New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Raw Diamonds

July 20, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Mary Sojourner

Being Changed With Every Breath…

by Mary Sojourner

“… the Jeweled Net of Indra, a metaphor from the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, which portrays how all beings are interconnected across time and space.  The image, a vast net of inter-connecting threads, describes how at all intersecting nodes there is a diamond-like jewel that represents all sentient beings — human and other — that exist in the universe.  Each jewel reflects every other jewel in the vast net.  Whenever suffering occurs anywhere in the great, luminous net, a tear appears.  In times of trouble, people respond, and their compassionate response helps the net to reweave around the places of suffering.” — Olivia Hoblitzelle, “Get Your Dyin’ Done Early,” Inquiring Mind, Fall 2008

An older friend is afraid for his mind.  I am seventy-two and have been afraid of losing my mind since I was eighteen.  Olivia Hoblitzelle’s husband, Hob, had intended to give a talk on Indra’s Web at the Cambridge Insight and Meditation Center.  He was more than qualified.  He’d trained in Buddhist meditation and was a lay monk in the Tiep Hiep Order.  He’d taught for fifteen years. (more…)

Hot Topic

July 13, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Robert C. Koehler

Finding the Courage to Address Climate Change

by Robert C. Koehler

The heat backs up across the country, causing drought, wildfires, a mega-storm on the East Coast. More than 4,000 “hottest day” records have been shattered in the U.S. in the past month.

“The ecological ego matures,” Theodore Roszak wrote 20 years ago in The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology, “toward a sense of ethical responsibility to the planet that is as vividly experienced as our ethical responsibility to other people. It seeks to weave that responsibility into the fabric of social relations and political decisions.”

Social change of real value is slow-going indeed. How do we manifest responsibility to the planet? A serious consensus is building across the globe that doing so is crucial, that the weather extremes of recent years are no less than global warming in action, the result of centuries of unbridled, industrial-age irresponsibility toward the planet, and something fundamental has to change in how we live our lives and sustain ourselves, but our leadership, certainly in this country, seems incapable of addressing an issue of such complexity. (more…)

Life Stories

June 22, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

Scheherazades of the 21st Century

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

I have been following the progress of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development from a distance, feeling jaded about the process and the possibility of positive outcomes resulting from this gathering of diplomats and social engineers.  It’s good to see the lively and vibrant displays of people passion outside the gates of the conference, but the real question is, when will those gates come down?

At the Strategies for a New Economy conference earlier this month, veteran progressive economist Gar Alperovitz pointed to our time as the moment when enough people wake up and notice that something is wrong.

“This is a critical moment in history,” he said; “the moment when people realize something is gravely wrong and are willing to think outside the box to find solutions.”

Alperovitz suggested that we are currently in “the prehistory of a major shift,” and that now is the time for those of us who are aware of what’s happening to “lay the foundations for new institutions and new systems” that are tailored to meet the coming challenges. (more…)

Follow the Money

January 19, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

And Let the Revolution Begin!

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

People in the know always advise us to “follow the money.”

Thanks to the Occupy movement, it’s become plain to a lot more of us that huge amounts of money are concentrated in a very few, very influential hands.  Big business interests control politics at every level, and the name of the game is profit for the top managers and owners, with the bare minimum allowed to “trickle down” through taxes and philanthropy.

Nothing new in that picture.  But there are some provocative new ideas arising about how to change a system that seems so entirely entrenched that most of us don’t even bother to think too hard about alternatives. (more…)

Living and Learning Sustainability

August 05, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Tina Lynn Evans

A New Series for New Clear Vision

by Tina Lynn Evans

(Editor’s Note: In this monthly series for NCV, Tina Evans explores some of the most pressing challenges of our time. She proposes ways of comprehending these challenges and taking positive actions, and offers a voice of reason and empathy amidst the cacophony of blame triggered by converging crises in areas such as the economy, energy, climate, and more. Evans helps us consider more sustainable and socially just analyses of and answers to our problems than those offered by the prominent players of the blame game. Along with her students, her community, and her readers, she aims to help create empowering alternatives that can benefit people and the places they call home…)

It’s so easy to be lured into the blame game. We don’t have to learn much to join in, and our participation provides an immediate outlet for our anger and frustration. And yes, many of us should be angry as we chart our futures on a playing field that is too often tilted — and not in our favor. In the U.S., many of us feel the American Dream slipping right through our fingertips despite our best intentions, our intelligence, our training, and our willingness to work endless hours. We’re left to wonder what went wrong, and there are many easy answers offered. (more…)

Poetry of the Earth

March 17, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Debbie Ouellet, Ecology

A Time to Keep Silence … and a Time to Speak

by Debbie Ouellet

The older I get, the more in tune I become with the finite measure of time — not just for me, but for the place and planet I call home. This earth calls to me — from the most basic joy of placing my hands in dirt to bring life into my garden — to considering the enormity of the threats against this planet’s future. My poet’s mind tries to reconcile the awe of nature and all she has to offer with the fear that this all could one day end. Generations to come may never know the abundance of nature as I have over my lifetime.

This April marks two events close to my heart and soul: National Poetry Month and, on April 22nd, the 41st anniversary of Earth Day. How are these two events connected?

The great bard himself, William Shakespeare, said, “And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.” If poetry isn’t about life, this earth, and our connection with it, then what is it about? (more…)