Spiritual Climate Newsletter JANUARY 2007 PART 2 ~ THE UNHEARD VOICES by Adam Crosthwaite

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 The Unheard Voices

By Adam Crosthwaite

The adverse effects of poor policy practices in this country are at an all time high. The tax payers of this country are beginning to stir and the politicians are finding reasons to squirm. New faces and new voices with new tactics are in the initial stages of effecting major changes in those policies, however there are many voices that are not heard; millions of faces and voices that have no say because they are too busy fighting too survive the fall out from the politically correct white collar genocide in this country that has been perfected over the past five decades. Due to sophist attitudes and the favorite argument of victim precipitation by those who quietly pull the strings from behind the scenes to manipulate policy in this world many voices have been stifled.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been tripped up by the system that was in place to save them from falling between the cracks. Children who see little to nothing of their parents because they both work two jobs in order to keep a roof over their heads and clothes on their child’s back. The parents, single parents mostly women, seem to be most affected, who are full time students as well as full time employed who are slipping through the cracks just as quickly as their non-parent counter parts. Most of these parents have been working since early teenage years and paying taxes.

In Denver there is a mom who has worked for the biggest telecommunications company in the U.S. for over thirty five years. After decades of service and sacrificing time with her family to travel across the country for weeks at a time she will not have the option of retiring with full benefits for another decade. She is fifty seven years of age this year and has little if any hope to enjoy a retirement in this life. She has spent the last three years undergoing surgeries and traveling as far as Ohio to the Mayo Clinic for treatments for an ailment. Her doctor finally decided to remove her tail bone as a last ditch effort to save her life. The doctor wants to put her in the hospital again in three weeks because she keeps losing weight even while she eats relatively healthy meals. Unfortunately she may not be able to visit her doctor much longer on account of the fact that in order to keep her benefits she will need to return to work before the end of January.

State benefits are out of the question because her husband makes enough money to keep them just barely above poverty level and that is enough to keep them from being eligible for benefits. Benefits that have been paid for are due to run out, there is little hope to maintain the mortgage that had been paid along with all the household bills for nearly thirty years. This is a family that has been paying taxes for over forty years, yet there remains an out of pocket cost of five thousand dollars that is being paid by the long term disability purchased over the thirty plus years of service which is due to run out in a matter of days.

About twenty five miles across town, a single mother with two boys has to fight to spend one weekend with her children because the city she works for can not keep enough people on the payroll to maintain snow plow shifts. Instead of spending time with her sons during the Holiday season last month she was out on the roads for twelve hours at a time clearing snow and ice so the others in her community could get home safely to their loved ones. She was home with her children on the weekend for the first time in almost a month.

In another city approximately 999 miles away there is young boy thirteen years old who sits in middle of a classroom hiding his head under his jacket, falling deeper into depression by the minute. A year ago he was in a fight with another boy at school. The other kid was hurt. The student who was hurt is still in the same school and attending regular classes. The boy who sits in a “self-contained class room” for Emotionally Disabled, ED for short, students was sent to this classroom in another school after a year of completing every program the district could throw at him. I was informed by his teacher that he had completed over four different programs in one year. This child has proven himself capable of not only complying and adhering to the rules of the district, but has surpassed them for over a year. All he wants is to get back into his regular school and attend class in order to complete his education. He cannot attend general education class in the school he was transferred to due to policies adopted by the district which were a by-product of the State policies as influenced by the federal program NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND!

This young man is one of millions of kids in this country slipping through the cracks every day. Those who preach to them about the great evils of gangs and street life are setting the stage for the streets to become the only apparent option for a decent life. After all, the family members who joined the gangs do stand by their word, though they may have other motives regarding the welfare of the community, they still do as they say and will never turn their backs on the members of their gang.

Jobs continue to disappear by the thousands and the demands on the service workers who remain continue to increase. As for the few production jobs that exist in the United States, many of those workers are either training people for their position to be out sourced to foreign countries or they are at the mercy of increased productivity demands in order for their employer to remain competitive with manufacturing in other countries. In 2006 domestic automobile manufactures lost over one thousand dollars per vehicle sold in the United States and are projecting further losses and deletion of jobs before the hopeful turnaround estimated to take place in two to three years, of course that is assuming things don’t terribly worsen before than.

Children in this world every day see the future they were promised melted into a pool of sludge in the flames set by the hands of those who promised them that future. By the time they grow up to be old enough to work full time and even vote the world they live in will have no place for these practices. Instead they will learn to fight with their hands and weapons in order to maintain their positions of stability.

This country has seen a glimmer of light in the midterm elections last November, as well as with the opening of the 110th congress this year with the new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. There are some big changes on the way. This change is as equally overdue as it is needed. It was during the opening ceremonies for the new Congress that the gauntlet was thrown down when Pelosi decided to make history a second time in one day. After she was sworn in and the gavel was passed to her by her predecessor to the position of Speaker of the House, she called the attention of the world to the children. Every child on the chamber floor was called to the front to remind each man and woman about to be sworn into office that they are accountable for the future of the children. And each and every legislator in that chamber had to stand there and look those children in the face as they swore to uphold the principles of liberty that are in place to ensure that very future. Judging from some of the expressions in the room that day I’m not too sure how many of those people understood the importance of that moment. While the Constitution stands to ensure the rites of freedom, it is a privilege to be part of the system that protects and upholds those freedoms. In the days to come we will see just how impactual that moment of TRUTH was on the chamber floor that day.

The good news is that the voices of sound judgment are being heard in the committees that followed the State of the Union Address and first 100 hours of the 110th Congress. Voices demanding accountability from peers echo from both sides of the aisle are directed at everyone, not just a form of mud slinging.

Policies are being rewritten in this country and help is on the horizon, but I pray that in the haste to save the future our law makers do not miss the mark by forgetting the mistakes of their predecessors as well as those who remain in office shed their fears of the past and make the right decisions to save the future of this country.

It is in the humility of the moment when truth is honored and self preservation takes a backseat to accountability. It has been written that without humility there is no honor. It is the humility of honoring the truth regardless of the sacrifice that may be demanded in return that true honor and real strength are forged. However humbling ones self to the truth of a situation does not equate to acceptance of the situation. The State of this Union has been suffering long enough, it is time to honor that truth and let it be known that it will not be tolerated by those who pay for the mistakes of the privileged. There is no privilege without consequence and there is no reason for a nation to be turned inside out over such matters. There is a way for a peaceful and quick resolution to this situation that America is faced with.

There has to be accountability in this world, and for that the voices must be heard, the voices that have yet to be discovered. The voice of the child that slowly slips further away from a world that desperately needs his input has got to be heard even if only through the talent of the art work he pours his emotion into every day, the voices of children that can’t be heard by mommy and daddy because they are out working two or even three jobs just keep a roof over their heads.

Each of these voices is as precious as the tears that go unseen by those who give reason for their existence. These are the voices that are the missing colors in the mosaic of freedom. They are the foundation for the landscape of peace, for every day they go unheard a seed goes unplanted. How can there be any hope when the sun never shines on the young?

May the future be bright and clear for our country as the mistakes of the past are corrected by the courage and honesty of those who step forth to lead.

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter DECEMBER 2006 Part 2: AGREEMENT REALITY by Adam Crosthwaite

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Agreement Reality

by Adam Crosthwaite

Perhaps it is the change in perception I have experienced in the past year or so, but I can’t help but notice the wailing and gnashing of teeth this holiday season as people repeat the same old American holiday practice of standing in checkout lanes for hours on end. And yes I said HOLIDAY. That comment was directed at the fundamentalist crybabies that believe any other tradition that does not follow their own religious-political structure is wrong. And if anyone reading this is starting to feel uncomfortable about that statement, GOOD! Pay attention to that pulling, twisting feeling that is starting to drive you to anger. Now you have a reason to wail and gnash your teeth, and not just because you can’t get through the checkout lane quick enough to grab the last Play Station 3 on the shelf! If any one can explain why the importance of material exchange is so high during the holiday season I would gladly look them in the eye and tell them to grow up. Dollars and cents do not equate to love. Further more the narcissistic ranting of the religious zealots in this country, mainly the mainstream Christians and let’s not forget the Evangelicals, need to stop spreading their own philosophy of politically correct peripheral crap!

It was just last year we listened to all the propaganda over the whole Christmas greeting fiasco. Remember the politically correct greeting? “Happy Holidays” I believe was the so called insult that people felt so burdened by. Remember the out pouring of martyr syndrome that accompanied retailers’ efforts to not insult any one? It must have been the underdeveloped or perhaps the combination of maladjusted and underdeveloped personalities that reacted to the politically correct greetings. I can’t recall a Christmas that had been plagued by so much garbage as last year’s. Everyone wanted in on the action. It was as if the Christian community was waging war on every other religion and tradition out side of their own secular belief structure. For a while there I thought it must have been a slow month at the abortion clinics and the fundamentalists had to seek a new target to fill the hours.

In the middle of all this propagated crap no one stopped to question why this was happening. Was it a mere coincidence that this was occurring at the same time that more people had started to voice their distaste towards the war in the Middle East? People were talking about not having their loved ones home because of the ongoing shipments of U.S. solders overseas.

It was the tunnel vision of the communities that enabled this agreement or rather consensus reality to take shape and form in the guise of politically correct jargon. People were so dissatisfied with the mistrust and misuse of power witnessed by the American public in relation to the War in Iraq. The agreement came in the form of people sharing a reality and misshaping that reality due to an emotional eruption from the masses of consumers. People took their frustrations out on a public icon such as Wal-Mart.

Now why Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart, which produces no value-added whatsoever, dominates the geometry that governs the U.S. consumer society. America consumes goods that others produce, which Wal-Mart markets. As I have come to find in a recent assignment for my class in Research Design and Analysis Class Wal-Mart seems to be taking quite a few hits politically as a major player in the current economical cycle of America right now. Take all the political distrust and anger felt by the general public and give it a target such as the icon of the big smiley face. Interestingly enough the same feelings directed at the Big Box retailer was the feelings expressed by people in this country regarding the current administration which has been referred to as a regime many times in public articles and reports. People lacking the ability to honor the truth took it upon themselves to target this American icon of mistrust and adopted the agreement reality that this is the evil empire that needs to be taught a lesson. All this energy spent in the efforts to save face within their own misdirected egoic and adolescent personality, instead of admitting they were wrong to trust a group of individuals (corporate Wal-Mart; government, White House) with what ever level of trust they may have turned over.

Call it a theory if you like I am just calling things as I see them. Take a large population of people that share a fear of the unknown. Throw in a few good reasons for them to mistrust and in many cases feel oppressed, although they may remain ignorant as to the true point of origin for that oppression and mistrust, and they are going to explode in one way or another. Give them a fundamentalist point of view on life in general and you have a potential confrontation on your hands. All you need now is a repressed, genuine target. And there you have the formula for an emotional eruption due to pent-up anger and frustration being directed at the most convenient target available. It almost seems that the behaviors of the mainstream Christian fundamentalists bear an eerie resemblance to a shadow cast from the bomb blasts that are destroying towns through out the Middle Eastern countries.

This image reeks of Orwellianism as it stands as a testimony to the ugly side of the human ego as goes unchecked by discerning minds. Orwell never failed to show in writing how the ego in operation behind the scenes, as it went unchecked by discernment, would reach up and manipulate as it had been trained to by the mind it is mentored by.

Taking into consideration the fact that no one wants to be wrong and that most of the people screaming about the insult to the Christian community, being what they consider ignored, it’s no wonder the argument lasted as long as it did and retailers cringed as the holidays approached this year. The fundamentalist jerks that think they own the patent on the celebration of light birthing into the physical world known as Christians have got to stop and question themselves. As the Christians don’t hold the patent on the holiday season they don’t hold the patent on being jerks about the whole thing either. There is a plethora of fundamentalists screaming from the heights proclaiming martyrdom year round and even more so during the Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and Holiday season.

Last year in midst of all the ranting and raving of fundamentalists arguing over who owns the month of December a child very eloquently showed me just how simple life can be. I walked out of the laundry room of my apartment complex and he was playing outside on the lawn. He may or may not have known about the grand political dance of the fundamentalist crybabies that was going on at the time. He just looked at me with an incredible light beaming through his smiling eyes and said, “Happy Kwanzaa!” I couldn’t resist smiling as I responded, “Happy Kwanzaa to you too.” That had to be one of my favorite encounters for the year. Here a little boy, couldn’t be more than nine years old, greeting me at the door and wishing me the best of the love that was gifted to the world and all that lived upon it. I confess myself ignorant at the time as to what Kwanzaa truly meant but that didn’t stop me from hearing the true message that was conveyed in that little boy’s words. All that mattered at that moment was the statement behind the statement which was uttered from the mouth of that glowing little child as he smiled the smile that only a child wishing the best of love to a total stranger could have.

As beautiful a moment as this was I felt a tug from inside me as I realized how precious the moments are when children shatter the barriers of those that build in the name of ignorance. It is the children who will build upon the foundation of this agreement in reality or chose to tear it down to construct a solid and sound foundation. How I long for the world to live in such a moment if only for a few minutes such as the shining of first light as the very best of love kisses the horizon on Christmas morning. It is the ignorance and arrogance of those choosing to play along in the agreement of a false reality that are responsible for the degradation of human life in this world. It is in the non-acceptance of this agreement reality that the change will take place and give room for truth to light the way to a solid foundation for future generations.

All through elementary school and on through high school I remember celebrating all forms of the holiday season. From Mexico to Canada, Japan, Russia, Germany, South America, the African Nations, Native American and Middle Eastern traditions were all honored by the kids I grew up with and the schools saw to it. So why are we seeing the political and religious communities fighting over ownership of a world wide celebration?

In closing this holiday message I would like to wish you the best of the love and light that gave birth to this world and all its inhabitants. In all parts of the world and to all the soldiers across the world, on both sides of the line, no matter where you read this or in any language it may be read in, I wish you the very best of the love that gave birth to you in this world. To all of the children in the world and throughout the traditions that celebrate life and love including those that celebrate each day as if it was the first and last day of the year, may the love shared by all be given and received freely as it was meant to be.

May the blessings of the life power find you in celebration this year…

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter NOVEMBER 2006 Part 2: A TEACHER’S BLESSING by Adam Crosthwaite

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A TEACHER’S BLESSING:

A lesson about the greatest teacher

there ever was, is, or will be, LOVE. . .

By Adam Crosthwaite

It was rainy Saturday morning in the desert, a rare treat to say the least. I was on my way to a friend’s house to help them move into a new apartment. I was in a good mood that morning, another rare treat considering my distaste for “waking up” in this dismal plane of existence. I wolfed down my breakfast and headed for the front door. Two steps from the door my cell phone rang. The number I did not recognize but the voice was familiar. It was my former land lord calling with a message from Angel, my ex-wife and mother of our one and a half year old daughter Emily. Emily was on her way to the emergency room. Angel was with her.

I can’t recall what happened first but I was suddenly in my car on the freeway heading to the hospital downtown. I don’t remember how I got the name of the hospital they were on route to but I knew where I was going. As I was on the freeway I started to run through all the prayers in what ever language I could think of. Every kind of prayer and meditation from worlds too old to be remembered in written history that I had memorized were pouring out of me almost as fiercely as the tears that blinded me. I can remember most of the drive I was talking to her in my mind and heart. “Its okay Emily, Daddy is on the way”. I told her to hang on I would be there to help, just wait one minute longer, every thing will be okay. In retrospect I realize I was not talking to myself trying to calm down, I was actually talking to her just like I always have even though I was not there physically for her to see with her eyes.

Somewhere between forever and yesterday I finally arrived at the hospital. As I walked down the corridor toward the ER entrance I could feel the pull of urgency from behind the walls as I navigated the maze through the hospital. When I got to the ER they wasted no time. Before I could blink I was standing at a curtain with a sea of doctors and nurses standing between Emily and me. My daughter was lying there with a tube in her keeping her little lungs breathing. Angel was standing there crying, shaking, waiting for Emily to sit up and smile. At that point I couldn’t relate to my emotions at all, I felt emotionless, not cold and disconnected. I did not go numb or lose the capacity to feel, I simply was not reacting to the pull from my emotional centers any longer. I was still feeling the emotion within my mind as it responded to my daughter and what she was going through. In other words, I was operating in that famous male operating mode known as emergency management veneer.

Between the tears and sobs Angel began to tell me what had happened. Emily and Angel had just finished breakfast and were sitting on the couch enjoying Saturday morning cartoons as was the customary routine for the weekend. Suddenly Emily’s head dropped to one side and she couldn’t sit up. Angel did not know what was happening or what was going to happen next. Angel tried to call 911 on her cell phone but could not get a signal, the land line was down. Angel ran carrying Emily in her arms to the front office of her complex to use the landlord’s phone. The landlord tried to help Angel but by the time the paramedics were able to get Emily to the ER she had had twelve seizures.

Emily was cleared for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and was taken upstairs to the fourth floor for observation and treatments. On the way to the PICU we passed families from every walk of life. Some of them were standing in hallways crying, others were celebrating a child being discharged to go home. Everyone we passed stopped and silently watched as we disappeared down the corridor with our daughter strapped to a bed with a breathing machine keeping her lungs full of air. She was moved to a crib with her arms restrained to keep her from pulling the breathing tube out of her throat or the IVs out of her arm. The curtain over her door was drawn closed and the staff for the weekend was introduced to us. Then it was time to make the phone calls.

We stayed in the room for so long standing over her crib talking to her, holding her delicate little hand waiting for her to open her eyes and smile yet it seemed like only minutes. About six hours had passed and we forced down a dinner from the kitchen. Nether one of us was hungry but we were not in the mood for another lecture from the nurse about parents not taking care of themselves.

There was only a padded bench in the room to sleep on. Angel and I decided to take watches in shifts; we did not know how long this was going to take. It took the first few days for Angel to agree to go home for one night. It was amazing how well we worked together. The nurses of the PICU didn’t even know we were separated until we told them on the fourth day. They told us they were impressed at how well we worked together for our daughter. We just smiled it, was not about us. It was about her, or so we thought.

After a few days had passed Angel and I started talking about the grim possibility that exists for every parent in a situation where their child is in an extreme medical condition: resuscitation. As we discussed the possibility of Emily not waking up or not being able to breath on her own, I got a call from Christine. She wanted to know how Emily was doing and if she was able to have visitors. I gave her the information and told her there was no limitation on visits as long as Emily was allowed to rest. Since Emily was still sedated it seemed a mute point. A few hours later, I saw something I did not expect.

Suddenly I my attention was drawn to the hallway and ordinarily when that happens there is a shift occurring within the energies of the environment I find myself in based on my past Martial Arts Training and current training with Dr. Strickler. David was coming! It felt like forever but in reality it was only a few minutes until his arrival. Suddenly, David, Christine and Wendy were all in the room.

The four of us stood around Emily. Everyone took turns holding her little hand and whispering to her, telling her what was in their hearts. David talked to her for a moment and then talked to Angel and me. I walked with David and the ladies to the exit. We talked on the way, about what I can’t remember now. As David left the hospital he stopped to rest against a pillar. That pillar was at the same entrance to the hospital that the ambulance had brought him to when he was taken to The Barrows Neurological Stroke Unit in August of 2004.

As I looked at him I realized how difficult it was for him to return to the place where he almost left this life. At that moment I understood that there was more going on here than Emily being sick. David showed his students that you go where you are needed no matter what. This brought new meaning to me for the statement he had used with us all, “Humility is the acknowledgement of the Truth, no matter how painful it may be.”

By the end of the first week we had grown accustomed to the daily routine of the PICU. Six days after she arrived at St. Joseph’s Hospital the doctors agreed that she was ready to be extubated. Less than one hour after they removed the breathing tube Emily’s throat started to swell. She would be intubated for three more days. By the second Monday she was breathing without the use of the machine. I sat with her for the first hour after the tube came out feeding her ice chips as she was allowed out of her crib for the first time in over one week to sit with me. I sat there with her in my arms for an hour as she slept. Although I held her for an hour, it felt like less than five minutes. The agreement Angel and I had made days before about my being the one to make the difficult choice for Emily if that point was reached faded. She was going to be okay.

The next day Emily was transferred to the Pediatric Unit on the third floor of the hospital. She was doing better and spent most of the day sleeping quietly until the Respiratory Therapist visited her every three hours to do a treatment. During the next two weeks Emily would go through many ups and downs as she slowly recovered and her body rebalanced itself from the seizures. It was during this two week period that Angel and I found out just how much we don’t get along, yet we still stuck by each other and helped one another get through this time.

I often reflect on the events of two months ago. The daughter I watched grow and learn is still here. She climbs everything she can get hold of and never falls. She has regained most of her abilities she had prior to the seizures. I still get calls in the middle of night from Angel telling me about ongoing seizures, how long they last, how many she has in a day. I still wonder which one might be the last. At times I still fear that the last one will be her final moments with us.

In the three weeks at the hospital Angel and I both underwent many changes. I can not speak for her but I learned a great deal about myself as well as the nature of human beings in relationships. It has been a journey of discovery over the past two months following the initial hospital stay. There is one thing that Angel told me that continues to play over and over in my head. Angel’s greatest fear other than losing her daughter was the possibility that it was her fault. She continues to question her abilities as a parent. Every therapist Emily has seen comments on how well she is doing. I have heard many times how well she has recovered and is learning above her range. Emily is a special person. Of course I am biased but she has affected more in her short time here on Earth than she could ever know on a self-conscious level, but Angel has also had a hand in her recovery as well. As I only have Emily for a day or two every week it is the hard work and dedication of her mom that helps her to recover and continue to grow. Without all the dedicated staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona Emily could not have made it as far as she has come.

Emily has become my teacher, in a sense, just as much as I have become one of David’s students. It has been interesting to see the Inner Teacher make Its presence known as It walks with us all in every aspect of life. I watched the man I know to be a Master in the Qabalistic Art walk back into the last place on earth he would have chosen to go to be with his student in a time of great need. I watched an incredible team of Health Care Professionals work together to save a life. I watched a woman torn apart by grief care for and nurture her child to give her the best possible chance for recovery, and THEN I watched my child, Emily, barely old enough to walk and say her first words, fight for her life and win. She fought through pain, she faced a fear and darkness which I can only relate to as a frightened parent standing on the outside waiting and hoping to see his daughter walk again. She fought the fight of a champion just as David had a year and a half before in the same hospital. And when she came up she didn’t get up swinging, she came up smiling just like he did.

I can not describe to you at this time in words what we went through that month. This was written as both a thank you and acknowledgement of those who made the journey in and out of darkness for my family bearable. I have learned too much to put into one article but I promise to share that which I have learned from my life with my daughter in the coming year. Nothing can ever prepare someone to survive the nightmare of all nightmares for parents. I have been told that I handled that three weeks better than people thought I would. Perhaps it is best that I was not aware of the fears of those around me as they watched me travel through the darkness. As hard as a teacher may seem at times, each lesson is a blessing in itself as it is a lesson of love.

There is a quote from one of my favorite movies that I can say I truly understand now:

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path…”

– Morpheous

The Matrix

Lessons come in many different forms. Some of the hardest moments in our lives are nothing more than lessons about our lives. Remember to live the lessons and never doubt that this will come to pass.

May the Inner Teacher in your life be as loving to you and bless you as I have found the blessings in my lesson in love.

LVX

Adam Crosthwaite

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter OCTOBER 2006 Part 4: QUESTION EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY YOURSELF! by Adam Crosthwaite

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Question Everything, Especially Yourself!

By Adam Crosthwaite

Irony has a funny way of rubbing your nose in your own mistakes, all Karmic puns intended. Let me tell you about my latest achievement regarding my not so suave moments of revelation in contrast to the graceful moments, as few and far between as those moments appear to be for me, at least in this current stage of mindset I am looking through.

As the story goes it was beautiful Arizona morning, only 96 degrees Fahrenheit, and I was late for an appointment, as usual. I slept in a few minutes, don’t you just love those handy little snooze buttons they install on alarm clocks? I ran out the door that morning racing to the gas station to grab my morning coffee. I knew I could make up for lost time on the freeway so an extra five minutes for fresh hot coffee wouldn’t hurt me any. I grabbed my coffee and pulled out of the parking lot to hit the freeway with the determined fierceness of the typical twenty something throwing caution to the wind. The 5.2 liter V8 under the hood of my 4×4 roared as I accelerated with all wheel drive power across the lanes into the fast lane on one of the most notorious stretches of freeway in Arizona. I checked my time and was right on schedule, nothing to worry about. I sipped my morning coffee as I flew past Cameros and Mustangs on my way across town, now on time to my meeting.

I arrived at my meeting ready to get to business. The coffee was just hitting the brain cells and I was fully awake. I arrived just in time too find out I was half an hour early! For the first time this month my gamble against time paid off. I WON! Or at least I was granted the temporary illusion of winning. This had been my pattern for as long as I can remember. For the last few months I had been becoming more and more aware of it as I have been working on overcoming my addiction to the thrill of last minute-itus. If only I had taken closer consideration to the warnings of my teacher about slowing down and paying attention to things.

I have been speeding through my days thinking only of how quickly I can get to where I am going, heeding no warning to the signs up ahead telling me to slow down and pay attention. I continually race ahead focusing only on how much faster I am moving than everyone else. That all changed as I opened my mailbox the other day when I received a nice fat-Fan letter from the city. This is never a good thing especially when you know you don’t live in the city where the letter was sent from. I opened it right away. There was a summons to court for this month and a picture of me driving my car on the freeway. I was nailed by photo radar.

Instantly I began to deny the validity of the ticket. I had my defense completely prepared in less than five minutes and I was ready to walk into court to demand a trial. I had all the angles covered. After all I sat in class for three years learning from judges, retired police detectives and sheriff’s deputies about the justice system. I have learned from the experience of law enforcement officers numerous techniques and a few tricks of the trade. Long story short I could possibly beat this. In fact I know some of the details about the speed radar used by police that the agencies really don’t want people to know. I was ready to stick it to the system. Could I be any more arrogant if I tried? It would seem that I have one more chapter to add to my book entitled “The Greatest Asshole Moments of My Life”, to borrow a phrase from Dr. Strickler.

As I sat on my little throne, confident in my decision, an image flashed in my mind. I remembered looking down at my speedometer and telling myself to slow down. The needle on the speedometer was sitting at 85 mph. Now this was not at the time of my ticket, however it was not uncommon for me to catch myself approaching mach 3 during rush hour. I hung my head and sighed. “I know, I know. I should know better”, I said out loud as I walked out of my personal throne room. For all the warnings I received from David and for all the discussions about slowing down and paying attention to things, I still had to receive a speeding ticket in order for the point to sink in.

Now I am faced with a fine, this being an inopportune moment in my life for added expenses, and time out of my already packed schedule to attend traffic school.

This has been a continuous pattern of self defeat in my path for as long as I can remember. Although this is my most recent incident in which I hit one of my personal barriers there are plenty of similar experiences to be revisited and questioned at a later time. As for this round, what may be a better question is why the hell was I running short on time and cutting corners, or in this case speeding down the freeway like car thief on a joy ride? I will spare you the barrage of questions I worked with over the course of the last few weeks. After all this is an article, not a novel.

This question has many answers to it which have lead to more questions, most of which I am sure will be answered in the coming days. Some of these questions I don’t expect to have answered for quite some time, but I still replay them augmenting the question, shaping it until I find an answer that will lead me on to a new question. I have come to see that I have a personal issue with time. Perhaps it is my distaste for limitation. There could even be a dose rebellion in this equation. So many questions can be extracted from this personal excavation, but in order to stay on track the main question I have been working on is, how do I lead myself into a corner? As it would seem I have lost control over an aspect of my life or at the very least I have finally been forced to recognize one that perhaps should have been dealt with sooner.

So who or what is control here? Yes it is possible that something else could be in control. . So what is it could be in control if not me? Is it some underlying need that I have overlooked, swept under the rug so to speak? What lead to this error and what can be done about it? I question carefully so as not to assign blame thus laying a trap for myself. Forget blame! After all it was my choice to stay up late and then sleep in. It was my choice to drive irresponsibly. It was even my choice to get a speeding ticket in order to learn to slow down and pay attention! Look at the response of a person experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, they are being controlled by something nonphysical from within the psyche that is provoking a series of reactions within the physical senses.

People may consider this process tedious and pointless. After all it was just a speeding ticket. It is not the ticket that I am questioning. It’s not the events surrounding the ticket that are being questioned. The questions may begin at the events surrounding the ticket, but that is just a starting point. Now that I have been processing this over the past few weeks by questioning and answering then returning a day or two later to the same question I noticed some very interesting reactions within myself as I continue to dig.

People who choose not to question themselves are doing nothing more than practicing the art of ignorance. I call it an art because it would appear that people take pride in the craft of insulating themselves from truth. In turn they become bait for those that seek to control the lives of others, as evidenced by the multiple crises brewing around this country.

A lot of people I have listened to are complaining about the state of things in this country, yet I hear no questions about why things are the way they are. I listen to them complain about things they believe they have no control over until I finally lose all patience and start to question their point of view. Most people surrender in an attempt to save face by agreeing with whatever I say without question. I know I am not an authority by any measure and yet people still worry about looking like a fool in front of me. While my ego is gracious enough to accept this shallow gesture of respect, the rest of me laughs and at times feels like crying for these poor ignorant minds. I am not that damn important. No one living in the mundane world is important enough to demand the blind respect of ignorant minds. It never ceases to amaze me the levels of false humility people would sink to in order to look good in the eyes of those around them. I would almost prefer they attempt to change the subject or at least stare back at me in disbelief.

It would appear that people are responding to themselves as if they were experiencing some form of intense physical or emotional trauma. By focusing on the pain and not the cause people tend to remain in the state of “woe is me”. When they are no longer focusing on the pain they seek a scapegoat to pin the blame on playing shadow tag with themselves in the dark. Personally I got tired of playing with myself in the dark a long time ago. Instead they should be looking at the situation they find themselves in and find out why things are the way they are and how to change them for the better, and how to maintain a positive change to ensure the negative events leading to the situation do not repeat.

As cruel as we humans can appear to be at times no one is as cruel to us as we are to ourselves. No one can set traps like we can through the subconscious responses we set into motion through our thoughts and actions. Dr. Strickler has been working with me on my approach to life. I have come to see through both aggravation and observation that I have yet a long way to go before I make headway with my questioning process. Although I have witnessed the fruits of this process over the last two years I still find myself presented with questions I haven’t thought of yet as I spend time with my Spiritual Mentor. Without an objective viewpoint or sounding board this path stays dark and increases in difficulty.

Dr. Strickler tells us of the teachings from the old schools of the Q-Tradition. Inscribed above the entrance was the phrase, “Know Thyself”. Of course this was not written in English, in the Egyptian temples it was ‘NUK PU NUK’. Without the questioning of the self and the guidance of a Master this task was impossible. We all travel through darkness at one time or another along the path of life as it leads us through this world. The question I asked myself was, “Are you going to take that time to play with yourself in the dark, or are you going to reach out and question the darkness as you find the switch that turns on the light”? I suppose it depends on whether or not you require a speeding ticket or some other form of slap up side the head to get one’s attention.

Pain lets us know that something is wrong. The problem in our society in all age groups is that we have mastered the commercial art of avoidance. Judging from the looks of the current world scenario, hopefully there is enough pain for us to seriously consider waking up and doing something about it.

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

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

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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

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