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Acquiescence: Art, Broken Heart

August 3, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been planning to start producing  DV’s of my art for years now, and this past Saturday the creative urge finally overwhelmed me, so I finally did it. Although this video might be a little emo, it’s OK since I’m part of humanity, which actually seems to define itself thru a dynamic dichotomy of love intersexed with pain. No matter how happy a soul in love may become, or how shredded to pieces the heart may be tattered and torn . . . in the end—even if only in the depths of the mind, the memory, or simply a faint contemplation of what might have been—love remains.

“Acquiescence” may very well be an unspoken statement that I’ve needed to get off my chest for a long, long time. I’ve been through an extremely difficult few years which only this past week seem to be settling down. Even as I type this I do so under conditions which most people in developed societies would very likely consider least desirable. Yet, I remain connected to my higher power who continues to guide me through astonishing life-revelations towards what I hope to soon be Peace. Daily it has become easier to accept advice someone close to me once offered: “Let God work.”

I wish you would enjoy this video presentation of a few of my creations, which includes canvas fine art, graphite and charcoal drawings, computer graphics, and obviously video production. Gavin Rossdale’s extraordinary musical genius backdrops the passion of my visual art with synergistic perfection. You can download “Love Remains The Same” at iTunes.

Peace within. Video link: “Acquiescence: Art, Broken Heart”

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Categories: Substantial Awareness

Trillion

June 21, 2010 2 comments
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My dearest and one friend, this is a letter to you

to say how truly and tremendously deeply I love you

And though I’ve said it a trillion times before

Another trillion reminders chase a trillion more

Your smile is so bright, excessive beauty so right

no amount of money nor nuthin can equal holdin you tight

in the night

and despite

the flight

to see light

beyond this level of sight

(which ain’t right)

My eternal delight

with all my hope, strength, and might

Sacred knight

liftin dawn’s deflated dreams to new heights

Taste the kiss of your soul

forever just to excite

my mind in pure astral energy discharge

Never loved nobody, ever, so unbelievably hard

Never had a love so good so deep in my heart

Never needed a touch so completely much, so I’ll start this…

I love you

I love you

Is it cool, just me and you?

I love you

Same Sex’d and Saved

June 9, 2010 2 comments

Recently, I was designing visuals for a new client whose work was with the medical industry. As this work dealt with sexual health and prevention, I had the opportunity to experience different viewpoints regarding safe sex and HIV/AIDS preventive measures. Watching one of the client’s video clips covering a Gay Pride celebration, I couldn’t help but marvel as anti-gay hecklers appeared onscreen that in a society where social, intellectual, material, and spiritual diversity are espoused a person must yet be categorized and branded, perhaps even treated as inferior if his or her personal desires happen to differ from the generally accepted norm. And what group to better brand as queer than queers? I suspect that no sub-culture of American society has survived more acts of violence and hate for simply daring to exist than the GLBT community, and this largely from God-fearing fellow Americans!

Several years ago I first glimpsed an anti-gay protest sign which declared, “God Hates Fags.” I was instantly perplexed by that statement; would God actually sanction the use of such derogatory terminology? I had been raised to believe that the Creator is the ultimate pure Being of love, light, and peace, so I was unable to accept the notion of Him fuming and hating any one of his treasured creations, especially since God doesn’t make mistakes, which I’m sure every God-fearer could agree. I was also very interested in how the people who waved hate banners of Divine proclamation had obtained such up-close-and-personal knowledge, apparently from God Himself. Since childhood I had heard chatterings of how the Scriptures condemned homosexuals. However, I was not compelled to pursue any academic investigation of the matter until the 1990’s, a period when the Universe began to shed light on a wealth of disinformation which had been socially propagated, having held citizens of the civilized world in spiritually-induced psychological bondage for centuries.

For example, did you know that the word abomination does not even appear in the Old Testament? “But I just read in Leviticus 18:22 that for a man to lie with another man as with a woman is an abomination!” someone might contend. While many English translations do in fact use condemning words where homosexuality is mentioned, if we apply the academic principle of Hermeneutics—which Merriam-Webster defines as “the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)”—we arrive at an entirely different conclusion to the matter.

First, it is important to remember that the language and culture of the Middle-Eastern world 3400+ years ago (which is when historians believe that Leviticus and Deuteronomy were written) was a very different place with very different customs, beliefs, and traditions than our modern world of smart phones, GPS navigation, and high-fructose corn syrup. The original texts from which the Old Testament was eventually translated and published in Elizabethan English in 1611 were given by God to Moses for the Hebrew people for their journey across barren wilderness in what is known as The Exodus from Egypt. Leviticus 18:1–3: “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances.” At that time Pagan temple prostitution within various religions was not uncommon, and apparently God was forbidding the Children of Israel from involvement with such rituals as found in Egypt and Canaan for worshipping Him. Fertility cult priests such as those of the Pagan god Molech would dress as women and receive financial offerings to engage in sexual union with farmers and other participants during religious orgies, the purpose of which was to secure the god’s blessing of their families, livestock, and crops.

Curiously, the word used in the original Hebrew text of Leviticus 18:22 by God to describe Pagan practices was toeyvah, which refers to ritual or cultural impurity. This is also the word which was erroneously translated abomination by the time it reached English. One must ask the question of why a man lying with another man would be considered ritually unclean. Obviously, this demands a deeper answer than simply a prohibition of same-sex relations…what ritual has been violated, and by whom (i.e., what is the offender’s relationship to said ritual)?

The extensive list of commands given in Leviticus and Deuteronomy have been termed by Bible scholars as The Holiness Codes, and were specifically intended as lifestyle guidelines for the Hebrew, and no one other. Things such as the eating of pork, lobster, shrimp, crab, or beef from a crossbred cow were strictly forbidden, punishable by death. Shaving the beard or wearing clothing woven from more than one kind of material would also get you stoned. It is difficult to make a case for God’s alleged distaste for homosexuals from these texts, as they do not speak to the condition of homosexuality itself but rather to a circumstance in which happens to be found homosexual behavior. In the case of The Holiness Codes, the bottom line of all the forbidding was against the worship of false gods.

In further support, another word was commonly used to denote the act of pure sin, which is zimah. Should this second word have been used if God had intended to make a blanket statement against same-sex relationship? I suggest so, for as meticulous as the Hebrew scribes were regarding the Holy Scriptures (they would not even write the complete word “God” because of the perfection of His Being, a Jewish tradition still recognized today), it seems unreasonable to suppose that an incorrect word choice would have been made for such an extremely volatile topic. The aforementioned dictionary defines abomination as “extreme disgust and hatred,” which allows the word zimah a more accurate translation to the English word abomination than the more specific toeyvah, which addresses religious practices. Think of it as a football: while it is perfectly alright—even necessary—to throw a football on a football field, it would be totally inappropriate for that same action to occur in the sanctuary during a church service. In like manner, while it is perfectly alright in God’s eyes to be homosexual, it is totally inappropriate for that same action to occur within the worship of a false god.

So if you are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transexual, the next time someone exercises their own personal insecurities by proclaiming how much God hates you, tell ’em to prove it…from the Bible.

The New American Dream

June 5, 2010 Leave a comment

It has come to my recent awareness that—at the risk of this sounding as negative as it sounds—the American Dream is dead.

Or at best, comatose for the foreseeable future.

I mean, to start with, the foundation’s cracked. Seismically cracked. In this case, the foundation is the planet itself. With the worst, most devastating natural disaster in history unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico right before our very eyes (and being breathed into our very lungs), the damage the offspring of the Industrial Revolution has wrought upon this formerly flawless blue jewel known as Earth becomes even more evident. Each new day more shocking photos emerge of oil-drenched pelicans and other wildlife; dolphins washed ashore, choked to death by thick oily, murky water; and beautiful beaches where sands are now permanently and hideously stained with residues of black gold. These unprecidented conditions are most telling not only of modern corporate society’s apparent staggering technological inefficiency for resolve but its general position of environmental indifference.

And that certainly is not the whole of it. Long before BP Petroleum lost control of its offshore drilling operations to give birth to a problem which may actually irreparably destroy an entire ocean (if not more), man-made pollution had already claimed the skies, with Houston now sharing the honor with cities like Los Angeles for this nation’s least-healthy breathable air. Emissions from millions upon millions of automobiles daily filling the thousands of miles of roads and freeways across the country add to the volume of pollution already promoting respiratory distress, choking out life at the cellular level. Factories continue to pump smog into the atmosphere; non-biodegradable cleaning products, paints, and other chemicals continue to be flushed and poured into our sewage systems; landfills have become full of the waste they were intended to be filled with so that more land is needed to fill with more unending tonnage of waste; nuclear power plant accidents leave animals, vegetation, the soil, and people with radiation-induced damage, illnesses, and deformities.

Modern corporate farming has sprayed pesticides and utilized synthetic fertilizers to such a degree that nutrient-rich soil necessary for agriculture has become nutrient-depleted, resulting in the need to fortify vegetables and fruit—post harvest—with the very vitamins and minerals they were originally grown for in the first place.

Natural water reservoirs have been poisoned by chemicals and radioactive particles having seeped into the ground, making tap-water not only unpleasant to smell and drink for most people, but unhealthy for consumption or use in general. Dangerous levels of mercury, lead, and other toxins can be found in much of the seafood we eat, particularly shellfish from the Atlantic ocean. Thank god we can still run to Walmart and buy a few gallons of distilled water, or we’d really be in deep shit.

And now there’s talk of cell phones causing brain tumors. No, wait, I remember that threat was brought out in the 90’s before it was swept under the rug by the telecommunications industry. That was always a personal concern of mine, a signal powerful enough to reach a relay tower miles away blasting through my head from a cell phone. Zero tissue damage from that? I was never convinced it was OK, and now new studies indicate that paranoid I was not.

And the food supply. Let’s not even talk about the food supply. Actually, that’s exactly what we need to talk about, as this is likely the thing killing more Americans than any single other threat. A physical trainer would look at me today and perhaps think, “He could stand to lose a few pounds.” That’s because I’m still losing weight, coming from a top weight of 360 pounds. I have lost over 140 pounds since I stopped believing that everything the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved was actually safe to eat, real world. With GMO meats, produce, and farm-raised seafood now filling the supermarket shelves, the natural balance of what the Universe intended us to digest has been thrown significantly off. The main culprit ingredient I removed from my diet was high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), an addictive sweetener and food preservative which I was shocked to learn was literally in everything I was eating and drinking. Sodas, pastries, breads, candy, pastas, chips, sports drinks, even some of the expensive healthy superfood products contain HFCS on the ingredients list. Famous author (and apparent enemy of the state) Kevin Trudeaux has said that the term “natural flavors” was really a phrase manufacturers could use to include HFCS in a product and not say it directly. HFCS is what provides the flavorful explosion that soft drinks, candies, cakes and other treats tantalize the tongue with. The biological problem with HFCS, however, is that the human body was not designed to process the chemical structure of this product, causing a slow but steady breakdown of the immune system at the cellular level. The unfortunate outcome of years of consuming this additive is sickness and debilitation, which, of course, the drug companies have designed a pill or some other form of medical treatment which they will be glad to charge either you or your insurance company a fortune to take care of.

That’s assuming the drug actually works before one of its side effects takes you out first.

Finally, my heart goes out to all of the hard working, good citizens who, in an effort to provide more for their families, found themselves thrown out into the streets of the United States of America after relentless disasters of mortgage failure. I was taken aback when I first read of tent cities going up in LA and other great urban locations. While families suffered and struggled to find a safe place for their children to eat and sleep, having seen scenes of neighborhoods of empty houses—either going up, foreclosed, or breaking down from repair needs—caused me to realize something had silently gone terribly wrong with this great Democracy. Unemployment continues to soar at dangerously high levels, the credit system is under jeopardy as charge-offs increase while customers go broke, and good jobs are being sent overseas for cheaper labor as domestic food lines grow longer. As our economy in general continues to nosedive (with not a single strong sign that it can stabilize anytime soon) while other major currencies struggle for their very existence, my guess is that it will take nothing short of a complete miracle for light to even appear at the end of this tunnel of global catastrophe.

Thanks, corporate gods and gurus, you’ve really done a bang-up job. I think it’s safe to say that the people of the great US of A and the world at large are officially banged up. The foundations of our great societies across the globe are most definitely damaged.

And what kind of lasting structure can be erected if the foundation isn’t stable?

Perhaps The New American Dream . . .

Categories: Substantial Awareness

Not If, Why, Because

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been in love before, but that was child-like, if not silly

This is not in love, for it grew out of the love I already had for you as my friend.

This is not new, because it has been living, growing, becoming for a long time,

A time as long as this is deep…

Eternity, I think, if there is such a thing; I think not, for time is what must be used to measure that, a task time is not quite up to the task of measuring.

And to measure the fact that I’ve loved you forever couldn’t be done anyway.

Each day as I try to deny that I feel this. More of it emerges through my soul, my heart, my being. My speech: I love you.

Not if, not why, not because, nothing else added, just the fact. I don’t care who knows it, what nobody thinks about it.

I only care what you think and how you feel. Whatever I can do for you is the only thing on my mind

And when I finally figure that out…

The Only Constant

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Where would we be without change? This unchanging aspect of life often appears as a surprise, accompanied by questions, doubt, confusion, and many times anger. For some, it seems disasterous that change takes place, yet it is the road leading into the future…out with the old, in with the new. Indeed, we are creatures of the new, constantly searching for the next exciting sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, or idea. Change can be ultimately good, if not always pleasant, allowing for a sense of equality in aspiration, knowing that whomever or whatever is presently on top will not always hold that position.

But what about people? How is change good for people who exhibit no real need for development? Since no one is perfect, one can always find room for improvement. Observing someone who suffers from the desire to bring destruction into the lives of others, we can see that a belief system modification is necessary. In contrast, a person who might be considered a productive citizen—that is, he or she is well-educated, gainfully employed, has a healthy and happy home life, is regularly involved in community or religious activities and has no criminal record—the need for improvement may not be as easily identifiable.

The shelves of libraries and bookstores are crammed full of theses which revolve around the subject of change. The sectioning of this topic as it pertains to the human experience is a nearly endless task: one could easily spend a lifetime identifying various aspects and philosophies of change. The focus in this particular discussion of change is psychological and spiritual. Simply put, for the disparate consciousness of the human family to become one, there must first come a new way of seeing the world and the Universe. Civilized society on earth has turned out to be quite uncivilized when viewed just slightly below its sugar-coated surface. For example, an elderly lady in the fourth-largest city in the United States of America who, being unemployed and receiving only $700 per month income, applied recently for welfare assistance from her government, was denied on the premise that her income was too high. It is almost certain that she is not the only such person to have been turned mercilessly back to her poverty by a government which has no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fight a war on foreign soil that has yet to merit public justification.

This manner of relating to human beings cannot contribute to the cohesiveness and progress of the human family. Sadly, however, it mirrors the way of life for much of “civilized” society, not only on the Federal level, but in person-to-person everyday interaction. Instead of unifying mental energies to achieve dramatic and fulfilling ends such as true environmental restoration, near-annihilation of global hunger and disease, or even loftier aspirations such as interplanetary travel and extraterrestrial colonization, humanity is in a constant state of bickering and strife to out-perform, subdue, even destroy one another in an insatiable quest for profit, a wanton behavior not even found among beasts.

Change is needed.

Religious Rethink

May 26, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Religionin its noble effort to offer enlightenment for personal, relational, and societal development; in its drive to instill humility, devotion, patience, and trust; in its forging of a moral code of conduct to ideally strengthen and heal the soul, mind, and physical body; and in its promise of the ultimate reward, eternal life, for having survived the human drama after all has been said and donehas become its own worst enemy

What went wrong? Neither religious nor philosophical pontification has ever managed to convince a significant demographic of any known society to reason lovingly, respectfully unify, nor prosper with longevity. Interestingly, this historically viewable condition strongly appears to deny the very moral and ethical creeds espoused by both. As a result, humanity has also historically failed to rise beyond a general state of social mediocrity, including today’s developed North American societies, and most curiously the United States with its contemporary exponential procession of technological prowess.

Ironically, as essential as society accepts religion to be for personal spiritual enhancement, it is religion that binds up the mind with nearly incomprehensible lists of rights and wrongs, do’s and don’ts that are deemed necessary to “please God.” Christianity, for example, teaches that “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God,” and “there is none righteous, no, not one.” Yet, I have observed that much of the Christian church seems to exist in a perpetual state of moral finger-pointing in condemnation of acts or promotion of beliefs which often do not even appear in the ancient Hebrew or Greek documents from which the Bible has been derived.

I am convinced that when all become one in mutual love and respect for all life, humanity will be revolutionized. But how can this happen, a global collective of minds unified in a state of conscious single-mindedness of purpose? First, it is important to realize that this kind of monumental adjustment to the human psyche is not likely to happen overnight, and in actuality could only be expected were a fundamentally enhanced viewpoint implemented into the daily lifestyle of the individual. Transformed consciousness is the work which is required, and demands little physical effort at all.

Before a person can begin this monumental journey into “oneness” with the Universe, one must be convinced that it is not only possible, but necessary. The desire to bring resolution to the needs of another over one’s own similar needs must become common place—me first has to take a back seat to you first. This does not mean becoming a doormat to be walked over no matter what, but when the option to choose exists, an immense state of peace can result from making a choice to favor another over one’s self.

Preferring another to self is the beginning of oneness. Interestingly, this is a central message in most religions, though certainly is not the only valuable aspect of religion. But just as few people would allow their physical bodies to be enslaved and limited in freedom of decision and mobility, the spirit should not be allowed to be bound by unrealistic ideals which choke out peace and burden down the mind with guilt. Some people may feel that if they examine a more free way of thinking that their God will somehow punish them if they “cross the line” in their life-search. Since religions share the common theme that no human being is perfect, the truth of the matter is this: if the Divine was on stand-by in hopes of catching a curious mind in a wrong move, there would literally be no one left alive for the contemplation to even be of concern.