Stand on Guard for Thee

“What are you willing to die for?” “What are you willing to kill for?”

People from all around the world can answer these questions without blinking an eye. Yet few can say as to exactly why, and even less can commit to either or, so what if we minced the extremes, as in what are you willing to die and kill for? This seems to soften the blow, but the intensity remains the same.

Do our cultural programs allow us to ask these sorts of questions honestly, or are we expected to show a little modesty. Should Justin Trudeau address such questions in a private discussion, would his personal opinion affect his office without repercussion.

Neither conservative or in need of a valet, yet the curve in his spinal cord gives him away. He seeds with the red of liberal blood, by which our flag remains a leafy bud. Does duplicity make him unfit to bear the weight of the crown; maybe not, probably so, what do I know, easy come, easy go. Continue reading

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Dignity Remains Steadfast

“People hate you because you proved that dignity is meaningless.” “No one needs to prove it. Everyone knows already. They just pretend not to.” – Dr. Hannibal Lecter

From the mouth of a sophisticated and esteemed psychiatrist, such a ludicrous and misleading sentiment may upon first sight carry some weight. For the naive it can become a core belief by which their world becomes transfixed. Whereas a fully formed monster may be entirely bereft of what it takes to corrupt an individual from the inside out.

You may have noticed that the second quote works to reinforce the argument; namely, that dignity is meaningless. This procedure of informal logic snaps together into a coherent whole, yet it comes apart at the seams because none of the premises stand up under the light of reason.

Nevertheless the words come together ever so eloquently. Its cunning intrigue can be used to lead others in a nonchalant sort of way. After all the road to hell is paved with good intentions; a trite and over used saying, yes, but nonetheless effective should the author wish to guide your attention in a direction that serves his ends. Continue reading

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Living with Congruence

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” – Gordon A Eadie

We experience personal integrity when what we say, do and believe are in congruence. This doesn’t automatically fall into place, but requires ongoing effort and learning as we enter into new arrangements. Integrity also requires the courage to be true to ourselves, temperance to keep our desires/emotions in line, and justice to maintain healthy boundaries in our relations with others.

Many of us have come to understand our sense of right and wrong, as in our personal ethical framework, through a religious and/or spiritual paradigm. We can’t simply override that part of our selves and expect to be objective and clear in our estimation of things. Neither can we impose our belief system upon another and expect that relationship to be hunky-dory.

However, without good moral principles to guide our interactions with others we come to a standstill. Walls go up and defence mechanisms are employed. Eventually war becomes inevitable on all fronts, from the macro-level to the micro-level, not a stone is left unturned when contentions escalate. Continue reading

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Sharpen the Mind

“At every moment keep a sturdy mind on the task at hand… giving up every distraction, emotional subversion of reason, and all drama, vanity, and complaint… mastery over a few things makes it possible to live an abundant and devout life.” – Marcus Aurelius

There are a number of ways to help keep the mind agile and attentive. Such as reading, writing, physical exercise, appropriate nutrition, and sufficient rest. Finding what works best for us as an individual will largely depend on our capacity to learn and remain engaged in an activity, so tasks that improve upon our ability to concentrate and focus will likely be to our advantage. My goal here is to present a handful of techniques that help me to remain sharp.

Read broadly and actively think about the text. Don’t confuse the practice of reading broadly with surfing the net. It has more to do with carefully choosing content from various sources that will assist us in remaining well-rounded and grounded in view to our responsibilities and roles. Whereas thinking about what we read requires time to reflect and question the material, which includes using our imagination to see how ideas relate and to what end. Continue reading

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Revive the Veins of Amity

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl

What do you do? Where are you from? What college did you graduate from? What was your concentration? Are you married? How much money is in your bank account as we speak? Her barrage of questions nail you down into a pigeonhole without wings to escape, so you decide to make light of things by making up the most absurd answers on the spot.

I am the CEO of Victoria Secret and have graduated top in my class from the University of Forever and a Half specializing in synthetic G-Strings. Your inquisitor turns into a giddy admirer. That’s a strange name for a school she adds. It’s called Forever and Half because that’s how long it took me to graduate from it.

There’s another option we could employ without resorting to witty deception; one that requires a balance between courage and consideration. We possess the power to turn what appears to be a negative into a positive. By diplomatically removing the sting of cynicism from our social interactions, we can open the floor for more ease of expression. Allow me to demonstrate: Continue reading

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Navigate Emotional Flow

“Just as the river where I step is not the same, and is, so I am as I am not.” – Heraclitus

As explorers of the mind we travel through all sorts of conscious and unconscious phenomena. Along the way we are met with lakes, rivers and streams. It’s vital to know how best to cross these bodies of water, so we use what we can from those who traversed this landscape before us.

To bring distinction to this metaphorical journey, let us say that water represents our feelings. From this perspective we can envision a river as a strong flowing emotion. If we are to pass through this current it would be prudent to know its properties, such as its depth, velocity, temperature and from where it flows.

Many of the rivers are rather refreshing and provide us with delicious food and drink. But they can also be precarious as well. In fact, some will try to make a river their permanent home! Such can be likened to addicts, and often run into greater trouble down the stream. Continue reading

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Attain Peace of Mind

“There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble free retreat than in his own mind, especially if he has within himself the kind of thoughts that let him dip into them and so at once gain complete ease of mind; and by ease of mind, I mean nothing but having one’s own mind in good order.” – Marcus Aurelius

It’s difficult to get things done when you’re working in a disordered environment. You reach for a screwdriver to fix something but it’s no longer in your toolkit, so you waste about 20 minutes looking for it. Your boss is yapping at you to complete a project. Once it is done you discover that it wasn’t due until the following week and if you had read the daily memo you would have discovered that there was another order that you were supposed to be working on. Meanwhile your other bosses are making demands on your time, none of whom are working in cohesion. Your co-workers are doing their own thing as well, largely because they are trying to out-due one another so that they might win the end of the week bonus for getting the most work done. The new secretary, who doesn’t have any relevant expertise and work experience, has misplaced your financial details, so someone else is receiving your paychecks, and somehow it’s your problem to solve. Continue reading

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Cut to the Chase

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control.” – Epictetus

There are all sorts of activities that centre us, that help us to preserve equanimity, broaden our options and promote wellbeing. There is also a vast array of distractions that can keep us in the thick of thin. We can even get so caught up in dealing with urgent matters that we neglect the day to day tasks of caring for ourselves. The long term consequences of such actions may permanently keep us reacting to one problem after another without reprieve.

Knowing when and where to draw the line may feel like an impossible feat. We could be stretched in several directions and so over taxed that it may be difficult to know up from down. That is to say our priorities may be so jumbled that we find ourselves taking the broad road of least resistance. By default we may seek escapism every chance we get, unwittingly becoming more and more mired in our sense of powerlessness. Continue reading

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God’s Right & Wisdom’s Insight

“Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” – T.S. Eliot

Poetic thoughts by Jason Youngman

At the age of 14 my thirst for scripture was unquenchable.

Little of it made sense to me then and even less of it now.

Nevertheless it captures my imagination all the same.

The fact that there has been a constant flow of people throughout time trying to make sense of God’s will carries some drive to it.

To this day many are drawn to the idea that there is an intelligent being who governs the universe.

Whether through a hierarchy of interdependence or a direct force by means of a first mover, there is nothing that little old me can do to prove otherwise. Continue reading

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My Gift to You

“My intention is purely to follow the dharma that is guiding me. That is all. Right now my duty is to give pure sounds to the universe – pure and simple – with pure heart.” – Gaiea

What Enya was for post-911, Gaiea is for the Covid-19 pandemic. Her actual name is Gabriella, which means a strong person of God, but without its latter consonants becomes Gaiea; a most fitting and fortuitous epithet.

Her desire to correct the imbalance of feminine and masculine forces can be felt through her music. Intrinsic in her song resides the harmonic resonance of a Tridevi; i.e., a triad or trinity consisting of three goddesses. A few examples of such triunes are:

Demeter, Persephone, and Athena (Hellenism)
Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati (Hinduism)
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Christianity)
The Good, Divine Mind, and World Soul (Platonism)

As her artistic medium, Gaiea avails of an ancient language that is sacred to her and feels as natural as a mother’s intuition. With the luminous allure of the moon and the brilliant rays of the sun, her Sanskrit resonates with a beautiful coherence.

Imbued with a wonderfully intelligent syntax, the language lends itself to poetic and philosophical expression and creativity. If justice were a crown, then its flowing logos would be the wreath that adorns it, whereas to speak it aloud preserves mercy.

May our hearts be receptive in welcoming (agape) Gaiea into the depths of our soul, that her harmonious melodies might be a source of healing and restoration… Click here or on the image above to hear the beating heart of her feminine dove.

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