A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I picked this stock photo because it's a symbol of unity and unity is the direction I hope this country is going in. The economy is in real trouble at home and abroad and this is a major factor in why Obama has been elected to be the 44th president. And we need universal healthcare and to put an end to the war in Iraq. In fact, we need so many changes. The Democrats will now have much more power, but in order to really create the change we need when we need it, Republicans must join in too. We can't afford to waste time. It's the younger generation that is really put on the spot and they know it; in a lot of ways it's up to them to change the way things are done in Washington. Partisan politics won't work.

Another reason why I think Barack Obama won is because he reached out to Independent voters and Republican voters who were dismayed by Bush and his administration. Republicans are supposed to be fiscal conservatives, but Bush was not. Instead he has borrowed and spent enormous amounts of money. That the economy is in trouble is no accident. Obama made the point several times in his book The Audacity Of Hope that he wanted to work WITH Republicans whenever possible. Of course, there will still be conflicts of interest and the country may be moving in a more liberal direction, but then we've moved from conservative politics (slavery, sexism for example) to more liberal politics consistently over time. All in all this may not be such a bad thing, though some people might take some time getting adjusted to it.

Again I think of young people and the kind of world they are growing up in. The advent of the personal computer has drastically changed the social/political landscape for young people. We now live in a global community. Gone are the days when the U.S. can remain an isolationist country. Now we affect the world and the world affects us. And what are young people looking at these days? Sexually transmitted diseases, two wars abroad, a failing economy, a lack of resources, global warming, etc, etc... We are all up against it, but they are the ones who will inherit the messes we've all made beforehand. Again the only way out of our troubles is to acknowledge that these are global problems and require an even greater unity than Democrats joining with Republicans. These problems require that the whole world work in unison.

What does that mean, a world working in unison? It means, above all things, world peace. War is not the answer to anything, it just perpetuates the cycle of horror and abuse. I hope young people figure this one out because without peace we can't address the fact that we may be killing our world and raping its resources. If we continue to attack one another we just perpetuate our problems and miss our chance to reverse all these destructive trends. If we continue to attack one another we doom our species to self-destruct.

People are so freaked out by terrorists and understandably so, but the truth is terrorists are human too, sick, obsessed humans but humans none the less. And terrorism cannot be eliminated through violence. Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers". In fact Jesus said a whole lot about the extraordinary power of love and forgiveness. Why do people forget this?In Buddhism life is considered so precious that you shouldn't even step on an ant if you can help it. People forget that too. But there is this great resistance to the concept striving for world peace. People have called me an idealist, but I am not. I am a pragmatist. We are blinded by our own bias' to the point where we rob others of the most precious thing there is: Life. What right do any of us have to be violent, to maim and murder? The power of hate is glorified in wars and the power of love is mocked. Jesus was mocked and murdered for promoting a most revolutionary concept: Turn the other cheek, love your enemies, forgive others so that you can be forgiven. He said anyone could love friends and family, but it is the extraordinary person who can love an enemy. How many people have the courage to do what Jesus did and not succumb to revenge and punishment? Not many and so here we are, in a world full of war and injustice. It's been over 2,000 years since Jesus was murdered. Unity IS the answer and peace and love should be the goal, but this requires that people be extraordinary and turn the other cheek. Is anyone willing to try?
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