<![CDATA[                               Ray Writes! - Ray's Journal]]>Sun, 07 Jan 2018 11:01:30 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[A Positive Start]]>Sun, 07 Jan 2018 14:02:01 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/a-positive-startPicture
​A new start in an old interest.

Buddhism interests me from way back. I like the practicality of it, with its emphasis on changing your life through better thinking, meditation, and personal insight. It has, I think, the potential for opening a person up to broad spiritual vistas. It even has numbered steps to reaching happiness: four Nobel Truths and an eightfold path. I also have become convinced, after years of reading on the subject, that meditation is a key to spiritual development and to effective living for an individual. This conviction has grown for me in the last couple of years that my wife and I have put such a big emphasis on physical fitness.

You see, we reached that point in our lives where getting fit reached a "now or never" point and so we joined a local fitness club (MUV). Following a program of taking various fitness classes and using personal trainers, we both reached a level of physical fitness we haven't had in a long time (or, never, in my case). Though the effort is hard work, it's better than being fat and constantly fatigued. I've been so amazed at the results, that I thought again about supplementing physical fitness with mental and spiritual fitness.

What I want is some instruction in meditating in the same way we found instruction and guidance for our physical work-outs. Over the years, I’ve done some book-studying on the subject and reached the point where I can easily enter the state of "remembering myself" (watching myself at the same time I'm watching everything around me) and can even do a traditional meditation of concentrating on my breathing. Self-remembering has been especially helpful, but I haven't made it a regular part of my life. I haven't reached the point of maintaining the state and going to deeper levels to find the insight and release I believe to be there. I need professional help.

So I made a Google search for meditation classes in my area and it returned a hit on a Buddhist Meditation Center within two miles of my house. It's the Kadampa Meditation Center and it offers classes for a fee comparable to fitness clubs. Recently, they put on a free public talk at the State Museum entitled, "The Art of Positive Thinking." We decided to attend.

Donna and I arrived at the museum on a Tuesday night, already tired from work and work-outs, but determined to give this thing a try. We were greeted at the door by smiling members of the Meditation Center who directed us to where the talk was being held. We climbed a set of stairs (open to the center of the spacious museum building) to find the specified meeting room. We signed in and took seats in uncomfortable chairs among a group of about 80 people making up the audience.

It was mostly an older group--a lot of apparent retirees such as the members of my writing group. Like me, I suppose, these were people who had reached the last quarter of life, wanting to find some real spiritual connection during this time when they are free of a full-time job. Of course, I’m still constrained by a full-time job, but I'm determined to not let that stop me.

The staff were friendly and did not pounce on us—asking why we were there or trying to get us to sign up for anything, or try to push any books on us (though they did have a table with a few books on it). I was encouraged.

At the top of the hour, the speaker arrived. She was a Buddhist nun, recently moved to Columbia from Florida. A smiling, mature woman with closely cropped hair and wearing glasses, she took a seat on a dais behind a large microphone and greeted us in a warm, soft voice.

She began by guiding the audience through a simple breathing meditation. She gave no instruction as to the form, other than saying we should bring our awareness to our breaths. So I shifted into self-rememberance and observed my breath. She offered a few words of calm guidance for a couple of minutes and then instructed us to release.

She then began her talk, which was basically about letting go of annoyances and angers, and adopt a positive attitude. She supported this with examples (like the positive and negative attiudes she recently observed at a Waffle House) and with some quotes from Gautama Buddha and from her own guru. 

Now this talk may sound simplistic, but that's the nature of Buddhism—profundity in simplicity. It's also its attraction and strength. I think the talk could have been entitled "The Art of Skillful Thinking" and that is the slant the nun took. Skillful (or “right”) thinking is a part of Buddha's eightfold path to happiness (which is skillful application of: Understanding, Thinking, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Concentration). Assimilating the path into your life is the work of Buddhism facilitated by certain tools, the chief of which is meditation. 

I can't say the talk produced any great insights for me, though I enjoyed it and appreciated the congenial and nonthreatening atmosphere. It confirmed my anticipation of what an introductory Buddhist talk would be, and I found that encouraging. My wife also seemed to enjoy it to the point that she was interested in reading about Buddhist concepts. I referred her to a book in my library: Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path by Bhante Gunaratana. We have also downloaded a free Kindle book suggested at the talk: How to Transform Your Life: A Blissful Journey by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

And so we begin 2018 with another new start. We’ll attend some classes at the Kadampa Center and see where they lead us. There are indications on the Kadampa website that they offer some deep teaching in Buddhist thought and meditation. My primary interest is meditation. I'll let you know how it goes.

<![CDATA[A New Hope, Still]]>Sun, 31 Dec 2017 14:05:01 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/a-new-hope-stillPicture
2017 Year’s End reflections…

We’ve made it through Christmas and reached the New Years holiday weekend. It’s a good time for reviewing the past year and anticipating the coming one. It’s punctuated for me in having seen the latest Star Wars movie last weekend (on Christmas day). For me, that movie ended the Star Wars saga by ending Luke Skywalker’s story. Inspired by that story when I was twenty, I’ve lived to see the completion of it. It wasn’t as well-done as it should have been. I thought the movie was way-too corporate without the vision of George Lucas to inspire it. I’ve posted my review here.

Overall, 2017 has been tragic for the wider world while there were good moments for myself and my family. That is a duality worth noting—the macro vs the micro, the personal vs the global. The oligarchs have blustered and thundered, threatening war, despoiling the planet, and presenting a sorry theatre to us even as they fight among themselves in ways, and for reasons, we’ll likely never know. It is in the eddies that form out of those storms where we can seek our own solace and find our truest views of reality.

My wife and I began this year with several hikes, taken whenever (completely manipulated) weather permitted. There is an inspiration in that, speaking to the journey of life and so I can’t seem to get away from doing it. Our best hike of the year was probably Poinsett Trails, and the last was an unexpected pleasure made at Three Rivers Greenway. Hiking remains an inspiration and I hope to continue it in the coming year, maybe carrying it to a higher level.

My reading year has been inspirational as well. In fact, I posted quite a few book reviews and still have a back-log to work on. Most of what I read in 2017 was nonfiction and reflected my concerns with the disintegrating state of the world, both politically and naturally. I seek to understand what’s happening, why, and how to cope with it. 

Two books, especially, are helpful for gaining insight into the state of things. One is UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed, 1973-1991, by Richard Dolan. Though centered on the UFO phenomenon, it reveals the workings of the Deep State and how it exists as a supra-government manipulating the visible one that offers only the barest pretense of democracy. It seems appropriate I began the year with a review of Mr. Dolan’s books, since the year is ending with a “confession” by the Pentagon that they have carried on investigations of UFOs for many years after Project Blue Book was terminated.

The other big book for understanding the world’s state is Shrinking the Technosphere by Dmitry Orlov. Though Mr. Orlov’s tone can, at times, be flippant, I think the concept he describes as “The Technosphere” goes a long way towards explaining why a lot of things happen, politically, as they do. It also provides insight into the trends I see popping up on the IT horizon (like the aggrandizing of Artificial Intelligence engines that enable software robots). 

Fictional works also provide insight into current events. Indeed, I believe that to be a fundamental reason we tell each other stories. I’ve read two such fictions this year that offer such insight. I’ve only reviewed one of them at this time. That one was On the Beach by Nevil Shute. Though it’s a story from the 1950s, it’s basic premise remains so totally relevant. The other fiction is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It takes a different slant on post-apocalypse fiction and is brilliantly done. Its value, to me, is what it says about retaining our humanity in the face of civilization’s collapse.

And then I reviewed several of John Hogue’s books. He put out a lot of ebooks over the year (in addition to much writing on his website—he is quite a prolific writer) and his themes concern this watershed time for humanity as pointed out by many prophets in history. He brings a scholar’s light to these prophecies as well as an Eastern spirituality offered to help us cope. His writing is unique in that regard and his latest book (as of this writing) is a good example: A Spiritual Rebel's Manifesto: Climb Aboard the Noah's Ark of Consciousness.

As I said, there are several book reviews I have still under draft. One is Chemtrails, HAARP, and the Full Spectrum Dominance of Planet Earth by Elana Freeland, that was an eye-opener for me, though it took a couple of readings to open my eyes. I’ve followed a thread from this book that is even more insightful and terrifying as to the operations of the oligarchs that truly run the world. I’ll post that review in the coming weeks, and pick up the next book by Ms. Freeland on this subject: Under an Ionized Sky: From Chemtrails to Space Fence Lockdown.

You can see all my Amazon reviews by going to this link. You can also go here to see the most recent ones, including some movie reviews, and even sign up for my newsletter and so get further alerts to new reviews, insights, and notes on my authorial happenings.

I present this blog as a journal and as such, I include incidents and personal happenings that I think might provide readers some insight or inspiration. An example is the solar eclipse of last August. The shadow of totality passed over the continental US and right over my city of residence (Columbia, SC). Because it was a rare occurrence, and because prophetic and spiritual energies followed it, I devoted several journal entries to “The Great American Eclipse.” I still think of it as a herald, even more so than the turning of the millennium or the passing of 12/21/2012. You can find my journal entry describing my experience of the day of totality, here.  

Overall, 2017 for me was a year beginning with anguish over the state of the world, proceeding to even deeper insights as to the hopelessness of things, to inspirations helping me to cope, and a possible way forward in that coping. 

My wife and I have gained much in our journey to regain as much physical fitness as we can at this time of our lives. I made a journal entry about that in 2016 (see Fit). At this point, we want to build upon that foundation with some deliberate challenging activities (hiking, rafting, etc). We also want to investigate the potential for spiritual health from meditating and learning about classic Eastern views of life and spirituality. We are even considering a pilgrimage, of sorts. I’ll write about these journeys and our discoveries in this journal.

In the original Star Wars film, there is a scene where Luke Skywalker stares out across the desert of his home planet at its setting double suns and contemplates his future. There is a corresponding scene in The Last Jedi where he makes such a contemplation as a much older man. I can relate to that. This is an important point of life, we see where we’ve come from and review it in an attempt to understand and appreciate the distance we’ve traveled. 

We are not done. Even now, we can look ahead with anticipation. Understanding the gravity of life, we also understand the grounding of love, how strength comes from within, how we can take all we’ve learned as our firm foundation of mastery; and so we continue to live, life upon life, even in the face of evil, with joy.

<![CDATA[River Walking]]>Fri, 22 Dec 2017 21:06:33 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/river-walkingPicture
Taking a restorative walk into the long Christmas weekend.

Three Rivers Greenway Trail is a paved, well-kept walkway along the southern bank of the Congaree River on the outskirts of Columbia, SC. On the eve of the 2017 Christmas holiday weekend, Donna and I decided to take a morning stroll there.

The trail is within a couple of miles of our home and reputed to be a scenic, easy hike. We found it to be just that, with some historical markers and placards that I found reminiscent of the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi. Overall, the weather was temperate (around 53F), though with heavy chem-trailing, and with plenty of sunshine (though glarey, as always, through the chem-trail haze). The trail is an out-and-back about 4.7 miles long. We decided to make about a 3 miler out of it by turning back at about 1.5 miles. 

The main trailhead is right beside the Gervais Street Bridge and the site includes an amphitheater, where events are sometimes held, and a replica of the trading post buildings that dotted the river banks in the nineteenth century. It’s a neat little area and makes for a pleasant start of a hike.

It is an easy hike, being pavement or boardwalk for the entire length. There are plenty of resting spots with benches and tables. Several are on river overlooks, so contemplative lunches or picnics are possibilities. It seems to be a popular dog-walking trail and is, considering, kept clean.

It’s been a while since we’ve taken a good hike, though this wasn’t a wilderness trail, for sure. It did remind me of what’s enjoyable and restorative about hiking. There’s the physical challenge of just testing your fitness against the hardships of the trail. This trail offered few hardships—potentially only the length, but not even that for this trip. Normally, though, the rigors of a hike through woods over rough terrain with significant elevation changes will confirm that you still live. Moving through the outdoors, unmitigated by electronics, is almost a revolutionary act these days. Communing with the natural world, cooperating rather than conquering Nature, is a human necessity. It is for me and I have to do it, from time-to-time. 

It seems few cooperate with Nature anymore. Indeed, it seems few are even aware of Her. We passed a couple of young people on the trail who were totally absorbed in their smart-phones. Even older walkers seemed so distracted with conversation, or their dogs, that they never looked up, or even looked around themselves. At least they gave that impression. Just do the walk; follow the pavement and go. Git ‘er done. 

Understandable, I guess. There’s much risk in looking up. On this morning, you would have seen the toxic, deliberate, criss-crossing trails left by airplanes. You would have seen those trails’ expansion into the haze that refracts the sunlight into the glare that denies us the deep blue that Gaia used to provide as an inspiration to humanity. 

Note this picture that I took during the hike. There’s not a cloud in the obscured sky. It’s all haze and trails laid down by deliberately spraying aircraft:

​Compare that photo to this painting reproduced in a placard along the trail. The painting was made in 1845 along the banks of the Congaree just outside of Columbia:
Note the clouds. They are huge cumulus, round with sharp edges. No streaks. No striations. I have not seen such clouds since my youth (and there were airplanes flying even then!). I have not seen a brilliant blue sky since 2013. 

If you consider this, and if you genuinely watch the skies every day, you will see that something is horribly wrong. And for those who anticipate a “white Christmas” to be delivered by “Winter Storm Dylan,” I recommend this video.

We didn’t quite make 3 miles on this hike because the trail was closed for maintenance at about 1.3 miles out. Close enough. We achieved our ends because  hiking is restorative, like a good sleep. I think the hike we made today is a good start to a long Christmas weekend (in huge spite of the chem-trailing). To hike a trail and return with the renewal of spirit that you know is a reprieve from the long drudgery of your day-to-day since the last hike, is a picture of Christmas renewal. 

Christians celebrate renewal at Christmastime—a renewed covenant from God that is their salvation. Even more historically, people see the end of the year’s solstice as marking a turn, even in the dead of cold winter, that will lead to new births, new flowerings, new warmth, in the spring. It’s all life’s promise that, though we go through cycles, we go on. 

I’ll hold onto that promise and enjoy the holidays nestled in the love of my family. I hope that you will do the same.

Happy Christmas.

<![CDATA[Ruins]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 20:25:09 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/ruinsPicture
Ruins are windows into the past, and maybe into the future.

There is a certain romantic beauty in ruins. Archaeological ruins, I mean, like Mayan temples and Egyptian cities half buried in the desert. They are windows into worlds passed away and evidence of life’s steady progression. They inspire art such as Shelley’s poem, Ozymandias, and a genre of thriller movies (Raiders of the Lost Ark). Donna and I caught a glimpse of such beauty when we hiked through the ruins of a 140 year old textile mill on the banks of the Saluda River near our home.

Such excursions soothe the soul while they challenge our fitness. We work out hard so we can make such hikes and maybe find some enlightenment from a change of perspective we can take back to the day-to-day. They nourish, even when undertaken in the dark energies of current events. That’s what I meant by “spiritual sustenance” in my last journal entry.

The beauty of ruins as wonderments of what came before, can be projected into the future. In fiction, we can imagine what the ruins of our world will mean to our descendants, especially if their world is collapsed to a “pre-tech” level. Such stories have become a genre in Science Fiction usually referred to as post-apocalypse. It is the genre of my novel-in-progress, Power of the Ancients. There’s a dark side to such imaginings, however, because there is the strong possibility that no human will survive to wonder about our ruins. Or if there are, they may curse us for having destroyed the cradle of humanity to a point that leaves them with only the barest supports for survival.

I’ve written often in this journal about the awful burden put upon the natural by the technosphere, and the ruling class’ apparent deliberateness in destroying it. This week, a study was published by a group of European scientists of the results of a decades long study of the level of insect life in various nature preserves in Germany. They found that:

…populations of flying insects like bees and butterflies plunged more than 75 percent in German nature preserves over the past 27 years…

That’s huge and beyond alarming because, as the study’s project leader said:

As entire ecosystems are dependent on insects for food and as pollinators, it places the decline of insect eating birds and mammals in a new context.

And further:

The decline in insect biomass, being evident throughout the growing season, and irrespective of habitat type or landscape configuration, suggests large-scale factors must be involved.

The factors they suggest are mostly the widespread use of insecticides, though I would suggest that more insidious causes are also involved, such as manipulating species via genetic modification, and geoengineering.

Is all we can do in the face of destruction wrought by greed and psychopathy is to stand and watch? Perhaps you will be motivated to activism or to seek out those remaining beauties before they are all gone.

Whether you follow these or some other path, let me point you to another little book that I recently reviewed. It is Beyond Alt-Right and Alt-Left: A Community of Americans by John Hogue, prophecy scholar and political commentator. In this work, Mr. Hogue points out the polarizations he sees in current events as well as in the scads of emails he receives from his readers. He argues for a middle ground of tolerance to hopefully forestall an eruption of widespread violence in the US in a couple of years (revolution or civil war), unless (US) Americans can agree to live with their differences. I think there is a general will among people to do just that, but our rulers will work against it for the sake of maintaining power.

Personally, I will continue to seek out and appreciate the beauty of ruins, even as I realize that our civilization is fast becoming one.

<![CDATA[Your Store of Spiritual Sustenance]]>Sat, 14 Oct 2017 20:16:43 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/your-store-of-spiritual-sustenancePicture
Book reviews and a video to aid your search for meaning…

How does a person cope when they find themselves living in oppressive, desperate times? How can you live to your fullest and experience the rich potential that exists as part of living on earth, when dark forces seem to be facilitating your demise? These questions express the existential dilemma that keeps popping up when I try to write about writing, storytelling, hiking, fitness, and the better aspects of life I find inspiring. I feel that when I’m writing about something positive, like a hike in a national forest, I’m being delusional or ignoring the hard reality such an event (like the hike) takes place within. It’s like exerting myself on a 5 mile trek down a forest trail while the sky is being overlaid with a chem-trail haze. How do I reconcile the two?

The best commentary I’ve found for dealing with this dilemma is Viktor Frankl’s classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Dr. Frankl dealt with these very existential questions while living under the most extreme of conditions: the Nazi concentration camps. There, life for him was reduced to its most elemental level. All meaning, choice, and love were taken from him. Yet in his misery, his clinical mind observed what was happening to him and remained determined to learn its lessons. Those lessons congealed only years after his liberation and they are what I keep returning to.

In a nutshell, Dr. Frankl found that hope and meaning in a person’s life is best found by following three strategies:

(1) by creating a work or doing a deed; 
(2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and 
(3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.

That work or deed might be the engaging in activism to oppose evil. Experiences and encounters  might be deliberate (like hiking the Appalachian Trail) or being open to inspirations offered by “chance” encounters. And when oppression reaches its most extreme, the only choice that can’t be taken from us is how we respond to it (i.e., “suffering well”).

BTW: this is not “spoiling” Dr. Frankl’s book. His anecdotes and commentary expand on these strategies with much enlightenment to anyone open to it. I highly recommend his book (see the links at the end of this post).

So, bearing Dr. Frankl’s advice in mind, let me push ahead with my own work—which I mean to be a helpful sharing with others.

I’ve posted a couple of book reviews that reflect this idea of seeking inspiration and information in the face of harsh reality. The first is a review of a science fiction book, Fata Morgana by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney. While I didn’t rate the book highly, I did much enjoy its depiction of the operation of a B-17 Flying Fortress. The authors’ inspired research in this area shows, and that they meshed it with a SF time travel format grabbed my attention. While the story wasn’t handled as well as it could have been, there’s still much entertainment value in it.

The other book review is Nostradamus: Premonitions of 9/11 by John Hogue. This book’s subject is precisely what its title implies: a consideration of the predictions that Nostradamus actually wrote concerning the 9/11 event, and premonitions that surfaced in the years prior to that great watershed tragedy. Because Mr. Hogue concentrates on his own premonitions, the book is more autobiographical than his other works. It also contains his political commentary (since he is a “political prophet”) that I recommend for those trying to “get a clue,” though in this case, I don’t agree with all of his interpretations.

So I’ve offered in this post, considerations of written works of philosophical inspiration, entertainment inspiration, and paranormal-political commentary. Let me also offer one of stark reality. This is a video made by Geoengineeringwatch.org. It relates the horrendous wildfires constantly raging in the western US (especially California) to the geoengineering program (the source of chem-trails) going on over our heads. I offer this to you as another clue. It is one you can follow into a pitch dark hole, but it’s reality, and you need a store of spiritual sustenance to keep your optimism and your inspiration. See Dr. Frankl’s book.

* * *

Ray-view of Fata Morgana.

Ray-view of Nostradamus: Premonitions of 9/11.

Ray-view of Man’s Search for Meaning.

Geoengineering Watch video about wildfires.

<![CDATA[The Onslaught of Storms]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 14:16:28 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/the-onslaught-of-stormsPicture
Finding respite in a natural shelter.

This last batch of Atlantic hurricanes never reached us and, at this moment, the Atlantic basin is quiet with regard to developing cyclones (other than a couple of disturbances that are already on land and not developing). Since I live fairly near the coast now and work for an organization that helps during emergencies, I’ve anxiously followed this hurricane season (though it’s pretty much year-round now because the oceans are so much hotter). Disaster conditions in the Carolinas tend to ramp up my job duties.

So with a lull in the bad weather, and feeling fit from a routine of work-outs, my wife and I decided to take a hike. Taking advantage of the high pressure installed over us (intended to bounce approaching hurricanes out to sea, which it did for H. Jose and Maria), we hit the trail at Peachtree Rock.

We had hiked Peachtree before, but in late January when the trees were bare. At that time, the denuded trees created an openness on the trail such that it felt more like a park than an expanse of forest. This time, however, the trees were leafed out and it did feel like a forest, making for a better hike. 

Though there was chem-trailing going on, which always mars the outdoors for me, my pent-up need for recreational exertion was such that the time was invigorating. It helped like a tonic, as exercise often does. We explored a bit more on this trip, investigating the interesting geology of the place. It’s an area of hard-rock outcroppings over layers of porous, sandstone sediments that erode, more at their base than the top, to create mesa-like structures. Eventually, their bases erode to the point they become top-heavy and they collapse. The result of such collapses is seen in the tumble of boulders along the northern edge of the preserve.

We climbed among the boulders, until we reached a carved-out spot on high ground. It formed a pretty good shelter and looked out over the expanse of woods containing the hiking trail. The picture accompanying this post was taken from that natural shelter.

The results of rock formations that erosion makes too top-heavy are seen all around the nature preserve that contains the trail. Civilizations are like that. So are economies. Our current ones are not sustainable and the activities of our rulers are mostly directed at keeping their party going. They are doomed to fail and the picture of their final collapse may be seen in the current conditions on Puerto Rico. That island (a US colony where everyone is a US citizen) was completely devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. They are completely dependent on the outside to maintain their “modern lifestyle.” The fragility of that lifestyle is revealed in its destruction. The US government is reluctant to help them, preferring to increase Wall Street’s grip on the island with greater debt (to “rebuild”). 

Richard Heinberg summed up Puerto Rico’s situation and how it presages that of the wider world in an article published on the Global Research website. He also provides a list of sensible steps that could be done to rebuild Puerto Rico to a sustainable economy and society. These same steps could be applied to world civilization and give humanity a chance to survive. It won’t happen, though, as long as the world is ruled by psychopaths via their neoliberal (i.e., fascist) ideology. Disasters such as has occurred in Puerto Rico, will only receive indifference and predatory exploitation from our rulers.

Sitting in a natural shelter overlooking a forest was restorative for me; the kind of thing I return to from time-to-time. It helps maintain personal sanity. Around me though, were beer cans intentionally left in niches among the rocks, providing evidence of those incapable of being touched by beauty. The trick is to live in spite of them, and nestle in what shelters we can find in midst of the onslaught of storms.

<![CDATA[Hurricanes]]>Sat, 23 Sep 2017 22:19:42 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/hurricanesPicture
Wild, manipulated weather is discouraging; what would Ulysses do?

Hurricane Irma missed us. Its path led it far to the west, barely brushing Columbia, South Carolina with tropical storm winds. I am thankful for that avoidance of a disaster, though I am very sorry for those souls that took the brunt of it—in the Virgin and Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Florida, and Georgia. And may God help those in Texas who were wasted by Hurricane Harvey a scant two weeks before. I feel their pain, their outrage, at having suffered calamity from an Act of God. I suspect, however, that God had little to do with the work of those storms.

Hurricane Jose followed Irma, but it stayed out to sea until it was locked in place at a point south of New York City. It weakened to a tropical storm, making tight circles offshore while it dumped waves of rain on the US northeast. As of this writing, Jose has dissipated entirely. It looks like the void may be filled, however, with Hurricane Maria, which is headed over basically the same path. Maria is a major storm and has already completed the devastation Irma started in the Caribbean.

Though Maria’s path is determined to take out to sea at this point, I’ve spent the last week in apprehension over the possibility of its striking SC. For a while, the potential seemed strong. Even now, a right-turn into the state is not outside the capabilities of the geoengineers. It has happened before.

Also at this time, Hurricane Lee has reformed in the mid-Atlantic as a tropical storm. It is scheduled to build back to a hurricane and follow the looping path that is apparently all the rage among hurricanes these days. Apparently, it will be “parked,” to await its use for whatever the geoengineers have in mind.

If you have doubts about my insinuations regarding the control of hurricanes, you might check out this video

My greatest desire in writing is for my words to inspire and entertain. I’ve wanted to use the literary art to express my view of things and experiences of life to the benefit of others. I have myself been thus inspired by written drama and memoir. At this time in my life, there is much I could say—much I have said—and, like Tennyson’s Ulysses, I find that “Tho' much is taken, much abides.” 

What abides for me, I’ll share. A novel, book reviews. news, my strivings and seekings with fitness and with hurricanes. All in the face of perilous times, as I try “not to yield.”

<![CDATA[Waiting for Irma]]>Sat, 09 Sep 2017 15:17:28 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/waiting-for-irmaPicture
Hurricanes fired at us as from a baseball pitching machine…

What hath the Great American Eclipse wrought? Hurricane Irma has developed into the biggest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. It has decimated Caribbean islands, skirted Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and is now skimming along the northern coast of Cuba. Its path has shifted steadily from a skirt of the US eastern seaboard, to grazing Florida and hitting Georgia around Savannah and then heading inland to my own city of Columbia, SC, to its current path through central Florida and Georgia before sputtering out somewhere over Tennessee.

Of course, at this point (Saturday morning), it’s still south of Florida at Cuba (I’ve seen no sympathy for Cuba on the mainstream “news”). Though it’s expected to head up into Florida and travel overland, it could be steered anywhere, even out into the Gulf. What do the geoengineers have in mind for this storm and its two companions? We won’t know until it’s done (and really, not even then), but because of the potential path through South Carolina, I’ve been preparing for it all week.

I’ve been preparing at work, that is. Because I’m responsible for a computer network for a nonprofit organization that helps during emergencies, it is important that the network remain operational. At this point, the hurricane’s path is determined to bypass us by a wide margin, so we seem to have dodged that bullet. 

Florida won’t dodge it, however. It looks certain that Irma will landfall on the Keys at Category 4 strength (maybe even Cat 5). As the storm sweeps up the peninsula, there will be much damage and suffering. May the spirits help all in that infernal path.

So since the GAE, we’ve seen four major hurricanes strike or threaten the US, a major earthquake-with-tsunami in Mexico, major solar flares, and the usual chem-trailing (though it’s been bad enough to choke on in SC lately). And in the human sphere, we’ve seen more sabre-rattling toward North Korea prompted by their nuclear bomb tests. 

I’m really not big into omens, beyond as a dramatic device, but some dark momentums have ramped up and the GAE can be viewed as a herald. If you’re interested in reading about cosmic portents of physical events, I recommend this book. It’s also a good overview of world events as seen from outside the mainstream media.

These dark momentums are evidence of our changing world. We have reached the limits to growth and our ten thousand year old paradigm for civilization is ill-equipped to handle it. That situation is the foundation for the post-apocalypse novel I’m writing (Power of the Ancients). Actually, there has been an explosion of post-apocalypse drama in recent years, and I think it comes from the common, subliminal, consensus that things can’t go on as they have.

In the meantime, I’ll just track the disasters and try to stay out of their way.

PS: Here’s a link to the hurricane page on the South Carolina 211 website.  While it’s slanted towards SC, it contains info that might be helpful to anyone having to deal with a hurricane and its aftermath.

<![CDATA[The GAE as Presage for Harvey and Notes about Collapse]]>Sun, 03 Sep 2017 15:13:38 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/the-gae-as-presage-for-harvey-and-notes-about-collapsePicture
The Great American Eclipse as a Presage for Hurricane Harvey and Collapse?

The Hurricane Harvey event has come and gone, but the aftermath is just beginning. That event lasted for about five days. The initial horror of its winds quickly gave way to the horror of its rains. The storm sat parked over the Houston area for several days, surrounded by high pressure that ensured it would stay put. Even so, it did jog out over the ocean and back a few times, gathering strength and more moisture for floods. When it finally departed the area, it left Houston under water, a rising death toll, and scattered misery.

This disaster struck barely a week after the “Great American Eclipse” (GAE). Is there a causal connection? Maybe at some cosmic level. Within the preceding months of the event, John Hogue noted:

I also foresee by August something so large happening with the Earth’s climate that even a few climate change deniers, like President Trump perhaps, might take notice that something is going very wrong with the planet, its storms and even its quaking earth when Saturn resumes its forward progress on 25 August 2017.

        Hogue, John. John Hogue's Worldwide Astrological Predictions for the Real New Year: Spring 2017 to Spring 2018 (Kindle Locations 504-508). HogueProphecy Publishing. Kindle Edition. 

I think Hurricane Harvey qualifies as a pretty large happening that is just the opening act of a drawn-out climate affair. I expect, however, it will be denied, spun, and lied about right up to the bitterly hot end. As I write this, Hurricane Irma is crossing the Atlantic at a Category 3 level and it looks like a strong possibility for striking the US—possibly the eastern seaboard. It’s followed by a disturbance that could become Hurricane Jose and reach the US in the Gulf. And then it seems that a constant firing of tropical waves off Africa may keep a steady stream of cyclones headed for us in the months of September and October. 

I fear those months will be ones for watching cyclones bouncing around the Atlantic like the steel ball in a pinball machine, hoping it doesn’t “tilt” into our area. Of course, there’s a randomness to a pinball game that isn’t matched in weather events anymore. Imagine a strong magnet placed against the bottom of the pinball machine, allowing the ball to be directed and so racking up as many points as desired. It seems something analogous to that magnet was applied to H. Harvey. 

Note the huge right angle in the satellite image that heads this journal entry. Aren’t there supposed to be no straight lines in nature? It defines the high pressure pushing the remnants of Harvey away from Texas and up to, roughly, Memphis. Western images showed that same “border” keeping moisture out of southern California, where a hellish heatwave (heat dome?) has developed.

The disaster of Hurricane Harvey prompted some interesting comments from observers of the world scene. Most weren’t reported in the mainstream media.

In an article for the Common Dreams website, Naomi Klein points out that disasters such as Hurricane Harvey are occurring because of the climate change problem humanity won’t address—or at least our rulers won’t address it, or not adequately, anyway. She says:

The records being broken year after year — whether for drought, storm surges, wildfires or just heat — are happening because the planet is markedly warmer than it has been since record-keeping began.

        Naomi Klein, Harvey Didn’t Come Out of the Blue. Now Is The Time to Talk About Climate Change, commondreams.org

A big reason our planet is “markedly warmer” is that the air is saturated with metal particulates from the constant spraying (the chemtrails of geoengineering) that contributes to the greenhouse effect. Further contributions come from the carbon dioxide from industrialized civilization and the methane released from thawing permafrost.

Weather manipulation is a consequence of being ruled by psychopaths and is itself a presage to civilization’s collapse (which, like geoengineering, is well under way). James Kunstler, a well-known writer about collapse, interviewed Richard Heinberg (another well-known writer about collapse) this week in a podcast that struck me as particularly enlightening. I’ve followed the work of both these men for many years and I’ve seen them grow in pessimism about the progression of things. This podcast offers a good “state of affairs” from the both of them.

Mr. Kunstler doesn’t consider himself a “doomer” in that he thinks a better future is possible for humanity, but it will only come after civilization has collapsed to a sustainable mode of living. Indeed, this collapse will happen whether people want it or not, because our civilization/economy is based on the ideas of endless growth. The world’s resources required to fuel that growth are running out. Therefore, Mr. Heinberg identifies our problem as being a systemic one of “overshoot.” He says:

The human system expanded dramatically, overshooting Earth’s long-term carrying capacity for humans while upsetting the ecological systems we depend on for our survival. Until we understand and address this systemic imbalance, symptomatic treatment...will constitute an endlessly frustrating round of stopgap measures that are ultimately destined to fail.

        Richard Heinberg, Museletter #303: Climate Change Isn’t Our Biggest Environmental Problem, and Why Technology Won’t Save Us, richardheinberg.com

There were other indicators of moral and economic collapse this week. Steven Singer, writing for Common Dreams, posed the question of whether the Houston public schools would be privatized via conversion to charter schools. That happened in New Orleans after the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, and I expect the odds are great for it happening in Houston.

Perhaps the most telling example of the cruel system we live under is the revelation of a complete cure for leukemia. The cure is by means of a single-infusion therapy that “re-programs” cells in living patients to perform a specific task, like killing cancer cells. The “problem” with this therapy for pharmaceutical companies (like Novartis) is:

The therapies are designed in a laboratory and introduced to patients through a single infusion. For a pharmaceutical industry built on perpetually treating symptoms with refillable prescriptions rather than producing permanent and enduring cures, this new form of therapy represents the end of their business model.

        Tony Cartalucci, Curing Incurable Leukemia, globalresearch.ca

And so the leukemia cure is priced at $475,000 when the cost to test it on terminally ill patients was $20,000. Capitalism. Of course, I’m suspicious of the idea of a cellular re-engineering therapy developed by big pharma to cure cancer. I would think they could make tons of money by developing it into some monstrosity of a bio-weapon they could sell to the military-industrial. Probably, they already have.

While I wish to write about more uplifting subjects, there are storms headed our way—in reality and metaphor. They bear upon all that we do and mitigate our hopes. Maybe they make us stronger. I’ll keep you posted.

                                                                      * * *

LINKS for further reading:

KunstlerCast 294 — “There’s No App for That” — Richard Heinberg

Museletter #303: Climate Change Isn’t Our Biggest Environmental Problem, and Why Technology Won’t Save Us

Curing Incurable Leukemia

After Hurricane Harvey, Will Houston Public Schools Be Charterized?

Harvey Didn’t Come Out of the Blue. Now Is The Time to Talk About Climate Change.

Engineered Climate Cataclysm: Hurricane Harvey ( Dane Wigington GeoengineeringWatch.org )

<![CDATA[Totality, Part III (The Eclipse)]]>Sat, 26 Aug 2017 16:54:03 GMThttp://rayfoy.com/rays-journal/totality-part-iii-the-eclipsePicture
The Great American Eclipse has passed…

The shadow of the 2017 solar eclipse ran its predicted course over a troubled and turbulent United States. The event of totality made the mainstream news along with the aftermaths of appalling tragedies in Charlottesville, VA and Barcelona, Spain. The natural perfection of the sun-moon alignment contrasted with the moronic rantings of presidential speeches and tweets, and with the beyond-appalling US war threats towards Syria, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea, and Afghanistan. All the while, a monster storm brewed in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening Texas with wind devastation and a week of flooding. 

[At this point, Hurricane Harvey has come onshore near Rockport, TX and moved inland, still a category 1 storm. It shows signs of manipulation and will be held in place for some 5 to 7 days. This is a horrific event, likely to be worse than was Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Did the eclipse herald all this? In a way, I think. It at least was an underline, for anyone watching, of the turbulence and insanity of current events. Potentially, there is much worse to come, unless some critical mass of humanity wakes up. 

But there is also instruction in the contrast of horrific events and a natural wonder that happens, indifferent to the machinations of humanity.

I did experience the eclipse. Though obscured by cloud and chemtrail, the shadow’s passing reached me with the cosmic energy of its novelty, and perhaps of its portent. Some around me felt it as well and expressed being moved by the event.

There had been much popular hype leading up to the eclipse, of course, and I remained aloof from much of it. I was drawn in, however, by writings about it in articles and a couple of ebooks that I reviewed. I decided I didn’t want to miss it, especially after my wife bought “eclipse glasses” to facilitate our family viewing.

I was at work, when the time came (8/21/2017 — totality occurred at about 14:40 EDT).

Some 40 minutes before totality, the afternoon had grown noticeably dimmer. I looked at the sun through my eclipse glasses and the moon was about 1/3 in transit over the solar disk. It was a fascinating sight, but I didn't look for too long. I had reservations about prolonged staring at the sun, even through protective lenses.

A lot of clouds threatened rain, especially towards the northeast, but the sun-and-moon moved through an open space. It seemed we had a good chance of seeing the very moment of totality.

People from my office building came out, took a glimpse through eclipse glasses, and then retreated back inside (faithful workers). Some tried to take pictures with their smart-phones but the results were either nothing or red dots—even when photographing through the lenses of their eclipse glasses. Based on those poor results I decided to not risk damaging my phone in a futile effort. So I took pictures of my surroundings to log the onset of darkness in the mid-afternoon. 

At about 15 minutes from totality, it was decidedly darker. The temperature was dropping and the wind picked up. The sun was a waning crescent now. The northeast looked rainy and clouds gathered directly overhead. They surrounded the sun-and-moon but did not cover it.

At ten minutes from totality, the sun was a thinner crescent, but still bright enough to light the day. Such is the power of our local star.

More people were outside now. These were the die-hards who would see it through. On the west side of my building complex, people had gathered in the parking lot and around the large pond there. They reclined in lawn chairs or on car hoods, watching through eclipse glasses.

Then at five minutes from totality, clouds covered the sun-and-moon. I heard a lot of "ahh's" of disappointment, but it didn't really dull the experience for me. The day steadily darkened, as if the sun was setting. I took pictures, thinking I could surely aim my phone-camera at the sun now.

I noticed at this point, a plane spraying at high altitude. Maybe 15 degrees below the sun-and-moon, it left a definite chemtrail as it arced towards the south. They had been spraying pretty heavy since the early morning and so all this was happening in a chemtrail haze anyway. I had wondered if the haze would cause some ghastly auras around the totality as it often did around sunsets, but that would be concealed now. Even so, the spraying made an apt statement of the indifference of the geoengineers to a natural miracle.

Then, behind the clouds, the moon and sun aligned into totality. The darkness of sunset settled over everything. A cool, moist, breeze stirred. Streetlights came on. Cicadas sang in the trees. People stood silhouetted in front of my building's lighted windows as if in a night scene.

In my readings on the eclipse, it was averred that solar eclipses emit a particular energy. Some folk traditions warn that it is best to stay inside during the event. I did pick up on some energy, vibration, or feeling. Maybe it was just the strangeness of the ambiance of dusk when the sun was high in the sky. It seemed to affect my family as well, and I received several excited text messages from them when it was over. I replied with one of my photos.

The event lasted only some three minutes. Then the daylight steadily returned. The watching groups broke up. People went back to work and I returned to my office. Email exchanges spoke of what we had just experienced and I heard at least one "Did you see it?" pass down the hallway.

I've noted in my related journal posts that this eclipse is joined with certain astrological alignments that indicate the event as a presage to a time of great changes--worldwide, national, and personal. Or maybe not so much change, since change is continuous in life, as passage. Like moving from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius, we may move to an entirely new phase full of constituent endings and beginnings.

And whether for good or ill, you can be sure your new phase is full of potential, and perhaps nourished on the mystical energy of this total solar eclipse.

[Special note: As I write this, much pain and suffering has begun in south Texas. May God have mercy.]