Living In A Surreal World

 

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money,
first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will
grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property
until their children will wake up homeless. – Thomas Jefferson

The world around us has become surreal. Up until recent years, the energy was focused on new things. We were preoccupied with a new learning curve. Computer technology has changed the way that we live our lives and it seemed, that in order to move anywhere close to ‘business as usual’, we had to learn how to keep up with all of the new devices which suddenly ruled our lives. We had become, necessarily distracted. This new invention, the internet inundated us with information in ways that we had never known before, and viewpoints which were, perhaps, also unknown to us. To some, it seemed to make us feel that we had not been privy to the “TRUTH” before, being limited to the news on television and in print.

In a way, we became overwhelmed by so many points of view, masquerading as information, that we lost our need to distinguish fact from fiction. The more information we received, the less TRUTH mattered in the objective sense. What we wanted, what we have always wanted was a truth that coincided with our own perception of TRUTH. News on the internet, could just as well be propaganda, they became indistinguishable. So the mainstream media, always seeking the numbers, which translated into cash, transformed from the unbiased distribution of facts, to the very biased spreading of opinions. Money went to the media outlets that could spin the facts into a cloth that was preferred by the largest number of people. News distanced itself from journalism and best friended Madison Avenue. The old time. truth telling journalists began to lose favor and finally were slowly moved out to the curb, along with other throwaway items such as, TRUTH, and impartiality. The Constitution, I believe, was at one time interpreted with the original intent and spirit of its framers in mind. Now it is interpreted with only the opinions and best interests of those with the most money in mind.

So now that I can finally look up from my electronic devices to see what is happening around me, I am feeling as though I am on a magic school bus that is transporting me though history to experience, first hand, how empires crumble. I imagine the Roman Senate, so intoxicated with wealth and power that it lost its ability to relate to the Romans themselves. Or old crazy King George the III, who was so eager to milk every last dime out of those distant colonies that he caused the Revolutionary War. Our government and Wall Street have united with Madison Avenue to sell us on the importance of keeping the rich, rich. They have figured out how to make as many Americans as possible hate our President enough to fight against whatever he is in favor of, even if what he is in favor of…is our own ability to survive and sustain our health and the health and wellbeing of our children.

I see the Congress as a caricature from an old New Yorker comic. I see images of Fat Wall Street Bankers shoving cake and candy in their mouths so that they will push through more and more corporate entitlements, after all, now a corporation has the same rights as an individual according to the Supreme Court, only they have more money and power, so in essence, or in real terms, they have more rights. We only get one vote, but they get to buy the candidates. So it turns out that we get to vote between the blow up dolls created and designed by the institutions that we need the most protection from. Our votes have been rendered meaningless, since we can only choose between different looking and different sounding representatives of the same silent, hidden interest. We are given a choice between this Wall Street puppet or that one. Any real representative of the people could not afford the airtime to be heard. In this country, to become a candidate requires the selling of your soul. It is not about whose truth you are aligned with, it is about whose lies are most convincing.

Recently I watched the gubernatorial races around the country and what struck me was that every candidate in the races that I watched, should have been in jail. Those who voted had to vote for the candidate who could make the atrocities of the other candidate sound worse than his own. We were given choices between two evils, two criminals. I don’t know what this says about who we are. I don’t know what this says about what America means anymore. Our values, our morals, are reflected by those we elect to represent us, to govern, to serve. So why do our leaders establish commissions to root out corruption? Are those commissions established to fool us? If they are meant to lead us to believe that this nation does not support corruption, they are not needed. The truth is that we are a corrupt nation. In a time of transparency, and mudslinging, we are fully aware of the lying, stealing and overall corruption of those individuals who are running for office before we vote, and still we elect them. We don’t care who they stole from, cheated on, or killed in their private lives. We don’t care how many millions or billions a candidate stole from the poor or even from the government. We don’t care if a candidate voted to eliminate social security, and unemployment insurance. We care only that we elect a candidate who shares our personal likes and dislikes, our prejudices, or appear on the right side of the right church.

Sadly, those few of us who have eyes and SEE and have ears and HEAR, are so stupefied by what is going on, and are so few in number that we feel powerless. We can only observe as the dam continues to erode, and our chances for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness continues to be only an increasingly distant horizon. We are those voices screaming years before the Revolutionary War, who were ignored, and ostracized by the British supporters, murdered by the Roman Senators. We are those who will not be heard until the majority of people arrive at that destination we, the seeing, fear is ahead.

There are pyramids and other structures around the world that attest to the fact that there were some who either survived Atlantis, or escaped in time to survive and carry the knowledge and wisdom gained throughout the world. And there will be those of us who will, seeing the inevitable collapse that awaits us, will prepare, and simplify our lives. We will join with others in self-sufficient communities, based upon brotherhood and cooperation. We will carry the seeds of life rich in spiritual meaning and Oneness throughout the world.

A TIME TO BUILD UP AND A TIME TO BREAK DOWN

To everything there is a time, a time to build up and a time to break down. This is the time to break down the material foundation that is so far from the heart and from our Source. No one can stop that collapse. No one can save us from the dam that is eroding. It is time; it is the end of its season. Those of us who understand this will survive to teach what we have learned and be a part of building a new legacy. Life seems surreal because it is almost Biblical. What led to the apocalypse, the destruction of the Tower of Babel, and to the end of Rome is what we are witnessing now. The wealthy, and their servants in government are fiddling just like Nero did as Rome burned. When a building becomes disconnected from its foundation, it is no longer a question of if it will fall, but when. And when a government, regardless of whether it calls itself a democracy, a republic, a fascist state or a dictatorship, becomes totally disconnected from the people it governs, it too will inevitably fall.

Beyond the Golden Rule – Loving Thy neighbor As Thyself

Fear originates in the belief that I am separate from you and from everything else in the world.    Being separate – I am obviously alone, therefore I have reason to fear.  We are programmed to survive.  It is the first instinct that we have.  If I believe that you are separate from me, I then have every reason to fear you, regardless of what you say.  It does not matter whether or not you, today, are intent on my harm, what matter is that you are in a position to cause me harm unless I can control you or protect myself against the possibility, however small, that someday, for some reason, you may feel the need or desire to harm me.  All of this is predicated upon the belief that this reality that I can see, touch, and hear is the ultimate reality.  When I say “I”, I believe that it is as true for me, as it is for each cell in my body.  I am the totality of the consciousness that pervades every atom in my body and so I cannot claim that each cell does not see itself as, as much of an “I”, as I see myself.  So it is easy for me to see a liver cell finding it hard to conceptualize a lung cell as sharing a common “I”.


If we understood that we are all cells in the same body, whether I am a brain cell, a heart cell or a cell in the rectum.  The body requires the use of each cell in order to survive, therefore each cell shares the same I in every way that matters – each cell shares the same “I” in every way that matters to the ultimate survival of the body.  Every cell in my body is not in a me, you, them relationship with each other cell but in an “I” relationship in the only way that really matters.  If the liver goes down, soon the pancreas will follow, then the kidneys, the lungs, the heart and the brain.  One day, we will realize that the health of our bodies and all of the diseases that seem to plague it are closely tied to our sense of separateness that would logically pervade every cell sharing the same body consciousness.

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If I was taught from an early age that I am because you are, which is because they are, which is because we are One.  If we were taught to believe that the illusion is our separateness and not our connectedness – we would have not fear of the “other”.  We do not see the air, but we are taught to believe that it is there even if we cannot see it.  Ants, bees and many other insects function as one body – we may say colony but that is only our vision of their reality.  To the ant and the bee, they are only separate in function and contribution but not in being.  Therefore the one is never alone, and the whole is never unguarded.  There is no fear of each other, and together they act upon that which should be feared.  There are places in the world where it is only a matter of minutes before one bee becomes one thousand bees.  One bee may seem threatened, but with those odds, it soon becomes the threat.

The Golden Rule tells us to do unto others as we would have others do unto ourselves.  In Genesis, we are told that, yes, we are our brothers keepers.  In Leviticus 19:33-34 it is said, 33 “And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.  34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Jesus and other spiritual teachers tell us that we are to go further – that we are meant to go further.  Jesus, in Luke 10:25-28 25 “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do and thou shalt live.” 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.  29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? “

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30″ And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.   31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.   32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.   33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,  34 And went to him , and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.   36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?   37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” To understand what God means by “neighbor” or “brother”, Jesus uses this example which, at the time, would be the equivalent of telling the story to an Israeli and instead of Samaritan – using a member of Hamas.

I consider myself to be a very spiritual person, yet, it has taken me until now to understand the full import of loving my neighbor as myself.  I have heard so many people, Christians, say to me that they live a certain lifestyle while there is such poverty in the world because, “They worked hard for what they have, they earned it.”  Or, they may say that they, “give to the poor” or to charity.  But that is not what Jesus is saying here, it does not say give what is left after you give to yourself. Or, give what is comfortable, after you give to yourself.  It is saying, think of others in the same way as you think of yourself.  Care for others as you would care for yourself, not after but in the same moment, in the same breath with the same love.  It says give to others what you would give to yourself, because you earned it for yourself and for your brother. If we all did this, then no one would be without enough.  This could be called many names, it could be said that I am talking about socialism or even worse, communism – but I am quoting the Bible, I am speaking about religion.  Yet, I am really speaking about the topic I began this with, fear.  Fear is as responsible as greed and selfishness for the mess that we are in.

We fear that we will not have enough to share, yet in truth, if we do not share we will not have enough.  No one rises up with a full belly.  No one steals when his needs are met.  The storehouse is dwindling and if the owners don’t begin to share, the peasants will take it over.  It is a story that is repeated time and time again throughout history.  We must begin to allow ourselves to open to the belief that we are not separate unless we separate ourselves.  We are all connected by the Spirit that runs through the One Body. We are One in reality, we are One in necessity, and we are One in God.  The only way that we will guarantee our own health and survival is to care for the health and survival of the entire Body of which we are all a part.  Here is another of my favorite stories that exemplifies this point.

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There is a story told in Kabbalah:

“With an angel for his guide, the visitor is first ushered through the gates of Hell, which, he is surprised to find, are made of finely wrought gold. The gates, in fact, are incomparably lovely, as is the verdant land­scape that lies beyond them. All this is quite astonish­ing to the visitor, who turns to his angelic guide in disbelief. “It’s all so beautiful,” the man says. “The sight of the meadows and mountains . . . the sounds of the birds singing in the trees … the scent of thousands of flowers. . . .” And then another scent catches his atten­tion: the aroma of food being prepared.

The angel leads the visitor toward an immense ban­quet table laden with every sort of delicacy. However, something is terribly wrong. Hundreds of people are seated around the table, but they all appear to be starv­ing. Their emaciated condition is painful to see in the midst of such bounty, but even worse is the frustration and anger they are obviously experiencing. Each person at the table has a long-handled spoon chained to his wrist. The handles are so long that no one can place food in his mouth. But that does not prevent the con­demned souls from trying. For all eternity, they are struggling to feed themselves a meal that is right before them, but that might as well be a hundred miles away. Taken aback by the tragic spectacle, the visitor is now more than ready to visit Paradise, and the angel immediately complies. At once they pass through an­other set of golden gates, alike in every detail to the gates of hell. In fact, a great deal about the two locales seems to be identical, including the banquet table and the diners chained to their utensils. But the people around this table are well fed and happy, despite the fact that their circumstances are identical to those of the damned. The difference is not in the physical situa­tion, but in how they respond to it. As you might have guessed by now, instead of trying to feed themselves, each of the souls at this table feeds the one across the table.”

It is the battle between the ego and the spirit that give us free will

Why is there a day and a night?Why did God create the Sun and Moon?It is the same reason that He created male and female, up and down, in and out, left and right, fire and water, air and earth and all opposites.The first reason is that without interaction, the self cannot know itself.If the self does not know what it is, it has no understanding of what it can become.

A more accurate translation of Genesis does not limit creation to a one time action; it is more accurately an ongoing process.So, we need to know that we are a self or an actor.To understand more clearly what we are, we must first know what we are not.For example, the only way to know that one is tall, is to know what is not tall.The way to know what a man is, we must know what a man is not.In this world of ours, it is through opposition that we understand the world that we live in and who we are.Light would have no meaning without dark, good would have no meaning with bad, nor joy without sorrow.It may be that “I think therefore I am”, but what I am requires a process of elimination.

It has been said that this is the only one of God’s schools that has ‘free will’.Immediately we know that if we have free will, then we must have choices.For those choices to make any difference in our evolution as souls, we must have within our makeup a part of ourselves that is attracted to one category of choices and another part of ourselves that is attracted to another.So, we are each born with an ego, which is materially directed.It is like the soul of the body.It would worship the things of the earth, if it came to feeling good, then it would choose things that appealed to the five senses.It would seek love in the form of attention and admiration from another or many others.Its god would be whatever the most powerful force in the world was.And it sees itself as alone and so seeks what is best for the self.

On the other side sits the spirit.This is our connection to God. The spirit knows God and seeks the joy that comes from God. It knows that we are all one and it finds its joy in giving and sharing with others.It is selfless and seeks the food that nourishes the spirit and brings us closer to God. So here the soul sits between the two voices and impulses. We live with the desire for God on one side and the desire for the things of the world on the other.Being in the physical body on the earth the easier voice to listen to is the voice of the ego.  It is the soul, through the journey from life to life that learns to listen less to one and more to the other.  It is the soul that learns through the choices made in deference to the ego or to the spirit.  That choice, to choose between the two opposite pulls – that represents the souls free will on earth.

When the sages speak of the “dead” and the “tomb”, in reality they are referring to the soul entering the body. The body which exists for such a short time that  it is considered dead.  It is just like when a person is on death row and walking to the execution they say, “Dead man walking”.From the moment that we are born into this body we are walking towards the death of the body, in essence, we are dead men walking.When the spirit leaves the tomb of the body it is resurrected and returns to the spiritual plane that it emerged from, and the ego returns to the material world from which it came. It is difficult for the spirit to live on the material plane as it would be difficult for the ego to live on the spiritual plane.The ego would experience Heaven as hell, just as the spirit experiences the earth as hell.

These twins, the ego and the spirit are bound together because the soul cannot expel the ego. It is the engine that drives the vehicle that we need on earth.It cannot expel the spirit because the spirit is what supports the driver (soul) while it is the body (vehicle) on earth.The soul is the reason for the existence of both and our lives on earth are possible because of both.

There is no such thing as evil, because all that exists is God and all that is God is good.But let us digress for a moment.In my youth I was considered attractive.Men were initially drawn to my looks or my sexuality.The things that were on the surface, superficial, are still a part of me.I related to myself on the inside, my soul, my spirit, my heart.I felt that part of myself, my inner being as the greater part of who I was eternally.I did not feel loved, in fact I was not loved when men claimed love for me based upon what they saw on the outside, how I looked, or what I had.Those things were temporary, my looks would change – age, my financial status would fluctuate, they were of me, but they were not me.In the same sense, all of the things in the material world are of God, simply because there is no such thing as outside of God.But they are the temporary, transient things of God, not the true eternal parts of God.

The eternal parts of God have no form, and give to the heart and soul and not to the body or the ego.So the ego is tempted by what it can experience with its senses.

We depict Jesus the Christ as aesthetically beautiful. There is no way that he could have ever looked like the pictures that we see of him based upon his lineage and the fact that he and his family were able to hide in Egypt at the time that they did.He would have been very dark skinned with curly hair, there was no intermarriage at the time because there was no great migration from continent to continent.This image of Jesus aids the ability of many to worship him.Yet what I find the most disturbing is that most of the people who claim to love Jesus, love him because they believe that he died on the cross to erase their sins.To God, this is a sign of idol worship.To God, worshiping an action is no different than worshiping a statue. If we truly loved and believed in Jesus, we would follow in his footsteps, we would live our lives as he lived his.The Buddhists love and believe in the Buddha, and so they live their lives following the ways of the Buddha.If Christians truly loved, believed in and worshiped Jesus the Christ, the world would be a different place.  There would be no inquisition, no crusades, no witch trials, no slavery, no judgment, to economic disparity, no withholding of health care, no prejudice and no poverty.The more wealth a Christian society had, the more it would have to give to the people.We do not worship Jesus as the Son of God, we do not worship Jesus, we worship the sacrifice that we interpret as having saved us from having to live the life of Jesus.

Satan saw this in Job.When God called together the Sons of God and Satan to show what an exemplary human being Job was, Satan immediately saw that Job loved and worshiped God because of the wonderful life that God had given him.Job followed the laws and did all of the things that were expected of him, but there was something in his love that was lacking.God gave Satan permission, in increments, to test Job until finally Job did turn against God.Eventually, after God spoke to Job, Job evolved from a superficial worship based upon what God did for him and the fear of what God could do to him, to a deep love and awe of God.  This love was not conditioned on what Job wanted from God it was an unconditional love of God in all of His Majesty. Once Job was filled with the love of God without condition, God rewarded him with more than he had to begin with.  However, by then, nothing that God could give to Job could increase the wealth that he had in the shadow of the true and deep love that he had for God.

I know many people who love Jesus, and do not believe that he died for their sins; they love Jesus for the same reason that the Buddhists love the Buddha; it is for the divine immeasurable  love and compassion that pours from each of their hearts for all of God’s creatures.

In the Old Testament Satan is not the enemy of God, but the adversary of man, the tester.Satan tests our love for God, believing that if nothing else that we do is perfect, our love for God should be pure and, uncompromising.Jesus proved His to be so.Satan tempted Jesus just as he tempts all of us, with money, power, status – envy, hatred, prejudice, and judgment, all of the things that fuel the ego and deplete the spirit.Satan tests us because he is the last gate to pass through before God.He guards God against those whose love is not true.Religion is one of Satan’s biggest tools, because it can be used to divide and distract. Some religions cause our egos to be so devoutly attached and protective of our division, that we forget the One God we are supposed to be giving our devotion to.

I believe that we are moving in a direction to a new Christianity for the twenty-first century.It will be a religion that will carry us to the end of time. It will be made up of true Christians who will sell off all that they do not need beyond modest comfort, and give the excess to the poor.They will follow the Christ just as the Buddhists follow the Buddha, and there will be no discrepancy between the teaching of Jesus and actions of  those who follow in his name.It could be called, “The Followers of the Living Christ”.This will be a religion that unites rather than divides, and embraces rather that excludes. It will be one that is defined by love, understanding, faith, forgiveness, humility and compassion – all of the qualities  that defined the Christ himself.

Whose Heart Is God Hardening Now, and Why?

image Exodus 4:21 The LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.”


Exodus 7:3 “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.”

When Moses wanted to appeal to Pharaoh in order to convince him to allow the Hebrews to leave Egypt, God advised Moses that he would harden Pharaoh’s heart so that Pharaoh would not allow the Hebrews to go free.  What followed, the plagues, the death of children all happened because God meant for them to happen.  In fact, in the study of the Old Testament there is a great deal of destruction and conquering, it is really brutal.  And what is important about that is the fact that the major disasters which occur in the Bible are all orchestrated by God.  It should be noticed that in the Bible, the false idols are statues built of gold.

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Another ancient spiritual text, the Bhagavad-Gita centers entirely around a battle.  On the surface, like the Bible, we have a story about Arjuna and his relationship with many of the people on the other side of the battle.  We know that he is a great warrior, but it seems that many of those people that he will be required to kill, were also important to making him into the man that he has become. The Bible seems to be filled with unfairness, and ambiguity.  Many Jewish Sages have created back stories to make just what seems unjust, but it is still adding details to a story thousands of years after the story was written.  In the Bhagavad-Gita  the Lord Krishna, who had been posing as Arjuna’s charioteer gives us a spiritual view of the story, depicting it as an external playing out of a human internal battle.

It was understandably easier for the eastern philosophies to be clear in the meaning of their stories because they were not competing with so many other regional belief systems that made it necessary to make the hide the teachings in stories without explanation.  But it is my belief that all religious stories are meant to be inner journeys and that all of the experiences that we have in the world around us are the physical manifestations of those inner journeys to be taken by the soul.

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There is no other way to make sense of the world that we live in.  Today in the United States there is a hardening of the hearts of Republicans and some Democrats who call themselves “Conservative” to the suffering of Americans who, because of the cost of living, the economy and subsequent unemployment, and the rise in catastrophic illness and its cost are literally dying and losing what little they have.  There is no explanation for these statistics except that God has hardened the hearts of of those who could make a difference.

It is easy to see why some people believe that we have been abandoned by God.  It is easy to see this if we see life as beginning and ending with the body.  From that perspective, either there is no God, or God is uncaring and capricious.  Life is as senseless as so many stories in the Bible.  But we are not these bodies we are the souls within them.  And God did not create the world and turn away, the world is recreated every moment, with every life born into it.  Flesh and blood come from the earth, come from man, but life, the life force that animates us and all that is, comes from and exists within God.  It is not manmade.

So God is here and God is Love.  The experiences that we have are lessons for the soul and the bodies that we wear to have these lessons are no different than a school uniform.  Rich, poor, black, yellow, red, brown, white, all are nothing but parts of the lessons in this life. Their meaning is personal and universal but only within the life in which we wear them.  The soul has not race, nor does it have a gender.  It has wealth but that wealth is measured in love, compassion, and understanding.

The following statistics, are proof that our hearts have been hardened, and proof that there can be no recovery because our hardened hearts will not permit us to make the only changes that would prevent what lies ahead.  And so we will fall, and that falling is what will free us, what will part the Red Sea – the sea of suffering and oppression that enslaves us all.

At-Risk Americans: The Uninsured And Underinsured

By Janis McMillen

Data from multiple sources agree that in 2007, 47 million Americans (15.6 percent of the total U.S. population) lacked any kind of health insurance coverage. When these numbers are adjusted for age (excluding those 65 years and older), the uninsured percentage of the population rises to 17.9 percent. Moreover, it is estimated that 25 million adults under age 65 were underinsured during 2007, despite having insurance all year. In total, 42 percent of all adults (86.7 million) were either uninsured or underinsured during 2007.

Putting a face on persons who were uninsured or underinsured during 2007 and 20081

  • Age: One of three people under age 65 were uninsured for some or all of 2007 and 2008; of the total uninsured population, 60.1 million were adults (between 19 and 64 years of age)
  • Duration: Among the underinsured/uninsured, 74.5  percent were uninsured for nine or more months and one-quarter were uninsured the entire 24 months
  • Employment status: 80 percent of individuals who were uninsured were in working families and only 16 percent were not in the labor force (due to disabilities, chronic illness, or serving as family caregivers)
  • Income: Nearly 60 percent were in families with incomes below the federal poverty level (FPL: $21,200/year for a family of four); 52 percent with incomes between 100 to 200 percent of FPL went without health insurance in 2007/2008
  • Racial and Ethnic origin: 55 percent of Hispanics/Latinos, 40.3 percent of African Americans and 34 percent of other racial or ethnic minorities had no health insurance in 2007/2008, compared to 25.8 percent of whites.  While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be uninsured, whites accounted for 49.8  percent of the uninsured
  • Age breakdown: The likelihood of being uninsured declines with age; 49.5 percent of those 19 – 24 years old, 36.3 percent of those 25 – 44 years old, 32.5 percent of those 45 – 54 years old and 21.2 percent of those 55 – 64 years old were uninsured over this two-year time period. The 55- to 64-year-old age group consumes more health care on average than younger adults.

For all ethnic and racial groups, lower-income families and individuals were more likely to be uninsured than lower-income whites. This disparity continues even as incomes rise in all groups.

There is a marked increase in the number of adults having difficulty paying medical bills – the most visible consequence of the weakening in insurance coverage. In 2007, 41 percent of adults (72 million people) reported problems paying medical bills, faced bill collectors or were in debt for medical care, up from 34 percent or 58 million in 2005. The majority had insurance at the time these bills were incurred2 – well in advance of the economic downturn.

1 All statistics above and below are from http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/publications/reports/americans-at-risk-findings.html

2The statistics in this paragraph are from http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/Publications/Testimonies/2009/Feb/Testimony-Insurance-Design-Matters-Underinsured-Trends-Health-and-Financial-Risks.aspx

Janis McMillen (LWVUS Board member and LWVKS) is chair of the LWVUS Health Care Education Task Force.

Produced by the LWVUS Health Care Education Task Force, 2009

Poverty Facts and Stats

Author and Page information

  1. Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.Source 1 

  2. More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.Source 2 

  3. The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.Source 3 

  4. According to UNICEF, 25,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”Source 4 

  5. Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The two regions that account for the bulk of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.If current trends continue, the Millennium Development Goals target of halving the proportion of underweight children will be missed by 30 million children, largely because of slow progress in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.Source 5 

  6. Based on enrolment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimisitic numbers.Source 6 

  7. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.Source 7
  8. Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.Source 8
  9. Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide.Source 9 

  10. Water problems affect half of humanity:
    • Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhea
    • The loss of 443 million school days each year from water-related illness.
    • Close to half of all people in developing countries suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.
    • Millions of women spending several hours a day collecting water.
    • To these human costs can be added the massive economic waste associated with the water and sanitation deficit.… The costs associated with health spending, productivity losses and labour diversions … are greatest in some of the poorest countries. Sub-Saharan Africa loses about 5% of GDP, or some $28.4 billion annually, a figure that exceeds total aid flows and debt relief to the region in 2003.Source 10

     

  11. Number of children in the world
    2.2 billion
    Number in poverty
    1 billion (every second child)
    Shelter, safe water and health
    For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are:

    • 640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)
    • 400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5)
    • 270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7)
    Children out of education worldwide
    121 million
    Survival for children
    Worldwide,

    • 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (same as children population in France, Germany, Greece and Italy)
    • 1.4 million die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation
    Health of children
    Worldwide,

    • 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized
    • 15 million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS (similar to the total children population in Germany or United Kingdom)

    Source 11

     

  12. Rural areas account for three in every four people living on less than US$1 a day and a similar share of the world population suffering from malnutrition. However, urbanization is not synonymous with human progress. Urban slum growth is outpacing urban growth by a wide margin.Source 12 

  13. Approximately half the world’s population now live in cities and towns. In 2005, one out of three urban dwellers (approximately 1 billion people) was living in slum conditions.Source 13 

  14. In developing countries some 2.5 billion people are forced to rely on biomass—fuelwood, charcoal and animal dung—to meet their energy needs for cooking. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 80 percent of the population depends on traditional biomass for cooking, as do over half of the populations of India and China.Source 14 

  15. Indoor air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels [by poorer segments of society] is a major killer. It claims the lives of 1.5 million people each year, more than half of them below the age of five: that is 4000 deaths a day. To put this number in context, it exceeds total deaths from malaria and rivals the number of deaths from tuberculosis.Source 15 

  16. In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%:The poorest 10% accounted for just 0.5% and the wealthiest 10% accounted for 59% of all the consumption: 

  17. Shah, Anup. “Poverty Facts and Stats.” Global Issues, Updated: 22 Mar. 2009. Accessed: 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

Today we live in an age where information is at our fingertips.  We cannot hide from what is all around us and because of this, we are responsible for it.  Yet we do nothing.

When the pharaohs heart was hardened it was because Egypt had become a nation that worshipped the golden calf.  What is the golden calf but money, power, and all of the things that turn one away from God.  Had Moses convinced Pharaoh to free the Hebrews it would not have been because he had seen the error of his ways, nor because he had realized that the Egypt had become corrupt and inhumane, no, it would have been nothing more than a gesture made to the brother he grew up with.  Had he released the Hebrew slaves, he would have simply increased the numbers of the other slaves.  It was time for Egypt and the Hebrews to see what happens when man turns his back on God and on his fellow man for the sake of the wealth that gold promises.

Man has lost his heart.  The industrialized nations of the world are Egypt.  In the United States, Congress represents Pharaoh and its heart has been hardened to the plight of the majority of the people.  The government and all of those with power worship at the alter of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, banks, and all of the movers and shakers Wall Street.  And we are the Hebrew slaves.  We are enslaved by the insurance companies that take our money and give back nothing.  We are enslaved by the pharmaceutical companies that charge so much for medications that people die because they cannot afford them.  We are enslaved by the banks that charge so much money for credit card interest that we can never pull ourselves out from the debt that they pile on our backs.

We are the slaves and we are not going to be freed.  Those who could free us have had their hearts hardened.  We will be freed when the system collapses under the weight of its own inequity.  We will be freed by God, but that will only be the beginning.  We have already been given the commandments by which we must live.  We already know they type of people we must become to enter the promised land.  We must become the promised land.  We must build something new.  We must not attempt to recreate the golden towers that enslaved us.  We must redefine success and greatness.  We must establish a new path for our children to follow, one that is not for the self but for all.  We must become one people, and one family.  We will have no choice.  We are slaves, but it is time to build a free world.  We will not recover, we must reinvent.  We must acknowledge the chains that bind us and know we are bound by the chains of our desires.  And when we relinquish those desires, we unlock the chains. We will then lift the fog that hides our future and once again see a light to follow.

There’s Something Happening Here – Perhaps it is An Evolutionary Leap

MESSAGE FROM HOPI ELDERS

“TO MY FELLOW SWIMMERS:

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. We must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personal, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!

Banish the word ‘struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

WE ARE THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR”

Oraibi Arizona
Hopi Nation

September, 2001

It has been some time since I have been able to find words to express the images and ideas floating around in my mind.   I have only been receiving scattered pieces of this puzzle here and there but no glue to connect them, no words to carry me from one piece to another.  In the past, once the pieces start coming, so did clear concepts and ultimately words. I simply had to run to the computer to get it down before it evaporated, like a dream when one wakes up,  Once at the keyboard the words seemed to become anchored and they flow from beginning to end.

However, for a very long time that has not happened, there has been information coming to me, but no flow, when I reach the keyboard the no words.

Now I understand why.  I did not have all of the experiences needed for the pieces of information to be accepted into my consciousness, and anchored into words. The last piece has finally come to me and now I am able to begin the process of writing it down.  I am putting this out as a theory because it seems, even to me, to be really out there, but then again, the times we live in are really out there also.

Many years ago I read a book by, Greg Braden, called, “Awakening to Zero Point”, where he mentioned that people who were journeying towards emersion in the Spiritual principals of Love, Compassion and Oneness, would experience an actual change in their DNA that would lead to positive health changes, among other things.  I have always remembered this, however, I have not had anywhere to apply the information.

I did a past life regression with a friend of mine, Ghary, and during the regression I progressed him into the future.  While he was observing the future I asked him about the Government.  It was difficult for him to describe, but he saw what appeared to be two governments.

I have been studying a new system that combines Astrology, Kabbalah, the I-Ching, and the Hindu Chakra System, that was channeled by a man who called himself, Ra Uru Hu.  He did this in 1987, the year of the great galactic alignment.  It is called, Human Design, and it seems to me to be one of the important additions to the tools that we have to guide us into this upcoming age.   I was listening to a Human Design lecture in which the speaker mentioned, that Ra, had channeled information about a “New Human” evolving during this time.

Suddenly I began to make connections, so many random pieces of what seemed like trivia worth noting, began to come together – things that had impressed me over the years were now connecting.

It is obvious that something is happening, something that those of us who pay attention know, has never happened before, at least not in recorded history.  Life, and humanity itself, at least as I had perceived it, had begun to change drastically. The galactic alignment was an exciting occurrence for me when it happened, but as far as I could see, it just came and went, no big game changer…so I thought.

I believe , though imperceptible, that this was when things began to change.  I understand now, that nothing happens in one day, or overnight,  I have heard so many actors who were labeled, “overnight successes”, that they worked most of their lives for that “overnight success”.  Something began in 1987, a major energy shift,  Something

that said, “From here on everything is going to be supersized”.

Personally, it was not until one day in the mid 90’s that I suddenly felt as though I had awaken, no, I felt that we had all awoken in a parallel universe.  Time seemed to move faster, and normal suddenly leapt to be the equivalent of what was once over the top, and there was no more “over the top” just more until there is nothing left.  What we had, what we wanted, what we felt, what we liked, didn’t like, our love, our hate, acceptance and rejection, the acts of Nature, everything was on a grand scale.

When I was growing up, Christians were the nice, quiet believers, unlike the power hungry, a rule for everything Catholics.  Then suddenly with the Christianity of the old south, which condoned the killing of Blacks and Jews as ordained by God, put on a loving costume seduced people with love and acceptance and suddenly they were killing doctors at abortion clinics in support of the right to life,  Everyone was killing for God.  Billionaires seemed to be the new millionaire, millionaires seemed to be the new middle class, and the middle class turned into an endangered species.  In fact, there were more animal extinctions than in the history of man.  While Cancer grew in the same proportion.  As has Mother Nature’s fury.

Yet, at this same time, Spirituality was growing in power.  Everything that was centered around love, the kind of love that is all inclusive and embracing with love as its foundation, grew more powerful– quietly.  This growing undertone of love and of unity was even emerging throughout the animal kingdom,

tarra and bella The Elephant who bonded with the dog for life

turtle hippo The turtle and hippo who are inseparable

tonda and cat The Orangutan that was given her will to live by a cat

Then there is this story of a Lioness who adopted an oryx:

The Miracle Lioness: Kalmuniak

April 17th 2008 10:31

storiesofwisdom.com

samburu

“SAMBURU , KENYA – In Biology, we know that there exist the thing called food chain. It could be like this: soil nutrients consumed by grass, grass consumed by deer, deer consumed by lion, lion die consumed by microorganism into soil nutrients, and so on. The food pyramid draws on who eat who and who get eaten by who. This means, an oryx, a kind of horned deer living in Africa, is a food to wolves, leopard, lion or other predators.
However, as what was reported in BBC 7 January 2002, A lioness in central Kenya has baffled wildlife experts by adopting a baby oryx. Reports say the full-grown lioness came across the oryx two weeks ago in the Samburu Game Reserve, scaring off its mother.
Instead of then attacking the defenseless calf, the lioness adopted the baby, protecting it from other predators, including a leopard.

kalmuniak

The local witnesses stated that every evening the lioness and the baby oryx would rest together. The lioness would curl up her body to the side of the oryx. The lioness even allowed the real oryx mother to come playing with the baby oryx, giving the baby milk. When the baby gets full, the lioness would then chase away the mother to go.
That also means extra work for the lioness, for she has to protect the baby oryx. In any way, the oryx do rise the appetite of her predator relatives, many other lions would love to meal on the oryx.
However on Sunday of 6 January 2002, the sad end to the story came when the lioness led the oryx to the river to drink. Weakened by two weeks of looking after her adopted baby, she fell asleep, failing to notice a hungry male lion in the area. The oryx was no more.
Patrick Muriungi, a receptionist at Samburu Lodge, told AFP the lioness was grief-stricken when she awoke to realise from the small noises of what had happened. The lioness was right away very enraged and attacked the male lion. “She was very angry. She went around the lion about 10 times roaring, and then the lioness disappeared,” he was quoted as saying.
Of course this extraordinary case attracts the attention of many. “This is either an extraordinary case of maternal instinct or simply the eighth wonder of the world,” the local Herman Mwasaghu told The Nation newspaper. “What is baffling is why the relationship has lasted so long,” said Wildlife expert Vincent Kapeen. He also thought the lioness spared the oryx “because animals have a special instinct to care for the young”. Or could it be because the lioness was being lonely? How about you? What do you think?
Local people in Kenya named the lioness Kamunyak, which means “the blessed one” in the local Samburu language. Since then she has cared for five more young Oryxes, but none lives longer than a week and the last escaped back to it’s mother. Kamunyak was last sighted in February 2003, and despite a number of searches, she has not been spotted again. Her story was recorded by Saba Douglas-Hamilton and her sister, Dudu, between January 2002 – August 2003. Their film, Heart of a Lioness, was shown on the BBC and Animal Planet. This a powerful message for us all to fight racism. If an animal can overcome her hunger and instinct to protect, imagine what we humans can do, if we really want to.”

A growing divide, two opposite directions seem to have clearly emerged in the world today, and as time passes it seems that the differences of those on each side become more more encoded in their DNA.   This makes the Hopi’s prophecy Rock and its fork in the path seem a clear sign of where we are headed.  We are a part of something incredible.

PROPHECY ROCK
“Prophecy Rock is a petroglyph on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona that describes the life path of our world. It represents the prophecy connected with the return of the White Brother to the land, who should be carrying a cross within a sacred circle. If, however, he happened to return with only the cross and no circle, this could be the beginning of the Great Purification that would bring about the end of the world.  The current day Hopi believe that the White Brother first returned to the land in the form of the Spanish invaders in the 1500’s, who were carrying the cross but no sacred circle (they came as enemies rather than friends).  Since that time, according to Hopi beliefs, we have been approaching the end of the world as we know it.

The lower left hand corner depicts the Great Spirit holding the reed through which the people traveled to enter the fourth world.  The people had the choice of taking either of two paths: the upper horizontal line is the materialistic path, while the lower line is the spiritual path.  The first vertical line (just before the circles) represents the moment that the white people returned to Hopi land.  (Note that the people on the top line are not connected with their heads, which indicates their dissociation from their spirituality and the Creator.)  The first two circles represent World War I and II.  The vertical line following the two wars is the last chance that the people on the top line (people in our modern culture) could return to the spiritual path and therefore survive to enter the joy and abundance of the fifth world.  The materialistic path then becomes jagged and gradually fades away.

The lower left hand corner depicts the Great Spirit holding the reed through which the people traveled to enter the fourth world. The people had the choice of taking either of two paths: the upper horizontal line is the materialistic path, while the lower line is the spiritual path. The first vertical line (just before the circles) represents the moment that the white people returned to Hopi land. (In the actual petroglyph, the people on the top line are not connected with their heads, which indicates their dissociation from their spirituality and the Creator.) The first two circles represent World War I and II. The vertical line following the two wars is the last chance that the people on the top line (people in our modern culture) could return to the spiritual path and therefore survive to enter the joy and abundance of the fifth world. The materialistic path then becomes jagged and gradually fades away.”

From, “The Wild Rose Dreamer’s Cottage”

This shows that there are two paths, and people who choose one path and those who choose the other,  We have been in period of choice for some time,   The Hopi have certain signs that foretell the coming purification.  In reading the signs myself, it does not seem, to me that they need be consecutive. only that they need to be fulfilled.

The following Hopi prophecy was first published in a mimeographed manuscript that circulated among several Methodist and Presbyterian churches in 1959.

While driving along a desert road one hot day in the summer of 1958, a minister named David Young stopped to offer a ride to a Hopi elder, who accepted with a nod.

After riding in silence for several minutes, the elder said:

“I am White Feather, a Hopi of the ancient Bear Clan.

In my long life I have traveled through this land, seeking out my brothers, and learning from them many things full of wisdom. I have followed the sacred paths of my people, who inhabit the forests and many lakes in the east, the land of ice and long nights in the north, the mountains and streams of jumping fish in the west, and the places of holy altars of stone built long ago by my brothers’ fathers in the south.

From all these I have heard the stories of the past, and the prophecies of the future. Today, many of the prophecies have turned to stories, and few are left – the past grows longer, and the future grows shorter.
“And now White Feather is dying. His sons have all joined his ancestors, and soon he too shall be with them. But there is no one left, no one to recite and pass on the ancient wisdom. My people have tired of the old ways. The great ceremonies that tell of our origins, of our Emergence into the Fourth World, are almost all abandoned, forgotten. Yet even this has been foretold. The time grows short..
“My people await Pahana, the lost White Brother, as do all our brothers in the land. He will not be like the white men we know now, who are cruel and greedy. We were told of their coming long ago. But still we await Pahana.
“He will bring with him the symbols, the missing piece of that sacred tablet now kept by the elders, given to him when he left, that shall identify him as our True White Brother.
“The Fourth World shall end soon, and the Fifth World will begin. This the elders everywhere know. The signs over many years have been fulfilled, and so few are left.

“This is the First Sign: We are told of the coming of the white-skinned men, like Pahana, but not living like Pahana – men who took the land that was not theirs. And men who struck their enemies with thunder.
“This is the Second Sign: Our lands will see the coming of the spinning wheels of wood filled with voices. In my youth, my father saw this prophecy come true with his eyes – the white men bringing their families in wagons across the prairies.
“This is the Third Sign: A strange beast, like a buffalo but with great long horns, will overrun the land in large numbers. These White Feather saw with his own eyes — the coming of the white mens’ cattle.
“This is the Fourth Sign: The land will be criss-crossed by snakes of iron.
“This is the Fifth Sign: The land will be criss-crossed by a giant spider’s web.
“This is the Sixth Sign: The land will be criss-crossed with rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun.
“This is the Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it.
“This is the Eighth Sign: You will see many youth, who wear their hair long like my people, come and join the tribal nations, to learn their ways and wisdom.
“And this is the Ninth and Last Sign: You will hear of a dwelling place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of my people will cease.

“These are the Signs that great destruction is coming. The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle against other people in other lands – with those who possessed the first light of wisdom. There will be many columns of smoke such as White Feather has seen the white man make in the deserts not far from here. Only those which come will cause disease and a great dying.

Many of my people, understanding the prophecies, shall be safe. Those who stay and live in the places of my people also shall be safe. Then there will be much to rebuild. And soon — very soon afterward – Pahana will return. He shall bring with him the dawn of the Fifth World. He shall plant the seeds of his wisdom in their hearts. Even now the seeds are being planted. These shall smooth the way to the Emergence into the Fifth World.
“But White Feather shall not see it. I am old and dying. You — perhaps you will see it. In time, in time…”

The Hopi elder became silent. They had arrived at his destination, and Rev. Young stopped to let him out of the car. They never met again. Rev. Young died in 1976, so he did not live to see the further fulfillment of this remarkable prophecy.”

Seeking The Truth and Finding Understanding

It has been very difficult for me to post because I am so caught up in what is going on today and it is so easy to pass judgment.  I am not comfortable writing about a topic so long as I feel that my view is obviously the right one.  I have learned that however deeply I feel something to be the truth, someone feels as deeply that it is not.  Until I can understand the path that lead that person to his opposing view, my own view  is only strong enough to hold me.

In writing, my goal is not simply to describe the world as I see it, but to also expand the vision, or give words to the visions of those who read what I write.  A cube has six sides.  The whole, or the truth of a cube can only be expressed by connecting six sides.  Six people, each viewing one side cannot call their side, a cube.  So, I attempt to write when I feel that when I express my perspective it is not my intent to replace the perspective of someone else.

When I began my search for the ultimate truth, it was for no higher purpose than to eliminate the embarrassment of being wrong.  I was bothered by having to rethink my position and then declare to the world that I was not right.  However, my search has taken many twists and turns, and through that process I developed a sincere desire to understand.

I came to the realization that there was my truth, your truth and the truth.  Again, I just had to find “The Truth”.  This was a good place to begin ego stripping, because I found that my truth could never be anything but, my truth.  As hard as I searched, with as open a mind as I could attain, I found that, at least in our world, there just isn’t “The Truth”.  At least not in any useful way.  I found that there has always been “the Seed”  from which all truths are born.  But “the Seed” is not “The Truth”.  A three dimensional world has three dimensions.  There is no one place to stand in which to visualize all sides at once and thus see the whole picture.

Regardless of where I stand, I will only see one side, and even if that side varies markedly from the side I was once on, there is still at least one more side that I am not seeing.  Even being open minded enough to make the effort to see all sides, I will still, inevitably, choose one to be the right one and chances are it will be the one that resonates with my existing belief pattern, or current experience.
When I was in my early twenties I began to study numerology.  I remember reading about my personal numbers and thinking at first that they really, “sucked”.  I wanted this one love who would worship and adore me, and who I, in return, would worship and adore.  All the rest was background noise.  Numerology did not hold this as a possibility, in this life at least.  My numbers only spoke of universal love and giving, they spoke of disappointment in seeking that all consuming great love that I was living for.

Up to that point, disappointment was a fitting word to describe my quest for that one true all consuming love.  But then it came to me, a voice in my head told me that God would put my greatest happiness on whatever path I was meant to walk.
Just because I had to experience a different kind of love than the one I was looking for, didn’t mean that it would feel less joyous.  In other words, God does not ask us to sacrifice our happiness, or our fulfillment.  The only thing that we are asked to sacrifice is our egocentric belief that we know better than God where that joy and fulfillment can be found.

I remember when I first felt that Obama would be elected President.  I was happy knowing that it would open a door that could not ever be closed again.  It declared that we are as equal as we choose to believe that we are.  At the same time, I was very saddened intuitively knowing that, “all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put humpty together again.”  The foundation of our capitalistic, materialistic system was being shattered into pieces that were not meant to be reconstructed.

The world as we have believed it to be was coming to an end.  The world envisioned by Jesus, the Buddha, Krishna, and the many mystics and enlightened men and women would become the manifest world in which we live.  They taught us that material gain was empty – we would see it now as empty.  They taught that attachment was the root of suffering – and through our attachment, our suffering is growing.  They taught us that only through compassion, faith, love and kindness could joy be found.  We are finding that governments are helplessly bound in a stalemate – a battle between the old ways and the new.  And because we cannot find relief from our governments, we seek the help, the kindness and compassion of our neighbors.

Some of us must overcome our pride and ask for help.  Some of us must overcome our fear of lack and extend our help.  Yet, through this process, we are all being forced to overcome the inner attachments that tie us to the material world and block us from seeing the beauty in the spiritual world that lies before us.  Still, so long as we have governments and leaders, change will require their participation.  I have heard it said that the unfinished steps on the back of the United States Seal symbolize our forefathers belief that what they began would continue, and grow, and evolve to fulfill the needs and secure the rights of all of the people.

No man can change the course when God has laid the stones of that path.  We have learned all that there is to learn from taking whatever we want and thinking only of ourselves and our own.  We have emptied that well of any value.  Now we will learn all that there is to learn from giving, from seeing all, as ourselves and all, as our own, and giving all that we have to give. We are now learning that if everyone is giving – everyone is receiving.

The most that any President can do is to redirect our country, through whatever incentives or programs within his power, into a direction that serves all of mankind, the earth, and those we may consider the most insignificant of God’s creatures.  And it should not be through punishing the abuser, but through generously rewarding those who do what is right for all.  “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, let the profiteers do what they do and take what they take, but let the government generously reward and assist those who do what is best for those who have always benefited the least.

Barack Obama was elected in part because of who and what he was, but in a larger part because of who and what he was not. He was elected by the people, those same people who are losing their homes, their jobs and their health benefits.  He has two years, not to turn the economy around, but to reach down and make a real change in the lives of the people for whom he is the final hope.  A change, that no one else can claim credit for.  It could be forcing a moratorium on foreclosures, or something to help the growing number of families in dire need of assistance, or even improving education for all public schools.  But it has to be something that is tangible.

I was not a Bush supporter, yet spiritually I knew that he was destined by God to bring us to our knees and allow us to be the direct benefactors of our own actions.  However, although I am not a Bush supporter, I am a Bush admirer.  He found ways to use his authority to accomplish what he believed he had to accomplish.  He did not acknowledge obstacles.  In a very human way, that attitude made many people feel safe, even if their safety was an illusion – who cares?  Our illusions are the fortresses we live in.

We want everything, but we don’t want to pay.  We want big business because we want to be rich one day.  We want Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny delivering our packages – ON TIME.  We need a leader who will move, with complete conviction to give us, not what we want, but what we clearly need to insure the best quality of life for the greatest number of people for the longest period of time.  We don’t need someone who listens to us, as much as someone who sees the deteriorating quality of our lives.

I read somewhere where someone was quoted as saying that the majority does not rule, the majority is ruled.  The majority of people, approximately 70%, want – need to be told what to believe.  This is what religion does – this is what packs the pews.  About 25% of the people want to do whatever they want to do, and believe whatever they want to believe.  And only about 5% want sincerely to search from the heart for what is right for all – this is the path of spirituality. It has no leaders and no followers only seekers.

On the spiritual path, we seek a personal relationship, a personal understanding of God.  What this really means is that in the highest and truest sense, God is, and the ultimate truth is, what each of us experiences as such.  The truth that lies at the end of the journey is not the singularity of one point – one way, one path.  No, the truth is the singularity of one entire Universe of perspectives – growing, changing, evolving.  It does not narrow as our journey progresses, it expands until it encompasses All-That-Is.  For us as individuals, and for our leaders, the highest good that we can strive for, the greatest success that we can achieve, is to see everyone within the concept of “I”, and to include loving and caring for every species of life, when think taking care of, “our own”.