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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 - ‘Day In The Life’ August 12 2007

Sunday Bloody Sunday - Time

Its been just a short time since a bereavement in the family, it had to be on a Sunday, and that Sunday was particularly hard for everyone. Not least for one who came to a very sad and far too quick end. As they had put it, "stricken" and as said to me things "were coming to a conclusion." We had no real clue it was ever going to be that quick.

As we learn to live differently, its hardest for others who were closer. And the moments of disbelief are as strong as any of us would wish.

We had lunch today, shared moments and recollections, looked at photo’s not so long ago, where things were pretty ok. And life felt normal. I feel glad to see them so happy and the images share the truth and good life of two who lived together,

Even though I am less near to events over the years, love was obvious and profound, which makes the sadness as desperate as can be. And everything had been done together and in partnership. I cannot feel the loss so profound, one step removed. I do know the loss close up for many different reasons and circumstances. Love is and always will be eternal, that is true, and the fact of another gone, it makes for heartbreak.

Tonight

Listening to another fellow describe their chance to reconcile and share love with their father, that he had never done for many years, then shared his feeling of love with his father, much later. It was a reminder. As our fellow explained he had time to share his feelings, his father had cried and been warmed by the truth of love. And they had some time before his dad died to share moments and truths and life experiences together.

For our Loss

I feel we were given little time to understand the enormity, the loss and the impact. And the impact will go on for a long while. We don’t forget and we need talk as often as we may and share and swap stories, see photo’s and laugh and cry.

We feel incredible hurt and pain as we find loved ones gone. And as badly and sometimes even harder is when we are left and a person goes on to a new life with another. As hard as this may seem to write, its better expressed than held in and gnawing as we try brave face the impossible.

And a favour done for leaving it best understood in context of life reclaimed than lost.

Time

We always need time and this life feels too short, as people say "life is too short." And we do need time in this short life to grieve as we need to, and this is just right.

Death may seem an inconvenience to some, as we may feel loss as deep and heart rending we cannot let it all out in one flurry of dread and loss. We are overwhelmed with grief, and a heart broken needs time to mend. It is true. The beauty in grief is sharing the depth and spiritual union which is broken, as we find our way to cherish every recollection of good we can muster before times takes its toll and we are forgetting. And indeed in twenty years good, there is much to remind us all. The sadness of life taken too swiftly is unfair as every loss is unfair for us who are left and bereft. And it is surely life on life’s terms to express our feelings when we can, what hurts us in loss is their presence gone for good.

Time Old Father Time

We learn as time goes by to recall and recollect the best of times. And as time goes by, the love never yields to time, we cherish our memories and we need not let one moment fall from memory. And memory is tricky when we remind ourselves of everything, good that we can recall the best. And lose that image of death. It never goes, we deal as we may.

We humans are no different when it comes to loss, no matter what we do, we cannot let go of some fond and memorable occasions. They may seem buried a while and then they will emerge again, and as we learn to smile and have those tears just there, sometimes flowing, sometimes just enough to feel them well up, we are gifted with what we love and loved.

Grief is the hardest lesson mankind will ever face. As individuals as nations and as civilisations come and go, sentiment will be shared, and understanding universal. Grief can flow as we learn how.

Higher Power - Love

Love indeed is my higher power and with happiness I know that love cherishes me, even when I cannot either feel or see it. And with the hardest of whacks to our sensibilities it can hurt so completely that our desolate feelings find no answers in intellect. We need time and cherishing.

However long it takes is the right amount, and with time we stop drowning and start living as we may. Or we too may feel there is no point to life at all. And it need not be so. We deal with life , love and time as we may.

Profound sadness is as much a gift as profound joy, we need both to know the difference, and as experience grows some elements of natural living are learned as hard can be.

Beyond reason, love does conquer all, and we may share it over and over as life affords. Best we learn love, and in all life and living, love is truly all we need…




In the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous

In my fellowship we try practice what we preach, although we don’t actually preach a thing, all we do is suggest ideas which might help keep us keep to good conscience,

Some of the elements of living we have, includes being open, honest and willing. And sometimes when I examine my relative open honest and willing behaviour its generally to the good in all respects except one. I have the feeling I try not to dig too deep into this part of me, its most likely the root of much of what makes my life difficult right now. Its to do with all the things I am endeavouring to do and nothing to do with it, in a strange way my recovery and continued recovery is in jeopardy if I try avoid it. Its to do with where I am now in my wellbeing.

Wellbeing comes from awareness of my situation in relation to my emotional, physical and spiritual state. In much of my day to day, there is no one who would work harder or more diligently to the good of being well. And its this constancy which helps me with expression, endeavour and my activities on a day to day basis. I am in a life long programme of recovery, without a doubt it is life long, without vigilance my emotional and physical situation can deteriorate quickly and without the day by day focus, &a day at a time;, I am aware that the deterioration will lead to dire consequences for me.

The three well documented and understood conditions I deal with on a day to day basis are Type 1 diabetes, clinical depression and recovery from addiction. Not glamorous and not onerous provided the day by day programme is maintained. Its just my way of being healthy enough to make life work.

Type 1 diabetes, its something I got out of the blue in recovery. After the best part of two years sobriety, and 18 months without a drink, I realised I was really ill and felt like everything in my system was failing. As a last resort, I went to my GP and within days was diagnosed Type 1 diabetic. I was not surprised with all the years of abuse I have given my system. And like a good addict I blamed myself. It was after all expected that there would be consequences. Medical opinion however did not confirm or apportion blame to me, it was a combination of things and not necessarily my self abuse of drink over the years. It is more likely it was the medical regime for clinical depression or a chance virus, and it could have been the tooth extraction which kicked off the condition and a virus contracted. Who knows and cares? Maybe I don’t anymore, although I would accept full responsibility, it seems unlikely it was me. And actually I wonder where denial figures in that conundrum. It does not matter I deal with diabetes on a daily basis, making the checks and doing the insulin by injection as required, as much or as little I can manage, with diet and all I can do to keep all elements under control.

Type I diabetes management covers all elements of living and is affected by anything and everything I do. I need to keep all elements in balance to balance blood sugars and getting enough energy to live on without going to extremes. And not be afraid of being diabetic. Fear will kill me faster.

Clinical depression is another one of the big three for me. As has been discovered running through my pathology, my clinical depression has been around for a long time. And this fits with what we know from our sketchy family history too. Certainly there is evidence of depression in the family of my mothers side, and certainly my father was not the most effusive character ever to encounter. But he was a good actor in life and he gave me the skills to act ok too. I have portrayed myself as happy more often than not, that acting ability kept people and medical people from seeing the condition for a long time, and only when I had a complete breakdown did the discovery of a longer time with the condition start to manifest.

Clinical depression untreated is awful I realise and living in such a state is quite frankly suicidal to grim most of the time its at its worst. The news about depression is it seems to come around when its ready, without rhyme or reason, unless of course we are reacting to major events in our lives which push us further into darker depressive moods or out of them. My clinical depression has been treated to varying degrees of success in sobriety, and badly when I had no understanding I was dealing with a clinical depression. For years my way of dealing with depression had been to do as I learned, and seek oblivion from reality using alcohol as the easiest and most available form of self medication. Thank providence I never went down any other route of self medication, or I would surely be dead.

Self medication in anyone’s regime is likely to cause over indulgence and dependence. Self medicating, its easier and faster to get relief from ones ills. We try to avoid this, but with the best will in the world we are most likely to fail. Willpower is not the problem, in fact iron will is the part of us which keeps self medicating far too long and makes us ripe for addiction. The stronger the will, the longer the addiction might last and the recovery from it harder and longer too. I would add, when we cross a line to addiction of anything, we have set a pattern I cannot see breaking on our own. We become better able to keep in recovery with help and support, which fits in with my recovery programme and alcoholics anonymous.

The line into addiction crossed, the recovery from this situation is ongoing and does not end, it’s a life long commitment to living well and making sure we keep balance with any means we find works. For me, AA is my route, and fellowship. With fellowship I turn up and meet regularly with my recovering addict fellows, in my case alcohol, but if there were no fellowship for alcohol, I would find another and join that. A fellowship keeps us informed of how to keep strong, gain experience from others and provides hope on a daily basis.

I need be mindful of all three elements of my situation, the type 1 diabetes, the clinical depression and where I am in my recovery.

For each condition I deal with, I do what is suggested. For diabetes I see and have regular check ups with my clinic. My GP seems uninterested in me and so I avoid seeing her. I think this is merely my perception, but I have to say, where GP’s can pass on their care element to a clinic, they seem well able to do so and therefore I accept her choice as it seems easier to go where help is offered and done with genuine concern. My clinic provide better services than my GP, so maybe this is just the way its meant to be.

I get psychiatric help to assist with the management of my depression. On a recent consultation, the psychiatrist made it clear that my well being was quite dependent on taking medication for the next few years, most likely five, before we could even contemplate no medication at all. Indeed as I am in a day to day recovery programme, five years in itself is not an issue, just doing what is suggested on a day to day basis will do, so I do it.

Clinical depression, it does not stay the same day to day, I go through periods where the world and my mood seem stable, neither good or bad, just stable. I am in a period of reasonable stability at the moment, it’s a low mood stability, I don’t function with any great feeling of well being, but I do function. The first six months of this year were particularly difficult as I had to change medication so it was consistent and complimentary to my type 1 diabetic condition. Changing from one form of medication to another takes several months and enduring the lapse back into deeper depression as one medication is stopped and another starts. Changing from one medication, which worked and gave me mental stability, but poor diabetic control has been problematic.

My new current medication has left me with chronic insomnia and consequently fatigue unimaginable. The difference between other changes in the past and now, is I don’t interfere with the process by introducing my own forms of self medication behaviour, namely I don’t resort to alcohol to induce oblivion and then fall into psychotic behaviour. My recovery programme helps me daily, keeping me focussed on what I can do, rather than what I cannot do to alleviate my condition. I can accept the insomnia and fatigue on a day to day basis, until we find nature works it out, or some other intervention is needed to sort my situation out.

I know my ability to function is conditional on continued recovery, and using my fellowship to help me deal with my condition. And I am then able to keep my self maintenance with type 1 diabetes. It is somewhat complicated to resolve in my mind, but once I resolved to understand all the things I need to do, I have been able to follow the suggestions made to me.

The one thing I don’t do however, is share the darker times of my depressive episodes. These dark times, I don’t know what to do about them, as I cannot combat them any more effectively than the next person, I have chosen silence about it rather than become what would be a complainer in my eyes. And this is a hang up from my learning of life, that to complain, when all that can be done is being done, well it just is not something I am comfortable doing. I am not a complainer, I just try live through these dark times.

So when others ask me how I am in my fellowship, I respond more often ok, when in reality I am severely depressed and unable to feel the world as it rightly is. My outlook is devoid of feeling often and my senses, which are acute in other respects are completely dulled in this essential part of life. Without feeling, my situation is hardly balanced. And yet I realise this is a phase and early in the game of psychiatry to resolve when it comes to medication. This may or may not be something that can change with another type of chemical, presently the current one helps keep me safe with diabetes and does not interfere with that. So I resolve to let nature take me where it can regarding the depressive state and consequent effects with fatigue and insomnia. Choices are limited, and with the recovery programme I keep the day to day living simple and straightforward. Complications occur and do cause everything to go wrong from time to time, and that I deal with as best I can.

So in recovery terms, the open honest and willingness to change. This in place, yet I have denial about &sharing; with others, the extent of my emotional well being, because I don’t expect miracles or it to be fixed. What I know is, I can feel worse with support and concern, that support is often able to make me feel worse when I need to keep close to people and at the same time be able to maintain enough distance so I don’t break down. Odd that I need contact with everyone, but not closeness. And this is where I feel there is still much repair work to do.

I can be honest about all this, at the same time, I fear like the devil, being loved. And there is a real reason. The real reason for this is my need for love and loving. And this love given so deeply to another and then to find it is not returned will do for me again. I recognise as others across the world, a fear of closeness in case of rejection and fear that horrid aloneness. What I am finding, is my connection to the fellowship provides security and support, and genuine concern and care. I know already my family (siblings and mother) give me this, at the same time I miss without doubt a partnership and at the same time fear a partnership. The dilemma… a woman in my life is as desirable as life itself, at the same time as fearful in case all is lost again. There is a difference now, I have fellowship. So the conditions of living have changed dramatically, and partnership is not the issue per se, the issue is the clinical depression.

My issue is long term clinical depression, and chemical imbalance. And providing I understand where I am with the depression, enables me to keep diabetes and recovery ongoing daily, merely a day at a time.

The other elements day to day associated with diabetes and clinical depression are there as others will know, and these things affect anyone in similar ways day to day. There is no set pattern to how each day manifests. Or what is encountered and its frequency. Other than the frequency of dealing with these conditions is all day every day.

That’s life.

So where am I now, one day short of my 50th birthday? As well as can be expected under the circumstances, and able to face the day. Enough to keep my recovery and me alive. Enough for me to accept some things cannot be changed, some things can be changed, and as I go along I find the wisdom to know the difference.

It is hard enough to live in modern times. I am starting to unfreeze and share when this particular mind, my mind is so low, it would rather be silent and not tell you I feel awful. Today is not as awful as it can be, or I would never write this post. Till now, I would have preferred you never know my whole story, in case you tried helping me, or I had my ability to self medicate taken away. After all there is always that ultimate choice.

So I plan to go to my morning meeting, and plan another later. Just for today. And if I am asked how I am, will try to be more forthcoming, just in case another fellow may have an idea how to help. And I will try not to suppress this difficult truth of feelings, or without doubt it and I will surely do for me…

-/-



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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 August 13 2007


Revealed: cover-up plan on energy target August 13 2007




Ashley Seager and Mark Milner The Guardian Monday August 13 2007

Government officials have secretly briefed ministers that Britain has no hope of getting remotely near the new European Union renewable energy target that Tony Blair signed up to in the spring - and have suggested that they find ways of wriggling out of it.

In contrast to the government's claims to be leading the world on climate change, officials within the former Department of Trade and Industry have admitted that under current policies Britain would miss the EU's 2020 target of 20% energy from renewables by a long way. And their suggestion that "statistical interpretations of the target" be used rather than new ways to reach it has infuriated environmentalists.

An internal briefing paper for ministers, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, reveals that officials at the department, now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, think the best the UK could hope for is 9% of energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar or hydro by 2020.

It says the UK "has achieved little so far on renewables" and that getting to 9%, from the current level of about 2%, would be "challenging". The paper was produced in the early summer, around the time the government published its energy white paper.

Under current policies renewables would account for only 5% of Britain's energy mix by 2020, the document says. The EU average is 7%; Germany is at 13%. It acknowledges that Germany, unlike Britain, has built a "strong and growing renewables industry".

EU leaders agreed the 20% target for the bloc in spring. The European Commission is working out how to reach this .

DBERR officials fear that Britain may end up being told to get to 16%, which it describes as "very challenging". The paper suggests a number of ways ministers could wriggle out of specific commitments. It also suggests ministers lobby certain EU commissioners and countries such as France, Germany, Poland and Italy to agree to a more flexible interpretation of the target, by including nuclear power, for example, or investment in solar farms in Africa.

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Times OnLine August 13 2007


August 13 2007




Ben Webster, Transport Correspondent

Britain’s worst-performing train company tried to silence the official passenger watchdog by threatening to sue it for libel for making a complaint about its poor performance.

London TravelWatch had written to Tom Harris, the railways minister, to ask whether First Great Western (FGW) was in breach of its franchise agreement because almost a third of its commuter trains in the Thames Valley were late.

FGW has a target in its contract of 92 per cent of trains on time but managed only 68.3 per cent on its peak services. Its long-distance services are also the least punctual in the industry, with only 75.6 per cent on time compared with a national average of 85.2 per cent.

The letter stated that the number of complaints from passengers received by the watchdog had more than doubled and that overcrowding was more than twice as bad as for the average operator in London and the South East.

Brian Cooke, chairman of London TravelWatch, held a series of meetings over several months with FGW to discuss its performance and had repeatedly urged it to take action to improve its service.

When the situation failed to improve, Mr Cooke wrote to the minister setting out the problems and telling him that the watchdog’s board had unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Department for Transport (DfT) to “consider terminating the franchise”.

Mr Cooke gave a copy of the letter to The Times and also sent one to Moir Lockhead, the chief executive of First Group, FGW’s parent company.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News August 13 2007


Amnesty to defy Catholic church over rape victims' abortion rights August 13 2007



By Andy McSmith

Amnesty International is set to defy the Vatican and risk the wrath of Catholics around the world over its decision to back abortion for rape victims.

Leaders of the international human rights group meeting in Mexico are expected to reaffirm the policy adopted by its executive board in April after two years of soul-searching within the organisation.

The decision, which will also cover women whose health is at risk from giving birth, follows the use of mass rape as a political weapon in the conflict in Darfur. But Amnesty has infuriated the Vatican by expanding its definition of human rights to include access to abortion, prompting leading Catholics to accuse the organisation of having "betrayed its mission". Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has threatened that unless Amnesty's policy is reversed, the Vatican will call upon Catholics worldwide to boycott the organisation.

"If, in fact, Amnesty International persists in this course of action, individuals and Catholic organisations must withdraw their support because, in deciding to promote abortion rights, Amnesty International has betrayed its mission," he said.

Catholic delegates at this week's international conference of the organisation are likely to raise the issue, but the majority of the 400 delegates from around the world are believed to be firmly in favour of retaining the new policy.

Amnesty International was founded in 1961 by British lawyer and Roman Catholic convert Peter Benenson to campaign on behalf of prisoners of conscience. Since then, with the backing of the Vatican, it has grown to a worldwide membership of 1.8 million and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977.

Amnesty's deputy general secretary, Kate Gilmore, denies the organisation has become "pro-abortion" insisting the organisation took as its guide legal not theological imperatives. "Amnesty International's position is not for abortion as a right but for women's human rights to be free of fear, threat and coercion as they manage all consequences of rape and other grave human rights violations," she said.

"Amnesty International stands alongside the victims and survivors of human rights violations. Our policy reflects our obligation of solidarity as a human rights movement with, for example, the rape survivor in Darfur who, because she is left pregnant as a result of the enemy, is further ostracised by her community. Ours is a movement dedicated to upholding human rights, not specific theologies. Our purpose invokes the law and the state, not God."

The Vatican is accusing Amnesty of double standards, because it opposes the death penalty in all circumstances but, it argues, under some circumstances will now condone the killing of an unborn child.

Abortion is not mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or other internationally recognised human rights documents, such as the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, which stresses the importance of protecting children "before as well as after birth".

Darfur is not the first place in the world where military conquerors have used mass rape to subdue a population but the report put together by Amnesty International observers in the region in 2004 was particularly harrowing. As well as being traumatised, the victims were frequently injured or afflicted with sexual transmitted diseases, and left to cope alone with unwanted children. One survivor said: "Five to six men would rape us, one after the other, for hours during six days, every night. My husband could not forgive me after this. He disowned me."

Even in countries where the law permits abortion for rape victims, women who seek the operation can encounter a wall of obstruction. In Peru, a 17-year-old girl discovered that her foetus had anencephaly - meaning that it was going to be born without a brain - but a doctor refused to allow her access to an abortion. She was compelled to give birth and breastfeed the child for four days before its died.

In the Sante Fe province of Argentina, a social worker told the organisation Human Rights Watch about a woman who went into hospital after having an unsafe abortion and was bleeding badly. "A doctor started to examine her, and when he realised, he threw down his instruments and said: 'This is an abortion. You go ahead and die'."

The Vatican has received influential backing in the US from the Jesuit priest Father Daniel Berrigan.

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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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