Do unto others

We are all born free and equal. We have a right to be treated fairly, wherever, whoever we are. The right to be safe, to move, or stay in one place, to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

We all have a right to food, shelter, education, representation and protection. And to live in a world order if we take personal responsibility to guarantee all the above.

Still, today, an uncomfortable feeling gnaws at us inside, even as we tap ourselves on the back. Perhaps a look further back will help.

The oldest written codes of conduct of our history contain the same Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” say the Bible, the Hindu Vedas, the Torah, and the Analects of Confucius.

The earliest human societies were egalitarian and fair; pre-agriculture, there was no such thing as a gender divide or social hierarchy to roles.

The ancient Greeks gave each free man a vote. The ancient Egyptians gave it to women too. Gender parity was the legal, economic, social norm; Egyptian women could even become pharaohs.

Love was free for all in ancient Greece and Rome. In pre-Constantine Europe and pre-colonial Africa, whom a man or woman chose to love was their business alone.

The Native Americans believed in living sustainably, so that their seventh generation grandsons also could.

Ancient civilizations built temples, statues, shrines, to worship different gods. Today those get blown up because some find their existence threatening. They wrote books and built libraries that have been burned, because some are in favor of ideas so long as they duplicate their own. And as fences and walls get erected, some feel a need to catapult others beliefs, voice their judgment, and demonstrate a glaring racial intolerance for others.

Last November, I was at a party in which it was assumed I was of an ethnic origin; the same as the person who asked. With my revelation came, “Oh no, you’re not.” Now I ask why would someone want to negate another? Because they can’t accept neither truth nor differences. And their consciousness is closed.

So, I ask, are we in a movement of evolution or revolution of man against man? And how can we direct ourselves in a progressive manner?

What are you doing to live in a better world?

Home…at last

Over the week-end I attended the annual Conscious Life Expo that brings together a dynamic and eclectic community of speakers, exhibitors, artists, and visionaries for a four-day exploration on how to transform your life in the areas of health, spirituality and lifestyle. The event is like a kid going to Disneyland. I look forward to it every year and leave on a cloud.

With such an amazing variety of lectures and panels, from luminaries of both the transformational and socially-conscious movements. This year I got to meet Laura Eisenhower, great-grand-daughter of our 34th President whose politics are nothing like her those who came before her. She discussed the Goddess, her symbolism, her death, healing and revival. Stay tuned for that conversation along with my take on futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard, who ran for the Vice-President seat in 1984 under Geraldine Ferraro.

There were film screenings, and special panels on the environment, the future of humanity, spiritual healing techniques, and the afterlife. Sheer Nirvana.

Spread Love. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

A Beautiful Place

This blog was not intended to address foreign policy, global markets, or climate change. Nor is my desire to write about religion, terrorism, war crimes, abortion, same sex marriage, rising oil prices, depleting natural resources, new cures for cancer, viruses, bacteria and vaccines, test tube babies, obesity, famine or water droughts. Besides, when do people like me have all the answers to end human suffering to save the world?

Writer Kurt Vonnegut once wrote: Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

Fortunately, that is how I feel.

Unfortunately, I cannot stop innocence and chivalry from dying. Human lives being claimed by floods, earthquakes, bombs. Animal lives sacrificed for the consumption of fur, ivory, steak.

But I can address a number of issues essential not to survival, but to life.

The fading craft of reading and writing. The endangered art of poetry. Playing the harp, cello, accordion, and ukulele. Writing letters and actually sending them in the mail. Holding doors open for strangers. Dreams stifled by fear of judgment, failure, regret. Vanishing Polaroid photographs. The rarity of any commodity or relationship meant to last a life-time.

I was raised on stories and songs and poems and hope in the triumph of good. Foolish as it is, I keep hoping that all poems, songs, and stories with inspiring words and lyrics do come true. I adore fairy tales, and never say never or that something cannot be done. I take pride in doing my best, being humane, and if I make a mistake to correct it, and not let the world make me hard, nor disappointment make me bitter.

Dreamers do not make promises; they make wishes no one hears. Perhaps they are wise in making the distinction between what they can and cannot change.

I believe in investing real time and real emotions in people and causes dear to me. While on this earth, I continue to hope and to dream out loud. To see a bird as a messenger of the Divine, to blow on a dandelion while making a wish, to contribute a verse and sing it with gusto and to not let the child in me disappear.

Sometimes when in a group, it amazes me when asked a “big question” about life or death, or a humanitarian contribution many do not have an answer. With unlimited funds I know what I would support in greater measure. When the sands of time run out and my end is near, I know how I would like to remembered. What I don’t understand is why death would be frightening. To not think of it is frightening. The revelation of truth is liberating and saves time. And time is what we have so little of.

A Muse or a Whim

For Christmas I received a little fictional bon bon for the discerning literary palate.  As  my friend pointed out, Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock is a trilogy of strange and delightful images, and a story-line with a mystery.

The entire set of books are inventive and imaginative and wonderful…especially for someone like me who lives to write letters.

It has beautiful, sometimes disturbing artwork that only adds to the postcard and letters that have been written between a couple.  I could spend hours just looking at the artwork, finding something new with each glance. It’s that wonderful.

Throughout the trilogy, there is the slightly guilty thrill of opening an envelope addressed to someone else and reading the letters.

Equal parts Romantic (in the Byron sense), Impressionist and Surrealist, Griffin and Sabine is a memorable experience. I read a book each day, while it rained and took my time savoring each book; wrapping myself up in this charming, intriguing, simple yet incredibly layered piece of art.

Its best feature is that it is a very non-traditional book. As an experiment in artificial “found” literature, the book follows the correspondence of two random people separated by miles and culture who are tied together by an inexplicable link. This book is a window into that connection and their discovery of one another.

Sabine has the gift of second -sight and begins to correspond with Griffin since she can psychically see his artwork. She too is an artist. Griffin feels threatened by her knowledge but eventually out of loneliness and her emotional support forms a friendship.  Despite his emotional wall, he falls in love first.  She reciprocates his feelings, and we sense they are soul-mates.

In the second volume it’s Sabine’s turn, like a treasure hunt, to find the answer to the ultimate question, or maybe to find the question of self. She travels to meet Griffin.  Scared that Sabine isn’t just a figment of his imagination, but a real person, Griffin flees.  Now their letters and cards are coming from all around the globe. Is it real? Is it love? Is someone else watching them?

The artistically beautiful poetic declarations of love are worth reading over and over again. Each is a beautiful treasure all in its own. Collage, watercolor, print, script, you name it; any and every medium is used to its finest and fullest potential.

A bit darker than the first in this trilogy. The second book ends with another bit of mystery.

In the final book, Griffin is back in England and Sabine returns home. It looks as though they are back to where they began, but they remain determined to meet one another.

And, we are introduced to a third character, who appears to have something to do with their inability to actually meet, but who he is and what his actual intentions are is  somewhat vague.

The writing this time around is a bit more grounded, perhaps because of the very real interference in the physical world. And Sabine’s’ psychic gift is waning. The consideration given to the correspondents’ strange connection is played down, with more emphasis given not only to the danger they’re suspecting in their world(s) but also to the physical longing they both now feel after missing each other in transit.

The art feels similarly placed on solid ground, particularly after the trans-global mysticism that seemed to have gotten in with Griffin’s travels last volume. We see less outright experimentation on both sides,and indeed one of the cards this time is simply a color negative of a previous one.

The series could have ended here, and indeed it appears we have seen the end of the extraordinary correspondence between Griffin and Sabine.  But the story’s not quite over.  And the ending leaves much to the reader’s imagination as to what happens to the pair.

I’d like to think that they formed a union in some far away land and continued to do their art, living happily ever after.

If you’ve read the books please feel free to comment.

If not, I encourage you to do so, and be stirred by lovely art, wonderful prose, romanticism and the feeling of eternal love.

Moon phases and cycles

If you listen to the radio, watch the news, or get on Facebook, we are confronted with the same sad news: violence, crime, wars, disasters and many opinions.

Last week was a very intense week, which I attribute to the moon. In case, you don’t know, full moon names have been used by many cultures to describe the full moon throughout the year. Specifically, Native American tribes used moon phases and cycles to keep track of the seasons by giving a distinctive name to each recurring full moon. In January, amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Native American villages. Thus, the villagers began calling January’s full moon the Wolf Moon.

But the intensity hasn’t stopped. This will be a very powerful week and whether you choose to watch the inauguration or not; there will be a celestial opportunity to release old energy patterns and make way for the new, if you keep centered and remain positive.

Anger plays a major role in our current conflicts. It exasperates the problem. Contrary to belief, it’s not active, nor is it a solution. A solution would be by taking action and doing work for the benefit of everyone to re-shape our institutions.

Rather than joining the uproar that add to the upheaval, you can choose; either acceptance which is love or spend as much time as you can in nature and in silence and allow for the transition.

Ultimately it’s only through compassion that revive our humanitarian values. If we treat whomever we meet as a friend, as someone part of our human family, regardless of what they say or look like, this is true meaning of compassion and we aspire toward peace.