Archive for May, 2015

Lucky One #4: Refugees

Posted in Poems with tags , on May 31, 2015 by Drogo

THE LUCKY ONE # 4 “Refugees”

How dare I complain about anything happening to me

When refugees all over the world are displaced by terror

Barely coping without food, water, shelter or beauty

And never having the hope of returning to their homes ?

Beauty surrounds me here.

I live within an oasis of goodness.

The wild plants surround me like a prayer

and still I lament my situation.

Pain and deprivation are all relative.

I have a home but lack joy.

I have food but eat alone.

And I have more rain than I need today.

The refugees from Yeoman suffer from heat;

Too much sun in places all over the world,

Too much rain in others.

Inevitable imbalances on earth.

So today I strive for perspective,

For I displace myself with my own lamentations,

My loneliness is breeding despair,

and I am exhausted from work and worry.

Sure, I am The Lucky One,

Except for the bad luck

which follows me like a black cloud

from which I cannot seem to escape.

A refugee from my own despair

I understand the refugees and their plight,

their flight from torment and death.

We are all refugees…

– Poem By Christine Maccabee

Lucky One #5: Now I Know

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 31, 2015 by Drogo

The Lucky One #5 “Now I Know”

Now I know why I’m so lucky

Why I still have all my limbs

Though there is still pain

in my hands, shoulder and knees.

Wartime warriors missing limbs

Missing eyes and faces

Missing out on life

as I so luckily live.

Now I know why I am being preserved

Still healthy and vital and increasingly free…

So I can preserve and protect

The natural wonders around me.

Now I know

why I am getting stronger…

so I can be strong

for others !

– Poem by Christine S. Maccabee

Architectural Psychology

Posted in Alternative Architecture with tags , , , , on May 28, 2015 by Drogo
There are many psychological factors in architecture; because buildings are often made by humans for humans to use for many reasons. I say often, because I believe that art and architecture are also practiced by other animals like beavers and birds; which I may address later in further digressions. Architecture is sculpture for shelter and living in; so it is functional art.
When I taught Environmental Architecture and Historic Preservation classes at Shepherd College, psychology and philosophy played a part in my lessons. As Professor Daniel Puchala indicated when he approached me about guest lecturing on this subject “the effects that architecture has on a person’s well-being and work productivity level” are worthy of study and certainly very important.
Most people are consciously or sub-consciously aware of architectural psychology in their daily lives. We feel various emotions as we react and interact within our homes, offices, workshops, and class-rooms. Even as we approach structures, they evoke feelings within us.
Assuming that self-awareness and existential philosophy is important, I would like to provoke our brains to think about architectural psychology. What are the emotions we feel around or in various physical constructs? How should we process these feelings regarding built structures and space? Does the architecture in our lives hinder our functions or does it enhance our well-being?? Certainly the feng-shui of our lives is mixed and complex, as the Yin/Yang Tao symbol indicates in abstract simplicity.
I want to ASK you, how you feel about different buildings, structures, and spaces. Then we can compare the design intention, with the actual function, and our personal power to utilize it. So let us first address how feelings relate to architecture. Psychological associations play a HUGE role in design. The mental aspects relate to, and go beyond the physical function of structures. How do you feel about your home, inside and out? How do you feel about your surroundings, urban or rural?? How do you feel about the places you take daily trips to consume, work, and play???
Where are you when you feel your daily best? Where are you when you feel your daily worst? Are there architectural design factors you would change about your life, if you could change them? There seems to be a give and take in life, in that we can shift from setting to another; some designs may be better, but other features may be worse; yet the challenge of life is to accept the mixed bag we are dealing with or have been dealt, as best we can; until our situations change. Some lives and spaces are constantly changing.
Spaces are defined by materials around them, and also by the air itself. Air quality is important for any creature with lungs, both the flow rate, and the chemicals and particles in it. Scale is also important; some people are larger or smaller than others. ‘Occupancy’ is how many people can safely fit into a space, at maximum capacity; considering both space scale, and load bearing on the structural engineering.
Structures can be temporary or permanent, and those labels are used to indicate the time period of their existence ‘in situ’ or on site. Some ‘temporary’ structures were built supposedly for only a limited fleeting use, but remain for years; and other more ‘permanent’ structures fall apart or get demolished much sooner than expected. The Law of Entropy states that nothing lasts forever, all things decay in time; but some architecture will last longer with less maintenance, than other less stable designs. Sustainability deals with the desirability of temporal or permanent designs.

Generic Design Process: by Stowell Architects

  1. Accept – the situation & recognize the problem; Clients
  2. Analyze – what it is; Site Survey; existing conditions study
  3. Define – plan how it will look, how it goes together
  4. Select – the correct plan; sign contracts; settle payments
  5. Implement – build; get legal approval; schedule contractors
  6. Evaluate & Maintain – follow up studies
AP Project: Design your ideal bed-room. Draw on paper 4 walls, floor, and ceiling; or however the room is defined (spherical, octagonal, or outdoors). Uses include sleeping, dreaming, waking, dressing, socializing, etc…

Anger & Depression

Posted in Health & Fitness with tags , , , , , , on May 28, 2015 by Drogo

Many depressed people harbor a lot of anger, but don’t always recognize it. Anger can contribute to depression; and vice-versa. Friends who can communicate on a deep emotional level will help victims to regain the ability to perceive life with hope.

“In your anger do not do harm to yourself or others unnecessarily; if it can avoided. At the end of the day, don’t go to sleep angry, if you can deal with it; for it might breed more anger in the morning. Be kind and compassionate to one another and it will be returned unto you.” – Inspired by Celtic Book of Dawn

Having a sense of purpose can help people to live their lives fruitfully despite whatever hardships are thrown their way. Keep on keepin’ on! Don’t let things get you down that don’t need to get you down. If normally you leap to safety, away from what is hurting you, may not always be possible if you have been tied down by another force. Once you are unbound, you must retrain yourself to avoid dangers.

Sadness, Depression, Loneliness, Guilt

Anger, Fear, and Hate

Physical Abuse / Psychological Abuse

Loyalty, Pride, Mercy, and Pity: Integrity

Dealing with Depression often requires sensitivity, compassion, and patience. Depression does not discriminate. It affects people from all ages, races, and classes. It results both from specific events and chemical imbalances in the nervous system. The causes are numerous, and the variety of effects can make healing difficult. We must understand these variables of depression in order to properly suggest appropriate treatments. Self-acceptance through awareness of the Universality of Nature can be a positive first step out of depression’s smog.

For some, Christianity holds many answers, for others Buddhism, but the commonality of these major religions is that they are simply different versions of the reality of human existence within Nature. Followers of Christ have one way of explaining things, and followers of other Messiahs have other ways.

“I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better, it appears to me.” – Abraham Lincoln

Depression is a human condition, recognized in early civilization by the Greek physician Hippocrates who called it “melancholy”. Romantic notions viewed it as ‘pining-away’ for someone or something lost to them. Today depression is considered an illness, affecting the entire body, mind, and spirit. One in five people suffer from depression during their lifetime. Sadness and anger are natural, and accepting this fact is important.

Addictions and Depression have a reciprocal relationship. Depression is the leading cause of addictions like drug abuse, and depression often results from losing something that they were ‘addicted to’. After heart disease, depression is the #2 cause of lost work days in the USA. Depression is a leading cause of suicide.

Whether it is loss of a loved one, loving affections, or a material associational loss, depression can manifest in an individual exhibiting their inability or refusal to adapt to enjoy life again, despite loss. Mental health experts define depression as an ’emotional state of dejection and sadness’. It ranges from mild discouragement and moodiness, to feelings of desperate hopelessness and despair. These naturally occurring human emotions, become constant antagonists of the depressed person.

Symptoms of Depression

Continuous irritability

Insomnia or Fatigue

Loss of enthusiasm

Extreme thoughts of suicide or death

Professional help is recommended in order to determine if other physical problems exist beyond psychological depression. Modern science is constantly finding more connections regarding the Universe and our place within it. So with the help of modern science and medicine, you can reflect on your own life experiences and existence within Nature to be liberated from the manacles of melancholy.

Often, only 1/8 of an iceberg appears above the ocean surface. Depression can hide like this. Some people may refuse to accept their emotions, viewing sadness and sorrow as signs of weakness. Resentment may be held against someone who has done something to them, or abandoned them in some way. Resentment may also be held against one’s self in the form of guilt. Bottled resentment won’t go away until the feelings are realized, admitted, accepted as a common reaction, and a decision is made to actively express a true release of negativity, or true responsibility of love.

In mythology characters deal with sorrow, suffering, and loss. They can often show ways to overcome depression.

Psychological Causes of Depression

Resentment towards someone else

Resentment towards yourself – Guilt

Low self-esteem

Unrealistic goals setting yourself up for failure

Negative perspectives “The glass is half empty”

Physical Causes of Depression

Endogenous chemical imbalances (manic depression)

Slow recovery from an illness or injury

Undiagnosed physical ailment

Side effects of drugs

Dietary deficiencies

Manic depression is bipolar and treated with lithium for mood stabilization. Treatment cannot end there, because unfortunately people can still get themselves into psychological ruts and end up making bad decisions despite a placid mood appearance on the surface. For clinical depression doctors can prescribe tricyclical antidepressant medicine which can also help stabilize nerve cell chemistry. Some people may be able to heal themselves of minor depressions, but for more serious cases steps should be taken to notify friends, family, doctors, and psychologists.

Master and Student are crossing a River. A young Girl needs help crossing the River. They carry the Girl across the River. The Girl thanks them and goes on her way. Later the Student mentions to the Master his feelings of concern for the Girl. The Masters says he put the Girl down by the River, but the Student is still carrying her. The lesson is to leave your worries behind you, and put down worries that you do not need to carry with you.

– Zen Buddhism

To alleviate depression, a friend can be one of the best cures. Psychologist Javier del Amo proposes that depression is caused in part by a process of isolation. When a person lacks meaningful communication with others, their emotions become frozen or paralyzed. To remedy this situation, del Amo advises that the depressed person needs a friend who will communicate on a deep emotional level. This communication can help thaw their emotions, allowing them to perceive positive again.

Devote time to listening to friends for mutual benefit. If they allow you to help, you help them and they will hopefully return the favor in some way later; this is healthy friendship. Help them with tasks that they temporarily lack the desire to do. Be positively encouraging or cheerful. Utilize soothing music and atmosphere; don’t wallow in melancholic problems. Help them to think, feel, and care beyond themselves; but don’t be overly antagonizing. Involve them in useful tasks or activities, to draw them out of the past into present living. Engagement in tasks help connect one with the here-and-now. Check on their medicines, work, hobbies, and other people in their lives. If your looking for more friends to meet, join a group; like a Pagan coven. There you will meet other people with comparable stories. You are not alone. Most of the gods welcome you to worship them in all their natural splendor. When you get to know a spirit in a personal way, they will communicate with you as a friend. Just as with any creature, if they are not nice to you, then it is not a healthy relationship.

Anger Management is not just avoidance or repression, it actually means accepting what is a part of natural human emotions that occur more-or-less in everyone, and dealing with the feeling by venting, controlling, or allowing it to motivate to action as a catalyst for change or work. As with other emotions, it is about moderation which sometimes means managing what is always there under the surface.

You won’t like me when I’m angry. My secret is I am always angry.” – Bruce Banner (aka The Incredible Hulk)

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Natural Medicines for Anger & Depression should be used in moderation: exercise, fresh-air, sun-light, fresh-food, cannabis.

Medusa sculpt

Summary of a Paper by Wallace Yater

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2015 by Drogo

One of the most interesting strangers I spoke with at the Boonsboro Green Fest in 2015 was Wallace M. Yater. ‘Wally’ as he is affectionately known, is a brilliant modern philosopher. Wally handed me his theory on the importance of mutations in biodiversity, called ‘Why Such Constant Over-population; or Why Everything In Biology and Life Depends On Very Rare Random Molecular Mistakes’. His paper is a 2015 version, and begins by mentioning how Darwin would be fascinated by our micro-biological discoveries; in relation to evolution and inter-connection between species. Wally is quick to point out human concerns that threaten life on this planet as well. Problems created by population and technology include pollution, poaching, and degradation of ecology.

Human greed seems to have ruled civilization; ever since we did less hunting and gathering, and more agriculture and hoarding. Recent archeology supports his claims, and even has found evidence that gender roles were more equal before patriarchal domination of property in Neanderthal Europe. Politicians have always been bought by ‘big money’, as he reminds us that we already know. Wally also laments that Climate Change is real, and we are doing nothing substantial about it, as fast as we can.

“We are really a very strange bunch of primates, in so many ways…” Wally goes on to say. He goes on to talk about the World History and the psychology of politics. Wally says the “real enigma here, the incomprehensible conundrum, with all this is how could a species with all these conflicting negative traits, have survived…” which also leads into our perception of time, and our own period of existence on this planet. Wally says “there are many answers to this survival question.” Some answers to our survival are beyond our comprehension, some will be repellent, and some will be based on random probability. “Molecules perform flawlessly millions of times, and then a high energy cosmic ray, or a stray contaminant from the environment gets in the way, and a mistake happens.” Some of our rarest mistakes make all the difference for our survival, despite any detriments. “Inspite of all the bad results, these random ‘mistakes’ are so important, life on Earth wouldn’t even be here without them!” Mistakes change DNA, and generate variation, which is how life evolves, survives, but yes also dies.

Wally asks us “Why is sex so important?” What is with all this sexual competition? “Even bacteria trade DNA, which is a form of sex. One answer.” Wally says all the sex is about speeding up evolution for complex organisms “like us”. Wally hints that with thousands of genes chosen randomly, we should not feel bad that most of us will not be famous; because “many famous successful people have many brothers and sisters you never hear about”.

“Virtually everyone you talk to has a ‘gut feeling’ that it is only a matter of time, that this present state of affairs will drastically change in a lot of ways we are not going to like.” “Vast human die offs have always been with us.” “We have always been like rats.” Some vermin usually survive extermination. He goes on to talk about the devolution that ‘dysgenics’ causes; when the ‘less fit’ are allowed to survive and breed. Wally mentions the problem of genetically ‘fixing’ crops, while pests continue to evolve. To compensate for natural blights we drench our food in poison.

“Is genocide a human trait?” Wally thinks it seems so, given our historic patterns of slaughter and suffering. Our pack-mentality favors shared suffering. Like frogs unaware that they are slowly boiling to death in a pot, we may be massively incapable of solving our problems.

“What has been presented here is the result of almost 8 decades of observing neighbors, coupled with a broader over-all view,” of science and history. “If all 7 billion people on this planet read this, it wouldn’t change anything. Only a few would comprehend anything close to the original idea. It wouldn’t get a meaningful number of people to ‘give anything up’.” “As the Bible says, ‘the poor and the meek shall inherit the Earth’. It doesn’t tell us how much they will have to suffer, to do it; and how few of them will end up with the prize.” “…we have very close to no control over any of this.”

Most people are too ignorant and confused by the commercial-industrial system to get what Wally, and other wise elders have been trying to teach us. Even the voices of our ancestors speak to us from the pages of history, and they ask us to slow down, and learn and use the natural world around us, responsibly; because this planet is our home and we are part of a DNA family ecological system. Scientists like Carl Sagan have agreed with many of Wally’s points too, for decades. On behalf of all the rats that get it, thanks Wally!

Boonsboro MD Green Fest 2015

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2015 by Drogo

Boonsboro MD Green Fest

May 9, 2015

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For years I had been meaning to visit my neighbors in the local area town of Boonsboro for their Green Fest, and finally through SCOD networking I was able to advertise for it and attend it. From10am-5pm dozens of tents (200 vendors) were set up all over a generous sized town park with stone bridges and a large stone gazebo and three pavilions. Merchants and groups from all around the area were vendors; artists, crafters, designers, landscapers, healers, alternative techies, stewards, farmers, and brewers. Most of the vendors had claim to some kind of ‘green’ product or service, or both. Even the infamous ‘Dan Ryan Builders’ were oddly among the list of sponsors; perhaps due to some guilt from destroying thousands of acres of farmland and wilderness, but more likely smart propaganda from social pressure to sustain profits. Greedy profits are being challenged by community based exchange when events like this increasing spread scod alternative architecture and environmental and historic preservation concepts. There was also live music and tons of play structures for children, and wine and beer for adults. Most impressively there was a huge clothing swap and recycling exchange area! My only practical criticism was that there should have been more trash cans and recycling bins along the tent paths. With 150 volunteers and thousands of visitors, the event is clearly successful.

Perhaps some year I will risk paying the vendor fee to sell my books like BOG Peeps and SCOD Thesis, however I might not sell enough books to make back the cost of the tent and space. However it does seem more artistic and intellectual than other outdoor events with emphasis on other things like outdoor athletics, music, or food / drink. or had less people. Among the many vendors I visited and spoke with were Moonshine Forge Blacksmith Shop, Windsong Healing Arts, Farm of Peace, Rose Sanders-Mendez Artisan Jewelers, DM Designs, Western MD Solar Panels, Mtv Solar Electric Cars, Branching Out UMD Woodland Stewardship program, Valley Co-op, MOMs Organic Grocery, Common Market, and Natural Fusion Hair Stylist. It was wonderful to see so many people into the ‘Green’ movement, see old acquaintances, and meet new people too! One of the most interesting strangers I spoke with was Mr. Wallace M. Yater. ‘Wally’ as he is affectionately known, is a brilliant modern philosopher that deserves an entire essay and book based on his ideas, practices, and experiences. Wally handed me his theory on the importance of mutations in biodiversity, called ‘Why Everything In Biology and Life Depends On Very Rare Random Molecular Mistakes’; but that is another story….

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