First, let me offer my thanks to readers who shared their thoughts in our recent reader survey and are helping to shape my vision for the future of this publication. At the time of this writing, the survey results are still coming in and I have yet to prepare a summary of the results. The New Times has been an important part of the Pacific Northwest landscape every month for 17 years and has helped pave the way for an openness toward a variety of spiritual paths that is far more widespread today than in the mid-1980s.
Seeds of Simplicity
In 1942, when my grandmother was several years younger than I am now, the heart of my English hometown was torn out by war. From the back windows of my grandmother's house, my six-year-old eyes watched the entire city center burn in a wide, red sea of fire that seemed unreal, impossible, an event beyond imagining.
I still carry with me the vivid images of a wartime childhood: the tin hats, the gas masks, the thankful prayers when morning dawned and our house still stood, or one of the rare letters, blue-&SHY;scrawled and scissored by the army censor, that came from my faraway father. Yet strangely, despite food rationing, the blackout, the nights spent huddled in the air raid shelter listening to the ominous screech of falling bombs and the staccato bursts of antiaircraft fire, and despite the absence of so many things the grownups missed, my child's world, as I look back on it, was still an okay place.
We Can Choose
In the midst of a political climate in which the U.S. president and vice president are telling us that conservation doesn't matter and that war in space is our next big priority, it is easy to become disheartened, to feel that the helm of the most powerful ship in the world is running amok.
The reality is, though, that we all have the power to act, to change, to transform our relationships with the natural world and with ourselves. We don't need approval from anyone else to make that choice.
Natural Foods Writer
Ive been reading with interest the letters to The New Times in the last few months concerning whether or not to eat animals (at least, whether or not to eat old stewing hens). And perversely, I am pleased by the brouhaha. Not because its refreshing to exchange ideas and practice tolerance, but because it validates the complexity of the issue for me. Im not speaking now to those of you whove made your peace with the issue, but to those of you who still crave a little meat in your diet and find it difficult to give up. Like me.
By adding the universal year 2002 (2+0+0+2=4) to the 5th month of May, 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.
The primal potency of the earth. The beauty of art. The limitless possibilities of spirit.
Our ancient ancestors understood the interconnectedness of these concepts, and built monuments megaliths like those found at Stonehenge to honor that connection. After centuries in which Western civilization has ignored or violated these relationships, in recent decades a growing number of artists and spiritual teachers have begun rediscovering them. In the 1970s, artists, searching for a definition of art larger than canvas painting, began creating earth art. Since then, a growing movement to construct spaces celebrating the sacredness of the earth has emerged. People are building megalithic monuments again. (A fascinating tour of contemporary megalith building is Rob Roys Sacred Circles: A Modern Builders Guide to the Megalithic Revival). A similar movement has brought renewed vitality to the ancient spiral path of the labyrinth.
I never imagined that spirituality would be so important in my life. Throughout my childhood and student years, I always thought I would become a scientist. I loved discovering how the world worked. Why is the sky blue? What makes the wind blow? Why does iron rust? How do plants know when to bloom? How do planes fly? Why are snowflakes six-pointed stars?
The more I discovered, the more fascinated I became. At 16, I was devouring Einstein and marveling at the paradoxical world of quantum physics. I delved into different theories of how the universe began, and pondered the mysteries of space and time. I had a passion for knowing, an insatiable curiosity and a need to understand the laws and principles that governed the world.
through the Zodiac:
Astrology is a part of our mainstream consciousness more fully than many of us realize. When you answer the question, Whats your sign? you are revealing a basic knowledge of your astrological chart. If you were born between the dates listed above, you probably know to answer, Im a Taurus, meaning that when you were born, the sun was aligned with the constellation and energy of Taurus the Bull.
Your sun sign describes the kinds of experiences you need to feel fulfilled, who you feel you are at your core, and many of this lifetimes purposes in your ongoing process of growth. As the Bull, your core personality is best represented by the story of Ferdinand the Bull, who preferred sitting on the hillside smelling flowers over fighting in the bullring. You blossom in this physical world, enjoying all the sensory pleasures of sounds, sights, scents, tastes, and textures. Activities like working in the garden, hiking in the mountains, enjoying a delicious meal (or dessert!), listening to your favorite music, and petting your faithful pet are all part of what helps you feel at peace within.
Life as Art
We are used to thinking of art as being largely something to view or listen to, something made by experts with talents and skills that most of the rest of us lack. We are actually all artists, and making art of many kinds most of the time, whether we know it or not. Getting dressed in the morning thats an interesting sculptural project! We listen to and make sounds all the time. But are they all art? Is there a dividing line that makes some actions art and some not? Perhaps its simply whether we bring attention and care to and so bring beauty and meaning into our everyday actions.
Evil as Misperception
Evil is the behavioral product of misperception. I have heard the subject of evil thoroughly discussed throughout my life as that of sin, which, while manifesting from the human heart, originates from the depths of Satan's lair. This viewpoint is one of faith, held steadfastly by those of certain religious traditions.
I myself hold to a specific faith tradition, but I am also a man of reason. For me, it is difficult to pawn evil off on something that seems to do nothing to explicate the horrors and suffering I witness in life. That is, I cannot simply accept that evil is in the world because of Satan's power on Earth. This, for me, is too simple, and offers no practical method for understanding evil. Using both my faith and reason, I struggle daily in my attempt to understand why it appears that evil is mightier than good. This essay is my response to such contemplations.
Prosperity is a gift already given to you from the universe. It swirls around you like an eddy in a river. It is abundant and available for the asking. So the logical question would be, Why isnt everyone prosperous? The answer is simple: the majority of us view prosperity as illusive, intangible and unattainable. They may not admit it to others, but many peoples internal dialogue, emotions, and patterns continually create financial failure. Have you ever heard of the old adage, If you work really, really hard, you may get lucky and become successful? Who on Earth put that concept out there?