8 Answers 4 eris -- love, Willi Paul
1) Have you ever had a profound Spiritual experience? Explain.

My current vision quest via PlanetShifter.com, or as you wish to call it, a spiritual experience, is my most important altReality come to ground to date. Others works include the electronic charrette (http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk/planning/articles11/ec.htm) and green community tv: video demo 1 and video demo 2:


As the Event Circle interview set grows (http://www.planetshifter.com/node/56), options to teach, challenge and change increase. Thus the art of the initiation unfolds. Joseph Campbell (see: http://www.willipaul.com/rockmyth/rockmusic.htm) asks us to take to the road to learn what the future may need and return with the mythic stories that we all can benefit from. I am an initiator.

PlanetShifter.com has returned so much more than stories: LAO from GreenLoc, CA - A Story for Our Youth (http://www.planetshifter.com/node/1101), the site is ripe with multiple Green creative visions from our members and will continue to be an organic Light in the midst of the greatest transition in the history of human.

2) How does your Spiritual Life inform your work as an Environmentalist?

These "lives" are intertwined and stem from my faith in the Earth as a living experiment and teaching space. As one is more action-oriented, the other supports the belief that there is another place to go after this life ends. The connecting glue between the two is stewardship, ala John Muir and Paul Hawken.

3) I believe Utopia begins within the heart and soul of each individual. And as role-models for a sustainable world, it is critical that we be actively engaged in the inner health of our mind, body, and soul. What do you, Willi Paul, do to create a healthy environment within yourself? For example, what do you do for your mind? Body? Soul?

I have reduced my carbon footprint to near zero by selling my natural gas van and walking, biking and BARTing. I believe that this reduction is increasing my karmic reservoir!

I head-out around Lake Merritt almost every night that I'm in town for exercise and reflection.

I pray for guidance with some powerful angels who surround me at my work desk including Paramahansa Yogananda, St. Matthew, Abe Lincoln, Sai Baba and the Goddess.

I stay out of the bars, off the TV and maintain a pretty strict bed time. Food wise - much less red meat and sugar, reduced coffee intake and a steady stream of leftovers.

Music soothes me constantly, propels me. I just bought a viola so I can electrify my heart with strings and an amp.

4) Every Shaman must pass through the valley of death before assuming his/her full power. What does your valley look like? And what is the wisdom it gives you?

As a young man I was battered by the devil hands of undiagnosed manic depression. This condition, now safely leveled and monitored, is both the hell and the heaven in the valley of my life. You could say that I have had a series of art visions, falls and redemptions -- and many, many near death experiences. Weird theatre on the road to Now. Thank God for my family.

The resulting wisdom is a multiple emotional tattoo book interspersed by times of growth and innovation.

As to your reference to "shaman," that's not a title I can subscribe to myself. My love and community deeds are the keys to each day and to the next life; wisdom is not declared on a marquee or screened on a tee shirt in my view.

5) Do you ever cry?

I will cry at sentimental movies (alone!) and when I get flush with a poem that I am writing. I hurt / cry inside sometimes - as I hold the emotion in - but no tears show up.

6) You just told me about the wisdom gained from your valleys and depression moments of growth, innovation, and visionary artistry. What if someone was to tell you that depression and mental illness is a myth. It is a conspiracy created by the pharmaceutical corporations and the old scientific paradigm in order to squelch your spirit, keep you from evolving and enslave to the monetary system - from which these large organizations can profit greatly off you and the rest of society. What do you say to that? Would you be willing to change your myth about yourself? Would you be willing to see yourself not as someone who needs to be monitored, but as someone who is experiencing the growing pains of the emerging consciousness that is our future if we are to survive?

I love the spunk and conviction in your rant / question but I have a chemical imbalance that took me for wild rides in regular cycles for many years. Unfortunately you cannot see the experiences that I have had. I will not change the "myth about myself" nor change course in any way! In a large degree, I see my fucked-up my DNA as the best reason to work extremely hard for a safer, cleaner and saner future.

7) There is an increase of kids being diagnosed with new physiological challenges every day -- ADD, Bi-Polar, Manic depression, Autism, etc. Having been one of these kids, is there some kind of encouragement you can give that will help them? Is there perhaps a gift in all this, you would like to share?

Yes. Two very simple and caring things: make sure the diagnosis is correct, get the right doctor, the right medicine and consider the altReality a gift. There are many good things in "bad" frames.

8) As a balanced male leader, how do you embrace the feminine in yourself and in others? Or do you?

I often stop and ask myself quietly about my present activity or interaction, in an attempt to get past self-interest and to a place of mutual benefit and empathy. Politically, I am trying to focus my feminism into a daily practice by getting past the "opening the door for her" or "picking up the check" stuff to a place where my lustful glares and body type bias' are no longer driving my head and heart. The latter mandate is very difficult indeed.