Want To Be Famous?

Posted on 17 February 2018 | No responses

Hildegard von Bingen, Liber Divinorum Operum

Fame has been the ruination of many a fine soul.

First, humility falls away.

Then the capacity to listen withers as their every word is heard and clung to like gems of supreme wisdom.

Then empathy shuts down as the whole world becomes their adoring mirror.

Soon the person within slowly dies as their god-like image takes over.

They do not concern themselves with responsibility for we have made them free from the consequences of wrong-doing.

And so the public transmutes human gold into lead.

If we the people respected ourselves and loved one another more, would we need make such terrible human sacrifices?

In peace and kindness,


NO War Machine!

Posted on 29 January 2018 | No responses

(In Australia we want to be the good guys!)

2017 Invasion Day Rally

Yesterday Malcolm Turnbull announced his government will be setting up a $3.8bn Defence Export Facility to promote the sale of our “defence” equipment overseas. This comes after Turnbull categorically stated in August 2017 that Australia would support the United States in a conflict with North Korea.

There’s a saying that goes: the way to make money during a gold rush is to sell the picks and axes. Turnbull’s position looks to all intents and purposes to be one whereby he is looking to make “Australia Great” through war-profiteering. In a world that is on the brink of self-destruction, what sort of person rubs their hands together gleefully at the thought of all the money to be made through suffering?

I agree with World Vision Australia’s advocate Tim Costello’s assessment: “The government says this is an export and investment opportunity, but we would be exporting death and profiting from bloodshed. There is only one purpose in making a weapon and that is to kill someone with it. Do we really want that to be what people think of when they see the brand ‘made in Australia’?”

Make no mistake this is not a new direction for the Australian government, who already have been participating as a leading broker of arms sales and providing military training for oppressive regimes.

Australians are getting sick and tired of being made the bad guys by a rapacious and militarily chauvinistic government.

Australians say NO!

NO to being torturers of people who through no fault of their own had to flee their countries.

NO to perpetuating the genocide of our indigenous peoples through impoverishment and mistreatment.

NO to bringing about the death of our Great Barrier Reef and our living world by subsidising failing coal and oil industries, while actively hobbling new renewables industries.

NO to the oppression of our young people, and thereby our future, through making housing and higher education inaccessible.

NO to removing financial safety nets such that our rights are abridged through a campaign of fear. “Don’t step out of line, or you’ll be sleeping on the streets.”

NO to allowing the accumulation of wealth into a few hands through privatisation, rather than enforcing the sharing of that wealth through taxation and fair-paying jobs.

NO to taking our tax paid state and national assets meant to be available to all, and ripping them from us without consultation or realistic compensation.

NO to underfunding, or not funding at all, essential services such as hospitals, medical support, schools, dentistry, mental health programs, country firefighting services, etc.

NO to profiting through turning people into killers and giving them the weapons to wreak misery and death.


Make Australia kinder!

That’s the only true greatness worth having.

Support the little battlers! Give everyone a fair go! Show your love for a sunburnt country by preserving it, not laying it to waste!

I want to feel like an Australian hero! Not ashamed of my country.

Let’s become proper heroes.

In Peace,

Katherine Phelps
BA (Hons), MFA, PhD

Compassionate Risks

Posted on 30 December 2017 | No responses

Sunlight on a lake

We are all expected to function without safety nets. Our governments have been bought and paid for to remove anything that might catch our citizens when they lose work, become ill or disabled, or in any way need help.

Those in work are terrified of looking down…so they are often in denial.

Nevertheless, they end up working long hours and without many workplace rights. Their pool of time and compassion is used up. Therefore, they aren’t available to help those less well-off than themselves. We then live in a downward spiral.

At some point people have to find one another and believe they have everything to gain by demanding that our government does its duty of ensuring the general welfare of the populace: not just that of a few wealthy people.

The problem with waiting to do this when people have nothing left to lose is that change can then become violent. Our culture is teaching people to be complacent, risk averse, and short-term thinking: good consumers. We must hold hands and push past this.

Be active, take compassionate risks, work toward a beautiful future as a lifetime pursuit. Most of all find yourself in relationship to humanity and our living world. Those relationships are what will give you the strength to keep walking firmly toward the light.

In peace and kindness,


By The People and For The People

Posted on 28 December 2017 | No responses

Defund DAPL Protest

Seattle City Council CCBY 2.0 January 2017

Corporate owners have worked hard to divest the public of “big” government and government safety nets. The government has been employing fewer and fewer people, especially in fields that are essential services.

This means that corporate owners largely control people’s ability to make a living. They also control the means by which people can even live.

We then get into a dynamic where people do not want to bite the hand that is feeding them. Corporations have successfully taken over as our new governments.

We are now back in the position of having to reclaim and rebuild a government by the people and for the people. We have separated state and religion, we have separated state and military. We must now separate state and business.

In peace and kindness,


The Future Is Inside Out

Posted on 19 December 2017 | No responses

Flowers by Katherine Phelps 2017

When I was growing up I frequently asked myself, “What is the most important thing?”

I was looking for direction and clarity in a chaotic world where I was surrounded by inconsistent parenting and inconsistent social messages. My first answer to the question was my religion. Christianity offered a universal outlook concerning my relationship with myself, others, the world, and all eternity. My second answer was “love”. My religion taught me that was the core of all right action. So, it became my duty to understand my religion, but even more important was to understand the nature of love and thereby better guide my actions.

Before long I found many people, my family included, treated their religion like a club, rather than a system of values. I was taught to hate anyone who isn’t Christian. I was taught to hate anyone who isn’t the right sort of Christian. I was taught to hate people for their politics, their taste in music, their choice of clothes, and more. I at first tried to abide by these strictures.

My family moved frequently from small town to small town. As the new kid in these towns I was an outsider. Many people teach hatred toward outsiders. So I was bullied and ostracised. Of the kids who were left, I could technically only make friends with a very few. I would go through the rules in my head as to who was acceptable and who wasn’t and I felt like I was painting myself into a corner. Worse, I felt like I had to paint myself out of my own corner by these very same rules.

It was time to turn the rules inside out!

It was time to see all the places where I would want to include people. Yes, I still needed to exercise some caution, recognising who was dangerous to my well-being in some manner. Nevertheless, it’s astounding how many people from how many places can be gloriously beautiful human beings!

In these days of imminent catastrophe we are all feeling the need to hate more. We are being to taught to:

Hate people of the Muslim faith
Hate people with religions
Hate people who are atheists
Hate people with the wrong color skin
Hate people with the wrong ethnicity
Hate people who are anti-vaccination
Hate people who are anti-capitalism
Hate people who are pro-socialism
Hate people who are communist
Hate people who are business workers
Hate people who are poor
Hate people who are unemployed
Hate people who are wealthy
Hate people who are from the wrong countries, including the US
Hate people who are fat
Hate people who are fit
Hate people who are pro-life
Hate people who are pro-choice
Hate people who are meat eaters
Hate people who are vegetarians
Hate people who are vegans
Hate people who are pro-environmental
Hate people who are using up the Earth
Hate people who are left-wing
Hate people who are centrist
Hate people who are right-wing
Hate people who are activists
Hate people who are complacent



No grouping of human beings seems to be immune from a felt need to hate. We are drawing each other in such absolutist terms, as if no one can change and no one can grow. This makes apparent solutions to the world’s problems very dangerous indeed.

Aren’t you tired of all the hating? How profoundly dark must your life be, if you have let yourself be sucked into this vortex of fear. Whether our world’s environment collapses or not, the collapse of human kindness will most assuredly mean the end of humankind. Love is not about being nicey-nice and accepting bad behavior. It is about doing the hard work of trying to include everyone and every living being at some level.

These are the lyrics from one of the songs I’ve written for my musical about youth unemployment and homelessness

“I Do Believe”
Katherine Phelps
2017 August 21

I do believe life can be good.
I do believe that people can be good.
I’m told that I’m naïve,
Been tricked and deceived.

I don’t think so…

And yes, I do believe in grace
I do believe that goodwill has its place.
And when they say life is dire,
People consuming fires,

Who are they helping?

…I know suffering finds us at any age.
Hurt ourselves through senseless rage.
Cowards stop looking for the light,
Giving darkness its might.
Behind those clouds are big bright stars,
Each star a burning sun.
Wake up, wake up, so much to be done.

Much to learn and unlearn.
Sometimes change is just a season’s turn.
I’ve lived more experience
Than some have lived in years.
I’ve never forgotten smiles,
Even through all the tears.

I do believe life can be good.
I do believe that people can be good.
I’m told that I’m naïve
Been tricked and deceived

I don’t think so.

In peace and kindness,


Business Carol

Posted on 19 December 2017 | No responses

Scrooge and Jacob Marley's Ghost

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!

― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Artistic Hype Cycle

Posted on 18 December 2017 | No responses

Quantum computing chip
In technology there’s a thing known as the “hype cycle”. It has to do with the progression of new technologies into public use. It seems to me this applies to new talent as well.

  1. The trigger: a technological breakthrough or a successful first outing as a performer.
  2. Peak of inflated expectations: people get over-excited by the potential. Performers may experience ego-inflation.
  3. Trough of disillusionment: reality sets in. The technology doesn’t provide the expected magic. Performers find they don’t just get rich and famous.
  4. Slope of enlightenment: people start recognising the real benefit of a technology. Performers start recognising where respect is genuinely due and are ready to do some real work.
  5. Plateau of productivity: a technology is picked up by the mainstream. Performers become a solid part of the artistic community, creating and getting recognition, whether or not they attain “rich and famous”.

I’ve seen friends come out with a first book or gain a role in a television show who suddenly fly up to the rafters cawing: “I’m going to be famous forever!” If they then do not put in the work to support that new found visibility, their fame evaporates. You have to keep producing work that is of value to your public. Should their interest wane, you keep at it: improving your skills and working harder to create works of real soul and integrity. In this way your public will eventually return to you, because they trust your vision.

In peace and kindness,


Love Is Not Capitalist

Posted on 16 December 2017 | No responses

Hugging someone in a disaster zone.

Some years ago I founded a writer’s group. At the foundation the members discussed how to ensure our group was as useful as it could be for each of us. We decided to place an upper limit on our membership of twelve people. That way everyone would have the opportunity to be critiqued at least once every year, preferably twice.

This was a purely practical decision. Of course with that limit we would need a system to vet new members, since we only had a few remaining places. We then put together a set of guidelines for determining who would be compatible with our group.

Between those two decisions our group created something of a stir. We were seen as exclusive and therefore a desirable group in which to gain membership. Every week I had to sort through numbers of applications. I had people angry with me for not letting them in. I kept repeating, “Nothing says you can’t form another group.” We had gained status because we rejected people. It was crazy.

NPD Love

Love is an important way that we relate to ourselves, one another, and the planet. Currently what this planet needs most is more love. Sadly, love is used as a commodity, an enticement, and a weapon, thereby not being love at all. We rightly worry about fake news, of even greater concern is fake love and the consequences of real love lost.

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will draw others in with something known as “lovebombing”. They will flatter you, they will shower you with affection, they will give you all the attention they want for themselves. If you have experienced a deficit of love in your life, it is very easy to be caught up with their show. The problem is they don’t have a lot of self-respect. Therefore the moment you offer them genuine love, what is going on in the back of their minds is that your love can’t be worth very much if you love them. You are therefore not worthy of respect. You are only valuable as a resource to be used.

If after making a connection with such a personality you try to walk away, suddenly you are a precious commodity because your rejection shows in their minds that you are more worthy of respect. If they manage to lure you back, you will just be converted once more into their tool.

From Cool Kids to Lovebombing Companies

Sadly, we see elements of this throughout our society. We have people who manage to take up the role of “the cool kid”. Others are terrified of their judgement, but feel empowered when they can gain the scant approval available from the cool kid. The cool kid’s love is doled out insincerely by the eyedropper full and this causes people to crave what they have to offer. Rock stars, journalists, successful artists, and high-flying businessmen are all good at playing the cool kid game.

Some companies will advertise about how special you are and what loving care they will offer you if you just give them your money. However, when you enter their business you find employees with forced smiles, who are underpaid and under-respected, offering you shoddy goods. They will find ways to get you hooked, while offering you less than your time and money deserves. Insurance companies are notorious for this.

From parents to presidents we have people who will do the most destructive things while saying, “I do this because I love you.”

What Do You Mean by Love?

All of this is enough to drive people into a cynicism that says there is no such thing as love. Some may take a less strident position that simply believes that it’s too dangerous to trust anyone’s offers of love.

Deeply disturbing is how few people understand what love really can be. It’s why I end my messages with words like “in peace and kindness” in order to help people understand that I am doing my best to offer love…the real thing, by using descriptors of that sort of love.

As a child I thought love was the warm feeling I held toward my family and friends. I had been taught by my religion that I was to extend love to everyone, but I couldn’t make myself feel the same way I felt about those closest to me. This became a particularly fraught activity when my feelings toward my family became more complicated. Romantic love can be even more tangled as all our emotional needs come to the fore, and what we call love can be barely controlled rage.

Of Love and Respect

Our society tells us that the most basic love is love of self. It would be true to say that someone with a genuine and healthy love of themselves would be better equipped to genuinely offer healthy love. What our society sells us as self love is in fact vanity and narcissism. Why? Because vain narcissistic people can be easily manipulated to buy goods and vote for toxic leaders.

True love starts with respect.

Vanity says, “Do it if it makes you feel good: take the drugs, over-indulge, over-spend, etc.” People find themselves caught in self-destructive behaviour.

Self-respect says: “Do it if it contributes to your general well-being: exercise, take part in community activities, live modestly, etc.” Respect for others says, “Do that which is mutually beneficial, give one another freedom to choose, generously offer kindness, and always wish others well.” Respect for our living world says, “Walk lightly on this planet: use only what you need, tend to the needs of other living beings, be grateful for what this planet has given you.”

This is not the sort of respect that demands obedience. This is the respect that comes from true concern, and as it is offered expands upon the pool of love, making it more valuable through abundance rather than a lethal scarcity. We are all so much safer when we offer one another goodwill, friendship, kindness, and respect. We are more likely to have a physical safety net and enjoy the benefits of emotional security. Lamentably, some people will see these things as weaknesses and will try to manipulate us using mock formulations that look something like love.

The Future Belongs to Love

This is where we cannot afford to be naive. Respectful love will not accept that which is injurious emotionally or physically to self, others, or this planet. Respectful love will stand strong and hold firm against destructive forces without resorting to destruction itself. That’s how appropriate action distinguishes itself from hateful action.

We must go out with the sort of solid dedication to love found in some doctors, nurses, veterinarians, and firefighters, not the crazed fury of warriors, to ensure we have a future. Love is a powerful force which will reform this planet, if we let it.

With all my heart,


Dear Roboticists: a favor

Posted on 9 December 2017 | No responses

Silent Running robots

Silent Running (movie) 1972

I am both a nerd girl and a nature girl.

I was swept away along with all the other kids in 1969 when American astronauts landed on the moon. I remember eating the astronaut breakfast bars, drinking the astronaut Tang, and lusting after the astronaut pens. My mother was a Trekkie and we would watch every episode of Star Trek as a family to get our fix of what a wonderful future we had in front of us.

I also remember watching the movie Silent Running directed by Douglas Trumbull only three years later. I was nine years old. As a nerd girl I spent a lot of time by myself. Frequently I would walk out to where I could sit in nature, watch the animals, and scribble in my journal. I wrote down poems, personal thoughts, and bad Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe fan fiction. My other family became those plants and animals I bonded with in my after school time. Silent Running hit me hard. I was sympathetic with both the robots and the last Earthly ecosystem adrift in space. The protagonist was an upsetting but understandable figure, trying to rescue Earth’s other children with the help of his little robot friends.

In the 1980s I watched the equally moving film Laputa: Castle in the Sky directed by Hayao Miyazaki. In this film we also have a robot whose purpose is to protect the wildlife on its floating island. The most iconic scene from that film is when the robot offers the child Sheeta a flower.

Laputa: Castle in the Sky - robot offering flower to Sheeta

Laputa: Castle in the Sky (movie) 1986

Right now our living world is in grave danger from the fall out of Global Climate Change. People talk about how jobs are disappearing due to the rise of robotics. However, I keep thinking that this must mean we have more people with more time to help rehabilitate the planet. Even so, we need help to do as much as we can as quickly as we can. Surely, we have people who would relish the chance to create robots like those in Silent Running and Laputa to help rescue the natural world?

When I see news about “cool” new robots for military applications such as these “dogs”, I feel chilled to the bone. I find them terrifying and a complete waste of human intellect.

Military BigDog robots

BigDog robots trot around in the shadow of an MV-22 Osprey while given commands via remote control at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., June 26, 2006. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is considering plans such as weaponizing the BigDog robots…

We can be so much better than this. Where are the builders of appropriate technology? Where are the builders of inspirational technology? Where are the builders for creating a bright new world where economies and starvation are a thing of the past, and a lush world teaming with life is still possible? Don’t for one moment throw at me the names of millionaires and billionaires whose egos are larger than their genuine green credentials. They are not the future. We are the future: just like in Star Trek.

So who is going to start building these robots? Please start straight away. We need you.

In peace and kindness,


My robotic wishlist:

  • Robots that clean up the space debris circling around in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
  • Robots that clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
  • Robots whereby endangered animals can be protected from poachers.
  • Robots that reverse ocean deoxygenation…

Please help me add to this list!

Singing Songs of Love

Posted on 1 December 2017 | No responses

Baby bonobo

CCBY 7 March 2011 Rudolphous Becker

What do you do when the world comes crashing around your ears?
You sing songs of love to it.

When you look deep into people’s eyes,
Think of how few generations have passed before you are related.

When you look at the beings that walk and crawl upon the Earth,
The beings that fly in the air,
The beings that swim in the sea,
Know that not that long ago you too are related.

Back to the tiniest amoeba
Spawned by stone soup,
Kissed by lightning,
We must find finally that
We are all family.

We are all family.

What do we do when the world comes crashing around our ears?
We hold hands
And sing songs of love among ourselves.

In peace and kindness,


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