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Issue 118 July/August 2008

A Journal of Spiritual Exploration

The Science of World Peace

A look at reasons behind conict and why peace seems so elusive

also ...

Buddhism and chanting brings peace to one womans troubled heart

Peace Experience

How the peace sign came into being, and what it symbolizes
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The Peace Sign Turns 50

16 Ten Simple Ways to Bring Peace to Your Life
by Kelly Lowe A to-do list for personal peace of mind

29 Peace of Cake
by Vaishali Peace in the world without is connected to the state of the world within

17 Peace Experience
by Susan M. Andrus Nichiren Buddhism and the practice of chanting bring peace to a troubled heart

30 The Peace Sign Turns 50

by Dixie D. Dickinson A history of the familiar peace sign, and an explanation of its symbolism

18 My Own Little Corner

by Eileen Troemel Finding peace in a Pagan path

31 Hymn
Poetry by Lillith T. Lewis

19 Mystery of the Sphinx

Poetry by Frederick Lubich

20 The Science of World Peace

by Alison Jones Reasons behind conflict, and some thoughtprovoking questions on the viability of world-wide peace

25 Creating a Peaceful Planet

by Brian McClure and Lexi Soulios Can a symbol really change the world?

26 Peace, the Coyotel Way

by Alison Jones An interview with Steven Johnson Leyba, founder of the Coyotel Church

About the cover: What price peace? The cost in human lives is high for any war; however, peace is not always easy, nor is it free. Memorial at A Qaim photo by Sgt. James McCauley, USMC. Day 79 Peace photo (peace sign ngers) by Chris DAnnunzio. Graphics magic by Le Bear Magnique.

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Daily Practice
11 Glimpses of the Divine by Lillith T. Lewis 13 Going Sane by Jason Love

If ... Journal
PO Box 61007 Virginia Beach, VA 23466 (757) 539-4523 ph; (757) 539-6929 fax http://www.ifjournal.org Issue #118 July/August 2008. $15/6 issues digital IFJ; Full LMI Website Access: $25/12 mos. (includes 1yr IFJ subscription)

Green Living
14 Simple Living Assessment by Sheila Gazlay 15 Recycled Food! by Sheila Gazlay 15 Green Camping by Ben Anton
Senior Editor: Assistant Editors: Calendar Editor: Ifs/Ands/Buts Editor: Drema Baker Susan Andrus, Dominique Burchett, Sheila Gazlay, Nancy Underwood Drema Baker, Karen Dominique Burchett

Ifs, Ands or Buts

6 7 7 8 9 9 Compiled by Dominique Burchett Martian Arctic May Support Life Saudi Arabia to Sponsor Interfaith Gathering Stand Up to Cancer with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America Ahmadi Muslims The Greening of Religion Oops!


Billing: Columnists: Marketing: Web Manager: Ad inquiries: Event Notices: IAB Submissions: Letters: Poll Responses: Questions: Submissions: Website:

Larry Bear Baker, Cloudbust, David Coffman, Dixie Dickinson, Jeff Track McCreary, Rabbi Michael Panitz, Dr. Bob Young Drema Baker Sheila Gazlay, Lillith T. Lewis Elves, as assigned Cloudbust advertising@ifjournal.org events@ifjournal.org ifsandsbuts@ifjournal.org if@ifjournal.org poll@ifjournal.org info@ifjournal.org submissions@ifjournal.org webmaster@ifjournal.org

et cetera
4 5 5 32 Contributors Coming Themes Just a Note Reviews The Wise Womans Tarot, by Flash Silvermoon Knitting Through It: Inspiring Stories for Times of Trouble by Lela Nargi Zen and the Art of Knitting: Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality and Creativity by Bernadette Murphy Courage to Surrender: 8 Contradictions on the Spiritual Path by Tommy Hellsten Calendar WebWeaver Classifieds WebWeaver Networking Listings

To submit articles, photos, poems, artwork, etc. for publication in If ... Journal, send them (include research sources where applicable, please) to the submissions e-mail address or to the address given above. We do not advise sending originals; we cannot return hard-copy submissions without a SASE with adequate postage. For complete submission guidelines, send request with SASE or check our website.

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If ... Journal is published digitally six times per year by LISTEN Media, Inc. (http://www.listenmedia.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to foster mutual respect and understanding between diverse faith groups by serving as an information, education and networking resource to spiritual seekers. Contributors accept responsibility for accuracy of their information and compliance with copyright laws; while we attempt to ensure the accuracy of our articles, neither LMI nor If ... Journal is responsible for errors, omissions or inaccuracies presented in our pages. Items submitted without a SASE with adequate postage cannot be returned. Submissions are the property of the author/artist/photographer. For complete submission guidelines, send SASE to address above, or check our website. All materials herein 2008. All rights reserved. Opinions and truths expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the management or staff of LMI or If ... Journal; we make no claims regarding effectiveness of the practices and procedures included herein.

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Susan M. Andrus is an educator, psychologist, parent and grandparent. She is the author of Beyond Mars & Venus Lessons of Dialogue and Peace, a Buddhists perspective. Susan is an active member of Hampton Roads Network for Nonviolence, a local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote peace and nonviolence among all people, and SGI-USA, a worldwide, lay-Buddhist organization that strives for world peace. Susan also plays cello with Symphonicity. Ben Anton writes for Discount Lights and Knives from his home in Portland, Oregon. Want more information on preparing for a green camping trip? Visit the DLK Web site at http://www.lightsandknives.com to find out more about quality camping equipment like wholesale Coast led flashlights, LED headlamps and survival tools. Dominique Burchett is a sophomore in college and still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She enjoys reading, writing, learning new things and long drives into beautiful sunsets. Her faith isnt easily labeled or described, but the closest shes come is that its like trying to match your heartbeat with the rest of the worlds. Dixie Dickinson is an educator who has traveled, meeting people from campesinos to ambassadors to factory owners and labor organizers, etc. in the process, and wishes she could do more. She also likes to garden and do handwork [knitting and crocheting, when not reading or sanding and painting, and has begun to track her familys genealogy. Sheila Gazlay is a 40-something mother of one. She lives in Bellingham, Washington and writes and copy-edits for individuals and businesses. S. Kelley Harrell, C. Ht., is a shaman, technical writer and columnist in North Carolina. She is the author of Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divnity of Trauma, and is a Founder and President of The Saferoom Project, a nonprofit network of peer support for adult survivors of abuse, their partners, friends and family. Her

shamanic practice is Soul Intent Arts, and she can be contacted for session details and teaching schedule at kelley@soulintentarts.com . www.soulintentarts.com Originally from East Boston, Alison Jones is a jack of all trades. Tarot, dance, crafts and writing keep her busy in her off hours! Having explored personal challenges and selfhealing work for many years, Alison is currently a spiritual seeker whose path is constantly evolving. Her aim is to make real the full potential inherent in the human condition through spiritual work. Today, Alison lives in Virginia Beach, VA with her 10-year-old son. Lillith T. Lewis has walked as a spiritual seeker for four decades. In addition to extensive studies of shamanic practices, she focuses on energy medicine, herbalism, and the therapeutic use of ritual. She continues to be amazed at the miracles that arise from interactions with Divine and Ancient Ones. Lillith is founder and Council Elder of Living Spirit Circle, a multi-faith church in Ohio. Jason Love writes a weekly humor column for The Ventura County Star and Scripps Howard News Service (pending), hosts video columns for the Ventura County Star website, and syndicates his column to dozens of print publications and to more than 100 websites. Jason also produces a popular daily cartoon called Snapshots which you can find online at over 250 websites. Jasons own website receives 42,000 visitors per day. In 2006 Jasons humor column won an award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Jason majored in English at UC Santa Cruz, spent his twenties performing standup comedy, and now lives in Port Hueneme, California, where he has been writing full-time for 10 years. His mother still asks him when he is going to get a job. Kelly Lowe offers more tips and information on simplifying your life. On her site, Let Me Tell You What (http://letmetellyouwhat.com/), you can learn more about simplifying your life, bringing peace into your life, dealing with day-to-day problems, and learning to be happy and healthy in general.
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Frederick A. Lubich was born and raised in Germany, and received his higher education at German, British and American universities. He has taught at several American institutions of higher education including Brown University and Columbia University and is currently chair of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Old Dominion University. He is the author and editor of five scholarly books, numerous scholarly and journalistic articles as well as poetry, and has lectured widely in over 20 countries around the world. Brian McClure has worked with James Twyman, Wayne Dyer, Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith (the Secret) and Earthdance among many others His personal mission is to make a transformational difference in our world by helping others remember the truth of our oneness and interdependence. The Universal Flag hangs at Agape Spiritual Center in Los Angeles and at schools and churches throughout the world. The term witch came to Eileen Troemel later in life, thus she is only recently finding names for beliefs she has held her entire life. Eileen has found a home practicing witchcraft and magic, being guided by her dragons and other guides. Self-discovery and learning are a large part of Eileens path, and while she still doesnt know what she wants to be when she grows up, she is enjoying the journey. Vaishali graduated Magnum Cum Laude from San Francisco State University. She is the author of You Are What You Love (Purple Haze Press 2206 ISBN# 0977320006) and her articles have appeared in publications worldwide. Currently residing in Florida, her life purpose is Spiritual teaching, and consulting. Vaishali is working on her next book and hosting her radio show You Are What You Love on Contact Talk Radio. For more on Vaishali visit http://www.purplev.com or email v@purplev. com. Photo courtesy of Avante-Garde Images, Inc. www.naplesportraits.com 6

If ... Journal Issue 118, July/August 2008

Just A Note ... x

[Humans} say they seek security and quiet, the condition they call peace. Even as they speak, they create the seeds of turmoil and violence. If they find their quiet security, they squirm in it. How boring they find it! (Attributed to the Stolen Journals of Leto Atreides II in God Emperor of Dune, Frank Herbert) I came across this quote while preparing this issue, and included it because it echoes some of the sentiments from contributors in this issue. In The Science of World Peace (page 20), Alison Jones comes to the conclusion that a world-wide peace is unlikely unless humans as a species make some serious changes in how we think and feel and react. Steven Johnson Leyba says, in his interview (page 26), that he believes world peace is unrealistic because war is big business. Even the ever-positive and bubbly Vaishali comments (page 29) that peace could be on the endangered species list, as it is seemingly so rare on this planet. Personally and I would love to be proven wrong I agree. We have simply gotten too comfortable with agression and violence as a way of solving our problems (both real and imagined). And Leyba is right; it isnt a comfortable admission, but war is big busines. Those who profit from it are not going to let go willingly. It is worth saying that the goal of world peace is one that doesnt come without effort, nor do I believe that it will be free. Its accomplishment is going to take strength of will and the courage to stand up for what we believe in, and to speak out and take action against threats to its continuance when necessary. It seems contradictory, true. But I am not sure we ubiquitous and extremely diverse humans can accomplish this any other way. I live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia in the US, which is thick with military presence, and which is heavily supportive of and supported by Navy, Marine and Air Force enlisted personnel and officers, as well as their families. Those I know or whom Ive met are good, hard-working people, who joined up because they wanted to contribute in some way to the freedoms and peace of mind we here in the US take for granted. If they werent there, Im fairly certain our lives would be very different, and not necessarily in a good way. (Thats not to give carte blanche to corporate and political interests that drive the reasons behind why this is so, but thats another topic.) I would love to see, in my lifetime, a world-wide peace ... not an enforced one where no voice of dissention or show of difference is permitted, but one in which we build and maintain peace through everyday acts of mindfulness and respect. It may seem unrealistic, but ask yourself this question: even if we believe world-wide peace is unattainable, does that mean our efforts toward that end are no longer worthy? Let us know what you think. And with that said, I wanted to take a few lines to tell you about some changes coming down the road here at LMI and IFJ. First, and most notable, IFJ is going to be switching to a 6-issues-per-year format. We have worked hard to produce 12 issues per year for you all, but we simply couldnt maintain the schedule with an all-volunteer staff. Thanks to our contributors who have busted their rumps to keep our pages filled we couldnt have kept it up this long without you! Those of you who have subscriptions will still get the number of issues you are due. Also, we have a new board of directors, and have begun to dream new dreams. Some of the things in the works are new media programs for our LISTEN Media website. One of these is the TouchStone Project, which will produce four programs per year with frank and somewhat edgy dialogue between locally known spiritual and religious leaders on topics of a somewhat controversial nature. We hope to begin production on the first TSP program soon, and to have it to you by November of this year. Two other as-yet-unnamed media projects are also in the works: one will address on-the-horizon science and discovery and the spiritual conundrums they create; the other will take a look into the spiritual concerns of our next generation of leaders and thinkers where do college students stand on religion, spirituality and interfaith dialogue? In addition, we are reaching out to up-andcoming writers, poets, artists and photographers to contribute their work to IFJ. There is a lot of great, but as-of-yet-unknown talent out there, and we want to be the first to give you your due. We are hoping that we will be able to host an exhibit for contributing artists and photographers in the future, but we cant include you if you dont submit your work! For questions or submission guidelines, please drop us an e-mail at submissions@ifjournal. org. For upcoming issue themes, please visit http://www.ifjournal.org/ifj_about.html. The next move for IFJ is to find ways to bring our publication back into print. Youve asked for it LOUDLY so were going
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to see what we can do. Were looking at several pricing quotations (printing is not cheap, which is why we went all-digital to begin with), and are considering financial sponsorships as a way to help foot the printing bills. If you know of a group or a collaboration of groups who would like to sponsor one issue per year, please let us know so we can provide you with the necessary details. Once we have a commitment from enough sponsors to print a full year of IFJ, well move back into hard copies subscribers can hold in their hands. If you cant subscribe, not to worry you can still help. LISTEN Media is signed up as a recipient for several fundraising programs to which you can contribute on a regular basis, without spending any extra money. First, if you shop at a Food Lion grocery store, you can be contributing to LMI every time you shop. Heres how it works. If you dont already have a Food Lion MVP card, get one today. Theres no charge to do so, and using it saves you money on your overall grocery purchases. But heres where LMI comes in. Register your MVP card (through the Food Lion Shop & Share program) to benefit LISTEN Media; you can do this at your local Food Lion store, or you can do it online at http://foodlion.com/IntheCommunity/ ShopAndShare/default.asp just go to the link, click on the Register Your MVP Card, and select LISTEN Media as your charity of choice. From that point on, every time you shop at Food Lion, we will receive a portion of the sale. But you have to register first (theres no charge), so put that on your list of things to do today. You can also benefit LMI by shopping online through iGive. Simply register at iGives site (theres no charge), and then do your online shopping with your favorite merchants through iGive, rather than going directly to your stores website. Each time you make a purchase, LMI will receive a percentage of the sale. For more ideas on how you can help support LMI and IFJ, visit our website at http://www.listenmedia.org/fundraising.php# or at http://www.listenmedia. org/otherways.php. As always, we welcome your suggestions and comments. Send your e-mails to us at info@listenmedia.org or write to us at If ... Journal, PO Box 61007, Virginia Beach, VA 23466. Or, if you prefer the personal touch, feel free to call us at 757-539-4523. In the meantime, were still growing, evolving and working hard to provide you with quality content. There is much more to come, so stay tuned! Drema Baker 6

www.ifjournal.org Issue 118, July/August 2008

Ifs, Ands or Buts

Martian Arctic May Support Life
Approximately a month ago, NASAs Phoenix spacecraft landed near the north pole of Mars. Why is Phoenix there? NASA scientists think that because life survives in extreme conditions here on Earth, such as deep sea vents in the Pacific Ocean and barren deserts like the Attacama Desert, such life may be able to exist on Mars as well. The current Mars is an entire planet that is composed of desert and rocks, although it is possible that once there was some form of water on Mars surface. There has never been definitive evidence to suggest that life, previous or current, has ever developed on Mars. The massive amounts of radiation that Mars surface experiences all but guarantees that no life currently exists. That doesnt stop scientists and others, such as the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), from looking. Its worth noting that when the term life is discussed, it is referring to the microbial variety rather than the stereotypical little green men people think of. More specifically, microbes that flourish in extreme conditions are known as extremophiles. These extremophiles often have unusual and irregular shapes when viewed through a microscope and scientists have tools (such as dye) to distinguish whether the organisms are living or dead. The presence of carbon in the atomosphere itself or within the remains of fossils, organisms or soil samples is thought to be the single best indicator of the presence of life, although there are other indicators on which scientists rely. Phoenix hasnt found any conclusive evidence of such life yet, but what seems to be a layer of ice two inches beneath the surface in a trench has scientists feeling hopeful. There are also roadblocks that Phoenix and NASA have to face. The first is a very low budget; $420 million sounds like a lot of money, but when dealing with space exploration, the costs are equally tremendous. Phoenix isnt equipped with instruments that would enable it to detect living organisms or fossils. However, it can measure pH, test the vapors of heated soil samples and ice, and detect minerals that would indicate a presence of water. The measurements from these samples would then determine whether or not sufficient conditions exist for extremophiles to survive. As mentioned earlier, similar microbes on Earth often exist in polar regions and can enter a sort of stasis; researchers at Penn State recently revived microorganisms from a Greenland glacier that are 120,000 years old, while in 2005 NASA scientists succeeded in reviving organisms that were frozen in the ice caps for several tens of thousands of years. Thats why the polar regions of Mars were chosen as exploration sites. But even if Phoenix did find something of note, it would take sufficiently more money and technology to determine if actual life was ever present. This mission is only determining if any conditions at all are present for any form of life, particularly extremophiles. Source: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hMiXjy 4Ur9EkmeNnxqMi5RhhItZAD91F8NI81 6

Life on Mars by Constantin Jurcut

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Ifs, Ands or Buts

Stand Up to Cancer, with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America
On Good Morning America, Robin Roberts interviewed the news anchors for NBC, ABC and CBS on 28 May 2008. They announced a collaborative effort by all three networks to launch a grass-roots program to raise funds for cancer research. Over Labor Day weekend, an hour-long program, simultaneously aired on all three networks, will formally begin the project. A web site is currently available where people can donate as little as one dollar in honor of someone they know who is either a survivor or has been killed by cancer. On this site, people can obtain information about the various types of cancer and on-going research on these cancers, as well as track where their donations are going. The donations will be divided between two types of research: cutting-edge and out of the box. At present, one in two males and one in three females in the US will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes. Federal money for cancer research has all but dried up, with roughly only one in ten projects currently being funded. Researchers are either leaving the eld or are moving overseas to pursue their research; the brain drain is huge according to Katie Couric, hence the need for a grass-roots movement to raise much-needed funds. The web site will also serve as a community for those who have cancer, those who know someone with cancer, or those who have lost someone to cancer. For more information, go to ABCnews.com, and then to Good Morning America, or go directly to the Stand Up to Cancer web site at standup2cancer.org. 6

Leadership 3 by Svilen Milev

Saudi Arabia to Sponsor Interfaith Gathering

From July 16th to July 18th, Saudi Arabia will be hosting an interfaith gathering that is to take place in Madrid, Spain. The three main religious groups that are participating are Christians, Muslims and Jews; another way that these groups are referred to is the followers of divine messages. It is thus far unclear whether or not representatives from other religions or world views will be attending the gathering or not. The dialog was initially called for by King Abdullah and will be held by the Muslim World League (MWL), a Saudi-based group. King Abdullah called for this interfaith communication shortly after a visit with Pope Benedict at the Vatican. According to the article, the main issues to be discussed are life in human

societies, international cooperation, human rights, and issues of security, peace and living together in the world. Spain was reportedly chosen as the gathering site because the Saudi Arabian royal family has an agreement with clerics in Saudi Arabia which states that Shiites and other non-Muslims are infidels. Therefore, Madrid was chosen as the meeting place to avoid any potential problems that could arise. Some fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia and other nations have denounced the meeting. Other groups and individuals, such as Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (former president of Iran) have said that the dialog should occur and address issues of Western influence in the Middle East. Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/ idUKL2140068620080621 6
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Ifs, Ands or Buts

Ahmadi Muslims
According to Waqar Ahmad Ahmedi, regional coordinator for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association in the Midlands (England), on 27 May 2008, Ahmadi Muslims, numbering in the tens of millions in some 190 countries, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the return of the Khilafat (Caliphate). They also believe that the ofce of the Caliph, the spiritual guardian of Islam, was revived in 1908 after an absence of some 1,400 years. The word Caliphate, particularly in Britain, conjures up images of blood and brutality, of a people governed by a totalitarian Islamic theocracy. Recent events centered on the rise of extremist groups calling for the re-establishment of a worldwide Islamic state have fed into the images, stereotypes and fears of the past. For Ahmadis, along with other moderate Muslims, the Caliph is a spiritual ofce. Quite literally, khalifameans successor or guardian. The Caliphs primary job is to continue the Prophet Mohammeds message and mission. That is, he is to educate and remind Muslims everywhere of their duties to God, respect for others rights, and the need for developing good morals. Following Mohammeds death, his closest and most trusted companions chose the rst Caliphs who were charged with spreading the faith. They were known to be peaceful, pious and humble, and played a critical role in the diffusion of Islam. Sometimes they did engage in world politics, e.g., the second caliph foiled a challenge from the Roman and Persian empires; for the most part, however, their activity was spiritual, not political or worldly. This Caliphate ended suddenly after the assassination of the Prophets fourth successor (late seventh century). The assassination was the culmination of tensions and disputes both inside and outside the Muslim world. Other Caliphs followed, but so did further divisions among Muslims. Muslims have long recognized the need to be unied again under one leader who would be the faiths central spiritual authority. The Ahmadi believe that this has already happened in the person of Hadhrat (His Holiness) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who died in 1908. He claimed to full the predictions contained in Islamic and other sacred texts regarding a prophet who would become a world reformer and unite humanity. In 1889, he announced to Christians awaiting the second coming of Jesus, Muslims anticipating the Mahdi, Hindus expecting Krishna and Buddhists searching for Buddha, that he was the promised Prophet for them all, commissioned by God to rejuvenate true faith and lead a spiritual struggle against evil. There has been an unbroken chain of Caliphs since Ahmads death. Prominent members of the Ahmadiyya community select these leaders who have extolled their followers to excel in both the spiritual and secular arenas. Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, a former President of the UN Assembly, and Professor Abdus Salam KBE, the rst Muslim Nobel Laureate for Physics, are two notable people from this community. Most of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community live on the Indian subcontinent and in Africa. This branch evolved from the Sunni tradition and
8 If ... Journal Issue 118, July/August 2008 Return to Table of Contents

remains the fastest growing denomination in Islam. Ahmadi Muslims were among the rst Muslims to arrive in Britain; the communitys rst mosque was constructed in Putney in 1924. Western Europes largest mosque, Baitul Futuh in Morden, Surrey, was completed in 2003. There are 18,000 Ahmadi Muslims currently in Britain. As required of all Muslims, the Ahmadi believe in all ve of Islams pillars and other articles of faith. They differ from other Muslims in their belief that their founder, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet. They also differ from other Muslims in that they believe that Jesus survived the crucixion. He then traveled eastward in an attempt to locate the lost tribes; he died in India and was buried in Kashmir. Ahmadi Muslims also believe in divine revelation, particularly as it relates to the Caliphs whose authority is derived from God. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community lives by a code of peace. Their motto is Love for All, Hatred for None. For the Ahmadi, Jihad means a striving for perfection so as to please God. The community has strongly and absolutely condemned all violence, and members have a strong allegiance to their country of domicile. For more information, see their ofcial website: http://www.alislam.org. Sources: Ahmedi, Waqar Ahmad. The Ahmadi Muslim Community. Timesonline 27 May 2008. 5 June 2008. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4009445.ece?... and Ahmedi, Waqar Ahmad. Return of the Caliphate. Timesonline 27 May 2008. 5 June 2008. http://www.timesonline. co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4009417.ece?... 6 Faith by Asif Akbar

Ifs, Ands or Buts

The Greening of Religion
In the web-based magazine, In The Fray, issue 78, the ever green section has an article on churches, synagogues and mosques, where a revolution of sorts is occurring: theyre going green. Not just one or two, such as the Baptist minister, interviewed on the Weather Channels Forecast Earth, who was inspired by the lm The Great Warming and took the message to his congregation, or the ABC News prole of a North Carolina church that for two years now has participated in a carbon fast for Lent; lots of mainline religions are joining the environmental fray. For example, the New Jersey Jewish News reported on a Jewish environmental organization that has requested that synagogues change their incandescent light bulbs to more energy-efcient ones. This group showed Al Gores An Inconvenient Truth and had CFLs (compact orescent lightbulbs) available for people to see and purchase. CNN reported on the greenest church in Canada; it is a model for eco-renovation. This Catholic parish church now has windows that utilize the principles of passive solar heat design, among other earth-friendly features. The Washington Post and Newsweek have an online section, On Faith, that has addressed environmental issues. Eboo Patels Interfaith Youth Core unites Evangelicals and Muslims. According to Patel, a Muslim, the Holy Quran teaches that humans are to be caretakers of the earth. His organization has sponsored Earth Day programs involving people from various faiths working together in common cause. Source: Schroeder, Lisa Tae-Ran. Religion Advocating for the Environment. In The Fray 15 April 2008. 23 April 2008. http://inthefray. org/content/view/2671/209 6

Reuters reports that as part of Israels 60th anniversary celebrations, a contest was held to select a bird that would become the countrys national symbol. Some 155,000 people cast their ballots, selecting from the hoopoe, the Palestine sunbird, and the yellowvented bulbul. The pink, black and white-crested hoopoe won. There is a problem, however. In the Book of Leviticus, hoopoes, eagles, vultures and pelicans are listed as unclean. Thus, Jews may not consume these abhorrent, not to be eaten birds. Source: Unclean Bird is Nations Favorite. Timesonline 2008. 5 June 2008. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_ east/article40... 6

check it 2 by Sanja Gjenero

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Readers Forum
SIN Dear Ms. Baker, I first wanted to extend thanks to your contributors for another great issue of If Journal. Ive just finished reading an article by Lillith T. Lewis, Rethinking Sin [Issue 114], and wanted to comment on a few things to make clarifications for your readership. When discussing the topic of sin on the Spiritual Architects Yahoo! group, one of the questions asked was, What is your definition of sin? I responded by stating that I considered sin to be anything self-defeating and listed a few examples of some of these self-defeating behaviors (counter-productive pride, stupidity, solipsism, pretentiousness, self-deceit, lack of perspective, forgetting past orthodoxies, lack of desirable aesthetics, just to name a few). Lillith interpreted this to mean that I ignore these behaviors. Thats the funny thing about perception; its only as wide as your perspective. To the contrary, I pay extra attention to these behaviorsin order to avoid them. Pride is not a sin, by any means, but pride of the counter-productive type may defeat a cause or goal I am striving for. If I let my pride get in the way of that, what a sin that would be a violation of my own moral principles. Lillith goes on to say that she finds my viewpoint very confining, that it nullified the freedom to make mistakes; it limit[s] acceptance of those changes that must occur as we grow emotionally and spiritually. I find Lilliths perspective on my view very narrow. If she would take a moment to consider that by determining that counter-productive pride is a sin in my own moral principles, I have therefore experienced the effects of this sort of pride, have learned a valuable lesson from it, and have grown spiritually because of it. It is the very reason why it is part of my own personal moral principles. I watch for this sort of behavior, so as not to repeat it. The same goes for any of the items on my list and many I have not mentioned. I can only speculate that sin in Lilliths perspective differs entirely from my own. Sin, in my interpretation, is a violation of my own moral principles. I dont consider the ego to be sinful; in fact, I embrace the ego entirely as a Left-Hand-Pather. Again, our perspectives on ego also differ. She explains ego of the run-of-the-mill type, as self-centered, pretentious, fearful, selfish, but typically not evil and thus not sinful. Embracing the ego myself, I dont consider it sinful as a general viewpoint; but an over-inflated ego without the goods to back it up can also be self-defeating, and can be a sin in my viewpoint if it is the underlying cause for why I am acting as a sinful selfsaboteur, thus defeating. I dont think we can limit ego as sinful to sociopaths or killers; that is extremely confining in my opinion. I dont think people are good or evil; they are people who do good or bad things to themselves and to others, and this is highly subjective. If a person believes that the rules dont apply to them, does that make them evil and a sinner? I guess that all depends on the rules in question, and whether or not following them or not following them is self-defeating. If I speed, get caught and get a ticket well, Ive just sinned against myself and my bank account. I not only have a ticket on my otherwise clean driving record, I also have to pay the fine that goes along with that. The ripple effect? I also have to pay higher insurance rates; what evil! Evil can be conceived as what you dont like and good as what you do like. While I agree with Lillith that sin is culturally based, in the social context I had already pointed out that I dont embrace the societal view of morality; I develop my own, which explains why my views seem alien. (I dont embrace societal views of morality; I develop my own.) Welcome to my planet Lillith! I wanted to thank you for opening the channels for further dialogue on this topic, most intriguing and thought provoking! Alison Jones Hello Ms. Jones: Thank you for your willingness to clarify your beliefs. I too appreciate the chance to continue this discussion. Although I did use the word ignore, it was not my intention to imply that you would ignore the behaviors you had listed. Because I didnt what to make assumptions based on my lack of understanding of counter-productive pride, I was stating that I had decided to skip over commenting on it unsuccessfully it appears. Alison wrote: Sin, in my interpretation, is a violation of my own moral principles. While I would prefer that each person had a personal ethical code, I must admit that we have hit a troublesome area: the idea that morality should be totally and completely an individuals choice. While I believe in considerable freedom for individual life choices, I dont think that all people will choose actions based on a moral or ethical standpoint. I think we would agree that only some individuals base decisions on an internal ethical standard and fewer base them on altruism. Many individuals act from greed, fear or misguided and erroneous assumptions. News reports (even the less inflammatory ones) confirm that. It is easiest to determine sin in light of horrific and shocking deeds that are considered obviously evil after the fact. Yet perhaps more common are sins against those who are defenseless, frail or powerless; such acts lead to hidden despair or quiet desperation. For example, childhood bullies dont always outgrow their need to harass others, and occasionally those in positions of authority intimidate others into illegal or immoral situations. Even a person who has lived his or her entire life without harming a soul may develop a mental illness that leads to violent actions. Although you are prepared to accept the consequences of your actions (and I respect you for that), scores of people rationalize their illegal or even sinful actions or look for another to blame for the consequences. Certainly humanity should refuse the umbrella of Big Brother, and frankly, I challenge the individuals who claim to know how everyone should live, especially those who take a stand that includes a rigid definition of sin. I believe a society should temper its concept of sinfulness with kindness, open-mindedness and compassion and many who obsess about morality have little of those. Yet, I wonder about many things that are permitted or ignored in our civilization. For instance, should society permit violent or sadistic relationships to continue? From an external viewpoint, abusive interactions may seem to be consensual, and yet where does a group draw the line between privacy and protection? Regrettably I cannot answer that definitively. Thank you for a stimulating exchange! Lillith T. Lewis Got comments for the writers or staff of If ... Journal? Send them to us at info@ifjournal.org or mail to If ... Journal, c/o LISTEN Media, PO Box 61007, Virginia Beach, VA 23466. 6


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Daily Practice
Glimpses of the Divine
by Lillith T. Lewis literature, it is not always clear whether the term refers to a sociopolitical condition or to the Greek goddess Eirene. At times poets of old Greece and Rome transposed the attributions of Pax and Ceres (the goddess of grain) or entwined their roles. Thus, we find works such as this one by Tibullus: Meanwhile let Pax tend our fields. Bright Pax first led under the curved yoke the cows to plow the fields. Pax nourished the vine plants and stored the grape juice so that pure wine might flow . . . In peace shall shine the hoe and plowshare . . . Then come to us, nourishing Pax, and hold the wheat stalk in your hand, and let fruits pour forth from your shining bosom. (Tib. 1.10.45-50, 67-68) In addition, Ovid wrote floridly that Pax nurtured Ceres. Certainly, that statement was an apt implication of the link between a peaceful country and abundant agricultural harvests, but it also muddled Paxs identity. In modern times, those who worship Pax believe that she embodies a tranquil and harmonious lifestyle. Although true, this simple definition disregards a number of her traditional roles. What was the historical role of the goddess Pax? In fact, long ago, this goddess was not characterized by the absolute nonviolence the modern world expects. Although Pax may now be considered a minor deity, her position in the lives of the Greco-Roman world was based firmly in the political realm. Following the debilitating war between Sparta and Athens, altars to Pax were built to represent the treaty signed at the conclusion of the Peloponnesian War, a war that lasted decades. In order to remember the devastation of that war and to reinforce the peace, each year Athens and Spartans celebrated their agreement with a ritual offering to Pax. Several centuries later, Caesar Augustus emphasized his relationship with the goddess of peace alongside his role as conqueror. One instance of this appeared in the coinage of the day, in which Augustus and Pax stomp together on the weapons of subdued enemies. Although one of Paxs titles was the enemy of revenge, many old poems incite the deity to humble enemy soldiers and bring peace through victory. In fact, a number of artworks display Nike the winged goddess of victory next to Pax. Apparently, to ancient Rome a peaceful accord rested on a mighty and victorious army. Just as the farmers peace and prosperity are based on labor, so the Pax Romana is based on conquest and war. Augustus was the prince of peace in foreign affairs, but it was pax in the Roman sense: making a pact after conquest. Again raising Pax to a more important rank, Augustus ordered the building of the Ara Pacis (the Altar of Peace) to celebrate his successful annexation of Spain and Gaul. To call this construction an altar is a great understatement. The ornately carved monument incorporated high sculptured walls, wide steps and large offering platforms to create a structure more accurately described as a temple. Through the fame of this structure, the

Pax (also known as Irene, Eirene, Eirhnh)

As the daughter of Themis (Divine Law) and Zeus (ruler of the gods also called Jove or Jupiter), Pax and her sisters Eunomia (Orderliness) and Dike (Justice) were the Horai (alternately Horae). These deities were associated with the correct organization of the world and the seasons. Little information has survived about Pax, but what . . . we do know about Roman deities is that most of them represented civic virtues the Romans cherished. Adding further confusion to the information weve received, during the Roman and Greek empires, people tended to refer to a specific god by the quality associated with that deity. Therefore, [w]hen eirene is used in classical Greek

Virgil wrote of her established preference for olives; therefore, Pax often carried an olive branch. In our time, that plant consistently represents peace.

Photo by Richard Sweet, http://www.RichardSweet.com

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Daily Practice
goddess Pax became synonymous with her altar; in fact, Ovid used the term Ara Pacis interchangeably with the deitys name. Also, during the Roman Empire, the populace left images of governmental leaders with statues of Pax so that they would embrace her wisdom. ASSOCIATIONS In many ancient Greek statues, the goddess of peace carried the baby Plutus (also Ploutos, Eniatus, or Plouton), the blind deity that represented wealth. In other depictions, she carried a cornucopia or an olive branch in one hand. Virgil wrote of her established preference for olives; therefore, she often carried an olive branch. In our time, that plant consistently represents peace. In others she holds a scepter, a torch or a cornucopia a popular symbol of abundance. Less often Pax carries a rhyton, a stylized drinking vessel used in libations or ceremonial drinking. Perhaps the strangest connection (albeit a loose one) occurs between the goddess of peace and Jesus. Johan Sebastian Bach wrote a secular cantata called Tnet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! (Resound, you drums! Ring out, you trumpets!). Popularly called the Queens Cantata because it was written in honor of the queen of Poland, it included the character Irene, the deity of peace. Later Bach reused the music and modified most of the libretto of this work to create the prominent and more famous Christmas Oratorio. SACRED DAYS During the Roman Empire, the population worshipped Pax at several festivals. According to Ovid, on March 30, everyone should celebrate the holiday called Comitialis (Assembly): Janus should be worshipped and gentle Concorida, Salus Romana and the Ara Pacis. According to scholars, the veneration of these three goddesses, respectively the deities of harmony, safety and peace, on the same holy day implies that the three commonly shared a place of worship (although I could not find a reason for including Janus in the event). In spite of the historical association of Pax with March 30, a good number of modern worshippers celebrate this goddess on January 30 because the Romans commemorated that date as the Festival of Peace. In 9 BCE Augustus consecrated the Ara Pacis on January 30. By law, only essential work was conducted on the holiday, proof that the date was a major festival in the Roman world. WORSHIP, RITUALS OFFERINGS how we have changed our view of Pax and her offerings! In modern days, followers wear or carry something white. Some build an altar and create a cornucopia as an offering. Taking a lesson from history, quite a few celebrants honor Pax when they feel they have harmed another or reacted in anger. As a way to remove discord, if followers have wronged another through anger or violence, they apologize or compensate those they hurt. Others pray to her when they need her calming peaceful assistance and pledge to strive to live harmoniously. . . . Pax; Be present, and gentle the whole world. Let there be no enemies, no cause for triumph; Youll give our leaders more glory than war. SOURCES Atsma, Aaron J. Theoi Project Eirene online at http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/ HoraEirene.html (accessed May 7, 2008). Ardinger, Barbara. Pagan Every Day: Finding the Extraordinary in Our Ordinary Lives (Weiser, 2006) p. 30. Gowan, Donald E. The Westminster Theological Wordbook of the Bible (Westminster John Knox Press, 2003) p. 356. Spaeth, Barbette Stanley. The Roman Goddess Ceres (University of Texas Press, 1996) p. 150. Spaeth, p. 150. Gowan, p. 356. Horsley, Richard A. Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society (Continuum International Publishing Group, 1997) pg 169. Horsley, p. 18.


Historically, during the days of GrecoRoman dominance, priests and government officials (including the emperor) sacrificed animals and birds to their deities, doing this even at the altars of Pax. Truly,
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Daily Practice
Museo dellAra Pacis (English site) online at http://en.arapacis.it/ (accessed May 7, 2008). Telesco, Patricia. 365 Goddess: A Daily Guide to the Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess (HarperCollins, 1998) p. 30. Drr, Alfred, translation by Richard Douglas Jones. The Cantatas of J.S. Bach: With Their Librettos in German English Parallel (Oxford University Press, 2005) p. 829-831. Ovid, Anthony James Boyle, and Roger D. Woodard (translated by Anthony James Boyle and Roger D. Woodard). Fasti. (Penguin Classics, 2000) p. 81. Ovid, p. 229. Telesco, p. 30. Ardinger, p. 30. Ovid, p. 25.

I talked to the sunrise. Had I missed a dawn, the world would have collapsed. I talked to God, The One as if She were sitting in my living room. Psychiatrists called it delusions of grandeur. One day I burned all of my possessions, which caught the attention of the fire department. Neighbors pointed as I ran, glad to be rid of me. I just found another hill and started over. Schizophrenia, for which I was being medicated, derives from the Greek words schizein and phrenia, divided mind. Only now do I realize how schizein I was. Academics debate whether schizophrenia can develop from experience. They know it is nature gone bad, but could it also be nurture gone bad? I was a case study: straight-As by day, punching and screaming by night. During my long journey back, I learned that sanity comes from wholeness, the opposite of splitness. Meditating daily, I

got beneath the turmoil and accomplished what science could not: peace of mind nay, peace of heart, mind, soul and body. I sat in the lap of God, and together we laughed at me. One of my early breakthroughs came by way of the Who Am I? meditation. The goal of Who Am I? is to ask who we are, then reject every answer until we sight Atman, our true nature. Who Am I? might go like this: Who am I? Im a mess. No, that is a judgment of society. Who am I really? I am Jason Love. No, thats a name. A silly name. Who am I really? After an hour, you dont know who you are, and thats a pretty good place to begin. 6

Going Sane
by Jason Love People ask me what it was like to be nuts. I tell them that it was like being bananas, only crunchier. At worst, being nuts is living in terror. You feel like youre about to drown, but theres no water to make you feel better about it. Medication helps, but like a frontal lobotomy it has its side effects. Being nuts mostly means defending yourself against a thousand threats that dont exist. Hundreds of times per day, I would sermonize about Creator my Father, Nature my Mother, and secrets of the Universe (like I would know). The RainMan-isms lasted 10, 20 then 30 minutes at a time. Im not sure where they came from or how I remembered them, but they consumed most of my day. I also spent time screaming on hilltops. In order to free myself, I shouted at houses, cars, passers-by. Every morning
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Artworkk by Vlad Stankovski


Green Living
Simple Living Assessment
by Sheila Gazlay Until recently, when I heard the phrase simple living, I thought only of reusable grocery bags and taking the bus or walking instead of using the car all the time. I am now nding that most people list ways to live simpler in much broader terms. I actually found such a list at http://www. peopleoffaith.com/denition-of-simpleliving.htm. Its list of what simple living is includes: Stress-free Initiative Make Your Own Play Learn Efcient Invent Invigorate Nothing Complicated Gardening the questions go beyond the normal ideas of recycling and reuse and, in fact, include some ideas Id never thought of as a part of simple living or helping the environment. Here are a few of those out-of-the-box ideas (see if you can spot them) as well as other more common actions we might already consider when we think of simpler living. How many are already on your list? _____ I am careful to take time for myself. _____ I regularly have time in my life to be contemplative and pray. _____ I do things every week that help me to develop spiritually. _____ I watch TV four or fewer hours each week. _____ I grow some of my own food. _____ I buy many items in bulk to decrease packaging and trips to the store. _____ I do not buy out-of-season fruits. _____ I plan meals for a week. _____ I prepare most of my own food and eat out seldom. _____ I eat meat once or twice a week or less. _____ I use reusable shopping bags. _____ I can or freeze in-season food to eat in later months. _____ I borrow or rent (rather than buy) items that I need to use infrequently (for example power tools). _____ I buy products with the least amount of packaging from companies that use recycled material for their packaging. _____ I wait for a sale before buying any large item. _____ I get books from the library or exchange with friends to avoid buying from bookstores (speaks to need to recycle and put less in landlls). _____ I shop as little as I can. _____ I seldom buy new things for the house. _____ I am an informed shopper and use resources such as http://www.responsibleshopper.com. _____ I try to shop only at stores with good environmental policies (http://www. responsibleshopper.com). _____ I belong to a simple living or eco group. _____ At least 25% of the lightbulbs in my home are compact uorescent. _____ I avoid buying soda in aluminum cans. _____ I use cloth towels and rags instead of paper towels. _____ My yard has more than the average amount of areas that need less care and less water (cactus and other low-water plants, stone art spaces). _____ I do not buy collectors items. _____ I cancel junk mail. (Find out more at: Mail Preference Service, http://www. mailpreferenceservice.com/ or contact Direct Marketing Association, P.O. 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008, 212/7687277) 6

I recently completed a Simple Living Assessment and found that quite a few of

Photo by Irum Shahid

I am careful to take time for myself.


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Green Living
Recycled Food?
by Sheila Gazlay In the movie Judge Dredd, a robot says, Eat recycled food, as he eats his own recycled food, or so Im told. Well, things havent gotten that bad yet; but in the good old American way of turning the strange into something good, it is becoming easier and more common to do just that recycle food. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans waste approximately 3,000 pounds of food each second, or 100 billion pounds each year. Food waste makes up 12% of all US waste. If you were to ask the typical person if and what they recycle, they would all have similar lists: paper, plastic bottles, and cans; but did you know that more and more cities are offering services to recycle food? In my town, Bellingham, WA, the program is called the FoodPlus! Recycling Program. The way it works is that you can purchase a bin for $8 and ll that bin with food scraps, food-soiled paper towels, etc. and have it picked up on a bi-weekly basis. This is great if you are concerned about the environment, want to recycle as much as possible and happen to live in an apartment or duplex, or just dont want to have a compost pile in your back yard. The food scraps are composted locally and available for sale locally. Check with your sanitation service to see if this option is offered in your area. 6 out the big motor home equipped with satellite television, cook tops, refrigerators and other neat gadgets, camping can leave a negative impact on the environment. For the people who wish to camp while leaving the smallest ecological footprint possible, there are some clever tricks to keeping your camping green and safe. LED FLASHLIGHTS LANTERNS things on your camping trip. Keep paper bags or bins around for recycling. You can then easily take this stuff back with you and recycle it appropriately when you get home. Also, consider composting your trash in a bucket if you can. GO LOW-TECH A tent and sleeping bag is far more environmentally friendly than a motor home or camper trailer. Motor homes require large amounts of fuel and energy to keep in operation every day. With the price of energy and fuel where it is right now, your camping trip could cost a lot less if you consider more green camping alternatives. You can enjoy a true outdoor camping excursion more if you do it electricityfree. Leave the games, portable TVs, and computers at home. Pack a cell phone or PDA in case of emergencies but turn it off or just plain leave it alone. Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing how much energy we consumer every year. COOKSTOVES Unless youre allergic to smoke or have strong asthma symptoms, the campfire is still the most ecologically friendly way to cook food. Fueled grills require propane or electricity to operate. Campfires require wood, which can be easily picked up off the forest floor, and an ignition source, such as matches. It may not be practical to cook everything you want on a fire but you can use it for some things to help reduce the amount of time you cook on a fueled cook stove. Going on a green camping trip can actually be one of the more fun vacations you take this summer. Look into ways you can make less of an impact on the environment the next time you venture out into your home states mountain country or forested parks. 6


LED lights are the most energy efficient light source currently available for flashlights and lanterns. They produce a brighter sustained light while still using less battery power than a traditional flashlight. In fact a quality LED flashlight can provide over 600 hours of light from one set of regular AA or AAA batteries. The combination of battery savings and bulb efficiency results in up to 90% less energy consumption than any other flashlight. LED lanterns use the same bulb technology, making them a good idea for having around the campsite as well. Wind-up LED flashlights are an even more environmentally conscious light source. These are fairly easy to use. All you have to do is wind them up to create power-generating friction and turn it on. These dont put out as strong a light as a regular LED but they are an excellent option for short hiking excursions. COOKWARE Dont use styrofoam cups while camping, no matter how convenient they may seem. The same goes for paper plates and disposable plastic forks. Instead, camp with reusable dishes and utensils and wash them after each use. This will drastically decrease the amount of trash you burn (bad for the environment gases produced pollute the air) or throw away (plastics biodegrade slowly, overfilling our landfills). RECYCLE Think about what you do at home to be ecologically friendly and institute these

Green Camping:
Tips For An Environmentally Friendly Vacation
by Ben Anton For some people, camping is a way to get back to nature while for others it means bringing out the big toys and having some fun. For the people who bring

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Life is chaotic at best. We rush, we multitask, and we try to be all things to all people, often failing to save anything for ourselves. We crave peace, but usually arent willing to do what it takes to achieve peace, or we take the alternative route and look for ways to find peace that generally only bring more chaos. Here are ten simple ways that you can bring peace to your life no matter how chaotic your life may be.

level, your peace of mind, your happiness, and to your life in general.

3. Reduce the clutter in your life.

Clutter does not represent peace. This doesnt mean that you have to give away all of your worldly goods. It means that you need to clean and organize the closets, drawers, shelves and other nooks and crannies in your home and office. As you organize, get rid of anything that you dont use, dont need, and can easily live without. Donate items to charity, hold a yard sale, throw it in the trash just get rid of the junk that you dont need.

remove it from your mind. We do learn from our mistakes, and we take those lessons into the future. It doesnt mean that we have to dwell on those mistakes and constantly beat ourselves up for them. We are all human, and even the smartest and brightest have made their fair share of mistakes. You are not alone. Forgive yourself and move forward.

1. Realize that you cannot control anything other than yourself in this world.
You are the only thing that you have complete control over. When we realize this, and adjust our outlook and our actions accordingly, life becomes much more peaceful. Trying to control other people, or situations that really are beyond our control, only serves to suck away our time and adds to the chaos and frustration of life.

4. Clear the air. If youve had any disagreements in any of your personal relationships and you are still smarting from them, clear the air. Go talk to that person. Let them know how you feel. Apologize and ask for forgiveness if this is needed. Request an

10 Simple Ways to Bring Peace to Your Life

2. Cut some ties, and make new ones.
This one isnt easy, but if you want a peaceful life, it must be done. For most of us, there are one or two people possibly more that are in our lives but bring very little to our lives on an emotional or support level. This isnt a question of ditching friends who havent done anything for you. Its not about what they do for you. Its about what they bring to you on the emotional level, and what they take away from you on the energy level. Its about friends who live their lives on the basis of its all about me. Its about friends who constantly have drama in their lives (usually imagined), and who proceed to suck the life right out of you by bringing their drama to your door and then, in the end, really dont do anything for you on the emotional level (they arent there for you when you need them, every conversation is about them, they dont have anything of real value to offer the friendship). Cutting people out of your life is very hard. In some instances, you wont be able to cut them completely out, but you can limit their access to your time which you are in complete control of. You can replace those people with others who actually do bring something of value to the relationship, and to your life and you will be amazed at the difference this makes in your energy

7. Turn off the news. Obviously, you do need to keep up with what is going on in the world. Most of us dont have to do it on an hourly basis, or even a daily basis. Use the Internet and services such as Google to have news delivered to your email inbox. Make it a point to only read those news stories once or twice a week and never in the evening hours, when you are trying to unwind from your day. The world is a scary place, and the news reminds us of that each minute of each day. This doesnt contribute to a peaceful life. 8. Take the time to make a schedule for your week, each week. Stick to that schedule as closely as possible, but also understand that plans sometimes must change. Make a note of free time and instantly schedule in some you time or something fun, instead of waiting for other people to fill that time for you. Set priorities to the items on your schedule. Make detailed notes that you will understand. Plan, but dont over-plan. When something new comes up, put it on the following weeks schedule, instead of rearranging this weeks schedule. Learn to say no and I cant do that this week, sorry.

by Kelly Lowe

apology and forgive if that is what is needed. Lay your cards and feelings on the table. If the relationship is worth saving, you will work it out. Otherwise, it is causing discord in your life even if that discord is only in your mind and you might need to cut ties.

5. Re-evaluate your budget and finances. Money makes everything very

complicated, and does little to garner peace. It has been said that money cannot buy happiness, but that isnt necessarily true. Are you going to be happy if you cant pay the mortgage, and you have to live on the street? No. Are you going to be happy if you cant afford a college education for your kids? No. Are you going to be happy if you cant pay the power bill, retire, take your annual vacation, or purchase new clothing for your kids? No, no, no and no. Money buys security, and security plays a big part in our overall happiness. Cut down on unnecessary expenditures. Save more money. Look for a better-paying job. Make adjustments to your investments. Simply make sure that you have the financial security that you require.

9. Limit the technology in your life.

Technology does not bring peace. The computer looks innocent enough but you have the entire world at your fingertips right inside of that little box. This is overwhelming when you actually think about it. Learn to turn the box off, turn the television off, turn the cell phone off, and simply get out and enjoy the world up-close and personal.

6. Forgive yourself. Think about past mistakes that you have made. Reflect on them for a bit. Be clear about where you went wrong. Forgive yourself, and promptly
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10. Take time out for yourself. Most people really fail to see the importance of this. When we take time to simply be by ourselves, without doing anything else to occupy our minds, we are able to reflect, dream and simply relax. This brings the ultimate peace. In the grand scheme of things, life can only be as complicated as you want it to be. It all comes down to what you accept for yourself, how you view the rest of the world, and the actions that you take. You can create peace in your life, no matter how chaotic it is. 6

If ... Journal Issue 118, July/August 2008

Photo by Nicole Zimmer

Article by Susan Andrus

Conict emerges from the differences between people. Consequently, we will never experience a world without conict except maybe after we die, so how can we experience peace in this world? Peace emerges out of the spaces between conicts. Its that time after the push and pull of our differences when we feel satised with the outcome. It sounds kind of sexual, doesnt it? Much like the outcome of a pleasurable sexual experience, peace may nd us feeling fullled, grateful, relaxed, open, warm and ready to sleep. Although peace seems to involve the resolution of conict, what are some positive attributes of peace? For me, peace means happiness, joy, love times when life seems to be as good as it can get. But not only the good times can bring me peace. There seems to be a hierarchy in my experiences of peace. When I appreciate some person, element or condition in my life, I nd even greater peace than when I merely enjoy the good that comes to me. Another step in my attainment toward peace involves reconciliation. If I am at odds with another person, making a clean, sincere apology always brings me more peace. Up another level in my peace hierarchy comes compassion. When I intentionally work to focus my attention on anothers need, I feel more peace. It seems that the farther I get from paying attention to my egoistic needs, the more peaceful I feel. Thats starting to sound sexual again. Let me explain how I have found peace in my life through my Buddhist practice.

Several years ago, I joined Soka Gakkai International (SGI-USA), a Nichiren Buddhist philosophy that has as its goal world peace. I learned to chant and I practiced to develop discernment of the reality of my life and to change my actions so that I would achieve more peace and happiness. Not realizing it at the time, achieving more inner peace led me to develop more peaceful actions toward other people and living things in my environment. After I had been practicing for about a year, I found myself being escorted to the door at work, never to be allowed to return. I had been advocating for the lower-paid employees in the ofce, and my actions were determined to be insubordinate. As I walked to my car, a coworker, who is also Buddhist, asked me where I was going. I just got red, I said. He said, Congratulations! An unusual remark, but in Buddhist philosophy it reects the belief that when obstacles appear, the benets will follow. Over the next few months the obstacles piled up and peace was nowhere to be found. Soon after I got red, I received notice from my husband of thirtythree years that he was ling for divorce. We had been separated for four years, and when counseling could not resolve our differences, I had developed a short-lived relationship with another man. Of course, my family was angry with me. But my Buddhist friends again wished me congratulations. In October of that same year, one of my children called to inform me that Thanksgiving would be at her house and I was not invited. After the events of that year, including the loss of income from losing my job, receiving this message left me feeling abandoned and hopeless. Although I was still practicing Buddhism, I was buried in my own suffering; my world narrowed to focusing on my own needs that werent being met. I decided that the only solution was to kill myself. I had a plan that involved tying an extension cord around the rafters in the attic, tying the other end around my neck and jumping into the stairwell. But I decided that before I jumped, I would chant one more time. As I sat in front of my altar chanting, I asked, What would make me happy? Immediately the answer came Helping others and just as quickly, the depression lifted. I had been writing a book at the time on how to use dialogue to help resolve conict in relationships and I knew that I had to nish that book, as it had the potential to help so many people improve their relationships. I nished writing my book and published it. During that same time, rather than feeling sorry for myself and holding resentments against the people I loved the most, I chanted for my children and former husband to become happy. I made efforts at reconciliation and worked hard to be a peaceful person. I learned to look at situations from the other persons perspective rather than only from my vantage point. My benets began to accrue as my narrow egocentric view of my world diminished, and I saw that I could feel happier if I changed my attitude. In the years since, I have made many efforts to show compassion, apologize and support others in their time of need. No matter how tired I feel or how complicated my life might become, helping others gives me a sense of peace that surpasses any other source of happiness in my life. Now this isnt an offer to readers to help with their sexual needs in order to acquire peace, but when obstacles arise, with faith and practicing the tenets of that faith, the universe aligns itself toward the resolution of these obstacles. I nd that working with people of different faith backgrounds gives me an appreciation of how similar our beliefs are even though we each follow different practices and use different words. As we focus our attention on causes that improve the lot of others, our own circumstances improve and we nd the peace that lets us know that we have reached the climax of our lives. 6
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ife is chaos and chaos is my life. Peace comes to me in spits and spurts. My days are lled with two jobs, writing, a husband, three daughters, a new house, and all the things that go with these aspects of my life. This doesnt take into account the obligations to extended family members, maintaining connections with friends, or my hobbies. I know in the American society, this my situation is not uncommon. The problem comes in nding and maintaining an inner peace. My philosophy, I guess, is that without conict, we wouldnt know peace. Life is lled with duality, and I think this is an area where we have to accept that we wont go through life in a happy, calm state of being at all times. If we did, how would we appreciate it? I take my peace when I can get it: Sunday morning when my daughters and husband are sharing articles from the paper and discussing (sometimes heatedly) the points of whatever issue they are talking about; the hour on Saturday morning before the rush of errands and household chores begins that I spend with my husband sitting by the re and just talking over our week; my hour commute when I listen to a book on CD or allow my mind to wander as I watch the moon rising and the sun setting. These are the moments of peace I cherish in my life, but beneath all of the chaos in my life, there has to be a core of peace in my life. Ive not always had that core of peace, and I didnt nd it until I embraced my current spiritual path. Before witchcraft, I was deeply dissatised with my life. I was seriously unhappy with everything from my roles as mother and wife to who I was. I felt lost and I was only in my late 20s. I guess for most this would seem like mid-life crisis. My behavior affected my family I was unhappy and so were they. Instinctively, though, I knew typical changes like divorce or a move would not x the problem. Id spend hours on the phone with a friend pouring out my heart and hoping for some resolution. Yet nothing changed; talking to her did nothing to resolve the deep dissatisfaction I felt in my life. My family was mostly Methodist. Since I wanted my children to have some education in religion, we took them to church. I sat in church feeling like a hypocrite and arguing with the minister in my head. I didnt believe what was being preached and felt false for even being there. Then, from the calmest person I knew, I received a gift. I was walking with my sister Teri in her yard. She reached down to prune a plant and said something like from this earth you came and now you are returned. I must have had a puzzled look on my face

My Own Little Corner

Photo by Dirk Hermann

Article by Eileen Troemel

because she explained she was Pagan. Briey, she outlined what Paganism was and asked me to do some research for her, as I had a computer and she didnt. There was no light switch moment for me, or sudden realization of power like you see on TV. Gradually, as I researched different paths and beliefs, I realized these were my beliefs. As I began this journey of discovery, I found myself at peace in many different ways. I began going into nature and nding a calm as I always had when I was a child. As my spiritual path became clearer, I became much more satised with other aspects of my life. This rippled out to my husband and children. There were fewer arguments, and the stress level dropped drastically. Luckily for me, my husband was very supportive and allowed me to explore this avenue of spirituality without giving me grief and expecting me to conform to his beliefs. The crowning moment for me was when my friend asked me how I had changed my life so I was no longer crying on her shoulder. This was the beginning of a ripple outward from my own struggle to someone external from my family. Having been told by so many Pagans of the bad experiences they had when they came out of the broom closet to those nearest to them, I was a bit nervous about telling my best friend about my current path. When I did, though, it was freeing for both of us. She doesnt follow the same path, but she understands mine and accepts it. I think seeing me make big changes in my life has helped her to make big changes in her life. It is about nding that inner core of who you are and what you believe. Once you nd this, it is a matter of relying on that when you feel out of balance and stressed. I nd it intriguing that I have instinctively always turned within to that core, whether I was aware of it or not, when I was under stress. If I relied and followed my beliefs and morals when making a decision, a peace and calm would follow after I had expressed or implemented a solution. If I wasnt coming from a balanced place, then issues would escalate until I made myself take that step back and follow my inner beliefs. The core of my path begins with the Rede. An it harm none, do what you will, is the ethical code of most Pagans or Wiccans. It is probably the simplest code


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in verbiage of any religion. Yet it is also probably the most debated and least understood. Many outsiders to these beliefs see this as an invitation to practitioners to do anything they desire including immoral and illegal things. They envision Pagans dancing naked under a full moon okay, some of us do that having orgies, drinking and doing drugs with little regard for anything other than the individuals own pleasure. Hollywood and popular ction feed into the general publics fears and disdain for such a hedonistic religion. In reality, Pagans and Wiccans hold as many moral standards as most other religions. They are as diverse as any other religion as well. Spend a few days on a discussion group and ask what the Rede means, and you will receive numerous answers and most likely start a heated debate. For me the best explanation of the Rede has been given by Marion Green in A Witch Alone. She states none implies everyone and everything. An in old English means in order that and will is your souls own true will, not the whim of the moment. (page 41) So the Rede in plain English would read in order that no one or thing is harmed, do what your true soul wills. Following this practice is not easy, as there are so many interpretations which could be put on it. However, when I come back to this fundamental core as I face lifes curve balls, I nd myself making decisions more easily and condently. My peace comes from knowing that I am following my sincere beliefs. We all have issues. There isnt a person on this earth who doesnt have conict or stress in some aspect of his or her life. The key, I think, is to be faithful to your beliefs and tenets. This can be quite the task when you are neck deep in an emergency or stressful situation. In the middle of my work day, I cant take half an hour to meditate, light candles, put on soothing music, and regain my equilibrium. Often times Im lucky to have a moment to catch my breath, which I think is a common situation for most people. In my day job, I live in a gray cube city. The environment is noisy and not conducive at all to peaceful moments. However, I have discovered little ways to bring that needed peace into my day. A shelf above my computer is covered with pictures of my family and the walls are plastered with pictures which I nd soothing and relaxing. I have a card with an abstract moon representation, a picture of a waterfall, dragons, and loved ones surrounding me all of which remind me that I work to support my life; my life is not work. I also have some stones and other little things under my monitor. As I nd myself losing the peace from the chaos around me, I pick up one of these stones to help me be grounded and maintain the connection to the earth. All of these little things help me maintain my balance as I handle the general public both on the phones and in person. It helps me deal with people who like to cause chaos. Most importantly, though, it keeps me in touch with that inner core of values that keeps me on my spiritual path. When my attention is fragmented by the dozens of demands on it each day, I turn inward to nd a link with those inner principles and ethics to maintain the peace I need. Peace comes and goes as we see in the larger picture of the world. I gure all I can do is encourage it in my own little corner and hope that my inner peace ripples outward towards others. 6

Mystery of the Sphinx

by Dr. Frederick Lubich

Axtarte, Ishtar, Hathor, Shekina

I am the mother of you all, know me, love me, hear my call, rise from your grave, your crumbling tomb, return into my cosmic womb. Love and death, death and rebirth, they are my ancient mysteries, so dance with me and soar with me through my sparkling ecstasies. You will dream of me for ever, of our starry nights together, and you will always long for me and recognize my universe in the eyes, the smile, the passion of my daughters down on earth,

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by Alison Jones World peace is it an unrealistic and unreachable goal? Is peace tangible? Why do so many strive for peace? When imagining peace, how do you envision a world at peace? How can peace be achieved worldwide, when people have different understandings and aspirations toward peace? There are so many questions, but what are the answers? We are reminded of the state of unrest the world is in daily when we watch the news, pick up a newspaper, or check for news updates on the Internet. We can watch with eyes glaring at the countless numbers of conicts that plague the world, but see very little in accomplishing this world peace for which so many people advocate. Perhaps world peace is a contradiction in terms. While we strive for independence and individualism, peace organizations propagate the idea that we are the same. With so much diversity in culture and religion, how can we be the same? What are the underlying causes for struggle in the world, and why is there so much conict and so little peace?

The Lucifer Principle

I am reminded of a most intriguing book by Howard Bloom called The Lucifer Principle1. Howard Bloom is the founder of the International Paleopsychology Project, an ever-growing assembly of scientists and theorists who examine contemporary society, drawing upon physics, microbiology, paleontology, endocrinology, neurobiology, anthropology, history and human ethology. Howards Lucifer Principle tempts the reader to consider that we all have the Devil inside and are hard-wired for violence. Howard asks critical questions like why live in peace if we create through destruction? He gives many powerful examples; for example, a sculptor creates a beautiful work of art out of a slab of marble. As he creates, he gives no care to the shards of marble he chips away. Doesnt each and every chip have the right to exist and be free of destruction? We admire this work of art, but take no care to consider the destructive process of creation. If we are hard-wired for violence, how are we capable of creating peace? What destruction is necessary to create a peaceful living environment? Howard offers the notion that we can control culture, which inuences our brains and therefore our behavior. In essence, we must destroy the inuence over our minds and behaviors to achieve a peaceful existence in unity. What about tribalism? Tribalism occurs when ethnic or cultural identity distinguishes a person as a member of one specic group, thus separating him or her from membership in another group. Howard also addresses this in his book; we as a species are also hard-wired for a strong sense of community. He gives the example of placing sea-sponges through a sieve and draining two distinctly different sponges

Corruption fuels civil war and disease and prevents engineering and innovations.

Photo by Stefanie L.


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into the same bucket of water. If you ring a red sea-sponge through the sieve, then a yellow sea-sponge into the same bucket, the red cells join with the red, and the yellow cells with the yellow, growing new sea sponges of red and new sea sponges of yellow. The sponges have a natural instinct or need to rebuild their communities, much like we do. People of a specic cultural background or similar beliefs seek to build community based on their own tribal habits and practices. They join in groups that separate them from other groups because of their specic cultural or belief similarities. How can a species that is hard-wired for violence and tribalism become one unied species with the same desire for world peace?

Quantum Awareness
What is peace? I am reminded of a speech given in 2006 at the Earth Dance festival by Drema Baker2. She opened with What does peace look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? What does it taste like? If we havent experienced peace for ourselves, how can we achieve it on a global level? Dr. John Hagelin Ph.D3 describes peace as the absence of negativity. This is the basic principle for the science of peace. Dr. Hagelin believes in the fundamental eld of unity, which may be compared to the electromagnetic eld in which radio waves are carried. People inuence people; that inuence is carried across waves in the electromagnetic eld. Dr. Hagelin believes that the wave of inuence is three times as high as the square of the peace environment; its inuence radiates and grows at roughly nine times the square of the number of people taking action (any action) together. The squared effect amplies the power of inuence and can affect things like crime rates, terrorism and warfare. In theory, it would only take a small number of people to inuence a larger group, and the wave travels like a ripple in a pond. When individual awareness expands to become universal, it creates a ripple in that universal eld like a ripple in the electromagnetic eld in much the same way a transistor radio receives soundwaves; sounds are transmitted through the atmosphere in waves where it is picked up by a receiver that vibrates up and down, translating the wave into music. Hagelin

believes what the world lacks is visionary leaders who can act as beacons or lighthouses that radiate peace, at which the fundamental consciousness would ripple, causing waves of peace. The strength of a smaller group of people radiating peace is unied vision. A unied eld of consciousness from a small but focused group will affect a much larger group of people. David Lynch4 says, In todays world of fear and uncertainty, every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the eld of silence bliss the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us. This is the way to save the coming generation. Maharishi Vedic Science5 is based on ancient Vedic texts that theorize an underlying, universal intelligence or universal laws of nature that underlie the entire created universe, including the human mind and body, and that it can be experienced in individual practice as the simplest state of awareness. (The Vedas are a large group of texts originating in ancient India, written by the Aryan civilization; they are the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism.) Is consciousness and awareness enough to create world peace? Is the path to achieving consciousness and awareness

found in Vedic Science or the Maharishi University? Im not so sure. People have been studying the effects of meditation and discovering consciousness through awareness for quite some time, but Im not convinced. We have explored two different concepts of science-based thought. While the Lucifer Principle sparks critical thought and understanding of human nature, it also seeks to destroy our own inuence over the way we think and behave. Vedic Science and quantum awareness seek to open the self to further inuence in modifying thoughts and behavior by visionary leaders of peace, but this leads us where? And to what? Is peace a tangible thing?

Peace Perceived by Religion

I watched a Youtube6 video developed by Harun Yahya7, a Turkish author and philosopher. His books have attracted much attention both in Turkey and worldwide. His work serves as intellectual stimulation for both Muslims and non-Muslims. The YouTube video communicates that science is very much a part of the Quran but that God is science.

People inuence people; that inuence is carried across waves in the electromagnetic eld.
Photo by stock.xchang user thelastsyn

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Despite being one of the richest continents in terms of natural resources, Africa is one of the poorest, consistently in a state of unrest and strife.
By observing and reecting on the signs of creation around you, you can discover truths about the world and, more importantly, about yourself. Verses of the Quran call upon Muslims to think, to investigate, and to use their minds, and by doing so they will know God. Have they not looked at the camel how it was created? And at the sky how it was raised up? And at the mountains how they were embedded? And at the earth how it is spread out? So remind them! You are only a reminder. (Quran 88:17-21) Another verse communicates that by examining nature, you can know God by his creations. Those who remember God, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reect on the creation of the heavens and the earth (saying): Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire. (Quran 3:191) Muslims of the Middle East are inuenced by their sacred scriptures, their observations of nature and by Gods creations. Harun Yahyas works are reminding them that peace can be found by observation and reection. 21% of the worlds population is Muslim while 33% is Christian, and an overall 54% holds a faith in God as the creator and provider of peace on Earth. Is it possible to inuence the thoughts and behaviors of those of a faith that perceive science through God?

Photo by Angela Sevin

World Conflicts: Where is the Peace?

You can not have injustice without strife. Socrates Law student Kanayo Odoe8 of Vanderbilt University speaks on the issues facing Africa today through his webcast, covering both historical and current issues. Mr. Odoe is a native Nigerian; he spent 20 years in Nigeria before coming to the United States along with other Nigerians to receive a higher education in 1996. (Many of the universities in Nigeria were closed down due to the civil unrest under the rule of a dictatorship.) I felt the webcast gave a fair summation of the issues that Africa has faced in the past and is currently facing today. After World War II, African colonies struggled for their independence. England, France and Portugal departed from their respective areas of control, granting independence to 6-7 countries all living in one shared area leaving them to their own devices. This placed multiple major ethnic groups in one area, ethnic groups that each held separate and distinct religions and cultural beliefs; naturally, this is a recipe for struggle. Many Africans in the area split off into their own groups by ethnicity and religion. However, some could not separate themselves from the rest, due to the fact that some groups had more resources than the others; not all the groups had the resources to get by on their own, and thus were dependent on each other. In order to hold the country together, a dictatorship emerged. One offspring of a dictatorship is the abuse of power, which after 10-15 contiguous years produces a culture of corruption.

As a result of this, the main plagues of Africa today are: Genocide Poor government Poor healthcare Epidemics Poor economic structure

Corruption is thus the main problem facing Africa today. In order to resolve Africas problems, people must rst work to erase the corruption or all other efforts are destined for failure. Africa loses the equivalent of $140 billion per day to proigacy. Some leaders loot the countries of money and natural resources and send the money overseas. Other leaders fail to develop the nations theyre trying to lead; although many have tried, all have failed due to the deep-rooted political turpitude that has become a part of the system as a whole. Such corruption fuels civil war and disease and prevents engineering and innovations. Africa is the second largest continent in the world and acts as a prime example of strife and struggle; the corrupt Western,


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multi-national companies supply arms, fueling civil wars. Some examples of this can be seen in the following documentaries: Darwins Nightmare, directed and written by Hubert Sauper, 2005; focuses on the corruption in Tanzania. Sand and Sorrow: a new documentary about Darfur, HBO Documentaries The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, HBO Documentaries Orphans of Nkandla, HBO Documentaries

For as long as I have been alive, there has been struggle and poverty in Africa. Despite being one of the richest continents in terms of natural resources, it is one of the poorest, consistently in a state of unrest and strife. What will it take to resolve these ongoing problems? How can the corruption be eradicated? I hear people say all the time, Its not our problem. How can it not be when 80% of the worlds resources come from Africa, when our tax dollars are sent to bolster relief aid, and when we are in trade agreements with Africa? If we want to accomplish world peace, it includes freeing Africa from its constant state of war.

ferences between the immigrant workers and the countrys natives, which add to the stress. What of extreme acts of nature? A good example is Cyclone Nargis, which recently devastated Myanmar. The junta military government would not allow international assistance initially, but the state of unrest and very poor quality of life were causes for a change in that decision. You would think people would pull together, share resources and survive this tragedy together, right? No, thats a delusion. The reality is that money can be made even from such disasters. A $.40 bottle of water went up to $4.00 per bottle within 48 hours of the disaster in Myanmar.

gious traditions worldwide, often most strongly by minority sects which do not maintain political power (i.e. Quakers, Mennonites, some sects of Buddhism, peace churches within Christianity, Jains in India). 3. The third concept of peace is pacism, the view that peace is to be the prime force in human behavior. However, in order to dene peace, you must also dene conict.

Three Concepts of Conflict (The Conflict Triangle)10

1. The rst concept of conict is direct violence, i.e. direct attack and massacre. 2. The second concept of conict is structural violence, or death by avoidable reasons such as malnutrition. Structural violence is indirect violence caused by unjust structure and is not equated to an act of God. 3. The third concept of conict is cultural violence, which occurs as a result of cultural assumptions that blind one to direct or structural violence. For example, one may be indifferent toward the homeless or even consider the expulsion or extermination of the homeless a good thing. The peace process is one by which conicts are resolved by non-violent means. Often, these non-violent means include peace agreements, as mentioned earlier. The list below gives examples of some types of peace agreements. Cessation of hostilities or cease-re agreements. Pre-negotiation agreements. Interim or preliminary agreements. Comprehensive and framework agreements. Implementation agreements.

Aid to Foreign Countries and Peace Deals

What achievements have been made toward peace? More than 40 peace deals contracts intended to end a violent conict or to transform a conict so that it can be addressed more constructively have been signed in the past two decades; many of these were accomplished by providing aid to foreign countries in need. So where is the peace? An entire academic eld called Peace and Conict Study is dedicated to identifying the reasons for the absence of peace. The Study identies and analyzes violent and non-violent behaviors as the structural mechanisms responsible for social conicts, with a view toward understanding those processes that lead to a more desirable human condition. One of the ideas accomplished through peace studies is dening peace. If we dont know what peace is, how can we achieve it?

Conflicts in Southwest Asia

Islam is the major religion of this area. Some people feel forced into Islam in order to nd peace in the area in which they live. Based on my observations, I see that people take the position that ceasing the appointment of religious leaders to positions of power might be the solution to their problem. The oil industry and its current rising prices put a strain on all parties dependent on that resource, as well as effect a general decline in the economies of countries around the world. The population increases with the rise in immigrants brought in to do a job immigrants who are seen as problematic by the local residents because they take jobs away from the natives, and because they are often abandoned in the country, unable to leave due to their economic circunstances, and becoming a burden on the already-strained populations. There are also cultural dif-

Three Concepts of Peace9

1. The rst concept of peace is the rational reasoning that peace is a natural condition, whereas war is not. The premise for peace researchers is simple: to generate and present enough information so that a rational group of decisions can be made to avoid war and conict. 2. The second concept of peace, that war is sinful, is held by a variety of reliReturn to Table of Contents

World Corruption
Political consumption occurs when government ofcials use their powers for

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illegitimate private gain, consuming the country they govern. Transparency International (TI), the global coalition against corruption, attempts to prevent further corruption by exposing it. TI takes a survey, called the Corruption Perceptions, and post their results on their website at www.transparancy.org. The scores relate to perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts, ranging from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). Here are some results from their 2007 survey: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Asia Africa North America South America Antarctica Europe Australia 4.6 46+ 4No Data 6+ 8+

World population as of May 2008: 6,668,467,31111 I identify so many reasons for conict, yet not enough to consider world peace a viable reality, which leads me to believe its unattainable unless we: a) resolve conict on each continent (culturally, socially and economically); b) eliminate corruption; and c) embrace the same collective agenda. How can this task be accomplished? By creating awareness? inventing new causes? Even if I approach world peace from the process of a scientic inquiry, it would require all the following elements: 1. Ask a question. 2. Do background research. 3. Construct a hypothesis. 4. Test the hypothesis by doing an experiment, then replicate results. 5. Analyze the data and draw a conclusion. 6. Report the ndings and undergo a peer review It seems to me that each conict is unique to its area; while some of the same issues surface (culture/religion, resources and economics), each area would need to be analyzed separately. Im sure a great number of people have conclusions about what needs to be done, on a continentby-continent basis, to accomplish peace. The problem is the analyst has no control over implementing or controlling experi24

ments in peace. It is up to the governing agencies in each area to conduct their own experiments. The question is, do they really want peace? It seems to me that war is a money-making business. World peace would put a lot of people out of a job, and businesses that prot from war would have to close shop. Having spent over 15 years working in a eld which benets from war, I can tell you that peace is not the desired condition. I have spent my life attempting to understand the human condition; I believe peace is an unnatural condition despite the results of peace studies that claim it is a natural state. Until we change our consciousness and increase our understanding of the human condition, we will never be at peace. It simply isnt protable. You cannot hold all the keys with peace. You cannot control the worlds natural resources (on which we all depend) with peace. You cannot control masses of people with peace. You cannot cut population with peace. You cannot feel unique and special with peace. Only war can wave the red ags of differences rather than white ags of similarities. What is peace to you? Do you believe that its attainable? If so, how? Ask yourself ... is peace an enigma? NOTES:
1 The Lucifer Principle, Howard Bloom. Atlantic Monthly Press, March 1997. ISBN# 0871136643

4 The David Lynch Foundation (http:// www.davidlynchfoundation.org) is a consciousness-based education and world peace organization, founded in 2005 to provide scholarships for school-wide transcendental meditation programs in public, charter and private schools worldwide, and to provide funds for universities and research institutes to assess the effects of the program on creativity, intelligence, academic performance, ADHD and other learning disorders, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, and more.

The Maharishi University of Management, (http://www.mum.edu) teaches that through consciousness-based education, students can discover the eld of pure consciousness within themselves as a source for all knowledge.

Youtube Video Quran Leads the Way to Science, http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=TpwPBd9dmpk


The Hurun Yahya site, http://harunyahya.com/, rejects science as an explanation of the living world, but seeks to provoke thought in the creationist, the believer, and the faithful.
7 8 Vanderbilt University: The issues facing Africa Today, http://youtube. com/watch?v=Q18bbRSDGPY

For a comprehensive list of Peace Agreements by Continent, go to the United States Institute for Peace (http://www. usip.org/library).

Printed in If ... Journal issue 100, November 2006.


Dr. John Hagelin ph.D. (http://www. hagelin.org) is a quantum physicist, educator, public policy facilitator, and proponent of peace. Dr. Hagelin is the chief advisor to the Congressional Prevention Coalition, and director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy a public policy think-tank at the Maharishi University of Management in Faireld, IA. He directs the implementation of the Transcendental Meditation Program in government, schools and hospitals nationwide. He is also on the board of directors of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-based Education and World Peace.

Peace Review, an international research journal in the growing eld of peace study, is published quarterly and is a peer-reviewed academic journal. http:// www.usfca.edu/peacereview/info.htm; Spring 2008, 20.1, U.S. Peace Movements During the Iraq War. Winter 2007, 19.4, Teaching Peace to the Military.

United States Census Bureau, http:// www.census.gov/main/www/popclock. html 6


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Around the globe, hundreds of millions of people go to bed hungry every night. Over a billion have inadequate access to water. Tens of thousands of children under ve years old die each day due to poverty-related causes. Why is it that the richest nations allow the poorest ones to suffer any lack at all? According to Brian McClure, founder of the Universal symbol and ag, believes that the answer lies in our perception, which is the only thing that we can ever change. Lets consider the consequences of a separated humanity by revisiting a few scenarios from our recent past: Hundreds of soldiers with swastika armbands marching the streets of Nazi Germany ... The Israeli government banning the Palestinian ag and forbidding use of its four colors in artwork ... Students in California protesting proposed immigration laws by raising a Mexican ag over an upside down American one. Not one of these situations led to greater peace or global abundance for the parties involved. The world is lled with symbols of our human differences, when instead it could be enhanced by expressions of individual gifts or fortied by testaments to our collective strength. We all seek a sense of belonging, yet weve forgotten that our ultimate belonging is to each other. In order for us to create a sustainable planet and evolve as a species, we must shift our perception to one of inclusion rather than exclusion. This requires a remembering of who we are and what our place is in the world. A visit to the Universal Flags website will provide you with some food for thought on these issues. It outlines ve fundamental Truths shared by all humans: 1) You are One with All; 2) You are Divine Presence; 3) You are Eternal; 4) You are Truth; 5) You are Interdependent on All. The Universal Symbol and Flag is on an ambitious mission: to remind us of who we really are. Creator Brian McClure intends for the symbol to serve as a reminder, or a sign post, of our Oneness with All. Rather

Creating A Peaceful Planet:

Can a Symbol Really Change the World?
By Brian McClure and Lexi Soulios than representing any one particular group, race, religion or nation, the Universal Flag represents all of life. The sustainability of eternal life which is woven into its design are elements that express a commonality all beings share. The white background represents the purity from which we come; the colors signify vibrations of energy common to all (think chakra system); the waves represent the ups and downs of life; and the gold band encompassing the symbol reminds us of the Golden Rule, Treat others as you want to be treated. By displaying the symbol or ag, we remind one another of these greater Truths. When people ask what the symbol means, we tell them. In so doing, we extend an invitation to consider new possibilities. Without making anyone wrong for their beliefs, we offer a kinder, more expansive lens through which to view the world. The power of symbol cannot be underestimated. Our dreams guide us through symbolic language. Politicians use symbols to gather and mobilize support. Ancient healing arts such as Reiki use symbolic hand signs to restore balance and ow to the physical body. And corporations have made good use of their logos to create effective, very protable brand loyalties. (Who can think of golden arches and not reminisce about their favorite way of eating a french fry?) Now the world has a new symbol, and it is one that calls forth our greatest promise and potential as a species: a chance for an empowered and sustainable world. The Universal Flag is a beacon of our future. The end of global poverty will come when each of us understands the Truth of who we are. That we are each inextricably connected to one another, to our earth and to our divine Source. When any one being suffers, it has an effect on all beings. Every time we see a Universal Flag symbol, the part of ourselves that desperately longs for peace is stirred awake and given greater legitimacy to exist. When we see the Universal Flag ying outside of any home, anywhere in the world, we know that we have found a friend. Instead of being greeted by limitations, we meet each other in an endless horizon of opportunity; and thusly, the world is changed. The Universal Flag Foundation is a 501(c)(3) company. To purchase a ag, or to learn more about upcoming projects and ways to get involved, visit www.UniversalFlag.org or join Brians show, A Call To Consciosuness, each Saturday at 6pm PST on K-TLK Progressive Talk Radio 1150 am in greater Los Angeles or live streamed on-line. 6

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by Alison Jones

I have been interacting with the founder of the Coyotel Church, Steven Johnson Leyba2, for a little over a year now, and I nd his insight both eye-opening and gratifying. Steve offers inspiration to people who rage against the machine which attempts to assimilate them. I have been a subject of his Sexpressionism and his own three original paintings. Though I am not a member of The Coyotel Church, I have read its texts and often reect upon them. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Leyba on the topic of peace. Heres what he had to say. 1. What are your thoughts about world peace? What does it mean to you? World peace to me is a world where everyone creates his or her own life and is not a slave to the lifestyle manufacturers and to governments. Creating is the opposite of war. World peace will exist when people know why they are alive and why they are here. World peace means a world creating new possibilities, not a world destroying those possibilities in the name of war. 2. Do you believe world peace is unrealistic? Why? It is only unrealistic because war is big business and we continue to believe whatever the ofcial story is and whatever the cause is. We need to get over the insane idea that war is the way to peace. 3. What do you think about world peace organizations? Any worth mentioning? None of them are worth mentioning because all of them are proting from war. They are the different side of the same coin. They exist to prot just as governments start wars for prot. They are part of the problem and their existence helps keep people apathetic. It is disingenuous to give to a peace organization if you are not willing to stand up and speak your mind and do something. Many people have this view that if they donate money to a world peace organization they are absolving their responsibility. They are paying so they can pass their responsibility on to some non-prot corporation and feel like they actually did something, which they have not. They have put money into the war business. 4. What do you believe are the reasons we are not in a state of world peace currently? People refuse to nd out for themselves what the truth is and follow the money. War is a world industry and is the most protable business known to human kind. When looking at the world and asking why there is no world peace, forget all the causes and follow the money. When you do that, you begin to realize that the weapons used on both sides come from the same manufacturers. Many wars are funded on both sides by the same source. We have given the Industrial Military Complex and the world banks the license to kill and start wars. Its a prot game. Its not a conspiracy theory its a historical reality. If you cant face the reality of the situation, you cant change the situation. People dont usually start wars; most wars are started by governments. More people have been murdered by governments in the name


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of peace and prot. History has proven this over and over. Until we take responsibility for our governments actions and hold them accountable, world peace is impossible. Peace is currently not protable. That is not to say that a manufactured peace might exist in my lifetime that manufactured peace could prove just as oppressive if we let our governments control our lives. Beware of World Peace Incorporated. 5. How would world peace affect your sphere of existence? People tell me I am the freest person they know, but I dont feel free. If there were world peace I would know what true freedom was. I like to think I would feel even more creative than I am now. If what we have been told all our lives was impossible was possible, everybody would truly believe anything was possible. Imagine the creative minds that would ourish in such an environment. 6. Does inner peace play a role in your creation process? Thats the question [we] in the West have the biggest problem with. Inner peace is the key to creativity. If you do not know at least some inner peace you cannot create. That is why in this over-think, over-logic, over-material culture, anything that is truly so personal [it] cannot be given a price tag is considered wrong by the Western belief system. The right brain must be suppressed because those that can create for themselves make lousy consum-

ers. Inner peace is tied to spirituality and personal creativity. Spirituality and personal creativity have great stigmas in American culture. Our culture demeans inner peace, personal creativity and spirituality and considers it some primitive pathology. It is better we purchase those things from a sanctioned manufacturer. Also, there is a stigma to the saying inner peace because it is one of the slogans the failed 60s generation loved to talk about. Anybody using that slogan is called a hippy and discredited. But on the other hand, the extraordinary science of quantum physics says our minds can inuence and create our reality. Who would not want to have an inner peace so as to be able to create rather than destroy? Often times we create our own strife. If quantum physics is correct, then our personal strife is reected in the world. Why then do we still believe war is acceptable? 7. How do you nd peace? By creating. When I write or paint I am free, and that gives me peace. I do not feel free otherwise. Ironically though, because of the nature of my art, many people have a serious problem with what I create. It causes them some sort of strife. To me it is a symptom of our time when someone is threatened by anothers creativity. No wonder Americas dominant culture is so innocuous and vapid. People are threatened by the genuine creativity of others because it reminds them that they are not creating and they are not free. On the [other] hand, creating is contagious and many people are inspired by my work. Many people tell me that they chose to live a creative life rather than a life of merely purchasing because of my work. People are at peace when they create because their instincts are at their sharpest when they are doing

We have become a civilization fueled by logic and consumption of consumer goods and in the process we have sacriced our instincts, our ability to trust ourselves and our ability to create; we must nd our way back, we must create our way forward.
-#5, The Seven Ways of Coyote, The Coyotel Way

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what they truly love. When you are doing what you truly love, you are at peace, and that peace is projected into the world and manifests. 8. Does nding peace play a role in your church? People cannot nd peace if they feel trapped. Culture often times becomes a trap. The Coyotel Church is the rst church of creative application. We teach people to live a creative life. We are not trying to make everyone an artist. We are teaching people

We are tricked into buying our lives, our sexuality, our love and our creativity and all we get in return are hollow objects that blind us into believing they are what we truly need and want. These things are not what we truly need or want. Our time and money is theirs because we played into their game. Why do we give most of our lives to the trick of the material trade? We are responsible for being tricked. We must un-trick ourselves. We have put technology and money above ourselves and above the people in our lives. We have made things the most important part of our life. Now it is time to move past all that.

The Coyotel Church is the rst church of creative application. We teach people to live a creative life.

1 The Coyotel Way is the foundational text of the Coyotel Church. Coyote, that foolish, playful, arrogant, often humbled and beloved spirit is the perfect mascot for this age of consumerillusion, media saturation, celebrity hype and material greed. The Coyotel Way describes a Third Way where people are once again empowered to be creative agents in their own lives. The Coyotel Way reects Coyotes ability to turn convention upside down to reveal how ridiculous all cultures are so we never forget our instincts. Rather than have our hopes, dreams, sexuality and imaginations sold back to us by consumer culture, The Coyotel Way reminds us to create is spiritual. Will Taylors book The Pollen Road is a contemporary philosophy of peace that was a great inuence on the creation of The Coyotel Church. Both The Coyotel Way and The Pollen Road can be obtained at http://www.coyotelpress. com.You can nd out more about The Coyotel Church at: http://www.pollenroad.org and on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/thecoyotelchurch. 2 Controversial artist Steven Johnson Leyba lives and works in Albuquerque, NM. His work, inspired by Genesis P-Orridges Pandrogyne, will be on view in Alchemical Transsexual in Chicago at 2nd 4lr Gallery 903 W. 19th Street through July 13. Coyotel Press (http://www. coyotelpress.com) will be publishing the long-awaited memoir The Last American Painter; My life as ART, as SEX, as RELIGION, as WAR. Leyba is currently working on several new music and spoken-word CDs and his rst lm, Inside the Mind of the Artist as They Speak the Truth a documentary on how artists view and express the truth as well as how they dene true art will be submitted in December 2008 to lm festivals for 2009 showings. Leyba can be contacted at leybaart@gmail.com or http://www.stevenjohnsonleyba.com, or on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/stevenjohnsonleyba. 6

to be life-living artists. Once you nd this personal peace in your life through your own creativity, others will take interest. In the Coyotel Way we say: Coyote is the way to turn the world of entrapment and containment upside down. Culture is no longer fun; Coyote sees newer, more fun, better and deeper ways to live creatively with or without Culture in Coyotes own way! We are trying to teach people to nd peace in their own way rather than have others dene peace for them. Spirituality and peace cannot be given to you; you must nd it within yourself. Peace is something instinctual that everyone must nd within himself or herself. We are trying to help people nd their true self. 9. If you had a peaceful message to deliver to the world, what would it be? Be yourself. Do not bow and worship your leaders and countries; do not mimic your heroes, idols and celebrities. Be who you are supposed to be. Humans are supposed to create. Do not let others tell you who you are and do not buy who you are. In the Trickology chapter of The Coyotel Way written by myself and Will Taylor (www.textengine.org) we say:
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here is a spiritual law that is expressed as follows: As it is above, so it is below; as it is within, so it is without. The best way to understand this law is to imagine that the spiritual world is organized by what its inhabitants love ... by their affections. Higher realms love divine love, divine wisdom, sharing, seeing everyone equally as God, and being of service. Lower realms love lying, cheating, stealing, superior/inferior polarity, manipulation, greed and cruelty. Each is organized according to what it loves. As it is above, so it is below. Now imagine that our inner perspectives, values and afnities get projected out from the hidden invisible interior onto the visible, physically tangible exterior world. As it is within, so it is without. This spiritual law makes realizing and living spiritual qualities very interesting. One such spiritual quality is peace. Peace could be on the endangered species list, considering how rare the appearance of a living peace seems to be on this planet. It is, therefore, no wonder that the commonly held notions about it are extremely pedestrian and stay completely sequestered from our spiritual law. So how do we go about catching a glimpse of it within and without? The mirror or reective intelligence we are searching for in this examination is acceptance. Without an inner action and valuing of acceptance, exterior peace in the world at large has no environment in which to exist. It would be like trying to support human life in the vacuum of space. It simply isnt going to happen; it violates all the laws of nature. The conundrum is that internalized acceptance is just as rare as earthly manifested peace. So what is authentic acceptance and why is it that peace cannot manifest without it? Acceptance is the foundation of all tolerance and compassion. It is the intelligence that allows tolerance and compassion to take root in our hearts and minds. Acceptance is inclusion of others. Acceptance values others right to exist and to express themselves. Without accepting that your neighbor is equally God and sacred, peace hasnt a prayer, literally, guratively or metaphorically. Albert Einstein said it best: We cannot simultaneously prepare for war and peace. War is divisive. It separates us from one another. It is an extreme action driven by an attitude of non-acceptance.

Peace of Cake
by Vaishali of us individually. It must have an interior basis and origin before it can show up as an outer expres-sion. Peace is not going to happen as a result of some perfectly executed foreign policy. Peace on Earth is not the result of taking an exterior hand and rearranging exterior geographical furniture. Peace on Earth is the reection of an inner attitude that is aligned with acceptance. Peace is inseparable from the as within, so without law of cause and effect. No government can legislate acceptance. It is an inner regulation, not an outer enforceable law. If we are not seeing peace rearing its heavenly head in the world around us, then it must be equally as absent from our inner lives as well. If we were accepting rst of ourselves, of the life lessons that nd us and of our reactions to them, then we would certainly be experiencing a more peaceful reality. Now, here comes the tricky part: to catch ourselves when we are not inclusive of the whole of our lives. Empowering inner self-acceptance arrests our tyrannizing habit to criticize. When we are self-accepting, we are not violently self-critical. As it is above with war and peace, so it is here below with acceptance and criticism. One is exchanged for the other. Peace must begin inside each of us. We cannot live or extend anything to another human being that we lack direct knowledge of ourselves. Once an attitude of acceptance for what is has the opportunity to be cultivated and nurtured within us, it can then begin to circulate into our relationships with others and, nally, to the world at large. With every self-acceptance
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Peace, on the other hand, is inclusive. It is embracing. It is an acknowledgment of mutually-agreed-upon acceptance. War and peace cannot coexist, as one would simply cancel out the other. No one can be accepting and tolerant of the other guy and be declaring war on him at the same time. As for our as it is within, so it is without law, this would mean that in order for us as a people, a nation, a planet, to actualize peace as a reality, that action must rst begin within each

victory we claim, we strengthen our ability to extend that same acceptance to others and the life lessons they nd themselves embroiled in. Eventually the practice of acceptance would possess the communities, countries and global networks we all share. We would all become infected with peace, embodying that peace within and without. If every time we became aware of our own lack of acceptance, we could then correlate that personal sabotaging with the erosion of peace in the world around us, we could turn the global tide. World peace gets another advocate every time we stop in the midst of our own critical diatribe, and ask ourselves, Is this war on peace really what I want to do with my attention and energy? We must value waking up from where we run on autopilot, defaulting to harsh judgments against ourselves and against others. The good news is that we do not have to wait for anyone else to implement peace on Earth. It is not up to the major corporations, elected ofcials, or religious leaders to give peace a chance. It is up to each of us, in every present moment, to remember, as it is within, so it is without. Whether you agree with these suggested inner evolutionary practices or not, please consider that all I am saying is give acceptance a chance. Who knows, the mind you make peace with may be your own. Oh, and one last point. This spiritual law does not apply if you live in Las Vegas. What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas, or as it is within, so it is ... within? But then thats a whole other story altogether.
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In Barry Miles new book, Peace: 50 Years of Protest, the origin of the peace sign as the symbol of the anti-nuclear protests that began in the early 1950s in England is discussed. The now globally recognized circle containing a cross with its arms at a 45-degree downward slope from the horizontal has quite a history. The rst anti-nuke protest occurred in 1952. The organizer of that protest, Hugh Brock, suggested that a newly formed group, the Direct Action Committee against Nuclear War (DAC), hold a four-day march to the atomic weapons factory at Aldermaston. Target date: Easter 1958. Brock and most of the members of the DAC came from an anarchist-pacist background and had been inuenced by Mahatma Gandhi. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was quickly formed to organize the march which was to by-pass the politicians and appeal directly to the workers at the atomic facility, urging them to stop working on these weapons of mass destruction. The march was to be one leg toward the larger goal of ridding all of Great Britain and then the entire world of nuclear weapons. They hoped that at least 60 people would walk the 53 miles from London to Aldermaston. Publicity surrounding this intended march, however, engendered much interest, and it quickly became clear to the CNDs leadership that many people desired to participate, including members of parliament (Labour Party) and various labor unions. The Quakers were the largest religious group scheduled to march, but other Christian organizations soon signed on, too. Now, instead of maybe 50-60 people making the journey, there would be several hundred. This altered the nature of the demonstration; a different policy needed to be created, and, in addition to leaets, banners and slogans had to be devised. One member of a DAC branch was textile designer Gerald Holtom, who had been involved with planning the march from the onset. He ran his own graphic design studio and was given the task of designing the needed banners and placards the marchers would display on their way to Aldermaston. Holtom, a committed Christian and pacist, had spent World War II working on a farm in Norfolk, Eng30

ideas. At subsequent meetings, he further explained the symbol. In addition to the encoded ND for nuclear disarmament, he noted that the broken cross could represent death of human kind; the circle could represent the unborn child, thus, the whole symbol, now the familiar peace symbol, potentially represented the terrible threat nuclear weapons posed to life, current and future. Other images had been considered, including the dove, which had already been extensively used by the peace movement. Picassos dove had actually been appropriated by Stalins regime to bolster and legitimize their manufacture of H-bombs. Holtcom himself had deep reservations about using the Christian cross in the symbol as son kin for many around the world it symDic D. bolized warfare, tyranny and inhumanixie land D by ity (concentration camps, Hiroshima, the as a conscienCrusades, etc.). He had spoken to various tious objector. He wanted to create Anglican priests about using the cross; a design that would be informative and they werent happy with him using the that summed up the anti-nuke message symbol of Christianity on a peace march. succinctly, i.e., a brand for the peace Holtcom was still not satised with his movement. Recognizing that it would design. He felt that it was not sufcient to be quite difcult to create a symbol that simply have a symbol for nuclear disarmarepresented the lengthy slogan, Unilateral ment; he wanted the symbol to galvanize Nuclear Disarmament, he used his faith people, to get people to become activists. and semaphore ags, eventually settling For him, peaceful calls by the public for on an unique symbol: a circle containing a unilateral action was the key to belling cross with the horizontal arms bent downthe cat, i.e., for effectively dealing with ward at 45-degree angles. the nuclear threat via nuclear disarmaIn the British navy, semaphore ags ment. were used to spell out messages between ships within visual range of each other. For the letPhoto by David Lat ters N and D, the signalman held one ag vertically and another pointing downward (for D); two ags were held at 45 degrees from the horizontal (for N). He enclosed these symbols in a circle. While initially dubious, the committee gave a tentative goahead to his
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If ... Journal Issue 118, July/August 2008

printed in white on a green background. The color shift represented the Churchs Easter liturgical color change symbolizing from Winter to Spring, from Death to Life. While processing the signs, Holtcom realized that if the sign were held upside down, that it represented the tree of life, the crucixion and resurrection, which for Christians also symbolized Photo by Gary Cowles hope. The inverted symbol also represented the semaWith his design nally approved, phore signal for U, i.e., for unilateral. Holtcom and his staff began silk screening And thus, the letters for unilateral nuclear lollipop signs and banners. The striking disarmament were all represented in this banners, the white graphic of the peace simple but potent symbol. sign on a black eld, were attached to One peace activist complained to some bamboo poles so that two people could committee members that they had to have easily carry them and they could still be been crazy to adopt such a stupid symbol read; single individuals could carry the for the movement. He noted that the symlollipop signs on sticks. Half of the 500 bol meant nothing and would never catch lollipop signs were printed in black and on. Had the march not been a success, this white and were to be carried on Good Friactivists prediction would have probably day and Saturday; the other half, to be carcome true. ried on Easter Sunday and Monday, were

Source: Miles, Barry. A Sign of the Times. Foreign Policy in Focus 10 April 2008. 20 May 2008. http://www.fpif. org/fpiftxt/5146 6

Photo by Bailly Elodie

by Lillith T. Lewis

Rain 2 photo by Oshin Beveridge

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jjjjj=Highly Recommended jjjj=Recommended; jjj=Well-Done, Limited Appeal/Genre; jj=Room for Improvement; j=Borrow/Download (legally!) Sample First;

The Wise Womans Tarot, by Flash Silvermoon. 2002, Glanzer Press, Inc. ISBN 0-9723952-0-2. www.flashsilvermoon.com. 180 pages, $34.95. Reviewed by S. Kelley Harrell. jjjjj Im not a card reader. In fact, Im not particularly gifted with sensitivity in the synthesis of symbol and personal mythology as it is printed on card stock, neatly packaged and colorfully presented. I hold cards in my hands and any life thrumming in them falls still. It was with a sense of utmost confidence in Flash Silvermoon herself that I agreed to review one of the culminations of her lifes work, The Wise Womans Tarot. I began that pursuit as all eager students should by first reading the accompanying text. Evident from the start was the truth that this deck is created with the feminine fully evoked, which I did glean sentiently from the book and accepted as a keen indicator as to why so many other decks have never spoken to me: they did not intend to. On first read the name of the deck could easily be misconstrued. It would appear this deck is for women, and it is certainly steeped in the love, lore and legend of the Goddess. Look again. This deck is aptly named for wise women, those who honor the balance of All Things, including the delicate masculine complement and the multicultural ties connecting us all. With this revelation newly opened in mind and insight, the cards spoke volumes. Silvermoon has put a great deal of thought and introspection into the symbols giving life to her deck. Working within the traditional archetypes of Minor and Major Arcanas the story of each Arcana unfolds, which just happens

to smartly mirror the story of thoughtforms becoming the formed world. Using the foundation of the traditional tarot Silvermoon retells its story in true Aquarian style, balanced, nurturing and whole. While the cards are a work of art and the voice of insight, the spiral-bound text holds its own. Silvermoon doesnt just explain the cards in intricate detail, she divulges a cumulative and diverse history of every figure and scenario presented, weaving them together as a shared chronicle. It is this facet of the deck that reveals the twenty-five years of work Silvermoon put into it. Also expressed is the need for and act of how to approach and work with cards as oracles, the necessity of shielding while doing any intuitive work, and how the symbolism of the cards correlates with the chakra system, colors, totems and planets. The standard presentation of layouts and their function is presented, along with many shortcuts, charts and diagrams, as well as instruction on how to do card readings for animal friends. In summary, the power of this tarot deck lies in Silvermoons understanding that despite their historic roots, symbols continue to grow and evolve, as does anyone working within the Wise Womans way.

Nargi, Lela (ed.). Knitting Through It. Inspiring Stories for Times of Trouble. St. Paul, MN: Voyager Press, 2008. Pp. 224, $17.95. (Hardback) jjj Murphy, Bernadette. Zen and the Art of Knitting: Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity. Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation, 2002. Pp. 212, $10.95. (Paperback) jjj Reviewed by Dixie D. Dickinson. For those of you who like history in the form of kings and queens and other important people, these books are not for you. For those of you who like a nice, neat linear plot or storyline with interesting and well-developed characters, these books are not for you.
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For those of you who think, given the books titles, that these are just books about knitting, or just books for women, think again. For those of you who have no interest in any form of handicrafting especially knitting and crocheting these books may not be for you, but I would urge you to give at least one of these delightful little books a try. For everyone else, these books are for you. Lela Nargi, has collected a diverse array of stories and photos dating from the 1800s relating to her central question: Why do people knit? Bernadette Murphy, by contrast, asked people what they got from knitting. To some degree, the two books dovetail, but one is more historical in content, and the other is more intimate. Both authors agree that people engage in the fiber arts for a diverse array of reasons, but Murphy spends entire chapters on the spiritual and health benefits of handwork. She interviewed people with diseases such as arthritis, cancer and fibromyaligia, for example, who knitted as a way to endure treatments and incapacitation, and to heal. They knitted to gain centeredness and to still feel productive and useful. Both authors basically agree that any form of handwork would fill this bill, but knitting and other needlework is eminently more portable than, say, woodwork. When traveling, knitting needles and yarn fit well into a suitcase or carry-on bag, whereas a circular saw, files and chisels might raise a few eyebrows. Those who knit and crochet represent virtually all occupations and walks of life: college students, professional writers, clerks, attorneys, architects, teachers, actors, doctors, old and young, as well as those in-between. Some are absolute purists (only natural yarns will do); others arent. At the Waldorf Schools, pri-

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vate schools located around the world, Murphy found that knitting and other handcrafts are taught prior to students learning how to do math or to read. For boys and girls alike, the concentration required for knitting is seen as an essential precursor to academic subjects; handcrafts are incorporated into the curriculum for students from preschool through high school at these remarkably unique schools. For adults, Murphy found that some knit purely for the pleasure of it; for others it is merely a hobby. For yet others, handwork represents stitch by stitch the fabric of an individuals life. And, while there are no do-overs in life (unless, of course, one is practically perfect Mary Poppins), do-overs are possible in the fiber crafts. Mistakes may make the item unique, or they may lead to even greater creativity and fulfillment. Murphy also makes the ironic point that while knitting can induce a state of meditation due to the hypnotic effect of simple repetition of stitches made with two sticks and a string, it still remains productive, which in Western culture is important: Idle hands, devils play, oh my! It is important in our culture, even while relaxing, to be seen as doing something useful (e.g., weeding the garden or painting windows on weekends, keeping in touch with the office while on vacation, etc.). Our Puritan history eschews hedonism or just doing nothing. Knitting in public is acceptable because it is productive behavior. One can knit at a meeting, at the doctors office, on a bus, etc. If passersby make cute comments about your being so domestic, Barrett (in Nargi) suggests throwing such clods a mental raspberry. During wartime as well as during major economic downturns, knitting has played a central role in US history. Presidents wives (e.g., Martha Washington, Grace Coolidge, Eleanor Roosevelt) encouraged people, male and female alike, to knit for the troops. And people responded to the calls for needed hats, gloves, sweaters, socks, underwear, blankets, bandages, etc. Coolidge and Roosevelt worked with the Red Cross Production Corps in their war efforts. During World War II, one poster read: Pearl Harbor ... Purl Harder! During the Great Depression, the WPA taught people how to knit; in the early 1900s, Sing Sing had prisoners knitting; settlement schools taught girls the domestic arts, including knitting; Native American women were taught how to knit. In the 1860s, Sojourner Truth taught sewing, knitting and cooking and gave speeches exhorting people to be independent and self-sufficient. In these different historical periods and circumstances, knitting provided a means to clothe oneself and ones family, to make and donate goods for those in need, or to make some money. Probably the most intriguing photo, taken in 1893, in the Nargi book is of a man on stilts. The Thchankats in Landes, France were shepherds who watched their flocks of sheep on very tall stilts; they got onto the stilts by means of a third pole, which, when they were stationary they used, tripod style, to maintain their balance and knit at the same time. (Check out the Library of Congress American Memory Project, WPA project, Federal Writers Project/Folklore Project [online keyword: knitting] which contains some 200 years of records, reports, photos, letters, etc., or the Red Cross website on its museum/history. For those whod like more than the tidbit of history offered by Nargi, try Susan M. Strawn, Knitting America, or Annie Louise Potter, A Living Mystery The International Art & History of Crochet. Both have excellent color photos and old drawings. Strawn also offers historical patterns.) Articles in Nargi discuss how knitting and similar handwork can be used for rehabilitation; e.g., as a mandatory form of community service, female prisoners at the Jackson Correctional Facility in Wisconsin make hats and blankets for charity. At a Colorado facility, women are taught crocheting, machine knitting and quilting as rehabilitation. At a North Carolina facility where women arent allowed to knit (needles are potential weapons), the women crocheted 1,200 hats, one per prisoner. They werent allowed to keep them, so the hats were auctioned to make money for the
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mother/child Prison Reform Initiative which has the goal of trying to keep more families from the same destructive path leading to prison, and hence, the separation of mothers from their kids. Murphy notes that knitting has been taught to teen moms from abusive homes while they were incarcerated in juvenile delinquency centers; the goals here were to teach them how to concentrate, how to be productive, and that their lives have meaning. Gaining self-confidence from this, they could proceed to earning their high school degrees. Knitting can also be soothing to the soul, a balm for the hectic speed of our lives, a chance to be individual and unique in a world of off-the-rack sameness, a thumbed nose to crass unthinking materialism. For example, Barrett says knitting is a metaphor for connectivity, the soothing rhythm coupled with the creativity makes it a perfect antidote for everything life throws in ones path. (Everyone has a need to be creative.) Its this act of creation that allows our souls to breathe, enables us to activate our spiritual selves and connect with nature (pg. 157). Breedlove (in Nargi) interviewed an elderly knitter, hands gnarled by arthritis. During the Great Depression her mother taught her not to waste anything, and to knit. Her mother also taught her that change begins when one person helps another in need: Ava knit through considerable pain to create a work of art for a wounded person she had never met (pg. 21). She donated her works to a family violence shelter. Most of Murphys book deals with these aspects of handwork; she also observes that caring for others in need is a mandate found in most of the worlds religions. Murphy went to Harvards research facility that focuses on mind/body connections and conducted interviews there; this institute has found that meditation is a way to de-stress, to lower blood pressure. It allows a person to solve problems while the mind is calm (e.g., writers block). It can reduce anger, confusion, pain and depression. As such, it improves or bolsters the bodys immune system, and the brains physiology is measurably

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altered. When the relaxation response emerges, a different part of the brain is engaged than when the fight-flight response occurs. The concentration and focus induced by meditation increases creativity; spatial awareness and time orientation are put in sleep mode. When this happens, feelings of a sense of oneness, unity, hope and awe may be engendered, and these are all potentially spiritual experiences that are a part of the brains physiology. Harvards mind/body institute found that self-criticism, the judging part of the mind/brain, induces stress. Any activity that can invoke the meditative response is beneficial to ones health, mental and physical. Knitting is one such activity. Strolling through a museum, watching squirrels scamper about while sitting in your back yard could yield the same results. Its not the specific activity thats important; its the process. Both of these books are easy reads a few pages here when time allows, a few pages there. These arent page turner books; thats neither their intent nor their design. Both are small enough to be easily stuffed into a backpack, briefcase, or pocketbook; like knitting, they are quite portable. If your interests lean more to historical arenas, I would recommend reading the Nargi book first. If your interests are more centered on the intrinsic values that can accrue to a hobby, I would recommend that you read the Murphy book first. If you are looking for an excuse to pick up knitting or some other hobby, then Murphy is the better book for you. Whatever the reason, both books are worth your time and effort.

Courage to Surrender: 8 Contradictions on the Spiritual Path by Tommy Hellsten. Ten Speed Press, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1-58761-320-3. ISBN-10: 1-58761-320-4. $12.95. jj The rst thing that struck me about Courage to Surrender was its inviting cover; there is a picture of a dandelion that has

just been blown, seeds scattering in the wind. This image struck me as poignant, so I felt positive about the actual book. However, we all know the old saying about judging a book by its cover I should have been more thorough in my selection. Courage to Surrenders basic principle is dealing with the inherent paradoxes that are necessary for personal growth. The back cover even lists the main paradoxes, and they are as follows: the journey begins when you stop; true strength can only be found in weakness; if you seek safety, live dangerously; what you give up will be given to you; the less you do, the more you get done; only alone can we be together; only together can we be alone; if you seek eternity, live in the here and now. These are common themes repeated in philosophical thought, religious doctrine/ belief and humanist sentiment. The book itself is organized into an introduction and eight chapters. The chapters are conveniently in the order I have already listed above. Each chapter then has subsections within it. Sometimes these subsections expand on the main theme of the chapter, and other times they seem incredibly off topic. The rst chapter deals with the need to stop in order to begin your spiritual or self-discovery journey. The author discusses the difference between knowledge and wisdom and how paradoxes frustrate those of us who always want answers in life. He maintains that stopping causes us to move not forward, but within. The second chapter discusses the precept that strength is only found in weakness. This is not an uncommon statement; there are several metaphors that refer to vulnerability and yielding as the greatest strength possible. It is in this chapter that Hellsten introduces what is to be his theme for the remainder of the book love. The basic premise of this chapter is that love creates weakness, which in turn creates shame in some and strength in others. The paradox that the third chapter deals with was originally the most confusing.The only message I garnered out of the chapter that addressed the
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paradox was that we create safety nets around ourselves in order to shut out pain, unhappiness and life in general therefore if we cast away those safety nets, we actually connect with the world on a deeper level. Courage is another prevalent theme. The best way I can describe the fourth chapter is a sort of material karma: giving up material possessions leads to fortune nding its way to you. Common themes in this section are the fact that God owns everything and that inner richness self worth is true wealth. The fth section was my favorite. It is about our need to slow down, to start living life instead of just going through the motions. It speaks of our societys need to constantly be busy and be doing something.The chapter then extends into our need for both rejection and silence. The sixth and seventh sections are heavily related. Hellsten states that we need to both acknowledge ourselves as worthy individuals and recognize our place in the collective whole to be truly successful. He says that if he adopts a negative outlook on life, we effectively force that outlook on others. The last section is perhaps the most philosophical/spiritual in nature. Hellsten says that the sacred things that are sacred (or meaningful) to us will never be absent from our lives. Some people can deal with that fact and others have a much harder time coping with it. This book received two stars for a variety of reasons. It has limited appeal; most of the book deals with the JudeoChristian concept of God, which although it encompasses many people, it certainly doesnt encompass all people. The author tends to ramble, which makes the book hard to focus on the meager content. To be fair, the author himself said that the book isnt meant to be read in one sitting, which may have detracted from my experience. All in all, Courage to Surrender is a good introductory book for those from or with considerable knowledge of Judeo-Christian faiths. Otherwise, I would skip this book and go to more philosophically-intensive works. 6

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Whats Happening?
JULY 19-26: THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES AND BUDDHIST MIND-TRAINING. Santa Barbara. Cultivating a good heart through the practice of loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and impartiality, as well as training the mind through meditation. For more info, call 805-294-8425, email info@sbinstitute.com or http://www.sbinstitute.com/events_view.php?id=99 JULY 20: THE ART OF SOLAR COOKING. Berkeley. 10am-3pm. $15. Workshop will teach participants about the use, design, and practical applications of solar cookers and solar water pasteurization. Make two different designs from recycled materials. Explore connections between function and aesthetics of solar cookers in the garden, and as components of green building and improved sustainability. For more info, 510-548-2220 x233 or http://www. ecologycenter.org JULY 24-28: NAINCONNECT 2008. San Francisco. Interfaith workshop bringing together chaplains from three constituencies veterans returning from war, hospital patients, and the incarcerated. Presenters come from Buddhist, Christian, and NeoPagan traditions. For more info, http://nain.org/2008/workshop. cfm?wks=100035 AUGUST 2-9: GANDHI CAMP. Gandhi Camp offers its 26-year Peace Camp for youth ages 10-18. A Practice service and teamwork through the Gandhian principles of truthfulness, non-violence and self-help. Teaching Gandhijis principles will be Dr. S.N. Subba Rao, Director of National Youth Project in India. Vedanta Society Retreat, Olema. $345 per person; discounts for early registration and multiple children from the same family. Location: The Vedanta Society Retreat, 2200 acres in midst of coastal mountains and majestic redwoods. Olema is a spiritual retreat (www.sfvedanta.org) with separate retreat houses for boys and girls with attached showers and restrooms. Information: (408) 934.1130 www.Indiacc.org Abhay Bhushan: akbhushan@aol.com, (650) 4248110 Jyothi Lulla: sulochina.lulla@kp.org, (408) 851-9164, (408) 395-0968 AUGUST 4-11: MOUNTAIN MEET. Springville. Longest consecutively running Pagan convocation on the West Coast. Classes, workshops, games, nature walks, bardic circle & discussion groups. Family-friendly. RSVP at 661-322-7148. For more info, http://www. angelfire.com/country/MountainMeet/mainpage.html AUGUST 10: SEASONAL MEDITATION RETREAT. San Francisco. 6amnoon. $40. Retreat is spent in rounds of meditation, meditative movement, dharma talks and reflection. Appropriate for beginner and advanced. Register at info@sacredstream.org or 415-3331434

JULY 13: GESHERCITY LAUNCH PARTY. Denver. 3pm. $20. GesherCitys Launch Party/Pool Party, for Jews ages 21-45. Music, excellent cuisines and access to the Jewish Community Center pool. Sponsored by the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center. For more info, 303-316-6337, LFeiner@JCCDenver.org, or http://www. geshercity.org/web/Denver

JULY 12: JESUSFEST 2008. Rockville. 12-6pm. Bands include Scarlet Fade, Songs of Solomon, East of Nashville, and Selfish Steam. For more info, http://www.jesusfestct.org/ JULY 12: CASTALIA IN CONCERT. Stamford. 7:30pm. $15. The brilliant Castalia performs Celtic folk at Reverence and Mirth in an evening of music and magic. RSVP to 203.588.9309. For more info on Castalia, http://www.castaliamusic.ca

JULY 26: KITCHEN WITCHERY. Lewes. 4pm. $13. Learn handy household hints for whipping up some magick in the kitchen! For more info, 302-644-9669 or http://gossamerhawk.com/events.htm


NOVEMBER 14-15: GULEN CONFERENCE. Georgetown University. Islam in the Age of Global Challenges: Alternative Perspectives of the Gulen Movement. Sponsored by the Presidents Office, Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, The Institute of Turkish Studies, and Rumi Forum. For more info, visit http://www.gulenconference.us or e-mail coordinator@gulenconfe rence.us

AUGUST 9: Lughnassadh. Celebrate Lughnassadh with the Trees Rowan, Holly and Willow. For more information, contact Angie Buchanan at angie@gaiaswomb.com or (847) 405-0208. SEPTEMBER 27: Golden Harvest. Celebrate the Harvest season with Julie Cuccia-Watts, Autumn Fell & Jeanine WhiteWolf. For more information, contact Angie Buchanan at angie@gaiaswomb. com or (847) 405-0208.

JULY 31: THE GYPSY NOMADS LIVE. Indianapolis. 7pm. $15. Join New Yorks The Gypsy Nomads at Willow Grove Magickal Shoppe for an evening of their trademark French Gypsy Celtic Folk Rock. Their high octane live shows complete with wild drum instrumentals, evocative ballads and enchanting guitar instrumentals will
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Whats Happening?
have you hooked, dont miss these spirited troubadours in action! For more info, 317-466-9668 or http://www.willowgrovemagick. com/ JULY 26-27: THE ENERGY BODY - CHAKRAS AND AURAS EXPLORED! Madison Heights. 2-6pm Sat, 11am-3pm Sun. $60. Learn about each chakra energy center in detail. Learn how to align and strengthen each energy center for improved health and balance. Also learn about the seven layers of the Aura field that surrounds the body, and easy ways to clear and maintain your aura fields. For more info, http://mysticmoonllc.com AUGUST 7-9: UNITY 2008. Heritage Landing-Muskegon. Free. 3 days of great Christian music, family fun, food and fellowship. Returning for a second year, Unity will include an additional day of great artists on the main stage with Day Zero back by popular demand. For more info, http://www.unitychristianevents.com/unity/

JULY 19-20: WOMENS CIRCLE SLUMBER PARTY. Hopkinsville. 9:30pm. Connect with the Feminine Divine under the stars in a special night of class, rituals and bonding at Spring Ledge Farms. Pre-registration required, space is limited. Minimum contribution of $10, payable online or on the day of the event. For more info, 270-8878555 or http://www.spiritoftheearth.org/womensslumber.html

JULY 17-20: CHESAPEAKE PAGAN SUMMER GATHERING. Darlington. Join us at Camp Ramblewood in Darlington, MD for the fifth annual Chesapeake Pagan Summer Gathering. Amidst Natures cathedral of trees, well celebrate the season and study the theory and practice of magick. People from all levels of training, ages, genders and orientations are welcome. For more info, 888-607-9134 or http:// www.chesapeakepagans.org/Gathering/ AUGUST 23: READINGS WITH DOROTHY MORRISON. College Park. 122:30pm. $65 for 30 mins. With over three decades (yes 30 years) of experience and a world of wisdom to draw from, Dorothys readings are insightful as well as fun. Using The Whimsical Tarot she will convey what you need to hear in a clear and concise manner. A 25 minute session is all you will need with this amazing author, reader and funny lady!! For more info, 301-345-1486 or http:// www.sparkofspirit.com

JULY 16-19: SONSHINE FESTIVAL 2008. Willmar.27th annual festival includes some of the biggest names in Christian music. The Wednesday night Jars of Clay concert will be free and open to the public. For tickets and info, http://www.sonshinefestival.com/

JULY 18-20: WARRIORS FOR PEACE- MENS GATHERING. Boonville. $20 per adult male, boys under 18 free. Drumming, Sweat Lodge, Shamanic Circle. Bring your own food& drink - Charcoal/BBQ pit provided. For more info, 573-289-0755, SUMMERSWAN1@GMAIL.COM, or http://www.ozarkavalon.org

JULY 6: PRAYERS FOR HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMAS BIRTHDAY. Ithaca. 9-10am. Free. The resident monks will lead a special prayer ceremony for the long life of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Namgyal Monastery. Sweet tea and rice will be hosted by the Tibetan Association of Ithaca. For more info, http://www.namgyal. org/contact/ AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 1: THE PATH OF COMPLETION RETREAT. Garrison. Exploring the teachings of Sufism with Camille and Kabir Helminski, and James Winston Morris (Other guests to be announced). For more info, email rahimamcc@sbcglobal.net or http://www.sufism.org/society/conferences/seminars.html

JULY 26: THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS. Rehoboth. 4pm. Discover the age old language of the flowers and how to use it in your life to create special arrangements for special occasions. For more info, 508-336-8813 or http://thesilverwillow.com/classes.html JULY 26-27: PSYCHIC FAIR AND FESTIVAL AT HAMMOND CASTLE. Glouchester. 10:30am-6pm. $30 for 15 min reading. Astrology, crystal readings, mediums, tarot, etc. Workshops presented on mediums, spirit writing, crystals, etc. Sances held on Sunday. Vendors selling art, books, candles, crystals and stones, jewelry, tarot cards and more. Food also available. For more info http:// www.jeffreyjustice.com

AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 1: 45TH ANNUAL ISNA CONVENTION. Columbus. Theme: Ramadan A Time for Change. For more info, http://www.isna.net/Conferences/pages/Annual-Convention.aspx

JULY 16: SUMMER SPLASH-TACULAR! Oak Park. 3:30pm. Congregation Beth Shaloms open house. Ice cream sundae buffet. Childrens water slide and moon bounce. For more info, 248-5477970 (ext. 200), cbs@congbethshalom.org, or http://www.congbethshalom.org
36 If ... Journal Issue 118, July/August 2008

JULY 3-6: UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FAMILY CAMP. Vernonia. Please join us as we renew our connections with the great web of life.

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Whats Happening?
Reconnect to nature and our famlies with worship, music and fun in an alchohol-free setting. Prices include meals and lodging, children under 5 free. For more info, http://www.uuccwc.org/familycamp/ JULY 12: METHODS TO MEDITATION. Newport News. 10am-noon. $25. This class will teach some of the common points of meditation, including quieting the mind, deep breathing, and relaxing. Please bring a pillow and blanket, a blind fold or something to cover eyes (if needed), water to drink, and a small item that is personal or gives you personal strength. Please RSVP to 757-5614577 or george_clark71@hotmail.com

AUGUST 1-3: THE BODY TRIBAL. Artemas. Standing in the magic, between the drums and the darkness, is the Body Tribal. Embracing the tribal; Back to the primitive. Our perception of our bodies and each other as temple and tool for the exploration of Spirit in ritual. Tattoo, costume, image, attitude, paint, ceremony, piercing, drum and dance, adornment and ritual. Fees. The Church of Four Quarters, 190 Walker Lane. 814-784-3075 or http:// www.4qf.org AUGUST 8-17: THE STANDING BEAR DANCE. Artemas. A Native American ceremony to offer thanks, send prayers, and ask for help, health and healing for ourselves and the world. Organized to bring the Sacred Sundance Ceremony to the people. Four days of purification. Four days of dance. One mind and one heart; all things are divine; we are all relations. Open to all dancers, supporters and visitors, based on commitment, gifting, and wopila, give-away. No fees required to participate, just your support and commitment. The Church of Four Quarters, 190 Walker Lane. 814-7843075 or http://www.4qf.org AUGUST 27-SEPTEMBER 1: STONES RISING. Artemas. A gathering of ceremonial traditions from the Worlds Earth Religions. Six days of people, family, tribe. Labyrinth, pathways of service, and a variety of ways to contribute toward raising a Stone in ceremony. Fees. Meal plan available; ride share encouraged. The Church of Four Quarters, 190 Walker Lane. 814-784-3075 or http://www.4qf.org.

JULY 13: PICNIC IN THE WOODS. Kenmore. Noon. 4th Semi-Annual Jewish Single Parent Family & Big Pals Summer Cook-Out at The Orchard at St Edward Park. Hang out with other kids and adults and enjoy a kosher cookout! Sponsored by the Jewish Family Service. For more info, 206-861-3146, familylife@jfsseattle.org or http://www.jfsseattle.org/calendar.html

JULY 27: MENORAHFEST 2008. Milwaukee. 11am. Everyone is invited for a day of food, fun & prizes...not to mention our famous Rotisserie Chicken! Rain or shine...meet us at the Chalet Area #1, Dretzka Park. Sponsored by Temple Menorah. For more info, 414355-1120, rabbi@templemenorah.com, or http://www.templemenorah.com

AUGUST 1-3: GREEN SPIRIT. Circle Sanctuary, Barneveld, WI. Celebrate Lughnassad with workshops, rituals, music, games, feasting, & more. E-mail circle@circlesanctuary.com or call (608) 9242216 AUGUST 29 - SEPTEMBER 1: SACRED FIRE CIRCLE. Circle Sanctuary, Barneveld, WI. Join us in Sacred Ceremony as we drum, dance, chant, and trance, be of service, and connect with each other around the Sacred Fire each night from midnight to dawn. Together we will create a space for personal transformation, to manifest your dreams and prayers, to turn lead to gold. E-mail circle@circlesanctuary.com or call (608) 924-2216 SEPTEMBER 20-21: FALL EQUINOX CELEBRATION. Circle Sanctuary, Barneveld, WI. Harvest thanksgiving feast & ritual, workshops, bonres, dancing, drumming, & more.. E-mail circle@circlesanctuary. com or call (608) 924-2216.

JULY 7-11: YOUNG TREE CAMP 2008. Ocoee. Pagan-focused teen summer camp created not only to help teens of today to develop a strong foundation for learning, but also as a way for their parents and educators to be correctly informed and more comfortable with their religious choice. 5-day educational program with classes on Pagan history, herbalism, crystal work, ritual and spell structure, meditation and more. Life skill workshops also included. Presenters include Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, Ed Hubbard, and more. For more information, please call Leo at 423-836-3615 or visit http:// www.youngtreegrove.org.

JULY 7: SMITHFIELD SATURDAY SALON. Smithfield. The topic will be: The Next War. Refreshments at 6pm, Salon at 7pm. We will be outdoors, weather permitting. 1104 Wilson Road in Smithfield. Call 365-9142, ask for Jerry Tinney.

Calendar listings are free of charge and open to all. We reserve the right to edit for length. To submit events for listing, send details to us at events@ifjournal.org. To view ongoing listings, please visit http://www.listenmedia.org/eventcalendar.php. 6

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Circle of the Sacred Earth (a church of animism, fostering shamanic principles and practices) available for help, healing and handfastings. Registered in Virginia. URSA member. Neva Shultz 757-988-1774 (119)

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Discovering the Male Mysteries: A podcast for gay and bi Pagan men. Learn about gay-affirming gods and goddesses, mythology, and what it means to be gay or bi following a Pagan path today. http://melmystery.matrixwerx. com (121) Mother Earth Ministries-ATC: Neo-Pagan prison ministry in AZ, by mail nationwide. Free introductory brochure about Wicca, Druidry, Asatru. SASE not required, but appreciated. (No catalogue, no correspondence course.) PO Box 35906, Tucson, AZ, 857405906. http://www.MotherEarthMinistries.org (121)

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If ... Journal Issue 118, July/August 2008

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WebWeaver Networking
Tucson Tucson Area Wiccan-Pagan Network (TAWN) meets monthly to network and feast. Many programs including annual Fall Festival. All open to public. Quarterly newsletter, Tapesty, $15/yr. 520-792-6440 or http://www.TAWN. org. (121) Tucson Adventure Wicca: In-person classes and Dedicant program with Trad founders OGaea and Canyondancer, through the outer court Circle Between the Worlds. Need reliable car and camping gear, some long weekends off from work. E-mail inquiries to Contact. Us@AdventureWicca.com. (121) community, and an official chapter of the American Humanist Association. FMI: contac tcl@asimovhumanists.org or visit http://www. asimovhumanists.org (121)

Hampton Roads Exploring the Primordial Male is a Pagan spiritual mens group devoted to understanding our role as men in the post partriarchal world. Open to all Pagan and Pagan-friendly men. Regular monthly activities. myspace.com/exploringtheprimordialmale or groups.yahoo.com/groups/exploringtheprimordialmale. E-mail gwydion@peoplepc.com (119) Hampton Roads The Hampton Roads Sangha Directory provides a listing of various Buddhist meditation groups now meeting in Hampton Roads. http://www.mettatation.org/ (121) Hampton Roads The Metaphysical Chapel of Life gathers regularly for fellowship and worship. Open to all respectful seekers. Sunday service begin at 11a.m. 9314 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. (118) Virginia Beach The Fellowship of the Inner Light is an interfaith metaphysical church promoting understanding of all world religions & strives to create a mutually supportive community/sacred space. Meets for worship, meditation & fellowship. 620 14th St. 757-428-5782. http://www.fellowshipoftheinnerlight.com or e-mail questions to: fellowship.center@hotmail. com (118) Virginia Beach Friends of IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies) monthly activities include speakers on Near-Death experiences and sharing group. Contact Dick Dinges. RichardADinges@aol.com. 757-481-0061. (121)




Institute for Spiritual Development meets weekly for worship, friendship and love. Multi-denominational service open to all. Fellowship hour follows each service. 5419 Sherier Pl, NW, Washington DC 20016. 202-362-2456. http:// www.isd-dc.org (118)

Greenwood Indiana Buddhist Center, PO Box 7146, Greenwood, IN 46142. Provides a local source of accurate information on Buddhism and meditation in general. Regular gatherings and events scheduled. FMI, ibcinfo@hotmail.com or http://www.indianabuddhist.org/ (118)

Columbia Ozark Avalon is a Wiccan Church, Nature Sactuary and campground located on 160 sacred acres near the Missouri River between Kansas City and St. Louis. Open to all Earth-honoring persons. 26213 Cumberland Church Rd., Boonville, MO 65233. 573289-3657. http://www.ozarkavalon.net or rosewise@starband.net (118)

Seattle The Institute for Sufi Studies (ISS) is the educational department of the International Association of Sufism. Offers classes in meditation, literature, history, philosophy, healing and language in the Bay Area of CA, Seattle,WA, and internationally through online courses. Headquarters in Novato, CA 415-382-SUFI. issca@ias.org (121) REGARDING GROUP ADS: GROUP LISTINGS AND COMMUNITY SERVICE ADS OF UP TO 40 WORDS ARE FREE AND WILL RUN FOR UP TO FOUR ISSUES. After four issues, your ad will be removed unless you contact us. The number in parentheses after your ad represents your last issue (see masthead for this issue number). We reserve the right to edit free ads for length/content when necessary. 6

Chapel Hill The Chapel Hill Zen Center offers Zen meditation, Sutra chanting, childrens program, meditation instruction, monthly lectures and meditation intensives. 5322 North Carolina Hwy 86. Call for info 919-967-0861. PPhelan@nc.rr.com or http://www.intrex.net/ chzg (121)

Montgomery County Asimov Humanists is an atheist, agnostic, humanist and freethinker

www.ifjournal.org Issue 118, July/August 2008 Return to Table of Contents


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