September 16: Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Thank you for printing the compassionate Rev. Barry Abrahan Zavah’s “right on” letter concerning the heartLESS abortion laws now in Texas. Electrical activity in a zygote is NOT a heartbeat.

Have you any idea what carrying to full term a rapist’s fetus or the fetus of incest can do to the mental, emotional and spiritual health of a teenager? Their brains and bodies are not yet fully developed, yet you would force them to carry to full term? And then what? How many children will the women-hating politicians adopt?

Spend that $10,000 on DNA testing and find the sperm donor. Hold him accountable.  

When I lived in Massachusetts, I often drove by the Salem commons where witches were hung. Here we go. The witch hunts begin again. Just point a finger.

I served as a police officer there for 17 years and had special training in investigating sex crimes. Oh, the heartache, the attempted suicides, the knowing that the life of a victim of rape or incest, now impregnated, would never be the same.

Gear up, my dear and divine women friends. We go to battle again and still.

Marjie Erkkila

Fort Davis

Dear Editor,

A gate swings both ways: Lies predicting Afghanistan

Pt 1: Afghanistan was lost before grade school geography

Anything change? Our problems didn’t start with Afghanistan, President Trump and the campaign years, a deadly pandemic or environmental crisis updated almost daily. I submit Trump epitomized a full-range of dysfunction and ramifications of lying.

Our chickens have come home to roost in one, ginormous, interconnected butterfly effect. This is key to “Hoʻoponopono,” a Hawaiian healing modality; when one strand of the web vibrates, they all vibrate. What is it in us in need of healing that has brought that matter to our attention?

If viewed through a secular lens, the issue is one of “integrity” or lack thereof from lying to ourselves across a range of minor to major things, thus making it easier to lie to each other. Stepping back and taking a longer look at cultural and psychological factors, it was in the cards, so to say. But Afghanistan was lost before most of us here learned of it in fifth grade geography, and no doubt before Alexander the Great gave it a try.

Viewed through the lens of spirituality, we’re in a transition of ages. The Piscean Age is characterized by power, domination, accumulation. The Aquarian, which is Love-based, recognizes we’re One, and “community” is it’s hallmark. The former is gaining in strength and quantity versus the old which is waning.

Here’s how it impacts in practical, real-world terms. Understand that the universe calls for and seeks balance in all things. Such are the teachings of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions.

All systems seek balance. Examples: Where there is imbalance –– akin to convection of seasonal warm and colder air masses abutting –– seasonal storms get quite intense. Signaling imbalance, a gyroscope wobbles until attaining a new equilibrium. The same for planet Earth. Flipping on its axis is the destructive displacing oceans.

Spiritual development classes in the late 1980s/early 1990s addressed these times as did prophets of world religions. It isn’t a matter of an end times conflagration, rather a change of ages –– energies, if you will. It will be as easy or difficult as the free-will human consciousness allows.

Returning now to a more secular lens. Simply put, the imbalances –– contradictions between the stories we tell ourselves and truth –– have caught up with us. The extent of these corruptions would be revealed. Those of Enron, Keating 5 and Bernie Madoff were the tip of the iceberg –– one that is increasing in size.

Witness the BP blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico –– as if “The Gulf Is Back” –– or ever back to the way it was before the first oil wells were sunk? How about the oil giants, such as Exxon, lying for about 40 years and even funding disinformation and anti-environmental campaigns, although their own scientists knew of the harmful impact of the extraction, transportation, refining and use of their own products on global warming?

In Michael Moore’s article “In the end, Bin Laden Won –– He couldn’t have done it without us,” he opines Bin Laden understood a good deal about our American character and materialistic bent. Thus, it became a matter of time until our own contradictions led to an undoing.

That is, corruption and lies are endemic and reflected in events surrounding 9/11 and reasons for invading Afghanistan and Iraq –– among them a gas pipeline route and oil. A lie cannot be sustained. Edifices will collapse under the weight of their own inequities. Shoddy building techniques, cutting corners, imprudent engineering and pay-offs to look the other way in terms of health and safety code violations do more damage than Florida sinkholes in collapsing condominiums.

Lying hasn’t abated, notwithstanding our human experiences. There’s Texas voter suppression (based upon the big lie of a stolen election) and the abomination of the “Heartbeat Act” rendering Roe v. Wade moot. The Texas State Board of Education engages censorship. 

Call it by its correct name: right-wing “cancel culture” intentionally omitting details of slavery, women’s rights and much more of significance to who we are now as a nation and the struggles it took to get here. They wouldn’t omit the story of the Alamo as a part of the battle for Texas Independence, so what is the major difference but a political-cultural bias toward their world view?

It is well-past time to get real, turn things around. Beyond the over-inflated, hyped delusion of our nation and institutions, the mythology busted in its blunders, it is time to come home to ourselves.

A violation of trust by someone, or by institutions we depend upon, sours things. It is easier to sour than return to square one, thus creating a disruption in the force, a.k.a. the “interconnected web.”

“God helps those who help themselves” (origins unknown, but not Biblical). Divine assistance requires an earthly hand making the connection to energies facilitating the process of manifesting transformation.


Pt. 2: History’s consequential pathogen –– a lie

Lying to ourselves infects all areas of life, i.e., not being on time, making the promised phone call, check’s in the mail, taking out the garbage, and any other endeavor imaginable. We’ve trained each other not to believe ourselves, so is it any wonder our lives are in a pickle? So, what’s going on?

The quote from the Pogo cartoon strip: “We have met the enemy … and he is us” says it all. The outer world reflects our inner dynamics.

How many have made decisions similar to one made during my late teenage years, directing my life in a way that “I’m not going to let anyone treat me like so and so treated me”? We respond to situations in exactly the same manner as if we were on autopilot.

A reliable predictor of future behavior is past conduct. We’re run by decisions, often made during painful or traumatic events, operating beneath the surface like the bulk of the iceberg sinking the Titanic. Freud called it the “unconscious mind.” In the extreme, we go about like the Subway Vigilante, Bernard Goetz, in 1984, armed to the teeth, looking for the opportunity not to let it happen again.

What can we do about it all? The key is acknowledging immaturity persists when we fail to appreciate we’re the only common ingredient in ALL the events of our life –– not parents, your boss, ex-spouses, or rude sales clerks. A therapist friend said: “Most people do not understand they are the central ingredient in their lives.”

Now, this is where learning to listen carefully to what is being said, rather than our sense of things we believe were said, is the key to our relationships. The word responsibility isn’t a word of fault or blame as so many people hear. Rather, it is a word of empowerment and needs to be heard and understood in that context.

It is about “the ability to respond effectively to that which life presents to us.” If we can create a situation that makes our lives a mess, then we have the exact same ability to make things as good as we want things to be with hands on the steering wheel and feet on the gas, brake and clutch of the vehicle of life.

The point about being one’s word –– in matters of time or other important issues –– has to do with establishing a sense of integrity within oneself. What are our standards and what are we willing to accept, at the expense of our gut churning and/or acting out immaturely, in the behavior of others?

Consider the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Some of these problems do not stem from a malicious heart, but rather perceptual differences stemming from enumerated personality types beyond gender described in John Gray’s Men Are From Mars, Women from Venus.

Failing to keep one’s word about such things as being somewhere when agreed or doing what was agreed creates ripples in the “interconnected web.” But “don’t talk about it.” Thus, the dysfunction and tensions linger beneath the surface just waiting for expression.

How do we trust after a significant breach of trust? Trust lost is often difficult to recover. A barrier has been created to effective communication.

Trust is established by being one’s word. It is the fuel which propels and lubricates the engine and transmissions of a relationship; be it a family, among neighbors, business, the governed and the elected, or within a church home. Introspection allows for insight as a catalyst for action.

This is Dr. Phil’s “Life Law #4 (of 10): You cannot change what you do not acknowledge’!” He writes: “Strategy: Get real with yourself about life and everybody in it. Be truthful about what isn’t working in your life. Stop making excuses and start making results. If you’re unwilling or unable to identify and consciously acknowledge your negative behaviors, characteristics or life patterns, then you will not change them. (In fact, they will only grow worse and become more entrenched in your life.) You’ve got to face it to replace it.”

It is said that the “eye is a window to the soul.” Look within. It is well past time for individual and national introspection –– eyeball-to-eyeball in the mirror reaching to the gut sort of introspection time!

Blemishes aren’t the content of the Light, but what the Light is fed and reveals. It isn’t the mirror’s responsibility. Reflection long delayed doesn’t make things easier. Transformation involves work.

Jack Nicholson didn’t think so, shouting “You can’t handle the truth!” from the witness stand in A Few Good Men.

 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [John 8:32 NIV]

Do we believe we –– our relationships, institutions, nation –– are worth the work necessary to put our own lives back on track? It isn’t easy. It is work. The Light of Truth is often harsh.

Thus the need for community, a community aware and guided by its constitutional form, supporting each other on the journey to remembering our wholeness.

Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah