Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Power of Words

The Bible says, "By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12: 37); "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 12: 21); And "Thou shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee" (Job 22: 28).

Charles Fillmore, cofounder of Unity, wrote: "The spoken word carries vibrations through the Universe ether, and also moves the intelligence inherent in every form, animate or inanimate."

Ernest Holmes, founder of the Church of Religious Science, has written: "The word gives form to the unformed. The greater the consciousness behind the word, the more power it will have. Just words, without conviction, have no power, and just conviction, without words, will never stir up latent energy. There must be a combination of the two to make a complete thing."

The Tibetan master D.K., through Alice A. Bailey, has said: "Every Word differentiated or synthesized, affects the deva kingdom, and hence the form-building aspects of manifestation. No sound is ever made without producing a corresponding response in deva substance."

As author John Randolph Price writes in his wonderful book, THE ANGELS WITHIN US, "From these resources it should be obvious why the masters of the early academies taught the aspirants to be aware of the consequences of words on the mental, emotional, etheric, and physical planes. They were schooled in the Power of sound and how words spoken with a controlled mind could literally change the force field around any form, including the belief system of the personality, and free the imprisoned spiritual consciousness."

As Price continues to write in ANGELS, he began to use the old Oriental standard to gauge the value of speech: Is it true? It is kind? It is needful? The result of this brief survey, Price discovered, was that only a few of his remarks passed the three tests. And that he admitted that when monitoring his own words, he missed the mark several times, even though he was consciously trying to measure the quality of what he was saying. "We are all walking around with a loaded gun between our teeth," he revealed, "and our tongues seem to love to pull the trigger."

"Remember," he concluded, "we are either healing or harming" with our words, spoken or written. "There is no in-between, so even in our humor we should practice harmlessness. Let's be builders of the new world through constructive words and creators of harmony with loving words."

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Hurdle

I've had many wonderful business opportunities in the past, but blew them all, having oversold myself at times when I didn't have to.

For example, all I had to do was chill out, and I would have won the Bewitched feature film screen credit, or stayed working at Bravo, with TV Land, etc.

One thing I've learned for sure about this and ANY business, personal or professional:

People believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. And we teach others how to treat us.

My experience has been this: I create these ideal scenarios, completely based on my talent. I take the meetings, win the jobs, and then...open my mouth. That's when the trouble sets in.

Some kind of self-hatred kicks in, and I display it in a very self-destructive manner whenever things start going well.

Whatever the reasons why, be they karmic or intrinsic to THIS life, it clearly is a major issue with me. And it needs to stop.

People DO respect my work. People DO think I'm charming. The Universe DOES send me wonderful opportunities.

Once I arrive at these opportunities, however, I fuck it up. A deep lack of confidence surfaces, and I start acting ridiculously annoying. And then, because of the general insecurities in this industry, our peers (i.e. many times also known as "bullies"), filled with many multiple personalities, pounce on such behavior. They love to be around someone carefree and successful.

But they also love to kick a man when he's down.

And I begin by being "UP", but somehow have always managed to bring myself "DOWN" - and the "peer kicking" (bullying) commences.

It is a vicious circle that keeps me - and others like me - from fulfilling my true destiny in success.

And soon, I will leap over this hurdle.

I have to.

I don't have a choice.

The only other choice is the way I've been conducting myself.

And that clearly is not working.

The key, again, is the carefree spirit - and to make everyone else look like they are smart ones, nod, agree - make tons of money, get established - and then go on to form your own productions the way you want.

That's the "answer"

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Father's Journey

My dad was always the first one in my family who remembered to play a joke on April Fool's Day. Only on his last celebration of the holiday in 1995, a mere five days before he died of lung cancer, did I find out why.

On April 1, 1924, when my father was just a boy, he lost his mother when she was 35-years-old. As her eldest child, he and my grandma Rose were quite close. I don't think he ever got over loosing her. He must have thought it was a bad joke that a twelve-year-old boy would lose his mother on April Fool's Day. It's like he made some kind of promise to himself that he would always be the first one to do a funny every year. It was probably the only way that he knew how to deal with the pain he must have felt every year on what should have been a very humorous day. Inside, I don't think he ever stopped asking where his mother was. From the day she passed away, there was no one there to comfort when he fell, so he fought. There was no there to guide him through school, to encourage him to get a formal education, so he quit.

He was on his own.

Still, when push came to shove, my father did remarkably well in this world. He always managed to enjoy himself in our hometown of Rochester, New York, and during his time in the service (World War II), which allowed him to travel to California and to the Philippines. He married at 40, and the good times continued with my mom, my sister and myself. In the fall of 1977, after years in the inner-city, we moved to a beautiful suburban townhome that we rented, and he loved it there. We all loved it there, from the moment we first went to inspect what would be our home for the next 18 years. Even after taking the long way, down the wrong road, on a rainy day, we somehow managed to end up at the right place.

After a time, however, my father grew bitter, thinking he had made the wrong decision by paying rent all those years and not purchasing a home. I tried to tell him again and again, that in life, no one really owns anything, that the life we all shared was good, even if we argued nearly every day, that a person's true success is measured by the quality time he has with others, not the quantity of material gifts he or she is able to gather in this world.

But he didn't want to hear about it. Then, when he got sick, he really didn't want to hear about it. And I didn't blame him.

Along with my father's physical ailments, his emotional state deteriorated. I prayed for his soul because I believed that he would not. At least, I thought he would not.

Then, one day, shortly before he passed away, I was trying to arrange the huge family rosary upon the holy mantel we had in our home. I couldn't find the right position. I gave up, and huffed away upstairs. About one half-hour later, I started back down the steps, and noticed my father situating the rosary in the most perfect way. At that moment, I knew that so simple and graceful a move had somehow cleared his path to heaven. All the times when he chose not to pray, all the moments when he could not find the strength to forgive himself for not going to school, finding the right job, paying into the right pension, winning the lottery, or losing at OTB; all the bitterness and anger that was eating away at him, was wiped clean. His heart was replenished. My father had faith, after all. But like so many of his other emotional truths, he concealed it.

Though, I had underestimated his integrity before.

While in fourth grade, I wanted to go to the circus.

"Get a good report card," he told me, "and I'll get you tickets."

I began to worry. I was a horrible student in the fourth grade. And when my report card arrived, as I had feared, I received all Ds and a great big F. After stalling for an hour or so in my room, I called him upstairs and showed him the card. He took it down into the living room. About 20 minutes later, he returned it to me. Inside were the tickets he had purchased weeks before. He granted me those tickets, when I thought he would punish me. But I punished myself by not comprehending the scope of my father's love.

Where was my faith?

Where was my faith when I worried how I would get to college, in a family of three drivers and one car? When my father showed up with a brand new car for me with which to commute to a local college, I was embarrassed. Once again, I had miscalculated the magnitude of his love, and the generosity of his spirit.

In the last weeks of my father's life, I did all I could to beautify his physical surroundings. Colors of creme, beige and eggshell filled each room. I wanted to make his transition to heaven real smooth. The new sofas and rugs were great, and I knew their staying power was weak. But they were strength-inducing for my dad. He walked around the house, looking at the new mini-blinds and kitchen floor, and said things like, "Well, it looks like we're going to be here at least a couple more years."

The rent began to matter less to him.

My sister, my mother and myself decided not to verbally inform him of the severity of his illness. And we're glad we did not. Every case is different, and had we acknowledged to my father how sick he was, he would have left us at least seven months earlier.

The bottom line? My dad knew in his heart how sick he was (how could he not?). We gave him all the proper medications, helped him to eat all the right food, etc. Telling my father (who viewed himself a failure all his life) that now, at 83 years old, he didn't have long to live, somehow just didn't mesh. So we all pretended he would get better, and, as a result, his last days were happier.

All the while, I would ask God to grant my father more time. And God complied.

I later prayed, "If it is your will to take my father, then grant us the strength to deal with the loss."

And God complied again.

We retained the strength, and I don't know how people with no faith deal with any loss.

Strangely, before my dad became sick, I asked God to show me what really matters in life.

Shortly thereafter, I went to get my hair cut. I was complaining about how it doesn't grow tall anymore, just long. The stylist put down his shears and told me this story:

"A little boy with thick curly, red hair came in one day, and I commented on how full his hair was. The little boy came back with a startling revelation. 'Well, you know,' he said, 'I have leukemia, and I'd trade in a second, my healthy hair for a healthy body.'"

Then, one night, I was watching Unsolved Mysteries on TV. There was a beautiful little girl, dying of cancer, and talking about how she spoke with the angels. How, for her, heaven was a place with colored clouds that taste like different kinds of ice cream; a place where the angels wonder what our favorite ice cream flavor is. She said "Chocolate Chocolate Chip". And then suddenly, one huge white cloud became one huge scoop of Chocolate Chocolate Chip.

In light of this happy thought, I pray today that my father's dairy dessert-flavored cloud is Heavenly Hash, which he so enjoyed with my mom many times on Earth. And if his sole (soul) mission in life was to bring the reader and the writer together now, with this communication in celebration of his life, then he completed his journey with flying colors - a term of which also may have its origins in those ice-cream flavored flying clouds.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I don't understand...

I don't understand...if people who run the world know that there are those who are dying and suffering either from disease, poverty or natural disasters - and if they know that the answer is more money - and if all they have to do is "make" (manufacture) more money to help those who need it, then why don't they just do that?

I don't understand.

Just "make" more money and distribute it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I AM the Songs

Man - it's been a long haul. I've been playing this moving game since Easter, 1977, when I first visited LA with my Aunt Elva. At the end of that first trip, I remember walking through Pacific Park at dusk, and looking out over the ocean and saying something dramatic like, "I'll be back, Los Angeles."

And I was. At least 11 more times over the next twenty-five years. Actually, probably more.

And now - I finally FINALLY get it. I love LA (thank you, Elvis Costello) - and I always will. I will also always return to it and NYC - for work and gigs whenever necessary.

But Rochester? Dudes - dudettes...Rocheter will always be my home. My decision is made.

This I know for sure, Hollywood attempts to create what I am LIVING. I am in constant contact with the family and friends that I have known and loved my entire life. I frequently lunch with my buds at Rocky's, Roncone's and Antoinetta's...each with their own perfect Italian flavor - nestled in the heart of many a nostalgic Italian neighborhoods.

I attend football games at my old high-school, which I didn't even do when I went to high-school. I've mended broken friendships, and discovered great truths. I've been as open and honest as I could be with the people I love and admire.

I walk into Barnes & Noble, and I see my books on the shelves.

I turn on the TV, and there I be - Chasing Farrah (who I always promised that I'd catch), or talking the walk I know on the E! True Hollywood Story. I'm writing scripts, and creating future books. I'm teaching again, and I love it. I've been honored to perform guest vocals with The Royals - one of Rochester's premiere bands. I've recorded a few of my many songs, and I blog my life and professional thoughts to the fullest wherever and whenver I am requested to do so.

There is no question - I am blessed, I embrace the blessings - and I am grateful for them.

More than anything, I've realized that I not so much want to write the scripts of life, as much I want to live them. I not so much want to sing the songs, as much I want to dance to them. Indeed, I am experiencing the dance of life...the songs of life.

Yet, unlike Barry Manilow, I don't "write the songs the whole world sings".

It's better than that.

I AM the songs.....

Sunday, September 25, 2005

How to Pray (via The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East)

Our Chief asked if a desire could be fulfilled as soon as it was expressed. Our hostess answered that if the desire were put forth in true form it would be fulfilled. She then went on to say that desire is but a form of prayer, that it was the true form of prayer which Jesus used, as his prayers were answered, that prayer which is always answered must be true prayer, therefore must be scientific and, if scientific, must be according to fixed law.

Continuing, she said, "The law is 'As you know your prayer is granted', and 'What things you desire, when you pray, know you receive them and you shall have them'. If we know positively that whatever we have asked for is ours already, we may know that we are working in accordance with the law. If the desire is filled, that we may know that the law is fulfilled. If the desire is not filled, then we must know that we have asked amiss. We should know that the fault is with us and not with God.

Then the instructions are, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength'. Now go deep, deep down within your own soul - not with foreboding, fear, and unbelief, but with a glad free, thankful heart, knowing that that which you stand in need of is already yours.

The secret lies in getting the at-one-ment, getting the consciousness of it and then holding firmly and never deviating, though all earth should oppose. 'Of myself I can do nothing', said Jesus. 'The father that dwells in me, He does the work'. Have faith in God. Have faith and doubt not. Have faith and fear not. Now remember there is no limitation to God's power. 'All things are possible.'

Use positive words in making your request. There is naught but the perfect condition desired. Then plant in your soul the perfect seed idea and that alone. Now ask to manifest health and not to be healed of disease, to express harmony and realize abundance - not to be delivered from inharmony, misery and limitations. Throw these off as you would discard an old garment. They are old and only outgrown things, you can afford to discard them joyfully. Do not even turn to gaze upon them. They are no-thing - nothing.

Fill the seemingly blank spaces about you with the thought of God, Infinite Good. Then remember the word God is a seed. It must grow.

"Leave the how, when, and where to God. Your work is merely to say what you want and to give forth blessings, knowing that the moment you have asked, you have received. All the details of this bringing forth is the work of the Father. Remember, He does the work. Do faithfully your part, leave and trust God's part to Him. Ask. Affirm. Look to God for what you want, then receive God's fulfillment.

"Keep the thought of God's abundance always in mind. If any other thought comes, replace it with that of God's abundance and bless that abundance. Give thanks constantly, if need be, that the work is done. Do not go back again to the asking. Just bless and give thanks that the work is done, that God is working in you, that you are receiving that which you desire, for you desire only the good that you may give out the good to all. Let this be in silence and in secret. Pray to your Father in secret, and your Father who sees the secret of your soul will reward you openly.

When the demonstration is complete, you will look back upon the time faithfully given as one of your greatest treasures. You will have proved the law and you will realize the power of your word spoken in faith and blessing. Remember that God has perfected His plan. He has poured out and is continuously pouring out, lovingly and lavishly upon us, all good and every good thing that we can desire. Again He says, 'Try Me and see if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out such a blessing there will not be room to receive it.'

- Excerpted from THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF THE MASTERS OF THE FAR EAST, VOLUMES ONE-FIVE, written by Baird T. Spaulding

Thursday, September 22, 2005

MESSAGE OF LIGHT: Here's the answer

Hello Everyone -

Due to the recent world challenges, upon request, I have been asked to resend my MESSAGE OF LIGHT (which I generally distribute four times a year) . It basically explains everything - and how the answer really rests with each of us being nice to one another, forgiving each other, and sharing our resources with one another, bar-none.

It's really that simple. We are all connected. There is no separation.

Blessings,

Herbie J

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MESSAGE OF LIGHT

by Herbie J Pilato

In the beginning, we were all one big ball of light. Then a few of us decided (through the gift of God’s free will) that we needed to separate into billions of tiny balls of light. Then a few more decided that we needed to take physical form. Sooner, than later, we found ourselves divided by all kinds of issues (with no answers) that we created, not God. So, now we have to create the circumstances (i.e. Earthly challenges with which to learn life lessons and/or reincarnating until we get it right - learning that love is the answer to everything) so we can return us to where we started: Together, united as one - back to God.

Here's a quick guide: Christmas and Easter are symbolic messages of whom and what God is in our lives. God comes to us as we believe Him to be. If we are Christian, then we believe Him (and will see Him) as Jesus. Muslim? Allah. Buddhist? Buddha. And so on, and so forth, and so good. Jesus was God Incarnate on Earth. As the Son of God, He was and is the Awesome Deliverer. As the Son of Man, He was and is everything that each of us should aspire to be in/on this Earth realm. As a Human Being, he was one of the kindest to ever have lived. As a Historical Figure, he was a genius. Jesus' life was a living parable...a parable similar to those he was so fond of dispelling while he was on Earth. The Birth of Jesus is symbolic of the Birth of the Christ Consciousness in each of us. The Resurrection of Jesus, is symbolic of the Resurrection of our Hearts, Minds and Souls to our Higher Consciousness.

Joseph Campbell was right. Look to the message behind the myth, myth, here meaning, story, a.k.a. Bible Stories. This doesn't mean that the Bible stories are myths, as in fantasies or as in never happened. No. Indeed, they were real and did transpire. But they transpired as history and parable, and we must concentrate on the latter as lesson for the development of our souls. In doing so, we must not employ judgment. Rather, we must love and respect one another, ignore our differences, and concentrate on what makes us the same - which is God.
God doesn't give a flying fig if you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Black, White, Straight, Gay, or Martian. We're all on different paths that lead to the same destination. Once again, back to God.

It's that simple, and it's not difficult and it has nothing to do with hate, for there is only love. It has nothing to do with death, for there is only life. After what we call death, there is only more life, and that has nothing to do with division and the end of the world.

For there are only new beginnings, and unity, linked by God.

Therefore, hold on to God, and let go of the world

Monday, September 19, 2005

St. Michael's message to locutionist (visionary) Ned Doughtery

September 1, 2005 - 7:08am

East Elm Street

Hazleton, PA

Please note: St. Michael, the Archangel always addresses his messages to the People of the United States of America.

"I am Michael, The Archangel.

Your nation, the newly chosen nation of God, is facing a period of doom – a period of doom that has been brought upon you by your leaders acting in conflict with God’s plan for you as well as by your own failings in prayer in reversing the course of events. You are entering a period of great chastisements that can no longer be reversed.

How many times has your nation been warned of its activities while it has paid little or no heed to the warnings? How many times has the Lord interceded on your behalf to bring you back to the principles that at one time made you a great nation? How many times have you turned away from the Lord and pursued you materialism and greed in defiance of His Will for you? How many times have you turned away from His Commandments and His commandment to you to be a nation of high morals and ideals?

How many times have you risked the lives of your children by creating laws and policies that go against the very creation of life? How many times have you been witness to the violence and breakdown of morals and society as a result of your increasingly more liberal policies that have reduced the core beliefs of this once great nation to a shadow of its former self? How many times did you anticipate that you could continue to spit in the face of God before the chastisements would befall you?

Now the time has come when great chastisements will fall upon the Earth. God is not directing these chastisements from the heavenly realm as a direct punishment of His children. The chastisements that have come and are soon to come are a result of your own behaviors and activities. For the way in which you have been conducting yourselves as a nation is the cause of the great turmoil that you are witnessing. How many times have you been warned to return to God’s plan for mankind as well as for your nation?

You had once been a chosen nation in the eyes of God but just as your ancestors in Israel you have squandered your opportunities and your gifts from the Lord. You took advantage of these opportunities to enrich yourselves at the expense of others. You took advantage of your freedoms to become licentious and without moral considerations endangering the innocent lives of your children in ever more increasing numbers in greater intensity through successive generations. Now your children to a greater extent have become morally bankrupt because they have been exposed more to the work of Satan and less to the Light of the Heavenly Father.

How long did you think that you could continue to exist flaunting your newfound wealth in the face of the Redeemer and Savior? He came to you upon this Earth to renew God’s covenant with mankind and you have squandered that covenant in pursuit of earthly pleasures. Now those pleasures are disappearing before your eyes. The world of pleasure in which you ultimately found no happiness is turning against you now. Now you will be forced to focus your attention on the Redeemer and his plan for mankind for you are entering a period of darkness in which only the Light of the Redeemer will save mankind from its own destruction.

The period of chastisements that is about to follow can no longer be ameliorated, postponed, or amended. The overflowing dams of sin and negative energy generated by man are now flooding your planet and each individual consciousness. Only through a coming closer to the Creator can you save yourselves from the trials before the purification of the planet. Only through the Redeemer can you face the future with courage and without fear. Only through the Redeemer will you find serenity and peace upon the earth in the face of increasingly more chaos and confusion as the very fiber of your civilization begins to unwind and fray.

Fear not if you are living in the Light of the Redeemer for He is with you in these troubled times in more ways than you are personally experiencing and in ways that will become more apparent to you as the veil is lifted. Those of you who are living in the Light will become even closer to the Redeemer and share in an intimacy with Him that is beyond your beliefs. Fear not for He is with you in these troubled times.

Woe to those of you who stay in the darkness or choose to use these times to profit from the misfortunes of others for your souls are doomed to eternal darkness. The Light of God will shine for those of you who reach out to your brothers and sisters of all faiths and beliefs and evangelize and witness on behalf of the true Savior of Life and Light for yours shall be the kingdom of Heaven.

Arise to the times in which you find yourselves. There is great and important work to do in these days of the Lord and He will look kindly upon you for your works of good will in reaching out to your brothers and sisters.

The times are exciting for you if you respond to the challenge. The times will be dark and foreboding for you if you do not. You are living at the most important time in the history of humanity. You are living in a time that has been foretold in prophecy and the prophetic visions of the ancient and latter day saints are unfolding before you. You, as soldiers of God, have a role to fill for the Redeemer in anticipation of His coming to you more fully, more visibly, and in a presence that will overwhelm all of mankind.

Arise to the challenge by responding in prayer, prayer, and prayer to the call of the Redeemer.

Do not believe that you are a little person who cannot make a difference. The power of your prayer is seen by the Lord and the power of your prayer can and will make a difference in the world.

Do you want to stand before Him one day and say to Him that you didn’t think your prayer would make a difference? Do not make that mistake! Your prayers and the prayers of all your brothers and sisters are needed more in these times than at any previous time in the history of mankind.

Your nation is now being covered over by the waters as had been foretold and more perilous chastisements will follow. You must bear this burden in the eyes of the Lord. You must stand tall as a brave and courageous prayerful warrior in the eyes of the Lord for only through your prayer can you ultimately make a difference in the world. And when your time upon this earth is over for each and everyone of you, you will want to stand before the Lord as He graces you with His blessing: Well done, oh good and faithful servant!”

End: 7:43 am

For more information, please log-on to Ned Doughtery's beautiful IN-site:

http://www.missionofangels.org/messages.html

Thursday, September 15, 2005

More of how Science and Spirit are One and in the Same

According to P.M.H. Atwater, L.H.D., David Bohm, a professor of physics at Birbeck College in England, was able to demonstrate that subatomic particles respond and relate to each other in ways not explainable by the law of cause and effect. He also demonstrated how relatively independent elements are actually folded together and intertwined to the extent that each part reflects the whole. He named this phenomenon "the implicate order." It is the idea that all of creation is threaded together in a seamless web of responsive and conscious intelligence into an unbroken wholeness.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Spirit and Science are ONE and in the SAME

A combined thought, via nderf.com:

All questions pertaining to the Near-Death Experience (NDE) can be explained by science. In one recent television documentary about NDEs, a physician stated that the soul resides in nano structures within cells almost at the quantum level. Then, in an article regarding Zero Point Energy, the writer describes the quantum foam in very similar terms. This would allow for indication and the ultimate conclusion that the Soul and the Universe are made of the same stuff.

As Clark Kent once told Lex Luthor,

"You have no idea who you're dealing with."

Monday, September 12, 2005

And I quote...

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are
for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."
Author and abolitionist
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Thursday, September 08, 2005

God Bless Deepak....

"Fundamentalists Christians have hijacked a religion of love and turned it toward bigotry, intolerance, and close-mindedness. In turn they are despised for their self-righteous avowal of social injustice. Right-wing conservatives have made greed and selfishness into a virtue, and they pretend that neglecting the poor is no one's fault but the poor's. In turn they are despised for their blinkered negligence and cruelty."

-- Deepak Chopra (via Huffingtonpost.com)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Damn! I wish I said that.....

August 29, 2005

Age of Reason in Eclipse

Nation of Fools

By CHARLES SULLIVAN

COUNTER PUNCH MAGAZINE


My entire family is being played for fools by the power brokers in Washington; and they don't even have a clue about how they are being manipulated. I am embarrassed for them. The truth is out there; but no one is bringing it to our door step. You have to look hard. You have to want to know the facts. You have to care about social justice; and that requires effort; it requires living with a troubled conscience and trying to set things right. It requires that you inform yourself and make an effort to change things. The trouble is that most Americans don't want to know the truth because it would make them uncomfortable. So they turn their heads the other way and allow themselves to be distracted from their civic and patriotic duties. It is easier to display the flag and plaster their cars with 'Support our troops' stickers. This mode of being requires no real effort; nor accountability.

Their government is murdering millions of innocent people all around the planet, torturing people and toppling both democratic and progressive governments; it is committing acts of terror against the world's working poor; it is plundering their homelands and stealing their wealth. How can any person of conscience remain indifferent toward these acts? How can we wave our flags and support our troops when this is what they are doing? Is this their idea of liberation? Is this their perception of Democracy? Is this the kind of nation we want to be?

While this is going on they are concerned only about shopping, mindless consumption, and watching American Idol. As citizens, they have been rendered totally useless. Fascism flourishes where citizens are inactive and uninformed. Where there is apathy there is fascism.

When will the people learn that the interests of big business and multinational corporations; the interest of the ruling class-are not our interests? When an American president-it doesn't matter which one-talks about protecting American interests, whose interest do they mean? They mean the interest of the ruling class-the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Murdochs, the Cheneys and the Bushes. They mean the interest of General Electric, Halliburton, Bechtel, Boeing, Wal-mart, Northrup-Grumman; Raytheon, Exxon-Mobil; Shell Oil and Texaco. These are not my interests. Nor are they the interests of ninety-nine percent of the populace. And they certainly are not noble causes to fight and die for.

Most of my fellow citizens would be as angry as I am about all of this if they knew what I know. But they don't want to know, damn them! It would threaten their comfortable existence. It might even activate some spark of hidden conscience that would force them into action.
It's not that we are a nation of stooges and idiots (though it certainly appears that way at times); it is that we are a nation of the lazy and morbidly obese-physically, mentally and spiritually.

From cradle to grave we are exposed to the brave new world of Madison Avenue, the endless stream of corporate propaganda that dull our senses and wear us down. The assault upon our sensibilities is constant. Our view of the world is misshapened, distorted into the grotesque in the mirrors of the corporate media. We are a nation of addicts. Some of our addictions include: oil, entertainment, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, conspicuous consumption and hubris. There is nothing wrong with being entertained, per se. But it must be in healthy proportions to being informed. As journalist Bill Moyers has observed, 'We are not getting the information we need to make us free.'

As a result, the age of reason is nearing an end. We are careening back into the abyss of ignorance and fear that characterized the Dark Ages. Evidence for this consists in the rise of nationalism, jingoism, intolerance and religious fundamentalism. If we don't soon wake from our zombie state, we will no longer teach the truth of evolution in our public schools. The stage is already set in Kansas for that sorry event to take place. Science and understanding will be supplanted by religious dogma and zealotry. No proof, no evidence will be necessary. We will live our lives by faith-blind faith; deaf and dumb faith. Ecological literacy will become a forgotten dream, as the earth sinks into irrevocable ruin in the bilge of consumption and industrial waste we created. Heretics, as was done in the past, will be subject to persecution; burned at the stake as blasphemers. Copernicus and Giordano Bruno will welcome the company. Free thinking and the publication of non-religious books will be banned. White supremacists (as they do now in the slave states) will hold the reins of power; and a new era of industrial slavery will be ushered in.

Behold the twelve hour work day; rejoice in the seventy-two hour work week. And it will be called a free and open society-a Christian Nation. It will be called the Greatest Nation on Earth.

It will be called 'Amerika.' Religious leaders will openly call for the assassination of democratically elected presidents of sovereign nations. The CIA and its henchmen will obediently carry out the orders. Ignorant, supercilious, bumbling stooges will be our war time presidents. We will exist in a state of perpetual war. Ours' will be a permanent war time economy, until its collapse in a few short decades of flaming exuberance. The war machine must be fed with our babies-those of the working class. Elections will be rigged and their outcomes predetermined by electronic voting machines that leave no paper trails. Ignorance will be called truth. Hate will be called love. Words will have no meaning. The fascist police state is emerging.

Take heed.


Charles Sullivan is a furniture maker, photographer and free lance writer living in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He can be reached at: earthdog@highstream.net.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Donate WHERE YOU ARE...

Many times, awesome miracles rise from the ashes and tragedies such as now transpiring in New Orleans.

Donations of every kind are transferred, telethons are organized, etc.

All beautiful things.

But wanna know the BEST thing we can do? Really?

Start reaching out to one another - NOW, WHERE YOU ARE - BEFORE tragedy strikes us again and again. Before another tsunami, a job loss, or a death in the family of relatives or friends.

How?

Make dinner for your neighbor tonite, donate your money and time to your local worship center, open your heart just a crack more, halt your pace in traffic, stop swearing, stop sleeping around, find your friend a job, offer encouragement to a child or co-worker ("give courage"), do something for someone when there's absolutely nothing in it for you, and give thanks to God, or however you so choose to name the Good Creator of All Things.

Such behavior actually PREVENTS tragedy in your life.

You don't think so, but it does. It really does. We have no idea how strongly each one of us are connected to one another - and how strongly we are connected to our physical Mother Earth.

Our dear Mother Earth is crying because her children are mishaving. Our dear Father/Mother is not punishing us for our eratic behavior or disrespect for our environment. We are PUNISHING OURSELVES by our seperation from God.

Now then, that doesn't mean we are to stop reaching out to those who are experiencing the very real trauma of the New Orleans catastrophe. No. We SHOULD indeed send money to New Orleans. We SHOULD do WHATEVER we can to help.

But we should ALSO work on a little preventative medicine RIGHT WE ARE.

And again, that means BEING GREAT WHERE YOU ARE....opening that door for that gentle woman in your office building, even though she may not be a "hottie"...it means forgiving everyone who ever hurt you, blessing those who curse you, and praying for and loving those who hate you.

No tragedy shall come upon you if you do.

If a tragedy does strike you personally, you will be granted the strength to deal with it - and rise above it.

This is God's promise.

So send that money and donate in any way you so choose to New Orleans, and those in surrounding states that are suffering.

Yet, also - pick up that phone, and call that person who took your candy back in 1968.

It's time to get over it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Favorite Communication with God

"It is not necessary my child, to know much in order to please me much; it is enough that you love me fervently. Speak here to me then, as you would speak to your most intimate friend, to your mother, to your brother.

"So, you want to ask me to do something for someone? Tell me his name. Is it your parents, your brothers, your friends? Tell me what you want me to do for them now. Ask much, very much: do not hesitate to ask. I love generous hearts who somehow can come to forget themselves to look after the needs of others. Speak sincerely to me then, of the poor you would console, of the sick you see suffering, of the strayed you yearn to see return to the right path, of those absent friends you want at your side again. Say at least one word for each, the ardent word of a friend. Remind me that I have promised to listen to every petition that arises from the heart, and is not a prayer for those whom your heart especially loves such a pray? And for you: do you need a particular favour? Make a list, as it were, of your needs, and come and read it in my presence.

"Tell me frankly that you are prone to anger, that you love sensuality and pleasure, that you are perhaps proud, variable, negligent . . . Ask me to come to the help of those efforts, many or few, which you undertake to free yourself from these faults. Do not be ashamed, poor soul; there are in Heaven so many saints who had these same defects; but they prayed humbly, and little by little they saw themselves freed from them.

"Do not hesitate to ask Me for spiritual and material goods; for health, memory, success in your work, enterprises and studies; all these I can give and I do give -- as long as they do not hinder, but rather assist your sanctification. Precisely today, what do you need? What can I do for you?

"If only you knew how much I would like to help you! Do you have, right now, some project in mind? Tell me everything in detail. What preoccupies you? What are you thinking? What do you want? What do you want me to do for your parents, your brothers, your children, your superiors? What would you want to do for them?

"And for me, do you feel an attraction for my glory? Do you not want to do something for those friends whom you love much but who perhaps live separated from me?

"Tell me what in particular attracts your attention today, what you desire most ardently and what means you have of obtaining it? Tell me if your plans are not working and I will tell you the causes of your difficulties. Do you not want to interest me in your quest? My dear one, I am the Lord of hearts and I move them, without violating their freedom, to wherever I please.

"Are you perhaps sad, or in bad humour? Tell me, tell me, you inconsolable soul, tell me your sorrows in all their details. Who wounded you? come close to my Heart, and find in it a refreshing balsam for the wounds in yours. Then, you will confess that, like me, you forgive everything, you forget everything. In appreciation, you will receive my consoling benediction.

"Are you perhaps afraid? Do you feel in your soul those vague stirrings of sadness which, however unjustified, can be so tearing? Throw yourself in the arms of my Providence. I am with you. I am at your side. I see everything. I hear everything. I shall not abandon you for one moment.

"Do you feel ignored by persons who loved you once but who now have forgotten you without cause? Pray from them and I will bring them back to you if they are not obstacles to your salvation.

"And don't you have, perhaps, some joy to communicate to me? Why don't you let me share it with you, like a friend?

"Tell me what has consoled and gladdened your heart since yesterday, since you last visited me. Perhaps you have had an agreeable surprise; perhaps you have seen grave doubts dissipated, or you have received good news -- a letter, or perhaps a gesture of love. Maybe you have overcome some difficulty, or come out of a trying situation. All of this is my work. I have obtained this for you. Why not show me your gratitude and say, like a child to its father, "Thank you, my Father, thank you." Gratitude brings forth new gifts since benefactors, as you know, like to see themselves appreciated.

"Do you not have a promise to make to me? I read, you know, the bottom of hearts. Men are easily deceived, but not God. Speak to me, then honestly; do you have firm intentions of avoiding the occasion of sin? Of denying yourself that object that harmed your soul? Of not reading again that book which excited your imagination? Of avoiding that person who disturbed the peace of your soul?

"Will you be kind to that person who, because he offended you, you have regarded as an enemy?
"And now, my child return to your work, to your office, to your family, to your studies -- but do not forget these fifteen minutes of intimate conversation we have had in the privacy of the sanctuary. Keep as much as possible, silence, resignation, modesty, charity towards your neighbours.

"Love and honour my Mother, who is also your Mother. And please come again tomorrow with an even more fervent heart, to unite it to mine. In it you will find every day new love, new gifts, new consolation.

"Here I await you."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

THE GIFT-GIVER

It's been a while since I've posted here, as I've been busy creating alternate blogs (such as The Healthy Reporter, The Economy Dechonomy, The Legal Brief, and others). I've also decided to recommence my Acting classes, and will soon re-start my Writing classes, as well. Ultimately, I seek to establish The Herbie J Pilato Performing Arts and Literary Center, at which I will offer various courses in acting, writing, dance, music, and directing. I am very excited about this venture, and I have finally decided upon a base business that will keep me rooted (and routed) in Rochester, while still allowing me to work on various scripts, TV shows, films, acting gigs, etc., around the world.

It has taken me quite some time be at peace with living in Rochester. After several years - and various moves back and forth to LA, I have realized that Rochester is and always will be my home; that I have acres of wonderful family members and friends here - and that I am SUPPOSED to be here. It's where my artistic talents are best utilized, while - via the Internet and telephone - and periodic flights to LA and NYC, I am still able to be "connected to Hollywood." Clearly, I have the best of all worlds, and I extremely grateful to the Universe for its many gifts to me.

I have for far too long, however, ignored or not even acknowledged one of the greatest gifts that I have been granted. And it's not my acting techniques, not my singing or dancing talents, not even my writing ability. But rather it is my gift to GAB...and communicate in general with others, along with my sense of humor. They represent my passion and compassion as a human being...my open heart...my generosity, and so many other great aspects of my personhood that I am NOW only beginning to appreciate as the MOST important parts of Herbie J (and please forgive the third-person speak). We EACH have aspectal gifts that we have been granted, and The Universe is merely waiting for US (which is short for the Universe) to acknowledge them as well.

All I can say is please DO acknowledge them, and yet don't so much love THEM, as much as you should love the Gift-GIVER behind them. And that would be God, however you so choose to name Him or Her.

Be well and be blessed....

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Love

Hello, Everyone -

Thought it was time to send out a completely direct and simple message of pure love.

So here goes:

I love you.

Herbie J

Friday, August 19, 2005

Are There No "Peanut Butter and Jelly" Communities left in the world?

Are simpler days really gone forever?

Are there any small towns, communities or neighborhoods left in the world - the kind that still have corner stores where you can buy candy and ice cream? The kind where kids come home from school and there's always someone there to greet them with a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, as opposed to an instructional note from a working parent? The kind where everyone sits on their front porches (if they have them) and speak with their neighbors as they pass by? The kind where people get together once a week to play "Bridge"? The kind where not everybody is rushing around to go every which way to see every which event? The kind where, you know, everyone was happy with just Bingo Night once a week at the local church hall?

Or how about the kind where everyone was just happy, period?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Message from Arch-Angel Michael (via Near-Death.com)

Your forefathers created one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. These were men of high ideals, spiritually guided and inspired to create a nation and a civilization to be admired and respected, to set an example for the rest of the world. In exercising their free will under God's guidance and direction, they created a Constitution and a Bill of Rights for every man, woman, and child to live in freedom in the pursuit of happiness. Yet these high-minded and spiritual men were soon replaced by others who, in the exercise of their free will, chose to put their egos before God and to joust with God's plan.

You became a nation of spoilers, man against man, brother against brother, government against citizens, and the chosen nation became a warrior with and against other nations. You have become a nation of criminals and murderers.

You murder in wars. You murder the innocent. You murder your children. Your leaders create laws to justify the murders, to attempt to make wrongs right, to rewrite morals and ethics to support your own earthbound greed and desires.You have become a nation further and further from the spirit and the influence of God. You have created sciences and philosophies to support activities that only recognize earthbound realities that not only refuse to recognize the spiritual nature of man himself, but refuse to recognize even the existence of God.

You have taken God and his works of prayer and meditation out of your government, out of your institutions, out of your schools. You have done everything you can to deny his existence, and you find yourselves in a world filled with wars, hatred, starvation, and death, and you do not understand why the rest of the world does not follow your shining example.You are a nation at war with itself, filled with hatred, prejudice, crime, drugs, and murder.

Yet when the few of you who do look to God ask him why all these things are allowed to happen, you do not hear his answer.You are members of the human race, universally created by God and given free will individually by divine right, and you would not wish to have it any other way.

Yet every little act of free will that man has exercised from the beginning of time that was not in accordance with God's plan, multiplied in its impact and its negativity on the future of man.

Every simple act of aggression multiplied into acts of world war. Every simple act of greed multiplied into worldwide human suffering and starvation. Every act of destruction of God's environment on earth multiplied into destructive forces of nature - earthquakes, floods, pestilence, nuclear destruction and nuclear waste. Every act of violence escalated into acts of murder and the extermination of ethnic people for their appearance or beliefs.

Yet, God created a nation of high ideals for you to survive other empires and civilizations that crumbled into oblivion, for their leaders placed themselves as men above God, and now those empires and civilizations are but piles of dust or buried under the waters. You sit on the edge of the new millennium, poised for the future of humankind, and you are headed, like all great civilizations of the past, to be reduced to piles of dust, to be covered over by the waters.

Yet, God comes to you again, to appeal to you as a people, to appeal to you as a nation, to appeal to your leaders. His army of angels is visiting upon you with a life force of energy, a spiritual energy radiated by the Creator to all humankind. Many of you feel the vibrancy of his energy and his divine presence. He is communicating with you spiritually, telling you to raise yourselves to the level of spiritual transformation that is necessary for those of you who hear him to spread his message and his energy, to recognize that he is coming.Guided by prayer and meditation, all men, women, and children may answer his call, but it must be soon.

Time is running out! The angels are coming! Do you hear them? Are you listening?

Are you listening?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Origins of AMEN, what Jesus really meant when he said BORN-AGAIN, and the truth behind His Name.

Part 1: THE ORIGINS OF AMEN


Years ago, Shirley MacLaine caused all kind of controversies when she told the story of how she stood upon the rocky seashore in Malibu, and exclaimed, "I Am God!"

Everyone SO took it the wrong way, and thought that Ms. MacLaine was proclaiming her superior awesomeness.

Well...no.

That's not what she was proclaiming at all. What she was indeed proclaiming was OUR EQUAL superior awesomeness WITH God.

Truth be told, "I Am God" is a translation of AMEM, which is a translation of the Himalayan chant, "AUM," which is a translation of the Indian chant, "OM."

That's right, everytime you say, "AMEN," your saying, "I AM GOD."

And that was and is exactly God's intention.

We are ONE WITH God, and each time we say "AMEN," we are confirming that. And Ms. MacLaine was merely introducing mainstream America to the fact that "I AM GOD" is simply another way to say AMEN.


PART 2: WHAT JESUS REALLY MEANT WHEN HE SAID WE ARE "BORN-AGAIN"

Being "Born-Again" means something totally different in the Christian Fundamentalist arena than to what Jesus really meant in the New Testament (John 3:1-7). Jesus was actually referring to the state of REINCARNATION. That's right. Being "born-again" - which, along with the philosophy behind "karma" - is really the only logical explanation for the dreadful things that happen to us, individually, and as a collective consciousness.

Why do "bad" things happen to us?

Because, in a previous life, we were once "bad" to others. It's really that simple - and it's not very complicated at all. We are reaping the karmic "punishments" or "rewards" of our previous lives. All we have to understand is that the ANSWER to EVERYTHING is LOVE, with a whole lot of FORGIVENESS.

I once had a medium give me a past-life reading. And this medium (who was a strict Catholic, by the way, who had visions of the beloved Blessed Mother) told me that, in one previous life, I was a very tall Jewish rabbi, with very curly black locks. And I had a beautiful wife and three beautiful daughters. But I wasn't very respectful of them. All I cared about was the "Tora" - and ignored them.

And in THIS life now as "Herbie J," I was told, I am making up for the previous one. (Apparently, too, when I was that tall rabbi, I made fun of those shorter than myself - and I am reaping the result of that insensitivity, as "Herbie J" is ow only 5', 7").

So, yes - REINCARNATION was indeed part of the ORIGINAL Biblical writings and teachings - but these references were DELETED from the Bible (along with SO many other truths) by those who were more concerned with placing the CHURCH at the centre of the universe - instead of GOD.

PART THREE: The Truth Behind Name of JESUS THE CHRIST

One of the other major deletions from the original Bible was the direct and correct name of Jesus. We know him as "Jesus Christ," as if "Christ" was his last name or something.

This is not the case.

The original and legitimate way to refer to Jesus is to say, "Jesus THE Christ," which, when translated, means, "Jesus the Enlightened One." As we are ALL enlightened - which is what Jesus' true message is to each of us - which is why our dear GOD sent Him to us - to show us that we can do the things that he does (and MORE) - to show us the way we all can be and must aspire to be.

What many Christians and/or Catholics do not know is that St. Augustine attempted to restore the Bible to it's original state, inserting all the references to "Reincarnation," and to correctly insert the "the" in between every reference to "Jesus Christ."

Jesus, Himself, was so pleased with St. Augustine's efforts, that He appeared to him and thanked him for attempting to properly restore HIS NAME.

But you don't hear this information in Catholic schools. But it happened.

Essentially, all religion began in INDIA...ALL religion.

And those thirty years that Jesus supposedly spent "wandering the desert"? Well, he was acutely studying with the monks of the Himalayas for those three decades.

SUMMARY/SUGGESTED READINGS:

There are thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of books that deliver these truths to the world. My suggestion is that you start reading them. Begin with anything written by or about EDGAR CAYCE, and yes - Shirley MacLaine's original OUT ON A LIMB publication.

But if you really want an awesome introduction to this new "old" thought (and by the way, guess to what Jesus was REALLY referring when he said that a "NEW AGE" was coming?), pick up the beautiful five-volume set of LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF THE MASTERS OF THE FAR EAST, by Baird T. Spaulding.

This incredible collections tells of an American team of interested individuals who journeyed to the Himalayas in the 1930s - and MET JESUS themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, too, grab and read anything you can by PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA - the great India yogi (and believer in Jesus) who helped to bring Asian thought to America in the 1930s...

Blessings,

Herbie J

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Move into a smaller house, and stop being so rediculous


Malnourished Children Face Harsh Future

By EDWARD HARRIS, Associated Press
Wed Aug 10, 1:59 PM ET

Weeks of treatment in a remote Malian hospital have saved tiny 26-month-old Tideye Alminawi's life, but she's showing signs of the long-term damage hunger wreaks on tender bodies and minds.

What appears to be a permanent gaping grin may be a sign of mental retardation, explains Dr. Yacouba Cissoko, acting head of pediatrics at the ramshackle hospital in the town of Gao, 745 miles east of the capital, Bamako. Three severely malnourished babies have died here in recent weeks.

Tideye constantly arches her back and nods her head compulsively.

"You can see she has mental problems, the way she holds herself. She's spastic because of her malnutrition," said Cissoko as he tests the girl's responses.

"All the babies you see here now will have problems later, that's certain," Cissoko said after making the rounds of nearly two dozen skeletal babies watched over by anxious mothers. "Most of the people you know who seem very intelligent were likely well fed as children and haven't suffered from malnutrition.

"Malnutrition affects peoples' long-term health, which hurts their productivity, undermines social structures and keeps the country from developing."

Mali, one of the world's poorest countries, usually has trouble ensuring all its people are fed. Hunger is worse than ever this year in Mali and across chronically dry West Africa because of a locust invasion last year, followed by drought.

Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania also are affected. An estimated 1.5 million of Mali's 11 million people are said to be facing hunger, including an estimated 144,000 children suffering malnutrition.

"The problem of malnutrition is chronic here, but this is a particularly grave moment," Cissoko said.

The French aid agency Action Contre la Faim - Action Against Hunger - set up a treatment center for malnourished children at Gao hospital last month, joining local medical workers in responding to the food crisis.

Dr. Clara Marti Mashooka of Action Against Hunger examined a new arrival, 9-month-old Djibril Allasane, twisting his loose folds of skin to see if they rebound as a healthy child's should. They don't, because Djibril is extremely dehydrated. He hasn't had the strength to nurse for days. He may be physically stunted for life.

"If he didn't come in now, he would have been dead in hours," Mashooka said of her newest charge. "He wouldn't have lasted the night."
Djibril was expected to respond well to an emergency treatment of enriched milk and medicine.

"In days, you'll see a big change. He'll start drinking milk and he'll be laughing. It's very rapid and fulfilling," said Mashooka. "But what kind of life will he have later?"

Cissoko, the pediatrics chief, said the solution to chronic malnutrition across West Africa is education first, then economic development.

Children at greatest risk are those recently weaned from mothers who aren't sure what kinds of solid foods to give to their babies, particularly in times like these when creating a balanced diet is even more difficult.

Tideye's mother, Safi Nihidy, said the future of children is not in human hands.

"If God wants them to be better, they will be," she said. "If God wants to give them health and a good life, that's in his hands."

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mom and the 28 Quarters

As many of you are well-aware, my Father died of lung cancer on April 6th, 1995. I was his primary caregiver for 18 months before then and, as anyone who has lost a loved-one in such a way knows, it's a life-changing experience - on many levels.

Anyway, since my Dad's passing, it's been a rough road for my Mother, emotionally. They were very close, and she was very dependent on him, she's doesn't drive, etc. So I've tried to do the best I can for her, even once attempting to move her to LA with me (to disastrous results).

So now, she's 84, and having memory issues.

However, for as long as I can remember, she's always prayed for everyone. And she still does, especially children. In fact, whenever she sees a child, she takes out her rosary beads and says a prayer, right there, at that moment, wherever she is, asking the accompanying parent if it's okay for her to bless their child. "Of course," they say.

Then, every Monday-Friday, my Mom goes to the Senior Center, which costs her about $6.00 a day; a price that includes lunch and service for the van (that picks her up and takes her home). Thirty bucks a week for a senior's regular activities? Not bad at all.

At this simple-treasured Center, she also plays cards, goes on picnics, and plays bingo. She especially loves the bingo. A whole lot.

I never realized how much really.

Until, one day, a few weeks ago, when I started giving her "extra" quarters with which to play the game. Not a lot of quarters. Just seven dollars worth. Not ten. Not nine.

Seven.

Every other day, I walk into her apartment, and interrupt her daily viewing of Seinfeld or The Golden Girls, walk over to her, kiss her, and ask her to open up her hand.

At that moment, I pour out the seven dollars in quarters, 28 in all.

As I'm doing this, her reaction is one of astonishment. She looks as if she's winning the lottery or the mega-jackpot in Vegas. "Oh, Herbie J," she'll say with so much joy, "...what a great son you are! I have to pay you back! I have to pay you back!!"

"Ma," I reply, "You just go have fun at the Center."

And she does, all the more...with that mere extra seven dollars. Not a million. Not a thousand. Not even ten. But seven.

Seven.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

She's Got My Vote

Grieving Mother's War Protest Draws Notice
Written by Angela K. Brown
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


The mother of a fallen U.S. soldier who started a quiet roadside peace vigil near President Bush's ranch last weekend is drawing supporters from across the nation.

Dozens of people have joined her, and others have sent flowers and food. One activist called her "the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement."

Cindy Sheehan, 48, of Vacaville, Calif., says she was surprised at the response.

"Before my son was killed, I used to think that one person could not make a difference," she said Wednesday under a tent where she has slept since Saturday. "But one person that is surrounded and supported by millions of people can be heard."

But Kristinn Taylor, co-leader of the Washington, D.C., chapter of FreeRepublic.com, which has held pro-troop rallies, said Sheehan's actions are misguided and hurt troop morale.

"She has a political agenda that goes way beyond her son's death in combat," Taylor said.

Although a few residents have complained about the protesters, no one has been arrested because the group has been on the public right-of-way, said Capt. Kenneth Vanek of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office.

On Saturday, two high-level Bush administration officials, the national security adviser and deputy White House chief of staff, talked to Sheehan for about 20 minutes.

Sheehan called the brief meeting "pointless" and still wants to talk to the president.

Her 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, in April 2004 just five days after he arrived. Two months later, Sheehan was among grieving military family members who met with Bush at Fort Lewis, near Seattle, Wash.

Since then, she said, various government and independent commission reports have disputed the Bush administration's claims that Saddam Hussein had mass-killing chemical and biological weapons — a main justification for the March 2003 invasion.

On Wednesday, a coalition of anti-war groups in Washington called on Bush to speak with Sheehan, who they say has helped to unify the peace movement.

"Cindy Sheehan has become the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement," said Rev. Lennox Yearwood, leader of the Hip Hop Caucus, an activist group. "She's tired, fed up and she's not going to take it anymore, and so now we stand with her."

At her makeshift camp in muddy ditches off the two-lane, winding road leading to Bush's ranch, Sheehan has spent the past several days talking to reporters, hugging fellow protesters and taking brief breaks to eat sandwiches and fruit brought by supporters. Her vigil has also become a hot topic on the Internet and blogs.

Although she doesn't expect Bush to meet with her in Crawford, she says if he did she would ask him whether he has encouraged his twin daughters to enlist.

"I want him to quit using my son's death to justify more killing," she said. "The only way he can honor my son's death is to bring the troops home."

Sheehan, a former Roman Catholic youth minister, formed a group called Gold Star Families For Peace earlier this year and has spoken out against the war across the nation and overseas.

Judith Young, national president of similarly named The American Gold Star Mothers of America, Inc., said she is concerned that the public will mistake her 76-year-old Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization with Sheehan's group.

Young's group, commonly known as Gold Star Moms, arranges for mothers whose children died in the line of duty to volunteer in veterans' hospitals and programs. Members don't do advocacy work, Young said.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ron's Near-Death Experience Summary (via nderf.com)

"Yes, I did recall some knowledge, here are some for you to think about.

"God himself acknowledges that yes, UFOs do co-exist with us and are not to be feared - HIS words.

"Man has space traveled before the 1960´ies, approximately 10.000 years ago. We did not build spaceships like we do today, we were picked up by UFO´s willingly - we would go to a pick up point, a large hill overlooking a vast plain, there were images marked on the ground to be read from the sky.

"There IS other life, beings, not microbes. They reside outside our solar system and into the next. Being in their spacecraft you are not subject to G forces, gravity or other limitations that ours are subject to. They can travel great distances in seconds, they can make their spaceships invisible at will.

"Time travel is possible. I was shown a blueprint and I asked what it is and he (God) said: It is for time travel.

"In the past man has been wiped out from the earth and forced to learn everything again and repopulate the earth. Man has achieved very high knowledge about space travel, science and mathematics, much more than we know today."

Monday, August 08, 2005

WOW: Remains of Ancient Church found in Egypt (via Associated Press)

The remains of an ancient church and monks' retreats that date back to the early years of monasticism have been discovered in a Coptic Christian monastery in the Red Sea area, officials said Saturday.
Workers from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities found the ruins while restoring the foundations of the Apostles Church at St. Anthony's Monastery. The remains are about 2 or 2 1/2 yards underground, said the head of the council, Zahi Hawass.
The monastery, which is in the desert west of the Red Sea, was founded by disciples of St. Anthony, a hermit who died in A.D. 356 and is regarded as the father of Christian monasticism. A colony of hermits settled around him and he led them in a community.
The remains include the column bases of a mud-brick church and two-room hermitages.
The remains of a small oven and a stove for food were found in one hermitage room, Hawass said. Another room had Coptic writing on the walls and a small mud-brick basin.
"These hermitages are the oldest in Egypt and they cast light on the history of monasticism in Egypt," Abdullah Kamel, the head of the council's Islamic and Coptic Antiquities department, told The Associated Press.
Kamel could not offer a precise date for the hermitages.
Christians account for an estimated 10 percent of Egypt's population and belong mainly to the Coptic Church, an Orthodox church that traces its origins to St. Mark.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The "Disability" Act

In reference to my previous post, "Insult to Injury" (August 1), please allow for a clarification:

Overall, again, my main protest is when actors of sound physical and mental health (for the most part) offer performances that they believe are of artistic merit. When, in reality, one can't help but think a part of them is actually "making fun" of those with disabilities - or that they may have done so in the past (off-screen) - and they are now merely employing their demeaning "joke" behavior to earn themselves an Emmy or Oscar nod/award.

This is an abuse of their talent, and an assault on the audience, be they disabled or not - and it just really pisses me off.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Insult to Injury

I find it absolutely insulting when I see celebrity actors portraying the mentally disabled.

Case in point: last's night's telecast of the feature film, I AM SAM, starring Sean Penn. And the TV-film, RIDING THE BUS WITH MY SISTER, which stars Rosie O'Donnell - and which was telecast on CBS last spring.

It's one thing when a perfectly healthy actor interprets a character who is physically disabled, and wheelchair-bound. But when someone like Mr. Penn or Ms. O'Donnell appears in said films, I find their performances in poor taste and inexcusable.

As the author of the upcoming book, LIFE STORY - THE BOOK OF LIFE GOES ON: TV'S FIRST FAMILY SHOW OF CHALLENGE, I feel a particular obligation to protest BUS, SAM, and the like. LIFE GOES ON was and remains a groundbreaking series that featured Chris Burke, a real-life actor with Down syndrome (and no, not Down's Syndrome), who played Corky - a teenager struggling with the challenge of the disorder.

BUS, SAM, and other such films, either for the large or small screens, not only insult the mentally and physically-disabled communities, but also many of the viewers who are forced to watch such drivel, clandestined behind good intentions or "spreading the word" on having legitimate compassion for the "less fortunate."

BULLSHIT.

Hollywood needs to stop making these insulting (and there is no other word for them) films with celebrities offering insulting performances.

Instead, actors with REAL disabilities (again, i.e. the amazing Chris Burke from LIFE GOES ON) need to be cast and employed.

THEY know the REAL story of their life challenges. THEY are the ones who deserve to shine in true films of compassion to properly display the strength of the human spirit. THEY are the ones who, when granted the chance, are really "able" to out-perform the performers.

As opposed to "celebrity" actors who attempt to earn some kind of universal brownie points under the false pretense of compassionate communication, seeking an Emmy or Oscar nod in the process.

Please.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Just in case you ever doubted...

"You may not know me, but I know everything about you..."
- Psalm 139:1

"I know when you sit down and when you rise up..."
- Psalm 139:2

"I am familiar with all your ways …"
- Psalm 139:3

"Even the very hairs on your head are numbered…"
- Matthew 10:29-31

"For you were made in my image…"
- Genesis 1:27

"In me you live and move and have your being…"
- Acts 17:28

"For you are my offspring…"
- Acts 17:28

"I knew you even before you were conceived…"
- Jeremiah 1:4-5

"I chose you when I planned creation…"
- Ephesians 1:11-12

"You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book…"
- Psalm 139:15-16

"I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live…"
- Acts 17:26

" You are fearfully and wonderfully made…"
- Psalm 139:14

"I knit you together in your mother's womb…"
- Psalm 139:13

"And brought you forth on the day you were born…"
- Psalm 71:6

"I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me…"
- John 8:41-44

"I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love…"
- 1 John 4:16

"And it is my desire to lavish my love on you…"
- 1 John 3:1

"Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand…"
- James 1:17

"For I am your provider and I meet all your needs…"
- Matthew 6:31-33

"My plan for your future has always been filled with hope…"
- Jeremiah 29:11

"Because I love you with an everlasting love…"
- Jeremiah 31:3

"My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore..."
- Psalms 139:17-18

"And I rejoice over you with singing..."
- Zephaniah 3:17

"I will never stop doing good to you…"
- Jeremiah 32:40

"For you are my treasured possession..."
- Exodus 19:5

"I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul…"
- Jeremiah 32:41

"And I want to show you great and marvelous things…"
- Jeremiah 33:3

"If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me…"
- Deuteronomy 4:29

"Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart..."
- Psalm 37:4

"For it is I who gave you those desires…"
- Philippians 2:13

"I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine…"
- Ephesians 3:20

"For I am your greatest encourager…"
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

"When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you…"
- Psalm 34:18

"As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart…"
- Isaiah 40:11

"One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes…"
- Revelation 21:3-4

"And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth…"
- Revelation 21:3-4

"And to tell you that I am not counting your sins…"
- 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

"And nothing will ever separate you from my love again…"
- Romans 8:38-39

"I'll soon throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen…"
- Luke 15:7

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Kindness (via DrLauren.com and no, NOT Dr. Laura)

Here are some powerful quotations on kindness--something we can choose to offer this world, a richness we can share, no matter our state of material wealth or the state of world affairs over which we have no direct control. Kindness seems to be in short supply all too often.

"Do your part to change the world today--be kind. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

"You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you." - Ruth Smeltzer

"The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." - William Wordsworth

"Kindness is never wasted. If it has no effect on the recipient, at least it benefits the bestower."
- S. H. Simmons

"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions--the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts." - Charles Dickens

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Best Chant Ever

Om Namo Bhagavate

Vasu Devaya

Translation:

Om is the name of that inside me,

which is aware of the Oneness of all things.

[via the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda]

Monday, July 25, 2005

The origins of Erie Street Entertainment

Had a really, solid full and happy weekend.

On Saturday morning and early afternoon journeyed to Caneeshis Lake. And I have completely spelled that wrong for sure. But essentially, it's one of what is called the "Finger Lakes" up here in Upstate, New York. Some of the others are Honeyoe Lake, Canadaigua Lake, etc.

Everytime I think of them, I think of The Dick Van Dyke Show, when Rob and Laura went to Lake MiniMaMooMoo in one episode - or at least they referenced that they did. Actually, now that I recall, Buddy and Sally worked a night club at one of these Lakes on the "QT" during a summer break from the Allan Brady Show (in another episode).

ANYWAY - I went to Caneeshis for a mini-reunion of some friends from Erie Street, where I grew up - the Monroe family, including Laura (who surprised me at a book signing a few weeks ago), and her sister Eva was there.

Eva, as SHE recalls, was my first love - who I apparently chased around the sofa when I was six and she was 11. And she even once called a local radio show I was on and relayed that story. I, of course, remember things differently. (SHE chased ME around the sofa).

All in all - it was AWESOME to see those people. When those reunion moments happen, you can help but feel something dramatic like, "I have LIVED! My life has not been a dream."

Well, at least that's how I talk to myself.

Either way - it was a great drive (about 45 minutes from Rochester), and since my trek to Albany last month for the Bewitched premiere, driving anyway is no longer an issue for me. I now embrace it (except driving in LA, that is).

Then, Saturning evening, I was invited to a high school graduation party of one of the children of my good friend Jim Heil, who I've known since 7th grade at St. Augustine's. He has six kids in all - and they're all great. Jim and I also went on to attend Aquinas High School together, and some of our classmates from Aquinas were also at the party. Tom Centron (and his wife Charlene), Jim Philbin (and his wife Sue). Don Bates. It was great to see them all.

On Sunday morning, I then attended the Christening of my friends Monica and Jeff's new baby Maya, who they adopted from Russia. They've been through so much in the last 18 months (and prior) to finalize the work for this beauitful child. SO happy that it all came together finally. They are such wonderful people. On top of that, they have a big beautiful family - and they live close by to Greenleaf Meadows - where I moved with my parents when we first left Erie Street (in 1977).

Clearly, its because of events like these three fesitivites that I am in Rochester.

Hollywood tries to create on-screen the joys of what I am living in real life. And they come close (The Andy Griffith Show, Avalon, The Miracle of Ordinary Days), but ain't nothing like the real thing - as opposed to the "reel" thing.

It took me a long time to get that. And maybe had I not met and worked with everyone I have ever truly loved, I might feel differently. But you can't beat conversations like this one I had on Saturday with Eva Monroe:

Eva: Remember, Herbie J, when we used to put on those 'shows' across the street on that stage in front of the warehouse?

HJ: "Oh, my gosh - yes."

Eva: "It's where you made your WORLD DEBUT!"

HJ: LOL!!!!

Erie Street Entertainment, indeed.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Syncroni-City

A media friend of mine in the heart of Rochester had been waiting to receive a package from me for ten days. Everytime I told him that I would put it in the mail, of course, something always came up.

So Friday (yesterday), I say to myself, "You know - I just need to drive downtown and drop the package off to him in person."

But each time I tried to leave the house, again, something always came up. A phone call, here, a howdy to a neighbor, there.

Finally, I actually find myself in my car, driving downtown, into the city. I find a great parking space near the renowned Geva Theatre, which is located close to the office building I need to visit.

I exit the car, and walk past Washington Square Park, where in the late 1960s and early 1970s, my sister and my cousins, then hippies, used to smoke weed (don't believe I just wrote "weed"), and sang Beatle tunes with their fellow flower children.

I reach the crosswalk to the building I need to visit and, before me, are two dudes who decide not to use the crosswalk in the proper way.

Naturally, I try always to do the right thing in life (smoked "weed" only once myself, a very silly experience - as I found I got higher from life than from "grass" - don't believe I just wrote "grass"), so I made sure that I stayed within the lines (crosswalk).

As I happily walk the legal way, I hear some guy yelp out, "Herbie J!"

I'm like, "Uh?"

I look over to my right, and there's my cousin Mary Sue's husband, Don, a city engineer, fixing a city light on the street.

I couldn't believe it.

"Hey, bro," Don goes on to say. "How the hell are ya', man?"

Backtrack: Mary Sue and Don own the main home at Waterport, to where most of my family from my father's side gathered a few weeks ago (which see previous Walton's Mountain posts).

"Don!" I yelp back. "Holy crow! What's goin' on? Hey, listen - how long you gonna' be here? I gotta go visit someone in that building over there."

"About ten, fifteen minutes," he says.

"Cool. I'll be back."

I then enter the building close by, ask the lobby security guard about the location of the office I need to visit. Journey up to the 17th floor, drop off my package to a little hottie receptionist eating her lunch at the front desk. I then journey back downstairs and outside to see Don, fixing away at the light-post.

We get to talking, and he's like, "Hey, Dude - you know that bridge near that we all jumped off to go swimming?"

"Yeah?"

"Well, they just posted a sign that says we can't do that anymore."

"Hmmm," I said, and then silently to myself, "Well, I figured that. It really was kinda of illegal." And besides that, I continued to say to myself, "Magic like that only should happen once, or else it wouldn't be magic."

We talk a little more, and I then give Don my best. He says something about everyone meeting in Indiana for Thanksgiving, and I walk back down the street to Geva Theatre and my car.

I start to drive past Washington Square Park and, in a moment, there I am again, on Don's tail.

I beep the horn, and for a half-a-second he doesn't know it's his cousin-in-law, who he just saw moments before. I then wave, he waves back - and I return to my keyboard.

How 'bout that, though, you know? That I see Don, just as I decide to deliver my package at that very same second, at that very same location, after so many failed tries and mailings? Right there in the heart of Rochester - my city...

My syncroni-city.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Uh...DUH!!!!!!!!!!

CHRISTIAN CATACOMBS MAY HAVE JEWISH ORIGIN
[via Yahoo News]

Michael Schirber Staff Writer LiveScience.com Wed Jul 20, 1:43 PM ET

The Roman catacombs are intricate labyrinths of burial chambers that were built roughly between the third and fifth century AD. They are considered among the most important relics of early Christianity.

But a recent study of a Jewish catacomb in Rome finds that it was started a century before the oldest known Christian versions.

In addition to the 60 Christian catacombs that have survived in Rome, there are two Jewish catacombs, which are distinguishable by the decorative artwork and inscriptions that were used.
"Jews were buried only with Jews and Christians only with Christians," says Leonard Rutgers of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

But the fact that the catacombs are all constructed with similar layouts and architecture suggests a common origin. Rutgers and his colleagues have used radiocarbon dating to show that the Jewish Villa Torlonia catacomb was begun in the second century AD -- and perhaps even earlier -- making it the oldest known of the Roman catacombs.

According to Rutgers, the Roman pagans largely practiced cremation up until the second century, when -- for some unknown reason -- they started burying their dead. However, this was usually in family tombs, not catacombs.

The Roman Jewish community, which dates back to the first century BCE, would have likely chosen to bury rather than cremate their dead. The same would have been true for the early Christians. Perhaps because of a scarcity of land, these groups may have begun excavating the soft volcanic rock, called tufa, outside the city walls.

"Tufa is fairly easy to work with, and it hardens once it's been exposed to the air," Rutgers told LiveScience in a telephone interview.

Some of the catacombs extend for hundreds of yards and have multiple levels. Bodies were placed in niches, or "loculi," that were carved out of the walls. Rows of these loculi extend from floor to ceiling. Although an exact number is not known, thousands upon thousands of tombs line the hundreds of miles that make up Rome's underground cemeteries.
Rutgers' team carefully extracted pieces of charcoal from the layer of lime used to seal tombs in Villa Torlonia. The charcoal, which was burned to convert limestone into lime, is essentially the only organic samples that remain in the catacombs.

"It's very humid down there, so there are no bones left. They have all disintegrated," Rutgers said. "The charcoal survived because it was hardened in fire."

The dating of charcoal from several tombs shows a range of ages -- with the earliest near the catacomb entrance, becoming progressively later as one goes deeper down the long, dark corridors.

The results are described in the July 21 issue of the journal Nature. The authors stress that a similar sort of radiocarbon dating is necessary in Christian catacombs to confirm their uncertain ages.

Regardless of whether another catacomb is found to be older, Rutgers said that the larger point is that Jews and Christians coexisted peacefully for centuries and clearly influenced each other's cultures.Mock Trail for 'Da Vinci Code' Ruins Support Myth of Rome's Founding The Truth Behind the Shroud of Turin When Miracle Claims Tax the Spirit Burial Site Found Near Ancient Olympia Villagers Volunteer to be Crucified

Visit LiveScience.com for more daily news, views and scientific inquiry with an original, provocative point of view. LiveScience reports amazing, real world breakthroughs, made simple and stimulating for people on the go. Check out our collection of Amazing Images, Image Galleries, Interactive Features, Trivia and more. Sign up for our free daily email newsletter today!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Pope (The One Before This One) On Talent

"Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.”

- Pope John Paul, 1-26.04

Monday, July 18, 2005

Herbie J's Helpful Hints for Health and Happiness

1] Drink water (the cup of life): All life comes from the water. The Earth is 70% water, 30% mass. So is the human body. See how the Universe made that clear for us? Use that law to your advantage.

2] Eliminate alcohol: Though a liquid, in many ways, alcohol is the opposite of water (it dries your skin, and causes your hair and your teeth to fall out). It is the cup of death.

3] Eat fruits and vegetables and eliminate meat (yes - even fish) - and dear golly-wog, whatever you do, please stop eating lobster (and increasing the boiling-trauma those suffering beings go through right before they die for someone's dinner).

4] Exercise: Walking and Swimming are really the best, easiest and least expensive ways to go.

5] Stay enthusiastic about every dream you have. Ideas that come to you are whispers from the Universe. To not follow through with your dreams, does a disservice to yourself, to those who will benefit from your achievements, and to the Universe.

6] Remain hygienically sound. In other words...be clean. Brush your teeth (use Listerine), shower every day (check under your finger nails), and wear fresh and laundered clothes (under and outer). In short, respect the way you look and dress to impress - yourself, others - and especially the Universe.

7] If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.

8] Pay your bills and don't be cheap. Take care of your family, be generous with every individual and organization in any way that you so see fit, and share your money and your life enthusiasm with everyone you know.

9] Bless those who curse you, forgive those who hurt you, and pray for and love those who hate you.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Fact of Matter

How many more horrible, horrible circumstances are going to have to transpire before we all understand that the only things that matter are the relationships we have with one another on a completely human, personal level?

Hollywood does not matter.

Self-absorbed careers, such as those having to do with writing, acting, and singing (especially in the vein of American Idol) do not matter.

Nice cars do not matter.

Nice homes do not matter.

Look, ain't nobody, no-how, no-way loves money, nice things and the material life more than Herbie J.

Yet Herbie J also knows that none of these things matter.

There are those who experience tragedy and develop more their soul for the highest good of all.

Then, there are those who experience tragedy and seek only to fulfill more their own life - as if that was the lesson to be learned.

No, the lesson to be learned, is that we need to stop worrying about things that don't matter, employ our talents for the highest good of all those concerned, and share everything we have with one another. Share our time, our money (a real biggie), our homes, our good will, our very lives, right now. Not tomorrow, not when some other horrific tragedy transpires. But right now. Because if we don't, mark my words, things will only get worse.

This is the lesson. The victims of the recent disaster, and all previous disasters and wars (from every century), have given their very lives in hopes that we, the ones left behind, will begin to appreciate ours.

When exactly is that going to be? How many times are we not going to open our homes to people who have none? How many times are we not going to give jobs to people who have none? How many times are we not going to be happy for other people who are more successful than we are? How many times are we not going to be the reason for someone else's success?

And how much longer do we really think we have to pass this great, and yet so simple, "final" exam?

Friday, July 15, 2005

A fascinating, fascinating near-death experience (via nderf.com)

Jean's Near-Death Experience

"I was 28 years old, single and living in Texas with my six year old daughter. I was extremely depressed, drinking heavily and felt that my life had no direction or purpose. I had completely lost my way and forgotten an experience I had when I was three years old. At that time, a ball of white/gold light came into my bedroom and communicated with me. Telepathically, it told me I had something to do toward the end of my life. I do not remember what it told me I had to do, but I do remember saying to the light, "That is beyond me, I can never do that." The light told me, "You'll grow into it." The Presence in the Light was sweet, soft, warm, loving, supremely intelligent and totally good.

"So here I was at 28, a mile off track, the Light experience forgotten and my loftiest goal was to become thin and marry a man with money enough to solve all my problems. One day I came home from work, exhausted, and lay down on the bed. My mood was bleak and I completely relaxed into a make-the-world-go-away frame of mind. I almost immediately fell into myself - imploded. I experienced a sense of speed like being on a toboggan - a whooshing sound - and fell rapidly through a tunnel of blue, satin light. At the end of the tunnel was a clearing and in it's center a "blue bag". The bag was organic and like the sac containing a baby. A birth sac. It's shape was organic and roughly pear-shaped, with an opening at the top. I floated to the top of the sac and when I did, "knowings" began to spew out of the bag. By "knowings", I mean a complete, four-dimensional understanding of a concept or idea without it's coating of words.

"Have you ever heard something a hundred times and then one day you "knew" what it meant?

"It is very difficult to describe my experience in words because it was pre-verbal. Anyway, the "knowings" were popping out of the top of the bag as thick and fast as popcorn popping out of a pan. I tried to grab some so I could take them back with me and put words on them so I could remember them. But they were too numerous and happening too fast to get hold of. I "knew" that what I had found was the sum total of all "knowing" or wisdom of all people for all time - past, present and future. All wisdom comes from this pool of collective knowing and all we learn goes into the pool for the use of everyone.

"I left the blue bag and immediately found myself high above the earth. I could look down and view the curvature of the earth, its colors and the shape of its waters and continents. I was not only above space, though, I was also above time. I could see the movement of the people and ideas that had shaped and been shaped by history. At each period in history, I experienced the total "feel" of that period, including its music, architecture, styles of clothing, political thinking and literature. It was like a vast march of people from different times with different world-views, all working together. Like removing the top of a gigantic piece of machinery and observing all the wheels, cogs and pulleys working together. On the surface we see none of this, but take off the top and we can see it. My vision took off the top. I "knew" that we are all connected with each other - like mountain climbers with ropes around their middles. When one of us falls, we pull the others down. When we climb up, we help others up. We're all in this together. I "knew" that what we observe as empty space between us is not empty. We are like marbles in a sheet of glass. You don't see the glass, you see the marbles. But the glass holds the marbles together. We are held together by an invisible substance that is around us and between us.

"It is invisible to us, but it is real. I saw that life on this planet was not random, there is a giant plan. The plan, however, is on a scale that is incompressible to us. Our minds are too finite to grasp it. I was shown a ball that was convoluted and contained all surfaces. For years after my experience, I looked for someone who could explain this to me. I would take a strip of paper and twist and attach the two ends together. "What is this?" I'd ask. Finally, years later, I met a physicist who told me it was a mobius strip. I told him I had seen a solid round ball that was like this mobius strip. The physicist said that would be a mobius solid. Pure mathematics has proven a mobius solid can exist, he said, but our three-dimensional minds could not envision one.

"I told him I had seen one. He just shook his head. During my experience, I was told that all time is "now" and all space is "here". I believe there was more to this middle part of my experience that will be revealed to me when the time is right.

"I moved from this vantage point back into that beautiful blue light. I came into the picture from the right, front and slightly at an angle toward the center. Before me, there was a group of "essences" of people. If you refined a field of flowers to a single drop of perfume, that would be the essence of the flowers. These essences of people were like drops of water in a bucket of water - they were individual, but collective. They were grouped together in a triangle shape - like bowling pins are set up - with the apex of the triangle toward me. There was one essence that stood slightly in front of the others. I had the sense that this one spoke for the others but was not in authority over them. As I came near them, I was immediately aware that this group knew me better than I would ever know myself, accepted me totally, and loved me completely.

"The love that came out from them washed over me in waves and was so pure and strong I could not hardly bear it. I was one of them and always had been. They knew it and I knew it.

"The one slightly in front communicated with my heart and mind and told me I could not stay, I must go back. The presence felt masculine, although I did not identify it as any known spiritual figure. I begged him not to send me back. He told me very firmly that there was something I had to do, but that they would be there for me and I could come back to them when I had finished my work.

"I immediately popped back outside and rose from the bed, with a deep down anger that I was back here. For weeks I was angry at having to come back, but then I set my self toward doing whatever it was I was supposed to do here. This experience changed my life and I made many worthwhile changes in my life as a result of having had it. I let go of some bad behavior and commenced a dedicated spiritual search that has taken me into all sorts of rich and interesting places."