Monday, March 17, 2014

God Pollution: Nature Is My Religion, Earth Is My Temple

There are no invisible ghosts in the sky ruling over and judging us. God pollution kills, obscures truth, and slows progress. All we have and need is each other, kindred species, ecosystems, and the biosphere.


By Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet


God pollution threatens our existence
On a small planet plagued by a myriad of life-threatening problems, it’s time to choose between truth and myth, superstition and wisdom, life and death. Either you believe in truth, justice, and knowledge, or you let ghosts, spirits, and superstition guide you.

Observable truths are the only basis for the necessary social change to bring about ecological sustainability and equitable justice. As long as we believe in ghosts in the sky more than the ecosystems that nurture us, there is no hope.

There are way too many false prophets, claiming absolute truth and being used for false profits. God pollution has decimated humanity, society, and ecology for millennia. Organized religions’ superstition and belief in ghosts limit the human family’s ability to come together to sustain global ecology.

It is better to live a life based upon doing what is observably right and good, and go to hell, than to waste a life following the edicts of invisible, nonexistent gods.


God Pollution

GOD POLLUTION has decimated humanity, society, and ecology for millennia. Superstition and belief in ghosts hold back human advancement. Belief in mythical, god ghosts in the sky is malarkey, the worst sort of mind pollution ever. Yet such irrational thought has become firmly entrenched in society and the body politic, with tremendous deleterious effects.

I am told religion is love. Yet, the crusades, the Inquisition, European colonialism under the cross, slave trades, islamo-fascism, and millennia of religious wars don’t seem to have been so full of love. Those who believe in various flavors of god have been at war for centuries, over who most fanatically believes in their invisible ghost and all-knowing book. Organized religion is organized delusional superstition devoid of fact and real truthful love.

Superstition has been the basis for much evil and ecosystem destruction and will never be the basis for ecological sustainability. Edicts to go forth and multiply, and to subdue nature and nonbelievers, have left a shameful legacy of genocide and ecocide. Even in this age of modernity and glittering technology, religious extremism of every type thrust upon the public sphere continues to be one of the gravest threats facing human well-being, advancement, sustainability, rights, liberty, and free thinking.

The amount of credence and power given to unknowable faith by organized religion – at the expense of observable science and other truths – in governing society is truly shocking. Medieval fairy tale beliefs in invisible ghosts have no place in governance or policy-making. These types of illogical, irrational god myths are largely responsible for many societal problems, including the current state of perma-war, abject poverty, and global ecosystem collapse.

It is time that nonbelievers demand that superstitious people keep their god myths off of our bodies, out of our government, and treading lightly upon Earth – retaining them (if at all) as personal spirituality.  And stop denigrating – and even killing – those who have shrugged off the mental slavery of mindless faith and don’t believe in your threadworn, bloody myths.


Truth and Earth Are Godlike

One can believe in spirit, truth, and life – living in faith and grace – while rejecting absent god myths sold by corrupted and outdated organized religions. The myth of human superiority and the division caused by the belief in multiple “gods” have brought the Earth, her peoples, and all species to their knees.

We must embrace the truths before us that are vital for our survival and well-being. There are no nations, we are one human family, god is a myth, and Earth is alive and dying. And all humans have inalienable rights and sacred duties to live justly and sustainably.

Truth and wisdom matter. Having an opinion – particularly drawn from a book of dubious origins, full of contradictory statements – is not the same as education, knowledge, and wisdom. Much loudly spoken ignorance is the result of superstition, limited experience, and a brainwashed disregard for truth.

Truths exist and are being ignored, for instance: that we need clean water to survive, that land can only support so many people, that we are all one human species, and that there are no invisible ghosts in the sky ruling over us. All we have is each other, kindred species, ecosystems, and the biosphere.

Humanity is one species – separated by national, religious, and class lies, yet utterly dependent upon each other, on kindred species, and on our shared ecosystem habitats for a continued decent existence. If we don’t embrace such ecological truths and abandon superstition as the basis for living our lives, human and all being will end.

Look around you at the trees, animals, sky, and land; this is what there is to observable reality. You already exist in a paradise and don’t have to put off pleasure. Embrace the here and now of ecology that surrounds and nurtures us, to which our bodies return upon death.

God myths are dead and have no place in the movement to sustain ecology. Ecological sustainability – and a just, equitable world – will not come from superstitious zealots for organized religion. No climate, ecological, or social justice answers will come from such medieval, conflicting, and unknowable myths and superstitions.

Sustaining ecology requires a fresh way of thinking that stresses trained intuition, science, wisdom, and love for the human family and all life, while deeply valuing education, observation, and experience of many types. Commit yourself to Earth, truth, knowledge, wisdom, logic, rationality, justice, equity, rights, and duties now in order that humanity, all creatures, and Earth may survive and thrive together.

This rejection of organized religion does not mean one should be blinded to spiritual awe and to ritual that binds us to the Earth and the universe’s mysteries.

Gaia – the Earth System – is godlike and the giver of all life, the mother’s womb from which all life flows, a loving but firm nurturer, that provides as long as her rules (and her children’s duties) are recognized and respected. Gaia is spirituality that matters, because it is based upon truthful observation, not ancient and irrelevant god myths. Worshiping Earth and her life speaks to the challenges of ecocide, collapsing ecosystems, justice and equity, and truthfully sustaining global ecology, her peoples, and all life based upon what is observably evident.

Ecology is the ultimate truth. Without intact natural ecosystems there can be no life. Humanity is destroying natural life for fleeting comfort for some. It cannot last long. Either the human family changes – rejecting god myths for truthful knowledge – or ecology collapses and we all needlessly die in a final apocalypse. The god-freaks’ self-fulfilling prophecy will have come true, but I can assure you the only heaven is the Earth that will have been lost.

Nature is my religion, Earth is my temple.


The Unholy Trinity

Economics, religion, and nationalism are utter nonsense, and their teachings and organizations are destroying the ecological basis of being. Organized religion, nanny government, and authoritarian corporatism together combine to enslave humanity in abusive hierarchical structures, leading to overexploitation and even murder of other people, species, ecosystems, and the Earth for profit, god, and country.

Islamo- and Christo-fascists try to out-crazy each other. Christo-fascists lack none of the craziness of their Islamo-fascist counterparts, and are no less loony and dangerous, equally ready to murder for their false god. Indeed, right-wing nut-job Christians are much the greater threat to Earth and all peoples as they have nukes, money, and power over resources to utterly destroy being. In fact, Earth’s destruction is their goal as they fully expect to leave this tawdry world of their own making and be whisked away to paradise.

There will never be long-term ecological sustainability – or universal justice, equity, and rights – as long as corporatists, churches, nanny governments, and their media hold power. An economic system based upon infinite growth in a finite world can only spectacularly collapse. Despite being brainwashed to worship mythical ghosts and indoctrinated to salute authoritarian power, people have no excuse for ecocide, fascism, or stupidity.

In god’s name much evil is promulgated. Destroying ecosystems for “development” is evil. Standing armies to better wage perma-war are evil. Industrial speculative capitalism that commodifies nature and humanity is evil. Lack of global rights, justice, and equity is evil too. Why are we tolerating evil? Could it be that millennia-long proselytizing by zealots for personal gain has brainedwashed us to call hate love, war peace, and evil god?

The history of god fairy tales is the history of ecocide, injustice, and war. God pollution destroys ecology and all that is natural, decent, and good. Conflicting and militant superstitious myths undermine truth and threaten us all.

There is no god, and god pollution must be resisted if we are to survive. Those who don’t believe superstitious god myths have every right to speak up – at least as much as those promoting a plethora of god myths – as we watch the damage done to ecology, truth, peace, and society by adherence to unknowable fairy tales in an age of science and ecocide.

You can never know my dismay and outrage as society and governments – with innumerable social and ecology crises threatening the very existence of us all – are run by mythical edicts from absent gods rather than by truth, logic, wisdom, and knowledge. There can be no human progress or even survival from ecocide if the bastardized words of mythical ancient carpenters and warlords are all we have to go on.

Militant belief and public proselytizing on behalf of competing invisible gods and other nonsensical fairy tales are stopping humanity from urgently responding to clearly visible deterioration and looming collapse of global ecology and society. Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and Christian fanatics lead mirror-image intolerant, superstitious, and truthless lives based upon false messiahs, failed dogma, a mythical afterlife, religious wars, and other deadly lies that are killing Earth and all life right before our eyes in the here and now.

We need to stop quibbling about whose invisible god is better and focus upon rational solutions to observed decline in the physical reality surrounding and nurturing us, which is collapsing and dying.


Free, Truthful Thinking Will Lead the Way

Our path to future well-being is simple, and rather than waiting for invisible ghosts in the sky to respond to our prayers, it focuses upon expecting more from ourselves. We must learn to rekindle connections to ecosystems, kindred life, each other, and nature, and in so doing to sustain being essentially forever. The power is within each of us to transform ourselves and our shared reality, in the here and now, for the better, based upon what is observably good and true.

Believe in truth and ecology; distrust partisan politics, corporations, organized religion, and the urge for more stuff; and educate and trust in yourself as well. Learn to identify observable threats from antiquated parables. Trust in radical freedom as long as one is not hurting oneself, others, or the Earth. Embrace obvious, scientifically validated truths such as this: together we either stop cutting old-growth forest ecosystems and burning fossil fuels or face final apocalyptic death.

Fairy tales don’t make good ecological policy. Toxic god pollution has a shameful history of killing all with which it comes in contact. Given their scurrilous, predatory, and ecocidal histories, religions including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism offer no basis for justly sustaining ecology. A few green initiatives here and there, after millennia of natural desecration, do not redeem ecocidal faith.

Declare yourself free from religion. Insist that the god-deluded please keep their Abrahamic god mythology to themselves. The key to living a good, truthful life is to think freely, resist indoctrination, unlearn myths and untruths, find your own road, and be about big, truthful ideas larger than yourself. And focus upon loving and defending Earth, the most observable and evident godlike being.

Beliefs in invisible, mythical gods are fundamentally incompatible with achieving a just, truthful, fair, and ecologically sustainable world. Such superstitious fairy tales serve only to lead humans, like lambs, to their unreasoned slaughter.

The issue is the corrosive role of organized religion upon society and ecology, not individual personal faith practiced in the privacy of one’s home. Believe whatever you want personally. But again, I insist that you please keep your god out of government, treading lightly upon Earth, and off of and out of nonbelievers’ bodies. Then all is fine.

I am not sure where we go when we die, yet I am unable and unwilling to accept millennial tales handed down without a shred of evidence to me by those with obvious conflicts of interest. Like fairies, religious belief is comforting and fun to think about for some, yet both are clearly myths. And untruthful myths stop us from focusing upon the here-and-now, observable world before us, which is in great need of reason-based social change.

There is nothing I hate more than being proselytized to by ignorant, small-minded, and superstitious people about ghosts in the sky – whom we can live with, if we follow their dogma. How stupid do you think we are? Geez, get a grip.

If superstitious religious people put half as much thought into caring for the world before our very eyes as they do about a mythical afterlife, everything – particularly global rights, ecology, and fairness – would be much improved.

Mythical gods can’t save ecology, celebrities aren’t able, and the oil oligarchy’s governments won’t. It is up to you and me to save being, based upon a reasoned sense of self-enlightenment. It is time to think freely to solve our problems with an open mind, unfettered by myth, or we are all going to die needlessly as ecology collapses.

Above all else, commit to truth – of all types, particularly Earth truth – as the only just and equitable basis to sustain ecology and universal well-being. Free, truthful thinking enmeshed within ecology’s warm embrace is the answer.

Achieving global ecological sustainability and rights for all living beings will require a sense of rationality and respect for knowledge that is lacking. Throw off indoctrination, mind control, and superstition; and instead THINK FREELY.  And commit to large important ideas like Earth, equity, justice, and other self-evident truths. Together we can make it so. Only then will humanity live forever in an Earthly paradise.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ecology Is the Meaning of Life


Naturally evolved ecosystems are marvels that make Earth habitable, yet sadly they and all life are threatened

By Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet, http://EcoInternet.org/

Miraculous Nature

Ultimately, all humanity and all life have is the biosphere, the thin layer of life just above and below Earth’s surface, composed of ancient, miraculously evolved natural ecosystems. The natural Earth is a marvel – a complex coupling of species within ecosystems, whereby life begets life.

Ecology is far more than the study of life and its environment. The word is used here as a synonym for ecosystems – the vibrant connections that emerge between species across scales, which cumulatively make life on Earth possible.

Nature is far, far more than pretty plants and animals. Ecosystems make Earth habitable, providing water, food, air, shelter, and more – everything that we need and desire to live well. In naturally evolved ecosystems, from genes to individual organisms and species, to ecosystems and everything else in between, each living being present fulfills a niche which sustains itself, its neighbors, and the whole.

All species uniquely express evolutionary brilliance and have a purpose, a reason for being, a right to exist, and are necessary to maintain life’s full potential. From the lowly worm to soaring eagles, to the human race – all naturally evolved life has value and relies upon all the rest. Even seemingly noxious disease organisms and man-eating predators have a role to play in maintaining ecological balance.

The Earth as a whole is a living organism, similar biologically to a cell, plant, animal, or ecosystem. Yet sadly, she is being murdered by industrial human growth at the expense of ecosystems. Past certain planetary boundary conditions, like any life, Earth can die.

Without large intact ecosystems, Earth becomes uninhabitable. The vibrant mélange of life found in natural ecosystems is godlike in its all-embracing nurturing. Ecology is the meaning of life.

Ecosystem Collapse

Humankind’s demand for resources and growth overwhelms nature, our steady diminishment of ecosystems abruptly changes climate, and this is collapsing the biosphere. Global ecosystems – water, air, food, forests, oceans, wetlands, and more – are collapsing and dying under the burden of human industrial and population growth.

Human destruction of natural ecosystems and disintegrating climatic integrity are already past critical thresholds. Humanity (meaning each of us) can’t dump filth into air, defecate into water, kill and diminish natural vegetation, plunder oceans, and expect a habitable Earth and decent lives. Abrupt climate change is indicative of much broader decline, both ecological and social – habitat loss, water shortages, inequitable overconsumption, dead oceans, nationalistic injustice, and industrial agriculture – that threatens life itself.

Comforts of modern life for some come at the expense of utterly decimating natural ecosystems required to sustain life; such comforts cannot last. Mass chaos and death are sure to ensue. No one will survive abrupt climate change, ecosystem loss, and biosphere collapse.

Ecosystems are being wantonly liquidated based upon the myth that we can grow forever. Yet we know perpetual exponential economic growth is impossible on a finite planet. Humanity is systematically dismantling Earth’s environmental life support systems, and at most a few more decades of industrial growth will be inevitably followed by ecosystem and biosphere collapse.

The human family is epically failing to protect and restore ecosystems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to avert global ecosystem collapse, achieve ecological sustainability, and enjoy universal well-being forever. The brutal manner in which humankind treats Earth, other species, and each other makes a mockery of claims of being civilized. At our worst, we have become out-of-control vermin destroying our own habitat for momentary pleasure.

The human family is in ecological overshoot, having exceeded Earth’s carrying capacity, and is pulling down all species and the biosphere with us, as Earth’s life collapses into nothingness. There is no easy way out, as together we face an end to ecology, and thus life itself.

Sustainability Solutions Exist

Workable solutions to climate change and broad-based environmental decline exist; they include ending fossil fuels, protecting and restoring ecosystems, agro-ecological food production, reducing population and inequity, and establishing a steady state economy. Plainly, however, such a transition is not going to be easy. Solutions to avert global ecosystem collapse will be disruptive. Yet there is no alternative if together humanity is to survive and enjoy well-being within Earth’s ecological boundaries.

Industrial growth at the expense of ecosystems and climate must end as soon as possible. For human and all life’s survival and well-being, intact ecosystems must remain the context for human endeavors. Huge potential exists to further develop organic, permaculture based agro-ecological systems for growing our food. Ultimately, we are all challenged to create something of worth from our hands and minds working on the land, based upon regenerating and nurturing ecosystems, for our daily sustenance.

We each must nurture a sense of enoughness, realizing more isn’t always better, particularly if it undermines our natural habitat, and thus our ability to persist.

It is not too late to embrace an ecology ethic. But the longer we wait, the more limited our options. Despite pernicious trends in ecological decline – and allowing for the possibility of a deep resiliency to the Earth System of which we are unaware – out of love of life, we owe it to Earth, kindred species, and kids everywhere to try everything possible to save being.

Growth in industry, population, consumption, and inequity cannot be maintained. Together we must reach a steady state economy whereby natural capital is replenished, not diminished. Through measures like educating all girls and providing birth control to all, we must urgently pursue reductions in human population, the most basic human impact upon the climate and ecosystems, or the biosphere collapses.

Ignorance and superstition must be banished through education and promoting a love of truth, justice, knowledge, wisdom, and fairness.

For capitalism to have any future and avoid social, ecological, and economic collapse on a dead planet, it must learn to price external costs and environmental risk now, while rejecting its obsession with growth as the ultimate measure of well-being. Otherwise industrial capitalism will have to be replaced soon just so most may survive, let alone thrive.

Alternatives exist that are fair and reward hard work, but sadly we find it easier to consider the end of life on Earth, rather than embrace essential social change.

For human survival and well-being, committing acts of ecocide that destroy ecosystems must somehow be made unacceptable, and this must be enforced. The environment movement must make more of an effort to communicate the complexity of ecological crises, their profound risk, and these and other sufficient solutions – while resolutely rejecting and outing greenwash that legitimates ecocidal activities.

The green movement must also move beyond awareness-raising stunts and build a broad-based movement to seize power and to implement the ecological policies necessary to sustain being.
Only total societal reorganization away from destroying ecosystems and burning fossil fuels can save Earth and humanity. Either humanity finds a way together to implement difficult ecological policies to end fossil fuels, protect ecosystems, and achieve a steady-state economy – or it is the end. No measures except indiscriminate terrorism targeting innocents can be off the table in efforts to together protect ecology.

Hope in Ecosystems

Today free your mind and senses to see ecology everywhere, in everything you do, and the myriad ways it suffers from human hubris, indifference, ignorance, and overuse.

As long as together we still breathe, there is hope we can sustain Earth, but realistically the state of ecosystems and the biosphere is grim and worsening. We must start in haste, today, to build the world that is possible and needed.

Love of other peoples and species, nature, truth, justice, and equity are the only lasting basis of global ecological sustainability and show the only effective way forward to avoid final ecosystem collapse.
For a sustainable, decent future we must go back to the land, stop burning fossil fuels, and nurture ecosystems and one another.

We are one human family with inalienable rights and duties to freedom, work, equity, peace, justice, and sustained ecology. Profound inequity, ecological collapse, persistent injustice, nationalistic perma-war, superstition, and ignorance when faced with truth – all are sicknesses that mar human potential and will prove fatal.

Together the human family either learns to live well together within intact ecosystems and without fossil fuels or faces a period of profound suffering, followed by biosphere collapse and the end of being. Together we could end the current system’s elite rule, inequity, injustice, and gross ecological negligence at any time. Either we act together soon, courageously, on the basis of truthful ecological knowledge, or else each of us alone faces misery and a final apocalyptic global ecological collapse.

Ecology is the meaning of life. Truth, justice, equity, and sustainability are the ideals whereby ecology can be maintained. Let’s make it so.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Who Invented Blogging? Dr. Glen Barry First Blogger Since 1993

The homepage of Forests.org's Forest Protection Blog as it appeared in 1996 courtesy of the Wayback Machine

Who Invented Blogging

The Forest Protection Blog at http://forests.org/ had until recently been continuously on the web since January 1995, and was the first blog ever. It is now being updated and transferred to http://EcoInternet.org/ to use the latest blogging tools. Dr. Glen Barry developed the tool to protect old-growth forests, and his ongoing efforts since 1989 to harness the Internet for environmental conservation have been described as visionary, resulting in massive old-growth forest protection victories and other ecological sustainability outcomes. A blog is defined as commentary upon other linked Internet sources, with entries listed reverse chronologically.

Dr. Glen Barry, the inventor of blogging, explains "the real innovation in blogging is citizen commentary upon other web content as a recognized form of self-expression. The blog format of expressing yourself, as you link to other expression, exponentially enables free speech and thought. A free Internet is central to a just, equitable, and sustainable human future." While many others began to harness the Internet similarly in the late 1990s, often as personal diaries, the Forest Conservation Blog predates them by a few years, and was thus also the first political blog.

-->> Continue Reading

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hyperparathyroidism



How I survived (and at times thrived) during a decade of suffering from PMS

By Dr. Glen Barry

It has been just over a year since I was successfully treated for a parathyroid condition called hyperparathyroidism. The malfunctioning parathyroid resulted in a condition similar (yet even more intense) to the hormonal changes in women as they have their periods – making me irritable, argumentative, unable to concentrate, highly emotional, and suffering a host of aches and pains. I had a severe case of the disease – off the charts in terms of hormone levels – which results in dangerous calcium deposits which wreak havoc upon your body and mind. This is not to suggest this is the experience of every woman, but I do have a new found appreciation for their special challenges.

Some family and friends had been communicating to me for several years that they thought my behavior to be more than a bit off. But I was too proud to listen. Though I have long suffered relatively minor depression, and have been egotistical and full of hubris at times (largely because of lack of self-confidence), generally I have been stable, goal orientated, and lived a life committed to truth, community service, ideas bigger than myself, and global ecology.

The dreadful disease doesn’t so much change your cognition, attitudes or beliefs – rather it amplifies your emotions and changes your affective behavior. Thus my long-term distress over environmental destruction – which in my academic opinion portends ecosystem and social collapse – became even more intensified as I viscerally felt and obsessed upon human and ecology’s demise. I at times became too extreme – however well intentioned - in my prescriptions for how to avoid global ecological collapse. My efforts to recover from pervasive childhood sexual abuse suffered by myself and others in my family were dealt a blow, as I compulsively sought out answers to what had happened, when perhaps it was time to let things go.

What was perhaps the saddest element of the disease to me was that many of my family and personal relationships proved facile and shallow, as few took the time to patiently and lovingly discuss my changed behavior. Instead many of my loved ones and long-time support network ostracized me and called me crazy, not deeming me worthy of taking the time to avoid estrangement. That hurt when I was sick, and still does now.

Ultimately, however, it is my fault, as I resisted seeing a doctor as my emotional health continued to deteriorate. In the last couple years of the untreated disease in particular, I sought to hide the pain through self-medication, leading to a drunk driving ticket which is the best thing that ever happened to me, and may have saved my life. Entering the resulting prescribed counseling a couple years back, I was finally able to get help for the sexual abuse I suffered as a child, and my hyperparathyroidism was diagnosed. 

Last July I had the malfunctioning parathyroid removed with surgery by the expert in the field at the Mayo clinic, and within hours a whole range of maladies began to subside. The drop in calcium immediately made my joint pains ease, I could concentrate better, the constant obsessing upon what others thought of me subsided, a sense of calm and well-being returned, and simply I was back to being myself. And however imperfect I may remain, I have been able to work on personal growth and trying to heal the harm my denial and hubris of failing to get medical treatment caused.

Immediately I sought to right two wrongs for which my conscience would never forgive myself if I didn’t try. Firstly, I went public letting others know of my childhood sexual abuse. Speaking freely of my personal story – and refusing to protect with silence family secrets of sexual misconduct - had been identified in counseling as key to getting my life back. I reported repeated threats against me by my brother-in-law Michael Chamberlain to the police, that I not speak of my family history or else, and revealed his sexual misconduct that broke up the family to his adult children.

Without any expectation of a positive outcome, and at risk to my reputation, I came forward to reveal my Congressman Mark Pocan's disclosure of raping children to others and myself. Given my childhood friend Andy Janssen's boasting of taking sex tourism trips with the to-be-Congressman for anonymous sex, I felt I had no choice but to do the right thing, and reported the matter to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, Madison DA and police, and FBI. Now healed, the fact that the Madison police and community wrote it off is beyond the point, I did what was right. And when he is caught abusing again – as he will be as sexual predators rarely stop – or anyone of the dozens of others that know come forth, Madison will no longer be represented in Congress by a pedophile.

To be fair, during this time there were many accomplishments based upon a life of education, deep thought, and hard work. I raised a talented and beautiful daughter through teenage angst to successful launch into college independence. We went on an around the world trip together, and spent time living in her Papua New Guinean culture. My work as a political ecologist was independently hailed as visionary by others and resulted in massive rainforest and other ecological victories. I bravely confronted those greenwashing old-growth forest logging, and continue to do so, despite again being called unstable for doing so. At some personal expense, I recounted the authoritarian, self-aggrandizing political behavior since youth of Wisconsin’s governor, which I witnessed and know first-hand. I remarried the love of my life, completed a PhD, and successfully started a new career in finance IT.

I concur with the observation that an unexamined life is not worth living. Key to turning around any malignancy – be it personal disease of our societal headlong rush into global ecocide – is acknowledging you have a problem, and getting the help you need. Brutal personal and societal honesty is the only path to long-term sustainability. As is weathering the hyperbole filled and nonsensical character assassination attempts that result when speaking truthfully on matters of importance.

I have come to realize it is not necessary to be perfect to contribute to my community, to love and be loved, and to live a good life. It’s OK to be vulnerable at times, if one is being honest, and trying every day to be strong. For a lifetime of personal growth it is just required that you commit to the truth, learn from your mistakes and make amends, and constantly strive for self-improvement. And when you are feeling a bit off, see the doctor.

I apologize to those I hurt during this sickness, forgive those who abandoned rather than supported me (though I would appreciate apologies and you reaching out), and rejoice at the miracle of healing. I hope that after a year of being healthy people will see the real me – a committed family man, ecologist, community servant, and free-thinking and thought filled human being. I’m back and looking forward to the next chapter of my life after having successfully weathered this tragic illness.