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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.









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DonInLondon London Times July 31
London 'Local' Times 2007

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July 2007
copyright© don oddy

Publish July 31 2007

DonInLondon -’Day in the Life’ July 30 2007

Stepping Stones - Some People Call It Step Change

The steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, just twelve small ones as part of a toolkit of recovery. We all get concerned about change, and when we are older and more set one way, we can find change as horrid as any suggestion to better living. Especially when we need make changes or die sooner rather than later.

Nature of addiction

Indeed the nature of addiction and any behaviour we need to keep doing, even when we know it may kill us eventually, we can be stubborn as mules, deny our problems and hide as long as we can. Until something gives and we are exposed to ourselves as much as anyone else.

Addiction to anything can be harmful or actually beneficial, as long as we don’t find ourselves in extreme conditions. Alcohol worked for many and made life more pleasant in early days of drinking, then as time passes, for some not all of course, the addiction kicks in and we cannot stop. And these days, routine and set patterns are as addictive to my normal living. Routine so often misunderstood is simply self maintenance as long as we don’t become too rigid and inflexible we need change as life offers and routinise our changes.

What then?

Most people die early deaths from addiction, most common is drink and of course street drugs. And we can also become addicted to prescription drugs. And worse we can be addicted to behaviour which is just plain harmful.

As we get to understand the addict or alcoholic is probably well and truly powerless over their behaviour, it makes us mad that they are quite insane doing things which just harm and end life sooner rather than later.

I am one of those addicts or alcoholics who could not stop and ended up in trouble for a good long while, before finding a way forward without the behaviour, but still an addict all the same. Merely in recovery and not recovered as there is no way back to safe drinking or any form of drugging.

Tea Boy

Yes tonight I was Tea Boy and my usual partner was unwell, and she needed the night off to get over a cold and actually has tried hard to keep going when in fact they are better letting nature work and rest up. And of course someone is always there to help so I was very chuffed and had great company.

Our Meeting and Steps: Step Two Tonight

Step Two can confront a person with harder measure for recovery. In Step one we are able to admit and to an extent start to realise we are powerless over drink and it makes life unmanageable. It usually takes a few goes to throw in the towel on this one and get to this next step. It took me years actually and the trouble is some people seem to get it straight away, which can make us a little sore! Why not me and why so hard to give up? For me it was self will and willpower, I could do it alone if I persevered but in the end I realised I was not able. And kept drinking harmfully for an age it seemed, silent and isolated and really not worth knowing in the end.

Step Two: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

This is not so difficult when you accept powerless over drink, but for me it was as hard to think anyone knew better than me about anything, and thankfully these days I recognise expertise and good sense and easily can see that a power bigger than me is just there all around us. Nature of course and Providence, that is where we are now, today.

The higher power as its called. For some its God, their version. For some its good conscience and I fit in nicely there. And for some its whatever they choose to believe.

A higher Power

Collective wisdom of fellows in AA? Definitely, we become expert on our own personal recovery and heed suggestions, not instructions. We choose and are free to make our choices and how we deal with recovery. We are never to be told, it would not work.

So tonight a great share from our speaker, asked at the last moment, and a great reaction from people new and old in the business of recovery. How good is that?

I had nothing to say tonight and felt happy to listen as everyone who felt an urge to speak, spoke..

I feel ok today even though its been a bit long and stressful as I still have worries about you tube and what they do as accounts get a bit long in the tooth.

And tonight I saw my sister and had good chats about things and life and stuff too. So much achieved and being in good company always makes me calmer and happier. In all matters today has been gentle and careful.

Nothing in my day suggested a higher power was at work, and most certainly I was able to endeavour and make things work as best I could as I am able. No self will forcing issues, not blaming, not anger at incomplete activities. And still there is sadness and time to share over our recent family bereavement. We will be talking a long time as we need to let go and cherish good times and let the hard moments find their place in history.

We do not forget people we have close contact for twenty years or more. We can keep our good memories and remind ourselves in family talks as we will. And the good of this? Is simply letting ourselves accept a little bit each day what is lost and was cherished. We need not try suppress and forget as we need no stiff upper lip, and no brave faces and no need to hide our feelings. Or we store trouble when we do, and we need not make life harder in pretending as each day offers moments and reminders to make us smile with a wan sad reflection as loss is just what we feel.

Good memories are there forever, and we can cherish as we may. Forgetting and putting anything behind us will make for silence when celebration is best made each day for what we loved and enjoyed, just one day at a time? I feel so today.

As for me there many memories to cherish from my past, I have forgotten so much of the good in addiction, memory allows me to cherish the good acknowledge the sad endings and what might have been. Carefully we need find where can make amends and not harm others or anyone when we realise just what we know now was what others knew all along.

I met a friend from years ago tonight, good to see them, and they spoke eloquently about new living. Living an ordinary and extraordinary life in sobriety. Knowing and accepting that as we are not the centre of the universe and no gods in our own heads these days. Being right sized and prone to all life has to offer, as good things happen and the sad of life is as usual, the essential parts of life we need have to know the difference. We have both joy and sadness with us as we learn life, no short cuts, as long as it takes, and each day is just for today as we encounter.

Choices restored as we prevail and endeavour with courage faith and confidence, and less fear, bravery and more often than we might wish, ego can make us drift where life is unsafe. Best keep safe as we may and accept our humanity is what it is, for today.




July 31st 2006 [Last Years Journal]

Decision Making in our Fellowship

Making up my mind is not easy

When we are new to our recovery from any particular ailment of the head, that is something which produces nasty shocks to the system, our decision making is at the very least likely to be questionable. In a crisis who makes wise decisions which can be held up to scrutiny? And can we make any decision at all. Sometimes all we can do is be numb and do as we are told.

Driven to insanity, we forget the early stages anyone human goes through as we claw our way back to normal life. And as all humans are driven to be functional we drive ourselves more mad when we screw up and tend to lurch one way then another towards doing the right thing.

Our meeting today highlighted over and over the need not to make decisions in isolation as thinking and feeling so disturbed by pressing needs and cravings and compulsions means any are most obviously made are best done in consultation.

As part of our fellowship in recovery we have a sponsor system. Sponsors are there to help us get by in early days and beyond to test what we think and feel. Our predisposition to be drifting towards ego, towards self obsessions means we act in our own interest, at least we think we do, but most often we are negatively poised to make life harder and darker.

And as the nature of our meetings is to discuss freely anything loosely connected with our chosen topic. We displayed all the characteristics associated with our ability to think beyond, and so we discussed and shared many elements of life experience and beyond.

Some with strong belief in a higher power hand over their decisions to that power. And in doing so remove their obsessive and inward looking survey of what they might or must do. And others just get the picture, it is best to brainstorm and get busy in discussion to make a move to action.

And why do we beat up our own decision making process? Indeed if we look at the big bad world, our decisions each day are really few and far between when it comes to deciding anything at all. Our lives are very much about routines and decisions are the exceptions anyway to the main event of life, just living it as it comes.

Humans generally are bad at making decisions and especially small or big ones which affect others. For most people don’t think beyond their own needs and desires. Which is why most humans stick to what they know and do.

And someone pointed to big people in big business and how they are wrong in their decisions more times than they are right to their success. And that is life in the raw. And we see it in politics and government and we complain heavily when the big people muck us up and make life harder.

And that is simply because we really do rely on routine most of our awake time. So decisions even beyond what to wear on a daily basis are often circular and not readily to action and next steps.

And fear is what keeps us from decisions, because there is impact and the rules of games played over life give us peace and quiet, and breaking and changing rules makes for discomfort.

When we decide to give up our habits which hurt us, our addictions which drive us mad, its absolutely the hardest thing even to get out of bed, let alone make a life decision to keep with a programme of recovery, so new and horrid to our old routines and oblivious living. No wonder we focus on these hard things of life.

We learn to share, we learn to make better active moves and we learn much of what we do is so inside driven, we do exclude others and make ourselves unpopular when we act alone. Till we are the pariah, and they the innocent. Well it can be this way.

As we get recovery we realise we are best consultative, inclusive and gain trust and respect where we can. And we learn also many people will never trust or include us as we might wish, for trust and love is gone.

So we get better where we can and learn where we are excluded and can go no more. And that is where decision making takes us. To safe ways and actions for now and future days, and not back to madness, insanity and isolated ego driven activities which break down others and ourselves.
We got near to solving something, did we? Not really because I can’t recollect if we made any headway beyond the talking.

And that is what we humans do most, procrastinate and talk, till routines kick in and life returns to normal. Well is does for most human beings. Not us in the main, for if we decide to stay and keep on the path of recovery, our best decision is made and the rest manageable, a day at a time and in good conscience.

Small or big, decisions shared to the good of living and made inclusively, with just the right sized amount of choice, well these things are possible and ensure a life beyond wildest dreams of broken men and women. And for all humans too.

Fortunately our ideas and decisions are made with inclusivity and not excluding anyone without it being a mistake or intent, to the good, of god conscience in this present day!

Indeed when we understand recovery, its an active decision making and inclusive process where it can be, the blue print holds good across all living and doing, if only we remember to use it wisely in our esteem and confidence and not from our ego’s drift…

Copyright © Don Oddy

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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.





Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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Guardian Unlimited OnLine July 31 2007


Brown stresses shared values in talks with Bush and makes his case on troops in Iraq July 31 2007




· PM says decision depends on British commanders

· President praises UK's new leader as 'principled man'

Patrick Wintour at Camp David

George Bush (right) and Gordon Brown at a joint press conference at Camp David. Photograph: Charles Dharapak/AP

President Bush yesterday lavished praise on Gordon Brown at their first summit together, saying he was a man of principle who understood the ideological war against terrorism. But over two days of talks held at Camp David, Mr Brown retained his right to withdraw British troops from Iraq more quickly than the Americans.

During their joint press conference yesterday, Mr Bush heaped personal praise on the prime minister as a worthy leader and a man that wanted to find solutions

The prime minister, by contrast, hailed the relationship with America as the most important bilateral relationship for Britain, but held back from any personal praise of President Bush, in what is likely to have been a calculated decision to put the bilateral relations on a more formal footing. Mr Brown also read out a businesslike lengthy statement and surprisingly described the talks simply as "full and frank", normally diplomatic language for a cool relationship. The atmosphere suggested the British delegation is determined to rid themselves of the image of poodle to a Republican administration that has only 18 months to run.

At the same time British sources stressed that Mr Brown wanted to work with President Bush on the practical issues they faced, particularly world trade, Darfur and the Middle East. In what may prove a difficult issue this autumn, British government sources stressed that Mr Brown will make his decision on British troop deployments in Iraq solely on the basis of the advice of the British military, and implicitly not in order to meet any request from the US to stay alongside American troops.

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Brown gets a bigger bounce in America July 31 2007




Tom Baldwin in Washington, and Sam Coates

President Bush yesterday reached out to embrace Gordon Brown as a new ally in the fight against terrorism and the war in Iraq, saying the Prime Minister “understands the call”.

Mr Brown talked solemnly about “duties to discharge and responsibilities to keep” in Iraq, but also hinted that Britain could hand over military control of Basra in the autumn when Parliament returns.

The two leaders were speaking at a press conference in Camp David, during Mr Brown’s first visit to America as Prime Minister.

A new Populus poll for The Times today shows that he has further strengthened his political position at home over an embattled David Cameron. Labour support has risen two points to 39 per cent — its highest level for 18 months — while the Conservatives fell to 33 per cent, their lowest since Mr Cameron became leader

Yesterday, after in depth and sometimes personal talks over dinner and breakfast, Mr Bush repeatedly praised the new Prime Minister and added congratulations for the “steady and quick response” to recent terror threat in Britain, saying: “You proved your worthiness as a leader.”

Mr Brown chose to describe their talks as “full and frank”, a phrase which usually conceals disagreements.

He went on to suggest that Britain’s military was getting ready to hand control of Basra — the last province under its control in southern Iraq — to Iraqi authorities. “We intend to move to overwatch,” he said, describing how troops would withdraw to bases away from the immediate battlezones. He added that “whatever happens, we will make a full statement to Parliament when it returns”.

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The master: Ingmar Bergman 1918 - 2007 July 31 2007



By Paul Schrader, film director and screenwriter of 'Taxi Driver'

I would not have made any of my films or written scripts such as Taxi Driver had it not been for Ingmar Bergman.

His death, at the age of 89, may not have been a surprise. He was an old man. But what he has left is a legacy greater than any other director. He made film-making a serious and introspective enterprise. No one had been able to pull that off until he showed up. I really wasn't that interested in being a film-maker, except in the way that Bergman redefined what you could be as a film-maker.

I think the extraordinary thing that Bergman will be remembered for, other than his body of work, was that

he probably did more than anyone to make cinema a medium of personal and introspective value. Movies by nature are, of course, very commercially driven and very accessible. No one really used cinema as private personal expression in that way. Bergman showed that you could actually do movies that were personal introspections and have them seen by general audiences.

For an entire generation, starting in the 1960s, it was a whole new way to see the very nature of cinema. It is impossible for anyone of my generation not to have been influenced by Bergman. That is just a matter of fact. He cut too wide a path down the history of cinema not to influence everybody. I can remember vividly my first taste of a Bergman film. Through a Glass Darkly, the first of Bergman's trilogy of films with Winter Light and The Silence, when I was about 17, at our local little cinema in Grand Rapids, Michigan, while I was at college. It was probably the fourth or fifth serious film I had ever seen and it just took me unawares. I had no idea that movies could be a serious enterprise.

He has a handful of masterpieces, but the film that stands above all the others is Persona. He has done a lot of visceral, painful work - even his last film, Saraband, is extraordinary - but Persona really brings together all his personal demons, as well as his relationships with women.

It's not like we have lost an ongoing voice. His body of work was completed. So we are losing one of the saints in the pantheon, which is sad to note, but it is actually an occasion to appreciate what has been left behind.

Not all his films were great. I'm not a big fan of the family reminiscence stuff which is Fanny and Alexander. I wasn't knocked out by the early domestic comedies such as Smiles of a Summer Night. After The Virgin Spring in 1959 and Through a Glass Darkly in 1961, then it really starts getting interesting. Persona was the pinnacle of that. Coming as it did in 1966, it was the great seminal film during the great seminal years of the acme of cinema. Once you got into that trilogy of Persona, The Hour of the Wolf and The Shame, it's just incredible. He reinvented himself in 1973 with Scenes from a Marriage, then he went back to the theme for Saraband, another major piece of work, in 2003.

Time magazine had a wonderful opening line in its review of Saraband. "He's old. He's old fashioned. He's out of date. How dare Ingmar Bergman make a great movie."

There are a lot of directors who are poets behind a camera. Bergman is more of the metaphysician behind the camera. Persona was his boldest film - and the Swedish cinematographer Sven Nykvist, who was shooting the films, did a lot of very interesting work in that film such as over exposures, letting stuff burn out, the way that light and dark contrasted in ways that were previously considered unacceptable and breaking some of those rules.

I was a big Bergman fan so I would tend to see each of his films the first day they were released if I was in a city where they were being shown. I do remember the anticipation of going to that first show the first day. He obviously played a role in my choice to be a critic and then to be a film-maker, and in my decision to take film seriously.

Last of the greats

* Woody Allen: "He was a friend and certainly the finest film director of my lifetime."

* Richard Attenborough: "The world has lost one of its very greatest film-makers. He taught us all so much throughout his life."

* Lars von Trier" "I am proud to say he treated me exactly like his other children - with no interest whatsoever."

* Bille August, Danish director: "He was the last big director left. The three big ones for me were Kurosawa, Fellini and Bergman. The two others had already passed and now Ingmar has also left us. He leaves a big vacuum behind. He was such an incredible, unusually bright person."

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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.




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