Outer Peace and Inner Peace: We Have Both. Let Us Share that Legacy. #2

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The Light of Elevation. Chicago’s Cultural Center. Photo by Divi Logan.

Will you welcome others into your circle of life
As gently and humbly
As you welcome yourself?

Chicago has made headlines more in the past couple of years for the violence and extremely high murder rate, and the area around the city has seen increased use of drugs and more talk about gangs and their dirty work. People all over the world were clued in by the mass news media about the nearly eight hundred homicides, the highway shootings, the deaths by drugs, the gang – related turf crossfire revenge

There is a lot of talk about the police, the churches, the community centers, the anti – violence activists and the protests against brutality. We sure hear and see a lot about the outer aspects of the problems – the television news stories and the radio news articles about the “gun violence” and the deaths caused by addictive drugs such as heroin, and we sure do see a lot of videos of police and encounters and the disrespect on both sides of the story. There is a lot of turbulence in the outer.

There is even more turbulence in the inner arenas of self.

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Focus on the Center. The Symmetry of True Self. Terminal 3 Corridor at O’Hare International Airport. Photo by Divi Logan.

 

There is nothing relevant in the talk of separation of church and state, nothing in the corporate talk and mass media spin and mental bullying by those who advocate the use and provision of the tools of violence and pushing these things – guns, drugs, addictive substances – unless those who stand against these negatives take action and rid their homes and cities and schools of these things. There is no need for these invasive factors in our society. These terms and the big push of the “influential” and the “powerful” among us only leads us to believe that what we see on TV and in the movies and on the violent games is right and just and proper and acceptable. We need to learn to shove those impersonal things aside and the divisive intrusiveness that comes with them and learn to think and judge wisely for ourselves.

The common denominator that is lacking in this tense atmosphere seems to be ultimately the respect we need to have for the rights, freedoms, and feelings of others. We will turn outward and vent and curse and fight but we do not turn in with wisdom, meditation, calm and quiet times to just be with ourselves and try with the natural gifts and talents we all are endowed with, to find solutions. But we must turn within and teach ourselves and then when we understand what we can bring to the positives table, we interact with others of like spirit and get out there to drive the demons out of our society and our lives.

Outer is only distraction from the actual problem; turning to what is not us divides our true selves from what is the real us, the person that in right mind and spirit would not stand idly by and watch the shootings, the drug use, the suicides, the murders, or bide to listen to one word of the divisive talk and the separative diversity drivel that pushes people apart rather than bringing them together in an atmosphere of peace and grace. Outer is that which draws us away – the advertisers pushing this sense of needing to “be first in line”, “be the first to do…”, “hurry in for…”, and such like in the language of arrogance and the vulnerability of persuasion.

Forget the denominations, forget the gang relations, forget the negative relationships and anything that chains you and separates you with falsehoods and the delusional language of others especially those who seem to be in positions of power. Be careful in wisdom and attend with care on your True Self.

Affirm to yourself each day before your out – of – self interactions the positives. YOU HAVE gifts and talents. YOU HAVE good and truth and vibrant love within. Say it as you go about: I have a lot to do but I can do it with focus and deep concentration and lots of love. I have security and stability to do anything. I am secure in basic needs and essentials of life and have no need to do anything but evolve, achieve, and advance. I AM firmly rooted. I LOVE others as I love myself.

 

Outer peace can only begin with inner peace.

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Positive Directional Ascent. Chicago’s Cultural Center. Photo by Divi Logan.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2016.

RESOURCES

  • A new year’s send of love and grace in the creative world of art to Joshi, follower and photographer.
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There is Inner Peace. Will there be Outer Peace? Chicago Begins 2017. #1

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There is a Path. Where Will You Go? Bridge at Seascape Resort, near Aptos, California. Photo by Divi Logan.

Begin this day mildly and gently.
Begin this new year with peace and grace.
Begin with introspection in love and elevation.
Begin with Earth Star’s grand connection.

Feel the glow and the sounds
Of this wondrous Universe…
From which we came and through which we are nourished.
The energies of Mother Earth
Core bright and shimmering and deep
Primeval
Primordial

and Primal……..

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Sunrise over Chicago: The Belt of Venus Effect. Earth’s Shadow contrasts gray against the soft light of dawn. Photo by Divi Logan.

The I HAVE within you reaches out and down into that energetic aura
The energy field finding a golden thread
Glowing with that to awaken True Self
Radiant with powerful instinct and nurturing
Let it not be considered low or base

This is energy most plentiful.
It is energy.

It lives and breathes and gives us life
The LAM chant and the seed sounds of our Universe
Build and deepen and motivate us.

But let us be easy
On ourselves and others
Let us be kind and forgiving
Giving ourselves and everybody a fresh and loving start
Let us be gracious and humble and noble in the same instant.

To share is to learn and to love…

To be True Self is the manifestation.

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Sharing the Space. Two planes in the skies over Chicago. Photo by Divi Logan.

Go in and go out but go with tenderness and kindness and respectful silence.

Peace to all in the light of the Earth Star and the Root Chakra.

Divi Logan, Chicago, January 1, 2017.

 

Teamwork: The Ultimate Human Advancement

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F-35 and P-51 of the Heritage Flight. Chicago Air & Water Show, 2016. Photo by Divi Logan.

Air shows have been part of my life since childhood. In the Nashville area was the yearly show in Smyrna, Tennessee, featuring modern and older aircraft. The Blue Angels’ practice pattern went right over our house, so I essentially had two free features, the week of the show and the day of the show. I stood in the front yard, running out when I heard them coming, and in silence watched them loop and pass and form up and swoop and then vanish. Sometimes a couple of other fighter jets would pass across the back yard. Dad and I would them make a day of it and head out to the show.

Later I was invited to attend the annual Wings Over Houston air show in the Houston, Texas area at Ellington Field. This massive show featured the Century of Flight flyover which included an F-16, an F-15, and a P-51 in the point of the triangle made of those three well-known fighters. They circled the field and the speechless spectators as though chained together, perfect and stunning. The show also presented an F-18 E-type Super Hornet and a F4F3 Wildcat in a flyover similar to that pictured in the title photograph, with the older aircraft in the lower portion and lead of the faster fighter.

The fascination with air shows involves more than seeing the planes perform and hoping the pilots and teams make it through the day safely. Air shows are exhibitions of teamwork, of great dedication and thousands of hours of training and practice, brought together in a weekend for people to gather and watch and stand in awe of the aviators who brave high speeds and temperamental winds to entertain the crowds.

Getting to the air show is also an exhibition of teamwork. There are the roads we travel, the planes we fly to destinations such as Houston, Chicago, and Nashville, the cars we ride in that must be maintained by skilled mechanics, and the air traffic controllers that guide thousands of flights on their daily schedules. Those that are responsible for maintenance, safety, guidance, control, and our infrastructure deserve our respect. They are out there in every sort of weather, every day, putting up with drunk drivers, unruly people, spoiled complainers and speeders and gapers. Teamwork is vital to social survival and it is a set of skills everyone needs to learn and practice and polish every day.

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United States Air Force Thunderbirds on a Tight Pass. Over downtown Chicago during the 2016 Air and Water Show. Photo by Divi Logan.

Heritage flights then in a sense are not just for air shows. The symbolism of a Heritage Flight is the essence of working together, of “mission control”, and of communication .

Live, love, learn and share these vital principles every day, and many of our problems will go away. Mission control every day, and the rewards of teamwork will come your way.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2016.

That With Which We Cannot Interfere: Lifting Your Spirits with an Eye to the Cosmos

In the legends of Excalibur and the Holy Grail we find more than just a focus on mystical and unusual objects of a singular purpose and formation and origin. We find themes of rise and fall, light and dark, good and evil, a sense of something won and also of something lost or of something missing.

These themes, of the interaction and interplay of opposites, drive us every day. We do and do not, we rise and we go to bed, we walk and we stop, we drive along the roads and we come to a traffic light. We find some things and we lose other things.

During the holidays it is easy to become focused on “things”, that which is tangible and material, that which we have made artificially and which serve us, machines and electronics and cars, phones, computers, and automated tellers. We focus on that which we get and what we can give but which must be purchased with another thing, money, tangible forms of commerce in paper and metals. We have interfered enough in the workings of the Earth and its atmosphere with our human inventions, and we realize this because of the impact had on our natural resources.

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Splendid Miniature Iris in Lincoln Park. Photo by Divi Logan.

We see the scoured ground, the polluted ground, the acid rain and the effect of the noxious fumes upon our skin and eyes. We rise into smoggy skies, taste chemicals in the water, replace lead pipes and tear up the ground in order to find gold and diamonds to satisfy our egos for beauty and “precious” things. We can easily become saturated in things material and overwhelmed with the stimuli of “have to have” and “I gotta have this!” There come a time when we just must throw it in and toss-up our hands and call it enough already. Then we see the dregs, the trash, the piles of waste clogging the infrastructure of nature and the roads and sidewalks we use to get to those very malls and shops that help us produce all that waste and trash and chemical pollution.

How can we overcome this overpowering ego – materialism and what results from it – everything from clogged streams to mental illness of depression and obsessive compulsiveness? What is there to do that will heal our sense of loss and the eagerness to find short- term solution in the human -made? How can we step aside from that which is not “us” and regain the high ground of that which is truly us, the real you and me and all with which we feel comfortable and good?

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Best Image of Bright Quasar 3C 273. Courtesy of ESA/ Hubble’s Image Archive.

In a previous article I mentioned that we can look up and watch jets fly over to lift our spirits, but as marvelous as planes are they are still made by people to cater to people.

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Outbound Plane with Birds. Photo by Divi Logan.

There is more out there… way out there, and those are the galaxies, stars, and quasars, the comets and the planets and the other features of the universe, over which we have no influence and cannot manipulate. We can dig deep and yet get supremely elevated by looking into a clear, starry sky, or if we are confounded by clouds and storms we can turn to online images or photos in a book of universal objects that have inspired people for centuries. These are objects of incredible energy and elemental interaction on a grand scale and in high speeds of collision and creation.

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Einstein Cross, the result of Gravitational Lensing multiplying an object at a great distance from the lensing galaxy. ESA/Hubble & NASA.

We are galaxies within our very selves, deep and rich with elements, brightness, and the grand seeds of creation. Did you know that the elements, the atoms and molecules and all that composes your body and everything you use on a daily basis came from that which surrounds you in the universe? You are one living, walking, breathing Periodic Table of the Elements! Oh how beautiful you will be when re-presented your True Self shall see!

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The Pillars of Creation, M 16 in the Messier Catalog. Courtesy ESA/ Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team. Good work, everyone! And keep the images coming.

This famous display is the Eagle Nebula, or M 16 in the Messier Catalog of astronomical objects. These are known as the Pillars of Creation, and within this frame you can see clouds of gas and dust and glowing new stars in their brilliant red cloaks against a mottled backdrop of dust, gas, and the light of brighter stars. This is a relatively close object at 7000 light years, but just as people have areas that are close and far away in our memories, so the universe includes objects that like the Eagle Nebula are close by but also displays for our studying pleasure galaxies that are ancient, billions of years old and so distant that their way from us is measured in billions of light years.

Human beings are a mixed – up bunch, carrying around within us signs of order and chaos, formation and release, building up and letting go, living and sensing dilemmas of energy coming and going. We spiral and grow and evolve, shedding and gathering as we have done for millennia. We are young and we are ancient. Our powerful universe is also such a place, on a grand scale, as shown in the following image.

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The Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image. By NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScl) and the HUDF Team.

The history of this image is well worth your time to read about on the Hubble Space Telescope’s Image Archive, from which all the universal images in this article are supplied. Every object that looks like a galaxy in this image is a galaxy and there are thousands of them. Gaze deep… just look at it. Realize the profound, energetic, creative spectacle that is our universe, and realize your special place in it.

Divi Logan, Chicago 2016.

RESOURCES

  1. ESA/ Hubble & NASA. “Best Image of Bright Quasar 3C 273.” Image Archive: Quasars and Black Holes. 18 November 2013. ESA/ Hubble. https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1346a/
  2. ESA/ Hubble & NASA. “Seeing quadruple.”  Image Archive: Quasars and Black Holes. 23 January 2012. ESA/ Hubble & NASA.  https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1204a/
  3. NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team. “New View of the Pillars of Creation –  visible.” Image Archive: Nebulae. 5 January 2015. NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team. https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1501a/
  4. NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team. “Hubble Sees Galaxies galore.” Image Archive: Galaxies. 9 March 2004. NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team. https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0406a/.

Grounding and Elevating: Be Yourself and Nurture Your Noble Instincts

How many of us have traveled by air, soaring above the clouds and feeling the power of everything involved in the art and science of aviation?

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Jumbo Jet Outbound from O’Hare. Divi Logan.

In the world of passenger aviation there is the planning stage, the middle stage, and the finishing stage. In each, as with in the growth and development of a human being, there are plans to make, skills to learn and test, and then the desired effect of a successful result for the learning and effort put forth. People who build jets and those who fly them know the technical aspects of making safe aviation happen; people who fly as passengers know that they can hope for all that mathematical calculation, intellectual prowess and thousands of hours testing and perfecting to lead to one thing – getting from point A to point B safely.

Now, we do not begin at the flight phase and take it from there. We begin our development before we are 100% aware that we are in a profound stage of growth and on the marvelous journey of life. Others from early on have charge of our growth and nurturing. Sometimes that doesn’t always go quite right; sometimes those who are supposed to love us and care for us do awful, mean and rotten things. They treat us like objects instead of people, like objects that have no feelings, no rights, and nothing to give them but gratification and mental enslavement.

But you DO have great powers over yourself. You CAN beat that system of treating children like property, minors like slaves, kids like laborers and gratifiers and cheap sources of pleasure. You CAN bring the pure, starlight elemental, loving and nurturing aspects back into your life… your OWN life, no matter what stage you are in. You can break those bonds, release the pent – up tensions placed upon you like chains of captives by those who were supposed to treat you properly.

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KLM 747 Inbound Over Lake Michigan to O’Hare. Divi Logan.

A great way to do this is simply to do as I did for years back home in Nashville, while overcoming such sensations of being around some people who were not as caring or loving or nurturing as I knew they could be and giving me the care I deserved and knew of even early on, having learned about the basic freedoms and rights every person has. We have freedom of movement, freedom of expression, and freedom of speech, and we need to learn to use those privileges wisely and with noble judgment.

What is that basic activity of my childhood that was at once grounding and elevating, curious and stunning? I would go outside and watch the air traffic pattern of our nearby airport, which had shared space with the Tennessee Air Guard. It was the regular passenger traffic I took the most interest in. There those shiny silvery machines were, moving hundreds of people dozens of times a day, soaring over the yard on their way to destinations across our miraculous country. I watched and listened, knowing someday I would be on one of those marvels of art and science, participating in an aspect of public interaction that is so monumental that it leaves no social stone unturned.

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747 Seconds Away From Landing at O’Hare. Divi Logan.

If you are ground – bound and unable to travel by air, you can in a higher sense put your good thoughts towards those who are traveling and who watch those in the skies. You can wish them well, wish them safe travels, and feel really good. Such simple actions can lift even the most downtrodden spirit and enlighten the darkest soul; there is just something so majestic about the basic act of turning one’s thoughts and visions to the universe, to the skies that surround us, beckoning us with air traffic and with the beauties of nature, the birds and the clouds and the rainbows that bring joy to us during deeply changing times.

Depth of feeling, depth of love, and not only that which is deep and curious but that which lifts you away from the old mortal coil are yours for the taking and for the sharing.

Stay warm and keep learning and loving and nurturing.

Grow and learn through your unique chakra energies and gifts.
A jumbo jet crosses York Road on approach to land at O’Hare International Airport, Chicago (ORD).

Divi Logan. Chicago, 2016.

Skill Tool: Leica V-LUX 4 1080 HD Digital Bridge Camera

Got a Bratty Boss? Here is How to Deal With a Narcissist.

We live in a society full of child brats as well as adult brats. The latter are people who never progressed beyond the first three or four ego behavioral development stages but aged in years and physical growth. At some point their mental development stopped at a lower stage and those elements of behavior have carried into their post-teen years. Do you have one of those as a boss?

It is a sad fact but America is chock full of adult brats and some of them own businesses and are in charge of people, money, resources, and great amounts of human influence and power over others. These are people who cannot work with their clouded, deluded, untutored and handcuffed past because they have not learned about the PAST:

PA: for PATIENCE
S: for SERVICE
T: for TEAMWORK

Modern American adult brats behave very much as pre-teen and some teen brats. You can tell them whether the behavior is subtle or outright awful, whether it is in a gesture or in a word or phrase that characterizes someone who is lacking in advancing through later ego stages where the I, Me and My and Mine aspects go away and the higher levels of “What can I do for you? How may I serve you? What would you like to do?” take over and with use are polished and refined like fine gold and carefully cut gems.

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A 747 inbound to O’Hare is a demonstration of teamwork: someone guides the jet in at the control tower, there is a flight deck crew, and of course there are those who assembled the jet. Photo by Divi Logan.

Like childhood brats, adult brats are very unpleasant to be around. Kids who are undergoing growth pains and mental advancement need to learn that bad behavior will not help them get their way. In fact the worse someone behaves the less others want to be around them, and this must be made clear early on. Loud voices and tantrums will not get you what you want, and I will not help you get your way. That is the message you must get across to the brat.

As for the adult brat, the first thing you need to do to break their hold on your emotions and primal behaviors is to say, “You have no power over me! You do not own me! I am not your slave!” or anything that breaks that grip they believe they have on you. You must not be in fear of cowards, for such people are cowards, self-protective, complainers, blamers and needers of affirmation from others. They are worse than just non-productive hypocrites; they are ticking time bombs ready to explode at the slightest itch of the fuse. Someone says the wrong word or does the wrong thing that trips the switch of the spoiled narcissist’s hot-wired brain and they are likely to do just about anything.

They might own the company but you own your powers, intellect, knowledge, and Self.

Sometimes you are fortunate to come across spirit guides in this embryonic nation, people who have dealt with narcissists and know what to do when they start acting up. Luckily I have some of these masterwork of guidance and patience and intellectual prowess on my team as friends and as people with whom I enjoy doing business. Here is advice from them on how to deal with the bullying boss or the team terror.

A restaurant manager says to patiently listen to what the boss is asking. Being patient (the PA in PAST) shows your willingness to be part of the team, complete the tasks at hand, do them wisely and with proper judgment, and follow through. You then do exactly that; you tell them you will update them and then go about the entire process.

A retired psychiatrist and hospital administrator advised to never ever challenge a person displaying signs of narcissism (arrogance, “I’m right and you’re wrong, my way or the highway), obsession, compulsion, or bullying. You as the target must leave the area of the bad behavior ASAP. This is not a retreat; this is necessary to preserve your good repuation and your mental health. Get away from the person, say nothing and do nothing. This is vital: you must not add fuel to the fire and you must take control of your emotions. You must stand up to the bully and settle yourself down, not to be rattled by their predictable patterns. Stand your ground against whatever is causing the attitude problem. Take charge: Leave their presence at once and do not go back until the behavior stops and they calm down. Make no contact with them. Walk away immediately and find something productive to do.

What you are doing by putting distance between yourself and the brat is essentially putting them in the corner with the dunce cap on until they settle down and are ready to act civil. You are telling them, “That is bad behavior and I will not tolerate it.” You are doing what parents or guardians did not do for them early on in life, and saying that bad behavior only makes you less willing to do what they want and more of an urge to leave you alone. “You are not going to get your way with me. Acting like that sends the wrong signal and you need to stop it.”

When the primal urges have settled down and the higher levels are ready to be engaged, you take charge by learning and practicing the principles of Mission Control.

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A close, tight pass such as this one results only from hours of teamwork, training, and dedicated practice. USAF Thunderbirds on a fast approach during the 2016 Chicago Air and Water Show. Photo by Divi Logan.

It is true: Mission Control is not just for NASA scientists and the folks in the computer rooms in Houston or Florida or anywhere NASA has facilities that assist mission planning, training, and start to finish procedures from launch to touchdown. The basics of Mission Control involve practicing the basics of safety, watching out for others throughout the mission and consciously involving yourself in teamwork that ensures everyone knows what they are doing and how to do it. Safety first is the short way to put it. The inspiration came during NASA’s early years when America was training for putting people into space. The idea was to put someone in space and return them safely back to Earth. Just one half of the phrase would not suffice – putting someone in space. The person had to return safely home and only then was the mission complete.

Mission Control involves the highest levels of altruism and development of every aspect of the human being, be it physical, mental, spiritual or social. It is to the point that when you include I, me, my or mine in an expression it has the next phase of wanting to serve someone else or do something for others without that want of reward or photo-op or publicity coming your wan instantly. It is just plain getting out there and doing what you can, cameras and spotlights or not. You just do what which gives you a good feeling and store up those fine blossoms of love and grace for use for others in need.

That includes the bratty boss and the insecure child; they need your help too.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2016.

Engawa Behavior: Life is Not a Video Game

Gaming is a huge industry in the United States and across the world. People and companies spend billions of dollars promoting, inventing, and experimenting with coming out with the “latest” in games and accessories.

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Calcite Television. Photo by Divi Logan.

While there is so much time and energy spent in everything from designing to packaging to advertising games and boxes and plugs-in with which to play these diversions, there is another side to games. There is a good side and there is a negative side.

A good side to the game industry is the chance for creative expression, the opportunities for inventive and clever people to plan and follow through with placing a product on the public market. They test the waters of the entertainment industry, who will and will not buy it, what stores to put it in, what to power it with, and how to promote it. These are where the good points end- the free enterprise and the freedoms of expression that are granted to us and which we need to use wisely and protect can be blatantly and deeply misused. It is against this poor use of these privileges we must guard.

One can certainly find more cons than pros to the gaming industry if there is a closer look at what happens during the playing process. There is the electronic herd mentality factor of the power of the devices we are so attached to, and this can be considered addictive behavior. There is the idleness factor of playing for hours, which can lead to constant snacking during playing, thus to obesity and then carpal tunnel syndrome through repetitive motions. There is also the expense of the gear, with hundreds of dollars cost for even the simplest accessories and sets of games.

But a worse factor to the game principle is that there is a “do – over” or “play again” attitude. The figure bounces back, inflates, or gets up and continues on even through getting shot at, into automobile incidents, fires, disasters, or falls that would disable a real human being. In life there is no bounce back or do over or play again. It is seen in kids’ cartoons, so this mentality is programmed into the youth of America from early on. The figures bounce up and pop up and are flattened by rocks the size of houses, tractors, cars and dynamite but somehow they get up and wobble away or are brought back to life. There are fake talking animals, magical implements, and illusions of light and color. Inventive yes but unrealistic.

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Calcite Television 2. Taken by using a piece of the mineral calcite and rotating it until this image is projected and then using a digital camera.

Once an incident is done it is done: the person is actually shot, the car wreck actually happens, the robbery is committed, the auto is stolen, and the fall happens. There is nothing glorious about these aspects of gaming, which lend a false sense of the do over society, absolutely false and fake. This is violence brought to the screens and hands of idle and vulnerable minds within the bodies of those who sit at home or are out and just cannot seem to get enough of the little glowing moving bouncing and running figures on the little glowing moving tangible screen, and with each passing moment sealing and fueling the addictive behavior, the obsession with the little personal device.

Being glued to these technological terrors is obsessive behavior and can be extremely antisocial in many aspects. An obsession shows that somewhere in the person there is imbalance –  there is lack of something or too much of something, there want of some aspect of life or the fear that there is no chance to improve and so the person seeks some means of escape from what is out there and what is within them. Some people game, some gamble, some use drugs, some drink at clubs till they cannot even walk or talk properly, and others go to the local coffee-house for the “see and be seen” capture. Attempting to escape what is within you is challenging; you can try to manifest it outward by shopping for those games and being seen with those boxes (diversion by attention from others), which is a sign of arrogance and want of socialization or you can pause, put the devices down, put aside your supposed need for them (as you would turn away from drugs that are deadly) and think, “Why do I need these things? This isn’t helping me at all.”

Then what do you do? It comes down to checking your ego at the door, understanding the realities you are in, and grounding yourself in the basics about yourself. Clear the mental decks; think of this as aura housekeeping. You do your own personal makeup cleanup campaign as you do when cleaning your rooms. You put away everything you do not need, you organize your dusting and mopping and sweeping supplies. You wash the windows, make the bed, vacuum the carpet, clean the bathroom, and open the windows when there is good weather to allow for circulation of fresh air.

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Calcite Image Projection. Here you can see the piece of calcite that makes the colors and distorted images. The reality is the calcite before the ever – changing images on the screen, the attraction is the colors and the changes made simply by rotating the stone.

Just this routine can relieve you of the need to constantly divert your attentions from necessary tasks and actual human interaction in order to turn to electronic devices such as gaming systems, tablets, cell phones, and movie systems. Getting the manual routine can be steadying and calming because you know that you are doing something that needs to be done, and the results from your output of elbow grease will be great. Your place will look good and smell nice and be freshened. This is Pure Tao in action. There is nothing used or put out that is not necessary to that which you are presently doing.

You will realize the futility of the gaming biz as a hazardous, divisive, diverting, obsessive and addictive series of behaviors when you find better things to do with your time and money. You might just realize how much money you save and find really fine things to do with your money, like getting fresh clothes, a new pair of shoes, or dishes to replace the ones you discovered were cracked or broken during your housekeeping, or even a new dining set, bedding, something for your newly cleaned space. Who knows? You might even toss out the gaming system and pick up a real book to read.

Live, love and learn. Discover balance in and power within yourself and leave the electronic junk food behind.

Divi Logan, Chicago 2016.

All photos by Divi Logan using a Leica V-LUX-4 Digital Bridge Camera.

 

Loving Chicago: Can the Love be Found?

Earth, Wind and Fire put out a wonderful song called “After the Love Has Gone.” This is my favorite EWF piece and on listening to it this morning there was a sense that this might be a thinking theme song for putting Chicago together and making it a truly world-class city.

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The United Nations of Terminal 3. O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago area, Illinois, Photograph by Divi Logan.

The words to this profound song have many levels of meaning. For some they might shed light on a relationship that needs repair, that has lost its respectful facets, its innocence, its marvels and its energy. The pair might have been split over politics, over work, over school difficulties or some other difference that seems insurmountable.

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Chicago Skyline Shadows 1. From Hancock Center’s 95th Floor. Photograph by Divi Logan.

The citizens of Chicago are in such a relationship right now. A major factor is the big stupid idea that we are divided into “sides” and that it sounds so high and mighty and wonderful when someone mentions in trying to categorize people or places the “north side” or the “south side” or the “west side” and usually the comments are not positive. The reason for the negatives is somewhat due to the Census Bureau and its schedules of surveying the country under the guise that controlling the uncontrollable is acceptable. But we have come to accept these rules as necessary and positive because our nation’s officials have a guilty conscience and want to “make up” for history’s mistakes.

We cannot stop reliving the negatives and the losses and the guilt until we emerge from the shadows, the darkness, the trauma and pain and the sense of heaviness and see that there is progress to make, lots of work to do, and plenty of energy – positive energy –  to go around, to learn from and with, and to share abundantly.

The symbolism of the words to “After the Love Has Gone” may begin speaking to one’s fragmented childhood or adult life that did not grow much out of the early socialization stages (in the Loevinger scale the stages 4 or backwards), or the sense of something lost and in a mental fog. It is a sense that the feeling or the thought is “there” but you cannot see it cleanly, just a vague set of lines and a broken pathway. There was a time when youth was free and clean and loving and fresh. We were like stars being born, expanding our horizons, getting out there, asking questions and trusting the guidance we received, and learning how to wisely use the time and information we were given.

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Villa View. Seascape Resort, Aptos, California area. Photograph by Divi Logan.

Then something happened – we “grew up”. We wanted so badly as kids to grow up that we raided mom’s and dad’s closets and dressers and attempted to put on their clothes and walk around in shoes too large and ties that hung to the floor. We tripped, we stumbled, but we continued playing dress-up and house and getting a sense of what that meant. Still, there was that something that happened along the path to adult life that caused us to shed the caring and loving freedom and purity that we were born with and tried to cultivate in the sparkling garden of learning about life. We went to school, we left home on the bus or to walk to campus, we were put around other kids and adults we had to get to know. We came home, we watched TV, did homework, had supper and went to bed, learning skill sets along the way that we would use as adults. We learned to take responsibilities for our actions and own up when we did wrong. We did, at least, if we developed a clear conscience or a good sense of judgment.

If we did not develop a good conscience that is the rift that gives the impression that there is no second chance, no turning around because now we are “stuck” in this or that circumstance because we did not refine and polish that sensible use of wisdom, action and knowledge that is the mark of a person who reaches the higher levels of ego development (into stage 9 on the Loevinger scale) where the “I” and “Me, mine and my” attitude goes away and the teamwork, and we and what can I do for you stages take over. The rift seems like a huge wall or a dark block or a gigantic abyss that when you come to it seems to speak and say, “Hah, I am here because of the bad energy of others and you cannot surmount me!” It seems to get in your face and push until you want to break.

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Oncoming Union Pacific Freight Train. Through Lombard Station, Lombard, Illinois. Photo by Divi Logan.

It is like Chicago today, and in all parts of it, not just like the publicized south and west areas where the reports come from about shootings, gangs, drugs, highway incidents, beatings of old folks, and police brutality. There is grave imbalance and this upset and lack and indifference is costing lives each day. Something happened along the way all right… but what was it?

A good symbol is this freight train, a sight and sound of great power and force and horsepower drive that barrels through stops and across tracks with dozens of cars and over two miles of material superiority that it seems nothing can stop. When driving you do not attempt to cross in front of this behemoth. You heed the warning lights, the flashing beacons and the crossed arms. You heed the train’s powerful air horns and its beaming lights and you wait until it passes. Even when it is on its way you are left with the power and sound of that massive metallic mechanical mover. It resonates, it leaves a lasting impression and you are glad when it visibly disappears.

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Departing Union Pacific Freight Train outbound from Lombard, Illinois station. Photo by Divi Logan. The pedestrian crossing is visible ahead of the train.

Yes, it is gone from sight but it is not out of mind. We cross the tracks, attentive to the signs and announcements because we know another train might be on the way, and we must pay attention to where we are. The lives of others around us depend on that high level but common sense level of attention.

So the love went away, in a way. We then plunged into a world of right and wrong but combined with result and consequence, good and bad, the chance of being hired or fired, the chance for a raise or the possibility of termination. What was right was now wrong… we became and still are confused. Items in the news point to things that are plainly not right in the frame of a good wise conscience being acceptable and noteworthy. Incidents such as road rage, terrorism, shootings and gang activity are not right but are harmful and awful and mean -spirited. They are tragic and gross and primitive.

The good conscience we wanted to cultivate seems to allude to another part of the song, After the Love Has Gone. You did not want the good parts of you to stay around and were led on to join some group, to put aside your principles, to break down and have that extra cigarette, extra drink, or extra piece of pie. You were diverted into office politics, put to work in the very noise and dusty Chicago Loop, smashed into the wall of working for a bully or having to run your own company. And then what… did you then decide to return to good judgment or stay on the backwards ego path? Did you try to find what you had once in an early stage of life when things seemed good or could be changed with a concentration of elbow grease and dedication to the goal? Where did that love of work go, that doing of work just for the great feeling of it? Was it strong and grounded or did it vanish in the face of getting someting out of it, being paid for it, demanding attention or pushing others to accomplish what you want to the point that you put aside the feelings of others?

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Magnificent Jet Inbound to O’Hare, crossing near York Road. Photograph by Divi Logan.

Are you the Chicago of yesterday, of today or of a better tomorrow? Can the love that has been lost be restored? Can the love within you that has been clouded and broken be found?

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2016.

RESOURCES

  1. Earth, Wind and Fire. “After the Love Has Gone”.  Greatest Hits. 1979. Comp. by David Foster, Jay Graydon and Bill Champlin. ARC/Columbia. CD.
  2. Wikipedia contributors. “After the Love Has Gone.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 Dec. 2016. Web. 2 Dec. 2016.

Winter Behavior: Leave Your Ego Devices at the Door

Americans behave pretty badly if the accounts of many professional behavioral studies and news and witness stories are believed. Believed? There is enough traffic violation, photographic evidence and violence evidence, enough prescriptions for behavioral/ anger management in the world of the so-called hero/celebrity (and we admire these people?), and plenty to balk at when we just do our best to walk around and drive safely.

Some of us walk about and drive safely, that is.

Though the corporate companies with their big talk and snazzy ads would rather we not believe that devices are unsafe, in fact they are among the least safe inventions we have been plagued with in the past few years. Incorrect use of phones, computers, and other devices is epidemic in this nation and such behavior must be curbed in order for everyone to feel again a sense of safety and courtesy.

Have you heard the ads that speak to the aspect of driving safety to the effect of going the length of a football field in five seconds? When you gaze down at a screen and you are in motion at say 50 miles an hour (in an hour you would get from Chicago to past Lombard at constant speed, for example) you take your eyes off the road long enough to endanger dozens of cars and people.

In my engawa and through this genkan you must not enter if there is any trace of ego or arrogance… and you may enter even if you are oppressed by such behavioral problems as those and others experienced by people who are in the early stages of ego development and proper socialization. Certainly do not confuse being social and properly socialized with the use of “social media”, among the most antisocial methods of communication and interaction seen around since the telephone was invented.

In Chicago there was an incident that made me pause and consider just how poor our judgment is on the use of the cell phone/ tablet/ pod devices. In the Loop one day there was a young woman crossing and looking down while she was walking, refusing to look up or obey the worker who was signaling her not to cross because there was work going on and vehicles present and in motion. But what did she do? She did not look up, nor did she acknowledge the worker’s presence or say anything. How bratty, rude and disgusting, like many Americans seem to be. And the antisocial epidemic seems to be getting worse by the day; there is a sense of indifference and dishonor.

It is winter in Chicago, and our city is under a winter storm warning. Conditions will not be safe through this week. It is imperative that everyone – pedestrians and drivers be even more alert and on focus than ever. These are the basics of courteous practices when you are out in such a situation:

Do not use any cellular devices when walking. You must pay attention to traffic, to icy spots on sidewalks and uneven sidewalks, construction zones, and other walkers.

Do not use cellular devices when driving. Having a phone of any sort in the hand or so-called hands free still diverts attention from the road. Stop and then use the device and put it aside the moment your car is in motion. Nothing on that impersonal glowing screen is worth your life or endangering the lives of others.

Do not go out unless it is essential to do so. Roads are slippery and there is the potential for ice buildup; black ice is that glazed appearance on a cold wet road that looks like water but is in fact ice. You must refresh yourself with how to drive in these conditions and follow those Rules of the Road you learned in driving school. If necessary, go back to driving school. You should go back and learn how to drive if you do any of the following:

  • Use cellular devices
  • Forget to pull over for first responders/ go thorough intersections despite hearing sirens and seeing lights
  • Drive through crossways when the walk signal is on
  • Drive with one hand on the wheel and a device in the other
  • Take your eyes off the road to look at a device
  • Drive through crossways where people are present
  • Try to drive across railroad tracks to “beat the train”
  • Pull out in front of city busses. It is illegal to turn right in front of a CTA bus.

Watch, walk, drive, and cross those streets with full and undivided attention to that task at that moment as though your life depends on being careful, being attentive, and understanding what a winter storm warning means. It means icy, snowy, slippery conditions are happening that are hazardous for the unprepared to be out driving and walking. Consider your life and you will consider with care the lives of others.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2016.

The Behavioral Engawa: Short Visions to Self-Positives and National Improvement

An engawa is an element in traditional Japanese architecture and design. The excellent book Japan Style refers to it as a characteristic intermediate space between garden and home and includes photographs that bring home this facet.

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Structure in Lake Michigan. Photo from the Hancock Center’s 95th Floor. Divi Logan.

When I took a closer look at the photographs that present the engawa there blossomed more to it than the separate pieces of the garden, the expertly – laid wood floor, the pristine glass and wood sliding doors, and the inner wall. It is a very special space, that which tells you of transition and separation from the world, from other people, from habits that you display in the outer society and those you desire to cultivate in a place free from the static and noise of business, school, and the roads.

Just as there are elements of design, art, architecture and interiors in which we live and work and receive an education and complete our travels, there are separates and yet unity in each person. Unique and dignified aspects of human behavior are present in each of us to this or that degree; no one is absolutely normal or absolutely diverse. Everyone is just that, a one, a fresh and enlightened spirit within a body within an energy field. We have old and new behaviors and practice all of these every day.

At times though we become overwhelmed with what we must learn and do, what we must say and think every day, whether at home or out in public. It is perfectly all right to take a break and ground yourself, retrieve your true self, settle down in a peaceful place for a few minutes (nap pod for instance, or just to walk outside for a while), and find your best so you can be your best. It is vital that you are your best for if you are not, then you will not be able to serve others in the manner you would like; the ideals of energy use, wisdom use, and disciplined presentation of your life skills and  knowledge will not be as you desire. Something will be missing, or lost in the static shuttle or drowned out by what others want over what you want.

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Engine Company 16, Nashville, Tennessee. The photo shows the company’s old house behind the engine and the newer garage on a sunny morning. Divi Logan.

Ultimately we live to serve, but we must learn how to serve ourselves first for just that reason: so we can be our best for those around us who need our help and our knowledge. A clear intellect is fine, a strong body is fine, being nicely dressed is fine, and being head of a team is fantastic, but we must ensure that those things we do to present our outward face are a true representation of our True Star Self. Thus the more we know about our True Star Self the better we are.

How do we find out what we are and where we are and what our Pure Self is about? Especially during the holidays and during those time we are stuck inside and cannot get out due to dangerous weather, we must find time to be our deeper selves and escape the hubbub and the rigors that so easily wear us out and drain us and depress us. It is the simple element of stepping through our individual engawa; and just as fast as that into the space of transition away from “the world” and into our self. You go into your meditation space, your quiet area, the closet or the library or the conservatory or the gazebos in the park, and each time you cross a barrier, seen or unseen but sensed, there is decision time.

Once the noise of the outer world has gone away and dissipated and the mental snow has melted, you are in control. You can take the deep breath, shed the airs and hard wiring of the world, and enter your Super Self Space. Yours can be as simple as the engawa shown in the first listed book on page 60, or as elaborate as the ceremonial display shown on pages 62 – 63. What matters is that the space is meaningful to your sensibilities and what you want to focus on.

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Ocean Meditation. Aptos, California. Divi Logan

Now you can choose; no one is there to make the choice or force you into a choice or divert your attention. Now you turn off the television, cover up the computer, turn off and stow the personal devices, close the screens and the blinds and just BE. This is the I AM moment that separates us from the rest of society. You can stand and gaze at the galaxies if your inclination is to connect to the universe; you can close your eyes and hold a black stone such as an onyx, a tourmaline or a piece of jet and sit down and focus on the grounding, settling, and earthy connective power within it. You may light incense in stick or cone form, place it on a safe surface, and enhance your space. Or you can walk about tending your plants, arranging your gems and minerals, journaling, sketching, reading, or just lying flat on a mat and placing chakra stones around your aura and sensing the moments of healing and rejuvenation.

The I AM is talking. How will you answer?

Divi Logan. Chicago, 2016.

RESOURCES

  1. Mehta, Geeta and Kimie Tada. Japan Style. Tuttle, 2005.