Posted by: lecubiste | April 21, 2018

Angels With Invisible Wings

Angels with invisible wings,

Energy vibrations,

Delicately pulsating,

Propagating waves of

Invisible light,

Stimulating life.




Posted by: lecubiste | April 4, 2018

We Need More Global Warming Science

Global Warming is a term I think we should stick to.  The Earth is not cooling, it is warming. The euphemism, “climate change”, makes a general watering down of the grave crisis we are headed toward. I am 63 years old, so I will probably not be alive to see the worst of this crisis hit.

A recent study published in the  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the rate of dry land ice melt is increasing.  The prediction is that by the end of this century the oceans will have risen about 2 feet, though that is a conservative estimate that does not take into account sudden events like a sudden, massive movement of glaciers into the ocean, or some other event. We could see three or more feet of ocean rise by 2100.

What I concern myself with are the other effects of global warming that are less straightforward to measure and may have catastrophic impacts on life on Earth. The full palette of effects can be quite striking. I include the acidification of the ocean, the warming of the atmosphere and ocean surface, the disappearance of polar ice, the increase in hurricane/typhoon intensity and frequency, the large-scale change in weather patterns that result in floods, droughts, and heatwaves, and more.

We need studies on these kinds of events so that we don’t hear any more uncertainty in discussions of last summer’s hurricanes, for example. While carbon fuel industry spokespeople disseminate false science and manufactured doubts about scientific assessments of the effects of global warming, we delay analyzing these real weather effects. The nonsensical strikes at real science serve only the agenda of those companies that fear a reduction in profits.

Through political representatives they dilute political will and reduce attention.  This is the equivalent of Nero hiding the flames while Rome burns. It is only the UNited States now that plays at the pretense that everything is fine.    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Posted by: lecubiste | March 30, 2018

Ozymandias My Friend

Ozymandias my friend,

Did you not see it coming in the end?

Your works destroyed over millennia.

Floods bury your kingdom with sand and mud.

Wind, dust, and sun,

Wear down your monuments, your run

Long since done.

Empires come and go with the tide,

Pilfered treasures, genocide,

Wars, plagues, famine pushing you aside.

How temporary is our reign

O’er this dry and sandy plain,

Our visages disappearing in the rain.

For Paul


As I pondered the temporary nature of life, I remembered the poem Ozymandias by Shelley. It is a favorite of mine from long ago. The above poem came to me. After I wrote it I looked up Ozymandias online. Turns out this year is the bicentennial of its publication in 1818. Paul would have appreciated that as a publisher. He laughed loudly and with gusto. He loved life and will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.

Posted by: lecubiste | March 19, 2018

We Know How to Stop Global Warming

Image result for public domain global warming

The warming of this planet is ours to control if we choose, and if nature doesn’t throw us another curve ball  like volcanic activity for example. In order to manage the warming properly we have a few limited categories of action that can be taken:

  1. Reduce the addition of new CO2, methane, and other heat trapping gases, and

  2. Reduce those existing gases through carbon removal from the atmosphere

While Strategy Number 2 is a technical challenge, Strategy Number 1 is largely political. 

In 1987, the Reagan Administration proposed to drill for oil off the Northern California Coastline. The ferocious opposition among those living in the area stopped the proposed action.  Those pushing the further exploration of oil deposits argued that the US needed to drill for energy independence, yet at the time there was no program for energy conservation, which could have helped lead to energy independence. 

This gave the lie to the argument that more oil drilling was necessary for national security. Since that time there has still been no program for energy conservation. Those old enough to remember may recall President Carter’s program for energy conservation that included investment in solar energy, limiting highway speeds to 55 mph, and exploring electric cars.

Since the pollution and national security concerns of fossil fuel usage of the 1970s, the warming of Earth has been recognized as a crisis of epic proportions. The strategies of the Carter Administration to reduce energy dependence are the same strategies needed to reduce global warming.  Essentially,  we need to reduce the combustion of fossil fuels.

The polluting of the sky, the ocean, and the ground that comes from the use of fossil fuels – carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen oxides, unburned hydrocarbons, and PM 10 (10 micron particulate matter)  – now includes carbon. The number one fastest and most effective way to reduce the further addition of global warming gases to the atmosphere and thus, to decrease the warming of Earth, is to reduce the combustion of fossil fuels. We have the technical know-how to do that today. 

Here is a partial list of methods to reduce global warming:

  • Drive less

  • Drive slower

  • Use mass transit

  • Develop, sell, and use electric cars and trucks, electric buses, and electric mass transit

  • Install solar and wind generators and farms

  • Eat less beef (to reduce methane production and to reduce the clearing of the Amazon rain forest)

  • Switch to LED lighting

  • Heat pools with solar

  • Heat water for home consumption with solar

  • …and many other known strategies and technologies to conserve energy

There is no technical problem to reducing carbon fuel consumption.  We don’t need more science, though it is always good to develop even better methods. No, the problem is one of will power. 

Americans in particular are effectively addicted to energy and power. We don’t walk, we drive. We don’t wear sweaters, we turn up the heat. We don’t eat less beef, we put sugar on and in everything, like a true addict.

Our political leaders are so beholden to and afraid of the fossil fuel interests that our federal government has not enacted a serious program for energy conservation since the Carter Administration.  The argument of the false choice of the environment vs. jobs has been perfected by the fossil fuel interests to the extent that politicians are afraid to even discuss the matter openly. 

Even in California, the supposed bastion of environmentalism, driving times, delays, and traffic congestion  continually increase as oil continues to be drilled in the Golden State. To truly take on this fight requires politicians who do not owe their political life to oil, coal, and gas companies and constituencies.

The same is true of the American love affair with the automobile. Vehicle automation is a hi-tech and futuristic way to drive, but it can only yield incremental savings in energy consumption, and perhaps none if it encourages more driving. The US public has been brainwashed by automobile advertising for generations and is going to have to wake up if we are going to save this planet.

Urban and suburban planning have adapted to an auto-centric society such that transportation systems, real estate development, and culture revolve around driving. This is not a technical problem.  It is a psychological, economic, and political problem.

New technology is nice, and God help the solar and wind industries, but the fundamental problem we have is that we have grown addicted to the convenience, comfort, and security given to us by all that ancient energy, formed in the ground over eons. This mindless impulsive behavior is driving our world to extinction.

Posted by: lecubiste | February 12, 2018

Tension between the Old and the New

The relations between men and women are changing. As human societies adapt to their own victories over mortality, social pressures evolve. This is the great quandary: when does too much success lead to failure.

We don’t need to look back too far to see how drastically different our own cultures used to be.  One thousand years ago polygamy was the standard of culture around the world. It was practiced in Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas as recently as a few hundred years ago.

When infant mortality was high around the world, women played the crucial role of the child bearer.  It was common for a woman to have five to ten children in their lives, and sometimes more. Thus child-bearing was the equivalent of a career. 

In the last two hundred years in European cultures, infant mortality has gone down thanks to improved sanitary conditions and modern medicine. As a result the social pressure on women to play the role of child bearer has decreased.  Intervening opportunities such as careers in business and government, education, and elsewhere in the economy have generated economic independence for women.

More recently we see around the world the results of this change. China for decades instituted a one child policy.  In some Asian and European countries birth rates have fallen so low that governments are instituting pro child-bearing policies, and immigrant labor has become important to many economies.

The rapidly evolving human cultures are having to redefine gender roles and these are having a tremendous impact on societies. Men must cope with the fact that women are no longer so economically dependent on them. This has had a large impact on the psychology of men, and on male-female relations. 

A new generation adapts to changing times.  Today’s young are much less concerned with homosexual behavior. Older generations of men are far more homophobic than their progeny. 

Women must now balance their roles of child-bearers and child-rearers with their relatively new role as breadwinners. Young couples must find their way through changing roles and socially defined economic opportunities and responsibilities. While none of this is easy, we can see the conflicts between modern and ancient cultures elsewhere in the world.

What would pass for conservative Christians in Europe would be liberal in some Islam nations that balk at female education and the abandonment of headscarves. We see this transition in Saudi Arabia for example where a young and more liberal leader is changing laws around, for example, allowing women to drive themselves. Conservatives everywhere cling to traditions and liberals embrace change.

Thus conservatives in America cling to the Christian Bible and “old-time religion”, while liberals embrace changing social mores and cultures. This herky jerky process of social change is testing the foundations of the US republic now as social and political polarization, the “culture wars” if you will, have led to profound divisions in the nation.

It is perfectly reasonable to justify both the old and the new.  Traditions based on old values may need to change, but the values themselves need to be acknowledged as valid. Integrity, honestly, tribal loyalty, courage, and kindness are old values found in old spiritual texts in virtually all religions.

So modern couples must deal with dating, premarital sex, abortion, homosexuality, and parental roles. As male aggression is becoming increasingly tamed, policies and practices concerning war, suicide, abortion, capital punishment, and environmental preservation are changing. Yet there are forces that resist adapting to the changing social environment.

Sometimes that resistance is based on a fear of its loss of values. Thus new age religions may look like a threat to old-time religion. Single mothers may look like a threat to traditional families.

Here is where the door of corruption opens. The televangelist who lives in idyllic luxury, the radio commentator who enthralls his listeners with a narrative both frightening and angering about imagined and exaggerated corruption and threats, the politician who cynically exploits both to get votes; these and many other examples of the corruption of public discourse exaggerate the clash between older and newer mores.

They pollute the well of social engagement that leavens our social bread dough and promote walls that separate us. Families are divided, social groups turn against each other, even nations go to the brink of war based on misunderstandings spread by propaganda. At the root of the corruption is the desire for wealth and power, and the egocentric passions of this new age.

The total matrix of causes and effects is far too complex to dig into in a short essay. Yet the consequences of this corruption both social and personal are even life-threatening. The denial of global warming may lead to the death, in the end, of a large portion of the human race, most likely through disease and starvation caused by drought, floods, and rising coastlines.

It seems to me that the values most crucial to maintain are honesty, sincerity, courage, and loyalty: Honesty in order to prevent false beliefs, sincerity to maintain heart-to-heart connections, courage in order to do the right thing in the face of challenge, and loyalty in order to maintain humility in the acceptance that none of us are perfect. Such is the time we find ourselves in now.


Posted by: lecubiste | January 14, 2018

Montecito Remembered

I was three when we moved to Santa Barbara, to a house in the hills  behind the city. I remember my 4th birthday, I remember dancing at night with my brothers and sisters under a lightning storm. I remember going to the municipal wading pool near the harbor, walking out to the end of the jetty and dodging the waves that broke over the concrete wall.

When I was four we moved to Montecito, to a house next to the beach.  I remember listening to the waves crashing on the sand that lulled me to sleep, night after night. I remember exploring the woods and railroad tracks near the house, the many games that we children played outside.  I remember the day my brother and I saw a small plane crash into the trees behind us. We ran to tell our mother, but she didn’t believe us.  Ten minutes later the pilot knocked on the front door and proved us right.  I stayed home from school the next day to watch a crane lift the small Coast Guard plane out of the saplings that grew at the bottom of the hill behind the house. The year was 1961.

Watching the news about the mudslides in Montecito struck me as incredible.  Yes there were fires.  Santa Barbara was known to have fires every decade or so as the Sundowner winds would blow from inland toward the ocean, carrying the hot, dry air seaward, drying out the brush.

It was the heavy rains that followed so closely on the heels of the fire that made this year’s event unique. The fires had burned in the hills above the majority of Montecito. When the heavy rains come the rushing water picked up debris from the scorched soil and washed it down into the streams that fall to the shore. Along those streams were many homes.

The heavy flow picked up boulders, tree limbs, and what ever debris was in and along the stream banks and rushed downhill, crashing through homes, across the 101 freeway that ordinarily divides Montecito into the hillside and the ocean side, and clear into that ocean side of the small and wealthy hamlet.

This was a completely unexpected and unprecedented event. Southern California has had many mudslides over the years.  Usually these happen around the periphery of the LA basin, where homes are built up to dry canyons that come out of the mountains.  But not in Montecito, the wealthy suburb of Los Angeles, Holly wood, Santa Monica, and other places where money is made and a nearby escape is needed.  Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and other refugees from LA traffic, noise, and smog maintain these getaway homes among the seaside beauty and not too far from a Trader Joe’s and the Santa Barbara shopping and tourist scene.

Montecitans had a sense of imperviousness to the threats of the modern world.  It is removed from crime and poverty. The western winds blow east across Montecito most of the time. The air is clean.

This time, for maybe the first time, reality tragically touched Montecito. Who would have thought that the hills would flow in a mud and rock slurry across the beautiful Montecito terrain, destroying everything in its path.  It’s like a sci-fi story. “Monster invades small coastal town with destructive fury.” Who would have believed it?

Posted by: lecubiste | November 30, 2017

Life is a Fountain

It is not our choices that keep us alive.

It is the impulse that comes from the base of the spine.

Life pushes us, gives us energy,

Flows like a fountain from cradle to grave,

Rising within us, a spontaneous flow

Of prana, mana from heaven below.

We float on an upsurge of living energy

Chi, spirit, elation, ecstasy,

That drives us, pushes us, gives us motivation

Like a wind within,

Like a stream flowing,

Like a universal knowing.

Thus is art created,

Thus is God revealed,

Thus the poet merely listens

For the messages from Spirit,

Thus the prophet speaks

From the mountain peaks.



Victoria Estates


Posted by: lecubiste | November 16, 2017

What is Hate?

Hatred starts in the heart as anger –  

A desire blocked in frustration.

Anger becomes displaced rage,

A hallmark of our brave new age,

Projected at a human target,

Resentment bottled, a wild beast caged.


Hatred can become contagious,

Passed down over generations,

A parent becomes a model,

A child learns by imitation.

A social class in isolation,

In the 1920s, the German nation,

Japan along the coast of Asia,

Genocide throughout the ages.


An arrogant new religion forms,

As empires spread through hegemony,

European colonialism,

Africans in slavery.

A feeling of entitlement,

New wealth from new technology,

Classes in financial conflict,

Revolution and tyranny.


Hatred spreads through propaganda,

Sheer lies and exaggeration,

Soon it grips a startled nation,

Division and polarization.

Behind the scenes is manipulation,

Wealth and capitalization,

Using hatred as a means to

Steer the country’s population.


Hatred is part of the social landscape,

A tool for politicization,

A wagon load of misplaced anger,

A complex web of miscreation.

Alienated leaders use

Hatred as a deadly weapon

Against all those who would threaten

Their thrones overlooking civilization.


Hatred is a social disease

That starts in one’s psychology.

It preys on human weaknesses

And ends in death and tragedy.

To solve hate one must clear the heart,

Be honest with one’s self and others,

Empty the soul of its baggage,

And heal the mind its injured parts.


Practice prayer and meditation,

Service in humility,

Non-violent communication, and

Treating everyone equally.




Victorian Estates


Posted by: lecubiste | September 7, 2017

The Secret Power of Kundalini and its Effect on Human Evolution

At the base of the spine is a power,

A gland, a source of pleasure

That when aroused sends its fluid to the brain,

Ecstatically releasing its treasure.


Its essence, its medicine if you will,

Transforms the nervous system,

Stimulating growth and expanding awareness,

Creating genius and prophetic vision.


This new evolutionary mechanism

Pushes humanity ahead –

Jesus, Mohammed, and Moses,

Rumi, Lao-tse, the Book of the Dead;


Leonardo, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh,

Einstein, Tesla, and Newton;

All geniuses down through time,

Advancing human evolution.


 The secret of all this is kundalini,

Known in Mexico as Quetzalcoatl,

The feathered serpent of the Aztecs

In the ancient language of Nahuatl,


The serpent of wisdom in Egypt,

The dragon of heaven in Asia,

Found in Persia, Greece, and Ireland,

Though the modern world has amnesia.


 “Many are called but few are chosen,”

So says the ancient saying,

As adepts seeking spiritual liberation

Use the power of service, meditation, and praying.


It is said that kundalini guides human evolution.

It is posited that a new sense is revealed,

A spiritual mystical intelligence,

A psychic awareness unsealed.


Can a global effort be marshaled?

Can scientists and priests come together?

Can modern civilization

Master this science as it masters the weather?


The comprehension of this spiritual phenomenon

Could help blend the world’s religions into one,

Ceasing the ecumenical separatism

That threatens to blow our world to kingdom come.





Posted by: lecubiste | June 10, 2017

We look in the mirror to see ourselves

We look in the mirror to see ourselves, but

We see only our reflection, our outside, our superficial surface.

We see nothing of our inside.

To see our inside we need to look inside,

But the ego, the reflected self that we see in the mental mirror,

Blocks our view.

We must smash that mirror to see past it, and into ourselves.

Inside is a feeling that lies beneath the mirror.

To find liberation, to wake up, to activate our inner power,

We must smash the mirror.


Through loyalty to truth,

Through the courage to feel the truth inside us,

Through humility and confession,

Through letting the ego go

Into the mists of nonreality, and

Acknowledging our flaws.

NBS  Daning, Beijing

June 6, 2017


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