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Wesak 2006: Taurus Solar Festival with Full Moon in Scorpio

By Curtis Lang on May 11, 2006

Uniting Spiritual and Earthly Realms

 
Welcome to the May 11, 2006 Wesak Festival edition of the Satya Center newsletter. Warm greetings from your Editor, Curtis Lang.

Jane and I send each and every one of you love and light on this, the eve of the 2006 Wesak Festival, held during the Full Moon in Scorpio, when the Sun is in Taurus.

In the East, Wesak is a yearly Festival commemorating the birth of Gautama Buddha, his spiritual enlightenment, and his transcendent journey beyond the manifested universe.

On Wesak, millions of Buddhists in thousands of temples across the world from Tokyo in the East to San Francisco in the West gather and pay homage to an Indian Prince who renounced the pleasures of his royal household to seek enlightenment for the purpose of ending human suffering, and to bring peace and happiness to mankind.

Buddha Shakyamuni, the Supremely Enlightened One, was born in 623 B.C. on a May full-moon day, during the month the Hindus call Wesak. The young Prince was named Siddhartha or “the one who has brought about all good”.

As a young man, after excelling in every aspect of his royal education, Siddhartha left his family palace, including his wife and young son, to live the ascetic life of a renunciant. On the 35’th anniversary of his birth, on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of Wesak, while in meditation, seated under a Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, the seeker Siddhartha became the Buddha, the Fully Enlightened One.

For many years the Buddha traveled around Northern India preaching His message of compassion and Loving-Kindness for all beings. Buddha taught that the individual Self, experienced as the egoistic personality, is an illusion, and that each of us is indissolubly united with the vast web of life that interpenetrates the physical and spiritual realms, extending throughout the space-time continuum, encompassing past, present and future. Thus, when we help another being we help ourselves. When we harm another being, we harm ourselves. This is the philosophical and spiritual foundation for the practice of compassion and selfless service that defines Buddhist spirituality.

True to this vision of compassionate Unity Consciousness, many of Buddha’s disciples seek to achieve nirvana (or enlightenment, or liberation) by attaining the rank of Bodhisattva. Bodhi means "awakening" or "enlightenment," and sattva means "sentient being." Sattva also has etymological roots that mean "intention," implying the intention to enlighten other beings. Thus the word bodhisattva signifies a spiritually enlightened being whose primary intention is to enlighten other beings.

One becomes a Bodhisattva after arousing the “mind of enlightenment” by taking a vow to attain supreme enlightenment for the sake of all beings. The Bodhisattva vows never to obtain nirvana for him or herself alone but to transcend this Universe only when all sentient beings have been liberated from the delusion of individual existence and attained Unity Consciousness.

Many versions of the Bodhisattva vow exist. Here is one: “The passions of delusion are inexhaustible. I vow to extinguish them all at once. The number of beings is endless. I vow to help save them all. The Truth cannot be told. I vow to tell it. The Way which cannot be followed is unattainable. I vow to attain it.”

This beautiful vow contains the seed of all Buddha’s wisdom teachings, which he spread throughout Northern India during his lifetime.

To read more about Buddhist wisdom teachings, from the point of view of a Westerner, read two articles of mine entitled “The Illusion of the Separate Self” and “The Watcher”.

After decades of unremitting work, having firmly established the Buddhist path upon the Earth, on the Wesak Full Moon, forty-five years after his enlightenment, lying between two beautiful sala trees, in front of a large group of his followers, Buddha left his body and transcended phenomenal existence completely.

Today, devout Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Passing at the Wesak Festival by gathering before dawn to raise the Buddhist Flag and sing hymns in praise of the “Three Jewels” of Buddhism – the Buddha, the Dharma (Teachings), and the Sangha (Spiritual Community). Devotees bring simple offerings of flowers, candles and incense sticks to lay at the feet of their great teacher. These offerings remind us that just as the beautiful flowers wither away after a short time, just as the candles and incense soon burn out, life is subject to decay and destruction.

For this reason it is important to cultivate spiritual practice now and every day in our lives. Spiritual practice alone leads to the flowering of enlightenment. It is important to light the candle of devotion within our hearts and spark the light of wisdom within our minds, by deep meditation grounded in gratitude for our many blessings. It is important to exercise our will and send our sincere prayers for spiritual advancement spiraling to the heavens like coils of smoke from sticks of incense on an altar.

Over the last one hundred years, the Celebration of Wesak has become a World Festival of Spirituality, transcending the Buddhist community, and is now a major celebration for Lightworkers everywhere.

The 20th century Theosophist, clairvoyant, spiritual teacher and esoteric astrologer Alice Bailey discussed the new global tradition of the Wesak Full Moon Festival in her booklet, “The Wesak Festival: A Technique of Spiritual Contact”.  

“As one studies the world situation today, it becomes apparent that the secret of synthesis has been lost. Humanity is divided – one section against another section; the East versus the West; one race against another race; one nation against another nation,” Alice Bailey explains. “Men need to get back to the ancient knowledge that our planet is intended to demonstrate the essential unity of humanity, and that the energy which should manifest is that of integration and coherence. When this is truly realized our present world problems will adjust themselves, and the basic world rhythm will be re-established and stabilized.”

“Unfortunately, as yet, the race as a whole is not group conscious, and therefore average humanity cannot be trusted to work, think and plan for the group,” Bailey continues. “Men are as yet too selfish. In this fact, there is, however, no cause for discouragement, because to those who have a wide world vision it is also become definitely apparent that group consciousness and group responsibility are already something more than simply a lovely vision. Brotherhood and the recognition of its obligations are beginning to permeate the consciousness of men everywhere. This is due to the increasing activity of the Hierarchy of Light, to the services rendered down the ages by the Guides of the race, and today by Christ and his Church. They are beginning to demonstrate to man the true meaning of brotherhood, and men are beginning to grasp and realize their responsibilities. There is innate in mankind a responsiveness to that supreme ideal, and men are now reacting to a deep-seated need for synthesis.”

That synthesis is a recognition of the Unity behind the apparent dualities of reality. The Sanskrit word for that mysterious Unity is “Satya” or “Truth”.

Recently, our spiritual teachers, Shri Anandi Ma and Dileepji Patak, were asked whether the Hindu mystery school teachings of our lineage, which is a kundalini maha yoga lineage extending back in time thousands of years to Lord Ram, were appropriate for Buddhists or Christians to follow.

Truth is One, our Teachers explained, but the paths to Truth are many and varied. “There is One Energy that manifests as different Deities,” Dileepji continued. We humans create differentiated religions, but at the subtle level the energy is One and the same and there is no conflict.

Individuals on the spiritual path have mental and emotional expectations and images concerning the nature and form of spiritual experience and the Deities and other Beings of Light they will encounter in the spiritual world. These expectations condition their spiritual experience. Thus, a Christian who attains enlightenment has an experience of walking with Jesus Christ. A Hindu who attains enlightenment has an experience of light exploding from the crown chakra, and a vision of the Union of Shiva and Shakti, and the Buddhist who attains liberation enters the Void. Although these energies are somewhat different, the fundamental Truth of spiritual experience transcends the culturally conditioned forms and categories of that experience. In every case, the individual who attains the spiritual goal will find they share common ground with other enlightened beings and spiritual seekers of all denominations and lineages.

“The time has now come when the West should understand the true significance of this event (Wesak),” Alice Bailey revealed. “As men understand and avail themselves of the opportunity offered at the Festival, they place themselves in line with a particular spiritual force. They become vitalized by it, and spiritually stimulated, and are consequently rendered available for service.”

The true spiritual significance of Wesak is this. In the spiritual world, there is a Hierarchy of Ascended Master Guides and Teachers whose elevated consciousness constitutes a kind of collective hive-mind dedicated to the enlightenment of human beings and the acceleration of humanity’s spiritual evolution.

This Hierarchy honors all the various Wisdom Schools of the East and the West, and recognizes the validity of all true religious teachings of every lineage.

Each and every human soul currently embodied on planet Earth is blessed by the special attention of one, and usually more, Ascended Master Guides and Teachers with whom the individual souls have developed a special affinity through countless rounds of reincarnation.

These enlightened teachers work ceaselessly to help human beings to remove the obstacles separating them from Unity Consciousness: pride, ignorance, anger, lust, greed, jealousy, sloth, envy and gluttony. The Ascended Teachers works ceaselessly to help human beings liberate themselves from the bondage of karmic attachments accrued through millennia of incarnations. The Ascended Teachers stand ever ready to respond to sincere requests for help, guidance, grace and assistance from spiritual seekers everywhere.

In addition, these Teachers help to co-ordinate the work of various churches, ashrams, sanghas, mosques, and other gatherings of spiritual seekers and Lightworkers worldwide by sending energy streams infused with Wisdom and Love to the leaders and members of these organizations, designed to provide these groups with the specific vibrations they require to obtain their spiritual goals.
In addition, the Spiritual Teachers reach out in every possible way to human beings on the spiritual path, seeking to prepare them for the important work that only embodied souls can do to alleviate human suffering and promote spiritual progress on Earth.

For those who have become conscious of their Guides and Teachers, the Enlightened Ones send a continuous energetic stream of intellectual inspiration, loving wisdom, compassion and will forces designed to strengthen the spiritual seeker, guide them toward golden opportunities to be of maximum service in the world, and unite them with like-minded souls from various walks of life with whom they can share the life of Spirit in a more conscious way. Thus the Ascended Master Teachers seek to help the individual find and affiliate with a sympathetic group of spiritual aspirants, so that the individual may enjoy the enhanced energy levels available only in group spiritual practice. The Ascended Master Teachers also seek to join the individual with spiritual teachers appropriate to each individual’s soul development, personality, cultural conditioning and karmic needs. Finally, the Ascended Master Teachers seek to embrace the individual in the New Group of World Servers comprising all those spiritual aspirants worldwide from every lineage and religion who share a common vision of humanity’s essential Unity and of the essential Truth of Unity.

The Festival of Wesak is a Global Celebration of the work being done by the Ascended Master Teachers in Spiritual Worlds and by the New Group of World Servers in the physical realm on planet Earth.

Over the last hundred years, countless meditators, lightworkers, spiritual seekers and aspirants have told stories of dreams and meditative visions they have experienced on the Full Moon of May. Over time, their stories have coalesced into a larger collective Story of Wesak, which has its foundation in the initial writings of Alice Bailey.

This is a summary of that Story.

“The Wesak Festival is in recognition of a present living event. It takes place ... whilst some great and heavenly event is going on, and it is in the nature of a participating ceremony,” says Alice Bailey. . . .There is release upon Earth (according to the measure of man's demand) of the blessing of God Himself, transmitted through the Buddha and His Brother, the Christ.”

High in the Himalayas, in the general area of Tibet, there lies a remote valley, all but circumscribed by lofty mountain ranges. Beginning on the third day prior to the Wesak Full Moon in Scorpio, a slow but steady stream of adepts, high lamas, magi, monks, priests, nuns, high priestesses, clairvoyants, spiritual teachers, and yogis begin to travel through a small funnel shaped opening in the mountains, to the northeast of the valley, and to set up camp on the valley’s plains.

Toward the northern end of the valley lies a large flat rock. Shorn of trees and shrubs, the valley is covered with a kind of short grass, but the mountainside surrounding it is full of tall trees.

Throughout the days prior to the Full Moon and up to the night thereof, the growing gathering is augmented by the addition of many Beings of Light -- Ascended Masters, Guides and Teachers, Rishis and Bodhisattvas whose subtle bodies pervade the valley with auric light visible on the etheric, astral, and causal planes of existence.

During this period, many lightworkers and disciples, spiritual teachers and yogis who inhabit the earth in a physical form and who cannot attend the gathering in person perform spiritual practices, meditations and prayers designed to join their energies, their souls, and their spirits with this elevated gathering.

In the hidden Himalayan Valley, this gathering congregates in groups according to their various grades, religions, paths, affiliations and lineages. Each one individually, and as part of a group, performs intensive spiritual practices to prepare themselves to receive a great spiritual gift. Through these practices, the adepts open the heart, strengthen the will, illuminate the mind, and set up a ceaseless petition to heaven asking the Divine Source to instruct them concerning humanity’s pressing needs for the upcoming year, and asking the Divine Source to provide them with the grace and guidance they need to be of maximum service in the world.

On the evening of Wesak, as the time of the Full Moon nears, the congregation looks to the northeast of the valley, concentrating their attention upon the vast flat rock lying there. A vast crystal bowl, full of the water of life, sits upon its grey expanse.

The Cosmic Christ takes up his position among the congregation in the valley, and the various groups begin to move, forming human, moving mandalas that inscribe through sacred geometry the wisdom teachings of East and West upon the valley’s floor. Chants and mantras rise up into the night sky. As the chanting and the rhythmic movements of the groups quicken and strengthen, mere minutes before the exact time of the Full Moon, a saffron dot appears in the northeastern sky, soaring over the mountains and descending into the sacred valley.

The Buddha appears in his saffron robes, hovering above the great rock, in a full lotus meditation posture, his hand extended in blessing.

At that moment, the Cosmic Christ intones a secret mantram, and the congregation falls upon their faces in a gesture of supplication, gratitude and devotion.

At that moment, the combined energy of the congregation reaches its highest pitch and is met with a vast outpouring of Loving Wisdom in the form of the blessing of the Buddha, conveying energies direct from the Divine Source essential to humanity’s evolution during the coming year.

The Cosmic Christ receives these potent energies, transforms and transmutes them into energies appropriate for the vehicles of the various participants in the Valley and around the world, and distributes these energies to all those receptive and prepared to receive them.

All this takes approximately eight minutes. The Buddha’s annual sacrifice being complete, he returns to that inconceivably elevated place from which he came, at great personal cost, to aid suffering humanity.

The crowd rises to its feet. The water in the bowl is distributed in small portions to the attending Masters, initiates and disciples, and they go their own way to their places of service. The crowd shares the waters of life with one another.

This is symbolic of the initiation of a New Aquarian Age of World Service, in which human beings, symbolized by the Water Bearer, recognize the essential unity of all humanity and willingly share with one another all that is essential for human life and human spiritual evolution.

Here are some ideas for those who would like to participate in this great Festival of Love and Light.

1.    During the time prior to the full Moon, accelerate your spiritual practice as much as possible. Attempt to remain somewhat more quiet than normal. Listen to some uplifting spiritual music, chants or mantras, instead of watching TV if possible. Or simply make some silent time. Meditate. Pray. Ask for the grace and guidance you need to achieve your loftiest spiritual goals. Ask that you be ever more consciously connected to inner spiritual guidance. Ask that you be given golden opportunities to be of maximum service in the world. Give thanks. Perform random acts of kindness.

2.    On the evening of the Full Moon, fill any crystal bowls or vases you may have available with water, and place them outside at sunset. Allow these containers to sit outside during the night, and bring them in the following morning. Put the water from the crystal containers into sealed glass bottles. You can use this holy water, infused with the magnetic energy of the Loving Wisdom embodied by Lord Buddha and the Cosmic Christ, to heal your environment, yourself, and others. Place the water in a crystal bowl on your altar, or by your bed, or on your mantelpiece, and simply allow the water to evaporate. Then replace the water as needed. This will elevate the energy within your living space. Occasionally pour some of this enlivened water into your bath to purify your body and soul. Occasionally drink the water for self-healing. Offer the water to others who are in need of healing. Tell them what they are receiving. Pour this water upon the earth in areas where human beings have damaged the environment, and ask Grandmother Earth for forgiveness.

3.    In the room where you meditate, place a crystal bowl full of water on the altar or nearby you. Play some appropriate spiritual music the evening of the Wesak Full Moon. The Wesak Full Moon occurs at 2:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time.  By 2:30, at the latest, try to be sitting in meditation. Connect with your spiritual guides and teachers, and with inner spiritual guidance. Ask for help with any and all issues you are currently addressing. Ask to be graced with guidance that will help you understand what is to come in the next year, and how you can be of maximum service in the world. Chant or pray as the Full Moon approaches. By 2:45 simply enter into a deep meditative state. Try to visualize or hear or feel the presence of a vast energy grid surrounding the Earth, energized by the combined will and intent of the entire Spiritual Hierarchy and the New Group of World Servers around the world. Feel your own energy uniting with that vast collective outpouring of love and light.

Those on the West Coast will be doing this between 11 and 12 PM, and for those on the East Coast, feel free to simply tune in to this global meditation at any time during the evening, join in and participate. You may also have some very interesting early morning dreams!

4.    Sit in peace during the eight minutes of Buddha’s visitation (from 2:47 AM EDT to 2:55 AM EDT), and when that is over, simply give thanks. Allow yourself time to feel the inpouring flow of Loving Wisdom from the Divine Source. Once again, if you are on the East Coast or in Central time zone, just meditate during the evening and be sure to keep a dream journal near your bed.

5.    Join in the Wesak water ceremony of communion. Take up the crystal bowl nearby you and see the light reflected within the liquid. Know that light is the Path of Spirit, and that as you partake of the water of light, that light will dwell within you, lighting your path during the coming year. Mentally dedicate yourself to selfless service and healing the Earth.

6.    Recite the Great Invocation:

THE GREAT INVOCATION

From the point of light within the Mind of God
Let Light stream forth into our minds
Let LIGHT descend on Earth.

From the point of love within the Heart of God
Let Love stream forth into our hearts
May LOVE increase on Earth.

From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide our wills
The PURPOSE which the masters know and serve.

From the center which we call Humanity
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door
where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
Let LIGHT and LOVE and POWER
restore the Planet Earth!

If you go to bed before the actual Full Moon moment, say the Great Invocation before retiring. The next morning you can get the crystal bowls you set outside, take and drink some of the collected water, and once again say the Great Invocation.

7.    During the three days following Wesak, imbibe the holy water from your crystal containers. Try to maintain a high level of spiritual practice. Maintain a constant awareness of the energy that you received during Wesak, and be prepared to share that energy with all those you meet during this time. Keep an attitude of service uppermost in your mind. As you go about your day, listen to the people you meet, and honor them. Extend the energy of compassionate concern to them, and if you can help them, do so. In each encounter, you have the opportunity to share the living waters of life just as the Masters do in the Himalayan Valley Wesak night. Remain watchful for coincidences, meaningful synchronistic events and chance encounters that could be your doorway to new spiritual pathways, new spiritual allies, new guides and teachers, new spiritual communities, and new opportunities for selfless service.

This Wesak Festival, may each and every one of you receive the grace and guidance you need to achieve your loftiest spiritual goals during the coming year!

Top New Stories at SatyaCenter.com

Esoteric Astrologer Malvin Artley, who is steeped in the Theosophical Tradition underlying the New Age celebration of Wesak, has written a new article, “Wesak Festival 2006”, detailing the Cosmic Climate this May Full Moon, and the astrological influences that will be impacting all of us most heavily over the next several months.

“There is much more than meets the eye with this chart and period, as we shall see,” says Malvin. “In addition and integral to that, there is a Uranus station that is about to occur, and that will bring major change and/or upheaval for many people. . . Uranus is going to be throwing us a few curves well into the next year. It is all really a matter of perspective, as everything in the life of the Soul is beyond temporal measure and human reasoning. At the end of it all, a new rhythm will be imposed upon the lives of many as a result of the action of this Uranus station and the Wesak period.”

Dennis Klocek, Director of the Goethean Studies Program at Rudolf Steiner College, presents us with a first-person account of his contact with elemental beings and his internal work to elevate his experience to the level of spiritual science in his new article, “A Morning Walk – Traveling to Elemental Realms”.

“Spiritual research requires the same degree of corroboration as research done in the natural sciences,” argues Klocek. “The problem is that the physical world and its laws provide the researcher the ideal parameters to test the validity of an insight. This is not present in research into spiritual matters.”

“This problem comes to a head in the research conducted in the realm of the elemental spirits,” continues Klocek. “The elemental realms provide an interface for the world of spiritual beings and the manifest world. The temptation here is the tendency to believe that what has been ‘experienced’ by the researcher in the physical world is a communication from a being living in the spiritual world.”

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Top New Stories From Around the Web


Editor’s Note: The following excerpts from news stories around the web contain links to the originals. In many cases, these stories are quite long, and the short excerpts do not provide a synopsis of the original article, rather they are teasers. If the stories are important to you, I suggest you check out the original stories. I have selected stories that provide important information normally unavailable in the mass media and articles reflecting a spiritual view of global realities.

PoliticalAffairs.net    
It's a Family Affair: Bush's War for Rockefeller Oil
 By Wadi’h Halabi  
 
US imperialism does not use AK-47s. It does not need them. It has B-1s, F-16s, helicopter gunships, “smart” bombs and cluster bombs. It has nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

But imperialism is increasingly desperate. The profits of the Fortune Global 500, the world’s 500 largest corporations, dropped 54 percent in 2001. In 2002, they fell another 56 percent. Their profit margins on sales dived between 2000 and 2002, from 4.7 percent to 0.97 percent. Bad debts and corporate bankruptcies broke records in Japan and Germany. Even business journals admit that “overproduction” is slamming profits. There can be famine, but the capitalists will only see “overproduction” if there is not enough paying demand for their productive capacity.

With profits tanking in late 2000, it was no surprise that the Supreme Court selected George W. Bush, and that he started beating the drums of war so loudly. There is a history. It was not long after the crisis of 1893 that a young US imperialism went to war over Cuba, the Philippines and China. It was not long after the crisis of 1907 that imperialist powers took the path to World War I. It was not long after the crash of 1929 that a desperate Japanese imperialism began its brutal invasions of China and Korea, setting the stage for World War II.

Counterpunch
April 25, 2006
Obliterating the Dollar ... and the Middle Class?
Preparing for the Economic Typhoon

By MIKE WHITNEY

Gold traders love George Bush. They know that his blundering mismanagement of the economy will keep gold soaring well into the future. In the last year alone gold increased nearly $200 an ounce capping off a 5 year run that has taken it from $274 per ounce to $635 at Friday's close.

These are serious numbers and they reflect the uneasiness with the global political situation (Iran, Nigeria) as well as concern about the oceans of debt generated by our Oval Office numbskull.

Is it really possible for one man to single-handedly obliterate the world's most robust economy?

Guess so.

After 6 years of looting the public till, the cupboard is just about bare. Bush has chalked up another $3 trillion of public debt which sounds the death-knell for Social Security, public education, and the social safety net.

AsiaTimesOnline
Apr 26, 2006   
What's really happening in Tehran
By Pepe Escobar

. . . The power spheres in Iran seem to bet that even in the event of a shock and awe of B-2s, missiles and bunker busters, that simply is not enough to snuff out accumulated Iranian nuclear know-how and the quest to master the nuclear fuel cycle. So the only real question would be for how many years the US would be able to slow down Iran's nuclear program.

Is that all there is? Not really.

As some Iranian analysts and ministry officials have told Asia Times Online in Tehran off the record, there are reasons to believe the leadership is misreading an avalanche of US signs related to the military and psychological preparation for a possible war.

For instance, fundamentalist Christians in the US - who support Zionism for theological reasons - unleashed a ferocious media campaign depicting Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad as the Antichrist who wants to destroy Jerusalem and prevent Jesus' comeback.

There are even indications that the Iranian leadership has not taken the Bush administration's explicit desire for regime change seriously. It's as if the leadership is persuading itself Washington would never dare to escalate the situation - especially after such US bodies as the Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Academy of Sciences have stated that a tactical nuclear strike could kill more than a million Iranians.

GlobalEcho
Hostile Takeover - The Corporate Control of Society and Human Life
by: Stephen Lendman on: 26th Apr, 06

Large transnational corporations are clearly the dominant institution of our time. They’re preeminent throughout the world but especially in the Global North and its epicenter in the US. They control or greatly influence what we eat and drink, where we live, what we wear, how we get most of our essential services like health care and even what we’re taught in schools up to the highest levels.

They control or greatly influence what we eat and drink, where we live, what we wear, how we get most of our essential services like health care and even what we’re taught in schools up to the highest levels. They create and control our sources of information and greatly influence how we think and our view of the world and them. They even now own patents on our genetic code, the most basic elements of human life, and are likely planning to manipulate and control them as just another commodity to exploit for profit in their brave new world that should concern everyone. They also carefully craft their image and use catchy slogans to convince us of their benefit to society and the world, like: "better things for better living through chemistry" (if you don’t mind toxic air, water and soil), "we bring good things to life" (for them, not us), and "all the news that’s fit to print" (only if you love state and corporate friendly disinformation and propaganda). The slogans are clever, but the truth is ugly.

Dissident Voice
The Twilight of Capitalism  
by Natylie Baldwin
www.dissidentvoice.org
April 24, 2006

Kentucky farmer and writer Wendell Berry once made an astute observation about the profound flaw underlying both communism and capitalism as systems of human organization: both force humans to be subservient to a colossal institution -- in the case of communism it is the state and in the case of capitalism it is the “free market” -- a market run by anonymous and unaccountable piles of money voraciously seeking to acquire still bigger piles of money, otherwise known as corporations.

Economic analyst David Korten took this observation about the nature of capitalism a step further. He described how capitalism is eerily comparable to the disease of cancer in that the economic players in a “free market” economy that is run capitalistically will forget that they are one unit of a larger network of units that comprise a systemic whole, all of which are ultimately dependent upon each other for survival. When this forgetfulness occurs in a cell in the human body, and the body’s various lines of defense against it are overridden, a tumor will develop as the cell seeks endless growth by dividing itself incessantly, eventually destroying major organs and killing the host through its selfish consumption of resources.

Korten, however, does not advocate for the replacement of one form of suffocating and unsustainable control with another as is the case with traditional Marxism. He instead shows that the problem is not with markets as a vehicle for the exchange of goods and services to meet human needs but, more specifically, with capitalism as the means of organizing those markets.

Starlightnews.com
The Winds of Change

Like Midas’ Golden Touch, the Incompetent Touch of the Bush administration knows no limits. Whatever they endeavor seems destined to collapse on its own foundation of ineptitude. They couldn’t even secure the heavily-guarded speech of Chinese Premier Hu Jintao at the White House from a very vocal, activist member of one of China’s most oppressed religious groups. Nor could they correctly state the name of the People’s Republic of China when announcing its national anthem, confusing it with the name of the rebellious and free Taiwan. And so it goes. Inefficiency and bungling permeate the prosecution of the war, the hurricane relief effort, the prescription drug program, and literally everything other than their notorious Machiavellian propaganda machine, which spins to perfection in its own manipulative frenzy.

In the astrology chart, the point where the inner world of the native meets the environment is known as the Ascendant. Strong aspects to it will color both how the person sees and deals with the world and how the person is perceived by others. In the 2005 Inaugural chart, the chart of the second Bush administration, the Ascendant (12Taurus57) is in a very tight square with Neptune (14Aquarius33). This aspect is intensified from May 2005 through August 2006 due to secondary and solar arc progressions.

When Neptune colors all interactions with the environment, as it does for the Bush administration, reality is misperceived, over-dramatized, and confusing. Self-deception and the perpetration of illusion are the norm. Likewise, deeds that require clarity, logic and discipline get muddled by misperceptions and lack of organization. I have spoken previously about the Neptune/Ascendant square as signifying the pervasive dishonesty and deceptive practices of this administration. But this aspect also speaks to the profound incompetence we are finding at every level of the Bush White House that is becoming its most glaring attribute.

GlobalEcho
Depleted Uranium - Far Worse Than 9/11
DEPLETED URANIUM DUST - PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER FOR THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
by: Douglas Westerman on: 1st May, 06

In 1979, depleted uranium (DU) particles escaped from the National Lead Industries factory near Albany, N.Y.,which was manufacturing DU weapons for the U.S military. The particles traveled 26 miles and were discovered in a laboratory filter by Dr. Leonard Dietz, a nuclear physicist.  This discovery led to a shut down of the factory in 1980, for releasing morethan 0.85 pounds of DU dust into the atmosphere every month, and involved a cleanup of contaminated properties costing over 100 million dollars.

Imagine a far worse scenario.  Terrorists acquire a million pounds of the deadly dust and scatter it in populated areas throughout the U.S.  Hundreds of children report symptoms.  Many acquire cancer and leukemia, suffering an early and painful death.  Huge increases in severe birth defects are reported.  Oncologists are overwhelmed.  Soccer fields, sand lots and parks, traditional play areas for kids, are no longer safe.  People lose their most basic freedom, the ability to go outside and safely breathe.   Sounds worse than 9/11?  Welcome to Iraq and Afghanistan.   

Tomgram: The Nation Institute
    The Wide War
How Donald Rumsfeld Discovered the Wild West in Latin America
   
   By Greg Grandin, 5/8/06

    How fast has Latin America fallen from favor? Just a decade ago the Clinton administration was holding up the region as the crown jewel of globalization's promise: All is quiet on "our southern flank," reported the head of the US Southern Command, General Barry McCaffrey, in 1995, "our neighbors are allies who, in general, share similar values." "The Western Hemisphere has a lot to teach the world," said McCaffrey's boss Secretary of Defense William Cohen two years later, "as the world reaches for the kind of progress we have made."

    Today, with a new generation of leaders in open rebellion against Washington's leadership, Latin America is no longer seen as a beacon unto the world but as a shadowy place where "enemies" lurk. "They watch, they probe," Donald Rumsfeld warns of terrorists in Latin America; they look for "weaknesses." According to the new head of Southcom General Bantz Craddock, the region is held hostage by a league of extraordinary gentlemen made up of the "transnational terrorist, the narco-terrorist, the Islamic radical fundraiser and recruiter, the illicit trafficker, the money launderer, the kidnapper, [and] the gang member."

DMIBlog
David Sirota,5/9/06
Hillary Clinton's "Mating Ritual" With Rupert Murdoch

There's a lot of talk from the media and the pundit class about "red and blue America," supposedly increased political "polarization" - but as my new book, Hostile Takeover details, that narrative is a deliberate farce designed to hide the very tightly-knit, bipartisan consensus in the Establishment that makes sure Big Money interests and the power structure are protected. Think that sounds like a conspiracy theory? Think that sounds crazy? Think again - and check out the front page of CBS News's website today.

There you will find an article headlined "Rupert Murdoch Loves Hillary Clinton." The story notes:

    "Conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch will host a fundraiser for liberal New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, the Financial Times reports. The mating ritual of the unlikely allies has been under way for months. Clinton set political tongues to wagging last month by attending a Washington party celebrating the 10th anniversary of Fox News, the cable news channel owned by Murdoch."

Hawks Looking for New and Bigger Enemies?
By Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service
Tuesday 09 May 2006

    Washington - As if rallying fading public support for keeping more than 100,000 U.S. troops in a disintegrating Iraq and preparing the ground for a possible military attack on Iran were not enough, some influential hawks are now promoting a more confrontational stance against Russia and China, as well.

    Their eagerness to take on new and bigger enemies, signaled by Vice Pres. Dick Cheney's blistering verbal assault on Russia Thursday, could be a calculated effort to intimidate the two Eurasian giants at a moment when the U.S. and the European Union (EU) appear to have forged greater unity on key foreign policy issues than at any time since Washington invaded Iraq three years ago.

    Russia and China, which were initially treated as allies in the "global war on terror", are now seen as the two biggest obstacles to Washington's drive to impose U.N. Security sanctions against Iran, the administration's current top foreign policy priority. Hardliners may believe that putting them on the defensive at this moment could persuade them to show greater flexibility, at least with respect to Iran.

The US's Geopolitical Nightmare
By F. William Engdahl
Asia Times
Tuesday 09 May 2006

    By drawing attention to Iraq and the obvious role oil plays in US policy today, the George W Bush-Dick Cheney administration has done just that: it has drawn the world's energy-deficit powers' attention firmly to the strategic battle over energy, and especially oil.

    This is already having consequences for the global economy in terms of US$75-a-barrel crude-oil price levels. Now it is taking on the dimension of what one former US defense secretary rightly calls a "geopolitical nightmare" for the United States.

    The creation by Bush and Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and company of a geopolitical nightmare is also the backdrop to comprehend the dramatic political shift within the US establishment in the past six months, away from the Bush presidency. Simply put: Bush and Cheney and their band of neo-conservative war hawks, with their special relationship to the capacities of Israel in Iraq and across the Mideast, were given a chance.

    The chance was to deliver on the US strategic goal of control of petroleum resources globally, to ensure the US role as first among equals over the next decade and beyond. Not only have they failed to "deliver" that goal of US strategic dominance, they have also threatened the very basis of continued US hegemony, or as the Rumsfeld Pentagon likes to term it, "Full Spectrum Dominance".

    The move by Bolivian President Evo Morales, after meetings with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro, to assert national control over oil and gas resources is only the latest demonstration of the decline in US power projection.


Meditation Moment


Look Out

by Wendell Berry

Come to the window, look out, and see
the valley turning green in remembrance
of all springs past and to come, the woods
perfecting with immortal patience
the leaves that are the work of all of time,
the sycamore whose white limbs shed
the history of a man's life with their old bark,
the river quivering under the morning's breath
like the touched skin of a horse, and you will see
also the shadow cast upon it by fire, the war
that lights its way by burning the earth.

Come to your windows, people of the world,
look out at whatever you see wherever you are,
and you will see dancing upon it that shadow.
You will see that your place, wherever it is,
your house, your garden, your shop, your forest, your farm,
bears the shadow of its destruction by war
which is the economy of greed which is plunder
which is the economy of wrath which is fire.
The Lords of War sell the earth to buy fire,
they sell the water and air of life to buy fire.
They are little men grown great by willingness
to drive whatever exists into its perfect absence.
Their intention to destroy any place is solidly founded
upon their willingness to destroy every place.

Every household of the world is at their mercy,
the households of the farmer and the otter and the owl
are at their mercy. They have no mercy.
Having hate, they can have no mercy.
Their greed is the hatred of mercy.
Their pockets jingle with the small change of the poor.
Their power is the willingness to destroy
everything for knowledge which is money
which is power which is victory
which is ashes sown by the wind.

Leave your windows and go out, people of the world,
go into the streets, go into the fields, go into the woods
and along the streams. Go together, go alone.
Say no to the Lords of War which is Money
which is Fire. Say no by saying yes
to the air, to the earth, to the trees,
yes to the grasses, to the rivers, to the birds
and the animals and every living thing, yes
to the small houses, yes to the children. Yes.


Wendell Berry is a writer and a farmer in Port Royal, Kentucky. His latest novel is "Hannah Coulter," and the poem on this page is  from "Given," his upcoming collection of poems.
 
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SPEECHLESS
 
"Inside this new love, die.

Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.

Take an axe to the prison wall.
Escape.

Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.

You're covered with thick clouds.
Slide out the side. Die,

and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you've died.

Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.
The speechless full moon
comes out now."

-- Rumi