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An Ozark E-Zine

In my Inbox today came a note from a long-time friend, passing along something received from a loved one overseas who is living, day to day, in a region that has taken several hard hits by suicide bombings, which I humbly offer for your consideration:

At times I feel suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of sadness, for those who were hurt or killed, those left behind, and maybe most of all by the renewed reminder that there is a situation in this part of the world that drives people to the point where they no longer value their own lives or the lives of others.

I remain convinced that there is no such thing as "evil for evil's sake"; even the most despicable act of "evil" is, however distorted, someone's sense of "good".

I'm sad that governments' disregard of our common humanity has left so many people so desperate that the only way they can see to change their people's situation is to blow themselves and others up.

May the "solution to terrorism" be carried out with them in mind. I am reminded of a placard at a peace rally last year that said "warring for peace is like screwing for virginity."

Or, as my hubby as oft been known to chide:

If you're not gonna march in our peace parade, we'll punch your face off!!!

On other interesting and ever-so-related topics, have a look at the most recent contribution to our Political Conversations dialog, re: America, The Republic

Critical Thinking
What started this morning as a clean-out visit to my email Inbox, ended up as an education about the direction that "services" are taking in the www.marketplace. Exemplary of this was that when I endeavored to post a reply to a forum that a friend emailed me about, I got a message from the forum-gods that my message was too long.

Hurumph!!! Can you imagine that??? My message... "too long"!!! And here I thought I was being succinct, getting expediently to the point --  albeit in a leisurely and meandering sort of way. But still...

The idiographic truth of the inherent contradiction stood out. That is, what good does it do to have a "public forum board" upon which the length of comments is limited...??? And even if some potential measure of good could be derived by, for example, prohibiting a certain class of posts, the prohibited class was being defined only by "quantity" -- which is entirely unrelated to "quality" -- and the whole concept of "prohibition" and/or the "limiting of the free expression of thought" is in direct contradiction of the fundamental tenets upon which the Internet was originated and shall, if we are wise about it, continue to prosper and grow.

Yet to grow the harvest we prefer, we've got to annihilate our own acquiescence to "going along with" the marketing propaganda that defines such "limitations" as "an improvement" of services. I mean, come on... We know better than this, don't we???

Yet what do we do...???

Well, for one thing we could choose (for example) to ONLY post to forum boards where no such limitations were permitted and/or where posters to a group have authority to set the limitations for their group alone (see: Gozarks Community Forum) -- which may also be the case in the initially referenced forum, but about this I do not know. 

What I do know is that, In the bigger picture, we are capable to act to strengthen the mettle of our collaborative (virtual and corporeal)  existence by never choosing to "settle for less than the best." Which of course raises the question: "What is best..." Which of course raises the only "real" answer, which is that both no one and every one knows.

But of course I'm digressing (Hurumph!!! My post was TOO LONG!!!), as I'm oft known to do. So I'll meander back on topic, which is Critical Thinking, which was the subject of the response I intended to post to the forum which chose to limit my expression of critical thought, which in its entirety read:

I agree with Willy, that "Critical thinking requires us to move beyond egocentric attitudes and perceptions."

And I believe that critical thinking harmonized with intuitive discernment is the key to actualizing "heaven on earth."

I agree again with Willy, that critical thinking is "how to separate the bullshit from the ice cream."

I would add, "With foresight (instead of after the fact)" as in "seeing what's coming up ahead of us on the horizon, thinking about it, measuring its envisioned quality alongside our eternal goals/objectives, choosing this "version of tomorrow" (or re-choosing a different one) as a welcoming destination, and taking consciously self-aware and holistically reasoned "pre-meditated" (inclusive) actions which (to the best of our present capability and understanding) we evaluate as being concordant with our uniquely intradependent role of whatever we (choose to) see as a "universal game plan."

As to the "how tos" of "unblocking critical faculties" and "expanding capacities for perception and abstract thought," first I would ask us to critically analyze (what I'll call) the "energizing/enlivening components" of this statement, being those suggestions which give conscionable value to words.

In this light, I suggest that we factor in our understanding of the mind/brain/body "self-fulfilling prophecy" (reticular psychotropic) free-flow behavioral process inherent to the act of affirming that anything must be "unblocked" -- which essentially affirms same as "blocked" and thus (since our mind cannot hold two conflicting thoughts and remain sane) we are thusly committed to engendering as the reality wherein "critical faculties" are "blocked" -- and "we" are the ones (innocently) "blocking them," thus condemning ourselves to "perpetual ignorance."

"We have met the enemy, and he is us." ~Pogo

I propose that this is where the "connection between rational (scientific) knowledge and intuition" comes in. And that the way we may "take a more active role in our own education, as producers and integrators (instead of simply as consumers and assimilators) of knowledge" is exactly as Willy says: "We take a nontraditional approach to such questions."

I agree that to explore the "nontraditional" we must know what the "traditional" is, and then actively discard it from a given range of consideration. Yet I do not see this field of critical analysis as being absent of emotional tone. In fact, contrary to "tradition" (and thus possibly a peek at a "nontraditional" spectrum of things), I personally see this arena of cogitation as one of emotional repletion, akin (if I may be so bold) as to a type of intellectual/spiritual orgasmic sensation. And besides, I don't know that I could tolerate "emotionless cognition" as a state of perpetual being... but then if this eternal goal is captivating to someone, well... that's a choice.

And "making a choice" is the logical outcome of all intellectual/spiritual/emotional/directed cognition... yes???

Making the "best (for lack of a "better" word)" choice possible, as in "making a choice" which redundantly affirms as present-tense *here and now* REALITY that same reality we envision as concordantly resonant of our eternal goals.

Unless, of course, such things do not interest us... which is an equally valid choice.

Thus I would say that we are all using critical thinking -- to some degree -- at all times. And that as we become more and more consciously aware of this fact, that we are actually "flipping the (genetic?) switches" of an autonomically governed (predestined?) process which spirals our psyche to springboard us through quantum-leap mini-moments of (ever increasing) "enlightenment."

"Critical thinking is the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is used to describe thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed - the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task. Critical thinking also involves evaluating the thinking process - the reasoning that went into the conclusion we've arrived at the kinds of factors considered in making a decision. Critical thinking is sometimes called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome." ~Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. 1996.

I suggest that ALL thinking is (autonomically) "focused" on "an outcome," and that by and through the phraseology we (choose to) use, we are engendering future behaviors to ourselves and on to our next generations. And that if we really want to make a significant difference in "shifting the consciousness of the universe" (aka: ending war by convening peace), that it is up to (and in fact will only happen by) each of us applying every (God given) measure of directed thinking skill that we are able to muster toward the tending of little linguistic details such as this.

That is, I encourage us to take the phrase "focuses on a desired outcome" absolutely literally, making doubly sure that the (energizing/enlivening component) "desire" is firmly in place.

"That ye may have the desires of your heart...."

In love, with hugs, of joy...

:-)

Christine
----------------------
Christine Louise Weiss
POBox 211, Shirley, AR 72153
HomeOffice 501-723-4322
editor@gozarks.com 
Gozarks: Everything Ozarks
http://www.gozarks.com
--------------------------------------------- ;-)
Please see our proposal for and thinking about the co-creative development of a "life/learning community" posted here and here.
No $$$ required to participate, however "critical thinking" and "self-accountability" skills are mandatory; 30 acres of pristine Ozark Mountain is readily available and waiting for "us" to co-create a "new and improved" community/home for (up to) 12 adults (all ages) and associated children. If you are truly ready to "be the solution," contact me!!! (First come, first served.)
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PS: For more about empowering your thinking skills, take a look at TMx3 and AlanLaken.com.

Woodpeckers Must Go...!!!

I wish I could read the artist's signature on the above image, which was emailed to me by a Bee Branch (AR) friend, so I could write a personal note, thanking him or her, for putting into picture form just exactly how I feel about so much of what has been going on around me in that huge thing called life.

And I was equally taken with the note that came with the image. It read:

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark... One: Don't miss the boat. Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat. Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark. Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. Six: Build your future on high ground. Seven: For safety  sake, travel in pairs. Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. Nine: When you're stressed, float a while. Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting..

That is, doesn't it seem to you that this note contains the instructions for solving the problem depicted in the picture...?

Also from the guy who sent this, came a recent edition of an email newsletter he subscribes to that talked about the "Harmonic Concordance" marked by the occurrence of a particular "6-pointed star" astrologic pattern in the skies known as a Grand Sextile.

Interestingly, according to widespread mythological belief and spiritual principle, the six-pointed star represents harmony and union of the masculine and feminine energies. And the appearance of this symbol on the galactic stage from an earth-bound view signifies the beginning of a "state of balance."

According to Christiane Northrup, a "Grand Sextile has never been seen before in recorded history, and is being called the Harmonic Concordance by John Mirehiel, to link it with its ceremonial predecessor, the Harmonic Convergence of 1987."

Now when I read this, it really brought back some memories. That is, in 1987 I was rather involved with a bunch of Harmonic Convergence stuff. 

The Harmonic Convergence was, depending on how you choose to see it, discovered or invented by Jose Arguelles, a Boulder Colorado writer and art historian. Also a student of ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures, Arguelles popularized the "convergence" idea that human (and all other) life evolves in somewhat predictable cycles which are governed by a sort of "universal intelligence" and organized to elevate  "consciousness" and "awareness" to increasingly higher, deeper, broader, and yet more specifically focused spectrums of "being."

As Arguelles told it, the Harmonic Convergence of 1987 was a "portal" type of event when extra "meta (intellectual, spiritual, physical) energy" would pour into our solar system and, in essence, enable us humans to quantum-leap into a new dimension of destiny.

Now though I did not personally buy-in to all of what Arguelles depicted (for example, he sees the "universal intelligence" as "alien life forms" and I see this divine guidance as God), I know enough about science and physics to know that a lot of what he was saying about cycles and evolution, and even ancient cultures was true. But I digress...

Because the point I was wanting to make here is: On his website, John Mirehiel links last week's intense solar flare activity as a kind of galactic trumpeting, heralding an announcement that greater things are to come. "Like its spiritual ancestor, the Harmonic Convergence of 1987, the Harmonic Concordance of 2003 also is a call to the Spirit of humankind to awaken to the idea that we are, in fact, spiritual beings sharing a physical experience."

And according to the folks who have convened themselves as experts of such studies, this galactic window of opportunity commenced November 8 and culminates with a solar eclipse on November 23. Now the question... What am I going to do with this information? Is it going to influence the stuff I do in my day-to-day???

Yes, and no.

That is, I will definitely (choose to) be more intensely aware of the fact that we have the makings of a wonderful, beautiful, convivial planet here, keeping myself focused on "doing it" (aka: being wonderful, beautiful and convivial all the time), but this is already my prime directive, so that won't really involve any significant change in my  routine.

And along with the gal who wrote the newsletter about the Harmonic
Concordance that my friend passed along to me, the only "sacred site" I'll be traveling to during this time of spiritual enlivening is around the fireplace with my family. But still my knowledge of this designated cycle of Harmonic Convergence/Concordance will (and has) influenced my overall behavior... I mean heck, it got me to write this column, and share it with you!!!

Wishing all of us a life worth living, filled with all those things we prefer, desire, wholeheartedly celebrate and richly deserve to enjoy.

PS: My top pick for a site to digest this week: Veterans For Common Sense.

PPS: WOODPECKERS MUST GO!!!!!!!!

Christine Weiss
editor@gozarks.com

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