Spiritual Climate Newsletter SEPT 2005 part 4 Who or What is Your God?  To Whom or What Are You In Service?  by Wendy Ford

Who or What is Your God?

To Whom or What Are You In Service?

by Wendy Ford

 

“You shall have

 no other gods before me”      

                       

The first of the Ten Commandments of The Holy Bible.

 

To serve God is an admirable endeavor, a worthy goal.  But in today’s society how many “gods” are there?  Over the past several months Dr. Strickler’s classes have stimulated much personal thought, introspection and observation.

 

Dr. Strickler has frequently referred to God’s Libel Suit:  the biggest, toughest, bad-assed libel suit of them all:  The Ultimate, Super-Sized Libel Suit of God versus Humanity for taking God’s name and using it to do Humanity’s bidding over the past several thousand years under the umbrella of any religion that ever existed. 

 

Having a war?  Do it in God’s name.  That will get you all the troops you need and of course grant you the right to wage the war.  Have a government you want to overthrow?  Do it in the name of God.  That will justify the move and the nation is more likely to support you.  Have an entire group of people you want to conquer and enslave?  Do it in the name of God and all is right, for the invocation of God’s name somehow magically makes almost any action acceptable and admirable. 

 

Have a big sports contest you want very badly to win?  Invoke the name of God.  He’ll provide you the luck and skill to win.  If you lose maybe you didn’t call his name loudly enough.  Have a big business deal on the burner?  Invoke God and surely you will land the big one.  It doesn’t matter that the other guy just got screwed.  Go to church every Sunday, vow to serve God and then go about selling false advertisements for pharmaceuticals the rest of the week.  Pray to God every morning and night for the strength and guidance to do His work, then go out and walk right by the homeless people on the corner.  Let the door go in front of the little lady using a cane because you were in too much of a rush to even notice her.  Be rude to the fast food clerk making minimum wage in the attempt to keep her family fed because in her haste to serve your need for a double espresso she dropped your change and you were delayed for several precious seconds.

 

Humanity has made God its scapegoat.  By invoking God for help, guidance, assistance or whatever, Humanity or an individual has the mistaken belief they are thereby removed from taking full and just responsibility for any action or inaction.  They are somehow exonerated from having to go through the processes of asking questions, self exploration, of looking deep within to find areas of untruth, biases and prejudices that are at the foundation their selfhood.  That by “putting it in God’s hands” or by “turning it to over to God” they now have nothing more to do but sit back and wait for the answer, solution or miracle to be provided.  “I prayed for God’s help and this is how it turned out.  I put it all in His hands and the result is the Will of God.”  In other words they can hold up their hands and lament,       “Don’t look at me, it must be God’s Will (fault) it turned out that way.”

 

The following is a conceptualized response Dr. Strickler might make.  This is a compilation of several years’ worth of classes and has been approved by Dr. Strickler in its content and concepts. “God’s Will?  Ha!  God doesn’t have one damn thing to do with it!  Humanity is like an adult who goes to its parent and says, ‘I want wa wa.’  Would the parent get the adult child a glass of water?  Not likely.  The parent would be more likely to say, ‘You have two arms, two legs, get it yourself!’  Well The Lord of Life is much more likely to say, ‘I gave you two legs, two arms, a brain, use of Mind and Consciousness and use of Free Will.  Figure it out for your own damn self.  I’ll give you access to the principles and rules but it’s up to you to apply them.’  Do you really think the Almighty One is so intimately interested in you as you exist in this physical vehicle in this physical plane that he is going to help you get the promotion at work or win a football game?  Well, isn’t that an arrogant, self-centered opinion you have of yourself?  God doesn’t care about you.  Again, God does not care about you.  Not the animal you with your flawed personality and individualized flawed ego.  No!  The Lord of Life expects the individual expressions of Humanity to use what It gave them and what It gave them access to.  Not to keep wiping our butts and noses for all eternity!  What God does care about, my dear people, is your Soul.  The big You.  The You that more and more of you are losing communication with. ”

 

[As a side note, it was fascinating to stumble across the old movie Oh God with John Denver and George Burns yesterday.  If you have never seen it I highly recommend it, if you have I suggest you see it again.  John Denver’s character asks God, played by George Burns, “Why aren’t you helping us?”  His reply, “I’m responsible for the big stuff, everything else I left up to you.”] 

  

In an earlier article Dr. Strickler referenced the fact there are over 2700 factions of Christianity in the United State alone.  That is staggering and sobering.  How did that happen?

 

“If you don’t believe the way I (we) do, you are wrong and will burn in Hell for all Eternity.”  “He or she or they can’t be truly Christians and true believers if they believe differently.”  They throw up their hands in horror if any even DARE to ask any probing questions.  If someone can’t take the literal words from the particular version/translation of The Bible they have decided represents the absolute truth with no room for exploration then that person or persons are wrong and there is nothing to discuss.  “Our way is the only true way.”  Evidently a group of people can form their own sect and deem it the one true way and everyone else is wrong.  Now, reread the paragraph and for “Christian” substitute Moslem, Buddhist, Jewish, Pagan, Satanist, whatever, and for “Bible” substitute the Koran, Torah, whatever.  Doesn’t it start to look as if Humanity has created gods in its own image and likeness to suit its beliefs and opinions?

 

Religions are not the unique holders of titles and descriptors for god.  Anything or any one can function as a false god. All it takes is for that thing, idea or person to gain enough influence or become so important an individual ceases to ask questions or explore options and instead turns over their rights and control to “it”.  Mind you this is almost NEVER on a conscious basis.  Here are just a few examples.           

 

Money.  In some circles and societies Money is worshiped and honored above all else.  Some people’s entire lives are based on the amassing of Money and more Money without regard to morals or ethics or law.  Nothing and no one can or will be permitted to stand in the way of bringing more Money or profits into their coffers and pockets.  It matters not who gets hurt or suffers as a result of their actions or inactions.  Their lives are consumed by service to the god called Money.  Fancy terms are used to camouflage Money:  corporate profits for stockholders, tax incentives, tax cuts, financial rewards, perks, etc. but no matter how they dress it up it is still Money.

 

The personal ego.  For some the only concern is for themselves:  the god of Me-Myself-and-I.  How can a situation be manipulated, controlled or contrived to best suit an individual’s personal needs or wants?  Now.  Right now.  This instant.  The faster the better and disregard any possible consequences.  Whatever opinion or belief structure they hold is not only the correct one, but also the only one and any who dares to question are stupid and can’t understand.

 

A Nation.  Only the needs and wants of the Nation are important.  Of course those needs and wants are determined by individuals who have anthropomorphized the nation playing to and evoking/invoking emotional responses of the citizenry.  It is “for the good of the Nation” that certain policies are put into effect.  Even more disturbing, those who dare to question or analyze too deeply run the risk of finding themselves labeled traitors.  It matters not if individual rights are eroded or usurped under the guise of “for the good of the Nation”.  It is just assumed and expected the citizenry will be loyal and pay homage to their Nation no matter what.

 

Power.  The more Power the better, no matter what the cost, who gets hurt or what anyone thinks.   To have Power is to control.  To have control is to have the ability to enslave.  To have the ability to enslave is the ultimate power trip no matter how it is dressed up, for to have the power to enslave is to have the ability to take away part of a person’s humanity and erode the amount of consciousness to which they have access.  The result:  a pretty much mindless group of individuals who have less and less access to areas of their consciousness with diminished ability to question and probe and challenge.  “There’s nothing more reliable than a man or woman whose loyalty can be bought for hard cash.”  From the movie The Ninth Gate.

 

Food and alcohol.  Hunger for the unconditional Love and sustenance from soul and spirit can erroneously be reflected and interpreted on this physical plane as physical hunger or thirst.  Physical food or drink becomes the comfort of the physical vehicle when in reality the hunger and thirst was for nourishment from the soul to enable the processes of transformation and growth to engage and unfold.  The reflection of the need was misinterpreted here in the physical plane.

 

Entertainment and physical sensory input.  How many individuals can sit in a room alone, in the quiet for more than twenty minutes?  Most need to have the television on, music playing, be talking on the phone, be on line in a chat room or have people around them.  Some need to have all of these activities going on at the same time!   Some can’t even sit still long enough to pick up a book and read for thirty minutes.  Others can’t be alone no matter how many distractions are going on needing to go out of their homes in search of the entertainment of sporting events, movies and the company of others.  In order to avoid being alone many grab on to meaningless relationships hoping for the numbing of the senses by intense sexual activity.

 

Information and technology.  In the 1950’s our educational system changed from the classical model with a broad foundation in the philosophies, critical thinking and the arts, which enabled the discovery of knowledge to an information-based model.  Today’s education model has at its root dissemination of information, not the discovery of knowledge.  One who is able to spit back dates, facts, theories and formulae is considered to be knowledgeable.  Not that science and technology don’t have their places, they absolutely do.  But shouldn’t it also be taught what processes were used to derive the information?  That would be knowledge. Knowledge: noun;(1) acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition; (2) the fact or state of knowing; the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension.  How many schools still include philosophy, critical thinking and creative writing in the curricula?  Many schools are cutting the arts and music so more information can be crammed in to pass the “achievement” tests and school days in most districts are being shortened due to budgetary constraints.  Our society places more value on passing tests than on the ability to think.  Could it be that if people are taught how to be observant, think and problem solve they might actually be able to ask relevant and probing questions?  Would this pose a threat to those in power, to those running corporations, Wall Street, the politicians and policy makers?    

 

It looks as if some people are serving multiple gods doesn’t it?  But here is a fascinating question:  has anyone made the conscious decision to serve his or her false god(s)?  Probably not.  It has come about subconsciously with great suaveness and so insidiously that few are aware enough to ever realize it.  Without ever having looked beneath the surface for possible errors in interpretation of perceptions or discernments that form the foundations of their opinions and beliefs, that guide their reactions to experiences, or generate their actions, reactions and inactions they have subconsciously become enslaved by the false god(s) to which they give service.

 

For those of you who are pursuing knowledge and truth, who are making honest attempts and inroads in self-exploration in the pursuit of uncovering the areas of your misconceptions and misperceptions upon which your foundation of prejudices and biases has been erected, Kudos!  Keep moving and exploring.  Don’t give up.  I have found it is not an easy nor pain free journey, but the joy of discovery makes the bumps, bruises and discomfort of self-exposure easier to bear.  I am not the same person I was when we moved here three years ago, thank God.  It takes hard work and perseverance, lots of tissues and space to pace and talk with yourself.

 

The most important key of all:  The process requires being in the presence of a True Spiritual Teacher to kick you in the butt when needed, lend a shoulder for your tears, give you a hug, lend a hand when you stumble, join you in laughter at the often times revelation of the “duh” factor, to ask questions you may not have dared to even ask yourself, for the True Spiritual Teacher knows you better than you know yourself at the level of Soul.  The process requires being in the living presence of a True Spiritual Teacher to spark the awareness, to fan the processes of dissolution, to ignite the flames of transformation that enables growth.

 

For those of you who have not yet started on your journey may I ask why not?  Are you are so busy serving a false god(s) you have no time for self-discovery?  Do you see no need for self-growth and transformation from the animal Homo-sapiens into a true Human Being?  Or sadly, do you not even recognize the latent potential and possibility for growth and transformation?  Are you still living in the dream of Adam?

 

May the Lord of Life grant you the ability and desire to take an honest look at yourself, your life, your circumstances and identify what god(s) you may be truly serving.  May you be open to the voice that will guide you to have access to the principles and laws with which all is governed.  May you find the courage and desire to tap into the potential held within each of us to grow and transform, to become a true Human Being.

 

Wendy Ford 

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter SEPT 2005 part 5 Of Bridges and Souls part one By Rev. David Strickler

Of Bridges and Souls

part one

By Rev. David Strickler

 

What a whirlwind of a month and no pun intended.  Looks like a continuation of major vortices of energy manifesting on the event horizon from the solar flare of approximately two years ago and the past solar flare of about a month ago.  Our prayers, energy and healthful outcome is directed to our citizens in this wonderful country who were intentionally left out of the excessive profit taking policies of some of the swine business leaders and meat head politicians in our elected officials.  This recent appearance of the clowns and the religion of consumerism has taken front and center stage.  We have some real nut cases in this country and many of them hold seats of power. Too bad Katrina didn’t sweep through Washington D.C. and sweep it clean like a new broom.  Nature does have a way of uncovering those areas within our humanity that is yet best put into real action in the physical world.

 

God of course, had little if anything to do with the current rash of storms, in my opinion.  He/She has better operations to set into motion than to visit affliction upon the poor in this country.  The types of actions we take after an incident such as the past month does, in my view, permit Spirit and Soul to evaluate all of its individual pieces in the field of action or if you prefer event horizon, known as PEOPLE:  there is a judgment already in the process of being rendered by levels of consciousness and intelligence that are not limited by the thrashing appetite and drive for profiteering.

 

Nature can at times respond to the vast amount of electromagnetic input from the field of thought emission in humanity.  It is important to note here, that this is in no way an attempt to utilize the current ‘blame the victim’ ideology that is used in current financial endeavors and business (e.g. can’t get a job?  Better change your attitude).  One would have to be an ass to subscribe in such rationalizations that are used only to support the tyrannical egocentric slobbering of gluttonous robber-barons who take the money and run.  Looking at the current playing field of Hedge fund thieves there is plenty of room to steal the public blind.

 

Listening and watching C-Span the other night I saw one of the grandest circus ever: a group of so called compassionate conservatives literally nervous about the amount of money required to repair sections of the nation damaged by the storms and thereby taking advantage of the pain and suffering to make a point about the deficit.  It was hilarious to watch them divert attention away from the deficit they had a hand in creating to over the past years, even complaining about the 900 Billion in debt notes being held by China.  One of the solutions they proposed was even more sinister:  Sell off large portions of prime land held by the public (citizens) of this country to help pay for the storm damaged areas. 

 

How brilliant!  Then North Korean companies and even perhaps the Chinese government will buy these proposed land deals and even own more of the U.S.A.  I can hear them now—“the governments will not be able to buy the land” which might be true IF parameters are put on the sale of this land.  If the sale goes up to private individuals and those individual OR corporations are not 100% US citizens, then what these meat heads have proposed will open the doors to the further selling of this nation to foreign interests.  To borrow a phrase from Jeff Foxworthy—-“here’s your sign (which reads: I’m a stupid person).  It should be handed out to all who agreed with these brainless wonders and to the brainless wonders themselves who came up with a 3rd grader solution to a long term problem.  Just goes to show how nature unaided fails:  the human brain without the intervention of morals, ethics and developed capacity for reasoning sounds like a modern Corporate Borg; an ape in a business suit spitting out half chewed bananas it stole from other apes.

 

Storms are good; it gives us the opportunity to witness the best and worst that are within each and every one of us and reveal to us where we need to grow in our spiritual maturity and humanity.  The Spirit watches Soul closely as to whether or not we even take advantage of the opportunity to incorporate more of its real self into the physical plane.  Whether or not we attempt to burn a bridge in a moment of fear or despair can be used to evaluate how much we have grown as a SOUL (human being) in this world or whether we have chosen for the sake and ease of convenience to just avoid what may be true.

 

There are many ways to explore this concept.  I will be devoting some time to it in upcoming editions, so please bear in mind that this article is in no way complete.  I sometimes wonder if articles ever are complete, although they are a starting point for discovery of truths.  Anyway, let me illustrate with an example:  I have a friend whom I shall name John in this article to not reveal his identity although what I will reveal is that he is a male who is in his 50’s and that he did give me permission to relate this story in this article.  We have shared much together over the years especially through his recovery process in AA.  For my part I have enjoyed his friendship and questions, for as you know, I know that recovery programs have a place in the world of human healing as I have given talks to recovery groups and contributed my skills and talents wherever I feel they are best suited to help people in those healing areas, but I also see where they are converted into something that they are not: a Spiritual Program.

 

John’s Soul opened up and created a bridge between him and me.  Yes, I also helped in the building that bridge so that we could share things together.  Now the Soul does this with power and energy from areas that reflect the type of exchange that is to take place between people.  It emerges as a lightning flash between two people and I can see this at times with my aura vision.  The type of connection will depend on how from what depth of Soul or non soul areas the flash emerges from.  Deeper connections usually promote greater intensities of experiences within various ranges of either instinctual, emotional or intellection areas or any of the above combined.  John and I had a connection as he learned from me and I learned much more about how the system of recovery worked in his life.  John provided me with one of the proofs that these recovery networks are made into something that they ARE NOT-a Spiritual system.

 

John never called me after my stroke last year.  I looked forward to his call.  There wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t look for a call from him.  I would spend time thinking that maybe I should have called him.  I decided against it, for I thought maybe there was something going on in his life that was preventing him from calling me.  I really could have used his support.  So I double checked with Christine whether or not she had sent out a note to everyone letting them know I had had a stroke and yes, she showed me that she had sent one to him.  So I figured that since he was out of state, maybe he hit hard financial times and couldn’t afford a phone call, but what made it strange was that he wasn’t even showing up on my messengers to chat online.

 

This went on for over 8 months.  I just couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t call even after I had sent him a few personal notes.  I was getting overly concerned so I just let it go, but I did not burn the bridge of friendship that exists.  I have never burn a bridge since an experience I had in my early 20’s where I had burned one and come to find out that I was wrong and it shouldn’t have been burned.  Even when I went back to the person with whom I burned the bridge to apologize and reconnect with because my shame had revealed to me the truths about the feelings in myself that was easier to deny than to admit.  That person never spoke to me again and from that point forward I knew I would never burn a bridge again or refuse to speak or reconnect with someone again, because there is so much that we do not know, there is much we do not see outside of ourselves.  So I just figured John was going through something, I just hoped he had not ‘fallen off the wagon’.

 

One morning, while finding myself waking up on the couch I had left my computer on and it was making that messenger noise that it plays when a person is speaking with you on MSN or AOL instant messenger.  I got up and looking through my blurry eyes I immediately recognized the loony name—It was John!  The window read “Do you have time for an old friend?  If you do not want to speak to me I understand, but please let me make amends, I finally got my head out of my ass.  Are you OK David?”  A tear rolled down my face.  We talked on messenger and then I said hey John—I got some minutes, give me a call.   It was great to hear from him. 

 

I come to find out that he had friends who had had a stroke.  He had such a hard time seeing his loved ones and friends tied in a not and not the same as they once were that he didn’t think he could take hearing me on the phone or seeing me as he does once a year when he comes to phoenix.  But his shame drove him to understand that maybe, just maybe just being there in voice could have helped speed my recovery along.  Just as my shame led me to discover how I wasn’t being fair with a person in the earlier part of my life.  He is now even involved in helping people with strokes to overcome what he call his ‘denial and stupidity’ in one area of his life.  Most importantly, I am glad we are talking again, as I had missed his friendship.     

 

John, I know you are reading this, I am so glad you got your head out of your ass.  I do not burn my bridges.  I have spent time putting out fires that others have started on my bridges in those all too familiar moments of human fear, denial and anger/shame.  Just as I had put out the fire on the bridge you tried to burn between you and me. 

 

I have seen people die from bridges that were burned.  Look at how some of the business and governmental policies helped contribute to the deaths of some in the storm areas.  Christine asked me for a quote for this month’s newsletter, so the one you read above is something I wrote many years ago.  Some bridges are so deep they are intense as you drive over them, for they are constructed from deeper energies that unite Souls.  That is why I never burn my bridges, cause at the other end of that bridge is a human being who has a heart, mind and life that yearns to be fulfilled and to share some moments with other Souls that are traveling in the world of people in their spiritual journey to return home.

 

Special thanks to John for wanting to share his story with you and giving me permission to use it.

 

May all of you have the experience of opening a door that you were afraid was closed.

 

Rev. David Strickler, Ph.D.

Qabalistic Teacher & Minister

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© SEPTEMBER, 2005 SPIRITUAL CLIMATE®

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter AUGUST 2004 Part 1 WHAT THE HELL DO WE THINK WE ARE DOING?  by Christine Ford

The Institute of Spiritual Climate

Is proud to present

the newsletter

 

SPIRITUAL CLIMATE®

Monday, August 02, 2004

 

 

“ Ignorance:  the root and the stem of every evil. ”

. . . Plato . . .

 

 

WHAT THE HELL DO WE THINK WE ARE DOING?

by Christine Ford

 

Last Thursday I was at a day long training to learn the ins and outs of using an assistive technology device for one of my students.  The mother of the child was also there, and I commented that it was great that she could get off work to attend.  Her reply to me was that she was a “stay at home Mom”.   Though it took a couple days to register, I realized that she is the first Mom I have run into in years who is home taking care of the family rather than spending eight hours each day at work and then frantically trying to make up for lost time in the evenings and on weekends.  This realization brought with it a combination of anger and rage that I have rarely experienced. 

 

I was one of those stay at home moms for 13 years while my kids were growing up, only going back to work when my youngest went to full day kindergarten.  Every mother I knew in every house up and down the block was “at home” too.  Sure we ate lots of hot dogs, hamburgers and mac and cheese, and MAYBE went out to eat in a “sit down” restaurant once a month!  Visits to McDonald’s were a rare treat rather than an every other day occurrence, we drove old cars, shopped using coupons and searching for sales, and went to the park or the library (free) for recreation!  And you know what?  We never felt cheated or bored.  Our lives were filled with the wonder of watching our kids grow and learn, helping them understand the often times puzzling world that expanded around them, building character, independence and a sense of responsibility in our children that could never be taken away from them. 

 

The role of stay at home mom was revered and appreciated; we were valued for the nurturing and stability we provided and our children were the shining rewards of our labors.  Sounds idyllic, yes, but when I compare the climate of the world that my children must raise their children in to what I experienced back in the 70’s and early 80’s as a young mother, I can only shake my head in sorrow, indeed, terror,  at the change, the complexity, the demands and expectations placed by today’s stockholders, financiers, and businesses upon people in the name of productivity and financial growth NOT for the welfare of “the people”, but for expansion and increase of the portfolios of the elite holding the invisible reins of control over us all.  Sound somewhat negative and pissed off???  You bet your ass I am and you should be too.         

 

When did “working moms” become the norm in our society?  When did a “stay at home Mom” become so rare that it takes one by surprise?  More importantly than WHEN, I ask you HOW and WHY?  Back when we raised our now adult kids, back in the 70’s, Moms just didn’t work as a rule.  Oh!  I stand corrected!  We sure did work, but our jobs were in the home, making sure that needs were provided for, kids were educated, disciplined, and supervised, clothes were clean, meals were balanced and on the table, and that there was a sense of unity, security, support and warmth within the place that we called “HOME”.  

 

How are all those needs being met today?  Why the dramatic change in twenty years?  Who is overseeing the development, education, experiences and providing role models for those little ones coming into the world, the very future of our existence, the children growing up right now?  Who’s “minding the store?”  IS ANYONE HOME??????  I think not, and it is my opinion that out of the coerced economic necessity of both parents having to be employed just to make ends meet, the foundation of our society’s existence, the FAMILY, has been undermined and caricaturized to the point of collapse. 

 

We no longer have the power, time nor luxury to manage our children, homes and activities, but have gradually, without even being aware of it, surrendered our very lives and that most dear to us to the control of mass marketing hypnosis and governmental-consumer mind fuck which have turned us into slaves who must work ceaselessly to produce more and more in less and less time, in order to barely exist from paycheck to paycheck.  WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN?  WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FAMILY?  WHAT BECOMES OUR PRIORITY WHEN IT IS A DAY TO DAY STRUGGLE MERELY TO SURVIVE?  We have been gradually sold out and sacrificed in the most negative, brutal sense of the word and we didn’t even see it coming! Isn’t it about time to WAKE UP?

 

There are historical FACTS that back this up, and logical reasons to answer the WHY? and HOW? questions I posed earlier.  An extremely explicit explanation can be found in This is the Fight of Our Lives, a Keynote Speech delivered by Bill Moyers at the Inequality Matters Forum at New York University on June 3, 2004.  The link to the entire speech, which it would behoove you (to borrow with permission a Dr. Strickler term) to afford yourself the opportunity to actually read with and open mind and heart, is:

THIS IS THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES, by Bill Moyers

I quote a small section of it here:

 

You just can’t make this stuff up. You have to hear it to believe it. This may be the first class war in history where the victims will die laughing.

    But what they are doing to middle class and working Americans – and to the workings of American democracy – is no laughing matter. Go online and read the transcripts of Enron traders in the energy crisis four years ago, discussing how they were manipulating the California power market in telephone calls in which they gloat about ripping off "those poor grandmothers." Read how they talk about political contributions to politicians like "Kenny Boy" Lay’s best friend George W. Bush. Go on line and read how Citigroup has been fined $70 Million for abuses in loans to low-income, high risk borrowers – the largest penalty ever imposed by the Federal Reserve. A few clicks later, you can find the story of how a subsidiary of the corporate computer giant NEC has been fined over $20 million after pleading guilty to corruption in a federal plan to bring Internet access to poor schools and libraries. And this, the story says, is just one piece of a nationwide scheme to rip off the government and the poor.

    Let’s face the reality: If ripping off the public trust; if distributing tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the poor; if driving the country into deficits deliberately to starve social benefits; if requiring states to balance their budgets on the backs of the poor; if squeezing the wages of workers until the labor force resembles a nation of serfs – if this isn’t class war, what is?

    It’s un-American. It’s unpatriotic. And it’s wrong.”

 

I am aware that this has the tones of sounding like a Dr. Strickler rant, and having been his student for 13 years now, I KNOW I’ve had great training and admittedly, proudly, I acknowledge that there is a lot of his influence and unique skill at opening my eyes to WHAT IS in these words.  Thank the Lord of the Universe for THAT!  For the very first time, however, after the gazillion lectures he has brilliantly delivered on this topic and the prognostications he has made over the years that I have watched unfold before my very eyes, I have a glimmer of understanding, of knowing, and I am grabbing onto this agape and claiming it as mine, along with the anger and outrage I am feeling with this revelation! I am furious and indeed feeling extremely violated by the abuse so blatantly perpetrated by the agencies and leaders from all disciplines supposedly in place to uphold and ensure the rights inherent in our freedom and the glaringly ignorant herd mentality that allows this to be swallowed without question by all of us!

 

Dr. Strickler, I know I am only experiencing a minuscule taste of the frustration and anguish you must have dealt with over all these years; it feels like it I am being eaten alive by it.  I want to scream it, shout it, demand that people HEAR it, that they open their eyes and ears to what must ultimately, if unchecked, lead to the downfall and destruction of us all!  I cannot even begin to imagine the torture and anxiety you must have endured over the years you have been teaching, speaking these Truths, only to meet with the rare instance of someone having a faint perception of what you are voicing and That which is being expressed through you.   Dr. Strickler, I publicly apologize to you for listening without HEARING thus unknowingly adding to your pain!

 

Dianna, my Mentor and Teacher as well as friend, I thank you for your patience and guidance, and am eternally grateful that you saw SOME glimmer of hope for intelligent life within me as I sat smiling and nodding my head like one of those inane bobble-head dogs in the back window of a car for the past thirteen years. For your determination, strength and perseverance to express the Principles that you know to be Truth, for your sacrifice and loyalty demonstrated by the selfless act of living that Truth and bringing your light into this dismal plane with no regard to personal comfort or desires, for that and so much more that I am just beginning to have the tiniest speck of seeing, I honor, respect, revere and thank you.  You have been as much a part of my process to this point as Dr. Strickler has been, and though I know it’s a small step in comparison to where you have been and what you are, I publicly acknowledge and apologize to you as well.

 

And to those of you out there reading this who are enslaved and entombed to a quasi-existence by the Sounds of Silence. . . “People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening, people writing songs that voices never shared, no one dared, disturb the Sounds of Silence. “Fools” said I, “you do not know, silence like a cancer grows, hear my words that I might teach you, take my arms that I might reach you.” but my words like silent rain drops fell, and echoed in the wells of SILENCE.”. . .  I implore you to awaken to the crisis that we face before your pod is sealed shut as in The Matrix and you have no memory of the Principles that this country was built upon let alone the sanctity and beauty of REAL LIFE given to us by God.

 

May The Divine within you reach down with a Holy two by four and smack you up the side of your head while shouting in your ear, WAKE UP FOOL. 

Blessings.

 

Christine Ford

Editor

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter AUGUST 2004 Part 2 You Don’t Need A Magician To Make People Invisible by Wendy Ford

You Don’t Need A Magician To Make People Invisible

By Wendy Ford

Please bear with me a moment.  I have to get something off my chest and just vent.  Where in the heck do some people get off and come from that they treat their elders with such disdain and lack of respect and dignity!  How can they stand by and do nothing when an elder is in distress?  How can they patronize with such disrespect and disdain?  How can they just flippantly dismiss the value or even the very existence of another human being?  What triggered this?  A telephone conversation with a client’s family member, that’s what.  But more on this in a bit.  An explanation is in order first.

The perspective from which this piece is written is one that has been developed over a long period of time and from personal observations and experiences.  It is a perspective spoken from with a certain amount of expertise.  My area of interest and practice is the elderly, in particular the frail elderly. Those women and men who are living in assisted living facilities and nursing homes and some who are able to be in their own homes, for now.  Having worked in the health care profession for over thirty years (yes, over thirty years which makes me not too far from being considered an elder myself in the eyes of many) affords a broad and deep base from which to speak.  The easy thing to write about would be all the thousands of wonderful, loving families and individuals encountered over the years who have given of their time, their hearts, their money, their energy, their homes, for some their careers, their health and, ultimately more than a few have been seen to have even given their own lives in the care of an elderly parent or family member.  To all of those selfless and generous individuals goes my deepest gratitude, respect and admiration.  Without them the professional towel might have been tossed in a long time ago.  They keep up my spirits and fill my heart.  They are my foundation.  They make it worth slogging and wading through all the ever-changing Medicare rules, regulations, documentation and payment guidelines.  They more than make up for the ones who cause so much frustration and heartache; for those families and individuals who treat their elders so shamefully, with disregard for them as people or even worse (in my opinion) refuse to acknowledge their very existence. 

It isn’t necessary to go into the details of the specific telephone conversation that triggered the opening questions. You’ll pick up the gist of it.  A phrase I find being muttered more often than should be necessary is, “Shoot the family and keep the patient.”  This is often preceded by a telephone conversation or encounter with the family or “responsible party” of a potential client.  Hackles raise and teeth clench when receiving a response that goes something like this:  “Oh, mother (aunt, uncle grandfather, whatever) is 90 years old and forgetful, has arthritis and a bad heart.  She won’t ever walk very far again.  What makes you think you can do anything?  What’s the purpose? (Left unspoken is, “Why bother and waste your time?”)”  Oh, I don’t know, I thought preparing her for the next walk-a-thon might be a great idea and a grand goal!  How about relieving her pain by working her arthritic joints and strengthening her legs so she can get up out of a chair with her walker on the first try?  How about enabling her to get to the bathroom with minimal assistance so she doesn’t have to always go in the diaper she’s in?  How about making her less dependent (note I did word independent was not used) on the help of the caregivers so she has some sense of self-worth and dignity?  How about seeing the smile on her face when I walk in and the hug she gives me?  And did you know she thinks you’re the best daughter in the whole world and can’t stop talking about how proud she is of you?  How she lights up talking about her grandchildren even though she’s never even met most of them?  She even understands you have your own life so you really can’t get in much (even though you live 5 miles away and only come once a month and then it’s just to bring supplies and sign paperwork because the facility requires it in order for her to keep living there?).”  THAT’s the response that must be swallowed to keep from spilling out at times.

 Oh, don’t be mistaken.  It is NOT being said that the elderly being viewed by the youth as “has-beens” or “old hat” is anything new.  There’s always been the generation gap.  And each new generation is, in the eyes of their elders, well on the way of going to hell in a hand basket because their language is so sinful and their music is that of the very devil and they have no respect for the previous generations.  But over the last thirty years I do notice that the value of our elders seems to be being diminished in the eyes of many (including government programs and resources).  What’s worth  exploring is WHY this is occurring with seemingly increasing intensity and volume at the very time that the elderly population is the fastest growing segment of our population.

It must be confessed, there are clear memories of eyes being mentally rolled as a teenager (never have even dreamed of really doing it) at some unsolicited bit of sage advice thrust upon me by well-meaning parents or teachers or grandparents.  So too, exist vivid recollections of having that same advice bite me in the butt or ring in my ears at a later time (perhaps years later) as the truth of what they were saying or warning against came to light.  This usually took place as I was trying to pull myself out of some hole I had dug and fallen into or the wall that my face was flush up against because advice had not been taken or predictions or warnings heeded.  It was only at those critical times that understanding dawned:  the advice had come from knowledge gained through experiences.  That only my best interest was at heart and they had been trying to prevent me from having to learn or go through the same experience(s), or whatever it was, and learn the hard way.  It was only then that the true value of what had been freely given became apparent.  

There also exists the clear memory when, as a new graduate, the ink on my Physical Therapy license was not yet dry.  A therapist who had been around for ten years was, in my fresh young eyes, over the hill.  How could anyone who had been in the field that long possibly be up to date on the most current research and techniques?  A therapist who had been in practice for twenty years?  A relic.  How could someone that old even hope to be up to date and useful and knowledgeable in a field where research and data was shedding new light almost daily and that was changing faster than the books and articles could be printed?  So, armed with the latest information and techniques (learned on fellow therapy students, in a class laboratory setting with all the latest equipment, having had three whole months of clinical internship in which to put my skills into practice) I walked into my first real job as a full time staff therapist.  I was ready.  I was prepared.  I was a therapist.  Yep. I was ready.  Bring it on.  Yep.  I was ready.  Yeah, right. 

Fortunately for me, that mentality lasted less than a week.  A therapist who would come to be a sort of mentor patiently provided guidance through the first experiences of handling an independent patient load without the back up of a clinical instructor.  She provided introduction to the complex and real workings of the medical field.  A friendly and sympathetic ear was available to listen, a kindly voice ready with advice when asked, and a soft but strong shoulder was there to catch the tears as the struggling ensued to get the ideals of the world of academia to mesh with the complex and often harsh realities of the real world.  It was sort of like taking the training wheels off the new two-wheel bike and riding down the sidewalk with all of the bumps and cracks and tree roots and people coming from the other direction and the neighbor’s dog chasing at your heels and hitting a sudden downhill slope and having your foot slide right off one of the pedals as you hurtle headlong into who knows what instead of on the nice smooth asphalt of the wide and empty driveway.  The basics are the same but it’s the fine details no one ever told you about that will trip you up!  Her insight and experience were invaluable.  The value of the knowledge and experiences of one who had gone before came to be appreciated and cherished.

That’s an interesting phrase:  “the value of the knowledge and experiences of one who had gone before.”  That is what is being perceived as being lost regarding our elderly by many in our current society; the value of the elderly.  Why is that so?  Why is the value being diminished or lost?  What could be the consequences?

In times past in our society, and indeed still today in many cultures, the elderly were revered, honored and cherished.  The elders used to be sought out for their advice and wisdom.  Their stories were listened to and lessons learned from their experiences.  Just where did our oral traditions come from?  Where did our family histories come from?  Where did our sense of family and connectedness come from?  What held families together?  The elders.  If elders are not to be valued, who will pass down the family histories, stories, legends, and traditions?  What will hold families together?  What will connect us with our past?  What will the effect of no past be on the future?  They say history is written so that lessons can be learned by future generations.  If there is no history written or valued then what becomes of the future?  If history is to be constantly rewritten so that it is always currently politically correct what becomes of the truth of what really happened (no matter how shameful or embarrassing or how big the mistake)?  If the lessons learned by our elders are to have no value and are to be ignored, what will happen to future generations?

Extended care facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes are springing up faster in our nation than ever before.  Granted the elderly population is growing, but why the warehouse mentality?

Warehouse mentality?  Yes. You are already familiar with it. Want the best price for a new DVD player?  You can find a really good bargain if you go to a warehouse where they have bought in bulk and offer reduced the prices from the Mom and Pop appliance store that used to be around the corner when you were growing up.  Want lower food prices?  Go to the warehouse club and get lower prices than from the family market that your Mom used to take you to on Saturday mornings.

That same thinking is showing up in the way our society is treating its frail elderly.  If you put all of the frail old ones in one place, in one building or group of buildings then it will be more convenient and more cost effective to care for them.  The average person doesn’t have to think about them or deal with them on a daily basis.  The average person really never has to be confronted by their needs and problems.  The average person has no idea that there even is a portion of our society called the “Frail Elderly” because the frail elderly are being neatly tucked away out of the conscious awareness of most.  Society has managed to make them invisible.  And it didn’t take any magic to accomplish this extraordinary feat either! 

Please be assured, this is NOT being critical of the increasing tendency for the retired to gather in their own communities with their own entertainment and recreational facilities.  Nor is it being discounted that it is much more cost effective to give quality care to a group of individuals in one setting than to try to deliver quality care to individuals one by one who are spread out geographically throughout a community.  No.  What is of great concern is the growing invisibility of our frail elderly. 

Part of the answer to the question of why this warehouse mentality has begun to flourish lies in the fact that most households in our society depend on all members working out side the home.  The stay at home Moms and Dads are not as prevalent as in past generations.  There is no one to stay with a failing elderly parent or family member twenty-four hours, seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year for five, ten even fifteen years.  Part of the answer also lies in the fact that people are living longer, well into their 80’s and 90’s.  As they live longer their children are approaching their 60’s and 70’s!  More and more or us approaching retirement will be spending those years caring for aging, ailing family members.  And, as the economic demands continue to squeeze resources made available to the elderly, more and more of us will be actually having to work past and through our retirement years in order to make ends meet and survive.  Then who stays home takes care of Mom or Dad?

OK.  The warehousing mentality and concept can be explained.  Sort of.  But once an elderly person is institutionalized they become isolated from society.  Neighbors no longer just stop by because they don’t drive anymore and can’t get across town to visit.  If the elderly person has retired and moved from the Midwest or East to Florida or Arizona to enjoy their retirement, chances are there is no local family or that any family is scattered across the nation.  Being isolated from society makes them more or less invisible.  Invisibility leads to a loss of connectedness.  If there is no grandchild sitting on the floor by your knee who is going to listen to your stories, or even care if you have any stories to share?  What would make you even want to share your stories if there is no one asking, no one listening?  Without a sense of belonging, without a sense of worth and value, without a feeling of connectedness why would an elder want to even continue to live?  Depression is a major problem among the elderly and frail elderly, evidently with good reason.        

From personal experience I can assure you the stories are many and of great value.  They can make you laugh until the tears flow, they can tug at your heart until the tears flow.  You can get some mighty fine recipes from how to handle pie dough when its humid to how best to stretch a pot of soup and tips about how to get spots out and get items clean without using a lot of chemicals.  You can learn about how things used to be, how and what people cared about, what made them happy or sad, what challenges they had to overcome.  A city girl might learn just how a grain silo works, that a cow needs to be pregnant before it gives milk, (Who knew?  Aren’t dairy cows just that?  Cows that are bred to give milk?) or that probably the hardest thing to be is a farmer who is at the mercy of the elements and still somehow makes a living.  You can learn about life.  You can learn about what it takes to make it through tough times.  You can learn about heart, and grit and bravery and stubbornness.  You can learn about what makes a person survive and thrive.

If people can’t listen, if people can’t take the time to ask, if people can’t or don’t care, what does that say about them?  Maybe it’s because our society is so accustomed to everything moving fast with instant this, and that.  Time schedules to keep, productivity numbers to be met.  On a personal note, countless hours have been spent off time logs and payroll records (don’t interfere with the productivity of the day, please) because I refused to rush or brush off one of my clients who wanted to tell a story or share a new picture or just needed a friendly chat.  It was just my personal gift to me to spend the extra time with them.

Maybe people have forgotten how, or just don’t want to be bothered, to take the extra time an elder often needs to process thoughts and ideas.  Many people simply do not understand and are ignorant and unaware of the extra time elders may need for mental processing.  For example, people often mistake the extra time or repetition of something an elder might need because of poor hearing to be the result of confusion and dementia.  Time is simply not taken to listen to what the elder is saying or asking.

Maybe unconsciously people are afraid of their own mortality and death.  For the frail elderly are certainly close to their time of transformation.  Maybe people are afraid of getting old, afraid of their own aging process.  For youth is not as eternal as hope.  Maybe people are consciously or unconsciously afraid of the changes that old age can bring physically and mentally.  It has been scientifically proven that even people afflicted with dementia can remain mentally active if stimulation is provided, but without continued stimulation even a normal brain’s mental functions will gradually deteriorate (regardless of the age of the physical vehicle).  The physical changes are many as the physical vehicle deteriorates.  Eyesight and hearing fail, arthritis can freeze and twist once supple joints, beautiful heads of hair turn white and become thin or nonexistent.

Thanks to Wall Street and marketing, our society has become obsessed with youth and youthful appearances.  The natural changes that accompany aging are not welcomed and are no longer an acceptable option in the marketing-created, manufactured, disposable, microwave society of today.  If it’s old, throw it out.  If it’s broken or damaged, throw it out.  Replace it with a new or younger one.  Indeed many marriages have fallen victim to that concept!  Has this trickled over into our concept about aging?  Are our elders falling victim to this disposable society?  It is chilling that this should even be a possibility, that this question should even need to be asked.

Magicians evidently are not the only ones capable of making things disappear.  Our society seems well on the way to making entire portions of itself invisible.  Many of us in the healthcare field have taken note of the changes our society has made and is making regarding its attitude toward its elderly and frail elderly populations.  Maybe this piece will cause you to examine how you view our elderly.  Perhaps this piece will inspire someone to volunteer in a facility just to talk and spend time with some of our elders.  Maybe this will nudge someone to call or visit their own elder (I called my own Mom and Dad in the middle of writing this piece).  Maybe this will provide a stimulus for thought as to just where our society is headed in regards to the treatment of and attitudes toward our elders.  Is the current direction and trend to be continued?  Or does it need to be halted and changed?  If no one speaks for those without voices of their own, who will ever hear them?  If no one directs attention to their existence will anyone ever see them?  Just because the elderly and frail elderly are often silent and invisible, it does not mean they don’t exist.  When you reach your time of advanced years, who will make you invisible?  To put a twist on a phrase: For there, with the grace of God, go I.

May the Light of Truth shine to open your eyes, your ears, your mind, your heart.

Wendy Ford

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter AUGUST 2004 Part 3 Ever Waiting By Rev. David Strickler

Ever Waiting

By Rev. David Strickler, Ph.D.

 

It was a dark, cold night.  The moon light shimmered like glistening diamonds upon the ripples on the surface of the pond that was being gently caressed by the opaque breeze.  Clouds that resembled cotton candy in the night sky forced the moon to play peek a boo with the surface of the earth, glowing like embers from the cold light reflected off the face of the lunar watcher.  I have been here before in the sanctuary at times when life just seemed to lend an overbearing weight of unceasing and relentless dichotomy that echoed through my body as strain elicited for too long an extended time. 

 

The roses in the garden along the stone walkway quietly slept through the evening delightfully shrouded in peace that one only finds in the setting of Holy Ground.  The Archway of the stone entrance shaped in oval to announce the entrance into the temple, ever watchful as to who passes through its solid, protective walls designed to shield the priest from the anomalies spun from the activities of mundane life.  One can only hear the steps of the body as it approaches the large doors guarding the entrance to the passageway that leads to the inner chamber of the Temple.  Arriving only to see the empty room lit only by the flicker of candle flame and taking one place to imbibe the silence wherein the Voice of the Hidden ONE can be heard.

 

It always knows when you arrive.  It always knows why you have journeyed to sit with IT.  It waits in the roaring silence that insulates you from the ordinary distractions that attract the senses to frivolity.  It waits for you to swim in ITS depths to be refreshed in the Waters of Life it so freely provides as nourishment to the unquenched thirst that pangs in your Soul.  Those pangs that we sometimes often misinterpret as they emerge in the desire nature of our body only as echoes transformed into something routine and familiar.  Yet, here in the inner sanctum of the Temple—we can easily see the misguided shapes they have taken as we have mis associated their origins.

 

Time to make a choice or is it just time to select another effect?  Time to examine the effects one has generated within the condensation of their personality or to just run away from the Truth that the Silence can open from within the Heart of Hearts communicating to your heart?  What are you here to do?  Why?  Does there have to be a reason for everything?  Who or what determines that reason and what latitude do you REALLY have with what you call your own determination, or is it better put to say your USE of that which enables to determine a path or course in life?  Does reason have anything to do with anything or is it just an illusion cast into shape and form by a mind that has yet to understand the foundation of Reason that emits from the depth of the One Love and Power of Life Itself?  If not Reason that appeals to your senses, is it then the Sound emerging from the heart of your consciousness that is trying to get your attention since you have finally provided the silent backdrop upon which is it’s sounding board; free from the distractions garbled from your mind that utilizes thought as a primary source of communication?

 

Too many questions You say?  I am right here speaking with you Right Now.  Always in the now and within the silence that is the foundation enabling the recognition of your manifest self uttered through your personality.  I AM never far from you.  The distance you perceive is nothing more than the illusion cackling from the ephemeral aspects of your sense and perception.  I AM always here with you.  The valley you traverse to be in the Presence of the Speaking Self was created by YOU in the scurry and flurry of attempting to satisfy your senses by engaging them in effects.  It is nothing more than a fool’s articulation endeavoring to explain the Eternal in finite experiences.  What ‘words’ do you really understand?  How can you understand any words that are not heard with the Original Sound of creation that pulsates within your heart reflected in the body as sentience?  The eternal Silence is that by which I establish communication within and around you.  Not through desire that is distorted by the flesh and obfuscated by the misunderstandings of your mind.  Keep still, if you can, if you have the dominion over your body, mind and emotions to enter into the source of the temple itself.

 

I whisper and NOT shout over or through your enmeshment with the crackling unfinished aspects you partake in creation.  Always near and never far.  It is you who have created the gulf of desolation and despair by being overly fixated on the outer. 

 

I sit waiting without time for your return.  Often I say “Hi” through the clouds visibly chanting the form of the wind or through the dropping of the leaf from the tree that you pause by to acquire the thought emancipated from your reverie.  Echoing the soundless sound of My Voice as the leaf feels the cushion of air to break its fall to the earth, I sometimes capture your attention through the simplest of events.  I smile as you stand in awe like a child absorbed by the movement of the leaf.  Other times I say “Hi” in the melodic speaking of the bird that sees your approach to your car getting ready for your return home.

 

The candle flame burning brightly on your kitchen table is none other than I looking back watching you intently as you relax from the day’s duress.  The singular flame burning steadily, mimicking the soft flame of the WORD that is hidden in your heart from your awareness  or direct seeing  by the denials held up by your mind to prevent you from acquiring the realization that you have turned down the wrong road and are experiencing not what I had intended to give you, only to shoulder the blame and despair as you cry out into the night.

 

Stop for a moment to feel and think these words.  Some of the pictures you create in your imagination have successfully protected the egoic pride that is evoked to prevent the UNREALISITIC visions of shame and contempt from others that you see as a result in your being truthful with your Heart of Hearts. They are nothing more than a continual running from that which shall set you free.

 

Come home.  Sit.  Turn the radio and TV off and be with me awhile.  I never intended that you be a slave to creation, or a slave to the rantings of others.

 

I am Here, ever present in the temple of your body that houses the mouth of your soul:  your Heart.

 

Come and share the extraordinary atonement within the Universe that I have created as a backdrop that you may perceive Me in the slightest of all movements from the stars blanketing the night sky into the fish swimming in the aquarium of your home. 

 

My eyes are in many places, yet you hide from the WORD that burns brightly in the darkest corner of your Heart.

 

There I am, Ever waiting no matter what your prodigal attitude or demeanor may display.

 

Ever Waiting.

 

Blessings of the Life Power

Rev. David Strickler, Ph.D.

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Looking for powerful transformational tapes?  We are including a link to a professional colleague that Dr. Strickler has known and worked with for many years.  Mr. Artie Schiff is a Master Neuro Linguistics Programmer and currently has over 6,000 titles available along with customized tapes for individual purposes:

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© AUGUST 2004 SPIRITUAL CLIMATE®

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