Fort Hood's Nidal Hasan – or – Why Today's Soldiers Go Crazy

The tragic recent murders by Maj. Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood are part of an epidemic of suicides, violent crimes, and shooting sprees among active-duty and former soldiers which stem in great part from their understandable moral and ethical confusion about the nature of war and the uses of power and violence. Women soldiers newly serving in combat positions often struggle with their uncertainties about adopting formerly-despised “male” traditions of violence and dominance, especially since their use of such power—as male soldiers have always known—can and does often lead to a sense of separation from the human race, to feelings of isolation, aloneness, difference, wrongness, fear, inadequacy, failure, loss and rejection.


Add to these moral conundrums of conscience the fact that soldiers are expected to behave in uncivilized and dominating ways while “at work,” and then nimbly revert back to behaving civilly and helpfully at home, flexibly “getting back in touch with their feminine sides” and working in equitable partnerships, building family affection, connections and wholeness. Clearly, twenty-first century soldiers have their hands full to be all they can be.


Military trainers work very hard to try to turn selfless, idealistic, caring young recruits into good soldiers who can be both safe and effective in war zones, prepared to perform as knee-jerk killers, to instantly shoot down complete strangers—often innocents themselves who are protecting their own homes and families and comrades-in-arms—and to carry out the cold-blooded duties of snipers, bombers, interrogators and other executioners who must kill with no hesitation or trace of due process random members of any population demonized as “the enemy,” “others”—i.e., people it’s OK to treat as non-humans.


Good soldiers are offered a fuzzy kind of contextual logic to (temporarily) ethically “cover them” and their bloodiest actions, for at least as long as they can believe that their killing and dying serves a worthwhile purpose—that is, to protect their friends and families and fellow-citizens, or to serve their country in some way, or to further its noble ideals and purposes. Soldiers can often do their duty if they can cling to some hope that their “jobs” are generally positive ones, that they are necessary, valuable and moral, that their terrible personal losses and cruel sacrifices were not in vain, and that they wasted neither their own lives nor the lives of others.


Unfortunately—or perhaps, fortunately—it’s much harder nowadays in the age of media for us to continue to see complicated human instances of violence in simple black-and-white terms. The rapid pace of change, the continual clashing of conflicting old ideas and emerging new ones, our own American biggest-kid-on-the-block mentality, and our often-thoughtless, retributive, greedy habits of government policy-making with respect to war, empire and militarism—added to our too-violent and vengeful culture—together create a mentally and emotionally combustible, dangerous, crazy-making conundrum for even our best, most well-intentioned and professional soldiers.


“Schizophrenic behavior” is defined as behavior which is motivated by contradictory or conflicting principles, or which results from the co-existence of disparate or antagonistic activities. In other words, when your ideals frequently conflict with each other, and when your actions feel equally conflicted, it can drive you nuts. Fallible human attempts to live up to one’s ethics, values, standards and goals can make even the best soldiers feel schizophrenic.


Growing up on military posts, I believed, just as most citizens of most countries are taught to believe, that our military forces were always a force for good, an organization that helped people, supported peace, promoted freedom and democracy. Since then, I’ve learned that military forces everywhere—like violence of all kinds, from abuse to crime to terrorism—usually harm many more people than they help. I’ve also learned that peace, freedom and democracy cannot co-exist with war, because wherever war goes, anything resembling peace, freedom and democracy quickly disappear.


Even the best-trained soldiers—those convinced that military actions are all about duty, honor and country, taking care of one another, following orders, and serving with excellence, integrity and honor in order to further the protection and interests of loved ones and the best nation on earth—in the midst of war, wonder whether their actions are truly helping or hurting people, whether they are on the “giving” or on the “taking” “side.” Every soldier prays that he will someday look back and believe his life and work have served the best interests of humanity—and heaven forbid that they have served on the side of darkness, pain, grief, and cruelty. In the midst of actions far from their homes, all soldiers wonder at times whether their devotion to military ideals and country may not conceal larger, deeper, sadder contradictions about the nature and missions of militarism and war.


When soldiers from any nation come home from their wars, of course they have trouble rectifying all they've participated in, with their peacetime ethical, spiritual and religious beliefs about what it means to be humane, caring, good—all the many understandings parents and teachers carefully taught them about what makes relationships work, and what make life worth living. Many returning war veterans basically go insane for years. Others are unstable or crazy for the rest of their lives.


Everyone insists that training and fighting animals—cocks, dogs, bulls—is an outrage. We wouldn't, they say, we couldn’t, we shouldn’t do this to a dog! So why do we keep doing it to people?


Every soldier I have known, at one time entered the military with selfless ideals and the best intentions. Sadly, military training and war often work subtly against soldiers’ best interests, leaving them confused about what power and leadership really mean, as well as poorly-prepared for the peaceful, productive civilian relationships they spend years dreaming of forging, at war’s end.


Unfortunately, the many sad, lingering side-effects of military training and war include a heightened tendency to polarize even small conflicts into black-and-white situations requiring a quick, habitual adversarial or violent response to conflict—habits which later work insidiously against both the soldiers and their loved ones. Quickness to violence—while perhaps an asset in effective soldiering—is a terrible emotional burden in civilian life. Recent public-safety statistics indicate that too many soldiers attempting to re-enter civilian life—having spent their impressionable youth on high alert, in kill-or-be-killed situations—have become habituated to violent, lawless behavior, and continue to pay huge, never-ending psychic prices for their previous military involvements after their return to “civilization.”


The number and types of military resources America should maintain may be a matter of reasonable debate, but what is not arguable is our need to develop more thoughtful and deliberate processes for deciding when and why to send our soldiers into war.


The great writers and filmmakers who have told their stories of past wars have consistently described war as “insane.” Insanity is also the only word that most reasonably describes any future war, since humanity has the knowledge and the means now—if only we develop the will—to resolve conflicts peacefully and prevent the holocausts which the law of unintended consequences, along with our ghastly weaponry, inevitably spiral us into.


Ethical soldiers like my father relive the remembered insanity of war for the rest of their lives, alternating between waves of the deepest humane compassion, pride and camaraderie, to long periods of dark, impenetrable, self-protective anger, fear and cynicism.


The cruelly gruesome extremes of war sometimes contaminate and twist even the highest traditional military values into thuggery. Professionalism can be turned, at times, into barbarism. Selflessness can be turned into greed. Idealism can become cynicism. Courage can become savagery. Strength can become dominance. Love of country can turn to jingoism and chauvinism. Obedience, leadership and respect for authority can be warped by exigency into a numbed conscience and momentary group-think. Loyalty can become a destructive “us/them” mentality. Integrity can become a morally confusing paralysis, while duty can be pushed into rote obedience.


However admirably motivated, however morally unambiguous in the midst of a firefight, violent military actions still have the look and feel of chaotic lawlessness. No matter how patriotic or mentally-prepared soldiers may be, the act of killing complete strangers goes queasily against soldiers’ moral teachings about how to treat other people.


The ideal of freedom itself—the dream comprising healthy, productive human lives spent in peaceful pursuit of individual dreams—can feel, during war, quite unrelated to the specifics of what soldiers are often asked to do, because serving the freedom of one group often entails dominating and killing another, something which feels less noble in practice than what most soldiers hope for, particularly when their personal boots-on-the-ground experience has already offered clear evidence that many—perhaps most—of war’s victims are as innocent as the soldiers who kill them. Soldiers don’t sign up to defend moral ambiguities. And yet the first victim of war is truth, followed closely by moral clarity, and, too often, by despair.


However high-minded the justifications given during a soldier’s training, the actual waging of war—the killing, the maiming, the brutalizing—feels more “against” than “for” humans. Unless “the enemy” has successfully been completely dehumanized in the minds of soldiers by war propaganda, military fighting too often seems rather more against than for human value and worth, human liberty; love, individuality, uniqueness; against the highest religious and moral traditions, against human ideals, values, beliefs, against the teachings of history’s great moral teachers, against humanity itself.


Soldiers schooled in war fortify their emotions against moral confusion by coldly dehumanizing and demonizing their enemies, but such temporary moral adjustments don’t serve nearly as well at war’s end, when all the former “non-humans”—the Vietnamese, Germans, Irish, British, Russians, the terrorists, whomever—experience a miraculous rebirth, having been rediscovered somehow to be human beings after all. Soldiers who wisely shut down their feelings against tragically ambiguous memories unfortunately also become emotionally unavailable to their children, parents, and spouses. This happened in my family.


Soldiers who have followed orders to loose destruction and death upon “combatants” and “noncombatants” alike in someone else’s country, often become cynical later even about their own country, about the human capacity for goodness, and the worth of people in general.


“Human” values which specifically exclude certain portions of humanity—Muslims, for instance, or Christians, or certain races or ethnicities —ultimately prove uncomfortingly weak and useless. Nations claiming a constitutional and traditional embrace of “human ideals” and “human rights”—who then insist upon them only for their own citizens and at the expense of citizens of other countries—rapidly lose not only their allies, but also the loyalty and pride of their own citizens; while patriotism which rests shakily upon chauvinism and exceptionalism breaks down quickly into partisan bickering, and too-easily collapsing into division, bigotry, political hatred and violence, and even civil war.


Wars’ costs go far beyond blood and treasure.


All the war books and movies I’ve “enjoyed” shared similar conclusions about their experiences of war. Over and over, each artist expressed the point of view that their war had been insane, cruel, hard, sad, misguided and stupid, and created more problems than were resolved. The grisly killings aspects of war were consistently experienced as pointless, chaotic, numbing, unreasonable, inhumane, confusing, wrong—and sometimes thrilling, in that the pointy end of the sword went into the other guy, and not them. Soldiers throughout history have been urged by their leaders to keep such stories to themselves, or share them only with other soldiers who were there, so as to avoid bringing harm or shame to a unit, or turning the next generation against war itself. 


In nearly every war book and movie, bleak, terrified, mutilated children emphasize the meaninglessness and human tragedy of war, while fear for oneself and one’s friends drives soldiers to acts of cruelty and immorality unimaginable during peacetime.


War never turns out to be at all what anyone expects when they join up, and not much like what they train for either. When at war, every soldier longed for home, and when finally back home, they missed having friends they could talk to, buddies who understood them and their experiences.


All these artists told how their necessary training in hate and fear had carved a black chasms into their psyche, changing them (and their families) forever in ways inexpressible to anyone who hadn’t shared such experience—so mixed are war’s memories with guilt, pride, and loyalty.

Should the U.S. Fear, Antagonize, Denigrate, Irritate or Embrace China?

This anonymous post about anti-China perceptions in the West is viral on the internet. I found it fascinating and thought-provoking. I think you will too…. 

What Do You Really Want From Us?

When we were the sick man of Asia,

We were called the yellow peril.

When we are billed as the next superpower, we are called “the threat.”

When we closed our doors, you launched the Opium War to open our markets.

When we embraced free trade, you blamed us for stealing your jobs.

When we were falling apart, you marched in your troops and demanded your fair share.

When we tried to put the broken pieces back together again, Free Tibet, you screamed. It was an invasion!

When we tried communism, you hated us for being communist.

When we embraced capitalism, you hated us for being capitalist.

When we had a billion people, you said we were destroying the planet.

When we tried limiting our numbers, you said we abused human rights.

When we were poor, you thought we were dogs.

When we lend you cash, you blame us for your national debts.

When we build our industries, you call us polluters.

When we sell you goods, you blame us for global warming.

When we buy oil, you call it exploitation and genocide.

When you go to war for oil, you call it liberation.

When we were lost in chaos, you demanded the rule of law.

When we uphold law and order against violence, you call it a violation of human rights.

When we were silent, you said you wanted us to have free speech.

When we are silent no more, you say we are brainwashed xenophobes.

Why do you hate us so much? we asked.

No, you answered, we don't hate you.

We don't hate you either,

But do you understand us?

Of course we do, you said,

We have AFP, CNN and BBC….

What do you really want from us?

Think hard first, then answer…

Because you only get so many chances.

Enough is enough, enough hypocrisy for this one world.

We want one world, one dream, and peace on earth.

This big blue earth is big enough for all of us.


Please send your comments to Thank you! 🙂


New new new spiritual sharings (and more to come)

12/1/10 – Fearful dreams which have the purpose of getting “more” for oneself at others’ expense never satisfy. However, all dreams, when transformed to include goals of shared peace, love, appreciation, understanding, respect and support for all of life, do satisfy.


11/30/10 – Our rational, logical brains have indispensible but highly limited utility. All quality lives and human relations are inspired and supported by helpful, loving, appreciative, accepting, intuitive, spiritual motivations and intentions that arise within.


11/29/10 – When we stop struggling to “figure out,” analyze, intellectualize and speculate on the motives, goals and purposes of others and ourselves, but instead, listen to the wisdom within us, we will feel no need to fear, judge or attack ourselves and others.


11/28/10 – We are God’s expression of consciousness, creativity and love. We are God’s hands, feet, eyes and ears. All of God’s power and knowledge lies within us. We are inseparable from God, from his wholeness, presence and power throughout all creation.


11/27/10 – We can know ourselves and others as “one” only intuitively, through loving appreciation and healing acceptance. But when we try to analyze, figure out and predict ourselves and others, we forget this oneness, and begin separating, judging and attacking.


11/26/10 – When we are feeling lost, we can remind ourselves of the peaceful goals we want, seek within for guidance in creating and experiencing the perspectives, actions, feelings, outcomes and days we want, follow our inner guidance—and let all our fears go.


11/25/10 – We can safely turn our days over to God, who already knows our deepest questions and real desires, as well as our infinite potential for creating and spreading joy, and for supporting what is alive and eternal in ourselves and in all others everywhere.


11/24/10 – All the power of God, mankind and creation is accessible within each of us. We can ask and receive understanding, answers, insights, love, joy and wisdom. Within us is God’s home, where all are one. Nothing spiritual, true, real or eternal is outside us.


11/23/10 – Our self-protective, logical, rational, defensive illusions, images, concepts, arguments, explanations, excuses, justifications and projections offer us and others only guilt and pain. They offer us nothing we could ever want, and many things we don’t.


11/22/10 – Nothing good, peaceful, useful, happy, meaningful or worthy can ever come from creating defensive, guilty, judgmental images and concepts of ourselves or others, or from guessing, projecting or analyzing our own or others’ motives or intentions.


11/21/10 – Our defensive concepts, analyses, self-images and projections set up exhausting, judgmental, false rules and realities which produce only harmful fantasies and painful guilt. We can ask to replace them with an accepting, healing spiritual vision.


11/20/10 – When we let go of demands and expectations, we allow ourselves and others to be the perfect, unique, lovable, beloved eternal creations we all are. When we live and let live, and let guilt and judgment go, we rest in loving circles of giving and receiving.


11/19/10 – Until we respond to all errors and mistakes as requests for healing and help, rather than as unforgivable sins deserving of attacks, blame, anger, judgment and retribution, we cannot know God’s eternal benevolence, forgiveness, justice and love.


11/18/10 – A good way to relate well to anyone is to establish, in advance, a peaceful, loving purpose—toward everyone. All relationships go better when founded upon a goal such as the golden rule, which derives from the gentle facets and permutations of peace.


11/17/10 – Reality is not “out there,” but “in here.” Reality is not about our bodies or a world “outside” us, but instead, the eternal, spiritual truth within us, which creates and animates all things, is the source of all life and all love, and is that which never changes.


11/15/10 – We are all fellow-travelers upon a road that is often dark and difficult. Yet we can bring light and hope and love to one another when we decide to neither lead nor follow, but to walk with one another as beloved, lovable and loving friends.


11/14/10 – We’re “wrong” when we react judgmentally, defensively, adversarially or aggressively toward others who are doing the same, and feeling “right” about it. The only “right” (and effective) response to such “wrong” is healing and help.


11/14/10 – Since no person, group, party, religion, nation or leader knows all perspectives or has all the “right” answers, “wrong” arises, not just when we make mistakes, but when we attack others for their mistakes, and thus add to the sum of the world’s injustices.


11/13/10 – Satisfying, peaceful paths are those that serve us, God and all mankind, drawing us all closer in our awareness of spiritual oneness. Efforts that compete, divide and separate, or that serve one person at the expense of another, must always disappoint.


11/12/10 – A personal self-concept must be defended, lived up to, lived down, regretted, explained, built up, grieved, avenged, elaborated upon, and consistently maintained. With no self-image, we’re free to freshly recreate all our relationships, moment-to-moment.


11/11/10 – We are on our right path, doing our highest will and God’s. All spiritual paths are confusing, difficult, boulder-strewn, filled with pitfalls and detours—and unique. Our way feels sure, clear, peaceful and safe as we let our guiding inner spirit lighten our steps.


11/10/10 – We can’t know everything, so we can’t judge others fairly; and because we can’t judge fairly, the only effective, inspiring, motivating correction we can offer is one which we would want for ourselves and our own mistakes—to love, lift and let it go.


11/9/10 – Are we lost, separate, mortal creatures in brutal natural competition with each other for survival, or are we God’s single, beloved, sacred and eternal expression, his will and reflection, perfect in oneness, diversity, uniqueness, interdependence and holiness?


11/8/10 – Our seemingly insignificant contributions, stumbling steps, counterproductive setbacks and fumbling mis-directions are our perfect, unique and indispensably holy paths to awareness, sharing and celebration of God’s oneness, forgiveness and love.


11/7/10 – When we want to say or do the right thing, calm ourselves, make a decision, find new perspectives and insights, order our priorities, be happier, understand, be better—we can go within, ask our questions, and trust the loving, peaceful answers.


11/6/10 – Our hardest lesson is to let go of our own guilt, defensiveness, mistakes, struggles, wrong assumptions, misdirected efforts, incorrigibility, anger, jealousy, resentment, weariness, despair and self-condemnation—and live fully, freely, now.


11/5/10 – We can choose to experience agelessness or aging, timelessness or time, beauty or ugliness, delight or despair, spirituality or cynicism, positivity or negativity, joy or sorrow, freedom or guilt, goodness or evil, life or death, love or fear, truth or illusion.


11/4/10 – Our daily challenges, struggles and mistakes are opportunities: to ask specific questions; pray to see things differently; receive miraculous insights, wisdom and love; and become humbled, grateful, open, accepting lifters of our fellow-travelers’ burdens.


11/3/10 – We don’t have to resolve the past or know the future. All we can ever do is live fully in the present moment, and do our very best with now—the only time we ever have to give and receive love, create, heal, forgive, cherish, lift, learn, appreciate and inspire.


11/2/10 – Physical, spiritual, individual, interpersonal and planetary health and healing are inextricably interconnected and intertwined, and always miraculously support each other, as we ask for, receive, and offer forgiveness, acceptance, love, peace and gratitude.


11/1/10 – We can accept ourselves and all others as-is, without reference to the past; or we can suffer from guilt, judgment, separation, anger, blame and attack. Self and other-acceptance are interdependent keys to all healing, peace, and creative power for good.


10/31/10 – We can see, create and extend our guilt and fear outward toward a cultural delusion of division, hate and death, or we can see and heal ourselves and all others as one eternally perfect spiritual creation, by loving unconditionally in the present moment.


10/30/10 – When we pray for peaceful solutions, when we let go of a troubled past, when we trust God to work and speak and heal and love through us, nothing is impossible.


10/29/10 – We can experience the joy and peace of God once again as we let anger and judgment go. Our sense of injustice arises from a perception of temporal separation; yet God’s justice knows and expresses creation only as one, whole, perfect and eternal will.


10/28/10 – God judges his creation, not as divided and competing, but as one, whole, inseparable, timeless good. Only this holy, all-encompassing perspective of an unconditionally-loving, eternal justice can heal our perceptions of temporal injustices.


10/27/10 – We fear chaos, insanity and meaninglessness. Yet reality, truth, purpose and hope lie, not in any past mistakes, but in humankind’s capacity to see, accept, appreciate, celebrate and love, with God, his imperfect/perfect expression/creation, right now, as-is.


10/26/10 – When we put our trust in ourselves alone, we feel neither safety nor direction nor help. When we nourish, through daily spiritual practice, our safe reliance upon God, we find strength, comfort, insight, clarity, sustenance, purpose and joy everywhere.


10/25/10 – If we are not mere bodies, but instead, eternal spirits—the will and expression of a loving God—then all pain, loss, suffering and sin are mere temporal illusions. If God is love, then so are we—blameless, unconditionally loved, and safe, now and forever.


10/24/10 – When we are harshly judging ourselves, others and the world, we can ask God to judge instead, whose judgment urges us to look and see, at every moment and in each detail, the goodness, blamelessness and sacred wholeness of his perfect expression.


10/6/10 – Our eyes and brains analyze all that seems “outside” us in terms we’ve acquired from our experiences, thought and culture. It works better to see only positive, eternal, loving reality, and not react to all the rest, which is only negative illusion.


8/22/10 – God is the power, insight and comfort in which I now receive infinite gifts of present and eternal peace, acceptance and unconditional love, and return them joyfully and serenely to that-of-God, humankind, nature and self comprising the One Self of all.


8/13/10 – The most honest and meaningful truth we can communicate on any subject always reflects our highest spiritual perspectives on the unchangeable safety, innocence, value, goodness and holiness of every single one of God’s beloved eternal beings.


8/12/10 – We can use the creative power of universal mind shared by all God’s eternal expressions to build a world of truth, beauty, love, joy and healing, and not in support of destructive cultural myths of sin, fear, guilt, despair, weakness, vengeance and evil.


8/11/10 – In all our relationships, we have daily opportunities to teach through our own words and examples—and thus simultaneously to learn and to reinforce—trust, faith, honesty, gentleness, forbearance, joy, generosity, defenselessness, patience and peace.


8/10/10 – Each of us fulfills a unique, loving, peaceful work in life which is our shared will with God, who gives us what we need to accomplish it, along with trust in our own innocence, and a sense of freedom from guilt, fear, inadequacy and defensiveness.


8/9/10 – We can give only to ourselves. Exactly how best, what, when, why, to whom, and how, each of us uniquely balances our giving, is always different for each person—and always perfect. When we feel conflicted and defensive, we’ve forgotten this.


8/8/10 – What makes everything and everyone beautiful? Recognition of the sinless innocence of everything and everyone at every present moment of eternity. It is this bountiful, unconditional forgiveness which Jesus’ life teaches, exemplifies and clarifies.


8/7/10 – The most valuable, essential lesson we can teach others is our own example of joyous, guilt-free living, which holds up a mirror for the innocence of others. The most destructive, pernicious, persistent cultural myth is the belief that being human is wrong.


8/6/10 – I gratefully accept the abundant justice of an eternity of peace and oneness with God, his ever-available gifts of comfort, strength and unconditional love, and the blessings of teaching, learning from, sharing with, and loving my eternal fellow-travelers.


8/5/10 – In the sense that we are all eternal, time doesn’t matter. But thoughtful choices about our use of time can exponentially lessen suffering and add to joy. We can seek help within to spiritually order our lives and priorities, and to know the next right thing to do.


8/4/10 – What matters? Recognition of ourselves and “others” as God’s one beloved immortal perfect innocent equal creation. What doesn’t matter? Any/every/thing else— because nothing else lasts forever. We live best in time when we remember who we are.


8/3/10 – When we’re feeling unsure about how to juggle all our imagined “competing” priorities, our guiding spirit restores our trust in God, renews our courage, strength, positivity, love and peace, and reminds us that all things work together forever for good.

July 2010's Spiritual Sharings

8/2/10 – We’re culturally programmed to react destructively, angrily, guiltily, defensively and vengefully, but we can instead go within and find the gentle, peaceful, loving, forgiving opposites to such conditioning which miraculously transform each moment.


8/1/10 – Our shared cultural judgments damn us all to a collective sense of wrongness, inadequacy, sinfulness and unworthiness, while recognition of our shared spiritual perfection, creativity, will, w/hol(i)eness and love offers all a saving release from fear.


7/31/10 – Cultural myths, like all words and symbols, are always relative. They can be rich, suggestive, poetic, powerful, helpful, revealing and inspiring, as well as confusingly and distractingly circuitous, contradictory, incoherent, destructive—and persistent.


7/30/10 – Words can usefully point to and hint at truth, but they can also obfuscate and complicate truth. Words are always relative, whereas truth is ineffable—inexpressible and incommunicable in words—as well as absolute, experiential, simple and self-evident.


7/29/10 – Words are mere human symbols, variously-defined in relation to one another, subject to arbitrary interpretation, misinterpretation, re-interpretation and twisting. Everything written and spoken is relative, whereas truth is always ineffable and absolute.


7/28/10 – Without a shared theology or belief system, we can still all joyfully join in accepting our beautiful, amazing selves, each other, and the world as-is, sensing our oneness with a timeless, powerful, loving source, and attending to our inner guide.


7/27/10 – We can buy the cultural illusion that we are deprived, cheated sufferers, cruelly and unfairly punished for unavoidable failures; or we can recognize that we are God’s one whole perfect creation, forever sharing the love and abundance of the universe.


7/26/10 – We can beneficially dedicate each day to asking our guiding spirit for loving, strengthening, helpful spiritual perspectives regarding the people, situations, questions and challenges we will encounter, pondering the answers we receive, and applying them.


7/25/10 – We can see humankind as our one self, recognize love’s shared abundance everywhere, and fulfill our only need—to extend acceptance, forgiveness and appreciation as required to gently heal all errors arising from fear of love’s insufficiency.


7/24/10 – When we ask for spiritual help in seeing any situation, issue or person differently, our limited, defensive, angry, skewed viewpoints are powerfully replaced with a helpful, peaceful, smart, thoughtful, intriguing insight which changes everything.


7/23/10 – Within us is a guiding light, a spark of divinity, that-of-God, a calm, soundless voice, a shining conscience, a comforter, sage and seer that strengthens, inspires and loves us, answers our questions, and understands all situations far better than we can.


7/22/10 – We can draw all we encounter into our circle of acceptance, appreciation, love and forgiveness for everything, past and present. As we gently welcome all who stand outside the circle, we will find ourselves drawn safely and peacefully inside it, with them.


7/21/10 – We can close our culturally-blinded, critical, defensive eyes, choose patient acceptance of our own and others’ gaps in understanding, and trust only in God’s quiet, loving judgment of our holiness (wholeness), and in the unity of our shared forgiveness.


7/20/10 – The single essential, motivating lesson we are challenged to teach, exemplify (and thus learn) is how wonderful we all are as-is—wholly lovable in our fallible human uniqueness, forever blameless, sufficient, worthy, indispensible, precious and holy.


7/19/10 – How we see others, treat others, think of others, is how we will see, treat and think of ourselves. We can remember that we are all lovable, wonderful, fallible, forgivable and very human, and that we all have forever to live, learn and love.


7/18/10 – Communication can be honest, effective and true when we ask for spiritual help—in dropping our barriers, staying in the moment, letting go of fear, getting our ego out of the way, and allowing God to express, affirm and celebrate our holy connection.


7/17/10 – God can free us of our cruel cultural illusions—of conditional love, of our own guilt, helplessness and isolation, and of a too-brief interval between birth and death spent fighting over a few unsatisfying earthly rewards and pitilessly-limited slots into heaven.


7/16/10 – What if we live forever in an abundant universe and a timeless present—perfect, undivided, loving, loved, interdependent, innocent, one with God, each other and all creation—and eternally blessed with access to God’s guidance, strength and power?


7/15/10 – We are exactly as we were forever intended to be, uniquely indispensible to God and his creation, timelessly innocent, and capable of expressing one shared perfect love and will. Yet we dream a cultural nightmare of fear, difference, guilt and chaos.


7/14/10 – We can focus our faith, commitment, time, energies and talents on recognizing, creating and fulfilling at each present moment the truth that “what-is” is good; or we can limit and postpone awareness of our own power to creatively fulfill that beautiful reality.


7/13/10 – The justice of God comprises eternal innocence in a timeless present; the gift of an amazing and abundant universe; total access to God’s love, strength, guidance, and spirit; and an eternity in which to enjoy and equally contribute to loving interdependence.


7/12/10 – When we let go of the recent and ancient past—all mistakes and regrets, both ours’ and others’, remembering only good intentions, efforts and gifts—we once again feel light, open, positive, and free to love and give again in each shining new moment.


7/11/10 – We can ask for help in letting go of our cultural focus on harmful illusions, analyses and projections of a competitive, guilty, fearful reality, and instead see everyone and everything through loving, eternal eyes—beautifully, perfectly, spiritually “as-is.”


7/10/10 – We can’t feel and express both negative and positive emotions simultaneously, but we can ask for help in releasing those fearful feelings, so as to allow room for the miraculous healing power of accepting feelings to flow through us in the present moment.


7/9/10 – Anger is a sign of guilt pangs so bad that we attempt to foist them on others by focusing on their mistakes and shortcomings, all in a foolish attempt to redirect our imagined deserved punishments and retributions for an implacable past that is … gone.


7/8/10 – When we confidently and humbly offer our unique and invaluable lives and gifts to the completion of God and his creation, assured that our contributions are as important and indispensible as everyone else’s, God responds by offering us everything, forever.


7/7/10 – We gain what we give. We can offer God’s beloved children strength, light, hope, support, healing and peace as we walk hand-in-hand along our path with them and with God, and receive, multiplied and overflowing, all the gifts that we have extended.


7/6/10 – If we want a peaceful day, we can let go of fear, and share instead God’s eternal acceptance, appreciation and unconditional love with every each of his beloved children, treating all as infinitely worthy of our deepest respect and our most loving thoughts.


7/5/10 – To see only love in ourselves, everyone else, and everything, we can let go of our defenses against it—our fearful cultural lessons, strict personal experiential rules, and every barricade, wall and fortification separating us from offering and receiving it.


7/4/10 – Moment-to-moment, we choose between love and fear. Choosing love always makes sense, because love always works in the eternal now.Choosing fear (guilt, anger, injustice, separation, vengeance, sadness, despair…) never makes sense in any context. 


7/3/10 – We cannot “fix” ourselves or anyone else, but we can choose to see everyone through loving, appreciative, forgiving eyes. When we choose to express peace, we will understand the power, vision, value, joy and clarity (for everyone) in loving choices.


7/2/10 – The body was never meant to last. Only universal mind remains forever in eternal communication with the love that is its self. Love is who we were created to be, who we are and will always be, one perfect love with God and his whole creation.


7/1/10 – When we’re afraid for others, we’re relating to them as to mere limited mortals, tragic figures bound within a brief life and a cruel death. Yet we can choose instead to joyfully communicate as peaceful eternal spirits boundlessly expressing the love of God.


6/30/10 – An instant of willingness to share God’s truth, inspiration, guidance, love, peace, light, forgiveness and joy clears away all nonsense about the past and all its guilty, angry, fearful, judgmental, divided, painful, stupid, useless “knowledge” and “lessons.”

Sharing Spiritual Inspiration and Insights

Every day that I can, I meditate/pray/(or whatever word you want to call it) as early as I can. Usually I have personal questions or issues that seem pressing that day, so I attempt to articulate those questions as part of my meditation. Then I do some reading from a variety of inspiring sources. Then I summarize what I learned from that day’s meditations, questions and reading in a brief Spiritual Sharing.


I hope you will feel free to substitute (for the word “God” in the following meditations) your word that best describes or names the source of your experience of spiritual power, insight and understanding—whether God, guiding spirit, intuition, the unknowable, conscience, Hashem, inner knowing, natural understanding, deity, the Universe, friend, light, the Ineffable, creator, a favorite deity, I-Am-That-I-Am, or any other word or name that works for you. The many different linguistic, cultural, religious and experiential names we assign to our various but often uniquely personal spiritual experience and understanding of our higher power cannot change whatever may be its essence and nature.


It’s possible that I may someday attempt to publish this year’s worth of mediations. Thank you for your help, and for feedback too!



Daily Spiritual Sharing:


2/10/10 – We can help others best by recognizing that we don’t know how to—but God does. We can be fully present, accepting and loving. We can ask to see clearly, allow God to work through us appreciatively, encouragingly and forgivingly, and not interfere.


2/9/10 – When we limit the number of times we turn to our guiding spirit for insight, inspiration and help, we limit the number of daily problems, large and small, that we can resolve.


2/8/10 – Our happiness and strength arise from our undivided efforts to see, accept and lift ourselves and all others as God’s one perfect, unconditionally-beloved, eternal creation, to whom he has given everything, and with whom he is well-pleased.


2/7/10 – All apparent angry attacks and defensiveness conceal fearful pleas for healing and help. When we ask for God’s grace and vision, he lifts every imagined illusion and barrier to the love that sees only goodness and unity, and sets all things right.


2/6/10 – We get angry at others because we feel guilty about what we’ve done to them, not the other way around. And so we try to make ourselves feel better by dumping our guilt feelings on them, imagining we can rid ourselves of our guilt that way. We can’t.


2/5/10 – Human culture projects its fearful interpretation upon everyone’s actions, while spiritual guidance leads us to a more peaceful, loving vision. Thus, we can reactively interpret behavior as aggressive, or we can ask to see it as offering—or requesting—love.


2/4/10 – When we notice someone who frightens us—someone apparently sick or sad or desperate or angry—we can ask our guiding spirit for another way of seeing that person, not let our fear interfere, surrender the encounter to peace and inspiration, and relax.


2/3/10 – When we ask for clarity and guidance, we find out that what we need and want the most, but may have temporarily lost sight of, is exactly what God wills for us too. We are wholly supported in accomplishing this shared will—surely, safely, serenely, joyfully.


2/2/10 – We don’t understand our own needs. Our guiding spirit does, and will supply them, when we let go of our own ideas of what they are, and stop hurrying to fulfill them. Instead, we can be willing to ask, and receive.


2/1/10 – Gifts given resentfully, guiltily and fearfully, without loving thoughts, are unwelcome sacrifices, angry attacks, tradeoffs, payments for something. We imagine someone is demanding sacrifices of us, but we’re demanding them of ourselves.


1/31/10 – We are God’s one perfect beloved eternal expression. Bodies are for communicating unity, acceptance and love, and were never meant to be permanent. God bountifully comforts, inspires and strengthens the willing. Of what shall we be afraid?


1/30/10 – We can relate to one another as to God, and he to us—one good, whole, perfect creation, one value, one mind, one love, one request and one answer. We are his loving eyes and willing hands, and through us he extends his appreciation and meets every need.


1/29/10 – All our guiding spirit asks of us is our willingness that it be our guide. We don’t need to be strong, or sure, or wise, but merely willing.


1/28/10 – Our one real choice is whether or not to invite and follow our inner guidance. When we surrender to it, we’re happy, and when we don’t, we lose our way. This one powerful choice offers us vision, release from guilt and fear, and clarity of purpose.


1/27/10 – When we dedicate each situation, interaction and perceived conflict to a peaceful outcome, and look on everyone with appreciation and acceptance now, we can be assured that all will play their parts well, and that God will meet everyone’s needs.


1/26/10 – When things go wrong, we need do nothing. We can rest quietly, calmly, patiently, fearlessly, harmlessly—accepting and trusting in God’s peaceful, healing light, hope, inspiration, vision, power, insights, strength, and unconditional love.


1/25/10 – What if spirituality reveals a powerful higher reality not contradictory to science but unexplained by it? What if we share one transcendent mind and love? What if the universe is within, nothing is without, and we dream eternally in the heart of God?


1/24/10 – How do we know what’s the right thing to do? What makes us feel good. What makes us feel peaceful, loving, loved, at one with all of life. What relaxes, heals, warms us, lets us breathe, brings smiles and laughter, what feels right, what makes us happy.


1/23/10 – We can only give love, which is who and what we are—one love, one mind with our creator and his creation. Nothing else is eternal. Our bodies are temporary, a means of loving. We can choose to give and receive love only now. Nothing else matters.


1/22/10 – We create our own little separate realities by projecting our fears about the world outward onto others, and then letting their responses reinforce our beliefs. When we express and see instead only one loving, eternal reality, love’s witnesses appear.


1/21/10 – As we give now to our brother, and thus to ourselves and everyone, the eternal gifts we’ve received of peace, acceptance, love, appreciation and forgiveness, our eyes mirror our freedom from fear, past and future, change, mistakes, guilt, hurry, and time.


1/20/10 – Each of us creates his own little harmful, hostile, confusing, insane personal and cultural world of senseless mental fantasies and meaningless projections of guilt, judgment and fear—when all we ever need and want is to be in the circle of God’s love.


1/19/10 – God’s justice comprises his peace, life abundant, and life eternal. His love is unconditional, his forgiveness and patience infinite. We can be ignorant, confused, misguided, willful, crazy, dangerous and cruel, but never irredeemably “bad” or “evil.”


1/18/10 – When we feel inadequate, we’re judging God himself to be difficult, angry, impossible to please. God loves us now and always with unconditional love and infinite appreciation for our smallest gifts, which ripple perfectly through his beloved creation.


1/17/10 – Instead of letting guilt and fear hold us back from the love we could be giving and receiving, we can use them as reminders to ask God to share with us—and through us—his comforting vision of one unified, beloved, forgiven, eternally perfect creation.


1/16/10 – We can experience the power and the memory of God anytime that we want nothing else. We can ask for it, welcome it, and then await the coming of God’s bright, beautiful, revealing, comforting, illuminating, reassuring, guiding, restful presence. 


1/15/09 – What if this life isn’t the only “chance” we get? What if somehow we go on forever in an eternal present, one with all creation and its accepting, loving creator, just as he intended? Why cling blindly to a tragic cultural vision of a brief, hurried, guilty life?


1/14/10 – When we let God work powerfully and lovingly through us, he heals our illusion that we are separate, divided, competing mortals, and shows us that we are forever one in him—free to be, do, have and share everything we need and want.


1/13/10 – When we ask God for guidance, he who sees his creation as one, equal, beloved and eternal, will move us away from all sense of isolation, guilt and fear, and toward choices that are in the best interests of everyone and everything—that is, our own.


1/12/10 – We can ask God to share with us his vision of one perfect creation all equally and forever blessed with everything we could want and need, and for the healing strength we need to free ourselves now from all guilty illusions of a past that is, after all, gone.


1/11/10 – We are most powerful when we merely accept everything and everyone as-is, without opposing, comparing or defending, letting the goals of acceptance and peace inspire all our relationships, interactions, decisions, conflicts and endeavors.


1/10/10 – God helps us drop our cultural blindfolds—the judgment, guilt and fear which fog and obscure our sight of others and ourselves as-we-are and were meant to be—his unique, beloved, beautiful, human, muddled, messy, forgiven, perfect creation.


1/9/10 – God is not at home in our separateness, but in our relationships. We know his peace when we let go of imagined “safety” barriers of guilt and fear between ourselves and others, choosing instead to rest calmly in immutable innocence and oneness.


1/8/10 – We can walk joyfully along our eternal path of now by walking together with others—neither before nor behind—seeing ourselves as God does, as his one perfect, beloved creation and will, and letting go with him our human blindness to that light.


1/7/10 – We can rest together where time begins and ends, one with another and our peaceful guiding spirit, healed, forgiven, released from past guilt and future fear, filled with the inspiration and creative possibilities inherent in a loving, innocent, eternal now.


1/6/10 – A focus upon one single healing purpose comprising acceptance, appreciation, help, forgiveness and love toward all things offers stability and meaning to life. All other perspectives—on ourselves and each other, our activities and goals—result only in guilt.


1/5/10 – When we humbly accept God’s miraculous healing of all our past errors and imagined future fears, we can once again live joyfully and appreciatively in the present moment, seeing in ourselves and everyone only reflections of his light, grace and love.


1/4/10 – When we see ourselves as temporary, threatened individuals, we compete and attack.When we remember our essence and eternal value as beloved co-creators with God and all, life is joyful, loving, purposeful, cooperative, productive, peaceful, meaningful.


1/3/10 – Giving and receiving acceptance now miraculously changes and heals the past while creating a peaceful, happy future. If we drag our own and others’ past mistakes into our present moments, when will we envision, create and share a different kind of future?


1/2/10 – All that we give is wholly shared, because God’s creation isn’t separate, but one. God’s love is given and received in an eternal creative cycle, to us and through us. Our only limit on giving and receiving is our willingness to ask, receive, give, and appreciate.


1/1/10 – When we accept and mindfully practice union—peace, kindness, acceptance, love—as our highest relationship goal, all our interactions, communications, conflicts, giving, creativity, work, play and all our other priorities feel miraculously supported.


12/31/09 – Who might be harmed if we all consistently chose to project upon one another—and ourselves—a warm, caring, positive, empathetic, optimistic vision of their/our human potential, capacity, and possibilities? Who might benefit?


12/30/09 – All guilty, sad, hard things of the past, all scary possibilities of the future, are just illusions that mess everyone up in the present moment. Everything that is joyous, loving and giving happens now, this moment, when we let all past and future fears go.


We can pass on, encourage, enkindle either fear or love. Let’s choose love. And when we or others forget, we can let it go and choose once again. Love is the most powerful force in the universe, while fear is nothingness. Choose love, and choose love, and choose love.


Fear erases whole-heartedness—all appreciation, all reasonable, loving perspectives, and everything we know to be true, replacing them with insanity, cruelty and chaos. We can always, right now, choose love over fear.


Love isn’t sacrifice. Union can’t be found in bondage. Love is freedom. As we release others from their separations-through-sacrifice, we will find ourselves released to be free, loving and as one, and available to receive their comforting love in return.


“Special” relationships are only harmful when they hold us to guilt about the past and fear of the future. “Special” relationships work only when we give freely of our appreciation and acceptance in the present, and let go of past and future illusions.


People are motivated by only two things: a wish to help, or a wish to be helped. No other interpretation of others’ motivations is ever accurate, and when we guess or assume some other motivation, our response to them will have nothing to do with anyone’s reality.


All we ever need from others is: their permission to love and give to them, or their gracious loving responses to our moments of fear, regardless of what form our fear takes—whether anger, judgment, attack, defensiveness, withdrawal or misunderstanding.


When we learn to interpret others’ every action as either loving, or a request for some kind of loving—whether help, kindness, acceptance, gentleness, appreciation—life gets simple, kind, friendly, relaxed, peaceful. And when we forget, we can begin again, now.


The whole world is as we are. If we send out messages of peace and love and giving, they will return to us. If we send out messages of fear—anger, guilt, attack—they will be returned to us. Love the world and watch it love you back.


We are love—beloved, loving, and eternally one with all and a loving God. When we momentarily forget this visionary truth, we feel alone and guilty, because we have rejected God’s unconditional, universal gift. We can accept and share it once again.


The pressure and pain of continual judgment and fear—from within and without—wears us all down. God sees us only now, as innocent, perfect and beloved. When we ask his help to see ourselves and others as he sees us, all judgment and weariness disappear.


God wants us to accept ourselves, him and one another, as a loving circle of support. He wants us to let go of all our illusions of a condemning, angry, vengeful, impatient, impossible, unforgiving God who expects us to understand and know everything already.


Instead of focusing on guilt, vengeance, resentment and anger, we can stop attaching demands, bondage or expectations to our “special” relationships, and instead seek, see and accept in ourselves only our own highest, holiest, loving and forgiven innocence.


Right now, there is no such thing as conflicting needs or confusing motivations or angry illusions. Right now, we have no need but to share God’s mysterious, incomprehensible, irrational, unexplainable, ineffable, eternal, unconditional love, acceptance, appreciation.


The cause of fear is illusion—that we are separate, defective, competing, imperfect, mortal selves, hurrying to be superior to others before we die. The cure for fear is accepting that we are eternal, equal, one, and unconditionally loved by God.


12/29/09 – I am committed to being, knowing, seeing, sharing, expressing, honoring, welcoming, embracing, accepting and appreciating only God’s one whole eternal, infinite, perfect, loving, powerful, sane, peaceful, innocent, meaningful creation.


12/28/09 – All the sad, guilty, hard things of the past, all the scary possibilities of the future, are just illusions that mess everyone up in the present moment. Everything that is joyous, loving and giving happens now, when we let past and future fears go.


12/27/09 – When we’re upset, the only way to return to peace and love is to be peaceful and loving. We’re never upset for the reasons we think—injustice, who is right, unfairness, unkindness, selfishness, anger, weariness—but because we’re afraid.


12/26/09 – All our fears are about “past” and “future”—mere verbiage, concepts, words about time which never occur. Only an eternal series of nows really happens. With God, we can handle anything now. Now is also the only time we can change past and future.


12/25/09 – The only gifts which are loving, useful, and acceptable to others and God are those offered in appreciation and love, never those given out of fear, selfishness, guilt or sacrifice.


12/24/09 – We are one creation, eternal, infinite, equal, unlimited, whole, unshakeable, miraculous, powerful, peaceful, beloved—and usually asleep in dreams of separateness, dreaming we are competing, joyless, suffering, sinful, finite mortals.


12/23/09 – We can be only goodness. We can inhale, exhale, think, ask for, receive, see, know, share, speak, hear, accept, teach, learn, express, envision, feel, choose, create—only goodness.


12/22/09 – Sacrifice isn’t love. It’s the opposite of love—an attempt to kill it, control it, and replace it with guilt. Giving freely with God’s strength and guidance of our highest self at each moment—to ourselves, to all—is love.


12/21/09 – We are free to see God in everyone—expressed as unlimited, innocent, joyous, good, beautiful, loving, gifted, abundant, wise, eternal be-ing, one, in and with all.


12/20/09 – A God of love, our source and nature, never created fear, evil and guilt, but only eternal love, which we can embrace or postpone, but never change. God’s beloved eternal creations honor him and each other by creatively extending his love in his image.


12/19/09 – When we let go of another’s wickedness, cluelessness, obtuseness, mistakes and attacks, we forgive ourselves too, and peace and truth dawn on us both. When we appreciate rather than condemn, innocence is reflected from wherever we bestowed it.


12/18/09 – Why act out human suffering, despair, anger, resentment, guilt, defensiveness, loss, limitation and death, when God offers his beloved eternal children forgiveness, joy, wisdom, strength, guidance, peace, love and endless abundance, forever?


12/17/09 – The only goals that bring satisfaction, healing, peace and love are those which offer these continually to ourselves and others. We can lean on God’s strength, live our faith, trust his loving guidance, and let all weakness, guilt, anger and fear go.


12/16/09 – We can practice willingness to see things God’s way anytime, so when we most need his perspective—in moments of conflict, panic, confusion, fear, weariness, anger—we will remember to ask for it, certain of its healing, transforming power.


12/15/09 – If we were mere mortals, we might reasonably feel doubt, guilt, weakness and defensiveness. But God is real, and well-pleased with his beloved children. We can choose to live, express and see only this strong, certain faith in ourselves and in everyone.


12/14/09 – When we have learned to always choose love over fear in every situation, we will be free to focus on creatively choosing how best and most usefully to express that love from moment to moment.


12/13/09 – As God’s willing, human, eternal creation, we put our trust in his strength, guidance and unconditional forgiveness, and devote each moment to courageously, joyously, uniquely, humbly and powerfully expressing and sharing his boundless love.


12/12/09 – We exhale panic, confusion, frustration, resentment and helplessness; inhale God’s perspective, guidance and strength; and focus confidently, trustingly, calmly, lovingly and completely upon doing the next right thing with his holy gift of now.


12/11/09 – We can heal the walls between ourselves and others when we let go with God all our present and past guilt, sins, mistakes and errors—and see others as equally free of theirs. Accepting and sharing God’s forgiveness releases us to love and be loved anew.


12/10/09 – Our everyday priorities, activities and interests are rewarding and meaningful only in context and service to our highest spiritual goals—peace, love, understanding and acceptance of God’s will (“what-is”), forgiveness, and our oneness with God and man.


12/9/09 – We are God’s will, forever loved, learning and forgiven. Our loving thoughts are infinitely transformative, creative, powerful and eternal. We ask God to express himself joyfully through us now, letting go with him distracting imaginings of past guilt.


12/8/09 – Giving and receiving love joyfully reminds us of our oneness with God and his eternally loving creation. Guilt, suffering, attack, deprivation, need, unfairness and death are all fearful, meaningless, ephemeral illusions of separation from this holy relationship.


12/7/09 – We are eternally learning, loving and forgiven spirits. Time itself, as well as suffering, aging, everyday concerns, wars, catastrophes, mistakes, and all our everyday choices are urgent only insofar as they postpone or hasten our peace, joy and oneness.


12/6/09 – We learn—and teach—best from approaching the good, not from avoiding the bad. God helps us focus on what brings joy, not pain.


12/5/09 – All relationships are reflections of our relationship with God. We are his eternal creation and expression, sharing one mind, one love, one purpose.


12/4/09 – When we feel tension building with someone, we can remember to turn the relationship over to God, dedicate it and the conflict to the goal of peace, be honest, gentle, forgiving and appreciative of both, listen calmly, and ask thoughtful questions.


12/3/09 – Strain, weariness, and confusion disappear when we share with God his undivided will to love, lift, forgive, help and comfort all his children, to recognize only our eternal goodness, and to support only our eternal greatness.


12/2/09 – When we feel fearful, confused, dispirited, hopeless, uncertain, pulled in various directions, unloved and unlovable, we can be sure we are not communing with God, nor relying upon his guidance and strength.


12/1/09 – Union is always universal and unconditional completion, extendable infinitely and lovingly to everyone. Separate, special, exclusive “unions” are counterproductive, disappointing, impossible oxymora.


11/30/09 – What few know, and even those few too often forget, is that in God’s eyes, we are all exactly the same, equally and eternally blessed with an infinite amount of love, forgiveness and appreciation to share with others.


11/29/09 – All we ever need remember to do in any situation is ask God to share with us his unique perspective on our every sorrow, trouble, challenge, pain, guilt, fury, conflict, frustration and fear, and then peacefully await his sure, clear answer.


11/28/09 – Guilt is insane and blasphemous when God has joyfully offered to each of us, his prodigal sons and daughters, immediate and unconditional love and forgiveness for all the mistakes we would leave behind us.


11/27/09 – The light and joy in others’ eyes strengthens our faith by reminding us that God works lovingly and powerfully through us.


11/26 – When we refuse to see shortcomings in others, and instead see only their eternal value as God’s beloved children, we remember our own lovability, value and oneness as an essential and indispensible part of God’s one, single, unified, eternal, perfect creation.


11/25/09 – When we learn to see only the joyous, beloved and loving eternal spirit in everyone, we will see a beautiful world where death, suffering and time are irrelevant,


11/24/09 – Instead of seeing cruelty, evil, error, ignorance, obliviousness, selfishness and foolishness, we can choose to see in others only the beloved and learning spiritual beings they are, acting only upon one of two goals: either offering others love, or asking for it.


11/23/09 – We can rest our faith, peace and love in the powerful, unconditional, universal love that God channels though us, instead of in our demands and expectations for others’ behavior.


11/22/09 – In quietness and peace, we allow God’s forgiving miracles to work through us, and do not interfere,


11/21/09 – We each made our own weird, private, personal, completely insane and incommunicable worlds of fear, so we can release them to God, and decide to share with others only our love, which is always perfectly understood by everyone.


11/20/09 – Even if we can’t understand it, we can accept and use the unshakable grace and faith we are granted, along with our desire to be holy, share God’s will, and be wholly helpful, kind and forgiving.


11/19/09 – When we start our day asking for God’s strength and guidance, we can then listen, trust, work and rest peacefully.


11/18/09 – When we feel tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, we can let go and let God’s inexhaustible and certain strength and power work through us.


11/17/09 – When we feel defensive, we can ask to see ourselves as the eternally lovable, loving, forgiven creation God sees.


11/16/09 – We can accept, forgive and love ourselves when we are willing to allow each present moment just to be what it is.


11/15/09 – All God’s children are forever safe, unconditionally loved and joyously supported. Our bodies are temporary, our spirits eternal.


11/14/09 – When we are frozen in fear and guilt from past pain, we can ask to see things differently, as God sees, who loves his whole creation unconditionally and eternally now, as-is, just as he created us to be. Then we can let go and let God, and rest in his peace.


11/13/09 – Spiritual sight is always wholly helpful, because love attracts love to itself by offering and seeing it everywhere. When we ask continually for spiritual light, all paths work. When other perspectives distract us, even our sincerest efforts come to nothing.


11/12/09 – We want only to ask for, accept, give, receive and see the eternal light, peace, love, strength, joy and forgiveness of God in all that we do, in everyone, and in everything.


11/11/09 – When we carry guilt around, we’re seeing ourselves and the world as hopelessly unteachable and unforgivably mortal. We can choose instead to accept, affirm and see all about us as unconditionally loved and loving, learning, forgiven, eternal.


11/10/09 – Whenever we consistently ask for and apply God’s guidance, we are his accepting, forgiving, loving expression, and our lives work. When we decide to go it alone for a bit, our lives fall apart. God merely waits in infinite patience and love for our return to joy.


11/9/09 – Knowing how divided our minds are, why would we choose to direct ourselves, rely upon our own strength, or be our own teachers? We can resign now, and surrender our every need and undivided attention to our constant, clear, unlimited Teacher.


11/8/09 – With God’s consistent guidance, strength and love peacefully flowing through us, we can let go of all attacks—our own attacks upon ourselves, our attacks on others, and others’ attacks on us.


11/7/09 – When we’re feeling afraid, overwhelmed, confused, weak and estranged from God and man, we can surrender our simple willingness to allow God’s strength and loving purpose to work peacefully and powerfully through us.


11/6/09 – Our decisions—to hand over our fearful thoughts to God, and to share with others only our loving ones—increase our loving thoughts and reduce our fearful ones.


11/5/09 –We can remember God’s power, light, love, and healing forgiveness whenever we use and share that power with everyone.


11/4/09 – We begin our day by turning it over to God’s guidance, and promise to ask again for that guidance at each difficult moment.


11/3/09 – Our loving, appreciative responses to others’ fears are reminders that we are all unified in God’s love, and that we need never fear loss or separation from that love.


11/2/09 – As we humbly ask for God’s love, healing and forgiveness to flow through us, we are one with him, and become his perfect answer to every problem.


11/1/09 – When we trust God enough to ask him, often, for understanding, meaning, help, love—and for the answer to every problem—he will remind us that his answer already lies in us.


10/31/09 – In an eternal, but also in a practical sense, “reality” is not “out there” but rather “in here”—in the loving thoughts we all share with each other and with God. A “realist” then, is aware only of the love that is everyone, everything, everywhere.


10/30/09 – We recognize and nurture our own limitless value when we see and nurture that same equal and limitless value in everyone.


10/29/09 – Living joyfully in the light of God’s unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness of our humanity is co-conditional and inextricably intertwined with joyfully sharing that same unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness with all his children.


10/28/09 – We are exactly alike in our interdependence upon each other and our Source as a loving whole. We are completely unique in freely channeling that love through our lives, relationships, creations, productions, expressions.


10/27/09 – The way to God is to see everything and everyone, including yourself, with love and without blame. God and his creation comprise a perfect, eternal, loving whole. What is not love doesn’t exist, last, or matter.


10/26/09 – God answers prayers for peace and rest by removing our fearful, negative thoughts and replacing them with powerful, positive thoughts we use to encourage others.


10/25/09 – All God needs from us is one second of willingness, when things feel scary, to let him stoke our tiny sputtering spark of love into a bonfire.


Biological Arms Races, Biocontainment Labs, Hazards and Assessments

No one wants peace more than a soldier who’s been to war. Military men were my first heroes, my first saints. My darling Dad earned a Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and a chest-full of campaign ribbons and medals. My childhood “hometowns” were Army posts scattered around the U.S., and Japan and Germany.  I went to twelve different schools before college. A civilian now, I’ve listened nostalgically for twenty years to the bugled sounds of Taps floating in my bedroom window near Ft. Detrick.


My husband and good friends working at Ft. Detrick convinced me long ago that the technicians and scientists there have the best intentions, the highest skills, admirable goals, and very conscientious safety precautions.


Unfortunately, they’ve not been able to convince me that the planned Level 3 and 4 labs will be safe in Frederick. The record shows that research lab workers, even those with the highest security clearances and the best available training, are still fallible human beings who can and do become victims of blackmail, fall in love unwisely, get into desperate financial situations, hide growing prescription and other drug problems, and develop volatile feelings about co-workers. Lab workers sometimes become blind to their own religious and political biases and bigotry, and are thus susceptible to involvement in illicit covert operations, conspiracies and cover-ups.


Sometimes they get in a hurry and make professionally embarrassing mistakes and bad decisions. Sometimes they hide evidence, fudge records and fake procedures in order to save their jobs and livelihoods, and then rationalize the risks they’re taking—escalating and exponentially complicating situations already perilous.


Also sadly, no one yet has been able to explain to me why it wouldn’t be easy, temptingly easy, to kamikaze an airplane flown from the Frederick Airport into a targeted Ft. Detrick building, or lob a well-placed rocket over the Ft. Detrick fence. Either of these unpreventable actions would very legitimately throw chaos and panic into the post, city and metropolitan area, creating unforeseen, complicated, dangerous situations.


Scientists in these labs will be genetically-engineering (from diseases with no cures), completely new, highly lethal and contagious life forms, life, life so new that no one yet understands how it works. What if a newly-mutated strain somehow finds a way to attach itself to a lab worker in some unpredictable way, some way that defeats the protections put on it, so that the lab workers carry it outside unknowingly? I plead for humility in the face of nature’s chaotic, awesome genetic power.


Furthermore, if we build the facility, we’ll scare other countries into creating their own labs, creating something like an arms race with ourselves, and increasing the threat. I can’t think why Detrick’s scientists, or the Post Commander, would welcome such dangerous projects, which only complicate, compromise and jeopardize all the other crucially important and valuable research currently being done at USAMRIID and elsewhere on post.


I know we can’t avoid all risks in today’s angry and violent world, but we can avoid adding recklessly to their sum. We can choose not to consolidate, in a metropolitan area, an unpredictable mix of risky components with an infinite potential for dangerous permutations.


I was almost raped as a young mother. A very caring policeman later sternly warned me, “Don’t be so stupid as to leave your window-shade up! You’re attracting every pervert in the county. Eventually, they’ll all make a beeline to your window!”


These labs leave the window-shades in Frederick up. Their very existence in Frederick asks, perhaps begs, for trouble, and that trouble will make its dangerous beeline straight to our area.


Before we expose huge populations to catastrophic risks with BSL 3 & 4 labs, we need to ask why. If someone does attack the U.S. with biologicals, what is the likelihood that we’ll have the right vaccine, in enough quantities, available when it is needed? Wouldn’t we have to vaccinate people before the threat reaches them? Perhaps an antidote, not a vaccine, will be needed. And how much vaccine, and when, would be considered a good solution? And who would be vaccinated? Only the government? The military? The medical community?  Who might our solution actually save?


And finally, has anyone examined the probability that these risky efforts can even be successful? We’re considering exposing huge populations to catastrophic risks. For what? If someone does attack the U.S. with biologicals, what is the likelihood that we’ll have the right vaccine, in enough quantities, available when it’s needed?


None of my concerns are even mentioned in the current USAMRIID hazard assessment, much less addressed.


What is needed is a mature, high-quality thought process developing an informed equation comparing the risks and costs of the potential biowarfare threat itself with the risks and costs of attempting to address the threat. At what point are they equal?


Merely by building such facilities, aren’t we unreasonably augmenting the threat? Aren’t we creating/driving a biological arms race with ourselves, since other threatened countries will feel it necessary to build their own labs, requiring us to expand ours again in an expensive, pointless, dangerous, ineffective, wasteful and infinite cycle?


Here is what a credible, predictive and useful BSL 3 & 4 hazard assessment might look like:


1. Estimate the cost of the planned response to perceived Biological Warfare (BW) threats

   –  List the possible negative events which inspired the proposed solution.

   –  Estimate the probability of each negative event occurring.

   –  Estimate the impact of each negative event, if it occurred.

   –  Estimate the risk (the probability of occurrence times impact) of each negative event.

   –  Estimate the expected cost associated with these possible negative events (some sort of group probability—a statistician would be required.)

   –  Estimate the actual costs of responding to perceived BW threats (labs, people, security, maintenance, upgrades, social, political, other costs…)

   –  Add actual and expected costs.


2. Estimate the benefits of the suggested solution (which is essentially a list of the costs of the negative events that would happen to the U.S. as a result of the perceived BW activities of other countries, assuming that the U.S. does nothing to ward off such possibilities.)


3. List the additional possible negative events that could happen to the U.S. as a result of other countries’ feeling threatened by our new labs and then building similar BW efforts, including the costs of expanding the U.S. response to these rising threats.


4. Using the list produced in step #3, proceed with the steps described in #1 above to determine the benefits of the planned solution.


5. After completing steps #3 and #4 above, we would have an informed decision-makers’ estimate of the costs and benefits of the planned response to the perceived BW threats.


6.  Evaluate the assumption that the planned solution to the perceived BW threats would actually be effective, (i.e., what is the likelihood of the US having an appropriate and effective vaccine or antidote ready when it was actually needed during a BW event? Etc.)


7. As a final step, do a sensitivity analysis.  Determine how much the result of the cost/benefit analysis above would change as a result of changes in the assumptions used to create it.


8. At what point does the risk of the threat itself equal the risk of trying to address the threat?


Essentially, we need to develop an equation, a model, which will allow decision-makers to make a practical and informed comparison weighing and comparing the risks and costs of the BW threat itself to the risks and costs of addressing the threat. A mature, high-quality thought process comparing the risks with the solution would allow for decision-makers’ discussions, and even some disagreement about the assumptions and decisions, but at least all involved would be assured that all issues were addressed in a systematic way.


Sometimes the “costs” in the above equation would be expressed in terms of dollars, sometimes in terms of human life, sometimes in terms of political costs, i.e., international opinion, good faith, trust, health, environmental costs, social costs, risks of increased anger, terrorism, war, etc. A complete list of costs and risks would of course also include the cost of the additional threats which will inevitably emerge as a result of the U.S. building such a facility to address the perceived threats. The list of expected monetary costs should thus include the costs of building the facilities, securing them, running them, maintaining them, and upgrading them again and again as response-threats spiral. Do we really want to start this death-spiral?





A Very Good Save-the-World Software Development Idea. Please Help Yourself! :-)

Will some brilliant programmer please step up and design a google-type software program that can linguistically analyze and determine a speaker/writer’s cooperative tone and intent?


Your new program could identify and distinguish among those writers/speakers whose communications promote a sense of division, partisanship, negativity, polarization, blame, attack, incivility, rudeness, destructiveness, unfriendly competition, bickering and hate—and those promoting a sense of positivity, creativity, life-affirmation, support, harmony, acceptance, forgiveness, productivity, civility, courtesy, equality of opportunity, caring, cooperation and unity.


Your software could have endless useful and profitable applications. For immediate profitability, please consider using your product for security purposes, to helpfully ward off unfriendly attacks and attackers (of whatever kind) upon individuals and enterprises (of whatever kind.)


Imagine leaders young and old in every field vying for their communications to be screened and certified via your software. Why not simultaneously award a “Truth-bearer” (or some other such logo) “gold seal of approval” identifying individuals and organizations as positive communicators, healers, light-bearers?


Your prestigious and desirable software “accreditation” could motivate many people to investigate and understand the important distinctions between peaceful and contentious communication purposes, and to recognize and encourage humanity-unifying goals as non-threatening and potentially beneficial to all earthlings, while discouraging communications with adversarial, hostile ends. Your software would also surely stoke national dialogue, while heightening awareness about the many distinct (although often confusingly-disguised) differences between helpful and harmful human communications. Your software would take care not to exclude any gentle, friendly, cooperative practitioner of any ideology, religion, political party, nation, organization, affiliation, etc.


One important goal of your software would be to educate. Hopefully, everyone would eventually become enlightened enough to merit universal inclusivity (by acting as good, positive communicators) according to your accrediting software, which might also be developed Wikipedically, or perhaps Amazon-style—i.e., open-sourced, by inviting motivated reviewers and voters opportunities not only to build your site, but also to offer feedback opportunities and provide needed talent to shape and debug upgrades and develop next-generation software.


Recipients of your approving nods (such as Nobel prize winners and mild-mannered third-graders) could proudly display and announce their cherished new affiliation and certification on their websites, on Facebook, business cards, in TV commercials and advertising, on coffee cups, tee-shirts, shopping bags….


Additionally, your software could assist web surfers to more-judiciously select helpfully-screened websites, products and opinions as the very ones they will most benefit from investigating. Perhaps your software could also eventually include a function which would recognize and refute inappropriate co-opters of your symbol of acceptance and stamp of approval—an iterative process that would call out abusers while encouraging more awareness and discussion.


Your software will stimulate lively dialogue; increase the impact and number of creative, thought-provoking, and controversial-but-civil exchanges; reduce (by virtue of indifference and neglect) the quantity and influence of divisive communications arising anywhere in the world; universally improve facility in verbal and mental processing of complexities, innuendo and nuances; and inspire us all to pull together cooperatively to resolve our common personal, local and global problems.


While you're programming, please give extra points for humor?


And if you're not a programmer, but merely a earthlinged, godlinged promosapient like me, please pass this idea on to any similarly-inclined programming/software folk or foundations, or to whomever might be interested!


Thank you…. 🙂


Nancy Pace




















































































With Friends Like These…Let's Love Our Enemies (Ourselves)

President Obama is such a loyal friend. But with friends like his, who needs enemies?


I would like to particularly encourage all powerful old black (and white, etc.) men (and women) Friends Of Barack’s to please park your egos and pride, and try to stay humble and yes, forgiving. And meanwhile, I trust that the Cambridge Gatesgate fracas will remind the rest of us to do the same.


First Jesse Jackson stabbed poor Barack in the back (and then rightfully cried at his inauguration); then Jeremiah Wright stabbed him (and no doubt regrets it); and now here comes Henry Louis Gates, behaving in ways Barack couldn’t have imagined. Yes, power does indeed corrupt, and all who achieve greatly, greatly fall at times; we’re all human, even Barack.


Barack’s failures were partly a matter of his own very legitimate, very personal indignation at the terrifying and tragic history of his own race’s interactions with corrupt, brutal and powerful law enforcement individuals and organizations.


Barack’s other failure was a lapse in judgment. He spoke out too quickly, assuming that his experienced, wise and thoughtful friend Skip Gates was incapable of acting like such a fool. Well, now you know, Barack. Everybody plays the fool sometimes…. There’s no exceptions to the rule…. J


I do hope the current media frenzy results in a national dialogue which teaches America how scary, emotional and risky it is to be a minority member in America, unpredictably facing powerful, fallible, human, and sometimes consciously or unconsciously prejudiced law enforcement individuals and organizations which always circle the wagons to protect themselves; and also, how scary, emotional and risky it is to be a conscientious police officer trying daily to do a thankless job, by selflessly and repeatedly putting him or herself into deadly, confusing, volatile—and often, degrading, no-win—situations.


I hope the promised new documentary stars President Obama, Officer Crowley, the good professor and his other new friends at the Cambridge police department, all ignominy, anger and hubris reconciled. Their joint efforts to clarify and address this complex American problem would add much to their heroic legacies of service.


Why don’t police officers all wear video recording devices at all times? This requirement would protect both the police and all citizens by encouraging all participants to always be on their best behavior. This approach would serve justice, and would save a lot of money in court costs and legal fees.


I recently humbly “donated” money to my community after having been caught red-handed on a camera which showed me running a red light I would have sworn before a judge I never ran. That camera saved both me and the court system a lot of money. Memories are faulty, but cameras and recorders are less so….


President Obama, thank you for always doing your best, and for taking on so much so generously, and for putting yourself out there daily, so vulnerably and riskily. Please go easy on yourself. And you too, all you courageous and well-intentioned police folk, we’re so grateful for your courageous service. And you too, Jesse and Jeremiah and Skip—please don’t forget about all your many brave and invaluable contributions. And as for the rest of us little folk, may we too seek humility and forgiveness as we go about our very human daily business of fallibly flinging ourselves about our own small universes trying to do some good, and making our own big mistakes in much smaller, less-public, less-dangerous venues.


Please send comments and email to . Thank you! 🙂  Nancy Pace


Justice and Peace Are One Path

Peace and justice nourish one another, sharing their hope for non-violence and their concern for the interests of others. Wherever exploitation and oppression are ignored, peace and justice are illusive; wherever respect and support for human life become priorities, peace and justice are reborn.


Rule-of-law and justice are not always the same. Hopeless citizens who despair of working out their life-and-death issues within unjust legal, economic and political frameworks sometimes turn to crime, terrorism, and war. What goes around comes around. Those who work for equal opportunity and peace lift up their own lives with the lives of others, growing in understanding and acceptance of human difference, and increasing the sum of peace and justice.


The Golden Rule, the historical foundation for all moral and legal systems, and the basis for the “liberty and justice for all” to which we pledge allegiance, works so well because treating others as you wish to be treated becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Peace and justice are among the highest ideals and values enshrined in our proud founding documents, which extend equal protection for the peaceful, equitable goals of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” even to “the least of these”—children, the elderly, sick, needy and handicapped, and all who struggle to rise from historical discrimination.


Angry media xenophobes and demagogues try to scare us into believing that the world is divided into a tiny deserving few of “us” vs. a vast faceless, threatening, undeserving “them,” urging us to abandon the goal of peace and justice for all, and to put power and wealth in the hands of a few self-interested fear-mongers who guilefully “guarantee” safety through militarism. Offering the opposite message are the great leaders of our past and present, urging us to love and help one another, to give and forgive, to risk peace instead of war, and to work together for respectful, supportive conditions valuing the sanctity of human life everywhere. Truly, we cannot avoid all injustice, but we can avoid adding to its sum.


Justice implies neutrality and fairness, but no judges are completely unbiased. We all see the world uniquely, based on our different backgrounds. In the face of the same legal arguments, natural, unavoidable bias is evident in the many disagreements among even our rigorously-selected highest justices.


Our current justices’ life experiences are for the most part grounded in privilege and wealth. A more balanced Supreme Court would include justices whose lives reflect struggles against prejudice, poverty or disadvantage, since, in common law legal systems like our own, justices at times “make the law” by overturning precedents, regulations and legislation, with immense implications for future generations.


Clearly we need to appoint judges with sterling records of excellence and impartiality. President Obama hopes also to nominate Supreme Court justices with a sense of what real-world folks go through, who know what it is to be a teenage mom or to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old, to have the system not work for you, to be vulnerable in the political process—an outsider, a minority, someone without a lot of clout.


In the five percent of hard cases where the legal language is not perfectly clear, and where legal procedures alone can’t lead to a rule of decision, President Obama believes that the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in a judge’s heart. May we find the peace and justice we seek there, and together with our good president, continue to nurture peace and justice in our own hearts, in our families, communities, businesses, schools, courts, churches and government, and in all our relationships with others throughout the world.



Please send questions and comments to Thank you!

Dialogue and Discernment

President Obama’s recent disclosure of secret memos has stirred up national debate on torture, just as his previous openness to honest dialogue inspired widespread discussion—and enlightenment—on such prickly subjects as racism, patriotism, hope, secrecy, enemies, extremism, power, culture, diplomacy, and faith.


Obama’s courageous commitment to transparent government, and the inevitable media discussions that ensue, will only deepen our national appreciation of the intricacies and nuances of crucial, complicated subjects too often seen in simplistic, black-and-white terms.


For instance, thanks to our current civic dialogue on torture, we now realize that the decision to torture, like the decision to go to war, only seems “simple” when we see “others” as “not-us,” “different,” and in terms of “us/them;” the decision to torture is infinitely more complicated when we view all people as valuable, “us,” “ours,” one community. We’ve also learned that torture undermines founding American principles of respect and support for human life, is often counterproductive, ineffective, unreliable, and misleading, endangers our own imprisoned soldiers, weakens our alliances, and creates endless new enemies.


Future Obama revelations and their associated public conversations may again leave us chastened, but newfound humility is a small price to pay for a priceless understanding of complexity, values, and peace.



I sent this letter-to-the-editor to the Frederick News-Post a few weeks back but it was not printed…. 🙂