Is there a fourth of July in Great Britain? Of course there is. They just don't celebrate it.
We do, and for good reason. The Declaration presented a framework for the people, the WE of the Constitution, to establish a government that protects and furthers the self-evident Truths. Nothing like this had ever existed in the history of Mankind. It was to be the great experiment, and, if successful, perhaps the blueprint for prosperity, peace, and the pursuit of happiness for anyone and everyone.
But that was long ago. Our wildly successful Republic is evinced by the loony excesses that safety, prosperity, and freedom allow. What would the Founders think if they could walk the "mean streets" of San Francisco, or Shreveport? Probably a big "Whoa! Where'd this come from?" Freedom is where it comes from. Freedom to decide doesn't mean that people always make "good" choices in what they think/say/do. And, since we're products of physics, for every cause there is an effect, and every effect has a cause. Misery comes from engaging in the same "causal" action but expecting a different result or "effect." But that's what it's all about. And it's why so many do what they think is what they must do to somehow get to the USA. Just stepping foot in this magical land would somehow improve their life. Well, yes A generous people (citizens of a Republic tend to be very generous) WE have many, many, ways for people to visit, work, and, yes, become a full fledged citizen. It's the Rule of Law, and not the whim of the Despot that defines us. And most folks around the globe get it.
July 4, 1776 was a time and place where a remarkable gathering of wise, albeit totally human, souls came together to imagine (IMAGINE!) the best way for a people to govern themselves as a society. Fortunate. Yes indeed, we are fortunate. And, even though the wild success of the great experiment can create problems unprecedented (you have to have prosperity and freedom to find new problems), the USA has the means to continue as the haven and launch pad for the freedom of Mankind.
John Stossel puts it very well:
Now, let the fun, festivities, and fireworks begin!
I'm convinced that we're in an age of discovery unlike any other in known history. There is a "shift" in consciousness - a move upward on an evolutionary spiral - that is akin to the rising tide lifting all boats. Some folks may speak of their personal moments, many keep quiet (it's personal), and some attract others who have similar experiences, talents, skills, abilities, interests...you know the list.
Three people who came together, Rhonda Hull, Dwight Hull and Dan Baldwin, pooled their talents and interests (in their case, southwest U.S. history) and are sharing their findings in a recently released book, Speaking With the Spirits of the Old Southwest (yes, the title says it all.)
But, besides being an intriguing book, it has a nifty trailer. Yep, the book has a "movie" trailer.
UPDATE: Can only be seen on YouTube. Click the link.
And a nice touch are links to the EVP's - electronic voice phenomena - which capture bits of their conversations. For those who grasp such talents - intuitives and pendulum - the techniques used by the trio are worthy of emulation. It's just...well, take a read.
Note: For those of you in the Shreveport-Bossier City area, Dan Baldwin will have a book signing at the Shreveport Barnes & Noble on July 13. Yep, that's a Friday.
Recently spent some time musing on spooky things. And what were once spooky things. For your musing pleasure:
A spooky concept for many is that
superstition and magic may be real.Or,
more precisely, the phenomena that superstition and magic attempt to describe
or portray is real.Take prayer for
instance.Superstition and magic would
describe a situation where certain persons, perhaps priests, would “pray” or
call for the action of the gods upon another person for benefit, such as
healing.The person gets well.No one may know why or how, just that it
happened.If it can’t be explained, then
it’s magic – the action of a capricious god or strange force.
Arthur C. Clarke once noted that a person
encountering an advanced technology for the first time would consider it
magic.That is true.If someone has no idea what prayer is and how
it works, it appears magical.
There is a tremendous burst of knowledge
occurring where many “magic and superstitions” of old are recognized as a
reality event – an occurrence explainable by the known laws of the
universe.For instance, there have been
replicated studies on the impact of prayer on healing.These studies support the concept that prayer
does in face have a healing impact (or certainly comforting) on the target
person – even when those praying are distant and not acquainted with those they
pray for.Prayer, then, is no longer
magic or divine intervention, but an energy transfer, a syncing of vibrations,
as real as a radio broadcast.The
question then, is how we can direct this power.
Another spooky concept was contained in the
November 2005 issue of National Geographic.It contains an article on letters from wars.The feature has a photo of the mother of a
son killed in Iraq.She had vivid dreams
where her son clearly tells her that he is all right.This observation is a matter of fact.There are dreams of exceptional clarity that
are not the dross of brain and thought activity coursing around, but are
instead more direct links with specific vibrations – tuning in, if you
will.You’ve had a dream like that.Everyone has.It’s not superstition.The
Ancients placed great stock in such connections.
Moving out of dreams and into waking
experience are the stories of spooky concepts a.k.a. ghosts and apparitions.By day and by night many people sense a
presence, a vibration, that may provide a visual moment or other sensory event
that is associated with a geographic location.Ghost hunters prowl the old houses and haunts.Once again, rather than a supernatural event,
what is experienced is more a frequency-tuning.Not everyone is on the same frequency thus may have a different experience
or none at all while someone else present is fully tuned in.An interesting book, “Speaking with the spirits of the old Southwest,” presents a trio of investigators conversing with
former residents of Arizona ghost towns and historic sites.One is a sensitive medium, one a pendulum
dowser, and the third a paranormal researcher and animal communicator.Each perceives the presence of a person
(deceased) in his/her distinct manner.Very often the three are in sync with the vibrations offered and literal
conversations are possible (sometimes recorded.)Something is occurring.A piece of a grand mosaic of energy.Demonstrable, if not fully explainable.Yet.
Anyone desiring a more pleasant,
comfortable, happy life will, sooner or later, conclude that a change in
thinking (frequency) has to occur before anything else.That’s not superstition or magic, it’s a
reality.The impact of thought
(thinking) on the mental, physical, emotional and astral self is evident.Self-evident.Thinking creates life experiences.
Quantum physics studies the actions of
incredibly small forces.This writer
only grasped a concept of vastness after peeking at the enormous amount of “space”
contained in the extreme realm of micro.The relative distance between measurable components of an atom is on a
scale of our solar system.There’s a
whole lot of “nothing” making up our physical universe.What’s spooky is that most of this universe
consists of, well, we don’t quite know, yet.Termed “dark matter” it’s stuff we can’t see but can notice its effects
on what we can see.This is truly a
realm for magic and superstition.
It’s curious how some cling to superstitions
and magic rather than seek to understand the force that is in play.Natural Selection.Intelligent Design.Two phrases that attempt to describe the same
process.The process is the improving
manner of a life form, a.k.a evolution.The process is so keen that it must be an observation of an intelligence
at work.Nature.Natural.Intelligence.The difference is a
curious mine-field.Intelligence is a
characteristic of Consciousness.For
nature to “select” the best process implies some degree of intelligence, at
least to this writer.Treating consciousness
as a superstition insulates an awareness that “natural selection” is a
conscious process.I wonder how this
debate would exist had Darwin titled his magnificent observations “The
Evolution of Species” or “The Development of Species” rather than “The Origin
A really spooky concept for many is that
their thinking (and in turn decisions and actions) actually influence what they
experience.It’s often easier to rely on
superstition and magic as external forces that make things happen (good things
to bad people, bad things to good people.)If it’s Good, then God did it.If
it’s bad, then the Devil did it.Or
someone else did it.Anybody, or
anything, other than self.This manner
of thinking creates the realm of the victim.
Medical Intuitive Caroline Myss has a theory
why some people will not, or cannot, get well or improve their lives.She calls it woundology.This is a
situation where a person suffered a loss – perhaps an illness, death of a loved
one, and such.People are instinctively
sympathetic to another who’s rebuilding from such a devastating change
event.Yet some folks simply refuse to
rebuild, or, get well.What Caroline
noticed is that the person received a lot of power and control by keeping alive
the old wound.To heal the wound would
be to lose the power of victimhood.It’s
not a happy place.
In a lesser extent we may find a spooky
tendency to devote attention to negative situations – conditions and situation
we do not want.Yet how often is the
conversation between people a lively account of current and past aches, pains,
and misery?“Your back hurts?Well, let me tell you how bad I felt last
Now we know that what we hold in our
thoughts (mind) is what we create (and experience.)“The more I thought about it, the angrier I
got!”Dwelling on anything increases its
effect.It doesn’t even have to be
real.Running an imagined slight
(insult, wrong, disrespect, etc.,)over and over, replacing sleep, replacing
focus on the task at hand, does what?The mole-hill slight is now a mountain, blocking any relief.Wouldn’t we really want to hold in our mind a
thought/situation that makes us feel good, and have that be our
experience?Duh.Unless one is so wrapped in victimology .
Dwelling might be considered the goblin of
our past thinking that can lure our here-and-now thoughts back to the earlier
state, which fires up the mental engines of creation to restore the former
condition (or certainly emotional state reacting to the condition.)
What about considering our thoughts as a
form of prayer?I suspect they could be
synonyms.If prayer establishes a
vibrational “link” with Divine Intelligence, then each and every thought,
regardless of intent, is a vibrational transmission whatever supreme
consciousness is called.At the very
least, our thoughts are elevated if considered prayers.That can be a spooky concept – every thought
is a prayer.
What’s in play is the Law ofAttraction.Birds of a feather flock
together.Many ways describe it.Like attracts like.It’s fundamental.Lets go back to our friend who talks
constantly about his/her ailments.Who
listens?Who is there?Who is he/she spending time with?Why, other people who are speaking of their
ailments.Unless you’re interested in
sharing health war stories, you’re unlikely to hang around (there’s not much
interest, or attraction.)
We know this universal law so well.Is there a parent who hasn’t expressed
concern to a child about his/her friends?We know that if the child spends time around children who are up to no good,
shall we say , the probability of the child engaging in sad behaviors is
high.Think trash, speak trash, live
The converse is also true.The Law of Attraction is totally neutral and
answers every prayer (thought) with YES!If the prayer is trash, then, yes!More trash.The Law is totally
fair.Isn’t it strange that we
comprehend the negative easily, but find the positive, spooky?What?You mean that the way I think has something to do with what I
Do you wake up each morning expecting a good
day?Or, a “see what comes” day?Which wake up thought is more likely to be a
bedtime reflection “what a good day...”Caroline Myss observed two types of people seeking health.When given a sure-fire plan to restore health
and improve like, people will receive that plan with one of two responses:That’s
all I have to do?OrI have
to do all of that?The response
predicts whether the person will enjoy life more, or less.The first response is positive, optimistic –
healing is an inside job.The second
response is fearful, overwhelming – healing is an outside job.
A spooky concept that many have difficulty
turning loose is life is meant to be hard.This frightening concept often has deep roots.It’s found in such fundamental thinking as:
I am a sinner by birth
Life is hard
I am supposed to suffer
Suffering is a virtue
If I don’t do what they say, God
will punish me
These demon thoughts are being cast away in
this millennium.Once, such thoughts
served a useful purpose.But We (human
beings) have, on the whole, moved above that (meaning that such thinking is
less attractive now, meaning that such beliefs will become extinct for most people.)Things once considered superstitious or
magical are more and more found to be genuine.How much more comfort could the mother of the slain soldier have, than
for her son to personally reassure
her that all is well.And for her to
know the communication was real.That’s
not spooky.It’s a sample of the
wonderous things that are part of our total life.
There’s a whole lot f something going on in
that a whole bunch of “nothing” that seems to be around us.It doesn’t matter what we ask for, the answer
is always YES.
That isn’t spooky.It isn’t superstition.It isn’t magic.It’s exciting.And you’re a part of it.
...and I don't understand why. There is a remarkable resistance to learning about ancient civilizations. I don't get it. This video presents what I suspect is a much truer analysis of the purpose of the great Pyramid. The "accepted" tomb theory has never, ever, gotten even face validity. Our predecessors weren't stupid and in many arenas, we are the ignorant.
Some folks have never engaged in a genuine discussion. Many may recall a time when such discourse was more common. Enjoy this clip with Jordan Peterson and Bill Maher. Take-away phrase: "Moral posturing."
There is a marvelous philosophy for thinking, speaking, and
doing encapsuled in four simple
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
That’s the 4-Way Test that is the guiding philosophy of
Rotary.You don’t have to be a Rotarian
to apply this test in your daily routine.
If you don’t automatically apply the Four Way Test to just
about every situation, then you’re missing out on a practical tool for
improving not only your situation, but for others.The Four Way Test holds a powerful philosophy
for creating win-win relationships.It
is, your personal Field Guide!
Is it the truth?
This is the
first challenge to Rotarians regarding how we think, speak, and act.Right off the bat we ask about the veracity
of the situation.Perhaps, a century
ago in Chicago, Paul Harris recognized that any gathering of businessmen should
be based on a common assumption of truthfulness.
the founding of Rotary, probably had less celestial concern with Pilate’s
question than the more human question of honesty.It would be difficult in deed to complete a
transaction without confidence in the honesty of the other party.
“Is it the
truth?” is the logical first question.If the truth, honesty, is not present, the other questions in the four
way test are automatically negative (and time to cancel the meeting!)
of deception is the crucial point and the foundation of trust.Can you trust someone unless there is some
measure of honesty in the relationship?To be honest is to be true.
recall any business, professional, or personal relationship that flourished in
the absence of trust?Perhaps only
short-term or a variation of “deceive me once, shame on you!Deceive me twice, shame on me!”Successful relationships are built on trust
and honesty.That’s not wishful
thinking, or fanciful desire – it’s the way we operate.
Is it the
truth?What other question would better
serve you at the beginning of any situation?The next logical step is to ask:
Is it fair to all concerned?
Your Field Guide now looks at the playing field, bargaining
table, or wherever it is that people are gathered.
Fair is defined as “just and honest.”When we think of something as just we mean
that it is equitable and impartial.Put
another way, “does everyone have an equal opportunity, or potential, for
success?”Have you ever come across
anyone who willingly or knowingly wanted to play against a stacked deck, so to
we engage in an exchange with others, ask if all involved are offering a “just
and honest, equitable, impartial, potential for each to succeed?”This is a good way to seek the desired
is important to recognize that fair is not synonymous with equal.Fair is not the same as Equal.Fair is, however, the opportunity for
results.In every transaction the
attitude, skill, and energy of the participant determines the potential for
essential factor in our personal and collective success, and marvelous standard
of living in the United States, is the core philosophy of the “inalienable
rights” of each person.As elucidated by
Jefferson, the Creator has bestowed to all inalienable rights of “life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”These are true Rights and are not favors or privileges granted from a
government, monarch, or ruling party.So, from creation, it could be said all is fair.
To be fair
for all concerned, then, means that no one is deliberately cheating or making a
deception that lessens, or prevents, the potential for success of another.If the situation is true and honest it will
be fair to all concerned.
Will it build goodwill and friendships?
Do you know anyone who would prefer to enter a contract,
agreement, or association if the result was a loss of goodwill and a loss of
friendship?Of course not.(For any who might ponder a “yes” then the
first two questions were ignored.)
Goodwillis one of the most valuable possessions of a
business, organization, or individual.Goodwill may be considered “benevolent intention” – the best outcome for
all is desired.A brand name is Goodwill
in logo form – the product or service is known to be satisfying each and every
time for those purchasing and using it.
Years ago a
professor of marketing from Louisiana State University in Shreveport was
studying the manufacture of brand name products in China.There was consternation at the factory
regarding the rejects which did not conform to the product standard. “These could be sold immediately” was the
consensus.It was difficult to convey
the concept of brand name goodwill to the workers and management.Shoddy products sold under the brand name
would quickly destroy consumer confidence in the product – the loss of
the ethereal quality that creates much of the value of any exchange.The price tag for purchasing goodwill can be
significant.The purchaser has the
challenge of maintaining the quality and expectations of the customer.
better friendships?The question
presumes that a degree of friendship exists.If the first two questions are affirmed, a measure of friendship is
already present.Who are friends?
absolutely wonderful and desirable to associate with people you regard as
friends.Friends are those folk you
choose to associate with personally, socially, for business, or
philanthropically – such as your Rotary Club.Friendships are based on the first two questions of the Four Way Test.
probably do not have a friendship with someone you believe is untruthful, or
who does not share your standards of fairness (granted, you may be required to
associate with them, but that’s a different situation.)Once again the Four Way Test supports the
win-win concept of relationships.
question “will it build goodwill and better friendships” is a natural
progression.It is likely that you
instinctively move away from any engagement that does not build goodwill and
would not create a better friendship.
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
using the Four Way Test for all transactions, Rotarians first determine if it’s
the truth, then insure that the situation is fair to all, and then check for
the ability of the transaction to build goodwill and friendships. Now it’s time for the final, and lasting
question:Will this activity, agreement,
contract, purchase, association benefit all concerned?
question.It’s a different question than
asking if it is fair.Fair is the equal
opportunity.Beneficial implies that all
parties will gain, in some measure, from the activity.That is the win-win situation Rotarians seek
question may challenge some deeply held philosophies.The challenge is in the phrase “will it be
beneficial to all concerned?”All is emphasized.It is a
surprisingly common belief that in order for one person to gain, or benefit,
someone else must lose, or be harmed.This is a position derived from a belief that the universe is static,
unchanging.Another way of looking at it
would be that every thing is finite and limited.There is only X amount of benefit in the
universe, and for anyone to have a piece of benefit, it is at the expense of
are racing through the 21st century, this medieval philosophy
persists.During the 20th century
the universe was discovered to be ever expandingand consisting of immeasurable force.In effect, hardly static, and about the
closest we can conceive to infinity.This cosmology affects philosophy.There appears to be no limit to benefit in the universe, only a matter
of making use of it.Benefit acquired by
anyone does not naturally lessen the benefit possessed or available to someone
else.Therefore, it is possible, that
agreements, contracts, relationships, associations, etc., can be beneficial to
eloquent sequence of the Four Way Test is a Field Guide to create win-win
situations, where all benefit.Is it the
truth?Is It fair?Will is build goodwill and friendships?The first three conditions affirmed produce
benefit.To gain goodwill and
friendship is beneficial.
you want what is best for everyone.Being of service to another results in a good feeling.Feeling good is a worthy goal.It just might be that the most effective
way to feel good is to apply the Four Way Test to every situation, every time,
and keep at it, until all four questions are affirmative.Then your world will change.One agreement, one contract, one relationship
at a time.You’ll know it.You feel good!