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Archive for January, 2019

The Way He Makes Us Feel

January 31, 2019

 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,

people will forget what you did,

but people will never forget

the way you made them feel.”

 

Maya Angelou

 

The past few weeks have been difficult ones for all of us who profess openly and without shame our love for Michael Jackson. This latest attack upon his character, coming ten years after he left this physical life to continue his mission, has hit all of us hard.

Those of us who were recruited to his side before 1993 remember well the helplessness of that time as we were forced to watch day after day of ever-increasing assault upon our Beloved’s integrity and person for thirteen months – with no voice raised to caution reason or speak in his defense. Even his own sister, LaToya, spoke against him.

We felt his devastation as a personal violation. We knew his despair, his helplessness, his confusion, his rage. We knew the injustice he was suffering; we suffered it with him. We did what we could to stem the avalanche of misinformation and we held on tight to the way he makes us feel in the best way we could.

With the technological advances at our disposal, we became the voice raised to caution reason; we spoke in his defense in every way we could. Armed with facts instead of supposition and innuendo, we did the homework the media refused to do and we stood in truth. We became the new media.

For many of us, myself included, 1993 became the turning point upon which the rest of our lives hinged – the fulcrum which supports the balance, allowing us to lift the heavy weight of confusion from our hearts in faith. In our Beloved’s predicament, we found our voice and we used it in his service to the best of our abilities.

We anchored ourselves in the way he made us feel – empowered, important, loved – and we did what we hitherto would have thought was impossible for us to do. We grew in his joy, we danced in his ebullient energy, and we changed the way we saw ourselves and our world.

None of us could have imagined that we would feel the same devastation, violation, confusion, helplessness, and rage – that the same injustice would be perpetrated against him twenty-six years later – and in his absence. This feels very familiar; we have been here before.

Please know – all of you – from one who was there then and is now here in 2019 – THIS TOO SHALL PASS. He shall emerge from this attack stronger and more innocent than ever. We, too, shall ride out the storm, gaining in strength and empowerment and unity. I cannot claim to know how it will all be resolved, but resolved it will be.

My faith in that is sure because “people will never forget the way you made them feel.”

And Michael Jackson makes us feel the joy of being alive, the strength of many voices joined in one glorious chorus. He makes us feel empowered to reach out and make a difference, to heal ourselves and our world, to use our gifts to benefit all. In that power, we can all stand with our heads held high, proud to be members of his “family.”

And as I am finishing writing this brief post, I hear from my granddaughter’s room a familiar voice. She is watching some totally unrelated video on her phone in her room, enjoying another day off from school. And the voice?

“You knock me offa my feet now, baby

Whoooo!”

Praying Angel

Gotta love him!

 

 

 

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Installment 114

January 11, 2019

 My Beloved,

It seems like it has been such a long time since we have talked. The Christmas and New Year seasons have presented some unexpected challenges.

What kind of challenges?

Well, at the last minute, I decided to knit gifts for all of my grandchildren. It would have worked out okay if I had made that decision in July or August, but November was cutting it a little close for comfort. I ended up knitting 24/7. Every spare moment for a month and a half was spent knitting. I was still finishing one set of scarves and hats at 8:00 AM Christmas morning.

Unfortunately, while I do enjoy knitting, getting everything done in time meant that I had to seriously curtail many of my other activities, including working on art and practicing my piano keyboard as well as these Conversations. There are only so many hours in a day.

And I bet you got yourself all tied in knots about it, didn’t you?

Yes, I did.

And as we’ve talked about so many times before, your anxiety level has a serious effect on your feelings. You don’t feel me near you, encouraging you to relax.

Yes, that’s true. I have felt that you were more distant than I am comfortable with over the last few months. I have still had occasional injections of your presence in my everyday life, but they have seemed less … uh … connected.

Plus the situation in the United States currently is so disheartening. It has not gotten any better since our last discussion. As a matter of fact, if anything, it has gotten worse. I am just dumbfounded that this administration is still in power.

Yes … “these are the worst of times … and these are the best of times.”

Oh, thank you for bringing these words to mind. I heard an audio tape of this address through a Facebook friend and I had to transcribe it immediately to save it for myself. May I quote it here?

Of course.

These are the worst of times and these are the best of times.

Racism, bigotry, ethnocentrism, prejudice, hatred and violence are breaking the heart of our planet and strangling its soul.

And, yet, we are coming alive as never before.

Nelson Mandela, a black man, a former symbol of subjugation and slavery, guides South Africa.

Democracy and freedom flourish as never before and a new consciousness proclaims the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, where survival of the fittest is replaced by survival of the wisest.

 

Let us dream of the great and sudden splendor of a new tomorrow.

Let us dream of the full flowering of a new collective consciousness.

Let us dream of a tomorrow where we can hold our heads high and stretch our arms toward perfection.

Let us dream of a tomorrow when we no longer fragment and fracture our global village with narrow domestic walls, where tribalism no longer surfaces under the pretense of nationalism and patriotic fervor, and where we can truly love from the soul and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.

Let us dream of a tomorrow where our children are nurtured and protected and nourished and our elders are revered and honored and venerated.

Let us dream of peace and harmony and laughter.

Let us dream of joy and ecstasy.

Let us dream of dancing the cosmic dance.

 

And as we dream, let us remember those who dreamed before us and sacrificed their yesterday so we could have our tomorrow.

Michael Jackson

I don’t know the occasion you marked with this wonderful speech or the particular circumstances, but I found your words, spoken in your beautiful voice, so encouraging.

I must confess, however, that I am having a difficult time perceiving ‘the best of times’ part of your address.

Of course you are, and that is because these signs of advancement are less tangible than the very obvious signs of ‘the worst of times.’ They indicate a shift in consciousness – something to which much of the world gives very little, if any, credence.

To many, consciousness is some nebulous state that cannot be located. Modern science has historically devoted very little effort in defining consciousness or in realizing that it is consciousness that allows all that we know to exist, but that is changing very rapidly. We have spoken about the research into this question frequently.

Yes, we have, Beloved. Recently, I happened upon an interview conducted by Dr. Deepak Chopra with Robert Lanza, M.D., the author of Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe and its sequel Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death, both of which we have talked about in previous conversations. [Installment 112 – April 16 through April 25, 2018]

Dr. Chopra interviewed Robert Lanza on his radio program and they discussed both of these books in considerable detail, including how Lanza’s research appears to confirm ancient Eastern philosophies.

And we have spoken in all of these conversations about how focus changes our consciousness … and, therefore, changes our reality and how we experience it.

Have there been no positive developments in this area in recent months?

Well, to be fair, yes there have. Several investigations are ongoing in the federal courts specifically focusing on contributions to the president’s election campaign from Russia and the Trump Foundation is being investigated in New York for violations involving conflict of interest.

But the biggest positive that has occurred is the election of 40 Democratic representatives to the House of Representatives and the re-election of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. I have heard her speak and she seems to have a firm knowledge of how this democracy is supposed to work and may be able to ‘school’ the president in this regard, because from what I have seen and heard, the man is clueless regarding the Constitution and its system of checks and balances. A ‘blue wave’ across the nation for the mid-term elections resulted in a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

So, you see, voters went out to the polls to return a more balanced leadership. This indicates an ‘awakening’ in the general public to the excesses that are occurring in the administration. It is slower, but it is an upswing.

As has happened so frequently in the past, you are focusing on all that is wrong with the world, with the government, with life in general – and that is understandable because these things are so much in your face. They are broadcast on television news programs with panels of experts providing in-depth commentary at all hours of the day and night. There is no way to free yourself from them except not to watch them and that feels irresponsible.

This creates fear and anxiety and fear and anxiety make it more difficult for you to feel my presence as frequently and as strongly as you would like.

In fact, re-focusing your attention on what you want the world to be – on the love and compassion you want the world to show you – becomes extremely difficult. However, even if you manage to achieve only limited success in re-envisioning the world, you have changed your consciousness for those few moments. And your consciousness creates your reality.

Although much less tangible than the things that cause you fear and anxiety, the moments of success you achieve will add up over time and will affect your reality. As more and more join us, it cannot help but to create a new consciousness. This is how we make the world a better place. Not with tangible, but fleeting, fear and anxiety, but with positive, lasting change.

In addition to the pandemonium in government, Beloved, I am sorry to report that a new documentary which is based upon Wade Robson’s and James Safechuck’s civil suit against your estate is being presented at the Sundance Film Festival this month. Your followers are barraging the Sundance committee with petitions and threatening boycotts to prevent this documentary. Your estate has spoken out against its broadcast as have your defense attorney, Tom Mesereau, your nephew, T.J., and your bother, Jermaine, but at this time it appears that the committee is impervious to the reactions against the documentary. I have recently heard that it will also be broadcast on HBO later in the month.

It appears that the fact that both of these former friends’ civil suits against your estate were dismissed by the legal courts and that both of them testified under oath that nothing inappropriate ever happened is being ignored in favor of exploiting your name and your reputation.

Yes, and this will keep happening as long as there is money to be made. Until the public walks out of the theaters showing these lies in disgust and stops buying the tabloids that perpetuate such wickedness they will continue. The only way to stop it is to stop ‘buying their garbage.’ Make it unprofitable – hit them where it counts – in the wallet. When it becomes unprofitable to make such documentaries, they won’t be made.

If the public continues to support such things financially by buying tickets and tabloids at checkout stands, they will continue to produce them. Follow the money trail. That’s where it all ends.

As we have said before: The important thing to remember is that “lies run sprints but the truth runs marathons.” This is just another sprint; there have been many in the past ten years (as you experience time.) Petition and boycott – let your voices be heard. But don’t let them distract your focus. We have a job to do and it is an important job that will take every bit of your focus and determination.

Continue to re-imagine your world as one that does not support character assassination, lies and innuendo. Come and join me and “let us dream …”

And that brings us right back to the address quoted at the beginning of this dialog.

I love it when a plan comes together, don’t you?

Indeed I do, my dear one. I ran into another quote on Facebook last week that was posted by a dear friend [my thanks] and I would be grateful to round out this Conversation with it.

Go for it.

Thanks. Well, this quote is by Gerald Campbell, a former Republican representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Michael Jackson died unexpectedly on Thursday, June 25, 2009. The suddenness of his death came as a source of shock to all of us.

“Some have used the occasion to present a contemptibly narrow view of his personal struggles. But as the months and years roll by, it is the contribution of his musical genius that will be written permanently in the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Even now, the greatest of his peers have recognized him as one of the most gifted and accomplished musical artists of the last century.

“Few artists have used their talents to uplift mankind as vigorously as Michael Jackson. Though lean in stature, he stood firmly against social and political forces that seek to diminish the integrity of the human spirit. He uplifted individuals struggling to be free. At the same time, his voice spoke a message that went far beyond the rights of the individual. Michael reminded us that personal dignity and individual freedom can only be perfected in the warm embrace of human solidarity.

“It was the human family that stood foremost in Michael’s mind. “We are the world,” he said. And against this backdrop, he challenged freedom-loving individuals to act heroically for the betterment of all. “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change,” he said.

“Thus Michael Jackson was no spokesman for narcissism, despite the fact that he often sought refuge there. At bottom, his music was driven by the ancient dream of brotherhood of man. He saw redemption in a bonding of all individuals in simple humanity. Human solidarity – LOVE – was for him the foundation of justice and the meaning of life!

“Armed with this simple vision, Michael set about to dedicate his life to others. As a young boy, he burst onto the world’s stage like a bolt of lightning and, once there, he inspired youth and the youthful to act on behalf of justice and the human community. He created a powerful synergy with his audiences and, through this confluence, helped generate a moral force that, over time, would bring the world to a better place.

“It is not commonly recognized how much Michael Jackson contributed to U. S. public diplomacy during the last decade of the Cold War. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Michael’s music inspired young people in captive nations to take chances on behalf of freedom and democracy. With his dramatic style, he electrified youth and stirred them to unite in common purpose. In response, they rallied moral forces against fear and set about to challenge the ubiquitous brutality of totalitarian regimes. The collective energy Michael and other artists inspired became a critical factor in bringing about the political collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European empire. “We are the world.”

“Surveys taken by the Voice of America during the 1980s demonstrate his appeal. Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, and Billy Joel were the preferred pop artists for VOA listeners behind the Iron Curtain. The music they provided offered a unique challenge to the fundamentals of Soviet totalitarianism – fear and isolation. It enabled listeners to dream of freedom and dignity, and it filled their hearts and minds with a practical determination to seek a brighter future.

“But among all American pop artists, it was Michael Jackson that towered above the rest. His popularity achieved the highest ranking by VOA listeners – more than 50% approval.

“I recall myself and a friend crossing the border into East Berlin before the Wall was torn down. As my friend maneuvered our rented VW to the checkpoint, I pulled back the sunroof and rolled down the windows. Earlier, I had cued a tape to play Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” As the guard approached, I hit the play button and turned the volume way up. The guard, who was carrying an automatic rifle, asked for our passports. Instead of responding directly, I said over the top of the music: “Do you like Michael Jackson?” He looked nervously at the guard house and then quickly nodded in approval. For a long moment, his face was covered with an unforgettable smile. But more than signaling his approval, the guard had broken military decorum.

“Similarly, when we returned to the West through Austria, the guard stationed there responded to my question by first placing his machine gun on the ground. Then, he grabbed my closest hand with both of his and said: “Yes, oh yes. Michael Jackson!” Not far away, hidden in a clump of bushes and trees, I saw the dark, sinister presence of Soviet tanks.

“Michael’s creative imagination enabled him to craft a music of freedom, a music replete with a crisp defiance of injustice and unjust authority, a music deeply tinged with respect for the essential dignity of the human person. In a world whose temptations breed isolation and aloneness, Michael’s music gave voice to our common need for love, compassion, understanding, and mercy. It gave succor to those struggling to belong and unleashed a willfulness to labor against the forces of spiritual alienation. In a world dominated by fear, his music gave transcendent purpose and the hope of future redemption. In short, Michael’s artistry was an energy that inspired resistance against all forms of cultural and political repression. It was a music whose vitality cried out for a liberation of the human spirit.

“Reflecting on the 1980s and early 1990s, one labors to imagine a more heroic episode in history’s hard march against tyranny. Liberty sprang up amidst a near bloodless convulsion, and took a daring but peaceful step forward. It was in the intensity of this revolutionary fervor that the artistry of Michael Jackson towered as a beacon of light for those struggling to be free.

“In the YouTube video below, listen to Michael perform “Man in the Mirror.” Hear his words. Watch the imagery. Reflect how deeply he pleads for each individual to dedicate their lives to the reconciling impulses of Justice and Love. In a world that continues to be much too cold and brittle, Michael Jackson has established himself a much-needed prophet for our age!”

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