|Step right in folks, welcome to The House of Hypocrisy. You may stay as long as you like, but let me warn you, residence is costly. You will pay with your soul.
The images may be blurry, the figures may be shadowy, but do not adjust your glasses. Your eyes will be of little help. .
The House of Hypocrisy has no location and all locations. It is in your neighborhood, it is in your home and it is even on the Internet. Yes, I am sorry to disappoint you friends, but the Internet is not a hypocrisy free zone. It has become infested with charlatans, cheats and master manipulators. The Internet is fertile ground for wordsmiths. Beware of them lest they use their power to hypnotize you. And when they point an eloquent accusatory finger at the world, take that finger and turn it back in their direction. Look behind the curtain if you dare. You have entered the chamber of Style Without Substance.
The inhabitants of this room are perhaps the scariest of all. They are parasites who will feed on you. And while they quietly dine on your naivete, they will supply you with the perfect enemy upon which to focus. Are you aware of what I am saying, friends? Can you consider that you could be looking in the wrong direction?
Forget about the guy in the White House, if only for a minute. He is merely a projection of the collective psyche. He is merely the most easily accessible exhibit in The House of Hypocrisy.
Look for the less visible. They may not be sitting and reading My Pet Goat, while America burns, but they are just as deadly. They may not be dropping bombs on Fallujah or building walls in Israel but they are just as violent. They rant and rave about the injustices on the other side of the globe, while stuffing their mouths with food and vomiting screeds on their computers. They weave word garments for you to adorn. And, because you have rebuilt your temple on the mount of the intellect, you are an undiscerning consumer.
"Attention Walmart Shoppers."
The Internet essayist is relatively new to the scene. Sometimes she comes from the world of journalism. Sometimes he comes from the educational system. Sometimes they come from the heart. Learn to tell the difference. Learn to know who lives behind the " words" so you will not be seduced by Webster's unabridged.
"By their fruits ye shall know them."
Who are these messengers? How do they treat the people in their lives? Are they condescending and disdainful? Are they merely opportunists, seizing upon tragedy for personal catharsis?
How do they treat the people with whom they disagree? Do they default into an attack mode? Do they put their imagined "mission" over the cries of people in pain?
"By their fruits ye shall know them."
So save your applause my friends. Don't build shrines and send money to people who have done nothing to deserve your praise. Listen to the cries of the those around you. Your world is exploding with opportunities that beg for your response. You need only to get off your ever widening butt and walk the talk. Begin now. Begin by finding the Exit Sign; the way out of the House of Hypocrisy.
Live Peace......... Be Peace (November 27, 2005)
"Some people think it's a miracle to walk on water. I think it is a miracle to walk on the earth in peace."
- Thich Nhat Hahn.
Most people know who Cindy Sheehan is. Most people have read how this incredible woman has taken the tragic loss of her son, Casey, who died in Iraq for a war based on lies, greed and corruption, and turned it into a mobilizing heroic effort. Cindy has transmuted violence into peace by example. Whether she is a Democrat or a Republican becomes irrelevant. Whether she is a Catholic or a Buddhist becomes irrelevant. Cindy is more than a label; she is greater than that. She has taken an "unspeakable" event and given everyone a mirror in which to reflect. How many of us have the courage to look?
Recently, Cindy gave a speech at Riverside Church in New York City. Reflecting on that event, she said:
"In a speech I delivered at the Riverside Church in NYC on the one year anniversary of Casey's death, which was also the 37th anniversary of MLK Jr's death, I said: we must all do one thing for peace each day. I now know that is not enough. We must live peace and embody peace if we want peace on earth. Our entire lives must be for peace. Not just one activity a day."
I saw Cindy Sheehan in the audience at a lecture I attended at The Ethical Culture Society in New York. After the lecture, I, and many others, went to greet her; to thank her, to hug her. The admiring throng was honored to be in her presence, to " touch the robes of a Master", to share the same space with someone who, indeed, "walks the talk".
And yet, how many people truly understood what they were feeling as they greeted Cindy? How many people merely intellectualized her words and her behavior and returned to their lives unchanged; lives peppered with hatred, anger, cruelty, and violent words.
While the intellect rules the planet and emotions are twisted and distorted, misused and abused, Cindy's words will remain merely "words". The intellect cannot grasp who she is or hear beyond her words. Cindy is talking about a way of life. Cindy is talking about a moment to moment experience. Cindy Sheehan is a personification of the heart, and the heart is the one organ which remains covered in our culture.
This woman has been misused by people who hang on a fragment of what she is and what she is saying. For these people, she becomes a wonderful platform upon which to build their vitriolic rants. Her actions get distorted into fuel for the personal fires of their rage.
It is time for all of us to stand naked in front of the mirror. It is time to throw away the defensive layer of flesh which keeps us out of touch with reality. It is time to throw away the drugs and the cigarettes and the booze. These are merely props in the play of self imposed isolation. They are keeping us isolated from our true nature. We cling to them as we cling to a lover. And though, they may temporarily blur the pain, the pain is always there. Why do you fear it? Why don't you get to know it? Why don't you go deeply into it? Stop running from it. Embrace it. Befriend your pain, your loneliness, your shadow nature, and, if you have the courage, you may become an authentic being. If you have the courage, your words will no longer ring hollow. Your life will become an example for everyone. You will have learned why you admire Cindy Sheehan.
We are a great deal more than we think we are. Do not be so quick to believe that reality is only what you can touch and taste. Do not get caught in the illusion of the three dimensional world. Do not dismiss the power of thought. Do not become an unwitting agent of your own destruction. Do not believe that your angry words, spoken under the guise of "peace", and your unkind actions to "the least of your brethren" do not affect the entire world. Do not dismiss my words as you reach for another cigarette. Do not dismiss the ancient wisdom because your eyes cannot see over the belly which you stuff to numb the feelings you are afraid to confront.
It is time to stop the violence.
Yesterday, I stood on a street corner with a group who was protesting the war in Iraq. A man called an obscenity from a passing car, and one of the "peaceniks" hurled an invective at the passing motorist. She laughed at her comment which had attacked the size of his manhood. Do you see the irony? Do you see the hypocrisy?
"We must live peace and embody peace if we want peace on earth.
Our entire lives must be for peace."
Letter To Judy (November 24, 2005)
Last week I was interviewed on Channel Islam. Prior to the interview I had my usual set of concerns. I was scheduled to speak for the first hour and to take questions from listeners during the second hour. Being far from an expert, I wondered if I had two hours worth of information and I wondered about the worth of the information I would impart. I wondered how I would be received by the audience. After all, Judy Andreas is merely an essayist who writes from her heart and feels things very deeply. I wondered if that would be good enough.
Surprisingly the two hours flew by and there was a strong emotional connection. My words seemed to come from the deepest part of me. The callers were gracious and accepting and I felt truly welcomed.
After the interview, the host stayed on the line to tell me how well it had gone. With gratitude, I felt that I had made a small contribution towards healing.
Today I received the following letter and asked the sender for permission to publish it He granted it gladly and requested that I omit his name and email address. The letter both warmed and broke my heart. I was born of Jewish parents and this man is a Muslim, yet these labels become meaningless as we meet in friendship and caring. There is no distance between us. This man is my brother.
I listened to part of your interview on Channel Islam from Zambia. It was a heartwarming experience for me also.
Your statements and comments were like music to I am sure all the Muslim listeners of Cii.
I have the following contribution to make from a Muslim perspective.
The confrontation we are witnessing today in my opinion is not just about democracy,oil reserves,occupied Palestine & Iraq.
Take the issue of wearing the head scarf for instance not only in France but also in some Muslim countries.
There was a case in Turkey recently where a Muslim lady was not allowed to wear the head scarf to university.
She took her case to the European court of human rights and lost.
A female physician in France has a notice posted outside her clinic."You are not allowed in if you're in Hijab".
I listened to a radio programme on the BBC about the construction of a mosque somewhere in Europe.
Residents of the locality signed petitions to the authorities complaining that the minaret was too high.
The minaret had to be reduced from 25mtrs to 15mtrs.
So why all the fuss about religious symbols predominantly Islamic?
Islam is a complete and comprehensive way of life.
Every aspect of life for a Muslim is part of religion.
There can therefore be no separation between secular and religious matters.
This is why in my opinion there appears to be a confrontation with the west.
Take the prohibition on usury in Islam also referred to as interest, for example.
This is an aspect for business but very much part of religion for a Muslim also.
The Quran clearly forbids any transaction with usury.
Muslims have therefore set up Islamic financial institutions based on profit sharing in some countries.
The way Islamic banking works is that the bank must share in the profit and loss.
In other financial systems the bank always wins.
I have seen people who have lost their homes and business to banks.
The west supports despots in the middle east for many reasons. One of the reasons is to ensure Islamic parties do not come to power at any cost.
There was an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in the 80's. President Assad ordered in the military who massacred over 10,000.
Was this reported in the media? I do not think so.
They know very well that if Islamic parties come to power they will abolish the interest system.
If interest is abolished how will the IMF and World Bank survive? The IMF and World Bank is one of the many systems put in place for global domination.
Muslims will ask authorities to take down nude bill boards near mosques as was the case in Britain recently.
They are afraid that Muslims will begin asking for more Islamic identity and the west will start looking like the "Middle West".
The news media and hollywood have already started their disinformation campaign against Islam with movies like The Siege with Denzel Washington.
Have you noticed the news media always focuses its cameras on veiled women in Muslim countries.
Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair and Bush often say that the enemies of freedom wish to impose their medieval vision on the world.
They consider the enemies of freedom to be the Muslims and their way of life.
Islam in my opinion is the only ideology that stands in the way of a group some call the Illuminati who have a sinister vision to subjugate the people of the world and their natural resources.
Their major tools are the Zionist controlled news media, movie theatres (I call brainwashing halls), financial institutions and the United Nations.
Mr. Bush was hard on Ariel Sharon in a few of his press statements. A couple of days later did you see how quickly he changed his tune to "Sharon is a man of peace"?
Affairs are not directed by Mr. Bush or Blair.
People are not aware of this because they only see and hear the voices of Mr. Blair and Bush.
Algeria is another good example.
The Islamic party there was poised to win an election when the commanders in the military backed by France stepped in and canceled the election.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is a religious party with popular support. They are banned from taking part in elections.
Their candidates have to stand as independents.
I guarantee you 100% that they would come to power if they were allowed to take part in elections.
The same goes for Hamas in Palestine.
In Zambia construction of a mosque was halted by the authorities when the building had reached window level.
Permission for the mosque was granted, then later revoked while construction was underway.
Do you see how events in the media have influenced the decision of the Zambian government to prevent the construction of a mosque?
I have concluded beyond any reasonable doubt that the war on terror is actually a cover for a war on Islam.
Thank you for the Cii interview. We look forward to you coming on air again.
It is pleasing to know that more and more people are becoming aware of this global conspiracy.
Reverence (November 21, 2005)
"Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I undertake to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life."
THICH NHAT HANH is a Zen Buddhist monk, peace activist, scholar, and poet
Last week, an Italian video about Fallujah was released on the Internet. I hesitated before viewing it. I knew the effect was going to be devastating. And yet, I knew that avoiding the reality would be cowardice and cowardice is a quality I cannot abide. And so, with choiceless awareness, I allowed the nightmare into my day.
I can only struggle for ways to describe the sickening feeling that overcame me. To say it was disturbing is a horrendous understatement. To say it was devastating is to minimize the impact. I am merely reduced to shaking my head in despair and looking with sorrow at what the human race has become.
Have we lost our reverence for life? Have we ever owned it? Am I a fool to trust that deep within each of us lies a place that is rarely visited; a place where hate, anger and self-indulgence are unwelcome; a place where compassion dwells. Can you trust that such a place exists and it is accessible? Can you understand that if we do not get to know this place intimately, we are indeed a doomed species?
Yes, the world is filled with anger, hatred and injustice. I hear the cries of people as they point their fingers at the assumed "culprits" and assure themselves that their rants are part of the solution. And yet, I believe quite the opposite. Can you hear what I am saying? I am saying that such words are part of the problem.
I am stating that we are all responsible. Yes, all of us!!! And unless we assume that responsibility, nothing will change. WE are the problem and WE are the solution. To target "the other" is both the depth of unconsciousness and the height of dishonesty.
Please understand. I am not in the least minimizing the situation that exists on Planet Earth in these more than troubled times. But Planet Earth is merely a reflection of each one of us. It is merely a mirror that has been provided for us. Don't turn away. Look. Look at your innermost beauty and your innermost ugliness. Keep your eyes focused on that mirror, forget the distractions, forget the television, forget the desires of the physical body. Learn the trick of the mirror.
Look, if only for a minute, at yourself. Look at your behavior. Look with eyes that can see. Peel away the veil of defensiveness. Look at how you treat your fellow human beings. Do you feel that these behaviors are unrelated to the behaviors in the Middle East? Look at your reaction to the people with whom you disagree. Look at your reaction to the people who appear different. Look at how you treat people in need. Look at how you treat the people who consciously or unconsciously offend you. Listen to how you talk to people with whom you disagree. Get to know your tyrant. Get to know your dictator. Where is the fascist now? Look in the mirror.
Life is so incredibly precious, and moment by moment it is slipping away. Moment by moment you are contributing to the hatred, anger and violence on this planet, and just because dead bodies are not lying in front of you, do not doubt for one minute the violent effect of what you are doing.
There is not a minute to waste. The time is now and it always has been and always will be now. Feel the urgency. This is the time to put an end to the violence. This is the time to be truly alive.
When we are truly alive, everything we do or touch is a miracle. When we are truly alive, we can appreciate and honor the beauty of life. When we are truly alive, we will do everything in our power to protect life. ALL life.
"If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life."
Question Everything (November 14, 2005)
As a child, I was never encouraged to question authority, in fact, I was never encouraged to question anything. Each morning I would don my uniform of obedience and go to the local public school where teachers fed me from the daily trough of accepted truths. Ours was not to question why; ours was but to file in silently and assume an erect posture on our assigned perches.
I learned the game quickly but had a difficult time playing by the rules.
"Judy will never have higher than a B in CONDUCT," Mrs Lathe told my mother. "She talks too much."
Standing in the corner of the room did nothing for my ego (or my conduct.) It's not that I was afflicted with Oppositional Defiant Disorder or anything so glamorous. Those were the days before ADHD and the parade of trendy media diseases. It's not even that I was a disruptive child. My transgressions rarely exceeded whispering to a neighboring student or slyly passing the "notorious note" while I thought the teacher had her eyes safely focused on her nail file. But, glancing over her bifocals, she pounced on the crumbled paper which had missed the distant desk. "Judy?!" "Go to the back of the class!" And so, in the world of clasped hands and straightly sitting students, I was doomed to wear the Scarlet Letter B.
"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." Albert Einstein.
As I grew older, though my questions found voice, they rarely found answers. I questioned my parents, I questioned my teachers, I questioned my religion, and, ultimately, I questioned the nature of reality. Nobody in my life seemed to appreciate the teenager with the big eyes ....always looking out at the world and asking "why?" Nobody appreciated the student with the big mouth who could not seem to remember that "children should be seen and not heard."
Tempus fugit and, through a series of predictable steps, I found myself cast in the role of wife and mother. My then husband also had difficulty understanding my "need to know."
"Why are you always searching?" It was my turn to field a question. "Why aren't you content just being a wife and mother?"
I loved being a mother, but there were certain aspects of wifedom (wifedumb?) that were akin to having my most precious part amputated....MY MIND.
My ex was a wonderful human being but was threatened by my intellectual pursuits. He felt, somehow, that they had the potential of destroying our relationship. The end came as he feared, though it was the attempted stifle that dealt the death knell. I could not be silenced. The part of me that, for lack of a better description, I will call my "higher self" stood behind me...pushing me forward, occasionally sideways and then forward once more.
I sought answers between the colorfully bound covers of books. In my early 20's, I fell in love with the writings of Wilhelm Reich and stayed faithful to him until Carl Jung entered my life. I was fascinated with Jung's archetypal world; sometimes referred to as dominants, imagos, mythological or primordial images. I read about the anima and animus, the trickster and, of course, the shadow. Jung felt that if you wanted to understand the jungle, you could not be content just to sail back and forth near the shore. "You've got to get into it, no matter how strange and frightening it might seem. " http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/jung.html
And so, I began my personal exploration of inner space. It was only a short trip (no pun intended) into mind altering experiences, which, by the way, included the worlds of metaphysics and mysticism. My explorations led me into the realm of unlimited possibilities and affirmed that "blind acceptance" was the dreaded demon that had possessed my educational journey.
A quick flip of the calendar and we have jumped forward to the year 2005. But have we really gone forward? As I read my email and listen to the news, I have nothing but questions. I question the cruelty and injustice in the world. I question the presence of a loving Creator and ask how such injustice could even exist. I look at the pictures of burned babies in Iraq and my heart burns with sorrow. The radio warns me about diseases and wars and endless terrorism. The Internet shows me pictures and articles about the plight of the Palestinians. I question how the Jewish people, with their cries of past persecution, can allow this to happen to even one other soul on the planet, no less an entire people. I question how we have created a world of hatred, competition, self absorption and bigotry.
Have I really moved forward? Perhaps not. For as I look out upon this world, I am keenly aware that there is something chillingly familiar about the landscape. I am back in my classroom but now it is populated by adults and Mrs. Lathe is no longer peering over her bifocals. She has learned to torture the students who step out of line. She has learned to imprison the people who have not memorized The New National Educational Manual of Martial Law. She has applied the shampoo of brainwashing to the heads of the obedient.
Questions are quickly becoming an endangered species and many of the students have caught on to the grim reality that questions, at this point in time, can have grave consequences . Grave consequences. But rest assured that they will be even worse if you remain silent.
Opening Up The Envelope (November 6, 2005)
Finding Your Life's Purpose
The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote that each of us comes to earth with a sealed envelope containing orders. We must struggle to find the contents and carry them out. Nobody can do it for us.
It took me many years to perceive the contents of my envelope. And now that I have I gotten a glimpse, I must admit that it has not simplified my life. In fact, there are days when I've yearned to rip it up and toss the pieces in a fire. There are times when I have longed to find a secluded beach and OM myself into an alternate reality. I have nostalgically mused upon those halcyon days when I stumbled blindly through my life, feasting on the bliss of ignorance. And yet, there is no turning back. Though I still walk into an occasional wall (more than occasionally) my dharma continues to become clearer. There is no whining "leave me alone, let me linger in my comfort zone for just awhile longer." There is no wrestling with awareness.
Dharma is a Sanskrit word that has varied meanings, depending on the context in which it is used. When I use the word, I am using it at its most expanded meaning. One must be true to ones essential Divine nature. This means acting in the spirit of harmony and unity with all things. We are all part of an indivisible whole. Everything has its own individual expression, its own purpose, its own role to play. And yet, everything has its own responsibility and that responsibility is to live in harmony with the whole. To this, I consecrate my life. That is only a small peek into the envelope which I carry around with me.
The still small voice whispers in my ear reminding me that on the day when the breath I breathe is my last, I do not want to be ruminating about missed opportunities. I do not want to know that I could have made the world a slightly better place but I was too busy embracing fear and cowardice.
September 11, 2001 was a day that catapulted me into a sense of reality from which there is no retreat. And, on that dreadful day, the burden of responsibility fell not only on the perpetrators of this heinous event, but on all of us. We were suddenly called upon to open our eyes, to question all that we heard and saw, to WAKE UP. Though the event was beyond jarring and it was too easy to let the mainstream media lackeys of our government tell us what to think, you did not need 20/20 eyesight to recognize a story filled with anomalies. You did not need a soaring I.Q. to figure out that we were being lied to. You merely had to move away from your sitcom du jour and begin your hero's journey in pursuit of the truth. It sounds so simple and yet, in reality, it is can be dauntingly difficult.
The task grows more complex with each passing day. My pursuit has led me far from the myths of my childhood. My journey has involved saying goodbye to old friends and embracing new ones. I have realized the necessity of leaving the religion of my parents far behind me among the pages of my earliest scrapbooks, and, in addition, placing all religions on the page of my past. I have left friends who, in their own confusion about my pursuits, were reduced to hurling invective. I sadly moved on. But, worst of all, my journey has included betrayal of a magnitude I still struggle to comprehend. I have learned that trust in another can be easily misplaced and I must struggle to remain free from bitterness. I wonder if these are the indelible scars that I must learn to live with and embrace. For ultimately, I am only responsible for my own behavior and cannot blame those who are floundering in a sea of lies and psychic turmoil.
Are we on the brink of self-annihilation? Is this, indeed, the eve of destruction? Has the window of opportunity closed on our freshly manicured nails? Should we be content to watch the "big game" on television and ignore the even bigger game of life? Many would say "yes."
So, what is your choice? Are you going to pull yourself away from the television? I'll tell you a secret. There is a larger and more compelling show in three dimensional reality and you have a starring role. What part are you going to play?
If you should chose to enter into your life fully and dynamically, be advised that there is a caveat. Once your feet are firmly planted on that road, it is difficult, if not impossible, to turn back. Your journey may take you through nightmares that rival your worst childhood dreams. Your world may flip over on its axis as heroes become villains and decadence and evil go beyond the grotesque. Your trip may call upon you to be scrupulously honest. You may have to grapple with loving the unlovable.
Life is a series of choices and they are ours alone to make. Do not listen to the chorus of naysayers. Do not allow people to tell you that you are a conspiracy nut or ask you why you are wasting your time. Recall the words of Aristotle who said:
"The high minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think. "
Rest in the awareness that you are spending, not wasting, your time and, perhaps, you are doing it in the noblest way possible. For, when stripped of all our toys, all we have is our truth and, on that day when we leave this physical world, it might be the only thing that we take with us.
As you progress on your journey, your pursuit can easily become your raison d'être. Your quest can easily become more important than life itself. You may even begin to think that it is life itself. And, you may be 100% correct.
"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do." William Blake
"As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities." Voltaire
Copyright Judy Andreas 2005