A blog about our shared experience…

Welcome and Get Comfy!

Welcome all to the evolving Republic of Growth! All are welcome, and the more diverse the crowd, the better! Any wayfarer that traverses this terrain can expect a weekly update to information shared in addition to any comments that others may make. The only rule that exists in this land is this: Respect other citizens and travelers in this land, and find ways to agree or disagree with ideas while being civil. The hope is that we can explore ideas without experiencing violence, verbal, emotional or otherwise...


InTurn, Return…

I enter this new but familiar void to reawaken…to renew…to shed…demons…


I shed and shun the demons of entitlement & greed, chief among the most detestable traits I see in my self and my fellow man. Entitlement serves only create expectations that end in relief at best and immense sadness in less fortunate events…Greed sets the insatiable pace at which one wishes to experiences sensation…A sensory experience that leave one feeling numb and virtually lifeless if left to its own devices…

I shed the demon of arrogance, which veils itself to resemble confidence and assurance to make others feel safe. It has never protected me from harm…never brought me wisdom at the conclusion of trials…and insidiously serves to impress upon others that I have a truth or strength worthy of greater consideration than others…

I shed the demon of my fears. I have had the bounty and horror of staring over life’s edge into the abyss…an abyss darker than any night known to man…to face my own darkness and the darkness I have experienced at the hands of others…In an instant, I can summon the sensation of the corrosive forces that I have been exposed to as a reminder of why I chose the light, and why I must cling to it with all of my soul. I fear nothing and no one…save losing my connection to The Source.


I shed the demon of my body. Gender, appearances, human frailty and all of the insecurities and power struggles that exist therein have no place in the next stage for me.

I shed the demon of alliances. There is no “other”. All humanity is me and I am them. No difference. Race, nationality, religion, gender, economic status, education level and all of the multitudinous ways for us to separate into “us and them” are no longer of use. Familiar relationships are under reassessment and subject to change. Blood nor time spent will have currency in this evaluation…

I am left to reflect on what is left from the vessel that was known to some of you, and to seek confirmation as to where this soul is to go and what to do next.

There is no rush…only beauty in every moment…possibility beyond measure…

Join me, if you dare and are ready to let go of some fetters…I have nothing figured out…and I’m pleased at that…


On Marriage

On Marriage


This post can also be viewed along with other marvelous content at Nineteen Months!


“O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.”

– Bahá’ú’lláh

As I interact with my human family in this very fascinating world, I am faced with the dilemma that the above quote seems to encapsulate perfectly…that we are all created noble, but have to learn to arise from the abasement that we’ve gotten ourselves into. That abasement comes in all forms from abuse to oppression to negligence and all kinds of hurtful experiences that we may put ourselves and each other through.

John Lowry Photography: slideshow &emdash; Egyptian Carolina

So the burning question stands: How do we arise out of this lost sense of nobility? What behaviors, systems and practices are we collectively consenting to or engaging in that keep us from our noble destiny? What are our associations with even the word “noble”? How many names have we called ourselves and each other; how many judgements Read the rest of this page »

Community and Trust

A number of previous posts written here were on the subject of community and human nature. It seems pertinent to draw some of those concepts to some current affairs such as the Trayvon Martin killing and the murder of James Craig Anderson amongst many others. Many would attribute tragedies such as these to a rising race or class war, but I feel that there are larger principles at play that we may benefit from considering before we blame these actions of individuals on an overly-superficial analysis of what’s going on.

As some of the discussion in previous posts on race explores, it’s very easy to point the finger at familiar terms such as “race” or “class” when I feel that “trust” among us as individuals and a community is the element has to be considered. Many of us have been led to believe that people outside our blood family are not to be trusted, and that people will likely take advantage of us at every opportunity given the opportunity.

Obviously I generalize, but I believe that most will agree that some degree of suspicion is common in our experience and training about survival in today’s world:

Don’t trust the cops.
Don’t trust the people.
Don’t trust people wealthier than you.
Don’t trust people poorer than you.
Don’t trust people of other religions.
Don’t trust business people.
Don’t trust customers.
Don’t trust women.
Don’t trust men.

Messages like these were often unspoken rules that I assimilated to, and doubt that others are immune to these subtle but ever-present messages we send each other through how we behave and talk to each other and the messages we consume in our media.

The thing is, I’ve had so many places in my life that informed me through experience that people are very much worthy of trust…in fact, we don’t get what we need in life as far as diversity of human interaction and experience without it. Further, people want to trust and be trusted. When you watch a movie, who do you generally gravitate towards and root for? Is it the self-serving bully who takes advantage of those weaker than them or the noble champion who grows through their hard-work and challenges to move higher and higher in their understanding?

So pulling back to the recent news events that I mentioned above(and I welcome others brought forth as examples of a point, please share a link), who are the people who are part of the story? Are they stories of “saints” and “monsters” who are essentially “black or white” characters with no gray area to them or are they individuals with challenging environments that they navigate and make mistakes(sometimes gravely serious) from their vantage point? Can we easily put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, say, in the case of someone like George Zimmerman? What is his story? What was he taught about at home about who and what he can trust? What pain shaped him into the character that committed this act? …it’s possible that his past has a good deal of sadness and pain to it. Do you know any young folks like Deryl Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Butler? Is there something you can do now to assist in them making different decisions as they grow?

I’m not trying to excuse inexcusable actions, mind…I’m just trying to look beyond the emotional response to an act that is easy to engage, and think about we can go about the business of preventing the sadness that come from acts like these by healing ourselves and those around us.

We. Need. To. Trust.

A Year in Review…

So, here we are…A year after this space was carved out for you, I and anyone else who dared to explore the world of the unknown…

Where “What you don’t know that you don’t know” reigns firmly and lovingly. I’ll say for my part that this year has been gorgeous in so many ways, and has also provided serious signs of room for growth. Gorgeous because there was a start, and gorgeous because there really have been some good conversations that at least I was able to have with some of you who I might not have otherwise. I got to hear some views that were different from my own. I got to interview some really fun folks on camera and prepare for more opportunities to engage in similar dialogue with others…Challenging because at the end of the day there are very few things that we can presume to say with too much confidence that we “know”…and not everyone is ready to accept that…

I hope this year brings more. I hope to get to know some folks who visit better as we interact in this strangely intimate yet distant and cold space…

So I ask this of you…what would you want to hear more about? What themes and subjects would you like to see more of here? Anything that we should go deeper into?

I am looking to this New Year dawning to bring forth beautiful fruit, and I pray to keep my sights on my intention and purpose. I thank you for joining me on that path…

Much love…


Originally posted at Nineteen Months:

“If love and agreement are manifest in a single family, that family will advance, become illumined and spiritual; but if enmity and hatred exist within it destruction and dispersion are inevitable…”

It is entirely natural that we human creatures feel the urge, need and desire to connect to each other. From our earliest moments as a species, that feeling had been a necessary part of survival. We have had those other humans that we were born into, and then those that we grew and developed around…all essential to our learning about our special experience in this universe. We have moved through stages of feeling tied to the safeguarding and protection of the family unit, to the tribe, to the state, to the nation and most recently to the level of the world. Many of us may still have doubts and concerns about that last part, because we are still maturing into that stage, and all of us have not been entirely good at playing nice in this global sandbox…all too often it looks like the children’s game “King of the Hill”, but I have no doubts that we’ll get there…

“…This is likewise true of a city. If those who dwell within it manifest a spirit of accord and fellowship it will progress steadily and human conditions become brighter whereas through enmity and strife it will be degraded and its inhabitants scattered. In the same way the people of a nation develop and advance toward civilization and enlightenment through love and accord, and are disintegrated by war and strife…”

Like so many of us who have been thrust into “adulthood”, not really knowing for sure what that means and requires of us, being at the level of …read the rest of this article

A Little More on Race

Greetings all,
I’m normally reluctant to approach a loaded topic that easily becomes divisive, but I do want to open this space up to explore on it…

I will say up front that no conversation on race(among MANY other topics) is complete, and would be poorly served to be concluded with shallow and superficial treatments on what the deeper roots and causes are of the funny part of our collective experience that we call race.

Here’s a small bit from a conversation I had with a friend, where he asked me a pointed question about my experience with race:

Below are a couple of video posts from Jay Smooth which speak very well to some of the nuances around race that we should reflect on: Read the rest of this page »


Post originally published at Nineteen Months

e·go (g, gn. pl. e·go)
1. The self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves
2. In psychoanalysis, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality
3 a. An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit
b. Appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem
[New Latin, from Latin, I; see eg in Indo-European roots. Sense 2, translation of German Ich, a special use of ich, I, as a psychoanalytic term.]

The individual units that make up society, each one of us, play a concrete role in how our social reality is shaped. If we buy organic, even the Wal-Marts of the world take notice and change or add to what they stock up on. If we respond to large banks’ taking advantage of people through exorbitant charges by moving your business to local banks and credit unions, the Bank of Americas of the world will trip over themselves to change some long-standing policies. In so many areas of social reality, each individual’s decision makes a difference, and the differences that I’ve thus far described are only economic. Companies like Google have designed a different kind of workplace environment from many companies of their size to improve the creative atmosphere for those doing the innovating, rather than stuffing their employees into bland cell-like cubicles. All this demonstrated to me the power of the individual to shape reality.

The other side of this reality for the individual, though, is what I’ve heard described as “unfettered individualism”, which I understand to be closely related to ideas like “survival of the fittest” and “may the best man win”…a mindset that sees “my driveway”, “my yard”, “my job”, “my space” and the like. In short, ways that we’ve managed to teach ourselves and each other in this country to think of ourselves as …Read the entire post here

Know Thyself?

“When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed freedom, for that is the greater prison. When this release takes place, then one cannot be outwardly imprisoned.”
– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

An element of life that manages to come up countless times in conversations I have is the things on which we place value. Some things are measurable like televisions, video game consoles, household income and the like. Then come the things that are much harder to measure like service, kindness, intelligence, spirit, security love and quality time. Some of these things can be essential to one’s feelings about quality of life; others can feel essential to aspiring to higher standards of behavior and living. I feel that each individual must engage in a meaningful and thorough introspective search in order to identify the needs one has that can determine where value lies.

There are some whose feelings regarding security lie at the base of what they value, and many of the things they feel joy from, connection to, and attraction to have everything to do with how much security comes with the relationships they form and how those relationships Read the rest of this page »

My Human Family

Here’s a post that can also be found at Nineteen Months, where I write occasionally:

The concept of all people on Earth being part of one human family was in my consciousness in my upbringing, but captured my focused attention during my early young adult years. What a curious, yet familiar, notion! How is that possible when we as humans also seem to find any reason imaginable to focus on the differences between us?

So, with this fresh focus and mission to discover all that there was to learn about this “oneness”, I turned to my family for examples of how I might conceptualize elements of this idea as well as gain some concrete examples to draw upon later. All of my idealized and nostalgic notions of family and community scrolled along the hopeful marquee in my mind, making me sigh with joy at the beauty of it all…but my dear friend, Reality, needed a word with me… Read the rest of this page »