This beautiful prayer written by Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, is chanted by brother Phap Niem.
May the sound of this bell penetrate deep into the cosmos
Even in the darkest spots
Living beings are able to hear it clearly
So that all suffering in them cease
Understanding comes to their heart
And they transcend the path of sorrow and death.
The universal dharma door is already open
The sound of the rising tide is heard clearly
The miracle happens
A beautiful child appears in the heart of a lotus flower
One single drop of this compassionate water
Is enough to bring back the refreshing spring to our mountains and rivers.
Listening to the bell
I feel the afflictions in me begin to dissolve
My mind calm
My body relax
A smile is born on my lips
Following the sound of the bell
My breathe brings me back to the safe island of mindfulness
In the garden of my heart
The flowers of peace bloom beautifully.
Be transported to a place of serenity and hope with this exquisite prayer.
– – – – –
This spoken word and music montage that drives these gathered images was composed and created by Gary Malkin for a work entitled Graceful Passages: A Companion for Living and Dying. This work was produced by Gary Malkin and Michael Stillwater for WisdomoftheWorld.com and New World Library. For more information about other settings of the world’s wisdom keepers to customized musical tracks, contact Gary at www.GaryMalkinLive.com.
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
― Mary Oliver
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total
obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it
to pass over me and through me. When it has gone
past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Dune, by Frank Herbert
“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I (We) lived in, or the kind of car I (We) drove….but the world may be different because I (We) was important in the life of a child.”
I have two son’s and I can honestly say that the effort, love and caring that their mother and I gave our children is returned as the greatest gift and most rewarding experience of our lives. We are proud of the two great men that they grew into.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ― Kahlil Gibran
Artwork by Polish illustrator, artist, Igor Morski
Although the expression “I am burned out” is relatively current era, we all know what it means. Another one we are very familiar with is, “Burning the Candle at both Ends”, which probably comes from the poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950).
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!
And like the poem, we are in great danger of not lasting “the night” if we continue on the pathway of destruction that we have followed for decades. This is not meant as fearmongering on my part, but a stark reality. And it is a reality that we experience all around us daily.
I don’t need to go through a litany of abuse that we perpetrate upon the planet, each other and ourselves. We know it already. We don’t need another investigation into corruption of our leaders, outrageous greed by the Banksters, or the utter insanity as we rape the planet that we live on. To be crude, we are shitting on our own frontier steps, and that is exactly what we are doing. And just like the story that Nero played the fiddle as Rome burned (myth or fact), we do whatever we can to ignore, deny or change the subject. But the only truth is that humanity is almost at the point of no return. It’s now or never. And the antidote is within our grasp. The antidote starts with disconnecting from the “Saviours”, “Gurus” and “Experts” and believing in ourselves that “We have the Power”, that “We are the Power”. So, what will it be? -The Warrior
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi
Based on what the daily news is broadcasting, breaking point in the United States of America and elsewhere is imminent. If mainstream is telling the truth, it appears to be self evident. Violence is now happening daily. Murder, police brutality (and against the police), rage, rape, theft….the list goes on. But for some mysterious reason, no one knows why. Oh, sure, the pundits and politicians have answers, as do the mainstream media and talk show hosts. The buffoons that call themselves leaders, or at least, potential leaders, always have some glib and meaningless explanation, usually consisting of three of four words. “We need a wall”… “Kick out the Muslims”…. “Less government involvement”…”…a Carbon Tax…” and on and on. Sound-bites that are as empty and meaningless as the vacuums found inside the “Experts” head.
But is this really what is going on? Recently, Fox News was exposed for hiring a fake intelligence expert (Wayne Simmons), who, according to the Washington Post: “…claimed to be something of an American James Bond… In his public speaking engagements and frequent appearances on Fox News, the purported former CIA operative spoke authoritatively about terrorism and clandestine intelligence operations, which he claimed he helped run for nearly three decades.” – Matt Zapotosky, October 15, 2015
Fakery and disinformation is apparently not a recent problem. In the words of John Swinton, former managing editor, The New York Times (and New York Sun)… “There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.” This, by-the-way, was over 100 years ago. What do you think the situation is now?
We know that some of the stories on mainstream media are fake and the “alternative” and social outlets are often no better. Why? Well, if you clear way all the dazzle and political clap-trap, it is actually quite simple. It is called “social engineering”. We are being “engineered” using disinformation and a fake controlled reality that is designed by the highest members of society and expedited by their wholly-owned subsidiary known as “government”, then distributed through the controlled media and the fake “alternatives”. They are the enforcers and jackals who sell their souls for financial gain and implement the machinations of the ruling elite. This is also self evident.
However, there are no lack of real social issues to be concerned about. We have people rioting in the streets regarding politicians (Korea), we have protests over clean water (Standing Rock) or the banking system, welfare, healthcare and much more. Our problem though is a lack of coordination or working together for a common goal to solve these issues. We have gun battles taking place in the US similar to an OK coral shoot-out. Daily, Black youth is killing each other due to drug problems, a lack of role models and because they are still marginalized and leaderless. We have some indigenous peoples drinking themselves to death for similar reasons all based on hopelessness. We have homeless and drug addicts living in squalor and disabled hidden away and paid a pittance. Young warriors who went to fight for their country (a bogus patriotic lie, as the real reason is to steal the wealth of another nation), return home only to be disenfranchised, forgotten and left to rot. “Gun control” is a joke. There will never be gun control in America as it is too lucrative and serves the purpose of population control. Police have killed more citizens since 9/11 (estimated to be higher than 5000) than soldiers killed in war over the same period. And, of course, this dire situation is not exclusive to the United States. Several European countries are examples of our “progress” and it is happening elsewhere.
There really is only one problem and that is knowing where the heart of the issue lies. Is there a root cause and if so, what is it? It is not with the outrageous slaughter taking place or the gross injustice that pervades society, every pore saturated with corruption like pigs at a trough. It is with us, the ordinary, peaceful and law-abiding citizen. Why? Because we have allowed this holocaust to happen. When we should or could have done something…when we might have spoken out, we did not. It was left to handful of heroes who had the guts to say “Stop! This is not acceptable”, and look what happened to them. The tragic mistake is always looking for a leader, a guru, a messiah to lead us out of hell and to the promised land. This has never happened and it never will.
But there is hope. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has demonstrated that we have the power. We always had the power, but unfortunately we often give it away. The way forward is conversation and discussion. Not the debates and discussion found on TV, on the news shows, the fake neoliberal pundits that claim they are for society and humanity, but in fact are greedy hipsters espousing expanded kleptocracy. Real grassroots debate, where quantity is replaced with quality. The quality of life, health, happiness, etc. Forming multiple cells as forums for change. We must break our addiction to corporate power, to corporate greed. We must hold the elected politicians responsible and in fact stop electing these shills. Whatever we do, we must do it now, because it is already late. Personal power and personal responsibility is our only hope. -The Warrior
Auca Yachai by Pablo Amaringo
His vivid and detailed paintings, filled with animals, plants, spirits and mythological beings, illuminate the shaman’s world. In his paintings he meets the living spirits of beneficial as well as harmful plants, the visitors from distant galaxies, and the ancient and wise guardians of esoteric knowledge.” -Wikipedia
“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.” -M. Scott Peck
Image found at: https://sevenintentions.wordpress.com/tag/courage/
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
This often repeated quote is attributed to Einstein (although it could have come from a number of people or just a modern-day meme). Although there is logic in this approach, in regards to voting, apparently it does not apply. So the question is, why not?
Most “Westernized” countries today are called democracies and Greece is usually considered the birthplace. The Greeks used “Direct Democracy” based on natural law, meaning that the individual citizen “meet to discuss all policy, and then make decisions by majority rule”. Unfortunately this was limited to males only. “Direct Democracy” was replaced by an “Indirect” or “Representational” system for practical reasons, where Representatives were chosen by vote to make decisions on behalf of the People. The United States is considered a Democracy, but technically it is a Republic (as stated in the Pledge of Allegiance).
On the surface, this system is considered to be optimal and of course can not be compared to dictatorships, Fascism of Communism, all of which eventually fail. So why does this system appear to be coming apart at the seems, and why is the state of the planet (let alone nation) falling into ruin? The reality, however unpopular, is that the “system” has been hacked, usually through massive donations from interest groups, and although there are multiple examples throughout history, the current Presidential race in the United States is definitive proof that the whole concept of democracy is a sick joke.
-By the numbers
If we examine the statistics, they give us a better understanding of the true situation. Taken from an article that appeared in the New York Times on August 1, 2016, the actual number of people that voted for either Clinton or Trump is as follows:
-The United States is home to 324 million people.
-103 million of them are children, noncitizens or ineligible felons, and they do not have the right to vote. (Balance = 221 million)
-88 million eligible adults do not vote at all, even in general elections.
-An additional 73 million did not vote in the primaries this year, but will most likely vote in the general election.
-The remaining 60 million people voted in the primaries: about 30 million each for Republicans and Democrats.
– But half of the primary voters chose other candidates. Just 14 percent of eligible adults — 9 percent of the whole nation — voted for either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton.”
So the math shows us that out of 221 million eligible US voters, only 60 million actually voted in the Primaries. That is about 27%. Of those, only half voted for either Clinton or Trump equalling 14% (13.57%) collectively. The actual numbers that voted for Trump was 13,300,472 and for Clinton 15,805,136, thus, 6% for Trump and 7.15% for Clinton.
As if these numbers were not insipid enough, we than have to consider the motivation of the voters. In a survey published by the Pew Research Center on 2 September, 2016, it states:
“Among Trump supporters, 44% say their choice is more a vote for Trump than a vote against Clinton, compared with 53% who say their vote is more against Clinton than for Trump. Those who support Clinton are slightly more likely to say their vote is more for the candidate (53%) than to say their vote is against Trump (46%).”
This unbelievable statistic means that out of the 6% of Americans that voted for Trump in the 2016 Primaries, only 44% (5,852,207) voted for him based on the belief that he would make a good President. This means that only 2.64% actually voted for Trump in a positive way and the rest through fear or distrust of Clinton becoming President. For Clinton it was higher at 53% (8,376,722) who voted based her campaign, which equals 3.78%, and the rest was made up of voters who distrusted or disliked Trump. How could anyone consider these stats as a winning display of democracy?
The above statistics don’t lie. The voters that choose Trump based on his campaign, policies, personality, etc., is 2.64% of the voting public. But in terms of the total population of the United States and generations to come, it represents 1.8%. For Clinton, the number was 3.78%, and again in terms of the total population of the United States and generations to come, it represents 2.59%. However, the failure of democracy, is that now the Primaries are over there is only a choice of two dubious candidates and all opposition is eliminated.
Continued on next Page
Redneckicus Idioticus Stupidicus
A (not so) rare sighting of the American Idioticus. Through hard work and selective breeding, the once endangered Idioticus has made a startling return to its natural habitat. Presidential candidate Trump, is in favour of more funding for this project.
Image by: Steve Cutts – http://www.stevecutts.com/
Image by Shepard Fairey – https://www.instagram.com/obeygiant/?hl=en
“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” These are the words of philosopher/statesman Edmund Burke, spoken over 200 years ago and are as poignant today as there have ever been. Unfortunately, it appears that this is exactly what society has done, we have forgotten our history, or more probable, we have ignored it. Many might be familiar with the Feudal system from of the Middle Ages, but are incapable of applying the same logic to today’s society. In-other-words, they believe that they are free when in fact we are simply chained to a new version, one that is often hidden under a veneer of fluff and triviality.
-The Ruling Elite
Believing that a powerful, super-wealthy group does not exist is a fantasy similar to thinking the world is flat. Greed and control appear to be common human traits seen throughout history. The question though is to what extent does this control exist? Is it benign or overt? How far would an elitist group go in order to gain control, or exert control, over others? History speaks for itself and believing that today it has all changed for the better is a naive fallacy. The style or methodology might be different and the propaganda has improved but, the results are the same, in fact, the power exerted by a few is overwhelming.
Historically, authority figures claimed their position of power based on coercion and then later, heredity. How do you think any King or Queen in antiquity became the head of the Tribe, county or country? By force, that’s how. Did the British Empire come about through benevolence and caring? Were nations conquered by handing out buttered scones and rose-bushes? Come on, lets get real here. No, it was created through force, guile and underhanded tactics. The groundwork of subjugation was established millennia ago; a claimed superiority based on religion, race, creed, colour, birth-right , etc. This is ingrained in our society, in our heritage, in our history and traditions, etc. The very fabric of our existence is to believe the myth that one group is superior to another and we default to these myths and beliefs all the time. We now believe that the power-base lies with government rather than the People, a tragic mistake. However, “Governments” do not run the show. This has now become the domain of the Corporation who use governments as their expediters and have assumed the role of the State.
In the past it was always an obsession of the Ruling Elite to prove conclusively that their social standing was the result of a Godly right along with mental superiority and not the fact that they lied, robbed and bullied their way to the top. Proving that they were entitled to everything and the People to nothing, became an obsession. This was expressed succinctly through the doctrine of “The Divine Right of Kings”.
“The Divine Rights of Kings”
“Divine right of kings, doctrine in defense of monarchical absolutism, which asserted that kings derived their authority from God and could not therefore be held accountable for their actions by any earthly authority such as a parliament. Originating in Europe, the divine-right theory can be traced to the medieval conception of God’s award of temporal power to the political ruler, paralleling the award of spiritual power to the church.” -Encyclopedia Britannica
This concept is rooted in ancient history and was prevalent throughout the Roman Empire as well as in other cultures such as China and Japan. One of the earliest dynasties to claim this right was the Sumerian king Gilgamesh, circa 2700 BCE.
In todays society, this elitism is reserved for the super-rich whether royalty or rockstar. Financial status can elevate the most talentless person to that of godlike prominence and with it the accolades and exemptions that ordinary folks are denied. Busy following the antics of these puppets, we are often too busy or too unaware to pay attention to what is really important and this is how the Corporate State manages to get away with blatant robbery and deceit.
-The Divine Rights of Corporations
Over the last 200 years or so, “The Corporation” has assumed the role of the monarch, when monarchs were omnipotent. They have been extended many of the rights of a physical human being and more and more become untouchable. They set political policies, pen motions and guidelines and have a constant “revolving door” agenda where politicians and corporate employees are interchangeable. The attached documentary “Obey 2013” is based on the book “Death of the Liberal Class” written by journalist and Pulitzer prize winner, Chris Hedges. -The Warrior
“It charts the rise of the Corporate State, and examines the future of obedience in a world of unfettered capitalism, globalization, staggering inequality and environmental change. The film predominantly focuses on US corporate capitalism, but it is my hope that the viewer can recognize the relevance of what is being expressed with regards to domestic political and corporate activity.” -Vimeo
Illustration by Steve Cutts
“I’m an illustrator and animator based in London. I’ve worked on projects for renowned agencies across the world including UNESCO, The Gaia Foundation, Isobar, LMFM, and Analogfolk as well as creating a recent couch gag intro for ‘The Simpsons’. My work has been featured on various television networks, including Adult Swim and Fox in the US and Channel 4 in the UK.” – http://www.stevecutts.com/