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Home as Unconditional Love

February 14, 2014

photo

What is “home”?

Home is where one gives and receives unconditional love and support.

By this definition how many are “homeless” today?  Whether they have a roof over their heads or live on the street how many have such a “home”?

Unconditional love can never be asked for but it can be given.  It can never be taken but it can be received. It does not mean surrendering to those who may abuse or oppress you.  It means to ceaselessly love from a place of integrity that is in keeping with a deep respect and gratitude for nature, life and each other.

It is a mother nursing her baby, a loving couple and happy children playing.  It is warm food on the table.  It is the compassionate and courageous acts of those willing to risk their own lives to save another.  It is the endless gifts we give each other without asking for anything in return.  It is that feeling that anything is possible.  It is having infinite patience, calm and peace in the midst of confusion and uncertainty. It is being fully attentive and listening to each other without prejudice.  It is taking care of one’s own health, that we may always be there for others. It is being forever humbled and grateful to each other, to nature and to this infinite universe for the gift that is our life.

You can make your home anywhere by loving unconditionally. So let us all make this place, this Earth and this Universe our home.

The Stones of Justice: a system of “Universal” Justice?

April 10, 2013

I have always wondered about what an ideal system of justice in a peaceful world might look like and what follows might come as close to anything as I have seen yet.

Stones of Justice

Stones of Justice (photo by Connor Eller)

Two friends of mine from the Ionia Macrobiotic Community in Alaska recently took an extensive trip throughout Ethiopia this year.  In an area where the Konso Tribe live they came across three standing stone.  A local native explained to them what these stones were for.

There was one stone each for men, women and children and when someone was accused of a crime, they were told to place their hand on the stone and express their own verdict. If they lied then nature, or the universe, would punish them somehow in the future. They might become sick or have an accident or they might even die or a family member or close friend might become ill or have an accident or tragedy. In this way, they do not separate out destiny, natural events and justice. It was all the same thing and they put their entire faith into it. There was no human punishment. Nature is the judge and the punisher. In this way, they live peacefully and happily and in accordance with and with complete faith in the laws of nature.

Something to consider…

Obama or Romney?

November 1, 2012

This question was asked of me recently and my first reaction was to write this post here.  But this is a fair question and a timely concern so here are some my thoughts on this.  I acknowledge that this analysis may be simplistic but my overall hope is that it helps people to look at issues from another perspective.  I also realize that I may alienate those who might disagree with me but so be it.

Before I do, I should let you know that I come from a view and hope of a future world where weapons are non-existent, artificial borders like Nations do not exist, where all energy and resources are renewable and free and where our priorities are decided by the cycles of nature instead our own egos. But given that such a world is more of a dream for the distant future than a present reality then here are my thoughts regarding this question.

I prefer not to view this Election race as one between Republicans and Democrats nor Conservatives versus Liberals. I believe these over-used labels confuse the matter even further.  Instead I prefer to look at the race as a choice between the Private Sector and the Public Sector.

The Private Sector is about free enterprise, freedom of speech and religious freedom.  The Public Sector is about social values and services for the common good, civil rights, civil liberties and equality regardless of sex, race, religion, and wealth.  The Public Sector IS the Government and these two gentlemen, with these distinct differing values, are in a race for the highest Public Sector office in the country.

This is a race between between the competitive entrepreneurial “we built it” mindset (Romney) versus one of civil obligation and service of “we’re in this together” (Obama).

It’s a race between championing and rewarding entrepreneurs, businesses, corporations, banks and Wall Street (Romney) versus promoting and creating government programs and regulations that serve the greater good (Obama).

It’s a race between “let Detroit go bankrupt that it can learn to be more competitive” (Romney) vs. “Save working class auto-maker jobs” (Obama).

It’s a race between privately owned media run by the likes of Rupert Murdoch (Romney) versus Public Broadcasting (Obama) or Fox News vs. Big Bird and Bill O’Reilly vs. Bill Moyers.

It’s a race about imposing private Religious values on abortion, woman’s health issues and marriage equality (Romney) versus supporting the civil rights of free choice and equality (Obama).

It’s about supporting the interests of Big Oil and other Private Sector Energy Companies (Romney) versus pushing for National Energy independence as a priority (Obama).

Romney is a career businessman and even though he may have been a Governor, his decisions are and will be based on his business experience and mindset which ultimately is about free enterprise and reward by effort. Romney is also a man who will allow his private and personal religious values influence his decisions.  Romney and his ideas clearly comes from the Private Sector.

Obama, on the other hand, is a career civil servant who has worked his entire life in the Public Sector.  He has Public Sector values and strives to make decisions based on those. He has repetitively demonstrated those values throughout the last four years and most recently in dealing with the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

So the question for me is this: Do we need more Private Sector values influencing in the Public Sector or not? My answer is an emphatic “no”!  We’ve had plenty of this with eight years of the Bush Administration and earlier.  Even Obama’s Administration, to the extent that he has career businessmen in his Cabinet, has been influenced by the Private Sector despite his Public Sector values.

The main problem that I see in today’s politics is that it has had too much influence from the Private Sector where there should be none at all.  I believe that we need to keep the Public Sector public and the Private Sector private and that means getting business and religious interests out of government and keeping them out.

When the Founding Fathers chose the first President, they chose a career civil servant, a soldier; they chose George Washington.  They did not choose the best businessman nor the best clergyman among themselves. Since Washington’s time business interests in government have only grown and they now dominate and run public policy.  Corporations are now given the title and rights of “Personhood” which is absolutely ridiculous.  I believe this trend has been disastrous for this country.

If Romney is elected then we can all be sure that this trend will continue.  He will promote Private Sector interests that include ignoring Climate Change and Genetic Engineering Concerns.  Obama, on the other hand, will continue to push for policies that prioritize  and strengthen the Public Sector while diminishing the influence of the Private Sector.  Romney and his backers naturally criticize his efforts as creating a “culture of dependency”.  But don’t be mislead by this.  This is a matter of divorcing the values of the Private sector, meaning business and religious interests, from the Public Sector, meaning civil rights, equality, social programs for the needy and so on. Public sector values do not interfere with Private Sector values at all unless they cause harm to people.  However, Private Sector values that influence the Public Sector serve only the special interests of those Private groups and this should not be allowed to continue as the default way of government and as has been done for far too long.

I personally believe that, ideally speaking, all government services should be voluntary-based, like a small community might have a volunteer fire department.  I also believe in free public education, free libraries and free emergency response services and all other services which are already in existence. I also believe in free healthcare services including free macrobiotic education as I don’t think anyone should profit from the sickness and death of another human being.  There are many more services that I think belong in the Public Sector which aren’t in it now.  In other words and in my humble opinion, the Public Sector is really not doing enough at present.

I also believe that Public Sector services do not impede or interfere with the growth and development of competing Private Sector enterprises at all.  There are private schools and private mail and package companies and many other private businesses that co-exist with competing Public Sector services.  In other words, I believe it is a mistake to think that Public Sector Services means that the country is becoming “socialist”.  Being for greater and stronger Public Sector services does not mean that one is against Private Sector free enterprise or “capitalism”.  We’ve got to stop thinking that it does.

Just as I believe in a strong Public Sector, I also firmly believe in a strong Private Sector: in free enterprise, in a free marketplace, in religious freedom and in freedom of speech.  These things are alive and well in this country and in no way have they ever been threatened or will they ever be. While the Public Sector services provide for the common good, Private Sector endeavors satisfy the needs and desires of private individuals and groups.

The two sectors should remain distinct and separate and the private sector should not influence the public sector and the public sector should involve itself in the private sector except when it is harmful to and endangers the people or the environment. The Public Sector provides the foundation from which the Private Sector can flourish.  Without this strong Public Sector foundation the businesses and religious values of the Private Sector cannot thrive.  If the Private Sector interferes with the Public Sector and, if it’s business, then we risk becoming a Plutocracy and if it’s Religion then we risk becoming a Theocracy.  The continued Private Sector influence over the Public Sector has and will make both weak.

To make the Public Sector strong it must be separate from and can not be run by Private Sector values.  So, in regard to this Election, the choice between Obama and Romney for the most important Public Sector job is clear:  the seasoned civil servant, Obama.  Meanwhile, let Romney be the great businessman that he is.  Let him operate fully in the Private Sector, which he is better at doing and in that way he can help this Nation by creating more jobs and improve the economy.

To my voting friends:

October 28, 2012

The Presidential election is upon us and I respect your choice for the next President regardless of who it is.  I recognize that there may be others who may not respect your choice as there have been stories in the media of company owners threatening their employees if they vote for one candidate while another story describes a young woman who became a target of ridicule for choosing to vote for the other candidate.  What I wish to do is to encourage you to not allow yourself to be pressured by anyone to vote against your own judgment regardless of the consequences.

If your job is being threatened by your employer if you vote for the “other guy” then quit your job.  If your religious or other social group will consider you an outcast if you vote for the “other guy” then leave that group. If your Facebook friend threatens to “un-friend” you if you vote for the “other guy” then let him or her do so. Even if your life were threatened if you vote for the other guy then stand proud and tall and vote freely regardless of the consequences.  No job, no religion and no supposed “friend” is worth giving up your right to vote freely and even if your life were threatened then you should know, remember and be proud of the fact that in exercising your freedom and right to vote and choose your own government you walk the same path that the founding fathers took when they voted to form this Nation, at the risk of treason and execution, and against the tyranny of an oppressive ruler nearly 250 years ago.

The freedom and right to vote and choose your own government is why this Nation was created in the first place and why so many have since fought and died to preserve it.  This right to vote for whomever you wish is the very reason why companies like the one mentioned above can exist and do business, why religions can be practiced without persecution of it’s members and why your friend gets to freely enjoy and express him or herself on Facebook without being thrown in jail.

The strength of this nation lies not in the people having a uniform voice without opposition that is dictated to them by an oppressive, threatening and coercive few but instead lies in the natural diversity of voices from people who, at the end of the day when all is said and down, can live together in peace; mutually supporting and caring for each other as neighbors, as friends and as family members of one nation and of one earth.

The Presidential race is not really about the candidates but is about you and I and everyone one of us. It’s about our being able to listen to each other, understand our differences and take all our concerns under consideration each time we have a decision to make on issues that will impact others. If we can’t learn how to work through and resolve our own differences with each other ourselves then how can we expect our representatives and leaders, who work for us, ever do so?

And what would be the alternative if we don’t? Do we wage war against each other and commit the genocide of our opposition?  I think not. We must learn how work out our problems directly and peacefully among ourselves and not solely rely on our representatives to do this for us.  If we are to truly seek out and explore all options to solve our collective differences and concerns then we must go beyond political party rhetoric, the confines of our company’s needs and job security, the rigidity of our religious morals, and the limitations of our own convictions, traditions and preferences.  We must learn how to step back and see the larger picture and how our decisions and actions impact the lives of others.

The globalization of our world continually exposes the contradictions and limits of our conflicting values.  This Presidential race has served as a focal point and intersection where multiple paradigms clash and spar with each other. National values conflict with corporate values, religious beliefs contradict political values, and scientific truths are trampled upon by all of them.  The priorities of global corporations, like Apple, clash with National values.  The late Steve Jobs was asked by President Obama if Apple would manufacture their products in the US and Steve simply said, “No”.  It would obviously be a disastrous move for Apple and for so many other global corporations to do that.  The priorities of a global corporation, of which many are larger than most countries, are not the same as those of the US Government.  Corporations oppose Government regulation and involvement in their affairs but are fine to influence and manipulate the government to their advantage through astronomical lobbying and unprecedented campaign spending.  Religious conservatives are equally eager to impose their values on Government laws against marriage equality, abortion, and other issues while at the same time are for less welfare and social services that help the poor. They oppose the killing of fetuses even in the case of rape but are OK with the death penalty and going to war and killing thousands of innocent lives.  Meanwhile, global scientific concerns, like Climate Change and Genetic Engineering take a backseat to Corporate, National and Religious priorities.

The conflicting values and priorities are overwhelming, to say the least, and it is ridiculous to pin our hopes on one man, our next President regardless of who gets elected, or one political party to solve these issues for us.  Certainly we need their help but these issues are ours and if can not step back and embrace all our concerns together and strive to resolve our contentious differences then we cannot expect our government to do so for us.

The internet has connected the world together and social media has brought us much closer together.  We can use this tool to enhance and crystallize our differences our we can use it to foster understanding compassion and respect and bring us closer together.  This election has done much to incite and magnify the former.   I suggest we do the latter.  I suggest that we take the time to listen and educate ourselves of who we are. I suggest that we,  at least temporarily, set aside our limited paradigms and values  and experience what it’s like to walk in the shoes of others.  Let us listen to each other’s stories, struggles and triumphs and rediscover our humanity.  We are not one dimensional stereotypes, meaningless political labels, and shallow Twitter and Facebook memes and comments.  We are flesh and blood; we are real and we are human and just like the founding fathers of this Nation, it is we, the people, who must create and choose our government.   The opportunity is upon us to create a larger paradigm of values and priorities that take into account all of our concerns but we won’t know what that is unless we take the time to listen and talk to each other.

So, if you haven’t done so already, go and vote for who you think best represents your values but do not stop there.  Sit down and talk with your family, your friends, your neighbors, your fellow citizens and work together to build a future for us all in our homes, our local communities, our State, and the Country.  But then do not stop there either.  Listen and talk with people of other countries as well. Listen to their concerns and, with patience, compassion and perseverance we just might be able to create a new paradigm that works for the entire planet.

Thank you for listening,
Phiya Kushi

Don’t Spoil Your Appetite!

October 19, 2012

One of the greatest timeless pieces of macrobiotic advice ever given are these simple words that mothers (and fathers) everywhere have uttered to their children, “Don’t spoil your appetite!”

Don’t spoil your appetite, not just for the wonderful meal that is being prepared for you, but for everything that life has yet to offer you.  Be aware of your appetite, your hunger and your desires that drive your spirit and passion for all that you seek to devour or immerse yourself into.

At times, feed your appetite, explore and satiate it, satisfy the hunger but never to the extent that you can never regain it again. Stimulate, indulge and enjoy fully your heart’s most passionate desires until you’ve had your fill! Live your life to it’s fullest and if you’ve reached your limits, then fast and allow yourself to go hungry again.  Resurrect your appetite to its fullest.  Guard it well, for it is the source of your joy and passion for life.

Let yourself hunger for life’s most delicious treats. Hunger for the greatest adventures.  Yearn for the most passionate of romances.  Dream the greatest dreams. Fall in love with life, with people, and with all that this world has to offer and all that you have yet to discover. And when it is yours to devour and experience then chew it well, savor it slowly, enjoy every morsel and, most of all, guard your appetite well, that you may enjoy your life tomorrow and the next day and every day after that.

These days many people are full.  They over indulge themselves with everything.  They eat too much, they work too much, they have too much and they spend too much. They even eat when they are not hungry at all, ignoring their appetites entirely. As a result, they may become wealthy, obese and heavily laden with worldly possessions.  They are so full of excess that they no longer have the room in their bodies, minds, hearts and lives to hunger and yearn for anything anymore.

Babies and young children are always hungry for everything. They constantly hunger for food and new experiences. Their appetites for life are huge. They are always playing day in and day out – sometimes crying, sometimes laughing, sometimes active and sometimes sleeping deeply. They never eat more than they can and they refuse when they can’t take anymore.  They only do what they want and never do what they don’t want.  They play all day and their life is nothing but joy.

Stop for moment and ask yourself, “Are you hungry?” or “Are you full?” If you are too full, literally and figuratively, then you no longer have the capacity to enjoy life anymore.  If this is you then I suggest that you fast for a day or two or more.  Eat less, eat simple. Make yourself hungry again.  Make yourself uncomfortable and make yourself poor. Strive to be “comfortably poor” instead of “comfortably rich”. Nurture your appetite.  Let it grow again so that you can live your life to its fullest again and again.  Guard your appetite, but also feed your appetite.  But never feed it too much that you spoil and ruin it forever.

A wise mother once said to her child, “Don’t spoil your appetite!”.  Follow this advice and you will always have youthful joy in your life.

(For more macrobiotic suggestions like this read these “7 Requirements To Change Sickness Into Health)

Enlightenment

September 17, 2012

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“Some people think that the spirit is within the body.  This is a mistake.  It is the body that is within the spirit”
– George Ohsawa

I prefer to view “enlightenment” not as an “awakening” (to a supposed higher state of awareness or consciousness) but, instead, as a “remembering” of simply who or what we are.  We only momentarily forgot this because we have been so amused, enamored, and engrossed by all the wonderful distractions that this world and life has to offer.

Shakespeare once wrote that “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women are players in it” and so we don our costumes and assume our roles as marvelously entertaining characters to play to the delight of ourselves and our audiences.  We become so deeply engaged and absorbed in our roles that we believe ourselves to actually be the characters that we play.

Our characters are the heroes and heroines who stand up for justice, fight for righteous causes and are willing live and die for love.  They are also the victims, the oppressed, the down-trodden and unloved.  They enjoy the thrill of grand adventures and delight in the smallest of pleasures.  They are fearful and jealous of others and are greedy and petty. They are joyful and sad, wise and foolish and they make love, fight courageously and commit cowardly acts as well.  They take on the various beliefs and causes of ethics, religion, politics and self-worth.  And in the seriousness of our role playing we forget who we are and that we are only acting those characters.

We forget who we truly are and in our forgetfulness we suffer. We become miserable, we harm others and we cause our own demise. In final frustration, we ask ourselves those age old questions, “Why?” and “What is the purpose of life?”  and in our seeking, if we are desperate enough, we give-up our worldly possessions (our stage props) and discard our beliefs (our costumes and uniforms) and do our best to remove our distractions ( the dialogues and stage directions) so that the answer to our questions (like “Who am I?”) may hopefully be revealed to us.

We live in poverty, climb tall mountains, sit for years in meditation and seek out the counsel of wise men and women whom appear to know the answer and those of us who are left; the select few; the elite and anointed might eventually find the answer.

And yet we don’t need to do this. We don’t need to take a vow of poverty; we don’t need to climb the Himalayan Mountains and we certainly don’t need to sit for ten years in earnest meditation under a waterfall to become enlightened and achieve a higher state of awareness. We might do these things for the thrill of it but it is not necessary because we’ve known the answer all along. We just simply forgot and only need to remember.  We don’t need to be “awakened”.

We only need remember that we are not the roles and characters that we play.  We are not our ethics, our beliefs, nor our convictions.  We are not our politics, our religions nor even our different biological manifestations.  We only need remember that who we are lies beyond the limitations of language, of biology and all other forms of self-identification. We only need remember that our ultimate purpose is that we came here to play; we came here to take on our lives, roles and characterizations that we may enjoy everything that this world and life has to offer. We only need to also remember to not take our roles too seriously as they are not who we really are.  In other words, we only need to remember to “lighten up” (or to be “enlightened”).

Enlightenment is not an “awakening” into a higher consciousness that only a select few can attain.  It is simply a recalling of that which we all know but simply forgot and which we all can regain.  It is simply remembering who (or what) we were and have always been and will always be.  All you have to do is remember.  You know.

In closing, I invite you to take this moment now and remember who you are.  Do not take life so seriously. In other words, be enlightened.

THE WORLD CITIZEN SHOW WITH GARRY DAVIS

April 3, 2012

Announcement from Garry Davis:

Greetings World Citizens,

I will be hosting a radio show with Global Talk Alliance starting April 12 from 9 to 11 pm (est) called THE WORLD CITIZEN SHOW WITH GARRY DAVIS. I will talk about the history of world citizenship, how it is relevant in today’s interdependent world to eliminate the illegitimacy and insanity of wars which became global in 1914; about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and how it is THE mandate for world peace, why world law is essential to outlaw war; why nuclear weaponry is ILLEGAL and those proposing it are “enemies of humanity”, and HOW you can claim TO BE A WORLD CITIZEN NOW AS YOUR LEGITIMATE HUMAN RIGHT! Also how to obtain a World Passport, World Birth Certificate, World Marriage Certificate, World ID Card, etc. AS LEGITIMATE DOCUMENT sanctioned by articles in the UDHR. And much more. Also you can “chat” back to me with questions, comments, experiences, etc. Please listen in. We’re all on this magnificent “world stage.” After all, IT’S ONE WORLD HERE AND NOW!

Garry Davis

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