Posted by: jahfrey | December 15, 2012

What should we be talking about?

This morning I noticed a posting on Facebook. It was well-intended and I don’t disagree with the sentiment or intention.
The post itself was about all the acts of kindness and goodness that humans have performed in the last year. The author commented “Perfect for today….”
Not a bad thing to remember, however, in the aftermath of the events in Connecticut and most of this year, that just did not ring true. Here’s my reply:

“With all due respect and thanks, Marianne, there is no “perfect” post for today. I don’t need to be reminded that humanity is capable of good, I believe that humanity is basically “good”. Are we basically good or bad? I’d say we are basically good, the ever more conscious we become, except when illness is encouraged and accepted.

There are several basic illnesses or dysfunctions in play here, from derangement to obsession to greed. Instead of reassuring ourselves, we need to be asking why we continue to tolerate this type of thing, and why the national conversation on it is dominated by obsessives, enabled by the greedy and selfish. This fosters a society where the deranged are lethal.

It’s easier for a deranged person to buy a weapon of mass destruction (“gun”) than it is for that person to get mental health treatment. We ignore the mentally ill at our peril. It’s tragic.
However, the question is not about guns, nor is it just about mental health services.

The real question here is how do we manifest humanity’s inherent good and transform our society from a war-mongering, ruthless, fragmented wasteland culture to a place that nurtures all to the betterment of all, and deals with its hurting members appropriately.

A society that encourages creativity and individuality in harmony with a healthy community, that focuses on support and nurturing rather than denial and harm. Some will be more creative and contribute more than others, and they should be rewarded. Some may be a drag on the community, willfully or not.

However, no one should be denied the basics, in part because denial of one ultimately is denial of all and results in a negative community. Not a liberal pipe dream – it can be done. I’m not being an idealist, I’m pragmatic. Humans do good when their basic needs are met. Greed is a harmful illness which we encourage and glorify. It’s time to address it.”

Posted by: jahfrey | February 8, 2012

Football 2012

I’ve attended several pro games this year, in fact every year for about a decade at least. I try to like the NFL, but I just can’t anymore. The NFL has ruined football – turned it into a spectacle. It’s complete bullshit! I’ve gotten to the point where only high-school ball is very interesting. College ball has become like the NFL, full of fiefs and protection for the almighty cash machine. I think the Penn State debacle, which took down one of my longtime football heroes, is indicative of where sports and our country’s institutions have gone.
Certain writers have said that the working class loves the spectacle, and anyone who feels like I do is a kill-joy. Certain writers have suggested that this is a typical liberal attitude which over-analyses and alienates the working people, who should naturally be voting liberal.
Huh?
I love football. I hate what has become of it. It’s all about the money, the games are totally controlled, everything is overproduced and airbrushed, from the cheerleaders to that damn Hank Williams,Jr., a world class idiot if there ever was one! (Although I do like a few of his songs). It’s so corporate anymore, from the stadiums named after a corporation but mostly paid for by taxpayers to all the damn selling by the NFL, to the frickin’ overpaid moronic players grandstanding after scoring a touchdown. Hey – the game ain’t over til it’s over. Celebrate then! Sheesh!

And jeez, if we have to tiptoe around the so-called working class because they are too stupid to see how they vote for their own destruction then we are truly lost indeed.

Posted by: jahfrey | September 17, 2011

I agree!

Great comments on relationships, delusion, etc.
“The Best ‘No” That Was Ever Said”

…along the path of celibacy, I have also developed some of the best relationships I’ve ever had, some that have made my life more meaningful and given me great purpose — something I could never achieve with the ex and much less so wearing the mask of cheap romance.

Posted by: jahfrey | September 17, 2011

Deep in the heart o’….

“Rick Perry is qualified to be President in the same way that Olive Garden is qualified to be Italy.” — Borowitz

From: Obalesque

Posted by: jahfrey | July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday!

America the Beautiful

Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man’s avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

Posted by: jahfrey | June 21, 2011

Solstice! Let in the Light!

“Being infinitely patient means having an absolute knowing that you’re in vibrational harmony with the all-creating force that intended you here. You know that everything will happen at just the right time, at just the right place, with just the right people.”

“Happiness, fulfillment and purpose in life are all inner concepts. If you don’t have inner peace and serenity, then you have nothing.”

Today I am writing about the subject most dear to me, which is spirituality. I was struck by these recent inspirational thoughts from Dr Wayne Dyer.

What struck me is how these thoughts are exactly the same as expressed by the three spiritual teachers who are most significant for me: Jesus, Buddha and Lao Tsu.

When I was a young seeker, at age 14, a most enlightened Jesuit priest encouraged me to throw all belief out the door, question everything, find out for myself. This was not how I’d been taught religion or belief – up to that point it had been rote memorization and coerced belief backed by threat of punishment.

What Fr. Breaux did was certainly not in the objectives of the Jesuit organization, which was to turn out well educated, strong men. Men who were good Catholics. Perhaps Fr. Breaux saw that in the long run, strength of spirituality is the most desired state, no matter the religious affiliation of the person. I am forever grateful to him. He gave me permission to explore and come up with the best spiritual way for me. He gave me permission to follow the path no matter where it leads, even if it’s off a cliff!

So, I started on a life long path of spiritual exploration. I haven’t practiced as intensely as some, I tend to study something, put it aside, and come back to it later. Over the years, I’ve picked up the essence of many teachings, done some of the practices, and certainly benefited in terms of knowledge, wisdom and comfort. (By the way, I make no claims when it comes to knowledge. I view myself, as pretty much the biggest fool out there, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I stumble off cliffs all the time!).

What I’ve been struck by lately is how closely the teachings of Jesus, Buddha and Lao Tsu align. All of them speak about finding happiness and fulfillment within. All of them speak of enlightenment as being found within.

There are many sages, teachers and prophets: Daniel, Moses, Aaron, James, Paul, Paramahansa Yogananda, Mohamed, and so on, including contemporary teachers, such as Dr. Wayne.

Almost all teach the same in essence. The three I mention above speak to me.

One thing about the three I mention is that they pretty much focus on the here and now, and on compassion and emotional pragmatism. All three avoid much mention of metaphysics, life after death and so on. If “the Kingdom of Heaven” and “the Father” are meant to signify Enlightenment and the Creative Intelligence, then most of what Jesus is saying in that regard is not metaphysical but rather pertains to our state of consciousness in the Now. He is teaching us about achieving Redemption, or enlightenment in the here and now. He is teaching us how to live so that we can be more closely united with God. He is stern, but loving and compassionate. He points out the truth bluntly. He shows his own trials and moments of doubt, so that we can learn to get through our own challenges.

I choose to believe that is what Jesus means.

So, where am I going with all this? For starters, I realize there are a number of topics I’d like to cover, including Jesus as a Buddhist, my path as a Christian (just call me a “radical Catholic), my practice as a Druid (I belong to OBOD – Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids), my readings on Lao Tsu, sexuality and religion, etc. Lot’s of hot air coming this way! Finally, something to write interminably long dense essays about! Probably not though, my attention span is shorter than a Superbowl commercial.

What I am writing about is my spiritual journey, my walk on the good red road of life, of consciousness. To talk about what I’ve seen. Mostly to understand what I’ve seen, and where I’ve walked. If I happen to leave a sign post for anyone else, then great.

If this is mostly blather, then move on, do the things important to you! I’ll try to keep it entertaining. Ultimately I’m doing it for myself, to get all this out of my darn head.

Stop, voices, stop!

I approach all metaphysics, and explanations for the mysteries of existence with a healthy skepticism. I’m definitely a doubter, just like Thomas was with Christ.

There are times when a leap of faith, based on intuition, must happen. I am perfectly capable of that as well.

My spiritual practice is enhanced by my Enlightenment oriented rationality. I am an adherent of the scientific method, and as such retain a healthy skepticism of all beliefs, unless proven scientifically.

Science is probably our most valuable tool. When the left-brain rose to dominance in the 16th century, and rationality replaced mythical thinking, it allowed us to make many needed advances in understanding the material world, the world of “maya”. This has brought us increased wealth and prosperity in general – look at the world population! That’s a sign of a successful species!

In cultivating and developing our rational, individual mind, we threw out our trust in right brain, intuitive knowing. The right brain works in symbols, systems, and groups. It’s holistic, emotional and image oriented. It is non-linear. It is a deeper way of knowing and understanding.

It was necessary, I suppose, to suppress the right brain in favor of the left. We’ve now come to the point where the left-brain, while important, has taken us as far as it can.

The right brain is now becoming ascendant. There is evidence of this all over, even in the challenges we face as a species. Solving our problems is less about tools now, and more about design. Design is a right brain activity. Much of what we do now on a daily basis in the West is right brain related. Daniel Pink writes about this concisely in A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.
.

The derogatorily named pseudo-sciences are not sciences. They are beyond science, on a different level. They are intuitive arts. They have more to do with our consciousness, and the way the mind works with imagery, and with the free play nature of time and matter (which we’ve seen suggested in sub-quantum physics research).

I work with the intuitive arts – trance, tarot, astrology, the I Ching, and other oracular devices. Just like the Old Testament prophets, we must all journey into the Dreamtime to bring back understanding of our reality. I don’t “believe” in them in the literal, material sense; I work with them as tools of understanding the mysteries. The Tao. Creation.

To get back to the quotes that opened this post, both of them express much of the essence of what the great three teach. That’s one of the great things about Dr. Wayne: he essentially re-communicates the essentials for moderns to understand.

“Happiness, fulfillment and purpose in life are all inner concepts. If you don’t have inner peace and serenity, then you have nothing.”

When I choose to find my fulfillment and purpose by looking within, then I also find happiness. When I remember to stay serene, I achieve inner peace. When I have these inner states, then the world is mine. When I fall off, forget, or grasp on to the world, then I have nothing. Just despair.

Jesus, Lao Tsu and Buddha all teach us to let go, stay detached, avoid striving. All three tell us that when we do that, we achieve the Kingdom of Heaven, Nirvana, alignment with the Tao.

“Being infinitely patient means having an absolute knowing that you’re in vibrational harmony with the all-creating force that intended you here. You know that everything will happen at just the right time, at just the right place, with just the right people.”

I have found that when I remember to look within for guidance, and to stay detached, serene and compassionate; then I can practice infinite patience. I can remember that I am exactly where I am needed or intended. If I can stay present, then every event does seem to flow, every meeting seems significant, and every person shines more brightly with the Light.

The Light of God, the all-creating force. May all our days be filled with the Light!

Happy Solstice!

Posted by: jahfrey | November 25, 2010

Threads in a Tapestry

I’ve always been fascinated by my roots, my ancestors. I revere those who have gone before me, and I strive to learn and understand my own life and who I am, based on what I know of my ancestors.

I thought I’d share a bit about some of the threads in that frayed tapestry known as McJeff.

Roughly, my dad’s side gives me English and Irish ancestry. There’s more, but we know those threads for sure. Dad’s side might include Cherokee, might include Swedish. My mom’s side gives me Spanish, Scottish, French and German. Again, there’s more –  perhaps Yaqui, perhaps Sephardic Jew.

If I take four threads, in following my grandparents, what I see is that there were two threads who have been in America for a long time, from the early 1600’s, most likely. The other two threads come from more recent, 19th century immigrants. Both my grandfathers’ families have long time threads in America. Both my grandmothers have later arrivals.

This will take me more than one post. I’ll start with the threads my mother has given me.
On my mom’s side, we’ve got my grandmother Anne, who was French-German, born in the Dakotas, and was a real frontier cowgirl who moved to the big city. Then there’s Grandpa Max, Scottish and Spanish, another frontier vaquero, raised on a ranch in New Mexico.

First, Grandpa Max and his strands. From what I know, I am most like him.
My grandfather Max was Scottish and Spanish. He was a member of a very prominent family in New Mexico, the Luna family. (The Lunas have their own compelling history. Very likely they were Sephardic Jews who converted when the Catholics took Spain back from the Moors. An ancestor in Spain almost became Pope! They came to the New World very early…1590? 1620?).

Max was orphaned at an early age, when his parents were killed in a carriage accident. Max’s last name was Longmuir…a good Scottish name. The Longmuirs were from near Aberdeen, Scotland. My great great Grandfather John left for America sometime in the 1840’s. He joined the Union Army and was in New York State for a while. Eventually he ended up in New Mexico. He fought for the Union at the battle of Valverde in the Civil War against the Texas militia. He met and fell in love with Guadalupe Luna, who scandalized the very Catholic and aristocratic Luna family by marrying a common Presbyterian Scotsman! But then, the Luna ladies were extremely independent and passionate women.

My great aunt Aloysia hung out with Billy the Kid, was part of the Lincoln County wars, and burned a swath through the men in the area. She married a dour but wealthy German, was abused by him and so divorced him, became lovers with more than one of the “big men” in Logan county, and was generally independent and feisty, strong-willed and strong-minded. She would not hesitate to give back as good as she got from the men in her life!

As she got older, she settled down a bit, and was close to Max, who was by now an orphan. I think he got a lot of his spirit from her. He did not want to live with her, however.

Max got the hell out of New Mexico as soon as he could. He rode the rails around the US for a while, and eventually joined the Navy. The Great War, WWI, was in full swing, and Max sailed much of the Atlantic, stopping in various European ports, including Rotterdam and Portsmouth.

Max had the wanderlust. He was also a handsome rake and a bit of a ladies man. He was a passionate and adventurous man, very much the Spaniard. He was strong, independent, and self-reliant – very much the Scot.

Some of his early life is a bit mysterious. We know that once he left the Navy, he moved about the country a bit, and ended up in Chicago, where he settled with a woman. We don’t know much about that, just that he left her suddenly and lit out for Los Angeles…there may be other children, she may have left him first, we don’t know. Whatever it was, Max ended up in the burgeoning City of Angels in the 1920’s. He was a top-notch machinist, and he did well there. It was on the Red Car trolley in LA that he met my grandmother, Anne.

My grandmother’s people were originally from the Alsace-Lorraine region, which has bounced back and forth between the French and the Germans for centuries. As a result, my people call themselves French-Germans. Earlier in the 19th century they had taken Russia’s Catherine the Great up on her offer to “colonize” the Ukraine. So, the stolid farmers grew wheat in the Ukraine for a generation. When the deal between them and the Russian government fell through, they departed en masse for the closest place to the Ukraine: North Dakota.

The Karey and Kress families built ranches on the Plains. They dealt with the Sioux tribes there. There are early photos of Anne hanging out with Sioux tribesmen, who are in full regalia. Anne was a great horsewoman, and apparently quite the shot with a rifle or pistol. Shades of Annie Oakley!

Anne’s mother had died in childbirth. Her father, torn by grief, did what a lot of single fathers did in that day – he gave her up for adoption. Actually, Anne went to live with her aunt on the family ranch. As a stepchild, she was not treated well, and given the crap jobs on the ranch. She was high strung and talented. She played piano, sang well, was very dramatic, did some acting. She was also highly sensitive and psychic. She actually predicted her own passing!

As soon as she could, Anne left North Dakota. She had relatives in Los Angeles, so she went there. I suspect she had a Hollywood career in the back of her mind. Whether she did or not, she was very beautiful and creative, and Southern California was the place to be!

So, it came to pass that one afternoon, a very beautiful young woman was riding home on the trolley when she caught the eye of a very dashing young man – not exactly tall, but definitely dark and handsome.

He, being the forward and brash man he was, immediately asked her out. She, being the cautious and strong willed woman she was, said no! He pressed her. She said she would have to have her aunt’s (who she was living with) permission. He got off at her stop and walked with her to the door of her aunt’s house. When auntie came to the door, he asked permission to date the gorgeous young Anne. Auntie said Yes!

No matter how Anne felt (and she must have liked him) they dated and eventually married.

It was a volatile relationship. From what I remember of them, they were both very emotional and strong-minded. They fought a bit. They made up. I’m sure that’s how my mom came to be….

They lived in downtown LA, near Normandie and Wilshire. It was a great time to be in Los Angeles. Creative types from around the world were coming to beautiful Southern California. The Longmuirs hung out with musicians, actors, writers, etc. As very attractive people, there was plenty of jealousy between them, but they loved each other deeply and stayed together.

When the Depression hit, Max lost his excellent machinist job, and was reduced to long, long hours working in a restaurant. He hated it. He drank more. He ate plenty of donuts and put on weight. This eventually led to diabetes…but that’s a story for another time.

Both Max and Anne were members of the Lost Generation in America. They partied hard in the 20’s, scraped through the 30’s, and did the thankless work in WWII as the middle management. Max and Anne embraced life as an adventure, and lived it passionately. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think of them, and feel inspired.

I remember Max as a great carpenter, and a fun and gentle, passionate Grandpa. I remember Anne singing German songs at the piano, cooking me wonderful French Toast when I stayed over, and her love and humor. I’ve gotten the wanderlust and passion for the ladies from Max, and I’ve gotten the interest in the intuitive arts and music from Anne.

Thanks Grandpa Max and Grandma Anne. I love you more than words can tell.
Next time: The Southern Gothic Jennings family!

Posted by: jahfrey | November 29, 2009

2012: The Movie

I saw 2012 the movie the other night in Hartford with a friend. I really enjoyed it! It was a great movie!

You may well be saying to yourself, “McJeff!?! Like a movie? Not grousing about it like a curmudgeon? What has happened?!”

Well dear reader, after years of being a movie crab, McJeff has realized that relaxing and enjoying a movie for what it is can have loads of benefits. Fun. Friendship. No heartburn. Laughter and smiling come to mind…

Anyway, I think 2012 is a such a quintessential Hollywood product that I can’t help but like it!

Ever since CGI and other graphics tools have become available, Hollywood has been entranced with special effects. Think of many of the blockbusters recently. Transformers, Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, even Terminator. All relied heavily on special effects. It’s been great. One frustration I had as a youth was that the movie effects never lived up to the story.

Now however, the effects have become the story! It’s a triumph in film-making!  Of course, you still need a “story” to fill the gaps in between special effects, and for that you need “characters” and the story needs to be “compelling”.

Many times the “characters” are portrayed by “actors”, especially when the story has “human interest”, so computer characters don’t quite cut it, Tim Burton notwithstanding.

And oh yeah, you need “writers” to write the “story”.

I can imagine the way that 2012 was made…with director Roland Emmerich (Godzilla, Independence Day, 10,000 B.C.) sitting around with the writers, thinking up a loose plot, filling in the gaps. Let’s see…we need some kinda science…I know! We’ll use Fingerprints of the Gods!

To quote Emmerich:

“I always wanted to do a biblical flood movie, but I never felt I had the hook. I first read about the Earth’s Crust Displacement Theory in Graham Hancock’s Fingerprints of the Gods.”

Right. Throw in some passing references to the Mayan Prophecies, hint at aliens and government conspiracies, a little more dubious science about the sun, magnetic poles shifting and stuff, and you have a great premise for the End of the World! And a movie.

Anyway, the script serves to kinda move us along from one really over the top destruction or escape-from-destruction scene to the next. Who cares about the story really, when the slo-mo cataclysmic wrecking of everything is really neat!

So, we get a lazily written story that includes John Cusack as the lead, a struggling writer estranged from his wife and kids. They’re living with some plastic surgeon guy, who is the substitute daddy. Compelling drama and stuff ensues as both guys deal with each other, subtly compete for the wife and kids, and get to be heroes, n’ stuff. I forget the characters’ names. Oh yeah, they both get to drive or fly through all kinds of crumbling buildings and freeways and cars and stores and mountains and water and stuff! One of them dies! Guess which one?

What else…oh yeah, there’s the rich Russian. He’s perfect. Ruthless, earthy, crude. Ultimately a heart of gold. Pretty much. Well, maybe a heart of stainless steel. Anyway, a heart. Sorta.

Then there’s the Russian kids and girlfriend of above wealthy Russian guy. Kids are spoiled brats. Period. Girlfriend is blonde bimbo with cute little barky dog. Girlfriend loves stocky brave Russian he man stud guy pilot of rich guy’s airplane, who saves everyone else. Guess who dies? More than one!

Danny Glover gets to be president. New rule in Hollywood. All presidents must be black. Or a woman. Personally, I think it’s a good thing. Can’t wait for a short gay Asian woman to be president. (Yoko?) Or a box turtle!

Hollywood often reflects the zeitgeist quite well. Since Hollywood is trying to appeal to the broadest base, it follows that it reflects the cultural temperature. Distorted somewhat perhaps, but a reflection nonetheless.  If we are seeing characters and demographic types reflected in the movies and marketing, we can be sure it reflects something going on in society. I mean really, Jeff Spicoli was a pretty accurate reflection of a large demographic in the 80’s!
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
, anyone?

There’s a kinda Cheney white-guy (who is pragmatically ruthless) who sorta takes over, an intelligent young African American scientist guy who ends up with the President’s babe daughter. Both those characters are good looking, articulate and intelligent.

Woody Harrelson is the hippie/redneck crazy living in an RV in the woods and doing a radio show guy who figures it all out and tells the world, and then gets killed in a really cool volcanic eruption, man. I mean…dude!

There’s some old musician geezer guys on a cruise ship. Not sure why they are in there. They kinda hit the old person demographic, so I guess everyone in the audience has somebody to relate to. They are old jazz guys. One of ’em is the Daddy of the afore-mentioned African American scientist guy. There’s some tearful phone calls. I guess it was compelling.

I think there might be some other characters as well, but I forget. Oh yeah…some Tibetans, and a Buddhist monk or two.

Pretty much everyone dies in the end. Not those who count, but you know…it’s like the red-shirted guy in Star Trek who always died during the episode. You can pretty much guess who is gonna die, and you’ll scratch your head over some that do die. Die they do, for some reason, most likely a random choice by the director.

All in all, Emmerich does not let the story get in the way of a wonderful rush of special effects and overwhelming sound. The White House, Los Angeles, the Vatican, pretty much every reasonable target in the Western world gets crushed. Plus the Taj Mahal. India, Hawaii, Rio de Janeiro.

Oh yeah, and the Eiffel Tower. Damm Frenchies…

As Roger Ebert says, the movie…”delivers what it promises, and since no sentient being will buy a ticket expecting anything else, it will be, for its audiences, one of the most satisfactory films of the year.

Of course, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says: Beware 2012, which works the dubious miracle of almost matching Transformers 2 for sheer, cynical, mind-numbing, time-wasting, money-draining, soul-sucking stupidity.

I think it lands some where in the middle. It’s a good movie for the kids. Scary, but not too much; no sex. Cartoon characters. Lots and lots of things getting wrecked. I can’t think of a better movie to fulfill a young man’s desire for destruction. And loud noises.

As for having fun, screw Travers. Go to this movie and laugh and enjoy it for the sheer spectacle it is. That and nothing more.


Posted by: jahfrey | November 29, 2009

It's not always a sunny day…

I’m no Pollyanna. There is evil in the world. There is darkness and horrible, incomprehensible suffering and tragedy. Bad things happen, seemingly randomly, to very good people. Things do not always turn out right – at least in the short term.

Life very much is, as Buddha says, “…old age, sickness, suffering and death.”

However, in my book, the only response we can make is to practice compassion, to attempt understanding; to remain optimistic, positive, and healing. We must work to heal ourselves and others. It is a continuous process.

Jesus shows us this in His Passion and Crucifixion. One must let go of and finally go through the suffering, and die to the world in order to transcend it.

It’s the only activity worth doing, ultimately.

P.S. Hedonism comes in a close second for me!

Posted by: jahfrey | November 28, 2009

Prayer to the Great Spirit

Thanks to the Rude Pundit for this.

From Black Elk Speaks:

Grandfather, Great Spirit, you have been always, and before you no one has been.
There is no other one to pray to but you.
You yourself, everything that you see, everything has been made by you.
The star nations all over the universe you have finished.
The four quarters of the earth you have finished.
The day, and in that day, everything you have finished.

Grandfather, Great Spirit, lean close to the earth that you may hear the voice I send.
You towards where the sun goes down, behold me; Thunder Beings, behold me!
You where the White Giant lives in power, behold me!
You where the sun shines continually, whence come the day-break star and the day, behold me!
You where the summer lives, behold me! You in the depths of the heavens, an eagle of power, behold!

And you, Mother Earth, the only Mother, you who have shown mercy to your children!
Hear me, four quarters of the world, a relative I am!
Give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is!
Give me the eyes to see and the strength to understand, that I may be like you. With your power only can I face the winds.

Great Spirit, Great Spirit, my Grandfather, all over the earth the faces of living things are all alike.
With tenderness have these come up out of the ground.
Look upon these faces of children without number and with children in their arms, that they may face the winds and walk the good road to the day of quiet.

This is my prayer; hear me! The voice I have sent is weak, yet with earnestness I have sent it.

Hear me!

It is finished. Hetchetu aloh!

Now, my friend, let us smoke together so that there may be only good between us.

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