Stopped

I stopped, turned around, and faced the man who had called out to me. The dusk sky darkened.  My lungs deflated in a slow, silent exhale. The little bird captured in the upper left center of my rib cage fluttered nervously. I didn’t know the man by face, but he had medium brown skin, long, black hair captured in a braid, and a full body. He looked like a lot of the men in my husband’s extended family and tribe. I tried to carefully, silently, sneak another breath. Was this, too, forbidden?

Maybe I didn’t give him my full attention, but I should have. I wanted guidance. My mind was chattering, making excuses. How much I have whined about this moment, since it happened, a year ago. I didn’t know how to submit to another human being and still submit to God. Haven’t I learned this by now?

Submission is waiting, waiting to hear someone out completely. And then, once you have done that, make a judgement. Why are you here? Why are you hearing this? 

Sometimes it is the rantings of a lunatic, a person too full of himself. Other times it a signpost in the desert, without which you would lose your way.

BUYER BEWARE!

When I looked up the balance of my eBay credit card, in order to make the payment, in early February of this year, I was surprised by how much debt I had accrued. I recognized everything on the statement, except a $102.15 payment to OCEANMISTSHOP. I called the number on the statement and spoke to a female representative at Ocean Mist, who gloated sarcastically at the trap I had fallen into. “Did you read all the fine print in the documentation?” she sneered, triumphantly announcing, “You agreed to a subscription of a bottle of CBD oil every month!”

“That’s not true,” I countered, now remembering  a CBD purchase. “I only agreed to receive one bottle, and I only agreed to pay the shipping charges!”

I had responded to a pop-up ad on Facebook. It had a picture of Bill Maher. The ad stated that the pharmaceutical companies were suing Bill Maher because he was undercutting them with his inexpensive CBD oil, which was supposedly better than prescription drugs for just about everything. “CLICK HERE for 1 oz of high quality  CBD oil for the cost of shipping alone!”

The representative at Synchrony Bank, whom I spoke with after completing the call to Ocean Mist, wanted to know what proof I had to back my assertion that I had been quoted one price for a product, and billed another. Unfortunately, I have none. The whole page had disappeared once I put in my credit card numbers. I  received no email confirmation, or even a prompt from the webpage that the transaction had gone through. I wrongly assumed that the whole thing had fallen out, until about a week later, I received one ounce of caprylic acid that contained a small amount of CBD, in the mail. Still not wise to the game, I wrongly assumed that I was being billed around $7 for shipping.

Unfortunately, I threw out the shipping box, but still have the bottle. It says, “Ceremony CBD Oil, broad spectrum hemp extract, 1 Fl Oz (30 ml), 300 mg cannabidiol, THC free, other ingredient: caprylic triglycerides from coconut.” The Phoenix address of Ceremony CBD is on the bottle, and their phone number (which is different from the Maryland number I called to reach the Ocean Mist representative). 

The next time I put a credit card number into a web form, I took pictures of every page of the transaction. A day or two later, I verified that the billed amount matched the amount I had agreed to pay.

I can’t use this CBD oil, or any coconut products, anymore because my triglycerides were high in a lab test (even though I’m a vegan). Fortunately, the “subscription” was stopped after the first shipment, and, to prevent any more charges from Ocean Mist, Synchrony Bank issued me a new credit card.

300 mg CBD is 0.01058219 oz, which means the 1 oz bottle is 99% refined coconut oil, very expensive, and for me, internet shopping course tuition!

I now understand that beloved comedian, Bill Maher’s name was used on this product without his permission.

Antidote for Shame

Woke up suffering with guilt and shame. I was chaffing about little errors I had made—things I had already repented of. I understood that wallowing in negative emotions is harmful. I must find a way to get rid of this shame. 

I remembered the book I had written, Love and the Human Spirit, the novel. I’m going to launch it and promote it, along with my other books, after I finish the beginning guitar book I am currently working on, Scales and Chords: Guitar Basics. A character in the novel had advised the protagonist on the chakras. The 2nd chakra is where guilt and shame hits, he said. At the second chakra, you need a relationship with one of the manifestations of God, take Krishna for instance. I couldn’t find Krishna. I couldn’t find Jesus either. Then I remembered, later on in the novel, another character had shared about Baha’u’llah. I had read Baha’u’llah’s words about trustworthiness last night. There was trustworthiness, forbearance, truthfulness, still no relief from the shame. The character had shared something that I felt was embarrassing. Baha’u’llah had been held in a Tehran dungeon for 4 months in 1852. During that time he had been collared with a 100 pound chain, and seated on a bench with no way to lie down. Upon release, he was exiled to Baghdad. The scarring around his neck from the chain persisted. I put my tongue in the scar, like she had shared. How did I do that? Imagination. There is a principle that imagination is spiritual reality. Another thing is, imagination goes on all the time anyway, whether active or passive. It had been my passive imagination that had been producing the shame. Now, embracing Baha’u’llah, I fell asleep in perfect peace.

The beginning of the end of the Baby Boom

More babies were born in 1946 than ever before: 3.4 million, 20 percent more than in 1945. This was the beginning of the so-called “baby boom.” In 1947, another 3.8 million babies were born; 3.9 million were born in 1952; and more than 4 million were born every year from 1954 until 1964, when the boom finally tapered off. By then, there were 76.4 million “baby boomers” in the United States. They made up almost 40 percent of the nation’s population. (From https://www.history.com/topics/1960s/baby-boomers-1)

Now, 75 years later, what do we see in hospitalizations and deaths? Is there a discernible bump in the statistical curve? Are hospitals being overwhelmed by the needs of aging baby boomers? As there was in the birth rate 75 years ago, is there a noticeable spike in the death rate now? If 75 years after the end of World War II, there seemed to be a spike in hospitalizations and deaths, would we realize that, of course, this is the beginning of the end of the baby boom generation, or would we theorize some kind of an epidemic to explain the numbers?

A Spiritual Experience

The night before last I opened my Baha’i app to something in Epistle to the Son of Wolf. The passage said something to the effect of, “Be the best you can be to further the cause of elevating the spiritual consciousness of mankind in my name (Baha’u’llah).” Last night I searched for the passage again and couldn’t find it. 

The night before last I had a lucid dream and a mystical experience. In the dream I felt a man’s soft genitals land gently on the top of my head. It was very sweet. I started to think I must be dreaming about my husband. Then I realized this could be the Lord of the age. Am I allowed to experience him like this?

Then I was caught up in a violent whirlwind. I felt fear, then calmed myself thinking, ‘I am with my Lord.’ The experience is difficult to describe, or even remember, but I know it involved spiritual intimacy with the Lord, Baha’u’llah. He is so close to me now, he is intimately in my thoughts. The ride in the whirlwind was a thrill that I am eager to have again!

This may have been the passage that I read the other night, although I didn’t recognize it when I read it last night: “O peoples of the earth! Haste ye to do the pleasure of God, and war ye valiantly, as it behooveth you to war, for the sake of proclaiming His resistless and immovable Cause. We have decreed that war shall be waged in the path of God with the armies of wisdom and utterance, and of a goodly character and praiseworthy deeds. Thus hath it been decided by Him Who is the All-Powerful, the Almighty.” From Epistle to the Son of Wolf by Baha’u’llah.

This likely was the passage I read the other night, prior to the whirlwind experience, also from Epistle to the Son of Wolf, by Baha’u’llah: “Every cause needeth a helper. In this Revelation the hosts which can render it victorious are the hosts of praiseworthy deeds and upright character. The leader and commander of these hosts hath ever been the fear of God, a fear that encompasseth all things, and reigneth over all things.”

Food Adventure

A little math

I wanted to figure out how to dilute 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide to about 12-14%, for a surface disinfectant with low toxicity. I drew some pictures of pies to figure it out: 6-7 droppers of water, and 4 droppers of the 35% solution.

I had spent the previous evening going over the CDC mortality data for California for the past 12 months. I didn’t see too large of a spike, but it was a bit unsettling the way the numbers kept creeping up as time went on. Then I understood something. California has been steadily increasing in population for as long as I’ve been here. More people would mean more deaths. I added some population data to the spreadsheet, I had built from the CDC death data, and found that, if my data and calculations are correct, for the past 12 months, 13 to 16 people, per group of 100,000 Californians, has died every week during the past year. 

That  seems normal. After all this is Earth, not Heaven. People do die here. Death happens. This is a mortal realm. We know we are not going to be here forever. News people may wax dramatic and emotional about deaths, like they are trying to move us to tears, or trying to scare us, but death is nothing new, although it is tragic when it touches you personally. 

Contagion awareness

It is good that awareness of the spread of contagious disease is developing, along with ways to limit it. I was raised in a health conscious family. When we were sick, we were isolated. We were taught to wash our hands, and not pick our noses in public. The one of us, that had gone the longest without catching a cold, was rewarded by having first pick of the little goat steaks that were broiled for dinner. I was raised with an awareness of the spread of contagious disease. I learned ways to avoid picking up a bug, and ways to avoid spreading it if I did get one. 

You might say I was well indoctrinated with the germ theory. I had the opportunity to grow beyond the limits of that theory, when I was grown. Contagion is only one of the things that predispose a person to becoming ill. Lifestyle choices also play a role. 

The last time I got sick was February 2020. I had been using a protein preparation, externally, to try to heal lesions in my skin. It didn’t work. After I caught a cold, I realized that I had been using a slaughterhouse product. So, after a few days of sniffles, I threw out the keratin salve, and have been healthy since.

Toxin awareness

My immune system functions to keep me healthy, if I avoid certain toxic substances. Different toxins seem to predispose me to different health issues, some considered communicable, and some not. For me, I find that dietary toxins are more likely to cause an infection than mere exposure to a virus. I have been noting the cause and effect relationship between sugar and sickness for a long time. Sugar, that has been refined, seems to lower immunity. I noticed that association when my children were small. They rarely got refined sweets, so it was observable that when they did, they would get sick afterwards.

Wheat products cause constipation in me, which causes other problems if left to fester. I can tolerate wheat if it is whole grain, but not every day. However, even a little refined wheat will cause me such problems that now, anything that might contain wheat does not even look like food to me. It’s not willpower when I decline main dishes, breads and desserts, it’s just that I know what will happen to me if I eat it. Abdominal pain? Constipation? Hemorrhoids? No thank you!

Anything from an animal will bring on a cold or a flu for me. I have noticed this enough times, now, that anything, with meat, cheese, eggs or dairy in it, does not even look like food. It was tricky when I first started to figure this out, because sometimes, I would not get sick right away. I seemed to be getting away with eating meat and cheese for a while. I could eat it for a while and still feel healthy, as long as I avoided wheat and sugar. But then, suddenly I would get sick and pass a lot of snot. The amount of snot, I blew out or coughed up, would be comparable to the amount of meat, cheese and eggs I had eaten since the last time I had gotten sick. So without the virus, that eventually came along, I seemed to be getting away with dining on animals and their products. But eventually it caught up with me. 

Food adventure

The other night my husband and I were in town. He wanted a food adventure. I acquiesced. We entered a little Mexican bakery and restaurant that neither one of us had been to previously. He ordered in Spanish. The couple, that ran the little diner, may have had some working English, but he likes to use his Spanish every chance he gets. The tables were not to be used because of the, now eight months of, quarantine. I held the bag of hot food in my hands, savoring the aroma, while he drove home. He had purchased 3 tacos with hand-made corn tortillas and cactus. They were delicious! Fortunately my husband has the same avoid list that I do. Also, his Spanish comes in handy when he needs to explain what he wants and does not want in a taco.

Food Adventure

A little math
I wanted to figure out how to dilute 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide to about 12-14%, for a surface disinfectant with low toxicity. I drew some pictures of pies to figure it out: 6-7 droppers of water, and 4 droppers of the 35% solution.

I had spent the previous evening going over the CDC mortality data for California for the past 12 months. I didn’t see too large of a spike, but it was a bit unsettling the way the numbers kept creeping up as time went on. Then I understood something. California has been steadily increasing in population for as long as I’ve been here. More people would mean more deaths. I added some population data to the spreadsheet, I had built from the CDC death data, and found that, if my data and calculations are correct, for the past 12 months, 13 to 16 people, per group of 100,000 Californians, has died every week during the past year.

That seems normal. After all this is Earth, not Heaven. People do die here. Death happens. This is a mortal realm. We know we are not going to be here forever. News people may wax dramatic and emotional about deaths, like they are trying to move us to tears, or trying to scare us, but death is nothing new, although it is tragic when it touches you personally.

Contagious disease

It is good that awareness of the spread of contagious disease is developing, along with ways to limit that. I was raised in a health conscious family. When we were sick, we were isolated. We were taught to wash our hands, and not to pick our noses in public. The one of us that had gone the longest without catching a cold, was rewarded by having first pick of the little goat steaks that were broiled for dinner. I was raised with an awareness of the spread of contagious disease. I learned ways to avoid picking up a bug, and ways to avoid spreading it if I did get one.

You might say I was well indoctrinated with the germ theory. I had the opportunity to grow beyond the limits of that theory, when I was grown. Contagion is only one of the things that predispose a person to becoming ill. Lifestyle choices also play a role.

The last time I got sick was February 2020. I had been using a protein preparation, externally, to try to heal lesions in my skin. It didn’t work. After I caught a cold, I realized that I had been using a slaughterhouse product. So, after a few days of sniffles, I threw out the keratin salve, and have been healthy since.

Dietary toxins

My immune system functions to keep me healthy, if I avoid certain toxic substances. Different toxins seem to predispose me to different health issues, some considered communicable, and some not. For me, I find that dietary toxins are more likely to cause an infection than mere exposure to a virus. I have been noting the cause and effect relationship between sugar and sickness for a long time. Sugar, that has been refined, seems to lower immunity. I noticed that association when my children were small. They rarely got refined sweets, so it was observable that when they did, they would get sick afterwards.

Wheat products cause constipation in me, which causes other problems if left to fester. I can tolerate wheat if it is whole grain, but not every day. However, even a little refined wheat will cause me such problems that now, anything that might contain wheat does not even look like food to me. It’s not willpower when I decline main dishes, breads and desserts, it’s just that I know what will happen to me if I eat it. Abdominal pain? Constipation? Hemorrhoids? No thank you!

Anything from an animal will bring on a cold or a flu for me. I have noticed this enough times, now, that anything, with meat, cheese, eggs or dairy in it, does not even look like food. It was tricky when I first started to figure this out, because sometimes, I would not get sick right away. I seemed to be getting away with eating meat and cheese for a while. I could eat it for a while and still feel healthy, as long as I avoided wheat and sugar. But then, suddenly I would get sick and pass a lot of snot. The amount of snot, I blew out or coughed up, would be comparable to the amount of meat, cheese and eggs I had eaten since the last time I had gotten sick. So without the virus, that eventually came along, I seemed to be getting away with dining on animals and their products. But eventually it caught up with me.

Food adventure

The other night my husband and I were in town. He wanted a food adventure. I acquiesced. We entered a little Mexican bakery and restaurant that neither one of us had been to previously. He ordered in Spanish. The couple, that ran the little diner, may have had some working English, but he likes to use his Spanish every chance he gets. The tables were not to be used because of the, now eight months of, quarantine. I held the bag of hot food in my hands, savoring the aroma, while he drove home. He had purchased 3 tacos with hand-made corn tortillas and cactus. They were delicious! Fortunately my husband has the same avoid list that I do. Also, his Spanish comes in handy when he needs to explain what he wants and does not want in a taco.

Pause for Prayer

I love her, miss her, want her love, want her forgiveness, want her to be happy. I sorrow for the things that went wrong. I rejoice in the things that were good. I wish I had good gifts. I give her my love, my prayers, my spiritual energy. Ditto, ditto, ditto. I love them all.

I felt the feeling of melting in love, a rare feeling, it’s gone now. I’m a sack of shit. I deserve hatred. I know that’s not true, but that feeling is coming at me. This is a messy life. Fixing broken relationships is a messy business. 

Stop the World!

No school, no church, no library, masks that reduce oxygen and increase carbon dioxide, social distancing and isolation have been going on now for six months! Who is benefiting from this? Who is sniggering at out discomfort while they rake in the dough—(or, perhaps, anticipate a profitable enterprise when a “cure” is brought to market, and forced on a captive public, liability-free)?

On the sequestration issue, my viewpoint is considered conservative. Normally, my viewpoint, on other issues–like health care and immigration–would be considered liberal. I don’t like top-down hierarchy. I like freedom, except for those who infringe on the freedom of others. Those particular individuals should be restrained.

There is a lot of missinformation flying around, some of it outright propaganda! (And censorship?) Deaths that would have happened in any case are blamed on a specific organism, and news outlets (that have corporate sponsors) greatly exaggerate the death toll associated with a particular organic signature. We always have deaths associated with colds, flu and pneumonia, what is different now?

Other than the mandates that have come down, I can’t see much difference between 2020 and other years. The overall death toll seems to be pretty normal. Any death is tragic, and yet, this is a mortal world. Death happens.

I want to go to the library where I can get my laptop online to write and upload this blog post, but I am learning the capabilities of my smart phone, to get the job done without wifi. Online meeting is amazing! I never would have tried it before. And while I would like to actually sit down and eat inside a restaurant, that won’t be a reality, so I might as well put something out in the solar oven.