The word “other” is commonly used in English as both an adjective and a pronoun. As an adjective: “born on the other side of the tracks.” As a pronoun: “if it’s not one thing, it’s the other.” Today I’d like to submit for your consideration the word “other” as a verb.  Examples?  “Dude, don’t other me,” and “she was in a terrible mood, othering everybody the whole evening.

Here is my proposed dictionary entry for the next Merriam Webster:

other |ˈəðər|
verb
1.  to attribute qualities onto another person, often a celebrity in the news, so as to avoid acknowledging these same qualities within oneself:
[as verb. ] hey, don’t other Clinton, most married men  have done stuff like that  | I went to a meeting with the Dalai Lama.  It was great but people tend to other him by putting him above them.

For the last ten days, our latest “otherfest” has focused on Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose name made him a larger-than-life-Disney-cartoon disaster waiting to happen.  Republicans are having a field day, of course, and even the members of his own party are calling for his resignation.  Now don’t get me wrong here.  I’m not advocating sending snaps of your private parts to women you hardly know.  I don’t condone lying, or emotionally abandoning your recently pregnant wife.  Probably everyone, including Rep. Weiner himself, agrees that these actions were stupid, immature, and  hurtful to other people.

We can learn from this and many other current events, however,  by shifting our attention from “what that terrible, despicable, lying rotten good for nothing over there did,” to “why are we getting so upset about this, and giving it so much attention?” (more…)

It’s hard to believe that 150 years ago, white people owned black people in 23 states. Slavery ended with the surrender of General Lee in 1865. Chief Justice Roger Taney, on behalf of the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote in 1857 that black people were “so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” Do you think that Taney could have imagined, in his wildest dreams, that we would elect an African-American president in 2008?

Today, people with different colored skins have more or less the same opportunities and rights in this country. Does that mean that racism has been completely eradicated? I don’t think so.

In the same way, back in the 1920s, women protested for their right to vote. It was a struggle, but they succeeded. In the 70s, women demanded their right to participate in a social and economic system that had been mostly created by the male mind. Women became judges, police, politicians, religious ministers, all roles that had been previously reserved for men.

And now, in the last few years, we’ve seen women step up again, not to participate in structures created by men, but with their own expression of feminine wisdom. Countless books have been written now on feminine leadership, feminine ecology, feminine approaches to education and art, and perhaps most important, the emergence of feminine spirituality. Does that mean that repression or even disrespect of feminine energy by men is gone? I don’t think so. (more…)

I decided to do something a little different for my blog this week. Usually I write a lot for you, but today I wanted to connect with you a little more more personally.

Is it possible for one human being to heal wounds they did not personally cause?  Could a German today apologize to a Jew for the holocaust, and create healing, even though it was decades ago and the actual perpetrators are dead?  Could a conscious man today apologize to women for burning witches?  Is this a form of healing or creating toxic shame? Watch this video and PLEASE POST YOUR THOUGHTS !!! …

You can read The Manifesto for Conscious Men on Facebook HERE.

Hey!

Did you catch our conversation tonight with Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks?  We loved everything that unfolded.

If you missed it, please listen to the replay here.

If you were on the call, please post your comments and reactions with the “Add a Comment” link above

So much love to you!

Arjuna and Chameli

Modern Man’s Response to the Emergence of the Goddess


Back in July, I published a piece on this blog, as well as on Huffington Post, called Why It is Wise to Worship a Woman. That article emerged in a very personal and spontaneous way. I’d been out for a walk with Chameli, my wife, one evening. Overwhelmed with the feeling of “it just couldn’t get any better than this,” I popped a little update on Facebook in celebration of the goddess I’m married to. Surprisingly, by the morning there were dozens of comments. A lot were from women, but many were also from men, either wondering where they could also have the good fortune to find a goddess similar to mine or, perhaps more important, wondering how they could discover the same spirit of deep appreciation of the feminine.

That article was my answer to that question. It reflected on the wisdom of being in worship of the feminine. Not just get along with, or tolerate, or befriend, or cooperate with. Yes, I said what I meant: to worship the feminine. (more…)

Here is a passage from my 2005 Bestseller, “The Translucent Revolution.”

As with every other area of our lives, there is a symbiotic relationship between the depth of our translucence and the way we view otherness. Translucence naturally shifts our habits of relating, without our doing anything about it. We have less to defend as we come to know ourselves as bigger than our own story, and our relating naturally becomes less strategic. As we see the other as myself, even if only in snapshots, we find that compassion occurs effortlessly. We develop more humor about the idiosyncrasies of our personality. We have less investment in laboriously working things out, and a greater willingness to breathe a sigh and return to innocence. The need to change others relaxes, since we are less tied to them as a source of our well-being. All these things can happen more or less spontaneously as by-products of waking up. At the same time, the attention we bring to our habits of relating can deepen and stabilize our expression of translucence. We can always bring more skillful means, more as an art form than as self-improvement, to our relating. We can become more aware of, and tell the truth about, the old habits that have created separation. These old habits run deep, and they will not necessarily die on their own. Our social environment reinforces them. When we are willing to put awakening into the fire of relationship, it will reveal all old habits and allow them to be released. Says Gay Hendricks:

“I think therein lies the difficulty, as well as the awesome beauty, of relationships. The universe is attempting to meet itself in play. When one person meets another, as that space links up with that space again, it pushes to the surface all the little places where we’ve withdrawn from space. Whether it’s being physically beaten, or starved to death, or criticized, or in beating others, those are the places where we’ve withdrawn and crystallized into mass, and then that has to come to the surface.”
(more…)

moviesFor many years now Chameli and I have enjoyed a special moment in our month, when an envelope arrives containing a single DVD. It generally contains a feature film, a documentary, and occasionally a few shorts, chosen not for their popularity or celebrity status, but for their ability to transform and awaken us. The Spiritual Cinema Circle was founded in 2004 by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, Arielle Ford and Stephen Simon. It is something like Netflix meets Esalen.

I have had some interesting talks over the last years with Gay and Kathlyn, and more recently also with Stephen Simon about what it is that makes a movie “spiritual.” I am delighted to tell you, there are no absolute conclusions. As you may know from the Translucent Revolution (which of course you have read cover to cover, right?!) my favorite all time translucent movie was Alan Ball’s American Beauty, which won five Oscars in 2000. You can read (or re-read) my critique of that film in the blog below this one.

american_beautyAmerican Beauty is not a feel-good, love and peace, happily ever after film. The protagonist, played by Kevin Spacey, is murdered at the end of the film by a semi-psychotic ex-marine. This is a film portraying dysfunction, alienation, and a pervasive degree of hopelessness. Yet…there is something about this film, and many like it, that transforms not the content of our experience, but our relationship to our experience. It does not change our experience from feeling bad to feeling good, but instead manages to shift us to a deeper dimension of ourselves, and of reality. The sub title of the film is “look closer.” Other examples of this kind of art, different in content, but widely appreciated as translucent in vision, are Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Roberto Benigni’s “Life is Beautiful” and Mike Leigh’s Secrets and Lies.

Of course my view is not the only view on what makes cinema “spiritual.” Another view, equally valid, is that we are all already too steeped in darkness, and what we need is more light, more healing and more “good vibes.”

I want to hear from you on this topic. Post me a comment below.

What is your list on the five most “spiritual” or “translucent” films you have ever seen?

Then please join me for a free tele-seminar this Thursday with myself and Stephen Simon, the founder of the Spiritual Cinema Circle, the producer of 20 movies, and the director of “Indigo” and “Conversations with God.” On this call you will hear Stephen and myself each share our list of the five most “spiritual films,” ( our lists are totally different, by the way!). There will also be lots of opportunity to ask questions and share your insights. Register here.

If you’d like to try out the Spiritual Cinema Circle, they have offered my friends  ( that’s you!) a free trial membership.  To check it out please look to the right of this post under my “blog roll” where you will see a link to SCC.