The Remedy Journal: a periodic notation
28-12-13 - Transitions
30-12-12 - To Everything There Is A Season
01-11-11 - Autumn Time and Magic
31-01-11 - Milestone Anniversary + Shared Seasons
08-03-10 - Important Investment Advice
03-03-10 - This HAARP is not for Angels
14-02-10 - The Truth About 9/11
24-12-09 - An Ode To WONDER
10-12-09 - Remedy’s Florida Cat Tale
25-07-09 - OMB, Economy, and Twain
04-05-08 - Creation and Harmony
26-12-07 - Challenges Often Bring Benefits
25-10-06 - More Being, less Doing
05-02-06 - Mind is not Matter - Bearden
07-01-06 - Magneto Tidal Resonance
20-12-05 - UFO-ETs and Neuroscience
20-11-05 - Communication - Inner + Outer
30-10-05 - On Accidents + Ancestors
18-08-05 - Kin + Cardio-Capers
16-10-04 - Imagination + Inspiration
09-09-04 - Intuition + HeartMath
22-06-04 - On Medium as Message
19-04-15 – A time for ….
Slept late – seem to be going through a transitional phase.
On my 8k morning walk I thought of time. Everyone has wondered about time, and some have even wondered if Time wasn’t an artifact of our mind, weaving a narrative of ‘nows’ to give meaning to life. So I looked at Time, and how things seemingly so real and durable at one stage of our lives, fade away at another stage. We mortals tend to try to capture “time in a bottle”, to seize special moments and eternalize them in memory, only later to realize that those captured moments have actually imprisoned us, and we then suffer from knowing that what had been – is no more. Yet we do hunger to retain special moments – such as the times of open rapport between fellow travelers/lovers – the opportunity to find oneself through the mind of another. Or ‘twix an established couple, those beautiful and special moments when time pauses and the two can together savor the rapture of a look, a touch, a kiss, a clasp, the magic of conjoined bodies and souls, and the shared silences.
So a couple often talks, and inform each other, and those talks are textured by memories of earlier lost loves, hence all the more poignant.
Perhaps many anxieties derive from a fixation on capturing (and being captured by) ‘eternal moments’ — which becomes an impediment to engaging life as an ongoing phenomenon.
Interesting concept – ongoing life. Perhaps there are really no beginnings, no ends. Perhaps beginnings and ends are illusory constructs, and history itself doesn’t begin nor end … it just continues. The nearby oak beside this morning’s trail that now seems so permanent, in reality is only a relatively durable accretion of energy that doesn’t disappear when the oak dies, but is redistributed. Similarly, I could imagine my own self/will as a force that won’t disappear but will rather be redistributed … and that all life contains the same force ... and so we needn’t worry about our cessation because our responsibility in temporal life is to just contain the force for a while … and then relinquish it. Time keeps reminding us that we merely inhabit it, cannot possess it.
Stepping back from existential anxiety, one can wonder if the best thing about time passing is our privilege of running out of it, of watching the wave of mortality break over us and everyone and everything we know. We can’t – and don’t have to – carry life forever. Imagine – no more clutching at time, no more ‘potential’ to have to live up to. The privilege of knowing one day we’ll be finished, and time will go on merrily without us. Here we are – look at us – stardust dancing our little dances for a few moments against the background of eternity.
Perhaps it’s quite permissible to forget some of the past and to lighten our knapsacks. Forgetting the past facilitates ones renewed participation in life, itself a force indifferent to time. To reach out for new experiences, new memories, new life. Perhaps now in my own situation it is timely for me to let go of some old stuff so as to be responsive to the new … yet still retaining just the vaguest echo-memory of love’s taste, of past participation in the great unity, to guide the new chapter.
Time punishes us by taking everything, but it also saves us — by taking everything.
Until next time
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22-04-15 – Marnie’s Goodbye
This morning when walking early, I sadly noted that it had been exactly 22 months since I’d held Marnie’s hand and talked her out of life in front of our family – and that concurrent with her last gasp a wild energetic surge had passed into my body, convulsing it. I’d wondered about that surge at the time, and also later, as it had seemed that I had unusual energy for several months, and also there had been signs that could be interpreted as to her presence shielding, nudging, guiding, sustaining me.
In time I started to wonder how could I ever set her aside, in effect “throw her under the bus” and re-engage life with another.
In talking over the phone with my Sis in Florida a week ago, the feeling emerged that I would probably be alone until my end.
THEN the above reverie about TIME on April 19th.
THEN my despondence on the walk today – and THEN suddenly there was a break-through.
I’d felt all along that I couldn’t leave HER, and now an internal message distinctly came to me:
“Keith I HAVE been with you until now, but now I must leave you –
I have to go; go not because I want to, but because I have to –
it’s the natural process – you’ll be OK now. You have stuff to do, and so do I …
I could only stay on with you for a time, my Love – now I’m fading away”.
Her “message” didn’t come in a block like that, but a bit at a time as I walked. I never “pushed” the communication, just receptively waited, and after a pause there’d be a bit more, as though she only had enough force to transmit a bit, then rest, then continue.
It seems that regardless of the strength of one’s will (and Marnie mia’s was very strong), after a time the personal discrete life force has to be absorbed back to and thru the creative font, for redistribution across the life-sphere.
As I walked on in my growing aloneness, or “adulthood”, all around me I started to see life in a different way –
mating birds, budding trees, a cloud of gnats, the sprouting ferns – all seen differently – her force was already becoming part of the Greater force – as someday mine and yours will be.
As the Jains believe, Life renews and goes on, and the vehicle of each is sacred to its embodied spirit.
Yet two days later, on the 24th – when the frogs sang for me, I wondered if perhaps Marnie’s spirit can still reach out to me and affect.
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24-04-15 – The ‘Anniversary’ Frog-song
Spring has been late in arriving. On Thursday, the 24th,
I went over to McRae Provincial Park - every 14th on our anniversary Marnie and
I would visit an old frog pond there & take some wine and cheese &
listen to the frog courting chorus. Seeing as the season is so delayed this
year, I finally went over 10 days late.
I listened along the side-road as I drove past other ponds and streams on the way over, and then listened in the Park as I walked past its swamp - but nada a peep from any frogs.
It was about 3pm when I arrived at our old table; the sun was warm as I sat beside the pond and thought the old times in silence for 15 minutes
THEN just as I stood up to leave, the little gaffers broke out in serenade.
Kinda shook me .... Even wondered if the spirit of Marnie had nudged them, for me.
It was really something. The picnic table was sort of centered, so there was good stereo. As mentioned, I’d stopped at other places on the way there - no frog song anywhere else yet. And later on the way back home I went into Mara Provincial Park which has its own stream and swamp too - still nada. Just that one place in McCrae – our old haunt – and the timing seemed magical - I'd given up on them for the day, had been kind of melancholy and starting to stand up from the picnic table and the lead "conductor" had started the show.
They would have been brown bull frogs - the greenies aren't as vocal or as enthusiastic. There is very little pond-water yet (few rains) and the frogs were hidden in puddles in the old grass and bulrushes, and must have just emerged from their mud-hibernation into the 3 pm sun, ready as all get out to engage in the Banquet of Life. There were a half dozen or so tuning up from different points - very loud & very happy - it stirs the blood - I remember how the chorus used to get us two kinda amorous (but lots of things did that - far-away train whistles, plopping fish, soft breezes and lapping waves, sound of a cork pulled from our wine-bottle down at the dock, etc).
I looked them up on Wikepedia – the males are smaller than the females, and the larger males take center stage to attract the females, who take their sweet time in selecting. When the female makes her pick, he climbs on her back, hugging her with his little front legs. She lays her eggs in the water then (as many as 20,000), then he releases his milk, covering the eggs in a blanket up to one sg meter wide. Then he dismounts and takes up his position back in the chorus and will sing on for 2-3 months, hoping for another tryst. Each female only selects once, maybe twice a year. The eggs hatch into tadpoles within a few days, depending on water temp.
After they’d started the chorus, I just sat me back down – had no wine, no cheese, no mate, was full of memories, and so after 10 minutes or so I had to bail.
This has been a year of suffering, and in the end one has to accept the fact that there is nothing one can do with suffering, except to suffer it.
On January 7th I posted “And Then There’ll Be One”, as a paean to the long relationship between Marnie and I, and observing on our struggle against the cancers which were wrecking her body. Over the 10 months of her inexorable decline, Marnie remained in our home until her last few days, with assistance being provided by Hospice counseling, visiting nurses and occasional respite relief so that errands could be ran by me. By mid-April, a hospital bed was placed in the main floor den, since by then Marnie had become too frail to climb the stairs to our second storey bedroom. A wireless intercom allowed her to contact me during the nights when I was not by her side. Our former 5-8 kilometer daily walks were down to 100 meters, then to wheelchair trips to the nearby park.
By late May, Lady, our beautiful black and tan hound – in her advanced years having become badly crippled, deaf and nearly blind – was euthanized by a traveling veterinarian, beside a grave dug for her in the back garden, with Marnie attending the passage in her wheelchair with oxygen assisting her breathing.
During the time of her homecare and the treatment regimes, my Marnie’s body weight had gone down from 148 to 120 pounds, the same weight as she’d been on our wedding day 53 years prior.
The Hospice counselors back in the beginning had advised me that I would probably experience ‘anticipatory grief’ over the months of Marnie’s decline, and so – seeing her becoming weaker and more frail as the cancers progressively sapped her vitality – at least there was a name associated to my sense of despair at seeing her falter day-by-day. So, even before her death, I’d become well acquainted with the sense of losing an essential part of myself, yet until her final moment there was an element of denial, of hope that ‘our’ dance together would somehow continue on.
My Marnie died on June 22nd, 2013 at Hospice Barrie, as I held her hand and talked to her in the presence of our family. Her body was cremated 2 days later, with – in accordance with our conjoint plan – her ashes being later scattered by me at special places along our hiking paths, and then – along with her children – amongst her flower beds at home. For Marnie, the suffering associated with her inexorable decline had come to its end; mine, as bereft survivor, continued.
Having been a student of ‘process’ in my career involving industrial and commercial processes, a couple weeks after Marnie’s death I told the Hospice counselors that I was very interested in studying the actual ‘process’ of grief. Specifically, to determine grief’s purpose, and why did it exist not only amongst humans, but amongst various species of mammals and birds as well. I told the counselors that I didn’t just want to be a passive victim of grief, nor run away from it, but – seeing as grief had landed, uninvited, on my doorstep – to become its vigilant host, so as to better know it, in a way to befriend it, to get grief to inform me of its secrets, and perhaps in time share my understanding with other sufferers.
As well as participating in a local Spousal Bereavement Group, at the suggestion of a Hospice counselor I contacted – and then engaged in a nearby city with a broader group whose members included people from all walks and persuasions who were interested in learning techniques whereby they could better cope with their fears, anxieties and anger issues. This group – approximately 35 people – was guided by a psychiatrist named Jaak Reichmann who employed the stress-reduction protocols of Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, using guided meditations, breath work, Qi-Kung and body-scanning methods to help sufferers better identify the physical correlates of psychic trauma, and then – through the body – learn techniques to be better able to control and guide the suffering mind.
As a result of this two-pronged approach, I came to see that grief and love are two sides of the same coin of life; that the deeper one loves another, the greater the sense of grief the survivor experiences upon the loss of the beloved; that grief is not an enemy to be evaded, but rather a tangible metric of the dimension of caring which had been present in life between the two lovers.
C. S. Lewis expressed the grief process well in his little book (A Grief Observed), written after the death of his beloved wife Joy – “for both lovers, and for all pairs of lovers without exception, bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love ... grief follows marriage as normally as marriage follows courtship or as autumn follows summer. It is not a truncation of the process but one of its phases; not the interruption of the dance, but the next figure.”
And now, still a student of life in my advanced years, I personally think that – even at the time of a couple’s marriage – both are aware of how their conjoint journey will end, in that one of the two will surely have to continue on in the role of bereaved, after the eventual death of the mate. The bliss of Love, comes at a price.
The loss of my beloved Marnie has certainly been a journey – bargaining, denial, anger, desolation, and finally acceptance – and with the acceptance, one finally realizes that death is real, so very real, and – like birth – surely matters. Recently I posted a short poem entitled “The Art Of Losing” which points to the ultimate necessity of accepting our roles in Life’s Plan.
The title of this chapter of the Journal, Transitions, suggests the transit of Marnie onto the next stage of her spiritual journey, and also the necessary evolvement of myself as I now attempt to become restored and more whole within my solitude.
Some swathes of time elapse and little seems to have happened; yet in other more condensed epochs, much seems to occur very quickly. As in a person’s life, the passage of considerable time may be necessary to accumulate the many experiential pieces – and then in a flash the pieces may kaleidoscope into an insight of relative understanding. Insights as to cause and consequence, purpose and process, source and self. These insights themselves represent greater ‘islands of personal knowing’ awaiting further coalescence, and such personal knowings in the main are opaque to others should one try to explain them, yet immeasurably clear and valued by the one who – in questing – had allowed his life to be the vessel of assimilation. One senses that two primary forces are in play here: firstly the power of information, it being recognized that all that is, had been there all along, awaiting the necessity of its ‘discovery’ and utilization; and secondly the power of time - time during which the need, significance and application of the information can manifest.
As are many others, this scribe is interested in Life, it purposes and processes, and has often looked to philosophy and comparative religion to sift and glean the findings and knowings of others. Pondering the paths trod by others often provides a heightened perspective that would otherwise not be gained by a solitary sojourner. Standing on the shoulders of others may allow one to see a little beyond the mundane horizon. And reviewing the work of others tends to gear in one’s own cognitive machinery in the perennial pursuit of answers to one’s own mystery. Such was our discovery in the late winter of 2012, of the works of Allan Kardec. Kardec (1804-1869) was a teacher and writer/publisher of academic texts on mathematics, physiology, astronomy and physics for the French secondary educational system, and in his ’50s he – by chance – became interested in the phenomena of spiritual mediumship – the communication of information from discarnate entities. After attending a number of séances and critically observing mediums as they relayed messages from beyond, Kardec started posing questions through the mediums, and came to the conclusion that an individual’s existence is not just a one-shot trip, but rather comprises a link in the progressive evolution of a spirit as it serially occupies many successive bodies across the vast arc of time. Kardec published five books of his findings, and currently there are millions of people world-wide who have studied Kardec’s work in Spiritism and – sensing the importance of each day and each action in the larger context – have re-ordered their lives in different and deeper ways. Even brushing up against the concept stirs one.
In May, direct communication was achieved with my long-estranged older sister Glenna now living in southern Florida. Subsequently, across many telephone conversations and letters, we both gained a better perspective of our past lives together and apart. We two are the only survivors of our generation, and this reconnection has been very rewarding.
Over the summer months Marnie had been experiencing a progressive loss of vitality and weight, and then her left arm had became very painful. After consulting with her doctor, Xrays and a CTscan triggered exploration of her lungs by a bronchologist, who determined that a very large mass was present in her lower right lobe, with other suspicious thoracic masses also being present; pathology examination of the main mass resulted in a verdict of non-small lung cancer, and a large cyst excised near her right ear indicated that the lung primary had metastasized to that location; brain scans were clear, but bone scans revealed that the left arm ulna had been badly honeycombed in two places. Because of the extent of cancer travel, surgery on the primary mass was considered futile. The cancer was classified as Stage 4, and the prognosis ‘palliative’, with treatment calling for pain control and quality-of-life enhancement, including the use of targeted radiotherapy on cancer sites and possibly chemotherapy to delay the metastasizing ‘seeds’ traveling through her blood and lymph systems and giving rise to many tumors generally.
Although we knew it would complicate our challenges, through a compliant channel we notified our four adult children of their mother’s condition. All had been estranged from us for periods ranging from seven to twenty years, all lived within 100km of ourselves, all had families of their own, and on their own hadn’t previously indicated any need nor desire for reconnection, nor had meaningfully reciprocated our earlier efforts toward reconnection. Still, we felt that they should know, so we saw to it that they became informed. A meeting with our four direct progeny was arranged, followed by meetings involving their spouses and dependents, both on their own turf, and on ours. On balance these meetings passed well, and we were in some cases gratified to note that the attitudes of some had matured with the passage of time. In other cases, it was not so, since – as in the case of wine – age may mellow the product, but to be palatable good grapes are required in the beginning. As might be expected, in some circumstances there was palpable strain, yet the inclusion of disparate elements is preferable to the policies of exclusion and excision, so we still continue trying to ensure that all (including ourselves) feel themselves valued. Perhaps the nub of the situation is that where there’s a sense of affinity between people and they really like, respect and cherish each other, neither distance nor circumstances are insurmountable; and where such connectivity bonds are absent, then the exercise of any excuse may serve the causes of jealousy, belittlement, and misunderstanding leading to estrangement. Over time, we shall see if there is the will to meld the pieces, or not.
A pleasant surprise emerging from the family reconnection was learning of the recent arrival of our first Great-Grandchild, Bryson. Move over, forebears; the dawn of a new generation is at hand.
The first heavy series of radiation on Marnie’s right lung and left arm and two other painful lumps occurred in early November, followed by ten days of diminishing radiation sickness as her body cleared the radiation aftermath. With the concurrence of her doctors, we two then took Lady and Remedy to Florida and spent two great weeks with Sis Glenna, and amongst the items in Sis’s own archives was a 1977 paper written at the age of 81 by my father, Everett John Elliott, entitled “The Way It Used To Be” – a personal retrospective of both his long life and the evolution of the community in which he’d lived. This document was too faded for scanning, hence it’s been retyped for indexing onto the “Family Corner” section of “Our Stories”, plus to the “From The Writings Of …” index on the Remedy site. Our time with Sis was well spent but disappointingly short, because further complications developed in Marnie’s condition and additional lumps appeared, so we returned home to our own health care system, fireside and bird feeders.
Marnie is frail in body but resolute in spirit. A more intense second round of radiation commences on January 3rd, and later in the month a consultation with a chemo oncologist is scheduled, to weigh the risk-gain odds of chemotherapy. We accept the doctors’ assessment as to the eventual outcome, yet we two cherish our conjoint ‘time under the sun’, and are determined to be together as long as possible. A more comprehensive retrospective on our life together, entitled “And Then There’ll Be One” has been posted to Remedy’s “Our Stories”.
We live in interesting times. To-day marked the arrival, somewhere on the planet, of Human # Seven Billion. World financial markets are again in turmoil, austerity prescriptions are flying to ‘remedy’ decades of public and private imprudence; demonstrations by affected peoples are occurring in Greece, Portugal, Israel, Australia, Great Britain and America. Repeated attempts have been made by those nations comprising the global engines of economic sustainability to avert a world-wide vortex into economic chaos. Public confidence goes up one day, then the next day it plummets. At root there is a feeling that the whole system has been so eroded by greed and deception as to be impervious to mere tinkering. The vaunted capitalist adventure is in disarray, and there appears to be no solution to the crushing problem of too much debt, too little repayment capacity and shrinking assets.
America (formerly the City on the Hill) – has been mired in a deep recession for almost 5 years, with an official unemployment rate exceeding 9% (unofficially, as calculated in the ‘80s, the rate is over 20%); 44 million US citizens are on food stamps; and the steep ongoing erosion continues in housing values (nationwide house value losses of 40-50 %); the American middle class has been decimated by their jobs having been transferred abroad, plus rampant domestic ponzi capitalism – to the point of imminent class revolt; millions of America’s youth are warehoused in universities because there are no jobs for them; and cities and states are going bankrupt. A recent study by the German think-tank Bertelsmann Foundation used a set of policy analyses to create a 2011 Social Justice weighted Index of 31 developed nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) looking at six key factors: poverty prevention, access to education, labor market inclusion, social cohesion and non-discrimination, health, and intergenerational justice. The United States overall came in a dismal 27th in the rankings, just slightly ahead of Mexico.
Uncle Sam seems to be trying hard to keep at least one sector of its economy viable – the industrial/military complex – by instigating covert and full scale wars on nations around the globe. No matter how dire things are on the domestic front, magically, there is always lots of funny-money funding to maintain 700 American military bases in other countries, and hi-tech armaments whereby to threaten all other nations with destruction if they do not do as Uncle Sam dictates. There must be a rationale for all this crazed destruction by America, and whatever “coalition of the willing” it can strong-arm into doing its dirty work. Each day reports are received noting the destruction of property and lives from robot drones attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia. The country of Libya – only 8 months ago the African cradle of affluence and social sharing (infrastructure, education, health care, entrepreneur grants) – has now been blasted back to the stone age by US and NATO bombing, with uncounted tens of thousand of Libyan casualties….
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We two are in good shape, keeping fit by good diet, and hiking and biking and keeping up our old home. This year a new roof was given the house, plus a new rear deck, and the old boathouse received its quinquennial scrape/repaint. Each year the yard maintenance gets easier, perhaps because our eyes see less maintenance to do. More time is devoted to personal enrichment, such as Marnie’s painting and our accessing geopolitical and other news from around the world, with key findings being posted to the three interlinked indexes of Our World & Times. Very little attention is paid anymore to print and television news, most of which seems to have been co-opted by the Powers-That-Be for their own purposes. It’s a bizarro 1984 society of managed distractions and propaganda and when it begins to feel like overload, we walk in nature and let the breezes whisper the message that ‘this too shall pass’.
In the 9 months since our last Journal annotation, an additional number of items were posted under Our Stories, the most recent being The Perennial Dialogue, which generated a surprising level of feedback.
Lady the hound and Remedy the cat still motor on.
Last hummingbirds at our feeders - Oct 10th
Last Robins seen - Oct 26th; last robins heard – Oct 29th
First frost – Oct 26th
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Over the past year we have been fortunate in sitting in and listening to an exceptional teacher-story teller. It’s been a joy to watch this person in action. Have you ever noticed how the really good ones ply their craft? How they sometimes speak in paradoxes and riddles? Sure, like we all do, they stitch together their stories with facts and bits ripped from the common fabric of reality – but then there’s much more. They overlay those common bits with a magical patina that ensnares the minds of both younger and older folk who otherwise would get stuck amongst the mundane bits and conclude there were no deeper truths, but only relative perspectives. Some story-tellers lace their story bits together with dashes of silence, allowing listeners to connect the dots and co-create the story themselves; at another time they’ll inspire and guide listeners with allusions as to what can only be experienced directly, not referentially.
The magic of the shared story occurs in the space between teller and listener. Listen and watch as the story-teller weaves a tapestry of concept written in threads spun from looms of bountiful metaphor, employing a vocabulary carefully harvested from fields of reasoned thought – watch again as the teller creates art forms from the silken threads of human trial, travesty and tragedy – yet interweaves the message with optimism and vitalism drawn from a deep involvement in the human pageant.
Ah…did I say Magic?? Perhaps … and perhaps there really is even more ‘magic’ than that experienced as we share our tales and engage each others’ minds and spirits. There is the magic experienced when – in the evening – one shares ‘the going down of the day’ with that special other who has possessed one’s heart; or the enveloping magic when one walks early in the morning and – in a special state of wonder – communes with the trees, the earth and the sky. Or the intense magic of dialoguing with one’s own inner being and resonating with one’s inner knowing. At such times the magic of feeling a connection with life’s deep messages may surprisingly inspire one. Ah yes, when one goes seeking intentionally – then magic oft arrives.
Our house rental over-wintering experience in the Florida Panhandle wound down in mid-March and we packed up the old camper and departed in high winds, about a week prior to the BP oil rig explosion in the adjacent Gulf. Our initial destination was Savannah, Georgia, there to see the seafront heritage of Old Savannah, and tour the landmarks and museums and see the artifacts of the American Civil War days. The memory of many Southerners runs deep, and even after the passage of 145 years, one still feels echoes of the trauma and bitterness associated with their ancestors’ tragic experiences “when the Spirit of Dixie was driven low in the dust” by Sherman’s Union army. Southerners are justifiably proud of their American status, yet still sad at their heavy price paid in the welding together of the great nation.
Spring blossoms were starting in Savannah, and – as well as seeing some of the city’s settings of the movie Forest Gump, we took the occasion to visit the birthplace of Flannery O’Connor, the mid-20th Century short-story writer /existential novelist. Her old home in the heart of town has been lovingly restored and contains much of her memorabilia. The curator provided many interesting details of Flannery’s life, and knowledgably answered questions that had we’d had as to her philosophy, which seemed a melding of her Catholic upbringing / private schooling, blended with deeper intuitions as to human nature underscored by an almost mystical perspective suggestive of a person whose level of understanding was vaster than could be attributed to her current life.
On to South Georgia, where we camped for 10 days at Lake Santee State Park, where the campsites are established in a natural oak and hardwood forest beside a long, man-made reservoir dating to the ante-bellum era. Lake Santee itself teems with monster catfish – some we saw that were over 60 pounds – and the campground hosts often fished the waters. During our stay there, we were able to purchase from them for daily consumption several pounds of catfish filets, which so early in the spring when the waters are cold are most firm and tasty. The camp office was equipped with high-speed Internet, a definite attraction whereby we could keep abreast of news and correspondence. We also enjoyed discussions and meals with other campers, there being a goodly representation of Canadians on site.
Onward via I-77 to a rustic National Forest campground near the small town of Wytheville, in the rolling hills in the north-west corner of Virginia. This campground had just opened for the season, thus we had lots of room for the 8 days we stayed there. So as to better understand the area wherein there are many horse farms, we took several drives off the beaten path, and learned about the area’s history of moon-shiners, coal miners and 5th generation army families. The land here is hard, hence the hardiness and resilience of the people. Away from the urban centers along the Interstate, most of the dwellings and buildings reflected past and continuing hard times, as the effects of the Great Recession are biting into the more vulnerable sections of the country.
Our next stop was just outside Morganville, West Virginia, at Chestnut Ridge State Park. Again, the campground had just opened, and because of its altitude (approx 2500’), there were still patches of snow on the walking trails. On our last day here (April 14th), we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, and gratefully reflected on our life together.
By the next afternoon we were home, and while we had enjoyed our winter stay in America and met many marvelous people, it was sooo good to be home, enjoying our own facilities and environment. It was especially good to be back in our own familiar parks and re-exploring our beloved trails. We were just in time to see the last of the crocuses on our front lawn, but we were about a week too late to hear the frogs as they came serenading forth from their sub-aquarium swamp and pond winter refuges.
Shortly after arriving home and settling in, we posted – within the Our Stories section of our website – An Ode To Our 50 Years On The Path Together, centering on a parable by the psychologist Jeremy Sherman that had recently came to hand.
Spring, Summer and Autumn flowed seamlessly and uneventfully, aside from a couple kidney stone incidents and some extensive humanitarian activism involving political challenges and the media (as well as pecuniary aspects) protesting the egregious, murderous atrocities in International waters by the Jews against the multi-country Flotilla trying to relieve the imprisoned Palestinians of Gaza.
Otherwise, our days passed blissfully, taken up with the usual seasonal building maintenance, care of lawns and gardens, preparation of wood and kindling stocks for our hearth next winter, berry picking excursions, daily Taoist Tai Chi exercises and 3-5 km hikes, daily bike rides and occasional boat runs. As Rachel Carson wrote in The Sense of Wonder :
“Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life… There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”
Metaphorically these ongoing functional activities are the bricks of our lives, and the binding mortar is to be always reading, studying and researching the world around and within. Both aspects are work, yet together in balance are work that is truly a labor of love. Kahlil Gibran wrote:
“When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. To love life through labor is to be intimate with life's innermost secret. All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.”
And when this good life can be shared with one’s beloved – and both are grateful for their relationship – life expands richly for each and embraces them both. Gregory Bateson pointed to this marvel, writing:
“Learning the contexts of life is a matter that has to be discussed, not internally, but as a matter of external relationship between two creatures. Relationship is always a product of ‘double description’; think of the two parties to the interaction as two eyes, each giving a monocular view of what goes on, and - together - giving a binocular view in depth. This double view IS the relationship.”
To quote from Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness, The President’s Council on Bioethics advised:
“A flourishing human life is not a life lived with an ageless body or an untroubled soul, but rather a life lived in rhythmic time, mindful of time’s limits, appreciative of each season and filled first of all with those intimate human relations that are ours only because we are born, age, replace ourselves, decline and die – and know it. It is a life of aspiration, made possible and born of experienced lack, of the disproportion between the transcendent longings of the soul and the limited capacities of our bodies and minds.”
Ah, the joys of our being here and now in an age of relative plenty, and with the ability to access – through the open Internet – information about almost anything, anywhere; to be informed as to happenings in this great world, or the findings, insights and wisdom of our fellow travellers. The atheist Richard Dawkins beautifully wrote:
“After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?”
In mid-October we spent a few days at a beautiful little resort about 80 km away in the Halliburton Lakes region. We took a cute lakeside cabin with attached private sauna, and indulged ourselves on the resort’s delicious- beyond-description meals.
Moving into the new year, two additional items were posted to the Our Stories collection: “Decisions” and “The Mystery of Consciousness and Self”, plus an old favorite that had garnered much response Time, Love and the Dream of Family, was recast. Also, in Book Reviews we added Blueprint For Immortality: The Electric Patterns Of Life, acknowledging the work of Professor Harold Saxon Burr (E. K. Hunt Professor Emeritus, Anatomy at Yale University School of Medicine, and a member of the faculty of medicine for over forty-three years).
During these winter months, we maintain our daily exercise routines, using our stationary exer-cycle and walking the local, well-packed snowmobile park trails plus occasional snow shoeing adventures off the beaten paths.
A Sometimes Cranky Canuck Correspondent (SCCC) penned the following plaintive piece of prose to this humble grappler of matters geo-spatial and thingies esoteric:
“ Would you invest in gold, bonds, GICs, mutual funds, real estate or put your plunder under the mattress?
“Hmmm, that’s a really great question”, as the Pol said, buying time at the mike, and then he picked up his pen, and amazed all readers with the forthrightness of his wisdom:
Gold is always nice, but if things get that desperate it's a tad difficult to use in acquiring munchies, ice cream and other essential staples at the 7-11. If inclined to commodities, lead might serve you better, if properly calibrated and chambered;
Bonds are the current safe haven into which the battered, shattered and frightened are clumping. In other words, the next bubble in the making, and when interest rates go up, all those 2-3% coupon bonds will exchange at interesting discounts to yields accorded with rates on the new 6-7% series paper;
2% GIC’s at least come with Depository Insurance – which is a comfort (as long as one believes that Harper-Carney will actually honour insurance payout pledges. Oh wait - I think this Sangria is getting to me);
Mutual Funds – paying some liquid-lunch goniffs 2-5% p.a. via front, admin & trailer fees to pool, diversify (aka mediocratize) and play casino with your butternuts?? Yikes! The CPP fund itself melted by 26% in F 2009 with some highly acclaimed big-name money-market rocket scientists at the helm;
Real Estate – Let me digress por momento en este Hamerican r-e scene, since while history doesn’t necessarily ‘repeat’, it frequently does ‘rhyme’. What has occurred south of the 49th will soon come to its northern poodle in some fashion, and perhaps with a vengeance; Little Bro is just a tad slow to get onto the game. In The Hew Hess Hay, the bottom 90% of the populace own a mere 7% of the financial liquid assets of the nation; the top 10% own 93% and the creamy 1% own some 60%. The vast majority of Americans have few assets except two cell phones, a coupla leased clunkers, and their home (about 64% of the households own dwellings). Since the housing/credit bubble popped, 24% of all Hamerican homeowners have zilch or negative equity in their homes. And these ‘lucky’ folk whose chief asset is their home are about to become even 'luckier' as their mortgage rates reset and "shadow inventory" and foreclosures boost supply whilst demand falters, pushing housing prices lower into 2011, 2012 and ..... There are currently almost 19 million vacant residential dwellings in the U.S. -- a massive oversupply that is almost beyond this cabbage’s comprehension. Unable to continue using their formerly forever-appreciating homes as ATMs, many Hamericans have realized that they’ve had it up to here with "consumer" crap from overseas and need a bigger house, third junker or second fishing boat like another hole in their head - and have no need for more goods or services, since they already have too much junk in their lives as it is; they’ve rediscovered – and fallen in love with – savings and cash. The Fed has primed the supply pump, but so far all the bucks have stuck to Wall Street, rather than re-stimulating consumption-driven demand on Main Street;
Plunder-Under-Mattress option (or PUM, as we half-vast pundits call it) – may be an OK thingie for a moderate amount of PUM, but any sizable stash of PUM (say over 45 small ones) under ones mattress might feel lumpy to ones wee BUM, and detract from contractual (or otherwise) connubial abandon. Not recommended. Better that SCCC tuck any amounts over $45 as PUMM (Plunder Under MY Mattress).
Speaking of which … Well now - isn’t this a coincidence. While it may appear that this investment etc guru has shat all over SCCC’s prospective options, she should not yield to despair. SCCC's enquiry desperately requesting investment guidance coincides with the imminent launching of an amazing new investment fund, closed to all except personal invitees. This new vehicle has been named the “Better U Give all Greenbacks to Elliott Rightnow” service (or B.U.G.G.E.R., if that helps memory). BUGGER has been created to cover the huge niche market of folk such as SCCC who are very involved in other more important matters and would like someone such as Bernie or I to relieve them of worrying about their stashed butternuts. This newly created (don’t we all just get tingly all over about creativity stuff) vehicle (another great button) guarantees (YES, CHILUN, I SAID “GUARANTEES") an impressive 12% annual return on investment. Now ole Bernie (currently detained elsewhere) gave a lot of comfort to his Yiddish clientele for an amazingly long period of time, and all would surely agree that it would be patently unfair were the Goyim deprived of similar comforting services.
12%. Guaranteed. No front-service nor maintenance fees. SCCC will never again have to give those bothersome savings another thought.
The BUGGER Motto: Why mess with the rest, when right here in Mariposa you can get royally BUGGERed.
- - - - - - - -
As to SCCC’s other concern involving Irish cuisine, the investment etc guru’s resident concubine is one sloppy piece … would you believe it – that wanton twit ‘forgot’ to bring her recipes and thereby this investment etc guru has to frequently deplane from his elevated mission of helping others (MOHO) to take her out to dine, else we’d both plumb waste away. However this ones ancestral Wexford County genome intuitively advises that there are many, many ways to treat the royal potato ... so many ways, in fact, that this ones profile increasingly resembles such.
Invoice for investment advisory services separately sent to SCCC.
[from the Florida Panhandle]
….. Keith [and ... Herself – Unflagging, Sustaining Spark of Youth (HUSSY)]
Back in April 1997, former Senator Sam Nunn sponsored the ‘Conference on Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction and U.S. Strategy’ at the University of Georgia, Athens Campus USA. During a Department of Defense Q&A News Briefing there, Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen was quoted saying:
"Others [terrorists] are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes and volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves… So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations…It's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our counter-terrorism efforts."
Now, there always have been ‘natural’ adverse weather incidents and tectonic plate slippages involving earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity on the planet… yet it must be acknowledged that the pattern of recent events is very interesting:
· A great many weird weather systems this past year (largest snowfall aggregates on record in Russia & China since records have been kept; national emergency declaration last month in France because of snow-blizzards; and very strange recurrent heavy storm patterns on the North American eastern seaboard;
· A major magnitude 7 earthquake slammed Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Jan 12th, just ONE day after a US Southcom strategy session in Miami was convened to make plans as to how to deal with an earthquake should it occur - guess where - in HAITI, which just happens to be about 80 kilometers south-east - and on the same tectonic fault line - of major off-shore oil discoveries off Cuba http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8175704.stm , development of which was contracted last July with technology & $$$ provided by Russia, and Cuba in turn granting production sharing rights to Russia. Immediately after the Haiti earthquake which killed over 250,000 people, the US sent in - not 600 doctors - but 20,000 Marines to take over the airport and provide "security" for their hemispheric friends who twice in the last decade had seen their elected president, Aristide deposed by the USA – it seems that Aristide, a former Jesuit, had persisted in trying to ensure that the living condition of Haitians benefited from exploitation of Haiti’s oil.
[just like the US oversaw the deposition of another democratically elected center-left president last summer in Honduras, even though they had their largest Latin America Marine base right there. As Michael Parenti, political scientist and author, observes "With unfailing consistancy, U.S. intervention has been on the side of the rich and powerful of various nations at the expense of the poor and needy. Rather than strengthening democracies, U.S. leaders have overthrown numerous democratically elected governments or other populist regimes in dozens of countries ... whenever these nations give evidence of putting the interests of their people ahead of the interests of multinational corporate interests"].
· Followed on February 27th by the massive magnitude 8.8 Chile earthquake; although Chile isn’t an oil exporter, it does possess the world's largest copper mines; and since the Pinochet years Chile has become increasing independent as to its choice of trading partners. Some watchers theorize that the timing of Chile’s disaster may be part of an unfolding “Shock & Awe” program designed to impress others with an advanced technological capability: that sometimes to make the desired impression, one has to "kill a few chickens to scare the monkeys" – that's an old Chinese metaphor based on tactics to deal with those cursed marauding monkeys who are safe grinning down from their perches up in the trees... all one has to do is enthusiastically whack some chickens on the ground in front of the monkeys and gleefully toss some guts and heads into the trees – and those thieving primates will be so horrified that they’ll abruptly depart to safer places. So … who are the monkeys??? Well, for starters, all of the Central & South American countries – why, last month those colonial ingrates concluded a new Latino pact amongst themselves to exclude the US and Canada from all future key resource decisions. Also, it might be a good idea to impress Russia (in the process of delivering a state-of-the-art S-300 missile defense system to Iran). And China might learn to relax concerning its role of banker to the USA. And a timely nudge to both Russia and China who have been hesitant about signing onto sanctions against Iran. And while at it, perhaps its timely to impress anyone else in the world, including a well armed, war-hardened domestic citizenry that is getting more enraged by the day by the Depression triggered by their elites' duplicity and screwups, notwithstanding the ‘entertainment’ and incredible level of drugs - legal and otherwise - doled out to keep them docile. And of course it’d be as well to give a lesson to those stubborn Iranian monkeys. ... But wait: on March 2nd Iran itself stunned the IAEA inspectors by relocating all their uranium stocks from deep subterranean bunkers to surface storage, one inferable reason being that - for their own people - there was more danger to themselves were Israeli-US bombs to hit Iran’s below-ground uranium stocks - or from a directed tectonic HAARP attack releasing radiation into the Iranian population …. Whereas radiation contamination from surface release would not only affect their own people, but would also gently waft across Iraq's occupiers AND Israel, and thus concern by the latter as to such consequences may buy Iran time.
· and then later on the same day (February 27th) a magnitude 7 quake struck just off the Japanese island of Okinawa. Japan recently elected new leaders with a mandate to demand that the US remove its huge Air Force base from Okinawa; such ingratitude by the Japanese, that they should become tired of paying $2billion annual bill for the privilege of maintaining the ongoing US occupation, 65 years after WWII. The USA has been applying strong "diplomatic" pressure to make the Japanese reconsider removal of the Okinawa base – after all, Okinawa was integral to the success (?) of the American wars in Korea and Vietnam, and is currently thought essential in America’s monitoring and control of China and the whole Far East. As may be appreciated, the USA is very reluctant to signal any retrenchment of its armed might, anywhere.
· And then, on March 3rd, a magnitude 6.4 quake hit the Island of Taiwan (again, that should get China’s attention).
Then if one looks at the Wikipedia page on H.A.A.R.P., at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Frequency_Active_Auroral_Research_Program in context with the comments 13 years ago by William Cohen – the fog clears, and one can only wonder as to the forces put into play by the Masters of Reality. It is they who make things (like 9/11) happen; it's for the rest of us to maybe someday figure it out, and by then the Masters have sprinted on to their next move on the Great Chessboard. Maybe that’s just one of the perks of having super powers and the resources to do what is deemed necessary in the "National Interest", or whatever motherhood/ apple pie frame they use to calm and assure the flock.
As will be appreciated from reading about the H.A.A.R.P. technology in place, its beauty lies in leaving no tracks, no mushroom clouds and no smoking guns.
UPDATE: March 9th, 2010 – A magnitude 6 quake slammed Turkey on March 7th. It may be remembered that Turkey shocked the USA back in 2003 at the time of Bush’s Iraq War ramp-up by reneging on its implied commitment to allow passage of US forces destined to Northern Iraq, and that in recent months Turkey has increasingly criticized Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians. Apparently, during an unprecedented meeting held between Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on March 8th in Kabul, Afghanistan, Iran was bluntly threatened that it was next in line to be targeted by the HAARP Earthquake Weapon that has been terrorizing the entire World these past few months.
For many years Marnie and I have both been interested in geopolitics and macro-economics and their interwoven connections and consequences. The main drivers behind our research have been the many paradoxes relative to the Official story concerning 9/11, the fortuitous act allowing mobilization of American public opinion as prerequisite to pre-emptive aggression against - and occupation of - other countries on the Eurasian Chessboard, as had been long advocated by Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Readers will recall how Canada’s Prime Minister Jean Chrétien - bearing in mind the overwhelming Canadian Anti-War sentiment at the time - had resisted pressure by George W Bush in their 2002 meeting at the Ambassador Bridge, refusing to get involved in Bush's Coalition of the Willing to invade Iraq; Mr. Chrétien had insisted on seeing real evidence and had also pointed to Canada having already committed forces to Afghanistan.
Unresolved questions about the 9/11 matter eventually forced President Bush to set up a Commission to look into 9/11, but the concerns multiplied after the long delayed 9/11 Commission Report was made public. Several of the 9/11 Commissioners registered dissenting statements concerning the Report, and one of them (Bob Kerry) later indicated in a taped interview that the events now known as 9/11 had been ‘conspired’ over a 30 year period. Patriotic American citizens such as David Ray Griffin (theologian), Steven Jones (Professor of Physics, Brigham Young U) and Richard Gage (heading up a group of over 1000 Professional Architects and Engineers) raised public awareness world-wide after disclosure of their science based investigations exploded the Official 9/11 myth. Recent polls in the States indicate that over half of Americans disbelieve the Official line, with a similar percentage in Canada.
In challenging the 9/11 line, many people are still traumatized and "don't want to go there", unable to consider that something so monstrous could be perpetrated by the US Government upon its citizens. Notwithstanding what we would like to believe, the facts are mounting that 9/11 was a “false flag” operation considered necessary to sway Americans into an appropriate mindset for aggression against other countries. Below is a link to a deeply researched, well-written essay by Elizabeth Woodworth with extensive back-up references and links, reporting on the growing world-wide pressure to get to the truth on this matter. Many observers increasingly fear that the US leaders are willing to trigger WW III, to deflect the collective mind of its own armed citizenry away from increasing shame about the unjust assault against the Arab world, and - concurrently - take their minds off the increasing misery associated with the deepening depression in America which started in the housing sector, but has since decimated the commercial sector. Imagine the mounting pressures as the public becomes increasingly aware of rampant political and financial corruption, mounting residential foreclosures and bank closures, deepening unemployment, and municipalities and states having to slash essential services because of declining tax revenues. To all that, add the negative world opinion concerning America’s 9/11, and one can appreciate the reasons behind the world-wide fear of disintegration and collapse of a super-society.
>>>>>> link to Media Response to Growing Influence of the 9/11 Truth Movement Feb 10th, 2010 essay by Elizabeth Woodworth
“In the past year, in response to emerging independent science on the 9/11 attacks, nine corporate, seven public, and two independent media outlets aired analytic programs investigating the official account. Increasingly, the issue is treated as a scientific controversy worthy of debate, rather than as a "conspiracy theory" ignoring science and common sense. This essay presents these media analyses in the form of 18 case studies…...
In mid-November, whilst en route through the States, we - amongst many others - received an invitation from an old, old friend to contribute a poem or piece of prose to an informal writing group, the subject being WONDER. Which in due time elicited the following effort:
“We received your communication, and wondered what to do with it. Frequently over the past 6 weeks I've peeked at it again, and continued to wonder. Once the camel gets his head under the tent, eventually he consumes all space. I discussed the wonder issue with Lady our black & tan hound while walking with her from our campsite in the Georgia-Florida National pine forests, but Lady contributed little to resolve the dilemma, if anything the effort opened the wonder-lens further via introducing the inter-species relational branch.
“After renting an ocean-front home near Mexico Beach in the FL Panhandle, Marnie, Lady and I daily tramped miles and miles of white sand frontage with nary another soul in sight... no wonder, what with a wrecked war-wasted economy that so many snow-birds are disinclined to leave northern home and hearth to live for months in Hew Hess Hay Depressionville... and sometimes we do wonder why we're here and not at home in Harper's Happy Hollow.
Akin to Air Farce's Confused Philosopher, one wonders that one can even wonder as to why there's air, and water, and life, and complexity; and wonder-of-wonders, that ones Self is here, now, and capable of wondering.
Ah!! 'Tis ALL a great wonder.”
So.... we left Orillia on Nov 12th, and spent a couple weeks camping en route in our Coleman pop-up, including in the Panhandle National pine-forests for an exceptional stay: free cut-your-own firewood - all services - off-season seclusion - watching bald eagles soar and swoop down for fish in the little lake out front - lots of walking trails in the forest. Then about the first of December we came out to the coast and started working westerly toward Panama City, checking out the condo scene... maybe it's the economy but most situations impressed as over-priced dumpsters. Through a series of coincidences, a friendly Mexico Beach realtor referred us to his own neighbour, a former-Marine whose father had recently built a house near his son's place with the plan to retire from Michigan, but just prior to occupancy the old chap had died. His widow hadn't wanted to leave Michigan anyways, so the house was just sitting there. One block off the ocean on an over-look nestled amidst pines, hoisted on massive wooden piers with screened porches with ample ocean views and wild sunsets... miles upon miles of pet-friendly white sand beaches ... all new furnishings and stuff, no problem with dog or cat; and the price was right.
Like elsewhere in Florida, the economic-bubble has popped, and stalled and abandoned mega-projects are littered everywhere; Paul Krugman, NY Times economist, advises that 45% of mortgaged Florida homes are “underwater”, i.e. indebted in excess of market value. The local scene is very tourist-dependent (and currently tourist-deficient), and the natives are keeping a stiff upper lip but hurting. A pulp mill and a chemical refinery have both been shut down and razed... about the only secure livelihoods are associated with big Tyndall Air force base adjacent to Panama City, and the even larger Eglin Air force base 30 miles beyond. It almost seems that anything not connected with churches or the war-machine (how's that for a paradox), doesn't enter the collective reality. American TV is nuts (gatling-gunned commercials bracket inane programming). Thanks to technology we can get CTV-CBC live-streaming on our laptops ... helps keeps Canucks orientated and sane, eh? We are on some unknown neighbour's unsecured wi-fi with rather low but serviceable signal strength, and we don't have a phone, notwithstanding tel-jacks all over the house and in-ground telephone cable coming up into an exterior box, the service was never hooked up, apparently because of the old chap's sudden demise. Don't think anyone in Florida knows what a telephone pay-phone is, since everyone drives or walks around yakking into what they call "cell phones"...fools! Don't they know that those things will give them brain tumors??
Jack the landlord is a great fellow who incurred multiple Vietnam War wounds during his Marine days. His wife is a Georgia State native, a lady who is sensitive, sharp and nice as all get out - even invited us to go to their church, to which I responded that we were "of the Quaker persuasion, but tending towards the Solitarian ethos", figuring that was a safe bet since the odds of there being any Quakers amongst so many military critters on the Panhandle was next to zilch, and identifying up-front with the ‘peace movement’ would also accord with our anti-war car sticker. As to the ‘solitarian’ add-on, being 72 years young, this one cherishes such space as is gained by that badge. Thereby we side-stepped the local church-folk socializing sump, but are probably on neighbourhood-watch for being asocial and therefore possibly un-American.
All in all, they are great as nearby landlords. So great that in the very first week they didn't throw up their hands and rant and moan and kick us out… but let me start at the beginning. You see, Remedy our crazy 15 year old tortoise-shell cat had found access to the intra-floor joist system of the house, apparently through a service area behind the Jacuzzi … then she’d conveniently forgotten the path back out. The cat had became increasingly ticked off at the indignity of her circumstances, and let us know by doing a lot of yowling as she traversed back and forth in the nether regions of the house. It was quite amazing to hear her muffled yowls echoing through the different rooms from under the flooring and carpets. Sometimes we’d be certain that the wee stranded beast was at Point A, but then she’d be somewhere else at Point B, or G, etc.
After a few hours, we thought it advisable to go over and break the news to the landlord, who initially must have thought that this Canuck was trying to pull his leg. He remained quite dubious until he actually visited the scene himself, and followed Remedy’s trail of yowling himself. Then, surprisingly, it was his idea that we cut into those beautiful new walls in hopes of helping Remedy find her way out; now that route seemed pretty darned drastic to us, and I suggested that she'd probably stop her racket after a few days and that in the meantime the yowling wouldn’t bother us hardly at all because we could just turn up the stereo. Whereupon that big ex-marine almost broke out in tears and exclaimed "but you can't let her DIE in there". I reminded Jack that seeing as how Remedy was pretty old and scrawny she'd quiet down fairly soon without food, and leave nary a trace; Jack shuddered and refused to go there and then said he’d go get his dry-wall saw and patching compound and lend them to me. He also wanted to get a neighbouring volunteer fireman into the act ’cause they had some kind of heat-sensing technology and could utilize that to pin the cat's location … sheesh... ever try to 'fix' a pussy's position when she's on the prowl?? I suggested that prior to us rousing the whole neighbourhood, we all sleep on it.
After getting Jack’s saw, I cut some holes in a closet that the cat’s yowls suggested that she was frequently near…and where I could more easily later put patches. We then ‘baited’ these holes and the one in the service room behind the Jacuzzi with the cat’s favorite salmon, and turned up the stereo so as to not be distressed at Remedy’s distress and needlessly lose sleep.
The cat did come out somewhere overnight - much to our relief, and also to Jack’s evident joy when I went over to update him the next morning... Jack said – and looked as though – he hadn't slept the whole night, and his eyes watered up so spontaneously on hearing about Remedy's resurrection from the nether regions that we were more convinced that his anxiety had been because of real concern for our crazy cat, rather than his own walls.
July 26th, 2009 – OMB, Economy, and Twain
Ah... the Velocity of Time…over 14 months since last update. Where to commence? In the Dec 26th, 2007 notation, considerable attention was given to a nearby luxury condominium development, it being noted that the developers had appealed the City’s Council Aug 13/07 decline decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB); our Community Association arranged for legal and planning expertise to support Council, in that the latter had been attentive to our concerns, the next year seemed to be consumed with continuing meetings within our Association plus ongoing liaison contacts with Councillors, to maintain direction. Due to scheduling delays, the seven day OMB Hearing did not occur until late October, 2008, and was preceded by a couple of pre-Hearing mediation sessions between the three parties (developers, City and Association) to try to narrow the conflict issues. After the Hearing, another 3 months transpired before the OMB ruling came down in mid Jan/09…the developers’ project had been downsized somewhat from (160 units > 144); they had been required to undertake extensive Archaeological Assessment protocols to ensure cultural heritage relics and artifacts were properly treated; the tri-building site plan had been re-designed to provide greater set-back buffers with adjacent neighbours; and the complex footprint was altered to incorporate a second access to the complex’s underground garage, thereby balancing traffic over both access streets. Further, with the almost two year delay in acquiring approvals, there has been a major deterioration in the country’s economy, and at this point it is uncertain as to when sufficient unit sales will have been acquired to allow for commencement of construction. Ironically, had the developers not been so arrogant and overbearing in the beginning, they would not have had to make nearly as many costly concessions and the complex would probably be well on the way.
It must be admitted that a lot of time has also been devoted to studying the unraveling geo-economic and geo-financial situations over the past year and a half. With our former livelihood dependent upon economic development matters, and a lifetime focused on learning what does – and does not – promote family, community and national economic health, we had became increasingly concerned over the past decade as we saw acceptance by the public of the psychology of increasing debt/equity leverages, and wondered where – and when – the various ‘bubbles’ would evaporate into financial collapse and widespread misery. The collapse commenced in the USA in late 2007, with US inter-bank lending coming to a freeze due to mistrust over the value of assets such as sub-prime residential and commercial mortgages which had been swapped around like a game of musical chairs; the stock market lost 40% of its value, affecting individuals’ borrowing base and their personal and pension portfolios, unemployment rates escalated and the volume of residential mortgage foreclosures went into hyper-drive, all resulting in the alleged necessity for massive Federal funding, guarantees and bailout assistance to be provided to US banks and their insurers. Like dominoes, similar problems and hail-Mary intervention occurred in other countries around the globe, including Canada. Of course these matters had a tremendous adverse effect on international trade and on equity markets world-wide, with a drastic falloff in consumption by the various international publics as they belatedly tried to build survival nest eggs. Day-by-day it was like watching a slow motion train wreck, with multi-nationals going bankrupt, triggering mass layoffs and more foreclosures. During this particular recessive upheaval, there was an added dimension: that of being able to compare the information which was ‘spun’ to the public by ‘embedded’ TV and print media, as opposed to critical analysis and findings across the many reputable Internet blogs and ‘information highway’ sites. To a considerable extent, the public world-wide lost confidence in the conventional media, resulting in many closures and consolidations, as the public increasingly went to the Internet for the information they needed and to become apprised concerning revelations of financial and political malfeasance, as opposed to being brainwashed by the conventional media with information that the ‘powers-that-be’ wanted the public to be thinking about. There may be big set-backs in America’s latest ‘wars without end’ [Serbia, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, maybe Iran who knows what country is next on the list], but the conventional media can be relied upon to feed the public its daily dose of mind-numbing advertisements, Michael Jackson trivia, swine-flu scare updates or circus entertainment. Anyways, America rules the world, and the expenditures for its “defense” armaments helps keep at least that one sector of the American economy viable.
With the local condo matter issue dealt with, and with a reasonably good handle on political and financial matters, Marnie and I found that we had much more time and energy with which to engage life. On the health front, since our previous Journal update we both had had medical issues: very serious bronchial problems for Marnie, and an ugly, protracted kidney stone incident for myself. Both matters are in hand. Additionally, we both had been involved in bad bicycle accidents, in each case involving major lacerations and sprains, plus broken bones and broken helmets – (Thank God for helmets). Lady, our black and tan hound, had major intestinal problems last winter, but pulled through. Remedy, our tortoiseshell cat, is as weird and loveable as when she came to us as a kitten 16 years ago. Marnie and I still regularly bike and practice Taoist TaiChi, and almost every day we engage in extensive hikes with Lady in area Provincial Parks, Conservancy preserves, and on local trails. We are also getting back into camping mode, either with tent or our 20 year old Coleman ‘Sun Valley’ camper….just like the old days. For instance, we just returned from a nice little 10 day mid-summer's camping trip with the Coleman..........after visiting for a day amidst the memories, stones and bones of Eastern Ontario, Marnie + Lady + Remedy + myself cleared customs at Ivy Lea and journeyed to the Lower Finger Lakes district of New York State, setting up the Coleman camper in Watkins Glen and then Taughannock State Parks, enjoying the spectacular gorges, waterfalls and walking trails of these State Parks....
...then on to Elmira, NY, the summer home of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). The State College there has - on campus - A Mark Twain museum and Twain's study-cottage wherein he wrote 'Tom Sawyer', 'Huck Finn', 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court' and many of his other classics and short stories such as his marvelous 'The True Story' http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/1531/ , and 'The Diaries of Adam and Eve' http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/mtwain/bl-mtwain-exadam-1.htm, our favorite love story of all time While the Clemens' principal residence was in Hartford Connecticut, Elmira was where Twain had met his wife and where he did most of his writing, and where the family is buried. Twain’s grave-site is overlooked by a 12 foot marker (12 foot to represent the Mississippi riverboat pilot's depth warning (“Mark Twain” = the two fathom (12 foot) safe water clearance for the riverboats). For several years, Clemens had worked on the riverboats, and when he later took up writing, he had adopted the pilot’s call as his pen-name.
At the gravesite, it was our good fortune to encounter a Twain historian from Harvard, and Twain's great-niece, a lady in her '80s who was laying flowers at the family site – both shared with us many insights about Twain. To reciprocate their many stories, we shared with them a quote which neither had came across, from Twain's own journal, written shortly before his death in 1910; traumatized following the loss of his wife and three of their four children, together with crushing financial losses, Twain for the moment had let his humorist mask slip.....
[This quote we had culled from a museum/ interpretative centre dedicated to his memory, near Hannibal Missouri, whilst transiting the US mid-west 15 years ago.] It goes like this:
"There is nothing. There is no God and no Universe. There is only empty space. And in it a lost, and homeless, and wandering, and companionless, and indestructible Thought – and I am that Thought. And God, and the Universe, and time, and life, and death, and joy, and sorrow, and pain only a grotesque and brutal dream – evolved from the frantic imagination and that insane Thought."
Ah, America…Land of Paradoxes…
Following several days camping in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, we headed north through Ellicottville and Buffalo - back to our beloved Canuck world of lakes, bikes, lawn/ garden care, full time DSL Hi-Speed, and a judicious dash of TV.
One day last week Marnie and I were privileged to visit elder Friends. We had a great discussion and enjoyed their hospitality all afternoon. Later we four drove through a farm field and walked through their sugar bush and commented on the various wildflowers emerging from their winter beds. At one point, the hostess said “If there is a Heaven, I visualize it as a University of continuing Learning, and I would like to spend my 1st Millennium there studying Cosmology. With Music as a Minor.” I said that this suggested the “Music of the Spheres”, referring to the combination of cosmology and musical harmony as taught 2500 years ago by Pythagoras, and again during the 20th Century by Georges Gurdjieff, the Armenian mystic.
The next morning, on awakening, Marnie and I lay listening to the geese, ducks and loons playing on the Narrows, and talked of our hostess’s aspirational words. In a way, we could see that today, physicists teach a somewhat similar Cosmological belief system, the Big Bang, which emanated from a still-measurable energetic harmonic which is called by Scientists the “cosmic microwave background radiation”.
Several years ago, in Mexico we encountered an American veteran of the Vietnam War who had been psychologically broken there by his experiences, and somehow strangely arrived on the Indian ashram of the late Sikh guru, Kirpal Singh. Singh taught the meditation technique of the monotheistic Sikh founder, Nanak. The name of that meditation is Shabda, which translates as the merging of one’s being with the Sound Current. From this linkage with the creative current, is derived meaning for the human.
The Sound Current is considered to be the transcendent power that is the creative and sustaining force of the universe. It is also known as the "Audible Life Stream", the "Music of the Spheres", the Void, God, Allah, Logos, and Tao; and other belief systems observe it by still other names. For instance, in the New Testament it is called the ‘Word’; "In the beginning there was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."
Words connect us with each other within this marvelous Cosmos. And behind the Word, is Sound, and beyond that is the creative Intention.
Our home is located on the Eastern boundary of Orillia, fronting directly on a constricted passage between Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching named “The Narrows”, through which is funneled the recreational boat traffic utilizing the 386 km Trent-Severn system of lakes, rivers and locks between Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay. During 2005, a small marina that had been in business for 40 years at the end of our peninsula closed down, and in May-06 the marina residence and all other buildings were razed and a large stand of mature oaks and maples cleared from the three acre property. Public notices were posted informing citizens that a large hi-rise 160 unit luxury condo complex was to be constructed on the site. Since the planned complex would entail major changes in the lifestyle of the existing residents in this mixed residential-cottage area, a singular event transpired. All the residents came together to meet and discuss the situation, and when the developers heard of the meeting, they invited themselves along. While it had been hoped that the developers would take the residents concerns under consideration [over-high density in a restricted area, traffic balancing and installation of traffic signals at the Highway to ameliorate an already dangerous intersection], it soon became apparent that the developers fully intended to steamroller over the existing residents’ concerns. The latter mounted an intensive media campaign and persistently contacted the City’s Mayor and eight Councilors, and while the developers had the benefit of surprise and process-knowledge on their side, eventually their proposal was refused by Council. The matter has been appealed by the developers to the Ontario Municipal Board, where they hope to have Council’s decision over-ruled. While the experience has been challenging and stressful to the existing residents, a number of pluses occurred:
· The residents – who had until then been more or less isolationistic amongst themselves – discovered their common affinities, bonded together and formed an umbrella Community Association; they then incorporated their Association to ensure the members’ personal liability protection; and then later proceeded to fund the acquisition of experienced Counsel to represent their case in defense of their Council members’ decision.
· Many residents took a much greater interest in the historical roots of their area, performing research though local and District museums, and discovered a rich lode of cultural heritage information bearing directly on our location. For instance, we learned that sixty thousand years ago our particular area was under the massive three kilometer thick Wisconsin Glacier, which exerted much pressure upon the earth. When global warming commenced 13,000 years ago, the glacier gradually melted to become huge Lake Algonquin, with the ice-dammed melt-water gradually breaking through into the Hudson Bay and Mississippi watersheds, resulting in a crustal isostatic re-bound (uplift) of our area. At one time the old shoreline of Lake Simcoe was several hundred feet higher than at present. By 10,000 years ago, the Central Ontario topography stabilized, and our particular area at The Narrows became a major cross-roads for natives seasonally migrating between Georgian Bay and the Lower Great Lakes. By the time of Champlain’s visit to the area, an extended confederacy of the Huron Nation had occupied this part of Ontario for 400 years. The Hurons were noted as skilled traders, plying the trade routes between Manitoba, Michigan and Quebec. In 1615, Champlain noted in his diary the presence of Huron tribes encamped and maintaining fish weirs across The Narrows so as to harvest food for their families.
In 1973, an underwater archaeological assessment was performed on a relatively undisturbed section of The Narrows by Richard B. Johnston and Kenneth A. Cassavoy of the Department of Anthropology, Trent University, and subsequently several weir stakes recovered by the team from the bed of the watercourse were carbon dated to 2600BC. [To put that dating into perspective, the Fish Weirs of The Narrows were already functional concurrent with the building of the oldest Egyptian Pyramids, and 1600 years prior to the oldest known Mesoamerican edifices, and 3600 years prior to construction of Cahokia Mounds, the massive UNESCO World Designated Site in Illinois.] The ‘Fish Weirs’ site is registered with the Ministry of Culture as BdGu-6, and in 1982 the Federal Government designated the site as the “Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site”, in recognition of the fact that fish have been harvested here by Natives using these underwater wooden fish-fences continuously for 5000 years. Also, it is our understanding that no other wooden fish weirs have been found in Canada. As well as plentiful fish being harvested on a year-round basis at The Narrows weirs, the natives were also fortunate in that there were large oak orchards on this peninsula, and while oak acorns are bitter by themselves, they have high caloric content and when ground into a mash and mixed with fish as sagamite, are then quite edible and nutritious.
With humans having encamped upon this area over a great expanse of time, and considering that the condo site was planned for the choice location on The Narrows, from the perspective of fresh breezes and freedom from insects, Marnie and I wondered as to the rather casual reference written into the developers’ Land Use report to the City, concerning an archaeological assessment having been performed four years prior on a portion of the site that had been considered for a smaller condo. When we discussed the matter with a retired school principal turned avocational archaeologist, it was decided that we should run a few test pit surveys on our own property, which is located only a lot away from the condo site. On the basis of findings on our own property, it was registered with the Ministry of Culture, which almost immediately triggered formally threatened litigation by the developers who expressed concern that “our adventure was going to derail their project”. On the basis that “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, we inferred that the cultural heritage significance of the site should be carefully explored.
Researching through public records **, we learned that over a hundred years ago archaeologists had reported several native burials on the developers’ site, yet there’d been no record of disposition of the human remains. We also learned that the First Nations aboriginals in the area (the Mnjikaning – of the Ojibwa-Chippewa lineages, and the Wendat – of the Algonquin/ Anishinaabe lineages) were very concerned that proper examination of the earth at the site was to be conducted, to ensure that their ancestors’ artifacts and relics weren’t bulldozed and trucked away to landfill sites.
*From the 1903 Archaeological Report to the Ontario Minister of Education, prepared by Mr. A. F. Hunter M.A., page 122 (site # xxi):
"At Invermara, in the grounds of Orchard Point House (summer resort), formerly the Red Cross Hospital, which is the property of Mr. JR Secord, Orillia. A paragraph appeared in each of the three Orillia newspapers of May 1, 1890, mentioning the finding of a human skeleton, with accompanying Indian relics, and also other articles in the vicinity of the find. There were numerous prehistoric, as well as recent relics, the remains thus belonging to all periods from the earliest down-wards.
"Beside the single skeleton (apparently a woman's) there were some stamped-out metal ornaments; three brooches, a double-barred silver cross, about four inches long with 'Montreal' and the maker's mark upon it. At a little distance away were found fragments of roughly ornamented pottery, clay pipe heads, stone axes, a bone disk etc.
“The relics found with the skeleton indicated it belonged to a comparatively recent period; but the clay pipe heads and fragments mostly belonged to the Huron period. The latter included a Huron flared pipe head, six belt pattern pipes and five images from pipes (an owl's head, a hawk's head, the head of another bird, a non-descript image pig-nosed or wolf-nosed and a human face).
“The foregoing relics indicate various periods of occupation of the site, as we might expect from the fact the fishing station at a little distance to the north, and in fact, along the entire length of the Narrows, attracted Indians thither at all times."
** From the 1904 Archaeological Report to the Ontario Minister of Education, pages 77-86 prepared by Mr. J. Hugh Hammond, Orillia barrister, proceeded by an explanatory note by Provincial archaeologist David Boyle who, during the summer of 1904, accompanied Mr. Hammond to several sites in North and South Orillia Townships. The pertinent section pertaining to BdGu-18 reads:
"At the Narrows to the west and south of the site # xxi, there is on the extreme point of land on the old Oak Orchard a number of burials, and these bodies can be found under and near the flagpole in front of the residence of the late Albert Fowlie, P.L.S. As this site is new, or, rather, an extension of the site xxi, it is well worthy of noting. Arrow points are numerous here, stone and bone. The ground is high and sandy back from the shore of Lake Simcoe, where the burials are."
· Recently it came to our attention that artifacts had been found on the site dating back 7,000 years – to the mid-archaic period – which dating confirmed statements in local media by a district museum curator, who called for very careful examination of all soils on the site. As might be expected, we are following events with considerable interest.
Wow – talk about ‘time-warps’ and the increasing velocity of time. It just occurred to us that it’s been almost 9 months since the Remedy Journal was updated – well, that’s what ‘periodic’ means, I guess. For the second year in a row we didn’t visit our friends in Mexico; instead, we enjoyed such non-exotic pleasures as our winter walks in the Provincial Park with Lady, and practicing Taoist T’ai Chi in the snow after hanging suet balls in the pines for over-wintering birds. Last year we had a new high-efficiency wood-burning stove/insert installed in the old field-stone fireplace in our living room, and over this winter we spent many an enjoyable day there by the fire with Lady and Remedy, reading, listening to music, accessing the Internet, entertaining friends – and before we knew it, the winter was past, the sun was strengthening and there were signs of the imminent return of Spring. One afternoon in late March we heard a chorus of frogs in a farmer’s low field near the headwaters of a stream, and our hearts leapt. When telling a couple of older lady walkers in the Park, the expression of delight on their faces made them look 30 years younger in the moment. “Oh Maude – the FROGS are out – Spring is back!”
There are four separate trails on which we alternate our daily dawn walks with Lady; each is from three to five miles long, and with a 15 minute ‘movement-meditation’ T’ai Chi workout along the way we are ready for a hearty breakfast when we get home. Starting out in the pastel pre-dawn, we are constantly in awe as the Eastern sky changes hues, and each day the sun peeks up a little further north on the horizon. Sometimes we are especially fortunate to see an owl in the forest (usually we are forewarned of its presence by the sound of a dozen or so crows harassing the hunkered-down owl in its tree – they surely do not like each other). Sometimes a deer or fox. Or sometimes a flock of wild turkeys scratching under an apple tree, looking for the dregs of last fall’s crop as the snow melts back. Ospreys and herons patrol the streams. By Mid-April the wild flora of field and forest are donning their temporal gowns of glory: forget-me-nots, fiddlehead ferns in the swamp, colonies of may-apple ‘umbrellas’, Dutchman’s breeches and yellow and purple violets scattered everywhere like fallen jewels. [Nor was Solomon in all his glory adorned so well as are the wild flowers]. More and more frogs and cheepers are tuning up, and geese, ducks and loons plus the usual killdeer, cardinals, robins and larks provide a choral context for our dawn adventures……
Thus our days gear in with their unfolding experiences on the Wheel of Existence, engaging our participation in the endless flows and cycles of creation.
Along about this time, we had a few serious talks with El Toro, our faithful Ford Taurus of 16+ years that had toted us and our camper and gear through most of the Canadian provinces, all of the lower 48 States, Mexico and Guatemala and back, several times. El Toro admitted to feeling the effects of time and some 300.000 km and indicated that – much as he’d enjoyed our company – perhaps it was time that his duties were passed on to a younger steed. After considerable deliberation and research, El Toro was retired with honours, and his replacement, “El Canto Azul”, entered service. Admittedly we felt as Rip Van Winkle must have on awakening from his long sleep – so many lights, bells and whistles have entered automotive technology over the past 16 years. It was very daunting, yet we were very appreciative students.
The snow-blower was put away and replaced by the old lawn-mower. May is our usual time for restoring exterior furniture and decks, replacing/repainting any weathered woodwork on the buildings, turning the flowerbeds and putting in new annuals, trimming hedges and patching and resealing the driveway. THEN it’s time for us to sit together under the canopy on the veranda in stillness, or with our books or sharing a cool ale, and watch the boats ply this part of the Severn Canal system – the Narrows in front of our home between Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching. Marnie and I have done our spring work, now it’s Nature’s turn to bring the hundreds of tulips in various beds to bloom, and re-start the cycle of perennials. Over-wintering bird feeders are replaced with hummingbird feeders, and their antics commence. The 12-speed bikes are checked out and lubricated in preparation for our daily 20km runs along the city’s paved lakeside recreation trail. The more that one engages stillness, the more one realizes that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the scurrying of one’s work-a-day mind. One begins to awaken, and as for anything precious, one commits to standing on guard against disruptive intrusions that would derail further awakening. From Echhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks):
Most human interactions are confined to the exchange of words — the realm of thought. It is essential to bring some stillness, particularly into your close relationships.
No relationship can thrive without the sense of spaciousness that comes with stillness. Meditate or spend silent time in nature together. When going for a walk or sitting in the car or at home, become comfortable with being in stillness together. Stillness cannot and need not be created. Just be receptive to the stillness that is already there, but is usually obscured by mental noise.
If spacious stillness is missing, the relationship will be dominated by the mind and can easily be taken over by problems and conflict. If stillness is there, it can contain anything.
Or as the Australian teacher Barry Long put it:
There is only one thing in your life that YOU can be sure of. That one thing is this moment, now. The last moment has gone forever. The next moment has not come. YOU can become fully conscious only when you are living in the moment. To begin to live in the moment you have to know it exists and understand it. To understand it you have to observe it in relation to yourself and in relation to life. When you under-stand it, when you become conscious, you will see it is all that exists. To see this is to glimpse reality.
Perhaps such thoughts were behind this year’s decision to not launch ‘Big Boat’ nor even our aluminum skiff; instead, in June we acquired a fibreglass canoe that we then quietly enjoyed, paddling through the currents of the Narrows and through the marshes of upper Lake Couchiching – our small bit to live closer to nature and also to become physically fitter. Apparently a lot of other people are doing the same; boat traffic has diminished significantly in recent years and a number of area marinas have closed, including the one on our street, the property being redeveloped for luxury condominiums.
Late June is the time when we visit one of the local ‘pick-ur-own’ strawberry farms, and load up our freezer with frozen fruit for our breakfasts during the rest of the year. A younger close friend of ours, pharmacist Steve Sales, was stricken with cardio-vascular blockages and successfully underwent triple bypass surgery this month. This prompted Marnie and I to sharpen our own focus on diet and lifestyle, and research preceded adjustments that led to significant weight reduction for both of us over the subsequent months.
July is wild black-berry and raspberry picking month – again the freezer is topped up and while we don’t indulge in sweets and desserts much any more, Marnie likes to have the ‘makings’ handy for fresh pies when company calls. For some reason there were very few dragonflies this year, and as a result there was an abundance of mosquitoes all summer long, and as much as we dislike the use of repellents, there was little option. With walks, bike rides, reading, talks and gardening, our days were full.
August brought to the world’s attention the terrible atrocities visited upon the Lebanese by Israel in the Middle East. Taking their cue from the US’s criminal attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq (any pretext will do, or can be fabricated), the employment of ‘shock & awe’ overwhelmingly one-sided blitzkrieg force should have crushed the Lebanese – but it didn’t, and finally world opinion brought even Israel to a stop. Cowardly, fearful chicken-hawks cannot seem to understand the strength of valour with which patriots will defend their loved ones and their native soil from external aggression. The Israelis themselves apparently became sickened by their leaders’ atrocities, as are the majority of Americans concerning the agendas of their leadership. Many countries of our world are now re-arming, knowing full well from the experience of the last 5 years how necessary it is to be able to defend themselves from hyper-power attacks on any weak, vulnerable peoples who are perceived to be defenseless. The frequently updated ‘Power Geopolitics’ section of Remedy’s “World & Times” section hyperlinks a multitude of articles from around the world providing insight on the forces affecting all of us in our Global Village. Sometimes the deceptions and agendas of the human species, as they play out, sicken one. While nature may be ‘red of claw and tooth’, there is a certain Truth, or authenticity, in Nature that seems relatively nobler.
As the Japanese-American philosopher Yasuhiko Kimura addresses the issue of Truth:
Authenticity is fundamental, more fundamental than spiritual enlightenment. Without authenticity, no genuine spiritual enlightenment is possible. Authenticity is the state of being committed to truth. ...Truth is simple, utterly so.... And no matter how simply a truth is stated, only those who have walked the path of understanding and evolution on their own can know and understand it authentically. The path of truth is the path least traveled.... Authenticity is the clarity of being in which there is no self-deceit.
is authenticity so fundamental, and why is it more
important than even spiritual enlightenment? Well - you see, our mind is extremely clever, and it has a tremendous capacity
for delusion and self-deception. Authenticity is a counteraction for that
self-deceit and tendency to delude oneself. I often quote P.D. Ouspensky's simple statement that the most difficult thing
in life is to know what one knows and to know what one doesn't know and to know
the difference between the two. It requires a kind of honesty and authenticity
to be aware of this difference and to really examine one's body of knowledge.
What is it that one really knows and that one doesn't know? This is the kind of
discipline that one needs to exert in one's own life. It is essential for
taking advantage of the spiritual experience that one has. Otherwise, it can
turn into another form of self-delusion utilized by the ego. So a person needs
to have humility and authenticity with regard to the truth of the
experience that they do have. And this authenticity leads one to higher and
higher levels or into a more whole knowledge and understanding of the truth
that is revealed to one.
When one is true to oneself, when one is authentic, one becomes true to the evolutionary thrust for self-optimization that exists within oneself and within the universe. And that evolutionary thrust is a continuous unfolding process.
September presented its cooling, shorter days. On many mornings our walks by the lakes were blanketed by fog or mists over the waters, and sometimes through the mists we were thrilled to hear the loons signalling to each other across the bays. Notwithstanding the beauty of Ontario’s autumn colour parade as the leaves of our maples and birches shift from green to reds and yellows, there is always a trace of associated nostalgia – perhaps we resonate with the reality our own mortal relativity, as sensed in the display around us in the seasonal cycles of nature. And yet, with one’s advancing years (the scribe is now in his 70th) it seems that the mortal associations are more and more deeply accepted, and then enjoyed, and then greeted with enthusiasm. Just as the ‘work’ of the leaves, grasses and flowers comes to completion, so too the ‘work’ of one’s own life, and one can look forward to the rest with equanimity, grateful for the opportunity to have been a ripple on the surface of Life’s timeless ocean of Being.
We had for some time wanted an excuse to road-test El Canto Azul’s strengths in harness, so Marnie arranged for our train reservations on a trip though the Agawa Canyon, out of Sault Ste. Marie. El Canto with its greater power handled the Coleman pop-up camper like a charm; we settled at a campground just north of The Soo – but not just an ordinary campground – this one was complete with rugged hiking trails, a cedar sauna, whirlpool spa, pool table and wireless Internet. The fall colours around The Soo and further north on our daylong rail trip through the rugged canyon were stupendous, the season being fully two weeks advanced over our own here in Central Ontario. Even with our partaking of the renowned Italian/ Ukrainian foods of The Soo, and intimate late night, after-hours German wine and Polish sausage snacks in the sauna (au naturelle, naturally), we still managed to keep within our targeted weight ranges. A trip that involved good research, good execution and good luck….in the best of company.
October – There has been a lot of rainfall since late summer, and as a result we had noted on our walks that there were an inordinate number of mushrooms. Having been raised on a general farm where I often helped harvest meadow ’shrooms for the family table, it seemed a shame to us that no-one seemed to know what to do with them in the wild; they were just left where they grew, to be kicked around by people. Obtaining books from the library and researching online, we identified two main edible species and two subsidiary edibles in our area, and proceeded to sample these and take spore prints until we were absolutely sure as to what we were dealing with, and then for the past month we have harvested enough mushrooms to supplement our meals plus we’ve frozen several buckets of this delicacy for the coming year.
Nature’s bounty: truly marvellous.
As will be noted by visitors to the “Ecological Perspectives” section of Remedy’s “World and Times”, we have been long-time adherents to “Green” issues, and in mid-October it was our great privilege to hear Elizabeth May, the new leader of the Canadian Green Party, speak at a well attended hall locally, and afterwards we met with Elizabeth and talked with her personally. As she states, Global Warming issues are right up there with Nuclear War as the two major threats imperilling all life on our planet. A great hearted, spirited, gutsy, well-informed lady with wit and humour who is so on top of to-days issues that she extemporaneously speaks to a rapt audience for an hour. She will be a positive change agent in the future of our country.
Recently in the early morning, a flock of wild turkeys was seen strolling under the sumacs at the rear of our lot, and looking up from the keyboard now and out the window there is a young red fox laying beside a flower bed in the rear yard, gazing towards the house. It seems that if one makes the attempt to meet Nature half-way, Nature’s diverse life forms become ever-increasingly accessible.
For some reason, I am reminded of Chief Seattle’s observation:
“In the white man’s cities, there isn’t one single place where there is silence, peace. One single place where one can hear the leaves rustle in the spring and the whirring of an insect’s wings. Maybe this is because I am a savage and I cannot understand…. What will happen to man without the animals? If all the animals disappeared, man would die of spiritual solitude. Because everything that happens to the animals can affect men. Everything is related.”
Indeed, when the creatures in their natural state are gone, it is the end of Living, and the beginning of Existence.
A pair of hungry blue jays in the backyard is tearing apart a sun-flower head for its seeds, and a small flock of red cardinals in search of their afternoon snack is working the ground under the sumacs,. Think I’ll take esposa Marnie and perro Lady for a walk in the park, kick some fallen maple leaves, do a set of Taoist T'ai Chi, and observe the flocks of Canadian geese practicing their pre-migratory training flights. Through relating to Nature, one quickly finds oneself saying "YES" to the whole great thing. Two miracles: a world and ourselves here together to participate in it.
Excerpted from Private Correspondence of Tom Bearden
(posted Dec 3-05 at http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/120305.htm)
Lt. Col Thomas E. Bearden (retd.)
PhD, MS (nuclear engineering), BS (mathematics - minor electronic engineering)
Co-inventor - the 2002 Motionless Electromagnetic Generator - a replicated overunity EM generator
Listed in Marquis' Who'sWho in America, 2004
[Explanatory footnotes by Remedy]
If one goes outside the normal CEM/EE flawed, (1) and over to quantum field theory, there are four photons. Two (with polarization along x or y, where z is the direction of propagation through space) are observable. The other two, longitudinal polarization along the line of propagation and polarization in the time domain, are not observable. Yet their combination is observable as a spike of electrostatic scalar potential – i.e., voltage. If, in the coupling, the longitudinal waves are made coherent to coupled mind-domain functions and dynamics, then the brain and nervous system has “voltage spikes” directly and exactly representing the mind’s temporal EM dynamics. So for coupling (i.e., a living body), we must see such correlated voltage spikings. Hence all the nerve dendrites and zillions of voltage spikings in the operating, living brain and nervous system.
The mind dynamics of course are also known to be nonobservable directly. Nonetheless, from our very crude lie detectors etc., we already know that somehow “normal” electrical analogues of mind dynamics do occur in the living body, brain, and nervous system. But in the West, our scientists are very materialistic and still think in 3-D, so to speak. They therefore largely continue to conclude that we are “meat computers” – i.e., that the mind itself is naught but a series of voltage spikes in the brain and nervous system. In such a horribly mistaken model, of course, the model predicts that, once dead and those spikes gone, there is no mind or life left.
Mind dynamics (2) are in fact totally electrodynamic in nature, but they are comprised of those strange nonobservable time-polarized photons and EM fields over on the time axis – and not even existing in the sad old CEM/EE model so ubiquitously used. All time (and time entities) are nonobservable since the observation process itself invokes a d/dt operator (3) upon the 4-space dynamics, being d/dt(LLLT) = LLL. We (i.e., our physical senses as physical instruments) “see” things very much like a series of frozen 3-space snapshots LLL, and we infer the “passage of time” by comparing differences between the snapshots – just like for a motion picture film.
To couple a dynamic time-polarized photon entity on the time axis coherently to a dynamic entity (a physical body) in 3-space, one must use the coherent coupling of time-polarized photons (on the 4th axis) and longitudinally-polarized (in 3-space) photons.
Hence the real purpose of all the dendrite endings (with jillions of spikes and spikings continuously) in the brain and nervous system is to get at and produce such a coherent coupling. Many of those spikes do represent that exact coherent coupling. So long as all that coherent coupling is functional, the mind remains coupled to the body, and the two comprise a “living system”. If the coherence is lost, the coupling of mind to body is lost, and that is “death” where the “freed mind” now just occupies a part of the time domain, along with zillions and zillions of others.
If one would directly engineer the mind and its dynamics, one must learn to use such spikes between deliberately created coherent longitudinal photon dynamics (in 3-space) and the targeted or desired time-polarized photon dynamics on the time axis. In short, one “reverse engineers” by mixing deterministic but unobservable longitudinal photons and the mind’s time-polarized photons into voltage spikes, where the mixed longitudinal photons are correlated to those of a targeted mind.
As an aside, eventually communication with the “dead” is possible, by such means (deliberately coupling a set of “body functions” to a desired “dead” mind function). As can be seen, there is an entire emerging science of mind and matter interaction, that emerges from the study and development of psychoenergetics technology.
Enough really good scientists researching and experimenting with this area (coupling of mind and body EM functions) will eventually work out exactly how to do it, the types of instrumentation that can “monitor” it (or its results, at least). The Soviets under KGB auspices have spent 60 years on it, and have reached a very high degree of competence, rather completely unknown to the West because the West is still so deeply mired in the conventional CEM/EE.
What we call “death”, of course, is simply the loss of all coherence in the coupling of the mind’s time-polarized EM dynamics to the body’s longitudinal-wave dynamics. (4) At death (separation) the mind does not “disappear” into nonexistence (disappointing the atheists), but remains as a living part of the time-domain world dynamics. One thing that happens to it (to a separated human mind) is that the conscious mind withdraws into its personal unconscious mind, in that case. So one exists as in a special kind of dream state – a dream state where one is surrounded by all the unresolved conflicts one has suppressed into one’s unconscious over one’s physical lifetime (incarnation). The “conscience” comes into play since what we call “evil” or “bad” deeds that one commits are usually at the expense of one’s conscience. One continually shoves one’s own conflicts down in one’s unconscious mind. And then Voila! At death there one suddenly is, with one’s conscious mind now directly immersed in all that conflict, every incident. For the average person it is very like being in a nightmare from which one cannot awaken. It is the literal mechanism for “As a man seweth, that shall he also reap”. Everything one has done against one’s fellow humans, is right there and at him again. The ancients – peering dimly into that morass – called it “Hell!” And so it is, if one has resorted to lots of conflict to abuse his fellow humans.
The time domain is riddled with incredible numbers of disassociated minds (all of them that ever disassociated from their original living bodies that died). If one develops the science of mind engineering (psychoenergetics) in the time domain, with the developed technology one can then build a 3-space “engine” (set of longitudinal photon force functions in mass) that mimic the action of a living body. One then takes an engine for the kind of “mind” dynamics in the time-polarized photons of the time domain that one wishes, and with the zillions of statistical variations already present, one reconnects one of those minds to that “body set”. In a sense, that is a sort of “reincarnation” and it can be communication with the “dead”.
The body set engine can be the body set engine of a targeted living human. And the mind set engine that is additionally coupled to that human’s body set engine can be a desired variation (in behavior) of that normal mind. Hence in that case one has engineered a “sleeper” personality and mind in an already living person – which I called “conversion” since one can also switch which mind engine is “dominantly coupled” for directions from its “conscious” mind portion. It’s very similar to multiple personalities in psychiatry; only in this case it is deliberately engineered, and not something the living human and his personal unconscious had to unconsciously engineer under grave pressures.
Indeed, in follow-on generations of mind-engineering (psychoenergetics), (5) one can engineer a specific FRAGMENT of a conscious mind (dealing with behavior in a desired subset of behavioral functions) and then switch between the “fragments” in that area, in the targeted human. I called that “fragmentary conversion”. The overall personality remains seemingly the same, except now the individual may have a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” functioning.
The “sleeper” mind-engine – even when never switched in to a control position – is also extraordinarily useful. Just as in multiple personality theory, the “sleeper” personality still knows everything that happens and that goes on. The immediate application of that sleeper technology to totally counter all intelligence security is obvious. With the technology developed, simply insert non-switching sleepers in the personnel desired, who staff and operate whatever areas are to be looked at. Suddenly the very people staffing and operating the highest security facilities, at the deepest security level, are “sleeper” enemy agents, perfectly reporting everything that transpires for that overall personage, back to the enemy. Communication with the “sleeper” is by longitudinal EM waves, already worked out in the earlier conversion technology development.
So today, in the U.S. and the Western World, there is no such thing remaining as “security” at any level of classification or at any level of protected facility. All our “deep black” has now become “open white”. All our compartmented intelligence, etc. is already compromised, since the latter 1990s.
That is precisely how the KGB/FSB could design a system to destroy us, and be so sure of how to proceed. I suspect that every word uttered in every private meeting by the President, Vice President, key staff members, etc. – and by every “deep black” organization and set of personnel – is already being reported by implanted “sleepers” in the personnel staffing those areas and doing the functions done in them.
In short, the perfect spy and spying capability against us has been accomplished, and is already in place – totally unknown to our own intelligence agencies and the scientific community, which doesn’t believe a word of it (because our science and intelligence are still almost entirely bogged down in the hoary old century-old CEM/EE model!).
With the developed psychoenergetic technology, there are literally thousands of scenarios that the KGB/FSB can take and easily set up. No system can stand against this psychoenergetics technology, regardless of that targeted system’s prowess in “physical” weaponry (nuclear weapons bombers, ICBMs, nuclear subs, etc). To use any kind of physical weapons or engage in any kind of sustained and coordinated physical efforts, the targeted system has to maintain its always-just-assumed “group order”. Now, with conversion, fractional conversion, and sleeper all-pervading spying, that group order can be totally disrupted at anytime, whenever the schedule calls for it or the whim occurs to the enemy to do it.
Hence all our nuclear weapons, rockets and missiles, nuclear bombers, nuclear subs, etc. are meaningless once confronted by a clever chess-playing foe who has deliberately long since developed psychoenergetics technology to the above degree. Simply convert our group order (GO) of our targeted system personnel into NO-GO, and that group is absolutely helpless and totally countered. One can have members of that group firing nuclear weapons at its own nation’s cities and populace, etc. or anything else one wishes to implement. Anything that normally goes, now “no-goes”.
Anyway, that’s a short overview of the present threat situation, in a nutshell.
Meanwhile, all attempts to get our own scientific community to pull its head out of the sand from its ostrich position, are just about doomed to failure. There is nothing going on in NAS, NSF, NAE, NRC, all the great national labs, our intelligence community, etc. that even bears on the above problem. In the West, e.g., our scientists still have no notion at all of what the mind really is, or that its dynamics are totally strange electromagnetics on the time-axis, and directly engineerable if one pays the sunk costs on the front end and develops psychoenergetics technology.
Best wishes, Tom
1. CEM/EE stands for the Classical Electrodynamics/ Electrical Engineering model, which Bearden indicates was misinterpreted and wrongly based; with others, Bearden has co-invented and patented ‘over-unity’ decices whid generate more energy than is required to operate them, drawing energy directly from “the vacuum.” In the old CEM/EE model, there is no recognition of that part of energy (50%) not in LLL (3 dimensions of space), but which is a force within T (time).
2. “Mind” dynamics exist in the body (LLL) in life, but are non-observable, and only function on a ‘snapshot’ basis. The brain denderitic ‘buzz maintains an EM coherence to sustain the mind-body coupling.
4. De-coupling of mind-body comprises death; this frees the mind, which continues to function within a part of the time domain. However, without mind’s inability to pin itself to (have coherence with) matter, the subconscious (and its contents) become the mind’s reality. The mythic “Black Caspers” of the Bardo Thodal ensue). Note – with reverse engineering – the prospects of an artificial reincarnation, comprising interface between a reconstituted “mind” and body; also communication (EVP?) between the living and dead.
5. Bearden states that – for the past 60 years – Russian scientists have developed psychoenergetic technology which in effect can engineer and implant a partial or full personality into a living host (Jekyll-Hyde) – in effect a form of “multiple-personality” that can be activated by an agency beyond the control of the host – in effect a “mind within one’s mind”. This reminds one of the project on which Dr. Michael Persinger was commissioned by the SEALs – to ascertain a mechanism and medium whereby control of individuals or a populace could be effected. ……….k]
For several years, off and on, we have been reading some of the works of the Jain guru, OSHO. Over 600 books were transcribed from OSHO’s group talks with disciples at Pune, India and at the Oregon ashram, and some 225 of these books are easily accessible through the OSHO on-line library. Because of our respect for the breadth and depth of OSHO’s material and insights, we spent some time in researching the subject of Astrology. During the course of this research, we came across the work of Dr. Percy Seymour – Astronomer/ Astrophysicist, former Plymouth University astronomy lecturer, a researcher at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich and member of the Royal Astronomical Society.
First of all, Dr. Seymour had no use for “sun-sign” astrology or horoscopes, which attitude attracted our attention. He was, however, intrigued with the recent life work of a French psychologist/ statistician Michel Gauquelin who had collected statistics on thousands of successful artists, military personnel and professional people, and had came up with statistically significant groupings of certain classes, relating to the respective group’s lunar and planetary orientations at time of birth. Gauquelin’s findings – although backed by rigorous data collection – were highly contentious, and his findings appeared to pertain only to each groups winners’, but did not carry to similar research on the general population within the examined classes. It is now thought that his results may have been skewed by “social artefacts” wherein birth dates in the 1800’s were frequently misstated by parents for personal and social reasons (to avoid social stigma associated with certain dates, or to improve their progeny’s prospects with a more favorable birth-date). Nonetheless, many people still have a deep sense that there is some connection between the “stars” (or at least the planets) and the individual. There are many aspects of nature which support this view, for instance tidal effects, bird migratory patterns, menstrual cycles, etc. Dr. Seymour’s expertise was in astronomy and astrophysics, and through his scientific research he perceived a relationship between the Solar system and its biota. Much of our research was drawn from Internet sources, including this linked article by Bronwyn Elko entitled “The Magus of Magnetism: An Interview With Dr. Percy Seymour: An Astronomer's Magnetic Theory of Astrology and How Planetary Motion Orchestrates Solar Activity and Geomagnetism”, which article goes into the Seymour material in depth.
In developing his Theory of Magneto Tidal Resonance, Seymour refers to the work of Professor Frank A. Brown, who found that biological rhythms are tied to astronomical cycles; Brown subsequently developed a theory of internally controlled timing mechanisms. Brown is an eminent biologist who researched and wrote about the "biological clock" mechanisms observed in organisms, observing that animals are sensitive to various subtle environmental factors. He demonstrated the influence that magnetic fields exert on a wide variety of living organisms, and also showed that several organisms including oysters, fiddler crabs, sea worms, and rats modify their behaviour according to lunar rhythms. To rule out other possible causes for such effects, Brown enclosed his experimental subjects for long periods in hermetically-sealed rooms where the light, pressure, temperature, and humidity were carefully kept constant. Brown also noted that fluctuations in intensity of primary cosmic rays entering the earth's atmosphere were dependent upon the strength of geomagnetism. The Earth’s magnetic field steadily undergoes fluctuations in intensity, and when the Earth’s field was stronger, fewer primary cosmic rays come into the outer atmosphere; when it weakened, more got in. Other researchers have shown the influences of electrostatic fields, gamma radiation, x-rays, and weak radio waves on the circadian rhythms.
Seymour's theory was multi-linked:
1. in that the planets raise tides in the gases of the Sun, creating sunspots and their particle emissions; which then
2. travel across interplanetary space to strike and interfere with Earth's magnetosphere, ringing it like a bell.
While some cycles in the geomagnetic field are brought about by the tidal influence of the moon on the upper atmosphere, Dr. Seymour draws our attention to the fact that the 11.2 year solar “sunspot” cycle corresponds to specific recurring configurations of the planets, and that the solar wind directly influences the Earth’s geomagnetic field.
In the case of humans, these planetary magnetic signals are perceived by the developing neural network of a fetus as it grows inside its mother's womb, signals which in due course intensify and stimulate the child's birth. Thusly, the unborn offspring of expectant mothers around the world are exposed to different magnetic fields that influence the development of their budding, resonating brains. “Resonance” is the phenomenon in the biological kingdoms of nature dealing with the inter-relationship of living beings with the Earth’s geomagnetic field; the characteristics of biota within resonant systems are being increasingly explored and researched.
The physiology of our bodies as human beings includes our neurology, which has been established to operate via electric current generation and conduction. As such, the presence of corresponding magnetic fields also exists within the dissipative structures of life. Research revealing the detection of the geomagnetic field by animals, birds, fish, and plants also suggests that man possesses such capabilities via his genetic record.
When the concept of resonance is discussed, examples are provided involving the effect within biology of very small frequencies, such as those to do with electromagnetic energy in various subtle frequencies, or indeed with sound waves. Examples of resonant systems which are based on cycles which are in the order of the tidal (6H), the diurnal (24 H), the lunar cycles (28 days), the seasons (quarter years), the annual cycles, and still greater cycles – from the sunspot/solar cycles of 11.2 years through to the great geological cycles which may reflect the journey of the (earth/moon)/sun system about the Milky Way galaxy (200 million years).
Fluctuations in solar storm activity follow a cycle averaging 11.2 years and varying from about nine to thirteen years in length, and historical data indicates correlation between sunspots and climate disruptions, social unrest (revolutions and wars) as well as incidence of epidemics. Disturbances occur in our atmosphere, for instance in the aurora borealis as a result of the greater ionization in the upper atmosphere, and there are frequent magnetic storms, revealed by violent agitation of compass needles. There is also a correlation between sunspots and the thickness of tree rings (the concentric rings formed in the growth of trees). Since this is a world-wide phenomenon, it is thought that the cyclic extra thickness of a tree’s bark may be for radiation shielding purposes, rather than because of increased local rainfall.
As to lunar influences, it may be that – since the moon is connected with the ebb and flow of the tides, and humans are 70% water, then the moon may indeed have some affect on us. Perhaps our moods depend to some extent upon the lunar position, depending on our tuned base – the individually unique “setting” that was acquired by us while yet in our mother’s womb.
As to what this means for ourselves, Seymour indicates that – as a fetus, our neural network acts as a sort of antenna that tunes into fluctuations in Earth's magnetic field. The imprinting of the neural antennae depends on genetic heredity, which gives us our basic congenital personality. The fetus is thereby genetically predisposed to “hear” specific planetary signals, much as a radio is resonantly tuned to receive a particular station. So it's not that the planets make the person. Rather, the planets label a person's genetic predisposition to respond to specific magnetic signals.
The mechanism of the selective "tuning-in" to various frequencies involves the establishment of resonant sessions such as that which occur in the standard radio antenna for frequencies in the radio-wave spectrum. "It means the whole solar system is playing a symphony on the Earth's magnetic field. We are all genetically tuned to receive a different set of melodies from this symphony."
Seymour says that there are other ways that Earth's magnetosphere affects the developing fetus. Right through the entire nine-month gestation period, the neural network of the fetus may be synchronizing and tuning its biological clock into Earth's magnetic fluctuations. Thus, our fetal development evolves along with changes in Earth's magnetic field. Metaphorically, at different stages of development we pick up different magnetic tunes from out of the solar symphony, which later become part of our earliest memories. Just as every fingerprint and every snowflake are different, so all living things are unique and operate with reference to the unique “attunement” of each to the Universe. These pre-programmed magnetic memories may be evoked later in life when similar magnetic tunes are repeated, and our essential “setting” may even help us through certain exciting or challenging phases later in life an ongoing interaction between our genetic blueprint and our individual psychic fingerprint.
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer: Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away… Henry David Thoreau
On November 14th, 2005, Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Minister of Defence under Lester Pearson from l963-67, issued a press release asking the Canadian Parliament to hold Hearings on relations with alien "ET" civilizations. "UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head." Hellyer warned, "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning." It was noted that Hellyer’s position was supported by that of three NGOs, and having visited the Roswell UFO museum ourselves, we felt that there was sufficient merit in his warning that we circulated it generally via Email. Subsequently, a local friend lent us his copy of Dr. Steven Greer’s book entitled “Disclosure: Military and Government Witnesses Reveal the Greatest Secrets in Modern History”, wherein Greer provides transcripts of more than a hundred interviews with military personnel, scientists and academics from which it can be inferred that there has been a massive cover-up by governments around the world bearing on UFO sightings, crash wreckage and bodies of ETs examined and still in secreted storage. Further – that through access to the UFO wreckage – extensive “back-engineering” had led to discoveries related to microchips, lasers, anti-gravity and over-unity energy systems as the secrets of the advanced ET technologies that allowed them to engage in space flight had been uncovered.
Concurrently, one of our BC correspondents advised that – coincidently – he had recently re-established contact with an old friend whose husband - Alfred Lambremont Webre – it turns out, heads up one of the NGOs supporting Hellyer’s concerns; that she had lent him her husband’s book, and that it was hoped that they could meet face-to-face. Dr. Webre’s website is at www.peaceinspace.net/ and it was noted from one of his articles thereon Star Dreams Initiative (SDI): Part 2 – Project Plan that the work of the late John Mack of Harvard is referenced. Professor Mack was heavily involved in counselling “UFO abductees”, people who claimed to have been abducted and upon whom various probes and experiments were performed by the ETs, then the abductees had lost memory of the incidents except for the unaccountable time lapse and subsequent flashbacks. A transcript of Mack being interviewed by Jeffrey Mishlove is at www.intuition.org and it was Mack’s conclusion that his clients had definitely experienced something just as real - or more real - than anything else in their lives. That it was almost as though there are "inter-penetrating dimensions" that allow for the transfer of information. When on one of our trips to A.R.E. in Virginia Beach, Marnie and I were introduced to a chap (Bill ---) who had been similarly involved as an abductee counsellor, but that he had been personally caught up in the interface, and had it not been for the psychic intervention by his (deceased) guru, Bill would have been whacked. As it was, he had had to curtail much of his abductee counselling involvement, as that had apparently been seen by the ETs as an interference to their own work. Now in talking to Bill (and there had been NO lead-in to this phase of our discussion, it had simply burst forth), there was –as in Mack's sense – absolutely no doubt in our minds that Bill had had the full run of experience. Both Marnie & I, as well as our shocked introducer (a Muktenanda devotee), were shaken, and later she asked what we thought of the situation - was Bill over the edge, or what? Our response was that something had definitely happened, and similar events had frequently happened to others over macro-time - that inter-dimensional contacts whether in the guise of devas, leprechauns, shamanic spirit-guides or ‘personal saviours’, have always been part of our existence, this time it being in the 'techno-scientific' or UFO modes of interpretation. [Our sensory instrumentation only allows us to "see" within a narrow band of the "frequency haze" of All That Is - we see enough to get by on, but there may well be a lot more going on around (and within) us that we can't normally be aware of and interpret.]
Considering the paradoxical material, one really wonders what has been going on. But it gets even stranger.
Back to Dr. Webre. When Jimmy Carter became President, he indicated that there were two matters which he wanted to resolve – namely the Kennedy assassination and the ET/UFO controversy. Webre was immediately appointed by Carter to head up a group at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in California, to try to get to the bottom of the ET/UFO matter, and that if there really was substance to the issue, to establish procedures whereby contact with the ETs could be arranged. SRI, it should be noted, was already contracted by various US covert agencies, to research psychotronics and remote viewing, as the USSR was felt to have a lead in these areas. [Psychotronics relates to the measurement and synthetic enhancement of brain waves manifested by psychics whilst in altered states of consciousness and performing feats of psychokinesis; such enhanced synthetic wave-forms could then be projected at enemies to alter their consciousness at distance. Coordinate Remote Viewing is a procedure developed by the Israeli psychic, Ingo Swann, whereby people could be trained to “see” things at distance.] After only 5 months, Dr. Webre’s Carter Commission was abruptly terminated by the Pentagon, under threat to SRI that otherwise all of SRI’s other lucrative government contracts would be terminated. At that early stage, Webre had not even fully determined the actual nature of the ET contact phenomenon, as to whether it was solely physical (as the reported wreckage would suggest), or if it was an internal emergence across space, via some unknown form of trans-dimensional consciousness “wormhole”. In that Webre was based at SRI, and his website extensively comments on remote viewing in relation to ETs, we can only wonder.
In an earlier item entitled “Neuroscience and Mind” in Remedy’s “Our Stories” section, we had written about the work of Professor Michael Persinger, Chair of Neurosciences at Laurentian University, Sudbury for the past 30 years. Dr. Persinger has published extensive research showing a statistical correlation between UFO sightings and imminent tectonic plate shifts (or concurrent deep drilling or underground explosions). Apparently that current or imminent changes in the geo-EM fields are sensed within some brains and interpreted optically as "lights" - the UFO phenomena.Over the years Persinger and his grads have also published a lot of work concerning the effects of the magnetic component of EM - the information frequencies of M carried via E, to effect our internal communications (thoughts and somatic control mechanisms). Three years ago I contacted Persinger about his work - he was very forthcoming, advising that patents involving frequency prescriptions simulating pharmacological agents in the treatment of various diseases had been applied for, and that "West Coast" venture capital was being negotiated to develop and subsequently bring to market these specific magnetic frequency prescriptions. Recently we posted a “Tribute” to the work of Dr. Persinger and his Behavioural Neurosciences Group on the “From the Writings of….” section of our Remedy site.
One wonders - if our thoughts and physical existence are truly platformed on the magnetic frequency domain, perhaps in some hologram (with our brains being frequency receivers/ decoders of the holographic flux), then the possibility of inter-dimensional 'contact' and information transfer may actually exist.
November 20th, 2005 – COMMUNICATION: INNER + OUTER
The year winds down, and kindling and hardwood chunks are stored for cozy study/ conversation sessions by the living room fireplace. The hummingbird feeders have been put away, replaced by seed feeders and suet balls for our feathered friends who – like us – have decided to forego migration to warmer latitudes over the winter. On our morning walks, we see the occasional deer in the forest, and on turning a corner in the path yesterday surprised a grey owl on a low branch not 10 feet from us. Lady had passed on ahead and the owl was watching her and been unaware of Marnie and I. All the fall yard work was completed a fortnight ago – leaves raked and bagged, boats stored, water systems winterized, exterior lights put up, snow blower ready, and a stack of reading/research material at hand for the shorter days ahead. At the top of this stack was the work of Hal and Sidra Stone, Jungian psychologists from California who have developed a technique called “The Psychology of Selves”, more commonly known as VOICE DIALOGUE. Several years ago we had read a Thinking Allowed transcript of Jeffrey Mishlove interviewing Hal Stone and we were intrigued – to the point of visiting the Stones’ website and downloading several articles. Over the years their site library has been augmented and many more articles were added to our file; the whole lot was again reviewed, together with our earlier study notes.
What the Stones have done, essentially, is make conscious a truth that most of us know subconsciously: that we, as individuals, are not a singularity but rather each of us is a multiplicity of selves. This thinking is found in Jung, Aldous Huxley, Tart, and Gurdjieff. Herrman Hesse, in his classic Steppenwolf, also observes:
“In reality, every ego –so far from being a unity, is in the highest degree a manifold world, a constellated heaven, a chaos of forms, of states and stages, of inheritances and potentialities. As a body everyone is single, as a soul never.”
“One’s life oscillates, not merely between two poles, such as the body and the spirit, the saint and the sinner, but between thousands and thousands. - - And if ever the suspicion of their manifold being dawns upon men of unusual powers and of unusually delicate perceptions, so that, as all genius must, they break through the illusion of the unity of the personality and perceive that the self is made up of a bundle of selves, they have only to say so and at once the majority puts them under lock and key, calls science to aid, diagnoses schizomania and protects humanity from the necessity of hearing the cry of truth from the lips of these unfortunate persons.”
The Stones observed that our individual psyches are comprised of “sub-selves” (essentially “energy patterns”), which are evoked internally by us in our everyday thinking processes (as we “talk” within), and which also manifest in response to the forces of external interaction – the analogy in that case being that of an actor that is called upon to assume different roles. Now we all identify with certain aspects of our repertoire – those aspects that we feel are more socially rewarding and reflect better upon ourselves. These favourable aspects accrete to become our functional ego. In other words, we “embrace” certain of our energies, and “disown” other aspects as we – over time – build our functional ego persona. The ejected energies – or disowned selves – we project onto others and thereby are able to dislike externally that which we deny internally. Unfortunately, energy is energy, and the internal conflicts that we set up within ourselves through denying our parts, depletes our resources; our ability to be aware, to focus and to be effective is thereby impaired. What the Stones discovered is a process whereby we can come to acknowledge and accept all aspects within. The goal is that we individually become the CEO of a collegial group of individuals sitting around a table and invited to express their diverse advice as to how to deal with a situation; then the CEO – after hearing all – makes the decision as to how all will proceed. Seemingly, even the baser of our “voices” have their truth, their place in the overall scheme: and that if one doesn’t at least consider these aspects of one’s makeup, they will still energetically work within and have their effect. To paraphrase, ‘Hell hath no such fury as that of a disowned self scorned’. Or as Rilke observed
“I don’t want my demons taken away because they’re going to take my angels too”
The Stones stumbled upon the “Voice Dialogue” process accidentally, during conversations between themselves. The dynamic requires trust, intimacy and acceptance of what is brought forward. While hypnotism is not involved, an altered state of consciousness does manifest when each “voice” is engaged, as though a completely discrete personality enters the conversation. To formalize the entry of each” voice”, the person being facilitated moves to a different chair or position in the room, that self has its say, and then the person relocates to the original egoic chair and there acknowledges awareness of the sub-self’s contribution. As one becomes more knowledgeable about one’s component selves, [as in the CEO analogy], one evolves an “Aware Ego”- a witness or observer that is much less trapped in the box of one’s normal ego persona – and thereby is able to draw on aspects of the selves formerly disowned. This Aware Ego is able to observe and listen to one’s own inner urges and messages – essentially that is all that these energies want – to be respected. What these existential energies don’t want, and will resist to the end – is to be suppressed, or “disowned” – if that happens, these selves will just get stronger to the point that the functional ego becomes debilitated, if not completely undermined.
Beyond the intra-personal process of self-understanding, in time one can become sufficiently aware to sense aspects of the energies in others in play (or suppressed). Inter-personally, one can sometimes “feel” a truth about another that the other may not even be aware of, as for the other functional ego to harbor such feelings would be contrary to that persona’s self-image. Nevertheless – silent or spoken – our feelings about things are always unavoidably present, and their energetic action is in full swing. And whether something is out in the open or held “behind the mask”, we all develop intuitive cues to discern the truth necessary for our learning (experience) and ongoing existence. Either we do learn, or else we continue to muddle around until such later time as we do become aware.
- - - - - - -
Bearing on the latter inter-personal observation, the following information recently came in the HeartMath Institute Bulletin, and is included here because of its synchronistic insights that are important to all of us:
A handshake, hug, or gesture of touch is a universal way of communicating. It might surprise you to know what this simple act of touch is really doing! The electromagnetic field generated by the heart not only radiates outward from the body, but also appears to carry information about our feelings, in a manner similar to how information is carried by radio waves. The HeartMath Research team wanted to know if they could demonstrate scientifically a transfer of information between people when they touch or are close to each other. This research has indicated bio-electromagnetic communication between people is indeed possible.
The research team set out to determine if the electromagnetic field produced by the heartbeat (ECG) of one person could be detected in another individual's brain activity (EEG) during physical contact. At first they seated pairs of subjects four feet apart while monitoring them during an initial baseline (no physical contact). This was followed by a period where participants reached out and held the hand of the other person (like shaking hands). Prior to holding hands, there was no indication that one subject's heartbeat signals could be detected in the other subject's brainwaves. However, upon holding hands, the heartbeat signal of one subject could be clearly detected in the other subject's brainwaves. (See graph) In some cases, the signal exchange could be detected in both directions, but only in about 30% of the pairs of participants, However it could almost always be detected in one of the participants! This was a bit of a mystery, as neither gender nor the strength of the heartbeat (ECG amplitude) explained in which participant the signal could be detected.
In later research, the answer to this puzzling finding seems to have been found. It appears that the important factor in the transmission and reception of these signals is the degree of physiological coherence that participants are in during the experiment. Do the results of these experiments mean that during a handshake or hug, another person is unconsciously detecting how we're are feeling? It appears that the electromagnetic energy generated by the heart could be an important source of non-verbal communication that occurs between people. This possibility needs further exploration, and more research is planned in this area. (HeartMath Research)
It was a glorious Autumn, with Marnie and I taking long walks each dawn with Taoist Tai Chi on the beach, and later hitting the bike trail to the other end of Orillia. On October 3rd, I was on the lead bike, having just passed a 6x6 post in the middle of a spur in the trail where it enters the main line. I was about 60’ ahead of Marnie when I heard a sickening crash behind. Swinging back, I found Marnie crumpled within her wrecked bike, lying beside the trail. Even though we had passed the post hundreds of times, this time it had jumped out in front of her. She doesn’t remember how it happened – perhaps her eyes were on the clouds. I raced home for El Toro, and luckily was able to back the car up to where she was by then sitting, and took her into Emergency. There the technicians took Xrays and Ultrasound, and in due course the Doctor advised her that – as well as a couple of cracked ribs – the ligaments in Marnie’s right shoulder between her collar bone and her shoulder bone, had been badly torn. It was recommended that she contact an orthopaedic surgeon in Barrie who would probable book her in for consultation in 6 weeks time and subsequent surgery. In the meantime she was released home but the shoulder would have to remain immobilized, in a sling, and painkillers were prescribed.
For the next three days Marnie was in a lot of pain, and was for all intents and purposes bedridden. After the first day she declined further painkillers, and we used a Bio-Medici pulsed magnetic device on the shoulder 24 hours daily. Further, we used a Sonafon infrasound massager on the damaged shoulder, plus a red light pulsation device to assist healing of an open wound on her hand. [The latter is a device similar to those used by astronauts on the space flights, and the Sonafon is used on Kentucky thoroughbreds to stimulate their strained muscles at the molecular level]. By the end of the first week Marnie was able to resume our daily walks, however her Tai Chi was a bit off because of the necessity to keep the sling on. By the end of three weeks, and with continue use of the noted aides, she was sufficiently restored that she was able to cancel the specialist appointment, and after two months she had almost full usage of her shoulder except in some difficult hatha yoga positions.
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Around October 10th, and in that Marnie was still partial immobilized, it was decided that we would try to track down the gravesites of her paternal ancestors. When we had visited Sault Lake City in 1995, we had spent quite a bit of time in the Church of Latter Day Saints Hall of Records, to see if we could locate information concerning her people. Some information was indeed acquired, and noting our success in eliciting data about my brother Errett through contacting funeral directors, (see our August 18th notation), we were finally able to locate the final resting place of her paternal grandparents and great grandparents. When combined with further archival material and personal recollections, we subsequently jointly composed as essay entitled
“Our Ancestors Speak”, and uploaded it onto the “Our Stories” section of the Remedy website. The essay was written as though by the ancestors themselves in the first person, speaking to their own lives and times. It must be admitted that we were both very reflective during this particular process – sometimes it almost felt that our ancestors were present and guiding our discussions and evoking our memories, and it must also be acknowledged that through the joint process we learned many valuable things about ourselves. [This is one way in which we can pass on our findings to our own descendents, so that they may better know their roots.]
Since our last notation on 16-10-04, we had been intensely involved in trying to restore and cement relationships within our family, however in time and after much soul-searching between Marnie and I, it had been concluded that we were being terribly jerked around by our progeny and prospects for turn-around had deteriorated from awful to God-awful. A “closing time” notice was therefore issued on May 9th. While saddened that the decision had had to be and executed, we felt at peace with our good efforts, but unexpected effects were soon experienced. The following morning after issuing our notice, all hell broke loose upon me: sudden nausea, the faints, grey-pasties and the wobbles, rolling cramps and reddish urine colour. A portable pulse-pressure monitor formerly used to monitor exercise effects, indicated that there was a 40% drop from normal heart rate - Marnie whipped me into the Orillia Hospital Emergency around 11AM; there I was EKG'd for a several hours – vital signs stabilized about 5PM, but the hospital kept me on leash over night and the next morning the internist put me on a treadmill - I told him that I did a lot of walking/ biking/ reverie so there shouldn't be a lot of shift under physical stress but very soon (2 minutes - treadmill speed had just been increased from "old lady" to "old man" - the white-frock announced “that’s all, she wrote”, pulled me off his toy, ‘helped’ me sit down in a handy wheel-chair and loaded me up with 4 prescriptions of rat-poison (coumadin to thin the blood), beta-blockers, cholesterol-lowerers, and blood pressure negaters. The nurses were kind enough to provide lots of reading material on heart disease and cardio-surgical procedures and probability outcomes, just to properly frame the upcoming event. [ Marnie did a quick I-net Meds search on the prescribed poisons and each of the four items had a list of adverse side effects that would stun a rhino] - then the well-meaning internist demi-god sent me the next morn by ambulance (EKG'd the whole way) to the Regional cardio unit down in Newmarket for an angiogram and whatever repair work was necessary (angioplasty/ stents/ bypass).
The Newmarket cardio unit is a big one - probably 60-70 patients in various stages of 'process', but my winning smile moved me right up near the front of the queue. The cardio surgeon inserted a groin probe with tip-camera, and since I had to be conscious for the procedure I could therefore watch the surgeon on the ultra-sound and probe camera monitors exploring the plumbing up to - and thru - all zee heart valves and chambers - but try as he might, El Surgio couldn't find a fecking thing. Oh, he assured me he could find a heart (I was glad to hear that high-price opinion, because others have said that there wasn’t any) but that there was absolutely nada wrong nowhere, nada cholesterol clumps, nada gremlins, nada electro-pulse timer problem etc. Doc thought maybe it had been a gall-bladder attack?? Then, there being nada wrong, the Good Goniff signed off a new prescription list for a whole month's supply of the same 4 items of poison that the Orillia internist had pumped into me. You can imagine what I used that prescription paper for, when I was finally able to cajole my way out of the cardio-cuckoo's nest that evening. Seems like hospital staff like to keep the livestock in their stable as long as possible – and help set up a future supply of clientele via mis-medication tactics (numbers, you know, count). [Later personal research suggested that a kidney stone had been passed, and the associated trauma had suppressed pulse-pressure indicators]
If a person didn't already have anxiety/pressure problems to start with, then after being "treated" for a couple days within our "sacred trust" of a burgeoning health care system he'll damn well be helped/hypered out of his body. Doubtless our forbears must have felt a bit peckish now and then in the hayfield or barn, but had the sense to lie down and shut up. Didn't have a "freebie" mega-industry just up the street to "help" them (Methinks the white-frocks help themselves, and refer you onward to their specialist buddies to share the feast).
Coincidence? Perhaps – but just maybe there was some weird connection between my giving up on the family just because of their inability to distinguish between the sacred (that would be our 'side', of course) and the profane (others' 'sides'). Whatever….
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By June, I'd more-or-less calmed down from the depressive slings and arrows of family and the medical industry impositions (except when providing conversational entertainment to others - then of course I'd have to "act" as though I was really upset), so one bright day Marnie and I went down to the boathouse and untarped the main boat - but HAYSUS! what a mess!! A mink colony had done a number on one of the seats, and spread bits of sponge all over the bottom of the boat which had been used as combo birthing ward, crayfish diner and crapper. Lady, our faithful pooch took one whiff and barfed into the boat well. We eventually got the boat interior more-or-less scraped up and vacuumed out, then I brought down the power washer to flush the boat out, flipped the wall switch and the water pump wouldn't work - then the overhead light went REAL bright, and then over the next 10 seconds faded completely, and then all was very quiet. There are two 110 volt lines in the house-to-boathouse underground cable – but there was no power through either. We checked the circuit breakers at the house - those for the two lines had both popped. Flipped them back on and there was this strange rumbling sound and then POW - an electrical flash jumped at me from around the two breakers and they slammed shut. Won't bore the gentle reader with the consequences - electricians were called in to quote and they all agreed that the old lines - probably 40 years old - were completely shorted throughout - but that if I'd do the diggin', they'd do the re-jiggin' - new underground lines with the digging [by moi - no one else would be stupid enough] done through the hottest, muggiest part of any July ever. Was pleased to know beforehand that the old cardio-vasculars were in top-notch shape, but still opted for the 5:30 - 8 AM time-slot and spent the rest of the day restoring fluids (Carling Ice cerveza seemed to work best) and planning the next day's trench.
By early August, power was restored, the boat power-washed and winched down, and away we went.
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In mid-August, Marnie and I hitched up our 15 year old Taurus “El Toro” (hate to turf anything that's still usable or potentially so) to the Coleman pop-up camper, took on board Lady and Rem the cat for whom this website is named, and went camping at Presqu'Ile Provincial Park (near Brighton). Using that as a jumping-off point, we looked up the resting place of my brother Ormond who died in January, and revisited the cemeteries where the mortal remains of sundry nefarious Elliotts, Maxwells, Pierces and Murphys are laid; we then spent an afternoon trying to douse the cold trail of another estranged brother, Errett. Marnie spent a couple hours in the Kingston main library, pouring through archived micro-film of past editions of The Kingston Whig Standard (page-by-page, ads & all), and I telephoned the area funeral homes. We knew from a reference in a November, 2000 letter from a buddy in Costa Rica – Ron Ralph – that Errett had died at an unspecified time earlier in that year. We both hit pay-dirt at about the same time, and the July 22-00 interment site (St Mary's) was determined as being in a countryside cemetery outside Odessa. Similar to our obeisance to those whose sites had been visited earlier that day, we touched Errett's headstone and in some good way, re-linked in the moment. It was late evening when we took the Glenora ferry across to Picton, and well after dark when we got back to Brighton - we were wiped from trolling the shades that day - had a late restaurant dinner and some doubles. Talk about 'spiritual" closure.
El Toro had pulled the Coleman like a charm (he may have overheard us talking about the Presqu'lle jaunt as a test for Mayhico this winter). No problems at any time and lots of side trips. We pulled into the driveway and a great cloud of steam arose from around the hood - a heater hose had just blown. We came to a quick stop but it wasn't all that quick - the right rear brake line had concurrently blown out. But once again the uncanny EL had got us to our journey's end. Bit-by-bit we've almost got a brand new 1990 Taurus. Life is good. What more could be desired.
Central Ontario is now embraced by Autumn. We are surrounded by colour – red and orange on the maples, yellow on the birches, red and brown on the sumacs, and all is interspersed with the distinctive greens of cedar and pine. Many of the green cranes that we frequently saw during our summer morning walks by the lake or by pond and stream have now migrated south, and Canadian Geese are practicing their V formations and will soon depart. Occasionally in the forest we hear a tremendous riot of crows, indicating that they have found an owl. One day we passed within 20’ of a perched owl, remaining motionless to allow us to pass and only flying off when we stopped to look directly at it. From the shape of its body, head and ears, it could have been mistaken for a cat on the limb. This weekend, son-in-law Jeff and family are expected to visit and we will probably take out the boats for their last exercise of the season, and then winterize them. First frost is expected within the week, and then it will be time to clean up the flowerbeds, rake up the maple leaves, take down the hammock and store the veranda furniture. Last week marked the 26th anniversary of my Mother’s passing (Oct 7th), and both she and Dad loved their Autumns, as do we. Misty mornings by the lake, still-warm sunny days, longer evenings for reading by the fireplace, and cooler nights for sleeping. Marnie and I frequently remind ourselves as to how fortunate we are to live in this great Canada.
Every now and then one comes across a piece of writing that profoundly moves one. Such an item was an essay by Federico Garcia Lorca, entitled THE IRRESISTIBLE BEAUTY OF ALL THINGS, in which the distinction is made between Imagination and Inspiration. For Lorca:
“imagination is synonymous with discovery….. I do not believe in creation but in discovery, and I don’t believe in the seated artist but in the one who is walking the road. The imagination is a spiritual apparatus, a luminous explorer of the world it discovers. The imagination fixes and gives clear life to fragments of the invisible reality where man is stirring…The imagination merely discovers things already created, it does not invent, and whenever it does so it is defeated by the beauty of reality…The imagination is limited by reality: one cannot imagine what does not exist…
“The daughter of the imagination – the logical and legitimate daughter – is the metaphor, which is sometimes born from a sudden stroke of intuition and sometimes brought to light by the slow anguish of forethought…. But the one who wants to break free from the imagination, and not merely live on the images produced by real objects, stops dreaming and starts to desire. Then, when the limits of his imagination become unbearable and he wants to free himself from his enemy – the world – he passes from desire to love. He goes from imagination, which is a fact of the soul, to inspiration, which is a state of the soul. He goes from analysis to faith, and the poet, previously an explorer, is now a humble man who bears on his shoulders the irresistible beauty of all things… Imagination assaults the theme furiously from all sides, but inspiration receives it suddenly and wraps it in subtle, pulsing light…”
Imagination>metaphor>desire>love>inspiration. From the effort of discovery for essential truth, to ultimate creation of the new. Within our consumerist society, such distinctions and linkages may initially not seem of much value. But for the Questers on their Autumn morning walk in the mist, the irresistible beauty of all things becomes palpable, especially with a guide such as Lorca to point the way.
Considerable time over the past 50 days has gone into pulling together our notes taken from the reading of the writings of Gregory Bateson, R.D. Laing and Harry Stack Sullivan over recent years, and posting the findings onto remedy’s index of our Book Reviews. Again, we feel fortunate to live in a time of genius; that there are those with the imaginative breadth of mind to engage the paths of discovery, and the compassion and love for others such that they pass on their findings and spark of inspiration to enlighten other lives.
And again Summer came, and has almost passed by. When Marnie and I start out on our morning hike at 6AM, for the first mile or so before we enter the forest we are now walking in the dark. The Provincial Campground closed for the season on Labour Day, and Lady now has the run of the trails and swamp, and often disappears for 20 minutes or so on her nature pursuits while we practice our Taoist Tai Chi together on the beach.
As will be noted from “Our World and Times” index, we still have much ongoing interest in the American terrorist actions and closely related oil issues, and have added a new section entitled “Perversion of the American Ideal” which points to the steady erosion of America’s conscience as its people have been driven into war madness by their Fascist leaders. [To-day marked a mile-stone – the killing of the 1000th American soldier in Bush’s ‘slam dunk’ crusade to bring democracy – USA style – to the Middle East, not to mention another 135 deaths of the coalition forces and who knows how many mercenary/contractors killed, or the more than 20,000 'medical evacuations' of American soldiers from Iraq. Nor counting the 20-25,000 Iraqi citizens murdered by their American ‘liberators’ as the Iraqis resisted the seizure and occupation of their lands]. There are interesting analyses of the war-lust side of the American psyche emerging. For instance, in his Sept 7th NY Times article entitled “A Mythic Reality” columnist Paul Krugman noted that it is war which gives societies meaning, and that once the war psychology took hold after 9/11, Americans’ war-lust kicked in and they desperately wanted to believe in their leaders, notwithstanding the apprehension and later evidence that they had been lied to. Also on Sept 7th, in a Boston Globe article entitled “The Unwinnable War”, James Carroll insightfully wrote on Americans’ inability to face their grotesque shame over the criminal acts being done in their name to-day in the world. That, accustomed to thinking of themselves as only motivated by good intentions, Americans have difficulty in fathoming the possibility that they have demonized an innocent people (the Iraqis), and that what they are doing is blatant murder on a vast scale, in real TVtime before the court of world opinion.
Nevertheless, despite an almost addictive, perverse fascination with the Bushit malignancy fallout, we have at least partially shifted our focus and research back into the more personally satisfying areas of Health, Communication, Social Psychology and Ecology. There have always been wars, and probably always will be wars – and it is so damned depressing to see – over and over again – how vulnerable we humans are to the lies and manipulation of powerful leaders. This vulnerability was observed on, in our June 22nd commentary entitled “On Medium as Message”, in comparing the Nazi brainwashing techniques of the ‘30s, and those currently employed by “democratic” leaders. Not to claim that there are no lies, manipulations and self-interested biases involved in the areas of Health, Communication, Social Psychology and Ecology – after all, human nature is implicit in these areas as well as in geo-politics – it’s just more interesting to derive insights from a broader base. That the same public brainwashing processes which political and economic “gods” utilize in selling their wares, are employed by the high priests of the religious, merchandising, medical and pharmaceutical industries. Follow the trail of self-interest, and much insight may be derived concerning the ways of man. And – along with insight – the possibility of ongoing self-protection and preservation. For instance, just read down through the linked articles in the Health section of remedy’s “Our World and Times” and one almost starts to wonder whether there’s anything/ anyone that can be trusted. But then, this concern is not a new one, for 2500 years ago the Buddha in his last earthly message stated:
“I have shown you the way to liberation – now you must take it for yourself.
Do not believe on the strength of the sages of old times; Do not believe that which you yourself imagined, thinking a god has inspired you. Believe nothing which depends only on the authority of your priests. After investigation, only believe that which you have yourselves tested in your personal experience and found reasonable”.
And as Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.
So it’s up to each of us to apply a healthy measure of critical analysis and experiential reason to assess whatever it is that we are being ‘sold’, whether it be political, social, medical, religious, or material. Yet, to not succumb to total cynicism, it helps one to stay in balance through remembering the advice from “Desiderata”:
“Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. BUT let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.”
Which gets me to where I want to be: our essential need to carefully listen to our intuitive messages, to help us evaluate the messages being presented to us from external sources. The intuitive or inner reality is comprised of - in the Buddhic sense – all ‘that which you have yourselves tested in your personal experience and found reasonable’ – in other words, all things that one has directly experienced and learned from throughout one’s life. Against this base is compared the external data which is being presented to you in this moment, by life or its agents. This new data may provide an insightful gift – another piece in the great puzzle; on the other hand there may be memes to mystify and confuse one, and to infect and imprison one’s mind. It is dependent on one’s use of both past experience and current senses to analyze the new and evaluate its worth. As indicated by R.D. Laing (The Politics of Experience), “without the inner the outer loses its meaning, and without the outer the inner loses its substance”. As long as we are alive in the vital sense, we will be looking ‘outside’ for those additional “pieces” which help complete our lives and add to our stores of incremental, meaningful experience, and concurrently we test and re-test this base of our inner world against the dynamics being presented to us from external sources. And hopefully we don’t get too badly thrown off center in the process, either accidentally or through falling into the intentioned orbits of others’ agendas.
Warming to the subject of INTUITION, there is a fascinating recent report out of the Institute of HeartMath, a non-profit corporation that does state-of-the-art research into mind-body medicine, consciousness, stress and the attainment and development of emotional balance. Extensive archives on not only HeartMath’s own research findings but also those from other sources around the world can be found at http://www.heartmathreport.com . Two pdf. reports on the Institute’s Feb 2004 research on intuition are linked here and here, and detail the Institute’s research findings focussing on the surprising role of the heart in intuitive information processing. The second part (released in April, 2004) focused on where and when in the brain intuitive information is processed, and on how the heart and brain appear to interact in intuitive perception.
Incredibly, HeartMath researchers found that our bodies actually register an emotionally relevant event five to seven seconds before it actually happens. In the recent study, subjects were shown a series of images. Most of the images were peaceful and calming, such as landscapes, trees and cute animals. Other photos, randomly dispersed in the succession, included violent, disturbing and emotionally stimulating images such as car crashes, a bloody knife or a snake about to strike. The subjects were monitored during the viewing for changes in respiration, skin conductance, EEG (brain waves), ECG (electrocardiogram) and heart rate variability. Participants’ physiological indicators registered an emotional response five to seven seconds before an emotionally disturbing image would appear on the viewing screen. The results indicated that both the heart and brain appear to receive and respond to information about a future emotional stimulus prior to actually experiencing it. This suggests that intuitive perception is not a function produced by a single part or system of the body alone. Rather, it appears that intuitive perception involves the heart and brain, together, in the processing and decoding of intuitive information.
It thus appears that the body has invested much energy in developing sensory processing capacities and mechanisms for psychological detection of information about objects and events in the immediate future. That makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, since the roughly 5-7 second lead time before an emotionally relevant (or potentially life-threatening) event occurs would give an individual enough time for defensive or evasive action, and a chance to improve the likelihood of survival. [This is probably also true for our intuitive perceptions about people and non-local events]. Notwithstanding our bodies’ awareness of emotionally relevant events several seconds into the future, there is a strong tendency in our language-based societies to override the body’s signals, and give greater credence to external sources. Again, the problem of inter-personal communication – the power of words – is seen. The HeartMath research on intuition has been confirmed by others, and for one to ponder on its significance calls into question many of our consensual beliefs about reality and time.
Where does intuitive information come from? According to the HeartMath model, we each have an individual spirit that’s interconnected with the spirits of others. The individual spirit has a very real, evolving and dynamic structure. This structure acts as a “holographic blueprint” that serves to maintain and evolve the human being. HeartMath’s research tends to the view that the physical heart (which is known to be the first organ formed in an embryo’s development) is the central distribution station for spirit and for the intuitive regulation of one’s mental, emotional and physical systems.
How quickly a month passes. A month since accumulated jottings were formalized into a journal update. Getting acquainted with a new Grandson, Sawyer. And welcoming “Lady”, a beautiful black and tan hound into our lives, to guard our home and ride herd on “Remedy”, the calico cat. Getting some of the ravages of winter repaired – maintenance to this old house and getting the lawns, hedges and gardens back in shape. Wrestling the boats back into serviceability, and our bodies back into shape on the hiking paths and bike trail. Delving deeper into the insights of the Jain Master, Osho Rajneesh. The world has just had to make do without our frequent expressions of chagrin and outrage over the antics of some of its inhabitants this past month. And oh yes, the muse again visited, and in the time after Mother’s Day and prior to Father’s Day an allegory entitled “Time, Love and The Dream of Family” was composed and posted to “Our Stories”.
One clipping of interest in the overflowing Bushit basket concerns a quote from William Blum:
I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States
in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize --
very publicly and very sincerely -- to all the widows and orphans, the
impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of
American imperialism. Then I would announce that America's global military
interventions have come to an end. I would then inform Israel that it is no
longer the 51st state of the union but -– oddly enough -– a foreign country.
Then I would reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to
pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American
bombings, invasions and sanctions. There would be enough money. One year of our
military budget is equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus
Christ was born. That's one year.
That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated.
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On a more productive vein, one day in early June Marnie and I took my bike in to the town’s repair shop, to have a couple of spokes replaced. Outside the shop we met a friendly stranger. This man was of a good vintage – probably between 1935-40 – and was visiting our town for the day. The ensuing discussion quickly ranged over the fields of ecology, health, national and geo-politics – the type of conversation which one is accustomed to engaging “on the road”, when one wants to test one’s own reality by painting it onto a peer’s canvas, and to also concurrently test the other’s substance. While we were both similarly disturbed concerning the neverendum American geo-aggression, the stranger said that another person had given him an insight which he had found intriguing, and this insight he proceeded to pass on to us through this little story:
It seems that a person had encountered two huge dogs in the forest. One dog had an attitude of friendliness, but the other one was very aggressive and threatening to him. The dogs were obviously in competition as to which would deal with the man, and he pondered deeply as to which might win, and whether it might be possible for him to influence the outcome. It was then that he saw that the winner would be the animal that he ‘fed’ more. It would become stronger as a result of the extra feeding (attention) and overpower the other.
I said that surely one should not stick one’s head into the sand and ignore human evil, and that if one didn’t resist evil to the extent of one’s capability, that the evil would grow and consume all – the stranger agreed, but with a reservation. “Sometimes” he said “By giving attention to a situation, it only ‘feeds’ the evil and provokes it into growing, and at the same time one loses the balance that is necessary for one to be open to personal exploration and pursuit of interests necessary for one’s own evolution.” After we parted, I thought back to areas and interests that had been of much interest to us before getting caught up in ‘waging peace’ against the unfettered sole superpower geo-terrorist; pondered about how there had always been ‘wars and rumours of wars’ since pre-history; and that injustice and inhumanity would probably continue as long as mortal life endured. Yet there are many other things that for one’s own sake should be attended to, as well. So my little journal notes in future will try to ‘feed’ other issues, yet at the same time not be seen as ‘stick the head in the sand’ concerning the evil which little people with great power can inflict on others.
[And some day we’ll doubtless encounter that stranger again, and again compare notes.]
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So let’s start with the inductive effect that people have on each other through their ‘normal’ interaction. That we are so often changed in our thinking processes, our beliefs and our perceptions, through the simple act of talking with another. Both poles engaged in the dialogue are changed, one by the logic and persuasiveness of another, and that other by what effect he sees reflected from his truth having been ‘painted’ on the other. Yet what is it about the human condition that we seem to be so malleable to the agendas of others? That wherever one seems to turn, there is someone else ready and desirous of sculpting one’s reality, of saving one from a third party’s influence, of dramatically, intentionally influencing our lives, minds and energies? A politician, a priest, a marketer of goods and services, some eco-salvationist acquainting us with our needs, of ploughing our fields of survival concerns and fears, some ‘expert’ authority bringing us the good news of new pharmaceuticals to prevent anything/ cure anything imaginable. Live better politically, religiously, dietetically and chemically, and damn the side-effects.
In the ‘30s, Herrs Hitler and Goebbels provided all the grateful Germans with free radios so they could quickly learn of events of interest. Of course the main item of interest fed up to the radio recipients was the State propaganda message – repeated over and over – with enough repetitions the State message became the public reality – a reality sufficiently real to push them all over the cliff into World War 2. Now we’ve come a long way since the dirty ‘30s – now as well as radios in our homes, cars and boats, we have ‘walkmans’ for the bike and walking paths, televisions in all our rooms, Internet and Email to ‘inform’ each other, and cell phones to help ensure we’re not too far behind the times when the next colour-coded terror alert or other adrenaline injection is being passed around by the designated State purveyors of fear. When it comes time to again marginalize and demonize a portion of humanity so as to have an excuse to ramp up the weapons factories and give the economy a shot in the arm, how much more difficult it would be were it not for media technology and spin doctors skilled in helpfully defining truth for the masses.
Let’s look at this phenomenon of how vulnerable we are as individuals and societies to the sculpting of our reality. Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s the great Canadian communications guru, Marshal McLuhan (1911-1980), with a prescience decades ahead of his time, coined such images as: "the global electronic village" and "the medium is the message" and "we shape our tools and they in turn shape us" and he observed that "all media are extensions of some human faculty - psychic or physical". The totalitarian techniques of advertising and market research on the unsuspecting consumer were outlined in McLuhan’s The Mechanical Bride, first published in 1951. That book dealt with the influence of print media on the male and female psyche. The objective of advertising men, said McLuhan, is the manipulation, exploitation, and control of the individual. And if pots and pans can be thus sold through the marvels of cognitive engineering, then it follows that the ability to control and influence public attitudes concerning politics, religion and economics would flow as easily as night into day. Yet to whom would it be safe to entrust the role of the influencers – the controllers – of mankind’s destiny, and who would define the desired effects of such manipulation on the rest of us? Changes would necessarily occur, and McLuhan noted that the influencers’ control over change would stem in their moving not with change but ahead of it. Anticipation gives the power to deflect and control force. Yet whether there would at the end of the deal be any congruence between the ‘desired’ effect and the actual result was not always a slam-dunk, as Mr. Bush may well some day retrospectively realize. The actions of even brilliant change agents (let alone those of a Shrub) often have unintended consequences.
But back to our inspection of the inductive process. In Understanding Media (1964), McLuhan wrote:
"After three thousand years of explosion, by means of fragmentary and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding. During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man - the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society, much as we have already extended our senses and our nerves by the various media."
An interesting exploration, this. That media are extensions of the human body, and electronic media, in particular, are extensions of the nervous system, imposing, like poetry, their own assumptions on the psyche of the user.
McLuhan’s starting point was the individual, and all man’s tools – and especially media – were seen as technological extensions of the individual’s body. McLuhan often put his inquiry and his conclusions in terms of the ratio between the physical senses (the extent to which we depend on them relative to each other) and the consequences of modifications to that ratio. This invariably entails a psychological dimension. Thus, the invention of the alphabet and the resulting intensification of the visual sense in the communication process gave sight priority over hearing, but the effect was so powerful that it went beyond communication through language to reshape literate society’s conception and use of space. Further, "we look at the present through a rear view mirror", and “the important thing is to realize that electronic information systems are live environments in the full organic sense - We march backwards into the future.” What McLuhan said applies with equal validity to the media of print, television, computers and now the Internet. "The medium is the message" because it is the "medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action."
McLuhan is also remembered for his division of media into hot and cool categories. Basically, a hot medium excludes and a cool medium includes; hot media are low in participation, or completion, by the audience and cool media are high in participation. A hot medium is one that extends a single sense with high definition. High definition means a complete filling in of data by the medium without intense audience participation. A photograph, for example, is high definition or hot; whereas a cartoon is low definition or cool, because the rough outline drawing provides very little visual data and requires the viewer to fill in or complete the image himself. The telephone, which gives the ear relatively little data, is thus cool, as is speech; both demand considerable filling in by the listener. On the other hand, radio is a hot medium because it sharply and intensely provides great amounts of high-definition auditory information that leaves little or nothing to be filled in by the audience. A lecture, by the same token, is hot, but a seminar is cool; a book is hot, but a conversation or bull session is cool.
In a cool medium, the audience is an active constituent of the viewing or listening experience. A girl wearing open-mesh silk stockings or glasses is inherently cool and sensual because the eye acts as a surrogate hand in filling in the low-definition image thus engendered. Which is why boys make passes at girls who wear glasses. In any case, the overwhelming majority of our technologies and entertainments since the introduction of print technology have been hot, fragmented and exclusive, but in the age of television we see a return to cool values and the inclusive in-depth involvement and participation they engender. This is, of course, just one more reason why the medium is the message, rather than the content; it is the participatory nature of the TV experience itself that is important, rather than the content of the particular TV image that is being invisibly and indelibly inscribed on our skins.
McLuhan's philosophy "was influenced by the work of the Catholic philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who believed that the use of electricity extends the central nervous system" (Gary Wolf, writing in wired Magazine, 1996) According to Wolf, "McLuhan's mysticism sometimes led him to hope, as had Teilhard, that electronic civilization would prove a spiritual leap forward and put humankind in closer contact with God". Wolf went on to write that McLuhan later reversed himself, calling the electronic universe, "an unholy impostor....'a blatant manifestation of the Anti-Christ'".
On McLuhan's gravestone is written "The Truth Shall Make You Free."
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The field of communication, and its sub-section ‘dialogue’, is fascinating. In the “Our World and Times” section we have over the past month taken the friendly stranger’s little story to heart, and have considerably built out the materials under Health and Communication (including a Playboy interview with McLuhan, from which the above “hot” and “cool” insight is drawn). It feels good to diversify from the spoor of Bush, and get back into one’s primary paths of interest.
Comments and feedback are invited at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith and Marnie Elliott’s “REMEDY” Site