Tuesday, September 30, 2008


A textbook definition of intention characterizes it as ‘a purposeful plan to perform an action, which will lead to a desired outcome’, unlike a desire, which means simply focusing on an outcome, without a purposeful plan of how to achieve it. Intention implies purposefulness — the projection of awareness, with purpose and efficacy, toward some object or outcome. (http://www.theintentionworkshops.com/?p=25)

One of the best works on intention is Wayne Dyers book "The Power of Intention". I strongly recommend getting a copy of it and literally consumming what is written in it. It WILL change your life.

The power of intention in effective prayer cannot be overemphasized. Most people believe incorrectly that faith is the key to effective prayer. Faith is certainly important, however, faith determines the effectiveness of prayer. Intention determines how the answer will manifest.

The challenge is in identifying the “real” intention. It is not unusual to hear participants early in a class espousing “My Intention is … (la la la la la)”. My response is “I’m not interested in what you say now. In 3 weeks I can look at your life and tell you exactly what your intention is.” That usually gets the "I just stepped in something wet and sticky" look.

The challenging part of setting intention is to know what the real intention is, because it is the unconscious intention that creates the manifestation. The conscious intention will manifest only as much as it is in harmony with the unconscious intention.


A person who attempts to set an intention to manifest prosperity for example, will frequently manifest everything but prosperity initially. This is because there is a contradictory unconscious intention that is something like “ … don’t deserve it” or “ it will never happen for you because ... ” or some other form of negative self talk or hidden fear that is really running the show.

Many get discouraged at this point and give up. However, this is actually a good thing, this is the breakthrough point. Once the real underlying intention is revealed and identified, then and only then can the work of transformation really begin.

(to be continued)


Jesus made us a promise:

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything they ask it will be done for them
by my Father in Heaven (Matt 18:19 RSV)

The assignment at the end of this segment is each day for a week, to spend time in prayer and meditation and to claim this promise for yourself with the following prayer:

Thank you God for gently revealing to me those things that prevent me from praying effectively and from receiving the blessings I deserve as a child of God.

Keep a journal of whatever comes up.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Yes, that is correct, EVERY prayer is answered YES.

Now, before the obvious knee jerk explosion erupts, stop for a moment and set aside everything you think you know about prayer.

Ask yourself: “What if this is correct, what if every prayer really is answered yes”. “What would that mean?”

If you google “prayer” today, you will get over 8,000,000 hits. If you go to Amazon.com and search for books on “prayer” you will get over 350,000 hits. The volume of literary works devoted to prayer is staggering. Yet, with all of this, the most common question I hear as a minister is still “why wasn’t my prayer answered?”

I chose this topic today because we have reached a point where we are on the threshold of major expansion of our spiritual awareness. We have reached a point where a significant number of us are poised to move deeper into our mystic path. Others are or soon will be stepping forward on their own paths. The experience for each of us will be different, but the basis of it will be the same: a deeper, richer, more intimate awareness of our true unity, our true oneness with God.

It is essential as we make that transition, that we develop the ability to connect directly with our creator in a powerful, meaningful way. There is no one right way. The path for each of us will in some ways be similar and in some ways different. There will be one common factor however, some form of effective prayer will be an essential part of the process.

How do we start?

All of us know how to pray already. The church has taught us multitudes of prayers, all of them can be effective. Other spiritual beliefs have provided us with techiques such as meditation and chanting. These can also be effective. All of us have created our own formats and even though we don’t realize it, they are effective as well.

Confused? Puzzled?

The truth is that all of us pray regularly, and all of us pray effectively, we just don’t realize it. Every time we say “I’m afraid …”, we have made a prayer. Every time we say “I cant because …” we have made a prayer. Every time we say “It makes me sick thinking about ….” Every time we say "I could never ...", we have made a prayer. If there was emotion in the statement, and if there was belief in what was stated, the prayer was effective and was answered.

(take some time to think about this)

One of the central components of effective prayer is faith.

Another component of effective prayer is intention.

There is a very simple formula for answered prayer:


Whenever we prepare for prayer, the questions to ask ourselves are: “what is our true intention?” and "what is the underlying belief behind our prayer?”

(to be continued)


The Legend Behind the Praying Hands

The most often reproduced and widely known of Albrecht Durer's works is the gray and white brush drawing on blue-grounded paper of the Hands of the Apostle, known generally as 'The Praying Hands' by those who do not even know the German artist's name.

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood.

Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder's children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.

They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to honor his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you."

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No ...no ...no ...no."

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."

The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look. Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one--no one--ever makes it alone!

Quoted from: "A Better Way To Live" by Og Mand

Sunday, September 28, 2008




One of the most magnificent engineering accomplishments of our time is the Large Hadron Collider. The figures on this structure are staggering. A tube 4+ meters in diameter (in some places as tall as a 6 story building) 27 km long, constructed 50-175 meters below the surface. The other equally amazing stats can be found at:


The magnitude of this structure is amazing. The complexity is way beyond my comprehension. Even more amazing is that it worked when they started it. Yeah, I know, it blew a gasket shortly afterwards, but still ...

In the shadow of this magnificent accomplishment, we are facing some of the biggest challenges we have ever faced individually and as a race. Challenges that have the potential to destroy us. Why is it that we can create a marvel like the LHC, a marvel that took 20 years to build, yet fail so miserably at engineering a lasting peace?

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you”. (Jn 14:27 RSV) We repeat this verse in some form each time we celebrate Holy Communion. It is a central part of Catholicism, a central part of the gifts we receive in the eucharist.

In Jesus’ words, peace is not something we have to struggle for; it is God’s gift to us. If we already have it within us, why then is peace so elusive?

As Christians, we believe that through the Holy Spirit, there is within all of us the ability to center our thoughts and feelings in peace so powerfully that we are not moved by conflict. This is the gift that Jesus has given us. It is the same gift that was given to Daniel as he faced the trials of his captivity.

Yet, as a whole, we do not use the gift. As a whole, we do not have peace in our families. We do not have peace in our communities. We do not have peace in our congregations. Why?

Jesus was very specific in John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do.

Jesus was a peacemaker. We are commanded to do the works he did, and even greater works.

I offer this post today as an opportunity for all who read it to take some time to reflect. Why is peace such an elusive quality? What can we do today so that peace truly begins with us? What can we do today so that we fulfill John 14:12?

What can we do today that will make a difference.

It only takes one voice to change the world.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gas shortages: get ready for more


NEW YORK (Fortune) -- While Congress and Bush administration officials have been working to complete a bailout plan and stem the financial contagion on Wall Street, a different kind of economic crisis emerged across the South this week: A severe, hurricane-related gasoline shortage has curtailed trucking from Atlanta to Asheville, N.C., and created a wave of panic buying among motorists.

The return of gas lines has largely flown under the radar of politicians who are usually keenly attuned, because their constituents are, to what's going on at the pump. But more of the Capitol gang should be paying attention to this. (Now isnt that a novel concept, Congress is not paying attention to the reality their constituents have to deal with on a day to day basis. I wonder what they ARE paying attention to? Or perhaps the question should be: who is paying them how much for their attention?)

That's because nationwide our gasoline inventory is shockingly low. Liquidity must be restored soon to this market, or we could be facing a crippling run on the gasoline bank. And if you think Americans are outraged about Wall Street, wait until their Main Street grocery store doesn't get the bread and milk delivery for a week or two. (This sounds a lot like the fear mongering sermon one would expect to hear at a fundamentalist revival, different issue, but the same style of rhetoric. " Accept Jesus as your savior before it is too late")

In Georgia, Gov. Sonny Perdue got a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily allow stations to sell high-sulfur gasoline. … In Alabama, Gov. Bob Riley ordered a state of emergency to prevent price gouging by station owners that do have gas. (One can always count on a crisis to bring out the best, and the worst of human nature. Why is it that the worst always gets the press coverage?)

But while the current shortages can be traced directly to the two hurricanes, the severity of the problem points out a bigger issue: The U.S. has been operating for a while with razor-thin spare gasoline capacity.

None of this surprises industry watchers such as Matt Simmons, the chairman of Houston energy industry investment bank Simmons & Co. and chief spokesman for the Peak Oil movement. I recently wrote a profile of Simmons for Fortune and I can report that he has been warning about the potential of gasoline shortages in the U.S. for months. (No doubt he has, but why haven’t we heard about it? Why weren’t our elected officials at all levels anticipating the problem and taking steps to minimize the impact? Anyone having flashbacks to New Orleans?)

"Our system is so fragile," he told me recently. "All you need is a tiny change to go from 'Oh, we're in fine shape' to an unmitigated disaster." (That is one of the dangers of the “just in time inventory” philosophy that businesses have been operating under for several decades. “Just in time” is basically order the raw materials so that they go directly off the delivery truck into the finished product. Among the benefits, it saves money on warehousing, lowers taxes on inventory, and reduces labor costs. Congress encouraged “Just in Time” by changing the tax laws to penalize companies for keeping inventory warehoused after the end of the fiscal year. Once again, our elected officials created the foundation for this disaster.)

Simmons points out that the gasoline weekly stock reports have been trending sharply downward since last winter (with a brief upturn in the spring), and that even before Gustav and Ike we were in "just in time" supply mode. (Inventories are down, company profits and bonuses paid to top executives are skyrocketing … do you suppose there is a connection? Possibly the creation an artificial shortage to keep the prices high, and to keep profits and bonuses high?)

Getting back to a safer level of extra capacity isn't simple, either. Once the refineries get back up and running, they'll drain the already low crude oil inventories. Unless gasoline demand stays low, Simmons believes, we'll have a hard time clawing back to stability. (Translated to English, the oil companies are not going to cut into their profits or their bonuses just so that the working people who pay for those bonuses can be spared a bit of suffering.)

That's why he worries about a top-up catastrophe that could cripple the trucking industry and disrupt food deliveries. ( More fear tactics, everyone is going to go hungry unless we do something – [what congress and the president want] – and do it fast!)

As he told me the other day: "If we end up having gasoline shortages, the odds are about 90% that Americans will do what we always do: We'll top up our tanks. And in topping up our tanks, within three or four days we'll drain the pool dry and then within seven days we'll run out of food." (More fear)

That sounds awfully dire. (Dire!!! To me, the possibility of an economic collapse, being stranded somewhere with no food, facing the possibility of mass starvation and the chaos that would ensue, that sounds absolutely terrifying!) And it probably won't happen. (Then what was the point of bringing it up the way you did?) But, then again, a couple of months ago hardly anybody would have predicted that AIG would collapse, Congress would be mulling a Wall Street bailout, and '70s-era gas lines would be back. (Oh, so you could bring it up again and have one more chance to scare the hell out of us.)


This was not the article I had originally planned to post today, but when I read it this morning, it so clearly illustrates the core issues that we are facing, both in the church and in our society. We have one group that is creating problems, a group trying to keep us from knowing that there is a problem, a group exploiting the fear factor for personal gain, a group who are terrified victims, ... one could say it is simply more business as usual in our country, just a different scenario now.

What is present is fear. Lots of it. What is conspicuously absent, at least in the article, is love.

Anyone seen my rubber duckie?


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rubber duckies to the rescue

Most of us remember this famous song:

Rubber Duckie you’re the one,
You make bathtime lots of fun,
Rubber Duckie I’m awfully fond of you
Rubber Duckie, joy of joys,
When I squeeze you, you make noise,
Rubber Duckie you’re my very best friend it’s true
Oh, every day when I, make my way to the tubby
I find a little fellow who’s cute and yellow and chubby!
Rubber Duckie you’re so fine,
And I’m lucky that you’re mine.
Rubber Duckie, I’d love a whole pond of,
Rubber Duckie, I’m awfully fond of you!
Oh, every day when I, make my way to the tubby
I find a little fellow who’s cute and yellow and chubby!
Rubber Duckie you’re so fine,
And I’m lucky that you’re mine,
Rubber Duckie I’m awfully fond of you!

Words and music by Jeff Moss
First broadcast 2/25/70

The cute little critters that we all know and love made headlines today. Already famous to multiple generations for bathtub fun, duckie now stands on the threshold of new fame, accomplishing something that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sophisticated electronic equipment failed to do ….. track where the runoff from glacial ice melt ends up. The full story is at the following link:


I’m using this as my first posting today because
1) duckies are just plain fun, and we all need to laugh
2) it illustrates how sometimes we unnecessarily complicate life, when the simple things, the simple solutions prove to be the best. In this case, scientists created a variety of complicated and expensive instruments to track the water flow from the glacial melt. All of them disappeared without providing any reliable information.

Who would have thought, that our dear rubber duckie would be the tool scientists used to unlock the secrets of the glacier ice melt.


Where Have The Catholic Healers Gone

For the next two weeks I will be off to New Mexico to participate in a traditional Navajo ceremony. The ceremony itself will take place from October 1st through October 4th. I'll be leaving tomorrow in order to arrive a few days early in order to meet other participants and get a better idea of what to expect. Then one usually spends a few days after the ceremony exchanging visions and experiences, so I expect to be back home around the 9th or 10th of October. This is assuming I don't stop in Vegas. Just joking, I think.
In the meantime Carl will be taking over for me. Rather than waste anyone's time giving you a skewed profile of Carl I'll let him speak for himself. I just want to send out a big thank you to him for agreeing to keep Enlightened Catholicism up and running while I'm off getting enlightened.

I just wrote a comment to Carl on yesterday's post, and am going to reproduce it here, with a little editing. He asked me why I thought our Catholic leadership does not do as Christ did, does not do as He said followers of his would, which is "you shall do these things I do and more."

I answered Carl thus:

My guess Carl is that our leadership is alpha in attitude and that makes them very left brained. Benedict speaks constantly of faith and reason, but healing and mysticism takes a type of faith that transcends left brain reason.

Dissecting the scripture and past theological treatises is a left brain process. It does not develop the connections across the corpus collosum that fosters communication between the hemispheres. Which is important if most of the necessary receptors are in the non dominant section of the brain.

Padre Pio's biggest advantage was to grow up in a family with a psychically gifted mother and a father who supported both of them. In many ways Pio's early life was a fantasy land which fostered the development of both hemispheric modes of thought and communication. Pio was born into a very pious and poor Italian peasant family, and other dimensional worlds were as real to them as this world. Had Pio been born into a middle class family in the west he would most likely have been considered schizophrenic, not spiritually gifted.

Then there is the issue that women have more communication between halves of the brain, and hence a lot of women are involved in healing work. A lot of them have been killed for it. Pschic/Spiritual talent is disproportionately represented in women and gays. The two groups which are not welcome in our clergy.

With this type of psychic/spiritual talent, direct lineage is genetic. It isn't a product of the laying on of hands in Apostolic tradition. While I think everyone is capable of this, it's spread across a continuum like intelligence. Genes count and genes pass to the next generations. In other words if a priest does demonstrate healing ability, I bet there's a gifted woman somewhere in his background. Exactly like Jesus had in His mother Mary.

The fact is that any talent our leadership has would die with them, courtesy of celibacy. It's almost like we have a built in system to insure that genetic spiritual/psychic talent in the religious and clergy dies off. Only God knows how many gifted genetic lines have been truncated by the doctrine of celibacy.

Natives would say this is a dumb thing to do. Then again, their spiritual leadership is based in psychic/spiritual talent. If you don't have it, or don't show that you can communicate with other realities, you don't get the appropriate training or you don't pass beyond certain levels. They realize there is a very definite genetic component, and like Pio, in many cases the training and environment is designed to foster the talent when children are very young.

Catholicism does not see these talents as gifts, and in fact spends most of it's official work trying to disprove and debunk it, rather than train and foster it. Pio was subjected to decades of sanctions by superiors who couldn't handle what he did. That is the norm, not the exception.
From my perspective the Church has done everything it can to prevent it's gifted from doing as Jesuse did, to stamp them out, to assign them as products of Satan. Medjugorge is just another example in a long line of examples. There is something out of the ordinary going on at Medjugorge and the visionaries are gifted. Discernment is not limited to whether or not they report Mary to be spouting the correct Catholic dogma. While the Church dithers over these issues of doctrine and dogma, ordinary people are experiencing deep conversions. That too should be part of the discernment process.

The reason is for all of these attitudes is obvious. It threatens the absolute power of the male clerical system, which is based in the unprovable theology concerning transubstantiation and the power of ordination. These we are expected to take on Faith, and personal experience, the truth of it is beyond scientific observation.
Given the population of Catholicism, some one billion, one would expect that there is a lot of psychic/spiritual talent in the ranks of believers. So where is it? It's all around on the outside edges of official Catholicism. It's in the closet. It's gone in droves to the pentecostal and charismatic churches. It's been shut down for fear of mental illness or satanic influence. In other words, this particular light is under the bushel. That's a shame, but it's most definitely a result of our tradition.

Of the group of us from Helena going to New Mexico, too many are ex Catholics, and only one has Native blood. It's frustrating for me to know that our talent is recognized by Native American practitioners, but would be held at arms length at best, by the clerical representatives of our birth Church.

That's the way it is folks, but as more and more scientific verification comes forward concerning human capabilities and the nature of the cosmos, maybe this is a place where reason needs to guide faith and we will have finally come full circle. We'll be right back to seriously looking at what Jesus said we could do and be, and it will only have taken us two millennia to refind our Catholic healers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Art Of Healing

Yesterday's piece on the Opus Dei research hospital has generated some good commentary about the nature of disease and healing. Interestingly enough there is also a discussion on Catholica Australia about the nature of miraculous healing, and yesterday the Vatican released some documentation concerning their original investigation into Padre Pio from the early twenties.

All this synchronization shouldn't be ignored, so I've decided to add my two cents. Miraculous healings are miraculous only because we don't know very much about how concsiousness works on any level. We're getting better at defining the effects of consciousness, but we're just sticking our toes in the water with regards to the underlying operations of consciousness.

I'm using the word consciousness here for both the day to day active concsiousness and all the unconcsious activities--such as dreaming--which mostly take place in the right (or non dominant) hemisphere. I'll also be getting speculatively out on a limb.

It maybe that we're not making much progress in really understanding concsiousness because of a very fundamental flaw in our approach. Especially in the West. It may be that we are actually two different consciousnesses. The one we perceive as "I" and one we don't perceive at all except in dreaming and other states of non ordinary reality. This second "I" may have far more capacity to manipulate our actual material reality than our day to day "I". I shall call this second "I" the ubiquitous Higher Self.

The seat and operating center of the higher self may be in the non dominant cranial hemisphere. This hemisphere does not operate from a sense of time, does not understand the concept of the negative, makes no judgments, is poor in verbalization but high in puns and alliteration, and operates without giving prominence to our day to day reality. In other words, it is extremely literal which can be seen in hypnosis when people will react exactly the opposite to the way they would in normal reality. Hypnotised people told a burning cigarette won't hurt them don't experience burns or pain.

Think about this for a second. This concsiousness has a reality in which all things are possible and acts in the moment, without making judgments, free from negativity. These are all the attitudes which are necessary to create a new reality.

It's the dominant hemisphere which lives in context of a time continuum, sees itself as a completely separate 'I', judges ideas to death-literally-, and loves the concept of negativity. Unfortunately we actually live the reality created by the dominant hemisphere. Lucky us. There's no question we need to function in a stable reality, but we could have done a better job with defining that reality.

The Corpus Collusum serves as the connecting bridge between the two hemispheres. It's the place where information gets passed back and forth. In most of us this two way communication is stunted to say the least. The more an individual operates out of the dominant hemisphere in context of their over all approach to life, think Alpha male, the less communication between hemispheres. On the other hand, sometimes this communication can get completely out of control and that can result in all kinds of mental illnesses in which the person seems to get caught between competing definitions of reality.

The problem for the Alpha personality is that this type of person will rarely question the status quo, instead they will place all their energy into succeeding with in the dictates of the prevailing culture. They will not seek to create a new reality, instead they will seek a dominant position with in the existing reality.

In our current Western culture, should this person become cancer stricken they will be far less likely to experience a 'miraculous' healing because the dominance of their world view will lead them to believe without question the diagnosis of the prevailing medical establishment. They will experience exactly what they're told to expect because it validates their world view. The "I" of the dominant hemisphere is heavily vested in validating it's world view, even if it means it's eventual death--although at that point things can open up a little.

In my experience miraculous healings occur when the world view of the dominant hemisphere no longer exerts operational control. I suspect that's why these types of healings occur more frequently in young children. They don't actually operate from a dominant hemisphere because they don't have one yet. All things are equally possible and it's easier for the 'higher self' to communicate and create a different reality.

I think one of the things that is overlooked about both Jesus and healers like Padre Pio, is that their really important ability was not the physical healing. It was the identification of the root event which created the manifestation disease in the first place. They could 'read' souls. Until all the competing negative emotional energy around an event is neutralized, the higher self cannot create a new physical reality.

Really good intuitive healers quickly see the energy blocks and the events which triggered the disease to manifest in the body. Once all that energy is gone and the person is in a neutral state, their higher self can indeed create a new physical reality and it does it by changing the existing DNA structure or reverting the DNA back to it's non diseased state. Sometimes it's instantaneous and sometimes it takes a little time. Usually no more than 3 or 4 days.

I suspect this is the reason most of the miraculous cures don't involve things like growing new limbs, even though a previous pattern of genetic wholeness would be available. In order for a new limb to grow it would involve the resetting of the physical DNA for the whole body in order to set up the parameters in which growth occurs. Such a regression would be counter productive.

Although I hold open the possibility of instantaneous regeneration, the observation of such an occurrence would likely topple the sanity of the person involved and many other observers. That possibility is an important control device. One of the other things about this higher self consciousness is it knows it isn't a separate entity and it does not have the authority to topple the sanity of other people who share this experience with it. It is aware of the importance of group consciousness. The higher self seems to operate under the principle of do no harm.

One last thing before I end for today. Intuitives can read a person's soul through what appears to be specific receptors somewhere in the brain which takes in information about a person in an holographic sense. Instead of just seeing the person present, they see the total history of the person, and the best, like Padre Pio, are very accurate.
This also implies that on some level we really are open books, sending our stories out on some level most of us can't access. It may actually be that most of are accessing this information, but we don't have the necessary communication channels open through the corpus collosum. It may also be that there are very very good reasons we don't have these channels open. Most of us are don't have the necessary moral maturity to make good use of this information. Jesus was no dummy, it's why He taught selfless love, non judgmental compassion, and egoless living.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Opus Dei Bio Medical Science To Compete With Lay Version

Catholic Group Dogged By Controversy Seeks Salvation Through Science

On the outskirts of Rome, away from its ancient splendours and heaving piazzas, lies a gleaming new science facility dedicated to discovery, education and research.

Set in 30 hectares, the Biomedical University campus comprises a teaching hospital and university. It has 28 laboratories - a number set to increase - 18 operating theatres, a heliport and 400 beds. It will eventually employ up to 300 researchers and there is fierce competition over its degree courses. Last year, more than 1,200 people applied for 80 places to study medicine.

At the helm of this mission is Opus Dei - a global network of devout Catholics that has been the subject of negative publicity and mythology since its inception 80 years ago.

Clergy and lay people accuse the group of being secretive, controlling, misogynist and ultra-conservative in its theology. It also had ties with authoritarian regimes, with some members attaining seniority in Franco's government. (Maybe all of these aren't accusations, but truth.)

It shot to prominence in 2003 with the publication of The Da Vinci Code. Two characters were Opus Dei members, and both were sinister and devious, with one practising self-mortification, fuelling the idea that it was an extremist movement.

Given the group's perceived reputation, campus staff play down affiliations with the movement, insisting there is no obligation to be members of Opus Dei or even Catholic, although the staff are expected to adopt and respect its values. (Since secrecy is one of those values, I imagine this facility will be the epitome of academic freedom---NOT)

Paolo Maria Rossini, director for scientific activity, is not a member, although the president of the board and a former papal spokesman, Joaquin Navarro Valls, is.

Rossini said: "We don't hide ourselves under the thumb. We are Catholic by declaration. Stem cell research will never be done here. But nobody is going to check how many hours you spend in church." (I'm more concerned about the validity of the research, not how many hours researchers spend in church.)

Rossini's objective is to develop the research facility's capacity to rival secular scientific institutions, devoting enviable resources to neuroscience and oncology.
"When science is going very close to life and death we need good research to be able to compete with lay research," Rossini said. "The impact of science and medicine is a multi-faceted challenge and one of many frontiers the church has to face." (Science is value neutral. It's about repetitive scientific truth. It is not about competition between competing philosophies of truth. Good research is good research, period.)

His mission bears a Vatican blessing. Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, secretary of state and the second most senior official in the Roman curia, inaugurated the campus this year.
He reminded assembled dignitaries of a key papal belief - that medical science must respect life - and told them: "Here you must transmit the gospel through your professional work, aided by modern technology.

"You have to make your voices heard in the world of science without renouncing the non-negotiable values of the human patrimony." (It sounds like Cardinal Bertone is confusing science with Vatican definitions of secularism.)

But Opus sceptics noted that Pope Benedict XVI did not attend the campus inauguration and interpreted his absence as a snub. There was also thinly disguised glee when the Vatican replaced Navarro Valls with a Jesuit priest as papal spokesman.

It was seen as a blow to the privileged status enjoyed by the group under the papacy of John Paul II, who was so captivated by Opus Dei's aims of sanctifying secular activities that he called them a "great ideal" and canonised the founder, Saint Josemaria Escriva, in a manner deemed unusually rapid by Vatican standards. (Some of us think JPII was enamored by something else entirely concerning Opus Dei--like their fascist and authoritarian theology and structure.)

The late pontiff's enthusiasm was a root cause for resentment and suspicion. Under Joseph Ratzinger this emotional connection has cooled. (This is one of the biggest reasons I'm developing a fondness for Benedict. He doesn't seemed to be all that thrilled with theocratic fascist organizations.)

The campus will help to fulfil Opus Dei's vision of creating a white-collar Catholic elite. Typically, members are intense, intelligent and highly motivated, said John Allen, from the National Catholic Reporter and author of a book on the movement. (I thought I just wrote something about caste systems. Maybe I'll have to write more.)

"There is an ethos of excellence that is part of the culture. If you buy into the philosophy that your everyday work is a service to God then you will do that work really well."

The group's ability to mould articulate, intelligent, successful individuals accounts for its profile and influence, which is disproportionate to its numbers yet allows it to punch above its weight.

Allen says the campus is also a way to inject a note of calm over Opus Dei by providing opportunities for positive encounters with members. "It has carved out a niche that appeals to people who want to live a serious religious life and have the same level of commitment as a priest or a nun. (I wonder if it's all that Opus Dei molding that precludes these people from becoming a priest or nun, and that allows them to subordinate their godly work to Opus Dei leadership.)

"It is about evangelising the profession, bringing a spiritual depth to work. They are interested in bringing a Christian approach to law, politics, architecture, so it's no surprise they're doing it with this campus." (It isn't about Christian, it's about Opus Dei theology and philosophy, so it is no surprise they are doing it with an Opus Dei bio medical research facility.)

But one former member, Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann, believes that Opus Dei has a covert agenda to its activities. He was a member for 22 years, joining in 1969, and was one of those closest to its founder. The group's overall aim is to recruit, he said. (Recruit for what and for whom. Can't be Jesus. He wasn't into forming an 'elite' group of white collar intelligentsia.)

"Covertly it's to have something to which you attract leading scientists and persuade them to join. But it's hard to know who belongs and who doesn't because they're encouraged not to tell you. You don't know what they're up to." (Guess what Father, you're not supposed to.)

Former members seek out Felzmann, a priest in the London diocese of Westminster, for pastoral care. He concedes that Opus Dei contributes positively in the fields of education and healthcare, yet remains concerned by its impact on individuals who break away.

"When you meet people who, as a result of Opus Dei, give up religion and don't want funeral prayers to be said, then that matters." (Not to Opus Dei. These apostate people are no longer 'elite'. They are self made failures.)

He said he was saddened, rather than bitter, about the group. "When Christianity and fascism embrace you get Opus Dei. It was born in a time of fascism. They don't teach respect and love for others." (BINGO.)

But Opus Dei continues to grow. Success in Spain, Italy and Latin America has emboldened it to embrace Russia, Kazakhstan, South Korea and Vietnam.

Such ambition is not cheap - the campus cost around €30m (£23.5m) - and Opus Dei receives funding from the European Union and the Italian state for some initiatives. It also has benefactors, sometimes non-members, who finance activities. One Jesuit priest argues the group is "putting its money where its mouth is" by wanting to excel in morally acceptable areas.

Father John Paris, Walsh Professor of Bioethics at Boston College, said: "They want to be leaders. They would love to win the Nobel prize. If you're working in cancer research and can choose where to go, you'll go to the best.

"Opus Dei is committed to having an impact on those they think will be influential and successful. Why do people go to Yale or Harvard? Build a bigger mousetrap and better people will come. They want to play with the big boys." (I wonder if this was intentional on Father Paris's part, or just a Freudian slip. Mouse trap indeed.)


As one can see from my multiple comments with in the article, this piece just lends itself to commentary. I can't help but wonder just why Opus Dei and their benefactors felt the need to build their own bio medical research facility. It's not like there aren't plenty of other Catholic research hospitals and teaching facilities. Places like St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Tennessee already have a formidable reputation for the quality of their care and their research.

However, if the numbers of applications for admission are any indication, it does appear as if Biomedical University Campus has an inbuilt reason for existence. I guess I can't be too surprised about this development, given that the Jesuits have been running their own universities for centuries. I guess starting your own system of higher education is one way to tell if a recent apostolic group has made the big time. The Legionaires certainly do this, as do any number of other recently founded religious groups.

A biomedical research facility might be a horse of a different color though. I couldn't help but notice that the specialties will be neuroscience and oncology. Recent break throughs in neuroscience are probably especially troubling to the Vatican, especially quantum neurophysiology.
Some of the research is indicating that our brains are capable of connecting with a larger number of information streams than previously thought. This has the potential to call into question a few pet ideas concerning the supernatural and our place in the creation of the universe, and all of this has serious repercussions for the traditional Catholic world view. I kind of wonder if in some secret isolated lab somewhere on campus there won't be some Catholic values laden research designed to debunk quantum neurophysics.

In any case, more power to Opus Dei in their attempt to defend the universal truths of Catholicism as they pertain to the biomedical field. I just hope they don't think they are pursuing a neutral scientific path because they won't be. I also hope that the ever so obedient researchers and their work aren't used for some other purpose besides 'competing with lay research'.

I know some readers--especially with that previous sentence---are going to wonder if I haven't gone off the paranoid scale, but until Opus Dei gets far more transparent, I just can't help wondering.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Caste Systems And Christian Persecutions

"The father of the nation brought freedom to India, freedom from British rule. Sadly, however, Mahatma’s struggle for liberation in India is not complete".

AsiaNews presents an exclusive reflection given by Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, to correspondent Nirmala Carvalho. In it, the cardinal explains how the anti-Christian violence underway in many parts of the country is an attempt to keep India in the slavery of discrimination and caste division, and to block its complete liberation.

"Gandhi always preached equality", he recalls, "he never tired of saying, 'We are all children of God', and those blinded – who were unable to understand him - killed him".

"The work of Gandhiji is not complete. Today, our beloved motherland India is in a certain sense in a worse situation than in the days under the British regime. India has to be liberated from these forces - the forces of darkness which are burning Christians, raping nuns, killing innocent Christians, destroying and desecrating churches - India has to be liberated from them. These forces instigate others to choose to live their lives in the way of darkness and their deeds are death, division and destruction".

"The central government is taking certain steps in the right direction, and invoked article 355 of the constitution. The opposition to this article 355 is also politically motivated. God writes straight even on crooked lines, and something good will come out of this, truth shall prevail".
"In the words of our Mahatma: 'They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me - then they will have my dead body, not my obedience'. And in Orissa, our priests, religious and lay people have endured this, and they are witnesses of the light of Christ". (Invoking article 355 essentially threatens the state of Orissa with Federal control of the state.)

"We are only instrument of the Risen Lord, we must look at Jesus on the Cross, forgive our enemies, and we shall see that these enemies will be defeated, overcome. The Cross is our strength, we are elected to be witnesses of the Resurrected Christ, and this has a very strong link to our symbol of freedom 'Satya Meva Jayate', meaning 'Truth Alone Triumphs', which is written below our national emblem - one of the national symbols of our freedom".

"No one lives in a vacuum, we are proud Indians. Gandhi lived the Gospel values, he conquered the British empire, so our ancestors immortalised for all eternity on the national symbol of our freedom the line 'Satya Meva Jayate'. Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi fought against the power of force. In Orissa and the other states ravaged by certain extremists forces, forceful powers were unleashed on the innocent Chrsitians, causing death and destruction for the minority Christian community".

"Gandhiji’s work his work is yet to be completed. His struggle was for liberty for India and it will be this strength of courage in self-sacrifice and forgiveness that will be for the benefit of all. This is the beginning of something new, for India, for the Church and for the world. Violence, terrorism and hate will be overcome: Truth Will Prevail - Satya Meva Jayate".


The situation in Orissa between Hindus extremists and Christians, is now spreading to other
Indian states. Invoking article 355, which essentially threatens both Orissa and the southern state of Karnataka with Federal emergency rule, is seen to be a response to the fact the state authorities have done nothing to stop the violence being inflicted on Christians by Hindu radicals.

Eye witness accounts speak of killings, torture, forced conversions, and millions of dollars of lost property, mostly private, but also church buildings, for which the state police have stood by and watched. The two states in question are led by the BJP, a Hindu nationalist party, which represents the largest opposition party to the ruling federal government.

Since Christians represent less than 2.5% of India's total population, some observers wonder if the Federal government will have the political will to follow through on their threat. It seems to me that this is an important question. Will a Nation/State founded on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi follow through on those principles, or cave in to political expediency?

Cardinal Toppo's observation in this article gets to the heart of the matter. Christianity's foundational philosophy of the equality of all people stands in stark contrast to the caste system of Hinduism--theoretically that is.

Within the Roman Catholic Church itself vestiges of the caste system still operate. Most of the clergy are from the upper castes, and most of the laity from the Dalits or untouchables. Some observers put this distinction in stark terms: 90% of the clergy/religious are from the upper castes, 70% of the laity are Dalits. When John Paul II addressed this issue with the Indian Bishops Conference in late 2003, only six of the 156 bishops were Dalits.

Much of the violence in India is not necessarily because of Catholicism, although Catholicism is taking the brunt of the attacks, but from the true equality practiced by Protestant evangelical sects. Catholicism as it's currently structured, doesn't pose much of a threat to the entrenched social caste system, but Evangelical Protestantism does. The reality is that in India the social caste system is changing with the increase in over all education, and the fact discrimination based on the caste system is officially outlawed in the Indian constitution.

It's tempting to look at this situation in India as purely religious intolerance, and plain old political fear mongering. Looking at it a little deeper though, there are other aspects to this fear mongering. One of them is the link the BJP maintains exists between Christianity and economic exploitation. In other words Christian evangelization brings with it a lot of poverty, to which it's leaders are indifferent, because the reward is in the next world for exploited believers, but in this world for the exploiters. That's pretty dark energy as well.

I did a little research and found you can make a very strong case for a direct correlation between percentage of a national population which claims to be Christian and the percentage of people living under the poverty line. Actually all one needs to do is take a quick look at this map and couple it with the history of Christian evangelization. It does seem that where the gospel message was brought, poverty followed and became entrenched. A de facto form of an economic caste system was part and parcel the Gospel message.

Is the US free from this notion of the linkage of Christianity and poverty? Actually it's getting worse. Here's a recent study done by a University of Utah professor linking payday loan offices with percentage of fundamental Christians. The debacle on Wall Street is being played out on Main Street, but I doubt there will be a bailout package for people being fleeced by pay day loan companies. That particular form of resurrection is reserved for the very wealthy, the rest of us get to be witnesses of the Resurrected Christ.

I think Christians, especially American Christians, need to really think about the issues of Christianity and poverty. If it's true that poverty follows the Gospel message, at least the message as it's taught by those in the service of the economic interests of the West, it may give us a few clues as to why some of the world's other religions are not keen on the spread of Christianity. It's not about the overt message of Jesus, it's about the hidden agenda of some messengers.

That's as true for us in the States as it is for Christians in India. Christians have to stop defending the messengers who twist the message for their own ends, and ask them to start living the Gospel values they espouse. A good place to start is with the Wall Street bail out. Cardinal Toppo's reference to the Truth espoused by Ghandi pertains just as much to our political parties as it does to the BJP.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Greed, The Gift That Keeps On Taking

Billions for Payouts?! Who Pays?
By Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

The current financial crisis facing our country has been caused by the extreme right-wing economic policies pursued by the Bush administration. These policies, which include huge tax breaks for the rich, unfettered free trade and the wholesale deregulation of commerce, have resulted in a massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthy. (Not precisely true. Republicans had a lot of help from the Clinton administration.)

The middle class has really been under assault. Since President Bush has been in office, nearly 6 million Americans have slipped into poverty, median family income for working Americans has declined by more than $2,000, more than 7 million Americans have lost their health insurance, over 4 million have lost their pensions, foreclosures are at an all time high, total consumer debt has more than doubled, and we have a national debt of over $9.7 trillion dollars. (If we're going to be truthful about this mess, everyone who bought a house they couldn't afford and took on credit card debt they couldn't pay, are part and parcel of this mess. I'm not discounting the fact that in many cases people were misled into taking on debt they couldn't afford, or that unforeseen job losses put people into a default state.)

While the middle class collapses, the richest people in this country have made out like bandits and have not had it so good since the 1920s. The top 0.1 percent now earn more money than the bottom 50 percent of Americans, and the top 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. The wealthiest 400 people in our country saw their wealth increase by $670 billion while Bush has been president. In the midst of all of this, Bush lowered taxes on the very rich so that they are paying lower income tax rates than teachers, police officers or nurses. (This horribly skewed wealth redistribution is truly an 'intrinsic' evil.)

Now, having mismanaged the economy for eight years as well as having lied about our situation by continually insisting, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong," the Bush administration, six weeks before an election, wants the middle class of this country to spend many hundreds of billions on a bailout. The wealthiest people, who have benefited from Bush's policies and are in the best position to pay, are being asked for no sacrifice at all. This is absurd. This is the most extreme example that I can recall of socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor. (This is a brilliant line and aptly sums up the economic philosophy of the Freidman shock therapy school of economics.)
In my view, we need to go forward in addressing this financial crisis by insisting on four basic principles:

(1) The people who can best afford to pay and the people who have benefited most from Bush's economic policies are the people who should provide the funds for the bailout. It would be immoral to ask the middle class, the people whose standard of living has declined under Bush, to pay for this bailout while the rich, once again, avoid their responsibilities. Further, if the government is going to save companies from bankruptcy, the taxpayers of this country should be rewarded for assuming the risk by sharing in the gains that result from this government bailout.

Specifically, to pay for the bailout, which is estimated to cost up to $1 trillion, the government should:
a) Impose a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers. That would raise more than $300 billion in revenue;

b) Ensure that assets purchased from banks are realistically discounted so companies are not rewarded for their risky behavior and taxpayers can recover the amount they paid for them; (This is called exposing them to the Natural Consequences of their behavior.)

c) Require that taxpayers receive equity stakes in the bailed-out companies so that the assumption of risk is rewarded when companies' stock goes up.

(2) There must be a major economic recovery package which puts Americans to work at decent wages. Among many other areas, we can create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and moving our country from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Further, we must protect working families from the difficult times they are experiencing. We must ensure that every child has health insurance and that every American has access to quality health and dental care, that families can send their children to college, that seniors are not allowed to go without heat in the winter, and that no American goes to bed hungry.

(3) Legislation must be passed which undoes the damage caused by excessive de-regulation. That means reinstalling the regulatory firewalls that were ripped down in 1999. That means re-regulating the energy markets so that we never again see the rampant speculation in oil that helped drive up prices. That means regulating or abolishing various financial instruments that have created the enormous shadow banking system that is at the heart of the collapse of AIG and the financial services meltdown.

(4) We must end the danger posed by companies that are "too big too fail," that is, companies whose failure would cause systemic harm to the U.S. economy. If a company is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. We need to determine which companies fall in this category and then break them up. Right now, for example, the Bank of America, the nation's largest depository institution, has absorbed Countrywide, the nation's largest mortgage lender, and Merrill Lynch, the nation's largest brokerage house. We should not be trying to solve the current financial crisis by creating even larger, more powerful institutions. Their failure could cause even more harm to the entire economy. (The other problem with this, as exposed by the Bush fiascoes, is that institutions this big become de facto shadow governments.)


Bernie Sanders analysis has some very important points about just where the government needs to go if we're going to be handing out upwards of a trillion tax dollars to solve another monster problem brought on by deregulation, corporate cronyism, and unfettered greed.

Everything I've read indicates that Congress will be trying to fast track legislation before the end of next week. I hope Senator Sanders is heard by both sides of the political spectrum. He has an important message. Personally, having already had my own run in with Bank of America's penchant for takeovers, their gains of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Loans scares me silly. The only thing which would be scarier is if I found out Walmart was a major stockholder.

All of that aside though, the people who will really pay for this bailout are the people for whom the generosity of Americans was literally the difference between life and death. Catholica Australia has an interview with Claudette Weirle who is the Secretary General of Pax Christi. Her specific concern is Haiti and how this will effect this small economically devastated island nation.

But it isn't just Haiti who will be seriously impacted. Any nation whose life blood is the money generated by immigrants in the United States is going to be devastated. Any nation who is dependent on American foreign aid and personal charity is going to be devastated. This devastation will get worse as the dollar declines. This devastation will get worse as the ripple effect of bailout loans from other banking systems begins to impact the ability of developing nations to compete with our corporate needs. This is hardly just a problem for the US middle class. This is truly a problem for all the global poor.

I wish our bishops would start to rail about the intrinsic evil this situation represents. In Benedict's travels in France he gave a sermon in which he spoke about the evil of idol worship and the root of all evil, which is greed. How prophetic he turned out to be.

America's unregulated corporate economy has been given the capacity to destroy the hopes, dreams, and lives of other global people along with the American middle class. This American corporate form of the 'redistribution of wealth' may go down in history as the worst form of social evil ever unleashed on mankind. Trust me, that's not hyperbole, that's going to be fact.

Congress needs to drop the partisanship and finally act in the best interests of the COMMON GOOD. Out of this dark period can come resurrection, but it's going to take people willing to pay the price. The question is, does congress have enough?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jumbled Thoughts About Politics and Hunting and The Seamless Garment of Life

Serious political stuff going on tonight. Apparently America's favorite hockey mom referred to her ticket as the Palin and McCain administration. View video here. I'd stick the video on this blog, but the fact is I haven't figured out how to do that. Here's a really great comment or two from now suddenly ex republicans:

Just as Cheney is the real Prez and Bush is only the front man, so will Palin be the real Prez and McCain be the front man.
If they win, we're looking for another country to move to. Its barely liveable in the US now. Can you imagine what the Palin/McCain administration will do for the United States??????????

Another Republican who is fed up with Palin-Mc... I mean McCain-Palin. I'm staying home. This woman is a serial liar, and regrettably Senator McCain seems to have signed on to the same tactics. The GOP needs to repent and find our honor again, and that means this sort of blind stupidity has to be purged from the party. Maybe a loss in Nov. will teach some of us a lesson.( Are you telling me that the Wall Street meltdown didn't tell you this, but Palin of Palin/McCain did?)

Me too, a real live Republican woman voting for Obama. Palin can't fool me. What a joke this is, I can't believe this is how we elect the president of the most powerful country in the world. I feel like I'm in some kind of a nightmare. (You aren't the only one.)

What is the difference between Sarah Palin and George Bush? Lipstick. (Priceless, simply priceless.)

There is also speculation reported by the San Francisco Chronicle that Palin has cancelled speaking stops in California and Seattle. If this is true, the California stops are very telling because they sold out immediately, and this is the state with the anti gay marriage on the ballot.
But then again, the McCain campaign has 'disappeared' Carly Fiorina after she admitted neither McCain or Palin was qualified to run Hewlett Packard. I guess Carly has a little too much ego invested in her last job. The one she was fired from but whose company board still gave her a 42 million dollar golden parachute

It's kind of interesting that Palin hasn't really gone into the gay thing yet. This just might have something to do with the FACT she didn't veto a fight a bill in Alaska which granted benefits to same sex partners. Apparently her 'attorney advisor' told her vetoing the bill would open an even bigger can of worms. Her 'attorney advisor' is paid by a right wing political legal NGO out of Texas. Texas? Shock and Awe.

In a previous article I wrote that McCain might rue the day he unleashed Palin on himself and the Republican party. I wrote the article the day of his own acceptance speech. It's not prophecy, it's plain old psychology. The woman is rabid ambition personified.

Here's another kind of interesting conversation I had today--with myself. We've had the sort of incident that raises a great deal of passion in a smaller community. Helena is about 5 times the size of Wasilla and about 200 times smaller than LA. Three young gentleman were arrested and prosecuted for the mutilation and torture of about twenty cats. The torture included hacking off legs, poking out eyes and burning them alive. This is not the kind of thing we think our kids are capable of, even though we all know it's more or less wishful thinking. It occasionally happens, if rarely, even here.

So today I'm thinking about this, and being a cat lover, I'm pissed about it. I then realized this country is considering electing a woman who advocated and still does, for the hunting of wolves and bears from air planes. Guess what, that's torture as well. Most of the time the 'hunters' run the animals into exhaustion from the air making the shot and the tracking easier. The shot still isn't' that easy and they miss kill shots frequently, and the animal really suffers. I used to really get into it with my brothers over this form of hunting. It's hardly hunting,

And then I thought, well the fact is, John McCain hunted Vietnamese from the air. Only he had bombs and that calibre of bullet is so large it didn't make distinctions between legal enemy combatants and civilian non combatants. That's what we called things back then. Now we call civilian non combatants collateral damage. And then I thought war really really sucks, especially when we trumpet our ability to conduct it from the air, especially when our enemies don't have a real air force--like Iraq. At least McCain took some real risks, no stealth technology for him, and he paid a price for his hunting. Unlike some other aerial hunters I could name, and some alleged cat torturers. Somehow all of these thoughts get all jumbled up and I wonder just what we mean by a 'seamless garment of life'. I guess it's all in one's mind, and usually all jumbled up.

Angels, Angels Everywhere

Guardian Angels Are Here, Say Most Americans

By David Van Biema Thursday, Sep. 18, 2008
Dominic DiSaia / Getty

More than half of all Americans believe they have been helped by a guardian angel in the course of their lives, according to a new poll by the Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion. In a poll of 1700 respondents, 55% answered affirmatively to the statement, "I was protected from harm by a guardian angel." The responses defied standard class and denominational assumptions about religious belief; the majority held up regardless of denomination, region or education — though the figure was a little lower (37%) among respondents earning more than $150,000 a year. (These are amazing statistics. You don't very often find a phenomenon that crosses all the usual boundaries.)

The guardian angel encounter figures were "the big shocker" in the report, says Christopher Bader, director of the Baylor survey that covered a range of religious issues, parts of which are being released Thursday in a book titled What Americans Really Believe. (Amazing how those angelic types are the shocking common denominator.)

In the case of angels, however, the question is a little stronger than just belief. Says Bader, "If you ask whether people believe in guardian angels, a lot of people will say, 'sure.' But this is different. It's experiential. It means that lots of Americans are having these lived supernatural experiences." (Maybe it's because the 'non organic sentient beings', we call angels really do exist right along side of us and have the capacity to effect our reality.)

Sociologists may need further research to determine how broadly the data should be interpreted. The Baylor study tested other statements that might indicate a similar belief in the supernatural intruding into everyday personal experience — "I heard the voice of God speaking to me"; and "I received a miraculous physical healing." But far fewer people claimed to have had those experiences. This raises the possibility that guardian angels, which famously support an industry of sentimental accessories, are just so darned attractive that they exist in a charmed belief niche of their own. (Of course, there is another possibility, and that is that they actually exist.)

But other factors may be in play. On one end of the spectrum of American religion are the analytical churches, on both the right and the left theologically and politically, which are primarily concerned with establishing Biblical principles to live by — and are suspicious of any modern-day irruption of the supernatural into religious life. Their miracles all took place in the Bible.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the more experiential churches, like many African-American denominations and those in the Pentecostal movement, that lay heavy emphasis on the workings of the Holy Spirit, where the supernatural, through gifts like healing, prophesying and speaking in tongues, makes regular visits in the pews. In the middle are sacramental faiths like Roman Catholicism, where the supernatural has a regular place on the altar (after all, the Eucharist is said to be the literal body and blood of Christ) but one that occurs only within the restrictions of very specific ritual.

What's interesting about the Baylor findings on guardian angel experiences is that they cross all boundaries. They have scriptural writ (in Psalm 91 and elsewhere). They are clearly experiential. And guardian angels are a prominent part of Catholic belief that happens to float freely outside of a sacrament. The cross-spectrum legitimacy of the notion of angelic interventions may free Americans to engage in the kind of folk faith that is part of almost any religious system but is not always officially acknowledged. (It may also free Americans to admit angels exist and they are not denominationaly challenged. And more than that, they work with DEMOCRATS as well as republicans.)

Randall Ballmer, chairman of the religion department at New York's Barnard College, says that the Baylor angel figures are one in a periodic series of indications that "Americans live in an enchanted world," and engage in a kind of casual mysticism independent of established religious ritual, doctrine or theology. "There is," he says, a "much broader uncharted range of religious experience among the populace than we expect." Just possibly, Baylor has begun to chart it. (Try this thought on for size: Maybe they really exist, but as of now, the only intellectual framework in which to put them is the religious framework. Science will get there someday, and maybe sooner than later.)


I don't normally post twice in one day, but this article was a must post. This is a truly fascinating finding and I don't think the timing of it's release is an accident. Michael and his friends are getting more and more active all the time. They are a discrete race of super intelligent beings that just happen not to have an organic basis, and not only that, they are the embodiment of unconditional love in light form. The operative word is unconditional love, so of course experiences of them would cross all boundaries.

All the religions of the book claim stories of angelic interaction, even the Koran, and all the descriptions are the same. I've even gone so far as to ask Michael if they weren't the genesis of the events recorded in the books and he laughed and said "One could certainly come to the that understanding --legitimately." He never gives a straight answer, but then any answer a person gets from them has multiple levels of meaning. They don't seem to think in terms of single ideas. Their ideas are onions with layers and layers of meaning.

He once tried to explain this to me by speaking of the information contained in a beam of light. It's not discrete, it's holistic. The information in light is not a series of dot/dashes, it's more a hologram. It bursts on you, and sometimes dealing with the burst in this reality takes a lot of time. For them time doesn't really exist and so their thought processes are not constrained by time, and do not need to be linear.

I admit that this is hard to get my head around, as I type this sentence one letter at a time. If Michael was doing this, the whole thing would just appear--without typos. For them communication is analogous to sending the entirety of the New York Times Web Site and digesting it all at once, where as we would have to take hours if not days, as we broke it down page by page in order to read it. This is why communication with them can be challenging. That is unless you don't want it to be, and it seems a lot of people don't want to get past their en cultured understandings. That's too bad, because they are missing out on what is a truly an enchanting and challenging relationship.

If anyone reading this wants to test the angelic communication realm, all you have to do is sincerely ask. Then start looking for synchronicities. I think I might have mentioned using songs on the radio. That seems to be a favorite form of communicating at this time.
From then on it's all about the fun and from my experience you can go as far as you want with the relationship. The only proviso is that if you want to link your abilities with theirs you better be prepared to make the huge conversion to unconditional love. They're not just here as interfering guardians. They are also our teachers and the lesson is the transforming power of unconditional love. I don't mean just personally transforming, I mean material reality transforming.

Wall Street Burns A Hole In Our Tax Pockets--Nothing Enlightened About This

I've watched the current melt down of Wall Street with frustrated sadness. I suppose that's because I have very distinct memories of the Savings and Loan bail outs of the late 80's. At that time I wondered how some of these same conservatives who screamed for deregulation under Ronald Reagan could turn around four years later and ask us normal tax payers to pony up the money necessary to fix the mess generated by their greed. That little tax payer fix has cost the Americans slightly over one trillion dollars. At this level the word 'slightly' is kind of misleading. It actually means another hundred billion.

In the current mess, bailing out AIG alone is pegged at 85 billion. According to one source, that's more money than the entire 8 years of Aid to Families with Dependent Children under GW Bush. That's just AIG, that's not Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that's not Bear/Stearns, that's not anyone else rumored to be in the same financial straights. How comforting for these CEO's to know they can lobby their way to unregulated greed and then lobby their way to a monster bail out when their policies blow up in their faces.

I understand the ramifications of not bailing out these particular companies. The trickle down effect would resemble a hurricane surge. That's the funny thing about Reaganomics, wealth trickles down---slowly drips is more like it----but stupid bad debt roars down.

At this point I truly do not understand how anyone could consider voting McCain into office. From his involvement with the Keating five of S & L fame, to his consistent voting to deregulate and deregulate and bail out and bail out, and now his idea that there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the economy, the man has shown his stripes. He really seems to want to turn the USA into a corporate socialist state. It seems to me we're awfully damn close.

Here's one thing we avoided though, President Bush didn't get his way with privatization of social security. Given the current decline in the stock market that could have been a disaster of epic proportions for a lot of people. It could have been a disaster for the stock market too. Imagine the chaos with a hundred million small investors all trying to pull their retirement funds out at the same time. Barclay's wouldn't have touched Lehman Brothers. They wouldn't have been able to get a call through.

Here's another thing I've learned in the last couple of days. A couple of the lesser known right wing political groups have been working with Sarah Palin since before her run for governor of Alaska. Seems they saw in her a bright and shining new face on which to pin their hopes for their version of a theocracy. Poor Mike Huckabee, he seems to have been thrown under the bus for a bible reading hockey mom.

These same people are now involved in stopping the investigation of Troopergate. They've even gotten her to do a complete about face on her initial statement to cooperate with the Alaska legislature. They've also gotten her to renege on plan two, which was essentially to investigate herself. Somehow, Troopergate has become democratic posturing, a phony partisan attempt to derail the McCain/Palin ticket. Huh? It's all confusing to Alaskans as well.

There must be a different set of ethics in play in political races, especially presidential political races. I have no idea who this 2008 version of John McCain is, and I probably had a better idea of the real Sarah Palin when I had no idea Sarah Palin existed. On the other hand, Joe BIden is Joe Biden, always has been and will be, and Barak Obama is.......a very good orator!
Hmmm, maybe it really is time for the rapture.