Reynold Ruslan Feldman, Ph.D. - Author, Editor, Nonprofit Consultant, Wisdom Coach
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The Dangers of Mysticism
Kneedy No More?
Right Use of Money
Don't Worry! Be Happy!
Not the Team or the League But the Sport

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The Dangers of Mysticism

Mysticism is dangerous. But first, you ask, what is mysticism? There are lots of definitions. My personal favorite, by the 20-Century British writer on the subject Evelyn Underhill, is “mysticism is first-person religion.” To paraphrase the rationalist Thomas Paine, Revelation is only for the person who received it. For everyone else it is mere hearsay. Yet at least the three Abrahamic religions are based on revelations to others. We “believers” are simply takingtheirexperiences on faith. Our religions are thus third-person affairs.

Kneedy No More?

“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale/Her infinite variety.  . . .” So says Shakespeare about Cleopatra inAnthony and Cleopatra.  Now I don’t know about the Serpent of the Nile, but as for me, age has certainly withered me.  Or more specifically, my withers. Or even more specifically, my knees. It started about 12 years ago.  After having run-walked the annual Honolulu Marathon for the second time in a row, I became aware of a gnawing pain in my left knee. A typical male, I sucked it up and continued my practice of running.

Right Use of Money


The recently resolved U.S. debt-limit crisis has been described by some as a form of extortion, with a doctrinaire faction of one party holding the entire country hostage to their inflexible beliefs. The nation’s greater good seems to have taken a back seat to the greater good of the few.  Nowadays Republicans strike one as the party of greed, while the Democrats come across as the party of need.  Republicans have a point when they argue for hardy self-reliance, entrepreneurship, and creativity rather than dependence on government handouts.

Don't Worry! Be Happy!


Last summer I attended a free concert here in Boulder. Called “Band on the Bricks,” the event was a gift of the City of Boulder. That evening there was a Beatles cover band. They weren’t fantastic, but they were good. And of course the Beatles’ music was and is great. Cedar and I went along with my younger daughter, Christine, who was visiting from New Hampshire. Not only is she a Beatles fan; she’s a Beatles scholar, with a communications Ph.D. focused on Mod culture to prove it.

Anyway, there were between 500 and 1,000 people on hand, from babes in arms to oldies like me who had been young professionals when the Beatles first became famous in the States.

Not the Team or the League But the Sport

Whose team is best? Ours of course. Why? Because it’s ours. Okay, so whose team is worst? Theirs of course. Why? Because it’s not ours. Pretty childish, right? Just what you’d expect from kids in Little League. Yet big kids, called adults, are no different. And that’s not a good thing. Our better selves and more mature representatives tell us, “It’s not whether we win or lose, but how we play the game.” Then over against that, our smaller selves and less mature representatives counter with Vince Lombardy that “Winning isn’t everything.

Espana

What to say about Spain? Well for one thing, Cedar and I finally got to unpack after four-and-a-half weeks on the road. Given all our schlepping of heavy bags, that in and of itself was big. Having flown back from Morocco and spent yet another night at our Barcelona digs, the Hesperia Fera Suites in the Bellvitge District near the Airport, we took an early Spanair flight to Granada. An hour-and-a-half later we were getting our automatic Citroen Picasso, eating a quick breakfast, and preparing to find “our” country house in Orgiva.

Mohammad Couscous & Fluffy Do Morocco


After 15 days in Turkey and a night in Barcelona, the two of us flew Royal Air Maroc on May 29 to Casablanca. We had pre-paid our hotel there, strategically placed next to the Gare Voyageurs train station, so we could take our 10 pm train in from the airport and half an hour later pull our bags to the door. On arriving, I asked the security guard at the Gare where our Ibis Hotel was. “La bas, Monsieur!” “Just there!” He pointed. And of course, there it was, about 50 meters to the right across the station parking lot.

Talking More Turkey


It’s Wednesday, June 8. Evening. Back at our by now tried-and-true Hesperia Fera Suites in a cloudy and cool Barcelona. The manager recognized us and made sure we got a room with an exterior view this time. Nice! Anyway, it’s time to talk a little more Turkey. 

First, a few words about Mustafa Kemal, better known as Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey in 1923. There are statues of him everywhere. No village is too small. The Turkish Government, to honor him, made it illegal for anyone else to ever bear the surname Ataturk.

Talking Turkey

In one sense the Prophet Muhammad had it easy. When the Archangel Jibril (Gabriel) told him “Recite!” Muhammad recited. That was possibly his first act ofislam, surrender of his human will to that of the Almighty. It’s blog time. I’m here in Marrakech, at the base of the High Atlas Mountains separating Morocco’s coastal plain from the Sahara. (By the way, Sahara, the word, stems from the Arabicsahra, which means desert. So when we Westerners speak of the Sahara Desert, we’re actually saying the Desert Desert.

Some More Impressions

After two flights, we arrived in Barcelona Wednesday morning, May 11. Our flight to Turkey was exactly two days later. So, we didn’t have a lot of time todothe capital of Cataluña. Our hotel, selected online for its proximity to the airport, price, and positive rating, did not disappoint. In fact, we had a small suite in an ultra-modern hotel complex in the midst of a mixed residential-industrial neighborhood across from the university hospital. The hotel staff was friendly and my Spanish adequate.
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