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Say It In Latin, Fiat Justitia

February 22, 2017 4 Comments

The term fiat justitia (et ruat caelum) means let justice be done (though the heavens fall).  In other words, justice is the most important of all things to be done.  In our society justice has been left to wither and die.  Social injustice has overcome the masses and the inequity of income inequality is taken for granted.  The vast majority of the American population has little knowledge of finances or government.  They have no political will, so to speak, because the lack the education to discern right from wrong and lawful from criminal. They have been trampled by unjust and corrupt institutions that no longer have legitimate authority.  We are in a crisis of ignorance. This volatile time in history will certainly change the world. The question is, will we wake up in time to make a change for the better?

We have been hypnotized to believe that justice is no longer possible.  I like what this trippy Irish guy has to say about this.  We are our own judges, gentle readers.

Born Again Babe of Justice

February 13, 2014 2 Comments

I had a magical experience that changed my life last year. During the government shut down my friends and I were treated to a tour of a working monument to justice in San Francisco.  The very special building, which is owned by the taxpayers, was still open for business while the irresponsible part of the federal government was having an irrational fit at the taxpayers’ expense.  We each had a chance to put on a robe and pose with the babes of justice, as my friend who works with them calls them.  We all felt very special and talked later about being so lucky and having so much fun that day.  Sometimes events take on more meaning as time reveals a larger meaning.  I was being baptized on that bench and accepting a big mission that I recognize now.  We were joking and laughing, really being free and happy, but a vow to liberate others through justice was happening at the same time.  Let me explain:

My first teacher of Buddhism was Claude D’Estree, a monk who hangs tight with the Dalai Lama of Tibet.  When we were lucky enough to receive teachings from his holiness in September of 1993 Claude flew down from Denver once a month for a year before his arrival to initiate us to Tibetan Buddhist teachings in preparation.  We had classes at St Phil’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, and held retreats on that beautiful campus to learn about the three jewels.  The subject was new to me, but Claude is an excellent teacher.  From the dedication of merit to dependent arising, he covered the material in such a way that very complex concepts became clearer.  I will never forget an example he used to explain compassion, using his own personal life experience.

He had worked as a federal prosecutor, who has the obvious job of defending justice and fighting evil.  This job exposed him to egregious wrongdoing.  As a monk he has the job of using compassion to save the world from pride, delusion, and anger by practicing patience.  This seems like a paradox, and it is.  He taught us that the most compassionate thing to do for people who are delusional, destructive and angry is to stop them.  The trick about doing it as a prosecutor-monk, or monk-prosecuter is to do it without any attachments or aversions, in other words, without anger.  Compassion turns anger into patience, an alchemical process that takes much dedication and study to achieve.  He had to prosecute very serious criminals in the line of duty.  He had also taken the Bodhisattva vow to return to earth until all beings are free and happy.  He has undertaken this giant mission to meditate and cultivate diligence for those whose minds are slack and wondering ( a seemingly unending group).  Since we all were given the rare opportunity to tread the path of buddhahood Claude was showing us how to meditate and turn our own merit into bliss for others who are suffering.  I think of him and his teaching often when my patience is challenged.

The year of study and retreat was a deeply religious experience, but did not require the student to become a proclaimed Buddhist, or join any group or movement.  The teachings were given to help us comprehend the even deeper experience of our time with his holiness.  We were initiated to Green Tara and introduced to Shantideva.  These are deep teachings that can take lifetimes to comprehend, but the Dalai Lama encouraged the women in the class by telling us that we have a better chance of spontaneous or instant enlightenment than the guys.  We learned the mantra for Green Tara, who has the specialty of speed.  She is the Mother of all Buddhas who saves us from our envy, wrong view and avarice.

For years I have been involved in an anger/patience/justice drama about my home.  Now I am going to have to do some serious patience practice while I sue the flaming pants off the city of Tucson for violating federal revenue law and obstructing justice like crazy fire.  I am calling on Green Tara to save me from attachment and doubt in order to liberate our neighborhood from evil.  I have taken the vows too, and have a responsibility.  Green Tara and I are now both babes of justice.  Wish me luck as I walk through the valley of the shadow of anger.

Themis, Titan Goddess

November 22, 2013 10 Comments


Themis on Delphic tripod

Themis is the Titan goddess of law, order, and prophecy. She gave birth to the Horae, the seasons, who determine the timing of all things in this world and beyond.  The scales of justice are associated with her.  The oracle at Delphi was founded by Themis and her mother Gaia.  both of them are in associated with prophecy.  She was an early bride of Zeus, and acted as his councilor, instructing him in divine law.  Man made law often is in direct conflict with divine law.  Themis defends her mother Gaia, the earth.  In this age of eco-consciousness and efforts to both save and restore natural resources in peril, Themis is the pure spirit of ecology.  She defends the beings, all the animal, mineral, and vegetable offspring of the Earth.  In the War of the Titans, she took the side of the Olympians.  She was the most important goddess in the first generation of Olympians. Today her significance is as a defender of our earthly mother.  Can you think of people or institutions that embody divine justice?

Obstruction of Justice

November 12, 2013 5 Comments



What is obstruction of justice, exactly? Many of us feel that somehow our relationship with the government is unjust. We think our tax dollars are spent without enough consideration. We feel cheated.  We feel mislead.  The formal definition of obstruction of justice is complex and complicated.  Federal law defines perjury as obstruction thusly:

I. Whoever

II. a. under oath or b. in any

i. declaration,
ii. certificate,
iii. verification, or iv. statement

under penalty of perjury as permitted under Section 1746 of title 28, United States Code376 III. in any proceeding before or ancillary to

a. any court or
b. grand jury of the United States

IV. knowingly

V. a. makes any false material declaration or
b. makes or uses any other information, including any

i. book,
ii. paper,
iii. document,
iv. record,
v. recording, or vi. other material,

knowing the same to contain any false material declaration,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.377

So if you lie to the Feds about Federal law you will be in trouble with the court.  Richard Nixon was brought down for his mendacity.  He made an effort to mislead the judicial system.  If you were alive for Watergate his is probably the face of political hanky panky at it’s most absurd.  Since Nixon, however, we are not feeling that our democratic tax dollars are used fairly.  We see our elected officials blatantly serving the lobbyists who support them.  We see the giant and growing discrepancies between the most wealthy and the poverty-stricken.  We are watching as liberty and justice for all vanishes from the United States of America.  A sliding scale for prosecution of crime fills the jails and penitentiaries with people of color while the banker robbers of the world are still mostly loose on the town.  There is now a sense that the government spies on the citizens, lies to the citizens, and often fails to serve the interests of the citizens.  The fourth branch of government is now lobbyists.  We never see their faces, but we know they are out to lunch with our elected officials and we are not.  In  our guts we know this is unfair.

Poetic Justice

April 4, 2013 1 Comment

Any unexpected twist that makes a story intriguing demands our attention.  We expect certain things to happen in context, so when they do not we begin to wonder about the nature of things.  The term poetic justice was coined between 1720-1730.  Much drama and some poetry contains this magical distribution of perfect reward and retribution in exactly the right proportion to all parties.  Rarely do we see this in action in real life. It is more common to witness social, political, or just plain crazy injustice.

We can write stories and poems that highlight our own particular brand of justice.  Simply focus and spotlight on causes like nature, environmental awareness, or animal cruelty can change hearts and minds.  You can be a spokesperson for the things that matter to you.  The impact you have may never be known to you, but that is not a good reason not to create and share your own version of poetic justice.  If you bother to bring your message artfully and with grace you may hit the target you hoped to find in the gentle reader.

Super Sandra Day O’Satya, Defender of the Highest Law

December 16, 2012 2 Comments

Supreme Daily Show

Supreme Daily Show

I idealize and adore Sandra Day O’Connor, so it was not really a surprise to find her as a super hero in my dream last night.  She was a super judge, which of course she is, but her super powers had expanded beyond the regular earthy ones. My visual recall of my dreams is still pretty crumby, but the ability to hold on the the basic story and characters is improving.  She could swoop in like Mighty Mouse or Batman.  She wore fashionable street clothes, not the  robe, but did have one of the little collar thingys they wear.  She had those same piercing baby blue eyes that had a spectrum of vision that showed her where the rule of law was being abused by the cranky pants people.

The cranky group was diverse and included cops and judges along with regular angry bird citizens (the one’s we think might shoot somebody).  The judge archetype seeks to balance justice and compassion.  The shadow judge manifests as destructive criticism, judging without compassion, as misuse of legal authority, or threatening others through association with the law.  Sandra Day was angelic and gave darshan and peace to the cranky panted ones.  She had a clarity about her, as one might expect from  cross between a real life Supreme and my dream judge/ justice avenger.  She restored order like Jesus healed the sick.  She had no props, no wand, no sleigh, just the truth.  She was so brilliant that she enlightened the darkness in all the hearts she touched.  What she did have in common with Santa was a need to keep moving because there was so much clarity, justice, and compassion to be distributed to all the good little girls and boys. By  applying  exactly the same fair and equal treatment to all the bad little girls and boys she proved that she was so beyond Supreme.

In real life Sandra Day and I are both Arizona hotties, although she is a Phoenician.  She is co chair of  an institute to foster civility in Tucson at the U of A.  Her reputation for civility is epic, not that unlike my dream Super Supreme Sandra.  Her favorite poem in real life tells her secret to Supremehood ( and SuperSupremehood):

Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room,

Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you will be missed.

You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you’ll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.

The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.

[Saxon N. White Kessinger, There is No Indispensable Man (1959).]

How simple.  These instructions, followed regularly can easily lead to civil discourse. This Supreme’s got SOUL. Let us all wish her luck on her nocturnal flights through the universe. Hi- Ho, SuperSandra, away.  Let’s assume that this poem is the gift she wants us all to use while she is busy fighting injustice.

You better not

You better not

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