Leaving the Forbidden City – by James O’Dea

Leaving the Forbidden City – by James O’Dea …A systems perspective on Earth’s next major evolutionary phase change … James O’Dea is a Fellow and recent Past President of The Institute of Noetic Sciences (www.jamesodea.com )

Puyi Qing was just two years and ten months old when he was taken from his mother and brought to the Forbidden City with its 35 foot high walls and its nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine rooms. There, in the Hall of Supreme Harmony, he was named Xuangton Emperor. Alas, or perhaps fortunately, he was barely six years old when life outside the walls of this most exclusive imperial enclave ended the Qing dynasty in favor of a modern republic. Although he was forced to abdicate in 1912, he was effectively imprisoned in the private quarters of The Forbidden City until 1924 when, at age 18, with the Empress and his favorite concubine, both of whom he had married a few years earlier, he was forced to leave its confines, never to return. He was to be known thereafter as “the last emperor”.

While none of us will have had such a spectacular coming of age story, we all have some version of a time in our lives when, rudely or not, we are forced to shed aspects of a reality which can no longer exist as it once did for us. We discover that other stories exist, beyond the story we found ourselves born into. Inevitably as we grapple with the unstoppable momentum of ideas, technology and the impact of accelerating change and the many other historical and evolutionary forces all around us, we can align only with part of our inherited narrative of the world.

Sometimes the older version of reality just fades away or disintegrates organically like rich compost in the soil of what eventually emerges as new truth. When this happens we find ourselves cooperating with change and even open to quite radical transformations in belief, attitude and behavior. It is often not that easy, it can take a full blown crisis to help us come to grips with the fact that our general worldview no longer adequately defines reality or serves us well. It can take wrestling with unfamiliar ideas, and values which seem alien. Like the emperor, we can find ourselves churned and buffeted by changes beyond our control; and in a world where trade, travel and communication have gone into hyper-acceleration other versions and perspectives of reality intrude upon the walls and boundaries of our current beliefs and demand our attention whether we like it or not.

The question is not just can we learn to recognize our personal ‘forbidden city’ or the ones created by our affinity groups, religions, ethnicities and nations, but how do we engage in larger systems beyond those boundaries in ways that enhance shared meaning and collective understanding about what really matters.

Let’s go back to the last emperor and round out his story before we continue. To his credit, Puyi had tried to explore the world beyond The Forbidden City: at age fifteen he bribed the guards in his attempt to experience the reality that lay outside those gates which were designed to keep the commoners out but which served to keep him in and closeted in a world that was out of touch with the rapidly changing conditions beyond its walls. The guards at the very last moment betrayed him and his disappointment was grievous and soul destroying. It took him a great many years to recover. He admits that he allowed himself, against his own better judgment, to be installed at age 26 as a puppet leader in Manchuria by the invading Japanese. You could call this a major regression on his part: an attempt to recapture a reality he knew to be from a bygone era. But again in 1945 another story caught up with him, this time it was the Soviet army which captured him. After holding him for some years, Stalin handed him over to his new best friend Mao Zedong.

Subjected to ten years of imprisonment by the communists, the man who had grown up as a quasi-deity and, The Lord of Ten Thousand Years, was finally forced to accept his status as a commoner. Having been ‘re-educated’ and, from some accounts, genuinely accepting his fate, he lived in a simple apartment and worked as a gardener. He died shortly after a few precious items were removed from his apartment by zealots of The Cultural Revolution bent on humiliating him ever further.

We see in Puyi’s story dramatic shifts which reflect the collapse of his mythic status, the collapse of his political status; personal humiliation, loss and eventual psychological and intellectual accommodation with the changes he had experienced. It is not a story of good v. evil or a narrative which reveals any kind of simple linear progression of cause and effect. It is a story of multiple non-linear causal dimensions in the form of historical and political storms that flared up into a global conflagration followed by huge ideological rifts, and philosophical differences about the social order, power and privilege. Puyi died in 1967, a year which resonated with the kind of complexity that defined the 20th century and which has only accelerated further in the 21st.

It was a year when the man who was to become the last Shah of Iran was crowned, only later to be overthrown by Islamic fundamentalists. It was the year of the Summer of Love in San Francisco, while, at the same time, the US intensified its high-tech war against communist forces in Vietnam and Israel defeated the combined Arab armies of the region in six days, annexing the West Bank and Gaza with devastating consequences for the Palestinian people. It was a year in which Martin Luther King was at the height of his influence and The Beatles released Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As pictures of Earth, taken from outer space, began to circulate around the world conveying graphically that all nations belonged to the whole, physicists were exploring with equal reverence and awe the mysterious and even boggling ‘entangled’ reality of sub-atomic particles and the quantum foam.

It was also in 1967 that Arthur Koestler coined the term holon to represent a systems perspective that could more accurately describe reality than the concept of hierarchies: A holon being something that is whole in itself but part of a larger more inclusive whole. Holarchy—the descriptor for interconnected and interdependent nested realities was felt to be a more accurate description of systems at all scales, from the minute to the cosmic, than the rigid top down world of hierarchy. But in human affairs hierarchies are tenacious and tend to morph into other guises….as Puyi discovered early in life.

Hierarchies exist, but increasingly we are compelled, for our own survival, to learn how complex, non-linear, adaptive systems work and what they tell us about how we might catalyze healthy whole system transition. It has been pointed out that if you remove the head of a spider it will die, if you cut off the arm of a starfish, because it has a decentralized nervous system, it can grow back the arm, while some types of starfish can even regenerate from a single dismembered ray. Obviously you shouldn’t try this experiment on a human since mammals do not have this regenerative ability, but as Brafman and Beckstrom point out, hierarchies dependent on top-down leadership tend to stifle and even kill the generative creativity of ‘leaderless’ teams.

We know that massive collective creativity is now required if we are to avert volatile climate change, ecological devastation, loss of species, toxic pollution and immeasurable human suffering: consumption patterns and lifestyles must change, and corporate and financial structures need massive transformation from unconscious levels of acquisition and unsustainable modes of operation. But these are only elements of a much larger web of systems reverberating and reacting to each other: ultimately human civilization must undergo a whole system evolutionary phase change. Religion, education, science, politics, economics, healthcare and ecology can no longer sustain privileged autonomy within the whole system of planetary existence. When it comes to addressing and securing the survival of our species and our relationship to all life on Earth or to securing universal adherence to human rights, fundamental social justice and the elimination of violence as a means to intimidate and punish others, these major arteries of civil society must weave a tapestry which coherently depicts a new vision of wholeness and interdependence in contrast to fragmentation, polarization and domination.

The nature of our current ecological and economic crises is multiple and interrelated: but more people—from activists to policy makers– know that we can’t fix our environmental problems without transforming our economies, and that the health and well-being of communities all over the world is tied to successfully integrating economic systems with the primary systems which keep Earth’s life and climate in balance.. And we can’t integrate them into a sustainable design if we believe the highest goal of life is to acquire stuff, and that it doesn’t matter what we do with the planet’s resources because the End is coming and the destination is Heaven. Only a shift in consciousness that expresses itself in real behavioral, cognitive, and attitudinal changes and which creates a solid foundation for shared values can act as the driver of whole system evolutionary phase change.

Whole system evolutionary phase change is the antithesis of cosmetic tinkering with dying and outmoded structures: a contrived patchwork of accommodations and compromises won’t work—we are beyond that. You maybe able to deceive and distract people but you cannot lie to the wind or the oceans; you cannot bring back the one-third of Earth’s species lost since 1970. Nor can you deceive the larger system which you are embedded in, but you can reach upwards to gain a higher and more inclusive perspective: Fortunately we can expand awareness and grow in consciousness in ways that reach far beyond the cleverest of manipulations. An evolutionary phase change is dramatic: dinosaurs become extinct; needs, feelings and ideas get expressed into language; language is symbolized in written form; codes for the instantaneous transmission of the written word are created and shared across the world.

So what will be the dramatic nature of this next evolutionary phase change? It will be as bold in contrast as the shift from Ape to Homo Sapiens. It has the potential to stir the emergence of a collectively awakened higher consciousness in sufficiently large numbers as to tip the balance away from the violent and punitive underpinnings of contemporary civilizations. It will be a phase change that moves the human species from fragmentation, division, exploitation and distraction to integration, conciliation and service. In moving us towards this dramatic change it seems inevitable that the pathologies of our most egregiously destructive behavior will need to be fully understood and so graphically exposed as to consolidate evolutionary learning. Yes, that is bleak news! At the same time, the emergence of greater numbers of more consciously awakened people in all cultures will act as a positive evolutionary lure or attractor—they will exude more peace, friendship, compassion and they will be healthier and live longer. They will be more subtle, dialogic and generally more loving, forgiving and appreciative than their forbears.

This may strike you as wild conjecture but while it is true that no one knows what the future will bring, there is now a considerable body of scientific evidence which confirms the extensive psychological, emotional and physiological benefits of such things as meditation and as a result large numbers of people are taking up meditative and yogic practices. In fact in crude ‘survival of the fittest” terms those who are loving, relational, forgiving and altruistic are simply going to outlive the angry, hostile and vengeful. An inability to forgive, for example, has negative cardiovascular effects and can lead to psychological fixation and stuckness. People who learn to release hostile feelings are able to move on and adapt more quickly—and the ability to adapt to changing conditions is, as we know, high up there on evolution’s short-list of essential skills. Because people who have been learning and sharing these insights at the interface of science and spirituality eat more consciously, they also stay in better shape and have a further advantage in terms of social capital, and other wellness and longevity indicators. Together, these and other dramatic changes in perceptions, attitudes and beliefs are marking the emergence of a growing segment of the population who are more subtle, tolerant, adaptable, dialogic, eco-conscious, as well as being more peaceful and spiritually open than their predecessors.

It is as if evolution has been honing the design of loving, creative, healthy and adaptive beings who would live responsibly and have the wisdom to care not only for their own species but for other species and life forms. To have these beings emerge into full consciousness they had to go through countless evolutionary stages and transitions. This social and psychological evolution of our species is well argued and cogently framed in spiral dynamics theories: it is not that the various stages of our development were negative, it is that to evolve from the safety of closed kinship groups to the ultimate safety of global community we constantly needed to transcend the limitations and include for the journey ahead the very best insight and wisdom of each phase of our development.

What lies ahead is an integral map of reality where inner and outer worlds are brought into alignment and harmony: as we begin to master the translation of the idea of the good, the beautiful and the true from the imaginal and intellectual spheres to the manifest world of everyday reality to address our very concrete challenges. As we begin to leave behind the punitive, distracted and disconnected aspects of contemporary civilization what we see greeting us beyond the walls of this more limited consciousness is our evolutionary emergence into societal forms informed by scientific and interdisciplinary insight and deeper psychological and spiritual consciousness. The tremendously positive insights of the last century now begin to evolve to new levels of systemic integration:

The mind, body health movement will move from all of its accomplishments at the personal level to integral medicine which looks at the whole system context of healthcare, to include social healing and eco-healthy environments and even a healing and restorative approach to the criminal justice system. Our schools will finally be free to educate the whole person—liberating deeper emotional and social intelligence, honoring multiple ways of knowing and exploring the great questions about the nature and purpose of existence. And politics will no longer the haven of overburdened egos but the organizational hub of a new humanity where local community is revitalized as global community is consolidated. As utopian as this may sound, any whole system which attains a greater degree of resonance and coherence and which involves the human quest for meaning and purpose, will involve constant re-visioning and change. Without fresh insight and new inputs any system will be overwhelmed by entropy. Each phase transition of human development will continue to involve creative conflict and will always require the capacity to transcend its own limitations while harvesting the continuity of its best learning.

From a systems perspective we always must ask the question what is the environment that any given system is embedded in? What is the nature of the larger system beyond the obvious one? If it is hidden from view or not understood, how can we see it, know it or understand it? One could say we are always looking not just for the story but the meta story. To find the next dimension of a story, and appreciate the container it is held in, we invariably have to leave many a “forbidden city”, break taboos, leave some in-grown circles of colleagues and open doors to others, fearlessly and with a good heart. We have no other option. And, maybe as Einstein suggested, more than all the knowledge we can gain, what will seed the future will be a luminous imagination. Certainly, as scientists keep helping us to appreciate just how much more expansive and teeming with hitherto unknown galaxies our universe is, it becomes easier and easier to imagine that the story of life is so much vaster than the one we have been telling ourselves.

Published 1-16-09 by Global Systems Initiatives

JUNK AND BULK MAIL – ELIMINATE

How about “junk” and bulk mailers paying the full rate, I choose to not subsidize their bottom line …

After being $2.8 billion in the red in 08, and competition from text, email, FEDEX, UPS and now new online mail delivery services such as Zumbox, the U.S. Postal Service is looking at cutting another delivery day to cut cost and keep up with a problem larger than any of those competing factors, the hellish economy. The Post master General has asked Congress to lift the 6 day a week delivery standard in hopes of cutting cost and beating off a $6 billion deficit projected for this fiscal year.

“If current trends continue, we could experience a net loss of $6 billion or more this fiscal year,” Potter said in testimony for a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.
“It is possible that the cost of six-day delivery may simply prove to be unaffordable,” Potter said. “I reluctantly request that Congress remove the annual appropriation bill rider, first added in 1983, that requires the Postal Service to deliver mail six days each week.”
Most assuredly I am not an expert in postal issues, though I have always questioned the value in the amount of truly – junk – mail I receive almost daily. It strikes me that making everyone pay whatever the “going” rate is for that particular size article might alleviate the shortfall which the post office historically seems to find itself.

I realize such a proposal is heresy to those “bulk” mailers who currently enjoy passing on their – externalities – for you and I to absorb. Well, enough pay the going rate or find another method of getting my attention to purchase your stuff…?
As I see it all eliminating one day’s delivery means it on the following day I can expect at least twice the amount of junk mail. Do we really need “junk” bulk or political mail delivered at bargain basement prices…?

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… “they must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority” … G. Massey, Egyptologist
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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world…indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” … Margaret Mead

… People should never be afraid of their government, government should always be afraid of the people …

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Website address for Paul F. Miller’s blog …. http://waterman99.wordpress.com/2009

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And let me be even a bit bolder, I am most willing to present and discuss any water issue before any audience in Arizona where open full disclosure and two way dialog is permitted.

Respectfully submitted,

NOT EVEN TO SAVE OUR OWN LIFE

Air Pollution Now Melting Snowpack Quicker, Study Shows … Red, Green, and Blue… Timothy B. Hurst – http://redgreenandblue.org/2009/01/28/air-pollution-now-melting-snowpack-quicker-study-shows/

Am I being too obtuse or what … yes snow which is covered with a dark layer attracts more sunlight and therefore heat and would as a result melt quicker … what is there to study…?

It strikes me that every one of us can conduct a simple experiment for ourselves and determine once and for all whether or not an object which is darker will hold more heat than an object of a lighter color. The degree of proof required is a function of individual choice. Once we can ascertain with reasonably certainty that a darker object will attract and heat quicker than a lighter object, it should be understandable then that snow which is covered with anything which darkens it will attract more sunlight and therefore heat quicker releasing whatever water is contained therein. And yes, when this water is released may not be at a time deemed appropriate by water regulators or environmentalists, sorry, but you do not have any control.

The solution, while perhaps not to our liking is really quite simple. Keep snow as white as possible and it will not melt as quickly as it is currently the result of increased pollution released into our atmosphere. Yea, it does mean that we – that’s you and me – will be required to conduct our lives differently…?

And you know what, that’s not going to happen, is it…? We’re spoiled rotten, selfish and we’re not going to give it up for anyone, not even to save our own life…?

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… “they must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority” … G. Massey, Egyptologist
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world…indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” … Margaret Mead

… People should never be afraid of their government, government should always be afraid of the people …

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Website address for Paul F. Miller’s blog …. http://waterman99.wordpress.com/2009

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And let me be even a bit bolder, I am most willing to present and discuss any water issue before any audience in Arizona where open full disclosure and two way dialog is permitted.

Respectfully submitted,

PUT A FISH IN EVERY ROW AND DO NOT LET IT DIE

… Put a fish in every row and don’t let it die..! …

Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 12:06 PM CST… …By Ainslee S. Wittig/Arizona Range News… It was 1979. About 35 people gathered in Willcox to learn how to grow corn in the Sulphur Springs Valley. Cal Agro Co. and Pioneer Seed sponsored a well-known speaker from Texas, who had been brought in for the meeting, which was complete with lunch. “He came in to tell us how to grow corn,” said Claire Owen, current chairman of Ag Day and one of its founding members. “‘Put a fish in every row and don’t let it die!’ he said, referring to the amount of water needed to grow it. And so it began. …Agriculture and Ag Day … Arizona Range News …http://www.willcoxrangenews.com/articles/2009/01/28/news/news07.txt

Truth is often stranger than fiction and I marvel at the honesty imparted some 30 years past to those attending Agriculture Day in Willcox, Arizona when the fundamental importance and prominence of water was keenly known.

Reading this I am jolted by a line from Bob Dylan iconic classic … times they are a changing … and today we find or I believe we should that Arizona no longer has water to waste growing fish in every planted agricultural row. The truth is we never really did, but then one might chose to dismiss our lack of understanding then on simple naivety. But that was yesterday and today reality presents a much different picture of Arizona’s water future.

The heady days of unrestricted unchecked growth in agriculture and suburbia sprawl present today a mosaic requiring us to reflect choosing paths which honestly provide safe and adequate water to go around. The sixty-four thousand dollar question on the table before us is exactly what do we do to begin…? A concern which some raise is what happens should we throw the baby out with the bath water, well for me, I think we killed that baby long ago and so where we begin is solely up to us…? It may well be the governmental oversight agencies we created are now part of the problem and no longer part of the solution we need.

The – “how” – to the question – what – is only revealed in an atmosphere of safe full open disclosure, I’m ready to begin, are you….?

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… “they must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority” … G. Massey, Egyptologist
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world…indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” … Margaret Mead

… People should never be afraid of their government, government should always be afraid of the people …

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Website address for Paul F. Miller’s blog …. http://waterman99.wordpress.com/2009

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

And let me be even a bit bolder, I am most willing to present and discuss any water issue before any audience in Arizona where open full disclosure and two way dialog is permitted.

Respectfully submitted,

HOLY CRAP

HOLY CRAP …. Pima County residents face steep increases in their sewer bills … However it’s portrayed, a 45 percent utility rate hike in tough economic times is likely to grab people’s attention. On Feb. 17, that’s exactly what the Pima County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss for sewer charges.

….Using terms like “appalled” and “outrageous,” Mary Schuh, a longtime member of the Pima Association of Taxpayers, says, “Pima County is gouging the ratepayers this time.” Tucson Weekly… Dave Devine

http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Currents/Content?oid=121371

Today the increase is only 45% be glad and rejoice for tomorrow’s increase most likely will be at least two times more ….
Current rate of $7/month will very shortly become $40/month and likely with more increases in the near term. Understand it’s not only Pima County which will be increasing sewer rates nearly every sewer treatment facility will be positioning itself to increase its fees, yours too, so get ready.
Traditionally water and sewer rates while these facilities operated as publicly owned utilities at times only marginally covered the costs associated with their operation. On a much broader scale the infrastructure delivering this sewage to these facilities is in many cases showing its age and has in many areas degraded to the point of being unsafe. Additionally, these original wastewater treatment plants were built to accommodate specific maximum gallons of raw sewage delivered within specific influent strengths.
In this context two things have happened, one is the volume has increased and two not only has the influent raw sewage strength increased it has taken on a quite different flavor than what the original facility was designed to adequately and safely process. Take a moment to reflect upon man’s ingenuity and all the new cosmetics, pesticides, herbicides, toxic wastes, fertilizers, medical too and don’t forget those pharmaceutical marvels invented one day and the next day down our sewer lines they are dumped. One question we seem afraid to address is are the residuals from these hosts safe for me to ingest in the water and food I consume…?
The recent emerging interface between formerly public owned facilities now married and essentially joined at the hip with private enterprise form an unholy association ripe for strife. Couple this with international cartel-like governmental structures advocating the “privatization” of these facilities and a domino affect begins and all forms of – water – suddenly become the new oil assuming oil’s once iconic status.
Minds much wiser than mine have long noted, though educated are we pursuant to Orwellian standards, and therefore we obediently choose not to look or hear, have stated that all forms of water that which we consume as well as our wastewater treatment will be exceedingly more costly and increases in the factor of 10 should not be unbelievable..?
I long wondered just what that old adage … there’s no free lunch … really meant and now I am beginning to understand. For many, many years now in most communities, especially those in the booming West USA, we’ve bent over backwards to accommodate the developers with new six lane freeways to and from for our SUV, schools, strip shopping centers often connecting this new addition of suburbia to a – water and wastewater – infrastructure in many cases more than 50 years old and small.
The problem we – that’s you and I – face is that we are trying to put 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag and it just won’t work. There is a price to be paid to resolve the dilemma we created. The solution resides in you and me and not in the governmental agencies currently structured to oversee as they are now part of the problem not part of the solution.
Should you see it differently, I would truly appreciate hearing from you as I have no need to be right.
Respectfully,
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
… “they must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority” … G. Massey, Egyptologist
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world…indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” … Margaret Mead

… People should never be afraid of their government, government should always be afraid of the people …

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

Website address for Paul F. Miller’s blog …. http://waterman99.wordpress.com/2009

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

And let me be even a bit bolder, I am most willing to present and discuss any water issue before any audience in Arizona where open full disclosure and two way dialog is permitted.

Wastewater to tap water

wastewater-1
Wastewater to tap water…?… A California city to consider contentious project during time of drought….By Angela Lau (Contact) Union-Tribune Staff Writer…2:00 a.m. January 23, 2009
In the picture …Siobhan Loftus-Reid, an associate chemist at Escondido’s wastewater treatment facility on Hale Avenue, tested water for presence of fecal Coliform yesterday. Both samples tested positive. Reclaiming water: A proposed project would clean wastewater to an “ultra-pure” state for drinking.
How: Wastewater would first be purified to irrigation standards, then sent through reverse osmosis, and finally treated with ultraviolet light. The water would be pumped into the groundwater basin, allowed to percolate through wetlands or stored in a reservoir for at least six months. It would be treated one more time before flowing to faucets.
How clean: Water officials say it will be cleaner than water from the Colorado River, one source of the county’s water.
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Here’s the bottom line … most of us currently residing in the “metro” areas of these United States are in fact consuming in some form someone else’s – wastewater – which has been transported via intricate series of rivers, canals, pipelines, reclamation treatment plants and processes, pressurized delivered for consumption to our homes.

The process briefly described above is currently being utilized by the City of Phoenix, Arizona, in its Tres Rios project which takes sewage effluent and pumps it into receiving wells along the Hassayampa River to be “cleaned” by mother nature and at a later date removed further processed then delivered to you as your new safe potable (drinking) water.

Within the scope that … water moves in a circle … this is on the one hand part of a natural process. There are two factors which complicate it and for me and remove it from being a natural process. One, is for the most part all of this is staged, promulgated, implemented behind closed door away from our prying eyes and without our input, providing cover, denying us full open clear, concise and understandable disclosure. Two, “we” don’t honestly have a clue of what “safe” water is for you or me to consume.

We are a nation of trained “believers” – authorities said it, so it must be true..? Were the consequences of such belief not truly tragic both individually as well as for the whole of mankind, such thought would be laughable..? Everywhere I go I hear folks tell me about publications, literature, pamphlets, documents, information releases from their water purveyor almost always reinforcing the “safety” of the water currently being delivered or noticing them about a rate increase. Moreover, many want to inform me about the most recent water reclamation edifice built under the guise – your water purveyor – is concerned about the “safety” of the water they provide to you..? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry for nothing could be further from the truth. I want to own I recognize there is danger lumping all water purveyors into one belief, as with everything there are always exceptions to any rule.

The tragedy is we educate only to believe, follow orders, don’t make waves, for if we do we know the consequences can be harsh. With this background it is understandable then why we accept unquestioningly whatever our water purveyor presents to us as true. We don’t have the background to know we even have the right to question what they pronounce as true.

Most every one of us receives periodically a report ostensibly guaranteeing that the water I consume has been deemed – safe. Interestingly these reports generated principally “in-house” without input from you or me are titled under the guise … Consumer Confidence Reports … and shamelessly presented to us as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In fact these reports are far from it, but, we’ve been trained like a Pavlov experimental dog and therefore, we don’t ask.

I invite you to make the time to read and study the next report you receive. Ask yourself what is it that is actually being presented to me…? What information does this report purport to provide…? Who developed and approved the manner of its presentation…? What chemicals, compounds are not test which I reasonably conclude is a residual in the water I consume…? Is this all the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, cosmetics, mining residuals, and residuals from nuclear energy production they test for and to what degree…? Ask yourself of the tens of thousands of chemicals man has created in the past 50 years, how many are they actually testing for…?

I caution the results you conclude can not only be startling but may give rise to creating unintended fear. Like viewing an iceberg what these reports reveal is at best 20% of a behemoth situation we participated in creating. A mind far wiser than mine noted … to be forewarned is to be forearmed … and this can only be attained when you and I demand and will accept nothing less than full open honest disclosure from all forms of government and public utilities, but in this, we need include our own self.

Our concept about water is deliberately skewed the result of an education system designed in the last 40 years to only promote the notion that – water – is a commodity. As a commodity – water – is subject to being owned and controlled by forces seeking only to enrich next quarter’s bottom line profit$ not necessarily how safe water is or it can be. it is rather easy to conclude and unjustifiably attack all water purveyors as wrong or bad, when the truth is, they can only perpetuate this system because “we” – that’s you and me – permit it. Were “we” aware of the global implications that were all of the available potable water on planet Earth was contained in twenty-six (26) gallons then the amount of potable water READILY available for all of mankind, our plants and our animals would amount to one-half (1/2) of a teaspoon, how we chose to interface and interact with water would change in a heart beat. But in year 2009, in the USA, we continue to see – water – as virtually inexhaustible.

As I contemplate – water – I ask, how might one foster a change in our awareness and perspective about water from one where water is merely a commodity to one where water achieves iconic status of nobility…? In America we hasten to note nobility or royalty is not allowed, though one need only look around to see the essence of nobility or royalty we tolerate even promote in areas of politics, sports and cinema. Water, but asks, not that we turn our head or bow or look the other way, but rather, to ask unafraid and aloud is there enough water to go around and how do we determine it is safe…?

In America we educate only those things which are quantified are true have validity, anything else is unreliable esoteric fluff and stuff not worthy of our time or consideration. Then to make sure we can absorb whatever they promote it is skillfully “dumb-down” presented to us in an easily digested pabulum form accompanied with all the psychological devices, of sight, sound, color too attached to attract and hold all of our senses.

Living in an environment where quantity prevails and is sanctified encourages us to only know truth as the size or cost of everything, while understanding the value or wisdom of nothing. Knowledge has been described by some ancients, shamans, educated and thoughtful folk of years past … knowledge is knowing that water is H2O, whereas wisdom is being able to make it rain … concepts seemingly withheld from us today, might we ask, why…?

In America, especially the wild and wooly West, we know water in terms of acre-feet that is ours, not yours, these headwaters belong to us, too bad for you, don’t touch it or we’ll sue and if need be we’ll send in the troops to secure what’s rightfully ours. In 2009 an unholy alliance exists between competing interests over the waters of the once mighty Colorado River. Today this river vainly attempts to meet the needs of some 25 million or more of us whose very existence is tied to it. Population and growth experts predict that by 2040 there will be about 27 million more of us – ALL -dependent upon the water of the Colorado River. Looking only through the lens of quantity we so enjoy, let’s see, when the Compact of the River was first proposed in 1922, it was predicated upon an average flow of 15 million acre-feet which only in exceptional years has it attained. The normal flow is about 10 million acre-feet and in the last ten years of regional drought it has not achieved even that. Those of us dependent upon the Colorado River today about 25 million are set to increase by an additional 27 million to number more than 50 million by 2040 and we honestly expect this river can support us…? There seems to me to be a word which clearly describes a condition we have and I believe it is … stupid.

Dictionaries on the internet define stupid …
1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless
4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
5. Pointless; worthless
Am I missing something or is our unconditional belief in unrestricted growth relying on Colorado River water for support NOT clearly an example of stupidity. But it’s not just the Colorado River which is but microcosm of a “macro” situation existing world wide.

Perhaps Americans feels we can fight “wars” on many fronts. Currently we are engaged in imperial action to corral what we can of all the remaining oil in the middle east to support an economy for the top 1% of the most wealthy in the USA. Next it would appear we are to fight yet other wars to secure for that same incredibly small portion of Americans – water – to enable them to have their sports teams, McMansions, jet planes and yachts.

Perhaps we might choose to reflect and ask what does our future hold when the world crosses over peak oil and into an unrelenting decline. Where will our water come from and can you and I even afford it should it even be available…? Chicken Little … the sky is falling … nothing but doom-day and negative thinking you suggest…? If that is what you choose to believe, that is OK by me, though we enter 2009 on the very precipitous of peak oil which brings with it a very different life. No one, certainly not me, is attempting to scare or frighten you. Shock you sufficiently to get your attention long enough to ask … what about water do you honestly know…?

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… “they must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority” … G. Massey, Egyptologist
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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world…indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” … Margaret Mead

… People should never be afraid of their government, government should always be afraid of the people …

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Website address for Paul F. Miller’s blog …. http://waterman99.wordpress.com/2009

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And let me be even a bit bolder, I am most willing to present and discuss any water issue before any audience in Arizona where open full disclosure and two way dialog is permitted.

Respectfully submitted,

Double speak is alive and well in Arizona

During his presentation, Herb Guenther – ADWR – noted that while there is a required assurance of 100-year water supplies for developments, that doesn’t mean there’s a sustainable supply of water … Hello, Herb, just what the hell is your vaunted ADWR 100 year assured water supply CERTIFICATE mean…?

Double speak is indeed alive and prospering in the State of Arizona. Though gambling is reputedly outlawed in most of Arizona apparently the Az. Dept of Water Resources (ADWR) is permitted to play Russian Roulette with – water. Those buyers who relied on the vaunted 100 year assured water supply certificate before you purchased that lot and drilled that well might be a bit displeased to find that Herb’s certificate of assured water supply has the same value as TP with which you wipe your butt.

I am honestly beginning to comprehend why those we elect … to serve & to protect us … choose a path to make damn sure the education we provide is “dumb-down” so on a scale of the fifty states, Arizona rates in the bottom five. This makes it so much easier for them to pull the wool over our eyes, play that old shell game with us and we’re never the wiser.

When we’re ready to stand on our own two feet and proclaim – enough – nothing will change, but in that very moment when we do a new dawn is born.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
… “they must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority” … G. Massey, Egyptologist
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world…indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” … Margaret Mead

… People should never be afraid of their government, government should always be afraid of the people …

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

Website address for Paul F. Miller’s blog …. http://waterman99.wordpress.com/2009

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

And let me be even a bit bolder, I am most willing to present and discuss any water issue before any audience in Arizona where open full disclosure and two way dialog is permitted.

Respectfully submitted,

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