Spiritual Climate Newsletter JUNE 2006 INTRODUCTION

___________________________________________________________________                                

 

The Institute of Spiritual Climate

Is proud to present

Its newsletter

of Social Commentaries

SPIRITUAL CLIMATE®

Friday June 30th, 2006

 

“At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religous or political ideas.”

Aldous Huxley

This publication is a labor and gift of love that is solely supported by donations from its readers. You may freely forward or redistribute it to whomever you wish. No donation is required. All donations are greatly appreciated.

MAKE A DONATION TO SPIRITUAL CLIMATE  CLICK HERE

This Newsletter can be viewed on the web at the following links:

AlcyoneMagi® or http://spaces.msn.com/alcyonemagi/

Welcome Friends, Students, and Readers of Spiritual Climate!

The Summer Solstice has just past and the long lingering days of Summer light are here with us. I’m not sure if it’s the heat or the increased length of daylight, but the outside world has come to take on a surreal quality for me this time of year. I suppose the unrelenting furnace of the Arizona summer might have SOMETHING to do with it, but the Babbler in my head often reminds me of the Robin Williams bit, where he talks about people who ask the STUPID mindless question, “Is it hot enough for you yet?” To which his reply is something like, “Hell No! Bring it on! I just love the feel of sweat pouring down the crack of my ass like Niagara Falls!” And then I laugh and just move on through another day of what feels like living in a blast furnace! At least the 113 degree daytime temperatures make one appreciate the 93 degrees that greet you at 5:30 in the morning.

When did my body begin to accept 93 degrees as COOL? Hhhhmmm? I know during the winter months, if the thermostat hit 93 we were all sweltering and complaining about it, yet now the 93 degree mark feels great! Interesting how one can adjust and shift perception based on repeated gradual introduction of negative circumstances, isn’t it? Much as we as Americans, sadly, have come to accept the current state of affairs and warped decision making within this glorious nation of ours.

Question: “Had enough of the immoral, lie-based war in Iraq yet?” Reply: ”Hell No! Bring it on! I just love hearing about innocent Iraqis dying as well as our nation’s young men and women laying down their lives based on lies and manufactured bullshit!” That, though, is a topic to be taken on at another time and place. I just pray that we will be granted the time and place to even deal with it, before the apathy overwhelms and consumes the USA.

On a brighter note, while listening to C-span with Dr. Strickler, there do appear to be those who are waking up and actually shouting the words that David has attempted to get people to listen to for about 10 years, once again, proven correct. And I ask you all, “Is it hot enough for you yet?” I can assure you, the warning signs are BLAZING and it is hot enough for me!

And so, welcome to the ALMOST Dogs Days of summer with our June 2006 Edition of The Institute of Spiritual Climate Newsletter.

In this month’s Edition, Wendy Ford brings us face to face once again with the dilemma of who or what is making the decisions in our increasingly fractured and time consumed lives in her article entitled: “OWWW! STOP SQUEEZING SO HARD! (HOW MUCH MORE WILL/CAN WE TAKE?)”

Adam Crosthwaite takes a stand as he explores the ongoing deterioration of academia via the entropy of its privatization in his thought provoking article: “THE WATCHERS PART 2: SYSTEM ERROR.”

Christine Ford shares her personal experience of a walk down Memory Lane and the ties that bind us to our past as well as our present and future in “THAT’S HOW IT WORKS”.

And finally, Dr. Strickler adds his ever brilliant commentary about Change and its many facets in his article: “CHANGE: WHO OR WHAT IS RUNNING ‘THE SHOW’ ”.

So welcome to the heat, welcome to Summer, and welcome to the June 2006 Edition of The Spiritual Climate Newsletter. Pour yourself a big old frosty glass of Iced Tea or Lemonade, pull your favorite chair up under an air conditioning vent, and join us as we travel through the ponderings and the social commentaries of The Crew and Dr. David Strickler.

Welcome to the June Edition 2006 of SPIRITUAL CLIMATE NEWSLETTER.

Regards

Christine Ford

Editor

___________________________________________________________________    

 

you know you want to do it:

Spiritual Climate Newsletter JUNE 2006 Part 1 OWWW! STOP SQUEEZING SO HARD!  by Wendy Ford

___________________________________________________________________                                  

Owww! Stop Squeezing So Hard! (How Much More Will/Can We Take?)

By Wendy Ford

While finishing my paperwork the other night it occurred to me there was only one little bit of space on my kitchen table to put the paper I was writing on.  The rest of the table had disappeared under mounds and piles of paperwork, blank forms, file folders, copies of completed forms awaiting filing, reference books, a calendar was under there somewhere, stray paper clips that had somehow escaped the pages they had been holding together for me were scattered here and there, an empty ink pen cartridge had rolled under one of the folders, my calculator was leaning precariously against one of the piles, little itty bitty post notes were sticking their flaps out of records while strategically keeping a place that was important and needed attention, a crossed off checklist of telephone calls and e- mails sent and those awaiting a response was in jeopardy of being sucked under one of the file folders.  Oh, it was income tax time, right?  No.  Just some of the tools of the trade of a home health care provider.

It had somehow gotten to be eleven o’clock at night.  Hadn’t it been just eight when I looked at the clock a moment ago?  Having gotten home about six and already put in a load of laundry and started the dishwasher before sitting down with the paperwork and made countless phone calls to patients and sent a multitude of e-mails to nurses, supervisors and co-workers I couldn’t figure out how it could have gotten to be that late.  As I surveyed the apparent chaos, apparent I say because I do know where everything is, well, at least what pile it is in, all I could do was shake my head, yawn and head off to bed.  But first I needed to fill my tea bottles to take with me the next day, pack my lunch items, gather the paperwork and forms I would need, lay out my clothes, check my personnel e-mail and take a shower.  Had I eaten dinner?  Oh, well, too late for that now.  Making sure the alarm had been set my head blissfully hit my pillow and sleep was upon me.  Fortunately I am blessed with only a rare night of tossing and turning.

What needs to be noted at this point is my husband was out of town; we have no children, no pets and only one plant that needs an occasional watering.  How in the world do people even begin to cope and handle things when our society is demanding more and more and more of people’s time and resources?  How does a single parent do it?  Not only the parent part but also the combination of parenting and holding a job, often more than one job?  Or how do people hold a full time job, go to school and raise a family?

Arizona’s Governor Janet Napolitano is a regular monthly guest on our local National Public Radio station.  The subject of all day kindergarten came up.  This has been a fiscal issue for a while now and the Governor is pressing for funding “All Day K”.  Arizona is not very high in the ranking for education and this is a hot topic right now.  A female caller expressed her opinion that young children belong with their mothers in the loving and nurturing environment of the home where they can learn through love and support, not be in school all day.  She wasn’t aware of any studies that showed any advantage to All Day K versus the current half day.  I expressed some colorful opinions of my own to the caller by directing my responses at my car radio.  The Governor was much kinder in her response that not all children have the advantage of that kind of environment and family life.  She pointed out a recent study showed 85% of families in Arizona are in economic situations such that the parent(s) must work outside the home.  She added that if the caller would leave her address with the radio station she would be glad to see to it that the caller received more than enough material on the topic.

Upon further reflection, in the part of the caller’s statement where she revealed her ignorance regarding studies Truth was spoken: she “wasn’t aware”.  Yet she had a very strong opinion on a matter where ignorance was her only fact.

It is this kind of arrogant opinion born out of ignorance yet pronounced with such certainty that just lights my jets.  This caller was vomiting up some talking point she had been fed.  Don’t ask me my opinion about the source.  Without any supporting facts, never mind knowledge, about the situation she had accepted as truth what she had be told without any question.  She had melded that opinion into her self so smoothly and seamlessly that she genuinely thought of it as “her” belief.  Yet she admittedly has no knowledge base for “her” belief.

Now, bear in mind I am NOT arguing that having a stay at home Mom is the invalid belief.  My point relates to her lack of knowledge and awareness of studies showing the efficacy of full day kindergarten and the apparent refusal to acknowledge or consider the socioeconomic situations of any who may be in very different circumstances from her and the social circles she operates within.  Her apparent lack of awareness was glaring.  Her apparent inability to make the connection between Arizona’s rank at the bottom in education and the issue of full day kindergarten was even more alarming.  Not that All Day K is the single answer to Arizona’s miserable performance when it comes to the education of our children.  But that is a whole different topic.

Her point about the benefits afforded children who are raised in a loving and nurturing environment is absolutely accurate.  Unfortunately increasingly fewer and fewer families are able to pull that off.  So how has it come to be that the stay-at-home Mom should be put on the Endangered Species list?  Stay-at-home Moms have been the foundation of family and our society (stay-at-home Dads need to be included here, too).

Just what are we doing?  Why are we allowing employers to demand more and more of our time?  Why are we giving them that time?  Why are people willingly giving up vacation time?  Why are people willingly sacrificing family time for an employer?  Why do we permit them to shape our beliefs and opinions?  Just when did we start to swallow everything poured down our gullet like baby birds?  Just when did we all start to worship employment?  Just when was the employer handed all the power and control of our lives?

Bigger and more important questions loom like pink elephants in the corner:  Has anyone even taken a moment to pause, look around and notice that a problem exists?  Has anyone taken a deep look and asked, “Wait a minute, just what in the hell is going on here?  What do we think we are doing?”

There is no one answer to any of these questions.  It has all happened so slowly over the past twenty-five to thirty years that we have barely noticed.  It continues little by little, day by day.  We can all feel the pressure but few of us can step back, take a good hard and honest look and see what has happened.  Remember the experiment about the frog and the hot water?  Place a frog in hot water and it will jump out.  Place a frog in cool water and slowly turn up the heat and it will stay until the water becomes so hot the frog dies.  The pressures and compression of time in our lives is acting in precisely the same way.  It is happening so smoothly and quietly most of us aren’t aware of what is happening.

Many feel it is a reflection of their individual inadequacies that they can’t deal and cope.  Imagine that.  Employers and business have actually managed to brainwash us into believing it is our fault that their ever-increasing demands are becoming too much for many to bear. 

One neat trick has been used masterfully:  Isolation.  Individuals who are isolated are less likely to realize they aren’t alone with these responses to ever increasing pressure.  They think they alone are the ones who can’t cope.  Individuals who are isolated are less likely to ask probative questions or seek answers when things don’t add up or look or sound right.  They don’t dare ask meaningful questions.  We have been taught from early on not to sass or question authority.  Since critical thinking is no longer taught in our public schools who would even think it was within their rights to ask a question? 

Family Values?  Right.  When Corporate America is so enamored with this phrase, when political agendas are based on these two words, when an entire religious sect has cocooned itself around these words, then why in the hell is it being tolerated, no not just tolerated, but accepted, that businesses and employers are continuing to keep sucking up worker’s time and squeezing the very lives out of them drop by drop?  If “Family Values”, and Dr. Strickler has allowed me to use this term for the sake of point, were a genuine concern to business there would be an enthusiastic and open armed embracement by employers of paid maternity/paternity leaves, paid family leaves, job sharing, flex time, on site day care and kindergarten, sick child programs (where an employee can bring a child too sick to go to school so the parent can come to work) and the like.  One of the only reasons many employers have any of these is because of union demands or legislative decrees. 

Not all employers fall under the dark umbrella described.  There are many companies who are really trying to do the right thing while at the same time making a profit.  The company I have chosen to work for has accepted me on my own terms and is family friendly and supportive.  However, we serve our clients under federal, state and insurance guidelines.  None of these are particularly “worker/family” friendly and my company strives continuously to find ways to make sure its employees feel appreciated and supported.  The owners are constantly looking for ways to make the mountains and volumes of documentation required easier to follow and less time consuming to complete.  This is probably the best employer of my career.  Nevertheless, many a night is spent dictating and completing forms late into the night.

Why do I do it?  It’s a selfish reason.  The perks can’t be beat:  the smile, the hug, the light that can spark anew in the dimming days of life, the “thank you for coming, I feel so much better even though I still hurt”.  That’s why I do what I do, where I can.  No longer am I tied to an unrealistic productivity standard set by some administrator who would faint if faced with the day-to-day realities we in the field of home health service are faced with.  No longer am I pushed to the point of physical and mental exhaustion only to be told it’s not good enough or fast enough or not enough revenue was generated that day.  No longer do I toss and turn wondering how in the world I’ll make it through another day or week.  But I have been blessed to be in a profession that provides me with flexibility and wide choices of employment. 

Others are not as fortunate.  For any number of reasons people are locked into jobs or careers due to limitations in education, lack of freedom of mobility, and/or monetary and fiscal policies created by corporate and government hierarchies that box in people’s possibilities toward growth.  For many there are few options for change or options to explore.  These are the people who are functioning as a human harvest to Corporate America and business.

Pressure.  OK, we all have it to one degree or another in our lives no matter what its cause.  What is one of the major consequences of these insidiously increasing pressures?  Stress.  What are the leading causes of medical and psychological problems?  Stress and sleep deprivation.  What do stress and sleep deprivation contribute to?  Anxiety and Depression.  What are the biggest sellers for pharmaceuticals?  Medications for sleep aids, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal problems, musculoskeletal problems, high blood pressure, and obesity.  Are you starting to get a picture? 

The pharmaceutical industry, imagine that, they even call it an “industry”, is one of the largest in the nation.  Behavioral pediatrician Lawrence H. Diller, MD, author of Running on Ritalin (Bantam, 1999), unveils a statistical poignancy in what I am referring to, “America uses 80 percent of the world’s Ritalin"  and that is just ONE drug!   Could it be that there is some quiet agenda being orchestrated?  “Get them so stressed out and medicated that they can no longer think for themselves, question anything and will be and do exactly what we want.  Then we will have complete and utter control and no one will even know it.”  And that, my friends is mighty scary. 

But even more horrifying is the question that now begs answer and discovery:  Who are “They”?  Clues might be found by looking into and discovering who it is that is doing the squeezing and pressuring.  Who is reaping the benefits?  What is the ultimate agenda?  Until enough people ask the right questions nothing can or will change.  Until enough people are willing to speak with clear voices and act from genuine knowledge no answers will be found or changes accomplished.

So, who or what policy are you being squeezed by?  How much longer will you allow the pressure to build?  What is it going to take to cause you to stop, dig your heels in, take a deep breath and yell, “Owww!  Stop squeezing so hard!”  Those of you out there who are old enough will remember the classic rant from the movie The Network, “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

May the Lord of Life grant you the courage to open your eyes, ears and the breath with which to yell.  Use your mouth to yell loudly and with great sincerity from the depth of your very being. 

Wendy Ford  

___________________________________________________________________    

 

you know you want to do it:

Spiritual Climate Newsletter JUNE 2006 Part 2 THE WATCHERS PART 2: SYSTEM ERROR by Adam Crosthwaite

___________________________________________________________________                                

The Watchers Part 2: System Error

By Adam Crosthwaite

At what point did we accept ignorance into our lives?  Don’t sit there with your jaw in your lap!  Yes, we are all guilty of ignorance and in most cases accepting that ignorance as a way of life.  For far too long people have sat back with their arms folded saying, “There is nothing that can be done about this.  That is just the way it is.” whenever they see something wrong in society.  Well sorry, that just is not good enough any more.  The pattern of apathy in this world is reaching dangerous levels.  As personal observation it would appear that people are slipping further and further into a state of deep apathy.   

This commentary on the system error is the result of a paradox I am currently working my way through at this moment.  Ironically enough it all started with a simple flower.  You see there is a house on my way home from work.  It sits on the corner down the street and smiles at oncoming traffic in the neighborhood, just an ordinary house with small block wall enclosing the back yard.  My favorite part of this cheerful little house is the small patch of sunflowers peeking over the wall reaching toward the sun like my daughter does to me every time I pick her up out of her crib in the morning.  A while back I drove past this house and for some strange reason I became horribly upset.  For days I wrestled with this image in an attempt to make sense of my response to this flower.

Finally, after a few days of aggravating defeat at the hands of my own ignorance I chose to allow the answer to present itself to me in time.  It was obvious to me that my previous training in grappling was not going to produce any solutions in this case.  So I let it go and as I sat down to study my Tarot deck, the answer presented itself to me during a contemplation exercise my mentor had trained me in.  In the Tarot deck we study by B.O.T.A. the sun is pictured with the Hebrew letter RESH. 

RESH is the Key titled The Sun.  Obviously there is a picture of the Sun situated top center.  Just below it on both sides are twelve bright orange YODs matching the color of the Key itself.  Right dead center of the key is a thirteenth YOD just below the Sun.  This YOD seems to be a bridge or connection point for two children, on the left a boy and the right a girl, holding hands in middle of a circle on a lawn.  Just behind them is a wall of stone, and guess what is peeking out over the top of the wall.  Five happy little sunflowers!  Four of the flowers are facing toward the viewer, but one has turned to face the sun, making for a rather peculiar image.  Although this allotted me a clue and an opening for a revelation I still maintained my ignorant state until the next week when we all gathered for a Wednesday night meditation class and discussion. 

As class began that night David asked one of his favorite questions, “What is on people’s minds tonight?”  I couldn’t help it.  I had to say something. I asked in reference to the picture on the RESH card, “Why is it every time I think about or see the one sunflower in Key 19 I get upset?” David turned with his poetic smile as only he can do and said, “Because ignorance is not a natural state of human consciousness.”  The soft flutter of a wail as if a whoopee cushion was punctured told me my ego was not too fond of that statement.  Ironically enough the Hebrew letter RESH means head, as if to say use the damn thing!

Once my question was put to satisfaction by my teacher I faced yet another paradox; a paradox that has now grown as I see the effects of a society in acceptance of being controlled.  Everywhere I look I see people under controlled by vices through a means of ignorance, including the very people who claim freedom as they go to Bible school and still believe they are powerless to effect a positive change in their lives unless they get down on their knees.  The tradition taught to us in Qabala teaches dominion, dominion over the self in order to effect a positive change in the world.   

If ignorance is so despised by humans, then how is it that people have become so accepting of its common place amongst us?  What lead to the complacent mind set so as to allow this epidemic to sweep across civilization overtaking life after life?  Could it be that the public campaign for acceptance of people was misinterpreted by the masses to include situational barriers as well?  I would like to believe this not to be the case.  Unfortunately there is no evidence to support that this is not the case.  Can I be as hopeful as to wish I am wrong in my observation?  Most likely what is happening is the effects from the change over in education are finally catching up to us.  Not too many people are catching on that the classical educational system was much more effective and produced a healthier society than this information system of education we are wading our way through today. 

The main culprit in the devolution of our civilization is the educational system we have come to place our trust in.  Since around the mid 1950’s it has been increasingly evident to many of those with the eyes to hear and ears to see that the past few decades have been a sham in terms of educational growth in America.  Dr. Strickler introduced me to the term “DUMBING DOWN” in reference to the downward trend in education over the generations.  The consensus from many conversations with others is that the bar has been lowered gradually over time to the point where many corporations are forced to close their doors forever because of the mistakes made by numerous administrative personnel.  Although many of them have been corrupt and backward in their practices, the vast majority has been educationally stunted and lacks the much needed skills to acquire and then apply knowledge.  This has lead to executive errors that cost billions of dollars everyday.  As Dr. Strickler points out to his students, the key in any educational tradition is the application of knowledge.  The sad truth is that in most cases today such skills that allow the transition of knowledge into understanding by way of application is just not taught any more.  Information Theory has replaced knowledge.  Progress is measured by test scores, not performance or application of knowledge.

One of the things that my dad used to tell me growing up was that my generation was not learning as much as his did in school.  In fact he was highly concerned over the low standards by which I was learning.  He would tell me that I would have to work twice as hard to be half as good.  Now these are not his actual words, but I think you get the point.  At that time I was just a kid and thought I knew better, needless to say I didn’t listen much.  The most aggravating thing is seeing that he was right all this time.  Today a Master’s Degree is at best the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree by American standards in education and that may be stretching things a bit in many cases. 

I sit in a room full of people three or even four generations ahead of mine every week during class with Dr. Strickler.  These people possessed twice the knowledge that I do now when they were at my level of education.  I hear David speak of some of the knowledge he gained in his education and I feel as if I have missed a great era in education.  To sit in the classes that he did even in the first years of his undergraduate courses must have been amazing.  To this day he uses the basic foundations of knowledge gained in his freshmen year in nearly every aspect of his teaching.  He bridges for us a connection point to where we are at this point in history to that of the growth and in many cases lack of growth in the past.

Is it just me or does any one else see something wrong here? 

Yet there is more to this equation than merely low standards.  It is the acceptance of those standards as a baseline for a standard of life.  In the last four classes I have attended in my current school year all of my teachers had the disheartening task of standing in front of the class and apologizing for the lack of substance to their curriculum.  My school in its infinite wisdom has seen fit to lower the bar yet again.  For years now the standard time frame of a class has been four hours a week for twelve weeks, even lower than the standards I grew up with in high school.  Now they have reduced the classes to three hours a week for eight weeks.  So instead of 48 hours of teaching we receive 24 hours of teaching.  We are receiving half the education at more than double the price our teachers did!  Think about that for a minute or two. 

There are people training to teach our children who are spending thousands of dollars to learn all they need to know in 24 hours.  Social workers, Behavioral Health Workers, Counselors, Business Executives and even Police Officers are being trained less than 50% as much today as they were ten years ago!  As long as there is a profit to be made off of the ignorance of the masses we will continue to feed the bank accounts of the corporate share holders.  That is until one of their students screws up and loses a quarter of a million dollars in five minutes.  Yet that has not seemed to advocate a change even after the infamous ENRON scenario which has become an American cliché.

This is not the way to ensure a secure future for a country.  In fact it is pretty much guaranteed that the system will collapse upon itself over time.  There is a saying that Dr. Strickler showed me just recently while doing some research on the net. “Never attribute to malice that which may be attributed to stupidity.”  The next day it occurred to me that the system has been in error for quite some time now and still remains in error.  Be it out of malice or sheer stupidity, we have come to accept a lower standard of life.  We have come to accept the system error without question as if these low standards were acceptable as common place.  

It is a rare gift to hear from some of the other young students I speak with, especially in the Behavior Health field, that they are just as aware of this going on as the members of David’s meditation classes as well as the few lucid individuals out there that have the common sense to continue their own higher standard of education.  Could there be a positive change on the horizon?  Is the next generation going to rise out of the acquiescent society we have become and rebuild upon a foundation of knowledge versus information?  Will the submission of knowledge and understanding halt and give way to growth in the coming years?  

To accept anything without question is foolish.  To believe we have no power to change or correct the system is just as bad.  I find it interesting that education has been ignored more and more in the political arena these days, but I guess that can be expected when a society is as accepting of barriers as we are.  The time has come for a new approach.  I watch and listen to David, Dianne, Christine, Wendy and Glen talk about their education and experiences I wonder what will happen with what I am almost ashamed to call my generation when we are in charge.

Perhaps it is in the opening of the mouths that sit both in the front as well as the back of class room that will effect a positive change.  Until then we will be facing the onslaught of ignorance within the generations to come.  As this last Memorial Day passed I remember something Dr. Strickler said last year.  He told us in class one day that he remembered those of our tradition who went before us and sacrificed so much to pave the way for our generations to follow.  A tradition rich with knowledge strengthened by the experience of applying that knowledge in the real world is what we should be experiencing in our public education system, not this Information Theory crap we have been spoon fed.

In short, the system is in error.  I also repeat the words of my Mentor once again.  “Ignorance is not a natural state of human consciousness.”  If you felt something within you as those words were read, good.  Pay attention to that feeling and do something about it.  If you did not, that’s okay; we all have a lot of work to do on ourselves.  What can be done?    Learn as much as you can as often as you can.  Take a few courses on a subject you may not understand, before government funding for continuing education gets cut.  Pick up a book, and no the TV guide does not count!  Just because you are not sitting in a classroom does not mean you have to stop being a student.  Take it from me; the kid in the back of the classroom shooting spit wads at the teacher, “a little change goes a long way”.  I can’t remember where I first heard those words but they have come to mean a lot to me in the last four years since I started college.

May we all be as blessed with the tradition and knowledge of those who have come before us.

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

___________________________________________________________________    

 

you know you want to do it:

Spiritual Climate Newsletter JUNE 2006 Part 3 THAT’S HOW IT WORKS by Christine Ford

___________________________________________________________________                                

That’s How It Works!

By Christine Ford

During the first week in June I had the experience of returning to Florida, the state where I lived with my family for the 20 years before I moved to Arizona, for the arduous task of sorting and sifting through a storage unit containing some 37 years of memorabilia, keepsakes, pictures and mementos.  Though I was looking forward to seeing everyone there, I was not too thrilled with the task at hand.  Having been a sentimental pack rat my entire life, I did lots of self talk, convincing myself that this walk down memory lane would be a cathartic experience and a closing of a door to a chapter of my life which had ended, but had not been properly put to rest.  Rather it seemed to be held in suspended animation, entombed in a 10 by 20 foot air-conditioned prison, silently whispering, tugging, and reminding me of its presence.  As Dr. Strickler teaches that proper burial procedures must be observed with human life in order for there to be a release of the ties to this plane, so it felt to me that I was haunted by the remains lying in state within that storage unit!  

To be brutally honest, I had worked myself into quite a state of expectancy and anticipation, mixed with a good dose of terror as to what was to transpire, as can be best described as what an expectant Mom feels as she psychologically prepares herself for labor.  I knew it was inevitable, it had to be done, and that it would be hard, painful work.  I also knew that when the task was accomplished the fruits would be a purging and cleansing of the many clinging thoughts and memories that were represented by the tugs coming from that mass of accumulated material items which, more subconsciously than consciously perhaps, held a part of me in a semi-comatose fixed state bound to the past.       

Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, about two years ago the entire contents of the home in which we lived for twenty years and raised three kids in was transferred to storage in a mad dash in a 24 hour period without having the time to throw away or go through any of the contents.  Items were literally transported, jammed into the storage unit, and sat silently awaiting the owners’ return.  I was not there for this extravaganza, but I have heard all the horrifying details from my former husband Gregg, and my oldest daughter Jessica, who were the main characters in the feat. The emotional and physical strain for them during this ordeal was enormous, and they did the best they could in the time that they had. 

As time went by, the cost of the rent for the storage unit was pretty hefty, and no one was comfortable in making the decisions of “should it stay or should it go” without me there to help pick and choose. I can understand that, and actually am thankful for the fact that they waited for me to help.  The trip that I made to Florida the beginning of June was for the purpose of disassembling the contents of that storage unit.  It was an extremely valuable action for me to participate in on many levels. Though there were some doubtful moments, the whittling of the contents to the point that we can keep it in a 5 by 10 foot space at a much more reasonable rent, went better than I had feared.      

Armed with a slew of big garbage bags and fully dosed on Benadryl, my daughter Jessica, Gregg and I attacked the place the very first day I was there.  We made an extremely efficient team, Jessica and I sorting, Gregg taking things to Goodwill or to the dumpster as fast as we could make piles.  Dirty stuffed animals from when the kids were little went flying!  Old lamps that I had transported from house to house for 30 some years planning to have rewired finally met their doom!  Clothing that fir no one found a new home at Goodwill!   We were cruising along and I thought, “Hey! This isn’t going to be so bad.” Oh boy!  I should have been “vewwwy, vewwwy careful”. 

Though I did not realize it until I had returned to Arizona a week later, the impact hit when we unearthed the congratulatory cards we had received when the kids were born. Not having been too great at organization while in the throes of raising three kids, I had jammed ALL the cards from ALL three kids into one big old box.  This box traveled from home to home, from the state of Ohio to the state of Florida to the state of mass confusion of the storage unit. Since my youngest child Jamison is soon to be 24, it is safe to say these epistles hibernated in a cardboard box in the back most part of a closet for at least 23 years, never so much as seeing the light of day!  I had hung on to these pieces of paper, planning one day to split them up and in some semblance of order, give them to each of the kids.  In that brief instant, in a flash of clear discernment and awareness, I saw the predominant pattern that I had imprisoned myself with my entire life of disorganization, procrastination, and nostalgic clinging to memories and material items that really were insignificant to the BIG PICTURE.   Knowing that I could not give way to this pattern and complete the task at hand, I had to make a choice.   I made the leap to move onward and suppress the rush of emotion I felt.   Little did I know that, in all sincerity and in hindsight, this was like opening a Pandora’s Box to my emotions! 

I quickly turned to Jessica and said, “Just throw them all away!  There is no way to tell whose is whose, we haven’t even opened the box for 20 years, and I don’t even want to begin to look at them now.”  Being the terrific daughter that she is, she didn’t even question me.  She put the box on the TO GO stack, and that was that!  Gregg hauled it out and to the dumpster!  Done!  Finished!  Over and gone!  I had changed those 57 years worth of patterns of hanging on to “stuff” and just gotten rid of it! Or so I thought.

A week after returning to Arizona, while having one of those chats with Dr. Strickler that have become so much a part of my life, as referenced in Adam’s article last month, he leaned over and said, “Okay, Grasshopper.  Are you ready to talk about what’s bothering you yet?”  Whoooosh!  Niagara Falls!  Tears from places I didn’t know were places within me, as if just by those spoken words the floodgates were opened, and all the feelings of sorrow, of loss, of missed chances, of seemingly shattered dreams, of thoughts of what was and what might have been came in a rush of raw passionate power that engulfed me so totally that I was literally flattened by the shock of it.  Good thing I wasn’t driving at the time!  And I truly had thought that I had already ridden out the emotional storm and was in calm waters with smooth sailing ahead. 

What’s to be learned from this story?  Several things, on several levels, I suppose, but the most poignant to me is that I was shown first hand and right up front just how deep the bondage of emotional entanglement goes.  It doesn’t matter if your chains are made of red licorice laces, garlands of roses, or cold hard steel; whether it is the sweetness, the beauty, or the fear that binds you and holds you prisoner.  You, me, each and every person walking this Earth is tethered to their past, held in constraint and restriction by memories and experiences which can be buried so deeply within the subconscious that you believe you are free of them.  Burying them does not work, for they still are alive and have the very viable ability to create new experiences so similar in nature to the old, with perhaps a bit of a nuance of difference, but nevertheless, astoundingly the same.  This is why we have such a difficult time with actually changing patterns within this plane of physical manifestation.  This is why Dr. Strickler so strongly advises EVERYONE get some kind of psychological counseling from a qualified therapist with at least a Master’s degree, preferably one who uses EMDR techniques.  This is why I will soon be returning to visit Dr. Marianne Hutchison here in Phoenix.

And to show you how these patterns cycle, an interesting event happened as I drove to school this morning.  While talking with my Mom on my speaker-phone, she brought up a point that we have discussed off and on for over a year. She told me she had finally come to the difficult acceptance of the fact that she is going to have to sell her home and downsize, for she just no longer can afford to remain in the home she and my Dad had shared.  This 82 year old woman is looking at having to disassemble the memories and remnants of her lifetime of 82 years, including four daughters, ten grandchildren, and two husbands, and decide what is to stay and what is to go.  My heart went out to her, for I know just how strenuous a task she faces. 

Then, as she spoke, I could hear the quivering in her usually very upbeat voice, as she described going through a gigantic box of old cards that she had saved for years.  She had divided the cards and letters up just yesterday and had a stack for each of her four girls.  She told me she would bring mine when she came to visit the end of July.

OKAY!  Wait a minute here, was my gut reaction to her words in my mind and heart. I just went through this. I just cut the strings to so many “material” memories and I am still grieving and processing the imagined loss.  No way!  And so I said, “Mom, please, just throw mine away.  I just went through this in Florida, I just got rid of all kinds of stuff, and I don’t want to start accumulating again!  I just cannot face it.” 

A very long dead silence met me from the other end of the phone.  Finally a small shaky voice obviously struggling to hold back tears said something like this. “But they are cards and letters you sent to me over all the years of your life, from the time you were a little girl and learned to write.  They are your history; they are filled with what is, was and always will be you. You might find something here that will bring back some good times and some happy memories.  Just read them once, and then you can throw them away.  Please let me bring them to you, I’ve held on to them so long I just can’t bring myself to destroy them”.  Of course, the unspoken but understood by both of us finish to the plea was, “I’ll be gone soon.  Don’t you want to keep them to remember ME?”

Well, this time I WAS driving a car.  Struggling to see through the tears I pulled over into an empty parking lot, summoned up what control I could muster, and said in what I hoped was a calm voice so as not to upset her any further, “I’m sorry Mom.  Sure, bring them with you.  I’d love to have them, since you treasured them and held on to them for so long.  While we are all here we can read them and laugh and cry together.” An interesting, but really not surprising note; the very next day Mom had almost the EXACT exchange with my sister Kay, living in Florida!

Before I left for my Florida trip, I had spoken to my good friend and Mentor, Dianne Krall, about my trepidations of what the trip might bring, and the emotional quagmire that I knew would be stirred up.  As always, in the wonderful way that I have come to know her, she helped me see the inevitability of what was inescapable, while at the same time acknowledging that yes, it would be rough, no way around it!  Sometimes things just ARE!  Mid week I called Dianne from Florida to see how she was and check on the status of the Arizona crew.  Her voice sounded a little distant and strained, but she assured me all was fine.  Upon my return as we sat hashing over my experience, BEFORE my encounter with the Truth of the Heart of the matter with Dr. Strickler, I blithely told her it was a breeze, almost a totally unemotional experience, never shed a tear.   “That’s great,” she said, laughing.  “I must have cried them all for you, because I cried all week.”  As I have pondered her statement over the past weeks, it has become clear to me that though it was said in a kind of off-hand manner that is most likely what actually happened.  Dianne helped me bear the burden that was too heavy for me alone to carry. 

That’s how it works.

So the cards and letters my Mom brings from Ohio from our shared family past will be put in my new box to co-mingle with pictures and letters that I have accumulated since my move four years ago to Arizona;  rare written messages saved from Dr. Strickler, notes of encouragement from daughters and sisters, letters and pictures Gregg  has sent me, beautiful notes from my mom, and treasured first scribblings and drawings from my grand daughter Natalie.  The cycle will begin again, but this time with refined, selective discernment on my part as to what is chosen to go into that box of experiences and memories that I am allowing to be manifest as my new “chains” to bind me to this plane, as we all must do.  And with it I will bear and help carry a part of the burden that my Mom must face as her life changes and moves toward that which is inevitable and inescapable in this physical three dimensional world in which we live.

That’s how it works.

May you be shown by the experiences granted to you by the Lord of Life the bindings that hold you in a fixed state of Spiritual stagnancy as you move to break the bonds that  prevent you from manifesting that which You were, are and always will be.

Christine Ford

Editor                                 

___________________________________________________________________    

 

you know you want to do it:

Spiritual Climate Newsletter JUNE 2006 Part 4 CHANGE: WHO IS RUNNING ‘THE SHOW’?  by Rev. David Strickler, Ph.D.

___________________________________________________________________                                

CHANGE:  WHO IS RUNNING “THE SHOW”?

By Rev. David Strickler, Ph.D.

Within any given lifetime there is a consistent variable that everyone is familiar with, it is so dependable that its name is an oxymoron at best: CHANGE.  This part of the process of discerning one’s life choices for action and the effects generated by engaging those selections at which times have reference points of suffering the illusion of a perceived cause used within the decision making process before acting upon one’s selection.  Thus the increase of one’s experience of rigidity or flexibility as one encounters the personal affects encumbered by the personal mental construct and belief given to the word itself:  CHANGE.

____________________________

CONCISE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY 11th Edition:

DERIVATIVESchangeful adjective, changeless adjective,  changelessly adverb, changelessness noun, changer noun

ORIGINMiddle English: from Old French change (noun), changer (verb), from late Latin cambiare, from Latin cambire ‘barter’.

WEBSTERS NEW WORLD DICTIONARY

CHANGEvtchanged, chang[ing 5ME changen < OFr changier < LL cambiare < L cambire, to exchange, barter < Celt (as in OIr camb) < IE base *kamb, to bend, crook (> Welsh cam, Bret kamm, crooked)

RANDOM HOUSE WEBSTERS UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY

CHANGE (chnj), v., changed, chang·ing, n.( 1175–1225; (v.) ME cha(u)ngen < AF, OF changer < LL cambire, L cambre to exchange; (n.) ME cha(u)nge < AF, OF, n. deriv. of the v. )

v.t.

1.       to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to change one’s name; to change one’s opinion; to change the course of history. 2.       to transform or convert (usually fol. by into): The witch changed the prince into a toad.  3.       to substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind: She changed her shoes when she got home from the office.  4.       to give and take reciprocally; interchange: to change places with someone.  5.       to transfer from one (conveyance) to another: You’ll have to change planes in Chicago.  6.       to give or get smaller money in exchange for: to change a five-dollar bill.  7.       to give or get foreign money in exchange for: to change dollars into francs.  8.       to remove and replace the covering or coverings of: to change a bed; to change a baby.

v.i.

9.       to become different: Overnight the nation’s mood changed.  10.     to become altered or modified: Colors change if they are exposed to the sun.  11.     to become transformed or converted (usually fol. by into): The toad changed into a prince again.  12.     to pass gradually into (usually fol. by to or into): Summer changed  13.     to make a change or an exchange: If you want to sit next to the window, I’ll change with you.  14.     to transfer between trains or other conveyances: We can take the local and change to an express at the next stop.  15.     to change one’s clothes: She changed into jeans.  16.     (of the moon) to pass from one phase to another.  17.     (of the voice) to become deeper in tone; come to have a lower register: The boy’s voice began to change when he was thirteen.  18.     change front, Mil. to shift a military force in another direction.  19.     change hands. See hand (def. 34).  20.     change off, a. to take turns with another, as at doing a task.  b. to alternate between two tasks or between a task and a rest break.  21.     change one’s mind, to change one’s opinions or intentions.

–n.  22.     the act or fact of changing; fact of being changed.  23.     a transformation or modification; alteration: They noticed the change in his facial expression.  24.     a variation or deviation: a change in the daily routine.  25.     the substitution of one thing for another: We finally made the change to an oil-burning furnace.  26.     variety or novelty: Let’s try a new restaurant for a change.  27.     the passing from one place, state, form, or phase to another: a change of seasons; social change.  28.     Jazz. harmonic progression from one tonality to another; modulation.  29.     the supplanting of one thing by another.  30.     anything that is or may be substituted for another.  31.     a fresh set of clothing.  32.     money given in exchange for an equivalent of higher denomination.  33.     a balance of money that is returned when the sum tendered in payment is larger than the sum due.  34.     35.     any of the various sequences in which a peal of bells may be rung.  36.     Also,’change. Brit. exchange (def. 10).  37.     Obs. changefulness; caprice.  38.     ring the changes,  a. to perform all permutations possible in ringing a set of tuned bells, as in a bell tower of a church.  b. to vary the manner of performing an action or of discussing a subject; repeat with variations.

chang·ed·ness  (chnÆjid nis, chnjdÆ-), n.

Syn. 1. transmute, transform; vary, mutate; amend, modify. CHANGE, ALTER both mean to make a difference in the state or condition of a thing or to substitute another state or condition. To CHANGE is to make a material difference so that the thing is distinctly different from what it was: to change one’s opinion. To ALTER is to make some partial change, as in appearance, but usually to preserve the identity: to alter a dress (to change a dress would mean to put on a different one). 3. replace, trade. 4. trade. 7. convert. 10. vary, mutate, amend. 22. transmutation, mutation, conversion, vicissitude. 25. exchange. 29, 30. replacement.

—Ant. 10. remain. 22. permanence.

__________________________

Note of course, the reference to coinage, just as in previous articles I have chastised the use of the word values supplanted for regard.  Far from being the leftover coinage that is the result of a transaction at the local merchants, it does  though, at times seem to render this appearance as a similar effect as it rears apparition within any transaction we concur or give consensus to within the stream of life that we partake.

Fascinating to always read a definition of a word and if you want to truly have some fun try this link:  WORDSMYTH and this is another delicious link called the ARTFL PROJECT, link:  Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828).  You might find it interesting how definitions and usages “Change” over time.

Still, I find little in regards to an approximation to be used within the spiritual religious context of change, a closer explication comes with the idea inherent in the word transmutation.  This word, though too, leaves much to be desired in expressing where the origin of change is pertinent from within causal levels of Soul or Spirit.  I am saying this intentionally at this point to leave you with an unanswered question, or for at the very least to allow its lingering in the back of one’s mind, opening one to questions such as the Karma contained with the SOUL and SPIRIT of your consciousness.

The principle of CHANGE is one of the few constants in a given universe that is borne from stark contrast of Intemporalness, reverberating as a constant echo within the boundaries called the container of time and space, being a constant as steady and strong as electromagnetism in physics, yet at the same time showing another quality similar to that of gravity in its weakness, being that gravity is one of the weaker constants in the universe as compared to electromagnetism.  Yet always finding itself to be a constant reminder of the intemporalness from which all manifest universe is but a reflected manifestation.  Where does change ‘come from’ if there is any where to it at all and if it is not a where, then what is it that we need to understand about the principle that is hidden behind the veil of effects that people normally construe as CHANGE.  What skills ought we acquire in order to use with efficacy this principle which represents in a part of Qabalistic teaching, the idea of MOTION or analogs thereof.

Change has a few qualities to it, the few mentioned here within the scope of this article today are:  constancy, unexpected, and the relative.   These being within the realm of observable phenomena in the physical universe, which shall act, if we are careful, as a bridge toward understanding what is going on within the continuum of consciousness that we know within ourselves to be Soul and Spirit.

Much of the series of phenomena that we study within the limitations of the physical body have to do with responses, reactions from stimuli experienced within the senses, eg., light stimulates the retina rods and corresponding reactions of electrochemical induction is assembled along a neuropathway within the image making apparatus of the body know as the Human brain.  There contained within the cellular structure is a representational image of your senses relationship to what is called ironically, ‘the outside world’.  Giving due consideration to the vast power of imagery enabled within the human nervous system, we must take not of it imperfections, ergo—the red apple that we see isn’t really red at all, but is only a reflection of what the Similarly this is an irony with the constancy known as CHANGE.  That wonderful sneak up behind you and goose you in the ass effect that is the foundation for the peddlers of CERTAINTY, even though they misapply and misuse this tremendous reagent.   There appears to be a constant activity of CHANGE going on at every pulsation of life and within its framework within varying degrees of priority and intensity.  The meal I just ate, being digested and interwoven into the flesh robe that I wear as Soul/Spirit here in the physical world is currently undergoing intense scrutiny, at least that is how I interpret it by the sounds generated in the location of my stomach.  I do some of the relative outcomes, no pun intended of the ‘end’ process of this transfiguration of food within my human organism.  CHANGE is apprehendable in a similar fashion outside the realm of food intake.

Relative aspects of CHANGE are simple and complex at the same time. As described above the outcome is within a relative order of possible events.  I say possible because it may depend on what type of food that I intake.  I may know the end result, but what happens when I intake food that my body isn’t responding favorably towards?  A rather rushed result then comes into experience.  I then add those results to the historical framework of what could happen within this type of relative change.

A person falls off a chair.  Their back is sore not to mention the effect of the gluteal impact of the event. A few days latter, the pain seems to go away.  Perhaps they forget about it.  Another person in the same situation doesn’t and goes to a chiropractor, as I did when it happened to me, for monthly therapy until the pressure was taken off my lower lumbar.  The person who forgot about it didn’t even seek out physical therapy or any other medical evaluation to see if something was injured or damaged.  Years later, they have painful sensation in the legs.  The other person doesn’t because they have stretched and applied themselves in some form of healing.  In other words, predetermined ranges of experience can alter the resultant process of CHANGE which is taken in hand and worked with or tempered.  I can throw ball at the wall, do nothing and the ball passes by me or hits me.  I can use the principle of change to intervene within the process and action and predetermine a new range of experience with the ball against the wall if I run up to catch it before it bounces against the wall.

Unexpected CHANGE is therefore a working pool of knowing what types of effect will be experienced as we watch the change process, only if it is within our pool of Knowledge and experience.  There is much unexpected that comes along with change due to the limitations of focus as to how we equate whatever our experience of Change being had at the moment.   This is where History serves us as a tool to understand what is going to happen in the future as the ongoing process of cause and reactions to the cause of life marches onward.  Sometimes the unexpected is fun, sometimes the unexpended is limiting, as in my case with my stroke, which was totally unexpected, as it is not even within medical history of my family tr

How should unexpected change be handled?  With caution while using much historical reference and information that can be gleaned from sources who have experienced what you are experiencing leaving a healthy space of knowing that you may not be defining or asking the right questions to obtain the relative outcome you envision.  There may be much similar in what has happened with me in my stroke for example, in with others who have had a stroke, yet there can be VAST differences that produce a range of outcomes.  It depends on how stubborn or fixated I am upon my own opinion and whether or not I am able to take in new knowledge and facts, instead of accepting my opinion as reality.

Much to the chagrin of the CERTAINTY peddlers who look at you as a predictable statistic within their marketing research, unexpected CHANGE is the stuff discoveries can be made of, depending on who is handling the process.  Look at our Founding Fathers in the History of this great Nation.  They had a choice to be free or not be free.  They basically told King George III to take it and stuff it where the sun didn’t shine.  The outcome?  Part of it was predictable—the Revolutionary War which was fought on the basis of differing PRINCIPLES and dialogues that went against the irrationality of the like of Quesnay, John Locke etc.   We are still to this day experiencing the unexpected series of events produced by the presence of that very same Ideology that was in 1778; it didn’t die, it is still here with us, even though there appear to be forces from  within and without that want to see it change to its demise.

CHANGE in our environment can also be reflective of the activity going on within the SOUL.  My favorite statement to those who claim to speak to god and get answers from him and yet can’t tell what their soul is saying to them during the course of their experience in their life—yeah right—tell me another crock of shit.  The wonders of the Imaginarium!  Replete with instant one size fits to your perception that is agreeable to yourself to save face from any withstanding CHANGES that may have been screamed to you from the voice of your SOUL.  Maybe that’s why god didn’t answer, YOU already held the answer within. 

I pray to god daily.  I don’t ask him for anything though, why would I insult the Omnipotent and all knowing bastion of creation with such a stupid request, like he/she forgot to give me something in order to cover up or hide from my own shameful ignorance.  You can see the Garden of Eden everyday out in the world, “they hid themselves in shame’.   I guess some need a form of idiocy like a pep rally from high school in order ‘shake them up’ to bring about change in areas where reluctance and fixation to opinion hallows.  All because of what?  You failed to take into consideration the unexpected constancy that change can bring into a life process?

There are some processes of change that can only be known or apprehended by understanding the Nature and Content within your Soul.  This is where self employment begins in the spiritual path. How do you come to know the content of your Soul?  Do you take the time to hold yourself as Soul in enough regard in order to be a team player in the world of creation?  Or do you just lose yourself into the herd/crowd in order to stay in the same place while the life is being squeezed out of you, or your portfolio being expropriated by cunning use of lobby and laws.  Your freedom is the same for it requires vigilance and due process that only the understanding of history can give you as a resource to prevent history from repeating itself in whatever circumstances you find yourself in today.

Knowledge is required to understand the nature of Soul and the knowledge it holds, information will never reveal the vast storehouse of knowledge already contained within that part of you known as Soul.  A mountain (Soul) may contain vast resources of water, gold, and other precious gems, but they will never be acquired until you employ yourself in the digging process.  If you never make that phone call, or meet that doctor, or talk to that teacher, or financial advisor you will never know.  It’s that simple.

I have stated elsewhere in this dialogue of essays over the years in the Spiritual Climate Newsletter that things are both simple and complex.  If you refuse to gradually gain understanding of complexity because of the work involved, it is sure to come back and bite you in the ass.  That’s one thing that never changes.

If you contemplate this, you will gain some insight, a foot hold into the Who and What that is the engine of the show.  Shakespeare was correct when not taken in his truncated statement, “A tale told by an idiot”. When humanity fails, refuses, and denies to become that which they truly are, then it looks like a tale told by idiots because of the refusal to properly harness the principle of change by embracing the agape that the Soul is.  Then we walk away from those who are still producing their meaningless rant of idiocy and enslavement to an unknown higher power, authority or intelligence by refusing to use what God gave them at the moment of their creation.

You can never ‘make a change’  you can only gain understanding as to how the principle and constancy of change works within your life and from watching it work in others, be they a singular person, state, nation or civilization.  What is pertinent to understand, in my opinion, is how to befriend this principle to enable us to sculpt our life into what our Soul expresses as our True Self in its participation within the process of Genesis which is as fresh and as vital right now as it is in our continual misperception by placing Genesis in the past.

Rev. David Strickler, Ph.D.

Qabalistic Teacher & Minister

 ___________________________________________________________________    

 

you know you want to do it: