Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Do You See What I See?

Do You See What I See? Do you hear what I hear?

Long time coming? Or was I just lacking in patience?

September 11, 2001

It was shocking, horrifying, devestating that terrorists could breach our national borders and kill U.S. citizens in cold blood on American soil.

I could not SEE what you saw that day. I was blind at the time. (Now I am blind no more. I wish the same for you, spiritually as well as physically.)

But then mostly all I could do was listen to hear of what you saw; on televised newscasts in the newspapers, magazines and periodicals. Through a haze like two sheets of waxed papers I sensed images and heard the anguish.

I was a part of this world and yet not quite.

Nonetheless, we all still remember and read and talk about it.

We always will.

We were changed by what happened. Yet not quite enough – which is one of my main points here.

In the aftermath we came together in shock and fear. We gathered in churches and synagogues wherever two or more could meet to talk and pray. We sought comfort in one another and that which was somewhere beyond. That which we could not quite see, but longed to feel; peace and comfort and meaning in that which seemed to have no meaning at all.

After a time, too little time, however, most returned to business as usual.

As if there could ever again be “usual.”

What I saw in 9/11 because I could not see what you saw -- of the bloody aftermath was only that which I could see with my heart. And the images I sensed that went beyond the physical into the spiritual dimension.

For me the time brought close the words of  Helen Keller --
The spiritual world offers no difficulty to one who is deaf and blind. Nearly everything in the natural world is as vague, as remote from my senses, as spiritual things seem to the minds of most people.
This very much reflects how I “saw” 9/11.

For me there was little difference between the physical world and the spiritual. So I saw what you saw as best I could; the spiritual taking dominance as the physical was so very vague for me.

Since that day, 9/11, and the weeks and months after I came to realize that somehow I was able to hold onto my spiritual musings more easily than most.

After all I had no meaningful work at the time to distract my attentions – and – no lingering, terrifying and bloody graphic images to haunt me. Soon after that day I created a brief study of attitudes and such to explore with the limited number of people I had access to in those blind days after 9/11.

Not able to drive and living, as I still do, up in the mountains, I found comfort for myself and created it for some by drawing those few into storytelling about what 9/11 meant for us all.

Not realizing, at the time, that I would come to find storytelling to be a path to healing and peace, personally and collectively; a recognition that would come, a few years later, when I had, after eight years, recovered my eyesight and had begun to heal from the trauma the loss brought about.

Storytelling would come to play a central role in my life after blindness, continuing to this day.

Now as the vista of 2015 looms ahead, I am recalling that brief following 9/11. And I am seeing something that I hope you too are seeing.

That early study presaged what my latest study, the Possible Human, Possible Society Study, has revealed, sometimes inspiring -- through stories -- and – sometimes disappointingly in actions that demonstrate, too frequently, what our minds would likely choose to dismiss –

We are a nation of people who, typically, only take time to lean into one another others opportunistically. When tragedy erupts or when doing so serves some other self-centered agenda. Thus we neglect doing that which would serve the higher good of all for one, one for all.

For example, individuals and groups have come together in protests around upsets involving police violence against African American men.  Several years back an equal or greater number took up the call that became Occupy Wall Street, pushing those  protesters in our faces on a daily basis.

Did this make a difference for all its noise? I wonder. Now you barely hear a word spoken of it.

Protest can be a good thing, boldly affirming our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. Protest also can turn violent as we are seeing. Even the simmering can be a precursor to treachery and tragedy.

Today I am standing on the side of a mountain where I live, overlooking the historic town of Harpers Ferry. My backyard backs up on sites, once sheltering civil war soldiers from both the Confederacy and Union.

It is almost an effortless endeavor here to immerse oneself in the history of that era. It is correspondingly with relative ease, with scenes of bloodshed surrounding us on every side out here, to call up those long ago voices of death; the cries of young men, dying for freedom.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. It never did. War, even civil war is not an answer.

So let us come together as the New Year of 2015 birth its entry to make the coming year one of personal and collective growth as an ever more civilized humanity, striving to take our evolving another level up.

New Horizons will do its part with an emphasis on guiding whoever will join us to tell our stories and listen with to one another with our hearts on our path to healing.

Do You See What I See? The unity and peace!

Do you hear what I hear? The unity and peace!

We can do this, more and more in 2015!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Silver Bells, Silver Bells

It’s holiday time all around us. Time to celebrate and time to reflect as the year grows to its close.

New Horizons Board of Directors, our volunteer team and myself thank all of you who have so generously and graciously participated in our Possible Human, Possible Society Study this past year.

And those of you who have become regular visitors to our three blog sites, our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show and/or are supporters of our general, overall efforts to contribute our small piece to making this a better world for each and every living thing in it.

With the holiday season now upon us we do not necessarily plan to be actively posting articles here until the first of the year.  It could happen but may not.

So we want to simply share our joy and appreciation to you for what we have been able to accomplish this past year that bodes well for the coming one, 2015. It is always a “WE” thing for us!

In the coming year, look for news about our progress –
  • In nearby Frederick County Maryland with our Coffee House Conversations on Race Relations;
  • At Hood College and other college campuses for an expansion of our Possible Human, Possible Society Study with interviews of students, faculty and administrators – and -- programs;
  • Through our general expansion of the study into new locales within the one hundred mile radius of the Washington, D.C. White House;
  • Practical application suggestions for building a better YOU as well as a society from Anastasia The Super Sleuth.
And more!

Our huge package is about to become more and more accessible to you.

With best wishes to you for a joyous and peaceful holiday season!

P.S. While we are off on a holiday, visit our newest blog site, Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure of A Lifetime for some new adventures with New Horizons and me, Anastasia.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Conversations Project on Race Relations To Promote Coalition

Press Release

Contact: Anastasia Rosen-Jones
Phone: (240)409.5347


New Horizons Conversations Project on Race Relations To Promote Coalition

Anastasia Rosen-Jones, executive director of the New Horizons Support Network, has announced plans for her organization to hold—along with other community leaders and groups—a coalition-organizing meeting around the subject of race relations in Frederick County. The objective of the meeting will be to discuss how groups and individuals in the county can expand current efforts to work together on this issue.

The program is slated to be held at Dublin Roasters Coffee, 1780 N. Market Street, Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 3 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Announcing this latest New Horizons’ initiative, Ms. Rosen-Jones stated, “The protests and violence that erupted out of events in Ferguson, Missouri; New York and elsewhere show us that whatever has been done to date on creating an equitable society in our country has obviously fallen short. We need an expanded effort in this regard. New Horizons, recognized in Frederick County as a model program for building bridges of commonality across lines of division through community dialogue, wishes to contribute talent, experience and effort toward the attainment of this goal.”

The coalition-forming meeting will include brief comments by Ms. Rosen-Jones and other community leaders. New Horizons’ conversations format, specially designed for the issue of Frederick County race relations, will, however, take center stage for the majority of the meeting, with comments from the group at-large playing a central role. Follow-up plans for community involvement in the project will be the concluding step 0f the event.

Those interested in participating or attending should contact Ms. Rosen-Jones. Advance reservations are encouraged as space is limited.

New Horizons Support Network, Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers programs designed to teach community development and violence-prevention skills and strategies through the conversations model of its “Small Zones of Peace” Project. The New Horizons Conversations on Race Relations effort will develop out of this project. Information about the project can be found at: Also, tune in to New Horizons’ “Possible Society in Motion” radio show: Ms. Rosen-Jones can be reached at: 240.409.5347 or


Friday, December 12, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri As A Door Opener

Your heart and mind have many doorways to personal and collective transformation. 

Here is a story of one of my own transformations, opening doorways in me from the personal to the collective.

Thanksgiving weekend brought with it moments of serious contemplation for many of us. The uprisings erupting out of the grand jury ruling to not indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown took center stage.

At a time when Americans customarily turned to the holiday and what it is intended to represent of our blessings, the ruling shifted attention, dramatically, from the holiday’s objective.

Perhaps it was intended to do that.

Why else position the announcement for this time, if not?

So, I, like many others were called to incorporate our responses to what was happening in Ferguson and elsewhere into our Thanksgiving feast day. Each of us, so inclined, having our own personal angle regarding how the situation was touching us.

As has become typical for me I sat down and wrote a blog article, using writing as a vehicle for sorting things out. What came of the effort was an article I titled: “Tribal Mindsets: The Light And The Dark Sides,” my name for it capturing how I was holding the subject.

Typically when I write as a means for ordering my mind I feel a sense of clarity and completion.

But this time was different.

In the article, I wrote of pondering particular things the Ferguson situation aroused in me.  As a result I found  myself drawn to revisit an incident that happened at a New Horizons’ Abkhazian Dinner event that has  left  still  unhealed  scars and  breaches. The situation, growing  out of  an occurrence  at the event of  verbal abuse that had, also, had strong racial overtones.

To  date the situation remains without reconciliation ,  almost  three  years past. But it  didn’t have  to  be this way; it still does not! 

I have always believed this.

Similarly, I was believing this of Ferguson, too. But what was best to do, now, I asked myself.

As I wrote the article, and then later continued reflecting on that earlier situation up against the current mayhem around Ferguson, I asked myself what had I learned from  my experience of the Abkhazian Dinner upset.

And what could I/we do with what we have learned from this and other past situations of racial tensions.

I had believed that  I  had  done  all I could  regarding  the Abkhazian Dinner  incident.   But maybe  I had not.  So I pondered that past with this present – and – wondered at it all.

Thus over the Thanksgiving holiday, I found myself looking again at my part in racial situations, past and present, that lack healing, to date. 

Ferguson, Missouri prompted  me to do this.

Much more began to flow into my heart and mind once this process of personal de-cluttering began. Alchemy was at work again, turning the lead in me into gold.

Low karat or not, gold is gold!

The most amazing of it all was that in the process my mind, almost magically, shifted to a separation I knew full well I had created.

Irrational as it seems  now, out of these clearing efforts I came to realize that in my growing distress with President Obama  I had, without conscious intent, begun to develop a racist attitude toward others of color, turning away from people I love. 

Racism can be that subtle.

OMG! I could not believe it when all at once I grasped what I had done.

Never before a racist, I had, inadvertently, become a part of this country’s problems with race relations, instead of being a part of the solution. (Sometimes being born Jewish gives one a predisposition to social justice, you may realize.)

OMG! A doorway to a locked down area of my heart and mind opened.

What did do with it? I followed my own prescription for the cure of polarization!

Almost instantly, I began to lean in to friends of mine of color instead of holding back.

Since few were around who could meet my almost instantaneous shift in awareness, I used my re-newed passion for social justice and creativity to draft a plan for New Horizons that we, collectively, could carry forth, born of an idea of  conscious concern this Thanksgiving holiday.

An Executive Director can take such liberties, even on a holiday.

So --- what’s happening next at New Horizons?

Out of Ferguson, Missouri we are, together, initiating a new project, building on our Small “Zones of Peace” conversations model  ---

Coffee House Conversations On Race Relations.
We do hope you will support this new effort of ours. Details will follow.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tonight We Celebrate

“The Times They Are A Changing” for the better, if you look closely and broadly enough.

Months ago, I said it on our May 15 Possible Society In Motion Radio Show, “The times they are a changing.”

Ain’t we smart?  The ones who are catching on to this new, enlightened reality.

Those of us who somehow are able to lift ourselves up and out of the daily debris about how awful things and life, in general, are around us.

In spite of Ferguson, in spite of thousands of other problems, big and small, there is Light in the Darkness, if you look closely enough.

On that May 15th show Jack and I took a look at the positive changes we are seeing in the world around us and within ourselves. A focus of that program was on how the contemporary marriage of science and mysticism is affecting our everyday mental mechanics.

And, how shifts in perception flow forward, if we allow them, making their way into our personal, daily living and our general culture, expanding our perspectives more and more into the positive with attitudes and actions following suit.

Join Jack and myself tonight for our Possible Society In Motion Radio where we will celebrate the bounty of this type of “living in the Light” with

Thursday, December 4, 2014 6:30 p.m.

As usual the on-air, broadcast portion of the show is followed by a conference call forum discussion. 

Guests are welcome to join in at: 712.432.0600, access code 640883 (also recorded).

If you miss the original conference call discussion, please contact New Horizons, the show's sponsoring organization, at: for access code for the conference call recording.

Magic Is Afoot!  

Tonight we celebrate!