YES! #4, Sustainable Sex is wonderful!!!! From the concept to the title; from
"Girls' Initiation" to "Sex Over 60"; from sacred sex to love beyond sex; all
of it is most readable, thought-provoking, and inspiring. You and A Journal
of Positive Futures are like sex - great, and you just keep getting better!
Paw Paw, West Virginia
What each of you at YES! is doing is the gift of gifts. It takes supreme
strength of individual and organizational character to seek out and then
promote the positive.
It is often so much easier (and even perversely delightful!) to sing our song
of woes, give up, and just wait for the world to self-destruct.
What you do demonstrates that wonderful human ability to sustain hope. For
you to declare that the various individual, human successes and efforts you
discover are part of a rising movement gives me the hope and the
determination to persevere in my own efforts. Thank you.
Santa Rosa, New Mexico
"Taking a breath"
The Winter '97/'98 issue sold me on the value of subscribing to YES!
In 1960, I became pregnant out of wedlock and had a son. At the insistence of
my family, I adopted him out in order that I "forget" about him. I could not
In 1990, I searched for and found him. Relations have been anything but
smooth since I did so. However, he did invite me to his wedding two years
ago, and last June he sent me a picture of his newborn son. I'm thrilled!
But I have a problem: long before my son was born, I craved touch. As you say
in your article, "How much of our yearning for sex is actually a yearning to
be held and cherished?
"What would it take for us to fully inhabit our bodies, without feeling
shameful or guilty? What if there was no scarcity of touch?"
Anyway, I read with passion and celebration most of the journal. Praise God
for people like you, Sam Keen, Rabbi Schachter, and the others who helped me
to see another way. Wow -~I can breathe easy for the first time in 38 years.
Santa Rosa, California
"A quiet mind"
I agree with the letter written to you by Miyoko Sakashita (YES! #4, Winter
'97/'98) in response to the article, "Transformation in Cyberspace." I, too,
hold deep skepticism that the "transformative potential of cyberspace" will
be used in a positive manner. How we are told to think about cyberspace is
the epitome of how we have been told to think about technology in general:
technology (television, automobiles, computers, etc.) will make our lives
much better. Yet those who tell us how to think about technology usually have
a large stake in its economic success.
As I read this particular article, I was especially appalled at the idea that
Wired editor Kevin Kelly offers regarding a heads-up map display on your car
windshield. You "pay" for the service by listening to little advertising
rhymes, which you then can't get out of your head. "But they beat getting
lost," he says.
Speak for yourself, Mr. Kelly. I'm trying to quiet my mind.
David C. Ergo
Santa Rosa, California
I read the article on cyber-community by Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz in your
Fall '97 issue with great interest, because I, too, am deeply involved in the
use of new communications technologies for personal and social
transformation. I also noticed the letter by Miyoko Sakashita (YES! #4,
Winter '97/'98) taking you to task for printing this article since, in
Miyoko's opinion, cyberspace cannot possibly be used for ecospiritual
I have a word of advice for technophobes who insist on viewing technology as
the enemy -~Get over it! We are rapidly evolving into a new form of
organization -~the network society -~that is creating a new socio-biological
identity. Rather than complaining about how alienating and unnatural our
technologies are (an incredibly disempowered stance), we need to recognize
the synergistic power of global interconnectivity to help us create a
sustainable culture. The environmental movement is a global social movement
that needs a strong sense of cultural identity in order to succeed, and
virtual communities that embody the values matrix of sustainability clearly
have a role to play in this process.
While it is certainly true that all tools have their shadow side, I believe
that we can find ways to live in balance with the new media we are creating.
The consciousness with which these communications tools are used can produce
new forms of community that will allow all forms of life to flourish.
Virtual intentional community development may be a spiritual discipline that
many of us will need to practice in the next millennium. I'd suggest that we
begin mastering these powerful tools today to create the kind of world we
"From the hip"
I am writing regarding your very timely, well-researched, and "shot from the
hip" interview with Sam Keen, "The Loving Arts" (YES! #4, Winter '97/'98).
I am at a loss for words! As a massage therapist and a lover of life, I agree
with you both 100% and beyond. As a society, we are out of touch. At least
some of us choose to remain in touch.
I'm so proud of you both for bringing this much needed subject to the
surface. Four stars from my family to you. Here's a big hug from us here in
our dome home in rural Arkansas.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
I have recently finished the Winter '97/'98 issue of YES! Thank you for the
quality of the journal.
Concerning your introductory essay, "Integral Sex," may I add to the
discussion? To claim that "modern liberalism has created the conditions for
the gross exploitation of sex" via gross advertising ignores the worldwide
history of human power.
The selling of sex, sexuality, and sexual power as symbols of material
success is not modern. Our global history is fat with abducted queens, lists
of concubines, mistresses, courtesans, nubile slaves, and lithe attendants
used as proof of one's monetary, political, or military position.
Having an attractive date has always been an advertisement of personal
prestige. The arrival of broadcast and electronic media has simply widened
the range of social classes who participate in this sexual form of success
This may be part of our conquesting, patriarchal legacy, but it is nothing
new. It is, bluntly, an historical privilege, the spoils of war, and the
pastime of the ruling classes. It creates destructive systems.
Discovering these ignorant tendencies and rooting them out is difficult work,
but extremely rewarding. May YES! continue to support this good work!
In the Indicators section of the Winter '97/'98 issue, you quote a Seattle
Times article about shade-grown coffee and its importance to migratory bird
habitat. The article says there are no labels for shade-grown coffee, and
that's not the case.
The Rainforest Alliance sponsors the "Eco-OK" label, which is used for coffee
and other produce. Used with coffee, it certifies that the coffee is
shade-grown. And both the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and Seattle
Audubon Society are in the process of establishing criteria for shade-grown
Whenever you buy coffee, ask if it's shade-grown. And while you're at it, ask
if it's fair-traded as well. Fair-trade programs ensure that the farmer is
paid a price that reflects her costs plus a profit.
West Blakely, Washington
Editor's Note: Although the Eco-OK label does certify coffee as shade-grown,
it does not guarantee that the coffee has been grown without pesticides. For
more information on the Eco-OK label, write: Eco-OK, 65 Bleecker St., 6th
Floor, New York, NY 10012; 212/677-1900; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.
I would like to express my deep appreciation and happiness for the existence
and continuing evolution of YES!, the Positive Futures Network, and the
informal network it/we are creating among the readers. Having such a
publication -~which energizes and informs me with each issue - helps us all
express, inform, learn, and continue the process of creating the positive
future we are working for.
Howard Connell III