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Mission of Creativity
Group is a collective of inspired individuals who are dedicated to the
idea that if one person sparkles, a group of people are brilliant.
of DREAMWalker Group, it is
desire to express a deep sense of gratitude for all the good that has
entered and continues to enter his life. To do this, he has created a
site that offers free web profiles to creative people and
provides a "one stop" venue for creative information and creative,
spirit-based support. Insofar as this is a free site, he is also hopeful
that this site will eventually become self-supporting. To make this a
possibility, visitors to the site are encouraged to buy at least one
item a year through the
and other affiliate links.
Profile pages can include the following information (or more):
information (website and email, if desired)
historical listing of published books (current and out-of-print)
historical listing of published CDs and tapes (when possible)
Cross-links to other subject-related books and authors at DREAMWalker
Links from author's book directly to
Amazon.com (the money we make, currently about $400 per year, helps
pay for the maintenance of this free site.
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Share Our Prosperity
Group is a free site. We believe that charging creative people for
their profiles is unwarranted. It is our primary purpose to give back
to this brilliant, inspired, and inspirational community for all the
wonderful things they've created and continue to create.
giving is good; receiving is also a nice thing. As is the maintenance
of a standard of living that is conducive to happy creativity. So as
part of its mission to give and receive, DREAMWalker Group hereby
promises the following:
give back to the community a full 40%
of all additional money earned over and above $100,000 via DREAMWalker
Group. (We haven't decided how best to do that just yet, but it will no
doubt be in the way of several scholarships or prizes to current and
future brilliant, creative folks and to supporting the literary/artistic
community in other ways.)
Once we pass the $100,000 mark (per year), DREAMWalker Group will
give back to the community a full 40% of all additional money earned via
this site. This means that:
every additional $100,000 earned over the initial compensation of
$100,000, DREAMWalker Group will give
back $40,000.00 to the creative community;
of every $1,000,000 earned, DREAMWalker Group
will give back
of every $10,000,000 earned, DREAMWalker Group
will give back
Who will benefit most from this?
pages can include the following information (or more):
The brilliant, creative
folks who continue to get free publicity and exposure via this
continually growing and popular website.
publishers who can run free ads at the site
— once they agree to provide
cross links to DREAMWalker Group or free advertising in return.
DREAMWalker Group's proprietor (Michael
Walker). Possibly freed from the burden of working a day job, he'll have more
time and money to use in maintaining this site.
Out of 351 referrals in
2007, DREAMWalker Group earned $304.12 and Amazon.com brought in a
whopping $5,756.71). Just do the math!
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2008, we added profiles for the following brilliant people*:
to be added
*Note: some profiles may still be under construction.
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DREAMWalker Group Home
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Welcome from Dreamwalker
Welcome to the seventh 2008 issue of DREAMScene — the electronic newsletter of
- We're so sorry to be so dreadfully late with this newsletter. We
really DID intend on it being a September issue. Then, what with
life moving all around us, September turned into October and October
turned into ... well, you can imagine. Most sorry and we'll try not
to let this happen, umm, again.
- Whether or not you decide to use our Buy
Direct Bookstore, let us know if you have a book coming out soon
— we'll , list it at our
Coming Soon to DREAMWalker
Group page. (Once it's released, we'll move it to our
New Releases page.)
- Wonder who's been added to DREAMWalker Group recently? Check
out our Recent
Additions/Changes To Our Site page.
Miss an issue of this newsletter?
Click here to view old issues online.
We hope you'll enjoy this issue and anticipate more frequent updates
in the future!
Missed an issue of this newsletter?
Click here to view old issues online
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Remember that DREAMWalker Group
is broken into numerous creative "communities"
jaundiced folks might like to think of as "market segments."
Each community, in turn, is broken into topics of interest.
For a list of all
general topics of interest, go to the
General Community. For a similar list of topics related to other communities, go to
that specific community*.
To date, the communities include
Feel free to email us and offer suggestions for new topics or
topics related to your own avocation or genre.)
that a topic may be under construction.
Our DreamTeam consists of three very talented folks who help
make DREAMWalker Group the magical place it is today. They
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continues her Blog — a series of installments using logic and facts to prove that the only thing wrong with
being gay is how some people treat you when they find out.
The Case for Acceptance presents the thinking behind
Reardon’s second novel,
Thinking Straight, about a gay teen who is sent to a Christian
de-programming center to straighten him out.
In the eighth installment of this open letter to
will continue examining the relationship between religion
and homosexuality. See why references to “homosexuality” (a
word that didn’t exist until 1869) can’t have applied to
today’s gay experience, and read about the shifts between
“then” and “now” that render the Bible’s teachings pertinent
to its time, but not ours. (Read the introductory
installment from April 2008 on
and find out what a faggot-bag is and where it comes from.)
J. W. Thomspon's
Writers and Readers Unite at Facebook (http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=69073710111).
This is "a place for authors and readers to come
together" where authors may post about their new books and
readers may post review or comments.
Richard David Kennedy's blog,
Portfolio — a repository for
writers of all genres — continues to thrive.
Says Richard, "We've got some brilliant people here — not a
joke! And I, for one, am always looking forward to seeing
some really creative, exceptionally good stuff. This
isn't about `politics, rules and regulations, or personality
favs.' It's about writing and a place to
express and share your work with others who really do appreciate
the work of kindred souls. And you never know just who may
be reading what is being posted here. Food for thought."
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DREAMScene readers may recall Catherine Groves’
“Assumptions in the Nexus,” which forms the basis for “A Tale of Two
Lenses,” from the August 2008 issue of DREAMScene.
It’s not what you think
or feel, but what you do.
Funny you should ask. For my October-December
2002 “Through the
Editor’s Eyes,” I offered “Assumptions in the Nexus,” a piece that
explored the core “tenets” — for lack of a better word — shared by
Christians and New Agers, assumptions that give rise to a vastly
similar perspective. And taking it one step further, I ventured that
while these assumptions seem self-evident to the believer, they are
not self-evident to all, myself included. Still, I wrote, I would
choose to adopt them as my own if only I could. As I worded it then,
“This way of belief gives meaning to the troubling times, lends
hopefulness and optimism to even the ordinary moments of routine.”
Simply put, these assumptions promote a healthy, wholesome, joyful
lens through which to view the world.
In response, N.M. Landaiche wrote that he would be interested in
“what beliefs I actually live,” rather than the “more hopeful lens”
through which I’d prefer to orient my life. In short, he asked,
“What view of the world do you have and how would you characterize
that particular lens?”1 And I pondered that question,
intending, at some point, to write an editorial in response to
That question took a fresh turn in the spring of 2003, mid-April
to be exact. You see, we had a new addition to our family, Luke, the
sweetest puppy one could ever hope to find. Rescued by a shelter,
Luke joined us just a few days before Christmas 2002.
Now, Luke is a true mutt in every sense of the word. Nobody can
quite figure out what breeds he has in him. Shepherd, definitely;
schnauzer, probably — but that doesn't account for all his
characteristics, chief among them multicolor fur splaying out in
every wayward direction and a heart of gold. Did I mention clumsy?
The most perfect — the sweetest — dog in this world is also a bit of
On the evening of April 13, 2003, I turned in early. After
all, 5:30 am on a Monday morning comes much too quickly and I needed
some sleep to face the workweek ahead. The scene in the next room,
I’m sure, was angelic. My teenage daughter working at the computer;
all twenty-five pounds of little Luke asleep on her bed. Suddenly …
thud! Instantaneously, Elizabeth and Luke dash into my room. “Mommy,
Luke fell out of bed!” Half laughing over his tumble, half concerned
he might have hurt himself, she stands off to the side as Luke leaps
onto my bed and bounces up to my head. I open a groggy eye, check
him out, realize he’s fine, and beg both of them to let me get back
to sleep. She calls him and loyal little Luke goes galumphing toward
her. And for the briefest moment, all those twenty-five pounds of
sweetness shift to that one paw that lands squarely on my open eye.
To make a long story short, after the emergency room, after the
many ophthalmologist visits, I was left with an abrased cornea,
which — me being me — didn’t heal anytime soon. As weeks turned into
months, I saw the world, literally, through a perceptual lens with a
scratch — a bit blurry, a bit clouded. Yes, I knew enough about what
my world looks like to function through my day — but what I knew the
world looks like wasn’t quite what I was seeing.
I have some hesitancy describing the conceptual lens through
which I see the world. If, as I wrote in “The Chameleon and the
Whirlwind,”2 my depression blacks out the light of God in
my life, then the lens I live with is flawed. I find myself crying
out, as did the father of the boy with a dumb spirit, “I do believe,
help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23). Wanting the “more hopeful lens” is
therefore not quite wishful thinking. Rather it’s an affirmation of
what I would be better able to embrace were I not depressed.
While what I choose to believe, an act of decision and
will, remains stable, what I actually believe is subject to
considerable change — even fluctuations throughout the day. Hunger,
fatigue, or the stress of the most ordinary of days is enough to
affect that conceptual lens, at least for me.
It’s not what you think or feel, but what you do. This
realization has become a guiding principle in my life, so much so
I’ve set the words afloat on the desktop of my computer. What I
think may change — and what I feel can be as capricious as the
colors of the chameleon — but what I do is telling. I can
better observe my deeper inclinations by reflecting upon what I do.
We are, after all, more than our intellect, more than our
emotions. Our inner self often seems motivated by a flow of purpose
other than what originates in our heads or moods. A certain
identifying impetus keeps us steady in our character, despite the
more fluid and readily self-seen thoughts and feelings we
experience. So, as I see it, what of ourselves we glimpse through
interior self-study can often miss the fuller picture, a clue to
which lies in what we do.
So, what are the beliefs with which I ordinarily live, rather
than long to live? I would say I do believe in God and that God is
good. Yet the actuality of God is not self-evident to me and I do
not always find believing easy. As Scripture says, “This is the work
of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29). Yes,
I can attest to that statement: to believe is work.
Sometimes it even seems that God is at work within me, invisibly,
hidden from my awareness — God doing the work of believing in God,
so to speak. After all, I do manage, beyond myself, to stay fast on
the goal of faith. Perhaps it is akin to, “For we do not know what
we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself pleads for us
with unutterable groanings” (Romans 8:26).
And believing is work I’ve embraced. Even my dreams are often
fraught with prayer. Amazing how easily my dream self turns to a
deep and faithful prayer life that my waking self rarely attains!
Still, my waking discipline does include bible study and prayer. Of
one point I am convinced: unless one devotes daily time to pursuing
the faith, the minutes and hours will drift away into the more
mundane activities of our routine.
I would also say I believe that “Creation or All That Is, is
neither whimsical nor random in its function, but unfolds according
to an inherent pattern.”3 While my “more hopeful
lens” would cast the glow of beneficent intentionality upon that
inherent pattern, what I actually believe is a bit more prosaic.
Much of nature, even much of human nature, follows an innate order.
Put good soil, ample rain, adequate sun, and healthy seeds together
and one has reason to expect plants will grow. If dark clouds gather
and flashes of lightning closely follow the thunder, it makes sense
to grab an umbrella and listen for the first drops of rain.
Observable patterns run through much of life, but that does not
necessarily indicate an intelligence or intentionality overseeing
Certainly, I used to believe not just in these, but in all of the
premises my October-December 2002 “Assumptions in the Nexus”
suggested were core. Believing them flowed naturally and unbroken
from my faith in God as an actuality.
And it would seem that if we believe in God’s existence — and
that God is good — the rest of the premises would fall neatly into
place. Still, as illogical as it may be, I have become rather
agnostic to the remainder of those central assumptions. Even if I do
not actively disbelieve them, neither can I affirm them as anchors
in my life. In short, I just don’t know.
Does life have a purpose? True, logic would seem to dictate that
if God is and is good, life has a purpose. Yet I am stunned by how
meaningless life often feels to me, sufficiently stunned to find
that inherent logic baffling. I can’t seem to travel the distance
from believing in God to accepting the actuality of a purpose when
life often appears so riddled with senselessness. Indeed, contrary
to the notion of an unfolding divine purpose, any vaguely
discernible hint of intentionality can seem to me almost as if
designed to thwart each nascent hope for meaning.
Nevertheless, I do hope for a purpose, even if that purpose is,
by its nature, forever beyond my grasp. I would choose to believe in
a purpose. But that’s a bit different from assuming it
unquestioningly. And it’s sufficiently different to change the sight
I now see, apart from what I might choose to believe.
More than merely disregarding my sense of meaninglessness, to
truly believe I would need to allow my choice to believe to wholly
undo what I feel, what I see, what I think, what I now apprehend.
Paradoxically, were I to follow that route, once the process was
complete and the undoing done, the beliefs thus engendered would
work to change that lens through which I comprehend — thus making
what I would see an unbroken flow from the belief assumed. That
all-changing effect I have seen time and again: indeed, I have come
to realize it is the very nature of belief. Once one travels far
enough down the path of a belief, one’s perspective melds to
accommodate the truth of the belief.
It’s one of those patterns in life, much like the expectable
development of a plant from a seed. The appearance of a belief’s
truth becomes increasingly self-evident to the believer the farther
he or she journeys into the belief. Initially, one spots particulars
— ideas, events, facts and theories — that support one’s belief,
while overlooking conflicting information. But as more and more
substantiating evidence is observed, and as the implications of
one’s belief expand in range and familiarity, all of life begins to
“fit” with the belief. Especially those belief systems that have a
well-developed, broad theology can fit or bend most every tangent,
most every counter, into the system itself. Hence, even findings
that might suggest contradictions to a nonbeliever work to further
validate the belief system to the believer. All is filtered through
the transformed lens melded to the belief.4
If that is so, how come I seem so wholly unable to make the
transition between choosing to believe and fully empowering that
choice such that it changes my lens, once more making all core
tenets flow unbroken from the first? Why the short-circuit in my
belief process? I suspect the author of Hebrews hit it on the head,
though from a different angle: “For it is impossible for those who
were once enlightened, who have both tasted the heavenly gift and
became partakers of the Holy Spirit, who have moreover tasted the
good word of God and the powers of the world to come, and then have
fallen away, to be renewed again …” (6:4-6). Simply, as I touched
upon in “That Sigh of Peace,”5 at a certain point I met
face to face, quite abruptly, with facts which proved false the
assumptions underlying my beliefs. Ironically, these facts and I
collided in the midst of my pursuing my faith — so unexpectedly, so
suddenly that I just had no time to duck. Stunned, and still seeing
my world as it appeared transformed by my beliefs, my beliefs were
nonetheless cut off at the knees.
That was many years ago. And, gradually, my conceptual lens
reconfigured itself. To be grounded again entailed, however, an
unfortunate tradeoff: the joy and light that came from believing as
I once did.6 Now I find it impossible to transit back, to
allow the process of believing to begin all over again. How,
after all, could I believe the same things, after having seen that
it was the nature of belief itself, rather than the veracity of my
beliefs, that convicted my heart the first time — and that,
similarly, it would be the nature of belief, rather than the
inherent truth of the beliefs, that again would make the beliefs so
It’s not that the beliefs I once held are necessarily erroneous —
they may be true, they may be false. In any case, whether true or
false, it was the process of belief — the inclination of the human
being to fall ever deeper, ever more inextricably into seeing the
truth of his or her beliefs — that made my beliefs believable. How,
then, after having experienced such a collision with the power of
belief— as my beliefs, severed from their foundation, suddenly
crumpled — can I see else but the process, else but the lens? As I
put it in “Assumptions in the Nexus,” “I’m still seeing the lens
itself instead of the world as it appears through the lens.” And,
perhaps, rightly so.
Given that I am agnostic to the idea of an intrinsic purpose to
life, the rest of the core tenets are moot. That the purpose will
come to fruition, that each of us can live in accord with the
purpose — these beliefs pivot on the assumption of a purpose.
Without such a premise, they are irrelevant.
It’s not what you think or feel, but what you do. If my
thoughts and emotions vary as easily as the colors of a chameleon,
if I can better observe my deeper inclinations by reflecting on what
I do, perhaps the answer to Mick’s question lies less in interior
self-examination, more in the “doing” of my life — more in the
witness of the outer than the inner.
I live as if there is a purpose and that purpose is good. I work
hard, striving to do most everything to the best of my ability. And
the choices I make are based not so much on pleasure, reward or
gain, but on evoking something deeper, something of intrinsic value.
Why else would I produce Christian*New Age Quarterly?
Especially in regard to C*NAQ, I work as if there’s an
unfolding future, always looking to put into place in the present
what I hope will result in the days to come. I work as if toward
some unknown of deep value — again, not monetary, not personal, but
sufficiently worthwhile that I plow now. I work as if what I do is
significant enough to be worth that work, despite slim reward today.
If I do that, if I work as if toward a future fruition, might
not that belie my claim to agnosticism in regard to a purpose which
will come to pass?
I live as if aligning my life to an often-undefined standard, as
if there is some sort of “inherent good” that I might at least look
to as a compass. Never would I hold myself up as an ethical model,
but, for me, that’s not the point of upholding a standard of ethics.
As I see it, ample enough are the intrinsic reasons to embrace a
personal integrity, an orientation which proves itself useful,
rather than a code adopted merely for the seal of consensus. And so,
I value and hope to abide in honesty, diligence, productivity,
respect and sensitivity toward others, while attempting to
contribute positively to the world we share. If I strive to fulfill
what I see as an inherently wholesome ethical discipline, how does
that essentially differ from believing “each of us can live in
accord with the purpose”?
You see, I am not all that certain that the focus of my
conceptual lens accurately captures the faith I live. I’m not
convinced that what I actually believe, rather than what I wish to
believe, can support a meaningfulness to life that I really hope is
there! But, when all is said and done, the impetus of my life may be
far less reflected in what I think and feel, far more told in what I
What if faith is a bit more complicated than it, at first glance,
appears? What when beliefs and thoughts don’t mirror our actions?
What when some form of blindness, some thorn for the flesh or paw in
the eye prevents us from seeing as we might truly see? Then we might
have to look elsewhere to decipher our faith. As said James, “… and
I from my works will show thee my faith” (2:18). At very least, that
might be a good place to start.
Letters Library,” Christian*New Age Quarterly, January-March
2Catherine Groves, “Through the
Editor’s Eyes: The Chameleon and the Whirlwind,” October-December
3Catherine Groves, “Through the
Editor’s Eyes: Assumptions in the Nexus,” October-December 2002.
4See Catherine Groves, “Through the
Editor’s Eyes: That Sigh of Peace,” Christian*New Age Quarterly,
5Catherine Groves, “Through the
Editor’s Eyes: “That Sigh of Peace,” Christian*New Age Quarterly,
6See Catherine Groves, “Through the
Editor’s Unknowing Eyes,” Christian*New Age Quarterly,
Christian*New Age Quarterly.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission, “A
Tale of Two Lenses”
was originally published by
Christian*New Age Quarterly
(April-June 2004). For more information on Christian*New Age
Quarterly, write to
Catherine Groves, Editor at PO Box 276,
Clifton, NJ 07015-0276 or visit
topics related to this article:
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By Ralph Miller
has worked with people from all over the world in an experiential
journey which he calls
Heart of the Initiate
as a way for people to remember their "authentic selves".
We are now within five years of the fateful December 21, 2012 date
which is ostensibly the day that a radical change will occur on the
planet, possibly even a catastrophic change. I recommend reading my
first article on this subject entitled, The 2012 Problem (see
June/July 2008 issue of DREAMScene
Newsletter which discusses the difficulty in
pinpointing a singular date as a hinge point for some great transition.
Rather, I believe the December 21, 2012 date to be a symbol that
exists as an extraordinary irony. Any particular date is a man created
marker denoting the concept of a point in time. If you consider that
events could happen before a date or after a particular date, then our
concept of ‘time’ would also by implication denote the passage of time.
I find this ironic since the great transition or evolution we may be
approaching surely has to do with complete renovation of our time
consciousness or even the eradication of time itself. It’s quite likely
time is easily eradicated since it really doesn’t exist in the first
place! Time is a notion or a perspective. It is not a tangible thing
unto itself. Time is the result of our habitual observation of things
and events, and how we have learned to mark their existence or
In any event December 21, 2012 is the date that the ancient Mayan
calendar comes to a conclusion. This end of a great cycle in Mayan
prophesy coincides with similar prophesies of other indigenous peoples
like the North American Hopi. The great angst people across the globe
share about the condition of humankind and the planet itself suggests
that a rapid transformation and change could happen. We are like the
animals that can sense the storm coming and head for cover. It may be
In speaking about our collective angst I am referring to a plural
consensus that exists across almost all national boundaries, that is a
concern about dwindling resources and about what seem to be
insurmountable environmental and political problems. It would seem that
humankind goes from one crisis to the next. We exist in a constant state
of alertness awaiting the next news of a new war, or rocketing costs of
living, or the currency we use to buy things dwindling in its value. The
Al Gore film, An Inconvenient Truth was hugely successful worldwide, and
has galvanized mainstream thinking around the idea of climatic change
due to carbon emissions.
We recently heard that the world’s human population will reach
7-billion by 2012. Population is now growing so rapidly that there has
been a four-fold increase in just the last 100 years! When graphed this
growth is termed exponential or asymptotic and the trend line is kind of
Population growth occurred at a constant rate for 10,000 years (A in
the graph below) until the Black Death swept across the European
continent and resulted in a decline of one-fourth of all humans on
earth. Then during a relatively short period of only 62 years, the
Guttenberg Bible was printed in 1455, Columbus sailed to the West Indies
in 1492, and Martin Luther put forth his 95 Theses in 1517. Thus you had
the printed word, the dawn of the age of discovery and the Christian
reformation occurring almost simultaneously.
If you consider that the commonly held belief of the time was that of
a relatively small flat earth; the journey of Columbus changed humanity
profoundly. This was also a time approaching the end of a 1,000 year
period of the dark ages where all earthly authority was subject to the
church, and so Martin Luther’s act of defiance revolutionized all human
authority almost overnight. The dark ages were a time when almost all
people could neither read nor write; there was no need of it. The dawn
of the printed word exploded radical change in human experience allowing
people for the first time to obtain information in a brand new way.
These great transformations occurring almost overnight brought the
conclusion of the dark age and ushered in transformation of individual
and group consciousness with such speed that those people’s notion of
their ‘humanness’ and even their ideas about their cultures were forever
and profoundly transformed. The world was never the same again.
This astounding change of human thinking and consciousness
transformed human culture on the planet and literally increased the
‘carrying capacity’ of human civilizations. Our confidence as a species
expanded. We knew we had made a breakthrough to a new day! Then the
further cultural efficiencies achieved during the period of the
industrial revolution during the late 18th century have allowed human
population to increase even more rapidly, resulting in exponential
growth for the last 250 years (B in the graph above).(1)
A few years ago I read an article that suggested that around half of
all the human beings that have ever been born are alive today. This idea
has spread and been taken as fact when it is simply not true.
Regrettably, I think I have made reference to this erroneous information
in lectures I have given. What is true is that enough information exists
to calculate that roughly 106.4 billion people have existed since the
dawn of man say 55,000 years ago. That means that 5.8% of all the people
who have ever been born are alive today.
In any case the 5.8% percentage is still astounding to me. The
collective human consciousness that is embodied in living, breathing
human beings presents the possibility I believe of a group or collective
responsibility or karma that is drawing us to a conclusion and
transformation. When the Black Death concluded on the European continent
in the 14th century the remaining human population at the time also held
a collective karma that catapulted humanity into complete transformation
just 100 years later. People of the time had no idea of the enormous
change that was just around the corner.
I believe that as we approach 2012 we are experiencing a sort of
Karmic compression. This compression is a speeding up of the rate that
consequences of our actions become manifest in our lives. Referring to
consequences; I mean both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ consequences. They are only
the result of our actions or of the energy we put out. Our intentions of
service to each other are quickly forming into projects and cooperative
ventures which are readily accepted. When this happens, we are
experiencing our intentions becoming manifest. In like manner our karma
knocks us back when we become self serving and arrogant.
Instant karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead
What in the world you thinkin' of?
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth you tryin' to do?
It's up to you, yeah you!
John Lennon, 1974
This principle of Karmic compression is important as we approach a
time of great change because it will teach us that we are connected to
everyone and everything. The great illusion and the great lie that we
have been led to believe is that we have been separate from each other.
When you act in a way that is unkind to another, and you very quickly
receive an echo of your unkind act coming back to you, you then soon
begin to realize that you and the person you were unkind to are the
same. There is a synapse in our experience of ourselves and our
experience of others that is closing.
I suggested in my first article about 2012, entitled The 2012
Problem, that our notion of time itself was going to go through a
dramatic shift. Perception of time as we are accustomed exists in
viewing each moment as separate to every other moment. In other words,
we have become accustomed to experiencing time itself much in the same
way as we do any other people, or things. Every part of time is separate
from every other part of time.
Just like those people in the 14th century we now have very little
understanding about what is ‘just around the corner’! Something really
incredible is about to happen!
If in a relatively short period of time, a brand new ‘meta quality’
will be added to the consciousness experience of individuals, then the
relevance of future or past events will fall away and the relevance of
the clock will fall away. The consciousness we are adapting to is beyond
any benchmark previously established. Human consciousness will come to
exist inside a new holographic knowing. It will exist in the stillness
of the present moment. This is a change over in consciousness that will
forever transform who we are as human beings.
The renaissance period of the 14th to 17th centuries will mirror
exactly another great revolution of consciousness we are now embarking
on. We are standing in the doorway of a brand new renaissance; a brand
The Kogi Indians of northern Colombia have a concept of consciousness
called Aluna. They believe in a point of reference that is within us or
an inner dimension where from that point time itself ceases to exist as
we know it. In the Aluna dimension everything that is in the past and
the future exists together with the present moment. The Aluna dimension
is a real place; it is a real point of reference that exists in all of
us. Perhaps it lies dormant in many people now, but like an unused or
vestigial organ, it is a perception, that once awakened, becomes alive
When Columbus made his journey even the skeptics had to take notice;
commonly held truth changed … for everybody. This dimension of
timelessness is real. Inevitably we will all awaken.
While the greatest percentage of humanity exists in post-modern
consumer cultures, there are small numbers of indigenous Indian cultures
like the Kogi all over the planet. These cultures have survived for
millennia and most of their cultural values remain the same today. There
is a deep connection among indigenous people with the earth as the
source of life. They view the earth as the giver of life and sustenance.
They live in harmony with nature. They will not put a spade in the
ground to plant seeds without first making an offering or a prayer of
appreciation to the earth. They know that who they are came from the
earth. They view all living creatures as equal to themselves.
This connection to the earth is the recognition that all things and
everything is connected. Many have lost this connection to this oneness
or source; their waking minds are habituated to the notion of
separateness. As human consciousness is transformed the perception of
the unity of all things, the interconnectedness of all things emerges
In fact every cell of our bodies does come from the earth. Even
‘man-made’ materials are really just compounds that were first taken
from the earth and re-shaped into something ‘man made’.
When we view the world as our domain to dominate and indiscriminately
take from and plunder, we have forgotten that we came from the earth. We
have fallen asleep in an illusion where we are separate.
The earth provides us with a perfect life support system. Our planet
provides air to breathe; water to drink; animals and plants for food.
Who knows what a perfect human diet is. We try to employ the use of
superfood plants like Açai in our workshops. Certain foods like Açai can
literally supercharge our bodies. Surely the plants provision of a ripe
fruit, ready to eat, hanging on a tree for us to pick is nature’s
definition of a fast food drive up window! I suspect that much of human
diet evolved around priorities like food preservation and supply and not
necessarily eating the most healing and nutritious food. The plants give
us ready to eat food to nourish our bodies.
But plants exist in a much more complete (albeit sometimes forgotten)
relationship with humans. There are a whole assortment of other plants
that, being medicinal in nature, give us healing for the infections,
illnesses and maladies of the body. Many of today’s synthetic drugs
marketed by pharmaceutical companies are created as synthetic facsimiles
of a medicinal plant source.
Still other plants exist that are healers of human souls. These
plants are the shamanic plant teachers and have been used for millennia
by people like to Kogi to enable their perception from the Aluna
dimension. How fitting it is that we of the civilized world turn to
indigenous traditions in order to comprehend and endure another great
transformation of our very humanness.
I feel great hope for the future of those who open their hearts and
minds to the great change that is upon us!
1Adapted from Population Reference Bureau (1984) World
Population: Fundamentals of Growth, Population Reference Bureau,
© Ralph Miller 2003, 2008
Heart of the Initiate offers tours to Brazil
where they help people make sacred inner journeys through an intensive
workshop experience. Their Brazil workshops incorporate shamanic
ceremonies using the ancient plant teacher, Ayahuasca. Please check our
their website! For more information on their healing retreats, please
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By ellen m. george
ellen m. george gives her
observations from an evening with Lisa Williams.
Some were skeptics. Some were desperate. Some were curious. All came
expecting the unexpected...
Lisa Williams was 'discovered' by Merv Griffin. He helped her get her
Lifetime show, Life Among the Dead, and many of us became fans by seeing
her great personality during readings and on the street spontaneous
There came an email with Ms. Williams' newsletter. I usually take my
time reading it, but this time, I looked at it then - and she was coming
to Atlanta soon! I got online and booked tickets for my Mom and me -
We lost my Dad three years ago. It was hard, but what loss isn't
We had seen and spoken to some psychic mediums - one in a circle of
Light (séance) and the other (and most marvelous experience) on a phone
reading. Dad is a very strong spirit! He has made his presence known to
us very shortly after he crossed over that he was ok. Many experiences
followed, and still happen. It is a cool feeling to know that crossing
over isn't so far away, and our loved ones are as close as a whisper...
We went to the Performing Arts Center. It is a massive center and
there must have been 1500 people waiting to have some communication with
their loved ones.
There she comes out onto the stage. Lisa Williams is a stunning woman,
beautiful skin, funky hair, fuller figure in a beautiful outfit. She was
ready to roll!
She communicated with ten spirits, taking as much time as the
bereaved needed and spirit could have - What she said was both sad and
funny - A young woman who'd lost her husband didn't expect it when her
husband in spirit through Lisa was 'describing' himself...er, in
explicit ways...and telling her how he used to come up to her in a very
different (but funny) way. Lisa spoke to several spirits who had a common
link of overdosing on drugs. Very hard for the two families to hear, but
they were able to understand what happened and it had nothing to do with
the family, but their need for drugs. Lisa spoke with a family that had
lost a father, as well in the same accident, a family friend. In came a
young man who told his parents he was on a motorcycle without a helmet
and was carrying a bowling ball in his backpack. (!!!) When a car next
to him swerved, the bowling ball came up and bashed him on the head as
Very impressive. She was kind to the families of spirits and consoled
and hugged them - it was wonderful to see a personality out in the
audience talking to the people involved, not caring how much time it
took. Spirit needed the messages relayed. The most critical needs were
chosen, it seems.
My Dad probably said to the others, 'Go ahead. They already know
about me and they know I love them. Talk to your family.'
If you believe, or even if you don't want to participate in an event
like this, an evening with Lisa Williams will enlighten you, your
spirit, and make you want to know more.
We are all on a journey of learning - Each person and spirit has a
lesson to learn and teach. Lisa Williams is helping the dead have their
© Ellen George, 2008
Previously published in
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is the author of
Mirror Reversal (2007), described by the writer
Philip Zimbardo as
"... a unique contribution to popular psychology and science fiction by
platforming a torrid tale of one woman's descent into the depths of
human misery on a solid understanding of basic principles of social
science. Fast moving, sometimes riveting in its narrative, Goscicki's
fascinating story-telling updates Catch 22 and Orwellian concepts
in a novel illuminating the dark side of human nature."
way am I condoning or advocating drinking and driving.
In the fashion of the great Czech writer,
I wish only to portray what happens to the individual
under Draconian, police-state conditions.
(Part 2 of 2 Parts)
See DREAMScene August for Part 1.
You’re in jail, but it’s not all that bad. Remember when you
almost got busted in your hippie days? Could've done some real
time then... Remember? That cop caught you red eyed and red
handed with a half ounce of African grass, right in your
overcoat inner pocket. What an irony that with all the stuff I
did in the '60s, that I'm in jail now 40 years later for doing a
lousy six pack of beer.
It seems like yesterday... it must have been May, 1969 — the
days of the Electric Circus, Dylan, Woodstock and Timothy
Leary. We were across the street from the Plaza Hotel by the
Central Park wall at the corner of 59th Street and Fifth — right
by the horse carriages. A wonderful farm smell pervaded the air
as the doorman opened limo doors for chichi guests returning
from a night on the town. Kelly Stiles and I were smoking a
joint, waiting for John Donley to get off from driving his
Hanson Cab around the park. It was prom time and Daisy had to
trot around the 15 minute bike path a lot of times to earn her
What a beautiful time it was — spring, NYC in the deep night,
26 years old. Kelly was one of the most beautiful girls I'd ever
seen. Looked like Ingrid Bergman trying not to cry in that great
scene in For Whom the Bell Tolls, as Gary Cooper tells her that
he'll never see her again, that she had to be brave, that she
had to do the living for both of them. Makes you want to cry
just thinking about it. Kelly had short brunette hair,
though — only difference. She had that same angelic, child's face
and graceful athletic body. She loved me deeply. The passion of
youth is life's sweetest memory.
"Oh, Mr. Bozlicki, I can't believe we're here smoking this
weed together; it seems like yesterday that I was in your
biology class. Remember that silly uniform the nuns made us
wear? I didn't even feel like a female. We were just obedient
little clones." Her voice was feminine and sweet; she passed me
the half smoked joint. "I can't get out of the habit of calling
you Mr. Bozlicki; don't forget I had you for algebra and trig
too... you were my teacher for three years."
"And now you're a fashion model on 7th Avenue, strutting up
and down the catwalk and pouting wistfully, flaunting your
yearning hazel eyes with 'eat your hearts out, boys!' And every
guy and lesbian in the audience gets turned on. Now you're
making more money than all of us."
"Human pin cushions; that's what I am. I've got to change
clothes about 10 to 12 times a day. It's tough work. They don't
pay us for nothing."
"You learned what I taught you," I responded, without letting
any air out of my chest. "Hey, look at the squirrel staring at
us in that oak over there. Think he smells the smoke? D'ya think
squirrels get high? Make sure you blow the smoke over the wall
so the squirrel gets a whiff and not somebody walking down the
"Oh, who cares? It's one o'clock in the morning in New York
City. Anybody offended by a little grass is home in bed by now."
She unbuttoned my scruffy suede overcoat and snuggled her
torso close to mine to capture some body heat from the chilly
NYC breezes. I can still feel her firm cupcake-size breasts
pressed upon my chest, as she wrapped her right arm tight around
my waist and pulled the left half of my warm coat around her
shoulders. Her steady andante heartbeat reminded me of
Beethoven’s Moonlight. "I owe you so much!" she continued in the
most sensual voice I've ever known. "You’ve changed my life. I
was seriously thinking of becoming a nun, imagine. My Uncle
Dominic almost had my parents convinced I should enter the
Carmelite order. If I were in Mr. Plenari's Bio class instead of
yours, I'd probably be wearing a habit right now."
I can still picture the catch me if you can, smiley,
confident look on the squirrel's face; the grass helped me
concentrate with the eye of a telephoto lens. Holding an acorn
smugly in its forelimbs like a child propped up by the elbows in
front of a TV set, the squirrel dug its hind claws securely into
the trunk of the oak tree. I pointed to the old tree about ten
"That's a red oak, Kelly, genus Querus. The white oak doesn't
have such pointy leaves. It's easy to tell the difference: the
white oak has round, lobular leaves. The other American species
is called 'live oak,' like the ones in Gone With the Wind.
They're found only in the South — much more sprawling. Some are
even shaped like a human brain, with the trunk of the tree
simulating the human vertebral column. If people only realized
how close we are to that tree at the biochemical level, the
earth wouldn’t be in such peril now. We’d leave the Amazon Rain
Forest alone. Remember? Did I ever teach you that in bio class?
Humans should have a deep love for oaks, because there's a good
chance that we evolved from Dryopithicus, the 'oak tree ape.'
That's what Louis Leaky's proconsul was, the parent of all the
great apes. We feel comfortable and happy just being near oak
trees. Gibbons, their closest living progeny, were actually
heard singing love songs to their mates. This may be why music
sounds so soothing to us. But a lot of paleontologists believe
Ramapithicus was the parent hominoid —"2
Dropping the roach by our feet, Kelly began gently kissing my
neck and I could feel the heat of passion rushing through our
I tried to continue undistracted, "Plenari taught bio class
from the point of view of Creationism. How about the wasp that
paralyzes its grasshopper prey, then lays its eggs in the
abdomen of the helpless creature? We don’t know the level of
consciousness of the grasshopper, but does that sound like the
work of a Beneficent Designer? What a joke. Any bio teacher who
doesn't teach evolution is a phony. To teach biology is to
explain the story of evolution, period. We grew out of the
planet just like that squirrel over there. The atoms that make
up our bodies were once parts of exploding stars. We’re so lucky
to be what we are. If the dinosaurs didn't extinct exactly when
they did, mammalia never would have radiated into the vacated
environment. If people could only realize how wonderful it is to
be human, how lucky we are, we'd all be living for this life — like John Lennon says. People wouldn't treat each other so
badly, wouldn't waste so much time; we'd live to have fun and
appreciate the fact that we're ephemerons, like mayflies.
Remember what I taught you about mayflies, when we studied
"Screw the mayflies," she interrupted again, pressing her
youthful breasts closer into me, looking into my eyes with
burning passion. "What did you teach us about sex? That's what I
forgot. Tell me again."
"That we’re custodians of our genes. That genes control much
of our behavior. And genes function only to replicate the
information they carry. There could be ten billion people by the
end of the century and our genes would still be urging us to
procreate more. Genes don't care about the individual and they
don't care about the species."3
"And what about the place of sex in our lives?"
"That sex is the greatest trade off in the history of the
planet. If sexual reproduction didn't evolve, and asexual
reproduction continued, we wouldn't have to die. Nature
sacrificed the individual so the species can vary from one
generation to the next, so life can adapt to the changing
environment. Being we have to pay just a high price for sex, our
very existence, we should enjoy every second of it. Next to our
career and family, sex should be the most important part of our
lives. Orgasm is the only moment in our lives when the ego
dissolves into the collective subconscious and we feel God like
euphoria, what the Buddhists call satori."
Kelly passionately grabbed a fistful of my shoulder-length
hair and turned my face toward her hazel eyes. "Oh, Rich, take
me home this minute and fuck me while I still have this glorious
high. I love you deeply; you've done so much for me. You've
taught me so many wonderful things, you've made me a philomath.
Once we reject organized religion, love of learning and hope for
humanity is all we have left.” She averted her eyes toward the
red oak. “You know, the girls at work think I'm weird because
I'm reading Oedepis Rex during lunch. Here Sophocles was an
Athenian general during the Peloponnesian War and still had time
to become one of the world's greatest playwrights. You know how
tough you had to be in the Greek army — and he was a general. Now,
they think I'm strange because I make the time to read his
plays. I think they're strange for knowing so much about TV
sitcoms and movie stars, and so little about Sophocles.”
I can still feel her moist breath on my cheeks, as I focused
on her Ingrid Bergman lips. “Remember the verse from The
Merchant of Venice you were in last year? Tonight is such a
I picked up on the tread and tried to speak as softly and
sweetly as I could out of respect for the beauty and melodic
flow of the verse,
The moon shines bright: In such a night as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees
And they did make no noise, in such a night
Troilus methinks mounted the Trojan walls,
And sigh’d his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressida lay that night.
For the moment she was my sweet Jessica, as chilly Manhattan
breezes nipped at our ears. She followed,
In such a night
Did Thisbe fearfully o’erstrip the dew,
And saw the lion’s shadow ere himself,
And ran dismay’d away.
The words flowed so easily; I remembered the lines without
In such a night
Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
Upon the wild sea-banks, and wav’d her love
To come again to Carthage.
I knew I couldn’t out-night my exuberant Kelly,
In such a night
Did Kelly seduce the naive Rich Bozlicki to Astoria
Where she sucked his dick, till he came with sighs of sweet
Right then... the timing couldn't have been better. I'd
forgotten about the joint Kelly dropped on the ground minutes
before. A flashlight glared in our eyes, and we squinted trying
to see what the hell was going on. The fall from the sublime to
the contemptible only takes a second.
There was one of New York City's Finest with the callous grin
of a Cheshire cat ravishing a mouse in its claws. A close
shaven, crew cut head was sticking out of an impeccably clean
police uniform, scanning Kelly's lissome body and peering into
her eyes, looking for redness so he could be sure we were the
ones who dropped the roach. His collar appeared a little tight,
so his face flushed pinker than his hands. "Well, well, what
have we here? You two haven't been smoking dope, have you?"
"Oh no, Officer," I came back as strongly as I possibly could
with a half ounce of ganja in my inner coat pocket. This is one
of the few instances in my life when I felt justified in
deliberately lying, yet angry that I had to sacrifice my
personal integrity. To tell the truth would've been unforgivably
stupid. To say: "Oh, yeh, Officer, of course we were smoking
this great grass. Care for a toke?" would be a reply an
inveterate masochist wouldn't make. Answering the question
truthfully would mean the bureaucratic hassle of a lifetime. The
point is: the laws of New York State are not only making
criminals of its citizens — there’s more the two million souls
wasting away in jail as I speak — but even contemptible liars. If
they locked up every person in the state that ever smoked a
joint illegally, there’d be more people in jail than out in the
streets. In the state of Georgia it's illegal to have oral sex,
even with one's spouse. A couple with a natural and healthy
sexual desire becomes criminal and deviant by fulfilling a
natural, victimless, harmless and pleasurable need. The laws
make hypocrites of its citizens as well.
This was a tiny bit of marijuana by my standards — grass that I
use for my own private religious purposes, because I feel
physically closer to nature. It helps me realize the squirrel
and I are in the same class of vertebrates, mammalia. In the
most basic religious sense, I believe that humanity is an
outgrowth of nature — at the atomic level. I am what I am because
the universe is what it is. Humans evolved to fit a niche of
nature, and I appreciate and enjoy this fact. And this prick,
this defender of morality, who probably likes to go to hockey
games and smack his kids around so that other kids won't smack
them around, by law has the right to assume that I’m a criminal
and that I'm going to sell the stuff. I'd just as soon sell my
Richard Tucker- autographed libretto of Aida that I waited hours
by the Met stage door to acquire. Catholics worship a man who
was executed as a criminal, kneel down to kiss rotting bones and
sacred rings, and drink symbolic blood — not just transmogrified
wine, but through the miracle of transubstantiation, real half
human blood! — and I'm considered weird, because I like to get
high and swim sans bathing suit in the great Panthalassic Ocean
where all life began.
Just that moment, as I squinted painfully in the intrusive
beam of light, John, who had brought Daisy back to the stable on
West 87th Street and had finally gotten off from work, came
jauntily strolling down Fifth to the scene of the crime. He
spotted Kelly and me trying to keep our composure, with the
police officer leaning over us and nervously rapping his
nightstick in the palm of his free hand. John stood there, a
full 6’6,” wearing a Civil War overcoat that General Pierre
Beauregard would've felt comfortable in when he started the
Civil War, tawny hair parted in the middle down to his
shoulders, lumber boots, and John Lennon, round brim, rose
colored sunglasses at night. Knowing he was clean, he lumbered
up to the cop and smiled beguilingly: "C’mon, Officer, do we
look like the type that would be smoking grass on Fifth Avenue
in the middle of the night?"
The cop jerked his head back, as if he'd just received the
painful communication that he just lost his favorite gun. He
looked down at the simmering roach a yard away from my shoes.
"All right, you two, get lost... right now," he demanded,
nodding to John and me to take off toward the 59th Street Subway
Station, as if he knew we lived in Astoria. With the grass in my
pocket I could do nothing but obey, but John protested, "You
don't have authority to make us leave our friend."
"Shut up, or I'll run the three of you down to Chambers
Street right now. You'll wind up in the House of Detention
before the night's over. I just want to talk to the young lady a
"Come on, John," I urged with a cowardly tremor in my voice.
I knew we could walk off, then watch to see that nothing
happened to Kelly. We could always call the police, if the prick
tried anything. At least we'd be away with the incriminating
When we got to the entrance of the subway, we turned around
to observe the cop approaching Kelly. The Crusaders of Baldwin
of Flanders, who massacred in the name of God thousands of
defenseless civilians of Jerusalem during the First Crusade,
couldn't have looked more lustful than this cop, as he
approached my sweet darling.
"What's a nice attractive girl like you doing out this late
with a worthless bum like him?" He nervously kept tapping his
nightstick against his thigh, like a kid who had to take a
desperate piss. He seemed to be putting on a coquettish
demeanor, as if to say: 'Come on baby, why don't you get
yourself a real man?' Can't you see he's nothing but a no good
hippie? You oughtta be out with somebody more respectable, more
"I'm over 18. You have no right to be giving me advice. That
bum happens to be my former science teacher in high school. He's
taught me everything from the trigonometric identities to the
evolutionary radiation of early ape-men during the early
Pleistocene. He's taught me knowledge your grandchildren will
never learn. So, please get out of my way and don't try to stop
me. My father's a lawyer; you better have a more substantial
charge other than that lousy roach on the ground that anybody
might have thrown."
Kelly determinedly slipped through the free space between the
park wall and the cop, ran over to us, and we embraced like we
had just scored the tie-breaking goal at the World Cup. John
whistled for a cab and the cop stood on the corner, scratching
his head with a bewildered look…
The dull brown rectangular slab of concrete was still there.
All I could do is stare helplessly and reminisce with the dreams
of an old man. I am a fly trapped helplessly in a spider web of
red tape; I thought I was a butterfly! Twice these upholders of
the law and morality have broken into my life's most sublime,
wondrous moments with their glaring lights and sirens. At last,
they finally got me where I belong for my heretical beliefs.
Maybe grass does congeal the billion and a half neurons of my
fabulous brain, like eggs on a frying pan.
1This is a line from Francis F. Coppola's movie,
Apocalypse Now, describing the conditions in Viet Nam at
the end of the war.
2Hominoid: The term refers to the great apes plus the
hominids, our early ape-man ancestors including the
Australopithecines and the early humans such as Homo habilis and
H. erectus. Proconsul was a hominoid.
3This event happened 17 years before Richard
Dawkins’ illustrious and important book,
The Selfish Gene, was
published in 1976.
(End of Part Two.)
All rights reserved.
See also Rich Goscicki's
interesting talk on The Endmeme on YouTube at
Rich's website is
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A Foreword to the book
Drugs and Culture:
New Perspectives (Drogas e Cultura: novas perspectivas)
Edited by Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate),
Edward MacRae, Henrique
Maurício Fiore, and Sandra Goulart — Researchers of NEIP
(Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies,
Note from DREAMWalker Group: This
book is currently only available in Portuguese and is not available at
Amazon. We will provide updated information once we receive it.
Culture, the State, and the Different Uses of “Drugs”
Gilberto Gil, Minister of Culture of Brazil Juca
Ferreira, Executive Secretary of the
Ministry of Culture
Translated by Brian Anderson
Revised by Matthew Meyer
Over the last few years, we have
witnessed a healthy maturation of academic research and study of
the use of “drugs” in Brazil. Anthropologists, sociologists,
historians, physicians, lawyers, economists, and many others are
revealing novel facets of this everyday phenomenon that frequently
makes its way into the headlines. The book Drugs and Culture: New
Perspectives represents a synthesis of this broad intellectual
movement, which offers a biopsychosocial approach to the study of
“drugs” — a movement engaged with a polemical topic and its
inherent paradoxes; a movement that aims to stimulate a public
debate more conducive to the ideals of pluralism, diversity and
democracy that define our country. We feel obliged, therefore, to
highlight some of the policy implications of the conclusions set
forth in this book.
To begin, it is necessary to piece
together some observations of how the Brazilian State previously
dealt with and has been dealing with this phenomenon. The State
intervenes and determines a “drug” policy by making use of two
fundamental and inalienable powers: regulation, which is
sanctioned by legislative mechanisms, and accountability, which
follows previously determined penal norms. We acknowledge that the
juridical actions of the State have been guided by the principles
of the International Narcotics Control Board, fruit of the 1971 UN
Convention. Due to the historical context in which they were
formulated, these principles disregarded certain cultural
idiosyncrasies of the Latin American nations. For example, they do
not recognize the cultural traditions of the Indigenous and
Afro-descendent peoples, above all the ritualistic and cultural
uses of certain psychoactive substances (such as ayahuasca and the
coca leaf). By disregarding such singularities and ignoring
diverse cultural contexts, one ends up treating distinct cultural
understandings in a stale and undifferentiated way; one also
becomes incapable of distinguishing the implications of different
types of drug use. The Ministry of Culture, therefore, can and
should grant more visibility to the cultural dimension and affirm
the right of the Brazilian peoples to engage in the shamanic
rituals and in the Indigenous and Afro-descendent expressions that
require psychoactive substances for their manifestation, and the
religious fests that spring up out of our vast cultural diversity.
The uses of psychoactive substances in religious rituals still
suffer difficulties, in Brazil and many other countries, in
obtaining legal recognition.
The law n. 11.343/06, which regulates
Brazil’s policies concerned with “drugs,” and which was directly
influenced by the aforementioned UN Convention, still does not
recognize the cultural uses of certain psychoactive substances
tied to rituals, nor does it contain provisions for differential
classifications and penalties for the traditional uses of “drugs.”
In a word, today’s legislation does not take into account certain
Exactly how we should differentiate
between consumption – whether individual or collective – and
trafficking has yet to be completely established. The absence of
such a distinction results in the uniform treatment of all users
of psychoactive substances, independent of their use habits and
cultural contexts, with moral and legal distrust. We need to
demarcate in a more attentive manner the relationships between
use, consumption, trafficking and the individual rights of
Brazilian citizens. Maybe we should rethink and reconsider the
relationship between the State, drugs, and individual rights. This
may well be an indispensable step towards the maturation of public
policies regarding “drugs.”
Despite the growing recognition of the
relevance of studies and research that emphasize these cultural
aspects of the use of “drugs,” there still persists a tendency to
attribute more legitimacy to studies on the topic that are
developed in the realm of the health sciences such as medicine,
pharmacology and psychology. The social sciences tend to be taken
into consideration only when they are applied to the study of
crime, drug-trafficking, urban violence or poverty, and they are
devalued when they deal directly with the question of “drugs” and
their cultural uses. The incapacity to deal with the complexity of
the “drug” phenomenon and this choice of a unilateral treatment
influences the political arena, where the impoverishment of the
analyses and the absence of socio-cultural considerations in the
conception of public policies directed by them are obvious.
The Ministry of Culture (MinC) supports
the incorporation of “anthropological” understandings of
psychoactive substances, an approach centered more on attention to
the behaviors and the symbolic goods awakened by the diverse
cultural uses of drugs. Since 2004, the MinC has recognized the
crucial role played by culture and its contexts in the
construction of the effects produced by “drug” use, on both the
individual and the social levels. We choose to play a proactive
role in the elaboration of current national policies on the
matter, demanding, for example, a place on the National Anti-drugs
Council (CONAD) and participating actively in its deliberations
while always pushing for an emphasis on harm reduction.
The book Drugs and Culture: New
Perspectives expresses a valorization of the role played by the
social sciences in reflections on the topic of drugs and, in
parallel, seeks to relate these analyses to an extensive
collection of discussions. In this way, the articles that comprise
the present book approach the use of this type of substance in
diverse cultural and historic contexts. They indicate that, far
from being a mere link in the chain of violence and crime, the
consumption of “drugs” has forever been a part of various spheres
of human life, being tied to religious phenomena, movements to
construct (or reconstruct) the identities of social, ethnic,
generational and gender minorities, and even to esthetic
production. In the book, scholars coming from different
disciplines and research trajectories focus on the socio-cultural
scenarios that surround the use of drugs. In this way they show
how moral and cultural factors play a decisive role in the
constitution of patterns of consumption that regulate or structure
the use of every kind of “drug.” The book avoids a simplistic view
and instead shows that the topic of “drugs” should preferentially
be approached from a multidisciplinary perspective since its
comprehension involves the consideration of various aspects,
including the pharmacological, the psychological and the
socio-cultural. This is done, however, without claiming the title
of ‘most relevant’ for the social science perspective and without
dismissing the risks and the biochemical complexities of the use
of these substances; rather, the book creates more room for
multidisciplinary reflections in today’s discussions about drugs.
We stand in the court of cultures – all
of which stem from the enormous diversity of practices,
representations, symbols and arts that inhabit Brazil. For better
or worse, “drugs” comprise part of our culture, or better yet, our
cultures, and hence cannot be understood apart from them.
This book serves as a call for more
attentive reflection on the various uses of drugs by different
peoples. This diversity of the use and consumption of drugs is a
mirror of our own cultural diversity. Our researchers and our
legislature should, in some manner, take into consideration the
cultural dimension in order to craft public policies that are more
efficacious and more adequate for our country today.
The Federal University of Bahi. All rights reserved.
topics related to this article:
Native American Experience
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Alexander the Great Welcomes Rudolph Nureyev into
Alexander: I have waited
two thousand years for you,
and now you are here. I would lay
all the world at your feet,
I would slay armies for you
if you would only dance.
Rudolph: I cannot dance.
I am crying too much.
Alexander: But why
are you crying when I
have waited so long for you?
Rudolph: I am weeping
for my life. For the end of dance.
For the art that I had to leave,
which is more painful to me
than any act of destruction.
Alexander: Come, allow me
to take your hand in mine.
To hold your strong hand,
your waist, your feet — your feet
that are splintered and mashed
and bleeding I see. I gladly kiss
them as I would gladly kiss you
and lay myself at them — at you,
a messenger of art more lasting
than death. More real than life.
Rudolph: How have you known
I am here? I kept my illness
a secret, to keep it from becoming
a Roman circus: full of greed
Alexander: Your death rang out
through heaven and woke me up again.
It pitched adrenaline into my veins,
testosterone into my soul: gladly
would I raze cities for you, Rudy, and name
plains for you. You are not Russian
but Greek. You are not Greek
Rudolph: I think I can now
get up. I hear this lively music
somewhere off. Down in the orchestra
they are playing it. There will be
no rehearsals, only performance.
I hated rehearsals.
Alexander: Yes, it’s like drill.
It means nothing for a soldier.
Only preparation. The kill is
everything, when we finally
are glorified. In that moment
we are raised to heaven —
as I was raised higher
and higher, elevated —
Rudolph: Oh, yes. I remember
scenes like that. Me flying up
with the scenery.
Alexander: No, I am talking
of the real world and you
are only talking of art.
Rudolph: Which has brought me
here to you! which reduces generals
to dust. . . .
Alexander: I concede. But still
you are young here, ‘though I died at only
thirty-two, after conquering
half the world.
Rudolph: But I conquered even more
if you read my publicity, only to be
conquered by a disease I could
never speak of publicly. That turned
my death into a whisper, and me
into a ghost.
Alexander: But you are not so now.
You are handsome. More exotic,
mysterious, thrilling, wilder
than I ever dreamed, and I did
dream of you — oh, how I did,
wanting you to awaken me
from a sleep I could not explain,
a sleep within a sleep;
a dream within a dream.
Rudolph: And in this dream
am I still young and dancing
with Margot Fonteyn? And in
the dance have I become art again,
to live forever as long as memory serves
it? (Alexander nods.) That is my wish.
Alexander: I recognize you, Rudolph.
I see you as my twin and pair,
the man I have lost and was meant
to be with — you. You’re so darn’d sexy,
and I recognize this, too. I told
Plato you would come and he has
arranged a banquet for us. We will
lie on couches and kiss and eat,
young men will come and sit
at our feet and marvel at us,
and we will stroke their heads
Rudolph: This is fine for you,
but it would only make me lonely.
I need applause. I need to go out
and dance. I need to conquer the world
Alexander: But that is why
I’m here, Rudolph. I will clear
away a place for you. I will bring
you all the peace I can. I will arrange
the music and the stars.
Rudolph: Yes, good. The stars. . . .
Alexander: And in the end
you will know what I have learned:
that peace does not conquer all, but wisdom
even wiser than death does, when the heart
is opened to the silent wisdom —
Rudolph takes Alexander's hand,
then says: . . . Of grace.
March 20, 1998
© 1998, 2008
All rights reserved.
Group topics related to this article:
Arthur C. Clarke
Literary Community Mary
Myths & Mythology
Vicky A. Shecter Writers & Writing
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By Tamara Wilhite
Tamara Wilhite is the author
Geronimo Redux (PDF Edition),
Natural Talent (PDF Edition)”
Sirat: Through the Fires of Hell.
She is also an engineer and the “IE in IT” blogger for the Institute of
Note from Tamara:
After popular demand for these titles - and
readers asking "How can I get these titles without Amazon Kindle?" -
I'm now offering these titles IN PRINT.
- "Amazon Kindle Publishing for Idiots"
- "Writing Marketing Tips From Eric Enck and
Cost is $2 with SASE or $2.50 without SASE.
Send check or money order and be sure to state which title you want
and mention that DREAMWalker Group sent you!
2024 Oakmeadow St.
Bedford, TX 76021
"If you just get it on the internet, it'll get it sold!" That's
the promise of many internet marketing gurus, but it is rarely the
result. How most internet marketing gurus are ripping off people is
by charging exorbitant fees for services and tasks many people can
do themselves. And often, can do for themselves for a much lower
- Internet marketing gurus rip offs include listing your
products or books or services on free bulletin boards or cheap
auction sites. This is something you can do yourself. Some sites
even let you list events such as product demonstrations, book
signings, and meet the inventor night. If someone offers to
promote your product or service, be sure to ask "Where?"
- If your product is listed on most mainstream retailers, even
general users can add keywords and indexing phrases. If you hit
the limit on index words or key words to the listing, ask a few
friends to help. It's cheaper than paying a marketing guru to hire
people to do it for you. Don't get charged for indexing your
product on your website or on listings where the product or
service is for sale.
- They may create a website using the same software packages
that those most people can set up themselves. The even greater
rip-offs are when they also charge for uploading the site or
hosting it, when free web hosting services already exist.
- If they are charging for adding content to your website to
increase hits, you would be better off creating your own content.
This can include a "blog by the product inventor," "words by the
company president," or "how it's made" segments. You might even
want to consider doing your own podcasts for any of the above
blogs or interviews.
- Before you get charged for putting product ads on some of the
popular video sites, create your own account on those same video
sharing sites. Then upload your own "great new product" or "super
service now out" ads. It may not be marketing gold, but it doesn't
cost a fortune, either. And who knows? It may start a word
of mouth firestorm on your product or service, without costing
some cool cash.
- Internet marketing rip offs include charging you for
distributing "promotional samples" or "product demonstrations."
You can promote your own products and services by offering free
product samples and demonstrations without an internet marketing
guru's help. Consider any public gathering that will let you
attend, or offering your services or products to a charity in
return for publicity. For a greater return on effort, get video of
the product and by-stander comments for free promotional tidbits
How most internet marketing gurus are ripping off people is by
charging for services and actions that you don't have to be a
computer guru to do. Try a few do-it-yourself marketing tricks like
those above to save some money.
There are legitimate web marketing services out there, from
professional website to polished web banner ads. However, if the
service offers to charge you for things you can do for free or
cheap, go somewhere else.
For technical assistance
in doing an Amazon Kindle conversion, setting up Amazon Search
Inside for your books, or interviews and presentations to groups,
Tamara can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
All rights reserved.
Group topics related to this article:
Writers & Writing
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Gail Fonda is
an online freelance writer. She graduated from Kent State
University's School of Journalism, and has been writing on a
variety of subjects over the past 30 years. When she discovered
the world of the Internet, she found she could be more selective
in her writing choices, as opposed to being "assigned" stories
to write about. Keep reading her column every other month at
DREAMScene to find out what's ahead!
Let's face it. What we all want is someone who appears
beautiful, at least at first sight. Whatever age you may be, or
wherever you're searching for the right person, be it over the
Internet or elsewhere, what a person looks like tops the list.
That cannot be escaped. So all of you out there, if you're
single, want to look your best. You can only do so much with
what you have, however. You can lose weight if you want to and
if you have the desire. You can start an exercise program and
change your eating habits. You can check with your beautician as
to the proper haircut that fits your face.
You can visit a store clerk and ask her or him what suits your
body type if you want to improve the way you dress. You can look
in the mirror and ask yourself a question, "Am I happy with what
I see?" If the answer is no, you can make some changes and
corrections. You want to appear clean, well-groomed and as fit
as possible when you are out there trying to meet Mr. or Miss
Yes, we've all heard the stories that you have to be accepted
for what you are. You can't really make yourself into a
completely different human being. But there is always room for
improvement in all of us. We all have faults, not just in our
physical appearance, but in our attitudes and our behaviors.
I'll get into improving your attitudes another time, but it's
only common sense that when you are out in the dating world,
there is competition, unfortunately.
We all wish we could just sit back and do nothing and some
wonderful person will fall through the chimney in the living
room (sort of like Santa Claus) and provide you with this
perfect person. I had a friend, named Becky, who used to say (we
worked together at a job years ago), "I hope when I get home
from work today, this message will appear in a letter today:
"will you marry me?"
I was kind of wishing the same thing myself, each day, at the
end of work, that it would be that simple. My knight in shining
armor would just somehow appear on his white horse, gather me up
in his arms, inform me he'll love me until his dying day, and
I'd never, ever have to worry again about being unloved or
lonely. Wishful thinking, but not realistic.
The truth of the matter is, you have to sell yourself out there
in the real world, just like you have to sell yourself in order
to get a job, to get good grades in school, to get asked out for
dates in high school and college, or anytime, for that matter. I
am not a competitive person at all.
I don't like to compete with other people for a better paying
job, a higher social status, or even how attractive or
unattractive another person happens to be. But I know I am
kidding myself if I think that situation doesn't exist. I know
MANY people who have never married, starting from the age of 35
to even up to age 75. And they have told me they simply couldn't
find the 'right person.' I think there are many possible 'right'
people for you and for everybody. But it does take effort,
You can't ever give up searching for the best possible match for
yourself. Think of it this way, if you can. When you get out of
school, you have to do something with your life to be able to
support yourself, unless your parents plan to financially
support you for the rest of your life. That's great if that's
your situation, but most average people don't have that choice,
not even close.
So.....you have to either search for a job or start working in
your chosen profession. If you find that your choice doesn't
work out, what do you do? You must continue to pay the rent, the
car payment, and it's still important to eat. So if a job
doesn't work out, you start looking for another job, there
really is no choice in the matter.
The same holds true for finding romance and a compatible
partner. If you thought you had the right person, you were
physically attracted and it seemed to work out for a length of
time, then, suddenly, something goes wrong and that person is
out the door. And you're hurt. Of course you are.
I will tell you many stories of my painful romantic interludes.
I was devastated. But I picked myself up and starting looking
again, just like when your job doesn't work out. I think that
human beings need each other to make life worth living.
Finding the right mate is as important as finding a niche in the
job arena. You'll never stop looking and working for the right
mix. Enjoy the ride. Don't complain! Keep improving yourself,
the dating process is fun and you learn what you don't want as
well as what you DO want.
Goodbye for the moment!
Gail Fonda. All rights reserved.
DREAMWalker Group topics related
to this article:
Diets and Dieting
Fitness and Exercise
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Calls for Submissions, Literary Contests, Help Offered,
Help Wanted, and Publishers Seeking Authors
(We can't list them if you
don't send them!)
Appearances and Book Signings
Rich Goscicki on The
as author Rich Goscicki
discusses The Endmeme on YouTube.
Lester Grinspoon Discusses Medical Marijuana
to a radio interview with author
Lester Grinspoon (Living on Purpose with Lynn Thompson) in
which Lester discusses medical marijuana, legalization, and more.
- 2009 Magic Carpet Ride Mentorship
Tamara Kaye Sellman,
director of MRCentral (www.mrcentral.net)
announces the opening of the 2009 Magic Carpet Ride mentorship
This mentorship, an innovative one-on-one creative writing program, is
the first of its kind to provide specialized instruction, direction, and
motivation specifically for a writer of literary magical realism.
The purpose of the Magic Carpet Ride mentorship is to assist a promising
magical realist writer from anywhere in the world in the completion of a
polished manuscript by the end of the session which may then be actively
submitted to potential publishers.
Postmark deadline for receipt of all application materials for the 2009
mentorship session is October 31, 2008. Email deadline for receipt of
all application materials for the 2008 mentorship session is midnight
[Pacific time], October 31, 2008.
For more information, visit
Tamara Kaye Sellman at
magicalrealismmaven at hotmail dot com.
(Note: Tamara is on her annual summer hiatus from
June 20 through September 21.)
- Freelance editing is just
one forté of
Catherine Groves. For more
information about the freelance services of
Christian*New Age Quarterly's
owner and editor, please write to her at PO Box 276, Clifton, NJ
- For a book,
ambassador, award-winning journalist and editor at the
SanTan Sun News, is looking to
interview traditionally published writers (not self-published) who were
either published younger than 17 years old or they have an inspirational
story to tell about how writing as a youth led them to their current
writing career. Writes Lynda, "If any of your authors fit this bill
and they are interested in being interviewed for the book I'm compiling,
please have them email me a brief letter about themselves and include
titles of published works." Lynda can be reached at
- Film producer sought
by author Tracy B. Evans — to
Fatal Kidnapping into a horror flick. It's a
mystery novel with a twist never seen before. Email Tracy at
Swell, a quarterly online journal of original
writing focusing on LGBT themes, is pleased to sponsor a fiction contest.
The electronic publishing arm of
NewTown Writers, a Chicago-based writers salon, SWELL (www.swellzine.com)
aims to reach beyond the traditional boundaries of the printed word,
exploring the limits of form, structure, and content, while giving a voice
to emerging writers. Prizes to be awarded: First Prize: $250, Second
Prize: $100, Third Prize $50.
When? Entries will be accepted electronically between
May 15, 2008 and September 30, 2008. Submissions will only be accepted via email.
Winners will be announced in January 2009.
Click here to
review the complete Swell fiction contest guidelines.
Questions? Questions? Contact
Publishers Seeking Authors
© 2008 DREAMWalker Group
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© 2008 DREAMWalker Group/Michael Walker