Common Ground December 2019 Issue

December 2019 – February 2020

Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise Issue

It’s a new decade. Hard to believe more than 20 years have elapsed since we sang Prince’s 1999 into the new century (Prince has our Last Words). Our pictorial, “New Decade: New Beginnings,” features images and quotes about the joy of awakening into something new. We wish everyone profound happiness.

Our main interviewee, Jackie Speier, is a profile in courage and resilience. Forty-one years ago she was a 28-year-old legal aide accompanying
Congressman Leo Ryan on a fact-finding mission to Jonestown, Guyana.
Jackie tells the harrowing story of first visiting the People’s Temple compound and then being ambushed by gunmen at the nearby jungle airstrip. Jackie was shot five times and pretended to be dead; Ryan did die, having been shot 45 times. With no medical attention for 22 hours, Jackie conceded to death—which didn’t come. A devout Catholic, she vowed that if
she survived she would dedicate the rest of her life to public service.

Later that day, cult leader Jim Jones orchestrated the mass murder of
918 followers, including babies and children. Most all were coerced or
forced to ingest cyanide-laced Kool-Aid—giving rise to the expression
“drink the Kool-Aid.” Read how Jackie has gone on to champion the underdog in politics and overcome several tragedies. Jackie now represents
the 14th District (the same seat Congressman Ryan occupied), which
includes parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. A prominent
member of the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees, she
has taken active part in the presidential impeachment hearings.

Michelle Leopold is a Marin mom, a personal friend, who only weeks
ago lost her 18-year-old son to an inadvertent Fentanyl overdose. A brave
crusader against gun violence and the youth drug epidemic, she is also
battling cancer. Poignant story.

Rupert Sheldrake provides a wonderful essay about animal telepathy,
while Jeff Foster teaches his special brand of grounded wisdom in “Closer
to Heaven, Closer to the Mud.” Rabbi Tirzah Firestone shares her work on
epigenetics, the passing along of intergenerational wisdom and wounds.
Sandi Mann describes “Imposter Syndrome” and offers a quiz to gauge
whether we qualify.

Travis Ruskus shares his beautiful local art-meditation of rock balancing while Lindsay Wood describes her downsizing odyssey in “Tiny
Homes: A Go-Small Trend on the Rise.” As we’re going to press we’ve
learned that Los Angeles just became the biggest city to legally accommodate tiny houses.

I had my first experience speaking to a channel, in an attempt to get
some predictions for 2020. I first spoke normally with Sheila Gillette, a
woman based in Arizona who allegedly suffered a near-death experience
giving birth in 1969—which prompted the first of many subsequent visitations of 12 archangelic beings collectively known as THEO. Apparently
when summoned the angels take over her body and vocal cords to serve
as messengers. It was startling to have Sheila’s mellifluous voice suddenly
convert to a syntactically unusual robot-speak, but I proceeded to ask
for predictions ranging from the presidential election/impeachment to
climate change. The responses were optimistic. We shall see.

As ever, please show your appreciation of Common Ground by patronizing our ad sponsors—the best. And please consider becoming an advertiser yourself.

May all beings on all planes be happy,


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