From the Publisher
This issue marks the beginning of The New Times 17th year. Only about 15 percent of the monthly periodicals launched in 1985 still exist, so for every successful New Times, there are six other publications that no longer exist. This is a challenging business. Id like to thank our writers, advertisers, subscribers, and the readers who patronize our advertisers for continuing to make this publication possible by helping to create win-win energy exchanges.
During the past few months, we have passed other milestones with some staff changes. When wonderful people find their way into my life, I feel quite blessed. As someone who is a builder at heart, I like the feeling of resources coming together to achieve common goals. I freely expend lots of my life energy as an agent of change, but when relationships take on a new form or appear to fade, I sometimes find that I am reluctant to embrace the change. I find myself feeling mixed emotions.
Integrity in the Spiritual Movement:
In any organization there are selected leaders who determine, in many ways, the path of the group. This is true of countries, businesses, sports teams, churches, and more. If the group indeed follows the leader, then integrity or a lack thereof is born at the top and filters down, whether consciously or not. If false teachings are given in a church, for example, then members of that church are misled, and they are apt to have confusion in their lives.
This seems to do with our cultures growing rejection of organized religious teachings. We see the manipulation that was wrought against people in the past, and ousting this, we set out along our own paths. But there is just as much peril in that as there is in any group, and we can witness the results of such peril around us. After all, if a group has a leader of great integrity, then those lacking integrity, or who are just confused about truth, are not going to mislead the entire group. Meanwhile, in an area of thought without organized form, anyone has the chance to be a leader. No group comes together to elect the wisest among them as a spokesperson or compass (though the more famous teachers and practitioners may be representative). If the group is to survive, integrity must somehow be built into the system.
Coleman Barks, preeminent translator of the 13th-century mystic poet Rumi, squirms audibly at the suggestion that he may be a prophet. He says only, "I can write and recognize poetry when I hear it." He describes a prophet as "someone through whom some revelation can come and anyone can. I have met people who have more of the light of God in them than us normal people, but Im not one of them."
Barks continues to describe himself: "Im a tremendous doubter." Further, he says that his greatest inspiration has been his encounters with a holy man, first in a dream, and then in Philadelphia; that his practice of communal spiritual worship features going for lattés and driving his convertible; that he is most authentically himself when writing poetry or playing with his grandchildren; and that his idea of a perfect day is one spent working outdoors and working with words. Coleman Barks may participate in a conference diagonally across America from where he lives, but he says, "Theres something always in me thats waiting until all this public stuff is over so that I can get back home to that place of writing and working in the dirt."
Water, Water Everywhere...
Summer ... warmth, movement, and strawberries. Oh my!
Its easy to love this season of fullness and abundance in the outer world. Having a sense of bounty and well-being in which to immerse ourselves loosens the constraints of winter. Theres warmth enough to shed layers of clothing that protect and insulate us so we can be caressed by a summer breeze or float lazily on a lake. It is so freeing, this season of summer. As I sit in the dooryard garden, my senses linger in the total immersion of dandelion-Oregon grape flower wine. The brilliant golden flowers harvested a year ago have been alchemically transformed into nectar of the Goddess. I sit in the sun soaking up emerald green with every cell. Hooray! Its summer once again!
By adding the universal year 2001 (2+0+0+1=3) to the 6th month of June, we come up with the vibration of 9. The 9 month is a time to complete outstanding projects so that you can free up extra energy to devote to your inner life. Take some time for reflection and self-renewal this month. As you take time to nurture the nurturer, you can dedicate yourself without reservation to serving others with your compassion and devotion.
June 1-2 Venus trines Mars Venus in Aries is in positive relationship to Mars in Sagittarius June 1-2. This transit gives us the opportunity to expand the energies of the heart. Take time to appreciate the loved ones in your life. Let your heart lead and show you what to do and say. There is a great opportunity for openhearted sharing and vulnerability. It's not too bad for romance either!
The meaning of the tarot is directly related to the meaning of life. In other words, we create connections, correlate the symbols, and note our reactions as a means of deriving the meaning of each of the tarot cards. At the same time, we gain insights into the events of our daily lives. You can play a passive role, allowing a tarot reader to guide you, or you can take a more active role. Tarot journaling is an active way of making your life more meaningful.
Betrayal as a Guide to Intimacy
How many times in your life have you felt betrayed or let down by other people, yourself, or society as a whole? When I feel betrayed, the emotions evoked are so primal that they seem to go to the very core of my being. Once I learn to view betrayal differently, then that feeling can become a gateway toward greater intimacy and a deeper connection to myself.
How Fear Causes Illness
Research has proven that the positive emotions of laughter and joy can heal. So, why cant the emotions of anger, fear, and sadness cause negative effects to our bodies? The body answers every feeling and thought with a chemical response. When we deny or suppress our emotions, these chemicals become trapped in the bodys cells. Eventually, the physical cells will manifest a disease in response to the stagnant energy and toxic chemical buildup.
The Healing Power of the Mind
Our minds have tremendous healing power. Our deepest beliefs have a very powerful influence on what we experience in our lives. We all possess the ability to use the power of our minds to affirm the best for ourselves. So why don't more of us do it? Or, why do we begin to affirm something and then drop the whole idea? Why don't we more consistently use our thoughts to support us?
Part of the reason is that we often don't trust that we can have what we want or we don't feel worthy of receiving it. Many of us have old childhood programming from our parents that tells us that we are not good enough to have what we want. Sometimes we need to let go of addictions, being too hard on ourselves, or habitually limiting ourselves with our thoughts and beliefs. There may be people we need to forgive, or people that we need to release. We need to expand our horizons and open up to the unlimited love and abundance of the universe!
Peter, Tracy, Morgan, Hannah, David, and I tramp through slushy puddles in front of the entrance to Cinderellas castle. It looks as it does in Grimms Fairy Tales: pastel-colored turrets, drawbridge, flags flying. Our six-year-old godchild, Hannah, squeals. "Look, Mama, look!" She wiggles her hips as she walks and skips. Her tiny Nike tennis shoes weighted down with rainwater do not hinder her speed. Shes in Disneyland and hell-bent on finding Toon Town ASAP.
Where Is Your Faith?
I recently had a wonderful experience with a little physical challenge. I woke up with two small spots on the side of my face. They were about the size of small pimples, and I didnt think too much about them. They got bigger. So, I must admit, I interfered: I scrubbed them. Then instead of two spots, I had one big inflamed spot. I continued to interfere; I dabbed it with antiseptic. It became more inflamed. My wife gave me an antibiotic cream. I tried it once and had a big gooey mess, and my eye was now beginning to be inflamed, plus I had three spots on my neck, two more on my face, and one over my ear.
Hypochondria: My Mother, My Self
At five years old, my now eighty-year-old mother had her tonsils out. She remembers it clearly. At ten, she once again became the focus of a concerned family when she developed a sinus problem that required surgery and temporary removal to a drier climate. As the plain-Jane middle child among three daughters, my mother was awed by her sudden ability to affect the entire family, even causing her mother to leave her husband and home for a short period of time.
These early experiences left my mother with two lifelong behavior patterns. First, when actually ill, she behaves like the self-effacing little hero that got family and doctor applause when she was so little. No complaints, only a brave smile and determination, accompany her most seriously ill moments.