5/27 – 7/15
Team expansion: You who follow our ongoings may remember that this past February we put out a call for a new hired position with L/L Research, what (for lack of better term) we titled an Operations Specialist who would work alongside Austin, Gary, and Trish in the daily operation of L/L Research. As we described in past blogworthy reports, we received over 35 applications from around the country!
It was a first for us, and it was a difficult selection process as many of the applicants had gifts to offer the organization and the readership. After a substantial collaborative process of engaging both the analytical and intuitive gears, we narrowed down the field to a handful with whom we conducted interviews. And then Jim, Trish, Gary, and Austin in consensus landed on two with whom we held final interviews.
The one to fill the Operations Specialist role was an unknown to us, this being our first contact with her, but she had a resume and portfolio that not only checked nearly every box, her bright heart and authenticity of spiritual seeking and service were also glowingly evident in her beingness. She has been a joy to work with, catching onto everything quickly, intelligent and witty, master of puns, a great organizer and communicator, and, thanks to a life of various hardships, deeply empathetic to the suffering of others. Now that she has completed her 3-month probationary period and has settled in with us for the long haul, we are happy to introduce to you the amazing Joanna Burns! Please welcome her onto the team!
The role was originally designed to include managing L/L Research events. But among the 35 applicants was a particular soul who has been attending L/L Research events for 20 years and who thus understood the spirit and practicalities of our events. Consequently, from the Operations Specialist we split off an Event Manager role for that and other reasons. A guest on our podcast in 2020, she rose and resurrected from the dark trenches of life and substance abuse into a self-forgiven person who is single-pointedly dedicated to growth and service, including through volunteer work to help other women struggling with substance abuse. She also has one of the most forgiving hearts we’ve ever encountered. Strong in the ways of will and faith, and a longtime dear friend of ours and the organization, and a past volunteer, we are happy to introduce to you the incredible Tiffani Mauldin! Please welcome her onto the team!
Whereas Joanna devotes her time to L/L Research as a regular staff member, Tiffani works on an as-needed basis for helping with the production of events as Gary guides her in taking up the reins, which has been quite a lot lately as we are conducting three of them in August and September.
And then last but not least, if you’ve been following L/L Research at all, you’ve heard of the name Daniel spoken in tones of reverence. He is the entity who fulfilled and exceeded our vision of a new library site at LLResearch.org by gifting the organization his web development skills and blending in his own vision. As mentioned in news bulletin for the launch of the new website last year, Daniel volunteered for two years working intensively before we got him to accept some compensation for his service. Since the launch of the site, his efforts have not decreased. Every week he is working with us and working on the website, bringing his own initiative and leadership to constant improvement and innovation. Our collaboration for over three years now has been seamless and, surprisingly, because we’re all humans, frictionless.
The most unifying thread for these three people, along with the rest of L/L Research’s staff and volunteers, is a sincere love for the Law of One and Confederation philosophy.
You can now meet the expanded team on the updated About page! We are honored and grateful to be working with these other-selves.
Channeling Circles: The channeling circle continues gathering in Jim’s living room semi-monthly to receive messages from the Confederation. It is always a volunteer service, happening outside of our regular work hours. We were only able to meet once in May this time, and the sessions from June are still in the transcription pipeline and being tended to by our amazing volunteer transcribers. Thanks to Daniel P. for transcribing this one!
Ra Contact YouTube: Trish, with some input and support from Austin, continued on with the steady task of creating the audio/text videos for the Ra Contact Youtube project, bringing us up to session 95.
- The Ra Contact – Original audio recording – Session 93
- The Ra Contact – Original audio recording – Session 94
- The Ra Contact – Original audio recording – Session 95
A Book of Days Narration: Jim recorded another inspirational message from A Book of Days to share on Youtube, bringing Carla’s unique Christian mysticism to interested seekers:
Discussions with Jonathan Tong: Jim met again with Jonathan Tong and the Seattle Law of One Study Group (based online) in a live Q&A style discussion. If you haven’t sensed the pattern, this will be a regular occurrence (along with sessions with Gary and Austin):
Spiritcomplex.com – Gary: In March, 2022, I fulfilled a long-held dream of undergoing a 10-day silent meditation retreat. It was life-changing, and it inspired me to type up and share my notes, which inspired me to finally launch a journal. If interested, you can find The Light of Polaris at the nascent www.spiritcomplex.com. Over time, I hope to share my heart. At the simple beating center of its myriad layers and complexities is the spiritual impulse, the striving toward oneness. I hope to focus on the mystical aspect of my journey, that which is most interior and true to me; that which, even when serving in a spiritually oriented organization among those similarly seeking, goes often unarticulated.
- Working with Translators:
- Korean –Memory refresher: a family who asked to remain anonymous appeared on the scene and gifted L/L a complete Korean translation of the Ra sessions. However, it needed updated to TRC standards. Enter Sienna, who was recently begun her own work to produce a Korean TRC. After some coordination, she in great spirits took up the task of updating the text and translating the accompanying material of TRC. In this period, she sent in her completed work up to Session 50. We could be quite close to seeing a Korean Volume 1 of The Ra Contact. Thank you, Sienna!
- Arabic – In addition to replying to some questions about the meaning of things, we received from B. sessions 41 – 56. Like the Korean version, bringing us very close to an Arabic TRC, and the first Arabic of anything for the website. Thank you, B.! He works full time while raising a family and finds time around the edges to this passion project.
- Farsi (Persian) – Received from Meysam the first ever transcript in Persian for the website. Thank you, Meysam, for the translation, and Pupak for the editing! Also discussed the effort to produce a Persian Ra Contact as their efforts continued and we found a way to be of support to Meysam & the team. (Thanks again to Zachary for the expert help!)
- Hebrew – And to continue in the region… Ra has had a challenging road entering Hebrew, which is interesting in light of what Ra says about the nature and origin of the Hebrew language. Over the course of several years now, the project has passed hands three times, and the third translator has been stalled for a while. Enter a new volunteer, Alina, who generously reached out and went through the onboarding process with us. Contacted the third translator, O., who was grateful to hear that another translator was willing to take up the work. He made himself available to her and we facilitated the transfer. Then connected Alina with another Hebrew-language friend of the organization, Erez, who would also like to lend his support to the project. Thank you, Alina, O., and Erez! Fingers crossed.
- Chinese 1 – Lots of work in Chinese of late. Held an in-depth discussion with Wen, Sean, and Terry on the pros/cons of using machine translation to help Wen produce a new (and additional) Traditional Chinese translation of TRC. There are various schools of thought about the potential utility of services like DeepL and Google Translate. Obviously on its own, it will produce an inferior translation to a human. But if carefully and thoroughly reviewed and edited, it may be of some support. Wen will experiment further. Thank you Wen, Sean, and Terry!
- Chinese 2 – Worked with Li-Yun on various content-based and formatting-related questions for the Traditional Chinese translation of A Concept Guide. ACG. Thank you for your continued work!
- Chinese 3 – Received an offer to help contribute Simplified and Traditional Chinese translations of the Transcript Library from a new volunteer who we onboarded. We look forward to working with you, Iris! But this precipitated another round of discussions with Sean and Terry who helped us to navigate the question of the literally hundreds of backlogged Chinese transcripts, some awaiting publication to LLResearch.org once some problems about Chinese text are solved, and many more awaiting editing from their team. Coordinated with them and with the new volunteer. Should you be reading this, Sean and Terry, thank you for your indefatigable efforts, especially the skillful, speedy, and thorough replies that Sean unhesitatingly gives every time we reach for help.
- Serbian – Collaborated with Dejan and Sheyla on the project to produce a Serbian TRC. A bit complicated, as Dejan has more or less produced most of the material, but it needs edited and updated. But the work continues! Thank you, Dejan and Sheyla!
- Spanish – Receiving from the ever-forward moving Henry some Spanish-language transcripts. Thank you, Henry!
- Russian – And another new volunteer effort arrived, this one from Vladimir (no, definitely not that one), who would like to contribute Russian-language transcripts to the Transcript Library. He was successfully onboarding, agreeing to our basic terms and sharing something of his journey. We look forward to working with you, Vladimir!
- German/French – Received from our partner, Jochen, a Q1 report of his and Misha’s German/French publishing operation, along with some other points of collaboration as he gets resettled in Berlin. Thank you, Jochen!
- Upgrading the website for translations: At the start of 2022, we met with Daniel for a year-planning meeting to set objectives for the new library site for the year. At the top of that list was the development and launch of the search engine, which happened in May. While there is still lots of evolution yet for the search engine, Daniel has taken the lead to move onto the next big objective: integrating translations into the site better, and making the site a more multi-lingual site altogether. That includes:
- Translated Ra Contacts: We will seek to create translated mirrors of the English Ra Contact page. For the protype, Daniel is beginning with French. And toward that end, among the huge variety of back-end work ongoing, Misha provided a spreadsheet’s worth of French translations for the page. Thank you, Misha!
- Translations for the search engine: A big and complicated process. Like the one above, in addition to the back-end work, we received spreadsheets of translations of English words that appear around the site in various languages. Thank you Kirlina (Bulgarian), Sean (Simplified), Terry (Traditional), Vojta (Czech), Erik (Dutch), Misha (French), Jochen (German), Ori (Hebrew), Laszlo (Hungarian), Mauro (Italian), Edgard and Pedro (Portuguese), Horia (Romanian), Catherine (Russian).
- Translations, general: We have a pending meeting on the challenging question of how to make the site multi-lingual, and just what that will look like. Discussion has begun in a a dozen cards spread out over a Trello board.
- Publication training: Daniel, ever the above-and-beyonder, produced two series of training videos, one to use our content management system for publishing and managing content on the library site, the other for using the Markdown formatting language for properly formatting all the material published to the site. These were more than just technical how-tos, but also helped to synthesize with our existing publishing standards to set new standards of excellence for the website to keep everything consistent and professional. The Markdown videos were 2.5 hours in sum! Watched those, took notes, put together a reference guide/cheat sheet for all the rules, and got Trish and Joanna watching the same in order to train them to publish to the website as well.
Trish adds a personal note: A note to Daniel: Thank you for all of the work you put into creating these videos! I sometimes feel behind the curve when it comes to technology, but your tutorials helped me learn so much, and I finally feel comfortable publishing material to the new website.
- Events: Each of the three upcoming events is unique in construction and setting, making it difficult to create a one-size-fits-all template. The objective for the new role of Event Manager (as reported above) is to take over leadership of the production of the events from Gary who has been filling that particular role since 2005. Tiffani has been stellar in taking up the work, but is still in something of a training phase as there is a lot of unique knowledge that can only be given through experience. In addition to all the attendee registration, inquiries, and arrangements, there has also been:
- Prague: Worked with Vojta (lead of the Czech translation team and our counterpart on the ground there) to finalize the curriculum and issue a general communication to attendees. Sadly had to accept the cancellation of Misha who had been looking forward to return to Prague for the past three years but whose age mitigates against the rigors of travel. Fortunately, we will get to spend some time with Misha in her home are following the event.
- Coming Home: Nearing being full for this event, we continued working with the venue (including on the delicious-looking catered menu) and our friends in TOTOH on developing the event, planning for a meeting in a couple of weeks.
- Homecoming: Filled up the final registrations for this event, finalized the curriculum, communicated with attendees, booked restaurants and an extra outdoor toilet, among other points of logistical planning. Took stock of in-house items we commonly use when hosting events (mostly household items like cleaning products, kitchen utensils, and other essentials) to ready L/L for future in-person events.
- Jochen event: Made plans with Jochen for another small event following Prague for Law of One readers. Stay tuned!
- Online course: Met with our friend and LOO scholar, Aaron Maret, for some very early chalkboard discussions about the prospect of developing an online course in collaboration with his leadership and service. Looking forward to the potential journey to come.
- Seeker Ministry: The inbox continues to brim with the shining light that is messages from seekers all over the world. Our goal, as has always been the case, is to respond to every email that we receive (except for spam, of course, though spammers deserve our love and acceptance too). The whole team takes part in this significant task, which can range from answering questions, offering guidance, offering prayers or condolences, relating to unique stories, laughing at jokes, accepting appreciation with gratitude, and all around doing our best to offer our highest and best to the seekers who reach out to us.
- Typo Project: As previously reported, we’ve been embroiled in an intensive project thrust onto us from the LOO publisher. Thankfully, that project is almost wrapped up, after some significant hours were put into untangling a mess of typos introduced when the publisher created the boxed set anniversary editions of the books. To give some extra background, before the boxed set was first published, we had reviewed what we were led to believe were the final proofs of the text to be printed, with many of these newfound errors corrected. By some process that we still do not understand, those final proofs were further changed, reverting many of the corrections and undoing a significant copyedit to the text, along with introducing new, baffling edits that escaped our detection until the initial typos sent in from a seeker.
- Morris Interview: Completed review of the transcript from the long interview conducted with Morris last November about the early history of L/L Research. After receiving his review in turn, put it on deck for a final once-over and publication to the site.
- Light/Lines Newsletter: The summer edition of Light/Lines was compiled and sent out to the mailing list (both of the electronic and snailular kind). This chosen session discusses the dynamic between surrender and responsibility. You can check it out in the Light/Lines archive.
- TAW Videos: This project has been one of the most slow-burning, being now a few years in the (slow) works. But, it is in the works. Received from Ken five finalized videos of the Tilting at Windmills videos, with 16 more to go. Thank you, Ken!
- Photographer: In the past 20+ years, the only professional photography we’ve done was for some shots of Carla for her publication of Living the Law of One 101. Now that the team is growing, we need some pics that weren’t snapped on our phones for the website. : ) Researched and contacted local photographers and booked a photo session.
- Audiobook: As previously reported, trying to create audiobooks in house, while greatly successful for The Ra Contact, proved way to time-and-labor intensive. An attempt to commission a volunteer got us two-thirds of the way through AWH, but that took a year. So finally turned to a third-party professional a couple months ago. Received word back from our new audiobook editor with suggestions on areas for re-recording and final processing questions. Secrets of the UFO should be done super soon!
- Living the Law of One 102: So many disruptions have kept the important project of editing this important project so close to Jim’s heart, but no longer! We developed a rough plan to keep the ball rolling and are getting back to work on 102.
- Prison Ministry: One of the responsibilities given to Joanna was to resurrect with prison ministry, which hit dormancy during the pandemic when prisons restricted mail intake. With some guidance from Austin, Joanna assembled a team of volunteers and we’re officially back in business. Over this period, our prison ministry received a number of letters, mailed out 10 responses, and sent 6 books to incarcerated seekers. We expect those numbers to continue to grow as the program gets back in its groove.
- Yellow-ray Fun: The unfortunate reality of being a non-profit who employs people and sells products (books) is that there the mundane organizational needs of these aspects require time and attention. On that front, our payment processor required a regular (but significant) security compliance audit for us to complete, which did necessitate some investigation and slight changes to protocol to ensure our practices are up to the latest standards. And then with a new employee comes an entirely new state’s worth of employer laws and compliances, and various forms related to insurance, workers comp, benefits, etc. needing to be filled and filed properly.
- Online store updates and maintenance: Investigated a pesky spam issue around the contact form in our online store and found the most reasonable way to implement a captcha filter to hopefully stop the pesky bots. Also investigated another ongoing issue that causes some orders to be misfiled (and sometimes missed) in the backend of the store, and found a few possible explanations, but so far not good solutions.
- Social Media/Printed Book Sharing of the Confederation’s Message:
- Updated Facebook and Twitter with Confederations quotes, created and shared Instagram images, and updated Patreon with L/L news and offerings.
- Completed another five sessions worth of the Ra Contact YouTube Videos.
- Shipped book orders around the world and managed the online store, with various customer inquiries to process.
- Implemented edits to channeling transcripts on the website and continued to support the volunteer transcribers in the question to fill in some holes in our channeling library.
- Continued project of digitizing channeling audio, including discovering channelings and meetings that have yet to be transcribed/added to the website. The sometimes haphazard way that cassettes were recorded and recovered over and non-systematically stored at the time is humorous.
- Joanna has continued working on editing podcast transcripts, and we have a total of 15 edited podcast transcripts ready to upload online once she completes her website publishing training.
- Nuts & Bolts:
- Worked with the LOO publisher on concerns other than the typo-related ones reported above in a spirit of mutual goodwill.
- Received word from our old friend Mimi about a troublesome spam issue from our newsletter mailing service. Looked into it and found a temporary solution, along with a path for further investigation. Thank you Mimi for sending along the tip!
- Reached the conclusion of a long project on a question of copyright with our skillful and helpful attorney. And began a new project to explore book publishing contracts. Ah, the yellow-ray world.
- Completed, let’s see, five weeks since the last blogworthy report so five weeks worth of bookkeeping.
- Played around in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to see if potential new banner images/icons could be created for the online store.
- Regular PO box and bank visits, as usual.
- Smatterings Held several internal meetings to talk about all of the above and then some. | Received some volunteer offers for the upcoming massive indexing project. (Mentioned at the end of the news announcement for the launch of the search engine. | Found a slight edit to 95.24 in the course of producing the Ra Contact YouTube videos. | Facilitated Jim’s processing of the final student of the Basic Principles of the Law of One course. Thank you, Harrison! | Worked with Matthias on his effort to find an English translator for his German book, Intelligente Unendlichkeit | Performed a quarterly update of the Volunteer list | After proactively inviting Sherri upon learning of the publication of her new book, added a page to the Friends Of section for Why You Were Born and What Happens When You Die: Short Answers for the Soul-on-the-Go. | Edited errors discovered in past transcripts (thank you Jan for the help!).
- Intermediate Circles: Met 6/8, 6/23, and 7/7 at Jim’s for our channeling circles. The first was a group question about the will, the second a series of smaller questions, and on the third, Jim was grieving the recent lost of his feline companions, Dan D. and Chloe, lost five days apart, and the rest of the circle had strong catalyst in their lives, so we opted for group discussion instead.
- C/C Circles: The C/C channeling circles were put on hold because…well, one of the members got shot (see previous entry), which happens to introduce a large burden of doctor appointments, physical therapy, surgery, and other very fun time-sinks. As healing continues and the appointments lessen, we hope to again make time for these exploratory channeling circles.
Austin: Thank you to everyone who reached out with kind words of support after reading my account of getting shot. It is truly healing to receive such kindness and love, and those healing vibes have been crucial. Some good news on that front: the bullet that was lodged in my leg moved closer to the surface as my physical activity increased, to the point where the surgeon felt okay to go ahead and remove it. The surgery went well and I am now bullet free! As they had to cut into a meaningful amount of muscle to remove the bullet (and other subcutaneous tissue), it did prolong the physical recovery a decent amount. While my physical therapy is going well, the lack of full function is even more obvious to me than before the surgery, and pain has returned in the muscles that have to pick up the slack from the damaged muscles. But I am still ever-grateful for having medical care available to me in this situation. I have also started therapy to help with the processing of the traumatic situation, which continues to have recurring effects on my mind and emotions. Thankfully it is not debilitating, but it is present. I still expect a full recovery, both physically and mentally, but the journey continues.
Gary: Sometime around 2006(?), Carla and Jim returned home (I was living with them at the time) with Chloe and Dan D. Lion. Dan D. was energetic, playful, and adventurous, longing for the outdoors (which he eventually won), and Chloe was more reserved, lazy, and not the most people-centric cat, but both were wonderful family members of the household. Both Jim and Carla were devoted to their cats (as was Don, evidenced by the amount of questions about Gandalf in the final sessions of the Ra contact). After Carla passed, the two kitties were Jim’s last living animal link to Carla. And, I believe, they offered him an outlet to fulfill one of his core incarnational missions: to serve as a caretaker for a portion of the Creator in need. And toward that end he gave himself completely to their care, as if they were his own human children. So it was an emotional blow to Jim to lose them five days apart from one another. His grief is quite strong, and our hearts open to him in love and support, and saying goodbye to those furry creatures who were our friends too.
Anniversary: Gary: The summer solstice marked 19 years since I moved to Louisville following Carla and Jim’s inivitation, 16.5 of which have been serving in a formal position.
DGDEV French & German
Our partner, Jochen, produces quarterly activity reports in his efforts to share the Confederation philosophy in German and French (with other languages on the way). He and Misha are powerhouses. Thank you, Jochen, Misha, Ivy, and team! Here is his 1st quarter report.
- On January 11 the “Guide des Concepts” was finally published as a softcover book (https://www.amazon.fr/dp/3945871484) , and a little later as a PDF in L/L Research’s library: https://www.llresearch.org/fr/library/le-contact-ra-serie-ressources.
- Misha continued translating A Channeling Handbook.
- Misha and Jochen had, as always, beautiful video calls every now and then. Misha also enjoyed her regular calls and meetings with her Polaris study group and Law of One friends around the globe.
- Horia, Gary, Austin and Jochen concretized several pre-publishing issues of Horia’s Romanian translations, and then Jochen started the work of creating the Romanian Ra Contact publishing documents. One of the accompanying outcomes is that the blog https://legealuiunu.wordpress.com/ became more alive.
- Matthias Galke and Jochen finalized the second volume “Chaos Logos Kosmos” of the series “The Law of One and the evolution of consciousness” which was published then in various formats.