311015 BLOK What happens when your mother dies? My parents never explained neither sex nor death to their children, so both came as a shock (to me at least)! Make sure as parents you explain both to your children at the right moment. Of course, a metaphor is useful. Kids are lucky that grow up on a farm, as they witness both birth and death firsthand. I learned about sex from my Jewish friend, camped out one night on our lawn. I was shocked! "What?" I was 13-years old! My mother's illness and death I simply couldn't deal with, the 'guilt' of not being there when she took her last bodily breath, the 'cancer' victorious. But, more than fifty years later she still breathes life into me! If she would have lived she'd be over 100-years of age. I sometimes wonder, me now at 75-years old, what our conversation would be like…? She always told me I would be famous one day, and on the cover of TIME MAGAZINE, as 'Man of the Year!' I don't think so, mother, as I've changed so much from your idea of me. She'd still love me of course, as all mothers do, but probably not understanding. Parents, the best thing they can do for their children is let them be, to become what they're supposed to, fulfilling their destinies. Of course, this is different from their parent's destiny, unique in their own way, yet similar because of the genes. They say you, your personality, is more like your grandparents, than your parents. I was lucky enough to know both my grandmothers, one we respected, the other we avoided. Now, at 75-years old (of grandparent's age) I can understand why they were the way they were. My father, the third of a third (me a third of a third), I'm very much alike, although have overcome his irresponsibility and alcoholism (well mostly). My father should have never married, although if he hadn't I wouldn't be here now writing about him. I don't believe in marriage, having divorced twice -- maybe the legacy of such. The Western modern culture we have created (by 2015) is fraught with material madness, violence and war! Humanity has lost its way, money and profit now God! My father drank himself to death because he thought he was a material failure! My mother died of a broken heart! I will not make the same mistakes! This is my parent's legacy! Progress! It's not the individual that's important, but the 'stream of life!' ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT, GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM! MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, LIFE IS BUT A DREAM! H.
291015 BLOK Animals don't seem to learn from experience. They eat shit and then vomit! Que hacer? They eat rat poison sometimes, and die. Ke garne? You have to protect them from themselves, like children. Sometimes you lose them, Nature's way. Only the strongest-wisest survive. Nature's way of improving the gene pool! What to do? Don't interfere with Nature! She knows best! This, an ego problem, as must try to rule, and thus, we slide down the slippery slope to extinction! Humanity ultimately stupid! H.
(CNN)The European Parliament voted Thursday in support of a resolution that calls on member states to protect Edward Snowden from extradition. The vote, which has no legal force, was 285-281. The resolution urges nations to drop criminal charges and "consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender." Snowden, a former contractor at the U.S. National Security Agency, leaked documents about top secret mass surveillance programs. He fled the United States in 2013 and spent more than a month living in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport before being granted asylum. On Twitter, Snowden called Thursday's vote a "game-changer." "This is not a blow against the US Government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward," he wrote. The Justice Department has said Snowden would face criminal prosecution if he returns to the United States. He's been charged with three felony counts, including violations of the U.S. Espionage Act. Snowden told the BBC this month that he has offered "many times" to go to prison in the United States as part of a deal to return from exile in Russia, but is still waiting for an answer from the American government. In response to Thursday's vote, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. policy on Snowden has not changed. "He needs to come back to the United States and face the due process and the judicial process here in the United States. That's been our position from the beginning. It's our belief that the man put U.S. national security in great danger and he needs to be held account to that," Kirby said.
281015 BLOK Thank you! Thank you, Panchamama (Mother Earth) For life; for death, The cycle of the sun, Always on the run! Luna The glowing tuna, Moves the oceans, The stars, The bars! The grave… The victory is in the nous, Not the noose! Cycle forth, Not for July, But for the sky! H.
26b1015 BLOK I tromp my shoed foot beneath my chair, fatally injuring a flying insect. It gamely tries to recover its life. Such causes me to feel for it, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Why? This can happen to me or you, and we wonder why me, why now? There is no explanation except life attracts death, and vice versa in Duality, our existence. It is clinging to such that causes the fear, the pain, when we shouldn't care! 'Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,' in the great cycle of life and death! H. Note: The 'wings' became 'lunch' for the ants! They bore it away to share. No destruction, no creation! "That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, The weary way worn wanderer bore To his own native shore!"
26a1015 BLOK Counting the moles on my Coat of Arms, I survey my charms. Having but four, Two on each limb, Way out on such, I want much, Without knowing. But, another pain, Not much to gain! Once diagnosed, The sentence of death: 'Cancer!' H.
261015 BLOK Rusel Picked up the 'pen,' And wrote a poem About a wren Chasing one in a dream, His imagination just a seam! He scratches and barks, An exaltation of larks. Waiting for a bone, He chews his thoughts alone, Waiting for Bomba! H. Note: Rusel, a male street dog currently with us. His 'mate,' Bomba, a female gone for longing...
231015 BLOK From 'The Monkey Wrench Gang' by Edward Abbey: pp. 60, 61: " The reason there are so many people on the (Colorado) river, these days (we're talking 1970s) is because there are too many people everywhere else (over population). The wilderness once offered people a plausible way of life. Now it functions as a psychiatric refuge. Soon there will be no wilderness. Soon there will be no place to go! Then the madness becomes universal! And the Universe goes mad! We are caught in the iron treads of a technological juggernaut. A mindless machine, with a breeder reactor for a heart! A planetary industrialism growing like cancer! Growth for profit! Power for wealth! The only hope for humanity is a catastrophe!"
221015 BLOK The first line of poetry I ever wrote… I was in Scotsdale, Arizona, U.S.A. on a writing job, something about marketing a hotel, the Ramada chain, where I was staying. It was desert hot, must have been summer, as 108F in the shade. I lived in the swimming pool along with other travelers. I was driving a rental automobile, with A.C., of course. One night I drove out north to find a legendary steak house. I was still a carnivore in those days, 1994, 54-years old. I was still a 'cowboy,' at heart having grown up in Tucson, Arizona, and living in Dallas, Texas, 'cowboy country!' After dinner, I drove back into town, stopping at a shopping mall. It as still early and I had nothing much to do. I parked and wandered around going no place in particular, the moon visible in the fading light of an 'Arizona HIghways' sunset. I ended up in a 'Shakespeare and Something' Bookstore. The irony of it. I had nothing in mind to purchase, just to be among the erudite. I picked up a few volumes, but replaced them after glancing through, again, nothing particular in mind. Then staring out their window at the sky, a line of poetry came to me like a falling star: 'A NEW MOON IN THE OLD DESERT… OR, AM I JUST RISING TO THE OCCASION?' The only poem I'd ever written was one on the back of an LP jacket, this in memory of my friend Nel Lehman, who was killed in Viet Nam. I sent it to his mother in Chicago (circa, 1973). The line of poetry (above) that came to me via 'Shakespeare,' was preparing me for a new and very different life, the one I have now, as a Taoist Mystic. To rise, one must fall, and to RISE MUCH, one must have a GREAT FALL (which I had just survived in Dallas, Texas). Consciousness (bewusstsein in German) is only achieved via struggles, pain and descending into the depths of Hell. You begin this quest 'not knowing that you don't know!' Achieving some degree of consciousness is when you 'know' that you 'no!' I've had three great crisis in my life, one just recently! It was another 'fork in the road!' But, after contemplating suicide, I took the road that said 'LIFE!' Thus, I continue to cycle down the 'road less traveled,' as it makes all the difference (in my life)! In the process I have shed yet another 'skin,' in becoming part of the Serpent of Light itself! H.
21b1015 BLOK The ants, They 'no' nothing of the weight, Just the quest to survive, Without ego, A cog in the machinery! Life, Following the drum and fife, Ants, they strum the ONENESS to life! H. P.S. I can feel the happiness as they 'party,' once we are gone, and not soon enough!
211015 BLOK Julianne, THE MESSENGER IS ALWAYS KILLED, one way or the other (figuratively or literally)! Dick doesn't like the content, Julianne doesn't like the style! Experience with this email group (and I have many) has confirmed, once and for all time, what I already knew: THERE IS INFINITE HOPE, BUT NOT FOR US! (humanity, the modern version) -- F. Kafka. I leave you with more two quotes: From THE HERZOG LEGACY, by Gertrude Schwitzer (a wonderful novel, by the way): pp.332: "When I was young (and dumber), I thought I could make life happen as I wanted, mold it to my heart's desire. I was wrong, but I don't think Fate had much to do with it. As Cassius said to Brutus, 'The fault isn't in our stars. It's in ourselves!" Note, as we never seem to evolve! You used the word 'freedom,' in your last message: FREEDOM IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE! Janis Joplin H.
Richard, can't you see a simple truth, that when you cast the conservative Republicans as 'bad,' that this makes you 'good,' (as a liberal Democrat)? Your ego needs this to feel good about 'itself!' All egos need this! And herein lies the problem!
The Ego was born with Duality, symbolized in the Christian 'Garden of Eden' myth (man blaming woman, of course).
Richard, everyone, every adult, knows they're right, you, me, from Trump to Bernie, from Xi, to Putin, to Morales, ad infinitum! It's always 'the other guy,' that's wrong! Thus, the problem with humanity nee all the violence and wars!
The solution? Consciousness, (bewusstsein, in German, conocimientos in Spanish)! This is a state of understanding, in which the ego is under control! You once defined what a person is like when they don't have consciousness: "It's when you don't know, that you don't know!' This is about 99% of the world's population!
One way to control the ego is via our Tantric Taoism, using a sexual 'metawhor,' to unite with the Divine ('Oneness'). The first step is getting control of the ego!
There is no objective reality to us, only Singularity (the 'Oneness'). The idea of a 'God,' is everything! The only 'battle,' is with the ego, ourselves -- the most difficult to combat!
But, as long as we make others 'bad,' and ourselves 'right' and 'good,' there will continue to be trouble: disagreement ('I'm 'right' and you're 'wrong!'), nee violence and wars!
Look at the world today in 2015! Suffering is everywhere! Why? Man's inability to overcome himself (his ego)!
Money-profit has become God! The 'battle' that Karen discusses in her book, has been lost!
What to do? From the Talmud, the Jewish Book of Wisdom: ENDLESS ACTS OF COMPASSION! It is the only way to live! It's the only solution!
Here is something that is noteworthy, about life, from John Steinbeck's EAST OF EDEN:
This a wonderful explanation of the Dual world we call 'reality,' our bodily existence:
"I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught--in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too--in a net of good and evil! I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field, river, and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A person, after they have brushed off the dust and chips of their lives, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it for good or evil? Have I done well, or harmed?
I am certain that people want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempts to be loved. When a person comes to die, no matter what their talents and influence and even genius may have been, if they die unloved their lives must be called a failure. It seems to me we should remember our dying and try so to live that our deaths brings no pleasure to the world!
We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, all motion pictures, are built on the never-ending contest of good versus evil--the internal struggle of such in each of us. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world!"
Note, EAST OF EDEN was written shortly after the end of WWII. Have we developed beyond these ideas, or are we still mired in this Dual concept of reality? What do you think?
STORSKOG, Norway — Pelted by hailstones and buffeted by an icy wind, Yasir Arslanuk, a 55-year-old Syrian engineer, his wife and two young sons wobbled across the border from Russia into Norway astride bicycles last week, the latest migrants to complete an improbable new route to Europe.
This Norwegian outpost, 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle, is hardlyLampedusa, an Italian island where migrants coming on rickety boats across the Mediterranean from Libya often land, or Lesbos, a Greek island that has become the primary transit point for refugees coming by rubber raft from Turkey.
But in recent months, refugees from places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have started to flow in growing numbers through Russia into the northernmost reaches of Europe, making this remote crossing an increasingly popular back door for people fleeing war and persecution, or simply looking for a better life. Speaking to center-right members of the European Parliament on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany cited the Arctic crossing into Norway as evidence of how refugees will carve out “the most mind-boggling” alternatives if governments try to close off the traditional paths through southern and central Europe.
The trip, Mr. Arslanuk said after dismounting his bike and seeking shelter in a heated orange tent on the Norwegian side of the border, “is better than going by sea,” the hazardous option chosen by most of the more than half a million migrants who have made it to Europe so far this year.
After just a handful of migrant crossings here in the first half of this year, the number “exploded” in September, with 420 asylum seekers pedaling into northern Norway at Storskog, said Stein Kristian Hansen, the police superintendent in charge of the Norwegian border post. So far this week, 263 arrived via the Arctic route — a tiny number compared to the thousands arriving daily in Greece and Italy, but a record here.
Many of the arrivals, Mr. Hansen said, seemed to have little idea where they were exactly and had bought no warm clothes. But, encouraged by a flurry of reports on social media about how well Norway treats refugees, they rushed through Russia to reach Europe’s northernmost frontier. It is not snowing here yet, but temperatures have already dipped close to freezing.
“The next stop is the North Pole,” Mr. Hansen said of the outpost’s remoteness.
Some of them, including Mr. Arslanuk, are Russian-speaking Syrians who were already living in Russia and see the border with Norway as a path to a better life at a time when Syrian citizenship generally confers refugee status in Europe. Others, having heard of the new route into Europe, are traveling through Russia to the border rather than taking the more established but riskier paths.
A 21-year-old Syrian woman who gave only her first name, Dana, said her father, mother and brother had made it to Germany this summer through the Balkans and had sent horrific reports of their journey to Greece from Turkey. The Arctic, she decided, was easier.
Word of the Norwegian route has spread so far and fast via social media that some Syrian refugees in Lebanon are now trying to get visas to Russia in hopes of getting to this Arctic border post, according to migrants with friends and family in Lebanon.
For those who make it, the oddity of the route continues to the very end. A Russian ban on pedestrian traffic across the border at Storskog, and Norwegian threats to prosecute motorists who give rides to people without visas, mean that migrants, even young children and the infirm, have to use bicycles to complete the last few dozen yards of an exodus that in some cases began thousands of miles away.
Once in Russia, it costs migrants only a few hundred dollars to secure transportation to the border and a bicycle, far less than the more than $1,500 that Turkish smugglers often charge to ferry migrants across the Aegean Sea to Greece.
The bicycle-borne flow into Norway underscores not only the dogged determination of migrants but also Russia’s curious role in helping to drain the population from Syria, a country that President Vladimir V. Putin views as a vital ally and whose leader, Bashar al-Assad, he is now helping with bombing raids against the opposition.
“Putin loves Assad and Assad loves Putin, but neither of them like Syrians,” Mr. Arslanuk said, adding that he had nothing but disgust for both the government in Damascus and its armed opponents. Refugees say guards on the Russian side of the border sometimes ask Syrians why they do not return home and support Mr. Assad, but they then wave them on down a narrow road toward Norway and inform their Norwegian colleagues by telephone that another group without visas is about to arrive.
“They call us ‘blacks’ and just want us to leave,” said Valid Jumaleizu, 35, a Syrian who worked for a time in Russia sewing clothes but could not earn enough to support his family in Aleppo and decided Europe offered better prospects.
In 2014, only five people crossed the frontier here from Russia seeking asylum, said Mr. Hansen, the border police chief. So far this year, more than 600 — 78 percent of them from Syria, or at least claiming to be from there — have done so.
A booming business has now grown on the Russian side of the border to help and profit from the flow. Taxis and minibuses ferry migrants from Murmansk, the northern Russian city to which most migrants heading north travel by plane or train, to Nikel, a Russian town near the border with Norway where many migrants buy their bicycles.
Nikel, according to a Norwegian police officer who asked not to be identified, now has hundreds of Syrians and others waiting to make a final push into Norway here at Storskog.
When the first Syrians, a group of six, arrived from Russia in February to claim asylum, they were all taken to the nearby town of Kirkenes and, after a night at government expense in an upscale hotel with sea-view rooms, flown to Oslo, Norway’s capital, to have their applications processed. Reports of how well Norway treated asylum seekers spread rapidly on social media and by word of mouth.
Last week’s arrivals included a pair from Gambia, a poor but peaceful country in West Africa.
“Maybe we gave the wrong picture in the beginning,” Mr. Hansen said, adding that some migrants with weak claims to asylum “are taking advantage of the situation” to enter Norway, which is not a member of the European Union but does belong to the 26-nation Schengen area allowing visa-free travel. “We are not a travel agency,” he said.
After the surge of migrants in September, the authorities stopped trying to move everyone to Oslo and turned a bomb shelter and sports hall in Kirkenes into a transit center.
“We are talking about maybe 50 people coming across every day into one of the richest countries in the world. We should be able to handle this,” said Cecilie Hansen, the mayor of Kirkenes. She noted that her town, which housed refugees from the Balkans in the same bomb shelter during war in Kosovo in the late 1990s, has a history of welcoming foreigners.
But the welcome mat is already fraying as the flow of migrants across the border keeps increasing. On Friday, 100 asylum seekers crossed into Norway from Russia at Storskog, a record for a single day that added to a growing pile of seized bikes behind the office of the Norwegian customs service. Norwegian police confiscate the migrants’ bicycles, which are mostly Russian-made, because they do not meet local safety standards. Migrants are then taken into Kirkenes by bus.
The 150 beds available at the Kirkenes transit center, a man-made cave burrowed into a mountain, are now all full, straining a reception system that gets financial support from Oslo but still puts a burden on the remote port and mining town of 10,200.
“Logistics have been much tougher than we expected,” Ms. Hansen said.
Apparently worried that news media reports of the influx will only encourage more migrants to trek to the Arctic, Norwegian authorities are now trying to curb journalists’ access to the border zone, with police officers announcing abruptly last week that interviews and photographs were forbidden.
Jamil Mahlezadba, a young Afghan who said he was not sure of his exact age, cycled across the border soon after Mr. Arslanuk and his family. Shivering outside the Norwegian border post while waiting for the police to take his fingerprints and photograph, he said he did not mind the cold.
“I don’t need the sun, I just need a normal life,” he said, explaining that he had left his home in Kabul “to live somewhere normal without bomb explosions.”
Staal Nilsen, the local leader of the right-wing Progress Party, known for its strong anti-immigration views, said the best hope for stopping the flow of migrants was now the weather.
“In a month or two, winter will really settle in,” he said. “When that happens, they will all want to leave here, I promise you.”