Assessing Terrorism: Homegrown and Elsewhere

paris peace signPretty hard not to be affected by the degree of homicidal mania throughout the world right now.

First and foremost, I want to offer my condolences to all involved in these violent acts everywhere in the world, and to pray that Divine Light and Love flows effortlessly into every affected heart lightening the pain and healing the gaping wounds left in the wake of such senseless destruction.

Secondly, my opinions on the matter are pretty inconsequential to any aftermath outcome, but I think there is something that needs to be said on it because this is not a subject I would normally write about, so I’m feeling Spirit-nudged to put my two-cents into this for what it’s worth.

Three words that come immediately into my humble mind to now address this terrorism assessment are: perspective, context, and overview. So I’ll address them one at a time.

  • PERSPECTIVE on the “WHY?”

Acts of violence and barbarism are initiated to create widespread fear in the populace because FEAR is a tool for controlling others. FEAR is the adrenal gland’s natural fight or flight trigger. We tend to simply react one way or the other when we feel fear.

Most people who use this “fear” tool are banking on the flight response more than the fight response. fear and powerIt is also likely that those who feel the need to use FEAR as a tool are the ones who would otherwise feel the most impotent and powerless without using it.

The IMPOTENT and POWERLESS category can be a large one and include people who feel isolated, disenfranchised, unappreciated, unsure, and generally hopeless about their lives changing for the better anytime soon.

So to counter their feeling of impotence they force a change, and they use FORCE to make that change happen. These are not really powerful people—they are people who want to FEEL powerful in some way by creating that same powerless feeling in others.

  • CONTEXT on the “WHO?”

Rosse quoteAttributing widespread acts of terrorism and genocide to any particular group of combatants is to trace the “fear” tool back to the earliest forms of human competition for limited resources and community security. It can be tracked century by century through the annals of recorded history as the means that any conquering group used to eliminate their competition in the region.

Add some ideology and religious fervor to it, and you’ve got that ignominious term “religious war.” Lots of those have and still are occurring in various places throughout the world.

Or in large metropolises it can be gang-waged wars for the same basic principles of competition for resources and security. A year of drive-by shootings can be just as deadly as one-time staged assaults on what security analysts call “soft targets” of gathered citizenry.

  • OVERVIEW on the “Aftereffects of Terrorism”memorial

Terrorist assaults can occur anywhere in the world whether by a mentally ill sociopath locally in a movie theater or a grade school, or by two or more individuals who claim a unified common-cause but kill others and themselves more so because they feel no sense of purpose to their lives and are easily manipulated by charismatic leaders who appeal to the lesser person’s festering humiliation and anger toward others.

The aftereffect of terrorism is the same: Other people take notice of those offending individuals and provide them with exactly what they want the most: attention and false feelings of momentary power—created by the best tool they have in their arsenal—FEAR.

fearlessBut do you know what is most discouraging and disheartening to those homicidal individuals we commonly refer to as “terrorists”?

What returns that offender’s momentary feeling of power back to his original feeling of impotence is when the community and society that has been so maniacally assaulted by him don’t give in to the FEAR that he tried so hard to create. His efforts were in vain. He was simply ineffective again.

When the community and society adopts that “refusal to be fearful” to barbarism and violence, then these so-called “terrorists” have lost their main weapon.

* * *

Personally I am far from a pacifist. I wish I were more loving and forgiving about the abhorrent actions of a few deranged or maladjusted individuals trying their best to destabilize communities and regions. But it doesn’t matter what my personal feelings are on this matter. What matters is that:

  • we never give in to fear.
  • We do what is necessary to defend ourselves and our families/communities, and
  • we work toward a better world where violence is never the answer to anything—where people actively engage in creating peaceful co-existence with their neighbors after finally realizing that basically we are all the same—
  • we are ONE PEOPLE—ONE WORLD.one love

In truth, fear is a weak motivational substitute for the overwhelming POWER of LOVE.

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“Strangeness” Notice #537

notice of noticingThere has been so much strangeness the last few years that it’s becoming the new normalcy.

  • I’m getting used to those ancient memories popping into my head with no visible reason for them.
  • I’m becoming less reactive to sudden bursts of revulsion or general discomfort when standing too near blowhards and narcissists.
  • I’m warming to my new abilities to instantly detect lies and fabrications, especially with American political season in full swing.
  • But it’s a little harder to handle the lack of sleep due to huge amounts of energy pouring through me 24/7/365.

blue sunUnfortunately I think these once-considered abnormalities have become the new norm for many of us.

Something is happening in our world and to all of us; and it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what that “something” is other than to me it feels like we are swimming in a completely different ocean of energy than we were a few years ago.

That newer energy is both purifying and clarifying—almost sanitizing in effect. Perhaps we’re effectively getting our psyches bleached in these higher frequency vibs coming in now.

People seem different now. People act differently toward each other. We are inherently wary of each other.

We don’t trust anyone any longer. And we’ve been given ample reasons to feel that way.energy strangeness

When every information source has been discredited as merely clandestine attempts to manipulate our buying habits, then one starts to wonder who can be believed (politicians) and who can be trusted to put my best interests ahead of their personal ambitions and/or corporate/personal profits?

I wouldn’t call most people indifferent or apathetic to what is currently happening to them, but I think many people are confused about how to view the world around them now, and perhaps more confused about defining their proper place within that world.

Are we global citizens with serious responsibilities toward protecting our fellow world citizens? Are we nationalists with concerns only for our own country’s state of affairs?

Are we being herded together by our ideologies for mass stampedes toward revolt and insurrection; or are we individualists assessing the political climate for sanity and reason but finding little?

bleachWhatever we are feeling, I think it’s all a part of these bleach-out-the-old-stains energies moving around and through us right now. Like it or not, we ALL are getting a strong dose of intense “whitening power” during this lengthy agitation cycle.

I guess the question then might be: is it better to be put through the wringer attachment allowing the last of the residues to be slowly squeezed out of us, or is it better to simply sit in that centrifugal spin-cycle for an indefinite amount time?

Either way, the immediate future won’t be very pleasant.idiot in dryer

Which also means that our next choice might be equally bad: to be hung on a drip-dry line in variable winds or to be tumbled about in tight confinement under intense heat.

But then again, I’m not sure that we have a choice in the matter.

It may be the price we pay for cleaning up our acts.

“Nobody Said It Would Be Easy”

lunar eclipse

Has anyone noticed the strength and force of the energies the last few weeks?

Or perhaps you might have noticed a change in interactions and the intensity of world events. Those changes are often easier to spot.

The astrology folks attribute it to something “squaring this or that planet” that will stay in place for a very long time. (As an Energy Worker, I tend to care more about the general reason for the energies that I’m feeling at the time, than the details of what may be creating it.)

ocean waveIn essence what most astrologers are saying is that our little boat can expect choppy waters ahead for the next year or two as we seem to be navigating through an ocean of strong, energy cross-currents more so than riding a single-direction river flowing from upstream to down.

Time to stock up on Dramamine!

In fact, the best way to plan for this extended aquatic journey is to put your life-jacket on now, secure the supplies so they don’t wash away, and learn how to bail out the boat whenever it starts getting too water-logged. Expect to be challenged in all possible ways. Learn how to handle adverse situations beforehand.divine light

Preparation is the key to success, and a good plan starts with maintaining a good attitude. Keep your energies high-frequency (love- and light-based) and power-up frequently (involves recharging yourself with Divine White Light in meditations and guided journeys).

Stay focused on positive changes in your personal life, no matter the situation that you actually find yourself in; and refuse to be deterred by those who try to weigh you down with their defeatist diatribes.

There is only ONE point you need to keep foremost in your mind now:

You are capable of doing whatever you set your mind to do—so just do it!   (This was my actual mantra slogan for many previous challenging years.)

Just lettough your own light shine through any darkness you may encounter ahead. That’s why you came—to bring light to the darkness. 

That’s why we are ALL here now—to hold our own light as high-frequency and as strongly as we can for as long as we need to do so.

You can do it.

“Tough times don’t last—tough people do.”

Aftermath

Similar to afterthought except as applied to actions, aftermath describes the consequences of causal events.quart arm

While afterthought can be considered more benign, cerebral, and sort of “arm-chair, quarterback”-ish on 3rd down plays; …aftermath can be more like “sacked quarterback goes out for the season with broken arm—team in turmoil”-ish.

Afterthought can be second-guessing and reconsidering one’s better options afterwards instead of beforehand.

Aftermath can be the seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, even decades following a questionable decision or wide-spread disaster that can irrevocably change the course of lives forever.

Afterthoughts of what we might have done better, rather than what we did do at the time, may haunt us indefinitely.

bombingAftermath is the inevitable result of our bad decisions, choices, or actions that adversely affect (and keep affecting) others besides ourselves long after the initial action occurred.

Where we as global citizens are right now is caught in the aftermath of decisions made by unscrupulous leaders throughout the world many decades and even centuries prior—decisions made by those who were trusted and depended upon at the time, to put humanity’s welfare above their own personal greed and self-focus.

What does this mean to all of us in the NOW?

We are presently living in the aftermath of bad decisions—decisions traditionally based on fear and hatredintegrity—decisions based on self-interest and bids for power and control of resources, finances, and real estate—decisions based on short-term, more immediate benefits and gratuities, rather than long-term sustainable values that help raise people from crushing poverty and provide a solid chance at self-determination.

So with the American election season presently underway, as these latest supposedsaviors of family values and middle-class economic stability trot out their inflammatory one-liners and slash-and-trash campaign tactics, please keep in mind that any afterthoughts you might United States presidential election, 2016have the day after the election for NOT voting in primaries and in November 2016, mean nothing to the rest of us; because we will be too busy dealing with the aftermath of voter apathy and irresponsibility to even consider it.

Listen, …and I mean REALLY listen to what ALL candidates say and claim as his or her platform of beliefs; and then ask if he/she can provide verifiable records of action taken in that same regard before making a decision to give that person your valuable approval.

I think most of us are tired of living in the aftermath of a power-person’s bad decisions made through self-interest and adhesion to conventional party-politics.wisdom integrity

Actions, like wars, have consequences.

Let’s make sure that we all aren’t someone else’s afterthought this time.

Let’s be their primary consideration for a change.

Let’s stop living in the aftermath of someone else’s personal ambition.

Shifting Timelines

RCWAgain, been reading lately and have another Robert Charles Wilson book in process. Evidently I enjoy his writing style and skills.

I won’t mention which book it is at this point, but it is one of his earlier ones where he isn’t quite as subtle dipping into his extensive bag of tricks. It’s much easier to see how he’s introducing the characters, settings, and scenarios then interweaving them into the storyline.

Mid-way through this one I realized what an excellent teaching tool his books can be to frog disectcreative writing students—no matter the age. It just takes a little extra time, a few margin notes and a coil notebook to trace all the components as you read through it. Lay the gathered info out like an old-school frog dissection if you want to see what’s inside it—pinning those guts out onto the matrix-cardboard, gore everywhere—all over your desk—all over your shirt—all over the notebook.

Then using a white board to display each chapter (represented by small sheets of paper spaced evenly across and down the board), and using some colored yarn for each significant character, one can track character introductions, interactions, and crescendos across the entire whiteboard—which represents the entirety of the novel. This can be very revealing of an author’s intentions and message.

stephen kingIn novels where the narrator (voice and tone) is the main character, it is easier to follow character timelines—because you basically have one point of reference, but when the perspective is more omniscient or limited omniscient, it is more difficult to effectively regulate the writer’s tone and tempo. Then more obvious time descriptors are often used as headers, such as: “a day later”, “the year after this”, “two years prior,” etc.

Exposing too much information too soon makes for clichéd writing; but offering toodark night little information during early chapters creates reader confusion and lack of interest. So it becomes a balancing act of what and who is introduced when and where.

The big question the writer must always answer is the WHY of what, who, when, and where.

WHY is this character appearing early, middle or late in the story? What makes that character significant to the situation as well as to the integrity of the book itself? There are many ways to tell a story—why is the writer using this method? What’s his rationale?

For instance, right now the Wilson book I’m reading is a story about time-travelers, and as one might imagine, scenes switch all over the proposed timeline represented: present, past, future, past, present,…until you start to wonder aloud: “Wait,….which present am I in? The present in the past or the present in the future, or IS THERE ahere and now PRESENT at all?”

I think that might have been one of his themes for this particular novel: “Is there really a PRESENT?”

It’s interesting to me, because that is the same question that I’m sometimes asked when conducting hypnosis Past-Life Explorations with my own clients.

Mid-journey, the client can be describing to me the events and feelings that she is experiencing during a particular past-life situation in a different time and place—a different body—a different setting—a different country, while I sit in PPFthe chair beside her in the NOW. And to the client who is effectively bi-locating in two places at the same time, she may be asking herself or me, “Which PRESENT am I really in? Am I there? Am I here? …..Where is the present?

Well, as the narrator of this story and my client’s tour-guide through her then-current Past-Life Exploration, I simply tell her: We are right here, right now …wherever that is in your timeline because the PRESENT is a constantly moving target.

It comes. It goes. Yet it still remains…the PRESENT, ….at least as we know it.

Memorable Reads

There are spells when I’m a voracious reader. Every two weeks or so I’ve been going to the library—which is really an excellent library with continual supplies of NEW books, both Fiction and Non.

What I’ve noticed is that lately there are some fine quality Fiction books (as well as Non-Fiction—which are usually coleridgemy favorites) available; and then there are some, how shall I say it, less than well-written books with flashier covers and more provocative lead lines. Those tend to be more melodramatic and trite, and unfortunately, they are quite predictable by mid-story.

As a writer myself, I can admire and marvel at a writer’s skill in not only telling a story, but I also like to note the techniques used to create that story’s setting, how the main subjects’ character traits are defined, and how the author handles the passage of time.

Skilled writers are masters of the subtle details hidden between the covers. They can be tricky—like a sleight of hand artist palming a lesser card mid-deal and replacing it with an ace. A flick of the wrist and an unsuspecting eye could miss a persuasive key stroke.

There is far more to a quality novel than just rolling out a somewhat believable plot. Voice, tone, and tempo are all important factors to how a story is told. It’s a lot like that slogan “Destination is not what is important in life—it is the journey along the way.”

readerA good writer can make it a revelatory journey—show you the terrain—the winding curves, the bumps and potholes, the vegetation massed along the side—help you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with your tour guides who are describing scenes, and allow YOU to form your own opinions on what is really occurring in those faux interactions and situations where the main characters are challenged by extreme emotions or passions.

Ensconced in the telling, you even become the helpless witness when they eventually succumb to their own character flaws, allowing the story to play out like a true Greek tragedy—rich in pathos.

So I want to mention that reading-material wise, I was very impressed with The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson. the affinitiesIt is a bit Sci-Fi but not a far stretch for the possible future of social and cultural evolution where emotional attachments and character tendencies become group-based behavioral classifications. The book is more so a group character study (philosophical and psychological) than action-based, but it is so well-written that I will read it again just to take notes on how Wilson transitioned characters, defined settings, and massaged the passage of time.

Another good book (non-fiction that reads like fiction) is A Death on Diamond Mountain: A death on diamondTrue Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path to Enlightenment, by Scott Carney, which is a masterful telling of truth and hard-gathered facts as if they were unfolding before you. An investigative journalist allows us to see behind the smoking mirrors of a popularized religion.

So how can you tell good writing from mediocre tries at such?

Good writing is easily distinguished from lesser attempts because it is effortless to read and yet deeply satisfying in effect—a bit like a spicy-hot Italian Sausage Pizza that lingers on your palate long after the meal is done.

Every after-burp is a reminder of its potency on your very being.

Generalizing Specialists

One might think I was referring to the medical profession with this title, and in a sense I guess I am because I was reading a bit on the schism between Humanistic Psychology and Transpersonal Psychology when the bells went off in my head.

I’ve always been a fan of Dr. Abraham Maslow—the self-actualizHumanistsation guru of the last century. While reading a summation of his work and early mentors, I recognized certain well-established names in the psychology profession, especially Dr. Carl Rogers as the one of the primary founders of Humanistic Psychology which was considered in some circles as the third branch of 20th century psychology with Freud’s Psychoanalytical approach and Skinner’s Behavioral approach being the other two branches.

That’s all well and good, but again, what’s the application here?

I had just read about Ken Wilber’s critique of the Transpersonal Psychology approach and preference for his own Integral Psychology approach (everybody has an angle), and my mind shifted back to my early college days when I pyramidonce thought I wanted to be a psychologist. All these offshoots of mainstream psychology weren’t even mentioned back then or I might have chosen a different career-path because I’ve always been fascinated by the workings of the human mind and during my early college days thought that course of study would be an amazing odyssey for personal and professional expansion.

So I took a few courses in that designated “PSYCHOLOGY” pursuit as defined by the university that I had attended. And what did I find?

The professors who taught all the courses in that university’s psych department were some of the strangest, most unsociable, unlikable people I had ever met. After a semester immersed in that influence, I changed my major to Art. But head connectedin hindsight, I should have just changed schools if this subject matter had truly interested me. You know—it’s those things you know NOW that you didn’t know THEN….. like: Authority figures aren’t really authorities. They just pretend to be ones.

Back in my early adulthood, I wondered how any student of psychology could possibly be trained by people who themselves were teetering at the very edge of sanity?

Those instructors who seemed to be in charge of judging normalcy in society and the interacting members of such seemed to be themselves standing near the very periphery of normal, interactive social behaviorIF they ever claimed to occupy that location at all. It would seem that during my early years in college the collective WE were all being categorized and judged by society’s ostracized social misfits who had their defensive shields set high and their adolescent vendettas ready to avenge.maze runners

It boggled the idealized mind—at least it boggled mine. Those in the psych department at my university had Ph.Ds in statistics, testing, rats (maze-runners), research documentation, and abnormal behaviors—that means they were primarily Behavioralists.

Where was the Humanistic Psychology or the Transpersonal Psychology back then? Where was even the broader field of Social Psychology at that university? It didn’t exist THERE at the time even though it had been around since the 1950’s; meaning that those who were training budding Psychologists at that university were training students like a Dermatologist might train a Digestive Specialist. You teach what you know, and if you don’t KNOW it—you don’t teach it.

pool in headThe point being for this post (finally) is that even in today’s broader minded and more main-streamed social-psychology movements, practicing psychologists and psychiatrists have specialties. Psychology is NOT a one-size-fits-all profession. Behavioralists are NOT Psychoanalysts are NOT Humanists.

And because all these particular specialties are off-shoots of that larger Psychology field, there is little agreement among the competing branches as to what the tree-trunk looks like, or from which transplanted graft they first emerged, or which branch needs the most sunshine to grow the best humans.

So when people say the state of Mental Health is presently in disarray, it comes as no surprise to me since the main profession can’t even decide what constitutes normalcy in a world of striving individualists and constantly-merging, world-wide cultures.

I’m giving notice to ALL Universities: Please …for all of our sakes,… hire some Humanistic Psychology instructors for the next batch of yearning psychologists, so they aren’t taught by the apoplectic maze-runners that taught during my bachelors degree because a society is only as good as the models that it holds in esteem.

schools of Psych