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“This above all: To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man [woman, or child].” ~Wm Shakespeare, Hamlet Act One

Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower, Symbol of Spiritual Awakening

 

Today, with all the confusion wrought by our current presidential election campaigns, for those of us who traverse the less-travelled road to the Truth within us, and have realized it, the above truism from the Bard (“To thine own self be true…”) is forever inspiring.

To know the Truth within us is to know who we really are. Thus, we are loathe to relinquish the gift of Truth, which is of God!

Without the Truth we are nothing. Thus, destined to accept life’s illusions no matter how glorified or dismal it seems.

That is: Until we tire of the endless unhappiness that reliance on established illusions will surly bring, and seek the promise of our True Self that illuminates the world around us.

Of course, the Truth is forever calling to us. Perhaps this is why we ultimately hate those who insist upon lying to us. Particularly those seeking influence over our daily lives, this being tantamount to denying our highest purpose in life. Which is to join with other souls and extend real abundance (love) to all without spiritual cost to none.

Truth Illuminates, Lies Darken

To accept the Truth as our Inner Guide is to ultimately realize the value of true happiness and inner peace.

Hence: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” ~Jesus the Christ (John: 8:32)

In the political realm where society’s laws are ultimately created, some woefully misguided Americans tend to scoff at the idea of a so-called “democratic socialist” daring to run for U.S. president with the realistic intent to restore our failing democracy.

Yet, lest we not forget: Truth illuminates the world, lies darken it. Hence, why thousands of people continue showing up at Bernie Sanders’ historic campaign rallies.

Are Hillary and the Donald of the Same Ilk?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (Justin Lane, Andrew Gombert, European Pressphoto Agency)

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (Justin Lane, Andrew Gombert, European Pressphoto)

Having an obvious aversion to transparency (the truth), could it be that Hillary and the Donald have more in common than most of their ardent supporters care to think? Having the same purpose, could it be that they’re closer than the opposite sides of the same coin?

Arguably, most people tend to embellish or even obscure certain facts now and then. Yet, a truly honest and mature person not only values the truth, but actually hates lying.

While it is beyond the scope of this article to determine why some folks tend to avoid the truth; yet, based on their public demeanor, seems both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are afraid of the truth. As a result, they resist transparency like the plague, or so it appears.

Of course, the habitual need for secrecy is a dangerous attribute, particularly in a world leader!

With Donald Trump, his familiar bully persona and endless chatter seems to be his main defense against the truth. This was abundantly clear during the GOP primary debates where he delivered vicious insult after insult rather than truthfully answer questions posed by the moderator or his fellow debaters. Recently, his alleged retort concerning his tax rate (a forty-year tradition of presidential candidates) was: “none of your business!”

While Hillary Clinton’s dangerous obsession with secrecy is legendary: Consider the FBI”s current investigation of her secret email server as Sec of State, her refusal to produce transcripts of her lucrative Wall Street Speeches (from which reporters were barred), and the press’s ever shrinking access to her. Last April 24th on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter, here, a source stated with noticeable trepidation that:

“Clinton travels on her own plane. The reporters travel on a separate plane. They’re often spending the night in different cities. [And] fundraisers are completely closed to the media.” Clearly a departure from traditional campaigns: “To be able to have a conversation with a candidate on the plane going from one campaign to another, that doesn’t exist anymore,” lamented the source.

As to the Trump campaign, here, the reliable source basically says: “The reporters who cover [Trump] have very little access to him at all. And something that exists in the Trump campaign that isn’t the case with Clinton, is there’s almost a hostility toward the press. The reporters are kept in a pen, usually pretty far from the candidates. Often with police barricades around it.”

Sadly, seems Trump’s alleged hostility toward the press is typical of his defense against the truth. Yet, a bubbly Clintonesque persona can be just as hostile as an abrasive Trump persona. Hence, the mournful destruction of a mild-mannered con artist!

“The Year of the Hated”

Hatred (a deep sense of loss) can be a vital signal when properly seen as a warning sign. But, we must think and act wisely, then let it go (forgive) lest we be consumed by it.

Thankfully, despite the lack of objectivity that some reporters (though certainly not all) in the Media seem to exhibit during their political news coverage, the printed news media is still publishing good stories that are worthy of its time-honored profession. A profession our free society must surly rely on in order to be free.

Though some television reporters have generally mentioned the public’s disdain for certain presidential candidates, in this Washington Post article titled: “The year of the hated: Clinton and Trump, two intensely disliked candidates, begin their face-off” by David Weigel, posted May 8, we find an objective view of the public’s thoughts and feelings about the current presidential frontrunners, which is very insightful.

In general, though their unfavorable ratings are high, supporters of both Hillary and Trump seem totally oblivious to the sentiments of the rest of society. Yet, according to the Real Clear Politics averages: “Trump has an unfavorable rating of 65 percent. Clinton has 55 percent.”

Nonetheless, widely enabled (to the exclusion of others) by the Media he allegedly treats with contempt, Trump wins the Republican Indiana Primary, much to his apparent surprise.

His final challengers, Sen. Cruz of Texas and Gov. Kasich of Ohio, soon concede and Donald Trump becomes the “presumptive nominee” of the Republican Party. Though absent the usual fan-fare from the GOP establishment.

Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic Indiana Primary, and vows to continue until all voters in the remaining primaries have voted! In conclusion, the above Washington Post article (“The Year of the Hated…”) aptly notes:

“The socialist from Vermont was the only candidate for president not disliked by a majority of voters.” And so, the Democratic Primaries between Bernie and Hillary continues.

“Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil”

Lezley McSpadden and Neighbors, New York Times

A grieving Lezley McSpadden and Neighbors, New York Times

Those who hate lying usually hate being lied too, which is a form of self-preservation.

Lezley McSpadden begins her memoire by saying: “First off, I don’t tell lies because I can’t keep up with them. My grandmother always said, “Don’t lie. Tell the truth and shame the devil.” She then says: “Your word is what you still got when you don’t have any money.”

Lezley, Michael’s mother, has recently published a memoire titled, “Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy, and Love of My Son Michael Brown.”   Mike Mike, as she likes to call him, was an unarmed African-American teenager living in Ferguson Missouri who was shot multiple times by then police officer Darren Wilson on August 14, 2014.

Sadly, Darren Wilson has yet to be tried for Michael Brown’s murder. Truly, a missed opportunity to uphold justice in a society that is slowly declining for lack of criminal and economic justice, he likely won’t be tried in a criminal court.

Having discredited most of the eye witnesses, including Brown’s companion, an African American male who was with him when then Officer Wilson stopped them for walking in the street and ultimately shot Michael Brown to death, the Department of Justice decided not to indict Darren Wilson.

Hoping for some justice, a civil action is pending on behalf of Mike Brown’s aggrieved family. And the oft-painful quest for justice in our society continues.

President Obama and the BLM Movement

Having recently excused Secty Hillary Clinton’s secret email server as “carelessness” during an exclusive interview with Fox News last April, could it be that President Obama is actually a closeted Clinton supporter?

Sadly, President Obama, who seems a Hillary Clinton supporter more often than not, has directly or indirectly spoken out against advocates of the Black Lives Matter Movement (“BLM”) that once interrupted a fancy Hillary Clinton fundraiser much to her chagrin.

While he appears in favor of another devastating Clinton presidency (Heaven forbid!), President Obama seems to belittle the BLM Movement in the process.

Last April during a town hall type meeting with young people in London, Pres. Obama states among other things (see article “Obama Says Movements like Black Lives Matter Can’t ‘Just Keep on Yelling’” New York Times, April 24) that:

Once you’ve highlighted an issue and brought it to people’s attention and shined a spotlight, and elected officials or people who are in a position to start bringing about change are ready to sit down with you, then you can’t just keep on yelling at them,” Mr. Obama said.

On Saturday May 7 during “Obama’s Full Remarks At Howard University Commencement Ceremony,” published by Politico, the President rightly states:

“You see, change requires more than righteous anger. It requires a program, and it requires organizing,” said President Obama.

Yet, even as we write and with all due respect to President Obama’s ongoing efforts to stop police brutality, according to glaring news reports daily: Black folks, in particular, are still being needlessly detained by unfair police officers (some downright psychotic), raped, cavity searched on the streets, shot multiple times with no chance of survival, and otherwise severely brutalized just because some officers feel they are above the law!

Lest we not forget: It was Hillary Clinton who coined the toxic phrase “superpredator” relative to mostly young Black males who were the target of her husband’s contentious 1994 Crime Bill, which she strongly advocated for. Sadly, this terrible law virtually gutted the humane education of prisoners, wrongly justified lucrative private prisons, and caused the mass incarceration of marginalized Black and Brown citizens that devastated families and communities, from which many are still reeling.

And while Clinton has seemly apologized for saying such, Hillary that is, Bill continues to explicitly justify the “superpredator” term, the Clintons are far from convincing rational voters that things would actually change if they get another chance as president, God forbid!

Mr. President, Sometimes We Just Have to Yell!

Albeit it “politically incorrect,” clearly the BLM is bent on reminding voters of the Clinton 1994 Crime Bill initiative that continues to fuel deadly police brutality towards African Americans in particular without stop. In short, they just don’t want to be killed by another psychotic police officer!

When, after all is said and done, and terrible things continue to remain the same: Well, Mr. Pres, sometimes we just have to yell. And we can’t much blame the BLM Movement for that.

Truth and Justice for all is always a possibility within reach. Thus, we must never be fooled or otherwise sidetracked by the naysayers.

And so the 2016 race for the White House and a More Perfect Union continues.

Free the Mind! Keep the Faith, and Vote Prayerfully!

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2012-2016. All rights reserved.

 

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“I run not to oppose any man or woman, but to propose new and far-reaching policies to deal with the crises of our times. And I run because I know we must change course now, or risk losing the future for so many to the interests of so few.”   ~ Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders & "Birdie" Sanders

  Sen. Bernie Sanders & “Birdie” Sanders

As Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to his exuberant supporters in Portland, Oregon, March 25, also on Good Friday, a little bird flies in and rests on his lectern. They look at each other for about 10 seconds and it gently flies away. The people jump up cheering with excitement. In the video, Bernie basically says that despite what it looks like, it’s a Dove of Peace saying no more wars, please. Since dubbed “Birdie Sanders,” today it seems the Universe is saying:

“Keep telling the truth Sen. Sanders, the people need to hear the truth. As only the truth can free them of all the lies and half-truths too many of their established leaders prefer to tell them.”

Never Be Fair to Your Adversary

Years ago, a very dear friend once told me: “Never be fair to your adversary.”

Today, this is still good advice, given the intense election process. For Sen. Sanders, it’s a matter of comparing the differences between them for the voters. For the Clinton camp that cries foul every time Bernie mentions her leadership shortcomings, it’s likely a sneaky defense tactic to shift the spotlight off of Hillary Clinton’s abysmal record. Of course, the GOP is well aware of her record and is ready and quite willing to use such against the Clinton’s (in spades) should Hillary make it to the general election.

Today on CNN, Fmr. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a national surrogate for Hillary Clinton, thinks Bernie Sanders should stay in the race, but tone down the rhetoric. Sadly something has gone terribly wrong here! Many of these high-profile Democrats aren’t playing fair, having pledged as “superdelegates” for Hillary Clinton long before the convention; and seem bent on winning at all costs.

Yet, they also seem mesmerized by their own rhetoric, expecting Hillary Clinton to actually be the Democratic nominee and that Bernie and his supporters will give up their quest for a better American life and support her. Ed Rendell also thinks we (Sanders’ supporters) should even form a Super PAC for them. Imagine that? During the Town Hall meetings and debates, I got the distinct impression from Hillary that that’s the way it is done in politics.

Sadly, They Just Don’t Get It.

News flash: this is not politics as usual! In view of it all, seems Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others made one of those historic “back room deals” when she ran the last time and lost to Obama. You know, the old game: “You scratch my back and I scratch your back in return.” Now, I (and many others no doubt) understand why the doable progress Obama promised America eight years ago has yet to be realized! And why Hillary Clinton keeps saying, “I know how to do it.” Yeah sure! I shudder to think what she will give away under pressure.

Thus Things Have Radically Changed

The people are awake now, are tired of the terrible betrayals by both parties, and tired of being used by the billionaires and millionaires to pad their own pockets while disregarding the country and the people’s basic needs. Actually, this is the type of stuff that started the destructive revolts of the past. How sad is that. Hopefully that won’t happen here.

America is destined to be so much better than that! Thankfully, a different politician is on the scene now. And he’s telling it like it is, much to the chagrin of the establishment. Usually, at times such as this a special leader comes forth: A true leader who has the courage of his convictions, the life experience to get things done, the compassion to truly care about others, and the wisdom to discern between insatiable greed and real wealth for the good of all.

The candidate of whom I write is, of course, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a real agent for change who is not for sale! A change agent who is calling for a political revolution, one that is won not in the streets but at the ballot box!

Today on CNN with Jake Tapper, Bernie Sanders states this when asked: “Look, I’m focusing right now on dealing with why the middle class of this country continues to disappear, why we’re the only country on Earth, Jake, that doesn’t provide paid family and medical leave, why we don’t guarantee health care to all of our people. I was just in Baltimore yesterday. The level of poverty is unbelievable. We have to rebuild our inner cities. I think the American people want us to focus on the real issues impacting them, how their kids can afford to go to college, not worry at this point about who is going to be a vice presidential candidate.”

Hence, a vote for Bernie Sanders will surly set American life back on its right course.

Free the mind, educate yourself, think well before you vote, and do keep the faith!

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2012-2016. All rights reserved.

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“Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

“Old Glory” Historic nickname of the American Flag

“It’s very hard to bottle up the notion of freedom once it’s been uncorked.”  ~Brian Williams, Veteran News Anchor and Commentator

The Alligator and Mr. Nice Guy, a Parable

One day, a rather aimless young man is walking about in the woods. Much to his surprise, he spots an unknown bridge stretching across a wide and mighty river, heretofore only told by the local raconteur. On the other side of this fabled bridge, he sees an enchanted land gleaming with majestic hills and endless possibilities all there for the asking, or so he’d been told. With nothing else to do that bright and sunny day, his idle curiosity gets the best of him and he decides to explore the other side.

Upon reaching the edge of the river, suddenly a massive tree falls onto the bridge. And, with a loud bang, it’s damaged beyond crossing. Wow! He thought: Now what do I do?

No sooner than a bat of the eye, he sees something moving along in the shifting waters. Thinking it might be a barge, he runs along the river bank and catches up with the object. Much to his surprise, it’s that sneaky old alligator that lurks beneath the murky waters of the river he’s also heard about. Now shaken to the core, he proceeds to run away.

Scared out of his wits, nonetheless he hears a friendly voice. He stops, turns around and sees only the alligator. He thinks: This can’t be… after all, alligators can’t talk.

No sooner than his adorable floppy ears begin to sense a distant sound, the alligator asks where he is headed. Mesmerized by this mysterious yet smooth talking being, once again curiosity overtakes him and the young man answers the alligator. Recalling his good manners, having been properly raised and all, he calls out:

Uh, excuse me Mr. Alligator: Can you give me a ride across your mighty river?

It’s Ms. Alligator to you, she sharply replies.

Next, Ms. Alligator’s friend briefly appears with dark sunglasses and a saxophone, a front she had suggested. Seems he is off to their usual game of throngs. After all, alligators do love throngs of people. They just can’t get enough, and they aren’t prejudice either! Not sure if they are married. Do alligators fall in love and marry?

So, my dear young man, what is your name, Ms. Alligator warmly asks.

Well Ms. Alligator, he answers, I’ve been called by many names, some good and some not so bad. Until recently that is. The other day, an irate senior citizen called me a con artist. Seems my convoluted discourse made her feel like she was being primed by one of those con artists we all hear about. You know, the subtle type who preys on the elderly. Of course, that definitely is not me. Glad I’m not that messed up!

Actually, most people call me Mr. Nice Guy having kind eyes and being so polite, and all.

Yeah, I’ve heard all about those types, snaps Ms. Alligator. They’re called superpredators, I believe. Actually, cons are lost souls in dire need of redemption. I would pray for them, but that’s not my nature. Besides, why would God believe a sneaky old alligator that swims around in a murky lagoon all day?

Well, hop on Mr. Nice Guy. I will gladly give you a ride. I’ve been waiting for you.

Soon they swiftly glide across the mighty river. Barley hanging onto Ms. Alligator’s lumpy back, Mr. Nice Guy finally reaches the fabled shores of endless possibilities. He gladly hops off his precarious ride, ready to move forward.

But wait, not so fast! Suddenly, Ms. Alligator rises up, bites him in the butt and drags him into her murky waters.

Luckily, Mr. Nice Guy had on some very baggy pants that day which were secured with a wide black belt that caught on a nearby branch. As his inner warrior struggled to be free of Ms. Alligator’s deadly grip, he woefully asks why?

She looks at him ever so slyly and simply says: Well, Mr. Nice Guy, it’s just my nature.

Meanwhile, further down the river as far as the eye can see, a diverse multitude of happy people are boarding a great vessel to the other side. Having made a way out of no way, seems they are following a gray-haired man in spectacles with a tiny bird perched on his blue baseball cap. Finally, all are on board except for a certain rag-tag person struggling to be free.

Eventually, he reaches the gate and, lo and behold, it’s Mr. Nice Guy completely in rags. Yet, he has arrived! Though his derriere is slightly exposed, he is determined to follow this joyful crowd who had seemly made a way out of no way. Free of Ms. Alligator’s steely clutches, Mr. Nice Guy now sees the better way.

In boarding the ship, and still being of good manners and all, Mr. Nice Guy happily greets the ship’s captain and asks his name. The equally gracious yet very intuitive leader replies:

Well, I too have been called by many names recently, some good and some not so bad. But most folks, including my wife, simply call me Bernie. Welcome aboard my friend!

The moral to my version of this ancient parable is still relevant. So take heed and remember:

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” ~Maya Angelou, legendary poet, author and civil rights activist

Momentum

The best kind of momentum is, of course, spiritual; which keeps us on the right path.

With this 2016 Election seeming more like the Summer Olympics than a presidential campaign, in many ways the momentum is off the charts! Likely inspired by his heartfelt sincerity and a clear vision for American progress that can be realized despite the naysayers, Bernie Sanders’ campaign rallies, which are drawing thousands, are also off the charts!

Such reports of his historic rallies all over the country are amazing: Thousands Rally for Sanders in NYC Ahead of State’s Delegate-Rich Primary, Chicago Defender. In a BBC article titled Bernie Sanders draws thousands to NYC rally: “Mr. Sanders said the rally in Washington Square, with its famous arch, was the most important event yet of his campaign, which for months has drawn huge crowds across the country.”

Truly this is a sign of an exceptional leader. Sen. Sanders is proving to be more than just merely qualified, but also a gifted leader who will not only properly lead our country, but will join with other like-minded leaders to advance world peace and prosperity.

Of Course, his Democratic rival, Secty Hillary Clinton, also has numerous ardent supporters. Though still undeclared, her most influential backer is once again speaking in support of her contentious email usage while in the state department.

On Sunday April 10, President Barack Obama gives his first interview with Fox News since 2008, a conservative news network. He discusses, among other topics, the FBI’s probe of Secty Clinton’s former emails, which could derail her campaign according to experts.

During the Fox News interview titled, “Obama vows no influence in Clinton email probe…” President Obama states: “He still doesn’t think the emails to and from her private server breached national security.” While “not a good idea…there’s carelessness in terms of managing emails that she has owned, and she recognizes,” Obama said, which is troubling still.

“Carelessness,” really Mr. President?

According to the Espionage Act, 18 USC 793 subsection (f) pertaining to “gross negligence” in the safekeeping of national defense information in particular, many experts and countless other reasonable people still believe that Hillary Clinton first broke the law by ignoring government protocol, and then used a private email server during her state department tenure. Whether justice will hold Hillary Clinton legally liable remains to be seen.

Seems Pres. Obama has forgotten to guard his own legacy (Obamacare, Marriage Equality, etc) while fellow democrats are tasked with keeping the party united and getting out the vote!

Still, the positive momentum continues, and in the right direction. Lost on many nonbelievers, yet every time We-the-People contribute to the Bernie Sanders campaign toward a more perfect government, both with our time and our money, which includes this writer, the Universe hears our silent prayer.

A Way Out of No Way

Looking ahead: With the Clintons back in the White House, things are likely to either remain the same or exacerbate given their lack of transparency and obvious fondness for big money and worldly power, in my opinion.

Having observed the Clintons for over 25 years and considering the well-known devastation their leadership has already caused our society, it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to vote for Hillary Clinton should she become the nominee; though I likely will vote the Democratic down ticket.

Of course, I don’t dislike Hillary Clinton; I just don’t think she is “qualified” to lead our country. There are some things money just can’t buy, spiritual gifts being among them.

During the height of the Civil Rights Movement when his life was constantly being threatened and that of his family’s, a young Baptist preacher realizes that God is truly able.  He would deliver the following affirmation to his ardent supporters:

“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. This is our hope for becoming better [people]. This is our mandate for seeking to make a better world.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr. (A Strength to Love, 1st Fortress Ed.1981, pp 107-114)

Seems the Bernie Sanders campaign has “uncorked” that American revolutionary spirit too long suppressed by “the establishment” and it will not be easily restrained. No, not this time!

Free the mind! Free our Democracy with Peace and Harmony toward all!

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2016. All rights reserved.

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“All unhealed healers follow the ego’s plan for forgiveness in one form or another. If they are theologians they are likely to condemn themselves, teach condemnation and advocate a fearful solution,” A Course in Miracles, Text 9:5.

At a time when the World seems peacefully united, I just love the Olympics.

In 1988, Calgary Canada, master figure-skater Debi Thomas became “the first Black athlete to win any medal at the Winter Olympics”.

Debi instantly becomes a national treasure. And, much like Muhammad Ali and the other great African American Olympians before and after her, Debi Thomas remains a credit to our race in particular.

Blessed with stellar support, her mother reportedly drove over 100 miles a day taking Debi to school and training on the ice. Today, Debi Thomas is still: “The 1986 World Champion, two-time U.S. National Champion and 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist.” Wikipedia.

Lest We Not Forget!

I remember watching Debi’s Olympic performances on television while cheering her on. I was both proud and ecstatic as she received her medal…a mere token of her advanced talent. Thank you Debi for making us all so very proud, truly a time to remember and cherish!

Debi Thomas 88 Qlympian

Debi Thomas 1988 Olympian

After retiring from amateur skating, Debi graduates from Stanford University in 1991 with a degree in engineering. In 1994, she fulfills her childhood dream of becoming a doctor and graduates from medical school at Northwestern University. Set to specialize in orthopedic surgery, Dr. Debi Thomas completes her Orthopedic Residency Programs and ultimately goes into private practice.

Dr Debi Thomas

Dr. Debi Thomas

Having mastered, not one, but two of the World’s most difficult courses of study, Dr. Debi Thomas is inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2000. And her exceptional life continues.

Frankly, if Dr. Debi were to rest on her laurels, make tons of money and ‘chill out’ indefinitely, we really can’t blame her for that. Yet, being the ‘champ’ that she truly is, seems Debi Thomas has chosen to answer the Call, once again, and continue the ancient struggle.

Rebuked & Scorned on National TV

“I been ‘buked and I’ve been scorned…I’ve been talked about ‘sho you born.” ~Traditional Negro Spiritual

Having heard little about Debi Thomas since her 1988 Olympic triumph in Calgary, I looked forward to her television appearance. Though rarely do I watch TV’s reality shows, prefer a good romantic comedy or drama instead. That said, I do enjoy the OWN network and truly appreciate Oprah’s vision for it, which is to edify and uplift us all.

Sadly, the good will that Oprah has created for OWN just did not extend to Dr. Debi Thomas on its “Iyanla: Fix My Life” show recently. In fact, the show’s host, Iyanla Vanzant, treated Debi badly…very, very badly in my opinion.

The obvious question is: What the hell was Iyanla thinking; did she not review the show before it aired?

With all of Iyanla’s alleged expertise, seems in review she would have spotted the ego’s treatment plan all up in her mess. Then called Debi immediately, begged her forgiveness, and scrapped the whole thing; or, offer to film it correctly. But she didn’t.

Those of us rather familiar with Iyanla’s work over the years have seen her do better. So we know that Iyanla can do better, why she didn’t is a big mystery. Besides airing the woman’s eccentric living conditions and romantic problems in the wrong spirit, seems the most egregious thing that Iyanla did was to call Dr. Thomas’ mental health into question.

Not only was this not Iyanla’s call, but her belief in the subjective mental diagnosis she offered up as evidence, which Debi disputed, harkens back to the Dark Ages where eccentric kin were legally deemed insane and given cruel shock treatments that either impaired or finished them, usually for the money. So it’s hard to believe that an alleged New Age “life coach” would actually go there, but this one did.

Since the show’s airing on November 7, I’ve read several articles and reader’s comments about Dr. Thomas’ well being, some supportive, some negative as usual. I then visited Debi’s GoFundMe page that seeks financial help and also gives her side of the story.

There, among other things, Dr. Debi assures us that: “There are no mental health issues, drugs, or alcohol involved, just healing,” which made me feel a whole lot better about her situation.

Thanks Dr. Debi for moving forward in your life, so very, very sorry that Iyanla Vanzant chose condemnation rather than compassion on her show. Sadly, it seems Iyanla could well “fix” her own life before trying to fix someone else’s life.

Having been through hard times myself, including years of chronic depression, I have come to realize the healing power of applied spiritual study of the right text (“applied” being the operative word here). Such studies work for me, and will for anyone with an affinity for study and application in particular.

A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem

According to Dr. Wayne Dyer in his bestseller, also featured on his National Public Television specials (PBS), indeed “There’s A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.”

Here Dr. Dyer “shows us that there is an omnipresent spiritual force right at our fingertips that contains the solution to our problems ̶ ̶̶ from ill health, to financial worries, to relationship difficulties. Drawing from various spiritual traditions, especially from the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, Dyer helps us unplug from the material world and awaken to the divine within (front flap, 1st Ed).”

A truly humble teacher: Many years ago during a Whole Life Expo in Atlanta where he was one of the featured speakers, at intermission Dr. Dyer stood quietly by his display of books waiting for anyone who might have a question or just wanted to talk. Frankly, I was too awestruck to even say anything, but I shall never forget his wonderful presence.

A Course in Miracles

At the beginning of his above mentioned book, Dr. Wayne Dyer quotes from my favorite self-study text to date, simply known as the Course:

“You have no problems, though you think you have…” ~ A Course in Miracles (ACIM)

It’s been over twenty years since a lovely lady handed me the Course. She was the bookstore manager at the New Thought church I was attending. Being short on finances she gave me the book, having already been paid for by donated funds, she said.

Previously, after meditating for years, one day I cried out to God asking to be happy all the time rather than being blissed out in meditation.

Little did I know then that my life would radically change. Not only would I leave my church home of eighteen years, my spiritually evolved teacher-counselor whom I would never see again, and my immediate family, but would move across the country in the process. And so I did.

There, I would find the Course, or more like it found me. Upon perusing this great book, I immediately recognized it was for me and hit the ground running, so to speak.

The Course also teaches you to teach, the irony is it does not tell you when, exactly.

Thus, a lot of its new students, including myself, tend to think formal teaching begins right after you complete the Workbook, which is not usually the case. Though I drafted an extensive outline for organized lectures on the Course that went well and held classes in the local Unity Church, eventually up pops the ego and the classes ended.

Clearly, I was so not yet ready to teach the Course. Hurt? Of course I was. Yet, I move on having much to learn, and what a blessing indeed!

Today, I am still learning. Yet, I can better see my progress now. And the gift of Inner Peace and Unconditional Happiness is ever near, which is what I was really crying out to God for on that fateful day so long ago.

So What Exactly is A Course in Miracles?

Here is what it says in its brief Introduction found at the beginning of the Text:

“This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

This Course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:

Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.”

~A Course in Miracles

Wow, pure poetry!  The Course’s Introduction brings back such poignant memories of my early days with it.

Peace and Light to all. Free the Mind!

(Updated 11/14/15, 2nd photo of Debi added)

(Updated 11/17/15, text added “I’ve been ‘buked…)

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2015. All rights reserved.

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“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” ~Anne Frank

In many ways, seems it is still the best of times and the worst of times as Charles Dickens observes in “A Tale of Two Cities” ca. 1859. Such is the duality of human life we all must conquer one day. Hence the old adage: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Considered a key world leader, yet Pope Francis brought the most humble gift of all to the U.S. during his six-day visit here (22-28 September 2015). This being the gift of Unconditional Love, as taught by Jesus the Christ, that Pope Francis gladly shared with all he met. Thanks Pope Francis, we love you back!

Though not of the Catholic faith per se, I followed Pope Francis on television, prayed with him during mass and keep his speech transcripts for study. His unscripted speech at the Festival of Families is my favorite: “God is good, God is beautiful, God is true,” said the Pope among other good things.

Pope Francis/ Photo, Telegraph UK

Pope Francis/Photo,Telegraph UK

Once after prayers with the Pope on TV, though I had forgotten about them, I soon recover some precious computer files I thought were lost forever, truly a miracle.

Yet, my heart could not accept canonizing Fr. Serra; so I inadvertently missed that part of Pope Francis’s Mass celebrations.

Upon the Pope’s departure to Rome, I teared up as he boarded his plane and prayed for his safe return home. Despite the Church’s flawed decision to canonize Fr. Serra who allegedly mistreated his Native American converts and himself. As our mom use to say: “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” but more about that later.

The next morning, I awaken missing the Pope’s very kind face and tireless humanity being shown on TV. In recalling visions of all the grateful people he touched, it felt like I had been on an extraordinary vacation for sure. Knowing that lives were miraculously changed during this Pope’s sacred visit made me all the more joyful.

Remembering Anne Frank and Family

Born Anneliese Marie Frank on 12 June 1929, young Anne Frank died in a Nazi concentration camp (Bergen-Belsen) in February 1945, age 15. According to witnesses, within days of each other both Anne and her sister Margot, age 19, succumbed to typhus, which was rampant. This occurred shortly before the Allies broke through enemy lines and liberated the disease-infested camps.

Anne Frank, 1942

Yet, Anne’s natural zest for life, her self-determination and remarkable intellect is her real story here that lives on through her renowned dairy, first published in 1947 as “The Diary of a Young Girl” by way of her father, Otto Frank, the only survivor of her immediate family.

In January 1945 her mother, Edith Frank, died of starvation in Auschwitz-Birkenau, age 44.

In 1980, Otto Frank dies in Basel (Switzerland), age 91. Thanks to her father’s dedicated efforts, Anne Frank’s story continues. Thus, “The Diary of Anne Frank” has inspired many, such as John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela.

At the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, President Kennedy declares: “No place is more compelling than that of Anne Frank…her humor, her humanity and her hope illuminate the hearts of men heavily clouded by the apparent willingness of those who seek power and domain over the soul of man to again deprive people of the right to live in peace, tolerance and freedom.” Her diary is “a gift that will survive her enemies,” John F. Kennedy, 1961.

On Robben Island, some of us read Anne Frank’s Diary. We derived much encouragement from it. It kept our spirits high and reinforced our confidence in the invincibility of the cause of freedom and justice,” Nelson Mandela, 1994.

In Hollywood’s multi-award winning films “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Judgment at Nuremberg” (recently shown during Yom Kippur, a high Jewish holiday), we are poignantly reminded to first be aware of our sacred duty towards each other and act accordingly.

Being Jewish, Anne Frank and her family were sheltered by very courageous friends during the systemic extermination of those targeted by the madness of Nazism to justify its very dark and twisted ideology of world domination, which nearly destroyed Western civilization.

Sadly, after two years in hiding, someone turned them in. The Frank family and their fellow refugees were arrested and deported to the Nazi concentration camps where most died.

The Nuremberg Trials

Today, Adolph Hitler is considered the most evil person ever, thus quickly dismissed from national debate as if a man such as this was an anomaly forever defeated. Yet, the fact is, no one alone could possibly have brought about such universal atrocities without plenty of mutual help. So we best wake up and recognize!

While Adolph Hitler was the glorified mouthpiece for the Nazi party, he had plenty of willing helpers along the way; including society’s elite experts who were equally prone to evil! Hitler’s cohorts included prominent leaders of science, economics, the military, the judiciary, and, of course, the political realm.

Confronted with the horrific realities in the Nazi concentration camps after World War II ended, the Allied nations set about to prosecute those leaders responsible for the European Holocaust and other war crimes. Military tribunals were established in the city of Nuremberg Germany, ultimately known as the Nuremberg Trials.

In the film “Judgment at Nuremberg,” a fictionalized account of the Judges’ Trial in 1947 led by a U.S. tribunal to try those jurists allegedly responsible for the judicial acts that legalized the Nazis’ systemic destruction of humanity, for me the message is simple yet profound:

Those allegedly involved in such horrific crimes against humanity, either directly or in silent compliance, routinely claimed they never suspected such was happening.

Of course, the frequent stench from the burning ovens that drifted endlessly and the violent export of thousands of their neighbors could not be denied. Yet most did anyway, despite the danger of human denial that typically keeps us from forgiving our past mistakes.

Thankfully, it was Anne Frank’s humanity in the midst of relentless inhumanity that inspires us to move toward a higher state of mind, which is beyond pain and shame.

Remembering Father Junípero Serra

Unlike the overall inspiration inherent in the Anne Frank story, for me it is rather difficult to remember Fr. Serra without experiencing the deep sorrow inherent in his story.

150430124725-01-junipero-serra-img-8598-jpg-exlarge-169

Friar Junipero Serra

Years ago, my introduction to Fr. Serra began with a history of the Spanish-Catholic missions along California’s beautiful coastline. To me, the Junípero Serra story was depressing then and now, despite the celebrated return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano annually.

San Juan Capistrano Mission Basilica

San Juan Capistrano Mission Basilica

Father Serra allegedly found nine of the twenty-one missions in California, including the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, supposedly to bring the Catholic faith to Native Americans. Of course, those of us able to discern between unity and conquest tend to see Friar Serra’s canonization quite differently.

It’s always the same really: the indigenous people are first deemed inferior or “savage” in need of salvation by the intended colonizer, and then comes their priests in priestly vestments. Some are very sincere, some very ambitious. Yet all are blinded by their self-righteous contempt of other people and their cultures, as erroneously taught by their church.

Thus, rather than respect the original people and their culture, as Jesus once demonstrated, the Catholic Church willingly became an agent of destruction in a distant land. Herein lies the inherent sorrow in Fr. Sierra’s story, which seems a veiled guilt that has yet to be recognized and ultimately healed.

Worse Than an Apology

In a fiery CNN Opinion article titled, “Junípero Serra No Saint” by Simon Moya-Smith of the Oglala Lakota Nation and culture editor at Indian Country Today, the author reiterates a seemly heartfelt apology made by the Pope recently:

“I say this to you with regret: Many grave sins were committed against the native people of America in the name of God,” he said. “I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offense of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America,” Pope Francis in Bolivia, July 2015.

Of course, even the humblest of apologies by a beloved person is not always enough, particularly without a sincere effort to make the necessary corrections. Sadly, such emptiness feels more like an unintended slap in the face rather than a well-intentioned apology!

As Mr. Moya-Smith pointedly states in his article: “We are not asking the papacy for an apology. We ask for the repeal of the papal edicts that justified the theft of Native American lands and the persecution of our people. Soothing words just aren’t enough.”

Native American Dancer & Wolf Clan Song/Photo Credit Unknown

Native American Dancer & Wolf Clan Song Lyrics/Photo Credit Unknown

On Democracy Now, a radio show titled: “Native Groups Protest Pope Francis’ Canonization of Junípero Serra…,” Valentin Lopez, chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, is its guest. In his own words, Chmn. Lopez explains the erroneous thinking behind the historic papal edicts (bulls) in dispute; the following is taken from the show’s transcript:

“The documents of discovery were documents that were issued—were papal bulls. That means they’re basically the word of God, given by the popes in the mid to late 1400s and very early 1500s. The popes issued a number of papal bulls that said that it was—that the indigenous people are pagans, savages and heathens, that the indigenous people have no soul, indigenous people are the enemies of Christ, that we should be cast into perpetual slavery, and that all our property and our possessions should be taken. And that right there was the basis for the conquering and conquest of much of the world, including, India, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands and all of the Americas,” Valentin Lopez, Democracy Now, 9/23/ 2015.

Valentin Lopez at the UN/Native News Online

“Valentin Lopez opposes the canonization of Serra. Courtesy of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues,” Native News Online.

Being a descendant of African slaves in America, the erroneous religious doctrine espoused in the historic papal edicts in question is no surprise having the same history.

Despite the recent detailed letter to Pope Francis by Valentin Lopez, and other Native Americans protesting the canonizing of Friar Serra, Pope Francis declares Junípero Serra a saint.

Known for his great humanity, did Pope Francis have a deeper reason for canonizing Fr. Serra, a symbolic attempt to cleanse the Catholic Church of its historic “sins” against Native Americans perhaps? Fear of reprisal perhaps? Or, simply not knowing of a better way?

Love Does Not Punish

Since the Dark Ages, humanity has relied on corporal punishment as a means to correct bad behavior, from the light spanking of a young child to judicial corporal punishments of adults.

Even religious aspirants have traditionally practiced self-inflicted flagellation, or other forms of physical abuse, to atone for a perceived “sin” or a stubborn bad habit. Which ultimately causes more harm than good, and confuses everybody at best.

Father Junípero Serra’s renowned story of self-flagellation and the abuses of his converts is one such example of corporal punishment sanctioned by the church as atonement for “sins”. Sadly, this sweeping error not only wronged Fr. Serra and others at the time, but future generations as well.

Thus, according to the living example of Jesus the Christ, as documented in the Holy Bible, love simply does not punish.

So, there must be a better way. And, indeed there is a better way; but, we must first let go of our ancient traditions.

For Many, A Modern Reformation is Underway!

Yet, unlike the Reformation of the 16th Century, a revolution within the Christian Church that ultimately spawned major denominations, many today are more focused on inner reform and the value of applied positive thinking rather than organized religion.

Whether churchless or an avid member of the choir, many now recognize that we do have the power to change our minds and hearts. And all without the guilt and punishment usually associated with traditional beliefs.

As St. Paul aptly wrote: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (St. Paul, Romans 12:2 NIV).

Along with the new technology that advanced global communication by leaps and bounds, great texts on positive thinking to achieve sustainable peace and real happiness are now available at nominal costs or no cost online.

My favorite text is “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM, the Course): Scribed and published here in the USA by the Foundation for Inner Peace, ca. 1976, the Course is now available in 23 different languages with registered study groups worldwide.

At times reminiscent of the great romantic mystics (think Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Kahlil Gibran and his trendy classic “The Prophet”), the Course can also be very poetic. Thus, my all-time favorite Course thought is:

“Love is not learned. Its meaning lies within itself. And learning ends when we recognize all it is not.” ~ACIM, Text 12:1-3.

ACIM is a self-study course with emphasis on Forgiveness that leads to Inner Peace and Universal Love, which works when you work with it. Heretofore taught by most religions in different forms, yet ACIM is compatible with all true religions.

A Westernized version of Jnana Yoga (knowledge through union with God), in my opinion, ACIM teaches how to access the Higher Mind, alias the Christ Mind, which is exactly where we all really want to be.

Hence: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” Jesus the Christ (John 14:6, KJV).

Needed, Good Agent(s) of World Change

Sadly, in canonizing Friar Serra the progressive Pope Francis disappointed a lot of good people recently, despite their sincere efforts to persuade him against it.

Nonetheless, here is hoping and praying that Pope Francis will soon became an Agent of World Change that many see as his true calling. The following two steps would be a great advancement toward world peace and reconciliation:

  • Renouncement of the Racism behind the 15th Century Papal Edicts known as the Doctrine of Discovery.  Created to justify political recovery of Spain from the Moors (“the Blacks”) and conquest of the Americas, this toxic dogma still aid the Politics of Racism that implies “people of color” are inferior to Western traditions. Now with grave results worldwide that only the Truth, which is of God, can heal.
  • Renouncement of the traditional practice of Corporal Punishment as atonement for one’s “sins” that typically engenders more guilt and self-hatred, often transferred to others, rather than true salvation.

Otherwise, without such wise intervention, the same destructive forces continue to plague the world:

  • Racism (politics at its worse),
  • Nazism (a world driven mad with fear), and
  • Terrorism (a chronic lack of hope).

Survival is virtually impossible without the following spiritual needs, and that’s just the way it is:

  • Good words to feed our minds,
  • Good deeds to nurture our humanity, and
  • Good dreams to relax, breathe, and evolve.

Meanwhile, the sacred struggle to survive continues.

As one of our great African-American poets of the Harlem Renaissance once mused:

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore and then run? …Or, does it explode?” ~Langston Hughes, c.1951.

In reality, we are all saints; we just have to improve our knowing.  Free the mind!

Related Links

(Updated 10/29/2015, Link “About the Moors”)

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2015. All rights reserved.

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