Big Green Purse ~ A Book & A Crusade

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What realizes and promotes the fact that 85 cents of every dollar spent in the marketplace is spent by a woman and that big business responds faster to consumer demand than any other market force?

Answer:

Grist, an environmental journalism site, has a compelling article on the book Big Green Purse and its author, Diane MacEachern, a longtime conservationist.

Just a few Q&As from the riveting interview:

question There’s this notion out there that you can save the world by buying all this stuff — as long as it’s green.

answer In every single chapter, the very first suggestion is buy less, consume less, reduce — clearly we have to cut back on the total amount of stuff that’s being produced. But I do think that being a conscious consumer is a very powerful tool, because consumer dollars are the lifeblood of manufacturers. So we can either use them to tell manufacturers what to make or we can just continue to let manufacturers tell us what to buy.

question Do you feel like environmentalists have been too quick to dismiss shopping as a route to change?

answer I think that the power of green consumerism has not been harnessed by the environmental movement. You’ve got all kinds of companies wanting to be green and natural and eco-friendly, and you’ve got the environmental movement saying, “Whatever you do, don’t buy anything.” … The light bulbs are a perfect example … people have to change their light bulbs anyway, so why not buy the option that makes the most sense? If you have people sit in the dark, that’s literally a turn-off.

question Does your book address the challenges of buying green on a budget?

answer First of all, there’s so much cushion in people’s budget that they don’t realize. People will say to me, “I can’t buy organic; it’s too expensive,” and then I look in their refrigerator and it’s full of bottled water. They may be spending $10 to $15 a week on bottled water, but they don’t want to spend $6 for a gallon of organic milk.

question How can the environmental movement change its message to be more effective?
answer I do think some groups are doing a pretty good job in starting to provide information … but now I think the next step is to start getting the message out to people who aren’t necessarily in the environmental community. We don’t need to talk to other environmentalists; we need to talk to garden clubs and women’s clubs and church groups and all these people who are not as fully aware of what the opportunity is.

What would be great is if Safeway would put an environmental spokesperson in the store. “On Saturday, as you’re coming through the store, there’s going to be these five people wearing green vests, and if you have any questions about green shopping, you can ask them.” Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

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~ Unleash The Life Within ~
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Detachment Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry…

“We can appreciate without attaching ourselves to the things of this world. It sometimes happens that if a man loses his fortune he is so disheartened that he dies or becomes insane. While enjoying the things of this world we must remember that one day we shall have to do without them.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 134

I’m featuring two recent posts from UrbanMonk.net, both dealing with the widely recognized (and, frequently misunderstood) spiritual principle of Detachment.

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The first post, Attachment: Understanding the Origen of Human Suffering, contains these ideas:

“This teaching is marvelous, for there is nothing in there that cannot be verified simply by looking into your own experience. Look deeply into your own life, the times you have cried, the times you have raged. What was the cause of it all? The next time you are in pain, pause, and look. Ask yourself – why? What am I holding on to?

“Without attachment, suffering does not exist. Let go of your attachments, little by little. By and by you will see the freedom, the happiness that is there.”

“We have spent so much of our lives, every waking moment, following desire. We expend huge amounts of energy and time; we make extreme sacrifices, in the hope of finding happiness by attaining them. But as Lorne Ladner says in The Lost Art of Compassion, rarely does it occur to us the very way we go about seeking happiness has been causing our problems.”

There is much more of interest !

Part Two, How Our Cravings and Attachments Cause Our Pain and Suffering, goes even deeper into this vital spiritual principle:

“…when we crave, when we cling, we do not see people as they are. We are projecting our neediness, our sorrows – all the garbage inside us – onto them. And it is an insult. For them not to be seen as a human being; but for what they can do for us. Make me feel good, make me feel loved, make me feel safe, feed me, take care of me, impress my friends. That is all they are reduced to – a function, a service.

“And it is just as likely they are doing it to us too, and then what do we have? Not two human beings together, but two images, two roles, two cardboard cut-outs. Where has the humanity gone? This is so cruel, and yet so painstakingly common that it simply seems normal.”

“A rich man could have everything he wanted, and enjoy them all the more without the cravings, the attachments. There is nothing wrong with having most of the things we desire. Naturally, some cravings are just plain nasty – wanting to hurt another person is a fine example. But if you want money, or love, or any of those, then go for it. Does removing your attachment to health mean you stop exercising, stop looking after yourself?

“Most definitely not! Chasing new joys, setting new goals, all of these can still be pursued, but from a place of freedom, and not from the unease of craving.”

There is also much more of interest in this second post of the series !

Reading the full articles would reap great spiritual profit;  just be careful you don’t become attached to what’s said… 

“Our greatest efforts must be directed towards detachment from the things of the world; we must strive to become more spiritual, more luminous, to follow the counsel of the Divine Teaching, to serve the cause of unity and true equality, to be merciful, to reflect the love of the Highest on all men, so that the light of the Spirit shall be apparent in all our deeds, to the end that all humanity shall be united, the stormy sea thereof calmed, and all rough waves disappear from off the surface of life’s ocean henceforth unruffled and peaceful.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 87


Thunderbird Magic

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Today’s post is a gift from Liara Covert who writes the Dream Builders blog. She shows us that ancient myths are alive and well, inside each of us…

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The Thunderbird legend is timeless. Some people believe it began as a myth of Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes. Yet, the legend spread much wider.  This great creature has been sighted by non-native people on many different continents.

Native American myths suggest the sizable Thunderbird is a guardian Spirit with innate power to influence changes in the elements and energy shifts, in everything. It has penetrating vision and even changes form to help regenerate and stabilize the energy grids of the Earth.

Legend says the magical creature flew with a whole whale in its claws and saved a Chilkat tribe from starvation. As lightning shoots out from its eyes and thunder pearls from its wings, you might imagine everyone would hear it coming.  Wisdom reveals the depth of your faith and the nature of your beliefs determine all you will sense and experience.

As it happens, the Lakota and other tribes believe that if you have repeated dreams of birds, the medicine or “alternative healing way” is part of your destiny. Yet, if you envision a Thunderbird, you are destined to be a ‘Heyoka,’ that is, to learn to channel and heal with electromagnetic energy.

According to Laughing Deer in the Encylopedia Mythica, Heyoka is “one who does things backwards or opposite…Spirit chooses who is Heyoka; it is a very difficult path to follow.”

Of course, difficulty is relative. Conditioning may have also taught you choose your own destiny. With this in mind, you’re never alone. Discerning that the Thunderbird serves the Great Spirit beyond enables you to realize you are also guided in ways you hadn’t foreseen by forces you have yet to understand.

Some people believe a Heyoka is a trickster to be feared, ridiculed and revered. Negative perception does not recognize illusion is part of the teaching medicine of Heyoka. Human beings won’t grasp life in the same way. Heyoka practices are sacred and have magical meanings that carry over into your life. Will you be empowered to shift your consciousness?

Heyokas are said to embody divine strength. They are trusted interpreters of dreams and heal with innate insights that even they themselves underestimate. They may unexpectedly enter your dreams or your apparent reality. Why? To remind you not to get too serious about your current mental state, physical form, thoughts and beliefs. Human beings are encouraged to be humble, to detach from their conditions and to recognize Spirit wields all power. You only determine how you will react to a given set of impermanent circumstances.

Thunderbird magic itself relates back to the mythical bird’s role as a catalyst in the lives of human beings.  It triggers revelation, transformation and energy shifts beyond superficial perception. Heyoka behavior, awakened by the Thunderbird, defies the status quo to awaken your senses to change your own behavior. The magic you hold within yourself enables you to initiate changes at the cellular level of your being. Thunderbird magic leads you back to rediscover the dormant magic within yourself.

After all, from birth, you master the art of producing your own illusions. Your perception is full of them. By extraordinary or mystical influence, you produce desired effects or results in every area of your life. How much of this do you realize? Supernatural elements are forces of your own nature. Thunderbird magic opens a doorway into another dimension of your soul.  As you raise your awareness, you prepare to explore infinity.


How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic

“O ye peoples of the world! Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity is following you…”

Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 209

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My last post was based on what I consider to be truth. However, one study by one organization may not be convincing to those who (for various reasons…) deny there’s a global climate crisis.

So, to add more ingredients to the soup, here are a comment from one of the world’s most popular blogs,  a complete catalog of responses to denialists from an environmental news and commentary blog, and a link to an actual brick-and-mortar institution that focuses on the earth’s climate.

Cory Doctorow at BOINGBOING:

“Have you noticed that whenever you mention climate change online a bunch of people show up with identical objections — almost as though there was a list of talking points somewhere on the Internet that astroturfers and denialists used to derail discussions of the most grave existential crisis facing the human race today?”

He then quotes GRIST:

“Below is a [set of links to] the articles in “How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic,” a series by Coby Beck containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming. There are four separate taxonomies; arguments are divided by:”

* Stages of Denial
* Scientific Topics
* Types of Argument
* Levels of Sophistication


And, for those enamoured by a more scientific approach:

The Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization known around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Worldwatch research is the gold-standard for sustainability analysis for decision makers in government, civil society, business, and academia.”