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    d. h. lawrence’s creed

    This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.

    ~ D. H. Lawrence

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    It is my distinct pleasure to introduce guest artists to you. I have vetted this writing, music or visual art (or combinations) and have found the published submissions of superior quality. It is my hope that you will find this section good for your soul, too.

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    David Cross

    David is a musician, photographer, writer and observer of life. Often alluding to what we call “the solitary journey,” David’s photography and commentaries together create powerful, personally spiritual messages and linger in the viewer’s mind and soul. David makes his home in San Francisco.

    If you’re drawn to wide open spaces in an emotional/spiritual sense, then there’s nothing quite like bearing witness to a new day in Death Valley.  I sometimes seek the quiet aloneness that comes from a stark view in a desolate landscape. It’s easy to feel insignificant in the face of it, yet it’s also easy to become absorbed into a much larger, infinite state of mind…

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    This is the fourth in a short series of abstract images based on a Science and Engineering theme. The title: Space Junk, in particular orbital debris, is any man-made object in orbit about the Earth which no longer serves a useful function. Such debris includes nonfunctional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragmentation debris. There are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked. (Information from the NASA website.)

    Lemon~Art’s BIO

    I have enjoyed creating art since childhood but it has only been in more recent years that I have used textures and multiple images to express different or enhanced emotions and feelings in my photographs. As a mathematician/scientist I enjoy using technical elements in my art but also have a fascination with nature. All my artwork originates as a photograph and I then use textures and other digital manipulation techniques and software to enhance the mood and feeling of the image.

    I hope you enjoy the artwork here and if you would like to see more of my images please look at my Flickr pages at www.flickr.com/photos/lemonart/ or my website at lemonart-photography.pixels.com/

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    This conception of Eleanor of Aquitaine has long fascinated me. She and King Henry are placed at the foot of the cross and she is presented as Mary Magdalene is often presented in crucifixion scenes. Perhaps you have a hunch or two?

    the consequences of evolution
    File source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eleanor-of-Aquitaine-Poitiers-Cathedral-Window.jpg
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    aromatherapy, a new slant

    AROMATHERAPY established itself in the 1990’s as a marriage of sense and sensibility, a union of skin care and self care.  There were many providers of the good, the true and the beautiful in aromatherapy, and there were almost as many who stretched the truth in their packaging.

    Aromatherapy is the use of the essential oils of botanicals for their healing and aromatic properties.  Extracting the essential oils from the plants is an intricate process of pressing and distilling, with low yield.  Pure essential oils, then, range from those at reasonable prices to those that go into the hundreds of dollars per one hundred millilitres.  Exotic jasmine, neroli, frankincense and rose are amongst the highest in cost.  Because they evaporate rapidly, essential oils are secured in carrier oils which allow the healing oils to be used in mists, soaps, bath oils, creams and related products.

    An essential oil, then, is the soul of the botanical – precious, unique, healing and lovely.

    In my two devotions of being driven by soul-learning, psychotherapy and soap-making, I was privileged to work with souls – the essences of people and the essences of plants.  Psychotherapy and aromatherapy are related, I’ve found, and they teach lessons to each other.  And this is where the alchemy comes in.

    In approaching aromatherapy or psychotherapy, the purpose, the end result, the desired healing, must be clarified first.  For instance, essential oil of ylang-ylang would be chosen where soothing and luxurious skin care were in order.  In psychotherapy, a Rogerian positive regard would be applied to the psyche suffering from wounded self-esteem. Wise and caring creation of context and ongoing assessment are essential to each domain.  Finally and most importantly, results must be seen and felt!

    What should the consumer insist on experiencing in aromatherapy and psychotherapy?  I suggest that there are three kindred essentials:  oasis, perfume and wellness.

    The oasis is the place and the time that are yours and that contain what you need in terms of beauty and awakening of the senses in the unique manner that defines ‘you’.  The perfume is the fragrance that comes from the essence of the botanical, or the fragrance that comes from the healing psyche that you place in trust to the psychotherapist.  The aromatherapy perfume is the olfactory that we take for granted too often in the physical framework.  The psychotherapy perfume is the sixth sense realm that we have to develop in a more spiritual sense.  And, finally, the wellness is the subtle and growing glow that we feel in our body and soul.

    Like shrouded footprints left within a forest, there are also intangible trailings of the fragrance that emanates from the depths of our bodies and souls.  We need to learn how to see the trailings, to touch them, embrace and care for them.  We need to come to our senses!

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    most species in peril


    Around the world, nature and the benefits it provides are in unprecedented decline – a trend that can be reversed, but only with a co-ordinated international effort and “transformative change” to the way humans draw food, water, energy and resources from the planet, a sweeping new report has found.

    The report encompasses the first global assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the international body tasked with pulling together the current state of knowledge on environmental degradation and the risk it poses to humanity.


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    credo – i believe

    credo from Bach’s Mass in B; Andrew Parrott; Taverner Consort

    Credo (plural Credos) noun (from ENCARTA):  statement of principles: a statement of principles or beliefs, especially one that is professed formally  [12th century. From Latin, literally ‘I believe’.]

    1. statement of Christian beliefs: the Apostles’ Creed or Nicene Creed, both of which are ancient statements of the basic doctrines of Christianity

    2. musical setting of the Credo: a musical setting, especially in a Mass, of the Credo

    You have one, you know – a personal Credo. We all have. Unfortunately, all too often we form it fuzzily and semi- or un-consciously, failing to be aware of it, never having been taught to pay attention to “I believe”.

    It could well be that one’s Credo is the single most important construct built during a sojourn here on earth.

    I’ve been thinking frequently about mine over the past few days. Not having come from a liturgical church background, I’ve been fortunate in meeting the credo concept face-to-face in music. There cannot be a more wonderful way to begin to take in the wonder of a Credo than by singing the words to music that has stretched from Mediaeval to Modern times. Music loosens us up to the spiritual and frees us from having to think exclusively in words.

    But I digress! Blame it on music. After all, Vivaldi is playing on my DVD player, and those close to me know my current writing obsession to be with Vivaldi.

    So, I’ve been thinking about my credo while I listen to Vivaldi and while I’ve been on the treadmill. The treadmill functions musically, if you will, freeing up the right brain and allowing me to wander into the holiness of the non-verbal.

    All this wandering around and into my credo culminated in the crystal-clear awareness that I need to put my credo out there – to you – to anyone when appropriate. You see, today, I told someone who vehemently disagreed with me, finding me too watery in my faith, that I believed that I could die for what I’ve come to believe in. I actually said that. I said it evenly, with thought and with conviction. And then, I sat down with myself, took a deep breath and scrupulously examined what I had said.

    That’s the question that has been bubbling along inside me since the eleventh of September this year, 2001. Would I, could I, die for what I believe in? Isn’t that what many, if not all, of us have been struggling with? Isn’t that what times like these draw out of people? And don’t we either face the question or flee? I’ve been taking many deep breaths since I sat down with myself. I’m taking one now – while Vivaldi’s ‘Nisi Dominus’ accompanies. Of course, I sit here in freedom and luxury while I ask myself these questions.

    Well, then, deep breath – here’s my credo. I share it with you in the hope that you will read it, abandon judgment and work on your own if you need to….

    I believe:

    •           that we chose to come Here from Elsewhere
    •           that we have a purpose to find, healing to carry out and Soulwork to do
    •           that we forget our genesis as we move through early childhood
    •           that we feel the call to remember throughout our adulthood through dim, non-verbal, cellular memories
    •           that we name this call Emptiness, Longing to Belong, Why, Homesickness, Quest, Thirst… until we begin to identify it as Homecoming or Soulcoming
    •           that we are unconditionally loved by the Almighty
    •           that we are personally accountable for our lives, no matter how we got to be where we are
    •           that we must “work out our own salvation in fear and trembling”
    •           that all our answers lie within us
    •           that we dream our lives into being
    •           that we are capable of great creativity

    I acknowledge that there are Seductive Traps along our Journey Home. Amongst these traps are:

    •           righteousness
    •           greed
    •           piety
    •           the abuse of power
    •           ownership, especially of how we conceive God
    •           competition
    •           repetition
    •           sanctimoniousness
    •           blind fear
    •           and others

    I leave my Credo before you. Handle it with care. It is about my soul. And all souls must be handled with care.

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    impermanent cities

    Every 12 years, a megacity springs up in India for the Kumbh Mela religious festival — what’s built in ten weeks is completely disassembled in one. What can we learn from this fully functioning, temporary settlement? In a visionary talk, urban designer Rahul Mehrotra explores the benefits of building impermanent cities that can travel, adapt or…