"I really wanted to retire and rest and spend more time with my children, my grandchildren and of course with my wife. But the problems are such that for anybody with a conscience who can use whatever influence he may have to try to bring about peace, it's difficult to say no." -Nelson Mandela, when asked why he speaks out in opposition to GW Bush's plans for a "pre-emptive" attack against Iraq, calling Bush "a threat to world peace".
I was raised to be polite enough not to intrude into other peoples' personal space, not to upset the apparent harmony. But these days I work at breaking this polite habit of a conditioned mind as I struggle to find my authentic voice. Why? Because silence in the face of great corruption is a form of collusion corrosive to the soul. Thus I must speak out to dispel the apparent harmony of "positive opinion polls" supporting the imminent invasion. I am made sick by the lies and the double standards applied by the Bush Administration in the name of good America. These perverse murderers, these arrogant empire builders with their dreams of unfettered power and control...no, I can no longer suffer these fools silently. Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Ashcroft et.al. play deadly games, spreading hatred through innuendo and half truth and outright untruth. They are not fit to lead this nation because where they lead us is a treason to our souls.
Anyone who cares at all for anything outside of their own family, their own set of possessions, their own stock holdings, is called to care publicly now, of this I am convinced. I have lived long enough to know the signs of treason to our nation's founding principles. Unhappily, the signs of such treason are evident in every newscast. We are governed by an illegitimate regime using unethical means to effect immoral ends. It is our duty as citizens to name these things by their true names. The alternative-to just go along with the program laid out by Bush and his cronies-is to deal in death. I say, not in my name, not in the name of this nation.
Still, and thank god for it, the earth is a glittering jewel in the night sky of my imagination, and I spend quite a lot of time out there in that vastness, just for my own sanity. It is a great realm of light and life we live in. And in this great world, there are many subjects of interest, all relevant. In Alternatives, we treat these subjects, we're interested in all of it, for this is our life, not measured in the small increments of hours or timeclocks on the corporate wall, but extended by the infinite, for that is precisely what we are surrounded by.
We have an issue to present to this glittering world, so read on.
Psychopaths On Parade, by Richard Reid J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) once said “It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.” Krishnamurti was right. Richard Reid asks a question that should seem very strange in a civil society such as ours...but isn’t. Strange times indeed that we live in.
“Be A Soul” The InnerView with Ram Dass, by Peter Moore The editor of Alternatives Magazine talks it over with Ram Dass, a pioneer in human consciousness for over 40 years. From reincarnation to the War on Drugs to reading psychonautical maps, it’s all in there.
Leaving Home: The Touch of Stone, The Taste of Blood, by Ness Mountain “My father took an easy way out: he left town ... and became a part-time Jew, pretending Orthodoxy when he went back to Chicago. And like so many of his generation, he delivered up his sons to the local Sunday school, as if to say, “Teach them what I cannot; make them believe what I do not.” Ness Mountain describes his thoughtful relationship with the angry God of his forefathers.
Moments On the Tantric Path, by Bob Theiss “Today, like every Sunday, we take a break from our full time jobs, community service and parenting responsibilities. We have agreed to make every Sunday a day of complete rest, play and lovemaking, in the tantra tradition. This is a spiritual practice—our bedroom becomes our temple, our home our sanctuary.” So begins a description of tantric practice that exceeds conventional expectations of what Tantra means.
The Healing of Multiple Sclerosis: Embracing Love and the Innate Inner Healer, by Christine-Yazmin Albright “I was completely devastated for a month as I went through the stages common to tragic news; denial, anger, sadness and finally acceptance. Doctors told me there was nothing they could do. ... Their assessment was that it could not be healed. I would just have to ‘wait and see how it goes’.” Christine Albright describes the alternative path to healing, a process that took her to radiant health.
Radical Astrology, by Emily Trinkaus “Is anyone else wondering how we ended up inside Orwell’s 1984—and how to get out? To get a grip on what the hell is going on in our increasingly surreal post-9/11 world, I’m turning to Mars, the God of War.” Whereupon Emily Trinkaus analyzes the best times over the next three months to regroup as social activists...and the worst time to break up or get married in this same period.
What Democracy? (Part II), by Harry Lonsdale “I pledge allegiance to the flag…and to the republic for which it stands.” Does the distinction between “democracy” and “republic” make a difference? Should we care? And if it does make a difference, and if we do care, can we change it?” Answers are fascinating. For a century, Oregon has been at the forefront of the movement to democratize the process of governance.
Physicians’ Perspective: Medical Rights 2002: From Exam Room to Ballot Choice, by Rick Bayer, MD “This November, Oregonians will vote on three crucial clinical issues affecting private medical choices decided between a patient and his/her personal physician. This election deserves your vote.” Dr. Bayer offers a physician’s perspective on this fall’s election cycle. Remember to vote!
Toxic Waste in the Public Well Revisited: A Foot-in-Mouth Tale, by Miriam Green Yet another prep for the upcoming election: In her conclusion to this modern fairy tale, Miriam Green notes that the organization Stand for Children “is currently campaigning for mandatory drugging of community drinking water with fluoridation chemicals. Voters in November will be asked to decide. Please educate yourself on this important issue—and choose wisely.”
Say It Ain’t So Senator Daschle: Shame on the Big Green Environmentalists, by John Borowski “Despite having the best interest of children at hand, equipped with irrefutable science and the moral high ground, the “Big Green” team (national environmental groups) knowingly plays a game of pragmatic defeatism......The public looks to the environmental organizations for leadership, and what they get is a scare-of-the-month appeal for money in the mail, as if the subscription to a glossy magazine will save nature.....” John borowski, the celebrated science teacher from Salem, takes on the hypocracy of the Senate Majority Leader and talks straight about the ethics of doing the right thing.
Dreams of Kindness, Love & Grace: Wealth Addiction, by Carolyn Bolton “But before we become too self-righteous, pointing our fingers “out there” at “them”, it’s important that we own our role in the debacle. White collar crooks void of conscience did not materialize out of thin air. .....Their feigned “successes” were celebrated, particularly by those of us carrying the illusion that we too could “make a killing” by investing in those same corporations who so effectively lied to satisfy us. We expected endless growth and prosperity; they gave it to us. Like it or not, many of us were co-conspirators in the delusional spread of the addiction.”
The Celtic Spiral: An Everyday Path to the Sacred, by Mara Freeman “Are ancient traditions irrelevant to today’s world? .... In my own life, I’ve found that the earth-based culture and society of the ancient Celts has helped me to connect to the rhythms of the natural world.” Mara Freeman interprets the ancient ways of her people.
The Ecstasy of Transformational Creation, by Carolyn Campbell “...there are very few models in the world that expose people to truly operating from a co-creative construct. Most are based in cooperation and compromise. Our divine spirit of creation will not invest in either. The two models that do come to mind are theater and really good sex. Both require a letting go of “control”. Both need the absolute coupling of passion, invitation and delight in the unfolding.” Carolyn Campbell explores the higher ground of co-creation.
Thunder Rising: A Green Light for Hope of Global Proportions, by Brian Bogart “We began together on Earth undivided and now find ourselves faced with a simple life-or-death prospect: recognize our oneness and reunite in spirit or “perish as fools,” to quote Dr. King. A secured future lies at the end of a path of wisdom and unity, not selfish interests.” Brian Bogart weaves together some pragmatic spiritual threads—from the enlightened politics of Dennis Kucinich to the establishment of the first public model of peace education in the country, the Eugene Children Peace Academy (slated to open September, 2003).
Intuitive Solutions, by Karen Grace Kassy “Gut. Instinct. Hunch. Intuition. Vibe. Psychic feeling. We’ve all heard the words, but what is intuition, really? And, how can you learn it and use it? I’m interested in applying intuition to life and to work. Intuition is a simple skill that, with practice, can give information useful to making decisions, supporting health, and helping loved ones, work, and our world. It sounds like a tall order, but it’s really very simple and practical.” Karen Kassy illuminates the simple exercises that, when practiced, ignite the embers of prescient knowing into the flame of reliable intuition.