Just what is “civilization?”
I asked myself that question after writing last week’s post about Christopher Columbus not being the first to discover the New World. And his still being celebrated for paving the way for Europeans to bring “civilization” to the west.
Will Durant spent 50 years writing “The Story of Civilization” and says that civilization is marked by four elements:
pursuit of knowledge and the arts
The Native American societies of North America lived by the above principles for centuries before the arrival of Columbus.
Here’s my definition of civilization:
Does the energy in food matter? Absolutely!
One thing that doesn’t get much attention in discussions of our food is how the animals we eat are raised and killed and the energy transmitted along with that.
In other words, what you eat affects more than just your diet.
MEDICAL MYSTERY OR CUTTING EDGE SCIENCE?
But first let me tell you about my friend Pete, who developed a sudden love of dark chocolate after receiving a heart transplant. It mystified his wife, but she heard similar stories in their heart transplant support group.
Unusual? Not at all. There are legions of anecdotal stories about organ transplant recipients taking on new interests and food cravings after their transplants:
Do you ever wonder why you try to follow the conventional wisdom of recommended dietary guidelines and your health still declines? The brilliant documentary “Forks Over Knives” and the book “The China Study” provide the answers.
“Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health” has been getting a lot of well-deserved positive press lately. The bottom line: we would all be healthier if we eliminated meat and dairy products from our diets.
The film presents excellent research to support the claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by eliminating animal-based and processed foods from our diets.
This is a story about it never being too late to find your voice in every situation. I only just found mine.
Yes, I teach and write about being all you can be, going for your dreams and being fearless – but some lessons take longer to learn than others. Or they come in stages. And as I’ve said many times, we teach what we need to learn.
Given a choice, I always choose a female health practitioner instead of a male. I have had incidents in the past of male practitioners making sexual advances so I figure, why tempt fate?
My primary physician is a man and I am very comfortable with him in all circumstances. But again, all things being equal, I will usually choose a woman.
And yet sometimes we are not given choices, and how often do we just go along with what is happening without expressing what we want?
I had a recent meltdown that caused me to ask whether Americans [including myself] are spoiled and take for granted all that we have.
Upon arriving at my hotel after an eight-hour drive to Northern Wisconsin, I was shocked, SHOCKED to find I had left my overnight bag at home.
The overnight bag that contained everything I need to make myself presentable each day!
I’m usually very cool, calm and collected, but this was a catastrophe of a high order for me.
But here’s the irony: Within half an hour, I was able to replace all my makeup and hair supplies at the Walmart next to the hotel.
I had the means and opportunity and I was still upset. How’s that for spoiled?
It was a good reality check as to how far I still have to go in my spiritual growth. And I know I’m not alone.
The following is the Hopi Prophecy of June, 2000 from the Hopi Nation:
You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour. And there are things to be considered…
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for your leader.
Ancient Hopi prophecy warned of a time of “earth changes” – a great cleansing involving all four elements. The Mayan Calendar also calls this a time of transformation. Might they explain the interesting weather we’re having in 2012?
Is it a scary thing, or part of the natural evolution of the planet and our consciousness? Let’s take a look.
If you’re like me, I learned in grade school that the U.S. Constitution was based on ancient Greek democracy. Which was nowhere close to the truth. The government of ancient Greece was not a democracy.
My research as to what children are taught today about the origin of our government is also disappointing.
Apparently the Founding Fathers simply created it out of thin air, or were influenced by European governments even though there was no democracy anywhere in Europe at that time.
THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
Ever wonder how the classic Hitchcock thriller “Psycho” is related to clearing the clutter? Probably not, so read on.
If your nerves were on edge while watching “Psycho,” here’s why: every time director Alfred Hitchcock cut to the house on the hill, something was different.
In each shot he would change the location of the door, or the number or placement of windows, or the number of panes in each window.
The shots weren’t held long enough for the viewer to be conscious of what the changes were, only that something was “wrong” with that house. The result? An uneasy feeling throughout the film. That’s why Hitchcock was such a master director.
Feng shui is the ancient art of balancing energies in a space to bring health and good fortune for the inhabitants. Just as we want and need a healthy, balanced body, we need and should want a balanced living environment. This is what Feng Shui provides.
Developed in China over 3,000 years ago, today it is known and practiced throughout the world. It deals with placement of a building on land, location of doors, windows and rooms and objects within the rooms.
I am a believer because I study and teach about energy so feng shui makes perfect sense to me.
More wisdom from Bear Heart in the Wind Is My Mother on what to do when bad things happen in our lives:
Not long ago a woman called me and I went to see her in the hospital. She was a very young mother who had just given birth to a child with no arms. He had webbed feet and scars on his face and she was wondering, “Why me? Why me?”
I had to talk to her a long time, pray with her, to show her that there was a blessing somewhere in her situation.
In our culture, when such children are born we say they are specially blessed. The Creator had a reason for bringing that child into the world and we are helping the Creator when we make the child as comfortable as possible in every way.
It’s said there is a special blessing when we help someone like that, although that’s not our reason for doing it. My people don’t even talk about the reasons, we just try to help.
I told her the story of a similar situation where a little boy was born without arms and the doctors asked her husband to stay by his wife’s bedside as she came out of sedation so he could tell her.
I hope that the healed life is the goal of each of us: to work toward emotional healing, physical health and spiritual fulfillment.
Emotional healing includes learning what didn’t work and to no longer repeat our past, self-defeating patterns.
This lovely piece by Portia Nelson sums it up nicely.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE CHAPTERS
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost . . . I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
The Creator gathered all of creation together and said, “I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality.”
The eagle said, “Give it to me, I will take it to the moon.” The Creator said, “No. One day they will go to there and find it.”
The salmon said, “I will hide it in the bottom of the ocean.” “No. They will go there, too.”
The buffalo said, “I will bury it on the great plains.” The Creator said, “They will cut into the skin of the earth and find it even there.”
“James, earn this… earn it.” Dying words of Capt. John Miller to Private James Ryan in the film, “Saving Private Ryan”
Officially, Memorial Day in the United States is a day for remembering and honoring all Americans who died in any war.
Unfortunately, Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of the summer holiday, with people focusing on shopping, family gatherings, picnics and sporting events. So we sometimes forget the real meaning behind the day.
Can we learn to be optimistic?
I believe so, and researchers agree.
But it will take some undoing of early programming.
The average fourth grade child has heard the words “no, you can’t do that” over 70,000 times. So we have to work to overcome that negative imprint.
Not only are optimists happier than pessimists, research shows they are healthier, live longer and make more money.
Today I’d like to offer some historical anecdotes about all the times pessimists were wrong. Hopefully it will give you more inspiration to hold onto your dreams in spite of the naysayers:
For starters, remember how absolutely certain people used to be that the earth was flat!
In 1847, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was the head of Vienna General Hospital’s First Obstetrical Clinic, which at the time had a mortality rate of 10-35%! When he suggested doctors and mid-wives wash their hands before attending mothers and newborns, he was ridiculed by the medical authorities of the time, and fired by the hospital that employed him. In 1851 he moved to Hungary where his theory was accepted and hand-washing reduced mortality to less than 1%!
“Don’t ever let somebody tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you got to protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you that you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” Will Smith, actor
Can pessimism be helpful?
I think not.
Not that there’s anything wrong with critical thinking and trying to be aware of potential obstacles.
But I’m talking about people who are negative for the sake of being negative. Because they have not succeeded, they don’t want anyone else to succeed either.
AN EYE-OPENING COMMENT
I like to increase my odds of success by being a thorough researcher. So when I was working on The Wind Is My Mother, I took a class on how to get a non-fiction book published and did absolutely everything suggested. It worked.
“Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins.” Native American proverb
Years ago, my friend Carol stopped at a gas station while driving through Oklahoma. Just as her car was approaching the pump, she was cut off by a big RV that pulled in ahead of her.
Carol was pissed and found another pump. When she went inside to pay, the woman who had cut her off was standing in front of her in line. Carol resolved to give her a dirty look when she turned around.
But her world was turned upside down when she heard the woman say to the cashier,
“Everything is part of the Sacred Hoop and everything is related. Our existence is so intertwined that our survival depends upon maintaining a balanced relationship with everything within the Sacred Hoop.” Bear Heart
Earth Day is the perfect day to focus on the Sacred Hoop of All Creation and how to establish a relationship with the natural world around us.
In indigenous cultures, the circle is sacred — when we sit in a circle there is a spirit of oneness and everyone is equal.
The elders teach that the universe is in harmony as long as the Sacred Hoop, the circle of life, is intact.
The Sacred Hoop includes all of life: the four directions (West, North, East and South), the earth, trees, plants, rivers, oceans, two-leggeds, four-leggeds, winged creatures, swimmers (fish) and “creepy crawlers” (insects).
They all bring their own unique contribution to the earth and one another.
A young Native American man was talking to his grandfather about how he felt.
He said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart.
“One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one.
“The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.”
The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win the fight in my heart?”