... and then it was clean.
Questions for Dimitri (the corporate specialist)
What do we do when we realize that the utopia of unlimited growth is actually very limited?
Will we define management of resources anew?
Or will we starve to death?
Or will we just wash an other batch of dirty laundry?
Will the water still be clean enough to do so?
(of course anybody can help out to answer Dimitri's hard core questions ...)
Sunday, April 30
Saturday, April 29
I have good news to convey - I found a marvelous initiative in Egypt that was born in the spirit of the Qur'an by a devoted Muslim who also had studied sciences in Europe, in particular chemistry and then medicine. It was in Austria in the 60's and 70's that Dr. IBRAHIM ABOULEISH "fell in love" with Europe during his University years. But despite his admiration, he gave up a stunning career in the "Western World" just to come back and pay attention to his home country that he felt was struggling with the pain of old concepts and as well showed signs of general retardation. Egypt, his native land, was struggling at that point to even provide adequate agricultural products in a healthy and environmental sane way (in the mid 70's) and "doomed" if continuing in the same old fashion by raping the earth and poisoning it by spraying pesticides with air planes all over the cotton fields - a major crop in Egypt.
So he took initiative and founded and created an oasis in the middle of the desert north of Cairo to prove his point. It was called SEKEM (this is just one link, Google yourself ... )
To make a long story short, because I can see your attention span already dwindling, Ibrahhim Abouleish managaded finaly to even convince the government to abandon the previously mandatory spraying of pesticides in most of Egypt on their cotton fields and other crops, find alternative protection for plants and supplement and enhance their growth with organic and Bio-Dynamic fertilizers instead of using hard core chemical components, delivered by companies who had only their own financial greed in sight.
Egypt today has probably a very healthy production of crops, unparalleled if compared to other nations, due to this very special person! And their production of cotton is over 90% without pesticides (organic), so is most of their other produce.
Why is Ibrahim special you might ask?
He is special, because he managed to to understand, and then bridge the world between the "East" and the "West". He did it with his own deeds of personal initiative and vision.
So my dear readers, I have no "hate" or "genetic obstacles" about Islam or the Qur'an - I just need to understand, need to envision where everybody is at. You and I, and keep the dialog open...
This last discovery of Sekem gives me great hope though. It is initiatives like this that make "the world breathe better"... in a good way!
There is an autobiography available by Ibrahim that is both fun to read and educational. The link to Amazon Books will be HERE!
Unfortunately it is a bit expensive (over $30) but it is worth the "investment".
This initiative of SEKEM gives me new hope that different cultures of East and West will find a path of coexistence, and in combined efforts will mend and overcome the obstacles of alienation present in our world today - no matter where we live.
Yes, I presently still have issues with the Qur'an (and the religious doctrine of it) - but I admire persons like Ibrahim Abouleish who are able to manage and transform its content directly into what behooves us in our present state of human consciousness and development.
Ibrahim actively built bridges - while I was just passively lamenting ...
(sorry, the links didn't work earlier because I forgot the """" 's - oh well, but they should be fine now!)
Monday, April 24
For the last five months or so we had this wonderful exchange student from Freiburg/Germany - an extraordinary addition to our family affairs. But all good things must end at some point, so she is flying back to her home country this week.
I only wish to emphasize that a cultural exchange of this nature is a wonderful opportunity to learn about other countries and places on this earth, foster understanding and acceptance. My wishful thinking would be, that also "grown-ups" were given such opportunities, not only teenagers. My first priority then would be to invite someone from the Middle East, preferably from a country that still adheres to mainly Muslim traditions. I would love to learn and also share my views. Then in exchange I perhaps could spend some time in (let's say anywhere in Arabia) and be part of learning the culture there right in location.
What an eye-opener that would be! Not only for me... but also for my "exchange adult" on this side of the ocean.
I am teaching a sculpture block at a College nearby right now - my focus is there- not on this blog. Please do not expect me posting, or reading your posts as frequently as I did in the past. For the next three weeks I am dedicated to enchant the dormant wisdom my student's already carry, kindle it - make it alive and accessible to them. ...
Sunday, April 23
In all fairness I should post the original lyrics...
Artist: Three Dog Night
Song: Joy To The World
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Was a good friend of mine
I never understood a single word he said
But I helped him a-drink his wine
And he always had some mighty fine wine
Joy to the world
All the boys and girls now
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me
If I were the king of the world
Tell you what I'd do
I'd throw away the cars and the bars and the war
Make sweet love to you
Sing it now...
You know I love the ladies
Love to have my fun
I'm a high life flyer and a rainbow rider
A straight shootin' son-of-a-gun
I said a straight shootin' son-of-a-gun
Saturday, April 22
What do you want me to write about? The fishes in the deep blue sea? Yes, we visited the Aquarium -splendid! Abundance of creatures in tanks.
Joy for you and me!
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea...
(Ah, an old hippy song no one remembers,)
joy to you and me.
"If I was the king of the world, guess what I would do?
Eradicate the pain that is becoming insane -
Just for me and you ..."
Joy to the world - joy to the world,
joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea,
joy to you and me!
Jelly fish of the deep blue see - ( in an aquarium that is) and ... buildings of different complexity in Boston.
Boston is probably one of the most typically "un-American" cities in the US. Winding streets, clustered buildings of new and old in super close vicinity of each other. Saturated with the tales of the pilgrims, the adventures of the overthrow of the English empire (tea-party) and other issues of lesser and more complex importance.
Thursday, April 20
Of course I care -
'tis why I bark...
"Getroffene Hunde bellen", as the Germans would say.
My concerns are of multitude.
And at present Islam is only one of many facets I am worried about. The religious righteousness of the Bush regime is just an other...
There are plenty of other things.
But when I see two young people who gently embrace even a useless treasure like sugar jelly beans, my heart pounds with joy.
There is hope,
even in small steps...
When we learn to care for little things like that, we might even learn to care for "bigger things."
Wednesday, April 19
PREAMBLE from Mirvat
"... the biggest problem is how flexibly interpretable the koran is which makes it the miracle it is but ironically enough, also it makes it dangerous once misunderstood. That's always been my other problem with the book and for a verse to be misinterpreted for political gain tends to be the norm now since, as we all know, it's been used as a steering guide of people blinded with hate and ignorance and poverty by people of weak faith ..."
I am keenly interested in the history and the evolution of human consciousness and that by default leads to, or includes, the understanding of religious concepts - in particular "organized religions". This post might be biased and has a scent of predigest, but my personal approach is such, that the "religious history" of human development is often directly connected to what people have done or have experienced in different time segments at different locations on earth during the making of their own "cultural epoch." Islam is just one of them.
Without getting into much further detail for now (though I agree with the theological point of view that the Qur'an is the "purest" and newest scripture of them all as "dictated" to the prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel) I proclaim that the Qur'an also is the scripture which has outdated itself the quickest from all religious concepts in present human evolution.
The state of consciousness we are in today asks for freedom, not submission as the Qur'an preaches in every aspect of its writing and that what is seen true by any follower of the Muslim faith today, exactly the way it was conceived roughly 1400 years ago.
Freedom is first of all a non political concept, it is a state of mind. Freedom reigns when people are awaken to see the full range of their capacities ... and given inwardly and outwardly the opportunity to pick a path that makes it right for their own well-being, their own determinations on the road they walk on. Islam spits onto that kind of thinking.
The fact is, that all main religious beliefs still alive today from epochs past have evolved, they have become "secular" or separated in a sense that they leave it up to each individual of how to proceed ... or not.
It is Islam as we speak though, that barks against evolution of human understanding by cohering to practices that belong to times long gone. This religion has "retarded" itself in a short (relatively spoken) time. Islam is the only major religion who proclaims that it is a MUST that the organization of the state (outer affairs of society at large) and the organization of the mind (inner affairs of individual humans) MUST BE ONE and the same. Of course that is absurd as it leaves no freedom of either self-development of the individual, or a sociopolitical embrace between nations and cultures at large.
Yes, extremism and fundamentalism exists in every religion, but I am sore to say that the avenues of Islam do lag behind tremendously, I would say "they still live in the Middle Ages."
Besides, Mohammed was a warrior and conqueror - not a saint in the imagery of delivering forgiveness and tolerance. What kind of prophet is that?
His proclaimed law of Dihmmi (submission) is surely not the path of what humanity yearns for in the present. To stick to these ancient concepts may turn out to be fatal to a world already amidst an identity crisis.
All this said: PEACE!
Tuesday, April 18
As the "little person" is being sucked dry by exuberant prices at the gas pump for buying fuel to go to work; CEO's in the big oil companies earn annually $350,000,000 - yes, threehundredfiftymillion according to the Wall Street Journal, which is a rather conservative news-outlet I would say! In the mean time all oil companies are reaping in record profits, while other companies in the US are feeling the heat of being at the threshold of survival - many of them outsourcing their production to "second" and "third" world countries.
What do you think should happen to correct this course?
Sunday, April 16
First boil them eggs...
...then apply some color.
Tomorrow they will be hidden, then found again; at least most of them...
I only want to say,
If there is a way,
Take this cup away from me
For I don't want to taste its poison.
Feel it burn me,
I have changed.
I'm not as sure, as when we started.
Then, I was inspired.
Now, I'm sad and tired.
Listen, surely I've exceeded expectations,
Tried for three years, seems like thirty.
Could you ask as much from any other man?
(... from "Jesus Christ Superstar" the musical&movie)
Friday, April 14
You heard it before
Once you are my age, equilibrium becomes an issue
How do you balance without them hand-stands?
Maybe a headstand.
Of course for some of us not even the latter is an option.
Shall we therefore go back to the topics of the Middle East now - perhaps Iran?
Ah, you don't seem to agree - so I slip that one for now.
Let us talk about lent, sex, awakening, relationships, art, sports and other issues then instead.
What is the potion of your own rejuvenation?
And are you happy with what you got and what you aim for?
Maybe that is too much to ask on a public forum. But you can always question yourself in privacy and come to your own conclusions....
I know that not all my own private questions are answered as yet - so therefore I am still searching and pondering on the endless fields of serene knowledge, wherever it may be. I wish to you all much confidence and prosperity on your own avenues. May these paths of your discoveries be blessed by awesome experiences that will quench the hunger of self-knowledge and peace of mind.
(the picture is from the girls in the yard today before going to the movies)
Tuesday, April 11
So yes, the spell did brake. The earth is breathing in the light and warmth of the cosmos - bringing to life a new cycle of growth and prosperity. The crocus flowers are budding and blooming in my yard, the sign of change has come - both outwardly and inwardly.
It would be awesome if you know any spring poems, citing and writing them as a response on my blog. I thumbed through my poetry books on my shelves, but didn't find anything adequate. So therefore you are welcome to post your own creations or a copy of someone else who you appreciate right here. Despite my work load theses days, I might come up with an original verse myself - tomorrow. Who knows ...
Monday, April 10
The last streaks of snow at the ski resort need to be tested, with sleds at first, then as a result of misjudgment of speed with dirty buts who helped as break pads.
See Granny, even I can calm down and participate in pleasures beyond political and religious artifacts. Though I must admit, I was operating only as the chauffeur for these two girls - somewhat a similar function of operating as a slave in other matters.
Ah, drive me home - the road is not as windy as you thought - no bumps - no dirty ass - "all gravy". Be swift chauffeur, keep your tinted windows closed. The truth might blind my eyes despite the shades I am wearing and I yearn to rest now and know nothing!
No maintenance required, just rest. Winter is upon us while spring is arriving. But truth will survive the frost ... even in the mud season when temperature changes create hives in roadways you travel.
Choose your steps with consideration.
Sunday, April 9
I have to make a transition from my previous post, I know! It is not easy because the previously mentioned issues really trouble me and are on my mind all the time.
So let us try to celebrate for now the freedom of humans we encounter where oppression is not put on the daily menu (long may it live, the freedom that is!) What a privilege! Or is it a given?
To see young adults cast a play, act on stage, be their theatrical self is extraordinary. I had the opportunity to do just that. For the last two nights I enjoyed the play of my daughters 10th grade production.
I am also glad that they didn't have to costume themselves into obligatory burkahs' (in other words, cover their whole body including their face in some kind of cloth) as they are ordered to do in Muslim countries.
The play was a comedy spiced with societal - critical undertones.
Was good and well acted.This play would have never been allowed to be produced in 2006 in any Muslim country - despite that there was no sex, no drugs and no rock'n roll in its content. The mere issue that woman were to be allowed to show themselves, even in a modest way, and act would have been an infraction and a crime to produce severe punishement...
But this is supposed to be a "transitional" post towards happier grounds. So let me end with a beautiful poem ... No, I changed my mind, so let me end with saying: It is worth your while to get informed and gulp down the negatives of our world, but it is even more serene to focus on issues that might eventually make a difference in our societies - even if those steps of yours be minute at first.
Your effort and intentions do matter! Don't count them out.
Friday, April 7
Qur'an and women* Women are inferior to men, and must be ruled by them: "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other" (Qur'an 4:34)
* "Allah thus directs you as regards your children's inheritance: to the male, a portion equal to two females" (4:11)
* "Good women are to be obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has guarded. As for those you fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them" (4:34)
Aisha, the most beloved of Muhammad's many wives, admonished women in no uncertain terms: "Oh womenfolk, If you knew the rights that your husbands have over you, everyone of you would wipe the dust from her husband's feet with your face."
Individual Muslims may respect and honor woman, but Islam doesn't!
Wednesday, April 5
Ok, so I have an issue with Islam. Why would you care? Well you should. Our future depends on it... So study the scriptures of the Qur'an and make your own assessments. In the mean time I will send you a picture of the interior of my studio, somewhat messy it is I have to confess. But spring cleaning is on the agenda ... perhaps tomorrow I'll start for serious.
Music, laughter, good friends are on my mind tonight. Some of it is present, some of it is wanted. Take care!
Tuesday, April 4
Despite my dislike of how the US is handling the war in Iraq and Afghanistan you aught to know my stance on Islam.
Islam is the religion of war. Face it! Oh, you do not have to accept it from me. Please take it from the "horses mouth" and read and study the Qur'an, make notes on the scriptures you read!
There is a fairly good translation by N.J. Dawood (Penguin books) and if you prefer to read translations written in pseudo "King-James-Bible- English" read the Abbduhlah Yusuf Ali - or Mohammed Pickthall's translations.
Look, Muhammad taught his followers that there is nothing better (or holier) than jihad warfare, and he told his men to offer non-Muslims only three choices:
subjugation (law of Dhimma)
That's Islam for you in a nutshell.
Monday, April 3
At the end of the tax year the Tax Office sent an inspector to audit the books of a synagogue. While he was checking the books he turned to the Rabbi and said, "I notice you buy a lot of candles. What do you do with the candle drippings?"
"Good question," noted the Rabbi. "We save them up and send them back to the candle makers, and every now and then they send us a free box of candles."
"Oh," replied the auditor, somewhat disappointed that his unusual question had a practical answer. But on he went, in his obnoxious way:
"What about all these matzo purchases? What do you do with the crumbs?"
"Ah, yes," replied the Rabbi, realising that the inspector was trying to trap him with an unanswerable question.
"We collect them and send them back to the manufacturers, and every now and then they send a free box of matzos."
"I see," replied the auditor, thinking hard about how he could fluster the know-it-all Rabbi.
"Well, Rabbi," he went on, "what do you do with all the leftover foreskins from the circumcisions you perform?"
"Here, too, we do not waste," answered the Rabbi. "What we do is save up all the foreskins and send them to the Tax Office, and about once a year they send us a complete dick."
Sunday, April 2
Modern cuisine recipe
1. One boiling pot (Iraq)
2. A bushel of Straw (British)
3. One cup of Rice (US grown)
Stir well together.
Spice up with MSG and a grain of salt.
Warning: You might experience involuntary or perhaps compulsory vomiting when consumed.