Saturday, January 31, 2009

Citizenship and Community

  • Citizenshp is about the way we respond to community.

  • Consider the nature of our relationship to community.

  • We must have a community in which to practice citizenship

Remember What We Can Do

You and I are responsible for our civil liberties.
Our covenant with each other is the source of our rights.
We claim our rights by using them.
The rights less used, are usually those most likely to be lost.
Good men have said that our liberty to choose and our right to claim are God given.

Let's be clear about the promises we have made each other about the following rights:
~ the right to timely and useful information(to be well informed)
~ the right to a clean and safe environment(to lessen disease and war)
~ the right to competent government oversight(to lessen ignorance)

Let's wisely take responsibility for our rights and use them as wisely as we are able.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Your War, Your President, Your Economy

Do you know why we should get our military out of Afghanistan right now?
Why not? Why don't you know?
Shall we force Pakistani parents to sacrifice their youth to a needless war?

Who wants to see our President destroy his potential for good by pretending to fight an impossible war on terror?
You know that war is made only on human beings, don't you?
You know that our present wars are waged on men, women, and children.

You know that for each civilian you have our Young men kill that you raise a hundred enemies against us.
Didn't we once learn something about sowing dragons teeth?
Didn't we once learn about reaping the hurricane?

Let's stop killing civilians and start education our youth and retrain our workforce.

Not Bush, not Obama, us.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I drove a Mazda pick-up for a long time. It gave me good service and a lot of pleasure. I loved that little truck. Does that make me a Mazdayasna?
I loved Zorro in the Sunday Matinees. Does that make me a follower of Zoroasterism?
Did the Magi delver their gifts in a Mazda?
Probably not, but it dies get one thinking.

Zarathsustra did much to define what it means to be an Iranian. I am speaking of the being whose name came to us from the Greeks as Zoroaster.

I'd say that Zoroaster was writing and teaching around 600 BC. His words were an early manifestation of morality in monotheistic religion. They are of high importance to most Iranians today. I asked students of mine, a young Iranian couple here for advanced University studies, about Zoroaster. They told me that an important act they carried out before starting their journey here was to recite hymns of Zoroaster and offer prayers to Ahura Mazda as would most Iranians.

I'd guess that Zoroaster came from far eastern Iran, very close to Afghanistan.

Zoroaster interests me because he seems to have taught men a path to freedom of moral choice. He seems to have believed and taught that good deeds generally proceed from good intentions. He suggests to me that a great value in religion is its morality. He suggests that a high value in religion is that it uphold a man in his good thoughts, good words, good deeds. He values man's inward relationship with truth.

He seems to me to consider holy spirit to be intelligent energy focused on truth. The good mind in each man may approach the truth. The good mind may divine and discriminate the false, the less false, the less true, the truer and so approach reality. The Spirit, the Supreme Being, Ahura, is conceived as father of good thought, creator of truth and right. It looks to me that he believed that truth is helpful and beneficial to all who love. Good mind instructs one to love love the truth which leads to wisdom and to that which is best.

The closest one can get to the exact words of Zarathsushtra may be through his Gathas in the Yasna of the Avesta i which the Supreme Being is called Ahura Mazda.

Sraosha was a name for hearkening, for hearing the truth and acting in accord with the truth. It came to be personified as a messenger of God. It seems that in teaching his disciples Zoroastr said that Sraosha came to him with the good mind. He claimed to be bringing them the best of the good mind with the help of God.

I believe that Zoroaster asked his disciples to each be responsible for his own belie and for the truth in his life. He prayed for a good mind based in truth. He asked for action based in order and justice. He prayed for intelligent desire as desire for true perception of reality. He asked us to ponder well over all things, to weigh his words with care and clear thought.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Updike Embraced Reality

John Updike often looked well at the reality around him and often interpreted it carefully.
He sometimes preserved selected pieces of reality to show us with gentle force.
He did that looking, careful interpreting and preserving in many places and in amazing number of the ways available to a writer.
What he may have done best is, look middle America full in the face and tell us honestly what he saw there.
He often saw and wrote with practiced genius.
He surely wrote a lot.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Hyperborean

He was compediously taught even though his teacher communicated only that part of wisdom which was appropriate to him.
There were psychological requirements. One was a natural gentleness called culture.
There was a daily program that began with a solitary walk to an appropriately quiet place. The most sacred place available was considered the best choice.
Friendship was practiced. The removal of strife from relationships was advised and taught. The younger were taught to subdue their anger when with their elders. Elders were taught to correct or admonish the younger softly and cautiously.
Symbols were used in instruction. Their significance and arcane intentions, mostly aimed toward morality and reality, were freed of their enigmatic form.
Dietary suggestions were made. For example millet was recommended for its nutritious qualities. This disciple was urged to avoid foods counter to illumination, purity, and chastity of the soul or which got in the way of temperance or virtue.
Music and poetry were taught. Music was taught as a medicine and an instrument of purification. Dancing to string instruments was included. Homer and Hesiod were included among the poets taught. Music was used to help develop and support mental states of readiness, fitness and contact.
Theoretical music which led to number and computation was taught as coming from mariners, merchants, and astronomers.
Cooperative political assistance was taught.
Divinity was taught. Nothing real need be hopeless. God first and then my promised word. An oath should be taken religiously. Things divine can be learned even from Celt and Iberian.
Short sayings of the teacher are fine seeds for meditation.
Philosophy is not only a desire for and love of wisdom, but also the science of objectified truth.

Understood, Appreciated, and Acknowledged

"It-Spo-Iotisi" is from the Ajunan-wi language of Pitt River People. I tis close in meaning to the English word 'truth.' It means straight talk. It is a spritual agreement with the self to tell the truth. It is a hallmark of true humanity. It-Spo-Iotisi is truth made visible by living in a good way and cherishing life.

It is good to be reminded that the cleanliness of truth exists.

Pitt River People know that the Sacramento Valley was once a great lake 'as long as the land.' They know that a tremendous earthquake opened the coastal range allowing the great water to drain into the Pacific. When it did, there was San Francisco Bay, and in it Bright Rock Island. That island is now called Alcatraz. A truth was there. The Mouse Brothers may have brought a strong consciousness of that truth to the People.

When the Pitt River People were taken away by force in many directions, some were taken to Alcatraz.

Truth will set us free. Truth must be understood, appreciated, and acknowledged.

The words above are broadly paraphrased from an article in "The Californians" by Darryl Babe Wilson who learned from Elder Craven Gibson.

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