Ed Snowden documentary – citizenfour

Oliver Stone’s fictional version of Edward Snowden’s story is about to come to a theatre near you.

Here’s the original genuine documentary, citizenfour, filmed in real time, as the filmmaker Laura Poitras meets with Snowden in Hong Kong. It’s a real-life thriller (with no bloodshed or gunshots, etc). It’s way more scary and inspiring than that. If you didn’t see it when it came out in the theatre, you can watch it now. If you did see it then, now you can watch it again.

When I saw it on opening night, I was the only one in the theatre! Unbelievable, but true!

 

http://documentary-movie.com/citizenfour/

 

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Clarifying the depth of the Mind

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1.  …from “The Fulfilment of Psychology” (1963),

by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (c1917-2008)

Transcendental Meditation directly elevates the consciousness and thereby not only strengthens the mind of the individual but also enables her to use her full potential, making her more effective and more powerful, peaceful, happy and creative.

This technique for gaining transcendental consciousness brings to a conscious level the subtle levels of thought. In this way the whole process of thought comes within the range of the conscious mind. The conscious capacity of the mind increases to its fullest scope. This is how it is possible to enable an individual to rise to her full mental potential in both thought and action.

When the mind becomes familiar with the deeper levels of the thought process it becomes aware of the subtle levels of creation. And when the mind becomes familiar with the subtle regions of creation, the ability is gained to stimulate those regions to every advantage. This amounts to unfolding the latent faculties of the mind.

This unfoldment of latent faculties can be clarified by an example. When a person dives into a pond she passes through the surface levels of water to the deeper levels, reaches the bottom and then comes up. A second and a third dive will take her through all the levels of the water in the same way. The practice of diving makes  the diver familiar with all the levels of the water and, as familiarity with the deeper levels grows, the diver is able to remain longer at the bottom of the pool. When she is able to remain at the bottom for some time, with increased practice she can acquire the ability to move around at any level of the pond at will.

This is the result of gaining familiarity with the deep levels of water. With a little more practice she can make herself comfortable at any level and be active there so as to produce a desired activity on the surface of the pond. Eventually it will be possible for her to stay comfortably at any level and to produce a desired activity anywhere she chooses in the pond. When this ability is acquired, the diver becomes master of the pond.

When the mind becomes familiar with the deeper levels of consciousness it gains the ability to work from any subtle or gross level of consciousness. Then it is able to stimulate any stratum of creation for any desired advantage. This opens the door to the mastery of creation….

His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1963

Lake-Louise-a

 

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2. from A Song to Introduce the Unmistaken View of the Great Perfection”

by Khenpo Gangshar Wangpo (1925-c1981)

…Let your mind settle, loose and relaxed, like a woolen blanket spread out on the ground…

…Resting in the utter brilliance that is the space beyond thought, which may be likened to a cloudless sky, you will experience unimpeded translucence like a faultless crystal.

This is none other than the view of the ultimate, the luminous Great Perfection. Resting in equipoise within the pure luminosity, vividly clear like the sky, dullness and agitation are naturally voided and do not arise anew – a faultless, brilliantly clear non-conceptual meditation. When thought arises, be it good or bad, it is recognized for what it is and will not disturb. Focus upon this method and view your genuine nature; effortless, it arises by relaxing into the expanse, and thoughts are pacified on their own ground.

When you are able to practice for longer periods, it can be like, for example, when muddy water is stirred up and then allowed to settle – the innate lucidity of the water becomes clearer. Similarly, when myriad appearances arise and are realized to be like reflections, they cause the natural clarity of mind itself to become ever clearer. This in turn leads to the effortless arising of various qualities, such as the various types of clairvoyance and so on.

…As for myself, a yogin, this is my practice, and I have no greater meditation instruction to offer you.

You may analyze meticulously, but when a wind blows it naturally disperses the clouds and the sky can be seen. Endeavour to see empty clarity, mind itself, in the same way – there is nothing greater than this understanding. If you don’t stir up the silt, the water will remain clear; as such, don’t analyze. Simply rest without contrivance and you will come to see the emptiness of mind itself. There is nothing greater to see than this!

There are many views, but that of the emptiness of mind itself, devoid of all grasping, is the unmistaken view of the Great Perfection. When death comes to yogis of this method they are able to seize the clear light of death.

Hearing about it is beneficial, but I pray the actual experience of clear light will become evident.

Written by the old ignoramus, Gangshar Wangpo. May it prove meaningful!

Translated by Sean Price, 2015

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/khenpo-gangshar/song-to-introduce-unmistaken-view

 

 

jane lost horizon

Jane Wyatt as Sondra of Shangri-La, in Lost Horizon (1937),

after diving & swimming in the lake, having mastered the yoga siddhis (“adept perfections”) of perpetual youth, unconditional loving-kindness, universal compassion, & selfless clairvoyance

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Sondra & Conway falling in love

Nun of the above…

Been thinking about nuns today. For various reasons. Happen to know a few. Always have. They’ve played important roles in my life at times throughout the years. Beginning right at the beginning: Nuns assisted at my birth (in a Catholic hospital, founded & run by nuns, though my family was not Christian).

I’ve known lots of Christian nuns – Catholic, Anglican, & Orthodox nuns, – but many more Hindu and Buddhist nuns, and two or three Daoist nuns. Some others that don’t really “belong” to any one particular tradition. Whatcha might call “indie” nuns.

I’ve always loved nuns. Some of my dearest friends have been nuns. Some of my dearest teachers have been nuns. Some of my flatmates in grad school were nuns. Two or three of my least realistic secret crushes have been nuns, and even one or two of my fondest former girlfriends previously had been, or subsequently became, nuns (don’t draw any undue conclusions!).

My wonderful late wife had wanted as a child and young teen to become a nun, but later fulfilled that desire through engaging in extensive contemplative spiritual practice and teaching, becoming an Ayurvedic natural health care provider, undertaking long meditation retreats, and through our years of partnered living together as yogis of an occasional temporary semi-hermit lifestyle.

Love is a crazy thing.

Curiously (to me!), many of my family’s women ancestors were Christian nuns — most of these of course were indirect, or co-lateral, ancestors, ie ancestral aunties. Celibate, maiden, virgin aunties for the most part. But also several of my direct ancestral grandmothers were nuns also — before &/or after spending some time as married family women, of course. Past generational moms, grannies, without whom I would not have this present body through which to live, would not be the same stardust-embodied earthy Earthly critter I am today.

Human life is strange.

It was fairly common in old European Christendom (before, during, & somewhat after the Middle Ages), for many widowed moms and grandmas to “take the veil” as nuns & retire to life in a convent, anchoress cell, or hermit’s cave. Even married couples fairly often would decide at some point to separate & mutually become monastics, or simply remain in their ordinary householder station, but take vows of celibacy together. This was more often in their mature years, after their children were born & grown, but sometimes also quite early in life, perhaps instead of having children.

Aspects of this tradition closely parallel the ancient Vedic-Hindu ideal (perhaps infrequently achieved) of the four stages (ashramas) of life: celibate semi-monastic student bachelor life in disciplic household service to a spiritual teacher & his family til about age 20 or 25; professional & married partnered & parenting householder life til about age 40 or 50 (“or when the first grey hairs start to appear”); retired semi-monastic life in the forest as a reclusive contemplative (and possibly teaching) couple, or (more rarely) single practitioner, til the age of about 60 or 75; and finally, fully renunciate life as an itinerant sannyasi(ni) swami(ni) either alone, or (more rarely) together as a celibate couple.

Religious history is full of all sorts of curious details.

This practice of “celibate marriage,” &/or retirement to monastic life by both married partners or by widowed singles is still sometimes found in traditional old-fashioned Catholic families, though only very, very rarely nowadays. (Somewhat less rare among traditional Hindus, Daoists, & Buddhists).

In fact, there are relatively very, very few Catholic nuns or monks left anywhere these days in the U.S. There are still young single Catholic women newly becoming nuns in parts of Asia, Africa, & Latin America, but extremely few in the U.S. A few of the now mature, older, seasoned American nuns from the 1960s & before are still with us, some still kickin up a lot of needed fuss and dust about peace & social justice issues in America and the world (eg “Nuns on the Bus”! – go check those sisters out!). In my childhood & youth there were plenty of young, middle aged, and elderly Catholic nuns in the U.S. (And in those days several orders accepted provisional postulants or novices from the age of 16 or even 14, so-called “hot-house nuns” – raised under the protective convent roof).

But the changes in the 1960s ended much of that. The number of nuns in the US dropped off steeply, in spite of (or perhaps in part because of) superficial public interest in nun-related things, like the international chart-topping “one hit wonder” French language pop song “Dominique” written and recorded by “The Singing Nun” (at the time an actual Dominican nun from Belgium – she later came to a tragic end), and the popular ridiculously silly but fun U.S. TV sit-com “The Flying Nun.” And also in spite of the frequent visible TV news presence of nuns courageously taking part in the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War protest & peace movement & the United Farm Workers grape boycott protest movement, etc.  The Vatican Two reforms of the 1960s, while modernizing much of Catholic life, left mandatory celibacy in place for (most) Catholic priests, and in that same decade probably over half the U.S. priests (at least) gave up their active vocations & most who did leave eventually married. Many nuns also left their orders and most of those married soon as well, often to former priests or former monks.

Modern church history is full of all sorts of curious details.

Back to my family tree: Counting both my mom’s & my dad’s ancestral lines, there are over a hundred recorded historical grandparents of mine who are canonized Christian saints (going right back to the first Christian century), and an additional 900+ co-lateral ancestors (aunts & uncles or cousins) who are also canonized Christian saints. In some married cases, both spouses were canonized, sometimes only one. Many of the women in each of these groups (ie sainted ancestral grannies of mine, & sainted ancestral aunties of mine) were nuns, at least for some portion of their lives. I never bothered to count how many. I should. I’d guess about half the Christian saints in my tree are women (~500+), and perhaps two-thirds of those were nuns. So the total number of women saints in my ancestral tree who were nuns during at least part of their lives is probably around 340. Something like that.

Family trees are full of all sorts of curious unexpected historical details.

I mention all of these ancestral details not to be bragging – for quite obviously I certainly had nothing to do with any of it (ha!), but rather out of real gratitude and some amazement. While I’m convinced that I continue to receive daily blessings from the well-earned spiritual karmic/dharmic merit & holiness of my saintly ancestors, the beneficent legacy & shining example of their attainments has certainly not made me an enlightened saint! Nowhere close, as yet, anyway.

I believe holiness (permanently actualized integrated natural wholeness, integrity), enlightenment, is something one attains from within oneself—the fully awakening unfoldment of the Self to the Self by the Self. That is, Self-liberation, Self-realization, Self-actualization, in its deepest, highest sense.

But of course this is attained also with the blessings & support of countless other beings, including those who do us the smallest kindness or provide us with the most basic mundane services. But especially including also the already enlightened, holy beings. Especially living saints, & most especially enlightened personal teachers, with whom one may have actual significant & sustained personal contact. But also even past historical (“ascended”) saints with whom one may have an inner personal affinity and attunement. We are all “surrounded by a cloud” of known and unknown, visible and “invisible” helpers, to be sure. But a saint’s own holiness is not passed on, or at least I would think not much is, simply through family blood heredity! If only it was that simple!

No one else’s direct experience of fully actualizing and naturally living his or her own Self-nature can possibly substitute for one’s own direct experience of living one’s own fully natural, permanently stabilized optimal Self-nature, one’s own fully unfolded, spontaneously self-perpetual wholeness of consciousness.

“Each person has to rise to this level by oneself. No one can possibly raise the level of another person’s consciousness. Help by way of information and guidance can be offered by those who know the way, but the responsibility for raising the level of one’s consciousness lies with oneself. Each individual has to choose his or her own path and uplift herself by her own endeavour. Others can at best reveal to one the wisdom of individual and cosmic life and inspire one to establish coordination between oneself and the universal state of Being.”

— His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (c1917-2008), 1963

Still, it can’t hurt any to have a few, and more than a few, saints in one’s family tree, and I’m still hoping & trusting it also can’t but help, at least a little. It’s never too late to be inspired. As I’ve said earlier here, the personal lived examples of my family’s own historical saintly ancestors have always given us a sort of encouragement and incentive to just go for it! Since they did it, perhaps we shall, too! – We be working on it!

And then, on the other hand, besides all those saintly grandparents & aunts & uncles, my direct & indirect ancestral tree also includes plenty of evil livers, horrid murderers, and other assorted bad guys and women. No doubt even a rotten nun or monk or two somewhere back there. So if family bloodlines &/or the stability or instability of other persons, such as one’s ancestors, was in anyway determinative for one’s own conscious integration & spiritual evolution, I’d be screwed, or at least stuck in a not so good stagnant middle swampy muddy stage out there somewhere.  Where would any of us be?

Family history is full of all sorts of curious good, & bad, lovely, & ugly, details.

“It should not be a function of psychology to remind a person that his or her past was miserable, or that his surroundings and circumstances were unfavourable, or that her associations were depressing and discouraging, or that there was lack of love and harmony with those near to one. To remind anyone of such things will only result in lowering his or her consciousness.

It should be considered criminal to tell anyone that her individual life is based on the inefficient and degenerate influence of her past environment. The psychological influence of such depressing information is demoralizing, and the inner core of the heart becomes twisted by it. On the other hand, to remember the greatness of one’s family traditions and the glory of one’s parents, friends and environment, helps to elevate the consciousness and directly encourages one to rise above weaknesses.”

—His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (c1917-2008), 1963

 

Of course Catholics are not the only Christians (nor Christianity the only religion) who have monastics (and monastic saints & married saints!). Of course there have always been monks & nuns in the various Oriental Orthodox & Eastern (Byzantine) Orthodox Christian churches. And there are even some Protestant monastics!, for example in the Anglican Communion (the Church of England & its various respective national affiliate Episcopalian/Anglican churches). This is highly ironical for the Church of England, as destroying the monasteries & convents in England was such a big & bloody & treasure-gobbling component of Henry VIII’s Protestant “reform” (& robbery) of the Church in his erstwhile Catholic English kingdom.

Many of the English monks and nuns of that day were killed for resisting their forced secularization & the utter destruction of their communities. Some of those martyred monastics are aunts or uncles in my family tree.  While others of my ancestors were among the “reformers” doing the slaughtering and robbing, burning & raping. Some of these aristocratic murderers took over the magnificent ancient abbey buildings – the ones they didn’t burn to the ground – to use as their own new stately residences! (Why did you think they called it “Downton Abbey” for instance?) Can you imagine? Some of those former abbeys still house these barons’ present-day titled descendants.

I realize, of course, that many of the leaders of those huge abbeys had grown fat and alarmingly rich off the labour of their serfs. And they wielded immense self-serving political power, and answered only to the Pope who was also a foreign head of a large & powerful political state with his own standing army and navy, etc. Corruption, greed, laziness & exploitative injustice is not exclusive to secular hierarchies only! But slaughtering monks and nuns, or at best raping & driving them into the roads and fields as indigent and injured homeless refugees and destitute fugitives? Come on, now. Then setting up house in their former convents & monasteries? Not a good way to kick off a religious reform!

And yet with the centuries-later Romanticism Movement’s imaginative valorization of all things mediæval & monastic, and with the interest in historical contemplative spirituality within the Victorian-era Anglo-Catholic Movement, monks and nuns began to have a living presence in the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion. And although the numbers of monks & nuns within the Anglican church (& more newly in some other Protestant churches as well) remain quite small, their presence continues today & is currently slowly expanding.

Christian monastic history is full of all sorts of curious twists & turns.

Among other “major” and “minor” religions of the world, several have monastic &/or semi-monastic traditions also, most of which long predate Christianity & Christian monasticism.

The Vedic-Hindu tradition has unbroken monastic lineages as old and continuous as its larger prehistoric origins and ongoing legacy.

The other two major religions of Indian origin, Jainism and Buddhism, both of whom branched from the Vedic-Hindu trunk, have retained their own ancient traditions of monks and nuns.

The ancient indigenous Bon religion of Tibet and surrounding Himalayan regions also has monks & nuns, as does the ancient indigenous Chinese religion of Daoism (Taoism).

Although modern Judaism presently has no official monastic dimension, the Jewish Nazirite, Essene, and Therapeutae movements, which flourished before and during the time of Christ, were all monastic or semi-monastic in nature.

Islam is officially opposed to monastic lifestyles within its own orthodox ranks. However, the Prophet Muhammad & his earliest followers had positive friendly contacts with Syrian & other Christian monks. And several of the living Sufi orders within Islam (some of which are said to pre-date Islam), have or have had strongly quasi-monastic features, especially some of those widely or once-widely present in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia & China.

The Baha’i faith (which branched from Persian Islam); the Sikh religion (which emerged from within a community that combined various Indian Islamic and Hindu elements); and the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism (known in India as the Parsi religion, and probably originating as a branch of pre-historic Vedic religion), each have no official monastic dimensions. However, the Sikh religion draws heavily from Indian Islamic Sufism with its semi-monastic aspects, and some Sikh pilgrims spent time pursuing a semi-monastic lifestyle quite similar to that of mendicant Indian Sufis & Hindu monks.

The religions of the world are full of all sorts of interesting and quite often partly overlapping details.

In Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and perhaps some other major religious/spiritual traditions as well, it is sometimes perfectly accepted and respected for some women to “self-ordain” or self-dedicate themselves as nuns, without “benefit” of any outer institutional connection, endorsement, approval, or recognition. And the same is true for men self-ordaining as monks. Sometimes some of these self-ordaining nuns and monks will later seek-out &/or accept outward official institutional ordination/consecration. Sometimes not.

The real (spiritual) status is of course a personal matter, the outer (social) status is purely conventional, institutional. But of course all this often can and does have negative social/cultural and thus personal implications. And these are not just economic!

The practice and acceptance of self-identifying independent nuns (and monks) is not always perceived as respectable. Indeed it is sometimes viewed as a threat to otherwise more thorough-going control by orthodox formalists and conservative traditionalists. In some culturally conservative Buddhist, Hindu, and other societies, the ancient scripturally-approved tradition of women and men independently self-ordaining is opposed by religious and even political authorities and such nuns and monks sometimes must live their independent monasticism incognito.

There is so much unbelievable religious prejudice and bigotry in the world!

Both Vedic-Hindu and Buddhist shastras & sutras (traditional scriptural texts) assure would-be nuns and monks (whether self-professing or institutionally professional), that if they sincerely keep the precepts (internal & external behavourial principles), then their earthly needs will be sufficiently provided for by nature. Just as, it is believed, nature will likewise duly support the needs of any and all individuals, whether householders or monastics, who sincerely uphold the universal dharmic laws of nature (ie sincerely good-willed, pure-hearted, life-supporting ethical/moral spiritual intentions, thinking, and actions toward helping all beings).

Several of my many Hindu and Buddhist monastic friends and acquaintances have spoken often of nearly-miraculous ways & instances in which this promised support of nature has come through for them, keeping them supplied with everything they truly need, despite their utter dis-engagement from anything directly to do with commerce or conventional profit-generating activities. Even though some of them seem to live quite precarious existences physically. But then, so do the vast majority of the householders I know, hard-working folks who live literally paycheck to paycheck, always only one heartbeat away from becoming destitute on the streets of modern America (or elsewhere). Some would probably be more secure & less worried if they were to live as monastics in a convent or ashram!

Support from nature is infinitely fascinating & mysterious.

Of course, householder members of a society who are directly & busily engaged in providing much-needed (&/or entirely superfluous, even perhaps deadly!) earthly goods and services to the community at large in sometimes labour-intensive and even dangerous profit-generating work, are perhaps understandably often more reluctant to support “merely” self-professed, self-consecrated individual monks and nuns living in their midst, compared to possibly lending some charitable financial support to “officially” recognized conventional religious community institutions or to individuals leading religious establishment organizations.

While at the same time, in the U.S. a large number of hard-working conservative & gullible householders seem eager to give considerable ongoing donations to self-appointed & self-ordained householder “evangelists.” Self-professed religious professionals who easily start their own government-licensed tax-exempt churches and media-based ministries, and then so very often quickly begin to live astonishingly lavish (if insufferably garish self-indulgent superficial) lifestyles with their spouses & children in multiple luxury mansions, yachts, & jets, all paid for with such non-audited tax-free donations of millions and millions of dollars 9in some cases hundreds of millions!), while sincere monastic communities here often struggle to stay afloat, or fold.

Society pays for what it wants to see in its midst.

The Vedic and Buddhist sutras speak of individual support from nature, based on individual karma (action) and dharma (righteousness), not of any guaranteed success for particular communal monastic institutions. Even though the same laws of natural cause & effect apply equally to collective karma and collective dharma (right-intentioned, universally life-supporting behaviour). As the Bhagavad-Gita states, “Individuals have control over their actions alone, not over the results (effects) of their actions… The paths of karma are unfathomable.” Unfathomable, but of course absolutely just, if seen in the long (cosmic) perspective.

Apples can only grow from apple seeds. And vice versa. Like all actions-and-reactions, these are two ends of one same stick. Apple seeds ~/= apples, apples ~/= apple seeds. Seeds are one stage in a process, fruits are another stage in the same cyclical process. Action is one end of a stick (cause), reaction (effect) is the other end of the same one stick. We pick up a stick to perform some action (let’s say, an unkind, harmful action, word, or intention), then we wonder why we often are as if later painfully thumped by a very big stick, little realizing we often are foolishly, inexorably beating ourselves with the other end of the same stick (some unkind intention &/or action) that we first picked up in order to do some thing (some unkind words or actions) with.

If enough monks or nuns in a given monastic community are sincere in observing the universally life-supporting laws of nature, then the community, according to the philosophy of karma, will likely continue to thrive; if not, not. Just as in society in general.

As with individuals, and monastic communities and orders, civilizations that continue to focus on achieving progress continue to both survive and to progress; those civilizations that seek to survive at the expense of progress do not continue even to exist. Human life is supported, maintained, & guided forward by the natural impulse of evolution.

The unfathomable course of karma is infinitely fascinating.

Sometimes luridly so. But, as Dr Martin Luther King famously stated: “The moral arc of the universe is steep, but ultimately bends toward justice.” What goes around comes around. Or as Christ said, “As you sow, so shall ye reap.”

According to the traditional understanding, sincere nuns and monks whether “merely” self-dedicated, and/or perhaps also outwardly consecrated in affiliation with some organization or other, will be supported personally by nature according to their upholding of dharmic (universally life-supporting) principles, but their monasteries or convents may or may not flourish or survive, depending in large part on the collective karma of (all) others making up the community. But of course this support from nature certainly also takes the form of willing donations from well-wishers within the larger society. Support from nature doesn’t (only) mean cash just falls from the trees or the clouds!

I will not say that the horrid destruction & slaughter of monastic communities & individuals in Henry Tudor’s England, or in Bolshevik & Stalinist Soviet Russia, or in Chinese-invaded-&-occupied Tibet from 1950 right through to the present day, can all be explained, much less “excused” by attributing previous accrued bad karma to the otherwise often presumably innocent victim monks & nuns…After all, among other factors, the perpetrators of the violence, murders, rapes, and destruction visited upon the nuns & monks are also generating their own individual and collective karma – life-damaging actions that will in turn have life-damaging results for those carrying out such horrid actions. The laws of nature, the laws of inexorable cause & effect that govern the life and evolution of all beings will respond to such actions.

Naturally, I thoroughly accept the philosophy of karmic cause-&-effect.  However, in order to understand the logical premise of this theory of a cosmic system of natural justice & perpetually self-righting balance, one also has to understand the co-relevant philosophy of rebirth as an evolution of consciousness. Karmic fruits don’t always ripen the same day their seeds are sown! “Instant karma” is certainly real, as anyone who inattentively drives a car or rides a bike, or flies a plane or a skateboard, etc, is likely to prove to themselves and others rather swiftly. But most long-term effects from most actions will continue to ripen over many years, quite likely for more years than are in one human lifespan….

The quality of one’s actions & intentions in the past largely determine the quality & situations of one’s life in the present. And the present will influence the future. The philosophy of karma-&-rebirth may not be a thoroughly self-demonstrative “theodicy” (philosophical explanation of evil & suffering, in this case a non-theo-centric understanding — whether one’s view of suffering & evil posits a theos, or not, is non-central to the concept of a natural law of moral cause-&-effect).  Karma-&-rebirth may not easily be proved or disproved, but it makes the most logical “natural justice” sense to me.

“The relative fields of life are so closely interconnected and the influence of each aspect of life on every other aspect of life in the cosmos is so complex and diverse, that it is highly important that by some means every individual in the world should become a righteous individual.

Each individual’s thoughts would then be loving, helpful and compassionate, producing good influences for oneself, on one’s surroundings, and in the whole of creation.

The only way to achieve this is for each individual to transform the nature of his or her mind in such a way that it naturally picks up only right thoughts, and naturally engages itself only in right speech and action….

It should be firmly established in the mind of every individual that she is a part of the whole life of the universe and that her relationship to universal life is that of one cell to the whole body. If every cell is not alert, energetic and healthy, the body as a whole begins to suffer. Therefore, for the sake of the life of the individual, and equally for the life of everything in the entire universe, it is necessary for the individual to be healthy, virtuous and right in every thought, word and deed. That the whole universe reacts to every individual action is rare knowledge, but it is also a scientific fact. For there exists an intimate and inseparable connection between the individual and the universe, neither is independent.

The boundaries of individual life are not restricted to the boundaries of the body, nor even to those of one’s family or home; they extend far beyond those spheres to the limitless horizons of unbounded cosmic life.”

– His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1963

In our modern western corporatist-capitalist U.S. culture and society, still largely dominated by the Protestant “work ethic” and indeed by the fundamentalistic Calvinist Puritan socio-economic worldview (with its theology  of “double predestination”, a moral total inversion of the philosophy of karma-&-rebirth), there is little historical recognition of the presence &/or value of monastics, especially those partially or wholly supported economically by the commercial profit-generating community at large.

This has lead to the need for most American monastic communities, of whatever religious tradition, to find some means of being financially self-sufficient. And this has resulted in some American Christian monasteries/convents becoming noted for their commercial production of one or more specialty food or drink item. In the case of my late friend Father Thomas Merton’s Trappist abbey, it was cheese-making, something he lampooned bitterly and hilariously.  Others make & market rum-soaked fruit cakes or even alcoholic liqueurs or wines. At least one America Anglican monastery herds and slaughters commercial beef cattle, an enterprise that would cause their community to be mournfully shunned by horrified Hindu and Buddhist potential patrons.

I still hear comments from various American acquaintances frequently expressing an intensely negative bias against monks and nuns (of any religion). And of course, most of these opponents have never known or even met any monks or nuns, or visited or stayed as guests at any monastic community, or participated in any of the social-improvement projects and/or personal-development activities, study, and internal practices monks and nuns engage in.

It’s laughably sad, all this bias.

One American acquaintance of mine recently mentioned, utterly out of the blue, that “…All those crazy monks and nuns in places like the Himalayas” – who sometimes become solitaries for years at a time  – “…are obviously insane.” She was serious. And angry about it, for some reason! She couldn’t imagine any other cause or explanation for their lifestyle choice aside from “obvious,” perhaps criminal, insanity. Yet she has enjoyed being on camping trips alone or with only one companion for a few days at a time. So I replied that she might consider thinking of the Himalayan (or other) hermit life as like that of someone who goes solo camping for a few days and enjoys it so much they decide to stay out for an extra week or two, or perhaps later come back for an entire season, maybe even buy or build a vacation or retirement cabin in the woods and live there for the rest of their life….

Of course she had no idea my late wife and I had between us thoroughly enjoyed a few years of silent retreat together & alone. If she knew, would she consider us both insane? Perhaps! I didn’t mention our history, nor the fact that every year I try to get away for seasonal solitary retreats of at least a week, preferably a month, at a time.

Life is a strange trip from birth to death.

It may help to think of it as a temporary camping excursion. What do you want out of it? You come to it naked and helpless and you may likely leave it as good as naked again and most certainly helpless again as well. We are all walking or cycling, flying or skating toward that same one-way exit door. How do you most meaningfully and enjoyably fulfill what time you may be given in between entrance & exit? You may count yourself extremely lucky if you have even once or twice a few days to yourself alone or with just your sweetie in the silence of the mountains and woods.

Monastic life, & especially perhaps hermit life, even temporary hermit life, isn’t for everyone, but a few days of rest & relaxation, of quiet meditative solitude in the beauty of nature is something most individuals likely would deeply enjoy & cherish, if they had the chance to experience what it really is like.

Personally, I vastly prefer hermit-like solitude or partnered semi-solitude over most collective communal monastic &/or most conventional secular living-arrangements, but that’s just me. Having to live cheek-by-jowl with lots of other more or less seemingly randomly-selected (actually karmically pre-selected!) close neighbors (monastic or secular) most often makes me feel as if I’m confined to a business office or factory,  a military fort or political re-education detention work camp. It can even feel like being forced to re-live spending the afternoon in kindergarten, or what I imagine pre-school must feel like.

Not because I think I’m better (ha!) than my neighbors & fellow-travelers! And not that I would be able to take care of myself for long living alone in the woods without some serious support from other more wilderness tech-adept and savvy folks. But just because I tend to enjoy being by myself much of the time, or much more so alone with just a sweetheart life-partner spiritual companion. But that’s just me. I also regularly like to party, and by party I mean read &/or dine & converse, or walk-&-talk with a few close friends &/or interesting strangers. Especially sometimes if at least one or more of them is perhaps a pure-hearted, deep-minded, interesting nun or monk….

Another American acquaintance also recently expressed negative comments about monastic life (of which he has had absolutely no experience or contact). But then in the next breath he also mentioned that he has heard of a nearby residential spa facility that arranges for guests to undertake a ten day solo silent retreat in the mountains. “Can you imagine the pressure that would result from that, and all the internal garbage that would bring up?” he asked me with some passion, – “if you couldn’t see or talk to anyone, for ten whole days in a row?!” It seemed only just barely within the range of anything he could imagine. The implication for him seemed to be that it might very well drive the retreatant literally insane.

He also had no idea of my own background with leading retreats lasting sometimes for months, and enjoying taking retreats lasting sometimes for years. But coming just a few days on the heels of the other critic’s comments just mentioned above, I burst out laughing (somewhat impolitely) and said, “Well, ten days of course may seem like a lot, but you know, there are actually many folks who have successfully undertaken a few weeks in a row, even several weeks, or months, or even years in a row, of silent solo retreat.  …In fact,” I went on after a slight pause, “…in some religious and spiritual traditions, extensive retreat practice of this sort is standard preparation for life as a religious professional or spiritual guide…even just for being regarded as a completely mature or stable individual.”

Once again, though, I didn’t wish to suggest any personal references. So he remained in likely more comfortable amazement over those who would choose to risk trying to make it through ten whole consecutive days devoid of conversational diversion.

Or  briefly devoid of our society’s obsessive “preoccupation with gossip,” as one of my beloved nun friends and teachers calls it.  She’s one of the sanest folks I know…& she once spent 13 years in solitary reclusion as a mountain hermit. Those years were quite a delightful extended solo camping retreat for her, too.

And that’s all the gossip for now from here…

“The world is so full of a number of things,

   I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), A Child’s Garden of Verses

 

 

Compare & Contrast

Transcript: Hillary Clinton’s full remarks in Reno, Nevada

08/25/16 03:15 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton Remarks as Prepared for Delivery – Reno, Nevada

Thank you, Reno! It’s great to be back in Nevada…

My original plan for this visit was to focus on our agenda to help small businesses and entrepreneurs.

This week we proposed new steps to cut red tape and taxes, and make it easier for small businesses to get the credit they need to grow and hire.

Because I believe that in America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it.

We’ll be talking a lot more about our economic plans in the days and weeks ahead.

But today, I want to address something I hear from Americans all over our country.

Everywhere I go, people tell me how concerned they are by the divisive rhetoric coming from my opponent in this election.

It’s like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for President of the United States.

From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia.

He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America’s two major political parties.

His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.

In just the past week, under the guise of “outreach” to African Americans, Trump has stood up in front of largely white audiences and described black communities in insulting and ignorant terms:

“Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership.

Crime at levels nobody has seen… Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot.”

Those are his words.

Donald Trump misses so much.

He doesn’t see the success of black leaders in every field…

The vibrancy of black-owned businesses…Or the strength of the black church… He doesn’t see the excellence of historically black colleges and universities or the pride of black parents watching their children thrive…And he certainly doesn’t have any solutions to take on the reality of systemic racism and create more equity and opportunity in communities of color.

It takes a lot of nerve to ask people he’s ignored and mistreated for decades, “What do you have to lose?” The answer is everything!

Trump’s lack of knowledge or experience or solutions would be bad enough.

But what he’s doing here is more sinister.

Trump is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters.

It’s a disturbing preview of what kind of President he’d be.

This is what I want to make clear today:

A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military.

If he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?

Now, I know some people still want to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.

They hope that he will eventually reinvent himself – that there’s a kinder, gentler, more responsible Donald Trump waiting in the wings somewhere.

After all, it’s hard to believe anyone – let alone a nominee for President of the United States – could really believe all the things he says.

But the hard truth is, there’s no other Donald Trump. This is it.

Maya Angelou once said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Well, throughout his career and this campaign, Donald Trump has shown us exactly who he is. We should believe him.

When Trump was getting his start in business, he was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black and Latino tenants.

Their applications would be marked with a “C” – “C” for “colored” – and then rejected.

Three years later, the Justice Department took Trump back to court because he hadn’t changed.

The pattern continued through the decades.

State regulators fined one of Trump’s casinos for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor. No wonder the turn-over rate for his minority employees was way above average.

And let’s not forget Trump first gained political prominence leading the charge for the so-called “Birthers.”

He promoted the racist lie that President Obama isn’t really an American citizen – part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America’s first black President.

In 2015, Trump launched his own campaign for President with another racist lie. He described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals.

And he accused the Mexican government of actively sending them across the border. None of that is true.

Oh, and by the way, Mexico’s not paying for his wall either.

If it ever gets built, you can be sure that American taxpayers will be stuck with the bill.

Since then, there’s been a steady stream of bigotry.

We all remember when Trump said a distinguished federal judge born in Indiana couldn’t be trusted to do his job because, quote, “He’s a Mexican.”

Think about that.

The man who today is the standard bearer of the Republican Party said a federal judge was incapable of doing his job solely because of his heritage.

Even the Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, described that as “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”

To this day, he’s never apologized to Judge Curiel.

But for Trump, that’s just par for the course.

This is someone who retweets white supremacists online, like the user who goes by the name “white-genocide-TM.” Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to 11 million people.

His campaign famously posted an anti-Semitic image – a Star of David imposed over a sea of dollar bills – that first appeared on a white supremacist website.

The Trump campaign also selected a prominent white nationalist leader as a delegate in California. They only dropped him under pressure.

When asked in a nationally televised interview whether he would disavow the support of David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump wouldn’t do it. Only later, again under mounting pressure, did he backtrack.

And when Trump was asked about anti-Semitic slurs and death threats coming from his supporters, he refused to condemn them.

Through it all, he has continued pushing discredited conspiracy theories with racist undertones.

Trump said thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t.

He suggested that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Perhaps in Trump’s mind, because he was a Cuban immigrant, he must have had something to do with it. Of course there’s absolutely no evidence of that.

Just recently, Trump claimed President Obama founded ISIS. And then he repeated that nonsense over and over.

His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health. All I can say is, Donald, dream on.

This is what happens when you treat the National Enquirer like Gospel.

It’s what happens when you listen to the radio host Alex Jones, who claims that 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombings were inside jobs. He said the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there.

Trump didn’t challenge those lies. He went on Jones’ show and said: “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.”

This man wants to be President of the United States.

I’ve stood by President Obama’s side as he made the toughest decisions a Commander-in-Chief ever has to make.

In times of crisis, our country depends on steady leadership… clear thinking… and calm judgment… because one wrong move can mean the difference between life and death.

The last thing we need in the Situation Room is a loose cannon who can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction, and who buys so easily into racially-tinged rumors.

Someone detached from reality should never be in charge of making decisions that are as real as they come.

It’s another reason why Donald Trump is simply temperamentally unfit to be President of the United States.

Now, some people will say that his bluster and bigotry is just over-heated campaign rhetoric – an outrageous person saying outrageous things for attention.

But look at the policies Trump has proposed. They would put prejudice into practice.

And don’t be distracted by his latest attempts to muddy the waters.

He may have some new people putting new words in his mouth… but we know where he stands.

He would form a deportation force to round up millions of immigrants and kick them out of the country.

He’d abolish the bedrock constitutional principle that says if you’re born in the United States, you’re an American citizen. He says that children born in America to undocumented parents are, quote, “anchor babies” and should be deported.

Millions of them.

And he’d ban Muslims around the world – 1.5 billion men, women, and children –from entering our country just because of their religion.

Think about that for a minute. How would it actually work? People landing in U.S. airports would line up to get their passports stamped, just like they do now.

But in Trump’s America, when they step up to the counter, the immigration officer would ask every single person, “What is your religion?”

And then what?

What if someone says, “I’m a Christian,” but the agent doesn’t believe them.

Do they have to prove it? How would they do that?

Ever since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, America has distinguished itself as a haven for people fleeing religious persecution.

Under Donald Trump, America would distinguish itself as the only country in the world to impose a religious test at the border.

Come to think of it, there actually may be one place that does that. It’s the so-called Islamic State. The territory ISIS controls. It would be a cruel irony if America followed its lead.

Don’t worry, some will say, as President, Trump will be surrounded by smart advisors who will rein in his worst impulses.

So when a tweet gets under his skin and he wants to retaliate with a cruise missile, maybe cooler heads will be there to convince him not to.

Maybe.

But look at who he’s put in charge of his campaign.

Trump likes to say he only hires the “best people.” But he’s had to fire so many campaign managers it’s like an episode of the Apprentice.

The latest shake-up was designed to – quote – “Let Trump be Trump.” To do that, he hired Stephen Bannon, the head of a right-wing website called Breitbart.com, as campaign CEO.

To give you a flavor of his work, here are a few headlines they’ve published:

“Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.”

“Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?”

“Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield”

“Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.”

That one came shortly after the Charleston massacre, when Democrats and Republicans alike were doing everything they could to heal racial divides. Breitbart tried to enflame them further.

Just imagine – Donald Trump reading that and thinking: “this is what I need more of in my campaign.”

Bannon has nasty things to say about pretty much everyone.

This spring, he railed against Paul Ryan for, quote “rubbing his social-justice Catholicism in my nose every second.”

No wonder he’s gone to work for Trump – the only Presidential candidate ever to get into a public feud with the Pope.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces “ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas.

Race-baiting ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-Immigrant ideas –– all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.’”

Alt-Right is short for “Alternative Right.”

The Wall Street Journal describes it as a loosely organized movement, mostly online, that “rejects mainstream conservatism, promotes nationalism and views immigration and multiculturalism as threats to white identity.”

The de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump Campaign represents a landmark achievement for the “Alt-Right.” A fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party.

This is part of a broader story — the rising tide of hardline, right-wing nationalism around the world.

Just yesterday, one of Britain’s most prominent right-wing leaders, Nigel Farage, who stoked anti-immigrant sentiments to win the referendum on leaving the European Union, campaigned with Donald Trump in Mississippi.

Farage has called for a ban on the children of legal immigrants from public schools and health services, has said women are quote “worth less” than men, and supports scrapping laws that prevent employers from discriminating based on race — that’s who Trump wants by his side.

The godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism is Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In fact, Farage has appeared regularly on Russian propaganda programs.

Now he’s standing on the same stage as the Republican nominee.

Trump himself heaps praise on Putin and embraces pro-Russian policies.

He talks casually of abandoning our NATO allies, recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and of giving the Kremlin a free hand in Eastern Europe more generally.

American presidents from Truman to Reagan have rejected the kind of approach Trump is taking on Russia.

We should, too.

All of this adds up to something we’ve never seen before.

Of course there’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.

On David Duke’s radio show the other day, the mood was jubilant.

“We appear to have taken over the Republican Party,” one white supremacist said.

Duke laughed. There’s still more work to do, he said.

No one should have any illusions about what’s really going on here. The names may have changed… Racists now call themselves “racialists.” White supremacists now call themselves “white nationalists.” The paranoid fringe now calls itself “alt-right.” But the hate burns just as bright.

And now Trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. Don’t be fooled.

There’s an old Mexican proverb that says “Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.”

We know who Trump is. A few words on a teleprompter won’t change that.

He says he wants to “make America great again,” but his real message remains “Make America hate again.”

This isn’t just about one election. It’s about who we are as a nation.

It’s about the kind of example we want to set for our children and grandchildren.

Next time you watch Donald Trump rant on television, think about all the kids listening across our country. They hear a lot more than we think.

Parents and teachers are already worried about what they’re calling the “Trump Effect.”

Bullying and harassment are on the rise in our schools, especially targeting students of color, Muslims, and immigrants.

At a recent high school basketball game in Indiana, white students held up Trump signs and taunted Latino players on the opposing team with chants of “Build the wall!” and “Speak English.”

After a similar incident in Iowa, one frustrated school principal said, “They see it in a presidential campaign and now it’s OK for everyone to say this.”

We wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior in our own homes. How can we stand for it from a candidate for president?

This is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump. It’s a moment of reckoning for all of us who love our country and believe that America is better than this.

Twenty years ago, when Bob Dole accepted the Republican nomination, he pointed to the exits and told any racists in the Party to get out.

The week after 9/11, George W. Bush went to a mosque and declared for everyone to hear that Muslims “love America just as much as I do.”

In 2008, John McCain told his own supporters they were wrong about the man he was trying to defeat. Senator McCain made sure they knew – Barack Obama is an American citizen and “a decent person.”

We need that kind of leadership again.

Every day, more Americans are standing up and saying “enough is enough” – including a lot of Republicans. I’m honored to have their support.

And I promise you this: with your help, I will be a President for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For those who vote for me and those who don’t.

For all Americans.

Because I believe we are stronger together.

It’s a vision for the future rooted in our values and reflected in a rising generation of young people who are the most open, diverse, and connected we’ve ever seen.

Just look at our fabulous Olympic team.

Like Ibtihaj Muhammad, an African-American Muslim from New Jersey who won the bronze medal in fencing with grace and skill. Would she even have a place in Donald Trump’s America?

When I was growing up, Simone Manuel wouldn’t have been allowed to swim in the same public pool as Katie Ledecky. Now they’re winning Olympic medals as teammates.

So let’s keep moving forward together.

Let’s stand up against prejudice and paranoia.

Let’s prove once again, that America is great because is America is good.

Thank you, and may God bless the United States.

 

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Two Thousand Eyes

world-map

This morning, the number of visitors to this blogsite surpassed 1,000.

I hope each and every visitor has found something nourishing.

These 1000+ visitors have been from:

Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, US.

Still trusting to see visits by my peeps in:

Andorra, Argentina, Arosa, Arsa Blanca, Austria, Austrasia, Autonomous BFE Zone, Belize, Bhutan, Brazil, Cattanlachan, Colombia, Dál Riata, Denmark, Dumnonia, East Goshenland, Egypt, El Amigo-Cajon, Emaho, Emain Ablach, Ethiopia, Fiji, Hungary, Iceland, Ifni, Ildathach, Isla Vista, Isle of Man, Israel, Koashatanland, Libertatia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mariniqué, Mendonesia Libré, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Mustang, Nanaimia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Northumbria, Palestine, Pemakhöd, Portugal, Phra Samdatan, Romania, San Marino, Sikkim, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suvanesia, Switzerland, Tamalpa, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tír na nÓg, Tuva, Turkey, Volperia, Western Isles, etc.

Best Wishes, Peace, Love, and Good Luck to All! Sarvamangalam!

Embarrassed to be American, nauseous to be human…

U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft drop munitions on a cave in eastern Afghanistan. (photo: U.S. Armed Forces)

U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft drop bombs in Afghanistan. (photo: U.S. Armed Forces)

Lately, I feel embarrassed at least once a day to be an American, and sick to my stomach to be a human being. It’s not just the horrifically heartless venality of Trump and Clinton. Although, every time Trump opens his mouth in public again, I’m despondent again over our society’s failure and disinterest to come to the aid of children, such as Trump must have been, who receive such abusive upbringings that they become monsters as adults, full of hatred, anger, and who knows what mental/emotional derangement and determination to harm others to feed their own horribly damaged ego-sense warped into both irrationally craven insecurity (paranoia) and irrationally craven obsession with heartless self-aggrandizement at the expense of others (bullyism). And don’t get me started on Hillary Warhawk Wall Street Clinton.

There are plenty of other sources of my daily embarrassment and nausea at being an American and a human. Throughout my entire lifetime my nation has been leading our species in destroying the world. Through hatred, greed, insecurity, bullyism, war, armed robbery, theft, stealth, duplicity, dishonesty, heartless indifference to others, crazed egotism, and whatever else.

But as long as a few of us can see even part of the problem clearly, there is still reason to hope that we can right the ship of human history. Journalists like John Pilger bring me great hope. Here’s his latest. From Reader Supported News Service…

Provoking Nuclear War by Media

By John Pilger, teleSUR

23 August 16

Obeisance to the United States and its collaborators as a benign force “bringing good” runs deep in western establishment journalism.

he exoneration of a man accused of the worst of crimes, genocide, made no headlines. Neither the BBC nor CNN covered it. The Guardian allowed a brief commentary. Such a rare official admission was buried or suppressed, understandably. It would explain too much about how the rulers of the world rule.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague has quietly cleared the late Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, of war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including the massacre at Srebrenica.

Far from conspiring with the convicted Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Milosevic actually “condemned ethnic cleansing,” opposed Karadzic and tried to stop the war that dismembered Yugoslavia. Buried near the end of a 2,590-page judgement on Karadzic last February, this truth further demolishes the propaganda that justified Nato’s illegal onslaught on Serbia in 1999.

Milosevic died of a heart attack in 2006, alone in his cell in The Hague, during what amounted to a bogus trial by an American-invented “international tribunal.” Denied heart surgery that might have saved his life, his condition worsened and was monitored and kept secret by US officials, as WikiLeaks has since revealed.

Milosevic was the victim of war propaganda that today runs like a torrent across our screens and newspapers and beckons great danger for us all. He was the prototype demon, vilified by the western media as the “butcher of the Balkans” who was responsible for “genocide,” especially in the secessionist Yugoslav province of Kosovo. Prime Minister Tony Blair said so, invoked the Holocaust and demanded action against “this new Hitler.”

David Scheffer, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], declared that as many as “225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59” may have been murdered by Milocevic’s forces.

This was the justification for Nato’s bombing, led by Bill Clinton and Blair, that killed hundreds of civilians in hospitals, schools, churches, parks and television studios and destroyed Serbia’s economic infrastructure. It was blatantly ideological; at a notorious “peace conference” in Rambouillet in France, Milosevic was confronted by Madeleine Albright, the US secretary of state, who was to achieve infamy with her remark that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children were “worth it.”

Albright delivered an “offer” to Milosevic that no national leader could accept. Unless he agreed to the foreign military occupation of his country, with the occupying forces “outside the legal process,” and to the imposition of a neo-liberal “free market,” Serbia would be bombed. This was contained in an “Appendix B,” which the media failed to read or suppressed. The aim was to crush Europe’s last independent “socialist” state.

Once Nato began bombing, there was a stampede of Kosovar refugees “fleeing a holocaust.” When it was over, international police teams descended on Kosovo to exhume the victims. The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines.” The final count of the dead in Kosovo was 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the pro-Nato Kosovo Liberation Front. There was no genocide. The Nato attack was both a fraud and a war crime.

All but a fraction of America’s vaunted “precision guided” missiles hit not military but civilian targets, including the news studios of Radio Television Serbia in Belgrade. Sixteen people were killed, including cameramen, producers and a make-up artist. Blair described the dead, profanely, as part of Serbia’s “command and control.”

In 2008, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, revealed that she had been pressured not to investigate Nato’s crimes.

This was the model for Washington’s subsequent invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and, by stealth, Syria. All qualify as “paramount crimes” under the Nuremberg standard; all depended on media propaganda. While tabloid journalism played its traditional part, it was serious, credible, often liberal journalism that was the most effective – the evangelical promotion of Blair and his wars by the Guardian, the incessant lies about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction in the Observer and the New York Times, and the unerring drumbeat of government propaganda by the BBC in the silence of its omissions.

At the height of the bombing, the BBC’s Kirsty Wark interviewed General Wesley Clark, the Nato commander. The Serbian city of Nis had just been sprayed with American cluster bombs, killing women, old people and children in an open market and a hospital. Wark asked not a single question about this, or about any other civilian deaths.

Others were more brazen. In February 2003, the day after Blair and Bush had set fire to Iraq, the BBC’s political editor, Andrew Marr, stood in Downing Street and made what amounted to a victory speech. He excitedly told his viewers that Blair had “said they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right.” Today, with a million dead and a society in ruins, Marr’s BBC interviews are recommended by the U.S. embassy in London.

Marr’s colleagues lined up to pronounce Blair “vindicated.” The BBC’s Washington correspondent, Matt Frei, said, “There’s no doubt that the desire to bring good, to bring American values to the rest of the world, and especially to the Middle East … is now increasingly tied up with military power.”

This obeisance to the United States and its collaborators as a benign force “bringing good” runs deep in western establishment journalism. It ensures that the present-day catastrophe in Syria is blamed exclusively on Bashar al-Assad, whom the West and Israel have long conspired to overthrow, not for any humanitarian concerns, but to consolidate Israel’s aggressive power in the region. The jihadist forces unleashed and armed by the US, Britain, France, Turkey and their “coalition” proxies serve this end. It is they who dispense the propaganda and videos that becomes news in the US and Europe, and provide access to journalists and guarantee a one-sided “coverage” of Syria.

The city of Aleppo is in the news. Most readers and viewers will be unaware that the majority of the population of Aleppo lives in the government-controlled western part of the city. That they suffer daily artillery bombardment from western-sponsored al-Qaida is not news. On 21 July, French and American bombers attacked a government village in Aleppo province, killing up to 125 civilians. This was reported on page 22 of the Guardian; there were no photographs.

Having created and underwritten jihadism in Afghanistan in the 1980s as Operation Cyclone – a weapon to destroy the Soviet Union – the U.S. is doing something similar in Syria. Like the Afghan Mujahideen, the Syrian “rebels” are America’s and Britain’s foot soldiers. Many fight for al-Qaida and its variants; some, like the Nusra Front, have rebranded themselves to comply with American sensitivities over 9/11. The CIA runs them, with difficulty, as it runs jihadists all over the world.

The immediate aim is to destroy the government in Damascus, which, according to the most credible poll (YouGov Siraj), the majority of Syrians support, or at least look to for protection, regardless of the barbarism in its shadows. The long-term aim is to deny Russia a key Middle Eastern ally as part of a Nato war of attrition against the Russian Federation that eventually destroys it.

The nuclear risk is obvious, though suppressed by the media across “the free world”. The editorial writers of the Washington Post, having promoted the fiction of WMD in Iraq, demand that Obama attack Syria. Hillary Clinton, who publicly rejoiced at her executioner’s role during the destruction of Libya, has repeatedly indicated that, as president, she will “go further” than Obama.

Gareth Porter, a journalist reporting from Washington, recently revealed the names of those likely to make up a Clinton cabinet, who plan an attack on Syria. All have belligerent cold war histories; the former CIA director, Leon Panetta, says that “the next president is gonna have to consider adding additional special forces on the ground.”

What is most remarkable about the war propaganda now in flood tide is its patent absurdity and familiarity. I have been looking through archive film from Washington in the 1950s when diplomats, civil servants and journalists were witch-hunted and ruined by Senator Joe McCarthy for challenging the lies and paranoia about the Soviet Union and China. Like a resurgent tumor, the anti-Russia cult has returned.

In Britain, the Guardian’s Luke Harding leads his newspaper’s Russia-haters in a stream of journalistic parodies that assign to Vladimir Putin every earthly iniquity. When the Panama Papers leak was published, the front page said Putin, and there was a picture of Putin; never mind that Putin was not mentioned anywhere in the leaks.

Like Milosevic, Putin is Demon Number One. It was Putin who shot down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine. Headline: “As far as I’m concerned, Putin killed my son.” No evidence required. It was Putin who was responsible for Washington’s documented (and paid for) overthrow of the elected government in Kiev in 2014. The subsequent terror campaign by fascist militias against the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine was the result of Putin’s “aggression.” Preventing Crimea from becoming a Nato missile base and protecting the mostly Russian population who had voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia – from which Crimea had been annexed – were more examples of Putin’s “aggression”. Smear by media inevitably becomes war by media. If war with Russia breaks out, by design or by accident, journalists will bear much of the responsibility.

In the US, the anti-Russia campaign has been elevated to virtual reality. The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, an economist with a Nobel Prize, has called Donald Trump the “Siberian Candidate” because Trump is Putin’s man, he says. Trump had dared to suggest, in a rare lucid moment, that war with Russia might be a bad idea. In fact, he has gone further and removed American arms shipments to Ukraine from the Republican platform. “Wouldn’t it be great if we got along with Russia,” he said.

This is why America’s warmongering liberal establishment hates him. Trump’s racism and ranting demagoguery have nothing to do with it. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s record of racism and extremism can out-trump Trump’s any day. (This week is the 20th anniversary of the Clinton welfare “reform” that launched a war on African-Americans). As for Obama: while American police gun down his fellow African-Americans the great hope in the White House has done nothing to protect them, nothing to relieve their impoverishment, while running four rapacious wars and an assassination campaign without precedent.

The CIA has demanded Trump is not elected. Pentagon generals have demanded he is not elected. The pro-war New York Times – taking a breather from its relentless low-rent Putin smears – demands that he is not elected. Something is up. These tribunes of “perpetual war” are terrified that the multi-billion-dollar business of war by which the United States maintains its dominance will be undermined if Trump does a deal with Putin, then with China’s Xi Jinping. Their panic at the possibility of the world’s great power talking peace – however unlikely – would be the blackest farce were the issues not so dire.

“Trump would have loved Stalin!” bellowed Vice-President Joe Biden at a rally for Hillary Clinton. With Clinton nodding, he shouted, “We never bow. We never bend. We never kneel. We never yield. We own the finish line. That’s who we are. We are America!”

In Britain, Jeremy Corbyn has also excited hysteria from the war-makers in the Labour Party and from a media devoted to trashing him. Lord West, a former admiral and Labour minister, put it well. Corbyn was taking an “outrageous” anti-war position “because it gets the unthinking masses to vote for him.”

In a debate with leadership challenger Owen Smith, Corbyn was asked by the moderator: “How would you act on a violation by Vladimir Putin of a fellow Nato state?”

Corbyn replied: “You would want to avoid that happening in the first place. You would build up a good dialogue with Russia … We would try to introduce a de-militarisation of the borders between Russia, the Ukraine and the other countries on the border between Russia and Eastern Europe. What we cannot allow is a series of calamitous build-ups of troops on both sides which can only lead to great danger.”

Pressed to say if he would authorize war against Russia “if you had to,” Corbyn replied: “I don’t wish to go to war – what I want to do is achieve a world that we don’t need to go to war.”

The line of questioning owes much to the rise of Britain’s liberal war-makers. The Labour Party and the media have long offered them career opportunities. For a while the moral tsunami of the great crime of Iraq left them floundering, their inversions of the truth a temporary embarrassment. Regardless of Chilcot and the mountain of incriminating facts, Blair remains their inspiration, because he was a “winner.”

Dissenting journalism and scholarship have since been systematically banished or appropriated, and democratic ideas emptied and refilled with “identity politics” that confuse gender with feminism and public angst with liberation and willfully ignore the state violence and weapons profiteering that destroys countless lives in faraway places, like Yemen and Syria, and beckon nuclear war in Europe and across the world.

The stirring of people of all ages around the spectacular rise of Jeremy Corbyn counters this to some extent. His life has been spent illuminating the horror of war. The problem for Corbyn and his supporters is the Labour Party. In America, the problem for the thousands of followers of Bernie Sanders was the Democratic Party, not to mention their ultimate betrayal by their great white hope.

In the U.S., home of the great civil rights and anti-war movements, it is Black Lives Matter and the likes of Codepink that lay the roots of a modern version.

For only a movement that swells into every street and across borders and does not give up can stop the warmongers. Next year, it will be a century since Wilfred Owen wrote the following. Every journalist should read it and remember it.

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

 

Comments   

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+7 # RMDC 2016-08-23 11:15

As usual, John Pilger nails it. I’d not heard that the court exonerated Milosevic, even if posthumously. He was innocent all along. The so-called “genocide” at Srebrenica did not take place. I followed the trial closely. All the so-called witnesses were paid by the US to lie. Many recanted on the stand. Two of the three judges resigned because the trial was so corrupted by the US.

In the whole of the Yugoslav war, more Serbs were killed or drive out of their homes than any of the other groups, but the Clinton West told exactly the opposite story. It was the same in Rwanda. The Clintons actually instigated two genocides and with the help of the media were successful in blaming the victims.

The war mongering of the right wing leaders of the US is the #1 problem in the world right now. If the money that is put into the wars and defending nations against US agression, were not spent on war, the earth would be a very good place to live.

It is just a tragedy that international courts won’t touch any American war criminals, genocideers, and terrorists. They routinely put the innocent and the victims on trial.

Trump would be better than Hillary Clinton since she would only bring us more of the war mongering same. At least with Trump there’s a small chance some of the war would diminish.

+2 # indian weaver 2016-08-23 11:38

I wonder constantly how all of America’s war criminals, and 1000s exist now, avoid assassination? I expect to read such every day.
+2 # Radscal 2016-08-23 13:16

In the US, it is always the left-leaning anti-war advocates who are assassinated. Never the warmongers.

And yet, it is the left-leaning anti-war advocates who have chosen to disarm. The propaganda is amazing.

+3 # librarian1984 2016-08-23 11:53

Orwell foresaw a time that peace would be unthinkable. In 1984 Winston Smith couldn’t be sure who the enemy was or who had won or lost, only that the war was always ongoing.

Nothing should bolster Trump’s support like the rogues gallery arrayed against him. We deal with austerity as our leaders promise more and greater wars.

Who ever thought the GOP nominee would be the candidate of peace? Is this going to be a permanent realignment, I wonder, or is Trump a one in a thousand phenomenon? How bizarre that the GOP is running to the left of HRC on several issues.

Well, maybe not. Pretty much everything is to the left of fascism.

+4 # Polfrosch 2016-08-23 12:40

Excellent article, the kind of journalism so desperately needed and so close to exctinction.

Chapeau to John Pilger, you are one of the best. And we can read you on rsn.

Which leads me to this remark regarding rsn, which sometimes publishes articles from “Der Spiegel”.

The two headlines in the current online version of “Der Spiegel”, the “former news magazine” which became a CIA frontend in recent years:

1.article:

“Daily Routine in Aleppo: “Some can hardly speak, pledge for help. But all we can do is let them die.””

2.article:
“Syrias Kurds hope for a “No Fly Zone”

subtitle:

“Syrias Kurds press forward towards their next military success. They have driven Assads troups out of the city of Hasaka. Now the regime can only strike back from the air. But the USA issued a strong warning.”

This is the same magazine which had passport-fotos of the victims of the Malaysian airliner MH017 shot down over in Ukraine on it´s cover, along with the headline: “Stop Putin Now!”

As mentioned above, Spiegel articles are published from time to time in RSN.

OK.

But do you really know which source you are publishing? Do your readers know?

“Der Spiegel”, formerly an excellent, often investigative source has become a major supplier of exactly the war propaganda Pilger describes so well in his article.

“Der Spiegel” is not what it used to be.

I have read it for more than 40 years and subscribed to it for more than 35. Not any more.

+1 # Radscal 2016-08-23 13:43

Spot on. The same can be said, to one degree or the other about Britain’s The Guardian and within the US, The Nation and Mother Jones, and so much more.

This was all described in cold, calculating terms in the infamous “Powell Memo” from 1971. They saw the substantial gains made by the Civil Rights and Anti-War Movements from the 1950s through the 1960s. They realized how “dangerous” to the “Establishment” was the New Left coalition as these Movements all merged into one.

So the 0.01% developed a counter-revolut ionary plan outlined in the Powell Memo.

The idea was to infiltrate and ultimately dominate the bastions of left-leaning ideologies, and transform them into propaganda machines to undermine and reverse progress.

From Universities to Newspapers and magazines, and from Hollywood to Harlem, the right-wingers set out to decapitate the Left.

Simultaneously, they created a virulently right-wing media and ‘think-tank” structure that transformed the Conservative ideology into neo-fascist reactionaries.

Thus, the entire political/ideol ogical spectrum was shifted far to the right.

And in the past few years, once again the various strands of dissension were uniting. From Occupy to BLM, and so many more, the 99% began to unite on shared goals. We coalesced around the Sanders Campaign, and scared the bejeebers out of the 0.01%.

Were we effectively put-down again, this time in the Democratic Primary?

+3 # Radscal 2016-08-23 13:50

Thank you, RSN.

There’s been much grumbling recently about RSN’s publishing of DNC apologists like Reich, and CIA propagandists like the Washington Post.

I think it important that we remain informed about how the Establishment seeks to co-opt our values and sway our emotions and thoughts, but the scales have not been so evenly weighted of late, as the editors seem to have sincerely bought into the Fear of the Drumpf Narrative.

But one article by John Pilger can truth-bomb a slew of propaganda pieces.

So, Marc, et al, please provide more balance so that your subscribers/com menters can be better informed, rather than be forced to be the main voice of dissension, and sources of critical, alternative views on this remarkable site.

+2 # cokacoa2 2016-08-23 13:52

I wonder what Matt taibbi would say about this article. It is so right on that it makes one ill just thinking how true it is. It is also why the establishment fought so hard to keep Bernie Sanders from getting any coverage. Jeremy Corbin seems to get more press than Bernie did. The war department contractors must have spent billions against Bernie and therefore on Hillary’s “war chest”. It is all so sad and depressing.
0 # turtleislander 2016-08-23 14:27

At this point our civilization seems to have become some grand tragedy from antiquity. Whether it is the warmongering or the brutal cruelties of neo-liberal economics in western countries, the bad karma and the momentum is overwhelming. Since ww2 it has become clearer and clearer that war is to be avoided, as no one really wins. It is also true that greed is a path to ruin.

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Poet Ed Sanders’ birthday – 77

Ed+Sanders+cameo

August 17, tomorrow, is the 77th birthday of Ed Sanders (born 1939).

Ed is an American activist poet, musician, investigative journalist, editor/publisher, inventor, musicologist, historian, and all-round renaissance mensch. Ed and I were also mutual friends with Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day (1897-1980), “the Godmother of American Christian Anarchism” (now in the process of being fully canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church); and with American Jewish Buddhist Beat poet activist Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), among others. Ed co-founded the musical group The Fugs, was founding editor/publisher of Fuck You! – A Magazine of the Arts, and was founder/owner of the Peace Eye Bookstore, in East Greenwich Village, NYC. Learn more about Ed in the wikipedia entry devoted to him and other sources online.

Here’s a delightful video of Ed performing his poem/musical number “Henri Matisse.” Enjoy.

Happy Birthday, Ed!

And also here are a coupla versions of The Fugs performing “CIA Man”

 

Although Ed co-founded The Fugs, the song CIA Man was mostly written by Fugs fellow co -founder Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010), who also performs as lead singer.

 

CIA MAN (funky version)

from THE FUGS’ FIRST ALBUM 1965

Copyright © Syndicore Music

 

Who can kill a general in his bed?

Overthrow dictators, if they’re Red?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can gun down our counter-agents quick?
Especially the ones, themselves, of it?
Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can plan a riot in Vietnam?
Who can have the troops restore the calm?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can buy a government so cheap?

remove a cabinet without a squeak?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can get a budget that’s so great?

Who will be the 51st state?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who has got the secretest Service,

the one that’s got the other Service nervous?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can cypher anything to zeroes?

not well-known, but simply well-paid heroes

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can take the sugar from its sack?

Pour in LSD, and put it back?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can squash republics like bananas?

if they do not like their social manners?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can can train guerrillas by the dozens?

Send them out to kill their untrained cousins?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who’s the agency well known to God?

The one that copped His staff & copped His rod?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

(repeat numerous times)

 

CIA MAN

from THE FUGS FIRST ALBUM 1965

Copyright © Syndicore Music

Who can kill a general in his bed?

Overthrow dictators, if they’re Red?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can buy a government so cheap?

Change a cabinet without a squeak?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can can train guerrillas by the dozens?

Send ’em out to kill their untrained cousins?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can get a budget that’s so great?

Who will be the 51st state?

Who has got the secretest Service,

the one that makes the other Service nervous?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can take the sugar from its sack?

Pour in LSD, and put it back?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can mine the harbours Nicaragua?

out-hit all the hit-men of Chicag-ua?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can be so overtly covert?

Sometimes even covertly overt?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who’s the agency well known to God?

The one that copped His staff & copped His rod?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

(repeat numerous times)

CIA MAN

from “The Real Woodstock Festival” album (1995)

Ed Sanders: “…A big hit from our First Album (1965), by the great tunesmith, Tuli Kupferberg.”

(applause and cheers)

Tuli: “You know, the CIA and the KGB are considerating amalgating into one company — They would have economy of scale, and efficiency, all of that. And when, uh, if they do get together, they can fire a lot of low level employees, and thus have more money to raise the salaries of the chief executives. You know how that works. So, there was some give-and-take about the name of the new agency: the Russians wanted to call it “CBGB.” But the Americans won out: It’s gonna be “KIA.” What’s that you say? Well, you know, MIA — missing in action. Well, the official abbreviation, standard, right: KIA — killed in action. They’re gonna kill two enemies with one missile…

And now, even now, forward into the past…”

Who can kill a general in his bed?

Overthrow dictators, if they’re Red?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can counter counter-agents quick?
Especially the ones, themselves, of it?
Fucking-a man! CIA man!

Who can buy a government so cheap?

Change a cabinet without a squeak?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can get a budget that’s so great?

Who’ll be the 51st state?

Who has got the secretest Service?

The one that makes the other Service nervous?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can cypher anything to zeroes?

not well-known, but simply well-paid heroes

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can steal a ferry from its pier?

“Cuban Whiteys Always Welcome Here” !

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who can train terrorists by the dozens?

Send ’em out to kill their untrained cousins?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

Who’s the agency well known to God?

The one that copped His staff & copped His rod?

Fuckin-A man, CIA man!

(repeat numerous times)

My God! and those pricks are still with us?

I thought the Cold War was over, and we won!

Where the hell is the Peace Dividend?

We need that money for health care!

(cheers and applause)

Add Jamaica and Nigeria (26 & 27)…

Current, updated list of (27) countries from which people have logged-on to view this site:

Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, US…

updated map of 27 countries with visitors to this blog site:

https://www.amcharts.com/visited_countries/#BE,BG,BY,DE,ES,FI,FR,GB,GR,IE,IT,NL,NO,SE,RU,CA,JM,US,NG,CN,ID,IN,JP,KR,PH,TW,AU

 

 ))))))) ^^^^^^^^(((((((((

 

 

 

Song of the Day: “Seasons” – True Violet

My favorite song of the day, today,

is “Seasons” by True Violet

(it came out last year around this time).

Okay, lyrically it’s nothing all that profoundly Earth-lifting, just a poignant personal love song—or “failed love” song, sure enough. But personal love songs lift the Earth up, too.

Especially those, such as this one, in which the speaker is turning her face to the sun after all her pain & sorrow, anyway, in spite of it all, and partly because of it. The irony of limited love, even failed love, being an inexorable step toward bigger love, boundless love….

The song’s at once tender, sad, wistful, bittersweet, & encouraging. Some may find it inspirational. We love, it doesn’t always work out as we would have wished, it hurts more than words can say, but then we move on. Sometimes the pain helps us realize we weren’t really ready to go farther forward under those conditions anyway. Eventually, we move on, on up in readiness for higher love.

The sooner we realize it’s best to move on up now, rather than linger longer in self-pity, the better off we are, the better life begins to become again. It (that realizational process, and the lyric of this song) doesn’t negate the bittersweet “beauty” and sometimes needed grieving-time involved in processing a break-up, but having given due respect for all that’s involved, the time comes to lift oneself up and sail forth into the sunshine of limitless better possibilities.

It can help, sometimes, if you live in sunny California.

The women in this band moved there together some time ago to seek their collective fortune as musicians. One gets the impression they are happy with their decision. I hope so.

The video and the music & lyrics of this tender-but-strongly hopeful lost-love song certainly capture some of the spirit of their quest to chase the sunshine there in California, both in their lives & their careers as singer-songwriter musicians.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A6TcsK80JA

Seasons      

by True Violet (August 2015)

 

Look at the clock as I,

I wait for closure.

What’s in the cards for me?

We’re getting older.

Always forgive, never forget.

 

Closing my eyes

for sleepless California,

holding the night for me

I’ll keep it from ya.

Slow rise the sun,

take in the light

and shine on.

 

Seasons may change,

but my love’s a lifetime.

Out with the storm,

we’re chasing the sunshine,

we’re chasing the sunshine.

 

Open my heart to you

and now it’s heavy

Caught in the path of two,

but I’m not ready.

Comes with good time,

miles are the years

that we land on.

 

Built by the rocks

that you, you threw upon me.

Your words were cheap,

like sticks, they couldn’t harm me.

Color your lies, you’ve paid the price,

’cause you’re breathing.

 

Seasons may change,

but my love’s a lifetime.

Out with the storm,

we’re chasing the sunshine,

we’re chasing the sunshine.                                                                                             

 

What’s done is left unsaid,

and I’m living life now

half-way dead.

What’s there to live for?

My heart is down

from your scar.

 

I’m feeling like

I’m half-way there,

but I put the past back

and I just don’t care.

So I’m chasing, I’m chasing sunshine

out there.

 

Ohhh, closing my eyes

for sleepless California

holding the night for me,

we’re chasing the sunshine,

we’re chasing the sunshine.

                           

credits

released August 30, 2015
True Violet

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