Tag Archives: Quakers

DSM 5 drafted, Kill Ugly Radio and Friends

In what has to be considered a bold move, the APA has posted the draft of the DSM 5 on the web and made it available for reading and comment here. A variety of changes and non-changes are already attracting attention. One of my favorite blog authors, at Furious Seasons, has inspected enough of it to raise some concerns.

You can see for yourself (please), but here are the things I noticed browsing through the current draft in order of appearance:

Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, adolescence

I am especially concerned with the labeling of children with psychiatric disorders. For the most part, kids don’t “misbehave” because they are crazy. More likely explanations are that their behavior is a natural and even positive coping mechanism for dealing with seriously wrong family environment issues. Other common reasons for “odd” behavior in children are food or environmental allergies and medical or metabolic problems. Regardless of what the behaviorists might say, the reason why people act the way they do is sometimes very important and is often their best response they can have to biological, social and traumatic factors in their lives.

Temper dysregulation with dysphoria is proposed with the parameters available here. The positive side of this potentially stigmatizing new diagnosis for kids is that it is not the Child Bi-Polar Disorder that has been promoted by both the FDA and the friendly shrinks at Harvard. Of course any diagnosis invites the possibility of medicating the behavior but at least it won’t be an automatic road to a jumbo list of potentially dangerous mind altering chemical restraints. So, no doubt, they will have to develop a new list for this new diagnosis.

Another new diagnosis for kids, a conduct disorder, is labeled Callous and Unemotional Specifier for Conduct Disorder. This was not in the previous DSM. The jury is out how this might be suppressed with drugs.

Non Suicidal Self Injury has been added as a diagnosis for kids. I can hardly wait for the good folks at GSK or Lilly to bring out a new pill for this one. Since self-injurious behavior is often a normal response to severe trauma, it might be good if someone looked behind the curtain before attaching the label.

Some old/DSM 4 disorders for kids are being removed or subsumed under the heading of other existing disorder categories including Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS, all of which will be under the general heading of Autism Spectrum Disorder. (That Child Disintegrative thing sounds very dangerous.)

For grownups

We now have Psychotic Risk Disorder. There are plenty of subjective, unscientific criteria for this one. Like this phrase- “but of sufficient severity and/or frequency so as to be beyond normal“- I suppose you have to go to school to know what normal is. Just sop you won’t confuse it with other disorders they say “characteristic attenuated psychotic symptoms are not better explained by another DSM-V diagnosis“. That’s a relief.

Several types of Schizophrenia are being removed- paranoid type, catatonic type, disorganized type etc. I suppose they are all going to be under the general heading of Schizophrenia. Another to be removed is something called “Shared Psychotic Disorder”.  I need to look that up- sounds like a friendly sort of illness. Misery loves company but psychosis no longer does in the new DSM.

Mindfreedom News/ lazy blogger

Off the subject (really) but related, there is a good collection of news from Mindfreedom here about the impact of the mental health consumer movement in Lane County, Oregon. Two news items of interest to Oregonians and others originated from Lane County today:

** Eugene Weekly newspaper covers alternatives to psychiatric drugs.
MindFreedom activists are quoted several times.

** Now you can compare Lane County’s ‘guidelines’ for empowerment of
mental health clients, with a stronger version recommended by Lane
County Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Council.

So check it out at the link above.

Kill Ugly Radio-

Check out the archived show celebrating famous people who died in 2009. There is not much more to say.

Everything else

Dao de jing, T. Chilcott

limitlesslifesutra

Tunes-unto-the-Infinite

WilliamPennReGeorgeFox

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Rootabaga Stories

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Announcement First, Then Truth

Announcement: The Mad Liberation by Moonlight radio program for this month is cancelled- pre-empted actually. Our radio station, KBOO (90.7 FM in Portland, OR, or at kboo.fm on your internet dial). The annual John Lennon Birthday Marathon is happening on Friday, 10/9/09; coinciding with John’s birthday. KBOO will be playing (and streaming) Lennon music from 9 pm Friday evening to 8 am Saturday morning, thereby taking our slot for October.

Sadly, this is the Harvest Moon, here in the US and it’s a doozy. Ah, but I don’t care. John L. deserves our respect if for no other reason than John Lennon – Working Class Hero. Or even this: John Lennon – Beatles Breakup Interview 1970.

We will be back on the air next month on the Friday night following the full-moon. Consult your looner calendar for showtimes (looks sorta like the dark night of November 6th at 1 am, or really the morning of 11/7 if you want to be picky; you don’t want to be picky do you??)

lunareclipsesequence

Truth

Lots of things are true. Maybe everything, depending on perspective. These are some sources of perspective I would like to share.

truuthy

First from my own personal spiritual tradition- the Society of Friends. Following are excerpts from a pamphlet by Thomas S. Brown, what we would call a “weighty Friend”. After the short excerpt is a complete download of the publication, free to share. I had to convert from PDF because, well, WordPress doesn’t seem to like PDF and the formatting becomes a bit jerky. Thomas Brown:

To know the Truth is not to accept it by an act of the

intellect, as a man may know the Greek alphabet, or as a

man may know his neighbor across the street. To know

the Truth is, rather, like the way in which man and wife

know each other, a life of wholly shared commitment, of

utter trust, of freedom from fear. Indeed, there is no

knowledge of the Truth where there is no commitment

which results in significant action, for the living root

produces living fruit after its own kind. We know the

presence of love, not by sighs and simpers, nor even by

desire, but by its power to lift men and women outside

themselves and to live beyond themselves. Honor is known

by honorable actions. Beauty is known by its creation among

us. Truth is not a group of intellectual concepts to be

manipulated at will like the symbols in mathematics or

the notes in music: Truth is living and life-giving, and those

who have welcomed the Truth have life.

This is crucial: it is not that we discover the Truth

and make it our own for our own purposes as men might

harness a mountain stream to light their houses or run

their machines. We are, rather, discovered by the Truth,

and are given power by the Truth to light our souls. We are

besieged by the Truth, who stands knocking at the door,

the Hound of Heaven, our Imperious Lover and Tyrannical

Servant, who would give us our hearts’ desire if we would

only throw our selfish desires away, and who longs to release

us from the folly of the “freedom of choice” we seem to think

so important even on matters of life and death.

Download: ThePersonalRelevanceOfTruth

Dalai_Lama_pointing (1)

Not exactly on the same page but an interesting find: Words of Truth by HH Dalai Lama. This is more of a prayer for Tibet and all others who suffer.  Excerpt follows:

               O Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and disciples
                  of the past, present, and future:
                     Having remarkable qualities
                   immeasurably vast as the ocean,
               Who regard all helpless sentient beings
                         as your only child;
          Please consider the truth of my anguished pleas.
                                        
                                        
         Buddha's full teachings dispel the pain of worldly
                 existence and self-oriented peace;
   May they flourish, spreading prosperity and happiness through-
                      out this spacious world.
                  O holders of the Dharma: scholars
                     and realized practitioners;
            May your ten fold virtuous practice prevail.
                                        
                                        
                  Humble sentient beings, tormented
                    by sufferings without cease,
             Completely suppressed by seemingly endless
                and terribly intense, negative deeds,
          May all their fears from unbearable war, famine,
                      and disease be pacified,
       To freely breathe an ocean of happiness and well-being.
                  And particularly the pious people
          of the Land of Snows who, through various means,
            Are mercilessly destroyed by barbaric hordes
                      on the side of darkness,
           Kindly let the power of your compassion arise,
            To quickly stem the flow of blood and tears.
Download (with legal rights to share included): WORDS OF TRUTH
I apologize for the tiny font. Dagnabbit! 
I can't get the post editor to make 'em bigger. Get out your spectacles.
Rumi chimes in here:
Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.
Cross_and_Crescent_of_light Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: 
nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell 
does not damage the pearl.

If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. 
Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it.

He is a letter to everyone. You open it. It says, 'Live!'

In truth everything and everyone
Is a shadow of the Beloved,
And our seeking is His seeking
And our words are His words...
We search for Him here and there,
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side, we ask:
'O Beloved, where is the Beloved?'

God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you 
by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly - not one.

Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.
For more Rumi, go here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/18791792/THE-MATHNAWI-Book-1-2-RUMI or look around my blog.
magnetic_field
Miscellaneous Truth:
Peace and Nonviolence 01
text of above: peace
God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.  Take which you please - you can never have both.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.  ~Aldous Huxley

Truth, like milk, arrives in the dark
But even so, wise dogs don't bark.
Only mongrels make it hard
For the milkman to come up the yard.
~Christopher Morley, Dogs Don't Bark at the Milkman

It is error alone which needs the support of government.  Truth can stand by itself.  ~Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia

I never dreamed of being Shakespeare or Goethe, and I never expected to hold the great mirror of truth up before the world; I dreamed only of being a little pocket mirror, the sort that a woman can carry in her purse; one that reflects small blemishes, and some great beauties, when held close enough to the heart.  ~Peter Altenberg

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.  ~William James

Men ardently pursue truth, assuming it will be angels' bread when found.  ~W. MacNeile Dixon

There is no god higher than truth.  ~Mahatma Gandhi
Just for the heck of it:
A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 4, 32, Li-Young Lee - My Father, in Heaven, Is Reading Out Loud

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Dance Party Breaks Out at Friends Meeting

Go here.

Fun. Yeah. That Friend speaks my mind.

be kind

Oh, yes. And it’s time to announce

Mad Liberation Radio 8/7/09

Mental Health consumer-talk-radio
Tonight, 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.-
August 7th, 2009
KBOO 90.7 FM or streamed on the web: kboo.fm
Call in at 503-231-8187 to be on the radio (or show up at the studio).

Please set your alarm if you aren’t up at that time- we need your voice.
There are people listening
(all over the world, by internet)
Call in at 503-231-8187

Moon_Hypersaturated

Extra Special Announcement!
Stay up until 11 the next morning and you
can take part in Internet Madness Radio!
Click http://www.blogtalkradio.com/davidwoaks
and/ or call in at (646) 595-2125.
MATTHEW MORRISSEY will co-host a special 
live free Internet call-in show on humane,
empowering alternatives to 
the conventional mental health system.
All three guests are actively involved in providing mental health 
alternatives:
JESSICA ARNELLA, JAYME LYNCH, LYLE MURPHY

low-moon

But I digress…
Mad Liberation by Moonlight
This Friday night, 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.-
August 7th, 2009
(yes, it’s really Saturday morning; relax, it’s only radio)
KBOO 90.7 FM or streamed on the web: kboo.fm
Call in at 503-231-8187

Archived shows are available at
https://rickpdx.wordpress.com/mad-liberation-by-moonlight-archives/

KBOO 90.7 FM or on the web at kboo.fm (note the repetition)

Be well,
Rick

(click below for full-size)

lunar2009

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Autobiography of a Friend

gfox2
Today’s free book: The Autobiography of George Fox, founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). And he doesn’t look at all klike the guy on the cereal box. Just who are these Quakers anyway?
Wikipedia says:  The Religious Society of Friends, also known as The Quakers, is a movement that began in England in the 17th century.The word “Quaker” means to tremble in the way of the Lord. In its early days it faced opposition and persecution; however, it continued to expand, extending into many parts of the world, especially the Americas and Africa.The Society of Friends has been influential in the history of the world. The state of Pennsylvania, in the United States, was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Quakers to live and practice their faith. Quakers have been a significant part of the movements to abolishslavery, acknowledge the equal rights of women, and end warfare. They have also promoted education and the humane treatment of prisoners and the mentally ill, through the founding or reforming of various institutions.

During the 19th century Friends in the United States suffered a number of separations. These separations have resulted in the formation of different branches of the Society of Friends. Despite the separations, Friends remain united in their commitment to discover truth and promote it. There are perhaps 400,000 Quakers in the world today, the overwhelming majority of them Evangelicals in Africa and Latin America.

How about this George Fox character? What’s his deal? The following excerpt is from William Penn’s preface to the Autobiography of George Fox (the full preface is included with this e-book):

 

The blessed instrument of and in this day of God, and of whom I am now about to write, was George Fox, distinguished from another of that name, by that other’s addition of younger to his name in all his writings; not that he was so in years, but that he was so in the truth; but he was also a worthy man, witness and servant of God in his time.

 

……….

but, in general, when he was somewhat above twenty, he left his friends, and visited the most retired and religious people, and some there were at that time in this nation, especially in those parts, who waited for the consolation of Israel night and day, as Zacharias, Anna, and good old Simeon did of old time. To these he was sent, and these he sought out in the neighboring countries, and among them he sojourned till his more ample ministry came upon him.

At this time he taught and was an example of silence, endeavouring to bring people from self-performances, testifying and turning to the light of Christ within them, and encouraging them to wait in patience to feel the power of it to stir in their hearts, that their knowledge and worship of God might stand in the power of an endless life, which was to be found in the Light, as it was obeyed in the manifestation of it in man. “For in the Word was life, and that life was the light of men.” Life in the Word, light in men, and life too, as the light is obeyed; the children of the light living by the life of the Word, by which the Word begets them again to God, which is the regeneration and new birth, without which there is no coming unto the kingdom of God; and which, whoever comes to, is greater than John, that is, than John’s ministry which was not that of the kingdom, but the consummation of the legal, and opening of the gospel-dispensation. Accordingly, several meetings were gathered in those parts; and thus his time was employed for some years.

In 1652, he being in his usual retirement to the Lord upon a very high mountain, in some of the hither parts of Yorkshire, as I take it, his mind exercised towards the Lord, he had a vision of the great work of God in the earth, and of the way that he was to go forth to begin it. He saw people as thick as motes in the sun, that should in time be brought home to the Lord, that there might be but one Shepherd and one sheepfold in all the earth. There his eye was directed northward, beholding a great people that should receive him and his message in those parts. Upon this mountain he was moved of the Lord to sound out his great and notable day, as if he had been in a great auditory, and from thence went north, as the Lord had shewn him: and in every place where he came, if not before he came to it, he had his particular exercise and service shewn to him, so that the Lord was his leader indeed; for it was not in vain that he travelled, God in most places sealing his commission with the convincement of some of all sorts, as well publicans as sober professors of religion.

william_penn

Again from Wikipedia:

The Quakers began in England in the early 1650s as a Nonconformist movement separate from other such movements, from Anglicanism and from Roman Catholicism. Some would say that it was not precisely a “break” from any of these, but was organized outside of them. Traditionally George Fox has been taken to be the founder or at least the most important early figure, but modern scholarship suggests a more complicated picture. Most likely, a number of radical Puritans, among them Fox, James Nayler and Edward Burrough, independently came to similar positions, eventually came into contact with one another, and then began to coordinate their preaching. However, since Fox outlived most of what some Quakers have called the Valiant Sixty—a group of early Quaker evangelists—his account of the early days as recorded in his Journal, while it may exaggerate his role, is the most detailed one available.
The Valiant Sixty believed that direct experience with God was available to all people, without any mediation (e.g. through a pastor, or through sacraments). Friends have often expressed this belief by referring to “that of God in Everyone”, “inner light“, “inward Christ”, “the spirit of Christ within”, and many other terms.
Modern day Friends (as we call ourselves) are best known for their devotion to peace and consistent opposition to war. If people only knew! The Society of Friends is so different from most modern churches or sects that it can barely (if at all) be described as “organized religion. Without ministers, bishops or other religious hierarchy, the common threads of belief are referred to as “testimony”. Quakers don’t have dogma per se, but generally adhere to the principles of peace, justice, simplicity and community.
Quakers (past and present) tend to be social activists. Friends have been instrumental in the formation of many non-sectarian organizations (e.g. Oxfam, Greenpeace and Amnesty International).

Quaker meetings (called Meeting for Worship) are unprogrammed, last about an hour and consist primarily of silence, interupted only when an individual is “moved to speak”. Here’s a quote about Meeting for Worship:

 

“A Friend’s meeting, however silent, is at the very lowest a witness that worship is something other and deeper than words, and that it is to the unseen and eternal things that we desire to give the first place in our lives. And when the meeting…is awake and looking upwards, there is much more in it than this. In the united stillness of a truly ‘gathered’ meeting, there is a power known only by experience, and mysterious even when most familiar.” Caroline Stephen, (1908).

So, without further fuss, here is the book download- The Autobiography of George Fox:

 

 

georgefoxautobiography

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Darkness, Light and First Day Thoughts

At meeting for worship this morning (Multnomah Meeting, Friends), I had some things I was pondering. As usual, I dd not want to speak and held my tongue, letting the need build up. Usually when I do speak it’s because the internal pressure of my “leading” (as Friends say) becomes too much to hold back; my heart shakes, then I speak. My inner voice was speaking about what I have learned from Light.

Today it happened that the first half hour was deep and silent. There were perhaps 60 or so people gathered in the meeting hall. Then there was a period in which several people spoke at a fairly regular but respectful series of intervals.  It began with one of the meeting’s elders who spoke about a trip to Nicaragua this summer to visit family and encounters she had both with Quakers there and being witness to some Really Fucked Up Shit (not her words). The upshot was that world has people who do good and people who do evil. The ministry that followed, other people who spoke, including the one very Christo-centric guy who tends to quote the bible, all seemed to be addressing my topic from different angles. Darkness and light somehow was the topic of the day. (And, like good Quakers, no-one was speaking in response to the others; it felt like light addressing light.)

I never spoke. Each moment I thought I might have to stand, someone else stood and said something that illuminated my own meditation in a way that changed it. Then Meeting ended, there were introductions, announcements and other business. I decided to try and capture something of what I didn’t say here. I already know that this is not going to work the way I intended but I’m doing it anyway.

I have been learning from light for a long time. As far back as I can remember, as a child, I listened to light. When I was initiated into meditation as a teenager I was taught a meditation using clear white light. When I was given a Sanskrit name as part of an additional lesson, I was called Surendra- another “light connection”. Since then I have always come back to light as a device for focus and an inner place of calm awareness. I am a student of light, I guess.

So, Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned from Light.

One of the first things I learned from light was something I’ll call “steadiness”. It could also be called “peace” or “equanimity”. I learned from light that there was a space inside of me that was steady. Like a tree with branches waving in the wind, I was also a trunk that remained still. Throughout various passages of my life, even when everything seemed to be chaos, even when I felt suicide was my only living option, part of me knew with absolute certainty that there was a space of stillness; clear, vast and without shadow; (even) inside of my (broken) heart.

Another lesson from light is what I’ll call “open”. Also could be called compassion or connection. I learned that the deepest space within me was connected to everything else and that every pain was my pain, every joy was my joy. I learned that I couldn’t just be “steady”- as the near enemy of equanimity is indifference; as part of the tapestry of this world I can’t deny the feeling, perception and sensation that comes with life. I can’t deny suffering- within me and without me.

Quakers refer to the “ocean of darkness” and “the ocean of light”. George Fox, in his journals, says that his awakening included both, but that the ocean of light was “over the ocean of darkness”. Also, because of his time and place, he called that ocean of light “Christ” and he found that it was everywhere and within all beings. It was for this reason that one of the first things Quakers did to upset the order of things was to refuse to participate in violence, war or anything that debased orinjured anyone, because “all were filled with Christ”, filled with light.

Thinking about these things I also thought about CS Lewis and how in his theological books he called this world “the shadowlands”. His realization included the notion that the things we see with our eyes are just shadows of reality. Hmmm… Shadows- Where does a shadow come from? Shadows are the direct result of light.

Sometimes I see this world like it’s a movie screen- one with the projector behind it. It is a thin, sheer veil that barely separates us from an “ocean of light”. Sometimes I feel as though my very next step will take me through the screen and into the light. Sometimes this whole world looks transparent- that the crazy kaleidoscope of things, color, beings and activity is like a joke pasted over the not-very-well-hidden clear, white light.

Sometimes I know all these things and more. Always I know that when I try to speak it, I will fail.

As noted in the Tao Te Ching:

verse 1

the tao that can be told
is not the eternal tao
the name that can be named
is not the eternal name

the unnamable is the eternally real
naming is the origin
of all particular things

free from desire, you realize the mystery
caught in desire, you see only manifestations

yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source
this source is called darkness

darkness within darkness
the gateway to all understanding

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Filed under Chinese poetry, Lao Tzu, Mystic Poetry, Spirituality, Uncategorized

I am back from NPYM

I have just returned from North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Non-programmed Quakers from all over the Pacific Northwest gathered at the OSU campus in Corvallis, Oregon. Unfortunately, I have no news. I spent the time as a teacher with the children’s program with grades 3-5.

(http://www.npym.org/)

My time spent with the rest of thegroup was;imited to mealtimes, for the most part.

I did attend the community night program on Saturday night. The only thing I have to report from that is that Quakers have a sense of humor. This contradicts conventional wisdom. Many are also very talented musically.

The other item of interest is the Epistle written by the grade 3-5 children’s program. This was read and added added to the minutes of the Plenary Session on Sunday and will be distributed to thousands of quakers throughout the world. It went like this:

To the North Pacific Yearly Meeting:

We the members of the grade 3-5 children’s program explored the query of how to answer that of God in everyone through the following activities:

Silence

Frisbee Golf

Worship Discussion,

Quaker Musical Chairs

Story telling

Ultimate Frisbee

Sidewalk Art

Making medicine pouches

Made up Language

Sleep

Eating

Playing with bugs

a Helicopter

Everybody’s It

(I’m sure I’m missing some)

In Peace, The Grade 3-5 Friends.

Now some pictures I found interesting:

Click for larger

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