Spiritual Climate Newsletter DECEMBER 2007 ~ Closing Notes

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter OCTOBER 2007 ~ Introduction ~

 

The Institute of Spiritual Climate

Is proud to present

Its newsletter

of Social & Spiritual Commentaries:

SPIRITUAL CLIMATE®

Sunday, October 21, 2007

" Contemplation and wisdom are highest achievements

and Man (humanity) is not totally at home with them. "

~ Gabriel Marcel

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A WARM Welcome to the Readers, Students,

and Friends of Spiritual Climate!

Did I say WARM? Let me tell you, it’s been so hot in Phoenix that you can’t even get people to laugh about it by bringing up the Robin Williams bit about loving the feeling of sweat pouring down the crack of your ass like Niagara Falls! THAT is hot, and the humidity with it has made us feel like we are in a never ending sauna! So much for the physical climate around here, think you get the picture!

The Spiritual Climate, though, has been just as hot, with Dr. Strickler delivering discourses that kick open doors to ever increasing knowledge as we traveled through the Dog Days of our Holy Season of the Q- Tradition brought in by the heliocentric rising of the star Sirius from July 23 through September 9. This time of year brings a different quality of intensity to the forefront, and this year has not been an especially easy one for the Staff of Spiritual Climate. There have been Emergency Room visits, emergency surgeries, dental problems, births, and serious illnesses among family and friends of us all. It seems each one of us has been challenged by drastic changes, demands and fluctuations within our workplaces and the judicial system has been making its presence known as well. Car repairs, late or lost checks, incompetent management, communication mix ups, plumbing and air conditioning problems, banking errors, last minute changes in plans. . . You name it, it probably happened to one of us over the past few weeks, but as we have been so sternly warned, we did not ask, nor even think, the question “Can it get any worse?” The good news is that we all managed to survive the down pouring of energies and are now experiencing the gradual integration of these energies into our personal spheres, as we contemplate the quickly approaching night of Hallow’s Eve, one of the two “darkest” nights of the year.

It is in that spirit that we would like to welcome you back to the Spiritual Climate Newsletter and ask for your understanding for our absence publicly both on the net and in your e-mail box with a monthly publication of our newsletter. Dr. Strickler has been taken to task during a new stage of recovery from his medical event of three years ago; there is a phase of a recovery, apparently, for people who have suffered a stroke which is called ‘awakening’. For Dr. Strickler it is been a very awkward accumulation of intermittent awareness these past ten months since it started off including all of the eerie recognitions that it seems to bring. In his words, he has finally come to some small realization that this medical physical event was dangerous and threatened the continued existence of his physical body and his ability to participate in this world.

Now that we are back in publication, after much soul searching and meetings with the staff of writers and contributors to the Spiritual Climate Newsletter we are going to publish bimonthly editions, or in other words, at two months intervals. This decision has come with some angst due to the popularity we have learned our newsletter has, since it is forwarded to parts and people unknown around the world. That being said, be it known that the writers and contributors are eager and excited for the continued publication of the Spiritual Climate Newsletter. Because of the ever increasing productivity demands from their employers, however, one has to recognize that something cannot be created out of nothing. Productivity inflation is encroaching and usurping the time, space and freedom of all individuals, masterminded by those who live parasitically off of the productive powers of labor and the nonproductive overhead of management.

Our solution for the time being is simple: you can look forward to receiving new editions of the Spiritual Climate Newsletter on a bimonthly basis.

IN THIS EDITION

The October 2007 Edition of the Spiritual Climate Newsletter comes to you HOT off the presses with the following articles:

Dr. Strickler brilliantly leads off the October 2007 Edition with a look at contemplation, stimulated by a trip back to the town of his birth this past June in his article “IN DEFENSIO DE COMTEMPLATIO”.

In an article entitled THE CHOICE IS YOURS: PART 2”, Christine Ford challenges you to examine the path you are walking, or perhaps more appropriately put, sleep walking, and gives you some clues on how to make choices that just might help you wake up!

Wendy Ford asks a plethora of seemingly unanswerable questions as she explores the miasma of the ambiguity of our current healthcare system in her article PLEASE, CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME?

In his article entitled “FEAR’S REBELLION”, Adam Crosthwaite takes a thoughtful look at fear and the barriers and limitations fear can precipitate within one’s life if not checked, citing his own experiences to illustrate his words.

Also we would also like to extend a warm thank-you for My Favorite Ezines for counting our Newsletter in their Directory of listings and the beautiful summary they included.

As always, we invite you to grab a cup, mug, glass or thermos of your favorite beverage, settle down into that comfy computer chair, and enjoy the ponderings and wanderings we have put together to share with you as you indulge this wonderfully HOT October 2007 Edition of the Spiritual Climate Newsletter.

The Staff of Spiritual Climate would like to welcome you to the wonders of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness available to all who seek.

Welcome to the OCTOBER 2007 EDITION of

the SPIRITUAL CLIMATE NEWSLETTER

Blessings to all!

Christine Ford

Editor

The Sombrero Galaxy (M104) The disk displays dark dust lanes, where many young and bright stars reside. The Hubble telescope also shows that the glowing central bulge of stars harbors nearly 2,000 globular clusters of stars, 10 times as many as orbit our Milky Way galaxy! ~ HubbleSite News Center

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter OCTOBER 2007 ~ part 1 ~ IN DENFENSIO DE CONTEMPLATIO by Rev. David Strickler

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In Defensio De Contemplatio

By Rev. David Strickler

There comes a time in everyone’s life where one needs to look back and review the events and situations that occur from the interrelationships and effects from experiences within life. Many spiritual traditions teach and often speak of the periodic examination of daily events, weekly events to review ourselves in each situation that we encounter. It is quite often to find residual leftover feelings, but sensations or some type of pensive recurring feelings or thoughts can seem to loom like clouds moving through the daytime skyline overhead on a beautiful summer day.

Much has occurred since the production of the last Spiritual Climate Newsletter. I had taken a much needed vacation back to my hometown of Lorain, Ohio. This trip was long overdue and was given to me as a gift from my students. It was kind of decided for me when Ms. Ford had to make a return trip to visit some of her remaining family in Ohio. This worked out very well because I can’t travel by myself yet, let alone drive an automobile for more than fifteen or twenty minutes. I was excited to be able to return for a long overdue visit to my hometown. This gave me the opportunity with the limited time that I had, to catch up and have a 28 year reunion with some friends I had shared many tears, joys and growing pains with during the earlier part of my life, where music played a central theme and bonding role in friendship.

I am thankful for the opportunity to have renewed, rejuvenated and healed some of my relationships where it was necessary on my behalf. I was unable to see everyone that I wanted to and liked to have seen simply because I couldn’t seem to connect with them prior to my arrival in Ohio.

For all of the joy, memories and rejuvenation that a reunion with old friends can bring, this trip was also touched by a note of sadness. One would have to be blind not to recognize that my old home town is struggling for survival; that its people are fighting to maintain whatever meager existence they may have in their region of this country. I was further saddened to hear a secondhand commentary referenced to the leadership in that region and city; that the city leadership was launching an investigation to determine why the county was struggling—talk about learned ignorance and the height of conscientious stupidity—Duhhhh—an investigation? It doesn’t even require a highly skilled academic to understand what is going on in terms of the economic collapse of that city and any of the given regions in Ohio, talk about insincere ignorance from the local political leadership. Learned ignorance? Nicholas of Cusa ( 1401-1464 a.d. whose principal work is De Docta Ignorantia ) would be shocked and roll over in his grave, it would in the very least give him an abundance of fresh material with which to augment his work and writings were he alive today.

There are many parts of the trip that were surrealistic in the texture and quality from my subjective point of view that contribute to the ongoing contemplative and pensive state of awareness that I have been preoccupied with over the past ten months. It reaffirmed my findings that a quiet state of non physical activity coupled with an observant, analytical contemplative process can yield a positive abundance of conflict resolution and fresh insight; it can refresh an ongoing summation that hadn’t received necessary attention until it was given the required space, time and attenuation.

When coupled with revisiting the actual space of activities contained within a given domain of your life experience, contemplation becomes an indispensable tool that enables an in breathing and out breathing which is representative of the fruits and process of understanding. It also allows for the resizing into better proportions of any memories, thereby discarding unnecessary incongruities due to sensory maturation and contrast through time.

Contemplation is a process in which this review takes place in our thoughts within a space of mental activity. This space is an area which in its rudimentary form is the threshold and doorway to a room that converges as an intersection point for feedback from the soul. This feedback is instigated by whatever degree of critical thinking, objectivity (as far as we’re capable of) in looking at ourselves and emotions that lack resolution contained within the events being reviewed within our life.

Processes of contemplation used rightly, can render the landscape of our prior event and situational horizon from our experience in a new and different light, perhaps the clarified light that enables us to see things which may have gone unnoticed and removed from the lens of our awareness. We can gain from this process a standpoint of ourselves in relation to our activity contained within any interrelationship and situation in our encounters in the stream of our live within the container of our physical bodies during our short manifestation here within the confines of this earthly plane.

There is a cornucopia of gains in richness to be derived from using contemplation as a means to investigate wherever our experience and awareness is restricted by any defensive posture or negative response to the encounters our senses become exposed to in the hustle and bustle of the everyday world. Sometimes it can seem as though we’re negotiating as if we’re white water rafting, either through waters that are calm or tumultuous with turbulent twists and turns, up and downs through the mixture of spiritual climates that we call our day.

The yield can either be an awareness that we’ve left something undone, unsaid or maybe the realization of an achievement however small or large which occurs to us after the event has taken place. This is where the harvest can be great, as long as we provide labor to sift and sort the knowledge from the wheat and chaff contained within the bushels of information that our senses are reacting to and have gathered from the exterior world that they stand in relation to. The senses are imperfect even though they have an astonishing capability to create imagery and reflections of the representation or model from the information that they are gathering vastly exceeding any modern technological wonders.

One of the fruits of contemplation is a newfound awareness generated from a view compiled from preceding events in our lives. This awareness is actually one of the signposts that we are beginning to utilize spiritual consciousness in this world and the awareness that I’m speaking of is quite simple: Do we really understand where another person is coming from or do we just merely recognize the words that they’re speaking and from there go on to create a picture generated from the personal bias of definitions of those words merely from the subjective dictionary generated from our own experiences. In other words are we on the same page? How much of the page is similar? Where and which words being used are we responding to in the same way that the other person is responding; are we seeing the picture that the person is conveying with their words?

It is in this area we can come to realize or at least begin to realize where a vast field of misunderstanding and non consensus is contained. This is one domain that can be investigated within anyone’s interactions where signals of misinterpretation have been rendered because of the subjective listening bias of any participant. This type of phenomenon is widely recognized by translators who must render words and sentences spoken from another individual of a different language being presented to the listener in their own native language. Translation is a delicate process and requires skills, discernment and objectivity for the rendering to come as close to the intent of the foreign language being spoken to be understood by a listener who is a non native.

Haven’t you ever wondered about the accuracy of what is being translated in some social situations; is it an approximation? Personally, I have heard and seen many situations within which a translation has been rendered and a word comes out which is only a close approximation to the foreign word being used and is lacking in accuracy based on the skill of the translator. People who only speak English, read English and write English are often times prone to such misunderstandings that occur within translations, due to lack of education or some peculiar form of cultural narcissism where they have allowed themselves and their perceptions to become the center of the universe.

This phenomenon is common in the political arena, especially where the current news-entertainment industry takes its usual five to ten second sound bytes and presents the misinterpretation of their focus by interpreting a given set of words spoken by another individual completely out of context, in its place creating a phantasmagoria of biased perception to be impressed upon the listening audience and painting the way towards a canvas of socially engineered mob perception.

On a larger scale using contemplation we can see the tools of compliance being used, implemented suavely and with great ingenuity by public relations engineers in order to achieve the desired end through the creation of a pseudo product. What else would one expect in the world of the religion of consumerism, whether that consumerism be products of engineered misinformation from religious, scientific or any other field of discipline which subscribes to the historical inertia resulting from the heresy in the ongoing activity of sophistry descending from the heritage of Greek history? This phenomenon has continually incarnated and reshaped into every period of time generated by the skills of materialists who have drawn from the instinctual art of morphing and adaptation contained within the subhuman animal portion of the human brain.

One only need watch the parsing of words in any political, religious or scientific arena where a common language is shared during a discourse, exchange of opinions and points of view to experience the stretching behavior that results from the compulsive behavior generated by selling; have we turned our society into nothing more than a group of individuals who have become a consortium of morally depraved salespeople practicing their salesmanship to achieve some form of transitory gratification in the form of personal fame, glory or satisfaction for the behest of some hedge fund, private equity firm or any other form of institutional economic terrorism that seeks to disassemble the greater welfare of this nation and our children?

We live in an age where entertainers, such as Ann Coulter (not to leave out Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity) express themselves and use the word liberalism in a profoundly suspicious approximation of usage as Adolf Hitler did in his book, Mein Kampf.

“Today Christians … stand at the head of [this country]… I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past … (few) years.”

~ Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872 )

Shouldn’t this raise enough flags to question the philosophical parentage of some of the babbling writers within today’s current society and at the very least question the motivation of some major writers and pundits who have celebrity status with the trash they produce-what is it that they seek to do? Perhaps they’re just laughing all the way to the bank whilst striding across the stage as an idiot telling the tale of rancid rant in order to gratify some unfulfilled need that came into being during their childhood or adolescence. In all fairness, pundits such as the above mentioned and many others would appear far more credible if they wore a straitjacket when speaking when appearing before the public on any platform where they are engaged as guests or host speakers.

Words and usage of words is important as we should strive for accuracy instead of intentional misinformation, disinformation and the lemming syndrome that can occur in such instances of uncritical acceptance of word collages designed to incite fear, insecurity and compliance. Further contemplation is needed in this area where some are recognizing the use of engineered compliance being tooled to generate a psychological form of coup d’état to produce an outcome that usurps freedom, liberty and the genuine expression of spiritual individuality, depriving any future growth out of the delusion and illusion that appears to be festering like an unconstrained cancer in this world in the its Tower of Babel.

It is time to question the use of our own words whenever we find our need to communicate and to be understood in personal, business or social situations. It is also time to question the definitions of some of the very same words we use when those words are being heard coming out of mouths of people in any position of leadership for the greater good of social growth and future directions being considered to increase the life, liberty and happiness of the people of this great nation and its general welfare. We are at a crossroads, I believe, where critical and strong questions are needed to be posed in order to draw attention towards any agenda that remains hidden from the public, whether the purpose for concealment is intentional or unintentional; it is in this way that we can come to help the determinations based on information presented where decisions and choices are required in order to procure a healthful outcome for our future and our children’s future.

Perhaps it is time to reconsider the use of contemplation and further refine our skill to reclaim our internal landscape, returning it to a dynamic balance capable of producing and uncovering knowledge left in the shadows from the myopic use of our listening and visual skills generated by the unnecessary speed or the worship to the monetary gains eulogized by the productivity pulpits of the Wall Street false prophets. Maybe it is high time to fire the couturiers who are currently involved in the latest trend of the new emperor’s clothes.

Let us go forward from here and foster the use of contemplation, to offset the insidious rate of productivity that increasingly speeds us toward a rapid disintegration of our personal space and time where we are free to explore the wonders of human consciousness and the life stream created upon the tapestry of our never ending existence which continues even outside physical containers that we recognize as our life here in this world.

We don’t need innovation; we do need the discovery of new knowledge derived from a comprehension of the invisible principles that are within the physical domain of the universe in order to align with the continual expansion and inherent yet untapped plentitude that exists within their rich potential harvest in our unending travels in terra firma. The current use of the word innovation by the predominant sophists of our time appears to me to be nothing more than an attempt at diversion. Diversion from what you may ask? From the obvious would be my answer, from slowing down and taking the time to see and hear what is really going on by asking a wide range and narrow range of necessary questions that take to task the current views being promulgated by paid for mouthpieces who may not have our best intentions and livelihood at heart or in sight.

We can begin within the sphere of our personal spiritual climate, by increasing the warming of our discernment in order to bring about a thawing-out of the frozen wasteland that was produced by our non use of those abilities that were given to us at the moment of our birth when we were created in the image and likeness of our creator and source. It is through the tools of genuine meditation and contemplation that we can become unfrozen and begin to live and move and have our being within the true freedom that resides within by embracing truth and discarding whatever falsehood we have unintentionally accepted, be that falsehood an erroneous acceptance of misinformation generated by opinions coming from religious, political, scientific or business malfeasance.

In the spirit of contemplation be ever vigilant, even though the visible threat of physical terrorism has existed ever since the dawn of this great nation, I feel people need to become more aware of forms of terrorism that are not physical by nature and therefore aren’t as apparent to the unaided eye: economic terrorism, monetary terrorism, policies that create terrorism, fiscal austerity terrorism, the state of the ignorance which creates ideological terrorism, subprime loan terrorism, just to name a few.

Let in the light, ( Vayomer Elohim Yehi Aur: וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר [And God said: ‘Let there be light.’] ) and the darkness will vanish, disappear like ice and snow in the light of the noonday sun, whatever the shape and face of the darkness that appears within the model that the physical senses create will disappear when we open the curtains and allow the effulgent spiritual light infuse us in Its glistening warmth. All the creatures of darkness and shadows of phantasmagoria will disappear and we shall see truly what there is to see and know and exercise what wisdom we gain.

That is the true spirit of the Qabala, to be receptive. This begs the question, to be receptive to what? It is here with this question that we must exercise the inherent freedom of choice that we are given to employ in this world and in all worlds that we live and move and have our being within; we must choose who and/or what we are receptive to, as this exemplifies the first lesson and skill to be gleaned from understanding the practice that Qabala can bring, and this lesson is the lesson of discernment, ever to be gained, honed and wielded within the personal domain of our physical senses that stand in relationship to ‘exterior’ world.

Humanity stands at a crossroads, and the citizens of this great nation, the United States of America, born at the receptivity inherent within the consciousness of our Founding Fathers who chose to pay attention to a higher calling for the benefit of the general welfare of the future of humanity, are at a point in history where we too must choose. It is my hope that we heed the voice and record of history and select the choice that will benefit the general welfare of the current humanity and the future humanity that inevitably will come to growth here in this dismal plane.

Welcome back to Spiritual Climate Newsletter. Thank you for choosing to take some time and space in allowing me to share some of the fruit of contemplation generated during my absence in the process of confronting and overcoming some of my personal physical limitations as a result of my medical event from three years ago.

Baruch Bashan

(from Hebrew: the Blessings Already are)

Rev. David Strickler, Ph.D.

Qabalistic Minister 

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter OCTOBER 2007 ~ part 2 ~ THE CHOICE IS YOURS: Part 2 , by Christine Ford

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The Choice Is Yours: Part 2

By Christine Ford

While cleaning out old files from my struggling, wheezing computer, I was “sorting the wheat from the chaff” in determining what to save to download onto our new Spiritual Climate computer. (Thanks again, Patty!) I found the beginning of an article from way back in March 2004 that never came to be finished, and was amazed at the appropriateness it held in light of that which I am experiencing right now. Interesting, how ideas pop in and begin to heat up, are put on the back burner to simmer for a while, then start boiling enough to catch our attention and end up being an enhanced version of what was originally begun, isn’t it? This article was prompted by my contemplation of the words “shallow and fragile” in relation to the seeking of “knowledge” as used by Dr. Strickler in the Interview he gave to Spiritual Climate regarding healing in “A Short Interview with Dr. David Strickler November 29, 2003”, published January 31st, 2004 (please note, this interview is unpublished on the blog as of yet). I found myself pondering those words and how they interplay in my path and in the journey of those around me. Dr. Strickler’s words which prompted this article are as follows:

“Simplicity unaided by knowledge renders an individual fragile.

People who are imbedded in the shallowness of their perception have pronation and vivid acumen towards simplistic answers. But simple answers don’t take us out of the platonic cave of shadows.

One must admit that there is a problem and that they are powerless over that problem due to the current level of knowledge they are able to exercise.”

I have come to the conclusion that the SHALLOWNESS and FRAGILITY of faith, love, understanding, communication, reasoning, dialogue, sincerity, and honesty that exist in this world have indeed created a society of lemmings rushing to the sea who DO, in fact, ceaselessly “ask, seek and knock”, as was also discussed in Dr. Strickler’s interview. The question is, however, the methods the masses employ as they “ask, seek and knock”, the danger and SHALLOWNESS of the “information only” answers with which they are pacified and placated instead of the pursuit of genuine KNOWLEDGE and the resulting FRAGILITY of that which is held in regard to be Spiritual by our society.

The shallowness and fragility of that which the generic metaphysical community presents as Spiritual certainly does lead their “consumers” to questions (asking) and a search (seeking), and a frenzy of running from place to place throwing away money and time on the latest fad technique in hopes of obtaining enlightenment (knocking). Generic metaphysics, in all its trappings and feel good techniques, masquerading as true Spirituality has created a body of horrifically shallow and fragile consumers for their products, just as the trend has gone in numerous areas of our twisted societal economy, engineered by the cunning analysts who view us all as “consumers” and nothing more. The shallowness and fragility of that which society at large and the metaphysical community specifically are asking, seeking and knocking in hopes of discovering, however, is a sad commentary that runs rampant, in an ever spiraling avalanche of confusion, depression and instant gratification of sensation. Their blissfully optimistic “Let Go and Let God” attitude, coupled now with the revelation of the so-called “”Secret” for all to know is just plain a blasphemy of Spirituality.

The way I am feeling right now, this could easily turn into a rant that could go for pages, but somehow, that isn’t what needs to be written. This goes far deeper than merely spouting off about what we have become and pointing out to you, the reader, that which you most likely are already aware of if you are honest with yourself, even if you are unable to admit it consciously or speak the words aloud. No, this discovery carries with it an intense sadness and sorrow that I cannot shake, a knowing that the masses are totally missing the mark, that they are living out the greatest of sins that could ever be committed. The gulf of disconnectedness from the Soul and Spirit which we were intended by the One Creator to explore within this negative plane of existence has grown in direct proportion to the insanity of our consumer driven mentality, being continually embellished upon and gleefully taken advantage of by those dangling the plastic carrot of “Spiritual Truth”.

The beauty and agape of participating in the ongoing Genesis that we have been granted by the One to create, discover and grow within has been bastardized and sacrificed. What was meant to be the exuberant, dynamic experience of LIFE has become an empty experience of living DEATH, a shallow, fragile shell of an existence, the Platonic cave of shadows as referred to in Dr. Strickler’s interview. We don’t need to be concerned about going to Hell after we die. We are living Hell each and every day through the illusions, lies and fantasies we create right here on Earth by misappropriating the power of choice and use of Free Will given to us so lovingly by The One God. As Dr. Strickler has pointed out, over and over, the answers are within the simple formula: ask, seek and knock.

But ask for WHAT? Seek WHAT? Knock for WHAT?

One of the most difficult challenges I have faced in my years as a student, and, if I am going to be perfectly honest, in my years before having even met Dr. Strickler, is developing the fine art of asking. Be it asking for help, for advice, for money, for assistance… Be it asking a question or for further clarification of a statement… Be it asking for love, or a touch, or that my needs be met… Be it asking someone for guidance or just to have a little bit of patience with me please… Be it asking if I can help someone in need… Be it asking for the time and space to be MYSELF! I think you get the picture.

Though this has changed considerably over the past five years, I still find myself confused and frustrated with my inability to verbalize a question or a need, in other words, to ASK. My pattern, which is changing, has been to just hope and pray that someone will read my mind and fulfill my needs. Then I have merely accepted, often begrudgingly but silently, that which came to me, whether it was what I wanted or not, and been outwardly thankful for whatever it was. Oh my God! Sounds sickeningly passive-aggressive, doesn’t it!? Know what? It’s even worse than that. It is a total denial and misuse of the power of Choice and use of Free Will that was given to me, as was given to us all, by The Creator.

What do you ask for? How do you ask? Do you ask or question at all? Or do you simply surrender your right to ask and allow yourself to be tossed about by the whims and wiles of the illusions of the masses, never having those questions that burn within you answered? Do you get so caught up in the daily minute to minute grind that you don’t even allow those questions to surface, or, perhaps, are you afraid of what those questions might be and the answers and work (GREAT WORK) they might bring?

As the Ancient Mystery Schools so succinctly query, WHAT DO YOU WANT? This is such a seemingly simple question, yet such a difficult one to answer. Only after years of being a serious student of a Spiritual Teacher am I finally beginning to formulate my answer to that, and even THAT is constantly changing and reforming, and that answer remains between me and The One.

You have to start somewhere though! Just consider for a moment the question, WHAT DO YOU WANT? Do you have an answer? Take some time to search your heart and mind, and when you find an answer, ASK FOR IT! GO FOR IT! MAKE IT SO! Have the balls to go beyond your fears and seeming limitations and put it into words, into action, into reality. At least you then are exercising the power of choice and taking some volitional steps to take your want out of your head and heart and put it into your waking conscious life. That is your right and your privilege as a human consciousness. Experience the freedom of taking the matter into your hands and voicing! ASK!

And next we SEEK! Personally, this one has seemingly (she says ever so cautiously, waiting for the Big Shoe to kick her in the ass) been the easiest for me! I have always been a seeker, haunting bookstores and attending lectures, listening to tapes and looking for information, but it has not been until very recently that I realized what I was a seeker OF! To seek is to search for, similar in a sense to asking, but more of a nonverbal quest, a journey! With seeking comes the discovery of answers through growth of the awareness of paradox, the dialogue about that paradox, the beauty of agape, and most importantly, the acquisition of KNOWLEDGE, not information peddling, through the Spiritual discovery process.

The journey of discovery of Who and What I truly Am, the Enlightenment, the Illumination, The Truth, The Beauty and The Love, all this and more lies at the far distant but ever growing closer end of my journey and is an infinitely unfolding process of discernment and sorting. Seeking is the process of moving from day to day and living life fully within the moment; it is hard work and tears, as well as times of sheer joy and laughter, but I do know what I am seeking. I am seeking Myself, and I can now state that freely and openly, and though it may sound exceedingly narcissistic to some, I really don’t care! I have come to know through my exposing and exploring my “Martyrdom Poor Me Complex” that I can help no one until I have become true to Who and What I Am and have been constantly attempting, though not always perfectly, to surrender my misconstrued ideas of personal will to the Will of the One, in other words, to put my personality and ego in its place!

That, my dear friends, is a lifetime after lifetime process which is by no means complete! I sincerely thank Dr. Strickler and Dianne for all that they have given and conveyed which has at least allowed me to be cognizant of what it is I seek within this lifetime! Now I ask a question of you, and I ask you to ponder for a moment.

What is it you seek? How do you seek it? Do you seek it at all? Or have you squandered your right to the attainment of that for which you were destined to the shallow and fragile insanity of the daily rat race? Are you going to be the gnarly old rat seeking only the generic metaphysical moldy old hunk of cheese when it is your birthright to be feasting upon the most succulent delicacies of the Elixir of Life in true Spiritual seeking? The choice, my friend, is yours, and, I remind you, so is the Karma.

Finally, this brings us to KNOCK, associated once more with asking! I’ve learned from experience, and am learning more clearly every day, that when you knock, you better damn well be ready to ASK when that door is opened! No mincing of words, stuttering, or DUH moments! You get to the point of knocking, and you better damn well be ready to open up your mouth!

OH MY GOD! While writing this I just had this gigantic AH-HA as to the realization of how crucial the skill of asking is: it not only precedes but is the foundation and fuel for the seeking and the knocking. I can just see Dr. Strickler laughing his ass off as he reads this part, because I just clicked into the fact that this has been an underlying current of my whole process since I arrived here in Phoenix five years ago on May 18, 2002, indeed, since I began this journey under Dr. Strickler’s guidance in February, 1992! Is this my gift of insight this year resulting from the energies of the Holy Season of Sirius? Well, Dr. Strickler, it may not make it any easier for me to actually voice those questions, I may still stutter and stammer looking for the appropriate words, but at last I’ve finally apprehended the SPIRIT of ASKING! It just never ceases to amaze me, the way in which knowing unfolds, opens and sometimes comes up and smacks you out of seeming nowhere in those moments when you are looking the other way! You all just witnessed an unedited glimmer of the joy of agape! Thank you Dr. Strickler!

Remember, you must SEEK the door assiduously, and be sure you have a question ready to ASK when it opens! But again, you must get up the gumption to KNOCK or your asking and seeking has been in vain!

Why did you knock? What were you hoping to find? Did you knock at all? Or did you pass by the door without even noticing that it was open a bit, that there was a dazzling light shining on the other side seeping through the cracks, and that the REAL YOU was on the other side, waiting for YOURSELF? Did you by pass the possibility of the exploration and opening to the reality of life and the ongoing creation of Genesis and choose instead the door of the masses of humanity who remain in the shallow and fragile existence of a living Hell? Again, the choice is yours.

I have lived my entire life, until quite recently, piously suffering under the self proclaimed illusion that I wanted to make the world a better place, to save the suffering masses, to help create world peace! I have taught handicapped kids for over 30 years now as a part of that “reality” that I created, and though I have seen some kids grow, I surely haven’t made the mark I set out to on the world! Geeze, I sounded like a fucking contestant for the Ms America Pageant! GET REAL!

I have finally come to know that the only person I can help is myself and everything I do is for ME! The only way I can hope to have even the smallest hand in aiding the “world” situation is to keep asking, seeking and knocking as I move along the path of Truth and Knowledge which I have chosen and then applying those truths and principles to my world. By growing in light and living those truths and principles to the best of my ability at any given moment, perhaps I may act as a catalyst for the growth of those I come into contact with. They may or may not choose to accept that which I have grown to be as I continue my process of “becoming”, and they may or may not choose to grow as well. That CHOICE belongs to each person, as does the freedom to exercise their God given use of Free Will to ask, seek and knock, in their quest for the knowledge that is their birth right.

ASK, SEEK and KNOCK! WHAT DO YOU WANT? Do you want the shallow, fragile life of information gathering, the illusion of the shadows dancing on the wall in Plato’s Cave created by those whose goal is to peddle a product and consider you nothing more than a consumer? Do you want the profoundly deep, powerfully strong life of knowledge, the truth and reality of that which only a Spiritual Teacher can reveal, whose goal is to guide you through the rough as well as smooth waters as you move closer to becoming Who and What you truly are? WHAT DO YOU WANT?

. . .May you choose wisely. . .

Christine Ford

Editor

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter OCTOBER 2007 ~ part 3 ~ PLEASE, CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME? by Wendy Ford

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Please, Can Anyone Explain This To Me?

By Wendy Ford

Many out there are wiser than I. Many have much higher degrees of education than I. Many have long careers in the political arena and federal bureaucracy, certainly arenas of bafflement to me. Others have spent their careers in policy making for the healthcare field succeeding in turning it into an actual “industry”. Policy making and attempting to control spending is admirable and necessary but at the same time perplexing.

Increasingly I find myself feeling as if I am standing under an overpass in the middle of a four-lane highway furiously waving a red flag and pleading, “Excuse me. Pardon me. Could someone help me, please?” All the while everyone is speeding on by, in all four directions, pens poised, in a whoosh of hot air as they go rushing about their business of attempting to stem the tides of flowing funds. The only goal of which all are in apparent agreement is that spending needs to be controlled. Maybe someone out there can explain some of this to me, for after almost 34 years in the healthcare field I am evidently missing some crucial point of understanding.

These are only a few of my endless questions and I am positive anyone working in or dealing with our health care system can add to these. Not one of us is immune to the state that our health care system is in.

Why is it that Medicare and insurance companies will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat a bedsore (decuitus) after it has formed but not pay for the alternating pressure air mattress that would have prevented the formation of the wound in the first place? [That’s a “luxury comfort item”.] If Medicare would pay for this item do they really think every senior is just drooling in anticipation over having the gentle whoosh, thump, whoosh of the air compressor lull them off to dreamland every night?

Why is it that Medicare and insurance companies will pay for someone’s rehospitalization and the sometimes required surgical intervention following the dislocation of a total hip replacement but won’t pay forty dollars for the elevated toilet seat that would have prevented the dislocation in the first place? [That’s a “luxury comfort item”.] If Medicare would pay for this item do they see a river of red ink as every senior rushes right out to have this glamorous item put on every commode in their home?

Why is it that Medicare and insurance companies will pay the tens of thousands of dollars required to fix a broken hip but not the twenty dollars for the grab bar in the shower that may have prevented the fall and fracture in the first place? By the way it is a well-known fact that a fractured hip is among the leading causes of the elderly losing their ability to remain living and functioning independently in their own homes often necessitating placement in a care facility that Medicare will pay tens of thousands of dollars for. Once Medicare funds are exhausted the person pays out of pocket until they are financially destitute at which point state funded Medicaid programs generally take over. Then it is our public funds to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars that foots the bill. Another well-documented fact is that life expectancy following a fractured hip is shortened; death frequently occurs within a year following the incident. Of course the cause of death is never the hip fracture but pneumonia or some other medical problem that was exacerbated by the inactivity following the broken hip. [Again the “luxury comfort item” category.] If Medicare were to pay for this item many seniors WOULD have them installed in their homes. The math hasn’t been done but wouldn’t it take an awful lot of grabs bars to equal the cost of paying for just ONE person’s hip fracture?

Why will Medicare pay hundreds of thousands of dollars treating a diabetic foot or leg ulcer often resulting in the ultimate amputation of a leg, then pay for the rehab, the prosthesis, rehabilitation services, equipment and pain management but won’t spend less than four thousand dollars on a home based ultraviolet light treatment device that has been proven to be efficacious in the healing of these ulcers? Once the ulcer is healed it has been clinically shown that the ulcer does NOT recur when treated with ultraviolet light. Diabetics with chronic ulcers will tell you that is NOT the case following conventional treatments.

Additionally this specialized ultraviolet treatment has been proven to actually reverse peripheral neuropathies in the legs and feet that are so common especially in folks with diabetes. These neuropathies can cause intractable pain and untold suffering often requiring very expensive drug management that Medicare does pay for. Another effect of peripheral neuropathies is numbness in the feet leading to the development of ulcers and pressure sores on the feet that don’t heal but Medicare and insurances pay for attempts at getting these often-chronic wounds to heal. The numbness can lead to loss of balance interfering with ambulation and subsequent falls resulting in hip fractures. Please refer to the above-mentioned effects of hip fractures and that completes this scenario.

Peripheral Neuropathies can also occur in the hands causing pain and/or numbness. This can make it difficult for sufferers to manage utensils when eating or writing, managing the fasteners of clothing items, managing doorknobs and faucets. Many sufferers are taking powerful pain medications and require assistance from family, friends or private caregivers to perform the simplest of daily tasks. Yet with the ultraviolet treatment and home unit that cost less than four thousand dollars the neuropathy can be reversed giving relief from pain and restoring functional use of the fingers and hands.

Having personally witnessed the effects of this treatment it is just not within my grasp of understanding to see why reimbursement for a home unit for these folks to be able to continue treatments on their own without the need for the cost of an outpatient treatment should be denied. A wound care clinic called me one day to find out just what treatment we were using on one of their patient’s heel ulcer. The patient had just come in for his weekly appointment and they had measured a 25% reduction in the size of the wound noting for the first time a viable wound bed of granulation tissue (that’s the good red tissue that is indication of improving blood supply and critical for healing to occur). Another patient walked into our clinic with tears of joy streaming down her face. She had just finished writing a letter to her daughter. You see she hadn’t been able to hold on to a pen in over 4 years. A gentleman was able sleep through the night for the first time in years without needing a narcotic for the foot pain. Another lady graduated from using a walker to a cane because for the first time in over 5 years she could feel her feet on the floor with the restored sensation from the reduction of the peripheral neuropathy.

If Medicare were to pay for this item thousands of folks could be spared untold pain and suffering, surgical procedures for wound cleaning and skin grafting could be reduced, many disfiguring amputations could be avoided, extensive rehab time and equipment expenses could be reduced. Quality of life could be vastly improved for many. Yes, it had become a popular treatment and for a time the costs were rising as more and more patients experienced lasting results from the treatments. If the treatments were working, why in the world did Medicare decide to discontinue paying for it? Patients and the manufacturers of the ultraviolet treatment even testified before Medicare with clinical studies showing the positive results being obtained using this cutting edge technology.

Why is it that Medicare and insurance companies will pay for the hospitalization of a patient for their chemo therapy treatments and will pay for the delivery of the treatment in a physician’s office, but will not pay for the drugs if they are delivered in the home setting by qualified personnel? The nursing visit and the intravenous equipment and supplies are paid for but not the very expensive chemotherapy drugs. The already immunocompromised patient must leave their home (often depending on a family member or friend taking time off work or school to provide transportation and then waiting two to three hours during the treatment), struggle to get to the doctor’s office for the treatment then struggle to get back home. If Medicare did pay for the chemotherapy drugs when used in the home setting what do they think would happen? Maybe they figure that it is more expensive to pay for it to be delivered in the home. It sure tugs at the heart to see a patient already weakened by rounds of radiation and chemotherapy struggling with the help of two family members to get into a wheelchair, get in to a car, then struggle to get out of the car and into the doctor’s office, get out of the wheelchair and into the treatment bed or lounge chair then have to reverse the whole laborious process 3 hours later.

Why it is that Medicare and insurance companies are demanding that patients be discharged to care facilities or their homes with such short hospital stays? The home health care field is treating patients in their homes that up until several years ago would have still been in an intensive care unit. Every hospital has on staff social workers whose sole responsibility is discharge planning. Their job is to coordinate the hospital discharges mandated by Medicare and the insurance companies with the physicians and patients to ensure that the patient has appropriate help at home, gets the appropriate medial equipment or assistive devices needed and has an appropriate home environment to go home to. Unfortunately, “appropriate” does not always mean “adequate and acceptable”. Too many emergency calls have been made to home care agency medical social workers by home care personnel requesting assistance with emergency placement for a patient who is not appropriate for home care services following hospital discharge.

Too often home care agency personnel have been sent out for a home care admission on a patient who has been sent home with no one to care for or assist them, with inadequate and unsafe housing or with no means of getting food or paying for prescribed medications.

Medicare regulations state that an agency may not admit a patient to home care whose needs exceed the care the agency is permitted by Medicare regulations to provide. That’s a good regulation to have. However, the hospital, rehab center or nursing home needed to discharge the patient because the Medicare reimbursement guidelines only allow so many hospital, rehab, or nursing home days. Yet the patient does not meet the Medicare reimbursement criteria for continued hospital, rehab or nursing home admission/placement. Huh?

Last November an article was published in this newsletter/social commentary about the Therapy Reimbursement Cap. That is still an issue before the legislature as it was only put on hold at the close of the 2006 session of Congress. It is still possible for a less than two thousand dollar limit to be placed on out patient therapy services.

Medicare is a costly system. It is not going to go away. Costs will continue to climb as more and more of us reach that magical age of 65. What are we to do? The rules and regulations are what they are and who can fight the federal government, right? WRONG!

We need to have a healthcare SYSTEM and not an “Industry”. What really needs to be done is to put the health care system back in the hands of the people who deliver the care and take it OUT of the hands of the pharmaceutical and insurance companies. It needs to be the physicians and healthcare provider professionals making the day to day CLINICAL decisions and not businessmen and women. The HMO Mandate needs to be repealed. You remember, the one that turned healthcare into a profit generating industry.

Each and every one of us can write to our Congressmen and Senators, those of us who are members of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) can join in taking action through the resources of that organization. Those of us who work in the health care field can work through our professional organizations. Most importantly we can take our voices to the voting booths and use our fingers to make our wishes known. There is no reason why every single one of us can’t take some kind of action. Come on, folks. Together the American people CAN band together to make our voices heard. Together we CAN form a united front that cannot and WILL not be ignored.

Can anyone explain why this is NOT possible?

May the Lord of Life provide you the light bright enough to see, the discernment accurate enough to recognize and identify and the courage large enough to let you stand up and speak out against injustice wherever it may be hiding and lurking.

Blessings,

Wendy Ford

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter OCTOBER 2007 ~ part 4 ~ FEAR’S REBELLION by Adam Crosthwaite

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Fear’s Rebellion

By Adam Crosthwaite

Fear can block us all from living a complete life. The fear of an unknown can become an unnecessary trial for the mind and heart to endure if one does not chose to embrace the fear rather than live under the influence of an unknown. The embracing of fear comes when one accepts the knowledge of a limitation thus opening them to the probability that they will overcome the fearful situation. The acceptance of fear is to move through it, not to allow it to move through you taking control over the reasoning faculty by hot wiring the emotional portions of the psyche. It has been hard for me to comprehend this phenomenon. It was when I was presented with a situation where I was in fact blocking myself from experiencing life with the shield of fear that I created with a false belief for many years. Through the teaching and guidance I have been blessed with during my studies in the Art of Qabala I have come to an abstract understanding of this phenomenon and how it played a central part in my life over the years. Still with this understanding I was missing a part of the picture that would give an opening for me to express the abstract concept in a form suitable for communication in the physical world. This form was sorely missed as it was and continues to be a focal point in my growth as a human being.

I was given a new focal point for expression during one of my courses in Business Communications. By attention having a focus in an area that required some personal growth I found myself polarized into a situation that lead me toward a new understanding. The effect of attraction literally brought me face to face with not only a fresh perspective but challenged me to face off with one of my own personal fears, a fear it turns out was shared by someone very close to me.

During an assignment for my course in communications I was introduced to Social Judgment Theory. I was so excited about this topic that when I was invited to write a paper on a topic of my choosing I dug right into this one. Social Judgment Theory was like candy for my mind! It gave me a perspective by which to explore and elaborate my understanding of life and experiences with people as well as insight into myself. This may sound silly to most people but this was indeed a breakthrough for me to be able to express an understanding in a way that is comprehendible and usable in further dialog with my writing and correspondence with the world.

Social Judgment Theory encompasses the taboos, folk ways and morays of society and is a subjective frame of reference through which people perceive the world around them. The points at which we internalize experiences to form beliefs are known as internal anchors. Internal anchors are also referred to in neurological terms as Meta Tags. These anchors are psychological impressions imprinted in the personality and ego by cultural influences as well as life experiences which include both positive events and traumatic experiences.

The majority of these anchors are pliable or in other words they are not so rigid that a person may not be accepting of new concepts as long as the new concept is within their latitude of acceptance. This latitude of acceptance may be looked at as a parameter that surrounds this anchor point. Within the parameter several concepts which closely match the nuances of the anchor point may be introduced and a person may be swayed to agree with a concept or view that may be of contrast to their previous point of perception. This realignment may occur with only a minor or even greater range depending on the fixity of their anchor point. Another way of looking at this is to use the example of suggestive advertising and/or subliminal communications which use Meta Tags.

As it turns out I had a fixed anchor point that was an effect I had been polarized toward which set quite a bit of imbalance in my perception of things. I was in an invisible prison of fear that could only be unlocked by facing that fear and embracing the truth that waited intently for me on the other side.

This fear was exposed in the open as I attempted to set a new order into my life by seeking out my dad whom I never had the chance to know. For over a year I had been looking for my birth father. I spent countless hours online looking up old addresses and names trying to find a man I never knew. I now see the fear that kept me from meeting him was not my own. As time effort drew us closer to each other I spoke with him for the first time on the phone. I realized that I had adopted a fear as my own like an inheritance passed down by relatives. I can not speak on the origin of this fear or even if it is a rational fear, for it was originally not my own. It is a fear that only secrets can breed and I was not privileged to information that would lend insight into this fear. Many things from my past as a child had been set aside by those around me and conveniently forgotten as to insulate me from the knowing I so desperately had been seeking but lacking in my fear. All I know is this fear was based on an anchor point that may never be swayed and has little if any latitude of acceptance. As much as I do know, it was misplaced on my part for reasons I have yet to uncover, but I will continue the internal as well as external dialogue with this subject to continue my growth and to understand this as much as I can.

If not for the drive to uncover my fear and face the truth that awaited me on the other side I would have never met my dad. For years I had wondered if I was going to learn about my paternal line. Now that I had found a way to connect with my past I could understand more of my present and see part of what was to come. I cannot express in words the feeling of embracing the man I only knew in stories and learning the other side of the story from the man himself. For years I was told about the negative aspects of a man I never knew and was conditioned to fear. Yes, there is a past full of pain and regret, but amends has been made and a future can be built on a stronger, new foundation. And after fifteen years from the last time we talked I was reunited with my dad.

It seemed fitting that this reunion occurred during the week I was to write my paper on Social Judgment Theory, seeing how it was a social judgment on the part of family that kept us out of contact for nearly twenty seven years. The idea of Social Judgment Theory continues to aid me in my quest to shed light into dark corners of my mind that thirst for illumination.

There is a continuation in this world of anchor points that plague our society with unhealthy views and perceptions. One of the biggest anchor points I see in society today, especially in my generation, is the concept of rebelling against authority. In my own struggle against authority I have seen my world crumble time and time again. David, being the ever patient and caring mentor, continues to sit with me in an ever evolving dialogue on this topic. The Qabalistic tradition teaches us that when we rebel against authority we eventually end up rebelling against ourselves. This happens because we are ultimately in charge of our own life. We are our own authority. As we rebel against ourselves we end up undoing all that we have worked for.

While it is healthy to question authority we lack prudence which is more often overlooked than exercised, it is merely left out of the equation. Thus no buffer is left to protect against fallacious reasoning and the behaviors it is accompanied by. If we are to gain dominion over the lives we share, perhaps it would be prudent to exercise the concepts that are learned in the study of such theories such as Social Judgment Theory.

If we are to apply the meaning of questioning authority to social judgment we would need to examine the perception of the authority as it seemingly stands. We would also need to examine our personal perception and frame of reference in relation to authority. In short we should be questioning perception, not authority. It is in the perception of authority that we find our struggles and personal internal anchors, not in the toe to toe stand off with an opposing perception. Do you remember the student who asked the Master how to fight with out fighting? If you remember, the Master said, “You watch.”

How do we break out of the destructive cycle of self-rebellion? We watch! We discern for ourselves the false perceptions and destructive tendencies of self inflected rebellions. We correct our own errors by questioning the perception and examining the full picture.

The goal is to break the cycle of unipolarization and release our locked perception to navigate closer to the balance that exists in the middle path, or in other words, stop being so damn one sided all the time! Then we can experience freedom from the effects of unhealthy anchor points that hinder our progress through life. Of course we are always free to remain locked in the stalemate of fear and be consumed by the wailing and gnashing of teeth as we attempt to insulate from the discomfort of truth. At times it may appear that the most difficult anchors are those based in fear, especially in cases where as the fear is ego evolved and the thought of being wrong is the anchor itself. It is in the journey through the perception of fear that the fear is exposed and can be dealt with accordingly, be it with professional help or a mentor.

We may never find ourselves in a society free from misperceptions and fallacious beliefs. We may find ourselves at odds with our own authority thus backed into a corner with a seemingly no win situation. However, if we learn to question the perceptions of our authority and the authority we freely place in the hands of others from time to time, we may gain clear insights and intimate healthy changes in our own worlds so we may share them as a society. The Socratic method David uses and teaches his students has been the crux of our learning and, while I may not speak for my fellow students, I find myself lead by this life line through some of the deepest and darkest of waters.

We will never overcome the fear that divides us from the truth until we are polarized toward that truth. In order to achieve that we must focus our abilities to question and use that strength to set a new order into our lives as I have been taught by my Mentor and the teachings of Qabala.

I would like to leave you with a quote from a favorite song of mine. It is a song about a man who spends his life looking for and waiting for someone or something that is missing from his life. He wades through torments and fears along his path, yet he holds to one simple rule that keeps him from fleeing the path he has chosen to walk. It is a constant reminder to me of where I have been and where I will be going.

“If I close my mind in fear, please pry it open…”

– Metallica, Outlaw Torn

May you find the anchors that weigh you down and keep you in the darkest depths, and may we all be able to share in a world blessed by truth along with the courage to uphold that truth.

Blessings,

Adam Crosthwaite

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Spiritual Climate Newsletter OCTOBER 2007 ~ Closing Notes

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