Watching History Burn

Like many others, I was transfixed watching flames consume Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.notredamefire45.jpg

Unlike many others, I was sitting there not so much in tearful grief at the enormous loss, but simply pondering a greater significance—wondering if this was some transformative metaphor for the masses, of an iconic religious structure whose ancient dry timbers were igniting to signify the destruction of the old ways of viewing cultural religious icons to make room for newer spiritual/cultural beliefs.

For certain I do not wish to condemn any faith or belittle the beliefs of others, but back when that cathedral was first designed and construction had begun in 1160 then largely completed by 1260, the intention behind the religious structure was far more than simply worshipping a deity and set of beliefs in a particular way. There was a lot of engineering genius and human grandiosity designed into that structure, especially for that time period in history. And I’m sure it will be rebuilt to closely match the original designs. I have no doubt that it will rise again as the Parisian icon that it truly is. There should be no worries to the contrary.

beforefireapr2019notredame78.JPGBut I want to reconsider WHY that iconic cathedral was created in the first place.

Back in 1160, the 1st set of Holy Crusades had ended and the 2nd set of Holy Crusades were underway (and I use the term HOLY only in the recognition that this warfare was sanctioned by the European Kings of the land and the Popes of that time period who governed the common people using their papal religious authority as reasoning for killing all who were not Christian, and reacquiring land that had previously fallen to those who were not Christian.) Lots of unholy deeds were done under the jurisdiction of and sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church through the ages.

So back in 1160, this massive French cathedral was built to honor God, Jesus and The Virgin Mary in one sense, but also to honor the hubris of men of power during that time, who believed that one religion was superior to others and this cathedral should signify it northrosewindowndc56.jpgby its sheer structural magnificence—the grander, the taller, the more beautiful and amazing, the better.

This religious structure was so significant that the French King and Pope of the time were even in attendance at the foundation setting.

“The chronicler Jean de Saint-Victor [fr] recorded in the Memoriale Historiarum that the construction of Notre-Dame began between 24 March and 25 April 1163 with the laying of the cornerstone in the presence of King Louis VII and Pope Alexander III.[17][18] Four phases of construction took place under bishops Maurice de Sully and Eudes de Sully”  (Wikipedia)

So there are a lot of reasons why Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is historically and spiritually significant.

But in terms of true religiosity, here is another quote from Wikipedia:

“French census data does not contain information about religious affiliation.[168] According to a 2011 survey by IFOP, a French public opinion research organization, 61 percent of residents of the Paris Region (Île-de-France) identified themselves as Roman Catholic, though just 15 percent said they were practicing Catholics, while 46 percent were non-practicing. In the same survey, 7 percent of residents identified themselves as Muslims, 4 percent as Protestants, 2 percent as Jewish, and 25 percent as without religion. [169]

insidenotredamecath345.jpgSo the current significance of the Notre Dame Cathedral is now more cultural and iconic (rather than religious), especially as a well-known Parisian landmark with amazing architectural consequence.  It represents many things to many people, and it should be and WILL BE rebuilt.

But please recognize it for what it truly is in its historical significance as French Gothic architecture rather than the symbol of present day Catholicism.

A lot of folks had deep feelings of loss over the structure fire. In fact while watching it, even to me it felt like a part of our western history was burning to the ground before our eyes. But more than that, to some it felt like the symbolic heart of the Roman Catholic Church was being Divinely purified from within.

And to those who felt this was an amazing Divine Cleansing of original corrupt patriarchal/papal intentions and deceitful practices in the name of religious belief, it was truly quite the sight.

 

 

The In-Between Time

There is a feeling one gets the day after Christmas (if you aren’t in the shopping mall) that allows one a bit of contemplative pause 2019imqge34before considering the possibilities of the new year only one week away.

Were this not the Age of Trump, this week might be full of joy and wonder and speculative potential for wondrous new things. But since it is the Age of Trump, we are filled with dread, uncertainty, and a pending sense of doom with thoughts of how dumbshitchristmascall.jpgmuch damage he can do in one short week with the government shut down and no one around to stop him.

I mean how stupid do you have to be to hold a Christmas Eve photo op of him talking to 7-year -olds about Santa Claus coming, and to say on national television: “Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it’s marginal, right?”

Right.  It’s marginal Mr. President.

“Mommy, what does marginal mean?”

Well there goes a future prospective voter. Why on earth did the White House communications people think that putting a misogynistic, narcissist with no sense of empathy or humanity on national television speaking live to an impressionable female child about the plausibility of Santa Claus, was a good idea?presdienthomealomne5

Especially  Mr. “I’m HOME ALONE in the White House (poor me).”   Now there’s a Christmas message of hope and goodwill to all. (They rushed Melania back from Florida after that one.)

Don’t consider that the stock market took the biggest dive in December since the Great Depression, primarily because of Trump’s irrational behavior and tweeting—threatening to fire of all people, the Federal Reserve Chairman for raising interest rates.

MATTISflagsgenDon’t consider that firing the one buffer (Secretary Mattis—Defense Department) we had to keep Trump from starting a nuclear war or giving Vlad the keys to the White House, just scared the crap out of not only us but our allies around the globe.

Don’t consider that he makes national and foreign policy changes not on his Presidential Advisor’s opinions, but on the advice of FOX News consultants Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh (Is Hannity on the outs with him now?  I thought HE ran the Presidency.)

Don’t consider that Senate Republicans are likely soiling their drawers now wondering how they are going to actually handle the aftermath of all this Trump-created mayhem because it’s squarely in their laps for letting him do what all he’s done to date.

And the Democrats take over the House January 3rd.  Won’t that be a fun time for all!subpoena-forcongress.jpg

Watch those subpoenas fly—see those criminal investigations launching for the heavens like a new rocket to the moon.

Welcome to Washington—oh no, there will be no welcoming committee to Washington DC because the government is SHUT DOWN due to his latest temper tantrum!  Oh yes, that’s right.

So, during this time between your Christmas Cheer aftermath and your New Year ahead optimism, try to keep your head from exploding, stay away from the booze, and by all means, shut off the television. There’s nothing good for you on there now.

Trust me on this one.Washington DC Capitol Government Shutdown Text

Just Watching It All Play Out

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I would have commented on the midterm election results sooner, but I, like the rest of the country, am still awaiting the final tallies.

Clearly changes were made across the nation, with other changes still in the making.

And one thing remains the same for the time being: the insanity presently occupying the White House. The only difference is in how amped up it has lately become. Someone is definitely not happy there.

For the country and democracy in general, I think major progress was pushed forward, or let me rephrase that, major progress was retrieved from the garbage heap where it had been so flagrantly tossed 2 years ago when Obama left.

While we are nowhere near being out of the constitutional danger zone as a nation yet, I do think that some folks who were banking on voter apathy and inciting racial fears, were a bit disappointed in the election results. I also think those same folks will be even more disappointed when Mueller indictments start falling in the near future.furorpres18.jpg

You don’t have to like the guy in charge. You don’t even have to tolerate his tantrums and embarrassing displays of juvenile behavior around the globe. You only have to expect him to do his job in a conscientious and lawful manner. He is the President, after all.

And that is an expectation that is backed by the laws of the United States Constitution.

This isn’t a personality/popularity issue.  It isn’t a political hit job. It is simply a question of legalities that were violated and obliterated in some instances.

It isn’t even a morality issue because if that had ever been in play, he’d have been gone before he even started.

This is about violating laws. This is about trading influence for future rewards. This is about greed and corruption in the highest offices of the land.

meachumbooksoul.jpgThis is about taking back the soul of America—what we stand for—who we are.

This is about you and your family, and the kind of world you want your children to inherit.

This is about looking in the mirror across the entirety of the nation and liking what you see again—a diverse populace.

This is about getting real and serious on social change and helping others to make the best of their own lives. They don’t need handouts–they need hand ups. They need respect and acknowledgement of their basic right to personal dignity as human beings. This is who we are–this is what we do. We respect each other as human beings with shared goals for a better life for ourselves and for those we love.

This is the NEW America, we hope.

And this is our new agenda for moving forward with our lives.

For Christmas, get your new ballcap with the letters on it for “MAAA!”

Make America “AMERICA” again!capwithamericabeing.jpg

That’s what this midterm election just tried to do.

 

 

 

On Being Positive

If folks think that maintaining a positive attitude in today’s world comes easily, I can posemotibunch.jpgassure them that it isn’t.

When we are enveloped in such blatant cruelty to other human beings—strafed daily with offensive, verbal assaults on our person and our differing ideas—staying positive through all of THAT is quite a trick.

Every morning we have to armor up and set our defense shields to “DEFLECT” just tosupersademotri.png make it through the day. That’s a little sad, don’t you think? (Insert SAD- face emoji here for emphasis.)

Yesterday I watched a lovely, gentle person I know try to defend her immigration/child separation Facebook posts against cruel, heartless comments that countered her message.  I offered my simple “HEART-LIKE” (insert HEART emoji here) to her just to let her know that I stand hearteoti9with her, if only from a distance; but at the same time I know that when we engage on social media with people who strongly disagree with us and disagree with who we are as loving individuals, then they are NOT really our friends, even though they might be on our FRIENDS list.

And if we can’t handle their unkind comments, then we must either remove them as our FRIENDS or stay off the PUBLIC airwaves—it’s that simple.  But then it isn’t really simple, is it?  In fact, it’s a large, complex issue that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Unfortunately the level of venom in today’s public discussion has reached such fever ick emoti8.pngpitch that it’s like watching a foot-long hotdog being torn apart by two ravenous dogs. Something’s gonna give there—and within seconds that once-whole hotdog will never be seen again—at least in the same form that it previously was. (Insert “ICK!” emoji here.)

How can we be positive about the present state of our declining human condition?

A couple days ago I heard someone on a news show discussing what was happening to our sense of civility in general; and this person said something that I agree with: We are in an unmasking period in human interaction where the “shadow-side” of human nature is dislikeemoti84.jpgrising to the surface for all to view and assess.  No more pretending to “tolerate” others. (Never did like that word “tolerate”)

I agree.  Clearly we don’t tolerate dissension now. We don’t tolerate views that differ from our own. We don’t tolerate people who do not look like us or act like us, or talk like us. We don’t rise above our prejudices or biases—we embrace them, right? We remove the mask and say “Hey those of YOU who do not look or think, or act like me, … I hate you! And I’m proud of hating you!  So there!  Deal with it!”

As we now look closely at that unmasking of our deepest and darkest human natures, we say, “Yes, bigotry and prejudice, and racism, and homophobia, and xenophobia, etc….YES, …these all exist in our present world society and in each of us to some degree; and we are not as culturally and consciously advanced as the civilized people that we once believed our nation and the people who compose it, were thought to be.  We are barbarians still—pure and simple—we are still immersed in our primal fears of scarcity and fears of personal annihilation, and we are incapable of rising above those fears!”

We fear “otherness” in general, and in today’s permissive environment we act out those fears in the most putrefying and nauseating ways imaginable.horrifying emoti5

And that’s not just emoji “SAD-face” folks—that is emoji horrifying!    (Insert that nasty thing here.)

 

But yet, ….the POSITIVE from this great unmasking is that people can no longer hide behind who they once pretended to be—because they have been unmasked–unmasked by themselves in all their acrimonious glory–they have all exposed themselves for their true feelings on just about every imaginable subject—whether you wanted to know them or not.

gagmeface6

 

(Insert big “SMILEY-face” here.) ……

 

No, …that’s the “GAG-me” emoji.

The ‘Believability’ Factor

As an avid reader, I finished another book today. This one was fiction, and was a collection of one author’s nine short stories compiled into book form. She was a newer panashreal.jpgauthor with impressive academic credentials, not to mention a few awards under her looks-to-be-slim belt.

At times when reading I thought she was very skilled at the nuances of story-telling, and then there were other times when I thought, “Oops, … she just lost me there. Her inexperience is showing—her youthfulness has side-tracked a believable sequence of events, or disrupted a once-believable character study.”

She simply hadn’t lived enough of life to make those character interactions truly believable, nor had she been in enough difficult situations to portray what likely happens to those unfortunate people who do become involved in them. Even fantasy writing has to be “believable” to fully engage the reader.believ78.jpg

While she had mastered the word skills, she lacked believability in her accounting of the tales to make the book commercially viable and recommendable to others.

And other than as a book review, this matters here why?

In today’s world where ‘believability’ and ‘credibility’ are under constant assault by the supposed leaders of our nation, what was so offensive to me about a fiction/fantasy book that didn’t seem real enough?

Well as a writer, I know that the best quality fiction reads as though it were absolute believastory81.pngfact—like you could walk out your front door one morning and experience those very same strange interactions yourself and relate completely to what the book’s characters were feeling, saying, and stewing-about-doing in them.  Conspiracy theorists wouldn’t even have to stretch to claim that situations such as these had actually happened, because it simply seemed real enough to be a likely occurrence with believable character interactions given the entirety of the proposed situation. That’s good writing.

Whereas in this present reality-as-we-know-it, as an actual person living in this democratic country on the verge of major internal insurrection, I also know that we hold “facts” as being the basis for any federal investigation and that there are NO such things as “alternative facts” allowed in those, despite what the President’s “reality-show” counselor seems to imply.snlpresident show.jpg

It just doesn’t happen.  Laws are well-defined. The constitution is fairly specific on possible considerations and limitations. There are evidence-based criteria for a jury to consider. You can’t just spin a yarn and expect the people who actually have the facts at hand, to believe it.

So despite the fantasies portrayed by the President and his co-conspirators in this distraction of the Mueller probe and truth-dodge of what actually occurred prior and since his election to the office, the story line for this timeframe doesn’t have to just seem believable; it actually has to be the truth.

People may have read a fiction novel and engaged with it so completely that they claimed it was factual, even when it wasn’t.  That might be delusional on the reader’s part, but that is simply good writing by a skilled author.

But a President of the United States cannot spin one yarn after another nor hoist one surviverealitytv.jpgconspiracy theory after another up the flagpole to see who salutes it then expect the judicial branch of the government to not have (or use) corroborating or refuting evidence to substantiate or dismiss the claims made.

The actual Presidency of the United States of America is not a “Reality Show” where truth is what the main character claims it to be. That’s the fantasy Presidency—and that show is PURE FICTION.

The true Presidency is the top administrative office of the land meant to exemplify supreme integrity and purposeful leadership that holds democracy and the American values to the highest standards for all—both in our nation and throughout the world.

It is NOT one man’s sandbox for building fantasy scenarios to demolish our constitutional underpinnings.

It is NOT his propaganda factory for creating a personal, bullet-proof empire guarded by the Nation’s Secret Service with intelligence and law enforcement professionals at his disposal per his every whim.

It is NOT his latest lucrative business enterprise peddling influence and commemorative coins for selling our national defense down the sewer for higher media ratings.

This President’s believability factor has bottomed out to zero.   johntruthtrumEven FOX News is disputing his latest accounts.  There are many now who simply don’t buy his fictional plotlines.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the last page of this “book” to see how the story ends.

But I don’t think it will turn out well for any of us.

 

“Blowciferousnous”

There.  I’ve created the perfect descriptor for politicians who try to cash in on tragedies just to get their own mugs on the evening news and to hear themselves “blowfuscate” about flagrant injustices occurring near them while pushing their own tainted agendas that helped create the very situation they are now railing against.  Most politicians in today’s world are nothing more than “blowciferous.”3ofhtenotsamekind.jpg

Political blowhards like to hear themselves talk—a lot! And they really prefer a captive audience like they can garner at press briefings after the latest school shooting. Senators, governors, the president—they all line up to so sadly address the cameras with meaningless platitudes and empty promises for a better tomorrow than today had unfortunately turned out to be.

Vociferousness is what they offer—a vocal outcry for pseudo-reform that isn’t really reform at all—just meaningless noise from a propagator whose sole purpose was to appear at the news conference itself—not to help those in the aftermath who are genuinely scared or are grieving with deep loss—but to step in front of the gathered crowd and act like they are taking charge of the situation, when instead they are the very people who have helped to create it.

Blowhards obfuscate—they shout their indignation to obscure the situation’s genuine meaning and manipulate the truth of what has actually occurred.

Blowciferous politicians bewilder their listeners with coarse banality and unintelligible logic. They portray themselves as champions for social change, when of course, they are just the opposite.  Status quo serves them far too well to support meaningful change in our society and culture.

santafehsshooting

 

Any tragedy deserves heartfelt sympathy, as do the people who are most affected by the loss of loved ones. To them there are no words that can ease the depth of their pain—no “our hearts and prayers go out to the families” bullshit spoken far too frequently and with less and less conviction each time repeated.

And absolutely NO ONE deserves self-serving politicians trying to cash in on the latest school shooting with no other remedy for protecting our kids than to “arm the teachers.”

In my humble opinion, NRA-loving politicians should be careful with those suggestions.

If you arm enough teachers as the primary solution to our most serious social problems, you might not be around long to witness the result of your actions because teachers are already pretty fed up putting their own lives on the line day after day—without receiving combat pay.  Even teachers have limited patience when their elected officials refuse to do their jobs.

The real solution:  Don’t add more guns to schools!

Make the change at the ballot box—change representatives.  Eliminate gun lobbies. Stop celebrating the gun culture.

It’s time for meaningful social change and time for a new breed of representatives of peace-loving people.

No more “blowciferous” politicians!  Tell them simply: “Do your job or be thrown out.”

And then actually DO IT.giffordsquote.jpg

It’s All in the Process

rainonbuddhaequally.jpg

While this posting could be on analyzing the importance of life’s journey vs. destination, it is actually more so about the importance of bringing awareness to how karma eventually unfolds for all, even when we doubt that it will.

When I saw this “raining on Buddha head” graphic I realized that I’m holding a concerned anxiety over the integrity of certain processes that are currently underway: processes like the democratic process, like the judicial process, like the equal law enforcement process for both rich and poor.

And while part of me—the shadow part that has NO patiencefears corruption at the highest levels of government will undermine our slowly creaking wheels of justice; another part of mewheelsofjustice.jpg recognizes that those wheels must keep turning on their own until all the cogs fall into proper place and the clock strikes the proper hour for judgment to be rendered. I might not be happy with the speed of justice, but the process is underway.

Justice is an ongoing process, although an often fairly slow one.

I’ve personally seen a similar slow-process-leads-to-eventual-resolution situation on a much smaller scale where those once in power positions were eventually toppled. However, it took far more time and hand-wringing by all involved than I would have believed possible for it to happen, but in fact, it DID happen. It is to that example of “the once powerful shall fall” that I keep reminding myself when I now want to shout at the television and pound my fist on my chair arm in frustration.

“His time will come,” I warn the uncaring images on the TV screen. “Justice will prevail. Democracy and our United States Constitution will hold solid and will right itself from this temporary tarnished upheaval.”  However, the television screen isn’t so easily convinced.

I truly hope it turns out that way—that justice does prevail and the guilty are punished. But pertaining specifically to the graphic statement above, no matter the pending justice dalailamakindnessor lack thereof in the current political mess, I had to ask myself in all honesty: “Where is my kindness in this situation?  Where is my kindness to all participants in this mock political drama?”

The only answer I had was that I’m not sure where it is, but I sure know where it isn’t.

So how do I address my inability to feel love and compassion to those demonstrating such blatant self-serving stupidity and such flagrant attempts at self-preservation at the expense of damaging the foundations of our democratic system of government? How do I feel compassion and show kindness (or even express kindness) to them?

First of all, I’m not Buddhist. I’m not anything other than me. I don’t follow any religion’s doctrines and dogma. But I am an energy worker, and from a pragmatic perspective, as an energy worker I know how important holding your personal frequency as high as possible is for all positive experiences around you to materialize.  The frequencies that you hold, are what you attract to you.lovecompassiondl.jpg

I know that holding kindness frequency—the love and compassion frequencies—are key to holding the space from which the best possible outcomes can emerge. You don’t get a lot of resultant positives from holding the low-frequency emotions of fear and anger—love and the highest frequencies of compassion and joy manifest those positive outcomes in our lives.

And yet in honesty, love and compassion really aren’t what I’m feeling over the present situation. How do I shift that energy in myself?

The non-rational, emotional part of me says, “I don’t. I feel what I feel. I have a right to be angry and anxious. It’s a genuine feeling.”  That may be true enough. Of course I can easily fret and fume and stew in my own negativity. But it’s pretty nasty energy, and it only ferments more anger and hatred in my mind and my life.

But the rational, practical energy-worker part of me says, “Don’t shoot myself in the foot over this slow-moving process. The compassionate stance may not be what I am feeling at present, but if I can shift my own perspective to the over-view of this energetic interaction—if enough of us can simply help to hold the highest possible frequencies of einsteinenergyfreq.jpgDivine Love and Divine Light for all of us in this mess, then the situation will resolve itself in the most harmonious way because disharmony naturally flows toward harmonious stability; like water, due to the force of gravity, flows to its lowest level of containment.

The solution for me in this situation (and likely for many of us) is really pretty simple: Hold the space for higher resolution to occur! Just hold the overall collective energy as high as possible without judgment for all of the participants. Allow the Universe to resolve this within Its own timeline, not mine.

Can I (or we) do that?

I sure hope so.