Saturday, June 29, 2013

Goddess returning now

I am having a good cry as I write this, as a major healing is beginning to surface in me.
Oh, so good – tears of grief and healing.

This new upsurge of illumination, emotions releasing into transcendence and enhanced clarity, has been a long time coming.  I have known since the beginning of writing for this blog site that this site would likely be the vehicle for this about to come forth.
Goddess rising!
Here it is now.

Of course, this is a cryptic message. That is often how a transformation in progress first announces itself, at least for me.
Anyway, in the most concrete way I am capable of at this moment, please read the posting below which is also posted on the New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project site.

My time is now!
Observe the unfolding; the “hero/heroine/Amazon woman, a.k.a. Goddess-Zilla, with a thousand faces, returning home.

(The Hero With A Thousand Faces was written by Joseph Campbell.)
Text copied below from New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project


the “Counterculture Community Development Model

Charlie Brotman, my former public relations agent, offered me the following wisdom from his many years of experience as Washington’s number one public relations agent.
“If you want us to publicize what you have to market on the pages of the "Washington Post," as you are requesting, lay it out for us as well-defined as a couch. This is what we need in order to sell it.”
That was in about 1997, just before I lost my eyesight (1998). Charlie had been my press agent in the late ‘60s. I had been his very first client, after he left the Washington Senators baseball team.
Now I was wanting to return as his client, many years later, to promote my forthcoming books, the myriad programsof New Horizons and our Harpers Ferry Retreat Center as a training and healing center.
"Well, Charlie, a long time has passed since that time and a good deal has happened. But I haven’t ever stopped trying to figure out how to give you that “couch,” so I could get back on your list of clients, again. Even if I am not number one, any longer, here is my best shot to date.”

Today, I/we are introducing New Horizons’ “couch.” Otherwise to be known as the --
Counterculture Community Development Model.
(The last business Charlie named for me was the U.S. "Male" Service, circa 1967.)
If I’ve got it now, soon it will be time for the –
Return of a goddess (who be me)!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

“We like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants…”

Four days after the concluding of our New Horizons community building event day, last Saturday, and you might as well look for me in the “lost and found.”

Where does one go after a moment of “awe”? What are my next steps in the grand scheme of things?  I am asking myself that today.
On the most basic level, I thought it might be nice to leave the mountain, today. I am always reluctant to do this. Where is there to go when one feels as if she lives in paradise?

Still, I urged myself out, sunroof and windows open to the sunshineand breeze, for a lovely ride into a nearby town to shop.

As awe is not sustainable here on earth, I might as well buy groceries, right?

Freedom at my wheel, soon I leisurely crossed over the Potomac River. Yet, in the midst of this scenic beauty, as verdant mountains rose before my eyes, I could not help, revisiting those age-old existential questions,–
·         Who am I?
·         Who are you?
·         What is everybody doing here?  And,
·         What am I supposed to do in a place like this with people like you?
Darn, does life never stand still long in perfection? Answer, of course not.
We are made to be still and soon after begin our very next cycle of growth.

So, if there is life on other planets,  as the news of the day suggests, OMG, don’t I/we have enough to figure out with the life we have here?

Thus, my drive time musings reminded me, before long, that there is a Possible Society In Motion Radio Show scheduled for tomorrow night for which I still have no definitive plan. However, come four or five-ish today and my co-host, Jack Slattery, and returning guest, Gloria Livingston, will be awaiting my guidance.
Darn, again.

I scheduled this show to build around a quote by Margaret Mead which has inspired me since first I heard it decades ago. It is reflective of that which I correctly assumed was relevant to our event. The quote is as follows. For sure you must have heard it.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed that it is all that ever has.” 
How goes this for tomorrow night’s show?

Well, last Saturday, we did, indeed, bring together a “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens….” And, we did, overall, complete our mission for that single day; bringing together likeminded life adventurers who wish only for peace (along with all the other good things). At least that is what we are all ostensibly saying.
Now New Horizons is certain of its intent to grow and guide this small, select group on a one year, at least, journey to this end.

Ok, now that we’ve gotten that far, what next?
I’ve been sitting back the last day or so, reflecting on my role in this adventure. And, I must admit I am indeed, humbled.

The following words, credited to Bernard of Chartres, 1100 approx. approx. (as per Blueprints by Edey and Johanson), avow my humility, striking me as appropriate for where I should look next for guidance (in addition to “up”, out and around me).
“We like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants can see more and farther, not because we are keener and taller but because of the greatness by which we are carried and exalted.”

Monday, June 24, 2013

We came together

An extended version of this commentary is posted on New Horizons' Small "Zones of Peace" Project blog.

We came together last Saturday to celebrate the Summer Solstice and enumerable triumphs, both personal and collective, that New Horizons has attained. We were intent on giving, from this bounty, all that we can that is the very best of ourselves, individually and together. And, I do believe we accomplished this mission.

Today and for a few days forward from now, I want to take time to discover for myself and integrate what this what this celebration and day long community building event meant for me, personally, and for those to whom it was offered. This is the pathway that will, I believe, best serve those who were present, over the long haul, as well as those who may be able to benefit in the future from the fruits of this labor.

For now my words are still within, unspoken as far as coherent communication is possible.

Because of the complexity of integrating what occured from our diverse experiences and, then, sharing some of that, on-air, the next live broadcast of our Possible Society In Motion Show has been rescheduled.

That show, titled "Never doubt that a small group..", will be broadcast on Thursday evening, June 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Please feel welcomed to join us for our broadcast discussion for this show. And for the extended conference call-in discussion that follows. Here is the link for that program.

In the meantime the photograph posted here that was taken by me last night, just before sundown, will, likely, speak words without words for those of you who were gathered here with me on Saturday.

Thank you so much. to those who were most involved in preparing for this celebration, Sue deVeer and Leslie Pickett -- and -- to those who attended, from start to finish.

With gratitude and affection.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

The goddess is alive and magic is afoot

Today I feel the Wise Woman of Elk Mountain part of me in nearly every cell of my body though I am still not as vibrantly in touch as I’d like to be.
Yesterday I guided a New Horizons’ community building event at our Harpers Ferry Retreat Center in celebration of the Summer Solstice; the first one since I lost my eyesight in 1998 (maybe even longer,1995???). Imagine that!!! 

Me, last weekend, clean sweeping my
goddess altar for the Solstice.
This morning, after the event, my sense of spaciousness and light, luminescence and purity is so vast that it is as if everything in me and surrounding me is crystalline, bathed in a gentle warmth (oi veh, bordering on humid). The stillness feels holy, the air fresh and green.

After a while of simply relaxing into this ambiance, it was time for me, along with a fresh cup of tea, to go outside and check on my “plant babies.” Some of them had just been planted yesterday to honor the Solstice. Time for me to watch the hummingbirds fly into their feeder on my deck, overlooking the front of our retreat center while the sacred mountain rises behind; the deck that, yesterday, was filled with laughter and talk, storytelling, delicious food and volunteers painting an outside wall.

Before I even got outside, a pair of birds had flown into my living room where the screen is out. Quickly, happily for me and them, they flew out again. Soon after I sat down outside, drawing in the beauty and wonder of it all. A bit later, Sue and I began, by phone, to explore how it was that the practical, the skillful and the mystical came together here, yesterday, with such perfection. Whatever it was, we've worked, diligently, for seven long, challenging years to create it so.
How did this come to be?

I will do my best to keep you posted on what we find out. And, please know I regret my not having been here since last week with you all.

Anastasia, a.k.a. the Wise Woman of Elk Mountain

Friday, June 14, 2013

About Anastasia and her views on transforming the Dark Side of the U.S.A.

From the board members of New Horizons Support Network, Inc.

Dear blog readers,

We, the members of the New Horizons Support Network, know, full well, that --- given the scope of our organization; its programs, projects, developmental underpinnings and the conceptual foundations upon which all these have been built -- our package is enormous. And, often times, more than likely, difficult to nail down.

Anastasia Rosen-Jones
New Horizons'
Executive Director and Founder
We understand  this and we don’t like it. We know you do not either, as we get our share of complaints on this limitation of ours, now and then.

However, with a visionary such as our founder and executive director, Anastasia Rosen-Jones, at the helm of this vessel we are crewing, we have found naught else to do other than to sail forth in the manner and at the tempo that seems most unifying to us of our many parts.
Nonetheless, in consideration of the frustration this pace evokes in you, we are offering the following links about our esteemed director with the hopes that they may, in some small way, shed light on your curiosities and allay your vexations.

Find out more about Anastasia -- her theories on the Dark Side and its transformation, her principles for culture-wide systemic change – and – her visionary capacity that was greatly enhanced by term of blindness -- at the following links.
Also, be sure to listen to Anastasia on our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show as she attempts, with the aid of co-host, Jack Slattery, to articulate some of the essential concepts, underlying New Horizons’ package of principles for Dark Side and culture-wide transformation.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The meaning of life

Isn’t life on planet earth interesting these days?
But damn if it isn’t challenging to figure out, day-to-day, the meaning of one’s life, as you proceed through these days.

Especially, if you are wont to consider, as I am, how to be well-grounded and also take heed of the heavens.
(I bring this up, here, assuming you might, occasionally, have an eye to seeking a bit of heaven on earth. Last week’s guest for our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show brought this point to mind in our interview with him.
Check out our discussion with Jim Wagner, New Horizons Peace Buddy of the Year honoree for 2012, if you care to consider the idea, as a break from the mundane.)

My day started off with a call from Sue, my dear collaborator, this morning to let me know that her husband’s ankle surgery, originally slated  for this morning was being rescheduled.
Well, I was certainly happy to hear this news, especially as Sue was pleased to have a bit of breathing room to do her part; always a generous one, preparing for New Horizons’ first community building gathering event, planned for Saturday, June 22 .
(New Horizons ceased doing programs out here at our, now much-in-need-of -remodeling, Harpers Ferry Retreat Center as a result of my blind time. )

The gathering is scheduled to be a combined volunteer work day, community building program and Summer Solstice celebration. It has long been in the planning and preparation stage. But it was going to be an added challenge, with Sue’s energies and time needed to, also, support her husband through his recovery process.
There had been a handful of distractions for other volunteers too. The kinds of things that when added up suggested a bit of an obstacle course for accomplishing advance projects for our day long events program.

I joyfully contemplated this good news, heading up the mountain road for my “almost“ daily walk this morning, feeling pretty sanguine, having now reached a degree of enlightenment in my coming to terms with the fact that I definitely do share this road, occasionally, with a snake or two crossing my path.
Thinking to share the update of Sue’s opportune release from the bondage of her husband’s recovery time, I optimistically sent off a text message, announcing this fortunate turn of events, to another of our devoted volunteers for the project.

The response I got was this – “Some planet has gone retrograde here.”
Okay, Interesting.  

However, since it is only mercury in retrograde that I have developed a bit of caution about (and it is not scheduled until June 26), how is this news something for me to place in perspective for the meaning of my life, today?
You know. It’s about me, here, that I am thinking -- and -- the significance of this news for ME.

I barely had time to consider this news of the world beyond this mountain when a second text came my way.
This one read – “Disruption every damn where. Or maybe it is just you.”

Okay, I thought to myself, “Another timely update. What is this one supposed to mean for me?”
Still thinking about that one, I returned with this updated news to enjoying my walk up the road, without seeing a snake anywhere, dead or alive.

So I sent another text from me to my friend, saying:
“Umm??? I don’t feel anything for me other than SUPREME SERENITY!”

Soon the next text came back to me. This one filled with more definitive cautions to heed.
Text from my friend:

“Yah, but all of your satellites are crashing into things. It’s like voodoo or something.”
To which I responded:                 

“Might be, but I feel ROCK SOLID, especially with friends like you in my life.”
Here our conversation ended with me in puzzlement, especially as this is special friend who can, aptly, read the cosmos.

Now, you tell me,
“Am I in a crisis, now, or not? Should I, now, run for cover somewhere that I’m not? 

What’s the deal here?
And, with all this turbulence going on around me, what on earth is the –

Meaning of my life, at least, for today?       
It’s always something, dontcha think. Keeps a body on their toes I’d say.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Our Recovery From Blindness, Emotionally and Spiritually

It is a rare and courageous person who will venture to ask me what it was like for me to be blind. It is a person who is wise, emotionally and spiritually, as well as courageous, who will understand when I speak to them about my experience.
And, it is a truly hardy individual who, along with being courageous and wise, will understand me, if and when I have the patience and am willing to risk telling how very much more difficult it was for me to go through the process of recovering from being blind then was the actual term of my physical blindness (1998 – 2003).
What did I see
when I was blind?

If you are willing and able to SEE through my eyes, you will become aware that I needed to learn to be able to see, again, in a very altered reality, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually with new eyes.
Because I was physically blind at the time of “9/11” this was particularly challenging.

Soon I am going to be able, due to changes in me and you and the world around us, to talk to you more about this.

But not quite yet am I able to tell you what I saw when I was blind and how that changed how I see all of us; you, me and this brave new world we live in. Not quite yet.
Allow me, for now, to return to the door-opening dialogue I am having with you, here, on the subject of blindness recovery; the natural, organically unfolding one we will embark upon next, if you will be courageous and wise, patient and sensitive.

This one is about the three years it took me (2003 – 2006) to start learning how to function, even superficially, in a way that would appear to be “normal” in mainstream life in the U.S.A., beginning in 2003, in post“911” America.
Going blind took me by surprise; it was shocking, indeed. Being blind was a time-out that “grew” me spiritually. Recovering from being blind, however, was terrifying; frightening and hard.

You, the people, were almost the hardest of all for me, as I haltingly stumbled to learn your ways and find a place in your world within which to fit; to have a mainstream identity, once more. My old ways, like the clothes I had once worn when last I was a part of you, were outdated. Rip Van Winkle and I have had a lot in common, I believe.
Think of it this way:  You (and all the rest of us) are somewhat blind, spiritually and emotionally.

So -- what is/was it like for you to lose your sight, spiritually and emotionally, if not physically, to the world around you?
What is it like (or has it been like) for you to manage your life with limited vision?

And, what is it like for you, now, when you make every effort to see truth and clarity for real, again?
If you know what I mean, you may, then, begin to understand my blindness and the terrifying challenge recovery from blindness has been for me.  

You and I have been seasoned and cooked, speaking truth to power.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beyond Adversarialism: Further Reflections

Let our conversations continue.

I was most appreciative that friend/community activist collaborator/journalist/author, Mike Corrigan (writing under the name G.M. Corrigan) posted an appreciative and edifying comment to my last blog article. I think this comment important enough, in and of itself, as well as for future referencing, to, also, post it here (below).

Mike, is quite right; I have “taken a shine” to his hypothesis as explicated in this tome. The strength of the appeal is that Mike’s arguments correspond, though not completely, to the theories of my former mentor, Martin G. Groder, M.D. (deceased), and myself.
For right now, I simply want to savor having had Mike on our Possible Society In Motion Show where he spoke, at length, with Jack Slattery, my co-host, and myself about this work in progress – and – to appreciate Mike’s attentiveness to my article.

I will, however, have much more to say on this topic once I have come to better understand Mike’s ideas in a fuller way. His posted comment is copied below.
For now, thank you, Mike, for being on our show and your patience in helping me expand some of my own working perspectives and incorporate them into your's.

From G.M. Corrigan
Journalist G.M. Corrigan,
author of Chasing Chickens:
A Love Story
Thanks for your kind words and interest in my book-in-progress, “Exposing America’s Secret Civil War: Adversarialism, Polarization and the Losing of America.” You seem to have “taken a shine” to my main thesis—that run-amok, constitutional adversarialism is at the heart of American societal problems—and have even added your own refinements to the theory.

I would like to clear up one matter, however. The concept-dynamic “adversarialism” is not necessarily a bad thing. The founders enlisted it (in the form of America’s constitutional separation of powers and bill of rights, especially in its speech freedoms) as an isometric way of diffusing government power and preventing the rise of a monarch or other dictator. It was a “fire fighting fire” provision in our governing praxis, and it was intended to keep the precincts of political power, where corruption was realistically expected, from overwhelming the civic sector’s freedoms to be competitive or cooperative, commercial or artistic, spiritual or worldly, etc., as the individual citizen saw fit.
My thesis is that, as government grew and ultimately penetrated almost all aspects of American social organization, the government’s implicit dynamic—adversarialism—hitchhiked with it, and, along with the commensurate expansion of adversarialist corporate business, came to dominate society’s daily interactions. This produces an unhealthy bias toward competitive, transactional and often hostile human relations, which, with the repression of feelings, cooperation, spirituality and ordinary nurturing friendship that comes with this, invites mental illness, violence, rabid partisanship, government paralysis and, ultimately, autocracy and breakdown. I think we see ample signs of this condition already.

G.M. Corrigan

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Beyond adversarialism

I was just about to sink myself into the peace and stillness of the night’s clear sky when a phone call interrupted my reverie. The air had cooled right then; the heat of the day tempered by the setting of the sun, not an hour before.  Weary from a day, long on labor and short on the balance I prefer, I had only moments before started to lean back and relax into the comfort of my all-embracing lounge chair, recently purchased, that I was enjoying getting to know.
With eyes opened wide to the night sky’s seemingly slow motion, the only disruptrion -- a low flying chopper, overhead, had come and soon was gone. Oh my, was I gratified to let go into this evening of quietude.

Then, jarringly, in the midst of my supreme serenity, a call coming in at this “late” hour, dissonantly, interrupted my quiet. Resistant to taking it, I all but ignored the call. That is until a quick glance at the i.d. brought about a rapid change of  heart. M. Corrigan was the name lighting up my cell. This was special. Ah, thought I, this is a call, promising gain for my pain.
Hopeful that there was no emergency at this early-for-some, late-for-me hour, instantly I shifted my attention, anticipating a worthwhile opportunity in the making.  I would not be disappointed.

This could be interesting.
I am a fan of Mike Corrigan, a reporter/journalist/author, writing under the name of G.M. Corrigan. For me, Mike has a certain something, drawing out both my respect and interest. The fact that we’ve worked together on a number of particularly challenging projects and programs, during the seven years I have known him, has added to my appreciation, experiencing as I have, his insightfulness and cooperative nature, alongside a conscientious integrity of purpose.

Besides I was the one who had last called him. Perhaps this was my answer.

I was after picking Mike’s brain on a subject he is passionate about; the notion of the U.S. being a country that, while constitutionally developed to offset the natural, human instinct for the preservation of self-interest at the expense of others, seems to have, increasingly, gotten off course from its original intent; the goal being the pursuit of the good of the whole without compromising the parts.

Adversarialism is the word Mike attachs to the inherent human inclination to obstruct this kind of vision, generating in the process one snag after another. We see this failing in our current political, commercial, societal and personal processes which are close to catastrophic at this time.
I had not heard this word before I was introduced to it by Mike. Nonetheless, his particular analysis of our present systemic dysfunctionality, as well as his theses for solving these difficulties, developed in detail in his work in progress, Exposing America’s Secret Civil War, has brought me to be one of his fans. (Listen to a podcast of Mike discussing this book in progress on our Possible Society In Motion Show, May 18, 2013.)

Is Mike’s point of view singularly unique?
I have had no way of knowing yea or nay, disinclined as I am, typically, to turning my time and my life over to searching the internet.
However, today, prompted by the talk Mike and I had last night that disturbed my reverie, with much benefit, I did begin to investigate the concept, adversarialism, and was edified by finding many resources on the topic.

There is little that can expand one’s mind – and fill one’s heart more -- than taking the time to pause and have meaningful exchange with thoughtful, devoted others.  What a priceless gift to come my way, in the midst of my reluctance to let go of my quietude; one of the many rewards of choosing to lean in.
This is what lies -- beyond adversarialism.