Free Your Spirit . . .

free your spirit

The Tao of Coffee

Two scholars spent the better part of an afternoon in a local Portland Starbucks arguing the theories of Evolution versus Creationism. Getting nowhere, they took the advice of the Chinese guy working there and decided to drive to the beach near Astoria to visit a sage named Chung Lee who reputedly had the answers.

The following morning they took off for the beach. Upon arrival, they soon found his cottage hidden amongst the coastal dunes. Although the cottage was empty they spotted the old sage not far away sitting on a high dune facing out to sea.

After approaching him, the old man turned, directed his eyes upon them and asked, “Where’s the coffee?” Continue reading “Free Your Spirit . . .”

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Open Your Heart . . .

OpenHeart

Everybody at some time in their life has a moment of truth, a life changing experience where they begin to see things differently than before it happened. Sometimes it is a huge catastrophic event, while others it may result from the simplest of things.

I have had a few monster awakenings in my rather chaotic life, but the following is way strange for a guy like me, at least for the guy that I perhaps pretended to be. . . .

***
Continue reading “Open Your Heart . . .”

Beauty In The Night . . .

 

ghost

This story is true . . . I swear.

It was late Friday evening and I’d just walked in the door after a hard afternoon shift at the local factory. I don’t remember exactly where she got the idea, but as soon as I sat down on the couch Patti pulled a game board out of a shopping bag. “Want to have some fun?” she said.

”What’s that?”

”A Ouija board.”

“Ouija board?”

“Yeah, you sit across from each other and ask it questions. You hold one side of this thing, (she held a small rectangular pointer with three legs in her hand) and I hold the other,” she explained. “Then you ask it a question and it will move around the board spelling out an answer from the spirit world.”

“Ok, let’s see if it works,” I said halfheartedly. Continue reading “Beauty In The Night . . .”

Get A Job . . .

job

The importance of this little story is not to tell you why I am a carpenter. It goes far deeper then that.

If you are young and rebellious and discouraged as I was when I left the military and joined the work force, fear not. There is a place for you. All you need to do is not be afraid to search and find it.

When I was a young man I quit every job I had within a very short time. I never had a deep love for money and I hated to go to work because it interfered with my partying. I said, “the hell with that, “I’ll be a bum,” . . . and I pretty much was.

But I was also too proud to take handouts . . . so I reluctantly became a working bum. I worked odd jobs, took care of myself, never asked anybody for anything, but in my heart I didn’t have what it took to be a bum. I didn’t know what I wanted actually, and for the few years before and after 1970 I just existed.

Then one day after taking an odd job I discovered how much I loved pounding nails and building things. From that time on I was a carpenter. . . and proud of it.

I enjoyed getting up early in the morning and driving to the job site. I enjoyed the ruggedness, the camaraderie, the long hours in freezing temperatures or baking in the hot sun. . . it was me, it was mine. I had found my path.

They told me that in order to be to be a journeyman carpenter I had to join the union and become an apprentice for four years. I said, “the hell with that.”

I went to the library and spent one whole Alaskan winter studying the craft of carpentry. The following Spring when building picked up, I bull shitted my way onto a framing crew building houses and never looked back.

I worked hard, continued my studies, and after a lot of on-the-job training, I learned all the various phases of carpentry and became a home builder in my own right. I started my own company and built houses for many years . . . then I moved to furniture, music instruments, and various other things.

Today as a retired gentleman of leisure, I still enjoy building stuff and I swear one day I’m gonna go back in the woods and build myself a tree house. . . . may next Spring.

That’s just me. That’s what I did because it fit my personality, but that was my bliss . . . and believe me, following the money trail is a dead end street regardless of your portfolio’s size. Life is only worth the effort if you, like Joseph Campbell said, follow your bliss.

The Piano . . .

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When I designed and built this cabin my wife and I now live in, I added onto it a 12×14 foot library. It has an arched entry from the main room, two walls of windows, and one wall full of books on shelves. Taking up most of the wall facing the interior of the cabin there sat a mahogany piano that we bought on a whim while shopping for furnishings.

The piano was old, but top of the line. It’s tone reminded one of Vaudeville and the glory days of a honky tonk saloon. It looked good, fit well into the informality of the room, but there was one thing wrong . . . it was a very sad piano.

Day after day she sat there along the back wall of the sunlit room, alone and forlorn, silently waiting for somebody to at least run their fingers across her keys . . . but nobody did. When I walked by on the way to a book I could feel her sadness, but as I was too busy doing other things, I ignored her anyway. Continue reading “The Piano . . .”

My Dream

dream

I had a dream last night and I want to share it because well, most of my dreams vacillate between violent and very violent . . .  and this one was ‘Sound Of Music’ wonderful for me. . . . almost like a vision quest. . . damn, if I was an Indian I would know it was time to leave the mountain . . .

I wrote it all down in a couple minutes and only edited enough so my daughter could understand it. . . . . anyways Continue reading “My Dream”

The Hippies

hippies

Attempting to write about the hippies is akin to a young soldier hunkered down on Omaha Beach attempting to write about the battle surrounding him. He hears it, but all he sees is the sky above his head.

To give the battle proper perspective, every man taking part, including the enemy, would have to have his story told also because every guy had a different story and every story was just as viable as the next if the truth was to be unadulterated by personal bias.

To tell the whole and honest story about the counter culture would be just as difficult . . . and quite honestly I don’t have the talent to do it. I was there. I experienced it first hand, but like the soldier on Omaha Beach I can only tell my part of a story that is so big, so diverse, that for the whole thing to be written the reader would have a hard time carrying the book it was written in. Continue reading “The Hippies”

The Hippies (part 2)

acid

My first acid trip

Many things have been written about the late sixties, some say if you were really there you wouldn’t remember them, but I was there and I remember.

The decade between 1965 and 1975 was a pivotal point in the history of our nation. The horror of Vietnam, and getting caught red handed in one monumental lie after another had placed our government center stage on everybody’s shit list. By the Fall of 1973 when ‘tricky Dick’ Nixon spouted his now famous one liner on TV concerning Watergate, “I am not a crook.” nobody believed him. He WAS a crook, as well as a liar when he promised to end the war and instead broadened it into Cambodia. He was a dick all right . . . a dickHEAD.

Many of us young folks, after realizing we were being ripped off, broke ties with the establishment and dedicated ourselves to the Utopian dream of peace and love instead of war and hate. For some of us, this was heavy, happy stuff, tantamount to be being born again. Continue reading “The Hippies (part 2)”

Ferguson

don't shoot

Why is it one group sees the cop at Ferguson a killer while the other group sees him as being justified? What causes black people across the country to think and act like they do? They don’t know whether the young man was shot charging the cop or whether he had his hands up any more than I do . . . and yet they are convinced beyond a doubt that the kid was murdered. How can two people look at the same thing and come up with an entirely different viewpoint from that same evidence?

Distrust and disrespect . . .

The black man has been raised on a foundation of distrust and disrespect ever since the days the white man stole him out of his homeland and brought him to these America’s in the hold of a ship. He has been beaten down ever since.

In today’s world various civil rights laws help him a bit, but I don’t see the foundation shifting or changing beneath his feet all that much. . . especially since the white corporate bosses packed up their factory jobs and left them, as well as the poor and middle class whites, holding an empty bag. Continue reading “Ferguson”

Old Tom

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Last night was the coldest ever in Ohio . . . -8 with a stiff wind . . . old Tom was scratching on the door, he wants in.

‘Oh no, poor cat is going to freeze’. Big hearted me goes out on the porch to rescue Tom and let him spend the night in the warm laundry room . . . “Here kitty, kitty.” He comes over, rubs on my leg, I bend, pet, snatch up cat and head back inside.

Now Tom has never been in a house. He totally freaks out and starts yowling and scratching his way up my chest towards my face . . . I drop him . . . next thing I know Tom leaps on the table beneath the window, then tries to climb the drapes . . . . “I WANT OUT OF HERE!”

Unable to make it out, he jumps back to the floor and heads into the library on a dead run. First he skids into and then leaps upon another table . . . bye, bye good lamp! He dives off yowling like a dying cow and flies back to the main room, across the couch top and back to the window. This time he succeeds in climbing the drapes like Sylvestor Stallone in the movie ‘Cliffhanger” . . . until he, as well as the drapes come crashing to the floor, that is.

During this mad dash to destroy, Tom is being chased by two other cats, a Jack Russell terrier and a really excited pit bull puppy.

Finally we all trap poor Tom and I throw his crazy ass back outside.

Thanking God that my wife is in NC visiting her brother I pour myself a double shot of Old Crow and sit in the Lazy Boy staring at the chaotic mess before me. . . . while in the back ground Tom begins to piss and moan about how cold it is on the porch . . .

I Saw A UFO!

Ocean Isle Beach North Carolina, July 2016:

ufo

During our summer vacation my daughter and I were star gazing on the beach one evening when close to the right side of the moon there popped into view three large bright orange orbs. They sat there side by side for a few moments, then one blinked out . . . then another . . . then the last one disappeared, only to reappear a few moments later to begin discharging (maybe 20) much smaller, bright starry like objects from it’s base.  These guys were dancing around, up and down, until as if on que they gathered in a loose formation and headed south traveling along the coastline.

The following night I took my camera with me and stared into the star studded sky until once again, in a flash two of the larger craft appeared and slowly drifted for a moment before zipping south. When I say zipping, I mean they took off faster than a rocket.

A few minutes later, high above my head and coming from the north a group of (what I considered to be) military jets were heading strong in the same direction as the orbs. The following night I saw a couple more of the smaller ones appear and blink away quite fast, later on that night a friend saw another one.

Upon telling my experiences to the rest of the family, I received such a ho hum attitude that I just quit talking about it. Even though, (to all you brain dead people out there) these sightings that so many of us are witnessing have to be a complete game changer that reaches into the highest levels of known religion, politics, philosophy, and consciousness.

Maybe it’s just too scary for many folks to think about. Maybe they are content in the status quo and don’t want to rock their boat. I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s so scary as it is interesting, and maybe, just maybe these people, whoever they are, may be willing to teach us something that will save us from destroying ourselves. . . . these star people may be our last hope.

 

Dreamland

dreamland

There are a few things that all men, rich or poor, black or white, aborigine or modern, have in common. They all have the mental capacity to dream . to imagine . to perceive . to project . and to promote all that dreaming as reality. That’s why we have problems with each other, we all think OUR version of reality is the one true reality. The others? . . . well they are dreamers.

Another thing we all have in common is the fact the we are locked into a universal system that demands movement. Nothing stands still, everything is either growing or decaying. Dreams without action will not work. We can imagine and hope and project and perceive all we want, but without action the fruits of idleness will only create decay and criminality.

We want something free? . . . nothing is free! Anything freely given without the need for hard work is probably going to either be a false religion or a diseased seed, if not immediately, then soon. High flying words are just that . . . in order to land they must be coaxed to the ground and watered and fed daily. That means in order to bear the fruit of your dreams YOU must work for your reality to become anything more than a shell of empty promises emanated from a Pied Piper leader looking to walk you over the cliff. (I could go on a huge rant here about American politics and religion but I will save you the agony) Continue reading “Dreamland”

Mountaintop Removal

mountain removal

During the late sixties when my wife and I decided to take a vacation we always went to West Virginia. Patti was born in Elkins and most of her family still lived there, so going “down home” was inexpensive, as well as a  guaranteed, joyful holiday for the both of us.

Once we left NE Ohio and headed south the scenery slowly morphed from industrial ugliness to lovely farms, pastures, and tree covered hills.  A few miles south of the state line the landscape changed yet again, this time it became hilly and far more interesting than the flatland we’d left behind.

The deeper we drove into ‘Mountains Momma’ the more beautiful she became. Her roads got windier, her hills higher and her valleys deeper, her forests thicker and her waterways faster and cleaner. The 480 million years old Appalachian mountains are a wonderland of awesomeness that is easily available for anybody who loves nature . . . Continue reading “Mountaintop Removal”

Trumps Reality

eagle

I believe in peace . . . I believe in harmony . . . I believe in rights for all people . . . I believe in love, and honor, sharing and empathy,  . . . I believe in kindness . . . I believe in the constitution of this ‘land of the free and home of the brave’ country . . . but alas, I also believe in karma.

We have killed too many people, invaded and disrupted too many countries, looted their natural resources and used them to heap power and wealth upon ourselves, to even think we can now, after all these years, stand down, apologize, and it will all go away. It won’t. We have created the pathway to our own destruction just like every other empire that has risen, reigned, retired and collapsed on this planet.

Our future is set. We either stay badass of the world or we will be eaten by one or more of our current enemies. Continue reading “Trumps Reality”

Plato’s Cave

plato's cave
The allegory of the cave:

Today if you are positive about anything when it comes to politics . . . you have probably been deceived.

In this allegory, Plato likens people to prisoners chained in a cave. Unable to turn their heads, all they can see is the wall of the cave in front of them. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see.

Such prisoners will mistake the shadows as reality. They are under the complete [mind] control of puppeteer manipulation that is taking place in the background.

Pretty dumb huh? People are too smart to fall for such a trick . . . right? Continue reading “Plato’s Cave”

Is Environmentalism A Religion?

sciencereligion

Michael Crichton, author of State of Fear and other best-selling novels, delivered this lecture at the Commonwealth Club on September 15, 2003.

“I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer,” opens Crichton. “The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

You can read the entire speech in PDF format at www.heartland.org/policy-documents/mankinds-greatest-challenge  . . .

This is not a rebuttal as much as my own viewpoint on the subject. I do not refute what Michael is saying . . . I agree with much of it . . . BUT . . . like Paul Harvey used to say, here’s my rest of the story.
Continue reading “Is Environmentalism A Religion?”

Conversing Wisely

wisdomIn learning the art of story writing one of the fundamental truths we are taught is to “show not tell” our story. This applies to practically any genre that we choose to write about. Merely telling a story, even if it’s a good one, puts us in danger of losing our audience before the second chapter. It will become boring to them, and boredom is a sure killer to a writer’s work.

To SHOW the story as well as TELL it has the power to draw our audience in and get them involved with our characters and the outcome of whatever plot line we have designed for them. All the great writers from Hemingway to Mark Twain used this principle in their stories.

Using ‘show not tell’ as an example I have recently realized another truth that we all should be aware of as we attempt to change ourselves into a less aggressive and more caring person. In our conversations with one another we must learn to talk TO the party involved and not AT the party involved. There is a huge difference in attitude when we INCLUDE the other as opposed to merely TELLING him.
Continue reading “Conversing Wisely”

Sex Sells . . .Fear Sells Better

fear

It is so obvious that the corporate media is dead set on scaring us that it is now getting funny. When I watch Fox or CNN I can’t help thinking of Paul Revere and his famous ride through the streets, “The British are coming! The British are coming!” . . . today it’s the terrorists are coming, but unlike the British are the terrorists actually here? If they are, are they here in numbers large enough to disrupt our way of life and keep us shaking in our boots like we are?

I don’t really know, but even if 911 WAS a righteous attack planned and put into operation by Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Even if our CIA spooks HAD no prior knowledge or complicity in 911 and all the stories about a Reichstag type conspiracy are not true. Even then, to anybody who actually studies that mess with an open mind can see a bucket so full of questionable holes that it is impossible to make sense of it. We were at the very least unbelievably asleep at the wheel. Regardless we got caught with our pants down and IMO all this terrorist fear is just not warranted.

So if the terrorists ARE coming why are we so afraid? Have we gone soft and forgotten how to defend ourselves? No. We are an armed citizenry with more than enough weapons and fire power to control the situation on our own, even without the police and the military, with them we are invincible . . . unless.

What I see coming is something far more sinister that a terrorist attack. I see our freedoms disappearing like a fart in the wind. I see a frightened people willing to give them all up in the name of security, and I see it all starting on the day the towers went down.
Continue reading “Sex Sells . . .Fear Sells Better”

Gun Control

guncontrol

When it comes to gun control the same arguments have been going on for years. There are so many fingers pointing in so many directions that to a thinking man it soon becomes impossible to decipher the truth. Everybody is spinning to their own love or hate song with no room for compromise and we are left with a ‘pick and choose’ situation that many times relates more to our political affiliation than to what is best for US so . . . on a personal level, I must ask myself what IS best for ME?

Honestly I don’t see it as being so complicated an issue because all I did when considering my stand on the issue was to ask myself a few basic questions . . .  something we should all do.

First question: Do I trust those in charge of my defence to appear on the scene and actually defend me when needed or would I rather have the option to defend myself?

I live in the country. Real world experience says that the police will take at least twenty minutes to get here and that’s on a good night. By that time my dogs have been shot, the thugs have beaten, robbed and left me in a bloodied heap on the floor and driven merrily off five minutes before the cops even showed up.

Continue reading “Gun Control”

The Enemy

theenemy

Before we start this series on personal survival I want you to know what we are up against. I want to reveal to you who we are up against because the first rule of engagement in any battle, as Lao Tzu taught us, is to know your enemy. 

During the Vietnam war (62-75) I wonder if anyone in those days considered what Agent Orange would do to Vietnam . . . or how many millions upon millions of life forms our planes destroyed in the carpet bombings of Laos and the Plain of Jars.

Here’s an American pilot talking about the joys of napalm:

‘We sure are pleased with those backroom boys at Dow. The original product wasn’t so hot if the gooks were quick they could scrape it off. So the boys started adding polystyrene now it sticks like shit to a blanket. But then if the gooks jumped under water it stopped burning, so they started adding Willie Peter [white phosphorous] so’s to make it burn better. It’ll even burn under water now. And just one drop is enough, it’ll keep on burning right down to the bone so they die anyway from phosphorous poisoning.’
Continue reading “The Enemy”