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.