On “Anti-Semitism”

My first engagement with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was unexpectedly intimate. Yassar Arafat, long-time leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, was known to be dying. In a vision, I was brought to his wife’s bedside vigil. His spirit was consumed with rage. Indicating that she needed help piercing that armor, I complied, and she took us back to a moment early in their marriage. He was reclined after love-making, staring up at her as she knelt beside him, stretching luxuriantly in his witness of her beauty.

That was the memory that she wanted him to take to the other side: the simple, human truth revealed to all men through the grace of the woman that they love.

After 9/11, the minister at my Unitarian Universalist congregation organized a visit to a mosque in the San Fernando Valley. A relative newcomer, I was alarmed when a Jewish congregant took me aside to rail against the initiative. Months later, I was sitting in the sunshine with a more open-minded Jew when a friend went out to his car. I asked, “Is he Jewish as well?” He laughed. “No. He’s Palestinian.” When my jaw fell open, he continued, “Yeah, it’s crazy, isn’t it? They are the same people.”

“Semite” is not a religious designation. It is a genealogical designation. Supporting Palestinian self-determination thus cannot be equated to “anti-Semitism.” The distinction between “Jew” and “Muslim” is also hypocritical: “Allah” is the Arabic pronunciation of the Hebrew “Eloi.” It is the same tradition; the division emanates from political ambitions.

In today’s Israel, we are witnessing the replay of the prescription set out in the last two books of the Pentateuch. The Law commanded that, in taking possession of the Holy Land, the Israelites must eliminate all masculine influence. In repeating that program, modern Israle is implementing a program of anti-Semitism. In no way, then, can criticism of those practices be considered “anti-Semitic.”

The problem with all genealogical categories is that no criteria exists for rejecting the demands of loyalty. This is what allowed Hitler to turn Germany into a racist killing machine and fueled the American Civil War.

Sadly, the idea that cultural homogeneity is essential to political harmony is gaining in popularity. Time magazine published a horrific opinion piece by Bruno Macaes, “In Israel and India, the Civilization State is Taking Over.” Macaes announces the failure of liberal civilization, and asserts that the future lies with states organized around cultural homogeneity.

The dangerous stupidity of this view was displayed in Rwanda. The colonists, confronted with a homogenous population, issued identity cards to families based upon the number of cows, thereby birthing “Hutu” and “Tutsi.” Long after the colonists had departed, the artificial category spawned a genocide during the Clinton Administration. Homogeneity is a figment of attitudes that are easy to manipulate.

Saudi Arabia, perhaps the longest established “civilization state,” demonstrates the extension of these tendencies into the international community. Having established the monarchy as “keeper of Islam’s Holy Places,” the regime sponsored a new Islamic sect, Wahabbism, to legitimize its excesses. Of course, domestic critics countered with traditional Islamic scholarship. The regime’s response was to scatter Madrassas – Wahabbist schools – throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. The “civilization state” is inevitably imperialist in its practices.

This is now evident in Israel, where a corrupt leader uses his alignment with ethnocentric fascism to promote dismantling of the institutions of the liberal state that preserve civil rights. Netanyahu is become “anti-Semitic.” To continue to defend him on the basis of his progeniture is not only amoral, it is self-defeating.

Shooting for Self-Defense

Wow. So if I brought a long rifle into your neighborhood and start aiming it at people on the street and you tried to disarm me, I can shoot you dead and call it self-defense? And if your friend hits me in the head with a skateboard and I kill him too, that is self-defense? And after I shoot you, if your neighbor draws a hand-gun on me, I can shoot him too and call it self-defense?

Who is the initiator here? Did anybody shoot at me before I began the killing?

Leave it to the police, who wear obvious and recognized insignia of authority. Otherwise, you’re just a loose cannon rolling around on the streets.

Taxing, or Just Plain Tedious?

Do you know how Elon Musk made SpaceX fly? By leveraging design concepts developed under government funding. How about Jeff Bezos and his billions? All resting on the foundation of an illegitimate patent on “One Click Shopping,” granted and enforced by the US government.

The infrastructure of our economy was paid for by the middle class. We paid and continue to pay our taxes. Come down to Earth, grow up, and pay yours.

Big Tech, Big Paranoia

As Congress considers regulation of Big Tech, they fail to appreciate the competitive environment that drives the behavior of these companies. I step outside of the box and offer a suggestion.

This is in response to an article about Facebook on CNN.

What is missed here is the degree of paranoia in big tech. All of these companies understand how fragile their control is. All (Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.) are trying to acquire and monetize personal data. This means that they must aggressively pursue every opportunity before them, and attempt to capture attention by their users.

Consider, then, Facebook’s position: Apple and Google collect information through their mobile devices. Facebook has no such platform, which is why Zuckerberg is so aggressively promoting the “Metaverse” concept.

The only way to cool this kind of competition is with regulation. One way to do this is to separate data collection and analytics from the platforms. This is what eventually led to AT&T’s surrender of its monopoly: they established a universal billing system that allowed everyone to connect to everyone else, and then handed the development of the physical infrastructure over to others.

We should also understand, however, that it is not just the social media platforms that we should regulate. Credit rating agencies have similar practices as regards monetization of personal data.

I would recommend that Congress establish regulations regarding data exchange, interoperability, and privacy, then step out of the way and force the corporations to establish the necessary infrastructure. The right enforcement mechanism is to allow consumers to pursue class-action lawsuits when their data is misused.

Notice, however, that a universal data store provides opportunities for new services. You may not want outsiders to analyze your personal history, but that information can be invaluable to counselors that are trusted to act in our interest.

What Came Next…

After describing the manifestation of the Tree of Life, I concluded with the rhetorical question “What comes next?”

I went back to LA Ecstatic Dance on the 19th. We had a great warm-up workshop on full contact improv. When allowed the initiative to establish contact, I found all my partners smiling enthusiastically, but when waiting for contact, found myself passed by.

During the dance experience, I did my usual work. It’s high-energy and not really meant for participatory engagement, but I always enjoy those moments when a lady of substance calms the waters – I’ll freeze in place, hands cupped in front of me, anchoring the energies I’ve raised in the Earth until she passes by.

Sweet moments.

Usually I’ll find someone to interact with more deeply, but something held me back. Finally, I pulled the Tree out of the ground, pressing the populated branches into the sky.

And then gathered it up and set it for safeguarding in my heart…

…and left.

Driving home, I realized that I’ve done it – I’ve completed the work I was set for this lifetime. All that remains is to carry it back to heaven – intact.

Awakening at 4 AM I began the drive up to Sunnyvale, the way point on my journey to Berkeley for Greg’s graduation. As I drove along the coast outside Ventura, the full moon greeted me, casting its homage to the sun on the darkened waters. She was so pleased with me – just a real joy flowing forth. So I stopped at Carpenteria to snap this photo.

Is that Venus hiding in her skirts? Sweet promise!

I haven’t succeeded on human terms – that will certainly be said. But after so many sterile years offering truth to humanity, I’ve lost my attachment to your recognition. I work for my Abba – and my reward is the joy of the goddess that honors me.

Stolen Futures

Selfish personalities aren’t capable of sustaining anything from within themselves – they know and desire only what they are in this moment. To stay alive, then, they have to steal creative power from others.

Once caught out in the adult world, the only option left to the predator is children. Sadly, it is only the youngest that are innocent enough to accept the abuse while also being dependent enough to be unable to imagine that they can escape. Paradoxically, being so vulnerable they also lack the means to deliver material support to their abuser.

That leads to two outcomes. The harshest is to be sold into abuse by others. The second is to become spiritual victims: the abuser steals their creative capacities and thus their future.

This is why victims of trauma are drawn back into their past. In the moment of abuse, the abuser is stalking them in their future, stealing their vitality, energy and hope. Through time the abuser follows the victim like a shadow. In the most painful cases, relationships with friends and lovers are infected, sowing pathologies and fears that allow the abuser to suck energy out of those that love the victim.

There are two solutions here: one is to recognize and confront the spirit of the abuser and reclaim what they stole. The second is to cheat them of their sought-after reward by reaching back through time and whispering this to the younger self:

I love you.
We are strong enough.
Come to me.

Chinese Fire Walls

Trade war with China, correlating nicely with the latest hour-long private conversation between Trump and Putin.

The latter being the only party to benefit from this debacle.

You hope that the world understands that it isn’t a U.S. policy – it’s actually a Russian policy implemented by the toady in the White House.


So I took the big leap in January, quitting my job to practice hypnotherapy. I have a many-layered plan for building clientele, but after a month have managed to bring only a single person in for sessions. I was sitting in my office yesterday, holding my head in my hands and laughing in bewilderment, thinking “Why is it so hard to bring love into the world?”

I understand that part of the reason is that I don’t have a woman to vouch for me. When a single man projects love into mixed company, the message is often misinterpreted.

Realizing that I was in overload, I took the afternoon off to sit with a tea latte at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and read some more articles in “Dream Cultures” (Shulman and Stroumsa eds.). I was interrupted by a visit from one of my yoga instructors – we entered into a deep conversation on Revelation and maternal morality.

After she left I came across this in an article on medieval Muslim dream culture. The dreamer is a woman who served as the conduit for her husband’s teaching ministry. This dream is a personal message to her, however:

Again I heard a voice calling me from the bottom of the tree: can you make a pledge to protect this tree so that no hand would touch it? Then this tree is yours. Its roots have stood in sand and soil; many hands have touched it, and its fruit became worthless, then rotted and dried up. But now we have placed the rock around it, and we have nominated a bird over it, to watch over the fruit of this tree. Look!

The bird hopped upwards, climbing from branch to branch; whenever it perched on a dry branch, which looked like dry pegs, it became green and moist, and bunches of grapes hung down from it. The voice said: If you protect this tree faithfully the bird will reach the top of the tree and the whole tree will become green; if not, the bird will stay here, in the middle. I said: I will; indeed, I will protect it!

Even now I weep reading these words. This is what my heart has been craving! To find such a partner for my life!