Mary Rodwell

14 November 2016

I just got Mary’s first book in the mail today so time to make a mention.

I became aware of her when she was interviewed recently by Kerry Cassidy (26 Oct 2016). Probably roughly my age, she’s a Brit who moved to Australia at the beginning of the 1990s. She was trained in the UK as an RN (Registered Nurse), probably in the early 1980s (I can’t get a complete bio on her). She moved up to advanced counseling training around 1988 (based on what she told Paola Harris in 2013 – 25 years before that). She worked as a counsellor (they spell it with two Ls in the UK) until 1994 when she moved into private practice (per her ACERN bio). She founded ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network) at about that time, and she has concentrated since then in the phenomenon of the ET-human connection.

As a researcher with traditional schooling, she has followed the path of many with that background: Refers to non-traditional psychologies (like that of Jung); Use of meditation practices; Communicates with the vocabulary and mindset of the New Age. In other words, she is totally unaware of Hubbard’s work.

For at least a year she has been touring to promote her new book and concept, the New Human, which she introduced in an article by that name in 2006, and is included in my copy of her book Awakening, which was originally published in 2002, but updated in 2010. Her new book – obviously – has been written, but it has not yet been published.

Parallels to Hubbard’s work, but 50 years later!

This Homo novis is limited in his self-determinism by all the economic and social restrictions of an aberrated society. He is not free of food, clothing or shelter.

Compared to a Homo sapiens, Homo novis is very high and godlike. Compared to a truly self-determined being, Homo novis is an ant ready to die under anybody’s misstep.
(A History of Man, p 62, 1952)

Mary’s Latin name for the New Human, as suggested by parapsychology researcher John White, is Homo Noeticus. He probably came up with this in the 1970s.

Mary’s book includes a chapter on implants.

As detailed in Scientology: A History of Man, there are many electronic implants on the whole track. In other words, any preclear has, in the last few thousand years, been placed in an electronic field and rendered null, void and obsessed by very heavy “electrical” currents.
(Scientology 8-80, p 30, 1952)

In the New Age, and as discussed in Mary’s book, implants are physical items or non-physcal “thought packages” installed by certain ET visitors to monitor or control human subjects. The New Age has not mastered the art and technology of deep remembering, so even though they know that reincarnation normally involves a memory wipe, they have no idea that they could restore past memories that might still be valid or useful today, and show no great curiosity in this direction. Per Hubbard, this attitude is largely the result of implants, as he defines them.

Mary’s emphasis

While Hubbard worked to develop a therapy that could potentially totally recover a being’s native abilities, Mary is more concerned about our social attitude and professional treatment of people, especially children, who are different. She has many colleagues across the planet who are also working on this. She just wants the rest of us to understand (even if that understanding might not be totally on target). She quotes another worker, Richard Boylan:

“Some seem to think that there is an ADD or ADHD disorder in Star Kids. What I think is the case, is that Star Kids are crushingly bored by regular school and other ‘pedestrian’ information presentations and they seem distracted. Their wandering attention is a result of their boredom.”

What Mary does in this book, and promises much more of in her next book, is to tell these children’s stories in their own words. Many of them speak in near or complete disgust of what passes for education and knowledge on this planet at this time. Many also speak of being taken “elsewhere” to be more properly educated. This alternative education some of these kids are getting seems similar to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. They don’t only get advanced technical and scientific data, but also hone their paranormal abilities, especially those involving operating exterior.

THETA CLEAR: A being who is reasonably stable outside the body and does not come back into the body simply because the body is hurt.
(Scientology 8-8008, p207, 1952)

LRH discovered and wrote about all the abilities of beings that Mary and her co-workers are just now recognizing in these people she calls the New Humans.

The New Age thinks these people are “new.” But Hubbard knew they were only new for this time period on Earth. In actuality they are quite old. But they screwed up a bit too much somewhere along the way and have ended up here. Well, Hubbard has developed a whole process for “unscrewing” ourselves. Meanwhile, Mary and her gang, blissfully ignorant of Hubbard’s ground-breaking work, expect these New Humans to help us get up to their level. Maybe a few of them will run across Scientology. Those ones will know what to do and what they are really up against.

Tracey Taylor, one of these New Humans, is quoted by Mary:
Star children are born with greater wisdom and awareness, and are also gifted creatively. They have a great feeling of being connected to nature and all that exists. They are the bringers of the new, the bringers of light, they are here to guide the awakening of terrestrial consciousness.

May it be so!

The Election

7 November 2016

The sites I follow are buzzing about this U.S. election.

Here is my take on it at this point:

Hillary stands for business-as-usual; a predictable outcome.

Trump stands for disruptive changes; he seems unpredictable at this point.

No one in the race stands for planned change based on ethical principles and workable management processes, implemented in an organized manner. Such a being would be the only one deserving a place of leadership at this time.

Is there a higher struggle?

The media, the pundits, and academics for the most part, dismiss the idea that a lot is going on in secret; that these candidates are merely proxies for power groups that wish to remain hidden and unidentified.

The alternative news sources that I follow, on the other hand, see this as the obvious truth of the situation and openly mock anyone who refuses to see it and deal with it.

The problem is that the alternative sources don’t have it right, either. And it’s my guess that this is because they rely too heavily for data on “insiders.”

For instance, Veterans Today thinks Hillary is being supported by the more moderate power groups who ultimately oppose the extremists who are supporting Trump. Their editor Gordon Duff accuses the FBI of being full of conspiracy theorists and protectors of criminals. Odd he’d say that, as Gordon is one of the biggest conspiracy theorists on the planet. And I don’t use that term derogatorily.

Meanwhile, over in England Simon Parkes is telling us that the FBI is made up mostly of people who are trying to do the right thing and don’t want a known pedophile working as our President. While Trump’s not much better, he stands for change and change is what is needed.

Julian Assange in a recent interview said he thinks Trump will not be allowed to serve in office even if he overwhelmingly wins the popular vote. However, he also said that Hillary’s accusations that Russia is behind the most recent release of documents is totally ridiculous.

I also ran across an October video from Clif High, a Seattle software genius who data mines the internet to find “data sets” that indicate the most desired (and probable) future. He finds a landslide popular win for Trump which the rest of the world reacts to with total disgust. Almost all countries holding U.S. debt contracts try to dump them, precipitating tremendous inflation here in the U.S. Meanwhile, U.S. officials refuse to allow Trump to take office, but Hillary has disappeared and cannot be located.

The best-organized group wins

Here is a key datum about politics:

“A small group thoroughly organized can conquer the disorganized billions.”

L. Ron Hubbard, ORGANIZATION AND MORALE, 1 Nov 1970.

If you want to figure out what group is really running this planet these days (if there is just one) then look for that group that is extremely well-organized. In human groups this has often meant a group beaten into being organized. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter exactly how the group maintains and defends its organization; it just has to be very well-organized. A group that depends on constant threats of violence to maintain organization will eventually falter, as the most brilliant beings will usually leave it. But this basic datum still holds.

And the most organized group I am aware of – at least it used to be extremely tightly organized per reports – is the one running our secret space programs. Descriptions of it come from Corey Goode, William Tompkins, Sean David Morton, Steven Greer and other researchers and past insiders.

Per Tompkins and some others, this particular group is part of a longer lineage of powerful groups that get created due to rivalries between various ET groups regarding Earth. One ET alliance prefers an invasion approach to expansion, mirrored on Earth by groups currently centered in Europe. Another alliance prefers a more peaceful approach based on free trade. They are both interested in Earth at this time, and have had some interest for many centuries into the past. But now Earth is set up to go Space Opera, and the number of ET groups now interested in Earth has multiplied.

Of course there is another large body of ET communities that would prefer to just be left alone. But they are, almost by definition, less well-organized. So in this universe, they are very likely to get run over (or be overrun).

Need of Change

Masses of people in the U.S., to say nothing of other areas on the planet, really want change. They need something to break loose and reveal a path forward. Most of them have no idea of exactly what that path should be. Thus, at this point they are revolutionaries, or nearly at that point, as there is a minimum of planning and organization amongst them as a whole. They are very numerous, but:

“Revolution never produces anything. Throwing something out of gear momentarily, the vast inertia of a people closes in again and patches it all up.

“Evolution can be fairly fast, but evolution is on a level of the people, not on the level of the government.

“You have to change the people to change the government.”

— L. Ron Hubbard (From a lecture of 10 November 1952.)

Here he makes a distinction between “people” (disorganized) and “government” (organized) long before he became immersed in the study of organizing and management that he undertook when he managed Saint Hill as the first advanced Scientology organization on the planet in the 1960s.

Take a look at the American Revolution for example (this analysis based only on my current understanding). It was instigated by professional people and businessmen who also functioned as academics and politicians. Thus, it was built on idealism more than on organization. They were aided against Britain by France – which was itself going down an anti-aristocracy path at the time.

But just as Napoleon effectively killed, or usurped, the French Revolution in the early 1800s, so Britain re-invaded the U.S. during the War of 1812. The French had basically given all of the Midwest to the U.S. in 1803, which freaked out the British Empire, thinking it still had large amounts of leverage over the rebel colonies. But instead of re-invading, the British were apparently convinced to approach the problem differently.

With the help of the Louisiana Purchase, the U.S. established a very strong foothold in the Americas over the next 100 years, but by the end of that time, Europe had arranged a new control structure in the form of its network of Central Banks.

Who has the upper hand?

In 1967, Hubbard identified a small group based in the City of London which controlled most English-language news outlets and was tightly connected to certain banking and industrial interests, as well as psychiatry as represented by groups like the Tavistock Institute.

This group was believed to be behind the shellacking that Scientology was getting in the press in those years.

At the time, it was a big revelation for all of us. But LRH never said that this was the only secret power group in existence on Earth; or that it had no rivals; or exactly how ET might be involved. So I resort to other sources for clues:

The “invader alliance” is commonly identified as composed of Draco, Reptilians and some human types – not all individuals of these descriptions, though – and is usually identified with the European Royals and the Vatican, along with their bankers, who are related to Zionism and are Earth’s warmongers.

The other ET group attempted to influence technological and spiritual thinking in Germany in the early 1900s, but that did not go well. They have continued to make various contact attempts, such as those reported by Tompkins in his interviews and first book. As a result of this the military-industrial complex has apparently remained factionalized along lines that I think of as Group Tone Level. Some factions prefer a more conservative approach to politics, preferring persuasion, negotiation, and even convincing PR stunts, rather than constantly resorting to war. Other factions live on war and wouldn’t know what to do without it. Those groups are clearly insane, while the others are only irritatingly neurotic.

Some think the Clintons are in the conservative camp, while others are quite sure they are totally insane. Some think Trump is firmly dominated by criminals and warmongers, while others feel he might actually be in slightly better condition, mentally, than Hillary. How am I supposed to know who’s right, beyond just looking into their faces when they talk and reading the signs?

I think they are both crazy, as what other personality type would run for U.S. President at this time (who had a serious possibility of getting into office)?

Whether this election results in “business-as-usual” or unpredictable changes, I think we still have a lot to learn about people, about politics, and about ourselves. Ultimately, until a being can look at a situation and just know the truth of it, he doesn’t know the truth of it. So let’s work at developing that ability rather than playing around trying to second-guess each other.

Leeloo

26 October 2016

I just found out today about a phenomenon that is currently being named “Leeloo.”

This entity contacted an Australian woman who is into spiritual-type subjects, but is relatively new to the scene (compared to some of the others). Lisa was contacted via her computer, in other words, through the internet.

Lisa M Harrison has done many video interviews since she started in 2009. She is known especially for her talks with George Kavassalis, who claims direct memory to long-forgotten cosmic-scale events.

This intelligence that recently contacted Lisa (about 2 weeks ago) has identified herself as a member of a team of 23 beings who have been tasked to work with Lisa in particular, and part of a larger civilization that exists in “hideouts” deep beneath the surface of our own planet, and consists of about 700,000 individuals.

This is interesting, because Corey Goode has reported that he has been to this place and toured it, and met one person in particular who has stayed in touch with him (telepathically). She has, in turn, mentioned that several of the other communications reported by various telepaths and channels on Earth and previously identified as from off-Earth may actually be teams just like this one that has contacted Lisa.

According to Corey, they are trying to find ways to help us without blowing their own cover and getting destroyed by their enemies. Their enemies include those who do not want improved spiritual awareness for Mankind, and many who have agreed to work for those enemies without really knowing what exactly they were doing.

It is too late at night now for me to go into more detail.

You can look at Lisa’s videos yourself if you want, but they are long, full of pauses, and consist mostly of the faces of Lisa and her friend looking haggard and smoking cigarettes trying to stay awake and lucid. (Lisa, get some rest!) They are planning to release a video of Leeloo typing answers to questions and talking through the fake voice program Siri. I will probably wait for that to come out before writing more about it.

Operation Stupid

23 October 2016

I just watched a film titled “Operation Terror.” I didn’t use its real title in my title as I didn’t want that to be over-inflammatory. It’s about 9/11.

This film was released in 2012; I just heard about it yesterday. It was written and produced by a guy named Art Olivier. Art is about 3 years younger than me, had a technical job with Boeing and/or McDonnell Douglas (his bio says “Engineer”) for about 20 years, and became self-employed after that time. He was also interested in politics and ran for many offices in and around the town he lives in (Bellflower, CA), and became a Libertarian. He also ran for State offices, and US Vice President in 2000.

What is not clear in watching the film is that a sizable portion of the dialogue is taken from documents generated during the 9/11 investigation or that turned up later. So, in the film’s fictional re-creations, many of the characters say exactly what they were recorded as saying per those documents.

The idea that the whole operation was organized and run by a CIA agent, as directed by a senior member of “the Council” (Council on Foreign Relations?) is fiction. As far as I know, we have no documents or testimony pointing directly to who’s idea it was, or who ran it. That it was the creation of a demented mind should be obvious to anyone, which is emphasized when Art in a later interview refers to all the occult symbolism surrounding the event.

An example is the number of deaths at the Pentagon, reported as 125. This is 5X5X5, the Pentagon being a 5-sided building. It is also believed that both the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were exactly placed at significant geographic locations when they were built.

For his movie, Art went with the theory that none of the actual planes with passengers hit any of the buildings. Their real pilots could not have been bribed to do it, and their supposed hijackers would not have had the required skill, assuming it was even physically possible to do so. That means: 1) Something else hit the towers and the Pentagon (the movie suggests drone planes); and 2) Something else killed the crews and passengers. The movie shows them being ordered into a giant NASA autoclave (a special kind of oven), telling them it is a bomb shelter. The one who resists is summarily shot in the head.

Assuming this event was planned by “our side,” it means almost 3,000 people were sacrificed for this operation, on purpose. Now, that’s what I call insanity.

The movie ends with the youngish CIA operative believing he has botched the operation due to all the stupid mistakes involved in carrying it out. However, his boss from “the Council” assures him that he did a good job and was a true American patriot.

We Won’t Be Fooled Again

19 October 2016

This would be my subtitle for Steven Greer’s phone-delivered briefing of about a week ago that was just offered to his newsletter list and which I am listening to now.

Is Greer right?

Greer has a meditation background, as well as medical training. Thus, his life view is a bit eclectic, not even taking into consideration his views on ET.

He calls all beings not firmly attached to bodies “interdimensional.” This is a pseudo-scientific approach to the subject of spirituality that I consider “New Age.” Someone from the intelligence community (via Kerry Cassidy’s blog) has asserted that Greer is very much being played, just like everyone else out there talking about ET, and I take that assertion seriously.

His position, as I have mentioned before, is that ET exists on a much “higher” level than Earth humanity and therefore should not to be feared or even particularly mistrusted. That logic doesn’t make sense to me.

But because of this view, he is very sympathetic to the idea that all stories of ET dangers are installed by disinfo agents and are themselves part of a psychological operation to prepare the population for an open military advance into space and its expected ET opposition.

Greer is aware that we have already gone into space (secretly) with military-type craft, but is skeptical of the stories from people like Corey Goode who believes that we have traveled a considerable distance from this solar system and that some of our kind are aiding the Draco (“Reptilians”) in their missions farther away doing god-knows-what.

Other New Agers involved

It is odd to me that most of the voices I am hearing, other than Bill Tompkins (who is really old now), are involved in the New Age movement to a greater or lesser degree. That includes David Wilcock, who is basically sponsoring Corey Goode, along with a bunch of other lesser-known folks who are currently getting less coverage. Other somewhat prominent personalities of this persuasion are Courtney Brown and Simon Parkes.

Their work is getting heard, while other work is not heard or going largely ignored. I cannot escape the conclusion that this is by design. Someone wants the “spiritual opposition” to the Military-Industrial Complex to be of this New Age persuasion. Its ideas are even filtering into Psychology and elsewhere.

Simpler more matter-of-fact ideas and data ignored

Scientologists have gotten by for over 60 years now with a simpler more direct approach to the human situation and our relationship to ET and the physical universe that has been working consistently for people who have been using it.

Yet this material tends to be rejected by New Agers on various pretexts, instead of being met with interest or curiosity. Someone has been feeding New Agers with this narrow-mindedness, I think. Whoever that is, it is in their interest to keep other viewpoints out of the movement. This indicates to me that their goal is not greater workability or greater freedom, but simply a new dogma that will have broad appeal to the spirtually inclined.

If Greer is correct that the perceptions of Corey Goode were manipulated by the people running the program he was in to such an extent that he firmly believes things happened that really didn’t, then that argument could be turned back on him. Most involved with these projects are almost painfully unaware of this possibility!

I think your best approach if you are interested in these subjects is to seek out persons who seem very honest, then still assume that if their information is being allowed to get out widely on public communication channels, that it’s something someone wants us to hear.

If they are at one time both quite sincere and yet yelled down by criticism on the internet (to say nothing of TV or magazines) then they may actually have valuable information that simply does not support any of the current groups vying for power and control.

Rocks and Shoals

6 October 2016

Literally, rocks and shoals are some of the most common ways that ships come to their doom, particularly in the older times of wooden ships and no sonar.
This is also the slang term most sailors use for the Navy code of conduct, or any similar set of rules.

It’s not easy to take good photos from a train or bus.

But I wanted to share with you some of what I saw and wondered at during my recent travels.

Though there are areas on earth where one can go for miles in any direction without seeing any exposed natural rock, for a large part of the earth’s surface, that is not the case.

In gazing out at all these hard and craggy surfaces – as well as the soft places in between – I had to wonder: How did it get like this?

And so began a short investigation into the basics of geology as a preparation for sharing these photos and info with you.

I was most impressed by the sights I saw on my initial trip from Pullman to Boise, yet my photos from that ride are few and poor. I was more productive during my ride from Denver to Omaha on the train. There are enough scenes here to give you some idea what I was gazing at for hours during my trips back and forth across the West.

cliff face detail

This stone cliff appears to be eroded by water.

rock layers in cliffs

Here some layers seem flat while others are slanted.

green slope with cliff

Brush-grown slope beneath a harder upper layer, with starker cliff in background.

layered rock above river

Layering of rock is very evident above this river.

eroded rocky projection

Though this rocky projection is very eroded, huge areas remain bare.

According to the geologists, rock formation on earth started soon after the planet formed (soon in geologic time anyway). It was only one or two hundred million years after initial accretion of the planet when we started having bonafide surface rock.

After that, things get a little more complex. But it took a long time. As little as 35 million years ago, the earth’s surface was still changing quite a bit. The Rocky Mountains didn’t really start forming until 35 million years before that. What we see at about 70 million years ago is some major disruption that really gets the various crustal plates cracked up and moving relative to each other. Large parts of the ocean floors have formed since that time, and many of our most famous mountain areas did not exist before then.

One oddity is that the continent as we know it today was largely covered by water before the uplift that formed the Rockies even started.

And so the layers. In most cases, the lowest layers will be the original crust. If it were not for the great upheavals of the mountain-building period, those rocks would remain hidden below the layers that formed above them. But a combination of erosion and severe buckling has exposed them in many places. Above the lowest layer are layers created by wind, water and ice erosion, as well as volcanic activity. In the millions of years involved, the upper sedimentary layers have had time to become very hard, though not as hard as the bottom layer granite, nor the volcanic basalt, where that exists. So in an area once covered by a sea, you could have the bottom layer covered by sandstone layers, limestone layers (created by shell-forming living creatures), clay layers, which are basically eroded older rocks moved by water to new locations where they turn back into rock, and conglomerated layers deposited by ice. Then if volcanism occurred later, you might have a layer of lava over all that, or basalt squeezed into below-ground pockets. When volcanic rock forms in cracks in softer rocks, if that structure is then exposed to erosion, the softer rocks will wear away faster, leaving the harder rocks, often in rather odd shapes, or standing as “towers.”

jagged ridges near Las Cruces

These formations in New Mexico are incredibly jagged and probably created by ancient volcanic activity.

In the uplifting of the Rockies, all these different scenarios played out at different locations, leaving all sorts of odd formations, with combinations of newer and older rocks both exposed to view.

In Kansas City I saw a lot of limestone, both quarried as a building material and exposed in place in parks. That suggests the area had been covered by a warm and very alive sea in the distant past, and those layers subsequently uplifted to well above sea level.

I was also amazed at all the mountain meadows we went through on my trip to Boise. These were created mostly by glacial activity that started less than 3 million years ago.

mountain meadow and lake cascade

This Idaho meadow, full of pasture land and farm fields, is about a mile above sea level.

Dinosaur extinction event

About 75 million years ago, something happened on Earth that killed off all the dinosaurs. It killed off a lot of other species, too, but the disappearance of dinosaurs is the most notable. The current popular date for this is 66 million years ago. This also corresponds to when the Rocky Mountains were forming, which means a lot of tectonic activity.

The most persuasive scientific hypothesis is that a very large asteroid hit the planet at that time.

Hubbard also mentions an event that occurred around that time, but chose to keep the data confidential, as it had little bearing on the more general subject, but was needed for a particular processing step.

Another person named Eva Zemanova (Czech) has reported recalling an event that happened she says 80 million years ago. It involved a very highly evolved ET group that was headed somewhere else but experienced a malfunction in their ship and were forced to land on Earth.

The big question is what caused the malfunction of their ship.

She believes there has been some sort of higher intelligence presence on Earth at least since that time. So what both these findings suggest is that even 80 million years ago, other than “natural” factors were having an impact on events on Earth.

And that’s what makes the whole question of exactly what unfolded here all those millions of years ago so interesting.

my train by a river in a canyon

Yes, I really did take a train ride across the country last month, and it’s really hard to take a photo of your own train while you’re riding in it!

Goose Poop

6 October 2016

geese in park Omaha

Geese feed on a lawn in Omaha downtown park.


We’ve all seen Canada Geese stop over at some local lawn on their way North or South. But these weren’t Canada Geese, and they acted like they’d been living in this park for a while. These geese, in fact, look more like domestic geese.

I don’t remember geese of any description living in parks. But when I visited the favorite park of my boyhood, Nicholl Park in Richmond California, Canada Geese were obviously living there.

geese in Richmond park

“Wild” geese living in Richmond.

What’s going on here?

Google “urban geese” or “goose poop” and you will find plenty of reading materials on this subject. But they most all say the same things.

What certain sites (such as Cornell’s) will tell you is that the U.S. government started a program in the 1930s to re-establish the Canada Goose population which had dwindled considerably due to hunting. They did this with captive birds. These birds did not know to migrate, and they didn’t migrate; they stayed put. These are the birds filling our city parks and causing most of the problems we are having with goose poop, noise, and aircraft interference.

They are safe in cities because no one can hunt (with guns anyway) in cities.

I wondered after getting back home if no one was using the Nicholl Park lawn because of all the goose poop in it. And that probably is a factor. There was a lot of it, and per all the materials I’ve read, it’s not very healthy to be in contact with it.

As it turns out, the real key here is lawns. These birds love lawns, and will seldom settle anywhere other than a grassy field.

Odd coincidence

Oddly, last night I attended an event titled “12th Annual Palouse Basin Water Summit.” We listened to the usual local speakers on the subject of the Palouse water supply, plus we had one international speaker, Maude Barlow, a Canadian water activist.

Right now, the Palouse gets most of its fresh water from underground sources (aquifers). Agriculture and industry are not significant users of aquifer water in the Palouse. Even so, the aquifer water levels have dropped over 100 feet since we have been pumping out water for human uses.

The most attractive and realistic way that most residents can reduce water use is to switch to gardens around their houses that require little or no irrigation. This is no panacea, but it got a lot of attention at this meeting because it is a fun and interesting way to reduce domestic water consumption.

Most residents are already aware of low-flow toilets and shower heads, waiting for full loads before washing clothes or dishes, and generally being stingy with water. These are all part of “going green” and have gotten a lot of attention in many urban areas because many urban areas have had water shortages.

Lawns

Lawns have reached a kind of iconic status in the American and European psyche. Anybody’s dream house has a lawn in front of it, possibly quite a large one. All those photos of our little kids playing on the lawn at home or in a park…it seems an essential part of life.

Yet lawns are atrocious water hogs. They require tremendous amounts of water to keep them green, but will tend to drain off excess water, rather than pull it into the soil. They are like many of our crops that must be irrigated to survive. And so, though grass can be very green, lawns are not very “green.”

What’s odd about me going to this conference then wondering about goose poop is that lawns are related to both issues. Lawns. Odd.

There are still some municipalities (Orlando, Florida is cited by Wikipedia) that mandate front lawns. In more hip communities, the problem is more likely to be front no-plants-at-all. But people in general are gradually coming to realize that the more soil that is covered with plants that will help it soak up, rather than reject, any precipitation that comes its way, the more pro-survival that soil will become for all involved.

So, the answer to both goose poop and water over-use is getting rid of lawns and replacing them with more natural gardens or vegetable gardens.

I have recently posted a lot of photos of urban parks. They all have lawns. You might say, “What would a park be without a lawn?” To which I would reply, “A lawnless park.” I have absolutely no sympathy for golfers, either. None.

I have not begun to even scratch the surface! After we de-lawn, we are going to have to confront re-forestation. And that involves our current methods of agriculture, both mass crops and grazing animals. I’m not sure how far we can take this, but I know that the ideal scene would be to phase out our impact on the surface ecology almost entirely.

I wanted to show you a picture of Bird Hills, but couldn’t find one, so here’s Discovery Park in Seattle.

discover park seattle trail to beach

My ideal park.

Food and Travel with Anthony Bourdain

4 October 2016

After a second exposure to Bourdain’s shows during a layover at the bus station in Portland, I wanted to write a bit about these shows.

For some reason, his Parts Unknown show on Libya, which dates from 2013, was being re-broadcast that day in Portland. I also saw his show on Istanbul (Turkey).

Some time ago I’d seen at least one of his shows featuring Chinese foods.

On this more recent occasion, I’d just finished eating a very decent hamburger at the new café at the Portland bus station, and had also gone through 3 brochures printed for travelers which – who couldn’t guess – all focused on food.

The show on Libya was blatantly anti-Gaddafi, portraying him as a hopelessly misled and ruthless dictator. The more basic fact is that Gaddafi was anti-West. If you look at what the West has done during its period of dominance over the planet, and where Gaddafi lived (in an Arab nation), this attitude would not be unexpected.

The Istanbul show was very unsure about the “goodness” of Erdoğan, and sympathetic to the Kurds. Erdoğan, for his part, has been vacillating in his support of NATO, particularly after learning that they may have had something to do with the recent coup attempt.

The West’s War of Ideas

The tactic that has been followed by the West in its conquest of the planet is to portray its opponents as “anti-freedom” rather than anti-West, and to fight against them on the basis that they are “bad” rather than that they are simply enemies. Over the centuries of European expansion into other areas of the planet, this tactic has taken many forms. It was particularly convoluted when it turned against other Europeans, such as the Germans before, through, and after WWII. In many times and places it was eventually backed away from, such as in the American colonies and later in countries like India. But this only meant that the intention to hold sway over these areas became more understated, or covert.

What is really exactly happening on the planet remains subject to debate, as no facts seem clear enough to be totally persuasive. But I find the whole argument regarding how the media (print, radio, TV, internet) has been subverted by these European-centered interests to be very persuasive. Thus on a secondary (if not primary) level, shows like Bourdain’s become propaganda vehicles for the West’s viewpoint on life and politics.

Travel and Food

The Western idea of a “successful” person is one who can enjoy travel and food in his older years, if not during his entire life. Anthony fits this definition and thus becomes a role model (winning valence) to be imitated. His neo-liberalism then comes along as part of the package. It is a basically synthetic attitude that the entertainment industry likes to develop in its celebrities to convince us that there are no higher awarenesses worth pursuing. This limits us to the lesser games of liberal-versus-conservtive, or progressive-versus-traditionalist.

Until I was introduced to Hubbard’s work, I was convinced that the game of life was limited roughly as stated above. My only problem was that the managing groups were obviously lying to us about some things, and I could not understand why. There also seemed to be a lot more violence going on than was really necessary.

Freedom

To go where you want and eat what you want are considered the ultimate attributes of freedom in the West. If this means you kill a few basically innocent people along the way, that fact has no basic bearing on the overall facts concerning how the game of life is limited. Or so we are being told.

What Hubbard taught is that a higher-level game of life has been operating for a very long time, and that our managers have an interest in keeping us unaware of this.

At the higher levels, management as we know it becomes unnecessary or irrelevant. If we were to aspire to these higher levels, what would our managers do? The most entrenched among them are hopeless to the point of total unknowing on the possibility of moving themselves up to a higher level of game. Thus, if some of us were able to achieve this state, it would appear to them as a threat to their very existence (which it would not actually be). So, they reactively – if not consciously – oppose any trend towards an awareness of the higher levels of the game. And their “enemies” have become anyone with an interest in working at those higher levels.

Thus their “enemies” become anyone with a serious interest in higher spiritual abilities. That includes all the followers of the more ancient teachings – mostly the aboriginal peoples of this planet – as well as various renegade groups within the framework of monotheism as well as beyond it, and their attempts to re-invent religion or spiritual practice into something more workable and true to genuine human aspirations.

The handling for these “enemies” has been to invent various pretexts for going to war with them and killing them off. That this has not in fact been very effective does not seem to phase the managers; they have no other “solution” to this “problem.”

The Role of Aesthetics in Propaganda

Aesthetics are needed to give the basically low-awareness propaganda of the managers of the West an appeal to their target audiences, those who seek a higher awareness. You can just lie to the others and they will accept it. To convince this target audience is a little more tricky.

Anthony’s shows are examples of this use of aesthetics. They are very artfully shot, and very carefully assembled. All aesthetic aspects are given attention, including the artfulness of the food itself, and the places being visited. The sound track, the music; they are all carefully put together for every show. This type of treatment has always been a “hook” to help pull in the seekers of higher awareness.

Do ordinary people who have lost interest in higher realms watch Anthony’s shows? I doubt it. But a lot of people who have been asking questions and playing around with spiritual ideas do watch his shows, I bet. These are people still on the fence, unsure of themselves spiritually. There are a lot of them and they are important politically. Liberated, they are capable of getting a lot of good done. Captive, they are capable of preventing a lot from getting done. The old-line managers want to keep these people on their side. And the new-line groups want to add these people to their ranks more than any other type of person.

The Future

What we all face, of course, is the future. What Scientologists, and many others to a lesser extent, know is that we will be in that future. We may or may not forget who we were before. We may or may not have the same adventurous approach to life we chose this lifetime. But – good or bad – we will be there. So we are intimately connected to the future on a long-term basis, not just in the context of one lifetime, or the lifetimes of our children.

The materialists and fence-sitters are unsure of this at best, and totally unaware of this at worst. They are turning away from the whole subject of responsibility, even if their own future experience is at stake. They can’t allow themselves to believe that they could be that responsible.

Some posit this as a “war.” But that is only true on the lower levels. The truth of the situation is that those who want to “ascend” cannot do so simply by “getting rid” of those who don’t want to. In the short term, it is highly advisable to minimize one’s exposure to such people (one reason I don’t watch television as a habit). But in the long term, we will have to bring them all along with us, or they will return later to try again to pull us back down again. So, it would not be incorrect to characterize this as a “struggle.” LRH has described it as “a game where everyone wins.” Well, they know that there are always losers in a game. LRH posits that the loser in this case is the “bank” (that portion of the mind that produces non-survival ideas and actions). But most people are as yet unaware that this exists as something separate from themselves. That problem defines the first hurdle in this struggle.

On the other side of this struggle lies a future that is difficult for most to even imagine. It involves a knowing and causative separation from the physical world, including the physical forms of life (biology, etc.), yet the probable indefinite continuation of the physical world in some form. It involves a knowing conviction of our own immortality without necessarily totally turning away from the various “thrills” of physicality. It involves ideas and experiences which we have – in theory – never experienced before, which would be entirely new.

For me right now, the most important thing that future holds is an abiding respect for truth; an end to all the fouler forms of secrecy and deception; and a chance for great happiness for every being who desires it.

Could Anthony and his show exist in this future? It probably could. But it would be minus the lies and pretense that encumber it now. After all, there are a lot of “parts unknown” left in this universe! We can’t all visit all of them ourselves. Or could we?

San Francisco

28 September 2016

san_fran-20160927-311-transam-pyramid-south-side

Yesterday I went to San Francisco. My major destination was my church. To get there I walked from the BART Embarcadero station through the Financial District. I returned via Chinatown, hoping to find a shop selling the wooden “trick” boxes that I had loved when I was a child. Thus, I missed all the South of Market (SoMa) renewal projects (which were just beginning when I left the Bay Area in 1982 and continue to this day). Above, a view up at the Transamerica Pyramid, built in 1972.

Downtown

With the growth of electronic banking and securities-based banks, the Financial District has been transforming. Though the old buildings still stand, they are being put to new uses. Illustrative of this trend is the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange building.

san_fran-20160927-356-pacific-stock-exchange-crop

Built in 1930, by about 2001 the building was no longer housing any stock trading activities. FOr about the last ten years it has been a fitness club with a New Age angle for upscale Millennials.

The old Transamerica Building, at the triangle corner of Columbus, Jackson and Montgomery, was converted to its present use by my church in 2003.

san_fran-20160927-315-transam-bldg-west-side

Chinatown

I remember Chinatown in the early 1980s as a run-down and forlorn ghost of what I remembered from the 1960s. However, the process of urban renewal (sometimes know by the less-than-complimentary term “gentrification”) has probably helped to keep Chinatown alive. Though the center of old Chinatown is considered to be Grant St., I spent most of my time on Stockton. The northern part of Stockton is lined with food shops. Here is sold fresh produce and meats – especially seafood – cooked meats such as ducks and chickens, and dried foods of an enormous variety.

san_fran-20160927-330-stockton-market-dried-and-seafood

Many of these shops are very orderly, such as the one pictured above. All the signs are in Chinese; these food shops are for use by the local community or people who speak (read) Chinese.

The south side of Stockton is now lined mostly with upscale gift shops. This used to be the area my parents would take me to find decorated wooden “trick” boxes and other toys, and to gaze at the amazing jade and ivory carvings. This is still a major tourist destination.

These shops now carry mostly more expensive items – for adults, not children – and some cheap toys. One shop proprietor who I asked about this told me she thought that those old toys required too much hand work, and could no longer could be made inexpensively. She showed me her inventory of little hand-beaded purses. She told me she can no longer get these purses – these are her last ones.

BART

berkeley-20160927-358-inside-bart

The Bay Area Rapid Transit system began construction in the 1960s and was first opened in 1972. The cars use off-standard train trucks (the four-wheel assemblies you see on all trains) on steel rails fastened to a concrete bed on rubber shock-absorbing pads. In this system, electricity is delivered to the trains via a “third rail” which is actually up to one side of the ground rails. Most newer systems I have seen use overhead wires for this purpose, and use standard gauge rails and trucks. Per the Wikipedia article on BART, use of the wider rail gauge has increased maintenance costs. Standard American gauge rails will be used on at least one future extension.

I remember the trains being noisy when I rode them 35 years ago. But now they are VERY noisy.  And this is after a noise reduction program, completed last year. Before then, noise levels of 100dB, which is 8 times as loud as the 70dB “average,” were being reported at many points in the system.

Per Wikipedia this is because train trucks have straight axles (both wheels rigidly attached to each other) and so always screech, or slip, around curves. I can find no talk on the internet of redesigning trucks so that each wheel rotates independently. Straight axles are the tried-and-true design for coping with the weight bearing requirements of train trucks. Almost no one has considered that passenger train trucks should be designed differently than freight train trucks because of the sensitivities to noise of human cargo. A few light rail systems use special trucks with rubber wheels. But in most places the cost of these must have been considered prohibitive. It is too bad that so many have to suffer due to economic considerations. An urban train ride could be a delightful experience. Cost-cutting measures have reduced it to near-torture on BART.

Park Pictures Monday 26th

26 September 2016

berkeley-20160926-174-strawberry-creek-parkI wore out my feet walking around Berkeley and Richmond yesterday (in newish shoes) but went back out today to track down more places in Berkeley that I had been associated with.

The overall impression left from this walk – and most of my other walks – is a city in transition. While the disenfranchised leave messes everywhere, the forces of “progress” march on, replacing old buildings with new ones, or sometimes renovating.

There are still MANY buildings and houses that date from earlier than 1950, but there is also new construction everywhere.

I don’t consider most of my photos from this walk particularly aesthetic, but here are a few. The one above is of Strawberry Creek Park. It is a small flatlands park that has been there for some time. However, while I was living here I had no reason to ever go over to the area that park is in, so don’t remember it. Many of the old places I visited today I don’t remember. I had never visited them when I lived here, I guess.

berkeley-20160926-254-ashkenaz

I include a photo of Ashkenaz here, as it was an important place for me. I learned social dancing there, and met my friend Susan there.  In 1996 the club’s founder and proprietor David Nadel, was shot dead by a drunk he had earlier ejected from the club. A wall of ceramic tiles (visible above the car) was erected in his memory. David was always around when the place was open at night; I remember him well.

I went over to see the place where Susan used to live. At the end of the street (cut off by the BART when it was built) is a neighborhood garden, pictured below.

berkeley-20160926-265-northside-community-garden

On the route back to Berkeley, along a walk/jog/bike path made when the BART was put in, is Cedar Rose Park. Again, this is a simple neighborhood park with grass and a children’s play area.

berkeley-20160926-270-cedar-rose-park

Though these parks are nice for travelers, and important to the community, in Berkeley I did not need them as much as I needed parks in other cities. Berkeley is full of little food stores and cafés; I never had a problem finding a place to sit or getting something to drink. Some cities have financial or office districts which are like cultural deserts, or sprawling industrial or business areas where the pedestrian seems to be left out of the picture. Not Berkeley.