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The 7 Questions


“If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks’ vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.”

                                                                      –  Dorothy Canfield Fisher        



“Put your ear down close to your

soul    and listen hard.”


                          –  Anne Sexton




I want to share with you the Seven Personal Goal-setting Questions  (which my friend Jeff Goebel shared with me some years ago. I consider Jeff to be a High Soul, and an embodiment of progressive [and helpful] thinking.      I’ll put his site info at the end of this essay.

The poems & quotes are my additions.)



  1. What are the 5 things that you value most in life?    (– the foundation for all the other goals we set in life)   


2.  Take 30 seconds – and write down the 3 most important goals in your life right now.


3.  What would you do if you won a million dollars in the lottery tomorrow?   Answer this as though you have NO mental or physical limitations.  

(Anything you wrote as an answer to this question – you can be, have, or do.  The very fact that you can write the answer means that you are capable of accomplishing.)

4.  What would you do and how would you spend your time if you found out you have only 6 months to live?   [perfect health]    

(The answer to this will tell you what you value most in your life.)


“Your life feels different to you, once you greet death and understand your heart’s position. You wear your life like a garment from the mission bundle sale ever after – lightly because you realize you never paid nothing for it, cherishing because you know you won’t ever come by such a bargain again.”    

                                                                                         –    Louise Erdrich  



5.  What have you always wanted to do but have been afraid to           attempt?                                                  

(Habits hold us back … the fear of failure.  These have nothing to do with reality. Remember David Beckham’s counsel:  

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in a world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.  Impossible is not a fact, It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”   


6.   Looking back at all the things you have done in your life, what               sort of things have given you the feeling of greatest importance /         self esteem / self worth ?                                                  

       (This is an indicator of your area of excellence – of what gives               you  the   greatest pleasure and self-esteem.   Steer toward this.)      



7.  If you were granted one wish – what one thing would you do – if           you knew you could not fail?        


Pick one major definite purpose … and FOCUS on it.


“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.  It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

                                                                –  Helen Keller    


“The universe was not made in jest but in solemn incomprehensible earnest. By a power that is unfathomably secret, and holy, and fleet. There is nothing to be done about it but ignore it, or see. And then you walk fearlessly, eating what you must, growing wherever you can.”

                                                                                         –   Annie Dillard


“She’d teach them [her children] these things are nothing, the clothes, toys, and furniture.  These things fool people into thinking they must stay where the things are. Leave it all, she’d teach them even . . .  all your dreams of safe, calm places. Go with what is most terrifying. … Always choose love over safety, if you can tell the difference.” 

                                                    – Josephine Humphreys         Dreams of Sleep 




                                                            –  Mary Oliver     


“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.  Between these two answers you can determine the identity of any person. The better the answer he has, the more of a person he is.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         – Thomas Merton       




Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies

and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting  –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

                                                       –  Mary Oliver




Jeff Goebel


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“Archaic Torso of Apollo”

We have no idea what his fantastic head

was like, where the eyeballs were slowly swelling.  But

his body now is glowing like a lamp

whose inner eyes, only turned down a little,

hold their flame, shine.  If there weren’t light, the curve

of the breast wouldn’t blind you, and in the swerve

if the thighs a smile wouldn’t keep on going

towards the place where the seeds are.

If there weren’t light, this stone would look cut off

where it drops so clearly from the shoulders,

its skin wouldn’t gleam like the fur of a wild animal,

and the body wouldn’t send out light from every edge

as a star does … for there is no place at all

that isn’t looking at you.  You must change your life.

                                             –   Rainer Maria Rilke   
                                                                       (transl: Robert Bly)




If our lives should get better, it will NOT be because of some change in our surroundings … it will be because WE change.


Personally, I am not satisfied with my life … as it is.


How about you?      You done?       You tired?       Satisfied?


In the film ‘16 Blocks’  (2006 – Bruce Willis, Yasiin Bey, David Morse)  an aging alcoholic cop is assigned the task of escorting a witness in police custody to the courthouse sixteen blocks away, where he is expected to testify before a jury – in regard to police corruption.


The viewer does not realize (at first) that Jack Mosley (Willis) was CHOSEN because they believed he could be counted on to “do what he always does” –  look away. (He was a drunk, and was considered spineless) Nor do we know (at first) that Mosley himself had been a participant in the corruption.


But that’s what makes it a good story … because (in the middle of the 16-block transfer) Mosley has a change of heart.  He ‘changes his mind’, and decides NOT to cooperate!


So, you see  – it’s a story about “doing the wrong thing” (and getting used to it), but then changing.


[so – it’s not just a good story … it’s an important story.

We LIVE, after all, in a society actively involved in a program of pursuing self-genocide … and  whose laws support planetary destruction!  (Culture ALWAYS trumps Law … Does it not?)]


Also – in the film ‘The Last Castle’ (2001 – Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo) a (three-star) General Irwin (Redford) finds himself in a military prison.  (He had made a decision, in a battle situation, which resulted in the death of eight American soldiers.)

“The only difference between you and me,” he says to some other inmates, “is that I know I’m guilty.”  

But twice in the past year, Irwin learns – the warden, Col. Winter (Gandolfini) gave an order (a hand signal) to shoot certain prisoners in the head, which, even with rubber bullets, is likely to be fatal … and was fatal.

When it becomes clear to Irwin that Winter is abusing the power of his situation, he cites to him the pertinent sections from the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and (technically) relieves him of his command.

The warden does not comply.


Without seeking leadership (among his inmates) the other prisoners respect him, and, increasingly, look to him as their leader.

And, with the warden refusing to resign his position, Irwin decides to take it from him.


But the reason this is “not just a good story, but an important one as well” is because of the character of Yates, one of the prisoners (Mark Ruffalo).  Yates is smart and capable and (if my memory serves me right – a West Point graduate)  But the prisoners know – that Yates takes bets (on whatever) happens there in the prison.  (He makes no attempt to make life better for himself or for his inmates)

And one day (when no one else is around) Irwin says to him – “I know who you are, Yates.  You’re hiding.”

The moral struggles  that Yates goes through (after those few words from Irwin) make Yates the main character of the story.


[A main character is NOT the same as the hero of a story.  The main character is put there (in the story) as a proxy for the reader.  We’re meant to understand that the choices that the main character is struggling with… are essentially the same choices that WE need to deal with.]


I think I will NOT tell about the decisions that Yates finally makes, but they are crucial to the battle (as Yates knows how to fly a helicopter)


There is more than a little chaos …  but it’s a satisfying story.


I recommend you watch both these films.


(keeping in mind … that there may be changes WE need to make)




“Casida de la rosa”


La rosa 

no buscaba la aurora: 

Casi eterna en su ramo 

buscaba otra cosa. 


La rosa 

no buscaba ni ciencia ni sombra: 

Confín de carne y sueño 

buscaba otra cosa. 


La rosa 

no buscaba la rosa: 

Inmóvil por el cielo 

¡buscaba otra cosa!

                                    –   Federico García Lorca



Casida of the Rose


The rose

was not searching for the sunrise:

almost eternal on its branch,

it was searching for something else.


The rose

was not searching for darkness or science:

borderline of flesh and dream,

it was searching for something else.


The rose

was not searching for the rose.

Motionless in the sky

it was searching for something else.


                     –    Federico Garcia Lorca
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Are We Lazy?


Laziness, n.  Unwarranted repose of manner

                               in a person of low degree.

                                 –   Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary


Our Mr. Bierce means, of course, that the ‘repose of manner’ is deplorable because the person is riff-raff.  Mmm? (A rich man exhibiting the same behavior would not elicit our disapproval)


But let’s for now forget about ‘the low life’ … (and about social commentary, in general) … and have a look at our own laziness.


I recently came to the (unpleasant) conclusion that I am lazy.


[The reason I am willing to embarrass myself in front of people I don’t know … is because I believe that any of us may legitimately represent all of us.         (So – it’s for teaching)]


In about 1972 I was in the Navy (on a submarine tender, tied up at Ballast Point, a Naval Base in San Diego) … living ‘on the beach’.  In this case: in La Mesa, about a half hour inland. I was living with a woman and her two daughters (aged 7 & 9). Also sharing that house that we were renting – were a couple other shipmates.  Friends.

I think we generally managed to be good and to enjoy ourselves.  We were, I would say – a fairly decent lot.  And we often shared our evening meal.

I would often take responsibility for “putting the kitchen to bed.”  But in those days my routine included putting all the dishes in the sink … and (merely) soaking them.

And one day I received a letter (which my sweetheart had taken the trouble to write to me) … in which she referred to this practice of mine – of soaking the dishes (for her to wash next morning)  And when, shortly after the letter, we actually discussed the matter … I was defensive.  And I’m not proud of that either.

What was the problem?


The problem was me.  My laziness. I did not want to be bothered.  Did not want to put myself out.  Work.   Be of service.


Simply  –  lazy …   ease seeking.   Mmm?


(And – whether, in this case, I managed to repent and do better … I honestly do not remember.                    But I bet she does.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When I was a kid, in Ohio, I went through the (whole) Scouting program: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts (I became a Life scout, a rank shy of Eagle) … Assistant Scoutmaster.

For many years I was Troop 37’s Senior Patrol Leader, which is an elected position (by the boys of the troop).  And – for as many years, the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader was Ian.  (This is an appointed position.  The Sr. Patrol Leader simply chooses him.)  Well I always chose Ian, and without having to think about it.  He was a year younger than me … and we were close friends. [Ian is not his real name.  I withhold that … to protect him.]


Anyway, one Saturday Ian was over at my house … and I encouraged him to have a ride on our (old Allis Chalmers) farm tractor.  It had a hand-crank starter; but I considered it pretty easy to handle. I was about 16, and Ian 15.

He had never driven a tractor before … all the more reason to do it, I thought.  Well I got him to do it, and he was driving it around our go cart track, which we had built    just beyond the back yard.

I should have made him throttle it down some, for I could see he was ‘over-driving’.  He wasn’t used to it … and was going a little too fast for his skill level … and he ran it into an elm tree.  This didn’t hurt him, I don’t think … but it hurt the tractor. The collision cracked the long cast iron drive-shaft housing (between the engine and the transmission)  A big, major, structural piece.

My dad (the owner of the tractor, and father of three sons himself) repaired the old tractor.  But he made Ian pay for the new bell housing ($100 or maybe $200). I think Ian worked off the debt by doing work for my dad … (I don’t remember.  Heck, I hardly remembered the incident at all … but I happened to get in touch with Ian after we had grown up (this was in about 1998). And THIS EVENT (of wrecking our tractor) was something he REMEMBERED and TOLD ME ABOUT … many years past its occurrence.


I was shocked.


There is no doubt that I was complicit in that mishap. 

WHY, then,  did I not insist on helping Ian work off his debt?


I should NEVER have talked into doing something … and then hung him out to dry    when it went south.


The First Approximation analysis of this situation (my Lack of Character) – would be to say that I lacked COURAGE.  But (going a little deeper) we would say that (inside my lack of courage) was LAZINESS. (I didn’t want to be bothered … nor to share in his humiliation)  

I didn’t have to.  So I didn’t.


I was lazy.




I think it does.


We know that Americans spend more on ENTERTAINMENT… than on Education & Healthcare COMBINED !


Is this because we DON’T KNOW that our great-grandchildren are in Trouble?  (that the Earth is in Deep Trouble)?




I don’t buy it.


We know.


We just don’t want to DEAL with it.


Shall Nero be our role model and our hero?  (the one who played his fiddle WHILE Rome was burning)?





We’re lazy.


Me too.

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Making Apple Cider



I grew up in semi-rural northwest Ohio, where there’s quite a few apple trees, and family cider presses are not rare.  Anyway, we had one  – a two-basket press (smaller than but similar to the one in this video) –



I will say – that the old press in this video is exceptionally nice.  It’s well designed and well restored. (and it works great)

And, as you can see, when you make cider with a press of this sort  – it’s best done with lots of help. It’s (naturally) a clan function, or a community function.  (and this, in itself, is worth something. You know – Cooperation.  Teamwork. Everybody pitches in, and everybody enjoys the cider.


About five years ago, I was able to obtain an old cider press (at a yard sale in southwest Washington)  It’s pretty similar to the one that our family had, when I was a kid. The mill has patent dates cast into the front end plate.  (It’s about 140 years old.)

I had to do quite a bit of rebuilding on it, and replaced many of the wooden parts.  Anyway, it works. I’ve already used it three times this year, and I’ll probably use it three more.


We’ll use it tomorrow evening for the Halloween party (the Suttle Lodge staff party … where I work)

Then, on November 2nd, we’ll use it again.  Just a cider-making party (and potluck dinner) with friends.


But – here’s the thing.


I’ve been on a keto diet now for four months (which means: no sugar or carbs, which means no fruit or fruit juice)    So, currently, I’m not drinking cider.  But (I notice that) my enthusiasm for making it is pretty much undiminished.


Why is that?


Well, it’s because – the main reason I like to do it … is so that people (participating, preferably) can have the experience of seeing the cider come gushing out of the trough, when the pressing screw comes down.  (There are a few shots of this in the above video, though I must say – that it’s better “in person”)


You see –  apple trees grow on a planet the way apples grow on an apple tree.  And people grow on a planet in quite the same way.  Mmm?


We are CHILDREN of this World … of the Great Mother.  Mmm?

We belong here.  And our Mother loves us.


Well – anyone who sees the cider gush from the press (and then drinks some) has just had a first-hand experience of the Love and Generosity of the Great Mother.


EXPERIENCE is primary.


(And, while I expect to some time drink cider again …) the drinking of it is NOT really the Main WHY that I make it.


(Don’t get me wrong.  I love apple cider … especially when it comes right out of the press.  It’s just that right now … I’m not drinking it.           But that’s just a detail.)


Gandhi has counseled us – to be the change we wish to see in the world.


Want to be a child of the Great Mother?  … to be a Member of the Great Family?


One of the ways to do that – is to MAKE APPLE CIDER.


Get a cider press.

Find your Tribe.





.    (Real West Country British cider)    (A Countryman’s cydermaking 1970’s)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


 The Family Is All There Is


Think of those old, enduring connections

found in all flesh–the channeling

wires and threads, vacuoles, granules,

plasma and pods, purple veins, ascending

boles and coral sapwood (sugar-

and light-filled), those common ligaments,

filaments, fibers and canals.

Seminal to all kin also is the open

mouth–in heart urchin and octopus belly,

in catfish, moonfish, forest lily,

and rugosa rose, in thirsty magpie,

wailing cat cub, barker, yodeler,

yawning coati.

And there is a pervasive clasping

common to the clan–the hard nails

of lichen and ivy sucker

on the church wall, the bean tendril

and the taproot, the bolted coupling

of crane flies, the hold of the shearwater

on its morning squid, guanine

to cytosine, adenine to thymine,

fingers around fingers, the grip

of the voice on presence, the grasp

of the self on place.

Remember the same hair on pygmy

dormouse and yellow-necked caterpillar,

covering red baboon, thistle seed

and willow herb? Remember the similar

snorts of warthog, walrus, male moose

and sumo wrestler? Remember the familiar

whinny and shimmer found in river birches,

bay mares and bullfrog tadpoles,

in children playing at shoulder tag

on a summer lawn?

The family–weavers, reachers, winders

and connivers, pumpers, runners, air

and bubble riders, rock-sitters, wave-gliders,

wire-wobblers, soothers, flagellators–all

brothers, sisters, all there is.

Name something else.    



                                            –     Pattiann Rogers
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Our Tetrahedron



Our successes and failures

Are less important than

Our aspirations and habits.




Imagine a shape.  A solid shape. Flat faces.  Straight edges.

One on which you can NOT orient yourself, because

All the faces are the same,

All the edges are the same, and

All the points are the same.


How MANY such shapes are there?

An infinite number perhaps?



Far from it.

There are five.


Now, always, forever … 5.


This (special) family of shapes is referred to as the Platonic Solids, or

The Regular Solids :



Hexahedron (or cube)




Number two has squares for faces (6 of them).  Number four has pentagons for faces (12 of them).  The other three all have triangular faces (equilateral triangles, of course.  4, 8, and 20).


The simplest shape of the family (the first on the list) is the tetrahedron.  (6 edges, 4 faces, and 4 points.)

A pyramid with a triangular base

It’s the only shape (that I know of) which has the SAME number of points as faces.


And consequently, it’s the only shape which can TWIN perfectly

A TWINNED TETRAHEDRON is known as a Merkabah.

(Students of Sacred Geometry have a lot to say about the Merkabah)


If you turn a tetrahedron (causing it to rest on a new base) – you find that it looks just like it did before you turned it.  (And, of course, this is true of all the regular solids)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


For the past year or so I have given considerable thought to what I want … my goals … my desires.  But only fairly recently did I come up with a symbolic depiction of my Desire Structure which seems appropriate and believable.

And – the main reason I’m sharing this with you … is that you may find it believable for you as well.  (And if it is NOT, then you should, of course, alter it … till it seems right for you)


Anyway … we do not want just ONE thing in this life.

No.  We want several.


And (for me, at least) I am, for now, satisfied – that they are these:







Service would seem to be the ultimate life goal … but I find I cannot accomplish it without a certain amount of wealth.  And love / a happy family life. And without good health – very little is possible.


Many people put Wealth as the number one goal in their life.  I think this is a serious mistake. Eventually we come to realize that wealth (career, and power) does not provide fulfillment.  It’s not enough (to satisfy a Human Being).


Health – certainly is fundamental.  It’s basic to all other achievement.  And there are those who make fitness (and athletics) into a career.  In our (modern) society there are many professional athletes. But I am afraid that many of these people are out of balance (though not all.  As a culture, we are not particularly thoughtful.

As Dorothy Canfield Fisher points out –


If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks’ vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.


One of my best friends was born a bit crippled.  When he was in utero, his mom was in a (mild) car accident, in which she was thrown against the arm rest (in the back seat).  This injured the child growing inside her. He was born – with one foot pointing backwards. This defect was soon corrected by surgery, but one leg was a little longer than the other, and his feet were different enough, so that he’s always had to buy two pairs of shoes, when most of us just buy one.

His doctors said he’d never walk right, and probably NEVER run.  But this was not so. I’ve played baseball with him a number of times.  He’s the ablest cripple I’ve ever known.

The thing is – he was passionate about baseball, (but it was learned, through privileged sources) – that if he had NOT been crippled (in the womb), he would probably have spent his life playing baseball, and there were beings who wanted more from him than that.  (They did not want him to waste his life. Mmm?)


And we should realize that Health is not just physical … that it also has a spiritual component.

[I would commend to you the film – “Meetings with Remarkable Men”, about the early life of the (Russian) spiritual teacher – Gurdgieff]


Myself, I put Love at the top of my list (of goals), because, it seems to me, that not even Health is worth much without Love.  NOTHING is.


As Rumi says – 

Someone who does not run

toward the allure of love

walks a road where nothing

lives.  But this dove here

senses the love hawk floating

above, and waits, and will not

be driven or scared to safety

Ernest Becker says that we (all) have an Immortality Project.  It’s the legacy we want to leave the world. We want our lives to have counted for something.


For me – I feel I must do what I can to try to keep the Human Family from wandering off the cliff of Self-Genocide.  For we seem determined to destroy the planet we live on.


Anyway, I feel these four goals are inter-related and intertwined enough – so that it makes sense to symbolize them with a tetrahedron … with one goal represented by one of its four points.  (rather than assigning a face to a goal. Because that way, one goal would always be hidden – when the tetrahedron is resting on that face)


And what does our tetrahedron rest ON?


I imagine that it rests on four discs.  And the topmost one is –


 the disc of – OUR HABITS.


It is our HABITS  (what we do) which will get us where we want to go.

(or … if they are NOT aligned with our goals ,,, then they will take us somewhere else)  so

we must see to it – that our habits are in accordance with what we most want.


I am what I repeatedly do.


                                                       –  Aristotle              



The next disc down (a little larger than the top one)

Is the disc of our Economy –

We are each the beneficiaries of all.

Some of us build houses, some make clothes, some build power stations, some teach our kids, some raise food, some build or maintain our roads.

But we ALL get to live in a house (or at least, most of us do);  we all get to wear clothes, and use electricity, and get educated, and eat food, and use our roads.


Specialization & Giving (service to the whole)

That’s how a tree works … and it’s how an economy works.


And the next one down is – the disc of the World.    

The sun, the earth, the rain, the soil, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere (all the water), the whole biosphere, the great forests (the lungs of the earth).

Many politicians do not realize that we live FIRST in a biological system … and THEN in a political system. 

ALL activities are upheld by the World itself. All political systems, corporate systems, economic systems. All such things happen on the basis of the Great Biological System … and the Planet Herself.   


Now, I realize that many (intelligent & educated) people would consider that we just now described the bottom-most disc …


But I think that there is yet  one more – the disc of God and the whole spirit world.

There’s a lot goin’ on.  And we do NOT see the greater part of it.


We are like flies crawling across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel: we cannot see what angels and gods lie underneath the threshold of our perceptions.  We do not live in reality; we live in our paradigms, our habituated perceptions, our illusions; the illusions we share through culture we call reality; but the true historical reality of our condition is invisible to us.

                                                       –    William Irwin Thompson     


What we can see … is upheld by what we cannot see.


So – make a stack.  Put down a quarter, then (on top of that) a nickel, then a penny, then a dime.

[then, on top of this stack – is our tetrahedron.   Mmm?

except it should be bigger – maybe a 3 1/2″ tetrahedron resting on a stack of discs, 4″ – 5 1/2″ in diameter … something like that}


From bottom to top, then:


 the spirit world … then 

the material / biological world (Gaia, the Earth) … then 

the economy (everybody helping everybody else) … then

 what I do (or what we do) …


And upon this stack – rests the tetrahedron of our goals / our Life

 (or – the things we value the most highly, and which we wish to nurture and to foster)



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The 3 Strange Angels



[I just now did a google search on my name.  And I noticed there’s a (pdf) talk by me posted on     Now, I did not post this there. But I re-read it, and I decided I should post it here (on WorldFamilyTrading)

I wrote it in April, 2014.  I have not, as yet, made it into a video. (It’s still text only.)

Talk 1  IS a video; and may be viewed on YouTube.

Here’s the link for the Trailer  



Look at the end of this posting for some tips on viewing Talk 1.]


Anyway, here is Talk 2 –


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


This is the second talk in a series about the Human Family on the Cliff-Edge.     

(That is, this is a draft  preliminary to Talk 2.)

In the first talk we discussed what Philosophy is    and its role in the planetary crises we’re facing. And since (for now) I’m defining Philosophy as “the mind-stuff that connects us to the world or to reality”, it falls out  that Philosophy’s role in these great crises is the same as it is in everyday life. That is, there are two ‘worlds’ — the world as we see it or understand it and the world as it actually is.  Our basic philosophical task (in any situation) is — to bring our understanding of the situation to one which bears a high level of resemblance to the actual world so that we can participate effectively in the flow of events.  

This might seem a little bit difficult to say; but it is most certainly easier to say than to do when we’re trying to understand and deal with something as complex as a Planetary Crisis. 

Also (in Talk 1) I offered a brief argument –  that our immediate perceptions deserve to be categorized as part of our ‘philosophy’.  And once one sees the truth of this, it’s not hard to understand why everybody in the world tends to think that their view of reality is the way things really are.    



I want to open this talk with a quote by Woody Allen: 


 “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads.  One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction.  Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”


Now, if you’re like me, it is not immediately clear what he’s trying to tell us here.  I had to puzzle about this for quite a while.  But here’s what I think he means. First of all, he’s saying that the path we’re currently on is the one leading to annihilation … and we’re on it because we’re avoiding the other one.  And why are we avoiding it? (the one that goes toward survival)?  We’re avoiding it because it would be painful to go that way.       (We’re talking here about ‘psychic pain’)

Let me offer an example.  One evening not long ago, I was walking in downtown Portland.  It was cold and wet and windy. I had just crossed the street at a busy intersection when I looked back at the people crossing the other street.  And one of them was a man wrapped in a packing quilt. He had it wrapped over his head as well as around his body. It seemed pretty likely that he would be spending the night somewhere (on the street) wrapped in that same blanket.  (This sort of thing just makes me crazy. To think that we tolerate homelessness and the suffering that it entails.) But why did I have such a strong impulse to turn away from him?  The answer is simple.  If I can just Not Look At Him.  If I can Just FORGET ABOUT HIM,   then, just like magic, my PAIN (about him, which is psychic and vicarious)  just GOES AWAY !


This is what we’re doing  – as a whole race – we’re ignoring a problem, a BIG problem, because NOT TO  would be painful.  Everybody knows (everybody who thinks about it  knows) that our great great great great grandchildren are in big trouble:  because we are NOT taking care of 

Business.  We are NOT as a race committed to the welfare of our (distant) progeny.  We have NOT reached a point where we are RESOLUTE that our children, seven generations down, are going to inherit from us a world with life support systems which are intact and healthy.  Why not? It’s not that we don’t know.  It’s not that we don’t care.  It’s not even the money … or the time and work that would be required to deal with the problem.       IT’S the PAIN


      (Therefore, Woody Allen’s description of us, of our situation, is quite accurate.)


Ever spend Halloween with a two-year-old  or a three-year-old? It’s so interesting — you put your mask on, and they’re frightened.  You take your mask off, and they’re okay Put your mask back on and they’re frightened again.  A person so young has not had time to accumulate a huge data base … so they are overwhelmed by their sense impressions.  They are, in effect, (relatively) mindless.   This is the way we are behaving. 


 Maybe we’re in our ‘Fish Brain’. 

 Here’s what happens if you put a fish in a “Skinner Box”with two identical feeding stations – A and B.  Each feeding station has a lever which the fish bumps with his nose; and this causes a pellet of food to be dispensed.  And these stations are adjustable by the experimenter. Now suppose you adjust these two stations such that at ‘A’ the fish is rewarded / (fed) 60% of the time  (that is, if the fish bumps the lever a hundred times he’ll receive 60 food pellets) … and ‘B’ is adjusted to 40%. What happens? Does the fish give up on station B, where his efforts are clearly less productive?  No. He’ll still work them both. He’ll work station A 60% of the time, and B 40% of the time (or in whatever ratios the stations have been adjusted and set). This is Fish Brain. And it is now well understood that our brain has evolved (over much time) through a series of augmentations.  When a ‘new brain’ gets added, all the previous brains are kept.  So we (literally do) still have our Fish Brain.  Are we to suppose that we never use it?  It isn’t like that.  The fact, for example, that we are so inclined to find the motivation for completing some task — in proportion (inverse proportion) to the time remaining before the deadline … doesn’t that seem a little fishy to you?


In any case, no parent in the world would consider it ‘okay’ to treat their (own, living, in-their-face) children with the level of neglect with which we (as a race and as individuals, consistently and universally) treat our own (distant) progeny.

But does it even make any sense – to commit to the welfare of our (distant) children … when we don’t even know (with full clarity) what we must do to take care of them?   


Well, whether it makes sense or not (and whether it’s painful or not),  we need to do it.     Of course we may try our best and fail.  But if we don’t even try … we’re goin’ down.


Let me share with you a certain poem by D. H. Lawrence : 


   “Song of a Man Who Has Come Through”

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me! 

A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time, 

If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!

If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift! 

If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed 

By the the fine, fine wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world 

Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted; 

If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge 

Driven by invisible blows, 

The rock will split, 

         we shall come at the wonder, 

                  we shall find the Hesperides.

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul, 

I would be a good fountain, a good well-head, 

Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.

What is the knocking? What is the knocking at the door in the night? 

It is somebody wants to do us harm.

No, no, it is the three strange angels. 

Admit them, admit them.


—   — —   — — —   — — — —   –


While I apparently do have the audacity –  to presume to finish this poem (or at least, to interpret it for Lawrence, on his behalf and in his absence), I would like to talk a little, first, about Theater.


I expect I was in my twenties before I came across something which helped me understand what Theater is and how it functions in a society.  The purpose of Theater is to ‘hold up a mirror’ so that we can see ourselves in it, so that we can see what we are doing, how we are living, what choices we are making … (or maybe even try to add clarity or depth, as does “Into the Woods” to our understanding of our Situation itself)  I will offer a couple of examples.


Many years ago, on Thanksgiving, I happened to hear Steve Martin (on TV) share some things he was thankful for.  He said,

“I’m thankful I’ve been given the means to be able to help people less fortunate than myself. Now all I need is the desire.” 

He’s not just ‘being himself’ here. We’re meant to see ourselves in what he’s offering us.  That’s Theater.

(He also said, “I’m thankful for the Atlantic Ocean; otherwise, Portuguese people would be walking right into New York City.”   Maybe this is funny, but it’s not Theater; it’s just silly. But the first one — that’s Theater – great theater, in my view).


Jack Benny (who was very droll) used to pretend to be a stingy person.  He developed this Personna deliberately over time. In one skit I saw, he was preparing to go out for the evening.  

Rochester, his black butler, was assisting him as usual.  Jack’s trousers had been laid out on the bed. Jack picks them up to put them on.  Then he (simply) hefts them a couple times.  And he calls out (as the butler had gone out of the room) –  “Rochester, did you take a dime out of my pants pocket?”  Rochester comes in then rather flustered, and explains. He admits that he had taken the dime (for some legitimate purpose). 

Here Benny was posing to us a world wherein someone (himself) was so stingy, that he would notice when his pants, unexpectedly, happened to be too light to contain the dime which he knew had been there. 

So he developed this ‘Stingy’ persona.  But it’s in a later skit that he really cashes in on it. 

In this skit he’s walking down the street one night in New York City, when he’s accosted by a mugger.  A man steps out of the shadows, sticks a gun in his ribs and says, “Your money or your life!”. Jack does nothing, so he says it again –

“Your money or your LIFE !”  Jack replies, “I’m thinking.”


This is theater. 

And it’s accurate.  (Except that we’re already worse than that) 

This is what we’re like in our headlong pursuit of material wealth.  A current saying is, “Money isn’t everything, but it’s way ahead of whatever’s in second place.”  And this gets reflected in how we do business (and in our Foreign Policy).


In the United States of America we spend more money on Entertainment than we spend on Education and Health Care combined. (We are determined to distract ourselves.  Mmm?) Shouldn’t we perhaps be just a little embarrassed by this? 


In his “Devil’s Dictionary” Ambrose Bierce defines ‘Economy’ as – “Purchasing the barrel of whiskey that you do not need for the price of the cow that you cannot afford.”  

(If we can understand that we are not highly rational beings, it will probably help us.) 


I’m not opposed to affluence or even materialism.  We could still do (almost) everything we’re already doing, but we should Take Care of Business first.


Freud said,

“Life as we find it is too hard for us; it entails too much pain, too many disappointments, impossible tasks.  We cannot do without palliative remedies.  

There are perhaps three of these means: 

powerful diversions of interest, which lead us to care little about our misery; 

substitutive gratifications, which lessen it; and 

intoxicating substances, which make us insensitive to it.  

Something of this kind is indispensable.”


Juli Duncan says, 

       “Life is a rock.  And a hard place.”


So, just having a Human Life puts us under considerable pressure to (as Freud says: distract ourselves, have fun, or resort to drugs and alcohol)  turn to denial, rather than tackling the problems that beset us.  

Our hope lies, however, in our finding the wherewithal to overcome these temptations



In his (Pulitzer Prize) book “The Denial Of Death” Ernest Becker takes a hard look at the Human Situation.  Becker has a compassionate attitude towards human beings in our (heavy) use of Denial. He understands it as an attempt to move toward health and wholeness.  He sees that even (we) “healthy” people, walking around loose, are neurotic – because we lie to ourselves about ourselves and about life.      

 Anyone who is more than casually interested in understanding the human component of our Planetary Crises would find Becker’s book worth reading.  Here is an excerpt:


 “How does one transcend himself; how does he open himself to new possibility?  By realizing the truth of his situation, by dispelling the lie of his character, by breaking his spirit out of its conditioned prison.  The enemy, for Kierkegaard as for Freud, is the Oedipus complex. The child has built up strategies and techniques for keeping his self-esteem in the face of the terror of his situation.  These techniques become an armor that holds the person prisoner. The very defenses that he needs in order to move about with self-confidence and self-esteem become his life-long trap. In order to transcend himself, he must break down that which he needs in order to live.  Like Lear, he must throw off all his “cultural lendings” and stand naked in the storm of life. Kierkegaard had no illusions about man’s urge to freedom. He knew how comfortable people were inside the prisons of their character defenses. Like many prisoners they are comfortable in their limited and protected routines, and the idea of a parole into the wide world of chance, accident, and choice terrifies them.”


Someone who actually undertakes the inner and personal dismantling that Becker refers to above – better have a good reason for doing it.  For it is wonderfully painful. Ego Death must be near the top of the (psychic) pain chart. But a Human Being can tolerate considerable pain, if it has Meaning, when it counts for something.  

Abraham Lincoln said,

“I have found that most men can withstand adversity.  If you would test a man’s character, give him power.”  


I think this brings us back around to Lawrence’s ‘three strange angels’.


 We manage to keep our self-respect in the face of our failure to do what we must to survive – that is – to take care of our own distant children)  


By ignoring that failure … by not looking at it, because to do so would be too painful.  


Therefore, the name of the first angel needs to be  ‘Suffering’ – ( that is, ‘The Willingness to Suffer’ )

[or, alternatively, I suppose this angel’s name could be ‘Pinocchio’     because Pinocchio decided he wanted “to be a real human being – however hard it is.”]


 If we do not manage to ‘open the door’ to this angel, we are (as Woody Allen warns us) sunk.  We’re goin’ over the cliff. There won’t even be any people seven generations from now. 


We need to contemplate … and consider trading in our Indolence (no pain) for Authenticity.


I am aware that shame and guilt  these days are not highly approved of; nonetheless, I declare that the name of the second angel is   — ‘Shame and Guilt’. 


Shame used to be regarded as a high virtue.  It was seen as an essential aspect of humility – an appreciation of one’s limits … one’s smallness and fallibility.  The only remnant of this, that I know of, is still recognizable in the term “shameless”. This might refer to some act which might not have been committed if the person had possessed a better sense of his own limits.  In this American culture humility has generally fallen into disfavor. Look at the way we expect our (grown up) professional athletes (included certainly, among our role models) to behave after scoring a touchdown (any touchdown … in any game, regardless of that game’s lack of potential for making the world better.)     

Consider the Titanic … or the Great Dust Bowl  – an ecological 

disaster of enormous proportions.  Didn’t these happen because of Human Arrogance?  And as such, aren’t they dripping with shamelessness?  

We need to get real regarding our own arrogance.  If we cannot admit to and own our own shame and guilt when and where they are real … if we cannot let this second angel into our house, we’re goin’ down.  We will go over the cliff. And whatever the condition of this planet two hundred years from now (seriously debilitated maybe) there will be no one to inherit it. 


Before moving on I want to say something more on behalf of Shame.  Many times in my life I have done something … which (later) I was ashamed of having done.  But when we do something wrong, we should be ashamed of having done it.  By the time I am ashamed of myself, I am a (little bit) better person than I was when I did it.  I am then a bit less likely to do that sort of thing in the future, the next time I am tempted to.  

Shame is essential to our character development, which is, after all, a long business.


And the third angel?  It wasn’t so long ago that I had nothing good to say about Anger.  But I’m afraid that’s the third angel – ‘Anger’. But not the kind of anger that blames you for my problems. It’s the sort of anger that looks inward and says, “I’ve had enough (of this way of living).  I am fed up. I am done! This anger we need. And I’m afraid that without it, we’ll go down.


These then are the three strange angels.  (Suffering, shame & guilt, and anger.)  

They are angels because they have the power to deliver us … 

and strange because our first reaction to them is a negative one.  

We fear them.  

(Look at the poem   and look within yourself.)


This brings me to the central image of this talk.  It’s the take-away. It’s what I hope you’ll remember if you only remember one thing.  

    The Big Meeting


What if –   the people of two hundred years from now were to invite us to meet with them.  And our attendance was compulsory. We have to go.  

So we go to this Big Meeting.  It lasts a day, and has two parts.  In the morning part, everybody (all the ‘thens’ and all the ‘nows’) – we all meet (electronically) in the “same room”.  Their leaders will have some questions to put to us. Questions like “What were you thinking? Why did you abandon us? You knew the importance of clean air and clean water.  How could you let it get so bad? You knew of the importance of biodiversity. Why did you permit the extermination of millions of species? For money? Really?” 

But the morning meeting will be fun compared to the afternoon session. 

In the afternoon everyone will meet in small groups.  This will be our chance to meet (not electronically, but physically) with our direct descendants.  Face to face. And in most cases genetic continuity will be apparent and obvious. They will look like our own family members.  (They are, of course.) 


 This could be a very tough day. 


What will we be able to say to them?  To people with similar (family) mannerisms and physical features?  

What will we do with their begging and weeping?  

What if they’re really angry with us? 

Are we going to just explain to them that we would have taken care of them … only   it would have been uncomfortable?  

Or that we didn’t have time?  

What will we be able to say to them?


Would we live our lives any differently if, say, every morning we were to spend some time imagining we’re at the Big Meeting?  Before we get out of bed in the morning? If there were such a meeting, what would take place there? How would it go? How would it make you feel?

Wanna try it?


Here is a comment by Graham Greene:

“Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim.  It is, one is told, the unforgivable sin, but it is the sin the corrupt or evil man never practices. He always has hope.  He never reaches the freezing point of absolute failure. Only the man of goodwill carries always in his heart this capacity for damnation.”


I found out (from John Bradshaw, in his video series on The Family) – that a Functional family is not a family with no problems.  All families have problems.  A functional family is one which deals with their problems.  A Dysfunctional family is one which does not deal with their problems.  Like the rap song says (from Mark Twain, actually):

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”


 Personally, I happen to believe that all of Humanity / (all the people on this planet) is actually a Family.  

 It is, however, a dysfunctional family.


But let’s suppose that it goes well.  Let’s suppose we change. That we own up to our responsibilities.  Then, looking back on this current age from the future, this time will be known as “The Time of Fooling Around”.  Or (if things go really well, it will be known) as “The PreFamily Period”. 




Let’s assume you have looked inside yourself … and you have come to the realization that you are willing to feel whatever pain may present itself along the (still nebulous) path to Survival.  Let me offer you a suggestion or two that may make Choosing That Path more doable.


When the Revolutionary War broke out, Thomas Jefferson said, “Let’s assume we’ve won the war.”  Then he got busy designing the social systems he knew would be needed if we did win. 

This is what we should do  – something similar. We need to adopt Working Assumptions which can help us not get overwhelmed (by whatever).  We should assume that whatever we do – may be just enough …  just what was necessary for the Whole Thing to come out okay. 

Also, expect yourself to do better as you do more and as time goes on.  It’s okay to start small. It’s okay that The Path is still unclear. (It’s gonna have to be okay,  Mmm?)  

A philosopher though, becomes accustomed to the non-immediacy of understanding-gratification  –  the satisfaction you get when you finally understand something that you’ve been trying to wrap your mind around for a long time.


 The Truth is, of course, that we don’t know whether or not “success” is possible … whether or not any hope at all is warranted. 

But if there ever was a time for Faith, this is that time.  We must give ourselves … and our Children  the Benefit of the Doubt. We must have faith.  We must (as Dhyani Ywahoo says) – Hold the Form (the thought-form).

Not as self-delusion … but as a Working Assumption.


Besides, Realities exist in this universe that we know not of.  (Or, if we ‘know’ of them, we don’t know much about them … and so we’re inclined to deny them, or ignore them.


As Hazel Henderson points out:

“If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic.


Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.   


   Whatever you can do,                                                                                or dream you can, begin it.   

      Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.      

                                                                         –   Goethe      



A quote by Thoreau: 

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” 


And let us not be overly concerned by the fact that we do not know how to accomplish our Task; but let us take counsel from Rumi :


                                        ZERO CIRCLE

    Be helpless, dumbfounded,    Unable to say yes or no.    

Then a stretcher will come from grace    to gather us up.    

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.     

If we say we can, we’re lying.     

If we say No, we don’t see it,    

That No will behead us    And shut tight our window onto spirit.    

So let us rather not be sure of anything,   

Beside ourselves, and only that, so   

Miraculous beings come running to help.    

Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,     

We shall be saying finally,    

With tremendous eloquence, 

Lead us.

    When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,    

    We shall be a mighty kindness.                                                 

                                                          (version:  Coleman Barks)  




And let me share with you an incident from my own life. 


I was in my twenties.  I was on a bus, travelling from Lima, Ohio   to Chicago.   

Everything was snow-covered; the road too was covered with hard-packed snow.  

Somewhere, in some little town (in Indiana, probably) the bus stopped at a cafe. 

I left my bags and coat on the bus and went into the restaurant.  

When we got off, the driver announced how long the stop would be … 15 minutes, I suppose.   Rather near the end of our break I went to the restroom.  

When I came out, the bus was gone.  

I went out.  

I could see the bus, proceeding westward, perhaps a quarter mile down the empty road.   

There was no reason for me to believe I would be able to catch the bus,

 but I ran after it anyway.  

I ran hard.  

Presently a woman driving a station wagon pulled along side me.  

She was offering me a ride. 

I got into her car; and  we overtook the bus.  

It stopped and I got back on.

~ ~ ~ ~

I once heard Maharishi say,

“When he finds he is late for school, the wise boy will run and pray.”


So, when you can, consider reading Becker’s “Denial of Death” .


 You might like to have a look at “Sunbeams a Book of Quotations”  and “Paper Lanterns” (more quotations), both edited by Sy Safransky (who publishes The SUN  magazine.) 

Here are collections of quotes of extraordinary quality. 

After only a couple pages, I felt I had read enough to convince me  that there is more to life than meets the eye … a lot more.  Wonderful. 


And maybe get (from any library  or access it online) a copy of “The Urantia Book” and read paper 72 : ‘Government on a Neighboring Planet’  (about 13 pages). It’s an unusual paper, describing a culture with roughly the same advantages and disadvantages as we have.  But they are definitely ahead of us. Consider it as a study of a society which has made up its mind to succeed … to survive.  

You will see how different it is from the society we live in.  

(Here, we do not expect to survive.   But if we are to survive, we need to expect survival … and to plan for it.)  So I consider that paper quite pertinent to our situation.


We need people who are ready to say,  “If we fail to save our (7-generations) grandchildren, it will not be because we did not try.  It will not be simply because I did not do what was in my power to do.”


Let us remember the words of Margaret Mead:


 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

E. B. White said:

 “But I wake up each morning torn between a desire to save the world  and a desire to savor the world. This makes it very hard to plan the day.”


I think this is sound.


Still  – – 


What is the knocking?

What is the knocking at the door in the night? It is somebody wants to do us harm.

No, no, it is the three strange angels. 

Admit them, admit them.




In Talk 1 – (besides the trailer)  there are 6 segments –

(1.a     through   1.f       in alphabetical order).


Sometimes the “next” segment will come up by itself

but not every time.


So just keep track

and when something other than the ‘next segment’ starts to load

just locate the next one and Click on it.


(as a ‘back-up’ … here are all  the links) :

trailer =


1.a =


1.b =


1.c =


1.d =


1.e =


1.f =      (Sailor’s Prayer)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


~ ~ ~ ~

Book :  The Denial of Death     by  Ernest Becker


~ ~ ~ ~
Film:  Into The Woods (2014   w/ Meryl Streep  et al.)
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Are We Brats?



In this world   WOMEN

    Do ⅔ of the work

          Bring home 10% of the pay, and

                Own 1% of the property.

                                                                                        –   NPR



Every stone that you have ever seen was

right then

in the middle of a long journey.

                                                                                      –  A’Journe





A few minutes ago I asked my computer –  “How much solid waste does the US produce?

And (from the 155,000,000 search results) here’s what floated to the top:


GarbageSolid Waste. Every year, the United States generates approximately 230 million tons of “trash“–about 4.6 pounds per person per day. Less than one-quarter of it is recycled; the rest is incinerated or buried in landfills.

I have been doing Recycling for 20 years or so (and have talked with many people about it) … and it is my belief that OUR DESCENDENTS (if we live that long) will be MINING our LANDFILLS.


If this is true … it means that WE ARE BRATS.


While we usually think of a brat as a young kid … but (in any case) what we mean by “a brat” – is someone who makes messes (for others to clean up) and who generally causes trouble.

(We do NOT mean that they are, in their heart, EVIL.  We just mean that they are thoughtless and impulsive … and probably oblivious about the results of their behavior … probably from just being young)

A three-year old, who pulls the pots out of the cupboard … does cause some trouble by doing that, but we do NOT think of them as a brat.  This is because we realize that they are living in a completely different reality.  (They NEVER use a pot to cook something. They can not yet do that. To them cooking pots are just these curious, clangy THINGS which are small enough to be handled and moved)

But by the time a person is 8 or 10, we consider that they (essentially) live in the same reality as WE do.  And so, the messes that THEY make  we ascribe to impulsiveness, self-absorption, and (general) obliviousness.  We hope that they will learn to take care of the people around them (and NOT make so much noise, and messes for others to clean up.  But, till they DO … we consider them a brat.  Mmm?)


I used to live in British Columbia, on Quadra Island (about halfway up the inland side of Vancouver Island).  To go to Quadra, you will probably take a ferry from Campbell River, which is on Vancouver Island. 

Well, the NEXT island to the east … is Cortes Island.  It takes most of an hour (on another ferry) to get there from Quadra.

Well … the folks who live on Cortes do a pretty good job of taking proper care of their trash.  As far as I know they have NO landfill, NOR do they haul trash off their island.

(they DO haul RECYCLING off … but not trash)  They just work hard at the 3 R’s (Reducing, Reusing, & Recycling)

If you look here


you will see photos of their Free Store, etc.


Impressive, I think.      Good.


But more impressive still is the village of Kamikatsu in Japan.

Not long ago, the people there thought of trash the same way MOST of us think of it  – WITHOUT THINKING about it. Everyone burned their trash (or dumped it in Nature); but because of the resulting smoke and pollution, they decided to CHANGE.  In 2003 they made a ‘Zero Waste Declaration’ (that everything would have to be recycled)

They now have 45 categories of recyclables.

The transition was not comfortable and easy, but they DID it.

They have learned – TO BE CONSCIOUS … and to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY (for their environment … and their STUFF)


They learned to be MINDFUL, organized, and cooperative.


Watch this (4-minute) video         (Kamikatsu / Zero Waste)


this (5-minute one)    (re Kamikatsu, no-waste village)


Buckminster Fuller (surely) did not invent the idea that the earth is finite, fragile, and keeps us alive: (that it’s our Spaceship) … but he did understand and appreciate the importance of this truth.  And (in 1968) published 

     Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth     

              ISBN 0-8093-2461-X


On a (normal) spaceship there are NO mines.   Whatever you have with you on board … THAT’S IT.  

You must make do with it. 


One of our ‘problems’ is that we are unaccustomed to thinking of the past   and future (the continuity) of objects. We tend to think  in the short term.

This problem is mentioned in the ‘play’ :  “Vine Maple Preschool Student Interviews” (which I wrote in 2013).  


Here is the excerpt   (from p.3):

Hi. What’s your name?

You know my name, Nancy. 

I know. But this is an interview. People we’ll never meet may hear it. 

Oh. Okay. My name is Samantha Goodwin. 

Do you like it here, Samantha? At Vine Maple? 

Oh, yes. 

What do you like about it?

 I like it that we get to do so much music and dance. 

Me too. 

And I like that mind game that we play. What do we call it? … ­­ “Where Was This?”. That’s it. You know ­­ the teacher holds up some object and says. “Where was this?” Then we all take turns saying where we think it was … and then where it was before that, and so on. Then after we get used to doing it backwards, we do it forwards in time too ­­ talking about where we think it will be. It helps break down your static view of the world. And it’s fun. 

Yeah. I like that game too. …


About 45 years ago I was told (by two students of the Ascended Masters) – that the Van Allen radiation belts were PUT HERE  … to prevent the negativity which we collectively generate from infecting the ‘neighborhood’ … that WE approximate the thinking of the 4-year old who’s now pulling the pots out of the cupboard (and otherwise causing trouble).  It’s a form of quarantine. The belts are there as a shield.

Mmm ?   [It may be so.  It makes sense to me.]


It wasn’t that long ago (on this planet)  that women were regarded basically as property.   Mmm?

And, from its inception, Western Civilization has been  a Warrior Cult … and an Old Boy’s Club … and deeply Materialistic.

And, while I have no intention or desire to minimize the progress we’ve made in recent years  (for example – women have had the right to vote [in the US] since 1920 [with the ratification of the 19th Amendment].  Nearly 100 years) – we’re still a long way from gender balance.

Ask any woman – if the playing field is level … and fair.

We STILL live in a male-dominated society.

And the way we treat our women (the mothers of our children) … is the way we treat our planet  – The Great Mother (the Mother of us all). Mmm ?



I put before you – that we have a CHOICE.

We can continue as we have been behaving  – like selfish and self-absorbed children (who do not realize the Importance of The Mother) … like BRATS


We can choose a higher way  – one which leads to our Survival.  Conscious.  Caring.  Knowing what is what.  Decent.  Loving.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    (the tree of forty fruit  – Sam Van Aken)    (Clean water  [not for 90%, but] for ALL)

[film]:   Iron Jawed Angels  (2004, w/ Hilary Swank  –  about the struggle for women’s suffrage)                                                Trafficked  (2017  w/ Ashley Judd et al.  –  film about human trafficking)

In 2016 sex traffickers made $100 billion in profits … (more than was made by Intel, Microsoft, Nike, Google, and Starbucks    COMBINED)

                                                                                                                          –  Siddhartha Kara


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‘Vivas To Those Who Have Failed’


The men and women of these reserve corps of destiny thus have various degrees of contact with their Adjusters through the intervening ministry of the midway creatures; but these same mortals are little known to their fellows except in those rare social emergencies and spiritual exigencies wherein these reserve personalities function for the prevention of the breakdown of evolutionary culture or the extinction of the light of living truth. On Urantia these reservists of destiny have seldom been emblazoned on the pages of human history.

                                                                                                               –  Urantia Book, p. 1258.1     


~ ~ ~ ~ ~                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Nature distributes the properties of its creatures according to a ‘Normal Curve’ … sometimes referred to as – The Bell-Shaped Curve  (because the center of it has the approximate shape of an open-downward bell :  high and rounded at the top, and then flaring outward at the bottom).

Let’s take height as an example.  

Not every human adult is the same height.  So, then, how is height distributed among a population?  The answer is – it’s distributed along a normal curve  [with height represented along the horizontal / (x) axis … and the number of individuals depicted by the vertical / (y) axis]

It means (normal distribution means) – that most of a population is close to average height, and then the further you look   (away) from the ‘average’ – the fewer individuals will be found to be of that height. A given height will be found to be rare … according to how far away it is from the norm / (the average).

In fact, the Bell-shaped curve was found to be so ubiquitous (so whereful, so everywhere) that (when we invented I.Q [ntelligence quotient] to measure human intelligence) it was (simply) assumed     –  that intelligence would (also) of course  – be distributed Normally (that is – according to, and along the usual bell-shaped curve.

But (for the purposes of this essay) –

The ubiquitousness of the normal curve means –  “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes the game gets rained out.”

That’s just normal.

John Burroughs points out  that –


“It is good that fire should burn, even if it consumes your house; it is good that force should crush, even if it crushes you; it is good that rain should fall, even if it destroys your crops and floods your land.  Plagues and pestilences attest to the constancy of natural law. They set us to cleaning our streets and houses and to readjusting our relations to outward nature. Only in a live universe could disease and death prevail.  Death is a phase of life, a redistribution of the type. Decay is another kind of growth.”


He is acknowledging that it is difficult and hazardous to live in a ‘live’ universe; but (he hopes that we will understand – that) only in a ‘real’ universe … do we have the possibility to create a meaningful life.


So … if a person has taken on (as a lifelong project) the development of their own character, and has made Doing the Right Thing a (mere) habit … a policy  – what are the chances that person will become a HERO  (known and beloved by many) ?

Slim, I expect.

Occasionally an heroic act will ‘hit the news’ … but it probably will NOT.

I’m pretty sure – that the number of unknown heroes far outweighs the number of known ones.


[And so (now) I wish to offer you a certain poem (which I came across just a few days ago) – as the core of this essay – 


“Vivas To Those Who Have Failed:

The Paterson Silk Strike, 1913″


Vivas to those who have fail’d!

And to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea!

And to those themselves who sank in the sea!

And to all generals that lost engagements, and all overcome heroes!

And the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known!

                                                                                                   —Walt Whitman


    1. The Red Flag

The newspapers said the strikers would hoist

the red flag of anarchy over the silk mills

of Paterson. At the strike meeting, a dyers’ helper

from Naples rose as if from the steam of his labor,

lifted up  his hand and said here is the red flag:

brightly stained with dye for the silk of bow ties

and scarves, the skin and fingernails boiled away

for six dollars a week in the dye house.

He sat down without another word, sank back

into the fumes, name and face rubbed off

by oblivion’s thumb like a Roman coin

from the earth of his birthplace dug up

after a thousand years, as the strikers

shouted the only praise he would ever hear.


  II. The River Floods the Avenue

He was the other Valentino, not the romantic sheik

and bullfighter of silent movie palaces who died too young,

but the Valentino standing on his stoop to watch detectives

hired by the company bully strikebreakers onto a trolley

and a chorus of strikers bellowing the banned word scab.

He was not a striker or a scab, but the bullet fired to scatter

the crowd pulled the cork in the wine barrel of Valentino’s back.

His body, pale as the wings of a moth, lay beside his big-bellied wife.

Two white-veiled horses pulled the carriage to the cemetery.

Twenty thousand strikers walked behind the hearse, flooding

the avenue like the river that lit up the mills, surging around

the tombstones. Blood for blood, cried Tresca: at this signal,

thousands of hands dropped red carnations and ribbons

into the grave, till the coffin evaporated in a red sea.


  III. The Insects in the Soup

Reed was a Harvard man. He wrote for the New York magazines.

Big Bill, the organizer, fixed his good eye on Reed and told him

of the strike. He stood on a tenement porch across from the mill

to escape the rain and listen to the weavers. The bluecoats

told him to move on. The Harvard man asked for a name to go

with the number on the badge, and the cops tried to unscrew

his arms from their sockets. When the judge asked his business,

Reed said: Poet. The judge said: Twenty days in the county jail.

Reed was a Harvard man. He taught the strikers Harvard songs,

the tunes to sing with rebel words at the gates of the mill. The strikers

taught him how to spot the insects in the soup, speaking in tongues

the gospel of One Big Union and the eight-hour day, cramming the jail

till the weary jailers had to unlock the doors. Reed would write:

There’s war in Paterson. After it was over, he rode with Pancho Villa.


    1. The Little Agitator

The cops on horseback charged into the picket line.

The weavers raised their hands across their faces,

hands that knew the loom as their fathers’ hands

knew the loom, and the billy clubs broke their fingers.

Hannah was seventeen, the captain of the picket line,

the Joan of Arc of the Silk Strike. The prosecutor called her

a little agitator. Shame, said the judge; if she picketed again,

he would ship her to the State Home for Girls in Trenton.

Hannah left the courthouse to picket the mill. She chased

a strikebreaker down the street, yelling in Yidish the word

for shame. Back in court, she hissed at the judge’s sentence

of another striker. Hannah got twenty days in jail for hissing.

She sang all the way to jail. After the strike came the blacklist,

the counter at her husband’s candy store, the words for shame.


    1. Vivas to Those Who Have Failed

Strikers without shoes lose strikes. Twenty years after the weavers

and dyers’ helpers returned hollow-eyed to the loom and the steam,

Mazziotti led the other silk mill workers marching down the avenue

in Paterson, singing the old union songs for five cents more an hour.

Once again the nightsticks cracked cheekbones like teacups.

Mazziotti pressed both hands to his head, squeezing red ribbons

from his scalp. There would be no buffalo nickel for an hour’s work

at the mill, for the silk of bow ties and scarves. Skull remembered wood.

The brain thrown against the wall of the skull remembered too:

the Sons of Italy, the Workmen’s Circle, Local 152, Industrial

Workers of the World, one-eyed Big Bill and Flynn the Rebel Girl

speaking in tongues to thousands the prophecy of an eight-hour day.

Mazziotti’s son would become a doctor, his daughter a poet.

Vivas to those who have failed: for they become the river.


                                                                                                –    MARTÍN ESPADA


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


When Martin Luther King was young, he heard (from his father, I believe) –


                                “When you find a good fight, get in it.”


And – what if we DON’T ?


What if we choose to live life the (‘normal’) other way ?  … what if we choose (instead) to simply adopt some (material) goal (say – making money) … and then subordinate (abandon) our highest principles (in order to facilitate the reaching of our ‘goal’) ?  

Then we will have a ‘normal’ life; (Mmm?)   but, should we really think that THAT is the best we can do?


Of COURSE not.


While it may not be the fast track to material success, if we strive to live according to our (own) HIGHEST PRINCIPLES and loyalties … THEN (when the time comes to put our life down and walk away from it … we may be able to do so … with the sense that our life meant something.


(It is not just for peanuts … that we play this game)


And – we should keep in mind that in these modern times our enemies (those who are committed to a program which includes our exploitation/injury or death)    are much more invisible than in the old days.  By now, the Super Rich have figured out how to control the culture (and the 99%) by means which are not at all obvious.

In his (great) work {The Art of War}  Sun Tzu says :

Know yourself


                                                    Know your enemy.

Well, so far, our enemies have done better at this than WE have;



If we are to prevail in the Great War of Ideas … we’re going to have to do our homework.

We must educate ourselves and each other.

That’s our only hope.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    (Noam Chomsky  – 10 strategies of Manipulation)        (Chomsky:  Propaganda And Control Of The Public Mind)


[book]:  The Art of War    by   Sun Tzu       [Scroll down to Section 7]



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Cymboyton (the founder of the school of religions at Urmia) lived and died without ever revealing his personal religious beliefs.

                                                                                                               –  U.B.  1485.5                                                





In the northwest of Iran (which used to be called Persia) between the Black Sea … and the Caspian Sea   lies Lake Urmia. It’s about 40 miles from Turkey’s eastern border. This lake is one of the world’s largest salt lakes.  On its western shore is the city of Urmia, the tenth most populous city in Iran.


In the lake are three (main) islands.  On the largest of these, in the time of Christ, was a most unusual school, with resident faculty of 75 teachers, representing more than 30 religions and religious cults.

These teachers made great effort to show how similar their religions were in regard to the fundamental things of this life … and the next.

    Intolerance and ‘superiority’ were not permitted.


The lectures and discussions in this school of religion began at ten o’clock every morning in the week. The afternoon sessions started at three o’clock, and the evening debates opened at eight o’clock.


Jesus, for a period of time (before he began his public work) worked conducting caravans; so he  knew of this place, and would sometimes participate in these discussions.


The founder, Cymboyton, arranged with Jesus to deliver (within a two-week period) 24 lectures on “The Brotherhood of Men” and to conduct twelve evening sessions of questions, discussions, and debates on his lectures in particular and on the brotherhood of men in general.


This was the most systematic and formal of all Jesus’ teaching on this planet.


He laid out – WHY all men are brothers … and WHAT we must do (spiritually, intellectually, and politically)  – to make that brotherhood  a Living Reality.


It’s about FAMILY, you see (and PEACE).     That’s why it’s so important.

[I suggest you read the whole of Paper 134 … (or, at least sections 3-6, which I include at the end of this essay, as a courtesy) 

       though I’ll offer here my own synopsis of (the core of) it ] –

Jesus first addressed the spiritual (and psychic) challenges to attaining Brotherhood –

The brotherhood of all men is rooted in the fact that God is our Father.  And, we must (all) voluntarily relegate to God his (due) sovereignty … and NOT yield to the temptation to claim (any) ecclesiastical authority for OURSELVES … if we are to avoid religious disharmony and ‘holy’ wars.

     And then, politically –

We should understand that there are only TWO levels of [real, legitimate/(permanent)] political sovereignty in the world – that of the Individual Person … and that of (the whole of) Mankind.  And the TRANSITION (from the first … to the second) is a long and difficult one.

We are loyal by nature.  And it is our loyalty which holds the order of things together (at any level, from Family, to School, to Country, to the Whole World) … and, at the same time, it is this same loyalty which we must relinquish, each time we move on to the next stage of sociopolitical development.

[But we are, currently, still in the (awkward) transition period; that is, we have not yet committed to a Whole-World authority.  When we do, we will relinquish to the World government the option and ability to wage war.

Everywhere in the world, killing is illegal.  And, we all know that IN WAR, PEOPLE GET KILLED … and still –  WAR IS NOT (yet) ILLEGAL!    because only a truly sovereign and powerful World Government would be able to declare a [given] war to be ‘illegal’, and squelch it … and we have not yet implemented such a government.   

(We WILL, of course, [eventually] because it’s the only thing which makes sense. 

What (for example) does a municipality do to ensure peace and order? They employ a police force … to KEEP THE PEACE   and maintain order. And THIS (same thing) is what we will do on a planetary level, once we realize that we must.  (Once we are CLEAR – that we want PEACE. 

But these days, there are some very powerful people [& countries] making LOTS of money  selling weapons.  Do you think THEY want peace?         Mmm?)




3. The Urmia Lectures

134:3.1 (1485.3) On the way to the Caspian Sea, Jesus had stopped several days for rest and recuperation at the old Persian city of Urmia on the western shores of Lake Urmia. On the largest of a group of islands situated a short distance offshore near Urmia was located a large building—a lecture amphitheater—dedicated to the “spirit of religion.” This structure was really a temple of the philosophy of religions.

134:3.2 (1485.4) This temple of religion had been built by a wealthy merchant citizen of Urmia and his three sons. This man was Cymboyton, and he numbered among his ancestors many diverse peoples.

134:3.3 (1485.5) The lectures and discussions in this school of religion began at ten o’clock every morning in the week. The afternoon sessions started at three o’clock, and the evening debates opened at eight o’clock. Cymboyton or one of his three sons always presided at these sessions of teaching, discussion, and debate. The founder of this unique school of religions lived and died without ever revealing his personal religious beliefs. *

134:3.4 (1485.6) On several occasions Jesus participated in these discussions, and before he left Urmia, Cymboyton arranged with Jesus to sojourn with them for two weeks on his return trip and give twenty-four lectures on “The Brotherhood of Men,” and to conduct twelve evening sessions of questions, discussions, and debates on his lectures in particular and on the brotherhood of men in general.

134:3.5 (1485.7) In accordance with this arrangement, Jesus stopped off on the return trip and delivered these lectures. This was the most systematic and formal of all the Master’s teaching on Urantia. Never before or after did he say so much on one subject as was contained in these lectures and discussions on the brotherhood of men. In reality these lectures were on the “Kingdom of God” and the “Kingdoms of Men.”

134:3.6 (1486.1) More than thirty religions and religious cults were represented on the faculty of this temple of religious philosophy. These teachers were chosen, supported, and fully accredited by their respective religious groups. At this time there were about seventy-five teachers on the faculty, and they lived in cottages each accommodating about a dozen persons. Every new moon these groups were changed by the casting of lots. Intolerance, a contentious spirit, or any other disposition to interfere with the smooth running of the community would bring about the prompt and summary dismissal of the offending teacher. He would be unceremoniously dismissed, and his alternate in waiting would be immediately installed in his place.

134:3.7 (1486.2) These teachers of the various religions made a great effort to show how similar their religions were in regard to the fundamental things of this life and the next. There was but one doctrine which had to be accepted in order to gain a seat on this faculty—every teacher must represent a religion which recognized God—some sort of supreme Deity. There were five independent teachers on the faculty who did not represent any organized religion, and it was as such an independent teacher that Jesus appeared before them.

134:3.8 (1486.3) [When we, the midwayers, first prepared the summary of Jesus’ teachings at Urmia, there arose a disagreement between the seraphim of the churches and the seraphim of progress as to the wisdom of including these teachings in the Urantia Revelation. Conditions of the twentieth century, prevailing in both religion and human governments, are so different from those prevailing in Jesus’ day that it was indeed difficult to adapt the Master’s teachings at Urmia to the problems of the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men as these world functions are existent in the twentieth century. We were never able to formulate a statement of the Master’s teachings which was acceptable to both groups of these seraphim of planetary government. Finally, the Melchizedek chairman of the revelatory commission appointed a commission of three of our number to prepare our view of the Master’s Urmia teachings as adapted to twentieth-century religious and political conditions on Urantia. Accordingly, we three secondary midwayers completed such an adaptation of Jesus’ teachings, restating his pronouncements as we would apply them to present-day world conditions, and we now present these statements as they stand after having been edited by the Melchizedek chairman of the revelatory commission.]

4. Sovereignty—Divine and Human

134:4.1 (1486.4) The brotherhood of men is founded on the fatherhood of God. The family of God is derived from the love of God—God is love. God the Father divinely loves his children, all of them.

134:4.2 (1486.5) The kingdom of heaven, the divine government, is founded on the fact of divine sovereignty—God is spirit. Since God is spirit, this kingdom is spiritual. The kingdom of heaven is neither material nor merely intellectual; it is a spiritual relationship between God and man.

134:4.3 (1486.6) If different religions recognize the spirit sovereignty of God the Father, then will all such religions remain at peace. Only when one religion assumes that it is in some way superior to all others, and that it possesses exclusive authority over other religions, will such a religion presume to be intolerant of other religions or dare to persecute other religious believers.

134:4.4 (1487.1) Religious peace—brotherhood—can never exist unless all religions are willing to completely divest themselves of all ecclesiastical authority and fully surrender all concept of spiritual sovereignty. God alone is spirit sovereign.

134:4.5 (1487.2) You cannot have equality among religions (religious liberty) without having religious wars unless all religions consent to the transfer of all religious sovereignty to some superhuman level, to God himself.

134:4.6 (1487.3) The kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men will create religious unity (not necessarily uniformity) because any and all religious groups composed of such religious believers will be free from all notions of ecclesiastical authority—religious sovereignty.

134:4.7 (1487.4) God is spirit, and God gives a fragment of his spirit self to dwell in the heart of man. Spiritually, all men are equal. The kingdom of heaven is free from castes, classes, social levels, and economic groups. You are all brethren.

134:4.8 (1487.5) But the moment you lose sight of the spirit sovereignty of God the Father, some one religion will begin to assert its superiority over other religions; and then, instead of peace on earth and good will among men, there will start dissensions, recriminations, even religious wars, at least wars among religionists.

134:4.9 (1487.6) Freewill beings who regard themselves as equals, unless they mutually acknowledge themselves as subject to some supersovereignty, some authority over and above themselves, sooner or later are tempted to try out their ability to gain power and authority over other persons and groups. The concept of equality never brings peace except in the mutual recognition of some overcontrolling influence of supersovereignty.

134:4.10 (1487.7) The Urmia religionists lived together in comparative peace and tranquillity because they had fully surrendered all their notions of religious sovereignty. Spiritually, they all believed in a sovereign God; socially, full and unchallengeable authority rested in their presiding head—Cymboyton. They well knew what would happen to any teacher who assumed to lord it over his fellow teachers. There can be no lasting religious peace on Urantia until all religious groups freely surrender all their notions of divine favor, chosen people, and religious sovereignty. Only when God the Father becomes supreme will men become religious brothers and live together in religious peace on earth.

5. Political Sovereignty

134:5.1 (1487.8) [While the Master’s teaching concerning the sovereignty of God is a truth—only complicated by the subsequent appearance of the religion about him among the world’s religions—his presentations concerning political sovereignty are vastly complicated by the political evolution of nation life during the last nineteen hundred years and more. In the times of Jesus there were only two great world powers—the Roman Empire in the West and the Han Empire in the East—and these were widely separated by the Parthian kingdom and other intervening lands of the Caspian and Turkestan regions. We have, therefore, in the following presentation departed more widely from the substance of the Master’s teachings at Urmia concerning political sovereignty, at the same time attempting to depict the import of such teachings as they are applicable to the peculiarly critical stage of the evolution of political sovereignty in the twentieth century after Christ.]

134:5.2 (1487.9) War on Urantia will never end so long as nations cling to the illusive notions of unlimited national sovereignty. There are only two levels of relative sovereignty on an inhabited world: the spiritual free will of the individual mortal and the collective sovereignty of mankind as a whole. Between the level of the individual human being and the level of the total of mankind, all groupings and associations are relative, transitory, and of value only in so far as they enhance the welfare, well-being, and progress of the individual and the planetary grand total—man and mankind.

134:5.3 (1488.1) Religious teachers must always remember that the spiritual sovereignty of God overrides all intervening and intermediate spiritual loyalties. Someday civil rulers will learn that the Most Highs rule in the kingdoms of men.

134:5.4 (1488.2) This rule of the Most Highs in the kingdoms of men is not for the especial benefit of any especially favored group of mortals. There is no such thing as a “chosen people.” The rule of the Most Highs, the overcontrollers of political evolution, is a rule designed to foster the greatest good to the greatest number of all men and for the greatest length of time.

134:5.5 (1488.3) Sovereignty is power and it grows by organization. This growth of the organization of political power is good and proper, for it tends to encompass ever-widening segments of the total of mankind. But this same growth of political organizations creates a problem at every intervening stage between the initial and natural organization of political power—the family—and the final consummation of political growth—the government of all mankind, by all mankind, and for all mankind.

134:5.6 (1488.4) Starting out with parental power in the family group, political sovereignty evolves by organization as families overlap into consanguineous clans which become united, for various reasons, into tribal units—superconsanguineous political groupings. And then, by trade, commerce, and conquest, tribes become unified as a nation, while nations themselves sometimes become unified by empire.

134:5.7 (1488.5) As sovereignty passes from smaller groups to larger groups, wars are lessened. That is, minor wars between smaller nations are lessened, but the potential for greater wars is increased as the nations wielding sovereignty become larger and larger. Presently, when all the world has been explored and occupied, when nations are few, strong, and powerful, when these great and supposedly sovereign nations come to touch borders, when only oceans separate them, then will the stage be set for major wars, world-wide conflicts. So-called sovereign nations cannot rub elbows without generating conflicts and eventuating wars.

134:5.8 (1488.6) The difficulty in the evolution of political sovereignty from the family to all mankind, lies in the inertia-resistance exhibited on all intervening levels. Families have, on occasion, defied their clan, while clans and tribes have often been subversive of the sovereignty of the territorial state. Each new and forward evolution of political sovereignty is (and has always been) embarrassed and hampered by the “scaffolding stages” of the previous developments in political organization. And this is true because human loyalties, once mobilized, are hard to change. The same loyalty which makes possible the evolution of the tribe, makes difficult the evolution of the supertribe—the territorial state. And the same loyalty (patriotism) which makes possible the evolution of the territorial state, vastly complicates the evolutionary development of the government of all mankind.

134:5.9 (1488.7) Political sovereignty is created out of the surrender of self-determinism, first by the individual within the family and then by the families and clans in relation to the tribe and larger groupings. This progressive transfer of self-determination from the smaller to ever larger political organizations has generally proceeded unabated in the East since the establishment of the Ming and the Mogul dynasties. In the West it obtained for more than a thousand years right on down to the end of the World War, when an unfortunate retrograde movement temporarily reversed this normal trend by re-establishing the submerged political sovereignty of numerous small groups in Europe.

134:5.10 (1489.1) Urantia will not enjoy lasting peace until the so-called sovereign nations intelligently and fully surrender their sovereign powers into the hands of the brotherhood of men—mankind government. Internationalism—Leagues of Nations—can never bring permanent peace to mankind. World-wide confederations of nations will effectively prevent minor wars and acceptably control the smaller nations, but they will not prevent world wars nor control the three, four, or five most powerful governments. In the face of real conflicts, one of these world powers will withdraw from the League and declare war. You cannot prevent nations going to war as long as they remain infected with the delusional virus of national sovereignty. Internationalism is a step in the right direction. An international police force will prevent many minor wars, but it will not be effective in preventing major wars, conflicts between the great military governments of earth.

134:5.11 (1489.2) As the number of truly sovereign nations (great powers) decreases, so do both opportunity and need for mankind government increase. When there are only a few really sovereign (great) powers, either they must embark on the life and death struggle for national (imperial) supremacy, or else, by voluntary surrender of certain prerogatives of sovereignty, they must create the essential nucleus of supernational power which will serve as the beginning of the real sovereignty of all mankind.

134:5.12 (1489.3) Peace will not come to Urantia until every so-called sovereign nation surrenders its power to make war into the hands of a representative government of all mankind. Political sovereignty is innate with the peoples of the world. When all the peoples of Urantia create a world government, they have the right and the power to make such a government SOVEREIGN; and when such a representative or democratic world power controls the world’s land, air, and naval forces, peace on earth and good will among men can prevail—but not until then.

134:5.13 (1489.4) To use an important nineteenth- and twentieth-century illustration: The forty-eight states of the American Federal Union have long enjoyed peace. They have no more wars among themselves. They have surrendered their sovereignty to the federal government, and through the arbitrament of war, they have abandoned all claims to the delusions of self-determination. While each state regulates its internal affairs, it is not concerned with foreign relations, tariffs, immigration, military affairs, or interstate commerce. Neither do the individual states concern themselves with matters of citizenship. The forty-eight states suffer the ravages of war only when the federal government’s sovereignty is in some way jeopardized.

134:5.14 (1489.5) These forty-eight states, having abandoned the twin sophistries of sovereignty and self-determination, enjoy interstate peace and tranquillity. So will the nations of Urantia begin to enjoy peace when they freely surrender their respective sovereignties into the hands of a global government—the sovereignty of the brotherhood of men. In this world state the small nations will be as powerful as the great, even as the small state of Rhode Island has its two senators in the American Congress just the same as the populous state of New York or the large state of Texas.

134:5.15 (1490.1) The limited (state) sovereignty of these forty-eight states was created by men and for men. The superstate (national) sovereignty of the American Federal Union was created by the original thirteen of these states for their own benefit and for the benefit of men. Sometime the supernational sovereignty of the planetary government of mankind will be similarly created by nations for their own benefit and for the benefit of all men.

134:5.16 (1490.2) Citizens are not born for the benefit of governments; governments are organizations created and devised for the benefit of men. There can be no end to the evolution of political sovereignty short of the appearance of the government of the sovereignty of all men. All other sovereignties are relative in value, intermediate in meaning, and subordinate in status.

134:5.17 (1490.3) With scientific progress, wars are going to become more and more devastating until they become almost racially suicidal. How many world wars must be fought and how many leagues of nations must fail before men will be willing to establish the government of mankind and begin to enjoy the blessings of permanent peace and thrive on the tranquillity of good will—world-wide good will—among men?

6. Law, Liberty, and Sovereignty

134:6.1 (1490.4) If one man craves freedom—liberty—he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom. Groups of such liberty-loving mortals cannot live together in peace without becoming subservient to such laws, rules, and regulations as will grant each person the same degree of freedom while at the same time safeguarding an equal degree of freedom for all of his fellow mortals. If one man is to be absolutely free, then another must become an absolute slave. And the relative nature of freedom is true socially, economically, and politically. Freedom is the gift of civilization made possible by the enforcement of LAW.

134:6.2 (1490.5) Religion makes it spiritually possible to realize the brotherhood of men, but it will require mankind government to regulate the social, economic, and political problems associated with such a goal of human happiness and efficiency.

134:6.3 (1490.6) There shall be wars and rumors of wars—nation will rise against nation—just as long as the world’s political sovereignty is divided up and unjustly held by a group of nation-states. England, Scotland, and Wales were always fighting each other until they gave up their respective sovereignties, reposing them in the United Kingdom.

134:6.4 (1490.7) Another world war will teach the so-called sovereign nations to form some sort of federation, thus creating the machinery for preventing small wars, wars between the lesser nations. But global wars will go on until the government of mankind is created. Global sovereignty will prevent global wars—nothing else can.

134:6.5 (1490.8) The forty-eight American free states live together in peace. There are among the citizens of these forty-eight states all of the various nationalities and races that live in the ever-warring nations of Europe. These Americans represent almost all the religions and religious sects and cults of the whole wide world, and yet here in North America they live together in peace. And all this is made possible because these forty-eight states have surrendered their sovereignty and have abandoned all notions of the supposed rights of self-determination.

134:6.6 (1490.9) It is not a question of armaments or disarmament. Neither does the question of conscription or voluntary military service enter into these problems of maintaining world-wide peace. If you take every form of modern mechanical armaments and all types of explosives away from strong nations, they will fight with fists, stones, and clubs as long as they cling to their delusions of the divine right of national sovereignty.

134:6.7 (1491.1) War is not man’s great and terrible disease; war is a symptom, a result. The real disease is the virus of national sovereignty.

134:6.8 (1491.2) Urantia nations have not possessed real sovereignty; they never have had a sovereignty which could protect them from the ravages and devastations of world wars. In the creation of the global government of mankind, the nations are not giving up sovereignty so much as they are actually creating a real, bona fide, and lasting world sovereignty which will henceforth be fully able to protect them from all war. Local affairs will be handled by local governments; national affairs, by national governments; international affairs will be administered by global government.

134:6.9 (1491.3) World peace cannot be maintained by treaties, diplomacy, foreign policies, alliances, balances of power, or any other type of makeshift juggling with the sovereignties of nationalism. World law must come into being and must be enforced by world government—the sovereignty of all mankind.

134:6.10 (1491.4) The individual will enjoy far more liberty under world government. Today, the citizens of the great powers are taxed, regulated, and controlled almost oppressively, and much of this present interference with individual liberties will vanish when the national governments are willing to trustee their sovereignty as regards international affairs into the hands of global government.

134:6.11 (1491.5) Under global government the national groups will be afforded a real opportunity to realize and enjoy the personal liberties of genuine democracy. The fallacy of self-determination will be ended. With global regulation of money and trade will come the new era of world-wide peace. Soon may a global language evolve, and there will be at least some hope of sometime having a global religion—or religions with a global viewpoint.

134:6.12 (1491.6) Collective security will never afford peace until the collectivity includes all mankind.

134:6.13 (1491.7) The political sovereignty of representative mankind government will bring lasting peace on earth, and the spiritual brotherhood of man will forever insure good will among all men. And there is no other way whereby peace on earth and good will among men can be realized.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ *

134:6.15 (1491.8) After the death of Cymboyton, his sons encountered great difficulties in maintaining a peaceful faculty. The repercussions of Jesus’ teachings would have been much greater if the later Christian teachers who joined the Urmia faculty had exhibited more wisdom and exercised more tolerance.

134:6.16 (1491.9) Cymboyton’s eldest son had appealed to Abner at Philadelphia for help, but Abner’s choice of teachers was most unfortunate in that they turned out to be unyielding and uncompromising. These teachers sought to make their religion dominant over the other beliefs. They never suspected that the oft-referred-to lectures of the caravan conductor had been delivered by Jesus himself.

134:6.17 (1491.10) As confusion increased in the faculty, the three brothers withdrew their financial support, and after five years the school closed. Later it was reopened as a Mithraic temple and eventually burned down in connection with one of their orgiastic celebrations.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~    (Guantanamera | Playing For Change | Song Around The World)

Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera
Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera

(Guantanamo girl,

country girl from Guantanamo)

I am a truthful man from the land of the palm trees
I am a truthful man from the land of the palm trees
And before I die, I should like to share my verses with you

Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera
Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera

My verses are a clear green, and they are a flaming crimson
My verses are a clear green, and they are a flaming crimson
My verses are a dear sky which I look for in my beloved mountain

Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera
Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera

With the poor people of this earth I will cast my fate
With the poor people of this earth I will cast my fate
The streams of the mountain are more pleasing to me than the sea

Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera
Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera

I grow the white rose in June as in January
I grow the white rose in June as in January
For the one who extends to me his hand in friendship, and

For the cruel one who tears out the heart by which I live.

I cultivate neither thorns nor bitter leaves

I cultivate a white rose.

~ ~ ~ ~


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Stanislav Petrov



But usually, when your Adjuster attempts to communicate with you, the message is lost in the material currents of the energy streams of human mind; only occasionally do you catch an echo, a faint and distant echo, of the divine voice.

                                                                                                                                                                                             –   Urantia Book,    p. 1205:5


In 1983, at the height of the Cold War, a movie came out  – “War Games” (with Matthew Broderick, et al.)   

                                      [film synopsis, from IMDB]:

The US Air Force has decided to change their missile strike planning and command procedure from a human directed one, where in simulations many officers were unwilling to “turn the key” upon order, to an intelligent computer process, which takes that fallible human factor out of the equation. This change has its supporters, such as NORAD chief engineer John McKittrick who suggested it, and its detractors, such as Air Force General Beringer. The system chosen is called the War Operation Plan Response, or WOPR for short, developed by brilliant but now deceased scientist Stephen Falken, who programmed the system to learn continually through game simulations. Meanwhile, David Lightman, an intelligent but academically unmotivated Seattle based high school student, is a computer whiz. In trying to hack into a video game software company, he unknowingly hacks into WOPR using one of the listed games, Falken’s Maze, as the path to discovering the system’s back door password, Joshua, the name of Stephen Falken’s son who died at age five. David and his new friend, popular but equally unmotivated student Jennifer Mack, believe he’s hacked into a games company and they start to play the most intriguing game listed, namely Global Thermonuclear War. David and Jennifer soon realize that what they are doing is not a game when news of simulated attacks on the US, exactly the type David and Jennifer plotted in the “game”, hits the media. David believes he’s in even more trouble when Joshua calls him back, still playing the game, with its ultimate goal of winning. WOPR or Joshua, in playing the game, is still simulating Soviet attacks on the US, which Beringer believes to be real and who orders appropriate responses against the Soviets. As the authorities close in on David, with people like McKittrick believing him to be a spy, David tries to enlist the help of the one person who knows Joshua’s end goal and can probably stop Joshua from achieving that goal, while he needs to elude capture by the authorities.



It’s a good story.  And if you haven’t seen it, probably you should.


But that same year (in November, 1983) the entire world came as close as it (probably) ever has – to complete annihilation.

Then president Ronald Reagan referred, in a major speech, to the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire”.  The Russians were already paranoid and fearful of the U.S launching a first strike nuclear attack against them.  But when they heard Reagan refer to them in such a way, they were Very Worried.  We had already convinced them (and the whole world) that we were fully capable of initiating thermonuclear destruction, having bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Fearing war in eastern Europe, thousands of Peace demonstrators took to the streets. And when top-ranking NATO officers went into a bunker (for 7 days, for their annual war-games exercise (Able Archer) they did not think that, during that week, their communications exercises would bring them to within a hair’s breadth of igniting WW 3 … but IT HAPPENED.

And the main reason  war did NOT start was (mainly) because of ONE MAN – the Russian Army officer in charge of their main detection and response facility near Moscow.  That was Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On 26 September 1983, the nuclear early-warning system of the Soviet Union reported the launch of multiple USAF Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles from bases in the United States. These missile attack warnings were felt to be false alarms by Stanislav Petrov, an officer of the Soviet Air Defence Forces. This decision is seen as having prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack against the United States and its NATO allies, which would have resulted in an immediate and irrevocable escalation to a full-scale nuclear war. Investigation of the satellite warning system later determined that the system had indeed malfunctioned.


The incident occurred at a time of severely strained relations between the United States and the Soviet Union.[1] Responding to the Soviet Union’s deployment of fourteen SS-20/RSD-10 theatre nuclear missiles, the NATO Double-Track Decision was taken in December 1979 by the military commander of NATO to deploy 108 Pershing II nuclear missiles in Western Europe with the ability to hit targets in eastern Ukraine, Belarus or Lithuania within 10 minutes and the longer range, but slower BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) to strike potential targets farther to the east. In mid-February 1981, and continuing until 1983, psychological operations by the United States began. These were designed to test Soviet radar vulnerability and to demonstrate US nuclear capabilities. They included clandestine naval operations, in the Barents, Norwegian, Black, and Baltic seas and near the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom (GIUK) gap, as well as flights by American bombers, occasionally several times per week, directly toward Soviet airspace that turned away only at the last moment.[2]

“It really got to them,” recalls Dr. William Schneider, [former] undersecretary of state for military assistance and technology, who saw classified “after-action reports” that indicated U.S. flight activity. “They didn’t know what it all meant. A squadron would fly straight at Soviet airspace, and other radars would light up and units would go on alert. Then at the last minute the squadron would peel off and return home.”[3]

From the accounts of CIA and senior KGB officers,[4][5] by May 1981, obsessed with historical parallels with 1941 and Reaganite rhetoric, and with no defensive capability against the Pershing IIs, Soviet leaders believed the United States was preparing a secret nuclear attack on the USSR and initiated Operation RYaN. Under this, agents abroad monitored service and technical personnel who would implement a nuclear attack so as to be able either to preempt it or have mutually assured destruction.

On 1 September 1983, the Soviet military shot down a South Korean passenger jet, Korean Air Lines Flight 007, that had strayed into Soviet airspace. All 269 people aboard the aircraft were killed,[6] including U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald and many other Americans.[7] The first Pershing II missiles were reportedly deployed in late November 1983.

Bruce Blair, an expert on Cold War nuclear strategies and former president of the World Security Institute in Washington, D.C., says the American–Soviet relationship at that time

had deteriorated to the point where the Soviet Union as a system—not just the Kremlin, not just Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, not just the KGB—but as a system, was geared to expect an attack and to retaliate very quickly to it. It was on hair-trigger alert. It was very nervous and prone to mistakes and accidents. The false alarm that happened on Petrov’s watch could not have come at a more dangerous, intense phase in U.S.–Soviet relations.[8]

In an interview aired on American television, Blair said, “The Russians (Soviets) saw a U.S. government preparing for a first strike, headed by a President Ronald Reagan capable of ordering a first strike.” Regarding the incident involving Petrov, he said, “I think that this is the closest our country has come to accidental nuclear war.”[9]


On 26 September 1983, Stanislav Petrov, a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defense Forces, was the officer on duty at the Serpukhov-15 bunker near Moscow which housed the command center of the Soviet early warning satellites, code-named Oko.[10] Petrov’s responsibilities included observing the satellite early warning network and notifying his superiors of any impending nuclear missile attack against the Soviet Union. If notification was received from the early warning systems that inbound missiles had been detected, the Soviet Union’s strategy was an immediate and compulsory nuclear counter-attack against the United States (launch on warning), specified in the doctrine of mutual assured destruction.[11]

Shortly after midnight, the bunker’s computers reported that one intercontinental ballistic missile was heading toward the Soviet Union from the United States. Petrov considered the detection a computer error, since a first-strike nuclear attack by the United States was likely to involve hundreds of simultaneous missile launches in order to disable any Soviet means of a counterattack. Furthermore, the satellite system’s reliability had been questioned in the past.[12] Petrov dismissed the warning as a false alarm, though accounts of the event differ as to whether he notified his superiors[11] or not[8][full citation needed] after he concluded that the computer detections were false and that no missile had been launched. Petrov’s suspicion that the warning system was malfunctioning was confirmed when no missile in fact arrived. Later, the computers identified four additional missiles in the air, all directed towards the Soviet Union. Petrov suspected that the computer system was malfunctioning again, despite having no direct means to confirm this.[13] The Soviet Union’s land radar was incapable of detecting missiles beyond the horizon.[12]

It was subsequently determined that the false alarms were caused by a rare alignment of sunlight on high-altitude clouds and the satellites’ Molniya orbits,[14] an error later corrected by cross-referencing a geostationary satellite.[15]

In explaining the factors leading to his decision, Petrov cited his belief and training that any U.S. first strike would be massive, so five missiles seemed an illogical start.[11] In addition, the launch detection system was new and in his view not yet wholly trustworthy, while ground radar had failed to pick up corroborative evidence even after several minutes of the false alarm.[12]


Petrov underwent intense questioning by his superiors about his actions. Initially, he was praised for his decision.[11] General Yury Votintsev, then commander of the Soviet Air Defense’s Missile Defense Units, who was the first to hear Petrov’s report of the incident (and the first to reveal it to the public in 1998), stated that Petrov’s “correct actions” were “duly noted.”[11] Petrov himself stated he was initially praised by Votintsev and was promised a reward,[11][16] but recalled that he was also reprimanded for improper filing of paperwork with the pretext that he had not described the incident in the military diary.[16][17]

He received no reward. According to Petrov, this was because the incident and other bugs found in the missile detection system embarrassed his superiors and the influential scientists who were responsible for it, so that if he had been officially rewarded, they would have had to be punished.[11][16][17][18] He was reassigned to a less sensitive post,[17] took early retirement (although he emphasized that he was not “forced out” of the army, as is sometimes claimed by Western sources),[16] and suffered a nervous breakdown.[17]

Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB chief of foreign counter-intelligence who knew Soviet chairman Andropov well, says that Andropov’s distrust of American leaders was profound. It is conceivable that if Petrov had declared the satellite warnings valid, such an erroneous report could have provoked the Soviet leadership into becoming bellicose. Kalugin said, “The danger was in the Soviet leadership thinking, ‘The Americans may attack, so we better attack first.'”[19]

The incident became known publicly in the 1990s upon the publication of Votintsev‘s memoirs. Widespread media reports since then have increased public awareness of Petrov’s actions.


There are two films on this which I would commend to you –    (Nov.1983  Nuclear War Scare  WW 3    [documentary    1 hr. 26 min.])

&    (The Man Who Saved the World    [1:49:49])




It becomes clear   that there is no real substitute for Humanity and Decency.


Lt. Co. Petrov reported “false alarms” DESPITE the fact that he was uncertain as to the validity of their system’s findings.  

He was willing to risk the (sin of) allowing the deaths of millions of his countrymen … he risked his OWN SOUL … in order to save the whole world from destruction.  


And yet he always maintained that he was no hero.


Well, I think he was.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    (War Games, trailer)    (ending, War Games):  “Strange game (thermonuclear war).  The only winning move is not to play.”    (The Real Nuclear Incident That Inspired ‘WarGames’   – 8:52)