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Hard Rock Casino proposal announced for Meadowlands [video …

Posted: December 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm

A proposed Hard Rock casino that was announced for the Meadowlands Racetrack site on Wednesday carried with it considerable support from North Jersey lawmakers for placing a statewide referendum on the November ballot to clear the way for its construction.

michael karas/staff photographer

From left, Meadowlands Racetrack operator Jeff Gural and Hard Rock casino operator Jim Allen look on as state Sen. Paul Sarlo speaks on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

Hard Rocks chief executive, Jim Allen, said the $1 billion casino would feature 5,000 slot machines, more than 200 table games, and 12 to 15 restaurants, and that it could open as soon as soon as the summer or early fall of 2016. Meanwhile, former Reebok Chief Executive Paul Fireman has proposed a $4 billion casino, hotel, spa and retail project adjacent to his Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City that he said would take up to four years to complete.

Hard Rock Casino

A rendering of the proposed Hard Rock Meadowlands casino.

Hard Rock Casino

A rendering of the proposed Hard Rock Meadowlands casino.

Neither project could be built unless lawmakers elect to let voters decide whether to end Atlantic Citys nearly four-decade-old casino monopoly and thereby allow casinos to be built in North Jersey to compete with gambling palaces in Pennsylvania and New York State. But Sweeney a Gloucester County Democrat whose backing of a statewide referendum would be crucial last month questioned whether it would be wiser to postpone a vote to allow North Jersey casinos until November 2016 based on an expected low turnout this fall.

The unveiling of plans for a Meadowlands casino on Wednesday came with only weeks to spare before time runs out on starting the process of approving a question for the Nov. 3 ballot. Nearly a dozen North Jersey elected officials who attended the Hard Rock announcement insisted in impassioned speeches that the vote should happen this year. Sweeney did not attend, and a spokesman declined to comment.

Allen and the tracks operator, Jeff Gural, reiterated that some of the tax revenues from the new casino would aid the economic recovery of Atlantic City, where a four of 12 casinos have closed in the last 18 months. Allen added that because Hard Rock has sites in 64 countries, a Hard Rock Meadowlands casino complete with a New Jersey Music Hall of Fame would attract many of the millions of foreign tourists who visit Manhattan annually.

The announcement that an estimated 2,360 jobs would be created during construction drew cheers from laborers who attended the press conference at the tracks Victory Sports Bar. The casino also would create 5,000 permanent jobs, officials said.

This is not a fight between North Jersey and South Jersey, Gural said. Were fighting New York and Pennsylvania we need to bring back the people in northern New Jersey who now travel to those casinos.

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex, said Sweeney would need to be won over and that the ballot question would need to be drafted in the next 30 days.

I dont understand why we would wait another year, or two years New Jersey has a revenue problem, said Jim Kirkos, the president of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce. Kirkos has backed new development including a casino at the Meadowlands Sports Complex since 2010.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Secaucus; state Sens. Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck and Ray Lesniak, D-Essex; and Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco were among the elected officials who endorsed the Hard Rock plan on Wednesday.

We will work together that this moves ahead the Meadowlands is the place for a casino in North Jersey, Weinberg said to applause from the crowd.

Weinberg said she would support building only one North Jersey casino, at the Meadowlands, while Sarlo and Lesniak support two North Jersey casinos and Caputo is backing up to three casinos in Bergen, Hudson and Essex counties.

But all of the politicians said they would be able to compromise on a plan to bring the issue to voters in November.

Im concerned that if we dont do it now, it will never get done, Lesniak said.

Gural said he met with the owners of the Giants and Jets several months ago and does not expect the NFL teams to oppose a Meadowlands casino. Gural also told the teams that, if a casino is built, he would pay to have the old grandstand adjacent to MetLife Stadium demolished and that the teams could then use that property for additional parking.

The new facility would be built to the left side of the main entrance of the racetracks new $100 million grandstand, which included a 16 percent equity stake by Hard Rock. Allen said the two buildings eventually would be connected.

Gural estimated that the state could collect $400 million in tax revenues at a rate of 55 percent almost double what the entire Atlantic City casino industry pays at its 8 percent rate if no more than two casino licenses are issued.

This was a show of force today, because everyone recognizes that this is the year to put it on the ballot, said Gural, who added that he and Allen may spend $10 million to $20 million on advertising this summer and fall to try to get a referendum passed. Gural estimated that it would cost three times as much to mount a similar campaign in 2016, a presidential election year when advertising would be more expensive.

I dont think that [Sweeney] wants to position himself as being the only obstacle to a project of this magnitude, Gural said.

The tax rate at the proposed 20-acre Jersey City casino complex likely would be far lower than at the Meadowlands, due to the cost of the investment and the greater number of permanent jobs that would be created at the Hudson County facility that like the private Liberty National Golf Club would cater to a highly affluent clientele.

Email: brennan@northjersey.com Blog: northjersey.com/brennan

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Hard Rock Casino proposal announced for Meadowlands [video …

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Jewish Intentional Communities Conference – Hazon

Posted: at 3:14 pm

Gab Axler is originally from Chicago. He moved to Beer Sheva 6 years ago to help found a pluralistic intentional community called Beerot. Beerot has40 family members, meets every Shabbat and holiday, and is involved in the local school and other projects. Professionally, Gabe runs a social enterprise called Pnima in the field of educational tourism, connecting groups from Israel and abroad to the work being done by intentional communities across Israel.

Eden Banarie is Moishe Houses Senior Regional Director: West, overseeing the houses in the Northwestern, Southwestern, and Southern regions. Eden is an alumna of Moishe House LA West Hollywood, and a member of the first cohort of the Moishe House Ignite Fellowship. Eden previously worked as the Youth Engagement Coordinator at Jewish World Watch, working with student activists to end genocide and mass atrocities. She received her BA in Business and MBA in Nonprofit Management from American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Eden can often be found attending Jewish community events throughout southern California, searching for the perfect breakfast burrito, or checking out cool new spots in the wonderful city of Los Angeles.

Rabbi Deborah Bravo is the spiritual leader and founder of Makom NY: A New Kind of Jewish Community, seeking to reach the unaffiliated and unengaged Jew in suburban Long Island. Prior to creating Makom NY, Rabbi Bravo served synagogues in Syosset, NY, Edison, NJ, Short Hills, NJ and in Washington DC. Ordained from HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1998, Rabbi Bravo also holds a Master in Education from Xavier University. She is in the current Rabbis Without Borders Cohort, and a member of the Hakhel 2nd Incubator Cohort. She and her husband David now reside in Woodbury, NY with their two children, Samuel, 13, and Sophie, 10.

Cheryl Cookjoined Avodah as the Executive Director at the beginning of 2015 and has over twenty five years of leadership experience as a manager, fundraiser, and program planner in the Jewish community. Shes worked across the innovative sector of the Jewish community at Hazon, Makor, New Israel Fund, JESNA, Hillel, and the 92nd Street Y and is proud to lead Avodahs work shaping Jewish leaders to be social changemakers. Cheryl is passionate about creating a vibrant Jewish community that opens doors, engages people from across all backgrounds and plays a significant role in making the world a more just and caring place for everyone. Aside from her professional work, Cheryl serves on the board of PS/MS 282 PTO. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two sons within an incredible village of family and friends.

Zev Chana is the Adamah Apprentice and Barnyard Manager at Isabella Freedman. Zev is from Albany, NY. Zev arrived as an Adamahnik in the fall of 2014, and fell in love with the work, the community and the seasons at Adamah. Zev loves dirt, the woods, the goats, renewed Jewish ritual and text study, and harvesting their meals.

David Cygielmanis the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Moishe House. He has been a non-profit innovator since high school when he started Feed the Need, a nationally recognized homeless feeding organization. While attending the University of California at Santa Barbara, David served as the Hillel Student President and later the Executive Director of the Forest Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping college and high school students develop leadership qualities while following their passions. In 2006, he helped establish Moishe House and became the organizations first CEO. Through his work in the Jewish community, David has garnered many honors including the Avi Chai Fellowship, the JCSA Young Leadership Award, and the Bernard Reisman Award for Professional Excellence. In 2013, David was the recipient of UCSB Hillels inaugural Alumni Achievement Award. David graduated with honors from UCSB with a BA in Business Economics. When hes out of the office, David enjoys playing basketball, spending time with friends, and traveling to destinations with no dress code. David currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Myka and their dog Binx.

Chelsea Elena is a Teva Educator. During the year, she is an urban farmer and prolific knitter in the great city of Philadelphia. As of now, she isexcited to get back into the forest and make nature her home. She enjoys dystopian fiction, historical fiction and fantasy. Nothing excites her like the idea of a road trip. She recently got a bike for the first time since her childhood and has greatly enjoyed all the padded short options and urban explorations it has opened up for her.

Elizabeth (Liz) Fisheris the Chief Operating Officer at Repair the World, where she is responsible for overseeing all of the organizations development, communications, finance, operations, and human resources. Prior to Repair the World, Liz was Managing Director at NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation, where she led the organization in strategy, operations, and talent management. Liz began her career in grassroots community development in rural Missouri. She moved into working in the Jewish community with roles at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, UJA-Federation of New York, and The Jewish Education Project. Lizs passion is the role of people in organizational life. She loves working with partners, lay leaders, and professional staff. Liz has a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis with a focus in community development and management and is a Schusterman Fellow. She is a fan of Brooklyn (where she lives with her husband and two children), an amateur runner and bread baker, and an avid reader of periodicals.

Avi Garelick is the director of the Ivry Prozdor Hebrew High School at JTS, and the founder of a communal school in Washington Heights. He has been leading davening for his entire adult life, in communities in Berkeley, Chicago, and New York, and is a proud alumnus of the Yeshivat Hadar education fellowship. He is excited to learn more about peoples efforts to establish communal norms for conflict management.

Sarah Garfinkelis a Repair the World NYC Fellow.Sarah worked as a writing tutor at the UC Davis Student Academic Success Center. She graduated from UC Davis with a major in Spanish and minors in Human development, English, and Education. She has worked as a camp counselor in Germany and Hawaii. Her experiences working with second language learners, children with disabilities, and underrepresented and first generation college students have motivated her to serve as a fellow. She also volunteers as a Special Olympics swim coach.

Eliana Roberts Golding is a tenant organizer and community advocate based in Washington DC, where she was an Avodah Corps Member in 2013-2014. She spends her time organizing tenant associations and working to fight gentrification and displacement. She primarily identifies as a community organizer, friend, and relentless justice-seeker with a healthy sense of humor. Eliana lives in a co-op in Northwest DC, where she and her housemates build community around activism, potlucks, goofiness, and dancing. When not fighting the good fight, Eliana can be found singing, doing ceramics, or riding her bike in Rock Creek Park.

James Grant-Rosenhead is a founding member of Kibbutz Mishol, the biggest urban kibbutz in Israel. James was born in Leeds, England, in 1974. He became active as a Jewish Labor Zionist youth leader with Habonim Dror (HDUK) in 1990 after his first visit to Israel. From 1992-3, James spent a year of leadership training on kibbutz in Israel, then returned and directed local branches of the youth movement around London until 1996. He completed his LL.B Hons Law degree in 1996, then served as HDUKs national secretary until 1998. Concerned for the future of the Jewish world and Israel, and inspired by the first urban kibbutzim, James made aliyah to Jerusalem in 1999 with Kvutzat Yovel, the first Anglo olim to build a thriving urban kibbutz. From 1999-2010 James led a worldwide transformation and renewal of Habonim Dror programs, education and ideology from their traditional kibbutz bases to social activist urban kvutzot. The result is a new adult movement of urban cooperative kvutzot including olim from around the world. Since 2010, James joined the leadership of Tikkun, building new native sabra activist kibbutzim in the socio-economic and geographic peripheries, and became a founder of M.A.K.O.M. the National Council of Mission Driven Communities in Israel. James currently lives in NYC whilst serving as the Habonim Dror North America central shaliach, as a mentor for Hazons Hakhel and for Hillels Ezra Fellowship. James is married with three children.

Morriah Kaplan is a member of GariNYC, a two-year-old Jewish intentional community in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She is a program manager at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, where she manages a business education program for women and minority business owners, as well as entrepreneurs in the creative industry. An alumna of Habonim Dror, the progressive Labor Zionist youth movement, she also volunteers as a trainer with the anti-occupation Jewish activist group, IfNotNow. Previously, Morriah graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014, and completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in 2015. She enjoys spending time with her found family in Crown Heights, and thinking about how to build better communities and social movements.

Rebecca Katz recentlyjoined Repair the World as their new Education and Training Manager.After six years away,Rebecca is excited to be back home in Brooklyn. Prior to Repair,Rebecca spent two years as the Director of Social Justice Initiatives at Texas Hillel in Austin, Texas, engaging UT students in different modes of social justice through a Jewish lens. However, before the heat of Austin, she learned to organize in the bitterly cold city of Chicago. Rebeccalead the Or Tzedekprogramat the Jewish Council in Urban Affairs,teaching Jewish teens to create systemic change in partnership with directly impacted communities.

Aharon Ariel Laviis the founder of Garin Shuva, a mission-driven community bordering Gaza, and co-founder of the Nettiot Network which re-engages baalei teshuva into Israeli society. Additionally he is co-founder of MAKOM (The National Council of Mission-Driven Communities) and is a consultant to Hazons Jewish Intentional Communities Initiative. In 2013-14 Aharon was a Tikvah Fund fellow in New York. He lives with his wife Liat and their four children in Shuva.

William Levin is the founder of ACRe (Alliance Colony Reboot). He was born and raised on the farm in Vineland, NJ, where his family have lived since founding Alliance Colony in 1892. Levin, a.k.a. the Jewish Robot, is the creator of Shabot 6000 and other educational content for Jewish organizations, and was a writer for the 2010 Shalom Sesame series. Known for his edgy and innovative work and his ability to create synergies in the Jewish community, Levin is now returning to his roots by creating ACRe.

Malya Levin, wife and partner to William, is a lawyer admitted to the New York and New Jersey Bars. Malya is the Staff Attorney at the Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, the nations first emergency elder abuse shelter. In that capacity, she works to address the legal needs of older adults experiencing acute abuse, and writes and speaks extensively on the legal aspects of elder abuse prevention and intervention. This year, she has been working with William to birth and grow two new family additions, ACRe and one year old Sammy Lulav.

Elan Margulies, Director of Teva at Hazon, aims to inspire joy and reverence for the natural world by introducing students to earth-based Jewish traditions and the wonders right outside their door. He has taught ecology at Eden Village Camp, the Student Conservation Association and the Cornell University Naturalist Outreach Program, led hikes in Israel, volunteered in the Kalahari Desert, worked for the US National Park Service, and directed a Jewish educational farm outside Chicago where he learned that the best way to catch a goat is to run away from it.Before returning to Teva he pursued graduate studies in forest ecology at University of Michigan and The Hebrew University.In his free time, he enjoys finding wild edibles, brewing ginger beer and working with wood and metal.

Mira Menyuk studied at the New England school of Photography in Boston before getting bitten by the farming bug. She was an Urban Adamah fellow in the spring of 2013 before returning to her home state of Maryland to work at the Pearlstone Center, where she is entering her fourth year of involvement. Her work at the Pearlstone center has included full-year farming, volunteer coordination, kitchen work and currently running programs for kids and adults on the farm and in the fields and forest.Her passions include being outdoors in all weather, hiking, singing, andreading.

Rabbi Jessica Kate Meyer is part of the rabbinic team atRomemu. Shewas ordained June 2014 by Hebrew College Rabbinical School. She strives to build community through prayerful music, and music through prayerful community.During her rabbinic training she developed family programming for Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, MA, interned for a Masorti community in Tel Aviv, and directed leadership programs for the non-profit organization Encounter, in Jerusalem. Jessica has performed as a vocalist with Hankus Netsky, Frank London, and Yuval Ron, and studied and performed sacred Jewish music with rabbis and paytanim while living in Jerusalem. After graduating from Wellesley College with a degree in MiddleEasternStudies, Jessica pursued graduate theater training in London, and appeared in many film, theater, and television projects in Europe and the United States: most notably, as a principal role in Roman Polanskis The Pianist.

Rabbi Avram Mlotek is a co-founder of Base, a home-based model for Jewish outreach that focuses on hospitality, learning and service.The Forwardrecently listed him as one of Americas Most Inspiring Rabbis and in 2012, he was recognized by TheJewish Weekas one of the leading innovators in Jewish life today as part of their 36 Under 36 Section. Mlotek served as a rabbi in training at The Carlebach Shul, The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, The Educational Alliance and Hunter College Hillel. Hiswritings have appeared inThe Forward,Tablet, Haaretz,The Jerusalem Post,The Jewish Week, andThe Huffington Post. A native Yiddish speaker, Avram is the grandson of noted Yiddish song collectorsand Holocaust refugees. He is married to Yael Kornfeld and proud Tati to Revaya and Hillel Yosl.

Craig Oshkello, MLA, founding member and current resident of Living Tree Alliance has spent nearly two decades advocating alternative models of land ownership as a means for revitalizing our shared connections to the living landscape. Craig has presented at the JICC each of the past three years and joined first Hakhel trip to Israel in the spring of 2015. He lived with his family in a farm centered community for 13 years before moving to the house he is building at LTA this fall.

Sasha Raskin-Yin has been the New York Program Director at Avodah since 2015. She supports the development of Jewish leaders through Avodahs combination of Jewish and social justice learning, communal living, and direct service work at anti-poverty non-profits. Helping young people connect their Judaism to social justice work has long been Sashas dream, which she arrived at by way of organizing, community-building, and study. She has organized with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and for LGBTQ causes, worked in college access at Goddard Riverside Community Center, and studied white Jewish immigration, assimilation, and settler colonialism in the US at the New School for Social Research. Sashas self-care practices include walking around NYC, drinking tea, and defending the often-maligned regions of New Jersey and Queens.

Kate Re, Associate Director of Teva, works with the team as they bring transformative Jewish nature experiences to early childhood through adult participants. She holds a BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and has a professional background in Jewish environmental teaching and management. She is a passionate advocate for all things natural, sustainable, and community oriented.

Nigel Savage, originally from Manchester, England, founded Hazon in 2000, with a Cross-USA Jewish Environmental Bike Ride. Since then, Hazon has grown the range and impact of its work in each successive year; today it has more than 60 staff, based in New York City, at Hazons Isabella Freedman campus, and in other locations across the country. Hazon plays a unique role in renewing American Jewish life and creating a healthier and more sustainable world for all.

Hazon is one of a tiny handful of groups to have been in the Slingshot 50 every year since inception, and in 2008, Hazon was recognized by the Sierra Club as one of 50 leading faith-based environmental organizations.

Nigel has spoken, taught, or written for a wide and significant range of audiences. (A selection of his essays are at hazon.org/nigel). He has twice been named a member of the Forward 50, the annual list of the 50 most influential Jewish people in the United States, and is a recipient of the Bernard Reisman Award. He has given Commencement speeches at Wagner (NYU, in 2011) and at Hornstein (Brandeis, in 2014). In 2015 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Before founding Hazon, Nigel was a professional fund manager in London, where he worked for NM Rothschild and was co-head of UK Equities at Govett. He has an MA in History from Georgetown, and has learned at Pardes, Yakar, and the Hebrew University. He was a founder of Limmud NY, and serves on the board of Romemu.

Nigel executive produced the British independent movies Solitaire For 2 and Stiff Upper Lips and had an acclaimed cameo appearance in the cult Anglo-Jewish comic movie, Leon The Pig Farmer. He is believed to be the first English Jew to have cycled across South Dakota on a recumbent bike.

Shamu Fenyvesi Sadeh is the co-founder and director of Adamah. He teaches Judaism and ecology, turns the compost piles, maintains the orchards, and supervises and mentors staff and Adamah Fellows. His wife Jaimie and kids Yonah, Ibby and Lev keep the bees, help harvest and pickle, and DJ staff dance parties.

Janna Siller leads the Adamah crew in growing organic vegetables for CSA distribution, value-added production, Isabella Freedman food service, and donations, while maintaining the fields as resonant learning space for fellows and visitors. She teaches classes on practical farming and gardening skills as well as classes that explore the big picture systems, policies and issues that shape what we eat and how it is grown. Janna lives in Falls Village with her family- Arthur, Tzuf, and the cats.

Roger Studley is founder of Urban Moshav, a nonprofit development partner for Jewish cohousing, and convener of the Berkeley Moshav effort to create Jewish cohousing in Berkeley, CA. He and these projects were selected for the inaugural cohort of the Hahkel incubator of Jewish Intentional communities, on whose steering committee he now serves. He has been an organizer of previous JIC Conferences as well as multiple independent minyanim (including San Franciscos pluralist Mission Minyan) and co-chaired a Hazon Food Conference. Roger is married to Rabbi Chai Levy of Congregation Kol Shofar and looks forward to moving into Berkeley Moshav with his family in the next few years.

Yasaf Warshai was born in Ann Arbor Michigan, and started attending Habonim Dror Camp Tavor in 2002. It was there that he fell in love with the idea of Jewish Intentional Community over the next fifteen summers of being a counselor, camper, and director. Yasaf graduated from Michigan State University in 2016 with a degree in Arts & Humanities and Religious Studies. Now as the Mazkir Klali (National Director) of Habonim Dror North America, he works in the central office in Brooklyn to bring those same values of Jewish Intentionality and Social Justice to the next generation of Jewish leaders.

Michal Wetzler is from Kibbutz Kfar hachoresh in Israel. In the IDF she was a combat engineer instructor. She has a B.ed in informal education, majoring in the history and nature of Israel. She owns a small tour guide business and has vast experience leading a wide range of groups, indoor and outdoor. She also ran a community forest project in her Kibbutz back home, to connect between the members of the community, and between the community to the forest and nature around.Now she is a Shlicha (emissary of the Jewish agency) in Pearlstone center.In her spare time she loves to hike, travel, dance and scuba-dive.

Casey Baruch Yurow currently serves as Program Director at the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, MD. Casey has held leadership roles in the field of Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education for over ten years with the Teva Learning Center, Urban Adamah, Wilderness Torah, and Eden Village Camp. Casey believes deeply in the power of nature connection and hands-on learning to revitalize healthy human culture and community. He earned a B.Sc in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland and spent two years studying in yeshiva in Israel. When not at work, Casey can be found building mandolins, hiking, gardening, cooking, and inviting friends over for spirited, song-filled Shabbat meals. Casey lives with his wife Rivka outside of Baltimore and he looks forward to co-creating a new Moshav on the Pearlstone Center campus, speedily in our days.

Kesher (Rayenbo) Zabell- Spears is an alum of Moishe House Cleveland, cos* first experience of intentional community living, which gave Kesher the desire to delve deeper into sharing day-to-day life with like-minded individuals. Since living in MHCle, Rayenbo has been living in ICs, including seven communities of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC). Kesher has worked extensively with the FEC and through this work with the FEC as the Rainbow Intern, co excitedly participated in 2014s JICC. Co is a frequent MH retreat participant and a consistent Moishe House Without Walls host. As a currently wandering communard, Rayenbo sees this conference as an opportunity to network and discover potentially future homes.*Co: Gender neutral pronoun. Co/co/cos. derived from words such as: community member, communard, co-creator, comrade and communitarian.

Please check back for this growing list of educators and session leaders.

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Jewish Intentional Communities Conference – Hazon

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First Amendment Defense Act Would Be ‘Devastating’ for LGBTQ …

Posted: at 2:54 pm

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump arrives to speak during a USA Thank You Tour event at Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S., December 15, 2016. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

FADA would prohibit the federal government from taking “discriminatory action” against any business or person that discriminates against LGBTQ people. The act distinctly aims to protect the right of all entities to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on two sets of beliefs: “(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

Ironically, the

On December 9, Sen. Lee’s spokesperson, Conn Carroll, told

“Hopefully November’s results will give us the momentum we need to get this done next year,” Carroll said. “We do plan to reintroduce FADA next Congress and we welcome Trump’s positive words about the bill.”

“During oral arguments in Obergfell, President Obama’s solicitor general admitted that if a right to same-sex marriage were created, religious institutions, including many Catholic schools, could have their tax exempt status revoked by the IRS,” Carroll told NBC Out on Wednesday. “The First Amendment Defense Act was created to make sure that does not happen.”

But while Carroll claims “FADA in no way undermines federal or state civil rights laws,” it would take away the government’s recourse in terms of punishing businesses, institutions or individuals who break civil rights law by discriminating against LGBTQ people.

Jennifer Pizer, Law and Policy Director at Lambda Legal, told NBC Out FADA “invites widespread, devastating discrimination against LGBT people” and is a deeply unconstitutional bill.

“This proposed new law violates both Equal Protection and the Establishment Clause by elevating one set of religious beliefs above all others,” Pizer said, “And by targeting LGBT Americans as a group, contrary to settled constitutional law.”

Pizer warned that the bill’s language also left room for individuals and businesses to discriminate against unwed heterosexual couples and single mothers, because of the clause stating that “sexual relations are properly reserved” to marriage between a man and a woman.

“There cannot be even one iota of doubt that this bill endorses one set of religious beliefs above others, and targets people in same-sex relationships, married or not, as well as unmarried heterosexual couples who live together,” Pizer said. “It’s an unconstitutional effort to turn the clock back to a time when unmarried mothers had to hide in shame, and LGBT people had to hide, period.”


FADA was first filed in the House and Senate in 2015, but was met with protests from Democrats and resulted in just one House hearing amid concerns that Obama would veto the bill. It is currently co-sponsored by 171 House Republicans and just one Democrat (Daniel Lipinski of Illinois.)

State-level legislation similar to FADA has failed in recent years, usually resulting from lawsuits and nationwide boycotts. When Vice President-elect Mike Pence passed a “religious freedom” bill as governor of Indiana in March 2015, it was met with


A lawsuit brought by Mississippi religious leaders alleges the state law actually violates religious freedom by determining that religious belief necessitates anti-LGBTQ discrimination. The group of ordained ministers suing the state said in the lawsuit,

Barber v. Bryant is currently at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, after a federal trial court ruled HB 1523 violates the federal Equal Protection and Establishment Clauses. Pizer said the case stands as an example of the legal explosion that would occur in reaction to FADA.

“If Congress were to pass the federal FADA as currently written, and the next president were to sign it into law, I’m confident heads would spin at how fast the constitutional challenges would fly into court,” Pizer said, adding “we’re likely to have a great many allies because these attempts to misuse religion for discrimination offend enormous numbers of Americans who cherish both religious liberty and equality for all.”

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Robotics Academy

Posted: December 14, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Carnegie Mellons Robotics Academystudies how teachers use robots in classrooms to teach Computer Science, Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM). Our mission is to use the motivational effects of robotics to excite students about science and technology. The Robotics Academy fulfills it mission by developing research based solution for teachers that foreground CS-STEM and are classroom tested. Robotics Academy inspired papers and publications can be found here:


Carnegie Mellons Robotic Academy staff and development team are housed in the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), where robots for business, government, and industry are designed, prototyped, and tested just outside our office doors.


The CCRC projects goal is to integrate more computational thinking into robotics classrooms. CMRA has seen that many schools robotic classrooms started because the school became involved with a robotics competition. Many robotic competitions consist of a set of mechanically challenging activities and dont require sophisticated programming solutions for teams to be successful. This project builds on the existing robotics competition infrastructure and then extends these activities in ways that foreground computational thinking.


Robotics provide a great opportunity to introduce students to computer science. Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh develops, tests, and refines a Theory of Robotic Programming Badges that can be applied to Computer Science Education. This project builds on lessons learned as CMRA built the Computer Science Student Network and integrates a complete badge system in Robot Virtual Worlds. The project measures the ability of badges to motivate student learning, to be accurate indicators of student performance, and if the badges are easily understood by students.

For years we have heard that teachers are using robotics to teach mathematics. This project studied existing (2008) robotics education pedagogy and then developed multiple strategies that foregrounded proportional reasoning, a big idea in mathematics, that can be taught using robots. CMRA developed multiple tools that can help teachers foreground mathematics using robots:

Abstraction Bridges Link

Robots in Motion Link

Expedition Atlantis Game Link

Expedition Atlantis Teachers Guide PDF Content

Robot Virtual World Measurement Toolkit MP4 Video

and many written papers Link

Mathematics is an enabler of all future innovation and CMRA continues to look for innovative ways to foreground mathematics in all of its activities.


The Computer Science Student Network (CS2N) started as a collaborative research project between Carnegie Mellon University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) designed to increase the number of students pursuing advanced Computer Science and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM) degrees. CS2N has morphed into an online portal where students and teachers can find activities, competitions, and training designed to help them learn basic programming.


The Robotics Corridor Project was a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Butler County Community College, California University of Pennsylvania, Robert Morris University, Westmoreland County Community College, the Community College of Beaver County, the Community College of Allegheny College, and regional industry partners designed to determine the skill sets that a highly qualified technician would need to work in the robotics and automation industries. This partnership helped establish training, certifications, and associate degrees at the partner schools.

The Robotics Academy is a world leader in robotics education and trains teacher internationally. To learn more about our online, face to face, or onsite training please select this link:


The Robotics Academys qualified trainers can come to your site and offer classes for groups of teachers. The cost is $4000 plus expenses for up to 12 students for three days of classes. More than 12 students require a second trainer and increase the cost to $2000/day plus expenses. Total expenses are calculated prior to confirming the teaching dates.

You supply the training room, computers and robots (or robot kits) for the students as well as necessary utilities. In planning for necessary computers and robots, note that students are generally grouped in twos. Call412 681-7160for more information.

The Robotics Academy is pleased to share the following new curricular tools with you.

Introduction to Programming VEX IQ

The Introduction to Programming the VEX IQ Curriculum features lesson for the VEX IQ Microcontroller; the curriculums focus is to teach beginning programmers how to program using ROBOTCs graphical programming environment. All of the challenges in the curriculum have are available in the Robot Virtual World simulation environment.

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VEX Cortex Video Trainer w/ ROBOTC

The VEX Cortex Video Trainer is a multimedia-rich curriculum featuring lessons for the VEX Cortex Microcontroller; the curriculums focus is to teach how to program, but it also includes multi-faceted engineering challenges, step-by-step videos, and robotics engineering teacher support materials. Themajority of the challenge found in the Cortex Video trainer have been simulated in the Robot Virtual World Curriculum Companion.

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ROBOTC Graphical Introduction to Programming LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3

The Introduction to Programming the EV3 Curriculum is a curriculum module designed to teachcore computer programming logic and reasoning skills using a robotics context. The curriculumconsists of three chapters (Basic Movement, Sensors, and Program Flow) and each chapteris broken into units that teach key robotics and programming concepts. Additionally, there isa huge amount of support for teachers competing in Robotics Competitions for the first timeincluded in the teachers guide!

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Introduction to Programming LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3

The Introduction to Programming EV3 Curriculum is a curriculum module designedto teach core computer programming logic and reasoning skills using a roboticsengineering context. It contains a sequence of 10 projects (plus one capstonechallenge) organized around key robotics and programming concepts.

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Robot Virtual Worlds enable students to program virtual robots using the same code that they use on the physical classroom robots.

Robot Virtual Worlds

No Robot, No Problem! Robot Virtual Worlds is a high-end simulation environment that enables students, without robots, to learn programming. Research has shown that learning to program in RVW is more efficient than learning to program using physical robots. RVW simulates popular real world LEGO robots in 3D environments and allows you to program them using the same languages as physical robots. The RVW environment is perfect for home, classroom, and competition environments!

More Information:www.RobotVirtualWorlds.comwww.robomatter.com

Expedition Atlantis

Its the year 2023 and Atlantis has been discovered deep in the ocean, off of the coast of Africa. A team of elite scientists and engineers have been sent to investigate the underwater ruins, and youre one of them! Use your skills to to maneuver the teams underwater vehicles in this expedition to Atlantis!

This is a great GAME that will teach kids the math behind robot movement.

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Virtual Brick

GEA offers summer camps, weekend, and after school programs rooted in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), including the Lego WeDo Robotics, Programming with Scratch, Video Game Design, Lego EV3 Robotics, and Coding with RobotC. Find out more at:


Sarah Heinz House is an organization, aimed to provide children and teens with powerful role models and a safe, fun place to go after school, on weekends and during the summer. Find out more at:


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The Camphill Assocation of North America Communities

Posted: November 25, 2016 at 10:17 am

For Adults

Camphill Village U.S.A. Copake, New York Camphill Village USA is a unique and vibrant life-sharing community of 250 individuals, including over 100 adults with developmental disabilities. Founded in Copake, New York in 1961, Camphill Village USA is the oldest and largest Camphill community in North America and sits on 615 acres of verdant hills, pastures, and beautiful gardens in southern Columbia County.

Camphill Village Kimberton Hills Kimberton, Pennsylvania Camphill Village Kimberton Hills is a dynamic farming, gardening, and handcrafting intentional community that includes adults with developmental disabilities. Over 100 Kimberton Hills residents, living and working side by side, create a caring community for people of all ages and varied abilities. Located on 432 acres of farm, gardens, and woodlands in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Kimberton Hills is also a local center for culture and a model for sound ecological living.

Camphill Village Minnesota Sauk Centre, Minnesota Camphill Village Minnesota is a life-sharing, residential community of fifty people, including adults with disabilities. Their lives, work and celebrations are woven into the rhythms of nature found in the rolling hills, sparkling waterways, and prairie grasslands of Central Minnesota. The community is deeply rooted in the belief that every individual , regardless of limitations, is an independent, spiritual being. Each person is part of the fabric of Community experience and is worthy of recognition, respect and honor.

Camphill Communities Ontario Angus, Ontario, Canada Camphill Communities Ontario provides opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to live, learn and work together with others in an atmosphere of mutual respect and equality.

Camphill Communities California Soquel, California Camphill Communities California, an intentional community which includes adults with developmental disabilities, is located along the central Pacific coast in the beautiful Monterey Bay area.

Camphill Hudson Hudson, New York Camphill Hudson is a small but growing urban initiative in the thriving community of Hudson, NY. Located two hours north of New York City by train in downtown Hudson, Camphill Hudson is ideally situated for those who wish to contribute to Camphill life and participate in the life of the wider community. Individuals in the Camphill Hudson community make a life for themselves contributing to the city around them.

Heartbeet Lifesharing Hardwick, Vermont Heartbeet is a vibrant lifesharing Camphill community and licensed therapeutic residence that includes adults with developmental disabilities and interweaves the social and agricultural realms for the healing and renewing of our society and the earth. Community members live and work together, in beautiful extended family households, forming a mutually supportive environment that enables each individual to discover and develop his or her unique abilities and potential.

The Cascadia Society North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada The Cascadia Society is a life-sharing community that includes adults with special needs. Cultural, artistic and therapeutic experiences are provided through residential home care and day activities within the urban setting of Vancouvers North Shore. The Cascadia Society is dedicated to bringing healing to human beings and to the earth. Their primary task is to allow the potential in each person to unfold and to be in harmonious relationship with the environment.

The Ita Wegman Association of BC Duncan, British Columbia, Canada Glenora Farm is a therapeutic farm, one of two Camphill Communities in Western Canada where adults with developmental disabilities live, work and learn together with their caregivers.

Camphill Special School Glenmoore, Pennsylvania Camphill Special Schools mission is to create wholeness for children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities through education and therapy in extended family living so that they may be better understood and their disabilities moderated, that they may more fully unfold their potential, and that they more fully and meaningfully participate in life.

Triform Camphill Community Hudson, New York Triform Camphill Community is a residential community for young adults with developmental disabilities. It includes a dynamic mix of over 100 people spanning many generations, cultures and ranges of ability. Forty young adults with social, mental, physical and emotional disabilities, live and work side-by-side with full time volunteer resident staff and the staffs families on a 410 acre biodynamic/organic farm in beautiful Columbia County, NY.

Camphill Soltane Glenmoore, Pennsylvania Camphill Soltane is a life-sharing community of 80 people, including young adults ages 18-25, and adults age 25 and up, with developmental disabilities.

Camphill Ghent Chatham, New York Camphill Ghent is a residential community for elders who appreciate living independently within a lively community, but who would also like occasional help with daily challenges, ranging from housekeeping and cooking to maintenance and driving services.

Plowshare Farm Greenfield, NH Plowshare Farm is an attempt to be responsive to the social, human, spiritual and ecological challenges of our times by working toward creating an environment where every person and every aspect of the natural world can be learned from and valued. They are a small, thriving community where lives are shared, where nourishing the land in turn nourishes the individual who is tending that land, and where animal care creates the potential for people who are usually the care receivers to become the care givers. Nestled on over 200 acres in the countryside of southern New Hampshire, Plowshare Farm provides a peaceful setting of exceptional natural beauty.

Oakwood Lifesharing West Plains, Missouri Through meaningful activities, a healing environment, and truly human companionship, Oakwood Lifesharing encourages each person to master their own life. This mastery occurs in the context of family, community and society. By emphasizing both independence and interdependence, Oakwood promotes individuals to become dignified and effective citizens in the community.

For more information on Camphill Communities Worldwide, visit http://www.camphill.net

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Club Hedonism – HTML Site Disclaimer

Posted: November 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm

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Golden Rule Chronology – Gensler’s Home Page

Posted: November 6, 2016 at 7:12 pm

1,000,000BCThe fictional Fred Flintstone helps a stranger who was robbed and left to die. He says “I’d want him to help me.” Golden rule thinking is born!

c.1,000,000 BC to 10,000BCHumans find that cooperative hunting works better. Small, genetically similar clans who use the golden rule to promote cooperation and sharing have a better chance to survive.

c.1800BCEgypt’s “Eloquent peasant” story has been said to have the earliest known golden-rule saying: “Do to the doer to cause that he do.” But the translation is disputed and it takes much stretching to see this as the golden rule. (See my 3.2e.)

c.1450 BC to 450BCThe Jewish Bible has golden-rule like passages, including: “Don’t oppress a foreigner, for you well know how it feels to be a foreigner, since you were foreigners yourselves in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9) and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).

c.700BCIn Homer’s Odyssey, goddess Calypso tells Odysseus: “I’ll be as careful for you as I’d be for myself in like need. I know what is fair and right.”

c.624-546BCFirst philosopher Thales, when asked how to live virtuously, reportedly replies (according to the unreliable Diogenes Laertius c. 225 AD): “By never doing ourselves what we blame in others.” A similar saying is attributed to Thales’s contemporary, Pittacus of Mytilene.

c.563-483BCBuddha in India teaches compassion and shunning unhealthy desires. His golden rule says: “There is nothing dearer to man than himself; therefore, as it is the same thing that is dear to you and to others, hurt not others with what pains yourself” (Dhammapada, Northern Canon, 5:18).

c.551-479BCConfucius sums up his teaching as: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.” (Analects 15:23)

c.522BCMaeandrius of Samos (in Greece), taking over from an evil tyrant, says (according to the historian Herodotus c. 440 BC, in his Histories 3.142): “What I condemn in another I will, if I may, avoid myself.” Xerxes of Persia c. 485 BC said something similar (Histories 7.136).

c.500BCJainism, a religion of India that promotes non-violence, compassion, and the sacredness of life, teaches the golden rule: “A monk should treat all beings as he himself would be treated.” (Jaina Sutras, Sutrakritanga, bk. 1, 10:1-3)

c.500BCTaoist Laozi says: “To those who are good to me, I am good; and to those who are not good to me, I am also good; and thus all get to receive good.” (Tao Te Ching 49) A later work says: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain and your neighbor’s loss as your loss.” (T’ai-Shang Kan-Ying P’ien)

c.500BCZoroaster in Persia teaches the golden rule: “That character is best that doesn’t do to another what isn’t good for itself” and “Don’t do to others what isn’t good for you.”

c.479-438BCMo Tzu in China teaches the golden rule: “Universal love is to regard another’s state as one’s own. A person of universal love will take care of his friend as he does of himself, and take care of his friend’s parents as his own. So when he finds his friend hungry he will feed him, and when he finds him cold he will clothe him.” (Book of Mozi, ch. 4)

c.440BCSocrates (c. 470-399 BC) and later Plato (c. 428-347 BC) begin the classical era of Greek philosophy. The golden rule, while not prominent in their thinking, sometimes leaves a trace. As Socrates considers whether to escape from jail, he imagines himself in the place of the state, who would be harmed (Crito). And Plato says: “I’d have no one touch my property, if I can help it, or disturb it without consent on my part; if I’m a man of reason, I must treat the property of others the same way” (Laws). (Wattles 1996: 32-6)

c.436-338BCIsocrates in Greece teaches the golden rule as promoting self-interest (you do unto others so that they’ll do unto you). He says: “Don’t do to others what angers you when you experience it from others.” The golden rule then becomes common, in positive and negative forms, in Greco-Roman culture, in Sextus, Demosthenes, Xenophon, Cassius Dio, Diogenes Laertius, Ovid, and others. The golden rule has less impact on Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and early Stoics. (Meier 2009: 553f)

c.400BCHinduism has positive and negative golden rules: “One who regards all creatures as his own self, and behaves towards them as towards his own self attains happiness. One should never do to another what one regards as hurtful to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of righteousness. In happiness and misery, in the agreeable and the disagreeable, one should judge effects as if they came to one’s own self.” (Mahabharata bk. 13: Anusasana Parva, 113)

384-322BCAristotle says: “As the virtuous man is to himself, he is to his friend also, for his friend is another self” (Nicomachean Ethics 9:9). Diogenes Laertius (c. 225 AD) reports Aristotle as saying that we should behave to our friends as we wish our friends to behave to us.

c.372-289BCMencius, Confucius’s follower, says (Works bk. 7, A:4): “Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.”

c.300BCSextus the Pythagorean in his Sentences expresses the golden rule positively and negatively: “As you wish your neighbors to treat you, so treat them. What you censure, do not do.” (Meier 2009: 554 & 628)

c.150BCVarious Jewish sources have golden-rule sayings. Tobit 4:16 says “See that you never do to another what you’d hate to have done to yourself.” Sirach 31:15 says “Judge the needs of your guest by your own.” And the Letter of Aristeas (see Meier 2009: 553f) says “Insofar as you [the king] do not wish evils to come to you, but to partake of every blessing, [it would be wise] if you did this with your subjects.”

c.30 BC to 10ADRabbi Hillel, asked to explain the Torah while a Gentile stood on one foot, uses the golden rule: “What is hateful to yourself, don’t do to another. That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary. Go and learn.” (Sanhedrin of the Babylonian Talmud 56a)

c.20 BC to 50ADJewish thinker Philo of Alexandria, in speaking of unwritten customs and ordinances, mentions first “Don’t do to another what you’d be unwilling to have done to you.” (Hypothetica 7:6)

c.4 BC to 27ADJesus proclaims love (of God and neighbor) and the golden rule to be the basis of how to live. Luke 6:31 gives the golden rule in the context of loving your enemies, later illustrated by the Good Samaritan parable. Matthew 7:12 says: “Treat others as you want to be treated, for this sums up the Law and the prophets.”

c.4 BC to 65ADRoman Stoic Seneca teaches the golden rule: “Let us put ourselves in the place of the man with whom we are angry; we are often unwilling to bear what we would have been willing to inflict,” “Let us give in the way we would like to receive – willingly, quickly, and without hesitation,” and “Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters.” The golden rule fits well the ethics of the Stoics, who propose a natural moral law, accessible to everyone’s reason, that directs us to be just and considerate toward everyone. (Wattles 1996: 39f)

c.56ADPaul’s letter to the Romans 2:1-3 expresses a golden-rule like idea: “We condemn ourselves when we condemn another for doing what we do.”

c.65ADThe western text of the Acts of the Apostles 15:20 & 29 has a negative golden rule: “What you don’t want done to yourself, don’t do to others.”

c.70AD”The Two Ways,” a Dead Sea Scroll discovered in the 1940s, says: “The way of life is this: First, you shall love the Lord your maker, and secondly, your neighbor as yourself. And whatever you don’t want to be done to you, don’t do to anyone else.” (Wattles 1996: 47)

c.80ADThe Didache, summarizing early Christian teachings, begins: “There are two paths, one of life and one of death, and a great difference between them. The way of life is this. First, you shall love the God who made you. Second, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. And whatever you wouldn’t have done to you, don’t do to another.”

c.90ADThe ex-slave Stoic Epictetus writes: “What you shun enduring yourself, don’t impose on others. You shun slavery – beware of enslaving others!”

c.90ADThe apocryphal gospel of Thomas attributes a negative golden rule to Jesus (verse 6): “Don’t do what you hate.”

c.120ADRabbi Akiba says: “This is the fundamental principle of the Law: Don’t treat your neighbor how you hate to be treated yourself.” (G. King 1928: 268) His students support the golden rule: Rabbi Eleazar (“Let another’s honor be as dear to you as your own”) and Rabbi Jose (“Let another’s property be as dear to you as your own”). (Wattles 1996: 202)

c.130ADAristides defends his fellow Christians, who “never do to others what they would not wish to happen to themselves,” against persecution.

c.150ADThe Ethiopian version of the apocryphal Book of Thekla ascribes a negative golden rule to Paul: “What you will not that men should do to you, you also shall not do to another.”

c.150-1600Many Christians, seeing the golden rule’s wide acceptance across religions and cultures, view the golden rule as the core of the natural moral law that Paul saw as written on everyone’s heart (Romans 2:14f). The golden rule is proclaimed as the central norm of the natural moral law by Justin Martyr, Origen, Basil, Augustine, Gratian, Anselm of Canterbury, William of Champeaux, Peter Lombard, Hugh of St. Victor, John of Salisbury, Bonaventure, Duns Scotus, Luther, Calvin, and Erasmus. (Reiner 1983 and du Roy 2008)

222-235Roman Emperor Alexander Severus adopts the golden rule as his motto, displays it on public buildings, and promotes peace among religions. Some say the golden rule is called golden because Severus wrote it on his wall in gold.

c.263-339Eusebius of Caesarea’s golden-rule prayer begins: “May I be an enemy to no one and the friend of what abides eternally. May I never quarrel with those nearest me, and be reconciled quickly if I should. May I never plot evil against others, and if anyone plot evil against me, may I escape unharmed and without the need to hurt anyone else.”

349-407John Chrysostom teaches the golden rule: “Whatever you would that men should do to you, do to them. Let your own will be the law. Do you wish to receive kindness? Be kind to another. And again: Don’t do to another what you hate. Do you hate to be insulted? Don’t insult another. If we hold fast to these two precepts, we won’t need any other instruction.” (du Roy 2008: 91)

354-430Augustine says that the golden rule is part of every nation’s wisdom and leads us to love God and neighbor (since we want both to love us). He gives perhaps the first golden-rule objection: if we want bad things done to us (e.g., we want others to get us drunk), by the golden rule we’d have a duty to do these things to others. He in effect suggests taking the golden rule to mean “Whatever good things you want done to yourself, do to others.” [Actually, he thought that willing, as opposed to desiring, is always for the good; so he formulated the golden rule in terms of willing.]

610Muhammad receives the Qur’an, which instructs us to do good to all (4:36) and includes the golden-rule like saying: “Woe to those who cheat: they demand a fair measure from others but they do not give it themselves” (83:1-3). Several Hadiths (Bukhari 1:2:12, Muslim 1:72f, and An-Nawawi 13) attribute this golden rule to Muhammad: “None of you is a true believer unless he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”

c.650Imam Ali, Muhammad’s relative, says: “What you prefer for yourself, prefer for others; what you find objectionable for yourself, treat as such for others. Don’t wrong anyone, just as you would not like to be wronged; do good to others just as you would like others to do good to you; that which you consider immoral for others, consider immoral for yourself.”

c.700Shintoism in Japan expresses the golden rule: “Be charitable to all beings, love is God’s representative. Don’t forget that the world is one great family. The heart of the person before you is a mirror; see there your own form.”

c.810The Book of Kells, a gospel book lavishly illustrated by Irish monks, illustrates the golden rule as a dog extending a paw of friendship to a rabbit.

c.890King Arthur’s Laws emphasizes the golden rule: “What you will that others not do to you, don’t do to others. From this one law we can judge rightly.”

c.1060Confucian philosopher Zhang Zai writes: “If one loves others just as one is disposed to love oneself, one realizes benevolence completely. This is illustrated by the words ‘If something is done to you and you don’t want it, then for your part don’t do it to others.'” (Nivison 1996: 67)

c.1093Muslim Abu Hamid al-Ghazali in his Disciplining the Soul (the section on discovering faults) uses the golden rule: “Were all people only to renounce the things they dislike in others, they would not need anyone to discipline them.”

1140Gratian, the father of canon law, identifies natural law with the golden rule: “By natural law, each person is commanded to do to others what he wants done to himself and is prohibited from inflicting on others what he does not want done to himself. Natural law is common to all nations because it exists everywhere by natural instinct. It began with the appearance of rational creatures and does not change over time, but remains immutable.” (Pennington 2008)

c.1170Moses Maimonides’s Sefer Hamitzvoth (positive commandment 208) says: “Whatever I wish for myself, I am to wish for another; and whatever I do not wish for myself or for my friends, I am not to wish for another. This injunction is contained in His words: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

c.1200Inca leader Manco Cpac in Peru teaches: “Each one should do unto others as he would have others do unto him.” (Wattles 1996: 192)

c.1200The Tales of Sendebar, a popular romance in many languages, ends with words from the sage Sendebar to a king of India: “‘My request is that you don’t do to your neighbor what is hateful to you and that you love your neighbor as yourself.’ The King did as Sendebar counseled him and was wiser than all the sages of India.” (Epstein 1967: 297-9)

c.1220Francis of Assisi, who often invokes the golden rule, at least four times formulates it using a same-situation clause (the earliest such use that I’m aware of), as in “Blessed is the person who supports his neighbor in his weakness as he would want to be supported were he in a similar situation.”

c.1230Muslim Sufi thinker Ibn Arabi sees the golden rule as applying to all creatures: “All the commandments are summed up in this, that whatever you would like the True One to do to you, that do to His creatures.” (See my 3.1c.)

1259 Gulistan, by the Persian poet Sa’di, has these verses, which are now displayed at the entrance of the United Nations Hall of Nations: “Human beings are members of a whole, In creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, Other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, The name of human you cannot retain.”

1265-74Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica (I-II, q. 94, a. 4) says the golden rule is common to the gospels and to human reason. He adds (I-II, q. 99, a. 1) that “when it is said, ‘All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them,’ this is an explanation of the rule of neighborly love contained implicitly in the words, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

c.1400Hindu Songs of Kabir (65) teach the golden rule: “One who is kind and who practices righteousness, who considers all creatures on earth as his own self, attains the Immortal Being; the true God is ever with him.”

c.1400Sikhism from India teaches: “Conquer your egotism. As you regard yourself, regard others as well.” (Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Raag Aasaa 8:134)

1477Earl Rivers’s Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, the first book printed in England, has (p. 70): “Do to other as thou wouldst they should do to thee. And do to noon other but as thou wouldst be doon to.”

1553The Anglican Book of Common Prayer’s catechism says: “What is your duty towards your neighbor? Answer: My duty towards my neighbor is, to love him as myself. And to do to all men as I would they should do unto me.”

1558John Calvin’s commentary on Matthew, Mark, and Luke says: “Where our own advantage is concerned, there is not one of us who cannot explain minutely and ingeniously what ought to be done. Christ therefore shows that every man may be a rule of acting properly and justly towards his neighbors, if he do to others what he requires to be done to him.”

1568Humfrey Baker uses the term “golden rule” of the mathematical rule of three: if a/b = c/x then x = (b c)/a. At this time, “golden rule” isn’t yet applied to “Do unto others” but rather is used for key principles of any field. Many British writers of this time speak of “Do unto others” but don’t call it the “golden rule” (these writers include John Ponet in 1554, Giovanni Battista Gelli in 1558, William Painter in 1567, Laurence Vaux in 1568, John Calvin in 1574, Everard Digby in 1590, and Olivier de La Marcha in 1592).

1568Laurence Vaux’s Catechism says that the last seven commandments are summed up in “Do unto others, as we would be done to ourselves.”

1599Edward Topsell writes that “Do unto others” serves well instead of other things that have been called golden rules.

1604Charles Gibbon is perhaps the first author to explicitly call “Do unto others” the golden rule. At least 10 additional British authors before 1650 use golden rule to refer to “Do unto others”: William Perkins in 1606, Thomas Taylor in 1612 & 1631, Robert Sanderson in 1627, John Mayo in 1630, Thomas Nash in 1633, John Clark in 1634, Simeon Ashe in 1643, John Ball in 1644, John Vicars in 1646, and Richard Farrar in 1648.

1616Richard Eburne’s The Royal Law discusses the golden rule. Several other writers called the golden rule the royal law (after James 2:8), but this usage didn’t catch on.

1644Rembrandt’s Good Samaritan drawing depicts a golden-rule example.

1651Thomas Hobbes sees humans as naturally egoistic and amoral. Morality comes from a social contract that humans, to further their interests and prevent social chaos, agree to. The golden rule sums up morality: “When you doubt the rightness of your action toward another, suppose yourself in the other’s place. Then, when your self-love that weighs down one side of the scale be taken to the other side, it will be easy to see which way the balance turns.” (Leviathan, ch. 15)

1660Robert Sharrock attacks Hobbes and raises golden-rule objections, including the criminal example. (De Officiis secundum Naturae Jus, ch. 2, 11)

1671Benjamin Camfield publishes a golden-rule book (A Profitable Enquiry Into That Comprehensive Rule of Righteousness, Do As You Would Be Done By) and uses a same-situation clause (p. 61): “We must suppose other men in our condition, rank, and place, and ourselves in theirs.” Later golden-rule books by Boraston, Goodman, and Clarke use similar clauses.

1672Samuel Pufendorf’s On the Law of Nature and Nations (bk. 2, 3:13) sees the golden rule as implanted into our reason by God, answers Sharrock’s objections, defends the golden rule by the idea that we ought to hold everyone equal to ourselves, and gives golden-rule quotes from various sources (including Hobbes, Aristotle, Seneca, Confucius, and the Peruvian Manco Cpac).

1677Baruch Spinoza’s Ethics (pt. 4, prop. 37) states: “The good which a virtuous person aims at for himself he will also desire for the rest of mankind.”

1684George Boraston publishes a short golden-rule book: The Royal Law, or the Golden Rule of Justice and Charity. He says (p. 4): “Our own regular and well-governed desires, what we are willing that other men should do, or not do to us, are a sufficient direction and admonition, what we in the like cases, ought to do or not to do to them.”

1688John Goodman publishes a golden-rule book: The Golden Rule, Or The Royal Law of Equity Explained. He sees the golden rule as universal across the globe, deals with objections, and puts the golden rule in a Christian context. The golden rule requires “That I both do, or refrain from doing (respectively) toward him, all that which (turning the tables and then consulting my own heart and conscience) I should think that neighbor of mine bound to do, or to refrain from doing toward me in the like case.”

1688Four Pennsylvania Quakers sign the first public protest against slavery in the American colonies, basing this on the golden rule: “There is a saying, that we shall do unto others as we would have them do unto us – making no difference in generation, descent, or color. What in the world would be worse to do to us, than to have men steal us away and sell us for slaves to strange countries, separating us from our wives and children? This is not doing to others as we would be done by; therefore we are against this slave traffic.”

1690John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding contends that the human mind started as a blank slate and thus the golden rule can’t be innate or self-evident (bk. 1, ch. 2, 4): “Should that most unshaken rule of morality, ‘That one should do as he would be done unto,’ be proposed to one who never heard of it, might he not without absurdity ask why? And then aren’t we bound to give a reason? This plainly shows it not to be innate.” (We can give a why for the golden rule – see my 1.8 & 2.1d and ch. 12-13. But what is Locke’s “No belief that can be questioned is innate or self-evident” premise based on? Is it innate or self-evident, or how is it proved?)

1693Quaker George Keith, in an influential pamphlet, gives the first anti-slavery publication in the American colonies. He writes: “Christ commanded, All things whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, do you even so to them. Therefore as we and our children would not be kept in perpetual bondage and slavery against our consent, neither should we keep others in perpetual bondage and slavery against their consent.”

1698Quaker Robert Piles writes: “Some time ago, I was inclined to buy Negroes to help my family (which includes some small children). But there arose a question in me about the lawfulness of this under the gospel command of Christ Jesus: Do unto all men as you would have all men do unto you. We ourselves would not willingly be lifelong slaves.”

1704Gottfried Leibniz raises objection 12 (in my 14.3d), that the golden rule assumes antecedent moral norms: “The rule that we should do to others only what we are willing that they do to us requires not only proof but also elucidation. We would wish for more than our share if we had our way; so do we also owe to others more than their share? I will be told that the rule applies only to a just will. But then the rule, far from serving as a standard, will need a standard.”

1706Samuel Clarke’s Discourse Concerning the Unchangeable Obligations of Natural Religion proposes: “Whatever I judge reasonable or unreasonable, for another to do for me, that, by the same judgment, I declare reasonable or unreasonable that I in the like case should do for him. And to deny this either in word or action, is as if a man should contend, that though two and three are equal to five, yet three and two are not so.”

1715John Hepburn’s American Defense of the Golden Rule says: “Doing to others as we would not be done by is unlawful. But making slaves of Negroes is doing to others as we would not be done by. Therefore, making slaves of Negroes is unlawful.”

1725Jabez Fitch’s “Sermon on the golden rule” defends the golden rule against objections and bases it on Christ’s authority, abstract justice, and self-interest.

1739David Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature, disputing those who see humans as essentially egoistic, argues that sympathy is the powerful source of morality (bk. 3, pt. 2, 1): “There is no human whose happiness or misery does not affect us when brought near to us and represented in lively colors.”

1741Isaac Watts’s Improvement of the Mind, in discussing key principles in various fields, says: “Such is that golden principle of morality, which our blessed Lord has given us, Do that to others, which you think just and reasonable that others should do to you, which is almost sufficient in itself to solve all cases of conscience which relate to our neighbor.”

1747Methodism founder John Wesley says that the golden rule “commends itself, as soon as heard, to every man’s conscience and understanding; no man can knowingly offend against it without carrying his condemnation in his own breast.” (Sermon 30, on Mathew 7:1-12)

1754John Wollman protests slavery on the basis of the golden rule: “Jesus has laid down the best criterion by which mankind ought to judge of their own conduct: Whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, do you even so to them. One man ought not to look upon another man, or society of men, as so far beneath him, but he should put himself in their place, in all his actions towards them, and bring all to this test: How should I approve of this conduct, were I in their circumstance and they in mine?”

1762Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s mile (bk. 4) says: “The precept of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us has no foundation other than conscience and sentiment. When an expansive soul makes me identify myself with my fellow, and I feel that I am, so to speak, in him, it is in order not to suffer that I do not want him to suffer. I am interested in him for love of myself, and nature leads me to desire my well-being wherever I feel my existence.”

1763Voltaire, inspired by Confucian writings that Jesuits brought from China, says: “The single fundamental and immutable law for men is the following: ‘Treat others as you would be treated.’ This law is from nature itself: it cannot be torn from the heart of man.” (du Roy 2008: 94)

1774Caesar Sarter, a black ex-slave, writes: “Let that excellent rule given by our Savior, to do to others, as you would that they should do to you, have its due weight. Suppose that you were ensnared away – the husband from the dear wife of his bosom – or children from their fond parents. Suppose you were thus ravished from such a blissful situation, and plunged into miserable slavery, in a distant land. Now, are you willing that all this should befall you?”

1776Humphrey Primatt’s On the Duty of Mercy and Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals uses the golden rule: “Do you that are a man so treat your horse, as you would be willing to be treated by your master, in case you were a horse.”

1776Thomas Jefferson writes the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But he owns hundreds of slaves. The poet Phillis Wheatley, a black ex-slave, complains about the inconsistency between American words and actions about freedom.

1777 New England Primer for children has this poem: “Be you to others kind and true, As you’d have others be to you; And neither do nor say to men, Whate’er you would not take again.” Some added a retaliatory second verse: “But if men do and say to you, That which is neither kind nor true, Take a good stick, and say to men, ‘Don’t say or do that same again.'”

1785Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals has a footnote objecting to the “trivial” golden rule, that it doesn’t cover duties to oneself or benevolence to others (since many would agree not to be helped by others if they could be excused from helping others) and would force a judge not to punish a criminal. Kant’s objections (which I answer in 14.3c) lowered the golden rule’s credibility for many. Yet Kant’s larger ethical framework is golden-rule like. His “I ought never to act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law” resembles Gold 7 of my 2.3. And his “Treat others as ends in themselves and not just as means” is perhaps well analyzed as “Treat others only as you’re willing to be treated in the same situation.”

1788John Newton’s Thoughts upon the African Slave Trade begins with the golden rule and condemns the trade. A former slave trader, Newton during a storm at sea converted to Christianity. He wrote the Amazing Grace hymn, which begins “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!”

1791-1855Liu Pao-nan’s Textual Exegesis of Confucius’s Analects says: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you. Then by necessity we must do to others what we want them to do to us.” (W. Chan 1955: 300)

1800sThe Underground Railroad is a secret network of Americans who help black slaves escape into Canada. To raise funds, they sell anti-slavery tokens, imprinted with things like the golden rule or a crouching slave with the words “Am I not a man and a brother.”

1812The Grimm Brothers’ “The old man and his grandson” tells how a grandson reminds his parents to follow the golden rule toward Grandpa (1.1 & 6.3).

1817-92Bah’u’llh in Persia establishes the Bah’ faith, which believes in one God and ultimately just one religion. God revealed himself through prophets that include Abraham, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ, Muhammad, and Bah’u’llh. Humanity is one family and needs to live together in love and fellowship. The Bah’ golden rule says: “One should wish for one’s brother that which one wishes for oneself.”

1818Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy novel says: “‘Francis understands the principle of all moral accounting, the great ethic rule of three. Let A do to B, as he would have B do to him; the product will give the conduct required.’ My father smiled at this reduction of the golden rule to arithmetical form.”

1818The Presbyterian General Assembly uses the golden rule to condemn slavery.

1826Joseph Butler, in a sermon on self-deceit, says: “Substitute another for yourself, consider yourself as the person affected by such a behavior, or toward whom such an action is done: and then you would not only see, but likewise feel, the reasonableness or unreasonableness of such an action.”

1827Joseph Smith receives the Book of Mormon, which has the golden rule: “Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets” (3 Nephi 14:12).

1828The Methodist Christian Advocate uses the golden rule to protest America’s treatment of Indians.

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Golden Rule Chronology – Gensler’s Home Page

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Trance – Wikipedia

Posted: October 31, 2016 at 2:52 am

Trance in its modern meaning comes from an earlier meaning of “a dazed, half-conscious or insensible condition or state of fear”, via the Old French transe “fear of evil”, from the Latin transre “to cross”, “pass over”. This definition is now obsolete.[1]

Wier, in his 1995 book, Trance: from magic to technology, defines a simple trance (p.58) as a state of mind being caused by cognitive loops where a cognitive object (thoughts, images, sounds, intentional actions) repeats long enough to result in various sets of disabled cognitive functions. Wier represents all trances (which include sleep and watching television) as taking place on a dissociated trance plane where at least some cognitive functions such as volition are disabled; as is seen in what is typically termed a ‘hypnotic trance’.[2] With this definition, meditation, hypnosis, addictions and charisma are seen as being trance states. In Wier’s 2007 book, The Way of Trance, he elaborates on these forms, adds ecstasy as an additional form and discusses the ethical implications of his model, including magic and government use which he terms “trance abuse”.

John Horgan in Rational Mysticism (2003) explores the neurological mechanisms and psychological implications of trances and other mystical manifestations. Horgan incorporates literature and case-studies from a number of disciplines in this work: chemistry, physics, psychology, radiology and theology.

The following are some examples of trance states:

Trance conditions include all the different states of mind, emotions, moods and daydreams that human beings experience. All activities which engage a human involve the filtering of information coming into sense modalities, and this influences brain functioning and consciousness. Therefore, trance may be understood as a way for the mind to change the way it filters information in order to provide more efficient use of the mind’s resources.

Trance states may also be accessed or induced by various modalities and is a way of accessing the unconscious mind for the purposes of relaxation, healing, intuition and inspiration. There is an extensive documented history of trance as evidenced by the case-studies of anthropologists and ethnologists and associated and derivative disciplines. Hence trance may be perceived as endemic to the human condition and a Human Universal. Principles of trance are being explored and documented as are methods of trance induction. Benefits of trance states are being explored by medical and scientific inquiry. Many traditions and rituals employ trance. Trance also has a function in religion and mystical experience.

Castillo (1995) states that: “Trance phenomena result from the behavior of intense focusing of attention, which is the key psychological mechanism of trance induction. Adaptive responses, including institutionalized forms of trance, are ‘tuned’ into neural networks in the brain and depend to a large extent on the characteristics of culture. Culture-specific organizations exist in the structure of individual neurons and in the organizational formation of neural networks.”

Hoffman (1998: p.9) states that: “Trance is still conventionally defined as a state of reduced consciousness, or a somnolent state. However, the more recent anthropological definition, linking it to ‘altered states of consciousness’ (Charles Tart), is becoming increasingly accepted.”

Hoffman (1998, p.9) asserts that: “…the trance state should be discussed in the plural, because there is more than one altered state of consciousness significantly different from everyday consciousness.”

According to Hoffman (1998: p.10), pilgrims visited the Temple of Epidaurus, an asclepeion, in Greece for healing sleep. Seekers of healing would make pilgrimage and be received by a priest who would welcome and bless them. This temple housed an ancient religious ritual promoting dreams in the seeker that endeavored to promote healing and the solutions to problems, as did the oracles. This temple was built in honor of Asclepios, the Greek god of medicine. The Greek treatment was referred to as incubation, and focused on prayers to Asclepios for healing. The asclepion at Epidaurus is both extensive and well-preserved, and is traditionally regarded as the birthplace of Asclepius. (For a comparable modern tool see Dreamwork.)

The Oracle at Delphi was also famous for trances in the ancient Greek world; priestesses there would make predictions about the future in exchange for gold.

Stories of the saints in the Middle Ages, myths, parables, fairy tales, oral lore and storytelling from different cultures are themselves potentially inducers of trance. Often literary devices such as repetition are employed which is evident in many forms of trance induction. Milton Erickson used stories to induce trance as do many NLP practitioners.

From at least the 16th century it was held that march music may induce soldiers marching in unison into trance states where according to apologists, they bond together as a unit engendered by the rigors of training, the ties of comradeship and the chain of command. This had the effect of making the soldiers become automated, an effect which was widely evident in the 16th, 17th and 18th century due to the increasing prevalence of firearms employed in warcraft. Military instruments, especially the snare drum and other drums were used to entone a monotonous ostinato at the pace of march and heartbeat. High-pitched fifes, flutes and bagpipes were used for their “piercing” effect to play the melody. This would assist the morale and solidarity of soldiers as they marched to battle.

Joseph Jordania recently proposed a term battle trance for this mental state, when combatants do not feel fear and pain, and when they lose their individual identity and acquire a collective identity.[3]

The Norse Berserkers induced a trance-like state before battle, called Berserkergang. It is said to have given the warriors superhuman strength and made them impervious to pain during battle. This form of trance could have been induced partly due to ingestion of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

As the mystical experience of mystics generally entails direct connection, communication and communion with Deity, Godhead and/or god; trance and cognate experience are endemic. (see Yoga, Sufism, Shaman, Umbanda, Crazy Horse, etc.)

As shown by Jonathan Garb,[4] trance techniques also played a role in Lurianic Kabbalah, the mystical life of the circle of Moshe Hayyim Luzzatto and Hasidism.

Many Christian mystics are documented as having experiences that may be considered as cognate with trance, such as: Hildegard of Bingen, John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, Saint Theresa (as seen in the Bernini sculpture) and Francis of Assisi.

Taves (1999) charts the synonymic language of trance in the American Christian traditions: power or presence or indwelling of God, or Christ, or the Spirit, or spirits. Typical expressions include “the indwelling of the Spirit” (Jonathan Edwards), “the witness of the Spirit” (John Wesley), “the power of God” (early American Methodists), being “filled with the Spirit of the Lord” (early Adventists; see charismatic Adventism), “communing with spirits” (Spiritualists), “the Christ within” (New Thought), “streams of holy fire and power” (Methodist holiness), “a religion of the Spirit and Power” (the Emmanuel Movement), and “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” (early Pentecostals). (Taves, 1999: 3)

Taves (1999) well-referenced book on trance charts the experience of Anglo-American Protestants and those who left the Protestant movement beginning with the transatlantic awakening in the early 18th century and ending with the rise of the psychology of religion and the birth of Pentecostalism in the early 20th century. This book focuses on a class of seemingly involuntary acts alternately explained in religious and secular terminology. These involuntary experiences include uncontrolled bodily movements (fits, bodily exercises, falling as dead, catalepsy, convulsions); spontaneous vocalizations (crying out, shouting, speaking in tongues); unusual sensory experiences (trances, visions, voices, clairvoyance, out-of-body experiences); and alterations of consciousness and/or memory (dreams, somnium, somnambulism, mesmeric trance, mediumistic trance, hypnosis, possession, alternating personality) (Taves, 1999: 3).

Trance-like states are often interpreted as religious ecstasy or visions and can be deliberately induced using a variety of techniques, including prayer, religious rituals, meditation, pranayama (breathwork or breathing exercises), physical exercise, coitus (and/or sex), music, dancing, sweating (e.g. sweat lodge), fasting, thirsting, and the consumption of psychotropic drugs such as cannabis. Sensory modality is the channel or conduit for the induction of the trance. Sometimes an ecstatic experience takes place in occasion of contact with something or somebody perceived as extremely beautiful or holy. It may also happen without any known reason. The particular technique that an individual uses to induce ecstasy is usually one that is associated with that individual’s particular religious and cultural traditions. As a result, an ecstatic experience is usually interpreted within the context of a particular individual’s religious and cultural traditions. These interpretations often include statements about contact with supernatural or spiritual beings, about receiving new information as a revelation, also religion-related explanations of subsequent change of values, attitudes and behavior (e.g. in case of religious conversion).

Benevolent, neutral and malevolent trances may be induced (intentionally, spontaneously and/or accidentally) by different methods:

Charles Tart provides a useful working definition of auditory driving. It is the induction of trance through the sense of hearing. Auditory driving works through a process known as entrainment.[citation needed]

The usage of repetitive rhythms to induce trance states is an ancient phenomenon. Throughout the world, shamanistic practitioners have been employing this method for millennia. Anthropologists and other researchers have documented the similarity of shamanistic auditory driving rituals among different cultures.

Said simply, entrainment is the synchronization of different rhythmic cycles. Breathing and heart rate have been shown to be affected by auditory stimulus, along with brainwave activity. The ability of rhythmic sound to affect human brainwave activity, especially theta brainwaves, is the essence of auditory driving, and is the cause of the altered states of consciousness that it can induce.[citation needed]

Nowack and Feltman have recently published an article entitled “Eliciting the Photic Driving Response” which states that the EEG photic driving response is a sensitive neurophysiological measure which has been employed to assess chemical and drug effects, forms of epilepsy, neurological status of Alzheimer’s patients, and physiological arousal. Photic driving also impacts upon the psychological climate of a person by producing increased visual imagery and decreased physiological and subjective arousal. In this research by Nowack and Feltman, all participants reported increased visual imagery during photic driving, as measured by their responses to an imagery questionnaire.

Dennis Wier (http://www.trance.edu/papers/theory.htm Accessed: 6 December 2006) states that over two millennia ago Ptolemy and Apuleius found that differing rates of flickering lights affected states of awareness and sometimes induced epilepsy. Wier also asserts that it was discovered in the late 1920s that when light was shined on closed eyelids it resulted in an echoing production of brainwave frequencies. Wier also opined that in 1965 Grey employed a stroboscope to project rhythmic light flashes into the eyes at a rate of 1025Hz (cycles per second). Grey discovered that this stimulated similar brainwave activity.

Research by Thomas Budzynski, Oestrander et al., in the use of brain machines suggest that photic driving via the suprachiasmatic nucleus and direct electrical stimulation and driving via other mechanisms and modalities, may entrain processes of the brain facilitating rapid and enhanced learning, produce deep relaxation, euphoria, an increase in creativity, problem solving propensity and may be associated with enhanced concentration and accelerated learning. The theta range and the border area between alpha and theta has generated considerable research interest.

Charles Tart provides a useful working definition of kinesthetic driving. It is the induction of trance through the sense of touch, feeling or emotions. Kinesthetic driving works through a process known as entrainment.

The rituals practiced by some athletes in preparing for contests are dismissed as superstition, but this is a device of sport psychologists to help them to attain an ecstasy-like state. Interestingly, Joseph Campbell had a peak experience whilst running. Roger Bannister on breaking the four-minute mile (Cameron, 1993: 185): “No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamt existed.” Roger Bannister later became a distinguished neurologist.

Mechanisms and disciplines that include kinesthetic driving may include: dancing, walking meditation, yoga and asana, mudra, juggling, poi (juggling), etc.

Sufism (the mystical branch of Islam) has theoretical and metaphoric texts regarding ecstasy as a state of connection with Allah. Sufi practice rituals (dhikr, sema) use body movement and music to achieve the state.

Divination is a cultural universal which anthropologists have observed as being present in many religions and cultures in all ages up to the present day (see sibyl). Divination may be defined as a mechanism for fortune-telling by ascertaining information by interpretation of omens or an alleged supernatural agency. Divination often entails ritual, and is often facilitated by trance.

In Tibet, oracles have played, and continue to play, an important part in religion and government. The word oracle is used by Tibetans to refer to the spirit, deity or entity that enters those men and women who act as media between the natural and the spiritual realms. The media are, therefore, known as kuten, which literally means, “the physical basis”.

The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in northern India, still consults an oracle known as the Nechung Oracle, which is considered the official state oracle of the government of Tibet. He gives a complete description of the process of trance and possession in his book Freedom in Exile.[9]

Convergent disciplines of neuroanthropology, ethnomusicology, electroencephalography (EEG), neurotheology and cognitive neuroscience, amongst others, are conducting research into the trance induction of altered states of consciousness resulting from neuron entrainment with the driving of sensory modalities, for example polyharmonics, multiphonics, and percussive polyrhythms through the channel of the auditory and kinesthetic modality.

Neuroanthropology and cognitive neuroscience are conducting research into the trance induction of altered states of consciousness (possibly engendering higher consciousness) resulting from neuron firing entrainment with these polyharmonics and multiphonics. Related research has been conducted into neural entraining with percussive polyrhythms. The timbre of traditional singing bowls and their polyrhythms and multiphonics are considered meditative and calming, and the harmony inducing effects of this tool to potentially alter consciousness are being explored by scientists, medical professionals and therapists.

Scientific advancement and new technologies such as computerized EEG, positron emission tomography, regional cerebral blood flow, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, are providing measurable tools to assist in understanding trance phenomena.

Though a source of contention, there appear to be three current streams of inquiry: neurophysiology, social psychology and cognitive behaviorism. The neurophysiological approach is awaiting the development of a mechanism to map physiological measurements to human thought. The social-psychological approach currently measures gross subjective and social effects of thoughts and some critique it for lack of precision. Cognitive behaviorialists employ systems theory concepts and analytical techniques.

There are four principal brainwave states that range from high-amplitude, low-frequency delta to low-amplitude, high-frequency beta. These states range from deep dreamless sleep to a state of high arousal. These four brainwave states are common throughout humans. All levels of brainwaves exist in everyone at all times, even though one is foregrounded depending on the activity level. When a person is in an aroused state and exhibiting a beta brainwave pattern, their brain also exhibits a component of alpha, theta and delta, even though only a trace may be present.

The University of Philadelphia study on some Christians at the Freedom Valley Worship Center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, revealed that glossolalia-speaking (vocalizing or praying in unrecognizable form of language which is seen in members of certain Christian sects) activates areas of the brain out of voluntary control. In addition, the frontal lobe of the brain, which monitors speech, significantly diminished in activity as the study participants spoke glossolalia. Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, in analysis of his earlier studies as opposed to the MRI scans of the test subjects, stated that Buddhist monks in meditation and Franciscan nuns in prayer exhibited increased activity in the frontal lobe, and subsequently their behaviors, very much under voluntary control. The investigation found this particular beyond-body-control characteristic only in tongue-speakers (also see xenoglossia).


Trance – Wikipedia

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Chicago Tribune endorses Libertarian candidate Gary …

Posted: October 3, 2016 at 1:04 am

As Nov. 8 looms, a dismayed, disconsolate America waits and wonders: What is it about 2016?

How has our country fallen so inescapably into political and policy gridlock? How did pandering to aggrieved niche groups and seducing blocs of angry voters replace working toward solutions as the coin of our governing class? How could the Democratic and Republican parties stagger so far from this nation’s political mainstream?

And the most pressing question: What should tens of millions of voters who yearn for answers do with two major-party candidates they disdain? Polls show an unprecedented number of people saying they wish they had another choice.

This is the moment to look at the candidates on this year’s ballot. This is the moment to see this election as not so much about them as about the American people and where their country is heading. And this is the moment to rebuke the Republican and Democratic parties.

The Republicans have nominated Donald Trump, a man not fit to be president of the United States. We first wrote on March 10 that we would not, could not, endorse him. And in the intervening six-plus months he has splendidly reinforced our verdict: Trump has gone out of his way to anger world leaders, giant swaths of the American public, and people of other lands who aspire to immigrate here legally. He has neither the character nor the prudent disposition for the job.

The mystery and shame of Trump’s rise we have red, white and blue coffee mugs that are more genuinely Republican is the party’s inability or unwillingness to repulse his hostile takeover. We appreciate the disgust for failed career politicians that Trump’s supporters invoke; many of those voters are doubly victimized by economic forces beyond their control, and by the scorn of mocking elitists who look down their noses to see them. He has ridden to the White House gate on the backs of Americans who believe they’ve been robbed of opportunity and respect. But inaugurating a bombastic and self-aggrandizing President Donald Trump isn’t the cure.

The Democrats have nominated Hillary Clinton, who, by contrast, is undeniably capable of leading the United States. Electing her the first woman president would break a barrier that has no reason to be. We see no rough equivalence between Trump and Clinton. Any American who lists their respective shortcomings should be more apoplectic about the litany under his name than the one under hers. He couldn’t do this job. She could.

But for reasons we’ll explain her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust we cannot endorse her.

Clinton’s vision of ever-expanding government is in such denial of our national debt crisis as to be fanciful. Rather than run as a practical-minded Democrat as in 2008, this year she lurched left, pandering to match the Free Stuff agenda of then-rival Bernie Sanders. She has positioned herself so far to the left on spending that her presidency would extend the political schism that has divided America for some 24 years. That is, since the middle of a relatively moderate Clinton presidency. Today’s Hillary Clinton, unlike yesteryear’s, renounces many of Bill Clinton’s priorities freer trade, spending discipline, light regulation and private sector growth to generate jobs and tax revenues.

Hillary Clinton calls for a vast expansion of federal spending, supported by the kinds of tax hikes that were comically impossible even in the years when President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats dominated both houses of Congress. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calculates that Clinton’s plan would increase spending by $1.65 trillion over a decade, mostly for college education, paid family leave, infrastructure and health-related expenditures. Spending just on debt interest would rise by $50 billion. Personal and business taxation would rise by $1.5 trillion. Sort through all the details and her plan would raise the national debt by $200 billion.

Now as in the primary season, Clinton knows she is proposing orgies of spending, and taxing, that simply will … not … happen. She is promising Americans all manner of things she cannot deliver.

That is but one of the reasons why so many Americans reject Clinton: They don’t trust what she says, how she makes decisions, and her up-to-the-present history of egregiously erasing the truth:

In the wake of a deadly attack on American personnel in Libya, she steered the American public away from the real cause an inconvenient terror attack right before the 2012 election after privately emailing the truth to her daughter. The head of the FBI, while delivering an indictment minus the grand jury paperwork, labeled her “extremely careless” for mishandling emails sensitive to national security. In public she stonewalled, dissembled and repeatedly lied several were astonishing whoppers about her private communications system (“There is no classified material,” “Everything I did was permitted,” and on and on). Her negligence in enforcing conflict-of-interest boundaries allowed her family’s foundation to exploit the U.S. Department of State as a favor factory. Even her command and control of a routine medical issue devolved into a secretive, misleading mission to hide information from Americans.

Time upon time, Clinton’s behavior affirms the perception that she’s a corner-cutter whose ambitions drive her decisions. One telling episode among the countless: Asked by a voter if she was for or against the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, she replied, “If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.” As we’ve asked here before, will Hillary Clinton ever get over her consuming fear of straight talk?

Taken together, Trump and Clinton have serious flaws that prevent us from offering our support to either of them. Still, come Nov. 8, tens of millions of Americans willmake a draw that they consider beyond distasteful.

We choose not to do that. We would rather recommend a principled candidate for president regardless of his or her prospects for victory than suggest that voters cast ballots for such disappointing major-party candidates.

With that demand for a principled president paramount, we turn to the candidate we can recommend. One party has two moderate Republicans veteran governors who successfully led Democratic states atop its ticket. Libertarians Gary Johnson of New Mexico and running mate William Weld of Massachusetts are agile, practical and, unlike the major-party candidates, experienced at managing governments. They offer an agenda that appeals not only to the Tribune’s principles but to those of the many Americans who say they are socially tolerant but fiscally responsible. “Most people are Libertarian,” Johnson told the Tribune Editorial Board when he and Weld met with us in July. “It’s just that they don’t know it.”

Theirs is small-L libertarianism, built on individual freedom and convinced that, at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, official Washington is clumsy, expensive and demonstrably unable to solve this nation’s problems. They speak of reunifying an America now balkanized into identity and economic groups and of avoiding their opponents’ bullying behavior and sanctimonious lectures. Johnson and Weld are even-keeled provided they aren’t discussing the injustice of trapping young black children in this nation’s worst-performing schools. On that and other galling injustices, they’re animated.

We reject the cliche that a citizen who chooses a principled third-party candidate is squandering his or her vote. Look at the number of fed-up Americans telling pollsters they clamor for alternatives to Trump and Clinton. What we’re recommending will appeal less to people who think tactically than to conscientious Americans so infuriated that they want to send a message about the failings of the major parties and their candidates. Put short:

We offer this endorsement to encourage voters who want to feel comfortable with their choice. Who want to vote for someone they can admire.

Johnson, who built a construction business before entering politics, speaks in terms that appeal to many among us: Expanded global trade and resulting job expansion. Robust economic growth, rather than ever-higher taxation, to raise government revenue. A smaller, and less costly, federal government. Faith in Americans’ ability to parlay economic opportunity into success. While many Democrats and Republicans outdo one another in opposing the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, or TPP, we’re amused by this oddity: Today the nation’s two most ardent free-traders arguably are Barack Obama and Gary Johnson.

That said, Obama and Johnson are but two of the many candidates we’ve endorsed yet with whom we also can disagree. Johnson’s foreign policy stance approaches isolationism. He is too reluctant to support what we view as necessary interventions overseas. He likely wouldn’t dispatch U.S. forces in situations where Clinton would do so and where Trump … who can reliably predict?

But unless the United States tames a national debt that’s rapidly approaching $20 trillion-with-a-T, Americans face ever tighter constrictions on what this country can afford, at home or overseas. Clinton and Trump are too cowardly even to whisper about entitlement reforms that each of them knows are imperative. Johnson? He wants to raise the retirement age and apply a means test on benefits to the wealthiest.

What’s more, principled third-party candidates can make big contributions even when they lose. In 1992 businessman H. Ross Perot won 19 percent of the popular vote on a thin but sensible platform, much of it constructed around reducing federal deficits. That strong showing by Perot the relative centrist influenced how President Bill Clinton would govern.

We wish the two major parties had not run away from today’s centrist Americans. Just as we wish either of their candidates evoked the principles that a Chicago Tribune now in its 170th year espouses, among them high integrity, free markets, personal responsibility and a limited role for government in the lives of the governed. We hope Johnson does well enough that Republicans and Democrats get the message and that his ideas make progress over time.

This year neither major party presents a good option. So the Chicago Tribune today endorses Libertarian Gary Johnson for president of the United States. Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016.

Join the discussion on Twitter @Trib_Ed_Boardand onFacebook.

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Abolition – The African-American Mosaic Exhibition …

Posted: August 14, 2016 at 7:12 pm

The American Anti-Slavery Society was established in 1833, but abolitionist sentiment antedated the republic. For example, the charter of Georgia prohibited slavery, and many of its settlers fought a losing battle against allowing it in the colony, Before independence, Quakers, most black Christians, and other religious groups argued that slavery was incompatible with Christ’s teaching. Moreover, a number of revolutionaries saw the glaring contradiction between demanding freedom for themselves while holding slaves. Although the economic center of slavery was in the South, northerners also held slaves, as did African Americans and Native Americans. Moreover, some southerners opposed slavery. Blacks were in the vanguard of the anti-slavery movement. Abolitionist literature began to appear about 1820. Until the Civil War, the anti-slavery press produced a steadily growing stream of newspapers, periodicals, sermons, children’s publications, speeches, abolitionist society reports, broadsides, and memoirs of former slaves.

The Library of Congress has a wealth of material that demonstrates the extent of public support for and opposition to abolition. Broadsides advertise fairs and bazaars that women’s groups held to raise money for the cause. Other publications advertise abolitionist rallies, some of which are pictured in prints from contemporaneous periodicals. To build enthusiasm at their meetings, anti-slavery organizations used songs, some of which survive. The Library also has many political and satirical prints from the 1830s through the 1850s that demonstrate the rising sectional controversy during that time.

Although excellent studies of the abolition movement exist, further research in the Library’s manuscripts could document the lesser known individuals who formed the movement’s core. Other promising topics include the roles of women and black abolitionists and the activities of state and local abolitionist societies.

Jonathan Edwards, Jr., (17451801), was, like his more famous father, a Congregationalist minister. He served at the White Haven Church in New Haven, Connecticut, and later became president of Union College in Schenectady, New York. In this sermon, Edwards presented forceful arguments against ten common pro-slavery positions. One of the earliest anti-slavery publications in the Library of Congress collections, the sermon demonstrates the existence of strong anti-slavery feeling in the early days of the republic.

Injustices and Impolicy of the Slave Trade and of the Slavery of Africans. Title page. Jonathan Edwards [Jr.], Author. New Haven: Thomas & Samuel Green, 1791. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (35)

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On January 1, 1794, delegates from the abolition societies of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland met in Philadelphia, a stronghold of the anti-slavery Quaker religion. The group voted to petition Congress to prohibit the slave trade and also to appeal to the legislatures of the various states to abolish slavery. The petitions pointed out the inconsistency of a country that had recently rejected the tyranny of kings engaging in domestic despotism. Delegates published an address urging on U.S. citizens the obligations of justice, humanity, and benevolence toward our Africa brethren, whether in bondage or free. The group planned to meet each January until slavery was abolished.

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The American Anti-Slavery Society produced The Slave’s Friend, a monthly pamphlet of abolitionist poems, songs, and stories for children. In its pages, young readers were encouraged to collect money for the anti-slavery cause. Here a picture of the coffle- yoke used to chain groups of slaves together illustrates a dialogue about the horrors of slavery between a girl named Ellen and her father, Mr. Murray. A shocked Ellen concludes that I will never boast of our liberty while there is a slave in this land.

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Anti-colonization sentiment was common in abolitionist publications such as The Anti-Slavery Picknick, a collection of speeches, poems, dialogues, and songs intended for use in schools and anti-slavery meetings. A song called the Colored Man’s Opinion of Colonization denounces plans to transport free blacks out of the United States. Many African-Americans opposed colonization, and, in 1831, a convention of free blacks meeting in New York asserted, This is our home, and this is our country. Beneath its sod lie the bones of our fathers; for it some of them fought, bled, and died. Here we were born, and here we will die.

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Although women were heavily involved in abolitionist activities, opinion was divided as to their proper role. Some people believed that women should serve in auxiliary roles that did not expose them to competition with men. However, many women played a highly visible role as writers and speakers for the cause. Some of them gained activist experience that they later used in support of women’s rights. In this circular, the women of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society advertise a fundraising event to support an agent. Well-known abolitionists such as Maria W. Chapman, a spirited speaker, song writer, and editor of many volumes of The Liberty Bell songbook, and Helen E. Garrison, wife of William Lloyd Garrison, were involved in the event.

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This broadside condemns the sale and keeping of slaves in the District of Columbia. The work was issued during the 18351836 campaign to have Congress abolish slavery in the Capital. At the top are contrasting scenes: a view of a reading of the Declaration of Independence, captioned The Land of the Free, with a scene of slaves being led past the Capitol, captioned The Home of the Oppressed. Also shown is the infamous Franklin & Armfield Slave Prison, still standing on Duke Street in Alexandria, Virginia. Opened in 1828, this center soon gained control of nearly half the sea trade in slaves between Virginia and Maryland and New Orleans. Most area slaves sold South were held there before being shipped to a dreaded future on a rice, cotton or indigo plantation.

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This handbill urging opponents of abolitionists to obstruct an anti-slavery meeting demonstrates the depth of pro-slavery feeling. Although the handbill advocates peaceful means, violence sometimes erupted between the two factions. An emotion-laden handbill was a factor in the well-known Boston riot of October 21, 1835. In that incident, a mob broke into the hall where the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society was meeting, and threatened William Lloyd Garrison’s life.

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Each year the American Anti-Slavery Society distributed an almanac containing poems, drawings, essays, and other abolitionist material. This issue was compiled by Lydia Maria Child (18021880), a popular writer recruited to the abolitionist cause by William Lloyd Garrison. In 1833, Mrs. Child produced An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans, a sensational anti-slavery publication that won converts to the movement. From 1841 to 1849, she edited the New York-based National Anti-Slavery Standard newspaper.

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Joseph Cinquez (or Cinque) was one of a group of Africans from Sierra Leone who had been kidnapped and sold into slavery. In July 1839, Cinquez led a revolt on the slave ship Amistad, off Cuba. The slaves took control of the ship and killed the crew, but were soon captured and charged with piracy. Their subsequent trials in New Haven, Connecticut, were causes celebres, pitting abolitionists against President Martin Van Buren’s administration. In March 1841, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision to return Cinquez and his surviving friends to Africa. John Quincy Adams had represented the Africans before the Supreme Court, and they were set free largely as a result of his eloquent pleading.

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The illustration on this sheet-music cover is an allegory of the triumph of abolitionism. A railroad car called Immediate Emancipation, is pulled by a locomotive named Liberator. These two names refer to William Lloyd Garrison, whose demand for immediate emancipation was expressed in his newspaper The Liberator. Repealer, the second locomotive, probably refers to the Irish insurgent movement, a cause with which many U.S. abolitionists were allied. Flags bearing the names of two other abolitionist publications, the Herald of Freedom and American Standard (or National Anti-Slavery Standard) fly from the Emancipation car. In the distance, two other trains, one marked Van, the other Clay, crash, and their passengers flee. These trains allude to Democrat and Whig presidential hopefuls Martin Van Buren and Henry Clay.

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Like many other reformers, abolitionists felt that good crusades required singing. Hence, many abolitionists expressed themselves in verse and songs. The cover of this sheet-music shows a fictionalized and inaccurate version of the escape from slavery of Frederick Douglass (18171895), who actually fled by ship. The song is dedicated to Douglass for his fearless advocacy, signal ability, and wonderful success in behalf of His Brothers in Bonds.

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Abolitionist materials aimed at women often appealed to their sympathetic feeling as wives and mothers for the plight of slave women who might be separated from their husbands or children.

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Abolition – The African-American Mosaic Exhibition …

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