From the Publisher
Life is an adventure, a journey punctuated with laughter and tears, sorrows and joys, disappointments and achievements. We take time this month to reflect on our past and look to our future. I dedicate this issue to the countless contributions over the past 200 issues that energized this publication and the important work of the community that it serves. I know of many important relationships that exist today because of a connection that was facilitated by The New Times (including some of my own). Many important leaders of our day took their first public steps to success on the pages of The New Times. Ideas that were once the exclusive purview of publications like The New Times now find themselves in the most mainstream publications.
You Are Not
If you are reading this issue of The New Times, chances are you may have already noticed the heartfelt stirrings of a great social change now taking place across the United States. On TV talk shows, during enthusiastic meetings in local cafés, at international conferences and purposeful gatherings of scholars and laypersons, and even in grocery store lines, people are fervently discussing their ideas on economic sustainability, ecological balance, tolerance and respect for diversity, spiritual awakening, and their shared desire to create a better world for our children. This passionate conversation is a prayer for a new moral and spiritual foundation for the 21st century, and the good news is that this movement is gathering momentum at a time when we need it most.
New Age Fundamentalism:
Before I say anything about New Age fundamentalism, let me say up front that I have no clue what causes what, nor do I believe it's even possible to know. At best, people can form opinions about the nature of causal reality, but these opinions may or may not have anything to do with what's actually happening.
Frankly, I encourage those who think their belief system is airtight to hold fast to whatever they need to feel safe. In a world as challenging as ours, security blankets can be comforting, and sometimes a blanket full of holes can feel better than no blanket at all.
Word and Personal Growth
My readers, and the readers of The New Times, respond to an implicit invitation to discover new possibilities in themselves. As any reader knows, when there is a fit between published words and what is stirring in one's own psyche, the words support and nourish new growth and authenticity. The glint of recognition when words articulate what is felt names and validates these feelings. Inner knowing is an aha! discovery of what is not realized until we have words for it.
The universal year 2002 resonates with the frequency of the number 4 (2+0+0+2=4). The themes for this year are solidification, formulation, and manifestation. This is the year to create a solid base of operations for yourself so that you feel grounded and rooted in your own being. Healing comes through putting your life in order and creating structures that support you in your work, relationships, and creative expression. This may look like refurbishing and/or rearranging your home so that it is more efficient and aesthetically pleasing.
The Urge to
God helps those who help themselves. The urge to transform is deep within us call it escape from pain, the drive to freedom, or the force of human evolution. Anaïs Nin put it well when she wrote, "Then the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to blossom."
The following incident helps clarify and resolve the apparent contradiction between working on ourselves and serving others: One day Socrates (my mentor as described in my book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior) and I were walking along a street by campus when we came to some posters on a wall. One was about helping oppressed peoples; another had faces of starving children; a third asked for our support in saving the whales. Reading these posters, I said, "Socrates, I sometimes feel guilty, or selfish, doing all this work on myself when there are so many people in need out there."
and BodyMind Academy
During the past 16 years (200 months, but whos counting?), The New Times has built a community of readers through its focus on healing and spirituality. Many in this community have made these focus areas their lifes work. For this anniversary issue, I spoke with Tom Johnston, M.Ed., L.M.P., founder and director of the BodyMind Academy, who was interviewed in the second issue (July 1985) of The New Times. He placed his first ad with us at that time, and has been a faithful presence among our advertisers ever since. Conincidentally, The BodyMind Academy in Bellevue is celebrating 21 years of presenting training programs in holistic health.
Toward a Science
The application of scientific discovery to our individual comprehension of the universe often lags behind the unearthing of those discoveries themselves. In 1610, for instance, Galileo Galilei published Sidereus Nucius (The Starry Messenger), which detailed his observations of the heavens. He wrote of a moon with craters and mountains, spots on the sun, the phases of Venus, and moons orbiting the planet Jupiter, all impossible observations according to the prevailing Ptolemaic cosmology.
Life in Prison
Soon after the World Trade Center terrorist attack, people began asking for my reaction, "looking," as one put it, "for the opinion of someone I respect as opposed to newscasters and government officials." Rather than feeling flattered, I felt puzzled. Why would my perspective on the tragedy differ from that of newscasters and government officials? As the letters continued to flow in, I began to understand: I wasn't being asked the same questions that newscasters and government officials were being asked.
Spice Up Your
Marco Polo is credited with bringing won tons back to Europe from his travels in the East. Although the Chinese stuff their version with pork and scallions, Italians with veal and cheese, and Poles with potatoes and mushrooms, all agree it's great food! Each nationality enhanced its cuisine by recognizing a good idea and adapting it to its culture. We can spice up our spiritual paths, too, by being receptive to the teachings of other philosophies and religions.
Human: A Healing Connection
As I began my first inner journey into the Faery realm within the body of the land, I remember feeling a sense of fear. When I thought about it later, I realized that I had come to accept, largely unconsciously, the belief that the devil and his minions resided in the earth, and that going there was to be avoided at all costs.
Far from encountering a negative presence, I discovered a landscape of light inhabited by beings willing to work with me in a co-creative relationship based on mutual love and respect. They were faery beings, and that was eight years ago. Since that time, I have connected with the Faery many times to work toward health and balance in others, the planet, and myself.