Forget About That Corny Corner-Ribbon's Drivel! The Real Secret is HERE Indeed - not over there!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Hurting & Healing 'Til Kingdom Come

Do some of you L.O.V.s -at least- peruse some of the links found on the sidebar here...? It is not for nothing that I've strived to cram the sidebar on TLB Prime with useful, informative and downright enlightening features - as much as as the main posts by yours truly are themselves - I dare hope! The Daily Om certainly is one of the leading ones in that all-important aspect so dear to the purpose of the Luminous Blog... The Daily Om's installment linked here, titled "Healing With Hurt: Using Your Pain To Help Others" is one of the most thought-provoking articles ever on that site - and one of the hardest pieces of advice to try and live up to as well.

I always did say that "life is a four-letter word; and so is pain"
The Daily Om author agrees to some extent...

Pain is a fact of being and one that permeates all of our lives to some degree. Since the hurt we feel may be a part of the experiences that have touched us most deeply, we are often loathe to let it go. It is frequently easier to keep our pain at our sides, where it acts as a shield that shelters us from others and gives us an identity -that of victim- from which we can draw bitter strength. However, pain's universality can also empower us to use our hurt to help others heal. Since no pain is any greater or more profound than any other, what you feel can give you the ability to help bring about the recovery of individuals whose hurts are both similar to and vastly different from your own. You can channel your pain into transformative and healing love that aids you in helping individuals on a one-to-one basis and spreading a tide of curative energy throughout the world.

First of all, I have to disagree with the notion that "no pain is any greater than any other". There are definitely levels of suffering - I have not known the greater ones, but I have known greater ones than some (which may include the author of the Om too, judging by his statement there...)
Secondly, "spreading a tide of curative energy throughout the world" necessitates some collaboration from said world - which is not a given either.
The Om philosopher explains himself further though:

The capacity to heal others evolves naturally within those who are ready to disassociate themselves from their identity as victims. In fact, the simple decision to put aside the pain we have carried is what grants us the strength to redeem that pain through service. There are many ways to use the hurt you feel to help others. Your pain gives you a unique insight into the minds of people who have experienced trauma and heartache. You can draw from the wellspring of strength that allowed you to emerge on the other side of a painful experience and pass that strength to individuals still suffering from their wounds. You may be able to council individuals in need by showing them the coping methods that have helped you survive or simply by offering sympathy. A kinship can develop that allows you to relate more closely with those you are trying to aid and comfort.


Ah - the key word there: "sympathy".
One has to be bereaved himself in order to starting noticing those that will give it out spontaneously, thus showing genuine kindness of heart, and those that need to be almost forced into displaying that most basic of human sentiments.
It never was difficult in the least for me to feel the pain of others who were bereft - even when I barely knew the person, I offered my sincere sympathy and tried to alleviate, temporarily of course, their pain as best as I could...
That is the minimalistic definition of the word "healing" though - but it is better than nothing at all indeed. But then there are many in this world who empathize not with the pain of others in the least way - and they still believe themselves to be basically "good folks". I overheard a lady once say, in a hospital, amidst so many heavily-afflicted with a variety of diseases (and some were even dying) that she didn't get emotional about anyone else's illness, unless it was family. This person didn't consider herself to be heartless in the least and stated this fact about herself the most matter-of-factly way imagineable... She obviously has no concept of unity among humanity - that we are all family on this planet, even with the evil ones that number so heavily among us as it is... The best that we can be, ideally, would dictate that we would even feel sadness when an evil one dies - for he did not and never will now get his chance to mend his ways after all. Offering sympathy to the ones who actually mourn the passing of an evil individual -whether they ignore that underlining trait about the person knowingly or not- has got to be the hardest thing anyone of us could ever accomplish, I imagine. That would be scoring high points too for one's soul, if we can manage such a feat at all...

Helping others can be a restorative experience that makes your own heart grow stronger. In channeling your pain into compassionate service and watching others successfully recover, you may feel a sense of euphoria that leads to increased feelings of self-worth and optimism. Your courageous decision to reach out to others can be the best way to declare to yourself and the world that your pain didn't defeat you, and in fact it helped you heal.

Thus, it could help us heal as well as helping others heal. Nothing is ever done entirely gratuitously in this world, we knew that already; here though, we have a win-win situation that is exemplary - as much so as it can possibly get anyway... Let this be, then, a call to arms of a different kind - not 100% altruistic, but then nothing ever is either...!

Called we are into compassionate service - may euphoria not be far behind indeed, for there is no better decoration to have bestowed upon us, verily!

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Luminous Friday Night Video

From David Ford's State of the Union to a similar song we go - but different still! Seems to me like, verily, Regina Spektor is a one woman Coldplay band! With considerable less ambient noise than Coldplay though...! The singing is the same - with definite Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos influences (not the best influences to have, mind you - but since it is diluted Kate Bush influences, it will do!)
This video is luminous for its musical style... for its melody... for the lyrics! Said lyrics mention that "the Bible didn't mention us - not even once".
See just how insignificant we all are... eh? Old Testament and New Testament aficionados -of whatever creed they may be- alike!
And then there's the title, Samson, I'd lie if I'd say that it didn't play a factor in choosing this track here! Tis all in the light of recent events too, you see... In a chain of confrontations with scum here (local scum this time - not cyber make-believe scum that make themselves look tough online; and those guys know who they are!) I got rewarded with the nickname of "superman". No one has ever spoken with the whole gang of thugs as I did, hence the monicker is fully-deserved here... However, it came with an unintelligible written invitation to get together with the gang in the "parkink" (hmm... sorry scum; no kink for me! I'm luminous, see?)
I actually even found a further point of contention with the monicker - heralding my return to "their hood" by proclaiming as loud as permissible by law (lest the constabulary forces turn against me for "disturbing the peace" - what a joke the law is) and thus shouting that "Superman Has Returned"... adding "have you seen the film? You should go see it, instead of hanging out around here, doing nothing... I've heard that it is simply Luminous! Their words - not mine!"
The gang members present weren't impressed - must not have a clue what the 7th Art is.
And then, the occasion came for me to make mention that, for me, Superman is nothing but an "amalgamic rip-off" - and the first component that he obtained from those that his creators ripped-off came from... Samson! Hence, if I am to be labeled after an archetype, let it be Samson! Or... John The Baptist! Not a modern-day make-believe rip-off... puh-leeeeeeeeeze!



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Thursday, June 15, 2006

No news - good news? Old news - better news!

I just said the other day here that all CROWE MUSICAL ACTS should be tarred and feathered or something... *LOL*

And then I hear the lead singer of the commendable GREAT BIG SEA come out publicly lauding a CROWE...?!?

Irony - biting as ever - but with a twist - as I like it! ;)
For the Crowe in question is not one of the Black Crowes... much less Sheryl (she's missing the "e" anyways in HER version of the name - and is also missing quite a few more things as well... She misplaced her fiancé, among other things... and her talent too, I would say! But enough digressing about her now - waste of breath!)

No - the Crowe in question here is one RUSSELL CROWE... the ACK-TORRRR... yes!
The Master and Commander of the Sea himself - aye!
He has a voice... but I'd hardly call it "melodious"!
I guess that he stands to be immuned to the charms of sirens and mermaids then, eh? Well, good for him then! They won't have to tie him up to the mast to make sure that he survives the next film in the series of films that they hope to make out of the books in the next few years!
The only bad omen on the horizon (no, tis not the remake of the Omen at all) - it is the fact that he died on a beach in Romper Stompers! *lol* Oops - spoilers!

Ah yes - I would be remiss if I did not mention that this bit of old news -as you will be able to tell by the article preserved in the comments section here today- was saved as a draft LAST YEAR... I have little time to blog these days so I will scavenge all my old drafts first before posting all brand-new stuff! Besides, traditionally, summer is rerun season... Tomorrow though, it shall be an all-new Friday Night Video(s) - and you may get ready for it by clicking on the main link today: www.ouviste.com offers a nice assortment of music and it might well be one of these songs that I will select too! Have fun guessing which one...

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

inbox indiscretions # 15...

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they
carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored
lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we
rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took
hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE
actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because

WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back
when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down
the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the
bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no
99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell
phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat
rooms... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,
made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't
had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They
actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers
and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned

HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

And we still say "Merry Christmas!"

And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as
kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

and while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?


Hmm... I'm just not sure about that suggestion at the end there - do they mean with rock and paper?!? If not, it sounds a tad... maniacal to me! And thus, not luminous! Still, the bulk of the message was worthy of being showcased here - on TLB Prime! On a day when I have neither the patience to pen something too long myself - nor the time! Wow - still, I rhyme! ;)

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Real-Life Saint is not Simon Templar


As many of you know by now (anyway, I hope that you do and haven't been witness to some of my sometimes angry blogs without a clue!) I have suffered a tremendous loss in my life, one that I have often referenced as irrecuperable in the earthly sense, and that alone has sufficed to fill me with a lot of anger these past ninety days or so... There are a multitude of convergent factors, to boot, that fill my heart with anger - but the main factor is, unquestionably, the loss that I've suffered in March 2006.

And now, by sheer happenstance, I discover not only a new Church but also an example of forgiveness and love that has no equal -or very few- in this world... Some names, if not all, are indeed pre-destined, and such is the case of Steve SAINT. His father was a missionary and was speared to death in 1956, along with four other missionaries, a mere two days after having reached out to the Waodani tribe in Ecuador. The Waodani's philosophy was to kill or be killed, so, in their view, that was the right thing to do.

What happened next is nothing short of MIRACULOUS.
The widows and orphans left in the wake of the killings mourned for two years - and then reached out to the Waodani themselves. I would have had thoughts of revenge, à la Charles Bronson or Chuck Norris - they did not. If they did, they suppressed those feelings completely with extraordinary understanding of the Waodani and love for them. They reached out and won them over - and today, the son of the main missionary, Steve Saint, lives with his family among the Waodani who are now a peaceful tribe.

A movie was recently made about this remarquable true story. The site dedicated to the movie's story, cast and trailer is linked here today.
Such love has only the likes of Mother Teresa to equal it - and then, the madre had not been hurt the way these women were; the five ladies who all lost their husbands on that same day back in 1956.

I can only wish that I was able to be as saintly.
Then again, my quarries are not as uncomplicated as the Waodani are ultimately. The Waodani, for all their past murderous ways, acted not out of malice. My adversaries are malice in the flesh. It makes a world of a difference; and if I was to be saintly in the least here, I would have to be so in an even more extraordinary way than Mr. Steve Saint was. For he forgave one incident - and became attached to his own father's murderer, in a father-son relationship that endures to this day. I would have to forgive years and years of malicious intent, and any sort of father-son like relationship with the main fiend is, in my case, absolutely impossible.
The Bible does say to love our enemies - for it is more meritorious than to love one's friends - but we are also warned to be careful and steer clear of our enemies, before they succeed in taking our lives.

Losing one's life though is not as disastrous as losing one's soul.
We must never forget that too...

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Monday, June 12, 2006

inbox indiscretions # 14...

This Pastor has guts! Thought you might enjoy this interesting Prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate.
It seems Prayer still upsets some people.

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session
of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good," but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called
it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from Every sin and set us free. Amen!"

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively.
The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea.

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story," and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

With the Lord's help! , may this prayer sweep over our nation and whole-heartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "one nation Under God."

If possible, please pass this prayer on to your friends. "If you don't Stand for something, you will fall for everything." Think about this: If you forward this prayer to everyone on your e-mail List, in less than 30 days it would be heard
by the world.
How many People in your address book will not receive this prayer
....do you have the Guts to pass it on?

Once again, I've enough guts to... BLOG IT! And have all of my past, present and future readers know that I fully endorse these *luminous* words! :)

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

*Love in its essence is spiritual fire. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca*

Leave it to a classical source to get it RIGHT - and FIRST!
In modern times, a plethora of oftentimes extremely odd songs have tried to pin down what "love is" - redefine that most endearing and humanizing emotion that homo sapiens can apparently feel (though, at times throughout history, it seems not to have been part of the equation at all... most probably overriden as it was by pride, greed, vanity, envy and a dozen more heinous dominant traits humankind also has regulating its actions... but that is another story, aye...)
Let's see now just how many songs a quick web search on "Love Is" lyrics can unearth... Call this a "Love Age Edition Of Statistics Sunday" - even though the current age we live in is far from being that of Love

Thus, "love is"... a battlefield. So complicated. A marathon. A Beautiful Thing.
Kristian Leontiou (who?) proclaimed "Love Is All I Need" - Amanda Perez was more realistic about it and simply stated that "Love Is Pain". (Either way, Aaron Lines had a point when he said that "Love Changes Everything"...)
Others still tried to define it: "Love Is Real" - it is Ashley Ballard's deep conviction! And mine too - after all, Christ proved it.
Other song titles: Love Is A Matter Of Distance! Love Is A Rose (?!?) - must be why it has thorns. Love Is - pure and simple, as far as Stevie Nicks was concerned! Agreed! :)
"Love Is Looking For You", sang Miranda Lambert once... With such stunning predictions and a name like that, she must be affiliated with the Psychic Network now - just like La Toya Jackson!
More predictions, anyone? "Love Is Gonna Get You", says Macy Gray!
Others take it more in stride, it appears; "Love's A Game" (blame Marques Houston for that one - not me!)
Love Is also... What you want it to be!
Evidently, since "Trick Pony" released songs such as "Love Is A Ball" (and the logical follow-up, "Love Be Still")
More seriously, Paula Abdul -surprise, surprise- is of the opinion that "Love Don't Come Easy" - so much for the "love at first sight on the A.I. stage" theory, eh? That must have been a cover of the Moody Blues song of the same name though, so...

The Raveonettes were most probably trying to "get a reaction" when they pretended that "Love Can Destroy Everything" (it only really did ONCE in recorded history - Paris' love for Helen certainly put the kibosh on Troy! Aside from that... JESUS' Love for us led Him to the Cross, but that was how it was meant to be... For our salvation, to us all!)
Along the same lines at the raucous Raveonettes' take on it, Whitney Houston herself -further surprise, surprise- contended that "Love Is A Contact Sport" (I guess that sheds some light indeed on the going-ons in her tumultuous union to one Bobby Brown...! But that's another story - again!)
Chantal Kreviazuk must have a better thing going with her own SINGING MAN, as she proclaims high and mighty that "Love Is All".
Sarah Connor -not the Terminator's target- clearly has a multi-ethnic agenda with her release titled "Love Is Color-Blind"... (As a kid, my favorite cake was always marbled - you'd get a two-for-one treat that way; vanilla AND chocolate! I remember that my very first display of sardonic wit was to wonder out loud: "are the babies of a couple made up of a black man and white woman going to turn out... marbled too?" *lol* Yeah, I know... that's another story!)
Sticking to color, Paisley was indeed a curvy colored lady briefly seen on WCW - BRAD PAISLEY on the other hand, sang the hopeful song "Love Is Never-Ending". The link between the two Paisleys? Hmm... maybe none - however WCW proved not to last forever at all, so... YOU draw your own conclusions about that "luminous parallel"!
Tina Arena seems to have incongruous thoughts on the much-favored subject as she sings that "Love Is The Answer" - but then goes on to sing that "Love's Funny That Way"?!?
Always impartial I am - hence, I will also quote from the drastically opposite point of view; and that is... The Darkness! This collective's take on "love" is that it is "only a feeling" first and foremost (what a subtle way to dismiss it, eh?) and then they want it served "On The Rocks With No Ice" (and shaken, not stirred I'm sure... If stirred, it must be anti-clockwise... right? Sheesh...)
Then there are the almost perplexing paradoxes: Ryan Adams singing "Love Is Hell" - when he has tons of groupies wanting to bear his child, I'm sure... And Sheryl Crow singing "Love Is A Good Thing" when her wedding plans got dashed very nearly at the altar! That'll teach her to be too finnicky and too picky, eh?
The Indigo Girls claim that "Love Is Recovery" - from what?
A little-known musical outfit called "Human Nature" must have inspired themselves from Lucius some for their song "Love Is Fire" - but that seems to be hell again, so... close but no cigar! (And I don't smoke either - so no matches required at all here!)
Most probably in sync with an elite avant-garde or just ahead of their times, the Moody Blues had it absolutely right when they sang that "Love Is On The Run"... It is especially true nowadays - I mean, to quote another popular expression here, "where's the love" - eh?
"Love Don't Come Easy" is their best song on the subject though - if for no other reason other than that the melody is unforgettable! The lyrics are touching too.
Enough lyrics analysis though; after all, the quick search numbered the tracks found with the word "love" in them as totaling over 20,000! YOU browse through THAT! Me, I'm through!

There is much more than lyrics out there trying to analyze what "love is" anyway - poetry does a bang up job of that too! Such as this classic bit of poetry right here that sums it all up succinctly...

Love is patient,
love is kind.
It does not envy,
It does not boast,
It is not proud.
It is not rude,
It is not self-seeking,
It is not easily angered,
It keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects,
always trusts,
always hopes,
always perseveres.
Love never fails.


The great works of fiction all have LOVE as the main gauge line - at the movies, one has but to explore that aspect more to turn any tragic tale put to film into an epic with grandiose scope (e.g. James Cameron's Titanic). After all, Love is the experience of Life - from birth until death, we all experience it platonically or carnally; Love is everywhere! The problem is - so is Hate.

However, having said all that... No, really, the one modern take on love that comes closest to Lucius' great definition of it, as far as I am concerned, is actually a personal favorite of mine - and you'll immediately see why...
Vertical Horizon's "Love Is Light" :)
Look for it wherever quality CDs are sold! *lol*

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