The Supreme Court Unravels America

Democracy began to decline when corporations were granted personhood decades ago. Last week, the Supreme Court put another nail into its coffin. Although Capitalism has often been used synonymously with Democracy, our inability to differentiate between the two has caused a cataclysmic rift in the principles upon with this country was founded.

1229466_dollar_signAlthough corporations, man-made entities that serve as the machines of our financial economy, have been given the rights of personhood, they do not possess the true qualities of a person, and can therefore not understand the human economies of emotion, spirituality, independent will, and abstract thinking. Their initiation into American politics has clinched our devotion to finance as our primary goal, and greed as our primary motivation.

By giving one of our creations the ability to dictate the outcome of our political discussion, we have set ourselves up as the gods of our own destinies without fully understanding how to even master ourselves. The Supreme Court’s decision has forever changed the face of Democracy and is slowly ushering in the age of Fascism in America.

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Joseph Campbell and the Ordinary World

Joseph CampbellJoseph Campbell via

A few years ago, I was introduced to Joseph Campbell through a PBS special titled The Power of Myth, hosted by Bill Moyers. In the program, Campbell discussed ideas from his book A Hero with a Thousand Faces and what he calls “The Hero’s Journey.”

As Campbell puts it, ” A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

George Lucas stated that his inspiration for Star Wars was highly influenced by the teachings of Joseph Campbell, and if you are to look at most of the movies ever made, you will be able to pick out the stages that Campbell describes. The McAllister Code is my Hero’s Journey, and it is my hope that it will provide you with a boon to take you to whichever ‘next level’ you are seeking.

There have been a few derivations on these stages as the information has been disseminated, but I think that this is the most complete accounting.

The Ordinary World
The Call to Adventure
Refusal of the Call
Meeting of a Mentor
Crossing the First Threshold
Belly of the Whale
Tests, Allies, and Enemies
Mother as Goddess
Woman as Temptress
Approach to the Inmost Cave
Reconciliation with the Father
The Supreme Ordeal
Reward for Seizing the Sword
The Road Back
Return with the Elixir

According to Joseph Campbell, every Hero’s Journey begins in the Ordinary World. This involves the status quo that he faces every day. Luke Skywalker’s dirt farming on Tattooine. Frodo’s unremarkable life in the Shire. Neo’s oblivion to the Matrix. It is the place from whence we all come that compels us to where we must go.

The Ordinary World, though possibly filled with comfort and security, carries with it a banality that we know is not our full potential. We know there is more that we are capable of and we know that there is more that the world has to offer.

What is your Ordinary World? Perhaps you feel as if you are just going through the motions. Perhaps you feel unchallenged by your current profession. Perhaps you feel trapped. Perhaps you just have a deep knowing that there is more to life than you are presently experiencing.

Rest well in knowing that this is the first step of your Journey. Next comes the Call to Adventure.

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Hero with a Thousand Faces

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In the Beginning was the Word

In the beginning was the Word, or so it says. When I was an EFC (Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian), it was assumed that the Word we referring to Jesus. The literal interpretation of the Word in question was from the word logos meaning truth. It was a much simpler task to rely upon the idea of Jesus being the truth, and putting all of my cares upon a savior, and to this day I do not dispute the fact that Jesus was the truth made flesh. He embodied all that a man could be, and did things which no other man could.

However, the more difficult task of the spiritual aspirant, truly anyone who seeks truth, is to seek it in one’s own life. And the truth is that in order for any of us to truly become all that we are capable of, to embody all that we can be, to do things that no other man can do, including the people that we have historically been, we must come to the truth about our being. Continue reading

Dr. King's Beloved Community

I looked through the eyes of John Wesley Dobbs, a statue of his face at the corner of Sweet Auburn and Fort Street to see shadows of the overpass fall on chipped paint pool halls and boarded up windows. I walked with Dr. King decades too late – as I usually am – and found few people lined up to remember him. With open admission to the museum in his honor, I’d found something free, at last, and there weren’t many there to enjoy it. His memorial brought tears to my eyes, as I thought of the sacrifices he made so that people could go stand in line and pay six dollars to learn the history of Coke without being discriminated against. I found it sad that people would rather pay to revel in commercialism than pay nothing for the history of freedom. I knelt at the eternal flame, praying for the “beloved community” the man who was laid to rest on the reflecting pool behind me had died for and begged God to send him back. Dr. King now rests on a reflecting pond for a reason – so that we may constantly reflect back on the words he said and the truths he spoke and apply them to our lives today.

This is an excerpt of The Rucksack Letters by Steve McAllister. your copy of the eBook now.

Is our response to terrorism Proactive?

150px-The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_PeopleAs I am reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and blogging about it at The McAllister Code, I feel inclined to measure my society by how well we are implementing them. I have read the book before, but obviously never fully integrated it into my life. However, now the habits seem to be forming more organically and I am seeing the way that these same habits are going to play an integral role in the coming paradigm of modern society. Hopefully, as they become more apparent to me, they will also become more apparent to my world.

In writing about the first habit of Being Proactive, Stephen Covey points out the difference between being proactive and being reactive. Proactive refers to how you act upon your principles and choose your reaction to whatever stimulus comes your way. Reactive is when your circumstances dictate your behavior for you.

When I look back over the last decade, of course the biggest decision I can think of was the decision to go to war with two different countries as a response to the stimulus of the attacks on 9/11. Was this response proactive or reactive?

Of course, the initial answer is that it was reactive in that it was done as a reaction to an event. However, any action taken after an event can be seen as a reaction to it. Whether we had fought, shrugged out shoulders, or curled up in a ball and died, these would all be reactions. But how did our principles play into our reaction? Were our actions proactive bases upon the values we hold most dear?

The values of America, if I’m not mistaken, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There are all sorts of sub-values in there, if you will, but I think those three sum them up pretty well. At least, that’s what Thomas Jefferson thought. No matter how I look at the matter of our reaction to 9/11, I don’t see our military actions of the last ten years as largely based upon these American principles. One might argue that you can’t simply strive for life, liberty, and happiness when you are under threat. However, wouldn’t doing otherwise just be reactive? If we don’t act out the values of life, liberty, and happiness, aren’t our behaviors just being mandated by terrorism?

I’ll be the first to admit that I was no admirer of our previous president. Yet like many Americans, I held great hope in the change that was promised with the present president. Nevertheless, looking at his decision to ramp up activity in Afghanistan, I again have to wonder if our behavior is proactive or reactive.

I wonder what values will guide us through the next decade.

We Once Were Poets

We once were poets
young spirits gazing
through scruffy faces
and shiny glint eyes
allowing the muse to scream
with reckless abandon
as her song echoed
through our heats
through our minds
through our fingers
as we bled inken souls
onto whatever scratch of paper
we could find

Oh, the life my heart knew
when its beat was felt
through my chest
through my mouth
through my fingers
and out my toes
it is such a treasured day
where I bear occasion
to feel that way again

When the song of Wind
the rhythm of Earth
the percussion of Fire
the melody of Water
and the voice of God
in the silence between them
blending the arrangement
into an orchestra
so mighty
and subtle
that sometimes
and is often
never heard

Sometimes on a lazy Sabbath
when a light shines through
from a torch in a hand
extending the birth of creation
I am thankful that poets
never die
they just stop writing

Write the World