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History Happened Today

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Am touched to know Barack Obama’s 2nd Inaugural today marks the 150th anniv of the Emancipation Proc, and the 50th anniv of MLK’s “I Have A Dream” at the Lincoln Memorial. Wow.
He stands on their shoulders which he symolized using their two Bibles for his oath.
Tears filled my eyes listening to Barack eloquently articulate the dreams of MLK, Lincoln, and the Founding Fathers, and powerfully affirming the equality of women and of gay/lesbian love. Deeply stirring and visionary.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.”
How amazing and moving to hear these words powerfully spoken by an African-American President from the steps of the Capitol…more than I dared to dream when I marched there 20 years ago.
Was it just me, or did others hear that line draw some of the loudest cheers?

Remembering Dag Hammarskjold’s mystical wisdom

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Am slowly re-reading “Markings”, which was my main spiritual rudder through the latter part of university [1964-66], and into my 20s.

Am struck again by the following passage: how much it expresses what I later have loved in Eckhart Tolle about the ‘eternal present’. He really was quite a Christian mystic

The final four lines have a real Tantric perspective: seeing/serving God in the world.  

I would say this still is the best expression of my personal mission.

“Offspring of the past, pregnant with the future, the present moment, nevertheless, always exists in eternity—always in eternity as the point of intersection between time and the timelessness of faith, and therefore, as the moment of freedom from past and future.

“Thou who are over us,

Thou who are one of us,

Thou who art

Also within us,

May all see Thee—in me also,

May I prepare the way for Thee,

May I thank Thee for all that shall fall to my lot,

May I also not forget the needs of others,

Keep me in Thy love

As Thou wouldst that all should be kept in mine.

May everything in this my being be directed to Thy glory

And may I never despair.

For I am under They hand,

And in Thee is all power and goodness.

Give me a pure heart—that I may see Thee,

A humble heart—that I may hear Thee,

A heart of love—that I may serve Thee,

A heart of faith—that I may abide in Thee.”  p. 100

Panetta: End of gay ban is historic for military

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Today, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is Done.”


It’s been 40 years since I  completed my tour of duty as an U.S. Air Force pilot in Vietnam, and finally began being able to live an open life, after 5 years of secrecy, isolation and loneliness.

So I celebrate today with all Americans that today our country is one step closer to living up to its founding values of

“liberty and justice for all.”

“Courage, My Love…” [more on Jack Layton]

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“Courage, My Love…

That was always the beating heart of Jack’s message, and of his life. If we listen, if we act, we can make it his legacy.”

for the full tribute by Gerald Hannon, please see:

To Jack, with great admiration and affection, deep gratitude and grief.

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What I admire about Jack  is his ability to throw himself whole-hearted, unreservedly, into the fray of public discourse.
I so admire his passion and courage…his obviously deep love for his fellow humans.
Heart-felt thanks, Jack. You will be sorely missed, and those of us you inspired will carry on your vision and your work!
Jack’s final message:

“Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come…we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

John Gilbert “Jack” Layton

July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011

Personal/Planetary Transformation: a conversation with Dr. Deepak Chopra [excerpts]

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” There’s no solution other than a true understanding of consciousness—and a longing and desire for personal transformation. I don’t think there’s such a thing as social transformation. If a critical mass of people are going through personal transformation, that will automatically heal the environment, heal the rifts in our collective soul, heal disease, get rid of poverty, cure AIDS and malaria. Mosquito nets and drugs won’t do that. That’s because consciousness is the ground of being that simultaneously differentiates things into perception, what we see out there, and differentiates into cognition, our knowingness, in our moods and emotions, our personal relationships, our social interactions, in the environments that we create around us, and in the way we interact with the forces of nature.

We shouldn’t be calling something the environment. That’s a total misperception because that says there’s a biological organism, and then there’s an environment. But the biological organism and the environment are two reflections of the same thing: consciousness. Those trees aren’t trees; they are your lungs. If they don’t breathe, you won’t breathe and if you don’t breathe, they won’t breathe. The rivers and waters aren’t just rivers and waters; that’s your circulation. If they are polluted, so are you. And if you are polluted, so are they [laughs]. The air is not just the atmosphere; it’s your breath. The earth is not just the ground over there; it’s your physical body. Because you and the earth recycle [one another] all the time. So unless you have an emotional and spiritual relationship with your extended body, which you call the environment—the totally wrong word—there’s not going to be any healing. And for that shift in perception, you have to have a shift in consciousness.

” Thinking mind and body is dualistic. There’s no such thing as a mind-body connection—they are the same thing. There’s no such thing as a biological organism and the environment—they are the samething. In fact, there’s no such thing as me and you. The whole idea that you exist as a person is a total misperception of reality…

There’s no such thing as a person, you know. Personal identity is provisional, impermanent and constantly transforming. It is totally transient. Just to even have the idea that I exist as a person allows me to then see other people as persons. And that, of course, is the beginning of all the problems.

” Personal identity is transient, impermanent and provisional. I mean, I’m not the same person I was five years ago—physically, emotionally, intellectually. Nor, hopefully, do I have the same personality.”

Waylon Lewis of a conversation with Dr. Deepak Chopra

Vancouver Pride 2011

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The clouds parted just as the Dykes on Bikes roared down Robson!

Even after nearly 40 years of Pride Parades, I still get choked up at the site of all of us out strutting our stuff, celebrating the diversity of our sex/love lives.

Vancouver is a Queer-friendly City!Other personal highlights:

  • Large contingents of the Vancouver Police and Fire Department being out and proud in their uniforms and vehicles: a dramatic contrast from the  SF parades in the early 70s, when the SF police would grudgingly guard the parade route, barely concealing their animosity. Now a new generation of law enforcement folks are happily marching with us in solidarity.
  • The same with our national icon, the RCMP, in their traditional red surge.
  • All the float affirming  human rights in many forms.
  • Realizing most of the people marching had not yet been born when I experienced my first Pride in SF in 1972.
I keep being amazed, delighted, and deeply grateful that the times really are a’changin’.