From the Publisher
I naturally gravitate to my seemingly endless to-do list. There's a deadline every week in this business, and I spend a lot of time dealing with people who are scrambling to meet them. It's easy to get caught up in that frenetic energy. In my job of problem solving and pulling together all of the disparate parts that make up each issue, my attention is usually focused on what it yet to be done rather than the good work that I've already done.
From an intellectual perspective, I know that it is always a good time to reflect on the bounties of my life, but somehow, holding the energy of gratitude is hard for me to keep in my routine.
What Would Jesus Do About Dr. Laura?
For about a year, I have been arriving at work a little peeved. I listen to a favorite radio show in the evenings, which leaves Dr. Laura on my dial for my morning commute. So on my way to work, I hear Dr. Laura telling another man he is "nothing but a sperm donor," or after a ten-second conversation with a caller, informing a woman that her daughter is a "slut."
I admit it. Dr. Laura had become a target of contempt in my mental universe.
The Ultimate Virtual Reality
Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.
Henry David Thoreau
Our civilization has a penchant for escapism. Whether its TV, reading, movies, sports, thrill rides, drugs, sex, or alcohol, many people find some way to escape the daily grind.
One emerging domain that holds gripping promise as a means of escape (sans hangover) is virtual reality. VR technology allows us to take a break from our everyday world by neatly providing an alternate one. The goal of VR is to supply information to our physical senses from sources other than the outside environment. For example, hi-tech goggles give our eyes and ears a visual and audio landscape, while "data gloves" provide the sensation of touch and the ability to interact in the virtual realm. When these elements work in concert stimulating our senses with preprogrammed information we experience an alternate environment, a landscape generated by computer rather than the physical world.
When he coughs, he squeezes a red heart-shaped pillow inscribed with white letters identifying its origin: American Heart Association. Hes hooked up to twelve IV lines. With jawbreaker-sized eyes he stares at me. "I made it," he says. "I can see that, pal," I say. My eyes fill with tears, while his continue to bulge in fake bravado. I watch the monitor as his heartbeat inches over 100 beats per minute. I know this is normal for transplants; Ricks heart will continue to beat faster than most. A cough emerges again, and he sits up, crushing the pillow to his chest as he attempts to dislodge the phlegm. One of the grotesqueries of this ordeal is that Ricks now-amputated heart was nearly the size of the pillow hes clutching.
Being a perfectionist, I fail constantly. When I allow myself a moment or two of self-satisfaction, soon afterward, I always find a fatal flaw in what I have done, and I am certain that all is lost because of it.
Just yesterday, I spent ten hours looking over old writings of mine, but not with the joy, nostalgia, or pleasant remembrance one might expect. No, as I read on and on, each moment grew more horrible than the last. Each line seemed, more than the previous, riddled with glaring, laughable errors. Eventually, my best-loved verses appeared vile to me, monstrous, hideous abortions, twisted and half-living mockeries, corpses that could not be buried.
By adding the universal year 2000 (2+0+0+0=2) to the 11th month of November, we come up with the vibration of 13/4. The 13/4 month is a time for grounding and manifesting on the physical plane. The number four is all about producing tangible results in material form. By harnessing your creative energy (3) with a solid plan of action (1), you can make great strides toward manifesting your goals this month. Dont forget that the number three is about having fun, so let yourself enjoy the process and create tangible, measurable progress.
When I started wearing minerals for their healing properties in 1984, I chose a yellow apatite and a purple fluorite octahedron. Not long after that in 1985, I acquired my first Herkimer diamond quartz and amethyst ring. In high school, I was given a jade and pearl pendant that I wore many years. When Jack and I embarked upon the mineral business, my first specimen acquisition was a strawberry rutile point.
Studying these minerals, its no wonder to me today why the last 15 years have been a deluge of past-life recall and trauma release, and remembrance of past life skills and abilities. I unconsciously surrounded myself with the very tools I needed to support me on the quest to fulfill my life purpose.
Tibet in the Year 2000
"What name will best describe Tibet in 2000?" As my plane roared over the lofty Himalayan Mountains on its way to Tibet, I found myself passing the time by reviewing Tibets long list of popular monikers. Such alluring titles as "Roof of the World," "The Land of Snows," and "Home of Vajrayana Buddhism and Bon Shamanism" came to mind. But these epithets have, since the Communist invasion, become interspersed with a host of less flattering titles, such as "Land of Decimation," "Land of the Downtrodden," and "Land of the Conquered." Thus, I was inexorably led to the above question.
Healing Myths, Healing Magic
We all have stories about how life is "supposed to be." There is a certain sense of entitlement deeply anchored in our body/mind that has been transmitted through our culture. These stories often guide us toward destructive choices that may add to our illness, block our appreciation of healing, and even kill us. I refer to those "cultural hallucinations" as myths. I believe that the right healing magic can help break the spell of our illusions, and help us to reclaim our power to heal.
"The holidays." The images and sounds of these festive celebrations are imprinted in our minds practically from infancy. The words conjure up visions of an abundance of delicious food, a respite from work and worldly concerns, the gathering and warmth of family and friends from far-off places, communal prayer, the soft hush of snow, glowing fireplaces, celestial music, colorful decorations and lights, tinkling bells, the exchange of gifts, ritual, caring for and giving to others less fortunate, peace, and the expression of love.
Addictive behaviors, which have pervaded Western society for as long as there have been reasons to sublimate one's feelings, have been effective in supporting and justifying the damage done to the natural world. The craving for ever-more money, things, or power has negatively influenced the quality of life for both humans and non-humans. While "easier" has, unfortunately, become synonymous with "more expensive," "chic," and "civilized," one must work long hours to be able to afford the accoutrements of modern society. Those that lack the financial wherewithal are left behind in poverty, crime, or homelessness. The social climate that the West has inadvertently created with its ambitious notions of achievement is one of compulsion, obsession, and addiction, and one that takes us further and further away from the natural world.
Children's Spiritual Experience
After her bedtime story one night, I was surprised to hear my seven-year-old daughter announce that she saw her angel on occasion. Since it came from a child who usually wants to stay up a little later, I presumed that this announcement had had the desired effect: I slowed my exit and sat on the edge of her bed. I asked her if she saw her angel right now. "Just a minute," she replied. I watched her lie on her bed, close her eyes, and start to take deep, rhythmic breaths. We had never spoken of angels, meditation, or the like in front of her, and had she ever seen anyone do yoga that we know of. While I was not sure what she was doing, it was clear that she knew.
Being Isn't Enough
A few years ago, I decided to take myself out of the New Age business and get into actually creating a new age. Of course, this didnt eliminate nor tame any of my natural psychic, intuitive, spiritual connections. On the contrary, it honed my skills even more as I walked amongst the general population. I truly believe that in order to change the world, one must be part of it. It took me many years of internal struggling to realize the message of Jesus the man when he said, "Be of this world, but not part of it." Now it makes perfect sense to me. It is as don Juan admonished Carlos Castaneda: a true nagual (superconscious mind) learns how to walk between two worlds. Me? I dance between them.