Welcome to The Conversation



"My objective in creating this arena in cyberspace is to pool the wisdom of an underground of intelligence. I do this in the belief that shifting our paradigm -- from outer-direction to inner-focus -- could be a function of an alignment in thought, and that this alignment can be produced by cross-connecting my comments and yours."
-Suzanne Taylor, Founder of Mighty Companions-

Suzanne Taylor

"Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts...they lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun, but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric..."
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The Conversation Develops:

As you take part in The Conversation, your edited remarks will be added here. Let us know what you think!

FROM: Daniel Bushnell, 3/22/99

I happened to catch the tail end of that Larry King Live -- and liked what I heard very much. Each speaker shared his consciousness and flavor quite beautifully -- and I thought it was a good mix of differing viewpoints for each listener to discern for him/herself what rang true. As always, our personal level of awakeness seems to determine which will be our favorite speakers, writers, movies, conferences -- and vehicles for sharing ideas. So it seems that all forms serve a purpose -- and dissolve when their time and usefulness has passed. As has been written in the wisdom, "All Forms Exist To Express Truth." So a forum such as you are creating is quite beautiful, necessary, and exciting! You will attract, I'm sure, a colorful coterie of some of the most open-minded thinkers around. I admire your passion for effective networking -- and applaud your tireless efforts to make that happen!

FROM: David Tresemer, Ph.D., 3/22/99

I am intrigued by this conversation. I would like to recommend a book which I recently wrote with two others, Signs in the Heavens at the End of a Millennium, which speaks to these very issues. Visit us at www.StarHouse-asc.org.

FROM: Kynthia, 3/23/99

I agree with your New Story. Jesus was speaking of our awakening as he had -- internalizing the Truth rather than looking for it outside of ourselves.

FROM: Rick Stoff, 3/23/99

There is no more empty feeling than watching stimulating guests being led in a discussion about important issues by Larry King. He is unable to get to the crux of any issue, pin anyone to their opinions or even hold off from interrupting an important answer. Forget the lack of follow up! That does not answer your query about a proper forum...but it might explain some of the frustration.

FROM: Harald Walach, Ph.D., 3/25/99

I find a lot of richness in the traditional Christian (that is Catholic) rituals and teachings. It's a shame they are so badly taught and interpreted. If it were not for my own experience I should not know what to make of them. I am quite convinced that good teaching, backed by personal experience, could bring new thrust to the old story.

I must say I hate traditionalists dishonoring other traditions, since this is the least thing which would be considered Christian. Most traditionalists make the serious mistake of taking the gospel literally instead of seriously. I think that what we need is an evolutionary picture of Christianity and the gospel. This has been initiated by Teilhard, but not taken up by scholars widely. The problem is that most theologians know next to nothing about science, biology, psychology, etc., and most of them are afraid to make contact with each other. The situation is comparable to that which existed in the 13th century, when traditional teaching came to a dead end, and only the integration of science, that is Aristotelian thought (in those days by Thomas Aquinas and others) gave new thrust to the old idea. Something comparable is overdue these days, which is what I think you are referring to. I don't know who could do that, and don't see anybody currently doing it.

FROM: Ilene Cummings, 3/25/99

How overjoyed I am to become part of the conversation! My own deep immersion into the Episcopal Church, once again, is interesting to me. I have spent a good piece of my precious time deciding if I wanted to reaffirm my commitment to Grace Cathedral. I finally made the commitment on Sunday. A great ritual will happen on the vigil of Easter, and I look forward to it. What I seek is a community, ritual, beauty and prayer. These things make me stop and feel deeply in the heart that yes, the kingdom of heaven is within me. IS me! I am more deeply spiritual and religious than ever in my life and it gives me no end of peace and joy.


Suzanne Taylor

March 19, 1999

Our news business used to pay matters of the spirit little attention, and what they did deliver was mostly Christian "church news." This is according to a recent article in the LA Times by John Dart, who is retiring after covering religion and religious issues for the Times for 31 years. Until 1970, the lead editorial in the paper, in their typical partiality to Christianity, was a Gospel text of Jesus's birth. Since then, however, things have been changing, with an especial opening to new ideas and more reportage in the last couple of years. Many papers now carry weekly religion sections and give front-page attention to religious trends and events.

This new coverage is responsive to an evolutionary stream in which people's eyes have been opening to more than the traditional faith in which they were raised. Where religion had become meaninglessness for many, the spiritual interests that are getting reported on now are coming from a hunger for a re- connection with the source of life. Unsatisfied with empty ritual, people long for a vibrancy that is to be found in the mystical heart of every sacred path. Jesus said those who followed would be greater, expecting others to make the connection he had to the Source, and all the core teachings say it is an illusion to think that we are separate from that. Indeed, what Jesus knew, that "I and the Father are one," is becoming known to many now.

How we are doing at becoming one is a developing story that could be the framing idea for religion pages now. They could be set up as a countdown to the time when everyone's primary focus shifts from outer reward to inner, and there is a mass awakening from the dream of spiritual authority being outside one's own self.

I write this the day after Larry King had Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son, on his show (Larry King Live, CNN), along with Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Robert Thurman, and a Kabbalistic rabbi named David Aaron. I actually was jarred into writing by the position Graham staunchly maintained. Sharing the stage with eminent non- Christians, over and over he proclaimed that the only way to get to anything worth living for is through Jesus. In fact, while the whole program was devoted to opinions about perennial questions, like what hell is like and why bad things happen to good people, I thought about what would have been said if comments instead were addressed to the awakening in progress. Such a discussion could go beyond being interesting to being causal.

As I look around the Internet, there are well-expressed opinions to be found, but there is a dearth of formats for deliberation among thoughtful people. If you are interested in what I've said here, let me hear from you. I believe that new patterns of perception get seeded in small hot-spots. May this be one of them. I hope that my comments and your responses will contribute to shaping the thoughts we need to hold for the next leg of the human adventure.

FROM: Paul William Roberts, 3/25/99

Fundamentalist Christianity is positioning itself for Armageddon, a wholly fictitious event that could nonetheless become reality for all of us unless more concerted effort is made to discredit both Christianity and Islam as genuine religions. Perhaps we should look back to the work of John Allegro, theologian and dead sea scrolls expert. He said that Jesus was in reality a mushroom. Since he has more evidence to support this theory than the Christians do to justify an apocalypse that will bring salvation, it seems a reasonable starting point to rid the world of what has been the single most destructive, regressive and murderous of all the pseudo-religions.

Suzanne Replies:

Can we unpack some of your remarks? Why do we need to discredit anything, versus a better story coming to light? Is there a movement to discredit? Tell me more. What means the "mushroom" thing? The only mushroom story I know is Terence McKenna's -- that they are the aliens, and they're inside us now. OK with me.

Paul replies to Suzanne, 3/26/99

There's persuasive evidence that the earliest Jewish-Christians were a sacred mushroom cult, and that --- this based on meticulous semantic analysis of Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek. The Jesus story is actually based on the life cycle of the mushroom amarita muscaria, which resembles a phallus-vulva, causing the architecture and rituals of the church, culminating in taking the sacrament, to mimic the penetration of the vulva-holy-of-holies by the phallus-aisle, down which the priests et al march etc. Read The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by John Allegro.

Suzanne Replies:

Well, I'll be. So much for Jesus. How about you?

Also, is your read that Christians are trying to bring about Armageddon? Is that popularly understood? Am I ignorant, Jewish princess that I am, in not knowing this? And, if "we" needed to rid the world of "them," how would we do it? Would we fight them or subsume them in a higher Truth?

Paul replies to Suzanne, 3/27/99

Well, Christianity IS Judaism, or was before the Roman Empire got ahold of it. It is quite well known that the fundamentalists want an apocalypse, since they don't get a Second Coming unless the world blows up first -- which is why many felt that Ronald Reagan, staunch fundamentalist, might not be the best choice for a leader --- what incentive did he have to avoid nuclear Armageddon?

Suzanne Replies:

Sounds too damn sinister. And Americans are too scared to die to go for such a thing. Other people tell me about the few big string-pullers, too, steering the world for their greedy pleasure. They say things like "we're all in a dark plot," and the Illuminati gets mentioned. It all seems like duality bullshit to me. How does anybody know? Why go for such scary drama? Really, why? How does anyone know such things?

FROM: Robert Theobald, 3/25/99

I agree that there is a move toward spirituality. It is one of the five points that I am stressing in my communications.

I also agree that there is a need for better communications between key players. I find people to be so busy with their own projects that getting them to move beyond their own preoccupations is extraordinarily difficult. I don't exclude myself from this statement.

I'd love to move on this but need some conviction that it is really possible.

Suzanne Replies:

Yes, Robert, we are ingrained with separation. It is a challenge indeed to think together. Am plugging away (still) at how to overcome this, seeing it as the key to the kingdom.

FROM: Pamela J. Smith, 3/25/99

Thank you for including me in your mailings. Good points in this monograph on religions and spiritual thought.

As long as people have connections from spirituality to politics, there'll be that ferocious insistence on a separate peace and separate reality -- theirs. Only by getting above the Tribal consciousness of individual religions to the Individual (sometimes mystical, sometimes occult) experience of the Truth and Beauty of the One Life, and on to the Group consciousness of responsibility and generosity can we begin to address the problems of separatism. Big chore.

Separation of Church and State is essential, and that's at least halfway political. There are current hot-spots on the globe where ancient religious wars are still being waged on the eve of this new age new millennium. Turkey, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, the Philippines.

In addition to preaching to the choir of adherents to the Greater Good, these hotspots of awareness of which you speak would be well directed to political leaders, market leaders, social policy makers, etc.

It'd be great if you could link up with some of those groups via your mailings of thoughtful observations when appropriate.

Suzanne Replies:

The "big chore" is it, though. Could it be time?

As for the "separation of church and state," is separation "essential," or deadly?

First the hook-up, then whatever comes out of that. First things first. "We" do of lot of preaching, where there isn't a real alignment among "us." I've always thought that that alignment is the key -- not to look to a planned result, but to creating a process where the one voice that is spoken is so beautifully radiant that it ripples out to envelop the world.

I would love to have a forum that was attended to by the larger world...like a Drudge Report for consciousness!

FROM: Pennell Rock, 3/25/99

Interesting thoughts, especially about Franklin Graham. I'm still in pursuit of a better relationship with my sister, who has recently had a heart attack. We are now reading the Bible together. It is fun, but we keep stumbling over this position expressed by Graham. I would surely love to know how the others in that group took that position on.

Suzanne Replies:

They were all having their say, and then this war machine (Graham) wiped them out. There was no exchange among them. The others kept acknowledging each other, but no one took Graham on.

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