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death in perspective


"We are born with the seed of our own death. From the moment of birth, we are approaching this inevitable demise. Then we must also contemplate that the time of our death is uncertain. Death does not wait for us to tidy up our lives. It strikes unannounced. At the time of our death, friends and family, the precious possessions we have so meticulously collected throughout our lives, are of no value. Not even this precious body, the vehicle of this lifetime, is of any use. Such thoughts help us diminish our preoccupation with the concerns of our present lives. They also begin to provide the groundwork for a compassionate understanding of how others find it difficult to let go of their self-centered concerns." - Dalai Lama


What is the truth?

"I asked my grandfather once if he could tell me what truth was.

"I don't think I've lived long enough to know that," he said, "all I know is that without truth Iktomi, the Trickster, would be the most powerful being on Earth. And that's the truth."

Having lived more than half a century, I think I'm just beginning to gain some insight into my grandfather's reply.

Truth is often difficult to distinguish.

Truth can be a gift or a burden; it can be kind or cruel.

Truth frequently eludes our grasp and we find it difficult to describe.

Truth can at times hide so well that we can't find it to save ourselves, or it disguises itself so skillfully that we walk all over it without knowing. And in the next instance it becomes plain as day, whether we want it to or not.

In the end we learn we can't live without truth.

"Truth is the marker along the roads we travel in life," my grandfather did say.

The Red Road, the good or straight way, has many markers. If you choose the Black Road, there is only the illusion of truth.

We can be influenced by truth or by illusion.

Two chieftains met on a plain while their two armies waited.

"I have ten thousand warriors, every one skilled with weapons and seasoned by battle. Victory will be mine," said the first chieftain. "What do you have?"

"Only the truth," replied the second chieftain. "This war has decimated my people so I face you now with an army of a thousand children. This truth will either destroy you or glorify you."

The first chieftain returned to his camp, where his army of ten thousand stood ready for battle. He ordered his army to put aside their weapons while he went into seclusion to ponder the truth his enemy had spoken. With the new dawn he sent his chief aide with gifts of food and an offer of peace to the army of a thousand children. The first chieftain then returned to his homeland and stood to be judged before his countrymen, fully expecting to be dishonored for his weakness. He was, instead made a king.

Sometimes truth is like the wind. You can't see it, but you can see the effect it has.

Truth is also like sunrise and sunset. We see the sun come up over the eastern horizon in the morning and then disappear behind the western horizon in the evening. From the perspective of our existence on a spinning sphere, the sun appears to "rise" and "set."

In reality the sun does neither. Reality is what is, first and foremost, on Earth.

Lakota reality is, for example, that the four seasons cycle in precisely the same order year after year.

Reality is that lakes and rivers freeze in winter and thaw in the spring, that all living things die, that change is inevitable.

Truth is the result of the trials and errors of life, the lessons we learned such as "Without evil, goodness would be harder to recognize," or "The first casualty of war is truth," or " A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

Some lessons rise out of the illusions we have acquired: for example, "Good will always prevail over evil."

Truth is subjective.

Truth is also subject to change, as in "Man was not intended to fly."

If there is a universal human weakness, it is that we want to believe there is truth because we want clear answers rather than illusions, and therefore we are vulnerable to anything that seems to be the truth.

Truth consists of two parts: that which is given and that which is accepted.

We Lakota have heard Iktomi sing several times.

At the Fort Laramie Treaty Council of 1851, as thousands upon thousands of white emigrants made their way along the Oregon Trail from Missouri to Oregon and passed through Lakota territory, the US peace commissioners told us, "They are only passing through and need only as much room as the width of their wagon wheels."

The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 established the Great Sioux Reservation - the entire western half of the current state of South Dakota - for "as long as the sun shall rise, as long as the rivers shall flow, as long as the grasses shall grow."

The truth is sometimes painful, but without, it there is only illusion.

The truth is we Lakota still walk the face of the Earth.

The truth is we survived traumatic change and are wiser and stronger because of it.

The illusion is that we were defeated by a stronger, better, more moral people with more God given rights than we had.

The truth is we were overwhelmed by numbers: more people with more guns needing more and more of what we had.

The illusion, is that we are a conquered people.

The truth is that we are survivors; we took on the worst that our "conquerors" could throw at us and we are still standing.

The illusion is that we are part of the past - something to be studied, analyzed, measured, dissected, and ultimately judged.

The truth is we are still a viable culture with traditions, customs, and values that have stood the severest tests.

We all have our truths, some easier to accept than others.

The L train is always late; prairie gumbo is bottomless after a hard rain; one brother-in-law is a geek and the other believes he's a saint; commuting sucks; my parents hate me because I'm sixteen; my sixteen-year-old hates me because she's sixteen; a one sided compassion affair is the pits; the Minnesota Vikings broke my heart - again; I can't live without my wife.

When all is said and done there is only one truth that is unwavering.

This one truth has endured and will always endured because it will stand unabashedly and without apology.

That truth is death, and it is the one that is avoided and most feared by American society.

The truth of death should be the standard for truth against which all others are measured.

We will find that nothing can compare with its honesty and faithfulness.

Death is a taboo subject, generally speaking, consistently referred to euphemistically as the Grim Reaper, the cold night, or the wages of sin: There is rarely casual conversation among non-Indians about death or dying.

Any references to death are made in hushed and apprehensive tones. A visit to any mortuary or cemetery is a confirmation of the general state of denial about death in American society. Funeral directors sell coffins that will "protect your loved one for ages to come." Stone or cement crypts and mausoleums are used for the same reason: to deny death as long as possible.

Logically, we are at least apprehensive about anything we don't know. Most people fear death because they don't know it, or they know the wrong things about death. No matter how much we deny it or try to avoid it, death touches us sooner or later when a friend or a loved one dies. After we mourn and grieve the loss, many of us become angry at death as if it were an interloper, a thief in the night, a villain, or a killer.

Death does not kill.

Disease, accidents, rage, old age, stupidity, among others, are killers.

Death is only part of the process of life.

The truth about death is simple. It will happen.

Nothing is more inevitable, no matter how vigorously we deny it or fight it.

Death will come for us regardless of how powerful, famous, rich, beautiful, influential, irreverent, or lowly we are.

There is no way to fight death.

We can fight to live, but we will always lose the fight against death.

Thinking of death in those terms creates the illusion that death is an enemy, but death isn't our enemy; it is, when all is said and done, our truest friend.

The most profound and reassuring truth about death is that it is a part of life.

Life begins with birth and ends with death.

With no other journey you travel can you know how it will end.

We begin dying the moment we are born, which means living well is dying well.

That is the truest measure of any being.

The final - and perhaps the greatest - truth about death is that it is the great equalizer; it connects all living beings to its truth.

Every form of life shares with us the same journey that begins with birth and ends with death.

No one being or species, not the most powerful, nor the most arrogant, nor the wisest will ever alter that truth.

There are many certainties and even more illusions masquerading as truth, nothing short of living and learning will enable us to know the difference.

The first chieftain accepted the truth he heard and reacted to it with the truth of his own character, and was rewarded.

Iktomi, on the other hand, presents illusion as truth, and always will. Beware of Iktomi."

- Joseph M. Marshall, Native American Sioux, Lakota tribe.

"There is the Truth," the poet concluded. "It does not wipe out death. It does not diminish space, nor halt time. But it makes us what we are in essence. Happiness needs unhappiness. Joy goes hand in hand with sorrow. It is thanks to the shadow that we exist. We must not dream of an absurd abstraction. We must guard the bond that links us to blood and earth. 'Just as I am!' Remember that. We are a great mixture. We are more than we believe." - Henri Barbusse



"Those who set their mind in harmony  become free from the bonds of death." -  Dhammapada

Perspectives on Death


"Those who set their mind in harmony
become free from the bonds of death."
- Dhammapada


Chinese charater for death

death penalty

"We are the only Western democracy that has the death penalty. It is time to join the rest of the civilized world and end the death penalty." - Nancy Oliveira

"State-sanctioned killing is barbaric, cruel and should be highly unusual. We should join the civilized countries of the world in eliminating it." - Joy Buckley

"A study commissioned by the American Law Institute said that decades of experience have proved that the system cannot reconcile the twin goals of individualized decisions about who should be executed and systemic fairness. It added that capital punishment is plagued by racial disparities; is enormously expensive even as many defense lawyers are underpaid and some are incompetent; risks executing innocent people; and is undermined by the politics that come with judicial elections." - Adam Liptak 01/04/09


death penalty

The American Law Institute is the only organization
that built an intellectual framework supporting the death penalty.

List of countries that executed people in 2007: Iran (265), Saudi Arabia (156), USA (42), Pakistan (29), Iraq (29), Afghanistan (15), China (13), Japan (9), North Korea (8), Yemen (7), Bangladesh (6), Syria (5), Somalia (3), Singapore (2), Sudan (2), Belarus (1), Botswana (1), Ethiopia (1), Indonesia (1), Kuwait (1).


List of countries that have no death penalty:

ANDORRA, ANGOLA, ARMENIA, AUSTRALIA, AUSTRIA, AZERBAIJAN, BELGIUM, BHUTAN, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, BULGARIA, CAMBODIA, CANADA, CAPE VERDE, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, COTE D'IVOIRE, CROATIA, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, DJIBOUTI, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, GEORGIA, GERMANY, GREECE, GUINEA-BISSAU, HAITI, HONDURAS, HUNGARY, ICELAND, IRELAND, ITALY, KIRIBATI, LIBERIA, LIECHTENSTEIN, LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACEDONIA, MALTA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MOLDOVA, MONACO, MONTENEGRO, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NIUE, NORWAY, PALAU, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA, SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SENEGAL, SERBIA SEYCHELLES, SLOVAK REPUBLIC, SLOVENIA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, TIMOR-LESTE, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TUVALU, UKRAINE, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, VANUATU, VATICAN CITY STATE, VENEZUELA


List of countries that have no death penalty except in times of war or under martial law:

ALBANIA, ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, CHILE, COOK ISLANDS, EL SALVADOR, FIJI, ISRAEL, LATVIA, PERU

List of countries that have the death penalty but have not executed anyone during the past 10 years:

ALGERIA, BENIN, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, BURKINA FASO, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CONGO, GABON, GAMBIA, GHANA, GRENADA, KENYA, KYRGYZSTAN, MADAGASCAR, MALAWI, MALDIVES, MALI, MAURITANIA, MOROCCO, MYANMAR, NAURU, NIGER, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, SRI LANKA, SURINAME, SWAZILAND, TOGO, TONGA, TUNISIA



"Exonerations from death row from 1973 to 2003 stands at 111." - Death Penalty Information Center

Lawyer Johnson, 10 years Massachusetts' death row; Randall Dale Adams, 12 years Texas' death row; Clarence Brandley, 9 years Texas'death row; Kirk Bloodsworth, 9 years Maryland's death row; Shareef Cousin, 3 years Nicholas James Yarris, 21 years Pennsylvania's death row; Joseph Amrine, 17 years Missouri's death row; Timothy Howard and Gary Lamar James, 25 years on Ohio's death row; Juan Roberto Melendez-Colon, 17 years on Florida's death row ; Ray Krone, 10 years Arizona's death row (the 101th death row inmate in the US to be exonerated and released from prison since 1973).


drug warrior

"I am troubled by the report's general finding that far too many forensic disciplines lack the standards necessary to ensure their scientific reliability in court." - Senator Patrick J. Leahy

"Crime laboratories should be managed separately from police departments to ensure that their findings are protected from bias. The potential for conflicts of interest between the needs of law enforcement and the broader needs of forensic science are too great." - National Academy of Sciences

"Wrongful convictions based on the misapplication of forensic science are all too common. Nationwide, in about two-thirds of the exonerations proved through post-conviction DNA testing, sloppy or fraudulent forensic evidence played a role." - Peter Neufeld, Barry Scheck

"DNA profiles are stored electronically and searched for possible matches."- Department of Justice/FBI website

"DNA databases were built initially to deal with violent sexual crimes and homicides — a very limited number of crimes. Over time more and more crimes of decreasing severity have been added to the database."- Harry Levine sociologist

"Law enforcement officials are vastly expanding their collection of DNA to include millions more people who have been arrested or detained but not yet convicted. Sixteen states now take DNA from some who have been found guilty of misdemeanors." - Solomon Moore 03/18/09

"According to population geneticists, it is indeed possible to have the six loci match in perhaps many dozens of individuals whose DNA is contained in a databank of 700,000." - Andre A. Moenssens October 2000

"State crime lab analyst Kathryn Troyer was running tests on Arizona's DNA database when she stumbled across two felons with remarkably similar genetic profiles. The men matched at nine of the 13 locations on chromosomes, or loci, commonly used to distinguish people. The FBI estimated the odds of unrelated people sharing those genetic markers to be as remote as 1 in 113 billion. But the mug shots of the two felons suggested that they were not related: One was black, the other white. In the years after her 2001 discovery, Kathryn Troyer found dozens of similar matches - each seeming to defy impossible odds. The FBI laboratory tried to stop distribution of Kathryn Troyer's results and began an aggressive behind-the-scenes campaign to block similar searches elsewhere, even those ordered by courts." - Jason Felch, Maura Dolan 07/19/08}

"In fact the most glaring weakness is that no matter how efficient and fair the death penalty may seem in theory, in actual practice it is primarily inflicted upon the weak, the poor, the ignorant and against racial minorities. " - California Governor Pat Brown

"To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, it is not justice. Justice allows for mercy, clemency and compassion. These virtues are not weakness." - Reverend Desmond Tutu

"The illusion of gentleness of lethal injections has made executions far less of a taboo experience for the public. But as Albert Camus wrote in 1957 in "Reflections on the Guillotine," those who actually witness an execution know it for the horror it is." - David DeKok


American crime laboratories are grossly underfunded, lack a scientific foundation and are compromised by critical delays in analyzing physical evidence, according to a broad study of forensic techniques published February 18, 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences.

Among the problems: there is little if any scientific research to support the claim that no two people share identical fingerprints; chemical analysis of the lead in bullets has been determined to be flawed and unreliable; crazed glass, the tiny, weblike lines that spread across glass that lead arson investigators to determine a set fire was found to be caused by water dousing the fired; bite-mark comparisons are subjective. These methods of forensic analysis helped send innocent people to prison and Death Row.



showboat?

"I stand before you to explain my frustrations and deep concerns about both the administration and the penalty of death.

Today America is not in league with most of our major allies: Europe, Canada, Mexico, most of South and Central America. These countries rejected the death penalty.

We are partners in death with several third world countries. Even Russia has called a moratorium.

The death penalty has been abolished in 12 states. In none of these states has the homicide rate increased.

You are 5 times more likely to get a death sentence for first degree murder in the rural area of Illinois than you are in Cook County.Half of the nearly 300 capital cases in Illinois had been reversed for a new trial or resentencing. 33 of the death row inmates were represented at trial by an attorney who had later been disbarred or at some point suspended from practicing law. 46 inmates were convicted on the basis of testimony from jailhouse informants." - Governor George H. Ryan of Illinois



Governor George H. Ryan of Illinois commuted all death sentences in the state of Illinois to life in prison!

Realizing that moral integrity in public servants when it comes to speaking up or actually doing something about the unnecessary, inhumane and unjustifiably violent treatment of social outcasts is a trend that must by nipped in the bud, Alberto Gonzales has succeeded in creating a finding, by jury trial, that George H. Ryan is a corrupt politician.

If the federal government chose to they could imprison nearly every modern politician that ever ran for office. George H. Ryan was found guilty of accepting gifts and steering government business to friends and associates just like every politician ever elected.

According to federal prosecutors George H. Ryan stands out as an anomaly, one of only a handful of corrupt politicians, for accepting gifts and steering government business to friends and associates.


"That capital punishment is cruel and unusual is not the argument that opponents need to make; rather, the argument is that as long as the political state is permitted by its citizens to kill helpless, restrained prisoners as a solution to a problem, the door to State sponsored genocide, however remote an idea it seems in America at the moment, remains open.

Capital punishment is, and always will be, a political power in search of a crime, whether it's murder, treason, being a member of a hated ethnic group or anything else that inflames public opinion. States, just like their citizens, should only have the legitimate power to kill in immediate self-defense, and never in the service of punishment." - Lindsie Carlsen

As Americans accept murder as a solution to a problem,
Americans can expect murder to occur in America.

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This web site is not a commercial web site and is presented for educational purposes only.



This website defines a new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has created a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has been done purposefully by an international corporate cartel through their agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race. Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate religious practices, religious beliefs or persons due to their religious ideology. This web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The Truth of the Way of Life - a rational gnostic mystery religion based on reason which requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme leader, no church buildings and in which each and every individual is encouraged to develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that has enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The Truth of the Way of Life are spelled out in detail on this web site by the author. Violent acts against individuals due to their religious beliefs in America is considered a "hate crime."

This web site in no way condones violence. To the contrary the intent here is to reduce the violence that is already occurring due to the international corporate cartels desire to control the human race. The international corporate cartel already controls the world economic system, corporate media worldwide, the global industrial military entertainment complex and is responsible for the collapse of morals, the elevation of self-centered behavior and the destruction of global ecosystems. Civilization is based on cooperation. Cooperation does not occur at the point of a gun.

American social mores and values have declined precipitously over the last century as the corrupt international cartel has garnered more and more power. This power rests in the ability to deceive the populace in general through corporate media by pressing emotional buttons which have been preprogrammed into the population through prior corporate media psychological operations. The results have been the destruction of the family and the destruction of social structures that do not adhere to the corrupt international elites vision of a perfect world. Through distraction and coercion the direction of thought of the bulk of the population has been directed toward solutions proposed by the corrupt international elite that further consolidates their power and which further their purposes.

All views and opinions presented on this web site are the views and opinions of individual human men and women that, through their writings, showed the capacity for intelligent, reasonable, rational, insightful and unpopular thought. All factual information presented on this web site is believed to be true and accurate and is presented as originally presented in print media which may or may not have originally presented the facts truthfully. Opinion and thoughts have been adapted, edited, corrected, redacted, combined, added to, re-edited and re-corrected as nearly all opinion and thought has been throughout time but has been done so in the spirit of the original writer with the intent of making his or her thoughts and opinions clearer and relevant to the reader in the present time.


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