How to transform the world

(Amazon.com)

“Home isn’t a place. It’s a person.”

–Robert Falconer

“If everything is under control, you are going too slow.”

–Mario Andretti, race car driver

“IF you want to awaken all of humanity, awaken all of yourself. Truly the greatest gift you have to give is you own transformation.”

–Lau Tzu


About the author

Robert Falconer is best known for his deep involvement with Internal Family Systems therapy as a practitioner, teacher, and writer. For much of his long career, he has focused on the healing of childhood sexual abuse and other major trauma.

He now is focused on placing IFS in a multicultural and historical context and working with the others within us –what we find in our minds that is not part of our systems, called unattached burdens and guides in IFS.

Bob has come to recognize and appreciate that how we conceive of ourselves and the boundaries of our minds is vitally important not only as a substantial cause of personal suffering but also as an underlying factor in many of our modern social problems.

Is Prospero named after the historical Prospero Colonna a.k.a. Columbus?

(annienormal.com)

“Competition is natural to the ignorant; and cooperation is natural to the wise.”

–Manly Palmer Hall in The Secret Destiny of America

“A new world was necessary for a new idea [democracy]. When it was necessary it was discovered. That which is needed is alwasy near if man has the wit to find it.”

–Manly Palmer Hall in The Secret Destiny of America

“The character of Prospero, magician, philosopher and Duke of Milan, is believed to be based upon a historical person whose name was Prospero Colonna. It is interesting that Columbus usually signed himself ‘Colon.’ . . . The ‘brave new world’ referred to by Miranda, is certainly America.”

–Manly Palmer Hall in The Secret Destiny of America

Manly Palmer Hall (March 18, 1901 – August 29, 1990) was a Canadian author, lecturer, astrologer and mystic. Over his 70-year career he gave thousands of lectures and published over 150 volumes, of which the best known is The Secret Teachings of All Ages. In 1934 he founded the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles. Wikipedia

A Party of Precarious Manhood, Led by a Blithering Idiot

Trump’s acceptance speech was a mishmash of self-love, protestations of toughness, and prefabricated lies.

BY HAROLD MEYERSON 

JULY 19, 2024 (Prospect.org)

Meyerson-RNC day 071924.jpg

JAE C. HONG/AP PHOTO

Donald Trump speaks on the final night of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

The problem with Joe Biden, sometimes, is that you can’t hear him. The problem with Donald Trump is that you can.

The facade of a disciplined appeal to the better angels of our nature that Republican convention planners worked so assiduously to convey this week (interrupted only sporadically by Big Lies) was shattered last night by its standard-bearer’s acceptance speech. It’s not just that Donald Trump’s normal mode of discourse is a stream of consciousness; it’s that the consciousness he streams is a mental trash heap consisting of the lashings-out of a wounded ego, the defensive self-love of a furious narcissist, the concocted lies of a serial fabulist, and the random droppings of the tabloid far-right.

But give Trump credit where credit is due. His interminable speech—which played like 40 years in an oratorical desert—managed to bring down a convention poised to explode in joy at his appearance and anticipation of an easy victory.

The Democrats, of course, have their own problem with their leader’s public performances. But at least they have the good sense to be on the verge of yanking the nomination from their sadly enfeebled president. No such sentiment is apparent in Republican ranks, though you have to wonder what the new breed of MAGA policy wonks and the venture capitalists of Silicon Valley now funding Trump’s campaign were thinking as Trump wandered endlessly through the clotted cesspools of his mind. Or imagine what Usha Vance might have said to her husband J.D. once they left the arena: “You’re going to be vice president to that moron?!” (Those are my imagined words, to be clear, but does anyone want to bet she didn’t say something like that?)

More from Harold Meyerson

Trump’s speech was so appalling that it totally eclipsed its bizarre lead-up. He was preceded to the podium by an aging Hulk Hogan, who visibly struggled to rip off his T-shirt to reveal the Trump shirt beneath, brought on by a performance by Kid Rock, and actually introduced by Dana White, the man who brought cage fighting into the American home. Both Hogan and White said that Trump was the toughest man they’d ever met, though after the 92 minutes of mental flabbiness that Trump then unleashed, one was forced to conclude that both White and the Hulkster had lived lives of complete solitude.

It was actually with Trump’s ad-libbed expressions of gratitude to these worthies, and admiration for their prowess, that his speech began to go off the rails. He paused to note how good White’s introduction had been, then rhapsodized about how Hogan had once lifted a 350-pound ring opponent over his head and slammed him to the canvas. Only then did he remember to acknowledge his pick for vice president, pointing to Vance sitting with his dumbstruck wife in the Trump family’s box.

Then he was off to the free-association races, recounting the subpoenas his sons had received and linking them, through some indecipherable flowchart, to “Crazy Nancy Pelosi.”

Eventually, Trump got around to praising strongmen a lot more dangerous than Hogan and White. He proudly cited the praise that Hungary’s Victor Orbán, “a very tough man,” had showered on him when he said of Trump that “everybody was afraid of him.” After basking in that validation of his own presumed toughness, Trump spoke fondly of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, next to whom Orbán is a Jeffersonian democrat.

Convention planners had featured images and stories of Trump’s softer side—the family man, the doting grandpa—to win over women voters who wanted to vote for him but found him crass, boorish, and inclined to violence. At the same time, though, they doubled down on targeting largely working-class men who feared and hated the feminization of social life and the niceties of bourgeois propriety and hypocrisy. These guys were either already in Trump’s corner or just too alienated to bother to vote. These guys were also a disproportionate slice of the electorate in the crucial swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, so the planners particularly emphasized what has always been Trump’s fundamental appeal: He’s “one tough SOB,” as Teamsters President Sean O’Brien called him on the convention’s opening night, and just as pissed at the decline in status of blue-collar masculinity as they were. Hence the trotting out of icons of hypermasculinity to bring Trump onto the stage.

Last month, I devoted an article to a study that had been published in 2020 in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, to which my attention had been drawn by one of Tom Edsall’s New York Times columns. The authors, I wrote

sought out the Google Trends search data for the 12 months immediately preceding the 2016 election for erectile dysfunction, penis size, penis enlargement, hair loss, hair plugs, testosterone, and Viagra—gender-affirming care, of a sort—and labeled them as indices of Precarious Manhood. They produced a map of the United States showing where those Google searches were most common (Appalachia and the Deep South). And by running the standard statistical regression analyses, they found a strong predictive correlation between the rates of those Google searches and the votes for Donald Trump in 2016 (though, of course, those were also votes against Hillary Clinton).

They found the same correlation between those “precarious manhood” findings and votes for Republican House candidates in 2018, but no such correlations in the two preceding presidential elections (2008 and 2012), in which the Republicans nominated John McCain and then Mitt Romney. It was only once the party had become Donald Trump’s that this correlation appeared.

But there are other indices of “precarious manhood” that don’t relate to sexual potency—most importantly, I think, the increasing disappearance of jobs requiring work with one’s hands in construction, transportation, and manufacturing that were sufficiently remunerative and steady that they could support a family. As such work became more mechanized and as unionization declined, such jobs became scarce. In the late 1980s, the great sociologist William Julius Wilson documented the decline of such jobs among Black men, and the corresponding rise of children raised by single mothers due to the disappearance of what he termed “marriageable men.” Since then, that decline has spread to the white working class as well, leading to the significant reduction in the rate of working-class marriages documented by Andrew Cherlin in his important study Labor’s Love Lost.

Democrats and Republicans have both responded to these changes, but in crucially different ways. The idea of reviving American manufacturing is common to both parties, with the signal difference that in the Trump presidency, it took the form of talk and in the Biden presidency, it took the form of action. For all of Trump’s blather about getting America to build again, he never got an infrastructure bill through Congress even when Republicans controlled both houses. The investments he proposed were so piddling that the legislation never even took shape. By contrast, two of Biden’s signature achievements—the infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act (which chiefly consisted of billions in tax credits for new factories making electric vehicles and other green products)—have led to the first major increase in factory construction in several decades. In 2023, spending on building new factories increased by 73 percent over spending the previous year. Moreover, the Biden administration has favored projects that pay their workers union-scale wages or commit to not opposing workers’ efforts to unionize—conditions that never even crossed the minds of officials in Trump’s administration, much less Trump himself.

That’s all the more reason why the MAGA movement is so reliant on the cult of toughness and hypermasculinity: Delivering nothing that’s tangible, it compensates with violent rhetoric. That’s a task that’s made easy, as violent rhetoric is Trump’s mother tongue. The plan was for him to keep that under wraps last night, to stick to the denunciation of divisive politics and the pledge to seek unity that was inscribed on the teleprompter. Trump hewed to that for the first 20 minutes, but he couldn’t sustain it. Boys will be boys and Trump will be Trump—a malevolent deranged geezer for all to see.

HAROLD MEYERSON

Harold Meyerson is editor at large of The American Prospect.

Weekly Invitational Translation: The excitement of war is more fun than the hard work of self-observation.

Translation is a 5-step process of “straight thinking in the abstract” comparing and contrasting what you think is the truth with what you can syllogistically, axiomatically and mathematically (using word equations) prove is the truth.

The claims in a Translation may seem outrageous, but they are always (or should always be) based on self-evident syllogistic reasoning. Here is one Translation from this week. 

1)    Truth is that which is so.  That which is not truth is not so.  Therefore Truth is all that is.  Truth being all is therefore total, therefore whole, therefore one, therefore united, therefore harmonious, therefore orderly  I think therefore I am.  Since I am and since Truth is all that is, therefore I, being, am Truth.  Since I, being, am Truth, therefore i, being, have all the attributes of Truth.  Therefore I, being, am total, whole, one, united, harmonious, orderly.  Since I, being, am Truth and since i, being, am mind. therefore Truth is Mind/Consciousness.  (Two things being equal to a third thing, are equal to each other.)

2)    The excitement of war is more fun than the hard work of self-observation.

Word-tracking:
excitement:  to set in motion
war:  strife, confusion, to mix up, confuse, diffuse
work:  drudgery, exhausting, boring, strenuous
self:  personality, characteristics, attributes, traits
observation:  seeing, perceiving, watch, awake, aware
fun:  to fool, to be a fool, to be an empty-headed person
play:  to leap for joy, to dance

3)    Truth being mind/consciousness and Truth being all that is,  therefore Truth is all-knowing, all-aware, all-observant, all-awake.  Truth being one, there can be no other self than Truth. therefore Truth is the only Self.  Truth being the only Self and Truth observing all, therefore all that Truth can observe is Itself.  Truth being one, united, harmonious, cannot also be confused, mixed up, at war with Itself, therefore Truth is certain peace.  Truth being all that is is therefore all that be’s, all that exists, all that lives, all that moves.  Therefore Truth doesn’t have to be excited into motion, Truth is perpetual motion.  And Truth being harmonious, therefore Truth is harmonious perpetual  motion.  Since Truth is harmonious perpetual motioin, it cannot at the same time be boring, exhausting or strenuous, therefore the harmonious movement of Truth is always a dance of joy.

4)    Truth is all-knowing, all-aware, all-observant, all-awake. 
        Truth is the only Self. 
        All that Truth can observe is Itself. 
        Truth is certain peace. 
        Truth is perpetual motion.
        Truth is harmonious perpetual  motion. 
        The harmonious movement of Truth is always a dance of joy.

5)    Truth is harmonious, playful, perpetual motion, the eternal dance of joy..

For information about Translation or other Prosperos classes go to: https://www.theprosperos.org/teaching

Tarot Card for July 19: The Ace of Swords

The Ace of Swords

As a Suit, Swords are about thought, communication, and, sadly, often also about conflict and emotional turmoil. People often become confused about why that should be – this Suit contains more ‘bad’ cards than any of the others. But when you consider that one thing which inevitably happens when we are hurt and unhappy is that objectivity and clarity go out of the window, you might be able to understand why so many harsh cards turn up here.Aces are always about the beginning of something – usually related to the Suit they are from. From that you can see that the Ace of Swords is about the ability to see things from a clear perspective. When this card rules, we are able to cut away the rubbish and confusion which tends to cloud out major issues. We can see what is important and worth fighting for. And we can also identify the red herrings that keep us from seeing clearly.We become more able to make good decisions, more ready to see other points of view, more clear about what we really think about things. When this happens we often choose totally new directions for ourselves, reaching a point where we can transform and empower our experiences.So when this card comes up in a reading, or to rule a day, then it means that we need to step back, and think rationally about everything which crosses our path. We need to cut away rubbish and clutter, so we can see the inner truth we seek.There is a decisive and powerful energy which flows from this card, and engaging with it will allow us to understand ourselves, and others more thoroughly than before.In a spiritual sense the appearance of the Ace of Swords will often mark a turning point or breakthrough into new clarity and wisdom

Robinson Jeffers on Moral Beauty, the Interconnectedness of the Universe, and the Key to Peace of Mind

By Maria Popova (themarginalian.org)

“Happy people die whole,” Robinson Jeffers (January 10, 1887–January 20, 1962) wrote in one of his poems. “Integrity is wholeness,” he wrote in another. For Jeffers, whose verses became revered hymns of the environmental movement as Rachel Carson was making ecology a household word, this meant wholeness not only within oneself but also wholeness with the rest of the natural world, with the integrity of the universe itself — an ethos consonant with his contemporary John Muir’s insistence that “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” Jeffers coined the term inhumanism to describe the perilous counterpoint to this awareness. Humanity, he worried, had become too solipsistic, too divorced from the rest of nature, too blind to the “astonishing beauty of things” — beauty the protection of and participation in which is both our natural inheritance and our civilizational responsibility.

Although Jeffers’s ideas moved and influenced generations of readers, writers, artists, activists, and even policymakers — from Ansel Adams and Edward Weston to Bill McKibben and Terry Tempest Williams — he never formally articulated his spiritual credo outside of verse. Never, except once.

Robinson Jeffers by Edward Weston

In the autumn of 1934, Jeffers received a letter from Sister Mary James Power — a principal and teacher at a girls’ Catholic high school in Massachusetts. A lifelong lover of poetry, Power had endeavored to edit an anthology of prominent poets’ reflections on the spiritual dimensions of their art and their creative motive force. She invited Jeffers to contribute, asking about his “religious attitudes.” His response, originally published in Powers’s 1938 book Poets at Prayer and later included in The Wild God of the World: An Anthology of Robinson Jeffers (public library), is one of the most beautiful and succinct articulations of a holistic, humanistic moral philosophy ever committed to words — some of the wisest words to live and think and feel by.

Jeffers writes:

It is a sort of tradition in this country not to talk about religion for fear of offending — I am still a little subject to the tradition, and rather dislike stating my “attitudes” except in the course of a poem. However, they are simple. I believe that the universe is one being, all its parts are different expressions of the same energy, and they are all in communication with each other, influencing each other, therefore parts of one organic whole. (This is physics, I believe, as well as religion.)

Illustration by Oliver Jeffers from Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Writing in the same era in which Carson revolutionized our understanding of the natural world and our place in it with her lyrical writings about the sea, observing that “against this cosmic background the lifespan of a particular plant or animal appears, not as drama complete in itself, but only as a brief interlude in a panorama of endless change,” Jeffers adds:

The parts change and pass, or die, people and races and rocks and stars, none of them seems to me important in itself, but only the whole. This whole is in all its parts so beautiful, and is felt by me to be so intensely in earnest, that I am compelled to love it, and to think of it as divine. It seems to me that this whole alone is worthy of the deeper sort of love; and that here is peace, freedom, I might say a kind of salvation.

But this “salvation,” Jeffers observes in a sensitive caveat, is not something that happens to us, passively — it is something that happens in us, through our active participation in life, through the choices we make during the brief interlude of our existence as animate beings in an animate universe. Wholeness itself is a participatory act — both a faculty of being and a function of becoming, to be mastered and refined in the course of living. (I too have wondered how, in this blink of existence bookended by nothingness, we attain completeness of being.) Jeffers writes:

I think that one may contribute (ever so slightly) to the beauty of things by making one’s own life and environment beautiful, so far as one’s power reaches. This includes moral beauty, one of the qualities of humanity, though it seems not to appear elsewhere in the universe. But I would have each person realize that his contribution is not important, its success not really a matter for exultation nor its failure for mourning; the beauty of things is sufficient without him.

Complement this fragment of the wholly ravishing Wild God of the World with poet and philosopher Parker Palmer, a modern-day Jeffers of a kind, on the elusive art of inner wholeness, neurologist Oliver Sacks on beauty as a lens on the interconnectedness of the universe, evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis on the spirituality of science and the interconnectedness of life.

Tarot Card for July 18: The Queen of Wands

The Queen of Wands

As a suit, Wands are direct, determined and connected to Will and its appropriate application. The Queen of Wands represents a woman who knows exactly what she wants out of life, and aims at her goals with great dedication.She is often a woman who has experienced conflict and trauma, and learned from these. She’s usually independent, forthright and self-motivated. As a friend she will be loyal and honest, though sometimes given to handing out unwelcome advice, and taking over.As a parent she can be quite dominant, claiming that she wants her off spring to be self-reliant and confident, but sometimes tending to become impatient, and do things on their behalf in her own way, rather than allowing her children to make up their own minds.She’s a fighter, who does not suffer fools gladly. She will support and assist those who are vulnerable and needy, offering unceasing energy and determination. She takes up causes readily, and proves herself a worthy adversary. However she has a tendency not to know when to stop, and enjoys being at the forefront of the battle, rather than beavering away on the more routine aspects of any campaign.This is a forceful and proud woman. She applies high standards to everything she becomes involved in. As a result, she can sometimes be somewhat intolerant of people who do things differently.So – The Queen of Wands – a fine ally, and a dangerous enemy!

Full Moon In Capricorn – Now Or Never

(Astrobutterfly.com)

On July 21st, 2024 we have a Full Moon at 29° Capricorn.

Not only this is at the 2nd Full Moon in Capricorn (the first one was on June 21st, 2024) but it happens at the very last degree of Capricorn.

The last degree of a sign is called the anaretic degree, and it’s believed to be particularly powerful. Representing the maximum accumulated experience, the 29th degree is basically an ‘expert’ of the sign. It knows it inside out.

This Full Moon at 29° Capricorn is a culmination, but also a new beginning. We usually don’t associate Full Moons with new beginnings – new beginnings are typically associated with New Moons -, but this particular Full Moon in Capricorn has some very interesting astral signatures:

  • The Full Moon is at 29° Capricorn and its conjunct Pluto at 0° Aquarius.
  • The Full Moon is engaged in 2 aspects: a sextile with Neptune at 29° Pisces, and a trine to Mars at 0° Gemini. We again find the 29th degree (the last degree of the sign) and the 0 degree (the 1st degree of the sign).

The Full Moon in Capricorn is basically a culmination followed by a new beginning.

The 29th degree of this lunation suggests that ‘we’ve been there, done that.’ We know what to expect. We know what we need to focus on. There are no big surprises.

Yet, this time we fully commit. We go full in. We don’t look back. It’s now or never. And when we find this 100% commitment, something miraculously happens.

This 100% commitment is what I see as the sacred passage from the 29th degree of Capricorn to 0° Aquarius. This 100% commitment has the potential to create a breakthrough and miraculously change our lives.

At the Full Moon in Capricorn, can finally break free from old patterns and models (Capricorn as the Saturn-ruled, tradition-driven sign) to embrace change (Aquarius as the Uranus-ruled, breakthrough-driven sign).

Full Moon in Capricorn – 100% Commitment

I have written a few times about the concept of 100% commitment, but I feel this time is particularly significant because we’re talking about a serious, commitment-loving Capricorn Moon, AND because this Full Moon is conjunct Pluto. And Pluto wants us to be 100% in.

There is something magical about a 100% commitment.

Not 99%, not even 99.9%, but 100%. When we are 100% committed, we are all in. Failing is not an option. When we are 100% committed, we connect ourselves to the fabric of the universe, and the universe begins to conspire to help us achieve our goal.

If we look back, we can usually tell when we said we were committed to something, but in hindsight, we can see that we were not really committed. Deep inside, we knew it back then too. The commitment felt more like an external obligation rather than a true drive from within.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. Perhaps we were not ready, or the thing we tried to commit ourselves to was not right for us, for various reasons.

But there are times in life when a heartfelt, true commitment is required. Venus, the planet of values, is in Leo now, helping us connect with our heart and what truly matters to us.

Full Moon In Capricorn – From 29° Capricorn To 0° Aquarius

The Full Moon in Capricorn is a beautifully aspected Full Moon – we only have supportive aspects, a sextile to Neptune and a trine to Mars.

This Full Moon has the potential to deliver, and deliver BIG. But it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s conjunct Pluto, and it’s a super tight conjunction.

It WILL be intense. It will require us to transform from the inside out. To really invite a new perspective into our lives (Aquarius).

It’s one thing to say “Now I’ve changed” “I’m going to do things differently from now on” and it’s another thing to actually do things differently. Change requires a genuine breakthrough. An honest invitation to a new way of being. A profound paradigm shift (Full Moon conjunct Pluto in Aquarius).

Thankfully, Mars at 0° Gemini – and trining the Full Moon – fully supports not only the Martian determination but also the fresh, beginner mindset (Mars at 0° degree) as well as the Gemini flexibility to approach things differently.

I truly feel this is one of the most important Full Moons we had in a long time. Not only because of all of the elements we already described, but because it activates some very important degrees of the zodiac that have been pivotal for our collective journey.

29° Capricorn is where Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter were positioned in 2020 during the pandemic, marking a significant moment of transformation and societal upheaval.

0° Aquarius is where a new 20-year Jupiter-Saturn synodic cycle started on December 21, 2020, marking the beginning of a 200-year Air era.

Pluto is now at this very same degree, applying pressure to the long-term agenda we set for ourselves back then.

Full Moon In Capricorn – Commit To What Really Matters

Having a Full Moon that connects these two significant degrees feels not only relevant but potentially historical.

This is the time to make an important commitment to something that really matters.

We are not talking about minor decisions. We are talking about very important commitments with the potential to significantly change your life.

There are not that many important commitments we can make in a lifetime. It’s committing to a partner. This commitment alone can shape the rest of our lives.

It’s committing to a health regimen. This can potentially lead to 10-20 years of improved health and more years to our life.

It’s committing to a career, a business, or a project, which has the potential to not only change our lives but leave a legacy for future generations.

At the Full Moon in Capricorn, what are you committing to?

(Contributed by John Atwater, H.W.)

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