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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Borderland Memories


"There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don't come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations because there will be no humanity." - Isaac Asimov

"From space I saw Earth - indescribably beautiful and with the scars of national boundaries gone." -Muhammad Ahmad Faris, astronaut


Now that congress has stepped in to "solve the problem of immigration" - we can all rest assured that matters will get much worse for everyone concerned. Given that the very legislation that is produced is not even read by those responsible for enacting the law,  and given that every measure within the law is obscured by convoluted legalese, questionable data, voodoo actuaries, and hidden agendas - there can be no doubt that the final product will be further away from freedom and closer to global serfdom.

As usual, the crisis of the moment will be solved with the same methodology involved in its creation. 

This is freedom. 

Don't look away. 

******

The word "border" itself was a 14th century Middle English word, derived from the French "bordure", and indicates that which is contained by the outer edges of an escutcheon - the surface on which a coat of arms is depicted. 

Though the tradition of heraldry extends into ancient times, the coat of arms itself serves as an emblem of exclusivity and a likely indication of aristocratic privilege. From here the irony completes itself. 

Borders do not benefit the common man. Borders serve the purposes of systems - governmental, corporate, legal. And these systems have always been dominated by those oligarchs and money-interests whose favorite pathology is power.  

It seems that regardless of the nation identified by a given set of "scars" on a map - those at the top of the symbolic pyramid, those wielding the heralds of their "nation", those influencing and directing the Leviathan of state are the only ones with a real vested interest in the concept of borders, and must be concerned by the tangible shape of their relative power.

Any time I meet someone who was once contained by a border different from my own - I am not surprised to find a deep similarity. After all, people are people. Left to their own devices, in a world without borders and division, I am certain that humanity would flourish beyond measure. Systems of control, on the other hand, would not.  

******

I realize that it's idealistic, but I imagine a truly free society, one without force or coercion exercised by centralized authority of any kind. One available to all of humanity. One that operates on the basis of volunteerism - financial, social, and commercial. One in which the only purpose of government is to ensure the liberty of each individual and to provide an open and fair legal system for the settling of disputes. Anything more concentrated in terms of power would become a danger to the people. At least this is the prevailing lesson of history. 

Henry David Thoreau once stated that government serves to show "how successfully men can be imposed upon, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage."This is just as true today as it was in the 19th century. And it's for this reason that the apparatus of government must be as weak and diluted as possible. Only then can we be assured that those who control the levers of power will have control over nothing of consequence. 

Without the power to impose, there can be no significant gain. The same view must be held when evaluating the concentration of power within the corporate model - a model whose sole purpose and legal obligation is to maximize profit regardless of socially enlightened concerns. But to paraphrase the wisdom of noted economist and defender of free-markets Milton Friedman, the best argument for limited government is that it prevents corporations and money interests - which inevitably take control - from gaining anything of real advantage. 

Without the ability to game the system - because there is no substantial system to game - corporate and financial insiders would be unable to gain unfair advantage over competition through the regulatory power of the state. This would serve to create a new atmosphere in the world of commerce. 

Fair competition is the people's regulator. Governments belong to the likes of Monsanto and Goldman Sachs.   

One might ask, where would we be without national pride? Patriotism? Flags? Social Security? Welfare? Compulsory schooling? Exponential debt? Centralized banking? Corporate domination? Standing armies? Clandestine military operations? The CIA's rendition? The NSA's spy-grid?  Constant warfare? Environmental exploitation? Covert experimentation? Sophisticated forms of propaganda? Bread and circuses? 

....Well, we would certainly be somewhere new - somewhere far removed from the world we see today. 

And whatever problems would arise from such a radically altered reality would be preferable to the problems we face at this critical moment in history. As Thomas Jefferson once stated, "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it." 

Sadly, however, the machinery of the system has supplanted self-reliance.  Unbridled freedom is equated with visions of anarchy and roving bands of lawless marauders, citizens starving in the potholes of unpaved streets, the old being fed to the young, the strong dominating the weak. 

How are we to survive without an enormous and inefficient bureaucracy to offer shelter from the storm of reckless freedom? 

Thus, our fear of freedom empowers systems, institutions, and authority. It enables the illusion. It fortifies the lie. And it transforms us all into servants and slaves. 

In the United States, our rigged, gerrymandered, and digitally questionable elections grant us a new class of royalty every two years - complete with privileges, excesses, and levels of compromise and corruption never imagined by those who sought to establish a government of, by and for the people. An entire class of insiders who sell themselves willingly to the system for gain and who are harvested with enough frequency to provide the electorate with the illusion of choice. 

And now these same people are going to settle the issue of immigration and borders. If anyone thinks that it will get any better for either the immigrant or the common citizen - then may your ignorance grant you bliss and "may your chains set lightly upon you." As for me, I no longer have any faith in our current political reality and have no expectations that any of this will lead to anything less than increased centralized control and the continued sacrifice of liberty.  

******

Perhaps it is mankind's metaphysical purpose to do away with systems of control altogether. To rid ourselves of rulers and restrictions. To find harmony and peace without need for force or coercion. To evolve beyond the need for leaders and rulers.   

Carl Jung once offered this aphorism: Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. 

The answer lies within the journeywork of the individual. Not nations. Not states. Not political parties. Not collectives. Individuals must awaken to their own power. Those who place their faith in the material world are placing their faith in illusions and dreams. The mania of ownership and wealth and power are sorry substitutes for the true alchemy of self-actualization.  

If we are to evolve as a species, then we must no longer comply with systems of control. We must consider human freedom to be incompatible with borders and other phony divisions.  

"...all of the countries and all of the boundaries - all the legislation - all the statutes - and all of the limitations that have been put upon human consciousness are all a construct of human consciousness. We made the whole thing up, folks. It's not real. What's real is life. What's real is us." -Max Igan, 

The ruled are many. The rulers are few. The system is what we allow it to be - if we allow it to be at all. 

Adios, mis amigos. 


Friday, May 31, 2013

Happy Birthday, Uncle Walt (And Sister Stacey)




ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE
-Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song, 
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the
universe and of the future.

A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small. large, suns, moons, planets,
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, inanimate forms,
All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, or in different
worlds, 
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
The vast similitude spans them, and always has spann'd,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Icons of the Synthetic



"We have to stop CONSUMING our culture. We have to CREATE culture. Don't watch TV. Don't read magazines. Don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time - where you are now - is the most important sector in your universe. And if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered. You're giving it all away to icons. Icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y... This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion. What is real is you, and your friends, and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told, --NO! You're unimportant, you're peripheral - get a degree, get a job, get a this, get that - and then you're a player. 

You don't even want to play that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world." - Terence Mckenna, from "Eros and the Eschaton"





I Wonder What This Is About?









Sunday, March 3, 2013

Follow That Tribe


The great Cherokee Chief, Two Eagles, was asked by a white government official:

You have observed the white man for 90 years. You have seen his wars and his technological advances. You have seen his progress and the damage he has done. 

The Chief nodded in agreement. The official continued:

Considering all of these events, in your opinion - where did white man go wrong?

The Chief stared at the government official and replied:

When white man find land, Indians running it. 
No taxes. 
No debt. 
Plenty of buffalo. 
Plenty of beaver. 
Clean water. 
Women did all the work. 
Medicine man, free. 
Indian man spent all day hunting and fishing and all night having sex.

The wise Chief leaned back and smiled:

Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve a system like that. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio..."



"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to the vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." - Max Planck, Nobel Prize winner and founder of Quantum Theory


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Choices


"Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves." - Henry David Thoreau



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wisdom Transcends Life

"You may be 38 years-old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, for some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid... You refuse to do it because you want to live longer... You're afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose popularity, or you're afraid that someone will stab you or shoot you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand. 

Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you're just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of the earlier death of the spirit." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Slogans for the Dead



Our existence on planet earth is a momentary flash of light in the enveloping abyss of an infinite mystery.

In the face of cosmological time – an  estimated 14 billion years since the universe began – a 70-year lifespan is but a speck of dust billowing in the crosswinds of eternity. The fact that you or I are even here at all owes itself to an infinite number of variables and conditions. To alter any one of these could literally erase us from existence.

It’s sad to consider how so many take this gift, this momentary sensory experience, this brief expression of conscious awareness, and allow it to be subjugated by systems, schemes, and dogma.

For those who spend their lives servicing empty institutions and for those who spend their spare time wading through the “apps” and icons of our fetid culture – mental obedience and subjugation are sadly the most comfortable of fits.

If it were called something trendy like “e-slave” and the proper celebrity endorsement were secured, Beyonce perhaps, many of the enraptured masses would pay for the lash and shackles themselves.

Our very culture has become the greatest barrier to individual awareness and enlightenment. The monuments of our ingenuity and tradition have become alters of sacrifice – offerings to the demiurge of distraction, decadence, and conformity.

We have become infected by the Cult of Personality and actually call our bureaucrats “rock stars” and “cowboys” and “mavericks”. We actually believe the Madison Avenue spin, the contrived photo ops, the tele-prompter-reading “reporters” and politicians selling the illusion like Vegas con men.  We continue to allow the least enlightened and the least visionary to sit in positions of power as we passively bear witness to the systematic advancement of authoritarian control.

An occasional Tea Party or Occupy movement aside, there is very little indication of resistance. You can hardly hear the rumbling beneath the den of iPods and Plasma television sets.

Why? 

Distraction certainly plays a role. But I think that there’s something much deeper and more primal being used to direct the actions of the enculturated: 

Fear

Sadly, it seems to be the driving force and most necessary variable in shaping this complex topography of ritual self-destruction. Those who seek to rule and dominate have long understood the power of fear in coercing the opinions and actions of the masses.  

Whether the crisis be real or manufactured, it is certainly never wasted.  

A cursory glimpse at the American landscape today reveals a clutter of surveillance cameras, threat fusion centers, TSA checkpoints, terror alert levels, manufactured crises, paramilitary police, riot gear, tear gas, tasers, chem trails, GMO foods, fluoridated water, BPA, tainted vaccines, endless warfare, propaganda, corporate corruption, government waste, financial collapse, derivative schemes, covert operations, ever-expanding prison populations, assassinations and kill-lists, suspicious “suicides”, enemy combatants, rendition – a literal hellscape, a soulless pathological playground of regression and repression – and fear.

A state of fear traps consciousness within the primal aspects of our reptilian hardware – our base cognitive core born of animal instincts and survival. This hardware can only sustain the lowest level of awareness.

Manifesting in denial, we seek escapism and distraction, routine and ritual, hierarchies and rulers, order and authority.

As goes the famous Litany:

“Fear is the little death that brings TOTAL obliteration”- FRANK HERBERT, DUNE

And unfortunately, fear shapes the landscape of today’s culture. It obliterates that spark of divine light and transforms life into a faint flicker of ritual, repetition, and redundancy – then the void.

The landscape of fear bends toward the point of ultimate density like a spiraling black hole collapses into its singularity. The level of fear when confronting the endless unknown is inversely proportional to awareness.  As such,  the only way to combat this form of manipulation is through individual awareness and awakening – the basis of true spirituality.

From the moveable type of Gutenberg’s imagination was born an entire revolution of awareness. The ripples of that single moment of invention radiate outward from the Renaissance and Reformation through the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution. By making print ubiquitous, the common man was granted access to knowledge never before imagined.  

Culture generated by the grass-roots can bypass the institutions and monuments of control much as the pervasive jungle swallows the pyramids and cities of the Aztec.

The revolution is ultimately a reclamation. A return to awareness and reality.

In this age of technology and connectivity, we can either be enslaved by the cultural monuments of distraction and celebrity or we can go around them and create new culture.

The individual moving towards enlightenment, maturity, wisdom necessarily seeks a life free of constraint. A life based in liberty. A self-directed form of existence.

The unaware, the uninformed, the ignorant, and the slothful – these fall victim to the manufactured lies of the state and believe only the shadows upon the walls.

The age of the internet has the potential to usher in a new revolution of awareness as monumental as Gutenberg’s machine. Though the oligarchs seek to inundate this technological marvel with mindless distraction and celebrity narcissism, many have begun the historical process of awakening.  Soon the “shams and delusions” of modern culture will dissolve along with the framework of lies upon which the scenery is arranged.

Dissent is the byproduct of the creative consciousness – born of awareness and enslaved by none. AWAKE. ALIVE. EMPOWERED.   

“…You don’t have to stick a flower in your hair and go to San Francisco. You just go to the Web. Find the others. We all need to create affinity groups which are subsets of the much larger community that we are part of. And then, using this technology, which was designed to keep track of us, to pick our pockets, and to sell us junk we don’t want, use this technology to produce art, massive amounts of subversive art. And all art is subversive… All truth that springs from the individual is subversive...” –Terence Mckenna, 1996

The culture of rebellion is the culture of creativity.

Any time we control and direct our own attention toward the fulfillment of our own unique and personal inner-convictions, we are engaged in the creative process. As such, one’s own life becomes the work of art.  It is necessarily subversive to modes of control and manipulation.

We cannot solve the many problems of the world, but we can work to free our consciousness from the dungeons of ignorance and the unexamined life.

A new Age of Enlightenment begins and ends with the enlightenment and awareness of the individual.

So go meditate! Paint a picture! Plant a garden! Write a book! Build a cabinet! Compose a song! Direct a documentary! Choreograph a Dance! Bring forth from the imagination! Bypass the system! Turn off the TV! Begin anew!

The time is now.