Monday, April 30, 2007

The Tao of Climate Change

For all of us climate change activists, the complete report of the IPCC can now be found here.

But today, I am drawn to the climate change inside
and the Wisdom of the Tao.


In the pursuit of Knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.

Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can't be gained by interfering.


The Master has no mind of her own.
She works with the mind of the people.

She is good to people who are good.
She is also good to people who aren't good.
This is true goodness.

She trusts people who are trustworthy.
She also trusts people who arent' trustworthy.
This is true trust.

The Master's mind is like space.
People don't understand her.
The look to her and wait.
She treats them like her own children.


Every being in the universe
is an expression of the Tao.
It springs into existence,
unconscious, perfect, free,
takes on a physical body,
lets circumstances complete it.

That is why every being
spontaneously honors the Tao.

The Tao gives birth to all beings,
nourishes them, maintains them,
cares for them, comforts them, protects them,
takes them back to itself,

creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.

That is why the love the Tao
is in the very nature of things.


When a country is in harmony with the Tao,
the factories make trucks and tractors.
When a country goes counter to the Tao,
warheads are stockpiled outside the cities.

There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,
no greater misfortune than having an enemy.

Whoever can see through all fear
will always be safe.


Without opening your door,
you can open your heart to the world.
Without looking out your window,
you can see the essence of the Tao.

The more you know,
the less you understand.

The Master arrives without leaving,
sees the light without looking,
achieves without doing a thing.

Tao te Ching by Stephen Mitchell


Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Photonic Energy Web

At breakfast this morning,

I mentioned to my travel colleague that yesterday's post

called for a "Unified Photonic Solid State Energy Web".

I told him that not that long ago,

I spoke of the Solar Hydrogen Economy.

But today, I see more emphasis on a muscled up electrical grid

that receives energy from many sources and many places.

Every roof and wall structure that sees sufficient photon bombardment

will be coated with power paints that convert some of those photons

into electrons.

Every skyscraper and office building will have glass coverings

with laser etched coatings,

that block the sunlight from the inside, (if necessary)

and convert many of these photons

into electrons.

Every highway, road, and rail bed will be coated with surfaces

which not only cool the road, they provide the energy

for the new age of personal transportation devices, PRTs and trains

that induct energy from charging plates inbedded in rest stops,

at red lights, and in the rail bed itself.

Every parking meter will also have an inductive charging plate

that can instantly bring the PTD to "full ready".

The Unified Photonic Solid State Energy Web,

will be as smart as it is powerful, fully capable of powering

an advanced civilization that has said goodbye to our

burning fires.

Over the years, I have heard respectable fire worshipping technobes

say something like this;

"It would be great to have everything running on the sun,

but the sun doesn't shine all the time."

I just look at them with that raised eyebrow look.

"It doesn't? I wasn't aware of that."

The statement is similiar to those who say that

"solar does not match our electrical peak".

If you build the plant 500 miles to the west,

it matches it pretty well.

Buckminster Fuller used to talk about a Global Electrical Grid,

a grid that would transport the energy that falls to this good earth,

every day, every hour, every moment,

to wherever it was needed.

Imagine a nonpolluting, sustainable, unified photonic energy web

that allows for a new culture, and a new civilization;

A world culture that would consider the invasion of others

to control their resources as truly barbaric behavior, and

as culturally acceptable

as cannibalism.

Imagine a new civilization based on the best tools

that humankind can create,

not the most destructive weapons it can employ.

Imagine a new world run solely on the energy of our Sun.

No longer would the World Soul be enslaved by the Karma

of the dead bones and flesh we liberate through our fires,

For we will have transcended those old bones,

and moved boldly towards the sublime.



Saturday, April 28, 2007

Real Know How

There is a new report from the IPCC which says that we can deal with the climate change issue.

UN: we have the money and know-how to stop global warming
The Guardian
April 28, 2007
David Adam

Global climate change experts will this week lay out a detailed plan to save the planet from the catastrophic effects of rising temperatures. Climate change could be stopped in its tracks using existing technology, but only if politicians do more to force businesses and individuals to take action.

The UN study will conclude that mankind has the knowhow to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 26bn tonnes by 2030 - more than enough to limit the expected temperature rise across the planet to 2-3C.

Such a move would cost the world economy billions of pounds over the next two decades, but this could be recouped by savings due to the health benefits of lower levels of air pollution.

Cheaper solutions could bring down emissions to 1990 levels, but that would still see average temperatures rise by as much as 4C this century, with devastating consequences for wildlife, agriculture and the availability of water.


The report, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will say a range of measures can be introduced across the energy supply, transport, buildings, agriculture and forestry, industry and waste sectors. The best way to limit future emissions is to focus on clean development in developing countries. more

That's right.

Now that the "developed world" has screwed the pooch,

The "developing countries" should focus on clean development.

It's the same mentality that blames the Iraqi's for not getting it together,

after we have smashed their state, their institutions, and

denationalized their oil.

And don't be hypnotized by the blather of our politicians.

This war was a disaster when we started it,

Not just because we can't seem to win it.

The war against climate change,

This epic struggle to right the environment,

will also be lost as we start it,

if we don't deal with the real issue here.

And that issue is this crazy notion that we can put our waste

into the air and the atmosphere,

for free.

As long as that notion survives,

We, as a civilization, may not.

As long as we allow carbon to be placed into our biosphere,

without a significant charge to the emitter,

we will not see real solutions emerge.

The other day, while at an energy policy retreat,

I offered that humankind should be moving at light speed


Friday, April 27, 2007

Wandering Stranger

A friend and reader sent this earlier in the week.

Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal
by Naomi Shihab Nye

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well -- one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew -- however poorly used -
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been cancelled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we're fine, you'll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let's call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her -- southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies -- little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts -- out of her bag --
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo -- we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers --
Non-alcoholic -- and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American -- ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend -- by now we were holding hands --
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate -- once the crying of confusion stopped
-- has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

Thanks Naomi

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Wandering Stranger courtesy of Floyd Atkins


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Unbomb Iraq

Photo: ©Alan Pogue, 2000. "Water Treatment Plant," south of Basra. 2000. Larry Kerschner and Phil Steger hold a sign that compares the destruction of Hiroshima and the sanctions on Iraq. With the help of Veterans for Peace this facility has since been restored. It now provides clean drinking water for 30,000 people. (In March, 2003, US and British forces took it out again, leaving the people of Basra without water.)

Unbomb Iraq

Rewind reality so the gray heap
of someone’s brains rushes back into
a broken skull. Unlight the firestorm

so fragments of ash
meld back together. Attach severed arms and legs
to bodies, breathe life

back into dead children
and their parents. Repair the waste of soldiers who
are battered and die

obeying an illegal campaign.
Draw blood and bad water up from sand, purify
the water, restore

the lives of human beings caught in the human
catastrophe "shock and awe" has wrought
on the world — in our name.

It is a mistake to think weapons fix anything.
Justice solves human problems, not bombs.

Unbomb Iraq.
This is wrong. Americans are not monsters.
Hitler would find no fascists here. Ay!

We suffer from bad government. That’s all.
Enormous errors tangle the American will —
We think we are a free people.

We’re not.
We think we have a free press. We don’t.
Stealth corporations have usurped our constitution.

Human survival on earth depends on our being able
to control them. I startle awake, these words
on my lips —

Unbomb Iraq.
Unbomb Iraq.
Unbomb Iraq.

©Susan Bright, 2003

Impeachment anyone?

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Fall of the Titans

Cornelis van Haarlem

There is a guest editorial by Ted Glick in Truth Out today. It does a pretty decent job of expressing what I'm feeling today.

Here is a small piece of it.

Climate: Time Is Short
By Ted Glick
t r u t h o u t Guest Contributor
Wednesday 25 April 2007

April 14 was without doubt a turning point in the movement to prevent catastrophic climate change. Many tens of thousands of people in all 50 states took action on Step It Up day. We demanded that Congress move now to cap and begin reducing the carbon emissions that are dangerously heating up the earth, toward the goal of 80 percent reductions by 2050.

I actively supported these actions. I was a leader of the NJ Climate March of April 13-16 which supported them. Bill McKibben and the young people from Middlebury College, who called for and coordinated this campaign, deserve tremendous praise.

However, I've been thinking all week about this fact: despite the tremendous upsurge in consciousness about, and activism on, the climate crisis over the past year and a half in the USA, those greenhouse gas emissions just keep going up.

Despite everything that is being done by the tens of thousands of grassroots activists, many mayors and city councils, students and college administrators, businesses and state governments, famous politicians and movie stars, and individuals and families in their homes, when it comes to an actual capping of emissions and the beginnings of a downward turn, it just isn't happening.

This is not surprising, given the pervasiveness of fossil fuel use throughout the economies of the world, the maddening intransigence of the Republicans and the timidity until very recently of most national Democratic leaders. But it is not something to be sanguine about.

We don't have the luxury of time on this issue. Scientists such as James Hansen have said we have less than ten years to fundamentally alter our energy policies, and that was a year and a half ago. A small number of scientists think we may have already reached the point of no return.
Other scientists think that we are fast approaching it. more

Meanwhile, a new island has formed off the coast of Greenland.

In my 1995 book called Lightland, Climate Change and the Human Potential, I speak of this time. In the book, I use Greek Mythology and the battle between the Olympians and the Titans as a metaphor for the time we now see.


The Olympian response to the realization that we are indeed involved in an epic struggle to right the balance of the earth will call for a radical and meaningful departure from the world view of the Titans. It will involve the ethics and virtues found in the Olympian Pantheon.

The Olympian response will embrace the belief that this calamity in the making can forge a refining of the human spirit and the human condition. It will postulate that a world of courage and justice is ours for the making.

It will state that our emphasis should be on wisdom and beauty; that fine arts, music, and the pastoral arts should be developed to the utmost of the human potential. It will stress refinement of the law. It would make medicine an art instead of a business.

The Olympian response will seize the opportunity presented by our own ignorance and seek to transform that ignorance into a mechanism of human transfiguration.

It will seek to bring man from the
age of fire to the age of light."

Just 20 years ago, the idea of running an advanced economy without carbon was seen as a little loopy. Now, with advanced wind turbines, and bio fuels, and the other renewables, serious people now believe we can reduce our emissions by 80% with renewables and efficiency.

But the truth is, we need to move courageously and quickly to an even more radical culture that doesn't even use fuel as we know it today. And to do that, we must also reshape the way we think about everything else.

The Great Battle between the the Titans and the Olympians was called the Titanomachy.

And the good guys win.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Disease is the Cure

Earlier last week, the Security Council at the (dis) United Nations held its first-ever discussion on climate change as a serious threat to security and future political stability.

It has been clear for some time that the response of the geographic state of the United States to climate change is not mitigation, not even adaptation. It has been and still continues to be a military response. Here is another spike in the heart from Bloomberg.

Global Warming Equals True Equivalent of War:
By Frederick Kempe

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- You know climate change has become a top priority in Washington when it starts penetrating the thinking of leaders in the U.S. military and intelligence community.

Eleven retired generals and admirals have sent out a warning shot about national-security threats from climate change, calling it a ``threat-multiplier'' that will make unstable regions shakier through increased drought, extreme weather, migrations and rising extremism.

No less than President George W. Bush has issued a clarion call, citing the ``serious challenge of global climate change'' in his last State of the Union address. His administration's intelligence community had begun work looking at how global warming could pressurize unstable regions even before the Senate introduced legislation calling for a National Intelligence Estimate on it.

``Moving climate change into the national security realm is a watershed event,'' says Sherri Goodman, a former Pentagon official who directed the Military Advisory Board at the CNA Corp., a national-security research organization in Alexandria, Virginia.

That's all further evidence of a seismic shift in America on climate change as a mainstream issue, which may soon have the world's biggest energy user leapfrogging Europe and elsewhere on the science of reducing emissions and on studies of the political consequences if those efforts fall short.

Anticipating Attacks

The military leaders who signed off on the CNA report recognized that the world's climate scientists still disagreed about the extent of future changes and many still question the human role in global warming. They figured their job has always been anticipating and planning for emerging risks -- just as they did in deterring a Soviet nuclear missile attack.

General Charles F. Wald, one of the 11 military men who produced the report, jokes that members of the group at first worried that they would be seen by the public as ``a bunch of soft-headed military guys looking for attention after they retired.'' Yet with each briefing they had from the world's top climate scientists, they grew more concerned. (clip)

Global-warming skeptics -- I have long been among them -- now must face the fact that some of America's toughest military leaders have embraced climate change as so real and unavoidable that future national defense and intelligence strategies must be shaped to deal with all the potentially disruptive changes.

Those who doubt the climate's possible impact on history need only read the Bible or daily newspapers' accounts of the Darfur conflict, which is in no small part a battle between groups of herders and farmers. It was the failure of the herders' grazing lands that sent them south in search of water, and that resulted in a conflict with farming tribes on those lands.

In short, Darfur shows how climate change can push social and ethnic strains to the breaking point. (clip)

What the generals and admirals want is for future strategic planning to take these new threats into account in force planning, particularly for natural disasters from extreme weather and pandemic diseases. (clip)

``We will pay for this one way or another,'' says General Anthony C. Zinni, the former head of the U.S. Central Command, who was part of the group. ``We will pay to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions today. Or we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives.''

Meanwhile, Australia may soon become the first industrialized nation to face a food crises because of Climate Change. And even then, their political leadership remains blind to the challenges ahead.

Or perhaps the Aussies believe in a military response themselves?

Over the weekend, in a fit of realistic depression, I mentioned to my partner that perhaps we are not going to do what needs to be done to meet this challenge, and perhaps that's alright... that often, the disease is the cure.

The earth will be much happier with only 2 or 3 billion people left on it. Those who do survive the next horrible war will be chastened and brought to a new understanding of our common humanity on this earth. Multinational Corporatism will be seen as the destructive force that it is.
Cooperations will become the dominant cultural institution. A new society based on the love of art, beauty, and justice will emerge from the ashes of the collapse of our civilization, just as our own 18th century enlightenment came from the destruction of the classic civilization of Rome.

Somehow, I forgot about those 1000 years called the Dark Ages.

Perhaps we should cure this dis ease now.

Before it becomes the cure.


Monday, April 23, 2007

The Whispering Hours

As I was wandering through my library over the weekend, a copy of The Prophet somehow popped into my hands. Most of us know the book, but as I opened it up this time I found a section that somehow was new to me. Given, I was trying to get back to work, it was certainly timely.

For those of you who don't know or who have forgotten, The Prophet is a book of 26 poetic essays written in English in 1923 by the Lebanese-born American artist, philosopher and writer Khalil Gibran.

In the book, the prophet Almustafa, who has lived in the foreign city of Orphalese for 12 years, is about to board a ship which will carry him home. He is stopped by a group of people, with whom he discusses many issues of life and the human condition.

The book is divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

I opened the section on work.

Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work."
And he answered, saying:
You work that you may keep pace with the earth

and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons,

and to step out of life's procession,
that marches in majesty
and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart
the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent,

when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse
and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work

you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream,
assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour

you are in truth loving life,

And to love life through labour
is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
But if you in your pain call birth an affliction

and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow,
then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow
shall wash away that which is written.

You have been told also life is darkness,
and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,

even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection,

even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,

even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching."
The Prophet

I have always loved working.

It is, after all, your work.

But many of us who have to work

must do work

that does not keep pace with the earth

and the soul of the earth.

Many of us can't wait till Friday,

even though it is frightfully close to Monday.

Many of us labor in the bowels of the beast,

where we have been chewed and stewed,

in the corporate con of consumerism.

Some day, once we truly begin to deal with climate change

and resource depletion,

Work will again become a blessing and perhaps an honor.

Our Work will once again arise as the flute

through whose heart

the whispering of the hours

turns to music.


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"Whispering Light" courtesy of Kenny Primmer


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Peace on Earth Day


Happy Earth Day!

I mean it — even though it's been a bad year for my beloved Barton Springs and for the planet Earth.

One of the organizations (SOS) here that has fought the hardest to keep our local evironmental treasure, Barton Springs, alive has been forced into bankruptcy by legal costs for battles that should be fought by city, state and federal agencies whose agendas read like templates for wise use ideology.

Austin is perceived by outsiders to have one of the strongest environmental movements in the country. Sad.

We're losing the Springs, losing the Hill Country aquifer that filters our water and losing air quality to an obscene set of "clean" coal plants. Toll roads are cutting through neighborhoods and farmland to take people to developments where none should ever have been allowed. And we're paying tolls on roads we've already paid for. Republican math.

Dying bees and Climate Change are about to make the work we do to protect the environment moot, in four years or fifty.

Lately I am experiencing an environmental identity crises.

I don't want to give time to groups whose message has been diluted by developer interest. I don't want to help plan the "build out" of the aquifer. The stragegies and activist groups we've formed are getting knocked out by governing bodies that serve corporate interest and Republican courts. What's next?

1. Consciousness raising about globalization and the disasterous effect multi-nationals have on local living conditions all over the world. Laura Dunn's new film The Unforeseen addresses this. We've got to stop them.

2. Work to put in place measures to stop Climate Change and Global Warming.

3. Fast track alternative energy and transportation systems.

4. Dismantle Free Trade agreements that don't protect workers and the environment and that are written to supercede government controls at national, state and local levels.

5. Wage peace because war is the worst polluter of all.

6. This work will be easier if American's take back the vote. Here is a video about the Texas Paper Ballot Bill.

Will these big picture actions save Barton Springs? Probably not. But maybe our grandchildren will have a place to live.

Here are some organizations that claim to work for the environment. Help us add to this list by sending in your own favorite environmental activist groups. And let us know if any have falled from within to wise use rhethoric and habit.

At earthfamilyalpha we write about this all the time — help us expand our impact by sending links to your friends, lists.

Happy Earth Day

©Susan Bright, 2007.

* "Peace Mural" copyright 2004, directed by Trish Graham
Location: Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy


Climate Change: Why We Can't Wait, James Hansen, The Nation, 4/21/078

Adapt or Die, Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation

Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth dvd available.

Some environmental organizations:

Friends of Barton Springs Pool

Sierra Club, Earthjustice: Because the Earth needs a good lawyer.

American Bird Conservancy

National Audobon Society

The Great Backyard Bird Count

The League of Conservation Voters

Nature's Classroom

Waterkeepers Alliance

The Abalone Alliance (history)

Global Green USA

Earth Island Institute

National Resources Defense Council

Alliance for Justice

Earth First


Nuclear Control Instutute

Rainforest Action Network

Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance

Click here to read about Earth Day Events in Austin.

Click here to play a wonderful video: The Solar Bipedal Chariot,
thanks to Marjorie Wood for sending this to us.

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Second Attention

Just a moment ago, I had words with a tenant who was breaking their lease, giving six days notice, was behind in rent by at least a month, all the while insisting that they should receive the deposit back. I didn't do so well.

"Welcome back" I thought to myself as I walked into the office, originally planning to write something about the level of consciousness that one finds in extreme situations. I think I will still try.

There is a transcendent state that insues from the emotional world born out of the loss of a loved one. Normal conversations about normal things, unimportant or not, are seen as "chatter" by the chattering masses.

For you have been to the mountain, the pinnacle of human experience.

You have seen and touched the untouchable, you have been intimate with the great unconscious dragon that resides underneath our every breath...


And perhaps you have found the edges of the "second attention".

Shamans speak of two attentions. The "First Attention" is the attention that dominates the mind of the world. It is hypnotic, hence most people deny or don't know of another attention. But, there is a "Second Attention". This attention breaks the hypnotic spell of the first attention.

According to Jose Stevens,

The second attention is a different way of seeing and of being. To access this second attention, you must be willing to let go of the first. You can do it anywhere. But it will most likely reveal itself briefly. It may come with joy, or with fear, or with music, or in a movie, or any other event which might effect your emotional state strongly.

I wrote about the second attention in a yet to be published book.

"As you begin your day, imagine that you are a Shaman who has come down from the mountain and that you will spend this day with those of the First Attention. You will treat everyone with respect and dignity.

See how their faces move.

Then see how they walk. Look at their desk or their shoes. See into their eyes without making them nervous. Look at their hair, and at that make-up. Watch for twitching and other subtle movements in the muscles of their face. Of course do not judge.


If you observe with a judging mind, you are only observing yourself.

Watch how they become nervous and behave in front of the boss or a new potential boyfriend. Watch how they act around their children. Watch how they meet new friends and notice if they remember the name of the person they just met a minute later.

They reveal everything about themselves.

They are the proverbial open book.

If they smoke, watch how they smoke and when they smoke.

Do they tap the table with their fingers?

Do they move their legs under the table like Thumper the Cottontail?

Are their arms crossed when they talk to the new hire and do they go to one leg when they address their co-worker?

Observe the way your best friend meets you.

Observe the way your enemy greets you.

Make a note of the first things your enemy says to you. It will not be a lie, no matter how hard he tries to tell you one.

Without being too self-conscious, observe yourself. But mostly observe your breathing and make sure that you are breathing from deep in your abdomen. Keep a soft focus, yet at the same time notice the detail.

Shamans and other sensitives of the second attention not only see all these things, they also see the light the surrounds each form. Everything that is above absolute zero is radiating energy. Remember, if a mosquito and an American soldier can see you in the dark, maybe a shaman can see you too.

People who know the second attention can see these emanations. Science has learned that they can even be recorded.

Learn to look at the edges of things.

See all you can.

See the sky and the birds. See the Sea

See the mystery and the see the beauty.

See the Holy Field and the Oneness.

But mostly, stop seeing yourself. Go look into the mirror and stare and stare and stare until you have seen yourself enough.

Then go outside and see with eyes that see. See your wife with new eyes. See your children and your neighbor with a newness of spirit.

See the wind by following a gust of wind as it moves over a meadow of grass. See the wind as it moves through the trees to the trees across the street. See the clouds as they grow and die through the air.

See your self as a Shaman.

For you are one,

if you choose to be one."


Friday, April 20, 2007

Earth Day Possibilities


The vibrance of the universe is so obvious it is difficult to
comprehend what could have led us from wide-eyed knowing
that it is alive.

From nucleus to cell wall is a trillion light years.

The blink of an eye contains the eternal reality of dream. In any tree
there are galaxies with comets flashing through wood like space.

Linear space/time is A not The dimension.

The translations we are incapable of are more thick than ants.
We can’t even talk to fish.

The power to imagine is the power that radiates from star
to planet. I splash water on my face, drops fall on a galactic map
spread out beneath my feet.

Spiral galaxies form with red and living stars ready
to shoot patterns across my skin.

Piles of alphabets, icons, and the love between them
balanced on the rim of a crystal are the images
we have for the bath of universe we move through,
thinking reality innert —
soon to be condensed,
soon to be transformed.

Our children will harvest light like we roamed creekbeds, stones
through our fingers: stars through theirs.

They will sleep, like we do, but with respect for both sides of
the veil.

© Susan Bright, 1984

* Siberian Wood Iris

Click here to read about Earth Day Events in Austin.

Click here to play a wonderful video: The Solar Bipedal Chariot,
thanks to Marjorie Wood for sending this to us.

And this beauitiful tribute to the Earth, our home, from Muna Hamzeh.

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Announcement: The Plain View Press e-store has just gone online.


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