all that glitters!
Friday, December 30, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Editing Your Life
Our lives can be compared to an ongoing movie script over which we have complete creative control. Within us lies the power to examine what works or isn't working in our lives and make "edits" to our life's script, accordingly. Choosing to actively edit your life can be incredibly empowering. As you evolve, you have the choice to accept the script you've written thus far or edit it so you can create a life that fulfills you. You can cut out from your life's script what is no longer working for you. Acknowledging that you are responsible for the experience you create gives you the ability to create the life you've always longed for.
Granted, editing your real life isn't always as easy as erasing a line of text. If you've carried emotional baggage or held on to an unhealthy relationship for a long time, these may be difficult to edit out. But when you do cut out what isn't working from your life, you'll feel lighter and more alive. Editing out activities that you find stressful, disassociating yourself from people that drain your energy, and letting go of your emotional baggage are all beneficial cuts you can make. In the empty spaces that are left behind, you can add in anything you like. Just as you have the power to edit out negative situations or beliefs that you no longer wish to have as part of your life, you can now include the kinds of positive experiences, people, and beliefs that you would like to fill your life with. The manifestation of these thoughts and images as realities in your life will inevitably follow. As you make changes to your life, you can also add in the bits where you choose mo! re intimate, healthier relationships, seek out adventure over tedium, and are no longer negatively impacted by old experiences.
To begin editing your life, simply think about your positive and negative experiences. When you determine what parts of your life are no longer serving you, make the commitment to remove them - though, it is important to remember that there is no proper timing or way to do this, and patience and compassion for yourself are always important during this process. Then, ask yourself what has brought you profound bliss and consider how you can make those experiences and beliefs part of your life now. With a little editing, you'll be able to clear out what is no longer serving you and make room in your life for more happiness, love, and wisdom.
Posted by pam peters at 9:35 AM
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
An inspiring note from Michael de Meng~
I feel that it is important for artists to give back, because that'swhat we do...or should do. I've often felt that artists have to findways to make sure art is available to everyone interested, no mattereconomic status...this competition is one way I can level the playingfield.As an artist who is supported by my art, I'm sure I speak for myfellow artists: Support the arts. I say this not convince people tobuy my work (though that is always a bonus) but rather to point outthe importance of art in all or our lives. A step closer topreventing a grayer world. So I appeal to everyone to value art.Here's a few ways to do it.1. Make Art - one way to avoid the gray world syndrome is to make stuff.2. Go to, and support museums especially local ones. Museums areplaces for everyone to enjoy art - get involved and promote artistsand ideas you like.3. Invest in Art...not WalMart. I know that not everyone has a hugebank account, but set aside a certain amount each year to spend onoriginal art. Also, one of the best things is to own the art ofpeople you know and like. For an artist there is nothing moregratifying than making a piece for someone you care about. Also thereis nothing more gratifying than owning a piece of work created bysomeone you care about. My home is filled with art, not with my ownart, but with art made by artists who are dear friends.4. Teach your children the importance of Art. Tell them why the worldis a better place when art is valued. Teach them that appreciatingart is important but doing art is more important. Could you imagine aworld where art was a daily activity for everyone. Wouldn't the worldbe a more beautiful place.5. Talk about art. Your interests can rapidly spread to others.6. Be compassionate. Nothing moves the world into an artistic realmmore effectivly than love and empathy. Remember that art is whatconnects us to other people, the world, and beyond.Just a few things to think about.Michael deMeng
Michael de Meng ~art giveaway~
From: "Michael deMeng" firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Michael deMeng is giving away a piece of art for the holidays.Hey Collage Cats, thought you might be interested in this...Okay here's the deal. I've been thinking that because of all the support that everyone has given to me this last year, I've decided to give a little something back. I'm giving away an art freebie...that's right, free art. I'll be giving away one of my mixed media "trashy novels". Those of you who have taken a Book Shrine class will have seen the piece before. Here's the prize: http://www.michaeldemeng.com/bookcombo2.jpg The rules and the skinny. 1. Email me on December 15th (the next full moon) between the hours of 6 p.m. and 12. p.m EST 2. Send the email to: email@example.com
(IMPORTANT: must go to this address. Any entries sent to my other addresses will not count.) 3. The Subject line MUST read: "Where's my book, dag nab it?" 4. You are limited to 2 emails. 5. To win: you must be the 66th (year of my birth) email I receive between those hours. All I ask is that you speak kindly of me and forward my site to someone who might be interested (this is an honor system sort of thing). I will annouce the winner the morning of Dec. 16th (I will mention your name unless you don't want me to...please indicate) and will send the Art Book out that same day. Not sure if it will get there before Xmas...but should be close. Ho Ho Ho. Also there will be no favoritism...the big winner will be strictly chosen by the rules above (or the stars...depending on your belief system). Good luck Michael deMeng www.michaeldemeng.com
Posted by pam peters at 1:17 PM
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Friday, December 9, 2005
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
Saturday, December 3, 2005
Friday, December 2, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Methodists Defrock Lesbian Minister
Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 31 - The highest court within the United Methodist Church defrocked a lesbian minister Monday for violating the denomination's ban on "self-avowed, practicing homosexual" clergy.
Posted by pam peters at 8:26 AM
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Thursday, October 6, 2005
Republicans Recommend Killing NEA, PBS One hundred Republican members of Congress recommend ending funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS. Says the report: "In 2001, America spent $27 billion on nonprofit arts funding: $11.5 billion from the private sector; $14 billion in earned income (tickets sales, etc.); and $1.3 billion in combined federal, state, and local public support (of which $105 million was from the NEA -- 0.39% of total nonprofit arts funding)," the report states. "The funding could easily be funded by private donations. Savings: $1.8 billion over ten years ($678 million over five years)." Backstage 10/05/05
THIS IS A VERY BAD THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by pam peters at 8:54 AM
Monday, October 3, 2005
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Posted by pam peters at 5:58 PM
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Dalai Lama Urges Peace Through 'Science of Emotions'
By Jeff Diamant And Maura McDermott
Religion News Service
Piscataway, N.J., Sept. 25 -- Sharing the simple spiritual lessons that have become his calling card, the Dalai Lama drew the largest crowd for a non-athletic event in Rutgers University history Sunday for a wide-ranging speech on what he called the "science of emotions."
From a massive stage behind the goal line near the Rutgers Stadium scoreboard, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism spoke of inner peace and world peace, and of the connection between them.
With occasional help from a translator sitting next to him, the man believed to be the 14th incarnation of the Buddha of Compassion joked with an appreciative crowd and answered questions on morality submitted earlier via e-mail.
The audience that began arriving hours before the speech reflected the popularity of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner among Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Jews.
Little in his speech was specific to Buddhism, and he urged listeners to think of his message not as religious "but rather (as) a science of emotions, the science of mind."
The chief themes in his talk, titled "Peace, War and Reconciliation," were the importance of being compassionate and of controlling negative emotions, and how doing so helps improve the world.
Compassion, he said, drives peace, and true compassion "is not just a mere feeling of pitiness (pity)" but a sense of concern for others that stems from feelings of equality with them.
That, he said, contributes to an "inner disarmament" that can help people get along and eventually lead to world peace.
Negative emotions like anger and hatred, he said, can cloud people's vision and better judgment.
The Dalai Lama, known as "His Holiness" to followers, made his points with stories of two Tibetan Buddhist monks.
The first monk, he said, had spent nearly 20 years in a Chinese prison, and when he was released to speak with the Dalai Lama in the 1980s, he told the Dalai Lama he had been in danger on a "few occasions."
The Dalai Lama asked the monk to elaborate, and he responded that he had been in danger of losing compassion for the Chinese: "He considered forgetting compassion as very serious and dangerous," the Dalai Lama said.
The second monk, on the other hand, was so angry at Chinese rulers for their actions in Tibet that "his face became red" when talking about them. "This kind of hatred brings more suffering to yourself," the Dalai Lama said he told him.
It was a message that held special significance for people in the crowd such as Lara Brewche of Monroe Township, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident at age 16.
"I knew enough to let the anger go, and I made a wonderful life for myself," said Brewche, 34, who grew up Catholic and embraced Buddhism a year ago.
Urging Americans to help narrow the worldwide gap between rich and poor, the Dalai Lama asked his young listeners to grow into adults willing to help people outside American borders.
"You must develop self-confidence, awareness and holistic views ... particularly (on) global issues," he said. "You must look from wider perspective, not just talk America, America, America, like that."
He also made the crowd laugh repeatedly, like when he demonstrated his awareness of artificial turf on sports fields. Motioning toward the field before him, he discussed the sanctity of all living things, "including those trees and this grass -- I think this grass true grass, not artificial. I don't know."
The grass is actually an artificial variety called "Field Turf."
Earlier, he left the audience giggling with his introduction, given minutes after he received an honorary degree from Rutgers President Richard McCormick.
"I have nothing to offer (as) new ideas, or new views. Nothing special. So you may disappoint after listen my ... lecture. If you feel boring, then I'm sorry. But at least today this weather not hot, not cold. Quite pleasant. So just a few minutes you spend here OK. Not much problem."
Many in the far corners of the stadium had trouble hearing him on the sound system. But overall the Dalai Lama, author of "The Art of Happiness," a 1998 best-seller, was a hit.
"He was not pretentious, he was not a know-it-all person," said Rajul Shah, 58, of Basking Ridge. "You felt you were talking to a friend and listening to a friend, having a conversation with a friend. What he preached here wasn't religion, it was very spiritual. ... It just brings peace and satisfaction to yourself and others."
A married couple, Maya Sondhi, 33, and Binu Wariyar, 37, of Stamford, Conn., met for the first time at a Dalai Lama speech two years ago in Central Park and came Sunday on their one-year anniversary with their parents.
"It's a full circle. A year ago we got married, the families were together. The Dalai Lama brought us together," said Sondhi, whose in-laws flew in from Nebraska.
Her father-in-law, Bala Wariyar, 67, said he has considered himself a fan of the Dalai Lama since Wariyar was a college student in India in the 1950s. The Dalai Lama has been exiled from Tibet since 1959, when he fled to India after a failed uprising against Chinese Communist leadership, which conquered Tibet in 1951.
"He's a David against a Goliath," Wariyar said.
If it wasn't the largest crowd in Rutgers Stadium history -- that honor goes to the crowd of 42,612 for the Sept. 4, 2004, Rutgers-Michigan State game -- it may have been the least rowdy.
Most of the 36,000 people were quiet and still throughout the 90-minute talk. Now and then someone would hold up a cell phone to snap a photo of the Dalai Lama's image on the large screen, or laugh at a joke the spiritual leader made or applaud when he spoke against violence. And hundreds left during the last few minutes of the question-and-answer period. But for the most part, even babies in the crowd seemed quiet.
After his Piscataway speech the Dalai Lama traveled to Manhattan for another speech. The monk has also spoken in Arizona, Idaho and Texas this month.
Posted by pam peters at 12:23 PM
Monday, September 26, 2005
The weekend was laid back...as was most of last week....so now, I am behind in work
Need to fix this mess....used permanent mask by mistake.....now I can't cover it up (hard for transparent watercolor)
Have asked the artists at WETCANVAS.com to help
We'll see what develops
Can you help????
Posted by pam peters at 10:00 AM
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
You are both logical and creative. You are full of ideas.
You are so rational that you analyze everything. This drives people a little crazy!
Intelligence is important to you. You always like to be around smart people.
In fact, you're often a little short with people who don't impress you mentally.
You seem distant to some - but it's usually because you're deep in thought.
Those who understand you best are fellow Rationals.
In love, you tend to approach things with logic. You seek a compatible mate - who is also very intelligent.
At work, you tend to gravitate toward idea building careers - like programming, medicine, or academia.
With others, you are very honest and direct. People often can't take your criticism well.
As far as your looks go, you're coasting on what you were born with. You think fashion is silly.
On weekends, you spend most of your time thinking, experimenting with new ideas, or learning new things.
Posted by pam peters at 6:43 PM
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Have had 11 artists here for several days...this ia a painting I did while they were here.
I don't really llike to paint flowers, but some folks were painting out of doors en pleine aire....and I did't go.
The others were here at the house working on a new technique, so I used the photo they were using.
It's a 12 x 16 watercolor.
Off to meet friends for lunch....skipping golf today....I'm pooped.
Posted by pam peters at 10:09 AM
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Posted by pam peters at 12:05 PM
This is so sad, that a woman had to die
I am against the death penalty. I know there are no real alternatives in this country under the thought processes we currently have.
It is clear to me as a social worker and psychotherapist, that these folks need help, not death.
The prison populatins grow and grow and no one "gets it"
Posted by pam peters at 7:37 AM
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Ebay is painfully slow right now.....
It has rained for 2 days....Lord know we need it.....feels so different. We realized this afternoon that the car had not been washed since July.....because it hasn't rained since then.....and then look at NOLA.....
The trees are browning...never even turned yellow this year
Posted by pam peters at 5:49 PM
Dalai Lama urges 'respect, compassion, and full human rights for all,' including gays
by Dennis Conkin
Bay Area Reporter, June 19th, 1997
The Dalai Lama, world-revered leader of millions of Buddhists and leader of the Tibetan people, spoke out strongly against discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays during an extraordinary Wednesday, June 11 meeting in San Francisco with lesbian and gay Buddhists, clergy, and human rights activists.
The religious leader said at the press conference that he had previously been asked his views on gay marriage, and said that such social sanction of gay relationships "has to be judged in the context of the society itself and the laws and social norms."
During the 45-minute meeting, the Nobel peace laureate and Buddhist religious leader voiced his support for the full recognition of human rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
Buddhist sexual proscriptions ban homosexual sexual activity and heterosexual sex through orifices other than the vagina, including masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand. Buddhist proscriptions also forbid sex at certain times - such as during full and half moon days, the daytime, and during a wife's menstrual period or pregnancy - or near shrines or temples. Adultery is considered sexual misconduct, but the hiring of a female prostitute for penile-vaginal sex is not, unless one pays a third party to procure the person.
From a "Buddhist point of view," lesbian and gay sex "is generally considered sexual misconduct," the Dalai Lama told reporters at a press conference a day earlier.
However, such proscriptions are for members of the Buddhist faith - and from "society's viewpoint," homosexual sexual relations can be "of mutual benefit, enjoyable, and harmless," according to the Dalai Lama.
"His Holiness was greatly concerned by reports made available to him regarding violence and discrimination against gay and lesbian people. His Holiness opposes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation. He urges respect, tolerance, compassion, and the full recognition of human rights for all," said Office of Tibet spokesman Dawa Tsering in a statement issued within an hour of the meeting.
Photographs of the historic event were taken, but were available only on the condition that participants' quotes be reviewed prior to publication.
That condition violates journalistic canons regarding the freedom of the press. The Bay Area Reporter declined any conditions for the release of the photographs and has lodged a protest with the National Gay and Lesbian Journalism Association over their embargo.
Concern about violence
The extraordinary meeting was held at the Buddhist leader's suite at the Fairmont Hotel, on the last day of "Peacemaking: The Power of Non-Violence," a three-day conference held at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.
Sponsored by The California Institute of Asian Studies and Tibet House, the conference featured plenary sessions, workshops, and discussions with a wide array of international, national, and local human rights and violence prevention and intervention leaders, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, actor Edward James Olmos, East Timor human rights leader and Nobel laureate Jose Ramos-Horta, and others, including a representative of Nobel peace laureate and Guatemalan peace activist Rigoberta Menchu.
The meeting with lesbians and gays followed a January 1996 report by the Bay Area Reporter that detailed an open letter by Buddhist AIDS Project coordinator Steve Peskind, asking the world-revered spiritual leader of millions of Buddhists to publicly clarify his published contradictory statements on homosexuality.
Peskind said that he was motivated by concern about the violence and harm caused to lesbian and gays around the world through pronouncements against homosexual sexual activity by Buddhist religious leaders such as the Dalai Lama.
Many gay and lesbian Buddhists have reported virulenty anti-gay sentiments and teachings from religious teachers in Tibetan and other Buddhist practice lines.
A former Tibetan Buddhist monk, Peskind is a well-known figure in Buddhist and AIDS circles and is a co-founder of the San Francisco-based Shanti Project and Coming Home Hospice.
When asked last January by the Bay Area Reporter if the Dalai Lama might meet with Peskind or other lesbian and gay Buddhists leaders during the June conference, a California Institute For Integral Studies special events organizer initially indicated that such a tete-a-tete would be unlikely.
Gay and lesbian political and anti-violence leaders including Supervisor Tom Ammiano and Lester Olmstead-Rose quickly joined with Peskind, asking for the clarification of the religious leader's statements proclaiming homosexual sex as sexual misconduct.
Warm and relaxed
The possibility of organized gay and lesbian protest, including a high-profile public information ad campaign conducted in the national media such as the New York Times - and conference site picketing - was defused after the flap was discussed during a cabinet session of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India, and a meeting with Peskind and others was scheduled by the Office of Tibet.
Peskind and Buddhist AIDS Project co-leader Jim Purfield were also hastily invited by Tibet House conference organizers to present a workshop on homophobia and violence with representatives of Community United Against Violence. The workshop drew an estimated 50 participants, many of them lesbian and gay. Several AIDS prevention and social service professionals who work with lesbian and gay youth also attended that workshop.
The private meeting between representatives of the lesbian and gay community and the Dalai Lama was described as "warm and relaxed."
The Dalai Lama also expressed interest in the insights of modern scientific research on homosexuality and its value in developing new understanding of Buddhist texts that nix homosexual activity, participants said.
Reiterating in the private meeting that he did not have the authority to unilaterally reinterpret Buddhist scriptures, the Dalai Lama also urged those present to build a consensus among other Buddhist traditions and communities to collectively change the understanding of the Buddhist scriptural references on sexuality for contemporary society, according to a joint statement issued by participants.
During the meeting, the Dalai Lama also candidly acknowledged that he did not know the foundations of scriptural proscriptions against sexual activity or where they originated, Peskind said.
Participants also said the Dalai Lama expressed the "willingness to consider the possibility that some of the teachings may be specific to a particular cultural and historic context."
According to longtime Buddhist observer and writer Scott Hunt, whose 1993 interview with the leader was published in the January/February 1994 Out magazine, the response of the Dalai Lama to the controversy over the teachings is significant.
Hunt said the religious leader could have put forth the underlying "moral underpinnings" of the strictures - and clearly stated the basis and positive effects of such teachings.
Instead, Hunt said, by propounding the teachings without such discussion, the Dalai Lama seems to be "engaging in dogmatic repetition" and is apparently unable to substantiate their beneficial character, and because of his response, the validity of the teachings have been cast "into serious doubt." Vigorous debate about such issues and exception to the views of religious leaders such as the Dalai Lama are neither heresy or disrespectful in Buddhist traditions.
"In fact, it's the practitioner's duty to examine dogmatic views and to determine their validity," Hunt said. During the private session, the religious teacher told the activists they would have a harder time changing Buddhist scripture and tradition than advocating for their human rights based on Buddhist principles, according to Peskind.
Organized for the Office of Tibet by attorney Eva Herzer, president of the International Committee of Lawyers For Tibet, the historic meeting included Herzer, Peskind, Buddhist Peace Fellowship activist and Claremont Graduate School Professor of Education Lourdes Arguelles, and Jose Ignacio Cabezon, a gay Buddhist scholar and professor at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado.
Other participants included the Ven. K.T. Shedrup Gyatso, a fully ordained and openly gay Buddhist monk and teacher who is the spiritual director of the San Jose Tibetan Temple; International Gay And Lesbian Human Rights Commission co-chair Tinku Ali Ishtiaq; and former Congregation Sha'ar Zahav Rabbi Yoel Khan.
"There is still room for movement," Ishtiaq told the Bay Area Reporter. But the human rights activist said the Dalai Lama's support for lesbian and gay rights is "very significant."
Ishtiaq said that the Nobel laureate commands tremendous respect around the world and hoped the leader's historic statement would have "considerable impact on non-Buddhist religious traditions."
A conference on Buddhism, sex, gender, and diversity issues is being planned, following the historic meeting with the world religious leader.
Posted by pam peters at 10:38 AM
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
THE YEAR 1905
Maybe this will boggle your mind, I know it did mine! The year is 1905 one hundred years ago. What a difference a cen! tury makes! Here are some of the U.S. statistics for 1905:
The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.
With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound, eggs were fourteen cents a dozen, coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.
The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars.
Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet. The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two of 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharma! cist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to th e mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."
Eighteen percent of households in the U.S had at least one full-time servant or domestic.
There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.
Posted by pam peters at 1:43 PM
Monday, September 5, 2005
Posted by pam peters at 4:28 PM
It has been a beautiful and relaxing weekend. We played golf today with 2 very nice tourists from Wisconsin (who even bought our lunch afterwards!!)
It is stunning here right now....70s and sunny...clear as a bell.
Yesterday we attended a "picnic" at a friend's "cabin" up in Essex, Montana on 160 acres of woods....wonderful.
Posted by pam peters at 4:22 PM
Saturday, September 3, 2005
Butterfly Wishes....pocket card
available on EBAY:
Today is Saturday...a beautiful sunny day in the Rockies.
The grasses are turning brown and I noticed this morning that the burning bush in the back garden is beginning to turn red....*sigh*....Summer is so short here, but so beautiful.
The dryness has made all the greens turn to beige, camuel and brown.
Posted by pam peters at 11:46 AM
Thursday, September 1, 2005
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Posted by pam peters at 4:46 PM
Posted by pam peters at 12:14 PM
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
QUOTE FOR THE DAY
In collage you're doing it in stages so you're not actually doing it right there. You first of all draw it on the paper, then you cut it up, then you paste it down, then you change it, then you shove it about, then you may paint bits of it over, so actually you're not making the picture there and then, you're making it through a process, so it's not so spontaneous. (Paula Rego)
Posted by pam peters at 5:19 PM
Friday, August 26, 2005
Posted by pam peters at 12:07 PM
Posted by pam peters at 12:04 PM
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Posted by pam peters at 2:38 PM
Funny......I wasn't sure he could read
Wonder what Cheney's reading???
Posted by pam peters at 8:32 AM
*clappin and dancin*
I finally have a WHOLE DAY to be in the studio!!!
There are so many things to do.,....first of all, I have to find it!!!!
Fookie telle me she will help *rolling eyes*
QUOTE for the day
People who aren't artists seem to not understand exactly what a studio is. It's not a store. It's not a factory. It's not a theme park. It's my personal space and their company is not so invasive. (Eleanor Blair)
Posted by pam peters at 8:20 AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Do you know about THE PAINTER'S KEYS?
It is a really nice effort by artist Robert Genn. He also sends out a weekly newsletter.
I like the way he includes letters from artists.
When any one of us is aligned with our purpose, there is an inexhaustible source of energy. Once you're aligned with your purpose, the energy is always there to do whatever you need. You never get tired, and you do everything with a sense of joy. It's actually effortless Â it's a flow. (Dennis Kucinich)
~~~~~~So, I guess if I don't have energy...Itt must not be my true purpose???Welll that would explain many of the jobs I have had......
Posted by pam peters at 8:53 AM
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Gotta love this one, eh?:
Florida Museumgoers Line Up to See Corpses
Calvin Knight/The Ledger
A preserved corpse posed as a soccer player is on view as part of "Bodies: The Exhibition" at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, Fla.
By ABBY WEINGARTEN,
New York Times Regional Newspapers
Published: August 20, 2005
TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 19 - There are skinless cadavers sliced in two, tarred human lungs in glass cases, dehydrated brains you can touch. One corpse is posed as a soccer player, balancing on one foot and exposing the complex connection of bones, tendons and muscles.
Skip to next paragraph
Forum: Artists and Exhibitions
Calvin Knight/The Ledger
Susan Dooley viewing a corpse at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, Fla.
Shrugging off recommendations from a state medical board and the Florida attorney general, this city's Museum of Science and Industry opened this educational exhibition of human corpses and body parts on Thursday, two days earlier than planned. By the second day, the show, "Bodies: The Exhibition," had drawn about 3,600 visitors.
"Our main reason for opening early was that we've been inundated with calls and e-mails," said Candace Street, a museum spokeswoman. But given the opposition of state officials, it was clear that the museum wanted to admit as many visitors as quickly as possible - ticket price, $19.95 - in case Florida authorities moved to close the exhibition.
The intense interest in the show can be partly credited to a controversy over the origins of the specimens. The cadavers on display are those of 20 mostly middle-aged Chinese women and men; 260 other body parts are also among the exhibits.
Citing a lack of documentation proving that family members identified the corpses and allowed their transfer, Florida's Anatomical Board, which oversees the bodies sent to state medical schools, voted 4 to 2 on Wednesday against granting its approval for the traveling exhibition organized by Premier Exhibitions of Atlanta.
State Attorney General Charlie Crist immediately said the museum should abide by the ruling, although his office made clear that it had no authority to enforce the board's decision. The Anatomical Board said Thursday afternoon that it would seek clarification of the law from state lawmakers, but not legal action. Officials at Premier, which has invested more than $25 million in the show, said that the board had no jurisdiction and that they would take the issue to court if necessary.
Premier officials said the corpses and body parts were obtained from and are owned by the Dalian Medical University in China. The university obtained rights to exhibit the unidentified bodies after placing advertisements in three newspapers over a month seeking their identification. "They were obtained by the medical school in China legally, and there is documentation for that; there is just not signed consent," said Dr. Roy Glover, Premier's chief medical adviser for the show.
Premier's assurances do not eliminate the concerns of Dr. Art Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.
"In some poor undeveloped countries the bodies consent practices haven't been outstanding," Dr. Caplan said. "China hasn't had the greatest track record. I'm a little suspicious about that source."
This is not the first time such a museum exhibition has been mounted in the United States. A similar one that has been traveling the globe since 1996, "Body Worlds," has generated controversy as well. Dr. Caplan was on an ethical board reviewing "Body Worlds" for a forthcoming exhibition in Philadelphia and said consent was also reviewed for that exhibition. The promoter showed that the bodies were legally obtained from Europe. But the larger concerns were about how the bodies would be displayed and the extent of profits. "Body Worlds" allayed the board's fear by agreeing to put some money back into education.
(After the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that some of the "Body Worlds" corpses were Chinese execution victims, the show's creator, Gunther von Hagens, said he had sought to avoid accepting such cadavers. "My orders have always been clear: no one who was sentenced to death," he was quoted as saying last year.)
"Body Worlds" is currently at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, through Sept. 5; a second version, "Body Worlds 2," is at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland through Sept. 18.
These shows feature human corpses, organs, glands, tendons and arteries preserved by the injection of silicon rubber or other synthetic material after the removal of fluids.
In Tampa, visitors can study how each body part functions, and how illnesses and behaviors like smoking affect specific organs. The exhibition also features a gallery of dead fetuses in which visitors can view development from one to nine months.
Placards explain each exhibit, trained docents answer questions and visitors can pay an extra $5 for adult and youth audio tours.
People filing out of the museum on Thursday and Friday seemed generally impressed. "It's a phenomenal journey," said Anna Burford, a registered nurse from St. Petersburg who said she had spent four hours following the audio tour. "I filled up with tears on more than one occasion."
But Will Hyland of New Port Richie had mixed feelings. "It was interesting, but I think you have to consider the human side of it too," he said. "I came out wondering why they did a lot of the things they did, like the 'fetus gallery.' To me, it was kind of weird."
Ryan Bradley, 10, of Tampa, said he enjoyed most of the show but was "grossed out" by certain parts.
The show, which cost the museum $1.6 million to mount, continues through Feb. 26. More than 1,000 tickets for the 14,000-square-foot spectacle were sold before opening day, and the museum's president, Wit Ostrenko, said he was hoping that as many as 200,000 people would attend.
After the polymer preservation process, Premier Exhibitions said, Chinese dissectors wrapped the dry, odorless corpses in shipping containers, which all passed through United States customs.
Premier said it had specifically asked for certain body types showing varying degrees of fitness. The company also said it had requested the bodies of smokers and people who had suffered prostate cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, atherosclerosis and breast cancer - diseases for which patients can be screened in regular checkups.
After their display, the bodies will be given to medical schools or returned to the university in China and cremated, Dr. Glover said.
Lynn Waddell contributed reporting for this article.
Posted by pam peters at 4:07 PM
Friday, August 19, 2005
I have become spoiled....I HATE it when I have something scheduled OUTSIDE every day
I like to stay in once in a while and work in the studio all day. I find I have more creativity when I can start and continue....
The last 2 weeks have been miserable and I am cranky and tired from having some "committment" every day.
Almost look forward to Winter..............
Posted by pam peters at 9:48 AM
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
It does not matter what your religion or philosophy.....they are all alike in the notions of responsibilty and care for others.
What has happened here in America to make us so selfish and self-centered????
Posted by pam peters at 10:53 AM
The Global Community and The Need for Universal Responsibility
by H.H. the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
The global community
As the twentieth century draws to a close, we find that the world has grown smaller and the world's people have become almost one community. Political and military alliances have created large multinational groups, industry and international trade have produced a global economy, and worldwide communications are eliminating ancient barriers of distance, language and race. We are also being drawn together by the grave problems we face: overpopulation, dwindling natural resources, and an environmental crisis that threatens our air, water, and trees, along with the vast number of beautiful life forms that are the very foundation of existence on this small planet we share.
I believe that to meet the challenge of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for his or her own self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable use of natural resources, and through concern for future generations, the proper care of the environment.
For some time, I have been thinking about how to increase our sense of mutual responsibility and the altruistic motive from which it derives. Briefly, I would like to offer my thoughts.
One human family
Whether we like it or not, we have all been born on this earth as part of one great human family. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, belonging to one nation or another, to one religion or another, adhering to this ideology or that, ultimately each of us is just a human being like everyone else: we all desire happiness and do not want suffering. Furthermore, each of us has an equal right to pursue these goals. Today's world requires that we accept the oneness of humanity. In the past, isolated communities could afford to think of one another as fundamentally separate and even existed in total isolation. Nowadays, however, events in one part of the world eventually affect the entire planet. Therefore we have to treat each major local problem as a global concern from the moment it begins. We can no longer invoke the national, racial or ideological barriers that separate us without destructive repercussions. In the context of our new interdependence, considering the interests of others is clearly the best form of self-interest.
I view this fact as a source of hope The necessity for cooperation can only strengthen mankind, because it helps us recognize that the most secure foundation for the new world order is not simply broader political and economic alliances, but rather each individual's genuine practice of love and compassion. For a better, happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brother- and sisterhood.
The medicine of altruism
In Tibet we say that many illnesses can be cured by the one medicine of love and compassion. These qualities are the ultimate source of human happiness, and our need for them lies at the very core of our being. Unfortunately, love and compassion have been omitted from too many spheres of social interaction for too long. Usually confined to family and home, their practice in public life is considered impractical, even naive. This is tragic. In my view, the practice of compassion is not just a symptom of unrealistic idealism but the most effective way to pursue the best interests of others as well our own. The more we— as a nation, a group or as individuals—depend upon others, the more it is in our own best interests to ensure their well-being.
Practicing altruism is the real source of compromise and cooperation; merely recognizing our need for harmony is not enough. A mind committed to compassion is like an overflowing reservoir—a constant source of energy, determination and kindness. This mind is like a seed; when cultivated, it gives rise to many other good qualities, such as forgiveness, tolerance, inner strength and the confidence to overcome fear and insecurity. The compassionate mind is like an elixir; it is capable of transforming bad situations into beneficial ones. Therefore we should not limit our expressions of love and compassion to our family and friends. Nor is compassion only the responsibility of clergy, health care and social workers. It is the necessary business of every part of the human community.
Whether a conflict lies in the field of politics, business or religion, an altruistic approach is frequently the sole means of resolving it. Sometimes the very concepts we use to mediate a dispute are themselves the cause of the problem. At such times, when a resolution seems impossible, both sides should recall the basic human nature that unites them. This will help break the impasse and, in the long run, make it easier for everyone to attain their goal. Although neither side may be fully satisfied, if both make concessions, at the very least, the danger of further conflict will be averted. We all know that this form of compromise is the most effective way of solving problems—why, then, do we not use it more often?
When I consider the lack of cooperation in human society, I can only conclude that it stems from ignorance of our interdependent nature. I am often moved by the example of small insects, such as bees. The laws of nature dictate that bees work together in order to survive. As a result, they possess an instinctive sense of social responsibility. They have no constitution, laws, police, religion or moral training, but because of their nature they labor faithfully together. Occasionally they may fight, but in general the whole colony survives on the basis of cooperation. Human beings, on the other hand, have constitutions, vast legal systems and police forces; we have religion, remarkable intelligence and a heart with a great capacity to love. But despite our many extraordinary qualities, in actual practice we lag behind those small insects; in some ways, I feel we are poorer than the bees.
For instance, millions of people live together in large cities all over the world, but despite this proximity, many are lonely. Some do not have even one human being with whom to share their deepest feelings, and live in a state of perpetual agitation. This is very sad. We are not solitary animals that associate only in order to mate. If we were, why would we build large cities and towns? But even though we are social animals compelled to live together, unfortunately, we lack a sense of responsibility towards our fellow humans. Does the fault lie in our social architecture - the basic structures of family and community that support our society? Is it in our external facilities—our machines, science and technology? I do not think so.
I believe that despite the rapid advances made by civilization in this century, the most immediate cause of our present dilemma is our undue emphasis on material development alone. We have become so engrossed in its pursuit that, without even knowing it, we have neglected to foster the most basic human needs of love, kindness, cooperation and caring. If we do not know someone or find another reason for not feeling connected with a particular individual or group, we simply ignore them. But the development of human society is based entirely on people helping each other. Once we have lost the essential humanity that is our foundation, what is the point of pursuing only material improvement?
To me, it is clear: a genuine sense of responsibility can result only if we develop compassion. Only a spontaneous feeling of empathy for others can really motivate us to act on their behalf. I have explained how to cultivate compassion elsewhere. For the remainder of this short piece, I would like to discuss how our present global situation can be improved by greater reliance on universal responsibility.
First, I should mention that I do not believe in creating movements or espousing ideologies. Nor do I like the practice of establishing an organization to promote a particular idea, which implies that one group of people alone is responsible for the attainment of that goal, while everybody else is exempt. In our present circumstances, none of us can afford to assume that somebody else will solve our problems; each of us must take his or her own share of universal responsibility. In this way, as the number of concerned, responsible individuals grows, tens, hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of such people will greatly improve the general atmosphere. Positive change does not come quickly and demands ongoing effort. If we become discouraged we may not attain even the simplest goals. With constant, determined application, we can accomplish even the most difficult objectives.
Adopting an attitude of universal responsibility is essentially a personal matter. The real test of compassion is not what we say in abstract discussions but how we conduct ourselves in daily life. Still, certain fundamental views are basic to the practice of altruism.
Though no system of government is perfect, democracy is that which is closest to humanity's essential nature. Hence those of us who enjoy it must continue to fight for all people's right to do so. Furthermore, democracy is the only stable foundation upon which a global political structure can be built. To work as one, we must respect the right of all peoples and nations to maintain their own distinctive character and values.
In particular, a tremendous effort will be required to bring compassion into the realm of international business. Economic inequality, especially that between developed and developing nations, remains the greatest source of suffering on this planet. Even though they will lose money in the short term, large multinational corporations must curtail their exploitation of poor nations. Tapping the few precious resources such countries possess simply to fuel consumerism in the developed world is disastrous; if it continues unchecked, eventually we shall all suffer. Strengthening weak, undiversified economies is a far wiser policy for promoting both political and economic stability. As idealistic as it may sound, altruism, not just competition and the desire for wealth, should be a driving force in business.
We also need to renew our commitment to human values in the field of modern science. Though the main purpose of science is to learn more about reality, another of its goals is to improve the quality of life. Without altruistic motivation, scientists cannot distinguish between beneficial technologies and the merely expedient. The environmental damage surrounding us is the most obvious example of the result of this confusion, but proper motivation may be even more relevant in governing how we handle the extraordinary new array of biological techniques with which we can now manipulate the subtle structures of life itself. If we do not base our every action on an ethical foundation, we run the risk of inflicting terrible harm on the delicate matrix of life.
Nor are the religions of the world exempt from this responsibility The purpose of religion is not to build beautiful churches or temples, but to cultivate positive human qualities such as tolerance generosity and love. Every world religion, no matter what its philosophical view, is founded first and foremost on the precept that we must reduce our selfishness and serve others. Unfortunately, sometimes religion itself causes more quarrels than it solves. Practitioners of different faiths should realize that each religious tradition has immense intrinsic value and the means for providing mental and spiritual health. One religion, like a single type of food, cannot satisfy everybody. According to their varying mental dispositions, some people benefit from one kind of teaching, others from another. Each faith has the ability to produce fine, warmhearted people and despite their espousal of often contradictory philosophies, all religions have succeeded in doing so. Thus there is no reason to engage in divisive religious bigotry and intolerance, and every reason to cherish and respect all forms of spiritual practice.
Certainly, the most important field in which to sow the seeds of greater altruism is international relations. In the past few years the world has changed dramatically. I think we would all agree that the end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have ushered in a new historical era. As we move through the 1990s it would seem that human experience in the twentieth century has come full circle.
This has been the most painful period in human history, a time when, because of the vast increase in the destructive power of weapons, more people have suffered from and died by violence than ever before. Furthermore, we have also witnessed an almost terminal competition between the fundamental ideologies that have always torn the human community: force and raw power on the one hand, and freedom, pluralism, individual rights and democracy on the other. I believe that the results of this great competition are now clear. Though the good human spirit of peace, freedom and democracy still faces many forms of tyranny and evil, it is nevertheless an unmistakable fact that the vast majority of people everywhere want it to triumph. Thus the tragedies of our time have not been entirely without benefit, and have in many cases been the very means by which the human mind has been opened. The collapse of communism demonstrates this.
Although communism espoused many noble ideals, including altruism, the attempt by its governing elites to dictate their views has proved disastrous. These governments went to tremendous lengths to control the entire flow of information through their societies and to structure their education systems so that their citizens would work for the common good. Although rigid organization may have been necessary in the beginning to destroy previously oppressive regimes, once that goal was fulfilled, the organization had very little to contribute towards building a useful human community. Communism failed utterly because it relied on force to promote its beliefs. Ultimately, human nature was unable to sustain the suffering it produced.
Brute force, no matter how strongly applied, can never subdue the basic human desire for freedom. The hundreds of thousands of people who marched in the cities of Eastern Europe proved this. They simply expressed the human need for freedom and democracy. It was very moving. Their demands had nothing whatsoever to do with some new ideology; these people simply spoke from their hearts, sharing their desire for freedom, demonstrating that it stems from the core of human nature. Freedom, in fact, is the very source of creativity for both individuals and society. It is not enough, as communist systems have assumed, merely to provide people with food, shelter and clothing. If we have all these things but lack the precious air of liberty to sustain our deeper nature, we are only half human; we are like animals who are content just to satisfy their physical needs.
I feel that the peaceful revolutions in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have taught us many great lessons. One is the value of truth. People do not like to be bullied, cheated or lied to by either an individual or a system. Such acts are contrary to the essential human spirit. Therefore, even though those who practice deception and use force may achieve considerable short-term success, eventually they will be overthrown.
On the other hand, everyone appreciates truth, and respect for it is really in our blood. Truth is the best guarantor and the real foundation of freedom and democracy. It does not matter whether you are weak or strong or whether your cause has many or few adherents, truth will still prevail. The fact that the successful freedom movements of 1989 and after have been based on the true expression of people's most basic feelings is a valuable reminder that truth itself is still seriously lacking in much of our political life. Especially in the conduct of international relations we pay very little respect to truth. Inevitably, weaker nations are manipulated and oppressed by stronger ones, just as the weaker sections of most societies suffer at the hands of the more affluent and powerful. Though in the past, the simple expression of truth has usually been dismissed as unrealistic, these last few years have proved that it is an immense force in the human mind and, as a result, in the shaping of history.
A second great lesson from Eastern Europe has been that of peaceful change. In the past, enslaved peoples often resorted to violence in their struggle to be free. Now, following in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., these peaceful revolutions offer future generations a wonderful example of successful, nonviolent change. When in the future major changes in society again become necessary, our descendants will be able to look back on the present time as a paradigm of peaceful struggle, a real success story of unprecedented scale, involving more than a dozen nations and hundreds of millions of people. Moreover, recent events have shown that the desire for both peace and freedom lies at the most fundamental level of human nature and that violence is its complete antithesis.
Before considering what kind of global order would serve us best in the post-Cold War period, I think it is vital to address the question of violence, whose elimination at every level is the necessary foundation for world peace and the ultimate goal of any international order.
Nonviolence and international order
Every day the media reports incidents of terrorism, crime and aggression. I have never been to a country where tragic stories of death and bloodshed did not fill the newspapers and airwaves. Such reporting has become almost an addiction for journalists and their audiences alike. But the overwhelming majority of the human race does not behave destructively; very few of the five billion people on this planet actually commit acts of violence. Most of us prefer to be as peaceful as possible.
Basically, we all cherish tranquility, even those of us given to violence. For instance, when spring comes, the days grow longer, there is more sunshine, the grass and trees come alive and everything is very fresh. People feel happy. In autumn, one leaf falls, then another, then all the beautiful flowers die until we are surrounded by bare, naked plants. We do not feel so joyful. Why is this? Because deep down, we desire constructive, fruitful growth and dislike things collapsing, dying or being destroyed. Every destructive action goes against our basic nature; building, being constructive is the human way.
I am sure everybody agrees that we need to overcome violence, but if we are to eliminate it completely, we should first analyze whether or not it has any value.
If we address this question from a strictly practical perspective, we find that on certain occasions violence indeed appears useful. One can solve a problem quickly with force. At the same time, however, such success is often at the expense of the rights and welfare of others. As a result, even though one problem has been solved, the seed of another has been planted.
On the other hand, if one's cause is supported by sound reasoning, there is no point in using violence. It is those who have no motive other than selfish desire and who cannot achieve their goal through logical reasoning who rely on force. Even when family and friends disagree, those with valid reasons can cite them one after the other and argue their case point by point, whereas those with little rational support soon fall prey to anger: Thus anger is not a sign of strength but one of weakness.
Ultimately, it is important to examine one's own motivation and that of one's opponent. There are many kinds of violence and nonviolence, but one cannot distinguish them from external factors alone. If one's motivation is negative, the action it produces is, in the deepest sense, violent, even though it may appear to be smooth and gentle. Conversely, if one's motivation is sincere and positive but the circumstances require harsh behavior, essentially one is practicing nonviolence. No matter what the case may be, I feel that a compassionate concern for the benefit of others—not simply for oneself—is the sole justification for the use of force.
The genuine practice of nonviolence is still somewhat experimental on our planet, but its pursuit, based on love and understanding, is sacred. If this experiment succeeds, it can open the way to a far more peaceful world in the next century.
I have heard the occasional Westerner maintain that long-term Gandhian struggles employing nonviolent passive resistance do not suit everybody and that such courses of action are more natural in the East. Because Westerners are active, they tend to seek immediate results in all situations, even at the cost of their lives. This approach, I believe, is not always beneficial. But surely the practice of nonviolence suits us all. It simply calls for determination. Even though the freedom movements of Eastern Europe reached their goals quickly, nonviolent protest by its very nature usually requires patience.
In this regard, I pray that despite the brutality of their suppression and the difficulty of the struggle they face, those involved in China's democracy movement will always remain peaceful. I am confident they will. Although the majority of the young Chinese students involved were born and raised under an especially harsh form of communism, during the spring of 1989 they spontaneously practiced Mahatma Gandhi's strategy of passive resistance. This is remarkable and clearly shows that ultimately all human beings want to pursue the path of peace, no matter how much they have been indoctrinated.
The reality of war
Of course, war and the large military establishments are the greatest sources of violence in the world. Whether their purpose is defensive or offensive, these vast powerful organizations exist solely to kill human beings. We should think carefully about the reality of war. Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous—an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.
War is like a fire in the human community, one whose fuel is living beings. I find this analogy especially appropriate and useful. Modem warfare is waged primarily with different forms of fire, but we are so conditioned to see it as thrilling that we talk about this or that marvelous weapon as a remarkable piece of technology without remembering that, if it is actually used, it will burn living people. War also strongly resembles a fire in the way it spreads. If one area gets weak, the commanding officer sends in reinforcements. This is like throwing live people onto a fire. But because we have been brainwashed to think this way, we do not consider the suffering of individual soldiers. No soldier wants to be wounded or die; none of his loved ones wants any harm to come to him. If one soldier is killed, or maimed for life, at least another five or ten people—his relatives and friends suffer as well. We should all be horrified by the extent of this tragedy, but we are too confused.
Frankly, as a child, I too was attracted to the military. Their uniforms looked so smart and beautiful. But that is exactly how the seduction begins. Children start playing games that will one day lead them into trouble. There are plenty of exciting games to play and costumes to wear other than those based on the killing of human beings. Again, if we as adults were not so fascinated by war, we would clearly see that to allow our children to become habituated to war games is extremely unfortunate. Some former soldiers have told me that when they shot their first person they felt uncomfortable but as they continued to kill it began to feel quite normal. In time, we can get used to anything.
It is not only during times of war that military establishments are destructive By their very design, they are the single greatest violators of human rights, and it is the soldiers themselves who suffer most consistently from their abuse. After the officers in charge have given beautiful explanations about the importance of the army, its discipline and the need to conquer the enemy, the rights of the great mass of soldiers are almost entirely taken away. They are then compelled to forfeit their individual will, and, in the end, to sacrifice their lives. Moreover, once an army has become a powerful force, there is every risk that it will destroy the happiness of its own country.
There are people with destructive intentions in every society, and the temptation to gain command over an organization capable of fulfilling their desires can become overwhelming. But no matter how malevolent or evil are the many murderous dictators who currently oppress their nations and cause international problems, it is obvious that they cannot harm others or destroy countless human lives if they don't have a military organization accepted and condoned by society. As long as there are powerful armies there will always be the danger of dictatorship. If we really believe dictatorship to be a despicable and destructive form of government, then we must recognize that the existence of a powerful military establishment is one of its main causes.
Militarism is also very expensive. Pursuing peace through military strength places a tremendously wasteful burden on society. Governments spend vast sums on increasingly intricate weapons when, in fact, nobody really wants to use them. Not only money but also valuable energy and human intelligence are squandered, while all that increases is fear.
I want to make it clear, however, that although I am deeply opposed to war, I am not advocating appeasement. It is often necessary to take a strong stand to counter unjust aggression. For instance, it is plain to all of us that the Second World War was entirely justified. It "saved civilization" from the tyranny of Nazi Germany, as Winston Churchill so aptly put it. In my view, the Korean War was also just, since it gave South Korea the chance of gradually developing a democracy. But we can only judge whether or not a conflict was vindicated on moral grounds with hindsight. For example, we can now see that during the Cold War, the principle of nuclear deterrence had a certain value. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to assess all such matters with any degree of accuracy. War is violence and violence is unpredictable. Therefore, it is far better to avoid it if possible, and never to presume that we know beforehand whether the outcome of a particular war will be beneficial or not.
For instance, in the case of the Cold War, though deterrence may have helped promote stability, it did not create genuine peace. The last forty years in Europe have seen merely the absence of war, which has not been real peace but a facsimile founded on fear. At best, building arms to maintain peace serves only as a temporary measure. As long as adversaries do not trust each other, any number of factors can upset the balance of power. Lasting peace can be secured only on the basis of genuine trust.
Disarmament for world peace
Throughout history, mankind has pursued peace one way or another. Is it too optimistic to imagine that world peace may finally be within our grasp? I do not believe that there has been an increase in the amount of people's hatred, only in their ability to manifest it in vastly destructive weapons. On the other hand, bearing witness to the tragic evidence of the mass slaughter caused by such weapons in our century has given us the opportunity to control war. To do so, it is clear we must disarm.
Disarmament can occur only within the context of new political and economic relationships. Before we consider this issue in detail, it is worth imagining the kind of peace process from which we would benefit most. This is fairly self-evident. First we should work on eliminating nuclear weapons, next, biological and chemical ones, then offensive arms, and, finally, defensive ones. At the same time, to safeguard the peace, we should start developing in one or more global regions an international police force made up of an equal number of members from each nation under a collective command. Eventually this force would cover the whole world.
Because the dual process of disarmament and development of a joint force would be both multilateral and democratic, the right of the majority to criticize or even intervene in the event of one nation violating the basic rules would be ensured. Moreover, with all large armies eliminated and all conflicts such as border disputes subject to the control of the joint international force, large and small nations would be truly equal. Such reforms would result in a stable international environment.
Of course, the immense financial dividend reaped from the cessation of arms production would also provide a fantastic windfall for global development. Today the nations of the world spend trillions of dollars annually on upkeep of the military. Can you imagine how many hospital beds, schools and homes this money could fund? In addition, as I mentioned above, the awesome proportion of scarce resources squandered on military development not only prevents the elimination of poverty, illiteracy and disease, but also requires the sacrifice of precious human intelligence. Our scientists are extremely bright. Why should their brilliance be wasted on such dreadful endeavors when it could be used for positive global development?
The great deserts of the world such as the Sahara and the Gobi could be cultivated to increase food production and ease overcrowding. Many countries now face years of severe drought. New, less expensive methods of desalinization could be developed to render sea water suitable for human consumption and other uses. There are many pressing issues in the fields of energy and health to which our scientists could more usefully address themselves. Since the world economy would grow more rapidly as a result of their efforts, they could even be paid more! Our planet is blessed with vast natural treasures. If we use them properly, beginning with the elimination of militarism and war, truly every human being will be able to live a wealthy well-cared for life.
Naturally global peace cannot occur all at once. Since conditions around the world are so varied, its spread will have to be incremental. But there is no reason why it cannot begin in one region and then spread gradually from one continent to another.
I would like to propose that regional communities like the European Community be established as an integral part of the more peaceful world we are trying to create. Looking at the post-Cold War environment objectively, such communities are plainly the most natural and desirable components of a new world order. As we can see, the almost gravitational pull of our growing interdependence necessitates new, more cooperative structures. The European Community is pioneering the way in this endeavor, negotiating the delicate balance between economic, military and political collectivity on the one hand and the sovereign rights of member states on the other. I am greatly inspired by this work. I also believe that the new Commonwealth of Independent States is grappling with similar issues and that the seeds of such a community are already present in the minds of many of its constituent republics. In this context, I would briefly like to talk about the future of both my own country, Tibet, and China.
Like the former Soviet Union, Communist China is a multinational state, artificially constructed under the impetus of an expansionist ideology and up to now administered by force in colonial fashion. A peaceful, prosperous and above all politically stable future for China lies in its successfully fulfilling not only its own people's wishes for a more open, democratic system, but also those of its eighty million so-called "national minorities" who want to regain their freedom. For real happiness to return to the heart of Asia— home to one-fifth of the human race—a pluralistic, democratic, mutually cooperative community of sovereign states must replace what is currently called the People's Republic of China. Of course, such a community need not be limited to those presently under Chinese Communist domination, such as Tibetans, Mongols and Urghurs. The people of Hong Kong, those seeking an independent Taiwan, and even those suffering under other communist governments in North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia might also be interested in building an Asian Community. However, it is especially urgent that those ruled by the Chinese Communists consider doing so. Properly pursued, it could help save China from violent dissolution, regionalism and a return to the chaotic turmoil that has so afflicted this great nation throughout the twentieth century. Currently China's political life is so polarized that there is every reason to fear an early recurrence of bloodshed and tragedy. Each of us—every member of the world community—has a moral responsibility to help avert the immense suffering that civil strife would bring to China's vast population.
I believe that the very process of dialogue, moderation and compromise involved in building a community of Asian states would itself give real hope of peaceful evolution to a new order in China. From the very start, the member states of such a community might agree to decide its defense and international relations policies together. There would be many opportunities for cooperation. The critical point is that we find a peaceful, nonviolent way for the forces of freedom, democracy and moderation to emerge successfully from the current atmosphere of unjust repression.
Zones of peace
I see Tibet's role in such an Asian Community as what I have previously called a "Zone of Peace": a neutral, demilitarized sanctuary where weapons are forbidden and the people live in harmony with nature. This is not merely a dream—it is precisely the way Tibetans tried to live for over a thousand years before our country was invaded. As everybody knows, in Tibet all forms of wildlife were strictly protected in accordance with Buddhist principles. Also, for at least the last three hundred years, we had no proper army. Tibet gave up the waging of war as an instrument of national policy in the sixth and seventh centuries, after the reign of our three great religious kings.
Returning to the relationship between developing regional communities and the task of disarmament, I would like to suggest that the "heart" of each community could be one or more nations that have decided to become zones of peace, areas from which military forces are prohibited. This, again, is not just a dream. Four decades ago, in December 1948, Costa Rica disbanded its army. Recently, 37 percent of the Swiss population voted to disband their military. The new government of Czechoslovakia has decided to stop the manufacture and export of all weapons. If its people so choose, a nation can take radical steps to change its very nature.
Zones of peace within regional communities would serve as oases of stability. While paying their fair share of the costs of any collective force created by the community as a whole, these zones of peace would be the forerunners and beacons of an entirely peaceful world and would be exempt from engaging in any conflict. If regional communities do develop in Asia, South America and Africa and disarmament progresses so that an international force from all regions is created, these zones of peace will be able to expand, spreading tranquillity as they grow.
We do not need to think that we are planning for the far distant future when we consider this or any other proposal for a new, more politically, economically and militarily cooperative world. For instance, the newly invigorated forty-eight member Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe has already laid the foundation for an alliance between not only the nations of Eastern and Western Europe but also between the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the United States. These remarkable events have virtually eliminated the danger of a major war between these two superpowers.
I have not included the United Nations in this discussion of the present era because both its critical role in helping create a better world and its great potential for doing so are so well known. By definition, the United Nations must be in the very middle of whatever major changes occur. However, it may need to amend its structure for the future. I have always had the greatest hopes for the United Nations, and with no criticism intended, I would like simply to point out that the post-World War II climate under which its charter was conceived has changed. With that change has come the opportunity to further democratize the UN, especially the somewhat exclusive Security Council with its five permanent members, which should be made more representative.
I would like to conclude by stating that, in general, I feel optimistic about the future. Some recent trends portend our great potential for a better world. As late as the fifties and sixties, people believed that war was an inevitable condition of mankind. The Cold War, in particular, reinforced the notion that opposing political systems could only clash, not compete or even collaborate. Few now hold this view. Today, people all over the planet are genuinely concerned about world peace. They are far less interested in propounding ideology and far more committed to coexistence. These are very positive developments.
Also, for thousands of years people believed that only an authoritarian organization employing rigid disciplinary methods could govern human society. However, people have an innate desire for freedom and democracy, and these two forces have been in conflict. Today, it is clear which has won. The emergence of non violent "people's power" movements have shown indisputably that the human race can neither tolerate nor function properly under the rule of tyranny. This recognition represents remarkable progress.
Another hopeful development is the growing compatibility between science and religion. Throughout the nineteenth century and for much of our own, people have been profoundly confused by the conflict between these apparently contradictory world views. Today, physics, biology and psychology have reached such sophisticated levels that many researchers are starting to ask the most profound questions about the ultimate nature of the universe and life, the same questions that are of prime interest to religions. Thus there is real potential for a more unified view. In particular, it seems that a new concept of mind and matter is emerging. The East has been more concerned with understanding the mind, the West with understanding matter. Now that the two have met, these spiritual and material views of life may become more harmonized.
The rapid changes in our attitude towards the earth are also a source of hope. As recently as ten or fifteen years ago, we thoughtlessly consumed its resources, as if there was no end to them. Now, not only individuals but governments as well are seeking a new ecological order. I often joke that the moon and stars look beautiful, but if any of us tried to live on them, we would be miserable. This blue planet of ours is the most delightful habitat we know. Its life is our life; its future, our future. And though I do not believe that the Earth itself is a sentient being, it does indeed act as our mother, and, like children, we are dependent upon her. Now mother nature is telling us to cooperate. In the face of such global problems as the greenhouse effect and the deterioration of the ozone layer, individual organizations and single nations are helpless. Unless we all work together, no solution will be found. Our mother is teaching us a lesson in universal responsibility.
I think we can say that, because of the lessons we have begun to learn, the next century will be friendlier, more harmonious, and less harmful. Compassion, the seed of peace, will be able to flourish. I am very hopeful. At the same time, I believe that every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes alone are not enough; we have to assume responsibility. Large human movements spring from individual human initiatives. If you feel that you cannot have much of an effect, the next person may also become discouraged and a great opportunity will have been lost. On the other hand, each of us can inspire others simply by working to develop our own altruistic motivation.
I am sure that many honest, sincere people all over the world already hold the views that I have mentioned here. Unfortunately, nobody listens to them. Although my voice may go unheeded as well, I thought that I should try to speak on their behalf. Of course, some people may feel that it is very presumptuous for the Dalai Lama to write in this way. But, since I received the Nobel Peace Prize, I feel I have a responsibility to do so. If I just took the Nobel money and spent it however I liked, it would look as if the only reason I had spoken all those nice words in the past was to get this prize! However, now that I have received it, I must repay the honor by continuing to advocate the views that I have always expressed.
I, for one, truly believe that individuals can make a difference in society. Since periods of great change such as the present one come so rarely in human history, it is up to each of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier world.
The publishers would like to thank the many kind people who sent donations towards the printing of this booklet.
First printed in India 1990
Revised version edited to reflect current political realities published 1992
Reprinted August 1992
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Posted by pam peters at 10:52 AM