Place to Brief among climate activists, bloggers, journalists, entrepreneurs, artists and people representing their communities that have already been in the last years affected by global warming. This alternative media session of organized talks and workshops took place mostly under one roof, where many of the 600 people from 40 countries who attended it and participated, slept mostly under one roof. It was headquartered at the St. Christopher’s Inns, conveniently located at a triangular point within a few hundred meters of both the Gare de l’Est and the Gare du Nord, in central Paris. The event of information sharing was geared towards rewriting the story and presenting new ways to approach Climate Change from the media standpoint and learning about a plethora of techniques already successfully in practice to make a difference with better knowledge, understanding, information about degenerative agriculture as opposed to regenerative and sharing success stories of all sorts of entrepreneurs who are out in the world using their ingenuity and actions to dramatically affect peoples’ lives.

This epicenter gathering of people sharing information about ways to talk about climate change and sustainable alternatives and tremendously successful projects took place simultaneously during the two week sessions of heads of state meeting together just a bit northeast of Paris at the COP21, the Conference of Parties ‘Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015’.

Place to B set up by Anne-Sophie Novel and a team of 165 people to create this world-class event.

Place to B set up by Anne-Sophie Novel and a team of 165 people to create this world-class event.

The Place to B and particularly the Place to Brief, was conceived of by a French journalist and writer

The Place to B: Place to Brief was conceived of and founded by the journalist and author Anne-Sophie Novel and the director of production Nicolas Bienvenue. They were surrounded by a team of people who coordinated the continuous flurry of learning events and entertainment, with a tremendous group of visiting presenters, entrepreneurs and activists who each delivered their scintillating information and testimonies of successes and inspirational savvy from all corners of the world. Anne-Sophie thought of the idea in response to the journalists being blocked out of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. She marched forward with her terrific idea of creating a focal point where activists and news media could gather, and more and more people joined in with their support and energy towards the idea. It certainly did involve a huge commitment and coordination from so many people, with a packed two week schedule of events.

I, as well as many people will be seeding this information. I’ve learned so much that I was unaware of, such as the distinction between degenerative and regenerative agriculture. We were all introduced to so many new perspectives and ways of looking at everything; new information about methods of agriculture, devices that can be made quite easily at a very low cost that can dramatically aid peoples’ lives, save lives and improve their quality of life. We were also endowed with a lot of historical insights peeling away what we don’t learn through the media, such as why the economy is the way it is, why the degradation of the environment has spun out of control the way it has with the evolution of the Western profit-driven capitalist world. Speakers like Amy Goodman, Vandana Shiva and Naomi Klein shared their powerful insights.

At the same time, there was an uncanny – as if carefully planned – theme of information that talked of re-creating the story, probing for different ways of framing the situation, different ways of presenting ‘climate change’ to the public. The event was infused with spirituality, in the sense of feeling a connectedness, a buzz of excitement coming from a group of people brimming with inspiration and aspirations. There was a palpable empathy there among the participants, who had come from all over the world, each inspired to learn, gather information and express their ideas. One felt a connection with others, with oneself and with the cause of tipping the direction that humanity has taken to a new trajectory. There were meditation classes, yoga sessions, dance, music, artist workshops, loads of media discussions, lectures and continual briefings about what was being discussed at the COP and more importantly, what we could all collaboratively and collectively learn from one another. Certainly, the task of all who were there, is to keep spreading this information of hope and the knowledge that we can each do something to make small changes that will aggregate to make vast ones.

Every Small Gesture Has Significance

Many little voices make a tremendous noise, and many little gestures, create big changes.

step from paradigm of control, ask how you can serve, and the opportunities will arise

When you feel that you are here in service, and bow to that, opportunities will arise to allow you to act on that intention.

It was in a meditative state that I posed these questions, what may be the best thing for me to do to connect, to use my skills…and after a bunch of synchronicities fluttered towards me, I took a leap of faith to Paris within a week of learning about the Place to B through having reconnected with a former colleague of years back who happened to be one of the organizers.

One of the workshops I attended was the Transformational Media Summit : Storytelling and Media for a Better World. The New Story summit was hosted by Jeremy Wickremer, co-founder of Transformational Media Initiative In his presentation, Jeremy Wickremer spoke of the fact that each of us are potentially change-agents, with the capacity to do actions that can have a big impact on the environment – our own lives, our communities and the larger environment. And that what is more potent than merely drawing up solutions from a logical methodology, is to start with the right questions, which prompts creativity in itself.

Specifically, he mentioned that your intention – within the guise of a question – will often be answered. He more recently wrote in an article “Our Invisible World” about the fact that many things which steer human behavior, emotions, health, psychological and spiritual well-being have to do with the energy that lies beneath the actions. And that the common illnesses which affect modern man and the crisis of violence that threat human cultures, have to do with a disconnect. This disconnect is within our own selves, our patterns and habits of how we live our lives. There is a disconnect within ourselves, among one another and that humans have with other creatures and nature; which is presently resulting in the greatest magnitude of habitat destruction, dissemination of species and global ecological balances and health.

The biggest disharmony of all is perhaps our relationship with the natural world.

Eisenstein, in his Sustainable Man video about The New Story, which I wrote about in my other blog, talks of stepping out of this paradigm of control and allowing oneself to be of service to this larger body of which we all are a part. And that as we direct our questions and intent to ask ‘what we can do to serve?’ that indeed, the answers and direction will arise in response to the intention.

Daniel Goleman, Ecological Intelligence, Hidden Impacts, What We Buy

Daniel Goleman Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy

Daniel Goleman is the psychologist, science journalist and author of “Emotional Intelligence”. He posits that non-cognitive skills can matter as much as a person’s I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) for workplace success in “Working with Emotional Intelligence”. In 2007, Goleman wrote about “Social Intelligence” and in 2009, “Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy

Besides the rational means of digesting information, there is the whole realm of the invisible. I’ll call it the domain of the heart. Herein lies the capacity of a person to intuit something and feel whether the information is in alignment with the words. A person can sense whether they feel good around a person, or uneasy. A person can have an impression beyond the rational, about whether the words of another person seem to convey the same as their gestures, or whether something is not quite in synch. One can sense whether something they read or see feels accurate and sound, or whether there is something amiss. Many animals can sense with a heightened capacity – with sense organs much more highly tuned to frequencies beyond those of human beings – to see, hear, detect movements and subtle alternations in the environment.

I mention the heart literally and figuratively as a metaphor. The heart is the central organ in the body – lets just talk about human beings – that is consistently circulating oxygen, nutrients and carrying away wastes throughout the body. The heart pumping station, is also by its nature generating an electromagnetic field which is larger than that produced by the brain. The heart also has a complex system of neurons, cells that are consistently transmitting information to the rest of the body. When the heart is in synch in the individual with feelings of joy and love, this invisible field expands. When an individual is more channeled into negative emotions of fear and anger, this field constricts.

The perception of the heart has everything to do with the health of all of the other organs of our body, of individual health in general, of the health of societies, permeating into healthy relationships with other organisms and with the health of the earth, which is an organism just as we are.

The heart is also metaphorically an organ of connection with others. Besides wonder, exuberance, joy and gratitude that a person can feel within him or herself, the words love, compassion and empathy typically imply a connection with another.

And as we begin to take tiny actions that follow the logic of the heart – which knows that each act is significant – the logic of the mind of the older world begins to be replaced. This power of repetition which can physically build muscles, is what occurs mentally, neurologically. Each time you think differently, you are rewiring your brain. This concept called Neuroplasticity has to do with the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This rewiring allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.

Listening to Intuition is the Wisdom of the Heart.

My introduction into the wisdom of the heart probably began through readings of Deepak Chopra. A physician and author, meditation guide and founder of the Chopra Center; who introduced this awareness that has been understood for Millenia in various Eastern spiritual traditions, of the effectiveness of meditation and this connection to the vast unknown dimension of energy. Chopra has teamed more recently with Oprah Winfrey to bring this domain of the spirit, of tapping into the hidden world of energy through stillness and meditation.

HRM Heart Rhythm Meditation synchronizes, breathe, the heart beat, respiratory, circulation, nervous system, coherence

HRM Heart Rhythm Meditation synchronizes the breathe with the heart beat; coordinating the bodys respiratory, circulation and nervous systems into coherence

I then was introduced to the practice of ‘Heart Rhythm meditation’ which purports a harmonious and healing relationship within oneself and the universe beyond, through simply aligning the rhythm of one’s breathing to the rhythm of one’s heart beat. It is a practice introduced to the West by a Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan who descended from Pashtuns, an ethnic group originally from Afghanistan and Pakistan. This meditation practice was brought to me by a certified AMA physician who understands the multidimensional healing that this practice provides – from reducing stress, to lowering blood pressure, creating a more harmonious heart rate and allowing oneself to access in this stillness, the domain of energy that stretches way beyond the physical heart and body.

HRM Heart Rhythm Meditation synchronizes, breathe, the heart beat, respiratory, circulation, nervous system, coherence

HRM Heart Rhythm Meditation synchronizes the breathe with the heart beat; coordinating the bodys respiratory, circulation and nervous systems into coherence

So called ‘primitive people’, without having had the use of technological tools that more ‘advanced’ civilizations have had at their disposal and for their distraction, have had thousands of years of penetration into the invisible world that the modern Western world has only been starting to grasp is in the last 50 years. And with the spiritual and emotional well-being deficit that modern man has come to feel, this dis-ease of the human spirit, disconnect with oneself, growing obesity, growing psychological disorders and reliance on quick-fixes such as pharmaceuticals, and growing disharmony and feelings of isolation, have reached towards and cherished many ancient traditions that have evolved in the Eastern World to ease their dis-ease and treat their disharmony with something more than a quick fix of treating the symptoms instead of the disorder. They have reached towards practices of meditation, yoga, t’ai chi and walking into nature and silence, with a visceral understanding that these practices have short and long term benefits.

no external universe, every action we do, we do  to ourselves

I will do my best to deliver in chewable-sized increments all that I’ve learned over a series of blogs.

U.S. Corpocrisy in Guns: Pros at Cons | This Aint no April Fools |

Or shall I say corpocrazy? While urging stronger gun laws at home, Obama joins the NRA to weaken the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which is still stalled.

war_is_businessAccording to the latest report on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, Obama had an emotional plea to congress asking for gun control; making his point that decisive effort must be made to enforce reforms. Yet, the United States has been one of the leading countries to block the United Nation’s attempt to regulate international arms trade. Outside groups such as the National Rifle Association are blocking the attempt to establish an Arms Trade Treaty as well as Iran, Syria and North Korea. So far, the treaty is delayed.

The interest groups that keep the arms trade industry going, are intent on blocking this treaty, whose boundaries between legal and illegal are hazy. Governments would have to authorize certain criteria before exporting materials that can be made into weapons, so that they must document what they intend to export or import. According to Andrew Feistein, the author of “The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade“, the treaty in its current form is relatively weak.

Deafening Silence on Climate issue in U.S. Presidential Debates

There was no mention of the ‘climate’ issue by the U.S. presidential candidates nor their moderators, nor the media, during the debates.

Links re: mainstream media and political candidates not speaking about the climate

Amy Goodman on Democracy Now has featured Bill McKibben – founder of 350.org – (on the ppm of carbon dioxide acceptable in the atmosphere) .Bill McKibben was one of the featured speakers on Democracy Now, regarding the lack of anyone’s mention of the climate.

McKibben is staging a new tour in November of 2012 to inform the public about the terrifying math corresponding with the climate crisis. http://math.350.org/

More recently, Amy Goodman has featured Noam Chomsky on her program, discussing what topics were glossed over on the presidential debates.

As well, a recent tomdispatch blog features Rebecca Solnit writing about climate and the fact that it was not discussed whatsoever in the presidential debates.

Rebecca Solnit mentions that basically both candidates are keeping their mouths shut “After all, we made it through four “debates” with 60 million or more viewers each, and not a single one of the four moderators asked a question about climate change, nor did a presidential or vice-presidential candidate let the phrase pass his lips or bring the subject up.” I presume that they’re whipped by the corporate powers that feature the U.S. Government and the media. “Hundreds of thousands of words on events in Benghazi, Libya, and just that one sarcastic sentence on climate change. Someday people will surely look back on this election season with a kind of nightmarish wonder at the fear and denial our leading politicians (who knew better) exhibited in the face of the power and financial clout

of the

energy industry

and its lobbyists.”

Gun Violence in America | Sponsored by Hollywood Ills | Sensationalized in News Media

Several days ago there was the case of a bright, witty and caring 17 year guy shot several times and killed by his 72 year old grandmother,with her automatic weapon. In a separate incident, an emotionally sick individual (ironically who had studied the biological origins of neurological and brain disorders) open fired in the packed midnight screening of the Batman sequel “Dark Night Rises”, living out his fantasy, and getting a hell of a lot of media attention for his, in Obama’s words, heinous act. All of this points to the absurd availability of guns, and with their accessibility, how ridiculously simple it is for an individual to, in a matter of seconds, pull a trigger and end someone’s life. Let’s wake up AmeriKa. As written in this New York Times article, “Once again, with a squeeze of a trigger, just 20 miles from Columbine High School, scene of the 1999 student massacre, the nation was plunged into another debate about guns and violence. He had purchased four guns at local gun shops.” Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/us/shooting-at-colorado-theater-showing-batman-movie.html This is not about the right to carry a weapon, we aren’t living in the Wild West. We already slaughtered the Native American Indians with our weapons 200 years ago. This is not about the ‘right’ to bear arms, it is about the absurdity of thinking that one ‘needs’ to bear arms. We need to rethink, educate and really rock the boat in a different direction. Obama’s message of valuing life and acknowledging your blessings, could not have been a better response. This isn’t about the enemy and evil empires (Bush’s response to 911), this is about what this empire has spun and created. Now it’s time to start gracefully taking a dramatically different stance. Respecting life, respecting one another. War is a crime. Battles between gangsters is a crime. Intolerance is a crime. Anything can become a weapon, even something healthy, food, can be used for toxicity rather than nutrition, but that doesn’t imply that it’s okay to mass market extremely unhealthy food, nor mass market extremely dangerous weapons. Eyes wide shut with the gun lobby greed, let’s wake up and get our priorities straight!

Though this report took place soon after the incident, at which time Amy Goodman had not had a lot of information, it nevertheless approaches the subject of the endemic gun violence in the United States. She interviews Mary Kershner, a registered nurse, gun control advocate, and founding member of Nurses Advocating Gun Safety, speaking from Denver, Colorado. http://www.democracynow.org/2012/7/20/denver_shooting_rampage_leaves_12_dead Ironically, the Gun Show will be taking place in Colorado in the next weeks.

Here’s a more recent interview on Democracy Now with Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting who was shot 4 times, and is now an active participant with the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence.

And well, what’s more poignant than this /-)) http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-july-23-2012/aurora—gun-control

Here’s a more recent article in the New York Times, “Military Suicides Rising a Focus on Private Weapons” discussing the rate of suicides among soldiers, and the fact that they are predominantly occurring with the individual’s private fire arm. “According to Defense Department statistics, more than 6 of 10 military suicides are by firearms, with nearly half involving privately owned guns. In the civilian population, guns are also the most common method of suicide among young males, though at a somewhat lower rate. When active-duty troops who live on bases or are deployed are identified as potentially suicidal, commanders typically take away their military firearms. But commanders do not have that authority with private firearms kept off base.”