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small green square Tonight I attended a lecture at the "Foundation for Global Community" by Jean Shinoda Bolen. The Foundation <1> is in Palo Alto, and I learned of this event from a flier someone thrust into my hand up there over the weekend. The speaker was quite interesting - a Jungian analyst and author of books with titles like The Tao Of Psychology and Close To The Bone. She spoke of fables, mostly the Fisher King and the Quest for the Grail, which triggered all manner of interior thoughts - of the Robin Wiilliams - Jeff Bridges film, which I thought was one of the best ever, but it'd slipped off my personal radar screen for years; of the incredible 1981 John Boormann movie, "Excalibur", another personal favorite; and curiously, of a book I had as a child but remember nothing save the title: Parsifal Rides the Time Wave, and that I liked it a lot. <2> As she told the story, Percival saw the Grail, but didn't acquire it because he failed to ask the right questions of the Fisher King, a leader with a wound that wouldn't heal, whose kingdom had become a wasteland. (The questions: "What ails thee?" and "For whom does the Grail serve?") Percival didn't even see the Fisher King's castle until he had a shift in awareness, caused when he wondered, for the first time in years, what had happened to his Mother. Dr. Bolen tied all this together with our own Earth (the Mother) and how it could become a wasteland unless we all have a shift in awareness. How our addictions numb our own wounds. How the Grail Quest resonates, even with those unfamiliar with the story. How "Green and Juicy" is the opposite of the Wasteland, and how the major event in a decade of one's life might be a Major Dream, which may have been forgotten. How we must risk looking foolish by asking dumb questions. (She mentioned that Deborah Tannen explains why men don't ask questions, but instead just keep looking when we're lost. Why? Because our asking reveals our position in the hierarchy.) And prompted by a question from the audience, she held forth a bit about the contemporary trauma of our own wounded Fisher King, how Clinton's archetype is more a brother than a Patriarch, and how the Republicans are in denial about how everybody has secrets and shadows which require forgiveness.

small violet square I'm glad I went - this is the type of event I only seem to attend in California. Years ago David got me into the last free Santa Monica lectures given by Marianne Williamson, before she became Big. They were thought-provoking in the same manner (although now I recall only a few words, from the one just after the '92 riots). Somehow attending this sort of thing isn't possible when I live in DC, if such lectures even occur back there. The crowd was earnest, mostly older and well-dressed. I spoke with none of them - afterwards, mentally exhausted, I left almost hastily.

small purple square I played with a tentative itinerary and generated a calculation of an around-the-world fare at the High Adventure site. My preliminary estimate was about $2700 - this agency specializes in budget RTW trips. I submitted my particulars, so I'll be hearing from them - will I chill, or follow through? Stay tuned.

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small cyan square Good article on the front page of today's Washington Post by Kirstin Downey Grimsley and Jay Mathews. It contains many salacious anecdotes from the business world - here's a few paragraphs:

"I don't know of any situation where there has been an extramarital affair, that is consensual and kept from the public, where it's been deemed inappropriate conduct for a leader," said Freada Klein, a consultant on sexual harassment.

And when the sexual behavior is consensual, typically between older, powerful men and beautiful, young subordinate females, married or unmarried, men are often accorded boasting rights, not shame or humiliation. They are rarely fired.

"Based on what we've seen, with rare exceptions, nothing happens to the CEO," said Ellen Bravo, executive director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, which tracks corporate sexual misbehavior cases. "He's too important. He's what we call an 'UGLI' -- an Untouchable, God-Like Individual."

Now I know what that means - in my high school-early college days, one of my cliques' disparaging expressions of disrespect was "yoogli", with a meaning similar to (but not exactly) ugly.

small yellow square The most infuriating reaction I hear to the scandal is the decision to stop voting. That's no solution! Why is it so difficult for people to channel their rage into a vote for third party candidates?

DC - District of Columbia (Washington)
RTW - Round The World
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<1>Its mission: To contribute to a shift of cultural values, a shift from the dominant culture of growth, of more, of materialism, to a culture of enough, of quality and excellence, of spirit, a culture which works for the diversity of life.

<2> All Hail the Mighty Internet: a quick search reveals details and even two used-book sources (although I'll check at the library first): the author was Nell Chenault, © 1962.