Category Archives: Philosophy & Spirituality

The Buddhist way-Principles to live by

The Buddhist way


Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.


The sad truth is that there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need.  When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave.  The good news is, if you tough it out, you’ll eventually weed these people out of your life and be left with some great people you can count on.  We rarely lose friends and lovers, we just gradually figure out who our real ones are.  So when people walk away from you, let them go.   Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you.  It doesn’t mean they are bad people; it just means that their part in your story is over.


When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story.  Everyone hasgone through something that has changed them, and forced them to grow.  Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.  We meet no ordinary people in our lives.  If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer.  So appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.


Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.  There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected.  Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.  People will notice your kindness.


In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway, and it’s rude to try.  So save yourself from needless stress.  Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example.


Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for those who are making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Be thankful for their blessings, openly.  What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.


In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome self.  And when they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same.  Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress.  Be your imperfectly perfect self around them.  We are not perfect for everyone, we are only perfect for those select few people that really take the time to get to know us and love us for who we really are.  And to those select few, being our imperfectly perfect self is what they love about us.


Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.  Remember, the less time you spend hating the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.


Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.  You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people.  Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.


As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.  Remember, life is kind of like a party.  You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late.  But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess.  And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess.  These people are your real friends in life.  They are the ones who matter most.


True love and real friendship aren’t about being inseparable. These relationships are about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.  When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority.  Loyalty is everything.


In human relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection.  Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart.  So don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words.  Stay in touch with those who matter to you.  Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort.  Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.  Paying attention to these people is a priority.


If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT!  If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE!  If you say you feel something, MEAN IT!  If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE.  It’s always better to tell people the truth up front.  Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts.  Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out; half-truths are no better than lies.  Remember, love and friendship don’t hurt.  Lying, cheating and screwing with people’s feelings and emotions hurts.  Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours.  Always be open and honest.


Don’t expect what you are not willing to give.  Start practicing the golden rule.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.  It works.  It really is this simple.


Give the people in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable.  Information is the grease that keeps the engine of communication functioning.  Start communicating clearly.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours.  Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationships, start with bad communication.


Do not judge others by your own past.  They are living a different life than you are.  What might be good for one person may not be good for another.  What might be bad for one person might change another person’s life for the better.  Allow people to make their own mistakes and their own decisions.


Less advice is often the best advice.  People don’t need lots of advice, they need a listening ear and some positive reinforcement.  What they want to know is often already somewhere inside of them.  They just need time to think, be and breathe, and continue to explore the undirected journeys that will eventually help them find their direction.


Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.  There are many roads to what’s right.  And most of the time it just doesn’t matter that much.


No one has the right to judge you.  They might have heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you were going through.  No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently.  So concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is right.  What most people think and say about you isn’t all that important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.


One of the most painful things in life is losing yourself in the process of loving others too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are, and that what you think and how you feel matters?  When was the last time someone told you that you did a good job, or took you someplace, simply because they know you feel happy when you’re there?  When was the last time that ‘someone’ was YOU?


Words to live by?

What is your life motto?

  • You are the main character of your story. Act like it.
  • Everything in moderation, even moderation.
  • Change is the nature of the universe.
  • It’s better to laugh about it than cry about it.
  • The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.
  • The meaning of life is to give life meaning.
  • Acquire experiences, not objects.
  • Accept what you can’t change, change what you can’t accept.
  • Always leave a party while you’re still having fun.
  • If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.
  • The only constant is change.
  • Live and let live.
  • In the end, it will be ok.  If things aren’t OK, then it isn’t the end.
  • So far so good.

What we think and what we do — addendum

Here is some further input from Richard Moore about how to engage in productive dialog with people holding widely different beliefs and models of the world.–t.h.g.

I agree that defense of dogmas is a key concept. We all need to have a ‘working model’ of the world, in order to get along in it. If we can hold it as a model, something useful but not final, then we are in a position to learn and to converse openly and creatively. In the case of most people, and we must simply accept this, models are held to one degree or another as ‘truth’, and the less deeply a model is rooted in real understanding, the more intense the defensiveness when challenged, creating barriers to both learning and productive dialog. 
If we accept this reality, then it becomes clear that productive dialog, among people with differing models, can only happen in the right kind of ‘container’ for that dialog. It’s not about getting clever about ‘breaking down the defensive barriers’, rather it’s about providing a ‘safe space’, where each person is listened to with respect, and challenges to beliefs are avoided. When people feel ‘heard’, and they are not attacked, then their ‘defend’ button does get not pressed; they begin to relax, and pay more attention to what others are saying. In fact, much of the content in people’s dogmas turns out to have little relevance to the real world or to the problems we face as a society.
best wishes,

What we think and what we do.

Here below is a very insightful expression of Richard Moore’s  political science and intellectual process. Despite its length, it is a piece that is well worth careful study.

A key point for me is the “defense of dogma” that we see all around us. To challenge any element of a person’s belief set is to threaten the entire structure of their worldview. When those foundations are shaken people get angry and defensive. This is especially clear with regard to religious zealots. Many will kill you for it, as Jesus discovered, but it is always the heretics who provide the hope for human progress. For, “the letter of the law [dogmatic rigidity] killeth, but the spirit [the fundamental purpose of the law] giveth life.”—t.h.g.

On 01/12/2012 10:28 PM, Richard Moore wrote:


In the previous posting I referred to some ‘angry’ responses re/ questioning the wisdom of vaccines. And indeed that was the objection: to even question this sacrament was already a sin. That is, if I spread doubt in people’s minds, they might make the ‘wrong’ decision (not get vaccinated), and that would be ‘bad for them’. I would be ‘hurting them’ (and others around them) by telling them the ‘wrong thing’.

Such observations reflect a particular underlying perspective: What ‘people are told’ must conform to ‘what is correct’, because most people cannot be trusted to think for themselves. It’s an elitist perspective: We are the informed and educated class; the unwashed masses [Orwell’s Proles] must be taught what to think and what to believe.

I sympathize with that perspective to some extent, because that’s more or less how I looked at things, back in 1994, when I first started cyberjournal. I believed that ‘educating the right wing’ was the path to political empowerment. Us radicalized liberals had the answers, and we needed to ‘explain the truth’ better, so all could see. That was how I saw things before I began trying seriously to understand how the world works.

It took quite a while, but I finally did learn two important lesson in my attempts to ‘explain’ to the Proles why they were ‘wrong’. First, I learned that it cannot be done. That is, there are deep differences in how different people see the world, and ‘uniformity of understanding’ could never come about through rational discussion. In a society with any kind of openness, with any kind of free expression, we are stuck with a diversity of views among we the people, on a great many issues. Second, I learned that conservatives get it right sometimes, and liberals get it wrong sometimes: both sides deserve to be listened to.

On top of that background, of innate diversity of views, we have all the propaganda channels, on television, over talk radio, from pulpits, and on the Internet. The channels themselves have diverse perspectives, and the outcome is an accentuation of diversity in the population. Each ‘audience segment’ is reinforced in its views, by channels that reflect those views, and which provide lots of ongoing confirmation of the validity of those views – along with frequent illustrations of the error of contrary views. These ‘channels’ include not just the ‘news’ sources, but also sitcoms, comedy shows, whatever.

Perhaps the most significant of the audience segments is what I would call, in US terminology, the ‘liberal majority’. As above, they define themselves by ‘thinking correctly’. In fact we’re talking about ‘political correctness’, but that term has become really tiresome. It’s an arrogant kind of ‘correctness’. That is, it recognizes that others may think they are correct, but it knows, in its own case, that it is ‘objectively’ correct.

What begins, ostensibly, as a pursuit for objective understanding, ends up being an intellectually-based dogmatic attitude. A dogmatism that responds with defensive behavior when challenged. Such a response is not surprising: the dogmatism is based primarily on second-hand beliefs, which though frequently reaffirmed and reinforced, remain, like so many floating islands, unattached to deep native understanding – and are thus held with a fundamental degree of mental insecurity. That insecurity itself must be suppressed into the unconscious, as awareness of doubt would undermine the ‘objective certainty’ that is the core of the belief system.

This ‘dogmatism’ does have good intentions behind it. There are sensible reasons why objectively-minded people might want mark out a set of ‘correct beliefs’. I think it’s about wanting to achieve political empowerment. It begins with this kind of observation: people have no power because they are divided by their beliefs, and the politicians play us off against one another. If an overwhelming majority could be swung over to supporting a sensible agenda, then perhaps democracy, as we’ve understood it, could work as it’s supposed to work.

This leads to a two-part approach to seeking empowerment. The first part involves maintaining consensus, within the liberal majority, on what is and isn’t ‘correct’. The second part involves trying to promote that consensus more widely, in whatever way possible. This all makes sense. It is a strategy-for-empowerment that one can make a persuasive case for.

In actual practice, however, the strategy is not working. The channel-accentuated divisiveness continues – with that divisiveness itself being spun in various ways by the channels. Government continues to be guided by some other drummer than a hoped-for informed democratic majority. Different constituencies (audience segments) are cited as the excuses, for this and that legislation or policy decision.

As so often happens in human affairs, when a strategy isn’t working, the response is to try even harder, doing the same things even better. It becomes an urgent necessity, a matter of survival in the political arena, to maintain a comprehensive spectrum of ‘correct beliefs’: our strength is in our unity and in our having an answer to every question. And then there’s the evangelical part of the empowerment strategy, spreading the correct gospel to the Proles: nothing is worse than an evangelist working from the wrong gospel. We must have an agreed orthodoxy!

Once again – a pattern that  happens often in human affairs – a pavement of good intentions leads to a place not intended. At best, seeking wide-scale consensus, in the ways it is being done, would lead to some kind of least-common-denominator homogenized and pasteurized set of beliefs.

But in fact, the arena of this consensus process is not the one imagined by the audience segment in question, the liberal majority. They imagine they are conversing with one another, sharing around information, and are thereby coming up with their well-informed shared beliefs. They don’t realize that their beliefs are being fed to them, by a propaganda apparatus whose subtle pervasiveness eludes their perception. They don’t realize they are just one more audience segment, operating in a scripted and choreographed arena, whose purpose is to maintain divisiveness and to instill certain elite-serving attitudes.

Liberal propaganda is unique. For other audiences, the approach is direct: there’s a very clear propaganda line, appealing to shared prejudices, and it tends to come down through the channels in a hierarchical way. The dogmatism tends to be comparatively simple and easily digested, if one shares the prejudices.

Liberal propaganda is different. It is specifically tailored for people who take a certain degree of pride in their thinking, and their ability to figure things out and understand things. ‘Educated people’ would perhaps not be an unfair general characterization. For such people, in order to ignite their fondness for ‘figuring out’, it is much better to plant clues in the general environment, offhand references to this and that ‘fact’, in entertainment media as well as ‘news’ media, ‘facts’ that for a ‘well informed’ observer soon add up to an inevitable ‘conclusion’, that the observer believes he has ‘figured out for himself’.

The Obama phenomenon serves as a metaphor for this process. In that scenario, we had a candidate who was being systematically sold to us by the mainstream media, yet at the same time liberals believed they were championing an embattled grassroots movement for real change. That’s how it always goes. There’s always a sense of ‘grassroots emergence’, even though the information environment, the liberal-attended channels, make that particular flavor of emergence inevitable. The McCain campaign, through the fear it generated, was a scripted and essential part of Obama’s campaign. The two campaigns were designed and managed as a pair, giving us a puppet show where the ‘good guy’ was easy to identify.

I’ve been focusing on one audience segment, and perhaps exaggerating the picture here and there for emphasis. The more general point is that we are all enmeshed in an ongoing psy-ops program that is delivered over many kinds of channels, with a high level of sophistication and overall coherence. If we imagine there is not such a program, then our head is submerged somewhere within its matrix of channel-fed, self-reinforcing, audience segments.

This is the same kind of thing Alan Watt talks about, in his ‘Cutting through the Matrix’ interview:

I respond to what he says not by accepting him as an authority, but by how I am able to see patterns that were always there to be seen, but that I hadn’t noticed until he drew attention to them: society is being dynamically managed through various transitions and stages, along a bumpy zig-zag path toward a planned future. Bringing the various audience segments along, with one set of stories or another, is a critical part of that management process. It is mission critical, and it employs a psy-op craft that has been honed over generations.

Notice, for example, how a trouble spot can appear on the media radar (East Timor, Haiti, …). We suddenly hear a lot about some place and some problem, and we learn that an action is ‘necessary’. Then the action’s taken, there’s a lot more attention for a while, and then that episode drops totally from attention perhaps never to reappear. In such a case we are ‘managed through a system intervention’, the purpose of which is typically quite different than any of the various stories, whether pro or con, being told over the channels at the time. In most cases the ‘problem’ is in fact made worse by the ‘action’, but one may have to dig deep, typically on the Internet, to find the story still being reported.

So, by talking this way, am I being dogmatic? The answer is ‘yes’ under the definition, ‘asserting opinions in an arrogant manner’ – for me, that is simply clear and concise exposition. The answer is ‘no’, under the definition, ‘citing doctrinal material’. I’m not claiming any validity or authority for what I say other than what the ideas say for themselves. If I refer you to material in a video or article, it’s because it stirred my thinking in a way I found useful. I envision you, the reader, to be an adult who is able to look at ideas and exercise sensible judgement about what to take on board, what to leave behind, what to give more thought to – and what may deserve comment.

I have a particular way of learning, a way that upsets some people. For every topic under the sun, I’ve got a ‘working theory’ for that topic. Some of those topics I know very little about, and my embryonic theory may be way off base. My method in my writing is to present and explore my current theory for a given topic, and wait to see what people say. I tend to write in a way that is more provocative than apologetic, because I’m more likely to get energetic feedback that way. And occasionally a productive conversation ensues, as a dialog posting, or off the list. This overall scenario is my learning method, combined of course with ongoing, if sporadic, research.

I find it invaluable to have these various theories, on everything from cosmology to psychic phenomena to the origins of the human species. Theories transform new information from data into something with meaning, something with an associated ‘charge’. New information either reinforces or undermines one theory or another. Rather than just ‘absorbing’ the information, and ‘passing on’, it becomes necessary to digest the information, to update the relevant theories. In some cases, a theory is changed on the spot, sometimes radically, but more often a ‘flag’ gets attached to the theory: ‘more investigation needed here’, or ‘theory can be expanded here’.

There are disadvantages to this method. One’s perceived reliability as a ‘knowledgable voice’ can suffer, when embryonic theories are presented as unqualified assertions. Some of the ‘angry responders’ said that my statements about vaccines called into question my views on other matters, and brought into question even my integrity. This is a risk I have to take, because my method is ‘worth it’. Hopefully, with this posting, folks might be a little more understanding.

There are three significant advantages to the method. First, as I mentioned above, learning is accelerated, because every new piece of information, or new observation, or insight, leads to a ‘theory update’ process. Second, those theories which graduate to the level of ‘current beliefs’, such as ‘bankers control the world’, are very deeply grounded, supported by overwhelming evidence of different kinds – ‘overdetermined conclusion’ is the technical phrase. None of these ‘beliefs’ are second hand, based on someone else’s credibility, or based on only a single line of argument.

Theories at this ‘belief’ level do change over time, but seldom require radical revision. They are sometimes eclipsed by a broader perspective, as when I realized capitalism was merely an expendable tool of the banksters, not the primary driving engine I had previously imagined. My understanding of the internal mechanisms of capitalism survived this eclipse unchanged.

The third advantage of the method has to do with overall coherence of world view. One of the things I do, as part of the theory update process, is to keep all of the theories in harmony with one another. If an assumption or reasoning step is challenged in one theory, it is necessary to re-examine any other theories that use that assumption or reasoning. This leads to a coherent worldview, based on an organized network of frequently re-examined theories and assumptions. New information generates a holographic response in the coherent worldview as a whole.

Thus, for me, it makes little sense to talk about evidence for climate change, without taking into account the likely activities of the arctic-based HAARP project, and the real purpose of the carbon regime. Nor does it makes sense to examine vaccines, or AIDS, without taking into account the eugenics mindset of the Rockefeller dynasty, whose tentacles reach everywhere. If such considerations are dismissed out of hand, as they are by so many people, they fall prey to the interpretations fed to them over the psy-op channels. To those who dismiss ‘conspiracy theories’, no discussion is possible of the main actors and processes that are operating on the world stage. Those ‘don’t exist’. We are left only the shadows on the cave wall, to make sense of.




Is Comet Elenin the Blue Star Kachina?

I’ve had a longstanding interest in the ancient wisdom writings of various cultures and traditions, and been wondering about the source of the various prophecies that are inherent in many of these, especially those that have global significance.
The most likely explanation I can see is based on the observation that natural phenomena are cyclical. If that is a universal truth, then what will happen in the future is fundamentally a recurrence of what has happened in the past. So at least some of the prophetic writings may actually be tales about what people experienced in the distant past.

Over thousands of years and hundreds of retellings, the stories may have become seriously distorted, making them hard to understand, and differences in the particulars of our civilization from those of the past, makes it difficult for us to relate them to our present circumstances.

The ancients all seem to have had an intense interest in astronomical phenomena, suggesting that we too need to watch the skies and be aware of the approach of any astronomical bodies that could possibly disturb Earths peaceful and mainly benign environment.

Years ago I read Emanuel Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision, and more recently, some of Zecharia Sitchin’s works. These suggest some rather startling explanations of various mysteries reported in the Bible and elsewhere. Now as 2012 approaches, there’s a lot of speculation about the meaning of native American prophecies and attempts to relate them to speculations about comet Elenin, Planet X, Nibiru, Wormwood, etc. Could any of these be the object of the prophecies?  Could cataclysmic Earth events be immanent?

What bears watching is the comet called Elenin which is transiting our solar system right now. Elenin’s closest approach to the Sun will occur on or about September 11, 2011. That’s essentially NOW. As it continues its journey, it will come very close to Earth, closer than the planet Venus. That will occur within a matter of weeks.

Here is some pertinent information that you may want to study. Watch the videos too.–t.h.g.

Comet Elenin – Will It Crumble or Explode?

September 5th, 2011 · No Comments

Your Own World Radio with Marshall Masters

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Chat Room + Call In

PANEL: John DiNardo, Richard Shaw and Ed Douglas

On the 3rd of August, the Minor Planet Center posted the latest observation data for Comet Elenin plus this one rather curious footnote. “The recent observations of C/2010 X1 (Elenin) are discordant, presumably due to the lack of any obvious condensation. It is probable that this comet is disintegrating.”

The operative word here is “probable” which is not to be confused with “has.” Nonetheless, previous announcements that Comet Elenin would disintegrate were spun by the media to appear as though it actually had. Consequently, this misleading spin was very effective in deflating public interest.

The serious conversation now taking place, is about whether Elenin will disintegrate. Recent elongation and dimming are physical signs of that possibility. Therefore the real question, which Leonid Elenin constantly addresses these days, is whether or not it will explode.

Lacking clear imagery of the nucleus, Leonid Elenin predicts that Comet Elenin will crumble and not explode – presumably, to quell public concerns. However, prophecy predicts that our worst nightmare could be realized with an explosive disintegration or violent outburst.

In this interview, the panel will address these issues in terms of the science available and the significant amount of prophecy now converging on this comet. Then compare all that with current Earth changes. GO

Comet Elenin Link Page

If Elenin Disintegrates, What Could Come Our Way?

September 1st, 2011 · No Comments

Since the first release of the video, Comet Elenin Forecast for 9/2011 to 1/2012 and the Hopi Blue Star Kachina by Marshall Masters on August 23, 2011, new developments are adding new dimension to this issue. Namely, a flurry of Internet posts and articles inferring Comet Elenin has disintegrated.

However, as of this publication date, no credible evidence has been presented to back these inferences that Comet Elenin has in fact, disintegrated. Rather, what is now being reported, is that Comet Elenin has dimmed and that some astronomers are predicting it will not survive perihelion. Elenin’s closest distance to the Sun which occurs on or about September 11, 2011.

Despite premature debunker spin, that reliable sources are not reporting any observation of an actual disintegration of Comet Elenin. Rather, they report dimming and that Elenin could disintegrate in the near future.

Nonetheless, trickily worded headlines spin the notion that Comet Elenin has in fact disintegrated. Ostensibly, to quash pubic concerns about this comet.

Whether these misleading headlines are based in expedient hubris or malevolence intention makes no difference. Either way, the confusion will stymie the interest of many, at a time when they should be reviewing their own preparation and planning efforts.  GO

The Message of Michael Lerner and Matthew Fox

Michael Lerner and Matthew Fox are two visionary and courageous spiritual leaders whom I greatly admire. Their shared message of human unity, peace, and hope deserves the closest attention. Please read the epistle below and follow the links.—t.h.g.

Some Thoughts on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Beyond

Matthew Fox

Michael Lerner has asked me to write a few thoughts about the message of Good Friday and Easter.  I appreciate his invitation, a sign of the meaning of deep ecumenism and what we have to learn from each others faith traditions.

To me, the “paschal mystery” of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the rabbi is an archetypal reminder about how, as science now teaches us, all things in the cosmos live, die and resurrect.  Supernovas, galaxies, solar systems, planets, beings that inhabit our planet—we all have our time of existence and of passing out of existence.  But we leave something behind for further generations and that constitutes resurrection.  Supernovas leave elements behind in a great explosion that seed other solar systems, planets and ever our very bodies.  Every being leaves something behind as food for others—Einstein said no energy is lost in the universe and Hildegard of Bingen said no warmth is lost in the universe.  I like to say that no beauty is lost in the universe.  The universe has a memory for energy, warmth and beauty.   Nothing our ancestors accomplished is lost—so long as we remember.  Hopefully, as humans, we leave beauty behind and wise progeny, maybe books or paintings or scientific breakthroughs or insights, or healed souls or bodies, etc. etc.  Our resurrection is very much a part of our creativity.  Otto Rank: The artist is one who wants to leave behind a gift.

Jesus left behind the gift of his teachings, a distillation as I see it of the basic teachings of his Jewish ancestors: That compassion and justice are what link us to the Divine and that we are to look not to empires or to objects for the Kingdom of God but within ourselves and among others in community for the love that is at once our love of neighbor and our love of God, a love “that the world cannot give.”  In other words, to “all our relations.”  The fact of his being tortured and killed in a most ignominious way by the Roman Empire is a stark reminder that we do not take on the powers of darkness as our prophetic vocations require without paying a price.  But the story is that life triumphs over death, even if it has to succumb to powers of death at times and the form that a resurrected life takes is diverse.  It often surprises!

We do not die once.  We all die many times.  Life does that to us with our losses, our betrayals, our own mistakes and emptying out.  But we also resurrect on a regular basis as well.  We forgive, we are forgiven, we bottom out, we move on, we give birth anew thus that life and death are more synergetic that we usually imagine them to be.  “God’s exit is her entrance,” as Meister Eckhart put it.  The depths of the valley of death do not overcome the power of life which makes things new again.  Injustice seems to triumph so often but justice will have the last word provided we live and work for it.

To me these are some of the passages that the Good Friday/Easter Sunday archetype bring to awareness.  There is no resurrection without visiting Hades (the story is that Saturday following his death Jesus visited the underworld).  Good Friday rules for a short period.  But the longer period is the new life and the victory over death and the fear of death that Easter Sunday represents.  It is that hope that rises daily with every new sun.  Moving beyond the fear of death we can live fully again and cease our immortality projects, our empire building and pyramid constructing (wall street too) and get on with…living.  Which is sharing.  Heschel: “Just to be is holy; just to live is a blessing.”  Now our fear of death does not have to rule our lives.  Now we can live fully, generously and creatively.

Matthew Fox is author of 29 books on spirituality and culture including Original Blessing, A Spirituality Named Compassion, the Reinvention of Work.  His most recent books are Christian Mystics  and The Pope’s War: How Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Imperiled the Church and What Can Be Saved (release date: May 3).  See also

Read Richard Rohr and Brian McLaren also. Click these connections!

More on Easter at

and more at

and at


A brain scientist has a stroke and discovers something vitally important to all of us

Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one.

In the process, she discovered a different reality, one that offers hope for a troubled world.

Nick Vujicic: “No arms, no legs, no worries!”

How can you not be moved and inspired by this?

Blair v Hitchens debate: Is religion a force for good?

I happened to catch this BBC debate the other night from my hotel room in Kuala Lupur. I thought it was quite enlightening and well argued on both sides. I think it is worthwhile to watch it and consider how, if religion has not been entirely a force for good, how it might become so.
See it on YouTube in 8 parts. The actual debate starts here:

It might also be enlightening to read the book, When God Speaks
for Himself.
I’ve only read excerpts myself, but look forward to reading the entire text. — t.h.g.

A post-election message of wisdom and hope, and a gameplan for progressives

This message from Rabbi Michael Lerner needs to be spread far and wide. Please pass it on. — t.h.g.

10 Commandments to Revive Progressives After the November Defeat

Rabbi Michael Lerner

Editor, Tikkun Magazine

1. Don’t let the media frame this as a defeat of progressives. Had Obama embraced and fought for a progressive agenda, even if he had passed none of it, he would have entered the 2010 elections as the champion of the huge idealism of the American people that was elicited in 2008 and which would have led the Democrats to an electoral sweep in 2010. Being seen as fighting for the needs of ordinary people — never letting anyone forget for a moment that he had inherited the mess that Republican and pro-corporate Democrats had created, positioning himself as the champion of those who resented the Wall Street and corporate interests — his popularity would have grown; he could have won a much bigger victory for the Democrats in 2010, and that would have allowed him to actually legislate the policies of a progressive vision.

Had Obama refused to give more money to the banks and Wall Street unless equal or greater amounts were allocated for a visionary New Deal-style program for jobs and a freeze on mortgage foreclosures; had the Democrats refused to fund the escalation of war in Afghanistan; had they advocated for “Medicare for Everyone” instead of passing a plan that forced 30 million people to buy health care, but puts no serious restraints on the costs that insurance companies or pharmaceutical can charge; had Obama fought courageously for a carbon tax and ended the bargain taxes for the wealthy; had the Democrats insisted on stopping the harassment of immigrants; had the Obama Administration called for a national effort to overturn Citizens United, such as the ESRA — Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Had Obama set up public forums at which his supporters could give him public feedback and used the web creatively to allow his supporters to weigh in, and had Obama consistently spoken honestly to Americans about the constraints he was facing and who was putting pressure on him to do what — there would have been no electoral defeat. It wasn’t the progressive agenda that got defeated, it was the corporate-military accommodation of the Democrats and Obama who couldn’t address popular outrage, not only at the economic problem, but at the way we had been manipulated in 2008; and the humiliation many felt at having allowed themselves to hope that someone in politics would fight for what they said they would fight for.

2. Challenge the elitism in the Left. Whenever you hear someone saying that it is the stupidity or reactionary nature of Americans that led to this defeat, remind them of why, absent any other voice that they would encounter expressing their outrage, it was rational for Americans to be attracted to the right-wing voices that were expressing that outrage (albeit with programs that will actually make things worse). When Americans thought they had a chance at progressive change, they voted for it in 2008 — so they are neither stupid nor reactionary.

3. Challenge the religo-phobia in the Left. As long as the progressive world seems to be aligned with those who think that anyone who believes in God must be either stupid or at a lower stage of psychological development, we will get nowhere with an American public sincerely committed to a spiritual worldview. Allow yourself to explore the various spiritual progressive communities and movements that currently exist.

4. Do not demean those who disagree with us. Act as though every person, no matter what their politics, is created in the image of God or deserves fundamental respect, and only challenge their ideas and policies, but without attributing bad motives to them. And do not demean your own leaders — stop the back-biting and competition that so often drives the most creative thinkers and activists out of the movement! Make the progressive world focus more on taking care of each other in its meetings and public events.

5. Take time every day to rejoice in the grandeur and awesome mystery of the universe — and remember that the world is filled with loving people who would be there with us if they knew that we took love as seriously as we take critique.

6. Build a unified political movement that calls for A New Bottom Line in American society so that instead of judging institutions, legislation or policies rational or productive only to the extent that they maximize money and power, they are judged by how much they maximize love and caring, kindness and generosity, ethical and ecological behavior and awareness, and the extent to which they tend to encourage us to be more caring toward each other and the earth and more able to respond to the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement at the grandeur of being and consciousness and to experience true gratitude at being alive.

7. Build within the Democratic Party an opposition to the corporate-oriented leaders of that party, from Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi to Diane Feinstein and Charles Schumner. Create a spiritual progressive caucus in every city. Run candidates in the primaries against that leadership — follow the example of the Tea Party in their effort to move the Republican party to the Right.

8. Build outside the Democratic Party a separate political party that talks about love, kindness, generosity, and The Caring Society — Caring for Each Other and Caring for the Earth. Let that party be based on the notion of A New Bottom Line as expressed in Commandment Six. Let this party talk explicitly about building a world that supports love and generosity! Stop speaking the language of the bureaucrats and the technical manipulators — start speaking the language of the heart. End the time in which Democrats believe that progressives have “no place to go” and hence will support their corporate-oriented candidates no matter how far they are from progressive ideals.

If the Greens are able to transform themselves to a party that puts love and caring and the language of the heart at the forefront of its public identification, rather than a primarily technocratic, issues-debating, hard-nosed “realistic” from the left, policy-but-not-love-generating social force, then it could be this. But at the moment it is not, and it may be easier to create something new than to reform the inner workings and political culture of the Greens,

9. Create a United Progressive Fund so that all the different progressive organizations stop competing with each other for funding and instead allocate according to how many people belong to any given progressive organization.

10. Don’t be realistic! The powers that be in the media, politics and economics define “realism.” The most important changes in our country have come about because people were willing to fight for what everyone supposedly knew to be “unrealistic” (e.g. ending segregation, ending ten thousand years of unchallenged male supremacy and sexism, legitimating gay and lesbian lives, building an environmental movement, and the list goes on).

Realism is idolatry — believing in God is believing that there is some Force in the Universe (some of us call it God) that makes possible the transformation from “that which is” to “that which could and should be.” Support a Global Marshall Plan to once and for all end global poverty, hunger, homelessness, insufficient education or health care — and pay for it through a Tobin tax on all international financial transactions of over $1 million. End the domination of money in politics and challenge the irresponsible environmental policies of corporations — through the ESRA — the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Follow these ten commandments and the progressive forces will finally be able to reshape this country before it is too late. If you wish to help us do this, please join and help create a local chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives here. But if you like these ideas but don’t want to work inside our organization, then bring these ideas into whatever organization you are already part of and insist that they debate these ideas, align with us in our campaign for the ESRA and for our proposed Global Marshall Plan, and insist that they develop the kind of broad strategy we are presenting here.

Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun magazine, a Jewish and Interfaith Critique of Politics, Culture and Society; chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue.