Thoughtline  August 1999

About-Face by Judy Norma
Love Is All You Need by Larry Dugan


With the first real moves toward an ending of the armed conflicts in Yugoslavia, both individuals and nations alike are confronted with the transition from the standoff of war to the cooperative interaction of peace. What is it that makes an "about-face" possible and meaningful? How do we begin to build a future with our erstwhile enemies—with those who have destroyed our livelihoods, tortured and killed our loved ones? The answers are forged out of our experience as new lines are drawn which come closer to the true distinctions.

In an ABC documentary called The Valley, the ordinary people on both sides of the Kosovo conflict spoke—without prompting from the filmmakers—and revealed that for both Serb and Albanian alike the human experience of the conflict was the same. One Serbian father who had lost his son and had his property destroyed railed against the perpetrators but said, "These are not Albanians who have done this. I know Albanians. These are terrorists." In his shock he kept repeating that he could not see the perpetrators as the Albanians with whom he had lived. Even in his personal extremity he knew where the true distinctions lay.

In such a context individuals have succumbed to forces greater than they understood and have behaved in non-human ways. The grief that triggered some to hit back with bitter cruelty and some to sink into uncomprehending despair was the same on both sides. We are challenged to go beyond the external actions to see the true initiating causes that could unleash such distortions of truth and reality. In the April newsletter of the ISTS (International School for Transformational and Synthetic Studies) we read: "There are, then, deeper questions to be asked about the Kosovo crisis. What does it highlight about the nature of Piscean energy and its outmoded but perpetuated belief structures? What does it reveal as the major karmic issues being forced out into the open for acknowledgment and resolution, by humanity as a whole, at the culmination of the Age?"

For those of us whose place of incarnation and life direction have placed us in a more peaceful context the challenges are the same—not so brutal, perhaps, but just as powerful if not more subtle, more difficult to discern. To the degree that we can identify the forces working through our lives so we clarify them for the human race. We are never alone in our thinking. Inasmuch as we identify with the true cause and purpose from which events spring, so we manifest its outcome in the world. We are not separate from the source of all outer seeming.

To see reality working out through events is to see from the perspective of reality—of the unified life of our world, through the subtle dimensions of cause to the outer dimensions of effect through time. Reality is not the absorbing detail of everyday life. The future cannot be seen through eyes clouded with immediacy or with relatively recent history. Greatness is not apparent in the smallness of single events but in the similarities and relationships across many events over time if we look from the direction of the initiating causes. The same outer action can be the result of any one of a number of vastly different causes. It can, therefore, carry a different quality and have a different effect on the world depending on what set it in motion.

There is a great difference between seeing God through the eyes of the world and seeing the world through the eyes of God. Seeing in an external, worldly way belittles life and reduces to ordinariness what is beyond ordinary comprehension. Humanity, in its self-absorption, has in the past succumbed to this pitfall— interpreting everything in terms of its own current limitations. We have ascribed individual human motive and purpose to that which is driven by far greater intention and compassion. We are still learning the greater love beyond the immediate family to the human family, beyond love of our nation of birth (in our current incarnation) to the world as a whole. Yet, no responsibility is forsaken when we live within the experience of joy rather than desiring personal happiness.

The Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, tells us that, "The cup of sorrow and the agony of the Cross are well nigh finished. Joy and strength will take their place. Instead of sorrow we shall have a joy which will work out in happiness and lead eventually to bliss. We shall have a strength that will know naught but victory and will not recognize disaster … ‘after weeping cometh joy, and that joy cometh in the morning.’ Only the dawn is with us as yet—the dawn of the Aquarian Age. The full tide of light is inevitably moving on its way towards us."

We speak to each other of bliss and joy and happiness. All are aspects of the experience of life depending on the point of externalization—from the unity of the whole into the diversity of its manifestation. We might define happiness as the motion registered by the personality experiencing relationship with others; joy as the experience of the soul knowing it is one with the Soul of all; bliss as being one with Spirit and its purpose as it manifests through all. We define these various aspects and teach one another about them—about what we have to do to attain them. We read about them. We experience their distant echoes in vicarious pursuits—films, books, etc.—and in the temporary illusions of the incarnating experience. These are the introductory steps we’ve been engaged in for a long time.

The real manifestation comes when we live them—when spirit, soul and personality coincide in the world. Then happiness is no longer temporary but is experienced as the reflection of the permanent state of the joy of soul awareness which reflects the eternal state of bliss, the experience of Being. How much of this totality do we live in each moment? How much do we live it when confronted with the forces of separation and chaos in the world—when the security of the familiar is ripped from us or even when the familiar itself militates against freedom? All things in the world pass but the force of their being remains and carries the eternal imprint of spirit.

It is no longer enough to talk and to teach. We have now to commit our being to knowing and living truth no matter the catastrophes, crises and compromises our daily life presents. We have now to persist no matter that all past patterns of achievement pull against this liberation into life. The inspiration and example of the Buddha, the Christ and all who have preceded us have opened the door of our potential—"Greater things shall (we) do."

Judy Norman
Reprinted from Sydney Goodwill Newsletter, July 1999

...Love is All You Need

I was just reading "The Cosmic Change Agent" by Tom Carney (at the Arcana Workshops website).

Thought of Riley and The Beatles with this passage in Tom’s essay:

And, to quote perhaps the most famous messengers of change since Christ—The Beatles—"Love is all you need." So, no big surprise here. Love is all there is, and love is all you need. Love is the Cosmic Change Agent.

The "Riley" reference is to my almost-four-year-old, who emerged into this world during a clarinet quartet’s rendition of Duke Ellington’s "Creole Love Call" on a compilation tape called "Birthin’ that Baby" (a nice combination of classical, new age, light jazz, gospel, classic rock, etc.) that I had put together at the suggestion of our Lamaze teacher. Later, my musical compulsion brought along a nice collection of children’s music that I not only tolerate, but also like a whole lot. But, he [Riley] is currently obsessed with The Beatles.

This is my second experiment with toddlers and The Beatles. My first experiment came when my "only-childness" ended in 1971 with the arrival of a brother, when I was 17. My brother’s musical love began early and remains strong today. He has always maintained a good collection of lyricists in the music he loves, and contracted my compulsion as a completist in whatever category that might catch his ear.

My almost-four-year-old son Riley is singing choruses, bits and pieces and, occasionally, full Beatles songs. His repertoire of Beatles songs is currently between ten and fifteen. Lately, he has been obsessed with the movie Help! and sings five or six songs from the movie/album/CD.

This September, the movie Yellow Submarine is being released (and finally available) in a digitally remastered/enhanced/restored format on videotape. I’m ecstatic—both to watch the movie and to watch Riley watching the movie. In the movie, at the crucial part of the epic, The Beatles save the Land of Pepperland from the Blue Meanies and restore the land’s former glory to the song "All You Need Is Love." Their merely singing and playing the song does this; the Thoughtform of Solution does the rest, and all in very vivid 1960s psychedelic color. I’ll be the first on my block to own it (the videotape), and you have to figure that it will sell quite well and open up two or three new generations to it—and just in time for the Shamballa impact.

The song "All You Need Is Love" made its world debut on June 25, 1967, "recorded live direct from EMI’s London studio as part of a worldwide television transmission [the first for-the-masses satellite transmission, I was thinking] during the program ‘Our World.’ Viewers estimated at about 150,000,000 … ." I’m not sure if it was late in the night in England or whether they just fooled us in the States as being "live" at the beginning or end of The Ed Sullivan show (8 or 9 p.m. EDT).

Stepping back: In October 1966, Beatle George Harrison visited Bombay "and [partook] of his first cosmic curry." In December 1966, the "Sgt. Pepper" sessions began. In February 1967, George Harrison hooked up with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; also, the songs "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" were released. On June 1, 1967, the album "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" was released—and blew many a mind. The summer also saw the transmission of "All You Need Is Love" on June 25, 1967 and its release as a "single" on July 7, 1967—with the raga-influenced "Baby You’re A Rich Man" as the flip side. In November 1967, the single "Hello Goodbye" w/flip "I Am The Walrus" was released, and the album "Magical Mystery Tour" was in the stores for Christmas. A video of The Beatles in their Sgt. Pepper uniforms, singing "Hello Goodbye," graced The Ed Sullivan Show for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. George headed back to Bombay in January 1968 and The Beatles stayed with The Maharishi in Rishikesh, India, February/April 1968 (as also Donovan Leitch). On August 30, 1968, the single "Hey Jude" w/flip "Revolution" was released, followed by the "White Album" in November. What an interesting time span!

It’s curious to look at this cultural time period of the mid-to-late 1960s from the approach of a "Classic Revolution." The French Revolution is the easiest to dissect, with its early period of the Estates-General and Constitutional Monarchy of 1789-1791 (let’s compare to 1964-65); the Legislative Assembly with the rise of the Jacobins, storming of the Tuileries, etc. (let’s say, 1966-67); and followed by the National Convention with its Reign of Terror (let’s say 1967-68, with the possibility that my musical tastes at this time did indeed constitute a "reign of terror" for my parents). The French Directory phase, with its return to middle-class values, but with high corruption, would probably compare to the Nixon Era. And, I suppose, the general Music and Culture of 1969 and 1970 (with the wonderful record albums of these years) would then embody the Napoleonic Era, Culture being doomed to exile with the dawning of the Disco Era.

The opening spark of the "British Invasion" caught my ear at the age of ten in 1964, adding a further twist following Bob Dylan’s "The Times They Are A-Changin’ " (recorded 10/24/63) and the then-unknown effects of both John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s and South Vietnam’s President Diem’s assassinations in November 1963. But the October 1963 recording "Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen got more airplay than did Dylan.

The Impressions’ civil rights anthem "Keep On Pushin’ " came out in 1964, as did their song "Amen" (from the movie Lilies of the Field). Atlantic and Motown Records were in the early stages of a Golden Age of Soul Music. John Coltrane’s album "A Love Supreme" was recorded December 9, 1964 (probably along a different evolutionary line, and probably interestingly and astrologically in line with the UN’s activities in Africa at that time; but, nevertheless, right on time for Malcolm X’s assassination on 2/21/65). On the U.S. political front, the Civil Rights Bill and The Wilderness Preservation Act were passed. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson made the comment to the UN Security Council regarding Vietnam, "As long as the peoples of that area are determined to preserve their independence and ask for our help in preserving it, we will extend it." On this air of nobility, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution opened America’s door to Vietnam on August 5th, with only two Senators dissenting.

Sam Cooke’s "A Change Is Gonna Come" hit the charts in 1965, as did James Brown’s "Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag" and The Supremes’ #1 hit with "Stop, In The Name Of Love;" Otis Redding wrote and recorded the songs "Respect" and "I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now);" Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass had hits like "Whipped Cream," "A Taste Of Honey," "Spanish Flea" and "Zorba The Greek" (that song, combined with Aspasia’s soup recipe, sent me out after their CD-compilation last year). The Mamas & The Papas’ single "California Dreamin’ " hit the charts in November 1965, followed by a nice array of hits in 1966. These were clearly sunny times in the U.S.—with problems in the air, but being worked on with a positiveness of spirit. Notable political events included the passage of Medicare legislation, The Water Quality Act, The Voting Rights Act, The Higher Education Act (scholarship aid), and the establishment of The National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities. The Beatles released "Help" and played New York City at Shea Stadium 8/15/65, and released "Rubber Soul" for Christmas. Bob Dylan was booed at Newport for turning electric. The U.S. bombed the hell out of North Vietnam, but it was still too far away, and they were supposedly bad guys, anyway. Mass Vietnam protests and draft card burnings were later staged in October.

Another of my son Riley’s currently favorite songs, The Electric Prunes’ "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" colors a psychedelic 1966. Here in the South, the young white ears were largely attuned to the Carolina sound of The Swingin’ Medallions’ "Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)" (hence the effect that made the 1960s actually end near the mid-70s, in these parts). Cream’s first album debuted this year. A nicely-1966 title and band name—"It’s-A-Happening" by The Magic Mushrooms—seems to sum up a great deal of psychedelia in this period (drawing an interesting comparison/contrast to 1967’s "I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time" by The Third Bardo). The Beatles’ song "Yesterday" was released 3/4/66, followed by their psychedelic album "Revolver" in August, coinciding with John’s "bigger than Jesus" comment and subsequent "Beatle-burnings." (A friend of mine hid his Beatles albums from his mother between his mattress and box springs at this time, for fear she’d burn them.) The first album by the band "Love" debuted. The record companies Stax and Motown released a slew of soul music hits. The U.S. Government invaded the Dominican Republic; race riots hit America’s cities—most notably, in the Watts section of the U.S. Heart Center in LA. On the Vietnam front, the release of the song "Yesterday" coincided with images of burning Buddhist monks. Something odd was going on over there that didn’t quite make sense… . By year’s end "U.S. troop strength had reached 389,000." This brings us back to Beatle George going to India in 10/66 and the "Sgt. Pepper" sessions in 12/66.

The Beatles, at this point, were strictly a studio band; they had stopped touring and eschewed all personal appearances. In February 1967, George Harrison discovered Eastern mysticism and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. On April 15, 1967, the U.S. experienced "huge marches in New York City and San Francisco protesting the war in Vietnam and demanding peace." June provided the world with The Beatles’ "Sgt. Pepper," followed by the entry of The Monterey Pop Festival into this "Cycle of Conferences." It is also interesting to note that the 6/25/67 transmission of "All You Need Is Love" came at the end of conferences of President Johnson and Soviet Premier Kosygin (6/23-25/66). July 1st marked the conclusion of the treaty restricting the proliferation of nuclear weapons. (Such a mixed "Bag of Tricks" was the "Summer of Love.") October marked the appointment of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court and the Peace March on Washington. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting began on 11/7/67. The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Aretha Franklin’s classic "Atlantic Soul" first debuted in 1967, as did Sly and The Family Stone. Marvin Gaye had some nice hits with Tammi Terrell. Eric Burdon and The Animals released "A Girl Named Sandoz" and "San Francisco Nights" and "Winds of Change." Cream recorded "Sunshine of Your Love." Joni Mitchell wrote and Judy Collins sang "Both Sides Now," often known as "Clouds."

The Beatles left India, rather discouraged and disillusioned, in early 1968; their economic venture Apple Corps quickly fell into disarray after opening in April; their last movie had bombed. They would individually go through a lot of turmoil, but would release the "White Album" by year-end. January 1968 marked the beginning of the siege of Khesanh and the Great Tet Offensive. On March 31st, Lyndon Baines Johnson announced his intention not to attempt presidential re-election. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4th; the Poverty March on Washington lasted from May 3rd to June 23rd; the Paris Peace Talks opened on May 10th; and Robert Kennedy was murdered on June 5th in America’s heart center, L.A. On August 8th, Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination for President (and, in spite of my father’s comments about moving the family to Cuba if Nixon won, we never really did it). But, prior to that, on July 17, 1968, the film Yellow Submarine was released.

And yes, that was what this was all about, wasn’t it?

Beginning this September, a generation of children who have always had the availability of video recorders, state-of-the-art sound, computers and untold new influences in their lives, will be opened up to a classic battle of good-over-evil, with the rout of the Blue Meanies invoked by the good energy of a song. The song "All You Need Is Love" is coming back into the planetary consciousness, and just prior to Shamballa impact. Interesting how these things work.

Larry Dugan
July 1999