The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Is it Time to Emigrate?

Well, probably not yet. But what road are we on in this country? If the rule of the far-right- which is really the dictatorship of merchants- continues we have little to look forward to but work, work and more work. The express intent of this “aristocracy” is to take as much as possible from Americans in general and transfer it to about two to ten percent of the population. They have succeeded already. What other industrialized democracies don’t have universal health care and substantial pensions? What other country is borrowing millions from foreigners to wage unprovoked wars? What other country virtually exempts its wealthiest from taxation? Progressive Americans have to come out of denial. The situation is much more serious than many of us are willing to admit. Even moderate-to-conservative people like Woodward and John Dean are starting to talk in terms of “dictatorship” and “on the road to fascism.” But just in personal terms, do we want to be in the supermarkets stuffing bags when we’re 80? It’s happening already.

The wealthiest merchants and their right-wing political puppets are creating a feudal serfdom in this country. Merchants, whether large corporations or smaller entities, are devoted primarily to one thing- the highest possible profit. If anyone thinks that the “public welfare” or the “good of the people” is an integral part of their motivation, then he or she is simply deluded. “ Where there are merchants, there will be deception,” goes a saying. And this class, particularly for the last ten years or so, is the unequivocal ruling class here, with virtually no “brakes” put on them by the far-right executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Well, I hope the trend can be stopped. But look at a map: The “red states” don’t look as though they’re subsiding to me. I’m hoping that this comatose population starts to wake up; but somehow my optimism is a bit guarded. They say there are some nice areas in Mexico where two people can live really well for about $1200 a month. Not to be a spoil-sport; but should we at least be making contingency plans? Do we really want to be elderly serfs?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Calligraphy (1)

Flower of Life Mandala

Nasrudin Tales (1)

All the Nasrudin stories presented on this blog- site are taken from the published collections of Sayed Idries Shah. Although they can be read for entertainment value, dervish schools over the centuries have used them as mechanisms for the awakening of deeper perceptions in the consciousness of students:

Someone saw Mulla Nasrudin searching for something on the ground.
“What have you lost, Mulla?” he asked. “My key,” said the Mulla.
So they both went down on their knees and looked for it.
After a time the other man asked: “Where exactly did you drop it?”
“In my own house.”
“Then why are you looking here?”
“There is more light here than inside my own house.”

Nasrudin gave his wife some meat to cook for guests.
When the meal arrived, there was no meat. She had eaten it.
“The cat ate it, all three pounds of it,” she said.
Nasrudin put the cat on the scales. It weighed three pounds.
“If this is the cat,” said Nasrudin, “Where is the meat? If, on the
other hand, this is the meat --- where is the cat?”

Nasrudin was throwing handfuls of crumbs around the house.
“What are you doing?” someone asked him.
“Keeping the tigers away.”
“But there are no tigers in these parts.”
“That’s right. Effective, isn’t it?”

“How old are you, Mulla?”
“But you said the same thing last time I asked you,
two years ago!”
“Yes, I always stand by what I have said.”

Nasrudin went to see a rich man.
“Give me some money.”
“I want to buy---- an elephant.”
“If you have no money, you can’t afford to keep an elephant.”
“ I came here,” said Nasrudin, “ to get money, not advice,”

“ If you want truth,” Nasrudin told a group of Seekers who
had come to hear his teachings, “ you will have to pay for it.”
“ But why should you have to pay for something like truth?”
asked one of the company.
“ Have you not noticed,” said Nasrudin, “ that it is the scarcity
of a thing which determines its value?”

Nasrudin went into a bank with a check to cash.
“ Can you identify yourself?” asked the clerk.
Nasrudin took out a mirror and peered into it.
“ Yes, that’s me all right,” he said.

Harmonic Contemplation

Monday, July 31, 2006

America: Land of Fools

Just after George Bush had been elected for the second time a British periodical headlined the question: “How Can 62- Million People Be So Dumb?” How indeed. Almost 62 million people in this country voted for Bush after it had been made more than clear that he had started a terribly destructive, incredibly expensive and totally unjustified war in Iraq and after it had become more than obvious to anyone with the power to observe that he was engaged in a quite effective program of redistributing the wealth of the nation to about 1% of the population at the expense of the rest of us. What kind of population, in other words, doesn’t have a clue to its own good; and what factors are responsible for creating such an unfortunate “bio-mass,” as someone has termed them?

Did decades of being manipulated by the corporate merchants and their political puppets do it? Did the defective American public education system do it? Was it that their fears, insecurities and pseudo-patriotism were effectively pandered to by the political strategists? Was it a combination of these and a variety of other factors? I’m not sure what the explanation is; but it seems clear that we don’t have a population that could be classified as overly bright. Recent international polls reveal that people all over the world think that Americans have taken leave of their senses. Do they have much in the way of senses to leave in the first place? They actually elected George Bush twice! No, I’m not making it up. It really happened!

I have lived in this country for over six decades. America was the pride of the world when I was growing up. How did it become “The Land of Fools?” Should I just forget about it and move to New Zealand or somewhere? Is it all over? I don’t know; but if I hear anyone refer to the “wisdom of the American people” again, I’m going to become a very unpleasant old man to deal with.