G r e e t i n g s !
** TPO **
an irreligious blog
with egalitarian and individualist tendencies!
an irreligious blog
with egalitarian and individualist tendencies!
On the menu ... politics, music, poetry, and other good stuff.
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!
Parfois, on parle français ici aussi. Tous sont les bienvenus!
Intelligent comments are always welcome!
Friday, November 26, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Raven E. Aurlineus
The Great Law
As you sow, so shall you reap.
This is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect.
Whatever we put out in the Universe
is what comes back to us.
If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Friendship, Love...
Then we should BE Happy, [we should be] Peaceful, [we should be] Loving, [we should be] a Friend.
The Law of Creation
Life doesn't just HAPPEN, it requires our participation.
We are one with the Universe, both inside and out.
Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
BE and DO yourself...
what you [want to be],and what you [want done] in your Life.
The Law of Humility
What you refuse to accept, will continue [flowing to] you.
If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.
The Law of Growth
Wherever you go, there you are.
For us to GROW in Spirit, it is we who must change and not the people, places or things around us.
The only given we have in our lives is OURSELVES and that is the only factor we have control over.
When we change who and what we are within our heart, our life changes too.
The Law of Responsibility
Whenever there is something wrong, there is something wrong in me.
We mirror what surrounds us and what surrounds us mirrors us.
We must take responsibility [for] what is in our life.
The Law of Connection
Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected.
Each step leads to the next step and so forth and so on.
Someone must do the initial work to get a job done.
Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance. They were both needed to accomplish the task.
Past, Present, Future
They are all connected...
The Law of Focus
You can't think of two things at the same time.
When our focus is on Spiritual Values it is impossible for us to have lower thoughts such as greed or anger.
The Law of Giving and Hospitality
If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life, you will be called upon to demonstrate that truth.
Here is where we put [that which] we have learned into PRACTICE.
The Law of Here and Now
Looking back to examine what was, prevents us from being totally in the HERE AND NOW.
Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams... prevent us from having new ones.
The Law of Change
History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.
The Law of Patience and Reward
All Rewards require initial toil.
Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil.
True Joy follows doing what we're supposed to be doing and waiting for the Reward to come in it's own time.
The Law of Significance and Inspiration
You get back from something whatever you've put into it.
The Value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.
Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
Lackluster contributions have no impact on the Whole or [only] work to diminish it.
Loving contributions lift up and inspire the Whole.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Of late, I have been musing … whether I can take total stock of my life, and whether there has been anything meaningful and useful there that can be shared. Certainly, I am quite wary of the dangers of too much self-preoccupation and of straying from the path of humility and simplicity. But then, as a happenstance, I came across this rather confounding quote from Jack Handey: “I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.” Whoa there! Stop, bring the gears to neutral and hold on there! There is now no doubt in my mind that the best path for self-assessment is to have a sense of humor and to take the good with the bad.
For simplicity’s sake, it seems appropriate to divide my life into three parts: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. On a time-line, these three periods altogether actually span upwards of five and a half decades. Hence, like good wine, ha ha, I'm well-aged. To my pleasant surprise, I have discovered that aging is not really a totally disastrous mental process. It is true that the capacity to retain memories is different from person to person. Speaking for myself, I’m certain that I still have a lot of my childhood, vibrant and intact within me.
My childhood years were a period when everything appeared enormous … my dad seemed like a giant although he was only 5’ 9” tall … houses and fences loomed large … and a block of street was like infinity to my eyes. I do not believe that in the very early part of my childhood I had any concrete concept or even awareness of time; but later on, I remember feeling it was the slowest thing on earth; it felt as if everything was standing still, that all moments were one and the same. An hour was like an eternity. Of-course my attention span was probably only just at the bare minimum level to qualify me as a human-being. That was understandable as this was a time when I was absorbing everything about my surroundings, i.e. the sights and the sounds.
The most joyous and fun times were when I was between eight and twelve years old. This was a time of innocence, of curiosity, and of endless discoveries. But I had not yet reached complete self-awareness, or acquired a sense of responsibility when you know to be always on your guard and not require adult supervision. I had friends and playmates both at school and in my neighborhood. There was peace and stability in Ethiopia, and I felt safe and unharassed by anything. My family was not enjoying a life of luxury, but we were not in dire poverty either. We belonged in the lower middle class, and the future held some good promises.
Discoveries continued, but at a much faster pace. I was doing well in school, I joined my school’s boy scouts club for a couple of years. This was character-building time. My new-found love was reading, I loved hanging out in libraries. Another obsession was going to the movies every weekend. My dad used to say that I was using his money to enrich the white man (the ferenjii) both there and in foreign lands. He was correct about that; but I was also benefiting from the fact that my language skills were growing at a rapid pace. By the time I was eighteen, I was fluent in English and had a good working start in French. And to cap everything, I had the great fortune and privilege of coming to the United States for my last year of high school. I had at last come to the States (as an exchange student) at the tender age of seventeen; and it was my first big adventure in life.
A deficiency of my adolescence was the fact that I never actually developed a steady or lasting friendship (romantic or platonic) with the opposite sex. It was not a problem of sexuality or attraction to girls, it was more a problem of shyness and/or social awkwardness. The school that I went to was not co-ed, and that led to complete ignorance of what girls were all about. When the time of awakening came, I was completely unprepared. The friends I had were also in the same boat, we were all what you would call today “nerds.” I now know that if I at least had the gift of gab, I would have done alright. However, back then there were other outlets for gratification that were satisfactory for the time-being, and so I somehow survived the ordeal.
After finishing high school, I did not go to college immediately. There were complications in getting admission because of an unresolved dispute I had with a school supervisor who refused to give his approval. And so I had to abandon all hopes of attending college in Ethiopia; and at the vigorous age of nineteen, I had no choice but to join the adult working populace. My first job was that of a transportation agent for Ethiopian Airlines. It was a great job, and I was very fortunate to work for a fine employer. But my stint there lasted only two years and four months because I was determined that I should acquire higher education somehow. And yes, I did in due time achieve this goal by coming to the United States.
Well, I have arrived. I am officially an adult. This is a time when your life is in your own hands to a large extent. The decisions you make and the paths you take coalesce with the randomness of fortunes (or misfortunes) to put you at a certain place in a certain state. I learned early on that sometimes you need to take substantial leaps of faith and venture forth to get to what you aspire. Some momentous decisions that I made led to disastrous and distressful situations. But, somehow I would extricate myself from danger thru sheer luck and quick reactions to opportunities. The reasons for some of the bad decisions that later led to bad places were several – I was not alert enough, I was gullible, I was rash, and maybe at times I was impatient for change. But somehow, I have survived. I have now been married and been living a happy and relatively stable life for over fifteen years. There have been more happy times in my life than sad ones. Without reservation or doubt, I attribute a lot of my survival to my father’s prayers when he was alive, and his eternally protective spirit around me as I write this.
And so, at this juncture, I have completed more than five and a half decades of living. I am not at a moment of crisis nor am I at my deathbed. Yet, I am here now assessing the net worth of my life to see if it has all been meaningful. In balance, I am sure that it has. I do not have many serious regrets; I have not accomplished great and momentous deeds; I have, however, been a serious and beneficial factor in a few people’s lives. The great lessons of life: Your deeds are important, and the good memories you leave behind in the lives you have touched. But for yourself ... have you laughed enough? Have you cried enough? Have you ever been exhilarated and gratified to be alive? Have you felt pain and disappointment? If your answer is yes to all of the above, then you have indeed lived and your life has been meaningful enough.
Certainly, my life has been like a roller coaster ride. There have been thrills, there have been ups, and there have been downs. But is it all over already? No, positively not! It has only slowed down, and this is only a cruising break when I get a chance to catch my breath. I'm doing that now and I'm also sitting here wondering what I’ve been doing with my life. Ah yes, at last, I have taken stock of my life … and I find that I am smiling!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
<< Rep. John Shimkus Not Worried About Climate Change Because of God's Promise to Noah >>
Rep. John Shimkus, the Illinois Republican who would like to be the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Wednesday that a promise God made to Noah about 6,000 years ago keeps him from worrying about global warming. "I do believe in the Bible as the final word of God," Shimkus told Politico. "And I do believe that God said the Earth would not be destroyed by a flood." Shimkus, who sounds like an excellent candidate for Energy Secretary in a Palin White House, is competing against three other Republicans for the top spot on the energy committee, and Politico predicts that even if he doesn't end up with the chairmanship, he'll at least be named the chairman of a subcommittee. Salon's Andrew Leonard shudders. "I'm glad that John Shimkus can sleep at night, faithful that that God's word is 'infallible, unchanging, perfect,'" he writes. "But for those of us who are less confident in humanity's ability to keep from massively screwing up, the thought that the Bible will be determining government energy policy is massively ulcer-inducing."
Friday, November 5, 2010
by Hénock Gugsa
My contempt is for the fickle and irrational voters out there who change directions from election year to election year. Because of their inconsistency, we remain on a plitical seesaw of diametrically opposed positions. Everybody gets a whiplash and no one wins in the long run.
New directions with a new party? Humbug! Were we ever aware of the fallacy that the Tea Party is not really the Repubican party in wolf's clothing? And now that the Republicans are back in power, are we going to delude ourselves that they will not undo everything that's been done? Let's face it. The country is going to be like the RMS Titanic if it keeps this up.
And as far as Minnesota is concerned, we might as well admit it. We are as kooky as they come. We elect a Bachmann, an Ellison, a Cravaack, a McCollum, etc. And for Governor, it looks like we may not want to change captains in the middle of an unhappy voyage.
So, what's the point? The sum total of all our efforts appears to amount to zero!