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Saturday, June 7, 2014

In Order to Avoid Bitterness and Paralysis

"Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages. And we are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds us. The universe constantly and obediently answers to our conceptions... Let us spend our lives in conceiving then." - Henry David Thoreau, Walden





The most formative years of our lives are aligned by the common theme of submission. Or perhaps this is more appropriately stated as a command - SUBMIT. 

And submit we do. 

From the moment we come into this world, we are dependent upon others for survival. We learn early the lessons of power and the fundamental dynamics of control and submission, weakness and strength. 

Most are fortunate in that those who control them also love them and provide for them. But there is no doubt that our first lesson is dependence - and those on whom we depend, our first authorities. 

Despite widely varying degrees of success in parenting, we all bear the imprint of this most fundamental dynamic. Granted, it does not mean that this will dominate the entire trajectory of our lives, but it does have a specific gravity that is different from person to person and contingent upon the level of supplemental exposure to the same power dynamic. The more this dynamic is reinforced through redundant external forces, the more difficult it becomes to evolve beyond a certain point of mental, psychological, and spiritual paralysis. 

Sadly, we have constructed an entire world of institutional surrogates - most a manifestation of our need for parental protection against an entire assortment of scary unknowns. These institutions provide both a physical and metaphysical separation between us and whatever fear awaits. And many live happily within the parameters of this illusion because it bears the hallmarks of material reality - buildings and uniforms and conference rooms and lecture halls and lounges and such. 

Of course, not every institution is inherently evil. However, if judged by the outcomes and byproducts they create, they seem to serve as mechanisms of some form of human destruction or another.

Just witness the outcome of over a century of compulsory education. The stereotypical meme of the dumb American is not without cause. Unfortunately.

We spend twelve years under fluorescent lights, mostly in neat little rows of uncomfortable, germ-infested desks, for eight hours a day - getting an education. During the most vibrant, energetic, and creative years of our lives, we sit and receive instructions and obey rules and learn to conform. The powerful dynamic of submission is reinforced on a daily basis. And an individual's potential is at the least stymied and sometimes demolished altogether by the unnatural conditions of this unnatural creation. 

Compulsory education constructs an artificial extension of childhood. And as college enrollment increases, more and more "adults" spend their first 22 years waiting for life to begin. 

Before compulsory education, these hard realities weighed in and were recognized and had to be managed from an early age. Today it seems we have forgotten that real life experience is the best teacher and offers the most substantial lessons. The only real lesson learned in today's public school is submission.

Of course, religious and governmental institutions are just as culpable when it comes to reinforcing this familiar paradigm. And though submission applies itself on many levels, the most harmful component is that which operates on our capacity for reason. 

Just as many students will dutifully accept the word of the teacher regarding facts and figures, history and science, art and literature, so does the member of the congregation accept the authority of the church, the priest, the holy book (whose history of misinterpretation and abuse is easily disregarded by the believer). So too does the citizen accept the word and authority of the government and its agencies in matters "too complex" for common consumption. 

The individual's intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development is hindered by the constant submission to institutions and their "authorities" and "specialists" and "experts".

The only way to avoid bitterness and paralysis is to create your own cosmology based on  direct experience. Bypass the system and start fresh. If you want to experience God, go into nature, experience the creation itself. 

What do you see? What can you observe? What can you learn about the mind of God? 

Go into yourself, the most complex of creations, and journey within. 

What do you find there? What do you discover? 

How can you take these direct experiences and conceptions and bring them in to material reality? How do you take them from the realm of imagination and make them manifest? What do you learn from this act of creation? What does the evaluation of your own creative process teach you about the mind of the ultimate Creator? 

Here you see direct evidence based upon your own unique, individual experience - without filter or middle-man or agent or institution. Here you compare your direct experiences with others. Here you gain more insight. Here you evolve and progress and develop from the ground up. As do we all. A congregation of individuals exploring the mysteries and complexities of reality. 

But institutions are top-down structures made for the purposes of control and management of the masses. Such has been the case throughout history. The more complex and condensed the population becomes, the more institutions put in place, the less freedom that is enjoyed by those outside the ruling class. 

Death by pyramid.

Avoid the authority of men in robes offering books and tradition and ritual. Beware those in suits and ties. Beware of bureaucrats and teachers. Disregard their structures and their hierarchies and their doctrines.  

With a focus on direct experience and a disregard for those paradigms which have been imposed or borrowed, the habit of submission is broken. All you have to do is treat your own thoughts, ideas, and experiences as sacred. Find ways to manifest these ideas and discoveries into a tangible, material form. Discover the meaning of those famous lines made manifest by the imagination of 19th century poet, Walt Whitman, and used to sell iPads: 

"The powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse."

That is, unless you are reading someone else's lines. 

  


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.