The vague ramblings of Leesah Jackson
What do you believe?
Around the 1920’s scientists were concerned about the growing population is the United States. They were working on ways to feed this growing population. It seemed like the best way would be to make super-plants that produced huge crops on the same amount of land. So they set about finding ways to make plants grow taller, longer, and product more fruit.
One enterprising soul discovered that by broadcasting radio waves across his crops, not only did the plants grow to huge proportions, but that insects were also kept at bay. His bean plants were averaging ten bushels of beans per plant! These super plants grew to 10 feet tall! He was excited by his find, and duplicated the effort many times, with many species of plants to make certain his results were true.
Then he submitted his results to Washington, and waited. He soon received a letter from Washington stating that they were unable to duplicate his radio waves experiment. The plants in their controlled environment showed no additional growth patterns when exposed to radio waves.
The man was flabbergasted and went to Washington to oversee the experiments personally. When he got there, he found the scientists verifying his experiments were sour, somber, and skeptical. Our friend took over the Washington experiments personally, and low and behold – the plants grew to super-sizes again.
The radio waves experiment was a failure. The plants did not grow to huge sizes because of the radio waves. The plants grew to huge sizes because the man believed they would.
What do you believe?
I’ve got that feeling in the pit of my Stomach Again.
That same one I got when the nuclear reactors blew up in Russia in the late 70’s. And again when the Exxon Valdez spilled oil in 1989. And again when the oil wells were burned in Kuwait in the late 90’s. And again with the Gulf Oil spill. And now there’s Japan….
Our best laid plans on how to effectively and efficiently power our world are once again blown to pieces by Mother Nature. We continue to fight this battle generation after generation, and have lost many times over. And it is always to our detriment that we rise to fight the same battle again.
I ‘ve got that feeling in the pit of my stomach because as much as I’d like to help Japan, I do not want to expose my physical body to radiation and food poisoning. I would give my time and money to help, but not my life, and I feel badly about that. But that’s what we’re asking rescue workers to do.
What if…. Instead of fighting Mother Nature, we decided to work together.Instead of blasting off mountain tops, deep water drilling, nuclear reactors, coal mining, hydro- fracking and other invasive forms of making power, we decided to be a little gentler on the planet? What if we used solar power, wind power or wave power? What if we decide to make Mother Nature our partner instead of our victim, and we hers?
What would be the worst thing that would happen if a tsunami hit a solar panel? It would break. What would happen if an earth quake shook a wind mill? It would fall down. But there would be no radiation poisoning the food and water. There would be no oil killing the fish, birds and plant life. A disaster would still occur, but it would be on a much smaller scale than the ones we’re experiencing now. Wouldn’t that be great? Do we really need the additional risk that fossil fuels carry when a safer alternative is available?
Haiti is a country without the benefits of nuclear power and oil drilling. When it was hit by a tsunami in 2010 there was no worry of radiation. When Asia was hit in 2004, the main problem was being caused by poisoning of the freshwater supplies and the soil by saltwater infiltration, according to the environmental report.
If you’re thinking the government will take care of this- it won’t. I wasn’t surprised to learn that Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels studied voting behaviors of US senators in the early 90’s. He discovered that they respond far more to the desires of high income groups than to anyone else. They don’t respond at all to voters with modest incomes. Big oil and gas have far deeper pockets than you and I. Our only chance to effect change is to work together and pool our energies.
Changing our homes and our business’s to renewable power is expensive. But what is the cost- in dollars and in lives- to rebuild the Gulf? And Russia, Alaska, Kuwait, and now Japan? We don’t know when or where the next disaster will occur. But to minimize damage when it does…. And give us free reign to help each other without imperiling ourselves… We have to work together with Mother Nature to power our world.
And not make a bad situation worse.
The Love Vibration
We all know a “perfect couple”. They are partners and lovers and most importantly- inlove. We want that for ourselves, either by reconnecting with our current partner, or by attracting that kind of partner to us. What do they know that we don’t? How do I get that kind of love in my life?
Love is a specific frequency of energy or vibration that is generated by the fourth chakra. It is not patriotism, or family obligation or sexual attraction. All creatures respond to this energy, even though they may not understand it.
Healing the heart is of great importance to the prevention and healing of disease and emotional wounds. Only a healthy heart can grow a person into a mature adult. A person without sufficient energy in their heart chakra can not protect and nurture others or the earth or attract love. Without a healthy fourth chakra- one is not a healthy person.
But a healthy fourth chakra can not exsist without a healthy first chakra, which is needed to supply energy. So the first task in learning to heal the heart and attract love is to go to the earth, and learn to access its energy. You need to be grounded on the earth in order to supply your fourth chakra with enough energy to raise its vibration to resonate the chord that signals love. A loving heart must be strong and willing to expand. The presence of a large, courageous heart evokes an imitative response from others hearts. And that’s what we’re all looking for.
Throughout history people have repeatedly discovered healing in nature. Herbs, mineral springs, sacred places, etc. Why don’t these cures work for everyone? There is one vital ingredient necessary to make it work- attention. Attention is the connection between nature and the person in need of energy and healing. Attention induces resonance between the person and the earth.
Let’s use a tree for our example. A person concentrating on the tree begins to unconsciously resonate with the trees energy. By choosing the right ingredient in nature and concentrating on it, we will resonate with it. Then our energy changes by imitating healthier energy. This feeds our fourth chakra, which will beginresonating love. Others hearts will recognize this vibration, and respond accordingly. Isn’t love grand?
There’s No Honesty in Food Anymore
A decade ago I felt really good about food shopping for my family. I would head to the local grocery and buy all my meats and vegetables and fruits from one location – my corner grocer. I was grateful to have good food available, and the means to provide this food for my family.
Now when I go to the grocery store- I’m on watch. Meat is packaged in gas. You can not tell by looking at it if it is fresh and clean. It all looks the same. You have to hope for the best. The fruit all looks like the wax fruit that my mother used for decoration, round and perfect and shiny. It’s very pretty, but can you eat it? Should you?
For thousands of years human beings have relied on visual and olfactory clues to help determine what is edible. The color of fruit suggests whether it is ripe, the color and smell of meat whether it is rancid. Science has gotten around these senses.
The look and the taste of what we eat now are frequently deceiving -- by design. Color additives are used to make processed food look fresh and appealing. The basic science behind the scent of your face cream is the same science that governs the flavor of your TV dinner. "Natural" or "Artificial"? They are made in the same factory. Actually, "flavor" is primarily the smell of gases being released by the chemicals you've just put in your mouth. The aroma of a food can be responsible for as much as 90 percent of its taste.
So the question is…. Do you trust the people that make food unrecognizeable to make it safe?
Now I avoid grocery stores. No more one stop shopping for me. I buy my eggs, fruits and veggies from local farms, or grow them myself. I buy meat from a local butcher. Science cannot replicate the care and nurturing that local farmers provide for their crops. It can only hide deterioration, cut costs, and change the taste and smell of your food. There’s no honesty in food anymore.
You have to find it yourself.
Four Days & Seven Amulets
One day I was out walking. An elderly woman stopped me. I could tell she did not have a good grasp of English, and I had to bend forward to hear what she wanted over the hum of the traffic noise. She looked up at me with bright shining eyes, and smiled. Then she slipped something into my pocket. She told me they were amulets and they were blessed. She wanted me to give them to others.
I don’t know why, but I accepted the challenge. I looked in my pocket and found seven silver religious medals. They had the Virgin Mary on one side and a cross on the other. I believe you have to let people choose their own path to spirituality, and handling out religious medals is mighty pushy for me. However, I had accepted the challenge and felt that I had best give it a shot. But who should get one and why?
Amulet 1- I was ease dropping on a woman in the elevator. She was complaining she worked too much. She lived in a 10 floor condo and worked on the 23 floor of an office building. She spent all her time indoors or traveling between work and home. She felt she had no life. She needed to be grounded. I gave her an amulet. She looked at me like I was crazy, but she dropped it in her purse.
Amulet 2- Later that day I found myself in a water cooler conversation. The man leading the conversation was interested in women and more women and not much else. He made jokes and statements with thinly veiled innuendos. I gave him an amulet. I expected him to reject it, but he did not. He thanked me, put it in his pocket, and went back to work. Well, I guess that wasn’t too hard.
Amulet 3- I ran into a guy I knew during lunch. He said that even though he was self-supporting, his parents still tried to run his life and make decisions for him. He needed to regain his personal power. I gave him an amulet and he put it in his shirt pocket. I wasn’t even sure he looked at it, but he accepted it. That’s all that counts, I hope.
Amulet 4- One of my best friends popped in to tell me of her latest heart break. Even though she was a great person, she always seemed to pick inappropriate men. “Why can’t I ever meet a nice guy?” she was always asking. I gave the amulet. She wanted to know what it meant, and I told her it was blessed. She said she needed all the help she could get.
Amulet 5- My sister always appears to be in control of every situation, but I knew she was struggling with her husband. She had been unable to tell him that his spending was out-of-control. She had been unable to tell him to get a job, as she was afraid of his temper. She just works harder to try and keep it all together. She needed to speak her truth. I gave her an amulet.
Amulet 6- By now I was starting to get the picture. I was working my way up the chakras. The people that I had been guided to give the amulets to needed assistance with a chakra, and the amulets would help open them up and move forward on their path. The 6 amulet was for me to keep.
But who would get the last amulet? Who needed help to move into the 7 crown chakra? I found myself visiting a hospital. Was there someone here that needed enlightenment? A doctor maybe? Or someone getting ready to die? Instead I found myself at the maternity ward. One small baby was in an incubator, with tubes running in and out of his small body. I didn’t know what was wrong with him, but I left the amulet buried in his bedding. Maybe he would grow up to be a leader. Or maybe he would never leave the hospital, I didn’t know. I just knew the last amulet was for him. He was the hope for our future, and he needed blessings. And now he had them.
Down to the Bone
I’m confused. I don’t know what to eat- or more importantly- what not to eat anymore. Everything I read is different. I like to eat healthy (..most of the time…) but the information I read is confusing.
Author Michael Pollen (The Omnivore’s Dilemma,) has written several books on his quest to get a straight answer to the eating question, and his conclusion is often quoted. “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too Much.” And I’ve been going with this suggestion pretty well, until recently. Then something else cropped up.
There was a study done by Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist in early 1930’s. He wondered why his patient’s teeth were decaying at the rate of about 30%, considering the broad knowledge of nutrition and dentistry. His research discovered several groups of native people that were strong, healthy and had perfect teeth. They had less than 1% incidence of decay, despite never once brushing or flossing their teeth. His study concluded that their teeth were better, because their diets were better.
The study encompassed several different groups from around the globe, and included a listing of the foods the healthiest native groups ate. I read the list; saw everything you might expect- fish, vegetables, fruit, and some that you wouldn’t expect- like beef and dairy. What stopped me cold was this. “Traditional cultures consume animal bones, usually in the form of gelatin-rich bone broths.”
And then I started to think about it some more. I feed my fish get feeder guppies a few times a year so they can ingest some bones. My cat and my dog eat bones. I had a macaw that loved to have chicken bones to gnaw on. Sea, land, and sky animals from vastly different species, all eat bones.
As a child, after the Thanksgiving feast, my Grandmother would toss the turkey carcass into a bath of boiling water and make soup out of it. Maybe Grandma knew something that I don’t? And isn’t traditional chicken soup scientifically proven to aid the body when you’ve got a cold? What’s in chicken soup, anyway? Chicken, noodles, and a few vegetables all of which I already eat. How come chicken soup is so potent? Could it be the broth that is made from boiled bones?
O.K., so what is bone meal exactly? I had to look it up. Bone meal: n. A substance made of crushed and coarsely ground bones that are used as a plant fertilizer and in animal feed. We feed bones to our plants and animals- but not directly to ourselves?
My friend Dweeza is from Jamaica. She recently got pneumonia, and one of the things she did to fortify her body was to buy some chicken feet, and boil them until they were soft, and eat them. She ate bones! Many cultures consume bone marrow as a food. Alaskan Natives eat the bone marrow of moose and caribou. Indians use slow-cooked marrow as the main ingredient of the Indian dishNalli Nihari. The Vietnamese enjoy beef bone as the soup base for their national staple phở. Mexicans use beef bone marrow from leg bones, called tuetano, which is cooked and served as filling for tacos or tostadas, and ossobuco .
I know that right about now my vegan friends are pretty disgusted. But I feel like I’m on to something important.
Though once used in various dishes, including pemmican, preparing bone marrow as food is not popular in the United States. In the Philippines, the soup "Bulalo" is made primarily of beef stock and marrow bones, seasoned with boiled meat and vegetables. In Hungary the shin bone (tibia) is a main ingredient of beef soup; the bone is chopped into short pieces and the ends are covered with salt to prevent the marrow from leaving the bone while cooking. When serving the soup the marrow is spread on toast.
At one time we did incorporated bones into our diets through soup. Vegetable soup, chicken soup, split pea with ham, ox tail soup and others were once made from the broth of boiled bones. But commercialized food has removed the marrow from our diets.
If we subscribe to the saying, “You are what you eat”, doesn’t eating bones make a whole lot of sense? Maybe it’s time we return to our ancestral feeding roots. What we’re doing now is not working. Perhaps we need to get back to the basics, and down to the bones!
The Power of Authority (Intense warning- this will ruin your mood)
Imagine that you agreed to take part in “A study on memory”. A technician in a lab coat explains that the study is on how punishment affects memory. You are taught a series of word pairs to memorize by a teacher. After you have had a chance to memorize the information, you are strapped into a chair. At the technicians order, the teacher will administer increasingly stronger electrical shocks for every question that you answer incorrectly.
Initially, the shocks aren’t too bad, but as the test continues they become more frequent, and more painful. You start to feel real pain, and request to end the study, but the test goes on. At 75, 90, and 105 volts, the pain makes your grunt. After 120 volts, you’re screaming in agony. But instead of the test ending, it continues on. 240, 255, 270 volts, and you can’t think anymore. So you stop answering the questions. No answer counts as a wrong answer, and the volts continue increasingly. At 400 volts, you can no longer cry out. You begin to wonder in confusion, “Why won’t he stop?” “Why doesn’t anyone help me?”
It reads like a bad dream. It was an actual study run by a psychology professor named Milgram. The person being shocked was an actor. The test was actually on the teacher.- the person that pulled the lever that inflicted the pain. Milgram was testing the power of authority. The technician in the lab coat told the teacher when to pull the lever that issued the pain. They wanted to see how far the teacher would go before refusing the order to inflict pain.
In test after test…. The teachers never refused to comply with the order to inflict pain, even though they disagreed with the researcher and felt his actions were wrong. They would plead for the subject, and try to change the technicians mind…but 100% of the test subjects continued to administer shocks until the shocks became over 300 volts, and even then it was a small percentage that refused. Most continued to the end of the experiment- a 450 volt shock!
The stress on the teachers was powerful and debilitating. Some became hysterical, shook, perspired, others developed nervous twitches, some became near comatose. One man put his fist to his forehead and screamed, “Oh God, please stop it.”, but he continued the test to the end. The obedience to authority is deeply ingrained in us, and in Milgram’s study the test subjects all continued to torture both an innocent other, and themselves - at the insistence of authority.
Today , I read an article in USA Today that said that the suicide rate among soldiers in the army is at highest level in recorded history. In fact, during the month of June 2010, our country lost more soldiers to suicide than it did to combat. Milgram’s study lasted only a few hours. Our soldiers aren‘t as lucky. After nine years of war, two to four rotations of following the orders of authority, these people could not stand the pain any longer, and they ended their pain by ending their lives. These soldiers choose their demise rather than resist authority. As time goes on, this statistic will probably get worse.
Since Milgram’s study proves that we are largely incapable of resisting our innate obedience to authority, no matter the repercussions and/or moral implications….we are left with only one alternative.
A plea to the authorities… “Oh God, please stop it.”
Beeauty is in the Eye of the Beeholder
I stopped to smell a flower. It doesn’t usually occur to me do these things, but this flower threatened to be the last one I could expect to see with winter approaching. So I leaned over, and took a big whiff.
So I tried again! I tried a whole bunch of times to no avail. This flower had no scent. It was a hybrid variety, it was sterile. There would be no scent, and there would be no seeds. And I started to understand what the bees were experiencing.
I was never a bee fan. The farther they stay from me, the happier I am. But… I do love fruit, nuts, seeds, berries and flowers. And bees are a “must have” in order for those plants to survive and multiply. With the proliferation of hybrid plants, finding the real thing is getting more and more difficult for the bees. Their numbers have decreased by an alarming 80-85%. Hence one of the two causes of colony collapse.
The other cause is pesticides. If the letters “cide” are on the end of the word, that means it’s poison. Fungicide, Insecticide, Herbacide, etc. are all poisons. And if it kills, IT KILLS. Not just ants, aphids, or slugs – it kills everything! You, your dog, your children, birds and bees. Even small doses add up if you keep applying them.
When a bee comes in contact with these poisons, it shows these symptoms- aggressiveness, erratic movements, trembles, chills, and becomes lost. These are the same symptoms of Alzheimers Disease in humans. If a product is not healthy for an insect, it’s not healthy for you.
Buy plants and seeds that are not hybrids or genetically modified. They are usually labeled as heirloom varieties. If you’re not sure, a patent number on the tag means you’ve got a hybrid. If you’re at a garden center, watch where the bees go. They may initially be attracted to a hybrids bright color, but they will stay with the genuine plants for food. They know the good stuff when they see it. So should you!
The Multi-Dimensional Cat
“I’ve got twenty other applications for this job, and no one here has ever heard of you. But I’m going to interview you anyway. So…, tell me about your experience with horses.”
I was applying for a job as a trainer at Transit Valley, a large stables in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY. There had to be at least thirty horses in this one barn, and how many other barns were on this property? Two? … a quick look around revealed a bunch of chickens, and some pond fish. That’s a lot of work! There was no question in my mind that I was not the best candidate for the job. But, I wanted the job. I love animals and I had nothing to loose by trying.
I arrived on time for the interview and saw each horse had its head poking through its stall window, quietly assessing me, as was the owner. All the horses and the barn cat looked on as I told him of my modest background, and discussed the work needed. He didn’t say no right away. He said he’d sleep on it and let me know tomorrow.
I went to sleep that night feeling like nothing had been accomplished. I probably wasn’t going to get that job. I started dreaming about driving in a white car… it was a beautiful day…the radio was playing a strange tune…”Fur, fin, foot, feather, we all work together.” Then suddenly, my dream was interrupted. My consciousness was jerked back to my body. As I lay in bed, I was aware of an image of a cat sitting on my chest. I recognized her from the stables that afternoon. She was the barn cat!
She told me that her name was Cloey. She was in charge of the barn, and made all of the important decisions. A council had convened among all the barn animals, and they are seeking a gentle person to work with the horses. Should I be accepted into this position, I would have her complete support and protection.
Dreaming, or not. I believed her. Here was a semi-visible cat talking to me, yet somehow I knew it to be true. She told me to recite the three agreements the moment I wake up, and she will hear. If I can recite the agreements, the job at Transit Valley Stables will be mine. Then she disappeared.
“But wait!” I cried out. “What are the three agreements?” There was no answer.
I don’t know how long I was asleep after that, or even if I did sleep. I don’t remember anything else. When I awoke the next morning, I waited in the quiet for something to happen. I didn’t see anything. I didn’t hear anything. Maybe it wasn’t real. Just then, a voice in my head commanded, “Recite the agreements.”
“ I will not harm your physical body and you will not harm mine.” How did I know that?
“Seek always to communicate in love and trust, never in anger.” The words came flowing from my mouth.
“And….” Cloey prodded,
What’s the rest? Oh no! Did I blow it? Wait! .…
”Fur, fin, foot, feather, we all work together.”
“That is correct!” Cloey answered through the mist in my brain. “You have done well.”
Now what? I felt unsettled. I looked under the bed, and then checked the closet. I’m not sure what I was looking for, just something. That was weird. I tried to dismiss the experience. It didn’t make sense, did it? Whoever heard of a multi-dimensional cat?
When the stables owner called me later that day, I knew that logically, I should expect rejection. Instead, he told me that I had the job. He said he had gone to sleep thinking that I wasn’t experienced enough to handle the work. But upon wakening this morning, he felt differently. I could start tomorrow, if I wanted.
Eye View TOO
A few years back an English writer named John Berger wrote an essay entitled, “Why Look at Animals?” He made the point that the loss of everyday contact between humans and animals – in particular eye contact- left us unclear and confused about our contacts with other species.
Eye contact with animals had brought humans the clear reminder that animals are crucially like us - as well as unlike us. In their eyes we glimpsed emotions unmistakably familiar- pain, fear, courage… but also something strangely other….? Something deeply primitive, yet…. connected.
When the relationship is sound and secure, eye contact is easy behavior to manage. But when the relationship has some kind of rift, or stands on uneasy ground, making eye contact is not easy. It is recognized that animals communicate with their eyes. They also use body gestures, but eye contact is the foremost means of communication. The less dominant animal will look away. All things being equal…dominance is just a state of mind. Eye contact gives you control.
Upon this relationship paradox people felt they could both honor and eat animals without looking away. But that eye contact isn’t available anymore. Now we either look away, or become vegetarians.
The American Indians hunt and kill animals for food. There is no loss of eye contact. Traditionally they make a ceremony of thanking the animal for sacrificing its life. They are gratful for the nourishment for their bodies. In the mid-century people always said “grace” before a meal. We thanked God for the food on our plates and the blessings in our lives. We can not give the animals that we eat the courtesy of eye contact anymore. But we can give them the courtesy of thanking them for their sacrifice.