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  1. I am not sure what my earliest memory is. It of one of two. It is either my sister falling into a pond or it is sitting on my father's lap watching Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the moon.

    I may not know which of those memories is the earliest, but I do know which one sparked a life long interest. If you need a clue, I have never had a pond.

    So with today's passing of Alan Bean, Apollo 12 Lunar Module pilot and 4th man to walk on the moon, another of my heroes is gone. There are now just 4 moonwalkers left.

    For many years I have feared that I would live to see a day when no living human being had walked on the moon. With the passing of each moonwalker that looks more and more likely.

    The surviving four are all in their eighties, Charlie Duke and Harrison Schmitt are both 82, David Scott is 85 and Buzz Aldrin is 88.

    I now have to console myself with the thought that I am young enough to see mankind return to the moon. Now I hope that it will be an international effort and that many will follow where the brave Apollo astronauts first left their foot prints.

    RIP Alan Bean.

  2. For those of you who've never heard the term 'Overton Window', let me start out simply with the Wikipedia definition:

    Quote

    The Overton window, also known as the window of discourse, is the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse. The term is derived from its originator, Joseph P. Overton, a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who in his description of his window claimed that an idea's political viability depends mainly on whether it falls within the window, rather than on politicians' individual preferences.[1][2] According to Overton's description, his window includes a range of policies considered politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being considered too extreme to gain or keep public office.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

    400px-Overton_Window_diagram.svg.png

    Furthermore, according to the earliest published Mackinac Center for Public Policy article on the topic of the Overton Window:

    Quote

    Imagine, if you will, a yardstick standing on end. On either end are the extreme policy actions for any political issue. Between the ends lie all gradations of policy from one extreme to the other. The yardstick represents the full political spectrum for a particular issue. The essence of the Overton window is that only a portion of this policy spectrum is within the realm of the politically possible at any time. Regardless of how vigorously a think tank or other group may campaign, only policy initiatives within this window of the politically possible will meet with success. Why is this?

    Politicians are constrained by ideas, even if they have no interest in them personally. What they can accomplish, the legislation they can sponsor and support while still achieving political success (i.e. winning reelection or leaving the party strong for their successor), is framed by the set of ideas held by their constituents — the way people think. Politicians have the flexibility to make up their own minds, but negative consequences await the elected officeholder who strays too far. A politician’s success or failure stems from how well they understand and amplify the ideas and ideals held by those who elected them.

    In addition to being dependent on the ideas that form the boundaries of the political climate, politicians are also known to be self-interested and desirous of obtaining the best political result for themselves. Therefore, they will almost always constrain themselves to taking actions within the "window" of ideas approved of by the electorate. Actions outside of this window, while theoretically possible, and maybe more optimal in terms of sound policy, are politically unsuccessful. Even if a few legislators were willing to stick out their necks for an action outside the window, most would not risk the disfavor of their constituents. They may seek the good of those who elected them, and even the good of the state or nation as a whole, but in pursuing the course they think is best, most will certainly take into account their political future. This is the heart of the Overton window theory.

    So, if a think tank’s research and the principles of sound policy suggest a particular idea that lies outside the Overton window, what is to be done? Shift the window. Since commonly held ideas, attitudes and presumptions frame what is politically possible and create the "window," a change in the opinions held by politicians and the people in general will shift it. Move the window of what is politically possible and those policies previously impractical can become the next great popular and legislative rage.

    https://www.mackinac.org/7504

    (Bold Added)

     

    Shifting the Overton Window is a perfectly normal and natural part of any sort of social and political progress. It like any tool can be used for good and bad, so shifting the Overton Window is not inherently a bad thing in itself. In fact in many cases, it has been shifted greatly towards that which is objectively good. However there are also times in which the Overton Window of acceptability shifts in the opposite direction towards the negative.

    To name a few examples of the Overton Window taking effect:

    • After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Islamic terrorism became a frequent topic of conversation around the country. While there was some organized opposition to the Patriot Act, the law passed congress with overwhelming majorities in both houses, and it's been renewed faithfully ever since. Not to mention the drastic changes to airline security, significant increases in military spending, and the creation of a surveillance state that would make George Orwell blush.
    • Before the Civil Rights Act of the 60's, segregation was accepted as a natural aspect of civil society. Now days however, such levels of racism is expected to be rebuked with the harshest of criticisms, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is universally regarded as a Civil Rights hero.
    • Just a few decades ago, the idea of same-sex marriage was all but impossible to even conceive of. But a few people did conceive of it, and dared to advocate it. At first they were only a handful of 'radicals', but over time, the idea gained support. Now, it's an established right in the States and countries around the world, and is now the mainstream.

    All social reform movements have to shift the Overton window to make progress. The concept of different races mingling in public, or women voting, or animals having rights - all these are examples of issues where the Overton window has moved over time, so that positions which were once viewed as unthinkably radical have become the accepted wisdom, while those that were once considered mainstream are now outside the window, and unacceptable to advocate in mixed company.

    So, how do you shift the Overton window? The answer is simple: You have to stand outside it and pull. Social change always begins with a few brave people who dare to advocate something previously unthinkable. And most of those first-generation advocates, to be perfectly honest, suffer scorn, ridicule and opprobrium, are often even targets of persecution and violence. But by their mere existence, by their willingness to stand fast on their principles and refusal to compromise, they stretch the boundaries of what the majority considers possible and redefine what counts as the "moderate" position.

     

    So why do I bring all of this up? Well, because of Donald Trump.

    Donald Trump won the U.S. Presidency by discovering topics and proposing ideas that for years were deemed unacceptable, far outside the Overton Window of acceptable political speech on the right side of the political spectrum, and made them acceptable positions once more. He took policy positions, personal actions, and insulting and hateful remarks that were once thought to be taboo, and made them normal political discourse.

    In essence: He shifted the Overton window. His goal was to 'Make America Great Again', thereby reversing the shifting flow of the Overton Window that had been moving gradually more progressive for the past several decades or so. However the important key factor isn't just that he shifted the Overton Window, it's that he shifted the Overton Window amongst conservatives all while progressives became either more progressive or stayed relatively the same. Allow mw to explain...

     

    “Don’t normalize this” has become a kind of rallying cry during President Trump’s first year and a half in office; a reminder to not get too acclimated to Trump’s norm-breaking and erratic behavior. But the real danger of the Trump presidency might have less to do with Trump’s abnormality and more to do with how “normal” he makes other Republicans look by comparison. Everything inside the Overton Window is normal and expected, while everything outside the Window is radical, ridiculous, or unthinkable. And Overton argued that the easiest way to move that window was to force people to consider ideas at the extremes, as far away from the Window as possible. Because forcing people to consider an unthinkable idea, even if they rejected it, would make all less extreme ideas seem acceptable by comparison. It would move the Window of acceptability slowly in that direction.

    Say what you will about media outlets, but it's an objective psychological fact that that which you are routinely exposed to on a regular basis shapes many of the core aspects of who you are, what you think, and what you believe. We all have our own favorite media outlet(s), some more than others. Some of us blindly trust whatever is given to us from certain sources, others put a bit more thought and research into what's presented to them. But overall, we all end up having to either accept or reject the stories presented by some sort of news source(s), whether the merits of said source(s) are valid or not. We must all admit that we simply aren't capable of thoroughly researching every single bit of news ourselves. No one is perfectly 100% objective all the time. To do so would be a full-time job. Now, on to Trump's influence on this...

    Trump’s presidency has forced news networks to grapple with conspiracy theories, right-wing trolls, and dishonest government spokespeople and political pundits who tell outright lies; making them a regular fixture of our national political debates. And that grappling has moved the Overton Window in ways that will warp our politics long after Trump’s presidency comes to an end. While most people see that mainstream media outlets are anything but objective and unbiased, they do at least attempt to play the neutrality card from time to time. What do I mean by that exactly? Simple. They use the Overton Window as the ultimate standard of acceptability by bringing people from both sides of the political spectrum (within the OW) onto their shows so as to 'debate' one another on the issues, treating each opposing position as 50/50 acceptable and debatable possibilities. Watch just ten to fifteen minutes or so of CNN for example, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Views that would've previously been considered extreme and odious positions, are slowly but surely accepted as debatable topics held by the majority, so long as a significant number of those who appear on the media present such extremist views in the light of now being acceptable political discourse.

    Furthermore, when entire media outlets unabashedly no longer pretend to be unbiased towards one political viewpoint over another, and simply become partisan political apologist stations who run non-stop coverage voicing their political views as if they were objective fact (such as Fox News, MSNBC, various YouTube and Talk Radio stations/channels and various other 'news' sites AlterNet or Breitbart, etc.), then the shifting of the Overton Window gets set in overdrive. Now instead of viewing 'both sides' of the political spectrum (within the OW), scores of people are now able to view political positions expressed through content that ever so incrementally push the bounds of acceptability further and further their direction of the political spectrum, conveniently without any exposure to the alternative perspective's point of view. In short: We now thanks to the advent of the internet and social media, etc. have numerous means by which to expose ourselves to ONLY the political content on one end of the political spectrum. Thereby slowly but surely altering people's perspectives on what is and is not considered to be accepted political discourse.

     

    This may be a lot to take in, but I personally believe this to be the ultimate reasoning for why partisan polarization in the U.S. is at an all-time high. And it is also why certain political positions, words, and behaviors exhibited by our political candidates that would've in the past been considered outrageously unacceptable, are now considered perfectly acceptable, and merely a 'different point of view'.

    Take any time in recent political history where the Overton Window was previously shifted (segregation, women's rights, animal rights, LGBT rights, etc.) and you'll clearly see the Overton Window shifting the entire nation's perspective in one direction or another. We now all universally consider such political issues as no-brainers (for the most part), but back then they were considered debatable issues. We no longer consider the question: "Should women be allowed to vote?" to be in the least be debatable. We no longer consider racial segregation to be anything less than racist and immoral.

    However now things are different. Because of what I just described above (how we can now expose ourselves only to the perspectives of one point of view exclusively), the Overton Window hasn't shifted us ALL in one direction. Instead, it's shifted half of us one direction, and the other half the opposite direction. Progressives are now more progressive than ever, and conservatives are now the most conservative they've been in ages. What is considered to be the accepted realm of political discourse on one side, is completely unacceptable discourse to even be in the least bit considered on the other.

     

    All of this is in essence what I believe to be not only the nation's current roadblock in regards to politics, but also my own personal roadblock against Donald Trump and his supporters. I'm certainly not alone in this line of thinking, however in this new political climate, I find myself unable to reconcile many of the views of Trump supporters as anything less than non-debatable flat-out immoral positions. Nearly every one of their policy positions exists so incredibly far outside the realm of my own progressive Overton Window, that to even consider such policies as anything less than immoral is a near impossibility for me. Just as I'll never accept the idea that women shouldn't have the right to vote, or that blacks should be segregated from whites; I'll never accept a Muslim ban, I'll never accept Trump's heartless plans against illegal immigration, and I'll never accept any opposition against universal healthcare (just to name a few). Such policy proposals are not just prejudiced, hateful, heartless, (some even racist) and morally wrong; but they are on par in my eyes with that of previous notions of segregation, slavery, animal abuses, etc.

    Therein lies the core problem. Because there is now no longer one Overton Window but instead two (what is acceptable discourse amongst progressives and conservatives), there is no longer a means by which to properly moderate any political discussions in general. This doesn't just apply to online forums like this one, but to any political discussions ever made period.

    I've been corrected a number of times on here in the past for saying that Trump supporters policies are racist and bigoted, etc. Don't worry, I'm not complaining about the moderation here, because I don't in the least bit see this as any of their fault. This is just a symptom of the bigger problem. Namely, the splitting of one overall national Overton Window into two. Within the progressive Overton Window, Trump and his supporter's policies are objectively racist, just as segregation and slavery are also objectively racist. However within the conservative OW that isn't the case at all. It's not that (most) Trump supporters actually view these policies (such as a Muslim ban, building a wall, comments regarding immigrants from s-hole countries, etc.) as racist, they just don't see it as racist in the least. The same thing's true with other policies where they don't see healthcare as a fundamental human right, or don't see promising a living wage as a minimum wage as wage slavery (whereas I do). Within the conservative Overton Window, such policies are perfectly acceptable (and as difficult as it is for me to comprehend), they even see it as moral. So what I'm getting at is that because there are now two separate Overton Windows, it's considered a radical far-out there position to say that Trump's policies are racist and/or immoral. Such remarks are out of bounds within the conservative OW, yet are perfectly natural within the progressive OW. That's why I'm naturally aghast when I find that I've been corrected on here (just for example, again, I'm not complaining about the moderation team here whatsoever) for calling someone's position racist, just as that person is just as equally perplexed when their position is described as such.

    I don't wish to disparage conservatives on here and throw senseless insults. I simply genuinely see some of their political outlooks to be so tremendously odious and wrong that it's nearly impossible for me to express this to them without my comments existing outside of the conservative Overton Window of acceptable discourse. Saying that such views are racist, bigoted, heartless, immoral, etc. is said by me because within progressive circles, such views are considered radical and extremist, and exist WAY outside of our Overton Window of political discourse. That's why it's absolutely baffling to me when a moderator allows such views to be expressed on here whilst correcting me on calling out such views as bigoted and immoral, etc. It isn't because the moderation here is unfair or unbalanced, not at all. It's because our overall political culture and landscape has split off so far in opposite directions, that it's nearly impossible to moderate any political discussions with people when there are two Overton Windows of acceptability. This forum has rules against spewing racism (as it should), yet IMO half the stuff that's presented in the political section by conservatives is objectively racist. Yet this is allowed, not because the site is racist or hypocritical, but because the Overton Window has shifted so much that such views are considered legitimate debatable issues now. I pity the moderation team here who has to try and deal with this problem, as it comes to them with no fault of their own.

    (and just for the record here, I will try my best from here on out in not stepping out of bounds by calling members political views racist, immoral, etc. In fact, I doubt I'll really be doing much conversing at all in the political sections, but I will probably weigh in here and there from time to time. I simply felt the need to express my frustrations in general here in as polite a way as I possibly can.)

     

    I honestly don't know how to remedy this situation. I don't know how to bring these two sides back together into one Window of acceptability again, or even if such a thing is even possible to do at this point. I guess the reason why I'm writing all of this has more to do with the fact that I wanted to adequately express the deep political divide in this nation in rational terms. I want conservatives to understand (as best they can) why I view them now days as such radical extremists, and why they feel the same thing regarding me. Again, I don't have the first clue on how to bridge this divide. However I suppose the first step is to first acknowledge the divide itself, and as to what exactly it is that caused it in the first place.

  3. Sermon 5/20/18 Acts 2: 1-21 Pentecost Year B “Proclaim Jubilee!”

         If you’re from Ohio, I think it’s pretty much a given that you’re going to complain about the weather. Now a good part of the time, I think that’s pretty warranted, isn’t it? Most recently….it was the winter that….refused….to…..just end.You know, it’s funny…back in February my In-Laws were talking about how they couldn’t wait for Spring….and I told them….half-jokingly….half-seriously….I don’t call it spring until May. They’d talk about it warming up in April and I’d say….don’t count on it….we might have a blizzard. 

         And we would laugh. But then April comes….and it turns out….maybe I do have the gift of prophecy. Snow. Cold. Freezing rain. It was all there.

         I think we’re always complaining about the weather because it really does seem like you can experience all four seasons inone week in Ohio. There’s some pretty good memes out there that make fun of this. My favorite one has the Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis commercials and it says “I don’t always have my air conditioner and heat running in the same week....but when I do….it’s because I live in Ohio.” Spot on, right?

         Still, I can’t help but wonder if we’re a bit too hard on our weather here sometimes. Maybe we ought to give our Ohio weather some more love. I’ve lived in Ohio pretty much my whole life, and yeah, while the weather is terrible sometimes….other than your occasional Polar Vortexes, blizzards, and flooding….the weather isn’t extreme. I mean we don’t have all the crazy stuff you’d see on the Weather Channel if you watched it 24 hours a day…so in some ways, you could say we’re blessed.

         In fact, I don’t think I’d ever experienced any kind of extreme weather until we went to Hong Kong in 2013 with the family. Hurricanes or typhoons as they call them in Asia are sadly frequent there. And one was quite literally bearing down on Hong Kong the first couple of days we were there.

         So I’ll never forget that first night in Hong Kong because that was my first real experience of extreme and frightening weather. 

         They have a warning level system for typhoons…and that particular one was a Signal 8 typhoon….which means that “gale force or stronger winds are imminent.” Everything closes: schools, offices, tours, public transport, taxis, shops, restaurants, ferries, trains, flights.

         Now in the past, my Mom….was my weather channel App. I’m not kidding. She was always watching the News and the Weather Channel. So she would always call me with weather updates. If I didn’t answer for whatever reason, she’d leave a message. 

         You should bring an umbrella to class, it’s going to rain today. Drive carefully, it’s going to snow and they’re saying the roads are going to be slick for the morning commute. I never had to watch the weather or look at an app because I could pretty much count on my Mom to call me with any important updates. Looking back….it’s amazing how you really miss those trivial and even funny things like that when they’re gone…you know….what I wouldn’t give for an update on tomorrow’s forecast from Mom.

         But so there we are in Hong Kong and I had a Facebook message from my Cousin…asking about the typhoon and asking if we were all right. 

         Please call your Mom and Dad. Of course my Mom knew about the weather clear on the other side of the world….and of course she was worried, because, well, that’s where we were…..so we called her. 

         Now I kept trying to reassure her that everything was okay. It’s not that bad. It’s not even raining here right now. But as I’m saying all this….I’m not so sure myself. I’ve never experienced anything like this. I’m from Ohio. We don’t do typhoons. I’m out of my depth. And even though we’re in this massively tall high rise hotel….the wind is just….pounding the hotel. I can hear it howling and howling through that ultra-thick glass. 

         You can feel it reverberating against the building. So I’m telling my mom….yeah….everything’s okay….and I’m looking at them like….is everything okay? The hotel isn’t going to blow over is it?

         And then the next day….well, it was just bizarre. We went out so we could get to my brother-in-law’s apartment and the Signal 8 warning was still in effect. Now even though it wasn’t really doing much of anything….the streets of Hong Kong were absolutely deserted. Not soul. It was suddenly like we were on the Walking Dead or something.They take that warning level seriously. 

         That alone was pretty scary for this Ohio boy….are we waiting for something bad to happen? Is this the calm before the storm? This whole trip that we’d planned down to every last detail….was now suddenly all up in the air and totally unpredictable. 

         Unpredictable weather…you know….that’s a lot like what the early church experienced on the Day of Pentecost. 

         There was a vague promise from Jesus….that He was going to send the Paraclete….the Comforter, the Advocate….the Holy Spirit…and that things were about to change. 

         Now I can’t help but wonder…if we sanitize this a bit in the church. I’m not sure if we really know what to do with Pentecost…so we turn it in to this big celebration. I’ve seen a few things over the years. Children processing while waving these big red streamers. Or maybe everybody in the church wears red that day. And well…here I am…wearing red today. And make no mistake…it is a celebration. 

         But maybe it’s not this cookie-cutter thing….because maybe…just maybe the coming of the Pentecost….is more like a Signal 8 Typhoon Warning. 

         Out of this seeming chaos and disorder….out of the gale force winds and rain and thunder and lightning…something new emerges….a new beginning….a new order….a new way of being and a new way of doing. Its unpredictable like Ohio weather and so we’re confused. So let me put forth a theory to you guys….you can tell me what you think later…maybe we don’t know what to do with Pentecost….because we don’t know what to do with the Holy Spirit. For us mainline Protestants….the Holy Spirit’s like the guy…that you know is at the party….but you don’t actually see Him there. 

         You find His name on the guest list, you go looking for Him, but you miss him. And then maybe you hear about himafterwards….oh, He was the life of the party. But you missed it. We missed it. I swear, that’s where we are with the Holy Spirit. 

         And so here we are in 2018….and maybe we’re clueless about Pentecost…and maybe we’re clueless about the Holy Spirit. And I say all these things….when I know we need His power and His presence the most. 

         I’m so happy to be celebrating my first Pentecost and Heritage Sunday as a head pastor…and yet…and yet….a part of me feels like I’m back at that weird and bizarre day on the streets of Hong Kong. These thick and gray storm clouds seem to be rolling in everywhere we look. The typhoon sirens are ringing out in the distance. 

         The streets are deserted….everyone seems to be hunkering down. Everyone seems to be giving us an ominous forecast. If you're United Methodist, you know we’re in danger of a split and schism starting at our special General Conference in 2019. And the catholic church, meaning the church universal is losing members and influence….the sky is falling and what are we going to do? Well, maybe we need to take a deep breath for starters…because that’s where everything begins….with breath.

         We consider creation. Genesis tells us that God made human beings from dust…from the mud and dirt of the earth. God shapes us out of this clay like a kid building a sand castle on the beach. But then God breathes into this earthen mannequin God’s own breath and the human being is suddenly alive….a creature of both matter and spirit. So it’s God’s own breath that animates us, that makes us live. And our Psalter reading for the day interprets this breath of God….as none other than the very Spirit of God. We see there that the Spirit of God breathes life in to all of creation…and the Spirit of God sustains the lives of all things in creations. In short, it’s the breath of the Spirit that gives us the breath of life.

         But most of us, we know the story. We break our first covenant with God and death enters in to the picture…our breath becomes a fragile, temporary, and fleeting thing that passes away. Time itself begins….and thus….each of us….we breathe a first breath and we breathe a last breath. And so God does something miraculous to restore our breath. He comes down in Christ and becomes the very mud and dirt of creation that we are. 

         He experiences his first breath as a human being and He experiences His last breath on the Cross at Golgotha. And yet, this isn’t the end of the story. That same breath of God, that same Spirit of God that creates and sustains all life….it comes on Christ and raises Him from the dead as the first fruits of a new creation. 

         And so this is where we find the Disciples as our narrative begins. They’ve experienced the risen Christ. They’ve met Him. They’ve broken bread with Him and touched the wound in His side. Then they saw Him ascend into Heaven….leaving them only with that vague promise that the Paraclete….the breath of God, the Spirit of God….the author and sustainer of all life and the One who raised Christ from the dead….would soon come upon them….and through them fill and renew the whole creation. 

         But before all that….there was the waiting period. And this wasn’t the kind of anticipation when, God forbid, your Amazon package is a day late. No, this was like when you’re at urgent care because you’re feeling awful but the place is packed. It’s that agonizing waiting…that take a number and have a seat waiting.

         One of my favorite living Christian thinkers, Father Richard Rohr, explains this waiting period in a profound way. He calls it the “First Novena” or a time of Holy Waiting and prayer for nine days. Like fasting. Like Lent. He says that we can’t truly appreciate presence unless we first appreciate absence. In other words, he says we have to experience emptiness and voids to create the space to be filled. And so that’s exactly what happens. 

         The disciples were like me in that hotel room in Hong Kong….pacing up and down the floor, looking out the window….wondering what’s going to happen next. Are we going to be okay?

         And so all their heads were bowed in prayer when a breeze suddenly began to move among them, just enough to make their hair stand up on end. Then it was more than a breeze. Literally, “an echoing sound as of a mighty wind borne violently” just roared through the whole house like the whir of a tornado. Their robes were flapping wildly and things were crashing and hitting the ground. The Spirit of God had come upon them! This fiery presence suddenly appeared in their midst and then it divided into separate flame-like tongues that danced over every single head. John the Baptist had promised a baptism of fire…and now it was here! The Holy Spirit blows in through the windows and doors. The Holy Spirit blows in to each one of them this breath of new life….and then….and then….the Holy Spirit blows them out the door. 

         They were filled with the Holy Spirit and as they spoke, each person in the crowd could hear them in their own language. This wasn’t Google Translator….this was the breath and the power of God! That my friends….is what happened at Pentecost.

         We fast forward to today….and we’re like…okay…so what? I’ll wear my party hat for the service. I’ll have my cake….and then I’ll go home for a nap. Sure there may have been a time for all that enthusiasm, wind and fire, but we civilized Christians know better now and we have to be careful…not to get carried away, right? I mean…that door is closed, isn’t it? We don’t experience stuff like that now do we?  I think that’s the case in a lot of churches today. 

         We want just enough religion and spirituality to feel good about ourselves….but not so much that it shakes up our routines and changes our way of living. We don’t really know if He really is present inside each one of us and we really don’t want to get blown out the door. Speaking of Father Richard Rohr again, he calls this a “cosmetic piety”…one that’s intended to look good on the surface, but lacks any real depth or complexity. And the truth is, most of us probably fall in to that category at one time or another. 

         But once again, my brothers and sisters, all we have to do…is take a deep breath. 

         The Book of Ezekiel says “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord…I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.” God’s Spirit….breath and wind….can put flesh on a skeleton and call it life….whether it’s a nation or a church…or whether it’s you and me. 

         Some of us, we’re coming in to this sanctuary today and we may have never even heard of Pentecost before. Some of us, we’re coming in to this sanctuary today and we’ve never felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives before. We’re not even sure if it’s real. Some of us, we’re coming in to this sanctuary today and we’re just feeling spiritually dead. Maybe you’ve felt the Spirit before, but right now you’re just running on fumes. If any of these things describe how you feel today….I want you to say these words out loud “Breathe on me, breath of God.” “Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.” On this Pentecost Sunday, let these words be a prayer for revival and new life in each and every one of us.

         There’s this great story and parable from the tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. This one monk asks an elder monk how he can really live into his faith with his whole being and in answer the elder monk stands up all dramatically. He raises his hands to the heavens…there’s a woosh….and all ten of his fingers become lamps of flame. And he says…..”if you will it, all your life can become as of fire.” If you will it, all your life can become as of fire. As I said earlier…to be empty…is to create the space to be filled. 

         If you came in to this sanctuary feeling empty and ambivalent….running on spiritual fumes…this is right where God wants you. Pentecost isn’t this single and static moment in time…it’s right here, right now. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

         But just know that if you open those windows, if you open those doors…it’s going to be a Signal 8 typhoon roaring in to your life and it’s going to blow you right out the door.

         It’s going to send all our prejudices, biases, and misconceptions toppling down in a violent rush of wind.

         I say this because Pentecost shows us that people who didn’t share the same language, people who were violently at odds with one another….began hearing from one another the Good News of Jesus Christ and they were united in a way that transcended geography and politics. 

        Indeed, on Pentecost Sunday…the reversal of the Tower of Babel had begun….and it continues on to this day. When we recite the Apostle's Creed in worship here every week, we say we “believe in the holy catholic church.” Every time we say those words we are united with the whole church both visible and invisible. We move from beyond our local parish and we’re connected with every congregation, every denomination and every cultural tradition. This is what it means to live in to the reality of the Pentecost. Indeed, every Sunday can and should be...a little Pentecost.

         Like I was saying earlier, these are difficult times in the life of our denomination and in our culture. 

         The winds of change are shaking us and rattling us. We’re afraid we’re losing our relevance. 

         We’re afraid we’re going to end up broken and divided, just like our fragmented world around us. But we have to take heart. The Wind of the Spirit is always blowing in the direction of the reality of the empty tomb and Easter Sunday as the exact remedy that our ailing world needs. 

         The wind of the Spirit is always blowing us in the direction of community building…..of overcoming divisions and removing the barriers that separate people…to bring them together in new life. To be empty is to be filled….every challenge…is a new opportunity. 

         On United Methodist Heritage Sunday, we are especially reminded of all this…from within the history of our own tradition. John Wesley was a failed missionary and a failed Anglican priest…a depressed and bitter man who’d strived for holiness…but ended up with barely any faith at all. But then one day he joined in prayer with some Moravians and a signal 8 typhoon suddenly came roaring in to his life. As he put it, “my heart was strangely warmed.” If you will it, all your life can become as of fire. His faith and imagination for the Gospel were ignited for the beginning of a new ministry….a ministry of teaching and preaching….of proclaiming the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit and it swept through the English countryside…to rich and poor alike and it brought about a great spiritual awakening in England and in the American Colonies. 

         And this same fire that was there for the Disciples and there for John Wesley and the people called Methodists…it’s alive and active in you and me….guiding, inspiring, directing, renewing, advocating, and remaking us in to the very likeness of God. So let’s put aside our earthly cares and fears. Let’s all take a deep breath….and say it out loud, let your words be a prayer….“Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.” In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen. 

     

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  4. Just Another Girl
    Latest Entry

    Why is it when people divorce they use the kids to get what they want? It is like a game to see who can get the most out of it. Why? I'll tell you why. People can't grow up and see what they are doing to the kids. It's like the kids can't do one thing without hurting one of the parents. They are pulled and thrown around as if they are nothing but something to be owned. 

  5. Surviving megaliths portraying Amenhotep III, from the ruin of his Valley Temple on the West bank at Thebes:

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    Amenhotep III was the most glittering of the Eighteenth Dynasty pharaohs; his long reign came at the material and political peak of that dynasty.  The prosperity and affluence of the kingdom was reflected exponentially in his personal grandeur and lavish display of wealth and power.  His funeral ceremonies would likely have eclipsed every other public or private ritual of the epoch.  The eldest surviving son would replace Amenhotep III on the throne of Egypt; initially he’d be called Amenhotep IV, but he would change his name to Akhnaten and turn the culture and religion of dynastic Egypt sideways.

    In my last post I noted how that short poem had been interpreted in myriad powerful ways.  This to me indicates a significant work of art.  The American composer Philip Glass wrote his opera Akhnaten in 1983.  The first scene depicts Amenhotep III’s funeral ceremony, marking the shift from the glamorous setting sun of the old king and the god Amun toward the rising sun of Akhnaten and his solitary god, the Aten.  Glass's stunning music captures the particular quality of this heightened, grandiose moment in history.

    Here are two videos that give different interpretations of this opening scene from Akhnaten.  The first is taken from an excellent live performance of the opera from 2013 by the University of Indiana; the second video is a free adaptation of the music to a video montage that harks back to ancient Egypt, but takes it in a different, modern direction.  Both of them are thrilling in their own ways.  Each is not long:  @ 10 minutes.

     

     

     

     

  6.  

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    You will become both Light, and Fire

    When you come to adoration, hold yourself before My Eucharistic Face like a mirror before
    the sun.  Thus will you capture the radiance, of my Countenance and the fire
    that blazes in My Heart; thus will you become both light and fire for
    souls plunged into darkness and hearts grown cold. 
    --In Sinu Jesu (When Heart Speaks to Heart). 

    No matter what religion one follows, or what spiritual path traveled upon, if it is not done in a mindful manner, it can become ‘dead’, lifeless, a shell, without any life.  For Catholics, the Eucharist is central to our faith.  For in the Eucharist, Jesus is still among us in a powerful sacramental way.  How mindful a Catholic is when he receives the Eucharist at Mass, or in times of simply being in the presence of the Sacrament, will dictate how the grace of the sacrament, will deepen ones faith in God, and love, of others. 

    Christians, are called to a deep, intimate, personal, and loving relationship, with Jesus Christ.  Our faith, the sacraments, and the sacramental aspects of our devotional life, can draw us deeper into the mystery of God’s infinite love, for each human being. 

    The ‘Heart of Jesus Christ’, called the ‘Sacred Heart’ by Catholics, points to the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ, and His loving intention for all of mankind.  Jesus, the creator, the upholder of the Universe, became man, so that he could incarnate in each of us, lifting us up with him, into the dance of the Holy Trinity.  By allowing the love of God into our hearts, we are saying yes to the influence of grace, and the deepening love, and healing, that flows like living water, from that experience.  This is a conscious, freely chosen choice.  Not to make that conscious choice, is to doom ourselves into having a childish, instead of a childlike relationship with the Trinity.  God is other, yet love, and Jesus reveals that to us.  For as Jesus said, “To see me is to see the Father”. 

    So we are called to allow the life of Jesus to become one with our own often broken, fearful, and anxiety, driven hearts.  We seek to allow our own humanity to grow as we experience the love of God in our hearts.  We become fire, we become love, we become compassion, and we learn not to fear, as Jesus did not fear, the unique suffering that is the fruit of that love.  That is how we unite ourselves to the sufferings of Christ, suffering of love, for the salvation of all.

    Priest are the servants, of the servants of God.  They are called in a special way to become a light unto others.  It is a vocation, which comes with a high price, for those priest who live out their vocation, to become a channel of the sacramental life for Catholics.

    All Christians, be they Catholics or not, are also priest (the priesthood of the faithful), we also are called to become lights of love towards others.  Yet it can only happen when we invite the life of Jesus Christ, into our hearts at ever deeper levels.  We look to Jesus, and do not allow our failures, or the many often serious disillusionments of priest and our fellow Christians, to deter us.  For the more we learn of the mercy bestow on us, the more we desire it for all, and realize that the love that God has for us, is there for everyone. 

    At Mass, Catholic’s unite themselves to the moment when Christ, instituted the Sacrament.  It is a moment that stretches out both forward in time, as well as incorporating the past.  Christ becomes present in a very special manner in the priest, when he says the words of consecration, and all Christians partake of that to the level that they open up their hearts, and deepen their understanding of what is happening.  We are all called to minister to all, and as well, to allow others to minister to us. 

    We are called to think before reacting.  To interact with others. To listen, encourage, love and respect all whom we meet.  When fear, and anger, control what is happening between peoples, there is no listening, but only prejudices, stereotyping, and the destruction of the humanity of the supposed enemy. 

    Jesus belongs to no one, we all belong to Jesus.  Let us pray for all, and seek to allow grace to expand our hearts, so that we will become ‘fire’ and ‘light’.  –Br.MD


     

     

  7. pauldaleroberts
    Latest Entry

    Legends of Opals

    By Deanna Jaxine Stinson, Amateur Geologist
    Halo Paranormal Investigations – HPI International.
    www.cryptic916.com/

    Opals are a gorgeous phenomenon that has occurred within the Earth over time, which mimics displays of light shows in the sky. They display vibrant color plays and stunning design, as they turn positions. Opals are so lovely that they have inspired many people to devote their lives to them. Whether it be with sheer fascination, or obsession, one can never forget the legends of opals.

    The first recorded name being given to the stone was 'Opallos', which is ‘to see a color change’. It is mostly found in the deserts of the world. Light Opal comes from Coober Pedy, supplying most of all production. Black Opal comes from the Lightning Ridge region of Northern New South Wales. The gem grade is a magnificent translucent material known as crystal.

    Different types of opals exist, such as; the black opal, boulder opal, fairy opal, crystal opal, milk opals, fire opals, resin opal, wood opal, menilite, which is brown or grey; hyalite, a colorless glass-clear opal sometimes called Muller's glass; geyserite, also called siliceous sinter, deposited around hot springs or geysers; and diatomite or diatomaceous earth, the accumulations of diatom shells or tests. There are two types of opals here: precious and common.

    Most opal is 50-65 million years old, dating back to the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs lived. The color inside of an opal is known as fire. Boulder opal occurs in the boulder opal belt, an area between the New South Wales border and northwest Queensland. It forms on a dark ironstone and occurs as a thin uneven layer. Light opal is the most common type of opal found and refers to both the crystal type opal (translucent) and the milky opal (opaque). Welo opal is classed as a mineraloid, unlike crystalline forms of silica, which are classed as minerals.

    Aborigines believe they have lived in Australia since the beginning of all creation. This culture has produced many myths and legends about opals over this span of time. Below, we are going to explore some of the most popular ones. The Aboriginals believe in a place called the "Land of the Dead". This place was also commonly known as the "sky-world" in which rainbows are a sign of beauty and divinity.

    Andamooka

    Andamooka, Australia is the name of the place where modern day peoples first discovered the opal. Sam Brookes and Roy Sheppard happened upon this revelation in 1930, during a thunderstorm. They were standing beneath a tree when suddenly; something shiny caught their eye in the rain. Upon closer inspection, the gem revealed herself as Opal. The name Andamooka means, “large waterhole” in aboriginal languages.

    In the process of digging, we have uncovered fossils of dinosaurs and opal. That means this place is the only known in existence to uncover stones so ancient. It has made this mine into a legend. In fact, the area is so prestigious, even the queen herself wears a regal piece found here. It is milky white, oval with yellow lightning penetrating the circumference of the jewel, as though it is living. It sets in front of a gate of diamonds, which protects her throat. There is also a pair of matching earrings to compliment this angelic amulet.

    In the surrounding location, several rocks known as quartzite are commonly found. It is within these fragments of the dirt where most opal is created. The locals know them as the painted ladies. They are rectangular and smooth, flat stones of a grey uncountenanced disposition, developed by splotches of royal hue color tones, in varying strokes of paint, in mixed compositions.

    Aurora Australis

    The Aurora Australis is considered the world's most valuable black opal. It was found in 1938 at Lightning Ridge, Australia. After cutting and polishing, it weighs 180 carats and is 3 inches by 1.8 inches. The stone has a rare harlequin pattern with reds, greens and blue colors against a black backside. The shape is oval. Also, found on the bottom is an imprint of a sea starfish.

    In 2005, the opal was appraised at one million dollars. It is the first stone of its kind that has been mentioned in literature. It belonged to Charles Dunstan, who found it in the ground at only 6 meters. It was popularly believed to bring in 100 pounds in currency to the discoverer.Because of the blue and green colors that sparkle across the surface, it brought to mind the Australian sky, when the aurora lights made a spectacular sparkling show across the land. At the time, the colors were not the most popular to warrant a high price but, eventually its beauty was appreciated at a high value.

    Greek Myth

    The ancient Greek people believed that it was a very lucky stone as it portrayed a multitude of colors and patterns in surprisingly rare arrangements. It was thought to bring the owner psychic abilities and improved intuition. When the king of their Gods Zeus defeated the Titans and when his tears stormed the ground, they became Opals.

    The Greeks certainly appreciated beauty in many forms. To be honored so highly in their culture was an elegant compliment. Truth prevails in the light and so, those who are bathed in the presence of Opal will be more likely to let their guard down and be vulnerable in honesty. The Opal will bring out your most spiritual attributes in a divine resonance of ancient time.

    The Opal was known as the “ophthalmios” or, the eye stone, during the Middle Ages. In this and other parts of the world, it was considered a talisman to ward off the curse of the evil eye. It can awaken many visions and protect the eyes from disease or sickness.

    The Unlucky Stone

    If Opal is not your birthstone, it is thought that it will bring bad luck. This concept came because of the fragile nature of this beautiful treasure. The opal is prone to easily break and fracture, causing it to fall apart into pieces. It is very rare to find one without sand, inclusions or cracks.

    However, because of the crystalline rainbows, which form in the spider webs of glitter, it can be considered very lucky as well. One that contains a lot of sparkle is known to hold ‘fire’ and is desirable. The more color and clarity there is, the better the quality of the jewel.

    When opal is heated up too hot without the use of water to cool it becomes fractured. When a lapidarist cuts the stone with a saw, the person can create only mud with the chips and fragments, which comes off. With all issues of luck in folklore, circumstances differ dramatically.

    European Fantasy

    For a long period of time, the Europeans associated the opal with prestige and luxury. In the late 18th century it became unpopular when the favorable conditions of the country depleted significantly. The Black Death was a widespread outbreak which killed most in its way. A great power fell then from the Opal, as it was thought that it’s long life was attributed to its bright colors and that if someone fell dead with it close by, they would suck it’s energy, leaving it looking depleted and dull. Marked in patterns and wavelengths, colors are lost forevermore.

    In the 19th century, King Alfonso XII of Spain received an unwelcome gift, sent in rumor by a vengeful woman, whom he had rejected. He gave it unsuspectingly to his wife and she died suddenly. He wore the ring after that incident and then also died. It then traveled throughout his family bloodlines, murdering relatives along the way.

    The curse on this stone in such a location brought about horrible stigma with it. Often appearing as the face of luck, in which a balance must be made in order to appease the natural order of the universe. From as far back as we can remember, are the souls of the lost, like bones turned to rainbows and stone, glowing in a florescent darkness, unbound by the Earth.

    Australian Rainbow Serpent

    Rainbows in mythology history represent many different types of energy. In Aboriginal stories, a giant rainbow snake exists as the Rainbow Serpent. This vision comes from the dreams of immortals. Together, they band in unison to shape the universe. It is a majestic paramount of power and magick fused together with harmony, into one wavelength.

    The place where the creature originates is occasionally referred to as Dream Time. With all the rare beauty that manifests in this location, such as in the Heavens and Earth, is a boom of spectacular experiences you could find nowhere else. Australia is thought to be the farthest of ancient lands of the old world, which permeates a higher degree of importance with creation myths, due to a prevailing hierarchy. With all these fantastic stories is the underlying message that opals bring angels and legends to life.

    Aboriginal Australians arrived by sea from Maritime Southeast Asia, between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago. Their artistic, musical and spiritual traditions are amongst the longest surviving such traditions in human history. Aborigine people believe that they share their being with their country and all that is within it forever.

    Rainbow Opal

    Of the three basic types of Opals, “Precious Opal,” also called “Rainbow Opal,” is the rarest, mined in a limited number of locations worldwide and produces brilliant flashes or streaks of iridescent color when turned in the light. This is known as the “play of color.” The color is not due to any pigment in the stone, but are optical effects created when the microscopic spheres of silica hardened. The spacing between the spheres causes light waves traveling through Opal’s internal structure to diffract and break up into the colors of the spectrum. The size of the spheres and their geometric packing determines the color and quality of the diffracted light and the value of the Opal.

    Rainbow Goddess

    According to Hesiod's Theogony, Iris is the daughter of Thaumas and the Oceanid Electra and the sister of the Harpies: Aello and Ocypete. Iris is represented either as a rainbow or as a beautiful young maiden with wings on her shoulders. In some texts she is depicted wearing a coat of many colors. With this coat, she actually creates the rainbows she rides to get from place to place. Iris's wings were said to be so beautiful that she could even light up a dark cavern, a trait observable from in the story of her visit to Somnus, in order to relay a message to Alcyone.

    Rainbow Crystals

    The notion that the rainbow bridge to heaven is attainable by only the good or virtuous, such as warriors and royalty, is a theme repeated often in world myths. In Navajo tradition, the rainbow is the path of the holy spirits, and is frequently depicted in sacred sand paintings.

    The rainbow is depicted as an archer's bow in Hindu mythology. Indra, the god of thunder and war, uses the rainbow to shoot arrows of lightning. The Sumerian farmer god Ninurta defends Sumer with a bow and arrow, and wore a crown described as a rainbow.

    According to Genesis, after Noah saved the animals from the Great Flood, a rainbow appeared. As the flood had killed all other living beings, the rainbow came to symbolize God's promise that he would never send another flood to destroy all of the earth and that never again would all living things be killed in the waters of a flood. For some native people, the rainbow around the sun is considered to be a sign from God, marking a time of great change.

    Volcano Opals

    In volcanic rocks and adjacent environments the opal appears to fill only in cracks, whereas in sedimentary rocks there are a variety of spaces, created by the weathering process. Much of the opal deposition is not precious. It is called "potch" by the miners, or common opal by the mineralogist. The many variations in the types of opal, depends on a number of factors. The climate provides alternating wet and dry periods, creating a rising or falling water table, which concentrates any silica in the solution. The silica itself is formed either by volcanic origin or by deep weathering of Cretaceous clay sediments producing both silica and white kaolin.

    The volcano itself does not make it. The lava, either Rhyolite or Basalt, has air bubbles in it (called vesicles) and they are the future home of the opals. After a while, the lava cools and silica rich springs begin a slow deposition, which will most likely form common or precious opal. This is what makes each piece so unique and wonderful.

    Legends of Opals

    Perhaps in the future, some gorgeous watery place with a cloud forest casting sun and rain onto the ground will create another masterpiece collection of Opals. Opal is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. Wherever the elixir forms, it prepares to harden with its secrets trapped inside. The moment they are released, is when they are touched by hands.

    In turn, they are used to set into jewelry, art and freeform. The allure attracts many buyers and admirers from all over the world. This stone is considered the most awesome as all, because of the fact that it holds all the qualities of others, in one. It is definitely a treasure to be appreciated and valued.

    May fate be with you as your eyes take witness to the magnificent creation of wonder and inspiration. Its legends will truly live on forever, from a Holy Grail, which has dried up and fell over, pouring out rainbows in an hourglass of time and circumstance, by the universe itself. Let angels guide you to the foundation of eternity with sparkles and stars laid to rest upon your head, like a crown of light and fire to behold forevermore...

  8. Not A Rockstar
    Latest Entry

    People get confused starting out. This was brought home to me when I got a message on Facebook from someone here asking me if I really still did all the things I write about, and how can anyone try to do all that at once? It seems a good time to repeat that life is a journey, and if Spiritual pursuit is part of your life then that is also one.

    I write this blog to get some basic information out there for people, and when I write I draw from my own experiences. At 59 so far, I have a few I can talk about. The person I am today is a natural shaman, with a lifelong passion in seeking Truth/God, who is presently dealing with the spontaneous awakening of kundalini into his meditative world. Things I have studied or done in the past are part of my knowledge base now. I do not actively practice as a priest in Vodou anymore. Things like numerology and palmistry and such were things I studied and naturally still know about but I don't do these things, never did read palms, for example, as my study into that determined it seemed to be empty. Other than the fact I remain alive, so presumably my life line has not run out yet, nothing else my palms supposedly say about me or my life is true. Numerology I never "did", though I did study it more than some things, very curious about it and connections it has to the Kabbalah and many other things in the Occult. It is something I note when I run across it, not something I do, if that makes sense. 

    Do not limit yourself thinking "I am going to become a witch" and then go do that to the exclusion of all else or imagine you may be that for your whole life. If you really are a Seeker, it never ends. You seek, you find, things you understand change, you grow, sometimes, you bleed and back away and head another way. Your understanding of things will deepen, you will see what once were "other" ways are not as different as you supposed the further you go. You might well be a witch after all, but your understanding of what that is will change beyond all measure if you are active and working and seeking.

    I meditate for short periods several times a day. I have a few inactive altars here from Vodou. I have hundreds of books. I teach some minor things to a few people that I feel I should and do not teach the rest directly. Once in a while I go to Mass with my Mother as it means a lot to her and I do not mind visiting God there or anywhere. That is my religion nowadays. What you DO is not the same thing as what you ARE. I remain all that I used to be but it is in transition always, sort of like our bodies are constantly replacing cells. 

    This blog is to write things I am asked for or to toss out information someone curious may like to know about later. The occult and the search has been my obsession this lifetime, so I have covered a lot of ground, but, I never have let grass grow under my feet. If it was not true, or not right for me, I was moving along. I am on a mission, a personal one to find God, to learn the truth, and this is very personal, it can be unique to us all, isn't something to teach as such, but, it can be shared to a degree. Most of what I write is just data, things learned, to help someone else as they hike onward, too. 

    I write to serve.

  9. StarMountainKid
    Latest Entry

    The Judgment

    As I sit here in the waiting room I try to review my life. I am sixty years of age this year, so this is of great importance to me. I try to consider what wrongs I have done in my life and what have I done right. It is not so easy to determine these things. Circumstances we find ourselves in are very complicated to analyze. For instance, trying to do the right thing often will lead to unforeseen consequences which may effect other peoples lives in negative ways.

    Oftentimes we do things unconsciously that have a detrimental effect on others that we may not even notice or anticipate. Then again, we perceive our life from our own perspective. From the perspective of others our behavior may be quite different than what we intend.
    We also behave in ways that are self-promoting. This is a natural instinct, but it can cause harm to those around us. All these aspects of one’s life and more must be taken into careful consideration.

    As I look around the waiting room to the other old men and women sitting here, I study their faces. Some have a concerned expression on their face, but most a frightened expression. I assume they are all as thoughtful about themselves and their lives as I am. Only two men I see have contented looks. I know these kinds of people. These two I think have a surprise awaiting them.

    Some question this Judgment of ours. Usually these criticisms occur when we are nearing the legal age, of course. In our youth and middle age the Judgment seems to reside in the distant future, so we do not concern ourselves much with it. But, when we near our sixtieth year, naturally it begins to occupy our minds more and more often.

    This Judgment has been our law for untold generations. However we may consider its propriety, the law is the law, after all, and must be obeyed. We must accept our fate before the Judgment, whatever the outcome.
    Some have tried to escape the Judgment, of course, have run away into the hinterlands, farther and farther, ever more deeply through countries unknown to us, to discover a final refuge, to vanish forever from our society and from our laws. Our Provence Governor tells us these miscreants are always caught and punished.

    I hope this is not the truth. I like to think there is an outpost of escapees living happily somewhere far away out of the reach of our authorities. I am too old now to join them, and was too timid or perhaps too cowardly to attempt this myself in my youth and middle age. This I regret now. However, would taking the risk of being caught and paying the penalty for this venture be any different than what I face today?

    All this dreaming does not help my present situation, so I will return to the matter at hand.

    No one knows of what this Judgment consists. None of its details are we acquainted with. There have always been speculation and rumors of course. If I may, I will speak of some of the more credible suppositions.

    Basically, we are judged by the authorities according to the good and the bad we have done in our lives. We are then judged either innocent or guilty. Our behavior, our decisions and their consequences are examined, and finally the verdict is handed down.
    Now, just who judges us is also a matter of speculation. Some say there is a panel of three Judges who make the decision among themselves. Some offer that there is a Prosecutor and an Advocate who argue our case before the Court. Others maintain we alone must defend ourselves. Some even suppose the decision has been made even before we appear.

    In any event, the decision is made and the verdict handed down. If we are found innocent, presumably there is a happy ending. If found guilty, due punishment is decreed. In either case, the one judged is not allowed to return to his home or to his family. No one who has stood before the Judgment has ever returned to our village.

    This has always seemed odd to us, even suspicious. We can understand the disappearance of those judged guilty, as we suppose their punishment would preclude their return. But, those judged innocent we would assume would be returned to their village to continue their normal lives. This never occurs, however.

    The general thinking is, the innocents are sent to a more pleasant life than they could ever experience in their own village. This would be an agreeable reward, except in this event they never see their parents, friends, wives, children or grandchildren again. How can a life lived separated from our own loved ones be a pleasurable experience and a reward for having lived a virtuous life?

    Another opinion is that everyone who goes before the Judgment is found guilty. This is very possible, as who lives an innocent life?

    I must also explain the process of the order of selection in the waiting room. It seems to me completely random. A door opposite opens and a uniformed guard stands tall and proud in the doorway. He loudly and rather harshly pronounces a name. The person suddenly named is wrenched from his or her reverie with a shocked look on their face. They inevitably grow pale, hesitate, then slowly rise and shamble slowly toward the guard and the door.

    They often stop momentarily to turn and gaze with longing at the empty chair they have just left. However, the guard holds the door open a little wider to beckon the person through. The selected then turns back to the guard and the door. Averting their eyes from the guard’s stern stare, they regain their composure somewhat and dutifully continue toward the opening, seemingly resigned to their fate.

    After this person has disappeared into the passageway, the guard always pauses and turns his attention to those still waiting with an unsympathetic and reproachful gaze. Then he slowly recedes and closes the door softly behind him.

    We all look at each other with concern after these little scenes, then with relief, and then bow our heads, lost in our own thoughts. I, too, bow my head. I also will be selected this day, I too will start when I hear my name called in that loud harsh voice, turn pale, rise uncertainly and shuffle hesitantly forward.

  10. Ieshia Sparks

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    Unknown scratch mark  happened while I was standing in the kitchen at my parents house talking to them and then I felt a burning sensation on my leg and look down and seen the scratch. 

  11. Tales from the Mist

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    Goddess of the Mist
    Latest Entry

     

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    Born of the devil’s kiss, an aching in her soul

    her skin not clear but exquisitely marked

    for the devil liked her very much – did he

    Showering her, blanketing her from head to toe with hot, desiring kisses

    The kiss of life, the kiss of death

    leaving small, charcoal evidences behind wherever he touched

    like tiny bruises that went deeper than they appeared

    For they looked like shallow things, only they were much more profound

    sinking down to her very being

    And when as a child she wondered very much on the origin of the symbols

    and the implications

    Well, then her grandmother told her, “Those are devil kisses – he must like you very much!”

    So she lay in her bed at night, just a little sweaty and fearful; imagining...

    Would the devil himself show up; and did he love her?

    Later, through times of strife, she wished he would show up

    to explain a few things

    then again, maybe he did

    In the form of a cruel lover; revealing to her things like deceit, jealousy and revenge!

    Ah, but those are merely earthly things, she thinks…

    since she knows the devil must have more important occupations to fill his time

    And every now and then she can feel the scorching from deep within,

    The mark – an indicator and sign

    of something so much more

    And be it evil or benign

    it is there all the same

    as she looks out upon the world with a burning gaze 

    Beauty without; the devil within.

     

    © Goddess of the Mist

     

  12. So it seems with almost 2 months passing that I still am unable to post status updates and that from my side some of my posts, though still in my stuff, does not want to properly appear. It is so nice to see that I can barely do anything anymore. I truly loved this site, but now it just seems to hinder things. This was such a great place to come and express things and updates things about my life, the very thing I had wanted this page to be, but apparently because I didn't want to make blog posts, made posts to long, and promoted a separate page of mine to be able to see the longer posts that kept being taken down, I am unable to do anything but type here. So really I may just do update posts every couple months as I have no other need for this site if I am not able to make status posts anymore or have this page be what I had intended for it to be so ya guess that is life. People don't like when you do stuff they don't want happening and have to be d**** about it all.

    ~Blessed Be, Damon~

  13. Now that I'm older, here is what I have discovered --

    I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
    My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.
    I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.
    It's funny, but I don't remember being absent minded.
    All reports are in ... Life is now officially unfair.
    If all is not lost, where is it????
    It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
    Some days you are the dog. Some days you are the hydrant.
    I wish the buck stopped here, I could use a few.
    Kids in the back seat cause accidents.
    Accidents in the back seat cause . . . kids.
    It is hard to make a comeback when you have never been anywhere.
    The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you are in the bathroom.
    If God had wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my knees.
    When I am finally holding all the cards, why does everyone decide to play chess?
    It is not hard to meet expenses . . . they are everywhere.
    The only differences between a rut and a grave are the depth and one has the ends kicked out.
    These days I spend a lot of time thinking about the here after.....
    I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I am here after.......
    If I wake up in the morning and nothing hurts, it may be a good indication that I have died during the night.

  14. "We are not authorized to deny that there are creatures in other stars that are completely different from ours."
    Cardinal Nicolaus Cusanus (1401 - 1464)

    di-VB0U9V.jpg
    "The Baptism of Christ" Aert De Gelder, 1710, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK.
     
    In today's world, where every tenth becomes a prophet with all the followers of the crowd, and every third claims to have seen the UFOs who gave him the mission of saving the world, there is a need for Christians to talk about the UFO phenomenon. Who are those aliens ? What extremes are taking on the church in this matter? Let's try to look at what's happening in the world at the same time and how different Christian communities react, what they are talking about and what their current classmates are doing. Who are those aliens, also known as extrateriastrials? What extremes are taking on the church in this matter? Let's try to look at what's happening in the world at the same time and how different Christian communities react, what they are talking about and what their current "brothers and sisters" are doing.
     
     
    A small brief on the UFO phenomenon
     
     
    The UFOs - unrecognized flying objects, in 1947 the businessman and flyer Kenneth Arnold were "baptized" with flying saucers, as a phenomenon known to the public for a long time. Specific reports of light in the sky appeared in the media from the second half of the 19th century. but their opinion that references to flying saucers can be found in ancient art, starting with the signs of the Naska Valley and the Egyptian pyramid drawings and finishing with Renaissance paintings. There are also those who believe that the UFO is spoken in various cultures and scriptures, from the Bible to the Vedas and Talmud, not forgetting the legends of mystical Dogon tribes about the arrivals of Syria. It is not necessary to tell the story of the phenomenon itself or to go into the discussions as much as contacts with the extraterrestrials and the light in the sky are real.
     
    The main strangeness is not that people say they've seen something or have been communicating with someone, but the news that the aliens come from outer space itself. It's usually messianic messages that are received, as witnesses say, directly or through astral contact. A frequent contact person feels an unceasing desire to announce to the whole world that the time of adversity is approaching or that the aliens have put their probe in their heads. As a rule, contact takes place like this: meeting, kidnapping, warning to mankind, the message of salvation or destruction, the contact person receives the mesmerizing task of reporting this "good news" to all humanity. So the contactees publishing "good news of the aliens" no worse than did Christians of the first centuries.
     
    20th century In the first half, it was believed that space enthusiasts arrived from Mars or Venus, at least from there, was the radio station of the Herbert George Wells novel "The World Wars", which caused a universal panic in New York in 1938, when people fled from the city after the release of the show and hid for days on the outskirts of Mars Invasion. The testimony of contacts of that time is evidenced by the same. Later, after expanding to the astronomical knowledge of the universe, and especially after J. Gagarin, the alien homeland started to move away. Until recently, they separated from nearby or famous stars, mostly from sirius constellation, or from planets that were supposedly to those stars. At this time, aliens have moved to live in other galaxies or in star systems that our scientists simply do not know. Normally, such information can not be verified, and the one that is available is usually simply misinformation: the stranger's pawn is from the planet Parasirijus, which is located near the Earth and is about four light years away. What can the coordinates of the alien homeland say? Only so much that it is not known what the place is closer than the nearest star, the Kentauro Proxima. Such and even more misinformation occurs very often.
     
    Another oddity, necessarily accompanying the UFO phenomenon, is conspiracy theories. The reader could certainly see some of them in the "X files" series. The most popular "theories" (Area 51, the Roswell catastrophe, men in black and others) usually reveal the basic idea that the government hides from the public the fact that aliens really exist and that contacts have long been established and various projects are being implemented using alien technologies. Sometimes these conspiracy theories are also mixed in by the fact that the Vatican goes with the government, because he really knows that there is no God, and that the aliens are prototypes of all gods, only to deceive us.

     
    Paleocontact - Aliens become gods
     

    The main idea of one of the most prominent supporters of paleocontact, Erich von Däniken, is already quite widespread among pseudo-archeology and pseudo-history, saying that the aliens had visited the Earth on an ancient day, people supported them, began to worship them, and thus religions, including Christianity, arose. Eduard von Däniken in one book, "Raumfarth im Altertum", describes quite well how the alienss contacted the archaic man, as the first representative of the homo-sapiens was probably not from the planet Earth. It is also mentioned that the description of the alien spacecraft is found in Ezechiel's vision. Unfortunately, various religious or pseudoreligic groups are also getting such ideas. Ufonoates, who have became messiahs of humanity, have taught and even created it, are often reflected in the 20th century. The founder of the first organization, called Rael, interacted with the alien who "scientifically" explained to him the Bible. The founder of the second organization, Vladimir Ivanovich Skubaev, shed "The Gospel according to the White Lotus", which describes an alternative world history, in which the incoming person from the same sirius constellation became a teacher of mankind. Let's not forget the followers of such titles as the Urantia Book and the Scientologists founded by Lafayette Ronald Hubbard who were also quite capable of teaching their Jesus-flying hand-held spacecraft, and yet the abundance of others. Christians find this funny or blasphemous.
    Erich von Däniken's fellow friend Giorgio Tsoukalos, they both call themselves ufologists. They are well known in "ancient aliens" series.

    In the world, religious sects appear daily. Perhaps the reader remembers organization the "Heavenly Gate" in the last decade of the last century. His chief Marshall Hertt Applewhitte said that the aliens had been sent to bring mankind to heaven because, in his view, Earth had to be eradicated in the year 2000. The organization of the visa expired in 1997 when Heilly-Bop Comets approached the Earth. The whole group of believers "flew away" in a spacecraft which was "hiding" on the comet's tail. Jesus himself piloted, in that occasion they took a lethal dose of barbiturate and putted plastic bags on their heads.

    It is a pity, but there are always people who tend to rely on various strange, "scientific" or innovative Biblical teachings. The admirers of Däniken Paleocontact's mind-blowing ideas forget that their multiplication often distorts the facts and raises ideas that do not have a real confirmation, but only his personal guesses. One of the flagship statements could be the fact that the spacecraft, the captain of which was named Yahweh, appeared to the Jews. It is perfectly normal for such people that Moses, seeing the descending spaceship, thought for his misunderstanding that it was a burning bush, that Ezechiel saw the spacecraft at the Kebara River, forgetting that there was a crowd of people who did not see this spacecraft, and that Jesus ( spacecraft physician ) accidentally left on Earth. From then he is a , distributing dry food. The proponents of Däniken's ideas, Raelians, followers of Heaven's Gate and others often distort the Bible's text, distorts the text from context and ignore any historical critical approach, seeing aliens in any place. What to do? It you can't live without faith.

    Usually such ideas are more dangerous for people who do not have a clear religious identity, even though such cases occur even when human pastors suddenly begin to tell how they interacted with the aliens and how they taught them the true faith. I am referring to the events of 1994 in Lithuania, when priest Petras Zabiela (renamed, but known to those concerned with the phenomenon of UFOs) has claimed to have been abducted by aliens who showed him his temple in 1992, explained that they live without sin . The priest spoke on television and in the newspapers. The message of the religious aliens has not spread to the world. Surprisingly, such contactees usually tend to to identify aliens within gods and without any paleocontact theory. For them, aliens become angels or equated with gods. Here is the danger to christian or other religions.

    When the aliens become almighty gods, salvation becomes unnecessary, and religion is meaningless, because could some random spacecraft physician (Jesus), who did not know anything on the Earth, save the humanity, if his words were falsely conveyed?

    E. Norman goes even further than Däniken. According to him, the UFOs are sent to earth in our time, in order to transmit God through them to tell truth about ourselves. The tendencies of both authors' affirmations are felt in many ufo-religious movements.

    [IMG] 
    Such pictures are often interpreted according to personal ideology

    Such Bible interpretations have nothing to do with traditional education or traditional religion. Disregarding the historical and theological context, the facts are distorted, and the Bible is perceived as the author needs. Paradoxal, but not traditional Christians, writers of this kind begin, diligently study the scriptures.

     
    Religion or science?


    One of the mistakes made by Christians regarding the UFOs is to see this phenomenon only as a religious phenomenon or as a danger to religion as such, rejecting any other possibility. Usually Christians associate faith with aliens unequivocally with magic, occultism, and sects. This is evident in the reading of the popular Christian literature on this subject. Also feature films such as M. Night Shyamalan's Signs (2002) or Alex Proyas Knowing (2009) or Steve Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), which have a great influence on the alien beliefs and the recognition of religion, Spiritual issues are dealt with in one way or another. The Signs clergyman, played by Mel Gibson, fights with aliens, guided by the prophecy given to a dying wife, has a very bright eschatological and messianic mood. Spielberg's masterpiece has become almost a canonical icon of ufology experience.

    Of course, we don't have to reject the fact that the UFO sects and even the manifestations of magic are quite common in ufology. Such sects appear quite often. Thanks to "God", not everyone ends as sadly as the Heavenly Gate Group. However, due to the fault of such movements, people who try to evaluate the phenomenon of UFOs more or less scientifically, are Christians in the same way as devilish sectants. Independent researchers such as Randles, B. Hopkins. His books tend to shake their research in any religious context. Again, the level of scholarship in their work is another issue, but we will not discuss it, emphasizing only that not everything related to the aliens and the UFO's is the object of religion.

    Scientific research projects such as SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) are often forgotten, which, although some scholars are skeptical about being condemned to failure or meaningless, are based on purely scientific methods and are engaged in life forms, especially those who think on other planets , searches. The SETI program is fully committed to isolating itself from the UFO phenomenon, and does not fully grasp what might be happening in the Earth, and they are interested in the distant cosmos. Programs such as SETI have already made a number of discoveries. In 2007 Gliese 581 C was discovered for Earth-like planet, and more planets would be discovered in future (just a guessing). There are already hundreds of planets circling around other stars that have already been found. Perhaps Giordan Bruno was right in the 16th century. saying that on other planets there are also intelligence creatures?

     
    Demonization of extraterrestrials

     
    The real or false alien invasion of the planet of the Earth has affected most of humanity. This phenomenon was studied by special services, investigated by scholars, described by fantasy writers, and was also debated by theologians of various Christian denominations such as Presbyterian Barry Downing or Evangelist Billy Graham. The first aliens considered the divine act of baptism, the second thought that the UFO's were nothing else but the angels' way of appearing to man of this age. By the way, the same other authors also talk about demons. Such theological sophism raised the idea that the UFO's appearances are one of the signs of eschatological times. Angels - the aliens became prophets of the end of time, so the end ir near... Of course, then there were also opposing opinions. Christian fundamentalists, claiming that the Bible no longer mentions the civilizations of other planets, began to assert that the nature of aliens can only be demonic. So the UFO's and the aliens are reunited with eschatology, only this time they prophesy not the quick coming of Christ, but of the Antichrist.

    [IMG] 
    Some aliens species often claim to be evil, for example "little greys".

    The demonization of the aliens has been accompanied by this phenomenon since the "cause" has been named, that uncertain light in the sky is the manifestation of aliens from space. Current ufologists also see UFOs' manifestations in the old fashion and the old texts, but the people of that time considered various light in heaven as demonic and divine signs, the current Christian tends to see only demonic manifestations in it. This comes not only from the perception of the phenomenon itself, but also from the denominations , demonology and various teachings of spiritual theology. One Church takes over from one another, and the original idea seems to be worshiping with a growing force of Christianity. The main demons of the alien phenomenon are a large part of Protestant denominations, such as the well-known Word of the Faith. By the way, the Orthodox Church holds the same opinion. The Roman Catholic Church is also at the same time undergoing some of the ideas of alien demonism, although it is often only the insights of individual priests. There are published books in which the UFO phenomenon is uniquely associated with magic and occultism. An example of such literature could be the Enzo Bianco brochure Magic. Although it is not true, but I believe, "which essentially discusses the phenomenon of magic, but one section is dedicated to the UFO cult. Such books are usually relatively poor, both Catholic and Protestant. As a rule, such publications tend to recall the propaganda literature of Soviet times with a great deal of inaccuracies, attacks and personalities. As far as it is to be noted, the hierarchs of the Catholic Church on this issue are not inclined to make such bold conclusions by attaching demons to the aliens. However, various types of ufologists quotes these texts with various enchantments. It is, of course, strange that churches that disagree on the Bible and the questions of Christ's teaching become so united and identical in the mind of an enemy, unknown or real.

    Since the Revelation of Aliens does not speak, so the Bible, translated through personal insights, becomes the main criterion for evaluating the question of UFO sightings and abductions. In principle, Christians, in an attempt to support the demonicity of aliens in the Bible, behave in the same way as those who are trying to prove the UFO's reality. The main arguments are often quite abstract, but for some theologians this is enough to see the similarities between the aliens and the demons of both types of subjects: night, confusion, distancing from belief, depression, fear, revelations manifestly contradictory to the Bible, violence from aliens / demons, sexual intercourse relationship with succubus/aliens. To a large extent, all these contacts can really be found in the biblical texts, but in this way we can stray into sofism and complete miss-interpretation of texts, and then we would act in the same way as the pseudo-scientist Erich von Däniken. But the path of lies is not a good Christian choice.
     
    Anyway... on the aliens question are interested some Christian denominations. In 1980, the United States established the Church of the Movement for Resistance to Aliens near the famous Roswell Town. It is a Protestant fundamentalist community that provides psychological and spiritual assistance to victims of aliens. Interestingly, members of the community teach their clients how it is possible to interrupt abductions by means of prayer - this can be done by ordering Jesus' name.

     
    Of course, opposition to resistance is not only among the Christians. Among the interested ufologists, a well-known person is V2 who, for free, distributes anti-Tactical stickers depicting an alien's head, crossed red. V2 invites all humanity to connect on Earth againt the aliens. The Savior identity is not known.

    So, any fight against aliens is essentially a recognition that they exist. Christians, who have come to such a battle, often do not even suspect themselves of it, announce an alien good news.


     
    Vatican and the aliens

     
    After the Second Vatican meeting in the Catholic Church, when a charismatic renewal movement emerged, quite a large part of the faithful laymen and clergy began to interpret many aspects of the functioning of the Holy Spirit based on Protestant theology. Such a lack of practical theology in the Catholic Church has influenced a relatively large part of the Catholic view of the UFO phenomenon.  Aliens to believers, like Protestant communities, have become unequivocally demons from other planets. However, a significant proportion of Catholic theologians and hierarchs do not lead to the demonization of UFO's. By evaluating this phenomenon in the light of revelation, they also do not forget scientific access to the question. Quite often, one or another representative of the Church speaks of extraterrestrial forms, but this is usually only their personal opinion; the media bubble is blowing it up, as happened in 2008 by the Director of the Vatican Observatory Jose Gabriel Funes S.J., expressing his opinion on extraterrestrial forms of life, and the media conveying it as the official position of the Vatican.

    To this date, one of the most prominent personalities among the Catholic hierarchs is the Pontifical theologian and exorcist monsignor Corrado Balducci, who, unfortunately, died a couple of years ago. He was a Vatican's affiliate on UFO issues. This is most often quoted by theologian in ufologist's works. Father Balducci often spoke on ufology issues on television or in the press. Many times, a statement was made from his lips that the Church closely monitors the UFO phenomenon in the world and is trying to find out what that is. Balducci categorically opposed the demons of aliens, based on the fact that not all phenomena are inexplicable. Some of them are mere meteorological or psychological phenomena, but another part that can not be reasonably explained in any way is not necessarily spiritual. So, in order for the Church to speak  in authoritative in the issue of the UFO's, it needs to know what it takes to deal with, because attacking the demonization of an unaccountable phenomenon is unlikely to happen, but the second witch hunt wave may begin.

    There are quite a few serious theologians in the Catholic Church who are trying to reflect on the UFO phenomenon on the basis of today's academic achievements and theology. One of them is the Polish theologian Jacek Salij OP. Such theologians are often guided by the New Testament quotation saying: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, for it creates all that is in heaven and earth, whether visible or invisible, or thrones, affinity, or principality, or authority - all created through him and for him. "(Col. 1.15-16). These words of Paul show them that there is a possibility that God, being a great Creator whose wisdom and power are infinite, could have created the inhabitants of other planets, including those who intelligent.

    Thus, although there is no official teaching on the in the Catholic Church, it is a matter for concern. Of course, any theological reflection on the morality of the aliens and the possibility of being baptized is still only at the level of fantasy novels, but if it ever happens that extraterrestrial life forms has actually visited/visiting all this time on Earth, then some kind of foundation will be laid for future theologians.
  15.  

    Deep within the psyche of all humans lives a desire for recognition of one’s existence and prowess.  In order to fulfill this desire within mankind, one finds the first step to position for recognition of who and what we are here in Time/Space or physicality.  That step is the act of leveraging all physical aspects for power and control in every event sequence that we perceive and participate with in life. Thus we begin our learning here in this physicality.  The first step is one of moving thought that manifests into an act designed for power over the other.  The Me (you) view all outside or external entities or material objects as the Other.  Put simply — there is Me (you) and there is the Other.  To the Me, all outside persons, things, whatever — are the Other.  The Me competes with the Other for power and control within the realm of Lawful-existence or what some call the Essence (Laws of Physics or Nature).

    The Essence is also considered the Universe.  It is where the Me and the Other reside in a quantum existence full of laws and forces that leverage us by its own making or being.  Some call this realm God.  No matter how you term this inexplicable being or state of existence, you are here taking part in a drama that no one person can explain.  You, the Me, really do not know if the Other really exists, but if it does not exist, do you exist?  Without the Other, would you have the data to communicate back to you in feedback, that you exist?

    The Void is the Ultimate unknowable, yet it may be non-existence.  You may never know the meaning of the Void as the Me.  The self-oriented being or person can not know the Void, for it is deep, dark and undetectable to most minds.  Selfish persons who desire recognition are really looking for reinforcement that they exist.  Selfishness causes non-learning and pushes us closer to the edge of the Void.  Without attention from the Other, we have no worldly data to feedback on the reality of our existence.  The only way we can ever learn our way in the universe is to become unselfish and reach out to the Other to learn from all of them.  To join the Other is to become unselfish.  This is what some call Love or Human Coherency.


    To Love the Other as we Love the Me is to gain knowledge on the Essence and the Void.  The more we share knowledge with the Other, the more we see of life.  An unselfish person soon learns that he is the combination of the Me and the Other.

    Leveraging for Power in life means that the Me will use Violence, Wealth, Religion, Knowledge, Beauty, or Love to gain control over the Other, or seek recognition from the Other.  There is really only one selfless means of communicating with the Other.  It is Love or shared coherency.  All other means are elements that invoke the ancient law of consequence.  The law of consequence is also known as the law of cause and effect… what goes around, comes around.  Because the law of consequence is leveraged into existence by selfish acts by the Me for his/her own gain (in effect saying that the Other does not exist therefore negating the Me’s own existence).

    Look into the eye of the Other and you will see the mirror of the self. No person exists beyond the data of his/her own senses.  Without the feedback of the other’s activities, there would be no data to see, hear, taste, smell, touch or examine with the brain or the sixth sense.  The seventh sense is intuition which few beings develop unless they are unselfish and understand the power of the law of consequences.  In your mind dances all the data of the Other.  Without the knowledge gained of the outside world, you would be nothing.  You are what you learn.  You are an accumulation of all your life experiences.  You are the Other replicated by leveraged experiences reinforced over and over again. Wisdom is gained when you learn to Love the Other and Life becomes a Passion for harmony and continued becoming through visualization in Mind.

    To move deeper we must visualize this reality as a matrix or arena of participating experiences.  Our Universe is like a record, tape, disc, or some other storage device for information.  Only it is much more.  It is a continuum that is open-ended.  It is everywhere and everything and it is in a state of durational change.  It is enfolded in a super holographic moiré matrix of multiple dimensions that act as one or many depending upon the informational flux.  It is like an atmosphere of mental assemblages of feedback loops that appear to be its construction only in that its emphasis localizes in beings who become.  This universe is hierarchical in design with lower level entities not totally knowing of higher-level beings, yet the reverse is not true.  They know us, or things could not have been built.

    Informational connections are like sense organs.  The more information and observation (feedback) the more complex the assemblage of localized forms. The more gestalt or whole the feedback loops of connections, the higher the being and more active is the work.  The Universe is metaphorical in that like-breeds-like in evolutional information constantly burgeoning. Carriers, or entities feed through themselves growing through various stages that appear as birth, life and death to the localized environment but to the higher stages it is only process of information toward ever-higher levels.

    Opening up new feedback loops amounts to adding new information, thus expanding the localization into new realms of understanding.  As expansion grows, human language, because it is linear, becomes a curse for communication on higher levels where synchronistic hologestalt meaning is understood.  This language (meaning) is metaphorical and multifaceted, requiring a mind or lens (localized brain) of the same interface design. Growth and decay, which is like withdrawing from a stage of development, depends on the quality of information that mingles with other information to create tools for leveraging information. Therefore, we find ourselves in a Spiritual Dimensional Presence expressing as ALWAYS.

    Dimensional Presence is a condition where an entity mentally cognizes or thinks that he/she is present in existence or reality by discerning sensual stimuli (atmosphere, environs, information and things) that suggest he/she is alive due to the feedback of instantaneous information to the Carrier’s mentality or mind. All sensory data gives the feeling that they exist reinforced by the constant input of past history. Memory is key to the feeling of progressing into potential. One wonders if such a presence has built from a condition of previously suggested as Always. Such a condition of eternally existing as a mentality in many states of expression is who and what we are here in Time/Space. Dimensional Presence coalesces via some means of manifestation into a package of informational dynamics that moves into and through a materializing state supported by an organizational apparatus that directs echeloned dissipation of preplanned articulation. To be requires preparation system/s of established instigators and expressers that can methodically synthesize consistently through a framework of echeloned laws and actions off those means of
    assembly.

    We are in awe of being “vehicularly” created in order to experience physicality! To build our minds through physically doing and learning is worthy of the process of existence! The expanse of creation is directly proportional to the ability to comprehend space beyond time and build infrastructures in the mental reference plane. Our minds fly to new challenges around every corner and beyond every cloud! We ride the duality of holospirited light whereby our power ignites purposeful energy for magically traversing here!

    Mind pervades the known echelons of dimensional space/time hidden in the universal fabric of existence! Mind is in evidence everywhere as design shows its prowess through its very interface with reality! It’s logic and reason is evident even in its complex incongruity. Mind understands that chaos is unperceived unity when speed factors take actions beyond human understanding thereby joining the universal macro-sphere. Learning Chaos requires deep yet speedy concentration. Those of us who are highly advanced know chaos and use it to our advantage in the Universal Macro-sphere.

    The Universal Macro-sphere is a realm not discerned by the mundane and flippant. It is the deciphering of the secret messages of the entire scope of the info-scape or the universe and the dimensional Akashic Realms — where its conditions allow one to see beyond the self. The stratospheric relational held in the very landscape of the Earth holds the secret of the driving force of the unseen, moving mind. The reading of the striations and the very scratches of an aftermath from reality, show the history of device impact and movement here in time space. One must know the engineering required in this traversing experience.

    Examining the data held in the echelonic realms gives us the entire scope of mentality whereby the essence of being resides. So many forget via hastening their love of pleasure and adulation to cloud their intellect thereby not attaining their mission‘s duties. We should be totally amazed toward awe that we get to be here at all…

    Not that one is, but that whereby Is, is. Thus is the Crux of Being and Becoming.

     

     

  16. Jimmy

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    Paranormal activity in my house is starting to become a thing of the norm around here. Im not sure what i want from this post, but i do want to share some of the things that have transpired since last winter, maybe hear an outside opinion. So the strange thing about all this, is that everything seems to only happen in one room of the house, the living room, but also, only seems to happen when there are a number of people around to witness. It is a rarity that anything happens when I'm alone. I guess I'll share one story, the one that seems the hardest to explain. My buddies and i were in my living room, facing the TV, with our backs toward the entrance of the room. We have hardwood floors so footsteps are more defined. But as we watch TV, we hear footsteps fast approaching behind us, but they made a slapping noise on the floor, as if somebody was barefoot. I turn, because, there are other people in my house. The noise wasnt even a concern initially. But i turn back and simultaneously get hit in the face by a light breeze, one you would feel as somebody quickly passes by you. The footsteps continued on past me into a wall. I turn to my friend next to me, who i know realize has tears rolling down his face asking "you just felt that too?" My buddies on the other side of the room, frozen in fear, not able to put words together of what we all just witnessed. I was never a believer of ghosts. It all seemed a little like quakery. But there is no denying now, that something is out there. Ive never felt comfortable in my own home since that night 

  17. StarMountainKid
    Latest Entry


    Psychic-Psychosis
    Recently I have received instructions from The Adept Zondor, King of the Dwarf People of Mnomomopolous, advising me to safeguard my psychic powers. I must admit, my psychic powers have mysteriously been on the wane lately. The Adept Zondor told me of a conspiracy by unknown paranormal Cosmic entities are determined to suck up all the paranormal energy in the universe to increase their own metaphysical powers.

    Actually, I did have a premonition about this situation. It was a sort of déjà vu experience in reverse. I had the feeling that I hadn’t been somewhere before, but that I will be there in the future, and then I’ll recognize it. This has put me on edge lately, as you can imagine.
    I also had a synchronistic experience. I had my palm read. I usually don’t go in for palm reading as I consider this a too physical exponent of psychic abilities, but I was worried after all these unnerving telepathic experiences. The result of the Palmist was, I would soon be contacted by someone who was an exponent of necrology and an interpreter of ancient runes, and this person would introduce me to a Spiritual Master who would relate further specific information.

    The Palmist also told me I would soon meet a tall, dark stranger, and to watch out for women who buy their clothes at Walmart or wear too much makeup.

    At any rate, this Spiritual Master would reveal an ancient prophecy relating to the Oracle of Thesphus, whatever that is. You see, this is the problem I’ve been worried about: I don’t understand any of this stuff. Well, except for The Adept Zondor, King of the Dwarf People of Mnomomopolous, who I’ve known since childhood. See, when I was about twelve years old He appeared unrepentantly in my mother’s garden during a thunderstorm. It seems he had had an emergency landing. Somehow his astral projector had become attuned to random lightening strikes. I think he fixed that problem later, but I’m not sure.

    Well, Zondor and I immediately hit it off. It was synergistic. Also, we both had a fascination for cryptozoology and the more frightening aspects of shadow people and black-eyed children, and we both admitted we look with trepidation under our beds at night before we go to sleep. Funnily enough, we also had read and enjoyed the obscure, Professor Melman’s “Encyclopedia of Psudo-Mythic Entities, Bio-Psychic-Anomalies and Precognition As It Applies To Telepathic Empathy and Remote Viewing”. A hefty tome, indeed, and unusual for two strangers to have read this rare and singular volume. I believe this is not mere coincidence, as Zondor explained it as an example of mutual and personal synchronicity.

    Well, as I was saying, The Adept Zondor related that these mysterious and secret entities are collecting psychic vibrations for their own personal use and power. This frightens me, I must admit. This is because, if it is a real conspiracy, we all know conspiracies are always evil in intent. I have never known a conspiracy to be benevolent in nature. So I live in fear. I mean, who wants their psychic abilities drained off by some strange and mysterious secret society, like the Mormons, Shriners and Freemasons, for instance?

    I’m just saying, we who have the psychic gift and are attuned to the metaphysical and paranormal should be on the alert. I must therefore advise astral travelers to beware of unforeseen detours that may be lurking unnoticed. There are malevolent forces about, perhaps emanating false vibrations as an evil web to catch unsuspecting voyagers on the astral plane.

    Out of body experiences may have to be curtailed for a while as well until this mystery is cleared up. We all want to get safely back into our bodies, right? Perhaps for a while we should just install mirrors on our bedroom ceilings.

    Clairvoyants may have already picked up some of these distortions in the Cosmic Consciousness. All information of these anomalies should be psychically reported to The Adept Zondor, King of the Dwarf People on Mnomomopolous. This now is the Celestial Clearing House for such information, even if one considers these intimations only rumor, gossip between local palmists and fortune tellers, or even hearsay among alchemists and pseudo-scientists. One can not be too careful.

    Be ever on the alert.
     

  18. In days past came the moons full light of hunting.. the suns kiss on gardens and paths to be cleared and anew. Now comes the time when the winds travel round, the honey and butter is set out... the blackbird sings and the tender blossoms of first and last kiss close tonight...

    The time of the betweens is come on.. those gossamer moons, gloaming moments, golden times, white-hot strikes is on... now comes the twilight of pounding hoofs and paws.

    Upon this first warm kiss of scent upon the air comes more.

    Now comes the traveling hours. The twixt..

  19. If I add two of the things I was shown, this is what I come up with.
     

    5a969d0fe82ac_fourevangelists.jpg.8db18f1990d2362b85c98073bcfc80bc.jpg

  20. More than six hundred miraculous healings have been reported in Medjugorje since the first apparitions. It is about documented healings for which after the scientific theological investigation there has been no cause other than the supernatural and the miraculous. In addition to these healings, there are thousands of testimonies that are healed both spirit and body, and which are not recorded. One of the particularly touching testimonies of Medjugorje is that of American Arthur Boyle from Hingham near Boston who came to Medjugorje near death.

     

    Continue:  https://mysticpost.com/2017/09/600-documented-miraculous-healings-at-medjugorje-and-the-astonishing-case-of-arthur-boyle/

  21. Stumbling through life with Hank

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    Hankenhunter
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    What if polititions weren't elected. What if they were conscripted. Kinda like when those famous words were uttered; "Ask not what your country country can do for you, rather what you can do for your country". What if every one had to serve a term in office. Names could be drawn from a computer that match people's skills to a particular posting. All done randomly with the only caveat being you have to be qualified to do the job. That way the cream would be skimmed from the top instead of the bottom of the bucket.

         Lets face facts. Most people in politics today are in it for them themselves. It's easy for them to get elected because no one in their right mind would want the job. Pick the best from your population and you get the best representation. A good non political example is the Switzerland and Israel. In order to own a firearm you must first serve in your countries military. Make great sense.

    Applying this to politics may be the only hope we have of having a peaceful, prosperous, non partisan government.

                                                                           What if.  

    As usual, feel free to criticize or add suggestions. All are welcome.

    Hank

     

     

     

  22. So I use a music streaming site, I won’t name it but it’s been around a while and yes it is a legal streaming site.

    I enjoy a very wide variety of music that includes classical (Bach, Motzart, Beetoven etc), 80’s butt rock (don’t ask), 60’s and 70’s rock, Blues, chinese opera, dubstep, industrial, goth, etc. Now the problem is on every channel but one they have recommendations based on the artists I have choosen fairley well. They might be songs that I don’t necessarily like but based on the artists it makes sense.

    Their is only one channel that it seems they can’t get right in order to save lives.  That is my goth channel. I have artists in their like Bahaus, Siouxie and the Banshees, Sisters of Mercy, London After Midnight, Eva O, Gitane Demone, to name a few. Some of the most common “recommendations” are Christian Folk music, Country, and a couple other giant record scratches in the sky.  It boggles my mind that with a couple dozen artists to choose from as far as recommendations go, they pick those genres.

    maybe I should just go play Indian Leg Wrestling with a Yeti. That would be less stressful.

  23. CuriousChaos

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    CuriousChaos
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    Ability....or natural gift. Confusion goes along with chaos. So many questions, but not all have answers. Someone with insight, is usually the one who is disconnected... I know, I read, I see, I speak, I moved freely... Essence is upon me, any educators out there.

     

    Pagan CuriousChaos

  24. Ryu
    Latest Entry

    There was a thread, at one point that discussed the concept of what life

    is and what it entailed, naturally when one thinks of "life" we automatically think of living beings from microscopic bacteria to the 

    leviathan great blue whales and generally we would be correct but as I pondered this idea I couldn't help by ask myself 

    if this was entirely accurate.

    In short, is our concept of life a bit myopic? Just as there are many types of love, there are also many types of life too. 

    When we look at physical matter, it is really just forms of energy that, when coalesced, oscillate at a particular frequency. It seems that there is not "energy versus matter" it is all just...energy 

    (again for the purposes of conversation, I use the term energy as a collective term out of convenience).

     

     

    When you break down matter (or maybe the term energy pattern is more appropriate) you have a tiny, imperceptible particle of energy. 

    It is tiny, and maybe that little particle is weak but it is there, it oscillates and affects an area of space around it no matter how large or 

    small parameter it is.Now you have trillions upon trillions of these little particles, some move really, really fast and 

    there are others that just mosey along at their own pace.

    At some point these particles will get bounced around, bumping off of this particle and crashing into others.

    Sort of like being in Grand Central Station in rush hour.

    Now each particle is able to attract or repel based upon whether those frequencies are compatible with one another, if one particle bonds 

    with another, that combined frequency becomes a little stronger and able to attract more and more until their combined frequency can 

    attract particles that emanate a stronger energy field. At some point the accumulation accelerates and baring that nothing happens to 

    break the bond in the meantime, something will be formed. 

     

    What it will be depends, I suppose, on the particles that are accumulated.

    Now one might ask how this constitutes "life" and it is a good inquiry, really. I suppose one of the ways "life" could be defined is the accumulation and maintenance of coalesced particles, bonded so strongly that they are able, by their energetic nature, to maintain a position on the 

    energetic celestial gear works of the cosmos such as a solar system.

    I would even surmise that even biological life assists in this process (this will relate to my other article on 'Lifestream') by creating its 

    own unique sets of frequencies that support not just the planet it is on but forms a sort of "net" that connects to all in the universe.

    (Yeah, for lack of a better term I am forced to rely on the heavily over-used and worn out of 'We're all connected' platitude. Sorry)

     

     

    Again if you have read through to the end then I once again am grateful for your patience

    and I may add more later.....maybe.

    And if you are totally confused then you are in good company, so am I!

  25. The First Annual "Spamentine Days Festival (and Car Wash)" was recently held at the World Famous Institute of Epicurean Delight, and City Dump. This report has been delayed by several factors, including the unfortunate fact that UM has a new policy of asking for contractor bids for planning and running social events. The winning contractor for this highly anticipated (by someone I’m sure) event was $5.15 made by UM’s very own “Comatose Reaction And Procrastination” (CRAP) Club.  No one on the selection committee noticed that the CRAP Club’s bid was actually for an afternoon tea that had been scheduled for February 24th 1923 – and they had just gotten around to submitting it. After being notified of their winning bid, the club sprang into uncharacteristic activity and was able to stage the event only two weeks late (or 95 years late depending on how you look at it). ((Okay, Okay… The truth is I’m just lazy))

    At first there was great concern that with such a low budget they would not be able to supply the required amount of food (Spam) and beverages, however, they soon found that many people were actually willing to pay them to take the Spam off of their hands…. In no time the event staff found themselves richer by $10,000 and the proud possessors of 150,000 metric tons of Spam.

    Working in close(ish) conjunction with the Grumpy Old Coot and Cootess League, the Banquet hall was decorated in a stunning display of empty Spam cans, old pill bottles and crepe paper Penguins (no one knows why). The massive mound of malodorous meat was sliced, diced, chopped and torn into semi-convenient bite sized (ish) bits and placed on crackers that had been donated by the UM Ancient Cracker and Fungus Collectors Club. The many casks, barrels, bottles and flagons of beverages made from liquefied Spam were rolled in and set up alongside the snack tables. The Floggers Guild volunteered many of its members to act as servers (and to ensure that everyone consumed their fair share of the bilious bounty).

    As the teeming crowds were let in to enjoy the festivities (herded by cattle prod bearing Floggers) they were greeted by the loud, festive sounds of UM’s premier band “The Noggin’ Knockers”. As the evening progressed the partiers danced to classic songs like “Stairway to Spam”, “Long Cool Woman in a Spam Dress”, “Spam on the Water” and “Spamstruck”… The dancing and gorging on Spam d’oeuvres continued on into the evening, and as each partier left they were given a parting gift of a full metric ton of (opened) spam. (Attendance was not mandatory, but roll was taken – and those not in attendance will be given three metric tons of Spam as punishment)

    As a side note, the various UM cafeteria’s, snack bars and eateries that dot the vast sprawling UM complex will be serving many different variations of Spam for the next few coming months… So put your bib on, grab a fork and dig in! (It’s the only way we’ll get rid of this stuff).

    For a first Annual event, The Spam Fest attendees produced and wore some spectacular party garments… While no prizes were given, everyone was highly impressed with the creative usage of that weird rubbery gel like stuff that they pack the spam into the cans with… Good work Ladies (and gents)!...

    Prior to the start of the party, the UM Grumpy Old Coot and Cootess League ran a car wash for the attendees. While there are few automobiles in the Great UM Complex, there are a large number of tricycles (including some very sporty racing ones left over from last years Annual UM Tricycle Race, Demolition Derby and Chili Cook-off) and a veritable plethora of war surplus Assault Pogo-Sticks that most UM Complex citizens use to get around (rather than rely on Public Transportation provided by the Galapagos Turtle Taxi Company)… For the low price of $1 these lucky people were treated to the memorable sight of a bunch of geriatric geezers and geezettes lurching around wearing risqué swimsuits (well… risqué by 1890’s standards anyway) swimsuits.thumb.jpg.554f3b7b6a8af565eb4191b8ce077932.jpg

    and almost sorta scrubbing their rides clean(ish) kinda…. While the many tricycles were lovingly affectionately kindly grudgingly hand soaped and scrubbed clean(ish), the pogo-stick pilots were routed through a much quicker “Automatic” wash system… They would pogo-bounce through a series of sunken tubs filled with soapy, (mostly) clean(ish) hot warm tepid water. The pogoers were thus happy to discover that for a single $1, they could not only get their “ride” cleaned, but also their clothes washed AND take their weekly bath – all at the same time!

    But the real surprise at the car wash was when the Infamous Renegade Beer Balloon Fleet appeared, and demanded that their war surplus zeppelins get a thorough cleaning… for $1 each!... As the Renegade zeppelin crews sat and reclined about guzzling beer and snacking on the mounds of free spam snacks, the (by now VERY grumpy) old coots and cootesses did their best to scrub down the 420 foot long (128 meters) 38 feet in diameter gas bags that were (still are for that matter) heavily stained with spilled beer and nacho cheese dip. Eventually all 27 Zeppelins were (more or less) scrubbed down and the tipsy crews boarded their air craft and sailed off over the Creepy Old Forest bombarding those below them with empty beer bottles, empty (sometimes full) spam cans and loudly blaring heavy metal polka music…

    As he gathered up the piles of cash that the car wash brought in, Gustav “Grumpy Gus” Crabapple – the head wash attendant, reported that all proceeds would go to Charity (Charity Laflamme is a rather popular “exotic dancer” at one of UM’s “more colorful” nightspots).

    The event was largely considered a great success, and many happy couples rekindled the fires of romance at this festival... After all, nothing says "I love you" like a can of Spam!

    Feel free to post your comments on your participation at either of these two events, and also to post pics of your costumes! And if you are a member of the Renegade Beer Balloon Fleet, you stiffed us the twenty seven bucks you owe us!