Thursday, May 30, 2013

Polarization Promoters

There are so many polarization promoters on every corner of life these days that one might think the hawkers of the latest political problem, social controversy, scandal or tragedy; media moguls, politicians, big business entrepreneurs, religious extremists and so forth, truly have the last word on the world’s complete reality.

But we play right into their game; seduced like Pinocchio by the donkey man that will soon harness our lives, if not our minds, should we not be decidedly more conscious.
Nonetheless, too many of us are constantly attracted to the daily infusion of carnival-like excitement these venders of self-interest peddle. Thus we avoid giving much attention to discerning other priorities that might bring us that high quality of life we say we want; a mode that might be more fulfilling than cotton candy; certain to always leave us feeling a bit sticky and empty.

Instant gratification is the name of this game, often diverting conscious awareness of more wholesome alternatives. But many of us elect this lazy path, finding the convenience of the easy way out too enticing to resist.
I have naught to contribute to any betterment of this disturbing and unsavory circumstance other than the freedom of speech that allows me to write and share these words.

However, celebrating my three years of writing these blogs, three years tomorrow, I can be grateful that here, to whatever benefit, I can readily say what I hear and see.

One of my main concerns, however, is that the emerging findings of New Horizons Possible Human, Possible Society Study, while not to be completed until December 31, 2015, are already revealing strong tendencies of everyday citizens to be polarization promoters rather than solvers of the problem.  I am growing increasingly troubled about the significance of this one finding, the extent of strong tendencies in everyday citizens to sabotage nationwide unity rather than build it.

If you are looking to be an active part of solving this problem of our epidemic of polarization, I invite you to join Jack Slattery and myself tonight on our Possible Society In Motion Show where I will have the opportunity, with the aid of questions and comments from Jack, my co-host, to air my concerns about this finding from our Possible Human, Possible Society study.

You can also join us for this topic, following our on-air discussion at 7:00 p.m., with our conference call conversation. (Call in number: 712.432.0600, access code: 640883), also, recorded tonight.

Or listen in to our podcast and plan to join us soon as we open up the lines for on-air call-ins in the near future.

On the other hand, there are so many stories of people, not very different than you and I, that are doing everything they can to be builders of unity. We will be discussing some of these in weeks to come.

Bridge building is an art, especially when its intent is to cross the rivers of diversity.  We need every available artist in this country to take an active part in a nationwide effort to build bridges to unite all our many peoples on every front of our lives; in our homes, our schools, our neighborhoods and our local communities. And, to pass this art on to those that are just beginners at it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beyond Adversarialism: The Art of Leaning In

A man I admire greatly invited Sue and myself to assist him with a relationship problem he was having with his wife. Thus we all came together; Sue, her husband, Paul, the man and his wife and myself, for a meeting expressly held for this purpose; relationship healing and development (i.e. making peace and building cooperation and unity in the relationship).

We all put forth our best at our gathering. I have no doubt of this. And, at the time it seemed that we made some notable headway. Then it came apart, not long after. 
The scenario that emerged reminded me of our president and congress; polarization that just gets worse, word by word.
Is this excellence in
human affairs?
If not, why not?
Taking a break from the heat being generated, I asked myself, once again, as I often do these days when events of this nature arise –
How is it that so many people, even the seemingly wise and wonderful, say they want the success of peace, unity and  well-being for all, but are so unable to attain it, especially in their most significant relationships?

A corollary question is:
How is that we can put a man on the moon and yet still manage to avoid having peace and harmony in our homes and communities?

My answer has five main components, at least for today.
Question: What does the presence of these components look like when activated and put into motion?
More to come.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Making Violence Obsolete

The idea is so radical.
Beyond the most absurd notion, slowing down and talking to one another, that Mary Pipher suggests in her book, Writing to change the world, when I heard this from Murat, New Horizons community development mentor I knew that it, even more sweeping in scope, was valid –

Violence could be obsolete, someday, generations from now, if only ---
Seeds have the potential
to come alive.
 The essential ingredients that generate and sustain peace and well-being in individuals, relationships, families and communities can be cultivated. The seeds of this potential exist in all.
If these seeds are nurtured with the proper human nutrients, enduring human structures can be established wherein violence could become obsolete as it would no longer be a necessary, for some, option.

Why are we willing to settle for less?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Essential tensions in conflict and cooperation

Jack and I had the pleasure of having Dr. Robert Brink with us for our Possible Society In Motion Show on Thursday, April 25 to discuss essential tensions in conflict and cooperation.  I have been moved since, by Bob’s perspectives, to consider possiblities for looking at present social problems in our country from a more scientific perspective.  
Dr. Robert Brink.
Hear our April 25
conversation with him here
Is such an endeavor within the realm of the reasonable? At least as I interpreted that which Bob  was suggesting about the innate electromagnetic force field within which polarization exists at its most fundamental and, likely, profound levels.
In particular Bob’s unique viewpoints have lately provided a window for me through which I have been contemplating, even recent tragic events, with a consideration as to how these  might be viewed in a more scientifc and wholistic way.
Of course, I knew that these perspectivew  were definitely beyond my immediate abilities to fully understand them. Let alone do justice to them with any brief articulation I might do regarding them.  Still I think we were on the threshold of the Tao of Physics, here, with these ideas of Bob’s. And, while I do, experientially, know the “tao” and could almost speak of it, at least in some circles, the physics part is way beyond my lexicon.
In spite of these limitations, the idea that scientific principles might be genuinely acceptable considerations for earth plane problems is no small idea. It has not been far from my mind since this interview. So I have pondered --

·         What difference do scientic ideas such as the fact that opposites attract and like poles repel make anyway, when real life mortals are dying around us in the meantime?
·         What is the yin and the yang of events such as the Boston Marathon Bombings?
·         How can understanding the notions related to electromagnetic fields be useful in assisting the healing of the three abucted and tortured Cleveland women?
No small questions, here, and no simple answers. Still, I am drawn to the reasonableness of my contemplations, fostered by Bob’s inspiring ideas, as I am well aware that it was my ongoing search for  the peak of the Mountain of Awe that brought me through the ordeal of my eight years of blindness and recovery from it.
So what is really going on here that I/we should heed? Or is it that the two realms of existence; the physical and the spiritual, are just simply one, no matter how separate we view and experience them. And, how does knowing this help anything, if it is so?
I present myself, here again, as a student wanting to learn.
Bob’s special interests have taken him into some fascinating areas other than what one might expect of a clinical psychologist. With two award winning documentaries to his credit on alternatives to ordinary solutions, especially in the areas of health and healing I was more than ready to hear what he had to offer us.
I am eager for the opportunity to talk with him again, soon, and learn more from him. I wish this opportunity for you too.

Awe is such a hard mountain to climb

Living, as I do, on the side of a mountain -- and -- having grown accustomed, as I have, to a trek, now and again, to the peak, I have long grown accustomed to the effort required to physically climb to that high point.  On a far more regular basis, I am totally familiar with the climb to the metaphorical “Mountain of Awe” in my mind. I make that climb, or attempt it, almost each and every day. Sometimes I reach the peak, sometimes not.
(Actually the “mountain” that New Horizons is situated on is, comparatively. more like a hill, if truth be told. But West Virginians are not inclined to go on record as being the “hill state” rather than the “mountain state.)

I think, if I remember correctly, that I began the discipline of my daily trek to the top of the Mountain of Awe in my mind as the only way I could find to survive the ordeal of losing my eyesight and recovering from the challenge. I could find no other way to manage it so I did this. And, obviously, I did manage the test and am now returned, sufficiently, to tell of the adventure and guide others to the peak. 
But I might not have noticed, however, that I am now attracting growing numbers of other adventurers to travel with me/us on a similar adventure that is collective as well as personal.

For almost fifteen long years I have relentlessly sought this peak; the top of the Mountain of Awe. Goodness that is so many years to keep climbing that one mountain and sometimes it all has been so very tiring.
This morning Sue reminded me, however, that my unshakable dedication to the vision that reaching this peak represents (and sharing the experience with others) is being realized even as I speak here.

As New Horizons now moves forward to re-open the doors of our retreat center, June 22, and bring back to life the ways of “old” New Horizons and what it has become since its marriage in 1999 to the ancient teachings of Murat Yagan’s heritage, according to his guidance, we hope you will want to join us as we carry our mission forth; New Horizons’ contribution to our brave new world. Such as it is and can be.
Our mission is --
To educate and train individuals and groups to create Small “Zones Of Peace” wherever they go wherein violence, deceit and denial will ultimately become obsolete.
Our methodology includes principles articulated on these pages –

Be cautioned, however, these documents will only describe “about” the experience. To “know it,” you will have to learn “about it” and live it. We hope you will want to do this with us.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Real Deal" and "Pretender Peace Buddies" Topic To Be Aired

The “Real Deal” Peace Buddy has come to be New Horizons’ symbol of an individual, genuinely, doing his/her best to “walk the walk” of the Possible Human, Possible Society and, being a viable role model for others doing likewise.
This week our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show, acknowledges Jim Wagner, award winner of the New Horizons’ 2012 Peace Buddy Award, for his outstanding efforts in this area.

Jim, a Frederick County, Maryland, local peace activist, environmentalist, minimalist and practicing Quaker, will join Jack and myself this week to share his perspectives on daily living and his vision for a possible society in motion.
Honored with this award, Jim’s congruency, of values, principles and actions, won my (Anastasia) admiration during interviews with him for the Possible Human, Possible Society Study. The board members of New Horizons unanimously affirmed my recommendation to grant Jim the award. The study is presently ongoing through December 31, 2015.

On this show I will offer a few remarks on the distinctions found, thus far, through the study on the differences between “Real Deal” and “Pretender Peace Buddies.” The topic will be taken up in greater detail in coming shows.

Jack Slattery will, again, join me as co-host for the show.

Check this link for show details and time. And, do please join us for our conference call-in discussion following the on-air broadcast.