Café Communication

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Thay.

1926-2022

From his community at Plum Village in France:

With a deep mindful breath, we announce the passing of our beloved teacher, Thay Nhat Hanh, at 00:00hrs on January 22, 2022 at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, at the age of 95.

 

Thay has been the most extraordinary teacher, whose peace, tender compassion, and bright wisdom has touched the lives of millions. Whether we have encountered him on retreats, at public talks, or through his books and online teachings–or simply through the story of his incredible life–we can see that Thay has been a true bodhisattva, an immense force for peace and healing in the world. Thay has been a revolutionary, a renewer of Buddhism, never diluting and always digging deep into the roots of Buddhism to bring out its authentic radiance.

 

Thay has opened up a beautiful path of Engaged and Applied Buddhism for all of us: the path of the Five Mindfulness Trainings and the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing. As Thay would say, “Because we have seen the path, we have nothing more to fear.” We know our direction in life, we know what to do, and what not to do to relieve suffering in ourselves, in others, and in the world; and we know the art of stopping, looking deeply, and generating true joy and happiness.

 

Now is a moment to come back to our mindful breathing and walking, to generate the energy of peace, compassion, and gratitude to offer our beloved Teacher. It is a moment to take refuge in our spiritual friends, our local sanghas and community, and each other.

 

We invite you to join our global community online, as we commemorate Thay’s life and legacy with five days of practice and ceremonies broadcast LIVE from Hue, Vietnam and Plum Village, France, starting on Saturday January 22nd. Please see our website for more details coming shortly: www.plumvillage.org/memorial

 

Let us each resolve to do our best over the coming days to generate the energy of mindfulness, peace, and compassion, to send to our beloved Teacher.

 

Over the coming hours on the Plum Village website, we will publish some inspirational chants, texts, and mindfulness practice resources, to support you to come together with your local sangha to generate a collective energy of mindfulness and compassion, and create your own ceremony or session in tribute to our Teacher. As Thay has always taught, nothing is more important than brotherhood and sisterhood, and we all know the power of collective energy.

We invite you to share your messages of gratitude or personal transformation and healing on our website: plumvillage.org/gratitude-for-thich-nhat-hanh

 

With love, trust, and togetherness,

The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village, France

Thích Nhất Hạnh


 

Gautier Capuçon

Hymne à l’amour

Édith Piaf/Marguerite Monnot – Paris Tour Eiffel

Is now like then?

January 18, 2022

Sound familiar?

“To control information is to control the world. This innovative history reveals how, across two devastating wars, Germany attempted to build a powerful communication empire―and how the Nazis manipulated the news to rise to dominance in Europe and further their global agenda.” 

“Information warfare may seem like a new feature of our contemporary digital world. [And FOX media/Rupert Murdoch.] But it was just as crucial a century ago, when the great powers competed to control and expand their empires. In News from Germany, Heidi Tworek uncovers how Germans fought to regulate information at home and used the innovation of wireless technology to magnify their power abroad.”

pp. 3-4:

“In 1926, 90% of all newspapers had no correspondents abroad or in Berlin. They received all their national and international news through news agencies or syndicate services. Today, we worry about whether Facebook or Google hold monopolies over information provision. New agencies exerted an arguable even greater grasp over national and international news in the first half the 20th Century.

(Always follow the money…corporate owned media. -dayle)

p. 229:

“In the second half of the 20th century, newspaper ownership seemed like license to print money. Newspapers averaged annual returns of in the United States. Some newspapers generated profits of 30%. In comparison, grocery store profits were in the 2% range and department stores around 4%. In non-exceptional periods, when profits are hard to come by, companies become more reliant on the state or more susceptible to outside control The problem of profits has long made news firms likelier to participate in business arrangements like cartels and monopolies as well as more open to outside influences..

p. 231:

“When elites no longer believe in upholding democratic institutions, a free press alone could not stop a democracy’s disintegration. Democracy can die in full daylight, and has done before.”

[The book, 2019, has received the Fraenkel Prize from the Wiener Holocaust Library and the Ralph Gomory Prize from the Business History Conference and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.] 

Sage Publication Journals

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1007/s12290-014-0315-5

[2014]

Economic Crisis and Political Extremism in Europe: From the 1930s to the Present 

by, Antonis Klapas

Historical experience shows that when economic conditions remain bad for a significant period of time people tend to become more radical as far as their electoral behaviour is concerned. However, no matter how strong the linkage between economic crisis and the rise of political extremism might be, economic crisis is not the only factor to be taken into account when analysing the phenomenon of political extremism, as other parameters (historical, social and so on) are also important.

The economic crisis of the 1930s had a profound effect on European politics. The vicious circle of underdevelopment, unemployment and poverty that started in 1929 created massive social problems and thus favoured the strengthening of extremist parties, especially far-right ones (Table 1). The case of Germany was probably the most characteristic and definitely the most important one as far as its long-term consequences were concerned. Before 1929 Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist party was nothing more than a marginal political force. In the German federal elections of May 1928 they won only 2.63 % of the vote. Just two and a half years later, in September 1930 they secured 18.25 %. In the elections of July 1932 they came first with 37.27 %, a place that they managed to hold in November of the same year despite the fact that their share of the vote was reduced to 33.09 % (Gonschior 2005). On 30 January 1933 Hitler became chancellor of Germany and gradually began to impose his dictatorial and racist regime. The Weimar Republic was dead. Europe was, little by little, sliding towards the abyss of the Second World War.

The establishment of Benito Mussolini’s FASCIST regime in Italy in 1922 had already paved the way towards the dominance of political extremism. However, it was only in the 1930s that anti-democratic parties across Europe became more successful.

As in the 1930s, today most far-right extremists promise to overthrow the established political system. In general, they describe politicians (excluding themselves, of course) as corrupt and decadent. They take advantage of the mass media (with special emphasis on social media which give them the opportunity to attract the attention of younger audiences) in order to get their messages across. They make extensive use of stereotypes to address the public and they use black-and-white arguments which, despite their poor reasoning, sound reasonable to the average voter. They are conservative on societal issues and sometimes openly homophobic. They reject liberal ideas and they have racist tendencies. They underline the threat of the expansion of Islam in Europe, while at the same time some of them are anti-Semitic. They point to immigrants as one of the main causes (if not the main cause) of all sorts of problems, from unemployment to high criminality. In some cases, they do not disapprove of and talk with respect or even admiration about FASCIST and Nazi leaders of the past. There are also those who do not hesitate to resort to violence in order to intimidate others.

AXIOS

1.18.22:

Trust in governments around the world is collapsing, especially in democracies, Axios Media Trends author Sara Fischer writes from a new global survey.

  • Why it matters: People don’t think government, business or the media are telling them the truth. This suspicion of societal institutions is pushing people into smaller, more insular circles of trust.

Government leaders and journalists are the least-trusted societal leaders, according to Edelman’s 2022 global “Trust Barometer,” a survey of 35,000 respondents in 28 countries.

  • A majority of people globally believe journalists (67%), government leaders (66%) and business executives (63%) are “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”
  • Around the world, people fear the media is becoming more sensational for commercial gain and that government leaders continue to exploit divisions for political gain.

[Trust in neighbors and co-workers has apparently ⬆️.]

[AXIOS-Sarah Fischer]

https://www.axios.com/distrust-in-political-media-and-business-leaders-sweeps-the-globe-f02f7cf0-9385-4067-abff-92c6b6392d02.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top

ON THE MEDIA

https://www.wnycstudios.org

#MustListen

Since the insurrection on January 6, warnings of a second American Civil War have been sounded. This week, On the Media explores whether the civil war talk is an alarmist cry, or actually a sober assessment. Plus, hear how the myth of “the Dark Ages” paints an unfair portrait of medieval times. 

1. David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and host of the New Yorker Radio Hour, on the risk of second civil war. Listen.

“In the current context, is ‘Civil War’ a metaphor, a proposed diagnosis for what ails our country? Or is it meant to be taken literally? In a recent essay in The New Yorker, editor David Remnick suggests both. He writes that ‘for the first time in two hundred years, we are suspended between democracy and autocracy. And that sense of uncertainty radically heightens the likelihood of episodic bloodletting in America, and even the risk of civil war.’ Remnick tells Brooke about the value of ‘a journalism of warning,’ and why cautions of civil war should be heeded. -OTM

2. Barbara Walter [@bfwalter], professor of International Relations at the University of California, San Diego, on the tell-tale signs that a country is headed for insurgence. Listen.

“To a subset of the White population here this is deeply, deeply threatening… They see the United States as a White Christian country. And they feel like they’re justified to fight to maintain it.”

“Sadly, if we remain ignorant about how power operates in American politics, then people with nefarious purposes will step in and take it away from us. It’s why a civics curriculum in schools would create a stronger electorate and lead to greater faith & trust in the system.”

‘Everybody thought their civil war was unique,’Barbara F. Walter writes in her new book, How Civil Wars Start: And How To Stop Them. ‘So no one saw the risk factors that emerged again and again no matter where war broke out.” According to Walter, who has studied civil wars around the world for the past three decades — from Syria to Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka — the same warning signs appear each time. And now Walter says she sees those same signs here, in the United States. This week, she discusses them with Brooke.” -OTM

Anocracy or semi-democracy: a form of government that is loosely defined as part democracy and part dictatorship, or as a “regime that mixes democratic with autocratic features.” … Such regimes are particularly susceptible to outbreaks of armed conflict and unexpected or adverse changes in leadership. [wikipedia]

According to Professor Walter, a new Civil War would not look like the old one…

[Image: MSNBC]


U.S. democracy downgraded in 2016 and 2019. “U.S. no longer deemed longest consistent democracy.” It is now Switzerland.

#Anocracy

Center for Systemic Peace


3. Charlie Warzel [@cwarzel], journalist and contributing writer at The Atlantic, on when journalists should sound the alarm (and how loud we should ring it). Listen.

“Since the anniversary of January 6th, the pundit industrial complex has been churning out new ‘takes’ on a possible civil war every day.  Could it be “like the summer of 2020, but 10 times bigger”, or ‘a Seinfeld civil war’— a war about nothing? Amid the noise, it has only become more difficult to determine the proper level of alarm. Journalist Charlie Warzel tried to help everyone calibrate in the latest installment of his newsletter for The Atlantic, Galaxy Brain. This week, Brooke and Charlie discuss the role of alarmism in the face of seemingly existential problems, and who the real ‘doomsayers’ actually are.

4. David M. Perry [@Lollardfish] and Matthew Gabriele [@prof_gabriele], authors of The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe, on how the Dark Ages might have not been so dark. Listen.

Today, when we encounter the medieval world it’s mostly a dark time. Un-enlightened by reason, but also literally gloomy – all bare stone and grey skies. We know it as a brutal time, dominated by white men with steeds and swords, or drenched in blood by marauding Vikings. But in their new book, The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe, historians Matthew Gabriele and David M. Perry trace the harm of the myths of the “Dark Ages,” and illuminate the medieval stories that have mostly escaped our modern gaze. -OTM

Boise State Public Radio

#MustListen

Excellent reporting from journalist Heath Druzin and the team at KBSX, Boise State Public Radio.

‘This podcast takes you inside the world of ascendant Patriot Movement, the militia members & far-right activists who are simultaneously preparing to fight the government & become part of it.’

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/extremely-american/id1599294971


Voices of Freedom, edited/produced by me; see if you can the identify the speakers. -dayle


 

‘Congressman Jamie Raskin has proudly represented Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2017. Prior to his time in Congress, Raskin was a three-term State Senator in Maryland and the Senate Majority Whip. He was also a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for more than 25 years.’

[His book is #1 this week on the NYTimes hardcover non-fiction Best Seller’s List.]

“I have learned that trauma can steal everything from you that is most precious and rip joy right out of your life,” Raskin writes. “But, paradoxically, it can also make you stronger and wiser, and connect you more deeply to other people than you ever imagined by enabling you to touch their misfortunes and integrate their losses and pain with your own.”

“If a person can grow through unthinkable trauma and loss,” Raskin continues, “perhaps a nation may, too.” [NPR]

“When everything looks hopeless, you are the hope.”

-Marcus Raskin

MLK DAY 2022

January 17, 2022

Life takes pride in not appearing uncomplicated. If it relied on simplicity, it probably would not succeed in moving us to do all those things that we are not easily moved to do.

-Rilke

Seth Godin:

“The Way Things Are…”

That’s how culture perpetuates injustice and indignity. Because that’s just the way things are around here.

But the status quo isn’t permanent. The world doesn’t stay the way it was. It changes.

And it’s been changing faster than ever.

It doesn’t change because the status quo sub-committee had a meeting and decided to change it.

It changes when someone decides that the way things are around here needs to change, and simply and bravely begins to do something differently.

And then someone else follows along.

Dan Rather:

I fear that the elevation of Dr. King to the pantheon of great Americans who have national birthday celebrations has come at a subtle cost. These days almost no public official would dare speak ill of Dr. King. However I worry that this universal acclaim has deadened the radicalism of Dr. King’s message. And by radicalism, I mean that what he espoused was far outside what was then the mainstream. It still is.

We must remember that he was a deeply contentious person at the time of his death. Dr. King would not, could not, suppress the moral clarity with which he saw the world. His messages about racial prejudice and social justice were not welcome in most corridors of power. He was a danger to the status quo and many who benefited from it. He not only preached powerfully about the necessity for racial healing and integration. He also issued stirring rhetoric from his pulpit on the need for economic fairness across racial lines. And he was a fierce critic of the Vietnam War.

So today, please don’t revere Dr. King the American saint. Please engage with Dr. King as the unique vessel for a message America was long overdue to hear.

[Steady/Substack]

https://steady.substack.com/p/remembering-dr-king?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email&utm_content=share&token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo3NzQxODc2LCJwb3N0X2lkIjo0NzE0OTE5OCwiXyI6Imc5NzkxIiwiaWF0IjoxNjQyNDUxOTY0LCJleHAiOjE2NDI0NTU1NjQsImlzcyI6InB1Yi0yNDc4ODEiLCJzdWIiOiJwb3N0LXJlYWN0aW9uIn0._IKTFNkcwaZtjY4vR8egOl8Fssc0Ssv3U-tauVb9tEA

Our Turn Now

Marianne Williamson:

Those words should ring like clarion calls to all of us today. Our task is not merely to celebrate the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr., but to commit ourselves to their realization. And that means much more than just tweeting a quote, or making an instagram post. It means developing what Dr. King described as “tough minds and tender hearts.” It means committing to routing out not only systems of injustice in the world, but also the hatred in our own hearts. Dr. King said that a basic tenet of non-violent philosophy is that “self-purification must precede political action.” In his words, we need both “a quantitative change in our circumstances and a qualitative shift in our souls.”

Dr. King was the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., remember, a Baptist preacher whose political vision was rooted in his understanding of the gospel of Christ. “It is time,” he said, “to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of human civilization.” That love – that new love – was a social love, a love that would heal not only personal but also political and social relationships as well. He found inspiration for that possibility in the work of Mahatma Gandhi, traveling to India to study the principles of non-violence and bringing them back for application to the struggle for Civil Rights in the United States in the 1960’s.

So many of the struggles to which Dr. King dedicated his life, and for which he ultimately died, are struggles that are with us still. Surely he could be talking about America today with comments such as this: “If they give it to poor people, they call it a handout; if they give it to rich people, they call it a subsidy.” Or, “If it happens to rich people, they call it a Depression; if it happens to poor people, they call it a social problem.” Or how about this? In describing America in 1967, Dr. King described the “three evils” of racism, consumerism/poverty, and militarism/war. As those not the main challenges that are with us now? He called for a “radical revolution of values” then, just as we need to call for one now.

The struggle is in our hands. The dream is in our hands. The hope is in our hands.

MLK Day 2022. It’s our turn now.

‘…the ultimate goal (was) the establishment of the beloved community.” Such a notion was not a religious platitude; it was a political strategy.

For a full look at Dr. King’s writings and speeches, I highly recommend A Testament of Hope.’ -Marianne

The longer I live, the more urgent it seems to me to endure and transcribe the whole dictation of existence up to its end, for it might just be the case that only the very last sentence contains that small and possibly inconspicuous word through which everything we had struggled to learn and everything we had failed to understand will be transformed suddenly into magnificent sense.

-Rilke

Radical Transformation

January 15, 2022

“Being fully present to what is happening in the world is a radical act that can transform grief into action.”

YES! Magazine

By Dahr Jamail

In this excerpt from the new anthology “A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Times,” journalist Dahr Jamail describes how Macy and her work helped him survive profound war trauma and climate grief.

Macy, a scholar and teacher of Buddhism, systems thinking, and deep ecology, is the author of 13 books and a respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology. She originated The Work That Reconnects, a framework and methodology for personal and social change. It is influential work that, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, helps people transform despair and apathy into constructive, collaborative action.

[…]

During one of Joanna’s discussions, she said, “The most radical thing any of us can do at this time is to be fully present to what is happening in the world.” For me, the price of admission into that present was allowing my heart to break. But then I saw how, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, despair transforms into clarity of vision, then into constructive, collaborative action. “It brings a new way of seeing the world, freeing us from the assumptions and attitudes that now threaten the continuity of life on earth,” Joanna said.

[…]

There is more and more social hysteria, greatly aided by the corporate media and its finger-pointing and scapegoating. On one hand, you have the mass shootings, and on the other, a deathlike closing down under the pressures of the moment when you need to just get food on the table.”

Illustration by Benjavisa Ruangvaree.

I felt like little more than a typist for Gaia as the feelings and words flowed out of me, as I bowed to and held in reverence our magnificent planet. With each passing day, it became clearer to me that my work was truly in service to the planet, each chapter an homage to her. And along the way, she brought in Native American elders, which literally changed the ending of the book I had prepared. It was due to my training with Joanna that I knew what was happening and allowed myself to be Gaia’s instrument.

No matter how difficult life on Earth becomes, we will only be able to withstand these times by sharing ourselves with one another. If nothing else, we can bear witness together and not suffer in isolation as the dominant culture prefers. In being a “we,” humans can live as the deeply interconnected consciousness of Earth that we already are, just as Joanna has taught all of her life.

Yes. But what is the ‘we’ now? We are no longer deeply connected, only ideology connected and fractions are deep within each. Jesus spoke of ‘thou’, you, but contemporaneously it is only ‘me’ and perspectivism. ‘We’ know what needs to be done, but can ‘we’, will ‘we’? Hope is nothing more than a gamble, and we have no more chips.

R A D I C A L   T R A N S F O R M A T I O N

…desperately needed, as ‘we’ exist in a state of radical uncertainty.

 

 

Howl. Go ahead.

January 14, 2022

 

Full Moon in Cancer is Monday, January 17 at 4:50PM Mountain Standard Time (MST)

Also known as the Wolf Moon, this full moon suggests a deeply emotional time giving opportunity for some serious emotional clearing of pent up frustrations, past disappointments, regrets, judgments and feelings about what has or has not happened. It is a good time to sort out the difference between your mental thoughts and judgments and the true nature of your emotional center and what it holds.

This year (2022) is an emotionally centered year and we see it anchored in this full moon. Since the theme of January is about values and what is important, this will also be highlighted during the full moon window.

Beware of self-judgment around what you should have paid more attention to or put more energy into. What is past is past. Clear the emotions around it and move on. This is also a good time to receive the higher emotional energies of gratitude, love, awe, beauty and inspiration. Do some self-care during this time that includes some higher-centered possibilities. Since Mercury is now retrograde, this is a time for more being rather than doing and a good time for reflection and study of where your true power comes from. What is important to you? What do you value? What do you love? What do you love to do and where do you love to be? And with whom?

Blessings,
Lena

PowerPath.com


🌕

Marianne Williamson:

Today I choose the light, and turn away from darkness. 

I know there is a force within that lures me toward the light, yet there is a competing force within me that would keep me bound to darkness. May the love of God cast out the fear that is lodged inside my consciousness, and deliver me to peace. May the light of love cast out all fear and darkness in my mind.

CQ

January 12, 2022

CB radio

“It was huge and kept growing by leaps and bounds.

Until it didn’t.

(My license was KFV2338, a number I haven’t said out loud in 40 years).

CB radio took off because human beings desperately want to connect with people they know and be heard by people they don’t.

And then it went away because it was noisy, unfiltered and sort of pointless.

We can’t imagine why people were so entranced.

Until the next one comes along.

It was huge and kept growing by leaps and bounds.

Until it didn’t.

(My license was KFV2338, a number I haven’t said out loud in 40 years).

CB radio took off because human beings desperately want to connect with people they know and be heard by people they don’t.

And then it went away because it was noisy, unfiltered and sort of pointless.

We can’t imagine why people were so entranced.

Until the next one comes along.”

Here’s mine: KG7HAK 

Breaker Breaker. :)

10 years…maybe less.

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.”

-Henry David Thoreau

 

YES! Magazine

When Less Is More

by David Korten

“Science tells us that we now have fewer than 10 years to reduce the human burden on Earth or trigger tipping points in Earth’s natural systems from which there is no return. Most discussion centers on the climate emergency, but we also have crises related to air, water, soil, species extinction, and more.

A viable human future depends on living with less. Does that mean sacrifice? Leaving more people behind? Or is this challenge an unprecedented opportunity to achieve a better future for all? The question of how much is enough, the theme of the fall 2021 issue of YES! Magazine, poses a foundational question for our time.

Let us look at several key areas where less could be more.

  • Deadly Weapons.
  • Mis-/Disinformation.
  • Financial Speculation.
  • The Bitcoin Con.
  • Global Supply Chains.
  • Short Stay Air Travel.
  • Auto-Dependent Cities.

We face a defining choice. We can hold to course with an economy that grows GDP to provide a few with the opportunity to make a killing as they prepare to escape to outer space. Or we can embrace the current opportunity to transition to an ecological civilization, with a living economy dedicated to supporting us all in making a secure and fulfilling living on a thriving living Earth.”

Full Piece: yesmagazine.org

~

How Much Is Enough?

YES! Magazine

by, Lornet Turnbull

Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark envisioned back in 2013 when they created Buy Nothing—a gift economy operated on a hyperlocal scale to bring neighbors together through sharing and community.

Neither a group, organization, association, or nonprofit, Buy Nothing is a movement that has doubled in size during the pandemic. It now has more than 4 million participants in 6,500 groups, located in 44 countries across the globe.

“It’s like a radical new economy, except of course it’s an old economy that has been around forever,” Rockefeller says. “We’re just re-presenting it.”

“Here we were studying this very old culture, up to 3,000 years old, while at the same time seeing that the modern folks were using their materials in a way that was so beautiful and eye-opening,” she adds. “The only way these cultures could survive was literally by always ensuring that the weakest were carried along with them.”

https://buynothingproject.org

[Barter Economy/Wikipedia Image]

Memphis Free Speech

January 11, 2022

The new Barbie doll of journalist and activist Ida B. Wells.

Jason Tidwell/Mattel

I had a Skipper and a Scooter. I wish I could have had an Ida B. -dayle

Journalist Ida B. Wells is commemorated with a Barbie doll for fearless activism

NPR

by Elizabeth Blair

Educator, journalist, anti-lynching activist and NAACP co-founder Ida B. Wells joins the pantheon of distinguished women honored by Mattel with her own signature Barbie doll. Resplendent in a deep blue, floor-length dress with lace details, the new Ida B. Wells doll also comes with a historically significant accessory: a miniature replica of the Memphis Free Speech, the newspaper where Wells became editor and co-owner in 1889.

Mattel has created numerous Barbie dolls to honor both historic and contemporary heroines in the hopes of inspiring “generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.” It’s Inspiring Women Series includes dolls dedicated to Maya Angelou, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and singer Ella Fitzgerald.

The oldest of eight children, Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in Holly Springs, Miss., in 1862. When she was 16, both of her parents and a younger brother died during the yellow fever epidemic. Wells raised her younger siblings and became a teacher to support her family.

Daniel and Michelle Duster attend the dedication of a monument to their great-grandmother, journalist, educator, and civil rights leader, Ida B. Wells in Chicago last year.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

“I am honored that Barbie has chosen to celebrate my great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, as part of its Inspiring Women Series,” says Michelle Duster, author, public historian, and great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells in a statement. “My great-grandmother was a trailblazer, who courageously followed her convictions and challenged the status quo by fighting for civil rights and women’s suffrage. This is an incredible opportunity to shine a light on her truth and enduring legacy to empower a new generation to speak up for what they believe in.”

A pivotal moment in Wells’ life came in 1883 when she was traveling by train from Memphis to Woodstock, Tenn., where she was a teacher. When she refused to give up her seat and ride in a segregated car, she was forcibly removed. Wells later sued the Chesapeake, Ohio and Southwest Railroad Co. A local court ruled in her favor but the decision was eventually overturned in federal court.

Wells became a fierce anti-lynching activist. She investigated white mob violence and wrote scathing indictments of the lynchings of Black men. Her articles so angered locals, the offices of the Memphis Free Speech were destroyed.

In the preface to her 1892 pamphlet Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws In All Its Phases, Wells wrote, “It is with no pleasure I have dipped my hands in the corruption here exposed. Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen on me to do so.”

https://www.npr.org/2022/01/11/1071885031/ida-b-wells-barbie-doll?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_term=nprnews&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr

The Second Coming

‘What is clear, “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity,” W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming,” 1919.

What no one wants to admit openly in the U.S. is that we are a nation gone mad.’

by Gregg Gonsalves, The Nation

We have become a nation of death-eaters. We can consume the tragedy of losing 826,063 [1.6.22] men, women and children to this disease and respond with cries to do less, to get us back to normal. And our politicians, pundits, and business leaders are all too willing to oblige.

Many of us may be over Covid, but it is not done with us. Not by a long shot.

Gregg Gonsalves is the codirector of the Global Health Justice Partnership and an associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.

 

https://www.thenation.com/article/society/covid-omicron-variant-testing/

Darrell Lee Ohlau

January 5, 2022

22 years.

Ho’oponopono

‘And if I go,

while you’re still here…

know that I live on,

vibrating to a different measure,

behind a thin veil you cannot see through.

You will not see me,

so you must have faith.

I wait for the time when we can soar together again,

both aware of each other.

Until then, live your lie to its fullest.

And when you need me,

just whisper my name in your heart,

…I will be there.

‘Ascension’

by Colleen Corah

~

Stephen Colbert to guest Keanu Reeves:

“What do you think happens to us when we die Keanu Reeves?”

Pause…

“I know the ones who love us will miss us.”

Always.

jai

~

The Greek tragedian Aeschylus wrote:

God, whose law it is that he who learns must suffer.

And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget,

falls drop by drop upon the heart,

and in our despair, against our will,

come wisdom through the awful grace of God.

Lena’s January 2022 Forecast

January 4, 2022

The main theme for January is “ALL ABOUT VALUES”.

As we begin the new cycle of the year 2022, what we value is up for review. What are we putting energy into that is not serving us? What should we be cherishing and putting energy into that we are not? This is an interesting month where choices and change will be based on what we value, and personal truth will guide our priorities.

We have been imprinted by media, conditioning, and outside judgments about what is valuable and what is not.

As we move forward out of the chaos and uncertainty of the last year and into the anticipation of what this new year will bring, we are in a perfect position to re-evaluate what is most important to us regardless of what others think or what we believed to be valuable in the past. Where we go from here and how we manifest our future will depend on the foundation of values we come from. It is no longer viable to base intentions on an old paradigm or on something that is not truly true for us.

The values up for review this month are what we value or undervalue about ourselves, our personal strengths, talents and medicine as well as our relationships to ourselves, our bodies, each other and nature. We also review the true value of our ambitions and dreams and whether they come from an authentic place of truth or past imprinting or the intentions of others. We evaluate our personal environment and whether it supports us or not.

It is a great month to continue the big clean out, not only of physical items that are no longer resonant with you, but also habits, behaviors, energy leaks and attitudes that should not be given any value. The law of attraction is alive and well this month and what you put your energy into will grow and spread like a virus. It is time to starve the fear and negativity, and to feed the curiosity, optimism, hope and everything that you value about yourself, your environment, others and your life. When you feed the positive, it will spread and affect everything around you. If you feed the negative, the same thing will happen. So, keep it positive, hopeful and optimistic no matter what.

You should be inspired by what you value.

This is an emotionally centered year where the points of reference and the reality checks will be based more on what feels right rather that what you think should be right.  One of the themes for 2022 is a recapitulation of the past that includes sorting out your values as opposed to values imprinted upon you by others. It is important work this month as it will help to create a foundation that will support how and what you manifest for the year. The theme of Values and resetting them for yourself also includes looking at quality vs quantity. We have been conditioned as a consumer society that more is better and that power lies in how much you have instead of how valuable what you have is.

We are in a new time where our perceptions are changing, our awareness is increasing, and we are becoming more mature in our responsibilities. It is time to claim our truth, reset our priorities and what we value, and move forward with curiosity and hope into the positive opportunities of 2022.

[More at powerpath.com.]

“…it barely exaggerates.”

Don’t Look Up

Don’t Look Up shows that subtlety isn’t always a virtue. (Netflix)

The Nation

Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up Captures the Stupidity of Our Political Era
BY BRANKO MARCETIC

‘The scariest thing about Don’t Look Up is that as absurd as it is, it barely exaggerates. Much of our political elite are just as greedy and foolish, our media just as vapid, and our response to impending disaster exactly as mind-bogglingly irrational as in the movie.

The times we live in are both shot through with menace and impossibly stupid. This is one of the defining features of this political era, and yet I can’t think of many movies in the post-2016 years that capture this dynamic, or even bother to try, like Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up.

The marquee productions about capital “P” politics in the Donald Trump years had plenty of the former. Vehicles like The Post and The Comey Rule filtered the news we all sat around watching and reading after the 2016 election through the lens of a 1970s-style political thriller, and were celebrated for flattering establishment biases. The heroes were institutions like the press and the FBI, nobly defending norms and democracy from a Nixonian assault unparalleled in its danger. It’s no coincidence this came at a time when much of the establishment had convinced themselves they were on the verge of uncovering a sprawling espionage scandal and dictatorial conspiracy all in one.

Don’t Look Up feels a much better fit for the reality we’re actually living through. There’s no villainous authoritarian ending democracy; as in our world, American democracy in the film has already been smothered under the weight of oligarch money and corporate profit-chasing. There’s no secret evil conspiracy, at least in the salacious form these Trump-era stories imagined; the villains are a self-obsessed, blinkered elite, and it’s their greed, venality, and stupidity that lead them to evil decisions.

If nothing else, the discourse now swirling around the movie has probably clued you in that it’s an allegory for climate disaster. Astronomers Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) discover a comet the size of Mount Everest making a beeline for Earth, and determine (after desperately triple-checking and rechecking) that it’s set to cause an apocalyptic event of the kind that killed the dinosaurs in only six months’ time. They soon fly to Washington to brief the president.

Climate change has long been compared to an approaching asteroid by incredulous scientists and activists who ask, as they tear their hair out, if we’d respond with the same denial and delay to the kind of planetary disaster immortalized in end-of-history blockbusters like Armageddon. Those movies have conditioned us to assume that no, we’d put together a plucky team of characters, rough around the edges but with a lot of heart, who, with the help of modern science and unlimited government resources, would win out over the space rock. Their only obstacles would be their own personal issues, their inability to work as a team, and the immensity of the task itself.

McKay and David Sirota, the journalist, Jacobin contributor, and former Bernie Sanders speechwriter who cowrote the film’s story, flip that timeworn scenario on its head. What if stopping the actual disaster wasn’t the hardest part? What if the hardest part was convincing anyone to even bother trying?

Dibiasky and Mindy are frustrated every step of the way in their efforts. The head of NASA — a political donor, we later learn, with no background in astronomy — at first doesn’t believe it. President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her dimwit son and chief of staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), initially blow them off, then look for a rationale to delay doing anything about it; the midterms are coming up, after all. The press is mostly uninterested, and the one establishment paper that treats the story as the blockbuster it is quickly gives up on it after the White House disputes the science. The duo lands on a popular morning show, but an exasperated Dibiasky is ignored and mocked after what looks like an on-air meltdown.

Things don’t get much easier once the government finally does take the threat seriously, a version of what might happen if Michael Bay’s oil drillers had to operate in our world of cultural polarization, runaway greed, and social-media-driven psychosis. In all its absurdity, the movie is a depressingly accurate portrayal of this specific era, from the vapid media landscape and the foibles of social media stardom to its mock political ad of a suburban mother earnestly telling the camera that “the jobs the comet’s gonna create sound great.”

All of this would be moot if the movie was no good. Thankfully, the movie is rooted in terrific comedic performances from a stacked cast — the two leads in particular — who keep us caring about their characters even as they dare us to give up on them. Mindy becomes intoxicated with his own microcelebrity and becomes little more than a government flack. Dibiasky checks out of the struggle entirely in sullen apathy. It’s remembering what truly matters — human connection, relationships, the small pleasures like sitting around a dinner table together — that brings them back from the brink, even as the planet slides over it. The result is at once entertaining, tense, and devastating.

Rejecting the Anti-Populist Turn
The film thankfully swerves away from one of the worst impulses of post-Trump discourse and its anti-populist tendencies. Critics have charged the filmmakers with smugness and contempt for ordinary people, portraying a country too stupid to save itself. They’re wrong.

The people of the world of Don’t Look Up decidedly aren’t the problem. Bar patrons coax the horrible truth about the government’s inaction out of our heroes and respond with concern and violent outrage. A sweet Midwestern Christian boy played by Timothée Chalamet casually assumes the comet isn’t real, but changes his mind with evidence and exceedingly gentle persuasion. At a Trump-like rally, Jason implores the crowd that they “Don’t look up,” until a doughy, red-hatted attendee does, and sees the comet clearly streaking right at them. “Fucking lied to us!” he yells.

In a reversal of the prevailing liberal narrative since 2016 — which either casts all ordinary Trump voters as irredeemable, bigoted villains, to the point of fantasizing that they lose their health insurance, or dumps the blame on nonvoters for failing their politicians — it’s the country’s elites and institutions, including the media, that are the real problem in Don’t Look Up. All corrupted by money, they mislead, manipulate, and distract the rest of us from what really matters. Maybe this is why the film’s been met with surprising hostility from a lot of the mainstream press, which have complained chiefly about the film’s lack of subtlety.

But subtlety isn’t always a virtue. Dr. Strangelove, the Cold War classic that McKay’s film has been widely and justifiably compared to, was hardly a masterclass in understatement, featuring a US military advised by a Nazi scientist with a sentient, murderous hand, and its final shot of a cowboy pilot practically orgasming on top of a falling nuclear warhead. There are different ways to make a movie, and not every climate film has to be Paul Schrader’s excellent First Reformed. The impressive streaming numbers for Don’t Look Up so far suggest McKay and Sirota’s approach has been the right one for their purposes of shaking the public by the shoulders and begging them to pay attention.

I’m also not convinced the movie is as aggressively obvious as its critics charge. My immediate thought after watching the movie went to its restraint. If you’re not one of the relative minority of people hyperaware of climate change or familiar with the movie before it came out, there’s little to suggest its central allegory, short of a handful of brief shots of polar bears and other wildlife in end-of-the-world montages. It’s all ambiguous enough that, both anecdotally and based on the movie’s reception so far, a not insignificant chunk of people thought it was actually about the pandemic. Critics would do well to remember most people aren’t highly educated, habitual news consumers like themselves.

The Strangelove comparisons stick because both movies do a similar thing: They take a fundamentally absurd, nonsensical piece of logic that’s central to our politics — the nuclear policy of mutually assured destruction in Kubrick’s film and the denial of and even profit-making delusions toward the climate crisis in McKay’s — and let them play out in front of us. The results are laughable and unbelievable. It’s insane that people in power and influence would jeopardize stopping the literal apocalypse because they either saw it as a moneymaking opportunity or because they didn’t want to talk about bad news.

And yet this is the maddening reality of the climate crisis today, where business and political figures insist that preventing planetary disaster is too expensive and would cost jobs, and probably the most progressive anchor on cable news casually justifies the lack of his network’s climate coverage on the basis that it’s a “ratings killer.” Just last week, one of the nation’s top newspapers giddily celebrated that leaders around the world were abandoning their climate pledges and “starving the issue of political oxygen,” something it labels “climate realism.”

For all the critics’ concerns that the movie is undermining its own goal, or that it’s stealing the thunder of hardworking climate campaigners, it’s worth looking to actual scientists and activists. There the film has been near universally positively received, one of the few bright spots in a year full of gloomy climate news. The gripes about its lack of subtlety haven’t landed with climate scientists, who instead recognize the scenes of the astronomers vainly trying to warn a pair of professional cable news morons not as over-the-top satire but as a reality they’ve lived through.

The scariest thing about Don’t Look Up is that absurd as it is, it barely exaggerates. Much of our political elite are just as greedy and foolish, our media just as vapid, and our response to impending disaster exactly as mind-bogglingly irrational as in the movie. But there is one major difference (and it does involve a spoiler): it may be too late for the characters in Don’t Look Up, but it’s not for us in the real world. Let’s prove McKay wrong by not sharing his characters’ fate.’

 

 

Generative Contribution

From Seth Godin:

“Some people say “hobby” like it’s a bad thing. In a race for more, it seems as though doing something you don’t get paid for, something that requires patience and skill–well, some people don’t get it. They’d rather troll around on social media or watch a rerun.

A generation or two ago, hobbies were things like paint by number or candlemaking, or perhaps a woodshop. That’s changing. Not simply because computers allow us to be far more professional, but because the very nature of the output is different.

This might be the golden age for a new kind of hobby, one that’s about community, leadership and producing public goods, not private ones.

Because it’s so much easier to connect and because ideas multiply, the generative hobby gives us a chance to make a contribution, even (especially) when we’re not at work. Sharing ideas, leading, connecting…

Wikipedia is the result of 5,000 people working together to produce a resource that’s used by a billion people. The people who have contributed the most don’t work there, they work on it.

Perhaps “generative contribution” is a better name for it. But I’m all for reclaiming “hobby,” because the way we spend our time is the way we spend our lives.”

Another journey around the sun.

January 2, 2022

A Prayer for World Peace

I know there is but One Mind, which is the mind of God, in which all people live and move and have their being.

I know there is a divine pattern for humanity and within this pattern there is infinite harmony and peace, cooperation, unity, and mutual helpfulness.

I know that the mind of humankind, being one with the mind of God, shall discover the method, the way, and the means best fitted to permit the flow of Divine Love between individuals and nations.

Thus, harmony, peace, cooperation, unity, and mutual helpfulness are experienced by all.

I know there will be a free interchange of ideas, of cultures, of spiritual concepts, of ethics, of educational systems and scientific discoveries…for all good belongs to all alike.

I know that, because Divine Mind has created us all, we are bound together in one infinite and perfect unity.

I know that all people and all nations will remain individual but unified for the common purpose of promoting peace, happiness, harmony, and prosperity.

I know that deep within each person the Divine Pattern of perfect peace is already implanted.

I now declare that in each person and in leaders of thought everywhere this Divine Pattern moves into action and form, to the end that all nations and all people will live together win peace harmony, and prosperity forever.

-Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes.

Peace can’t be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding.

-Einstein

I see you.

I am here.

‘In a culture that erases humanity, that keeps the act of innocence and beginning invisible, we are sorely in need of being seen with joy, so we can proclaim with equal astonishment and innocence that of all the amazing things that could have been or not, We Are Here.

As far back as we can remember, people of the oldest tribes, unencumbered by civilization, have been rejoicing in being on earth together. No only can we do this for each other, it is essential. For as stars need open space to be seen, as waves need shore to crest, as ew needs grass to soak into, our vitality depends on how we exclaim and rejoice, “I See You!” “I Am Here!”‘

-Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Power Path

New Moon today, Sunday, January 2nd.

Known as the Black Moon, this launches a new cycle for the year. If you have not already written your intentions, this is a great time to catch up with that task. This moon supports pragmatic, responsible, attainable goals. What is your ambition for 2022? What action steps can you anchor that are practical, attainable and responsible? Remember there is a difference between intentions, goals and resolutions. The intention is the end result you wish for. The goals are the steps to get there. The resolutions are the disciplines that help you to reach your goals.

Example: If your intention is to improve your living space, the goal may be a new couch and the resolution would be to check Craigslist every day and follow up on possibilities. 

-Lena

 

Center for Action & Contemplation

In a world of fault lines and fractures,
we stand in a place where opposites come together,
awaiting the birth of what is to come.

If you are doubting, welcome.
If you are healing, welcome.
If you are angry at injustice, welcome.

We await a new genesis,
one more beginning in a series of starts,
trailing backwards in time to the very first day.

If you are afraid, welcome.
If you are joyful, welcome.
If you are longing to belong, welcome.

God’s generous rhythm of life, death, resurrection,
moving in and through all things,
the very breath and source of the cosmos itself.

Our pathways converge and continue,
each one of us a catalyst for loving action.
We, a community of saints.
Conspire.
Breathe with us.

cac.org

 

2021’s last day. Exhale.

December 31, 2021

She isn’t letting us go gently as she finally releases her grip. Colorado. ♡ -dayle

From Marianne Williamson:

“I embrace each moment as an opportunity for a miracle. 

Infinite opportunity is built into the nature of the universe.

It is not lack of opportunities, but rather the ways I have sabotaged them, that has obstructed the flow of miracles into my life.” 

IMG_0856.jpg

December 31, 2021

A Revelation of Heaven on Earth

“We return today to CAC teacher Brian McLaren, who illustrates how one of the Bible’s most challenging books—Revelation—can be a source of wisdom and hope for us today:

There’s a beautiful visionary scene at the end of the Book of Revelation that is as relevant today as it was in the first century. It doesn’t picture us being evacuated from Earth to heaven as many assume. It pictures a New Jerusalem descending from heaven to Earth [see Revelation, chapter 21]. This new city doesn’t need a temple because God’s presence is felt everywhere. It doesn’t need sun or moon because the light of Christ illuminates it from within. Its gates are never shut, and it welcomes people from around the world to receive the treasures it offers and bring the treasures they can offer. From the center of the city, from God’s own throne, a river flows—a river of life or aliveness. Along its banks grows the Tree of Life. All of this, of course, evokes the original creation story and echoes God’s own words in Revelation: “Behold! I’m making all things new!”

Rather than giving its original readers and hearers a coded blueprint of the future, Revelation gave them visionary insight into their present situation. It told them that the story of God’s work in history has never been about escaping Earth and going up to heaven. It has always been about God descending to dwell among us. . . . God wasn’t a distant, terrifying monster waiting for vengeance at the end of the universe. God was descending among us here and now, making the tree of true aliveness available for all.

Earlier in the year, Richard shared the shocking hopefulness of the Bible’s apocalyptic literature:

God puts us in a world of passing things where everything changes and nothing remains the same.

The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. It’s a hard lesson to learn. It helps us appreciate that everything is a gift. We didn’t create it. We don’t deserve it. It will not last, but while we breathe it in, we can enjoy it, and know that it is another moment of God, another moment of life.

People who take this moment seriously take every moment seriously, and those are the people who are ready for heaven.

Brian offers this final encouragement:

What was true for Revelation’s original audience is true for us today. Whatever madman is in power, whatever chaos is breaking out, whatever danger threatens, the river of life is flowing now. The Tree of Life is bearing fruit now. True aliveness is available now. That’s why Revelation ends with the sound of a single word echoing through the universe. That word is not Wait! Nor is it Not Yet!or Someday! It is a word of invitation, welcome, reception, hospitality, and possibility. It is a word not of ending, but of new beginning. That one word is Come! The Spirit says it to us. We echo it back. Together with the Spirit, we say it to everyone who is willing. Come!”

-Brian McLaren

-Father Richard Rohr

~

‘We’ve been studying war for centuries, we must now study how to create peace…conditions for a deep and lasting peace.’ -Brian McLaren

Plan for U.S. Department of Peace

Ending the scourge of violence in the United States and across the planet requires more than suppressing violence. Lasting peace requires its active and systematized cultivation at every level of government and society. The U.S. Department of Peace will coordinate and spur the efforts we need to make our country and the world a safer place. Nothing short of broad-scale investment and government reorientation can truly turn things around.

Both domestically and internationally, we must dramatically ramp up the use of proven powers of peace-building, including dialogue, mediation, conflict resolution, economic and social development, restorative justice, public health approaches to violence prevention, trauma-informed systems of care, social and emotional learning in schools, and many others.

“I believe our country’s way of dealing with security issues is increasingly obsolete. We have the finest military force in the world, however we can no longer rely on force alone to rid ourselves of international enemies. The planet has become too small for that, and in so doing, we overburden our military by asking them to compensate for the other work that we choose not to do. We are less effective, and less secure, because of that,” said Williamson.

As its mission, the U.S. Department of Peace will; hold peace as an organizing principle; promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights; coordinate restorative justice programs; address white supremacy; strengthen nonmilitary means of peacemaking; work to prevent armed conflict; address the epidemic of gun violence; develop new structures of nonviolent dispute resolution; and proactively and systematically promote national and international conflict prevention, mediation, and resolution. In short, we must wage peace. “Large groups of desperate people,” said Williamson, “should be seen as a national security risk.”

The Department will create and establish a Peace Academy, modeled after the military service academies, which will provide a 4-year concentration in peace education. Graduates will be required to serve 5 years in public service in programs dedicated to domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution.

The Secretary of Peace will serve as a member of the National Security Council and will be empowered to coordinate with all Cabinet agencies – including the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Justice, and State, and the new Department of Children and Youth. 

In 2022, let’s pledge to making this our reality. -dayle

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings be happy.

May all beings be free from disease.

May auspiciousness be seen everywhere.

May suffering belong to no one.

Peace

Shanti~Shanti~Shanti

Final days. #2022

December 30, 2021

‘I regret nothing.’ -Edith Piaf

‘I’ve learned a great deal this year. What kind of year did you have? No matter how many challenges you’ve had, no matter what pain you’ve endured, did you do your very best? Then have no regrets.’ -A. Stoddard

As a collective we should have so many, and we can do so much better. We must. -dayle

Brian McLaren from the Center of Action and Contemplation:

“Something beautiful lies ‘unveiled’ on the other side of complexity and perplexity.”

Gatekeepers have long built razor-wire fences around us with

  • beliefs
  • rules
  • policies
  • controversies
  • budgets
  • programs
  • activities
  • rituals
  • offerings
  • inquisitions

Spirituality, though, is available to everyone, like wind, rain, and sun. [Brian McLaren] This is what we harness and share, and protect. “In politics, we’ve been studying war for centuries. We must now study how to crate the conditions for deep and lasting peace. We must now cherish life on earth and engage with it by focusing our best energies on learning to love neighbor, self, earth, and God…Gaia…who is Love.”

LATimes

What LA astronomers and diviners have in store for you in 2022.

-Deborah Netburn, staff writer

‘Spend time dreaming about the world in which you want to live…get specific about what real-life steps you can take to make it a reality. Ask, what does it mean to you to release the Earth, working with others to help the land rest more?’

Full piece [paywall]:

https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2021-12-30/la-astrologers-diviners-2022?scrolltoken=7G1wK4-LOddBnq3lrBXBRqGFKlvWJcPXHjkIOTw9jTF3kSyGA9UZOrb3waBywAUn2pYBn0sDngba-7GmYEXZL7GvBuFhMSD_KICR-OOnXCUPRhbNjvh3uToqrMUVeLpI-1Oja7LcW_J4Dc7tl6o9Tk8vH5oYH4CxV-r17fQqh58EnRsVYTx_U7G9epr7tpZSfWmqBLN3SzcdwKw5G4xnmskMU7067A.eyJraWQiOiIyIn0

‘These are scary, uncertain times. The pandemic has thrown our lives into chaos once again. Global warming has upended the predictable flow of the seasons. The political climate is divisive and volatile. With all this anxiety swirling around us, is it any wonder that tarot readers, astrologers and other divinatory practitioners say they’ve never been busier? All of us want to know what will happen next.

From the Oracle at Delphi to the Yoruba practitioners of Ifá, there are myriad ways to approach divination and myriad reasons for wanting to see into the future. These tools can be seen as a framework to make sense of the events in our lives. Through this lens, divinatory practices encourage believers to pay attention to the patterns in their lives and the cycles of nature and to move through time with intention.

Los Angeles is among the most spiritually diverse cities in the world; we live alongside thousands of divinatory practitioners from a wide range of traditions — many of whom have devoted their lives to the study of ancient practices that go back thousands of years. As we enter a new calendar year, I asked a handful of them what archetypal energies they expect we’ll encounter over the next 12 months and how we might prepare.’

[Posted on twitter, as seen outside a pub in Europe.]

Eric Holthaus, The Phoenix:

“Any time a climate movie breaks through, it’s worthy of celebration. But this isn’t an ordinary climate movie. #DontLookUp is special.”

In the last days of 2021, a year in which Texas froze and the freakin’ ocean caught fire, the number one movie in the world on Netflix is a star-studded climate movie that’s not about climate.

Let me be super clear: Any time climate breaks through, it’s worthy of celebration. But this isn’t an ordinary climate movie. Don’t Look Up is special.

Watching it last night for the first time, I was legitimately blown away by how much I felt like I could relate to the main plot — well-meaning scientists being ignored because their message wasn’t pleasant or profitable. I was scared to watch it because I was worried it would make me feel even more depressed than I already do about being a climate communicator during these decades of climate delay, but it’s just the opposite. This is the climate movie I was waiting for.

“The reason I think Don’t Look Up works so well is because the film’s creators did their homework. There are so many Easter Eggs thrown in throughout that it’s like a love letter to climate activists. There is a massive, waiting audience for authentic climate movies like this that speak to the deep, existential anxiety of being alive at this profoundly terrifying moment in history. We know how to solve the climate emergency — stop burning fossil fuels, build up a circular, caring society, and shift political power so that nothing like it ever happens again — and yet our leaders are staring us straight in the face and saying no.

Director Adam McKay wrote that his own climate anxiety after reading David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth helped inspire the film, and screenplay co-writer David Sirota wrote that empowering the climate movement was a primary goal of the film.

I reached out to McKay and Sirota, and they both confirmed this hunch I had that the movie wasn’t just a political satire, it was a gift for battle-weary activists after several long, hard years of struggle. “We literally made Don’t Look Up for the climate community,” McKay told me.

When I asked Sirota about the movie’s lack of a preachy, prescriptive call-to-action takeaways at the end, he said that was intentional.

“We want it to be a clarion call for the movement,” Sirota said, “But also respect that the movement should decide its tactics.”

The movie isn’t perfect. There’s too much of a focus on the United States, and there’s a valid criticism that seeking action from corrupt politicians during a time of crisis is counterproductive. We know that climate action at the scale and scope we need will only come from collective movements.

But that’s exactly our job now — tell more climate stories that build on this one.

This isn’t a movie that could exist without the decades of failures that have happened so far. But it’s also a movie that finally FINALLY acknowledges that the lynchpin to taking action on climate isn’t about data or carbon or graphs, it’s about finding our shared humanity.

That part is working:

Authentic climate action is way easier than shooting nukes at a comet — it’s treating each other and the Earth better. It’s listening. It’s building systems of power to replace the systems that have been built to kill us.

It’s up to us, the climate movement, to redirect the energy that Don’t Look Up gives us.”

David Wallace-Wells:

“Globally, 250 million people live within three feet of high tide lines. Ten feet of sea level rise would be a world-bending catastrophe. It’s not only goodbye Miami, but goodbye to virtually every low-lying coastal city in the world.”

“Thwaites Glacier is the size of Florida. It is the cork in the bottle of the entire West Antarctic ice sheet, which contains enough ice to raise sea levels by 10 feet.” The great ⁦Jeff Goodell on the scary signs from the “Doomsday” glacier.

Rolling Stone

by Jeff Goodall

‘The Fuse Has Been Blown,’ and the Doomsday Glacier Is Coming for Us All

New data suggests a massive collapse of the ice shelf in as little as five years. “We are dealing with an event that no human has ever witnessed,” says one scientist. “We have no analog for this”

“Given the ongoing war for American democracy and the deadly toll of the Covid pandemic, the loss of an ice shelf on a far-away continent populated by penguins might not seem to be big news. But in fact, the West Antarctic ice sheet is one of the most important tipping points in the Earth’s climate system. If Thwaites Glacier collapses, it opens the door for the rest of the West Antarctic ice sheet to slide into the sea. Globally, 250 million people live within three feet of high tide lines. Ten feet of sea level rise would be a world-bending catastrophe. It’s not only goodbye Miami, but goodbye to virtually every low-lying coastal city in the world.”

Power in disorder (Joan Didion). Let’s reclaim it now.

Order, disorder, reorder (Father Richard Rohr).

Pandemic life.

Climate Emergency.

Pari Center Newsletter - New Years 2022.png

Pari Center, Italy.

‘Don’t look up.’

December 28, 2021

See the film, confirming what we have become. More reality than satire, and brilliant. -dayle

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 1961

Aljazeera:

Biden signs enormous US military budget into law

“Congress allocated about $24 billion more than the Biden administration had requested for the military.”


Marianne Williamson, December 26th, 2021

New Year, Zen Mind

The creative power of doing nothing.

In these days between Christmas and New Year’s, our addled brains can take advantage of the opportunity for a much-needed rest. The most powerful somethings emerge from a space of no-thing; like the empty rice bowl often referred to in Eastern philosophies, it is a space left empty for the Tao to fill. The empty rice bowl is what in Zen Buddhism is referred to as the “beginner’s mind” – when ideas and images from the past are let go, thus making way for synapses and connections in the present that would not otherwise be possible. “Be ye as a little child” is much the same concept, with the consciousness of children so powerful precisely because they have no past to drag along with them. They know that they don’t know, which makes them teachable.

There is a saying often heard in AA: “Your best thinking got you here.” Western civilization might want to look at that. With all the geniuses who have lived among us, all the enlightened philosophies and laws that have been passed, all the think tanks and institutions of higher learning that exist — and yet we’re still inches from the cliff. Western materialism and scientific thinking have not in fact delivered humanity from our worst nightmares; it has relieved us of some of them, to be sure, but it has created others. The naive idealism which led us to believe that external powers would be the saviors of humanity has crashed against the wall of ultimate reality, challenging us now to radically rethink. No matter how smart we are – no matter how scientifically or technologically advanced we are, and no matter how much financial or political power we have – without humility we are misguided, without ethics we are blind, and without love we are doomed.

So what do we do? What trick of the outer world does anyone think is going to save us now?

What’s going to save us is a more evolved state of consciousness – a shift in our thinking that takes us beyond the judgement, blame, fear and and negativity that stand like shadows before the light. In A Course in Miracles it says it’s not our job to seek for love, but to seek within ourselves for all the barriers we hold against its coming. That makes all the difference in the world, because miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. When we withhold love, however, we deflect the miracle.

The only antidote to the myriad crises of our times – the hopelessness, cynicism, anger, and nihilism; the environmental degradation, systemic injustices and possible paths to fascism – is a miracle. It’s an inside rather than an outside shift that will expand our awareness, rearrange circumstances on our behalf, and pave the way for new beginnings. It says in A Course in Miracles that “Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first.” What we most need to purify are the thoughts that hold us back.

The most powerful thing we can do between now and New Year’s eve is to clear away our impediments to love. That means doing the work, and the work can be messy and difficult. Who have we not forgiven, including ourselves? What are our character defects that make us obnoxious to others and self-sabotaging to ourselves? What are the tricks we play that keep us small and victimized? Where does our disengagement and complacency make us unconscious participants in the downward trends in our society? Where are we selfish, needy, controlling, angry, arrogant…? You get the picture.

This work done by enough of us on a personal, individual level is the path that will lead to global transformation. Only a critical mass of those who love deeply can counteract the power of those who do not love at all.

Love is the natural intelligence that runs the universe. So where there is love, life works pretty well. Things proceed in alignment with the same intelligence that turns acorns into oak trees and embryos into babies. When love is withhold, the system gets jammed and intelligence malfunctions. It still operates, but in an inverted, diseased way. And only when love returns – through atonement and forgiveness – can nature self-correct. “All hands on deck” is better stated “All minds on deck” right now. Each of us affects the whole, with every thought we think and every action that we take.

No one person, piece of legislation, or action of any kind is going to turn things around now.

Human civilization is a very, very big ship that is heading in the wrong direction;

it will take a massive operation to turn it around. That operation is the collective zeitgeist of our time: billions of people all over the planet now responding to a call that is coming from deep within all of us: to do things a different way, to think and be as we have not thought or been before, to let go the past and let the future be made new. And with love.

That’s a lot of work we have to do over the next week, and nothing will help us do it more than spending enough time doing nothing. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “We’re materially passive but we’re spiritually active.”

So must we be now.

2021’s end.

December 18, 2021

Rilke:

I have seen for some time

how everything changes.

There is that which arises and acts,

kills and causes grief.

[…]

Now it is empty where I stand

and look down the avenue.

Almost as far as the farthest ocean

I can see the heavy

forbidding sky.