The Evolution Of Man

When I read Shakespeare, Greek mythology, or the writings of ancient philosophers, even ancient spiritual writings I wonder about the real meaning of human evolution.  Long ago, in studying genetics I realized that many of our choices as a group or as a society are not really choices, they are genetic programming designed to insure the survival of the species for as long as it is meant to survive.

Many people are astounded by the number of homosexuals there are today.  Some would say that there were always as many, just not so many out of the closet.  I don’t think that this is true.  I believe that there are many more than ever before and the number will continue to increase.  Today, woman who are attracted to younger men are called cougars, this number too is increasing and the relationships between older women and younger men will increase as time goes on.

In time homosexuality will no longer be an issue that drives politics and religion, and older women with younger men will no longer be stigmatized by a label.  This is because these are genetic directives meant to address the overpopulation of the earth by humans which left unchecked would lead to human extinction.  There are even ancient legends regarding war, telling tales of how the gods used to come down and eat men and women.  Finally there was a truce wherein man promised to fight wars rather than to be eaten by the gods in order to prevent the world from being overrun by humans.

There are many of our behaviors that seem to become epidemic before them become commonplace, evolutionary mutations, so to speak – genetic reprogramming that we are unable to override because to do so would be to cause our extinction.  Older woman and younger men, homosexuality, sexually transmitted diseases that cause infertility, and wars upon wars upon wars – all leading to an inevitable and necessary population decrease.  Whenever there is a societal change of direction – we have to ask ourselves what will be its outcome?  Today the greatest threat to the earth and to our species is not war, it is overpopulation.  Overpopulation causes a greater drain on our resources than anything that we do.  In order to intelligently deal with overpopulation, we would have to deal with the problems of poverty and ignorance, problems that we as a species have not evolved enough to adequately tackle without Divine intervention.

If we were to go back in time, as far back as recorded history permits we would find that man has not evolved into a higher form of human.  Our chimpanzee cousins live in groups in which men form bonds of kinship, and patrol the borders of their territories.  They live in their own little countries and have distinct power structures.  For all apes, it is good to control the most power, to have to most resources and to form alliances that guarantee these things.  Although the males fight each other to show who is the most powerful, more and more research is revealing that behind every chest pounding males is guiding female.  Our chimp cousins have rudimentary tools for building what they need to build and for foraging for food.  They have a number of medicinal plants that they use for wounds or infections.  They do not use words, but through the teaching of sign language we now know that they have the capacity to communicate their desires.  With few exceptions, we have not evolved beyond our ancient ancestors or even our ape cousins.  What we have done I find very hard to label evolution because it is really only an increase in an already existing ability. What we have done is that we have far exceeded all other animals in the making and use of tools to satisfy our basic animal instincts.  We have become technologically advanced apes.  We still haven’t broken off of the family tree and formed our own.  A chimpanzee is not a gorilla, and a gorilla is not an orangutan – but the differences among them, and their differences from us do not amount to enough to move any of us to a new tree.  Yet, I believe that we were and are meant to strive for that.

It is through our ability to connect with the spiritual, with the intangible, with God, love, art, music, poetry and a sense of connectedness with and responsibility for every other living organism on the planet that is the key to true human evolution.   It is not through the left brain that we will evolve, the left brain is basically good for making and improving tools.  It is through the right brain that we have the capacity to reach up and become the meaning of the image of God.  Obviously, man was created with the ability to live as the image of God, loving unconditionally and being caretaker for all life on the planet and the planet herself.  But we clearly have a choice.  God changed Abram to Abraham and thereby changed him from being a man to being a man of God.  Saul’s name was changed from Saul to Paul thereby changing him from a persecutor to a follower of Christ.  If we, can change from being the human race, to becoming the humane race, this could signal our own evolution from the greatest ape – to the image of the God.

Evolution is always building something better upon what was.  The new brain built not instead of the instinctual brain but built from it.  We have instinct and we have choice.  That choice allows us the option of not just perfecting the ability to fulfill our instinctual desires and protect ourselves from our often self-perpetuating fears by designing better tools.  It allows us to rise above those desires and fears and see them for what they are – to use love and compassion in finding ways to eliminate them without fight or flight.  The animal instinct does not transcend me and mine.  The God in us cannot see me or mine as less than the whole.  We only need to be the race of beings that we came here to become.

It is the animal nature to hoard, to become fat before winter.  It is the animal nature to find the richest territory and defend it against all intruders.  It is the nature of the beast to take and to keep and the nature of God to give and to share.  We will be called upon now to show our true nature.  In the end, all that is hidden – even from ourselves will be disclosed.

Matthew 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. 12:3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:  12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?  12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.  12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  12:23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.  12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?  12:25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?  12:26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?  12:27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?  12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.  12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more12:54 And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.  12:55 And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass.  12:56 Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?  12:57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

Just as the God gives to the raven so we are given.  Nothing that we have belongs to us it is all given to us as steps in Jacob’s ladder.  We each have been given what we need to shed the animal and become the human.  We are each unique and through our uniqueness we are to find that which we can give to God by giving back to the earth and its inhabitants.  We can only truly say that have earned that which we give to others.  Whatever we have in abundance we must give abundantly.  The signs are all here, the change is approaching.

The world is on the threshold of a new beginning.  It will not be one in which the power of the few rules over the many, but of power in the whole.  It is one of those evolutionary leap times.  Those of us who have felt like mutations throughout our lives will finally see that evolution is only accomplished through mutation.  This “economic downturn” that seems to be the catalyst of change in the world will continue until we all let go of those things of the world that stand between man and God.  Whatever we cling to is our treasure – therein lies our hearts.  It is the end, at least for a millennia – of the world of mammon.  Those capable of giving away what they have hoarded to those in need will make the transition.  Those who cannot let go, will find that it is taken anyway and there will be no place of comfort.  It is the blessing and the responsibility given to man to become the image of God.  It is that image that will shine in the times ahead.  Those who hope to evolve, who see the path to evolution and hear its call must know that the time is now.

A Time To Reap

Ecclesiastes 3

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to reap that which is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.
A time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I have always had a difficult time with Ecclesiastes.  Verses like this,  3:16 “And still under the sun in the judgment place I saw wickedness, and in the seat of justice, iniquity”.  It seemed to me that the Teacher was saying that there is no justice.  Then I realized that this is not what that means.  in the following verse, 3:17 “And I said to myself, both the just and the wicked God will judge, since there is a time for every affair and on every work a judgment.”  I realized that the key is time.  There is a time to everything.  In the next verse the Teacher goes on to say, 3:18 “I said to myself: As for the children of men, it is God’s way of testing them and of showing that they are in themselves like beasts.” During the time of planting, we may plant anything we choose.  We may plant love, or hate.  We may plant generosity or selfishness.  We may plant the seeds of giving or the seeds of taking,  and here, under the Sun, it will seem unfair that criminals get away with the things that they do, and poor people, even honest people can be judged wrongly and punished unjustly.  There is no justice, under the Sun, during the time of planting.  Justice, however, comes to all, when it is time to reap what we have planted.  I have seen people who give so little of what they have, and still get more and more.  Of these people I have heard others say that they must have done something good in their past life for God to give them so much, in the way of material success, and power.  I have never see it this way.  Wealth, power, fame, these are all tests, these are seeds given to those who are to be tested in their ability to to fight the temptations of the world.  What will they plant with the wealth and power to plant anything?  Well, today, and for the rest of our lives, and into the lives of our children, we will be reaping what has been sown, and karma will be instant.

We have all heard about 2012 and the Mayan end times. Most of us realize that it is not the end of the world, but the end of life as we know it. So, what happens at the end? Before we can move on to something new, we have to tie up any loose ends. One circle has to close before another can be begun. We are completing a cycle. How many times have we all said, “What goes around comes around?” This is where we are.

On a grand scale, we are seeing this in the oil that is flowing into the ocean. Many of the prophesies tell us that this is a time of choice. Prophecy Rock tells us that this is the time where the road forks, The lower fork is followed by the one hearted people (those who think with their hearts, leads to survival and eventually paradise, the upper path represents the path followed by the two hearted people, those who do not use their hearts – who are connected only with the material world, leads to self destruction. The path to paradise is a spiritual path, it is a path of love, of compassion, of remembering that we have been given custodianship of the earth and all of the species living on this planet. The other path, the one we have been on, is the path of forgetting, forgetting that all rights include responsibilities, that we cannot take without giving back. The laws of karma are the laws of balance, of cause and effect. We do get what we give. Sometimes we get it later, and sometimes we get it sooner. We are in Iraq and in Afghanistan because of decisions made by George Bush Sr. upon first entering Iraq.

We relied on luck, cut corners, got away with it, profited by it and believed that we were entitled. We believed, some of us, that we were more entitled than anyone else. And we believed, that what we were doing, somehow, was backed by God. The other day I was thinking about luck, about how luck seems to be gone. Then I heard these words in my head, ‘Luck is the rope that the Universe gives us to hang ourselves’. Yes, we managed to corrupt everything and get away with it. Well, we were not lucky, and we were not entitled. You could say that we were in the right place at the right time. We have been living during an age that we might call the season of planting. To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven. It is not lucky when you get to go through a green light. This has been the time of the green light.

Now is the beginning of the season of reaping. It is the harvest, time to separate the chaff from the wheat. It is the fork in the road. I believe that there are many on earth today with one heart. I believe that there are many on earth today who will somehow, wake up to the truth and move into the world of oneness, compassion, love and responsibility. Those who awaken will feel the connection, the personal connection with the earth and with all that live on her. They are the seeds of the new planting. During the time of planting, Spirit gives us all of the rope that we ask for, to use as we choose, with total freedom. We can use it selfishly and amass a personal fortune while others starve, die from our greed as acceptable losses or collateral damage. Or we can choose to change, give back what we do not need, and find in our hearts what we really do need. But I believe that this last disaster, on the ocean floor, exemplifies all that is wrong with us. It is the result of our obsessive need to consume, our heartless disregard for life. It shows our irresponsibility, and our psychotic belief that we have the right to do anything that we have the power to do, and that freedom of will, somehow implies freedom from consequences.

We can trust the signs, or just be willing to err on the side of conscience, or ignore the signs, ignore the warnings, leave our hearts in cold storage and pay the price?. I have a feeling that we cannot survive the extinction of the dolphin. They are our last connections to the soul of the earth. We are paying now for all that we have done. Let us ponder the phrase, “the meek shall inherit the earth”.

“Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 12:2

Message to the United Nations (Another Attempt)

Delivered and Submitted by Martin Gashweseoma, Caretaker of the Sovereign Hopi Nation to the General Assembly November 22, 1993

For The Great Spirit, Massau’u:

We come here from the Sovereign Hopi Nation to attend the Cry of the Earth Conference at the United Nations. We are proud that you have opened the door for us. My name is Martin Gashweseoma. As Hopi, we have come here to present our message which is about how we first came here from the previous world.

The Hopi way is to lead a good life. We still have the sacred stone tablets given to us by the Spider Woman. This is our title and deed to this world, and it was given to us with the life plan to follow, and with strong instructions and serious warnings. It was a good life. When the rains came and brought a lot of moisture, then our crops would yield enough for all living beings, including the ants, animals, birds, plants and human kind.

Before leaving the previous world, we came up here to ask permission from the Great Spirit, Massau’u, if we could live here with him because the world down below had become corrupted. He told the people, ‘It is up to you if you are willing to live with full respect for my way of life.’ They said, ‘Yes we are willing to live your way.’ So with his consent we came here, into this new world. This world is where the Great Spirit, Massau’u, first appeared to all first peoples and gave them their instructions and rules to follow. Then the Spider Woman laid before them ears of corn of different colors from which to take their sustenance and livelihood. The greediest people hurried to pick out the longest ears. But the Hopi, being the most humble, waited until last and chose the shortest ears of corn. Spider Woman then gave each group of people their own language and name and told them to migrate to every corner of this continent leaving their footprints, clan markings, and ruins to claim this land.

Before the migrating peoples arrived at the place where the Great Spirit, Massau’u, lives, he used to take walks nearby his home. Coming back home, bringing back violet flowers, he dropped them along the way. After discovering he had dropped the violet flowers, he went back to look for them, but the flowers had already been found by the Horny Toad Woman. The Great Spirit, Massau’u, asked if she would give it back but the Horny Toad Woman refused. Instead, she told him that in time there would be a crisis in this world, with which he would need help. At that time she would be there with her steel helmet to help. Meaning that someday if the Hopi got into trouble, a group of people with the steel helmet would help them.

The Great Spirit, Massau’u, let the first group who had found him live there and settle down. Each subsequent group of people who came to settle in Oraibi after their migrations were allowed to stay based on judgment of their character and how they had traveled when they were searching for the Great Spirit. Those who were boastful and arrogant were sent away to the east. Those of humble and sincere hearts were allowed to stay and keep the ceremonials in the proper manner to ensure rain for the crops and all living things. After this was settled, all the things that were to come were told to the first people in Oraibi by the first people that came from the underworld.

The people were told of another race of people who would come to this land and claim it as their own land. We were told not to accept anything these people would offer to us, but it will tempt us and be hard to resist. They would be intelligent and the inventors of many things. Now we realize that these people are the light-skinned people, the Bahanas. We were told of something that would come that would be pulled by animals, meaning wagons or carts. And ones that would run very fast, meaning automobiles. We were told of the land being cut up by long roads and fences, and of highways that would be built in the sky. And that women would adopt male clothing. And that the secret of women, with clothing, covered, would no longer be secret, but be revealed and exposed.

When this happens, all the world leaders people will be corrupted and will not know whom to look to for direction to correct this corruption. It will mean that we are all nearing the end. Then the wars will come about like powerful winds, and will spread from country to country and bring Purification or Destruction to this world. The more we turn away from the instructions of the Great Spirit, the more signs we see in the form of earthquakes, floods, drought, fires, tornadoes, as Nature makes ready her revenge. All of this will happen at one time along with the wars and corruption. We see this now as young children become angry, killing each other and their parents. They show no respect. We are all corrupt. If this Purification does not materialize, then the world will turn over 4 times and will leave only ants here to start a new life. Before people came to this world they were sick, just as today, we are sick from all this corruption. Now we are seeking a way to solve our present situation. This is the last world, we are not going anywhere from here. If we destroy this, the highest world, we will be given no other chances.

Let us consider this matter seriously so that this world is not destroyed, so that we can continue to live and save this land and life for the generations to come.

Denise Gibel Molini

The Secret – The Real Law Of Attraction

By Denise Gibel-Molini

Sometime in the 70’s I came across Norman Vincent Peale W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill.  Both of these men were amazing motivational teachers.  They taught what today is called the “Secret”.  Then it was the power of the subconscious mind.  Later in the 90’s I had a Spiritual Book store and I began seeing different books on the various “proven” laws of success.  These were more steps to achieve the same goals as were promised by Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale.

I believed, and still do to this day that there is an enormous power in positive thinking within the individual.  I remember that my year spent in “network marketing” was spent in hours of motivation and the power of positive thinking.  During that you I didn’t make money.  However, I never even caught a cold, I was never tired, and nothing could break my spirit.  It changed my life for the better – just not in the way that I was looking for.

I have a problem with all of these secret, hidden, special, scientific methods of attaining ones dreams.  They could never pass the kinds of tests required in order to state that a product or a drug was proven effective.  I know many many more exceptions to this rule than those for whom the rule has worked.

My cousin is the poster child for the anti-law of attraction, or the law of repulsion.  The more that she wants something, the more she is convinced to the core that she will never have it.  She focuses daily on visualizing her life – long and miserable in failure and loneliness.  Yet, after an entire year of this dedication to the negative – in rode prince Charming on his white horse to whisk her away to love and bliss.  In fact, most of the people that I know who focus all of their attention on the miserable trick that the universe has played on them, are the exact ones for whom success and opportunity seems to pop up out of no where.

Of course, there are those, such as Barack Obama, for whom living in the visualization of being President and sitting in the oval office did work.  Then, there are John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and scores of others who also lived “the Secret”, who lost the race and the chair that they each saw themselves sitting in day after day.  Yes, there is a law of attraction, but it is greater than we could every imagine, and it rules.  You could call it the attraction of fate, or simply the power of the greater plan – the soul’s plan for each of us and for the world.

According the today’s science everything is nothing, or energy, consciousness – fields.  Various fields of consciousness.  So, some believe, and this is what I believe, that the soul is a kind magnetic field.  Before it incarnates it programs itself to attract to it the people, places, and experiences that will facilitate its personal goals and the goals set by the accumulation of all souls incarnating in a certain time.  We, our fields, are all woven together to form a divine personal and universal tapestry.

We attract, and are attracted to only what we chose as souls.  And for the soul all experiences are parables.  All experiences have within their essence a moral lesson teaching love, faith, compassion, forgiveness, and placing the spiritual above the material.  We can find this in each story that we tell of an incident in our own lives.  Sometimes it may take years to “get it”, but when we do – we understand the lesson.

Part of this process is the ego.  The ego is made up of an accumulation of all of our lives on the earth past and present along with all of the emotional experiences that imprinted on it and lie buried within the database of our subconscious mind.  “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” W. Clement Stone.  This is true, however the kind of belief that is necessary is not belief held in our conscious minds, or our imaginations – it is belief held in our subconscious minds.  You see, we live in a world that is neither solid nor three dimensional.  It has no time.  That is fact, but it is not the belief that is held by our subconscious minds, otherwise we could not share this earthy experience.  So belief, is deeper that imagination – it is deeper than reality.

To journey into that realm of the subconscious through hypnosis or through deep meditation, is a journey to what is in essence another reality.  It is a journey in which we leave our ego behind.  What we find when we do, is that this plan, or this series of plans are purposeful and fulfilling in ways that are eternal and not limited to societal programs or past life understandings  of what we should our should not want in this one life.

What we find, is that the path, however it appeared in our conscious state seems to be a path to joy.  Even if we enter into this state to attempt to rewrite the script.  We come back knowing, believing that there can be no better script for our lives than the one written.

Some of us come into life with a burning desire to be rich and famous.  That burning desire comes from the fact that it is the journey written by the soul.  And when these people enter that path to wealth and fame – they find that it was nothing that they had ever imagined, in no way free of pain or suffering, in no way self-validating, and that lesson is the moral of their parable.

I have a ability to visualize, not so much a persons path, but the purpose of the path – the types of experiences that will bring the story to its true gift.  There is a good friend of mine who is a visionary photographer.  His work will take people to great places one day.  Consciously he is fully aware of the unique beauty in his pictures.  And he is frustrated that he cannot sell enough pieces to pay he rent.  Although people are taken aback by the beauty of his work, it is not selling.

We have done past life regressions.  In each life he rose to a different position of social prominence.  In each life he was very focused on his career, on his good name and his status in the community.  And – in each life he died in deep spiritual and emotional pain because he had passed up his chances for true love and emotional fulfillment.  His soul vowed that in this life he would balance both.  He was told by his guides under hypnosis that he had to learn that God gave him two hands and he could have fulfillment in each.

The last time that we spoke, it came to me that although his material success and public recognition were immanent, his soul would not attract them to him until he was balanced within himself.  Until he found his inner power, his inner love and was able to manifest that love in the world as a part of who he was – the material success would remain just outside of his grasp.  The purpose of this being that if his material success were to come first, he would then become caught up, as in his many past lives in that alone.  Once again he would miss the thing that eluded him life after life.  He had to find himself now, to avoid the risk of never finding it, and living a life of emptiness.

There is a law of attraction that is at work in our lives from the day that we are born, but the attractor is not our conscious mind but the spirit that lives within us.  When we want something and do not get it, it is because it is not something that we want from within our souls.  It is perishable.  The soul seeks that which is permanent and continuously giving.  When we do not get what we want, however badly we believe that we want it, however hard, we believe that we have worked for it.  The cause is not our personal failure – it is the success of the soul.  We don’t generally know what we really want, we only know what we really want to feel.

Society tells us that what we want to fell is in box number one.  But if we cannot open box number one, it is because what we want to feel is not in it.  Society, those things that we are programmed from childhood to believe are the keys to happiness, are only part of the superficial, impermanent world around us.  They are not part of the real and permanent world that is within us, the world that contains the true power.  Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all else will be added unto you.”  This means seek for the joy that lies within you.  Seek first the foundation that lies within you.  Seek first the soul and its treasures that lie within you.  Once you have found all the glory that lies within, all else will come.  All else will be attracted to you.  This is the Law of Attraction.  This is the real secret.

Whatever we find before we find the kingdom that lies within, will be empty.  And if we seek that first, it will consume us to such an extent that we will remain empty for the rest of our lives.  No praise, no adulation, no recognition that we may receive from the world, will give us the fullness of self that we are really seeking unless first we seek and become grounded in the foundation that lies within.

Living The Good Life Is Not Good In A Starving World

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I remember walking down the street in my fur coat a few years back and having someone ask me if I knew how many minks died for my fur. I stopped wearing fur. I stopped because I did not need it, it was a luxury, it was a sign that I had made it – it was ego food. I understood the question. Now, with the world so small, and the suffering so great – so unavoidable – I wonder if we should not feel the same sense of responsibility that we feel for helpless animals, for helpless humans.

There was a time when your choices were beautiful sparkling diamonds or dull glass. It made some sense, if even in a superficial way, to want a diamond. But today, there are faux diamonds that cost a fraction of the cost and sparkle with equal brilliance – so one has to ask oneself why buy the diamond? What is it’s value in our world today? What if you have a ten thousand dollar diamond, trade it in for a one thousand dollar cubic zirconium and give the nine thousand dollars that you have left to buy mosquito nets for children in Africa? Then your diamond would have value., it would show much more than what you can afford to have, it would show what you are willing to give. Wouldn’t it be cool, rather than wearing a five thousand dollar blouse that says you are filthy rich, wearing a five-dollar tee shirt that says, “The money I planned to spend on a blouse is feeding a village in India”. How cool would you be?

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Bling says to the world, “I am wearing this because I can afford it and I have nothing better to do with it than waste it on show”. Yes, it just does. No one can watch the homeless and displaced, the diseased and dying in this country and around the world and then spend thousands of dollars on things, which announce, “It’s about me”. Not today. Today we don’t need to spend thousands, millions of dollars on precious gems in order to sparkle. We can spend a fraction of that on semi-precious gems, give the rest to those in desperate need and not only sparkle from the gems, but glow from the heart. I believe that today it would be much more satisfying to wear something that doesn’t say “I have made it because I can afford to drip in diamonds” but something that says, “I have made it because I can afford to feed a village”. The oohs and ahhs are much greater today and much more long lasting when you show what you give rather than what you wear.

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If our success in a profession is measured by the amount of money that we are paid, that is ok, if we understand that our true worth is measured by what we give. The point is that there is no need for bling today, it doesn’t look better than faux bling, but trading that bling in for heart does look better. We cannot outlaw bling anymore than we can outlaw fur, but it would be nice to ask someone dripping in bling, “How many children’s bellies could be filled by those earrings?” “How many villages could be educated against AIDS with that ring?” And perhaps, while we are at it, we should ask ourselves how much does it cost to make a house a home, and how many children can we give a home to for the price of a ten million dollar house?

I am not advocating ego denial. I am advocating a sense of satisfaction that not only feeds the ego but also feeds the soul. Trust me, it feels better to give to give to children in Somalia than it does to give to salespeople in Harry Winston, Proving to a child that faith has reason, God is alive and that there are angels is so much more gratifying than the stares you get from sparkling down the street in jewels. And who could honestly say that a tour of a mansion you built could hold a candle to a tour of the hospital you built in a village that has not even seen a doctor. Save a mink, don’t buy fur, Save a child, don’t buy bling.

The Truth About Terror

There are things that we don’t understand about waging a war on terror. First, what is terror? Terror is, 1. An overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety 2. A person who inspires fear or dread, 3. The use of extreme fear in order to coerce people (especially for political reasons). Understanding what terror is and what a terrorist does, still does not help us to identify what a terrorist looks like, what color uniform does a terrorist wear? Well, in this country some terrorists have worn white sheets. Others, called “Skin Heads”, have been bald. Some terrorist groups, such as the Arian Nation, don’t publicly sport a particular uniform or hairstyle; however, their terrorist cells are not particularly difficult to find. There are the other terrorists who terrorize entire neighborhoods in our own country, we often refer to them as gangs, but since 9/11 I think that we should call them what they are, they are terrorist cells. And they are recruiting our own young people on a daily basis. And lets call a spade a spade, isn’t a hate crime just another form of terrorism? By definition, and not by advertising slogan, many would say, and have said that our own government used terrorism to ensnare us in a war in on terror. Timothy McVee was a terrorist, have we captured and eliminated all of his known terrorist associates? Is there really a difference between an imported terrorist and the homegrown variety? Isn’t terrorized…terrorized regardless of the skin color, nationality or religious affiliation of the terrorist or the ones being terrorized?

The next problem that I see is this, terrorists, as I have just mentioned, come in all shapes and sizes, and live in every country. It is very easy for the Iraqi people to label us terrorists. After all, they did not do anything to us as a nation. Now, we do not consider ourselves terrorists because we were attacked…by someone…maybe not them…but someone who looked like them and happened to live nearby. So, obviously, when you kill someone’s family members, neighbors, friends, or countrymen, it just might make a person want to kill you. Since we are sending our troops over to Iraq and Afghanistan to kill terrorists, and since we have no idea what terrorists look like, what gender they are, or even how old they tend to be, it is safe to say that we just may be killing and terrorizing a few people who may not be terrorists. We are perfect examples of the idea that when innocent people are attacked, sometimes, they want to get revenge on their attacker, so, if you go into someone’s house, or country and kill people because they might have a gun or a bomb, but, it turns out that either they didn’t or they were actually themselves being held hostage by someone who did, anyone left alive, or related to those thoughtlessly killed, might just have been turned into someone who needs to get an eye for an eye, or get you before you kill anyone else, or a terrorist.

Now, in May of 2003, we won the war against the Iraqi government and its forces, just ask the President – we even had a victory party. So, for the past four years since the war ended we have just been sending over our troops to die and to kill civilians, no soldiers, no uniforms, just men, women and children who don’t really understand why, if we won the war, we are still killing them, and, I might add, might would really like us to stop.

We really don’t have any justification for the killing. Our troops are forced to kill innocent civilians because they don’t have any way to tell who is the enemy with a gun or a bomb or who isn’t, under those circumstances, the only safe thing for them to do is to kill everyone. The thing is, if we don’t want our troops attacked, and we don’t, we need to bring them home. If your children went down the block to a neighbor’s house, and the neighbors children kept beating them up, what advise would give them? Would you say, “Well if they are attacking you, kill them”, or, would you tell them to get the hell out of the neighbors yard? We’re in the neighbors yard. We’re on their property. Even if they hated us, this particular neighbor did not come into our yard and attack us. How can we say that we are defending ourselves when we are in their yard? Go home and defend yourself, at least it makes more sense.
If we had put as much money into the war on poverty, or the war on crime, or the war on drugs as we have into the war on terror, we might have been able to win one of them. We are waging a war, declared by people who believe in an “eye for an eye”, against people who believe in “an eye for an eye” and any dummy can tell you that the only way that war will be won is when there are no more eyes left to lose or take.

This war can be won. If we value the lives of the children, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and fellow countrymen that we have sent and will send to be lost overseas, then bringing them home is a victory that is priceless. The truth is that a war on terror, is a war on fear. It is not a war against a human enemy. It is a war against someone, anyone who feels that they have a reason to hate. Hate has never been killed away. The truth is that every war being waged in this world today is founded in hatred, fear, and or prejudice. These are the enemies of the twenty-first century and killing fuels them, and suffering fuels them. They are impervious to guns and bombs. I believe that we can win the war on terror by fighting the war on ignorance, hatred, prejudice, and yes, by returning to the war on poverty. Our real enemies do not live within nations but within the living conditions of the people of all nations. The only weapon on earth that will guarantee peace for us and for all nations is the heart.

It was Gandhi’s heart that brought an end to British oppression. It was Nelson Mandela’s heart that brought an end to apartheid in South Africa. The truth about the war on terror is that we can end it, or it will end us.