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6th July 2007

2:43am: The problem for me with racism, prejudice, bigotry, sexism, or any other negative discrimination is this: when I look at people, I’m colorblind. I don’t see difference. I don’t see color or feel any condemnation of any particular faction of people. All I ever seem to notice is how we’re all the same. The same things hurt us, and the same things heal us. We all covet the same things, and the same things seduce us all. The same things fill us with pure joy and love, and all our hearts are broken by the same kinds of pain, losses, and betrayals. We are all the same, for we are all One!

30th April 2007

8:01pm: Much of our life takes us to the edge of our boundaries and leaves us there. It says, "You are not limited to what is inside these boundaries." As if to confirm that insight, we see ourselves hitting up against every boundary we create. Everytime we take a stand - it almost does not matter what stance we take - we separate a unified reality into two parts. Call those parts whatever you like - good and bad, male and female, high and low.
Out of unity, we make duality. As soon as I say "I", I get "you", which means "not-I". Even if I say "we", I mean "not them". No matter how much I expand my consciousness, I continue to encounter people or situations which I cannot accept. There I draw the line. I establish my boundaries. What is on this side of the line is acceptable. And what is on that side of the line is not.
This is the nature of my journey of consciousness. My whole life is a process of establishing and erasing boundaries. When I can see it that way, I learn to be lighter with myself and others. I know the boundaries are not real. My beliefs just make them seem real. When I change my beliefs those boundaries just disappear.
I am always trying to define and order my existence. The harder I try, the more I make a botch of things. I'm just not very good at controlling my life. Sooner or later, I come to that conclusion. Sooner or later, I realize that my purpose here is not to control my life. It is to work with it. I can say what I want. There is nothing wrong with that. But I must choose what I get, whether or not it is what I want.
Often, I believe what happens isn't what I wanted. But, later, I find that it is exactly what I needed at the time. Sooner or later, I come to realize that I don't know what I need. But my life-force does. My life-force does know what I need, and attracts it to me. I use to call my life-force "fate", or "god", but that never worked because it put it outside of me. It isn't! It isn't "outside" or "inside", or maybe it's both. When I draw the line, it retreats so deep inside I can't find it, or it expands beyond all the limits I imagine. It is so small it is completely incognito. Look for it in the body/mind, and you cannot find it. Yet it is so extensive even the Universe is not big enough to contain it.
When I look at Who I Really Am, I see no limits. No inside, no outside. When I look at Who I Really Am, I am no different from you. I am no different from God. It is all the same. It's all one movement of life-force without beginning or end.
When I'm inside my boundaries, everything seems so important. When life comes in and erases those boundaries, I realize all those things I thought so important were insignificant. Each wave is a purification, a dissolution, a wiping clean of the slate of judgement and evaluation. Slowly the swirling of energies of my life slow down to a gentle dance. It is extraordinary. I begin to find that my life is ok just as it is. I don't have to change anything about it. I don't have to change my relationships, or my job, or where I live to be happy. I am happy, right now, as I am. Life has come to me and I have embraced it, simply and profoundly.
I do not know what the next moment will bring, but it does not matter. Whatever comes will be fine. For I left fear behind along with my judgements. No stain of the past clings to my innocence. No expectation of the future shrouds my freedom to be myself or to let you be. I dwell simply with the understanding that I am ok as I am, and you are ok as you are, and life is fine just as it is. That is my bliss. That is my substance. The rest is just size and shape. The rest is just form that returns to dust whence it came.
The insubstantial cannot contain the substantial. Boundaries cannot contain the formless. The limited mind cannot contain the mind of God. But the mind of God contains all things. It is a cup that is forever empty. No matter how much wine we pour into it, it never gets filled up. That is the profound blessing we are all coming to. That is the prayer on our lips. The forgotten song. We remember as our hearts open to each other. It simply says, "Welcome, brother and sister. The place you left has remained empty, awaiting your return. Welcome Home!"
Namaste.
7:56pm: Miracles are a demonstration of the Divine Mind in action within your mind and experience. Miracles are re-membering devices, just as they were two thousand years ago. Every miracle is a demonstration of the fact that love is stronger than fear.

Do not underestimate the degree to which your world is created out of fear. Look around you. Look at your own thoughts. Is there any place where fear does not have a foothold? I don't ask you to do this to depress you. I would just have you be realistic. See things as they are in your world. Take an inventory of your own thoughts. You cannot come to love unless you realize how much of your thinking is fear-based.
Bringing awareness to your fearful thoughts introduces the possibility of an alternative. But please do not try to replace negative, fearful thoughts with positive, loving thoughts. This just sets up conflict in your mind. Instead, let awareness work. Simply be aware of your fear and feel it.

Then, when you have felt it fully, simply say to inner Source: "I am ready to move through my fear now." And be willing to receive from your Self the help you asked for. Your request will not be turned down, I assure you. When you ask for help, you acknowledge that there is a power that is greater than your fear. You also indicate your desire to work with that power to move out of fear and conflict in your life.
There is only one more suggestion I would make. When you ask God Consciousness - "Inner Source" - for help, recognize that you are asking that your thoughts be changed. So affirm this: "I am willing to change my mind about this situation. Please help me see this, not through the eyes of fear, but as God/Love sees it. Help me see this with love for myself and all others."
This, my brothers and sisters, is a powerful prayer. Stay with it. Rest in its strength and its peace. And let God Consciousness answer you in every word, every gesture and every action. You cannot experience the Miracle unless you are willing to receive it. To experience the Miracle, the following factors must me present:

1. To know that you need it in order to experience

the Miracle.

2. You must ask for it sincerely and wholeheartedly.

3. You must be willing to receive it.

When all three factors are present, the Miracle will manifest.

Unfortunately, even if the Miracle has manifested in your life, you may not know this. Why is this? Because you have a preconception of what the Miracle should look like. So even though it is sitting right next to you, you might not recognize it.
What good is a miracle if you can't find it? If you would accept the Miracle into your heart. please understand that it might not look like you thought it would. Be open to its presence in your life, and allow it to reveal itself to you.
Some of you may ask: "Why don't I receive the Miracle I ask for?" That is because the Miracle you ask for may not free you from your fear. Therefore, it is not miraculous, and your fear will just recreate the conditions that necessitated the demonstration you asked for.
Let God Consciousness be the one to answer your prayer. Do not try to tell "Inner Source" what you need. It knows better than you do. Trust in that, in Who You Really Are. Open to Its presence in your life. Be willing to "learn" from It and of It. In that willingness, fear will be dissolved. In that willingness, you will awaken to your true Self.
Namaste.

14th April 2007

10:54pm: "CBS fired Don Imus from his radio program, the finale to a stunning fall for one of the most prominent US broadcasters.

Imus initially was given a two-week suspension for calling a mostly black college women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos" on the air last week, but outrage continued to grow and advertisers bolted from his CBS radio show and its MSNBC television simulcast. Nappy is a derogatory reference to the hair of some black people, and "ho" is slang for "whore."

Losing Imus will be a financial hit to CBS Radio. The program is worth about US$15 million in annual revenue to CBS, which owns Imus' home radio station WFAN-AM and manages Westwood One, the company that syndicates the show across the US.

Civil rights leaders the Reverend Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson met with Moonves on Thursday to demand Imus' removal, promising a rally outside CBS headquarters today and an effort to persuade more advertisers to abandon Imus.

Jackson called the firing "a victory for public decency. No one should use the public airwaves to transmit racial or sexual degradation."

Said Sharpton: "He says he wants to be forgiven. I hope he continues in that process. But we cannot afford a precedent established that the airways can commercialize and mainstream sexism and racism."



See how I really feel under the cut!Collapse )

25th March 2007

11:46am: "The Invitation"

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living;
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are;
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for your dreams,
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon;
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayal
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with JOY, mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without failing to be realistic,
or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true;
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can se beauty
even when the face is not pretty,
and if you can find grace for your living from that beauty.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon: "YES!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live
or how much money you have;
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief,
weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn't interest me who you are,
how you came to be here;
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied:
I want to know what sustains you from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

18th March 2007

7:44pm: WITCHCRAFT I KNOW:

Healing, Reiki, The Use of Herbs, Fire Magick, Earth Magick, Air Magick, Water Magick, Ether Magick, Cauldron Magick, Faery Magick, Night Magick, Moon Magick, Sun Magick, Planetary Magick, Star Magick, Hearthfire Magick, Voodoo Doll Magick, Alternative Medicines, Potions, Mojo Bags, Sachets, Magickal Powders, poppets, Recipes, Essential oils (which I have found oddly enough can be a very potent kind of magick), Runes, Crystal Gazing, Stones, Alchemy, Astrology, Sigils, Banishings, Magick Fetishes, Aphrodisiacs, Ogham magick, Tarot, Scrying, Amulets, Magick rings, Enchantments, The Faery Folk, Vampyre, Lycans, Ancient Grimoires, Circlecasting, Akashic Records, Shape-shifting, Demonology, Channeling, Voodoo, Hoodoo, Santeria,Candomble, Lucumi, Clannada Ne Gaedelica, Kabalah, Sufism, Freemasonry, Theosophy, my original coven - The Dark Moon Circle
4:04pm: I found this on one of my Goddess websites. And although it was intended for a more female audience, I truly believe all people should adopt these qualities.

A Goddess:


Believes in herself and never attempts to adopt or imitate the identity of another. She knows her own authentic self.
Never feels the need to correct the behavior of those around her. Intuitively she knows there's work to be done on herself.
Doesn't falsify who she is in order to place herself in what she refers to as a "higher class". She knows that in nature there are no distinguishing of classes. There just IS.
Respects all others as equals and accepts that they choose to live their lives according to their own beliefs about themselves.
Doesn't feel the need to CONTROL. She understands the process of ALLOWING stimulated by her desires. This, she knows, is her MAGIC.
Will draw many people and relationships to her because of her magnetic appeal. Those around her know she has much to offer.
Never makes assumptions.
Always does her best.
Knows the difference between healthy and unhealthy fear.
Accepts responsibility for herself and her actions and knows the problem doesn't ALWAYS lie with others.
Learns to look upon problems through the eyes of love, not through the eyes of fear.
Avoids situations and people who attempt to block her FLOW! She remains true to herself!
Finds her Goddess given creative talents and expresses them with ease.
Is an outer expression of an inner condition.
Will never feel the need to protect herself from lifes experiences. She trusts her own process.
Never makes others feel less than she in order to gain a false sense of security.
Faces all her "demons" and loves herself anyway.
Knows that in the light of forgiveness comes the wisdom of understanding.
Realizes that guilt is a means of destruction, not reparation.
Understands the real meaning of the word "redemption".
Regards herself as an intensely sexual being and knows that this is a Blessed gift.
Loves all of nature and believes it is a Sacred Manifestation of Spirit where all things are interconnected.
Uses knowledge as a tool, not a weapon.
Knows that each person must find their own way.
Does not believe in an absolute good or evil, but instead contemplates and seeks out a balance in the interplay between light and dark.
Knows that in order to spread light, she must first become the light.
A Goddess whispers the song of the Moon in the Knowledge of herself.

16th March 2007

6:36am: I think I've finally come to a decision regarding a very personal matter concerning my best friend Laura.

Pretty much ever since Laura had to re-locate to Port St. Lucie, FL., I haven't been right either with myself or my life in general. Indeed, I must admit that there will always be a part of me that will never be able to sit right with her no longer being a presence in my life. Ever since she moved, got sick very suddenly with MS, and now no longer keeps in touch with me anymore - my abandonment issue had been surfacing like never before, it seemed.

I had spent a great deal of time, energy, therapy, and tears - trying to come to a greater peace about everything that's gone on with her. I've gone back and forth with all the rationalizations, justifications, and especially analyzations - of what the "real" reasons are of why she won't even take ANY of my calls, or write back to ANY of my hand-written letters, Emails, or comments on Myspace.

I know I have a full life - my internship at Random House, my schooling at Hunter University, my Wisdom Circle, helping the homeless once a week, being both a youth councilor and psychic councilor, my writing, my family & friends etc. - but Laura was my one and only "go-to" person in my life; my single "Keeper of the Power", so to speak. We not only had an extremely close best-friend relationship, but we had established an extraordinary spiritual relationship ever since the evening we came to call "The Night Of Our Dialogue" (I will ellaborate more in future entries about what this night was all about).

With her in the room, I was able to see myself as the sort of human being I desperately want and hope I am. She also was the one that first introduced me to "Conversations With God".

Note: please ask me what this is! lol

Laura never judged me. She never got angry with me. She was ALWAYS there for me, come what may; always offering god-like kindness, true understanding, seemingly limitless patience, transforming wisdom, compassion, and what caused me to be in absolute awe of her - Laura's unconditional love.

Laura saw the best in everything I did, and as perception creates reality, I felt when I was with her that I manifested the best possible version of myself, - unconditionally loving, kind, altruistic, generous, empathic, patient, compassionate, understanding, wise, - basically all the virtuous aspects of the human condition. With Laura in my life, I felt that I was all the things I hope and wish to be. The fact that she believed so much good of me allowed me to, however momentarily, actively manifest what she saw and reacted to, because the very fact of her reaction meant it must have somehow been real.

Yet, as I stated before, I have finally come to a decision. I know I've spent a great deal of my time and energy feeling very depressed, angry, so deeply hurt, terribly lost, and of course - abandoned. But I need to know that I can still be OK whether she's in my life or not, and I don't think I can honestly say, in good conscience, that I really feel that way as of yet.

The decision is this: I will FOREVER love Laura. My love for her, our love for each other, truly is forever, it's eternal. But unless refering to the past, there is no friendship to speak of. And so, I MUST take my friendship with her, take my love for her, take her love for me - and put that away in my heart.

I must move on, and for real this time! Both in mind and heart, I must begin to see how I can live without Laura, and not only be OK, but "return to myself" and at last let there be peace in heart/soul about her. My life is like my love - it's a revolving door. She, like many others, is always much more than welcome to come back into my life. Love would never turn anyone away. I will not.

But, . . . it's at last time I think, I feel ready now, to move on . . . .
4:10am: PARAPSYCHOLOGY
Man has always sought to impose order on the universe. But within almost every branch of science, we've been discovering over the last hundred years something quite surprising: While order does exist in the universe, it is not at all what we had in mind.

There is a school of thought that many adhere to. It has been believed now for many years that science holds the answers to what exactly constitutes "reality"; that science and laws of logic and reasoning are able to answer such broad, life-affecting questions such as - What are we? Why are we? What is our purpose? Who am I? What is this life all about?

Let's talk about our beliefs and what we can learn about them. We believe Nature is solid and Time - a constant.
Matter has substance and Time a direction. There is truth in flesh, and the solid ground. The wind may be invisible but it's real. Smoke, fire, water, light - they're different, not as to stone or steel, but they're tangible.
And we assume Time has narrowed, because it is as a clock. One second is one second for everyone. Cause preceeds Effect, fruit rots, water flows down-stream. We are born, we age, we die. The reverse never happens.

None of this is truth! Say goodbye to classical reality, because our logic collapses on multiple levels. In relativity, reasoning breaksdown on the cosmic scale, and in quantum-physics logic breakdown at a sub-microscopic scale.

While I attended Duke University, I minored in parapsychology. In that time, along with my own personal experiences with the worlds of the paranormal and that of the occult (which I might add have been extensive and considerable), I can attest - there is an Unseen World, a Hidden Reality. And it is just as real, no, more real - than the world we perceive with our ordinary senses.

Paranormal is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of reported anomalous phenomena. According to the Journal of Parapsychology, the term paranormal describes "any phenomenon that in one or more respects exceeds the limits of what is deemed physically possible according to current scientific assumptions."[1] For this reason, the scientific community often avoids research on the paranormal, believing that it may not conform to the standards required by the scientific method.

Paranormal describes subjects studied under parapsychology, which deals with psychic phenomena like telepathy, extra-sensory perception, psychokinesis, and post-mortem survival studies like reincarnation, ghosts, and hauntings. However, as a broader category, the paranormal sometimes describes subjects outside the scope of parapsychology, including anomalous aspects of UFOs, some creatures that fall under the scope of cryptozoology, purported phenomena surrounding the Bermuda Triangle, and many other non-psychical subjects.[2

Parapsychology is the scientific study of certain types of paranormal phenomena, or of phenomena which appear to be paranormal.[1] The term is based on the Greek para (beside/beyond), psyche (soul/mind), and logos (account/explanation) and was coined by psychologist Max Dessoir in or before 1889. Its first appearance was in an article by Dessoir in the June 1889 issue of the German publication Sphinx.[2] J. B. Rhine later popularized "parapsychology" as a replacement for the earlier term "psychical research", during a shift in methodologies which brought experimental methods to the study of psychic phenomena.[2] In contemporary research, the term 'parapsychology' refers to the study of psi, a general blanket term used by academic parapsychologists to denote anomalous processes or outcomes.

Skeptics of parapsychology often hold that the entire body of evidence to date is of poor quality and not properly controlled; in the views of many skeptics, the entire field of parapsychology has produced no conclusive results whatsoever. They often cite instances of fraud, flawed or potentially flawed studies, a psychological need for mysticism, or cognitive bias as ways to explain parapsychological results.

Many refer to parapsychology as a pseudoscience. But by now, there is far too much undeniable evidence to make that claim. It has all the structure and appearance of any other science, and must be respected as such. The fact that differentiates it from other sciences is largely that it has no history of successful experiments upon which to base conclusions.

If you care to, click the link below. Enjoy the movie clip.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=492319398692711231&q=the+occult&hl=en


I welcome any and all to write in response to my entry. :-)

10th March 2007

7:55pm: Dope Sick Love

Dope Sick Love
"Dope Sick Love" on Google Video
Two addicted homeless couples making life on the streets and what they will do to get their drugs.
5:56pm: Homesick For Wales
Sometimes, like today, I get a longing to return to South Wales where I grew up until I was thirteen. You see, the place of my childhood, - Aberafan, Port Talbot - , was full of ancient cairns and mysterious stone towers and ruined castles; sudden cliffs and old "biddy" church remains. These places dot the countryside, where lakes hold the pale light of the open sky; green hills fold gently down to patureland. I grew up waking every morning to sea-mist and Merlyn crows. And the house my family and I lived in, the old townspeople say, had belonged once to Sir Richard Burton, one summer in 1954.

Anyway, the truth is, everytime I travel back to the UK, I usually find I have time to go to that part of Britian, but I know it's a bit of a hard thing for me. Many memories.

Ah well, maybe one summer.

8th March 2007

4:23pm: Self-Abandonment

By Dr. Margaret Paul


If you feel alone, empty, anxious, depressed, hurt, angry, jealous, sad, fearful, guilty or shamed, you are abandoning yourself. In this article, discover the ways you might be abandoning yourself.


The Encarta(r) World English Dictionary defines "abandon" as: "to leave somebody or something behind for others to look after, especially somebody or something meant to be a personal responsibility."

As adults, our own wellbeing is our personal responsibility.

Do you abandon yourself, instead making others responsible for you, and then feel abandoned by others when they leave you or don't take responsibility for you?

As an adult, another person cannot abandon you, since they are not responsible for you. We can abandon a child, an ill person or an old person - someone who cannot take care of themselves. But if you are a physically healthy adult, you can be left, but you cannot be abandoned by others. Only you can abandon you.

What are the ways you might be abandoning yourself?

Judging Yourself

How often do you judge yourself with comments to yourself such as:

"You are not good enough." "You are inadequate."
"You are stupid." "You are an idiot."

"You are ugly." "You are not attractive enough."

"If you fail you are not okay."

"If someone rejects you, you are not okay."

"It's all your fault that...."

"You will never amount to anything. You are a failure. You are not reaching your potential."

...and so on.

Just as a small child feels alone and abandoned when a parent is harsh and judgmental, so our own inner child feels alone and abandoned when you judge yourself. Self judgment not only creates inner feelings of aloneness and emptiness, but it also creates feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, hurt, fear, guilt and shame. Then what do you do when you have judged yourself and created all these painful feelings?

Ignoring Your Feelings

When you feel alone, empty, anxious, depressed, hurt, angry, jealous, sad, fearful, guilty or shamed - what do you do? Do you attend to your feelings, exploring what YOU are telling yourself or doing to cause them? Or do you avoid them with some form addictive behavior, using food, alcohol, drugs, nicotine, TV, work, shopping, Internet, sex, anger, blame, and so on to avoid them?

When you ignore your feelings and instead turn to addictive behavior, you are again abandoning yourself. Once you have abandoned yourself, it is very common to project this self-abandonment onto others and feel abandoned by people or by God. Yet, as a physically healthy adult, the feeling of abandonment is being caused by you, just as most of your other painful feelings are being caused by you.

Making Others Responsible for You

Once you judge yourself and then ignore the pain you have caused, it is quite likely that you then turn to others for the love and approval that you are not giving to yourself. Your inner child - the feeling part of you - needs love, approval, and attention. When you abandon yourself with your self-judgments and ignoring your feelings, the wounded child part of you turns to others for the love you need. Because the child part of you is desperately needy for love, you likely become manipulative to get that love - getting angry and blaming, or becoming overly nice or compliant and trying to do everything right. You have handed your inner child away to others for adoption, hoping another person will give you the love you so desperately need. You become addicted to approval, attention, and/or sex.

The more you make others responsible for giving you the love, attention and approval you need, the more your inner child feels abandoned, leading to more addictive behavior to fill the emptiness and avoid the pain of your self-abandonment.

The way out of this is to start to pay attention to your feelings - to put your attention inside your body instead of always focusing outside. The moment you feel badly, notice what you are thinking or doing that is causing your pain. Your painful feelings that come from your thoughts are your inner guidance system's way of letting you know that what you are thinking is not true, and is not in your highest good.

Ask the highest part of yourself, "What is the truth?" Notice how you feel when you attend to your feelings and tell yourself the truth rather than judge yourself, ignore yourself, and make others responsible for your feelings.

6th March 2007

11:54pm: Rape Trauma Syndrome (Continued)
Now that I've layed out the full description of RTS in my last entry, I'd like to talk a little about one of the styles in which rape victims respond to the assault/rape.

If a survivor uses the Controlled style, they contain their emotions. Most of the survivor's energy is directed toward maintaining composure. They may sit calmly, respond to questions in a detached, logical way, and downplay their fear, sadness, anger, and anxiety.


I can attest that in my time, I've come to have more than a few of my female friends that've been
either raped or assaulted, and not only was their initial reaction to contain and maintain their
emotions and full composure, but even well after the incident, say anywhere from the first few months
through the next several years, they often did nothing to try and deal with the devastating emotion/mental affects and repercussions.

My best friend Laura was attacked at age twenty. When the perpetrator was finished with her, he made sure to tell her that if she ever wondered why he chose her, it was because quote, "She looked so damn good."

For Laura, what followed was several years during which she spent being house-bound, given to cutting and other forms of self mutilation, and avoidance of social gatherings.

Permit me to state, I still maintain that we men can NEVER truly know what damage it does to a woman - physically, emotionally, or mentally - to be violated and ravaged in only the worst way a woman can be defiled!

And yet, one question out of many might be, Just how does a rape/assault victim make the transition from victimhood to survivor?


Victimhood is a state from which all groups (or individuals) need to recover in order to lead normal lives. Victimhood is not only a perception of self, but of self in a system of relationships. Acknowledging victimhood as a problem is the first step toward recovery. Part of the healing process for victims is regaining self-esteem and relearning that the "other" is also human and that this "other" has suffered as well. This process allows the groups to begin to transform the system in which victimization was made possible into something much more positive.

Necessary elements for healing from the trauma of victimhood include safety, space, and time for the group to go through a process of mourning, empowerment, and eventual reconciliation with the enemy. In order to heal, the group must begin to feel safe from the possibility of any further unjustified aggression. Without establishing such safety, healing cannot even start. Once safety becomes less of a concern, victims can begin to heal through a remembrance and mourning process.[10]

It is also crucial that any victimized group receive acknowledgment from the international community of their suffering. However, a victimized group may not always want the world at large to take responsibility in a meaningful way for the group's suffering or for remedying the situation. Israel, for example, consistently refuses international military presence within its borders because it wants to retain control over its own affairs.

A process of empowerment is important in addressing people's desire for some degree of control. Trauma causes its victims to feel a loss of control over their destinies as well as an inability to change their situations. Therefore, as Herman and others indicate, in order to recover from victimhood, victimized individuals or groups must feel that they have regained power and control over themselves.[11] This is necessary to enable better functioning and also to make dialogue and eventual coexistence with the enemy possible. Survivors of victimhood and trauma have a deep need to feel as though they are in complete control of their lives and future.

Recovery from victimhood also seems to depend on forgiving the enemy, as well as recognizing one's own wrongdoings and accepting responsibility for them. Ideally these processes should be mutual and reciprocal. It should also be understood that certain steps in the process may need to be repeated.

The following points are some of the generally agreed-upon benchmarks needed for a successful healing process:

Safety from violence and humiliation.
A general agreement on the history of the conflict.
Mutual acceptance of responsibility, contrition, and finally, forgiveness.
Public expressions by respected representatives of each group that voice or demonstrate the new relationship and understanding.[12]
L.A. Pearlman has gone more into depth in designing a healing process for victims. The following requirements parallel those above but add some extra dimensions to the process:[13]

Respect, which is gained through some or all of the following: acknowledgment, justice, atonement, mutual forgiveness.
Information or the truth about relevant events, about mass genocide and killing, and about the reality of traumatic stress and how to recover from it.
To regain a sense of connection with oneself and with others.
Hope in God (or something spiritual), for the community, for other people, or a positive vision of the future.[14]
Current Mood: sympathetic
9:58pm: Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS)
I know this is a bit of a touchy subject matter for some, so I'm going to use only the utmost sensitivity and care in writing this entry.

Although every survivor you encounter will be unique, many will have one thing in common: Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS). Identified by Ann Wolbert Burgess and Lynda Lytle Holmstrom, RTS is a cluster of emotional responses to the extreme stress experienced by the survivor during the sexual assault. More specifically, RTS is a response to the profound fear of death that almost all survivors experience during an assault. RTS occurs in two phases:

1. The Acute Initial Phase: which usually lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the attack.

2. The Reorganization Phase: which usually lasts anywhere from a few weeks to several days after the attack.

The Acute Phase:

During this phase, the survivor experiences a complete disruption of their life, responding to the fear of death they experienced. Survivors may display any of a number of contrasting emotional responses. A survivor may cry, shout, swear, laugh nervously, be silent, discuss the weather, or sit calmly. Responses may vary depending on any one of a number of external and experiential circumstances. No response is inappropriate! However, responses fall into one of two main styles:



Expressed
Controlled

If a survivor uses the Expressed style, they openly display their emotions. They may be agitated and restless, talk a lot, cry, swear, shout, and laugh. Any emotion is appropriate--because every person has his or her own unique way of responding to events in their life.

If a survivor uses the Controlled style, they contain their emotions. Most of the survivor's energy is directed toward maintaining composure. They may sit calmly, respond to questions in a detached, logical way, and downplay their fear, sadness, anger, and anxiety.

Both of these styles of emotional response reflect different ways of dealing with a crisis. A person may also exhibit characteristics of both styles.

In general, the survivor's initial response to the assault will be shock and disbelief. Many survivors may appear numb. Far from being inappropriate, this response provides an emotional "time-out" during which the survivor can acknowledge and begin to process the myriad components of the experience. A survivor who was assaulted by an acquaintance may have a particularly difficult time overcoming shock and disbelief. The experience of an acquaintance rape can also make a person question the trustworthiness of others in their life. If the assault was particularly terrifying or brutal, the survivor may experience an extreme shock response and completely block out the assault.

Following the shock and disbelief most survivors initially experience, they may experience a variety of emotions or mood swings. Survivors may feel angry, afraid, lucky to be alive, humiliated, dirty, sad, confused, vengeful, degraded. All of these responses, as well as the many that are not listed, are normal. In short, whatever a survivor is feeling is valid Physical concerns of the Acute Phase
Usually, the survivor will report a general soreness and aches throughout their body. Survivors will also report pain in the specific areas of the body that were targeted during the assault. These specific pains may be the result of actual physical trauma, or may be a psychosomatic response. Both reasons are equally valid and real.

The survivor will often notice disruptions in their usual sleeping and eating patterns. They may not be able to eat or sleep, or may eat more than usual and be unable to stay awake. Survivors may report nightmares in which they relive the assault. These may evolve into dreams in which the survivor takes the violent role in some way, in effect reclaiming the control lost during the assault. Although both types of dreams may upset a person, they are part of the healing process. Sexual assault is such a traumatic event that the survivor may dream about it in some way throughout their life.because they are feeling it. It is how they express their reaction to the rape crisis.

Physical concerns of the Acute Phase:
Usually, the survivor will report a general soreness and aches throughout their body. Survivors will also report pain in the specific areas of the body that were targeted during the assault. These specific pains may be the result of actual physical trauma, or may be a psychosomatic response. Both reasons are equally valid and real.

The survivor will often notice disruptions in their usual sleeping and eating patterns. They may not be able to eat or sleep, or may eat more than usual and be unable to stay awake. Survivors may report nightmares in which they relive the assault. These may evolve into dreams in which the survivor takes the violent role in some way, in effect reclaiming the control lost during the assault. Although both types of dreams may upset a person, they are part of the healing process. Sexual assault is such a traumatic event that the survivor may dream about it in some way throughout their life.


The Reorganization Phase:

During this phase of RTS, the survivor reorganizes herself/himself and their life after the sexual assault. Basically, they learn to cope again. Several factors influence the survivor's ability to reorganize their life after the sexual assault:

Personality. What coping mechanisms does a person already possess? How successfully have they coped with stress and trauma in the past?

Support System. Does she/he have a strong system of friends and family for emotional support? Does the survivor truly feel they can go to them for support? Is a survivor treated with empathy?

Existing Life Problems. Does this person have a drinking or drug problem? Are they experiencing a divorce or other break-up? Do they have emotional or psychological problems? Even if the survivor had these life problems under control prior to the assault, the trauma of the assault may reactivate them.

Prior Sexual Victimization. Was the survivor assaulted previously, especially within the last two years? If so, recovery may be much more difficult.


Emotional Concerns of the Reorganization Phase:

The concerns the survivor has may fall into any of four groups:

1. Social Concerns
The survivor may experience some difficulty returning to pre-assault social patterns. She/he may feel an increased distrust toward others in general and, with male rapists involved, an increased suspicion of men in particular. A survivor may have a shorter temper, or easily break into tears. Some reactions may be the result of a specific component of the assault. For example, if the survivor was assaulted while alone, she/he may want to be with other people constantly. If a survivor was gang-assaulted, she/he may withdraw socially and rely on a few significant others for companionship and support. The survivor's social patterns after the assault may depend less upon the conditions of the assault and more upon the survivor's personality. Many survivors feel a strong need to "get away." A survivor may visit parents. They may move, especially if assaulted at home. Survivors may change jobs or leave school. All these actions are "normal" in that they represent what the survivor needs to do in order to regain control over their life.

2. Psychological Concerns
Denial of the effects of the assault, or of the assault itself, is a common reaction during the reorganization phase. Denial may be a component of the survivor's recovery, since it gives a person space to catch their breath before beginning the stressful task of processing and resolving the trauma. Denial that lasts longer than a few hours or days, however, is detrimental to recovery.

Depression, guilt, and a general loss of self-esteem are all common psychological reactions. These symptoms suggest that a survivor has turned their anger inward, and that they have unresolved fears. Remind a survivor that they are in no way responsible for the assault and that nothing they did could ever justify the violence they have experienced. Encourage survivors to direct these negative feelings toward the assailant and away from his or herself.

The survivor may experience fearful reactions to stimuli that remind them of the assault or the assailant. Phobic reactions are extreme manifestations of anxiety. For example, if the survivor was assaulted outdoors, they may be afraid to leave the house. If the assailant had alcohol on his breath, this odor may remind a survivor of the assault and bring on nausea. Survivors may experience a general paranoia, or panic attacks.

3. Sexual Concerns
The assault may disrupt the sexual life of the survivor because sex, which usually involves pleasure, was instead used as a weapon to humiliate, control and punish. It will probably take some time for the survivor to disassociate the sexual assault from consensual sex. Acts the assailant forced a survivor to do that they were not used to doing will probably cause particular difficulty. Survivors may experience physical pain during sex, have difficulty relaxing, or be generally indifferent to sex. At the other extreme, some survivors may desire sex all the time. Most likely, a person's behavior will fall between these two extremes.

If the survivor was a virgin at the time of the assault, she/he may have a heightened fear of a first consensual sexual encounter.

The survivor may be concerned about their partner's reaction to them. Survivors may wonder if a partner will feel differently toward them. Because of the range of stresses the survivor experiences after an assault, consensual sexual relationships and other friendships can be placed under heavy strain. Current statistics indicate that about half of all survivors lose their love relationships within a year of sexual assault.

4. Physical Concerns
The survivor may report continuing gynecological/genital problems. If a survivor was physically beaten, the survivor may continue to experience pain. Sexually transmitted diseases are a further concern, as well as pregnancy. Nightmares may also continue. If they continue in a manner that makes a person lose sleep or fills their waking hours, they might want to consider counseling.


Flashbacks

A person with RTS and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may experience flashbacks during the acute or recovery phase. A flashback is when a person is exposed to some stimuli which triggers an involuntary reaction and can often set off a temporary crisis. Any of the physical senses can trigger a flashback; sight, sound, taste, feel or smell. As little as one and as many as all five of a person's senses may be heightened or irritated in a flashback. Each flashback is unique and is a normal part of recovery for many survivors.

During a flashback, a person may often feel as if they are reliving the trauma that affected them and can exhibit symptoms as if they are currently being attacked. For example, a survivor may feel aches and pains, irritation in the area where they were injured or other symptoms as if they had just been raped. Survivors may also exhibit other behaviors as if they were currently being attacked such as screaming, running, hiding, fighting, shutting down or being completely quite.

Interjecting current stimuli or removing irritating stimuli may help a person during a flashback. If the smell of roses is making someone flashback, remove roses, rose scented perfumes, etc. from their environment. Or if a persons flashback makes them feel as if they are in a wooded, swampy area, mention the floor, carpet, ceiling, sofa, etc. to them. This type of activity should be verbal and it may not be productive to touch a survivor who is having a flashback.
Current Mood: sympathetic

5th March 2007

2:59am: A Fleeting Joy
I've been waiting to be in the right sort of mood to write about the topic of my love life, and I suppose tonight is as good a time as any.

I think why a portion of both my LJ and Myspace entries have been written in so general a way is: I wanted to make certain that I put my deepest and most heartfelt beliefs about love and about this life we all live, out there for people to first be aware of before I got into the more personal aspects of my life. I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, "One's true nature often has little to do with the life one actually lives."

I do believe in Love. I know ultimately I am Love - expressed in the flesh. But in more human terms, my love life has unfortunately been exceedingly . . . disappointing; wrought with too much expectation (although I must say I didn't always think what I was looking for was indeed too much to ask). Throughout my whole life so far, I have found my relationships, and definitely the men I've been with to be horribly disappointing. Why? Because I always knew the sort of people they often were could never have loved me in the way I deserve. They were always guys that were far beneath me, in terms of what sort of people they were in character, what kind of love they had to offer, as it were.

These were mostly men, (some I can't even use that word "men" in describing their level of emotional intelligence and maturity), that were too broken on the inside. They were guys that were drug addicts, too mentally unstable, too superficial, too emotionally closed off, too scared of love to love me, too jaded, too beautiful on the outside and hollow on the inside - the list is unbelievably long.

After sifting through enough of these kinds of men and relationships, what has in fact happened as a result is something I carry a lot of shame for - such a person as I've always been that believed strongly in love and it's ways, has over the last few years aquired a deeply jaded heart. This presents a bit of a problem because one cannot know they're capable of loving and of being loved with a jaded heart. Often there is too much doubt, too much fear of being hurt, and these feelings of mine are very precious to me. It pains me to know that on a certain level, I've become the very thing I forever swore I'd never become - jaded.

I look at my folks that've been married for forty years, I look at all the craziness that I often see going on in the relationships of many of my friends, co-workers, family relatives, - and I somehow become more convinced it's just easier, safer, and far less emotionally taxing to be alone. Come to think of it, I've always been a loner, like Hesses' Steppenwolf, the path I've walked for so long in my life has been a somewhat singular one. And it has not always been fun or easy, and yet I can't remember a time where it didn't seem to come naturally to be alone.

Now, what I've seen from both my relationships and those of others I know, is that at some point they often are made into being about some kind of power struggle, who's got more say, who's got less say. And in gay relationships especially between two men, it's often even more difficult playing the roles of who's more "the man" or "the woman" in the relationship, as I've always assumed it should really just be about the love, and the compromise made. And so, I have found through the years, other ways of getting and having love; mostly through family relations and especially through my really close and intimate friendships.

But if you want to know what really scares me, it's this: I don't blame the men of my past. I realize that the question is not who's fault it is, or who's to blame. In sober truth, I know I was always attracting these kinds of men into my life experience. It's taken me years in coming to know this about myself but, really the truth is that I've never had enough positive self-esteem. I know I've never loved myself enough to deem myself worthy of another person's unconditional love. It's not that I never liked myself completely. Like many people, It's just that there's a part of myself I knew I didn't like. And so my ego compensated by trying to get other people to like me.

Much of this particular issue I've come along way with. But I know now that what I was in fact doing in the past was mostly about attracting the aspects of my Self that I didn't like and maybe felt I needed to work on. So those relationships of my past were really just mirror reflections of the different aspects of myself "showing up" so I could learn how to love them more, with less harsh judgement. To begin to see how someone could love me unconditionally, as I am now, taking my good with my bad and in-between; with all my faults, quirks, and idiosyncrasies. It was just that those unlikeable parts of myself were showing up vicariously through the men of my past.

And so, as my therapist will often ask me:

"So all that was the past, Adam. What now will you choose to do about it?"
Current Mood: quixotic

4th March 2007

4:31am: OK, so I know several people now have asked me "Where does the name Ephraim, of which has been used for my LJ account, come from?" Well here it is:

For enough number of years now, I've had the notion to make a serious attempt in writing a tragic/romance story. Yet, in order to do so, I would need to think in greater detail about him: Ephraim. That will not be easy. I think I’d been avoiding the task of thinking on him more. I didn’t want to have to think about what he’s about, what his story is, so to speak. I know that the more I take the time to think about him and consider him, the more he will matter to me; the more I will begin to truly care about him. He is everything I hope to find in a man, he’s all that I envision men can aspire to be; the very best and purest of virtues in my own sex. I would have to risk re-opening myself to such quixotic notions and teach myself, all over again, to see how those unrealistic and sadly impractical notions could be not only possible, but be an actual reality for someone.

Yet, that’s part of the tragic aspect of Ephraim for me – he’s not human. He’s a celestial being, of the Order of Seraphim. And how could any mundane human ever over-reach the citadel of so exaltedly virtuous and supernal a creature as Ephraim?! This writing we writers do often takes a lot out of us, takes a lot out of me, assuredly! But I truly do love it!

Anyway, so that's where "Ephraim" comes from. :-)
Current Mood: awake

26th February 2007

9:23am: Relationships
This section has to do with human relationships of the romantic sort, so let me address myself specifically, and at length, to human love relationships - these things that seem to give us all so much bloody trouble! When relationships fail (relationships never truly fail, except in the strictly human sense that they did not produce what we want), they failed because they were entered into for the wrong reason. Although it would be more accurate to say relationships fail - CHANGE - most often when they are entered into for reasons not wholly beneficial or conducive to their survival. Most people enter into relationships with an eye toward what they can get out of them, rather than what they can put into them. The purpose of relationships is to decide what part of ourselves we'd like to "show up," not what part of another we can capture and hold! It is very romantic and I'm sure it "looks good on paper" to say that we were "nothing" until that special other came along.


I think for most of us, we've all seen that notion before and in great abundance. In our cultural myths. In the movies. We've read it in the books. Why, we've even heard others talk about how "that's the way Love is suppose to be." But it is not true. Worse, it put an incredible pressure on the other to be all sorts of things he/she is not. Not wanting to "let us down," they try very hard to be and do these things until they cannot anymore. They can no longer complete our picture of them. They can no longer fill the roles to which they have been assigned. Resentment builds. Anger follows. Finally, in order to save themselves, (and the relationship), these special others begin to reclaim their real selves, acting more in accordance with who they really are. It is about this time that we say they've "really changed". It's very romantic to say that now that our special other has entered our life, we feel "complete." Yet, the purpose of relationships is not to have another who might complete us; but to have another with whom we might share our "completeness".


Here is the paradox of all human relationships: We have no need for a particular other in order for us to experience, fully, who we are, and . . . without another, we are nothing. This is both the mystery and the wonder, the frustration and the joy of the human experience. It requires deep understanding and total willingness to live within this paradox in a way which makes sense. I observe that very few people do. Most of us (men, women, gay/bi/straight), enter our relationship-forming years ripe with anticipation, full of sexual energy, a wide-open heart, and a joyful, if eager, soul. Between 40 to 60 (and for most it is sooner rather than later) we've given up on our grandest dream, set aside our highest hope, and settled for our lowest expectation - or nothing at all. The test of our relationships has had to do with how well the other lived up to our ideas, and how well we saw ourselves living up to his/hers. Yet the only true test has to do with how well we live up to ours. Let each person in realtionships worry about Self - what Self is being, doing, and having; what Self is wanting, asking, giving; what Self is seeking, creating, experiencing, and all relationships would magnificently serve their purpose - and their participants!


This seems a strange teaching, for we have been told that in the highest form of relationships, one worries only about the other person. Yet I tell you this: our focus upon the other - our obsession with the other - is what causes relationships to fail. What is the other being? What is the other doing? What is the other having? What is the other saying? Wanting? Demanding? What is the other thinking? Expecting? Planning? The wise person understands that it doesn't matter what the other is being, doing, haing, saying, wanting, demanding. It doesn't matter what the other person is thinking, expecting, planning. It only matters what we are being in relationship to that. The most loving person is the person who is Self-centered. Is this a radical teaching? Not if we look at it carefully. If we cannot love our Selves, we cannot love another. Many people make the mistake of seeing love of Self through love for another. Of course, they don't realize they are doing this. It is not a conscious effort. It's what's going on in the mind. Deep in the mind. In what we call the subconscious. We think: "If I can just love others, they will love me. Then I will be lovable, and I can love me."


The reverse of this is that so many people hate themselves because there is not another who loves them. This is a sickness - it's when people are truly "lovesick" because the truth is, other people do love them, but it doesn't matter. No matter how many people profess their love for them, it is not enough. First, they don't believe you. They think you are trying to manipulate them - trying to get something. (How could you love them for who they truly are? No. There must be some mistake. You must want something! Now what do you want?) They sit around trying to figure out how anyone could actually love them. So they don't believe you, and embark on a campaign to make you prove it. You have to prove that you love them. To do this they may ask you to start altering your behavior. Second, if they finally come to a place where they can believe you love them, they begin at once to worryabout how long they can keep your love. So, in order to hold on to your love, they start altering their behavior.


Thus, two people literally lose themselves in a relationship. We get into the relationship hoping to find ourselves, and we lose ourselves instead. This losing of the Self in a relationship is what causes most of the bitterness in such couplings. Two people join together in a partnership hoping that the whole will be greater than the parts, only to find that it's less. We wind up feeling less than when we were single. Less capable, less able, less exciting, less attractive, less joyful, less content. This is because we became less. At that point we've given up most of who we are in order to be - and to stay - in our relationship. Relationships were never meant to be this way! Yet this is how they are experienced by more people than one could ever know. It is because we have lost touch with (if we ever were in touch with) the purpose of relationships: to decide Who We Really Are, to choose Who We Want To Be; and then experience that for ourselves.


Our first relationship, therefore, must be with our Selves. We must first learn to honor and cherish and love ourselves. We must first see our Selves as blessed before we can see any other as blessed. We must first know our Selves to be holy before we can acknowledge holiness in another. This is the message we have not been able to hear, this is the truth we have not been able to accept. And that is why we can never truly, purely, fall in love with another. We have never truly, purely, fallen in love with ourselves. And so, I tell you this: Let us be now and forever, centered upon our Selves. Let us look to see what we are being, doing, and having in any given moment, not what's going on with another. It is not in the action of another, but in our re-action that our salvation will be found. Blessed Be, Namaste!
Current Mood: high
9:12am: WHAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS:
WHAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS: CONSCIOUSNESS is another mystery, the greatest and most profound of all mysteries. The word Consciousness is unique; it is a coined English word; its equivalent does not appear in other languages. Its all-important value and meaning are not, however, appreciated. This will be seen in the uses that the word is made to serve. To give some common examples of its misuse: It is heard in such expressions as "my consciousness," and "one's consciousness"; and in such as animal consciousness, human consciousness, physical, psychic, cosmic, and other kinds of consciousness. And it is described as normal consciousness, and greater and deeper, and higher and lower, inner and outer, consciousness; and full and partial consciousness. Mention is also heard of the beginnings of consciousness, and of a change of consciousness. One hears people say that they have experienced or caused a growth, or an extension, or an expansion, of consciousness. A very common misuse of the word is in such phrases as: to lose consciousness, to hold to consciousness; to regain, to use, to develop consciousness. And one hears, further, of various states, and planes, and degrees, and conditions of consciousness. Consciousness is too great to be thus qualified, limited, or prescribed. Out of regard for this fact this book makes use of the phrase: to be conscious of, or as, or in. To explain: whatever is conscious is either conscious of certain things, or as what it is, or is conscious in a certain degree of being conscious. Consciousness is the ultimate, the final Reality. Consciousness is that by the presence of which all things are conscious. Mystery of all mysteries, it is beyond comprehension. Without it nothing can be conscious; no one could think; no being, no entity, no force, no unit, could perform any function. Yet Consciousness itself performs no function: it does not act in any way; it is a presence, everywhere. And it is because of its presence that all things are conscious in whatever degree they are conscious. Consciousness is not a cause. It cannot be moved or used or in any way affected by anything. Consciousness is not the result of anything, nor does it depend on anything. It does not increase or diminish, expand, extend, contract, or change; or vary in any way. Although there are countless degrees in being conscious, there are no degrees of Consciousness: no planes, no states; no grades, divisions, or variations of any sort; it is the same everywhere, and in all things, from a primordial nature unit to the Supreme Intelligence.
Current Mood: contemplative
9:04am: WHAT IS AR nDRAIOCHT FEIN?
I know a great deal about different things having to do with the world of the Occult/Paranormal/parapsychology. In my formative years, I was a head-strong Wiccan (Pagan witch). After about ten years worth of consistent study and practise, I was admitted into and became a Lodge Elder of Ar n'Draiocht Fein (pronounced "arn ree-ocht fane", meaning "Our Own Druidism"). WHAT IS AR nDRAIOCHT FEIN: A completely independent tradition of Neopagan Druidism. Like our sisters and brothers in the other Neopagan movements, we're polytheistic Nature worshipers, attempting to revive the best aspects of the Paleopagan faiths of our ancestors within a modern scientific, artistic, ecological, and wholistic context. Like our predecessors and namesakes the Druids, we're people who believe in excellence - physically, intellectually, artistically, and spiritually. ADF was started by P.E.I. (Isaac) Bonewits, known in the Neopagan community as an author (Real Magic, Rites of Worship, Witchcraft: A Concise Guide, Authentic Thaumaturgy), editor, teacher, polytheologian, activist, priest and bard. He has been a Neopagan Druid for nearly twenty years and has dedicated his life to reviving Druidism as a modern, healthy, "Third Wave" religion capable of protecting and preserving Mother Nature and all Her children."Oak Leaves" comes out every quarter (April, July, October, and January) and announces ADF policies, local grove activities, lectures and other appearances, modifications to the study program, etc. There are also articles and letters about a variety of topics concerning Neopaganism in general and ADF Druidry in particular, including rituals, artwork, poetry, calls for action, etc. ADF's journal was created in January of 1997 to fulfill the news-oriented functions formerly served by "News from the Mother Grove" and the article-oriented functions of "Druids' Progress," both of which have been consolidated into Oak Leaves. More than 800 people have joined ADF, making us the largest Neopagan Druid organization in the world. We have legal status as a Nonprofit Religious Association, and donations are tax deductible. Groves and protogroves are being organized all over the USA. Songbooks, informational pamphlets, a polytheological dictionary, and other Druidic publications are in the works. Regional gatherings are held throughout the year, especially during the summer. In short, although our long range approach is "as fast as an oak tree", we're growing more rapidly than any of us expected. So ask yourself - why not excellence?
Current Mood: contemplative

25th February 2007

4:08am: Cannibalism
Cannibalism (from Spanish caníbal, in connection with alleged cannibalism among the Caribs), also called anthropophagy (from Greek anthropos "man" and phagein "to consume") is the act or practice of humans consuming other humans. In zoology, the term cannibalism is extended to refer to any species consuming members of its own kind.
Current Mood: amused

23rd February 2007

9:41am: What's in an upgrade?
OK so I'm chatting the other night with my ex Frankie. He's extremely attractive. The whole dirty
blonde hair, dreamy sea-blue eyes, 6'1" in height, Guggi modelesque look. Anyway, he tells me that
he's got a new man. They've known each other for eight months and have been dating for the past four. The guy is older than Frankie - maybe around 32, name is also Adam, and the two of them are happy as two peas in a pod.

Where's the big happy gay ending to this tale, one might ask? Sadly folks, this is where the proverbial modern day gay love story begins to show its dysfunctional turns for the worst. Frankie decided to email me a before/after of this guy, seems he has just finished going through a total makeover. "Frankie," I asked, "Adam didn't go through a makeover just so he could be with you, right?" It would appear that Frankie went ahead and told this poor guy that he could never even think of being with him unless he was willing to lose weight, cut his hair, learn how to dress, stop getting his eyebrows done, and start appearing more "masculine".

This guy Adam wanted so much to be with Frankie, that he has spent the last four months working everyday to "improve" his outward appearance in exact accordance with Frankie's specifications. Now, according to all involved, both Frankie and Adam are happily together, existing in gay heaven. Frankie wanted to know if I thought he did a good job of over-seeing his boyfriend's makeover. I was at a complete and utter failure for words. I think I decided to steer the conversation to a different subject.

Once again, I will state my belief about gay people and about gay culture: we still DO NOT know how to get on with our own kind! Gay men still DO NOT know how to get on with other men. We use each other for sex, drugs, the remedy for lonliness, and worst of all - emotional co-dependance.

The thing that bothers me so much is: you think that perhaps you have a more positive influence on the person you're with. There may have been fights, harsh words, drama (god knows), perhaps even a bitter break up - but you think somewhere in the time you were with that person, you covered certain areas of life-lessons; one of which would of course be: DO NOT CHANGE FOR SOMEONE
ELSE! If there is something about youself you want to change, that change should really ONLY be for yourself - NOT TO PLEASE AND APPEASE SOMEONE ELSE; OR TO BE WITH THEM!!!

To know that a person as they are now, in this very moment, is "good enough" - is a truth about ourselves that many gay men have wholly forgotten, if they even understood it to begin with. How many gay men turn into Gym-bunnies, take steroids (& other drugs), go for plastic surgery, etc.?

To end with - Do I think the relationship of my ex-lover will work out? I know it may not seem kind or gracious, yet, I must say, for Adam's sake, I hope it doesn't. My hope is that Adam finally tells Frankie to go straight to Hell, and how dare Frankie even think to ask him to change because he wasn't "enough" of something!

WARNING: FAGS BEWARE OF THESE KINDS OF MEN!!!
Current Mood: pissed!

17th February 2007

4:13pm: Love?
Nadja: I think I'm in love.

Edgar: How do you know?

Nadja: I feel terrible. . .
Current Mood: stoned
2:19am: My Ideal Man
MY IDEAL MAN: The sort of man (yes man, I am gay), that would probably be my ideal type, is the following: I desire . . . a passionate man. A gifted artist of some sort; either a very talented writer or painter. A man with ambition, drive, and direction; someone who knows who they are, knows what they want, and knows how to get it. Someone who is highly educated, speaks intelligently, and the kind of man who has a definite air of refinement, sophistication, "old-world" erudition, and finesse. A man who is able to be intellectual on occasion. A man who possesses good style, and a good fashion sense. A guy who is either an Aries, Leo or Saggitarius. A man who is not unstable in any way. Someone who does not have to take any medication (you know what I mean). Someone who doesn't have any emotional/mental problems. A man who is not needy, or co-dependant in any way, or looking for someone to "complete" or "fill them up".

A man who has got a full life and is a full person. A guy who is neither controlling or over-bearing. A man who's not afraid of love or to love; nor possesses a jaded heart. A man who is soulful, spiritual, compassionate, caring, loving, affectionate, masculine, manly, and charming. He can even be slightly more masculine than myself (optional). A man that loves himself "enough", but is not too conceited, or selfish; a man who has good self-esteem, and real self-confidence. A man who is patient, and understanding. A guy who is not into "worshipping" nor into having people "worship" him. A guy who likes to talk and hold deep conversations. A man who is not too feminine (sorry guys, no sissies). Someone who doesn't take himself too seriously and knows how to laugh at himself; a man who possesses a carefree spirit, able to be silly and "roll with the punches". Someone who has imagination. Someone who is going places.

A man anywhere between 5'9" to 6"1" in height, and that weighs around 150lbs. but no more than 175lbs. Someone who has eyes that are soulful, angelic, elliptical-shaped (but not in a down-syndrome way); while also being deep, dark, full of expression, emotion, and meaning. A man who's eyes (yes I have an eye fetish), that have a burning intensity and sensuality. A man who has a more athletic body, and a thin but not skinny frame; more on the well built side. A guy that has big, strong, manly hands. A man that has relatively hairless and smooth skin; a slightly dark complexion. A man that makes well enough money, and that has a good job. A man that likes to travel. A guy that has his own place, lives alone, and owns a car; an independent man.

15th February 2007

4:34am: Why Horror Movies Are Therapy
Halloween, Hellraiser, Saw, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dracula, Silence Of The Lambs, The Exorcist,
The Amityville Horror, Hostel, The Evil Dead, The Fog, Prince Of Darkness, The Gate, The Ring, Season Of The Witch, The Hunger, American Psycho, The Changeling, Needful Things, Carrie, Rosemary's Baby, Demons, The Covenant, The Craft, I Spit On Your Grave, Susperia, Inferno, Night Of The Living Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, Psycho, Misery, Nightbreed, The Shining, The Others, Poltergeist, The Sentinel, Sleepwalkers, Eyes Without A Face, A Nightmare On Elmstreet, Salem's Lot, Creepshow, The Serpent And The Rainbow, Children Of The Corn, House Of 1,000 Corpses, The Devils Rejects, High Tension, Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer.

These are just a few of the best movies in the world. They are all horror flicks. And no matter how gory, truly horrifying, or unnerving they may be to watch, really they serve much more of a purpose than simply scaring the shit out of me. They are, in fact, a kind of therapy. When the thick of life seems to overwhelm, I'll put one of these (or other) horror films into my much-used dvd player. By the time I'm at least have way into any film, my emotional state is much improved! As I watch people in many of these films get sliced by huge kitchen knives, eaten by cannibalistic families, disembowelled, attacked by ghosts, possessed by the Devil, cursed by Voodoo, made into vampires, or attacked by the living dead, I realize that in comparison to these gravely unfortunate individuals, my life is not so bad.

There is NOTHING so irritating than someone who can't watch a horror movie. I mean, get real! And for those who say, "Oh no, turn that off, I can't watch that" - well, I usually have only one response: Grow a spine, get some balls, and for god's sake - realize people - it's just a movie!
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