From my earlobe dangles a praying mantis and a family of rats nests in my nostrils. My pubic hair paves forests with moss, my toenails form bark and fungi. I grow trees from seeds, with deep roots in dark earth, only to snap their branches and trunks in my drunken, heavy storms. With or without my interference or that of another, when they die it is my death and their decay is yours.

I am the genesis of all elements and flocks of birds flying as one. I am wet and old, broken and cold. I am breath and hot, wet and sod. From my lungs comes the air, from my veins the rivers, from my saliva the rain. My singing voice carries the wind. The sun bursts out of my shining eyes to all directions. When I move, an earthquake ensues and dissolves countless forms with life in them. They are destroyed but never lost. Temporariness is always back into me, silence and matter.

In my generous red anger, the volcano flows her lava, first killing, then turning soil so fertile that on these excrements of rage all unthinkable other life forms grow and bloom. I am your ancestors and your brother and sister, your mother and father and your future self. I am all the children who are never born, whose blood, marrow, bone, mind, bile and feeling you share. I am your offspring. Whenever a life form or member of any species bleeds, the great ocean turns white, the coral splits your skin and a finned shark dies.

Read More →

Do you feel inspired?
Our bodies are given the breath of life from a mysterious source. Until our final expiration we are continually, wonderfully and mysteriously inspired. What we do with inspiration is a different story.

Upbringing and societal conditioning generally train us to use inspiration for personal gain from a very young age.
The aim is to grow us into individuals that can survive in our economically driven world, in which we have lost the connection with inspiration in the real. This way we always harness inspiration for taking rather than giving.

Taking is synonymous with inspiration colliding with conditioning. It is illustrated in its extreme form in the lives of individuals such as Adolf Hitler. Giving is the same as inspiration hitting on the real, of which an individual such as Peace Pilgrim (aka Mildred Lisette Norman) was a shining example.

Read More →

Today I saw two young boys “shooting” each other. They had a machine gun each, made out of white plastic tubes, pieces of wood and duct tape. I wondered, do their parents also actively encourage them to freely play with their genitals, meanwhile wisely guiding them to not use their body for consolation?

Parents don’t seem to mind kids engaging in mock-battle, or playing violent video-games to the noise of gunshots and explosions. Yet generally they squeak and squirm at the “risk” of the little darlings being exposed to sounds of enjoyment from sexual interactions, or catching a glimpse of pornographic material. God forbid they witness pleasure and play, and think bodily sex is okay.

New Zealand is staunchly conservative, and while it has decriminalised prostitution, it stopped short of legalising same-sex marriages. There is an undercurrent of conservative morals, judgements and laws. As a result, the fervent movement venerating the “family-unit” is thriving, and modern day witch hunts are just around the corner, to punish anyone who sidesteps societal conventions, or at least seems to be doing so in the eyes of others. Read More →

The Egyptian-Dutch author Nahed Salim is someone who criticises aspects of Islam and the Koran that no mere human is supposed to touch. In her book “The Prophet’s Wives”, she calls for a fresh interpretation of the holy scripture, in order to fully incorporate contemporary realities. Certain verses of the Koran are no longer regarded as valid and Selim argues that the same should apply to verses with a misogynistic message.

She compares it to the institution of slavery: “The Koran disapproves of slavery and strengthens the rights of the slave, but did not actually abolish slavery. Nowadays, no one demands the reintroduction of slavery just because it’s mentioned in the Koran. The same principle should apply to the situation of women”.

Without discounting Nahed Salim’s bravery or the merit in her intellectual argument, her critique is still operating from within the framework of a religious constitution, founded 1400 years ago in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, this is not a criticism of Islam itself, nor a look at the Muslim cosmology in terms of “right or wrong”. It is a contemplation from the perspective of transcendental wisdom, using as a reference the example, work and words of a Living Spiritual Adept, Sri YanchiGuruji.

The cosmology of Islam (an Arabic word meaning surrender to God, or submission) is a human marvel, constructed to make sense out of life and create meaning, using a combination of scriptures and imagination together with establishing rules for life. These are much needed while we remain bewildered or fearful of the inevitable death of our body/minds. Read More →

A holocaust is taking place in your backyard. I am not exaggerating, i am not scaremongering, i am not being melodramatic or “green”. And i am not being disrespectful. Prior to writing this article, i didn’t know that my idea of cows milk was very naive and largely based on pure propaganda, fed to me from the day i was born in Holland; a country possibly more crazy about dairying than New Zealand: you feed the cow, you milk the cow, the milk goes in the bottle, the bottle comes to town (or is exported overseas). O, yes, and: milk is good for humans.

I am only just finding out that these are all myths to keep the dairying machine pumping. It is tempting to assume that cows must be kept healthy and happy or else they wouldn’t survive to continue to give milk. But that is equally naive as thinking that those who did survive years of torture, hunger, slave labour and maltreatment in concentration camps had their wellbeing and welfare looked after. Their survival is simply a testimony to the awesome resilience of the Force of Life, triumphing against all odds. In the case of any holocaust the odds being systematical, intentionally inflicted suffering of defenseless, living, breathing creatures, ending in callous slaughter.

For most of her life, a cow will be kept pregnant and milked. After giving birth, she will continue to be milked for 10 months – but will be made pregnant again within 3 months. Only for the final few weeks of pregnancy she will be “dried out” (stop being milked) and her overworked udder given a rest. “Dairy cows” never have the opportunity to raise any of their babies. Yet, the bond between a cow and her calf is very strong. Taking away a calf is greatly distressing for both mother and baby. They cry and search for each other for quite some time. Every farmer knows this. Without human intervention calves will suckle their mothers for nearly a year. During natural weaning there is never a complete and abrupt abandonment of the calf by the cow. The cow and calf will maintain a lifelong relationship of social contact and companionship. Read More →

The irresponsible prescription and use of antidepressant medication is one of the great tragedies of humankind unfolding before our eyes, internationally and in Aotearoa. For years now, scientists specialised in pyscho-pharmacy yell out that most of these chemicals don’t work, and are often dangerous. The status and commercial succes of antidepressants is based on inadequate information. Vulnerable people are given hope in the form of a chemical substance that largely works by coincidence and awful side effects. The root cause of depression is not known by science and pharmaceutical companies, let alone addressed.

Antidepressants are not conducive to life, but really only geared towards the economic machine. Perhaps that is why more and more people get seduced to swallow them. Literally. And they are younger and younger. Just over a year ago, 17-year-old Toran Henry died in Auckland from suicide. He had been diagnosed with depression and was medicated with fluoxetine, the generic form of Prozac. Mainstream media have treated the story as an isolated case. They simply described Toran as a “troubled teen” and didn’t seem to dig much deeper.

In the meantime, study after study confirms that antidepressants perform only a little better than sugar pills, or placebos. In some studies they even turn out to be less effective. What’s more, the world renowned psychopharmacologist, Dr David Healy, found that when healthy volunteers were given antidepressants in tests, the drugs made a number of them belligerent, fearful, suicidal and even pose a risk to others. Dr David Healy estimates that worldwide at least 250,000 people have attempted suicide because of Prozac alone, and that at least 25,000 have succeeded. Read More →

Een poging van een conservatief Hogerhuislid om de verkoop van de morning-afterpil in Groot-Brittannië zonder recept terug te draaien, is gestrand. Collega”s van Barones Young verwierpen haar motie met een meerderheid van 82 stemmen.

Apothekers, verpleegsters, huisartsen en de British Medical Council schaarden zich in een open brief achter verkoop over de toonbank, in navolging van Frankrijk. “De verstrekking speelt een belangrijke rol in het terugdringen van het hoge aantal ongewenste zwangerschappen in Groot-Brittannië en de 200.000 abortussen als gevolg daarvan.” Ze benadrukten dat er geen aanwijzing is dat de morning-afterpil “onverantwoordelijk seksueel gedrag” aanmoedigt, zoals tegenstanders beweren. Barones Young is ongevoelig voor feiten. Zij legt het liefst haar moraal wettelijk op aan iedereen: seks alleen binnen een huwelijk en het huwelijk alleen voor heteroseksuelen. Read More →

Een blanke Noord-Australische opperrechter verminderde dertien maanden celstraf tot één dag voor de verkrachter van een vijftienjarig meisje. Zij is ondergedoken.

De dader, een 50-jarige aboriginal, had sinds de geboorte van het meisje een bruidsschat aan de moeder betaald. “Zij is mij toegezegd als echtgenote, ik heb het recht om haar aan te raken”, zei hij. Opperrechter John Gallop citeerde een antropoloog die stelde dat voor aboriginals niet de leeftijd van het meisje van belang is, maar of zij haar eerste menstruatie heeft gehad. Read More →

Via een feministische e-maillijst is een hulpverleenster een inzameling van tampons begonnen voor prostituees en arme vrouwen in Cambodja. Tampons uit de hele wereld stromen binnen.

“De behoefte aan tampons kwam aan de orde tijdens groepstherapie, waarin vrouwen vertelden gedurende hun menstruatie door te moeten werken, uit armoede of omdat bordeelhouders hen daartoe dwingen,” zegt Ingrid Quinn, die werkt als HIV/AIDS-voorlichtster en psycholoog in Siem Reap, vlakbij de toeristische trekpleister Angkor Wat. Toeristen, maar ook mannen uit de omgeving, komen naar Siem Reap voor seks. Ongeveer achthonderd vrouwen werken in de lokale seksindustrie. Read More →

“Ik ben inmiddels zo geprogrammeerd dat ik ervan overtuigd ben dat ik geen man nodig heb, maar wat als ik er wel één wil,” is de hartekreet van de 30-jarige Claudette Silver in het zomernummer van het Amerikaanse Bust. Zij relativeert de leuke kanten van het zonder partner door het leven gaan (“Ik moet met één salaris dezelfde huur betalen en winternachten kunnen verdomd koud zijn”), en constateert de dubbele boodschap die alleenstaande vrouwen meekrijgen: aan de ene kant wordt je onafhankelijkheid opgehemeld, maar té alleenstaand en onafhankelijk zijn is ook weer niet goed.

Audrey Niffenegger hemelt het single zijn in hetzelfde themanummer juist op: het geeft haar de vrijheid om te denken, te doen en te zijn waar ze maar zin in heeft. “Niemand houdt me tegen als ik de hele nacht wil opblijven om stripboeken te lezen, acht dagen achter elkaar alleen maar kaastosti”s eet of naakt voor de droger dans terwijl ik wacht tot m”n favoriete zwarte spijkerbroek droog is.” Verder in dit nummer onder meer het relaas van een alleenstaande vrouw van bijna veertig die hunkert naar het moederschap, en een quiz die je ouwe-vrijstergehalte meet. Read More →