Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Joseph Campbell: The Privilege Of a Lifetime

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. 

The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, 'Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you're at home here? Well, there's not enough of you there. And so it starts.

- Joseph Campbell

Nicholas Kristof: On a Portland Train, the Battlefield of American Values

Tears. Beautiful. Needed. Grateful. - Molly

America may seem leaderless, with nastiness and bullying ascendant, but the best of our nation materialized during a moral crisis on a commuter train in Portland, Ore. 
The three were as different as could be. One was a 23-year-old recent Reed College graduate who had a mane of long hair and was working as a consultant. Another was a 53-year-old Army veteran with the trimmest of haircuts and a record of service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The third was a 21-year-old poet and Portland State University student on his way to a job at a pizzeria. What united the three was decency. 

 When they intervened, the man harassing the girls pulled a knife and slashed the three men before fleeing. Rick Best, the veteran, died at the scene. Taliesin Namkai-Meche, the recent Reed graduate, was conscious as he waited for an ambulance. A good Samaritan took off her shirt to cover him; she recounted that some of his last words were: “I want everybody on the train to know, I love them.” He died soon after arriving at the hospital.
Another passer-by stanched the bleeding of the student poet, Micah Fletcher, and called his mother to tell her to go to the hospital — but played down the injuries to avoid terrifying her. Fletcher underwent two hours of surgery to remove bone fragments from his throat and is recovering.
Police arrested Jeremy Christian, 35, a white supremacist, and charged him with the murders. The train attack doesn’t fit America’s internal narrative of terrorism, but it’s a reminder that terrorism takes many forms. Last year Americans were less likely to be killed by a Muslim terrorist (odds of one in six million) than for being Muslim (odds of one in one million), according to Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina. 

In tragedy, we can sometimes find inspiration. In that train car, we saw that courage and leadership are alive — if not always in Washington, then among ordinary Americans converging from varied backgrounds on a commuter train, standing together against a threat to our shared humanity. 

I’d been dispirited by recent events. President Trump’s overseas trip marked an abdication of American leadership, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel concluding that Europe can no longer rely on the United States. The Trump budget was intellectually dishonest and morally repugnant, with cuts in global AIDS funding alone that may cost one million lives.
Today’s White House seems to stand for nothing loftier than crony capitalism and the scapegoating of refugees, Muslims and immigrants. To me, Trump “values” are primarily narcissism, nepotism and nihilism.
Please continue this article here:

Number of People Who Go Bankrupt Every Year Because of Medical Bills

It is time - long past time! - for America to join the rest of the developed world and transform a toxic corporate system rooted in profit, greed, immorality, sickness, suffering, and death to an actual healthcare system which provides care for all simply because it is the right thing to do. This is so obvious! And how telling and tragic and illuminating it is that the debate still wages on in America about whether or not human beings and their very lives even matter. We all matter! - Molly

Dahr Jamail | Trump: Totalitarian or Authoritarian?

A vital article by investigative journalist Dahr Jamail, whose work is grounded in integrity and a fierce commitment to truth. - Molly

By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | News Analysis
Much has been written about whether Donald Trump is a despot authoritarian, fascist or merely a bumbling clown. As we approach this question of what Trump "is," it's important for us to realize that -- regardless of our assessments of his level of intelligence, or his adolescent mentality, or his bizarre mannerisms -- he is in the most powerful seat in the world. Trump is dangerous and he needs to be taken seriously.
Kathleen Jones is a political theorist whose publications and teaching about modern political theory and Hannah Arendt span nearly four decades. Her most recent book is a philosophical memoir, Diving for Pearls: A Thinking Journey with Hannah Arendt, about her 30-year relationship with the work of the well-loved political thinker.
In understanding Trump, Jones says, we need to look at the gaps -- and potential gaps -- between his claims and the truth. She points to Trump's boasts of business acumen and accomplishments, alongside his refusal to release his tax returns, as well as his documented history of bankruptcies, which resulted in some of his business interests' restructuring.
Given that his claims to be a wildly wealthy and successful businessman are what generated much of his support among his base, it is important to address the fact that these claims are dubious.
"In the absence of full financial disclosures we lack solid data with which to assess whether Trump is a success or a failure," Jones, who is also a Professor Emerita of Women's Studies at San Diego State University, told Truthout. "Instead, we have Trump's bombastic proclamations, loudly and often, of his brand's excellence and dominance: 'Believe me,' he exhorts. And his core of supporters complies."
In fact, Jones sees Trump's supporters' compliance as similar to that of sympathizers of earlier European pre-totalitarian movements. Arendt called them the "masses."
"Socially atomized, isolated, 'lonely' individuals, drawn from the ranks of different classes, who felt adrift in an incomprehensibly changed world, formed the mass core of ideologically racist movements, like Pan-Slavism and Pan-Germanism of the mid-to-late 19th century," Jones added.
She quoted Arendt's comment that these masses "remained unequivocally hostile to all existing political bodies. [Their] general mood was far more rebellious and [their] leaders were far more adept at revolutionary rhetoric."
Jones explained that although the goals of the masses were vague and subject to frequent change, they consistently identified a conspiracy of enemies -- foreigners, especially Jews -- who they viewed as having fractured the social fabric of "the nation," and embraced an ideology of "enlarged tribal consciousness" and a movement to achieve its inchoate goals.
According to Arendt, a vaguely defined ideology and a loose movement was "quite enough in a time which preferred a key to history to political action, when men in the midst of communal disintegration and social atomization wanted to belong at any price [emphasis added]."
Jeffrey Isaac is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, and a long-time editor-in-chief of one of the top political science journals in the world, Perspectives on Politics: A Political Science Public Sphere.
Isaac told Truthout that he believes what Arendt wrote about "mob mentality" applies to Trump, who rose to power by flouting "respectable leadership."
"What is most important, though, is this: Trump has risen to power by fomenting resentment, xenophobia and mass hysteria among his supporters," Isaac, who has written six books and more than 70 articles on the topics of democracy, totalitarianism and political rebellion, explained.
Trump was able to win, Isaac said, because "the old parties" are both in crisis." It is exactly this "crisis" of "the old parties" that Trump has used to propel himself into power.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, who writes and speaks frequently on fascism, authoritarian rulers and Donald Trump, agrees that much of Trump's political strategy relates to distancing himself from the US's two main political parties.
Ben-Ghiat told Truthout that Trump engages in "negative politics" by constantly referencing the failures of the established political parties and using these references as "a powerful lever to [his supporters'] personas as outsiders."
"Trump is in this tradition," Ben-Ghiat, who is working on a book entitled Strongmen: From Mussolini to Trump, added. "'I alone can fix it,' means the establishment parties have ruined the country; strong and new medicine is needed."

Sogyal Rinpoche: Whatever We Have Done With Our Lives

Whatever we have done with our lives 
makes us what we are when we die.
And everything,
absolutely everything,

- Sogyal Rinpoche

Rainer Maria Rilke: Love and Death

Love and death are the great gifts
that are given to us; 
mostly, they are passed on 

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Carl Jung: Shadow Work is the Path of the Heart Warrior

 Glimpses Into the Wisdom of Carl Jung

In each of us there is another whom we do not know.

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.

What you resist, persists. 

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

Depression is like a woman in black. If she turns up, don’t shoo her away. Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.

Normality is a fine ideal for those who have no imagination.

To be normal is the ultimate aim of the unsuccessful. 

Our world has become dehumanized. Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved in nature.  

Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.

Everyone you meet knows something you don't know but need to know. Learn from them.

To ask the right question is already half the solution of a problem.

Real liberation comes not from glossing over or repressing painful states of feeling, but only from experiencing them to the full.

Neurosis is the suffering of a soul which has not discovered its meaning.

Conflict exists strictly as an opportunity to raise our consciousness. 

To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is.

We don't get wounded alone and we don't heal alone.

We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.  

Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.

If our religion is based on salvation, our chief emotions will be fear and trembling. If our religion is based on wonder, our chief emotion will be gratitude. 

Shadow work is the path of the heart warrior. 

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.