Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
Two very different perspectives.
I’m writing this post a short while after midnight (UTC) on the morning of Tuesday, 23rd September. In other words, 00:00 UTC 23/9/2014. (I hasten to add that the local time in Oregon is late afternoon Monday!)
In approximately three hours time it will be the moment of the September Equinox, or 02:29 UTC on the 23rd to be precise. The planet Earth has been in orbit around the sun for a very long time! It’s almost beyond comprehension how long the Solar System has been the way it is.
Planting a Seed … A Thought!
William Blake, said:
“that everything that now exists was once imagined,”
Wayne Dyer said:
“So, if you want something to exist, you must first be able to imagine it.”
Each of us have a chance of planting new seeds.. Yet we so often never have the courage to pick them out of our minds to plant them with intention into our reality… Those who do have the courage may see how from their tentative thoughts ideas grew beyond their wildest dreams… I bet Alexander Graham Bell never in his wildest dreams would have thought how his invention would now be in everyone’s pocket!.
But we need to have the courage to take those first steps and plant them..
Like all seeds they take time to germinate, so too with our ideas we often wonder why our wishes are not fulfilled.. All too often we sabotage them before they even begin to grow roots. How?, because we doubt our own capabilities and we say we are far from worthy of success. Telling ourselves we are never lucky.. and its bound to fail.. So we poison the very idea, so the seed withers even before it gets a chance to grow..
Our subconscious mind is an incredible tool, it possess the power to manifest from our thoughts to bring them into our physical reality. You only have to take a look around the room you are now in, and see that every thing in it was once someone’s thought, even the paint upon the walls… An idea born, brought into reality from that first seed of an idea..
I have just finished a book the second time in reading it, I think this time its message really hit home. As I see how I have sabotaged many such seeds in the past. The Book is called Wishes Fulfilled By Wayne Dyer, listen to his talk HERE upon the subject of Wishes Fulfilled.
‘Thoughts become things when you Feel them’ says Wayne Dyer, In the past I have often experienced frustration, Anger, worry, stress. These I have amplified with my ‘Feelings’ as the frustration of helplessness, or horror at how brutal we can be to one another have overshadowed my thoughts..
We need to reprogrammed ourselves to think differently about ourselves and the World..
Seeds are sown, every day within our minds.. What sort of seeds are you sowing within your own mind? Which type of thoughts are you cultivating?
My last simple post World Peace! Just Imagine got reblogged 6 times!. I got more traffic today than for a long while.. People Do want Peace, and yet how many of us are being manipulated into getting caught up in Conflict? We are part of it every time we read a Newspaper, every time we watch the Media News, Every time we join in Gossip, every time we Judge another. Every time we argue, even with ourselves, We are creating yet more Conflict , more Negative Energy in the World.
Our very thoughts Create…
Let us Create the Future we each wish to Live in..
Have a Brilliant Thought Provoking and Harmonious Week!
So wherever you are in the world, take a moment to look up into the sky and marvel at it all. As one of Sue’s followers remarked, “ ….. Equinox is an excellent time to focus on the seed ideas for the future.“
Finally, the link that Sue included in the sentence, “The Book is called Wishes Fulfilled By Wayne Dyer, listen to his talk HERE upon the subject of Wishes Fulfilled.” took you to a YouTube video. It is below because I know many will want to listen to Wayne Dyer’s important words.
From seeds grow great futures.
Because you clearly are not listening to Nature!
Sunday: 10:30 PDT. Won’t rabbit on too long as we are due out with our guests in the next thirty minutes. Just dipped into the online BBC News headlines and, frankly, was more than disappointed to see that the Climate March in New York, and many other cities all around the world, was the third headline after Afghanistan and Yemen.
This should be read in full!
The People’s Climate March: Taking the Evolutionary Leap of Radical Democracy
The People’s Climate March in New York City is just one manifestation of a huge sea-change sweeping through our culture. Or perhaps “seeping” would be a better verb—this shift in awareness is not happening with the tsunami force of a revolution, but more with the steady, determined drip-drip-drip of water undermining rock.
Humans are paradoxical. On the one hand, we love everything that’s new and innovative, we all want to be out ahead of the curve when it comes to technological breakthroughs and new ideas. On the other hand, we hold tight to the received wisdom of our forebears, living by enshrined writings thousands of years old (the Bible, the Koran, the Mahabharata, Confucius, etc.) or hundreds of years old (the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights).
We have established elaborate educational, political and legal systems designed to hold us to a particular form of society, permitting free, innovative thinking only along narrow channels carefully defined by the interests of business and commerce.
The arts and humanities, traditionally the realm of creative, imaginative exploration, have been steadily starved in this brave new world, which can only imagine creativity in the service of profit.
What happens to a society that can only envision creative energy in an instrumental, utilitarian light?
We become a society of robots. We lose our connection to the soul of the world, the anima mundi that sustains us humans along with all other living beings on the planet.
The People’s Climate March, which is happening not only in New York City but worldwide, with 2,808 marches and events in 166 countries, bears welcome witness to the fact that the sparks of creative, independent thinking have not totally gone out.
There are many, many people worldwide who are aware, and aghast, at the failure of our political and business leaders to act in the best interests of the people and all the beautiful, innocent creatures who are slipping away into the night of extinction day by day due to the relentless human assault on our shared planet.
We are here, we are aware, and we are engaged. We are not going to stand by silently and let corporate greed and shortsightedness overwhelm us.
It is true that business and government have a stranglehold on official channels of communication, education and social change.
They control the curricula taught in our schools, what appears on our major media channels, and what projects and areas of creative exploration are funded. They keep us in line with the debt bondage of school loans, mortgages, car payments and the fear of not having enough money in the bank for a comfortable old age. We’re so busy running on the treadmills they’ve set up we have no time or energy to think about changing the system.
Or do we?
We saw it happen in the Arab Spring, where people used cell phones and texts to organize themselves to resist oppression.
We saw those people get beaten back, the promise of their revolution squashed by the entrenched power of men with guns and tear gas.
The rise of the Islamic State, like the rise of Al Quaeda and the Taliban, is all about conservative forces resisting change.
I am just as afraid of men with guns and tear gas as the next woman. I am happier making revolution on my laptop than in the streets. But at some point we have to come out from behind our screens, get off the treadmills of debt bondage, look around us at the beauty of the world, and say: this is what I want to live for, and this is what I’m willing to die for.
So far, the one social area that has not been overtaken by corporate/governmental control is the World Wide Web. It’s still a Wild West space, a place where you can find everything and everyone, from dangerous sadists to beneficent spiritual leaders. There’s room for every kind of idea out there to percolate through our collective consciousness. And make no mistake: the energy we’re seeing in the People’s Climate March is fueled in large part by the distribution power of the Web, the ability to get the word out and get people fired up to come together to take a stand.
Environmental activist and writer Terry Tempest Williams, in her book The Open Space of Democracy, says that the time has come to “move beyond what is comfortable” (81) in pursuit of what she calls a “spiritual democracy.”
“We have made the mistake of confusing democracy with capitalism and have mistaken political engagement with a political machinery we all understand to be corrupt,” she says.
“It is time to resist the simplistic, utilitarian view that what is good for business is good for humanity in all its complex web of relationships. A spiritual democracy is inspired by our own sense of what we can accomplish together, honoring an integrated society where the social, intellectual, physical and economic well-being of all is considered, not just the wealth and health of the corporate few” (87).
Williams calls for a radical recognition of the interdependence of all life on Earth. “The time has come to demand an end to the wholesale dismissal of the sacredness of life in all its variety and forms,” she says. “At what point do we finally lay our bodies down to say this blatant disregard for biology and wild lives is no longer acceptable?” (86)
If we humans could step into our destiny as the stewards of our planet, the loving gardeners and caretakers of all other living beings, we would harness our incredible intelligence and creativity to re-stabilize our climate and do what needs to be done to ensure the well-being of all.
Williams calls this “the next evolutionary leap” for humanity: “to recognize the restoration of democracy as the restoration of liberty and justice for all species, not just our own” (89).
If we are able to take this leap, we will not only avert climate-related disaster on a Biblical scale, we will also overcome many of the social problems that we currently struggle with. “To be in the service of something beyond ourselves—to be in the presence of something other than ourselves, together—this is where we can begin to craft a meaningful life where personal isolation and despair disappear through the shared engagement of a vibrant citizenry,” says Williams (89).
Williams’ small gem of a book grew out of a speech she gave at her alma mater, the University of Utah, in the spring of 2003, as America was rushing into its ill-conceived War on Terror in Iraq. She describes her heart pounding as she got up to make a speech advocating a different form of democracy than that embraced and espoused by all the conservative friends and family sitting in the audience before her.
Challenging one’s own friends and family, betraying one’s own tribe, is the hardest aspect of being a social revolutionary. You have to question the very people you love most, who have given you so much and made your whole life possible.
But if we become aware that the social systems that gave birth to us are the very social systems that are undermining the possibility of a livable future on this planet, can we continue to just go with the flow, to avoid asking the difficult questions?
Or will we become change agents who work slowly and steadily, drip by drip, to awaken those around us, those we love most, to the necessity of undertaking “the next evolutionary leap” in the human saga on the planet?
From that BBC News website:
On Tuesday, the UN will host a climate summit at its headquarters in New York with 125 heads of state and government – the first such gathering since the unsuccessful climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009.
So world leaders, are you going to reflect the wishes of millions of your peoples across the world and step up to the mark? We will see.
We have family guests with us for the next seven days.
Jean’s brother, Reg, and his lady are arriving today so for a while blogging will be less of a priority than usual.
Although I have spoken to Reg over the telephone on numerous occasions, this will be the first time we have met and I am looking forward to better knowing him.
Thus, as in previous times when we have had friends and family staying with us, I will be reposting popular items from previous times on Learning from Dogs, or republishing things that have caught my eye in recent days.
As with today’s post.
Reg, shares the same birth year as me: 1944!
Thus we are staring over the edge of our eightieth decade!
So this short talk by Isabel Allende seems like a worthwhile topic for today!
Published on Sep 3, 2014
Author Isabel Allende is 71. Yes, she has a few wrinkles—but she has incredible perspective too. In this candid talk, meant for viewers of all ages, she talks about her fears as she gets older and shares how she plans to keep on living passionately.
Want to know more about Isabel Allende? Her website is here.
Yet another thing we can learn from dogs! Living passionately right up to the last days.
In terms of the bond between dog and human, it doesn’t get much better than this!
Britain’s Got Talent is a British talent television show that started in June 2007 and has been running very successfully ever since. Originally broadcast by Thames Television it is now part of the ITV ‘stable’. Inevitably there is a website!
Anyway, Jean and I were browsing YouTube one evening looking for something to watch and came across this:
Published on Apr 7, 2012
Ashleigh and Pudsey the dancing dog wow the judges with their flintstones dance act.
Britain searches for a new act to perform in front of the royal family at the royal variety performance.
Judged by Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Carmen Electra, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.
Resist the urge to watch the semi-finals until you have watched the above; less than five minutes long.
Published on May 6, 2012
Britain’s got talent 2012 Live Semi finals.
Ashleigh and Pudsey the dancing dog perform their dance routine to Peppy and George in the Live Semi-finals.
Of course, you know where this is going!
Here are the finals.
Published on May 12, 2012
The performance of Ashleigh and Pudsey in the Britain’s Got Talent 2012 Final.
Of course they won, deservedly so.
Whatever the outcome, may it truly represent the wishes of the majority.
I have not hidden my feelings as to the outcome that I would welcome. My post of the 11th September was subtitled “My hope for a ‘yes’ vote for Scottish Independence.” After my introduction to that post, I then republished an essay by George Monbiot that was published in the Guardian newspaper on the 3rd September 2014. Mr. Monbiot has made it very clear as to where he stands on this matter.
George Monbiot then followed up that Guardian article with another one published in the Guardian yesterday. It offers cogent points and, with his permission, I am delighted to republish it.
September 16, 2014
How the media shafted the people of Scotland.
By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 17th September 2014
Perhaps the most arresting fact about the Scottish referendum is this: that there is no newspaper – local, regional or national, English or Scottish – which supports independence except the Sunday Herald. The Scots who will vote yes have been almost without representation in the media.
There is nothing unusual about this. Change in any direction except further over the brink of market fundamentalism and planetary destruction requires the defiance of almost the entire battery of salaried opinion. What distinguishes the independence campaign is that it has continued to prosper despite this assault.
In the coverage of the referendum we see most of the pathologies of the corporate media. Here, for example, you will find the unfounded generalisations with which less enlightened souls are characterised. In the Spectator, Simon Heffer mainatains that “addicted to welfare … Scots embraced the something for nothing society”, objecting to the poll tax “because many of them felt that paying taxes ought to be the responsibility of someone else.”(1)
Here is the condescension with which the dominant classes have always treated those they regard as inferior: their serfs, the poor, the Irish, Africans, anyone with whom they disagree. “What spoilt, selfish, childlike fools those Scots are … They simply don’t have a clue how lucky they are,” sneered Melanie Reid in the Times(2). Here is the chronic inability to distinguish between a cause and a person: the referendum is widely portrayed as a vote about Alex Salmond, who is then monstered beyond recognition (a Telegraph leader last week compared him to Robert Mugabe(3)).
The problem with the media is exemplified by Dominic Lawson’s column for the Daily Mail last week(4). He began with Scotland, comparing the “threat” of independence with the threat presented by Hitler (the article was helpfully illustrated with a picture of the Fuhrer, unaccompanied in this case by the Mail’s former proprietor). Then he turned to the momentous issue of how he almost said something wrong about David Attenborough, which was narrowly averted because “as it happens, last weekend we had staying with us another of the BBC’s great figures, its world affairs editor John Simpson”, who happily corrected Lawson’s mistake. This was just as well because “the next day I went to the Royal Albert Hall as one of a small number of guests invited by the Proms director for that night’s performance. And who should I see as soon as I entered the little room set aside for our group’s pre-concert drinks? Sir David Attenborough.”
Those who are supposed to hold power to account live in a rarified, self-referential world of power, circulating among people as exalted as themselves, the “small number of guests” who receive the most charming invitations. That a senior journalist at the BBC should be the house guest of a columnist for the Daily Mail surprises me not one iota.
In June the BBC’s economics editor Robert Peston complained that BBC news “is completely obsessed by the agenda set by newspapers … If we think the Mail and Telegraph will lead with this, we should. It’s part of the culture.”(5) This might help to explain why the BBC has attracted so many complaints of bias in favour of the No campaign(6,7).
Living within their tiny circle of light, most senior journalists seem unable to comprehend a desire for change. If they notice it at all, they perceive it as a mortal threat: comparable perhaps to Hitler. They know as little of the lives of the 64 million inhabiting the outer darkness as they do of the Andaman islanders. Yet, lecturing the poor from under the wisteria, they claim to speak for the nation.
As John Harris reports in the Guardian, both north and south of the border “politics as usual suddenly seems so lost as to look completely absurd.”(8) But to those within the circle, politics still begins and ends in Westminster. The opinions of no one beyond the gilded thousand with whom they associate are worthy of notice. Throughout the years I’ve spent working with protest movements and trying to bring neglected issues to light, one consistent theme has emerged: with a few notable exceptions, journalists are always among the last to twig that things have changed. It’s no wonder that the Scottish opinion polls took them by surprise.
One of the roles of the Guardian, which has no proprietor, is to represent the unrepresented – and it often does so to great effect. On Scottish independence I believe we have fallen short. Our leader on Saturday used the frames constructed by the rest of the press, inflating a couple of incidents into a “habit” by yes campaigners of “attacking the messenger and ignoring the message”, judging the long-term future of the nation by current SNP policy, confusing self-determination with nationalism(9).
If Westminster is locked into a paralysing neoliberal consensus it is partly because the corporate media, owned and staffed by its beneficiaries, demands it. Any party that challenges this worldview is ruthlessly disciplined. Any party that more noisily promotes corporate power is lauded and championed. UKIP, though it claims to be kicking against the establishment, owes much of its success to the corporate press.
For a moment, Rupert Murdoch appeared ready to offer one of his Faustian bargains to the Scottish National Party: my papers for your soul(10). That offer now seems to have been withdrawn, as he has decided that Salmond’s SNP is “not talking about independence, but more welfarism, expensive greenery, etc and passing sovereignty to Brussels”(11) and that it “must change course to prosper if he wins.”(12) It’s not an observation, it’s a warning: if you win independence and pursue this agenda, my newspapers will destroy you.
Despite the rise of the social media, the established media continues to define the scope of representative politics in Britain, to shape political demands and to punish and erase those who resist. It is one chamber of the corrupt heart of Britain, pumping fear, misinformation and hatred around the body politic.
That so many Scots, lambasted from all quarters as fools, frauds and ingrates, have refused to be bullied is itself a political triumph. If they vote for independence, they will do so in defiance not only of the Westminster consensus, but also of its enforcers: the detached, complacent people who claim to speak on their behalf.
I’m voting with my feet and cancelling my Facebook account; here’s why.
Like tens of thousands of other people, I use social media: Facebook, Linked-In and Twitter. In my own case primarily for promoting my blog writings.
It was another blogger who drew my attention to something so terrible, so despicable, that it pains me to even think about it, let alone write about it.
Let me explain.
I subscribe to The Liberated Way published by Alex Jones.
Last Sunday, Alex published a post called Caring about animal welfare. Here’s a short extract:
For six months I have been experimenting with a Facebook account in order to stay in contact with the creative industry in my town of Colchester. This experiment came to an end today when I closed my Facebook account due to Facebook allowing content associated with the torture of animals.
The word torture, highlighted by me, included a link to an article in the UK Daily Mail newspaper. The link to that Daily Mail article is here. BUT PLEASE do not click on that link if you are not prepared to be hurt, shocked and made to feel VERY ANGRY! To reinforce my warning, the headline of that article reads thus:
Facebook refuses to remove video of kitten being doused in petrol and set on fire ‘because it doesn’t breach any rules’
I can’t even bring myself to include the two photographs of the poor, tortured kitten who was killed by the bastards concerned. However, I will reproduce one image carried by the Daily Mail:
Facebook’s Community Standards may be read here.
But frankly any standards that regard the burning to death of a kitten as not being ‘graphic violence’ are incorrect standards.
So this coming Friday, I shall be cancelling my Facebook account. Why not immediately? Because my blog posts are themselves promoted on Facebook and I hope other Facebook subscribers who read today’s post are motivated to do the same over the intervening three days.
If you are still uncertain of the merits of my action, and you have a very tough stomach, then the link to the video in question is here.
I have not watched the video for the simple reason that the details of the video were more than enough for me. These are those details:
Published on Sep 9, 2014
Cruel man douses kitten in full
Facebook has refused to take down a video of a kitten being covered in petrol and set on fire.
The web giant reportedly said the shocking footage does not breach any of its rules.
The footage shows two men pushing the animal into a bucket and pouring liquid on it.
The kitten is then set alight.
It can then be seen escaping from the bucket and running away still on fire.
The kitten rolls around in obvious distress but one of the men pours on more fuel as it burns.
When the flames are extinguished a plastic bag can be seen being placed over the animal.
The clip has caused disgust online, with thousands of Facebook commenting on it – but the social networking site has refused to take it down.
PLEASE, PLEASE if you are a Facebook user consider cancelling your account.
Our animals deserve our support.
I will close by asking Facebook to reconsider: Facebook you truly can do better than this.
And thank you Alex.