Happy Halloween!!

October 31, 2005

Some of the traditional practices of this multi-layered season have been made playful. We laugh in the face of death, wear costumes that play on our fears, and give away sweets to traveling bands of eager children, who threaten us with “tricks” unless we give them treats. Just under the surface of our playful pumpkins, costumes, parties and decorations, lies our biggest human anxiety: we die and so do those we love. Eventually, we will cross that veil into whatever it is that lies on the other side, —and what that is, we cannot know.

Check out the rest of Ministrare’s post about Fall and ancestors. It is really lovely.

May you enjoy the beauty and breadth of Fall today; the bustling of costumed children, and the magic of adults playing dress-up. May the smell of hot apple cider and pumpkin spices cross your path, and may the nearness of death make you take a deep spicy breath full of life.

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This is an interesting test. It says my mind and spirit are doing remarkably well considering my dismal social life. I think it was a pretty good quiz, except I think they used my small family against me, because I would rate my family life higher. The romantic love section is sadly accurate, even optimistic. The finance and body are also about right. I’m going to give my friends and family section a hardy 7, for lots of love with room for improvement, and up my overall score to a 7. (Come on finance and love!!)

Via: It’s all one thing.

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 5.8
Mind: 7.3
Body: 5.9
Spirit: 8.6
Friends/Family: 4
Love: 2.1
Finance: 3.6
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

The Womens!

October 30, 2005

This weekend I went on a Women’s retreat. It was awesome. I didn’t rest as much as I wanted to, but I did get to connect with a lot of neat women. I have been wishing that I had more women friends in the area. I realized at the retreat that sometimes when I feel lonely, I am just not seeing all the people who reach out to me. I was just given so much love and positive energy. It was awesome.

What!? I searched forever for ways to add blog categories to blogger and now I find three links in quick succession. Rock on, little internet!

Here they are:

I was using technorati tags, but it was a pain to copy and paste them every time. I’m going to look into the methods described in the links. Liking easy, I am going to experiment with Orangewise’s way first. Result: Does not give a comprehensive list of links. Conclusion: easy, but sadly, sucky.

Does anyone know of any more ways? Does anyone have an “in” with the Blogger people so we can just convince them to make Blogger category enabled? Are you even working on it Blogger people?? (Don’t get angry, Blogger-gods, I appreciate all the free bounty. I’m just askin.)

Oh, oh, and check it out! People even have theories about categories! Check out this article by Clay Shirky on Categories, Links, and Tags. I decided to actually read it, and it’s fascinating, especially if you get a little anal about your ontology.

Well, one thing I can say about getting colonic hydrotherapy, it makes you want to chew your food well. Did you know that carrots often do not get digested? And you don’t even want to know about nuts and seeds.

I had another brilliant idea: Churches are like floating neighborhoods in our mobile community. No wonder America is so much more religious than our European counterparts. We need our churches for stability.

Really, a lot of what I do in my life is internal. Some years when it might have looked like I was accomplishing nothing, I was actually working really hard, going to therapy and doing other internal transformation work. Many of my goals have to do with how I’m feeling and the processes I use and how I think. I feel like it’s my soul journey. So, this summer I decided that I wanted and needed to focus on my soul journey again, thus began: The Summer of Transformation!

I am making progress. Soul journey progress is always faster and slower than I think it will be. Faster because the slow and steady inner work I do can change everything in my outer life nearly instantly. Slower because I feel impatient and want to hurry and do inner work which is just opposite of how inner work goes, for me anyway. For me, inner changes are usually a result of practices, very slow and steady practices like writing in my journal or just being with myself and noticing how I am feeling. By their very nature, they can’t be hurried through. One result that I am noticing is greater self-acceptance and a feeling that my desires are good. Oh, that feels refreshing. It’s such a little seeming shift, but it is huge. When you know you can trust yourself, you don’t have to fight with yourself. (Especially pertinant for people who relate to the enneagram personality type 1.)

This is one of my favorite poems in that vein.

The only thing

October 26, 2005

A response to a video I wrote for school tonight. I’m sharing it because I think it’s timely.

Someone in class said that faith is the opposite of reason. I disagree. I think faith is the opposite of fear. Most people who have faith or religion as a part of their lives also use reason, and are willing to let other people see things in a different way. I think fundamentalism rises when fear rises, as the video showed so well. Some of the fear is a natural response to poverty, feeling powerless to become a part of the mainstream, and to a rapidly changing world. As we saw in the video, fear is often spurred on by disingenuous leaders. In contrast, I saw the leaders who were sincere encouraging and uplifting people when they spoke to them.

I used to be confused by the religious right because they say they are followers of Jesus Christ, and yet, as a group, they are in favor of using guns and war. They often seem angry and hateful. Now I’m not confused by it. Their expression of Christianity is an expression of fearful fundamentalism, just like fundamentalists of other religions, not the expression of people following a century old leader who says to “turn the other cheek.” The video emphasized the similarities between fundamentalists from different religions when it showed fundamentalist Jewish people in Israel at a shooting range. If you take away their yarmulkes, they would look like stereotypical Christian fundamentalists who belong to the NRA.

I don’t think there is a split between world religions. I don’t think there is a split between being religious and using technology or being scientific. I think there is a split between fundamentalism and faith, between clinging to the past and moving forward with hope. Pat Robinson and the Ayatollah Khomeini, and other fear mongering leaders, have much more in common with each other than they do with faithful followers of their respective religions. I don’t think fundamentalism is a matter of individual character flaws either. I think fundamentalism rises out of fear which is a natural reaction to very real outer circumstances. It is also a reaction to imagined outer circumstances. Pat Robinson gave a terrific example of fear mongering on the video, when he told his Christian audience that atheists and humanists were out to hunt them down.

With all my heart I believe in democracy and believe that people should be allowed to worship how, where, and what they may. I think any force fighting for a theocracy is inherently unfaithful and fearful. To ensure that we all continue to be able to freely and responsibly search for meaning, and continue to have many other freedoms, I think we need to make individual changes, and policy changes. Politically, and in business we need to act with the knowledge that having “haves” and the “never-have-a chance-of-havings” is dangerous to everyone. We don’t need to be compassionate to work for a flatter world. (Although I think compassion is soul healing.) We just need to have a reasoned assessment of what is in our own self interest. I think we need to do everything we can on a policy level to allow everyone in the game. On an individual level, I hope we will all contribute to the environment of hope rather than fear. One way to do this is to see our underlying similarities and avoid demonizing other people. Another way to do this is to be careful what we put in our minds. For example, we can choose to watch real news, and refuse to support fear mongering. Education, one of my personal favorites, is also a good solution to fear, especially for the people who are mostly making choices based on imagined fears.

Something I really admire about the British is how they responded in WW II. They were under attack and they could have easily been overcome by Nazi forces, but they rallied together as a country. They didn’t give up, they made sure their cities were blacked out, and took their street signs down so an invading army would get lost. I think their tenacity saved them. In our individual lives and as a society, our courage has saved us again and again, and will continue to do so. I think we are in a time that exemplifies the saying that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Knowledge Management Links

October 26, 2005

Oh yeah, managing all that incoming and self-generated information can leave you with scattered info all over the place. What do you do with all that stuff? I save webpages as bookmarks, keep well organized computer and paper files, and cut and paste information I want to keep into my email drafts and into this blog. There must be a better way! Below are some links about knowledge management concepts and tools.

Knowledge Management

Personal Knowledge Management Services and Software Applications

Going beyond personal knowledge management to group km

Further Links

Rock on. I never stole (I mean downloaded) illigal music off the internet, but here is a playlist by Seb of free music. Oh yeah, Sébastien Paquet’s weblog is also cool. He is a smartie, and he is interested in social software, blogs, and much more! 🙂 Yo, check it, and maybe even build your own playlist.