Years ago, I had a small construction company (that’s “small” as in just one employee and me) and we were working in a factory putting in new bathrooms. The ten-inch-thick concrete floor (that’s reallythick) had been sawed up, jackhammered and carted away to install new plumbing lines. We’d covered the plumbing with fresh concrete and were in the process of installing new walls.
Suddenly I realized I had misinterpreted the building codes. We would need to jackhammer the concrete all over again, and move the plumbing.
I was sick. It would be incredibly expensive and I would lose money on the job. Big Money. I had a family to support and this mistake could put me out of business.
I gathered my courage and went to the factory general manager to tell him the bad news. Explaining my mistake, I assured him I would make it right and assume all the added expense.
Now, you have to realize that construction is a rough and tumble world. People will beat you out of every dime they possibly can. To paraphrase Norm from the old TV series, Cheers, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and a contractor has Milk Bone underwear.”
But when I explained the situation to the general manager, he did something I will never forget. He put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Paul, we’re in this together.”
I was flabbergasted. Those few words changed everything.
But what was even more surprising was the love that I suddenly felt for this man. It was palpable. It felt like my heart was about to burst.
That feeling was embarrassing to me. Did it show? You just didn’t express that kind of love to someone in the hardscrabble worlds of manufacturing and construction. It was an intensely spiritual experience in the most unlikely of settings. And it caught me completely by surprise.
Such simple, yet powerful, words: “We’re in this together.” It is a sentiment that is so rare that when it appears, it shatters suffering and opens the heart.
Yet so often we operate from a very different standard. Our mantra springs from the ego that is forever asking, “What’s in it for me?” And this is where so many offerings of the New Age movement fall short.
Take, for instance, the pervasive Law of Attraction. It presents a very compelling proposition that we can have anything we want simply by visualizing it, believing we will receive what we desire, and feeling as if it has already happened. And, of course, what we really want is to become rich!
While this is a very alluring concept, it caters to the ego’s insatiable desire to acquire everything for it’s own service. Yes, we have that power, but it has consequences we might not expect.
A corollary to the Law of Attraction is the idea that we “create our own reality” by the thoughts we entertain. There’s a subtly to this concept that few recognize. When our thoughts are focused on personal desire, we attract a reality that is in accord: selfish, self-centered, uncompassionate and violent.
This Law-of-Attraction-what’s-in-it-for-me philosophy is often presented as the height of spirituality. Jesus, Gandhi and others are viewed as “prosperity teachers.”
But the truth is that spiritual leaders have emphasized time and again something altogether different. It is the idea that we are one. That is the essence of the mystic vision –a world that is intimately connected, rooted in unity.
If we are to create a world worth living in, if we are to find true meaning and purpose, it has to begin with the understanding that underneath all our apparent separation and self-interest is the experience of oneness.
When the general manager put his arm around my shoulder, it was as if I had stumbled into the presence of a master. In that one small moment he demonstrated the power of compassion and showed me the outlines of grace.
We wield that same power of grace very moment of our lives to create our own reality – one that works for everyone. It begins with a simple affirmation that is the foundation of the spirit: “We’re in this together.”
By Nahum Hersom
Here is a story that is in a way unbelievable. I found a stone heart, when I was about 14 years old along the lake shore of Long Lake (Winnebago Country) which is near Wild Rose, Wisconsin. As a boy, I had the run of the country so I roamed everywhere and found many things of interest. (I even had a horse tooth necklace I wore.) And brought home any birds turtles, and odd shaped branches to make things out of.
As I said, I found this heart shaped stone and showed it to my mother who had been a nurse and she named the places where the various blood vessels would be connected.
When I was 18 years old, I was helping teach Indian arts and crafts in the Chicago Park system under Chief Whirling Thunder. One day he, told this story:
On long winter nights when the story tellers held their audiences entranced by their stories and legends, it is told that a long time ago before even the oldest of the tribe was born, that there lived far to the north of Wisconsin, up near where it is always cold, a tribe of giants known as Wong-a-Rouskah-Podarouhuh
It has been told that one day a long time ago one of these giants, a young man came into Winnebago country, in his wanderings as he was about to cross a stream he noticed that on the other bank was a beautiful Indian maiden. he was so struck by her beauty that he sat on the stream bank and watched her as she drew water from the stream. When she looked up and saw him ,her first impulse was to run to the village and warn her people, but since he did not chase her, she took the water and walked to her chee wondering why this giant wasn’t fierce and cruel like those she had heard about. Every day there after she would see him watching her as she went about her duties, and soon lost her fear of him.
The day came when she realized that she was in love with him, but since he had a heart of stone they could never become man and wife. That night she went out onto a hill top and prayed to the Great Spirit, to cast out his heart of stone and give him one of flesh and blood with all the human feelings of love, warmth, compassion ,and patience.
The Great Spirit heard her prayers ,and in his great wisdom and love, cast out the stone heart and gave him one of flesh and blood, so they could live as man and wife.
A legend is a traditional story, part fact and part fiction, and perhaps as in this Winnebago Indian legend, fact and fiction, aren’t very far apart, for here is a stone heart> ( I now have Nahum’s heart–MQ)
As someone who just spent a week in Peru, I can tell you that it is a uniquely poised area for this sort of research. The country is literally littered with metaphysical information. This includes profound evidence of the presence of giants in the region. Along with a significant collection of the elongated skulls, including a newly discovered skeleton of a newborn with an elongated skull (sufficiently quieting the claim that people wrapped their heads to make the skulls elongate.) You have not just Machu Pichu, you also have Coricancha (the Temple of the Sun, you have Saqsawamun (one of the most profound places I’ve ever been), Lake Titicaca (one of the earth’s chakras), the Nazca Lines (landing sites for the ETs), and Paracas. The Catholic church has done a good job of wiping out much of it by literally building their temples on top of the sacred sites of the Inca but the evidence still abounds. Cusco, in particular, is a hotbed of psychic, spiritual, ET, and metaphysical information. So if any country is going to openly find answers to these questions, Peru is the perfect ones to do it.
From Girogio Piacenza, Lima – October 14, 2013
Friday, October 18th, 2013 the Peruvian Air Force will launch a Department focused on researching the presence of anomalous aerial phenomena.
It will be called “DIFAA” which stands for the (Departamento de Investigación de Fenómenos Aéreos Anómalos or Anomalous Aerial Phenomena Research Department).
This department will be directly assisted by a Civilian Advisory Council which, as far as I know, is a unique arrangement in the world. This council is composed of researchers, scientists and intellectuals and it includes Commander Julio Cesar Chamorro Flores (ret) who a few years earlier (while still on duty) directed the Peruvian Air Force’s UFO research office called OIFAA. During that time I also acted as a civilian advisor.Currently, the Civilian Advisory Council also includes archeologist Manuel Aguirre Morales, research journalist Marco Barraza Camacho; the Director of the Peruvian Institute of astronomy Barthelemy d’Ans; Engineer and cultural events promoter Enrique Álvarez Vita; communications expert Patricia Meseth Petrucelli; philosopher Luis Enrique Alvizuri and I, Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera, sociologist and Exopolitics Institute advisor.
The prevalent attitude I surmise both in the Civilian Advisory Council and at the Peruvian Air Force is one of flexible, open-minded and also objective research and of considering the wide range of aspects which the UFO Phenomenon and the alleged or actual presence of extraterrestrial beings may entail.
There’s also a desire to educate the civilian population on a wide variety of scientific and culturally appropriate subjects through conferences and other outreach events. While we currently don’t operate with a substantial budget, I think that all parties involved display a sufficiently flexible attitude and an interest to develop a more integrative, sui generis and still objective approach to research.
On Friday, October 18th, 2013 the “Dirección Nacional de Intereses Aero Espaciales” (DINAE) of the Peruvian Air Force (under whose jurisdiction the DIFAA operates) will host the inaugural event at DINAE’s headquarters in Miraflores, Lima, Peru and it will be accompanied by a formal explanation, presentation and two brief conferences with a question and answers period. Due to the limited capacity of the venue, the event is for the most part by invitation only.
Archeologist Manuel Aguirre Morales will speak about the Nazca Lines from a more classical scientific perspective and I will speak about the possible presence of extraterrestrials and exopolitics. Distinguished academics, relevant political and military personalities plus the local and international press have been invited.
I believe this is an opportunity to bring exopolitical issues to the fore and to demonstrate that formal institutions can consider anomalous aerial phenomena and some of their possible implications as important, serious subjects worthy of scientific and cultural interest. As is well-known by UFO and exopolitical researchers, many countries in the Latin American region are actively pursuing a similar path to legitimate these issues and overcome the unnecessary stigma attached to reporting about UFOs and the possible or real extraterrestrial presence.
Giorgio Piacenza, Lima, Peru , Oct 14, 2013
by Charles Bradshears
Saint Paul was upset with the church because they were worshiping a hierarchy of angels. This was nature worship or Pantheism. This was the feminine religion of the time which the catholic church put an end to by killing thousands of people who were nature worshipers. Saint Paul wanted to replace this with the masculine religion of Christianity. We now are seeing the result of Saint Paul and the catholic church putting an end to nature worship. We no longer see nature as being sacred but only something to be conquered.
The statement in the Bible about us being in control over nature is misinterpreted. I think that it means that we are the stewards with responsibility over nature rather than it’s conquerors. The result of the extreme masculine religion of Christianity is that nature has been plundered and raped. Forests have been destroyed and the air, oceans, earth and our food is highly polluted.
Why can’t there be a balance between the masculine religion of Christianity and the feminine religion of Pantheism? Why can’t nature be respected? Why can’t we realize that God has helpers who nourish and support us? Why can’t nature be considered as sacred like the American Indians do? If God is omnipresent doesn’t that mean that He/She is present in nature as well.
I see the masculine aspect of God as being consciousness and the feminine aspect of God as being form or body. Do we reject the body as the Gnostics do, or do we see our body and nature as that through which God expresses? I like to look on God the Father as the King who rules over consciousness. I like to look on God the Mother as the Queen who rules over the material world.
By Paul Rademacher on October 17, 2013
“So what is the benefit of consciousness and spirituality?”
The PR person who posed the question to me at a recent conference was looking for a tag line. He was young, intelligent and on the cutting edge of marketing.
It was a litmus test and I knew I couldn’t answer his question. It was embarrassing. How do you begin to quantify the benefits of the inner life in an elevator pitch?
We are told over and over that this is the essential first step in getting the word out about a service or product. I remember going through that same exercise when I published my book. It took a long time and it was agonizing, but eventually I got there. I still remember the tagline: “The kingdom of heaven is not an after-death reality reserved for those who have been good, but a state of consciousness available to ordinary people in the present moment.”
It felt good to have that pitch down. I was prepared for what publishers would want.
But I haven’t come up with something that captures my new work. And so in the face of the PR person’s question, I felt like a school kid who hadn’t done his homework.
Seeing I was stumbling, the PR guy tried to help me out, “Do you remember Bill Clinton’s tag line? ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’”
I remembered, but it didn’t help.
You see, that’s one of the problems I’ve faced ever since I got into this field. How do you take the vast subjects of human consciousness and spirituality and boil them down to a catchy phrase – especially when there is so much background that needs to be supplied to convey even an inkling of understanding? Especially when it flies in the face of so many cultural assumptions. Especially when it is so dependent on personal experience?
Sure, I could talk about how the greatest leaders of humanity, Moses, Gandhi, Buddha, Jesus, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and so many others, were grounded in spiritual/metaphysical traditions. I could comment that Jesus, for one, thought it was so important that you would trade everything you had to gain it.
I could talk about consciousness and spirituality as the basis for enduring meaning in life. I could point to the immediate benefits of personal tranquility, creativity, and reduction in fear and anxiety.
I could list benefits such as enhanced relationships, a sense of expansion, the joy of exploration, connection with others and the world, access to wisdom, and heightened perceptual abilities. I could mention a connection to guidance that is larger than one life, the development of compassion, the ability to move to new levels of awareness, and the discovery of what has been “missing.”
I could go on and on, but that wouldn’t fit into a tag line.
To be honest, there is a big part of me that resists the whole idea of sound bites, talking points and tag lines. Our marketing obsessed society reduces everything to a commodity – including people. We take deep complexities and kid ourselves into believing that if only we could put a problem into just a few words, then the solution is as close as our next purchase.
In the process, the human experience becomes only ankle deep. The richness and wonder, the sense of majesty and delight, are reduced to a matter of shopping. As Edward R. Murrow said, “Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.”
The result of a sound-bite-driven-talking-point-enamored culture is that no real reflection or discussion is possible as people become waking billboards for unchallengeable ideology. Witness our recent government shutdown – a carnival of true believers who view the world only one way and have no capacity for nuance, compromise or other voices. In this environment, hard lines are drawn, sides are taken and our common experience is devalued – to everyone’s detriment.
But all that doesn’t begin to touch the subject of what consciousness and spiritualty can mean at the collective level. How do I begin to discuss the untapped potential of the consciousness/spirituality community to provide undreamed of alternatives to purely materialist assumptions? How do I spark a conversation about the genius that is available to us when we explore the most sublime reaches of human perception and experience – a genius that holds enormous societal benefit?
It’s not at all easy to be heard above the din of simplistic talking points and the attention deficit they encourage.
What I’m after is a life deeper than sound bites.
Come to think of it, that’s not a bad tag line.