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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Soul retrieval

Dick Cheney was in "Saudi Arabia" a few weeks ago, and he showed a side of his personality we don't see here in the "U.S." He was submissive, deferring, seeking of acceptance and approval when he kissed his "Saudi" hosts. No Mr. Tough Guy. Reports of the visit indicate that "Saudi" Crown Prince Abdullah "read Cheney the riot act," and "took him to the woodshed" over the situation in Iraq. "Saudi Arabia" is a predominantly "Sunni" muslim country, and the lecture to Cheney was apparently to warn him not to let the "Sunnis" of Iraq be slaughtered, oppressed, or left out of power arrangements in the country's future.

I don't have much interest in who Cheney meets with, or what the conventional news media have to say about him. He's a sociopathic criminal, and any depiction of him otherwise is propaganda. Cheney's submissiveness in "Saudi Arabia" is interesting, though, because it stands in stark contrast to his projection here as "Darth Vader," tough guy, macho-man, "hunter," and the power behind Bush.

Some power. A draft-dodging coward who plotted the invasion and occupation of a weakened country that meant us no harm, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 655,000 "Iraqis" and now almost 3,000 "American" military personnel that we know of. His image is a public relations-created and media-advanced illusion, meant to reinforce a false impression of this criminal administration as hard-nosed, resolute, and "manly." Conservative. Patriotic. Strong. Dependable. Protecting you against the forces of evil.

It's all fakery, of course, and the fakery is the essence of not only the Bush crime family, but of our corporate-dominated culture. If we can better understand the purpose and effect of this fakery, we can better learn how to overcome it.

The tough-guy, macho-man, men dominating other men hyper-atmosphere that has spread throughout the culture is destroying the country, pervading our media, recreation, driving practices, and personal interactions. At its most absurd level we have fake tough guy Sean Hannity bragging about "punking" "liberals" on his fake TV show. Sean Hannity has risen to the level where he fake-interviews fake tough guy Dick Cheney on his fake TV show, reinforcing Cheney's fake tough guy image.

Other fake tough guys Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh are entering the desperation phase of their presence on the fake tough guy scene, with declining ratings and the recent electoral defeat of so many "Republicans" that they helped bring about. The nation is slowly waking up.

With all these fake tough guys - the shouting down of guests, the rudeness, the scapegoating and demonization of "liberals" and "secular progressives," the kidnapping, torture and killing of prisoners, the pre-emptive war "policy," the spying on "American" citizens, the "Patriot Act," the anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-minority, and anti-poor "policies" - have a common purpose.

That purpose is the essence of illegitimate power: the taking of energy from other people. Dominating, "punking," terrorizing, torturing, maiming, killing, insulting, shouting down, berating, dismissing, and one-upping all have the common goal of appropriating the psychic force from other people. In "Iraq" this taking has the added feature of physical taking as well as psychic: control of the oil.

Materialists don't have much understanding of the nature of psychic energy, but in the spiritual realm it has been known for millenia. One of the prime purposes of spiritual practice is to learn how to protect your energy, and the techniques vary from meditation and prayer to spells, shamanic "journeying," and healing rituals. The "dark side" practices are variously called "black magic," "voodoo" and "witchcraft" by outside observers, and they also have a long history of use and abuse. The current public relations/media propaganda system can be looked upon as a low-level form of black magic. The spell-binding of the easily spellbound. Fundamentalist religion has the same quality, and the same easily spellbound fall for both.

I first became aware of practitioners of "black magic" when I spent four months in the ashram of Swami Muktananda in India in late 1977 and early 1978. We were warned to stay away from the fallen yogi "Swami Ram Das" in nearby Ganeshpuri because he was known to trap ashramites with his psychic powers. I saw him one day while on a shopping spree, and he was a crazy and evil-looking guy, with wide eyes and a leering gaze. I didn't stop to engage in small talk. As it turned out, Muktananda had his own methods of keeping people under his influence, attracting adulation and subservience. I was a follower for eight years. I wasn't subervient, but I believed Muktananda was an enlightened being, equal to the stature of Jesus. I can say for very certain that Bush, Cheney, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and Hannity are rank amateurs compared to him when it comes to personal charisma and power.

A novel that made the rounds in the 90s, "The Celestine Prophecy," presented a theory of human interaction based on the idea that we all have an energy field, and that conflict results when people try to steal other people's energy. It wasn't a very good story, but the ideas presented are worthy of further study and awareness. The author, James Redfield, contends that we are headed towards living in perfect harmony, and the understanding of human energy fields is an important step in the process.

Another way of looking at energy theft is shamanic practice. In 1995 I joined a year-long shamanic study group, involving a deeper learning of the methods of "journeying," and the purposes, benefits, and techniques. One of the practices in shamanic practice is called "soul retrieval." It is believed that people suffer partial or complete "soul loss" from traumatic events, or from theft by other people. The teacher/facilitator was also a psychotherapist, and told a story of a former client who was having an affair with her minister. She was trying to break free, but the minister had her under his control. She felt helpless to wrest herself from his dominance.

The therapist/shaman used a soul-retrieval journey to help the woman regain her lost sense of wholeness and freedom. Shortly after the retrieval journey the woman's minister arrived, desperate to see her and begging her not to leave him. He failed, and the woman went on to resume her life, free of his control.

"America" is now going through a similar process. In the process of breaking free of the Bush crime family, hopefully we can free ourselves from the influence and control of the corporations and their media shills. I'm confident.


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