Thursday, July 27, 2017

Political correctness

the core idea is that what constitutes good manners is mutable, and that what was sufficient ten years ago--for example when nobody was talking about allowing transgenders in the military, much less paying to cut their balls off or enlarge their clitoris--is now forbidden.

People who want to stay au courant learn to be careful what they say, and take care never to express an opinion prior to finding out what the group opinion is.

And here is the insidious part: everyone learns to be AFRAID of offending people who quickly learn that acting offended gets them power.

This means not just that victim groups use this system of structural social intimidation and bullying, but that aspiring social architects--aspiring fascists, to be clear--have every reason to make fear of non-conformity--which is to say,conformity to an era they declare as gone--a universal. You build malleable, weak willed, Other Directed people using this tool of ubiquitous, inescapable, and subtle terror.

It would not be greatly overstating the case to say that subtle Leftists have substituted organized social ostracism for the guillotine. Their ideas are no less corrosive and their aims no less radical. But they have adopted George Betnard Shaws fascism with good manners and good taste.

Edit: what I meant to pint out as well is that, once a generalized climate of fear is achieved--to which is tied the eagerness of many to punish dissenters-/a small cadre can create the illusion easily of mass consensus. Plainly, given Trumps election, MANY Americans are not OK with our current direction, but their voices are silenced in most places by relentless propaganda DESIGNED to make the majority seem to be outlier.

I will note that the Bolsheviks were always in a distinct minority, and the Mensheviks wee, to my understanding, the larger group, but Lenin and his ilk, being People Of The Lie, in M Scott Pecks sense, CALLED themselves the "majority", which in my understanding is the meaning of Bolshevik.

These people lie continuously and compulsively. And on most days their biggest lie is that most people agree with them on their core agenda. Even in a mass movement, the people who know the REAL plan are no more than 10%, if that. They are elitists who use populist rhetoric and sentiment to get people to surrender their freedom based on a long series of lies.

Rooms

it remains the case that I would hesitate to sleep anywhere people can hear me, because my nightly antics would scare the crap out of most people. I do seem to have grown accustomed to dealing with them without getting drunk. I am drinking a bit here and there, but haven't been drunk in a few weeks.

Last night I had an odd interlude where I was puzzling if the "room" where my infant self is confined has time within it, and I found myself reasoning my way through it aloud.

For most of us, primitive traumas are encased in Amber. They are motionless museum exhibits. But sometimes they come to life, when a situation calls for it. But they can only run from A to B. It is a one way path which resets again at the beginning. I hesitate to call it a loop, since the reset is instantaneous, or at least unconscious. It is always new, again.

And this part, being sealed away, but containing a part of self, of our soul, affects by gravity everything we do. It is a weight we carry which cannot carry itself. Healthy emotions EXPRESS energy. That is their nature. They carry us. They make life easier.

An unhealthy emotion must be continually suppressed. Most people do this. I remember an acquaintance talking with barely suppressed glee how a person was flayed alive in a Game Of Thrones episode. I remember someone telling me the audience cheered at the end of Silence of the Lambs when Hannibal said he was "having an old friend for dinner."

It is tiring, you see, suppressing suspicion and anger and authentic spontaneity, as too many of us are taught to do. It makes you mean. It is in my view the hidden root of sacrifice.

Imagine if we began the public sacrifice of cows, lambs and chickens in all our major cities at high noon on every Friday. Ponder the spectacle. Everyone pissed off about anything could go watch something die, and feel better.

Are heros the point of horror films? Of course not. The VILLAINS are.

What I am attempting to oppose are the gradual and conscious exhibition of internal wounds, and their gradual healing and integration; and in the other a cyclic reenactment, in which the frozen content circles the center of our consciously, with a clear perigee and apogee. When stress becomes too much, it circles in and has its effect. When you have raged at someone, been mean--or been willfully self-destructive--it moves out again.  It is frozen hard and gone sometimes, and nearly melted and fresh sometime, which is when movement enters, which is when you feel more alive but more ambivalent about who you are.  This is when Satanists telling you "this is who you are" feels liberating, despite the fact that you are actually reidentifying with your tightest bonds.

There is something here. There is something to the notion of periodicity.

Further thought

First off, I would suspect most gender confusion, like most deep and difficult psychological problems, is another form of Developmentsl Trauma Disorder.

But let us say that it really is possible to be a woman trapped in a mans body, or vice versa. Such people suffer from BIRTH DEFECTS. They are deformed. Their deformities can be partially corrected through prostheses and surgery, but not eradicated. Not at the current state of science, at any rate.

Like all deformed people they warrant respect and consideration--pity, as I have said before, is best thought of as a disempowering microaggression--but NOT our consent and agreement. I will never call a biological man "she". It is a lie. And lies are at the very top of my list of things I avoid at all costs, and hate with every particle of my being.

Such people do not have the right to make that demand, to threaten me with emotional or physical violence if I refuse to share their delusions.

Transgenders

First, I will note that the rocket and nuclear ambitions of both Iran and Noeth Korea continue unabated. Both plan launched, I read, in the next week.

I imagine a conversation with a small child after a nuclear strike.

"Daddy, did we not know they were dangerous?

No, they were making threats of attacking us with a nuclear weapon for many years.

Was there nothing we could do? Were they too powerful for us?

No, we were much much more powerful militarily, and had good economic options we could have used.

Daddy, THIS IS HORRIBLE. How could you have allowed my future to be destroyed?

Well, sweety, we wanted to be sure we didn't offend anyone."

I will note a coupe obvious points.

1) YOU CANNOT CHANGE GENDER. This is not opinion. This is coded in literally EVERY CELL OF THE BODY.

2) Given this, it is a mental illness wanting to try. It INHERENTLY bespeaks defective reality testing, and in most honest mental health professional accounts, a much more profound underlying disorder, a revulsion at who one IS.

3) In this, it differs from homosexuality. I personally think bisexuality is a potential all men, at least , (my theory being that wanting to stick your dick I to everything you see could be evolutionarily selected for) are born with, but homosexuality is psychologically driven. HOWEVER, a sexual attraction to ones own gender can be satisfied and acted in. In this, it is not inherently a lie.

4) The absolute number of mental ailments related to gender dissatisfaction in the military is small, but the disruptiveness of things like having to run trainings to teach women to be OK with showering with men with dicks and balls is ENORMOUS. You lose good people that way. You lose unit cohesion.

5) And the military exists for one purpose, and that purpose is not hiring and gratifying left wing HR hacks.

Self

it seems to me this morning that identification is always already dissociation, or at least any identification not based on love. This is a very Buddhist idea, and in that regard it is worth pointing out that, historically, people in his time were defined by social status and tribe to an extent inconceivable now.

Ponder what motivates people to show up to work on time. Is it not fear? Fear, yes, of being fired, but more importantly fear of being thought of as a lesser person. Fear had its place, clearly, but I think we have overdone it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

So lemme get this straight

A sitting FBI Director finds major and unmistakeable evidence of felonies by the dozens committed by a politically connected woman, and refuses to bring charges. This same FBI Director DOES illegally leak classified information--which is a prosecutable crime--about an investigation initiated by a fake intelligence report initiated by Clinton operatives, and furthered by illegal CIA spying on the winning Presidential candidate.

Recognizing said FBI Dirrctor was in effect trying to engineer a coup against him, Trump fires said FBI Director. Somewhere in this process the idea is proposed that a good friend of said FBI Dirrctor--who I will refer to as Deep State Accomplice Number 1--be appointed, in effect, to continue the work of underling the Presidency from within, in pursuit of which task Deep State Accomplice Number 2--who we are told as often as possible is a "straight shooter", and honest guy--promptly hired a Democrat Dream Team, which he empowers to dig into everything everywhere, making no pretense that the Russian story still holds, making this a self sustaining corrosive operation which, in the worst possible case, serves as a long term, major distraction for the man the American people elected to eliminate corruption of PRECISELY this sort.

Meanwhile, the likely nearly countless crimes of the Clinton Crime Sydicate go uninvestigated. This, while ostensible Trump ally Jeff Sessions continues to heed, as I understand it, the legally inaccurate advice that one meeting with a Russian requires him to allow this farce to continue in a department HE CONTROLS. This, despite what I understand to be the fact that the person advising him to recuse himself is his second in command, and an Obama ally.

The press is OUTRAGED that Trump is saying publicly WTF?

Did I miss anything?

I see how people are reading fewer books, and fewer "deep" books at that. They are addicted to spectacle, and incapable in large numbers of seeing the blindingly obvious truths these circuses seek to hide.

Trump is a fighter. He persists in the face of opposition. This is why I was an early supporter. But even I, as cynical as I am, did not think he would be betrayed by the FBI, the CIA, and God knows who else. Sessions seems to be a good man, but his opposition to marijuana legalization, his support of Civil Asset forfeiture, and his claimed--I get this from left wing links, but it sounds plausible-/financial ties to the prison industry soul all be enough for me to be glad to see him gone.

And if he can be fired, why not Rod Rosenstein, as I recall the name of his Nimbet 2--as well?

As I have said several times, purged are needed, decimations. Fire all obvious traitors, then another 10% for good measure. This problem has been evolving for decades. I see no effective half measures, although some on-going measures, like restaffing the judiciary might profitably be done first.

John Brennan is a traitor to the Constitution. So is Comey, and so is Mueller, if he thinks his fishing expeditions are intended for anything but using extra-Constitutional processes to vitiate the will of the people.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Others

As I have said often, but will say in a slightly different way here, if we define intellectuals as people who made a life out of living in their heads, then we can assume without any further information that many or even all such people have large segments of darkness within them, of life which is invisible to them, of awful feelings which they have dedicated themselves to never unveiling fully, even if shadows and hints of them necessarily float throughout their work.

Sartre, to take my favorite example, wrote obsessively.  He drank wine, smoked relentlessly, and took amphetamines to fuel a daily habit of something like ten pages of prose.  He said "Hell is others".

He was not, as they say, a people person.  Would it be even remotely psychologically plausible to separate this in any way from his Stalinistic Communism?  Could his Communism have been anything but an attempt to atone at an intellectual level for his gut level hatred of humanity, and desire for general destruction?  Can one not posit "the world" consists for most people in gut energy emanating upwards and infecting their thoughts?  The world "is" what their gut tells them, and their gut is speaking about something else entirely, but they are too stupid to understand this.

I walked into a Home Depot yesterday, and there was a guy there with an artificial leg who likely lost it in combat somewhere.  He was very friendly and asked if I needed help finding anything.  I just kind of grunted and moved on.  I didn't want to "do" friendly.  I was in a foul mood.  I was, I suppose, having a "Pity Party"  as Zig Ziglar used to put it.

And I'm sure he wondered about this odd fellow.  Given how much he had likely been through, why is this guy being such a dick?  What does he have to feel bad about?

I, too, am not a people person.  I won't rationalize my behavior, other than to say that superficial friendliness is not something I do well when I am in a certain mood.  I've been in Sales in some form or other for many years, so I can do that sort of friendliness when I work myself up to it--and of course I am a friend to the world when I am drunk--but sometimes I don't want to pretend with the Home Depot fellow that we are friends.

But, again, this gets into somatic feelings about what "the world" is like.  For me, the world is a hostile place.  It always has been.  I don't trust people.  I entered the world not trusting people, and for god's sake they have rewarded my lack of trust many times over.  I will have to deal this week with a contractor who is trying to cheat me.

But of course, it is easy to focus on the bad things.  There are many of them.  But there have been many people I have met in the past week who were wrestling with their own demons and still put their best face on it.  I need to try and remember this.

I am speaking openly and randomly here.  I am not entirely sure what I am trying to find.  But there is something here, something useful, for me, and perhaps for you too.

Xenophobia

I still have dreams where some force--it can take many forms--is pursuing me, and I am escaping and/or fighting it.  I cannot win, finally, of course, because it is within me.  It is energy I have not opened up fully, and integrated.  It is harm done to me I have not been able emotionally to process.  But I will.

But it occurs to me that societies, too, have such energies.  They have, first, a psychological energy which looks and feels like an enemy outside of them, but which arises within them.  It is all the unspoken anger, and hatred, fear, pain, loneliness, rage, confusion, sexual tension (I think this is particularly important in Islamic nations, where many men can't marry at all) and everything else one is not allowed to own publicly in some societies, to admit openly, to share with others and in so doing reduce or even eliminate it.

So for many societies, this energy, already in the air, causes them to SEEK or create actual physical enemies so that what was already there has a tangible target.

And what seems ironic to me is that the only ACTUAL Xenophobia I see in our present society is being manifested ENTIRELY by the Left, and being directed at conservatives who--like the Jews in Nazi Germany--are their neighbors, their co-workers, fellow citizens, people just walking down the street.

They do not want to understand us.  They do not want to talk with us.  They simply want to hate and revile us, and--again like the Nazis--tell endless lies about us, to stoke anger, to stoke hatred, to feed misunderstanding.

Saying "Maybe letting in large numbers of people who hate our culture, who do not have a good history of assimilating, and who in large numbers state openly they want to kill us and destroy our society, isn't such a good idea" is not Xenophobic.  Saying HITLER WAS TRUMP [sic: think about it], AND HIS FOLLOWERS ARE ALL ASPIRING MASS MURDERERS, IS Xenophobic.

I will note that simply because someone is using psychology words does not mean they are doing psychology.  I have seen many, many, many examples of people simply appropriating sometimes very trenchant comments people around them have made, and applying them indifferently and inaccurately, simply as a defense mechanism.  If it sounds like they have done introspection, it can confuse those who also haven't, but respect the words and the idea of the process.  It can make fools seem deep.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Identification and self destructive behaviors

I have been toying with a "goal setting" method which is not really a method, per se.  What I do is look at a goal--say to follow a specific diet and exercise pattern--and try to sense what feelings, what reactions, what sensations arise in my in the act of imagining doing x, y, and z.

The American world, at any rate, is filled with goal setting books, with action guides to GETTING THINGS DONE!!  Everybody wants to be the smartest, most switched on person in the room.  We are programmed to want "success", which is winning.  Now, you want people who love winning to run competitive ventures.  You want them running businesses, and, as now, national governments.

But it seems to me far too much focus is placed on getting to a fixed goal, and far too little not just to the journey, but all the intangible, subtleties which life offers continually.  Should I want to run a marathon? Should I want to deadlift 510 pounds again?

I don't know.

This is the problem: how does one answer a question about what one "should" want?  Do we not in a great many cases simply pick up goals that are in the air?  You know, Oprah ran a marathon, so I should too.  All the cool people run marathons, and I want to be cool.  You reach the state of cool when you can wander around with your marathon shirt on.

But compare this to, say, quietly and patiently creating an herb garden.  It's not a hard thing to do.  You can't brag to people "I planted some seeds, watered them, and plants sprouted."  It's a hobby.  Something you do because you enjoy it.

How does one compare the simple desire to have an herb garden, which is not the sort of thing you really need to put down as a GOAL, to the desire to climb some mountain, surmount some obstacle, face some fear?

Could we say that the proper goal of all activity should be self expression, in the sense that you put yourself into what you do, that you set in motion in the external world some inner and important part of yourself?  I think this is getting close to something interesting.

Until we know ourselves, how can we know what is worth doing for ourselves?  So much of human history oriented around survival.  We have gotten past that, in large measure.  A great many, somewhat metaphysical options have opened.  We fill them, in far too many cases, with mindless chatter, mindless activity, because the question of "what to do" is confusing.  It is hard to answer.

For myself, in one of these quasi-meditative sessions, it hit me that the root of self destructive behavior--or at least inconsistent, ineffective behavior--is that at some time in my childhood, I was faced with what felt like terrible existential threats.  When you are helpless, absolutely or relatively, the only possible movement is perceptual.  You can change your perception.

And how does one make an absolutely intolerable situation tolerable?  One accepts it absolutely.  One internalizes it as a template for future behavior.  One acts as if nothing is wrong, and everything is fine.  And what does this do?  It suppresses the feelings of repulsion, of revulsion, of terror, of anger and of pain.  All of this disappears.  It is conjured away on a magic cloud.  You are now a co-conspirator.  You are now a part of the whole.

I have called this an internalized Stockholm Syndrome in the past.  This is the same dynamic.  When you cannot escape, you make friends with your situation as a survival/coping mechanism.

But what happens when the situation is over, and it is now possible to feel appropriate feelings? You have to revisit what was conjured away.  You have to see what you did, how you sold yourself out.  How you lied to yourself in basic and vitally important ways.

And this part, this self, absolutely does not want this to happen.  It separated, it dissociated, for a good reason.  It is very, very hard to conjure back, in a time of peace, what happened in a time of war.

So, say my mother never wanted me to grow up, despite the fact that she terrorized me as a child: everything I do that is coherent and mature is going to feel like it risks bringing back all the bad times of the past.  The very cognitive distortions that saved me become jailers, become watchmen, become walls which are hard to climb.

This is where I am at.  I am slowly gaining some coherence in my behavior without the continual necessity of using will, of using force.  But it is a slow process.  But nearly everything worthwhile happens slowly.

One of my mottos of the past I have not mentioned recently was "Feed the slow, nourish the small."  Quite often the largest possible movements begin very, very, very small.

The feelings of loneliness

I feel lonely today.  I live an odd life.  I don't have an office I go to regularly, and most of the work I do is temporary, and often out of State.  I spend many weeks not talking once to anyone I know.  Both of my kids are growing up, and going out into the world, as they should.  I think overly clingy parents make the process of separation, which we have made a necessity in this culture, much harder.  And I do wonder if "safe spaces" on college campuses are not an outcome of the effort to recreate in the world the feeling of being in an overly protective home.

Be that as it may, I decided to just let that feeling be.  Most of the time, when we feel bad feelings we fight them.  We dread them. I dread them, certainly.

But I thought: I'm not going to pull or push.

And here is what hit me: all of us have many feelings and sensations and images floating through us all the time.  When we focus on one, it drowns out the others.  If I say "I feel lonely" and focus on the loneliness without letting it in--if I just watch it through my window, if I keep it at a distance--then it takes on a fixed, homogeneous quality.  If I do this often enough, it becomes a programmed reaction, like that Matchbox 20 song where they sing "Baby, it's 2am, I must be lonely."  You stop actually going to the trouble of feeling what you are actually feeling.  There are many shades of all emotions, and all of them are nearly always mixed with other things.

And in the same sense that one bright light in semi-darkness can make everything else invisible, the focus on one feeling can destroy knowledge of everything else going on.  For example, I was really enjoying the sun today, the feeling of the grass, the quality of the air.  These are positive sensations.

And sometimes I feel happy even when I have no "reason" to feel happy.  Nothing "good" is happening.  I am alone, like always.  I'm not drunk and and not contemplating getting drunk.

But here, too, is something: what if a feeling of being perfectly happy being alone is trying to find its way through this dense fog?  What if--and I do believe this is true--that even though we are evolutionarily social animals, we can find ourselves blissfully content all by ourselves?  What if you can learn to be happy by yourself, and also happy with other people?  These are not states you think your way into.  They are not something you get to by rationalizing, by allowing one part of yourself to create lies, for the consumption of some other part of yourself.

Imagine all the frequencies of light shining on us all the time.  So often we focus on only one small part of this light.  We shrink to avoid pain, then make it permanent.

A perfect life

I was contemplating this morning, this rainy, thundering morning, whether it is better to treat life as if EVERYTHING mattered, or as if NOTHING mattered.

At first glance, a life where nothing matters would seem to be necessarily empty, but as I thought about it, one where everything mattered would be unnecessarily FULL.

Ponder the sheer volume of information which confronts each of us each day.  We ignore--I'm sure I've seen a number, but let us say 99%--of what we see, hear, feel, think, taste, smell, out of necessity.  We cannot bring into consciousness literally every detail of an average city street.  We would be come paralyzed instantly. It could take a lifetime to live one minute fully.

And if nothing means anything, then we are free.  We assume--or in any event, this is what pops into my own head--we must be free to do evil, but why?  Most atheists make their peace with the world in some fashion, even though they know life is simply something that happens once, for them, then eternal nothing.

And as I zigzag back and forth, it occurs to me that there is an inherent tension between the two.  Some things seem to matter, and some not, but they seem different for most of us, and they change over time.

And it occurs to me that if, as I would postulate, the point of life is to LEARN, and if it is the case that a certain amount of exploration and experimentation, and boundary crossing has to happen to learn, then it follows logically that there can be no one behavior pattern, no one strategy which can be called perfect.  We make it up as we go.  We try, but in trying can never know if, when we did X, we should have done Y.  Unless, that is, feedback provides and enables learning.

In any given domain, relative perfection is approachable.  John Wooden came close to being the perfect coach, for example.

But in life, there are no fixed rules, unless one is religious.  But ponder even that.  Christianity is bound to instill the literal fear of God and of Hell in you.  It prescribes a behavior pattern--seeking salvation in Jesus, avoiding sins, loving ones neighbors--which is rooted in an emotional openness, theoretically, which is very hard to maintain when ones eternal soul is on the line.

For me, I am trying to land in time, and to stay above time.  I am trying to walk a difficult, perhaps impossible, line.

But I do recall to mind the aphorism from Lao Tse I have often quoted: "Renounce sainthood.  It will be a thousand times better for everyone."

What if life is about playing, and it is not really as serious as so many panicked people want us to think it is?  What if no such statement can even be made from a position of confidence, and all we can say we are doing is picking a strategy, one of learning, one of spinning, one of laughing, one of trying, failing, succeeding, being lonely, finding love, and in all of it trying to find what beauty is there.

I can't remember if I posted this, but I wrote in my journal the other day a good question: What gift is God trying to give me which I am simply being too stupid to see?  It is a useful question, trust me.

Off to work!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The islands are shrinking

Looking at the 2016 Electoral map, our nation is a series of islands characterized by one thought and behavior pattern, surrounded by an ocean of people who think and act differently.

Now, it occurs to me that the election in many respects served as a referendum on the complicit media, since they told us--in as many ways as they could find and fabricate--all the reasons not to vote for Trump, and did so continually, blatantly, and for a good year before the election.  It was a rare week in the six months before the election that was not "Trump's worst week EVER!!!!"

They did not fail to get their message out, including the message that 1) they had a message, as opposed to a principled desire merely to report facts they had made some effort to verify; and 2) their message was intended to defeat Trump, which is to say to be open advocates in the political arena.

NOBODY failed to get this.  Nobody anywhere, not just in America, but on the entire planet.  It's possible some !KUNG tribesmen somewhere failed to grasp that MSNBC and CNN wanted Hillary to win, or maybe some nomads in Uzbekistan, but for the rest of us, it was more impossible to ignore than a trainwreck in our front yard.

Here is the thing: every vote cast for Trump was a vote cast AGAINST the media as it exists.  Given this, it is hard to see how the continuation of their propaganda after the election can in any way have served to win back Trump voters.

As I have said from time to time, anyone who studies propaganda becomes aware that it mainly works only in bubbles.  It only works when it is everywhere, and continually reinforced.  And it only works in the face of COMPLACENCY on the part of the public--or, as in North Korea, or the sort of nation Hillary still presumably wants to build--when you only have one source of media.

The capture of our media was incomplete in 2016.  There were and remain many alternatives, which is why they have been screaming so hysterically about Drudge, Breitbart, InfoWars and others.

But once somebody emerges from a bubble, they realize it.  They realize they were being duped.  They realize that the most handsome and prettiest faces on TV are quite capable of looking calmly and confidently into the camera and telling bald faced lies or, more commonly, creating controversy where there is none, or even more commonly, ignoring very intentionally all relevant news which does not advance their cause, or show them in a positive light.

This creates greater alertness among everyone this has happened to.  Lying to them becomes harder, and trust becomes harder to win.

The net of all this is that not only can I not see the media so many Americans rejected last November winning anybody back with the antics of the past six months, I cannot see anything but downside.  Their BEST CASE scenario is keeping the already indoctrinated in their bubble.  But how is this possible, with an openly defiant President who has on his own opened up alternative media pathways they can't control?

If they can't win anybody back it would seem the only possible direction is on-going defections in the path of alternative media.  They have set up this system which is absolutely inflexible, which cannot respond effectively, and which has already failed massively on a national scale.  They cannot lie more, and at this point lying less is unlikely to do any good.  There seems no path forward which does not lead to their on-going decline and irrelevance.

Perhaps this realization, more than anything, is what is driving the on-going hysterical need to feed the Russian story, which is already hurting them in my opinion, and will hurt them the more the longer it goes on.

It is possible we might see a sea-change over the next couple years.  We might see not a reversal to the Left, but a massive shift to the Right, particularly in light of the on-going failure of the Republicans to act like honest conservatives.  Fuck that: to act like honest human beings with integrity and balls.

I see all these people shouting the same things, striking the same condescending and arrogant tone, still trying to shout and shame people into silence, still acting as if the world is not changing around them.

As a famous Yogi put it, it's hard to make predictions, especially about the future, but I have to say that--at this moment, on this day--I feel things are trending in the direction of human freedom, and human dignity.

Sentimentality

I was listening to some old Brian Eno albums last night on the way home from Detroit, and initially it hit me that his weirdness is his way of distancing himself from his feelings.  It is the musical equivalent of using humor--the unexpected, which you throw like a flashbang in front of you to make it the locus of attention--to distance people. (I won't deal with them here, but Tom Waits and Beck seem to have this trait too.  They are capable of music of great depth and beauty, but seem to feel the need to create ugliness as well.  I believe it was the movie Ararat where a painter created a full portrait, then for some impulsive reason smudged the hands.  Perhaps they can only handle so much of their better angels without breaking down looking at this fallen world).

Here is an example: Dead Finks Don't Talk.

Musically, it is interesting.  It is different.  But is it sincere?  Have I learned anything interesting about the passions and conflicts of Brian Eno?  As a contrast, I had visited the Motown museum in Detroit the same day (Did you know Berry Gordie's parents ran five businesses, and required all of their 8 children to contribute $10/month to a general incubator fund, from which the $800 Gordie borrowed to start what became Motown was drawn?).  Listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mVrZmTj_rw

It is sincere.  There is no guardedness, no pushing away.

Then you have some songs by Eno which always bring tears to my eyes, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGX_WJLCxrA

Or this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoZCDNqmFqs

And it hit me that there is a creative sensitive core to Eno, which he is always trying both to hide and to express.  He does not have, to my knowledge, songs which say "I am very lonely and it hurts", although I'm sure his personal collection has plenty of those.

Then I was cycling between this distancing--which is a mild dissociation--and this sentimentality, and it hit me that the problem with sentimentality is that it is emotionally simplistic.  It is the emotional equivalent to simplistic thinking.  If {oversimplification} and {oversimplification}, then {false or incomplete conclusion}.

Edward de Bono described what he called Catchment Areas, which I have mentioned from time to time.  What he intended is that raindrop falling on a mountain peak might hit just barely on one side or the other, but wind up hundreds of miles away, after flowing down the mountain, and into a river.  We have a Continental Divide in the United States, so that a stream of rain might wind up even thousands of miles from drops which once were inches from it.

Thinking is like this, so that rather than retain the nuance of what is actually there, you say phenomenon X is "basically just. . .", and in so doing you kill its uniqueness, and in the process degrade your own perception, and make life less interesting by a lot.

But emotions and thinking are closely related.  No firm dogmatism unsupported by emotional rigidity is possible, in my view.

The assertion I would like to make, though, is one I have made many times in many ways: the emotional superficiality PRECEDES the bad thinking.

And sentimentality is basically flowing naturally fully into one of a small group of unnuanced emotions: sadness, happiness, anger.  When you feel each of them, you feel them roughly the same way.  They don't change.  They don't evolve.  They are a species of psychologically immaturity.

And so one can easily posit, and see in the case of Eno, that both psychological defensiveness, and a tendency to maudlin emotion, can easily coexist.  One can see him both weeping profusely, and being very aloof. I myself am often like this, so perhaps this is projection, but I think it is more likely recognizing in another something I see in myself.

And in this respect I will call back to mind the SIFT heuristic.  Reversed, most Thoughts depend on Feelings, which arise from internalized and constant--if often unconscious--Images, which in turn arise as emergent properties of specific bodily Sensations which were adaptive at some point in time, and retained in their wholeness, both the adaptive parts, and the now unnecessary parts.

We are, you see, in many respects our tensions.  And in reversing our tensions, and in finding relaxation--peace, a synonym--we become more like one another, and better able to interact as fellow travelers beached on the same cosmic shore.

This, for me, is the beauty of Kum Nye.  It teaches one how to look behind what appears to be there, what appears to be firm, what appears to be fixed, what appears to be immutable, what appears to be in some final sense who we ARE.  What a terror to be stuck forever with some disruptive event--some psychological puncturing--which happened oh so long ago!!!

And Neurofeedback plays into this since for the truly traumatized, significant calming needs to happen before some sensations can even be brought into awareness without tripping the circuit breakers, which is how I put it (although I can't recall if I've put it that way here; internally it's long been my term).  What I mean for this is a relapse into dissociation, which is a foggy world, but one devoid of sharp sensation, to which one would otherwise be terribly open.

My work continues.  I will add one more ingredient to the mix, one which in very much in my consciousness at the moment: Krzysztof Kieslowski's Decalog.  I watched numbers 4 and 5 last week.  I find his work amazingly moving, precisely because he avoids the cheap shots, the easy sentimentality, the simple answers.  What he is asking is that people feel what it is like to be human, with all the confusion, the conflicting emotions, and lack of given answers.  I feel watching these makes me richer in the ways which matter.

I had some specific commentary on number 4, but will make it some other time, if I choose to make it.  Some thoughts I keep to myself.

People pay good money for this

For this government, I mean.  Everyone involved in City Hall makes good money, wears fashionable clothing, has an office paid for by the taxpayers, and is respected as somehow superior to the average citizen.

And the people they are allegedly "protecting" self evidently don't want their protection.  The lack of a staircase--and the inaction of City Hall--had ALREADY caused ACTUAL, not theoretical, not possible, injuries.

Who is being protected here?  BUREAUCRATS, who, if people realize they don't need them, or would even be better off without them, might just tell them to go fuck themselves.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/toronto-man-builds-park-stairs-for-550-irking-city-after-65-000-estimate-1.3510237

One thing I neglected to mention in my last post is that of course people who pay in less than they get out can be expected to support the Nanny State.  They accepted long ago the price of being made into perennial beggars and children.

But the other element is those who USE government to gain advantages in what would otherwise be competitive free markets, which would constantly evolve to better serve the consumers at lower prices.

Here you almost certainly have a contracting firm or firms, which got written into the code--after some pricey lunches and hefty campaign contributions--unnecessarily restrictive building codes, which vastly increase the price of any work done pursuant to those codes.  Given what we can assume are also licensing restrictions, they also likely cut out many potential competitors, like this old man who just wanted to see the fucking problem fixed.

On the one hand, you ensure all solutions are expensive and relatively profitable, even if contracts are bid, reducing overall profits a bit.  On the other, you make sure your buddies are the ones awarding contracts.  This is how you go from $500 to over $65,000, which is more than a 100 fold increase.

The world needs less of this, not more.  We need less of this massive monster which exists for its own sake, and more of people exercising common sense and being allowed to do so, and even rewarded for doing so.

Overpriced government

Returning to the investment/consumption analogy, it is always worth asking if government is overpriced.  We assume from long habit that it is different in some fundamental way from private sector services.  Paying taxes is not like buying a hamburger.  But is this true?

Is there anything the government does that cannot be privately contracted?  Security can be contracted.  Fire protection can be contracted.  Roads can be contracted.  Paying a doctor to prescribe medicine or administer treatment for ill health can be contracted.

Consider this article: https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/what-happens-when-you-ask-pro-taxers-pay-more?utm_content=buffer3fa07&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Could it be made any more obvious that the main aim with Leftists in calling for more taxes is to make it easier for the government to use the money of one group of people to pay another for their votes?

When I send in my money in taxes, do I get back more, less, or exactly what I paid for?  As far as I can tell, I don't get anything.  I am sure the troops in South Korea, and the naval flotillas sailing continually around the world have some benefit, but not directly to me.   The roads I use and the police I could call could be provided at a tenth of what I actually pay.  It is worth noting that 3% tax rates were enough to produce armed revolts in the past.

We have a system where the people who pay in NOTHING get something back.  If you pay zero taxes (other than sales taxes), but get food stamps, free medical care and the like, you have every reason in the world to keep that system in place.  And there exist people who view moral corruption as a career choice who miss no opportunity to call everyone a villain who would question this system of vote getting by entitlement.

I have said in the past that only people who pay into the system should be allowed to vote.  After all, it is THEIR money which is being spent.  People who do not pay into the system should not get to vote on how much of other people's money they should get, PARTICULARLY when all politicians retire very wealthy after careers on relatively modest salaries.  It is a lucrative venture, being a "representative of the People".

Asking "what do I get with my tax money" is a reasonable question.  A retirement program with a negative rate of return which is on shaky financial foundations?  If I could, I would opt out.  Access to government run medical care when I get old, care which is inferior to that which I could get by opting out?  Again, I would like to take a pass.  Cops, firemen, roads, traffic lights?  That has nothing to do with the Federal government, and could be bought much more inexpensively.

What I pay for is a massive bureaucracy which in most cases exists in the main for its own sake.  I pay for people who like their jobs very much, very much want to keep them, and very much want to continue getting regular pay raises, increases in benefits, and more co-workers, regardless of the economic climate, and regardless of the necessity of these jobs.  All bureaucracies quickly exist for their own sake.

And self evidently Obamacare fits squarely in the middle of this.  Why turn all of this over to ANY bureaucracy, and particularly to a FEDERAL bureaucracy?  Once the government owns it, I have lost choice.  There is no longer a free market.  There is no longer competition.  There is no longer an Option B when Option A tells me in words and actions they don't give a shit if I live or die, as happens so often in nations which have been stupid enough to turn their healthcare systems over to unaccountable bureaucrats.

Helping the poor is obviously laudable to a point.  But there is a patent moral peril in making indolence, bad decisions, and antisocial behavior patterns which are rewarded.

There is no nobility possible in dependence.  There is no self respect.  There is no freedom.

As I mentioned, I am reading Jose Saramago's book Blindness.  The basic premise is that an epidemic happens in which people can become instantaneously blind through merely being in the proximity of someone affected.  The first group affected is quarantined in an old mental hospital.  The Army delivers food every day, but one group decides to use violence--one has a gun--to take control of the food and to parcel it out based on the conformity of the rest of the patients to their wishes, which are first for material goods, and then for the right to rape the women.

This seems to me a good metaphor for Socialism, although I suspect he intended it represent that cartoon character "Capitalism".  I will perhaps get a better feel as I progress.

Within socialism, the goods come, for most people, from somewhere else.  They do not control them, cannot create them, and cannot directly control how they are dispersed.  Much of the hunger which follows Socialist/Communist take-overs in the developing world (Socialism being perhaps the most pernicious export of the Western world) comes from greedy bureaucrats taking their share of everything before doling it out, IF they dole it out at all.  Full warehouses in the presence of starvation have been, in my understanding, a common feature in particular in Africa.  That is, self evidently, not Capitalism.

And what has been interesting to me in this book is that the victims vastly outnumber the oppressors.  There is one gun, which could not have more than perhaps 10 bullets in it, a handful of clubs, and roughly 20 people against several hundred.  Yet, the majority acquiesces.  Why, I wonder?

Most Americans would readily perceive the need for revolt. But Saramago was Portuguese, and they lived under a fascist government for many years.  Oppression--Socialism, as they are the same thing--breeds out of people their natural drive to protect their individual dignity, their right to self determination, their "live free or die", which I think most people are born with.

It is really quite an astonishing fact of our time that everything good in the world has been made bad, and everything old and terrible has had a new facade placed upon it, covered with glittery lights and a fashionable mural, and is being extolled by a variety of idiots and co-conspirators, and even people with brains are eating it up.  Tyranny is nothing new.  It is the oldest game in the world.

FREEDOM, political freedom, the sort enshrined most perfectly in our Constitution, is what is the exception to the historical rule.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Thesis

I read this just now: https://thedailybeast.com/heres-why-your-favorite-horror-movies-are-so-left-wing

I was reading this yesterday: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pier_Paolo_Pasolini

And I am reading Jose Saramaga's book "Blindness", which contains scenes of terrible cruelty.  I read he was a Communist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Saramago

And I wonder, how does one reconcile the apparently genuine concern, the apparently genuine compassion Leftists feel, with their willful disregard of the HISTORY of their own ideas, the millions of crimes which have been committed in their name?  Sean Penn, to take one obvious example, makes a great deal of his alleged sensitivity and passion for humanity.

Here is my thesis, based on my own inner work: some part of them revels in cruelty, even the most outwardly sensitive and kind of them.  This is of course the Cultural Sadeism hypothesis, but when dealing with someone like Saramago, he is obviously not psychologically blind, himself.

But then, perhaps he was.  Blindness is, after all, an allegory he wrote.  Perhaps in creating scenes of mass rape he is echoing Sade, who was so beloved by so much of the Left.

So they spend considerable time contemplating the miseries of the world, the poverty, the racism, the reflexive hatreds, the misunderstandings.  And some part of them reacts abstractly by fashioning a defensive strategy, which says outwardly "I hate all these crimes.  I am a passionate humanitarian."  But the REAL part of them remains fascinated with shit and murder, with transgression, and with the expression of the pervasive hatred for the world, for life, for humanity, they feel in their hearts.

Novel writing is in large respects the domain of talented liars.  They make up everything.  They might tap into real world experiences, but they can spin them, refashion them, in any way they want.

Many if not most modern artists are full of shit.  They speak in angelic tongues for a time, but when and if revealed, there is nothing but horror at the bottom.

I continue to be a proud American.  I am proud of the ideals we adopted consciously and purposefully.  I am conscious of our many failings, but also conscious of the failure of the vast bulk of the rest of humanity which has not even attempted what we have, and who, in not even trying, cannot in any sense be compared to us.

We created an evolutionary system, one which changes, which adapts, which seeks to better humankind.

This system has, to use a current word, been hacked by lunatics, by cloaked sadists using our own language to attempt to strangle us, our freedom, and everything good in the world.

I cannot understand Republicans who lack the balls to act like Republicans.  We are the ones trying to prevent the destruction of our system, and far too few seem to have the understanding of precocious ten year olds.

Why not repeal Obamacare?  Because millions who are getting free coverage will lose it?  Were they going to vote Republican anyway?  Can we not create in short order through free markets replacement policies even the working poor can afford, which limit the downside potential of even the worst illnesses?

Why is Mattis not opposing the continuing assaults on traditional gender roles in the military?  I read they are training Army women to accept men in their showers who think they are women, just like some ducks think they are dogs.  It is a free country, and men should be free to think what they want, but the rest of us are also free to think of them as mentally ill.  We do not have to share their delusions with them.  God help us if we all begin to feel the need to pander to every fantastic thought the many emotionally ill among us can concoct.

It is hard to be optimistic when there is no much open hatred in the air, and when so much ground has been cleared for mass atrocities.

"Therapy"

I had a dream last night where some wise beings were communicating with me, and saying that I have nearly been broken three times.  One was described, and one I can guess, but the third was when an attempt was made to heal me.

Ponder for a moment the tone in a therapists office.  In most cases there are strict prohibitions about hugging and touching.  There is a plan of abstraction, one born ultimately in the utterly fascistic and repressed Vienna of the 19th century.

You are supposed to talk about emotions, and feel them if you can, but always there is a distance between you and the therapist.  There is a tacit claim made that "this is how people interact", with the further tacit claim that "this is a cold world, and you cannot expect to get too close to anyone".

The entire therapeutic experience depends on money.  Run out of money or coverage, and your relationship with that therapist is at an end.  It is entirely contingent.  There is no loyalty, no true friendship even possible, since it is frowned on by the ethicists of the profession.  There are rules which state that distance must be maintained.

Ponder going into such a room desperate for love, for nurturing, for reassurance, for hope, for some giving spirit to demonstrate the world is not an intrinsically hostile place, and then ponder the immediate shock that "oh, this is a slow process.  Tell me why you think you are depressed, agitated, angry".  Ponder the immediate shift that has to happen from the desperate need for a hug, and someone to say 'its going to be OK.  I have your back." to "tell me how that makes you feel."

Many of us did not have the word love in our homes.  It was not a word we used in our home.  I was never told I was loved.  I was never hugged.  And when I was in my late teens, all I knew was that something was missing, but I didn't have the faintest idea what it might be.  I had no way to compare happy homes with my own.  All I knew was that I was miserable.

So they direct you into this track where you read psychology.  You learn about intrafamilial dynamics.  You develop a shaded trust in the therapist, who is of course liable to disappear at any time, permanently.

What if you had centers where people singing and dancing, where they were happy, and were happy to share their happiness with everyone?  What if hugging were easy?  What if people were emotionally open?  Some cultures are like this today.  None of them has ever contemplated conquering the world.

My work continues, but I think I am getting much closer to where I need to be.

Deepening

It is gradually occurring to me both that there is nothing to hold on to, and that this is OK.  Life is an enormous ocean, with waves and tides, angry moods and pacific moods.

It is both true that there is no one and no thing to which I can cling, and that I am connected to everyone and everything, just not in a fixed way.

The tide comes and the tide goes, and people will invest entire lifetimes trying to prevent one inch of sway, holding, straining with all their might, when all they needed to do was accept and wait.  It will come back, in some form, but you will fail to see it if you first blind yourself.

Trump post

To be clear, I was not accusing Trump of exaggerating things, although no doubt he does do some of that.

No, I am talking about the comparisons with Hitler, and the "darkening" of America, and all the other ludicrous propagandistic, hysterical pap out there.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Trump

This is LITERALLY the most hyperbolic moment in human HISTORY!!!  All of it!!!  By a LOT!!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Feasting

I really like bread, but it seems virtually all grains sold in this country have Roundup (Glyphosphate) on them, even the "organic" ones.  I was reading this website, then came across this interesting entry: https://healthytraditions.com/healthytraditions/traditional-food/fermented-foods/atchara.html

Here is what caught my eye:
Many Filipinos are not wealthy enough to eat meat regularly outside of these special events. Add that to the fact that most people living in the rural areas do not have refrigeration, and therefore consume meat in larger quantities during these holiday and festive gatherings (such as “lechon” - a roasted whole pig), atchara became a strong tradition at the meals of these events, as their digestive systems were not naturally used to digesting large amounts of meats on a regular basis.
And it occurred to me that EVERY day is feast day for most Americans.  There is nothing special in it.  I love Christmas cookies as much as the next person, but there is no reason I could not eat them every day of the year.  I can and do eat meat every day.  I take on faith that the Buddha was no idiot, and did not suggest vegetarianism idly, but for myself I was a vegetarian in my youth for two years, and found I did not function well, physically or emotionally.  There is something grounding for me in meat that keeps me from drifting away.

Be that as it may, what it occurs to me is that the poverty which is very real with us is spiritual poverty. We can eat anything we want, any time we want (most of us: there is real hunger, too), but how often do we have access to the feeling of belonging, of participating in a vital and real community?

It seems obvious to me that all this experimentation with sexual identity, with racial identity, with using opposition to everything which is, to fashion an identity BUILT on tearing down, is short sighted, and characterized mainly by emotional emptiness and following desperation.  We burn what we hate, and we hate what does not grant us the love we need.  And our society certainly does not create and distribute love well.  We do not do it well in the homes, and what we fail to find there, we can scarcely be expected to build well elsewhere.  We look to others suffering from the same illness to relieve our own.  This must lead to madness, unless it can be palliated by distractions, illusions, useless activity and emotional superficiality.

Our wealth is not our problem.  "Capitalism" is not to blame.  It has always been lunacy to suggest that tearing down can create.  Only creation can create.  And creation is gradual, and always operative within smooth, peaceful times.  It has no place in disaster, which can only breed fear of the new, rigidity, and the violence which follows.

Culture is that which connects us.  It is what allows us as individuals to face collectively our shared fate of decay and death.  Countless brilliant people have created countless useful solaces.  They do not do so through the use of reason.  Such was the conceit of the French Revolutionaries and their progeny, who now inhabit so many high places in so many public places.

No, cultural creation is intuitive; it is spiritually driven.

Listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvcZf7NHMUQ

Is it not quite possible that they are weeping on the way back from the grave?  Is it not equally possible that this music gives them the emotional courage to continue their lives with emotional openness and the joy which this makes possible, in spite of "everything"?

I feel this darkness in the air, and I wonder how we clear it, how we take the next step.  So many people seem to think that by impoverishing the world, we can return to a different, better time.  This is ludicrous.  The task is understanding, on a wisdom level, what it is to be human.

To take as but one example the current cultural offensive on the sexual front, which seeks to destroy all the  evolved wisdom of the human species, what lasting joy can come from the "freedom" to change ones gender like one changes clothes?  What underlies identity?  What is deeper?  Sex, as used today, is nothing a dissimulation, a drug, a lie told to keep the wolves of confusion and despair at bay.

I have nothing against such people.  There have always been people who felt they were born in the wrong body.  But this is something different.  This is an attack on the very few givens remaining in our world, and can only operate to alienate all of us from one another yet further.  There is no end game, other than the childish demand to be allowed to do and say whatever one wants, whenever one wants, and to demand others acquiesce in whatever the delusion of the day is.

We fail at our great peril to value what the past has to teach.  Yes, not all of it is beautiful.  Some of it is ugly.  But without understanding, you see, we REPEAT what has been so many times before.  There is nothing new in tyranny, nothing new in radical intolerance, nothing new in shouting, yelling, hurting, killing, and falling, again, into the pit.

We exist, as I continue to say, in a time when global peace and harmony is possible.  But not through destruction, which has become the dominant mania of most of those entrusted with our "progress".

We are resurrecting Moloch in the name of progress.  I do not need to read the stories.  I can feel it.

I am one man, living in a small world.  I do have and have shared many ideas, but I think the most important thing right now is for more and more people to stop and ask "what are we doing?  Why are we doing it?  Where is it all leading?  What baseless assumptions, and emotionally driven manias are pushing us?"

How, to put it simply, do we reconcile political freedom with the need all of us have for belonging?  Surely it is obvious an ubiquitous and omnipotent government cannot grant us anything but death in all its forms?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Discipline

At the beginning of The Sacrifice, by Andrei Tarkovsky, the father is speaking to the son about the miraculous power of consistency, telling him a story of a monk who watered a dead tree daily for two years, at which point it came to life, and they do this while planting a dead tree. At the end, after the fathers seeming madness, the boy waters the tree.

All my life I have admired people who get up every morning and do without fail what they set out to do.  I have never been like this.  I will be good for a time, but then I find myself dreaming, as I did this morning.  I lay around, or sit and drink coffee, and watch images and ideas, and wonder where the time is going.

And it occurs to me that as with many things, there are WAYS of being disciplined.  One way is to lack the imagination to do otherwise.  One way is to be compulsive and really asleep in some ways.  One way is a deep seated fear of failure, of the sort that the military breeds into people.  None of these really apply to me, although I did use fear for a very long time. I whipped and beat myself without mercy.  I am no longer like that, thankfully.

And one way is love: love of an activity, love of oneself and ones health and emotional well being.  This is the healthiest of them all.

The longer I live, the more I feel that it is not what you do, but how you do it.  All of us are set the task when we are born of waking up, of becoming consciously alive, consciously human, and of consciously pursuing the angelic, the higher.  All of us have large dark regions within us, parts which are cut off, which we cannot feel, and which thus cannot provide us needed wisdom.  Finding all of them, inventorying all of them, requires periodic variation, changes in action, changes in perspective.  Within Kum Nye, there are hundreds of different activities, and the practice consists in varying them regularly.  There is no recitation of 100,000 mantras, or decades spent on the exact same meditation.

And here is as good a place as any to post a phrase that came to me the other day: When we own our demons, we amplify our angels.

Two other phrases that kept popping in my head last night: there is no place to start but the middle.

And: if you can see through to the end, the middle is clear.

They are a bit contradictory on the outside, but what I think my unconscious meant was that you have to start with the heart in important things.  The heart, the feeling sense, the connecting sense, the sense of affection, of wanting, of knowing intutitively--is where honest activity flows from.  You cannot force heart from the head.  The head exists to serve the heart, in important ways.  This is something I am still learning to accept.  Intellectualism is such a comfort and shelter, and armor.  It is also, of course, a cage and a stupefying and blinding tranquilizer.

And as far as contemplating an activity, if your heart is in it, you can see yourself doing it.  There are no blocks on the way, no part of you which will throw stumbling blocks in the way.  You can reach areas of objective difficulty, and visualize yourself finding ways to push through.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What should we be investigating today?

From my perspective, the fact the a sitting FBI Director broke laws HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ENFORCING in order to support a political agenda and party at the expense of another is by far the most obvious crime on the table, and the one most worthy of a criminal investigation.  He intentionally leaked classified information to damage Trump. Then a friend of his was appointed to investigate his firing, and to look into a dossier which seems to have been created by s Clintin ally at their behest.

Why, given this, should Comey not be accused of Obstucting Justice in the Hillary Clinton investigation? None of the usual protocols were followed, seemingly at his direction.

And why, given that Hillary Clinton and her agent, James Comey, are the only ones who clearly committed crimes, should Comey's friend Muellef not recuse himself, or admit the plain fact that the whole independent counsel idea was a planned sabotage from the get-go, one aided and abetted by illegal activity on the part of the FBI's top man?

We have not left la-la land. Other than that we have shrewd and seemingly honest man at the helm, we might still be living in the realm of Barack Marshall Davis.

One thing Trump has that I do not have is an instinct for timing. Perhaps he is simply waiting for the time to turn the firing of Mueller not just into a risk, but s positive asset in the court of non-lunatic public opinion.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Of Electric blankets and futons

In "My dinner with Andre", he mildly chastises Wally for loving the comfort of an electric blanket, feeling that it separates him from whatever residual connection there may remain between "man in city" and "man in nature".  Feeling the cold is good.  It can make one feel alive.  Comfort, in contrast, is soporific, not just in the benign sense of a good nights' sleep, but as something which dulls and deadens the animals senses.

Ones sees this impatience with excessive comfort in things like CrossFit, Spartan Races, commando training for civilians, adventure races, and the like.

But ponder the next step: Virtual Reality.  Ponder children growing up in climate controlled homes, lathered in sun screen when they venture out (never too far, and in most cases never out of the sight of the nervous mother), and surrounded by mind deadening electronics almost from birth.  I will leave that thought there.

The other thing I wanted to share was a thought about the health of Americans.  What if, as a thought experiment, all chairs and bed frames were banned, and all toilets converted to squat toilets, such that people had to eat sitting on the floor, shit squatting, and sleep on the floor, as they do in much of the world?  How long would it take the balloon people to figure out how to not be absurdly obese?

So many people think that lines constitute intelligence, that logic flows in the real world the way it does in thought.  This has always been ridiculous, but it is reinforced by an educational system divorced from animal realities, from cold and heat and hunger and thirst, and the following needs to be functionally intelligent to survive.

I am not one of those people who assumes that because things are flowing in one direction that they cannot reverse course.  We can never know what will happen, can never know when a simple idea will take hold, can never know when the light will dawn again in long vacant eyes.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

My Dinner with Andre

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dfE5DDBUR4

"Wait, what was that?  I thought I heard something."

Yes, you did.  It was my lack of commentary.  Silence is loud when I do it.

Still, watch this.  Ponder.  Worth your time, unless you are living a self realized fully conscious life, in which case by all means carry on.

Conservative Fabianism

The Left, being inherently irrational, dogmatic, and emotionally obsessive, has often tried to impose its will directly on the people it claims to want to "liberate".  "Revolution" was in the air in the era of FDR.  It was in the air in the 1960's, where the pot addled Weathermen plotted the wholesale murder of millions of Americans.

But as George Bernard Shaw and his ilk realized early on, normal people will not accept lunatic ideas right out of the bottle.  They have to be diluted, and added to the water supply, such that the end of achieving them can be pursued in open sight, and be welcomed by people who would be infuriated by and sickened by the actual end plan.

Even in the Soviet Union, before it was the Soviet Union, the Bolsheviks found it necessary to promise farmers more land, independence to various nations captured through Russian imperialism, relief to workers, fair elections for all, and similar folderol, of which they meant none of it.

Only once they had complete power did they ban unions, start collectivizing farms, faking elections, and over the course of the 1920's, reconquering all the nations to which they had initially promised freedom.  They rebuilt the allegedly immoral Russian Empire, then worked diligently on expanding it--to repeat myself--imperialistically.

Logically, the push in the OTHER direction has to be subtle, long term, and filled with compromises in the interest of pragmatism.

One sees these silly Never-Trumpers acting as if the only options are complete rigidity and complete submission.  If politics is the art of the possible, then honest, serious people have to become politicians.

And the great advantage of Conservatism--which I call true Liberalism--is that WE DON"T HAVE TO LIE.  We win by getting our truths out.

But we have to be gradual.  We have to be pragmatic.  We have to remember our ideals, but like the Left--which has so effectively conquered over time our cultural and political landscape--we have to always be looking for small steps, small moves, small victories.  Enough of them, and we turn back the tide.

Conversely, for those who will not bend under any circumstances, I would suggest they are ideologically identical to True Believers, who are useless, and quickly cast aside by everyone, as has indeed happened under Trump.

The question is always: in this cultural tug of war, in which direction is the ball going?  If it is going our way, and we can keep it going our way, at any speed, then eventually we will win.

The Left and Hitler.

Yes, The National Socialist German Workers Party, which found support mainly among the so-called proletariat and among intellectuals, was socialism.

Watch this.  From a Leftist perspective, there was nothing to object to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJtLx19kQ24

It is true that the Communists and the Nazis fought in the streets.  It is true Hitler used the rise of the Soviet Union to create his own party.  But it is equally true that Nazism is to Communism roughly what Episcopalianism is to Catholicism. For those who are historically ignorant, large wars were fought for centuries over fine points of dogma.  This did not make all sects not fundamentally Christian.

Surely Trotsky was closer to Stalin than to Hitler, but even he was killed for not being close enough to orthodoxy.

All Left wing ideologies--among which National Socialism is but one variant--are most usefully described as life destroying Fascist cults.

As the editor of the German periodical Die Welt recently noted, these violent lunatics even share the black shirts of the ORIGINAL Italian Fascists.

EMP Attacks

One of the present greatest threats to global civilization is the possibility of lunatics attacking our power grid.  Trump, finally, convened a Congressional group to look at this.

Without knowing any of the details of how our power grid is structured, what I would like to suggest is that even if we cannot protect every discrete part of it, what we can perhaps create is firewalls, sections of the grid where perhaps power moves more slowly by design, such that there would be sufficient time for a circuit breaker of some sort to pop in a condition of overcurrent.  We could perhaps, with relatively less effort than a comprehensive, honest solution, create sections of power, sections of flow, which are severable, such that if an attack hits one part of the country, it is limited to that region.  And of course the more segmented we can make it, the better.  I would in fact draw an analogy between physical power, and the limitations and firewalls of political power which our Founders wisely wrote into the Constitution.

I am inclined to say that war with North Korea would be stupid until we can do this.  That we can win the war, and do so quickly, is indisputable.  That they could inflict vast harm even on mainland America in the process is a possibility we need to consider carefully.

Socrates and the Buddha

You know, I think it is healthy to relate to ideas almost like to people.  Ideas have personalities, quirks, tendencies, emotive textures.  The idea of "I am RIGHT" feels different from "I have an idea".  Atheisms--I suppose there are various sorts, various ways of carrying this idea--feel different from the countless theisms on the planet at this time.

For myself, sometimes I am looking at them and they feel blank, lifeless, like a rice paper roll filled with nothing.  Other times, they open up, and I find myself in an ocean, wondering what will next emerge from the deep, at home because I am large and everything else is small.  This is of course my whale aspect.

It is dissociation that makes the difference.  I understand where Camus was going with L'Etranger, which in my understanding can be, and perhaps best is, translated as "a foreigner", someone just visiting, unknown to anyone.  His distance was nothing new.  Writing about it was what was new, and of course it spoke to the countless traumatized people in the middle half of the twentieth century, some of whom had seen not one, but two pointless and enormously violent conflicts in the heart of Western civilization.

Trauma is not new, and thus of course dissociation is not new either.

In this context I would like to place Socrates.  He was a military veteran of the Peloponnesian War, and as such as likely as any soldier to have been suffering from the ill effects of close in violence and death.  Human neurophysiology was no different then than now, although the bonds of affection among tribes and peoples were perhaps closer and more supportive.

Athens lost the Peloponnesian War in 404, Socrates was put to death in 399, 5 years later.  I want to argue these historical facts are relevant to understanding his ideas. 

Here is what one source has to say about him: 


All our information about him is second-hand and most of it vigorously disputed, but his trial and death at the hands of the Athenian democracy is nevertheless the founding myth of the academic discipline of philosophy, and his influence has been felt far beyond philosophy itself, and in every age. Because his life is widely considered paradigmatic for the philosophic life and, more generally, for how anyone ought to live, Socrates has been encumbered with the admiration and emulation normally reserved for founders of religious sects—Jesus or Buddha—strange for someone who tried so hard to make others do their own thinking, and for someone convicted and executed on the charge of irreverence toward the gods. 

Socrates was plainly guilty of undermining the morality of the youth of Athens, because he questioned everything, and he considered it the summation of his lifes work to be able to pronounce, at the edge of his death, that he was SURE that he knew nothing.

Such a man began what we call in the West "The love of truth".

One senses his immense importance as the Founder, as the man there at the beginning, in Allan Bloom's "Closing of the American Mind".  Bloom's impatience with the moderan academy is that it does not teach the questioning, skeptical, critical spirit.  It does not teach people sufficiently well to not know, and to be comfortable with the "not knowing".  It should teach openness to new experience, new ideas, the revisiting of old ideas, above all a spirit of curiosity.  Closing is the opposite of exploring, you see.  Telling, dogmatically, is the opposite of asking open ended questions.  Knowing, self evidently, is the opposite of not knowing.

One can derive readily enough the scientific method, which begins from a presumption of ignorance, that all premises and ideas have to be demonstrated using a clearly articulated method, from Socrates.  One could say that this thread from the Founder continues unabated, to the extent science is done honestly.  One can of course see readily deviation from the Founder to the extent "science" is conflated with political convenience, unexamined and untested assumptions, and simple arrogance.

But if we separate the Meaning function from the Truth function--as I do in my own definition of culture, (to which I assign the tasks of creating and distributing meaning, truth, power and wealth)--then what we see is that his not-knowingness has led to inertia and failure in the realm of philosophy.  If everything can be reduced to words, and if words only mean what we say they mean, then nothing is left.  We are left with a functional nihilism, of the sort which plainly is the parent of the blackshirted fascists which recently descended on the streets of Hamburg, and the smoke of whose visit--like that of a battle ground--still lingers.  Bloom is very clear on this obvious point that ideas have consequences, and that the failures of the academy to teach useful, life affirming values have antecedent failures. most of which on his account did happen in Germany.

Returning to Socrates, though, can we really side with Bloom that the aim of philosophy really is living a life where the goal is to know nothing?  Is this psychologically realistic?  He himself admits only a very few can pull it off, and one has to wonder: what is the value of this feat, and why should we make it the basis of the world view of our thought elites? Is knowing nothing a stable foundation for anything?  Of course not.

Famously, Socrates wrote nothing down.  He did not believe in recording conversations that were specific to times and places and people.  He was not trying to found a cult at all, although that is what happened.  In this, I feel he was like Jesus, who was trying to address problems specific to his time and place (and which I have argued likely had to do at least in part with an ardent desire to avoid the calamity which took place some 20 years after his death.  To be clear, I am no historian.  I say what I feel, and do not charge even Lucy's 5 cents for my opinions).

Could we not posit that Socrates existed in a time where radical change was happening--where the entirety of Athens was nearly enslaved, and her monuments destroyed--and that he was trying to find what he could hold on to?  Could we not posit he was trying to find a firm foundation, failed, but was still looking?  Can we not connect his questioning of everything to the disastrous times in which he lived, and perhaps to PTSD and emotional distancing from his own time and people?  Can we not say that the role of philosophy is not continual questioning, inherently, but that such questioning has a time and a place, particularly times and places of rapid change, in which seeking understanding, a knowledge of how things are put together, could prove useful in building something different and better?  Such would be my contention.

I would assert that the basis of Western culture is thus not questioning everything, but seeking to avoid complacency, of constantly engaging with life on its own merits, of continual curiosity and exploring.  It does not consist in the rejection of common sense morality, self defense, and some sense of satisfaction in achieving peace, prosperity, and social justice (in the honest sense of allowing all people to be equal before the law, and in their access to political participation).  These are not Western aims, but human aims.  Truth and justice have been the aim of all decent human beings for all time.

Now, it is a contention in the air and water of the philosophy of Buddhism that no honest Buddhist can be a Buddhist--one violated continually due, again (I have perhaps not quite said this yet, but this applies above, of course), to the human need for conformity, and fear of encountering the unknown alone--so I cannot say I am a Buddhist, but I am sympathetic.

Ponder, in this context, this excerpt from the Heart Sutra (Thich Nhat Hanh being au courant) :

“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is EmptinessEmptiness itself is this Body.This Body is not other than Emptinessand Emptiness is not other than this Body.The same is true of Feelings,Perceptions, Mental Formations,and Consciousness.all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;their true nature is the nature ofno Birth no Death,no Being no Non-being,no Defilement no Purity,no Increasing no Decreasing.Body, Feelings, Perceptions,Mental Formations and Consciousnessare not separate self entities.


How hard is it to reconcile this with knowing nothing?  In Buddhism there is no knower, but there is neither knowing nor not knowing.  These are not intended are riddles, but as thorough descriptions.  Buddhism is in my estimation by far the most diligent and useful philosophical system introduced on this planet of which I am aware.
Within my own Kum Nye practice, one becomes aware that "I" consist in a field in space.  "I" am my Kum, my space, and the motion within that space, or what is called Nye,  and the practice consists in part in developing and exploring my own space.  It is a delight seeing that there is a space where "I" exist that is completely unique.  Buddhists do not deny the ego, per se--in my understanding-- but want to point to the obvious fact that what we call "I" is usually a dessicated, truncated, defiled, small fraction of who we really are in our full extension, in our full life.  When you get to what is real, it is eternal and beautiful.
In my considered opinion, Socrates would have been a Buddhist, had he been exposed to these ideas.  In my own ideosyncratic view, among Buddha, Jesus, and Socrates, Buddha alone intentionally created and intentionally propagated a system of thought and practice and belief, one which in spite of the inevitable corruptions and permutations and even perversions which human stupidity has created over time, retained--continues to retain--essential elements.  This is the mark of genius.  
He did not intend monasteries, but no doubt foresaw their development.  He did not intend the ossification of his beliefs in ritual, but no doubt foresaw their development.  In spite of all of this, essential truths continue to exist, and useful practices continue to exist.
The spirit of Socrates, the spirit of abstraction, is always already a mistake.  No truth relevant to human life exists as an abstraction.  It is always in our body, in our unique individual, indivisible and incommunicable perception.
Socrates was obviously a creative genius of the first order, but he failed to grasp this.  If I might perhaps make the historical error of conflating his time, his psychology, with our own, it has long been obvious to me that people who want to live in their heads, who want to discuss ideas only, who want to live from their necks up, suffer from feelings, intrusions, griefs and inconsolable pains for which their malady of abstraction serves as a needed ointment, a salve, a distraction, and an escape.  But malady it is, because pure abstractions makes even the most intelligent people stupid when it comes to life itself. One sees evidence of this everywhere.
In speaking of universals, in speaking of relentless questioning, Socrates could be seen as the father of the concepts of universal human rights, of the universal value of all human life, and of the scientific method.  These are to the good. Perhaps his error was the will of God, seen as the pattern underlying it all, moving us all towards increasing awareness and following increasing perfection.  These are deep things of which I can claim no knowledge at all, other than the temerity to guess.
But looking forward over the next century, in trying to see where we are, where we come from, and most of all where we are headed, I would submit that we can do much better.
And I will continue to insist, from my own perspective, that no more useful philosophical practice exists than learning to know ones own body, ones deepest feelings, and expanding them.  And no better practice exists that I have found than Kum Nye.  In world committed to hyperbole, the language used to describe this practice consists in what I might term "hypobole".  It is small.  It starts small.  It stays small for a very long time.  But when it opens, there, there is something interesting and unique.  At its heart, it is feeling Life, big L, and participating in it.
My present life plans consists in using this method, and the Neurofeedback most Americans need, because we are horrifyingly inefficient at raising well adjusted children, to start creating small circles of sanity, and hoping they expand.
We are all so crazy, so alone, so lost, and so busy we fail to see it.  Rather, we are busy, because no large secret can ever remain so, except with our willful--on some level--complicity.  We run around, because we don't want to know.  Pessimism and darkness are in the air, at this very moment where global peace and prosperity and connection are a very real possibility.
Your homework, because I am an idiot (in Sufi typology I would almost certainly be an Arrogant Idiot, if that is one of their types.  I will in fact assume so, since I speak honestly.), speaking as a lone prophet praying to the winds, and welcoming the wolves in the frozen wilds as kindred spirits, is to rewatch Koyaanisqatsi.