You Are Gods

I was reading Wayne Dyer’s latest book & he referred to Jesus’ comments in John 10:34 where Jesus is having the following discourse:

“I have shown you many good things which my Father sent me to do. Which one are you going to stone me for? “

They answered, “We are not stoning you for any good thing you did. We are stoning you for claiming to be God”

Jesus replied, “In your scriptures doesn’t God say, Ye are Gods? So why do you accuse me for saying that I am the Son of God? The Father is one with me & I am one with the Father.”

I have discussed this topic before & have tried to capture the essence of who we are. We all have a creative side, the spark, or the light, that emanates us. Is that the Father that Jesus was talking about? If so, how could we use that aspect of ourselves to further our own well being & numerous others?

Years ago, I read Paul Ray’s book on Cultural Creatives

“Core Cultural Creatives – Paul Ray

Just under half of the CC population, this segment comprises the more educated, leading-edge thinkers. This group includes many writers, artists, musicians, psychotherapists, feminists, alternative health care providers and other professionals. They combine a serious focus on their ‘spirituality’ (Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the deepest values and meanings by which people live) with a strong passion for social activism.

(Activism consists of intentional efforts to promote, impede or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change.)” Wikipedia

Richard Florida, University of Toronto, has since written of the Creative Class:

“Every single human being is creative. The biggest challenge of the creative age is to lift the bottom up and encourage a prosperous, vibrant and sustainable community for all.” Richard Florida

Reading Paul Ray, he had numbered the Cultural Creatives as a % of the population at large. I see Richard Florida says ‘every single human being’.

It appears we all have this ability but whether & how much we use it, is up to us.

Let me go a little further. Is this ability ‘who we are’? The I Am of us?

Are we Son’s of God as Jesus mentioned? Is there anything about his comment that we should listen to literally? He certainly seemed confident & evidently went around doing some amazing things.

This is not a religious discourse, this is a search for meaning.

If we really believed & actually were what he said we are, then we wouldn’t have to win the lotto to completely change the world or our world. It would be a matter of ‘seeing’ from a whole different perspective.

As straight forward as that sounds, it is very difficult in this physical plane, that daily throws issues our way.

Ye Gads or should I say, Gods!

David
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What is Truth?

“The reason we don’t solve problems is the answers interfere with our concepts” Samuel Lewis

The above quote, which I came across this week, got me to thinking about the energy which animates each of us, the creative energy. That creative energy is something we all have in common.

As you can see below, I went on a definition search starting with the word ‘concept’ from the quote.

Concept: “An abstract idea; a general notion” Google Def’n

However, we do ‘see’ the world differently which led me to ‘perception’.

Perception: “The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses” Google Def’n

And then I ran across the world ‘spirit’

Spirit: “The vital principle or animating force within living beings” Free Dictionary.com

“The nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul” Google def’n

“The principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul” Dictionary.reference.com

You can see that I have now turned up the word ‘soul’.

Soul: “A person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity” Google

“The principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part” Dictionary.com

The last definition turns back to the word spiritual.

It seems logical to me, that at least, there is this creative aspect that can be directed by our thoughts.

If so, then how we ‘see’ the world, positively or negatively, can have a direct effect on our outer circumstances.

If there is anything in our current circumstances that we are not happy with, then changing that may be as easy as changing our creative energy flow, our thought patterns, the way we look at or ‘see’ our world.

It seems to me that this energy is what connects us all, including nature, which has some of the most beautiful creations imaginable.

Check this out:

www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=ThFCg0tBDck

Our creative energy leads us to exploit nature or protect it. That is a different discussion, what we do with our energy.

Whatever we call this animating force, it apparently works for or against us as we ‘focus’ it’s power.

The filters we run it through direct it’s power much like a magnifying glass focuses the sun’s energy to start a fire.

We can diminish the power by throwing a wet blanket over it’s burning energy.

All of this activity goes on inside each of us, through our mechanisms of thought & emotion.

It pays to be careful, what we think & how we react, not everything is as it seems to be. Our emotions can color the truth.

There is a famous biblical quote, what is truth?: “Pilate’s response is a fascinating one. “What is truth?”, he says, but he does not voice the question as a genuine query – it is a rhetorical question, a statement describing reality as Pilate observes it – there is no truth, there are only constructed ideologies and practical necessities and people act based upon these and function within the social/economic/political realms generated by these constructs. Right and wrong, truth and justice exist only within the relativistic confines and context of these constructs.” Islam from Inside

So, where we are today is reality?

What change in the way we ‘see’ our issues will change the outcome?

Now that question can lead to an answer for each of us.

It is an individual choice.

Intentionally,

David

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Tea for Two

Tea for Two

Come sit awhile with me,

Let’s share our lives

Over a pot of tea,

Light talk at first

The house, gardens, the weather,

And then we’ll bare our souls

Together,

As only dearest friends can do,

Let’s stay awhile,

And drink a cup or two.

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George’s Farm

Life speeds by on the Africa Mercy.

Our department has been plagued with more equipment failures than we have functioning equipment. Fortunately, the malfunctions are not connected with the way we are operating the machines…but are a result of a lack of a preventative maintenance program. This urgently needs to be addressed. Long ago, I gave up worrying about these things I cannot control. I see that my obligation is to inform the ‘powers that be’ about the problems, and raise the flag about the associated risks. If our one remaining sterilizer or one remaining washer shuts down…we and the work of the African Mercy are out of business here in Togo!

Yesterday 18 of us from the OR went on a day trip to George’s farm. George is Togolese, single and is about 37 years old. He works in the OR as a translator, and spends much of his time with the eye patients. George’s Father purchased land from a tribe many years ago, which George has been developing into a farm.

Our day began with a hike to the bus stop. It turned out that our booked minivan did not show, and we had to find another…not easy when you have 16 passengers (two rode a motorcycle). Poor George was very upset…he felt we would be sad and disappointed. Actually, we expected it…as this is the way it seems to go in Africa. After a 30 minute delay, he was able to find a replacement and off we headed on a two hour drive to George’s farm. The roads were good until the last ten miles, which seemed to have more potholes than drivable road.

When we first arrived, we went to the centre of the village where we met with the Village Chief and the elders- the oldest being 90 years old. It was very interesting. The Chief looked to be about 38 years of age, and all were dressed in western-style clothing. We had a question and answer session, where we introduced ourselves and the countries we lived in. We were able to ask questions concerning life in the village. There are about 900 residents. The Chief described the following, as their greatest challenges:

1. Clean and accessible water- the people must walk a good distance to the river to collect water which is not clean.
2. Healthcare- especially emergency care. A pregnant woman, for example who is in a difficult labour must be loaded onto a motorcycle and taken two hours to Lome …(remember those pot holes?)
3. Transportation – (remember those potholes?)

The village boasted a primary and a secondary school, and medical clinic (for vaccines etc.) a mosque and a church. It even had a soccer field, although I am unsure how well the ball would roll in the long grass. It was extremely peaceful there. We were introduced to the Chief’s Scout, who performed a security role and looked like he was indeed wearing a Boy Scout uniform. The Chief said that the villagers would do whatever the Scout demanded. I looked for a weapon, but saw none. The Chief’s council performed a mediation role in the community, as there is, of course, no police. If trouble arises amongst people, they are commanded to appear before the Chief where the wrongs are made right.

After our meeting, we drove to the home of George’s cousin and his family. They lived in a mud brick home, with a thatched roof, along with 4 children and a dog- and another child on the way. There we were each handed a tree – mango, orange or palm. We gathered tools and walked 30 minutes through grasses and forest, in a heat like I had never experienced here. We arrived at what George called his palace – a cement walled two room house, which he had set up quite comfortably…a hammock for sleeping (complete with mosquito net), a small table and chair etc. All I could imagine was, ‘How in the world did you get the bags of cement here…and the water needed to build these walls?”

We walked another 15 minutes until we arrived at George’s farm. I am not sure how many acres he has in cultivation, but there were furrows running in straight lines as far as the eye could see. We asked how George got the furrows there, and he answered by grasping his tool and digging the earth into a line of mounds. No modern farming equipment here! The fields were full of cotton plants. George said they had had a terrible crop due to too much rain. He said he was waiting for the Government to purchase the cotton, but there did not seem to be too much to purchase. Interspersed amongst the cotton plants were a variety of trees of various sizes. From what George said, I gathered that he was hoping that they would grow so that he could then sell them, at a good price.

We then began to plant our trees. I say ‘we’, but was struck by the many folks who seemed overcome by the heat. Many were from the UK, who seem simply unable to cope to with the intense sunshine and high temperatures. Within an hour, we had all of the trees planted using only one large spade and several hand held ones. As a group, we said a prayer asking God for rain…for without it our work would soon be for naught. We walked back to the cousins’ house mostly in silence, where fresh coconuts awaited us.

Never was there a more welcome treat! The coconut water refreshed far better than plain water. We were also given ‘spoons’ made from the top of the coconut to scoop out the thin immature flesh – just like the ‘50/50’ coconuts in Sierra Leone. A meal of Fufu and sauce (resembling polenta, but made from yams) was our next course, complete with palm wine. I nudged my friends sitting near-by and we laughed as we looked at our exhausted and rather pie-eyed companions sitting across from us! Warning: intense heat, dehydration and palm wine don’t mix well.

One was struck by the immense amount of work there was to do at George’s farm. George travels there by Jimmy-Jon (motorcycle taxi) and then has to walk far into his own property. He has lived in Togo so long that he can no longer drink the unclean water- so all of his water needs must be brought as well. His mother used to help him on the farm, but is now in her 70’s and is unwell. His dream is to get into animals, which would take a lot less work and attention than the crops. In the future, he wants to live on his farm full time, as unemployment is high in the city.

We crammed back into our minivan and travelled home to Lome. One could definitely see the poverty as we rode back from the countryside into the city. One is struck by the randomness of the development. Lovely houses and buildings sit side-by-side shacks- perhaps a symptom of the lack of a development plan? On the way we passed a Jimmy-Jon with two men. Each held a live goat with its legs tied, lying across their laps. Perhaps they were Sunday dinner?
Thus ends the story of our travels to George’s farm.

Feeling grateful for clean water, health care and good transportation.
Jane

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THE LIGHT, CREATIVE ENERGY, LOVE

Dr. Wayne Dyer talks of the Spark we all came from. The ‘I Am’ that is our soul.

George Harrison wrote: ‘The Light That Lighted The World’. ‘I’ve heard how some people have said that I’ve changed, that I’m not what I was, how it really is a shame.’

This was the period after the Beatles when George was going through cancer treatment. George went on to sing ‘They live all their lives without looking to see, the light that  has lighted the world.’

So what is this light, this spark?

I believe Bunker Roy discovered it. Take the next 19 minutes & decide for yourself.

As Wayne Dyer says, the wisdom of the Creator is within, it is unconditional love, it is the essence of who we are. He suggests that if we can connect with that state, we can get beyond the dust that we are & will become.

Loving you,

David

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March 1/12 – Greetings from the Africa Mercy docked at Lome Togo

March 1/12 – Greetings from the Africa Mercy docked at Lome Togo

Time is flying by at an incredible speed. We are already heading into week four of surgery. During the first three weeks, we had triple Max Fax surgeries going on- with an astounding 64 cases completed. At the same time we had trays from -cataract and general surgeries. Plastic surgery has now begun and one max fax surgeon continues along with the general and cataract surgeries. We are averaging roughly 20 cataracts per day.

George and Frank are doing extremely well on board. They are handling the night duties in the sterilizing room with great accomplishment. I have begun instructing 5 African Crew in the Central Service Sterilization course. We meet every Wednesday for 1.5 hours. There are homework readings and assignments as well as weekly tests. It is an aggressive schedule, but we plan to complete the course by the first week of June. George and Frank plan to write the on-line certification exam in early June.

Life on ship is as varied as ever. This week in our cabin we said ‘good-bye’ to Ann, OR Nurse from Pennsylvania, and tonight our new roommate Yvonne from the UK arrives. I believe she is long-term and will be a hospital Secretary.

Last weekend, I was invited as the token old person on a trip up country to Balime (average age 25 years).  Getting anywhere in Africa seems to be an adventure unto itself- with long waits and price haggling all along the way. First of all we walked with our back packs to a gas station where we tried to flag down taxis for 9. This ride took us to the bus station, where we purchased a ticket for a van ride to Balime. This next leg of the journey was 2.5 hours long…through rather dry and sparse country side. As we approached Balime, the hills and mountains began to appear along with a mixed tropical-type forest.

We got out of our van and then attempted to find another driver who knew where our lodging, called Hotel Nectar was located. We piled into yet another van and drove at least 20 minutes up winding steep roads until we arrived at our destination. Hotel Nectar was very nice for an amazing price of $3.00 US per night (sharing 3 in a room).
We were soon greeted by members of the local tourism association. They basically demanded $18.00 US each to have a guided tour of the local area…waterfalls, butterfly gardens, coffee plantations, sunset etc. We refused to pay, as $162.00 for 9 of us seemed ludicrous when an average wage per day here is $1.35. No negotiation would change the price, so we told them we would find our own way. We were then told that we needed guides and permits to visit any of these places, but we still held our ground.  The guides left very angry with us- although we responded that we were all volunteers and simply did not have that kind of money to spend on their service. By the way, they were right about the permits…all of the natural attractions seemed to be restricted by permits. It would be like having a high wall around Niagara Falls, and charging to go in to see it! We laughed every time we saw (without charge) a butterfly freely flying around!

We headed out on our own later in the afternoon. We saw lovely valleys, many flowers (hence the numerous butterflies) and a small creek. We watched the sunset along our way. We had a delicious dinner at an establishment called Chez Paul, where $6.00 bought us a chicken dinner with couscous…soft drinks and complimentary fresh pineapple. We returned to our hotel and climbed up to the roof top (which was flat) and watched the moon and the stars for most of the night. It was so peaceful and beautiful, as we cannot see the stars at night from the ship due to the many lights in the port.

The next day we arose at 7:00 and hiked for 3 hours in the mountains. It was very beautiful, with towns in deep valleys, and many rolling hills. We returned to have breakfast at Chez Paul’s and were then lucky enough to get a ride directly home to the port…one ride only! An interesting sight on the way home was a local Jimmy -John driver (motorcycle driver) with a large dead rat in the spring of his bike carrier. Dinner anyone?

This past Wednesday the Canadians got together after dinner, for Tim Horton’s coffee and freshly baked donuts. There are currently 48 of us on board…with 37 attending the get-together. It is really amazing…I can almost always guess who the Canadians are amongst the crew. The only mistake I have made so far is thinking that crew members from Connecticut are Canadian.

Last night we had a wonderful event on the dock which involved a BBQ for the crew and all of the Day Workers (120 in number). We sat and visited together, and then had an amazing musical evening filled with drumming, singing and dancing. It was all rather impromptu…which made it all the more terrific. We sat out in warm winds and big skies. The spirit amongst us was very special…and one that I had imagined would be common on board this ship. Perhaps this is the start of some great changes here?

This morning I went with a small group to a near-by grocery store and local market. That was certainly an experience. We started at the grocery store…not unlike a tiny Costco. What shocked us was that if we had the similar tastes and buying patterns here, as we did at home…we could not afford to shop in the store. $10.00 for a small bottle of liquid laundry detergent; $12.00 for a small pail of honey; $200 for a tiny washing machine with a separate spinner (no dryer). Clearly this store was for the wealthy.
Our next stop was the local market. The Humane Society would have had a hay day here. Ducks, Chickens and Guinea fowl had bound wings and feet waiting to be purchased. No worries about them being fresh…they were still alive! Shockingly there was even a live baby deer tied up for sale. Live snails popped in and out of their shells…piles of dried dung sat in baskets to be sold as fuel…an (here they were  again) piles and piles of smoked dead rats spilt open with the tails attached! I guess they make a good meal, as their size is certainly notable!

Well, I guess this is all to report on my time in Togo to date.
Missing you, and the trappings of home.

Jane

 

 

 

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ORDINARY PEOPLE

I just finished a book on Tim Smit’s, Eden Project, Cornwall, England. It’s absolutely amazing what some ordinary chaps have done.

Scroll down the series of pictures at:

Eden Project

If Tim & his friends can do what you have just seen, what might we be capable of here at home?

A quote from Tim’s book:

Work like you don’t need the money,

Love like you’ve never been hurt,

Dance like nobody’s watching,

Sing like nobody’s listening,

Live like it’s heaven on earth.

If you have another 3 1/2 minutes you may find the following worthwhile:

Love provides answers!

David

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March 4/12 – The Golden Rule

One learns something new everyday!

I was in Vancouver this week helping judge a Canadian Student Entrepreneurial contest. I was thinking how many of our young people are onto a new way to S.E.E., the triple bottom line – social, environmental, & economic, sustainability. Everyone of the students mentioned this in their presentation.

I had a call on my cell from Olivia McIvor, Author ‘The Business of Kindness”, to join her for a coffee. She wanted to show me the study ‘Vital Signs’ by the Vancouver Foundation. This study can be found at

http://www.vancouverfoundationvitalsigns.ca/ and discusses the important things to people in their community.

As the discussion continued, Olivia said that I should get to know an Ex-Nun, Karen Armstrong. “People want to be religious, says scholar Karen Armstrong; we should help make religion a force for harmony. She asks the TED community to help build a Charter for Compassion — to restore the Golden Rule as the central global religious doctrine.”

My first thought was that religion tends to divide communities not create harmony but I did notice the Ex before Nun. I did not know anything about the Charter of Compassion but I do like the TED talks & the Golden Rule just makes logical sense to me. Intellectual curiosity got the better of me & if you have 21 minutes to spare Ina & I both believe the following is worth watching:

David

 

 

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A Wake-up Call

“What is nature”, the little child cried,

“I’ll tell you a story,” the mother replied,

Way back in the day when the world was clean,

When the air was fresh and the grass was green,

We would wake in the morn to a bird’s wondrous tune,

Fall asleep at night to the call of a loon.

In the distance the chorus of frogs in the pond,

The howl of a coyote in hills beyond.

 

And when I was small, I would lie on the ground,

Where buttercups, daisies and clover abound,

Little red and black ladybugs gently would land

On my arm, and a butterfly perch on my hand.

The sky, oh the sky, brightest blue ever seen,

And the trees, the most vivid and greenest of green,

A soft, fragrant breeze tantalizing my nose,

The smell of the earth, the smell of a rose.

 

“Is that a fairytale,” little child said,

“A make believe story in books we’ve read?

It’s nothing I’ve ever seen out there,

In the cold and gray, in the brown and bare.

It doesn’t smell good, it doesn’t look pretty,

It’s scary and noisy, it’s just one big city.”

“Oh honey,” the mother sighed, “What can I say,

I’d hoped you too, would see it one day.”

 

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