TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Generativity is primarily the interest in establishing and guiding the next generation, although there are people who, because of special gifts in other directions, do not apply this drive to having offspring, but to engaging in other forms of altruistic concern and creativity which may absorb their kind of "parental" responsibility. This is a stage of growth of the healthy adult personality, and where such enrichment fails, regression from generativity to an obsessive need for pseudo intimacy takes place, often with a pervading sense of stagnation and interpersonal impoverishment. The mere fact of having, or even wanting children does not itself attest to generativity."
Erik Erikson

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some idea of what we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it."
Steven Pressfield ("The War of Art")

THE WAVE IS BACK! WOOOO!!

Here we go again! Yep. The next Wave is upon us, gathering its forces, surging across our lives, lifting us up or slamming us down, sometimes both, and yes, I mean something much larger than the snow storm we're having at the moment.

Last year, as 2010 began, we started seeing The Wave in our personal lives and in mass events. On the one hand, people experienced crises in their relationships, careers, health - more than a few left the planet, and some in rather precipitous ways - while others fell in love, experienced positive shifts in their work/creative lives, or experienced a new vitality in their bodies. And again, some experienced both the positive and the negative, sometimes even simultaneously.

En masse last year, the proverbial shit hit the fan in natural and man-made ecological disasters, in dramatic economic turmoil and in political debacles and scandals. The year ended with the spectacular revelations of Wikileaks, exposing corruption at every level of "official" society. At the same time, teen pregnancy in America sunk to its lowest level ever, with fewer people rushing into marriages or child-bearing, and President Barack Obama, despite the most extraordinary degree of obstruction ever by a recalcitrant right wing minority in the senate, still managed to get a legislative agenda passed that among other things, included a first-ever healthcare bill, tax cuts for working class people, the repeal of official discrimination against gays in the military and a treaty to halt the spread of nuclear weapons among the nations of the world.

Now, before 2011 has even begun, I am already hearing stories of sudden deaths, relationship break-ups or financial crises, coupled with splendid bursts of new love and creative expression and prosperity.

Each of us has a surf board, folks. We were born with it, so when these waves hit, these surges of energy that we've all collectively agreed to call forth at certain times in our linear history, we aren't left without the possibility of taking a great ride.

You gotta go for it, though, and do whatever it takes to open the window to your higher self. Or not. But like I said last year, there's no remaining neutral at a time like this.

The Wave is upon us.

Happy ridin'!

REPOST: MOVING THROUGH THE LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN GROWTH AND HEALING!

Full Permission Living is a place of being. Having moved from awareness to understanding to knowing, a person at this level of their development is simply a human… being. Eva Broch, in Pathwork Guide Lecture #127, delineates the four stages of the evolution of consciousness this way: “automatic reflex, awareness, understanding and knowing.” (See Lecture #127 in this month’s reading assignment). Spinning off from that lecture, I think of the movement through the four stages of consciousness like this: awareness, understanding, knowing and being.

Awarenessand understanding come by freeing up the mind. This is accomplished first by clearly seeing what is going on in one’s inner and outer life (awareness), and then making the cause and effect connections about the events (understanding). Awareness can begin increasing right in the first session with the therapist, acting as a mirror, offering some initial reflections and assessments. Often in a first session, a patient may say in response to the therapist’s observations: “Oh! I never realized that before.” In other words, awareness has been activated.

Understanding comes somewhat afterwards as connections are made mentally between past and present events and repetitive patterns that were previously thought of as mysterious or cruelly random. Reality is now seen in a more predictable light, and hidden agendas, intentions and beliefs are accepted as personally created realities.

Knowing comes with freeing up the emotions in the body. It is only from our gut, from within our bodies, that we can ever say “I know” something with certainty. That is why we say, “I just feel it”, when we are definite about something. The person who truly feels, knows their own truth confidently. Getting to a place of knowing takes hard work and determined effort. In addition to developing awareness and understanding, one must now undertake the “breaking” of the body’s defenses and armoring, and really feel, especially, at first, the difficult feelings of sorrow, rage and fear. This is the “point of no return.” If a person breaks through here they will never “go back” to their previous levels of functioning. They are on their way to being.

Being is just living, spontaneously and naturally, and comes from letting go. Of everything! It is living without attachment. Although awareness, understanding and knowing are part of being, they are incorporated now without effort, without thinking in the usual sense. Basic trust has been firmly re-established, but now combined with the knowledge, courage and wisdom of an adult.

TO BE CONTINUED...

UNTIL DEATH DO US PART? JUST KILL ME!

This is kind of pathetic. A Rabbi named Shmuley Boteach has a piece in the Huffington Post this morning called "The Centrality of Marriage in a Cynical Age."

The post starts out with some simple facts, which caught my interest. Here's the Rabbi:

"So forty percent of Americans in a Pew Research and Time magazine poll think that marriage is caput. And who can blame them? Marriage in our time is such a bore that eighty percent of married couples use their one date night a week, usually a Saturday, to go to a movie. Here they have an evening to finally get to know each other again as man and woman rather than Mom and Dad and the silence is so deafening that they require Hollywood noise to fill the empty spaces."

Keep going, Shmuley. You seem to be on some kind of track:

"Then there's marital sex, which has become so pathetic that, as I reported in my book 'The Kosher Sutra,' one out of three American married couples are entirely platonic while the remaining seventy percent have sex once a week for seven minutes at a time, which includes the time he spends begging. Passion in marriage is plummeting while divorce is skyrocketing. Visit the average American master bedroom and you'll see a giant, cathedral-like TV. Husband and wives have exchanged erotic desire for HBO because at least the people on the screen are doing it."

I know. I know. Obviously the Rabbi's old school perspectives come screaming through - by taking it for granted that marriage is only between a man and a woman, and who have kids, and that the set-up is that the man has to "beg for it."

But let him ask this question, anyway, before I jump in:

"Does it matter that marriage is dying? Isn't it enough for people just to commit and love each other outside the framework of any institution?"

Okay, that's my kind of question, but unfortunately, after that question, Shmuley really goes off the rails into some antiquated ideas about "what women want," and why the solution to the death of marriage... is marriage! Yep. No joke. You can read about it here if you want, but don't expect much enlightenment.

So, let's get real and let's get down to it.

Most people I know who are married, and most people I know who aren't married but know people who are married, all speak to the facts at the beginning of this piece.

Marriage. for most married people, sucks!

Say it. Look at it, because if you don't, one day you'll be looking in a mirror asking: "WTF happened to my life?!" (Oh, and as far as the kids you're supposedly staying together for as your excuse? Well, let me put it even more bluntly - For most kids, parents suck! But that's another article.)

Now, lest you think I'm just being overly negative for some unresolved reason in myself, I again refer you to the facts above. Happily married people are so rare that none of us really know any, or at least certainly not many. And for definition's sake, by "happily married" I mean passionately, joyfully, erotically so in love with someone that you so deeply desire to be with that HBO could never come between you.

You see, unlike the Rabbi, I don't think we are living in a "cynical age." I think we are waking up. We are beginning to search for the real things in life, rather than facsimiles of the real things. Just as we are more and more choosing to eat fresh, whole foods instead of processed, fake "fast foods," and we're more and more looking for creative work that fulfills our souls and not just our wallets, we are also more and more looking for genuine human connections that lift us up and make our hearts soar.

I know that love, Eros and sex when combined bring us closer to experiencing the true nature of spiritual existence while still in a physical body than almost any other experience we can have. So much of my writing and my work as an holistic psychotherapist is about how to help people open up to the capacity for Eros, and to take the delicious, powerful ride that its wave offers. Do a search on this blog for the word "Eros," and you will find many entries by me on this subject. Being in love is one of the highest highs human beings can know.

And marriage has nothing to do with it.

Marriage is an "institution," and as such, it was created for a societal purpose. It didn't develop organically out of human nature. Marriage, and the nuclear family, came about to serve the masters of sexual repression and economic consumption. Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx both wrote about this at the turn of the last century. (I won't go into it here; you can look it up.) Marriage for love is historically a relatively recent phenomenon, and that is why it is falling apart - because you don't need to get married for love to thrive. In fact, many of the societal proscriptions around marriage are the very things that cause the demise of Eros in a marriage.

"In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, until death do us part?!"

Do you get what those vows actually mean? Try saying them this way:

"Even if we are no longer in love, even if there is no passion between us, even if I refuse to love myself and stay healthy and take care of my body, you have to stay with me!"

Yeah, who wouldn't want that deal? Pour me a scotch, will ya?!

Anyway, in closing, folks, let me implore you: pursue your joy, follow your passion, seek out Eros, and you and all in your life will benefit enormously. It doesn't matter if you get married or not when you're pursuing those things. You will blossom. You will grow. And so will your kids. I'm not against marriage. What I know, though, is that what most people use marriage for undermines love. And in this age, when we are collectively working to raise our vibrations to a 4th dimension level, we cannot afford to diminish love.

Have a great weekend!

YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO!

Here's a great little story from the HUFFINGTON POST, exactly as it was written:

Once in a while, every parent needs to get away from the kids and have a little alone time.

That's exactly what Vicki Myers, a 44-year-old Texas woman, was looking for last Friday night, as she left her three kids in her room at a Naperville, Illinois Red Roof Inn and headed out to her van in the parking lot.

When police officers shined a light into the van window, they found Myers in quite a compromised position: naked from the waist up, with a loaded pistol and a handful of sex toys in the van with her.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

"She originally told officers she was changing," Naperville police Sgt. Gregg Bell said, but later changed her story to say that she went into the van to pleasure herself. "She had some sexual devices in the van."
She wasn't charged with leaving her children alone in the room, because they were old enough to be alone legally, Bell told the Sun-Times. But Myers faces gun charges for not having a valid registration card; she told police she thought it was legal to have the gun in her van, as it is in Texas.

You go, Mama!!

BAD EGGS?!

A murder was committed recently in my neighborhood of Brooklyn. A son killed his mother, tried to kill his father and then tried to kill himself by jumping in front of a subway train. All on a pretty upscale block in Windsor Terrace. The event's tragedy speaks for itself, but even more tragic is this column, written by Louise Crawford for PARK SLOPE PATCH, entitled: "Matricide in a Neighborhood of Mothers."

Here are a couple of excerpts:

"How could this happen in an area known for its happy children and dedicated parents?"

"What if a child is a "bad egg" with serious mental and emotional issues?"

"Is a parent always responsible for the sins of the child?"

And here's the worst one:

"There are plenty of great parents whose children do bad things. Sadly, even good parenting can't prevent what may be hidden in a child's DNA."

WHAT?!!?

In 2010, an intelligent person could actually ask this:

"How could this happen in an area known for its happy children and dedicated parents?"

And THIS: "What if a child is a 'bad egg?"

Woah, Louise! You are really taking the abdication of parental responsibility to new heights.

BAD EGGS?!!?

Sociopaths aren't born (or hatched!), they are made, and very often by over-involved "dedicated" parents whose ego needs are so huge that the child never develops empathy or a stable sense of self. Is your dedication to protecting parents so great that you'll toss damaged kids off like... bad eggs?!

TIME'S PERSON OF THE YEAR... FOR NOW!

Congratulations, Mark Zuckerberg!


BUT WAIT 'TILL NEXT YEAR!!

WORKAROUNDS!

"What can I do that would make a difference in my life that requires no one's permission other than my own?"

According to Russell Bishop in his blog post, "Workarounds: One Simple Key to Greatness," that's the key question to creating a feeling of success in your life.

"How you frame the problem is the problem," Russell goes on to say.

I agree.

If you want to read the rest, it is HERE.

MORE ON NARCISSISM: "ALEXITHYMIA!"

THIS is the latest from Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks, from a piece entitled: "Relationship Epidemic: Shutting Out Body Wisdom."

I guess now that the nefarious psychiatric profession is declaring that narcissistic personality disorder no longer exists, we have to give the dysfunction a new name. The Hendricks seem to have found a good one: "Alexithymia."

Their post follows below:


Is alexithymia wreaking havoc in your close relationships?

Most of us struggle at one time or another with an inability to feel what's going on inside us at the level of emotion and energy flow. The technical term for this problem is "alexithymia." If you look it up in a medical dictionary, you'll find some very interesting clues to why relationship conflicts recycle without resolution. The word alexithymia comes from the ancient Greek language and literally means "without words for feelings."

If you're alexithymic, you suffer from three main traits:

You have difficulty identifying your own feelings, emotions and body sensations.

You have difficulty describing your feelings to other people.

You have difficulty hearing or understanding the feelings of others.
We've learned a lot about alexithymia over the past several decades, first in the laboratory of our own relationship and later in working with others. We entered our own relationship 30 years ago with full-blown symptoms of alexithymia. Slowly, and with a lot of careful attention, we gradually became skilled at identifying our feelings, expressing them clearly to each other and listening to each other on the emotional level. As we gained those skills, we began teaching them to others. Now, based on sessions with more than 4,000 couples, as well as a million-and-a-half frequent flyer miles teaching seminars around the world, we can tell you that alexithymia is not only a hindrance to relationship intimacy, but a rampant, out-of-control epidemic.

The epidemic of alexithymia has spread because of two factors:

Almost none of us get any useful instructions in how to be aware of our feelings and what to do to express those feelings effectively. Few of us ever learn how to recognize the signs of feelings in others and how to respond to those feelings effectively. In other words, most of us are desperately ill-trained for one of the most important aspects of life.
Almost all of us have been in situations in which the emotions we felt were so strong and unpleasant that we invented some way to tune them out. We gritted our teeth and squeezed them out of our awareness. Then we ate or smoked or drank or shopped until we distracted ourselves from the painful, overwhelming sensation. Whatever the mechanism of distraction, it can easily become locked in as a habit and eventually even a lifestyle. In other words, if you eat to distract yourself from anger, loneliness or any other feeling that you don't know how to feel, you can quickly become mired in a lifestyle based on handling your obesity.
Alexithymia is a very costly epidemic, but its true cost cannot be tallied because of its pervasiveness. In close relationships, alexithymia keeps you from knowing who you really are, and it keeps you from really knowing your partner. That's only one of the costs, though. It's the underlying issue in many problem areas, including those in politics and business. Multiply the problem times the six billion of us who live here, and you have a planet full of people who are not allowing themselves to resonate in harmony with each other - purely because they've forgotten how to resonate with themselves.


You can read the entire piece HERE.

TODAY'S BONUS QUOTE!

"The work done by the therapist is directed towards bringing the patient from a state of not being able to play into a state of being able to play."
Mark Epstein (from "Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart")

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Any given set of circumstances can be used to create something good, to move into your own greatness, or to simply be endured. It really just comes down to how you choose to perceive what's present."
Russell Bishop (Life Coach)

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

WIKILEAKS, THE INTERNET AND THE 4TH DIMENSION!

Shock waves are reverberating around the 3D world today because of the release of hundreds of thousands of documents and cables by the truth-telling bandits known as Wikileaks, an internet group that somehow manages to obtain secret military and government documents from around that world that are extremely embarrassing to the powers that be in 3D. (Obviously, people in the government and military are more than willing to reveal these secrets, but that's another angle to consider.)

This is from The Guardian in England, where the documents from the outlaw band were being released initially:

"Should a newspaper disclose virtually all a nation's secret diplomatic communication, illegally downloaded by one of its citizens? The reporting in the Guardian of the first of a selection of 250,000 US state department cables marks a recasting of modern diplomacy. Clearly, there is no longer such a thing as a safe electronic archive, whatever computing's snake-oil salesmen claim. No organisation can treat digitised communication as confidential. An electronic secret is a contradiction in terms."

That's a very significant statement, isn't it? We have arrived to a place, led by technology in 3D, by self-work and spiritual connecting in 4D, where we are unable to keep secrets from each other. In other words, we are inexorably moving towards oneness, whether some like it or not!

Here's more from The Guardian:

"Anything said or done in the name of a democracy is, prima facie, of public interest. When that democracy purports to be 'world policeman' – an assumption that runs ghostlike through these cables – that interest is global. Insofar as these disclosures are sensational, it is in their showing the corruption and mendacity of those in power, and the mismatch between what they claim and what they do. The money‑wasting is staggering. Aid payments are never followed, never audited, never evaluated. The impression is of the world's superpower [That's us , folks!] roaming helpless in a world in which nobody behaves as bidden. Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, the United Nations, are all perpetually off script. Washington reacts like a wounded bear, its instincts imperial but its power projection unproductive. America's foreign policy is revealed as a slave to rightwing drift."

WOW! Let's repeat that last line:

"America's foreign policy is revealed as a slave to rightwing drift."

Now that's some slammin' 3D truth-telling, but again, the bigger reality is that fact that secrets themselves are becoming obsolete, and that's a precursor to a time in our future (linearly speaking) when we will all be connected telepathically.

Yep. We're going.

Might as well come clean now!

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls."
Kahlil Gibran

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"If you're a girl, you know everything about pop culture!"
Harley Grossman (When I asked her how she knew so much about the personal life of Taylor Swift.)

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"The more important a calling or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we feel toward pursuing it."
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)

THE BIG C!

Wow! What a gorgeous first season of a show ended last night on Showtime!

Graced with the graceful, multi-dimensional acting of Laura Linney and the simply simple, splendid writing of Darlene Hunt, the show's creator, "THE BIG C" was a small treasure to watch for 13 weeks. So much more than a dark comedy about laughing in the face of death, The Big C was about living in the face of limitations.

Marriage without Eros, parenting without flexibility, and the whole desperate, suburban, upwardly mobile American Dream thing - these were the obstacles for "Cathy Jamison" to overcome so much moreso than her cancer. Compared to her rigidly constructed life, the terminal diagnosis she received at the start of the series was a gift, and by calling upon every emotion available under such circumstances, Linney's Cathy chose to receive the gift. Through thirteen episodes, Cathy pursued love, Eros and sex, and open, no bullshit communication with others and a no holds barred expression of her feelings about everything and everyone.

It was an eloquently elegant demonstration of how to live life.

A beautiful show! Thank you, Showtime!

TODAY'S DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION HEADLINE!

Thinking about getting married, are you? Well, if you're a woman, you might want to think twice.

Here's the headline:

Married women are 11 percent more stressed-out than single women.

Yep. According to the study that yielded this stat, 33 percent of married women reported high stress levels, compared to 22 percent of single women. Forty-eight percent of married women suffered stress-induced headaches, compared to 33 percent of single women.

It’s the kid factor and the husband factor, says Frederic Luskin, author of "Stress Free for Good": “A lot of married women are stressed because they have to nurture their partners emotionally and they’re not getting the same thing in return. Those husbands aren’t pulling their weight.”

I'm just saying.

SCENE FROM CITY ROCK EPISODE 6: "FLAME!"

This episode is the actual sixth episode of City Rock, even though we did the "PICNIC" episode as the sixth one in the staged reading series last July.

In this scene, FRANK CELLO is trying to convince a teenage boy, SEAN, who has just been outed as gay, not to commit suicide. This happens shortly after Sean takes the rap for his macho father, a hero fireman, who was in reality an arsonist.

The setting is New York in the summer of 1981.


EXT. PIER OVERLOOKING THE HUDSON RIVER - DUSK

The sunset over the Hudson is stunning in its blend of orange and purple colors. Off in various locations, we can see PAIRS OF MEN communing intimately on the long pier. At the far end is a lone figure, standing at the edge, looking down into the water.
Moving to CLOSE-UP, we see that it is Sean, contemplating the strong current of the river.

FRANK (O.S.)
I know you didn’t do it, Sean.

Sean doesn’t turn around.

SEAN
Some people just don’t know how to shut their mouths.

FRANK
Gene really cares about you.

SEAN
Yeah, well that’s too bad, ‘cause we can’t be together.

FRANK
Why not?

SEAN
Because we’re freaks! Fucking freaks, okay?! No one wants to drink out of the same fucking water fountain as me anymore! Or use the bathroom after me! Get it?! That’s why we can’t be together... and because I’m not going to be here anymore anyway.

FRANK
Where are you gonna be?

SEAN
Well, I’m not going to no fucking funny farm, or detention home, so I guess I’m going to hell, where perverts like me belong.

He moves right to the edge of the last plank on the pier and almost slips off. Frank moves to help him, but Sean reacts strongly.

SEAN (CONT’D)
NO! Back off!

Frank does.

FRANK
Sean... who set the fire?

Sean swallows hard, and his eyes fill up.

FRANK (CONT’D)
Why are you protecting someone like that? Someone that dangerous? Who is it that you would be willing to take the rap or die for?

Frank is suddenly silent, having a revelation, making the deduction.

FRANK (CONT’D)
Your... father? Sean?

For the first time in the encounter, Sean turns around and looks at Frank.

SEAN
(tears flowing)
No! He was a hero. I’m the loser. That’s the way it has to stay. I can’t do that to my mother.

FRANK
(stern)
No! No, Sean! You’re wrong! You’re willing to take the rap and give up your life to save your father’s image and not break your mother’s heart. You’re no loser, Sean, not at all... and you’re no freak.

Sean looks at Frank, searching his face.

FRANK (CONT’D)
(lowering his voice)
Listen to me. It’s gonna take a lot of courage in the years to come. People are going to suffer the pain of loss and ostracism just for loving who they love. But you’re up to it, Sean. I know you are. You’re up to it... because you are a real hero. There is nothing braver, nothing that takes more courage... than loving who you truly love. No matter what.

Sean takes just a step back from the edge of the pier.

FRANK (CONT'D)
Don’t die, Sean. A lot of people are dying as it is. Don’t throw yourself away. We need someone like you, you know? Someone who will say it doesn’t matter who you love, but that you love.

SEAN
I don’t want anyone to know about my father.

FRANK
(beat)
I understand.

Frank puts his arm around the young man and they walk off together.

CITY ROCK! START YOUR ENGINES!! WE'RE GOING ROGUE!!!

YEP. Our very unique series for television, CITY ROCK, the one that we put up in a series of live staged performances during the first 7 months of 2010, and that many of our FPL readers attended or participated in, is gearing up to move to the next level. We are now ready to go from the stage... to film!

And of course, like everything City Rock, we're doing it from the grassroots up.

Although we do now have producers who've been pitching the show the "old fashioned way" - to execs at networks, studio heads, etc. - it is a laborious process, and the recent clamor from our fan base for action has moved us to brainstorm about other ways to make the show accessible to the public and build a greater following.

Thus, we are doing some fund raising on kickstarter.com so that we can make a City Rock short film and/or a promotional video or both.

You can check out the details HERE:

PLAY BALL!!

TODAY'S DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION HEADLINE!

BBC NEWS: Priest Arrested Over 21,000 Child Porn Images.

DON'T STAY TOGETHER FOR THE KIDS! EVER!!

Pulitzer Prize-Winning author, Jane Smiley, has a refreshing piece in the Huffington Post entitled: "DIVORCE! IT'S GOOD FOR THE CHILDREN!" It's definitely worth reading.

I have often pointed out the fact that after 30 years of working with parents, children and adult individuals, I can count on one hand the patients who have said they wished their divorced parents had stayed together. On the other hand(s), I cannot count how many have told me they wished their parents had split up.

Why?

Because nothing is worse for the kids (or grown-ups) than living in a home where there is no Eros between the parents. And I am specifically making the point about Eros. There may be love between the adults, maybe even some level of sex, but that is not enough. Parents who at best are "friends with benefits" are not providing an optimum environment for their children's growth and development.

Please take this in.

Kids don't thrive in a home where the adults are not truly, passionately in love.

Sorry.

Hunker down all you want. Go to as many soccer games and ballet performances as your suppressed, exhausted selves will allow, but you're not doing your kids any favors. Kids are sponges for energy. They absorb it like a plant does sunlight, and if the love light between the adults is dim, meaning not charged with Eros, the kids are struggling to become self-actualized.

Think about it. What messages are you giving them under such circumstances? Growing up is about sacrificing your highest joy and fulfillment as an adult? Maturity is all about obligation and sacrifice, not pleasure and passion? Gee, who wouldn't look forward to that and really want to grow up with a lot of hope for their happy future?

Okay, those are my start-your-weekend-right words of wisdom. I'll give Jane Smiley the last word:

"Falling in love is an expression of freedom and so is divorce."

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

Albert Einstein

DOES THIS MATTER TO YOU?!

The excerpt that follows is from a piece on Slate.com entitled "Manic Panic: Why are more and more children being diagnosed with bipolar disorder?"

Get ready!

This is from the article:

"From 1994 to 2002, the number of children with a diagnosis of "Bi-Polar Disorder" increased 40-fold. This has led to a putative (supposed) epidemic of bipolar diagnoses among the nation's children, and a corresponding increase in the pediatric use of antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and other drugs often used to treat bipolar adults. More than 8,000 children in Massachusetts, for example, are prescribed antipsychotic medications like Zyprexa, and the Massachusetts figure doesn't even include prescriptions for stimulant drugs like Ritalin or Adderall."

Take a breath, and take it in. Forty percent more bi-polar kids in an 8-year period? Really?! You mean, like, our child population suddenly went crazy after 1994? (Hey, don't get me wrong, 1994 was a bad year. It's when Newt Gingrich and the Republicans took over Congress, just like they did last week, and I certainly felt like I was going crazy, but... the kids? Did they know that Newt was going to shut down the government because Bill Clinton wouldn't give him a good seat on his presidential airplane?!)

Okay, let's be serious. Here's another clip from the Slate article:

"There was a strong incentive to expand drug therapy because giving pills is less labor-intensive than cognitive and behavioral therapy."

Shall I translate that for you? Okay. The deal is this - people in my so-called "profession" - psychiatrists and psychologists, especially, but clinical social workers, too - are too fucking lazy, and/or perversely greedy, and/or so un-worked on themselves therapeutically that really delving into the psyches of their patients is too emotionally threatening for their egos. So, relying on a flimsy diagnosis de jour, and an even flimsier prescription of drug "treatment" for said diagnosis, gives the needy/greedy therapists what they want - easy work, money and esteem, and furthermore, the label and prescriptions let the other primary perpetrators - the parents - off the hook. ("It's brain chemistry, not bad parenting.")

"The perverse result," according to the article, is that "kids get more and more disturbing labels and more and more drugs."

Keep breathing. It gets worse. Let's bring in the insurance and drug companies.

From the Slate article:

"Insurers stepped in as gatekeepers because access to psychiatrists had to be limited. Many insurers, for example, won't cover 'old-fashioned' diagnoses like 'conduct disorder,' (which requires actual sleeves-rolled-up psychotherapy and personal interventions) but insurers will cover the more 'serious-sounding' bipolar disorder (which just so happens to call for medication as the treatment, which just so happens to make Big Pharma very rich and very happy.).

Anyway, where am I going with this? I know the only preaching worth doing is to the choir, so I guess I'm putting this out there to anyone who actually is a conscious and awake parent, teacher or therapist, but perhaps might still be sitting on the fence about diagnoses and drugs because you've been conditioned to believe that doctors are wise, knowing healers who have your well-being at heart. To you I say - wake up! Trust what you know in your gut. Mainstream medicine and its methods, and that includes those of psychiatry, are not about healing or helping. Medicine as it's been practiced for the last few centuries is at best an archaic paradigm whose relevance has passed, and at worst, it is a corrupt institution whose purpose is to aggrandize and enrich its members.

Get it?

TODAY'S CONNECT THE DOTS HEADLINES!

Wow! It has been a banner week of victories for the lower vibrational realms in 3D:

The Republicans took over the House majority in Congress (and of course, immediately started betraying the gullible, prescription drug-addled Tea Partiers by declaring their intention to increase the deficit and continue NOT honoring the Constitution);

Keith Olbermann was basically fired from MSNBC (Whew! Now there's no one left to pull Sean Hannity's pants down in public!);

And the best news of all for all those retrogressive rightwingnuts - a food lab discovered that McDonald's "Happy Meal" remained impervious to rotting even after 6 months! Yeah, man, them's eats, huh boys?!

YOUR PARTNER WILL NOT CHANGE FOR YOU! EVER!!

One of the most common difficulties in relationships stems from investing in the idea that things will be better when your partner changes. That's right. It's one of the most self-defeating, unrealistic premises that undermines individual happiness.

Why? Well, firstly, because the notion is rooted in the future - "Things will be better when..." - which means that the wishful person is not focused fully on how things really are in the present. Secondly, it is futile because the illusion of that future happiness is reliant on the other person changing.

Want a recipe for relationship disaster? That's it.

Mary Darling Montero, a fellow LCSW, posted an article on the HUFFINGTON POST a couple of weeks ago, entitled "CAN YOUR PARTNER REALLY CHANGE?," in which she describes "the mother mistake in relationships" as "loving or falling in love with someone's potential, rather than who he or she is."

Here's more from Montero: "In every relationship there are things that bother us about the other person. Problems tend to arise when we ignore these things, hold onto hope that eventually they will disappear or change, or believe that we can find a way to force them out... that somehow if we just communicate, nag or wait it out, our significant other will eventually become what we want him or her to be." She concludes: "The bottom line is that a relationship in which potential is more valuable than reality is a precarious thing, because potential is never guaranteed. The only guarantee is that the person we're with today might be the same person months or years from now, with the same attitudes and behaviors. That leaves us with this question, which requires an honest answer: Do I love who this person is, or do I love what he or she could become?"

Okay, now let me do some refining here. It's not that people absolutely can't change, though for all intents and purposes, some people actually can't. If one is stuck in a character structure and well into adulthood and not doing any real self-work, that person is not changing in this lifetime. Also, if one is a young soul in this incarnation, it's extremely unlikely that that person is suddenly going to become an old soul without going through the other stages of soul development. Some people - like your partner, perhaps? - might be clear about this if you ask them. Go ahead, ask them. They might say in response: "Hey. I'm fine the way I am. I don't feel the need to change." And when you hear that, folks, you can take it to the bank. It's a done deal. And believe me, no brush with cancer or financial collapse or even a tornado on your block is going to change their position.

But much more important than whether or not your partner can change is - back to this! - YOU CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY! Yes, it always comes back to that. Sorry. But shit never just happens to you. Including in relationships. If your partner doesn't meet you in ways that matter to you- emotionally, mentally, spiritually - it is your creation, a reflection of something unresolved in you. If you're waiting for your partner to hand you the solution to your issues, you better settle in for a long road of disappointment and frustration.

Which takes us to the good news! You can change yourself! You can do the self-work necessary to break through your character structure and to accelerate the evolution of your soul if you want to. You can do that, and no one can prevent you. You don't need anyone else's permission. The fact that your happiness is completely your responsibility is the greatest privilege of adulthood. It is true freedom. And from that place, if your partner can change, and desires to do so, you may be an inspiration to them, as long as you're not invested in their change. And if not, you will surely attract someone new who is ready, willing and able to meet you at your level.

There is no wishful thinking involved in this.

It's just relationship physics.

In the real world, no true intention goes unrealized.

Think about it.

Glad to be back on the blog, now that baseball - for all of us Yankee fans - is over!

LOFF56 RESPONDS TO "CREATING REALITY FROM OUR BELIEFS!"/PL RESPONDS!

Here's LOFF56:

I always find this discussion fascinating in what ever context it is in.

The Dogma of religion, of course is always at the forefront of this discussion for obvious reasons. Beliefs are based on what other people tell you. Of course that is, has been and always will be such a destructive force in this world and fodder for constant debate about Reality versus Beliefs.

But here's the more interesting philosophical question that I always think about when pondering this idea of Reality versus Beliefs:

Before humans had the tools to figure out that the earth revolved around the sun, were the people living in that time actually not "living in reality" because they believed that the sun revolved around the earth? The fact of the matter is the only observation they could make is that the sun came up on one side of the earth and went down on the other side. Without telescopes and other tools to figure out this enormous blunder could they really be held accountable for being ignorant to reality? Then again the facts remain that their entire "reality" was completely wrong.

So is reality completely relative to what we can actually observe? Or are we always just going to be ignorant to the one true reality of it all?

Obviously science is continuously discovering new realities every day, so perhaps all of us are doomed to constantly live in a world where the sun revolves around the earth.


Here's PL:

Always good to hear your musings about these cosmic matters, L56.

As we've "discussed" before, there is "personal and collective reality," which we do indeed create and co-create, and does vary widely according to what we believe. That is basically much of what we experience in our lives. The tree only falls in the woods if we believe it does.

Then there is Reality (capital "R"), which is the nature of existence itself. The "laws" there are simple: 1. we exist; 2. we create our own personal and collective reality; 3. we are all one; 4. love is the essence of all that is; 5. everything changes/is in a state of eternal movement.

So, I guess to address your query, I would say that everything is relative at the personal and collective level of creation, but everything is immutable at the level of existence itself.

OK, let me have it!

TODAY'S LYRIC!

"I believe
These are the days of lasers in the jungle,
Lasers in the jungle somewhere,
Staccato signals of constant information,
A loose affiliation of millionaires
And billionaires and baby,
These are the days of miracle and wonder,
This is the long distance call,
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all o-yeah,
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky,
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby don't cry
Don't cry don't cry."

PAUL SIMON

Repost: Creating Our Reality from Our Beliefs

Whatever is still there when you stop believing in it is reality. Hmmm...
Arthur Conan Doyle's famous character, Sherlock Holmes, said it another way: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
This is powerful, and difficult for many to integrate because it's not how we've been conditioned to view our lives. We very often won't accept the "improbable" event if it does not jive with our beliefs or opinions or inner dogma. We will often choose, in other words, our beliefs rather than an uncomfortable or surprising truth.

This passage by Jane Roberts, channeling the "Seth Material" is from her book, "The Nature of Personal Reality:

"Beliefs are our intensely strong ideas about the nature of reality, and we form the fabric of our experiences through our beliefs and expectations. We take our beliefs about reality as truth, and often do not question them. They are not recognized as beliefs about reality, but are instead considered characteristics of reality itself. These personal ideas about yourself and the nature of reality will affect your emotions and thoughts. Ideas generate emotion. Strongly contradictory beliefs can cause great power blocks, impeding the flow of inner energy outward. Unassimilated beliefs, unexamined ideas, can seem to adopt a life of their own.
Some beliefs originated in childhood, but you are not at their mercy unless you believe you are. Because your imagination follows your beliefs, you can find yourself in a vicious circle in which you constantly paint pictures in your mind that reinforce “negative” aspects of your life. The imaginative events generate appropriate emotions, which automatically bring about hormonal changes in your body or affect your behavior with others, or cause you to interpret events always in the light of your beliefs. And so, daily experience will seem to justify what you believe more and more. But beliefs about reality are not necessarily attributes of reality. There are no accidents in cosmic terms, or in terms of the world as you know it.
The conscious mind is basically curious, open, but human beings have taught it to accept only data coming from the outside world, and to set up barriers against inner knowledge. False beliefs will seem to be justified in terms of physical data, since your experience in the outside world is a materialization of those beliefs. Once the conscious mind has accepted a collection of conflicting beliefs, however, a definite attempt is made to sort these out. So, you must work with the raw material of your ideas, even while your sense data may tell you that a given belief is obviously a truth. False beliefs can result in a rigid ego that insists upon using the conscious mind in one direction only, further distorting its perceptions. Many quite limiting ideas will pass without scrutiny under the guise of goodness. You may feel quite virtuous, for example, in hating evil; but if you find yourself concentrating upon either hatred or evil you are creating it. If you think the world is evil, you will meet the events that you think are evil. Hatred of war will not bring peace; only love of peace will bring about those conditions. Likewise, if you dwell upon limitations, you will meet them.
Core beliefs are strong ideas about your own existence. Many subsidiary beliefs that seem separate from each other are offshoots of core beliefs. It is the core belief that is strong enough to so focus your perception that you perceive from the physical world only those events that correlate with it. It is also the strength of the core belief that draws up from the vast bank of inner knowledge only those events that seem to fit in within its organization. A core belief is invisible only when you think of it as a fact of life, and not as a belief about life. Like attracts like, so similar ideas group about each other and you accept those that fit in with your particular “system” of ideas. Bridge beliefs seem to unify two contradictory beliefs, holding a similarity to each of the others.
Hypnosis clearly shows in concentrated form the way in which your beliefs affect your behavior in normal life. Your beliefs act like a hypnotist. As long as the particular directions are given, so will your automatic experiences conform. The one suggestion that can break through this is: “I create my reality, and the present is my point of power.”
There are two ways to get at your own conscious beliefs: one is to examine them, write them down, talk about them; the other is to work backwards from the emotions to the beliefs."

WARNING! STRICTLY 3D COMMENT!

If yesterday's MID-TERM CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS showed anything, it demonstrated how truly fed up people are with politics as usual, and especially with the two main political parties. For decades, Republicans have been decimating the middle and working classes of America with the shell game of trickle down economics, while the Democrats have been two-faced, feckless wimps sucking up to the schoolyard bullies at the public's expense. How great it would have been for a true third party to evolve, supporting a real movement towards fairness, integrity, openness, ingenuity, innovation and responsibility in government, at home and abroad, not to mention a conscious approach to enlightened governing (which I know is an oxymoron).

But instead of an evolved, enlightened 3rd "Party," what did we get? The Tea Party - a loose affiliation of boneheads, bimbos, racists and thugs, so intellectually and emotionally stunted, so lacking in creativity and thoughtfulness, and so utterly and easily manipulated by the psychopathic corporate megaliths and what's left of the soulless Republican Party establishment that the only aspect of our country that benefitted from the election cycle was the media, who got to cover the whole Tea Party circus act.

It's a damn shame.

But... it's really not. It just further reminds us of the reality that 3-dimensional density is an expression of our beliefs in limitation and duality, right now, and so these kind of debacles can inspire us to strive to raise our own individual vibration and level of consciousness.

Onward...

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"In the real world, no true intention goes unrealized."
Peter Loffredo

DON'T NEGLECT YOUR "BACKDOOR" EROTICISM!

An article about a new national sex survey, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, reveals who's doing what, with whom, and how. It clarifies the prevalence of gay sex, teenage intercourse, and oral gratification. But the big story is the increase in anal sex reported by women and its possible connection to female orgasms.

According to the article, the "big story" is in the stats: "In 1992, 16 percent of women aged 18-24 said they'd tried anal sex. Now 20 percent of women aged 18-19 say they've done it, and by ages 20-24, the number is 40 percent. In 1992, the highest percentage of women in any age group who admitted to anal sex was 33. In 2002, it was 35. Now it's 46."

And check out the study's orgasm data: "Among women who had vaginal sex in their last encounter, the percentage who said they reached orgasm was 65. Among those who received oral sex, it was 81. But among those who had anal sex, it was 94!"

Now, let me clarify what the study is and isn't saying, and then we can consider further what the data suggests.

The women surveyed aren't having orgasms from the anal sex, per se, but rather, they are having orgasms more frequently when anal sex is included in the sexual play.

So, why would that be?

Well, if you'll forgive me for being clinical for a moment, folks, Freud identified the anus as an "erotic zone" a hundred years ago, and he concluded that the source of more than a few psychological disturbances stemmed from early childhood shame around those erotic feelings. Some of Freud's successors explored the connection between suppressed "anal stage" (between ages 1/12 to 2 1/2) feelings and the masochistic character structure.

Yep, human beings are built for pleasure... even in places you might not expect! And denying, suppressing or judging our desires for pleasure always does harm.

Okay, I'll give the last word to Slate Magazine, where I originally ran into this study:

"If anal sex is a trailing indicator of women's sexual satisfaction, then by all means, let's toast the new findings. Here's to you, ladies. Bottoms up!"

"HEREAFTER": A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE!

Saw Clint Eastwood's new movie recently, "HEREAFTER." I'm not a big Clint fan. His movies are very well made, gorgeously "painted," powerfully acted, and because his filmmaking is so authentic, Eastwood's messages so clearly come through.

That's my problem. His messages.

I'm very partial to "redemption" in movies, those moments when the main character(s) breaks through to a higher place of wisdom, love or some other kind of enlightenment or elevation. Clint is not known for his uplifting messages, let alone happy endings. Whether we're talking "Unforgiven," "Mystic River," "Million Dollar Baby," or even "The Bridges of Madison County," moviegoers can be sure when they leave an Eastwood film, they will feel heavy of heart.

That being said, the message of Hereafter was a positive one... sort of. I mean, it took all of two hours and nine minutes to laboriously get to the movie's ambivalent conclusion that there might actually be life after death! Whew! Go Clint! No rush to get to the 4th Dimension there.

So many people have had so many otherworldy experiences, you'd think by now we'd be asking some more advanced questions than: "Is there life after death?" How about: "Is the death experience even necessary?" or maybe: "Are the tenants of physical reality - like duality and linear time - all an illusion?" You know?

I suppose next, Clint Eastwood will get around to wondering on film if there is life on other planets... probably while the rest of us are actually communicating with ET's!

REPOST: ORGASMIC CHILDBIRTH?!

THINGS DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ONE WAY, DO THEY? READ ARTICLE HERE: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/11/orgasms-during-childbirth/?hp

REPOST: "MUST WATCH! LOVELESS MARRIAGES OUTLAWED!!"

This beauty was contributed by LOFF56!

CLICK HERE!!

Thanks, L56!!

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"He is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."
Thomas Jefferson

REPOST: SEX IN THE SECOND HALF!!

I'm actually talking about love, Eros and sex, after fifty! A blog piece I read recently called "7 Reasons Why Sex Is Better After 60," by Jim Selman, spells it out. Older folks have the patience, wisdom, experience and capacity to give, according to Jim Selman, to make the sexual experience a true wonder.

From the article:

"If you believe the research, there is a LOT of sex going on after 60--and a lot of satisfied Elders. According to the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project of the University of Chicago (presented in the August 2007 New England Journal of Medicine), many people remain sexually active well into their 70s and 80s. The following year, ABC News reported on a Swedish study that found sexual satisfaction rising in the over 65 set."

Of course, what Selman doesn't cover in this short piece is how one can arrive to be open enough to express these qualities so fully. Our stereotypes of the aging process are rife with images of deterioration, orneriness and depression, not to mention the need for medications to get it up, get to sleep and keep our organs functioning, and unfortunately, those stereotypes are based on a fair amount of anecdotal evidence. Somebody is keeping the drug companies profitable, after all, and judging by the commercials on network TV, it's predominantly older people.

But... it doesn't have to be that way. I wrote a piece not long ago called "DECLINING WITH AGE? NO, WITH TIME!" in which I put it this way:

"As we progress in our lives, assuming we are not fighting our process tooth and nail, we are designed to be absorbing more and more of our souls into our bodies, which can mean less and less flesh. But the more soul force in your body, the more powerful you become, not the weaker. Yes, your priorities change. Playing shortstop or having babies - in other words, focusing intensely on the physical - is appropriate to the early phases of experiencing being human. Depths of passion, pleasure, understanding and wisdom are part of the later phases."

Worth reading Selman's piece, and rereading mine... if you're at all thinking about the trajectory of your sex life!

REPOST: STRONG PROTEST AGAINST PL SUGGESTING PSYCHOPATHS CAN BE TREATED!/PL RESPONDS!

"Anonymous" left this comment on PL's post "THE PSYCHOPATHIC CHARACTER STRUCTURE":

"Wow! I am one of the survivors on 'Aftermath' and your take on providing 'therapy' for these monsters is interesting but woefully misguided. I have to wonder if you have ever been targeted by one, lived with one or have ever been completely devastated personally by their actions. There is NO CURE for having no conscience, no empathy, no remorse. I find your writing about this wreckless as I would hope to God that there isn't someone out there that will 'hang on' because you gave them hope of a cure. The only cure is to run as fast as you can from these sub-humans. The psychopath I was involved with strangled my small son."


Here's PL:

Thank you very much, Anonymous, for writing in. My heart truly goes out to you for enduring such a tragedy.

I actually did write a piece a bit ago, last October, about the "Aftermath" program, which describes itself as follows:

"We are a non-profit organization: a working coallition of psychopathy researchers, mental health professionals, victims and family members of those affected with psychopathy. Our purpose is to provide information and support to those whose lives, health, and/or careers have been placed at risk or negatively impacted by psychopathy."

I have written a great deal about the psychopathic character structure over the years, and I do mention in my writing that the conventional wisdom in psychiatric circles is that people with psychopathic disorders are not considered amenable to psychotherapy.

But there is some confusion here.

First of all, not all psychopathy is found in the same degree in all people with the disorder. At the far end of the spectrum are, of course, the pure "sociopaths," those who are not only without conscience or empathy, but who also cannot relate to other human beings as anything other than objects. These individuals are basically psychotic. Unfortunately these days, sociopathy is not limited to lone serial killers of the Jeffrey Dahmer type, or to hired assassins. This extreme pathology also infects many CEO's and politicians who wantonly destroy lives by the thousands for the purpose of acquiring obscene amounts of wealth or power for its own sake, blithely stealing, lying and killing as a matter of course.

In response to your wondering if I "have ever been targeted" by a psychopath, Anon, well, of course I have. And yes, in a very personal way. In this day and age, sad to say, many of us have.

That being said, on the other hand, there are some people who have a predominantly psychopathic character structure that is less severe, those who can benefit from a holistic psychotherapeutic approach as outlined in my article that you referenced. I have facilitated a successful course of treatment with such individuals, but it is hard work, and both the therapist and patient must be determined in their efforts. Sadly, my profession has demonstrated little desire to do much that isn't easy or lucrative in recent decades.

Perhaps the world of psychotherapy has itself become infected with psychopathy.

Again, thank you for your powerful comment.

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Events are not things that happen to you. They are materialized experiences formed by you, according to your expectations and beliefs.”
SETH

YOU'RE OUTTA THERE, UMP!!

Okay, I'm talkin' baseball today, since the Yankees start the next leg of their journey to the World Series tonight against the Texas Rangers, a team formerly owned by George W. Bush (which adds a little extra reason for me to root for the Yankees to win).

Specifically, what I would like to address today, though, is not the role of our former worst president in history, but rather the archaic role that umpires currently play in Major League Baseball. There was an editorial piece in the NY Times today called "Accountability Behind the Plate", in which the subject was addressed of the many game changing mistakes that umpires make that could be easily addressed by instant video replay and an extra umpire in the broadcast booth who could be appealed to. Many games, now more than ever it seems, are blown for one team or another not because of a mistake by a player, but by umpire error. Watching a game on TV, we see these flubs in replay all the time, which ironically discredits the umpires who are trying to maintain their respect, authority and importance to the game.

Hello? Why isn't this a no-brainer?

Two words: Tradition. Purists.

I was born disliking those two words. Really, I think it was in my soul's seed plan or my genes. Way before I did any kind of self-work or developed a conscious spiritual connection, I uttered those two words with disdain. It's as if I always understood the retrogressive, conservative nature of traditions and the purists who sought to maintain them. Now, as a self-aware being, I abhor the stagnant nature of tradition even more. Tradition's intent is to continue doing things the way they were done in the past for the sake of doing things the way they were done in the past.

As many of my readers are learning, the "past" is neither fixed, nor is it even in the past. The past is created in the present, as is the future. (For more on that, read my post: THE FUTURE WRITES THE PAST) That means that to experience the full thrust of our life force, we must be more and more exclusively focused on the present moment as the source of our reality and experiences.

Traditions, by insisting that we focus on the past, and repeat the rituals of that past, inhibit the full flow of soul energy through us in the present. That is why so many holidays that supposedly are meant to celebrate and honor a past event, end up instead as exhausting or boring affairs in which over-eating, heavy drinking and watching sports on television becomes the norm.

Well, okay, I got a bit off track there. But perhaps not. Anyway, my point is that anyone who is enlightened, and also a baseball fan (Don't know the stats on that, but I'd like to!), doesn't need umpires' human errors as an integral part of the game. We just don't. It's old. Stagnant. Tradition! Ironic, too, that the so-called purists among baseball fans don't want the game to be purely about the way the players play the game.

All right, folks, as we head into the holiday season, and the World Series, don't be afraid to break a few traditions and celebrate something new in the present. And go Yankees!

LOFF56 DISPUTES PL'S CALL!/PL RESPONDS!

Here's LOFF56:

Well, as an equally big fan of the game of Baseball (and the Yankees), I have to
disagree with you on this one, PL. And I wouldn't call myself a "Purist" by any
sense. I'm definitely a big fan of the DH which a lot of "Purists" aren't, I
certainly don't have a problem with all the improvements in equipment in the
recent era of baseball, (lighter bats, batting gloves, better helmets etc...)
nor do I have a problem with "pitch counts" the use of specialty pitchers for
one batter, "small ball", "money ball" etc... I think you're really
oversimplifying the argument by saying that anyone that doesn't like the use of
booth review is a "purist". But that's sort of besides the point.
But here's the actual point I want to make about this. It's absolutely
conceivable that an enterprising individual could devise technology that could
literately do away with the need for umpires entirely. Imagine that they use
that "K-Zone" technology to call balls and strikes instantly, they can probably
devise very small sensors to put in every players gloves as well as the bases to
figure out exactly whether or not the ball reaches the 1st baseman's glove
before the foot hits the bag, or if a tag hits the player before his hand or
foot hits the bag... etc, etc, etc... If someone wanted to do it, I'm sure
there's a way to completely eliminate umpires altogether with technology.
Personally I think this takes a lot away from the game. Human judgment is
such an important part of how a game is played. Pitchers and batters are always
adding in the calculation of where a home plate umpire is apt to call a loose
strike. It makes it more interesting and less static. Even on close plays that
are so hard to judge, an umpire can be swayed by how a player slides into second
or if he's "dogging" it to first. Think about that, there's a sub-concious cog
in the system that actually effects the game, I would think that you'd be all
into that! I think if you start to take that human error out of the game (even
just piece by piece), I think you'll end up with a game that's more about the
numbers than it was before, and less about the "heart" of the game.
Besides, the "fallacy of the pre-determined outcome" states that even if a
blown call is made right, you'd have no idea how or if that would have actually
effected the outcome of the game, there's just too many variables. And I
realize that in the case of the blown call this year that ruined the perfect
game for Galarraga, there's no question if that call was made right he would
definitely have a perfect game versus not having a perfect game. But - I don't
remember the details of the rest of that game, but I'm sure there must have been
a strike call or two or three that the umpire got wrong in Galarraga's favor
that might have saved him a walk which would have also ruined the perfect game,
probably well before it was a big deal that he had a perfect game going. A
layer of technology (booth review) would have given him a perfect game, but
perhaps the next layer of technology, (K-Zone calling balls and strikes), may
have taken it away.
Anyway I disagree that wanting to retain the element of human judgment makes
one a stagnant traditionalist. In fact, I think that these Umpires' abilities
to admit their errors and their dedication to making their craft better in the
face of such criticism is a testament to they're humility and they're ability
to... wait for it... grow as an individual. :-) Qualities, we all should want
to emulate.
Anyway, I'm willing to trade accuracy for humanity. Besides, the "story"
that came out of that just-missed perfect game was fantastic and completely
unique. Do you remember when Gallaraga came out with the line-up the next day?
What a great story of humility and forgiveness. Technology would have robbed us
of that great human story between those two individuals.


Here's PL:

Well, L56, on the replay, it looks like you have a strong argument for the human element staying a part of baseball's dynamic. Umpires and their flaws do make the game more of a drama than simply a "pure" contest of playing skills. I suppose my issue with umps is part of my overall issue with all "authority figures," especially those who can't be questioned. Being called out without recourse on a third strike, which was clearly a ball, reminds me of getting a parking ticket because in the cop's estimation, I was 14 1/2 feet, not fifteen feet, from a fire hydrant. Without pictures or witnesses, the cop is the final authority, even if he's wrong. But I do agree that the "fallacy of the pre-determined outcome" is indeed a fallacy, and it does tie in with the truth that there is no absolute, static future.

Good to hear your voice again, L56!

THE FUTURE WRITES THE PAST!

Try and stay with this one, folks. It's advanced material. Basically, spiritual masters have been teaching for centuries that time is an illusion, as are all of the things that we feel constrained by. In the past century, science, specifically physics, has finally started catching up to metaphysics.

I recently posted an article indicating that gravity is an illusion, and here's one from today's news entitled: "Does the Past Exist Yet? Evidence Suggests Your Past Isn't Set in Stone" (You can read it HERE) indicating that our notions of linear time, specifically our notions about the past and future are also illusions.

I understand that this pushes our physical brain to its limit, in some respects. It's very hard to wrap our heads around the idea of time as simultaneous instead of linear, because it means is that the only true moment is the present moment, and that our so-called "past" and so-called "future" are always fluctuating depending on what we're creating in the present. In other words, like a screenwriter who decides in the present moment to change the backstory and/or the future outcome of a character's story line, we are capable of rewriting our own past and future in the present.

It's not so important to understand the mechanics of this, though, so don't fret. However, it is major to understand the implications for living. It means that the more we focus on what we're feeling and thinking in the moment, and specifically, in that moment following our highest joy and excitement, and the less we are ruminating about the past and worrying about the future, the better our entire life is going to appear.

Try it out. Do a "five senses-mediation" as often as possible as you go through your day. Whatever you're doing, stay tuned in to what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch, and direct your actions accordingly to your pleasure instinct and see what happens. You'll get through your days just as efficiently, if not moreso, without as much calculation, and you'll be feeling good. And maybe, you'll experience how pliable the past and future really are.

Here's a lyrical clip from a song I wrote 20 years ago as I first began to understand that the boundaries of time weren't real.

INTO MY EYES

Waiting. I'm waiting.

Skirting the edges of a golden world,
Weaving through with tattered threads of silk.
Certain nights, the lines between worlds grow thin.
One moment's like a thousand days,
Strangers with such different ways
Cross over and come in.

Peering through broken panes of memories,
Turning over stones from other lives,
In better days, the future writes the past.
Time is like a magic ride,
Hope moves on a rising tide,
And love will last.

Walk into my eyes,
See the fire there.
Enter through my heart,
And know my dream.
Waiting. I'm waiting.

Time is like a magic ride,
Hope moves on a rising tide,
And love will last.

Peter Loffredo/Barry Saperstein

CATCH THE WAVE IN PARK SLOPE?!

A resident actually measured the hail stones that crashed down in Park Slope last night.STAY AWAKE, FOLKS!

HAPPY SEVENTIETH BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

REVOLUTION

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're all doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right...

JOHN LENNON

REPOST: NOWHERE YOU CAN BE THAT ISN'T WHERE YOU'RE MEANT TO BE - IT'S EASY!!

A musical reality show host named Tamara Conniff asks the question: "WHY ARE WE SUBJECT TO BEATLEMANIA, AGAIN?" Her simplistic, and somewhat cynical answer is that it somehow is being engineered by the remaining Beatles, and more specifically their label group EMI, who want to exploit the recordings as much as they can before they become public property and can be used free of charge when the 50-year copyright expires.

Well, first of all, Tamara, artists in so many areas for years and years, if not ages, were exploited for their art by moneyed people. It has been so common that there is actually a term - "starving artist" - that is part of our lexicon. I've yet to hear anyone refer to the typical "starving record company executive" or "suffering music publisher." Why shouldn't an artist and his or her family enjoy the financial benefits of that art for at least the course of one lifetime?

But beyond that issue, there's the separate question of why Beatlemania transcends economics, and even time. My two kids have discovered and love the Beatles, 40 years after I discovered them and loved them for the first time. And that's not a typical generational thing. I didn't love Tommy Dorsey or Bing Crosby when I was a kid in the Sixties, even though people from my parent's generation loved that music in the Forties.

The Beatles were rarified air in the realm of popular music. Like Mozart, Bach and Beethoven in the sphere of classical music, listening to what they created gets better and brings forth even more appreciation over time. They were channeling something from the soul, something that planet earth needed to help with the next movement forward in consciousness. It's not that the prodigious number of songs, if deconstructed technically, were always profound or masterful, though some certainly were. It's that the melding of sounds, the harmonies, the joy and mirth, the admonitions and observations, and the loosening of boundaries combined with the synergy of four souls riding the wave of a dawning new age came together in a perfect storm of music, music that could uplift all but the most hardened personalities, and absolutely could speak to the natural optimism and care of young people.

And it still does.

All you need is love!

TODAY'S DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION (WTF) NEWS ITEM!

A Southern Baptist leader is calling for Christians to avoid yoga and its spiritual attachments.

No joke!

Read more HERE.

OPEN LETTER FROM SINEAD O'CONNOR TO THE POPE!

As my readers know, I've posted a lot of material on the abuses, incredible hubris and disturbances in the Catholic Church. This time, I will leave it up to Sinead O'Connor.

Here she is:

Sir,

Your remarks made last week concerning church authorities' handling of child rape complaints give the impression that neither John-Paul II nor yourself knew of how these complaints were being managed.

Can you please make clear exactly who has been running the church since 1979?

You have said church authorities did not act quickly nor decisively in dealing with allegations. This is entirely dishonest.

In fact church authorities acted extremely quickly and decisively, but in protection of rapist priests and the church, not of children.

In your letter to Irish mass-goers you stated that the Irish hierarchy, in covering up rape and transfering known rapists to other parishes, where many more children were raped, had done so out of "a well-intentioned desire to protect the reputation of the church."

If there is any such well-intentioned desire on your part then why have you not in outrage fired every employee of the church who contributed even in the remotest of ways, consciously or uncsonciously, to the attack on Christ himself as made manifest in those children who were raped?

It looks extremely bad that you have not done so. And that you continue to set up lies and smoke-screens and treat us as if we are stupid.

Spokespeople on your behalf keep saying, falsely, that hierarchies acted independently of The Vatican, when countless pleading letters from bishops to The Vatican show that is not the case, as do the specific instructions issued by The Vatican in 1962 to all bishops in the world for dealing with allegations of rape and abuse.

As you are aware, those instructions required the cleric taking complaints, as well as the victim making the complaint, to sign an oath of silence under threat of excommunication.

Your letter of 2001 to all bishops in the world confirms the 1962 instructions were in operation until 2001.

Why do you allow your representatives to lie?

All reports carried out in the four corners of the earth have found, independently of each other, that the church's main concern in dealing with abuse was the preservation of its assets and reputation and that the welfare of children was not a consideration.

As an example I refer you to the fact that in 1987 the church in Ireland took out a series of insurance claims in every diocese in order to protect the church from claims they foresaw would be made.

The church then sat back and did nothing until 1995 when complaints became public knowledge.

The reports show that without exception each diocese in the world behaved in exactly the same manner when dealing with allegations.

If hierarchies had been acting independently of The Vatican there would have been differences in their behaviour.

We deserve better than lies and insults to our intelligence.
The Holy Spirit deserves better.

As long as the house of The Holy Spirit remains a haven for criminals the reputation of the church will remain in ruins.

Finally, your statement that you hope the church's "humiliation will help the victims" is deplorable on two levels.

One: not one member of The Vatican has publicly displayed an iota of humility over this issue. Instead each person who has spoken has done so most arrogantly and dismissively.

Two: how dare you use the word humiliation to describe what you and the church are going through? Hope and pray, and thank God that you will never know the abject humiliation of children who were raped by monsters in the employ of your church. That is true humiliation.

"LJB" on PL's Post: "CHILDLESS AND LOVING IT!"/PL RESPONDS!

Here's LJB:

Hey, PL!
Thanks for this post! As a young, unmarried woman in my late twenties, it feels like everywhere I turn another friend or relative is getting married or giving birth. While I'm not ruling it out in this lifetime, right now I'm happy carving a different path and making fantastic discoveries about myself, discoveries which I don't think I'd be making as a wife or mother. In short, it's nice to hear I'm not alone! Because, at the end of the day, I would rather be my complete self for my partner and children, and I don't think I could if I tried to accomplish it on the "social clock."

From the green mountain state,
LJB


Here's PL:

Good to hear from you, LJB!

Some folks might want to protest what is being said in the article, and here by you, but the facts support you. As a general rule, I have rarely had parents who are actively raising children coming for therapy in my 30+ years in practice. Why? Because all too often (though less often than it used to be), having kids is chosen instead of working on one's self-actualization. Sadly, parents can and do use their offspring as a distraction from their own issues for 2 or more decades. By the time said parents arrive to the empty nest years, and finally do come for therapy, it is often with a "What the fuck happened to my life?" look on their 45 year old faces. They feel trapped in a job they never wanted, their marriage is dead, and their kids are disgruntled at best, narcissistically disturbed at worst.

Good for you, LJB. The world needs a lot more self-actualized people than it does more children with the baggage of their parents unlived lives!

Enjoy the turning of the leaves up there!

TODAY'S DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION HEADLINE!

VATICAN CITY: Vatican Bank Facing Money Laundering Probe!

Italian authorities seized euro23 million ($30 million) from a Vatican bank account Tuesday and said they have begun investigating top officials of the Vatican bank in connection with a money-laundering probe.

The Vatican said it was "perplexed and surprised" by the investigation.

Italian financial police seized the money as a precaution and prosecutors placed the Vatican bank's chairman and director general under investigation for alleged mistakes linked to violations of Italy's anti-laundering laws, news reports said.

The investigation is not the first trouble for the bank – formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion. In the 1980s, it was involved in a major scandal that resulted in a banker, dubbed "God's Banker" because of his close ties to the Vatican, being found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London.

The Vatican expressed full trust in the chairman of the bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

AAAAAAYYY!!!
 

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