The Blessings of Nature
Welcome to the September 2, 2005 edition of the Satya Center newsletter. Warm greetings from your Editor, Curtis Lang.
Happy Harvest Moon! As we recover from the shock of Hurricane Katrina, here in the Hudson Valley we are experiencing a severe drought, and farmers who warehoused their irrigation paraphernalia have had to re-deploy their gear in the dusty fields.
Jane and I are filled with gratitude for our beautiful new home, the gorgeous countryside that enfolds us, and the friends gathering around us at this time. We are surrounded by a superabundance of various types of tomatoes, large and small, the last of this year’s many varieties of sweet corn has been eaten, and the freezers are full of frozen blueberries, raspberries and corn. Jane has perfected the art of slow roasting tomatoes and soon there will be a slow roast party in the barn at Roxbury Farm.
We are acutely aware of the many blessings Mother Nature has bestowed upon us in our new home, filled with compassion for those who are suffering as a result of Katrina’s passage, and sobered by a clear view of our own limited abilities to aid them in their hour of need.
In addition, we are somewhat stunned by the dawning awareness that even the Message of Katrina has not roused America’s leaders from the stupor induced by their power, wealth and privilege. They have not given any indication they understand the need to wean the world off its deadly addiction to fossil fuel consumption, nor have they demonstrated true compassion toward those who suffer in their own land. Rather, they concentrate upon a foreign policy of naked imperialism and a domestic policy of repression and exploitation of the workers, the middle class, and minorities.
We have been hearing from our peers who walk the ways of Spirit in different parts of this country and around the world, and they are increasingly concerned that the cavalier attitudes of the global elite and the business-as-usual ethos of the majority of world citizens could accelerate the current global rush into extremely troubled waters.
This seems more and more likely, but those of us who have seen the writing on the wall, and heard the messages blowing in the wind have a heavy responsibility – to stay grounded and centered and to shine our light steadfastly into the darkness around us.
There will be more messages from Mother Nature, more wake up calls like Katrina, and more strenuous tests devised for our callous leadership and for all of us around the world in the coming months and years. These tests are designed to stimulate the emergence of the soul-perfection within our species, and to provide a strong impulse toward collective action and co-operative community that can transcend the drive toward increasing individualization which has been the primary task of humanity’s spiritual evolution for the last several hundred years.
The emergence of individuated consciousness, which is the great gift of Western civilizations, and which has been the primary lesson of history over the last few thousand years, has enabled humanity to transcend the relatively unconscious collective awareness that was typical of the Neolithic priestly cultures, and their descendants, such as the Sumerian, Babylonian, and Egyptian dynasties with their absolute ruling classes and their rigid hierarchical class distinctions.
In facing the difficult tests before us, while we must continue to evolve as individuals, our primary goal must be to establish a harmonious group consciousness. It is up to us to maintain our individuality and yet to set aside our differences with others with whom we form our spiritual, familial, professional and personal communities in pursuit of common goals that benefit the common good and transcend our own petty egoistic personality needs and desires.
The coming environmental catastrophes, and the potential war of all against all that could be unleashed by water shortages, food shortages, greed and lust for power during the end of the age of abundant, cheap oil can only be averted or mitigated by the emergence of a group consciousness that honors the Earth and simultaneously maintains the welfare of all individuals.
Those of us who can successfully integrate these communitarian impulses into our psyches and our lives, and find common cause with those who share our goals, but who may have different belief systems and values, will be richly rewarded by the Universe, and will be given the tools enabling them to work together to ameliorate the coming global troubles in their immediate vicinity and around the world.
We all create our own realities, to this extent. We all are responsible for our own actions and our own spiritual development. We all have free will. Working together, in alignment with our Higher Purpose, and in concert with our friends, family, neighbors and chosen allies, we will find ourselves uplifted during the turbulent times to come.
There is no excuse for giving in to fear. Fear is the soul-destroyer, the tool of the oppressor. Love is the antidote for fear. Love leads to the perfect sacrifice, the sacrifice of the ego in service to the Higher Self, in co-ordination with the Divine Plan of Love and Light.
This Harvest Moon, let us all bow our heads in thanks for the abundance in our lives, for the light that shines within us now, and for the opportunities we share for conscious participation in this Divine Plan during a time of maximum change and accelerated spiritual progress for all humanity. Let us all ask for the grace and guidance we will need to fulfill our roles in the Divine Plan.
In the northern hemisphere, the Moon will rise around sunset tonight--and not long after sunset for the next few evenings. Northern farmers who are working long days to harvest their crops before autumn take advantage of this phenomenon, which is what gives the Harvest Moon its name. Try looking at the Moon Saturday when it's rising in the east.You will see that the low-hanging Moon looks very big. The horizon Moon appears up to twice as big as the overhead Moon. This is one of the sky godess’ most beautiful mysteries. There are many theories to explain the appearance of the huge Harvest Moon. Scientists say this is a trick of the eye known as the "Moon Illusion."
You can conduct an experiment tonight or tomorrow night to see if the Moon is actually the same size no matter where it is in the sky. Using a key or a ruler, measure the Moon's width at the horizon. Next month and the month after, measure the Moon’s width as it rises in the sky. Record the measurements in a full moon diary. Then compare the measurements you get over several months. Compare the width of the horizon moon to the Moon's width when directly overhead.
The Sabian symbol for this Full Moon, at 25°16’, is for the moon at 26° Pisces: "Watching the very thin moon crescent appearing at sunset, different people realize that the time has come to go ahead with their different projects. A new moon that divides its influences."
This full moon marks the beginning of a new yearly cycle in human spiritual evolution, which makes this Full Moon symbolically like a new moon, marking the promise of what is to come in addition to reaping the harvest of what has already been sown.
The cosmic energy which has been expanding throughout the physical world, radiating from the Earth into the atmosphere and out into deep space during the season of growth and harvest now stands poised to contract into the Earth during the winter season, when cosmic energies are consecrated to the germ, and the auric pattern or morphogenetic field surrounding the seed is imprinted with the patterns of growth that will manifest during the following spring season of birth and new life.
As we celebrate this time of fulfillment and of new beginnings in our own lives, we can become more aware that our activities, our thoughts and our emotions are having a profound and unique effect on the quality and quantity of life in the future, shaping the patterns of new cycles of work, celebration, and love for us all and for the natural world around us.
To each of us according to our true desires will come that which can make us whole, according to the true needs of the soul. This is a time for profound meditation upon the process by which we create our own realities. This is a time to honor the diversity of realities manifested by our friends, neighbors, allies and enemies upon the Earth, and to simply allow that diversity to flower, knowing it to be the very substance of Human Destiny, the prerequisite for humanity’s spiritual evolution.
September 22 is the Autumnal Equinox, which takes place this year at 6:24 PM EDT. At this time, celebrated around the world as a time symbolic of equal day and equal night, it is important for us to remember that the four cross-quarter days of the year, the solstices and equinoxes, were the highly sophisticated preoccupation of the oldest civilizations we know to have inhabited the Earth – in both East and West.
In the East, the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians and the Hindu sages created the earliest known astrological calendars to pinpoint these events, and elaborated vast mystical mythologies that captured the cosmic meaning and the magisterial power of these seasonal turning points. Their entire social structures, religions, systems of agriculture and governance depended upon the calculation and interpretation of the procession of these magical cyclical moments.
In the West, the mysterious Megalithic peoples who pre-dated Celt, Roman and Saxon on Europe's Atlantic fringe by thousands of years built Stonehenge and other stone structures, aligned so that the solstices and equinoxes could be determined and celebrated.
The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall, and takes place when the sun enters the sign of the scales, Libra, the Cosmic Balance.
The Sabian symbol for this event, occurring at 1° Libra, is as follows: “In a collection of perfect specimens of many biological forms, a butterfly displays the beauty of its wings, its body impaled by a fine dart.”
Let us meditate together for a moment on this image of successful spiritual evolution. The earthbound caterpillar explores its garden world, searches for plant life to will fuel its growth, feeds upon the plants around it, and in its heedless hunger can debilitate or destroy the source of its own sustenance and shelter. At a certain point in its evolution, the caterpillar turns inward, and sacrifices the form and life it has known previously. After a period of gestation and hibernation, in retreat from the outside world, the caterpillar re-emerges as a beautiful butterfly. The butterfly has a Higher Purpose in the world than merely to feed and perpetuate its own life-cycle. Empowered to soar above the plants it had previously struggled to inch its way among, the butterfly spreads the pollen of the plants it visits, perpetuating their lives rather than threatening them, as it did when it visited them in its caterpillar incarnation. The butterfly does not eat plants, it drinks nectar, reproduces, and soars above the garden. The butterfly has undergone a spiritual evolution as well as a physical metamorphosis. This amazing creature, which began life as a garden predator and pest, has become one of the most essential garden helpers, one of the most prized garden ornaments, and one of the most giving of garden creatures.
Thus the butterfly has long been considered a model for human psychic development among mystery schools of both the East and the West.
The image of the butterfly impaled by a pin pictures the elevation of the individual existence to the realm of archetype, the expansion of the individuated time-bound egocentric personality into Cosmic, timeless, Unity Consciousness.
Christian symbolism depicts this moment of spiritual elevation in the story of Christ’s Transfiguration in the Garden of Gethsemane. When Christ was impaled by a ray of light from the Heavenly Father, illuminating his mind and heart, and showing him the path that lay before him, Christ understood the sacrifice that was being prepared for him, the nature of his death, and the gravity of the work he must undertake to perform in preparation for his glorious Resurrection.
This moment is at one and the same time the Dark Night of the Soul and the antechamber of Eternity. The initiate must surrender completely to the path of Spirit, and in that surrender lies illumination.
May each and every one of you find your own, very personal path of Spirit illuminated during this coming week, and may you each be given the strength, wisdom and will to pursue your Higher Purpose despite all obstacles, until you attain the ultimate goal.
Top Satya Center Stories of the Week
I’ve updated my long article entitled “The New New Deal: Learning the Lessons of Katrina” to include some additional information about the history of humanity’s so-far futile efforts to terraform the Mississippi Delta region. Most of this new information comes from a 1987 story in The New Yorker. An astute observer with an acute awareness of the region’s history cannot help but be dismayed by the scope of the political, environmental, social, cultural and human disaster in New Orleans. The disaster in New Orleans is so immense that only a co-ordinated, co-operative national response is adequate to the occasion. Nothing less than a total re-orientation of our society and our way of life will do.
Esoteric Astrologer Malvin Artley discusses “Katrina: The Spiritual Significance” and foresees further environmental difficulties for the United States in the months and years ahead. “What will happen if we have another disaster of this nature—like an earthquake or the like—and it takes place near or in one of the major coastal cities elsewhere in the US?” The Universe is giving us warning signs and it's up to us to act!
Futurist Richard Heinberg, a new Satya Center contributor, tells us “How to Avoid Oil Wars, Terrorism and Economic Collapse”. In the near future insufficient oil supplies will lead to extreme price shocks, price volatility, acute shortages, geo-strategic conflicts and dislocations in the global economy,” predicts Richard. “The Oil Depletion Protocol provides a global management tool to help the world community cope with earth-shaking changes.”
International peace activist Palden Jenkins, corresponding from his home in the UK, offers a welcome window into the soul of the British people in the wake of “The London Bombings”. “The British people will not be terrorized.” Palden advises. “We do not seek war. There is a public recognition of the multicultural nature of our country, and we accept and include Muslims and all others as part of our society.”
Visionary biologist Rupert Sheldrake asks, “Why did so many animals escape the 2004 Tsunami?” What is the nature of their ‘sixth sense’ that warns them of impending natural disasters? Do humans share that ability? Scientists have an obligation to find out more! To do that, we must all learn to “Listen to the Animals”.
Flower essence practitioner Teresa Wagner utilizes intuitive cognition and soul empathy developed over many years of working as a healer. She discusses her journey, her techniques, and her favorite flower essence remedies in her story, “Animals in Our Hearts: Intuitive Communication and Compassionate Care”.
Satya Center Co-Founder Jane Sherry has some good advice for gardeners and chefs anxious to take advantage of the peaking late summer harvest in order to prepare for the inevitable winter to come. “It’s Tomato Season: Slow Roast Some Tomatoes”. “There is no better way to enjoy cooked tomatoes during the harvest, than by slow roasting them to bring out the full rich sweetness of this favorite fruit of the Americas.”
Breaking News Headlines 24/7 at Satya Center
Check out Satya Center’s 24/7 alt.newsfeed and read breaking news stories from Pacific News Service. Tune in to Satya Center’s 24/7 environmental news headlines and listen to environmental news radio from Environmental News Network at ENN EarthNews.
Top Stories from around the Web
Swimming to New Orleans
By Nick Glassman, Pacific News Service 9/09/2005
I just returned this past weekend from my first trip to Louisiana
since Katrina. It's beyond what you can imagine -- it's hell on Earth.
. . .First, there's the climate. It's almost 90 degrees, and the humidity and the still water have made the swamp come alive with bugs. The mosquito swarms and other bugs make sound like a blizzard.
. . .Then there are the bodies. I first start seeing them as I cross from Metaire into what is called Midcity, the neighborhood you drive
through to get to Jazz Fest and the fairgrounds.
ROBERTSON BLAMES HURRICANE ON CHOICE OF ELLEN DEGENERES TO HOST EMMYS: Lesbian is New Orleans native
Pat Robertson on Sunday said that Hurricane Katrina
was God's way of expressing its anger at the Academy of Television
Arts and Sciences for its selection of Ellen Degeneres to host this
year's Emmy Awards. "By choosing an avowed lesbian for this national event, these Hollywood elites have clearly invited God's wrath," Robertson said on "The 700 Club" on Sunday. "Is it any surprise that the Almighty chose to strike at Miss Degeneres' hometown?" Robertson also noted that the last time Degeneres hosted the Emmys, in 2001, the September 11 terrorism attacks took place shortly before the ceremony.
The New Yorker, by John McPhee, 2/23/87
. . .“The coast is sinking out of sight,” Oliver Houck has said. “We’ve reversed Mother Nature.” Hurricanes greatly advance the coastal erosion process, tearing up landscape made weak by the confinement of the river. The threat of destruction from the south is even greater than the threat from the north.
I went to see Sherwood Gagliano one day—an independent coastal geologist and regional planner who lives in Baton Rouge. “We must recognize that natural processes cannot be restored,” he told me. “We can’t put it back the way it was. The best we can do is try to get it back in balance, try to treat early symptoms. It’s like treating cancer. You get in early, you may do something.” Gagliano has urged that water be diverted to compensate for the nutrient starvation and sediment deprivation caused by the levees. In other words, open holes in the riverbank and allow water and sediment to build small deltas into disappearing parishes. “If we don’t do these things, we’re going to end up with a skeletal framework with levees around it—a set of peninsulas to the Gulf,” he said. “We will lose virtually all of our wetlands. The cost of maintaining protected areas will be very high. There will be no buffer between them and the coast.”
Professor Kazmann, of L.S.U., seemed less hopeful. He said, “Attempts to save the coast are pretty much spitting in the ocean.”
Does Humanity Have a Cosmic Role? Protecting and Restoring the Planet
The Trumpeter, by Arne Naess, Vol. 21, #1, 2005
. . . If we have on this planet a role that could be called cosmic, I think it is because we are the only creatures within enormous distances, creatures that can consciously feel and understand life, what’s going on, what it has cost, and how long a time it has taken to have people here. Three thousand million years, this miracle of evolution has taken! When creatures moved out of the water and onto the land, they were demonstrating what the French have called an “élan vitale.” This means breaking the limitations, getting into new worlds and new ways of living, transcending any kind of goal you have so far, any kind of style.
. . . So you crawl up out of the water: I think there are still possibilities that humanity could crawl up to somewhat more dignified behaviour. It sounds unlikely but it could happen that within a very short time, say five hundred years, we could reach a level of consciousness about where we are and what we are able to do, such that we would say “We cannot treat this planet as we do.” And in a manner that is completely ethically justifiable, we will try to be fewer instead of being more and more. Wherever you are, you should live on the land in a way that does not destroy it.
This seems very unlikely, but so many unlikely things have happened this century. There have been some very bad things, such as wars, but there were other, more cheerful things that were absolutely unpredictable. So, I am an optimist, for the 22ndCentury, that we will be on the way to achieving more ecological sustainability.But in the 21stCentury, I think we will have a much worse time before we have the courage and enough motivation to change our behaviour to enjoy the planet without destroying it. In the long run, we will manage, but we need to have a long-term perspective. The Earth has fantastic resources, and if we can just reduce the number of our bad habits, things will go all right.
But then what about restoration?
Taking Stock of the Forever War
The New York Times, By MARK DANNER, 9/11/2005
. . .We cannot know what future Osama bin Laden imagined when he sent off his 19 suicide terrorists on their mission four years ago. He got much wrong; the U.S. military, light years ahead of the Red Army, would send no tank divisions to Afghanistan, and there has been no uprising in the Islamic world. One suspects, though, that if bin Laden had been told on that day that in a mere 48 months he would behold a world in which the United States, "the idol of the age," was bogged down in an endless guerrilla war fighting in a major Muslim country; a world in which its all-powerful army, with few allies and little sympathy, found itself overstretched and exhausted; in which its dispirited people were starting to demand from their increasingly unpopular leader a withdrawal without victory - one suspects that such a prophecy would have pleased him. He had struck at the American will, and his strategy, which relied in effect on the persistent reluctance of American leaders to speak frankly to their people about the costs and burdens of war and to expend the political capital that such frank talk would require, had proved largely correct.
None Dare Call It Stolen: Ohio, the election, and America's servile press
Harper's Magazine, by Mark Crispin Miller, August 2005
. . .Whichever candidate you voted for (or think you voted for), or even if you did not vote (or could not vote), you must admit that last year's presidential race was - if nothing else - pretty interesting. True, the press has dropped the subject, and the Democrats, with very few exceptions, have "moved on". Yet this contest may have been the most unusual in US history; it was certainly among those with the strangest outcomes. You may remember being surprised yourself. The infamously factious Democrats were fiercely unified - Ralph Nader garnered only about 0.38 percent of the national vote - while the Republicans were split, with a vocal anti-Bush front that included anti-Clinton warrior Bob Barr of Georgia; Ike's son John Eisenhower; Ronald Reagan's chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, William J Crowe Jr; former Air Force Chief of Staff and onetime "Veteran for Bush" General Merrill "Tony" McPeak; founding neo-con Francis Fukuyama; Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute, and various large alliances of military officers, diplomats, and business professors. The American Conservative, co-founded by Pat Buchanan, endorsed five candidates for president, including both Bush and Kerry, while the Financial Times and The Economist came out for Kerry alone. At least fifty-nine daily newspapers that backed Bush in the previous election endorsed Kerry (or no one) in this election. The national turnout in 2004 was the highest since 1968, when another unpopular war had swept the ruling party from the White House. And on Election Day, twenty-six state exit polls incorrectly predicted wins for Kerry, a statistical failure so colossal and unprecedented that the odds against its happening, according to a report last May by the National Election Data Archive Project, were 16.5 million to 1. Yet this ever-less-beloved president, this president who had united liberals and conservatives and nearly all the world against himself - this president somehow bested his opponent by 3,000,176 votes. How did he do it?
Radiation Expert Claims High-Radiation Readings Near Pentagon After 9/11 Indicate Depleted Uranium Used; Claims Missile Used at Pentagon, Not Commercial Airliner
The Arctic Beacon, by Greg Szymanski, August 18, 2005
Two high profile radiation experts concur Pentagon strike involved use of a missile. Also Geiger counter readings right after the attack shows high levels of radiation 12 miles away from Pentagon crash site
A radiation expert and high-ranking Army Major, who once headed the military's depleted uranium project, both contend the Pentagon was hit by missile, not a commercial jetliner, adding high radiation readings after the strike indicate depleted uranium also may have been used.
"I'm not an explosives or crash site expert, but I am highly knowledgeable in causes and effects related to nuclear radiation contamination. What happened at the Pentagon is highly suspicious, leading me to believe a missile with a depleted uranium warhead may have been used," said radiation expert Leuren Moret in a telephone conversation this week from her Berkeley, CA home.
Get Ready For WWIII
Antiwar.com, by Paul Craig Roberts, August 15, 2005
With every poll showing majorities of Americans both fed up with Bush's war against Iraq and convinced that Bush's invasion of Iraq has made Americans less safe, the White House moron proposes to start another war by attacking Iran. VP Cheney has already ordered the U.S. Strategic Command come up with plans to strike Iran with tactical nuclear weapons.
Bush refuses to meet with Cindy Sheehan, instead using his vacation time at the Crawford ranch to talk war with Israeli television. In a recent interview with Israeli TV, Bush said "All options are on the table" with regard to Iran.
Likudnik Israel is Bush's last remaining ally, or egger-on, in his war against "Islamic terrorism." Israel, which is loaded with nuclear weapons and is not a signatory to the nuclear pacts, is the accuser against Iran, asserting that Iran's nuclear energy program is just a veil behind which to produce weapons. Israel's Likud Party fears that Iranian weapons would be a check to its plans to complete the dispossession of the Palestinians and further expand Israel's borders.
AsiaTimesOnline, by Giuseppe Anzera, Aug 18, 2005
A series of Pentagon initiatives aimed at space militarization and the creation of new types of armament - capable of precisely striking small targets in every corner of the world and neutralizing most of today's anti-aircraft defenses - will likely result in a new power battlefield in the near future.
While the implementation of space weapons is likely to increase the capability gap between Washington and other powers at first, a broader vision reveals dangers involved in the move that could affect US interests, for it will likely trigger determined reactions by its competitors. Competitor states could successfully deploy a small number of low-cost orbital weapons, thus forcing the US to design an extremely expensive space defense system.
Thus, a space weaponization policy may generate more troubles than advantages for Washington.