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:

Thoughts on Character

by Glen Ford

Character:  the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.  In relation to people it often is thought of as positive.  Being a person of character is thought of as a good thing.  Character assassination is perceived as a bad thing.  That is not necessarily true, it hinges on reputation and point of reference.  What does it mean if it is said, to “assassinate Adolf Hitler’s character?”

Character can refer to a role in a book or movie that displays a set of values for our entertainment or edification.  In the everyday world role playing is the robe our personality dons to present for and relate to others in the family, at work and in community environments.  It is said that living through hard times is good for you.  What does not kill you makes you stronger.  Trials and tribulations have value in that they build character.  Sad to say, from my point of view, the challenges I face do not build character they merely unveil it.

Character, I think of it as two words, Care Actor.  Just like a character in a movie, my actions display a set of values, my values, what I care about is what determines my actions.  Building character is an addition burden.  There are things that need to be done.  Mindfulness is needed.  It requires questioning, who, what, why, when, and where.  It requires of me the need to slow down and look around, become aware of my surroundings, what I am doing, and why I am doing it. Who am I doing it to or for?  What is the root cause of this behavior?  Where and when do I act this way?  I need to ask myself, “What do my actions reveal about my character – what I care about?”.

Finally,  I need to decide if I am satisfied with it.  If the answer is yes, then okay let it ride, maybe.  I am talking about building character, growing.  Do I care to take action to reinforce or expand the value exposed?  If the answer is no, the question becomes “What am I willing to do to change it?”.  Do I care enough about it to take action?  The key is awareness.  If I do not recognize an error, I cannot fix it.  For example, if I eat too much and gain weight, I care more about food than being slim and healthy.  If I desire to change that, it is simple, I know what to do.  All that is required is to burn up more calories than I take in.  Being simple does not make it easy.

I have been sending the wrong messages to my subconscious mind for years. It does not reason. It does not make judgments.  It works diligently to manifest what I tell it I desire.  My ego strives to keep me here, to maintain the status quo.  It likes the comfort and security of the known.  It knows how to behave here.  It does not want to risk the discomfort and uncertainty of change.  There is a tremendous amount of inertia to overcome.  Inertia, the tendency of an object at rest to stay at rest, or an object in motion to remain in motion, unless acted on by an outside force.  So what force is there apart from ego and sub-conscious mind?  Enter the self-conscious mind, which is a tool of the soul to have experiences in the manifest world.

I need to wake up the self-conscious mind. It has been asleep at the wheel.  I have been running on automatic pilot, going on a course that was input long ago.  If it is the way I always did it, even if was right at the start, it probably not right anymore.  If I always do what I have always done, I will always get what I have always gotten.  It would behoove me to start sending better messages to ego and sub-conscious mind.  Shut off the auto-pilot and tell ego and personality it is my (self-conscious) turn to drive.  My soul has had enough of this experience. Time to move on.  Time to eat a better diet, more nutritious, less calories.  Time to get more active, out walking or at the gym.  I accept that it will take some time to break the cycle and develop new habits.  I accept that there will be discomfort and likely some pain.  The weight thing is a simple personal example in the mundane realm.  The principles and agencies that can make changes in conditions are the same for all the circumstances of life, to know, to will, to dare.

Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth’s soliloquy:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth was a tragedy.  It is a tragedy because Macbeth’s character acted out of ego seeking only power rather than self-conscious soul seeking to express love.  This Character was very much self-centered.  His actions revealed he did not care about others.  Macbeth was speaking to himself describing his ultimate demise, though he did not realize there was an option or was unwilling to exercise the choice.  He failed in this journey along the path of return to unity.

I aspire to better roles.  I am seeking awareness.  What role am I playing?  Who is the director (ego, soul)?  Where is this play going for me, for me, for me?  It is hard not to be self-centered when considering my actions.  If I take anything from Macbeth, it is that it would benefit me to act out of love for others on this journey.  There is an apparent paradox here.  It is in my own best interests to care about others.  How is it then that acts of caring about others is not self-centered?

A clue might be found in The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6, verse 5:

Lift up the self by the Self
and don’t let the self droop down,
For the Self is the self’s only friend
and the self is the Self’s only foe.

In this quote, the self (lower case s) represents the ego or personality, the Self (upper case S) being the soul or higher Self. This does not solve the paradox completely, but provides me a point of contemplation.  This is not a linear or rational train of thought.  Carl Jung said of paradox. “The paradox is one of our most valued spiritual possessions.”1  He went on further to say that, “The paradox… reflects a higher level of intellect and, by not forcibly representing the unknowable as known, gives us a more faithful picture of the real state of affairs.”2

When my ego is allowed to run amuck seeking only what benefits me me me, to the exclusion of all others, I can never seem to get enough.  There is no satisfaction, no sense of self-esteem and it appears that others are always conspiring against me.  On the other hand, when I treat others with respect, taking their interests into consideration, I feel better about myself and gain a sense of personal value while receiving the cooperation and regard of those individuals, in most cases.  For example, I worked some 39 years in surgery as a cardiovascular perfusionist.  I ran the heart lung machine in open heart programs.  I maintained relationships with people from physicians to nurses to technicians to housekeepers.  Over that time, I gradually developed the habit of going out of my way to help others when they were having trouble whenever I could, again, in most cases.

This is because I came to realize, if I did that, when I ran into trouble, I rarely would have to ask for help.  An extra pair of hands would just show up.  The paradox is, did I develop this from an altruistic desire to help others, or a tool for self-preservation. Well it is not the nature of paradox to be black or white.  It resides in shades of gray.

To stay in this mode of operation and develop and maintain character I can be proud of requires me to work at it. Remaining mindful, residing in the moment, being frequently vigilant is needed.  Returning to the questions; who? what? why? when? and where? on a regular basis.

Character growth in the Spiritual Garden is clearly a tough row to hoe.  If I do not keep after it, the weedy stuff creeps back in.  I have varying degrees of success and at times become frustrated.  I believe though that if I keep returning to the work it will pay great dividends come my harvest time.

I wish you all a green thumb.

glen

a penny farthing

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

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  1. Jung, Carl, Collected Works 12, ¶18 (1944), Jungian Center for the Spiritual Sciences. Accessed October 19, 2016. http://jungian298.rssing.com/chan-9129819/all_p3.html[]
  2. Jung, Carl, Collected Works 11, ¶417 (1954), Jungian Center for the Spiritual Sciences. Accessed October 19, 2016. http://jungian298.rssing.com/chan-9129819/all_p3.html[]
you know you want to do it:

Caution, Gates Open Inward

By Adam Crosthwaite

Preparing for Passage to Higher Levels of Awareness

People spend their time in a world full of gates, boundaries  and barriers of many different types.  These barriers, regardless of their form being both nonphysical as well as physical, exist as a form of protection.  Sometimes these are negative barriers created by misunderstandings in the minds of people who have stumbled along the life path.  Others are perhaps temporary stop gaps to buy time to work out solutions to complex issues that have become more permanent.  Whatever the case may be, there are a lot of these obstacles and they can be cumbersome to negotiate around at times.  That is why it nice to find out there are doorways and gateways to allow for passage between and amongst these divided zones.

Sure, a way past an obstacle can be nice and very welcome, especially in a moment of frustration or panic when timing (an especially challenging variable in my personal sphere of influence) is of the essence and the need to be able to bypass any unnecessary obstacle to maintain a course is of utmost importance.  However fool’s gold can be just that and reaching out for that shiny rock on the bottom of a river can cost more than time or energy.  An awfully tempting short cut can leave a person in dire straits with little or no help to come along for some time. Taking the wrong pathway into situations one is unprepared for or unaware of can create a lot of chaos in a world already dependent on being regulated and contain at many different levels, which is why most gates have a regulatory function built into how they operate.

Gates in the physical world can be a pain to deal with at times.  The nice thing about these gates is they usually come with instructions and warnings on them.  There are those gates in the non-physical sense such as mental and emotional levels that come with little to no warning or even acknowledgment of their existence without training and even still it can be worse to negotiate than the Maze of the Minotaur.

Caution: Gate Opens Inward

One of my favorite warnings is: CAUTION: GATE OPENS INWARD.  This warning always makes me smile, not just because the thought of some jerk in a rush running headlong into an iron gate and getting his head rung seems to be funny to me on a bad day,  but also because it makes me pause for a moment.  Few things in the world grab the full attention of my thoughts, not my random unconscious reactions from the reptilian or mammalian brain centers, but my actual human thoughts.  It is the external notification of an inward opening and the levels of caution necessary in such an event.  In other words, here is a reminder in the physical world communicating to me through the visual fabric of manifestation that I need remain vigilant in my internal explorations and development.  There are several barriers that have become unregulated and need to be repaired as well as protected.  What good is the security measures that have been set up when in passing through a gate something unwelcome or detrimental is let in and what’s worse what if it goes unnoticed?

This is a scenario I have come face to face with on more than one occasion, and it is never easy to explain or fix.  The reflection of how these portals, doorways, gates or whatever name people may come up with for these check points may be operate on different levels of understanding and knowledge is also worth considering.  Generally speaking people grow up and spend much of their early years developing awareness of surroundings including people.  Who is safe to talk to, who can be trusted to take me home or give a hug to?  Where is the safest place to be when something is happening?  Who should be avoided to stay out of trouble?  These are all examples of the many different aspects of safety regulation that most people start out with learning and build from there.

Fear

Sadly much of this understanding stops expanding at a certain age and fear is enacted as a safety net.  People become unsure of others in an unhealthy way and start to shun and push away others who are deemed different for reasons other than genuine safety and protection.  Eventfully a level of ignorance becomes the social norm amongst different pockets of a population and people stop maintaining any semblance of vigilance as long as they have their close knit circle and any outsiders that may look or sound or think differently are far away and pose no seeable threat.  People stop paying attention to or following up on major changes in the world and stop continuing to learn and grow until they become stagnate and bored, just as I was pointing out in my last article with help from The Boss, Rev. Strickler, when I found myself in such a place.

When people are in this state of mind, there is no one awake at the gate standing guard.  It is at these times that anything can happen.  Any security professional from patrol to gate guard to information technology can tell you that there is no such thing as a one hundred percent secure environment.  There are always exploitable points with in any system and where ever you have a human being you have a chance for an exploitable advantage if you know how manipulate.  Just as major corporations and the special interest groups or individuals behind the faces of big name companies have spent time and resources learning and practicing to slip through the cracks of awareness; one day people are looking at each other asking, “How did we get to this point where things are so out of control?”

The different mystical traditions from around the world and through the ages are full of these check points and gates that regulate who and what may pass in and out of an area at any time.  If only people were as self-aware and consider choices and actions just as much as a simple warning on a gate or door, taking the time to make sure no one gets smacked in the face with an unknown variable. It can be as simple as finding a shut off notice from the power company because the choice to save ten dollars on a new digital whatever while it was on sale seemed like a good idea, when in fact it would have been wiser to have waited two days and pay the ten extra dollars because the electricity payment could bounce and payday is tomorrow; spending extra money can wait.

I can recall having these seemingly ridiculous scenarios pop up just like this one in my early twenties as I would attempt to play the game of Beat the Bank, a term and discussion that came up much with Rev. Strickler in the past.  It was his words, “Beat the Bank” that eventually helped my mind to refocus from the mindset of a kid running to the comic book store with his allowance to that of a grown up with a paycheck and bills to pay.  A juvenile mentality that I find at play still from time to time as I work on regulating and restructuring my own pathways and gates to maintain and protect necessary areas with in my mind.

Warning: This Is Going To Hurt

Now I have to question myself, why am I being warned so eminently by the Universe literally giving me a sign that saying: “CAUTION YOU MAY GET HIT BY SOMETHING HERE.”  I have been working for a long time to overcome my own negative barriers and establish proper boundaries, to learn to regulate what and whom I allow access to in my life, both coming and going.  In this time I have been aided and taught by what can only be described as the most patient and compassionate human being ever known, Rev. David Strickler, without whom I never would have realized what was happening let alone what to do about it.

Someday I will be standing in front of a gate that I need to pass and I know I will be completely alone in this task.  I know this because I have been through situations and discussions and many warnings in preparation for this.  My goal is to be aware enough and to be ready to pass the gate, overcoming my past shortcomings, and to be accepted by the Higher Self into those levels that would allow me to better regulate in order to not only be better prepared, but to aid those along the way who still keep running headlong into variables of iron and chaos.

Wishing you the awareness to see and understand the sign upon the gate, and the good fortune for it not to read: WARNING – THIS IS GOING TO HURT.

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

 

— the End of October 2016 Spiritual Climate Newsletter —

you know you want to do it:

SPIRITUAL CLIMATE NEWSLETTER – Editors Intro – July 2016

Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

Is Proud to Present Its Social & Spiritual Commentaries:

SPIRITUAL CLIMATE NEWSLETTER

 from the Desk of Spiritual Climate’s Editor:  July 2016

New! Updated on August 9, 2016 — Our Endorsement

Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC endorses Hillary Clinton

2015 Institute of Spiritual Climate LLCDear Ms. Clinton, We the People, standing here of Spiritual Climate Newsletter, wish to congratulate you on being the first woman candidate (its about damn time) of a major party in the USA — We the People Standing here of Spiritual Climate Newsletter, having done due diligence with both Republican, Democratic and Independent candidates with online information and the recent conventions, AND being continued supporters for Bernie’s ongoing Political Revolution against Neoliberalism, Oligarchs and the Beltway Media who protects the Oligarchs; Together We stand proudly to announce our unanimous support Hillary Clinton for President of the United States of America especially after having heard the extensive lifetime of Ms. Clinton’s public service, her ceaseless fight for children, people with disabilities (our experience with Rev. Strickler being a disabled adult) and her vivid, strong voice in the war against Human Trafficking-slavery as presented in her bio AND her clarity on issues.

Hillary Clinton for President

Spiritual Climate Newsletter Editorial
last updated, July 29, 2016

Welcome to the Summer Edition of The Spiritual Climate Newsletter, brought to you from the convection oven commonly referred to as Phoenix AZ.  Reflecting what is happening globally in the political arena in Europe, the resulting financial instability, the insanity of Trump vs Clinton, the unprecedented sit in staged by the Democratic party, and the violence of increased mass shootings, the weather in Phoenix at the time of the Summer Solstice is hot, hot, hot!  High temperature records have been broken,1 and continue to be threatened, as residents run between air conditioned homes to air conditioned cars to air conditioned stores and places of employment panting from being outside for the brief moments of transition.

As Phoenicians know only too well, the radiation and emanation of the extreme rays can be felt even while inside, creating a constant pressure, sense of heaviness and physical lethargy, similar to the climate of the happenings outside of Phoenix.  One can only try to imagine how our ancestors possibly endured the oppressive heat without our modern conveniences.  In so many ways, this too is a reflection of how we have become a weakened, angry, technologically dependent society.

Folks world wide in general are feeling the pressure of the heat of the chaos of confusion driven by not only global events, but also the fallout of local and personal events.  As pointed out in Dr. Strickler’s previous article, the electromagnetic emanations from Maximum2 3 period of the Sun are affecting as well, since the last 500 years can be seen weakening Earth’s magnetic field and an increase in cosmic rays.  So there is something indicating an influence on mankind’s endocrine system with electromagnetic Solar force strongly ‘pinging’ earth’s electromagnetic shell producing challenging changes in mankind’s pituitary glands likely contributing to behavioral extremes we are experiencing on our beautiful planet earth and an as of yet unexplained effect, here in our earth’s climate.  Combine the above elements, and it is no wonder that we find the dichotomy of extremes manifesting from the gestalt consensus given expression in our political presidential nominees here in the already great United States.

Our choices have been narrowed down to Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party in contention with Donald Trump of the Republican Party.  A warning Dr. Strickler has vocalized is the poignant Neo-Fascism expressed and represented by Donald Trump and the Enablers of American Authoritarianism, resulting from to the overuse of Neoliberal policies locally and globally, from the right and left for over 30 years.  Speaking as editor, I, for one, am genuinely looking forward to the debates!  Remarkable person fighting for real issues, established, experienced political philosophy embodied in a woman vs an abrasive business man in a self centered universe with no political experience shouting words that the angry people want to hear with no real plan as to how to execute them.  This should be a show.

The United States is facing the very real choice of more of the past or the possibility of total chaos; a representation of the two extremes of political views. Where is the middle ground, the middle path?  As appears the case in all of the events happening, there is no middle ground  found apparent at this point in time.  We are living in an era of contrived extremes and engineered imbalance, and this is manifesting throughout the entire world.

Extreme choices are being made globally.  Fed up with the status quo, the UK has voted to withdraw from the European Union and their adherence to Austrian Economic Mythology — economic phantasmagoria.  The repercussions of this choice have already been reflected by economic instability world wide and second thoughts being echoed by the people of the countries who voted to withdraw.  Uncertainty, instability and discontent is rampant.  The European Union was created to protect those small, close, interconnected, both economically and socially, countries from turning against each other following the World Wars.  The dissolution of that pact is yet another indication of the well deserved crumbling of Neoliberalism4, moving into the uncertainty of a new way; whether or not that new way will be a positive step or a step backwards remains to be seen, but is so indicative of the seeking of change that permeates our current civilization.

Most disturbing is the increase in mass shootings, which the Congress refuses to begin to act upon by making any changes in gun regulation or the ease of purchase and availability of ammunition and high power weapons.  One of the most moving, inspiring acts to be witnessed as of late was the Democrats’ staging of a sit in within the House to protest the lack of any movement being made towards some reasonable reformation of our laws regulating weapons.  As they sang “We Shall Overcome”, memories of past protests flooded in, along with recollections of that which the United States of America stands for and represents.   Chants of “No Bill, No Break filled the air, and later, the well known, fondly remembered song was sung outside of the Chambers with the multitude of supporters who had come to show their solidarity.  The Break came and went without resolution or action, but for a brief moment, the Spirit of our already great nation stood up and shouted “Look at me!  Hear me!  I am still here!”

— the Editors, Spiritual Climate Newsletter —

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

  1. Holland, Catherine. “110-Degree Days in Phoenix – Azfamily.com 3TV | Phoenix Breaking News, Weather, Sport.” News. Azfamily.com, August 18, 2016. http://www.azfamily.com/story/32503545/110-degree-days-in-phoenix.

    Over-110°F+in-Phoenix[]

  2. The idea of a Modern Maximum has now been thrown into question with the release of a paper at the International Astronomical Union General Assembly.  Clette, Frédéric, Leif Svalgaard, Ed Cliver, and Lars Lindberg Christensen. “Corrected Sunspot History Suggests Climate Change since the Industrial Revolution Not due to Natural Solar Trends | Press Releases | IAU.” Astronomical. International Astronomical Union, August 7, 2015. http://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau1508/.[]
  3. We are entering a Solar Minimum.  “SUNSPOTS VANISHING, AGAIN.” Science. Spaceweather.com Time Machine. Accessed July 27, 2016. http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=23&month=06&year=2016. []
  4. NEOLIBERALISM: The philosophy that public ownership and regulation is inherently less efficient than management by financial operators. The policy conclusion is that the public domain and government enterprises should be privatized and the sales proceeds used to roll back taxes on the highest wealth and income brackets. Unlike the liberalism of Adam Smith and subsequent free-trade economists, neoliberalism endorses an intrusive role of government to protect property and financial fortunes without regard to long-term tendency for the exponential growth of debt to exceed and indeed undercut the economy’s ability to pay. (See Internal Contradiction, Junk Science, Neoconservatives and Social Market.) ~Michael Hudson; the Economic Insiders Dictionary http://michael-hudson.com/2014/01/n-is-for-neo-serfdom-o-is-for-offshore-banking/[]
you know you want to do it:

Prayer is Not Asking for Something

by Rev. David Strickler

last updated July 28, 2016

Early one afternoon during my ‘give the eyes a computer break,’ I listened to a conversation in which two people were discussing prayer, somewhere a week or more  back.  Their discussion centered around one or both stating that prayer was asking for something.  My reaction surprised me, although it was not out of place in a world, empty and devoid of genuine understanding in a world where, words are constructed and defined from the building blocks of meaningless language as English, especially prayer.

Anyway, I was struck at the myopic understanding of the concept and how a truer meaning of the concept was being destroyed by the dance of personality-egos attempting to communicate with each other on such a profound topic.

Prayer is not asking for something, far from it; although prayer can be used to ask for ‘something’.  If the standard definition of prayer is not ‘asking for something’ then what is prayer and more importantly, what is the meaning of prayer and/or what is prayer used towards?  Is prayer a tool?

Almost without fail, when I talk or speak about prayer, a memory of movie from 1971 almost portrays a resemblance of prayer:  Fiddler on the Roof.  Almost certainly, if you watch the movie, you will likely get an idea of what one side of prayer might look and sound like.

To Whom or with what am I having a Dialogue?

Many people believe that they are talking/praying to no-one or that they are just having a conversation with themselves.  If a person’s illusion of separateness is allowed to go on unchallenged, an illusion of isolation is created as a subconscious response to the [erroneous] premise, observation and/or hypothesis.  A subjective experience a person is praying to no-one, or at the very least, just talking to themselves.  Here is where our mental constructs may make us or break us.  At the very least, we may come to know limitations we are experiencing due to mental constructs or coping with whatever limitations we as a soul may be experiencing of our body’s unawakened nervous system to the invisible.

With the devolution of mankind1 2 came loss of greater interior capabilities, a stunting or retreat of greater abilities within the physical human perceptual organism.  Prior to this shift, an ability to access to higher abilities temporarily free humanity from the delusion of duality, provided the method of access was taught.

Some oral traditions appear to point a finger in a direction that access to higher functions (i.e., in oral traditions, the higher interior hearing function, Wernicke’s area) corresponding areas of the neuropathways in human brain that were ‘stripped down’ (gone dormant) to a basic model.  This latter is part of a greater model that I teach.  Some of the loss of ability to communicate directly to Spirit designated above, came, I hypothesis, as a result of mankind’s development and advancement of necessary tools to assist physical civilization; our technology has become of sorts, a Tower of Babel.  This contributes to the illusion of separateness and the fear in individuals established by a conflated illusion of personal autonomy rejecting interdependence of human beings — inability to hear the speaking of Higher Spirit.

With the increasing of awareness of our personal self, provided by the sentence and acceptance of the illusion of separateness provided by generic humanities subconsciousness response to the ‘fall’, our awareness and attention to our greater self as soul emerging from purpose in the primal-will-to-good within the realm of Higher Spirit, generic humanity3 lost ‘sight’ and the ability to speak in a valid communication inside of a Reality that became diminished after what some refer to as the ‘primeval deviation’.  Or what the simple level of interpretation of Christianity refers to as ‘Adam and Eve lost the ability speak directly with God’.

So, if you are a person who has untied part of the illusion that you are just your body, then perhaps the power of prayer is releasing you as Soul from its flesh confusion.  Perhaps for some it may be to just invoke the hidden, latent and unused possibilities of your personality that prayer may release within your organism and mind.  This could provide a beginning platform to enable awareness of you as a Soul using a biological electro-chemical body for experience in this material world.

Then again, perhaps you should start with the statement I give to everyone that we did not give birth to ‘ourselves’ whether that be body or soul.  How can we remember anything prior to our birth when the elementary aspects of memory are not incorporated into the initial burst of energy the promotes the development of the fetus? It is interesting to note that memory does not develop in the human fetus until about approximately 30 weeks:  this is thirty weeks AFTER the Soul orders a human body at the production line and then 9 months later takes possession of the human body at the infant’s  first breath.

What is Prayer?

Pure and simply speaking, Prayer is a Dialogue, a dialogue about your favorite topic – You – the current state of your consciousness viewed through the filters of the Flesh.  Prayer is another chance to exercise self-honesty, to square off with our shortcomings and accept the negativity of our lies and rationalizations.  This is the most important Dialogue that you can establish in this lifetime other than learning how to listen to conscience and ‘other’.  This is a dialogue that if repeated, creates a flow like an opening the closed windows of a house in order to provide air circulation to relieve the stale air of confinement.  Sometimes, what is mistakenly taken to mean a dialogue, are thought conversations taking place between different areas of your brain as for example, “I am hot;” in reality you are not hot, your body is and the area of the brain that monitors temperature is relaying information via your “I-dentification.”   Remember, you are a Soul that uses a biological body as a spacesuit—it has built in feedback sensors.

Prayer is also a means to bring one’s desire nature into proper management.  Attention is brought to some perceived lacking in one’s ability whether or not that ability is physical, emotional or some other type of lacking comprehension recognized needed in order to move forward instead of feeling stuck within the temporary limitations represented by our body, emotions, intellect or mind.

Prayer can also be a means to enhance awareness of our personality when we come face to face with our own shortcomings and how the inequality those shortcomings produce an imposition on others if we are in a state of unbalance.  We may then pray that others forgive us as we overcome the shortcomings in our personalities comprehension or projected, inadequate and equivocated opinions prevent good-ness for other human beings to acquire around us or produce the response of alienation in our environment.  It is in those moments that we pray to undo something misunderstood, or to ask forgiveness for being so short sighted or selfish-centered.

Intercession and Prayer.

There can be times within anyone’s life where there are appearances of conditions that can overwhelm anyone.  This can range from a cumulative fatigue of a longstanding experience of negative conditions.  There are humorous jokes that convey this idea.  My favorite and actually asked of me one day, “When did you piss in God’s Wheaties?”  Difficulties can get more than steamed up inside the growing personality when in fact that personality is being ‘pressure tested’ by what some call their higher/greater self, or by some angel representing God.  Some people seek an intercessor to intercede for them to assist resolution with whatever the problem is so that relief can be had before some type of breaking point occurs, whether that breaking point be in the fragile physical, fragile psychological, fragile emotional, fragile intellectual or some mixture of all of the above said.

Prayer is where we pause and begin an intercession process in our personal events that appear to be emerging on our event horizon.  Take for example, some3one throws a ball toward a wall without second thought until the ball appears to boomerang into a direction out of our current position of control.  Intercession can be at times, running to get the ball whose trajectory is outside of what we anticipated.  On a larger scale, sometimes a person’s view is too limited to the boundaries of their literacy in ANYTHING.  A person can easily lose a ‘sense of direction or accomplishment’ from standing within their own limited literacy of comprehension and understanding, Here, the pause can be used to alert our organism we are operating through for greater assistance and unused latencies that reside within us so we can come to know otherwise.

Will, Choice and Prayer

This is often overlooked, the use of free will in order to choose.  As Soul our physical space suite may have certain limitations due to its function in the material plane.  As soul there are less limitations to the scientific fallacy of communication at a distance.  There is no distance to overcome, the only difficulty is in making an open willingness to choose communication with what some term our ‘Higher Self’ or what I teach as our greater self.  Soul is the connection to and part of this greater self, similarly, just as ‘you’ represent the constituents in the universe of your body.  The use of free will is the first step in transcending the whole mess of limitations inherent within the mundane world.

Our motif about Will should come under scrutiny by first realizing that we do not create free will, it is given freely for us for use, with some wisdom one might hope.  This would be the first step in aligning with the true Primal-Will-to-Good that creates and sustains any universes.  If we are undamaged, we understand the enjoyment of Good-ness, the experience of Good-ness.  If our personality is not operating in this vein or characteristic then our forms of petition in prayer might be nothing more than a festering of narcissism, fueled drunken gluttony, which can be a fair appraisal of an easily acquired symptom when running amok in a society whose god becomes consumerism, technology and Daddy-Mommy corporations.

Will and Choice is also a ‘call to action.’  Many times, we may be facing a choice, especially when there may not be an apparent answer to the prayer.  There may be additional ‘leg work’ involved as a part of the answer to a prayer.  Often this involves activating a possibility from any personal resources, that would include a public plea for assistance when to a person’s panicked view it appears there are one.  Maybe we haven’t exhausted all personal resources yet as is the case with personal disability that has genuine medical merit, maybe an attorney is needed to assist and then a phone call need be made in order to activate that possibility.  The infamous network network network ad-nauseum can come into play here.  If you didn’t get that job as a Nanny, maybe you need to ask the laqst person you interviewed with for a Nanny to see if they could possibly recommend you to another if they hear of the need.

Our lives are INEXTRICABLY linked together as an individual cell with the body of sleeping Adam (who was never awoken from the sleep).  Whether you accept this or not is immaterial, after you die you will discover the truth.  Sometimes we must act on some type of choice that we have considered the consequences of the chosen action to the best of our contemplation and consideration.  We are responsible for part of what is generated by our use of freely given use of Free-Will.

Prayer and Desire.

You will have a dialogue with whomever you believe you are having a dialogue with based on; how your personality uses the desire energy available to it.  When we find some aspects of our experience to be underwhelming, our pool of desire can be interrogated to discover if we actually wanted such an underwhelming outcome.  Maybe our limits of literacy co-created, incorporated too low of an expectation in an experience we sought for ourselves.  We can then pray to have insight, solvability and right action to adjust the pattern were put into motion.

Sometimes it is not the case and there appears to be an opposite of what we desired, continually negative.  To seek intercession for something that appears to be out of the orbit of our experience to that we may correct what might be called a negative anomaly amplified within some circuit or aspect of our personality. Perhaps a person is unable to communicate effectively with others which if understood can use free will to choose a corrected of actions with choices toward self-esteem, courses in listening, or by simply paying attention to something outside our internal universe.  In this fashion the energy of desire can be brought into further use and balance by active management of the desire energy.

Misconceptions about Prayer.

So prayer isn’t a tool of just asking for something.  Prayer is not God’s cosmic vending machine to pop out pain killers or super-happy-day uppers like Pez candies to prevent you from drowning the shallow depths of your puddle perception.  On the contrary, prayer is a tool of cultivation which may not bear any short term gratification.  It’s a cultivation to expand our ability to communicate, discuss and dialogue with greater and less dense realms of human consciousness; the living presence of Spirit.  Some people call this ‘talking with God” I call this having a conversation with The Self, the Source Self; Source Being; Source Consciousness.  While asking for something is might be a fine example of a description coming from within the ravages of the religion of consumerism, I do not consider that a description of prayer.  Such a description, if it were to be accepted, would be a debasement, a blasphemy of the integrity representing the Spirit of what true prayer WAS, IS and SHALL BE tool used for the path of return, a tool used for the Daath of Soul to reconnect into the evolution of consciousness in order to transcend the material world of time and space.

Another misconception about prayer presented is the practice of praying.  I really disregard much that is spoken about ‘how to pray’ in broadcasting circles of commercialized Christianity.  My model is simple; speak simply about your concerns or misgivings especially about yourself and your situations.  That is one tough cookie to bite into.  Why?  Many personalities refuse to square off with the facts in some feigned act of positive thinking and acting like it’s a ‘super-sparkly day.‘ Or where people speak of the agonizing frustrations in their life with themselves, or others, as if it be a true pain.  Whereas if they were truthful, they wouldn’t be trying to pull the wool over the eyes of their greater consciousness which can see through such childish complaints.  Second, speak your facts out loud if possible, by yourself, so that you can hear the sound and tone of your unspoken thoughts which usually do not get aired from you head:  hear what those thoughts sound like.  Third and finally, have respect, not for the imaginary spaghetti monster in the sky, but to the principle of the Eternal which lent you some Life power, a gift of IT’S portion of power to explore, to have respect for the true source of that which constituted the gift of your nonphysical life.

A greater misconception held by people about prayer is it’s a one-way street.  This may be true if you are only a one way person, a person who has to have things Their Way.  If your personality temperament is such, you’ll likely get the feeling of talking to a wall (representing You), getting no response, the you that gives no response to others unless it is your way.  Prayer doesn’t support these types of delusions within a conflated personality, the portion of your ego-personality that is unbending to any existence of life outside the non-material universe called time and space.  The irony is, that a relationship with our greater self as being a soul speaking with Spirit is a cultivated relationship.  Cultivated because the inborn boundaries established by our flesh, derived from the material earth plane.  bring about a false conclusion that praying is a waste of time.

What Prayer Is NOT.

Prayer is also NOT a state of consciousness that can be invoked through some digital technology.  As wonderful and useful as digital technology can be, you cannot digital-ize or text your way to this state of consciousness, on the contrary, it is developed outside the use of the digital domain and requires a part of the brain that is not attached to such digital devices.  And as I said earlier, it is not something that can be purchased off the electronic vending shelf of immediate gratification-consumerism.  Some things take repeated immersion to bring adjustment in bent areas of the human personality, whether you want to accept it or not.

Prayer is also not an ordinary activity in your consciousness even though your life is maintained by the Eternal, endlessly meditating upon and sustaining all existence of which you are a meditated part of.  Prayer is also not an escape from activity that a person might find redundant or distasteful.

We should also not pray for any specific characteristic that we think we need more of such as patience or strength.  You may find your life in situations that demand more strength than your immediate ability to produce or cope with because that is what you asked for, more strength.  Just like patience, pray for more patience and you will find yourself in situations trying your patience, the more patience you want the more turmoil you require in order to test your level of patience.

This particular state of awareness developed by dialogue of prayer can be developed, just as handwriting can assist in coming to realize a flow because of the fine motor control that is needed which establishes a form of concentration.  It can be developed, just as working with a Sacred language whose letter you are inscribing has a noun and number entwined to reflect a characteristic of consciousness and cosmic energy and means so much more than just a meaningless vowel or consonant sound attached to a letter sterile of anything called English.

The awareness I am pointing toward is more nuanced and less easily distinguished (for some) and recognized thought-banter spoken of above; it is a cultivation of a repeated and intentional (volitional act) of dipping into a flow that already exists that requires use of neural pathways that may be unused and latent in the flesh.

This Dialogue can be visualized as a conversation between you and ‘God’, but is more likely to establish a dialogue between your erroneous material construct and your Soul.  This Dialogue initiates an equilibrated flow of your consciousness between you as Soul and your incarnate illusion/ego of a separate self.  The small self is differentiated, only appearing to itself to be separate.

Prayer is at often the heart of an event in the human condition, especially when the prayer is prompted by the appearance of an event that stirs questioning, true questions.  It indeed appears some people only resort to praying in dire circumstances, almost as if an invocation emerges out of the deep dark levels of humanities instinctual nature, an instinctive response to events of joy, gratitude, or pains and sorrows.

If you have found your way with the noticeably sublime help from something greater than your perception of yourself, then perhaps you have worked your way from the P’shat, פְּשָׁטexplored the Remez, רֶמֶזpursued the inquiry of Derash, דְּרַשׁ , and have experienced a profound touch by a glimpse of the Ruach Ha Qodesh, רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ , the secret mystery embodied in Sod, סוֹד . 

Sombrero Galaxy

Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC

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  1. “If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? | DiscoverMagazine.com.” Discover Magazine, September 2010. http://discovermagazine.com/2010/sep/25-modern-humans-smart-why-brain-shrinking.[]
  2. Devolution, as taught by my oral tradition, occurred approximately over 6,000 years ago,  434,000 years after mankind’s Soul on earth was able to have communication with Higher levels of Spirit; able to communicate, have discussion, dialogue (pictorial and then speech).[]
  3. Mowczko, Marg. “Human (Ha’adam), Man (Ish) and Woman (Ishshah) in Genesis 2.” New Life, December 5, 2013. http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/human-man-woman-genesis-2/.[]
you know you want to do it: