Wednesday, October 01, 2014

the F word: Forgiveness

The F Word traveling exhibit - The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness exhibition, is a thought provoking collection of arresting images and personal narratives exploring forgiveness in the face of atrocity. First launched in London in 2004, it has since been displayed in over 300 venues worldwide. Drawing together voices from South Africa, America, Canada, Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland and England, the exhibition examines forgiveness as a healing process, a journey out of victimhood and, ultimately, a journey of hope.

CA's new sex assault law and story of time I was raped

I posted this to my Facebook wall a couple days ago and then I've been busy writing and organizing.

I am not sure this law will be easily or effectively administered. If both parties are drunk, can either give meaningful consent?

I was raped while living in Spain in 1975. Franco was still their dictator, it was so long ago. I was sober and so was my rapist but he would have had the defense that I said yes. Read on.

Once I went out for tapas for a cheap dinner, a cute guy tried to pick me up and invited me to go up into the hills/mountains above Granada, home of The Alhanbra, the astounding Moorish castle built when the Moors (Muslims today) ruled Southern Spain. He invited me to go see authentic flamenco dancing, which originated, it is said in Granada and the 'authentic' flamenco is performed in natural caves converted into tiny nightclubs with flamenco dancing.

Of course I wanted to see authentic flamenco dancers. So we went to a flamenco bar and it was wonderful. Then he asked if I'd like to go somewhere more romantic. i am quite sure that I did not misunderstand him. I had already lived in Mexico for six months and Colombia for a year and I was fluent. I said "Yes, I'd like to go somewhere romantic". I thought 'romantic' meant somewhere quiet where we could talk and get to know one another. He meant going higher up in the hills/mountains (it was late, dark, I don't know what all those looming hills were in the darkness) and he pulled over to the side of the road after we had driven without seeing another car for sometime.

Turned out he assumed that I understood he had asked me to have sex, and by going up in the hills with him, I had agreed. I said "No, I don't want to have sex with you."  He punched me in one of my eyes. Hard. It really hurt.  Then I glanced around, realized how foolish I had been, realized the guy could kill me and dump me out alongside that remote road and no one in the world would have any idea how my body got there. So I let him have sex.

I guess he thought giving me a painful black eye was a form of wooing because when he dropped me off where I was living, he asked if he could see me again. Incredulous I said "you just raped me, so you are asking me, what, to come out and get raped again?" and I slammed the door in his face.

So. Was that consensual sex? I did let him have sex, out of fear he would hurt me even more seriously. I don't think I consented. I was raped.

Worse than getting raped was this:  I was there with a program of my home university and my favorite professor was in charge of it in Grenada. I loved him, that professor, as a beloved father figure, friend, mentor and professor.  I told him I had been raped and he told me not to tell anyone because it might discourage students to enroll in his program in Spain in the following trimesters.  I was so shocked by his request that I withdrew from school and returned to the states.

I had a Eurailpass for the end of the term, with plans to travel in Europe for three months with the train pass. It wasn't usable for three more months. After being raped, and hearing my genuine beloved prof tell me to keep it a secret, I was devastated. Emotionally raped by Professor John, eh?  I could use his name. I am sure he is deceased. I won't because I did love him.  I heard rumors from other profs the few times I visited my old campus after I graduated that John was surprised I did not stay in touch, for we had been close, going out to lunch together every Wednesday at a girly teahouse. Every time we went to the tea house, he would introduce me to the hostess, explain that his wife was busy on Wednesdays and his wife knew he was out with me. He would bow. A courtly bow. This man personified courtly.

A college friend went on our college's program in Germany. She walked back to where she was living after getting off a train from a weekend getaway, late at night. She felt safe in the small town. She was raped. She reported it, participated in the prosecution and the guy was convicted and sent to jail. That happened before I was raped in Spain so John knew about it.

Sad memories. I'll stop.

This new law, I fear, has amgituity that the legal system can tear apart.

I was depressed. . and then. . .

Sitting right here on my dumpster IKEA sofa (I bought a new cover for $20, voila, a sofa) a couple days ago, it hit me, as it has before, but each time I get such a hit, it is fucking awesome. . . It hit me that I really am stardust, that I really do live in a majestic, magical and mystery universe. Me. I am a part of all the gobsmacking beauty, love, magic, energy and everything wonderful.

Wow. These thoughts blissed me out and it's been two days and I'm still floating on bliss clouds, which keep me a tad closer to the stars.


a bulimic once asked me, at a Vipassana retreat . . .

Vipassana retreats are ten days of silence, but on the penultimate day, they allow students to talk so they begin to adjust to life outside the meditation center.

Once, on talk day, a young woman told me she had come on the retreat so she would not be able to binge eat. She was struggling mightily with bulimia, had moved back home to Montana to her parents house because she was too sick to work. She told me she had told her parents that she was home because she couldn't find a job. She thought she was hiding the bulimia from them. She said she couldn't afford treatment so she had come to  a ten day retreat where she only had access to two meals a day and had to eat in front of all the other female students so she would not binge eat.  She kept repeating that she was sure her parents did not know about her bulimia.

To which I responded, "Gosh, I knew within a couple weeks after my daughter developed her eating disorder that she had one. I knew right away."

"How did you know?" that young woman, her eyes flashing panic.  "Do you think my parents know about me?  I would be so ashamed for then to know."

"First, you have an illness, so don't waste any of your life force with shame. Secondly, I knew my daughter had an eating issue because I brought all the groceries in the house. If a whole box of fig newtons vanished overnight and I had not eaten them, it had to be here. It was a very abrupt change in her behavior. She did not binge long. She remembered prom was coming up and she switched to starving herself to lose weight for prom. Once she started losing, she couldn't stop. I knew she was starving herself because I brought all the food in the house and if only I ate things, I knew she was not eating. It was not rocket science."

The girl was upset, even panicked. "Do you think my parents know, really truly?!"

"If you are binge eating large quantities of food while your parents sleep each night, and purging, your parents either know or they don't want to know. That would be denial. Think about it. If they are buying food and it is gone when they go to eat it, and they are conscious beings, they know about your health issues.  I hope you open up with them when you get home. Even if, as you say, you have no access to medical care, your parents love and support is help. And there are support groups you can go to."

That young woman was in such a tizzie. She seemed to have very sincerely believed her parents did not know she ate mass quantities of food every night while they slept. Like I said, if they didn't know, they didn't want to.

I knew about Rosie the first time she ate an entire box of Fig Newtons. It was the first tine in her life she did anything even remotely like binge eating.

your pain leads you forward

longest journey of anyone . . . .

There was a movie, 20 or 30 years ago, in which a national newscaster got fed up with this world's insanity and he began shouting, almost chanting, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."  In the movie, keeping in mind this is fiction, people all over NYC go to their windows and shout out "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."

There was either a movie or a Broadway play, perhaps both, in which a main character said "Stop the world, I want to get off."

I don't think there is any way to get off this ride. Death is not an escape, merely a portal to the next experience for our energy.

I am finding my inward journal arduous and I need a partner on the path.

A former acquaintance once shared with me a paper he wrote about Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, "The Celestial Railroad".  The short story is laden with ambiguity. Is the Conductor the Devil? Does the Celestial Railroad carry its passengers to heaven or hell? In the story, the Conductor converses with a couple passengers as the train sails over the Slough of Despond. Hawthorne does not say so directly, he was too great a writer to be so blunt, but I believe he is suggesting that humans can try to avoid the travails of life, such as the Slough of Despond, but not forever.  Also, the Conductor occasionally points outside to the pairs of humans arduously traversing life outside the easy train ride to somewhere.

I believe Hawthorne wrote that short story as a kind of response to Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (not entirely sure of that author's name). I believe Hawthorne was suggesting that in his time, which was quite some time ago, people mistakenly tried various schemes and approaches to their spiritual life with the mistaken belief that they could bypass the arduous path of the pairs of pilgrims trudging up and downthe paths of their lives.  I also think Hawthorne was making commentary on rapid change in his culture.

Every line I read that was the voice of 'the Conductor' made me cringe.

What stands out, positively, even hopefully, for me about 'The Celestial Railroad' is the pairs of pilgrims that the Conductor scoffs at.

In a way, Hawthorne's short story is similar to the theme in Damm Yankees, where a ballplayer makes a deal with the devil so he can win a World Series.

All humans face temptation, face potential bargains with dark choices, dark forces.

The only way out is inward. And, I believe this so completely that sometimes it hurts, we need partners on our path.  People don't marry for love, not that I want to marry. I think people form into pairs because the path of life is sometimes arduous and it is nice to have a steady companion for mutual support.

There is a scene in one o the Lord of the Rings books in which Sam helps Frodo, who is tasked with taking the Ring where it needs to go,  climb over a fence. it was in the movie, don't remember if it was in the book, but the meaning of the scene is in the book. When Frodo sets out on his treacherous adventure, Sam insists on accompanying him. Sam sometimes seems slow and a tad too servile but he is wise enough to know Frodo needs a partner. There is a lovely scene where, as Frodo faces a stone fence he has to climb over, Sam gives him a boost by holding his two hands together. This is the kind of partner and support I need and want to give another.

I'm so tired of inner, solo journeys.

our life waits on no one

From Jeff Brown's FB page:

It's hard to let go when we don't know why they're gone. It's natural to want an explanation, an understanding, something that puts their leaving into perspective. It's hard to move on when there is nothing but silence, or worse, a strangely formal way of relating, as though you made the whole thing up. But we can't put our lives on hold, waiting for an answer that may never come. Maybe they will tell us one day, or maybe they will never understand it themselves. It isn't that important. What is important is that we don't abandon ourselves in the heart of loss. That we don't make another's presence more important than our own. That we don't lock ourselves in a prison of our own making, waiting for an external liberator to set us free. If they have left, we have to leave too. We have to let the pain through the holes they left behind so it can find its ultimate destination. Our precious life waits on no one.

This sounds good. Easy to say, hard to do, at least for me. I do abandon myself in the heart of loss. Intellectually I know I should prioritize self love but, emotionally, I can't quite come to grips with a couple losses.  I don't think many humans have the limitations that I have. I have no intimates in my life. No family.  I spend all holidays alone and have for fourteen years. I know the rhetoric; I created this.  My pain is searing, nearly constant and I am so tired of struggling.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

unattached to outcome

I am unattached to what happens to me when I die.

I just had a lovely lucid dream. The earth had continued to be destroyed by humans. Gravity slowly wore off and humans and all animals and physical things began to float away from the Earth, drifting into the stars, the cosmos.

I then thought of a conversation I had with a man on Sunday. He said he liked the Jewish religion's position on the afterlife. I don't know if his characterization of what religious Jews think of the after life but he said for Jews, this life is it and that's it. So make the most of this life.

Most people I know believe in reincarnation.

After my exchange with the man I alluded to, I guess I have been thinking about life after death.  I believe everything is energy. I believe the energy that comprises me will remain in the universe, although I have no idea how the energy that is currently me might morph.

I might land in another galaxy as an exalted elite being. I might land on another planet that supports the kind of life we know on earth and be a bee or a butterfly.

And I might reincarnate as another person, after a period of energy processing. Rudolf Steiner indicated that the time between death and rebirth is approximately a third of the amount of time you lived this life.  Was he right?  Who knows?

An afterlife in a dreamy Heaven, an inconceivably different planet in a different galaxy.

It doesn't matter to me.

On this, I am unattached to outcome. Just as well since I have no power over life after death, eh?  Or do I?  Many religions would say how I live in this life will affect my afterlife, whatever that afterlife might be.

No one knows. Mystery abounds.

if you leave someone

If you leave someone
at least tell them why
truthfully and thoroughly
because what's more painful 
than being abandoned:
knowing you are not worth
an explanation


I am not my mother, Katie Joy

I have meditated for over ten years now. I had undergone much training and therapy. You probably remember the work I did with Lynn. That was intense inner capacity development work.  I am nothing like my mother, who was a horrific parent, but I did not abandon her. And, as you know, I saw my great aunt Effie weekly for years out of respect for her sister, my maternal grandmother. I also visited Effie so much to teach you to honor your elders, to love your family no matter what.  Looks like that failed, eh?

I don't think I can be happy without you in my life. I have read scores about happiness, how it should not be dependent on another's love.  I know how to find joy in life and appreciate the mystery and magic.  I have many happy moments.

At my core, I am heartbroken over the loss of you. This grief never diminishes. I forget about it, sometimes, thankfully, for several days. It always returns to my consciousness.

I can't see stable happiness for me when my daughter, to whom I gave everything I had to give, won't have anything to do with me.

For several years after you dumped me, about all I did was keen in grief. I combed my memories and then told myself I have blocked out the memories that lead you to disown me. For awhile there, I was a madwoman, believing I had beaten you a lot and then blocked it out of my consciousness. I never beat you. I did slap you, twice I think. That's it.  I was not emotionally abusive. We rarely quarreled. If I failed, it was in indulging you without taking care of myself.

Did you always hate me but faked love to survive?  If you always hated me, I could understand faking love because a child is dependent on adult care.  But what the fuck did I do that made me unbearable to you?

Rudolf Steiner on Love

"Love is for the world what the sun is for external life. No soul could thrive if love departed from the world. Love is the “moral” sun of the world. Would it not be absurd if a person who delights in the flowers growing in a meadow were to wish that the sun would vanish from the world? Translated into terms of the moral life, this means: Our deep concern must be that an impulse for sound, healthy development shall find its way into the affairs of humanity. To disseminate love over the earth in the greatest measure possible, to promote love on the earth — that and that alone is wisdom."
- Rudolf Steiner

parenting tip #3

When little playmates were around and the girls made noise that got on my nerves, we'd have a quiet contest. This worked especially well when in a car with two or three giggling girls.

I would announce "Let's have a quiet contest, see how long we can be silent. The one who is silent the longest wins!". I never suggested they won anything other than the honor. When one girl would start talking, as, of course, they always did, the girls would giggle awhile and then I would say "Okay, let's try that again. Let's see if we can be quiet even longer."

Don't misunderstand this parenting tool. It does not buy you long stretches of silence with several kids in your car. It buys you a few moments, perhaps a minute.

Sometimes, hanging out with squirming, giggling, adorably delightful children gets very noisy and sometimes the adult needs a moment of silence.

I ever did this when I had two or three teenage girls in my car. It always bought me a moment of peace.

Curiously, no child ever challenged the quiet contest as not being a real thing. Not even my daughter.

I loved quiet contests, mostly because the children cooperated so nicely, although not long.

At the end of our quiet contests, we're all laugh and, I believe, got louder than ever. But respite had been achieved.

another parenting trick #2

Sometimes my dear little girl needed a nap but did not think she did. She would balk at the idea of napping. So I would make this deal. I told her that if she lay down and kept her eyes closed for ten minutes, then she could get up and skip her nap. She always agreed to this. And she always fell asleep before ten minutes had passed.

a katie joy story: a parenting secret revealed

I just remembered something Katie did for several years. She would change her outfits several times a day, often wearing each one for fifteen minutes, perhaps an hour, then changing to another one. And then, she insisted that I launder them all, even though they were not soiled.

I cheated. I washed clothes that had been worn several hours. She would put all her several changes for a single day in the laundry hamper and I would tell her I laundered them but really I put the clean clothes back in her drawers and closet.

I am not exaggerating when I say she could, in that changing outfit phase, go through eight outfits in a single day.

At the time, we lived in a third floor walk up, with the laundry room down four flights of stairs. Hauling clean clothes down to the laundry room, spending money to launder and dry clean clothes and then lug them back up four flights of stairs just didn't work for me. A waste of money, detergent, laundry and my energy.

A few times, I made a big show of taking the laundry basket full of her clean clothes that she had only worn for half an hour per outfit, 'downstairs'. Then while she napped, I was able to pretend I had done the laundry.

We lived in a fancy, old apartment with a front door and a back door.  I would put that laundry basket full of her clean things at the top of the stairs. I never once saw the neighbor, or neighbors, across the hall use that firestairwell, only the front. I would stand out there long enough to convince Katie I had gone to the basement.

thanks to all who have been part of my journey

Monday, September 29, 2014

Paul Coelho wisdom

"Order is Joy. Order is Beauty." Rudhyar

"Order is Joy. Order is Beauty. From order to order I progress ... "

-- Rudhyar

whoever you are, no matter how lonely . . .

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Mary Oliver

when I 'got' that all is energy

In college, I was pals with a female physics major. I mention her gender because the whole four years she was a physics major, she was subjected to a lot of sexist shit, with even the professors, all male in her department, telling her no girl ever majored in physics. She did, graduating with honors even.

We lived in a shared house owned by our university and used as dorm space but it was better than a dorm. It was a real house, real kitchen, but we paid the same rate as a dorm.

One evening, while sharing a joint, she suddenly became very excited. I asked what was she excited about. She said "I just got quantum physics, I just got that there are no solids, that everything is moving energy. This table," she said as she placed her hand on it, "is not solid, it is a quivering mass of energy. I finally got it. This changes everything for me."

Being a high impath, but never having taken a physics course, I literally felt what she felt about her exciting onset of awareness of a theory she had been grappling with for a class.  I, too, got that everything is energy.

I was 19 or 20. So i've known the whole universe is nothing but energy for over 40 years.

I know that every thought I have is energy, energy that seeds the field between myself and other humans. I try to surface my thoughts so those I relate to can be conscious of the energy moving in me and I want others to do the same, sharing their actual thoughts with me.  I don't really endorse editing, although politely sharing thoughts is optimal.

Anyway, I am keenly aware in this moment that my body, mind and whole being is a wuivering, undulating energy, that everything around me is quivering, undulating energy and that how I inhabit this energy field affects the field and those around me and the world.

being heard is being loved

Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person,

they are almost indistinguishable.

--David Augsburger

when we heal, it affects everyone

When we heal, it affects everyone.
When we avoid our healing, it affects everyone.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

few can open gate to profound love

There always seems to be someone running away from a beautiful love connection but its seldom the brave one. The brave one is usually the one left behind. It seems counter-intuitive to romantics and those who feel ready to partner when someone walks away. But some people can only handle a half love because a whole love shines a light on their dark places. Real intimacy requires real presence, and if someone isn't ready to be truly here on an individual level, they will find it very difficult to manage all the triggers that come up in connection. Only a small few can hold the gate open when profound love enters. A blessed and courageous few.
 Jeff Brown, said on his FB page to be a public figure (that I never heard of) but I like some of his quotes.

Sunday dinner, then and now

Growing up, our Sunday dinner was always a bit fancier than the rest of the week. It usually involved mom roasting a chicken.

Today I am marinating some boneless chicken thighs, pasture raised and pasture fed, in a tikka masala marinade (or my version thereof). After canvassing, I'll come home and bake my chicken.

A huge raw salad, chicken and fruit for dessert.

Expecting a date.

I am a pretty good cook but I don't cook much for myself. Never have. I like to cook for people.

Gosh, I had to take the chicken out of the freezer yesterday and then I put the chicken in a marinade before I head out in a few minutes to canvas all afternoon. I am impressed with myself.

And I made more than we'll need for dinner so I have leftovers.

I don't eat much chicken anymore. I can live without it.  But for some reason, I am craving a hearty meal.

Say, I could bake a squash, too.

Yum.  And I have something to look forward to while out canvassing, which gets hot, hard, tiring, except when it is uplifting and happy-making.

my mother's pearls

My mom had a gorgeous strand of pearls that, somewhat strangely, my dad gave to her years after they had divorced. Technically, one of my brothers 'gave' mom the pearls but dad had bought them for her and given them to one of his sons to give to her.

One of the last times I saw my mom, she said I could have them. The strand had broken. I had the pearls restrung and that restringing quickly came undone.  I love these pearls but I don't want to spend $100 or more to have them restrung again. And pearls are more formal than I am, I think.

Should I send them to my daughter?

Last Christmas, I sent her a pair of 24K gold earrings that match a necklace given to me by a friend long ago. The friend had made the necklace and earrings for her girlfriend but her girlfriend did not wear jewelry.  I guess I gave Katie the necklace. Or maybe she took it. When she would visit me during her first two years of college, she would take things of mine without asking. I'd go to look for something, looking and looking.

Whatever.  I had seen her wearing this necklace in a few Facebook photos and recalled I had the matching earrings. I sent them to her last Xmas. She signed for the insured package. She did not thank me.

I need to stop trying to squeeze the memory of a relationship, accept she and I have no relationship. Letting go of things related to her feels helpful, allowing me to let go a bit here and there.

I don't think I will ever stop aching over the loss of my daughter. I am sure the loss has shaved many years off my life.

My sister did not want our mother's pearls. She had issues with mom, as did all our mother's children. She sucked as a mom, but she was damaged and unable to do better.

So if my sister doesn't want them and I don't want them, giving them to Katie seems about right. She can always give them away.

Thinking. Undecided.

my daughter's childhood photos

I have a few boxes of papers and some old photos that I have carried around for years. I have lived in CA eight years now and never opened these boxes, letting them take up space in closets, space I need for my present life, not my past one.

I have been going through these boxes, one paper at a time. It is an onerous task. I might find something, like a birth certificate, that I can't toss out so I had to look at everything.

I was surprised when I came upon a large stash of photos of my daughter, from infancy through high school.  At first, I thought I would make a digital copy for myself so I would still have images of her. But that costs money, money I can ill afford to spend. More importantly, to me, was the photos represent my loss. I looked at photos of my baby, toddler, middle schooler and I would feel overwhelmed with both my love for her and memories of how she was presenting herself in the world at the time the photos were taken. I always thought she was absolutely wonderful so I get flooded with feelings and thoughts about how exquisite she was at age one,  nine, fifteen, whatever.  It hurts to feel these feelings, reminding me of what I have lost that I don't think I'll ever get back.

I just packed them up and mailed them to her, with no digital record for myself.  I am trying to get rid of stuff to prepare for my move. I came upon a fat stash of Katie photos that had been in a box in a closet since I moved to CA eight years ago. Obviously I don't look at them. I didn't want to spend anything to digitize them. I'm struggling over money a lot just now.
Old photos now strike me as weird. It's past. 

I never carried photos of her as many parents do because I carried her in my heart. I still carry her in my heart. I always will. But those photos, even though they flooded me with happy feelings and memories, also flooded me with a cutting sense of having lost my only child. I feel alone, unloved, bereft when I see those photos.  I had to release them.
She might have fun seeing her baby, grade school and high school photos (haven't really seen her since, eh?), showing them to her boyfriend. Or she might just chuck 'em.
anyway, I let them go but could not just toss them out. She can toss 'em but that feels like her decision, not mine.
I am surprised I had so many photos of her. And I still have an, as yet, uncovered photo album that I will also send her when I come upon that box.

​ I had the requisite nude baby taking bath photos, blowing out birthday candles, fancy dances in high school photos. Another life, one I am no longer a part of.  Every time I let go of something of hers, I feel sadness and gladness. It feels a bit like tossing things off a boat that has too much weight.​

Saturday, September 27, 2014

everything affected by evolving collective consciousness, esp. economics

Our current economic paradigm, free market capitalism, is built on the ravaging of our commons, Mother Earth, for profit without taking great, careful, nurturing care of our home.  We allow private corporation owners to extract from our collective commons without tithing a fair share into the commons. A healthy economic realm exists solely to support human life. Economics is supposed to serve humans in their pursuit of happiness and self-realization.

Biodynamics, the approach to agriculture developed by Rudolf Steiner and collaborators whose names I do not recall, aligns the timing of the choices related to growing food to the stars, the time of year. A key component of biodynamic farming is a biodynamic farmer carefully nurtures the soil as carefully as she nurtures the food she grows.

We have to begin to do something similar with the planet. And it is capitalism that is killing nature so we have to develop a new, collective consciousness around the economic realm of human culture.

We need to develop different inner capacities, capacities some people already have but not enough, so we can listen to the whole, make choices that affect our interconnectedness on our home Mother Earth from within the bell of being, from within a collective consciousness.

we need to change economic consciousness

Otto Sharmer: 8-innovations-economic-system-capitalism

This is a great article. I am a longtime fan of Sharmer's thinking. In this article, he points out that economics only address social and economic evolution, that economics does not factor in the inescapable truth that collective human consciousness evolves too. And we need to also consider that human consciousness deeply impacts the economic realm of our social order.

Read it. It's worth the short time.

Friday, September 26, 2014

your true nature

the right people will find you

forgiveness is . . . .

Forgiveness is . .. (taken from comments on Fetzer Institute page on forgiveness. . .)
  • an act of self love
  • active love
  • the heart of love
  • love pushes forgiveness up the hill, then they roll down laughing in each other's arms
  • forgiveness is active love
  • It takes love to forgive...and once embraced love grows and grows
  • Forgiveness is the TEST of love

Thursday, September 25, 2014

love is not an emotion: Rumi

Love is not an emotion
It is your very existence.

Shareholder value killing business and the planet (and its inhabitants)

Rudolf Steiner envisioned a social renewal that would be comprised of a threefold social order:  social, artistic and economic. He indicated that the economic realm exists solely to support the social and artistic realms and for no other reason. The economic realm does not exist to allow a lucky elite to accumulate wealth generatead by the labor of others, which is what shareholders get.

Steiner indicated, in the early 20th century (so ahead of his time!) that shareholders would become a cancer on human culture. He said that when an initiative needs start up capital, that an investor should receive a modest return (interest) on her loan of capital but to give that investor shares in which the investor, or future owners of the stock, profit generated by the wealth of employees of the initiative amounted to a cancer on human culture.

Steiner sure looks right. Capitalism and its priority to please shareholders is killing the planet and its inhabitants, a slow, painful downfall.

In law school, everyone takes Corporations which was a two semester course at my school and, I imagine, most law schools.  Much of our legal system serves the corporate world and our legal system has becoming increasingly corporatized, prioritizing corporations over people.

My Corp law prof was a great professor. A showman and a brilliant legal analytical mind. And he was a corporate activist. He sometimes would buy one share in a company so he could go to shareholder meetings and protest corporate policies.  He began each new class by asking, in classic law school rhetorical stance, "What is the purpose of a corporation?"

Then he let the huge auditorium filled with law students bluster for awhile. I never have hung out a more argumentative crrowd than law students. How boring law school was for me and yet I was steadily amazed to see the guys down in front -- for the most aggressive guys always sat as close to the teacher as possible, so they could talk (show off?) more -- how they loved to argue just to argue, not to learn.Or so it seemed to me.

When all the biggest debaters in our corporations class had run out of gas, Scott, the perofessor, would say "The goal of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders." That unleashed another round of debate. Didn't corporations serve society?  Nope. Scott guided us to our case law books.  It is deeply woven into our legal system that corporations do not have a duty to the social or artistic realms:   corporations, in the legal mindset of our legal system, only has a duty to make money for shareholders. Corps don't even have a duty to provide good livings for its workers, who generate the wealth cancerous stakeholders end up owning.

I listened to arguments ad nauseum during my law school years justifying corporations having no duty to society, to nature, to its employees. The only duty a corporation had, we were told again and again  -- in tax classes, contracts, torts, even that peculiar Sub-S corp class I took -- that the only duty a corporation has is to make money for its shareholders.  I like to believe this attitude has softened.  I have participated in many discussions, conferences and, yes, debates about the various takeholders in a society and heard, repeatedly, the argument that as a participant in society, a corporation has duties to that society and not merely to shareholders. And corps have invested in greenwashing themselves, posiong as socially responsible.

I read the other day that capitalism is killing the earth. Fracking, extracting all the natural resources needed to make those bendable iphones and my laptops, etc.

I took a class in my OD MS program in the environmental department called "Building Sustinable Businesses". I heard lots of rhetoric about corporations have duties to community, employees, the education system that educates their employees, the society that provices a container in which they exist, market and, hopefully, thrive. But no laws.  I took that class in 1999. Corporate social responsbility was in it s infancy. Now I have seen it morph into a cynical way for corporations to greenwash themselves.

And now I see the sharing economy being akin to the greenwashing of corporate social responsibility -- paying lipservice to being socially responsible but not doing anything socially responsible other than make money for shareholders  (Walmart owners are multi-billionaires but they do not pay a living wage to most of their staff, taxpayers pay for their emplyees health care and food stamps and the Walmart owners get rich while evading their responsibility to the people who create their wealth).

AirBnB, Uber, Lyft. These companies don't seem to give a hoot about social responsibility. While I empathize with Uber or Lyft drivers, or Taskrabbit taskers, for any genuine need to generate enough income to thrive in the world, we still have shareholders in such companies gaining return on the workers' effort plus offloading lots of risk onto society. If an Uber driver doesn't have to carry the same kind of insurance as a taxi, or pay licensing fees to the city, Uber and their drivers are analogous to the Walmart billionaires benefiting when taxpayers provide their employees with Medicaid and food stamps. Everyone trying to make a buck that actually cost someone else. IMHO. Not being an economist or any kind of expert, what the heck do I know?

I see many inequities in these new 'sharing economy' businesses. AirBnB takes rental space out of the rental market and sometimes creates disruptive tourist-partying environments in residential areas.

I know nothing of what I write, eh?