Culturesmith is a consultancy, online workshop, and library devoted to building life systems that work through conflict. With our help, teams work together so that everybody involved gets what they need.
If we just had a conversation that you found stimulating...
Please click here for an
to the kind of thinking that goes on here.
One of the purposes of this site is to aggregate information that will asssit in your study of mytho-psychology as it applies to the decisions you/we make on a daily basis. This aggregation appears below as News Items, a stream of blog entries and recommended study items. Please sign in to comment.
Paul Simon - The Werewolf
Milwaukee man led a fairly decent life
Made a fairly decent living
Had a fairly decent wife
She killed him—sushi knife
Now they're shopping
For a fairly decent afterlife
The werewolf is coming
The fact is most obits are mixed reviews
Life is a lottery
A lot of people lose
And the winners, the grinners
With money-colored eyes
Eat all the nuggets
Then they order extra fries
The werewolf is coming
The werewolf is coming, you know
The werewolf's coming
The werewolf's coming
Yes, the werewolf is coming, Joe
I hear her howling
Prowling on the hill
The werewolf's coming, Bill
Ignorance and arrogance
The national debate
Put the fight in Vegas
That's a billion-dollar gate
Should be pretty healthy
The usual deductions
Then it all goes to the wealthy
Still the werewolf's coming
Yeah, the werewolf's coming
I'm not complaining
Just the opposite, my friend
I know it's raining
But we're coming to the end of the rainbow
The lying and the spying are through
Oh! You don't know me?
O.K. I don't know you, too
The werewolf's coming
Werewolf's coming, oh
The werewolf's coming
And a werewolf's coming
The werewolf is coming, Joe
I hear her howling
Prowling on the hill
The werewolf's coming, Bill
You'd better stock up on water
Canned-goods off the shelves
And loot some for the old folks
Can't loot for themselves
The doorbell's ringing
Could be the elves
But it's probably the werewolf
It's quarter to twelve
And when it's midnight
And the wolf bites
It's a full moon
She really got the appetite
The werewolf's coming
Trump is not -- is fundamentally differentEverything you said here is also true of Bernie, though.
I detest Trump, but as I've said elsewhere, the Left has a lot to answer for in its constant pursuit, use of, and normalizing of authoritarianism. NOW they are starting to get nervous about a president who wields power without acknowledged Constitutional limits? Which is exactly what Obama has been doing for most of his term. Law is for the little man. Obama and Trump are above that kind of penurious mindset.
The other centrists/Trumpists are just saying, "hey now it's *our* turn for a little Constitutional over-reach." Who are we to deny them?
On a less snarky note, the protestors/rioters who threatened (and used) violence to shut down Trump in Chicago are playing right into his hands. He gets to point at them and say, "see?! This is why you need me!"
Arrrrgh. I DETEST that man.Don't drink the koolaide man. Everything Obama has done has been reviewed by the court system and found Constitutional. Your overlords just don't want you to believe that's true because to do so takes away some of their power over you. So believe it if you must. If we elect another Republican, he'll just give more tax breaks to his buddies who funded his campaign. Or if it's Trump, he'll just give the tax breaks to himself and his family. Or sure, we'll get a token pittance too, otherwise he couldn't claim that he did it for us. But he and the rest of the 1% will laugh all the way to the bank.Was trying to figure out a way to avoid the usual "No it isn't. Yes it is. No it isn't." exchange. Then Michael said what needed saying. I only have left to say, after the Bernie (or fill in the blank with candidate of your choice) Is No Different argument, that even Dubbya led us into complicity in war crimes through a process subject to the authority of the courts. I am truly sorry that the Republican Party (with its own wisdom and essential voice) has been hijacked by extremism over and over again, of late, to the point that it cannot manage to offer a candidate that can at least be said to be civilized. This is not snobbery or elitism. If our government proceeds on the basis of overt, gloves-off, explicitly cynical, ruthless domination, then there is no American Dream. All that remains is the nightmare our grandparents gave their lives to curtail. Trump went from Clown to phenom because he represents a complete departure, just as previous "Strong Men" have, from the humane responses that make us both uncertain/vulnerable and more human, rather than entirely predatory. He is alone in representing a New Order (actually very old) that always eventually finds Whatever It Takes (for me) To WIN acceptable.A Taste of Your Own Medicine The Problematic Nature of Revenge
A Taste of Your Own Medicine: The Problematic Nature of Revenge
They deserve it. When someone hurts you, they richly deserve the mirror held up to their transgression through which you do unto them what they did unto you. This feels like justice and Serves Them Right.
Have you ever shouted for silence, condescended because you feel disrespected, interrupted someone to insist that they never listen, or disqualified all the care and affection offered you over time because you feel under-valued right now?
The idea that one can get a positive result by "giving somebody a taste of their own medicine" seems ludicrous to me, a fool's excuse, an unsubtle spin meant to justify reprehensible behavior while enjoying the sweet taste of revenge. Then why do I do it too, respond to hurt with aggression, perhaps over and over again for years, with the people who matter most to me? When do I notice that my anger over being ill treated also comes out in seizing what I imagine to be the moral high ground and sneering insults, at least in my head and via the expressions on my face, that the other is a "fool", "unsubtle", etc?
It is easy to see the comedy in each example above, as I read this cooly and imagine some other person wallowing in hipocracy. Then I take a step back and actually notice the mirror being held by the person who feels like my attacker. It may be that they are using it as a bludgeon, rather than holding it where I can best see truth staring back at me, but the mirror can't help but reflect.
I want that person to take responsibility for their actions, and cease and desist, while at the same time I find my own choices very hard to marshal. I too deploy habitual reactions instead of chosen responses. It is even condescending to insist that I know what The Right Tactic would have been, and take the higher ground of giving advice when I am the subject, or at least target of your displeasure in the first place. Chances are good that I made a decision that hurt you. I may have been conscious of what might happen or not, to varying degrees. Who am I to give advice about not hurting other people?
This is the core, the potential treasure at the heart of this dilemma. Most societies hold self-defense as a right to the point that it seems like an obligation. After all, "the best defense if a strong offense". If you don't defend yourself with proportional force, such that you teach the attacker a lesson, you are somehow letting yourself down and them off the hook. What if we were taught that accepted tactics are not necessarily appropriate? If I can opt out of violence, even against an attacker, should I? This is, for instance, aikido's core argument and raison d'être.
If this argument seems a bit too politically correct for you, consider a more mechanical utilitarian approach: is a tactic acceptible when it does not lead to a desired outcome? Do you want to increase the likelihood of an ongoing conflict that escalates with wave on wave of retribution? After all, each person who feels wronged will have the right to a redress of grievances in which they then teach the lesson of what it feels like to receive the treatment they just suffered. When is justice served?
I propose that justice is primarily restorative, the task being to get a relational system back to functioning again, rather than punitive, and that this conclusion is counter-intuitive. It goes against common sense on purpose in the way that many carefully considered strategies turn reactive instinct on its head. When I am able to think clearly again, I wish that I had opted out of the retribution exchange in favor of getting right to whatever is needed. Rather than return violence for violence, I truly want to stay engaged, as safely as possible, until I understand better what will remove the need for the battle to continue. I want the cycle of violence itself to end, which leaves little room for spite, tactically speaking.
This nonviolent approach requires a clear headed analysis (what's really going on) and establishment of goals (what everyone involved really needs) that seems impossible during the burn of feeling attacked, unless one has prepared strategies in advance through thought and practice. Active nonviolence is hard to pull off under pressure, unless one has trained in deploying tactics under perceived threat. I am proposing that nonviolence must be learned like a martial art, over years, with the best teachers one can find, mastery always just over the next hill, as misunderstandings and errors become more and more subtle and hard to iron out.
That is why I call what I do Martial Nonviolence and both love and hate the mirrors in front of which I find myself on a daily basis. Every time I fail to practice consciously, I feel as though I've failed in one of the most important lessons life has to offer, and on which coming generations depend for the survival of our species. When I succeed, the high is more than rewarding; it makes today sparkle and shine. That joy is the motivating reward, the treasure at the heart of the training. For insisting I give you "a taste of your own medicine" I will only ever be despised. In the end, the real reason to learn these lessons is to look in the face of those I love and see them flourish and become more humane.Fathers Day 2015
A happy day for Fathers;
it comes just once a year.
Feel free to fricassee them,
they go so well with beer.
As they said to the octopus, after he survived a precisely average attack by a braggart with a chainsaw, "forewarned is four armed".
I love my father, David Williams.
Re Cap Twain for Spidey
My question is at the end...
Thanks to http://imgur.com/a/W3yW3
What was your initial reaction?
Emotional resonance (agreement/rejection), critique, disinterest, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, other?Conflict Resolution Plan Prepares You to Move From Mediation to Blood SportI've just posted my signature Conflict Resolution Plan which moves from In-house to Neutral Third Party mediation, and then briskly through Binding Arbitration to Blood Sport. If you can't see the Plan below, it is probably because you aren't signed in to your Culturesmith account. Please sign in or request an account to see it and So Much More.
Play With Ideas - Dr Myth 20150422
If the tetragrammaton (from Greek τετραγράμματον, meaning "(consisting of) four letters") is the Hebrew theonym יהוה commonly transliterated into Latin letters as YHWH, and one of the names of the national God of the Israelites used in the Hebrew Bible (Wikipedia), then is tetragrammatonium the core imaginary element from which the Judeo-Christian belief system is constructed?Don Levine Eulogy by Jamie Leno ZimronWe have all lost a dear and irreplaceable friend, colleague, and leader in Don Levine's recent passing. I was grateful to be asked to share about Professor Don Sensei's aikido and AE work at the funeral last week. The service was a beautiful gathering and reflection of the loving communities Don created and nurtured so well. As people expressed their experiences with and appreciations for him, through words and stories and soul-stirring music, a tapestry of tribute was weaved that spoke and sung from the hearts of everyone who was graced by this great and wonderful man.In love and gratitude as together we keep on training and moving along the path.JamieProfessor Don Levine Sensei Celebration of LifeThe founder of Aikido, Morihei Uyeshiba O'Sensei, saw his Martial Art of Peace as 'medicine for a sick world.' Tho Don didn't begin training until he was 48 years old, his whole being - mind, body, heart and soul - resonated immediately and completely with the great master's teachings. Don relished Aikido, both intellectually and interactively, every moment even to his dying days.Through his vast vision and tireless efforts, Don Levine has given what O'Sensei directly charged us with: infusing the world itself with more Aikido and Ai-Ki. He not only articulated but formed the actual not-for-profit organization - Aiki Extensions - to allow conscious application of Aikido principles and practices into every facet of life. We, his students and colleagues, all have him (and O'Sensei) to thank for perhaps the most meaningful part of our training and our lives.Don himself was a divine extension of AiKi on earth. In his own inimitable ways, he was filled to overflowing with AI / love, and with KI, life-energy. Indeed he was the embodiment of living life & love. For this and so many reasons his absence leaves a huge hole. He will be sorely missed.Assuming Don is hovering here to hear what we're all saying about him, I think he'd be nodding along that being a Sensei is a lot like being a rabbi on the mat, dressed up in Japanese dogi and hakama rather than talit and yarmulke, and sermonizing through somatics. Aiki Extensions is a complete embodiment of what were Don Sensei's Jewish social action genes and penchant for doing full-time Tikkun Olam - Repair of The World.Not only that. Don was a master of chutzpah! While many people scarcely dream, his visions were grand and he always took audacious action. It just seemed obvious to him that Aikido's message is meant to be taken beyond the dojo into everyday and every walk of life, in order to make the world a better place for all human beings.Yet creating Aiki Extensions was a radical thing to do. Nothing stopped Don - not lesser rank, or refusals or rejections or general lack of acceptance within that other 'ae' / the 'aiki establishment' - nothing deterred him from knocking on dojo doors everywhere for practitioners to join AIki Extensions and broaden their training.Where else but at a national AE Conference, or international gatherings literally in castles and camps, can you befriend other instructors and practitioners, to learn as well as inform how they link the non-violent principles of Aikido with their professional work as psychologists, doctors, lawyers, teachers, academics, mediators, business and leadership coaches, athletic trainers, counselors for veterans and PTSD recovery, growing boys into compassionate men and girls into empowered women? For all this we have Don to thank.That would be Dayenu, enough.But Don didn't stop there. As an Ethiopian scholar, he was instrumental in bringing the peaceful path of Aikido to war-torn Ethiopia, and training Tesfaye Tekelu as together they (with others here) built the Action for Youth & Community Changecampus and the AE Peace Dojo in Hawassa.That too would have been Dayenu, enough. But Don dared to unite even Arabs and Jews through The Martial Art of Peace; called on me as a dual American-Israeli citizen; brought in other key players; and together we cooked up the 'Salaam Shalom' Middle East Aikido Project. To his profound thrill and joy, the project launched in 2005 with our historic Training Across Borders Conference, in the UN Buffer Zone between Greek and Turkish Cyprus. Following Don's chutzpah-style leadership we managed to gather 100 Aiki 'warriors for peace' from Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia, the Americas and Europe. And we are continuing to forge seemingly Impossible bridges through AE's peace-building projects and 10th Anniversary Training Across Borders Conference this fall in Athens, in dedication to Don Sensei.Don Levine was my dearly beloved colleague, mentor, friend, and we loved calling each other Achi and Achoti ~ my brother and my sister. Working with him, I always loved the feeling of co-conspiratoring. Despite his greatness, and indeed as a part of it, he had no qualms calling me his sempai (senior in aikido rank) and at times even asked me about things. His vast smarts and knowledge came from always being humble enough, open enough, willing enough to be a lifelong student as much as he was our brilliant way-showing teacher.To me Don will always be the dearest and greatest of souls. The man of great heart and wisdom, with a brilliant incisive mind, all blended with the youthful playful spirit of a wide-eyed child forever full of wonder and energy, always making new creations and seeking next frontiers of daring worthy adventures. Were it not for the nasty C-word, I know he would have gladly kept trailblazing ad me'ah v'esrim / to 120.When people ask the usual question of what is your home dojo, my answer has become 'Aiki Extensions.' I shall always carry Don in my every step and word. I am endlessly grateful to him for giving me my Aikido home, and enabling me to be in the most authentic and useful place I know of. For providing such incredible opportunities for us all to work with our Aiki brothers and sisters off as well as on the mat, so creatively, happily, meaningfully. For the great legacies he has left each one of us to fulfill daily, for as long as we walk this earth. And I bless him for allowing me to be part of his magnificent, so gifted, and so loving family.Deep deep bows dearest Don. We know you are alive and well, and living on even more powerfully in the ever-expanding spheres of your remarkable influence.As you would say: Gambatte! Kadima! Onwards!Salaam. Shalom. Domo arigato. Abrazos.Adieu achi, I love you.Jamie Leno Zimron, April 7, 2015
Beautiful, Jamie Sensei.
A true and worthy tribute to a truly worthy man.
BrandonFree Aiki Dojo and Golden Bears Aikido training schedule
Welcome to 2015!
Please look for the Free Aiki Dojo and Golden Bears Aikido training schedule at http://abcglobal.net
Ask us about Peace Practices classes for Adults!
We continue to offer introductory adult training in Peace Practices at Pacific Rim International School (PRINTS). Please check out the Facebook events here, RSVP, and invite friends. All are welcome to join us.
Get your Peace Practices gi -- both lightweight and heavyweight!
We are fundraising to support the Peace Practices project, enabling the spread of Martial Nonviolence bodymind conflict skills to local, national, and international communities. Please purchase our custom gis (now available in our new online store here) and support the Free Aiki, Golden Bears Aikido, and Peace Practices work we are doing in the world! We are now also offering a high quality gi top (no white pants included) that is long enough to work well under a hakama (see Brandon in his on the right). Find it in the store here
As always, please follow either of our Twitter feeds for the latest changes, weekly class times, etc. at:
I look forward to training with you!
As always, no previous experience is necessary.Show up and train no matter what. Please bring a friend.Pay what you can. If you can't, don't. No kidding.DONATIONS ARE ALWAYS APPRECIATED!
Please set up an automatic donation for whatever you can affordthrough our non-profit partner, Association Building Community,at http://abcglobal.net/Free_Aiki_Dojo_Partnership,
and thanks!Please click here for our petition to support aikido at UC Berkeley and forward this link to your networks with a note explaining why it is important to you.Please share your Google Calendar with firstname.lastname@example.org so we can coordinate and plan together, but always email email@example.com because it goes to everybody who needs to see it and will get you a much faster response.If you didn't receive this through freeaiki@ or firstname.lastname@example.org, you will soon receive an notice of being added to our email lists to receive weekly notice of classes. Please make sure you have become a member by checking your status.
Our Google Groups are mostly about weekly announcements. If you would like to be on the inside of the logistics email loop where the decisions are made about class scheduling, special events, and the future of our training community in general, please email my executive assistant at email@example.com and she will add you to the development list: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven't checked out the Golden Bears Aikido Facebook Group yet, by all means go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/GoldenBearsAikido/
Some maps for locations:
Free Aiki Dojo (hosted by Aikido of Berkeley)
1514 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94703
All the news... (includes older items)