Time Of Your Life, Adam Crosthwaite

Time…Paradoxically, our best friend and our worst enemy!  What control we venture to imagine we have over Time can be shattered in an instant, by a quirk of fate that comes unexpectedly, without a hint of warning, and shifts the direction of our endeavors and volition.  The contributors to The Institute of Spiritual Climate Newsletter were rocked to the core by the sudden, unexpected passing of our youngest contributor; Adam Crosthwaite made his transition from this life July 17, 2017.  The time of the two plus year sabbatical and absence of The Spiritual Climate Newsletter has been a direct response to the shock and grief each one of us felt in our own way in a very personal reaction to his death. With Dr. Strickler having broken that silence with his touching, stunning, memorial to Adam in the re-opening of “The Spiritual Climate Newsletter,” I choose to add some words in tribute to Adam, and in reflection of time.

Time…They say it heals all wounds.  Though wounds may heal, the scars remain, but with the scars are memories that stay as well.  Adam appeared on the scene as a young man hired as a paraprofessional for my class of Autistic children at a private day school here in Phoenix.  Adam’s recommendation came from a church nearby and I was warned to watch my language and behave around him! Oh boy!  Was I in for a surprise, as was Adam.  As we spent the first two weeks together dancing around trying to be prim and proper, it didn’t take long for the real personalities to surface.  It soon became glaringly obvious that Adam was a unique Soul, with a giant heart, and with understanding and compassion far beyond his years.  He was a natural at empathizing with our special kids and had a keen, one of a kind sense of humor that could somehow turn the direst of situations into a side-splitting comedy!  As we let our real sides show to each other, Adam become my friend, protector, son and shortly, fellow student.  Once he met the Boss, Dr. David Strickler, he knew he had found a home, a family, and a Path to follow for the remainder of his all too short stay on this Earth.  The Time was right.

Time…They say it flies when you are having fun.  The time Adam was here with us did fly, so in our own way, we were absolutely having fun!  Adam was just that kind of person; the wiggle of his ears, the insightful yet silly comments, the fresh writer who showed us all up in his  ability  to write sincere, poignant articles with zingers at the end, the friend who cared so deeply for us all.  When the “oldies” of the group bought a home together in Surprise AZ, we collectively decided Adam needed a life of his own; he deserved more of life than melting into being a caretaker for the geezers in the group home!  (That is said in Adam’s joking style, but it is true…)  Adam’s monthly visits to the Temple and holiday drop ins were anticipated for the sheer joy and insight he brought with him each time.  He was, and remains, a part of us.  He is missed more than words can express, but he is still here with us.   His name comes up in chats and classes, he surfaces in our dreams, sometimes his presence can be felt.  But there is no doubt, the time I was given to spend with him definitely flew by and I know I was having fun.

Time…So many references to Time.  Time waits for no one; Lost Time is never found again (Benjamin Franklin); Time is the wisest counselor of all (Pericles); Time brings all things to pass (Aeschylus.)  I could go on and on and relate each quote or saying I find to my regrets about the Time I have wasted, mismanaged, and whittled away during my 71 years on this Earth.  Given the power I have become well aware that I have to shame myself, I could quickly work myself into a quagmire of paralyzing fear and doubt regarding finishing that which my Soul was sent here to accomplish.  I have come to know that part of myself, but the anger and regret I still feel about Adam being taken so unexpectedly and quickly is admittedly an issue I have not yet resolved within myself.  He had such passion, and yet was deeply sad.  He could make us all laugh, and yet I know he was crying inside.  He was one of the least complicated, yet most complex people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  He was gentle, yet tough; he was caring, yet practical; he could make you laugh and cry within the expanse of one short story, and he gave the best hugs ever.  When Adam wrapped those big arms around me, I felt safe, protected and secure.  Like Time, Adam was a paradox!  And although it feels to me as if his Time here in this Plane was cut short, I hold precious the memories and lessons he taught me.  Time…Our best friend and worse enemy, depending upon how you employ it!

Until we meet again, Adam!

Christine J. Ford, Editor, Spiritual Climate Newsletter

Copyright © 2019 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC, All Rights Reserved.

you know you want to do it:

SPIRITUAL CLIMATE NEWSLETTER – Editors’ Intro – Winter 2016

Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC, Is Proud to Present Its Social & Spiritual Commentaries:

SPIRITUAL CLIMATE NEWSLETTER

Editors’ Intro

Updated on Thursday, 12-22-2016

The Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC, warmly welcomes you to the climate of the 2016 Winter Solstice, the dawning of Christmas Day and the forthcoming New Year of 2017.  This Introduction will be the only commentary that Spiritual Climate Newsletter has for now, as we have given our contributors the time off to journey inward and do their own self examination of darkness and the dawning of light this most critical year.  We invite you to relax, put your feet up, pour yourself a chilled glass of bubbly, or a hot rum and cider, perhaps a strong mug of coffee with Bailey’s; whatever your choice of holiday cheer you associate with the Season.  Join us as we explore the latest happenings as we ponder the deep darkness of the Solstice and the emerging light of the rebirth on this whirling, crazy planet we call Earth.  Hold on to your hats and buckle your seat belts!  The upcoming ride (and upcoming year) may get a little bumpy!!!

There is a magnificence and solitude that the Winter Solstice inspires, no matter what the climate; arctic or tropical, desert or rain forest. The stillness and somberness, with the anticipation of the coming Light, fills the air and blankets the world in a hush of splendor.  As if a pause has been proclaimed from on High, a split second cease and desist transcends the insane hustle-bustle of our normal mundane activity as a profound quiet falls over the small whirling planet we call Earth.  If the choice is consciously made to be receptive to the influence and down pouring of this sacred vibration we are filled with reverence, awe and inspiration once again, if only for a brief moment.

This miracle is manifest throughout all races and religions, often touching the non-believer as deeply as the believer, when acknowledged, accepted, and allowed to enter.  This transition from the desolation of darkness, the longest night of the year, to the dawning of a bright new day, as the radiance of the Sun breaks and we move once more forward into the light is the phenomenon of renewal and promise of life after life.  This signifies the journey of the Eternal One as It expresses through the densely limited fabric of our manifest physical existence to be perceived through our senses. This primal power of the cycles of the Sun, of death and rebirth, darkness and light, has been experienced by mankind since the Ancients walked upon terra firma.

This power is embedded within the many cycles of the universe that surrounds us as well as that vast spiritual universe within us.  We live in a densely physical dimension which is constantly vibrating with the dynamic equilibration of darkness and light, death and rebirth.  On a personal purely physical level, your heart beats, contracts, and then relaxes to move the blood through your body. You breathe in air, only to then do the reverse and exhale.  We put food and drink in these meat puppets we souls use called bodies, and then excrete what is not useful to us.  People come and go in our lives.  We are happy, and then we are sad.  For every up there is a down, and so goes the whole process of mundane existence.

Consider for a moment, however, that instant of transition, the tipping point where the dark suddenly shifts to light, the millisecond between life and death. There is a holy reverence to be gained by contemplating that deepest point of darkness just before it shifts into light.  Much can be gleaned from the stillness and emptiness of the rich, profound blackness. With sensory stimulation at a minimum, the perfect moment is presented to examine what has been, what is, and what is to be.  Reflection upon how we got to this point and what may be done to alter the course of possible outcomes is best contemplated in the solitude of this darkest time; so that when the Sun rises again, we will awaken with previously unrealized morsels of knowledge that can only be discovered when we allow ourselves to enter into the darkness, allow the darkness to enter into us and surrender to its inspiration of  wisdom and strength.

Throughout history the patterns of darkness and light can be traced on a broader spectrum as civilizations grow, prosper, reach their pinnacle of power and then fade away or die out suddenly.  The cycles seem to repeat without question; the ebb and flow of new discoveries and modern regimes replacing the outmoded dinosaurs that stick with the old rather than welcoming the new.  Times change, and if societies do not keep pace with spiritual evolution, their constituents are doomed to devolution and perhaps extinction.  To some it would seem that the United States of America has, in the blink of an eye, found itself and all that it represents teetering upon this very precipice of doom.

We are a nation divided; those who chose and support Trump, those who supported a different choice, whether it be Hillary or a third party candidate.  With the majority of the popular vote going to Hillary, one can only perceive a glimmer of hope for humanity in knowing that more than half of the voters of the United States are not morally depraved, insane nor led by hallucinations generated by consumerism of baited-market driven lies.  We are not grieving over Hillary’s loss, the election is over:  we are grieving at our nation’s ignorance in choosing to be led by a narcissistic personality President Elect Trump, who is a Putin business puppet with a cabinet of degenerate plutocrats and a congress ready to privatize the USA into austerity, while looting our public riches, handing our democracy over to Russia something inferred by Nikita Khrushchev, in his Speech given in Yugoslavia, August 24, 1963, “I once said, ‘We will bury you,’ and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you.”  The fact remains, however, that on January 20, 2017, Trump will become the President of the United States of America, and we, as a nation, will enter into a deeply profound darkness that accompanies the Winter Solstice prior to Christmas.

What is this darkness that threatens to overtake the United States of America?  Plain and simple, the Dominionists in the Christian sect are seeking to turn the United States into a Theocratic nation1, thus depriving anyone to worship in the religion of their choice and depriving those who choose Not to worship in any form of religion or spiritual belief; adopting instead a Dominionist consensus of state-sponsored Christianity.  By favoring their dominion to create law to favor their religious ideology, your dominion is trumped by their desire to win at all cost in gaining Authoritarian political power thus regulating your freedom of religious expression and secular life.

Then, there is the upcoming Trump administration’s deal which has created the first State sponsored U.S.A. Politburo Bureau in striking a deal with Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation. Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation will likely create sensible sounding propaganda from half facts, incorporated into its political media ‘entertainment’ then executed into market sizzle in order to behaviorally seize the mob mentality of the Trump supporters in order to contract the US economy.  Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation will then saute supporters internal dialogues to follow Trump, their Anti-Christ savior. This will support the voice inside the republican mob-mentality heads, seeking to drown out any facts challenging and questioning tactics of bait-n-switch or outright lies of Trump and his plutocratic administration.

Congress appears, so far to be missing in action.  Whereas, the new invocation to  the congressional god Mammon, who is deeply caressed and worshiped by austerity republicans, the whited sepulchers2 will seize any opportunities to enslave the American citizens with  a blend of corporate communism3, disguised as finance capitalism, to slowly replace the U.S. Constitution, modified by inserting pieces of the Confederate Constitution.  Under-informed citizens bound by their current hallucinations of President-Elect Trump will be suckered in through this act of GOP ‘marketing’ (brain washing under the rubric of American Exceptionalism) of the mob mentality to suit their needs, similar to the manner in which the Trump administration capitalizes on the fear, anger and insufficient literacy of the middle class Joe (labor) who has been disconsidered and intentionally shunned for so long.

Will we, the people, silently succumb to the hallucination created and nourished by the Republican E-van-gullible Christian Dominionists and Putin groomed Authoritarian Trump allowing them to create more darkness as they usher in crushing eugenic austerity at the expense of the middle class and poor?  Privatized economies are the creators of real economic contraction all the while violating,  plundering and transferring the riches and freedom of the Public Domain into private sector hands.  This privatization setts economic entropy into motion by transferring public money  from  anything up to and including Education, Social Security and Medicare creating instead, a complex ‘Rube Goldberg type toll booth economy of confusion for citizens while fattening the wallets of whiny-ass business persons, who will in all likelihood continue to whine.  Can we stand by and condone the hijacking of the under informed citizens of our nation?  The fact of the matter is that, just as the Death Cult of Isis hijacked the religion of Islam, the eisegesis4 of Dominionists have hijacked Christianity seeded by the Great Rabbi, Jesus — a Jew.

We the citizens of the United States are faced with a choice, to either allow disturbed individuals to create darkness or form light of equality for all instead of the few (the fearful business baby souls); this may be perhaps the most crucial and profound decision we have yet to encounter.  We can choose not listen to the darkness and just ignore it; to pretend Trump does not exist and keep on going assuming there is nothing we can do about it.  Or we can listen, feel, immerse ourselves in and see this darkness so we better understand who and what the enemies are created by insecure, powerful business men and business women who are the fools supporting life, liberty and the pursuit of property; creating a series of consequences so complex and ambiguous that the forgotten Americans who are hallucinating for lack of water, truly cannot see what is at stake.

And NO, a strong word to you hallucinating E-van-gullibles who despise reasoning and treat imagination as faith, while creating phantasmagoric darkness from profuse use of imagination rendering end of the world fantasies making God and Jesus a Jack in the box!  Even if you create the environs for world ending scenarios, it is NOT the end of the world.

Those of us who are students of  Rev. Dr. Strickler have been reminded with increasing frequency of his citations of Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.”  Apparently many Christians do not know how to read.  This Biblical reference has an especially urgent message for those of us being called to speak the Truth; the time for action is now.

So, the United States of America needs your support, your wisdom, your voice and your power.  Harness and direct your anger, disappointment and  dismay generated by the seemingly improbable and absolutely unthinkable soon to be Presidency of a dangerously ego-maniacal personality disordered, celebrity business man named Trump.  Direct that energy!  Channel it into a positive force of resistance in order to increase light back to this great country of ours.  Let your voice be heard, take action, challenge the darkness whenever and where ever you encounter it.  Do not allow yourself to fall back to sleep, for the nightmare that you will find there stoked by indifference could mean the end of democracy and Dictator Trump could well be our last President!

The United States of America needs exactly what you have to say!  Find like minded individuals and stand up against the insanity.  Join groups, sign petitions, start petitions, write to your Congressmen,  seek out the news, the REAL News, not the fake news that is being Trump-eted and take action. Only then will we be able to maintain our poise, balance and equilibrium and employ our resources and power to present a united force strong enough to take this country back into the light.

May God Bless the people of America with the conscience, intelligence and strength to make the dawning of light break once again over this great nation of ours.  May we find and harness our inner strength to unite together and save our country from impending disaster.

Picture courtesy of our friend, composer Scott Haskins at www.scotthaskin.com                         Picture provided by Rev. Strickler’s friend/composer/musician:  Scott Haskin

So, for 2017, this may be great prescience to invigorate a new crispness of a foreboding expression, which appears to have been originated as a Latin proverb attributed to Praemonitusforewarned is forearmed.”  Forwarned and forearmed about what?  The warnings issued by the waxing and waning moon of Christmas.  What warnings, you might then ask?  We couldn’t put it more succintly than the recent commentary on Twitter From Rev. Strickler’s twitter page, from independent scholar Dan Kervick5,

“Brilliant super-moon in some strange configuration or whatnot.  This is the dawning of the Age of Jackass.

Thank you Dan Kervick.  We couldn’t have said it better.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at Spiritual Climate Newsletter

THE EDITORS @SpiritusClimate

Google+  Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

 

  1. Clarkson, Frederick. “Dominionism Rising: A Theocratic Movement Hiding in Plain Sight | Political Research Associates.” Political research, August 18, 2016. http://www.politicalresearch.org/2016/08/18/dominionism-rising-a-theocratic-movement-hiding-in-plain-sight/.[]
  2. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27, American Standard Version (ASV)[]
  3. ”… small handful of billionaires and elites sucking off and parasiting off the rest of the country and just soaking it for all its worth and looking for all its worth.”  Ratigan, Dylan. “The Dylan Ratigan Show: The Cost of ‘Corporate Communism.’” Msnbc.com, October 8, 2009. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/33224880/ns/msnbc-the_dylan_ratigan_show/t/ratigan-cost-corporate-communism/.[]
  4. ”In eisegesis, we read stuff into Scripture. For instance, the idea of the United States as a “Christian Nation” is the creation of egos who gloat over being powerful. It has no basis in history or fact, but more important, it has no basis in the Bible. Thus it arises from eisegesis. Yet some leading US politicians and pastors interpret the Bible through this notion.”    Longman, Robert. “What Are Exegesis, Eisegesis, and Hermeneutics?” Religion. Accessed December 23, 2016. http://www.spirithome.com/bible_exegesis.html.[]
  5. Dan Kervick. Twitter handle @DanMKervick at 9:04pm on December 16, 2016: “Brilliant super-moon in some strange configuration or what-not. This is the dawning of the Age of Jackass.”[]
you know you want to do it:

Great Power is a Great Responsibility

by Christine Ford

When was the last time someone asked you for your phone number?  Do you remember stuttering and stammering while paging through your brain for an elusive number that you should, and actually used to know, instantaneously?  God forbid they ask you to retrieve the phone number of your husband or wife, children or friends from the power of your memory.  Does it seem fair to say that our use of memory is being high jacked by technology?  Does it seem as if your capacity to recall is being replaced by a 3” x 6” piece of plastic and metal that you can hold in your hand and access just about any fact, person or direction with the push of a few buttons?

If you are in the 50-70 year age range, you have probably felt at least a twinge of this, even if you are a techy; if you aren’t a techy, the whole digital onset can be downright overwhelming.  If you are in the 25-50 year range, you most likely haven’t given it much thought, as the computer revolution was simply a part of your growing up process.  Most sadly to my way of thinking, however, if you are in the 3-25 year range, you have known nothing else and are totally dependent upon digital memory, the ease of instant communication and having a world of information at your fingertips.

In looking at the scope of this from my vantage point as an educator of many, many years, I ask you to think back.  In elementary school, what was it you first memorized, along with your ABCs and 123s? Give up?  If that was too long ago, I will remind you!  You learned to write and recite your name, address and phone number, smoothly and precisely, from memory.  Why?  I am sure most readers remember some wise teacher telling them along the way “In case you get lost.  How will the police know how to find your family and get you home?”

When I taught Kindergarten through 4th grade Mentally Handicapped kids back in Florida 25 years ago, that was deemed a necessary life skill; knowing your name, address and phone number.  Now I find myself teaching much less challenged 7th and 8th grade students with Specific Learning Disabilities, and am constantly both amazed and appalled that when asked they do not know their phone number or address; they must access it on their phone.  Maybe I am old fashioned; perhaps my standards are too high, but for the love of all that is right, shouldn’t a kid know their phone number and the street address of the place they live?

Total reliance on technology for memory is only one aspect of my ponderings.  In my previous article in the September 2015 Edition of SCN, Prelude to Stupidity, one of my pet peeves was the focus; the dependence upon technology by encouraging children to gather facts and information and reassemble it into an attractive presentation while labeling it as personal knowledge. Then there is the infernal onslaught of video games which hold beautiful minds hostage for countless hours, not only of children, but of adults as well, sweeping them away into a virtual fantasy world of violence and power where time is lost in the blink of an eye, addictively squandering precious ability and brain power that could be spent learning, playing, reading, interacting, and exploring the world.  Add to this the feeding of the ever increasing need for stimulation, visual as well as auditory, that is created by the fast paced bombardment of the senses, and you have part of what has added to the psychotic triumph of Trump in the Republican Party; but that is for another article.  Finally, the Social Media aspect of the Internet can be the cause of pain, grief and harassment far beyond anything we experienced in the good old days when words were exchanged verbally or perhaps written on a secretive note passed student to student and hopefully not caught by that eagle-eyed teacher who never missed anything!

My concerns about technology, as wonderful and time saving as I have found it to be, truly haunt me.  I shift from the one extreme of fearing that we are being taken over by an alien mechanized intelligence that will strip every ounce of humanity and beauty from us as a species to the other, beating myself up about being stubbornly out of step and allowing this advancement in modern society to take place around me while I wear blinders and attempt to ignore it.  As Dr. Strickler has taught me ever since I took a deep breath and bravely stepped up to meet him in Naples Florida in 1992, the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and it is my role as an Occultist and Adept, to sort it out and come to equilibration within my own Self as to the resolution of these opposing thoughts.  Exploring the depths and complexities of one’s own biases can be both challenging and illuminating, painful and insightful, humiliating and inspiring, but it is rarely an exercise in futility; at the very least, it affords one a view that is malleable and flexible, rather than rigid and one sided.

With this article I intend to explore just a small part of the vast Social Media network, and the effects that this growing occupation of time and energy is having upon society as a whole.  Before any such technology existed, it would take a conscious commitment of both time and energy to call someone or write a letter and actually put it in the mailbox.  If the person lived a distance from you, those “long distance” phone charges per minute could really add up; phone time was a precious commodity; no such thing as “unlimited data”.  Sometimes you had to call a person several times to even connect, as back in the day there was no voice mail; you just let the phone ring many, many times until you were sure no one was home and tried again later!  And those calls couldn’t be made as you ran through the grocery store or waited to pick your kids up from school; you had to be tied to a landline or a payphone to reach them.

There is no denying that the convenience of mobile phones and the internet for quick communication is a positive advancement.  I can call my 92 year old mom every day as I drive to school and have a leisurely chat with her; precious moments that will soon end.  If someone needs something from the grocery store, a quick text assures it will be picked up on the way home.  The need for speed of communication is definitely a plus when it comes to the use of cell phones, as well as the internet to connect with others, manage bank accounts, pay bills, do online shopping and research topics of interest, just to name a few.  Time is saved, trips are eliminated, thoughts and love are exchanged, bills are managed, gifts and necessities are selected and paid for from the comfort of your home; what a wonder of modern convenience.  Yes, there absolutely is an upside to this!  But what about the 24/7 work expectations, the hacking of accounts, and especially the ease with which Social Media can be misused and misinterpreted to create a nightmare of an experience when individuals abuse the power.

An article caught my eye while scanning the news, of course, on the Internet.  Yes, absolutely, for communication of information the Internet is invaluable, as long as one reads with a critical eye as hopefully any information is read.  Written in The Washington Post, And Everyone Saw It, is an easy to read article that I hope you will take a minute to scan before going any further.  In short, it is the story of a 13-year-old, kind of out of step girl who was talked into sending a semi-nude (bra and panties, face hidden) camera pic to a somewhat more experienced boy, who was a friend of the family, who flattered her and whom she trusted to show no one. Her picture, along with pictures of other girls who fell into the trap, were then displayed on a large screen at a party as part of a “Guessing Game.”

An age old story, yes, but with a new twist of visual evidence, deceptiveness, shame and a trail of virtual memory that nearly destroyed not only her life, but that of the boy and several other girls who fell into his trap.  This is only one story; I am sure this has happened repeatedly, as a complication of Social Media.  What distresses me most, however, isn’t just the story, as it has been reenacted time after time, no matter what the state of media we have or don’t have, but the comments that follow it and the impact that the misuse of Social Media has had on our society as a whole.

To sum up what I read, there was the expected male viewpoint of it was the girl’s fault for being so naïve and trusting, she should have known better; the female take of the boy being a seducer and liar, he was the culprit; and many comments about the responsibility of parents to monitor use of electronic devices.  In regards to the parental monitoring comments, all I can say from experience being a recess monitor for 7th graders is that a picture or video can be taken in the blink of an eye and go viral within seconds, no matter how closely the kids are watched.  The thread of this being a timeless story, since Adam and Eve, male vs female and who was to “blame”, was often presented, and being the true Libra I am, I can see some validity in all of these comments, though taken separately, not one offers a solution to what is becoming the pandemic of electronic memory used to perpetuate shame, guilt, and remorse amongst not only children, but adults as well.  These responses simply point fingers and place blame; they do not offer a remedy to the problem.

Looking at the rash of email and texting scandals involved with the political scene as well as celebrities, from Clinton to Powell, the infamous Anthony Weiner pictures, Trump’s most recent trumpeting and early morning tweeting about his disrespect for women, and many others, no one is immune.  Hackers can find whatever they set out to find.  If no one is immune, then what steps can we take to alleviate the anguish and chaos that so often accompanies full disclosure of written messages and digitally captured photos that were intended to be seen only by the recipient, not the entire world?  The enormity of the negative uses of this powerful method of communication appears to be overwhelming!

As I pondered the casualties of Social Media, ranging from Middle Schoolers in a small town to Presidential Candidates on the stage of the World, I kept coming back to a phrase that Dr. Strickler has repeatedly spoken to me, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  The Internet, Social Media, texting, the Worldwide Web…  all are powerful, permanent and instantaneous means of communication. I believe the correct question to ask is “Where does the responsibility for the use of that power reside? “

The answer is stunningly simple.  Within our hands we, each one of us, holds that power of choice, and with it comes exercising the discernment, decision, and yes, the great responsibility to use that power in a constructive manner.  When shirking this responsibility, we use that great power in a destructive way. There is no “fault”, no fingers to be pointed.  Unless responsibility is taken, we all are guilty of the blatant mismanagement of power.   If only the young girl had truly considered the possible consequences of her actions, she may have used her power responsibly to not to snap that picture.  The young man, being overcome by ego, made the choice, the conscious decision, to share that picture with his friends, breaking a promise and irresponsibly using his power.  The boys at the party continued in a frenzy to corrupt the responsibility they had to make the correct choice in use of power and instead opted for misuse.  And so it goes…

Take a giant leap with me and apply this story to that of our current Presidential Election.  Trump, the bully, the bringer of “Making America Great Again”, willing to say any words, make any promises and compromises that will put the power in his hands.  Trump, the young man in the story; a smooth talking deceiver who makes empty promises in exchange for power.  The weary, doubting, distrustful of the status quo citizenry, those opposing Clinton and hanging on to every word of General Trump, are symbolized by the gullible, naïve, trusting girl.  They believe him when he says he will make it all right again; they entrust him with something of far more importance than a nude picture.  They entrust him with their freedom, support, and eventually, if they get their way, the highest office in the Free World.   In this mundane plane, I cannot think of any power higher than that of President of the United States.  And I shudder to think of what the repercussions of placing a man so incapable of taking responsibility for wielding that power might be.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”  Think about those words again please.  Close your eyes and repeat them, let them sink into your heart and mind.  In how many areas of your life, not only with Social Media or the Internet, have you witnessed the misuse of power?  Have you been the victim, on the receiving end, of someone else’s irresponsible use of power?  Have you misused power for your own personal gains?  Have you accepted the responsibility for the use of power in your own life?  Have you spoken to your children about the responsibility that comes with power?

There are always areas to improve, to better use the power that is yours, and to use it with increased responsibility towards the greater good.  In order to make this plane a saner, civil, more compassionate place in which to live, we, as a people need to take into consideration and hold in higher regard the great responsibility with which we have been entrusted by The One Power, both in mundane and spiritual realms, and wield that power in a manner which is in alignment with the Greater Will to Good.

Will we, as this great nation, on November 8, 2016, take the  deep destructive dive into relinquishing our power to the self aggrandizing bully named Donald Trump? Will we, a the people of the land of the free and the home of the brave, trustingly send that photo that will forever change the course of the United States of America?  I can only hope and pray that some semblance of sanity will awaken within the hearts and minds of those blindly following Trump before that day.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

Think.  Choose wisely.  Act responsibly.

Christine Ford

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

 

you know you want to do it:

Respect – fully Yours

by Christine Ford

Respect!  R-E-S-P-E-C-T!  To quote,  “Most likely one of the catchiest, over repeated lines in all of music.” Written by Otis Redding and sung by Aretha Franklin, the line that follows is what caught my attention as I was mulling over my thoughts prior to writing this article.  R-E-S-P-E-C-T  “Find out what it means to me”  is a tricky concept to ponder.

Respect; what does it mean to you?  Do you show respect to yourself, to those around you, to the One Power that gave you life and sustains your existence through every second of  the time you have been given to co-create and expand your awareness as you make your way through this life?  How do you personally show respect?  And in turn, do you feel you are afforded respect from your family, your friends, your colleagues, your significant other?

Regard for Respect

In searching for a definition of the word respect, the one I found which came closest to my understanding of the use of the word respect. The reason it grabbed my attention was due to the use of the word “regard” in the definition.  During the twenty four years that I have been a student of Dr. Strickler, throughout his some 35,000 hours of teachings which continue to not only open new awareness but at times are absolutely amazing, he has instilled in me a particular bias that I would like to, as a side note, pass on to our readers for consideration.  Actually, this could be an article in and of itself, but I will keep it short!

Dr. Strickler emphasizes the use of the word “regard” in preference to the bastardized use of “value” as a key to the tone and discernment the writer or speaker is using.  The meaning of the word value has been twisted and contorted by politics and society to have more of a greed factor, indicating a definition of materialism and monetary wealth.  Regard, by comparison, carries a vibration of esteem and genuine worth.  Upon sharing that gem with you, please keep that in mind as you read the following definition of respect.

As a Verb

  1. To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem or admire
  2. To avoid interfering with or intruding upon
  3. To relate or refer to; concern

As a Noun

  1. A feeling of appreciative, often deferential, regard; esteem
  2. The state of being regarded with honor or esteem
  3.  Due regard for something considered important or authoritative

Evaporation of Respect

The impetus to write about the topic of respect actually came from my job as a teacher in an Elementary school.  I have been assigned the task of monitoring 130 7th grade students twenty minutes each day for recess for the past three years.  One of my greatest sighs of relief when school ended for Summer Break was that I had a hiatus from this.  At first I thought it was just the heat and sun that bothered me; standing outside for twenty minutes in one hundred plus temperatures can be brutal, but upon examining my reaction, I realized it was more than that.  A major contributing factor was that I was truly weary of the verbal battles and disrespect coming from the students that I kept trying to find ways to equilibrate with humor and understanding, without giving away my authority!

Respect is evident within my classroom; with the students I work with each day, special needs students in 7th and 8th grade, I strive to build an environment of trust and mutual respect.  Even the toughest of them eventually responds to patience and understanding.  They get the idea that I truly do care about them, whatever problems or joys they may be experiencing, and am there to help them learn, advance and grow.  It is when I go out among the masses I am horrified by the lack of respect and regard for others that is so evident in actions and words among our young people. In my weaker moments I have found myself beginning to wonder when I became the old coot who looks upon the younger generation in despair, shaking my head while declaring that there is no hope.

Deep down inside I know there is hope.  There are many young adults who are respectful; take my beautiful granddaughter for example.  She is polite, considerate and kind.  She can interact with adults and peers, friends and family, those familiar to her and those she has just met.  She has the skill and grace of knowing how to present herself, how to share her ideas and thoughts in an articulate, socially acceptable way, without being combative, abrasive or vulgar.  I am sure she has her moments, as all teenagers do, when she is less than respectful at home with her parents, but that is part of the course of moving into the independence she needs to establish to be an adult.  Am I prejudiced because she is mine? Well, maybe just a little bit, but I have met students at school who are just as respectful not only of adults, but of peers as well; unfortunately the number of kids who are seemingly rude, offensive, entitled and obnoxious has come to far outweigh the more civilized members of our young society, as seen through the lens of my perception.

Sadly, this lack of respect appears to permeate not only our youth, but all aspects of our society, from rudeness in the grocery store, to road rage, to Donald Trump standing on stage making his disrespectful comments and being cheered for as a result!  When did we, as a nation, become so angry and inconsiderate of our fellow man?  When did holding in regard with honor and esteem ourselves, others around us, and the Lord of Life itself become an out dated relic to be disregarded?

For some time, I have done some serious self-evaluation and questioned whether my expectations and standards are too lofty.  I was raised by parents who expected me to be respectful and considerate of others, but I lived in a culture where that was the norm; I raised my children the same way.  Consistent expectations and traits of behavior were instilled in my granddaughter by her parents; she was born in 2000.  Being a teacher and in touch with youth, I began to notice a glitch in the matrix along about 2000, the year I took a hiatus from public education.   Somewhere over the progression, or perhaps, regression, of the past twenty or so years, there has been a lowering of the bar in general within our society of what is considered polite, acceptable and respectful treatment of others.  In a nutshell, the expectation of common courtesy and respect for those around us appears to have gone down the tubes!

When there is such a dramatic change in the foundation of expected behavior, there must be a cause.  Articles have been written regarding the lack of respect not only within schools, but within society in general.    Lack of empathy among students and diminished respect for authority has been studied.  Research does agree that there is an increasing lack of respect and compassion shown towards others; though there are differing thoughts as to the cause.  The phenomenon is recognized by educators and the social sciences as well, not only within the schools, but within our society as a whole.

Though I have not done any formal research, I am able to speak from the microcosm of what I experience with my students during that twenty minutes each school day, and to be brutally honest, there are times when the enormity of it overwhelms me!    I would venture to suggest the theory that the weakening of the family unit as a result of parents having to hold two jobs in order to make ends meet, kids coming home to nothing but reality shows and video games, the time for sharing family experiences and teaching the courtesy and respect by example has diminished drastically.

The students I work with are struggling to not only discover their identity and truth, to exert their autonomy and authority, but to somehow make their way through what is increasingly becoming a maze of elevated expectations and ever changing norms.  They feel the need to fit in, yet at the same time strive to be unique and independent.  They share the need to be understood, accepted and held in high regard for that which they are and that which they are becoming, and they need to learn how to give that respect back to those around them!

Hmmm … Pause … now ponder a minute!  Those kids’ needs are not so very different from what we, as adults, are going through within every interaction we have whether it be at home, at work, at the grocery store, or online, are they? My students are a microcosmic reflection of the macrocosmic cycle of rampant disrespect, anger and intolerance we see within our country,  whether it be based on race, religion, sex,  authority or ethnicity.    The abuse and demise of respect is what has lead to the fiasco of the idiocy of Donald Trump becoming the Republican choice for the High Office of this incredible concept of the United States of America.

We, however, are the adults, and should know better!  My students are lacking the experiences and life lessons upon which to base their choices and that is the difference. We, as the adults: parents, mentors, teachers, have the power and the responsibility to demonstrate through our actions or our non-actions the decisions that need to be made, the actions that need to be taken, in order for our society to once again make respect for ourselves and those around us the foundation upon which human interaction is based.  We, as the co-creators of the future of this world, need to ask ourselves what respect does mean to each and every one of us, and we must instill respect for self, for other and for the All That Is within the confused and frustrated youth seeking to find themselves.

We, the people.  We, the people,  need to regain that respect we had as a nation, as a proud sovereign nation, with rights guaranteed by the Constitution.  We, the people, need to show respect for ourselves and others, demonstrating the proud ideals upon which our Nation was based.  We, the people, need to acknowledge that we did not give birth to ourselves, that the One Power that created this dimension be held in highest regard, as we demonstrate by holding ourselves and fellow man in highest regard.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T  “Find out what it means to me”  What does respect mean to you?  Contemplate, search your heart, discover  what it means to you, and then share that with everyone you have the chance to meet.  You never know how far those small ripples travel, or how many souls will be influenced by your words and actions derived from respect.

Respectfully yours

(and bite me SEO, get a brain)

Christine J. Ford

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

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Both Sides Now

By Christine Ford

Warning!  Proceed with caution!  Right now, my mindset is not in a very positive, integrative, nor even close to an equilibrated state.  Trying to think of a topic to write an article on for this Edition of Spiritual Climate was exhausting! As I pondered and questioned which way to go, random lyrics from an old song (Both Sides Now) kept spinning around in the mix; you know how that works?  A few words here, snippets there;  it wasn’t until I had completed the article that enough of the song surfaced in my conscious awareness to recognize it as Both Sides, Now by Joni Mitchell from way back in the late 60’s.  The lyrics, the words, to Both Sides, Now defined that which I was experiencing in a way that only old memories, brought to the surface by a determined Subconsciousness, can provide.  Even more astounding to me was that Dr. Strickler had chosen the most outstandingly appropriate picture to go with my article before I named it!  Thankfully, I will never cease to be amazed by these experiences!

Confronted by attempting to select a topic for my article was not, however, the only process that I have recently found to be exhausting.  Getting up and going to work each day is exhausting.  Dealing with disrespectful students and sometimes peers is exhausting.  Keeping up with the overwhelming demands of documentation that my position requires is exhausting. Going grocery shopping and having to deal with the insanity/ignorance of the general public, be it shoppers, clerks or cashiers, is exhausting. Just getting my shit together, making an appointment and going to get my taxes done is exhausting!  Simply reading and hearing about the craziness of the milieu, the stupidity of the general public as Trump skyrockets and the Republican Party hints at blaming President Obama for their collapse is not only exhausting, but disgusting! And speaking of disgusting, I have an enormous list of those, but for now, let’s not get too complicated and just stick to the aforementioned “exhaustings”. I think you get the idea; the simple fact is that I am reacting to my experience of events and people outside of the sanctity of our home as exhausting and that I have made the choice to give it that kind of control is rather confusing, as well as distressing to me.

In checking out the definition of exhausting, as that just seems to be the word to sum it all up, according to Dictionary.com the definitions are right there in line with what my Ego, personality and body are currently experiencing.

Exhausting [ig-zaw-sting]: adjective, producing or tending to produce fatigue, weariness, or the like: an exhausting day; an exhausting child.

Exhaust [ig-zawst]: verb (used with object) to drain of strength or energy, wear out, or fatigue greatly, as a person: I have exhausted myself working.  2) to use up or consume completely; expend the whole of: He exhausted a fortune in stock-market speculation.  3) to draw out all that is essential in (a subject, topic, etc.); treat or study thoroughly.  4) to empty by drawing out the contents: to exhaust a tank of fuel oil.  5) to create a vacuum in.  6) to draw out or drain off completely.  7) to deprive wholly of useful or essential properties, possessions, resources, etc.

Yes! There it is in black and white! The experience I am having is one of feeling fatigued, weary, drained of strength and energy, used up, and consumed. I find myself arguing with myself in regards to experiencing so many events and people as exhausting; I remember a time when I could take such events and persons in stride and concoct a bright side of situations, no matter how bleak they appeared to be. I could easily plod along with a smile plastered on my face and a song in my heart, knowing that this too would pass, and the calm would come again; the veil would lift and for at least an indeterminable amount of time, I would have the desire and strength to meet the demands of the outside world and carry on. I could ignore the bad and the ugly, and concentrate on the good! I was only looking at half the picture, but what the Hell? It worked! Sure, daily demands and situations may have been trying and draining, but never was the feeling of exhaustion so overwhelmingly the emotion that I felt.

Ah-ha! Perhaps there is part of my answer! As my self-talk reveals to myself that I am not referring exclusively to physical exhaustion, as one might surmise with the given age of my body, but more in the line of emotional exhaustion as well! Perhaps therein lies a subtle difference and a clue to this dilemma! Yes, physical fatigue is a part of my experience; admittedly, these old bones aren’t as young as they used to be. Dealing with the aches and pains of a body that just ain’t in its prime comes into play, but not exclusively for this article. Instead, as has just been my discovery, this process that so disturbs me at the present time also has a predominant emotional aspect to it.

I am, I know and am certain, on a Spiritual Path. Being an Adept, I should be better than this; I should be able to rise above it, look around, and just accept the state of affairs as what is.  In searching for an answer as to why I allow myself to be made so weary by the mainstream chaos that seems to surround me when I move out into the “real world” (tongue in cheek and chuckle totally intended), I need to ask why am I so thrown out of kilter, why do I seemingly lack the balance and stamina that I see exhibited by those around me who think the Great Work is a job that pays over $100,000 a year? What the Hell do I think I am doing?

As I read again the definitions above, I find I have missed a clue to what might also be at work here. When I begin to look further down the definition of exhausted as all that is essential has been drawn out, empty; as if a vacuum has been created there is a sudden stirring within that part of me that I have come to recognize as the real Me, the part that is eternal, wise and strong, exhaustlessly limitless!   My True Self perks up and starts clapping its hands, remembering what Dr. Strickler has pointed out is the significance of an empty space, a vacuum. There is a need for that space to be filled; the question to always hold in highest regard, however, is being discriminating to the utmost degree as to what you make the choice to fill that empty space with.

All of life, whether one is on the Path of Return or the Path to being the very best asshole he/she can be, is composed of ebbs and flows, cycles, ups and downs, highs and lows. The secret is to find the point of equilibrium, the point of centeredness, where there is just the right mix of exhaustion and exhilaration. My error, in looking back over the discovery process that has been shared is pretty much summed up in my thinking in the erroneous statement that I made previously; “Being an Adept, I should be better than this; I should be able to rise above it, look around, and just accept the state of affairs as what is.” How arrogant, how ignorant and egotistical is that statement? Do I think I am God? Can I really do anything to change the experiences and events I must participate in if I am living in this negative plane of existence? Hell no! Can I totally ignore them and pretend they just aren’t there? Hell no to that as well. Either of those is a form of lying to myself and an extreme, out of balance statement.

What I can and will do is choose to make a conscious choice to fill that emptiness; my choice is to do the best I can as an Adept and a human being to help when I can, to make comments when they seem appropriate, to ask questions, to be mindful of experiences and events around me, but to let go of whatever control I falsely surmised I had over the resulting outcomes when other is involved.

The only world I can save is my own. I have said these words before, shared them with others, actually, repeated them ad nauseum, but now they have truly taken on a new meaning for me. I am not God, I am not all powerful; but I am able to look at both sides now.  I will make choices for myself, and use that power of choice to fill that empty space with a renewed understanding and dedication to fulfilling the desires and direction of my Soul’s purpose.

Statement 4 of the wisdom of The Pattern on the Trestleboard reminds me that the Truth about the Self is that the Limitless Substance from which I draw all things, both spiritual and material is exhaustless; it is not my Soul and Spirit that suffers from the “exhausting” experiences, but the personality, ego and body through which I function and express in this physical plane.   I did not come to this discovery on my own, but through dialogue and table-talk with Dr. Strickler and the members of our group that I have had the chance to walk with thus far.  Though this process may be uncomfortable, always, in the final analysis, it is worth the tears, confusion, embarrassment, and sometimes shame felt as one becomes brave enough to speak the words needed to uncover the truth of the matter at hand.

May you find the desire and strength to look at both sides as you explore the idiot areas of your psyche and the ability to be honest with yourself and those around you.

Blessings,

Christine Ford
Editor, Spiritual Climate Newsletter

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

 

— the End of April 2016 Spiritual Climate Newsletter —


 

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