Tue and Wed September 29th & 30th 2009

Carl Wolfson and Christine Alexandra (morning crew Portland's Progressive AM 620KPOJ) are filling in Wednesday - Roman Polanski Justice? Healthcare? Join Carl & Christine with guests Congressman Peter DeFazio (Any hope for public option?), Ken Davis (banned books) and more.....

Thom is traveling to and attending the funeral of Gottfried Mueller...Peter B. Collins is filling in Tuesday with guests Dennis Kucinich, Congressman Joe Sestak, Norman Soloman, Les Leopold and Mark Crispin Miller.

gottfried images


Gottfried Mueller
- The Founder of SALEM -
10.04.1914 - 26.09.2009
A beloved human being, who out of deep faith and with
great humility dedicated his life to others.

For More about Herr Mueller and to make donations
Thom wrote a book largely about Herr Mueller called The Prophet's Way

Uganda

You can’t say, "Civilization don’t advance," however,
for in every war they kill you a new way.
—Will Rogers, Autobiography

I first traveled to Uganda in 1980 with Herr Müller, and then went back a year later with Horst Von Heyer to locate and negotiate the acquisition of land for a Salem village and hospital. My first trip there was both spiritually devastating and enlightening, and I carried along a small notebook and a pen; every night before I went to sleep I wrote down the day’s events. A few months after my return to the US, I published my notes in our newsletter, and one of the readers who was the editor of East/West Journal asked me if he could publish it in an edited form. I consented, and the publicity from that article appearing led to several appearances on NPR and gave a big boost to our efforts to raise money for Uganda.

From this experience, I saw firsthand the impact of Herr Müller’s prediction of the "curve of time," and how world events are accelerating. I also learned how the older tribal cultures of that part of the world view the future. And I saw Herr Müller putting into action, with no pomposity or high-sounding words, his philosophy of practicing acts of mercy as a spiritual work.

Here’s a copy of my original notes, along with some of EWJ’s editing:

Comments

B Roll (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#1

Ok, so I suggested on yesterday's blog that we make some uplifting posts in honor of Thom and his friend and mentor Gottfried Mueller. The response was... well there was no response. But putting my links where my mouth is, I'm posting the URL to a songs by an organization called Playing for Change.

I heard about these people through GRIT TV. My limited understanding is that they select songs and then record artists from around the world performing them. Then they edit the various versions together, creating a unique blend of voices and instrumentation. Let music bring us together.

I think this is in harmony with the goals of Gottfried Mueller. I hope you all take the time to listen and I dare u to sit still.

This is the first song I ever heard from Playing for Change. They have other excellent songs as well.

Chanda Mama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I23Bkk92124

leighmf (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#2

Dear Thom - It is hard when a mentor goes, even when they have had very long lives'

I cared for both my Voice teachers of 30 years throughout their old age. I was the only one there and had to terminate life support for Mrs. Dane who died last.

She said one day, "You're going to miss me when I'm gone."

They were the most wonderful couple in the world and taught and helped thousands of singers in their careers spanning 1905-2002, some quite famous.

I did not sing for 7 years after.

Ben (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#3

Today's Dilbert comic shows the problem with our 401K system and even touches on atmospheric deterioration. Wally is planning on dying from global warming before his money runs out

http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2009-09-29/

DDay (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#4

When I was 17 years old and very full of myself and rebellious, I went off to live with a French family with whom I had been matched. I had studied two years of German, put in to go to Japan, and had been offered a home in Lyon, France. My family consisted of a 29 year old professor of nuclear medicine at the University of Claude Bernard. Lucien was very quiet and stern at first. My French mother, Martine, was slender, athletic, and full of joie de vivre. She was a kinetitherapist, (a physical therapist), at a large heart hospital. There were three little children, Jean Pascal, the boy, was 5, Catherine and Christine were 3 and 2 respectively. They spent most of their time with the Grandparents in the country home about 45 minutes away. We spent most weekends with them in the country. During the week I had Lucien & Martine to myself. They were more like a big brother and sister than parents. I alternated going to work with them as I was very interested in medicine. It was the best time in my life. Being a foreign exchange student those 5 months changed my life more profoundly than any other event in my life. Being thrown into a new world without being able to speak the language taught me new ways to listen and communicate. Slowly I picked up some French too.

Martine, being a supremely confident, politically left-wing, extrovert was in my face all the time. Lucien was always sitting nearby with piles of medical texts and a smoldering pipe. He said very little, at first. Over time with many shared experiences on weekend adventures, we grew closer. I began to understand his dry sense of humor. One day not long before I was to return back to the states, Lucien gave me a children's book. He told me that it meant a lot to him. He explained that he and Martine had wanted an exchange student in order to brush up on their English because they would be moving to Berkley, Ca. in a few months. He said they hadn't planned on getting too close to me. He then handed me Antoine de Saint Exupery's "The Little Prince". He told me that his favorite part dealt with the fox and being tamed.

"My life is very monotonous," he said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am bored. but if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. the wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..."
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
"Please tame me!" he said.
"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."
"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends anymore. If you want a friend, tame me..."
"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.
"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me every day..."
The next day the little prince came back.
"It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you...One must observe the proper rites..."

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near-
"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."
"It is your fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you..."
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"Then it has done you no good at all!"
"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields."
The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.

And he went back to meet the fox. "Goodbye," he said. "Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
"It is the time you wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."

Thirty seven years have passed since then. Lucien and Martine retired a few years back. Lucien opened up one of the first private medical clinics ever allowed in France. Martine ran it. It was so fabulously successful that they were able to buy a small vineyard with a large Chateau in the middle of their beloved Beaujolais region. Lucien bought an entire medieval village some years back. He paid to have it restored completely and then turned it over to the State so it could become a national park. If you saw the most recent movie about Joan of Arc, the village was the backdrop. The children who live near Lucien all call him PaPa LuLu. I visit him as often as I can. After all, I am responsible, forever.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#5

B Roll,

Re: Response

I heard you. I hope I don't get in trouble with copyrights. I don't think Antoine would mind.

B Roll (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#6

DDay

I'm no copyright attorney, but I think your contribution falls under the concept of "fair use", and both your account of your experiences with Martine and Lucien and your excerpt from "The Little Prince" were more than worth the read.

I've had little contact with French people, but I did rent a guest house from a French family here in the USA. One thing that struck me was that they were at least 125% French. While they spoke their beautifully accented English, their expressions were pure French. At times it was like Marcel Marceau had taken over their faces.

By the way, are you the DDay that spoke with Brad Friedman on the Mike Malloy show a few weeks ago?

B Roll (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#7

leighmf

Your story is both inspiring and touching. There may be nothing more comforting to a person who sees the end of their life coming than to know that they’re being cared for by someone they love and are comfortable with. I’m sure you know how much your devotion was appreciated.

I take it that your comment, “I did not sing for 7 years after” means that you’re singing again. There’s something special about how music affects us and it often can reach across cultures to bring us together.

I remember a story I heard from an older black community organizer I knew some years back. He didn’t explain how he got to be there, but he ended up at a private performance that the legendary blues singer Leadbelly (Huddie Leadbetter) gave for with the Arch Duke of Canterbury. Imagine that scene. As Leadbelly played his guitar and sang, the leader of the Church of England just sat stoically. After a few songs, Leadbelly noticed and after finishing a song said, “Pops, I’m gonna have your foot tappin’ before I’m through.” And that’s exactly what happened.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#8

look at mccain and georgia lobbing for foreign nations should be outlawed this is unamerican. things must go through the state dept.

B Roll (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#9

Peter

Truly an excellent show. Overall I'd say your style and content are excellent and progressive. In fact, I think my two favorite episodes of the Thom Hartmann Show this years may be the two you guest hosted.

On the other hand, I'm not as impressed with folks like David Ray Griffin as you are. Anyone who devoted his professional years in a making excuses for an imaginary god isn't someone I'm going to unravel the questions about what happend leading up to and on 9/11. Still, the arguments have to be evaluated on their own.

Thanks for another great show.

B Roll (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#10

Oh gods of proofreading why did you abandon me now? The second paragraph should have read:

On the other hand, I’m not as impressed with folks like David Ray Griffin as you are. Anyone who devoted his professional years to making excuses for an imaginary god so he can continue to believe, isn’t someone I’m going to look at to unravel the questions about what happened leading up to and on 9/11. Still, the arguments have to be evaluated on their own.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#11

B Roll

Thank you for your kind words. Your suggestion about content gave me a chance to reread and remember things things that are important to remember. I'm grateful to know you found my story worthwhile. Your opinion matters to me. It must have been another DDay on the Mike Malloy show. It is disturbing to contemplate another one of me out there.

d zent (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#12

Here's why I appreciate Mr. Mueller.

I became very ill a couple of years ago, physically and then emotionally, as a result of unremitting stress in both my work and personal lives. There was a period of time when it seemed I could not find relief from pain, depression, and confusion; and I was at my wits end.

I had been listening to podcasts of Thom's show on my MP3 player, for political oxygen as well as something to keep my mind enjoyably distracted; and one day he mentioned his spiritual mentor, and talked very briefly about Mueller's belief that trees have the ability to help human beings in distress.

Well, I generally trust Thom's viewpoint on most things, and had read, years before, the esoteric Secret Life of Plants, and knew something of George Washington Carver's comments about talking with plants. I was also desperate, so I determined to begin a practice of communicating with trees, to see if this belief was relevant to my own condition.

I now think I proved, to myself at least, that it is. Here's what I believe now:

Trees seem to be really good at absorbing certain kinds of energies and vibrations; namely those that human beings perceive as pain, sorrow, tension, anxiety, confusion, things like that.

Our brains are basically electrical storms, and our nervous systems are extensions of the energies in our brains; and trees seem to be something like electrical regulators tied into the energy field of the earth.

I'm sure there's actually a lot more to it (a LOT more), but, the upshot is, when you place your body within the sphere of the tree's own energy field, it "equalizes", or perhaps regulates, the energies in your body at their most fundamental levels, and that helps normalize your systems.

The result for me is that pain and distress are lessened by a very distinct margin. I'm guessing it's because the tree draws away what I will call "negative energy", almost like the grounding of stray electrical current, so that it becomes harmless to the human organism.

Sounds airy-fairy, I know. I'm still formulating my thoughts in a coherent fashion about how it all works and what it all means. I don't claim anything other than what scientists would call anecdotal evidence.

Nevertheless, as far as I'm concerned, trees are the true Angels on this planet. They stand unnoticed today as sentient beings, but a person can actually have a cogent relationship with them, and many "first peoples" give the spirits of trees a place in their own everyday lives. They accord trees respect and deference, even asking the tree's permission to cut it down when necessary, something the western man would consider ludicrous by virtue of his cultural view that man must dominate nature, and hey, look, Jerry Springer's on tonight...

Western man is the poorer for that view.

It's something like the old tale of the lowliest employee in the company, who though generally ignored, has the answer to all the owner's business problems. The owner finally becomes aware of this, and says to the employee "Why didn't you tell me before?" And the employee answers "Well, you never asked".

I determined I would start asking. It's now a steady habit with me.

I sit with the tree for about half an hour, physically touching it with both hands, unembarrassed, and tell it in my own way what is hurting me, mostly mental pictures, and sort of pouring it out like a prayer. And then I just thank the tree, as a representative of my Creator, for being willing to help me.

Just a very basic communication, but one that seems to work for me and the trees. And usually when I'm done, I walk across the street, look up at the trees and compliment them on how beautiful and magnificent they look. They like that!

I must say, the results are pretty amazing. And reassuring, too, because this practice has never failed me. I will likely do this until I die of old age. And I don't consider this looney in the least. I think modern man just forgets some of his most basic ties to the web of life, and has suffered for it.

So thanks, Thom, for reminding me when I needed to hear it, and eternal blessings on Mr. Mueller for passing it on to you.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#13

F.Y.I

Early this morning Ken Burns was on M.S.N.B.C. "Morning Joe" show promoting his "National Parks, America's Best Idea" documentary on P.B.S. It was interesting to watch all the regular right-wingers fawn over Burns, (political correctness sometimes even checks the impulses of the right). Burns confirmed for me his underlying political message. He proceeded to list all the wonderful things our government has done for us over the years. He lamented "the change that came around 1980", when Government began to be blamed for all our problems. The looks on the faces of Mika Breszhinski, Pat Buchannan, and Mike Barnacle were flushed and priceless to observe. Not surprisingly, they tried to veer the conversation away from Burn's focus.

Interestingly, Burns also talked about things that relate to some of these previous posts here. He talked about how the experience of witnessing the great beauty of our natural wonders changed the people who went on to champion their protection. That experience and the people they shared it with not only was fundamental to bringing about social change but was often central to the healing of their own personal malaise.

d zent speaks of the healing powers of plants. I have always found the wild and nature to be healing for me. I'm not sure any electric fields or unexplained communion between myself and flora is necessarily responsible for good effect. I think perhaps whenever we are able to step out of our own sphere, looking out rather than only in, we are rejuvenated. It is both spiritually and physically beneficial to become awed by something much bigger and greater than ourselves; that we realize we are none the less a part of. The mountains of Idaho does it for me, as does a northern shield lake with the call of the loon drifting over it. To each his or her own. There are many paths to the light. I believe that remaining open to discovery, wonder and change is the only prerequisite for growth, understanding, enlightenment and happiness. Then again, what do I know? I'm still a work in progress with far too many faults.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#14

Phyllis Schlafly is wrong in her assessment that women are very dangerous because they want more rights in society. Women are important in our world. Their voices and activism are essential for a better America, especially the women who possess the characteristics of nurturing and sensitivity.

At the time of Mohammed women were embraced into society. When Mohammed died, slowly they were shut off as important contributors to culture and society. We see in many Muslims countries the effect of their treatment as second class citizens.

Phyllis Schlafly is to the woman who is the force dangerous force in America.

Laura Jacques (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#15

The Prophet’s Way is one of the most inspiring books written and I highly recommend it. It would be difficult to walk away from this book without being touched by Gottfried Mueller deep compassion for all living things. In this fast paced, ME first world we forget that connectiong with each other and have compassion even for those who disagree with us is the way to peace, in our own lives and in the world. In Gottfried Mueller’s world the simple act of taking the time to make sure earthworms were out of harms way was not a waste of time it was a way to say I respect and protect all of life.

While those who loved Gottfried Mueller will mourn his passing they also hold the understand he has found the greatest peace of all on the other side.

I hold the vision that someday the world will reflect back what Gottfried Mueller held as truth- with compassion, love and respect for all of life we once again find our way back to world were we take care of each other instead of finding way that we are different and lettting that tear us apart. We will find our way back to compassion the key that will unlock the heart of this planet.

B Roll (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#16

DDay

Well thank YOU for the kind words.

If they were selecting a member of the day, I think you’d be a hands down winner by my standards. But with the spiritual bent of Thom and his show it’s possible that one of the other more spiritual comments could take it. Still, you’d be my choice. Your post about Lucien and Martine and the excerpt from The Little Prince are wonderful. The greatest wisdom on these pages over the last two days comes from The Little Prince.

I agree with your skepticism about d zent’s theory. I tend to think what he feels is more related to the mind/body connection and his/her expectations rather than inherent power of trees.

We all have things that make us feel good and things that make us feel bad. It could be a place, a person, an object or a song that has a special affect on us.

There’s a place along the coast that both I and my mother loved. Sometimes we’d just go to enjoy the beauty, but when my mom wasn’t feeling well toward the end of her life she’d often ask me to take her. She’d feel much better a short time after we’d get there.

I’m in a fairly young relationship which has grown more intense recently. Although I can’t predict where it will go, I’ve noticed that since we’ve decided to be a couple, my beard seems to be growing faster and an injury that had bothered me for over a year seems no longer is painful. Can I attribute this to some influence my woman has on me?

Well I suspect there is a connection based on an overall feeling of greater happiness and well-being that I know is related to the relationship.

We humans have a great capacity for selective perception and self-delusion. We create meaning out of unrelated facts because we are pattern seeking story telling creatures. Although the trajectory of industrialization has included an alienation from nature, we still respond strongly to the natural world we evolved and existed in over millions of years. I’ve long wondered if many of our physical and mental discomforts are related to our separation from nature.

Daddio5251 (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#17

Peter,

Tuesday's show was really excellent. I'm most impressed by your courage in airing conversation about the attacks of 9/11/01. Mark Crispin Miller is one of the smartest men in the country when it comes to analyzing and communicating issues of enormous proportion and import which have been willfully ignored or covered up. His points during the interview were simply stated and painfully obvious and perfectly true.

The fact is, after all this time, we still have NO IDEA what happened on 9/11/01, or even more importantly, who was involved. The (Bush) administration excreted the '19 Arabs with box cutters' myth on us, and we, in our grief and shock (and anger) ate it all without question or complaint. This response does not speak well of a country who lost over 3,000 people in one day, who subsequently continues to lose so many others (especially NYPD and NYFD first responders) to respiratory disease caused by the false belief that the area was safe to work in, who subsequently lost so many of our civil liberties in a knee-jerk 'war on terror' campaign, who subsequently lost more than 4500 more citizens (with the concurrent maiming, wounding, and partial destruction of tens of thousands more) in a knee-jerk, inappropriate military response, who is now responsible for the death, maiming, and displacement of MILLIONS of Iraqi citizens, and who is willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to frame a president for having an extramarital affair and several TRILLIONS of dollars fighting a misbegotten war.

The 9/11 attacks are the true 800-pound gorilla in the room. But if we don't deal with it soon, this gorilla may rise up, grab us by the throat, and eventually kill more of us someday.

Keep up the good work.

Wayne

DDay (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago
#18

d zent & B Roll,

I want to be clear. My point about healing and the power of nature in my life has to do with the pouring out and surrendering to something bigger than ourselves. While the majesty of nature does it for me, for others it may be music, painting, physical exercise, meditation or any number of things. I share your belief that it has to do with a mind/body connection. Much of the scientific study about the phenomena of sleep seems to indicate that REM and dreams serve as a kind of "de-fragging" for our brains. It helps to clear up the clutter and reorganize systems and circuits. Dreams, rather than having specific meaning are thought to be a kind of mental chewing of gum. Perhaps the various stimuli that compel us to turn outwards and surrender our preoccupation with self have a similar therapeutic effect on our conscious brain. By eliminating the fight/flight response hard wired in us, which is almost always grinding away while awake, perhaps our conscious brain is freed up to preform self repair functions making healing possible. I am only hypothesizing about the mechanisms but am convinced of the palliative benefits.

One of the most interesting scientific studies I've seen looked and children around the age of 2 years. They isolated a child in a playpen and then introduced an unexpected stimulus. i believe it was a "jack in the box". They observed the children's reaction. One group reacted with obvious curiosity and wonder. Another group reacted relatively without much interest. A third group reacted negatively with fear and avoidance. They then went on to revisit these children after the reached adulthood and found that the children who reacted with fear and avoidance were far more likely to identify themselves as conservatives/Republicans. Hmmmmm.

I wonder if these same people are as apt to reach outside themselves or be receptive to the kind of meditative practices previously mentioned? keep in mind that for the modern conservative, it's all about me! This may even be a reason for compassion for right-wing nut-balls. I can imagine a scenario whereby these unfortunates might experience not only less fulfillment and overall happiness in their lives, but, a shorter life expectancy. Nature may even select for liberality! I realize this is more than half baked, but it's fun to extrapolate. If I were the equivalent of a liberal Ann Coulter, I would declare it as fact and get a bestseller out of it.

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