Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Post at National Review

The very important point that is inevitably missed when actual discussion is shut down, is that shutting down the discussion does not help the people who are the supposed beneficiaries of that suppression of our Liberal tradition.  Are blacks helped, in their ghettos?  Where racism is actually present, does it disappear because the ability to be honest is suppressed?

I once asked, before being banned the second or third time by what I call the Auto-Lynch feature, how anyone could feel they were working for the best policy, when it was not allowed to discuss or critique the policy.  I was told, and this is close to verbatim: "We are not here to discuss policy; we are here to implement it".  I was not able to respond, because my IP was blocked.  They don't value free speech.  They are not Liberal in any meaningful way. It is just a word, like racism, that has been denuded of content.

But this point is important.  The whole point of freedom, of democracy, is that--by allowing many, many viewpoints to emerge--through a somewhat chaotic unattractive process useful truths emerge, and pernicious lies die the natural deaths they deserve.  A sort of teleological energy is summoned which seeks out the best paths, and corrects them as new information emerges.

And the precise defect both of authoritarianism--and, in the Academy, what we might call One-Idea-ism--is that discussion is not possible.  This teleological process cannot be summoned into being.  Creative energy is not brought to bear on the solving of actual problems.  It is rather brought to bear in the service of deception, cheating, and trickery so that the political process can be manipulated in the service of an ideology no one is allowed to question, and which DOES NOT WORK.

I have been arguing for some years now that the supposed heyday of "liberalism", the Civil Rights Movement, and the War on Poverty, are abject failures.  By any rational standard of measurement, blacks particularly are far worse off than they were in 1960.  Yes, they can eat and drink and swim anywhere they want, but they live in hopeless places, where children give birth to children, where crime is rampant, drugs are the only easy answer, and high school graduation rates are abysmal.

Culture is everything, not economics.  It is the ideas which inhabit our minds which causes us to rise or fall, both as individuals and as societies.  And the ideas on the Left are absolutely damaging to decency and human flourishing.  It is for that precise reason that they cannot be discussed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

If ISIS were my problem

I would pursue a strategic alliance with Russia and China and other regional powers.

I would renounce the goal of overthrowing Assad.  This is illegal, stupid, and unnecessary. I have yet to see anyone defend this policy, or for their part, seen the complicit media push the question.

I would remove all of ISIS sources of income.  I would bomb their oil production, storage and transportation infrastructure until every tanker in their region stood empty because no one would drive them.

I would ask for a volunteer force of at least 2,000 Special Operations folks, and give them all the support--particularly air cover--they needed, and tell them to go hunting.  I would make this a multi-national effort, and although I would want to keep ultimate control over my guys, I would be willing to insert them into a larger joint task force.

I would create an informational campaign to appeal to the civilized, decent, liberal sentiments in particularly the Western populations.  Kids who grow up here by and large do not want to see adulterers stoned, and homosexuals decapitated.  They do not condone slavery, rape, and conquests intended for pillage.  I would employ theologians to figure out how to deemphasize what I would call the demonic elements of their religion at its worst, and the angelic elements of it at its best, which I see embodied in the work of the Sufis.  Most of them were very Muslim, but they focused on a relationship with the One True God, and not so much on killing, raping, and stealing.  No sane person can defend those practices, even if they were equally common among Christians in the 7th Century.  That was a very long time ago.

I would treat all calls for subverting the Constitution in the United States--which is what the call for Sharia is--as treason. I would arrest and jail anyone who publicly proclaimed this.  We have tolerated open treason for far too long.

And I would convene a panel of the worlds most powerful and wealthiest nations, and ask them: what do you want the world to look like in 20 years?  Where do WE want it to go?  Have we not had enough bloodshed?  Can we not call Communism a failure in building a better world?  Can we not grant that freedom is the precondition of any form of dignity for human beings, and its alternative an abomination we should rightly reject?

I would do much more than this--this is just dealing with Islam's tendency to spin out of control--but this would be a start.

Edit: one thing you will note is that I did not include "bombing".  Bombing is the tactic used by those who want to create the impression they are doing something, but who are not committed to final victory.  It is not my belief that we need to retake all of ISIS lands with large Army units.  It is my belief that these smug bastards can be made very scared, and to spend most of their time hiding, by an all volunteer force.  That will choke recruitment, and economic violence will choke revenues.  Sooner or later, it will stop seeming like an adventure, and only the goat fuckers will be left, and they will not be hard to deal with.

I have a particular affinity for the Australian SAS.  I suspect no American or European Leftists want to know this, but senior NVA commanders left fairly extensive notes on what worked and what didn't.  As far as what worked, the Aussies scared the shit out of them.  Americans would send out patrols, make contact, call in air power or artillery, then leave.  The Aussies would stay in place.  They would remain silent.  And they would engage them again and again at close range.  One Spec. Op guy I know said the Aussies he knew in Afghanistan would go on six month patrols.  That is the sort of thing I have in mind.  A sustained commitment, by volunteers.  People who blend, who study their enemies up close, and who, when ready, bring death and destruction.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Is this blog of benefit to you?

They say no man is an island, but they don't say that many of us try to be.

I have been often tempted to find out if I have any readers, but scared of the prospect that I may not, that I may be preaching to the wind.  I have stats on site visits, but many of them are clearly not humans.  I have no way of tracking how many people subscribe to the feed or emails.

So: humans, is this blog of benefit to you?  Please answer Yes in comments if so.  Anonymous is enabled.

If I get crickets, I will laugh it off, but if not, well, that would make my day.

Edit: crickets it seems to be.  Well, I asked the question because I was prepared for the answer.  I need projects where I interact with actual people.  I realize this whole thing has been a bit--more than a bit--solipsistic.  My talent is and always has been adaptability.  I need to do new things.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

3 Questions

I got up today, late, as usual, which is one of the unique and much valued perks of how I earn my money, since I spend much time dreaming in bed, and get some of my best insights there.  And I did my Kum Nye, and a flood of loneliness, sadness, and holding in my heart came over me.

And I thought: loneliness does not scare me.  Bring it on.  It is an important part of who I am, and I want to be who I am fully.

And then it occurred to me that healing has two parts.  One is allowing negative emotions to come to conscious awareness, so that I know what I am feeling, so that my unconscious knows it can communicate my emotional needs to me, but the other is building positive energies.  You cannot find the cessation of pain within pain.  This is obvious, but I am only now realizing it.

So I came up with three questions I will look at every day, which I posted on my door, my gateway to the world.

1) How can I make today an adventure and a celebration?

2) How can I inspire good feelings in myself?

3) How can I make everything I do a massage of healing and growth?

If I do say so myself, these are good questions.  Much of our experience during the days and nights of our lives has to do with the questions we don't even know we are asking.  I think most of the time the main questions are "is this safe?" and "Am I fitting in with everybody?"

With respect to massage, that is the outer meaning of mNye in Kum Nye, but what I am realizing is that in a deeper sense it is something like pleasurable motion, pleasurable contact with the world, something which releases and allows and expands and facilitates motion.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Given my history, it was inevitable identity would be an issue for me.

But this whole thing is very interesting.  Tonight, while driving in the dark in the rain, I really noticed how mutable our sense of self really is.  Without realizing it, we transition countless times every day between different gestalts, different internal presentations.

And it occurred to me it would be an interesting meditation to try and bring them all together at once.  I brought my angry self together with my compassionate self and my sad self.  My driven self and my lazy self, and my average self.  My sexual self and my asexual and my average self.  All the contradictions, all the middles.

Who we seem to be, floating through the world, bears roughly the same relation as the color red, then blue, then yellow, then red, bear to pure white light, which is all the colors.

Behind this realization is a deep beauty, and a profound solace and source of joy.  I can feel it, even if I am not there yet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Safe places

I think the shortest accurate definition of the intention of a "safe place" is a free speech free zone.

As a Berkeley graduate, I have spent a lot of time on Sproul Plaza, where the Free Speech Movement led by Mario Savio in some respects started the wave of student political involvement that we call "The Sixties".  It was 1964 or thereabouts, before Johnson had betrayed his election year promise and greatly increased US involvement in Vietnam.

What I think many fail to grasp is that the "1950's", at least on my reading, extended to at least 1963 or so.  1964-1966 there were "weirdos" doing drugs and having all-night parties, but they were fringe.  They weren't liked.

It wasn't until the year of my birth, 1967, that things really heated up.  I am told whatever that astrological line-up was, the revolutionary mindset, is in my chart too.  And I do think of myself as a conservative revolutionary.

If I might indulge myself in a bit of droll self commentary, there aren't many of us.

But the point I wanted to make--and I well remember that turning point in the song Alice's Restaurant, as, again, I am a Berkeley graduate, even if I never had the money to eat at Chez Panisse--is that back then speech truly was limited.  There were many things you could not say.  There were many bounds you could not cross.

Few remember, but Urban Cowboy was X-Rated because without showing it, it implied a young man gave Jon Voigt a blowjob.  I watched an episode of Mr. Robot where in one episode we have a pretty graphic portrayal of gay anal sex, women kissing while on hard drugs, and the hero going through morphine withdrawal.

The Free Speech people got what they wanted.  But even if Savio's principles were relatively pristine--and I'm not going to take the time tonight to research--those who followed used the path he created to relentlessly push Communist propaganda. This propaganda was allowed, and it cost us the war.

The Vietnam War could have ended after the first failed Tet offensive in 1968.  It was absolutely devastating to the North militarily and psychologically.  They were ready to quit.  We know this, because many of their top commanders wrote memoirs, not a few of them from overseas after falling afoul of the Fascists who got control of the system.

But Jane Fonda and people like her gave them hope.  That is how one phrased us: gave us the hope to continue.

So you push, push, push, so you can openly support the enemies of America--and mankind--then you take over the universities, and you pull, pull, pull, so that you can create free speech free zones, in the hope of gradually expanding them.

Shit, I'm wandering.  I bought the last Odd Thomas book and am enjoying it like all the rest.  I'm going to go read a while, while drinking some decent French wine.

Presumably, the world will be here tomorrow when I, presumably, wake up for the, hold on, 17,520th time.

I have a post I need to make about the Inner and Outer, but maybe tomorrow.  Maybe the next day.

How does one, really, describe a life?  Paper shells.  Everything else is always already gone.  You can't take a picture of a sunrise.

No, I'm actually not drunk.  Just a long day.  But I still have time!!!!!

Technology as ersatz parent

I read AI is a big deal currently.  Facebook and others are trying to build virtual robots who are smarter than people.  Why?

This is a deep question. On the surface, for economic reasons.  If they don't someone else will. It's all a big race, somewhere.

On a deeper level, we live in a culture which privileges intellect over emotion, where mourning is something that makes people uncomfortable, where even forgetting to put on your emotional mask, and pretending everything is alright makes people uncomfortable.  Authenticity bears a peculiar valence, being both attractive and scary.  Attractive, because it is what we all need.  Scary, because it calls to mind everything that has been swept under the carpet, closeted, closed off, unprocessed, most all of it painful.

In an abstract world, the world of the machine, there is no pain. There are only interesting problems to solve.  AI itself is a very interesting problem, for people fleeing life.

We can ask: when do the robots become the slaves enabling our freedom from work, our freedom of time and creation?  As I read the situation, only if we rework our financial system in a sane and equitable way.  Absent that, we get something like Blade Runner: a dystopia characterized by general impoverishment and pockets of extreme wealth.

And here is the point I started to make: can we not point to all our gadgets as "parents" of a sort which, in always being there, ready to guide us, make it less necessary to use judgement for decisions?  Any opinion you want, you can find preformatted to your liking on the internet.  You don't need to carry facts in your head, when they are just a search away.  You don't need maps: it's all on the phone.  You don't need to think: the experts have done it for you.

Once you accept your phone as a repository of truth, you have become the perfect peon, the perfect pawn.

I would say that technology itself is contributing to the manifest infantilizing of our youth, as is the quasi-industrial demand for perennial and ubiquitous safety.

You can't grow sharp people in rubber rooms.

Me, my hope is to find my home in a perennial center soon.  All time and all space are always present.  It is possible to connect both with this world, and with something beyond.  I feel this clearly.  One can only hope where this world is concerned that some benevolent Tao is flowing through it now.  One can hope that somehow, somewhere, biologists allow a new, field based theory of life to come into being.  That the world of people like Cleve Backster is studied, and the appropriate lessons learned.

The enemy of this is the emotional weakness of "scientists" who have a deeply rooted need to own life, to own the unviverse, by being able to reduce it to a machine with rules they have deciphered.  This is not how this universe works, though, so violence is inevitable; indeed, only violence has kept the truth hidden thus far: violence to new ideas, violence to unorthodox people.  As it has always been.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Socialism and Consumerism

It is an odd fact that most socialists I have known opposed the consumer ethos.  They want something deep, something profound.  They want everyone to have stuff, but they want everyone to know that they read edgy poetry, listen to music that is searching, and have more than once stayed up all night discussing "ideas".  Maybe some weed was involved too.

Socialism is at root an emotional search for a community which the very intellectualism and following unprocessed emotion that gave rise to the idea, make impossible.  No connections are made.  Whenever and wherever Communists succeed, people become objects.  The objectification of humanity, the reduction of every person to a 1) price in Capitalism or 2) use in Socialism, is simultaneously precisely what they claim to want to avoid, and the necessary consequence of their perceptual failures, their unrecognized and unchallenged manias and delusions.

What would appeal to you more: 1) living in a hut with a dirt floor with people with whom you are deeply emotionally connected, doing work which has intrinsic meaning and feeling to you, and surrounded in a small village with like-minded people who share some sort of belief and ritual system that allows the regular expression of emotion, of joy, of celebration; 2) living in an efficiently designed, energy conserving gray home, by yourself, and plugging yourself daily into a slot in a machine?  Can there be a debate?

I read once on a bathroom stall that "Socialism is the opiate of the intellectuals".  If I take that at face value, what I find is that the IDEA serves to deaden emotional pain.  It places the eventual release of primitive emotions some time in the future, where there is this ill defined--because laughably unrealistic--place and way of being in which that person can be free, where they can freely exchange love and affection, where there is no large scale grief and pain, where living is easy.

All the actual things socialists want can be had within Capitalism.  In fact, that is the ONLY way they can get them.  But the entire project of actually improving humanity, of improving society, depends upon the individual work of learning to see things as they are, of knowing ourselves, of deciphering our true needs and desires, and of understanding that nothing worthwhile is built overnight, and that what is built overnight--particularly using the violence which is the default mode of utopians--is not worthwhile.

I might summarize this by noting that no one can run forever.

Identity, Part Four

I like this term "crybullies", and I wanted to talk a little about this whole thing.

Some part of us seeks out difficulty and conflict.  I think it is the part that sees and feels the transience and precariousness of our "self".  There is nothing out there.  It is a nothing filled with something, but it does not feel that way.  It feels like fear.  It feels like darkness.

And how to fight it?  Build campfires.  Build a tribe around the campfire.  Build a fight for that tribe to wage so that all the energies latent within them come to the fore, so that they feel powerful, complete, not just as individuals, but as individuals within a larger "self", a larger organism, something which breathes and exists outside of them.

In the past, mere existence was struggle enough.  A family was not just a social unit, but a necessary economic unit.

As we have succeeded, the struggle to survive has diminished to near nothing, compared to the past.  By and large, the United States has very few working poor with dirt floors, who lack indoor plumbing and electricity, who cannot get access to books and computers.  All of these things make our poor relatively elite compared both to much of the world, and to human history.

So where do you find a struggle?  You invent one.

I might say that the quality of people is in the quality of their struggles, what they choose to fight against, and for.  By that standard, most of the children in our universities are extraordinarily mediocre, and those leading them, even more so.  They are overgrown children, fighting battles which do not need to be fought, on behalf of people they belittle and infantilize in the process of presuming to speak for them, when they should be speaking for themselves.

Is DeShaun--a high school drop out, son of a woman who got pregnant at 19 and whose father abandoned him, and seemingly sentenced to working for close to minimum wage at shit jobs for life--helped by these protests?  Does the crime in his neighborhood diminish?  Do all his emotional scars disappear?  Is he truly empowered in any way to go back to school, get his GED, go to college, get his degree, and set off for a middle class life?

Or is it stupid white people doing stupid white people shit?  I'm going to go with number 2: stupid shit.

Identity, Part Three

Everything which is created is destroyed.  Logically, this means that in the arising of an ego, of a fixed sense of self, the destruction of that self appears as well, which manifests as a demon.  Some part of us KNOWS that death awaits: not physical death alone, but the death of that clinging form.

Some part of me wants to kill me and some part fights to save me. One part exists in light, and one part wants to hide, to shelter itself deep, deep underground.  Which is which?

I feel there was something close to a psychosis in me.  I have survived many years with very little love, virtually no effective parenting--my father is not a father, my mother hurts me, and I have found no lasting substitutes--and a very blurred sense of self.  All of these have caused me to look deep within myself, to find what tools I DO have, what I COULD rely on.  Emotionally, I have had grievous wounds all over my body, but I am not dead.

And I have found, and determined to rely on, Kum Nye, and it is helping.  All my life I have had dreams where some force was trying to hurt me.  I have fought it.  I have hidden from it.  But last night some infinite intelligence awoke which is simply so much smarter than this force that it is neutralized.  I am safe wherever I am.  It is not my intelligence, but a universal intelligence, something which can operate without my conscious knowledge, and certainly without my control.

And I think of the goal of Kum Nye.  sKu is Space.  It gets translated as presence or even "self", but the end goal is to make contact with what I in my own terms would call the Zero Point Field.  The Buddhists simply call it space, but what they intend is an infinite energy source where every part of it is in the center, which is characterized by a very pleasant and revitalizing sense of melting and merging, of joy and release and true freedom.  This is mNye, which gets translated as massage, and it is in the beginning literally that, but then it is "massaging" the subtle energies of the body, and finally it is a felt and embodied movement of space within space, of your presence within the presence of the universe.

The goal of the mind is to exist, and to solve problems.  The ego in Sanskrit is "I-Maker", ahamkara.  The mind is not needed for happiness.  It is a commonplace in various spiritual practices to denigrate the mind, but it really is the abode of the demons.  The demons are perhaps sent from all the energy centers, but I think most of all from that part of you which is most self aware of its own self awareness, conscious of its mortality and contingency, and most eager to prevent any and all decisive change.

Progress is being made.  That phrase is a massage of a sort, in itself.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Identity, Part two

This concerns me.  Let me rephrase that.  Everything I write concerns me, even when it is not about me.  All visions, all truths which I attempt to articulate, arise within me, and share my preconceptions, blind spots, emotional valances, and ordinary stupidity, as well as of course what I hope are my virtues.

To grow qualitatively, to reach the next valence shell, you have to cease to exist.  "You" disappears, and a new "you" appears.  Most people cannot deal with this.  That is why they get stuck.  There is nothing in the middle.  You have to accept this nothing.

Specifically, what I see is that my identity is closely tied to conflict.  Certainly, I have often sought out conflict with other people, but what I most have in mind is this sense of internal conflict.  In my particular case, although I think this is likely common, I self sabotage because to do otherwise would force me into a confrontation with this Void, with a non-self.

When I make plans, my pattern is to disrupt them.  That is what my family did.  But I see that even within my own internal psycho-ecology, if I might coin a term new to me at least, what self disruption serves to do is prevent the emergence of smooth waters which would show me "I" don't exist.

Within my Kum Nye practice, they say one of the common effects of falling into a very deep, profound relaxing state is for some part of our self to activate and throw out a surge of thinking, to fill the deep empty spaces with SOMETHING.  The task, of course, is to persevere.

When you are doing qualitative work with your self, you can only grow as far as the number of times you are willing to die, and how much you are willing to die.

But here is the thing: "you" were never there to begin with.  "You" are a habit, an abstraction.  This is my understanding of what the Buddha taught.

The value of learning to connect with feeling and sensation, which is the practice of Kum Nye, is that something is still there where "you" cease to exist, and if your mind can accept this continuity it can let go.  If it lets go, you can accomplish much.

It is not uncommon for me to feel traces of something much larger.  I suppose this is mystical in a way.  None of it can be spoken.  But it is all very interesting.  And open to all.


I went to an uber-hipster-y place tonight.  Lots of beards, odd hair-cuts, tattoos.  I even saw a woman  with the mascara of Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner--all the way around sideways.

And I breathed.  I am half sponge, and I can fill myself with and feel atmospheres.

What I felt was that all the difference and identity was an inch deep.  I felt like if I pushed most of these people they would lapse into an innate neuroticism and deep anxiety.

"Who are you?" is one of the most basic questions you can ask of yourself, and of others.  "Someone who has a nice beard and listens to musicians no one has heard of" is not a very good identity.  When I ask of myself and others "who are you", what I want to know is what I, or they, are willing to fight for.  What are you willing to die for?  Suffer for?

And I felt this demonic voice present in the background.  It did not speak loudly, because it did not--does not--need to.  What it offered was comfort and shelter and strength and power.  All you have to do is join the cult, to join the headless ones.  All you have to do is turn your brain off, and accept at face value all the news you are given by approved outlets, and feel the appropriate emotions when you are told to feel.  Feel sad when you are supposed to feel sad, and angry the rest of the time.

All of this seems magical, like some sort of thing that would exist in a book and not in the real world.  Spells are not cast in our empirically minded world, are they?

Of course they are.  Daily, and often.

Unless you feel you are often fighting off spiderwebs, and pulling back curtains, you have likely accepted a manufactured truth, and more likely, many.  Up is down anymore.  Gravity exists in the real world, but not in our psyches.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I was watching this, and recalling something else I read a week or two ago, and thought about my reworking of Einstein's formula.  I haven't thought about this in years.

E+i=MC squared, plus i, where i equals information, but I suppose it may be interesting to substitute "consciousness".  My gut intuition tells me this is the bridge between the big and the small; between the falsified general narrative of General Relativity, and the still extant narrative of Quantum Physics; between the three fields which have been unified, and gravity.

I have no basis for this claim.  I am not a professional.  I don't even understand calculus.  But this is what I feel.

I will add, too, that I was driving the other day and it hit me that creativity always involves the body.  Even in purely abstract disciplines like math and physics, GENUINE newness always has an emotional component, perhaps an agonistic component, or perhaps comforting and palliative component.  But interaction with the OUT THERE via the body is always necessary for genuine creations of the mind.  No true creation is possible in the purely abstract.  It only appears that way once it has come into being, been digested, and properly presented as if it had no passion behind it at all.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I am finding myself being a cliche: I'm looking up people I used to know and finding out what became of them.  Because of the circumstances of my life, all the moving around--some of which was beyond my control, some of which was not--I lost touch with nearly everyone.  Not to be too mawkish, but I have had more than my share of good-byes.  Many people have simply disappeared from my life.

Be that as it may, I'm looking up so and so, and that person, oh and her--Ph.D, good on her--etc. I'm quite sure my high school hasn't the faintest idea how to find me, so I haven't been invited, ever, and I doubt very much I would go if I were.  All my friends were in classes above me.

Most of my friends have been very successful: I count a software company founder, a professor, a high-up-the-corporate-ladder, and an investment banker, none of whom I have spoken to in many years.

And I think to myself, for the umpteenth time: what is wrong with you?  I have a high I.Q.  I was a National Merit Scholar.  All I had to do was stay in my head, play the nerd game, carry it through to a Masters or Ph.D in some egghead field--and Humanities is fine, if you are on board politically--and build a life around that.

And I could have done that.   And I would have gotten to the end of my life never knowing myself.  I would have wondered all my life why I could never fully relax, why I was on edge, why I was irritable.  There would have been nothing in the way of me pushing people away from me forever.  I could have lived happily--relatively speaking--in my head.

Without knowing why, I have consistently thrown myself into things for which I was congenitally--or habitually--unsuited, with Sales being the most obvious example. I have turned into a competent sales person, but I would never have thought that in a million years.  I am a competent tradesman.  I also never would have thought that.

What I think I felt is that if you are overbalanced in one area, it is important to do something else.  And I did that.  I have done that.

My head tells me, because my heart doubts me, that a life spent pursuing personal growth, self knowledge, is a life spent well.  I look outside my window, though, and this seems to be a rare sentiment.  I am keenly aware that I am different, that my decisions do not and have not followed the normal flow chart.

Just in the last few days have I contacted, finally, an energy within me which wishes me well.  So much of my life has been spent dodging arrows and sling bullets that I have been firing at myself, lest someone else do it.

I may wind up in a shack in my last years, but I hope when it comes my time to die, I will not have to lie when I say to myself I did my best to become the best I was capable of becoming.  I have looked myself in the eyes and unhesitatingly told the truth.  This trauma--the puzzle of my past and more importantly what to do about it--has been an extraordinarily complicated problem to solve, but I have nearly solved it.

I can feel peace just over the next hilltop.  That is all I've ever truly wanted.  People who have not breathed hellfire likely cannot understand this.

I have also long said that my biggest fear is getting to the end of my life and realizing I lived someone else's life.  I say this mostly in earnest.  This is a big issue for the children of narcissists.  It can take a very long time to figure out where to set boundaries, and where you end and everything else and everyone else begins.

But even for the children of healthy parents, I think it is common to get sucked into whirlpools of various sorts.  To live authentically, all of us have to endure at least moments of feeling crazy, because as far as we know, we are the only people on the planet thinking x, y, or z.  For most things, this illusion is quickly dispelled, because most varieties of crazy are actually quite common, normal, and healthy.

For others of us, not so much.  I am going back and forth with an economist at present on my ideas, and he seems not able to wrap his head around seeing the trees in a new way.  Trying to convince professional economists to think new thoughts, and failing, and failing repeatedly, is just not a problem most people have.  Actually, though, to tell the truth, I like that problem.  It's an interesting challenge.

The gestalt, the Ursprung, from which all this flows, though, is quite unique, and I find being ignored vastly preferable to being misunderstood, particularly by earnest people, but being ignored has its cost too.

Woe is me, woe is me!!!!  It must be time for bed.  Nothing wrong with me a good night's sleep won't fix.  Sleep: the Reset button for life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Situational Psychopathy

This is a term we need.  It has many potential uses, but who I have in mind at the moment are the ghouls on college campuses who have renounced human connection and the possibility of genuine empathy in the pursuit of an abstract and quite fictitious humanism, and dispassionate compassion.


It occurs to me that the social form I want to create amounts to communes in the middle of suburban America.  The idea was always good, but you cannot build homes on shifting sands.

Taking Refuge

In my Kum Nye practice I am encouraged to "take refuge" in Kum Nye.  For someone who has felt exposed to a cold and hostile wind all his life, and used character armor and emotional deadening to deal with it, this sounded pretty good.

Being me, of course, I got to wondering what it means to "take refuge".  I think of Bobbie Zimmerman's (Bob Dylan's naked name, perhaps?) song "Shelter from the Storm".  I think of the Buddhist practice of taking refuge in the "3 Jewels": The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha."  And I don't think it is taking it too far to say that the 12 Steps is a "taking refuge".  It is taking refuge in what amounts to a Dharma and a Sangha.

And I think the question is this: what remains when you let your guard down?  What remains when you relax at the end of the day, open to all that you know is out there, even if only in principle, as you lie behind closed, locked doors in a safe place?  Is there something still there, watching over you kindly, like the loving mother you lacked?  Or something out there, standing guard against the forces of destruction, doubt and death in all its forms?  What will remain of the day before, in the day that comes after?  Will some patient force remain there, able and willing to help you rebuild what was torn apart and cast to the winds?

I feel here questions are enough.  I will leave it there.

Monday, November 9, 2015


My current Kum Nye lesson has to do with the neutrality of feeling.  In some ways sadness is equal to anger is equal to regret is equal to fear.

And it is very interesting that on close analysis, what I can feel is a neutral energy like electricity providing power to what amount to different engines.  There is an "engine" of anger, another of sadness, another of regret, another of fear.  These apparatuses expand as we feed them images and cognitive contexts--both historical, and social. They shrink as we deny them food.

But underlying it all is the same power.

So I vacillate

What preceded psychology, in much of what I will summarize as "Western Civilization"?  Sin, which is to say a choice between conformity with a system quite capable of violence, and expulsion, castigation, and perhaps even death.

Sin, in turn, might perhaps most usefully be defined as any species of outer non-conformity.  If one reads the history of the Church, it is filled to overflowing with greed, anger, violence, jealous rage, power-mongering, hypocrisy, hedonism, and so on.  This applies both to actual pontiffs, and to the kings and all their vassals and allies who professed the Christian faith.

One wonders if the "saints" often were merely people incapable of tolerating the "double-bind" of living within a system filled with such lies.  I wonder if many of them were dealing with severe traumas and had no way of avoiding insanity other than voluntarily leaving society and living in a cave, which in turn led to people assuming they were better because different.

I spoke poorly of what might be termed "psychodynamic" literature.  Perhaps it has been needed.  It is impossible, I feel, to properly individuate in a world with strong digital distinctions, coupled with violence.  The opposite of either/or is nuance, a spectrum of emotional and behavioral colors, which alternately flare and recede in most of us in the course of a day.

It does seem to me that some Eastern systems developed sound systems for mental health, but without knowing fully why they worked.  I think it is particularly important that we are finally beginning to grasp the importance of developmental traumas and PTSD, the importance of empathy, both felt and as a principle, and the very rich, interesting tapestry of human psychodynamic activity.

The transhumanists want infinite "knowledge", but I wonder how much attention they pay to the nuances of feelings.  How important is consciousness, per se, to them?  And how important, really, can it be to understand the next seven stages of math describing the universe, when accessing it experientially can only be done through a soul, which we have all been born with, which naturally return home, and which do not lack thoughts, but the inner knowing best reached through inner feeling, healing, hope and the following generation of the peace and joy we all truly want, need, and seek?

Transhumanism is born both of the despair of mortality--itself founded on a demonstrable empirical error--but more importantly--since this error could be discovered--upon an unwillingness to feel.

I have been through many hells.  They have all been worth it.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


It occurs to me too that the people who are actually "deep" are those who are able to love deeply, offer sincere loyalty, adhere to their own moral codes, and live lives of constancy, even when it is difficult.

What is the easiest game in the world--and I've played it--is mistaking an inability or unwillingness to assume adult responsibility for depth.   Simply because you read books we are told are deep does not mean you are.

In the end, what we call superficial necessarily includes a conception of what is deep, which is to say what "life" "really" "is".

Plays like "Streetcar named Desire" are called deep because they deal with complex human conflicts.

Is conflict the necessary nature of human existence, or is it the result of emotional superficiality and incompetence?  I would argue the latter.  Does the "deep" not then consist in what shows us how to TRANSCEND the easy emotions of anger, resentment, lust, greed, jealousy, hate and the like?

I get the sense sometimes that writers in the latter part of the 19th, through roughly the mid 20th Century thought they discovered how nasty people can be.  How is this profound?  I doubt anyone who lived then had not seen it.  They didn't talk about it, and they sure as hell wanted escape from it in their entertainment, because they lived it, but they were not the naive fools culturally disconnected fools seem to have thought they were.

That is my view, at any rate.

What is deep, in my own world, is expanding emotions and my sense of self to Space itself, to where I can make direct contact experientially with the energies which surround us in infinite varieties and ways, and which all come from one infinite source.  Violence and conflict are of no more intrinsic importance than human imbecility and physical deformity.  They are unfortunate, and it is appropriate both to care for and to not to pity them, but it is the height of idiocy to see them as profound in and of themselves.

It was Helen Keller's triumphant expansion of self and joy which marks her as special, not the ways in which her physical senses were broken.  This should be obvious, but it seemingly is not.

The Big Chill, Part Three

As I think about it, none of the characters really ever figured out how to mourn the suicide of their friend.  Tom Berenger was trying, and what was ironic about him is he was on paper the most superficial of the group.

I feel that there are countless ways to avoid mourning the pains of life, and most of what we call culture, today, consists in them.  The magazines, the TV shows, everything on your phone, social media: they exist, and profit from the fact that you don't want to "go there".

And this group, which united in their radicalism at the University of Michigan--which I will recall to your awareness, if it was ever there, was the home of Tom Hayden, originator of Students for a Communist Society, the SCS--remains all these years later, after so much life experience, fundamentally superficial, although still searching for deeper feeling.

Yes, they say they love one another, and on some level this is true.  They are open with each other, to the extent they are able to be.  They can be themselves with each other.  But all of them at some point found refuge in intellectualism, and found companionship with those who sought the same comforts in the same way at the same time.

It is not different in principle than friendships founded on a mutual admiration for the Lord of the Rings.  It was founded on escapism.  It is easy to conceal escapism when claiming to care about the tragedies of the world, but if your activism makes them more and not less likely, avoiding them is not the true source of your caring and action.  Caring about the real world is not what truly motivates you.

I am of course a bit cynical.  I have been "betrayed"--I use the word loosely to try not to sound too much like a drama queen--many times.  It seems logically likely that I have often failed to perceive the very real words of genuine companionship and caring that have been offered me over the years, and I am perhaps overanalyzing this movie, which after all was not a great movie.  It had a big effect on me when I first saw it, though, some time in my teens, which is why I chose to watch it again now.

It is deeply comforting to make blanket statements about "the world", but of course no such thing exists.  There are countless ways to be foolish.  I continue to discover new ways--both in myself and others--daily.


This treatment of techne is interesting:

Techne is differentiated from episteme.  Roughly, they differentiate how to do things from "what is true".  The first is for plebians, the second for the elite.  Plato was concerned with episteme.  His sandal maker with techne.  This is a rough distinction, the further differentiation of which does not interest me.

For my purposes, I would differentiate a telearchy, as I call it, which is an emergent order based upon shared common principles understood as ends, and ontology, which is a fabricated pseudo-reality created and extinguished with words.

In  my view, something is real, but it is in constant motion, making a full knowing impossible, and not worth the pursuit.  What we can know is what we can see, and what we can see are practical results, which would include the observation that having an internal moral compass in general makes people happier, and that living in a group of people with shared moral values also works to make the aggregate happier.

I cite principles, because as Orwell showed and subsequent reality has amply validated, it is quite possible to be a part of a group with mutable values.  What he suggested and what I will echo is that in such a situation, individuation is impossible, and so too is the happiness enabled by moral freedom and following consistent choice.

Practically, and this is the point of this post, episteme continues to be sought,but in the form of machines.  Machines are real.  Human inner consciousness is not.  It is not true to say that no techne with regard to improving the contents of human consciousness is being pursued--Positive Psychology as one obvious example seeks this--but it seems the overall thrust of our global social order has in general given up on the elevation of the human race through moral growth.  Our growth is to be through machines, and in particular through the consideration of society as one large machine, to be manipulated by "experts" using techne, but really feeling episteme, or perhaps, rather, the acute need for and lack of any sense of ontological grounding.

They feel lost, so they must fix the rest of us like butterflies on pins.  That is George Soros's project, and as he recently revealed, even as good a mind as that of Bill Gates at least claims publicly to believe in this farce of global warming, and that we must be all pinned for our own good.

The Big Sleep, after a good night's sleep

Pondering this a bit more, what I realize is that the basis of the friendships is a shared memory of shared passion.  They were brought together by Soviet propaganda which enabled them to form a tight emotional bond in what felt like the flames of conflict and principled effort.  Their main focus, politic, provided them with a sense of purpose, of meaning, and victory--unilateral US withdrawal from South Vietnam, enabling a North Vietnamese victory, and following massacres and enslavement of the South.--deprived them of that.

Their shared sense of self was based largely on the comaraderie which shared difficulty, shared apparent danger, shared uncertainty, shared desire, enables.  Such larger selves are always temporary constructs, when the cause itself is temporary. This is why they drifted apart.  The war ended.  They got straight.  The fog of war disappeared.  As William Hurt points out: they never really knew him at all.  They still don't.  They don't know each other, really.

What they love is a memory, of a time when everything felt fresh, when they felt alive and well, and open to whatever life brought.  We all need times like this.

But the residue of this era is precisely why sanity is impossible in our media.  Most of the people running our media either lived in that time, or wish they did.  They reference, in the process of ignoring the gaping holes in Obama's story while intentionally \misrepresenting the very talented history of Ben Carson, who actually DID grow up a poor black, this memory of purpose, of meaning, of living for something bigger than a paycheck.

It is very romantic, and then as now, quite morally wrong.  I cannot help but feel that if they had something else to cling to, they might be capable of telling the truth.  I don't think most of them are bought. I don't think they need to be bought.  They come up with the bias naturally.

And I don't think Tom Berenger--who along with the husband whose wife cheated on him I found the most likeable characters in the movie--is going to see his lover ever again. which I suspect he knows, and knew.  I actually excuse this sin.  I do not think perfect monogamy is healthy for everyone, all the time.  I personally would make prostitutes legal everywhere, but in my dream world they would be in Temples consecrating them as holy, as in the ancient world.

One of the reasons so many white Americans got syphilus--which the Americas shared as their part of the Columbian exchange--is that Indians would often share their wives.

Sex is neither moral nor immoral.  It all depends on the context and the emotional maturity of those involved.

I think it's 50/50 William Hurt imitates Alex in killing himself, likely even the same way, in the same house, with the same woman, probably AFTER he makes a fortune with Kevin Kline.  Absent his cause, and the inability to find a new one, he has nothing to live for.

I think the woman Kevin Kline slept with, if she gets pregnant, does in fact prove a loving, if neurotic, mother, but that her child always feels a sense of lack he or she would not have felt with a caring father in the house.

Jeff Goldblum, of course, continues to be an obnoxious womanizer, writing bad fiction for a time, then doing bad journalism again for the money, incapable of deep connection, unable to love any woman foolish enough to fall for him.

We do all need deep friendship, but one based on a stable foundation of mental wellness, which includes the ability to meet our own needs endogenously, as it were, to be emotionally open, and to be committed to firm and unchanging values.

The Meat Grinder

You can call it what you want, but it is quite real and prevents sanity.  I will have more to say in my next post.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Big Chill

One of my most peculiar traits is a profound political conservatism combined with an absolute openness not to the politics of the 1960's, but to the idealistic sense that the world could be changed for the better.  The hippies put poor Vietnamese in cages, broke their families apart, killed many of them in hunger and disease and outright execution, and reversed the land redistribution that had already been done in the South.  Their open embrace of Communist propaganda, which they framed idealism, made the world a much, much worse place.  To this day they refuse to admit this.

But the idea that society can be made less gray, that authenticity matters, that love is important, that all of us need to feel free to be ourselves, all of that I agree with.

The attractive thing about this set of friends is that they can argue, joke, and vent, and still be forgiven, still be a part of the whole thing.

This is what I want to create.  This is the feeling I want more people to have.  This is a feeling I want to have.  Part of my solitude is my recalcitrance and lack of trust.  In old pictures of me I looked suspicious when I was 3 years old.  Part of it is my uniqueness, or relative uniqueness.  All the people who embrace the same social radicalism I do also embrace the politics.  I can't do that.  Hippy chicks and me don't get along.

But part of it is our society.  We are atomized.  We live by clocks and routines, and thus social unnaturalness and dishonesty come easily too.  This can and should be changed.  Again, I am going to do what little I can do.  When I have some success, I will post it.  It seems at this exact moment I need to keep a focus on resolving my inner troubles.


I was feeling very lonely tonight.  I work from my home, and I spend huge amounts of time alone.  Sometimes too much even for me.  And I realized that this is actually progress.  To feel lonely is to accept that you have a need to be with people, which is something I have had a hard time doing consciously.  As I read about developmental trauma, a common feature is an inability either to recognize or consciously support ones emotional needs.  It is much easier to suppress them, and pretend they either don't exist, or treat them as unwanted nuisances.

Tonight I was thinking I am not OK with being alone all the time, and this in turn implies, paradoxically, the possibility of not being alone.  It is hard to be with people when you have suppressed the need for their company deep in your psyche.

It is amazing how often you can open up new and really interesting vistas by embracing "negative" emotions, letting them in, letting them expand, giving them free reign, and LISTENING to what they have to say.

They have been outside the gate for a long time.  They have been waiting because they are couriers, and they have messages they have to deliver, and they will not leave until their work is done.  This whole process is utterly logical.


is an allowing, and not a doing.

I keep getting moments of happiness and some part of me keeps stamping them out because I can't justify them. With the right allowing happiness is possible in nearly any circumstance, and with sufficient effort, impossible even in the best circumstances.

Another phrase I will offer, that I developed to help myself, is that positive feelings never need to be justified, and most negative emotions require regular feeding.

I will offer in this regard as well the differentiation made in Kum Nye between emotion and feeling.  Feeling is what is going on in your body.  Emotion is the result of how you think about a situation, and the feelings that flow from that.  A principle task in Kum Nye is decoupling the images and thoughts from the actual feelings.  Our body has prodigious wisdom, and can maintain equinimity in nearly all circumstances, IF ALLOWED TO, which for most of us most of the time it is not allowed to.  We react to our thoughts about the crimes and malfeasances of others, sometimes for a very long time.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

9/11 Truth and the military

I'll occasionally run into Been There/Done That military types in bars, and getting the straight dope from people who have been there is one of the reasons I dislike and distrust the media so much.  There are oceans of things going on they don't suspect, or refuse to investigate, much less report.

One interesting thing I learned is that not all U.S. Embassies get Marine guards.  What makes the difference in almost all cases is whether or not they have a CIA station there.  Embassies without CIA activity are guarded by locals, as was seemingly the case in Benghazi.  There was CIA activity in Benghazi, but not in Stevens compound.  The two SEAL's who were killed, and the people with them who were not killed, were from that activity, which was at a distance of a mile or two.

What he pointed out that was interesting to me is that two members of the Delta Force got commendations for their actions in Benghazi:  I had not known this, and it contradicts what I thought I knew, which was that there was no response from Tripoli.

The other thing I mentioned was 9/11.  Here he got defensive, and what I realized as we discussed it is that most member of the military seem to assume that if someone questions 9/11 that they are questioning the military and their loyalty.  That I am lumping patriots quite willing to die for their country with people who are trying to destroy it.  Some do.  Some people spouting these things are incapable of nuance.  But I am not one of those people.

He had participated in Jade Helm, and said it was just a training exercise.  I don't doubt this.  I don't think the guys on the ground are thinking they are preparing to invade Texas.  But somebody somewhere IS testing methods for using some element of the military to suppress by force domestic dissent.  You don't need many conspirators for a conspiracy.  You just need a good cover story.

And the other issue with the military is they have by and large sacrificed immensely.  They know people who have died, their families suffered, they went through traumatic stress that in many cases continues to haunt them, and they worked HARD, much harder than civilians can imagine.  48 hour days are not uncommon while deployed.  Going for many months working 20 hour days 7 days a week is not uncommon.

These people do this for love.  They don't show it, but most hard core soldiers are very sentimental, and extraordinarily protective of those they love.

To state that 9/11 was an "inside job", or that people other than Islamists associated with Bin Laden carried out this attack is to question the entire structure and point of the "War on Terror". It is to moot their sacrifices to an unknown extent, and murky what had been clear waters.  I have realized I have inadvertently committed acts of cruelty on several occasions by sharing my ideas with recently returned soldiers.

When you are being insensitive you are by definition not aware of it.  You are ignorant, and ignorant of your ignorance.  Stupidity feels just the same as wisdom.   It is merely the case that the former is corrected by time and circumstance.

We do have many millions of current and former military and law enforcement who absolutely love this country, and who remain willing to defend it.  Our problem is that the battle that matters most is being fought on the airwaves and on the internet.  We lost the Vietnam War over here.  We won it over there, but it didn't matter.


If a society has no boundaries, it is not a society.  If judgement is impossible--if you cannot be reasonably sure those around would reach the same conclusion in the same situation--you do not have a society. Groups of people who do not share beliefs do not share a culture.

Within the American system, there is legally no root morality, no root culture, no inherent assumption BUT freedom.  All of our Constitution is concerned with freedom from tyranny.  It was assumed, because in those days it was true, that everyone was quite capable of determining their own moral views, which were normally those associated with religion, and their interpretation of that religion.

America is thus peculiarly vulnerable to an infection of propaganda oriented around "freedom".  All we can assume to share with other Americans is a concern with our laws--or at least a rhetorical concern for our laws, and their underlying assumption of freedom.

What is missed in all this propaganda is that every "right" asserted potentially removes the right of another.  Men who assert the right to use women's bathrooms remove the right of women to not fear having a man in the stall next to her, making her uncomfortable.  It may be that self declared transgender "women" feel more comfortable using women's bathrooms.  It is certainly the case that most actual women prefer them using men's rooms.

Practically, what has been happening for many years now is that aspiring fascists like George Soros fund groups whose job is it to be perennially offended about some commonsense and historically well rooted feature not just of our society but societies the world over, and then make a lot of noise about it, which is then covered by left wing media.  Large splashes are made of miniscule problems.  Compare, for example, the number of transgenders in Houston with the number of women.  The number can't be less than 1,000 to one, but the women who don't want men in their bathrooms can't count on the funding of the professionally aggrieved.  Common sense loses all too often battles it would have won absent effective brain-washing and media management.

As I've said before, who loses, at least potentially, in gay marriages?  In my view, children, adopted children.  We can't ask the question if gay couples raise equally well balanced children.  It's not allowed.  Asking what is best for the children is a reasonable question.  Asking if being raised by two men is best is, therefore, also reasonable.

How many of you truly grasp that all this is leading us into a vast array of atomized nothings, who believe nothing, are willing to defend nothing, who have been taught since birth to give ground instantly in every cultural attack?  Who suffer the depression, fears, and anxieties of the weak, and morally malformed?

I-Pods won't save the pod people.

There are real problems in the world.  The people Obama funded and trained in Syria and Iraq are throwing homosexuals off of roofs.  They are raping women, children, and probably men.  They are torturing people.  Fidel Castro is still jailing--and as needed torturing--dissidents.  Nut-job in North Korea still has nukes.

Most of the world still has a standard of living that is well below the worst of our "poor".

Most of us are stuck with choosing between a consumer lifestyle and family and some version of leftist activism or at least moral support.  These are our meaning systems, and they both suck.

I continue to have as an ambition putting together an acceptable answer.  I have discovered one way not to do it, but expect more success with my next attempt.


Posted here:

I don't of course regularly read the Ragged Lady, but I do think they have on occasion let my comments through.  Still, I'm not going back to check, so I'll post it here too.

If you have a penis, you go in the Men's room.  If you have a vagina, you go in the women's room.  We all know that some men who have penises like penises, but I can live with that.  It is a fact of life.

What is not a fact of life is that men with penises should be able to unilaterally declare they "feel" like going to the bathroom with women.

This is not hate.  You people have so corrupted the English language that it is regrettably no exaggeration to call it Orwellian.  Racism, sexism, hate, X-phobia: none of these things mean anything any more.  They are simply hateful labels placed by hating people on the necks of people they want to club into submission.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Thinking and body awareness

The raison d'etre of the mind is to solve problems.  This means that where no actual problems exist, it will create them, if not curbed through body wisdom.

And to the extent we identify our selves with the mind, to the extent we have ego investment in the mind, our problems come to identify and define us.  We are our problems.  We are our ontological angst, magnified daily by our readings and recurring assumptions about what life "is".

All of our psychological problems exist within us, and they exist in the  form of recurring failures of psychic energy to flow freely.  The Tibetans seem to more or less conflate all psychological dysfunction as "Kun Zhi", which means "all ground."  All ground is no air, no motion, no moving.  Being stuck.

As I meditate more deeply I can feel primitive emotions loosen in the warmth of attention and come free, like a tree branch stuck on a rock in a river coming free.

One of the attributes of getting through Kun Zhi--and I am referencing Kum Nye theory here--is letting go of one identity--that of our problems--before the new one can emerge.  It is a period of confusion and doubt, but absolutely necessary.

And I can see one me walking out a door, and a new me--a realer me, who I have secretly known all my life--walking in.

And what I realize about myself is that my obsession with problem solving--which you can see littered all over the internet--has been really a sort of displacement to avoid feeling feelings that I am finally getting to.

I just ordered a book on attachment disorders from early childhood trauma.  It looked quite interesting.  I may not need it for me if this progress continues, but as I have said often, I think early childhood trauma is much more common than people suppose.


It feels to me like compassion is the last of the virtues to go.  It is an easy virtue, because it simply means, for most people. allowing people to do what they were going to do anyway.  It is a virtue which requires no work, no thought, no effort.

I have said before that tolerance is only a virtue if you are capable of judgement.  Compassion is the virtue of those incapable of judgement, and thus incapable of an actually moral tolerance.

Many complacent Europeans assume that compassion compels them to allow the current Muslim invasion.  Why?

When you apply actual energy to compassion, when you put thought into it, you realize that many people are involved in all situations.  In Germany, can they not feel compassion for their children, and their children?  Can they not feel compassion for the women of Germany, knowing that the Muslim invaders do not think women are full human beings, and that infidel women can and should be exposed to every atrocity possible?

Compassion without judgement is the moral sentiment of the decadent, who I have chosen to term Sybaritic Leftists.  Sooner or later they find themselves siding with evil. This is the inevitable consequence of abandoning culture, reason, decency, and the ability to think.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The benefit of trauma

From the perspective of survival, traumatic dissociation can play an enormously valuable function: it shuts down the emotions until they can be processed.  We can survive using only our rational minds. We can go on when some part of us has been overwhelmed and shut down, even if it is at the cost of suppressing much of our vital life energy.

I am getting powerful, primary, what I tend to call antique feelings coming up, and at that age trying to keep contact with those feelings and keeping my sanity would have been impossible.  I wonder if some of the people who are driven mad by circumstances perhaps lack or have a substantially muted ability to dissociate.

And what I am realizing as well is that dissociation is like having an emotional vanishing cabinet--a place you can go where no one can find you.

I need to bring those feelings--that part of me--into the flow of my every day life.  The payoff will be vastly increased happiness and energy.  Some part of me wonders, though, if there is some way to keep that, just in case.  I suspect the answer is yes, since the pathway is known.  It is a door I can close, where I don't visit any more, but which does not disappear.

It is perhaps unwise to step into wellness one foot at a time, but this is unknown territory, and I am taking my best guess.  That is all you can do.  Observe, orient, decide, act.

Friday, October 30, 2015


I am in the process of the final conquest of my fears.  During that process, it seems my need to post the processes of my inner life will diminish.  If I post less, that is why.  It is all good.  I have other irons in the fire as well.  I won't disappear.  With luck and skill, I will transform, and come back a more skillful eagle.


As I continue my listening of Gibbon, my sense of trust in, belief in, and confidence in the values of, Christianity continues to plummet.  On his account, the first sack of the Library of Alexandria was by Christians, dedicated to eradicating Paganism.

Alaric was a Christian.

But more than anything I feel this sense from my own history of sin, of needing to beg forgiveness, for NOTHING.  If you accept Christian doctrine, you are born a sinner as a little baby, before you can smile, before you can babble, before you can crawl, and long, long before you can walk and talk.  In your very crib you have been judged and found wanting.

Catholics get around this--and I will stipulate as a general principle that their theology is light years ahead of, and vastly superior to their rivals, even if their actual practice and actual organization have been and continue to be filled with mediocre and even awful human beings--by baptism at birth.

But most people who are not Catholic are born sinners, in the view of Protestant Christians, and can only with difficulty get rid of this stigma.

Christianity was unique in human history to that point in its radical intolerance, its violence towards alternative practices and beliefs, and in the fear it was able to exert in the cause of avoiding eternal damnation.

Islam was a logical outgrowth of  Christianity.  It takes a basic idea--that those who have not been saved face eternal damnation--and builds on-going wars, ubiquitous fear, and an absolute sense of superiority, even in the very processes of taking slaves, raping women, marrying children, and killing their enemies and taking their possessions, which would normally be called theft..

Monday, October 26, 2015


I am realizing there can be eloquence in silence.  Sometimes you say a lot by saying nothing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Everyone is stupid sometimes.  Some people are stupid most of the time, but everyone is a genius every once in a while.  To remain absolutely and consistently stupid, what are needed are dogma and fear.

The future of philosophy

There has to be a there there.

Post Investor's Business Daily

In moderation.  My history of getting through moderation is poor, so I'm reposting.  This has to do with Trump's recent comments that Bush seems to have known something was coming, but done nothing to prevent it.  This is of course in response to Jeb Bush's claim to be the man to go to for national security.  If you allow something like that on your watch, so the argument goes, you don't get "do over" points by starting two wars in response.
For may part, I find it increasingly likely that Cheney and other hawks, doing the math, figured some sort of WMD attack was over some time horizon certain, and that by sacrificing a few thousand now, could get in place the security apparatus to prevent the death of millions later.  This is what makes most sense to me, and would explain why no one involved in this conspiracy has yet come forward.  They may of course be too dead to do so as well, but it does seem certain at least elements of our national security apparatus and certainly NIST were complicit in the cover-up.

Speaking the truth has become an act of defiance in this openly Orwellian world. Barack Obama did not provide a birth certificate that would be valid in any court of law, or any State or Federal agency for any purpose. Period. This is not open to discussion. He provided a heavily edited PDF file which was a manifest forgery. Stating this, though, makes one a "birther", even among those who claim to want to speak truth, and who claim to oppose Obama.
And while one can question how high the conspiracy goes, there can be no question that our government interfered with and completely botched the 9/11 investigation. Beyond any POSSIBLE doubt, Tower 7 was imploded with preplanted explosives, and in direct violation of standard investigative guidelines, the evidence was immediately removed and destroyed, despite this being the first high-rise to allegedly collapse due to fire in the history of skyscrapers. Most people don't even know about Tower 7, since the media stopped covering it the moment it collapsed.
2,360 Architects, engineers, fire protection specialists, demolition experts and others in directly related fields have signed a petition calling for a new investigation. At a recent Structural Engineering convention 100 people stopped by, and 25 signed the petition on the spot after reviewing the evidence.
You can review the EVIDENCE--and it is that, empirical evidence--here:
It is later--and worse--than you seem capable of grasping. You people need to get your heads out of your better halves and start looking at the big picture.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Acting as lying

I thought this was interesting.

When I did the Hoffman Process it turned out I have some talent at acting and improv, so I took an acting class locally, and the instructor actually asked for my picture, as she thought I was good enough to do commercial work.  I felt a weird resistance to it, which I couldn't quite put my finger on.

And I think Brando here has done it: acting is lying.  Its very essence is insincerity. It is pretending to be someone you are not.  And you can learn to portray emotions convincingly that I think you don't feel.  I think many Hollywood actors feel they are much more passionate than they actually are.  What they are is sentimental, and sufficiently talented at mimicry that they can do suitable imitations of deep passion.

I was able to portray a lot of emotion without feeling any of it, and I think that is how it works for most of them.

I am deeply uncomfortable with the role actors play in our culture.  We admire them without knowing them.  Cloaking their real selves is the essence of their craft, so we can never be sure the person we think we know--smiling, friendly, seemingly open--is real at all.  We admire them for the roles they play.  It is but a short step from that lie to admiring the soap opera actor Barack Obama for how well he is able to act "presidential" without any real character, any real beliefs, any real compassion or caring, any honor, and any actual dignity.  Hell, people seem to be taking mediocre actor Hillary Clinton as the real McCoy.  We don't even demand good acting from our politicians.  Just good enough for the masses.

I recollect that in traditional Chinese culture, which had a sort of caste system, actors were right at the bottom, far below farmers and the learned.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015


Confusion among the capable is a sign that qualitative growth is possible.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wittgenstein paraphrased

The opposite of the claim "There are knowable truths" is not "There are no knowable truths", but silence.

Since the claim "there are no knowable truths" is itself a truth claim, it inherently contradicts itself.  Practically, it is a mask for cowardice and disengagement from life, in  almost all cases.  If nothing is true, then there is never a need for sacrifice.

And actually, that leads to an interesting idea: if we do not sacrifice ourselves, we are forced to sacrifice others.  If I am not working on myself, I am bound to be taking from others.

It is obvious what the Cultural Sadeists take, but what do the Sybaritic Leftists take?  They take meaning.  They take the higher purposes of life beyond simple comfort and pleasure.  They see safety as an end in itself, and danger and risk as inherently undesirable, because they know that is where the learning is, and they do not want to be reminded that life is always a fatal experiment for all of us.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Being Tough

This past week has been a bit tough, but it has led to an important realization: the way you get and stay tough is learning to thrive on adversity.  You don't accept it, you don't tolerate it, you don't muddle your way through it: you ENJOY it.

Over the years I have had a lot of opportunities to spend time with and get to know some really tough people, and they are happiest when they are on the edge, when they are pushing their limits.  It is not something they do because they have to, but because it makes them feel alive.

And these folks--lets take Special Operations guys as an example--are not serious, grim, scowling people.  They love to laugh and joke around and mess with each other.  You don't need to act tough when you are tough.

I think it is really important to reframe difficulty.  We assume that a "bad" situation necessarily must lead to negative emotions.  But if you treat everything as an adventure, as an experience meant to teach you something, you become alert, you become receptive, you ask questions of the experience like "why are you here?"  You wait for the answer, you look for the answer.  And it comes.  Some part of your unconscious can't stand the tension, and it will feed you something you didn't have before.

As I have said before, I have no way of knowing if "everything happens for a reason" (other than you being a dumbass and making bad choices), but it is categorically a useful belief.  If you believe that, you start looking for reasons, and in that very process you transform it.

I'll take "Almost a Bon Mot" for $600, Alex

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Get bed bugs and..........Jesus fucking Christ, where did everybody go?

I suppose on the plus side I now have life experience that will allow me to relate to lepers.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Worth remembering

There has always been a time after the plague, and after the war.

Sleeping on the floor

It occurs to me that with most "comfort" mattresses, the foam adjusts itself to you.  If you sleep on the floor, like I did last night (I'll skip the full back story) your body has to adjust itself to the floor.  Thinking about it objectively, which do you think is better for your overall long term health?

Consider this test:

Then consider that in the United States you can literally go years without sitting cross legged anywhere.  You sleep on an elevated bed, and you sit in chairs all day, including the chair in your car.

I have a basic cotton mattress on order that I am going to put on the floor, and am giving serious thought to watching TV sitting cross legged on the floor.  I even gave some thought to sawing down the legs on my table, but I do want to have some guests more than once.

Still, I think the way Asians do it is likely healthier.  We read often about overall longevity of nations, but it is worth pondering how we measure longevity of QUALITY life, as in being able to do most things yourself.  Here is one possible metric: median age at which half the aging population needs help getting off the toilet, which would include a support bar. I'm two thirds serious.  Everybody has to (hopefully) do it every day.  Needing help sucks for everyone.

I have no intention of winding up sick and senile in an old folks home, smelling like shit and urine, and eating once again the food of an infant.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


It occurs to me that growing in "Goodness"--becoming "gooder"--is a growth in the number of situations where you can be happy.  I have defined Goodness as being capable of living happily on your own, and taking pleasure in the happiness of others.  You are becoming better the happier you can be alone, and the more joy you find in the joy of others, the more places, the more ways.

And I would say relative to the last post, that I think most people walk into adulthood wounded.  They use will power to function, to get married, to have kids and raise them, but when they get to a certain age, they are tired.  They do not know how to contact the joy of living, how to replenish their spirits.  They get in ruts.  They watch TV, drink beer, cheer on the local team, and they grow old poorly, then they die.

We can do much better.  I am going to try and start my "Church" in November.  Should be interesting.  I have the spot selected and am working on a Powerpoint.  This is my answer to aging: a renewed effort to save the world.  You may call me a windmill chaser, but I am an enthusiast, and that is worth something.

I've decided to leave curing cancer to my oldest, who I have convinced to pursue it with diligence.  She is indefatigable, and with my ideas, we may have something in a few years.

I will add that in my view we all live forever--whatever that means--so extending lifespans is not an intrinsically important task.  What IS important is a new paradigm as to the nature of life, which in turn will lead to new understandings of what being human truly means, which should be the death knell for the 19th century metaphysics which still infect virtually all the sciences.  That, in turn, will create the opening for building a genuinely good world.  Pipe dream, perhaps, but everything great started as an idea.

You have to do something with your life.  Why not aim high?

Impermanence, Part 2

The beauty of children, ideally, is they call forth from us all of our creative and beneficial energies.  They give us opportunity to express completely unselfish love, a love which differs from that of man and wife in that in giving you also hope to receive.  With children, all you receive is their happiness and well-being (again, ideally: many parents rely on their children to meet their own selfish needs).

And children grow.  That is what they do.  We become connected with this process, cheering them on at this and that, commending for this or that.  Change is continual, whether we seek it or accept it or not.

We have all heard of the Empty Nest Syndrome, which is a bit different, but not that different, for single parents.  What next?  What to do with a life which had been dedicated to something which grew and left?

This is the thing: you should never get caught flat-footed.  All of us can see this coming, and need to have projects in the hopper, and new work to do.

The joy of parenting is in giving, loving, and growing.  You do not need children for any of these, though.

I personally am committed to growing as continually as I can manage as a person for the remainder of my life.  My last project will simply be interrupted by death.


I feel sad.  I am moving from where I have lived the past ten years, and looking through all the old stuff is bringing back a lot of memories.  Since God is a practical joker--and likes to teach through apparent bad luck--I have simultaneously gotten a bed bug infestation, and am having to weigh what to bring and what not.

I am leaving virtually all that connects me to the childhood of my children--their blankets, stuffed animals, their artwork, and even their bed.

And pondering all this, it occurs to me that the essence of letting go is opening to new possibilities.  If you remain attached to the past, this is tantamount to saying that your best years are behind you.  It is a regression, a choice of decline.

Where I was concerned, my children had very happy childhoods, fulfilling, nurturing childhoods, and they know and appreciate this.  They are both wise beyond their years.

For my part I look at, say, an piece of artwork that I had thought lost, and feel happy finding it.  Then I recollect that all that is gone.  They are gone. That child that painted that is gone, never to be again, although I may one day get glimpses of it again in a grandchild.  Who I was then, thankfully, is also gone.  I have evolved.  I have worked very hard, and seen good results.

So in the spirit of Tibetan butter art--which they create, then melt--I am going to burn my favorite drawings, in the name and in the spirit of embracing all the good things, and all the learning, which is yet to be.

I am finding that you can choose courage.  You can choose to face an unknown future calmly, and even with acceptance and grace.  You can choose to be fully human.

Edit: those pictures still make me happy in the present, so I decided to keep them.  They are the open musings of happy children, and that is an energy worth recollecting for all of us.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Attempt less, succeed more

I think this is a good motto for me.

Hillary Clinton

Can you remember an election where the front runner of either party was doing anything but looking for all the publicity they could get?  Bernie Sanders certainly is.

I think this fact alone, this willingness of Hillary to trust the media to carry water for her, should speak volumes about the state of our political affairs.  She still had a commanding lead, last I read, although it was slipping.  Going months and months during a campaign season doing something close to nothing will do that.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


We live in a world where many words have been converted into NewSpeak, such as "homophobia", "Islamophobia", "Racism/ist", and in my view most notable "hate".

We know the left does not oppose hate per se, because it is uniquely gifted in practicing it, and preaching it, and inflicting it.  It is FOUNDED on it.  Without hate, they have nothing.

I woke up this morning feeling I have never actually hated anyone, myself.  I have always said hate is a lot of work, and it is not repaid, at least for emotionally well people.  If I disagree for one moment--or even express insufficient enthusiasm--for the propaganda de jour--soon to be de jure, if the actual haters get their way--then I am called a hater.  They take the notion of hate, then add the appropriate propagandistic appellation.

Do you think the failure of blacks to thrive is in some measure their own fault?  Then you are a hater and a racist.

Does it make you uncomfortable seeing two flamboyantly gay men adopting a little boy?  Then you are a hater and a homophobe.

Do you take Muslim radicals at their word when they say they want to destroy America?  Then you are a hater and an Islamophobe.

We all know the drill.

The actual point I wanted to make, before I got preachy, is that I think hate is a combination of fear and disgust.  We have six primary colors of emotions, and hate is a mixture of those two.  I don't know that Ekman has said so--although he may well have--but it would seem to me that hatred and happiness are physiologically incompatible and likely opposites.

You cannot be a genuinely happy Communist, at least a practicing Communist.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


I got deep into some childhood stuff last night, really to the heart of my shaking, which has always lacked pictures, and I can tell you that my previous post was a much less unpleasant process than going to my diary and writing.

At root, evil is an avoidance.  It is avoiding dealing with horrible traumas through the mechanism of enacting them.  But it is circular: the trauma makes its presence known, a sadistic act is committed, temporary peace is bought, then it all starts again.  It can never heal, and the farther down this path one goes, the harder it becomes to stop, because the pain is accumulating.

Talking about evil is in some respects for me an avoidance, but it is also I think a necessary process for me to go through, to wrap my brain around what happened to me and why.

Through an intrinsic ability for deep concentration, I was able to hide myself well enough to survive the floods.  Now, it is time to being planting seeds, and watching living things grow.