Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Refugee from, what was once, Red China

As I think I might have mentioned before I am occasionally going to do a biographical sketch on past friends and acquaintances.  I do not want the people who influenced my life in either pleasant or negative ways to ever be forgotten.  At least by me.  The names will be changed to protect relationships.
There was a girl I knew who had escaped from Communist China named Ellen Chen.  She was part Japanese but spoke only Chinese and English.  As I remember she was from the mainland and her Chinese father and Japanese mother had escaped thru Taiwan with her and her brother David shortly after WWII.  She was only a few years older than I; and I was born in 1943.  For a number of years we were close friends.  We both worked at KLM, at the time, in Manhattan.  We lost touch after my husband and I left and moved to Long Island.  We became close because we were both interested in the lifestyles of the other and there was some kind of instantaneous attraction to one another.  Ellen was pregnant and I was invited to her baby shower at an apartment in Chinatown, NYC.  Her mom and the other ladies were very sweet and gracious but spoke almost no English.  Ellen didn't really have many friends her own age and none of them were at the family shower.  Ellen was crippled.  She had one leg bent and slightly shorter than the other and walked with quite a limp but didn't require a cane or other assistance.  I never asked what had happened and she never mentioned it.  Her husband had meet me at the subway when I arrived and walked me back to the subway when I left.  They were very concerned that I might get lost and not find someone to guide me who spoke English.
  Ellen"s husband, his name escapes me now, was cold and terse but very polite.  I thought he hated me but I most likely misread his reserve.  I remember the apartment I was at was functional and modern with almost no nick knacks or objects lying around and the food was conventional snacks and a shower cake  with a stork and baby on the front.  I guess I had expected something exotic with crickets in bamboo cages, and floor seating on mats.  I really knew nothing of Chinese culture at the time so drew on impressions from movies like "Sayonara", which was Hollywood Japanese.  Ellen and I gabbed together through the shower and the other ladies smiled and exclaimed softly when the presents were opened.  Everyone was a little off balance but a good time was had by all.
 Later Ellen had the most adorable little girl baby I thought I had ever seen.  Again, I do not remember the child's name.  I visited Ellen's apartment several more times after she had the baby. She and her husband had moved to a third floor walk-up apartment on 83rd street in upper Manhattan.  This was more like a place I had pictured in my minds eye.  The tiny kitchen was filled with Asian cooking vessels.  Ellen and her husband were vegetarian long before I became one and I remember she made a wonderful stir fried rice dish one of the times I visited her.  She never came back to work after she had her baby.  She also never came to my apartment because I lived in Queens and she was nervous about traveling out of her comfort zone of Manhattan.
As I mentioned we eventually lost touch but she was a dear friend and we had that sort of magical relationship that sometimes arises despite cultural and other lifestyle differences.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Being Human or Human....Being?????

I have been giving a lot of thought to my writing lately and what I am really called to write about.  I keep going down new roads trying to find what suits me and satisfies me most.  I feel as a political commentator I suck.  There are so many writers that I respect who are so much better and more well informed than I.  I try to give my informed opinion but so what?  Everyone has an opinion and I do not think I will change any minds anytime soon.  When I write about God, or Being I am on much more solid ground.  My degree in Philosophy, my study of comparative religions, my study of Christianity and Hinduism, and my own insights about what I write; ( which I truly believe are not just my own), have given me a lot more confidence in what I write.
Of course my own experiences and those of people I know do provide a rich ground for writing. When I was a kid I was told to write about what You know.  Well, unfortunately for many many years I felt I just didn't know enough about anything.  Now I know a lot more but I am nearing the end of my life, not the beginning.  So what and who do you know, and when did you know it becomes a question which looms large on my horizon.
I was speaking to a friend this morning about consciousness.  Now I believe everything is conscious to a smaller or larger degree.  We all tend to equate consciousness to humans and perhaps to some extent animals, but when it comes to plants it really gets iffy for most people.  I, on the other hand, believe even a rock or other supposedly dead, inanimate object is conscious.
Matter is made up of atoms, protons, neutrons , electrons, particles, waves, quarks, you name it it may have it.  So why not consciousness? Now, I do not have a degree in physics but it has been a life long interest of mine.  If the very act of observing a thing changes it's behavior, then to my untrained mind it displays consciousness.  The directional moves may be predetermined by the laws of physics, so what else is new. When I unconsciously move one of my feet, a part of my being which is conscious has caused the move.  Consciousness and unconsciousness are relative terms.
In my conversation with my friend this morning we were talking about universal mental consciousness. Because radio waves were  recently discovered in the broad scope of history, doesn't mean they did not exist before we found them.  The same with waves of consciousness. Because we cannot perceive these waves with our senses does not mean they do not exist.  I mentioned that when a product or idea is found it one country it is often found at about the same time in another country or part of the world. Ideas cannot belong to one individual even though we do try to patent them.  Ideas exist in the realm of consciousness, or as Plato would have said as a form.  There is nothing new under the sun; it is only left to us to discover it.
Therefore, and thusly and indubitably, I maintain we are humans being rather than human beings. The internal consciousness or soul, or being, as I like to refer to it, is moving and forming us as humans, rather that we humans simply being conscious.
Then we have the Creator, the ultimate Being and Spirit, our little piece of the Whole.  The One and it's Attributes, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Somewhere along the way is the Sacred fertile Goddess. the Holy Mother, Mother Earth.  Where is this all leading?  Follow along with me and perhaps we will enlighten you.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pre-apocalyptic World ?

I am tired of the pre-apocalyptic messages we keep getting from all sides. ( The Christian right and ultra right extremists are happy.)  I think, they think,  Trump and his minions were chosen by God to bring about the end of the world.  If Trump kicks out and breaks up immigrant families who have made the US their home for many years,  and if he ends our trade agreements,  this will be a step towards massive economic chaos.  If he ends our environmental protection regulations and regulatory laws our whole country will decline.  If he succeeds in silencing our free press we will never find out about the collisions and atrocities which are being committed. If our Education system becomes private Lord only knows what will be taught.  It could be like the Muslim extremist schools where children are indoctrinated with hatred to others,  repeating and memorizing endless passages of the Koran.  If he turns off our European allies and gets into secret agreements with Russia he could bring our alliances abroad to an end.  If racist advisers gets their way Jews, Muslims, Blacks, racist whites, Hispanics and Asians will be pitted against one another and all our social services and social institutions will breakdown and divide against each other.  Groups will be forced to grasp for private funds to help their own particular interests and forget about working together for the common good. Terrorists will reek havoc against our divided fronts.  Brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, state against state, country against country. Internal and external war of all against all, each trying to protect their own interests.
Oh, I could go on and on listing scenarios for division and duplicity which could be brought about by Trump and both his conscious and his unconscious allies, but I am tired of thinking about all this. Day after day the news gets worse in a never ending cycle of division and mayhem.  Like the Allstate commercials on Mayhem we seem unprepared to fight these things in a cohesive way.  We are being attacked on too many fronts and people are picking and choosing their battles and causes.  More and more fracturing of our American ideals broken into special interest groups.
I know Evils way is to divide us against one another and cause massive self interest and civil destruction.  The ending of the world as we know it.  The Evil one has plenty to work with.  Start a small fire here and there and soon the whole forest is ablaze.  How long will it take?  Can men and women of good will towards each other stop it.  From the apocalyptic view, at the end Jesus comes to the rescue and divides the saved from the heathen and all is well.
In real life, here on earth, no one wins.  The beautiful animal and plant world will be destroyed as well as both good and evil peoples.  Our fragile little planet will go on but it will be thousands or even millions of years before the toxic elements will be absorbed and new creatures perhaps unlike any we have ever known will begin to form from the deb re.  Will it be a better or worse planet, no one knows?  The kingdom of heaven is not here on our little planet.  It is deep within each of us if we search for and find it.  In the meantime Evil and Good forces swirl outside of us and it is up to each of us to decide which we choose to embrace. Our exterior world reveals our own internal battles.  Like a body with cancer on the inside is more and more eaten up with disease, our external body reveals the destruction by a pale, rotting exterior often with emotions to match.  Revelations happen within each of us.  The ancient Bible story is true only for each individual as his soul and heart are examined  It is our private battle to be redeemed or not.  We should not try to project this battle outside of ourselves to innocent bystanders: human, animal or plant.
A beautiful, harmonious earth can work for all of us.  Let us each search our self and come to terms with our own internal heaven and hell.  Leave the planet alone from our private religious battles and let the rule of order, law, nature, beauty, truth and justice prevail, however far from the ideals they might wander. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Civil War

What does civil war mean?

Civil | Definition of Civil by Merriam-Webster
1 : of or relating to citizens <civil rights> 2 : of or relating to matters within a country. 3 : of or relating to the regular business of citizens or government that is not connected to the military or a religion. 4 : polite without being friendly <Those men, they used to be best friends.

While trying to sleep this morning (4:00), the phrase Civil War, the war of brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor against neighbor, kept hazily moving through my brain.  The war of all against all; no friends, no enemies.  Why, and what does it all mean?  In our biblical folklore it began with Cain slewing Able.    Later we have the patriarch Abraham and his two sons Ishmael and Isaac, from whom many believe became the division between Jew and Muslim or Palestine and Israel.  Of course we are all familiar with the divisions between the same peoples.  African tribes selling other tribes into slavery.  Native American tribes at war with one another until they faced a common enemy in the new white settlers in the Americas. European boundaries shifting again and again throughout history.  The peoples of Asia fighting war against each other over and over.
It would appear the largest common denominator among men is their willingness to fight against their brothers, their tribes, and their peoples, spreading blood, carnage and war,  whether within or against families, or the world at large.   

I always found it strange that a family I know which has four children I have always seen the enmity they had against one another even as little children.  They always seemed to feel their mom and dad loved the other sibling better than they did  the one.  In the early days it was sister against sister and later brother against brother in this little family of four.  They presented a solid front against the world at large but seemed to really hate each other within the little family.  Christmas day used to be a nightmare as the children squabbled over who got the best presents and there were always tears and hurt feelings.  This enmity, by the way, has continued between the two girls to this day.  They are both born again ultra right conservatives, as are their husbands,  but they can hardly be in the same room together without fighting.  They say they all love each other but the emotions which separate them seem much stronger than the similarities in their belief systems.
My own sister and I used to have battles and hurt feelings but I used to think it was because of the eight year separation in our ages rather than innate rancor.  We fought as children and later as young adults but seem to have come to a commonality in our belief systems in our later years and we really do love each other.
I have tried and tried to reason out what circumstances can cause such difference in view among the same people or tribe but I am still at a loss.
I know it is not just culture because the difference in beliefs of far right Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and other religious groups comes down to restricting the freedom of the same things. Woman's rights, music, drugs, books, sexuality, you name it.   When it comes down to a difference of beliefs or opinion  they all act out in the same way.  The same is true for Liberals or Progressives.  Group think is the common ground for all parties. I really could go on and on as I have fought through these thoughts for many hours but the end of my conclusions is there cannot ever be any peace in this world.  It really is not about color, religion, culture, sex or anything else.  There is no reason to it among reasonable mankind.  Difference and righteousness are what it all seems to be about.  I know I am no different that anyone else in these groups.  I hate with the same intensity and seem to find almost nothing I can agree with on the other side.
Someday the lion and the lamb may indeed lie down together.  If animals are protected, have enough food and territory to live comfortably they do seem to become friends.  Mother cats nurse baby dogs and even mice, and chickens protect kittens under their wings.  There are so many animals videos out there of dogs and elephants and even lions and men and women who raised them, never losing their love and affection for each other.  I do not really understand animal behavior but I think I understand humans even less.
When a people who live in the USA with all the creature comforts one needs to survive continue to work totally against one another, I can only feel there is no hope for mankind.  There is enough wealth in this country to supply the highest standard of living for all of our people.  We would be required however to share the wealth which is alien to almost all of us.  Our differences separate us much more then our commonalities.   We all bleed when we are injured and require food, water and shelter to survive.  the actual differences between peoples are such superficial things as skin color, hair color, eye color, build and facial characteristics like noses, eye shape, lips etc.  Except where there is a physical problem we all have two of each arms, legs, feet and hands and two eyes and two ears.   I used to try and explain our differences by right and left brained people but science has proven me wrong here.
All humans react in the same ways to difference, inclusion and exclusion and  conservative or liberal mindsets.  The extremes of these commonly held views may be labeled tea party, libertarian, progressive or even as Whigs and Tories but they all break down to the same hatreds and misunderstandings no matter how we label them.  Human kind will not ever come together and all we can ever hope for is relative peace among our peoples.
So what can we do with this dismal situation?  I really believe prayer is important for each individual to come to grips with his or her own nature: and that peace can only be held by an individual who is willing to give himself up for the needs of others.  Our heroic models for peace all shared one thing in common, they were willing to lay aside their own interests and sacrifice their lives for others.  The rest of us are left with our shitty little self interests flawed relationships until our Creator intervenes.   

Monday, January 9, 2017

A struggle with understanding

I have recently been engaged with an internal struggle about what has happened to my sister.  The past several years she has become very stressed and more and more forgetful.  Of course all of us struggle with stress and it is the bane of most of us as we get older to struggle to remember names and words which only come to us later.  I for one am quick to substitute words like thingy , thing a ma gig, what's it, that woman, honey or even sqigamahala (my own word for things whose names remain elusive).  Of late or the last year my sister does not recognize the man she lives with as her husband of 60 years.  She knows his name is Gene, but not her Gene.  She will insist  there is a stranger in her house and she will demand from time to time proof that he is really Gene.  When she is shown  papers like Drivers Licence, etc, she will insist anyone could have those made.  Jackie was always a great fan of mystery stories, puzzles and crosswords and she definitely knows of what she speaks regarding fake identification.  Jackie has been diagnosed with Dementia.
When I call her on the phone she seems normal for the most part with an occasional lapse into forgetfulness which really seems to bother her.
For my own understanding I have looked up the differences between dementia and Alzheimer's and the best short description I am quoting below:
 " According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a specific type of dementia caused when high levels of certain proteins inside and outside brain cells make it hard for brain cells to stay healthy and to communicate with each other. This leads to the loss of connections between nerve cells, and eventually to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue.
 "Here's the major  difference between Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia — when an individual is diagnosed with dementia, they are diagnosed based on their symptoms without actually knowing what's behind the symptoms. In Alzheimer’s disease, the exact cause of the symptoms is understood. In addition, Alzheimer's disease is not reversible, whereas some types of dementia, such as those caused by nutritional problems or a drug interaction, can be reversed."                                                                                                                                                                I only wish my sister's disease which has been diagnosed as dementia could be, at least partially,  reversed.  I have had extremely vivid dreams the last 10 years.  They are like stories which can be interrupted and continued.  If I wake in the middle of a dream to go to the toilet, when I return I can go right back into and continue my dream.  The dreams are extremely realistic and most often involve people I know or family members.  There are a large number of themes and they keep recurring.  I will list only a few:  my mom is alive and alone and living is a specially constructed house in upstate NY.  She is divorced from my father, who sometimes has remarried, or is sometimes still married to mom.  Sometimes I have gone to visit my sister, in a sprawling estate which encompasses a lot of acres of woods and mountains.  Sometimes this property is in NY State and sometimes it appears to be in a state like the Carolina's or Tenn.  The actual house is always in disrepair, filled with unknown distant relatives, Jackie has gone out shopping or some kind of cult religious meeting with her daughter.  I am trying to clean the kitchen, find food and deal with various relatives I don't know.   As I mentioned before there are several dozens of themes and settings but they keep recurring and are rich with details and conversations and locations.  They always take different forms regardless of the particular theme and often involve arguments and conversations with relatives I have experienced problems with. I am always fascinated with these stories in my dreams and I want to go back into them to see how they come out or what is going to happen next.  They are extremely clear when I am in them but when I try to explain a dream to others I can only remember a few details and they are confusing.  When I was speaking to my Nephew the other day and he was explaining what Jackie sometimes experiences as her reality, I was struck by the similarity to my dreams.                                                                                                                        It occurred to me that it sounded like she was experiencing some sort of a dream or fugue state.  She recognizes the characters in her state but their reality is different.  She sees as if through a fog or dream and her people are sometimes who they really are and are sometimes very different from the persons she has known and loved.  This can be in the same waking time frame.  she will recognize, remember and talk to Kenny or Debbie and yet not recognizer Gene.   Even when they are sitting and eating at the same dinner table.  Gene is a nice man but simply not the Gene she was married to for 60 years.                                                                                                                  In my dreams the people are not the same ones I know in my waking life either.  They are either much nicer or nastier and appear in different settings than I have ever experienced waking.  Can this be somewhat like string theory or parallel lines which never meet, but in reality do meet???????
  I guess this is my theory to integrate reality, fugue states and dementia, a tapestry. 

     What is string theory in 10 words or less, by bgreene"It's an attempt to unify all matter and all forces into one mathematical tapestry."       

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year, New Outlook

I have often posted, in the past, of things which happened, my opinions, my beliefs, etc.  Now I want to blog my thoughts with a new perspective.  I have never posted anything which I did not believe was true, at least at that time.  For the coming year I want to have a little different approach.  I will post mostly what I believe but also what I feel I am directed to post from a higher authority.
This will be a post which might not be provable or believable by most , but which is my inner belief. I have decided to do this because such magical things continue to happen to me. 
My fantasy's keep coming true, one by one.
My faith in God which has always been strong is becoming more and more heartfelt.  Everywhere I go, what ever I do, if I remember to ask him to take control, only the best outcomes occur.  I am not discussing things, I am talking about situations, circumstances, occurrences, etc.  I keep saying over and over how much I am blessed.
I have noted many people say this as a catch phrase.  They say it when I say it.  They say it like they would hope to believe it. even though all their talk and actions deny it.  They say it with a hope they could truly feel blessed just by saying it.  Of late when I say I am blessed or "Thank You, I feel so blessed", a strange feeling occurs inside me.  I feel lighter and a warmth pervades my being.   I feel blessed from the inside out and it may have nothing to do with what is right in front of me.  It is a different form of reality.
I so wish everyone of my friends and family could share in this kind of blessing.  Especially all the good people I know who try in vain to seek earthly satisfaction, and pray it will be God granted.  I feel sometimes this can be why some folks are so dogmatic in their view of their religion and Christ Consciousness.  They are so afraid to deviate from their rituals and what ceremony or occurrence brought them to God.   Some believe if they let their God given reason sort through various other religions or religious beliefs, that they will somehow be corrupted and will be unable to get back their original feeling of conversion or being "Born Again".  Somehow they feel their God or Jesus is so vindictive that if they even heard or entertained another thought or belief they would lose their presumed Grace and be damned forever.  They hang so tightly to their brand of religion or dogma or ritual that they become bound in superstition and True Glory continues to be denied them even as they protest how happy and fulfilled their religion is for them.  They answer Alter calls again and again and demand to know the time and day and year you too, were Born Again.  I may address this again in more depth at a later time but suffice to know that from my childhood, alone, looking at the night sky, on my back, pondering infinity, eternity, and indivisible, I have been walking with God.  This walk has continued throughout my life and has taken many turns and fancies.  I have taken my God given reason and let it explore many dark and dangerous places.  I have also explored the light and fanciful places and ever my Lord has walked along with me.  Sometimes leading, sometimes following behind as I explore,  but mainly remaining by my side (and inside),  and he has ever protected me from evil and dark influences.
Now I am learning it is my call to pass onto others what my travels with destiny have led me to discover.      " Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil: you are with me: your rod and your staff comfort me "
And so a New Year begins with my Savior by my side and inside, as always.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I've been led.....

I have not posted recently but once again I feel led to say what is on my heart..  I was reading my Devotional "Jesus Calling" this morning for December 6.  What was said really hit me.  The Bible references the devotion was based on were Deuteronomy 6:5; Colossians 3:23; and Psalm 16:11.  To paraphrase both the author and the Bible passages: Man creates duties and rituals to give God money, time and work but neglects to give God what he really wants which is our hearts.  By performing ritualistic, mechanical and habitual actions, over and over,  they come to require no thought.  "the soul becomes comatose."
What God really wants and what he created us for is our presence with him and our joy in his creation.  God does not want or need money, sacrifice of lives, ritualistic prayer, robotic-ally performed duties for the church, the poor, the sick, or the hungry.  What he wants is for us to pray, love and give with joy and wonder.  He desires our hearts and  thankfulness for the blessings we have received; and the relationship we continue to develop with him.
How indeed can the creator of the universe be in need of anything.  He has it all.  Except he gave us free choice.  Each of us can choose to be in relationship with this Awesome Being whom we cannot approach physically, but only with our hearts and minds.
It is as if one has a child who offers his parent blind obedience and respect, in his presence;  but once out of sight, merrily pursues his own appetites and desires with no thought or concern for who he hurts or kills in the process. What Parent could hold such a child in esteem when he learns his child has cast his values and principles into the mud and then stomped on them.  What Parent could be proud when he learns his child has deliberately stolen, raped, maimed, brutalized, and destroyed the very home and persons, with whom and into which, the child was lovingly born and raised.
When we care more for our own interests then for the Parent who gave us life and raised us, then we trample on sacred ground.  We pay homage to the god of self and try to buy off the Creator of all that is and has been and will be.  We offer meaningless rituals, prayers and offerings, never touching and engaging with the Blessing of Creation.
Yes, I am a Creationist, but not in the common meaning.  The Creator of all the laws and principles which yields us insights into Being and science is the Creation I believe in.  The God of Love who holds all of his children in the center of his Being and infuses those who choose to listen with knowledge and joy, and his Eternal presence within.
So say I, PooBah, on this glorious and God filled day.