the Photo Ark | Half-Earth Project | Plastic Ocean | Dolphin Deaths Sonar-Seismic Tests | Patriotism to Finance the Military Industrial GDP > Ecocide

We are creatures that live on a miraculous planet with a plethora of life forms that are phenomenally beautiful and intriguing in their intricacies of form and behavior. A world of intelligent systems, from how the wind and water moves, to living soil that nourishes flora that in turn house and nourish fauna. All these systems are intelligent and continually interacting. Without all of this life, we would have a very dull, one-dimensional existence. In fact, we wouldn’t exist at all; not without the birds, bees, trees, ants, bacteria, rain, plasma. Yet we sort of forget about it and go about our lives entrenched in our habits: patterns of movement, acquisition of materials and societal norms that compel us to adhere to certain standards and activities. Many of our actions that don’t appear to be harmful in any way because they are accepted as standard – everyone else does it – are extravagant and fully damaging to all life systems on earth. Yet, we are magical beings. We have intricate bodies, minds and imaginations. We are capable of so, so much more. There is so much beauty on the earth. Soil gives nutrients to plants. The sun infiltrates and charges life. Water provides life. One drop of water is fragile beauty, an ocean is a reservoir of life and power. Taking oil out of the crevices of the earth, is like draining blood vessels. Mining and splitting the earth is like slicing and tearing away skin. Do you feel joy exchanging a smile with another being? Delight in interacting with another creature? Do you realize that you have the choice through joining in your actions with many other people together, to make this earth into a paradise in a multitude of ways? Simply by making the decision and joining others to change habits and become the life force that walks away from the path of destruction and the monetary system within which we are entrenched. If we all do this together, it will actually be a spiritual leap of faith.

Joel is the founder of the Photo Ark, a groundbreaking effort to document species,

Joel Sartore the Photo Ark

Joel Sartore decided to photograph every life form. He’s the founder of the Photo Ark ” groundbreaking effort to document species before they disappear—and to get people to care while there’s still time.” The BBC did a feature on his work The man who takes studio photos of endangered species. as well.

At the same time, E.O. Wilson’s incentive is to catalogue all of earth’s species. He’s established the Biodiversity Foundation’s Half-Earth Project. “Half-Earth proposes an achievable plan to save our imperiled biosphere: to devote half the surface of the Earth to nature. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet”, says Edward O. Wilson.

E.O. Wilson, Biodiversity Foundation, Half-Earth Project

E.O. Wilson’s Biodiversity Foundation and Half-Earth Project

https://eowilsonfoundation.org/half-earth-our-planet-s-fight-for-life/

The reason I bring these people up who wish to remind us of what is out there and encourage us to do what we can to save their lives, is because we have come down a path that is wiping them out. Our habits of sophisticated locomotion, comfortable surroundings, tastes for food and beverages and entertainment, conveniences, comforts and luxuries as humans, come with a cost to the rest of the living planet and wildlife.

Certify your Garden to Wildlife; your yard, deck, windowsill, roof, local park or school. Learn what you can do, and do it.

We are suffocating our atmosphere, putting toxins into our soils, choking our planet’s coastlines, waterways and oceans with plastic. An article in a New Zealand paper a year ago states, “Drowning our marine life in a growing sea of plastic.” 27 Mar, 2017

Plastic Ocean Still from Australian documentary NZHerald

Plastic Ocean Still from Australian documentary NZHerald

Plastic Oceans Foundation is a global charitable organization that aims to change the worlds’ attitude to plastic in a single generation. They’ve created a film Plastic Ocean. Here’s the trailer of A Plastic Ocean.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Five major collections of garbage due to ocean currents.

Particles of plastic of all shapes and sizes are being found in the farthest islands from civilization, inside the stomachs of migratory birds and in whales. Researchers indicate that they find typically 100 to 200 pieces of plastic in the stomachs of birds. A beached whale had more than a 1,000 pieces of plastic in its stomach. As plastic gets baked in the sun and tossed around, it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces, and is often misidentified as food all along the food chain of ocean creatures.

Boyan Slat, rid oceans of plastic

Boyan Slat: How we will rid the oceans of plastic

 

Fortunately, there are a number of individuals and groups of people who recognize this and are doing fantastic things to mitigate problems from deforestation to replanting, cleaning, finding ways to dissuade  people from using plastics, educate them, devise ways to encourage people to recycle and exchange plastic for currency and who are cleaning it up.

 

 

Yet the reason that I started this blog was when I learned of several dolphin stranding events that occurred a weekend ago. And as I was putting together this article, a week later another stranding happened. I found plenty of articles showing a correspondence between naval sonar exercises as well as industrial seismic testing with mass stranding events (landing out of the water and unable to swim back in) of various marine mammals. I’m talking about species that are social, intelligent, humorous, playful and gregarious. I’ve written to several international marine mammal groups and several responded, yet none indicated a direct association to naval sonar exercises or petroleum exploration recent enough to indicate that their seismic testing may have affected these pods. I however, am inclined to think that if these were previously associated, with a correspondence between these underwater invasive sound activities that travel easily through the medium of water and are extremely loud, that these pulses would indeed affect these species who use echolocation to find their food, detect their predators and to navigate. If it has already been linked, why is it not recognized or talked about?

Senator for Queensland to Australia questions regarding Active Sonar

Senator for Queensland to Australia questions regarding Active Sonar

 

https://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/

RIMPAC CPF Navy Warship Exercises

Comments steered me to references of naval (military) activities in the region where these recent dolphin deaths occurred. I was pointed to RIMPAC and Raytheon.  I looked up The Raytheon Company – a major U.S. defense contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics.

Raytheon gets $37 million SM-6 and SM-2 missiles contract modification Nov 27, 2018 in Maritime Security, Missiles & Bombs, News

I was told about RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. And found this very proud pro war-games propaganda video “News Alert – World’s Largest Naval Exercise Rimpac 2018 Begins, China Un-Invited

Though the article a week ago regarding 145 Pilot Whales Found Dead on Remote New Zealand Beach, Nobody Knows Why (Pilot Whales are dolphins), I feel like there’s a silence about this. There have been discoveries of damaged tissue, acoustic trauma and hemorrhaging around the ear.

145 Pilot Whales Found Dead on Remote New Zealand Beach. Nobody Knows Why.

145 Pilot Whales Found Dead on Remote New Zealand Beach. Nobody Knows Why.

This article refers to the one that happened a few days ago. 51 Pilot Whales Die in Another Mass Stranding in New Zealand.

This somewhat recent article hints at sonar, but will not make a clear statement indicating that this was the cause. “Dead whales that washed up on Irish beaches ‘may have been killed by military sonar” Thursday 9 August 2018 “The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said the strandings coincided with naval manoeuvres following the reported sighting of a foreign submarine in British waters. No connection between the whales’ deaths and the naval manoeuvres was established.” Hmmm, once again, no idea? No connection!

Greenpeace talks about whale and dolphin injury and deaths due to Seismic & Sonar Testing. They say that according to government estimates, 138,500 whales and dolphins will soon be injured and possibly killed along the east coast of the U.S., if exploration companies are allowed to use dangerous blasts of noise to search for offshore oil and gas. Just as the reports I read from the New Zealand government report on pathologies of marine mammals, none of the reports really divulged what may have caused the death. These are individuals working in a government office. I met an American who was a Climate Scientist working for the State of California who told me he was warned not to mention the word ‘global warming’ in any of his reports as early as 1991. He confided that his studies always lead to mentioning the phenomenon. I’m thinking that the lack of mentioning a correlation with sonar or seismic testing of the Australian government bureau may also be because the employees are dissuaded from mentioning this.

Center for Biological Diversity, sonar, seismic testing

The Center for BiologicalDiversity is well aware of the deleterious impacts of sonar and seismic testing.

Seismic blasting diagram, biologicaldiversity

Seismic blasting diagram center for biologicaldiversity

The correlation is certainly there. Well, where exactly are our heads at? Certainly the Navy is going to be the last to admit that they’re killing dolphins.

I sent a letter of inquiry to a handful of international whaling organizations asking if they have any more information on this connection? I did receive several responses. So far, the two that wrote back didn’t make that correlation. The dolphins were too remote to get to before decomposition begins, which emulates the findings of damaged tissue from sonar or seismic activity, then it’s too late to detect specific deterioration from what had been the cause. I asked if they were aware of autopsies being conducted regarding signs of deafness, damaged tissues, acoustic trauma or hemorrhaging around the ear? Mentioning that although certainly ingestion of plastics is a tremendous problem leading to toxicity and death, the stranding of an entire group points to an event that effected them during a fixed period of time.

They didn’t find this correlation. One responded with an official New Zealand government link to Marine Mammal Pathology Reports, which upon perusing a few, I didn’t see any indicating plastic or naval sonar. In fact, none of them point to any projected cause.  I investigated current 2018 Australian Naval exercises, didn’t yet find any specific report (to the public) but found for example this. The NZ response mentioned that “The most recent petroleum seismic survey in New Zealand finished on 30 Mar 2018, so this is unlikely to be related.”

 

I guess PTSD isn’t considered with respect to marine mammals who’ve been forced to exposure of extremely loud noises. Of course it is disruptive and cumulative. Of course it would lead to deafness and affect the function of sensitive organs , when one’s entire operating system – echolocation – relies on subtle sound detection.

 

A naval report Thales to Upgrade Sonars on Australia’s fleet of Collins-class Submarines with a lot of military propaganda. “Australia’s strategic priority on enhancing its submarine capability will be supported by Thales through major upgrades of the sonar systems on all six Collins class submarines. A$230million contract with Thales is part of a A$542million project approved by the Australian Government for the upgrade of the Collins class sensor capabilities, the key to extending the life and the regional superiority of the Collins fleet.”

In the meantime I’d just watched this video by Robert Reich, THE MONOPOLIZATION OF AMERICA: The Biggest Economic Problem You’re Hearing Almost Nothing About He explains that a century ago there were anti-trust laws preventing any company from getting too large, but they disappeared during the Reagan years. Reich points out that the less businesses there are in competition, the more that the few who are in control can create their own prices as well as the wage standards. No competitor, no problem, for those making the rules.

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Monsanto Owns Genetics

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Monsanto Owns Genetically most soy and corn

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Walmart Drives Down Workers Wages

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Walmart Drives Down Workers Wages

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Health Care Monopolies 2015

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Health Care Monopolies 2015

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Health Care Monopolies 2016

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Health Care Monopolies 2016

And then I saw this bit of information

 USA, business, Walmart Nation, Health Care, Boeing

The USA according to what businesses ‘control’ each state. Walmart Nation, Health Care Boeing

I noticed how odd it is that Health Care is a business, an obviously really, really big moneymaker. Hmmm, and then Boeing, a weapons manufacturer. ok. The Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, and missiles worldwide. Yes, the same Boeing which Withheld Information on 737 Model, According to Safety Experts and Others. You know, that most recent airline crash in Indonesia.C

Military/Naval use of seismic testing to detect enemy submarines and underwater electronic weapons testing and industrial exploration to detect resources they wish to split open the earth to access. These I believe are completely in synch with the stranding, um, lets call it mass death.

Stranding sounds too harmless, a better word is ECOCIDE. If there is any correlation to the fact that this has occurred once, it means that the people of the world who are continuing an activity that they consciously know is killing another species, I would say is killing, silently, without regard. And as long as they can keep a lid on it, they will.

Well, hmmm. The technology for war and manufacturing – seismic testing – is causing staggering loss.

Transnational BANKS, CORPORATE INDUSTRIAL Monopolies and MILITARY > are DRIVING RELENTLESS GROWTH and FINANCING EXTINCTION.

There have been suggests on many fronts that we need to reintroduce the commons, so treasured land and water and air resources are commonly held among all of the people. And in the process of valuing, establishing parks and community gardens and places for people to come together in the arts and sciences, all people can participate in building this community; re establishing the common wealth and common health, as George Monbiot eludes to in Common Wealth 2nd October 2017

Monstrous Defense Budget of USA

Federal Budget the Costs of Being an Empire

Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote on November 1, 2018 The American Economy Is Rigged, And what we can do about it “Markets do not exist in a vacuum: they are shaped by rules and regulations, which can be designed to favor one group over another.”

The military is big business. It’s not just about defense, it’s integrated into the economic system, manufacturing, jobs, investments, just like  big industry. These have a presence in all powerful countries. So the scale is continually tipped towards investments and money, with the natural environment and the preservation of life and wilderness, not good for finances. This massive infrastructure of manufacturing weapons, building sophisticated information systems, to fleets of ships, submarines and jets, and upgrading technology to be the most powerful to penetrate everything, to be the feared and powerful enemy, is all part of the global market, keeping business and money, flowing.

Most of the wealthy nations and multinational companies that bolster this military presence, basically adhere to the same stance: war, might, deterrence and growing the GDP in profits in the multi-billions: USD $, AUD $, GBP £, EUR €, CNY ¥, CAD C$, HKD HK$, INR Rs., JPY ¥….

And all of us are participating in one way or another. Grade schools are grooming kids to stay in line. Patriotism plays a big role as well. Patriotism to the school, to the country. Military is considered honorable. Media and broadcast TV show idols. We are encouraged as young adults to decide what we wish to provide through our services to the world. We start working or enter into vocational schools, colleges and universities. The military in its different guises is a lure, secure income, free education. Many students are persuaded to study not necessarily what they feel the most connection to, but what will make the most money. Along with consolidating companies, minds are getting shrunk into mirroring this value of money and profit above all else. Thing is, it’s maybe not so easy to decipher how what they are doing for their work is affecting other life. We have this extraordinarily beautiful earth and delightful creatures whose habitat continues to shrink as the big box stores, the Walmarts, the Coscos, the Starbucks, the CVS…keep building more and more branches, mowing down trees and tasteful buildings and paving more parking lots as cities all over the USA have the same ugly car-centered peripheral sprawl of all of the chains and box stores. Is that really what we want? Or are we sort of indoctrinated into thinking that we need to keep buying, that this is what life is all about. And we keep feeling a crunch of money and time, and keep rushing to go out and buy more. It is perhaps difficult to find the time or space or luxury to step back and know that our work and habits may be contributing to some very nasty stuff. But perhaps it’s not quite in our consciousness, and therefore not really in our conscience to be bothered if the work we do isn’t meaningful or is paving the way to more destruction of our natural world? Perhaps the huge narcotic epidemic in the USA is because of all of this emphasis on financial wealth and power, with little connection to how much we are violating the earth and the habitats of its creatures. I’d rather see a bunch of fields of flowers and groves of trees, bicycle paths, community gardens and fruit and nut trees in parks than more Walmarts or other box stores. I think a lot of people would be a lot healthier and happier if they were out with friends and families playing outdoors and interacting with one another in parks than having to have the newest and latest fashion, shoes, watches, phones, computers, tv monitors, cars. We are sort of drilled into thinking that we need all this stuff, and that ‘getting the best deal is more important’ than the fact that Walmart has wiped out all of your local markets, that Amazon has put all your favorite little shops out of business and that there’s hardly any green left as these massive businesses keep slapping them up as fast and efficiently and cheaply as they can.

This is violence to the earth and its creatures. Building more and more box commercial chains, outlets, malls appears to be what people want, but I think its a seduction game into making people feel that they NEED these things to be loved and lovable. Or that an engine is an extension of one’s manhood and therefore showing someone’s worth. Fighting so called enemies in wars, drilling, fracking, draining, cutting, slicing, spoiling environments, destroying beauty and habitats is violence to the being (the earth and its creatures) which is our life support system which gave us the gift of life and all of these wonderful creatures to watch in endearment to share it with. How far can a person go making choices, or simply not paying attention to the repercussions of their actions? How long can people distract themselves and not have the community resources to understand how their habits are affecting creatures near and far? Many are so time-challenged and consumed with making ends meet their tastes, that they do not comprehend the larger picture, nor wish to.

Humans are highly social creatures. As babies, we learn through watching, listening and observing our surroundings with all of our senses Then we adapt into discovering who we are through interactions with our parents, at school, with teachers, peers. Cultural institutions monitor us and guide us. Modern western man over a period of time shifted to a very comfort driven, consumer oriented culture in the land of plenty. And this idolatry for gadgets and all that glistens and gives us glamour and freedom, comes at a cost.

Just when we were catching on to all that money can buy, we started to get more indoctrinated into being patriotic to our countries. As war became the focus with WWI, this marriage of industry and government seemed to launch. People were living well, standard of living associated with goods manufactured and profits made through war. In the latter part of the last century, more businesses consolidated, and the money firmly linked to the government and continually to weapons manufacture and war.

Do I sound unpatriotic? If Patriotism implies looking the other way when the means of employment is to build weapons, approach other people by trying to overpower them instead of looking another human being in the eye, or regarding any creature as a subject that is incredible with fascinating life, to destroy it because it’s in the way of my profit, or choke it’s air, pollute it’s water and soil and basically kill anything that gets in the way of the corporation or state, then yes indeed, I am not patriotic.

A song by the British band The English Beat talks satirically about youth being indoctrinated into working in industries making weapons or things you don’t need that will screw up everything it touches. That’s a pretty common understanding these days.

The English Beat song Get a Job

There’s a training course
boys and girls of real ambition
start a new job in a factory
where they’re making ammunition
but it makes them think of stealing
when they read between the lines
through the owners of this funfair
you won’t find a ride you like
just get-a-job, get-a-job

manufacture rubbish
although no one can afford it
you could make a profit
more than anyone deserves
so you find you’re left with poison
so you dump it in our water
and so create the kind of problems
only radiation cures
through get-a-job, get-a-job
get-a-job, get-a-job

oh you young people are revolting
8 to 5 life should give the jolt needed
in a few years you won’t feel quite the same
you’ll be playing their get-a-job game
games games games games

there’s a training camp when
you come from saving nations
get a new job and a new leg
social rehabilitation
every time you thing of leaving
you get caught between the lines (lies)
it’s the training for the funfair
you get taken for a ride
you! get-a-job get-a-job
just get-a-job, get-a-job
just get-a-job, get-a-job

Oh, it’s an understanding that things may suffer from the job, but completely misunderstood that the person is choosing to do something that is really bad for their own spirit and health and bad for others, bad for our living planet, bad for life systems and destroying biodiversity.

That’s why I feel so much hope when a youthful person stands up and says what many adults are not wanting to talk about or hear. The 15 year old Swedish girl,Greta Thunberg made a speech in English in London at theExtinction Rebellion launch. She went on a school strike and then Greta sat before the Swedish Parliament stating that the government and the grownups are doing NOTHING, regardless of all the facts.

Greta Thunberg, speech Swedish Parliament, Swedish Schoolstrike

Greta’s powerful speech to Swedish people before the Parliament

There are individuals and entrepreneurs and nations taking action to deal with plastic crisis. But there’s nothing more important than recognizing that change can happen. Coming through education and arts and activities within your own communities. We can drive that change. If one young girl has already sparked and inspired students in Australia, in another continent, this can ripple. We need to look very, very hard, at what we are choosing, so that we don’t lose what is most precious. You may think your own immediate children are the most precious, but what if there are no trees, woods, grasses, available food, no clean oceans or rivers or lakes, or air, and no other life? It is an astoundingly clear choice to me. We’ve got to make some changes, and we’re going to do this together. And plenty of people are pointing the way, and your own ideas will be as valuable as anyones, collaboratively we will create this change.

Greta states in her speech before the Swedish Parliament, “To all of you who choose to look the other way every day because you seem more frightened of the changes that can prevent catastrophic climate change than the catastrophic climate change itself. Your silence is almost worst of all. The future of all the coming generations rests on your shoulder. Every single person counts. Just like every single emission counts. Every single kilo. Everything counts.”

Geert Weggenhe Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2018

Geert Weggenhe Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2018

Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ben & Jerry's

Global Warming. Climate Change. Climate Justice. Ben & Jerry’s

Stop Look Smile Appreciate All Life It's Free

Stop Look Smile
Appreciate All Life
It’s Free

Joel Sartore, photo ark, blogger, Carol Keiter

Joel Sartore photo ark picture and the blogger, Carol Keiter

What can I say? I simply did not want to break up how I wish to present these topics, because they are integrally interrelated.

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The Eloquently and Elegantly stated Truth

Nothing is more important than reading this. And then reading it again.

The most elegant and eloquent presentation of the facts, that anyone who can understand words, must be persuaded to hear and respond to emotionally and intuitively as the truth.

I have merely copied and pasted the text of this writing within the link below (minus the original links within it), feeling it to be the utterly most important statement of vast insight, that everyone must read. And continue to talk.

-.—.—-.—–.——.-.—.—-.—–.——.-.—.—-.—–.——.-.—.—-.—–.—-.-.—.–.-

http://www.grenzbegriff.com/2017/10/leaving.html

 

these are my words at the time of writing — I am more like tree than rock — as I bend to reach the sunlight

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Leaving

Hi friends,

I’m leaving Google at the end of next week.

There’s too much I want to say.  🙂

I spent the summer away from work, outdoors in Oregon, awash in beauty.  I learned a lot.  I wept at how we’re treating the earth, as I rode past mile after mile of logged forests, polluted streams, and lifeless monocrop fields.

I got to be part of what I’ll call “alternative culture”, to explore ways of meeting all of our human needs through local community alternatives to basically everything we currently use money for.  I wrote some about this time here on this blog.  I barely scratched the surface though.  More and more people, perhaps millions now even in the West, are devoting their lives to new (and sometimes ancient) ways of living in healthy relationship with each other and with the earth.  While they are usually partly within the current system, when all of these new ways of living come together, the current system becomes obsolete.  I see joyous glimpses of this everywhere.

Meanwhile our dominant civilization is killing its own foundation: the healthy web of life on earth.  Through deforestation and pollution we are destroying the ability of the planet to support all forms of life.  We can see this in the oceans where the fish populations are collapsing, the silent fields that were once thriving forests, and the deserts where millions of people go hungry in drought.  This ecological crisis can’t be solved simply by swapping oil for solar panels.  I’m no longer optimistic that we will soon fix these problems with some new technology.  It’s quite possible that climate change is exacerbating the storms and droughts and fires, and that these will continue to become more severe in the next years.

The effects are not evenly distributed.  The unhoused breathe wildfire smoke while many of the housed have filtered air.  Some of us see our homes flooded or burnt while for others business continues as usual.  Most communities in the country and increasingly in the world have lost the ability to sustain themselves from their land, and now must import almost everything they need from elsewhere, which becomes precarious when those importing the goods see no profit in it (food deserts), or when disaster breaks down the supply line like in Puerto Rico.  Many communities no longer have access to clean water, or are losing it as I write.  On Monday I listened to a man from Guatemala talk about a new silver mine near his home that is polluting and drying up the water supply for many villages there.  Almost all silver is used to produce electronics, and demand is rising.  In Oregon this summer, ancient trees thousands of years old were cleared for fire breaks.  The entire planet is being saturated with chemicals that we ought never to have created.  These kinds of damage cannot be undone or fixed by technology.  The story for other species is even worse, as most wild animal populations have died off and we pack billions of animals in cages in horrific factory farms.  The coral reefs, the rhinos, the ancient forests, the whales, and even the insects… who speaks for them?  Some people do, and they end up in jail if their actions threaten profits.  Profits are made at the expense of Life.

And within our civilization, we have more prisoners and refugees, more drugs and anxiety and depression and stress and addiction than ever.  Even in wealthy regions, most people don’t like the work they do all day.  It’s also not physically healthy to be indoors or using a computer or riding in vehicles for as many hours as many of us who are “successful” do.  What is happening to us?

It seems the leaders of our world are apathetic or powerless, as they fight over the most gaudy deck chairs on this titanic.  While it pains me, I don’t hate them for this; their actions are the product of a traumatic history that touches all of us.  They don’t know what they’re doing.

I envision a more beautiful world where humans have a healthy part to play, to love and respect the earth, not to dominate and exploit it.  I see many people living that vision already, and want to live my life in service to it.  I see the extremes of both ugliness and beauty grow more stark.  Ugliness as we close down and protect ourselves from the ‘other’, beauty as we come together in community, in love with mother earth.  Will “society” as a whole make some kind of transition, or continue the march into dystopia and eventual chaos?  I don’t know.  It will be both at the same time.  Some people are already in an obvious dystopia, some are in a beautiful place yet in the shadow of a collapsing ecosystem.  To hope for a peaceful transition would be to ignore the incredible violence on which the current system lives.  It will be violent because it already is.  May we learn to be kind to each other as these changes unfold.

It’s been said that we need the darkness to see the stars.  We can open ourselves to what is happening, feel and honor our pain, grieve what is lost, and revel in our deep gratitude for the beauty of life.  I don’t mean to be a downer pointing at all this ugliness.  I feel that we have a deep need to see it and acknowledge it.  It makes the beauty that much more precious and worth living for.

“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
-Mary Oliver

What should we do then?

I don’t know exactly what we should do.  I don’t have a rational “here’s what everyone needs to do” that will resolve all of these crises.  I want to let go of my need to control what happens, because I’m really not in control.  At the same time, even if I let go and accept whatever comes, I am a human being and it is natural for me to care and want to help, to serve what I love.  I will not deny that part of me either.  So I find myself thinking about how to help, even if it seems “hopeless” overall.  I need not stress about the outcomes, but I will still act.  What else would I do with my few short years here?

So what might I do to be practical?

I don’t believe our technology is serving us well.  We, the wealthy humans near the top of the power hierarchy may see it as indispensable, but if we consider the animals or the fish or the trees or the laborers in the sweatshops and mines and plantations, it’s not working out so well.  Yes, our technology relieves some suffering in some places, but at what cost?  We simply do not, and probably cannot, count the costs of development.  I am not enthusiastic that further technological progress will heal us.

I also don’t believe that our problems are mostly due to money being in the wrong hands.  Measuring everything by monetary value seems to me one of the roots of the crises.  The mentality that values money over life drives much of the pollution and resource extraction and oppression around the world, since humans first accumulated “property” and enslaved each other.  I don’t feel that getting as much money as I can and giving it to the non-profit side of the system is the best way for me to serve what I love.  I feel that the money abstraction and the distance it puts between us and the effects of our actions makes us feel disconnected and alone.

I also don’t like our culture’s valuing of measurable impact over everything else.  Much of what is precious to me cannot be measured.  What’s the measurable value of a 5000 year old yew tree?  What’s the measurable value of caring for a disabled child?

“May what I do flow from me like a river
no forcing
and no holding back
the way it is with children.”
-Rilke

So I don’t know what we all should do exactly, and I don’t know what I will do beyond the short term.  I’m skeptical of money and the dominant culture’s value system.  I want to trust what makes me feel alive over our culture’s normal stories that usually are rooted in fear.  I recognize that I’m one of the most privileged people in the world.  I know most people do not have the options that I have.  I don’t mean to judge, only to encourage.

Right now what’s happening is I’ve been living in a homeless protest encampment in Berkeley the last couple months, which has given me still another perspective on our society.  It got interesting this weekend and we’re fighting eviction, hoping to benefit and inspire homeless communities around the country.  With all of the disaster and war refugees today, and housing crises in many places, there are more and more people who can’t have regular housing, and we could learn to live together with more kindness and understanding.  I’m also involved with the community here in other ways like Food Not Bombs.  I expect soon I’ll be moving on to other places, to learn and to live in service to what I love.  To restore soil and help plants grow and be community.

I’ve learned I don’t need much money to live well myself, so I don’t need to earn it for myself.  Perhaps my perspective on money and impact will change and I’ll eventually decide that earning money and supporting my many friends who don’t have much money in their various causes is the best way to contribute, and then I might return to a job, but we’ll see.  “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

Wherever I am, I’ll be with some kind of community learning how to live in healthier relationship with each other and with the earth.  There’ll be dark moments and joyous moments, and this is life.  Life is good.  Whatever comes, I will give attention to the beauty around me, the beauty of community and of nature and of every form.  Beauty everywhere begs our attention.

“An eye is meant to see things.
The soul is here for its own joy.

A head has one use: For loving a true love.
Feet: To chase after.

Rumi quote Spirit Mind

Rumi quote Spirit Mind

carol return hitch from Taos, New Mexico

carol the blogger on her return hitch from Taos, New Mexico to Santa Fe. One side of my sign said Santa Fe, the other, Fanta Se

Bill Hicks | piercing and hilarious comic | who exposed all

Prayers of peace and comfort to the earthquake and tsunami victims of Japan and surrounding areas.

Somehow, I had not known of Bill while he was alive, and only discovered him from a comedian here in Berlin. I fully appreciate his insights!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Hicks

“Revelations” Series of 8; in 8, he rocks the quantum level!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBbHfI8jfmg

“Sane Man” Part 1 of 9

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjNT_dTeB8

Something Appearing out of Nothing

Sitting with a broken left clavicle after having had a harsh collision involving my body, acceleration, gravity and terra firma – while attempting to catch a disc in the end zone in an ultimate frisbee game – I’ve had the opportunity to slow down and have my life go into a bit of a slow mindful motion…or at least that’s what appears to be gently landing into my routine. I had been actively referencing aspects of this oil spill crisis and the conflicting images of Obama and what he has and hasn’t supported…on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/carol.keiter
and decided to cross reference some of these here, along and with some inspiring words.

Quotations “A human being is a part of the whole called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. One experiences one’s self, our thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical illusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

In a previous blog about my hitchhiking adventure, I incorporated this link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6ehS_94hvo

The Indians mention that these holy crystal sculls of silica are able to store gigantic amounts of knowledge – a cosmic memory – enabling us to leave our prison of limited consciousness and open us up to new dimensions in space and time. It’s another angle of the concept which Einstein was talking about in this statement.

I find the contents of this note written on their 25th Anniversary Issue, by Eric Utne who founded Utne Reader, to be really encouraging. Especially reading through to the 2nd page, of his hopes for what can happen! with hope and love,
Carol

http://www.utne.com/Media/25-Years-and-Dreaming.aspx

I’ve just gathered various wall postings on my Facebook page over the last few hours/day, to repost here!

I was once again aghast when I heard that Obama was planning to open up legislation allowing oil companies to drill for oil in various oceans around the US – for the 1st time in 20 years. (The first time I was shocked was when he mentioned Afghanistan before he was even elected.) Drilling for oil in pristine waters just didn’t seem to follow or be congruent with what I thought Obama stands for. And I have been absolutely devastated and literally crying about what is happening in terms of the amounts of oil continually gushing into the gulf. I feel complete sorrow for all of the helpless wildlife, and sure, I know what it is to struggle for work too and sympathize with the people. We can employ a lot of people if we start researching and implementing renewable energy sources on a massive scale….there are a lot of things that can blossom from these disasters, such as gaining footholds in a completely new healthy direction; introducing more transparency, more open-source type concepts, tear down the borders separating people, find the core within all of us that we share, and respectfully live in harmony with all of life – including this planet. Sometimes it takes going in the wrong direction, to discern that it is a wrong direction, before we can make steps in the right one. Let’s stop letting apathy or delusions about money get in the way of life, of humanity, of human beingness and becoming…and have integrity to say what we know is right and let our voices be heard towards > building new paths and strengthening our hearts and minds in new directions. Life and love beyond borders.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_offshore_drilling/?rc=fb

and more! an inconvenient truth about the current ‘climate bill’
…”Outrageously, and at great danger to our economy and ecosystem, this bill provides for new offshore oil drilling…To hear their arguments, you’d think the bill adds important safeguards and limits to offshore drilling. But in reality, it significantly expands offshore drilling. Given that hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil are spewing into the Gulf of Mexico each day with no end in sight, there is no excuse for increasing offshore drilling with this bill.”

http://www.credoaction.com/campaign/caa_kgl/?r=5518&id=9144-1050481-hQDHD2x

“Obama: This Is Your Crude Awakening”
https://secure.avaaz.org/act/index.php?r=act

https://secure.nrdconline.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1833

and as far as volunteering in the Gulf, these organizations have a clue, and can direct volunteers to attend intensive education and training, and then put people to work in whatever way that they can offer their services. A person needs to be trained because it’s really toxic!

http://www.audubonaction.org/site/Survey?ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=3400

or

https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/316/personalopt1.asp?formid=oilspill

I think the CEO’s of BP and Halliburton should get the fuck out there, take off their ties and get their fingers into cleaning up this toxic liquid black gold as well, and not just for a 10 minute photo-op.

https://secure3.convio.net/ucs/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2519&s_src=socnet&s_subsrc=facebook

https://secure.nrdconline.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1833

Happy Earth Day | Critical Beats |Chopra’s “Book of Secrets”

Hi there y’all!

In between the time that I’m trying to figure out how to fit into this world with the talents & interests that I have and what I like to do ‘-)… I also am searching…and came upon this, and I like it. Excerpts from Deepak Chopra’s “The Book of Secrets”.

http://www.spiritsite.com/writing/deecho/part40.shtml

Also, in the last couple days I opened an email and saw that DJ Spooky was hosting a contest to produce a song, incorporating sounds from Native American Indians of the Amazon. They provided recorded songs within their library, to which “we” create a song from a remix – in 24 hours. I did this, and realized I hadn’t really finely tuned my edits, cuz I hadn’t had enough time. And then they just announced this morning that they will extend it! yeah! so I’m about to dive back into the music software and hardware to polish what I had put together already. It’s called Critical Beats for the Climate!

http://www.criticalbeats.org/Critical_Beats_for_the_Climate/Welcome.html

http://criticalbeatsfortheclimate.bandcamp.com/album/earth-day-remix-contest-extended-2

Here is my song entry “Spirit_Of_Life_Beats” – remix of Indian Tribal songs, after a one day extension from the 1st deadline ‘-) Hey, it’s a little dark, but grave are the critical beats for our climate!

The first song on myspace http://www.myspace.com/nomadbeatz

And here are some highlights from “The Book of Secrets”:

“The greatest hunger in life is not for food, money, success, status, security, sex, or even love from the opposite sex.

The deepest hunger in life is a secret that is revealed only when a person is willing to unlock a hidden part of the self.

We live in the Age of the Higher Brain, the cerebral cortex that has grown enormously over the last few millennia, overshadowing the ancient, instinctive lower brain.

Ultimately you have to believe that your life is worth investigating with total passion and commitment. It took thousands of tiny decisions to keep the book of secrets closed, but it takes only a single moment to open it again.

I take it literally when the New Testament says, “Ask and you will receive, knock and the door will be opened.” It’s that simple. You will know every secret about life when you can truly say I must know.

The life you know is a thin layer of events covering a deeper reality. In the deeper reality, you are part of every event that is happening now, has ever happened, or ever will happen. In the deeper reality, you know absolutely who you are and what your purpose is. There is no confusion or conflict with any other person on earth. Your purpose in life is to help creation to expand and grow. When you look at yourself, you see only love.

Ever since you and I were born, we’ve had a constant stream of clues hinting at another world inside ourselves.

The body’s wisdom is a good entry point into the hidden dimensions of life, because although completely invisible, the body’s wisdom is undeniably real — a fact that medical researchers began to accept in the mid-1980s.

Signs of intelligence began to be discovered in the immune system, and then in the digestive system…Ten years ago, it would have seemed absurd to speak of intestines being intelligent… Now it turns out that the intestines are not so lowly after all. Their scattered nerve cells form a finely tuned system for reacting to outside events — an upsetting remark at work, the threat of danger, a death in the family. The stomach’s reactions are just as reliable as the brain’s thoughts, and just as intricate. Your colon, your liver, and your stomach cells also think, only not in the brain’s verbal language. What people had been calling a “gut reaction” turned out to be a mere hint of the complex intelligence at work in a hundred thousand billion cells.”

http://www.spiritsite.com/writing/deecho/index.shtml

with love,

Carol

Guides to Living Longer, Happier Lives – Right Here, Right Now!

I am in the midst of trying to re-organize a lot of things in my life. I have to move, again. I am also in the process of looking for work, because right at the same time I was informed that I must find a new place to live, several of my income sources also simultaneously “dried up”, like a local well suddenly becoming contaminated. Thing is, I have been aware of my need to upgrade to a deeper, larger and more vibrant watering hole before this whole process started, and now have no choice. I’ve been from the start trying to remain calm, and not let these impediments get in the way of things that I’ve wanted to participate in. And then yesterday, in the process of contemplating what I’d like to do, and of thinking about happiness in general, I went on yet another google research whirlwind to inquire among other things, ” Where in the world, people might be happier?”

One study which incorporated economic stability into the picture, according to this necessary ‘bias’ of the Western World…came up with Denmark as being the place where people are the happiest in the World. A dreary, gloomy often cloud covered place, where people enjoy a high standard of living, and also where there are more balanced socialized perspectives in terms of employment. In other words, there appears to be less of a social pecking order pyramid in terms of some jobs having more prestige, and more of an overall appreciation of life over work, and the idea that sharing and communicating optimism on a daily basis to others in one’s community is valued over the type of job one has.

http://www.financialjesus.com/how-to-get-rich/top-10-happiest-countries/

My point is not that I’m considering moving to Denmark. My search continued, and somehow in my trajectory I came upon this link, labeled the Blue Zones, which are what researchers discovered and labeled as the areas in the World which correspond to where people have the highest longevity.

http://www.bluezones.com

And in all of the material that I was reading and listening to, it became clear, that happiness is not a place that I or anyone else can find necessarily in a particular geographical place. It has to do with healthy physical and emotional habits; a balanced diet, a regular amount of physical activity and motion. It has much more to do with attitude than anything else. Having a sense of purpose in one’s life, recognizing the awe of life itself, in whatever way one chooses to approach this grand mystery, surrounding oneself with friends and family and embracing the daily changes with optimism.

In my other searches on ‘where people laugh and smile the most on earth’, since they don’t appear to do so with any high frequency here in Germany where I currently reside, I started doing searches.

It comes down to the fact that humor and laughter is universal in its health benefits, and I recall from the years of Thanksgiving dinners among extended family members, that there was a great deal of humor and laughter around the table, and physical exercise afterwards.

This link gets into a more philosophical inquiry about ‘what laughter is, and why we laugh’. One of the most stunning facts is that babies start laughing in the first months and kids laugh at least twice as much as adults. So, laughter is innate, is contagious just like yawning….and is associated with playful and light-hearted attitudes.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077386/

We all just need to be more playful, and take ourselves less seriously…in order to transmit good vibes to other people that will also ripple to others; the calming, healthier signals of slowing down, enjoying life and appreciating all of the delicate morsels that it has to offer.

http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm

Note, I had to research this stuff yesterday to be reminded, to not ‘stress’ and to be optimistic, about the task that I have before me. At least now I know, that I don’t have to make a mad dash to set up house in another city/country/continent to be happy or healthy, but merely seek out and incorporate healthy physical and emotional activities into my routine, with humor and delight – sharing with family and friends!

And don’t forget that we’re not alone on this planet ‘-)
http://www.avaaz.org/en/no_more_bloody_ivory/98.php?CLICK_TF_TRACK