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Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

Is Proud to Present Its Social & Spiritual Commentaries:


 from the Desk of Spiritual Climate’s Editor:  December 2015

updated 1/8/2016  2:41:09 AM

Oh the wonders of winter here in Arizona!  Why the jubilation?  We actually have cold water from the tap this time of the year.  Hell, outside night temperatures will even get below 32-37° F with afternoon temps of 47-60°F roller coasting slightly higher up till Spring!  And the tap water is drinkable and thus far, safe, unlike certain other states who have had a corporate constitution shoved down their throats along with its poisoning – Not Funny at all.

As the energies of the season unfold, with the diminishing of the light as we descend into darkest, longest night of the year, not only one’s instinctual areas, but one’s highest levels of consciousness respond to the pause, to this suspension of light and deepening darkness.  Occultly, the significance of the season is one of introspection and moving inward to the discovery of new personal awareness that grows from the seeds revealed in silence; then the Sun begins its ascent, bringing back longer hours of daylight, to nurture the new found sprouts of awareness.  With the beauty and stillness of the season, we welcome you to our December 2015 edition of the Spiritual Climate Newsletter.

Since our previous edition was published in October, we have witnessed many noteworthy news events, including the disturbing attack on Paris, the poisoning of innocent citizens, as well as continued unnecessary deaths of the mentally ill at the hands of police here in the United States, complimented by the bizarre phenomenon of the rise of Neoliberal Donald Trump in the American political scene.  It appears as if the Beltway Media Outlets of misinformation known as COMCAST, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC & FOX, et al., have once again successfully engineered consumer sentiment against government and helping to assist the downward spiral of enslaving citizens, while feasting on upward ratings spirals.

The above network gatekeepers of propaganda and marketing falsehoods, at the behest of their respective executives generate blasphemous quagmires to extend their appetite of control fostering an incomplete presentation of facts, while slithering towards being a more visible threat to the Economic Security of the citizens of the United States swaying to and fro out in the wide open.  Case in point: the greatest threat to the citizens of the USA comes from the Shadow Banking system of the Financial Sector, not from the government confiscating second amendment gun rights.

CNBC still continues to paint Government as useless as their moderators whine about being slaves to the Federal Reserve, which translated means:  They want to sow distrust of any ‘business’ government does so they can decide how to own the Fed Reserve under their terms of a Totalitarian Capitalist ‘Monism’ inspired by the Thatcherization process.  So the question:  will Andrew Lack’s leadership reduce voices of economic disinformation by allowing voices in the Economic Heterodoxy, where Chartalism “insists on a historically grounded and socially embedded analysis of money” 1 to empower citizens whether or not solutions are conservative or liberal?  How about also enabling views that clear distortion and completely unnecessary fear mongering of our Fiat currency? How about private sector institutions come clean and clearly state that they want to create credit instead of using our perfectly fine Sovereign currency which is Fiat to promote greater growth and stability than the instability of Gold-Standard which puts a limited resource to be controlled by the hands of a few in the private sector?

We should stop any attempt at public power grabs generated by the CEO’s of the above named and those unnamed corporations which paves a way for the finance sector business collectivists to overthrow United States government’s public power in oversight required to prevent a homogeneous giant, privately driven industry where CEO’s  enhance economic marketing agendas reduces genuine substance of issues of political discussion into a prima facie of political glossolalia?

Oh, and no news of yet as to whether Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly have taken any psychological screenings to determine the depth and breadth their totalitarian capitalist corporate neoliberal agendas from their respective entertainment pathos.  These people are in an argument somewhat like trying to defend one space after a period in a sentence while stating there is no historical support for two spaces after a period in a sentence although albeit a benign parallel.  Some of us have brain injury with its related visual disturbances and we need two spaces, or at least a space and a half after a sentence to help prevent neurological jumbling.  So why don’t you just go and em-quad yourselves.

Meanwhile across the pond…

The series of attacks on Paris November 13, 2015, marked the most powerful display of terrorism since the bombing of the Twin Towers here in the United States September 11, 2001.  The Death Cults of ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the deaths of 139 people.  Ironically, the scheduled 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was successfully held from November 13 through December 12 2015.  On December 12, 2015, the participating 195 countries agreed, by consensus, to the final global pact, the Paris Agreement, to reduce emissions as part of the method for reducing greenhouse gas.  Terrorism and concern for the environment in the same locality; polarity.  To add more recent data to the headache of our earth’s climate change a new core pulled from Siberia reveals a 2.8-million-year history of warming and cooling !

Back here in the United States, a little known event happened right under the noses of the people and was given next to no national recognition or press time.  Thankfully, The Real News Network on December 17, 2015 reported with Award-winning journalist Curt Guyette provided some jaw dropping ‘who dunnit’ and then followed by The Rachel Maddow Show in alerting our Nation to the Capitalist Terrorism inflicted by Governor Rick Snyder’s unique dictatorship on U.S. children and adults of Flint, Michigan by causing Lead Poisoning in the entire water system of Flint, Michigan by changing the source of water to the city from the Detroit water supply to the Flint River.  Any adult parent would have been charged with child endangerment for such actions.  According to Rep. Mo Brooks stance on the second amendment, which, using his logic citizens of Flint, Michigan should arm themselves to depose capitalist dictator Gov. Rick Snyder.

Thankfully Ms. Maddow followed up with a series of comments implicating Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder and the emergency manager law, stating “Michigan made a decision with Rick Snyder a few years ago to do something very, very radical to the way we govern ourselves as Americans, something that nobody else has done,” Maddow said about the emergency manager law. 2  Serious Update: Rachel Maddow posts:  How to help Flint, Michigan.

Donald Trump has made this a most astonishing Republican Presidential Campaign. Seeing his popularity and following, it makes one wonder if we have in fact lost our collective minds, but yet, he makes some statements that ring true, as shocking and un-American as they may sound when voiced.  Donald Trump has the Bozone Beltway Media eating out of his hand and Trump has proven there is no freedom of the press—only the freedom of the press seeking ratings profit. 

In our view it appears Trump and the entourage of entourage of economic illiteracy promoted by Cruz, Rubio and Christie, other than showing a lack of comprehension from historical and empirical economic knowledge of how Money actually works on a federal level,  anyone inane economic hack seeking to destroy the United States of America’s economic growth need only to Balance the Federal Budgets.  Broadcasters continue to create fear and tension by preying on the extraordinary amount of economic illiteracy in our Nation, part of what is spoken by Beltway Media.  It hits a basic core of humans distrusting anything where money is reported (whether the report be entirely factual or not) to being mishandled to tilt the playing field requiring anyone not wealthy to hold on for dear life.  Broadcasters are being paid (many not all) to hammer this inequality to demonize the government (public) to enhance the false halo of the private sector in having open arms for citizens to be protected and cared for while censoring the real news of what is happening.  Just listen to UMKC’s Prof. Michael Hudson’s, a titan amidst world economists, in his  interview on The Real News Network entitled:  The Top Three Economic Stories of 2015. Prof. Michael Hudson  ‘breaks down how the increasing wealth gap, suppression of wages, and IMF rule changes are creating a battle between the classes.’  Where is truth that economic Michael Hudson’s are being given voice in the Beltway Media?

This type of cognitive ping pong ball is what can be seen in politico shows such as With Due Respect on MSNBC. Perhaps this is Andrew Lack’s first display of producing economic neoliberal bullcrap, outside of BloomBerg TV, hiding under the guise of MSNBC’s/NBC’s definition of conservatism which is as with other beltway media pushers, taking politi-fact and trimming it with a pair of scissors to fit their imaginary conservatism or liberalism to stream feed to viewers as our writers have viewed with the airing of neoliberal opines from John Heilemann and Marc Halperin?  They should take care not to become viewed as what Paul Babiak and Robert Hare would call, “Snakes in Suites” or degenerating into just another GOP talking points show.  Let’s face it, the private sector is the source progenitor of unemployment.

If you have ever been a student of Dr. Strickler, you would know his standard practice all of his students must employ and exercise:  stating aloud the words that are rattling around in our heads; to literally talk out loud to ourselves so we can hear and ‘see’ how outlandish… or sensible… or lacking in discernment those thoughts sound when voiced.  That Trump through his materialist Egoic quality can reach as far into the fearful hearts and minds of those in the USA who feel neglected, taken advantage of and persecuted is a major indicator of just how far we, as a country, have slipped into the abyss of being controlled by big business.  What a confusing state of affairs!  Closest thing to true Americanism is being voiced from  Democratic candidate for President Bernie Sanders,  whose plan to bring the USA back into the present century with with his Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would cost only $1.61 a week(?) marks a truly  Family Values Agenda for American workers.

The spirit of capitalism is NOT founded on the lunacy of the Protestant work ethic which serves to create Americans into being a slave living to work, this lacks a fundamental principle of Agape in genuine spiritual principles, and should create serious doubt that God’s central theme of redemption is profit oriented protestant slave-work ethic.  We need to get back to sanity where we work to live, love and enjoy; where reaping a harvest of benefits from our efforts contribute to growing our Nation—not a corporation.

Spiritual relationality requires interrelationships of people engaging the the power of the Soul’s purpose toward integration, understanding and growth atoning from any philosophy of Business Bestiality (Hobbesianism), which stymies spiritual growth from the false righteousness generated by erroneous interpretation to if it makes a profit then it is righteous-motive.  Otherwise we are likely to see the continual reincarnation of blood-sucking workhouses of John Locke, disguised as multinational corporations designed to enrich few capitalist oligarchs.  Spirit cares not about Profit and there is no bargaining with Truth-whether you are right or wrong, wealthy or poor.  Only the captain of business, the Devil, requires bargaining with…

So, we welcome you to share in some of our thoughts, awakenings, and ponderings as we walk, skip, run, trudge, sometimes joyfully, sometimes painfully, along our own Paths of Return, ever seeking the wisdom and knowledge of the Light.

In This Winter 2015 Edition of Spiritual Climate Newsletter:

Dr. Strickler ….. is still running late …. To be announced

Wendy Ford points out the difference between compassion and the rote act of “giving” in her article entitled “True Compassion Is an Aspect of Unconditional Love”.

Adam Crosthwaite recalls memories of superheroes, myths and legends, and makes a connection to his own process of growth in “Remembering the Light”.

Glen Ford shares his insight as he grows in awareness of how to take control of his own reality in his article “The Production Company-The subconscious Recorder”.

Christine Ford uncovers the symbolism of the roots of a personal bias that grew into her perception of reality in “Roses Abound”.

And so in closing, we here at SCN invite you to take the time to pause for a moment in the rush of reality, take a deep breath, grab a warm cup of your favorite beverage and snuggle up with the December 2015 Edition of the Spiritual Climate Newsletter.

It is our hope to inspire and invigorate you as you open to the beauty of the New Year, with all the blessings and challenges that the Lord of Life gives freely to all as we share the beauty and truth, as well as the ugliness and lies of the deepening darkness and then rise of light on this whirling sphere known as Earth, from our location in the land of the free and the home of the brave (though not necessarily sane) the United States of America.

We wish for you to be graced with an awesome awareness of the beauty of profound discovery during this sacred season, whether it be an inspiring, life-changing blast that takes root instantly and changes your perception in a single flash of insight, or a whisper of a prompting that will grow over the years.

the Editor, Spiritual Climate Newsletter

“First star to the left, then straight on till morning … Engage!”

Rev. David in search of Picard
Rev. Strickler in search of Picard & ‘Q’.

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

2016 Christmas-NewYear


  1. Tcherneva, Pavlena R., (2008). Chartalism and the tax-driven approach to Money, page 69; Arestis, Philip & Sawyer, Malcom (Ed.), A Handbook of Alternative Monetary Economics,  ISBN-10: 1848441193, Northampton, MA:  Edward Elgar Publishing.
  2. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2015/12/19/rachel-maddow-slams-rick-snyder-for-poisoning-flints-children-with-water-crisis-video/ and reported by Aljazeera here Who’s Responsible for Poisoning Flint’s Water supply?
you know you want to do it:

Remembering the Light

by Adam Crosthwaite

“…for it is the doom of men that they forget.” 1

When I was younger I would get lost in the world of science fiction.  Through movies, novels and my favorite comic books; even the toys I played with as a child had come from the same stories I had read about.  Just like the old tales of knights and dragons, ancient gods of the great mythologies, and other heroes who committed acts of valor in the name good, I would look to the stories of heroes for inspiration and guidance as I was taught to by my grade school teachers.  As I grew older I played less and read more.  The characters became more mystical as I moved toward more classical fairytale style of books rather than science fiction.  Comic books remained, but volumes of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and other classic stories with their historical references had been added.  Over time I realized a recurring theme among all the stories both old and new.  I also saw as I was growing in understanding of the world around me that the same was happening in real life as well.  Where is the light?

The art of storytelling has been an effective means of teaching for countless traditions over the ages.  Unfortunately, this art is easily manipulated and even corrupted to serve the ideologies of any subversive group leading by ways of ignorance and intolerance in order to feed into fear as a means to their own ends.  The effects of this practice become more apparent as the darker time of the year approaches and you can watch as people everywhere begin to seek out external comforts in an effort to cope with the encroaching darkness and cold of winter on an instinctual level.

This can be seen as people respond to the colder longer nights and shorter days by seeking comfort from some mysterious fear that seems to be closing in but never really arrives.  I remember this topic of discussion with Rev. Strickler around this time of year since I first started out as one of his students.  Every year I could recognize this response being around other people most of the time, but this year has been very different.  I have been mostly alone; with my schedule and new living space I can go most weeks without contact with more than the six people I see at work, not accounting for cashiers or passing neighbors.  This has made it much simpler for me to focus on my personal circle rather than trying to do so while drowning out distractions.  That is until I found myself seeking the comfort and insulation from the darkness I had spent years learning and working toward understanding.  I was subverted away from my path by the distraction of that ever lurking distraction waiting in the darkest corner of the mind, fear.  What the fear is of is not the main question, forgetting that it will never go away, that it will be present in one form or another; there is the danger.

While as a student Qabalah I know good and well what is happening and should never have been tripped up so quietly, but what alchemical lesson is complete without the administration of a litmus test?  As it turns out I found that my basic elements (emotional centers) are still a little too acidic or hot (overly sensitive). Bad puns aside I was sidelined by an emotional response left over from a major event in my past that I had not reviewed in my alchemical process since its passing.  It took longer than I thought but after finding myself stuck, unaware of the darkness, I was surrounding myself by choosing to ignore the past; I realized that it was in forgetting that I slipped and failed.  As a light was reflected from a seemingly distant point, the way was pointed for me to hear as I sat talking with Rev. Strickler one evening during one of my much anticipated visits to spend time talking with him and the rest of the group.

As I started to review my path after my last visit to the Temple, Rev. Strickler’s home where I look forward to meeting with him and everyone else when I can, I was not completely clear on what I was missing in my examination of the situation.  I knew where some mistakes had been made, but I was not clear on how I had become entangled in this Gordian knot.  Then one day I heard what was at the time the most ridiculous statement I had heard in a long time.  A person at my work was attempting to break an awkward silence with a generic statement about the weather.  Living in Arizona, this is not a subject that one talks about unless necessary.

It was getting cold outside as winter had arrived for most of the Northern Hemisphere with snow storms and freezing rains, but we had just broken out of the 90 degree range and were enjoying our 80 degree days as the rest of North America was icing over at the time.  This person who walks by and looks out the window at midnight at the pitch black sky with no clouds in sight and says, “Man it sure looks cold out there.”  My first response was to bite my tongue while thinking to myself, “What the hell did I just hear?  It’s a freaking desert, how the hell does a desert look cold?  Ever?”  After my internal response quieted down I started to think about what a cold night would look like.

I remembered the snow frosted rooftops of my old neighborhood where I grew up in Denver.  I could recall the watching the first snow as a blanket of silence that fell down on everything, masking the city white almost every night.  Even the smell of the neighborhood changed; first from the dingy oily smog to a crisp neutral scent, followed moments later by the warmth of fresh pine slowly burning in fireplaces.  Then suddenly it hit me, THE LIGHT!  In the snow there was no such thing as darkness, not as long as there was even just a speck of light no matter how dim.  Every snow coated surface reflected that same light sharing it, borrowing from the previous source, passing it on the next and so on, so that every source of light was magnified leaving no shadow save for those cast up to the sky, only to be drowned out by the moon and stars.  Each point of light reflected outward as it was touched by the light before it, expressing the same light in a different angle of perception, just as each person is a point of light cast from the source sharing that same light with others, each reflecting to the best of their ability.

Where was the light?  It was always there, all around.  I had failed to maintain that piece of the reflection that was my angle of perception in the tapestry of the Great Work.  The profound feeling of loss was the loss of time, time that could have been used in growing through knowledge and expanding awareness.  I was looking for an exterior solution to a problem I had set into motion within an interior arena set up for this very purpose.  Within my alchemical laboratory I had simply stopped looking with the light I was given use of and totally ignored an important aspect of my undeveloped self until it became enough of a problem to cause discomfort.  To add insult to injury, I created a process to amplify the effects by a misuse of negative energy in form of saying no to engaging with the light of the alchemical process and working on bettering myself.

The best example of this process I can use is an addict.  In most cases of addiction, there are tendencies to avoid pain; in some forms there are tendencies to engage in pain either similar to or another more destructive form that can cause harm.  Either way the person is running from an experience no matter how much damage they may cause in the process.  They will eventually look to whatever vice they chose as their escape as if it were a light switch that makes the dark disappear, only the light never shines, so the intensity of the vice is increased until a major event forces a change, or worse, death.  While this is an extreme example of how this can unfold, it also is the clearest one for the moment.

The scary part is that anyone could easily fall into this pattern, not so much the addiction model, but a very close version of it.  Couple that with the tendency for outside influences by those with less altruistic motives to attempt interference for their own ends; the world could appear rather frightening at times.  It is because of this I understand the proclivity toward the stories of heroes that stood up against dark forces.  They always seemed to be endowed with a gift or ability seemingly inhuman or impossible for so called normal people to achieve.  They didn’t need to find the light; they had teachers who showed them how work with the light they had been given to reflect for others who may be receptive, forwarding the light on, illuminating the darkness by exposing the unknown thus making way for knowledge and growth.

There are countless stories out there about heroes and victories over the darkness, whatever form it may take.  From great space battles to superhuman abilities, new stories are written every day but not just to entertain. If you look, the same process is in motion in every story being told; to overcome the darkness one does not look outward for an external source of salvation.  The source of the salvation will make its self known when the hero (student/reflective vessel) is ready.  The Timeless Wisdom of the Ancients is ever unfolding in as many forms as there are angles of perception from those capable of being as receptive as the heroes of yesterday, today and tomorrow.  If it is a story of inspiration that is needed to get things started, I know of a good one with a little reindeer with low self-esteem and bright shiny nose.

Whether you find inspiration in the form of a story or a dialog with a teacher, remember to shine so the light you are given use of in this world can show another the way home in the dark.

May the inner light of the true Self, borrowed from the Source, be reflected not just in memory, but along the path you find yourself traveling.


Adam Crosthwaite

2016 Christmas-NewYear


  1. Merlin from the Movie: Excalibur (1981) Orion Pictures
you know you want to do it:

Roses Abound

by Christine Ford

Symbols … The way the Lord of Life speaks to us through the interface of our exchanges and comings and goings.  Do we pause, be still and hear the promptings and whisperings of the One as It beckons within the busy day to day treadmill we call “life” through the symbols around us?  If we do hear the smallest whisper, or even a shout, do we listen and heed the prompt?  Do we see the unfolding of events, the inter-mesh of patterns weaving the days, years and decades of our lives as we tread blindly through the maze of the Minotaur, making the motions of living, while just merely repeating the patterns which have been ingrained into our belief system from infancy by well-meaning parents and replicated by ourselves in how we perceive the experiences that built the foundation of our reality?

Sadly, while living immersed within and pursuing the dream, we rarely take the time to attempt to dissect the process by which we arrived at the erroneous state which we have come to believe is our reality.  With the ear plugs and blinders firmly in place, we put one foot in front of the other, trudging along as the Sun rises and sets, as the Moon waxes and wanes, as the Solstices and Equinoxes come and go ignoring the symbols we are given as goads to make change while repeating the old worn out habits.

Symbols speak from a deep layer of our consciousness which does not need words to convey a message; most recently a symbol that has haunted my life since early childhood has been brought to the forefront of my awareness.  By listening to the promptings of the Lord of Life to explore the meaning of this symbol in combination of the co-mingling of knowledge from classes with Dr. Stickler, pulling out and dusting off past experiences, dialoging with my fellow travelers, and looking at the symbol with fresh eyes, I have had an epiphany, solved a mystery that has shed light into the biases and prejudices upon which I have built a good portion of my so-called “life.”  Please note that I do not use the word “epiphany” lightly; I can actively feel the discovery of this experience unraveling and moving into a multitude of layers of my being, changing the way in which I perceive the world.

The Winter Solstice and the season of Christmas hold a mystical significance for those who choose to look inward, be still, and listen; it is a time of deep personal contemplation infused with energies for discovery that only are available during this time of year.  It is my hope that I am able to convey even a brief instant of insight into my new awareness as I am limited to speaking in words, not symbols; but it is a symbol of which I speak.  I would like to share my understanding as a gift to our readers at this mysterious and glorious time of year, to hopefully spark a similar experience for them.

Let me begin at the beginning, with a trip down memory lane!  One of my earliest childhood memories is gardening with my mom, who just celebrated her 92nd birthday.  She was an avid gardener and lover of flowers especially; together we grew Cosmos that reached the roof of the house, snapdragons and petunias flourished and transformed into shrubbery under her care.  Knowing Mom’s love of flowers, I would wake up early on sunny summer mornings and sneak off into the woods alone to commune with the fairies and sprites, and to gather bouquets of wild Trillium, sometimes finding a rare red or pink one.  Silently I would sneak back into the house to arrange them in a vase on the kitchen table; then I would jump into bed and pretend to be asleep, anxiously awaiting Mom’s exclamations of joy at the gift from a “secret admirer”.  We never talked about where the flowers came from, but she always made sure to rave about their beauty and give thanks to the anonymous donor.

For a years we played this game; I truly believed I had her fooled and that she thought they just magically appeared there as a gift to her for sharing her love of nature and beauty with the world!  Somewhere in the process I realized she knew where they came from, but continued to play along.  A small part of my recent “epiphany” is that I have come to understand where my lifelong pattern of doing things for people in secret while delighting in avoiding the recognition came from; where the seed was planted in my early childhood that became a belief deeply ingrained in my personal reality; hearing her happiness was enough; I did not need personal acknowledgment or thanks.  Can you see how this process works?  The true revelation that I am sharing, however, came through the symbol of the Rose.

Mom had a special affinity for roses; we would gather them carefully, knocking off spiders along the way, putting them into giant (or so it seemed to me as a child) baskets to give to the neighbors.  Once we had collected them, we would sit on the back porch and painstakingly, literally, break off each and every thorn on the rose stem before giving them as gifts, because, as my mom in her wisdom stated over and over, and I, as a child, soaked right up and made my own, “The beauty of the rose should not be tarnished by the pain of the thorn.”

Dun dun dun!!!!!  Can you see where this is going?  Unknowingly, built right into my belief system through the symbol of the rose at a very early age was the idea that beauty was to be nurtured, sought, shared and given freely, but pain could not be a part of the process; according to my patterning, and repeating of the pattern to myself, the thorns had to be completely removed in order to experience and share the agape of the beauty of the rose, to protect the person being gifted from pain.  Whew!  Talk about heavy with implications and insight as to how I built my belief structure and patterned my personality to respond to pain or negativity!  Just break it off, throw it away, ignore it and pretend it was never there in the first place… Thanks, Mom!  At the ripe old age of 67, with lots of work and years of experiencing the pain of hiding the pain, the breaking off of the thorns to try to spare myself and others the “pain”, hiding away and denying any kind of negativity, I have come to know where it started!  And in all fairness, thanks me, for continuing as an adult to blindly accept that and weave it into the patterns I chose to reflect; all this from the symbol of the Rose.

Steeped in religious and spiritual meaning, the Rose is symbolic of a myriad of ideas and concepts. 1 The Rose has come to symbolize the many layered unfoldment of spiritual awakening, as it opens from a tight bud into full bloom, in all its five petaled (five senses) glory. The symbolism of the Rose is explored in the Tarot of BOTA, with the red rose denoting desire, and the white rose depicting purity.  The Golden Dawn uses the symbolism of the Rosy Cross from the Rosicrucian Order, a white rose in the middle of a cross and the ritual of the Rosy Cross affords one protection.  The scent of the Rose has been associated with the presence of God, Angels, Saints, Miracles and the Soul.  The Virgin Mary has been called the Mystic Rose, a Rose without thorns, and it has been said that in the Garden of Eden, Roses existed without thorns.  The Rosary of the Catholic Church, which means “Crown of Roses”, involves offering a group of prayers to Mary like a spiritual bouquet.  The thorns were there in the end, however, placed upon the head of the Great Rabbi before he was crucified, to signify the sin and pain of this physical world.  The relationship of the Virgin Mary symbolized as a thornless Rose, and the significance of the Crown of Thorns placed upon the head of Yaheshuah is a mystery in and of itself, far too complex to be explored in this writing, as well as the complex symbolism of the Rose summed up in this brief paragraph.  Suffice it to say; the Rose carries with it an ancient history and profound, significant symbolism; although the Rose spoken directly to me for years, the message had fallen on blind eyes and deaf ears.

The Rose came in and out of my life in ways too numerous to mention, but in hindsight, I can see that I felt stirrings and heard whispers from this powerful symbol of the heart, but never responded.  To mention a few, my favorite flower was always the Rose, most specifically the yellow rose, after having been described in a poem as “The blinding gold of sunlight, the warm saffron of fields and flowers, the glowing amber of living love is her color”.  Ah, the romantic…and always, ever, without thorns.  The only flower I ever gave as a gift was the Rose, always with the thorns removed.  In high school choir I couldn’t make it through the Christmas hymn “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” without dissolving into tears.  The first home my new husband and I purchased was the house next door to my mom and dad, and the man who owned it was a prize-winning rose grower.  Before he died, he taught me how to nurture his roses, which I plucked, removed the thorns, and shared with my neighbors as my mom had taught me.  My dad’s last words to me were “Always, always, remember to stop and smell the roses.”  Most recently this sentiment was repeated to me during class by Dr. Strickler, a strange comment coming from him, for those of us who know him well!

Blithely I went through the moments and years of my life repeating what I had learned and woven into my beliefs; denying the pain, removing the thorns, smiling and laughing, outwardly painting the picture of loving the world and everyone in it, while silently screaming out inside for what I knew had to be more.  I raised children and passed a similar belief on to them I am sure, though I have yet to discover exactly how and what the implications are for them as they move along their paths.  And the most astounding aspect of this now to me is that I was unaware that this bias was even there, totally oblivious to the seeds of how this pattern even started; until the symbolism of the Rose recently began repeating its presence to me, in dreams as well as fleeting experiences, conversations, memories and promptings that cumulatively I could no longer ignore, and I wisely, for once in my life, stopped to listen to and began to see.  Way back in February of 1992, I first began to awaken to what is “natural”; after meeting Dr. Strickler in Naples, FL.  It was through him and his class lectures in exploration of the Tarot that I came to begin to hear and see a new belief; that this plane is comprised of both positive and negative, that a “natural” part of the beauty of the rose is its thorns, that one must always consider the “A and not A” of a situation.  The doublets of the Tarot Keys representing the chakras reflected a positive and negative energy; Life and Death, Peace and Strife, Wisdom and Folly, Wealth and Poverty, Sin and Grace, Fertility and Sterility, Dominion and Slavery.  The Sephiroth on the Tree of Life contained both positive and negative energies.  The words “Lord of the Light, and Lord of the Darkness” became a part of the daily ritual I performed.  I learned, repeated and memorized, but did I weave this into my belief system?  Did I accept this as truth?  Did I change my patterns of behavior?

Hell no!  I ran from this Truth because it did not fit into my learned belief that the thorns had to be removed from the rose!  For years I hid from it, denied it, argued it, raged against it, pretended to believe it; there were times when I totally blocked out any part of Dr. Strickler’s teachings and slipped back into the comfort zone of the artificial beauty of the rose without thorns, even though I was convinced that I believed his teachings.  This “epiphany” I speak of is not one that happened overnight as a flash of insight, but rather one that has been prompting, prodding, poking, growing, and speaking to me through the symbol of the Rose for some time, and has taken some twenty three long years to discover, to acknowledge, and to bring out into the light of awareness.

This world is not perfect, and no one can wish it so or make it so.  No amount of protecting, giving, hoping, loving, or praying can take away the thorns of the rose; and what would be the purpose of that anyway?  Life and living is a balance of beauty and pain, of good and evil, of joy and sorrow.  Pretending that the thorns don’t exist does not make them go away; breaking them off the stem of the rose so they are not experienced creates only half the experience of the beauty and grace represented by the symbol of the Rose.  Eventually, no matter how fast you run, how hard you try to break them off and throw them away, or how deeply you hide the Truth, the thorns must be acknowledged, handled, perhaps with care, perhaps with abandon, but accepted as a part of this plane.  They are natural; they symbolize their own special kind of beauty and must be accepted as a part of the polarity of life, as part of the symbolism of the Rose.

My roses now have thorns.  They still smell as sweet and look as beautiful, and I handle them carefully, with respect and awe, because the combination of energies, the co-mingling of the bitter with the sweet, is the natural product of this plane, and is symbolic of a Truth that I have spent much of my life actively denying.  I cannot save the world; I can only save my world by experiencing and embracing the polarity of the symbolism of the Rose.  Without the darkness we would not recognize the light.

So at this magical time of year, let me leave you with some of the words to a song that has always been among my favorites, though I didn’t understand why until I so recently began listening to my own story of the Rose.  As you read it, listen for the positives and negatives that are used and note the use of the word “afraid”; fear, fear of the pain, fear of the unknown, fear of taking a risk…fear of the thorns on the Rose.

The Rose
…It’s the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dying
That never learns to live…

Look inward with joy, truth and clarity this Christmas Season to find your own personal Rose, significant only to you, symbolizing the roots of the patterns of the biases and prejudices upon which you have built your life, bearing thorns of risk and change.

Christine Ford
Spiritual Climate Newsletter, Editor

2016 Christmas-NewYear

you know you want to do it:

The Production Company – Subconscious Recorder

by Glen Ford

The intent here is to use the video recorder as an analogy to express the workings of subconsciousness.  The subconscious mind is the production company for my time upon the stage of life.  It is the servomechanism of conduct and behavior in much the same way as the autonomic nervous system regulates bodily functions.  The autonomic nervous system takes care of breathing, heart rate, and the like.  I do not have to remember to take a breath, contract my heart or tell my pancreas to make some insulin or any other of the myriad of bodily functions.  If I did, I would never get anything else done.  I would likely mess something up and not live very long.  These types of functions are taken care of on automatic pilot.  In fact, I have very little self-conscious control of these.  Sure I can hold my breath.  If I possessed exceptionally strong use of will, I could hold my breath until I passed out.  When I did, the autonomic nervous system is there to rescue me from my folly.  It is hardwired into the system.

The subconscious is like software for the behavior of my system.  It is shaped by nature and nurture.  Some of the software is rigidly preprogramed by nature.  It is genetic, instinctual.  For example, a newborn baby does not need to be taught to suckle.  That behavior is already programmed in.  Put something against the baby’s lips and the child suckles.  This is instinctual.  Much of subconscious behavior however is dynamic and malleable.  It can be nurtured.  It is constantly being cultivated by thoughts and actions.  It has been at least since birth.  These kinds of behaviors are learned.  Here intellect and emotion are the drivers.  All through my life the process continues.  The program is altered by experiences, thoughts and emotions, (pleasure/pain, risk/reward, love/fear, nurture/neglect).

In my earlier years, I did not have much say in what nurturing I received. Those decisions were made by the adults I encountered, my parents, teachers, etc. There was a transition period though high school and college where my peer groups had sway.  These all can still have some effect but I am the adult now!  Now my self-conscious awareness allows me to select the curriculum as I proceed if I choose to do so.  The subconscious mind is the repository for all experiences and is the servomechanism for much of behavior.  It is always running in the background, quietly and proficiently creating for me what I think I want; good, bad or indifferent.  What I think about all day long expands in my life.

There is a record button, but for the purpose of this analogy it is stuck in the record mode regardless of any other buttons being pushed.  The subconscious is always running in the background.  Subconscious records everything, and builds human proclivities from the data input, again good bad or indifferent.

There is a play button, this is the usual mode of operation for most of my daily life. This is the playing out of activities and relationships with family, friends, colleagues and adversaries at home, at work, or out and about in the community. It seems as if it is all brand new, but much of my reactions to situations is scripted in the subconscious by previous experiences and what I have told subconscious in repeatedly in the past.

There is a pause button.  A good practice is to pause each morning and occasionally throughout the day.  Freeze time for a few moments to reflect on what I am doing and why I am doing it and consider the consequences of the actions I am about to take.  What am I telling subconscious?  Assess how it is going and make adjustments as needed.  This is a very difficult sticking point for me. It is a work in progress.

There is a rewind button.  At the end of the day I have the option to rewind and review the events and reactions that transpired.  I can ask myself:  How did the day go?  Was it what I intended when I started out in this morning?  If the answer is yes, then okay.  If the answer is no, then was it better or worse?  I have an opportunity to plan adjustments or corrections going forward.  I also have the ability to build on any successes.  If I pass this opportunity, it will be business as usual.  This is also a struggle for me.  Journaling is a help.  When I write thoughts down then read them out loud, they sound very different from when they were rattling around in my head.  Also, when I record the events of the day for my self-conscious I have tangible metrics to review and identify problems and measure my progress toward solution.  This also is a work in progress.

There is a rapid rewind button.  I can go back in memory and ask where this behavior came from?  What was my reaction at the time?  Is it still appropriate? How is that working out for me now?  I have chronic behavioral issues that stem from way back.  The first step to correction is becoming aware.  The memories may not be clear or may be unavailable for the moment to self-conscious recall.  The subconscious running in the background remembers all and is well scripted by parents, teachers, our previous experiences.  The problem is accessing those memories.  This back story is crucial in rewriting the script and improving reactions and outcomes. I cannot do it alone; dialogs are needed with family members, trusted friends or a spiritual mentor.  For deep-seated problematic issues, I have had to overcome my fear of stigma in seeking psychological assistance by coming to the realization that the real stigma lies in not have the courage to do so. It has proven very helpful in bringing distant events that have been effecting my behavior into self-conscious awareness. Now I have the opportunity deal with the issues rather than just continuing the reactive behaviors they produce. Awareness is required first.  I cannot mitigate let alone fix a problem I do not recognize.  It is not possible to be rid of old crap but I can acknowledge it.  It can be overwritten after a fashion. Instruction can be given that the problematic old memory is no longer relevant.  I want different responses.  I desire different outcomes.  Then in similar situations more effective behavior can be scripted in.

There is a fast forward button.  This is the button that allows me to become proactive, if I use it.  This button is for projecting where my actions and behaviors are going to lead.  Given the human beings survival drive for pattern recognition, I should be able to make a pretty good estimation of the probability lines. Then I can make adjustments.  This skill gets better with practice, if I bother to try.  ‘G.O.D.D.’ helps those who help themselves (Goals, Optimism and Daily Doing).

Growth is not easy; change is not always comfortable.  I should expect some discomfort.  I should expect some pain.  Any development requires work.  In the physical world, athletics, wrestling, football and at the gym, there is a saying; “No pain, No gain.”  My father in law had a plaque on his wall that read; “Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness,” author unknown. If I am not actively pursuing physical activity, pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, stagnation and atrophy set in.  Neglected long enough more serious consequences will ensue.

These concepts apply just as well to my spiritual endeavors.  If I am on the path I will run into some friction, discomfort and pain.  I need to remember, there will also be rewards along the way.  The rewards will be proportional to the extent I have been willing to do the work.  If I seek to avoid friction, discomfort and pain they will be stored up for me and my reward will be their return to me at a later date with interest.  On the other hand, if I am willing to work through these things I can reap different rewards for my effort; the satisfaction of participating in the direction of the unfoldment of my future, growth in knowledge, spirit, self-consciousness and physical wellbeing.

There is a stop button.  This button is actually for the self-conscious mind.  This is not the rest button.  This is not the sleep button.  Rest and sleep are necessary active processes.  This is the disengage button.  This is the end of participation button.  This is the relinquish any self-conscious influence button, to be assiduously avoided.  Buttons will always be pushed; it is a competitive field.  If I am not writing the scripts, if I am not pushing my buttons, someone else is there to write them and push at them.  Some in cooperation with my well-being like family, friends, mentors or teachers like Rev. Strickler.  Others do so with manipulative malice; many politicians and advertisers who have studied behavior become proficient at pushing my buttons to their own benefit, not necessarily mine.

If I am not participating, providing fresh input, future events/episodes of my life will be beyond my influence.  Self-conscious awareness is the gatekeeper.  Who is the author and who is pushing the buttons?  What plays out depends on who I allow to author the scripts that are read into my subconscious.  The subconscious production company is only as good as the script it is given.  If I as the gatekeeper repeatedly tell subconscious ‘this is too much work, this is too uncomfortable, I want to avoid confrontation,’ subconscious will dutifully manifest that in my life.  It does not care.  It does what it is told over and over again.  Reasoning and thinking are functions of the self-conscious mind.  I reap what I sow.  So, I need to be mindful of what seeds I am planting.  Mindfulness is hitting the pause button from time to time and taking stock.  It does not require our constant attention but if we are to have any measure of influence or control of our destiny it must be revisited on a regular basis at frequent intervals.

Reverend Strickler defines intelligence as the ability to do work.  This is all hard work.  My intelligence is being challenged.  I often miss the mark, but I am waking up.  I am becoming more aware and can take better aim.  In parting I ask you the questions I try to ask myself every day.

Who is writing the script for your life?

Who is pushing your buttons?

Glen Ford

2016 Christmas-NewYear

you know you want to do it:
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