Readers' Forum

""Love inspired"

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!

Marilyn Lovell

Paw Paw, West Virginia


"Sustaining hope"

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.

Brian Reeves

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.

Merry Carlstedt

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


"Synergistic technologies"

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

want tomorrow.

Rick  Ingrasci

Clinton, Washington


"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


"Adding discussion"

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!

Kali  Kaliche

Williams, Arizona


"Shady dealings"

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

certification labels.

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.

David  Mitchell

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:; 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

Nashville, Tennessee


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