Sunday, December 26, 2010

Two Letters to the editor in Sunday's Los Alamos Monitor

Posted: Sunday, 26 December 2010; Updated: Saturday, 15 January 2011

In today's Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Monitor there are two letters germane to the LADDOF project.

One is from LAGGRI member John Diennes, who takes to task the county council for having its priorities "backwards". He addresses the issue of marginalizing local citizens in the process making its decisions. His point is clear and well made. It addresses the issue of PCE (potential creative energy) that LADDOF is focusing on in the upcoming open forum, scheduled for next fall.

The second letter is from film maker Paul Ratner of Los Angeles about a film he has made about a man called The Caveman of Atomic City, who was found living in a cave on LANL property some years ago. The film can be viewed by clicking on Yes, Micromike's story is strange, but he talks about reconciling science and spirituality in terms he calls "gravionics", which belongs in our open forum project as one of the extreme views invited by the deep democracy process. I have written to the film maker and hope to hear from him. Who knows where Micromike is living these days?

On Monday, 27 December, referring to the previous blog

          Saijin said...
          I read from their [Tikkun Magazine] website header:
I read from this blog header: 
The Legacy of Los Alamos, atomic city ITS EFFECT ON OUR COMMUNITY AND THE WORLD
The thought comes to me in the form of a guiding principle I hold dear: 
Love begins at Home. 
JND posted, “I am thinking that an evaluation of those historical examples that have succeeded and those that have not will identify key factors that both support and undercut rebranding efforts.” The thoughts followed the idea about re-branding Los Alamos. 
Unity divides into polarity. Identifying this polarity is the beginning point—the understanding of the duality that requires the healing, repairing and transforming which will lead into the re-branding—the desired outcome. And the two shall become one. Rebirth. Transformation. Never by force—only through love. 
John Diennes “…who takes to task the county council for having its priorities ‘backwards’. He addresses the issue of marginalizing local citizens in the process making its decisions. His point is clear and well made.” 
MicroMike explains or clarifies Einstein’s E=MC2 –which he claims was Einstein’s true desire to understand energy, i.e. that it is not the atomic bomb but rather it is LIFE. “Love is the actions of a sentient being whereby they give more energy than they take, and they make more connections of gravity than they break.” He then speaks of gravionics--“the first model of science that’s big enough for love.” 
This is the re-branding that needs to take place—the bringing together of the two so that they are greater than they ever could be separately. A synergistic effect—a transformation. For now, these two aspects lie in duality.
As president & CEO of newly formed LADDOF, Inc. (Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum), Eugene Kovalenko has extended an invitation to one of the self-identified opposition to come into discourse and begin healing: “I have invited Greg Mello to join our board of advisors in the spirit of deep democracy and its overarching spiritual purpose.”
To love we must respect the shadow aspect which is present. It pleads for understanding. It will sit obstinately until understanding is achieved. Not superficial. No fix-it gimmicks. True understanding. When the shadow is known for what it is, it will give forth the gift that is now hidden. This hidden light—this gift which comes from such ‘shadow-work’ or healing—is the key to the transformation which is desired by both the light and the dark. Together, again, in Unity.
I will add this to the discussion already underway. I believe that the two coming together begins with a willingness to be vulnerable. Vulnerability includes authenticity—an idea for which Eugene has invested his life force. I might suggest a TED video to begin such a consideration for Los Alamos: [Click here.]
Saijin Jack

Saturday, December 25, 2010

LASG's Greg Mello in Tikkun Magazine about "New START" treaty w/r to Los Alamos

Posted: Christmas 2010; Updated: 27 December 2010

No sooner had the last papers for incorporating LADDOF been submitted to the NMPRC (New Mexico Public Regulation Commission) and the IRS, than I received an email from Tikkun Magazine containing Greg Mello's article about the US Senate's ratification of the New START treaty. (See the article here.) Realizing how important Mello's remarks were, I forwarded the email to selected friends and colleagues, since it seemed a perfect topic, albeit a larger issue than originally envisioned, for setting the stage for next fall's Deep Democracy open forum.

Following my introductory remarks to the forwarded email are several responsible replies, which I will continue to add as they come in. I will not identify senders except for initials unless they give me specific permission.

On December 24, 2010, Eugene forwarded the Tikkun article to selected friends and colleagues with this introduction:
Dear Los Alamos friends and colleagues,
When I saw the name of the author of the Tikkun Magazine article [in the link above], I knew it needed to be posted on the LADDOF (Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum) and possibly the LAGRI (Los Alamos Government Review Initiative) websites.  I have known author Greg Mello since 1993, when I was hired as a mediation consultant to the nuclear waste [management] group at LANL and Mello was the chief antagonist of LANL as founder of the Los Alamos Study Group (LASG). His voice surely needs to be heard at any public LADDOF event. I know no one more knowledgeable of the hazards of the nuclear question than Greg. I also believe that his personal motives need to be challenged. If he were present at our currently scheduled open forum next fall, he would add immeasurably to the discourse.
Note especially the paragraph below beginning with "The implications for the New Mexico laboratories are complex" and ending with "…The best days of Los Alamos are in the past."
In my new role as president & CEO of LADDOF, Inc., I have invited Greg Mello to join our board of advisors in the spirit of deep democracy and its overarching spiritual purpose. [He refused our initial invitation late last spring to join a proposed LAOF steering committee at the beginning stages of this project saying, "...we are not on the same wavelength.  Three of us looked at the proposal over breakfast on Saturday and followed some of the links, and I must say frankly it is just not my, and our, cup of tea at all.  Couldn't be farther afield from our interests."  I hope to persuade Greg to change his mind, since I can't believe his personal spiritual aspirations are so far afield from ours]. 
If you have comments, suggestions or concerns about this decision, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Eugene Kovalenko
PS. I have bcc'd others who may be interested and/or affected by this decision.

Preliminary comments as of Christmas Day.

On 12/24/10 the following comments came in:

1. From CHJ, an international PR man:
"A compelling analysis. To have worked so hard to have accomplished so little: the substance of political compromise, and evidence of the lack of political will. To say this victory was pyrrhic dishonors the losses of Pyrrhus, who at least was willing to sacrifice to win."

2. From GJJr, LANL technician (ret):
"Thanks for Greg Mello's interesting article from Tikkun Magazine.  Is Greg Jewish?... Anyway, while not interested in actively participating in LADDOF, please feel free to send me this kind of perspective, which looks beneath the surface of the news media's superficial and often biased presentations - as long as not too long / too much."

3. From BB, LANL physicist (ret):
 "Thank you for keeping me informed. I refused to work on weapons research when I was a beginning scientist,  even when Edward Teller attempted to con me into its web of deceit and moral degradation. It was the right decision for me then, and I have never regretted it even though many opportunities at the Labs were closed to me."

4. From NEK, a close relative: 
"...You know, these days nothing seems quite like it is supposed to be. Now I'm wondering if it ever was what I thought it was supposed to be... I feel like a caveman in a complex world of dangerous technology run by other cavemen. 

Can't we just be grateful for running water, indoor plumbing and sanitary septic systems without having to threaten the planet with nuclear disaster? Isn't this just another shell game & tricky way of redistributing significant wealth to another racket of special interests?

Aren't there better ways to defend and protect ones community and country? Think of what all of this money could do for alternative, sustainable energy technology which to me seems to be the key to a successful global economic future.

If we're not fighting and/or posturing over oil & gas supplies, what then would a significant portion of our military & bases be needed & good for?

And what does this do to the shift of wealth that has been occurring all this time from oil consuming nations to oil producing nations and those in the industry? Do we really need these kinds of jobs?

I often think of what the world would be like if we all didn't have to throw so much of our hard earned pay down the petroleum rat hole.

It seems little different than being a heroin addict... but what do I know, I'm just a caveman..."

5. From JND, an internationally known psychotherapist. [ENK Note: this, for me, is the most insightful and useful response so far]
"...Regarding the central issue here, whether START is progressive or regressive, I cannot speak, because I have no special knowledge in this area. That the military signed off on this should mean more restraints on Russian nuclear weapons, more support for the development of US weapons, or both. What we do know is that both the Russian government and the US government/military were strongly in favor of its ratification, as were most of the other governments of the world, to the best of my knowledge. It is widely viewed as lowering the risk of nuclear proliferation. I also know that it put a lower cap on the total number of warheads allowed on both sides, and that sounds like a move in the right direction. I also know that START puts verification procedures in place on both sides that increase national and global security. That START is a Christmas tree for the nuclear arms industry, full of promises for the development of future weapons systems, is probably also true. 

Regarding the impact on Los Alamos, which Mello views as negative, I tend to think about this issue in terms of Wilber's four quadrants, particularly the internal collective quadrant of culture, values, interpretations, meanings, and world-views. This is because I see a gigantic disconnect between largely secret and unaccountable military/industrial culture and that of the broader culture.  This is a sub-category of the broader disconnect between those who have money and power and those who do not. While this disconnect seems to be an ongoing part of social reality, it can become smaller and those with money and power can be held more accountable, as it is obvious that they need to be.

My point is a very cynical one, and I hope I'm wrong.  It is that changing the culture of Los Alamos (or any other community relying on huge government projects) is in many ways a Quixotic pursuit.  That is because the financial security, and therefore the lifestyles, of too many people in the community are derived from a continuing pact with the Devil. Pointing this out to people isn't going to do any good. Anything that is going to upset the steady stream of jobs due to tax dollars and government welfare programs to corporations will be viewed as a threat. The question that is the elephant in the room that no one asks when they are in such a position, is "How do I maintain my sense of self-esteem under such conditions?" This is not only a question for individuals, but a question entire communities end up asking, as some in Los Alamos, spearheaded by you, are currently doing. It is not a comfortable or easy question.  It is a threatening question, because most of the audience doesn't believe it's legitimate.  These people deny they or their community have problems with self-esteem. They point to new jobs, patriotism, higher standards of living, and better local services because they are demanded by the type of highly educated employees that the arms industries attract. 

If Los Alamos had made its money and no longer was dependent on government largess, it would be in a better position to question its heritage and its culture. But it's not over.  Maybe that's Mello's point. It's like talking to an addict who is still actively using.

It is one thing to get together to share perspectives on the evolving identity of Los Alamos and its citizens. It's another issue entirely to change one's own self-image or to succeed in re-branding ones' community. History is litered with examples of notorious places that have not succeed in rebranding themselves: Sodom and Ghemorrah, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Bronx, Detroit, Israel. 

What to do? If you are interested in pursuing such issues, you might look around and see if any other historically notorious places have had any success at rebranding themselves and then see how they did it. Rome was historically notorious but it was also glorious, which most places, including Los Alamos are not. But Berlin has succeeded in rebranding itself, with enormous effort and many national and international factors working to help it do so. Both Rome and Berlin had the good fortune to remain centers of evolving cultures, allowing them to develop a narrative that transcended brutality.  Most of the other places I mentioned did not continue to evolve, or did not evolve beyond their brutality. 

I am thinking that an evaluation of those historical examples that have succeeded and those that have not will identify key factors that both support and undercut rebranding efforts. I do, however, come back to the culture of a place, both locally, in the eyes of community members and in the eyes of the larger world community. However, as long as any place continues to clearly be willing to prostitute itself for government money for weapons of mass destruction it is going to be difficult for any honest relabeling in the eyes of others to occur. The best that can be hoped for in that situation is that locals find ways to define themselves differently that are good and genuine. An example that comes to mind that may be unintentionally offensive as a comparison, but I will use nonetheless because of its clarity, would be a stripper or a prostitute who prides herself on being a good mother or working at a homeless shelter one day a week. She is doing important stuff for her community and for herself, that legitimitizes her self-worth, in the face of the glaring fact that in major areas of her life she is selling out. 

This is, of course, the human predicament. We are all prostitutes in one way or another, but most don't have the courage to admit it. In fact, most have the audacity to label themselves as glorious, as politicians and narcissistic personality disordered lovers do, and have the charisma to get others to buy the presentation and ignore the dog shit inside. This works for a while, but generally not for the long run. But then, most people are interested in the short run, not the long run.  People have to resolve short run worries to have the luxury to worry about long-run issues, like how the legacy of their community is going to appear in world history. 

How to successfully re-brand Los Alamos? Perhaps make it a beacon for a counter-cultural inspirational theme? Like what? Sony Bono made Palm Springs into a yearly film festival mecca. It's called "changing the subject." Maybe that's what the Democracy forums can explore - what can we agree to change the subject to? It needs to be something that attracts well-heeled afficianados of something. Maybe a regional yearly green technology exposition? Get all those scientists at the plants to volunteer green projects for Los Alamos? 

Please pardon the somewhat cynical and critical nature of some of my remarks! I have always been a believer that realism at the risk of offense is necessary to rebuild anybody or anything."

On Sunday, 26 December, the following response(s) came in:

6. From BSK in Sweden:
"I have read through this article. Oyh, what gloomy stuff! And this article aught to be circulated in regular papers and written for everyone to take part of. What is the circulation of Tikkun and who reads it? Do the people who should read this kind of stuff really get an opportunity to read it? Is the magazine Tikkun only for super-intellectuals? And I also read the comments to Mello's article on the LADDOF blog. Clifton really doesn't seem to care enough to be involved. I like what Nick writes. But Joe's! Wow! I love it. What a mind and what insight and for me who're not used to thinking deeply about such things, what a stimulating response. If I, who is just an average individual, am stimulated by Joe's thinking, why shouldn't this information, if published in appropriate media and in appropriate portions, appeal to a broad public? Don't you think Charlie Rose would find this stuff very intersting? How about Kosmos Mag and Yes! [magazine]? Wouldn't they be interested in this?"

7. From Greg Mello in Albuquerque:
"I appreciate your kind reading of that rushed essay -- really a press release, kind of, that got converted into an essay by the press of time and lack of need to address the basic facts of the situation, since presumably everyone already had them.  

"With regrets, I can't accept your kind offer.  I am up to my eyeballs in critical work here.  Perhaps we can say it is work of a spiritual nature, if you will, or at least a not-yet-fully-sincere approximation to it. 

We usually must wash our mouths with soap if we use that kind of language -- "spiritual" --  or anything like it, and watch our wallets when we hear it. 

We need not connect with the Mind of God as we cannot leave it.  I suppose that is Bankei Zen, and he had no major successors.  Still, we use it and cannot put another head on top of the one we have. 

If your friends can halt CMRR-NF -- show me your commitment, let me read of it and see it -- or if you can dramatically decrease coal burning in this state, by more than 5% per year and are willing to sacrifice heavily to get there, I will be with you, with gratitude.  Four or five people are enough, at first.  You and your friends have the resources, the connections, and the worldly knowledge.  That will be deep democracy; it is incompatible with nuclearism and of course it is incompatible with global warming."

On Monday, December 27, the following came in:

8. From Saijin (see here for her comments to this and the following post)

9. From David B of Santa Fe:
"So good to see your e-mail and feel all the excitement of the project!!
lots of love, David"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Directors, Officers and Advisors of the Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum, Inc.

Posted: 23 Dec 2010; Updated: 

Today (Dec 23, 2010) was the deadline for submitting the first report of LADDOF, Inc. to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. In a weird synchronism I am pleased to say that this was accomplished two days ago on the winter solstice, the darkest night of the year, December 21, when there was also an historic total eclipse, the legendary "blood moon".

As of Dec 23, 2010, here are the current directors, officers and advisors for the corporation:

Board of Directors:
1. James N. Bradbury, Ph.D. (Santa Fe)
2. Eugene N. Kovalenko, Ph.D. (Los Alamos)
3. Birgitta S. Kovalenko, MFA (Los Alamos)
4. Laura Ellen Walton, MFA (Los Alamos)
5. Joseph N. Dillard, Ph.D. (Berlin)

1. Eugene N. Kovalenko, President and CEO
2. Laura Ellen Walton, Secretary (Founder, Los Alamos Government Review Initiative)
3. Matthew Schmidt, Treasurer  (President & CEO, Los Alamos Schools Credit Union)

Board of Advisors:
1. Edmund Storms, Ph.D., LANL Chemist (Ret.) (Santa Fe)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My recent dreams about LADDOF, Inc.

Posted: Sunday, 19 December 2010: Updated:  24 December 2010

On Friday night (17 Dec), in response to LADDOF director Joseph Dillard's question on how I would envision the "reverse divorce of science and religion" proposal for the Los Alamos community  (see previous post), I had the following dream:
  I'm alone driving a car in a tight cul-de-sac with other cars parked in it, so that that I can't make the turn and the squeeze is so tight that the car's front end rises up and is about to fall on one or more of those obstructing parked cars. I don't know what is going to happen next and find myself weeping as I awaken.
                        CREEI score: +?+++-//--?/++?  (Anticipatory traumatic)
I sent the dream to my wife Birgitta, now visiting her family in Sweden, and to friend Joseph in Berlin for comment. 

Birgitta responded:
 "....What a clear dream about your feelings!"
"Nothing much comes up for me, but what does is purely projective and says more about me than about you. First, I feel from the car dream that you may be holding this LADDOF project too tightly. You may be putting too much pressure on yourself to do more and be more than 'works.'  Sometimes such pressures constipate the process.  I would suggest laughing at the absurdity of the situation, of the absurdity of rational scientists letting themselves get pushed around by their fears, the absurdity of being the birthplace of nuclear holocaust, of the absurdity of thinking that science and religion ever got divorced in the first place, of worrying about not being relevant or significant. Don't worry about that - you aren't! None of us are! And of course in other ways, we are - just not in the ways we want to be or think that we should be..."
I love Joseph's suggestion to laugh at the absurdities!! But then we need to learn to work together in ways that are NOT absurd.

On Tuesday, 21 December, I had a follow-up dream, called "Obama and the Old Ones", which clearly reflects Dr. Dillard's observations above. See his Integral Deep Listening interview here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

First Open Forum postponed

Posted: 18 December 2010; Updated: 20 December 2010.

Since receiving a message from Deep Democracy Institute director Max Schupbach on Thanksgiving from Africa proposing a first open forum on April 10, he has asked for a postponement until the fall. Here are our most recent exchanges:

On December 16, Max wrote:
Dear Eugene
hi and love from Portland. We are settling in after the jetlag, and enjoy recuperating. Thanks for the great film advice, we look forward to checking that out. We have news about the open forum also. We unfortunately have to postpone it, because of a change in our travel plans, that is out of our control. We had hoped to come to Albuquerque on our way to Denver to Worldwork,, but instead now will have to go to Europe before, sorry about that. we hope we can come up with an alternative date in the fall of next year and will let you know as soon as possible.
much love and till soon

On December 17, Eugene responded:
Hi Max,
Disappointed to postpone our first LADDOF event, but let's look at it as a blessing in disguise. It will give us more time to solidify our newly formed corporate base and introduce ourselves locally. I took a look at the Denver WorldWork link that you sent ( I think my wife Birgitta and I will attend perhaps with one or two other LADDOF, Inc. board members. That would be a good place to meet!
After my first reading of Arny's [Arnold Mindell] new book ProcessMind and your Amazon review of it, I wrote Arny thus:
In your book you speculate on reversing the divorce between science and religion that occurred 400 years ago with the advent of classical physics. I say what better time than now and in this place of Los Alamos to propose such a remarriage? I realized that this is the overarching objective for the LADDOF project. Don't you agree?
Arny replied:

… yes yes yes, bringing science and religion together is the BIG, perhaps biggest project for this century! Big hug, love arny

That could be the overarching theme for the first open forum next fall and would allow us to invite representatives from all the many religious and philosophical institutions that exist in this heroic/notorious town [that Garry Wills writes about in his book] Bomb Power.
What do you think?
With love, Eugene

Later that same day (17 Dec) Max responded:
Hi everyone,
thanks for understanding, we were disappointed as well. Love the topic, and the location for it. Really, made my day. Worldwork will be spectacular, and it will be great to have you there.
much love for now

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Call from London Documentary film maker

Posted:  15 December 2010; Updated: 17 December

This morning (Wednesday, 15 Dec) I returned a call from Sam, a London based documentary film maker, who called to determine my availability in February for an interview regarding a film documentary based on British historian David Stafford's book Spies Beneath Berlin. He was interested to know why I was calling so early (~0500) to which I explained I wanted to return the call well before preparing for a workshop for seniors later in the morning. He pressed to know more about the workshop and became even more interested when I mentioned its connection to an upcoming open forum regarding the legacy of Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project. Perhaps these three projects will evolve into something synergistic?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Letter from Deep Democracy Institute director

Posted: 26 November 2010; Updated: 15 December.

On Thanksgiving, Max Schupbach, director of the Deep Democracy Institute in Portland, Oregon, emailed me from Africa.

Dear Eugene
hi and love from intense Nairobi. In case you are interested and think this could be a good idea, ellen and I could facilitate an open forum on Sunday night April 10th in Los Alamos. In case you and your team think this would be a good direction, we will help with setting it up.
Here is the conditions under which we work
a) we are responsible for the facilitation, all facilitation questions including possible additional team members, etc. are in our court
b) we help you with writing a public invitation that we can send out
c) we advise in terms of brief open statement speakers
d) we co-sponsor the event with our logo, so that your organization and ddi are organizing partners, which will give it more impact.
if you feel this is a fun arrangement, we are into it, but we also soooo understand if at this point, the whole project has a history where this is no longer possible or does add value, in which case we  are equally thrilled to drop it and support you just spiritually.
Please answer me personally and I would like to finish this up between you and me so that we have a consensus, with copying others into this email. It will take less energy.

sending lots of love

We accepted his proposal at once and are now working out the details, which include getting the incorporation process completed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sedona Precedent of the LAGRI Experiment

Sedona Afternoon
Posted: 15 November 2010.
Updated: 14 November 2012

November LAGRI Meeting
At their monthly meeting on Sunday, 14 November 2010, I was invited by LAGRI (Los Alamos Government Review Initiative) president Ellen Walton to make a presentation about our LADDOF (Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum) project, which included introducing those in attendance to an experimental dreamwork process. Specifically, my objective for the meeting was to introduce the concept of "potential creative energy" and have those present experience a practical application.

I began the presentation by writing "LADDOF" on the upper left and "PCE"on the upper right hand side of a white board and then engaging their hearts with a song and a poem before engaging their heads with the CREEI Process.

Sedona Surprise
I discovered this application years ago when invited by a board member to present to her 17-member board of a national philanthropic foundation meeting in Sedona, Arizona. Their purpose was to make annual strategic and budgetary decisions at a secluded place. Thinking there was at least half a day to present a workshop for that meeting, I became anxious by the end of the day when there was less than half an hour remaining and I hadn't yet been invited to speak.

The board chairman then turned to me and said, "Dr. Kovalenko, you have 20 minutes to give us an image."  Wow! What the hell to do? Spontaneously it came to mind to have everyone recall a recent emotional event, whether inner or outer, preferably a dream, and give it a one or two word title. There was no need disclose the contents of the event. Only one person could not recall a dream. I quickly wrote down the titles as they were called out from all 17 participants and asked the Twelve CREEI Questions, which are designed to be answered "yes", "no" or "uncertain". To process the results of this questionnaire one looks first at answers other than "yes" to get an indication of where to focus first to seek "intra-personal balance". 

It became abundantly clear, while asking these questions and registering how many hands rose with "no" or "uncertain" answers, that there was much hidden fear and anger within the group as a whole. When I pointed this out they were surprised. It was a new experience for all of them except for the board member who had invited me to attend. But they were open to my suggestion that unless they first focused on the emotions that they were unaware of at that meeting, it was unrealistic to expect the board to make responsible strategic decisions for the foundation.  That made immediate sense to this intelligent, well motivated group and they reorganized their agenda to attend to these "meta issues" the very next day and before making the decisions they were there to make. I left the meeting that night feeling I had done my job after all, but more importantly having been taught by that group a new and important application of a process I thought I had understood well enough already!

The LAGRI Experiment
With that preamble I asked all the LAGRI members at Sunday's meeting to recall a dream and to give it a title, while I posted their responses on a white board. All participants responded with a dream. For the purpose of this demonstration it did not matter how old the dream was. It was enough to take the first such memory that came to mind for each person there. Below are the results as they were posted on the white board: (click on chart to enlarge):

LAGRI CREEI Process Experiment
Note the "Patrn" (pattern) column. The four typical CREEI patterns are:
1. Transformative (all yes answers);
2. Motivational (one or two "-" or "?" answers);
3. Anticipatory (three or more "-" or "?" answers in the first six questions);
4. Traumatic (three or more "-" or "?" answers in the last six questions).

The results above were similar to the Sedona experience. All but two patterns scored "Anticipatory Traumatic", which simply meant that there was a lot of "potential creative energy" (PCE) among this group. [Note: "PCE" is only a recently developed concept, which had not yet crystallized for the Sedona experience.] I believe this potential creative energy needs acknowledgement, expression and processing by group interaction before making more important decisions beyond the group.

If on reflection those who attended the meeting see value in this concept of becoming aware of their PCE, then we have a new opportunity to develop group awareness, which can then be applied in creative directions. For example, if LAGRI would take this process further, it could set an example for the County Council, as well as other organizations and groups in the Los Alamos community. This would be a significant way to illustrate the purpose of the Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum.

In this context, and with the technical expertise of this community in mind, one might consider the metaphor of the laser, where scattered light of various wavelengths is brought into coherence to generate a focused, more powerful beam.

For a more detailed explanation of the CREEI Process, click here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

We are incorporating!

At the LAGRI meeting of October 3, it became clear to me that our LADDOF project needed its own non-profit vehicle. Ellen Walton, president of LAGRI (retiring from that position after the New Year), has agreed to be one of our founding directors, along with Jim Bradbury, Joseph Dillard and myself.

Arny Mindell and Max Schupbach of the Deep Democracy Institute in Portland, Oregon, have given us their enthusiastic support in doing this, which is great news! To help us get up and running we have engaged the law firm of Patel and Alumit of Encino, California.

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 24, 2010

LAGRI forum reflections

Posted: 24 September 2010; Updated:

A superb irony! 

Of all the questions that Geoff Rodgers, one of six county council candidates, could have picked at random from the box of 40 or so submitted and qualified questions from town people at the September 12 LAGRI forum in Fuller Lodge, it was mine: 
 How can our community harness the potential creative energy in those who are currently marginalized, dismissed or ignored by other citizens and institutions of this community? [This ignored potential creative energy manifests itself in many ways, including low morale, high suicide rate, anti-establishment rage, conflict between government and citizen groups, etc.]
Not only did Geoff not know the question beforehand, he didn’t know who submitted it, which was me, a personal friend and former employee when he was the LA Schools transportation supervisor several years ago! [His remarks can be viewed on the Pac 8 video of the forum at 56:19 minutes into the program.]

His answer could not have been more to the point in acknowledging the importance of the question. "County councilors are citizens first", he said, "and public servants second." And he would surely be open to concerns from those who have been dismissed, marginalized, ignored or otherwise discounted.

This synchronicity bodes well for the deep democracy process we propose to introduce at the next regular LAGRI planning meeting on October 3. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The LAGRI Opportunity

Posted: 18 September 2010; Updated: 20 September 2010.  
In reflecting on the turmoil continuously reported in the world, including political, technological and natural catastrophes, as well as religious persecution, I am at the same time aware of centers of light such as Ken Wilber's Integral Life center in Colorado, the Lorian and Yes! foundations in Washington, Esalen in Northern California, Findhorn in northern Scotland, the New Earth Foundation in Arizona, Arnold Mindell's World Work center in Oregon, Kosmos Associates in Massachusetts and other spiritually enlightened centers whose names I do not now recall.

In the face of this chaos and contradiction, I can envision one potential center of light that could have a uniquely symbolic global impact if it could transform its "Bomb Power" legacy into a spiritual transformation. That is the Los Alamos community at large. After all, it was in Los Alamos that the bomb changed the world with the astonishing achievement of the Manhattan Project and its on-going corrupting consequences. Historian Garry Wills' 2010 book
Bomb Power rigorously details this project, its legacy and its continuing global influence. Wouldn't it be wonderful if, instead of continuing corrupting waves of influence, a new kind of influence could radiate from this place?

In his celebrated 1987 book The Different Drum, psychiatrist M. Scott Peck proclaims "In and through community lies the salvation of the world!" He then presents a model of the four stages of community, beginning with "pseudo Community" (stage I), moving into "chaos" (stage II), then "emptying" (stage III) and finally "true community" (stage IV).

When I read physicist/psychologist Arnold Mindell's The Deep Democracy of Open Forums earlier this year and at the same time read Garry Wills' Bomb Power, I realized that Mindell's model presented us in Los Alamos with the methodology to negotiate from stage I community to stage IV.

That's where LAGRI comes in.

At their recent successful Fuller Lodge forum, I witnessed and participated with a small, highly motivated grass-roots group of people, who implemented a promising first step in a vision for improving this community. This is the kind of established group that LA County Councilman Robert Gibson suggested months earlier that our LADDOF (Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open forum) core group find and join. We think we can offer an expansion of LAGRI's mission statement to include the closed forum just successfully presented and explore expanding that inclusion to the deep democracy of
open forums.. This would tap into and utilize the "potential creative energy" of those in this community who feel marginalized, dismissed and ignored.

Our LADDOF approach acknowledges and includes this latter group.

In the coming weeks and months we hope to persuade LAGRI to participate in implementing Mindell's deep democracy methodology and to bring both Mindell and Wills to the first Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum sometime next spring or summer.

I have personally contacted Arnold Mindell about this idea and he is enthusiastic about our laying the ground work that would bring him and his skilled facilitators here. Jim Bradbury of our core group has personally spoken to Garry Wills about this idea, who has also expressed interest. Both these internationally celebrated men are waiting for substantive results and steps to grow the project into something that they can participate in. To have such men keynote a Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum would unquestionalbly capture international media attention.

On September 21, Zhenya said:
You have mentioned a lot of "light centers" around the country and the world, but not one religious institution. Is that deliberate? If so, why?

On September 21, Eugene replied:
Yes, it was deliberate and it applies to all ecclesiastical religious institutions that I know anything about, which includes Christian, Mormon, Jewish and Muslim organized religions. The conflicts and disagreements each has toward and about the others, as well as among themselves, are legion. This is puzzling and ironic. For me this is exemplified by a recent post (July 30, 2010) in my Orthodox Odyssey blog. I cannot help but think of the passage in St. Luke, which seems appropriate here:

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he had sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:17-19)

This scripture refers to the prophet Esaias, who is acknowledged by all the above mentioned religions.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Totem Pole for Los Alamos? A suggestive symbol

Posted: 2 September 2010; Updated: 12 September 2010

Russian Chestnut Tree
In reading the next to last chapter in Arnold Mindell's Earth-based Psychology a few weeks ago, particularly the section on Black Elk speaks (which discusses totem poles), I recalled Jim Bradbury's dream about a "Magnificent dead Russian tree" the night after our first core group meeting in March 2010. (We all had agreed to pay attention to our dreams after that first meeting.) I wondered if in his dream Jim was preparing that magnificent dead Russian tree to become an eventual totem pole for Los Alamos.

Jim hadn't given it such thought until my recent question. But then he seemed to get excited and asked me to set up a meeting with our core group next week to discuss it. Here is the idea below, which captures my thoughts and some more of Jim's to bring them to the discussion table when our group is scheduled to meet on September 14.

In a discussion of his dream months earlier, Jim described it as a chestnut tree, to which I asked, "Did you know the chestnut tree is the national tree of Ukraine?" He did not. So, I suggest the tree come from Ukraine, perhaps Kiev, as the origin of the "Holy Russian Empire", which had converted to Christianity in 988. I subsequently discovered that the life span of chestnut trees is 100 to 300 years. This suggests that we choose the oldest dead or fallen tree possible (it must not be killed!), which would have witnessed the flowering of Russian and Ukrainian literature beginning with Pushkin and Shevchenko, respectively, in the early 1800s and, of course more recently, seen the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. Russians and Ukrainians will no doubt appreciate the symbolism.

To honor the dream, I believe Jim must make the final selection of the tree, whether from Russia or Ukraine. He may need the help of Russian and/or Ukrainian experts to assess the quality of a particular tree. It should be as long and large as possible in order to contain the images that will be carved into it from First American artisans at its base as well as Hispanic (descendants of the Conquistadors) in its midsection and "Anglos" (representing the Manhattan Project) nearer (but not on) the top. Selecting and importing the tree may be difficult and expensive, unless we secure the approval and endorsement of the governments involved.

Furthermore, I suggest that the blank totem be located on local pueblo sacred land closest to, if not within the boundaries of Los Alamos County, which would require consultation with and approval of local Native American elders and decision-makers. If the blank totem were "planted" first and sculpted later, then the artisans would have to work on it in place as the stories unfold, perhaps working simultaneously at different places. This would require discussion and consensus among all parties involved about the design, values, history, placement, etc. of all images. Jim has suggested that this location become a park containing other significant artwork to represent the history and values of this place. Perhaps the top of the totem would stay blank for the time being as the community comes together on the project and becomes aware of its "Big U" identity and direction. This is where the Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum would be valuable in helping the community raise awareness of itself, its history, its values and its future, including its "potential creative energy".

On September 6, Joseph Dillard wrote:
Do the Pueblos, Zunis, or other local tribes have any indigenous community art that is meant to accomplish what the totem pole does for the peoples of the NW?  You'll make points with those who wish to appear politically correct in your town if you not only honor the natives, but do it with some "authorized" usage of their local tradition.  [next sentence deleted 27 Jun 11]

Monday, August 30, 2010

Searching for "Del Clawson-type" People

Posted: 30 August 2010; Updated: 22 December 2010

In considering "Del Clawson-type people", I wondered what that could mean as I reflected on my April 15, 2010 dream where my mother visits me, takes an interest in the Los Alamos Open Forum and advises me to consider "Del Clawson's people". Was it primarily because Del was a Mormon as well as my mother's favorite first cousin? That couldn't be it. Was it because he was a popular, effective politician? That was closer to the mark. Perhaps it was that he described himself as a "George Romney Republican with a Barry Goldwater attitude" and was elected time and again from a town and district in Southern California, which was heavily Democrat and Black and never lost an election? Yes! That's it! He was trusted by his constituents, his family and his church and never lost that trust to his dying day.

In Joseph Dillard's IDL terms Congressman Del Clawson scores 10 on all the core qualities of confidence, compassion, wisdom, peace of mind, acceptance and witnessing. These are the kind of political/social activists that the LADDOF could use most. Who are they? Where are they? How do we contact them?

I'm still looking....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Letter from dream worker Joseph Dillard

Posted: 28 August 2010; Updated:
Dr. Joseph Dillard

Having read this blog to date and made several comments on the previous post, Joseph Dillard sent this introduction to his essay on Dream Politics, which is from his Integral Deep Listening writings.

Introduction, Dream Politics
We need to integrate our inner and outer worlds.  Many breakdowns in both self-governance and the governance of others can be traced to a belief that these two dimensions of our experience have no practical relationship to each other.  From Machiavelli’s advocacy of deceit, manipulation, and dishonesty, in the name of political “realism,” to today’s state-sanctioned lying, stealing, and killing by intelligence services and military, we find this double standard underlying all forms of government.  Liberal republics complain about the way that autocracies, dictatorships, and totalitarian regimes lie, cheat, steal, and kill while justifying their own immorality and inhumanity as a matter of national security.  Both democrats and autocrats admit that none of these activities are appropriate for their own children and call for other nations to stop them, while advocating those same behaviors themselves.  Most governmental perpetrators claim that they are personally above such behavior.  Generals, representatives, and CIA employees are individually decent and honorable people.  If they torture or kill it is not a reflection on them personally.  
This inconsistency between our internal and external worlds is a root cause of war, global warming, poverty, child abuse, our failure to adequately educate our children, control the cancerous growth of populations, or wipe out many diseases.  This is because this double standard between our inner and outer lives justifies and creates a fundamental misallocation of precious resources while supporting predation through the continued externalization of costs.  
A fundamental delusion of humanity is that such a disparity can be maintained without a loss of credibility for governments, businesses, families, and individuals.  Dream Politics examines this and other fundamental delusions that allow us to maintain a gulf between our outer and inner, individual and collective worlds.  It then demonstrates how concepts and principles derived from observing internal social groups have useful external applications for social governance in families, businesses, churches, ngos, towns, cities, nations, and international relations.  It also shows how governmental concepts and principles have useful internal applications for understanding and supporting our own growth.  By applying basic internal governing principles to our social world while using concepts from political science to understand our internal world we can first bridge and then integrate the inner and the outer, the individual and the collective, dimensions of our reality. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dreams are part of this legacy

Posted: 18 August 2010.
Updated: 17 September 2010

This is a personal blog about a public issue. It would be disingenuous in referring to Arnold Mindell's Deep Democracy model of addressing open forums not to reveal personal dreams about this place and our deepest awareness of its present, past and future. In doing so, others are invited to share their dreams as well, as we lay the groundwork for the first Los Alamos Open Forum sometime next year.

The genesis of this idea has been described at the beginning of this blog. It seems appropriate to present dreams along the way that serve as spiritual directing and refueling stations. The first dream came from one of our core group (JB) the night after our first meeting on March 24, 2010. On August 28, JB's dream suddenly became more clearly relevant as I read the section "Black Elk speaks" in Arnold Mindell's explanation of the origin and purpose of Native American totem poles in his Earth-based Psychology.

The rest of the dreams are mine, which will be amplified in future posts as it seems appropriate. We will make room for others' dreams as they come in. To do them justice we will refer to them by title and suggest one or two ways to access their wisdom.  Readers of this blog are invited to comment as long as they are willing to identify themselves. Anonymous comments will not be published unless they are compelling to us who read them first.

First dreams:

1. Sculpting magnificent Russian tree (March 24, 2010)
2. Del Clawson's people (April 15, 2010)
3. Clasp of fellowship (July 4, 2010)
4. The Spiritual Transformation of Los Alamos (August 3, 2010)
5. Obama's confusion (September 8, 2010)


On August 27, Joseph said...
After reading your blog I don't have a clear sense of what the Open Democracy Forum in Los Alamos project is supposed to accomplish. What are it's goals? When will people know when they are achieved?

On August 27, Zhenya said..
Will you post the dreams and show their relevance to this project?

On August 27, Eugene said...
Zhenya, yes. I will post each dream and show its relevance, beginning with JB's dream in which he is busy sculpting a dead tree, which had been a "magnificent Russian tree". We will amplify this later.

On August 27 at 9:44 PM, Eugene said...
Joseph, our goal is to engage the community of Los Alamos in nothing less than a spiritual transformation of the Manhattan Project legacy of "Bomb Power" into a place "Where Discoveries are Made".

In reflecting on JB's first dream it seems that this can happen in the process of the community creating a totem pole. This would begin with giving acknowledgement and honor to its most ancient aboriginal traditions and then include all subsequent ones, such as Hispanic and "Anglo". The symbol of the totem includes and transcends all the historical, current and future cultural and societal influences affecting the territory in which it stands. To accomplish such a symbolic edifice will require artisans from all these traditions working in harmony.

On August 27 at 11:14 PM, Eugene said...
A final thought for now. The Los Alamos Totem Pole is at present merely a blank pole, skillfully prepared, but without images carved in it. It will take the PROCESS of a Deep Democracy type open forum to allow the community to begin to formulate which images belong where on this splendidly prepared blank material.

On August 27 at 11:29 PM, Joseph said...
Where do I go to read the dreams themselves?

On August 27 at 11:35 PM, Eugene said...
Joseph, I haven't got that figured out yet. Remember, this is a PROCESS and I need the involvement of others to move further. I have not yet discussed my view of JB's dream with JB, who is out of town, so I may have been presumptuous in posting this much so far. The LADDOF cannot be a private view to be imposed on others.

On September 17 at 8:30 PM, Eugene said...
Joseph, since the above remarks I have arrived to this preliminary arrangement with respect to the dreams. The raw dreams will be posted on a separate blog just for that purpose here. In addition a "CREEI scan" will be kept of all relevant dreams in a running document. (Not sure yet where to post this.) Further, most dreams will be interviewed using Joseph Dillard's IDL (Integral Deep Listening) methodology, which when combined with the CREEI Process is called CDL (Creative Deep Listening). These dreams can be accessed here.

Interviewing dream with LADDOF theme

Posted: 18 August 2010; Updated: March 30, 2011

Integral Deep Listening (IDL) interview of "Hippie Woman", a character in a dream of Eugene's, clearly associated with the LADDOF project.

LADDOF director Joseph Dillard interviewed me in August aboard the boat Indigo off the coast of Bimini in the Bahama Islands. For Eugene, the expense of the trip was worth this one interview!

Joseph asks of the dream: How do you get heard by those who value doctrine over love or justice?

How do you do drama without getting caught in the Drama Triangle? (Avoiding playing the roles of victim, rescuer or persecutor).

In this interview Eugene chose to interview a character that normally would supply useful objectivity: a building. But because it was a church building, it was soon found to be exclusivist and beyond reproach. Therefore, another character needed to be interviewed, but which one? It is interesting that while the church building was itself biased and close-minded, it was able and willing to recommend a character that was transformative for this dreamer: a large (not fat), aging former-hippie woman with a long blond braid.

What are fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1. Getting the Deep Democracy Open Forum project going in Los Alamos.
2. Completing the reconciliation process with my family.
3. Getting the RPK experiment up to date.

Tell me a dream you remember. It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand.

I’m in the Los Alamos Ward of the Mormon Church with Dr. Ian Alexander, its bishop. He’s like the priest of a parish. We’re not in his office (which is where I have met him twice before on a one-on-one basis in real life), but out in the corridors of the building. There are lots of people moving around. One is a very large woman with a long, blond braid hanging down from the back of her head. I say to her, “I think you were a hippie in earlier years” and everyone laughs. I have a message for Bishop Ian: The two excommunications I have had from the Mormon Church were examples of “unrighteous dominion” and therefore the Lord does not recognize them. I am using church legal language to attempt to arrange a meeting on the matter with the local high council. My message is not only to see if the Church will acknowledge this unrighteous dominion behavior, but also to extend that acknowledgement to set an example for the larger community of Los Alamos, the site of the origin of the Atomic Bomb. If this can be done, Los Alamos might be able to transform its awesome and corrupting legacy and set an example for the world in terms of transformation. I cannot tell if the bishop understands my message because he continues being interrupted by others as we talk. He looks at a man who is cleaning up after a church celebration and nods approval at the cleaning up.
Why do you think that you had this dream?

I have a project I am working on in Los Alamos called “The Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum.” It uses physicist/psychologist Arnold Mindell’s well-tested model of deep democracy open forums and refers to historian Garry Wills’ recent book Bomb Power, which is a new rigorous history of the Manhattan Project. Bomb Power describes the on-going corrupting consequences of that urgent, world-changing project. The dream seems to talk about where I am and why I am in Los Alamos. If that’s a grand delusion, it’s grand indeed. But it makes sense to me and gives me an enormous amount of energy and motivation.

If it were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee?

“The Transformation of Los Alamos”

These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself…

Los Alamos Mormon Ward House, Bishop Ian Alexander, Hippie Woman, Vacuum Man, Rug, Debris on Rug, People milling about, Los Alamos community, the Bomb.

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?

Los Alamos Mormon Ward House
Los Alamos Mormon Ward House

Ward House, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I have been built with the finest materials by inspired people to exact dimensions. I am very secure and well financed. In me is the Truth.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

Security! Solidity, clarity, absoluteness, confidence.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?

There is absolutely nothing I don’t like about myself! I have no weaknesses!

Ward House, you are in Eugene’s life experience, correct? He created you, right? What aspect of Eugene do you represent or most closely personify?

I am his sense of very rigid clarity!

Ward House, it doesn’t sound like you are going to be able to give us much of a different perspective. Do you have a recommendation of a dream character we can interview that might be helpful?

The hippie woman!

Woman with long blonde braid

Hippie woman, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I am so pleased that you ask! No one asks me much of anything because I am so big! In this place no one wants to think about wild people. I have a very wild past that I love; they don’t like to hear about it because it scares them. I love these people, and that’s why I am here. I understand their fears and I’ve been waiting for this interview.

Hippie Woman, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I love people! I accept people for who and how they are, without condemnation, with compassion! That includes their fears!

Hippie Woman, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?

There was a time when I didn’t like myself. At this time I am so pleased with myself! I am grateful for being here! That I am this large! I am grateful that I see what I couldn’t see before! I see the fear and the rigidness, the arrogance, the blindness, and it’s OK. But that’s where the problem is.

Hippie Woman, you are in Eugene’s life experience, correct? He created you, right? Hippie Woman, what aspect of Eugene do you represent or most closely personify?

His love for his people, his family, his friends, his love for those who hate him and fear him. He is feeling a deep desire that they know of his love and caring, but they don’t know of this and don’t know that they don’t know that they don’t know. He is expressing his gratitude for my being in his life among them. I have taken such a strong place.

Hippie Woman, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?

No! I’m where I need to be! I am so moved that you have asked and that there are those that care.

Do you feel that Eugene is hearing you?

Yes! I am so happy to be truly heard!

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Hippie Woman, how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing? Why?

Confidence: 10. I know who I am, warts and all!
Compassion: 10. I have been through a lot. I have learned to be compassionate. It’s not been easy.
Wisdom: 10. I can’t imagine it being less than ten. When I think of wisdom, I think of meaning, I think of seeing the connectedness of all creatures and images. I think of the meaning in trees, the ocean, the sky....It makes me smile! They are what they are. They all have a place. I celebrate that place!
Acceptance: 10. We are who we are! I love it!
Inner Peace: 10. I can’t think of anything less!
Witnessing: 10. I SEE (thank God!) a grandeur of being, a grandeur of beauty, of experience, a grandeur even of blindness and rigidity. It all has its place in life!

Hippie Woman, how would Eugene’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

He wouldn’t need to react to anyone! He reacts a lot, now. He reacts a lot to the Ward House, to the leadership that inhabits and produced that building, that claims that building. He’s still in reaction to a lot of that and demanding. If he were like me he wouldn’t need to be that demanding.

Hippie Woman, how would that change his life?

He would probably dis-identify with that part of himself that is standing on top of the wall crying “repentance.” He would be joking, loving, accepting. He would just be there, wherever he was with understanding, without demands. Patient!

Hippie Woman, if you could live Eugene’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

With more patience, compassion, without demands, with humor!

Hippie Woman, if you could live Eugene’s waking life for him today, would you handle his three life issues differently? If so, how?

a. You have given him some ideas about how to bring about the Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum.
b. Follow through with his remote psychokinesis experiment.
c. Bring into completion his reconciliation process with his children.

Hippie Woman, what three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Eugene’s life?

The open forum is the one I am here for, to give him a different perspective. He is challenging, but not demanding of this new Mormon leadership to bring him in front of the high council and present to them an idea that seems to be timely, that this place of Los Alamos has an opportunity to take advantage of. This gives him a new approach that he hasn’t considered before.

[This brings to mind an event that occurred years ago on May 21, 1972, in the very Mormon church building where I was first excommunicated (in absentia 7 years earlier). I had recently come out of a southern Oregon forest where I'd been for seven years and looked like a Hippie and was the house guest of John R. Howard, then president of Lewis and Clark College in Portland. A week or two earlier I had received a telephone call at John Howard's home in Portland from Robert Perine, the former Laguna Ward bishop who had taken charges out against me all those years ago, whom I had not seen since. Perine had learned where I was from my family and had called to ask forgiveness for not understanding or listening to me back then. He confessed to me that exactly three years from the date that he took out those charges against me over seven years earlier, he himself was excommunicated for precisely the charges he had made. He asked forgiveness and we immediately reconciled. Even though Perine never returned to the Mormon Church, in his will he stipulated that I be asked to sing at his funeral a song he had composed for my voice, called “Hope”. His widow found this request in the will and flew me to Newport Beach just to sing this song.

Shortly after Perine’s call, I drove down from Portland at my 16-year-old daughter’s request to sing at the Mormon Ward in Newport Beach, since she had been given the ward assignment to arrange the music for the meeting—a ward conference (which meant that many of the stake high council members who had participated in my excommunication were in attendance), I chose to sing a Capella a Negro spiritual--"Steal away to Jesus". I was dressed in Hippie-like clothes with long hair. All my first family (ex-wife and five children) sat on the front  row. After I sang the bishop was so moved that he wept and could not speak for a long time. Then, after I left the building to visit my family, I began to be nagged by a weird idea about Joseph Smith. As strange as it seemed, I looked up the birth and death dates of Joseph Smith and added the age of Smith at his death to my own birth date--November 17, 1933--and was shocked to discover that the date was that very day (May 21, 1972)! This shook me greatly and I began to wonder if the Spirit was telling me to return to the Mormon Church.]

Hippie Woman, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for Eugene to imagine that he is you and act as you would?

In virtually all life situations. That’s the personality he needs to carry with him in all life situations!

Hippie Woman, do you do drama? If not, why not?

Yes, but with pleasure, without anxiety, without worry. It’s fun, it brings color, it brings humor. It brings life! I can’t imagine life without drama! It would be silly!

Do you play the victim?

I can play it, but I’m not it!

Do you play the rescuer?

I can do that with great fake self-righteousness!

Do you play the persecutor?!

I can do it very well! There’s a Hitler in me - a small potatoes!

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

Detachment! I can easily detach!

Hippie Woman, why do you think that you are in Eugene’s life?

He needs me! He has forgotten me! I am there for him! He now sees me! That’s why I am so big. He has avoided seeing me before!

Hippie Woman, how is Eugene most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?

If he were a fool he would ignore me. He doesn’t want to be a fool. Actually, he IS a fool! He has been very proud of it before. Maybe he’s not so proud of it now!

Hippie Woman, what would you recommend that he do about that?

Remember the braid! (In contrast to the large long haired blond woman in his dream of 21 September 1965 about celebrating “the beginning of the recrystallization of the church”.)

I think Eugene had this dream because...

To get him focused at a new reference point. A new view of what he can bring to the table in his conversations with the Mormon community. It means a humanity to him that he hasn’t been so conscious of before, that he hasn’t allowed himself to be aware of, that he has been too proud to be aware of ! That he hasn’t felt was necessary before! He has been so stupid before!

I think this dream event happened or (some character) was in the dream because...

The man with the vacuum cleaner is cleaning up trivial stuff that’s what the Bishop is valuing now. He’s seeing trivial stuff getting taken care of. He doesn’t see the big picture. He’s young, well-intended, a medical doctor, just beginning his practice. He’s very confident and open and aware of being inexperienced. He’s trying to do a good job, but it’s all new to him. He has no idea of what’s coming.

What have you heard yourself say?

That my experience and view of the Mormon institution is that it is pretty rigid and insecure. It is self-contained and doesn’t see the need of any outside influence. But there is a presence there in the form of a liberated and liberating female that is very much aware of what is and what isn’t, who is there in a loving way despite that institutional self-sufficiency and spiritual conceit. The large woman part of myself has been through the woods, the ravine, the wars and survived them and thrived in spite of all this and achieved a sense of peace and wisdom and centeredness. She is good humored and doesn’t preach or attack. I’m in Los Alamos for more than just happenstance.

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of who you are, what do you think it would be saying to you?

I don’t need to be anxious or sweat about consequences. Feel humor, be caring, love church authorities, family, colleagues. There isn’t anything other than that to concentrate on. The first fear of two fears experienced by ecclesiastical institutions is generally “the fear of defilement” or being contaminated; the second is “the fear of insufficient love”, i.e., not loving well enough. That’s the fear experienced by the saints of old. If one must fear, that’s the fear to embrace—not the first kind.

Note: Joseph sent this quote from the Buddha at the end this formal interview, which I like:
Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.