Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Addiction

I was thinking today about a young woman I knew some years ago.  She worked in a bar, and I would bring her poetry every Sunday, stuff I had written.  It was purely for me--as I think I have shared, sending energy out somehow is healing for me--but I did run into her several years later, and she said she had kept it, which made me feel a bit less ridiculous.  I am ridiculous, to be clear, but I try to keep visible reminders to a minimum.

She had some pretty obvious emotional traumas she was struggling to deal with, and I have often wondered if she wound up on heroin.  I was having an imaginary conversation with her tonight, and what I would answer if she asked me if I knew how to get off heroin.

I think I do.  It is as simple as it is complicated (remember this is my week of confusion, so go with it): addicts need to know, at the core of their being, that they are understood, accepted, and loved, and ideally by multiple people.  They need a core context where they feel welcomed.  They need a home.  They need a true family.  We all do, of course, but they need it more.

This is what I want to build in the Church I have spoken of.  Bohannons: that is what I will call the groups.  I have put a ton of thought into the logistics, but am not ready to share the details.

I thought I would put that out there.  I understand addicts.  I really do.

Unless, of course, I am confused.

I will add that in solving any problem, you always need as one option "I am being a dumbass and have fucked the whole thing up.  Full reboot."

Princeton and Harvard (and of course others) would do well to keep this in mind.

Confusion

Sometimes I think it is important not just to admit that you are confused, but to enter it consciously, to embrace it.  Confusion is a luxury that one can sometimes afford.  It can be a fine champagne, in its own way.

Confusion is a place where you are not sure where you are going, or why, or how long it will take.  You are not sure who you are and what you believe.  Confusion allows you to try on emotional costumes, form new constructions, no longer confined by what you have always taken to be true.

We need to be clear--I say this constantly.  Clarity is a core value of mine, but I am seeing, increasingly, the yin and yang.  Actually, I think I have said this, but clarity sometimes comes from confusion.

Is it not true that most confused people are unaware of it?  I was reading a Facebook conversation where someone who had lost his phone repeatedly asked anyone who found it to call him; and he was unable to understand why people were mocking him.  The ability to receive calls was so rooted in his experience and consciousness that he was not getting it.  I myself find myself turning on the light switch over and over when we have power failures, even though I KNOW it won't work.  Habit is both a friend and an enemy.

And I think it is OK to be weak sometimes.  The trendy word is vulnerable, but for some of us weak is a better word.  Not in control, not seeking to be in control, drifting, wandering, like a rudderless boat down a dark river.

So often, I feel, we fear confusion, we want to drive it away, come back to the land of light and clarity.  We crave an end to it so much that we finish the work of being confused prematurely, and reach wrong conclusions, in varying degrees.

Today--this week--I am confused.  Unclear.  Obfuscated, blocked, in the dark, ignorant, lost, drifting.  And I'm going with it.  Time is a luxury I have this week.  It truly is a luxury I would wish on more people.

I am stupid.  Dumb.  Imbecilic.  And it's OK for now.

Cliven Bundy and Propaganda

The amount of hate I am seeing expressed against Bundy is grossly out of proportion to his alleged offenses.  As just one example, there is apparently a "Cliven Bundy must die" Facebook page, which the people running it say does not violate their policies.

First, he is clearly no racist.  If you look at the full text of his comments, what he is expressing is sympathy and empathy.  The fact that he has been painted as a racist shows clearly that there is NO ROOM in our current cultural space for actual, meaningful, useful, human dialogue.  There is NO ROOM for treating ideological others as human beings with a right to life and to their own opinions.  Quite literally, they are subhuman Untermenschen.

And tax evasion?  The Secretary of the Treasury--who is in charge of the IRS--cheated on his taxes.  Dozens of IRS employees cheated on their taxes, and still got bonuses.

What this thing really shows is how effective the propagandistic control is that the complicit media have come to exert on the feeble minded, among whose ranks regrettably are most of the graduates of our allegedly best universities, and many of the people who teach in them.

I will suggest the following test to any Power Elite reading this: see how quickly and seamlessly you can transition this hate to affection.  How quickly can you get the same people calling for his head to congratulate him?  It would be interesting for both of us to watch.

Large segments of our populace appears to me fully willing to operate within a fully Orwellian universe, where truth is mutable and subject to change on a dime, and conformity to the dominant narrative the only enduring social imperative.  It is sickening to observe how many of these people think of themselves as independent minded, and capable of the exercise of reason; how ARROGANT most of them are.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Meanwhile in America. . .

So the Clippers owner is banned for life from the NBA and fined some non-token, but also not particularly onerous sum.  Big fucking deal.

Chances are, this year more blacks will be killed by other blacks than the KKK killed in its entire existence.  Many of them will be teenagers simply trying to live normal lives.

Chances are, nearly all blacks in this country will receive horrible educations which almost guarantee their failure in life, despite the ready availability of an alternative--charter schools--which have been PROVEN to improve their outcomes educationally and professionally.

Chances are, most black kids in this country will grow with a father who is either distant or absent entirely; and a mother who is barely making ends meet even with government support.

Chances are, most kids out there today will grow up in fear, lonely, confused, ignorant, and with no plan for life, no direction, and little hope.

Chances are nearly half of them will wind up in prison.

Fuck you NBA, and fuck you, you piece of shit race-baiting cynical opportunists.

Nobody cares, REALLY, for those who suffer in this country.  They are tools, to be used and discarded at will.

Who is really hurt by Sterling's comments?  Any black his mistress might have invited.  Who is not hurt?  Anyone capable of mastering the kindergarten jingle "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Ah, my superpower, regrettably, is seeing hypocrisy and evil.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Grand Budapest Hotel

Watched this movie tonight.  At the end, listening to the balalaikas, I was suddenly overwhelmed with sadness and nostalgia.  I walked into the theater feeling a bit sad, so small wonder it ended that way.  I like to sit close to the front, so nobody can see me if I cry.

[You know that old cliche--I laughed, I cried?  That is emotional house-keeping, and to be pursued and valued].

Anyway, I decided this movie, in the end, was about nobility and love.  All three main characters, M. Gustave, Mustapha, and Agatha, are alone in the world.  We never learn Gustave's story, but one can reliably infer betrayal, sadness, and perseverance.

What all learn, is to love work, and to love others.  These are the only loves that matter.  All three forge identities, selves, and are rewarded, for some period of time, with a sense of integrity, dignity, decency, and belonging that notably were absent from the rich people with whom they interacted.

Gustave died for Mustapha.  That is nobility.

Anyway, I just started bawling.  I had to wait until everyone left, then take a different exit and put my sunglasses on immediately.  It is still triggering me now.  And that is a great thing, a wonderful thing.  Crying makes you stronger.  I am very tough, physically, and emotionally, but I want something more.  There is a current of energy I want flowing through me, and the only way I can bring it in is to learn to interact with, dance with, make friends with, all emotions.

And I felt, for a brief period, an overwhelming sense of compassion.  And I thought that you cannot, cannot, cannot be usefully compassionate if you are afraid of the pain and suffering you see around you, and in you.

As I whine about, seemingly constantly, being nice and being compassionate are two different things.  When Mustapha said his family had been killed, he did not offer him sympathy: he offered him friendship.  That is how you do it.  And compassion, often, consists in watching people struggle, watching them fight their own fights, and hoping they win.

Science

It occurs to me that, while it is not difficult to point to the fallacy of appealing to authority, appealing to "science" is presented, is transmogrified, from an appeal to concrete, fallible human beings to a method which is perfect in principle.  For the reality--men and women with psychodynamic histories, cognitive flaws, hidden greeds and lusts--it substitutes something abstract and something perfect.

"Science" becomes the Pythagorean Theorem, and if enough of the people who "do" science agree on something, it is presumed to be right.  One cannot even dip one's toes into the issues on Darwinism or Global Warming without getting "science" thrown back at you.

With regard to that former topic, I am reading a book on the topic.  Were you aware that not ONE example of speciation--of one species becoming another--has ever been recorded, either in modern observation, or in the fossil record?  Certainly, in the fossil record there are similar fossils, but nothing reliable can be inferred from them, any more than if a monkey and human were buried next to each other and dug up a million years from now.

Within bacteria, in particular, you can create multiple generations daily, and do so for years.  What is seen is variation, change, adaptation.  But not speciation.

I felt, reading this book, like I had stumbled onto a murder scene, where the wrong person had been arrested.

Critical Thought

I feel the need from time to time to remind any readers I may have that I sometimes say things without knowing why.  That has been particularly true in some of my last 4-5 posts.

Many intellectuals like to say foggy things using big words and big concepts and be thought intelligent because they are unintelligible.

As I say often, I like to think of myself as a thought worker, the equivalent in the intellectual realm of a construction worker and architect.  My end goal is clear, actionable thinking, expressed clearly.

But my method is exploration, and sometimes you have to say something to even begin figuring out why you said it.

There is in all of us a deeper Knowing, and to contact it you have give it a ceremonial place at the table, space to talk, respect.  You have to invite it, and then listen.

My mission statement

Excellence and Beauty.  Mars and Venus.  Both are heavily conflicted in my astrological chart, so it is my duty and opportunity to develop them; my homework assignment, if you will.

Renascence

Nascence is "beginning to exist or develop".  Can we not, accurately, say that Western CULTURE ceased developing perhaps 100 years ago?  That science is a thought form that can master nature, but not reach deep places in the human spirit, in whose very existence our cultural elites have ceased to believe?  Have ceased to experience?

If my work had a slogan, it would be "We can do and be better."

The thought of the possibility of progress is the first step, the first move, in progress.  If you complacently assume you are all you can and should be, you will not even perceive the work you can do to improve, much less actually do it.

I have on my wall a saying from Boddhidharma: "All men know the way, but few follow it."  In our modern age, that would likely need to be modified to: "Few men see the way; fewer still follow it."

It all starts with bad metaphysics.  

In what does "progress" consist for most of our intellectual elites, our graduates of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford?  It consists in furthering their visions of SOCIAL morality, social "justice".  And it consists in individual perfection only in the quantitative realms, which is to say life extension, and increased cognitive capacity.  The Singularity, which is seemingly a mania for nearly everyone who works with computers.

But this social morality, necessarily, must be imposed by force precisely because it rejects individual moral progress and the judgement which must necessarily accompany it.  No one is asking black people to do and be better, and in so doing to improve their lots in life.  No one is asking Islamic nations to improve their treatment of women.

No, we need to restart the march of progress, after a century of determined efforts to retard it, and repeal it. And it all starts with the notion of individual moral agency--as tempered, to be sure, by psychological processes, which we can understand better and better.  We can understand the vital importance of shared ritual and communion better and better.  We can develop and refine better technologies of the soul.

And we CAN use science to discover the existence of the soul.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Madness of Leftism

To continue with the thoughts on Narcissism, if a narcissistic parent wants to see themselves in their children, and can only see the parts of them which fit within the window they are viewing them through, then to derive Leftism psychologically one need merely posit the aspiring totalitarian as an aspiring parent--someone with a paternalistic ethos--and who wants to be able to see all of their "children", the citizens of that nation, through a lens contorted to conform to that persons desire to see him or herself in all those he or she rules.

Why is conformity so critical for totalitarians?  It is not just about command and control.  No one ever doubted the Romans were in charge, but they allowed considerable diversity.  No, it goes much deeper.  The totalitarian wants to generalized themselves, wants to see themselves reflected in every face and every window.

They do this because they have no sense of having souls.  They are clinically mad, and the mountains of bodies--how high would a 100 million body pile go?--serve as clear testament to that.

Monument's Men

Went to see it.  Here is the irony: all of the people in that movie, as far as I know, are left wingers, and the left wing has been systematically working to destroy our common culture, to destroy respect for "dead white men", which is what all the artists involved were who were not modernists.

There is a sentimentality that seems to mesh well with the political left, particularly Sybaritic Leftism, which finds in passion a meaning of life.  So many people, I feel, want to be the sort of people moved by Michaelangelo's Madonna, or the alter piece from Ghent.  They want to feel moved by poetry, passionate about life.  We see these people in movies, and we do our best to live vicariously through them.

But are not most of us stolid, unmoving dolts?  Yes, sentimentality is rampant.  We have that.  But at what level are most Westerners still able to partake in the sacred?  To what extent can we get at really deep feelings, really deep places, the places which alone distinguish good from great art?

If every original art piece in the world disappeared tomorrow, and it was not reported in the media, how long would it take most people to notice?  If their posters and generic art on their walls was unaffected, I don't think most people would EVER notice.  Not one person in 100 would really, truly care.  That is my feeling.

And I have to say that multiple people groaned in the theater when they saw that a Picasso was burnt.  A term came to me for the work Picasso was mostly known for (I'm not counting the Blue Period): Ceremonial Ugliness.

Art is pageantry, too, is it not?

We look to it to unify our culture, but if we wanted to, could we not accuse all of the Monument's Men of racism, since it was exclusively WHITE art they were looking for?  That is about the level most left wingers operate at nowadays.  Reason, decency, truth, fact finding: all gone.

And Picasso's work is a big FUCK YOU.  I have always felt that way about him in particular.  He was a Communist.  He was cruel.  He is trying to stick a knife through the canvas into the capacities for empathy and reason of the viewer.

I'm a little irritable for some reason.  I may not mean that tomorrow.

But I probably will.

Rotating cogitation.

Narcissism

I would like to define it as "the poison of non-existence."

It is an odd fact of human physiology that we will often crave things we are allergic to, which damage us.  The narcissist, lacking a sense of self, seeks it everywhere.  They seek to see themselves in the eyes of everyone they meet, to be important.

And narcissistic parents seek to see in their children fragments of themselves.  Like the myth of the Horcrux in the Harry Potter books, narcissistic parents leave a part of themselves in their children, and that is the part of their children they most enjoy looking at.  Large segments of the child's identity and sense of self are invisible to the narcissist.  Conversely, the child can only get its parents attention by fitting into the bounds established by their need to see themselves.

I was watching "Catching Fire" today, and thought the interview part the most interesting.  It seems to me the sacrificial dynamic is one that arises from a generalized inability to differentiate oneself, to individuate; it arises from a group characterized by a wave pattern without particulates and particulars.

One can identify in a voyeuristic, vicarious way with the sacrificial victims; can connect it with some latent sense of self.  Now the precise problem with the narcissist is that some trauma has caused them to be afraid to exist.  Identification with something or someone who is to be destroyed is, though, without danger, perhaps because being gone the victim becomes a memory, and as unchanging as the person wants.  They can always have been what that person needed them to be.  There are countless ways to lie, and this is one of them.

The foregoing may make sense; it may not.  You decide.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tower 7 Foreknowledge.

Here is a treatment of this topic: http://rethink911.org/evidence/building-7/foreknowledge-of-collapse/#pagecontent

The net is that it was apparently circulating throughout the media that Tower 7 was "unstable".

Here is a perfectly simple explanation that does not require ALL the media to have been in on this: United 93 was supposed to hit Tower 7 around the same time Towers 1 and 2 got hit.  Whatever happened, it wound up in a field in Pennsylvania.  As I have discussed, though, it took off from Newark, right across the river, right around the time all the planes were hitting.

The plan was to have three planes hit, 1, 2, 3, then blow all three buildings one after the other, with a thousand cameras watching.

United 93 never showed up.  The building was still rigged, and in fact a few bombs had already been blown to make it look damaged and to get people out of there.  Whoever planted the explosives also set fires throughout the building.  They knew they had to blow the building, as they had no time to remove all the charges.  But you can't just blow up a perfectly good, well constructed modern skyscraper.  You have to set the mood, the context.  You have to prep people, get the word out.  And you would not need more than a couple well placed people.

Those people, potentially, could be identified.  We could, perhaps, reconstruct who was first told, by whom, that Tower 7 was "unstable", when in fact it was not.

These people have names, faces, histories, addresses.  They can be put in jail, even if it may never happen.

They can be shot as traitors.

Rethink 9/11

Check this website out: http://rethink911.org/evidence/building-7/implausibility-of-the-official-theory/#pagecontent

I have been saying since 2010 that the conspiracy on 9/11 was MUCH bigger than the 19 (or whatever) hijackers.  If Tower 7 was blown, then the logistical demands were enormous, which means that both the funding and skill levels must have been high.

And as I have argued, if it was solely Arab terrorists, then they should have blown the buildings while they were full.  They could have killed ten times as many people.  Anyone with that level of skill would also have been able to strike again with little trouble.

No: it seems to me this whole thing was theatrical by design, as I have said before.  They were just missing one plane, and that fact makes the WHOLE story untenable, because 47 story skyscrapers do not fall at the rate of gravity because burning paper towels and curtains caused the collapse of an anchored I-Beam.

I have not read all the pieces, but two updates I will add: NIST, until the final report, resisted the claim that the building fell at the rate of gravity, because this was impossible in all scenarios other than controlled demolition.  In the final version, after have been decisively refuted and utterly unable to claim with a straight face anything else, they simply ignored the blatant and inescapable conclusion of their own finding.

Second, their ENTIRE reconstruction depends upon a key I-beam having been unanchored.  They claimed it was unanchored in their final report.  Their whole computer modeled collapse (which by the way looked NOTHING like the actual, filmed collapse) starts from that beam. But a FOIA request found that according to THEIR OWN DATA, the data they used for their findings, that beam was in fact secured.  So they LIED.  That is the word.  There is no other word.  Why, remains unseen.  I prefer the cowardice hypothesis, but it may not be the best one.

Actually, I will add one more thing.  The body of a man killed on 9/11 (has it ever occurred to you that this exact date was chosen consciously, to make it as easy to remember, as impactful, as possible?) was recovered, and it showed evidence of having been exposed both to percussive force and extreme heat.  In other words, to an explosion.  Buildings crashing made you flat, but they don't expose you to explosions.  There were no explosions in those collapses that we were told of.

And this was in either Tower 1 or 2.  I will come out and say it: in my view Tower 7 was categorically blown, and in my view the overwhelming certainty is that so too were the other two towers.  The case is not as strong, but that is my gut instinct.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The past and Beginner's Mind

I read Augusten Burrough's book "This is How", and have to say that my initial enthusiasm was not sustained.  It seemed like it could be a great book. It definitely had a lot of good ideas, well expressed.

But it seems to me that Burroughs--Robinson--still has a lot of unprocessed experience.  He has chosen not to live in the past consciously--and certainly time spent in chronic anger, bitterness, and regret is wasted-- but the nature of trauma is that until it is lanced and processed, it comes back, in the form of what Trauma and Recovery author Judith Herman calls "intrusions".

And what I think needs to be clear is that intrusions can be very, very subtle.  They can consist in a latent impulse to feel a positive, happy emotion, and the sudden snatching of it by a sort of vigilant darkness.  This can happen dozens of times a day.

If we are beings of light, which is what I believe, the nature of light is to celebrate, to move, to glow.  What stops us?  Intrusions.  Only be processing all the places within us where we stop light from glowing can we allow all the expression of which it is capable on this level of existence.

Psychopathology, trauma, deep unconscious grief and hurt: these are not the province solely of modernity.  Indeed, by any objective standard, our opportunities for well being are vastly greater in the modern age than they have ever been.  Most of us have never been exposed to war, hunger, thirst, slavery, and all the cruelties that follow in their wake.

There were narcissistic mothers, and cruel fathers in the Buddha's time.  Perhaps they were much more common.  Imagine the level of existence of people who could not read, and who could not imagine any need to be able to do so.

So I will say again that "spirituality" consists first in the opening up of one's psychological being, of healing all wounds, and learning to live happily in the here and now.  Only afterwards does whatever we call "God" enter in to it.  I have not seen God, and may never in this life.  But I have seen a long succession of days which I have traveled clumsily, and which I would like to learn to travel with more skill.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rambling

Individualism and inner directed morality are inseparable.  If you lose one, you lose the other.

Socialism: logically, if no one owns anything, then everyone owns everything.

How to get at this in a deep psychological way?  If nothing is yours, if you are nothing in yourself, if your claims on space and time and material are inconsequential, then pushing for everyone to own everything is a bandage which salves that wound without healing it.

Most intellectuals are narcissists, I suspect.  What thought does is enable one to substitute, mathematically, abstract compassion and empathy for the real thing.  It allows one to be an asshole and feel good about it.  As I say from time to time, I like to call myself a thought worker.  Figuratively, I put on overalls.  Literally, as a day job, I rub elbows with construction workers.  I think this helps me, too.  I will never be happy in an office.  Hell: it may happen, and I need to quit whining about it in advance.  Still, I will work to keep myself sweating for a living. It's honest.  It's a tonic for me.

So many games become possible with undefined terms.  Love is X, no?  Compassion is Y.  Social Justice: Z.

These equations are always solved poorly.  Who you are is THAT, and what you believe is also THAT.  And THAT, here, can be determined by tracing the path, the trail, the consequences of the path you follow through the world.  Politically, it can be seen in the OUTCOMES of actions you repeat.

Another meaning for Tat Tvam Asi.  While we are quoting mystics: "As above, so below", sometimes much below, in the basement.

There is no other way to view it, in my view.

I'll quit before I start writing koans.  

Easter Grab Bag

Whoever Christ was, I think he would be disheartened to see the Church that has been built in his name.  He would see a great deal of good that has been done, but also see the fears that so many parents build into their children of eternal damnation, and of course huge amounts of violence (the Crusades and Reformation, the various Inquisitions, and conquest in the name of Christ of much of the world, as examples)

My own parents principle concern was behavior control/modification, and towards that end they hit me until I consistently sat quietly in a corner and said and did nothing unusual.  They broke me.  I think most Christian families do this, but most, I hope, instinctively balance punishment with emotional nourishing.  Carrot and the stick.  They did this, because I was annoying: all little children are, if their neediness and constant confusions are not met with love and empathy and affection.  They justified it as saving me from Hell.  Good little boys do not go to hell, especially not if they are baptized.

All I got was the stick, because the goal was avoiding something, not building something.  I say this not to complain, so much as to continue to explore these things in public.  Everything I do takes effort, because every move I make has to be initiated in the face of a global and overpowering fear, one bred into me very early.

A great deal of what is done in the name of Christ he would repudiate entirely.  I am quite sure of this.

And ponder the awfulness of a conception of the universe in which an infinite God has to have his son slaughtered like a goat--bled--so that He can forgive the people he created.  As I have said before, if we are to take the metaphor literally, perhaps Christ should have had his throat slit at an altar on Temple Mount.  I am fully with the proselytizing atheists in finding this repugnant, even if I derive no pleasure from attacking the beliefs of others.  For my part, most of my work is generative.  Far easier to build on an existing foundation--to improve what exists--than to tear down and actually rebuild.  In practice, of course, those who tear down build nearly nothing, and almost always make the world worse.

As I have said often, this is the difference between true Liberalism and the Leftisms.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.  Everywhere I look I see stupidity. I see it in me, too, of course but I at least can see most of the areas, I think, covered in fog.  I have some sense of what I do not know, and am always willing to question what I think I know.  Every day.  All the time.  Perceptual motion.  This is absolutely necessary, and why it is one of my three core values.

I can't resist sharing some history on Easter.  I am in an odd, somewhat savage mood.  It will pass, but I am going to let it roll for now.

Easter comes from a pagan festival, a celebration of the goddess Eastre.  She was the goddess of spring, and dawn, in my understanding.  When early Christian missionaries were traveling northern Europe, they realized that if they celebrated Christ's death and resurrection at the same time, early Christians would not stand out as much for persecution.  Easter is, roughly, to Eastre, what Christmas was to the Saturnalia.  It is, in a sense, a coopted ritual based upon a coopted myth.

Self Building

I've spent all day playing Batman on my X-Box, which is a complete waste of time.  But I am getting this perverse pleasure from the sheer uselessness of it.  It is MY chosen uselessness.

And I got in a flash why Dostoevsky's Underground Man would rather be miserable in his way, than happy in the manner of everyone else.

This, you see, is the outcome of long term exposure to narcissism, particularly in parents.  They take your emotions from you.  You no longer own your sadness, and certainly not your happiness.  Everything belongs to them.  Nothing is yours.

And if you are properly indoctrinated, you more or less do the right things: go to school, then work, then live sensibly and die at a sensible age in a sensible way.  But all of this is foreign to you.  You are not emotionally connected to it.  You do not belong.  You were flattened, and no matter where you go or what you do, it feels foreign.  And true emotion feels like a sickness..

I would like to argue this: narcissism is THE modern illness.  It is, perhaps, a necessary cultural transition from no sense of self, as seen in traditional communities--in which one is assigned at birth a sense of place and duty--to a distributed sense of self, which is the Liberal ideal we have for now stopped pursuing.

No totalitarianism can be understood without recourse to narcissism, to the inability to separate one's own ideas, ideals, and feelings, from those of others.  Every person sent to the gas chamber or gulag WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD, if they could only see things from the correct perspective of the narcissist, or so they would argue.

And violence is a form of connection for those who lack it otherwise.  I have realized that as a child I vastly preferred being punished, and the sense of being hated, to the sense of being completely alone and disconnected from emotionally distant parents.

In recent days I have been getting very, very close to core feelings, at the root of which is the ability to feel openly and honestly itself.

And I get microseconds of absolute happiness, unreasonable happiness, happiness of the sort you read about but never see; flashes that tell me it is possible, if I can just unlock this combination safe.

I feel strongly--and I say feel, but this is an intellectual/intutive sense--that I will one day be able to see in the darkness.  At that point I will become truly useful.

I am drawing a weekly Tarot card, as I think I mentioned.  My goal is to connect with time, and specifically the future, but also to provide a flavor, an aroma, to the week.  Whether there is anything to it or not, I can MAKE something from it, by imaginative interaction.

And I have drawn the Fool again.  1 in 72 chance.  I think there is something in that.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tarkovky and Antonioni

As I think I have shared, I am a big Andrei Tarkovsky fan.  I watched a documentary on him, where he talked about Robert Bresson and Michaelangelo Antonioni as formative influences, and have been watching their films.  The influence of Antonioni is particularly obvious, now that I've watched a couple of his movies--Blow Up and L'Aventtura.

I don't have the time and inclination to do deeply into either, but wanted to make some comments.

Was Tarkovsky's "The Sacrifice" in part a response to this line:

Sandro: I have no desire to sacrifice myself... why? It's idiotic to sacrifice oneself... why? For Whom?

Antonioni was an atheist.  The two movies of his I've watched really had no point or purpose, just people wandering aimlessly.

Contrast this with, say, Nostalghia, where our hero dies carrying a candle from one side of an empty pool to another.  This was an act of meaning, of purpose.

It is difficult, in my view, to overestimate the latent psychological damage done by the idea that life is meaningless, and that we are merely puppets of hormones, genetics and environmental programming.

We have invented science, have we not?  Why not use science to combat these ideas?  It is hardly a radical idea asking people to be honest, to pursue their own method with actual integrity.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Conditioned Existence

I was chanting my Om Ah Hum this morning, and thinking of the countless Buddhists who have chanted this over the past several millenia.  Do not all Buddhists who think of themselves as Buddhists suffer the Duhkha of conditioned existence?

Where the randomness?  Where the chance? Where the openness to "all that"?

I doubt Buddha ever had a church in mind.  He was much too wise to believe it could exist in sincerity more than a lifetime or two after his death.

Buddhism is a useful creed.  I believe this.  But we need to look beyond it.  There is no doubt of this, either, in my mind.

Perfection?

This is a post I did a while back.  I would likely write it a bit differently today, but my question remains the same: what is the POINT of human life?  What is its MEANING?  Can anyone unable to answer these questions for themselves, adequately, answer them for anyone else?  What is the point of survival if meaning does not survive also?  

What is the point of doing anything?  Can anyone unable to provide good answers to this claim to have a workable, a functional morality, or even a sense of self?




The logical end of leftism is the machine. Let's run with this.

Leftists take over the world. The goal is a "perfect" society, in which there is no poverty, no wealth, no prejudice, and in which everyone is EXACTLY equal.

{Edit}: I want to add some intermediate steps I skipped in my first post.

If the goal is the creation of happiness through the eradication of the supposed impediments to happiness of inequality of wealth and status, then our overlords will be disappointed. First, they create Cuba around the world, where people lounge around as shadows waiting for the night. They then decide more wealth is needed, so they automate production, and slaughter a third of the human race so as to decrease scarcity. Everyone has enough now. But they still aren't happy. So they find someone who appears happy, map what he does all day, what he says, what his cognitive strategies are; then do brain scans on him, test his blood chemistry, then kill him, dissect him, and try to figure out what the chemical status of his brain was.

From these results they calibrate how to create happiness. This process, which involves brainwashing, genetic manipulation, and direct chemical interventions, is deployed across the human race. It works. People appear happy.

Then. . .{end edit}

First, they need to standardize behavior. This is done by developing an effective brainwashing technology, amounting to software downloads. This is done around the world, such that all people do and say the same things. At precisely 2pm every day, everyone takes a coffee break. They say the same things to one another. They talk about the weather, and the sports game in which both teams, as always, got exactly the same score. They discuss their kids, who all got exactly the same grades, play the same sports, have the same hobbies, and have the same goals: to work for the State.

Everything is perfect.

Then it is realized that there cannot be racial differences, so breeding programs are developed to eradicate them. Differences in physical capability and intelligence are also bred out. After 100 generations, everyone looks the same, has the same intelligence, and the same physical capabilities. Self evidently, Huxley's "Brave New World" consisted in an unequal caste system. Self evidently, as well, the rulers of this world exempt themselves from the need for equality. They are more equal than the rest.

Throughout this process, there is anxiety about sexual differences. Men are different than women. Efforts are made to create life asexually, but they fail, since creating life requires life force. Humans are NOT machines.

After 200 generations of perfection, it is decided that a more perfect world would be if human beings were actually machines. Machines can be made EXACTLY equal. So everyone is slaughtered and robots which look like them are deployed in the same places. They live in the same homes, watch the same TV, work the same jobs, and even drink virtual coffee, which consists in downloading the memory of drinking the coffee.

Then it is realized that there is no need to actually have robots: they can just create a software routine which plays out life around the world. So the robots are destroyed, and a vast computer instituted.

By this time, the rulers are thoroughly tired of life. During all this process, they have created genetically perfect sex slaves and servants. They want for no material comfort. They can program companions, who will say anything they want. Their food is perfect, their homes are perfect. They have no need to work, can travel anywhere they want, any time. They have even conquered biological death, such that they can live 10,000, 100,000 years. But they create nothing, and they are horrible people, so after thousands of years of relentless ennui they download their personalities to the computer as well, and commit suicide. (actually, I don't think most would last more than a decade or two).

This is a really well made computer, that lasts billions of years. But eventually the Sun begins to expand, in its preparation for death, and the computer, realizing this, has a decision to make. It has a duty to protect perfection, but its existence is in jeopardy. It is a really smart computer, though, so it realizes that it can run perfection much faster. There is no need to conform to the normal pace of life. Thus, it is able to run through a trillion more years of life for humans before it is snuffed out in the red fire.

As it flickers out, it feels satisfaction in the role it played in the perfection of the human race.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Becoming

I am going to try and consistently refer to my "Being" as my "Becoming".  It is impossible to speak of a human being--now, a human "becoming"--as other than a system in motion.

This is the reason I invented the word "Motology" a few years ago.  Thought is liberated if we are no longer trying to defend something changeless, if we are no longer invoking an Order of Being, but, perhaps, an Order of Becoming.

It is the middle of the night, and perhaps I am foggy, but I think perhaps one could argue that this small change makes all of us Buddhists.  Becoming is neither Being nor Not Being.  The Becoming Self neither "is" nor "is" not.

Peace.

Psi-phoning Hate and the "Old Yeller" Principle.

My emotional clouds seem to be clearing.  As I mentioned, I have invoked a Shugyo of consciously inviting and encouraging all forms of negative energy to manifest and feel at home.  What I am finding is that this is giving my unconscious permission to offer up access to formerly closed in pockets of emotion that have been affecting me, coloring my life, in subtle ways.

Your unconscious tries to protect you.  It will not release anything it does not feel you can take.  This is why consciously showing it that you can take nearly anything increases its range of motion, its flexibility, its openness.


I watched two very sad movies in two consecutive days: Robert Bresson's "Balthazar", and the Book Thief.  Both movies evoked strong emotions.  Both made my cry.

But I felt stronger in the end.  Here is the thing: we build up sadnesses in our daily life, just living.  We put them aside, to be filed later, but we never file them.  They linger.

Watching sad movies allows us to process all those things, to make us wiser.  We process not only our own sadness, but the sadness of the world.  We become more compassionate, in useful and not compulsive ways.

I would like to call this the "Old Yeller" principle.  People don't watch that movie any more.  It makes them cry, and we don't like to cry any more.  And this makes us weaker and more coarse.

Facing Evil

Tonight, dreaming, I found myself locked in combat with Evil again.  It always seems to manifest as Voldemort, perhaps because Ralph Fiennes/Joanne Rowling achieved something mythic in those movies.  Connecting, committing: a sense of electricity fills me, like I've plugged my finger into a socket.  I can take a prodigious amount of pain, physical and emotional, but tonight it was primal: neither he nor I had any form.

And I thought: how can you out-hate Hate itself?  How can you be more violent than Violence itself?  You can't.  It is impossible.  That is their element, their battleground, and always their victory.  So I set a table, and invited It to dinner.  After an initial increase in current, it faded.

I have had this rough dream before, with the same resolution, but it takes time to fully grasp. to fully enter, these realities.  On some level, I am reworking my Being (so-called: I am not invoking ontology in any sense, as life is more complicated than that) itself.

Christ, it seems to me, set a table for his enemies, and he sat at it all his friends, those he loved, and he dedicated himself to a simple meal, filled with the simple pleasures of satisfying hunger and thirst, and spending time in communion with his brothers.

When he offered up his blood, he was offering it to Evil itself.  When he offered up his body, he was offering it up to Evil itself.

And in this was his victory.  There is something quite deep here.  This myth happens every day in all of us.  Every day is the Last Supper, if we are wise and pay attention.

Your Real Name

Your real name is who you are.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Life "Lessons"

As I get older, I increasingly think that three quarters of life's learning is realizing what you already knew.  Growth, then, is simply an increasing capacity to handle truth.  What appears to be perceptual learning is simply emotional toughening--and loosening.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Buddhism and morality

I just watched a very well crafted documentary on PBS, the one narrated by Richard Gere.

Buddhism is a beautiful doctrine, but here is the thing: it, and all religions, are losing.  Buddhism is not the human future.

We must construct something that is both scientifically, empirically, grounded, and which speaks emotionally to people in the 21st century. That is the task.  That is the task I have set myself, and one which I would encourage you to set for yourself.


Morality: it occurs to me that morality should, in the modern era, best be seen as the intersection of structured thought--philosophy--and psychology.

Specifically, every moral "principle" I have ever articulated arises not from some religion, not from some appeal to the "nature of the universe", not some arcane ontology amenable to linguistic deconstruction.  What I have done, and continue to try and do, is show how what we call moral behavior is in the best interest of all sentient beings.  And how evil is simply the loss of the capacity for the self understanding necessary to grasp this, and in particular the loss of the capacity to imagine being emotionally comforted, or freed from self hatred.

Logic dictates that if you want to be happy, you have to do the things that make you happy, and these, in turn, are the domains both of psychology and introspection.  And logically, if you want to be happier, then we have to admit grades of happiness, and admit qualitative grades of, and differences in, the type of work that needs to be done.

What I have termed qualitative pleasure is best pursued through the pursuit of meaning, of pain with a purpose, of qualitative growth.

Oh, we can do so much better.  I will leave it at that for now.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Captain America

I enjoyed this movie.  I thought it ironic that Robert Redford would play himself, but I suspect he associates all the villainy he represented in the movie with Republicans, in the real world.  Like all leftists of a certain sort, he chooses to remain blind--consciously, of course, as some unconscious part of him is perfectly aware of the evil in him--to the consequences of the constrictions and restrictions and conscious political limiting of non-conforming "Others", all of whom are very much being set up for some form or other of elimination.  The forcing out of the Firefox CEO is just a soft version of much harder possibilities.  All are constituted by mob rule, the eradication of moral principle, and hate.

As I say often, conformity is the ONLY value POSSIBLE for true leftists.  This is mathematically necessary.  And the myth/symbol of the Hydra multitudes shows this clearly.

As far as the film itself, there were a number of cases where escape was impossible, but achieved in the movie. Nick Fury cut a hole in 18" of asphalt in 30 seconds.  Easier to believe that, than that the Winter Soldier did not follow him down into the sewers.  Or the underground compound after the missile hit, swarming with smart airships and skilled ground troops.  We are not shown how two wounded people got out of that.

Or to take a more prosaic, but much more insidious example, both Captain America and the Black Widow go into a public shopping mall.  He wears a hat.  Here is the thing: biometric technologies are already well developed not just to do facial recognition, but also gait analysis.  How you walk is very hard to cover up.

And somebody likely would have commandeered the mall cameras.  If they can't do that today, they--the NSA, DHS, and other agencies--are working on it.

So often one sees in movies--or, hell, the Batman video game I have been playing--the lack of cameras.  All of us need to grasp that cameras are ubiquitous.  If we are in public, we are being filmed often, generally without our knowledge.

The Security State being erected will have no flaws.  You will not be able to do anything anonymously.  There will be no slipping past the secret police.  They will know exactly where you are.  They will hold all the cards.

Our future lies in honest people in the intelligence and military communities, and in those few politicians who are willing to stand up to our collective enslavement in the name of freedom.  And in We the People, those of us willing to call a spade a spade and admit that what is being built is a fascist tyranny, and that it is being supported, tacitly or actively, intentionally or unintentionally, by both Democrats and Republicans.

For my part, I decided years ago I would much rather be on somebody's list for elimination that keep my mouth shut and entertain a merely illusory safety.

As they show, as well, in that movie, psychosocial algorithyms can and no doubt have been created to identify "dissidents" and those likely to resist the eradication of freedom in American "for our own good".  If you have strong beliefs, you are likely already on a number of lists, so why not express them?  You may change minds, and enough awake people may be what it takes to protect our grand, our noble, experiment.

Obamacare

It might be worth reposting my two treatments of Obamacare.  Everything that is happening was inevitable.  Yes, of course some low income people are getting a great deal because they are being given healthcare they don't have to pay for (the rest of us, and our children, do), but the net, aggregate, across the board outcome will be increased premiums AND taxes for nearly everyone, decreased access to medical care as fed up doctors and bankrupt hospitals leave the marketplace, and an overall decrease in access to "quality" medical care.  More costs, less service: in any rational polity, these would readily be seen as obscene, as the OPPOSITE of what Left wing nut cases were supposedly trying to achieve.

It should be added, that those increased profits are going to insurance companies.  They are constrained by the law in how much profit they can earn, but the law ALSO requires people to buy Cadillacs when they want more reasonable options, which means overall revenues will go up.  This is not because of price gouging, but because of the utter and complete indifference of Democrats to business and economic realities.

People forge or fail to realize, though, that the political radicals running the Democrat party are not trying to achieve ANYTHING but the eradication of morality through the eradication of moral difference, which is achieved by making relatively greater individual progress impossible.  No amount of bodies, no amount of suffering, no degradation of the human spirit is too much to achieve this aim.  If this sounds insane, it is, but that is the reality as I see it.

How else to explain the COMPLETE indifference on the part of all the Democrats I see to the disaster that is unfolding in front of us?  All they care about are poll numbers.  This may seem to be a subtle thing, but if you dig deep, the root problem lies in a metaphysical world view, one which many of them, admittedly, do not even realize they have.  They repeat slogans, and pursue policies out of habit, but all them push humanity down.

Short treatment: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/files/Download/Notes--31--healthcare%20in%20ten%20paragraphs.pdf

Longer treatise: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/files/Download/obamacare.pdf

I will add, as I feel I need to from time to time, none of this is ccpyrighted.  I am not trying to make money or sell anything.  I am trying to help support intelligent, outcome-based dialogue on topics of intrinsic importance.  Feel free to borrow any or all of these ideas, if you are in fact trying to improve the world, and are capable of accepting a responsibility for outcomes.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Disease

Ponder the difference between a bacterial infection and cancer.

As I understand the issue, most of the symptoms of a disease actually come from efforts of the body to fight it off.  Fever, inflammation, mucous formation: all of these are intended to help fight off things that don't belong there.  If you had none of these defensive elements, you would simply, in some cases, keel over and die when the disease reached a critical mass.  That is my guess, although disease pathology is not something I know much about.

Cancer can spread quite far without any symptoms at all.  I think of Randy Pausch, whose Last Lecture was so well known, who was the image of health even when he was destined to die.

Draw an analogy with emotional energies.  Can it not be that those who most manifest symptoms are in fact those who are trying to fight something off?  And those who manifest nothing are most sick, when not healthy?

Here is a principle I think works: successful efforts at healing are generally characterized by a worsening of a condition prior to improvement.  And if you can't worse an "element", it may be it is recalcitrant to healing.

These are high level, perhaps wrong ideas.  I am just playing with metaphors.  You can kick this pile of blocks over if you want.

Morality

The quest for final answers on "moral" questions is in my view stupid.  It keeps intellectuals busy, but it is impractical, and tends in aggregate to make things worse.

No moral decision can be divorced from context.  This makes all proper moral decisions, as I have said a number of times, local, necessary, and imperfect.

If someone says "what should I do in this case?", one of the first things we need to know is who they are, and what their blinds spots are, so we can see the deficiencies in their description of the realities of the situation they are discussing.

What we want are decisions that work in aggregate and over time--systemically--to increase sustainable qualitative felicity.  Often, this involves periods of varying lengths of increased suffering.  This is the nature of how things work, or so I would argue.

Intolerance

I watched this movie, a silent film by D.W. Griffith, a few months back.  It has four stories in it, of which arguably the most elaborate screenplay-wise is the story of a rich old biddy trying to "reform" the working people of her time, by talking her rich brother--who George Shaw would have readily recognized as his sort of fascist--into prohibiting drinking and dancing, and most of the other ways they dealt with the monotony and anomie of their lives.  They refuse to comply, so he cuts wages.  Strikes ensue, people get killed, jobs get lost, and people who had decent lives get thrown more or less literally out on the street.

And the interference from these emotionally confused, intrusive, awful ladies continues.  In one case they take a baby from a woman who was a good mother, and deliver it to a sterile and loveless hospital.

Within this story line, an enormous quantity of awful human events, of suffering, difficulty, want, ensue because people are allegedly trying to HELP, and they, indeed, adopt in the end a self congratulatory tone, not having the foggiest idea--or CARING, to the point--what actually happened.

So much of leftist activity is like this.  They are no longer targeting drinking and dancing, but they are INTERFERING in the lives of people who have not asked them to, who if they were better informed or better led, would throw them out on the asses.  I have in mind particularly the black community.  It may be that the solutions to black poverty and black crime lie in allowing people with almost no job qualifications to be ALLOWED to do work at wages people would actually be willing to pay, so that they can get the skills to be worth more, and in turn be paid more.

Current government policy puts de facto walls around most ghettos, and call this enlightened.  It is not.  It is sluggish, self absorbed, amoral thinking liberally slathered with the most naked and gluttonous self interest.

Minimum Wage

Here is a cut and paste of a post I did a couple years ago:


When it comes to minimum wage laws, there are three possible outcomes: that the State mandated wage is less than those already paid; that it is equal to them; or that it is more than market conditions would normally allow.

In the first two cases, it is unnecessary.  The third condition, then, is the one which matters.

Labor, like any other commodity, is subject to supply and demand.  When there is a superabundance of work and not enough workers, wages rise.  When unemployment is high, and work is scarce, wages fall.  In all cases, business owners need workers to make money.  It is never in the interest of anyone who wants to grow a business not to grow a business by not hiring people.  Hiring always means more money for the business owner, IF there is money left over after he has paid his expenses, of which the largest is usually labor.

Let us say that a business owner collects $1,000 a week in revenues, and pays out $600 in costs.  If he can hire someone for $200 a week, he can still clear a profit, and free himself up for marketing.  If, however, he is forced by law to pay $400 a week, he will not hire anyone. He can't afford it.

Let us say that someone desperately needs work, and would be willing to work for $200, but is forced by law to charge $400.  Both people lose.

Leftists do not ask themselves what the people who are competing for low wage jobs want.  They ASSUME they would rather either be paid more than they are perceived as being worth, or be unemployed.  This is almost certainly an error, though.

We have some 50% unemployment in black neighborhoods and poor rural areas, which is close to the high school drop out rate in both areas, and there is probably a lot of overlap between the two.

Kids who have not even graduated high school offer very little in terms of job and life skills.  If they are going to get hired by anyone to do anything, they will in most cases need to discount their labor.  Such a first job would amount to an apprenticeship.  By law, they can't do this, and so in many cases they go years without getting that first job, never learn work skills, and never become optimally productive as citizens.  

Minimum wage is not intended for people who have careers, who put their time in over a period of years.  Even Burger King and the like pay more than minimum wage for virtually anyone who has worked there more than six months.

These laws do not raise up anyone.  On the contrary, they represent a barrier for entry to the job market for people who in many cases really, really need a job.


Acceptance

Useful framing exercise: I am grateful for this problem.

For confusion: I am grateful for this opportunity to make a decision and learn from it.

If you meet demons where they live, they will never have enough space to cause you trouble.  They need momentum.

Peace of mind

The price of peace of mind is diligence--daily focused work--and the development of skill.

Nod to Emerson

Becoming is not repetition.

Consolability

It occurs to me that one of the outcomes of trauma is inconsolability. You are far beyond the point where a hug, or "talking" will help.  This very fact isolates you, and paradoxically the presence of others, even others who genuinely want to help you, can be antagonizing.

I want to say that the goal of abreaction is not "healing" per se, but facilitating the beginning of the possibility of healing, which is consolability, or the ability to receive comfort, either from yourself, or others.  I would supposed, actually, it would start with being able to comfort yourself, which in turn begins with a sense that you are worthy of comfort, that pursuing the goal of greater well being is acceptable.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Me being a butthead

So I'm in a parking garage downtown, in a medical complex, and the way this works is all the spots except on the very top are usually taken by 10am at the latest.  I get stuck behind this old lady that is going walking speed through the garage.  I don't know if we can speak of a parking garage etiquette, but if we can, going as fast as you can without missing spots would be part of it.  She was also veering on every turn into oncoming traffic, I watched several vehicles on their way out roll their eyes.  She was doing it wrong, and was not learning.

Me, I am an impatient driver. I am trying to work on it, and believe I am making progress, but I'm not there yet.

Anyway, we go around about 5 times, and I decide to pass her.  Right as I pass her, a car pulls out at the end of the row, and I pull in.  She honks at me.  I cuss her out under my breath.  At the moment, I was feeling both anger and relief.

Now, this is textbook, dictionary definition asshole behavior.  I get that.  She was likely old, a little slow, and likely there because someone she knew was sick, or because she was sick.  My brain tells me this.

But I looked at my feelings, and I was happy, at least for a time.

Now, I have been processing some deep things.  There are other unpleasant things going on I don't feel like talking about, but suffice it to say a lot of very deep GAPS--that is the word--in my development are coming out.

I looked at my happiness at besting some little old lady.  It was pathetic.  That is what my brain said. Now, my father bullied me, bested me, all the time, and I am likely repeating this behavior.  But what lies at the root?  Tracking it is quite different than understanding and disposing of it.  I want to be spontaneously good, but that is going to mean at times spontaneously bad.  My task, my responsibility, is to USE those times for self purification.  It starts with seeing honestly.

Now, as I have said, my upbringing left me with a feeling of self hatred.  Self hatred is the result when you do not get the love you need, and particularly when you are subjected to emotional or physical violence, as I was.  Self hatred is a means of resolving the tension between what was done, and normal social standards.  It is very difficult to view your care-giver as an awful person--you are after all fully dependent on them at least until your early teen years--so what you do is internalize a sense of unworthiness and self loathing.

But it is never fully justified, UNTIL you do bad things.  When you ACT like an asshole, well then the emotional dissonance, the split, is healed for a moment.  And it is hard for me to describe what a heavy burden all these feelings are.  Whatever you do, wherever you go, there is this voice telling you to fail, that you can't do it, that you aren't worthy.

Obviously, you can combat that voice, you can use positive self talk, but if I ask you to hold up a wet mattress, say, something heavy and unwieldy (and by the way incontinence was not an issue for me, so I don't think there is a deeper meaning here, although there may be), who wins: you or gravity?  As long as that thing keeps driving you down, and you have no means of dropping it, it will win every time, without fail.

Being a bad person, I think, may in some ways help to make that load feel lighter.  This is just a guess, but it feels right.

Then I got to thinking of Dostoevsky's Underground Man--or really any number of anti-heroes, or neurotic nuts, from that rough era of literature (latter 19th century through today)--and they seem to think that being honest about being mean and miserable is somehow profound.  It isn't.  It never was.  These things, awareness of these states, is simply a waypoint.  You enter into awareness of evil in order to do something with it, to transcend it.

What stops this process is a rejection of morality.  At its root, Socialism is a rejection of individual morality.  It is a rejection of individual meaning.

I don't like hospitals.  I have had one outpatient surgery in my life, and that was enough.  I don't like watching all the fat, decrepit sick people wander through there.  This, probably, is an ugly sentiment too, with one perhaps redeeming feature: I don't like people who do not value their health and well being enough to do even the BASICS as far as maintaining health.  We Americans age SO poorly, not least because we have this enormous complex built up around keeping people who have never given a shit about their health alive, with expensive pills and treatments.

Then I got to thinking how we treat old people.  Ponder this: how could an old person be valued for wisdom, when wisdom is rejected in principle?  Put another way: if morality is social and not personal, how could an old person have more of it?

If we value old people, what do we value them for?  Practical knowledge.  Some old men, like Warren Buffet, are exceptionally good at doing what most people actually care about, which is making large sums of money.  But would you trust the future of your soul, the future of your happiness in this present life, to a shark whose early fortunes were made in ways most of us would reject handily?

No, we put old people behind curtains, on the other side of the hill, over THERE, where we don't think about them much.  It was a Socialist, and not a Japanese ethos being expressed when a Japanese Prime Minister said he wished all the old people would just die.  If they could not contribute to the economy, if they had no MATERIAL value, to him they had no value at all.  Their life experience meant nothing to him. (Note here too, as I have commented somewhere, the rush to put everyone on the public dole, then complain about the expense.  This is one more lunatic aspect of the whole thing.)

And if you think about it, what DOES an average person really learn in the course of a lifetime if their constant focus is material in nature?  If their lives revolve around promotions, new houses, weekends, and vacations?  They can talk about these things, but little else.

How much wisdom is there, really, in an average nursing home?  I don't know, but I wonder.  Contrast that with, say, an old Tibetan, who has chanted and meditated and sung religious/spiritual works all his life.  To the extent we would find wisdom in nursing homes, I think it would be among the deeply and sincerely pious.

Returning to Good and Evil, I think it needs to be said that there is a vast moral difference between playing a role, and understanding a situation.  You can beat pacifism into people, and some cultures do.  You can beat courtesy, filial piety, a work ethic, and cleanliness into people.

But do they then own those virtues?  I would say no.

Goodness, to me, is expressed spontaneously.  It simply comes out. Love comes out; compassion; generosity; kindness; beauty; warmth.  That is why the Windhorse metaphor is so apt: you have the power and motion of a horse, and the brilliance of a jewel.

If you cannot express things spontaneously, you are an artifact, a remnant.  You are not you, but somebody else's idea of who you needed to be.  Habits can be very strong and useful.  But until you reach bottom, until you know all of your self, all of who you are, all of what you are capable of, you are not free.

For my part, I am starting to try and focus on positive energies, but I'm sure I will have relapses.  These old habits run strong.  I watched them and was subjected to them for many, important, years.  That sounds like an excuse, and perhaps it is, but no plan based on wishful thinking is reliable.  My explanation may be wrong, but I am certainly describing my present reality.

Few thoughts, from my asshole moment.

Fear

I had an odd dream last night.  It was one of those--and I don't how many people have these--where I was in a sleep paralysis, but felt like I was awake.  I wasn't awake, obviously, because I felt I was on the couch, when I was actually in my bed, but in any event a demon came up to me, hissing, and stood about 6" from my face, trying to scare me.  I felt fear, but some part of me was thinking "fuck this", so I reached my arm out and said "bite it off".  It retreated.  Then I reached my other arm.  Same reaction.  Then I said "BOO" while opening my eyes, and there was nothing there.

Here is a phrase which sounds meaningful, and which may actually be meaningful: Fear fears us.

I think some deep part of us hides our innermost fears, because it feels like confronting them directly will kill us; we won't survive.  But I feel, increasingly strongly, that no negative emotion you give yourself up to openly and willingly can but retreat.  Your power lies precisely in your acceptance, in your openness to experience.

And how beneficial, to develop the habit of opening to ALL experience, because that will let in the good ones too.   This is getting close, I think, to what the Buddha taught.  The negatives pass away, but what is good remains, and we call this the nature of true reality.