Monday, April 30, 2012

Nuclear Situation in Japan

Image from the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/asia/15nuclear.html?_r=1)

"Fukushima radiation spreads worldwide.........the University of California at Berkeley detected cesium levels in San Francisco area milk above over EPA limits" 

WashingtonsBlog

My friend Fahrusha has written an article recently about the disaster that occured in Japan after last year's earthquake.  I know that this has nothing to do with art, but I feel her article is very important, and so, with her permission, I copy it here, and suggest those interested view her blog as well.  Do we need any more proof that we are, truly, all One on our planet?


 Fukushima, the Media, and the Reality-based Worldview 

By Fahrusha from Fahrusha's Weblog

I have not wanted to write about Fukushima, because I have nothing good to say. My grandmother used to tell me “If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Sadly, I have not entirely lived up to her words, but I have tried. The Japanese people have much to overcome in their current situation and I do not wish to make their lot any worse than it is, and that would be difficult to do in any case.

I have been following closely the situation involving the nuclear reactors which were affected so disastrously by the earthquake off the coast of Japan last spring. The site from which I have gotten most of my information is Arnie Gundersen’s Fairewinds Associates. Mr. Gundersen and his wife have been steadfastly reporting the bad news that is horrible to hear, but it is bad news that we must force ourselves to hear. His is a wake-up call to all Americans that nuclear power is inherently horribly dangerous and that danger once unleashed is complete and lasting annihilation. American nuclear reactors are mostly old and past the date which they were originally intended to be taken off line. This adds to the danger as leaks are more likely from old reactors. The single piece of good news is that solar power has surpassed nuclear power in energy production in the United States.

In a nutshell, the Fukushima nuclear disaster is far from being over. The site is still red hot with nuclear particles. Tokyo itself, 148 miles away from the Fukushima reactors, should probably be evacuated. The level of contamination of random ground samples in Tokyo would be considered hazardous nuclear waste in the US.  The officials of TEPCO (Tokyo Electrical Power Company?) who run the Fukushima facility and the Japanese government have been lying to their citizens and to the world. TEPCO is even burning nuclear waste and putting hot particles in the atmosphere that we all breathe. They have become mass murderers as many innocent people and animals around the world who unwittingly breathe those particles will die horrible deaths from various cancers. This is not supposition, this is fact.
The US is in collusion with the cover-up of the facts. Please read the following articles:
http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/the-radiation-warnings-you-wont-get-from-the-mainstream-propaganda-machine_04022012
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/01/fukushima-radiation-spreads-worldwide.html

I am extremely disappointed in Hillary Clinton in that she signed an agreement to the effect that the US would continue to import goods from Japan without subjecting them to testing for radiation.
Why has the media chosen to ignore the obvious danger coming from Fukushima and why do the government and various states continue to champion the building of these reactors, these machines of certain doom, although there are other cleaner energy options such as solar, wind, water and geothermal energy available? Many European countries whose populations may be more awake than Americans have begun the phasing out of all nuclear power from their borders. In fact the nuclear industry is greatly tax subsidized by the American taxpayer: See this Alternet story by US Senator Bernie Sanders and Ryan Alexander.

The Fukushima situation is worse than the disaster of Chernobyl in the Ukraine. Take seven minutes out of your busy life to look at the legacy of Chernobyl here. Notice that Chernobyl is estimated to have caused nearly a million cancer deaths worldwide.  Now realize that the Fukushima disaster will continue to cause cancers for the next 100,00o years. Yet our mass media outlets continue to ply us with vacuous stories and little to no information on this very real menace.

Please keep checking these internet news resources for valuable information, it may be the most important thing you can do for yourself, the environment and generations to come.
Fairewinds Associates
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
The SchwartzReport
The Fukushima Diary

Monday, April 23, 2012

Orbs at my house

I had my artist friend Ginny over for dinner last night, and before leaving she took some photos of the night sky over my house.  I was amazed at the orbs that showed up!  She and friend Charlie asked for colors...........and sure enough, a beautiful red orb, and a blue, appeared in the photos.






And of course, she also shared the recent summer appearance of her lizard, Marco, at his Retreat.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rumi and Rilke, a Moment



 When grapes turn
to wine, they long for our ability to change.
When stars reel
around the North Pole,
they are longing for our growing consciousness.

Wine got drunk with us,
not the other way.
The body developed out of us, not we from it.

We are bees, and our body
is a honeycomb.
We made
the body, cell by cell, we made it.

Rumi (Translated by Robert Bly)
 

Sometimes a man stands up during supper
and walks outdoors,
and keeps on walking,
because of a church
that stands somewhere in the East.

And his children say blessings on him as if he were dead.
And another man,
who remains inside his own house,
dies there, inside the dishes and in the glasses,
so that his children
have to go far out into the world
toward that same church,
which he forgot.

Rainer Maria Rilke  (translated by Robert Bly)



***
These paintings are from a series I did in the late 80's about Fire.  I always seemed to create work about fire..........i guess being a double Leo does that to you. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Anthropocene: the "Age of Man"?


"The  Council  of All Beings is a series  of  re-Earthing  rituals created  by  John  Seed and Joanna Macy to  help  end  the  sense of  alienation  from  the  living Earth that  many  of  us  feel.  Through  interactive   exercises,   we practice  letting  go of the socially constructed,  isolated self and come home  to our inter-existence with all  forms of life.  We  retrace our  steps through our evolutionary journey and allow other  life forms to speak through us. We shed our  solely human identification  and feel deep empathy for the myriad species and  landscapes of the Earth.  We see that the  pain of the Earth is our own pain." 

Council of all Beings Workshop Manual

It's ironic that as i listened to the video below, which suggests that we have rapidly been moving into the "Anthrocene",  or the "geological epoch of man", two earnest theological students are talking about God's goodness at the table next to me, and "His will".  I'm glad they can't read my mind..........

I think, once upon a time, I understood their faith. And by no means am I denigrating many of the compassionate teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.   It would be comforting to be nested into such a faith, a human faith that doesn't include polar bears, or plankton, or eco-systems, or even many women in its vision of  divinity and mono-theism.   I fancifully  imagine a discussion next door about the sanctity of  the evolution of all the eco-systems and  Sentient Beings upon this increasingly small, infinately precious planet....and find myself entering into  silent dispute with the commentators in the video as well..........what would it be like if this was the "Age of Woman", or at least, the more egalitarian "Age of Humanity"? Would it  make any difference in the face of our technology driven civilization, of a new god whose name is Profit? Sometimes I think so, other times I view our civilization is a run-away train.  
"THE GURU PAPERS critiques the guru/disciple liaison because it is a clear-cut example of the old, no longer appropriate paradigm of spiritual authority. It is not that we doubt that some who are considered gurus have deeper insights than their followers. Yet even with the best intentions, assuming the role of spiritual authority for others sets in motion a system of interaction that is mechanical, predictable, and contains the essence of corruption. Another purpose of this book is to show that corruption is not simply the failure or weakness of a specific individual, but is structurally built into any authoritarian relationship, and less obviously, any renunciate morality."(p.35)

In their book THE GURU PAPERS - Masks of Authoritarian Power,  Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad** coined the term "Renunciate" systems, referring to religious and social systems that are derived from an inherent renunciation of the world, a denial of body and flesh, of the  "here and now" of  life. I think it's a brilliant book that examines many contemporary spiritual systems from the point of view of the old paradigm of authoritarian, hierarchical systems, and is no doubt disturbing in the challenge it offers  to a broad spectrum of beliefs, from fundamentalist Christianity, to the "surrender to the Guru" advocated by Hindu ashrams, to a discussion of the "tyranny of Oneness" found in Eastern religions,  to such popular New Age systems as the "Course in Miracles". 

“Beware of organizations that proclaim their devotion to the light without embracing, bowing to the dark; for when they idealize half the world they must devalue the rest.”
Starhawk
 One thing these systems share in common is a sometimes subtle underlying assertion that "This is not real".  That the ultimate (and hence, the only important "reality") is somewhere else than within our bodies and bodily experience (which include the collective cycles of nature), or within the living world.  Whether conceived of as a pristine heaven or paradise wherein the chosen or saved are rewarded (after suffering the indignities of life), or something more esoteric that is more "real" and "better" than life,  "renunciate" systems are "transcendent" in their message rather than "Immanent" or "numinous".  What is sacred is somewhere else, and you need a spiritual authority of some kind or degree to get you there.    

The Authors point out that systems that teach us to believe that "what is sacred is somewhere else" , or to continually render our will and discernment over to "spiritual authorities" will also not help us to deal with the actual crisis of our time.  I might add that many of the systems they discuss, renouncing  and devaluing  "worldly experience", also teach a kind of useless passivity as well (which goes along nicely with authoritarian systems).    As Starhawk once said, "If we go with the flow, we're flowing straight into extinction."

We need to break the long spell, to learn to speak and to listen to the Earth.  How can we create new theologies, mythologies, that can speak to the hearts and imaginations of the future in ways that teach Immanance?  I think as I write of the movie Avatar, for example............or the procession that took  the "waters of the world" to the river Brue, to flow out into the world as a healing from Avalon at Glastonbury last year when I attended the Goddess conference.   Small or large, important ways to re-myth, re-sanctify, so important for all of us to take in, and create out into the world.   It's our task to speak,  by whatever means, whatever means, because if not us.........who?  So many of our relations, and those who are yet unborn...........have no voice...

 Anthropocene, or the Age of Man.




___________________________________________________

www.authoritarianpower.com

“Easily the most comprehensive, erudite, and timely book in print to explore authoritarianism in religion, institutions, power, the family, intimacy and sexual relations, and personal problems such as addiction.... Argue[s] persuasively that any system of values that places tradition and the past above the imperative to question the present is destined to become increasingly lethal."

— SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sig Lonegren on Dowsing and Quantum Phenomena

I'm not able to find much time (or place) to write at present, so I'm going to cheat my own journal and copy here a recent article by Sig Lonegren, my teacher of old who, with his wife Karin (an extraordinary  healer), I was privileged to meet last summer when I went to Glastonbury.  But that's another story, my pilgrimage to Avalon.  Sig is wise, funny, and very much "down to Earth" on many levels.  Enjoy.

Tip o' the Week # 104 - Dowsing and Quantum


If you are not familiar with the Double Slit Experiment, please go to YouTube and watch a short animated film on it before you read further.  I have been reading about Quantum physics for over thirty years.  The first to catch my eye was Werner Heisenberg and his finding that there is no such thing as an observer being separate from the observed.  The Double Split experiment can help you see how this is possible.

The build-up of an interference pattern as individual particles pass through two side-by-side slits in a screen is one of the most famous examples of how an entity such as an electron can behave both as a particle and as a wave.  Aside from making the point that sometimes matter and wave can switch back and forth,  the main point I want to make here is that simply by observing the an electron shooting toward the two slits makes it act differently.  The observer becomes one with the observed.  One of the basic cornerstones of Newtonian physics is that the observer must remain totally objective.  But this double split experiment showed that this is not possible.

There is no such thing as a totally objective observer.  And the observer not only can, but does affect the observed.  Of course, one of the basic caveats in dowsing is not to be attached to the outcome, because if you are, your dowsing will support your unconscious need for a specific answer,  "Does my Aunt have cancer?"  ("Dear God, make it 'No'!")  You will get a "No," for sure.  Your unconscious wants to give you the answer it thinks you want to hear.  This is why in my eight steps to good dowsing, after tuning in and asking the question, I say repeatedly, "I wonder what the answer is going to be! I wonder what the answer is going to be! I wonder what the answer is going to be!"  As long as I am saying that, I can't be saying, "Dear God, make it 'No'!"

So we can create our dowsing answer.

Here is where Tony Talmage comes in.  Last weekend, I was at the BSD Earth Energies Group Spring Meeting just outside of Cheltenham.  Tony, who is Chairman of the Guernsey Society of Dowsers, spoke on "Dowsing and the Quantum Connection."  He spoke of quantum entanglement.  According to Wikipedia, "When a measurement is made and it causes one member of such a pair to take on a definite value (e.g., clockwise spin), the other member of this entangled pair will at any subsequent time be found to have taken the appropriately correlated value (e.g., counterclockwise spin). Thus, there is a correlation between the results of measurements performed on entangled pairs, and this correlation is observed even though the entangled pair may have been separated by arbitrarily large distances."

This is what happens with map dowsing and perhaps what happens when dowsers work at a distance - there is no distance.  Tony writes, "The hair, the spot of blood, gemstone, oil, water or other witness, (and, I'd add permission) is used by the dowser to connect to its parent.  This weird world of quantum offers a scientific explanation for the weird world of the geomancer."

Talmage then goes deeper to suggest that the dowser can actually create reality.  He feels that our human consciousness gives form to the symptoms we are told about, and so we bring in to manifestation the negativities described.  I believe this is behind what I call "Sig's Hypothesis Number One - Even if they were trained by the same teacher, the chances are very good that when dowsing for intangible targets (like the Earth Energies in a sacred space or in a 'sick house'), no two dowsers will find exactly the same thing."  We each find what our particular paradigm causes us to find.  We each have our own individual sacred point of view, and therefore create our own reality.

Throughout his talk, Tony spoke of how difficult it was to understand how quantum works, and used something Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman once said, "if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't!"

But I feel that I got a better vision last weekend of the possible connection between Quantum and dowsing.  I believe that this will be an important  part of what the American Society of Dowsers meant when they chose their motto, Indago Felix! - The Fruitful Search!  Look for more discussion about this within the BSD in the coming year.

Sig Lonegren
MAG Webmaster
SunnyBank, 9 Bove Town
Glastonbury, Somerset
England BA6 8JE
http//:www.geomancy.org
http//:www.sunnybankglastonbury.co.uk
sig@geomancy.org
+44 (0)1458 835 818

p.s. If you haven't checked out my latest iBook, The Earth Mysteries Handbook: Holistic Non-Intrusive Data Gathering Techniques, please go to iTunes and download a copy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shadow and Light - "Heyoka"

Photo of Lakota Heyoka by David Michael Kennedy

 "While the good people of the world work to gain those  modern  Heyokas  look to lose, and thus to live simply. The Buddha was once asked what he had gained from enlightenment and he replied that he had gained nothing."
 
"Become Nourished by the Great Mother and Gain Nothing" by Grant Lawrence, from HEYOKA MAGAZINE 

I've been wanting to let it rip and write about shadow lately, personally, psychologically, archetypically and collectively.  I think it's so important for our time, our world, our crisis.  And it occurs to me that the  place to start is with the idea of the Trickster, the liminal deity so often found in native cultures. 


The Lakota have a wonderful spiritual tradition  of the Heyoka, or the Heyoka priest.  Heyokas are sacred clowns, with the function of reminding the tribe that life is also chaotic, liminal, funny, and surrounded by a mystery that has a way of paradoxically grinning like the Cheshire cat just when you think you have it all figured out.

According to Wikipedia,
 "Heyókȟa are thought of as being backwards-forwards, upside-down, or contrary in nature. This spirit is often manifest by doing things backwards or unconventionally—riding a horse backwards, wearing clothes inside-out, or speaking in a backwards language. For example, if food were scarce, a Heyókȟa would sit around and complain about how full he was; during a baking hot heat wave a Heyókȟa would shiver with cold and put on gloves and cover himself with a thick blanket. Similarly, when it is 40 degrees below freezing he will wander around naked for hours complaining that it is too hot."
 Perhaps you've seen paintings of the black and white painted clowns of the Zuni - even at the most important of ceremonies, such as the corn dances, they are free to roam about, pinching the women or making rude gestures.  I've heard Jungians talk about the "trickster archetype".  The trickster is great at puncturing inflated egos and projections that get in the way of reality, as well as the vast abstractions the human mind is capable of constructions that equally get in the way of either reality, or the simple act of opening the heart. The Trickster reminds us that things are built up and constructed, but they also fall apart and get de-constructed.  Sometimes that's a good thing.  But like it or not, it's the impermanent and often contrary truth of life, art, and self.  The Heyoka reveals cracks in the wall and opens cracks in the psyche, and sometimes throws a pie in the face of our treasured certainties.  
Pipe smoking ET crop circle (Wiltshire, 2011)

 Like Leonard Cohen said: "there's a crack in everything - that's how the light gets in."

Recently, a few lines from Sylvia Plath's poem "Lady Lazarus" came to mind, probably because I'm selling at a crafts faire, and there are times the "peanut crunching crowd".....well, to be honest, gets on my nerves.  I'm getting too old for this!

So I googled the poem, and it came up right away embedded in a very serious  blog that was analyzing poor Sylvia's poem as follows:
"the archetype of the perfected ego, the incarnation of the Sun logos in the physical world, was the hierophant who initiated Lazarus as a transition to modern Christian esotericism---
"The Peanut-crunching crowd
  Shoves in to see
  Them unwrap me hand in foot ------
  The big strip tease.
  Gentleman , ladies
  These are my hands
   My knees
. "-------Plath's meditation highlights the importance of the public nature of the raising of Lazarus. The Pharisees, who were the representatives of the Old Mysteries, considered the raising of Lazarus as a betrayal and violation of the ancient mystery traditions. What had always been secret was made public."
OMG, just reading this gave me a migraine, but I morbidly  continued, sensing that, indeed, something "secret was made public" in this random web search, something a short, black and white painted Contrary was pointing to with glee.  How the heck do you abstract Plath's intimate cry of pain and rage into something like that?  With, I suppose, the same capacity that we are able to turn the immanent  loss of the Arctic habitat into dancing animated polar bears that sell soft drinks.  Failing to notice that the production of such disposable soft drinks is one of the reasons this is happening in the first place.  

I think this is where the shadow dancer, the Heyoka, the dark trickster needs to make her/his appearance, whether we're talking poetry, anthropology, or environmental meltdown.  Abstractions are too often the masks that obscure the truth, or close the heart.  Here's to the Sacred Clown!

ps...........Valerianna kindly turned me to a very thoughtful site that is related to the issue of  environment, shadow and art:  http://dark-mountain.net/