TRANSITION FROM KALI YUGA TO SATHYA YUGA

DISCIPLINE THAT SEEKS TO UNIFY THE SEVERAL EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF HUMAN NATURE IN AN EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND INDIVIDUALS AS BOTH CREATURES OF THEIR ENVIRONMENT AND CREATORS OF THEIR OWN VALUES

VALUING IS CREATING

VALUING IS CREATING
VALUING IS CREATING: HEAR IT, YE CREATING ONES! VALUATION ITSELF IS THE TREASURE AND JEWEL OF THE VALUED THINGS.

OLDER IS THE PLEASURE IN THE HERD THAN THE PLEASURE IN THE EGO: AND AS LONG AS THE GOOD CONSCIENCE IS FOR THE HERD, THE BAD CONSCIENCE ONLY SAITH: EGO.

VERILY, THE CRAFTY EGO, THE LOVELESS ONE, THAT SEEKETH ITS ADVANTAGE IN THE ADVANTAGE OF MANY — IT IS NOT THE ORIGIN OF THE HERD, BUT ITS RUIN.

LOVING ONES, WAS IT ALWAYS, AND CREATING ONES, THAT CREATED GOOD AND BAD. FIRE OF LOVE GLOWETH IN THE NAMES OF ALL THE VIRTUES, AND FIRE OF WRATH.

CHANGE OF VALUES — THAT IS, CHANGE OF THE CREATING ONES. ALWAYS DOTH HE DESTROY WHO HATH TO BE A CREATOR.

METAMATRIX - BEYOND DECEPTION

METAMATRIX - BEYOND DECEPTION
PHILOSOPHERS HITHERTO SERVED SECRET ESTABLISHMENTS WHICH ENSLAVED PEOPLE.
BUT THE THING IS TO REDEEM 'HUMANITY'
.
SATHYA
“Remember. All I offer you is the truth.”

You Have Felt It Your Entire Life

SILENCE IS WORSE; ALL TRUTHS THAT ARE KEPT SILENT BECOME POISONOUS

THE USE OF KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

When power becomes gracious and descends into the visible — such descent I call beauty. And there is nobody from whom I want beauty as much as from you who are powerful: let your kindness be your final self-conquest.

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PAGES

THE CONFLICT IN SPACE

THE WORLD ALWAYS INVISIBLY AND DANGEROUSLY REVOLVES AROUND PHILOSOPHERS

28 May 2015

The Real Reason America Dropped The Atomic Bomb. It Was Not To End The War

May 9, 2015
by Arjun Walia

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/05/09/the-real-reason-america-dropped-the-atomic-bomb-it-was-not-to-end-the-war/

On August 6, 1945, the world (unfortunately) entered the atomic age. Without warning, a single nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima killed about 90,000 people instantly and injured many others – who then died from radiation sickness. Three days later, a second atomic strike on the city of Nagasaki killed some 37,000 people and injured another 43,000. Together the two bombs eventually killed an estimated 200,000 Japanese civilians.

“The Library of Congress adds roughly 60 million pages to its holdings each year, a huge cache of information for the public. However, also each year, the U.S. Government classifies nearly ten times that amount – an estimated 560 million pages of documents. For scholars engaged in political, historical, scientific, or any other archival work, the grim reality is that most of their government’s activities are secret.” – Richard Dolan, historian, author (source

(you can read more about what is known as the “black budget” here)

A very important point made above, how can we really know anything about American history if a significant portion of it remains classified? That being said, how can we really know anything about American history when we have so many examples of dishonesty and misinformation? What will the history books say about 9/11? We will have to wait and see, but what our history books tell us about the atomic bomb and why it was dropped seems to be a complete lie, according to what are some very credible sources.

We are often taught that yes, use of the atomic bomb was necessary to end the war with Japan at the earliest possible moment, but judging by the statements of many high ranking political and military personnel this is simply not the case.

Here’s what General/President Dwight Eisenhower had to say about it in his 1963 memoir, The White House Years: Mandate for Change, 1953-1956 (pp. 312-313):

“Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly, our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of “face.” (source)

“The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing… I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.” (source)

Given what I mentioned at the start of this article, I think it’s also important to note that Eisenhower also said (in his farewell address) that:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for a disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry, can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense, with our peaceful message and goals.” (source)

Did this “misplaced power” influence the decision to drop the atomic bomb? It’s impossible to say for sure, but it seems absurd to not consider the possibility.

“Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” – Woodrow Wilson, from his book entitled The New Freedom (1913).

Another great example comes from General Douglas MacArthur, who sent a 40-page memorandum to President Roosevelt that clearly outlines five different surrender overtures from high ranking Japanese officials. This memo was also revealed on the front page of the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times on August 19th, 1945.

Again, the memo unequivocally states that the Japanese were offering to surrender. What is even more eye opening is the fact that the surrender terms were practically identical to what was ultimately accepted by the Americans after the bomb had dropped. The memo (source) stated these terms:
 
-Complete surrender of all Japanese forces and arms, at home, on island possessions, and in occupied countries.
 
-Occupation of Japan and its possessions by Allied troops under American direction.
 
-Japanese relinquishment of all territory seized during the war, as well as Manchuria, Korea, and Taiwan.
 
-Regulation of Japanese industry to halt production of any weapons and other tools of war.
 
-Release of all prisoners of war and internees.
 
-Surrender of designated war criminals

Japan also made multiple attempts to end the war through Sweden and Portugal, who were neutral at the time. They also approached Soviet Russia’s leaders “with a view of terminating the war if possible by September.” (source)

Here is a quote from Deputy Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, Ellis Zacharias:

“Just when the Japanese were ready to capitulate, we went ahead and introduced to the world the most devastating weapon it had ever seen and, in effect, gave the go-ahead to Russia to swarm over Eastern Asia. Washington decided that Japan had been given its chance and now it was time to use the A-bomb. I submit that it was the wrong decision. It was wrong on strategic grounds. And it was wrong on humanitarian grounds.” (source)

Similarly, Admiral Leahy, Chief of Staff to presidents Roosevelt and Truman, later commented:

“It is my opinion that the use of the barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan… The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons… My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.” (source)

There have also been some disturbing remarks like this one:

On September 9, 1945, Admiral William F. Halsey, commander of the Third Fleet, was publicly quoted extensively as stating that the atomic bomb was used because the scientists had a “toy and they wanted to try it out…” He further stated, “The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment… It was a mistake to ever drop it.” (source)

He said this despite the fact that most prominent scientists were completely against it. The scientists involved with the Manhattan project even wrote to the Secretary of Defense to try and encourage him not to drop the bomb.

So ask yourself, why did they really drop the bomb? A number of theories have been purposed; history.com outlines how it could have been dropped to demonstrate a new weapon of mass destruction to the Soviets. In 2005, new scientist alluded to the same thing, claiming that it was done to kick start the Cold War.

“The conventional wisdom that the atomic bomb saved a million lives is so widespread that… most Americans haven’t paused to ponder something rather striking to anyone seriously concerned with the issue: Not only did most top U.S. military leaders think the bombings were unnecessary and unjustified, many were morally offended by what they regarded as the unnecessary destruction of Japanese cities and what were essentially noncombat populations. Moreover, they spoke about it quite openly and publicly.” Gar Alperovitz, University of Maryland professor of political economy – and former Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and Special Assistant in the Department of State (source)


What’s My Point?

What I am trying to do here is get readers to think. If it was clearly unceccessary to drop the bomb, if it didn’t have to be done, then what is the justification? Despite the fierce opposition from various military and political leaders, and the fact that Japan was ready to surrender, it was still dropped.

War is completely unnecessary, and there are always those who seem to thrive off of creating conflict. 9/11 is a perfect example, a supposed “terrorist” attack used to justify the infiltration of the Middle East.

There are more oddities, like the information suggesting that both sides of the war were funded by the same group. You can read more about that here.

Have we learned from our mistake? The fact that nuclear weapons even exist is a discouraging fact, and I am ashamed to be a part of a race who has developed so many of them. It would be great if we could use our brilliant minds/science to advance ourselves as a civilization, not destroy it.

We need to learn from our history, not accept textbook explanations that paint a false picture of it. That being said, we have come a long way since 1945; it’s clear that the majority of people on this planet prefer to live in a peaceful world, so why are there so many obstacles in place preventing us from doing so?

Related CE Article:

Why Are UFOs Shutting Down Nuclear Missles

Sources:

http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/atomic-bomb-dropped-on-hiroshima

http://www.garalperovitz.com/2011/08/on-the-sixty-sixth-anniversary-of-the-bombing-of-hiroshima/

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/aug/06/secondworldwar.warcrimes

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-real-reason-america-used-nuclear-weapons-against-japan-it-was-not-to-end-the-war-or-save-lives/5308192

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sheldon-drobny/god-damn-americas-media-r_b_91773.html

The Khazarian attempts to start civil war or mass unrest inside the United States are failing in a spectacular manner

Weekly geo-political news and analysis
Message from Benjamin Fulford

May 26, 2015

Sometimes news seems to repeat itself. Sometimes news seems to repeat itself. If this sounds repetitive it is repetitive. That is because many recent news events can be summarized in a few repeating patterns: Greece threatens to default, the Ukraine threatens to default, the US runs out of money again, there is another fake mass shooting event in the US (this time Waco), China and Japan say slightly different things about each other’s history then military pilots fly to obscure islands and wave the finger at each other, Shias, Sunnis, Jews and Western mercenaries pretending to be Muslim extremists do bad things or are victims of bad things, North Korea shoots off a missile, etc. etc.

In the alternative news world, we see something similar: mass arrests of Western cabalistic elites are imminent, the new financial system has been announced and your check is in the mail, UFO’s have landed, the end of the world is nigh, President Obama is a time travelling Muslim space alien etc.

Given all this, it is understandable that many people cannot help but wonder if we will ever see any real change.

The fact is though, that we are going through a slow motion but tectonic shift in how this planet is run. Watching the old system implode is like watching stuff go down a drain hole, it circles around and around seemingly forever but suddenly, it is gone. Remember the fall of the Soviet Union? It seemed to take place in slow motion at the time but, in retrospect, it seems like it happened overnight.

The Greek situation is a case in point, deadline after deadline comes and goes and yet the can keeps getting kicked down the road. The Ukraine fails to pay its gas bills and yet the housewives still cook on their gas stoves. These situations will eventually come to a climax but, probably, not before this autumn because the consequences (collapse of the Western financial system) will be so huge that anything and everything possible is being done to delay things.

At the same time, top secret meetings keep taking place to try to come to a long term solution to these and other festering problems. There were several such meetings last week. One was between representatives of the Red Dragon and the White Dragon societies. Another was between the WDS and a Rothschild family representative.

The Red Dragon representative came with concrete proposals for three new types of energy technology. The details of this technology cannot be mentioned publicly at this time because of non-disclosure agreements. What we can say is that one was thermal, one was solar and one was nuclear. They all could be game changers IF REAL. Once again, no actual device was demonstrated and so, until Japanese manufacturers do their due diligence, we need to conclude that talk is cheap and seeing is believing. The Red Dragon folk also wanted funding and were told that funding would come when proof their technology worked was obtained by the technicians now working on the case.

The talks with the Rothschild representative were more detailed and concrete and concerned their proposal to replace Japan’s Rockefeller slave Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with Ichiro Ozawa. Ozawa is a veteran politician who had a falling out with the Rockefellers after the first Gulf war. A Japanese leftist independently contacted the WDS to say the Chinese also supported Ozawa. Both sources said that Prime Minister Abe personally endorsed Ozawa as his replacement.

The WDS said they would support an Ozawa government if it met the following conditions:

1) Nationalize the Bank of Japan and start issuing government currency.

2) Carry out a one-time write off of all Japanese debts, public and private

3) Return all Japanese financial assets illicitly obtained by the cabal

4) Remove all cancer and infertility causing substances from daily consumer products

5) Agree to set up an international economic planning agency and back it with Japan’s $7 trillion in private and public foreign currency holdings

The Ozawa government would also agree to continue and even strengthen Japan’s military alliance with the Pentagon and the US agencies provided the US side apologized for war crimes carried out against the Japanese and Germans during World War 2 (only the losers have apologized for their war crimes so far).

In any case, there are already many signs slave Prime Minister Abe has a new set of handlers. The biggest sign has been the sudden shift in Japan’s policy towards China. A delegation of 3000 Japanese dignitaries, including local and national politicians, industrialists etc. arrived in China last Friday in the biggest such visit in 15 years. They were greeted warmly by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-05/25/c_134267799.htm

Clearly something fundamental has changed between Japan and China despite Khazarian attempts to inflame regional historical and territorial sore points.

The US military is still aggressively posturing against Chinese attempts to become a regional bully and has support from most of China’s neighbours who all share an interest in keeping China polite. However, as long as the US fails to nationalize the Federal Reserve Board and issue treasury dollars to replace the no-longer American US dollar, the US military must realize it is impossible to seriously pick a fight with China at the same time as they are financed by China.

China also made a big move in South America, the former US backyard, last week when Xi Jinping showed up in Brazil with over $50 billion in financing. Chinese infrastructure projects throughout the region are rightly seen by South American governments as preferable to US instigated riots and coups d’etat.

The Americans are trying to counter Chinese influence in South America by mending relations with Cuba but, the South American countries are starting to learn the Asian bar-girls mantra: “no money, no honey.”

Even more startling for the US than events in South America and Japan though, is the growing independence movement of the Sandwich Islands, otherwise known as Hawaii. On May 11th, for the first time ever at the United Nations, a UN member country, Pakistan, raised the point that Hawaii never actually voted to become part of the United States and was technically an illegally occupied colony. The US military has vital bases on these islands and would be well advised to support the Hawaiian independence movement on the condition US military bases could stay there.

In Europe too, there has been another major setback for the Khazarian cabal. Poland just elected a President who was part of a faction likely killed by the Khazarian cabal in a plane crash 2010. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about this crash:

“President of Poland Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria, former President of Poland in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Poland’s deputy foreign minister, Polish government officials, 18 members of the Polish parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre. They were en route from Warsaw to attend an event marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Polish_Air_Force_Tu-154_crash

These people all died at a time when the Polish government was taking a hardline stance against the Euro and was planning to devalue the Polish Zloty. These policies changed after the crash led to a change of government. Newly elected Polish President Adnrzej Duda was a legal aide to the president who died in that plane crash. Duda recalls how two days before that fateful flight “the president told him that a generational change was afoot, and that it would be Duda and his peers who would take responsibility for the future of the country.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/polands-new-president-andrzej-duda-heralds-shift-to-the-right-10273812.html

It looks like a newly assertive Poland will now join Greece and the Ukraine in the whirlpool of headlines we will see in the weeks and months to come.

Meanwhile, the Khazarian Mafiosi still causing trouble in the Middle East are escalating their threats and rhetoric. In the past week they have threatened to use their ISIS pseudo-Muslim army to destroy the priceless cultural relic of Palmyra in Syria. They also threatened to blow up the Iranian embassy in Syria before withdrawing that threat after being told Tel Aviv would be destroyed in retaliation. The Pentagon reminded the Israelis their arsenal of 200 nuclear weapons was not enough to destroy the world but all it would take was a single nuke to destroy Israel.

The Khazarian attempts to start civil war or mass unrest inside the United States are also failing in a spectacular manner. The most recent event was the obviously faked biker shoot-out in Waco, Texas. All the bikers had brand new uniforms and brand new motorcycles. I do not know about you but, all the real bikers I have even seen did not look all squeaky clean like they had just come out of a clothing store with new duds. Maybe these crisis acting troupes should just come out of the closet and start charging admission for their street theater performances.

As you can see, the toilet of history has been flushed.

Researchers discover a 2 billion year old Nuclear Reactor in Africa

May 28, 2015 - In 1972, a worker at a nuclear fuel processing plant noticed something suspicious in a routine analysis of uranium obtained from a normal mineral source from Africa. As is the case with all natural uranium, the material under study contained three isotopos- ie three forms with different atomic masses: uranium 238, the most abundant variety; uranium 234, the rarest; and uranium 235, the isotope that is coveted because it can sustain a nuclear chain reaction. For weeks, specialists at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) remained perplexed.

Elsewhere in the earth’s crust, on the moon and even in meteorites, we can find uranium 235 atoms that makes up only 0.720 percent of the total. But in the samples that were analyzed, which came from the Oklo deposit in Gabon, a former French colony in West Africa, the uranium 235 constituted only 0.717 percent. That small difference was enough to alert French scientists that there was something very strange going on with the minerals. These small details led to further investigations which showed that least a part of the mine was well below the normal amount of uranium 235: some 200 kilograms appeared to have been extracted in the distant past, today, that amount is enough to make half a dozen nuclear bombs. Soon, researchers and scientists from all over the world gathered in Gabon to explore what was going on with the Uranium from Oklo.



What was fund in Oklo surprised everyone gathered there, the site where the uranium originated from is actually an advanced subterranean nuclear reactor that goes well beyond the capabilities of our present scientific knowledge. Researchers believe that this ancient nuclear reactor is around 1.8 billion years old and operated for at least 500,000 years in the distant past. Scientists performed several other investigation at the uranium mine and the results were made public at a conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency. According to News agencies from Africa, researchers had found traces of fission products and fuel wastes at various locations within the mine area.

Incredibly, compared with this huge nuclear reactor, our modern-day nuclear reactors are really not comparable both in design and functionality. According to studies, this ancient nuclear reactor was several kilometers long. Interestingly, for a large nuclear reactor like this, thermal impact towards the environment was limited to just 40 meters on all sides. What researchers found even more astonishing, are the radioactive wastes that have still not moved outside the limits of the site as they are still held in place tanks to the geology of the area.



What is surprising is that a nuclear reaction had occurred in a way that the plutonium, the by-product, was created and the nuclear reaction itself had been moderated something considered as a “holy grail” for atomic science. The ability to moderate the reaction means that once the reaction was initiated, it was possible to leverage the output power in a controlled way, with the ability to prevent catastrophic explosions or the release of the energy at a single time.

Researchers have dubbed the Nuclear Reactor at Oklo as a “natural Nuclear Reactor”, but the truth about it goes far beyond our normal understanding. Some of the researchers that participated in the testing of the Nuclear reactor concluded that the minerals had been enriched in the distant past, around 1.8 billion years ago, to spontaneously produce a chain reaction. They also concluded that water had been used to moderate the reaction in the same way that the modern nuclear reactors cool down using graphite-cadium shafts preventing the reactor from going into critical state and exploding. All of this, “in nature”.



However, Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, former head of the United States Atomic Energy Commission and Nobel Prize winner for his work in the synthesis of heavy elements, pointed out that for uranium to “burn” in a reaction, conditions must be exactly right. For example, the water involved in the nuclear reaction must be extremely pure. Even a few parts per million of contaminant will “poison” the reaction, bringing it to a halt. The problem is that no water that pure exists naturally anywhere in the world.



Several specialists talked about the incredible Nuclear Reactor at Oklo, stating that at no time in the geologically estimated history of the Oklo deposits was the uranium sufficiently rich Uranium 235 for a natural nuclear reaction to occur. When these deposits were formed in the distant past, due to the slowness of the radioactive decay of U-235, the fissionable material would have constituted only 3 percent of the total deposits – something too low mathematically speaking for a nuclear reaction to take place. However, a reaction took place mysteriously, suggesting that the original uranium was far richer in Uranium 235 than that in a natural formation.

33 Degree Masonic Sacrifice

Most Masons up to the 32nd level are unaware of the true evil of Masonry.

27 May 2015

Five insights challenging science's unshakable 'truths'

If you thought dying of loneliness was just an old wives' tale, or that genetic inheritance is fixed – think again. 

Michael Brooks on science's most unexpected findings

1 | Lifestyle can change genes


We have come to think that if something is "in our genes", it is our inevitable destiny. However, this is a gross oversimplification. We have each inherited a particular set of genes, but the outcome of that inheritance is not fixed. Our environment, diet and circumstance flood our bodies with molecules that switch the genes on or off. The result can make a huge difference to our destiny – and that of our descendants.

One example of these "epigenetic" changes occurs when a bundle of carbon and hydrogen atoms known as a methyl group attaches itself to the DNA and changes the way its instructions are carried out. The degree of the effect depends on the exact shapes into which the DNA in cells is coiled; sometimes certain genes become more or less exposed to external influences. But it can have major effects: the effect of methyl groups on DNA can make the difference between a foetus being healthy or stillborn.

Methyl groups often come from what we eat. Lack of food seems to have an epigenetic effect, too. A study of Dutch women starved by the Nazis during the second world war – the British actress Audrey Hepburn was among them – has found elevated levels of schizophrenia, breast cancer and heart disease. The data suggest that the alterations to which genes are turned on or off survive at least two generations: the one that suffered in the womb during the famine, and their children.

They may go much further. A 2011 study published by researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, demonstrated epigenetic mutations that lasted for at least 30 generations in plants. So far, we haven't proved such long-term changes in humans but there are hints that epigenetics cascades through the generations.

A 2001 study traced the long-term effects of nutrition – and malnutrition. Controlling for socioeconomic factors, a boy approaching puberty who overate at the beginning of the last century generally reduced his grandson's life expectancy by a whopping 32 years. Other studies show that if boys start smoking before the age of 11 their sons will be significantly more overweight by age nine than their peers with fathers who only took up smoking later. The only way this can happen is if the act of smoking tobacco triggers some epigenetic change in the way DNA is activated in their sperm.

Standard biological thinking says that the body strips away molecules such as a methyl group from sperm and eggs so that they are "reset" to their default state. However, a study published by Cambridge researchers last year showed that approximately 1% of the changes get through the erasure process unscathed. What you eat, what your mother ate, the age when your grandfather started smoking, the amount of pollution in your neighbourhood – these factors have all been linked to epigenetic changes that get passed down through the generations. Armed with this new insight, we can take far more control of our health – and the health of future generations.
 
2 | The mind can affect the body

  
Positive thinking: the state of our mind affects our physical health. Picture: Alamy

The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has a piece of advice for anyone trying to survive immersion in freezing cold water: "Keep a positive attitude. Will to live makes a difference." Does it really? It seems so.

We know that simple mind tricks can suppress the immune system in animals. First, you teach rats to associate saccharine with a stomach upset by spiking sweet drinks with a drug called cyclophosphamide. Then you just give them saccharine. They will be significantly more susceptible to pathogens than animals given saccharine but no conditioning.

Humans are not exempt from mind-immune system connections. Research carried out on 4,000 people over a 12-year period showed that a man whose wife has just died had a 25% higher chance of dying in those 12 years. The bereaved reported heart and circulatory problems twice as often as people in the control group.

In 2010 a study conducted in the US enumerated the dangers of loneliness. If you have "adequate" social connections, you are 50% more likely to live to the end of a specified period than those who are lonely. In other words, the effect of having good friends is roughly similar to giving up smoking or making a significant cut to your intake of alcohol. A 2012 study, which followed 2,000 US citizens aged 50 and above, found that being chronically lonely was associated with being almost twice as likely to die over the period of the study. Another 2012 study found that elderly people who simply want to live longer do indeed have a better life expectancy regardless of their physical health at the time their desire is expressed.

What used to be dismissed by science as superstition or old wives' tales is now coming to the fore. The state of our minds has a palpable effect on our bodies, meaning that we are finally learning how to protect ourselves better from the worst ravages of illness.

Such knowledge is improving our state of mind too. In 2011 Hasse Karlsson, professor of psychiatry at the University of Helsinki, looked at 20 studies of brain changes induced by psychotherapy and concluded that we are moving towards a situation where we know so much about what psychotherapy does – how our subjective experience can be manipulated to change the physical structures of the brain – that specific types of psychotherapy can be used to target particular brain circuits. As Nobel laureate Eric Kandel has put it: "Psychotherapy is a biological treatment, a brain therapy."

Sigmund Freud started this field in 1895. However, his "Project for a Scientific Psychology" was a miserable failure because we knew too little about the brain. Now, though, we have much better tools with which to explore the mind's effect on the body, and Freud's abandoned programme is finally bearing fruit.
 
3 | Quantum effects exist in biology

  
Plants use quantum theory to harvest energy from the sun. Photograph: Power & Syred/SPL

If you were designing life from scratch, you'd probably want to avoid the vagaries of quantum theory. Quantum particles such as atoms and electrons do strange things. They can be in two different places at once, or be affected by measurements performed on other particles. Surely such things could only be a hindrance to the smooth functioning of life's processes?

That's certainly what the physicist Erwin Schrödinger said in 1944. Life, he decided, had to be built on a scale that would bury all the weird quantum effects. But Schrödinger was wrong. Plants, for instance, use quantum theory to harvest energy from the sun.

Experiments performed on algae (their light-harvesting equipment is a little more accessible to experiments) have shown that they can channel the sun's energy using "superposition", where the energy travels through the organism using many paths at once. This trick effectively searches all possible paths simultaneously, and finds the quickest and thus most energy-efficient route. That means the energy reaches the plant's storage centre before it dissipates.

There are also hints that smell is a quantum sense. Our noses appear to work by sensing the natural vibration frequencies of the bonds between atoms in molecules. Those frequencies determine whether a smell receptor is switched on and sends a signal to the brain. The best explanation for experimental observations involves an electron using a phenomenon known as quantum uncertainty to tunnel through a seemingly impenetrable barrier. Essentially, it borrows energy from the universe in order to leap across an empty space in the smell receptors and trigger the brain's sense of smell. As long as it returns the energy quickly enough, the electron can use as much as it needs. This "quantum tunnelling" phenomenon is also at the heart of modern electronics."

Then there's the navigation trick birds use for migration. Studies of the European robin (and the robin had to wear a cute little eyepatch during this research) suggest that a particular configuration of a molecule in the robin's retina – a configuration that can only be explained by the rules of quantum theory – allows the bird to sense Earth's magnetic field and thus determine the direction in which it should fly.

We don't know what other quantum feats nature performs, but the fact that these things happen in the warm, wet world of biological material suggests that we are missing a trick. At the moment, we can only access the quantum world if we cool atoms and molecules down to near absolute zero and isolate them from all vibrations and other disturbances. If we can work out how nature functions without such precautions, we might be able to harness quantum theory for ourselves, creating highly efficient solar panels, for instance, or super-sensitive navigation tools.
 
4 | The universe is a computer (and we are the programmers)

  
The study of black holes has led scientists to question the very nature of reality. Photograph: Nasa

At the forefront of knowledge – the place geneticist Jacob Bronowski once referred to as "the edge of uncertainty" – the biggest thinkers are starting to come to terms with an extraordinary idea. The universe, they say, behaves exactly like a computer, processing and generating information. In this scenario, we, by our conscious and unconscious actions, are playing the role of that computer's programmers.

The first person to think of the cosmos as a human-powered computer was science-fiction author Isaac Asimov. In 1956, in The Last Question, he imagined a situation where two people engage in a bet that ends with humanity absorbed into the intelligent processor that we know as the universe. This was the inspiration behind Douglas Adams's depiction of the Earth as a supercomputer in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Truth, though, seems to be stranger than fiction. In the past few years, MIT engineer Seth Lloyd has calculated that a single atom can carry 20 binary digits (bits) of information and that two atoms can collide with an outcome that is entirely equivalent to the information processing that goes on within a computer. The concentration of chemicals within a mix can also store bits: cause these chemicals to react together, and they too can process the information like a computer. Viewed from this perspective, the whole universe is busy performing computations.

According to Lloyd's calculations, a kilogram of matter can perform around a million billion billion billion billion billion operations every second. That processing power is applied to about 10 thousand billion billion billion bits of information. Since time began, Lloyd has calculated, the universe has performed around 10 to the power of 122 operations on 10 to the power of 92 binary digits. What are those operations? We see them as chemistry and physics, as the processes of life and the mechanisms of thought.

There are many more implications to this branch of science – it appears, for instance, that what we call reality is actually a projection of information held at the edge of the universe. The conclusion comes from the study of black holes. One of the sacred laws of physics is that information can't be destroyed. That's a problem when you consider the information contained in things that fall into black holes – unless it remains at the event horizon, which is the spherical "point of no return" surrounding a black hole. That means all the information about what's inside the black hole is held at its edge. If that's true for black holes, it's probably true for the universe as a whole. And that means we are effectively the "holographic projection" of the information held on the spherical shell of the universe.

Whatever the truth we eventually settle on, it seems that life does have some meaning. Where scientists used to say we live out a purposeless existence, it turns out that we, by our actions and minds, are programming the universe. Or, as Carl Sagan put it: "We are a way for the universe to know itself."
 
5 | Human beings are nothing special

  
Humans are not the only animals that use tools or have personality types. Photograph: Tim Gainey/Alamy

We have been taught to think of ourselves as the pinnacle of creation, but that pinnacle is getting rather crowded. In many cases, crows and chimps can use tools – and sometimes abstract reasoning – better than humans. If it's culture that makes you feel superior, visit the Tanzanian Gombe chimps, Canadian killer whale communities or Australian dolphins: they all show distinct cultural practices in the way they relate with one another, hunt or sing. Animals show personality and morality – elephants can be empathetic or insensitive, rats can be lovers of fair play, spiders can be bold or spineless, chipmunks can be extrovert or shy. Cockroaches have feelings, too, it turns out.

Even the hard facts are letting us down: at the moment, researchers know of only a handful of genes unique to humans; it's thought that, when the count is finished and the numbers are totted up, fewer than 20 of our 20,000 genes will be exclusively human.

It's ironic that biology's love of hard facts is what has delayed our discoveries about the things we share with animals. Darwin was quite convinced of animal personality, compassion and feelings. However, the 1882 publication of George Romanes's book Animal Intelligence, a schmaltzy anthology of readers' tales and anecdotes, sent scientists running from the subject, and it became taboo for nearly a century. That is why Jane Goodall suffered endless insults and derision for her assertions that chimps did not all behave the same way, and that they exhibited moods and personalities, went through childhood and adolescence and grieved at the deaths of their relatives.

One thing does set us apart: our linguistic abilities. These, however, are a quirk of evolution. Although nothing in the animal kingdom is using what we think of as language, gestures used by bonobos and orangutans come close. The fact that we have slightly different anatomical arrangements that allow us to speak is hardly a marker of a fundamental difference.

So we are top of the class, perhaps, but not in a class of our own. This understanding should lead us to re-examine the relationship we have with animals. It is already becoming clear that their personalities affect their ability to survive habitat change. A 2004 study of the three-spined stickleback found that the chemical ethinyl estradiol, which is contained in birth-control pills and has been found in significant concentrations in waterways around the world, makes female sticklebacks exhibit more risky behaviour. The result is lower survival times compared with those in unpolluted waters.

Our responsibility goes beyond habitat pollution and destruction. Our discoveries mean we are already changing the way (and extent to which) we experiment on animals. The next step may be more far‑reaching: how comfortable would we be, for instance, eating a lobster that we knew was terrified by its capture?

At the Edge of Uncertainty: 11 Discoveries Taking Science By Surprise by Michael Brooks is published by Profile

26 May 2015

The battle for the planet earth continues with regime changes, nuclear threats, imminent financial collapse etc.

Weekly geo-political news and analysis
Message from Benjamin Fulford

May 26, 2015

Sometimes news seems to repeat itself. Sometimes news seems to repeat itself. If this sounds repetitive it is repetitive. That is because many recent news events can be summarized in a few repeating patterns: Greece threatens to default, the Ukraine threatens to default, the US runs out of money again, there is another fake mass shooting event in the US (this time Waco), China and Japan say slightly different things about each other’s history then military pilots fly to obscure islands and wave the finger at each other, Shias, Sunnis, Jews and Western mercenaries pretending to be Muslim extremists do bad things or are victims of bad things, North Korea shoots off a missile, etc. etc.

In the alternative news world, we see something similar: mass arrests of Western cabalistic elites are imminent, the new financial system has been announced and your check is in the mail, UFO’s have landed, the end of the world is nigh, President Obama is a time travelling Muslim space alien etc.

Given all this, it is understandable that many people cannot help but wonder if we will ever see any real change.

The fact is though, that we are going through a slow motion but tectonic shift in how this planet is run. Watching the old system implode is like watching stuff go down a drain hole, it circles around and around seemingly forever but suddenly, it is gone. Remember the fall of the Soviet Union? It seemed to take place in slow motion at the time but, in retrospect, it seems like it happened overnight.

The Greek situation is a case in point, deadline after deadline comes and goes and yet the can keeps getting kicked down the road. The Ukraine fails to pay its gas bills and yet the housewives still cook on their gas stoves. These situations will eventually come to a climax but, probably, not before this autumn because the consequences (collapse of the Western financial system) will be so huge that anything and everything possible is being done to delay things. At the same time, top secret meetings keep taking place to try to come to a long term solution to these and other festering problems.....

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25 May 2015

Acceptance of Death


“If you are afraid of death, be afraid. The point is to get with it, to let it take over – fear, ghosts, pains, transience, dissolution, and all. And then comes the hitherto unbelievable surprise; you don’t die because you were never born. You had just forgotten who you are.” -Alan Watts

7 Books That Will Change the Way You See the World

Gary ‘Z’ McGee, Staff Writer Waking Times

“You want weapons? Go to a library. Books are the best weapons in the world.” 
Doctor Who

Books have a way of capturing us that movies and documentaries simply cannot compare to. The worst thing you can do is limit yourself to reading only a few books. The best thing you can do is find out what you’re interested in and get out there and read up on the subject. You’ll find that your interests will grow along with your knowledge, to the point that you’ll discover the deliciously heavy weight of knowing that you know nothing. If you’re looking for books that will challenge you mind body and soul, and cause you to see the world in new ways, look no further than the following seven books (just kidding, look further).

Friedrich Nietzsche

“With this book I have given mankind the greatest present that has ever been made to it so far. This book, with a voice bridging centuries, is not only the highest book there is, the book that is truly characterized by the air of the heights—the whole fact of man lies beneath it at a tremendous distance—it is also the deepest, born out of the innermost wealth of truth, an inexhaustible well to which no pail descends without coming up again filled with gold and goodness.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

Thus Spoke Zarathustra has something terribly well-crafted about it, and indeed – sit venia verbo – it is Nietzsche’s magnum opus. The books single task and raison d’etre consists in turning the human soul inside out. And it succeeds, but only if the reader is open enough to receive it. It has everything from the death of God to the overcoming of man through the prophecy of the Übermensch to the “eternal recurrence of the same.” It possesses a unique experimental style, sang in “dithyrambs” narrated by Zarathustra. It is neither prose nor poetry but it is both somehow, breaking all literary rules but coming out smelling like a rose someone laid on God’s own grave. Nietzsche’s elegant and far-reaching conclusion is that while autonomy and self-overcoming are not easily attained, their absence proves catastrophic to both the individual and culture, as the embittered conformists seek new victims on whom to psychologically pillage with their ideals and avenge their psychic wounds born out of the fear of being an insecure being in an unforgiving universe.


2.) The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker

“Danger: real probability of the awakening of terror and dread, from which there will be no turning back.” –Ernest Becker

Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in 1974, The Denial of Death builds on the works of Søren Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, and Otto Rank. Throughout the book Becker’s voice is a chokehold of higher reason. He grabs us by the throat and brings us back down to earth, where he reveals how we are nothing more than insecure, fallible creatures “who need continued affirmation of our powers.” But it is through this continued affirmation where we discover our “symbolic self,” which we use to transcend the limits of our insignificance. This leads to our embarking on an “immortality project,” in which we become part of something we feel will last forever, beyond death. It is at this point that we transcend the dilemma of mortality through heroism. Becker speaks like his own tongue was a hero of a thousand faces itself, lashing like existential whips at the heart of the human condition. He forces our head over the edge of the abyss, challenging us to be heroically creative and responsible with bringing meaning, purpose, and significance to the grand scheme of our lives. 


3.) Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin

“Remember that self-doubt is as self-centered as self-inflation. Your obligation is to reach as deeply as you can and offer your unique and authentic gifts as bravely and beautifully as you’re able.” –Bill Plotkin

In this book Bill Plotkin introduces The Eight Soul-centric/Eco-centric Stages of Human Development. He takes us on an epic journey of healthy human development, beginning with The Innocent in the Nest, The Explorer in the Garden, and The Thespian at the Oasis. These three stages round out the lower ego-centered stages of human development. The majority of people in Western societies never get beyond this stage, and so true adulthood, or psychological maturity, has become an uncommon achievement, and genuine elder-hood nearly nonexistent. Arguably the most critical stage is the fourth: The Wanderer in the Cocoon, where we learn how to stretch comfort zones, break mental paradigms, and pass through existential thresholds. Our ego is fully formed, and we become a creature that has the capacity for “soul initiation.” The stages continue with The Soul Apprentice at the Wellspring, The Artisan in the Wild Orchard, The Master in the Grove of Elders, and end with The Sage in the Mountain Cave. 


4.) Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse

“What will undo any boundary is the awareness that it is our vision, and not what we are viewing, that is limited.” –James P. Carse

This book is a pithy yet gripping exploration of the human condition through the concept of game theory. Carse introduces two contrasting game players: the Finite Player and the Infinite Player. He explains how “a boundary is a phenomenon of opposition (finite). A horizon is a phenomenon of vision (infinite).” The Finite Player plays within boundaries, while the Infinite Player plays with boundaries. The Finite Player plays in all seriousness, while the Infinite Player plays in jest. The Finite Player plays for power, while the Infinite Player plays with power. The Finite Player consumes time, while the Infinite Player generates time. The Finite Player aims for eternal life, while the Infinite Player aims for eternal birth. For the Finite Player the rules of the game always stay the same, while for the Infinite Player the rules of the game always change. For the Finite Player the game inevitably ends, while for the Infinite Player the game phenomenally continues. The only infinite game is the game of life.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 4 Ways to Remain Awake While the Rest of the World Sleeps 


5.) The Rebel by Albert Camus

“I rebel; therefore we exist.” –Albert Camus

This 1951 book-length essay by Albert Camus is a tour de force on rebellion and revolution in societies. It is an existential portrait of man in revolt. Riding on a steady stream of transcendental moral values, Camus integrates such writers as Marquis de Sade, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Friedrich Nietzsche. He weaves between the concept of the “absurd” and the concept of “lucidity” while explaining how rebellion stems from our being disenchanted with outdated and parochial applications of justice, and a seeming contradiction between the human mind’s unceasing quest for meaning and clarification and the apparently meaningless unclear nature of the world. He also discusses the rebel’s dilemma of seeking to fight injustice without losing transcendental values, and how some rebels can get carried away, losing touch with the original basis of their rebellion. Deeply entertaining and subtly satirical, this book should be the cornerstone of any revolutionary’s education. 


6.) Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will act as the lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.” –Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael

Awarded the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship Award, Ishmael is a novel using a type of Socratic dialectic to deconstruct the notion that human beings are the pinnacle of creation on earth. Ishmael is a Gorilla who can communicate telepathically. He takes on a nameless human student and proceeds to teach him his philosophy using the Socratic method of dialogue. He teaches his student about “Taker” societies and “Leaver” societies, and how Takers are always breaking the immutable laws of nature. Ishmael explains, “The premise of the Takers’ story is ‘The world belongs to man.’ …The premise of the Leavers’ story is ‘Man belongs to the world.’” Ishmael argues that civilized societies (takers) are failing the world, and that human supremacy is nothing more than a cultural myth, asserting that Takers are enacting that myth with dangerous consequences, such as endangered or extinct species, global warming, and modern mental health illnesses. This novel is truly an adventure of the mind and spirit. 


7.) The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsche

“The whole scientific process resembles biological evolution. A problem is like an ecological niche, and a theory is like a gene or a species which is being tested for viability in that niche.” –David Deutsch

This book encompasses everything from how evolution affects the universe as a whole to time travel to the very nature of a “theory,” and how quantum computing could affect our future. The multiverse hypothesis, according to Deutsch, turns out to be the key to achieving a new worldview, one which synthesizes the theories of evolution, computation, and knowledge with quantum physics. He uses a four-strand Theory of Everything (TOE) to explain emergent phenomenon. The four strands are Hugh Everett’s many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, Karl Popper’s epistemology, Alan Turing’s theory of computation, and Richard Dawkins’s refinement of Darwinian evolutionary theory. He writes about universal Turing machines, replicators, memes, free will, the Grand Father Paradox, and time travel machines, weaving it all together with a Popperian problem-solving epistemology. A delicious read for the scientifically minded who are looking to shatter their mental paradigms and think outside of the box of mere simplistic reductive reasoning.
 
Read more articles from Gary ‘Z’ McGee.
 
About the Author

Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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23 May 2015

His Ancestors Were Slave Traders and Hers Were Slaves

We embarked upon a journey to test whether two people —could come to grips with deep, traumatic, historic wounds and find healing. We had no idea where we would end up.

 Sharon Leslie Morgan and Thomas Norman DeWolf

May 20, 2015

Sharon’s Story

I burst into tears in the parking lot of the Lowndes County Interpretive Center in rural Alabama. Tom and I were five days into the 6,000-plus mile “healing journey” that informed "Gather at the Table", the book we wrote about healing the many wounds Americans inherited from the legacy of slavery. We had just crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma where, in March 1965, John Lewis (now a 15-term U.S. congressman) and more than 600 protesters tried to begin a 54-mile march to Montgomery. On a day that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday,” Alabama state troopers confronted the peaceful marchers and viciously attacked them with billy clubs. I watched these events unfold on television as a 14-year-old child embraced in the warm comfort of my family home in Chicago.

My great-grandparents were enslaved in Lowndes County, Alabama, which is at the heart of the historic march route. They lived a lifetime of Bloody Sundays. My great-grandmother Rhoda Reeves Leslie was alive when I was a child. I knew her. I loved her. I had no concrete idea, until that very moment in the parking lot, what anguish she and other members of my family had suffered as slaves, and then as people who were terrorized by Jim Crow laws, disenfranchised from voting, and kept from becoming full citizens in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” In 1965, there were zero black voters in Lowndes County because of voter suppression through poll taxes and intimidation. Even today, it is deeply impoverished. Tom’s face morphed into a representation of all white people and everything they had done to people like me.

Photo by Kristin Little.
 
Tom’s Story

I didn’'t know what to say. So I said nothing. I sat in the passenger seat next to Sharon while she sobbed. Twenty minutes earlier, on the drive from the Voting Rights Museum, I had asked her, “What would you do if you had lived here then?”

“I would kill them,” she said, staring straight ahead as she drove, clutching the steering wheel in a death grip. I watched the first tear roll down her cheek.

I am often accused of being a Kumbaya kind of guy. I believe seriously in love and peace and want everybody to get along. I also believe that people are born with a basic sense of humanity that can enable them to change—not just themselves but the communities in which they live. I know Sharon shares that belief, but it is sometimes hard to keep the faith.

We first met in 2008, through
Coming to the Table, a nonprofit organization founded by the descendants of both slaveholders and enslaved people in partnership with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. [Tom is currently executive director of Coming to the Table.] The founders were inspired by the vision of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his historic March on Washington speech that one day “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveholders will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” The work of Coming to the Table is to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that are rooted in the United States’ history of slavery.

We were just lost souls looking for direction and relief.

In 2009, Sharon and I embarked upon a journey to test whether two people- —an African American woman from South Side Chicago who is descended from enslaved people, and a white man from central Oregon who is descended from the largest slave-trading dynasty in U.S. history —could come to grips with deep, traumatic, historic wounds and find healing. We had no idea where we would end up. We were just lost souls looking for direction and relief.

So there we were, sitting in a car in Alabama, bearing witness to yet another example of the great American trauma that keeps all of us mired in the misery of racism. Grappling with that awareness isn'’t easy, especially when sitting next to a woman crying her heart out over something I couldn'’t totally comprehend.

The hard truth is that my face does represent the face of oppression. I’'m white. I’'m male. I’'m heterosexual. I'’m able-bodied. I was raised Christian in a middle-class home and community. Until the summer of 2001, when I joined members of the DeWolf family on a mission to retrace the triangle slave-trade route of our ancestors, I was blissfully unaware of my unearned privilege. On that journey I was exposed to horrific truths about the foundations upon which America is built and the systems that continue to benefit people who look like me and discriminate against people who look like Sharon.

In spite of that understanding, what Sharon said did not seem fair. I am not my slave-trading ancestors. I helped expose their sins when we made the PBS/POV documentary "Traces of the Trade" and when I wrote my first book, "Inheriting the Trade".

One great revelation along the way came from Coming to the Table co-founder Will Hairston, who said to me, “Guilt is the glue that holds racism together.” We build walls with bricks of denial to protect ourselves from feeling it. In the end, guilt is divisive and counterproductive. Instead of the destructive feeling of guilt, what I do feel is profound grief over the enormous damage done. I feel a responsibility to acknowledge and address the consequences of our historical inheritance. That is why I dedicate myself (and encourage other white people to do the same) to using my privilege to expose the truth and make a positive difference.

During the three years after that day in the parking lot, Sharon and I drove thousands more miles and waded ever deeper into the morass of history. Along the way, we laughed, cried, argued, and shared transformative experiences that changed the way we both look at the world. We subsequently participated in STAR trainings (
Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience) through CJP to seek ways to make sense of it all. Through STAR, we learned about terrifying social patterns exhibited by deeply traumatized societies and what we can do to heal their effects.
 
Photo by Kristin Little.
 
The hidden wound

In 1970, poet, essayist, and environmentalist Wendell Berry published “The Hidden Wound,” a 137-page essay on race and racism. He wrote: "“[Racism] involves an emotional dynamic that has disordered the heart both of the society as a whole and of every person in the society."” He said, “"I want to know, as fully and exactly as I can, what the wound is and how much I am suffering from it. And I want to be cured; I want to be free of the wound myself, and I do not want to pass it on to my children. … I know if I fail to make at least the attempt, I forfeit any right to hope that the world will become better than it is now.”"
 
People of color fall on the negative side of virtually all measurable social indicators.

A foundational American belief is that certain people are less than human, singled out for disdain, undeserving of respect, and certainly not entitled to equal representation in the “American Dream.” The short list of atrocities that define the African American experience shows those beliefs in action: African people were enslaved in all 13 original colonies. Ninety-five percent of all American trans-Atlantic slave-trading originated from northern ports. Rhode Island, home to the DeWolf slave traders, was responsible for 50 percent of it. More than two centuries of brutalization during slavery were followed by 100 years of Jim Crow. Slaves were formally liberated, but African Americans were subjected to the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan, lynching, and other atrocities. Beginning in 1910, in two waves over 60 years, more than 5 million people joined the Great Migration from the South. They sought opportunity in the “promised land” of the North, but found only a veneer of equality. The Red Summer of 1919, a wave of riots initiated by whites against blacks in both Northern and Southern cities, proved the point.


Today, relative to white people, people of color fall on the negative side of virtually all measurable social indicators. In 2014, the Pew Research Center reported that “the median white household was worth $141,900, 12.9 times more than the typical black household, which was worth just $11,000.” Poverty rates for African Americans are more than 160 percent higher; unemployment is double. White and black Americans use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates, but African Americans are incarcerated at 10 times the rate of whites for drug offenses. Seventy-six unarmed black people were killed by police from 1999–2014, including—just in the last year— Michael Brown (Missouri), Eric Garner (New York), and John Crawford (Ohio). According to ProPublica’s analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings, “young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts —21 times greater.”
 
Cycles of violence

The STAR program emerged in the aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks of September 11, 2001. As described in "STAR: The Unfolding Story 2001-–2011", the Center for Justice and Peace building at Eastern Mennonite University and Church World Service partnered to create a training program for religious leaders and caregivers working to support traumatized communities. The program evolved into trainings that were useful to anyone working with traumatized individuals and communities. It is grounded in a multidisciplinary framework that integrates neurobiology, psychology, restorative justice, conflict transformation, human security, and spirituality. More than 7,000 people working in more than 60 locations around the world have received STAR training.


No one can “just get over” traumatic wounds. That’s not how our bodies and brains work.

The illustration below of the “Cycles of Violence” shows how people typically respond to traumatic wounds. We become caught up in a seemingly infinite loop of victimhood and aggression that is fueled by reenactment. Our conscious and unconscious beliefs about how and why we'’ve been harmed and who caused the harm often result in a desire for retribution. As STAR trainers say, “hurt people hurt people.” Traumatic wounds result from a variety of sources and impact individuals, families, communities, and societies. These impacts fester in wounds that have never healed—like the legacies of slavery, racism, sexism, and religious intolerance. Trauma affects the well-being of the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.

No one can “just get over” traumatic wounds. That’s not how our bodies and brains work. If we don’t do the work we need to heal, we end up trapped in cycles of violence. But that’s not inevitable. The STAR approach offers ways to break the cycles.
 
Recovering from trauma and building resilience

Without intervention, our thoughts and feelings become beliefs. Our beliefs direct our actions and inform the reality of our everyday lives. If we are stuck in cycles of violence, our thoughts, beliefs, and actions become mired in fear. Breaking cycles of violence and building resilience
requires fully engaging our brains with the conscious intention of healing.

The actions that lead toward healing and reconciliation center on acknowledging the harm through mourning, confronting our fears, hearing the story of the “Other,” choosing to forgive, and incorporating principles of restorative justice in ways that proffer dignity for all who have been harmed by stressing responsibility and restitution.

The STAR approach connects personal and community healing with organizational and societal well-being. It rests at the foundation of the Coming to the Table approach to healing the lingering wounds that emanate from the American institution of slavery. The four interrelated activities involved in the Coming to the Table method are:

First: Researching, acknowledging, and sharing personal, family, and societal histories of race with openness and honesty. Truth and reconciliation commissions in countries like South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, and Canada are model attempts to reveal the whole truth of egregious wounds that afflict modern societies. They are typically combined with attempts to implement restorative justice to correct the wrongs.

Breaking cycles of violence and building resilience requires fully engaging our brains with the conscious intention of healing.

Second: Connecting with others within and across racial lines in order to develop deep and accountable relationships. As an example, the original intent of the founders of Coming to the Table was to connect “linked descendants”—people who have a joint history in slavery (i.e., descendants of slaves and their slaveholders)—with a goal of engaging them in communication with one another and coming to terms with their shared history. In our own case, we are not as directly connected as that, but were able to find a way by “making friends on purpose” to cross the breach.

Third: Exploring ways to heal together. Support groups help people build meaningful relationships by sharing stories about traumatic experiences and responses. Rituals related to acknowledgement of the past help create connections between past and present in order to understand where harms originated, how they affect us in contemporary times, and how we can move forward to healing.

Fourth: The model challenges us to actively champion systemic change that supports repair and reconciliation between individuals, within families, and throughout society. The persistent inequality between races results from structural systems in which people are treated differently based on difference (race, power, privilege, etc.). From the recent Department of Justice report damning the pervasive, discriminatory policing practices in Ferguson, Missouri, to the persistent disparities between black and white people in wealth, education, health, employment, and housing, the effects are before our eyes if we are willing to see. The greatest challenge is eliminating disparities so that all people are treated equally and without prejudice based on their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

There is no particular sequence to these four activities. In the final analysis, all are essential to move forward from trauma to healing. With regard to racism, white people often want to rush toward reconciliation without doing the necessary hard work that is required along the way. We are here to tell you: The road is not easy, but the benefits are enormous.
 
What you can do today

Racism. Sexism. Religious intolerance. Inequality. Violence.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed.
What can one person do?

Engage your rational brain. Think about things in different ways. Examine your subconscious beliefs. Act in ways that lead toward positive change. Open your eyes to the injustices around you. Open your heart to see others, not as the “Other” but as brothers and sisters in the human family. You will find that others who believe as you do will congregate together and build social and political power to change the institutions that presently seem to control our fate. When people’s hearts and minds change, collectives like Coming to the Table can be empowered to bring change to society at large.

In 49 B.C., Julius Caesar stood on the northern bank of the Rubicon River in Italy, leading an army in defiance of the Roman Republic. It was an act of treason. The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has survived to refer to any individual or group committing itself irrevocably to a risky or revolutionary course of action. It has come to mean “passing the point of no return.”

In 1965, John Lewis and more than 600 others crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Rubicon of their day. We stand on the shore of today’s Rubicon—the Rubicon of racism. We have a choice to make. We can choose the difficult task to acknowledge and heal our nation’s historic, inherited wounds and break free from the Cycles of Violence. Or we can do as our ancestors have done to us: pass the wounds on to our children.

How will you choose? 
Sharon Leslie Morgan and Thomas Norman DeWolf co-authored Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade (Beacon Press). Sharon is a pioneer in multicultural marketing and a founder of the National Black Public Relations Society. She is founder of OurBlackAncestry.com. Tom is the author of Inheriting the Trade (Beacon Press). He is executive director for Coming to the Table, a STAR Practitioner, and a Certified Trainer for “Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Changing Your Life.” Sharon and Tom thank Elaine Zook Barge, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Trauma Awareness & Resilience, for her invaluable input to this article.