11-07-16

Integrity and the Pyramids of Egypt

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Recently I read a trending article about an anti-Trump Republican, attacked at a Trump rally in Nevada. Some members of Trump’s audience kicked, punched and choked him.

Trump was rushed from the stage for protection. This is in sharp contrast to similar situation when someone heckled President Obama. The President defended his heckler’s right to free speech and castigated the crowd for booing him.

It has been stated, “To know someone look at their friends”. To know a candidate, look at their supporters. I think on Tuesday the battlegrounds will be drawn not by Democrat and Republican but rather more by Bravery and Fear, or Connection and Separation.

Integrity is on the north side of the Wisdom Wheel. Its Balancer is Trust in the South. Hillary Clinton may be a flawed individual but I believe her vision and intent is to bring the country together.

When I consider a pyramid, I think of a solid core, a robust shape, one very difficult to overturn. They remind me of people with Integrity, who are not necessarily people, but who can acknowledge their feelings and uncertainties. They try to embrace the truth and can be trusted. These are the brave ones.

Alternatively, flip the pyramid upside down and you get instability and fear. This represents all of the things I observe in Trump supporters. Why fear difference? Because it threatens my uncertain perspective on life.

For our Sweat Lodge ceremonies each month, we build a pyramid of stones for the fire. No matter how many times I’ve done it I remember the power of the pyramid.

The Egyptian four-sided pyramid has five sides, if you include with the base. For me that represents the Balance center stone and the four cornerstones, Right Action, Trust, Higher Purpose and Integrity. Embracing all four quadrants helps me to feel robust like the pyramid. In this way I can accept difference and maybe even embrace it.

Being open is a quality of Integrity, real integrity. In those pyramids of Egypt there are secret tunnels where various Pharaohs were buried. Like my fears buried away deep inside am I ready to find them and bring them into the light like the discovery of Tutankhamun in 1922.

On Spirituality and Politics

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Who will you vote for in the upcoming elections? Better yet, how are you going to make up your mind?

To be honest, I’m undecided. But the Wisdom Wheel is helping me define the issues I care about and determine the qualities I want in a president. For instance, Integrity, Trust, Higher Purpose and Right Action — are these Laws reflected in the candidates?

I want more Balance in the United States. I’d like to see fewer tax dollars going to the defense and military and more to infrastructure, health and education. Let’s combat the growing income gap. I want corporations to pay their fair share in taxes, I want offshore loopholes  and astronomical campaign contributions ended. Let’s have affordable college tuition and a single payer health care system. Who in this field of candidates can deliver these solutions?

The stock markets are tumbling, the bottom is falling out of the oil industry and everyday more Syrians flee from Putin bombs, adding to the 12 million refugees. Where are the peacemakers, the statesmen, the diplomats, the visionaries? Instead we hear smarmy comments, adolescent schoolkid ire, and pandering to the right and left.

I thought it strange that few candidates spoke about the Bundys’ occupation of federal land in Oregon. President Obama dealt with it with minimal bloodshed. I struggle to imagine any of the 2016 presidential candidates handling this challenge or any others I mentioned well.

Some people believe those of us who work in spirituality should avoid politics. I certainly agree with the separation of church and state. The Wisdom Wheel is not a political tool, but it can be a lens to analyze political candidates and issues. I’d love to hear how you’re judging the presidential hopefuls.

Dispersive_prism

So Many Perspectives

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During childhood visits to my grandmother’s house, I was fascinated by her dresser and its three mirrors.

I’d align the two outer mirrors across from each other, then peer into one to behold an infinite number of images repeating on and on, seemingly forever. At that young age, I didn’t know how mirrors create and guide laser beams, but I’d learn that lesson later during my engineering studies.

We can align the Wisdom Wheel to our Journey through life, too. When we look at the Laws or values, what do we see? An infinite number of possibilities honed down to a few key principles. There are 36 Laws on the Wheel and we can look at each Law through the prism of the Wisdom Wheel itself.

For example, looking at the Integrity stone, I ask myself: “Am I in Right Relationship with Integrity?”– basically, do my actions follow my words? I know it’s easier to talk about Integrity than embody it.

Or I gaze at the Law of the Self and try to see it through the Law of Compassion. “Do I have Compassion for myself? How do I Balance my Self Compassion in Right Relationships?”

Of course, it’s much easier to go through the motion of the principles of the Wisdom Wheel than practice them. Embracing the Shadow, or Journeying to a place of Forgiveness for Self and others are no simple tasks. It’s difficult to personify all the Laws, all the time.

We’re all works in progress. I will continue to grow with the guidance of the Wisdom Wheel, becoming more than mirrors reflecting into eternity. Ready for whatever comes next.

Drinking water

Flint Water Crisis through the Wisdom Wheel

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Michigan politicians have been apologizing over their decisions on water sources, after corrosive chemicals in the Flint River enabled lead to leach into drinking water. Now the lead content is far higher than levels mandated by federal regulations. Many are sick, most of them children.

If we look at this horrific situation through the lens of the Wisdom Wheel, we can see the process was fraught with problems. The Higher Purpose of Flint’s Water Authority was to provide clean and safe drinking water to the city. Do these officials have Integrity? How can the population of Flint ever Trust them again? When officials place fiscal considerations above societal ones, the people — their constituents — become the victims.

Sadly this scenario plays out in communities across the US where jobs are sent abroad, local government functions are privatized, and decisions that benefit the few are made at the expense of many. If more government officials lived by the Laws of the Wisdom Wheel I’m confident wiser choices would result.