Nicolai’s Truth

 

The World of Intelligence Intrigue

Lately there has been a lot off attention regarding Russia and its authoritarian regime. We have seen journalists and opposition leaders murdered. That process is not characteristic of just recent Russian history. I have a story from my past which is germane to current events and how we view our world.

Being in graduate school at Duke University working on my Ph.D. was fascinating in so many ways. The South was having a civil rights war, I found myself deep in Duke University Medical Center and I was meeting all manner of fascinating people. Not the least of whom was Nicolai.

One day a new student arrived. He was older than most of us and had a heavy Russian accent. How curious? In time I learned he had been the head of KGB operations for Eastern Europe. One night we fed him ample vodka and he told us about how his life had been as a high level intelligence operative. Like so many people, he considered himself to have been a patriot. But being a patriot of the kind he had been required to be turned out to be a proposition he could not, in the end, suffer. He decided to defect.

Betrayed!

Of course American intelligence was interested and he agreed on a condition. When he went on Radio Free America to announce his defection his wife and children would be picked up by our people and taken out of Russia. We didn’t do it and he lost his family.

Nonetheless he was true to his word partly because he could not accept the moral problems associated with the kind of murderous activities in which he had to be involved. Like other Russians recently working for reform he survived a poisoning with a radioactive substance and came to the United States to study clinical psychology. Interesting choice.

Honor and Truth

He was a touching individual and I never would have guessed his past. He was such a gentle and respectful person with a deep sense of honor. The stories he told us that night were immensely troubling. But his concluding statement about his past in intelligence was one I will never forget. “You think intelligence work is like James Bond. It is in fact like Get Smart.” In case you don’t remember Get Smart, it was a television comedy series about international intrigue. The players on that stage were often inept if not just plain incompetent. Nicolai was speaking a truth.

It was clear he meant the statement and the details of his life bore out his conclusion. What he conveyed was that we often have a view of things which we hold as truth. But truth is illusory and Nicolai’s story was yet another confirmation that we do, indeed, live on the cusp of reality.

What do you think of Nicolai’s conclusion? 

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Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

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We Created The Cartels & Crisis At Our Border

 

On Our borders

It is important for us to step back and look at the real reasons we have a crisis on our southern border. We have people coming to our country seeking a new life in many parts of our country but our attention is focused on our southern border.

Stepping Back 

Again we need to step back away from the proclamations regarding politics. The reality is that this crisis has been building for decades and our lack of vision is primarily responsible for it. For much of my career as a psychologist it was inevitable that I would help deal with the problems related to drugs and addiction. 

Looking at Some Elements of the Basic story

It felt like it came out of nowhere but suddenly there was marijuana and the opportunity to use it as a recreational drug. I have to admit I tried it. It made me very hungry and so I would eat a great deal. After just two episodes I walked away. I didn’t want to weigh 400 pounds.

But many did like it. It has been decades now and we are finally legalizing it for recreational and medicinal purposes. But a lot of damage has been done. Drug cartels seized a significant opportunity. They could sell marijuana and offer other addictive drugs. Their businesses grew.

A major focus of their basic business operations was in Central America and it had  devastating effects on those countries.

The problems grew and grew as the cartel activities impacted Central America and our country. For awhile we offered some help to Central America but not enough. For some time I consulted with a drug treatment program and saw the widespread and diverse effects.

The Opioid Problem

And more recently we have seen another issue. There are always people who suffer chronic pain for one reason or another. Management is challenging and there are many responses. Unfortunately, the big drug companies saw an opportunity and they pushed the marketing of highly addictive drugs. And with little awareness the medical profession too often gave out prescriptions which made matters worse. And as a country we failed to look at the issue and develop the important set of needed responses.

Immigration Crisis

Our population has been manipulated. Suddenly there is a distinct increase in opposition to immigration.  I’m of mostly northern European origins except for my 1.5 % West African component. Another whole story there. My people came here 250-300 years ago. Then came the Irish, Italians, Germans and on and on. And suddenly we have objections to the arrival of latinos?

The cartels have created a dangerous atmosphere which is driving desperate people out of their home countries. Of course they are desperate and we have major responsibility for their plight. And in response are abusing their children and tearing their families apart.

Rather than engage in immoral attacks on vulnerable and desperate people we need a clear plan of management which includes significant aid of all kinds to those Central American countries. The cartels need to be defeated, our management of the issues improved and we need to resume a humane and MORAL response.

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Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Devoted to Vision

 

Devoted People

Books have characters who are key to the story. In the case of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy there is a core people, the Tethyans, who are key to the story as well.

At the time the story started to develop we seemed in a hopeful period in our world. There were beneficial changes in many regions. But then it seemed we began a downward spiral and today we look at considerable risk.

Even during the more hopeful period, the existence of a people devoted to stewardship and the future of humankind seemed essential. 

A Devoted Goddess

We have stories of gods and goddesses throughout history and often they simply reflect characteristics of humans. They fight, they love, there is conflict. In this instance the goddess Gaia represents both a benefactor and the planet itself. As such she stands above simple human conflict.

But she understands the essence of struggle in animal affairs that includes humans. So, she gives direction and can augment the conflict and struggle. And so the process stands above a simple interaction. From time to time she makes specific contact but she also represents a higher power. And the Tethyans too stand for higher purpose. They stand for us and our future. 

Beyond Present Circumstances

Too often we focus exclusively on conflict in human affairs. We look at which side we will support and the degree of our engagement. But there is a larger picture. We can address the matter of our collective future and whether we will join in a transformation. We do transform ourselves from time to time when we do things like embracing language and ownership of a culture. It may be that there are other things to embrace in our future. And they may not be apparent until they are upon us. 

Fundamentals

What is fundamental is our embracing change, devotion and vision. All that there can be is not readily apparent. It is devotion that fuels our future and we see it presently in devotion to stewardship and dedication to the future of all of us and our worldly home. And so again we come back to asking “What if?” Will be hold the vision which will support our dedication and insure that we will see our way through the current escalation of conflict. And if we do, we have to ask where is and what is our future? The beginning of this process is found in Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called now out in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. Available as well presently is Book 2 Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge : The Chosen Rise. Book3 will be along shortly

Do you have a specific vision?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Studying Our Future

 

Being Taken Back

This past weekend has highlighted essential problems in our country. But what happened does not stand alone. Yes, we have a racist president who is fomenting hatred and discord.

But there is a larger context. I have been choking back tears the last few days. I am buffeted by conflicted feelings. I find myself reeling back to the 1960s when there was deep conflict and commitment to change and reform. At that time I was working on the impoverished streets of inner city Baltimore.

A Difficult Reality

I had just finished my studies at Duke University and was still deeply troubled by the entrenched racism I had experienced in North Carolina. This privileged young white man had, for the first time, experienced personally directed racism because he was a “Yankee”. My impression of entrenched problems has been enduring.

When I went to Baltimore I have to say I was an innocent. The idea of bringing mental health services to those people was alluring. And then came the reality of poverty and the meaning of life on those streets. 

On The Streets

Not everyone came to an office for help. We went out to their homes frequently. When I went to a building I learned that the facade told me little but I could know something about what things were like inside by the condition of the front door. At times I also went to the high rises. Often the elevators weren’t working so I would stop at the base of the stairs look, study, sniff and listen for clues about activities in the stairwell. 

Fortunately I had some good people around me to offer guidance and advice. And often they were women and together we fought the entrenched special interests of older white men who had little commitment to our mission but were committed to their own privilege and aggrandizement. The commonality of what is happening in our country now is stunning me. In that focused sense nothing has changed.

A Danger Point

I also must say from my decades long perspective that I see us at a serious danger point. It can be focused nationally but also at the world level. Suddenly after this last weekend we are gaining clarity about special challenge in America. Will we respond or will racism and corruption continue to rule? 

I didn’t realize it at the time but fundamental themes I have experienced in life directed my fiction writing in the Gaia’s Majesty Series. As I’ve said before, empowerment of women was central but so too was the corrupt rule of older white men. And now that I am an older white man, my commitment to our future and overcoming detriments to our future has not abated.

Transformation and Challenge

The third book in the series is called Gaia’s Majesty-Transformation and transformation is the key word I am looking at in our present crises. We can descend into decades of war and utter destruction as we have before or we can rise up with renewed commitment such as we saw in the 1960s. Now that men can ally themselves with women in a committed alliance we have the chance to have an important transformation which will benefit not just America but the world. Our leadership in the world is being sabotaged and it is essential that we take it back.

Are we up to the challenge? Will we seize the promise of our future?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Stepfamilies – Struggle and Triumph

Do you know what a stepfamily is?

A stepfamily is also known as a blended family or a remarried family. It happens when people who have children from a former marriage marry. If there are no children, it is simply a remarriage.

Years ago people used to hide the fact that they were a stepfamily. Children were adopted or the fact of the nature of the family was a secret. And then in the 1970s a stepfamily movement took shape and people began to discuss their existence and the problems they faced.

A Host of Adjustments

At the time the divorce rate was higher than it is today. People marrying earlier was one problem. But there were many contributing factors. There is an adjustment to a divorce or the death of a spouse which must be dealt with. Too often people moved quickly into another marriage and brought their children with them. Adjustments weren’t finished and the children had to deal with their own adjustments. They had to adjust to a new family they didn’t want.

Looking Back 

My wife and I suffered divorces at the same time and remarried in that period. Together we had custody of our children—in crisis. It was stressful, is one way to state it. And that is a simplistic statement.

Soon we sought understanding and refuge in the stepfamily movement and became national experts in the experience and its adjustment. Now we are here having been married for forty-four years this summer and our children have been on their own for a long time. There are now grandchildren. Survival was not easy.

The Struggles

Families of any kind can be stressful. Careers have to be maintaining and children have needs and grow fitfully. But a stepfamily begins in crisis. Everyone is in crisis and the threat of it tearing itself apart is clear and present. The adjustment period for the adults is between six and eight years in general. And during this period the children are working on their own adjustment. 

But there is help and understanding. The adjustment period is long but people need to understand it gets better during the period in fits and starts.

Inspiration

It was clear people needed information and understanding. Many of us wrote books to help others. My wife and I wrote a book which we later revised in another form. It is called Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership. (Link above takes you to the Amazon page.) The title is telling. Getting help is important for very many couples. But there is no reason that all the wisdom needs to come from someone else. The adults involved can understand and help construct their own helping and healing system. So, it can become a partnership. Or, of course, the couple may simply find the book sufficient and useful.

We now have an important body of knowledge and don’t have to be alone in a difficult period.

How many stepfamilies do you know? Probably more than you think.