“There is nothing but love here for you. We welcome you and cannot wait to hold you in our arms. We support your life, whatever you need. We are here to love and honor you. We will be here for you no matter what. You are safe.”
Sunni Karll

Sacred Birthing

Facts?

n

I’ve been thinking a lot about facts recently … well actually for a long time. Yesterday as I was chopping wood (one of my favorite empty-roaming-mind-activities) some clarity hit me and left me with an understanding that there are three kinds of facts 🙂

Mostly Wrong

Most taken for granted facts of life (at least in my life) seem to fall into this category. They are often born very convincing (the earth is flat) but then go through a process of deterioration – sometimes fast, sometimes exruciatingly slow. Most people, when they speak of facts, speak of these facts as if … well … they were a matter-of-fact … or even build entire universes of other facts on top of other unspoken facts – and I have a hard time taking them seriously – I tend to laugh inside but I do try to be respectful.

Sometimes Right

An undisputed fact is personal experience. It cannot be argued – it is what it is – a very personalized process of perception which sends ripples of emotions, thoughts, insights, energy and action. Perception can be right but it can also be wrong. Perception can also be tricky because it is purely personal experience and any attempt to share and communicate it is merely a shadow of the experience itself. So while perception is mostly fact it can be pretty hard to embrace it as such.

“Sometimes Right” facts are fast-faders – they come fresh with experience but then began to fade into conception … actually into preconceptions. Preconceptions tend to breed misperceptions and so, in a vicious cycle most “Sometimes Right” facts have either deteriorated or are in a process of deteriorating into “Mostly Wrong” facts.Some very rare “Sometimes Right” facts have matured over the history of mankind into “Always True” facts.

Always True

I feel I’ve been gifted for quite some time to have been visited by truths in this lifetime. They came to me in the last quarter of my life so I’m still new to them. These are “facts” that come through my spiritual teachings and experiences … and to be honest … calling them facts doesn’t sit well with me. To me these are assumptions, deep spiritual/metaphysical assumptions about the workings of life. As they come together they merge into a kind of faith … my own faith.

I live with them not because I’ve put them through rigorous logical tests but because (a) they feel good (often from the moment they appeared in my life); (b) I was able to embrace them without understanding them; (c) they have withstood the unrelenting friction of life much more then many other “Mostly Wrong” and “Sometimes Right” facts that have come up short.

 

Posted in Expanding, inside, Uncategorized | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-01

n
  • snow held off until christmas day and this morning it's finally blanketed the world around us – may the earth find rest in the coming months #
  • oh and I think I forgot to mention that we have an owl that lives with us here in Bhudeva – beautiful and vocal creature 🙂 #
  • Israel and I – a personal story of how society breeds crime http://t.co/G2FWkJgI cc: @restoracircles #
  • considering letting go of rainwater harvesting on our #earthship and putting in a living roof http://t.co/1HcNAruf #
  • our water infrastructure continued: choosing between a surface pump and a submersible pump http://t.co/oX5Xg1RW #
  • a couple of days ago two of our cocks attacked each other and fought until they were both bloodied … too many males for a small flock #
  • so we exchanged one of them for a female from our neighbors … and today she gave us our 1st egg today 🙂 #
  • we're hoping our younger females will take a cue from her … Andreea setup laying boxes … so we'll see what comes 🙂 #
  • wow … not only has another week flashed by, but another month and another year! sheesh … slow down! #
  • wondering what would happen if DIY solar systems were incorporated indoors in an Earthship http://t.co/2yyGpInI #
  • REAL snow, stay-snow has come down during the night … all the bare tree branches are fluffed with a thick cover of snow … fantastic! #
  • @dallasclayton wouldn't it be amazing if 25 million christmas trees were planted instead of cut down every year? #
  • even though there is bright light outside the earth seems asleep and resting under a beautiful blanket of snow #
  • check out this excellent animation of how a Global Model Earthship is built http://t.co/fY4Yw1vM #
  • with a backdrop of white snow our white dog is either not so white or very dirty #
  • @lifeinromania just watched all 6 episodes … great job … I hope ur able to persist with this as there is soooo much more to explore 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania as I watch interviewees I find myself reflecting less on their answers & more on them … so much to see beneath the surface #
  • @twitter must be doing something "right" … every time I speak out I get a return wave of spam! #
  • @Anti_Intellect the world ends all the time … humans simply have a huge & mostly childish misconception about what that means 🙂 #
  • @Anti_Intellect Something of the world ends whenever we learn something new and an old concept is left behind #
  • @Anti_Intellect something of the world ends when doubt invades confidence #
  • @Anti_Intellect something of the world ends when a precious moment fades away and takes the preciousness with it #
  • @Anti_Intellect something of the world ends when someone close to me leaves their physical body #
  • @Anti_Intellect something of the world ends when I fall asleep … something new begins when I wake up in the morning #
  • @Anti_Intellect something in the world will end (for me and for others) when I will leave my body behind #
  • @Anti_Intellect see … funny thing is that (to me at least) it isn't a metaphor 🙂 #
  • @Anti_Intellect I invite you to check out these two quotes of two authors about death: http://t.co/XigfvFwv #
  • @Shuliji multumesc mult 🙂 #
  • a little something I carry from my Samkhya studies with @yogastudies : squeeze oranges get orange juice, squeeze humans get inquiry juice 🙂 #
  • dogs just chased off another gypsy boy looking to make a quick buck by singing for us for the new year … good dogs! #
  • here's is where we live and what we've managed to achieve in the 7 months since we moved out to Bhudeva http://t.co/hwDicTaK 🙂 #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-01

n
  • snow held off until christmas day and this morning it's finally blanketed the world around us – may the earth find rest in the coming months #
  • oh and I think I forgot to mention that we have an owl that lives with us here in Bhudeva – beautiful and vocal creature 🙂 #
  • Israel and I – a personal story of how society breeds crime http://t.co/G2FWkJgI cc: @restoracircles #
  • considering letting go of rainwater harvesting on our #earthship and putting in a living roof http://t.co/1HcNAruf #
  • our water infrastructure continued: choosing between a surface pump and a submersible pump http://t.co/oX5Xg1RW #
  • a couple of days ago two of our cocks attacked each other and fought until they were both bloodied … too many males for a small flock #
  • so we exchanged one of them for a female from our neighbors … and today she gave us our 1st egg today 🙂 #
  • we're hoping our younger females will take a cue from her … Andreea setup laying boxes … so we'll see what comes 🙂 #
  • wow … not only has another week flashed by, but another month and another year! sheesh … slow down! #
  • wondering what would happen if DIY solar systems were incorporated indoors in an Earthship http://t.co/2yyGpInI #
  • REAL snow, stay-snow has come down during the night … all the bare tree branches are fluffed with a thick cover of snow … fantastic! #
  • @dallasclayton wouldn't it be amazing if 25 million christmas trees were planted instead of cut down every year? #
  • even though there is bright light outside the earth seems asleep and resting under a beautiful blanket of snow #
  • check out this excellent animation of how a Global Model Earthship is built http://t.co/fY4Yw1vM #
  • with a backdrop of white snow our white dog is either not so white or very dirty #
  • @lifeinromania just watched all 6 episodes … great job … I hope ur able to persist with this as there is soooo much more to explore 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania as I watch interviewees I find myself reflecting less on their answers & more on them … so much to see beneath the surface #
  • @twitter must be doing something "right" … every time I speak out I get a return wave of spam! #
  • @Anti_Intellect the world ends all the time … humans simply have a huge & mostly childish misconception about what that means 🙂 #
  • @Anti_Intellect Something of the world ends whenever we learn something new and an old concept is left behind #
  • @Anti_Intellect something of the world ends when doubt invades confidence #
  • @Anti_Intellect something of the world ends when a precious moment fades away and takes the preciousness with it #
  • @Anti_Intellect something of the world ends when someone close to me leaves their physical body #
  • @Anti_Intellect something of the world ends when I fall asleep … something new begins when I wake up in the morning #
  • @Anti_Intellect something in the world will end (for me and for others) when I will leave my body behind #
  • @Anti_Intellect see … funny thing is that (to me at least) it isn't a metaphor 🙂 #
  • @Anti_Intellect I invite you to check out these two quotes of two authors about death: http://t.co/XigfvFwv #
  • @Shuliji multumesc mult 🙂 #
  • a little something I carry from my Samkhya studies with @yogastudies : squeeze oranges get orange juice, squeeze humans get inquiry juice 🙂 #
  • dogs just chased off another gypsy boy looking to make a quick buck by singing for us for the new year … good dogs! #
  • here's is where we live and what we've managed to achieve in the 7 months since we moved out to Bhudeva http://t.co/hwDicTaK 🙂 #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

What I’ve Been Doing for the Last 7 Months

n

Images and words at Bhudeva – where we live and what we’ve been doing.

Posted in About, Myself | You are welcome to add your comment

A Personal Story of How Society Breeds Crime

n

It seems that my life-long relationship with Israel has finally come to an end. As it did, a new observation surfaced in my awareness, I had become a criminal. Though my story is specific and relates to my life in Israel, I do believe that similar patterns exist in other modern societies and therefore I think it may be worth recalling and noting. The story is made up of many small and seemingly unimportant events. There is no one outstandingly dramatic and moving peak event. It is in this long series of small events that an unperceived and threatening transformation lies.

Marriage

Andreea and I met in 2001 through a very-blind date (a couple of my friends knew another couple who knew Andreea – neither knew both of us). She was a foreign worker from Romania in Israel. When we met she was still holding onto a work visa which expired a few months into our relationship. Our relationship seemed to outlast her legal status – which presented a problem for us. We knew of three ways around this problem:

  1. Bribery/Corruption – buying Andreea an illegal legal status.
  2. Conversion to Judaism – which, at the time, was the only legal mechanism for non-Jews to gain citizenship in Israel.
  3. Marriage

From our research at the time we had two corrupt possibilities. One was to fly in an orthodox rabi (I don’t know if that should be capitalized, but if even it should, I can’t) from France who for a hefty sum would convert her over-night. The other was a bribe (even heftier then the rabi) through an intermediary lawyer that would have gone directly high up in the Ministry of Internal Affairs which would have “resolved” our problems (though to this day I don’t know quite what that means). We couldn’t afford bribery and didn’t want to plant a seed of corruption at the heart of relationship and life together.

Andreea had already applied for conversion but she was ultimately rejected. Conversion (at the time) was controlled by Orthodox Jews (holding government positions) and was therefore a very strict process with long term implications. For example, Andreea would have had to agree to place her kids in Orthodox kinder-gardens and schools. Many of these things would not have been enforcable when she became engaged in a relationship with me – a most Unorthodox Unjew. She was however offered to get together with a young Orthodox Jew (they have special clubs where she could meet and choose one) and then she would have been accepted for conversion. So that didn’t work out either.

Though I list marriage as an option it really wasn’t one. Marriage in Israel was (at the time) completely controlled by the same Orthodox institutions. Even Israeli & Jewish couples who wanted to get married (in Israel) could only do so through the religious authorities. Muslim or Christian couples were also channeled through religious channels. Inter-marriages were not an option. Period. Even the option of visiting a foreign consulate and getting married there was closed off. The only option for marriage was to leave Israel, get married somewhere else and then register the marriage back in Israel.

For example, many Israeli couples who did not wish to marry through the religious authorities would go to Cyprus (30 minute flight from Israel and a nice place for vacation), get married there and then register their marriage with the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a bureaucratic measure (an important one if you want to have “legal” children, or inheritance rights … essentially if you want your marriage to be recognized in Israeli society). Thousands of Israeli couples a year did this (and probably still do) so much so that tourism companies offered all-inclusive marriage packages.

I should say that marriage as an institution was never important to me – or actually it was important for me not to be married (it is however more important to Andreea). I would have preferred to be in a relationship without the technicalities of marriage (which is essentially bringing social norms and rules into the intimacy of a relationship between two people). So, at the time, I was not even interested in “marrying” Andreea. I was very much interested in continuing our relationship without the fear of her getting caught and deported on her way home (at the time Israel was employing specialized immigration police units to catch and deport illegal workers – they would, for example, weight at bus-stations and request ID’s).

So, wanting to continue our relationship we went to meet with Newfamily, an NGO that aids couples (like us) that are alienated by the laws and customs of the land. They offered to perform a legal marriage – a legally binding contract – and then to represent us in communicating with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. We came back after two months of deliberation … I really wasn’t keen on marriage and I was even less keen on going head-to-head with the “system” which I tend to avoid as much as possible.

Fear of Betrayal

After two months we came back, signed and notarized a contract and an appeal was written to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The appeal was to either acknowledge the marriage or for a one time visa that would permit Andreea to leave the country and return with me – so that we could go to Cyprus to officiate our marriage.

We now had to go the Ministry local offices and hand in our application – this had to be done in person with the both of of us present. However we were afraid to do this. Andreea had heard of cases where illegal workers went to straighten out their affairs and as they were being processed the immigration police were called and they were taken away. We didn’t want to take any risks.

We spoke to a good friend of mine who is also a prominent lawyer and he happily agreed to help. He had Andreea sign a Power of Attorney document which enabled him to legally represent her in her absence and he went with me to file our appeal. It is said that in times of pressure our true nature is tested and revealed. So it was for this government office – the woman who happened to represent the state of Israel that day attempted to refuse accepting our appeal on the grounds that Andreea wasn’t present.

This is both illegal behavior and also a sign of the kind of treatment we would be facing for the next 7 years. The system operates according to rules and regulations which honestly represent the interests of the government (especially those of the political party who traditionally occupies the ministry – usually an extremist religious party). In the case of marriage these rules and regulations (put in place and removed based on the whims and preferences of those in power) are neither legal or illegal as there is no proper legislation when it comes to marriage in Israel – it is governed by orthodox religious tradition. However refusing to respect a power of attorney is an illegal act. The system attempted to stay true to its own north even when that led to illegal behavior. It took some forceful explanation – but our appeal was accepted.

Ignored

I no longer remember the time lags – but responses were always slow to come (many weeks at best) and often it took many months due to frequent (two to three times a year!) government employee strikes. The responses were usually in the form of a small hand-written note saying that “Andreea is requested to leave the country”. It was as if they were completely ignoring the fact that the request was coming from me, a legal citizen, there was absolutely no contextual answer relating to the fact that we had married by contract.

The process went back and forth numerous times for almost a year and a half. Newfamily tried to appeal higher up in the ministry offices including as high up as a direct assistant to the minister. Nothing helped. There was even something cynical and outright evasive about some of the responses in the spirit of “she is welcome to leave the country” with an unwritten subtext “but she isn’t coming back in”. We were literally being ignored. All this, mind you, was legal … since there was no law, only regulations.

Politics

As this chapter of the journey neared its end, a revolutionary (though short lived change) in Israeli politics came to our rescue. A new political party (Shinuy) riding on the wings of an anti-religious agenda established a substantial political presence. Shinuy (which translates as “change”) won enough votes and electoral power to assume control over the political-religious-stronghold on the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The new minister enacted a new regulation which affected us directly.

I recall that during those elections one of the propaganda films aired on TV by the powerful religious party (Shas) that controlled the ministry in the past, claimed that Israeli society was diseased by (1) violence;(2) drugs and (3) inter-marriages. Though I offer this piece of information with some cynism I also offer it as an honest insight into the de-facto agenda that was beint actuated by that party. It was Andreea who reminded me, in the midst of this process, that I was acting against against the interests of the Jewish Country.

The new regulation (not law!) enabled an Israeli to petition for a “family reunion” or as I like to think of it “spousal import” in cases such as ours. The regulation indicated that petitions would be processed within maximum 30 days. This was better then the previous estimates that indicated that had Andreea left Israel black-listed as an illegal resident it would have taken anything between 5 months and 5 years for her to be able to return.

We were still scared of Andreea leaving Israel because this was just a regulation and though the minister was an enemy-of-an-enemy and therefor “on our side” there was still an entire government office (populated with many religious position holders which did not change jobs with the currents of the political system) that held sway over us. Also, no one knew how the regulation would be administered, what catches and obstacles it held waiting to jump us.

In the end our fear was conquered by circumstances beyond our control. Andreea’s passport was about to expire. The Romanian consulate in Israel was refusing to renew/extend her passport because, due to Romania joining the EU, it was under orders to only issue new passports (which supposedly had some improved compatibility with the EU). The consulate refused to issue a new passport for Andreea because she was an illegal resident in Israel. All this to say that even if by some miracle someone wanted to give her a visa, she did not have a passport in which it could be placed.

The Ministry’s tactic of ignore and delay worked. Andreea had to leave Israel with unknown consequences.

Cyprus

Andreea flew to Romania where she prepared all the papers she would need including a new passport. When she left, an Israeli immigrations officer smiled at her as he stamped her passport, telling her that she will not be entering Israel again for a long time (she was also strip searched at the airport by Israeli security … just to get that full abusive and terrorizing experience).

At the time, bribery was still very common and an accepted currency in Romania (it is still prevalent but the situation has improved) – this included money and alcohol. She was able to get her papers in order very fast (using the bribes). We then booked a slightly complicated wedding package in Cyprus. Usually couples fly in and out together. In our case Andreea was coming from and returning to  Romania and I from and to Israel.

We arrived at the same day, me in the morning Andreea at night. The next day a car picked us up and took us to city hall. It was quick and painless (they are really good at this by now). The car took us back to the hotel. The following day a courier delivered all the signed and notarized papers. We stayed there for a total of three nights together. I left in the evening and Andreea the following morning. Leaving Andreea in Cyprus was one the most difficult and emotional moments of this journey – the intensity of it caught me by surprise.

I then went to the ministry and filed a request to reunite with Andreea and the waiting began. I don’t remember how long it took (it was less then 30 days) because the waiting was played down by the fact that back in Romania Andreea got sick, very sick. She had a kidney infection that was both dangerous and painful. She was hospitalized in a hospital with conditions that most of the people I know would probably not be willing to leave their dog for treatment. I was in Israel helpless and angry and wanting to bash somebody’s head into a wall – preferable someone from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

I considered using her illness as leverage to push our request through. I refrained from doing so fearing that they may actually use that as an excuse to NOT let her back in to Israel (fear of unlawful repercussions by the government is a recurring theme … more to come).

We got our approval, Andreea had to make a stop in Bucharest to pick up papers from the Israeli consulate and then flew back to Israel.

6 Years

We then began a process that would culminate with Andreea receiving Israeli citizenship. It is a process that was supposed to take 5 years but stretched out over 6 years.

At first she was given a temporary visa and work permit (for which we paid) for 6 months while she was given a background check. I remember sitting together at the ministry offices. The officer, though a woman, was cocky and holding a list of documents we needed to present. She began to read off the list smiling, expecting us to encounter some missing document. We humbly handed her each document as she asked for them saying “is this the document you are referring to?”. Thanks to Newfamily we knew exactly what documents we needed, in what languages, with what signatures (notaries, consulates, etc.). Missing a document could mean having to fly back to Romania and more bribery. She would have been happy to send us on our way looking for an impossible document to procure. But we had them all.

Due to more government strikes this phase took over a year and another visa extension (more money). After she was cleared we began a process of yearly visits. Every year we would have to show up with a package of papers that included utility bills, letters of intent from the both of us, letters from friends, letters from family and pictures of us together. Every year we would hand in this package which was reviewed as a checklist (I doubt anyone ever read the letters). We were then tested separately with a questionnaire to confirm that we indeed shared a life together. Andreea’s visa would then be extended for another year (more and more money). This was to go on for 4 years … until during the 5th visit we would be able to apply for citizenship.

As the 4th visit (one before last) approached I realized that we may be running into a technical problem. The government officials requested that this process start with a fresh passport valid for five years. This ensures that that the foreign applicant can be thrown out if things don’t work out. However due to delays caused by their strikes and in-aptitude we were already beyond that and Andreea’s passport had to be renewed.

Given our past experience we were afraid they were going to use this as an excuse for more abusive and hindering behavior and I began thinking about taking pre-emptive measures.

Personal Terrorism

My idea was to sue the country for direct and indirect damages. I felt I had unwillingly done the country a great service. We already knew of other couples who later went through a similar process. We actually warned them what to expect, but they went through smoothly. Something had changed. We were a part of that change. We had suffered greatly and I wanted to make this a public affair and to hold the government accountable and punishable for its behavior. I want it to be a large sum – a large percentage of which would go to a highly motivated lawyer and another large percentage would go to Newfamily to support their work.

I consulted on this with two people. One was Newfamily (the organization that escorted us throughout this entire process). The other was the same friend and lawyer that appeared in Andreea’s place 6 years earlier. Both consulted us to refrain from taking any such measures against the country (who’s judicial system is also broken and dysfunctional) fearing any negative repercussions. This was astonishing to me. I wasn’t planning to assassinate the prime minister. I was planning to invoke a legal process, I was willing to place us in the public’s eye, I felt we had gone through something important, something that goes to the core of the country’s existence … and I was being advised against it fearing that the country would take its revenge on me. In a country plagued by terrorism, terrorism was being used against its own citizens.

I dropped the issue. The 4th visit went by smoothly with a renewed passport.

3 Days

Then came the 5th and last inquiry. The visit during which we were going to rid ourselves of this bothersome process and apply for Andreea’s citizenship.

We handed in the fresh package of papers and we passed the shared-life-test. It was more then 7 years since we began our journey together, 6 years after Andreea returned to Israel as my wife.

We were sitting across from the vice-manager of the local ministry office. He was browsing Andreea’s passport and reviewing all of her visa’s and taking notes of the start and end-dates. He jots down numbers, punches a calculator, looks up at us and says “You are missing 3 days”.

Despite the 6 actual years the process took (not counting the abusive year before that) the actual visa dates added up to 3 days less then the required 5 years. We both sat there speechless. I wanted to reach across the desk and strangle him, but all I could manage was “you must be kidding”. He wasn’t. We renewed Andreea’s visit for another 6 months (more money) and after two months, when 5 years had surely passed, we set a date for applying for citizenship.

It was just a matter of more paperwork. Some time later (I don’t remember if it was weeks or months) we were invited back to the office. We were in a queue to the office’s manager. We were called in, she touched our file. Andreea was sworn in (a single sentence) and was granted her citizenship.

Winding Down & Out

During this period we also made major changes in our lives. I left my career and had gone on magical artistic explorations with an occasional income from software design consulting work. I also completed my Yoga teachers training. Andreea had become an aromatherapist and doula (and then some). We were both having a very hard time making a living. The cost-of-living was rising. We were driven out of the city to a large village in the center of Israel. From there we were driven out (after 18 months – again due to rising costs) to a remote village in the north of Israel.

There we found peace for another 18 months. We were not making a living. We were running out of money (some of which was wiped out during a wave of economic collapse while put away as “secure low risk regulated by the state” savings). The outlook was very very dark. Yet we had a peaceful life … more peaceful for me as I enjoyed my monastic existence.

At one point Andreea gave up on a website in hebrew that wasn’t getting traction. Then, out of nowhere, she asked me to create a website for her in Romanian. Feminitate was born. It got amazing traction and will soon celebrate 3 years of existence with over 1 million page views. It was also the seed of our return to Romania.

After years of swearing she would never come back to Romania Andreea came for a 10 week visit to test the waters (the results of the visit were not too great). My family gifted me with a flight-ticket to join Andreea for the last two weeks of her visit. Within a year we would fold up our life in Israel and set out on a wonderfully unknown path in Romania.

Brute Force

I left behind three loose ends relevant to the closing chapters of this story-line:

  1. A bank account – mostly emptied out …
  2. That I stupidly left behind because the guy who moved into the house in our place, purchased some of our things and owed us money he was suppose to transfer to the account. It’s been over a year and he still hasn’t transferred it all.
  3. A relatively small debt with social security.

I left the debt behind consciously. We were almost out of money. We liquidated everything we owned (which wasn’t much) and that, together with a gift from our parents made it possible for us to move to Romania and to sustain ourselves for  8 months. Meanwhile we were making an effort to extract my pension funds from Israel. This was another obstacle filled process – everything from personal fears (these were our last financial reserves) through to technical obstacles courtesy of the insurance companies and a very large tax-fine to the country for withdrawing my pension before I reached the legal! age of pension. All this is to say that we were short on cash and closing a debt with social security was very low on my list of priorities – especially considering that we were checking out of the country and I was harboring a lot of resent.

However these three circumstantial loose ends left me exposed to the brute force of Israeli society and it caught up with me before I got around to closing things off properly. Social security, without any official written warning invaded my privacy and imposed a foreclosure on the remains of my bank account. This prevented me from closing the bank account because the bank wasn’t allowed to do so legally! The bank was also happy to keep the account open as it charges monthly fees (regardless of my inactivity – this is a corrupt norm of Israeli banking).

It is not my point to create drama or suspense at this point so I will skip to the end (and unnecessary details) so I can get to the point. My father took the matter into his own hands and without my approval paid the debt I owed. The foreclosure has been removed and the bank account will soon be closed.

A Soberly Liberated Criminal

Had it been up to me and in my powers I would have made an effort to avoid paying my debt. Had I folded my assets in time and left the debt behind and irreclaimable I would have been happier. I came to the point where I had clear criminal intentions towards the state of Israel. In recent days I was actually trying to think of and look for a way to trick the government into releasing my account, pulling out the money and skipping payment. I would have felt better because I believe that I had a moral right (if not an obligation) to do so. My father said that closing the debt is the right thing to do but I believe it was the easy thing to do not the right thing to do.

Leaving the debt unpaid was a symbolic act of protest. Society, it seems, is setup to overpower me (it is essentially impossible for me to foreclose on the person who still owes me money … more then I owed social security). I paid dearly (I chose my relationship with Andreea as a starting point for this story, though I could go back even further in time with even more drama) for blindly embracing the idea of being a member of Israeli society. But I got something precious in return.

Disclaimers: (1) I may be performing an unfair extrapolation when I generalize about modern day societies; (2) I am keeping in my mind and heart that Israel is an extreme society – but I believe that it shares many qualities with modern western societies and that its extremism merely emphasizes underlying fault lines of modern day social patterns.

I have learned that society is a precious and delicately balanced pattern. It is flexible enough to allow an untamed and challenging individual like myself to mature within it and it is also strong enough to put down threats from within and will do so swiftly and with brute force. The sole purpose of a society is to protect and uphold its individuals, yet it has a life of its own and unless it is wisely guided (with both intellect and spirit) will naturally gravitate towards self preservation even while compromising its very purpose.

I have learned that “legal” is merely a social abstraction for mediocrity: a lowest tolerated social behavior. It does not distinguish between those that aim lower and those that aim higher. Both are criminals. It is OK (=socially acceptable) to break the law (for anyone from ordinary citizens and government officials) if you can avoid getting caught and prosecuted or you can afford the price of being found guilty. When a society gets hung up blindly on laws it loses its moral ground … and that is an intrinsic weakness and threat.

Though I am and will inevitably continue to be a member of numerous societies, I live on the fringe (it’s not a choice I made, it’s who I am). Though I make (or attempt to make) conscious contributions (such as this post, hopefully my last contribution to Israel) to these societies, some are bound to  be  undesirable and certainly unappreciated. In one way or another I am and will continue to be a criminal towards the societies I am bound to. It is a sobering and liberating realization.

I will for the most part take Robert Pirsig‘s advice:

“If you don’t like our present social system or intellectual system the best thing you can do … is stay out of their way.”

I am fortunate to have arrived in a life that favors staying out of “their way” and staying true to mine.

Posted in About, Expanding, inside, Israel, Memory | You are welcome to read 2 comments and to add yours

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-12-25

n
  • @Shuliji congrats on newfound happiness. funny how it appears when we shed layers that keep it hidden 🙂 #
  • @raymondpirouz what a load of crap! #
  • @raymondpirouz there's nothing futuristic about home grown energy, you can do it now, IBM won't get it in 50 years #
  • @raymondpirouz living in an over-complicated world can make you miss the simpler things #
  • woosh woosh – spiritual teachings from walking fish: http://t.co/JVp4iJAm #
  • #fuck #you #israel http://t.co/1ZTKE4Le #
  • מדינת ישראל המזדיינת: http://t.co/1ZTKE4Le #
  • I apologize for the violence of my last two updates, however I do not apologize for their raw honesty #peace #
  • @raymondpirouz sometimes talking can lead to growth and sometimes it is just feel-good-intellectual-masturbation … this is the latter #
  • @raymondpirouz what if, through their actions, they are creating illusion – leading away from progress? #
  • @raymondpirouz if I were 2 deliberately mislead u in such a way that u acted on it in your life (eg – financial loss) – would that be harm? #
  • @raymondpirouz r u kidding? in business (=shareholder financial interests) – being behind the curve does not equal deceit? #
  • @raymondpirouz & I blive IBM (like many others) is researching things in its best interest rather then what is best for consumers = deceit 2 #
  • @raymondpirouz correction: everything IN BUSINESS is deceit so long as there is NOT a profit motive – isnt that the nature of business 2day? #
  • @raymondpirouz may you and your children continue to benefit from a (not so obvious to me) freedom to make such a choice #
  • @raymondpirouz ironically, I did decide to checkout DUE2 self-[financial] interest, I was not left with an option to live in your freedom! #
  • @raymondpirouz I wouldn't want to make it a blanket statement either, but defacto it practically is #
  • @raymondpirouz agreed, I couldn't afford ur freedom. do you care about me and how I am able to live my life? or is that beside your freedom? #
  • @raymondpirouz its easy to believe in coexistence when you can "afford" to isn't it? 🙂 #
  • @raymondpirouz I'm on twitter, but I don't have enough Internet bandwidth to stream video! #
  • @raymondpirouz far less #
  • @raymondpirouz I believe u r in an existence that, due to financial abstraction, lets you think you can afford more then u really can #
  • @raymondpirouz once those financial abstractions melt away (as they seem to be doing) you'll be faced with a more truthful view of reality #
  • @raymondpirouz and then freedom and its underlying values will need to be re-examined #
  • @raymondpirouz maybe there is hope for business: http://t.co/hgpPiJxG 🙂 #
  • @dallasclayton kewl …. we just watched it the other day and Andreea is protesting that it does not qualify as a Christmas movie 🙂 #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Black and White

n

In a recent online-conversation (which I hope to get to in another post) I was indirectly accused of seeing things in terms of black and white. Naturally, I don’t feel I see things in black and white but I took the comment under consideration for a day. At some point durint the day I remembered a precious lesson about black and white I was given from a friend and work-colleague. She was a religious Jew though not orthodox. I am not sure I can draw this distinction clearly enough for people who have not lived in Israel – but I will try as it makes a point I hope to get across.

Orthodox Jews are an extremist phenomenon – they dress differently (in black and white!), they live mostly in closed and isolated communities, their will rise early in the morning for prayer (at least the men do), the will take a mid-day break to pray and do so again the evening – their life is timed around prayers. They are very different and hard to miss.

Religious Jews come in many shapes and flavors though there are dominant patterns. They will usually dress regularly – the only visual sign may be a head-cover for men – women may have no visible signs. They will usually keep the Sabbath (no driving, no electrical appliances, no cooking, etc.). They eat only Kosher food and in Kosher restaurants. They are highly integrated and may not stand out in secular society. They are also very open and tolerant (unlike orthodox Jews) – they don’t need or expect you to share their beliefs or lifestyles.

One day, I don’t remember the context, she explained to me that in the eyes of secular Israelis she is considered religious yet in the eyes of orthodox Jews she is considered secular. It was an enlightening lesson on perspective. We see things within a relative context – usually our point of reference is our own life, beliefs, habits and preferences. When we encounter something that is so distant from our point of reference (ourselves – usually white) it can be easy and tempting to rationalize it away as categorically opposite (black). Leaving it as such imposes and upholds a narrow and generalizing perspective – an extremism.

Yes, my beliefs and actual life is very different from what it has been for most of my life and from most people’s lives (at least those people with whom I’ve been connected so far). It is very easy to write-off me or my arguments off as dichotomous but after giving it careful consideration I do not consider it a valid argument – though you are quite welcome to make an argument for demonstrating that I am but otherwise I consider it to be an escape. If you throw it at me (or at anyone else for that matter) it may be worth to meditate on why you need an escape? With me you are always welcome to simply bring things to an abrupt end – no explanations or excuses are required.

Posted in Expanding, inside, Israel | You are welcome to add your comment

Fuck You Israel

n

I don’t usually vent fresh emotional energy – this time I am.

To put this all in perspective, for me and for you, I have just taken a sip of wonderful wine that we purchased today. We purchased 5 liters from a local villager who makes it. It is a fresh batch from this years grapes. We tasted the freshly squeezed juice from the grapes a few months ago – he lives right next to the post office and invited us in to taste. You need to bring your own bottles … we didn’t … but we had in the car an empty 5 liter water plastic bottle … so he filled that up for us and we divided it into smaller bottles at home. It is the best Romanian wine I have tasted. Most of the commercial stuff is pure crap – filled with sulphates which leave a horrible after-taste. The wine cost us 8 lei per liter which is less then 2 euros.

I write this post impulsively but not lightly. I have been abused by the society that calls itself Israel for many years – it goes beyond my personal opinion or feelings. Most people, including, Israelis will agree that what I have suffered is abuse. For background my relationship with Israel you are welcome to read these posts:

  1. Personal Terrorism in The Next 9/11?
  2. How FEM Happened – Faith & Fear (scroll down to “Personal”)
  3. Enemy
  4. A Political Headstand
  5. The Non-Jewish Jew
  6. Nationality
  7. Country
  8. Brutal Honesty
  9. Spreading Destruction

Suffice to say that being a native born Israeli and spending most of my adult life there and making diverse efforts to partake in life there – I failed to do so. So 15 months ago we decided to leave Israel and 13 months ago we left to Romania with one way tickets where we now live in a quiet corner of a village. We haven’t looked back since, haven’t visited Israel, and whenever I do think of Israel waves of violent and negative emotions surface. We are very happy both being here and not being there.

We made an effort to close all open-issues behind us. One of them was a small debt to social security. Social Security, as most Israeli business or independent worker who have dealing with them, will attest to, is a lame and difficult organization. Regardless of the small debt which I intended to and left unpaid (for just cause see Personal Terrorism listed above), I notified the authorities that we were leaving the country, were renouncing all social services to which we have a right to if we continue to pay for them and that we were not going to make any more payments. Many months later our accountant notified us that despite the fact that they knew our status (and had revoked our residency status) they continued to build up a debt. I ignored them. I had enough of dealing with the state and was no longer there because I wasn’t interested in any more dealings with it. I had very little money left behind in a bank account and no assets left behind so I didn’t worry about them seeking to collect on the debt.

A couple of days ago I emailed my father. I remembered that many years ago he made me and my two sisters partners in my parents bank account. I wrote him and asked him to cancel my partnership so that in the future the state could not try to collect my debt through him. As I wrote to my father I realized that again, despite my distance from it, the state was still acting through Personal Terrorism. My intuition was dead on but came to late as today my parents were notified by the bank that social security had decreed a foreclosure on the sum of my debt in their bank account. Mind you this is all legal!

I am angry. It will pass. First I am angry at myself for not seeing this sooner. But then I am angry at the country that simply won’t let go. I have been taxed by the state of Israel emotionally, spiritually, financially … I got it, I left … but the violent hold of the country is incessant. I will resolve this quickly. I surely did not intend to bring on such frustration to my parents and I have no intention of carrying it around with me. I will probably have to settle the debt somehow (just the thought of dealing with their most likely incorrect calculations gives me shivers). Then I will close my bank account, remove myself from my parents bank account and continue to distance myself from the country in every possible way.

Andreea and I were just speaking about this and she confided in me that one of the reasons she wanted to leave Israel was so that our kids would not have to serve in the army. I replied that I had no intentions of letting our kids serve in the army … then realized that I would have probably had to fight violently to prevent the country from confiscating my children (which is also all legal!). Now we have agreed that we will refrain from even registering our kids as Israeli citizens UNLESS  we can EXPLOIT that somehow.

My only remaining connections to Israel are a small group of family and friends who still make a life there. I fear for them. I would be happy and relieved if they left. In my mind and heart Israeli is an ill society. Despite all the external threats (neighboring enemy countries), it is, I believe, much more threatened from within.

In my gut there is hatred for Israel. In my heart there is sadness. In my mind there is relief.

When I started writing this post I was filled with “Fuck You Israel”. It is fading, mostly because I am far away. I am drinking fantastic home made wine. Sitting in a room warmed by a stove I built with my own hands, sitting on a bed I built with my own hands, next to a woman with whom I share a profoundly deep spiritual connection, in the middle of 94,000 square meters of land of which we are in charge, which, in the morning, will most probably be covered in a beautiful white blanket of fresh snow. So now, with more peace in my heart and less anger in my voice and a smile on my face I can say “Fuck You Israel”. Tomorrow after hours of sanding the last pieces of furniture overlooking a beautiful white landscape I will forget about it.

… and we will definitely get much more of this excellent wine!

Posted in Expanding, inside, Israel | You are welcome to read 4 comments and to add yours

Woosh Woosh

n

When, 6 months ago, we moved out to the village we were gifted with 10 chicks, a mother duck and six ducklings. The chicks have gr   own into cocks and chickens. For a week now the cocks have even began to call out with an off-pitch and somewhat broken cuckadoodledoo of which we are very proud.

However the flock has an odd behavior – they are infatuated with styrofoam – they don’t just play with it they eat it! We’ve kept the styrofoam from boxes of products we have received because (a) it is non-degradable and (b) may yet have its uses. Most of it stored in the part of the barn that has become the workshop and some was left outside in a few large boxes that we left lying around. The flock got into the boxes and went at the styrofoam inside and so I took it away. Now their only source of this junk-food is in the workshop. When we are not there working its closed, when we are there the cocks and chickens are constantly trying to get inside. I don’t want them to.

I don’t want them to eat the styrofoam – it doesn’t make sense to me that they even want to, but I can’t change that. I can keep them from eating it … or at least I can try to. Let me draw you a picture. I am standing in the middle of the workshop holding a running power tool (planer, sander, circular saw … you choose). From the corner of my eye I see a cock or chicken approach the entrance and I call out to it “woosh woosh” … which in Romanian Chickenish means “go  away”. The chicken doesn’t seem to get it and keeps coming. So I call it out to it again … well … this time it’s less of a call … more of an assertive demand. The chicken pauses, but still doesn’t get it and keeps coming. So, if possible I wave it my running power machine (not recommended with a circular saw, can work with a drill which kind of looks like a gun I suppose) and that may or may not work. More likely I have to power down the machine, put it down and go to the chickens adding a waving of my hands together with the “woosh woosh”. That works.

But chickens are  kind of like sales people, they are relentless when they want something and they never take rejection personally. So it isn’t long before round two begins. It will look and sound the same only this time I will be more frustrated and therefor more aggressive and violent towards the chickens. I get the same result but with an added chastise from Andreea reminding me that we want to raise “stress free” chickens. And what about me …do we want to raise a stress-full me?

But here’s the funny thing. Chickens are dumb animals … their eyes remind of fish … I have come to think of them as  walking fish that lay eggs. They have very small heads and simply not much room for brain-matter. They are instinctual biological creatures. They are not like, for example, our dogs who can learn and unlearn a wider ranger of behaviors. They don’t learn, they forage for food, and in our case, for styrofoam. They go away when I “woosh” them away but they inevitably come back … foraging for styrofoam. I know all this and yet every time I “woosh” them away I would get angry at them for not “getting me” … I want them to go away and never come back … ever. It was pretty humiliating to realize that it wasn’t them who were not getting it, it was me. This is what chickens are, this is what they do and it isn’t going to change. It is I that am gifted with brain matter and the ability to observe, analyze, understand and change. It was I who failed to do so. I can tell you this, It’s not easy accepting a spiritual teaching from a walking fish.

With that humbling lesson in mind I moved on (up a class?) in my chicken education. I have observed that the cocks (male chickens) behave different then the chickens (females). The females are easier to “woosh” – the cocks are more stubborn. They are, well, more cocky! They will stop (where the females will have already turned and walked away) and look at me with an “are you talking to me tough guy?”. They will stick around for a few seconds with a “no problem, we’ll come back another time when you’re not looking” look and then slowly and proudly walk away.

That’s when I got it … that’s why they are called cocks … they really are cocky. Then I really got it. I was looking back at them thinking “get the fuck out of here and let me work or I’ll come and wring your neck” look … I was being cocky too. Now I know why a penis is also called a cock … I guess that cockiness, like penises is a male thing.

Who would’ve though … chickens!

Posted in Expanding, inside, Uncategorized | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-12-18

n
  • @GuiohmDeruffi thank you for creating, wonderful to the ears and the eyes 🙂 #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-12-11

n
  • boy oh boy … UN supports Israeli proposal to spread agricultural destruction: http://t.co/dIQu5RTw #
  • @lifeinromania where was this? plastic bottles are not part of Earthship construction … but we will use them as mini-greenhouses 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania we will definitely check it out! thank you so much for that tip! #
  • @lifeinromania we'll probably go there first to check it out and c what is possible … definitely let you know what we intend to do then. #
  • political systems replaced kings because they were better, what will replace political systems? what will go down in history as better? #
  • we had 4 days of "fall" and freezing winter is back … that is the price of a sunny day this time of year 🙂 #
  • our humanure hacienda project – the composting center for all of our organic waste: http://t.co/N1a7IlaU #
  • all around goodness RT @raymondpirouz Nice ukulele & whistle power http://t.co/l95Ok42r #
  • daily http://t.co/IgVtKdkd report:not un-cold anymore, cabinet frame is up! #
  • continuing the series on water: cleaning the well and testing (or not) the water http://t.co/vRTekjaU #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Spreading Destruction

n

Over a year ago I started writing a potentially long post that I didn’t get very far with. It had to with money and economics and what not. Yesterday I got fired up about it again (you’ll have to read on to find out what got me started) and so here I am getting this off my chest. I will try to brief but this will probably be long … it goes around a long path …. but it does come around.

This started almost two years ago with a thought that if I would change one thing about banking for the future it would be changing fractional reserve banking the ubiquitious and unquestioned practice in which banks holds onto a small percentage of deposits and reinvest the rest. This in turn leads to the money multiplier which enables banks to “create money”. It may sound complicated but it isn’t.

Imagine a world where there are 10 people who each have 100 dollars (or whatever currency tickles your fancy) and they deposit that money into a bank. The bank now has 1000 dollars but only holds on to part of the money – let’s say 20% or 200 dollars. The rest of the money – 800 dollars it loans back to the people who now hold a less tangible and more imaginative 1800 dollars (minus of course bank fees). Ironically most of that money will be deposited back into the bank (which is where you keep your money – right?) … and this cycles goes on and on … and so the money multiplies and there seems to be much more of it then there was at first. Now imagine that world with billions of people and trillions of dollars. Hmmmmm.

So I imagined a bank where there was no fractional reserve (however there were other very interesting alternatives that do not fit in the scope of this post) . The bank would simply, hold on to your seats, hold on to the money I deposited. I was driving as this thought emerged and a kilometer or two later I realized the fantastic and devastating effects this would have on modern day economics. Spectacular. So I began a lengthy process of research (online only) into the history of banking. I had tens of web pages open and came upon fascinating facts and insights. My overall impression was that the history of banking was a combination of (a) true problem solving enabling finance and social progress and (b) occassional abuses that projected far and strong. I got as far as arraging all the URL’s into a story telling order, got a few paragraphs written and then lost the motivation to continue it.

What follows are just a few of those milestones – they depict a path through the story, filtered through the context of yesterdays trigger.

The Middle East

The story begins in a place called The Fertile Crescent – you’ll probably recognize it by it’s modern name The Middle East – it included Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. As someone who lived in Israel most of my life I scratched my head when I acme across this. Fertile? Really? You gotta be kidding me. This area is a desolate desert,harsh and anything but fertile.

Yet there is the history in my face – thousands of years ago this place was so fertile that they were able to grow stuff – mostly grains – throughout the entire year. They had more food then they needed and began to fill and store sacks of it. Those sacks accumulated and evolved into currency – coins from precious metals replaced the sacks which were kinda heavy to carry around. This abundance was so great that this place also became known in history as The Cradle of Civilization – this is where social organization was born and it was based on economics (not as you know it).

Now I am thinking “No fucking way” … not only it this place harsh and dry it is also war-infested. It is one of the most extremity-diverse placed in the world where nothing but life-threatening conflict seems to be able so survive.

How is this possible?

Soil Fertility

We (Andreea and I) do not yet have practical agrifulcultural experience yet (we will start making our own mistakes in a few months) but we are doing tons of research into it. This brought us to Permaculture. You’ll have to do your own inquiry into permaculture to “get it”. To me it seems like a powerful and growing movement towards sustainable living including but not limited to growing food. My main take (so far) from permaculture is that the primary product (though you don’t eat it) of sustainable agriculture is fertile soil – everything (and I do mean Everything!!) else depends on soil fertility and is secondary to that.

If there is one thing that modern day agriculture does with extreme prejudice is destruction of soil fertility. This is achieved by (1) destroying natural landscape – usually woodland which anchors topsoil; (2) plowing and turning the land; (3) growing demanding (grains are energy intensive foods and that intensity comes from and at the expense of the soils in which they grow) industrial monoculture crops; (4) compensating for lack of natural fertility with chemicals.

Now consider that when I say “modern agriculture” I am actually referring to practices that have been in place for thousands of years. Practices that were most probably established in The Fertile Crescent. In the last century the intensity escalated when farming machines scaled up from one or two horse power to hundreds of horse-power under the hoods of fuel-hungry machines.

1 + 1 = ?

What if …

  • What if indeed what we now call the Middle East was once a fantastically fertile area of the world where abundant food gave birth to civilization as we know it?
  • What if this abundance was rooted in a potentially destructive form of industrial agriculture?
  • What if this industrial agriculture also carried with it seeds of destructive social behaviors?
  • What if this industrial agriculture, projected thousands of years into a future (our present) transformed a vast fertile land into a vast desert?
  • what if this industrial agriculture, projected thousands of years into a future (our present) transformed a forward thinking society into a war-infested one?
  • What if this very process is now taking place in the most modern and so called advanced western world?
  • What if today’s “rich” countries are on a destructive path that leads to a reality that looks like the Middle East does today?

Israel

Israel has a good reputation in the world of industrialized agriculture. It has been forced to develop diverse technologies to deal with the desolate land that it is and sustain its people. Irrigation and watering technologies to make efficient use of water. Genetic engineering to make hardy and efficient plants. Hormones to transform cows into super-efficient milk machines. Biological pest control to support industrial scale monocultures.

The subtext of it all seems to be a struggle with nature … pushing the limits … squeezing … manipulating … forcing. With struggle being a core quality of Israeli society it is in every drop of water that feeds every genetically modified seed planted in chemically engineered and biologically defended soils … and eventually it is consumed by the people who consume the products of this industry.

Yesterday I came across this headline in an online Israeli newspaper: 133 States support Israeli proposal at UN which reads:

A majority comprised of 133 states voted at the United Nations General Assembly Friday in favor of an Israeli proposal to make farming technology more accessible to developing African nations … The measure proposed by the Jewish state is expected to aid the Arab world among other regions, and is in line with the UN policy to eradiate hunger and poverty.

This is what got me started on this post. I currently believe that Israeli agriculture technologies are a direct result and continuation of of thousands of years of destructive agriculture. It is also a direct manifestation of abusive economics so prevalent in our times – it is a business venture masked in altruism. Like all “good” business plans it highlights a “real” problem which can be leveraged into a “succesfull” business – as demonstrated near the end of the article:

Some 75% of the world population lives in poverty and depends on agriculture for survival.

I lived most of my life in Israel. I left of my own free will and now live in a part of the world where people are relatively poor and depend on agriculture for survival. These are people that know how to get along on their own. They don’t need plant genetics – they need to reacquiant themselves wth traditional seeds and to move away from monocultures towards plant diversity. They don’t need drip irrigation – they need raised beds, swales and ditches. There’s an abundance of milk (no shortagenor is one expected) because every other household raises cows. They don’t need foreign business interests that will (further) debilitate them, especially not from a part of the world that has been and continues to be abused into destruction.

These people may not have spacious homes or fancy cars (despite urelenting ongoing efforts by banks and global corporations) but they are also not mortgaged for life or weighed down by monthly bills and they ALWAYS have food on the table (enough to share generously with “rich” western guests). It is the “rich” 25% of the world that does not “depend” on agriculture (what a ridiculous notion) that is and should be worried.

Sfarsit!

Posted in Expanding, inside, Israel, Permaculture, Romania | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-12-04

n
  • freezing cold outside, fire & nina simone and a warm drink inside 🙂 #
  • tomorrow neighbors are butchering 3 pigs … including 1 small one for us (4 Andreea's occasional meat yearnings) … shall I take images? #
  • I've got gr8 images of three pigs transformed into piles of meat … rich & impressive experience … but missing camera-2-computer cable 🙁 #
  • I am trying to figure out what is new/different in "Global Model" #Earthship and this is what I've got so far: http://t.co/edctnCdg #
  • I take care of my shit do you take care of yours? http://t.co/2saADojz #
  • @raymondpirouz when I occasionally read something like this from u … I am mostly grateful that these businesses r not a part of my life #
  • from living pig to Slanina – image-story from a village pig slaughtering in #romania http://t.co/uHTXNEwF #
  • @lifeinromania though not in active comm still following ur journey from busy village life, thought u'd enjoy this: http://t.co/uHTXNEwF 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania I haven't seen "Garbage Warrior" yet – though if all goes well we may start pounding tires this spring 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania we're starting to think about how to collect and get all the "garbage" we need from Cluj to Mociu #
  • @lifeinromania there seems to be much less "garbage" here in Romania, especially in villages, … so it takes more effort to get it 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania stay tuned 🙂 and have a great day 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania cool idea … though do they "scale"? we need quite a lot 🙂 #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-12-04

n
  • freezing cold outside, fire & nina simone and a warm drink inside 🙂 #
  • tomorrow neighbors are butchering 3 pigs … including 1 small one for us (4 Andreea's occasional meat yearnings) … shall I take images? #
  • I've got gr8 images of three pigs transformed into piles of meat … rich & impressive experience … but missing camera-2-computer cable 🙁 #
  • I am trying to figure out what is new/different in "Global Model" #Earthship and this is what I've got so far: http://t.co/edctnCdg #
  • I take care of my shit do you take care of yours? http://t.co/2saADojz #
  • @raymondpirouz when I occasionally read something like this from u … I am mostly grateful that these businesses r not a part of my life #
  • from living pig to Slanina – image-story from a village pig slaughtering in #romania http://t.co/uHTXNEwF #
  • @lifeinromania though not in active comm still following ur journey from busy village life, thought u'd enjoy this: http://t.co/uHTXNEwF 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania I haven't seen "Garbage Warrior" yet – though if all goes well we may start pounding tires this spring 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania we're starting to think about how to collect and get all the "garbage" we need from Cluj to Mociu #
  • @lifeinromania there seems to be much less "garbage" here in Romania, especially in villages, … so it takes more effort to get it 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania stay tuned 🙂 and have a great day 🙂 #
  • @lifeinromania cool idea … though do they "scale"? we need quite a lot 🙂 #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-11-27

n
  • tea is ready and I can see the hill line through the fog … will the sun break through today? #
  • this is what our world looks like this morning: http://t.co/57Xm4DEz #
  • looks like we'll be moving away from hemp construction and are looking into Earthships: http://t.co/usR1xCqK #
  • morning fog is taking on a golden glow … looks like the sun may break through today = woodworking day on much needed cabinet 🙂 #
  • daily http://t.co/IgVtKdkd report: indoors on a dreary day … until … a chicken is having a hard time breathing! #
  • first very light and powdery snow has just begun to fall 🙂 #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-11-20

n
  • daily http://t.co/IgVtKdkd report: nearly froze my hands off … but later got plenty of work done! #
  • daily http://t.co/IgVtKdkd report: and oil press and a 20 degree celsius temp rise from morning to midday … leaves a short work day … #
  • I could tweet lots of stuff during a day … but I'm too busy having a day to actually tweet it 🙂 #
  • Internet connection is back (ran out of bandwidth and had to wait for Andreea to recharge) and 2nd day of complete freezing fog outside #
  • recent days have gifted me with two fascinating glimpses of my inner workings: http://t.co/ftjmXguc #
  • indoors all day, frozen white outside (frost now snow yet) … so I had time to finally write our rocket stove story: http://t.co/NVSFeYT7 #
  • went outside it is soooo beautiful and sooooo cold , fed & watered the animals … went (drove) to fetch fresh milk #
  • came back to the chainsaw & went to work on more firewood … started losing sensation in hands … pain … back inside #coldin #romania #
  • there goes the mouse … haven't seen him in a while #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Fascinated by That I Am

n

In recent days I’ve had two interesting experiences … or should I say realizations about my experience.

Vatta

The first came after a day that extended in a surprising way. Andreea & I had to drive to the city late in the day and return later in the night (this was after a full day of activity for the both of us). When we started heading back home from the city I was very tired and driving was challenging.

As we were exiting the city I felt a tension in my lower abdomen and I realized that I was not going to sleep that night. By then I was no longer tired and driving was OK. I had gone beyond being tired and tapped into some kind of reserve energy and felt in a kind of in-between place.

I can best describe this experience in Yoga terms – it was a direct (and first for me) experience of vatta (a core element associated with wind or movement – and a dominant element in my constitution) in excess. It was fascinating because I suddenly could see it beyond my direct experience at the time. Almost like I could taste it – as if it were a physical reality … pressure in my lower abdomen pushing upwards.

Emotion

The other day I awoke to a foggy morning. Its a site I am just now getting used to – as this is my first fall and winter in a northern countryside-village setting. Its very new to me. The fog is emotionally daunting … as if the day isn’t going to come. It is heavy and uninviting and with its presence I need to call upon self discipline to get me going.

That morning I left the house and drove out of the village while the fog was still heavy and it was very cold (I have learned to wait it out … and around 10am the cold is usually not as sharp and the fog often clears). Our village is at a relatively (to the area of course) low altitude (and our house is in a small valley which holds the fog and cold even longer) and so driving out is also driving up. As we gained altitude we reached a point where the sun began to appear through the thinning fog to the point where I could feel its warmth on my face.

Of course it was a welcoming view and feeling … especially since it gave me hope that the sun would indeed come out today so I get some work done (that required sunshine). But what was fascinating to me was again being an observer of myself beyond just the direct emotional experience of light and warmth. The sun, or lack of it, had a direct emotional effect on me.

At the time two buddhist-like-metaphors came to my mind – both metaphors about permanence and impermanence. One is that the sun continues to shine even when we don’t see it. The other is that clouds don’t disappear – they just change form. Of course I knew that the fog was temporary and that the sun was shining – but only a part of me knew that. Another part – my emotional body was ignorant of that and was directly attached to what my senses reported. Fog made me feel heavy, sun made me feel light. These emotions came and went regardless of any mental understanding or spiritual insight – they had a life of their own within me.

tat tvam asi!

Posted in Expanding, inside | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-11-13

n
  • inexplicable joy of driving back from the village and having Indy (our dog) run in front of the car at almost 40kmh escorting me home #
  • daily http://t.co/IgVtKdkd report: counter-top finishing and shower still evading us … hopefully tomorrow we will be able to corner it 🙂 #
  • It's been a year since we left Israel http://t.co/GOm5uNef #romania #
  • today we shower! #
  • @kula4karma thank u for the kind mention 🙂 did you notice this: http://t.co/q993JrsS ? #
  • daily http://t.co/IgVtKdkd report: ANDREEA IS IN THE SHOWER ! I'M NEXT !!!!!!!!!!!!! #
  • not used to these totally-foggy mornings … they feel uninviting … especially when I need to go out and work 🙁 #
  • I think that being Israeli today (not a problem I have to deal with anymore) requires brutal honesty: http://t.co/b766tPD3 #
  • superb dinner: rice, lentils and home made pickles … ummm delicious! #
  • daily http://t.co/IgVtKdkd report: a day of winter shopping in the city – dogfood, oil, radiator, rice, a sewing machine … abundance 🙂 #
  • Cluj Mayor – 90 days imprisonment 4 taking bribe, Israeli president – 7 years 4 rape #israel trumps #romania #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Brutal Honesty

n

Today a former president of Israel, a country where until recently I spent most of my adult life, was sentenced to imprisonment for charges of rape and sexual assault. I believe it can be a brutally honest day for the people who still carry some core of identification with Israeli society (I didn’t feel one when I was there and don’t feel one now – I am connected through friends and family who still live there).

I am not thinking of a man who grew up in a military male chauvinistic society who didn’t catch on to a shift and evolution of values from women as wombs to women as equals.

I am also not thinking of women who grew up in a military male chauvinistic society where they were expected to be submissive tas women and then learned through others channels (MTV?) that they also need to be alluring as women.

I am thinking of a military male chauvinistic society where an individual rose to the highest symbolic (in Israel the president is mostly a symbolic figure with supposed political neutrality) leadership role through decades of public service in varying positions of power.

I am thinking of a military male chauvinistic society where an individual rose to the highest symbolic leadership role and then lied about his actions both to his people and to its judicial system.

I am thinking of a military male chauvinistic society where an individual rose to the highest symbolic leadership role and then lied and then refused to respect the decision of its judicial system.

I am thinking of a military male chauvinistic society where a public legal system hesitated to prosecute and preferred to compromise despite what was probably overwhelming evidence.

I am thinking of society where abuse (regardless of gender), lies and disrespect of it’s underlying laws are de-facto norms of behavior.

It isn’t easy being an Israeli today. The hardship can be easily avoided by clinging to superficial emotional aspects of this story that have an “us and them” thread that makes you feel good about yourself. But it takes brutal honesty to look at it all and ask “How did I contribute to this?”. I asked so many times and tried to do something about it in so many ways … and ultimately failed … so I chose to leave.

Funny writing this post after the previous one.

Posted in Expanding, inside, Israel | You are welcome to read 3 comments and to add yours

Country

n

I sat down to write this short post and as I did so I thought to open it with a disclaimer. I wanted to open the disclaimer “It’s been a year since we’ve left Israel … ” and then I thought to check the date and found that it is November 8th and at around this time (8am) we were either in or near the plane on our way to Romania. So …

Disclaimer1: It’s been (exactly) a year since we left Israel and though it has been a trying journey, we haven’t looked back since. I have said numerous times that though we now live in Romania I don’t feel any more a member of Romania then I did of Israel. I now live in my own small country Bhudeva surrounded by other people who live in a village called Mociu surrounded by a few other neighboring villages. We try to consume mostly local products, some things we get from the nearest city (Cluj Napoca) and some things from all around the world. Countries, to me, signify costly shipping and in some cases taxes.

Disclaimer2: We don’t have any media at home – no newspapers, no radio and no TV. We do have access (though still limited – we are hoping to have full access soon) to the Internet. Occassionally headlines from the world reach me indirectly through blogs that I read and occassionally I visit news sites and sample a few headlines. That is my only source of news and my reflections and observations come from that stream.

I have said numerous times that when we left Israel we didn’t just leave a country we left country altogether. We have left social security, health care and probably other infrastructures that make up a modern day “country”. We are also trying to leave (as much as possible) money and modern day economics.

Everywhere I look I seem to see countries in trouble. Israel, USA, EU countries, Arab countries, Far east countries (I am not interested enough to go back and make a detailed list). Some are troubled by internal unrest, some by political or social unrest, some by financial unrest, some by natural disasters. Though almost all of them have some form of outside enemy … most seem to be under attack from within. It is as if their own core (defacto!) values are being amplified into an extreme reality that is turning against them. It seems they are being torn up by internal unrest more then by external unrest.

Looking at both an alternative life we are trying to create and at countries all over the world, I can’t help but wonder if countries are a sustainable life mechanism? Are they becoming obsolete? How long will it take to arrive in a future where there are no countries? How much suffering and destruction will be created until we get there (I am confident that when countries do fold they will not go down gracefully but will struggle in vein to their last dying breath)?

I am not saddened by these thoughts, neither am I happy. I am intrigued. On some days I feel a sense of urgency to get some things (which still depend on countries working) done before things collapse. On most days I am at ease that we have made our move in time and that we will be able, through continued hard work, to settle down into a comfortable life before things get messed up.

Posted in Expanding, inside, Israel, Romania | You are welcome to read 4 comments and to add yours