How Pluto in Capricorn is Affecting Our Look at What's Happening to the Middle Class

Posted on March 28, 2010
Posted by Jim Sher

 

Admittedly the title of this article is a long one, but at least it’s still shorter than it would have been if I had added the extra phrase, “especially with Saturn squaring the very same Pluto in Capricorn.” The simple fact is that over the past 30 years or so, there has been a steady decrease of the wealth of our middle class. This is an interesting thing to look at because the United States, especially since World War II had brought about a significant increase in the size of that middle class. In fact, many would argue that the primary factor in this phenomenon is the nature of capitalism itself.

It’s not my nature to do what I call – ‘bibleize’. I coined this term to represent the human tendency to turn concepts into dogmas and to then religiously adhere to them in a strict manner. This is then followed by the inevitable defending of these dogmas against ‘attacks’ by so-called heretical forces. Dogmas can become so rigid as to conjure up images of ‘good vs. evil.’ Adherents of the human-created dogma can now accuse those who desire to change anything about the system with which they are identified of either being evil people or at least forces that would destroy all the good in the system they are defending. This occurs even more when the people of a nation are in a state of great fear and uncertainty.

“Bibleizing” can become so unconscious that people can completely forget that the original concepts were created by humans in their honest efforts to makes sense out of the world and to find solutions to human problems. When this state occurs, all discourse is shut down and discussion becomes more and more extreme, driven by passion and fear, instead of by a desire to discover and reveal truth. When two sides of an argument can no longer listen to each other calmly, that nation is in trouble and this is what is emerging now with regard to the word – CAPITALISM. The moment I hear this word used, I find myself automatically cringing because I know that it will often conjure up the most defensive of reactions in people even before anything has been spoken. I imagine fists being raised in anticipation of an attack being leveled against this now ‘sacred’ system. To publicly suggest that we openly examine this system is to open oneself to possible ridicule and even humiliation. This has been obviously operating overtime during the health care debate and this anti-discussion spirit is now being transferred to the banking reform discussion. How can we as a nation respond to the needed reforms with this kind of atmosphere.

I’m bringing all this up because it closely relates to both Pluto’s entrance into Capricorn as well as its square to Saturn, which rules that sign. The events I’ve mentioned can give the reader a wonderful example of how the Plutonian process actually works. Pluto rules the Underworld or the unconscious and when it is doing its work, it will bring the unconscious world of a person or nation to the surface. How does this process work? By making things more extreme. It has the value of forcing things to be seen. Ultimately, what is seen can and will be integrated into the consciousness of the person or nation, but what the nature of the short-term process is often difficult and is just beginning? The way the Plutonian process first  appears is by an amplification of what is, of what has been happening that has been ignored, avoided or denied. What has been held back comes out with great force and often what is also attached to this is great fear, especially of the unknown, which obviously by definition, of course, it is. Anything surfacing from the unconscious must, at first be an unknown. This is where there is a difference between a person and a nation. An individual is capable of working on themselves and learning how to handle the appearance of surprising, shocking aspects of their own unconscious. It can be hard, but it is possible. For nations, however, it is another story. The general population of a society is unaware of the kind of process I am labeling a Plutonian one. In fact, my opinion of the decision to downgrade Pluto from being regarded as a planet to a dwarf planet exemplifies a societal rejection of the very process I am writing about in this article. One of the leaders of this movement is Neal deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist who is also, not surprisingly, an avowed atheist, promoting the notion that only the rational mind (the conscious mind) should be taken seriously. This reveals another area I focus a lot on my classes which has to do with the effects of rationalism on such matters as spirituality, soul, psyche and astrology as well. By denying Pluto, it must make the ‘underworld’ known in the only way it can. It is getting our attention by displaying uncontrolled passions, irrational discourse and hysterical reactions to the least thing. We hear a lot more now in the news about the importance of regaining our composure as a nation and the ability to have civil discourse of our national problems. I’m afraid, however, that the coming transits look to me like we are in for far more problems in this area than what we have now. This is for another time so let’s return to the crux of this article.

About our Middle Class

Few would argue that our nation has lost and is still losing its middle class. Where things go wacky is when we try to discover why and what we must do about it. Right now this nation continues its steady amplification of extremism that began about 20 years ago and is leading to even greater anger, fear and irrationalisms of all sorts. I’ve just coined another word – irrationalisms can be defined as “statements made as certainties which are not based on evidence or logic of any kind.” If you are to any degree uncertain of what I mean, just listen to Rush Limbaugh and you can get a glimpse.

I want to ask you to take a brief look at one area of our economy that has been growing powerfully the last 30 years or more. Remember, when you could go to a ‘Mom and Pop’ store in just about every aspect of life. There were neighborhood stores for hardware, medical and hygiene products, clothing, music, electronics, etc. Gradually, some were bought up by local businesses and enlarged. This phenomenon started small but accelerated intensely with the advent of computers. It went to the next level with the Internet. Computer technology has been one of the essential components of the incredible growth of huge international corporations. Without this technology there could not be Home Depot, Office Depot, CVS, Chase Bank, Goldman Sachs, WellPoint and Aetna, and so on. This is also occurring in the professional fields such as the in the legal and medical professions. Law firms have become very large in order to be able to service the equally huge corporations that control our economy as their reach goes into every area of our lives.  

Let’s keep it simple here. What must happen to many middle-class jobs when a small company merges or is bought out by a larger one. The answer is that many of these jobs are lost due to the streamlining made possible by the merger. Mid and upper level managers and accountants are let go. They, in turn, will either go to larger firms that specialize in their skill or begin their own companies. But some will not be able to find alternatives that are equivalent to what they were earning before and it is this pattern that we see happening over and over again.

In a capitalistic system all this is good because it makes business more efficient. But what are we doing to take into account how people are affected by this phenomenon in both the short and long term? I’m not suggesting that we end capitalism, by any means. But if George Bush can be a ‘compassionate conservative’ is there any way capitalism can also become compassionate? Perhaps not, if the culture we live in values profit alone.

All of the observations and questions posed in this article are directly related to the transit of Pluto in Capricorn and will become part of the national awareness (with or without real dialogue and discussion) in the coming decade. Hopefully, at some point, it will be taken up in a serious and less politicized manner.

The issues I’m discussing with you here was first encountered when I was taking sociology classes at the University of Texas in the early 70’s. Yes, all of this was on the minds of educators that far back, as the trends that describe how things are now, were easily foreseen even then. Because it was foreseen, naturally attempts to discover ways to deal with it were discussed. How can the middle-class be maintained in the kind of environment being envisioned? And an answer was posed that to me, made sense then and makes sense now even more.

The answer was education. It was believed that what would need to happen is that the general population would have to become more and more educated in order for the economy to constantly CREATE more NEW jobs, requiring more education on one hand, but also generating more income for a business. The solution was thought to be getting a large number of people smarter, so that our economy would be one of innovation on many levels. We look now and we do see that some of this has occurred. Many companies now exist that never could have been imagined then, but it’s not even close to being enough.

When I got my Master’s in Texas, the cost of tuition for out-of-state students was $400 per semester. Sure, there is inflation and tuition at U.T. was less expensive than some universities, but throughout our nation, there has not been the recognition needed to emphasize this importance of this. There may be many other reasons for the undermining of the middle-class, but here is one factor. To me this is clear. At every level, students need help to learn how to learn, to learn to speak and communicate well, and to think.

Look at life during the middle ages when feudalism dominated the order of the society. There was an aristocracy and a priestly class, who were the ones who were able to read, and the rest of the people had little or no rights. They are unimportant and not worth any consideration. We’ve come a very long way since then. But our nation needs to rediscover the importance of this matter, so much so that I believe that improving our education system is a matter of national importance and security. Of course, here we are as a nation in great debt with little money to spend on these ‘luxuries.’ This is what happens when a society ignores a problem for too long. But the need remains and things can get even worse, if we don’t face up to the need of having a great system of education.

A good education is also vital to have a thriving democracy, is it not? By ‘good’ education, I am not referring to what the Texas Board of Education has decided to do with its textbooks. But that’s a subject for another time.

Hope you enjoy this article. As always, I hope you will consider writing a response to this article.


Astrology Pluto in Capricorn Saturn
Jim Sher

Jim brings over 35 years of experience as a therapist and transformational counselor to his practice of astrology, metaphysics, meditation and philosophy. He operates as a teacher and counselor and specializes in the use of discourse as a part of his teaching approach.

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22 responses to “How Pluto in Capricorn is Affecting Our Look at What’s Happening to the Middle Class”

  1. pmca14@hotmail.com' Paula says:

    Jim, thank you for your insights and clear thinking. I value your articles. Nothing could be truer than an educated people, so that the populace is informed and empowered.

    Paula

  2. fseisded3@comcast.net' Fernando Seisdedos says:

    Thank you!
    Very insightful Jim, and in my mind right on!
    {My comments go beyond the astrological aspect of your commentary.}

    I have been saying this for years: perhaps our Political Class, (ponds of the Capital) might prefer to stay with the sorry status of our educational level, inexorabily falling behind most all developed countries in the world, so Corporate America (at that includes the most pervasive Network TV) continues to manipulate the masses and abuse them as customers of their products, instead of treating us all as inteligent individuals, with creative minds.

    The sole mention of Rush L or that Alaska Governor is so repulsive to me and my inteligence, that actually makes me sick! Yet our airwaves continue to feast on that trash television that numbs whatever is left of the audience’s ability to think for themselves and distracts us all from the real issues we need to deal with.

    Unfortunately we are getting to the point of even electing these type of people into office. People whith empty minds and huge knowledge gaps that actualy make it a badge of honor to be ignorant. Look around in Congress and you will find a lot of people that really don’t belong there, representing anybody. All these was propeled by the number 1 imbecil president of our modern times: G.W.Bush.

    I will never ever pardon our Supreme Court for putting that man in the White House; and I will never forget how Corporate America bought his re-election in 2004, just because it was really profitable for them.

    We are paying already dearly the consequences if these decisions and policy directions. It will render this country almost insignificant within one generation, just how long is left on our shrinking Middle Class.

    Respectfully,
    Fernando

  3. Jim Sher says:

    Here’s a response from Sunbear in Australia:

    Love what you wrote Jim, and for what it is worth this is my spin on these transits at this time.

    With Pluto in Capricorn, and with Pluto as symbolic of “birth and rebirth” and/or “death and destruction”, and Capricorn as the “Established Order” or “Patriarchy”, the Capricorn archetypal mentality needs to make a radical shift from its rigid and superior power base.

    What better way to facilitate this than to “die and be reborn” in a transformational way which enables the institutions and people governed by this sign to change their thinking and how they approach life and do business. However, I sense Saturn as the Lord of Time and ruler of Capricorn will resist this transformation! Should be interesting watching the tempering as it continues to take place across the globe.

    With a Cancer Sun, Aries Moon and Virgo Ascendant, perhaps I am being a tad critical, but it is my sense that this shift is well overdue and necessary for the sanity of the world.

  4. irina_1099@yahoo.com' irina says:

    Jim,
    You gave a wonderful presentation last meet up. I completely agree with you on all points. I lived and studied in Russia and as much as I hated their policy of telling us how to live our lives, I quickly realized when I moved here, that service economy offered by Milton Friedman in 80’s will ruin this beautiful country. I could not understand what sense does it make to help few giant companies produce everything for pennies and then have the nerve to bring it back here for consumers without jobs to buy it. It worked for the last 10 years only because of the house bubble and consumers lived on borrowed money and now their equities are gone forever.

  5. annmichelangeloholistichealing@myexcel.com' ann michelangelo says:

    Hi Jim,

    I just turned on the computer looking for your last article and received this one! Thanks again…

  6. jenamo@msn.com' jen amo says:

    As usual you present right-on and thought provoking info. Capricorn has been violated and Saturn will have her justice. Also, aren’t we as a nation having a pluto return…what has happened in other countries when they had their pluto return. you have really got me thinking. Love your articles, you are one of the greats.

  7. olgaduff@yahoo.com' Olga Tarin Duff says:

    Thanks Jim,

    I love the word Bibleizing!

    We are experiencing the great power of the t-square of Uranus, Pluto and Saturn. I’ve just listened to a talk by Richard Tarnas at CMed Institute 2009. Wow!

    Let us cultivate the soil of our hearts and minds. Let us prepare this soil for the new seeds of what we need to CREATE for the future of our planet and our children. It starts with each and everyone of us. I look at this time as an opening for stepping into the authenticity of new values. I may be stepping into a revolution…

  8. Jim Sher says:

    To Jen Amo:

    No, we’re not yet at the Pluto return, though no doubt that will be a very important time for the future of this country. The placement of the U.S. Pluto is 27 Capricorn, so the return of Pluto to its natal place will occur in about 10 years. We’ll see what happens beforehand, because the set up for it will occur during the next 5 years.

  9. sandrax11@charter.net' Sandra says:

    Hi Jim,

    Your articles are always good, always thought provoking, always intelligent. This is one of the best yet. I especially appreciate the restraint you exhibit around the difficulty of intelligent discussion about this country’s economic approach given the right wing’s propogandizing this nation’s unthinking, unconscious segment (largest part on the Bell curve) into a believing it’s a badge of honor to be belligerent, ignorant, and proud of it. Yes, education is one of the foundational pieces for real change. But I sometimes despair because you can lead a shallow mind to the deep end, but you can’t make them dive or swim.

  10. Jim Sher says:

    To Sandra:

    Thank you for your comments.

    It is easy to get caught up in the insanity that seems to be growing daily. It is when there are not enough people who see this while it is happening, that a nation begins to fall under a real threat. Only 30 years ago the kind of national discourse we now would have been inconceivable. The coming transits will bring all this to a head with the outcome affecting this nation’s ability to exist in its present form.

    As I’ve said in the article, I believe that one of the reasons why it actually has the potential to go this far is due to the lack of understanding of the vital importance of what it means to live as a citizen in a democracy.

    This nation’s true spirit will be sorely tested in the 5-7 years.

  11. jhamilton@visionarieslab.com' J.Hamilton says:

    Very interesting article. The point that stood out to me is the influence corporations have come to “enjoy.” Corporations, as artificial entities–having no soul and no nervous system and thus no ability to discern right from wrong, are running rampant. Not so different from a Frankenstein monster, they have taken on a “life” of their own.

    More so, they have inadvertently become our leaders. The United States government for example, is a 235-year old federally chartered artificial entity corporation that was never designed to be a leader in the first place. (Please read the 18 enumerated powers found in the constitution if you are confused by this statement). There are many corporations (some that have existed for over 100 years) that have gained huge wisdom in what they do–earn money! They are driven by their charters and tax-law guided bottom line profits.* And when you recognize that they have done nothing but hone their skills at fleecing humans (read: unbelievable advertizing that we accept as acceptable exaggeration), we can see the source of capitalism gone wrong.

    The latest is artificial entities that can now vote-though I am not up to date on the latest details. I do know that the humans “going around in circles” are no match for the momentum of these artificial entity corporations (churches too!) that have inadvertently become the leaders of the humans.

    The humans have to wake up. Humans with nervous systems aligned to the Cosmos, not so different from antenna receiving systems receiving guidance from Innate Intelligence (God, etc., depending on your choice of terminology), we need to turn our attention (our receiving dishes) to something that is true–the nature of the unfolding universe, i.e., life, and recognize our part in it. Only when we walk away from corporate sponsored TV commercials and the other myriad junk they produce; learn how to quiet our nervous system and “listen in” to a system of success that has no equal, will we accept our co-creative capacity (and responsibility) in the beautiful world in which we live.

    Truly, we cannot do it on our own. Our brains are not big enough to sort it all out. Instead, we must plug back into Innate Intelligence, gain an advantage the corporations are incapable of (no nervous systems, no access to guidance!) and accept our rightful roles as the most capable and sophisticated species on the planet. We were right in moving away from slavery but we inadvertently created leaders that have no souls and we have become weak. Getting back in alignment with “our very nature” will allow us to be eminently more successful. I think this is the point of astrology in the first place

    I assume this is the transition of which you speak : )

    Great work Jim. I didn’t have time to read your article today, but took the time anyway.

    Sending you love, support and acknowledgment.
    Namasté
    J.Hamilton

  12. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one to see education as the answer, not only here, but in Afghanistan,Iraq, Iran etc. And to recognize the monster that capitalism is (OMG I said it!). Thank you. I don’t feel alone anymore. I’m not for anything else, I just don’t see how our system can survive if people actually do become awake, aware, alive. And thank you for giving Pluto back its status. Undeniable influence.

  13. Mtg972@hotmail.com' Maria says:

    J. Hamilton, you are right on. We have inadvertantly allowed this creation of monsters and the only way to slay them is by discovering our inner power. I am not a bible person, but in this case David shows us the way. The only thing that still confuses me and this is where you, Jim, come in. What do the planets say? Do we direct the stone at these or do we trust that our consciousness will prevail? There are so many ideas out there for example, “as we focus too much on the evil, we create more,” so how do we find balance? Thanks!!

  14. waldo.boyd@gmail.com' Waldo T. Boyd says:

    Hello Jim —

    Being new to these pages I greet all noted with fellowship and goodwill, though I may travel a divergent path or two within our hailing distance. My acquaintance with astrology has long been occasional and unconvincing as to its apparent basis as a science although with interest and an open mind. I am more likely to declare that we denizens of humanity are the prime purpose of the vast Creation, including the relative positions of the stars and planets to one another at any one moment. I tend to look forward to the understandings to which quantum physics, as they are brought into our awareness, contribute to the quest for knowledge of our place in the cosmos. I appreciate your essay of March 28th, its subject and your quiet mode of expression, and herewith offer my response.

    A word can become a harmless platitude or acquire a vibrant collection of users, even in its instant of creation. Your word, bibleize has this potential. It does, indeed, afford me a long string of memories of concepts which have become dogma and hurled about with hate and fury. Calm debate with a motive of discovery of truth is lost to the winds of anger and passion, and disrupted even to the point of a declaration of war, by use of the “wrong” epithet. The term atheist can be stated as one professing to be a “not-theist” or as an “anti-theist.” Unless it is carefully qualified by context or further derivation we are free to take it either direction. Thus, the hearer’s interpretation is instantly applied whether or not it fits the mold, is calmly applied or with passionate excess.

    Regarding your comments as to the “middle class” of Americans. In my view this large majority has, as you point out, become a declining force in the country. The older approach to entrepreneurship has deteriorated from an enthusiastic application of the joy of work and accomplishment to a plodding routine of a way to survive. One’s life’s work has become a passionless, often desperate clinging to a job. The word “job” itself is worth examining in the light of today’s great changing ways of life. In the application of government to the needs and contribution of its citizens there is a need for debate toward bettering the generation. We are almost in an “everyman for himself” in some areas, with portents that might not be appreciated once encountered. It should be obvious that we are in the midst of a time of great change, of chaos. We continue to apply rules that are no longer applicable or workable. Rome really was “built in a Day” although the meaning of the term “Day” must be evaluated anew. We must as a Nation not make the mistakes that led to its dying Day. Is it possible to return to the ways of our Country’s founding, wherein our life’s work was one of great satisfaction? Shall we look for solutions to our dilemma or shall we “cut and run,” as some have proposed? I cannot imagine us creating new jobs solely for a paycheck, except on a well-considered temporary bridge to a whole new Capitalism.

    We might do well to read about “Open Source,” and “Swarms,” and “The Singularity.” There are those including myself who advocate education as the great hope for solutions. While this is well to embrace, of course, we must in application ask who will “bell the cat?” Another way of stating that is whom shall be the teacher? Is it possible to become self-educated? Workable democracy and capitalism depend upon an educated citizenry. Self-governing depends upon full participation. Let someone else clean up the mess can no longer suffice to bring about workable change. I applaud J. Hamilton’s contribution to the discussion, though I don’t see Astrology as a major player. Do you?

    –Waldo.

  15. jem@awakeatwork.com' Julianne Maurseth says:

    Thanks, Jim! Great article!

    And I completely agree with you about why Pluto was “downgraded”. Our society’s Shadow/Underworld, especially in America, has been denied to such an extreme that we are now delusional. Speaking of education – in America this was once based on the Humanities, including poetry and literary metaphors which embraced the Shadow as Teacher within our own dreams and imagination. Now that the Humanities and literary allusion have been essentially eviscerated in our school systems, both our students’ intelligence levels and adults’ current capacity to listen to their own dreams/unconscious have been downgraded.

    Seems like we’re in for a big shake-up.

    Blessings,

    Julianne

  16. Jim Sher says:

    To Waldo:

    Thanks for your full response to the article.

    As to whether astrology can be a major player, that is an important question. My short answer is that astrology cannot be a significant player in this as long as it is practiced in the way that most astrologers practice it.

    I have been giving lectures to astrologers about why the modern mind has rejected astrology, because the truth of this needs to be clearly understood before a new approach can be seen as absolutely necessary. There are some wonderful writings by Prof. Richard Tarnas that are on point about this.

    The richness of astrological understanding remains some distance away as long as the emphasis is on prediction. This causes the mind to regard astrology as quite absurd. Why, after all, do not astrologers publish their suucess-failure rate if their predictions are so accurate.

    The richness I’ve seen arises from the way in which astrology, when approached properly, reveals the meaning of events in our lives and can point us in the direction of a broader understanding of new possibilities and freedoms. To me, the insights and implications of quantum physics also creates the possibility of raising astrology into radically new and more productive territory.

    Certainly, astrology must become compatible with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle which states that the more you know about one thing, the less you must know about another thing. As applied to astrology, this not only limits what as astrolger can know, it reveals a very important fact. The fact is that the moment one has told a client of the prediction, that simple act has not only changed the ‘world’ of that person, but also the entire world. Is it not important for astrolgers to recognize this?

    Were astrology to be practiced in an enlightened way, I think that astrology could become a real relevant force in modern life and also a valuable addition to the university education. So, I wait and hope more astrologers will ask the fundamental questions that need so desperately to be asked.

  17. jhamilton@visionarieslab.com' J.Hamilton says:

    I have to add a thought that may be appropriate to Jim’s immediate above remarks. My work revolves around a sophisticated understanding of The Law of Attraction, better said, “like attracts like” or as some people like to say “what we focus on expands.” My work revolves around mapping the part resistance plays in our lives, i.e., resistance IS focus, but more accurately, the part nonresistance plays in our lives. Clearly, far more of our reality creation is a product of resistance/reaction/survival than we might ilmagine.

    Through an ever-evolving relationship with Innate Intelligence, in part induced by technology I developed, Innate Guidance has become apparent and readily available. With this new insight, the mind has quieted and my choices and decisions come from a larger perspective. This larger perspective allows me to access a larger sphere of Order which leads toward what is know as Unconditional Love—a full meshing with the wholeness of life and a great way to get around on the planet. The formula’s beginning point looks a bit like “Law of Attraction and Nonresistance.”

    The point is that the further I get into nonresistance, the further I mesh with an Order that knows no bounds. In this state beyond resistance, reaction and defensive posturing, I am much more able to identify the tuggings of the planets and corresponding influences. In nonresistance, there is an on-going series of influences that buffet me or allow me their benefit. I believe astrology is a mapping of these energetics.

    Technically, in nonresistance we have little need of the mapping of these influences but with one eye still cast to the ground, astrology tells me a great deal about what I am experiencing as I continue to document/marvel at my findings. Nonresistance allows me to sail through these planetary influences, ever watchful as I mesh and match with my surroundings, well aware there is a natural order available if but I can maintain my access to it.

    I see astrology as a means of mapping these influences and strikes me as very real.
    Namasté
    J.Hamilton

  18. iam@amazinggracenow.com' S. Warren says:

    Since this article discusses how Pluto rules the underworld and our unconscious, it seems this transit could also very well be connected to what is now prominently in the news with the Catholic Church, who is now under intense pressure. The clerical sex scandals that are being revealed, and which have come to light, are no longer going to be sweep under the carpet as “petty gossip.”

    It seems these transits may be playing havoc with long time institutions that have covered up serious abuses, including how it has now penetrated into the Vatican and appears to be seriously rocking that throne. Certainly many of the victims who were preyed upon by priests were of poor to middle class, who dared not question authority. It appears deep structual changes inspired by Pluto are afoot.

    I watched journalist Christopher Hitchens on “Real Time With Bill Maher” last Friday night and he was particularly vocal on the cover up by the church. It appears the public is no longer going to accept excuses and are demanding the truth. This topic was also discussed in depth last night on Larry King. Surely, it is not a coincidence that this matter was brought to light by this Pluto transit. Perhaps you can comment on this, Jim, in a future article.

    Thanks for all your in-depth sharing, which is always fascinating.

    S. Warren

  19. goldenratio3@gmail.com' Diana says:

    My comments here are going to take a circular route a bit in responding to this blog so please bear with me.
    Today I caught a segment broadcast on National Public Radio about a book called “DIYU” (do it yourself university,)which the author states will be the transformation of our higher education system. Each student will design his/her own curriculum to attain a degree. This has already been accomplished to some degree by many people, but this book supports this pattern as large scale alternative to deal with the extreme costs of higher education. I venture to guess none of the present-day univesities will go down without a fight to preserve the status quo.
    I minored in secondary education but found my student teaching experience in the public school system so offensive I refused to go on. Thirty-eight years later it’s probably not much better and possibly even worse considering the trend to create charter schools in urban areas to seek to transform public education. I still ask myself why we are not teaching Socrates and the Socratic method in our schools. Of course that can be answered with the question do people in military-industrial complex really want the public to learn to think critically, think for themselves and question authority? Not very likely.
    Yet these times are pushing us to step beyond playing roles in a patriarchial society of delegating responsibility to elected officials to decide our fate. But democracy isn’t the spectator sport we have chosen to engage in. We have to become more involved and more vocal in addressing the impotence and lack of a backbone in addressing the shortcomings of capitalism.
    I recently received an article written by a man on a subject that many people have already been aware of: women didn’t create Wall St. In other words the right brain (the feminine way of thinking) is to deal in a circular way to nurture and heal and love in contrast to the left brain (male aspect)that is linear, rational and can be very calculating — the Wall St. mind. I’m curious to see how education can address this.
    Back in 2000 journalists voted that the greatest accomplishment of man in the last 1000 was the invention of the printing press. The irony in that is that women were left out of the education process so that the linear thinking aspect came to dominate. Consider that women in the U.S. didn’t even have the right to vote until early in the 20th century. Talk about powerful voices being silenced until then. It is interesting to observe Oprah Winfrey’s initiative to educate girls in Africa to make headway in their cultures. And if you read “Three Cups of Tea”, there is likewise an initiative in Afghanistan to educate girls and women to move their cultures forward. Yet I have to wonder what form that education is taking. Will the right brain be nurtured to transform their society or will the left brain be trained to prevail?
    Will women, even in the United States, finally take back the power of their own voices to find our way to move forward?
    Personally, I have found myself on an emotinal rollercoaster since December. I engage in alternative healing modalities and know that the greatest area of healing for me lies in my own mind. I have now found myself meeting and re-meeting people who support clients in questioning their beliefs, both those we ourselves create and those we have been socialized to follow. Ultimately it’s about healing of the mind, body and emotions by consciously identifying and releasing the beliefs that lie beneath all forms of illness that our bodies have maifested to deal with the stress we create within ourselves with those belief systems.
    All those individual drops in the bucket of those who have changed eventually do fill the bucket. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have recognized the power of the individual drop of rain on the lake in how it reverberates outward in a concentric circle to affect the lake it is now part of. Here are 2 beliefs that just might be truths. All it takes is 10% of people to meditate regularly to change humankind. All it takes is 100 monkeys to reach the point of shifting — consider how many people got so quickly hooked on cars, cell phones and computers, and how that has changed life for us. I don’t know about specific numbers but there is no excuse to start with yourself at the grassroots level, then let it take off like wildfire by example.
    By the way, Earth Day is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2010. It’s taken that long to address even the tip of our own iceberg of thinking And of course we thank Al Gore for lending the celebrity of his name to speed up acceptance of our new way of behaving from the big picture on down to our personal lifestyles. Any chance of him getting on board to get this economy moving and get work with living wages for those of us who find ourselves part of the 10% seeking to get back in the flow?

  20. Jim Sher says:

    To Diana:

    You’re not the only ‘scholar’ calling for a resurgence of the feminine in the much-needed paradigm shift this country and in Western civilization. Richard Tarnas, in his conclusion of his opus called – “Cosmos and Psyche” also believes that our culture must rebalance and that the way to do that is through a renaissance of the feminine archetype.

    You’ve decribed the nature of this very well.

    Thanks for taking the time to write so extensively.

    Best,

    Jim

  21. In a nation that’s split almost 50-50 along political boundaries, you risk alienating half your potential customers by advertising your preference of one side over the other. I’ve come to the conclusion, that even though you are educated (per your admission) you prefer the handout. Good luck with that!

  22. Jim Sher says:

    To Cheri Terrell:

    Many of my clients and friends are conservative. Some are Glen Beck conservative. I want people to be free to express their views just as you have done here. I’m not sure what you mean by the handout, however.

    What I would wish is for this nation to return to its ability of having civil discourse, something that is increasingly absent. That is what is necessary for a democracy to exist and thrive. Most citizens, from both sides of the spectrum, agree with this. When I openly express my views and biases, I am telling the reader something honest about me. I’m not pretending to be objective, especially when it comes to political matters. Seems refreshing to me.

    Thanks for writing in.

    Jim Sher

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