Spiritual Articles from 2018
An Empire of Nothing at All. The U.S. Military Takes Us Through the Gates of Hell
By Tom Engelhardt
Posted July 3, 2018
As I was putting the finishing touches on my new book, the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute published an estimate of the taxpayer dollars that will have gone into America’s war on terror from September 12, 2001, through fiscal year 2018. That figure: a cool $5.6 trillion (including the future costs of caring for our war vets). On average, that’s at least $23,386 per taxpayer.
Keep in mind that such figures, however eye-popping, are only the dollar costs of our wars. They don’t, for instance, include the psychic costs to the Americans mangled in one way or another in those never-ending conflicts. They don’t include the costs to this country’s infrastructure, which has been crumbling while taxpayer dollars flow copiously and in a remarkably — in these years, almost uniquely — bipartisan fashion into what’s still laughably called “national security.”
That’s not, of course, what would make most of us more secure, but what would make them — the denizens of the national security state — ever more secure in Washington and elsewhere. We’re talking about the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. nuclear complex, and the rest of that state-within-a-state, including its many intelligence agencies and the warrior corporations that have, by now, been fused into that vast and vastly profitable interlocking structure. More…
Match Made in Hell: Bayer-Monsanto Partnership Signals Death Knell for Humanity
by Robert Bridge
Posted July 3, 2018
On what plane of reality is it possible that two of the world’s most morally bankrupt corporations, Bayer and Monsanto, can be permitted to join forces in what promises to be the next stage in the takeover of the world’s agricultural and medicinal supplies?
Warning, plot spoiler: There is no Mr. Hyde side in this horror story of epic proportions; it’s all Dr. Jekyll. Like a script from a David Lynch creeper, Bayer AG of poison gas fame has finalized its $66 billion (£50bn) purchase of Monsanto, the agrochemical corporation that should be pleading the Fifth in the dock on Guantanamo Bay instead of enjoying what amounts to corporate asylum and immunity from crimes against humanity. Such are the special privileges that come from being an above-the-law transnational corporation.
Unsurprisingly, the first thing Bayer did after taking on Monsanto, saddled as it is with the extra baggage of ethic improprieties, was to initiate a rebrand campaign. Like a Hollywood villain falling into a crucible of molten steel only to turn up later in some altered state, Monsanto has been subsumed under the Orwellian-sounding ‘Bayer Crop Science’ division, whose motto is: “Science for a better life.” More…
‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ Actors Join Shakespeare’s Rallying Cry to Stand With Refugees
By Imogen Calderwood
Posted June 27, 2018
This 400-year-old speech is still scarily relevant.
Actors from “Harry Potter”, “Game of Thrones”, and “Sex in the City” have joined together with refugees to perform a rallying cry in defence of a compassionate refugee policy.
In a short film, created to mark World Refugee Day today, the actors and refugees perform a previously banned speech widely believed to have been written by William Shakespeare, from the collaborative 16th-century play “Sir Thomas More”.
And even though it’s over 400 years old, it literally couldn’t be more relevant today. More…
The Shamanic View of Mental Illness
by Jayson Gaddis
Posted June 24, 2018
In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.
What those in the west view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm. That what we sometimes call depression, bipolar, psychosis, schizophrenia, might actually be a significant transformation in consciousness and a necessary stage on the path of human development. More…
No Such Thing as Chance
by Elva Thompson
Posted June 5, 2018
Our lives can be literally likened to a garden – a neutral sea of energy that is waiting to be planted. Our thoughts are the seeds and what we plant in our garden of today will dictate our circumstances in the garden of tomorrow. When we think about our thoughts as seeds we understand that just as an acorn holds the blueprint for the oak tree, so our thoughts hold the blueprint for our life experience.The garden knows no right or wrong – it is neutral and does not care what we plant in it – but it will return what we sow. Success or failure – happiness or misery. It really is up to us.
We live in a duality and as the pendulum swings we all experience the good times and the bad times – success and failure, our ups and downs. As humans most of us have a tendency to fail to notice the wonderful things about our lives and instead dwell on our misfortunes. It is easy to become fixated on the bad events that happen to us and some even bask in their martyrdom. Dwelling on the bad stuff leads to negative attitudes and the vicious cycle of pessimistic and defeatist reality that follows.
Once we become negatively charged we feel depressed, hopeless and helpless. The black chasms of gloom hang over us like a funeral shroud. Our conversations tend to revolve around the negative – our misfortunes, the blame game, how life has treated us unfairly, and our aches and pains. More…
A Jailbreak of the Imagination: Seeing Prisons for What They Are and Demanding Transformation
By Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes
Posted June 19, 2018
Outspoken opponents of abolishing the prison industrial complex typically portray abolitionists as politically inactive academics who spout impossible ideas. None of this could be further from the truth. Abolitionists come from all backgrounds, and most are politically active. From bail reform to strategic electoral interventions and mutual aid, prison abolitionists are steadily at work in our communities, employing tactics of harm reduction, lobbying for and against legislation, defending the rights of prisoners in solidarity with those organizing for themselves on the inside and working to forward a vision of social transformation.
As a political framework, abolition has gained significant ground in recent years, with groups like the National Lawyers Guild adopting the philosophy in their work. A growing number of grassroots abolitionist organizers have co-organized nationally recognized campaigns such as the #ByeAnita effort in Chicago, which helped to successfully remove former State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez from office. Abolitionist organizers also helped lead efforts to win reparations for survivors of torture that occurred under the now infamous police commander Jon Burge in Chicago — a city that has, over the past two decades, become a hub of abolitionist organizing. Abolition is a practical organizing strategy. More…
Global Debt is Now an Insane $164 Trillion, but Who Exactly Do We Owe?
by Isaac Davis
Posted June 6, 2018
Currency today is created by private institutions who create as much money as banks and governments desire. This money is created out of thin air, literally by punching a few keys on a computer and sending tiny currents of electricity to a screen which displays whatever number the private corporation wants. It is not backed by anything of value, yet these private institutions charge interest to governments and private sector borrowers.
For every dollar created and loaned, the magical money-lender demands that dollar back plus interest. Since the lender is demanding more than was created, it is mathematically impossible to ever pay off debt, because the interest simply just doesn’t exist.
This system ensures that the human race will always be in debt, and this system is the new slavery, meaning that when we owe money in this fashion we are not free to use the full power of our labor and resources to improve our communities and infrastructure. Instead, lending moves in the direction of the development of instability and weapons of war. Any time the lender wishes to flex its muscle it can create instant economic hardships by calling in this and making it more difficult to borrow money to service the debt. More…
Harvest of Greed – The Merger of Bayer and Monsanto
By Dr. Joseph Mercola
Posted July 5, 2018
The Bayer-Monsanto entity is now the largest seed and pesticide company in the world, controlling more than 25 percent of the global seed and pesticide supply. Farmers are concerned about what the merger might do to prices and quality — since less competition inevitably tends to lead to price hikes while reducing incentive for innovation — the merger will also give the subsequent entity even more power to pressure and manipulate governments into accepting the unacceptable risks posed by GMOs and toxic pesticides.
Farmers have also expressed concern over what the merger might do to prices, as less competition inevitably tends to lead to price hikes.
As just one example, the price of a bag of seed corn has risen from $80 to $300 over the past decade alone — a price hike attributed to the consolidation of seed companies and reduced competition. The merger of Bayer and Monsanto is predicted to make matters worse. Farmers also worry that consolidation will result in lower quality products by reducing incentive for innovation. Organic farmers have their concerns as well. More…
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