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Archive for the ‘2015’ Category

On Human Relations ——- part 5: The Refugee Crisis

My Chorale PicThe current refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe unveils a crisis in human relations that has been smoldering in the heart of humanity yea these many, many centuries. The emotional and mental eruptions of fear, anger and a sense of threat to our heretofore protected way of life we’ve taken for granted offer viable opportunities for unprecedented change in the ways we view and treat one another.  We see some countries welcoming the refugees with open arms, even celebration. Other countries are treating them as invaders, even criminals, denying them their human rights to asylum as escapees from certain death in their war-torn homelands.  Such hostile attitudes have been part of the human psyche as far back as the Biblical days of tribal warfare, still going on. They are not going to be abandoned without deliberate action in thought, word and deed on the part of all the players in this crisis.

If you look closely at this crisis, the one attitude all the players exhibit is that of survival. The refugees are driven by survival, both in their own country and in a foreign land. Countries being “invaded” are concerned with survival of their culture and way of life. Let’s face it: we are all feeling put-upon and damn uncomfortable with this unprecedented migration of millions of Arabs out of the unsettled Middle East pouring into the well-settled and comparatively comfortable Western world. We worry about where it will all end up. Will we be forced to take in refugees into our homes, feed them and help them find work and a place in our society? Will we be faced, in other words, with the same question Cain faced after he slew Able: “Where is thy brother?” Are we being reminded in this refugee crisis that we are our brother’s keeper?

What are the solutions being considered?  One is to impose a quota on all countries so that the refugees will be given sanctuary. Another is to simply deport the “illegal immigrants” back to their homelands. That raises the problem of whether an immigrant is migrating for a better way of life or fleeing from war and death by starvation. Another solutions is to stem the violence in Syria that is driving the refugees out of their homes and lands–deal with the cause, in other words, so that the refugees can return home and resettle their lands. I like that solution. But how are we going to bring insane rulers to negotiate sane agreements and policies?

As I write this blog post I am envisioning this last scenario as a viable one: deal with the cause of the refugee crisis, which is President Assad and the Islamic State called “ISIS.”  Somehow I must work out this resolution in my consciousness, see it as possible, envision it as already happening. Pray it into manifestation, in other words.

I propose that this resolution to the refugee crisis through peaceful negotiations between President Assad in Syria and the League of Nations be adopted and allowed to manifest.  I invite you and all of your friends to join me in this prayer. A thousand people praying and meditating can shift this crisis toward peaceful resolution in Syria.  Join me in this prayer.

Anthony Palombo

On Human Relations, part 4: A New Relationship with Iran?

“TEHRAN’S PROMISE  — The revolution’s midlife crisis and the nuclear deal.”

My Chorale PicTHE NEW YORKER this month features an excellent and well written article by Robin Wright on the Iranian Nuclear deal. I’m bringing it into my blog, and particularly into this series on human relations, because it’s about the personal relationship between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, a relationship that, in my opinion, was made in heaven for the specific purpose of bringing about this Nuclear deal with Iran—and more. It opened a window to the world through which the promise of a new relationship between the people of Iran and the rest of the world can be clearly seen, even through the distracting and manipulative cloud of propaganda Washington Conservatives have been putting before the American people via the media.

The relationship between these two men had its beginnings back in 2003 when Zarif was Iran’s United Nations Ambassador.  Kerry and Zarif “played pivotal roles in getting the process (of the Nuclear deal) started, through back channels: in 2003, as Iran’s U.N. Ambassador, Zarif orchestrated a secret overture, nicknamed ‘the grand bargain.’” This initiative is what set things in motion and led to an unannounced trip in 2011 by John Kerry, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “to explore an offer by the Sultan Oman to host covert diplomacy. That led to five secret rounds of lower-level U.S.-Iran talks, in Muscat, in 2013.”

Here’s what really piqued my interest in this relationship.

The most serious diplomacy since Washington severed relations with Tehran, in 1980, began shortly after Kerry and Zarif were appointed as their nations’ top diplomats. Their first meeting, in September, 2013, was supposed to be a handshake and an exchange of pleasantries in a United Nations hallway. The idea was to “get out without causing any incidents and build from there,” a Kerry aide recounted. But, at the last minute, Kerry decided to pull Zarif into an empty office, near the Security Council chamber, for a substantive conversation.

“Kerry’s whole approach to diplomacy . . . is premised on the belief that personal relationships matter, because they enable you to get things done, even in very difficult situations,” the aide said. “It was Kerry’s belief that this was going to be a relationship that would really matter.” Zarif was willing. The two men talked, alone, for almost thirty minutes.

The rest of the story is now copy for the history books. “The Iran deal, announced on July 14th, capped a dozen years of secret overtures, false starts, clandestine meetings, and unpublished correspondence between Washington and Tehran.

THE POLITICS OF THE PEOPLE

A huge transition is underway in Iran between the old revolutionary leadership and the new generation. The article’s parallel and probably more significant theme is about the people of Iran, the next generation of young people who represent more than sixty percent of Iran’s eighty-million people, “A baby-boom generation, born after the revolution, (that) doesn’t share all of its priority.” Iran’s youth are not so enamored by the hard-liners’ religious fanaticism over an ideal Islamic state.  They are more interested in pursuing and engaging the rising tide of modern technologies flooding Iran via the internet. Wright offers a canny insight into the climate being generated by Iran’s public that “clearly wants reentry” into the larger world of commerce and culture they have been insulated against for decades by their revolutionary elders, the majority of which are “over the hill” in age and soon to be on their way out literally.  The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, himself turns seventy-six this month.

“The original generation of revolutionaries will disappear in the next ten years,” Saeed Laylaz, an economist and a former adviser to President Khatami, said. Laylaz, who was imprisoned for a year after the 2009 election, added, “The new assembly [the Assembly of Experts, a group of eighty-six theologians] will reflect the new generation.”

All of Khomeini’s grandchildren—there are fifteen—back reformers. . . .  Half a dozen of the grandchildren were educated in the West. Some of the grandchildren have considered running for parliament of the assembly. . . .  A loose coalition of reformers, moderates, and centrists hopes to flood the field with candidates, so that even if they are disqualified in large numbers many of them can still compete.

As Robin Wright describes the rising tide of liberal youthful energy,

“It’ a tsunami,” Said Rahmani, the C.E.O. of Sarava, Iran’s first venture capital fund, told me. “This generation is worldly. They’re educated. They work. They have spending power. They’re not dependent on anyone. They have a different range of thinking.”

These days, the energy—and the locus or charting Iran’s future—is less in heady debates about the ideal Islamic state than in a practical scramble to exploit twenty-first-century technology to change society. More than a third of the population uses the Internet. Giant billboards for a new smart-phone model were plastered across Tehran this summer: “NEXT IS NOW.”

Iran has its Amazon.com in Digikala, which accounts for more than eighty percent of online retail, valued recently at a hundred-and-fifty million dollars, started up by a set of thirty-six year old twins. Online commerce is increasingly defining market prices in Iran.

WESTERN INFLUENCE

“America, particularly, haunts Iran,” Robin writes. “. . . After decades of living is a pariah nation, Iranians seem to crave normalcy—but on their own terms. Figuring out their relationship with the outside world is a big part of the transition. They have tried repeatedly and failed.”

The chant “DEATH TO AMERICA!” we hear so much talk about in the arguments against the Iranian Nuclear Deal in the halls of Congress and in Western media propaganda is limited only to Friday night Islamic prayer meetings. It is not the cry of the people.

“’Death to America’? This is politics and not related to people’s thinking,” Elnaz Mobahat, the owner of Manhattan Grill, one of Tehran’s chic new restaurants, told me. The place is adorned with American kitsch. One wall features photographs of sports stars, including Tiger Woods. “There are fourteen million people in greater Tehran, and maybe one hundred thousand attend Friday prayers,” she said. “Most people say we should talk to the Americans and solve our differences. We can both benefit. There are many investments opportunities in the oil and food industries.” She pointed to the ketchup bottles on every table. “Look, we use Heinz!”

A RELATIONSHIP FORGED IN FIRE

John Kerry and Mohammed Karif brought to the negotiating table the raging undercurrents of their nations’ turbulent warring histories and deeply scarred collective psyches conditioned by a track record of dishonesty, deception and consequent mistrust and paranoia. They were thrust by the gods of fate into a crucible together to process the relationship between their respective nations and between Iran and Israel and all the other nations in the world. And that crucible served its purpose by giving space for the many factors that make up human relations to be brought forth and released under pressure into the cauldron of heated debate and negotiation. The Iranian Nuclear Deal was not made in peaceful interchanges. It was forged in fire.  Robin Wright tells how it went down in all of its emotional and frustrating details.

It got much harder over time. The world’s five other major powers—Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia—were technically equal players. But the United States increasingly took the lead in one-on-one meetings with the Iranians. More than a year after that first encounter, the chasm on core issues was still deep, despite an interim Joint Plan of Action, a confidence-building step that curtailed Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for modest sanctions relief. It did not address long-term limits or rewards.

As the original deadline for a final deal loomed, last November, Kerry and Zarif met in Oman. The senior State Department official described the meeting as “extremely contentious.”

Kerry’s aide said, “Both sides left thinking that we had just spent a lot of hours and a lot of time under very tense conditions and in very tense conversations that made little progress.” A deal looked doubtful. A few days later, the six powers agreed to extend the deadline until June 30th.

In February and again in March, Kerry was on the verge of backing away from the conversations entirely, US officials told me. On February 21st, as Kerry was scheduled to fly from London to Geneva, Wendy Sherman, the Under-Secretary of State and chief nuclear negotiator, called him to say, “We are nowhere.” Iran was backtracking. “I really don’t think you can come under these circumstances,” she said. Kerry instructed her to tell the Iranians that he would skip Geneva and fly home. The next morning, Iran was more forthcoming, and Kerry subsequently flew to Switzerland.

On March 27th, in Lausanne, tempers flared three nights before the deadline of a so-called Framework to define what each side would accept in a final deal. At the last minute, negotiating with the Americans, Iran took an important matter off the table. The five other major powers were supposed to show up within a day, but there was so much left unresolved that Kerry decided he might have to abort. He arranged to go to Zarif’s suite. At 10 P.M., they met alone. Kerry’s style is to coax rather than threaten. But this time, two US. officials told me, Kerry was blunt. He told Zarif that unless there was progress the sessions were “basically done.”The next day, the issue was back on the table. Six days later, the major powers and Iran
announced the outlines of a potential agreement.

“There were moments when you just had to push through,” Kerry’s aide said. The most confrontational exchange took place on May 30th. The talks were “brutal, just brutal,” the State Department official recalled. According to Kerry’s aide, “It was a lot of the two sides banging their heads against each other.” At one point, Zarif got up, walked around the room, and announced, “I have to leave.” He then sat on a chair against a wall and put his head in his hands.

Kerry, known for being unflappable, lost it, too. Toward the end of six difficult hours, he slammed his hand down on the conference table so hard that his pen flew across the table and hit one of the Iranians. “It stunned everyone, because it was so out of character,” the State Department official said.

Both sides left Geneva feeling deeply pessimistic. The next day, Kerry vented his frustration by taking a vigorous ride from Geneva into France on his racing bike, which he often brings on trips.  As he was starting up the challenging Col de la Colombiere, he rode into a curb and flew off the bike. His right femur was badly broken, and he had to be medevaced to Boston for surgery. After the news broke, one of the first e-mails he received was from Zarif, wishing him well.

Love and mutual respect held these two men together through thick and thin. Few if any in our halls of Congress know what took place at these negotiations. Nor do they seem to care. Who among them takes into account that in ten years when this deal expires the old hard-line leaders in Iran will have been replaced by the younger generation of reformers who want more than anything to be in a peaceful and fruitful working relationship with the other nations of the world, particularly with America? And I don’t think they want to annihilate Israel, nor develop nuclear bombs. We simply need to trust that the process that brought these two men together will help us forge a new relationship with Iran. An irresistible force was set in motion based on mutual love and respect. And love never fails.  It’s at the heart of all meaningful relationships.

I will share more from this important article in a couple of weeks. I hope you have enjoyed reading about this historical and significant development in the Middle East as much as I did. Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved

Anthony Palombo, DC

Read my HealthLight Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com.

On Human Relations, part 3: . . . . . . Man–Woman Equality

My Chorale Pic

Let’s talk about the relationship between man and woman. I will open the consideration with an excerpt from Lao Russell from her beautiful book “GOD WILL WORK WITH YOU BUT NOT FOR  YOU.”  It follows quite naturally her husband’s article in my previous post on the Law of Balance. Mind you, this was written in 1955, and it is still current with world conditions of today. Enjoy her simplicity and clarity.

Man-Woman Equality

This chapter is addressed to the many advanced thinkers who are fully aware of the great world danger which civilization is now facing.

All such mystic thinkers also know that civilization need not fall if we but know how to unite mankind into one Being with but the one purpose of manifesting the love principle of Nature, instead of the fear and hate principle which he now manifests.

God’s universe is balanced. That is why it is unified and continuous. That is why it will endure forever and cannot fall.

Man’s universe is badly unbalanced. That is why it is disunited and transient. That is why it must repeatedly fall.

When grave danger confronts anyone, or the world, one wants to know what to do about it. If he does not know what to do to save himself he is helpless to avoid the danger.

World thinkers can save civilization if they know more about God’s ways and processes which alone can save man if applied in time. The great cause of world unbalance is the disunity caused by the practice of inequality in God’s divided pairs which He created equal. These inequalities are many. They could not be balanced in centuries–and that would be too late.

The principle inequality which is again destroying civilization is the man-woman inequality. That is the prime cause of world failure which underlies all other causes. That cause could be remedied in time to unite the whole world as one if world thinkers, both men and women, would do something about it now, right now before the next election takes place, and not twenty years from now.

The world resists change. It insists upon continuing the same old mistakes until the resultant suffering becomes too heavy. It has got to change, however, in respect to its man-woman equality or be self-condemned to another state of chaos.

The world cannot change unless individuals change. Each man must equalize woman spiritually in his own life, in his home, his business and his government. Until woman is thus exalted the tensions of inequality will destroy every civilization which man attempts to build alone.

Every woman should insist upon mental equality with men in all governing and managerial capacities, and when competent women are nominated for high office, I am confident men would feel it their duty and pleasure to vote for them to begin equalization of international affairs. I say this because each time I have mentioned this man-woman idea to a great man he has wholeheartedly and enthusiastically been in accordance with this principle.

It will always be impossible for humans to build an enduring civilization until it equalizes its man-woman Mind power. If world thinkers would but realize that, they would be aroused to action in beginning to bring equalization into being. God created this world for men and women, not for men alone, nor for women alone. He created them equally as mates just as He created all pairs and all forces equally. This is an electrically sex-divided universe. The two electrical workers which create this universe are male and female. Each are equal. One does as much as the other in creating every particle of matter in the universe. Without that electrical equality in expressed force we would have a very wobbly, and dangerously unbalanced universe of badly distorted forms.

We will continue to have a badly distorted, disunited and wobbly civilization until men and women world thinkers begin to equalize the two sexes so that there can be a marriage of unity in the world which will produce balance in world actions instead of distortions.

Motherless children vitally need a mother. No matter how sincerely or eagerly a father tries to become both mother and father, he is never able to fulfill both necessities.

This motherless world likewise needs a mother. The father is trying to fulfill both offices but the more he tries to function as both, the greater is the disaster to the world family.

Lao continues in an historical vein to describe how we have evolved from primitive man.  In that era, the hunter-gatherer was the male’s identity and role, while the female’s identity was centered around food preparation and clothing fabrication from skins. Survival was the prime concern that shaped the life-style of this primitive emerging civilization. This inevitably led to killing of other tribesmen when survival was at stake, leaving the women to “weep at the foot of the cross,” as Lao put it in Biblical context, referring of course to the crucifixion of Jesus, a custom that has survived to this day of war-mongering men who kill one another to preserve their own version of “freedom,” again leaving women to weep at the side of their men’s coffins.

In time, she goes on to say, man eventually began to “discover woman as a mental mate and took her to wife and consulted with her, but condescendingly.” This recognition alone elevated the whole status of civilization to higher levels. She then made this significant observation:

The country which gave the greater recognition to the matehood idea of man and woman progressed rapidly beyond those countries which glorified man and suppressed their women. Likewise, every individual man who learned to love a woman because of her mental matehood with him, as well as her physical, progressed beyond all men who looked upon her as woman alone.

This level of recognition, Lao points out, merely gained women a concession and not an equal right alongside men. Even in winning the right to vote, it was nothing more than the right to vote for man.  Men remained master and lord, the one who must be obeyed.

Pagan man made man the master of women, and ruler of the world. Even the pagan God concept was male-and still is. God, the Father, has never been the generally accepted Father-Mother of His equally divided fathers and mothers of Creation. Man the conqueror, the killer of man for the possessions of man, the pirate and trader in slaves, the exploiter and builder of empires, built this world in his own carnal image. He built it for man and glorified himself as the killer of the sons of man, while women wept.

Man has always crucified love on the cross of his own self-glory by the killing of men; and women have always wept at the foot of the cross, as they wept when men crucified the Nazarene while all but one of His disciples who professed to love Him, deserted Him.

TWO WOMEN AND ONE MAN STOOD WITH JESUS TO THE END

There were actually three who stood at the foot of the cross: Jesus’s soul mate and wife Mary Magdalene, John the Beloved upon whose shoulders the Master place His mantle of authority, and Mary the mother of Jesus. It is significantly telling that there were two women and only one man.  John the Beloved was more than just any man.  He was a well integrated Man with both masculine and feminine energies balanced in his humanity. And Mary Magdalene was more than just any woman.  She also was an integrated human being with her masculine energies just as available to her as her feminine, which is why Peter and some of the other male apostles didn’t like her. She was the Apostle of apostles, the only one of his disciples who knew Jesus at his core being.  There was no separation between them, even after he ascended to his Father. Wherever Mary went Jesus went. Whenever she spoke Jesus spoke.

I truly believe, as author Cynthia Bourgeault goes to great and profound ends to present in her timely and important book The Meaning of MARY MAGDALENE — discovering the woman at the heart of Christianity, that this reuniting of man and woman was the sole purpose of their mutual and timely visitation, and at a most critical and pivotal moment in the history of Mankind.

The Great Redemption and Reparation has been accomplished. The broken relationship between man and woman has been repaired. Mankind has been redeemed from its state of separation and war between the sexes.  What’s keeping us from enjoying our salvation and getting on with life as it was intended and designed to be from the beginning and restored to its natural divine order and beauty by Jesus and Mary Magdalene?

Now there’s a book every Christian needs to read . . . would be restored to sanity by reading.  For the state of Christianity today is one of utter insanity and impotence. Little wonder people are leaving their father’s religion behind.

OUR HOUSE IS FALLING DOWN AROUND US

It’s time we took a closer look at the state of our humanity.  We are a race divided, and we will not withstand the apocalyptic changes that are afoot for all of Mankind. And by apocalyptic I mean what the word implies literally: REVELATION.  All things both good and evil are even now being revealed via social networking and the blessed internet. What a timely gift that is proving to be! Check out this video by THRIVE about the current state of the global economy and the banking system. It’s all collapsing around itself. The man-made currency system, made for men by men, is bankrupt and in utter failure . . . and  I don’t mean to insinuate that women have not been involved and behind those men pushing them on to make more money for greater security and wealth. No, both sexes bear equal responsibility for this deplorable state of our economy and our world . . . and our days are numbered.  Brace yourselves for a revelation of the truth.  For even as an old world is collapsing, a new and true world is emerging. The media just doesn’t find that news profitable.

Because of the timely and crucial nature of the topic in this chapter in Lao Russell’s book, I intend to share the bulk of the remaining chapter in the next couple of posts.  I will publish them a week apart.  Thank you for reading and following my blogs. I would love to share your own thoughts on these matters. Write me.

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