And to put that article in context with today’s Congress, I remember reading about how the House of Representatives, of this 116th Congress, had passed over 400 pieces of legislation, but also about how the Senate leadership refused to bring any of that legislation before the Senate for a vote, to draft a compromise bill, or even draft an alternative bill to address those same issues. It seems the Senate was too busy packing the Courts to consider legislation that might actually help the people.
Not a very efficient group. The Senate. Where most of the power lies in Congress.
This, of course, partially explains why the US approval rating for Congress is only at 15 percent. And studies have shown that Congress (both Chambers) only pass legislation that the people actually want about a third of the time. (Watch the Video– it’s not partisan) The rest of the time they are . . . well, what the hell are they doing???
You might wish to read the Prelude to this post. Below is a reprint of an article I wrote back in 1997. It was originally titled by me as “Politics as Usual? It was published by the Columbia Missourian on January 16, 1997, under the title, “Our Busy Congress.”
It’s hard not to notice the political feuds in Congress these days. On one hand we have President Bill Clinton, the highest-ranking Democrat in the country, immersed in a scandal over accepting illegal campaign contributions. On the other hand, we have Newt Gingrich, re-elected Speaker of the House, and one of the highest-ranking Republicans in the country, immersed in a scandal over illegal use of legally donated campaign funds.
For those of you who have managed to remain totally news-free, or in a padded cell for the past two months, it seems the President accepted large contributions (in excess of $2 million) from overseas interests in Asia, and Newt funneled domestic campaign contributions through tax-exempt GOP organizations to sponsor his own politically-oriented college classes. Clinton returned the money, or so that’s the official position, and Newt followed up his digressions by lying to a Congressional Subcommittee. So now that money is back in Asia, and Newt has admitted to his lies, many people feel everything is just wonderful again.
One version of this Legend tells us about how a dying Shaman, and leader of his Tribe, instructed the Tribe to seek out their new “Dream.” “Dream,” as used here, refers to the Tribe’s collective idea, or “Tonal,” or image of what their “Home” and “Society” constituted.
A number of my posts have focused on travel and the literal, “Finding Home,”and this is no different.
When I wrote my series on Boquillas, I mentioned that while writing it I went down several “Rabbit Holes” as I did my background research. The root of this expression, of course, traces back to the book “Alice in Wonderland,” where Alice follows the White Rabbit down his hole and into Wonderland.*
And one can certainly argue about whether “Wonderland” is the appropriate name for that subterranean realm because Alice’s adventures there don’t seem to be all that marvelous and delightful.
But that’s another Rabbit Hole that I’ll dodge for the moment.
So here we are, down one of the many side tunnels I ran down when exploring Southern Texas and Northern Mexico. This one is about an Ancient Legend and an Ancient Pterosaur.
How did I get here? And how do these two things overlap?
Castaneda writes about our being able to perceive the Auras, or the “Cocoon” of energy around people (luminous beings or light beings) and that you are able to tell if an individual’s Tonal is good. And having a good Tonal is a prerequisite to developing yourself as a Nagual.
One day, the Brujo “sees” a person with a good Tonal sitting in the town square where they are visiting. And he requires, as part of Castaneda’s training, for him to introduce himself to this person and to offer assistance with any task that this person needs to perform. Castaneda complies and he assists the woman in a somewhat strained manner.
I forget now, what it was he helped her with, but that is irrelevant to my tale.
. . . Much to my amazement, he began, literally, climbing the shelves in this tiny but high-ceilinged shop, in pursuit of the golden liquid of which I wished to partake . . .
Right off the bat, I must tell you that my title is not referring to the Walt Disney movie Fantasia that included Micky Mouse as the reckless “Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Nor does it refer to the 1797 poem, “Der Zauberlehrling,” written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe upon which Disney borrowed for its 1940 film. A film that that became re-energized among the psychedelic counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, where everybody was dropping a hit of acid, or two, and going to see Mickey Mouse trying to control a bunch of angry brooms carrying buckets of water.
No, I’m talking about actually meeting a real Sorcerer and his apprentice. And yes, this is yet another rabbit hole I’m going down after yesterday’s Rabbit Hole post. It happened at the same time as that story when I was in Mexico for that “agricultural exchange,“ and, with this writing, you could say that I’m still stumbling about in that “Warren.“
Note: Since this is a continuation of the first and second post in this series (“Wondrous Souls,” & “Wondrous Souls – Dyad”) I’ve begun with the last few lines of the second post to kick this one off. To try to keep you in the rhythm of the story without you having to refer back to the previous post.
It was truly a trading of energies, and we painted images in each other’s minds with the words we spoke. And I believe revealed our Souls. Our true essence.
That has a lasting effect on you. And it certainly has with me. It gives you hope for all of humanity.
One thing she told me about being on those long trails, like the PCT, the Continental Divide Trail and the Appalachian Trail – known as the Big Three – you never have to explain yourself.
Everyone on those trails has an innate understanding of the ardor of the Soul being activated there.
Note: Since this is a continuation of the first post “Wondrous Souls,” I’ve begun with the last paragraph of that post to kick this one off. To try to keep you in the rhythm of the story without you having to refer back to that post.
I was blessed to run into a few of these shining Souls during my travels this past Summer. I’ve experienced bad ones as well, but that’s another story for another day. And if I’m choosing definitions, I take door number three, or at least a part of it – “emotional or intellectual energy or intensity.” But instead of this intensity being revealed in some other tangible art form, I would say this energy is, as definition number four implies, embodied in those people. I would equate these good Souls with Fine Art! Literally. Because meeting such people awakens something inside yourself and you make contact on an entirely different level.
IntroNote: I figured after my last post, which was critical of certain human behaviors, that it would good to balance that out and write a piece focusing on the good you encounter when meeting certain Souls. 🙂
It’s hard for me to imagine that sixty plus years have flown by. Day-by-day, we march on. At first enjoying the freedom that comes with having parents watching over us. Our only responsibility being to grow, explore, and learn. Then we leave the nest and become involved in whatever, hoping to return to that freedom someday. Somehow. Recapture that innocence. Where our Souls are not bound. Not tethered to material demands.
When I began writing this series, I had no idea the words would just keep on flowing beyond a single post. But, hey, that’s OK. I’ve enjoyed the writing, and we finally made it to that point in the story where I get to talk about my favorite little town along the “Grand and Turbid River to the North.” A town I actually never set foot in.
It was, as you may guess from the titles, Boquillas del Carmen otherwise known as Boquillas !!!
Now, there are a number of areas in the States that are “Big Sky Country.” And Big Bend is one of those places.* Where the horizons stretch on forever. A vast expanse. It’s difficult to tell where the Earth ends and the Sky begins.
It is a mirage within a mirage.
The only thing offering a tethering to the ground in Big Bend are the Chisos Mountains. They break the joint between skyline and chaparral and provide definition. They restore the sense of gravity that would otherwise vanish completely.
In these places we get that duality of striking beauty mixed with the desolate and dangerous. It’s enchanting and alluring here, but there is deception because if you’re not careful you could easily die from the elements.
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami