Victoria S. Hardy

Victoria S. Hardy

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You Are Not Jesus

The first step of enlightenment is believing that you are Jesus – you see the correlations, you recognize the pain and depth and you feel it to the core. Many stop at that step and fall off the crazy wall, but true enlightenment is stepping beyond that level and understanding that you’re just a person, a single entity.

The journey to enlightenment is a challenging path. There are many roads that lead away from the path, many ways to become confused and distorted by the incoming information. The trick is stepping to the next step, you’re not Jesus and nor am I. I suppose that step is challenging, almost heart breaking in all you give up, but it was never yours, it’s just a trick of the light.

The valley is full of tricks and distortions, but we must be stronger than the illusion. I suppose some flail at that point, kicking furiously against the deception, but we must remember Jesus has already been there. We must cut our own path through the darkness and although we can lean on him, we cannot be him.

The valley is dark, the light making shadows through the trees. We must always cling to the subtle truths and forge our way through the darkness remembering that we must not fear the shadows, but also remembering that the path is solitary, it is an experience that we cannot explain. We must remember that we should not attempt to pull others with us on our journey and as much as we may need companionship, the path is not cluttered with groups.

And for those of us that have taken that step, not completely free from the valley of death and pain, but having traversed through the darkness and carrying the scars of our journey, we must remember to send out good thoughts to those beginning the path. We can only hope and pray that they won’t make the same mistakes or disappear down the endless trails that lead them from the light.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday, a day I will spend quietly, a day I will reflect. Autumn has grown difficult for me as the years have passed and as I see the barren trees and the dying flowers my mind drifts through the losses I have experienced at this time of year. The outside world of darkness and death simply reflecting my memories of people that left me behind.

Death is hard on the living and although I rejoice that the ones I have loved rest without pain, the trauma and shock experienced with the losses are grooves etched into a record. Even when my mind is determined to stand strong against the waves of reminders, my body recognizes the call and submits to the lonely longings. Memory is not just in our mind, it’s in our cells, it’s part of the whole of which we are and when the leaves begin to fall, my body awakens with the past.

When tragedy occurs it is not just the mind that is affected, it is also the body and the soul. Long after the loved one has been put to rest, the scar, unseen by human eyes, continues to heal and like all scars, sometimes it itches and sometimes it throbs. Some say that the cold always awakens old injuries, the body growing stiff and slow, for me the falling leaves, the scent of smoke in the air and the shortened days aggravate scars no one can see.

The body remembers the shock of that knock on the door or the piecing shrill of the phone, the body remembers and prepares to accept the shock again. The mind may fight and reason, but the body’s emotional immune system gears up to battle the agents of death.

The fallacy that we live under is that time is linear, from point A to point Z, but the truth is time is circular and round and round we go, touching on what has already occurred. We see the cycles of time all around us, yet we think that we can transcend the spiral and move in a straight line bypassing that reality. Of course, the world is set up to support this illusion, but the soul remembers and reminds.

And while the body, mind and soul are preparing, reasoning, battling, reminding, the darkened world we live, hidden under sound and flashing lights, sends out it’s minions, insidious creatures that demand attention. These minions have a specific job, but they do not understand their role and their role simply is to distract, confuse and mislead. These creatures, disguised under a face of care, want to disrupt the natural rhythms, they want to replace our knowledge with their own.

Some say there is a battle occurring down here, not a battle with bombs over oil, money and riches, but a battle to turn us all into a one thought minion. The war is ongoing, the tentacles long reaching and sticky and the goal of this action is to pull us from the path, to make dark the light and to ensure that we do not journey towards our individual call, but embrace the parasitic hosts.

As the rain and wind knock the leaves from the trees, leaving their skeletons bare against the gray sky and I review the reminders of loss, I will strengthen my emotional immune system by allowing the natural rhythms to play out. I will shut the door on the slimy tentacles sent by the outside world to distract me from healing and I will stand strong with surety that although my path is different, it is my path for a reason.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Religion Is The Opium Of The People

I wonder what the United States will be like in 20 years, I often hear the lament that things never change, but changes are what we voted for and fortunately or unfortunately, what we will receive. Change always happens though, just a short review of the ruins left by societies past will testify to that fact, but it seems while we are in the midst of change, we can never see fully how it will manifest, I suppose that is why hindsight is 20/20.

Some cling to past decades as an example of when things were good, my mom is partial to the 40s, whereas for me, the 70s shine in that dreamy light. Of course, in those years we were both children, free from the responsibilities of the day-to-day challenges and mostly innocent concerning the harsh ways of the world.

I suppose many seek a united utopia, a place like heaven, but down here on earth. A place where all our needs are met, where order is kept and fear no longer exists, but literature and history have shown again and again that human beings are, apparently, incapable of that feat.

Literature and history have also shown that certain human beings will always desire power and control, while others appear rather lackadaisical in their approach towards living. In our society, one way is admired and respected, while the other is condemned and maligned. Therefore, we begin to understand that the difference is a problem, a problem that must be controlled.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” - This is one of the most famous quotes from Karl Marx, the author of The Communist Manifesto. It would seem the desire of those seeking power and control would be to eliminate the heart of a heartless world, the soul left in soulless conditions and bring the people to one idealistic standard - a utopia of sorts, but the thing about people is that what is a utopia for some, is pure hell for others.

For those who were chanting and craving change, change is what we will have, but change is not always good and sometimes the end result is unexpected. Our country has been fast tracking many changes in the last months, the lines in sand dissolving in the surf, as the arguments seem to hover around race, instead of issues.

We are being led towards what will certainly be a utopia for the few, but those that have eliminated our need for God and want us only to follow their reason for our salvation are leading us. We are putting not only our faith into their hands, but our earnings and our health, somehow we are trusting the government over our common sense, our understanding of the human condition and our vague remembrance of history.

I used the quote from Marx above because I am continuously amazed by the arguments about religion, when religion simply believes in a higher power and I’ve noticed a growing anger towards those with faith in the last years. I’ve often seen the above quote used in defense of the perceived evilness of faith, but now I am beginning to understand, we have had faith educated out of us and replaced with the faith of men in power – we have replaced one God with another.

The powers that be in the world don’t want us to understand the underlying miracle in which we live, because if we do understand, we have placed a God above them – we have offended them with our refusal to worship them. The reason utopias do not last is because once we understand man is not God, we become less willing to be manipulated and those in power will always see that as a threat.

I don’t know what the future holds for the United States in the next 20 years, but all I can say is - God help us.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Room 101

I guess we’re all afraid of Room 101 - for those of you who don’t know what Room 101 refers to, it was the place where the non-conformists, the questioners were taken in the novel 1984 to break their spirit. In Room 101 whatever frightens the most is used to convince the wayward thinking individual to conform and stop questioning, Room 101 is where the spirit and mind is broken.

In my youth, I carried around an unwritten list of my top 10 most traumatic events, at some points I even considered extending it to my top 20. On my list was the usual supply of death, beatings, divorces, injuries, abuse and I used that unwritten list as protection against future trauma, in much the same way a man will tattoo demons on his flesh to ward away evil spirits. I was convinced that as many times as I had been knocked down, I would always get back up and not just get back up, but rise stronger than before.

In the early days of psychiatry a myriad of torturous treatments were devised to aid in creating sound mental health - from dunking patients repeatedly in ice water, to removing parts of the brain. And I have often wondered if those inhumane trials were where Orwell gleaned his inspiration for Room 101.

The word alienist (which I find to be a darkly strange, yet appropriate word) means - A physician accepted by a court of law as an expert on the mental competence of principals or witnesses. And alienist Dr. Henry Aloysius Cotton decided in the early 1900s that the cause of mental illness was unseen infections in the body, with his cure being to remove the offending parts. He would begin simply enough with the teeth and tonsils, but if he found no improvement with the patients mental state he would move on to the sinuses or the stomach, cervix, spleen and colon. The mortality rate of Dr. Cotton’s cure to mental illness was about 45%, but of those who survived, many were miraculously cured. I wonder which lost organ snapped them back into conformity? Could it have been losing their colon or their stomach that broke their spirit enough to allow them to step out of Room 101?

For myself, I used to hold the medical community in high regard, although I am sure I was viewed as a difficult patient, I questioned, demanded and complained. I held the mistaken conclusion that I was in control and that my health and well-being was just as important to the physician, as it was too me. When they removed my ovaries, cervix and uterus, I thought nothing of it, although at 30 I was quite young to be looking at a lifetime of synthetic hormones. And I didn’t know it at the time, but later when they removed a large portion of my colon and my appendix, gluing a bag on my side to capture my waste, I had stepped into Room 101.

Although it is said the medical community has moved away from the archaic practices of the past, I hesitate to believe that after spending time in my own personal Room 101. I also find it interesting that those who profess to be the victim of alien abduction report strange medical procedures and the doctor who decides our level of sanity is referred to as an alienist. It seems someone in this great carnival has a dark sense of humor.

Unfortunately, after spending time in Room 101, we are never really free again; they demand we return for additional humiliations and modern ways to break the spirit and the mind. New tests must be administered and the loss of privacy is just happenstance as every orifice in probed and analyzed, while toxic chemicals are injected into the blood. We call this health maintenance these days, but I call it torture and it is a torture that costs us outrageous amounts in energy, spirit and cash.

I found that no list of previous traumas could protect me from the mindless brutality of Room 101, no physical pain before or since could compete with the agony of disembowelment, which interestingly enough is defined as: To remove the entrails from or To deprive of meaning or substance. And what I find even more frightening than what occurs in Room 101, is the fact that we both eagerly and blindly step into this room, trusting our torturers to lead us to salvation.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Zombies Have Arrived

The zombies are here, I knew they were coming and now, they have arrived. It seems they are a little meaner than in my dreams, a little colder than what I had imagined and not nearly as intelligent as I had feared. Look around, you’ll see them, but first you must realign your sight, these guys didn’t just sneak off a movie set, these guys look just like you and me.

I’ve been seeing them for a while, luckily, I had the dreams forewarning of their coming, but they seem more numerous now as they begin flocking together. The thing about the zombies is they like to be in groups, they feel lost and unsettled when alone and find traveling in packs soothing. Another thing about zombies is they have a hive mind, a single focus and their numbers give them power.

Where? You may ask. Where have you seen them? And to answer that question I have two words as an example, Michael Jackson. With the sad passing of Michael Jackson we saw the zombies coming into the light, we saw them massing together with a single focus, we felt their combined hive mind change the thinking of the world. Now some of us were fans of Mr. Jackson’s, some of us were not, some of us believe he was a pedophile and some believe he was just a kid trapped in a ever-changing body. Some of us hold a grave dislike for Michael Jackson, others complete apathy, but what we saw in the media, day after day, was the call of the zombie hive mind. And what we also saw was the zombies answering the call.

The zombies are hard to see, easier in some environments than others, but with the proper focus, you can make out the subtle change sweeping our world, you can notice the switch. The simplest method is to disconnect from the electronics and observe, take a seat somewhere where the masses gather, do not distract yourself with cell phones, ipods or magazines and just watch and listen, you’ll begin to see them. Although the changeover is coming earlier and earlier, you’ll notice that the youngsters have not yet transformed, but as adolescence occurs, the switch is soon flipped.

In the movies zombies eat brains and in reality they do the same thing, but not in the dramatic, bloody display we see on the big screen. The actuality of the event is subtle, the change is not painful and hardly noticed in our fast paced society. At first, the transforming zombie may be a little dismayed with the memory loss, the shortness of their attention span, the apathy concerning worldly events, but that soon passes and they embrace their smaller existence, the convenient reduction of their thinking space.

The zombies believe that we are all one and any deviation from the hive mind is a threat, as a single celled organism working towards the greater whole, we must act as one, we must be one, we must think as one, like a well oiled machine. On your journey to find the zombies you’ll notice those still fighting the change, you see them gallantly trying to maintain their individuality and you’ll see them shunned and laughed at, called names and shamed. You’ll see them banned from certain social structures and you’ll notice that the hive mind will no longer recall their existence, their being-ness or even their name.

So now that you know the zombies are here and you know how to detect them, I have a simple question… Will you surrender gently into the single-celled shell or will you fight? Will you accept the change as just another example of “it’s just life” or will you rebel and proclaim your independence from the monstrous human machine?

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Turtles Are On The Move

The turtles are on the move. I smile when I write that and don’t know why. A few days ago a group of 78 diamond backed terrapins decided to cross a runway at JFK en mass, delaying flights for an hour and a half. At first when I saw this article I was disturbed, turtles are not pack animals that travel in herds, turtles are solitary creatures. I have come to the conclusion that the call to gather in a group and interrupt traffic at the airport had to have come from a call higher than their own.

Of course, this story fascinates me on many levels, my affinity with turtles has been with me since I was a child. I first discovered box turtles and their ability to disappear into their shells amazed me and I used to wonder if a whole other universe existed inside of a turtle’s shell. Later, I discovered sliders and watching them move through the water had the ability to ease and lift my spirit. Tortoises came next, and I discovered the ancient creatures have a gentle wisdom about them that perhaps only comes in watching generations of humans come and go.

I’ve always compared myself to a turtle, although I’m not sure why, maybe, simply, because I seek to see what is hiding inside that turtle shell, that other universe. And it seems, not only am I drawn to turtles, turtles are drawn to me. Recently, on our anniversary and two days shy of what would have been my son’s 25th birthday, had he not died at 18, a box turtle settled down outside of the backdoor. He sat for half an hour, as though waiting for something and when I stepped outside, he walked over my foot. I picked him up and he did not retreat into his shell, but only watched me studiously, without fear.

I decided that God had sent me a message or a gift or both and took the turtle inside the house to spend the day. The turtle investigated the kitchen, had no fear of the other animals and sunned himself on the floor of the mud room. I left him to his own devices, checking on him often and every time I stepped into the room, his eyes would follow me. By the afternoon, the turtle’s tame behavior and lack of fear had me intrigued, I wondered if he was truly wild, as he seemed so comfortable with my presence.

The turtle’s behavior felt inspired to me, so I picked him up and sat in a chair with him on my lap. He sat, legs out confidently and stared into my eyes. I asked him why he had come, what he meant for me to see and his gaze remained locked on mine. I tried to understand, perhaps even psychically, what the turtle had come to relay and then it came to me, the turtles are dying, someone has to speak out.

Years ago, I had an unusual experience where I was drawn to the bible, I flipped it open and my eyes fell on these words … “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.” (Song of Solomon 2:12) I knew in that instant that for some reason those words were important, perhaps only to me and I realized the day the turtle came to visit, I had not been doing my job well enough.

When I refer to turtles, I am not only referring to magnificent creatures, I am also referring to folks, turtle folks. We all know who we are, the narrow path folks, the solitary folks, the universe holders, and perhaps even, the keepers of time. And as I understood it that day, sitting with a turtle in my lap, both the creatures and the folks are under threat. In the wild, turtles only have two natural predators, humans and alligators, and I would say, much of the same holds true for turtle folks.

The turtles are on the move, so for us turtles with a voice, it’s time to speak out.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Don't Be A Corpse

When did having emotions become wrong and something to be managed? These days, according to some statistics, antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medication in America and the numbers are only rising. I often lament about the state of the world and how we are being forced into smaller and smaller boxes of accepted behavior and I see the mindset coming at us from many angles.

Medically, if you undergo a traumatic experience or are dissatisfied with your life, that is a reason to medicate. Religious beliefs of all description, including the new age, suggest that our emotions must be tightly reined in; we must control our emotions and our thoughts, to reach a higher realm. And with the new terror state that we live, law enforcement is taught to look at all emotions suspiciously.

And yet, our media, owned by just a handful of men, show us out of control behavior at every turn, the ridiculous reality shows exposing the worst of humanity, the dozens of police shows giving a first hand view of murders and depravity that we would never have conceived without their help. The “talk” shows specializing in the darkest and most embarrassing of human behavior and the constant parade of sexualized images. Most will say, it’s just TV, is has no effect on me, but we don’t see how society is degrading, we don’t see because we are blinded by our TV, our prescriptions and our loss of emotion.

What we don’t see is that by tapping down our own emotion, our internal sense of what is just, they are easily instilling their brand of emotion, the darkest emotions. If we are dissatisfied with our life, the simplest thing to do would be correct what is leaving us unsettled, but society has deemed it wise to just medicate yourself and leave things be. Earlier in our history when someone was grieving it was perfectly acceptable to don black and experience mourning, it could last a month, a year or forever and it was understood. Nowadays, though, we have a few days off and then we must get back to normal and if normal isn’t found in a week or two, it’s time for medication.

When did we sacrifice so much? When did we give away our basic right to feel? We are lost. A wise man once said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you.". We are not to tap down our emotion, we are to live it, feel it, learn from it, grow from it and if we don’t, we are no more than walking corpses.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Could Someone Move All These Boxes?

I have trouble defining my religious state, even the word religion makes me cringe just a bit, not because I don’t believe, but because I feel hemmed into a small box with the limits of words these days. And it’s not just words that sometimes feel confining, it’s the growing silence of independent thought. I see the talking points made, echoing the television or the latest gurus, I see the newest approved facts carried like a club of truth, and it appears we have all forgotten there is little truth down here.

Sometimes I want to regret being born again, because it was truly like waking a up a stranger in a strange land, all the things I’d not noticed before, were suddenly glaringly obvious. My experience of re-birth will please none of the box-thought people, my experience was real for me and therefore the proof that is needed to fit into a tidy container that pleases others simply does not exist, but that in no way takes from the truth.

We seem to have a battle of ideas these days, which idea is better than the other, which idea contains truth and which contains lies, but again, we have forgotten there is little truth down here. What there is, that is readily available to each of us, is a path of discovery. This journey is no easy undertaking, though, ripe with challenge, obstacles and fear and it seems as time progresses, fewer are seeking.

I believe we know truth when we hear it and I believe it is scattered all around us, we just have to see it. Sometimes when we are listening to a speaker we will hear a ring of truth and instead of following this speaker as a new guru and buying their products, we should take the nugget for what it is and continue down our own path, adding that solid piece to our collection. There is a reason we are called sheep, we are certainly herd animals, feeling safer as we follow the pack, but if the path is narrow, we must break from the pack.

Long have I lamented the way we are being pressed into one accepted package, our focus has shifted from the inside to the outside, no longer are we comfortable in our silence, simply experiencing our thoughts. Hell, according to many experts, it’s our thoughts that are the problem and we simply accept that as fact and try to align our inner world as much as we do our outer existence. And unfortunately many don’t see the manipulation.

We keep hearing how we are all one, like a single cell, but I believe we are meant to be individuals, different from the other, not just another herd of sheep in a cycle of humanity. I am not saying that we shouldn’t show compassion and empathy to our follow man, I am saying we don’t have to be just like him to express those things.

Back to religion, the word that causes so much angst in our society, the basket overflowing with our accusations of the harm it has caused. The dictionary defines religion as –

a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.

3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Reading the definition it hardly seems threatening, but perhaps when we attempt to organize such basic concepts and emotions do we run into trouble. If I say I had a personal and unexpected encounter with Jesus, that puts a mental image in the mind, suddenly some reading have either gained or lost respect for me. Suddenly I become the woman in an ugly dress, swaying to in fro in a church, my arms raised above my head with a look of induced serenity on my face. Or I am standing on the street corner pounding my bible and judging all that cross my path. To some, if I say I know Jesus, I either become a threat or an idiot. The box is growing smaller.

When I say the holy spirit came to me, both surprising and terrifying me, again the mental image emerges and the balance of respect shifts. When I state that although I knew Jesus had touched me, I had no desire to attend a church, find a religious leader or settle down to read the bible straight through, I have created yet another image in the mind of the reader. When I state I didn’t just fall in line and do what is typically done, some will believe I turned my back on the call.

Of course, none of these assumptions are truth, they are just a testimony to how we like to stay in the lines. Not only do we like to stay in the lines, we feel safer if everyone else stays in the lines. It’s a sure case of “if you’re not with me, you are against me”. We are threatened by the sheep that wander off to explore on their own, we are threatened when our box of knowledge of the way it is supposed to be is challenged.

I do not believe faith can be managed, controlled or directed by outside parties and I believe by falling into the lines and boxes we are only harming ourselves. I also do not believe that the faithful, humble individual is the cause of any horrors, only those that seek to herd and profit from their beliefs are the perpetrators of violence and deceit.

So here I state, I believe that Christ’s teachings were truth, although easily disguised and hidden, and as I state this I recognize that there is not a handy box for me and all sides of the issue will find something wrong in my way of being and label me accordingly. For myself, I believe the path to what I am seeking is narrow, with no room for cliques, organizations or committees to clear the way before me. I do not believe that I should put another human in charge of my spiritual development and I believe as we grow closer to that which we seek, we will find more and more boxes left discarded along the trail.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

On Abortion and Finding Ourselves Pregnant

With the murder of Dr. Tiller a couple weeks ago, abortion is once again a hot topic and the different sides are angrier than ever. Reading the forums the divisions are clear, we are turning on each other once again. We’ve been led like sheep into our 15+ minute hate session and we stand divided and angry. We feel compelled to state our thoughts, to provide our opinions and for some of us, to weep for the state of affairs in our world.

I, for one, am not a fan of abortion and I speak from only my experiences with being young and sexually active in the early 80s. The kids I ran with in those days were smart, well read, curious and sexually active since their early teens. In my three years in high school I supported the aftermath of three abortions, I was the friend that listened and the shoulder to cry on; I heard, in detail, about the regrets, guilt and nightmares.

When I found myself pregnant at 17 (funny phrase, huh? “found myself pregnant” – I was sexually active and rarely used birth control, it was really only a matter of time) I was encouraged, almost bullied, into getting an abortion by both my peers and the authority figures in my life. To say I was pressured would be an understatement, but I knew instinctually that what was growing in me, was not me. It wasn’t a group of cells, like a cancer, it was life and I could feel it, in times when I was relaxed and quiet, as a small warmth, pulsing softly.

My dad was an odd and frightening man, quick to temper and unpredictable. He carried a gun everywhere he went, even sleeping with one under his pillow and he was no stranger to pulling it out to express his opinion. My first concussions came from my father’s hand, so I knew that confronting him with my pregnancy could potentially be life threatening, but I also knew no one was going to make me do what I considered to be murder. My father, strangely enough, accepted my decision without arguments, chaos or trauma, but he made it clear I would be married in a week, as an illegitimate child was unacceptable.

The marriage was, of course, doomed to failure, we were both too young and immature, but my son was a gift that I will always be grateful to have received. To say life as a single mother was easy would be a lie, it wasn’t easy, it was hard, challenging and exhausting. To say it was a mistake would also be a lie, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Having a child takes you outside of yourself; it’s no longer just about you. Suddenly, you must sacrifice, you must consider another person at every turn. I am a better person for having experienced it.

As I read the debates about abortion my mind returns again and again to that group of girls I was a part of in my youth and the lackadaisical way we viewed sex. As I read the well thought out discussions on the merits of abortion and how it is rarely used as a birth control method, my mind returns to those girls and others I have known throughout the years. For the girls I knew, abortion was a birth control method. With very few exceptions, most of the women I was acquainted with through my teens and twenties didn’t have just one abortion, but several.

I used to wonder to myself how they could make the mistake again and again, wasn’t the emotional toll from just one enough? I noticed, though, that as my friends grew into women, a hardness grew in them, the tears over their actions from their youth had grown into a solid wall of cynicism and abortion just became a weekend spent in bed.

When my son was young and I was working hard to keep a roof over our heads, I wondered if I would choose abortion if I found myself pregnant again. I understood the challenge of being a single parent, though, and I practiced birth control, protecting myself from having to make such an, in my view, unacceptable choice. I understand abortion is a necessary evil, but to say it is not used as a birth control method is simply untrue.

I think that one aspect that gets overlooked in the abortion discussions is the emotional toll a woman undergoes; I’ve seen the tears, the drinking binges, and the self-hatred women experience. I’ve heard the nightmares and regrets, yet this aspect of emotionality is often not mentioned. We are in control of our reproductive choices, yet, we are still women, emotional and nurturing and an abortion often alters us in a very real way that can’t be seen from the outside, but only felt inside.

We believe that we can alter biology with no repercussions, but it is my opinion that life doesn’t work that way. I believe all actions have equal and opposite reactions or what we put out into the world will come back to us in some fashion. The young girls I knew, 15, 16 and 17 years old had no concept of the suffering they would endure due to what is sold as a simple medical procedure. The grown women, now hardened and bitter, perhaps don’t see the correlation, but I do.

What often gets lost is that abortion is a business like any other, and to stay in business, a business must have customers. A wise woman, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, author of the book, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, once said that the purpose of subjects like sex education or drug education taught in our schools are not what they seem to be. She has claimed, after years of working in the Department of Education, that programs such as decision-making or critical thinking are simply brain washing techniques used to promote behavioral and attitudinal changes. “And basically the purpose of them is to do exactly opposite of what they say they are meant to do.”

We girls, back in the day, knew how to prevent a pregnancy, but we also knew the local Planned Parenthood was just a couple miles away and for middle class kids, the money came easy to us. Of course, Planned Parenthood was just as close for procuring birth control, but that was something we never did, we gambled, we took chances and we joked about it. We had taken our sexual education classes and we knew no matter what happened, we had a convenient way out.

In discussions of abortion it seems there are only two sides and both sides are angry. I understand many aspects of both sides of the debate and I know there are cases in which it would be untenable to carry a pregnancy, such as in rape, abuse, disease or incest, but let’s face it, those cases aren’t keeping the abortion clinics busy. We women say it’s our body and we will do with it as we see fit, we are empowered by our reproductive choices, but if we were truly empowered I don’t think we’d find ourselves on an abortion table. If we were truly empowered we wouldn’t be gambling with our health and our future in such a manner that we would need abortive services.

The issue of abortion goes far deeper than the right to have one and perhaps that is the reason the discussion grows so hostile. In focusing on abortion, we are distracted from the bigger picture, like why in this day and age, with all we have at our disposable, the technologies, the access to information, the medical breakthroughs, we still are “finding ourselves pregnant”.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I See 33s
Originally published in the American Chronicle 4-20-07

I’ve been seeing 33s for a few years now. Looks strange to write it, even stranger to say it, but it is true. I see them when I’m driving on license plates, gas prices, road numbers, mile markers, hotel rates, produce prices, you name it, if there’s a 33 on it, I am going to notice it like a flashing beacon. I see them on my tab when I’m shopping or having dinner at a restaurant. I also see them when I am buying gas, at the pharmacy, at a coffee shop or stopping at a convenience store. I see them on the television, in phone numbers, on sports jerseys and I wake at 33 past the hour several times a night. My husband began noticing the numbers around the same time I did and he once even found a box turtle with a marred shell and the result looked like the animal was covered in 3s. It’s hard to say exactly when I began to be aware of all the 33s around me, but in the last two years it has become so commonplace that I am almost numb to it. And although I still don’t know why those numbers jump out at me, I was pleased to discover a website dedicated to the subject. 33 Mysteries

I’ve pondered this subject at length and I have seen how the numbers can mean many different things in different societies and religions. When looking at mysteries, I attempt, perhaps arrogantly, to see the whole tapestry, to follow the paths to where they lead, I try to suspend my own filters, but I am only human. It was validating to know that others see what I see, have noticed this odd reoccurrence and have given it more than just a passing thought. But with the death toll of the Virginia Tech murders this week listed as 33 and last week’s bombing in Algeria also listed as killing 33 people, the mystery of the recurring number is hanging quite heavily on my mind.

In numerology, 33 is considered a Master Number and symbolizes the Christ Consciousness. The 33rd degree is highest publicly known degree for Freemasonry and some say it signifies illumination and freedom from religious dogma. In Hinduism, Yoga Sutra 3:33 states: "Through keenly developed intuition, everything can be known." In the Tibetan Book of the Dead, it speaks of the thirty-three heavens ruled over by Indra and the thirty-three ruled over by Mara.

The number 33 winds through many belief systems including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism (one of the oldest religions) and Christianity. Christ was crucified at 33 years old and the Biblical Eden lies on the latitude line of 33 degrees. When Lucifer was cast out of heaven, a third of the angels (33%) were said to have gone with him and in the last book of the Bible, Revelations, it speaks of a third (33%) of things being killed or destroyed. The first temple of King Solomon stood for thirty-three years before being pillaged and King David reigned in Jerusalem for 33 years. The Inquisition was created to combat heresy in 1233 and reached its peak with the famous trial of Galileo in 1633.

The number 33 is also seen in biology and science. The word “scientist” is said to have become popularized in 1833. Seawater pressure doubles with every 33 feet of depth. The animal kingdom is divided into 33 phyla. Many bird’s eggs gestate in 33 days and the raven is believed to produce 33 different sounds. And “Africanized killer bees” will not nest above the 33 parallel. Roswell, NM, the infamous location of the UFO crash in 1947, lies on the 33 parallel. The Space Shuttle lands on runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The most famous nebula is Barnard 33 or the Horsehead Nebula. A space vehicle proposed by Lockheed Martin for NASA was named the X-33. The Leonid Meteor Shower peaks in intensity every 33 years. And the sun will rise in the exact same spot on the horizon every 33 years.

The town I was born in lies very near the global North Latitude, 33°30', as well as the ancient city of Babylon and modern day Baghdad. The longest continually inhabited city in the world, Damascus, Syria is also on that line. The site of the first atomic bombing during WWII, in Nagasaki, Japan, also resides on the 33 parallel, and coincidently, so does the White Sands Testing Range in New Mexico, where the atom bomb was first tested. This geo-latitudinal line also passes through what is known as the "Bermuda Triangle" in the Atlantic Ocean.

Metaphysics and conspiracy have blended in a strange way in this arena and the number seems to have intrigued many of those seeking. 33 has been connected to the deaths or assassinations of Presidents, the beginning of the Holocaust and wars and dissention throughout history. Several point out that many of our leaders have been 33rd degree Masons, or were at least connected to Freemasonry and how the “most evil man in Europe”, Aleister Crowley, also held that title. The coincidences around the number amaze, astound and interest many of those attempting to unravel historical and modern day mysteries.

Some say seeing the recurring number is the equivalent to a spiritual wake up call, signifying universal nurturing, a raised social consciousness and global responsibility, while others state that it is an occult number and certainly points only to evil. Others suggest there is a connection between the number and the New World Order, the Freemasons and Bohemian Grove and they also insist the number is rich in symbolic and occult meanings. Many believe the number represents bad things to come and others believe it is a sign they are on the right path. The biggest commonality I have seen between those haunted by the number is that almost all believe at its base, the meaning is spiritual. And still others say the whole idea is ridiculous and it means nothing except to prove that the seers of 33 are actually abnormal or deluded.

For myself, although I still don’t understand all the whys of seeing it, I think it indicates a time to start paying attention. Perhaps it is a signal to slow down in the super hyped world we live in these days. Or perhaps it is alluding to the illusions we see all around us when we are aware. Or it could be that I am over-thinking and it is simply about the Christ Consciousness trying to make itself known in a strangely backward and confused world.

Much thanks to Adam Burke of 33 Mysteries.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oh My! Three Fun Ways To Die

Originally Published on July 17, 2008

Some have said that we are undergoing a devious plan of depopulation in the world, in which the secret government and the elite have decided there are too many people on the earth and billions must die so they can continue with their plans of utopia. I’ve heard these ideas mentioned again and again in the last years, but truly never gave much credence to the idea, until now.

In exploring the world, we all gather little truths, ideas that are not held by the masses, but we don’t always put those puzzle pieces together. Our society has done a fine job in teaching us to separate facts, to focus on the small pieces and not see the bigger picture. We like to categorize things and events, as though neatness and organization counts when attempting to understand reality and we cling to the structures around us, fearful of change. We keep our horror aimed at the movie screen, fearing deviant maniacs and monsters, perhaps subconsciously knowing that if we disconnect from that screen, we may encounter the real monsters – which, coincidentally, look just like us.

We are an odd lot these days; we trust our televisions and our leaders, but not our neighbors, families or faith. We dutifully follow the advice we are given by the elaborate boxes placed as decoration and information in most rooms and when we hear of another fabulous product we rarely consider if it is truly healthful. So we have learned that aspartame in over 6,000 products is safe for us, mercury in our teeth and injected into our blood is completely harmless and consuming quantities of fluoride have saved our children’s teeth for decades. But are these truths really true? Or are these poisons just another part of a fascinating deception we are too na├»ve and trusting to comprehend.

In 1965, James M. Schlatter, while working as a chemist for G.D. Searle and Co., discovered aspartame (Nutrasweet or Equal). He was attempting to create an anti-ulcer drug when he found that the concoction was sweet. For years the FDA refused to approve aspartame for use in food due to concerns that it caused brain and other cancers, but upon taking office President Reagan appointed a new FDA commissioner and aspartame soon found it’s way into our food supply. There is now a list of 92 side effects associated with aspartame consumption. Sweet Poison

The approval of aspartame is an interesting read, full of intrigue, politics and a predator like drive to achieve a goal, no matter the consequences. In a study performed by a Dr. Harry Waisman in 1970 to research the effects of aspartame on primates, seven infant monkeys were fed aspartame with their milk, one died and five suffered grand mal seizures. Dr. Waisman tragically passed away before the study could be completed and the results were not included in the initial application G.D. Searle submitted to the FDA. In 1971, another Searle researcher discovered aspartame’s toxicity in infant mice, but her results were also ignored. In 1974, Neuroscientist John W. Olney and others filed a formal objection stating their belief that aspartame caused brain damage, especially in children. Despite the tests and the objections, aspartame passed one hurdle after the other, ignoring science and the health of the consumer, almost as though there was a bigger picture, an insidious plan. Natural News

It’s a difficult undertaking to imagine that our own leaders would seek to do us harm, an idea that most would find illogical and unacceptable. But if we consider that G.D. Searle, which held the patent on aspartame for many years, was also a pharmaceutical company, it’s really win-win for them as we drink aspartame and then go to our doctors with new cancers and odd, unexplained illnesses. And if we remember that Donald Rumsfeld, former Chairman and CEO of G.D. Searle (between two stints as Secretary of Defense), was instrumental in passing this brew to the masses, we must begin questioning what it all means. To gain some perspective of what can happen to the human body regularly consuming aspartame Victoria Inness-Brown, M.A. conducted an independent experiment using 108 rats over a two-year, eight-month period. Ms. Inness-Brown discovered the same results as the earlier researchers discovered - cancers, tumors, brain damage and death in her test subjects. My Aspartame Experiment

Yet, it seems most will not believe aspartame is bad for us until the television informs us, we seemingly can’t envision that we have been lied to by our corporate leaders. I’ve often heard the masses referred to as sheep, slowly being culled as we sleepily graze the fields and as I see children consuming their artificially sweetened goodies, while ADD, ADHD and behavioral altering meds become more and more popular, I think there is truth to the imagery. But wait, aspartame is not the only suspicious substance we are expected to consume these days, we have also been well taught that fluoride in our water is good for us.

About 5% of the world’s water is fluoridated and 50% of those people consuming fluoridated water live in North America. Both China and Sweden have banned water fluoridation, while Japan, Austria, Norway, Denmark and Belgium have rejected the idea. Hungary, Germany and Finland have all stopped fluoridating their water systems. And they do not fluoridate their water due to environmental, health, legal and ethical concerns. Yet, we, here in America, believe that this waste product in good for us and good for our children.

As with aspartame, fluoridated water has a long and interesting past, in 1944 the American Dental Association warned, “even minuscule amounts of fluoride will cause osteosclerosis, spondylosis, osteopetrosis, and goiter, and we cannot afford to run the risk of producing such serious systemic disturbances in applying what is a doubtful procedure to prevent dental disfigurements among children. The potentialities for harm far outweigh those for good.” Yet, months after the stringent warning the ADA began promoting and participating in the fluoridation project. Over the years tests were done in various cities, fluoridating one community and leaving another pure, in each study cavities among the residents declined in both the fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas, but only the fluoridated results were released to the public.

During WWII a Major Racey Jordan noticed an inordinate amount of fluoride being shipped to the Soviet Union and it was explained to him that fluoride was used in the water in the prison camps to keep the prisoners lethagic and easy to control. And years ago, the Encyclopedia of Materia Medica clearly listed the mind altering and behavior changing effects of fluoride. Doctored Water

Fluorosilicic acid is the chemical used to fluoridate our water and it is a byproduct of the prosphate fertilizer and aluminum industries, it is also essential in the production of atomic bombs. It is an ingredient in rat poisons and pesticides and it is classified as a hazardous waste product. And according to a letter dated in 1965, Dr. Flanagan, Assistant Director of Environmental Health, American Medical Association stated, “The American Medical Association is NOT prepared to state that no harm will be done to any person by water fluoridation. The AMA has not carried out any research work, either long-term or short-term, regarding the possibility of any side effects." No Fluoride

Studies reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association and The New England Journal of Medicine have demonstrated higher incidences of hip fractures in fluoridated communities. The National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences and scientists at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have reported that fluoridation causes cancer. And the 1984 issue of Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products lists fluoride as more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. A seven-ounce tube of fluoride toothpaste is enough to kill a 25 lb. child. The Toxic Effects of Fluoride

In 1945, according to the “Vital Statistics Of The United States”, the cancer deaths in Grand Rapids, Michigan, were 245, this was the same year they became the first city to fluoridate the water. Four years later, the same sources show the cancer deaths at 349, an approximate 39% increase. Interestingly enough, in the five years before water fluoridation was introduced the cancer rates in the city were declining, down 6%. Doctor Yourself

Fluoride is now also found in our foods, soft drinks and many pharmaceuticals and some of the effects of over-fluoridation are pitted, brown and stained teeth, otherwise known as dental fluorosis, bone disorders and arthritis. Many have stated it lowers the IQ by up to 15 points, causes sterility and reproduction disorders. Other studies have shown its connection to bone cancers and cancer of the uterus and other soft tissues. Still others state that fluoride depresses the immune system and causes early sexual maturation in females. And some see the surge of Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders as caused by fluoridated water.

And the fluoride that we consume is said to collect in the pineal gland nestled deep in our brains. Rene Descartes referred to the pineal gland as The Seat of the Soul and many believe that is where we find our connection to the spiritual aspect of life. Others believe the pineal gland is where our third eye gains its sight and still others believe it is where original thought is birthed. And although countries across the globe look at fluoridated water suspiciously, we, here in America, still believe it is the best thing since apple pie. But we still aren’t done, we must add mercury to this toxic soup of “goodness” we are expected to ingest by our leaders.

By now, we’ve all heard the concerns of rising Autism rates and the fact that many parents feel the change in their children occurred after they were injected with vaccines containing a mercury base, but what of the “silver” or amalgam fillings mixed with mercury and placed in our teeth? According to the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, the mercury, mixed with other metals, continues to leak out mercury vapor in our mouths for years. Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas

Norway recently became the first country to ban amalgam fillings due to health concerns and according to Erik Solheim, Norway’s Minister of Environment and Development, “Mercury is among the most dangerous environmental toxins. Satisfactory alternatives to mercury in products are available, and it is therefore fitting to introduce a ban.” What Doctors Don’t Tell You

And a little known fact is that amalgam fillings are considered a hazardous waste product and must be disposed of per a certified recycling company. Mercury is the most toxic of the toxic metals and it takes as little as ½ a gram to contaminate a ten acre lake enough for health officials to warn us not to eat the fish and ½ a gram of mercury is what it takes to fill a tooth. Among other things, mercury kills cells, accumulates in the brain and damages brain cells, weakens the immune system and is toxic to the kidneys. Some studies have shown that amalgam fillings may have played a role in the development of neurological and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS and Parkinson's. Dental Amalgam Scientific Facts

So, there we have it, a short list of toxic brews our leaders have declared are good for us or, at least, safe and we believe because we have also been taught that evil intentions do not exist. We understand that our leaders mean us no harm and if they are causing harm by medicating our water, encouraging us to eat and drink dangerous chemicals and injecting or implanting damaging metals into our bodies, it is surely a mistake, there is no intent. All of the toxins I have listed affect our brains, our intelligence and our health and there are plenty of studies to confirm these findings, so perhaps our leaders know exactly what they are doing, perhaps it is simply about money or perhaps it is about creating a utopia absent of senseless eaters.

Although I briefly touched on these products, there is enough information on each one to fill books, information that the average citizen needs to know, but perhaps after years of consuming these health stealing and behavior altering additions, we no longer care. It is a strange time to be alive when we believe, as a society, that consuming toxic materials and chemicals is good for us and I often feel as though I’ve stepped into a backwards world alive with bizarre contradictions. As I ponder the idea of depopulation and then look at the substances declared healthy, I have to agree that there is a plot and plan that, we the people, simply do not see.