Labor Day

Labor DayObserved on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

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Eclipse

Eclipse 2About 10,000 years ago a small group of hunters were seeking food for their clan around mid-day on the African savannah. Imagine their bewilderment as the sky began to turn dark and finally the sun was totally obscured. A short while later the obstruction moved and the sun was restored to its full radiance. One can only guess that fear and trepidation were far beyond any sense of wonderment.

Eclipse 3Today, around mid-day, the totality of a solar eclipse will be experienced across a swath of the United States about seventy miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina. It has been forecast for quite some time and the event has reached unprecedented attention and celebration. Clearly this is impacting a small percentage of the Earth’s surface, but as my dear departed friend and co-founder of Martha White Foods, Joe Williams, would say, ‘The sun don’t shine on the same dog’s ass everyday.’

EclipseAccording to an article in Science magazine, in 2012, archaeologists stumbled across something disturbing in Nataruk, near Lake Turkana in Kenya: the remains of at least 27 people, unburied and exposed to the elements. Twelve were relatively complete skeletons, whereas the others were a jumble of bones. Out of those best preserved, the archaeologists could tell 10 had died violent deaths—five from blunt-force trauma to the head (pictured), and five from sharper wounds to the head and neck, likely from arrows. The hand position of a couple of the bodies suggested they had been bound when they died. The archaeologists determined that they were likely looking at evidence of warfare, in which one group of people systematically killed members of another. A massacre like this one wouldn’t be that unusual, except for one thing: The Nataruk site is really old. Based on radiocarbon dates from shells near the skeletons as well as an examination of tools from Nataruk and nearby sites—including some obsidian blades still embedded in the skeletons—the massacre occurred about 10,000 years ago, the team reports online today in Nature. This is back when people around Nataruk were still living in hunter-gatherers bands, rather than in settled communities. The problem? Many anthropologists believe that prehistoric hunter-gatherers didn’t engage in the kind of systematic warfare on display at Nataruk, because they didn’t have land or stores of food to fight over. The team proposes two explanations: Either the Nataruk people lived a more settled lifestyle than scientists thought, or organized warfare arose much earlier. The only way to know for sure, the scientists say, is to find evidence of more prehistoric massacres. Probably unrelated to an eclipse it is evident that science is now eradicating eons of mystery.
One of the lessons of this day is that darkness is a temporal effect and light is eternal.

PS Enjoy the wonder of it all and protect your eyes.

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Force and Counter-force

Introduction

Soft Overcomes HardTao Te Ching – Chapter 30
Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men
doesn’t try to force issues
or defeat enemies by force of arms.
For every force there is a counterforce.
Violence, even well intentioned,
always rebounds upon oneself.
The Master does his job
and then stops.
He understands that the universe
is forever out of control,
and that trying to dominate events
goes against the current of the Tao.
Because he believes in himself,
he doesn’t try to convince others.
Because he is content with himself,
he doesn’t need others’ approval.
Because he accepts himself,
the whole world accepts him.

States of the Unions
Voices of reason begin to ring out.

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Do You Want To Improve The World?

Introduction

God is My SourceTao Te Ching – Chapter 29
Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.
The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.
There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.
The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.

States of the Unions
Lincoln at GettysburgThe Gettysburg Address full text delivered by President Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery at the scene of the Battle Of Gettysburg of the American Civil War on November 19, 1863.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Line and Feather

What the world needs now . . .

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Love Prevails

Introduction

Christ Light Within Your SoulTao Te Ching – Chapter 28
Know the male,
yet keep to the female:
receive the world in your arms.
If you receive the world,
the Tao will never leave you
and you will be like a little child.

Know the white,
yet keep to the black:
be a pattern for the world.
If you are a pattern for the world,
the Tao will be strong inside you
and there will be nothing you can’t do.

Know the personal,
yet keep to the impersonal:
accept the world as it is.
If you accept the world,
the Tao will be luminous inside you
and you will return to your primal self.

The world is formed from the void,
like utensils from a block of wood.
The Master knows the utensils,
yet keeps to the the block:
thus she can use all things.

Line and Feather

Christ ConsciousnessStates of the Unions
Confused and fragile
Ersatz leaders abound
Earth and Universe are resilient
Light transforms darkness
Love prevails.

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Me and Thee

Cleansing a Rather Disconcerting Week

MeaninglessI awakened early this morning with the intention of not being swallowed up by the relentless waves of negativity.

Earlier this year Awakening to Yes came together as a prayer or mantra to help reign in the demons and steady the day forward. My intention was to post it here with whatever comments would flow. Then in reading my favorite blogs this from Seth Godin resonated. Next in the queue was Steve Blank. I hope the litany of these three will serve as pathway to the desire for understanding, faith, and our individual perseverance as peace makers.

CommunicationAwakening to Yes
Awakening to yes
The love of God
The light of Christ
The divine guidance of the Holy Spirit
Yes
I will there be light.
Listening to yes
Eternal as a child of God
Temporal as a human point of light in the tapestry of the universe
Yes
Blessed and blessing
I will listen in an attitude of gratitude.
Thinking in yes
Mind never sleeps
Ever-connected it is always transmitting and receiving
Yes
How do we know?
Awareness resonates from within.
Behaving in yes
Initiating and reacting are the daily affairs of life
Kindness, respect, forgiveness
Yes
The fundamental practices.
Resting in yes
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray dear Lord my soul to keep
But if I die before I wake
I prayer dear Lord my soul you’ll take.
Yes
Amen
David Mills
February 22, 2017

Line and Feather

Meaningless World 2Questions for the underinformed
For the jingoistic sign carrier, the impatient shareholder, the late-night goofball and the nascent entrepreneur in search of cash…
We’ve heard your rants, your threats, your plans. We understand that you are in a hurry for a simple, dramatic, obvious solution to whatever problem you face.
“And then what happens?”
“Has this ever worked before?”
“How is this different (or the same) from those times?”
“What will you do when it doesn’t work the way you hoped?”
Innovation is essential, but innovation isn’t lazy. It takes insight and patience and experience to bring a new solution to an old problem.
Impatience is not a strategy.
Experience isn’t free, but it’s valuable.
And history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.
Seth Godin

Line and Feather

CooperationWorking Outside the Tech Bubble
Annual note to self – most of the world exists outside the tech bubble.
We have a summer home in New England in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street. Drive down the road and you can see the tall stalks of corn waving on other farms. Most people aren’t in tech or law or teaching in universities; they fall solidly in what is called working-class. They work as electricians, carpenters, plumbers, in hospitals, restaurants, as clerks, office managers, farmers, etc. They have solid middle-class values of work, family, education and country – work hard, own a home, have a secure job, and save for their kids’ college and their retirement.
This summer I was sitting in the Delekta Pharmacy in the nearby town of Warren having a Coffee Cabinet (a coffee milkshake). It’s one of the last drugstores with a real soda fountain. The summer tourists mostly come through on the weekend but during the week the locals come by to gab with the guy behind the counter. There are four small wooden booths along the wall in front of the fountain, and as I drank my Cabinet I got to overhear townie conversations from the other three booths.
Unlike every cafe I sit in the valley or San Francisco, their conversations were not about tech.
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Blessing on your day,
David

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The Power of Positive Influence

Introduction

Good TravelerTao Te Ching – Chapter 27
A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving.
A good artist lets his intuition
lead him wherever it wants.
A good scientist has freed himself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is.
Thus the Master is available to all people
and doesn’t reject anyone.
He is ready to use all situations
and doesn’t waste anything.
This is called embodying the light.
What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?
What is a bad man but a good man’s job?
If you don’t understand this, you will get lost,
however intelligent you are.
It is the great secret.

States of the Unions
Positve Influence Countries 2017The Power of Positive Influence
The U.S. is increasingly being overlooked as a positive influence on the world stage, according to a survey from Ipsos MORI. 18,000 people were polled in 25 nations and only 40 percent of them felt that the U.S. has a strong or somewhat positive influence on global affairs. That was far behind its northern neighbor Canada, which was seen as setting a good global example by 81 percent of the survey’s respondents.
The U.S. also trailed China and it dropped 24 percentage points since last year’s survey. That’s primarily due to faltering global confidence in President Trump’s leadership as well as rising skepticism about his “America First” policies. Canada, Germany and France are seen as remaining relatively neutral amid a global tidal wave of nationalistic populism. Amid the ongoing Brexit saga, both Britain and the European Union are seen as having positive influence by 57 percent of people. Israel and Iran are only seen as having a good global influence by 32 and 21 percent of people respectively.
Read more . . .

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