Rev. William Barber on right and wrong

WilliamBarber

“Some issues are not left or right or liberal versus conservative. They are right versus wrong.”
–Rev. William Barber at the Democratic National Convention (2016).  William J. Barber II (born August 30, 1963) is a Protestant minister and political leader in North Carolina. He is a member of the national board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the chair …Wikipedia

The democratization of America; the democratization of The Prosperos; the democratization of myself

Zonta

By Mike Zonta, H.W., M.

Watching the Democratic National Convention’s 4-day advertisement for Hillary Clinton, I wonder if we’ll ever get to the point of living in a democratic country, a country in which we all don’t rely on one person to run the whole show or at least to lead the whole show.

It used to be said in Prosperos circles, that the trustees would run the school until the High Watch could get its act together.  That hasn’t happened yet.

I wonder if the same thing could be said about our country.  What would it look like if the citizens of this country ran the country instead of our current trustees — those elected with the help of our the hierarchical  corporations which finance their campaigns.

If so, what would that look like?  Friends of mine here in San Francisco have developed an online unhackable (they say) way to vote which would require citizen participation in an unprecedented way.  (It’s called Democracy Operating System.)   Citizens would propose, debate and vote online and elect representatives who would be bound to cast their votes according to the democratic majority of the registered online citizens.

As Thom Hartmann said in his book, “What Would Jefferson Do?”, even a herd of deer or a flock of birds makes its decisions through democracy, through voting via body language which way to go and when.  So that the voice of the “alpha” male (or female) is just another vote.

Isn’t that ontological?  Well, equality is certainly ontological.  But not only equality of voice but equality of involvement.  I remember one public forum of the Metaphysical Alliance (an organization founded in the late ’80s to combat the fear of AIDS permeating the gay community), some asked us to change the way we ran our meetings. I told these people that if they wanted to have a voice in how we did things, they should attend our monthly planning meetings.  There is no voting without involvement.

So we get the leadership we deserve whether in the country or in our family.  The Prosperos teaches us that ultimately the responsibility for all aspects of our life lies in consciousness, and specifically in each of our own individuations of consciousness.  The government of our country begins with the government of ourselves and that requires work on yourself.

The world is going through a great crisis today.  Perhaps a new birth. Gerald Heard referred to it as our “Second Maturity.”  Not just the maturity of being an adult citizen of our country, but being an adult citizen of the universe, or as Thane of Hawaii put it, a Native of Eternity.

As a Native of Eternity, our home is wherever we find ourselves and, at the same time, as an expression of Infinite Mind.  And with Infinite Mind as our home and our source of supply, we can approach problems with the perspective of Infinite Mind.

And the perspective of Infinite Mind is oneness.  The perspective of Infinite Mind is love.  And democracy (the rule of the majority) is a natural when citizens are infused with love.

This was always the problem with the Occupy movement.  There was not enough love, enough trust.  How can you make decisions based on consensus without the basis of love and trust?  You can’t.

Even within ourselves, we must become democratic.  When we reach the Second Maturity, we see others as aspects of ourself, not as separate from ourself.  So there is no room for enemies — only an aspect of ourself which is not very well understood yet or which does not understand itself very well yet.

A majority of us (a critical mass) needs to arrive at the threshold of Universal citizenry which does engender trust and which does engender democracy.  Democracy is just the practical application of love and trust.

Until then, monarchy (hierarchy) rules.  Long live the Queen!

Odetta – Battle Hymn Of The Republic

Odetta’s rendition of the popular american abolitionist song ‘Battle Hymn Of The Republic’, from the album Best Of The Vanguard Years.

Odetta is one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. By combining the power and grace of an opera singer with the earthiness of a blues singer and the conviction of a folk singer, Odetta became a commanding, stirring singer unlike any other.

Odetta released her first album, Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues, in 1956. This is some two years before the beginning of the folk revival with which she is usually associated. The power of her singing seems to connect her to an earlier folk music, more elemental and raw than her late-50s and early-60s peers. Unlike the Highwaymen or other popular interrupters of classic folk songs, Odetta seems closer in both approach and presentation to Leadbelly. Her interest in folk music appeared to be less of a personal “revival” or awakening, than a continuation of a living tradition. She was referred to as the “female Leadbelly.”

Bob Dylan was major inspired by Odetta – – in 1956 her album, “ODETTA Sings Ballads & Blues,” inspired him to trade in his electric guitar for a Gibson acoustic guitar,and got him into folk. (andrijadragon on YouTube.com)

Thomas Jefferson on ignorance and tyranny

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“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

–Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He was elected the second Vice President of the United States, serving under John Adams and in 1800 was elected the third President. Wikipedia

 

Men, Want to Explore Your Bisexual Side? Here’s One Way to Start

One lifestyle is starting to open itself up to new relationships and taboo forms of sexual expression.

It is said that swinging took off in the U.S. during World War II, when the mortality rate among pilots got so high many formed pacts to help take care of each other’s wives if one were to die. Before shipping out, the men and their wives would get together, where that layer of emotional support was allowed to turn sexual.

Today, it is estimated that there are as many as 15 million Americans swinging on a regular basis, though most now refer to the scene as “the lifestyle” and those participating in it as “lifestylers.” Sex researcher Katherine Frank defines the modern swinging lifestyle as a “system of erotic relations and a cultural experience as a way of theorizing beyond identity and the binary oppositions of homo/hetero or straight/queer that often underlie discussions of sexual desire, practice and homophobia.” If an open attitude toward a multi-partnered approach to sexual expression constitutes being “sexually free,” then lifestylers would appear to fall into the top tier.

Still, no lifestyle, even “the lifestyle,” is immune to the social environment in which it functions. Many have dubbed the swing scene a hub of heteronormativity and its participants proponents of that system. Couples and single women are accepted at almost all venues, while single men are typically denied entry. Female bisexuality is encouraged, while spikes in same-sex activity among men remain unexpected, and unusual. But that might not be the case for much longer, because according to the group of insiders and experts we spoke with, the lifestyle may be opening up to same sex exploration for men, too.

Saul, who asked us not to use his last name, runs a Manhattan-based party called DDevious Delights. Involved in the scene since 2001, he sees a need for a new kind of event. “All swing clubs accommodate bisexual women,” he says. “Almost none of them accommodate bisexual guys. For that you’d have to go to gay parties. But they’re not gay. So we’re developing that party.”

“I think that people are getting a little more explorative,” he continued. “I think people are less afraid to express their desires, their kink. Years ago, you wouldn’t have had guys coming out and doing this.”

In 1990, just 4.5 percent of men admitted to having had a same-sex encounter. By 2014, that number had nearly doubled. “What we’re seeing is this movement toward more sexual freedom,” Jean Twenge, the author of the study that chronicled the change, told Time.

More research suggests those involved in the lifestyle today are more likely to favor gay marriage, less likely to condemn premarital or teen sex, more likely to reject traditional sex roles in their relationships, and are “less racist, less sexist and less heterosexist than the general population.” That kind of conviviality seems to present itself in the language adopted by self-identified swingers. Many relate to the idea of being “closeted” and the process of “coming out” to friends and family.

Today’s scene also appears a bit more inviting than in years past. New technology has made locating people and parties a lot easier. Webcams and video chat have paved the way for different forms of play (yes, cyber swinging is now a thing). Most sexually transmitted diseases are now easily controlled, and even HIV can be treated with some success. But perhaps the most fundamental changes stem from the new sexual landscape people have been carving out over the past few decades. Back in 1973, only 11 percent of Americans believed there was no problem with sexual relations between two adults of the same sex. According to survey data, by 2014, 49 percent of people and 63 percent of millennials believed this kind of relationship was “not wrong at all.”

Still, some resent the tags attached to that behavior. Model Paul LaBlanc (a pseudonym) once told AlterNet, “I am often forced to call myself bi, but I rarely find labels appropriate.” It’s true that we’re getting better at introducing different lines of sexuality, and in order to do that, we need to create terms that allow us to define the conversation. But a return to ambiguity might better serve those holding back to dodge unwanted labels. When we blur the lines, we might find that the stigmas attached to them start to lose their significance. And the swing scene has all the right ingredients to nurture that shift. As Joe Kort, sex therapist and author of Is My Husband Gay, Straight, or Bi?: A Guide for Women Concerned about Their Men, explains, “Circumstance takes away meaning.”

According to Kort, it’s the stitching of the swing environment that gives guys a pass to act on their same-sex desires. “In swinging situations, there are women involved. And if there are women involved, it doesn’t seem so gay.” In fact, women might be part of the engine driving these experiences between men. According to user data, gay male porn is among the most popular genres for female users. If girl-on-girl is the ultimate guy fantasy, then guy-on-guy could be starting to serve that same purpose for some women. “When you do it for the benefit of the group, you share the responsibility with everyone,” Kort points out.

In her book Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men, Jane Ward writes, “By understanding their same-sex sexual practice as meaningless, accidental, or even necessary, straight white men can perform homosexual contact in heterosexual ways.”

“It’s not like these guys are necessarily kissing and embracing,” explains Kort. Same-sex encounters at the swing club aren’t necessarily about romance or intimacy. Often times, it comes down to a raw sexual act, and knowing you have permission to pursue it.

As Frank noted back in 2008, “Given the experimental attitudes towards sexuality that many lifestylers express, male same-sex activity may be an eventual extension of risk-taking and erotic exploration.” There are countless outlets and experiences that can accompany a same-sex encounter. But the swing scene is increasingly providing a specific context to do so. It allows you to be sexual first, and whatever clipping you’d like to accompany that phrase second. For some, that might be just the right format to start feeling around.

Carrie Weisman is an AlterNet staff writer who focuses on sex, relationships and culture. Got tips, ideas or a first-person story? Email her

“Reality Transurfing” by Vadim Zeland

RealityTransurfing

I’m tempted to be lazy and do a summary review of all of the first three R.T. books, but I will focus on the first, which just pulled me in like nothing else, and convinced me I need to read the remainder of Vadim’s books (the English versions of 4 and 5 are being released in November and I’ve pre-ordered those).

From what I remember of the first book, it’s main purpose is convince you that everything that caused you want to act like a victim and react angrily, or worry-ily (yep that’s a word now), or with fear, or driven by scarcity … all these “reasons” to act in those limited, low-Consciousness ways, are based on pure Falsity and have no real significance. In this first book, you’re introduced to a “life-form” (but not really a life-form exactly) called a pendulum. An example of a “pendulum” could be a company that wants to make you follow its rules and bend your life around it, and fear being separated from it. Really, a pendulum is anything that a group of people give its energy to, without really being aware that they are doing this.

Also discussed, are “life-tracks” (which is closely related to the sub-title of this book, Space of Variations), of which there are many, and whichever life track you end up on, is a result of the kinds of habitual emotional responses you have to normal everyday irritations and happenings.. if you treat annoyances as being real or having importance, and thus give that thing your angry or fearful energy, you will *not* end up on a lifetrack where a desired objective would materialize (I guess by lifetracks, this could be similar to parallel universes of which are spoken of, by many writers .. you choose which one by your beliefs and/or your emotion-based reactions)

In the previous paragraph, I mentioned “Importance”. I’d say this might be one of the top 3 primary themes that he revisits and repeats through the 3 books (and I’m guessing I’ll see it repeated in books 4 and 5). There’s a reason behind such focus on this theme: It hold such a heavy weight on all of the factors that play into your living in a joy-filled ‘life track’. If you hold too much importance on the fact that you don’t have this or that, or too much importance on negative circumstances, this not only keeps you off the Life track you want, but as well, triggers the “Balancing” forces that this book also covers.

It’s a given that you are into this genre of material, The Reality Transurfing series is one that you will read and re-read.

Steve Bailey on Amazon.com