Friday, February 12, 2016

Creation is the pearl of war

Listen to this, because: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho8ZSzKbiMc

It is interesting to me to contemplate that all this pacific music which to most contemporary ears is foreign and boring, was a creative reaction to the virtually incessant warfare in Europe since time immemorial.  You can say the Romans pacified it, but only parts of Europe, and there was always continual warfare on the boundaries, always "Scythians", or Vandals, or Franks, or Germans, or Lombards, or Burgundians, or others causing mass violence.  Most of the cities in Europe have been sacked at some point, their inhabitants sold into slavery, and their goods stolen, then in a great many cases been stolen back, or stolen a second time by someone else.

I will reiterate that one learns something about the human condition listening to Gibbon.  Even the graduates of our allegedly best schools--I can't honestly say "best educated"--know very little of history.  They cannot place our current era of peace, judicial impartiality, human rights, freedom, and economic prosperity, into anything approaching a sane context.  They repeat stupid things said by stupid people.  Every time they open their mouths they subtract from the sum total of human knowledge (I borrowed that from an early 20th century Republican, whose name escapes me).

But listen.  There is solace in war, refuge in conflict.  There is a place for churches, or something like them.  They have no ready substitute, certainly not arenas of political theater, which can only be satisfied with violence.  There is nothing new in that.  It is the oldest story we know.  Perhaps there was a time before violence, but that was before people felt the need to record the deeds of war, which is more or less what history is.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hope

I am feeling that in order to feel genuine hope, you have to be capable of despair.  One of the mistakes people make, which I have made, is thinking that if they allow a "negative" emotion to gain traction that it will suck them in and devour them.

This probably does happen sometimes.  But if you develop emotional agility, which is the practice of feeling, of anchoring emotions in prior sensations which you can tell are mutable, then you need not become stuck.  You can allow deep shadows to infect you, and then pass over you.  They have no claim on you.

What prompts this post specifically was a meme stating in effect that the problem is not Hillary or Bernie, but that Americans are willing to vote for someone promising free stuff to everyone, and someone who lies nearly as often as she talks, and who by all credible accounts belongs in the same jail cell any senior member of the military would have found themselves in had they done a fraction of what she did.  Her crimes are many times more egregious than those of David Petraeus, and he is still paying for them.

This meme, of course, reminded me of my email that got attributed to Vaclav Klaus, in which in 2008 I said the same thing.

Maybe we are past the point of no return. This possibility has to be considered.  We are stupid as a people, and propaganda has made open inroads in all our universities--most strongly in our allegedly best universities such as Harvard and Yale--making future growth of effective propaganda likely.

Then I read that technology is decreasing the social skills and particularly the capacity for empathy among our young, which makes them crave propaganda like they crave media, and that odd state between connection and isolation which never really changes or risks anything important.

Maybe all the work I have done, or thought I did, has been for naught.  Maybe I have wasted my time.  Maybe our destiny is nuclear war, or pestilence, or the triumph of the fascist globalists.  Maybe I will end my days in a concentration camp, or worse.  Maybe one day the unthinkable will happen, and we will all get pits in our stomachs as we wait for the missiles to hit, or the fall out from a nuclear attack 200 miles away to hit us, changing all of our lives irrevocably.

We will all die.  This is a certainty.  The Transhumanists do not understand the human part of their equation.  They do not and never will reduce life to a mechanical process.

You have to have courage in life, and courage is the proper response to despair, to an honest appraisal of the situation.  You have to look out there, see life as it is, realize that bad things have always happened and may well continue to happen, but still, with all this in mind, put on an honest smile and thank God for a good fight.  What else can we ask for?

I continue my healing process.  I think I've kicked my drinking habit, and of course some of the things I was hiding from with it are coming up, and I am having to face them.  But I am doing it.  It is working.  It is not just that I am no longer regularly drinking to excess, but that I don't feel that compulsion any more.  That is huge.

You cannot read history like I do and realize that complacency tends to result in failure, in defeat, in outcomes which are unpleasant, and often irreversible.  You cannot fail to realize that falls, when they come, are often rapid, and unexpected by the masses, even if there have been many Cassandras crying to the winds, who did not listen.

For my part, I have felt as much fear as I think it is possible for a human being to fear.  Picture your worst fear--spiders, heights, psycho killers, confined spaces--then distill it to an essence, a black oozing essence, then inject it into your arm, or better yet your heart.  This is what I have felt night after night for a very long time.

And what I have realized is that we instinctively keep fear at arms length.  We don't want it.  We recoil from it.  Certainly I did.  It was out there, coming at me, infecting me, seeping through my pores, infiltrating every breath.

But there comes a point where you stop pushing it away.  It is too tiring, and it always wins anyway.  And when you let it come close, you realize it is not uniform.  It has textures.  It has a pulse.  It ebbs and flows.  It has an intelligence which can be communicated with.  It is a sort of living thing, with which it is possible to develop a symbiotic relationship.

I don't ever want to be without fear.  It is my friend. It warns me when something isn't safe.  I would no more want to be without fear than to be one of these unfortunate souls who cannot feel heat, and who not infrequently burn themselves accidentally.  Nothing warns them.

And when you accept it, it can flow through you, but what I am increasingly realizing is that this is the root of courage as well.  Fear and courage are not opposites.  They are brothers.  Courage is the result of no longer pushing fear away.  If you do not push it away, you accept it, and in accepting it it loses its power.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Fall precedes Pride


Bowing

I was contemplating the difference between a circle, and, say, a preacher and his or her congregation.  In the one case you have a flow; and in the other, a Here and a There, a going out and a coming back in; a right and a response.

Then I was imagining a world without bowing, where everyone was equal, a true social egalitarianism, one uncoerced by psychpaths.  There would be no need to bow, no need to acknowledge inferiority and superiority (which have always obviously continued to exist in Communist societies, which merely make class permanent by lying about the existence of class distinctions).

Then I thought that no truly advanced person needs recognition.  They don't need validation to buttress their egos.  The only real purpose of a true spiritual teacher in asking others to bow to them is to teach them to respect themselves, through the process of respecting someone else.

And in my own ridiculous way, it occurred to me that an interesting and counter-intuitive way of expressing respect might be spitting on people, by means of which you convey your understanding that they are beyond pettiness and vanity, and hence superior.

And I was thinking that our psyches are better organized as circles. Jung, I think it was, noted that mandalas contains selves, senses of self.

In contradistinction to this would be the inner stentorian voice, coercing through fear compliance with rules which the organism, the relaxed sense of self which is caged, can never understand.  They are the result of varying degrees of operant conditioning, which are the result of varying sorts of psychological and physical torture.  Such beings never come into existence in this life-time, and for this reason I think we need to see beyond the lecturings of people who in all too many cases seek a pulpit in lieu of actual personal growth. 

Stupidity

I sometimes talk out loud on this blog, and not everything I say makes sense.  Always keep that in mind, my reader or two.

Hunger and the Fear of Falling

If hunger is the engine of this Earth, then servants of it are the fear of falling, and the fear of loud noises, both of which most humans seem to be born with.  Both serve the cause of survival, of which hunger itself--and of course the sexual instinct--are servants, in our biological selves.

For myself, I often imagine jumping into an unsupported vortex, a world of energy without solid ground, and I feel a fear of falling, a vertigo. But I do it anyway.  And it occurs to me this is an energy--a primal instinctual fear--which we must also master.  This is the root of the idea that jumping out of perfectly good airplanes is somehow a part of a Life Well Lived.

But Falling in Love.  Falling into Bad Habits.  Fallen by the Wayside.  Raising yourself up.  Etc.

I woke up dizzy this morning.  I didn't got to bed drunk, I don't think I have an ear infection.  I have to wonder if it has something to do with these blinding headaches, and blurred vision.

Just kidding, that would gratify some.

No, it may be an ear infection, but what I think it is is the externalization of anxiety as a sort of psychological hysteria, where emotional symptoms become manifested physically.  And in the same sense that negatives coming into consciousness constitute in my view a sort of release--their mooring have been undone, and they have been condemned to the current--so too, I think, is a release of hysterical (I am using this term in the clinical sense of Freud's time, and in which he used it before his cowardice and ambition got the better of him) energy.  That is good.

If this body is an engine, we have to learn to engage with and master its energies, which are primarily hunger, sexuality, and fear of falling.  That is my view at the moment.  I am typing this rapidly on the way somewhere to someone who will be annoyed with the delay.  C'est la vie.  C'est la guerre.

There are guerillas.  Are there Guerissimos? I want to be one of those.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bernie Sanders

I woke up this morning and it occurred to me Bernie Sanders is the equivalent of that well known American phenomenon: the impulse buy.  He is the equivalent of someone with maxed out credit cards coming under stress and deciding that a new purse, or shoes, or gun, or boat is going to make it all alright.

We are borrowing $1 trillion a year NOW.  We have a $19 trillion national debt NOW, and interest alone on that debt will within a few short years exceed the Defense expenditures leftists love to target as discretionary.  Well, the interest on the national debt will not be discretionary.

Nor will the massive increases in the annual amounts due to our seniors be discretionary.  That is what is defined as non-discretionary.  Members of both parties, but obviously most cravenly and consistently the Democrats, have consistently raised Medicare and Social Security benefits to where they far exceed what was paid in, and even much of what was paid in was long ago spent on the salaries and benefits, and buildings and business conferences of the 100,000 or more bureaucrats who administer these programs.

Social Security is a coerced program of negative investment, where you are lucky to get back 25% of what you paid in, and where the difference is made up on the backs of the working poor--who in all cases cannot avoid this 15% tax on their paychecks--and the young, who pay into programs their whole lives, without it being likely they can make back what they paid in, at least without major reforms.

Returning to my main point, we have some $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities TODAY.  Edit: that seemed low.  Here is one from two years ago: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/01/17/you-think-the-deficit-is-bad-federal-unfunded-liabilities-exceed-127-trillion/#1ace05a510d3  $127 trillion is the number they use.

And is it not INTERESTING that virtually no one is talking about it today?  Rand and Ron Paul talked about it, but it's not a major issue with anyone else, that I can tell.  When I Google it, why is such an existential threat the virtual hit equivalent of Googling Belorussian UFO's?

We are lunatics.  In past times there was an excuse.  It was much easier to hide information.  Now, if you look, it is there, with very little work.  You do not even have to go to the library and search card catalogs or pull microfiche, which some of us remember doing.

Consider, honestly, these claims being made.

Bernie says he can reform instantly a system of higher education which has been getting more and more ridiculously expensive because the Federal government makes and backs student loans, but offers no way to dismiss them in bankruptcy.  He says he can make education "free", which is to say he thinks he can get taxpayers to foot 100% of the bill of an overbloated, ineffective system, and do it in a short 4-8 years.

Bernie says he can make healthcare "free", which is to say he thinks he can raise taxes enough, and redistribute them through a system of healthcare which has been evolving over many decades, and do it in such a way that everyone performs better at lower costs.

This is someone with $20,000 in credit card debts--which incidentally were incurred by a long term repetition of the same psychological malady--thinking that if they could only get $5,000 more, everything will be OK.

People who want to vote for Bernie are like 800 pound bed ridden losers who think one more package of Oreos will solve everything.

It is the solution of fools, of the deluded, of the imbecilic, of the childish.

Government is not supposed to give you everything: it is supposed to protect your right to go out there and get it.  If you don't want to do that work, then you are no longer a responsible human being, and your useful term on Earth is at an end.  There is no learning in sloth and dependency.  It is necessary for infants, but no later than that.  Socialism is the creed of the decadent.  The decadent become weak, and as Eric Ritter argued, weakness becomes hate becomes cruelty, and that is what I call Cultural Sadeism.

If you want to be good, you have to learn to interact with the world's pain, to feel it, and to become an organizing agent, a worker, a rebel in the face of a world of hunger.  You cannot grant it final ascendancy, as those who simply want a full belly, an empty mind, and endless circuses and games do.

John Cleese makes a number of excellent points

https://youtu.be/QAK0KXEpF8Uhttps://youtu.be/QAK0KXEpF8U

He quotes a British psychiatrist who said that "when you cannot control your own emotions you begin to need to control other people's behavior."

Think of the HELPLESSNESS, the childishness, implied by needing to be protected from disagreement, PARTICULARLY when you are spouting, but unable to defend, utterly inane, nonsensical, lunatic ideas.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Subversion

It seems obvious to me that the nature of delusion is that it feels correct.  It is invisible to the "practitioner".  For anyone actually committed to getting things right, this observation makes humility mathematically necessary.  No one is immune from this disease, and those who think themselves most immune are the most likely to be carriers, and to be profoundly infectious.

Witness the Global Warming folks, who are unwilling to grant even that their need to rename it is a major mark against the whole idea.  One can obviously grant that increased heat will cause unpredictable weather, but one must also grant that the increased heat is an ineluctable element in the whole equation, without which one is simply discussing weather itself, a definitional complex system.

Here is the point I wanted to make, though: I am often chased by zombies in my dreams, by fanatics who find it absolutely necessary to inflict their disease on me, such that I become happily one of them.  They of course use violence to do it.  They do not of course know they are zombies.  They merely see that I am not one of them.

Now, I do think this connects to the physical world, the observable world.  I do think my paranoia has merits, that it refers to actually existing processes and people which should rightly be feared.  I think this intellectually, while reserving doubt that I could be completely wrong.  Kipling and all that.

But paranoia can also of course be an outcome of primitive developmental wounds, and likely is in my own case, so these dreams are showing me something within myself.  As such, this is great.  It is not great that I have extended dreams of conflict, evasion, hiding and escape.  But it is great that I can see it.

What I seem to see, to realize, is that anything you can embrace you can unplug.  My moving into this energy consciously, in a relaxed way, I can diffuse it.

Yesterday I felt very clearly in my Kum Nye practice like I had become a sort of primal silence and darkness, and that the whole world focused on an emotional knot I had projected into space.  If you give them space, all knots loosen.  And what I saw was that they loosen, and become threads, and that thread becomes pure energy.  And pure energy is all there is.  This is the basic use, in my view, of the Buddhist Shunyata.  No thing "is".  All one can see are energy patterns, with intelligence, with purpose, but also without purpose, depending on your level of magnification.

Rumi said "The dark thoughts, the shame, the malice: meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.  Be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond."  That is good advice.

Keep government local

Why is it that the "Keep Austin/Portland/etc. Weird" people are reliably Democrats?  Why do they value diversity in brew pubs and clothing stores and book stores, but somehow think a global monolithic government delivering "one size fits all" solutions to all problems of human existence will not quickly become unweird, bureaucratic, and just an overall drag on life?

It often seems to me that the schooling I got, which taught us to value intellectual coherence, principled reasoning, and a concern for actually accomplishing stated ends, was anachronistic, and that carefully disguised lunatics and unfunny clowns have infiltrated our halls of education, and created a primrose path, decked in flowers and balloons--and with a parade to boot--to hell.

The author in the previous post--I need to memorize his name, but not in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning after that night--argues for some form of elitism.  I take the opposite path: I think our goal should be a genuine democratization of virtue.  A good society is a stable, robust, prosperous society, and my idea of government is simple: push power out to the fringes as far as it will go, to the cities, even communities, even blocks.  Decent people possessed of common sense can work out differences peacefully, which reduces greatly the need for laws.

Only mediocre people create bad societies.  It is a conservative truism that people are not perfectable, that they cannot be improved, that some depravity is inherent. I reject this argument.  I simply do not believe that the government--as a simple linear system, and as such profoundly DISordered and truly chaotic--is the proper agent.  I feel that the intersection of moral values and principles can be integrated into a Hayekian Extended Order, as indeed has happened in America for much of her history, through the social utility of a generalized Christianity and following behavioral norms among most of the populace.

Indeed, it is only by a cultivated and calculated abuse of Christian charity and an innate cultural generosity that Soviet propaganda has become so powerful in this country.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Leftism: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse

I have heard of this book, but am only now actually reading it.  This man's views are nearly identical to my own, at least with regard to his diagnosis of the cultural cancer of Leftism.  Much of what he has said thus far is virtually identical to conclusions I reached on my own.

Consider this quote: 

Fear implies a feeling of being inferior to another person (or to a situation): Hatred is possible only if one feels helpless in the face of a person considered to be stronger or more powerful. A feeble and cowardly slave can fear and hate his master; his master in return will not hate, but will have mere contempt for the slave. Haters all through history have committed horrible acts of cruelty (which is the inferior's revenge),5 whereas contempt -always coupled with a feeling of superiority-has rarely produced cruelty. In order to avoid that fear, that feeling of inferiority, the demand for equality and identity arises. Nobody is better, nobody superior, all can relax, all can be at ease, nobody feels challenged, everybody is "safe." And if identity, if sameness has been achieved, then the other person's actions and reactions can be forecast. No (disagreeable) surprise can be expected, everybody can read thoughts and feelings in everybody else's face. And thus a warm herd feeling of brotherhood will emerge. These sentiments, these emotions, this rejection of quality (which can never be the same with everybody!) explain much of the spirit of the mass movements of the last 200 years.
Is this not more or less precisely what animates the hate-filled faces of brainwashed college students who wage violence in the name of peace, and who do and say profoundly ugly things in the name of compassion and understanding, without the slightest shred of self awareness or desire for cognitive consistency?

With regard to National Socialism, he makes a good analogy by saying that Nazism and Communism were not enemies: they were competitors.  Both sought absolute authoritarian states, both sought absolute conformity among their people, but they could not both exist in the same spaces.  As he says, Company A, which sells shoes, may be a competitor to Company B, but both believe in the value of shoes.  They are in the same basic business, even if their approaches to marketing may differ, their precise product focus may differ, and their management styles may differ.

Here is another great quote:

The second aspect of envy lies in the superiority of another person in an important respect. The mere suspicion that the other person feels superior on account of looks, of brain-power, of brawn, of cash, etc., can create a burning feeling of envy. The only way to find a compensation lies in a successful search for inferior qualities in the person who figures as the object of envy. "He is rich, but he is evil," "He is successful, but he has a miserable family life," "He is well born and well connected, but, oh, so stupid." Sometimes these shortcomings of an envied person serve as a consolation: sometimes they also serve as a "moral" excuse for an attack, especially if the object of real or imagined envy has moral shortcomings. In the last 200 years the exploitation of envy, its mobilization among the masses, coupled with the denigration of individuals, but more frequently of classes, races, nations or religious communities has been the very key to political success. The history of the Western World since the end of the eighteenth century cannot be written without this fact constantly in mind. All leftist "isms" harp on this theme, i. e. , on the privilege of groups, minority groups, to be sure, who are objects of envy and at the same time subjects of intellectual-moral inferiorities. They have no right to their exalted positions. They ought to conform to the rest, become identical with "the people," renounce their privileges, conform. If they speak another language, they ought to drop it and talk the lingo of the majority. If they are wealthy their riches should be taxed away or confiscated. If they adhere to an unpopular ideology, they ought to forget it

You can download the whole thing for free here: https://mises.org/library/leftism-de-sade-and-marx-hitler-and-marcuse

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The purpose of judging

The great thing about having your own blog is that from time to time you get to channel Calvin.  No, no, Calvin and Hobbes, and neither John nor Thomas.

So my home was invaded by space monsters, pillaged, burnt down, and I was cast out and raised among tentacled strangers.

This causes you to ask questions about homes, fire, and strangers.

And I have been contemplating the role of judgement.  What is its proper use?  Is it to punish myself for infractions against a rule I either don't understand, have not internalized, or secretly resent?

Is it to serve as a tool to elevate my sense of self worth relative to others?

Or is it simply the process of decision making itself, which resets in every moment of new decision?  Does it not help to have heuristics in making decisions?  Whether you eat beef or not, it serves as a guide to what you buy at the grocery store.

I am increasingly realizing that judgement is mainly a way of gaining a feeling of power over others, a feeling of superiority, which if you can get enough people to share it, becomes an actual way of making someone else feel like and in many cases accept being treated like, an inferior.  It becomes an ACTUAL source of physical power to coerce and control.

Self evidently, judgement is the tool without which there is not social coercion.  Judgement is a political tool, therefore, inherently.

And I keep thinking to myself about my seeming need to help people.  That is laudable on some levels, I think.  I can and have spent hours listening to people.  I can and have done things I thought would help.  But as often as not, I seem to make things worse.  I am clumsy.  And I wonder if some part of me secretly feels that if I can get someone to be weak in front of me, that it makes me feel stronger by comparison.  I wonder if I don't take some comfort from an abysmal sense of relative better-ness.

Lao Tzu wrote "Renounce Sainthood: it will be a thousand times better for everyone".  I really believe that.  As I come to know myself, I see that almost every positive impulse I have had a shadow to it, and I feel strongly that this is a generalized problem.  It is me, but it is not just me.

There is another side.  I am not being pessimistic.  On the contrary, whenever I can find something awful about myself, well hell, that means it's on its way out.  The fucking thing was hiding, and I found it.  And I found it, because I was looking.  And I was looking because good enough isn't.  This life is an amazingly interesting adventure, and I intend to do what I can to learn as much as possible, even when it hurts like hell.  
But I think most of that is done.  I think it will be increasingly a matter of skillful navigation, of detecting subtle changes, and moving as needed to stay in the current.

How Bernie is right

Self evidently, I consider Socialism to be a literally and figuratively bankrupt system of thought and practice, as seen practically, theoretically, and morally.  It has nothing as an ideology to recommend it, and its only virtue is comprised entirely in the word "charity", which no conservative rejects as desirable, and which it delivers more poorly than private and personally directed charity.

Having said that, what Bernie seems to be tapping into is a sense that America should be more prosperous, that our parents and grandparents worked less than we did, and enjoyed considerably more economic security.  In my view, this is unquestionably true.

On a superficial level, of course, we have much more stuff.  We have mePhones, larger houses, bigger cars, take more vacations, eat out more, etc.  On a slightly deeper level, we see that the average debt for most Americans has exploded since the inflation (caused by the Fed) of the late 70's.  What was once fiscal prudence becomes stupidity when money is steadily losing its value.

But to ultimately solve this problem, that of individual economic productivity per capita skyrocketing, while actual purchasing power remains stagnant or even declines, one must reference the devaluation of our currency.  The overall money supply has increased roughly 5-fold since the Fed got rid of the last fetters limiting its freedom of action around 1980.


















Can any sane human being question the connection?  If more proof were needed, look at the increase in the holdings of the world's largest banks: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/22/super-rich-offshore-havens_n_1692608.html

In the time I am allocating to this, this is the best link I can find, but it seems obvious that pari passu with the increase of M2 I think we will find an increase in the net holdings of the world's banks.

I have tried to explain this many different ways, but I continue to fail.  It seems both horribly obvious, and extraordinarily significant, but I am surrounded by imbeciles.  Yes, that was a minor concession to self pity.

I will keep on keeping on.  It's what I do.

It's funny: I did my own astrological chart some time ago, and somewhere in there--obviously in different parts of the chart--I was compared both to Leonidas, and to Cassandra. I feel that.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Being a warrior

As calm begins to penetrate deep within me, I see how insane it is to want to be a warrior.  To be a warrior is to be a worrier.  It is to be constantly vigilant.  It is to be constantly thinking about the tricks your enemies can play, and how to play tricks on them.  Courage in the face of superior intelligence is wasted.  The life of a true warrior is the life of the mind, of thought.  This applies from the level of strategy to the decision whether to thrust left or right, flank left or right, in individual combat. Intuition does play a role, but only after all other cards have been played.

In life we mostly do not get what we want.  To be a warrior is better than to live in helpless fear, or in the complacency of willed ignorance.

There is something beyond this distinction.  That is what I am presently looking for.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Trump's appeal to unions

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/30/business/donald-trump-unions.html

I have said this before, and will say it again: Trump's politics would have been unexceptional, and Democrat, in the 1960's.  Who started the Vietnam War?  Democrats.  Why?  They wanted to protect America from Communism, and in the war for allies and credibility, some shooting appeared needed. And in point of fact, we won the war, then pissed it away after the phase transition happened in the Democrats from people who loved America and thought differently, to people who did not love America, did not love democracy, did not operate according to consistent standards of common decency, and who lied nearly as often as they talked.

That happened about 1972, which was about 44 years ago.  The Democrats kept some hold-outs through the 1980's, and I think have a few even now in State and City governments, but by and large, they have ingested Soviet era memes about "fairness", "imperialism", and the rejection of patriotism (even though the Soviets were very patriotic).

How else to explain a party which supposedly looks out for the Little Guy, the Working Man, being so eager to welcome and support at taxpayer expense millions of new competitors for jobs which are already scarce, and whose wages have been stagnant for some time.  To the extent of my knowledge, not even the Keynesian lunatics reject the law of supply and demand, which obviously applies to labor too.

How else to explain the refusal to call Islamic terrorism Islamic terrorism?  If you shout out an imprecation to your God before beginning the senseless and gratuitous slaughter of non-combatant civilians, what sound mind can but conclude that your religion played a role?  What person, reading the news, can but conclude that Islamic Fundamentalism--the proper term, since so-called "radical" Islam has merely taken the step of reading their holy book literally, and taking it at its 7th century word--has made major in-roads among Muslims the world over, making all of them--and particularly young men--prospective mass murderers?

Given the actual genocide being conducted against them, why is Obama allowing virtually no Christians or Yazidis from Syria and Iraq to enter this country?

And if rejecting refugees is wrong, what are we to make of the refusal of the Gulf nations to accept any of these "refugees"?  Is that racist?

We live in layer after layer of delusion.  Inanity.  Sophomoric imbecility.  Common sense isn't.  Common decency isn't.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The spirit of this world

I have met the spirit of this world: it is hunger.  Hunger.  The great Satan is that animal spirit which seeks to devour to satiate itself, to survive.

What each of us needs to realize is that we are prey.  We will always be hunted down and killed.  Always.  We can learn how to forget this, but we cannot avoid this.

The sense of being pursued is terrifying.  We are animals, and we feel just what animals do, when a lion, or tiger or bear is chasing them, trying to kill them, trying to rip them to pieces and eat them.

Me, I am in the process of making my peace with this energy.  I have felt terror most nights for the past 2-3 years. I  shake like a leaf, but there is nowhere but numbness to hide, and that is not a good spot.  I have to face this fear.  I have to accept the cup that it offers, and allow it to work within me while not becoming one with it.

It is possible to enter terror, to learn its ways, to feel its texture, and to allow it to dissolve.  And my feeling is that once this terror dissolves, very little will ever frighten me again, other than immediate and physical threats, which is what fear is actually for.  That is its purpose, not torturing your days and nights with a cloud that can only be penetrated with will-power, and only worked in with major effort, courage, and strength.

I have chosen a difficult path.  But it is an honorable one.  

Making a start

I feel very acutely that all these words on this blog, on my website, and elsewhere, represent a sustained effort to begin something I have not yet begun.  But I think I am ready, now, to start.  At least, I can see the starting line.  That is progress.

Intelligence and emotional coherence

I find it remarkable what working a long day, getting drunk, and then getting a really, really good night's sleep does for me.  I put down a fair amount of alcohol last night, and today I get up and out of five games on Lumosity, get Top 5's on 2, and blast through my record on a third.  My score was 50% higher than my previous best, and I've been playing it for many months now. [edit: they may have changed the scoring system; the point, I think, remains.]

It is an interesting thing, watching myself playing these games, how some internal emotional process interferes with me, makes me guess wrong, hides answers from my mind.  That process was simply muted today.  It is likely still in bed.

And I am increasingly persuaded that the first task for most people, the very first, the sine qua non, of goal achievement, is learning to accept the idea of success.  This is quite impossible for most people.  They are quite unable to conceive being unusually good at anything that did not come naturally in childhood.

I suspect not one person in 100 comes even remotely close to utilizing their full talents, what they might have been, could have been, if they had been able to love themselves enough to honestly seek out the fulfillment of their potential.

Most of us have been hypnotized to stop at a certain point, to succeed up to THERE, and then to stop.  To go farther is to invite jealousy, the attention of others, the responsibility that often goes with talent, the encounter with the unknown.  It is to let loose hidden fountains of creative energy that you cannot fully direct or predict.

I was watching an interesting interview with Gabor Mate where he was talking about "the myth of normal".

It is a human tragedy that our society values conformity to an economic system over personal growth.  What do most of our "human development" "experts" talk about?  Making more money.  Becoming better at your job.  This is our mainstream culture.  Most people are focused on more money.  If they are not focused on their career, they are buying lottery tickets, and dreaming of what they would do if they won.

This is stupidity.  As is no doubt obvious, I am an ardent supporter of that combination of free markets and property law that gets called "Capitalism", but as I have said many times, Capitalism, so called (again, I will note this was Marx's term for a system he detested, which he did not describe accurately, and which does exist today in the form supposed by most) is merely an economic system within which moral narratives operate.  You can be Capitalist and live in an old bus, sweep floors for a meager living, and spend your ample free time meditating in nature.  We could all choose to do this.  We could all choose much lower standards of living in exchange for a richer culture, richer connections with others, and richer connections, more fulfilling connections, with ourselves and our true inner natures.

What we need to make this happen is to liberate time.  And that cannot happen until people recognize that wealth is being systematically siphoned away from the producers to the bankers.  This is not a flaw in "Capitalism", and the solution is not an idiotic assault on "corporations".  The problem is precise, and the solution is precise.

I have decided to start giving public talks.  You can choose the topic, but to my mind the most important one is the nature of our monetary system, its defects, and how to correct it.  Many billionaires benefit from this system.  Some of them are no doubt psychopaths.  But perhaps some of them have deluded themselves that they are working to create a more just world, without having any moral tools other than coerced conformity--which they call the justice of equality--to do so.

I wonder if I will be shot if I get to a certain point, but that could only happen if I am relevant, and achieving relevance would be a good life outcome.  This is not my first time here, not your first time here, and we all get as many chances as we need.

If you would like to host a talk, please email bearachtraining@yahoo.com.  Depending on where you are, I may need some travel money, but I don't plan to charge for the talks themselves.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Racism

My comment never appeared on that "Birth of a Nation" post.

I look around me.  It's something I do.  I watch and talk with actual, physical human beings.  Given the nature of my work, it is not uncommon for me to share space on the service elevators--often after-hours--with janitors and security staff, many of whom are black, and many of whom are Hispanic.  If they are friendly, I talk with them.  I suspect in the course of an average week I rub elbows and talk to more working class people than the average Democrat politician does in any non-election year.

And I like to hang out at bars and talk to people.  It's one of my hobbies.  I was in a bar frequented by Ford workers last night.  I was in a bar with scaffolding installers from what we call BFE (Bumfuk, Egypt) around here the night before.  I ask people questions about their work, their pay, and their lives.  Give them a couple beers and just about everyone, in this country at least, wants to tell you their life story.  I find all this very interesting.

And it seems to me that the alleged malady of  "racism" is a construct created by and for a power elite.  It is useful.  Any time you can say you will do something for someone that they can and should be doing for themselves, you win.  Step one, obviously, is convincing them that they CAN'T do for themselves, that they need you, and there is no other way.  Put alternatively, the Democrat power platform depends on the helplessness of minorities.  It depends on lies.

The average person is confused. This is a confusing world.  I'm really fucking smart, and I get confused myself.  How the hell is an average person supposed to sort everything out?  I ask them to, I expect them to, but in the end I can't be surprised when they fail.  So many people benefit from bullshit, from confusion, from twisting partial truths to more or less complete lies.

What do college kids, and college professors who are themselves overgrown kids, get from this obsession with race?  Relevance.  And what I keep calling an Ersatz Morality.

When I say Ersatz, I mean fake, substitute, unreal.  It is not a moral code which admits right actions and wrong actions.  All it admits is people who agree with the day's propaganda, with the daily kos (cause), and people who don't.  Such a morality cannot animate an inner directed person.  It cannot animate an individual conscience.  It must be continually renewed, replenished, altered, and avoided for a time when it leads to open contradiction. Once that gap has been closed, it becomes safe again.  The True Believers accept the necessity for this process.

Oh, I need to go to bed.  I am tweaking my own outrage patterns, my own outlets, my own places I go to hide.

I am not innocent in all this by any means.

What I dream about, put simply, is a world where the truth is valued above group membership, above convenience, as a goal and aim in itself, as something with intrinsic merit.  We do not presently live in that world.  Indeed, much of the "college experience" has as its aim the stigmatizing of the very notion of truth, and the following process of rational, fact seeking exploration.  They want truth to be like a pack of cigarettes: they give you the smoke, and they give you the light.  What else could you want?

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

My marathon continues.  127 hours of listening, and I can usually only handle about an hour at a time, with focus.  I'm a bit more than half way through, I think.

I do feel, though, in listening to the constant fluctuations in fortune, that this is a history that would be useful in teaching kids in our present society about life.  Sometimes tyrants win.  Sometimes they lose.  Quite often one tyrant is replaced by another.  War hurts and impoverishes everyone.  Sometimes taxes are punitive, sometimes they are low.  Sometimes you can do and say as you please, but most of the time saying the wrong thing will get you killed or imprisoned.  This is most of humanity, for most of history.

Christianity is replete with violence. I was reading about some poor woman, a virgin who taught math, who somehow fell afoul of, if memory serves, the man who became St. Cyril.  They grabbed her in the street, stripped her naked, hacked her to death in a Christian church, scraped the skin off her bones, and threw her bones in a fire, in what amounted to a human sacrifice.

I read about a revolt of the Samaritans, in which 20,000 were killed, and 20,000 sold into slavery.

I read about a Persian king who invaded Jerusalem and Palestine and either killed or allowed to be killed 90,000 Christians.

It is a monstrous and absurd fact of modern American history that our children are led into believing that the fate of the slaves in the South was something other than what was done to other human beings in virtually every country on Earth 150 years ago, and for recorded history all the way back before that. They are led to believe that our wars are somehow different than the wars going back through time.  To the extent they are, it is because they are notable for lack of atrocities, absence of rapine, and for no notable effort at gorging our coffers with the fortunes of others.

Soviet era propaganda, and that is what we are dealing with, only works with historically ignorant, and damnably stupid and complacent people.  But that is most Americans.

I would add this book to those I believe should be read by ALL Americans.  Kids could read 10 pages a week throughout high school, until done.  I don't think even the most feeble minds could escape learning some obvious lessons, and it would force them to encounter and learn to process actually skillful and rich prose.

No country for old men

Finally watched this.  The only thing I will say is that true order is never linear.  Javier Bardem's character consists only in lines, which means he lives in the deepest chaos--true chaos--possible.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Another day, another lost comment

Post here: http://deadline.com/2016/01/birth-of-a-nation-premiere-sundance-stunner-nate-parker-1201690343/#comment-list-wrapper

It has not appeared.  I never know why my comments don't pop up.  There are many possible explanations.  Certainly, it seems unlikely this site has me blocked, but who knows?  In any event, if I'm going to write something, it may as well appear somewhere.

And I will add editorially, that dwelling in the past is bad for both individual and groups.  Yes, it helps to know where you come from, to know who you are, to better marshall your personal resources to move into the future.  But the goal is always moving into the future.  Making movie after movie after movie of how bad being a slave was does not help kids born in ghettos to crack-addicted or alcoholic mothers.  It does not give them hope.  It does not give them a path forward, or a role model for anything but undirected and almost entirely self destructive rage.

It is precisely the failures--the long term, expensive, and obvious failures--of policies designed to remedy inequalities which make movies like this so easy.  Stirring up anger is a child's task.  Calming it down, and directing it soberly in productive ways is the hard work.


Those same atrocities are being inflicted on Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria TODAY, as the direct result of Obama's policy of arming and then not seriously fighting Islamist sadists.  At what point do people start living in the 21st century and acting like their moral compasses still operate?

And in point of fact 650,000 people died fighting a Civil War whose cause was the institution of slavery, almost all of them white.  Are the mutilations of cannon grape shot, bayonets, and bullets any the less atrocious?

I feel less than zero guilt.  I feel movies like this actually HURT the cause of black equality by working to build resentment about things that happened long ago, while ignoring the fact that the policies meant to help blacks have destroyed the nuclear family, eradicated their thirst for education and knowledge, taught them that they are helpless, and encouraged them to seek remedies for their poverty everywhere but hard work and long term plans.

All Frederick Douglas asked for was an equal shot.  All Martin Luther King, Jr. asked for was to be judged on the content of his character.  Movies like this have as their clear subtext the idea that blacks are owed something because of things that happened long before the lives of any living human beings. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Being right: a cultural architecture of systematic delusion

If I was still in graduate school, or an academic working in a world where conservatives were allowed to exist unmolested, that might be a fun title for a paper.

I read this, and it jibes with much of what I have been thinking and saying: http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2016/01/why-humans-find-it-hard-do-away-religion

What is truth?  Well, according our modern educational system, it is the output of science.  Since the output of science is variable, then truth, and our understanding of it, must likewise be variable.

But for human cultural purposes, for sociological purposes, it is sufficient that there be a professional and sanctified priesthood.  In principle, once one has accepted the need to concur with and submit to and internalize their pronouncements, this is no different in practice or principle than submitting to the authority of an oracle which regularly offers new information, new truths, new principles, and new views.  You simply take it in stride, even if the information is contradictory.  You assume they are "getting closer", because that is what "they" do.

So in the same sense that for much of Western history individuals were not allowed to have an unmediated relationship with God, so too does much of our intellectual establishment not want us to have an unmediated relationship with the truth.

They do not want us questioning Keynesian economics.

They do not want us questioning Global Warming.

They do not want us asking what good can come from universal surveillance.

This cultural development is in fact extremely well suited for an authoritarianism which has the sense to never be too open about its operations.  It is the antithesis of genuine Humanism, and the opposite of that spirit which seeks to elevate human kind by elevating all individuals.

We are taught to obey, not to think, and this propaganda is made perfect by insisting within the message itself that everyone who imbibes the daily poison is in fact heroic and individualistic, for braving the assaults of the determined fanatics on the Right, who know nothing, will only evil, and must be stopped at all costs.

This is the world we live in.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hillary's email server

I was thinking how clownish this whole things is, a Cabinet level official using high school technology to conduct top secret--and apparently ABOVE top secret, which I guess is Code Word level access, or something like that--business. I was thinking how spy agencies spend years and huge amounts of effort to get agents in place to secure the sort of information she more or less delivered for free and at no considerable expense of effort and time.

Then it hit me that maybe that was the POINT.  We assume that she had her own server so she could conduct illegal and  unethical business on the side, but what if part of the deal is that she also secured money for providing access to top secret US policy positions and other such data?

I seem to have been unique in suggesting this, but I have proposed that the whole Kenneth Starr thing under Bill was designed to divert attention from the blatant and large security leaks to the Chinese that happened under his Administration.

There was an agent they caught, but Clinton also authorized the open and legal sale of dual use nuclear technology.  I remember a Spec. Op friend of mine telling me he had just been through SERE school, where among other things they get waterboarded and locked in small cages, and feeling very angry that he had to go through all that to learn to protect secrets which did not have a shelf value in most cases of more than a week, whereas with no resistance at all Clinton was simply handing over major secrets to a Communist nation, with whom we had been at war indirectly several times in the 20th century, and which we had every reason to expect would become a major rival.

The Clintons are awful people.  Bill has well developed people skills.  There can be no doubt about this.  But good salespeople do not need to be good human beings.  A good salesperson who is trying to steal the shirt off your back can make you feel guilty for wanting to keep it.  I've witnessed this first hand.  Psychopaths can be particularly compelling.

I don't know who Bill is, but his wife is a lying bitch who thinks rules are for other people, and for his part there seems to be little or nothing that Bill is above.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Obamacare

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/11/19/unitedhealth-group-earnings-downgrade-obamacare-affordable-care-act/76040322/

In my own, I think reasonably clear eyed, estimation, I am pretty smart.  I wrote one piece on Obamacare back in 2009, and another I want to say in 2012, during the Presidential election.

I was not wrong.  Virtually all complex systems have codes which unlock them, prisms through which they can be viewed which instantly clarify things into lines and circles and coherent forms which are USEFUL.  That last is important.  String theory works in theory, but it is to physics roughly what postmodern literary criticism is to useful intelligence.

Here, again, is the short version: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/files/Download/Notes--31--healthcare%20in%20ten%20paragraphs.pdf

Here, again, is the longer version: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/files/Download/obamacare.pdf

Benghazi

http://counterjihadreport.com/2016/01/14/hillarys-benghazi-stand-down-order-exposed/

Here is what seems to have happened.  Obama and Hillary Clinton decided to topple the Libyan government, for unclear reasons.  The alleged reason was the support of democracy, but they supported the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt, and continue to this very moment to support people fighting the Syrian government who are not Syrian, and who nearly universally support the Islamic State, and the goal of a regional Caliphate.  In point of fact, arms and training provided by the Obama and Clinton policies seem to have CREATED the Islamic State, and Obama's claims to the contrary notwithstanding, he seems not to be making ANY serious attempts to stop or even slow the growth of the Islamic State.  He is, among other things, failing to bomb the oil tankers selling oil to Turkey in exchange for operational funds which obviously at some point may be used to buy WMD's.

We know that the State facility in Benghazi was almost comically understaffed as far as security.  The only thing not comic about it is that two people who made the mistake of trusting Hillary Clinton died for it.  Sean Smith's body had to be pulled out by people who disobeyed orders to try and come help them.

We know there was significant CIA activity in Benghazi.  What were they doing?  One story line has them tracking anti-aircraft missiles.  Another has them funneling arms first to the Turks, then to the "Syrian rebels", aka ISIS in its infancy.

We know that support assets were available to the CIA Annex and were denied.

We KNOW that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama LIED knowingly in the immediate aftermath of the deaths of four Americans who made the mistake of trusting them.  This is not in doubt.

One wonders why the Left is so desperate to reject common sense standards of loyalty, common decency, and integrity.

But then again, not really.  You can't not be a piece of shit and be in the middle of this thing, and you can't not be a willing dupe and be in the outer circle.  Dumb and evil: these are the choices.  True liberals are nary to be seen across the whole horizon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Muslims and adultery

Someone I know is apparently fooling around with a married Muslim man, and this got me to thinking: the Islamic legal status of a willing infidel woman is likely that of concubine.  Muslims are allowed unlimited concubines.

This means that Muslims cannot commit adultery with Western women. And legally, both consensual and forced sex--rape, to be clear--are both completely acceptable and consistent with Islamic law and Islamic tradition.  Thus, when you read about elderly, married, Muslim men participating in gang rapes in England, they are very literally not breaking any precept of their religion. To the extent Islam speaks to the topic, it is likely to ENCOURAGE such behavior.

Their wives--of which they are allowed up to four--cannot of course have any relations with non-Muslim men.  Merely speaking to a man who is not a family member is enough to get women killed in some countries, like Pakistan.

In the West we forget at our peril that a substantial portion of the globe retains the sensibilities and mores of the 7th century,. which was, as has been most of human history, violent, misogynistic, and grotesquely unfair.

Only in the West did the concept of universal human rights come about.  Only here.  We are condemned with the very ideas which would not exist but for our cultural innovations.

You cannot repeat Soviet propaganda--and that is what they push on the Daily Cause and HuffPo--without being historically ignorant, unprincipled, and characterized by that stupidity which thinks it knows everything worth knowing, never guessing the extent of its intellectual depravity.

Ramble one

I am trying to say something, but I am not yet sure what.  What follows is, I recognize, incoherent.  There will likely be another ramble after this one, but not until I take care of some business.


As the State grows, individual power diminishes. As the State does for you, you do less. As the State embodies and expresses power, you embody and express less, you do less, you are less.

Someone claimed that one of the goals of an aspiring global totalitarian was to get everyone implanted with microchips which contain everything about us.  We can walk into a store, pick something up, and walk out, and the cost of that item is deducted from our account.  There is no need for a cashier, since they know who I am.  They know where to find me.  And if I act up, my chip is emptied, and my movements can be controlled.  They know who I talk to, where I go, even what I say.

But of course we have to agree to this.  And all of these ideas demand, for their implementation, fear.  Governments are grown because of fear: fear of war, fear of crime, fear of confusion.  And what drives fear is a sense of helplessness.

Terrorism is a perfect vehicle for authoritarians because it is amorphous.  It has no boundaries. It has no time.  It is not a conventional war, and thus can be declared in perpetuity.  I personally wonder if ISIS has not been built by our shadow government precisely BECAUSE we were winning the war on terror.  Certainly, Obama armed and almost certainly trained what became ISIS, and it seems we are not attacking the oil trucks which deliver wealth to ISIS, and are not effectively targeting their leadership or propaganda centers.  We seem in fact to still be arming people whose only allegiance to us is their claimed opposition to Assad.


Consolations

It seems to be the case that our unconscious will only feed us information it feels we can handle emotionally.  A great many people--likely most, in my view--spend lives with shit crammed into the back of their emotional selves which never comes out, because they never give it time to, they never ask it to, and they are unprepared to deal with it if it does.

For my part, as I am watching darkness come out of me, I also watch it fade.  You cannot fight darkness in yourself: you allow it, and it dissipates.  All emotions have information.  Listen to that information, learn from it, and that emotion is no longer needed.  It is a telegram that has been read.

Last night I was realizing that as a baby I was not wanted.  I imagined this scene of fighting out of the womb--I had a difficult delivery--being placed in my mothers arms, and her face being filled with shock and rejection as she realized I was not the perfect girl her narcissism had led her to believe was the only possibility.  They did not even have a boy's name selected, such was her certainty.

She tried to love me.  I don't doubt this.  But will cannot coerce love, and she herself was never loved.  It is a mystery to her, as indeed it has largely been a mystery to me.

And I ponder how babies deal with primal rejection and neglect, and it seems to me that we are missing part of the puzzle: children are not born fully helpless.  All of us, all humans, come from another world, and reenter that world when we die.  This is my belief.

It is also my belief that we land on this world with a plan, and with a nascent self that has been in development over long periods of time.  We are not blank slates.  We are born with worlds of information latent within us.

Here is one of my favorite reincarnation stories: http://www.iisis.net/index.php?page=past-life-murderer-identified-ax-axe-skull-reincarnation-birthmarks-past-life-scars&hl=en_US

At three this child was speaking of what he knew, but somewhere in him it was there when he was born.

Fear and helplessness, it seems to me, are inextricably linked. And fear and chronic anger are likewise linked.

This thought pattern, which concords (I made it a verb) with my own sense of how "objective" (note the bias inherent in needing to use this word) reality works, is congenial to me, and perhaps may be to you as well.

Countless thousands of unwanted children are born every day. What is their destiny?  They are sundry, but we must never assume from one cause must proceed another effect where consciousness is concerned.  Life is far more complicated, rich, and interesting than that.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The devolution of decency

I watched Captain America--the first one--with my oldest last night, and the obvious theme was "I don't like bullies".  This is the American self image, and one which has animated much of our foreign policy over the past century.  We were of course often accused of being bullies by Soviet propagandists--perhaps, it must said, sometimes accurately, although not in Korea and not in Vietnam--and their propaganda was congenial to the conceits of very soft, historically ignorant western intellectuals.  It continues to be.

In a post which did not last an hour I told the Huffington Post audience that their beliefs could reliably be inferred by simply positing arrogance, complacency, and Soviet propaganda memes.  I view that as only very slightly hyperbole, and with respect to the Soviets, I will mention I have not had a post last an hour on that Goebbelsian--should I say Leninist, Alinskyan, or Obaman?--thought-vehicle in some years.  It doesn't matter what I say.  It seemingly only matters that I say it.  These people censor opposing views then both wonder why everyone does not believe as they do, and why they are so angry at them.

The point I wanted to make relates to this sad story: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/01/15/15-year-old-boy-was-stabbed-to-death-by-migrant-because-he-was-protecting-young-girl-from-sex-assault/

A Muslim--and the religion is clearly significant, since rape is nowhere condoned by any civilized religion, even if it has sometimes been practiced--attempts to rape a Swedish school girl, and the boy who stops it is stabbed to death in retaliation.  The Swedes suppress the truth, call the victim a "bully" with no evidence, and rush to get the story from the Muslim, who of course makes something up.

The image I keep getting in mind, and I'm sorry this is not more classical, but perhaps the more useful for it, is the Minister of Magic in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, who keeps denying that Voldemort is back.  Despite all evidence he chooses to privilege the more congenial, the easier, the less painful, of two options, even though it has nothing BUT convenience going for it.

And see what happens when you are suppressing something you KNOW on some level is true is that you do not exist on a continuum, but the more WRONG you are, the more you FIGHT for your wrong view.  You get angry at those who insist on telling the truth.  You resent them.  You demonize them.  You push them to the side and marginalize them.

What we see in this Swedish story is that common decency and common sense are simply not welcome.  They are not interested in doing the right thing if it requires new thoughts, the reevaluation of the cultural direction they have chosen, and particularly if it requires JUDGEMENT.  They want to be nice.  They want to be all things to all people, and they do not want to admit evil exists.

I was describing this in my version of the Grand Inquisitor, when I had Sade say he would eliminate all notions of good and evil, as the best guarantee that evil would prevail.

If "all that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing", then the cause of evil has to stigmatize the very idea of good.  And this has transpired.  A boy killed for preventing a rape is the villain, and the aspiring rapist and actual murderer is the hero.

This is where decadence, weakness, spiritual sickness, which I term "Sybaritic Leftism" transitions into that hatred, violence, anger, and pervasive deceit I call "Cultural Sadeism".  As I say over and over and over, they are connected.  The one MUST lead to the other.  It lacks the strength to defend itself, and it lacks an alternative vision that is constructive and coherent.

Too good not to share

"A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings" Ludwig von Mises-- from "Human Action: A Treatise on Economics" (1966 edition)

The salient intellectual question of our time is how contemporary intellectuals--the thought leaders, the primary creators and consumers of propaganda--can be made to realize the nullity of their socialist project, as seen morally, psychologically, spiritually, and economically.

The purpose of economics is not to provide a meaning to life.  The purpose of economics is to provide food and shelter, leisure, and peaceful spaces.  Conflating the two is merely the most obvious intellectual sin of the socialists.

Life is interesting.  Seeking to make everyone the same, because this radicalism makes you different, for the time being, is not. It is quite dull.  It is the play of fools, the strategy of cowards, and the creativity of the utterly insipid.

Seeing evil

It is always growth when you see evil in yourself.  It did not suddenly come into being: it was always there.  It is your awareness which has evolved.
 
And we are moved to anger when we see the evil in others.  This is appropriate.  But at the same time, I feel this anger stems from a fear we have that it lies in us too.

I think it is appropriate at this primitive level of existence to punish evil, because fear remains an important source of social order, but it is never necessary for good people to hate evil.

This is a subtle point.  It is EASY to say that being nice is a solution to everything.  This is delusional.  Evil in others spreads, takes hold, and creates fear, pain, sorrow, and death.  It must sometimes be fought body to body, death to death.  Wars can have a moral purpose.

The goal is to transcend this need, not to ignore it, not to fail to feed the good because of fear of our own evil, which we cloak in an abysmal "niceness".  Fuck niceness: do what is right.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Getting things done

It's an odd paradox, to me, that a fulfilling life seemingly requires us both to take time seriously, and to be able to act as if we had all the time in the world.  If you measure every second, you will be outwardly effective.  Bear Bryant supposedly carried in his wallet these great stories about time. They are about cultivating the pleasures of flow and accomplishment.

But there  are larger, slower energies, too, that take time to manifest, and disperse quickly if you are in a hurry all the time.

I found myself saying to myself today, even though I have things to do (none of which are however truly urgent), that I have all the time in the world.  I can take all the time that I need.

How often do you say that to yourself?  For me, I think the need to hurry all the time is related to primal injuries.


On a related note, I was in Best Buy today, and it hit me that one major reason people fail to individuate, fail to mature emotionally, is not just that our lives are easy, but that the countless distractions we have prevent facing the silence of ourselves.  We turn the TV on in the morning, and listen to it before we go to bed.  You are never alone with yourself, and the things which demand attention, the emotional house-keeping that needs to be done.  You can kick all that down the road for a lifetime, and die barely wiser than when you were born.

It takes courage to face the pain of inner growth.  I can well see why people avoid it.  But each pain only truly hurts once, or for a period of time, and then it is out of you.  It is gone.  It is done.  The alternative is leaving a thorn in you for a lifetime, which interrupts you when you are sleeping, and speaks in your ear when you are awake.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Self compassion

I had a lot of strong emotions hit me today, and it occurred to me that you can only really feel self-compassion when you can feel fully what you have been through.  For people who have been through the ringer, getting to that point is very hard.  Numbness is hard to set aside.

And pain is not the point, but rather feeling how disconnected from your own feelings and those of other people you became at some point.  How disconnected I became.

And THAT process is painful.  It is like thawing a frostbitten limb.  Nobody would argue that the fact that frostbite makes you numb means it is positive, or that there is any easy way back to normalcy, or semi-normalcy, without going through the reacquisition of feeling.

It does seem helpful to titrate, to use Levine's analogy, and to pendulate between the difficult feelings, and remembered or conjured positive ones.  Still, the process is not precise, and some flooding is inevitable.  You just have to deal with it, and accept it.

And I will say with respect to my last post that I don't deny that sometimes I am an asshole.  But what I would argue is that sometimes being confronted bluntly and unapologetically is what people need.  What the outcome is depends largely on how they choose to take it, which means that I can't know in advance if being nice or being a dick is going to be more useful.  It is really out of my hands, and up to them.

As for me, I have my own shit currently to deal with, and have a pretty simple choice: have a pity party, or man up and deal with it.  There is no way out of a pity party, so I'm going with option B, even though I don't like it.  The world doesn't give a flying fuck if I like it.

The world as I see it is so much more complex than the simplistic creed of "being nice".  People need to be pushed sometimes, and "allowed" sometimes (given space and time), and they need to be loved, sometimes all at the same time. There is no perfect one answer that can ever be divorced from the process of perceiving dynamically, and adjusting regularly.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The benefits of judgement

I had a somewhat enlightening experience today.  I'm gassing up, and I hear a woman say "I've never had this much trouble getting four bucks in my life".  Sure enough, a black man--around here, they are almost always black--comes up to me and says in that tone of voice some of us know well "Sir, can I. . .?"  And I tell him NO.

I've lived in a number of big cities for long periods of time, and I've seen quite a bit.  When I was at Berkeley I used to get hit up by panhandlers several times daily.  I took to ignoring them, and if they persisted, looking them in the eye and saying NO clearly and unambiguously.  It was the same people, in the same places, nearly every day.  I got compassion fatigue within two days.  I was broke myself.

So his woman--wife, girlfriend, who knows?--comes up and says "leave him alone, he is rude".  And I said to her "I'm not the one begging".  She gets indignant: "I'm not begging.  I'm a Christian woman and I have a job.  I'm a manager at Taco Bell.  I have two kids back in the car."  I looked at her and said "you are begging".

She starts walking away, and says something about my "white ass".  I tell her "I've never asked anyone for money in my life", which is true.  I've been so  broke I donated blood for money twice a week for a period of time, and that is fucking broke.  You get needle marks on your arms, and have to wear long sleeve shirts, and even though it seems virtually never to happen, they tell you that on rare occasions the procedure will kill you, so you get to sit there thinking about that.

She looks at me and tells me to watch my mouth or she's going to  bust it open.  I tell her "classy", finish gassing up, and leave.  I'm not small, weak, or stupid, so threats like that don't bother me.

But I understand the anger.  She is in a position where she is begging.  This means she has taken on the role of Victim, and once you take on that role everyone becomes either a Protector or a Villain.  I of course was a villain, and we are taught to be angry with villains.

And I thought about this some more.  To be response-able means that you have the ability to react to  circumstances, to choose your reaction, and in fact to proactively create the circumstances you want.

To be a victim is necessarily to feel self pity, since you are helpless. If no one helps you, then you don't get helped.

And I thought about the old way of being, where people would rather die than take assistance, would rather do anything than be reduced to the indignity of begging.

It is my understanding that in the beginning of the Orwellian "Great Society" the government hired people to canvass poor neighborhoods and convince people to take public assistance, because the resistance was so strong.

And in our modern age, it is easy to say "Just take the money", but what is missed in this is that in the process we all become prostitutes.  Anyone who places himself in a condition of dependence on another, where he cannot raise him or herself, where individual initiative is forbidden, unnecessary, or discouraged, is sacrificing their dignity, their self respect.

All the inner qualities are invisible to socialists.  All the things that make life bearable are invisible.  They only see things, and it is inevitable in the process that people would become things too, which is a fairly short description of the condition of slavery.  We assume slaves are USED for something, like building fences.  What are the slaves on this plantation used for?  Electing Democrats, obviously.

And I kept at this, and it seems to me the reason unhappiness is so common in our affluent and largely peaceful society is that in the old days the societal practice of judging people who did not take care of themselves, of judging those who failed in their duties, provided, paradoxically, a sort of comfort.  Everyone was subjected to the same standard, which meant that no matter how severe your penury, there were people around you sharing it with the same dignity, the same necessary acceptance.

Society was organized so as to reject self pity.  It was organized around the idea that life is tough, and we all need to be tough too.

This seems harsh, but if everyone accepts it, they avoid the burden of self pity.  Do you not think poor kids in the ghettos of New York had more self respect in 1900 than they do today?

Virtually the entire program of the socialists--and I am conflating them here with the Democrats--is oriented around stoking resentment, stoking self pity, stoking self righteous anger, and using those energies to get and keep power.

This woman was a racist.  There was no need to invoke race.  But she doubt sees that white people in general are more successful, and has been taught to believe her decisions, how she chooses to live her life, plays little role in her outcome.  She is helpless.

And ponder the recklessness which would land her in a supermarket parking lot with two kids, begging.

Do I think she donates blood?  No.  Do I think she works two jobs?  No.  I at one point was working three jobs.  I have been unemployed one month in my entire adult life, and that was because I got laid off immediately before Christmas, and nobody is hiring between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2.  I had a new job by Jan. 15th.

Most of the time, what appears to be the case is in fact the case.  What I was seeing is that she assumes white people have money and they should be sharing it with her, since she is only asking for $4.  She likely spent her money on cigarettes or lottery tickets, and begging to fill her tank with gas was part of a plan she has executed many times.

Being too compassionate is a kind of cruelty, because it enables people to live lives filled with resentment, unfilled potential, and self loathing they mask with chronic outward-directed anger.  None of us need to feed this.

And I think far too many people think that exercising their right to demand boundaries, to demand  respect, is cold and wrong.

The truth is you help no one by not being yourself, and you can't be yourself if you think you have no rights, cannot make demands on others, cannot judge others, and have to be nice in all times and places.  Bullshit.

It may be that this woman is still mad at me.  It may also be that hearing the word "begging" caused a bit of introspection.  That was certainly my intention.

Justice

Watch this video and feel what you are feeling as you watch it.  Be honest.  Most men seem to feel a sense of righteous pleasure, that the bad guys got what was coming to them.

I am going to reserve comment for the moment.  This was a very long day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Future

I woke up this morning feeling clearly that the path forward for humanity, the great Next Step, is a generalized focus on and cultivation of emotional growth, which at some point becomes what we call spiritual growth.

It is so ODD, so stupid, so short-sighted, so ignorant, to feel either that increasing knowledge--an understanding of Relativity, the capitals of the world, the mechanics of nuclear fusion--is somehow equivalent to growth, which is the de facto belief of the Singularitians, who have somehow convinced themselves that an internalized Google would be other than a quantitative leap, if it were even possible, which I do not believe; or that a society can be improved in any way other than through the emotional and spiritual growth of all its members.

Why do, among others, Eric Schmidt and Mark Zuckerberg focus on externals, on the superficial? Why are they atheists?  They are both smart enough to be smarter.  The physics of metaphysics--the Zero Point Field and the retention of information--seems reasonably clear.  The evidence in total is overwhelming for our energetic connection and survival of death, and evidence continues to flow in daily, all over the world, as it always has.

Why the unrepentant anger from people like Barbara Ehrenreich?  I read this article and was reminded once again how emotionally and spiritually superficial the animating outrage of these people is.

Does she not know it is possible to live a very happy life in conditions of objective poverty and physical difficulty?  She is the one stoking resentment, and denigrating dignity.  She is one who fails to see that the non-material aspects of life are what make it heavenly or hellish.  She is the emotionally callow one who fails to see that no one who does not have a good relationship with themselves--as she seems not to--can possible be loving to others.  For her, yelling about pay constitutes love.  But of course it is merely her vanity, her self importance, speaking.  And it seemingly has a lot to say, which says something about her.

The path forward is the path inward,for all of us.  It is the tragedy of our time that our idiotic and grossly unjust financial system has denied us the time and leisure to  live genuinely contemplative lives, and that the systemic indolence and torpor of our universities has failed to embrace and integrate the vast quantity of non-conforming data indicating we are in fact spiritual beings and that while no religion can claim to have fully described God, that that concept is useful, and empirical.

Monday, January 4, 2016

God the Father

I was thinking about the notion that if God is dead--if God does not exist, and is not going to punish us--then all is permitted.

Only on a very primitive level of development does one only behave because of fear.  Morality, decency, goodness: all are their own rewards, rewards which multiply when expanded across a social order, and which deepen as they are understood.

God is not a parent.  God is the soil within which we are rooted, and in which we are free to flourish or fail.

The metaphor of God as parent, however, has proven very congenial to authoritarians.

Greater precision

When you realize the myth within which you have lived is wrong, there is no path forward but through darkness and confusion.  People see this and infer wrongly that there is no path forward.  They call this disillusionment, but it is merely the substitution of one illusion for another.

We are left to wish for better darkness and better confusion.  Life is not easy or simple, but it is one grand game.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Star Wars

Like everyone else, I went to see the new Star Wars.  I try not to be too much of an outsider.

On the way to the theater I couldn't help but remember how disappointing Hayden Christenson's (name is close if not exact) transformation into Darth Vader was in the first three (second three, because as a meme has it "in charge Yoda was".)  As several reviewers I read noted, he didn't get evil so much as pouty, peevish, and bratty.

Being me, what occurred to me is that it would have been much more intellectually satisfying if he had been corrupted by ideology more directly.  It is difficult to get people to do things they consider evil, but easy to get good people to do or at least countenance evil they have been trained to view as good.

That would be a script I would find it interesting to write.  How do you seduce a good person into views which conform with evil, all while calling them good?  They did if memory serves invoke "safety", but I seem to recall the Dark Side was always the Dark Side.

To do the thing properly, you have to call it the Bright Light, the connection with God, the right way, the path of righteousness.

This is certainly what Muslims do, and certainly what most other religions have done throughout history, including notably Judaism and Christianity.

Seriously: by what process of imbecility do you get militancy and war particularly out of Christianity and Buddhism?

The id is not sex.  I don't see this.  It is not violence per se.  It is unprocessed developmental trauma, to the extent it exists.

Annakin Skywalker would have had major developmental issues to work with, and buttons to be pushed, but the whole thing--and yes I admit I am a crotchety old (working on it) man who is reading too much into an escapist epic--was done poorly on a psychological level.

And the new bad guy just seems like an emotionally undeveloped brat.

I'll have something to say about the psychopath Deadpool after a while.  He is exactly what people need and want right now.  I can say that with some confidence.  Whether or not that is healthy is another issue.

We are sick, are we not?  And do sick people not do what sick people do?

Yes, yes they do.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Emotional dying

A friend of mine just had to put down her dog.  It had a brain tumor, and in the end was utterly unable to rest or sleep in any position.  Everything hurt.

I remember reading about the deaths of people dying from cancer, who likewise cannot get a moments calm repose.  Up, down, sideways, on their stomach: nothing is comfortable.  There is no escape but death and the relative death of heavy sedation and pain-killers.

I find this in me.  The pain within me seeks constant motion.  I can escape it through my intellect, through distraction, through motion, and of course through intoxication.  Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I should be doing something else, somewhere else.  Nowhere is home, and of course this was my primal experience.

What I am finding is that healing takes place by choosing to remain still, but simultaneously allowing this surge of restless energy to manifest, and to be present to it.  To speak to it, to understand it, to sympathize with it, to recognize its purpose--to protect me--and to give it permission to do so.

The process of trauma healing is one of allowing antique processes of affect and behavior to complete.  They were started oh so long ago, but had nowhere to go, nowhere to disperse, no way to release their energies.  And so they remain, ghosts from the past, constantly seeking release from an endless circle with no exit.

You can tap into this, poke a hole in it, and watch the sudden release of energies.

I continue my Kum Nye, but am finding regularly that my EmWave2 will also facilitate this work.  I can keep my heart calm and coherent, all while feeling manic energies flowing through me into the atmosphere.  It is an odd juxtaposition, but not really I suppose, all things considered.  We all "exist" on many layers, in many places, the connections between which are both robust and often obscure.

I watch and I learn. This is what I do. I often feel sadness, and often feel rage.  Often I feel I don't feel anything at all, which I pour words on to;  but I increasingly recognize another possibility.

This is useful work, and I share it because sharing is therapeutic for me, but also because I recognize this world is filled with bullshit, and would likely benefit from a few people willing to struggle in public who do not want your money or recognition.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The biggest challenge in personal growth

I am slowly eliminating my anger, and the anxiety that masks it.  What I am finding is that inhabiting my day, getting things done, I feel naked without my anxiety and latent rage.  I have always had it.  How does anyone get anything done without first tensing up then powering through it?

It seems to me that after a certain age--I would think for sure by age 30--you have developed a way of being in the world which has flaws--you have a limp you cannot see--but which on balance is functional.  And the longer you use it, the more comfortable it becomes.

In beginning any sport a good coach will make sure you learn good habits, and do not pick up any bad habits. As one famous example, John Wooden always ensured that his players knew how to put on socks properly to avoid getting blisters.

Life is like this too, but our parents themselves all too often don't know what the good habits are, and which the bad.  They, too, were thrown out there and made whatever accommodations they had to to survive.  To the extent they teach at all, they teach what they know.  Most maps are flawed.

And so growing means losing old friends.  It means saying good bye not just to what held us back, but what held us up.  This is a formidable obstacle, and needs to be recognized as such.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Self Mortification

Can you train a dog to enjoy playing with a ball with a club?

People rarely physically conduct penance now, but how often every day do most of us limit who we can be through conditioned fear?

Original Sin

An important part of life is to open yourself to daily change.  Every day, ideally every moment, spirituality consists in a curiosity what is in this present moment, and where it is going.

We see some teachers saying "stay in the moment, that is where life is".  This is of course true, but moments generally come in groupings.  There are winds that flow through our lives, scents, textures.  Feelings, of all sorts.  Change is all around us if we but open ourselves to it.

It seems to me that most of the people who actually live in the moment are living in series of moments, who are swept away by things which fascinate them, and whose principal virtue consists in the openness required both to see and to be led by what comes by.

A kite is of course tethered, as we are by our physical bodies, and sense of self, but it is wildly free to roam about within those limits.  Even when apparently stationary, it feels the flow of air underneath it, and the precariousness and exhilaration of its position.


I have been speaking of evil, the evil I find in me, and which I assume must exist in varying measures in others.  I have perhaps been wounded more deeply than many, and carry deeper scars, but the principle of emotional death and resurrection is the same, I think, for all of us.  We have all suffered deaths.  And I think my own case is far more common that generally supposed.  I think if anything is unique about me, it is simply that I have discovered it, contacted it, and am in the process of dissolving and dispersing it.

But of course you cannot be me, thinking about evil, VIEWING evil, feeling it course through me, and not think about Original Sin. Christ talked about sin.  All the early Christians were obsessed with sin, with the "flesh".  Many of the most "saintly" of the Christians were those most willing to inflict pain upon themselves obsessively, through fasting, through whipping themselves, through wearing uncomfortable clothes, and living solitary lives for many years.

This all seems stupid to me. Edward Gibbon comments upon all this repeatedly, asking how someone who hates themselves can love humanity.  They can't, of course. It is solipsistic.  It is one part of the evil.

Some atavistic part of you--I think in most cases relating to some unknown trauma endured as a baby--says you are unworthy, worthless, useless, a piece of shit.  Some other part asserts, rightly, that no, you are worth something.  But we are social animals, and it is hard to sustain an internal image that is not ratified in the eyes of others.  So how do you reclaim your power?  You take that self loathing rage out on your body and call it good, and this pronouncement is ratified in the eyes of others; if not in adoring laity, then at least in the eyes of fellow penitents, for whom you perform the same service.

Alternately, of course, you seek out power over others.  You make others smaller that you might feel the bigger.  Self abuse and other abuse is still causing pain, still unpleasant, still unnecessary.

And sex, sex, sex.  Sex is expurgated.  Evil.  Wrong.  When you have wet dreams or wake up with a hard-on as a man or dream of some man penetrating you or sucking on your nipples as a woman, you have "sinned".  You couldn't help it, any more than a small child who wets his or her pants, but you are a "sinner".  How awful is this?

Small wonder that some take an equally extreme and opposite approach and make sex the focal point of religious practice, as Aleister Crowley seems to have.

I propose we rename "Original Sin" a "birthright of growth".  We are born as animals.  We behave as animals.  These are not in my view theoretical postulates, but obvious facts.  Can we help the fact of needing comfort as infants?  Can we help the fact of our biological needs for warmth, food, rest, and shelter? Is there anything the slightest bit moral about any of this?  Can we help the genetic traits (and astrological traits, for those who believe in them; I view the two as part and parcel of the same issue)  with which we were born?  Can we as adults control the conditions under which we were raised as infants?  When puberty sets in, is any part of this voluntary?

Can we help that some part of us is hard-wired to be voracious, aggressive, and concerned on a deep genetic level solely with survival and reproduction?

As I have mentioned, I am listening to the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and it is a story of invasion after invasion, betrayal after betrayal, with humans behaving as ravaging beasts, as soulless monsters.  It is the story that what is built up by one will be torn down by another.

And it is the story of the ascendancy of the Christian Church, which used this creed of the original worthlessness of all humankind to build a vast and powerful empire--what we cannot call a spiritual empire, but an empire of psychological coercion dependent upon terrors created through visions of hell conjured by those who benefited from fear--of people who benefited by providing an answer to it: redemption through the sacrifice of individual conscience to group norms; to rules enforced through violence; to conformity compelled under threat of death, torture, exile, and public execration.

Christ cannot have wanted or willed any of this.  Assuming he was a real human being, someone who walked this Earth, he must have been up there thinking "I fucked up".  But what can he have done, but let this disease--this new disease, which contained within itself its cure--surge through the body of humanity, hoping one day it would run its course?

Can we not find within the notion of universal human rights--which is under attack by the egalitarians, who invoke an ancient tribalism in their false appeals to the universal--an origin in "love thy neighbor as thyself"?  There was nothing in European history one could not find in Chinese history, or Indian history, or Aztec history.  Conflict.  Death.  Famine.  Tyranny.  Compelled conformity.  The thirst for power and glory.  Structural separation from the actually Divine.

Marx was not wrong in seeing in religion an organized effort to coerce the masses.  One of Constantine's initial reasons for embracing Christianity--it seems to have been the primary reason, although his beliefs seem to have evolved over time--was that it encouraged passiveness and obedience to temporal authority.  We might even wonder if Christ ever said "render unto Caesar what is Caesars".  Much blood attended the suppression of the various "heresies".  Tens of thousands at least, likely hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, died for failing to conform to the ascendant "Universal" faith.  Such a creed of love!!!  Nothing says love like rivers of blood, and tears which are not destined ever to be comforted in this life.

Gibbon seems to be misunderstood as blaming Christianity for the fall of the western Roman empire. As he points out, all the conquerers of Rome were themselves Christians.  Attila was not, but he never conquered Rome itself, nor did he rule in Italy.  The Goths were Christian.  So were the Vandals.

So obviously being war-like and being Christian were not mutually exclusive.  The Romans were decadent because they lived at the expense of others for many hundreds of years.  They did not plow fields, or do useful work.  They did not earn or deserve "paychecks".  They partied and they played, and let others do their fighting and working for them.  They were provided food and entertainment, and as Gibbon also points out, what is interesting is not that they were conquered, but that it took so long.

Returning to my main point, we are bred and conditioned to easily feel rage and fear.  Existing at this level is natural for us. As I see in myself, there is little difference between the two.  Both remove from consideration the perceptions of space, of options, of flexibility, of patient pursuit of long-term ends reachable only through self restraint borne of a longer, more relaxed vision.

We are bred as conditioned animals.  This is our birthright.  Few see this.  We all want to say we chose what we were compelled to accept.  Our vanity demands it.  But it is a lie.

The sine qua non of a spiritual life is to awaken to the power of choice. You must see in life what those around you do not see.  You must be willing to submit to the risk of ostracism or worse in order to follow a road whose path you cannot see down more than the next moment, the next breath.  You must cast yourself into a different sort of wind, and be willing to die to what you know--rather, what you think you know.

To understand Original Sin is to understand and feel the yoke you were born with, the pressure to act like all others, to be an animal like all others, to live and die with little purpose or progress.

We live in an exceptional time.  All the old restraints have been loosened.  Human societies are far freer in what they will tolerate than ever before.  And this scares the living shit out of a lot of people.  They want a return to chains, and are quite willing to tolerate the lie of freedom in the name of escaping it.

Who will win?  Who will lose?  I of course cannot say.  I am limited to my own life, my own words, my own conduct, my own pursuit of excellence as I perceive it.  There is much in here worth pondering, for those willing to expose their vanities to the possibility of loss without immediate gain.