Cross-Roads Room
Sat 16 Nov 2002
Leading a discussion or seminar

Awenydd : If Ben does not show up and wish to host a seminar tonight, I would like to use the room for one. This is not well planned, so please bear with me. I am sharing some thoughts, and I encourage yours throughout as well. Please keep your public comments on topic, or in PM.

Awenydd : PM's in this room at this time can only be done the old way of starting your message off with /mesg username message (i.e. /mesg awenydd Howdy, how are you?)

Skycatcher : Hi FRAML - didn't you help Ben with his seminars when he couldn't be there?

FRAML : Skycatcher: Yes, I took over after he bowed out do to other commitments in his life and needing to finish up projects that he had put on hold. I've sort of burnt out after doing them for a year and a half, and haven't gotten my flame re-lighted.

Awenydd : I can certainly understand that FRAML ... It's time for others to step up to the podium, which is what I wanted to talk about tonight ...

Skycatcher : Awenydd - aside from this chat ... have you ever thought of posting this site on I had a real challenge finding it, and if you want to have more folks, that might be a way of doing it ... unless folks like it semi-private which is nice too.

Awenydd : Small crowd. I guess I can't compete with bitching about telemarketers. But I am going forward anyway, and will maybe re-print the discussion ... Maybe others will join shortly and catch up.

starfire : hi girlz -

Skycatcher : Hi starfire

starfire : Don't Awenydd - I already feel like throwing up.

Awenydd : Thanks Skycatcher, I might do that, though we are listed in Google, and have around 1000 accounts with over 300 being used each week.

Awenydd : Excuse me?

Skycatcher : I grabbed Ben's addy from above and I'll look for his site and read some of the past seminars recorded there too.

starfire : Skycatcher: is the sky heavy?

FRAML : Ben's URL:

Skycatcher : I'd heard about the site several months ago, but didn't have a personal PC, just at the office, so I couldn't sign up. Then, I got laid off, lost all my personal addys, and had a heck of a time finding it. I got Avatarsearch from Spiritweb, so I figured it would be OK. But I didn't find you until I fingered out Elevaphoenix's web site addy.

Solantra : Namaste ... *S*

Awenydd : Namaste Solantra!

Skycatcher : FRAML - Lighter than air actually, about the weight of a sunbeam, or a moonbeam or starlight ...

Skycatcher : Oooooh, getting quite a group now.

Yopo : Greetings, ALL *S*

starfire : Awenydd: the bg colour - I cannot see my reflection.

Awenydd : Ok, will start off with my next post.

Skycatcher : Oh, I just noticed everyone is in the same type, black.

cassandra : Hi - did I come to wrong place? Is seminar here or Trailhead? (((FRAML, Skycatcher, starfire))))

gardengirl : hello *S*

FRAML : Courtesy is expected. Instead of attacking what others believe, say what you believe -- or politely ask others to explain what they post. Please keep your posts reasonably brief, and please don't get into off-topic side conversations. Please use the private message function to send greetings to new arrivals and to "whisper" in class once it starts. That way the text is easier for everyone to follow, and it is easier for Awenydd to clean up the transcript afterward.

cassandra : ((((YOPO, Solantra))))

Awenydd : Many people feel they shouldn't lead a discussion/seminar because they feel inadequate or fear being attacked by others for their "assumed authority". This should not be a concern. Most intelligent people will recognize a structured discussion and while they may debate the topic, this is not considered an attack by the questioner. Those who DO attack the moderator would do so to anyone at anytime for the sake of attacking them, and should not be taken personal by the moderator.

cassandra : (((gardengirl and selki))) *S*

selki : (((cassandra)))

starfire : FRAML: Are you taking the piss, as I believe that any further posts to the web master will get a bit personal. As such, I have never been a pop star, but I have been naked. I thought that pissing on their premises was fine. The toilets looked like toilets - but I had just descended from Avalon.

Awenydd : Cross-Roads has been specially set up from the inception of allpathways to be used to host moderated discussions, moderated by anyone! There are certain commands that the moderator may use to mute the room or eject persons as necessary. The point is to provide an environment where controlled discussion can be carried out without distraction to pursue points of interest and debate. It is not necessarily a place for one person to dictate "facts" of a belief system which in itself would lead to argument.

Awenydd : and comments such as starfires will result in immediate ejection when I moderate.

Yopo : Uh ... *shrug*

Awenydd : Excellent example there.

selki : Awenydd that's understandable, we can't have a decent discussion otherwise.

Awenydd : My point thus far, is that anyone can schedule a discussion or seminar here in cross-roads. Advance notice is desired so that you can be granted permissions to the advanced commands, and to give notice to the other site users so they can make plans to attend.

lackluster : is this open discussion?

Awenydd : I'll open it up now for any comments or questions regarding what I have said or done thus far.

Skycatcher : I've seen references to posting the discussions later, like cleaning it up etc. What's involved there?

Skycatcher : I'm not that techie, and am afraid that would be beyond my skills, since I'm not web-smart.

lackluster : I had the worst day today! I mean ... stressful

FRAML : Seminars are good discussion tools. One key element is for the moderator not to get 'wrapped up' in the discussion and think that they have to respond to every comment. To me the role of the moderator is to set the discussion and questions, not to convince others of a position.

Awenydd : Well, Ben for one takes the transcripts and posts them on his site. He usually removes anything that is off topic such as welcomes and hugs from the attendees. The transcripts are taken from the review log which all paying members have access to, and anyone who hosts a discussion. I'll bend over backwards to provide the transcripts in a usable format to any moderator that requests them.

selki : Well, I think that there are a few of us who do enjoy the seminars, and if someone is going to come in and disrupt the discussion then they can leave by whatever means, why should those, myself included, leave because the discussion is ruined. I like the seminars, I would like to see more of them.

Awenydd : lackluster, this is a moderated discussion, please stay on topic or use another room.

lackluster : it started at the mediphisical convention today ... there for 7 hours, because my mom was running it.

LEGS : Greetings to all

lackluster : Oky doky ... bye bye

Yopo : I've wondered if perhaps some folks have been reluctant to organize focused discussions out of concern that they would be expected to be an authority on the topic at hand? When it is often enough simply to post a topic, and pose a few appropriate questions to keep things focused?

Skycatcher : I didn't get to attend many of Ben's because of equipment challenges, but what I did attend I really enjoyed. I especially liked that there were so many points of view, and yet no attacks.

Awenydd : Selki Exactly! I have found that many enjoy them, though so few dare to lead them. Which is part of my topic tonight. You don't need to be afraid to host one, and you certainly don't have to be an authority. You could host a discussion and do nothing more than pose questions and seek answers.

FRAML : The 'cleaning up' of the transcripts is a labor intensive effort, especially to place replies after the comments they are referring to, in order to have a good flow of the discussion while reading it, instead of just putting the transcript with the posts in the order they showed up on the screen, which makes for disjointed reading at times. Right now I still have over a dozen transcripts to edit before they will be ready for posting on to Ben's & greyman's sites.

Skycatcher : I'd be willing to do an occasional topic, but I'd be very shy of an every week commitment. That's what stops me from volunteering.

Skycatcher : I'm more interested in real-time discussions than in transcripts. I'm sure some folks enjoy them, but are they truly required?

Awenydd : The idea of a moderated discussion is to exclude other comments and focus on a particular topic without the multi-threads that go on in other rooms, such as trailhead.

selki : Skycatcher Ben keeps the transcripts of the discussions.

Skycatcher : Yes, I know Ben has them. I'm just indicating that my interest is more here and now than in archives. That's all.

Awenydd : There are no commitments, you don't have to do it on a particular date or time. If you want to talk specifically about the repercussions of the latest Harry Potter movie, you can schedule the room and host the discussion. Of course I would prefer something more educational, but that is the gist of it. First come, first serve to Cross-Roads.

FRAML : Skycatcher: The transcripts aren't required. It was something that Ben began because of wanting to preserve what was said. It is interesting the number of people who have written him about reading the seminar transcripts and how the seminars have helped them. Also finding the transcripts led some people to find SWC and Allpathways and to participate in the seminars.

greyman : Namast* dear ones.

Awenydd : That is correct. Ben's site was the first to show up on Google when searching for "allpathways", because of his transcripts.

Yopo : Awenydd I wonder there might be a linked page on Crossroads, where a list of proposed topics of discussion could appear? Some topics to fall back on, when nothing specific has been scheduled for certain nights? Might that not keep up some momentum for regular Saturday discussion?

LEGS : That is a feasible suggestion Yopo ... to have a list of standby subjects ... good thinking!

Awenydd : There are those who seek only to disrupt and persecute any form of authority. Most know this and this is why they are reluctant to host a discussion or take any actions. The fact is that in real life if you and two other buddies were discussing something and someone walked up and started interjecting attacks or BS comments, most would tell them to piss off. You can do that here. If they don't understand simple rules of intelligent dialogue, they won't understand the discussion. Better to see them to the door than allow them to upset or distract you from what you are trying to do.

Skycatcher : Good idea Yopo!

Awenydd : Yopo, to date I have not considered any kind of logging of the discussions here, as most moderators have recorded them or the last 2000 lines are in the review. That is a good point, and I will follow up on that and build a "Cross-Roads Library" of past discussions. Thanks!

LEGS : I do believe that those interested in the subject are relieved when a disrupter is ejected from the room. After all, they know the rules, and some only attempt to be ejected so they can whine and claim they are being discriminated against and thus gain misplaced "sympathy"

Yopo : My thought was that seeing topics ahead would maybe cause folks to think on them a bit beforehand, and make for better impromptu discussion. And it might help reestablish the expectation that something a bit more focused happens each Saturday evening, even when it isn't a fully structured seminar ...

Awenydd : /framl Thanks, but all I can say is refer to my previous comments ... *G* I don't care what anyone thinks. I am my own person, and I have finally learned to take a stand.

LEGS : The archives are valuable to serious attempts to attain knowledge about the subjects that were discussed in the seminars. I return from time to time to recall certain points from Ben's seminars to this day

Skycatcher : I like the discussion format because sometimes I like to ask hard questions, and in this format folks know I'm only asking, not attacking.

Awenydd : Yopo, yes, from the Home page, any planned discussion is listed in "Upcoming Events". Lately all that has been posted there are Healing Circle meetings which I noticed this week had absolutely no interest at all from its many members.

FRAML : Yopo: Yes, a posting place for topics would be useful. The 2nd step is working up the discussion points for the topics, which can sometimes take time. It is interesting that I've had topics and the outline popped into my mind on a few times, but on most of the other seminars it has required me to do my "homework" to prepare. However the topics right now would be a starting point, because I've been "a dry well for topics" the last few months.

Awenydd : I hate blown PM's ...

selki : LEGS, well they can whine all they want, I feel that if they are just coming into the discussion to disrupt then they should be asked to settle down, leave, and then just boot them out. It's a simple request, if they can't honor it and participate like everyone else, they shouldn't come to the discussion. Everyone else who is serious about the discussions respects the rules. That's the way it should be.

Skycatcher : LOLOLOL @ Awenydd. I love when it happens to the "master" as well as the rest of us. Wicked Grins.

cassandra : Yopo - I think you are absolutely right about seeing the topic ahead of time bringing up some ideas about subject and maybe question they have been wanting answered.

Skycatcher : Couldn't we recycle some topics too? We are all growing and changing, and what we may have thought on something a year or two ago might be very different from today. Plus, we have new folks as well who would have new ideas and viewpoints.

Awenydd : the one I blew was one in response to one that relayed some comments from Starfire regarding being ejected. Starfire is obviously upset, and seemingly unaware why they were ejected, despite the topic, and rules being prominently posted and making crude and off-topic comments intended to disrupt. I am not concerned by their feelings and display. We remain on topic and moving forward.

FRAML : Ben would post the topics 2 or 3 days before the seminars. I still have a list of addresses of folks who are interested in seminars that I used to notify them of upcoming seminar topics, or the continuation of a topic.

Skycatcher : FRAML - do you have a sort of outline you use ... topic and 4 points ... or something like that?

Awenydd : Skycatcher, very good point! FRAML, would you relay that to Ben, that we would be interested in recycling some old topics?

Yopo : FRAML Might be a list, or a list with a few accompanying questions or comments to stir up some thoughts. Perhaps with tentative dates they will come up, provided nothing else gets scheduled. They would always be secondary to regular seminars that actually get scheduled by a moderator ...

cassandra : I agree, selki - people should have sense enough to be polite and if not, and getting to disruptive, then out they go!!!

Skycatcher : Good for you Awenydd. Sometimes folks have to be ejected a few times before they learn to take the rules seriously.

FRAML : Skycatcher: That is a good point. The same topic and the moderator deciding if he wanted to use the same questions as previously used. Actually that would make for an interesting comparison with a session several years earlier and see where one is now compared to then.

Skycatcher : I know when I looked at the room structures, I had the thought that they were all for someone else. It never occurred to me to try to set something up. And there's always the fear ... suppose I give a party and no one shows up.

Skycatcher : LOL Framl - AND it would make it easier for us to come up with topics.

Awenydd : Plus I find that interaction breeds new ideas for future topics.

FRAML : Awenydd: I'll try to remember and talk to him about it tomorrow. I'll probably do it at First Century in the evening rather than at church in the morning.

Awenydd : Skycatcher, I can understand that ... which is another reason I wanted to talk about this tonight ...

selki : that might make for a good seminar, How does interaction breed new ideas.

Awenydd : Sounds like a good one for you Selki!

Skycatcher : FRAML and Awenydd - I'm very interested in helping to make this work. My e-mail addy is Maybe we could correspond during the week and I'll work with you on getting something for next week. Is that OK? But as I said, I'm shy about an every week commitment.

Awenydd : Remember, you don't have to have the answers, only the questions.

Skycatcher : And BTW, my 3D name is Annie.

Skycatcher : But ... but ... but ... I have ALL the answers, just ask me! LOLOLOL

selki : Awenydd that does sound like a good one. Might need some help with the questions though.

Awenydd : Skycatcher, that's fine! I'm far too busy to do a discussion on a regular basis, or even attend them all, though I try since I am the webmaster ... but it's not possible. Besides, it's not what I get out of pathways, but what YOU, (everyone) gets out of it.

Skycatcher : I'd also like to know if there were any subjects you wouldn't cover, or any parameters you followed in choosing topics.

Awenydd : Selki, that is what Trail Head is intended for, to share ideas, then to move off to other rooms, including this one, to discuss them. These can be impromptu like tonight, or they can be planned.

Awenydd : Skycatcher, I am for ANY kind of reasonable, intelligent discussion. I may not be interested in the topic or attend it, but others are. Be polite and respectful and I have no problem with any topic.

Yopo : selki I always liked the old seminar format Ben & FRAML--and others, on occasion--followed. Generally guided enough to maintain focus, but loose enough so that it felt like a collective search for ideas and answers. Those were cooperative discussions. What I see more often now are confrontational discussions. The topic becomes a point of argument, and no one seems to want to do anything but prove his or her own opinion is the correct one.

Awenydd : For the second part of the topic: "Making a difference". The first step is to do SOMETHING.

Skycatcher : I liked that in SWC there was always a room active aside from the 'Henge, for when the 'Henge got a little too much. Right now I chat at two different sites for that reason. Maybe we need to use these other rooms more for that kind of thing.

FRAML : I think that a planned seminar once or twice a month would be good. That would allow folks time to prepare and not feel like they are 'burdened' with coming up with something every week. To have weekly seminars perhaps a rotation of folks and topics, unless a person comes up with a topic that would take 2 or 3 weeks to cover, as Ben often did.

selki : Awenydd I think we've accomplished what the intentions are tonight, yes? *s* This is good, some organization.

Awenydd : Skycatcher, Gaia and the Spiritual Inn are now available to all, for that purpose, and most of the rooms with pictures on the directory are also open to the public. Many are themed and sponsored (paid for) by someone, so their themes should be respected, but mostly they are open.

Awenydd : Selki, yes, I think tonight was a success. I hope that most of you will go away feeling confident and interested in leading some sort of a discussion in the future.

Skycatcher : If FRAML has the time to work with me this week on a topic, I will commit to having a seminar next Saturday night, unless Selki wants to do her topic then.

selki : Yopo, oh yeah, The confrontational discussion accomplishes nothing. Ideas should be shared and reasoned, not shoved down your throat as the only ideas.

Yopo : FRAML Agreed. But I also like the idea that Crossroads would be in use EVERY Saturday night. If not for a scheduled event, then for open focused discussion of one or more topics, chosen from a list anyone could contribute to. That expectation might keep up a certain momentum during the times between ...

Yopo : selki *LOL* I am sure there are some who would argue even THAT point ...

selki : Skycatcher I won't be able to do it next week, there is an artist's reception I HAVE To go to.

selki : Yopo I am sure there are too. *L*

FRAML : Skycatcher: I'm willing to work with you. And I got the e.

Awenydd : Saturday Nights at 10PM EST (US) is respectfully reserved for Ben, however if he doesn't schedule one then, anyone else is welcome to. You can also host before and after his time slot, or any other time of the week. No one else has made any commitments to a regular schedule.

Skycatcher : Ben's seminars were always at 7PM my time (Los Angeles). I'll stick to that if it's OK. That would be 10PM on the East Coast-USA, and I'm not sure in other parts of the world but I could find out if you tell me where you are.

Skycatcher : Of course if Ben wants the slot I'd much rather have him!!!!!

Awenydd : Ben HAS indicated to me his intent to continue the seminars here.

FRAML : Yopo: Yes, it would be good to have something here every Saturday. That would get folks use to showing up again to see what was going on. If folks want to lead a seminar I'm willing to send out an announcement to the folks on my mailing list. I send it out "Blind Copy" so your e-addy doesn't get spread around. My addy is:

Awenydd : The best way to schedule is to use the "Schedule Event" link on the home page.

Skycatcher : Did Ben say when he will be doing them? ElHaqq808 seemed to think Ben was pretty busy right now. Do you think he'd mind us filling in for him?

Yopo : Yeah, I completely agree. Anything scheduled by Ben & company for the Saturday time slot should take the front seat. That was what you set Crossroads up for, as I understood it ...

FRAML : Yes, Ben has been talking about doing some more seminars. I don't know if he is in a position to do them every week, but I think he is looking at doing them on a periodic basis. And perhaps I will get renewed and back in harness with some ideas. I've got a couple that I need to work on that would give me a start ... once I get started working on them that is. *G*

Skycatcher : Does using the "Schedule Event" also post the event in the room box on the page with all the chat rooms?

Awenydd : From what I understand, Ben appreciates it when others step in and host topics in his absence.

Awenydd : Skycatcher, yes, after I have approved it.

Skycatcher : So am I OK for next Saturday night, or does FRAML need to check with Ben first? Let me know?

FRAML : Skycatcher: No, Ben won't mind. It was his goal from the beginning to set up a format that could be used by anyone. His intent was not to be "the sole moderator" but to train folks in 'how to do a seminar' and then let them do it. And by training it is the selection of a topic and the development of 3 or 4 questions to cover the topic; also for the moderator to realize that he or she doesn't have to participate a lot in the discussion. Actually, the less the moderator participates, the more apparent is that he is not trying to dominate or convince people of a position. (Or at least that will be apparent to most folks.)

Skycatcher : I will spend some time reading Ben's archives, and perhaps borrow ideas from him. I'll have to see what's been done, and see what I can come up with. Then I'll contact FRAML and Awenydd to finesse what I've come up with and with their blessings, go ahead and post a topic ... maybe midweek? Is that OK with everyone?

FRAML : Skycatcher: Go ahead. I don't think Ben has anything put together yet. And he wants others to learn how to do it. Go for it.

selki : Skycatcher make it a good one. *L* *s*

Skycatcher : If Ben has anything planned, I can always drop back and hold onto whatever I come up with for later. Awenydd, maybe you could post something in the events like "Ben's Seminar, hosted this week by ... " with the time and place so folks will know we're getting back on track, but aren't trying to replace him.

Awenydd : Well, that's all I have ... Feel free to continue on topic, ask questions or move on ...

Skycatcher : LOL Oh, FINE! Selki - pressure all ready! LOLOLOL

Yopo : Have there ever been any guidelines suggest for what constitutes an appropriate topic? My own presumption has always been that there would be a "spiritual" orientation. Is that presumption valid?

selki : *L* Skycatcher, take a deep breath *L*

FRAML : Skycatcher: Also, 3 or 4 questions are good for about an hour's discussion, which was the format. Sometimes folks would continue on discussing after the hour was over, but the formal part of the seminar ended at the end of the hour. There was usually a wrap up statement by the moderator for it. Sometimes the wrap up is drawn from what was said, sometimes it is where the idea for the topic & questions came from and can be a "reply" to folks.

Awenydd : Of Course!

Ben : Greetings. (apologies for late arrival)

Yopo : " ... guidelines suggested ... " I meant to say ...

Skycatcher : Yopo - from me it is a valid assumption. I will definitely be looking at spiritual or metaphysical ideas. It seems Ben and FRAML were more God oriented than phenomenon oriented so I'll follow that in my thoughts.

Yopo : Ben *S* Long time ...

selki : hello Ben

Awenydd : Yopo, a spiritual topic is of course preferred, but not required provided there is none other scheduled for the same date/time.

Skycatcher : WoooHOOO - the master arrives! Just in the nick of time. FRAML I'm copying all your "how to" comments into a Word document so I can use them when I work on this.

Yopo : Skycatcher Oh, there were quite a few "phenomenon oriented" discussions, as I recall ... *S*

Awenydd : Howdy Ben! We were just talking about you! *S*

FRAML : Skycatcher: I don't expect anyone to mimic me in my selection of topics. I admit that many of "my" topics came as inspiration, and then perspiration on developing them.

Skycatcher : FRAML Assuming our seminar is worth saving, will you add it to those you're already preparing for archive?

Skycatcher : You mean I gotta sweat over this??????? Haven't you heard? Men sweat, women perspire and ladies GLOW! I will give it my GLOWing best!

FRAML : Skycatcher: one of my unedited ones was on "veteran's day" another was about whether or not military folks should be expected to be interested in spiritual/religious subjects.

LEGS : {*{*{*{*{*{*{*Ben*}*}*}*}*}*}*}*}*}*} hello dear friend

Skycatcher : Ben - am I OK to schedule something for next Saturday in your spot? Ben's Seminar, hosted by ... kind of thing? Would you like to be CC:d on my msgs with FRAML?

Skycatcher : FRAML - I remember that one! It was good, and really shook up a lot of preconceived notions.

FRAML : Skycatcher: work with Awenydd on saving it. Send me the text after your first edit at it. (send as a text document)

Awenydd : Framl, did you do that one on military folks spirituality?

Skycatcher : Oh my goodness ... I just remembered, I'm in Florida next Saturday, with no PC! I'm so sorry!!!! Can I do this on the 30th instead!

Awenydd : Sure!

Ben : ALL: Thanks for greetings. :) By way of explanation, I had planned to do about one seminar per month or so, starting in July, but became involved in some things that took precedence.

LEGS : {{{{{{Selki}}}}}}}

selki : *falling to sleep here, good night, Thanks Awenydd. Have a good evening everyone.

Yopo : G'd night, selki. Blessings!

Awenydd : Ben, you are welcome to continue whenever you are ready, at whatever date/time you like. Your old schedule is reserved first and foremost to you.

FRAML : ((((SELKI)))) Remember to count your blessings before you sleep.

Awenydd : Nite Selki!

Skycatcher : Whew! I'm glad I remembered that! It's the semi-annual pilgrimage to the parental plantation (all 1/3 of an acre of it) for the Th'giving holiday!

Ben : Skycatcher: Yes, "Ben's seminar, hosted by Skycatcher" will be OK. We've had more than a few like that.

Yopo : Skycatcher Probably wouldn't have been an ideal time, anyway. Many will be away ...

Skycatcher : Selki - I like to make a list of everything I'm grateful for before I go to sleep. Then I always have sweet dreams.

Awenydd : I for one will have a lot of company and wouldn't be able to attend ...

Skycatcher : Hmmm Thanksgiving - Have you ever had a topic like "How do you create an attitude of gratitude in times of trouble?" or is that too cheesy? I've got to read some of your archives.

Ben : Awenydd: Thank you. I do like the regular time on Saturday night at 10:00 pm. When my present workload is reduced, I'll start doing seminars again.

FRAML : Awenydd: Yes, I lead that one on military spirituality. Someone read the question I have on my (out of date) website and asked me. so I did an impromptu seminar about it. And let others make their comments, and I gave my answer to his question at the end as the wrap-up.

Awenydd : I wish I could have attended that one Framl, perhaps that is one we can revisit ...

FRAML : Skycatcher: That is a good question. Worth thinking through and preparing 3 or 4 questions to develop it.

Awenydd : How did it go?

Skycatcher : Th'giving is on the 28th, so I expect the 30th will be a small group, but that might be a good thing. I'll be flying home on the 28th, so I'll be here for the 30th.

LEGS : Yopo, I have longed for your expertise to shine forth in a seminar ... how about it??

Anteres : **HUGS** and Belated Happy Veterans Day FRAML Blessings to all ***

Skycatcher : Awenydd - It was very thought-provoking. Somehow I never put spirituality and the military together in the same ideas, just as I tend to eliminate certain political persuasions from spirituality. After all ... if they believe THAT, how can they be spiritual ... Such judgments!

Skycatcher : LEGS - What about your expertise, glowing over there in the corner?

Ben : Skycatcher: I'm carrying the link to my spirituality site. The seminars archives are linked from there.

Yopo : LEGS My expertise? *hehe* "Finding One's Way While Blindfolded--Part I"

FRAML : Awenydd: It went well. To most of the folks participating it did not seem as a contradiction that a military person would/could be interested in spiritual topics/have a spiritually oriented life. Those who saw it as a contradiction had a stereotype of a military man or woman as someone interested in killing others and destroying things as their prime goal in life. Did view the military as a protector, or that soldiers really don't want to fight unless there is no other option.

FRAML : ((Anteres)) Thank you. *S*

Skycatcher : Ben - I picked up the link earlier and marked it as a fave. I assume it's the "Seminars" button I need.

Skycatcher : FRAML/Ben - do you start with a paragraph outlining some ideas, making some statements etc for folks to respond to?

Ben : Skycatcher: Yes, that's the URL. There is a link called SEMINARS on the front page.

Yopo : Uh ... Is it snowing in here? *LOL*

Skycatcher : Yopo - I did an exercise with kids (11 and 12 yrs) at the "Y" on faith and trust, where I paired them off, blindfolded one in each pair, and lead them over some mildly rough terrain. We had some spectacular results and insights. Blindfolds can be very illuminating.

Yopo : (I had one refresh with a white background ... )

Anteres : **Tosses very soft snowball at Yopo *** *G*G

Awenydd : Skycatcher, Indeed ... I am a Gulf War Army vet ...

Anteres : We did an exercise like that in an outdoor course I took a few years back we had to make our way back to camp from another area blindfolded, it was wonderful. Scary at times but wonderful no one got lost

Skycatcher : I think I'm going to *poof* for now. Thank you all for a very interesting evening. I'll be in touch after I've thought this all through. Huggles!

Ben : Skycatcher: I sometimes post a brief set-up paragraph before I post the first question. (I prepare the set-up paragraph(s) and each question beforehand, in MS Word, and save it as a text file. Then I copy each paragraph or question from Word and paste in here as the seminar goes along. Saves time, as opposed to keystroking it all during the seminar.)

Awenydd : as a matter of fact, I think Military folks develop very strong spiritual foundations ... perhaps more than the average "civilian".

Anteres : Happy Belated Veterans day to you too Awenydd

LEGS : (((((Skycatcher)))))) thank you for being here

Yopo : It is good to think about what our "exclusions" reveal, concerning our concepts of spirituality. Not sure I would want to ride in an airplane that has only been tested in fair weather ... *S*

LEGS : {*{*{*{*{*{*{*{Anteres}*}*}*}*}*}*}*}*}*}*} how are you dear girl????

Awenydd : Thank You Anteres!

Yopo : 'Bye, Skycatcher! *S*

FRAML : Good night Skycatcher. Sleep well & I look forward to working with you to develop your seminar topic.

LEGS : Yopo, that is what I mean ... your comments are often deeper than their surface content

Anteres : They are some of the most spiritual folks I know. There is a look veterans and military have we can recognize each other without saying a word

Yopo : LEGS Very true! Sometimes it is best to put on high rubber boots, before wading in ... *wink*

Awenydd : Yes, I would love to see what Yopo has for us!

Awenydd : *LOL*

Anteres : Hanging in and hanging on the company that bought our division that we have been working for 2 wks just laid off 200 people 10% of the work force looks like more next month too

Awenydd : Anteres, I know what that is like ... been living the past year in fear of being laid off ... More to come is certain ... it's only when and who now.

Yopo : It is strange, isn't it? I often know another Nam vet before asking. Age has something to do with it, but there is something else I pick up on. Not sure what it is, exactly.

Awenydd : Yopo You are correct, as usual ... it's a military thing ... we can usually pick up on it in others ... Especially in 3D ...

Ben : Speaking of veterans -- I was at a church conference a few years ago, stepped outside for a smoke, saw a man walking toward me across the parking lot, and thought, "Now, there's someone I'd like to meet." Turned out he was the President of the Tuskeegee Airmen's Association.

LEGS : *G* Ben

Anteres : Yopo then I Salute you too Dear Brother. I am a "peace time" Vet, got out in 89 but when I was stationed in Korea there were places that you could still feel the strong presence of those who came before. In every place I have been since I have been able to greet fellow Vets and the Active duty newbies find it amazing that it happens.

PrairWarur : To all of you veterans, I would just like to say thank you and I am so proud of you! ** hugs **


Yopo : Awenydd Maybe there is a commonality to certain strong experiences. An indelible stamp on the spirit, that shows through the eyes, if it is a shared thing. On some, it is faint. On others, strong. I can immediately tell the ones who were broken inside by it, even after many years. I have seen many like that. Walking wounded, that have never healed.

Awenydd : *G* Anteres Been there ... I also take a secret pride when I see that "newbie" in their dress uniform at the airport, going home on leave or next assignment ... Better yet sitting with their folks at the airport or in restaurants relating their experiences ... it takes me back, and reminds me that the circle continues beyond me.

PrairWarur : ((( FRAML ))) I was just looking at the book you brought me when you were here and sharing the account of Nam with my grandson.

Yopo : Hi PrairWarur *S* / Wow, Ben. Someone to meet, for sure! Just watched that film again, a few days ago ...

PrairWarur : ((( Yopo ))) I have many friends that are still, "walking wounded." I know what you are talking about. I lost my best cousin over there and my fiance. It was a real heartbreaker.

Yopo : Anteres Peacetime or no, there is always the possibility, when you put on that uniform.

PrairWarur : I named my last son after my cousin who was killed. He was a paratrooper and you know how short their life expectancy was. A graduate of Purdue University and married only 3 months when he died. Wife was 3 months pg too.

LEGS : (((((PW))))))

PrairWarur : ((( Legs ))) I got company all of a sudden so I'll be back real soon! Love to you all! See ya in a few! I've missed you, ((( Legs! )))


Anteres : I too Lost a Cousin, The Legion Post I belong to Dedicated a Memorial to all Veterans those gone before all Veterans today and active Military, I cry every time the Colors go up the pole, any way but I saw the Viet Nam Vets, and well lets say I left home without water wings. After the ceremony I hugged the stuffing out of all of them.

Yopo : PrairWarur It was a difficult time in our history. A lot of unresolved issues remain for everybody. It was hard for everyone, let alone those who came back broken, or lost people they cared deeply about. That lingering uncertainty in the national psyche made it particularly hard for those folks. My heart goes out to you. I count myself as being very lucky.

FRAML : It is time for me to depart for the night. Awenydd, thank you for hosting the impromptu seminar.

Yopo : 'Bye, PrairWarur!

Awenydd : I remember in 1989 when I enlisted thinking I would never see combat ... telling myself that "the world has moved beyond war now." I was ready, and I went ... but I just couldn't believe it ... Today I am much more cynical.

Yopo : A good night to you, FRAML!

Ben : FRAML : Good night and great morning!

Awenydd : Thank you for attending Framl! I hope this convinced some to stand up and host a session or two.


Yopo : Awenydd War is one of those recurring questions in my mind. You would think we would have outgrown that by now. It seems like a form of collective insanity, from a certain perspective. Makes me think we don't know our own natures. That we are in the grips of delusions that we cannot see clearly ...

LEGS : a Belated goodnite to dear FRAML

LEGS : Those delusions form the seeds of new wars, unfortunately, Yopo

Awenydd : Yopo, I agree ... There are certainly many sides to it. While on one hand I wholeheartedly object to it, on the other such as after 9/11 I just wanted to re-enlist and go out and make someone pay. Violence is human nature, and a fact of life I am afraid we will never outlive.

Anteres : Awen the only ones that have moved beyond war are the Warriors. a little soap box time. Our WW2 vets are dying at rate of about 4000 a day give or take. The stories and wisdom that they take with them are priceless. Our children need to hear not only their stories but ours as well the good and the bad to learn and to grow. The Lady Vets too are often forgotten the Nurses of Nam, the faceless women who stand next to all quietly and give the best part of their lives to the place and people they Love . We are all family that is what we recognize in each other, I think Family, I felt so alone when I was discharged, and lost.

Yopo : Awenydd I know what you mean. The impulses are deep within my own mind, too. I see no glory in war, often no justification for it, yet recognize that some of the finest human qualities show themselves in the extremities of conflict. Not sure what that signifies ...

Awenydd : Anteres, I can relate ... I never kept contact with many of my close friends, though we have briefly reestablished since then ... the common bond is not there anymore ... Only two who were with me at my last station are in contact now ... and only one have I seen ... and he will be here on Thanksgiving.

Anteres : Yopo, we wage war daily with ourselves, over coming whatever we wish to change. grocery stores "fight" with each other to get your business, even car dealers will battle each other to give you the best price and service. Not all wars have tanks and bombs. Take a step back and look at "Big Business" and see how many fall.

PrairWarur : Hello again, friends. We are more than just friends! We are brothers and sisters in spirit! And I love you! Jesus loves you too!

Ben : PrairWarur: Hi, sis! Welcome back.

Yopo : Anteres A Darwinian world view? All life is struggle. The best one can hope for is an extensive list of allies, and to live at the center of that ... I don't know. It is a tempting model of reality, seemingly having abundant supporting evidence ...

Anteres : **HUGS** PW Love you too I already know about the Big Guy Loving us too *VBS**

Yopo : Couple that view of the material world with As Above, So Below, and you've got a pretty scary scenario. It would imply that our spirits ALSO have their enemies ... *S*

PrairWarur : We are, however; in constant battle, as you say, Anteres. That is so sad, isn't it? And we battle with those we love. Sometimes the innocent pay the biggest price. I remember a young Marine that was in Nam when he was only 17. He had been in trouble with the law, and there were times they drafted boys into the Marines too. My brother-in-law served with him over there too, and he told me that the young boy didn't even make it through his first night. He just went wacky right away. I can't imagine going through something so terrible.

Anteres : I know what you mean Awenydd there are some that have chosen to ignore the silent communication but we still recognize them any way I still email a couple of folks I knew from Korea and McGuire

PrairWarur : Yopo Ono, dear friend! What do you mean about, "enemies of our spirits?"

LEGS : *out* nite nite

PrairWarur : ((( LEGS! ))) Hope to talk to you again soon! Be well, my friend, and God bless you bunches! Shalom

Yopo : PrairWarur I was only following that line of thinking to where it might lead. *S* But, I would think that you would agree with that possibility. Christianity accepts spiritual duality, does it not? And I am not one to deny the existence of negative spiritual energies. Or, at least, organized focuses of spiritual energy having a negative orientation. *S*

PrairWarur : I must depart, my friends, my brothers and my sisters, but in my parting I would like to leave you with a scripture. However, I realize that this isn't necessarily a christian room, and lately I've been having some problems posting my thoughts, because people find them too offensive.

Ben : Yopo : I think "As above, so below" isn't quite correct. Good spirits are good to each other. Bad spirits are bad to each other. Here in the earth-plane, good and bad isn't clearly understood. That's why I call the earth-plane "The Kingdom of Confusion"

Yopo : PrairWarur *S* This is Crossroads, not Trailhead. Post what you wish!

Anteres : Never thought of that being a Darwinian view. PW there has always been battle between good and evil, and light and dark. Will there ever be a time of total Peace ? Will there ever be a balance? These are my questions. I am not sure there is an answer.

PrairWarur : I have been asked not to share my beliefs in various rooms, around certain people. But when someone else brings up the topic of things like, "spiritual duality," I feel compelled to them what the Bible has to say about those things. I have a scripture bookmarked that talks about the, "negative spirits," that you speak of, Brother.

Yopo : Ben Hmm ... I am uncertain how literally I take the "As above, so below" hypothesis myself. I put at least some credence in it, figuring that Creation reflects some aspects of its Creator. But I see your point. This is certainly a place of limited understanding ...

PrairWarur : (Ephesians 6:12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

PrairWarur : ummmmmmm ... heavy ...

PrairWarur : I call 'em demons and so did Jesus.

PrairWarur : some are even beautiful.

PrairWarur : but most are dreadful

PrairWarur : 2 Corinthians 11 *** )) 13** For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14** And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15** It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Anteres : If it were all Love and Light, there would be no need for warriors of any kind, Even the Angels are Warriors.

PrairWarur : You think this scripture describes me? Will my end be what I deserve? Like Anteres said, will there ever be peace?

Yopo : PrairWarur I don't particularly care for the term "demons", 'cause it is too much of a catch-all, but I essentially agree with you! I accept polarity. The good, the evil, and the neutral. I believe I have both allies and enemies in the spiritual realm. I don't take it personally, as it is only a matter of polarity, and I am seldom singled out, so far as I have noticed ...

PrairWarur : ((( Anteres ))) Peace to you, sister! There are all sorts of Angels as there are people! There are ministering spirits, and warrior spirits, and teaching angels, and comforting angels, and guardian angels, then there are demons. There are good people and there is evil.

PrairWarur : That's Satan's best tool, Yopo, indifference. Comfort zoneness.

Anteres : When there is a place of Peace in our Hearts, that I think is where it begins. We can only change ourselves, and be there to help others when they ask for help in finding that place of Peace.

PrairWarur : Satan has an army just like any army. He has his generals, sergeants, troop leaders and pee-ons. They are very organized and educated, for satan has had thousands of years to study mankind. He knows us well, and when we allow, he takes us where he wants us to go.

Yopo : Oh, I am far from indifferent. And, alas, often uncomfortable. Evil is often a matter of small and petty "demons", working in the grey areas. Discomfort comes from noticing.

PrairWarur : the devil has a strategy, just like any well organized army. the little imps are around constantly, just creating little fits of anger, or drunkenness, whatever. Just messin' with us, loosing our car keys, throwing little "fiery darts," as Paul said. The angels are right there too. Sometimes there are many demons in churches. That's satan's best "play-ground."

Ben : PrairWarur : And the Kingdom of Heaven is also well-organized, though not like an earthly army. All voluntary co-operation. It is awesome to see that Kingdom in action.

PrairWarur : There is truly a "Spiritual Battle" going on! The higher officers are working with people like Saddam Hussein and Ben-Laddin. Demons with names like, "murder, suicide, terrorism, slayer, rape, etc."

Anteres : It is time for me to take leave of you Dear Ones See you soon **HUGS** and Blessings of the Great Mystery

Yopo : And--PLEASE do not take this wrongly, as it is NOT intended as a generalization, or pointed at any of my Christian friends present here, whom I respect greatly--I have some Christian acquaintances who seem not to notice activities in the grey areas, as they are comfortable with the assurances their religion provides. They themselves are comfortable in those grey areas, seemingly unaware of the choices they make. I am uncertain what to do with that observation, as it seems like a judgment on my own part ...

PrairWarur : ((( Ben! ))) Peace to you! Yes! Exactly! That is what I am saying! Praise God! He is everywhere!

Yopo : A good night to you, Anteres! Blessings, and bright dreams ...

Anteres : Yes Ben it is quite a sight to behold.

PrairWarur : Yopo, that's the flesh. We can't escape the desires of the flesh at this time. (for some dumb reason) :o)

PrairWarur : It's those, "little imps," those lower demons that mess with us daily. We don't even realize what, "doors" we are opening.

PrairWarur : We don't know what we are doing that causes us to, "entertain," dark spirits.

Ben : Anteres : Good night. Sleep well. See you another time.

PrairWarur : And, as a matter of fact, we can't do much about it, alone. It is "grace," that gets us through. The only reason this world hasn't blown itself up by now is because God's hand is still upon us. He has only slightly lifted it, but a day soon comes when He will have no more of this sinful place. God can have no part of sin, for He alone is righteous and good. This is the truth that I speak to you.

Yopo : PrairWarur Yes, I understand. With me, spirituality is in this world, as I know little of any other. Only glimpses. My puzzle and my challenge are presently HERE. This seems to be the field of conflict, though it may be a reflection of something elsewhere ...

PrairWarur : Paul said here is the, "field of conflict," as you so eloquently described people and life.

Ben : Yopo : I agree. There are many varieties of Christians.

LEGS : (((((((Yopo))))))) ((((((PW)))))))))

Yopo : PrairWarur Perhaps. But I sometimes wonder if our "mission" might not be to spiritualize the material world. And if the mission of something else might not be to block that. *S* The World as a Chess Board ...

LEGS : {{{{{{Ben}}}}}}}}}}

Yopo : (((( LEGS )))) *G* We have ascended or descended into theological debate ...

LEGS : That chessboard, Yopo, chooses its own players ... you decide on the next move ... *G*

PrairWarur : Romans 7 *** Struggling With Sin *** (14) **We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15) ** I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16) ** And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17) ** As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18) ** I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19) ** For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 20) ** Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Ben :

Ben : Oops! I erased the typing in that last post. Oh, well ... time for bed. Peace and blessings to each of you.

PrairWarur : 21 ** So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 ** For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 ** but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 ** What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death

PrairWarur : Now, remember ... this is St. Paul talking to us. :o)

PrairWarur : 25 ** Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

LEGS : Goodnite, Ben, glad that you found the time to be here tonite ... truly appreciated!!!! (((((hugs))))))

Yopo : Hmm ... My first tenet is that I alone am responsible. I am of the nature of neither saint nor sinner. But I take responsibility. That keeps me in line, where love fails. I forgive myself when I cannot see the differences, though I am still responsible. My idea of grace is to be helped to see clearly, and given courage when I do. *S* Bein' a responsible Pagan person is no bed of roses ...

PrairWarur : Romans 8 *** Life Through the Spirit ***** 1 ~~ Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 ~~ because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 ~~ For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 ~~ in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Yopo : A very good night to you, Ben! *S* I've missed you here, and am much looking forward to your next seminar! Blessings ...

Ben : Yopo : Dear responsible pagan person :) I'm glad your way isn't a bed of roses. A bed of roses would be like a yogi fakir's bed of nails.

PrairWarur : ~~ Romans 8:12 ~~~~ Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 ** For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 ** because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 ** For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 ** The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17 ** Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

PrairWarur : Good night, young men! Time for this old lady to head down the road a bit. :o) "A piece," right Yopo? LOL! Have a great tomorrow and peace be with you!

Yopo : Ben *hehe* Yeah, I should have specified the thornless variety ... I guess I try to find the common denominator of the various paths people follow.

Yopo : PrairWarur *S* I must get some sleep myself. It is a chilly night, here! I am comfortably tired, from having raked leaves yesterday and today ... A good night to you, and to you, Ben! Rest well!

Ben : PrairWarur : Good night, friend. Sleep well and awaken refreshed.

Ben : Yopo : Good night, amigo. And blessings, as always. *poof*

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