Friday, November 30, 2012

The Only Road

Nicholas Roerich - Padma Sambhava (1927)

Honesty is the only road that leads to truth. All the other roads merge into honesty before arriving at truth. If you search for truth without journeying through honesty, you will lose yourself in the palace of mirrors. But if you journey deeper into honesty, you will inexorably arrive at the truth of all things. Furthermore, you will only have to concern yourself with how to live in radical honesty toward yourself, because, as Shakespeare promised, if you do so, you cannot be false to anyone else.

And what about beauty? Beauty is not a separate road to the truth. "Truth is beauty," as John Keats promised, "and beauty is truth." Neither the truth of beauty nor the beauty of truth can be arrived at in any sustainable way without first becoming established in a relationship of radical honesty with yourself.

All else just leads deeper into the palace of mirrors. If you drink a reflection of water, you will still be thirsty. If you embrace a reflection of someone else, you will still be alone. Nor does the path of relentless honesty with ourselves lead us into asceticism or isolation; it leads us instead into utter connectedness and an ever-expanding capacity for happiness.

-- Richard Power

 Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global Peril is available now in soft cover and Kindle versions, from Amazon and elsewhere.>

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Abode of the Great Peace

Salvador Dali - Oasis (1946)
Fortunate to be alive in this universe, fortunate to be in human form, with all the profound responsibility and potentiality that this mirror image of the divine matrix brings with it.

Fortunate to have heard of the abode of great peace, somewhere along the road. Fortunate to have found that place and entered therein.

Fortunate enough to have come upon it again and again, and to eventually return to it at will. Or so it seemed.

Fortunate, in due time, to have moved into that abode, and have dwelled within the great peace, coming and going of my own free will. Or so it seemed.

Fortunate enough to discover that there is no coming, no going, no inside, no outside, no peace, no not peace.

Fortunate to discover that the great dance is the great peace, and that the great peace is the great dance.

Fortunate to live long enough to tell you this.

The abode of great peace dwells within you, and you dwell within it.

You are the great peace and you move within the great dance. You are the great dance and you move within the great peace.

"Meditate on peace"? OK. But better to meditate IN, OF and FROM peace. "Visualize peace"? OK, but better to RADIATE peace.


-- Richard Power

 Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global Peril is available now in soft cover and Kindle versions, from Amazon and elsewhere.>


John William Waterhouse - Circe Offering Cup to Ulysses (1891)
Truth is naked. It has no shame. Truth is ruthless. It takes everything for its own. Truth is inexhaustible. This universe is merely a reflection of Truth seen "though a glass darkly."

Some among us boast of having "no regrets." There are two kinds of regrets: regrets that look backward and drain you of your power, and regrets that look forward to inform your present and your future. I have regrets, but none that look backward. I carry mine in the ark of my heart, with numerous other sacred relics of this existence. They bless my endeavors.

Truth is the medicine, truth is the magic. It comes to different people in different ways at different times. It may comes from a painting, it may come from a cactus, it may come from an asana, it may come from a moonrise, or from the pre-dawn darkness, it may come from a kiss, or the loss of a kiss, it may come from a dream, or from a dreamless sleep, it may from an utter mishap or a crowning achievement, it may come from the space between two thoughts, or from the space between two breaths. Whatever it uses to communicate itself, however it arrives, it is the truth, and it will liberate you, although, truthfully, liberation is not what most of us imagine it to be.

-- Richard Power

 Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global Peril is available now in soft cover and Kindle versions, from Amazon and elsewhere.>

Gratitude is a Ruthless Path

Vishnu Flying on Garuda (1723-1727)
Vishnu Flying on Garuda (1723-1727)
Some great trees have fallen in the forest of this life, and the beautiful stories that lived within them were lost forever. Lightening fires have scorched much of this wilderness, the smoke and ash still billow in the wind.

And yet, every dawn, this primeval wood stands in salute to the scintillant sun; and at every dusk, it opens itself up to the lusciousness of night.

Gratitude is a ruthless path, my friend, it allows for no exceptions.

-- Richard Power

Richard Power's latest book, Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global Peril is available now in soft cover and Kindle versions, from Amazon and elsewhere.

Choicelessness and the Dancers

Machig Labdron. 11th Century Yogini, Mother of Mahamudra Chod. (Central Tibet, ca. Early 14th Century)
From the moment of "birth" to the moment of "death," joy and sorrow dance together intimately. If you welcome only one of these dancers, you fail to comprehend the Divine Choreographer's vision; if you see only one of them as beautiful, you do not understand the vital elements of which Beauty herself is composed of.

Life is rich with choices. Whether you choose joy or sorrow, your choice is often the seed from which its opposite blossoms. Indeed, many of life's most profound choices are actually choicelessness hidden behind a mask. To love life is to join the dance of joy and sorrow. There is no other viable choice.

-- Richard Power

 Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global Peril is available now in soft cover and Kindle versions, from Amazon and elsewhere.>

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Future Hangs on A Single Golden Thread, and We Are That Thread

Frida Kahlo, Love Embrace of the Universe

The Future Hangs on A Single Golden Thread, and We Are That Thread

By Richard Power

Today, here in Norther California, no war is being waged on us, nor has any climate-crazed Super Storm trashed the infrastructure; we have running water, electricity, gasoline, food, and as bad as the economic disparity is, as deep as the poverty runs, and as high as unemployment really is, many of us are still getting by (even if only barely). But you know what? Here and now, in Northern California, we are just a click or two away from catastrophe and a free fall into chaos. And not just because a mega earthquake is overdue.

We are just a click away from catastrophe and a free fall into chaos because the rebuilding of our infrastructure is being blocked by an insane political ideology that fronts for the rapacious greed of the few, and which demonizes much of what is best in government.

We are just a click away from catastrophe and free fall because this insane political ideology and rapacious greed are also blocking our desperately needed conversion to a green economy.

Such a conversion could rescue us from both the devastation of a 4c planetary temperature rise and our deepening economic insecurity in a single righteous blow.

Although it is encouraging that the most psychologically disturbed elements of the corporatist disorder were denied absolute power in the November 2012 election, we are still in grave danger. Will we continue down the road into the madness of so-called "austerity" instead of further economic stimulus focused on infrastructure renewal and green energy? Will we continue to debate whether or not the Climate Crisis is real, instead of debating how to best mitigate its potentially extinction level impact? Do not be deceived. Psychologically disturbed elements of the corporatist disorder still control the horizontal and vertical in terms of our political debate.

Consider the facts.

A new World Bank-commissioned report warns the world is on track to a “4°C world” marked by extreme heat-waves and life-threatening sea level rise. "Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided," (pdf) (eBook version) warns we’re on track for a 4°C warmer world marked by extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea level rise. World Bank, Climate Change Report Warns of Dramatically Warmer World This Century, 11-18-12

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2011, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Between 1990 and 2011 there was a 30% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping long-lived gases. World Meteorological Organization, 11-20-12

A United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report released today says that countries aren’t doing enough to keep the world from warming 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels ... “Not only are nations failing to close the gap between their actions and the 2 degrees goal,” [Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy at UCS] said, “but the gap is actually widening.” Union of Concerned Scientists, Third Report Warns that Leaders' Lack of Action Is Locking In Worst Consequences of Climate Change, 11-21-12

Coal plants are the most polluting of all power stations and the World Resources Institute (WRI) identified 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China [363] and India [455]. Darrien Carrington, Guardian, 11-19-12

And yet Beltwayistan (the U.S. political establishment) and Infotainmenstan (the U.S. mainstream news media) continue to hide from the truth and what it demands of us.

"Cognitive dissonance” describes the response of our political leaders. They know we must quickly curb our addiction to fossil fuels to avoid a climate change tipping point. But they open up the Arctic, or the Tar Sands in Canada, to oil companies that want to squeeze out a few more billion in profits while the going’s good. Kumi Naidoo, 11-17-12

Take a break for half an hour and listen to this dialogue between Bill Moyers and Naomi Klein (see embedded video below, or just read the transcript). And then ask yourself what you can do or how you can be, to make a difference in the weeks and months ahead. The future hangs on a single golden thread, and we are that thread.

Naomi Klein: We have to plan. We can't leave everything to the free market. In fact, climate change is, I would argue, the greatest single free-market failure. This is what happens when you don't regulate corporations and you allow them to treat the atmosphere as an open sewer. So it isn't just, "Okay, the fossil fuel companies want to protect their profits." It's that it's that this science threatens a worldview. And when you dig deeper, when you drill deeper into those statistics about the drop in belief in climate change, what you see is that Democrats still believe in in climate change, in the 70th percentile. That whole drop of belief, drop off in belief has happened on the right side of the political spectrum. So the most reliable predictor of whether or not somebody believes that climate change is real is what their views are on a range of other political subjects. You know, what do you think about abortion? What is your view of taxes? And what you find is that people who have very strong conservative political beliefs cannot deal with this science, because it threatens everything else they believe. Bill Moyers Interviews Naomi Klein, 11-16-12

Bill Moyers and Naomi Klein: How Climate Change Is an Historic Opportunity for Progressives

Do you know why 350 is the most important number in your life and the lives of everyone you love? Go to for the answer.

Richard Power is the author of eight books, including Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global PerilBetween Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself and True North on the Pathless Path: Towards a 21st Century Yoga. Power writes and speaks on spirituality, sustainability, human rights, and security. He blogs at and, and is a member of the Truthout Board of Advisors. He also teaches yoga.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mapping Primal Reality; Further Notes On A User's Guide to Human Incarnation (Part II: Pratyabhijinahrdayam, Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle & Jung's Process of Individuation)

This is the second in a series of seven monthly talks I will be giving at the San Francisco Lodge of the Theosophical Society

The series will include talks on the four great texts of Kashmir Saivism (i.e., Shiva Sutras, Pratyabhijina Hridayam, Spandakarikas and Vijnanabhairava) as well as other aspects of Yoga, Buddha Dharma and Shamanism.

This second presentation focuses on teachings from the Pratyabhijinahrdayam, and draws further elucidation from drawing St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, Sri Ramana Maharshi's Self-Inquiry and Dr. Carl Jung ideas on the process of Individuation.

You will find a link to the first talk in the series listed below, under "Related Talks." The next talk in the series will be given in December 2012.

Listen to Part II ...

-- Richard Power

Related Talks

Mapping Primal Reality: Further Notes for A User's Guide to Human Incarnation (Part I, Siva Sutras, Maslow's Hierarchy of Basic Human Needs, October 2012

A User's Guide to Human Incarnation (Part III, October 2010

A User's Guide to Human Incarnation (Part II, September 2010)

A User's Guide to Human Incarnation (Part I, August 2010)

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Final Days of Fear and Loathing in 2012; "Oh, A Storm is Threatening My Very Life Today, If I Don't Get Some Shelter ..."

Photo Credit: Gary He/Reuters 
Photo Credit: John Minchillo / AP
Unfortunately, Sandy is only the latest in a line of recent extreme weather events that have severely afflicted Americans in the past two years. Other disasters include the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history, record-breaking temperatures across the nation, and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across the Midwest. Farmers in the Midwest are expecting to harvest just a fraction of their corn and other crops this year, leading to record federal crop insurance payments due to the worst drought in 50 years that plagued two-thirds of the nation. Vicious heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, and severe storms left hundreds of people dead and injured. These are the extreme weather events that scientists predict will become more frequent and/or severe if the industrial carbon pollution responsible for climate change remains unchecked. Joe Romm, How Does Climate Change Make Superstorms Like Sandy More Destructive?, Climate Progress, 10-31-12

The Final Days of Fear and Loathing in 2012; "Oh, A Storm is Threatening My Very Life Today, If I Don't Get Some Shelter ..."

By Richard Power

No, I don't have anything to say about "Superstorm Sandy."

I have said it all for TWELVE YEARS. James Hansen and Al Gore have been saying it for even longer.

I love New York, it is where I came from, and this is personal. So for the second time, the loud, sooty, crowded, concrete and steel lotus blossom from which I emerged, has been hit horrifically hard, because of bad governance.

It was bad governance, criminal negligence really, that led to the slaughter of the innocents on 9/11. Bush-Cheney willfully ignored urgent and repeated warnings that we were about to be hit.

Likewise, with "Superstorm Sandy." Bad governance led to the flooding of the subways in lower Manhattan, the raging fire in Queens, and the utter devastation in New Jersey.

"Ooh, see the fire is sweepin' / Our very street today ..."

Many millions of people blacked out. Tens of billions of dollars in losses. Bad governance. Political cowardice in Beltwayistan, and moral bankruptcy of Infotainmentstan.

So I don't give a damn that in Sandy's AFTERmath, billionaire NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed POTUS for re-election, citing the urgency of the Climate Crisis as a significant reason. And I don't give damn that in Sandy's AFTERmath, the cover of Businessweek declared: It's Global Warming, Stupid.

Too little too late. I don't mean too late to mitigate the worst of what is to come; we can still make a profoundly positive shift for future generations. I mean too little too late to earn any respect from me. Not after TWELVE YEARS.

"The floods is threatening / My very life today ..."

OK, I guess I did have something to say about "Superstorm Sandy."

Whatever happens on Tuesday, it will not be POTUS, or Billionaireberg, or Businessweak that will lead; it will be others, like Darryl Hannah, and Bill McKibben (who is earning a Nobel Peace Prize whether he ever wins one or not) ...

How are we in the US and Canada addressing these crises? Not through the co-opted political system, but with heroic acts by the ordinary citizens of North America. People have been putting their bodies on the line and risking arrest in order to protect our future, to acknowledge climate change disasters and to protect access to basic necessities such as uncontaminated water, soil and food. We are seeing an exponentially growing number of nationwide rallies, protests and acts of civil disobedience just to protect these fundamental life support systems. The threats are exacerbated by the looming death throes of an outdated and finite fossil fuel industry struggling to stay relevant in the 21st century, despite its current economic might. It's hard to reconcile the fact that the fossil fuel industry is struggling when their unprecedented profits make them the wealthiest of corporations in the history of mankind, even in this devastated global economy – but the times, they are-a-changing. Darryl Hannah, The battle against Big Energy's rush to ruin our planet, Guardian, 10-31-12

The question Hurricane Sandy really raises, then, is how long Big Oil will be allowed to hold the government of the United States hostage. How long will Exxon-Mobil’s business plans take precedence over the wellbeing and indeed survival of our children? Neither of the two presidential candidates provides great inspiration on this point, though Obama is at least willing to talk about the problem, as when he advocates eliminating some taxpayer subsidies to oil companies. (Romney, for his part, thinks Big Oil has not been favored enough by Washington.) But no president can cross Big Oil in the way that is required to defuse the climate crisis without the help of a powerful and sustained popular movement. If Hurricane Sandy contributes to building such a movement—and McKibben and his fellow activists at and allied organizations are launching a national tour shortly after Election Day that aims to do just that—America might still avoid the curse of Cassandra by heeding her warnings at last. Mark Hertsgaard, Can Sandy Help Jolt America Out of Climate Change Denial? 10-31-12

Do not mistake my intent.

POTUS must be re-elected on Tuesday. There is no alternative. And I am grateful that Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg agree.

Remember Katrina? POTUS has done an admirable job in the aftermath of Sandy. The Hollow Man and his FEMA would have simply done what Bush and his FEMA did, i.e., exercise malign neglect.

Yes, POTUS has been disappointing on Corporatism and Militarism. But he has been strong on Misogyny, Homophobia and Racism. It is not a principled stand to protest Corporatism and Militarism by rewarding Misogyny, Homophobia and Racism, and if you throw your vote away or don't vote, that is what you will be doing - rewarding Misogyny, Homophobia and Racism.

"Rape, murder! / It's just a shot away ..."

Furthermore, even on the issues of corporatism and militarism, there are profound differences between POTUS and the Hollow Man. POTUS delivered Dodd-Frank (weak as it is) and elevated Elizabeth Warren to the national stage; and in response, Wall Street gave money hand over fist to the Hollow Man. And in regard to Iran, make no mistake about it, if the Hollow Man is elected, we will be at war with Iran within a year, just as we would have been if the shell of a man formerly known as John McCain had been elected.

"War, children, it's just a shot away / It's just a shot away ..."

I do not expect POTUS to lead on the Climate Crisis, but I do know that he will act in response to a strong, broad movement from below. And as much as we have accomplished, the numbers have to be larger than they have been so far.

"I tell you love, sister, it's just a kiss away / It's just a kiss away ..."

Hopefully, POTUS will be re-elected and sworn in, but whether or not he is, those of you who disagree and will vote for Jill Stein instead of POTUS, I assure you, we will be on the same side of the barricade in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Consider this concerning Social Security and Medicare ...

We are forewarned and we must act now to make clear that we will block the Great Betrayal and crush at the polls any member of Congress who supports it. Do not concede the phrase "grand bargain" to the proponents of the betrayal. We should heed Camus' warning that it is essential to call a plague by its real name if one is to resist it -- and it is essential to resist the pestilence. "[W]hen you see the suffering and pain that it brings, you have to be mad, blind or a coward to resign yourself to the plague." We must refuse to resign ourselves to being betrayed by Democratic leaders. Our actions must make it clear that we are not mad, blind, or cowards. We refuse to fall for their faux moral panics. It is our leaders who are all too often mad, blind, and cowards. William K. Black, The Great Betrayal – and the Cynicism of Calling it a Grand Bargain, Naked Capitalism, 10-30-12

"A kiss away / A kiss away ..."

Angélique Kidjo & Joss Stone - Gimme Shelter (2007)

Do you know why 350 is the most important number in your life and the lives of everyone you love? Go to for the answer.

Richard Power is the author of eight books, including Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global PerilBetween Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself and True North on the Pathless Path: Towards a 21st Century Yoga. Power writes and speaks on spirituality, sustainability, human rights, and security. He blogs at and, and is a member of the Truthout Board of Advisors. He also teaches yoga.