‘Narrated by David Attenborough, this timely documentary special takes a look at nature’s extraordinary response to a year of global lockdown. This love letter to planet Earth will take you from hearing birdsong in deserted cities for the first time in decades, to witnessing whales communicating in ways never before seen.
Produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, directed by Tom Beard, and executive produced by Mike Gunton and Alice Keens-Soper.’
“One of the first documentary reflections of our strange times.”
Dayle, here. At once heartbreaking and hopeful. Not hopeful in a passive sense, as in ‘some day,’ but now. Together. Living not in dominance over, but interconnection with our planet, our species, all living beings.
Our planet is gorgeous, alive, breathing. Pulsing with birth.
And it is burning. We are destroying it in present tense.
Life is being extinguished. We saw how the earth changed in days, weeks, and months early in global lockdowns WITHOUT the interaction of our destructive beings…humans. Carl Jung: “Man won’t deviate the original pattern of his being.” Is this, then, destruction?
We can give permanent pause, space, quiet, and tender mercies in our practices and consciousness, asking, what can I do in my corner of the sky? (Nod to Valarie Kaur.)
I had so much hope for our planet, for each other, in the early days of this current pandemic, our isolation. It quickly faded when the pause became political, when health and care became virtue signaling, when science became overridden by misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda, hate, disorder, power, and greed.
As a collective human body the focus became on getting ‘back to normal’ instead of shifting to what’s possible. What’s necessary.
We’re on the edge, balancing destruction with possibility. Let’s choose possibility. All of us.
The food we eat.
The cars we drive.
The Energy we use.
The resources we deplete.
The privilege we strive to achieve at the expense of other.
I want to believe there is still time.
And I want to protect all that thrived when we were silent and away.
Let’s give Gaia a chance to live, heal, and breathe. She’s given us so many.
In the silence, did you hear? Did you hear the birdsong? Did you see the animals congregate and communicate? Did you know the whales could hear again? The Himalayas could be seen again?
The future of the natural world is co-existing. We must do the one thing we can do, interconnected, to shift the planet back to health, as we inadvertently did in our absence, the year earth changed.
From Maria Popova, sharing a BBC interview with Carl Jung from 1959:
“…the only danger that exists is man himself — he is the great danger, and we are pitifully unaware of it. We know nothing of man — far too little. We are the origin of all coming evil [30:27].”
John Freeman and his team filmed the interview at Jung’s house at Küsnacht (near Zurich, Switzerland) in march 1959, it was broadcast in Great Britain on october 22, 1959. This film has undouptedly brought Jung to more people than any other piece of journalism and any of Jung’s own writings. Freeman was deputy editor at the “New Statesman” at the time of the interview. They formed a friendship, that continued until Jung’s death. -posted by ‘peacefulness’ on YouTube.
Jung: “We need more psychology, more study of human nature.”
We need Gaia’s nature, she does not need us. -dayle
The New Yorker
The Delta Variant Is a Grave Danger to the Unvaccinated
One half of America is protected. The other is approaching a perilous moment in the pandemic.
by Dhruv Khullar, a contributing writer at The New Yorker, is a practicing physician and an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Experts believe that the Delta variant is 60% more transmissible than Alpha, or the UK variant.
The variant now represents more than 20% of coronavirus infections in the U.S. in the last two weeks, or double what it was when the CDC last reported on the variant’s prevalence. [USA Today]
“The good news is that we have vaccines that can squash the Delta variant,” Eric Topol, the director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, told me. “The bad news is that not nearly enough people have been vaccinated. A substantial share of Americans are sitting ducks.” He went on, “We haven’t built a strong enough vaccination wall yet. We need a Delta wall”—a level of vaccination that will prevent the new variant from spreading. “There are still large unvaccinated pockets in the country where this could get ugly,” Topol added. Because about half of Americans are vaccinated, and millions more have some immunity from prior infection, the Delta variant “won’t cause monster spikes that overwhelm the health system,” Topol said. But Delta spreads so easily among the unvaccinated that some communities could experience meaningful increases in death and disease this summer and fall.
In a recent piece, I likened a society that’s reopening while partially vaccinated to a ship approaching an iceberg. The ship is the return to normal life and the viral exposure that it brings; the iceberg is the population of unvaccinated people. Precautions such as social distancing can slow the speed of the ship, and vaccination can shrink the size of the iceberg. But, in any reopening society that’s failed to vaccinate everyone, a collision between the virus and the vulnerable is inevitable.
Because of its exceptional transmissibility, the Delta variant is almost certain to intensify the force of the collision. The U.K., by postponing a full reopening, is trying to soften the blow. But the U.S. is pressing ahead—perhaps out of hubris, or because officials hope that our vaccination campaign can outrun the spread of Delta. Last week, New York and California, among the pandemic’s hardest-hit states, did away with virtually all restrictions. Meanwhile, states with half the vaccination rates of New York or California have been open for weeks. A lot depends on where, and how fast, Delta is spreading.
The rapid spread of the B.1.617 (Delta) variant first discovered in India is making the second dose “more important now than ever before,” state epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said Monday.
- Colorado has the second-highest proportion of the variant in the nation and the fifth-highest overall positivity rate.
‘Two Americas’ may emerge as Delta variant spreads and vaccination rates drop
Biden’s 70% vaccination target by Fourth of July likely to fall short as efforts to entice people to get shots have lost their initial impact
“I certainly don’t see things getting any better if we don’t increase our vaccination rate,” Scott Allen of the county health unit in Webster, Missouri, told Politico. The state has seen daily infections and hospitalizations to nearly double over the last two weeks.
Only 52% of Republicans said they were partially or fully vaccinated, and 29% said they have no intention of getting a vaccine, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll. 77% of Democrats said they were already vaccinated, with just 5% responding that were resisting the vaccine.
“I call it two Covid nations,” Peter Hotez, a vaccine researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told BuzzFeed News.
Bette Korber, a computational biologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said she expected variant Delta to become the most common variant in the US within weeks. “It’s really moving quickly,” Korber told Buzzfeed.
Prime Minister of Bhutan:
“Happy to be observing a day that reinforces importance of health and replenishes our spirit during such stressful times. It reminds me of Shri Narendra Modi whose passion pushed him to propose this ancient tradition on the calendar.”
Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice.”
“A sustained yoga lifestyle is one that doesn’t fluctuate with the latest trends but is informed by the historic yoga philosophies of peace, no harm, discipline, and contentment.
We need to choose practices that are life affirming rather than draining in order for them to be transformative the practices we choose need to benefit not only our personal lives but our relationship with Gaia and with each other.”
-Cindy Senarighi and Heidi Green
If one knows what the particular disease is there is the possibility of curing it. To know the particular limitation, bondage or hindrance of the mind, and to understand it, one must not condemn it, one must not say it is right or wrong. One must observe it without having an opinion, a prejudice about it, which is extraordinarily difficult because we are brought up to condemn.
“What would it mean to simply acknowledge our behavior without judgment, without denial, without hedging? Right now, in this moment, can you control your habitual responses to experience? Can any of us not be afraid?
As we observe other individuals, companies, political parties, and nations, we tend to bring the same kinds of judgments to bear, expecting different results.”
-Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison
Go to the mat. -dayle
“In 1982, the economist Mancur Olson set out to explain a paradox. West Germany and Japan endured widespread devastation during World War II, yet in the years after the war both countries experienced miraculous economic growth. Britain, on the other hand, emerged victorious from the war, with its institutions more intact, and yet it immediately entered a period of slow economic growth that left it lagging other European democracies. What happened?
In his book “The Rise and Decline of Nations,” Olson concluded that Germany and Japan enjoyed explosive growth precisely because their old arrangements had been disrupted. The devastation itself, and the forces of American occupation and reconstruction, dislodged the interest groups that had held back innovation. The old patterns that stifled experimentation were swept away. The disruption opened space for something new.
Something similar may be happening today. Covid-19 has disrupted daily American life in a way few emergencies have before. But it has also shaken things up and cleared the way for an economic boom and social revival.
Millions of Americans endured grievous loss and anxiety during this pandemic, but many also used this time as a preparation period, so they could burst out of the gate when things opened up. After decades of slowing entrepreneurial dynamism, 4.4 million new businesses were started in 2020, by far a modern record. A report from Udemy, an online course provider, says that 38 percent of workers took some additional training during 2020, up from only 14 percent in 2019.
After decades in which consumption took preference over savings, Americans socked away trillions of dollars in 2020, reducing their debt burdens to lows not seen since 1980 and putting themselves in a position to spend lavishly as things open up.
The biggest shifts, though, may be mental. People have been reminded that life is short. For over a year, many experienced daily routines that were slower paced, more rooted, more domestic. Millions of Americans seem ready to change their lives to be more in touch with their values.
The economy has already taken off. Global economic growth is expected to be north of 6 percent this year, and strong growth is expected to last at least through 2022. In late April, Tom Gimbel, who runs the recruiting and staffing firm LaSalle Network, told The Times: “It’s the best job market I’ve seen in 25 years. We have 50 percent more openings now than we did pre-Covid.” Investors are pouring money into new ventures. During the first quarter of this year U.S. start-ups raised $69 billion, 41 percent more than the previous record, set in 2018.
Already, this era of new creation seems to be rebalancing society in at least three ways:
First, power has begun shifting from employers to workers. In March, U.S. manufacturing, for example, expanded at the fastest pace in nearly four decades. Companies are desperate for new workers. Between April 2020 and March 2021, the number of unemployed people per opening plummeted to 1.2 from 5.
Workers are in the driver’s seat, for now, and they know it. The “quit rate” — the number of workers who quit their jobs because they are confident they can get a better one — is at the highest in two decades. Employers are raising wages and benefits to try to lure workers back.
Second, there seems to be a rebalancing between cities and suburbs. Covid-19 accelerated trends that had been underway for a few years, with people moving out of big cities like New York and San Francisco to suburbs, and to rural places like Idaho and the Hudson Valley in New York. Many are moving to get work or because of economic distress, but others say they moved so they could have more space, lead slower-paced lives, be closer to family or interact more with their neighbors.
Finally, there seems to be a rebalancing between work and domestic life. Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom expects that even when the pandemic is over, the number of working days spent at home will increase to 20 percent from 5 percent in the prepandemic era.
While this has increased pressures on many women, millions of Americans who could work remotely found that they liked being home, dining every night with their kids, not hassling with the commute. We are apparently becoming a less work-obsessed and a more domestic society.
In 1910 the educator Henry Van Dyke wrote, “The Spirit of America is best known in Europe by one of its qualities — energy.” That energy seemed to be fading away in recent years, as Americans came to move less and start new businesses less frequently. But the challenge of Covid-19 has summoned forth great dynamism, movement and innovation. Labor productivity rates have surged upward recently.
Americans are searching for ways to make more money while living more connected lives. Joel Kotkin, a professor of urban studies at Chapman University, points out that as the U.S. population disperses, economic and cultural gaps between coastal cities and inland communities will most likely shrink. And, he says, as more and more immigrants settle in rural areas and small towns, their presence might reduce nativism and increase economic competitiveness.
People are shifting their personal lives to address common problems — loneliness and loss of community. Nobody knows where this national journey of discovery will take us, but the voyage has begun.”
The American Renaissance Has Begun
We’re not in a race to check off as many boxes as we possibly can before we are out of time. Instead, we have the chance to use the time to create moments that matter. Because they connect us, because they open doors, because the moments, added up, create a life.
“If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be.
If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. Without sunshine, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. The logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.
Looking even more deeply, we can see ourselves in this sheet of paper too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, it is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. We cannot point out one thing that is not here—time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. We cannot just be by ourselves alone. We have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.
Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. . . . Without non-paper elements, like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.” –Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh
What do you see?
‘I bring a sun-shift to others when I shift my light. Darkness does not exist in the light.’ [A Course in Miracles.]
If you feel uncomfortable with anything, you should re-consider your situation.
Cut your losses.
Far better to admit a mistake than to persist in it and allow it to develop into a nightmare.
Resmaa Menakem (MSW, LICSW, SEP) teaches workshops on Cultural Somatics for audiences of African Americans, European Americans, and police officers. He is also a therapist in private practice, and a senior fellow at The Meadows. His New York Times best-selling book is My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies.
‘Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence’
Across the past year, and now as the murder trial of Derek Chauvin unfolds with Minneapolis in fresh pain and turmoil, we return again to the grounding insights of Resmaa Menakem. He is a Minneapolis-based therapist and trauma specialist who activates the wisdom of elders, and very new science, about how all of us carry in our bodies the history and traumas behind everything we collapse into the word “race.” We offer up his intelligence on changing ourselves at a cellular level — practices towards the transformed reality most of us long to inhabit.
Host Krista Tippett:
‘Across the past year, and now as the murder trial of Derek Chauvin unfolds, with Minneapolis in fresh pain and turmoil, I return again and again to the grounding insights of Resmaa Menakem. He is a Minneapolis-based therapist and trauma specialist who activates the wisdom of elders, and very new science, about how all of us carry in our bodies the history and traumas behind everything we collapse into the word “race.” We offer up Resmaa’s intelligence anew on changing ourselves at a cellular level — practices towards the transformed reality I believe most of us long to inhabit.’
More from Krista:
‘Ever after, when I use the word “we” or “us,” I understand in a whole new way that I do so in a White body … I hold that knowledge together with my clarity that when time becomes history, the generations for whom we are the ancestors will see an “us.”’
‘…enough of us are preparing to be the generation, in bodies of every color, after so many generations of betrayal & blindness, to step onto that long arc of the moral universe—bending it towards justice & the Beloved Community.”
‘When we’re talking about trauma, when we’re talking about historical trauma, intergenerational trauma, persistent institutional trauma — and personal traumas, whether that be childhood, adolescence, or adulthood — those things, when they are left constricted, you begin to be shaped around the constriction. And it is wordless. Time decontextualizes trauma. So when my grandmother is saying that, I need to pay attention to that. And for her, it’s decontextualized, so she doesn’t even have a context for it.
Bodies of culture. That’s right. And so one of the things that happens with the vagal nerve — there’s two. There’s the vagal nerve — I call that the soul nerve — and then there’s a muscle, the psoas muscle. That psoas is a beast, because the psoas, what it does is, it connects the top part of the body with the bottom part of the body. It also — if you’re braced, it also manages whether or not you mobilize or immobilize. And if you’re born to people who are already braced, you pick up in your psoas this kind of locking down, this kind of bracing, decontextualized.
And so what I’ve been talking to people about is, how do we begin to get the reps in with those pieces? So you’re gonna need time to condition your body to be able to deal with the aches, deal with the doubt, deal with all of that difficulty. You’re gonna have to get up against your own suffering’s edge, before the transformation happens. But you need to condition that. Why do we think that when we talk about race, that’s any different — for me to say, “We’re gonna have a white body supremacy talk; deal with the root of this stuff”?’
“Everyone’s tired and traumatized. Normal life is coming back slow and strange, like plant life after a nuclear blast, and we won’t know the scale of the damage until something like safety feels possible. It’s okay to feel numb right now.”
I am suffering bereavement and feel cut off from normal life. Can you give me perspective?
Grief hurts so badly because it is about something permanent, writes advice columnist Eleanor Gordon-Smith, but you won’t float forever
I am suffering. Though it has been several months now, most days it still feels like more than I can bear.
I feel cut off from the rest of normal life, as though I am floating, and I don’t know how to come back to normality without the person who I have lost. Please can you give some perspective?
Eleanor says: For finite creatures – who will without doubt experience loss and then in turn be lost – we do a very good job of isolating ourselves in that experience. We do a very good job of leaving each other alone in the one thing that actually unites us.
I know the strangely unplugged feeling you describe very well. The muffling of every sound; the sense of walking through an anaesthetised dream; the disobedience of the fact that garbage trucks are still beeping and dogs are still being walked in parks, as though you could possibly be expected to perceive – let alone return to – a world that has not stopped. It’s especially acute at your current moment, after a few months, when people stop asking how you’re doing and you might feel some pressure to “move on”.
But you already know there’s no place unmarred by grief for you to move on to. I think that’s why the pain is so bad when it hits; we know it’s about something permanent. There’s no future where our loved one is alive. So we get hit by one wave of pain for the fact that they’re gone, and another for the fact that they will never not be.
Why do friends discard me when I am no longer of use?
It’s enough to make you drown.
When I am drowning I get some comfort from knowing that almost every other person has been underwater too. Some are underwater with us right now, double-taking in the street when they think they see their person, suddenly needing to turn off music they’ve never before thought of as moving.
The pain never quite goes away. Since so much of ordinary life is built on the promise of painlessness, you may never quite feel fully part of it again.
But you won’t float forever. The acuteness of this pain can be its own kind of reality – a way of relating to the dogs in the park and the sounds of the street and the people still around you as gifts that are here for a moment and then wink away. It’s all here only for a moment. How astonishing that we would get to be here with it too.
Everybody from CS Lewis to the Queen has said that grief is the price we pay for love. It is a cosmic tragedy that we cannot have that love forever, but there is another, more fragile, more vivid kind of joy inside people who know that it will all one day be gone. The tragedy will never really leave you. But that joy will move in beside it. Some days the loss will be as fresh as if it happened yesterday, but some days you will catch yourself laughing.
Your terrible pain is not the opposite of life, or a sign that you are done living. It is what happens when you see life for what it is: it’s a gift, and then it ends.
I wish you luck through your days. I – and millions of us – are with you, being tossed back and forth on the tragedy and the luck that we get to have days at all.
“If you are unhappy with anything…whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self, comes out.”
Thanks be to Gaia. And science. ღ
And on Aretha’s birthday.
Soul Train, 1972.
Aretha was born on March 25th, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee.
January 13, 2021.
And always remember January 6, 2021.
‘Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library…’
-Chief Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux
Are we allowing the whispers to be heard…
Are we shifting…
How much longer will the loudest most divisive voices continue to disrupt…
What can we do as a collective to gently encourage the shift, for our planet…
For each other…
We’ve been given a narrow space to breath, to decide, to listen, to learn.
We don’t have much time.
‘There is no death, only a change of worlds.’
‘Some days chicken, some days feathers.’ – Robert Dale Ohlau
It’s always clear in Sun Valley, unless it’s a once in an 800 year celestial event.
It must have been spectacular.
The Great Conjunction.
‘The Christmas Star is visible on this Longest Night. Look to the Southwestern horizon just after sunset and with us this beautiful Sign of Hope.’ -Allysha Lavino
Jupiter & Saturn haven’t been this close to one another in about 800 years—viewed as one point of light.
Some consider this the Christmas Star, during the time of Jesus’ birth…the Star of Bethlehem.
Matthew 2:1-11. Verses 1 and 2 say: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his 🌟 when it rose and have come to worship him.’
Age of Aquarius
After 2,160 years, a new age has begun, the Age of Aquarius, an age that will encompass compassion and caring, kindness and altruism, human rights and justice. It’s up to humanity to comply.
Aquarius is associated with electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealism, modernization, astrology, nervous disorders, rebellion, nonconformity, philanthropy, veracity, perseverance, humanity, and irresolution.
Stealing to survive: More Americans are shoplifting food as aid runs out during the pandemic
Retailers, police departments and loss prevention researchers are reporting an uptick in theft of necessities like food and hygiene products.
[Headline only; adverse to paywalls and subscriptions for news and information that should be free for everyone, not only for those who can afford. So I do not subscribe. -dayle]
Instead of two shots, should we be doing one so more are vaccinated, with 65% efficacy instead of 95%?
Vaccines and Decision-Making with Imperfect Data
It’s trade-offs all the way down
The peer-reviewed paper outlining data from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was just released, as at type, the FDA is holding a meeting which will almost certainly provide emergency authorization for this vaccine. As the editorialaccompanying the paper said, the results are “a triumph.” It’s only December, and we are about to launch mass vaccination with ~95% efficacy in preventing disease—likely even higher for preventing severe disease. Remember that as late as April of this year, experts (including Dr. Fauci) thought 18 months to two years was too optimistic a timeline for a vaccine, and the FDA was ready to approve a vaccine with only 50% efficacy.
Instead, what we have is a vaccine ready at half the time the most optimistic timeline projected, with twice the efficacy hoped for. It’s remarkable.
There’s a lot more to be said, but here’s something that jumped at me while looking at the paper at The New England Journal of Medicine, as well as the files submitted to the FDA. Look at that chart below, comparing detected disease between those in the vaccine and placebo group.
Eyeballing (we don’t have the underlying data), the first shot seems to have 65-80% efficacy in the full group—but we don’t know for how long that lasts. Hence, we have durability of immunity data—for three more months, to day 119—only with the booster shot.
Given the shortages, the potential for single dosing—at least for some populations—or more time between the doses is an important question. It’s possible that a single dose—one that can cover twice the number of people—would provide a significant benefit to the recipients, though we would be unsure about whether the immunity protections last as strongly three months later. This is no minor question. The United States is already planning to withhold vaccination from people unless a second shot has already been secured. If we get fifty million doses now, that’s 25 million people who could be vaccinated now who won’t be even though the doses are sitting in storage.
What should the policymakers do? This seems like a scientific question, but it is not pure science because there are trade-offs on all sides. The question is confronting the dilemmas of not vaccinating millions of people versus vaccinating a smaller group with higher efficacy; and risking a second wave if immunity wears off quickly in an unexpected way. What about trust in vaccines? Can we even do anything that veers, even slightly, from the protocols, let alone something as major as booster timing? Is 60-80% efficacy vaccination for 200 million is better than 95% for 100 million? Given how terrible the next few months look to be, how do we prioritize what we do first? Can we space the booster a bit while we wait for longer-term data? We can model some of what this means depending on who’s vaccinated and whether people adhere to distancing or quarantines after vaccination, but we can’t easily decide which is better without bringing in ethical preferences and thorny questions.
However, at a minimum, we should continue testing as we vaccinate.
‘I believe the spirit is in the wind and wave, and manifests Its presence throughout all Nature. But most completely, through our own minds and in our hearts, It proclaims our livingness and Its lovingness.
-Dr. Ernest Holmes
Murmuration refers to the phenomenon that results when hundreds, sometimes thousands, of starlings fly in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns through the sky.
“If 2020 taught me anything…if I look into some of the gifts that have come from this wild year…it is a deepening of the idea that we are bound and woven together as one.
I wore a mask, not just to protect myself but others as well. We experienced the smoke and ash from fires hundreds of miles away. We learned more deeply about the impacts of systemic racism and inequity. I got to, and continue to, learn more about how I’ve unknowingly and unconsciously perpetuated these systems. All of this points to deep truth: We are interconnected.
This constant reminder of our oneness compels me to engage in the world and do what I can to make the our planet a little bit better, to approach it with a little more kindness and compassion, to realize that my own spiritual path and freedom are totally merged with the spiritual path of all.
It is challenge get out of ourselves. It is confounding to face that my suffering and my own liberation from suffering are bound up in the liberation of all. it is much easier to think only of myself, my own consciousness and being.
Yet, when we face this truth of interconnection, we recover something we may not have known was lost. Something comes to life within us…we get our wholeness back. We get our oneness back. We have the chance to widen our identity from separation to unity, from competition to cooperation.
There is so much that awakens us to the truth of our unity these days. Even in moments that feel divisive, there is opportunity to see the deeper call for community, dignity and safety.
We are bound together in a perfect whole.”
-Rev. Masando Hiraoka, Mile Hi church in Lakewood, Colorado
Science of Mind
[My 2020 ‘word-of-the-year’: murmuration.]
“A new light is coming into the world. We are on the borderline of a new experience. The veil between Spirit and matter is very thin.” Dr. Holmes
“The truth is that what we want or dream of doesn’t always last. It tends to serve its purpose in our development and then fades away, losing its relevance. And we can do enormous damage to ourselves by insisting on carrying that which has died.” -Mark Nepo
Fr Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation:
Order becomes opportunity, stability melts into movement and change, status-quo government gives way to a revolution of community and neighborliness, policy bows to love, domination descends to service and sacrifice, control morphs into influence and inspiration, and vengeance and threats are transformed into forgiveness and blessing.
Contemplation: a long loving look at the real.
Smart, generous and kind.
The Ngram tracks words used in books over the last 200 years. Here’s what a million authors and a billion readers think:
‘We may not each be called to the same work in the same ways, but we share the responsibility to repair the conscience of our nation, to stand up and stand in the gap for those who have lost hope, lost their way, lost their voice.’
Science of Mind Magazine named Stevenson their Spiritual Hero of the Year for 2020.
In an adapted excerpt from Rohr’s A Spring Within Us, Father Richard Rohr says that mystic “simply means one who has moved from mere belief systems or belonging systems to actual inner experience. All spiritual traditions at their mature levels agree that such a movement is possible, desirable, and even available to everyone.”
“A mystic is an ordinary person who does ordinary things and experiences these moments of profound union with The Source, Mirabai Starr says.
Another sign you may be a natural mystic? An extreme affinity for nature.
Mirabai Starr: “That’s why there’s the term “Mother Earth.” For a lot of people with mystical inclinations, it’s a felt relationship with the earth, as a cherished loved one, as a relative. It’s about fully embodying our humanity and our relationship with the natural world, but that’s still a mystical experience, because we, our separate ego self dissolves into that vast mystery of The One.”
🤎 I love this image, especially because not only does he embody hate, I am reminded hate is born of fear and fragmentation, threading in and out of our existence on this plane. Somehow, we, this country, allowed him to be celebrated after decades of his darkness…his evil energy. May he always be a reminder for what we don’t want to be and stay diligent against these dark forces. May he be dissolved, and fade from our public platforms and consciousness. May those who supported him be awakened to his destructive energies and dark heart. May their eyes be opened. And may they want to unite with all of us to be one people, to know what is true, justified, equal…for all beings…especially the oppressed and marginalized. Let us, together, be reminded of what it means to reside in the heart of democracy and fix what has been broken since this country was born.
And then, may we heal.
From Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States:
“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.”
Alluding to scripture, he added: “This is the time to heal in America.”
From the Vice-President Elect, Kamala Harris, the first woman, a woman of color, Black and Southern Asian woman, to be elected to this office.
“Protecting our democracy takes struggle. It takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it. And there is progress. Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future.”
We The People
For those who voted, again, for the current president, please answer, ‘Why’? What did he do for you? During a pandemic? Employment? Opportunity? Fairness? Equality? Or, is it deeper? Fear? Nationalism? Culture? Bias? Concerns over race? Majorities? Disinformation? Social media platforms?
May we heal. And unite. Not half of us…all of us. We. The. People.
W.E.B. Du Bois:
Strive for that greatness of spirit that measure life not by its disappointments, but by its possibilities.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
The collective heart of humankind’s suffering.
The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another and all involved in one another.
Today, we celebrate our democracy, our common humanity, and a glass ceiling shattered once and for all.
With nearly 160 million votes cast, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won a decisive victory. They received more than 75 million votes, a greater number than any ticket in history, with a remarkable breadth of support from across the nation.
And they shattered several glass ceilings—it will be a joy to watch Vice President-elect Kamala inspire generations of future leaders and active citizens!
Across the Collective, we have seen so many give so much over these past four years, using a range of tools to fight for justice, equality, and our democracy. I am thankful and full of admiration.
We now have the opportunity to work for the systemic solutions we know we need—solutions that can remake the calcified systems in our country, from immigration and education to race and reconciliation, criminal justice and climate. And it will require each of us to bring spirit of ingenuity and hard work to support and accelerate America’s rebuilding and renewal.
We will let out the breath we have been holding in for so long. As celebratory as we feel, we also know that much work lies ahead—the work of healing the wounds and repairing the breaches.
So, we will get to work, and usher in the America we know is possible.
With relief and gratitude,
Laurene, Emerson Collective
Empathy + Sympahty = Compassion
We are a progressive being.
There is nothing at a standstill in nature.
Only God is motionless for (S)He was, is and will be the same yesterday,
today and tomorrow,
and yet, is ever moving.
I will never understand how 70,000,000+ people could vote for him again. Never. Perhaps, maybe, hopefully, some will evolve to understand his destructive and immoral behaviors. He has shown us who he is for decades. Some of us (me) gave him no mind. And then, he was elected to serve. He did not serve. He lied. He divided. And he hated. Hate is born of fear. What was feared?
Perhaps, we have always been this divided, but the ugly part was given platform and verbalized. Democracy, we have learned, is not passive, but active. We can not simply turn out the vote every two, or four years.
We must edify and protect the marginalized and oppressed. The government serves us, we don’t serve it.
A true democracy is messy and necessary. And it requires ‘good trouble.’
Now, let’s work to balance the scales and bring Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate in Georgia. The shadow president, Senator Mitch McConnell, will continue to strangle democracy and refuse to move policy forward if we do not achieve balance. Please donate or volunteer:
James Martin, SJ:
It is, and always has been, possible to speak respectfully about someone with whom you disagree. Here’s how: “Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”
Krista Tippett, journalist and author:
What is the story of “us”? How do we learn it, how do we tell it, and how to shift it, across dehumanizing divides, in enduring ways?
Padraig O’ Tuama, poet:
In all the waiting of your week — for results from elections, for different news, for finality, for certitude — the work of the past is calling for attention. A new future will only be built on courageous moments, and those are happening now, and now and now. In the waiting, we are with you, considering history, paradise and conflict, considering how these patterns of time are inviting us to new actions.
What do you notice about how you behave in times of conflict? Do you tend toward avoidance? Or compromise? Or collaboration? Or competition? Or accommodation?
This poem describes a conflict between neighbors: a tree hangs over a fence. The owners love this tree; their neighbors don’t. Somebody responds directly, somebody else avoids, a chainsaw appears. Suddenly this conflict becomes a parable for all conflicts, illustrating how deep they can go and how often they cannot be resolved with a question about what to do.
‘Conflict is not two sides, but many sides.
What is the definition of love between conflict?’
Will we learn how to listen to each other again; we are not enemies–we are merely opponents. We have more in common than we know, or perhaps, are willing to admit. .d
Voting during the 19th Amendment’s centennial wasn’t supposed to be this way
“The moment was supposed to be a bright spot in an otherwise chaotic and uncertain year,” wrote Errin Haines, The 19th’s editor-at-large. “Instead, it would leave me feeling that chaos and uncertainty more acutely than ever.”
We’re the only newsroom dedicated to writing about gender, politics and policy.
As the pandemic rages and voter enthusiasm is at a record high, Americans are being urged to make a plan to cast their ballot in the most consequential election many of us will ever live through.
My plan was to vote early, something I did frequently in my native Georgia before moving to Philadelphia five years ago. Because of the pandemic, Pennsylvania allowed voting before Election Day for the first time this year.
On Monday, I emerged exhausted, demoralized and enraged after four hours of standing in line.
How, in the city where the Constitution was written and signed, where we celebrate the founding principles of democracy, is this happening? I was angry not for myself, but on behalf of the Philadelphians who could be disenfranchised this election. I am someone who had four hours to stand in line; there are too many who live in this city who do not.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
I wondered how many people passed by, saw the line, and kept walking or driving.”
A conversation with Masha Gessen on how to prevent “autocratic breakthrough,” why Russiagate was a “crutch” for the left, and what really happened in that New Yorker election s(t)imulation Zoom
A reelected Donald Trump, abetted by a 6-3 Supreme Court, is truly a terrifying prospect — very possibly the end of the American republic in any real sense. But we are not there yet. Where we are, in fact, is in the liminal space where it is still possible to achieve a different future.
This looming election may well be the last exit before autocracy.
That was one of the things I carried away from my conversation with the brilliant Masha Gessen, whose wisdom I’m so happy to be sharing with you today. This era has revealed its share of charlatans and criminals and fools. But it has also revealed genuine heroes — including intellectual ones. One of mine is Masha.
Masha is a journalist and writer and thinker who spent the first part of their career in Russia, writing about science, democracy, autocracy, and disease. Then they made a home in America, where it turned out that some understanding of science, democracy, autocracy, and disease would prove very handy.
Masha was made for this moment. To be clear, given their interests, you actually never want to be living in a time and place that Masha was made for, but here we are.
The question is what happens next. If he, God willing, wins, I think that in some ways Biden can be a transformative president, because I think that there’s a grand ambition there, that’s become very clear, to invest in infrastructure, to create a new welfare state, to bring the country together in some really, I think, beautiful ways.
What gives me hope is distinct from the question of whether I’m optimistic. I can be incredibly pessimistic, but hope is a necessity of survival and a moral imperative. I hope because I have to, because a better future is possible. The foundational requirement for it is hope.
I use the word autocracy intentionally, instead of authoritarianism, for two reasons. One is because I’ve spent so much of my life writing about totalitarianism that, in that context, authoritarianism is something distinct from totalitarianism. Authoritarianism is a kind of regime in which basically the ruler wants people to go home and tend to their private lives while they run the country. So nothing is political under authoritarianism; everything becomes private. Politics as such disappears.
Under totalitarianism, it’s the opposite. The totalitarian leader wants people out in the public square at all times, demonstrating their support for him. Under totalitarianism, nothing is private; everything is political. It’s the private that disappears.
So let’s stick with autocracy. Where are we in the autocratic arc? I hope we’re at the stage of the autocratic attempt. If there’s a spectacular failure of this election, not a failure as in Donald Trump wins, but a failure as in, he doesn’t leave office because he can abuse the courts, abuse the power of the courts and secure being able not to leave office that way, because he can create enough chaos to throw election results into enough doubt that he doesn’t leave office — if there is an actual engineered failure of the election, then we have already passed the point of no return, the point of autocratic breakthrough. So I don’t actually know the answer. I very much hope that we’re at the point of an autocratic attempt, and that attempt will be reversed because we vote him out of office.
The borough’s proposal for a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
The 28th Amendment — a proposal
Whereas the government of the United States should represent all of the people of the United States equally,
ction 1. The Electoral College shall be abolished and the President selected by popular vote; Senate membership shall be reallocated to reflect more accurately the distribution of the national population, with a minimum of one seat per state; Election Day shall be a national holiday; elections shall be publicly financed. All citizens of the United States, including those living in its territories and the District of Columbia, shall have the same electoral rights and representation as residents of a State; all citizens of voting age shall have the unencumbered right to vote in federal, state, and local elections. Congress shall have the power and obligation to enforce these provisions by appropriate legislation.
Section 2. In recognition of the inherent dignity of all persons, Congress shall have the power and obligation to enact appropriate legislation to secure all rights guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to education, healthcare, housing, employment, food security, and a clean and healthy environment.
The scientific method is the most powerful invention humans have ever created. It’s not just for people in white coats and in labs. The scientific method has changed what we wear, what we eat, the health of our families, the way we earn a living–the world as we know it is a result of a simple process of hypothesis, testing and explanation.
Unfortunately, school and other systems in our world focus on just one or two of the elements necessary to do it well.
- Know the rules, maxims and outcomes that came before. Do the reading, score well on the test.
- Understand the thinking behind these rules, so you can dive deeper and either change the rules or expand on them.
- Do tests that others haven’t thought of or that people don’t think will work. Intentionally create falsifiable hypotheses, knowing that you might be wrong, and then go test them.
- Publish your results so that others can examine your work and improve it. Show your work. Invite correction and improvement.
- Explain what you did clearly so that it becomes part of the canon, so it can be used by others, until it’s replaced by something even more useful.
There are very few contentious arguments in our world today that couldn’t be more quickly resolved if all involved were willing to act in good faith and work their way through the steps together.
Because if you seek to lead or to change minds, if you’re working for better, then you’re a scientist.
The U.S. confirmed at least 83,010 coronavirus cases on Friday, the country’s highest daily total since the pandemic started, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
Friday, October 23rd, 2020
- wear a mask
- wash your hands
- watch your space
Please. We must. So many people are going to die, as well as long-term health issues, like strokes, heart attacks, other vascular related issues. A hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho, is no longer accepting children, and COVID patients are being flows to Boise, Portland, and Seattle.
It. Is. Not. Political.