Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Wisdom of Meister Eckhart

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.

Whatever God does, the first outburst is always compassion.

Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.

The outward work will never be puny if the inward work is great.

The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.

We rarely find people who achieve great things without first going astray.

We must come into a transformed knowing, an unknowing which comes not from ignorance but from knowledge.

Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.

One must not always think so much about what one should do, but rather what one should be. Our works do not ennoble us; but we must ennoble our works.

We are all meant to be mothers of God...for God is always needing to be born. 

If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you," it will be enough.

What happens to another, whether it be a joy or a sorrow, happens to me. 

If I had a friend and loved him because of the benefits which this brought me and because of getting my own way, then it would not be my friend that I loved but myself. I should love my friend on account of his own goodness and virtues and account of all that he is in himself. Only if I love my friend in this way do I love him properly.

There’s a place in the soul where you’ve never been wounded. 

Become aware of what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it, and give birth to it.

All God wants of man is a peaceful heart.

I need to be silent for a while, worlds are forming in my heart.  

There is no need to look for God here or there. He is no farther away than the door of your own heart. 

— Meister Eckhart 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

My Philosophy About Journalism and Other Quotes From Jeremy Scahill

With Jeremy Scahill in Portland
This morning I heard award winning investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill speak on Alternate Radio on KBOO here in Portland/Vancouver. And I was reminded of how critical and how much I long to hear the voices such as Jeremy's on our American media. The truth, of course, is that these essential voices are extremely limited or completely absent on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, and all corporate funded media. It's not just FOX and Breitbart that keep us misinformed, uninformed, and ignorant. True, the scope of misleading or neglected information varies widely in these resources, and I am not saying that the extreme right wing media are not the most toxic. They are. 

That said, true in-depth investigative journalism that presents us with the larger pictures of what we all most need to know is often tragically missing from most American media resources because they are beholden to something greater, to them, than the truth. They are tragically and toxically beholden instead to the large corporate funders they depend upon. There's a reason why endless war is justified and not questioned. There is a reason why the global warming "debate" continued in the United States far longer than anywhere else, leaving our nation as the only one still in "doubt" about the crucial facts which the well-being of life on Earth is dependent upon. There is a reason why all around we are witness to the erosion and death of democracy and the ideals our nation states it values. There is a reason why there are glaring symptoms illuminating that we are the frog in the fry pan being boiled to death that we frequently don't collectively see or talk about or own or become fierce about addressing and transforming, and even though these factors are causing so much horrific suffering and death and destruction.

Sometimes we hear excuses given as to why the voices of independent media resources are largely silenced, neglected, discounted, or demonized they're too left wing, too radical, too "anti-American," too alarmist and the American public could not handle what they have to say. Etc. And yet, again and again and again we are exposed to the perspectives of the extreme right-wing and neoliberals who are in bed with the fossil fuel industry, the military industrial complex, Wall Street, etc. The profound lie is that corporate media brings us "balance."

And so, unless we seek them out, it is not uncommon that we in America may have little to no idea about the many layered truths and facts that are essential for us to be aware of. To the extent that we don't hear the voices of Jeremy Scahill — and Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva, Glen Greenwald, Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Michelle Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Henry Giroux, Daniel Ellsberg, Matt Taibbi, Dahr Jamail, Lee Fang, Sharon Lerner, Cornell West, Jane Mayer, David Korten, Riane Eisler, Robert McChesney, Arundhati Roy, Norman Soloman, Bill McKibben, Amy Siskind, etc., etc. — is the degree that we Americans will remain vulnerable to being a largely uninformed, polarized, and propagandized populace. 

Please know that I say all of the above with the greatest humility. It was not until the aftermath of 9-11 that I even began to truly seek to identify and understand what I did not know. All I knew in my deepest being was that George W. Bush was lying when he said that "they attacked us for our freedom." But I had no idea why we were attacked. And my passionate search for truth led me to the recognition that I have been highly misinformed, uninformed, indoctrinated, and propagandized. Every day brings me new opportunities to lift additional veils of my ignorance and illusions. I believe that, to one degree or another, we all have these blind spots and places of not knowing. If we are alive and breathing, it is likely that there is more to unearth within ourselves and this beautiful troubled world we share.

The information, consciousness, and wisdom that we need to galvanize on behalf of a higher good for us all is likely to remain tragically impaired or missing from our lives — unless we become brave-hearted enough to cultivate a profound commitment to following the threads of truth wherever they may lead. And certainly discernment of who to turn to and trust for our information is critical. How else do we even know what questions to ask? We can heal our injured instincts and our tendencies to buy into polarizing propaganda. We can set our sights and intentions on widening our minds and our hearts and our capacity to do good in the world.

Thus my ongoing prayer that our species will evolve and awaken. May we nourish and strengthen the values, actions, and belief systems which are deeply rooted in courage, caring, compassion, wisdom, truth, and love. And may we inspire and reach for that which is most noble within ourselves and each other. We truly are all in this together.

With deepest blessings to all my relations — Molly


My Philosophy About Journalism and
Other Quotes From Jeremy Scahill

My philosophy about journalism is simple that we have a job to hold those in power accountable, to give voice to the voiceless, and to provide people with information that they can use to make informed decisions about what policies they want enacted in their name and what policies they don't.

I have chosen to cast my lot with independent media outlets because I believe that only through independent reporting where you are not beholding to the interests of corporations or government are you able to really aggressively pursue the truth.

I believe that one of the most important institutions in a democratic society is a free press. 

For much of my life as a journalist, I've viewed myself as being embedded with civilians and with those people who live on the other side of the barrel of a gun.

I don't pretend to be objective. There is no such thing as being an objective journalist.

What I believe in is being transparent and truthful and always trying to get the facts right. People will make their own judgment of whether or not they want to trust you based on how transparent you are with them and the principles that you bring to the game.

The first week I was in Iraq, I said, "This is what I want to do. I want to be a reporter and to tell stories of people whose stories would not be told if we don't gather them." It's part of what I think of as the one-two punch of journalism. You're trying to give voice to the voiceless, and then you're also trying to hold those in power accountable, regardless of what party they're in.

Because I didn't see war in Iraq through the partisan lens that seems to dominate a lot of the perspective today with Fox News on the one side and MSNBC on the other, I didn't see it as Democrats good, Republicans bad. I saw it as a situation where the United States is a force that engages in these military operations around the world, and it's the job of journalists to provide the American people with information they can use to make informed decisions.

My fear, as an American, is that our own actions are going to contribute to an inspiration for terrorists to want to harm us or kill us.

Blackwater is a company whose business depends on war and conflict to thrive. It operates in a demand-based industry where corporate profits are intimately linked to an escalation of violence. Blackwater had won $1 billion in “diplomatic security” contracts through the State Department alone.

I also think that we [Americans] are operating out of fear in our country. It's not that terrorism is not a threat, but it's not an existential threat. It is not the preeminent threat facing most Americans on any given day, and yet the power of nightmares is so strong. 

I think we [Americans] are going to look back and realize that the civil liberties that we've given up in the name of security, the authority that we've given Democratic and Republican presidents, all have contributed to a fraying of the fabric of our democratic republic.

Three weeks after he climbed out the kitchen window, the boy was outdoors with his cousins—teenagers like him—laying a picnic for dinner beneath the stars. It was then he would have heard the drones approaching, followed by the whiz of the missiles. It was a direct hit. The boy and his cousins were blown to pieces. All that remained of the boy was the back of his head, his flowing hair still clinging to it. The boy had turned sixteen years old a few weeks earlier and now he had been killed by his own government. He was the third US citizen to be killed in operations authorized by the president in two weeks. The first was his father.

If we're going to kill our own people without even charging them with a crime, well, then we should just say we live in a different country, and stop telling the world that we're the sort of great, shining city on the hill. 

I discovered that over the past decade a series of secret presidential orders had given JSOC unprecedented authority. The battlefield was expanded, and JSOC could now hit at will in countries beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.

Somehow, in front of our eyes, undeclared wars have been launched in countries across the globe. Foreigners and citizens alike assassinated by presidential decree. The 'War on Terror' transformed into a self-fulfilling prophesy. 

How does a war like this ever end? And what happens to us, when we finally see what's hidden in plain sight?
— Jeremy Scahill
Jeremy Scahill is an investigative reporter, war correspondent, co-founder of The Intercept, and author of the international bestselling books Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield and Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.  He has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe. Scahill has served as the national security correspondent for The Nation and Democracy Now!, and in 2014 co-founded The Intercept with fellow journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and investor Pierre Omidyar.

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