May 2010


More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars.

Franklin D. Roosevelt  

I love the Maori creation myth which tells how heaven and earth were once joined. Ranginui, the Sky Father, and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, lay together in a tight embrace. They had many children who lived in the darkness between them. The children wished to live in the light and so separated their unwilling parents. Ranginui and Papatuanuku continue to grieve for each other to this day. Rangi’s tears fall as rain towards Papatuanuku to show how much he loves her. When mist rises from the forests, these are Papa’s sighs as the warmth of her body yearns for him and continues to nurture mankind.

As I walked in the pre-dawn dark this morning Rangi’s tears fell upon me, the interloper. Gravity pulled the rivulets of moisture down my face, some finding their way to the earth mother, to Papatuanuku. I felt caught in their embrace, the Sky Father and the Earth Mother, a lone man moving step by step through the dark, feeling the love of creation. At such times one feels the stillness and I chanted a short song of peace as I walked. A pin prick of light bobbed towards me from down the hill. Only as they passed could I make out the forms of two ladies and a dog enjoying their equally early sojourn. “We must be crazy,” one called out, laughing. They too felt the joy of the moment, caught in the arms of the mother and the tears of the father.

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

Unknown Author

Peace. Our primordial state. Anything other than peace is but a reflection of the misguided flailings of the ego. As my saturated shoes began to squish on the asphalt, I reflected on the progress we’ve made in the world towards peace and justice. It’s not so very long ago that Sammy Davis Jr. had to go through the service entrance to headline on stage. It’s not so very long ago that entire families in Berlin were separated by a huge wall of stone and concrete. It’s not so very long ago that Nelson Mandela was released after 28 years of imprisonment, heralding the end of apartheid and announcing the beginning of positive change in South Africa. Today one small country, Costa Rica, is home to a peace university and chooses not to have a military. Would this have been possible a century ago?

Transcendental Meditators (from TM) have proven that a group of sufficient size meditating together regularly can help bring peace to the area in which they live. Similarly, a late dear friend of mine, Dr. John Ray, led another group in a town in Virginia and also found reductions in crime.

A critical experimental test of the peace-creating effect of large meditating groups was conducted during the peak of the Lebanon war. A day-by-day study of a two-month TM meditation assembly in Israel in 1983 showed that, on days when the number of participants (“TM Group Size,” right) was high, war deaths in neighboring Lebanon dropped by 76% (p < 10-7). In addition, crime, traffic accidents, fires, and other indicators of social stress in Israel (combined into a Composite Index) all correlated strongly with changes in the size of the peace-creating group. Other possible causes (weekends, holidays, weather, etc.) were statistically controlled for.*

* Orme-Johnson, D.W., Alexander, C.N., Davies, J.L., Chandler, H.M., & Larimore, W.E. (1988). International peace project in the Middle East: The effect of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 32(4), 776–812.

http://www.tm.org/blog/video/world-peace-from-the-quantum-level-david-lynch-and-john-hagelin/

Jeannie Whyte recently made a short post titled Are We Going to Make It or Not? Which I received from her on Facebook.

The first words of this post are printed below:

Dear wonderful friends,

It is said that if just 1% (or some other very small number) of the ENTIRE world population were to meditate for just 5 minutes a day, world peace could be attained. 

Will you join me in AFFIRMING that this has already happened?

In a world that is rapidly becoming a global village, a world without borders, what percentage of people is required to affect change? At the risk of repeating a quote you’ve all already heard I’d still like to refer to what Margaret Mead, that wonderful anthropologist said,  ####. We do make a difference with every breath we take, with every word we speak. Again I encourage you to use the following affirmation I made for myself a few years ago. It was inspired by some lyrics of Sting:

Every step I make, every breath I take, every thought I have,

 every word I speak brings me peace.

So I encourage you to not lose heart. This peace we all long for is not only possible, it is inevitable. All each of us need do is find one (or more) area in which to focus our peace efforts. For some this may take the form of political action, for others it may mean resolving some long standing conflict within their family. Each of us needs to take time to reclaim our own innate peaceful state of mind. Do join with others for regular meditations. If there is no group in your area consider sting with others at a distance at a prescribed time. One such technique in place around the world is termed Triangle Meditation whereby you choose to sit with two other people who can live anywhere. For information on this, click here.

Peace in ourselves, in our families, in our communities, in our countries and in the world is not only possible, it is inevitable.

Another enjoyable way to share with others is to perform Dances of Universal Peace. I will be joining a group of dance teachers at a beautiful retreat centre, Tauhara, in the middle of the North Island in late May to share Dances of Universal Peace.

The first light of dawn appeared on the horizon as I reached the beach, the last star visible under the overhanging cloud. The rain slowed. My heart sang. Nothing more is needed. Just the realization that all is well in the world and always has been. The dream may appear to be flawed, but it is just a dream.

Peace is not just the absence of war. It is the absence of negativity.

 ~David Lynch

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Related Posts:

United We Sing: An Appeal for Peace

United We Sing: The Video

World Peace is Inevitable

From the Heart of a Master

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the course of my life, it’s that when someone proclaims something is good for me and then tries to sell it to me, I look further for other perceptions and opinions.

Barley Grass

In the last years we’ve watched the growth of a new industry: the health food industry. It seems we all want to live longer and look better while we’re alive. The current popularity of cosmetic surgery corroborates this.

Likewise, it seems there’s always a new ‘super food’ being discovered. Japanese scientist Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara, MD discovered in the 1980s how to quickly dry barley juice into a powder form. Enter ‘Barley Greens’. Multilevel marketing loves selling this kind of product. The pyramidal system works for those who get in early but has questionable merit for those entering later.

Goji or Wolfberries (Lycium barbarum)

A few years ago, I was visiting good friends who introduced me to the ‘miracle’ of goji berries

(also know as wolfberries) and goji juice. According to the claims of the manufacturer of the juice here was something nature had designed to prolong our lives, if not ensure immortality. Surely, anyone desiring a long and healthy life cannot live without goji berries, or so we’re told.

Recently I heard that some Australian scientists have ‘discovered’ that cape gooseberries (sometimes called Peruvian ground cherries) are the latest superfood, densely packed with indispensable nutrients. Here’s another must food for immortalists. Now, I don’t doubt that cape gooseberries are a healthy food. They grow like weeds in our garden, sprouting up in the most unlikely of places and producing loads of tart, delicious tasting paper-covered yellow/orange berries, with no help in the way of compost or supplemental watering on my part. They’re clearly a wild food—deep rooted, drought tolerant and naturally pest resistant. My kind of food.

Cape Gooseberries

The point of my ramblings? Do we really need to purchase foods processed, packaged and transported over great distances in order to stay healthy? Our ancestors didn’t. I suspect we don’t need to either.

Why not go to your local farmers market and purchase quality, fresh and organic fruits and vegetables? Tests show that fresher food is more nutrient-dense. This simple act alone should assist your health and strengthen your bonds with your local community.

As for goji berry juice? I’m sure it has wonderful health benefits. But why not find a pick-your-own berry farm in your local area. It’s a great activity to do with young people. In my opinion all organically grown berries, picked and eaten fresh are super foods jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. Freeze the ones you don’t eat immediately (our freezer is packed with strawberry guavas, plums and peaches from the garden). You’ll have super tasting and nutritious smoothies to enjoy in the off season and you’ll be supporting a local grower while minimizing your carbon footprint.

And as for cape gooseberries. Plant them in your garden, if your climate allows.

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The following story recently arrived in my inbox. If anyone reading this finds out the author of it, please let me know so I can give them the credit deserved. This is very funny. Enjoy! John

Oxford University researchers have discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. 

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called pillocks. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. 

A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganisation in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. 

In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration.

This hypothetical quantity is referred to as a critical morass. When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many pillocks but twice as many morons.

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A friend of mine on Facebook, Jeannie Whyte sent a message to the members of Psychic & Spiritual Collaboration group. I am pasting it below because Jeannie is enunciating her awareness that world peace is inevitable, something I totally agree with. I thank her for working for a positive present and future for all the inhabitants of this planet. Join the peace train. It’s mostly in our minds.

John

Dear wonderful friends,

It is said that if just 1%
(or some other
very small number)
of the ENTIRE world population
were to meditate
for just 5 minutes a day,
world peace could be attained.

Will you join me in AFFIRMING that
this has already happened?

By making an affirmation, you,
as a SOUL, made in
the image and likeness of God, your creator,
are powerful and can do all things.

Therefore, claim your divine birthright
and claim what is rightfully
yours to live in PEACE and HARMONY
on your beautiful MOTHER EARTH.

One of our members, Robert, has asked that
we use Twitter and if you’d like to,
please do so because the more
often we AFFIRM something,
the more powerful it becomes.

However, feel free to do whatever
you feel led to raise
your vibration/consciousness
to align with the “good” that
lives within you.

You already are GOOD and PERFECT and you
can choose to move
away from duality.

REMEMBER to choose to align yourself with
your SOUL qualities, which are all GOOD
and POSITIVE.

YOU are already a DIVINE BEING and if anyone
has ever told you otherwise
they were not telling YOU
the truth.
So RELEASE that limiting belief, my friends.

I love you and I AFFIRM our DIVINITY and PEACE ON EARTH!

Love, light and in sincere gratitude,
Jeannie Whyte

Spiritual Life Coach/Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner
http://www.facebook.com/l/d95f 1

www.psychicjeannie.com

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It’s just after 10.30 pm in early May. Our six month drought is finally broken. I’ve just returned from a walk on the beach, warmly dressed, a rain coat fending off the fine mist. After so many dry months it feels positively glorious to have the moisture back, the moisture that is an integral feature of Far North weather.

The tide is low; thick cloud hangs just over the water, suspended by an unseen force. Only a few lights at Whatuwhiwhi (pronounced ‘Faatu Fee Fee’, not the way you may be thinking!) are visible through the mist. The storm of the last few days has seen the surging sea suck up to 40 cm (16 inches) of sand out from the beach, leaving a distinct step I need to safely negotiate in the dark to reach the firm, flat sand below it. Despite the low tide the sea is noisy, growling almost. The surf is bigger than usual, a pale off-white band undulating like a snake caught between the velvety blackness above and the charcoal of the sand below.

Walking is easy and visibility is quite good despite the cloud cover. The moon, waxing gibbous, is only a soft glow over the western horizon. Fine rain caresses my face like cold steam, nature’s moisturizer, cheaper and probably more effective than any over-the-counter replacement. As always a walk on the beach in the dark is a meditative experience, giving space for reflection on the current state of affairs.

Our eldest daughter, Amira, has recently landed her first-ever full time job in Dunedin after just over a year of searching. The hunt for a job has been a challenge for her.  It’s not easy for any of us to face repeated rejection. Imagine what it must be like for a nineteen-year-old. Lucia and I have admired her tenacity and her optimism during the search. It’s not an easy time in the employment world with many facing redundancies they’d never anticipated.

Enkhuizen: Lovely, isn't it?

We lived in The Netherlands from late 2002 until early 2004, in a town just over an hour north of Amsterdam, not far from Enkhuizen. The girls attended a small primary school within walking distance of our rental home. They each had two teachers, job-sharing. All four of these teachers, two men and two women, were experienced and approaching retirement. Each teacher taught roughly two-and-a-half days a week. Such a setup required skilled communication and empathetic teamwork between the two teachers sharing a class. It worked. The teachers were far less stressed than the full-time ones more commonly seen in schools in the countries we’ve lived in. Less stress equates to greater patience, something a teacher needs when dealing with unruly, uncooperative, or tired and stressed children.

In the last few years New Zealanders have watched with a cupful of nostalgia and a barrelful of grief as two iconic New Zealand brands, Macpac and Fisher and Paykel, have shifted their manufacturing offshore. These are only two in a long series of factory closings around the country. It’s a worldwide trend that has seen a lion’s share of manufacturing shift from the first to the second and third world.

Maybe this is a good thing, an equalizer of East and West, of rich nations and poorer ones. I hope so. In the meantime, I wonder about employment, or lack thereof in this fair land. Maybe in the decade to come we in New Zealand will have the courage to begin sharing jobs. It will likely mean a reduction in income for some. Its compensation: more time, a priceless but sometimes rare commodity in our busy world. It may mean a reduction in purchasing power but think of the benefits:

1 Less stress equates to improved health and lower health care costs.

2 More quality time between parents and their children.

3.More time available to pursue hobbies and passions, leading in some cases to supplemental income.

4. Time to grow more food in home gardens where possible.

5. Happier adults. Happier children. A happier society.

Sounds like a great future to me. Perhaps less money and less stuff; but improved health and real fulfilment.

I turn back towards the boat ramp, my way now lit by the glow of lighting at the San Marino Lodge. The fine mist caresses my face like a lover’s touch. The moon still tries valiantly to burst forth from the dark swirling cloud. Perhaps a new world of sharing of jobs and resources is not far off, ready to burst forth like the moon on this warm, damp autumn night.

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Here’s the link for the picture.

We’ve experienced a drought this summer unlike one anyone can remember in this area for at least thirty years. Usually in New Zealand’s far North it is somewhat (and sometimes seriously) dry from early January until late March. This year the drought started in early November and finally broke about two weeks ago in late April. That translates to almost six months with very little moisture in a place accustomed to receiving abundant rainfall.

We rely on rainwater captured in two large tanks (one of 5000 gallons and one of roughly twice that amount) for all of our household use and for the garden. This summer, every time it looked like we’d run out we’d receive enough rain to get us out of trouble.

Granted we are very careful with water usage, minimizing the length of showers, not flushing every pee (there are signs above the toilets for visitors), only watering the vegetable areas in the evening every couple of days etc. We even capture the first shower water (before it gets hot) in a bucket for use in the garden.

Frankly, as the drought wore on I had to retire a couple of vegetable beds, covering them in thick mulch and leaving them empty during the summer heat.

But all this is of the past. We’ve had numerous showers over the past 14 days. The ground is again saturated and perennial flowers and grasses that had looked almost dead are vibrantly green and growing as if there will be no tomorrow. Anemones that I thought would wait until next year have cast up masses of five petal white flowers. The stems are shorter than usual but who’s to complain.

As I said earlier, each time it looked like we would run out of water, enough rain would come to keep us out of trouble, just in the nick of time. I’m reminded of the time in the early nineties when we were living in New Mexico. Dear friends of ours were due to fly to Germany and I was going to drive them to the airport in Albuquerque. They wanted a house sitter to look after their dog and chickens while they were in Europe. No one had responded to notices they’d posted and we decided that I would feed the dog and chickens (and collect eggs) while they were away. It was a less than ideal situation since we were living about a fifteen minute drive away.

Nevertheless, it was agreed we’d do this. I arrived at their place early the morning of their departure and helped load their luggage into the car. They were an excited bunch because the night before they’d received a call from a woman who would love to house sit. They’d met her and saw that she’d be ideal for the job. All was well, just on time.

I think too of the times I’ve attended births. The mother-to-be reaches a point where she feels she can’t take any more pain. Often, just, at that moment, the baby arrives. Just on time.

I wonder too if this is what we’re experiencing collectively on the planet just now. It would appear the forces of dissolution are tearing down the economic structures whose form no longer works, if it ever did. Many have lost jobs and money. Our youngest daughter, nineteen, just landed her first full time work after a year of searching. I wonder if a magnificent global birth is just around the corner, peaking and hinting at its presence within the words and actions of those committed to creating a New Earth. I wonder if this birth is even beginning now, on the hills and in the valleys, where likeminded people are gathering with new ideas of how we can live and work in community, while we help reconstruct the environment we’ve been steadily tearing down since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution 150 years ago. I wonder. I wonder.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.– Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today it is estimated there are 27 million slaves worldwide, the highest number ever and twice the number of Africans transported during the entire transatlantic slave trade. The only countries where slaves cannot be found at present are Iceland and Greenland.

 ‘What?’ you ask. ‘Slavery was abolished 150 years ago.’ Well, I’m sorry to say, it is alive and sort of well today.

There is good news. That 27 million slaves is the smallest percentage of the entire global population in recorded history. Slavery is illegal in all nations of the world. Yet, people (including children) are still forced to work without pay for economic reasons, often doing horrendous, environmentally destructive jobs.

Slavery is happening right here in Aotearoa. New Zealand is a source country for underage girls trafficked internally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. It is also reportedly a destination country for women from Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China, Eastern Europe, and other Asian countries trafficked into forced prostitution. For more read below:

http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/NewZealand.htm

But, slavery can be beaten. I urge you to visit the blog of my new Twitter friend @AbolitionistJB to find out more, watch compelling video coverage, and see how you can help. I congratulate John Burger (@AbolitionistJB) for taking a stand as an abolitionist of slavery. Will you help this cause for justice? Visit John’s site here:

http://abolitionistjb.blogspot.com/2010/02/abolitionist-video-of-day-imagine-by.html

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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