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Archive for October, 2017

Installment 110

September 11 through October 13, 2017

Blessed One,

Today is the 16th Anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. I remember that day so clearly, watching the horrifying news coverage and wondering what in the world was going on. The pictures of those buildings collapsing are indelibly etched in my brain and I continue to pray for all those families who were affected, both in the buildings and the rescue workers trying to help them.

The fact that human beings could be so cruel as to perpetrate such brutality against their fellow human beings still horrifies me, but it seems that the inhumanity towards innocent people continues and is escalating if the daily stories in the newspapers are to be believed. I am so often tempted to just throw my hands up in the air and give up.

Yes, I was there and I was supposed to be in one of those building when the airplanes hit, but I overslept. It was the day after my final concert taping for the 30th Anniversary celebration and there were a lot of you, my children, who had traveled from all over the world to attend who were stranded in New York.

I was supposed to be there for both tapings. I so wanted to be there, and I did have friends in both of those audiences; I wanted so badly to be with them, but circumstances prevented my attendance despite my heartfelt desire.

Another blessing hidden in what you perceived at the time as a curse. Believe me; you would not have wanted to be in New York at that time. It was absolutely impossible to avoid the human tragedy that was taking place. For anyone with even the smallest kernel of empathy, it was heartbreaking and excruciatingly painful. However, it was also kinda bittersweet in a way to be a witness to the heroic actions of so many firefighters and rescue workers. So many New Yorkers rose to the occasion. Humanity is capable of such inhumanity … and humanity … and this event showed both the highest and lowest tendencies of which the human heart is capable!

I was able to leave the city, but I couldn’t escape the heartbreak and pain. Many of you weren’t as fortunate. I tried to make sure that you were all safe by sending my security people to assure that your hotels would extend your stays and make sure you had enough money to eat until the airports were up and running again.

Yes, I remember reading about that, Beloved. God bless you for your concern for those who couldn’t get out of the city before the airports were shut down. You also tried to gather many of the most popular artists in the music industry at the time in a repeat of your We Are the World effort to raise funds for the families affected by the tragedy with your song What More Can I Give and a benefit concert, despite the facts that Sony tried to sabotage your efforts and that the emotional climate of the collective had changed so drastically during the ten years separating the recording of We are the World and Earth Song.

Joseph Vogel notes the change from empathy to cynicism in several of his publications. In Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson, Mr. Vogel comments:

“…Jackson’s image and music seemed too theatrical and slick. “Black or White” and “Heal the World” simply didn’t resonate with the cynicism and solipsism of Generation X. Dance pop and humanitarian anthems were scoffed at by the flannel-wearing grungers and pant-sagging gangstas reacting against the perceived artificiality, flash, and optimism of the eighties.”

And in his very recent release, Earth Song: Michael Jackson and the Art of Compassion, which encapsulates his former Earth Song: Michael Jackson’s Magnum Opus with new interviews and additional information about the recording sessions and filming of the song, along with richly annotated, footnoted, and referenced information regarding your often overlooked compassionate outreach, Mr. Vogel states:

“Critics were quick to point out these shortcomings, often deriding Jackson as “self-indulgent” and “naïve” for trying. Songs like “We Are the World” and “Man in the Mirror” were dismissed as simplistic, utopian sentimentality.”

And Mr. Vogel places this change in the collective emotional climate within the context of the political and cultural attitudes (driven by the reality-show media force-feeding the public sensationalism and fear and pessimism) at the time Earth Song was finalized and released:

“The default sensibility for mid-90s pop culture was alternately cynical, ironic, or nihilistic. It no longer seemed plausible in this context for popular art to speak to serious issues.”

Nevertheless, you were always so involved in the numerous tragedies and natural disasters during your physical presence with us. No one is really doing that now; at least I am not aware of such efforts on the part of the music industry or any industry, for that matter.

That being said, however, I have noted that your beautiful children, Prince Michael and Paris Michael, have become very involved in relief and ecological issues and have been outspoken on behalf of the homeless; Paris has even been designated as ambassador for Elizabeth Taylor’s AIDS Foundation, God bless her.

This year, it appears that we are experiencing Armageddon in the last few weeks here on Planet Earth. In recent days, there are fires raging out of control in the Northwest and California; earthquakes in Mexico; flooding in the Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Harvey; Irma is making landfall in the Southeast and Florida as we speak, soon to be followed by Maria; flooding in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India; and North Korea has exploded hydrogen bombs over Japan while the North Korean leader and American President have a sparring match about whose nuclear warheads are poised and how far away is not far enough.

I pray they both realize that no one wins those games. You can’t run away from nuclear holocaust and neither can the planet.

I am afraid that your warnings to us in 2009 have been little heeded as the world seems to be headed for the disaster you addressed so poignantly and passionately in Earth Song.

I have faith in us as a people.
I know we can make a difference.

I said those words on stage during the Brits Awards in 1996. I still believe them and I always will.

I understand wanting to throw up your hands and despair; I was often tempted to do the same thing. However, humanity is worth saving and so is the planet. We are all her children; she is our mother; and we are all cells in her body.

Look at it this way. Think of yourself as a tiny cell somewhere in your body … let’s say in the heart muscle. You are surrounded by trillions of other cells that make up a human body … liver cells, lung cells, brain cells, skin cells, blood cells … all contributing to the overall health and vitality of the body. A heart cell has a different function than a skin cell; it may even look different, be a different color or age; it may contain more or less energy, burn more or less fuel, but none of that matters. All the cells work together cooperatively to utilize energy, eliminate waste products, and maintain health for the entire organism. It’s a symphony of organization, a miracle of efficient, self-directed management; there is an innate intelligence to it.

Sometimes, certain cells require more energy and help from the other cells like when you catch a cold, for example. None of the cells sit back and say, “What’s in it for me?” … or … “As long as I am not harmed, it’s not my problem.” All the other cells in your body contribute what they can to restore your body to perfect health. It doesn’t happen overnight, but eventually whatever virus or injury has attacked a part of the body is eliminated through the cooperation of all the other cells. Even something as small as a splinter is eventually ejected through the teamwork of all the cells. They all work together for the benefit of the entire organism.

As we are all aware, there are times when a cell in a body proliferates out of control and becomes a threat to the entire organism by attacking the other cells, which have rushed to the area affected like the firefighters and rescue workers rushed to help the people stranded in those buildings … for example a person suffering from cancer. All the other cells band together to eliminate the threat to the organism. None of them sits back and says, “I’m not responsible for the organism’s health; I’m gonna get mine while I can.” That would defeat the innate intelligence of each of the cells and would be an indicator of insanity. But that is the attitude of much of the world when a natural disaster strikes or a nation attacks another nation.

Sometimes the out of control cells win out and the physical organism cannot fight off the threat. In such instances, the entire organism perishes, including the out of control cells.

Think of humanity in the same way. We are all cells in the body of our Mother Earth. There are times when one cell experiences a catastrophic event and like the cells in a body we are all required to work together to eliminate the potential threat to the overall organism. We can’t afford the luxury of apathy any longer.

There are also times when one cell in the body of Mother Earth attacks another cell in the body of Mother Earth. At such times, we are all required to do what we can to heal for the benefit of all of us.

We’re takin’ over
We have the truth
This is the mission
To see it through
Don’t point your finger
Not dangerous
This is our planet
You’re one of us
We’re sending out
A major love
And this is our
Message to you
The planets are lining up
They’re bringing brighter days
They’re all in line
Waiting for you
Can’t you see?
You’re just
ANOTHER PART OF ME!

I was blessed to be able to sing about events that require us all to gather together and help, to bring awareness to people. And I was successful in bringing that awareness or many of you wouldn’t be here now having this conversation.

There were others who were blessed to be on the ground rescue workers and firefighters. Still others were blessed to provide medical aid, or to feed those who were trying to help. Others were blessed to clear away the rubble and ash or send their love and concern in a spiritual way.

If we all gather together and give what we can give, all of us benefit because we are all ONE big family of cells in the body of Mother Earth. And Mother Earth is one cell in the body of the larger universe. This is the model of creation, from the smallest atom to the largest universe.

We all have gifts to offer each other in trying times. Some of us entertain, some provide healing, some rebuild infrastructure that has been damaged, some repair power lines and generators, some offer spiritual assistance through prayer or meditation. It doesn’t matter what our gifts are; none are more important than the others; all are required in difficult times.

How many people will have to die
Before we will take a stand
How many children will have to cry
Before we will lend a hand
If sending your love is all you can give
To help one live 

How many times can we turn our heads
And pretend we cannot see
Healing the wounds of our broken Earth
We’re one global family
If sending your prayers is something you feel
Helping one heal 

What have I got that I can give
What have I got that I can give
To love and to teach you
To hold and to need you
What more can I give? 

Brother to brother lay down our fears
And reach out and make a pact
Showing the love that is in our hearts
Let us bring salvation back
Just sending your love has the power to heal
So let’s all give

Our creator gave us all the gift of life on this beautiful planet, created us to be His hands, His feet, Her heart. Just as I am wearing all of you, She is wearing all of us … both in the body and out … and experiencing life through us. When we create healing in whatever way we can, She rejoices.

You are all my messengers to heal the world. That has never changed. One way we are doing this is through our Change the World Initiative, in joining in global prayer vigils and visualizing a healed and recovering planet.

Sometimes, it feels like I am not doing much to help, especially when I see film clips of people who have lost everything they have in a devastating fire or flood or hear someone say, “What good does praying do?”

Yes, I understand. The world scoffs at us believers in wholeness, but you are doing what you can do, which is more than most are doing. Your daily meditation topics and monthly prayer vigils are an important piece that cannot be overlooked, as we saw in the lead up to the trial of Conrad Murray. These things are an important and integral part of healing the planet because true healing takes place spiritually in the heart and mind first before it is manifested in the physical world. It takes a lot of us re-imagining our reality to make it happen.

When you sit for a few minutes and achieve a peaceful, non-judgmental state of consciousness, you extend that state to the entire world because we are all ONE.

You cannot give what you do not have. You cannot create peace in your world if you do not have it within your own heart and mind first. You create that consciousness within yourself first and foremost. By doing this you anchor that consciousness in the field of the collective consciousness where the illusion of separation does not exist and there is no time or space or death. It is from that collective consciousness that healing and recovery are manifested into the physical reality.

All we have to do is get enough of us on the same page and extend our compassion and that state of consciousness to all of our brothers and sisters on Planet Earth. It only takes a little over 100,000 of us to create the critical mass required … less than 1% of the total population can turn the tide.

So don’t give up! Redouble your efforts! And, most importantly, KNOW THAT YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. You are! Do not doubt. KNOW!

It’s not about doing things, it’s about BEING loving, compassionate, and full of peace so that you can give that to the world during your daily and monthly meditations. Then, offer it to the world with all the love you can muster.

From that state of consciousness, you can best decide what you can do to help whether it’s donating to support a needy child or sending food and clothing to an area that is experiencing a challenge or volunteering at a hospital to help take care of those in need. Whatever it is, when you do it from a compassionate, peaceful, non-judgmental state of consciousness, your gift of doing is blessed by your state of being. You give with joy and there is no better feeling in the world.

Share with me the wonderful
Feeling you get when your soul
 is lifted up to become
PURE LOVE 

Thank you, my blessed one. Your thoughts are always so inspiring and encouraging. For the past few days, I have made the healing of Planet Earth the subject of my intentions in several ways.

First, I have been concentrating all of my prayers and meditations on healing the planet and her inhabitants, those who are experiencing catastrophic upheaval as a result of hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes.

Second, I have carried an image around in my heart for the past five years of you holding Planet Earth in the palms of your hands and challenging all of us to heal her, but at the time the image first came to me five years ago, I did not have the experience and skill to manifest it in any justifiable way. During what I am calling my Earth Song Retreat, I have begun to try to draw this image and then paint it and I am attaching the results of my efforts to realize this image in the physical world to this dialog.

20170918_105048.jpg

Third, I have begun practicing Earth Song on my piano keyboard. I have graduated from the halting, hunt-and-peck method of working out the fingering to an almost smooth rendition of your beautiful song (at least for the first part.) The song changes keys towards the end, going from six flats to four flats and I am hesitant when that happens. I still make lots of errors, but I can recognize the song and I can hear your voice when I get it right.

I am also learning what you meant when you talked about music as a “tapestry.” A lone piano feels weak compared to the majesty and depth of color of your composition; its power is reduced without the strings and percussion. As Joe Vogel describes it in his new book, Earth Song: Michael Jackson and the Art of Compassion:

“The term “apocalypse” is typically understood to mean the destruction that will take place in the “end of days.” Yet in the original Greek it means a “lifting of the veil,” a revelation or prophecy that helps humanity to see what is hiding in plain sight.

“Earth Song,” according to this definition, is a musical apocalypse. It takes the listener from an imagined paradise of harmony and vitality to our present state of degradation and divisions. Its final question (“Do we give a damn?”) is about apathy. Why do we passively accept the way things are? Why can’t we see and stop the self-destruction? Why can’t we imagine and work toward something better?”

I think Mr. Vogel has so captured the spirit of Earth Song in that passage. However, that “musical apocalypse” is difficult to reproduce with just one piano; nonetheless, I have totally immersed myself in the turmoil occurring on a global scale with the intention of healing the planet and awakening her inhabitants (particularly our national leaders and heads of state) through my three-pronged focus during the past several days.

In addition, during my self-directed retreat, I received my copy of Joe Vogel’s Earth Song: Michael Jackson and the Art of Compassion, further reinforcing the theme of my personal retreat. And every night for the past two weeks, Earth Song has played during our quiet time before I fall asleep.

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

Yes, I sure do.

[Long pause.]

I do apologize, my dear one.

Apologize? What for?

Well, I am afraid that our conversation has been interrupted for approximately the last three weeks. I usually try to minimize these kinds of interruptions, but this one could not be helped due to a major upheaval in my life that has required my fullest possible attention.

What’s up? Can I help?

You always help, Beloved. Just your voice in any of your numerous recordings calms my nerves and relieves any anguish I may be feeling.

It appears that due to some rather serious health concerns requiring a week-long hospitalization, my granddaughter has asked to come home and live with my husband and myself. She is now a beautiful 15-year-old suffering from teen angst and she arrived home on the 28th of September. We have been visiting doctors and therapists and getting her registered to continue 10th grade at our local high school since the 28th and she started school this morning.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how all this was going to work out, but so far everything has been fine. She is a sweet-natured child who has been having a tough time with the normal teenage girl problems, rampaging hormones, and not knowing how to deal with the overwhelming changes occurring in her body as well as the cruelty of her classmates in her former school.

The teen years are so difficult; I would not repeat those years for all the tea in China.

You don’t have to tell me about the teen years; I think I could write a book (in fact, I think I did.) They were horrible years for me … sad, confusing, and I cried every day …  and we have discussed that many, many times in these dialogs. Things change so rapidly, overnight sometimes, and it becomes hard to keep up, especially when you don’t understand what is going on and most teenagers don’t. They turn all that anger and uncertainty against themselves. In my case, my entire personality changed and it seemed like the changes in my body just got worse the more I worried about them.

Yes, they do and she has experienced quite a few changes just in the last year. For one thing, the kid is 5’6” tall all of a sudden. I mean, when the heck did that happen? She loves to look down on her grandmother and tell her how short she is.

[Michael laughs.] I told you before. There is no reason to apologize. When life gets in the way, we will just continue where we left off. And I know I told you before that she is your most important job; I can wait; the universe can wait!

Yes, you have and I knew you would understand. It appears that the devastation of Armageddon 2017 will also just pick up where we left off. There are new fires in northern California and near Los Angeles, another hurricane has made landfall in the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico is in a state of dire emergency as a result of two major hurricanes within a two-week period, and our President has been slow in sending federal aid to help this American territory.

Leading scientists have warned us of rapid climate change and its results. In his latest book, Greg Braden talks about this very issue. He posits that this is a cyclical change in climate patterns that occurs every five thousand years or so and recommends “resilience,” or mankind’s ability to adapt to change, as a way to deal with the rapid changes that are occurring.

Mr. Braden says that what makes this particular cycle seem so threatening is:

“The extremes of life are forcing us to think differently about ourselves and reconsider how we sustain our jobs, careers, health, and relationships. In order to make sense of the seemingly senseless hardships affecting every facet of society, we’re being pushed to look beyond the wisdom handed down to us by our parents and theirs. This is where the message at the core of our most cherished spiritual traditions – our unity with the world and nature’s cycles – is now taking on new meaning, and new relevance, in our everyday lives.

He shows a diagram that describes the position we seem to be in currently:

“Earth changes its relationship to the Sun on a cyclic basis.

The Earth/Sun relationship changes the climate of our world.

Global climate change creates local weather extremes.

Extremes in weather impact the reliability of food crops.

We are changed as we must choose the way we treat one another during the times of extremes: We must choose cooperation or competition.”

In this simple five-point diagram it is clear that we are not separate from those experiencing extremes in weather patterns. We are all affected; all of our institutions from health care to food processing to education are affected. It is time to put away the concept that we are separate from each other or from our planet, as you so movingly pointed out in your performances of Earth Song twenty years ago.

Yes, we can no longer say these problems are “out there” in the world; they are all inside us and impact us all because we are all ONE. If we would all realize that all those “out there” problems are really “in here,” 

We could change this world tomorrow
It could be a better place

 

 

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