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Fall 1997
Issue 3

Opening Thoughts

Musings on Family as a Spiritual Practice: North Cascades National Park
by Raymond Diaz

Disease As A Spiritual Path
by Frederick Mills

Urban Shamanism: From the Old to the New
by Ness Mountain

Communication-Loving the World into Life
by Morgan Jurdan

Reflections on Simplicity. . . How I Re-Inhabited My Community
by Carolyn Berry

Medical Waste: Healthy, Cheaper Alternatives than Incineration
by Ellen Twist

Back In The World
by Geronimo Tagatac

Rapid Eye Technology
by Ranae Johnson

Opening Thoughts

Speaking of communications, we want to thank everyone who called telling us how much they liked the last issue. We’ve received responses from as far away as Kansas and Great Britain (someone distributed a bunch of copies at the Rainbow Gathering and the Country Fair. They went all over from there). Interestingly, we know of a number of copies that were pressed into service as altar pieces. Others, no doubt, were employed as packing filler and even less exalted uses, but hey, we’re here to serve.

This issue of Alternatives, we asked several of our friends to write about the spiritual path from a deeply personal perspective. We enthusiastically recommend you read Raymond Diaz on family life as spiritual practice, or Frederick Mills on disease as a spiritual path. They use the circumstances and predicaments of their lives as the stuff of tangible metamorphosis. These are touching, fundamentally honest explorations into the meaning of spiritual practice grounded in where we are.

Following along this thread of authentic spiritual integration, we segue into elements of the shamanic realm with people who are conduits for communication of a directly spiritual nature. Ness Mountain, an urban shaman completing his apprenticeship in Portland, describes how adaptive shamanism is with its spiritual roots tapped deep in the cultural traditions from which it springs, even as it evolves in such a non-traditional society as our “modern” world. Morgan Jurdan, a telepathic inter-species communicator, relates how her experiences have led to a realization of the interconnectedness of all life that seems to be understood by every living thing, except us.

A spiritual life involves stumbling upon the answers. After all the stories have been played out, we discover the simple truth of what’s important. Carolyn Berry describes her tumultuous transition from fast track “success” to conscious living in voluntary simplicity.

On the environmental front, we revisit the mischief of the municipal waste incinerator just north of Salem alongside the I-5 corridor. Admittedly, this is not a sexy subject. But Ellen Twist puts all the industry rationalizations into perspective by making the point that no risk is acceptable when confronting a deadly chemical as pernicious as dioxin, when viable alternatives are available.

Good fiction gives stress a rest. Find your way into Geronimo Tagatac’s piece, Back In The World. Although Viet Nam has faded from public memory, its legacy, as this dream story suggests, persists.

Finally, we asked Ranae Johnson to write about Rapid Eye Technology, a healing modality she has developed over the past decades.

Anyone who’s into alternatives has eclectic interests. Spirituality, the environment, truth over profits, stories that are true whether they are “true” or not, healing–they’re all here in such poignant and fertile ways that ... wait a minute, it’s 4:30 a.m. on deadline day. We’re out of here.

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