Thursday, March 26, 2015

H.S. Thompson

I'll angle my way into this.

Two points I wanted to make immediately:

1) All I felt in Fear and Loathing was rage, rage they suppressed by using every drug they knew of, rage which they likely claimed was in response to something or other--Nixon of course being a prime candidate--but which was much deeper than that.

His attorney was almost certainly a rapist, and I wonder what stories he left out of his account. Moralizing seems not to have been something he did much of.  His problems were always practical, viz how to get away with it.  I counted three women they seriously abused: Lucy, Alice, and the waitress, who had a knife pulled on her.  All three started with his attorney, but they all included him, and he never seemed to care.

Remind me: what do you call someone with superficial charm, an innate and prodigious capacity for self and other deception, an inordinate appetite for thrills, and a seeming lack of conscience?  That's more or less a textbook definition, isn't it?

2) "Gonzo" journalism isn't journalism at all.

What he craved, but which had not yet been created, was a reality show, of which he was the star.  He would have enjoyed watching himself on TV.  He would have worked hard to out-Ozzy Ozzy.

The deeper point, of course, is his relationship with "the Sixties".  I will get to that eventually, but will note simply in passing that just about every treatment of him calls him either a counter-cultural icon or hero.

Self Sabotage

Here is what I think is the root of self sabotage, at least for me: it is a clinging to the past, in a childish hope that all the needs that were not met then will somehow, miraculously, magically, be met now, if only one does not transition fully from that emotional state one was in then.  It is a sort of unconsciously chosen anti-adulthood which, within its own logic, is very rational.  You did not get what you needed.  Those needs were quite real, and quite appropriate.  Therefore the world owes us this, and the way to get it is to wait.  Just wait.  It will come.  It's always coming. Perhaps Samuel Beckett felt something like this.

The way out is through death.  One must accept the death of that self, the death of those dreams, the death of those hopes.  The world is not on its way.  Those needs cannot be met, now, in the way you needed them to be, then.  Something new can be invented; there are pathways forward.  But only after a bonfire--a cremation--of a past life that needs to die.

I saw a flag--a pennant really--for myself in one of my visualizations.  It consists in a green background, covered with skulls, and the number 9 on it.  9, in many Asian cultures, is considered sacred.  This pennant represents, roughly, "Life and perfection through death."

I am literally going to make it--I have the materials and simply have not made the time--and literally going to put it on a flagpole in my room.  I am going to bring death into my room, and to the extent of my courage and capacity, embrace it.

Daily Cause

"International Coalition of Emotionally Disaffected and Alienated Individuals finding solace and comfort in shared daily anger, directed at whatever target presents itself."

I think we could also shorten this to "Wolf Pack".  Those who hunt together, stay together.  And why hunt?  The pack is formed in the chase, and of course one must eat.   The sense of gnawing on tasty bones and emotional satiety is something we all crave, no?  It is simply the case that better and worse solutions exist.

Given the primitive emotional need upon which such politics rest, it is small wonder they break everything they touch, and consistently empower precisely those they claim to hate.  No intellectual candor or rigor can survive such grotesque emotional need.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I like

I was talking with a friend I met at one of my inner work sessions, who related that "I don't like things".  I don't have "I like".  This person had previously confided to me that when they were young they also had colic, and their mother chose to hold them underwater to make them shut up.  Trauma.

I will wonder again how much undiagnosed trauma is floating around out there from before age 2.  Nobody can remember it, except in their bodies.   Somebody has to tell you, or you have to do primitive archeological work on yourself, never knowing for sure exactly what you are getting and where it actually came from.

But here is where I wound up: enthusiasm is something animals also have.  My dogs get very enthusiastic every time I crinkle plastic poop bags or put my shoes on in the morning.  This means it exists at a lower level than the social level, than the frontal cortex, than language.

Why not place it, too, in the gut?  If curiosity is the opposite of trauma, then I would suggest enthusiasm is the opposite of depression.  We need positive poles.  It is not enough to say "I don't want to be depressed."  What is needed is what EXCITES you, what gets you going, what . . .gets your juices flowing. . .your blood pumping. . . what makes you salivate at the thought of it.

And why not place the conditioned response in the gut as well?  All this neuroanatomy is in its infancy.  They just discovered the "gut brain" within the last 20 years or so, or at least its significance.

Could we not speak of trauma as a conditioned response?  Isn't it?  It is with me.  Certain thoughts, certain actions, and it is like a cloud descends and I get this feeling of impending doom.  I can and of course have walked right through the cloud and the fear countless times--pretty much every day of my life.  This is why I don't fear the same way many people do. If you have to deal with fear all day every day, things that would normally frighten most people aren't any harder for me at all.  Public speaking, risk of death, failure: I fear all of these.  I also fear shopping malls, cars, people, dogs, cats, birds, the sky, and grass.  It's part of being me.  Nonetheless, I function normally to all outward appearances.  It just takes a lot more work for me to do apparently simple things.

But I really think there is some very interesting work that could be done on this topic.  I doubt I will ever wind up in an academic setting again (I'll paraphrase Greg Glassman: the magic is in the discovery; only the explanation is in the science), but if I did, I think it would be a Ph.D in neuroscience/neuroanatomy.

I know seratonin is something many drugs target.  No doubt there are other neurotransmitters that get targeted too.  But what if you surgically altered the pathways from the gut to the brain?  I think what you would get would be people without instincts, and without enthusiasm.  What if you could find a way to alternately turn them on and off, so people could feel the difference, and learn to detect and process the input of the gut?  What if you could figure out a way to sedate only the gut, or to slow the quantity and speed of the transmissions?

Finally: I wonder if fasting is an ancestral way of dealing with the "gut problem".  

Self Benediction

May I find peace, that I may share it.

I cannot resist adding that so many people share invisible clothes.

Assassin's Creed

I have finally learned how to be an adequate pirate captain.  I got the Elite Ram, after some difficulty, and have taken on some ships even the game told me not to. I'm pretty much a big deal.

And I had to laugh today when it hit me that I can't self sabotage myself now.  Unlike life, The game only goes forward.  I would have to start a new game, and the whole deal with self sabotage is it has to be plausibly deniable.  No one says "OK, now I'm going to fuck things up royally."  No, they just DO it, then either wonder what the fuck just happened, or KNOW what the fuck just happened, depending on their self awareness.

Then I got to thinking about Complexity Theory and Dancing landscapes.  Here is the thing with life: you have never "made it".  You could be the blanking-est, blanking-est, and blanking-est (pick what you want: richest, most powerful, sexiest, most handsome, coolest) person in the world, and you will still die.  You will still lose, or at least undergo, to my understanding, a phase transition.

And of course most of us are never blanking-est anything.  And I look and see that the only way I can plan to avoid self sabotage is to develop the contrary habit of daily growth. It is not enough to try and avoid it.  I have to get at the roots of it, and the way to do that is to GO THROUGH all the things that stand in the way of planned growth; to learn to walk steadily and confidently in a direction I have actually consciously chosen.

More generally, it seems to me if you are not growing, you are being left behind.  That is the lesson of the Dancing Landscape.  And I don't mean economically, or at least not only.  I simply mean that you are falling behind the learning that COULD have happened if you had chosen it as a daily activity.

If you are not growing, you are shrinking.  I think that is a useful principle.

The other deep lesson of Assassin's Creed is this: as a pirate in the Caribbean in the early 18th century I deal with a lot of British and Spanish.  The game is quite violent, and most ships I take wind up being sunk, and all aboard, with few exceptions, implicitly killed.  Believe it or not, it sometimes makes me sad, watching all the carnage, because I know these things really happened.

But more generally it got me to thinking that there really was no moral difference between the pirates and the conquistadors and imperialists.  What does a pirate do?  He shows up, shoots everyone who resists, and steals your stuff.  What did the British do in their colonies?  They showed up with guns, shot everyone who resisted, and said they were in charge and you now owe us taxes.  They took slaves for a long time.  In 1710 or so (I think that's where we are in the story) they were still shipping Irish slaves to the Caribbean and "breeding" them with African slaves to make the children more valuable.  I'm sure you can imagine what those scenes might have been like.  These were the British, the ones we like to think of as the good guys, who all have charming accents and a marvelous and droll sense of humor.

And I think that none of these people were innocent.  Very few, at any rate.  Pirates were perhaps the most honest ones.

I do feel as well, though, that one must be very careful with this whole hypocrisy argument.  I recently listened to Hunter Stockton Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", and felt strongly that what I was listening to was Cultural Sadeism, and it caused me to make some alterations to my theories.  I'm still processing and will post on that later.

For now, I wanted to point out that Thompson no doubt rationalized his sundry crimes as "at least not hypocritical".  They were honest crimes, and he admits to them.  Sade, too, found the only crime to be hypocrisy.  What is the moral value of the charge of hypocrisy for such people?

It is this: they can distract others from their crimes by accusing everyone else of them, without ever articulating a morality.  Saul Alinsky, of course, was a Cultural Sadeist and palled around with literal gangsters (remember Mackie Messer/Mack the Knife winds up allying with the protagonists in the Three Penny Opera).  Everyone else was awful, he said.  Why?  They were HYPOCRITES.

Bait and switch, that is all.  Look over there, he says, while he picks your pocket.  Nothing meaningful has been said, and awful things left unjustified because unjustifiable.

One more thing: I think the phrase "psychologically harmful" could be substituted usefully for "immoral".  This is the crux of my argument.  And there is no need to add "socially harmful".  If an individual knows something is socially harmful and does it anyway, this is psychologically harmful, even if that person is so far gone the added injury is invisible.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gynophobia

Someone has no doubt come up with this term, but it's new to me.

I was reading about efforts to implement Sharia courts in, of all places, Irving, Texas.

Sharia is misogynistic.  Women are not treated equally, or even, to a great extent, decently.  Men can legally beat their wives.  They can marry and rape 9 year old girls.  They can rape any woman who is not a Muslim.  This is legal.  Not considered wrong.  Neither is slavery.

And I got to thinking about the psychodynamic roots of all this.  What is the psychological condition of Muslim women?  They are kept apart from men, not allowed (in most traditional societies) to be educated, not allowed to live independently, not allowed opinions, by and large, although I assume Muslim women, like all women, find ways to have their say.

There is something traumatizing about all this.  One can assume, I think, that most Muslim women know someone who has been beaten, and know it can happen to them too, and there will be nothing they can do about it.  Even in America we have had quite a few honor killings.

How do such women deal with the latent anger and rage, and fear, and humiliation?  Well, in part they likely internalize it, the same way that battered women refuse to put their batterers in jail, and stay with them, knowing it will happen again.  They rationalize the Hijab and restrictions on their movement and education as someone appropriate.

But they have access to little boys, and little boys can be punished.  They can be made to feel fear.  They can be humiliated.  They can be hurt.  Yes, these are their own children, but surely most of these mothers must feel some ambivalence, looking in the eyes of their men in their children?

Obviously, there are many happy homes, and many good mothers.  But I would argue that this outcome is made much, much less likely the more seriously the men take the fundamental contempt for women which pervades their holy text, and accounts of the deeds of its author.

Separate but equal, I think we can all agree, is not equal at all; and most Islamic apologists are being excessively generous even in granting equality in principle.  Women are a step below, maybe two.

Rosebud

I used the term Rosebud, or Rosebud moments from time to time.  The meaning should be clear enough to all who have seen Citizen Kane, but I thought I might clarify a tad.

All of us carry within us "moments" which are primitive, childish, and of vast, existential importance. I  was reading the other day that Sartre's parents divorced, and if memory serves (the details don't matter) his mother remarried when he was 12.  Somewhere in there was a childish need that was not met.  He was crying with every ounce of his being for something--for maternal love, for his father, for a return to how things used to be.  But his cries went unheard.  His needs went unmet.

And what do you do with such things?  What did our portrait of William Randolph Hearst do?  He carried on.  He put it behind him, so he thought.  He suppressed it.  What good does keeping fucking hurts in your fucking memory fucking do?  Fuck it.

But here is the thing: they don't go away until we own them, not really.

Christ taught both that we should be as children, and as wise as serpents.  Both.

Here is my emerging view: anyone unable to access the spirit of a child likely has major unresolved Rosebud moments.  Anyone STUCK in childishness, likewise.  You have to be able to move back and forth.  You have to be capable of what I will call "appropriateness".  This is a very Taoist term in the sense I am using it. It is mutable, and its exact meaning will vary constantly.

Dictum

All stupidity, repeated long enough, must be regarded as intentional.

Those who want to learn, do.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

ISIS

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/knights-templar-maps-plan-fight-130000317.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=fb&fb_ref=Default

I read this article, and was reminded of an idea I had I will propose again: someone involved needs to create an organization funded by public donations--and governmental money too--to fund a mercenary/volunteer army to fight ISIS.  Hell, Blackwater could float a trial balloon by announcing a money-gathering venture to fund the fight.  They could put a Donate button on their website.  People could sponsor soldiers, like people used to sponsor kids in Africa.

Churches could get involved.  This is in no small measure an anti-anti-Christian campaign.  Christians are being slaughtered: crucified, raped, buried, beheaded.

And I think he's right, too, that it might take a Non-Governmental Entity to fight one.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Crazy

Some days I get to admit I'm crazy.

Some days I can only attest to the craziness of others.

I prefer the first.

Few thoughts

I have many dreams.  It is my belief that I often touch the energies of systems and people, but it is also my belief that I can only see what I can identify and manifest in myself.  I never see any evil or good that is not in me, too.

I was watching the British last night.  It has devolved into something like a feudal system which lacks the dignity of work.  Many, many lower class Brits sit around all day, waiting, helpless.  The initiative is gone, the gladness in work is gone.

And guns are fundamentally empowering.  I wonder if some do not seek out ISIS just to put a gun in their hands, to feel that power, that authority.  Access to them is hugely psychologically important.  They are agents of goodness and responsibility in the hands of decent people, and a CRITICAL element in a healthy democracy.

Finally: in hard times, commandments are much more useful than suggestions.  Keep the Ten Commandments is much easier than "love thy neighbor".  True Christianity is much more advanced in some ways than the Mitzvot diet of the Jews, but it also requires a much more refined sensibility, which is why most Christians are not particularly loving, and in the case for example of the religious wars and witchcraft trials, have committed quite grievous sins in the name of "love".

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mastery

I think the height of mastery is giving nothing, but asking that people steal everything they can.

EMP Attack

I read here http://www.truthandaction.org/iranian-military-calls-emp-attack-america-killing-90-population/
(by the way, I know how to connect the link to the word; I just want people to know what they are clicking on) that it would only take $2 billion to harden our energy grid against EMP's.  If true, it is beyond stupid--I would argue it ranges into the criminal--that this has not been done.  We have probably spent more money videotaping koalas fucking than this, and almost certainly more on Obama's vacations.

Why does everybody have to be so fucking stupid? 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Poem

It's in the air,
          this feeling:

the dragons have fled from
    my plastic sword
and my tiny arms

the lizards have fled, with
  their flickering menacing tongues

and a rainbow. . .


Seasons

Walking my dogs this morning, it occurred to me that we follow nearly the same route twice a day, year in, year out.  But every day is different.  Something has changed.  The grass is greener or browner.  There are a lot of clouds or no clouds.  Sometimes the neighbors dogs are out, sometimes they are inside.

Every day is a season.  This  hit me.  Every day is a flavor, a color, an opportunity, a chance, a soon-to-be-gone.

This is a healthy thought.  Mental health is in part looking forward to each and every day as an opportunity to experience, to grow, to learn, to enjoy.  You know that challenges are a part of it, but you also know even the very worst ones can't last past this lifetime, and very few last even a fraction that long.  Most are forgotten in a week or two.

I have been living in hell.  As best I can determine, I have been in a more or less clinical state of depression since before I could speak, but it is healing.  I am getting flashes of hope and engagement, and cessation of those relentless attacks of self disgust, pessimism, and sense of impending doom and helplessness.

Doom may be impending--there are lunatics in this world even now trying to bring it about--but I think learning to face that possibility with the best attitude possible is the way to roll.

And I will be far more effective in creating and propagating creative alternatives as someone who is engaged with the world on all levels.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Growth

I was talking with a psychiatrist at the Hoffman Process, who referenced how "geniuses" access the world differently.  I wouldn't know about that, but I did comment that in my view emotional factors are hugely important.  If you find something which is unimagined in your field, and then rejected, soundly, by the powers that be, do you persist?  Who would Freud have been if he had stuck to his guns with his trauma theory?  We can't know.  He didn't, and this has hurt a lot of people.

As for myself, I am an UeberPisces.  I go all in, knowing I will be destroyed.  We are enthusiasts.  We can't help it.  I am a moth driven to a flame which transforms me.

Death is a certainty, and should be welcomed.  Whoever you were, you cannot forever be.  Whatever you did, is undone.  So why not jump in with both feet, and say Fuck It?


Testing my idea

My hypothesis is that certain reactions to certain stimuli are innate, and that lack of these reactions constitutes prima facie evidence of a disconnection between gut brain and frontal cortex brain.  This disconnection can be brought about abruptly through trauma, or slowly through conditioning.

You see where I am going, if you read this blog often.  I circle.

Again: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26481-left-or-rightwing-brains-disgust-response-tells-all.html

Dis-gust=inedible=unclean=dirty=wrong. What they have measured is the extent to which conservatives and leftists differ in their gut level responses to various stimuli.

If I find the spectacle of two men kissing disgusting, is that wrong?  Well, we are told it is.  We are told we have to learn to suppress that natural response--I would argue it is a natural response, as it is hard to see how evolution could have selected for at least exclusive homosexuality, although I suppose I could see some adaptive advantages to bisexuality--and instead express acceptance.  What do we do?  We SUPPRESS.

Killing babies.  Well, I think we are wired to protect our own kind, at least our close kin, and to protect the most helpless in our group.  Babies are nearly completely helpless, and embryos ARE completely helpless.  It is small wonder that many would find the idea of reaching in, pulling out, and killing--if the shock of removal was not enough--that little proto-baby.  What do we have to do to toe the orthodox leftist line that it is not a baby but a de facto removable organ of a woman's body she can choose to want or not want?  We have to SUPPRESS that natural protective instinct.

This is how you get things like this: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/05/08/emily_letts_filmed_her_abortion_to_inspire_women_but_can_the_procedure_really.html

Letts tells us, “I talk to women all the time, and they’re like, ‘Of course everyone feels bad about this. Of course everyone’s going to feel guilty,’ as if it’s a given.” She says, “I don’t feel sad. I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a life.”
And, of course, facilitate and film the TAKING of a life.

Personally, I am not a hard core anti-abortionist.  I support education and access to birth control.  Above all, though, I support children growing into responsible adults who are both capable of preventing pregnancy, and retaining a sense of horror at the idea of killing a baby.  Our current President supported an Illinois bill in which full term babies could be born, and then simply left in the cold to die, and then be discarded as medical waste.  There is something fundamentally disconnected about that.

This is my point.  I think one possible measurement would be something adumbrated in the movie "The Parallax View", and attempted in a preliminary fashion by those measuring political brains, which would be to measure reactions to images which we could reasonably assume would be dis-gusting for most people.  Dead bodies, feces, etc.

And of course this sort of thing was PRECISELY what Sade was interested in.  120 Days of Sodom is filled with little sketches, little ideas, static images (partially forced by the fact that Sade was in prison and forced to hide his manuscript).  One of them was taking a bath in blood, feces, semen, urine and menstrual blood (I think that is the right inventory), and calling it good.

The leaves on trees turn color in the fall because they are dying.  Can we not imagine that the fascination with the dis-gusting arises precisely when access to that sense is gone or dying?  That a fascination with death is tied precisely to a sense one is dying or dead?  Could we not find brain-eating zombies in here somewhere?

Life is complex.  I mean this in both senses of the term, which is to say "hard to understand", and formally "complex".  You cannot necessarily build stronger bonds of human understanding by prohibiting judgement and that expressed sense of pre-rational revulsion we call bigotry.  As I say to the point of being monomaniacal and profoundly dull, leftism does not renounce judgement or violence.  It does not renounce hate or bigotry.  It simply reserves it for those ACCUSED of those crimes, who in most cases are completely innocent.  Does any sane human being really think opposition to Obama is race-based, or that racism is a major problem for more than a very small fraction of our populace?  Of course not: lunacy is common on the left.  It is the only thing which propagates it.

I was reading the other day both about how the Irish competed with blacks in the numbers in which they were brought to the Americas as slaves, and in the discrimination they faced. Most Irish slaves seem to have wound up in the Caribbean, but they were slaves, no question.  They were "bred"--and I think this is the term that was used--to create higher value slaves.  They were esteemed lower than blacks, who were considered hardier.

Then after the potato famine, they came to America voluntarily, but were faced with pervasive discrimination, as in the short, because common and commonly understood, acronym NINA: No Irish Need Apply.

No civil rights activists intervened.  No pro-Irish campaigns were ever waged by the government.  But they integrated.  Most major cities now have Saint Patrick's Day parades.

The same thing would have happened with African-Americans, if they had been left alone, left to negotiate their own way as countless individuals.  But they had the profound misfortune to have Jesse Jackson and Al sharpton and Jeremiah Wright, and Louis Farrakhan and Barack Obama inflicted on them.  And that's before I get to the vastly larger number of whites who USED them both to advance their careers, and to create a sufficient illusion of a conscience for themselves that they could sleep at night in their large mansions, "knowing" they were the good guys and gals.

Enough for now. 







Existence as Transgression

Welcome to my mornings.  This is the sort of thing I wake up with.  It's good.  I feel some mild guilt getting up at 9am, but then I look at how hellish my sleep was, and pronounce it good, and look forward to my coffee--Peet's Major Dickason's Blend.  I'm glad to see they are expanding, although I assume they are damn hippies too (I'm a damn hippy, but one who considers Reagan a centrist and Fox center-Left).

Here is what I think is an important hypothesis: Evil is mainly constituted by learned helplessness with respect to full nervous system integration, aka the sense of emotional individuation.  For those who exhibit what we call sociopathy or psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder, existence is a transgression.

Think of the experiments that could not be done today, in which dogs were put in one cage, and allowed into another, which had an electrical plate that shocked them.  After a time, they would not venture out, even if the floor was not electrified, because the pain of even anticipating the shock was too much.

Children who are beaten cannot feel anger.  You are not allowed to yell back at the parent.  You are not allowed to express justified rage.  You are not allowed access, in other words, to normal systemic responses, to instinctual responses, to natural reactions to troubling times.

This creates dissociation, which is a textbook clinical response to trauma.  Dissociation is a disconnection between the sense of self and emotions most would consider appropriate at some given time.  Traumatized men, for example, in my view make excellent soldiers, because they lack the sense of fear that would paralyze others.  They simply shut it off.

And think about this: conscience consists mainly in ANXIETY, in the sense that doing x, y, or z makes you uncomfortable.  You imagine cheating on your spouse, or robbing or killing someone, and some part of you becomes profoundly discomfited.  It doesn't like it.  It says "I don't WANT to be the sort of person who does that".

It may be that you don't want to be SEEN to be that sort of person, that you value your honor, which is to say your social standing.

It may be that your conversation is solely internal, such that your "social standing" is related to your internal sense of worth, your internal and fully honest sense that if you commit this transgression, you will no longer DESERVE to be integrated into a social space.  You should be homeless.  You should be exiled.  You would feel guilt, which is to say anxiety and emotional pain tied to your sense of self.

This is what the voice in your head tells you.  But here is my thesis: that "voice" is an emergent property of a gut sense, of signalling originating in the gut, which perhaps at a very primitive level is concerned with clean/unclean, itself a distinction related to edible/inedible, which at one time had enormous survival implications.

The A-10 is a plane built around a gun; the human being, in some sense, is a machine built around the gut, serving it.  Figuring out what it tells us constantly is thus a matter of considerable importance.

Sociopaths, in this rendering, have lost--through socializing, in all likelihood, with infant trauma largely being absent from the psychotherapeutic arsenal of diagnoses, but certainly possibly having been born this way, or a predisposition to it--the connection between their rational, social brain and their gut brain.  The gut sense that something is inedible/unclean/wrong is simply not there.  The gut either is not telling them, or they do not have the capacity to process it.  Either way, the conscience is absent.  Lying, cheating, stealing: these evoke no emotional response other than a concern with getting caught and punished.

And such people typically have an exaggerated need for thrills, for living on the edge.  Some, with some other factors in place, become serial killers or rapists; others ride their motorcycles much too fast, and tell so many lies and cheat so much it's almost like they want to get caught, when in reality it's the thrill of the possibility-and the sense of victory when they get away with it--that makes their engines run.

On this rendering the distinction of sacred and profane, seen nearly everywhere in religions around the world, would be one arising in the gut.

And the preponderance of fascination with horror movies, particularly among young people, could be seen as arising from the felt gut sense that the distinction between sacred and profane has been eradicated.  Leveling is the fundamental notion of Socialism--moral leveling, to be clear, since politically an oligarchy always emerges on top--and that eradicates primitive emotion-based distinctions.

As rational beings, of course, we can say that such distinctions should be erased.  Homosexuals should not be beaten and killed.  We can allow Irish to apply.  Women are pretty damn smart.  All of this makes sense.

But some part of us still needs these distinctions.  The Hindus built peace (for most) and stability for thousands of years based upon pervasive and permanent and complex graded systems of difference, of sacred and profane.  To this very day, tens or hundreds of millions exist outside the social system, and are routinely abused in horrible ways.

To abuse is to exist.  This is the logic of some part of our evolutionary wiring.  It is countered, of course, by more recent developments, by our social brains.  But when the two exist in conflict, the sense of home is prevented.  Rest is disrupted.

This is the issue of our modern age.  One can easily see the totalitarianisms (Communism, primarily, with Nazism arising in reaction to it) as arising from this felt sense of displacedness, of disconnection, of homelessness.  Verworfenheit.  One can readily grasp Heidegger's initial embrace of Nazism simply by noting the importance he placed on Heimat: me and mine, if necessary against all others.

And I think it necessary and useful to derive a sort of Sociopathy Light (Lite?), which is to say the evisceration of the conscience brought on by disconnecting the gut from abstraction.  In order to socialize ourselves, we must employ abstract reasoning, rules.  Fairness, for example, is an abstraction.  It says "I must make sure (the gut adds--in order to prevent violence and to foster intra-group solidarity) to make sure all the children get equally large slices of chocolate cake."  As an abstraction, this works.

But our social mind can easily be disconnected from its concrete milieu, from the actual, real world.  It can perform the same symbolic operations, which make sense in the abstract, but which do not apply to anything in the real world.  "Social Justice", for example, is in almost all cases encouraging one group not to embrace the principles of hard work, self restraint, long term thinking, and patience; and of punishing another group for doing so.  It rewards those who should not be rewarded, and punishes those who have in fact been rewarded.

More importantly, it discourages morality.  Virtue remains a type of sacred; and its contrary a type of profane.  These are still usable categories, and will in my view still satisfy the gut.

But contemporary "virtue" consists precisely in undermining all other sorts of virtues, at least on the left.  They do not say "the rich are rich because they busted their asses over the long haul, took large risks, endured many sleepless nights and endless frustration, and in the process created many jobs and wealth for others."  No, they mimic a bygone era when aristocrats existed, and could be assumed to be the beneficiaries of an ancestors rapacity and capacity for successful theft in the near or distant past.

So what you get, practically, is a combination of inaccurate abstraction--really, I would call it in nearly all cases rationalization--and a very real felt sense of hatred and anger and violence which come from an otherwise disconnected gut.

And this basic phenomenon is common.  On the Religious Right you have people who spend all week reading about the importance of love and kindness, and who spit out hatred and anger at all who disagree with them.

And everywhere you will find self righteous people who claim to be for the "Good" who are angry, spiteful, and emotionally disconnected.

All abstract tribes are prone to this, although it is not a necessary element.

I think it is perhaps in the Dionysian that we reconcile these opposing tendencies.  Apollo has never fully run the show.  Wine has its place.  The gut must have its say and its day.

And I think this is also the role played by many authentic spiritual practices.  As I have mentioned, I do a Tibetan practice called Kum Nye, and they talk about the nastiness of gut energy, which they locate in an energy center below the navel, but also speak of how to release and integrate it.  (In my own case, I have what amount to attacks of shaking nearly every night, which originate in almost all cases in my solar plexus; my view is that both the orthodox physiologists and the "energy" interpretations are correct, on different levels).

And this is the point: existing methods can be researched and refined, and new methods can be developed and deployed to deal with this energy in socially useful ways, such that we can exist as being who FEEL whole without being subject to attacks of violence and a need for ritually defined social distinctions.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Killing

The second to last Odd Thomas novel by Dean Koontz has a Satanic cult which gathers to witness the torture and murder of children. Pleasant theme.

I would connect this with a paper I proposed writing in graduate school, and which my professor refused to allow, which compared the stages of serial killers with those of ritual activity.  I forget the details, but serial killers go through a series of psychological stages in every killing.  They initially enter a slightly altered state, when they start looking.  Then they enter another, profoundly altered state when they interact with and eventually kill their victim.  Then they reintegrate, usually taking some memento of the victim with them.  This is usually very important. Here is one random link, which does not cover what I am talking about, but which is somewhat interesting: http://twistedminds.creativescapism.com/psychological-disorders/motives/

I was going to compare this with I think it was Turner's three stage ritual theory.  Yes, here is a brief description: 

Turner explored Arnold van Gennep's threefold structure of rites of passage and expanding theories on the liminal phase. Van Gennep's structure consisted of a pre-liminal phase (separation), a liminal phase (transition), and a post-liminal phase (reincorporation). Turner noted that in liminality, the transitional state between two phases, individuals were "betwixt and between": they did not belong to the society that they previously were a part of and they were not yet reincorporated into that society. Liminality is a limbo, an ambiguous period characterized by humility, seclusion, tests, sexual ambiguity, and communitas.
Here is the point I want to make here: I think it would be possible and likely useful to theorize that what is happening in both actual religious ritual and serial killing/ritual killing is that we are transitioning from our social brain--our frontal cortex--to our more primitive nervous systems, and specifically the gut brain.  The gut brain WANTS blood and guts and to tear things to shreds.  Do you think big cats, stalking their prey, do not go through something like what serial killers do, stalking THEIR prey?

And evil and traumatic disruption of normal gut function are integrally related.  I am convinced of this.

If this is true, then ritual and ritual killing are perhaps means of REMEMBERING a part of ourselves that has gone lost in civilized life.

I think there are some deep, dark, and potentially transformative ideas here.

And I will add the idea, too, that psychiatric drugs are targeted at our rational minds, with things that happen in the brain.  We do not yet have anything which can work to calm down, directly, grotesque alterations of nervous system function in the gut.  That would be an enormously productive field of research, in my considered view.  I have no clue how one would go about it, but I would start by trying to determine if I could find a way to tell the difference between the guts (and this is a large term covering a lot of neuroanatomy I don't know in detail) of healthy, relaxed people, and those with PTSD.

Perhaps there is a way of interrupting the signals they send to the brain?  

Home

Home is a category of living.  It is a quality of being.  When you feel at home, you are relaxed and comfortable.  The opposite is feeling away from home, which is to say somewhere where you need to be alert and guarded, unless you are trusting enough to make the Earth your home.

I think people who grow up in violent homes lack what I tend to call, for want of a better term, a place-holder for "home".  They never felt safe.  They never enjoyed a lasting peace.

Me, I've lived in the same place for quite some time, and have needed to do some painting and reorganizing, etc., to make it more into a home, into a place that is recognizably MINE.  Certainly, my decor is ideosyncratic and likely unique, but I have not gone all the way and made everything just so.  I am afraid to become attached to the place.  This is an irrational fear, since I cannot imagine a circumstance in which I would be FORCED to move again.

But it goes deeper: connecting to this place means connecting to the feeling of home, and home scares me.  My home was a place where I got hit, and my parents argued constantly.

So what I am feeling is that as I slowly become aware of all this, as I slowly build my emotional readiness to "nest", this signified, intrinsically, healing.

Masteries

John Wooden always said his games were won in practice.  He spent an enormous amount of time preparing them, such that everything was down to very small time intervals.  He would spend two hours planning a two hour practice.

I sometimes dream of being disciplined enough to plan my days like this.  Specifically, I have often thought that it would be enormously interesting and useful to allocate 20 minute blocks to various skill developments, and do so daily.  For example, 20 minutes juggling, 20 minutes studying Sanskrit, and 20 minutes listening to and reading along with Shakespeare's plays.  That would be one block.

3 days a week you add a second block, say a 30 minute lecture on something, and 30 minutes memorizing as many songs as you can.

Sundays you spend 3 hours on something, like cooking a gourmet meal, while cultivating a capacity for recognizing fine wines or whiskeys.  And you smoke a cigar, and make notes on it, to develop your capacity for recognizing and describing fine smells.

Do this over years.  How interesting that would be.  And you could build to 5, 10, or 15 skills, cultivated slowly, gradually, and over long time intervals.

Love making: get the books, and build the skills.  Consciously experiment, take notes.  There is no reason a competent lover can't give an average woman 2-3 orgasms every time he starts.  Most of us just don't recognize how fantastically equipped women are for sexual pleasure.  We men are pikers in comparison.

Bon Mot

Knowledge feeds curiosity.

Alternate rendering: Knowledge breeds curiosity.

I continue to find proclaiming my own words "bon mots" amusing.  As I tell my kids, even if I am laughing at my own jokes, at least someone is laughing.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Sequence

I must, I can, I like, I love.

I Must to I Like

Doing something "voluntarily" that you are forced to do is no virtue.  If you don't lie, cheat, and steal only because you fear being caught, you have not understood their value.  If you pray incessantly only because that is what you think you are expected to do--or if you want to be esteemed as pious without actually being pious--then that is no virtue.

The more I mature, the more I realize that morality is a simple expression of mental health.  It is right because it is right: it works at every level, from the personal to the global, to increase happiness, social connection, productivity.  And anything that is right need not be forced.  You simply let it be, and it is.

This basic idea of course is everywhere, with the Tao Te Ching being the most obvious example within my own history.

And speaking of my own history, it is filled with "I Must."  The point of breaking someone is to make it so that doing other than what they are told fills them with extreme anxiety and fear.  This is the domain of "I Must".

What I am trying to migrate to--and one technique I am experimenting with is trying to, in effect, be my own guide, and record messages on a tape recorder as to who I have been and where I am trying to get to--is "I Like."

I am echoing something Jack London wrote: 

The ultimate word is I Like. It lies beneath philosophy, and is twined about the heart of life. When philosophy has maundered ponderously for a month, telling the individual what he must do, the individual says, in an instant, “I Like,” and does something else, and philosophy goes glimmering. It is I Like that makes the drunkard drink and the martyr wear a hair shirt; that makes one man a reveller and another man an anchorite; that makes one man pursue fame, another gold, another love, and another God. Philosophy is very often a man’s way of explaining his own I LIKE.

I will add to this a quote from Herman Melville that I am reciting (perhaps slightly wrong) from memory: "When I hear a man give himself out as a Philosopher, I conclude that--like the dyspeptic old man--he must have 'broken his digestor.'"

Think about this: is not every failure of follow-through you have ever experienced not come as a conflict between "I Must", and "I Like"? One part of you feels you ought to do one thing, but some other part of you tells the first part to go fuck itself, and following behavior, predictably, is erratic and incoherent.

My own task, then, logically, is reconciling my parts.  I am still working out how to do that, but am making, I do believe, some progress. 

Trauma Based Morality

I'm not ready to flesh this idea out yet: just a phrase.  But I think there's a lot of possible value here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Nice Speech by David Horowitz

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/frontpagemag-com/david-horowitz-the-lefts-destruction-of-inner-city-communities/

Our problem as both a nation and a world, is that nice people lack the bullshit detectors they need to realize that the people calling for justice and peace and prosperity in nearly all cases either intend the opposite consciously; or worse yet, achieve the opposites without naming them or claiming them, and continue to do so year after year, decade after decade.

The people who call bullshit on all the nicey, nicey stuff aren't popular.  Many people want the world to be all sunshine and rainbows, but it just fucking isn't.  Not yet.  And it will never be until the overwhelming bulk of people have the emotional courage to see what is plainly in front of them and call it by name.

Grammar

I reposted one of my pieces today and noticed that I referred to the fact that John Keynes married a Russian women.  Someone else recently commented on my grammar as well, so I thought I might say something.

Here is the thing: nearly every piece on Goodness Movement was written in one or two sittings.  Those sittings in some cases were 12-15 hour days, but they were of a piece.  My psychology being what it is--somewhat fucked up, but with I think significantly above average reality testing, which is a documented positive of depression--I can't mull these things over, and do them gradually.  I have to get them out all at once, or they don't come out.  And one outcome of this is poor editing.

I am trying to fix this.  I am trying to implement gradualism in my life, peaceful progress.  But it has not happened yet.

I should add, I think, that sometimes I actually don't care what proper grammar is.  I have a style I have evolved that I like.  I think anyone who thinks grammar is of intrinsic importance should read Shakespeare and tell me how his prose would be improved with a good editor (because, you know, people reading me immediately think of Billy Boy).

While I'm at it, here is the Keynes piece again: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/files/Download/keynes.pdf

I am going to try again to stop reacting emotionally to stupidity (as I see it) masquerading as knowledge, and grotesque narcissism disguised as philanthropy; at least, I am going to try and stop reacting UNPRODUCTIVELY.  That is to say, I am going to try and write one place, and not another; to one audience--me for now--and not the world at large.

We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Punishment

You know, I am on Facebook too much.  It is like I am looking for something, but never find it.  It is fear, of course, that keeps me from setting sail, finally, but I am for the time being indulging myself.

And even though I am censored on most left-wing websites--I can't post on Salon, Media Matters, HuffPo, Daily Cause, and probably some others I've forgotten--I still see links from time to time to leftwing propaganda, where for instance they are still trotting out the tired theme that conservatives are all racist.

And I sometimes call them on it.  Some part of me prefers fighting to living.  And I look at them, and wonder how there could be ANY connection between the education I received--which valued reason, and perspective taking, and self restraint, and respectful dialogue and above all an effort at UNDERSTANDING other people and their ideas--and what is on display daily.  The hate.  The unreflective, reflexive hate.

There is no difference, in my view, between people who hate one group they don't understand, and other people who hate some other group they don't understand.  It is still hate if KKK members hate blacks they don't know, don't talk to, don't interact with, and know nothing about; and it is still hate if left wingers hate Republicans for their alleged racism--which has no signs, which is not present in any recognizable form--and who hate passionately, and with ZERO desire to understand, to interact with, to learn about people who think differently than them.

As I have said often, there seems to be some part of our organism which craves aggression and violence, and the subterfuge of the Left is perhaps the worst because it claims not to be subterfuge at all.  Still, it is not different in principle than Christians who kill in the name of Jesus.  They may be doing the right thing, but they can't do it in the name of Jesus.

Hate is hate.  This is a simple enough concept.  If you are hating, then you are playing the same role as the people you condemn for hate.  If you are a Leftist, you are simply too disconnected with your feelings, too self righteous, too self absorbed, to fully grasp what you are doing; and of course a full and effective propaganda apparatus has been developed around you to protect you from self awareness, until such time as hate and conformity become the only things remaining of value to you.  The transition from Sybaritic Leftist to Cultural Sadeist is not all that hard.  Resentment is easily fed in a world where you have been taught life is supposed to be easy.

All this for Rosebud.

Here is my actual point.  I had to get that rant out first, for my own emotional cleansing.

I get angry.  I want to punish people.  But what I see is that when I form that connection with others, I have stopped looking up.  I have taken my eyes off the highest aims open to me.  I enter into a fight of some sort with someone who I will beat, or who will beat me, or who I will wound and/or will wound me and we move on.  We make each others lives less pleasant, then go on to the next one.

This cycle never ends, as long as I am looking across at those opposing me, placing myself at their level.

Yes, the bastards cause no end of damage.  Yes, they need to be opposed.  But practically how often am I effective?  Would time spent being angry on the internet not be better spent at dealing with these issues properly once and for all in a book format I can then provide to people to accept or reject as they choose?

And I think more generally about punishment.  Socially, you need deterrents, which is what the threat of punishment provides.  But I don't think it is EVER useful to judge people, to see yourself as better, to see them as DESERVING their punishment.

Let us say some psychopath kills someone you love.  This would be an unmitigated horror.  You would want to see them dead, preferably painfully, if you are typical.

But even if they are caught, even if they are put to death, rage is still an unpleasant companion.  So too is hate.  And bitterness.

Every so often I get these flickers of light, I get small instantaneous glimpses of a world where I pursue light every day, where I pursue qualitative joy, regardless of the darkness around me.  I get glimpses of constantly and consistently being my own best friend, constantly and consistently seeking in a balanced and daily way personal growth, felicity, fun, happiness, creative engagement, and ignoring all the wrong people in the world, ignoring all the countless opportunities for conflict, for punishing those who I feel deserve it precisely to the extent I have abandoned my own best prospects, my own best self.

Now, I want to be clear that I am not advocating simple minded anything.  I get angry too at people who say you have to be nice all the time, or compassionate all the time.  I think most of the time these people are compulsive, and preachy.  They want you to look up to them, and don't want you to know how many fucked up things are floating around in their heads.  Yes, I am a bit of a cynic, but I have come by it honestly.  I have trusted many people who have failed me.  I tend to distrust anyone who is not an honest sinner.  If I can't see where your self interest is being met, then I assume you have hidden it from yourself, and that wherever it comes out, it will likely be unconscious and destructive.

So kids, this post is all about being a fucking ray of sunshine.  I think that was the point I wanted to make.  I feel better now.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Suicide

Like most people educated in my approximate fashion, I have read "The Myth of Sisyphus". I was actually quite enamored of Albert Camus in high school, and once spent a summer doing a close reading of, and completely misunderstanding, because I was stupider, his book "The Rebel".

He argues that all psychologically normal people have thought about killing themselves.  So he heard a shrink say somewhere.  And today I was reading someone's account of an acute depression, where he thought about ending it all.

And I wondered again, what I wondered then, why this has never occurred to me.  I have never thought seriously about killing myself, ever.  I have had moments where I would have taken heroin,if I had it.  I have had moments where I understood clearly why people cut themselves to feel pain.

But I have never felt a need to end it all, even before I acquired the belief that suicide solves nothing, that it actually prolongs and amplifies suffering.

And I look at this, and it seems to me that I have been more or less clinically depressed since I was a small child.  Apparently even when I was 4 or 5 I didn't like playing with other kids.  So I am told.  I would go sit off in a corner and do something by myself.

But I'm used to it. I often feel as if I am moving in a very low gear, but I also feel as if I can tow the weight of the world behind me. I have the strength.

And I think this is the reason: I have no contrast.  People who want to kill themselves know what it is like to be happy and care-free, at least relatively.  They have a better before.  I don't.  This is the air I have always breathed, and I think it has made me strong.  The thought of walking into pain does not phase me.  Many mornings I wake up feeling that I am being lacerated with a sharp knife.  Then I go on.

When I get through this--and I will--I will be quite an interesting and capable fellow.

Virtual Reality

I have gotten to where I can bring up and live with a primal fear that seems to date to my first year or two of life.  Moving through it, to the extent I can, creates within me momentary whiffs of peace.

For whatever reason, playing Assassin's Creed seems to bring me relief, and it occurs to me at this moment, after playing for 2 hours or whatever, that it is really no different in principle than all the countless abstractions and imaginings I have been using my entire life to take the sting out of emotions I could not process, which threatened to overwhelm me at an existential level.

I ask myself: when I do my Life Review--which I believe we all go through when we die--what will be the status of time spent playing video games?  On the one hand, I suppose it is like playing dice games or any number of other outwardly useless diversions.  On another, it seems to me no different in kind than what I did in graduate school, reading erudite but largely useless texts on various religious traditions, and philosophical treatments of religion.  I just went through my bibliographies, which I have kept for some 20 years, and threw them away.  I looked at them, and smelled dirt--the sort in which no life grows.

If I play video games, some good things seem to happen.  Certainly, that is how it feels to me.

What happens, though, reading Jacques Lacan, or Karl Marx, or Jacques Derrida, or Michel Foucault?

I would argue, in large measure, that in dealing with virtually any thinker of the 19th or 20th century that college kids study, you are dealing with orcs and goblins, elves and dwarves.

What concrete good comes from reading these people?  In what way do people get practically smarter?  In what ways do they learn to live with happiness, sang froid, and tranquility?

My oldest has gotten the bug to read the classics. I bought her "A Farewell to Arms" as something extra whenever school work gets old.  I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, of course, as a parent I am glad to see she is not a flippant, frivolous kid like so many seem to be nowadays.  At the same time, I know Hemingway was a lifelong alcoholic who killed himself.  What did he REALLY have to teach us about living?

In my crankier moments I feel nothing useful has been written in a thousand years, but then I look to people like Martin Seligman, and Mihaly Czikszenmilhalyi, and Anton Chekov, whose short stories I adore.

And I have discovered it is actually FUN to listen to the plays of Shakespeare on CD while reading along.  Shakespeare was and remains useful.  His work can enrich a life.

So to end this minor rant, I am still an anti-intellectual intellectual who likes to call himself a thought worker.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Light Bulb Joke

How many leftists does it take to change a light bulb?

They can't, but it's the Republicans fault.

Rosebud

It occurs to me this morning that most of my fulminations against Leftism arise from the sense that I was not loved as a child.

This does not mean my analyses are wrong: on the contrary, I think my particular exposures to psychopathologies, in many forms, make me better able to spot them than most.

It simply means that I have not been free, and we are meant to be free.

Most important emotional truths are simple.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Being a Dry Drunk

I had never heard this term until I was talking with someone who did Alcohol Rehab.  It's a term people in the business use for people who have stopped drinking, but ONLY stopped drinking.  They are still an irritable mess.

And I had not realized either that drinking and drug abuse both facilitate delayed socialization.  One author I was reading said that many drunks are ten years or more behind people their same age in their ability to manage their own emotions, and accurately read those of others.  Drinking, of course, is often an alternative to socializing, and not an adjunct to.

I have not had a drink in three weeks.  I've been using a GNC ZMA supplement to sleep, along with 5-HTP, both of which I recommend.

And I am just letting things flow.  I am getting in touch with much of the inner nastiness in my family.  It is a really hard thing to do, to separate actual malice, from pretended helpfulness.  It is hard to understand how much anger and hate can lurk in smiling faces, and the habit of appearing nice.

We all of us are capable of nastiness.  There are no exceptions, and I think those who most think they are the exception are the ones most likely to latch onto some grand project to save humanity which will bring terror, death and pain in its wake, and which can on some level be predicted to do such.

The Christian and Islamic fondness for painting vivid pictures of Hell is a type of aggression in my view.  It is an attack they can launch on children that feeds their capacity and need for cruelty, while being rationalizable as "for their own good".  I think it was Richard Dawkins who spoke of religion as a form of child abuse.  He is a clumsy thinker, and tends not just to conflate all theisms together, but all iterations of each, in one formless lump (practically; in his polemics, of course, he attempts to use the Bible against believers); but in this respect, I think child abuse is a correct term.

Me, I think I am beginning to connect with some energies that I should have connected to as a child.  They were withheld from me, denied me.

But I don't quit.

Video Games

I have been playing Assassin's Creed IV, where I am both a pirate and an assassin.  Both nasty.  At one point, they even introduce the Crowleyan creed: Do what thou will.  Assassins are presented as champions of freedom, even if I spend all my time either blowing up ships, killing those defending it, and taking their stuff; or assassinating people for money and killing anyone who gets in my way.

Here is the point I wanted to make: it is strangely soothing, and seems to make me feel more calm, less angry, than I think I otherwise would.  Perhaps I am feeding the angry part of my gut.

But I think part of it is this: it is a self contained world, with rules, where you can gain a sense of absolute mastery.  No matter how many times you fail, you get to go again, and success is inevitable over some time horizon.  In this, of course, it is quite different from life.

Games are in some respects a retreat from life.  But they are also a microcosm where you can gain  or regain a sense of control that you have otherwise lost.  You have to be able to feel that emotion SOMEWHERE in order to carry it out into the world.

Now, at my age, I should of course have felt mastery many times.  In point of fact, I am very good at some things.  But in real life you can NEVER shrink things small enough to feel consistently in control--especially where people are concerned.  You can be skilled in dealing with people, and still misstep sometimes.

In a fantasy world, no harm is permanent, and growth is on-going.

For years I condemned violent video games.  For years I said they were awful and hurting people's ability to socialize and empathize.  This may in fact be true for many people, particularly if they start playing hours daily at young ages.

But at my age, it is a welcome relief from the stresses of my day.  My children mock me, but then they mock me for lots of things.  I mock them.  We all love one another, so it's all in fun.

I just thought I might put this out there.  I have not been posting because I am very much in some Primary Process--using that term loosely--work.


Kingsman

Few points:1

1) People like the Samuel L. Jackson character exist.  There are people who view humanity as a virus.  This is not an empirically valid argument: we are not killing off the Earth, nor is anything remotely like that foreseeable in the next hundred or more years, after which we will have made a collective decision one way or the other.  Global Warming is a farce.  It cannot and should not even be factored into the Gaia conjecture.

And I want to repeat, that this hatred must be seen as self hatred.  It represents the failure of intellectuals to deal with their own baser impulses, of aggression, greed, lust, sexual desire; as well as what I have termed Qualitative Repressions, which is their need for belonging, community, love, tenderness, and affection.

It is not different in principle, in my view, from the psychosocial roots of Fascism.  They want mass death.  They see the Earth as innocent and ALL of humanity as guilty, which is a long step past anything Hitler attempted.

2) Many people in positions of authority are complicit in these schemes of global conquest. It was interesting that they chose to more or less directly implicate Obama.

What a beautiful day, though, if instead of assassinating all the proles, as these elitists want, they themselves--ONLY the guilty--were put in their place instead.  Imagine the Earth the day after Eggsy's triumph.  Most all the heads of State, gone.  Most all royalty, gone.  Most ueber-rich, gone.

The Democrats like to play the populist card, but you will not find anything in their playbook like William F. Buckley Jr's claim that he would rather have the first 100 names in the Boston phone book running the country than the faculty of Harvard.  Democrats, CLEARLY, would want the eggheads (was Eggsy perhaps a play on this?).

3) Many of these people seem nice.  Sam Jackson (it's my blog, and I've never understood the need for the middle initial) wore an OM necklace, and had pandas just like the World Wildlife Fund.  They seem nice because their ideology has enabled them to repress their inner feelings of rage and hatred, all while planning to vent them through proxies that enable them to sustain the lie.

4) The church scene was oddly gratifying.  It was, again, the zombie theme.  The all against all.  The primal rage and destructiveness that Political Correctness and the Cult of Nice have attempted to cull out of us, but which have simply submerged, to reappear in the vicarious enjoyment of scenes like that. It is the gut gone wild, the animal part of us, which having been without "food" for so long, no longer recognizes any boundaries.

5) The two balloons were testicles.

That's all.  

Living in the Moment

My personal opinion is that being able to live in the moment--which of course is a very trendy spiritual goal, talked about among others by Eckhart Tolle and every Zen master who ever lived--is the PRODUCT of personal growth, not its means.

What is the effect of trauma?  Intrusions, as Judith Herman calls them.  Thoughts, feelings, avoidances that come and go, seemingly beyond our control.  And I think trauma--and the American habit of never sustaining focus on anything--are the two principle enemies of Present-Centeredness; and the former, at least, is in my view best not dealt with directly.

All wisdom must be assigned a time, place, and person.  What is splendid one moment for one person can be profoundly destructive for another person in the same moment.

In this respect, I will reiterate my personal fondness for Sufism--or, rather, to the body of practice and ideas which is most usefully aggregated under that term, to the extent such a thing is possible.

One saying that has stayed with me is that wisdom cannot be withheld from one ready for it, and cannot be given by anyone unready for it.  Every day you walk blindly by everything you could ever need to know about this universe.  So do I.  And we are both imbeciles.

Choosing Goodness

I don't think one person in a hundred EVER consciously chooses goodness or evil.  I think they do what they were programmed to do. If they were raised in happy families, then being nice is a simple thing.  Sharing happiness is a simple thing.  But it is not a choice, per se.

True engagement with life is a true engagement with morality, with struggling to do the right thing, after first struggling to determine what that thing IS, relatively speaking, which is to say what is mostly right.  It is a mission to see the world every day the way it is, and consciously be brave, consciously be caring, consciously cultivating the emotional and behavioral flexibility to react appropriately, no matter what comes down the pike.

And I think the people who do this best don't know they are doing it.

I will grant that I like the Odd Thomas character.  I've read all but 1 of the books, less the latest.  It's perhaps a bit simplistic, but I tend to like Dean Koontz's moralizing.

That's all on that for now.

Friday, February 27, 2015

1600

Made 1600 LPI on Lumosity.  Thought I'd brag.  I'm still only in the 97.9th percentile for my age, but I'm only a week or two into my new exercise program. I'll make 99.  It's the Problem Solving--basically, really fast math--that is my weak spot.

I am channeling my Inner Nerd.  I do that from time to time.

It is odd, come to think of it, that we live in a culture nearly entirely characterized by outer appearances.  The popular kids are the ones who dress correctly, say the correct things, and who are edgy in just the right ways.

Nearly our entire cultural landscape, though, is populated with ideas begun with nerds.  Our political life is dominated by ideas originating with intellectuals--or in defiance of them.  Our business lives are shaped by enterprises begun in many, many cases by inventors and nerds.  Only perhaps in entertainment does this change, and think about that: entertainment--frivolity, what you do when you are not being serious, not working.

And even there, consider, say, "Rebel without a Cause."  The screenplay was based on a book written by Robert Lindner, and written by Irving Shulman, both of whom were likely nerds/introverts. Into this matrix stepped the ACtors.

It seems to me that the inner life is what creates meaning in the outer life, and denigrating those who largely live in their internal worlds is therefore a species of stupidity.  Of course, stupid is what stupid does.

You may never have thought of it this way, but nearly every word that leaves Obama's mouth has roots in the life and intellectual work of some Dead White Nerd (as whispered in his ear by a very living Iranian-Chicagoan woman).

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Law of Attraction

Here is how I think it works: you are attracted to what you are.

We are presented daily with a nearly infinite amount of possible complexity. We survive with heuristics and habits.  We form patterns out of the overwhelming chaos.  Some things stand out; some we ignore or don't even consciously see.  These processes happen on a deep level.

How would you know if you passed up an opportunity your unconscious did not even allow you to consciously become aware of and evaluate in the daylight?

How would you know if some part of you gravitated to things which over time would prove destructive, if it felt "right" in some sense?

I do think this universe is interactive, but I don't think it rewards positive thinking directly.  I don't think there is a "law" which says that if we think constantly about what we want, it will be hand delivered to us in a gift wrapped box.

Neither do I embrace an idea of life as INHERENTLY one of struggle.

What I think happens is that small differences over time add up to large differences. People able to imagine themselves succeeding notice and exploit small opportunities as they present themselves, and over time this leads to much larger successes.

Me, I have to second guess my intuition, because half the time it leads me astray.  This is what I was taught.  This is what I have internalized.  This is why inner work is necessary for long term success.

Now, this by no means absolves me of responsibility.  No sane person should want to be absolved of response-ability, because that is a prima facie rejection of personal agency, and the possibility of GROWING beyond your--my--temporary constraints.

And there is, in my view, inherent benefit to figuring the system out, to learning to recognize negative patterns, and learning to diminish them.

And I would add that taking responsibility is not the same as beating yourself up.

I was watching a documentary/interview with Ingmar Bergman, where he was asked about his sundry and profound failures as a parent, if he felt guilt.  His reply was consonant with something I decided for myself.

He said something like: self abuse, self flagellation, is a form of vanity.  I cannot undo what I did wrong.  It was wrong.  I admit it.  And there is NOTHING I can do about it now.  I was an immature, self serving adolescent until some time in my fifties.  I can't go back and become a good parent.  I cannot heal, now, the wounds I inflicted then.

I think there is wisdom in this.  Theatrical guilt is a form of display.  It is a distraction.  It is a way of avoiding learning the lessons that need learning, and getting on with a better way of living.  You cannot undo hurt.  All you can do is become a better, more giving person.

And I will add that I say this as someone with a reasonably clear conscience. My worst sins, by most standards, are pretty weak.  But the guilt I feel is comparing who I could have been, with who I was.

But the more I learn, the more I see that all of us are in large measure simple progressions on the path on which we began life.  What merit is there in focusing on failure, where we did less than our future selves now feel was possible?

We can only exist in the moment, and try to do better.  That is all we can do.

And I think many moral narratives are polluted by the absolutisms of most religions.  Certainly in my case, growing up with the threat of eternal damnation for moral failings of a scale I had and have no means to assess, I ingested a sense that all small failings were large failings.  There is little compassion possible in a world where the stakes are eternal and unavoidable.  It does not breed nuance.  It does not breed a spirit of exploration, of failing and getting back up.  What it breeds is conformity and fear.

These are the issues with which I wrestle daily, and I think that is the case of most who grew up like I did.

It is so easy, SO EASY, to choose an absolutism, to abandon curiosity, to abandon open hearted and open spirited exploration.

All Fascism and Communism are, are secular rearticulations of ancient solutions to the problems of confusion, belonging, fear of the unknown, and the omnipresence of the possibility of death.

And all Islamism is, is a revivification of old solutions in the face of modern terrors of inordinate complexity, death, and moral confusion.

We need new pathways.  We currently live in an ocean, and many drown.  Again, this is what I am working to create.  I have yet to create myself, though, and that is the logical first step.  Until you can trust your unconscious, you can never know when you are leading yourself or others astray.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Islam and Gender Equality

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/obama-kept-reform-muslims-out-of-summit-on-extremism/article/2560525

This is quite encouraging.  This is the first organized group of Muslims I have seen calling for universal human rights and gender equality.

And Obama, sack of shit that he is, is ignoring them.

I get angry sometimes.  I can readily imagine the calls to God that follow watching your wife and daughters being raped.  I can imagine peaceful men being hung on crosses until they die.  I can imagine the horror of watching your children killed in front of you, and everything you love burned to the ground by savages cursing the name of God while claiming to glorify it.

And Obama is utterly unable to achieve anything approaching moral clarity on any of this.  There is more than a little of the pedophile in him.  He has that spirit--or rather spiritlessness.  I have often wondered if Frank Marshall Davis sexually abused him.  My best best guess is yes: I think both he and his maternal grandfather did.  That is why he is likely gay, and Michelle a beard found for him so he could be put forward as a mole people smarter than him could rely on.

And if one accepts that, one needs to wonder if his mother Stanley was abused as well.  Perhaps that is why she had to get away from her father permanently.  Perhaps that is why she herself likely fucked Frank Marshall Davis and posed naked for him at a very early age, in an era when that was DEEPLY, DEEPLY  aberrational.

Davis was almost certainly a sociopath.  And he was on Obama's own account an important early influence, a male presence for a boy denied both mother and father.

What the fuck is wrong with the goddamned media that none of this can be discussed?  People are not even being asked to take a bullet: they are merely being asked to speak of unpleasant truths and risk being called names.

Child Prostitution

I finally watched the documentary on the alleged Franklin (Nebraska) cover-up, Conspiracy of Silence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQHrbJPhus4

Linked was another documentary from 1981, titled "Boys for  Sale", of which I watched the first hour, after which I thought I had the gist of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWY8T3ujxNw

Few thoughts.

First, the dates for the events described in Conspiracy of Silence happened in the 1980's.  Nobody seemingly remembers anything any more, but I remember that the whole NOTION of sex crimes against children only got mainstream attention some time in the 1980's.

I have not studied this issue in depth, but the book Assault on Truth--which I think every student of the history of psychology should read--was published in 1984, and caused an enormous amount of controversy.

It does not appear that the pervasive tolerance of pedophila by the Catholic Church started encountering large scale public resistance until some time in the late 1980's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_sexual_abuse_cases

Here is one lawsuit settled in 2003: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/11/us/archdiocese-of-louisville-reaches-abuse-settlement.html

Franklin, of course, is a staple of what is sometimes called "alternative media".  Much of this media is crazy.  But I consume it.  I read the stories about the alleged Marine who alleged there are bases on Mars.  I read Alex Jones, who I have come to believe is mostly sane.

I can rationalize this in several ways, several metaphors. One is Simulated Annealing, the net of which is that in initial exploration, it is useful and desirable to go as many qualitative different places as possible, prior to funneling attention more narrowly.  Another is Signal Theory, in which the goal is to increase Signal and decrease Noise, but which recognizes that the only way to allow all actual signals through, is to also allow all potential Noise through.

According to the "Boys for Sale" video, in 1981 about 350 boys were killed every year in Houston alone by perverts, most of whom were heterosexual in their open lives.  Most of these crimes were not reported as homicides.  One boy, for example, who was killed through what I guess is called fist rape, died of  "massive internal bleeding".  He was, if memory serves, found naked in a dumpster.

Searching for statistics, they are hard to come by.  Here is one resource from 1998: http://www.veronicasvoice.org/statistics/

Here is one from 2009:  http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/10-surprising-and-counterintuitive-facts-about-child-sex-trafficking

In that last one, it is interesting/disturbing to note that children under 18 are more likely to be charged with a crime than helped, if they turn to most authorities.

I will grant that in this post I am exploring.  I saw something a few months ago that gave me cause to believe that pedophilia is common among the power elite.  I won't say more than that, not least because it is hard to believe I saw what I saw, and I would not be prepared to swear on it in court.

But I do want to say a few things.

1) It is not necessary to believe in a Grand Conspiracy with regard to Franklin. It is merely necessary to believe in moral cowardice on the part of the FBI and Omaha police.

As with 9/11, as with Sandy Hook, there is a great deal of evidence that no one in a position of authority wanted to take up.  Doing so would have meant creating massive public controversy, becoming a target of very vicious attacks by the actually guilty, and perhaps even violence.

Mostly, though, I think in Franklin those who were responsible for conducting the investigation were unable to IMAGINE that these crimes were possible.  They were further lulled to sleep by people like the District Attorney, who in fact WERE in on a conspiracy, and finally put everything back on the shelf because to do otherwise would have meant taking bigger risks than they were prepared to make, all for allegations which befuddled them, and seemed inconceivable.

One sees the claim made, in discussing this documentary, that the trail went "all the way to the White House".  What actually happened is that an influential lobbyist--who later killed himself, if memory serves, prior to going to jail--took kids on tours of a closed, dark, sleeping White House.  They did not meet the President, and on no accounts did anything of a sexual nature happen in the White House.  It is certainly conceivable that someone able to put together large political donations would get privileges like this, without the President or his staff knowing just what was going on.

2) This is my more important point: The lessons of that 1981 documentary seem not to have been learned by anyone.  It seems extraordinarily unlikely to me that the market for teenage boys has disappeared.  According to one of the studies cited above, teen boys seemingly continue to constitute roughly half the prostitutes in America.  Back in 1981, hundreds were killed annually in Houston alone, and their deaths reported as everything but homicides.

Has male perversion decreased since then?  Or is this STILL going on, today, in nearly every major metropolitan area in the country?  The thing about young male prostitutes is they are not victims of "child abuse" in a formal sense.  They are not being held against their will in most cases, or forced into selling sex.  And at my age, I have never imagined or known that HALF the prostitution in this country was homosexual (I will note that Thomas Philpott took care to note that the homosexual aspect is secondary; it is the power dynamic that is primary).

I can't find statistics on this.  Why would the best documentary be 34 years old?

And here is one more major question: what happened to the masses of kids from Central America who flooded our border last year?

As a nation, we seemingly STILL do not have a category for the systemic prostitution of, and abuse of, by any standard, boys.

Why?

Islam as counter-Imperialism

I was thinking about the link between the Left and Islam, and another connection occurred to me.

What you have to understand about the hard Left is that the don't believe anything.  There are no principles guiding their behavior.  Functionally, they are nihilists, whose sole reason for being consists in membership in a cult which uses the words and rhetoric of morality for anti-moral, anti-principled ends.

The history of Western Europe, and to a lesser extent America, from the Spanish conquest of the New World (to them) through perhaps the 1960's, was one of colonialism, which can also be called Imperialism. In some respects, collectively, Western Europe was conquering the world.  The British, at the height of their Empire, controlled more land than any nation in history, including the Mongols.


Watching this, and craving a global domination of their own, the Soviets and their allies expended considerable effort denigrating and denouncing these conquests, all while doing everything within their power to increase their own land holdings, first in the reconquest of Central Asia, then in the functional annexation of Eastern Europe.

The club of anti-Western denunciation was founded by propagandists, who saw no objection in principle to supporting conquests and empires, merely ideological incompatible conquests and empires, which of course were called one name, while regimes founded on torture and repression, like Cuba and China, were called another.  They were called "liberated".

You cannot be a Leftist and not find comfort in cognitive dissonance.  It is the icing on the cake, the salt on their meat.  It is the very craven, slavish conformity to blatantly subservient narratives which constitute the eradication of freedom and validation of cruelty which leftists so need and seek.

To my point, though: logically, if Western Imperialism is defined somehow as the acme of evil, then it is not enough simply to oppose it, but rather one must counter it through the "spontaneous" expression of alleged subalterns.  Thus, Obama's attachment to Islamism.

Now, it seems clear that Islamism is the result of long term Soviet propaganda operations, beginning in the 1960's and extending until that Empire's dissolution in 1990 or so.

But Islamism is categorically a world-conquering narrative.  It began as such and after a long hiatus, it longs to continue as such,  And so weak and decadent are the Europeans, that, as Mark Steyn has argued, demographics alone may deliver the cradle of Western civilization, the home of the idea of universal rights and generalized political freedom, to Sharia, a law rooted in political, social,and economic stasis; which seeks to create nothing, to change nothing, to improve nothing, because perfection has already been achieved.  And perfection, as I have already stated, consists precisely in universal and craven submission (this is the meaning of Islam) to laws which seek to eradicate the moral man ,the choosing man, and replace him with the conforming man, the company man, the drone, the insult to the opportunity God granted us to pursue our personal Enlightenment.

Like many of the ideas floating around for the past century or two, I find this prospect repugnant.  But it seems only America has the balls to even begin to resist this insult.  And we have been corrupted and infiltrated by people who hate Goodness, who hate freedom, and who love the ideas of tyranny and the inflicting of pain.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Night at the Museum

My inner work continues.  I saw, in what I will call a meditation, that people often settle into what amount to fixed displays.  They take on a static quality.  They get stuck somewhere.

You become a museum display.  Maybe you move around, like in the Zoo.  But you exist behind a glass wall, confined.  You have a place, and a time that never changed.  There is no flowing water. There is no evolution.

Except in the dark.  Even those tied up in chains move in the darkness, when the lights go out.  I would suggest this is in part why the Night at the Museum movies are more deeply evocative in some respects than outwardly apparent.

But this movement is confined, too, to the Museum, to the place where fixed displays happen.  There is no there, there.

I see this.  The most repressed, uptight person you know tends also to be angry and judgmental, perhaps from an allegedly Christian perspective.  All the emotions that are not daylight emotions--the hate, the rage, the anger, the sexuality, the fear, the sense of horror--they don't go away.  They percolate in the unconscious, in those parts of our bodymind that we cannot consciously access, which indeed our participation in the museum display program requires us to keep hidden from ourselves, and until they are seen and processed, we, too, must live a large part of our lives in darkness.

This is of course a psychological truism--and I'm repeating myself, again--but this metaphor feels powerful, at least for me.