MaggieannThoeni

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A description once given of me was “rooted in the earth while roaming the stars” – and this has felt ‘right’.

  • I believe in something akin to this for each of us.
  • I am a passionate supporter of discovering the autonomous self while serving the whole as primary intent.
  • I believe in discovery of innate principles, clearing the overlay of socialization that obscures this from us.
  • I believe it is our responsiblity to leave no one behind – most particularly to respond to suffering as best we can whereever we find it, whenever we are made aware.
  • I believe in this for the insect as well as the most magnificent form of humanity.  (But do protect myself as kindly as possible, or as forcibly as needed, against – for instance – sharing my home with venemous spiders!) (And in deference to those innocent in all living essences, do not use chemicals against any.)
  • I believe in brother/sisterhood without boundary.
  • I believe in rightous indignation when it is appropriate, but do not believe in an enemy.
  • As to enemies: I believe none anywhere on earth are born with intent to wreak havoc on others; but that out of fear and desire to belong, to identify with a group, we acquire clouded vision of our own deep and transcendent conscious gift of being, and lose capacity to see this beauty in those we fear.
  • As to enemies: I believe we try to acquire power to guard against fear because nearly all of us are “corrupted” to focus on “fight” rather than notice our deep urge to compassion.  We create a dynamic feedback of ongoing corruption, from generation to generation.
  • I believe in innate knowing within the human being from which spring our noble understandings of Compassion, Justice without malice, Freedom, and the potential to bring these to one another.  I believe these are frequently knocked out of pratice by equally innate material potentials of Fear – which leads to exclusion, avoidance, accusation, rationalization of suffering, and blame.
  • I believe in Consciousness: in intelligence, in logic, in rationality, in emotion, in transcendence – and am convinced until we generally practice explore and honor all this in ourselves, we remain profoundly immature.
  • (I believe real maturity is known and practiced by many young children, and not enough adults!)

– My Best To All! – MaggieAnn

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Early Years – Prairie Years

It is widely if not universally accepted, also my observation, that two early life influences converge to be formative in lasting ways. One is unique inclination of personality, arriving with birth. The other is external, a conglomeration of social, material, and geographical environmental factors.

A lot of my inclination of personality was to ask questions. I did a lot of observing, thinking, concluding. I seemed to crave “foundational understanding” of that Singular Big Picture query: What is the meaning of life? Mixed in was joy at physical being, physical capacity – the thrill of running, climbing, singing, twirling – staying in movement.

The US Prairie was a good place to begin. Forever sky, grasses, and wildflowers that you had to be on foot to see. And when you looked – bugs and critters of all sorts.

Sunday School also was a good place to be. With the added lucky touch of farm women teachers who had lots of kindness, accepted lots of questions, and gave Big Answers. My mother, engaged in her own life study, also contributed. I was told early that God was not “a little old man in the sky”, was neither male nor female, was “in everything”, was “forever present”, was “love”, and could not be visualized. Learning these ‘truths’, kept possible “factual truth” on “God” at bay. I spent a lot of time imagining I was inside a leaf, or a stone, ‘finding God’.

I also spent time imagining I was a First Nations scout. I imagined it was my task to run as fast across the landscape as I could, noticing as much detail as I could while I ran. (The point was to inform my people of resources and danger.) At other times I imagined I was among early prairie pioneers. I played normal games, rode bicycles with my siblings, and did my share of family chores and tasks. I read most of what I found around to read, including agricultural science publications gathered by my father in his university years. I sang a lot – learned lyrics from family ‘piano gathering’ and harmonizing, church hymn books, and the local radio station. My parents refused to provide us with a television set although these became common in neighborhood homes.

Economically we were cash strapped and some years managed only to pay off partial crop loans in order to borrow for the next seeding. In our modest farm community, we were somewhere in the middle – having neighbors of greater prosperity, and also neighbors of less.

We stayed put. Did not travel on holidays. I craved contact with people not in my milieu. During fall fair times I could not wait to get to the carnival, where, I’m afraid, I probably just stared in unapologetic wonder at the Gypsies. I was far too shy to open my mouth much of the time (not at others!), and would never have initiated conversation, despite not feeling any threat from their presence. In fact, I felt vague ‘good will’. One of the nearby small communities had a pool hall and I dreamed of going there with my father (who did not go the the hall himself, and certainly would not have taken his young daughter, even if he had.)

Somewhat cloistered in my environment, I was 14 years old before I met peers whose names I had not always known; and was 16 before I tasted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! (Just not in the family menu!) Also around age 16 I was amazed to discover people actually ran retail businesses and that profit was a common motive! But I will say, family run businesses I came to know during the 1950’s and 1960’s had modest intended outcomes compared to more recent time. Mostly they intended to pay for a home and a car, and to send children to post-secondary training or college. Debt was a tool, and wants were distinguished from need, with the former willingly or reluctantly dropped or put on a back-burner. I was 20 before I saw the inside of a motel room – not that it impressed me very much, but the delay is an indication of lack of ‘worldly’ experience!

Along the way, in childhood, I picked up some difficulties – mostly a very deep lack of confidence, lack of trust and belief in myself. These still influence me today, although much, much less. Looking back, there was ‘something’ within the “who of myself” that stayed with me, supported me, a kind of courage that I can only explain as deep, silent, and that came with me at birth. I had a warm weather habit of going to the cattle stock tank to fish out floundering insects – moths and wasps mostly. I was one afternoon suddenly struck at all the wing fluttering as they attempted to find footing. I was impressed with what I ‘saw’ as evidence of innate will to live, to thrive, and sensed it was a ‘foundational truth’ about all life.

Sometime along the early way, mixed in with other thoughts, I was ‘captured’ by the ‘promise’ that there could be a day when “the lion lay down with the lamb”. A day of benign intention of one toward another; a day when harm toward others would be set aside. Among other, similar, vows I made (I made these in thought, did not express them aloud at the time), I committed to service toward this eventual day. This was not a concept thoroughly ‘rooted to’ “Christian” teachings, although that is obviously my environmental source. I did not view such a day as “restricted”, did not view it as “only available through everyone becoming Christian”. It, like other concepts of great appeal, seemed ‘universal’.

Our community school district was small, as were student class numbers. My class was one of the largest, and the year we numbered 11 was one of our largest head counts! Somehow, a group of us around grade 4, began to use recess time to discuss religion. There we were, on the prairie, sort of playing on swings, and sort of learning what our Roman Catholic mates were learning about sin and salvation. The rest of us had Presbyterian heads, so questions about what was the ‘real’ truth developed for everyone. I was probably about that same age, likely prompted by the school yard discussions, when I said to my sister – while we were playing at home – that I “knew” there was something very deep inside me that was “neither male nor female.” I think we were trying to figure out what a “soul” is, and our talk triggered my spontaneous remark.

This description of my early years outlines some of the details of my “foundation” in terms of personal and social development. It’s obvious to me by this time in my life (today, recent years) that I have continued an inclination of those very early years: asking questions, discovering layers to be removed so I can ‘see’ what is under them (nearly always another layer!). Eventually I have become more content to accept a Truth – there will always be another layer except at moments when one is fully experiencing abstract Universal Consciousness – an experience of unspeakable apprehension, rather than comprehension.

But I also believe “us human folk” are somehow “intended” to pull away layers, to come to understand the amount of socialization we have experienced, to come to recognize the role of bias in our thoughts. I believe we have a logical capacity, and also a “global apprehension capacity” – that each serves separate need, but both in the end must be part of the whole. I believe ‘rationality’ is biased when used to judge ideas by ‘social conformity.’ I believe social conformity is what it is. It may include glimpses, smatterings, of fundamental ‘truths’, but is not The truth, and is tainted by ‘lower impulse’ human capacity for subtle, persistent, and unrecognized forms of fear. (Social conformity can be “whole group” or it can be accepted mores within a sub-group, and is much ‘conformity of thought/belief’ as it is conformity of material possession and lifestyle.)

We do not yet appreciate the capacities and limitations of ‘ordinary mind’; we do not fully understand “consciousness” despite the ‘reality’ that we continually operate in a state of consciousness (always in one or another of the so-far ‘named’ states of consciousness.)

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Brief Academic/Professional Notes:

Pre-college: 5 summers direct patient care in general community hospital, exposure at young age to essence of real life, real death, all conditions. Post-secondary: BA, English, KSU (unofficial minor in sociology) + secondary teacher cert.Post BA course work: English dept., KSU; 1 yr Educ., SFU Burnaby Canada; 1yr Educ. Masters Oregon State; 1yr Adlerian Masters; Equivalent 1yr Counseling/Hypnotherapy Orca Institute, Vancouver, Canada; Independent Study in NLP, counseling; In-service training in Conflict Resolution, Cognitive Coaching + additional not mentioned but I value.  Focused Career: (Canada) 20 years small farm operator; 20 years classroom teaching.

These give evidence of a ‘pattern of interest’ – supplemented also by more than is listed here (significant independent exploration/reading/study interest in psychology, “nature of being human”, Buddhism, Zen, organic farming/gardening, … and more too eclectic to list! Am not a ‘scientist’ but have ‘tracked’ interests in geology, animal/plant sciences, wildlife flora/fauna, Chaos theory, string theory, other “natural forces at play”.)  Have also written some poetry (scarcely any yet posted here) and some songs, did some jug-band singing, some carpentry and related building.

Overall – Big Interest/Life Study =
Inter-relationships, and “forces at play”
– because – it’s all related!

 

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10 Responses to MaggieannThoeni

  1. Moe says:

    Maggie: thanks so much for the reblog. I’m flattered for sure. I see that Ben Hoffman was an early commenter here . . . I think you and I started blogging about the same time and Ben visited me as well back then. We commented and visited back and forth for a few years, but he’s gone mostly quiet the last few years, posts only occasionally. He was fun!

    Anyway, thanks for the visit,, the reblog and the follow. And I’ll keep an eye on you as well.

  2. David says:

    Trying to figure out how to reply to your comment on Electric Politics. George’s blog has scrolled well past it, so the likelihood of your seeing my reply seems slim.

    I am having trouble understanding what you are saying. You went to SFU, across the water from where I live, so you know that Canada has places where the temperature doesn’t drop to -40. Family I can relate to, although after all those years you must have found considerable differences in point of view.

    From here, the US of A seems to have only one attraction to its citizens – connection to power. Everything else seems to be ugly. So I still don’t understand why you moved back.

    • maggieannthoeni says:

      A very (very!) long back story is involved; I could become entangled with “why did I do this?” but since ‘undoing’ requires resources I don’t have, I avoid the question.

      Your assessment of American dominant culture is fair and accurate. Since I’ve been here I’ve ‘explored’ a huge range of possible explanations for ‘the American psyche’. I think I’ve got some understanding – at least one book’s worth, (a large one)!

      I’m also mindful that my Canadian experience was so profoundly ‘service oriented’ I was ‘isolated’ from much latent (and active) similar-to-American aspects of Canadian culture, (parts of Alberta, for instance). I’m somewhat concerned that “Thatcher/Reagan” perspectives are quite active, and could ‘crop up’ anywhere. Britain’s NHS (health care) is under pressure for private interests to become involved. I hope Canadians are paying attention!

      It’s an over-simplification to reduce ‘human wellness erosive forces’ to a ‘Thatcher/Reagan’ label, but handy.

      I could go on and on! I’ll post an email, which will say it’s from someone whose last name is ‘Lastname’. I should ‘fix’ that but haven’t bothered.

      Thanks for your interest! -MA

  3. dusty says:

    Nice! you are the most passionate and compassionate patriot I have ever read!

    I hope at least some of the time you continue to believe so, and/or find some value here! I suspect there are many of us …images come to mind … at this very moment anywhere on earth, indoors and out, ‘haiku’ worthy gifts brought to the table, some of them not even involving humans except as witness! That person’s casual remark, the moon behind that tree … passion, compassion, applied … 🙂 –MA
    (Dustywho.wordpress.com is inactive – a loss to all of us! -MA)

  4. Phil Reed says:

    What an enjoyable read!

  5. Ben Hoffman says:

    Interesting blog. 🙂

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