Justice Holds the Broken Tenderly

Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, January 9th. Her crime seems to me to echo the extreme brutality she endured throughout her own life. She experienced rape more times than can be counted, including gang rapes by her stepfather’s friends, sodomy, and being sold for sex with people such as the plumber and electrician by her mother when work was needed in their home. Her stepfather built a special room where she could be raped more often and more easily. She was smothered to silence her screaming, she suffered a concussion, was beaten with cords, and urinated on. Her mother put a gun to her head. She would also duct tape her daughter’s mouth shut as punishment, and Lisa was required to be naked and silent among her parent’s friends. As a young adult, she was forced into a marriage by her mother where she continued to… Continue reading

Drones, Betrayal, Truth & Complicity: A Conversation

A rich and very personal conversation took place surrounding a concern that arose in the publishing of Matthew IV: Compassion – A Radical Critique. Of the two speakers in the beginning, Kim is the artist who began this Justice Conversation site and has been publishing the articles. Bill is the author of an extended essay, “What is Justice?” which has been running on this site as “Matthew,” a reference to Bill’s stepson who was murdered on the street in San Francisco in 2008. Kim and Bill have a 15-year relationship and used to work together in her studio, and it is due to this, that the conversation was able to take place with such detail and honesty. The final speaker at the end is an unnamed person, A_____ who was asked to respond to the piece, in order to help evaluate the concern. BETWEEN BILL AND KIM: KIM, Feb 21… Continue reading

Matthew Part III: We Are Not Innocent

“Your grandmother was not teaching me how to behave in class. She was teaching me how to ruthlessly interrogate the subject that elicited the most sympathy and rationalization—myself. Here was the lesson: I was not an innocent.”                                                  –Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Between the World and Me,” 2015 By the time Matthew was murdered in 2008 I had been “ruthlessly” interrogating myself for thirteen years. I am not entirely sure how I came to this excruciating effort by which I had gradually come to know myself—to know that “I was not an innocent”— to accept responsibility for the harm I had done to those I had thought to love. But three days after the murder, I awoke and for a precious moment or two I had forgotten that Matt was dead. After the realization that he was gone hit me, as I lay in a liminal state—half-awake/half-asleep—I saw that I had… Continue reading

Love is the Light of the Sight

Journey Through the Planes

The following is a teaching of the Sufi master, Hazrat Inayat Khan,  contributed by artist and Sufi retreat guide, Mary Risala Laird. “There are moral principles taught to mankind by various teachers, by many traditions, one differing from the other, which are like separate drops coming out of the fountain. But when we look at the stream, we find there is but one stream, although it turns into several drops on falling. There are many moral principles, just as many drops fall from one fountain; but there is one stream that is at the source of all, and that is love. It is love that gives birth to hope, patience, endurance, forgiveness, tolerance, and to all moral principles. All deeds of kindness and beneficence take root in the soil of the loving heart. Generosity, charity, adaptability, an accommodating nature, ever renunciation, are the offspring of love alone. The great, rare… Continue reading

Book Review: ‘The Desire for Mutual Recognition – Social Movements and the Dissolution of the False Self’ – Peter Gabel

Image showing book cover

Contributed by Elaine Quinn, editor of The Conscious Lawyer This review first appeared in the online magazine, The Conscious Lawyer, vol IV, October 2018. You can purchase this book through Routledge Taylor & Francis Group or through your favorite bookseller. “…our original longing from birth [is] to be seen by the other in a way that fully recognizes our humanity and our longing to simultaneously affirm our recognition of the other in the same way.” (Chapter 3, page 58) Before reading any further, take a moment to sit and look at the striking portrait below. This unusual and powerful invitation is one made to the reader in the first chapter of the book. It is an invitation that perhaps experientially captures the essence of what the author wants to convey – the experience of being truly recognized by a fully present human being, of deepening into our own natural presence… Continue reading