THE PARADIGM IS FALLING

By David D. Wronski


As you’ve probably heard, we’re having a paradigm shift. As if that wasn’t enough what with talk of a polar shift and the news reading like the world’s going you-know-where in a hand basket.  In any event, I am hopeful. Exceedingly so, in fact.

I have a new paradigm for you.  [That reminds me of Moses.  He goes up the mountain and the Lord appears and says, “Moses, I have commandments for you.”  Moses asks, “And how much are they?”  “They’re free.”  So Moses says, “so, give me ten”.]  Really, I have a paradigm for you.  How much, you ask?  How’s about 20 cents?  (Get It? Paradigm, par-a-digm…pair of dimes.)   Any New Ager worth his/her salt has probably dropped the term at least twice before lunchtime on any given day.  Usually connected to the word “shift”.  Even at Starbucks you'll likely hear statements like, “He’s so old paradigm”.  “Don’t let the paradigm shift leave you without two dimes to rub together.”  “Buddy, can you spare a para….?” 

So now that I’m through with the chuckles, just what is this new paradigm, anyway?  As far as paradigms go, however, it seems we get only one at a time.  And it’s not a commandment, like with Moses; it’s the lens you see the world through.  According to one definition a paradigm is a model or pattern that an individual or group uses in trying to understand something…a general agreement of belief of how the world works.

Near as I can tell the current, modern paradigm all of us were born into historically can be summed up as “US AND THEM”, the splitting of observer from the observed.  Or, as we read in the news,” them evil-doers over there.”  This split way of thinking, observer and observed, comes from Rene Descartes, 1596-1650.  He’s the guy who also came up with “I think, therefore I am.”  (And you know how whack that is.) So with all the thinking in the modern paradigm world, we’ve come up with a lot of stuff. Were it not for the paradigm shift, we’d continue our one sided scientific/technological spree and load up the world with so much stuff that it might just stop spinning under all the weight.  Paradigm shift or shiftless, you choose.

The trouble with the old way of seeing the world is that recently we’ve come to realize that you cain’t ever take the observer out of what is being observed.  As my young daughters used to say, “When you’re pointing a finger at someone else, three more are pointing back at you.”  Or, as they used to say in their most sassy way, “Whatever you say goes back to you!”  So if you want to do something about what you see around you, take a look at what’s in you that is like what’s around you.  Now don’t confuse the messenger with the message, but Mr. Michael Jackson said it best, “Take a look at the man in the mirror.”  Chilton Pierce, an expert on child development said, [I paraphrase] “If you want your children to be the way you want them to be, you be the way you want them to be.”  And wasn’t it the Dalai Lama who said that there is no world peace without inner peace.  And since I’m on a quoting roll, the words scrawled on the bathroom wall in my army barracks so long ago:  “Fighting for peace, is like f…ing for virginity.”    

If you see that the so-called modern paradigm isn’t all it’s cracked up to be or that there’s got to be a better way, then you may be ready for a paradigm shift.  So the new thinking would be stated as this: “WE”.  What I’m talking about here is “WE” as in “all God’s chillen”.  And there’s more.  It’s all of us as an integral part of the community, the ecology, the world, the universe; not separate from it or each other.  This ain’t some pixie dust, sentimentalism.  Who said, “Nobody ever had a problem out of an experience of unity”?  Read the Tao of Physics and other books by Fritjof Capra for a full discussion of this immensely interesting topic.

And, you may wonder, how does this relate to my favorite topic, my life career interest, Dr. Ida P. Rolf Structural Integration?  My work has to do with integrating (not separating) the individual human being’s energy field into the energy field of the earth. Deep ecology; can you dig it?  For a glimpse at the upper reaches of what is possible here, imagine a line anchored to the center of the earth and extending out to cosmic infinity.  Now center yourself on that line.  Or in more practical terms:  10 happy toes in front of two dancing feet. 

Can you feel the paradigm shifting?  Steady Freddie!  There's a train a-comin', get on board.

That Soup of the Seven Swords 

THE LEGEND



There's this thing about legends. At very least they tell a good story. Sometimes, whether true or not, there are lessons to be learned. We call them legends because nobody really knows for sure. We have legends which explicate the turn of history.

So, how come you ask there's that only one sword. It's there in the telling. Read on.

This one comes down from the time when the Eastern world was a patchwork of hard won immense tracts of land. Not even feudal. Just a top dog lording it over everyone else. Everything — the folks too — belonged to him. The rulers in each land conducted themselves with benevolent, but absolute authority. They were both loved, and feared. Hated, by some of their rivals in the other territories. Those seven lands weren't divvied up from the beginning. Countless wars and intrigues tell the complicated history of how things came to be.

Their days were mainly spent presiding directly over all matters of state. All matters. Obviously, the large issues; but nothing too small. The audience with the ruler went on from dawn to dusk, and on most days. They didn't divide their time like we do in weeks, months, and years. More in tune with the seasons. The light of day for business, night for enjoyments and rest. This was a latitude where there were distinct seasons. Hot to cold, and the in between periods; our spring and fall.

That time. It's a story in itself. But, now ... that pot of soup.

The clay pot was fashioned by hand, during the festivities, and in full view of the revelers.

Yes, festivities. Wherein the legend was born.

The story goes that the rulers of the seven dynasties were once invited to a once in a millennium festival. Who did the inviting and whose turf would it be at isn't at all clear as the story is handed down the centuries. 

Every millennium you may ask! Well, with so many centuries already under their belt, those ancient ones marked periods of time in a way we can't now even imagine. Oh, it was a big deal. Know it. Just that we don't have a reference for such historical spans. Or, such goings on.

Why the festivities, you may also ask? The same as was so — and is — for folks everywhere. You want to get to know your neighbors, see what they're up to, maybe make friends ... alliances, in this more geopolitical case. You want to show your stuff, of course. Make deals, trade stuff.

And, show they did.

Every rulership was represented. You didn't snub this gathering. Splendid and sumptuous treats of every sensory delight and description. Only the best. The very best. The whole beglory.

The condition of the invitation was simple. Seemingly. Each guest would bring a battle sword of such a quality as to represent the pinnacle skill of their finest artisans. 

Keep in mind, this was a time when things were done to traditional codes. Heck, if you apprenticed to a sword maker, you would spend years just cutting the wood blocks for the fire. It wasn't just a matter of getting the size and shape just so. It was more in the cultivation of the spiritual essence attributed to fully accepting and surrendering to the task at hand. Whether or not you would get to advance to the next stop — tending the fire — you had to truly, authentically, and deeply surrender that expectation. Then, maybe you might advance. Think about it. Not an easy trick. To not want what you want. Because, after all, is it really just all about fashioning a piece of metal? More so, about the fashioning of the soul.

It is said that even now with all our technical prowess, the quality of the crafting of swords such as those would not be even nearly possible. A lost art.

Even though the invitations specified that minimal requirement, you wouldn't want to go to a once in a millennium affair anything other than dressed your best.  And, they did indeed pull all the stops out. And, each in their own way. You see, not only were there seven territories, they were longstanding and large enough to have developed their own unique cultures. All of them together unified in the sense of that simplest existential fact that they all stood barefoot on the same planet Earth. We don't even know if they had a sense of "planet". And, if so, whether they had a notion about whether it was round, or flat. Or, maybe something else we haven't even imagined. Or, maybe it never occurred to them at all. We'll never know.

Besides the full retinue of their courts and gifts of the finest of things, each potentate brought animals and foodstuffs for the feast. Only the best. And, a large contingent of youths. The cream of their young. All virgins. At some point in the proceedings after the gifts were exchanged there would be dancing, with wild abandon, when those unspoiled innocents would be free to have their way with one another. Then, of course, it was everyone into the pool. 

It made Caligula look like a prudish prom chaperone at a tight laced girls country boarding school. You can fill in the details using your own imagination. The full spectacle will be captured at length in the movie version.  Suffice to say that, sunrise come, just a heap of slimy, sticky, stinky bodies. It was an all day clean up job, for a staff of hundreds. Slaves. Well, you wouldn't expect anyone else to deal with such and so! Slaves. No wonder you don't see any statuary from this historical period. Must've been some historical "cleansing" along the way.

There were nights upon days of feasting. Pretty much the same kind of orgiastic goings on as in the foregoing description. I could go into page upon page of detail. But, remember, this is about the soup. Go see the movie. Teaser: No particular evening's festivities even closely approximated the others. Clean slate every time. OMG!!!

Moving on.

You can't have soup unless you got a pot. That is a bit of wisdom that may be as old as the tale of that soup itself. 

The pot. Yes. Call it black.

The pot was large. Not so large to serve all the hundreds. No, silly. This pot was earmarked for the potentates themselves. Only. It was large. Hand fashioned in the coiled rope method. Worked up during the time of the festivities. It needed to be soft clay, for reasons which will become apparent soon, and shortly.

Once the pot was fashioned into its shape, all decorated and colored, each of the swords was brought forward and presented in no particular order in front of said pot. "Said" pot. Hah! As if. This was some pot! Big. So big you could bathe in it. 

Remember the clay was still soft. 

With great pomp and flair each sword would be thrust into the upper side wall of the pot. Entering obliquely on the outside, penetrating to the inner space, then exiting obliquely out the other side. The placement was set to keep each of the three pairs of the swords in parallel, but in a circular fashion to form a six sided hexagram when viewed from above.

So, what about the seventh sword? It would be used to stir the pot. And, maybe other things.

That last point is significant. The order of insertion and the relative placement of the swords piercing the uppermost portion of the pot was completely random. Did we mention that upon arrival each ruler relinquished his precious sword, and no one involved with the pot and the swords inserted into it knew who's would go where. Those fortunate ones who would eat the finished soup each would know which was theirs, for sure. That pot finished, resplendent and ready to serve, with their six swords locked into the hardened clay. The seventh perched on the lip, for to do the stirring. If you have ever served a large pot of soup you would know that you have to stir the entire contents to ensure serving a good proportion of the ingredients.

We referred to them as fortunate! Well. You see, there was something else about that pot and those swords. We'll get to that momentarily.

The pot, all festooned with those exquisite instruments of death and dismemberment needed to be cured first to hard stone to make it fit to cook with. For this a huge fire was started under the pot and it burned slowly for days, curing the clay hard with its heat and blackening the outside like a piece of fine Pueblo pottery. And, like that Native American pottery, the pot was meticulously burnished with rare and precious stones first made smooth in running streams, then polished to high perfection from rubbing other fine pots over years upon years. You can guess that the one(s) designated to fashion the pot were also high craft artisans. No less distinguished than their sword crafter counterparts. 

You may want to know at this juncture ... Is it soup yet?

Yes. And, as you would expect, most delicious. Every one of the seven exalted ones ate to his heart's content. After such a soup, nothing else could compare. There's a term handed down from that time ... "The Broth of Your Own Desire." It means that eating this concoction was so deeply soul satisfying you would just as well think you had died and gone to heaven. 

This is already too tediously long for most readers, so I won't go into the hours — days! — of preparation and the book length list of ingredients that went into this heady brew. Just to say that almost anything edible in the known world was in there; the secret was in the proportions. Closely held, you better believe it. And, just like the other crafters mentioned previously, the cooks were at the zenith in their own profession as well.

It was a nice bowl of soup.

Once the pot was finished to the last drop, the festivities moved along to the next level at an uptick pace.

Remember that the lords had no idea going in where their individual swords were placed in that pot until they entered the room for their slurpy repast. And, also remember that six of the seven swords were inextricably bonded to said pot.

Which leaves that seventh one. 

It is said that those who lord it over, they too must face being lorded over. So, it was. By sheer luck of the draw the guest whose sword was set aside for to the stirring of the soup pot had some hand. A hand on a sword, if you haven't figured that out by now.

Here is where the legend fades into a great many different versions. 

Some say that the owner of the seventh sword forthwith slayed all his rivals, thus becoming the so-called Big Cheese. (There was a Cheese(s) course during the feastings, and it was something in itself.) 

What persists is a land unified to this present modern day. Yes, with provinces, but central rulership. 

We don't know if any of the others actually made it out alive or not. Just to say that the hand who holds the sword stirs the pot to his own tune. 

Besides the inclination that the high festive event of legend, and that soup and pot, were placed at an historically pivotal moment in world geo-cultural history and resulted in the unification of an entire racial culture, we can only imagine what other watershed events it might have kindled. 

We do in our own time have something called the "Broth of Your Own Desire" and it's one tasty dish. And by dish, I use the term in its several possible meanings.

Also, it comes to mind, that old chestnut, "Hunger is the best sauce." It probably doesn't fit. 

So sue me.











Shop Montclair

Merchants and service providers in their element in Montclair, New Jersey

Nancy Sutherland at Jack's StoreSummer 2017

Nancy's shop has been open in Montclair for 67 years when it was started by her father Jack in 1950. A newsstand, sundry shop, and UPS drop spot. And more. It's also a hub of local news and gossip. If it's happening in Montclair, Nancy will know. It's a kind of an old around-the-old-cracker-barrel meeting place. 

When we visited recently, Nancy's sister Lynn was also there. Lynn has been a crossing guard at the Montclair Lacordaire Academy now for 18 years.  

I shared with her my "lackadaisical" story. How at a car wash fundraiser at the school I noticed one girl was rather noticeably doing her chore washing my car wheel with very little interest or attention. I mentioned to a supervising teacher there that the young lady might benefit from a lesson in team work and doing a good job. Her reaction was a combination of non-comprehension and mind your own business. That's how I always refer to the school as "lackadaisical" when we pass by. 

A young women had come into the store and overheard my story. She said that she was one of those girls once. An alumna of Lacordaire Academy she admitted that the school did had a spirit problem; and, that is expected to improve now that there is a new Principal in charge.

Nancy was also so pleased we featured her and her store in this blog piece, we got a Powerball ticket, on the house.

Everyone is encouraged to visit Nancy's store when in downtown Montclair. It's on Fullerton Avenue just north of Bloomfield Avenue and south of Clairmont Avenue. 

Take a look around while you're there. It's a time capsule of the history of that fixture of our town. 

Patriotic Window Display July 20, 2017


RIP Yogi Berra Montclair Neighbor October 2015


Kos Motors — Walter and Remy








As In New Jersey

Photos From Times in the Garden State

 The "Librarian" — artist Elizabeth Smith Jacobs in Montclair

In the Garden of Master Gardener Jose German-Gomez, Montclair

At their annual Hydrangea Bouquet Free Share, Montclair

Witching over the garden, Montclair

Miss Lily summer 2017 Montclair

Cheers for Montclair High

Enterprising local folks of Montclair

Homage to Yogi Berra October 2015, Montclair

Keeping things on track in Montclair

At the Montclair Unity Church

Montclair patriot

Bagel Delivery Clifton

 Stylin' at the Paterson Farmers Market

Colorful Passaic

 It really is the "Summit"

 Jerk in Orange

 At the Glen Ridge Post Office

 Shopping Mid-Eastern in Paterson

House near the Paterson Farmers Market

Mr. Dick Lee at Lee Turkey Farm 2007 East Windsor, New Jersey

Good Morning Montclair

On Route 46 Parsippany, NJ






Rachel!!!


You know how Seinfeld had that way about saying "Newman!!!". I have something like that with Rachel Maddow.

Lately I've been tuning in to her "news" show to enjoy the panoply of facial expressions and body gestures, coloratura talking, and intellectual gymnastics. Not to mention opinion asserted unequivocally and with high confidence as fact.

Last evening, speaking to the leavings and firings around the Trump White House, she stated, "Obviously, (paraphrasing the following slightly since I don't have the transcript) we are seeing the disintegration of the Trump administration." "Obviously"!!!

Maybe that is what we're seeing. But, at this point it's a conjecture. Nothing obvious other than the actual facts as they happen.

My issue centers on how that sort of "typical" Rachel rhetoric may pass for truth among her own base audience.

Totalitarianism can come from both sides of the political spectrum. When you are certain and enough people are similarly certain, and you have the clout or wherewithal to compel others to follow, that's what it's called.

And now, Colbert nails the entertaining Ms. Maddow.

For when you find yourself on one side of an issue ... any issue.

You do know that as correct as you or I think we may be, there's another side — maybe even completely the opposite — who thinks their position is the correct one. And, as full of it as we may think they are, our rationalizations notwithstanding, the other side see us similarly.

Just how can two people — groups, families, countries, ideologies — can look at the same thing and see completely the opposite? Well folks, don't wait to figure that one out. It's been that way ever since we left the Garden.

It's called "Duality". It's the structure of "Maya". The antidote really is to question the reality of the show in the first place. And, when you do start to inquire ... as Mirabai Starr writes in her introduction to The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Ávila, "Be brave and walk through the country of your own wild heart".

The current times are showing the intolerance of the so-called liberal mind. [And, don't shoot at me. I mostly weigh in on the progressive side of a lot of issues.] 

Much of the commentary tends to be talk among folks of the same ilk. Have your ilk! Maybe the solution is in finding a way for one ilk to talk constructively with the other ilk. Because, otherwise, we will do battle from hardened and entrenched positions.
The Farmer's Hat

Model and Inspiration: Mr. Jim Matarazzo of Matarazzo Farms in the Garden State New Jersey

Farmers wear hats. That should come as no surprise. But, make that, real hats. That would mean, with a brim. Useful. What for to shade from the sun. 

His is made of woven straw. Nothing fancy. Just another tool. Shaped fancily, however, with years of use. Putting it on, taking it off. Giving it a little shaping caress every time. Spanking the dust from it. Keeping the rain off. Rough handling. This hat was for work. It shows it's history. Kind of like the lines in the gentleman's face. 

Farming is hard work. It's hot. You sweat. His hat bears witness to that. Almost becomes a part of you over time, and with the many outings into the fields. So much so that he would feel undressed without it. It's his signature look. Hey, farmers like to show up looking good too. No? It's not all work. But, it is ... mostly. And, a kind of servitude. It's not just the horse that's harnessed to the plow. A farmer is a servant to the elements, to the timing of the seasons. To the arc of the Sun. Farm work doesn't wait.

Gets to thinking how certain items of clothing convey one's place and function in the world. 

For example: Uniforms ... Footwear ... Styling ... Quality of materials and construction. Purses. ("First I look at the purse.") What you drive. That's a kind of article of clothing, don't you think. 

And, of course ... Hats. 

Men don't wear hats the way they used to. In the early last century you wouldn't be seen without a fedora walking down any city street. And, if you happened to be wearing a cowboy hat in the middle of a big city, you'd stand out. Maybe even get more than your share of stares.

So, a cowboy hat is a western thing. You should be out West while wearing said item. A hard hat, you don't wear to the fancy dress gala. Unless you're Kanye West. There are hats for the armed forces. Police. Fire fighters. Make your own list. You know he's a Shriner if he's sporting one of those tasseled fezzes. All bedazzled and all. Especially if he's riding in a mini-sized scale car in a parade sporting an outsized grin. 

Some hats, though, seem to wear themselves. 

And that farmer's hat .... it surely did. That's for sure.

Tip your hat to the farmer. 


That's Real Magic

As a boy I was fascinated with magic. Now, here's a trick for mature magicians.

(Some will say "immature". But, you gotta admit it's a charmer.)


Buttertopping

Definition: To use language which conjures an image(s) in listeners' minds which may not be what is so in actuality technically. Also, from the marketing practice of including only just enough of something to justify making a claim. Or, turning hypotheticals or conjectures into probabilities; then, into facts.

Underlying this term is a deep cynicism, and contempt for the intelligence of people and an unconscious nihilism. In short, you and I are just some dumb assholes who will slop up whatever is put in front of us. Unconscious to our inner fears and fantasies, to be manipulated by clever hucksters and seekers of power and position.

In other words, what's really going on, what you or I may think is going on, and what we're told what's going on ... they don't always match. 

" ... fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before." This does not [necessarily] mean nuclear war. Or, that "wall". It sounds like bricks and mortar, doesn't it? But, even the President has said subsequent to his original announcement that it might be something that "works like" a wall. The utterances of the current President of the United States of America are littered with buttertopping. Make that any Politician. Also, any of the Pundits. Or, that guy who wants to get into your pants. Figuratively, or literally.

Recently we tasted Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream. It was made with Nutella, a Chocolate spread which contains Hazelnuts. There may be Hazelnuts in there somewhere technically, but that flavor didn't come out in the tasting.

Or, when I was an Ad Biggie, we advertised a "Butter Top" Bread. Even showed it being poured on the loaf in the preparation of the bread. Only a quarter ounce of Butter, however. Just enough to make the claim.

Originally: "There's a high degree of confidence that the Russians did it." Now: "The Russians did it." Here's a hot button example, "Born that way". Absolutely no science on that. 

Then the whole business of "Organic" and "Natural". 

Or, take "Farm Raised" for example. I could have a decrepit warehouse, dirty and squalid, breeding some animal or other for food. I call it "David's Farm". Naturally, it's "Farm Raised". And, of course it's "Natural". The critter is natural by definition. Right? 

That is an extreme example to make the point. But, check into it. That whole list of various terms in the marketing of eggs. "Free Range." "Farm Raised." "Cage Free." Or, "Grass Fed" or "Pasture Raised". Conjures up an image of green fields with Cattle lazily grazing, don't it? Don't be so sure.

Or, did you know that a crop can be labelled "Organic" and fertilized with non-organic fertilizers. Look up "Bio Solids" aka "Sewage Sludge". 

In short, words illuminate ... or obfuscate. Pay attention.

PS I only buy "Gluten Free" bottled Water.

Montclair Garden Visit

Friends own an historic home on a double lot in Montclair. We took a few photos to show the abundance and variety after years of care and evolving garden design.

This is for the birds. Well ... yes.



Lady Liberty is known to hang out there.


You want a bust of Shakespeare? How many? A statue of the BVM? 

They're preparing for a house sale.


Not actual garden animals. It is Montclair, after all.


A Blue Heron has been spotted mornings sampling the fish in this pond. 








Garden design by Mr. Jerry Harmyk ...


Next Steps

When my younger daughter was a little girl, I was explaining to her about numbers. How they just go on and on. Never ending.

She came back to me one day with, "Daddy, I love you 'til the numbers stop."

I was obviously very impressed with her powers of abstraction. And, metaphor. And, creative thinking.

Now, that little girl is grown. With children of her own. And, the many challenges.

Well, the numbers do in fact stop. 

The question is ... then what?

I've been investigating that question, and can say this ... that's were Love really begins.
A Garden in the Garden State


In our town Montclair, New Jersey, there are so many beautiful homes, with so many lovely plantings. 

One, however, stood out. 

Recently we stopped to take some photos of the flower spectacular in the front of a home we often drive past.




Turns out the owner/gardener recognized his garden from a post we made in a local Montclair Facebook group. 

And, we were invited to see the back yard. 

I expected to see just some more of the same as the front. 

What a surprise. A 17 year spectacular work in progress. Flowers, bushes, vines, trees, vegetables. Mushrooms. Bees. Butterflies. Around 650 pounds of vegetables annually. A Secret Garden to spend some tranquil solitude. A Buddha. And, the gracious gardener. Went home with a sampling of right off the vine Tomatoes. 

Many thanks, Mr. Jose German-Gomez ...