The Cracker In Me

July 3rd, 2013

Gene Denby provides an historical report in the column “The Secret History Of The Word ‘Cracker’,” for the NPR blog Code Switch, on the genesis and shifting use of the term ‘cracker.’ The article traces the term to the context of “creepy ass cracker,” as used by a witness referring to the murderous George Zimmerman, killer of Trayvon Martin, in the 2013 trial from when the word appears in the Shakespeare play King John, 425 years or so earlier in the 1590s.

What craker is this same that deafs our ears with this abundance of superfluous breath? [Shakespeare]

“It’s a beautiful quote, but it was a character trait that was used to describe a group of Celtic immigrants — Scots-Irish people who came to the Americas who were running from political circumstances in the old world,” Ste. Claire said. Those Scots-Irish folks started settling the Carolinas, and later moved deeper South and into Florida and Georgia.

My maternal great-grandfather John Frederick MacRae (b. 1893, d. 1951) was a descendant of the North Carolina Scots-Irish crackers. He fell in love with and married my great grand-mamma Laura (b. 1897, d. 1964), who had a similar ethnic background. They were fair skinned people by heritages which include Scots-Irish, Lumbee natives, and Africans. In my modern DNA tests, the European origins are identified as United Kingdom (the Scots-Irish), Italy, Poland, and Spain. Because of this heritage and by his light skin, John Frederick was nicknamed “Cracker” and by custom people referred to him by this familiar term. I hardly recall anyone using his given name when they talked about him, they called him “Cracker MacRae.”

Laura and Cracker lived cross-culturally. They were ‘mulatto’ ‘cracker’ ‘Negroes’ of mixed ethnicity to use the racist terminology of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They could often “pass,” referring to the notion of light skinned people being given a “pass” to participate in the activities of alpha-male European (e.g., “white”) dominated societies which either excluded or tightly defined subservient roles for women and people with darker skin. Cracker was light skinned so he had a little more privilege and could do things and go places forbidden to darker skinned folks. We would call it “passing for white,” as was the custom of using skin tone to discriminate, to blatantly extend or deny opportunities to people, during this era of American history.

Cracker’s privilege extended to his securing work as a letter carrier – a mailman – making him one of the prominent ‘Negroes’ in the community by his profession and government salary. The family attended the Chestnut Street Presbyterian church, a congregation of well-to-do ‘Negroes.’ The church is even located at the corner of Chestnut and MacRae streets in Wilmington, NC.

Craker and Laura, in some real yet fictional sense, could be considered my “white” grandparents, even though they were, passing exceptions considered, anything but. My mother, in the racist, sexist environment of her youthful and young adult times, was a light-skinned babe. Being open and sympathetic to black radical and feminist ideologies, nonetheless, she often mocked the whole racist ‘passing’ construct, even as her skin color and sheer beauty elevated her status in the relative social pecking order. By these views, and through witnessing the craziness, even in my own family, of people assigning status and pre-judging folks because of their physical traits, I came to consider the concept of social stratification, especially as based on racial categorization with its attendant prejudicial, discriminatory practices, as absolutely ludicrous.

My grandparents did not need anyone to grant them a “pass.” If people had been of the light, they would have seen my grandparents for who they were, as they were, at the most fundamental level of being – Divine, spiritual, miraculous manifestations of life. That is the valid natural, spiritual view. The racial crap beyond that is man-made, of the human imagination, divorced from nature, separated from spiritual truth, and in defiance of actual experience and observed reality. The blind eyes of ignorance are so easily manipulated and turned.

My grandparents were, sadly, born into a society and in times when people were misguided by the horrible hate of fictional racism. It was a society of largely uneducated, ignorant, mindless, and brainwashed people mired in and oppressed by beliefs rooted in falsehoods. The notions of race have shifted a bit in the last century – today it’s ‘Black’ or ‘African-American’ instead of ‘Negro.’ Overall, though, it is something to note that racist thinking (e.g., the belief in race as something more than the made-up cultural construct it has always been) may be even more ingrained in the society of the 2000s which remains characterized by the overwhelming indoctrination, institutionalization, and culturally mainstreamed, believed in and practiced notions of racist ideology.

In his day, John Frederick was not ‘black,’ he was a ‘cracker’ and he was a ‘Negro.’ Today, however, perhaps a few people might consider that he was mixed-race but most of them would probably say that he was a ‘black’ man. This illustrates that cultural constructs such as ‘race,’ being defined by humans, shift as the cultures change.

We learn and some of us grow. Now you know, it is the Craker in me that helps to show how stupid racism is and why I reject racist ideology, especially the labels and classifications into racial groups. I reject “race” to embrace my full heritage, seen in the stew of genes in my DNA, traced across the globe: African, European, Asian, and indigenous American. The Cracker in me is a part of all of that… and we are all so much more.

#TimeForAPause

Resources to learn more about racist ideology including ‘race’ and racism

Race and Racism  (definitions and examples)

Race Is Real…But Not in the Way Many People Think Busting the myth of biological race

The Cultural Construction of Race (American Studies 101, California State University, Fullerton)

The Roots of Racism What makes racism possible?

How Should Racism Be Defined? An anthropological definition of racism offers conceptual clarity.

What Color Is Racism? On the crossroads of race, sex, and skin tone: Black women and colorism

Race – The Power of an Illusion: website; video (Episode 1: The Difference Between Us)

Race: Are We So Different? Understanding Race (American Anthropological Association)

What We Mean When We Say ‘Race Is a Social Construct’ …the argument that racial labels refer to natural differences in physical traits doesn’t hold up.

The myth of ‘race’ was invented by racism, and racism keeps it growing Racism is incredibly successful, despite having no basis at all in fact. There is only one race – the human race

What is Racism? Wikipedia

Childhood Poverty in the #CurrentState

November 13th, 2012

Gentle Readers, one thing we know from observing, raising, and otherwise being with the happiest children is that children thrive when their natural sense of curiosity and wonder with the world is encouraged and nurtured.

We shall continue to pause and consider the current state of our society as it produces parents, communities, institutions, and entire nations where children are raised in overwhelmingly impoverished environments. These children do not receive the love, protection, and nurturing that is required to allow them to truly thrive.

The problem is global. Whether it is one child in your town, the numerous in so many districts, or the billion children world-wide living in poverty, the cost in lost happiness resulting in lost human potential is great. We note in the #CurrentState that 1 in 4 children in the United States lives in poverty, making us a world leader in child poverty, a dubious distinction. The Children’s Defense Fund reports:

More than 16.1 million children in America are poor… They are less healthy, trail in emotional and intellectual development, and are less likely to graduate from high school. Poor children also are likely to become the poor parents of the future. Every year that we keep children in poverty costs our nation half a trillion dollars in lost productivity, poorer health and increased crime.

As for the rest of the billion deprived children in this world, UNICEF offers an engrossing discussion in “The State of the World’s Children 2012.” The report focuses on the advent of child poverty in cities as the world-wide percentage of people living in urban areas continues to grow dramatically. It is an important frame, providing a stark view of the world we have created. In addition to the capstone, the site seen at http://www.unicef.org/sowc2012/ provides statistics, videos, and data mining to inform the discussion.

If we are going to make the world a better place, one thing we must do is give all children the nurturing and love required for them to be free and to thrive.

This post applies to the Architecture of Happiness as we shape guiding principles, or overarching tenets, to frame solutions as we address issues in the Current State and move to a Future State where the world is a better place for all people. Regards impoverished children, we’ll propose a guiding principle to consider in all of our solutions: to provide all children with love, protection, and nurturing so that they have and realize opportunities to develop and grow into the best that they may be.

Irradiated Phytoplankton in the #CurrentState

November 7th, 2012

The poem “this . . . conversation” uses some word play when incorporating a reference to the ongoing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Check out the clip at 4:28 in the poem movie (rated ‘M’ for mature; try the HD version and use headphones!). Recent reports indicate that the saga of irradiated phytoplankton drifting in the Fuk-u-shima Sea continues.

In the following report, notice that the Tokyo Electric Company delivers a shake-and-bake statement which is rendered godless by the fellow from Woods Hole. We pause for an update on the #CurrentState of Fukushima, from Reuters:

Oct 26 (Reuters) – The operator of Japan’s quake-struck Fukushima nuclear power plant said on Friday it could not rule out the possibility that it may still be leaking radiation into the sea. …

… Asked if Tokyo Electric, also known as Tepco, could confirm that the plant is not leaking radiation into the sea any more, a spokeswoman said: “Tepco cannot say such a thing, but we have confirmed that radiation levels are declining in both the sea water and seabed soil around the plant.

Ken Buesseler, senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution of the United States, said in his article on the Science website that little change in radioactive caesium levels found in Fukushima fish suggested a continued leak.

“The fact that many fish are just as contaminated today with caesium 134 and caesium 137 as they were more than one year ago implies that caesium is still being released to the food chain,” he said.

Fishing off Fukushima prefecture, north of Tokyo, is prohibited except for test fishing for a few species such as certain types of octopus and squid, which are shipped only when they are found to be safe. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Time for a pause for a brief reminder that Fukushima is the worst industrial disaster in modern history. We’ll be dealing with it for a while. Click on the picture below for a larger size.

Fukushima By the Sea

Brain Therapy, Exercise 4: The Universal Model of Belief

March 16th, 2011

The Brain Therapy Exercises, as seen, are multi-faceted with twin goals to therapeutically exercise the author’s brain while also exploring the concepts of Business Architecture. Therapeutic brain exercise is mandatory and ongoing in the author’s recovery from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The challenges provided by the brain therapy exercises are intended to induce extensive periods of intense higher-level cognitive processing, deep concentration, and focus. Exercising the brain in this manner stimulates regeneration (neurogenesis) and plasticity thus increasing and reforming the brain’s physical matter. Thank you for indulging and helping me through a miraculous recovery.

The theme of Business Architecture arose out of a discussion between the author and a speech and language pathology (SLP) therapist, who, in the course of brain therapy, asked about the author’s background and experiences. The author chose Business Architecture as an example of prior professional pursuits, representative of work that semi-retired consultants might do. Starting with the addition of an exercise, to answer the question, “What can we do to make the world a better place,” into a brain therapy routine, we have reached into the consultant’s tool-kit to explore the current state of the world using a Business Architecture paradigm.

In Brain Therapy Exercise 1 we saw that the de facto operational business architecture for the world, consisting of a set of values over which the operating systems of the society have developed, is an Architecture of Fear. Ignorance, fear, greed, and similar moral corruptions are posited as underlying but prominent and dominating values that spawn operating principles and operating systems which lead to the outcomes we see in the world today: people are divided, spiritually exhausted, and living in a world where negativity prominently trumps positive potential and outcomes.

Brain Therapy Exercise 2 presents the Architecture of Abundance, proposed as an alternative to the Architecture of Fear. This framework considers the values, operating principles, and systems that would be required to change the outcomes seen in the current state of the world, such as conflict, wealth imbalance, and wasted human potential, to the desired outcomes of peace, abundance, and maximization of potential. We shall discuss the Architecture of Happiness, adjusting the framework’s title, and propose that if we change and align our values and priorities the resulting systems will produce dramatically different, and positive, outcomes.

Brain Therapy Exercise 3 reaches into the semi-retired consultant’s tool-kit to propose a generic framework of Enterprise Architecture (EA). The EA framework is used by businesses who understand the critical need to establish and maintain alignment between the non-technical resources (i.e., “the business people”) and the technical resources (i.e., “the technology people”) of the enterprise. An enterprise (e.g., business) where everyone understands the strategic, operational, and technical requirements of the business should expect innovations in its operations that improve cooperation and productivity.

Although the Enterprise Architecture framework specifies decomposition into Business and Technical architectures, it is important to note that creation of the unified framework is primarily the responsibility of the non-technical Business Architect. The Business Architect, therefore, must understand the strategy, operations, and technology required to support the operations so that they may implement the strategy, across all domains of a business, whether they are “technical” or not. This is not to say that the Business Architect will be a leading expert in technical matters but rather that the Business Architect must understand the scope and effort required in the technical domains, including many details, to support the non-technical domains. Business architecture, therefore, strives to express ideas such that every person, technical and non-technical, understands what needs to be done to achieve the enterprise architecture vision.

In this and ongoing exercises we take on the role of Business Architect, making adjustments to our hypotheses, approach, and definitions in time. We shall continue to incorporate feedback and updates in the current state while demonstrating and building on improvements in higher level cognitive functioning attained through previous brain therapy exercises, as well as identify brain development opportunities as therapy continues and future exercises are spawned.

The Business Architect

The Business Architect is an organizational leader who takes responsibility for helping people in the enterprise gain insight into the corporate strategy, develop their understanding of the organization, and improve their deployment and use of technology. This requires great leadership skills starting with interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences, with abilities to work collaboratively across domains, interact vertically through command structures, and effectively communicate with all stakeholders. This may be accomplished through many means and often requires any means necessary, within ethical bounds, to galvanize the leadership, resources, and power of the organization to develop innovative solutions which create competitive advantages and improve business performance.

The Blueprint

The core work product of architecture, through all of the Business Architect’s leadership concerns, nonetheless, is the blueprint. Blueprints are the primary artifacts created by the Business Architect. They communicate the strategic, functional, and operational specifications of the business and must be understood by a wide audience of business constituents. Blueprints simultaneously communicate the strategy and plans of the business while describing, in non-technical terms, the organization of people and technical resources required to achieve the strategy.

One key difference between blueprints from technical domains, such as civil architecture or computer architecture, and business is that the business architecture blueprint has the flexibility to take on any form that accomplishes its objective to universally communicate business requirements. This allows the Business Architect great flexibility in creating deliverables, borrowing examples from all domains to be considered and possibly incorporated as appropriate and creating artifacts unique to the business at hand.

The Art of Business Architecture

On the other hand, a disciplined approach to utilizing the tools and techniques of philosophy (managerial science), computer science, and civil architecture, upon which business architecture is based, has been proposed in various methodologies developed by businesses, governments, universities, and other institutions leading the discipline. Many tools and methodologies, as such, are available to the business architect. These tools help the business architect take a structured approach to developing blueprints and guide in leading the organization to success. Specific tools may be discussed on other forums.

As we discussed in Brain Therapy Exercise 3, not only is Business Architecture a science, it is also an art. As an art, therefore, the work hinges, beyond the availability of materials, on the inspiration of the artist and the interaction with the people. The Business Architect, therefore, must be of the mindset of an artist in the creation of artifacts that deliver the desired message. On this forum, therefore, we shall be less concerned with discovering specific tools than we are about discovering and delivering inspiration.

Let us proceed, now, in our role of Business Architect, as organizational leader and artist, to examine our progress in understanding what we might do to make our enterprise, the world, a better place.

Understanding Scope

A key challenge we face is the scope of the effort – our solution must address the World and every person on Earth is a constituent of the enterprise. We shall, therefore, keep in mind that our blueprints must be able to speak to all people. It is a daunting task that will require significant brain development.

The Business Architect, working at the Enterprise level, is often faced with situations which seem daunting, particularly as many businesses today are complex organizations. One key to success is the ability to decompose complex issues and organizations into manageable components and creatively address opportunities discovered in the process from there.

Developing a Model of Belief

Given the enterprise of the Earth and the scope of the effort, many Business Architects would wisely recruit shamans, magicians, energy healers, and religious leaders to the team as the effort would seem to require intervention on a cosmic, spiritual scale. The constituents, by Fate, the humans of Earth, are divine, spiritual beings, and that should prove to be our greatest advantage in achieving a vision of the scale implied. The Business Architect is thus informed of the importance of the consideration and integration of universal, cosmic, and natural spiritual principles as the solution develops. The brain therapists are likewise informed of the critical need to focus on techniques to help patients in the development of the spiritual-moral natural intelligence system in our brains (see Gardner, Frames of Mind and please note that in Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences view, spiritual-moral intelligence is proposed as “existential intelligence“).

If we are to make the world a better place, we must start believing that the world will be a better place. It is therefore imperative for the Business Architect to develop a model to explain how belief works. The audience for the model is all business constituents and, likewise, all people must be able to understand how belief works from analyzing the model.

The Universal Model of Belief is based on ancient and modern spiritual knowledge, in light of experience working with leading organizations in the private and public sectors, and analysis of data in the super secret database (aka, the business architecture repository). The model states that “Outcomes are the result of Actions taken by people based on their Beliefs.” The model is intended to be intuitive, so the first test is to ask people to read the model and provide their immediate assessment as to whether or not the model is correct. It is important for the Business Architect to communicate that what is sought is not the type of analysis usually undertaken by business and technical analysts, but rather the intuitive response from our naturally evolved intuitive decision making system. We shall therefore ask every person if they agree that “Outcomes are the result of Actions taken by people based on their Beliefs,” and to answer “without thinking.”

 Universal Model of Belief

The explicit brain therapy exercise, in addition to cataloging the intuitive responses of people to the model, is to further and analytically contemplate the construct. Do we believe that our beliefs cause us to take actions that produce the outcomes we see in our lives? Although the model is intuitive and seems simple by its presentation, deep questions arise in the mind. The author, therefore, shall take time for a pause to consider the Universal Model of Belief and solicit feedback as we proceed to answer the question, “What can we do to make the world a better place?” This pause is also caused by a need to provide the brain another critical element in human healing – rest with plenty of sleep.

Greetings Once More

March 16th, 2011

Welcome once again to this blog and thank you for considering this cause of examining what we might do to make the world a better place. Although we may often seem like cogs in a churning machine that does not pause, I am delighted to be with you in this shared time and space.

We refer back to a line from Greetings, as we move along to focus on emerging facts. As emphasized in our first meeting, at the core of this shared journey is a pact: “If we take time for a pause, to learn, and understand why other people believe what they do, then we shall increase mutual understanding at the least and with hope, always learn something new.”

We have paused to consider the beauty and abundance in the world, yet we continue to see the ugly hands of fear and hostility swirl about in the consciousness of our shared existence.  Let us pause to consider that true love conquers hate. Gentle Readers, the Lovers shall prevail; that is our fate; regardless of resistence.

Cheers and love to all,

Dennie T

Post 2: Even more people agree

In Greetings, we took data from a directionally correct yet skewed personal sample of observations showing that there are three things which most people intuitively agree:

1) The Earth is abundant;

2) The world is what people make of it; and

3) The world should be a better place.

Well, Gentle Readers, we have reached a momentous point in the history of the cosmos, as galactic forces compel us to evolve with the Universe. The super secret database has been updated to reflect that even more people agree.

Thanks,

blog

Brain Injury Awareness Day

March 16th, 2011

Today is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill. Millions of people experience brain injuries each year and we shall hope for continued support in understanding and addressing this leading cause of death and disability among young Americans in the United States. Thanks to the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force and to people everywhere working to prevent brain injuries and help those with brain injuries through therapy and recovery.Towards our discussion on time for a pause, we shall renew our postings of brain therapy exercises, in honor of the day, as we continue on the journey of recovery and examining the question of what we might do to make the world a better place.Thanks,blog

A Note on Your Divinity: The Natural Condition of Love

November 10th, 2009

Greetings, gentle readers and Divine folks everywhere. We have taken some serious time off recently, pausing to ponder so many world changes at hand. Well, let us reconnect once again, this time to consider the innately loving and Divine nature of the Human species.

A universal behavior – from the high tech societies of the east and west to the villages of the last indigenous peoples everywhere and in all cultures across the globe – is the response that adult humans have when a baby smiles. Try as you may, it takes a severe effort to respond to a smiling baby with anything other than a smile. Why? We are programmed to do so; it is in our genes, a miraculous encoding of human DNA that makes a smiling baby virtually irresistible. We have an innate desire to protect and otherwise nurture the baby bearer of the smile. We cannot help this for Mother Nature compels us to care.

Babies, likewise, are universally born with an instinct to smile (and as recent evidence proves, babies can be seen smiling even before they are born).  The myths and social developments of modern society seek to convince us that babies cry first, but the evidence suggest that in natural birthing environments, babies are born awed and wide eyed. And one of the first things they do is smile. Why? Because they already know – if they smile, we will smile back and be compelled to take care of them.

Let us form the proposition, therefore, that we are born loving and that we have an instinct to love back. It should be a strong assertion, following, that anything we do to each other besides acting on our instinct to love, care, and protect one another is learned behavior. We are not born with hate. We are born with love. We must, therefore, acquire hate by learning hatred from others. In our natural condition, however, it takes no learning to love, we just do.

This is, as noted, a cross-cultural, universal behavior – no matter your location, ethnicity, background, or condition, the babies will smile and the adults have an instinct to smile back. This innate reaction is a key component and natural marker of the social nature of humans which has allowed us to propagate and survive. Otherwise, we would have long ago hated each other out of existence. Indeed, the learned behavior of hatred – the fear of the “others,” the mistrust of peoples outside of our families, nations, and belief systems, may yet be the learned and unnatural undoing of the human species. We should know, however, that hatred is truly not our natural condition and we should see the madness and sadness of the continuing, pervasive, indoctrinated hatred that keeps us divided and in competition with each other.

I have heard, and we witness daily, the naysayers who would deny the universal truth that we are a social species naturally ingrained – literally programmed – to love each other. These people claim that the nature of humans is inherently evil. What a grim view and surely evidence that we have lost our way as we have moved from our natural condition of attunement and balance with nature. These people can only feel this way because they have been denied the pure loving that is the natural way of our species. That, gentle readers, is a pity.

It is time for a pause to consider that if we feel hate, we have learned it. Therefore, let us examine our belief systems and frankly assess the conditions that have allowed hatred to fester in our hearts, between individuals, and indeed between cultures and societies for so long.

Given the condition and state of the world today, it seems there is no time like the present to break through the indoctrination of division – to call out the haters and cast off the hatred – that leaves so many of us believing we are so different from each other. You, gentle reader, are born loving and that is truly divine. May the Healing Powers of the Universe guide us in realizing and celebrating the natural condition of love that marks our shared Divineness.

Peace to all and all the best,

blog

A Note on Your Divinity: Divine Intelligence

May 22nd, 2009


Hello, gentle readers and Divine people everywhere! Revelations on our divine natures are ever-present. Today we pause to consider human intelligence as a universal marker of our divinity. 

A simple definition of intelligence defines it as the “capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.” (1)  This is what we do. Humans are an intelligent species. We are born with intelligence, defined as our innate capacity to learn, reason, and understand the truths, relationships, facts, and meanings of things in the Universe.

Every person, therefore, is an intelligent being. This simple fact – that we are all intelligent beings – is a marker of the divine nature of our species. We have universal intelligence, a point with spiritual resonations in awareness and understanding of our divine intelligence.

You, gentle reader, are an intelligent, amazing, and Divine individual. Just thought it would be cool to pause and thank you for your inspiration.

Cheers,

blog 

(1) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intelligence

Earth Day Reminder to Claim Abundance

April 22nd, 2009

People everywhere are celebrating the Earth today. If you want to contemplate your divine nature — that is to find the goddess, or God, or convene with the Spirit as described in various ways across cultures and traditions — consider going outside to say hello to a tree or talk to some plants, while keeping in mind the following points:

  • The Sun gets its energy because of its creation as a star in our Universe. We have observed and theorized about the origin of Stars and so far the evidence shows that Stars are wondrous.
  • The energy from the Sun streams through space and especially in the form of light provides energy to the trees and plants.  The plants take sunlight and convert it through photosynthesis into substances — oxygen, water, sugars, fiber — without which there would be no life as we know it on Earth. To find God here, know that after thousands of years of modern science, we still have not cracked photosynthesis and all we can say regards the conclusive big picture is that photosynthesis and what plants do is  through mysterious, miraculous, and Divine processes. This is direct evidence. Is there any additional proof needed?
  • Take time to pause for a deep breath. You will have just, explicitly in this focus, taken in oxygen from the plants, which is energy from the Universe, from the Sun, that has been converted from one form (sunlight) into another. This energy is a life force – without it, life as we know it would not exist.
  • Remember that as each other breathes, we are taking in the same substance – the same life supporting energy – that drives the spark of Divine life we share, that same life force which started in us when our parents united to procreate. We are connecting to the Universe and since everyone is doing it, since everyone is connected to the Sun and through and beyond that to the Universe, by extension we are connected and connecting to each other. Take a breath and find God in that – it is miraculous to consider.

Divine energy is in us, of us, about us, and around us. We are all connected to each other, whether considering that we are human because of the DNA of our species or observing the patterns in Nature (such as the imagery of our connectedness through breathing or propagation of a life force that is the same through billions of people). This is the miracle of Mother Nature and Earth Day is a great time to pause and consider this.

Humans are of the Earth and of each other. We are inextricably linked to form a global family, seen in infinite  patterns that prove we are all the same while we simultaneously exists as unique individuals expressing thousands of shared characteristics (such as eyes for seeing) that are expressed in spectrums (dark brown, hazel, gray, green, blue, golden, and other individual beautiful colors) as we adapt to our place on Earth and the people and environments around us.

On Earth Day, let us celebrate our connections to the Earth and each other!

Finally, let us pause to consider a serious and central point of Earth Day as well – that the Architecture of Fear, which has led to massive pollution and imbalance, is not sustainable and is not right for a magnificent planet. The Earth is abundant. Earth Day is a chance to remind ourselves that the Architecture of Abundance is all about people coming together to protect the Earth and creating a world of unity and prosperity befitting of the glory revealed within.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Revelation on the Healing Powers of the Universe: Miracles

April 21st, 2009

Hello, World! This greeting is sent to everyone, simply and with hope that no matter where you are or what is currently going on in the World, you will be uplifted as we pause to consider ancient knowledge in this Revelation:

The Healing Powers of the Universe are in and with us all.

I present myself in joining people everywhere, all of them radiantly spiritual and Divine, in sharing the story below. The comments that follow my testimony are representative of the emails, cards, calls, or visits that people have shared, delivering their support and love for me, while creating a process of mutual inspiration that is uplifting, healing, and miraculous.

I Believe in Miracles

One thing which many of my newer friends have noticed is that often my postings refer to “the accident” or “my recovery” or “a miracle.” This note is to provide some history as to where this comes from and is a compilation from messages that I have shared with my friends in the past.

In November 2007, while I was on business in NYC, I had a devastating fall. The circumstances are unclear as the accident was traumatic to the point of amnesia. The forensic evidence suggests that I had worked a long day (fourteen hours between the first and last emails for work), so perhaps I was exhausted and alcohol was involved. As a person used to a fast paced life — working hard and partying hard — those are just factors, in the end. Maybe I slipped; could have been hit by a car; or perhaps I was pushed. Whatever happened, I was in a weakened state that left me vulnerable to a negative attack and there was a spiritual attack…

The NYPD found me at the bottom of a stairwell a few blocks from my apartment in The City. It appears that I went down face first, sustaining severe facial injuries that took a lot of skin and left me bloodied on top of three far more serious internal injuries — a collapsed lung, a traumatic brain injury, and most critically, a spinal cord injury between discs C3-C4 to C5-C6 in my neck. Whatever happened, I was essentially left for dead. By the grace of Divine intervention the body was recovered before deathly rigor set in. The second journey was about to begin.

The spinal cord injury caused paralysis, essentially from the neck down; a state of quadriplegia. This was induced by a spinal cord contusion (bruising, pinching, or ‘pinging’) and edema (inflammatory swelling) that resulted when my head snapped back. Further, the edema was exacerbated by congenital spinal stenosis, a condition that occurs at birth in about 10% of people where there is a marked narrowing of the spinal canal at certain points. The spinal cord injury happened in potentially the worst of all sections for a neck like mine, smack in the narrow part, leaving nowhere for a swelling spinal cord to go. This was a crucially complicating factor of the trauma.

The traumatic brain injury left me in an abyss. In addition to amnesia, a common occurrence by similar types of neurological injuries, there was serious seepage of fluids deep into the tissues. Brain matter was damaged. The facial lacerations were consistent with being dragged over concrete or, as a lot of people who saw me afterward would say, it looked like I went through the windshield of a car, face first. As one friend said when she saw me first in the hospital, “It was rough.”

The prognosis was bleak: 98% of people with similar injuries end up with some severe paralysis or physical deficit. The doctors prepared us to expect the worst (quadriplegic) or less worst (paraplegic). My family and friends were devastated. When I arrived to the hospital for rehab a week after the accident, they had a wheelchair and slider board with my name, literally, on it.

Since then, we continue to see miraculous recovery. Around a fortnight after the accident, I regained some controlled movement in my legs (it was the left big toe that moved first) and shortly thereafter I regained greater movement in my arms (I could not lift them more than a few inches, but they moved). When I left the hospital just over a month later, it was, incredibly, without primary assistance (i.e., no walker; no wheelchair) but I did have my nephew’s arm (secondary assistance was mandatory, by doctor’s orders). Weakness prevented travelling home until February, 2008. The doctors in New York were opposed to air travel and concerned (rightfully) about the terrible conditions in Chicago. Still, we were determined and after a harrowing train ride, made it back to Chicago and started a program, initially centered at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, which has been critical in helping me regain my faculties. There is eternal joy as every step since surely pleases.

The essential components of recovery, the ingredients in the recipe for this miracle, include the following:

  1. A deeply spiritual belief in miracles, determination to recover, and a steadfast, positive attitude. The core of the comeback starts with belief. This was kick-started and cemented in the first days after the accident. The peeps — friends, family, colleagues — who came through the room would become distraught within a few minutes of arriving. They were bearing witness to the worst, at least as the mind assumed a frame of reference based on the expressions of everyone’s face. The only thing I could think to say, what popped into my head, was, “Don’t worry; I am going to have a miraculous recovery.” Words offered to the loved ones with hope that they would feel a little better about the situation, too. Whatever else was said, the outcomes have been driven by the belief which powered the words. We have received a great blessing.
  2. Adoption of macrobiotic principles (see the book “The Macrobiotic Way” by Kushi, Blauer, Esko) in eating, exercise, and attitude. We believe “you are what you eat.” Eating healing foods was the focus. Likewise, water is an essential cure for pain and the primary substance of the body. Drinking lots of water is required. We also believe that, “one attracts energy based on energy exuded.” We radiated positivity. I was so optimistic that a close friend gently admonished, “You know, it’s okay to grieve.” True on that, but when one has a day where the only parts that move on command seem to be the eyelids, there is still joy. We tried to stick with being happy, as sad as the whole thing was.
  3. Aggressive physical (PT), occupational, (OT) and speech/language pathology (SLP) therapies. PT, OT, 3X week, each, for months; body (re)building at the gym; moving at every opportunity. SLP was about regaining higher level cognitive stamina and exercising the brain, similarly to exercising the body. Spiritual therapy was also more than an aside.
  4. Incorporation of western (i.e., physiatry; medical therapeutic massage) with eastern (i.e., acupuncture; herbs) medical practices with a view towards holistic health, including spiritual development which is a part of all points listed here.
  5. Opening up to the energy of the Healing Powers of the Universe, especially thoughts, prayers, vibes, energy, etc., of so many people who reached out. This cannot be overstated – the love of people served to create a greater outcome.
  6. Recognition that the return from the abyss was facilitated by an internal healing power, a gift from the Goddess, from God, of the divine creative force that permeates existence. We refer to a concept of ‘God’/’Goddess’ that is larger than any limiting religious frame. We refer to the concept of ‘healing hands’ known in every society. After the fall, it was as if a shell had been cracked open and my sensitivity to this gift was greatly magnified.
  7. Applying principles of visual healing throughout the recovery process. This started off as an intuitive reaction to the situation: often when I would fall asleep, I would find myself dreaming about some form of healing. I became increasingly aware of techniques, applied by millions of other people who have created similarly mysterious recoveries from situations that leave the majority of others in dire straits. Formally, alternatively, we refer to visual healing. One key difference between people who suffer the same traumas but end up with widely divergent outcomes — some recover fully but many never get there — is the application of some form of visual healing. In visual healing, we picture, that is actively develop visions, of ourselves healing and being healed. There are many techniques, but the principle of tapping into the subconscious state to create manifestations in the conscious state is universal. Just as the most seasoned and successful body building athletes will attest, the mental workout is often more crucial than any physical exercise; and the effectiveness of a physical exercise can be greatly enhanced when the ‘mind-body’ connection is developed and enhanced. Basically, picture being healed and as your mind becomes focused on the vision, it works with your heart to communicate to the Universe so that the conditions are created for the manifestation of the dream.

My official goal is to be 118% – I am not there yet and I have some work to do but I have reached a point where this is realistic in a shorter-time frame now than at any point since the accident. The advantage I have is that everything moves (and I like to quote Data from the show Star Trek: The Next Generation: “I am fully functional; programmed in multiple techniques.”).

I have a great chance to overcome the weakness from residual muscle atrophy. I moved from intensive Physical Therapy to training at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, commencing their Functional Fitness Program in March 2009. For relative comparison, in March 2008, I could barely curl a 2lb dumbbell. In March 2009, I could curl a 10lb dumbbell. Now, I am happy to report, I was able to complete a set to failure with a 25lb dumbbell this April. Not all of my gains are 100%-ing, but from five times to ten times stronger from that 2008 baseline in any month is exciting. Dramatic gains, farther “out” from the point of injury, are atypical. Then again, so is the miracle, and as the recovery continues, we refuse to accept the “medical expectation.”

It may take me longer than an average mature male to regain ‘normal’ strength but I am blessed to be on the way!

The Universe gives us challenges that we are capable of handling, we just have to find our way. This is not always easy, and as many have experienced, often difficult and painful. We must stay strong and know that we are not alone.

We all have a miracle inside of us. I look forward to sharing with as many people as possible the lessons I have learned and the mission called by this experience as life presents a second chance to make a difference. Extra thanks and love to all who rallied and still stand in support. May the Healing Powers of the Universe be with you as they are with me!

God bless,
blog


Devastating spinal cord injury sustained in November 2007. 98% of people with this type of injury suffer debilitating physical loss.

Comments @ Facebook.com

Wesley and Vickie like this.

Chris

Truly inspirational. You are a miracle, my friend.

Krishan

Thank you for sharing this, Dennis. Thank you.

Marla

Wow! Thanks for sharing your amazing story. You are an inspiration to all!

Steve

Thanks for sharing your Traumatic story and giving the positive message. We touched base on your severe accident a while back but I didn’t realize the traumatic nature. I was thinking that you fell down the steps. You are an inspiration to me and I’m glad your sharing your story to help others.

Joan

Thanks for sharing, Dennie. You made my day.

Toni

Your truths can raise the consciousness of a nation. Please continue to go forward valiantly… the world is waiting. I love you till the end of time.

Dennis

Chris, Krishan – thanks for being there first and compelling me to want to come back; Marla, our paths have crossed presciently; Steve, without our re-connect exactly as it was, where would I be?; Joan, much appreciation – your attention to the children reminds me constantly of what is most important in life; and Toni Tee, thanks for being my best friend since day one.

Eleanor

You are a walking miracle Dennie and I am so glad that you are doing so well. Can’t wait to see you in June.

Michelle

Wow!! You are truly blessed by the hand of God! Thank you for bringing this positive word. It is something I need to hear from time to time especially when life’s hiccups come around. To go through such a trama and to have such a good outlook, I am proud to call you my friend! Keep on going Denny!! You can do anything through Christ!!

Vickie

U better bet it, Dennie T is additional proof that God is able when spirit and body is willing to take that risk

Tammy

I am truly moved and thankful you are able to share this with us. I also know that you know The Secret….

Katie

Dennie – I had only heard bits and pieces of what happened and had no idea how serious your injuries were. It sounds like such a scary experience and it is so great to hear that you have come this far in beating the odds. Thanks for sharing the story and I look forward to hearing the next update on your continued successes.

Valerie

Dennie,
What a moving story. I had no idea that you had gone through this. Wow. You are a survivor. May God continue to bless you and may your testimony be a blessing to others, on multiple levels. Peace and blessings – Valerie

Lisa

I am truly touched by your story. Literally but for the grace go I…. God Is Good…ALL THE TIME..and ALL THE TIME…God IS GOOD!!

Andre

Thanks for sharing. You’d shared your story about the accident and paralysis with me in previous posts, but I wasn’t sure if you were were still a quadriplegic or not and was a bit hesitant to come out and ask directly. This is an amazing story Dennis. God is good. I pray that you continue on your successful road beyond full recovery. Best, Andre

Erin

Dennis – thank you for sharing your story. It is pretty amazing, and I wish you the best on your road to 118%!

Mark

Buddy, you are the embodiment of courage and determination. Thanks for sharing.

Rick

We’ll have you tailing a winch in no time.

Stephen

Thank you for sharing your courageous and inspiring story.

Patrice

To God be the Glory!! Dennis, keep on keepin on, your testimony is truly inspirational and I am going out to find the book by Blauer. Thanks so much for sharing all of this.

Herman

Hey Dennis, Long time brother. I just read your note ‘I believe in Miracles;’ thank you for sharing it, and I am enriched from reading it and will remember you in my thoughts and prayers in an effort to add further momentum to the positive forces that have ushered you down the road to recovery. Yours in friendship and in kinship of spirit. Herman

Janny

Inspiring!! You are an amazing person who lives up to what you believe!! I am so blessed to have met you. When you are at 118% Hank would love to go for a walk with Uncle Dennie. :)

Amy

Thank you for sharing not only your story, but your guide to healing. It’s truly amzing as God is amazing! May you continue to grow stronger each day in mind, body and spirit.

Yulette

Thank you Dennis, your story comes to me at a time that I myself need some inspiration…. You have inspired me to stay strong as I face a very small difficulty (in comparison to what you have faced). I pry for you and may God’s grace and blessings keep you strong and headed towards 118%.

Carolyn

Thanks for sharing your story. I pray for your continued recovery.

Valentina

Dennie, thanks for sharing your story with me once again. I know that Keith is on his way to recovery and even though insurance has said that he is ‘CUSTODIAL’, he is proving them wrong by the new movements and way he tries to communicate lately. God is the ultimate and only one who has the power to bring Keith back to us. A brain injury is such… Read More a traumatic and complicated situation… but with God, we will overcome!! I was told that Keith has the mindset of a 2-3 year old, but I didn’t receive that because I know that my husband is still in there somewhere and I need the energy and belief from folks that he is healed and he is on his way back.

You are an inspirational testimony to us all and i can only hope that we can do the same with Keith’s situation… for God is all and we know He can do it for us if we believe.

Take care and God bless!!

Angela

Incredibly inspiring. “We all have a miracle inside of us.” Thank you for sharing the miracle that is Dennie T. I’m glad you have a second chance to make a difference. You certainly are making one. :-> More blessings to you.

Marla

Dennis- You should make a documentary out of this. I know someone who makes movies like this for a living. Your would be an amazing story to share with other! :)

S.J.

Namaste. Thank you for sharing.

Geraldine

This is a most inspiring note Dennis. I re-read it several times today and now have a better understanding of your undeterred positive energy and lust for life. You will have no trouble reaching 118%; we will be rooting for you. Thanks for sharing.

Millicent

Dennis, I had not know the particulars of your fall before, though I was aware that a miracle had occurred. After reading the details, the miraculous looks even more amazing. But, then, I do believe that my God takes care of his own. Your resilience is itself amazing, and you are an inspiration to us all. How can I let myself be brought down by “… Read Morethe little things” in my own life, when I read all that you have gone through and are going through? There is no real hierarchy of pain; however, and I know that what each of us has inside differs. Still … Onward and upward. And, consider, as someone else on this site has suggested, doing a book or a documentary. I love you.

Ken

Dennis, you continue to inspire me. I will continue to pray for your official goal of 118%.