Friday, January 30, 2015

My mission

I truly believe my mission in this life was to dive into Hell and map a way out.

And I'm doing it.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dealing with Leftists

This system is foolproof, meaning that it won't work on fools, but any fool can use it.

Recent product of the American system of higher Indoctrination: It was wrong for the United States to drop (some large number) of bombs on North Vietnam.  They killed so many people.

You: Is killing wrong?

If so, is it always wrong, or only in certain circumstances?

If the latter, what circumstances and why?

You can run through this drill, I'm sure, on your own.  It is quite impossible to square stated Leftist ideals with actual realities.

I have used this method--which I know I've discussed before--and been literally told I was asking trick questions.  These people are literally so dumb that it has never occurred to them they lack any sense of  principle and proportion.

Acceptable Object of Hatred (AOH)

The more I think about it, humanity has both an evolutionary as well as--usually--a personal need for developing subject/object relations with other human beings.  We are tribal by nature, and you cannot have full inclusion without full exclusion.  It is something in our guts.

But Leftists reject, in principle, the rejection of others.  Excuse me, Others. The Other.  You know that hallucination that all the Imperialists that were not Communist had that their culture was fundamentally superior, because they did not UNDERSTAND The Other?

So all the South Vietnamese killed by the North Vietnamese were evil, because either they didn't exist, or because they were complicit in imperialistic atrocities.  You know, the kids blown up on playgrounds by suicide bombers, or intentional mortar attacks on civilian populations: their lives are unimportant.

What MATTERS was that we dropped a lot of ordinance, and killed perfectly innocent, perfectly peaceful, loving gentle human beings and that makes me ANGRY.  I HATE what America did.  It was all so WRONG.

You see how that works?  You enter into a, say, 2nd graders mind, simply eliminate from discussion everything that detracts from the simplicity of the equation, and THEN, THEN, you get to feel the hate, feel the burn, feel the righteous anger billowing out of you.

Returning for the third time to this disgust experiment, it seems to me that one could argue that their cognitive psychopathology--specifically their inability to access, recognize and express their anger productively--causes a literal nervous system miswire in the systems of Leftists.

Their hate becomes directed in all the wrong places.  Ho Chi Minh became a Communist around 1919, and helped co-found the French  Communist Party.  He joined the Communist International--the group working the world over to subvert sovereign nations and deliver them to the tender mercies of Communism--shortly thereafter.  He spent much of the 1930's in Stalin's Russia.  His agents, rather than fighting the Japanese, spent most of the Japanese occupation killing actual Vietnamese nationalists.  When they beat the French in the mid-1950's, they embarked nearly immediately on a campaign of class warfare, in which every tenth person, at least, in the North was killed or imprisoned.  They confiscated all private property they wanted, and instituted a totalitarian regime.  A vote would have been meaningless, since nobody in the North was free to do as they chose.  100% of North Vietnamese would have been reported as favoring reunification.

Then they started invading the South.  Oh, I could go on, but don't feel like it.

The point I want to make is that NO ONE on the Left has learned what in my view is the only correct lesson, which is that we made a HUGE mistake handing the South over to the North.  It was wrong on every possible level.  Maybe we never should have been there--this is a separate discussion--but having lost so much, given so much, virtually NOTHING was needed to protect it.

But people who NEED hate cannot accept this.  Changing their minds would be exposing themselves to the raw viciousness they have allowed to fester within them, and force them to realize that far from being morally superior, they are actually nasty beasts who feed on human death and destruction, while lying to themselves and the world about it.

This is what I mean by Cultural  Sadeism.

Edit: For leftists, who are AOH's? As a general rule, anybody who is opposed by anyone who would be their natural ally.  For example, they supported the North Vietnamese precisely because they opposed America.  If they are rich, they hate the rich.  If they are white, they hate whites for their alleged racism.  If they are black, they either become white like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, or are irrelevant.

The old saw is that the enemy of my enemy is my friends.  In Lefto-Land, the enemy of my friend is my friend.

It is not hard to see a profound self loathing of a psychological nature under all this.

In psychologically healthy introspection, you balance the good with the bad.  You try to tell the truth as well as you can.  You freely admit mistakes and errors, but also grant strengths and good decisions.

There is no effort to do this on the part of the Left. It is all good/bad.  It is all Manichean, in precisely the way Western imperialistic thought is alleged to have operated.

And I must of course introspect and ask if I, too, am doing the same thing.  I don't think I am.  Thought systems can be understood, even if one must grant they apply perfectly to no one.

And in the particular case of Leftism one must see that it is DEFINED by conformity.  Any group which values being like all other members of the group can be spoken of in the aggregate without too much damage to the truth, in my view.

And when I speak of conformity, I don't mean conformity of a tribal sort, seen the world over for most of history, where you do what your ancestors did.  I mean conformity of an emotionally craven sort, which is willing to change on a dime whenever the wind blows.

That's enough venting for now.  

Ideas

What would happen if ten men married ten women?  All the men, all the women.  They could do ten day rotations as to who they spend the night with.  What good would happen?  What bad?  What interesting?

What if they coparented, such that nobody knew or asked whose kids were whose?

I'm going some interesting places, and this popped in my head.  I've never seen it proposed, although I have of course heard of both polygamy and the lesser known polyandry.  Edward de Bono also proposed five year renewable marriage contracts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gut Instinct

I ponder. That's what I do.  I ingest some idea or feeling or image, and it percolates.

This notion that leftists do not react viscerally to images of death and ugliness still piques my curiosity.  I wonder if the violence that attends all leftist agitation--one sees hate even in something as mundane as the national campaign against the police, or against alleged racists, or against the "1%" (if there was ever a manufactured propaganda meme, that clearly qualifies; I can almost smell the espresso and the weed)--in fact secretly satisfies some unmet need in them.

I remember reading about a hurricane in Cuba, and the BBC or maybe NPR, or some other propaganda outlet was gushing about how the "Cubans do what they are told.  They don't have any problems with people ignoring orders down there, unlike here"., and I could just feel this fascination with authoritarianism, this flush in the face of some 20-something girl with a degree in Political Science or English, thinking about people getting boots shoved up their asses.

In my view, we are wired, when wired properly, to react viscerally to the grotesque.  Being unable to do so implies a disconnection with the gut, with instinct, with primal, animal, REAL emotions.

And that disconnection creates a feeling of disconnection with life.  I posted some nice Peter Levine quotes a month or two ago. (or three or four or five: I live in an altered state of time).

I can almost see how this would work: you react viscerally to reacting viscerally, and learn to suppress it, and live only in your head.  But something is missing.  And violence--the right sort of violence, ostensibly justifiable violence, even the right sort of sexual violence--satisfies that urge.

Hence Che: not, to be clear, Che himself, who was a sociopath.  I mean outwardly normal people fetishizing him, despite his cruelty, incompetence, and very dull but very real evil.

I think this is very close to the truth.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nice Bergman quote

People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be. There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.
Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God.
 He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; 'eternal values,' 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.
The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other.
We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts.
Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.

Public Self Praise

I get very little validation for any of my work, and a considerable amount of indifference and even hostility. I am not complaining, but did want to put some positive feedback in the public domain, to feed some part of me that needs feeding.

I believe I can honestly describe myself as a Visionary.  I see things other people do not see.  I look at the same world others look at, and see how it can be made better, in ways which are uniquely my own.

The morality of money creation

I will periodically email economists at various universities, trying to get them to rethink our financial system.  The more I contemplate things, the more I think the MORAL argument is more important than the practical argument, which of course is that fractional reserve banking is INHERENTLY unstable.

I did a round Sunday, and of course have not heard back from anyone.  This was the crux of the email:

 I would like to encourage you to consider a simple, but currently counter-paradigmatic proposition: money creation is inherently theft, is unjust, and creates a functional class division between those empowered by law to create money and those who would go to jail for it. To the extent the rich get richer and the poor poorer, as an inherent element of our system, this is the primary mechanism.

It is astonishing to me that I need to make this argument, that some moralizing evangelistic organizer has not come to the same conclusion.  

Actually, Googling "inflation is theft" does come up with some stuff, like this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/billflax/2011/03/03/you-call-it-inflation-i-call-it-theft/

I guess the question then becomes: why are not more people talking about this?  Again, the argument is a practical one, but also a moral one.

And I seem to be the only one with a solution, which, again, is obvious, or should be obvious: just reverse the path we took to get here.

Have to run, but wanted to do a brief post.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Henry Higgins

Just watched "My Fair Lady" for the first time in thirty years.

Higgins was plainly Shaw: an intelligent, abusive, emotionally detached survivor of some form of primal PTSD, with significant "mother issues" as they say, whose morality as it evolves in the play consists in a sort of effete estheticism of manners oriented around the abuse of lower classes in the name of redeeming them.

The essence of the Fabianism he and the Webbs created is a decadent formality oriented around saving people they hate and despise.

Nothing admirable there.  And there is no doubt that Higgins does, in the end, hit Eliza, just as she expects, and as she became "accustomed" to in her childhood.  Her father makes many references to hitting her.

This is basic psychology: she marries an abusive and emotionally absent father.

Can you see the sickness in these ideas?  Can you see the role authoritarianisms played for Shaw, who admired Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin equally?

Can you see the connection between the decadence of the British ruling class and purported efforts to "save" people they don't understand and don't care for?

Brilliant musical, but shitty ending. You can put wit into the mouth of a savage, but you cannot make him into a decent human being.  Cannibalism is at the heart of all of this.  It is plainly implied by the moral logic of the situations.  It is profoundly ugly.

I have posted this before, but it is worth watching again (if you have), and once if you have not: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgpaKkrZex4

Only a genteel beast, one capable of thinking of people as "cabbage leaves" and "baggage" could refer to a "humane" poison gas.

And I will actually add one more thing: at several points in the play everyone freezes.  In Liza's neighborhood, and at the track. I  don't know what the claimed purpose of this was, but I would submit again that this is the wax museum quality of frozen notions like "class", which exempt individuals from being treated as individuals, which is capable of abstracting "middle class" (aka bourgeois) morality from actual morality, which is capable of extreme violence with a genteel and innocent face, which is characterized, in short, by what I continue to call Cultural Sadeism.

This is a deep notion. It does not exist on the surface.  It is an emergent property of a system of thinking and feeling and behaving.  It is rarely openly claimed, but it can be seen manifested everywhere, in sloppy thinking, denialism, rationalized abuses, and glorifications of horrors like Cuba.

Edit: Higgins also at one point argues that if he treats a Duchess as a flower girl, or a flower girl as a Duchess, it is all the same, since equality, not quality, of treatment is what is what matters.

This is a socialist argument.  Logically, if I kill everyone I meet, then I meet this criterion, and some, like Che Guevera, come quite close.

As I say again and again, socialistm is an ANTI-morality and an anti-humanism.  All the jokes in My Fair Lady?  Shaw meant them.  He was not joking.  He was merely so far out from acceptable social norms that people took it as exaggeration and wit, and he KNEW this to be the case, that he could argue for the monstrous right in front of people, and still be accepted in society.

One could view the entirety of the British preoccupation with manners and protocol as an elaborate charade, whose principle goal is to eviscerate fully the capacity for honesty, genuine kindness, and society of a nurturing sort.

Socialism is what you get when society is ruined.

Leftist brain patterns.

I posted a bit back this article, about how leftists and conservatives react differently to disgusting images, with the former showing little reaction in their brains--even if they self reported feeling disgust--and the latter showing robust instinctive reactions.

Here is a proposal for a followup trial: put WORDS in front of the leftists.  Put the word "injustice" in front of them.  My hypothesis is that they will react to ABSTRACTIONS in the same way conservatives react to images.

This is the principle difference between so-called conservatives--most of whom I would label actual Liberals--and Leftists: their connection to the real world, the one which actually exists, and to which words ideally refer, but to which they need NOT refer.

There is nothing which prevents me from calling a watermelon a cucumber, as Leftists do, particularly if I am robustly supported by choruses of people nurturing the same delusion: that injustice and violence constitute justice and peace.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Morality versus Legality

I just ran into a person incapable of distinguishing the two.  He was also characterized by a noticeable lack of empathy.  I suspect him of sociopathy. One can certainly be a law following sociopath.  Most of the Nazis were.

And I got to thinking: legalism is an anti-morality and authoritarian.  Inherently, it places the locus of decision making as to appropriate behavior not upon the individual, but upon a small group of people empowered to create and enforce laws.

And if such a body arises from a society itself characterized by legalism, upon what can they base their decisions?  What principle?

This is the role egalitarianism plays in the modern world.  It stipulates, fundamentally, that NO moral decisions are possible, and that the sole guiding principle be that all be equal in all respects.

I described this person as unable to effectively differentiate people and objects.  I have spoken often of the wax museum, static quality of the work of Sade, and it seems to me these things are related.  A Legalist renders homage to the object of a law.  One could make this concrete by referring the literal use of stone tablets in ancient civilizations, like the Roman Republic.

A moralist renders homage to PEOPLE, to concrete, actual, living breathing, suffering, hoping human beings.  It necessarily includes empathy and compassion.

Socialism, by this criterion, is not a morality.  Never forget that George Bernard Shaw called for the mass murder of all those he considered useless.

One can break ideational systems down in exactly the same way engines can be broken down.  It is of course necessary to employ abstraction, but this is quite acceptable when one grasps that one is dealing with ideas qua ideas, and not preaching about how to save the world, and acting on it.

Evil

Yesterday morning, lying in bed, as I often do, letting images and words come to me--it's more or less a download--it came to me that "Evil is everything but Goodness".  And Goodness is a condition of feeling happy, engaged, and completely unsure where you are going or what your next move will be.  It is absolute spontaneity.  Now, obviously your brain must be involved for you to do anything, and it's best if your feelings and gut are too, but there is a WAY.  I have felt split seconds of it.

And if you think of it this way, Christ's "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" acquires a slightly different meaning.  Not only has everyone sinned, but they sin most all of every day.

Sinning is falling short; that is all it is.  And seen this way, it is not something to be judged, but a situation to be rectified.  It is like teaching someone a flip turn in swimming.  Some people will get it sooner than others.

Morality is intrinsically the best way to live.  I define it that way.  It is what generates the most qualitative pleasure and happiness, and these are innately what our spirit craves.  Clearly, it craves adventure, excitement, discovery, danger and other such things, and I am not in the slightest diminishing these needs.  It craves sex and connection.  These are therefore intrinsically not sinful, until they cause immorality, which is hurting others.

This means that virtue is a skill not unlike riding a bike, or ballroom dancing.  And what creates skill is AWARENESS.  Lack of awareness is what causes a lack of skill.

It can be frustrating dealing with stupid people.  I have an IQ significantly above average, and not infrequently find myself angry at how short sighted, self interested, self absorbed and stupid people can be.  But is this reaction not a species of stupidity in me?  Should I take it personally when dogs bark at me, or birds shit on my car?

My point is that judgement exists on a continuum, and EVERYONE exists on that continuum, so our moral failings differ in scale, not the fact of their existence, and this means that judgement is inherently hypocritical, with one exception: those who encourage others to sin, and take pleasure in the pain it causes them.

This is how I define evil.  Evil is not cheating on your wife, or lying, cheating and stealing.  You do these because you are unwilling to consciously face the full consequences of your actions.  You are unwilling to feel the pain of those you have hurt.  You are unable, on the positive side, to access positive feelings of the sort which would have made you happy without doing those things.  You don't know that happiness surrounds you, so you reach for small and dark things.

Evil is deciding finally that the Light is beyond your reach, and should therefore be beyond the reach of anyone else.  It is my feeling that this sort of evil should be dealt with through violence.

I wish I could say I advocated infinite tolerance, but infinite virtue is in my view impossible in this world, and the essence of spirituality is practicality, and practically this is the reality.  Love does not in the least in my view imply pacifism, or allowing others to abuse you.  Quite the contrary: virtue consists precisely in building the best, most resilient, happiest You that you can.

I have dealt with these issues before, and am not sure I'm not repeating myself, but I suppose it's impossible to walk even the same road exactly the same way twice.

Edit: you know, in some respects I just described Avidya.  But it is always worth doing things in your own voice, in your own vernacular, because this word can mean, in subtle shades, an infinite number of things, even if they all approximate the same thing.  What I need is MY shade, and what you need is YOURS.  This is how life becomes and remains interesting, at least in the social sphere.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

American Sniper

Being blessed with PTSD myself, this movie triggered me a bit, even though mine has nothing at all to do with combat.  I really felt like you did get some sense of what that sort of urban combat was like.

Now, it's the middle of the night, and I'm a bit foggy, so what is likely to follow is not likely my best work, but a few preliminary thoughts are in order.

First off, I think viewing it as pro-war, or even as propaganda is stupid.  It did not explain or rationalize our involvement in Iraq in the slightest.  On the contrary, it showed us clearly as the invaders we were, driving tanks down Iraqi roads, and kicking down Iraqi doors, and handcuffing and sometimes shooting Iraqis who wanted to resist our presence violently.  This is the text of the movie.  That is what is shown.

And it shows the cost of ordinary Iraqis in trying to help Americans.  The boy who is power drilled to death, and the father who was shot, for collaboration: that sort of thing happened.

And I watch this and wonder how we could have been so foolish as to believe that the Iraqis would welcome an invading Army with open arms.  Yes, people like me repeated the atrocities of the Hussein's often, the rape rooms, the violent suppression of the Shia in the south, cutting people into pieces and stuffing them into bags, the torture chambers, the gas attacks on the Kurds.

With regard to the Kurds, he killed perhaps 50,000 people.  With regard to the Shiite uprising, it is unclear.  Let us put that number also at 50,000, although it does not appear that high.

The lowest number I can find with regard to Iraqi deaths is 110,000.  Some put the number as high as a million.  You have to factor in both Iraqis who chose to oppose us, either as regular military or paramilitary, as well as the Al Quedists who caused so much death among those unlucky enough to be caught in the crossfire.  They created a hell on Earth for a few years, and arguably won the war for us.

So does it make sense for us to have killed more Iraqis than Saddam did in order to protect them from him? I  can't honestly say that it does.

And of course drilling elbows and knees is barbaric,  Cutting off body parts, decapitating children: these are horrific.  We shudder at this sort of thing.  But what do bombs do? If your limbs are leaving your body, and your soul this benighted world, the difference to the person affected is, I would submit, largely academic.  We do not INTENTIONALLY dismember people, but that is the outcome nonetheless.  Children too.

I was on the internet somewhere in 2003, arguing that America was attacked on 9/11 because even though we have BY FAR the most powerful military on the planet, no one takes us seriously because our halls of government have been so thoroughly infiltrated with people who fundamentally hate this country.  Lacking credibility is lacking the capacity for deterrence, which in turn makes it more likely that if someone like Saddam Hussein gets nukes, he is more likely to use them to blackmail us and our allies.  That is a justification for war, or so I saw it.

And I do think it worth resurrecting for the public record his open admission, when caught, that he fully intended to start up his nuclear program again.  The war obviously prevented that.

But was it worth the cost?

First off, my ENTIRE world view changed when I realized that 9/11 involved a much larger conspiracy, one not likely Al Queda affiliated.  As I have said repeatedly, the bombs could have been detonated without the planes, resulting in far higher casualties.  Also, any group with the sophistication to get those bombs in those buildings undetected would easily have been able to carry out more attacks.  Attacking Americans is child's play, as the snipers shortly after 9/11 demonstrated.  We are an open society.

And as should be obvious, I am slowly coming around to the view that the most likely suspects are members of the Bush Administration, who mounted a false flag, in the belief that something like this was needed to get things like the Patriot Act passed that they viewed as critical for protecting America from even more deadly WMD's.  I don't like this idea, but the reality is that SOMEBODY put those explosives there, and must have done so with the more or less tacit approval and cooperation of those providing security for those buildings.

So I return to Chris Kyle, and I cannot say unambiguously that his work, his sacrifices, his unrelenting efforts did in fact protect American freedom.  Our enemies seem to be in the gates.  I have nothing but respect and affection for our nations warriors, but they are much better people than those "leading" us.

I don't know what THE solution is, but I have resolved to actually start some work I have been postponing.  A truly free people, using their freedom, acts as a self organizing system far more powerful, in potential, than the authorities running the thing.  In China they have 180,000 protests and riots a year.  Imagine what they could do if they were armed.

There is reason for optimism, but we must work hard daily to remain alert and aware, and to speak as much truth to as many people as we can, every day.

I have often said that the way to remember fallen warriors is to dedicate ourselves to the freedom in whose name they gave their lives.  It does not matter if Iraq was in fact worth it.  What matters is that freedom was and is worth it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bush, Cheney and 9/11 Conspiracy

I think, if one were so inclined, one could derive covert complicity on the part of at least elements of the United States government in the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center Towers with the 1% doctrine which apparently animated the Bush Administration.

Here is the book which discusses this idea: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/20/books/20kaku.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

The net of it is that, to quote Robert de Niro in "Ronin", "if there is any doubt there is no doubt."

9/11 clearly facilitated goals which preceded it.

 The potent wartime authority granted the White House in the wake of 9/11, he says, dovetailed with the administration's pre-9/11 desire to amp up executive power (diminished, Mr. Cheney and others believed, by Watergate)

Imagine laying awake every night worried about a nuke going off in Boston, or an anthrax attack at Grand Central Station, or any of thousands of other possibilities.  Imagine becoming convinced not only of the inevitability of such attacks, but that you were completely helpless to prevent them.  Imagine coming to the conclusion that absent a major push, no amount of arguing would EVER convince Congress and the American people to take the aggressive steps needed to prevent attacks which could kill millions and permanently alter the trajectory of all American lives.

Logically, a few thousand lives would be a small price to pay to save millions.  One could justify it in the name of patriotism, and taking care of the nation.  This is a scenario that makes sense, if you make everyone involved more than a bit psychopathic.  War for Halliburton, War for a pipeline: I hope these scenarios are ridiculous, but if you make folks fully psychopathic, they come back into the realm of the possible.

It does bother me that Marvin Bush was a principal in the company that provided security for the World Trade Centers.

Regardless of who we point blame at, there is NO DOUBT, NONE, that those towers were prepped with explosives before they were hit by airplanes; and that very few people understand this blatantly obvious and ineluctable fact.

Addiction

This is the best song about addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3O1Ap41ptU  Most of them anyway.

Can we say addicts are caged enthusiasts?

Is it a search for myth?

For Constancy?

I don't know.  I got drunk last night, after vowing to give it up.  I have some understanding why, but I still woke up with this song on my mind.

You know, I am here too, my friend.  We were wrecked on the same ship.  Let us look together for a way to continue our journey.  Let us look into the distance together and hope.  Let us remember the sun, and feel the ocean.  Let us walk together and not go astray.

Commentary: I wrote this this morning, and have pondered the last paragraph today. I often write things I don't understand.  I then try to understand them, as here.

I fuck up.  My recovery is offering someone else help and companionship, when this is really what I need.

Lao Tzu (which I'm told translates roughly to Old or Revered Master) wrote: "Renounce sainthood; it will be  thousand times better for everyone."

Can we not posit that many of the people remembered as saints were in fact suffering from compulsions brought on by unprocessed emotions?  Can we not posit many were manic, or OCD, or simply AFRAID of being sinful?

Back to me.  I have decided that I am likely to be alone until it no longer bothers me.  I will likely be misunderstood until it no longer matters to me.  These are hills I need to climb.  You do your work, or not.  I will do mine. I am doing mine.  It starts with relentless honesty.

Commentary on the Commentary: OI, drunk to friend of the world to martyr.  I can't keep up with myself, so I'll have to close this down.

I'll leave you with this: being alone together can be read two ways.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Apothegm Revised

An authentic life consists in rediscovery; an inauthentic life consists in repetition.

It pleases me sometimes to be a bit cryptic, but this I will expand on a bit, because it led to more ideas.

I have in mind Ecclesiastes, which is my favorite book of the Bible.  The creed "Eat, drink, and take joy in your work" is quite functional, and I think sufficient to get most people through their lives.

To the point, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

One can take a pessimistic view of this, but here is my own take: whatever problem you have, whatever life challenges face you, whatever your WORK is for this lifetime: someone has successfully passed through where you are.  It has been done.  This means it CAN be done.  History is on your side.

And obviously, failure is always an option.  Someone has failed, too.  But why look at your feet, rather than the horizon?

And this is eminently suitable for Best Case Scenario treatment.  Why not just getting through, but transcending?  Don't use it as a club, obviously, but do feed it to your unconscious as a possibility, and one which has been realized somewhere, by someone.

And I shouldn't need to say this, but I will: there is nothing unique about technology.  There is no fundamental difference between trying to build a web app, and trying to build a better fence using your own ideas, and the materials at hand.  There is nothing unique about feeling alone, alienated, detached from a sense of meaning, or surrounded by change.  There is nothing unique about feeling love, feeling special, feeling a sense of belonging, and a sense of continuity with the past.

Even atheism has a very long history.  The Carvakas of India pre-date Christ.  It may be that every snowflake is unique, but this does not prevent us from talking about snow.

The Stimulus, another perspective

Ponder if--instead of proposing we spend nearly a trillion dollars on bailing out bankrupt Medicaid programs, fixing highways that weren't broken, and distributing money to corrupt Democrat donors--Paul Krugman had instead proposed that we sacrifice 1,000 goats.

Let us further suppose that, due to obstructionist Republicans, only 500 goats were sacrificed.  Could Krugman not have then continued to argue that the failure to achieve the stated objective of keeping unemployment under 8% resulted entirely from not sacrificing the extra 500 goats?  Could he not continue arguing, week after week, that IF ONLY we had done what he, as the prophet of Zeus demanded, everything would have been fine?

In practical fact, the argument is made that even though the "stimulus" appears to have done nothing but increase our national debt, that things would have been WORSE if we had not done it.

Again, would the argument change in any salient, meaningful way, if the argument were over goat sacrifices?  I don't see that it would.

Take any ritual you want, intended to accomplish anything you want, and you can say that it prevented something worse from happening.  Imagine I took it into my head that the only thing that prevents a meteor from falling on my head is throwing rock candy over my left shoulder every morning and reciting the Hail Mary.   Does not every day that I don't get hit by a meteor further validate my belief?

I wish I could say this were satire, that I were in some respect exaggerating.  But I am not.

And never forget that Keynes argued quite openly for Fascism--albeit without calling it by name--in his most important book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.

I wonder how many people citing his ideas have actually read what he wrote?  I have most of his books on my shelf.

Innocence

I watched "Top Hat" with my youngest last night.  Her verdict?  "THAT'S entertainment."

Here is perhaps the nicest scene in it, certainly my favorite song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrCsyN-fZ94

These sorts of movies, filled with silly stereotypes, witty humor, nice song and dance numbers, elegance, decency, evoke I think for many a bygone era of greater simplicity, innocence, clarity.

But in the same sense that I have said numerous times that Fundamentalism consists in the INVENTION of a past that never existed, I think this nostalgia is misplaced.

Here is what clarified things for me: ponder the lives of your parents and grandparents and great-grandparents, and those of your friends, to the extent you know  any of these stories.

I look at the stories I have been told [and by the way, I would strongly encourage you to videotape your parents and grandparents and ask them to tell you their life story.  They tend to like doing it--although of course you can likely expect some major gaps and dishonesty--and it is interesting], and they are filled with anger, jealousy, infidelity, alcoholism, child abuse, violence, frequent disruptions and heartbreaks, abandonment, poverty, unemployment, drug abuse (remember valium used to be prescribed easily, and speed was available more or less over the counter for a long time, as were other drugs), and despairs which were inconvenient.

This is the era when what we tend to call now depression was called pain and sadness. It was called Life.

Get these stories, if you don't have them--ask your parents and grandparents to discuss the things they don't want to talk about, as it's possible you may succeed (I have found often that blunt requests for honesty sometimes yield blunt and actually true answers)--and ask yourself if that sounds like an easy life.

Ask yourself if these people were genuinely innocent.  Was this a Golden Age?  Was it really that different from our own era, other than that we have much more time to contemplate our problems, and much more space within which to work them out?

Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies make you happy.  They make me happy, at least.  They were and remain perhaps more useful than the entirety of the current psychochemical arsenal.

What do you want?  This is perhaps the question.  This is my question.  Do not think about what you want to avoid, but where you want to go.  Who I am?  Who I choose to become.  This is the existential reality.

I choose Goodness, as I conceive it.  This is my life's mission.

Apothegm

Every authentic life is a rediscovery.

[I may have stolen this: but is that not perfect?]

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Best Case Scenario

I don't remember if I have mentioned this, but perhaps 15 years ago I was certified to teach Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats program.  My license has of course long since expired, and in marketing it I found it to have been trendy for five minutes some time perhaps in the 80's, embraced by a few large corporations like 3M, but mainly ignored.

I would submit that even today the basic idea remains useful.  That idea is that the work of thinking can be broken into parts, represented symbolically by hats.

The Blue Hat is the control hat.  It is why a meeting is being held, and what the problem is that you want to solve.  It controls how long the meeting/interaction happens, and how you decide if a solution or solutions have been reached. [I continue to believe, by the way, that setting up intranet project sites by Hat would be an interesting and useful approach.  You give a group a week or month or on-going access to add anything to any Hat regarding any problem.  This could not but be cumulative, and would represent a more or less standing meeting which would be highly efficient.  Setting up such software would be a good business venture for someone, I think.  OH: an APP.  That's where things are going.]

The Green Hat is generative. It is throwing out all sorts of ideas, without evaluating them first for value.   It recognizes that quite often bad ideas lead directly to good ideas which could not have happened without the bad ideas.

The White Hat is all the information, objective knowledge, that can be spoken about a given topic.  In a political discussion, this would include things like "overall tax receipts went up after both the Reagan and Bush tax cuts".  This is an empirical fact, even if one can argue whether or not the two are linked.  One could dig quite deep in information here if one wanted.  And in most cases, this is likely the quickest and best path to take, particularly in mature areas of human knowledge, like economics.

The Red Hat is how you FEEL about something, a discussion, even about the people conducting the discussion. It is a way to recognize, evaluate, and take into account your gut reactions, which can be both helpful and obstructive.

The Black Hat is all the possible problems with a given idea.  It is the worst case scenarios.

The Yellow Hat, the reason for this post, is all the possible POSITIVES.

Here is an interesting idea when doing visioning work, which I have been doing: write out a Best Case Scenario.  If everything works PERFECTLY, or nearly perfectly, what will happen?  Where will you be?  THIS is what you should be working for.  By definition, it is possible, even if it requires everything working perfectly.

Now, we all know things rarely if ever work perfectly, but here is the value of this: you establish in doing this a baseline ideal, and can view all imperfections as problems which can be dealt with, which can be handled, solved, in order to return to the Best Case Scenario.  This makes problems delays, not deadly.

For me at least, this is proving a hugely beneficial approach.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Progress

My symbol for progress is the turtle.  It came to me the other day.  Ponder: what is the task, but to take a few steps every day in the direction of your dreams?  I came up with a motto perhaps ten years ago: Embrace the Small; Nurture the Slow.  I still believe this.

Oh, as a turtle I too have slept.  But for every sleeping there is an awakening.  And fierce weather does make a difference.  One cannot ask too much of a turtle: merely movement when it is possible, and security when it is not.

But believe in life's little tanks.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fun with language

Has anyone yet proposed we speak of human BECOMINGS? It seems likely . Hell, I may have. But I wanted to be sure.

You cannot not become. What you can do is constantly stop and oppose your spirits natural exuberance, curiosity, and wildness. You can punch it down over and over. And what you become is lonely, irritable, and judgmental.

You can also accept accidents, intuition, and playful confusion, and see where they lead. This is the path of life.

"One carries one signature, self, vocabulary through life, and if you're lucky you play on it and let it grow." Helen Frankenthaler

I love this, except that I think luck has nothing to do with it, while granting some are more endowed with the time and opportunities that support exploration. This is the true value of money.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Creation

Does not every meaningful act of creation consist or even begin in the rejection of a former essence? Is this not the genius of Buddhism, rejecting Essence? And can there be an honest Buddhist who does not reject Buddhism? It is BuuddhismS. There can be no other ways, although the actual ways are infinite.

Does Goodness not consist in a relentless destructions of the selves that coagulate out of s primal murk? Does evil not consist primarily in rejecting the necessity of constant intrapsychic destruction, out of which flows a need for EXTERNALIZING destruction?

My first spirit guide was a set of five circular saws, upon which I have thrown myself countless times. Life IS death. This is their truth.

As an apparent non sequitur, ponder the logistics of moving the Pentagon half an inch.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Fear

It is a commonplace on the Left that the Right deals in FEAR.  Fox deals FEAR.  Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck and etc and the other one deal in FEAR.

But who owns the Global Warming scam, now?  Who fears second hand smoke so much they act like little children when people light up in public?  Who is terrified of mercury poisoning, and overall environmental catastrophe?  Who panics when they find out there is aluminum in their deodorant?  Who fears families and overpopulation?  Who needs there to be racists so badly that they manufacture them out of whole cloth when needed ?  Who needs there to be a conspiracy of the rich to keep the poor down?  Who invokes fear CONSTANTLY?  Well, among others, the Left.

Fear propaganda is easy.  It is used on both sides.  Where and when it is appropriate really depends on the context--some of it is justified, on both sides; some not, again on both sides.  But to say that the Right has a monopoly on it is, like ALL left wing propaganda, very intentionally misleading, and injurious to sane, rational, goal oriented discussion.

And obviously the Left invokes "Science", as if that were a thing, an oracle, a sort of All Knowing Being, and as if the manufacture of alleged consensus constitutes fact, when it obviously doesn't: not in theory, not in practice.  Phrenology anyone?  Do you remember that the German universities were the best in the world (the American Ph.D system is taken from their model) when the Fascists took over, and that their BEST biologists by and large bought into Hitler's use of Darwinian Natural Selection to justify and amplify his racism?

The Right invokes History, which is the same thing. It is the science of human behavior, which has to be understood as a matter of probabilities, and interests, both conflicting and aligned. One can see patterns happening, over and over, and can explain how and why reasonably accurately, if one is not trying to shoehorn data into a predefined conclusion.

Both Science and History can and have been perverted.  Both have uses.  Their utility depends on the goodwill and honesty of those using them.

Goals

I was laying in bed, pondering what to do. I am currently blessed with time, which is a luxury I would gladly pay good money for (and I suppose I am, in foregone business opportunities).  A voice came in my head saying "Get up and go run 26 miles".  Now, I am not in any shape at the moment to run 5 miles, much less 26.

So, I ran it through my head, and watched a beginning and a failure, and a self recrimination, and a distancing.  And I asked that voice: what is this?  And it said: a disengagement.

And it occurred to me that this is how many people go about setting goals.  It is how I have gone about setting goals.  You SEE it in your mind, but it doesn't have any life to it, any texture, any inherent vigor.  And it occurred to me that for me at least I need to feel a connection with the goal, that it has a life, that it is a child of sorts, needing nurturing.  I need to feel the growth inherent in it.  I need to feel a stewardship and responsibility.

I do not think it is overestimating the case to say that the points of life are love and goal achievement, which is to say purposive and effective work.  Freud got that at least right.

I have of course studied NLP.  I know the sensory modalities.  This sense, I think, goes beyond that, although I am clearly a Kinesthetic in most cases, and yes I know the words.

Sleep

I really think sleep is the on/off of the human psyche.  If we posit that we regularly need "updates" and upgrades in our deepest emotional recesses, sleep is where it happens.  There will come a time when people do not remember this, but I remember when the first thing tech support asked you to do when your computer crashed was turn it on and off.

If you want to grow, if you want to prosper, sometimes you need long, languorous, outwardly useless sleep. You need it sometimes in large quantities, especially in the winter.  We need to be more like animals, because in large measure we still are.  Animals don't live by clocks outside their bodies.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Solitude

It is not true, as some say, that the worst is being alone with others.  The worst is being alone by yourself.  It is being with a voice within you that tells you negative things, which resolutely fails to give you support and comfort, which dislikes you.  This is the worst thing.

And if you fix this, everything else sorts itself out.  You CANNOT be alone with others, because you are never alone.  And you are much better able to find people with whom to connect.

I have odd and very abstract ways of expressing self pity.  I am this way, because I fight it constantly.  My principle is not "Be Happy", but REJECT self pity.  This in no way assumes it doesn't continue to come up.  It merely means you give it no space, no breathing room.

And persevering is both a negative and positive formulation.  It is positive in that you continue, but having begun, it really consists in not quitting, which also is a negative formulation.  It is what you do NOT do.

Only curiosity is truly positive.  Two Don'ts, and one Do.

In my life I have experienced many failures, many rejections, not least because I have tried and done so much.  I have ventured often, and as greatly as I could.  This has given me skin like leather, and I realize now my life has been a sort of "wax on/wax off" preparation for journeys I need to undertake.  It has been a kindness, a boon, a tonic.

Nothing is so, but our imaginings make it so.  There is not and never has been a NECESSARY linear relation between stimulus and response, other than in the most gross motor sense.

"Life is what you make it.  Always has been.  Always will be."  Grandma Moses.

Originality

It continues to be a source of amazement to me how even groups existing in radical discontinuity with "mainstream" society can become profoundly conservative.  You have thousands of Buddhists out there saying regularly "if you see the Buddha on the road kill him", who punish those who take this idea seriously.  Ayn Rand preached radical individualism, but exiled all those who thought differently from her.

The theoretical need for innovation and dramatically personal experience, radical honesty, is subsumed within a larger emotional need for conformity.  Courage is swallowed whole, digested, and dies in the process.  No one sees or says a word.  This happens every day.

We exist in fields.  I believe these fields are certainly psycho-social, and reach into the realms of evolution and biology.  In my view, they also exist in a much more "spooky" ways spoken of by Jung, Sheldrake and others.  We need these fields on a very primitive level.

But fields have levels too.  In order to reach higher, you must leave something behind. You cannot bring the bottom of the hill with you for comfort.  You must understand the need for the Middle, the "having begun, but not arrived".  And this takes courage.  Very few have the ability to resist the siren songs of being sucked from one field into another.  You might trade one for another better one, but very few have the meta-skill of avoiding these entanglements.  First and foremost, it requires a capacity for solitude, for walking alone, with no reasonable prospect of being truly seen or understood, because in many cases I (changing voice) cannot yet see where I am going, or why I am doing what I am doing.  I trust, only. I have faith, only.  I feel a sense of duty.  I have the soul of a soldier, and this is my job, even though I cannot know what its cost may be.

Another meme one sees is that you should go where there are no footprints, and leave them.  This is a theoretical ideal.  But how many people merely mouth this truism, and consider saying it--repeating it--to be the same as having set out alone?

Radically original people are misfits because they cannot be categorized.  You are not an Is, but a Becoming, and most people fear beginnings whose ends they cannot see.

I would say this, though: virtually every large accomplishment in human history was accomplished one step at a time by people who had no way of knowing where their beginning would truly lead.  They simply saw a need, and set out to find an answer.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Psychophysical Integration


Several studies have probed the emotions of people along the political spectrum, and found that disgust in particular is tightly linked to political orientation. People who react strongly to disgusting images are more likely to sit on the political right and show concern for what they see as bodily and spiritual purity. They tend to oppose abortion and gay marriage, for example. But how ingrained is it?


Montague says they can predict with 95 per cent accuracy where a person is on the liberal-conservative spectrum just by showing them one picture.
Any regular readers I may have will recall that one of my preoccupations over the past six months or so has been integrating gut instincts--the knowledge of the gut, which is often hidden or redirected by trauma--into useful avenues of knowledge.

The way I read this study--and it warrants pondering--is that conservatives, in retaining the capacity for innate, instinctual, disgust, also retain a capacity for gut level decision making, and the reconciliation of instinct with reason, by which I mean the capacity, ideally, to listen to both.

If you have no response, obviously, you cannot integrate that response over any period of time.

It is a commonplace that sociopaths show little or no empathy with regard to the suffering of others.  It is, to me, a commonplace that the political left has overlooked and excused the most DISGUSTING crimes imaginable.  They do this BOTH by an aptitude for distraction, and, apparently, because they have lost the capacity to listen to their bodies wisdom.  This is how moral imbeciles like Van Jones and Cass Sunstein can continue to look at the history of totalitarian regimes and see anything but horror.

Or ponder being unable to react in any way to the image of unborn fetuses being ground up for useless medical treatments?  As far as I have been able to determine, fetal stem cells are in almost all cases rejected by all but very close family members.  Only ADULT stem cells seem to do any good, and those seem to do a great deal of good.

I have often said that politics can for many be seen as a SUBSTITUTE for a conscience.  Left wing politics in no small measure exist to reassure people incapable of normal--for our species, seen purely biologically--reactions to scenes of primitive psychological importance.

And what do you do when you lack something?  You overcompensate.  I will posit that left wing politics are the Monster Trucks of people with tiny moral capacities.

Obviously, European thought has evolved past ACTING on primitive impulses.  We did after all come up with the idea of enshrining the notion of universal human rights in a founding document.  But there is nothing in granting equality before the law--and PRACTICING equality before the law--which requires us to abdicate our more primitive instinctual drives, and using them as way-finders for our own individual moral integration.

As Peter Levine says over and over in his books, the loss of the gut leads to a loss of a sense of self.  We could perhaps even posit the loss of disgust as a defining attribute of the worst aspects of modernity.  Seen in this light, the atrocities of the National Socialists and their Communist brethren make perfect sense: their sense of  "disgust" was abstract, and thus functionally useless in directing them morally, or providing countervailing individualisms.

They claim disgust so vehemently, they clamor so loudly for the rectification of injustices, precisely because these emotions are LACKING.  They make up in drama what they lack intrapsychically.  This is the reason they feel no emotional connection with concrete outcomes, why they feel no need to learn from their mistakes and change their behavior to help the people they claim to care about: they don't in fact care about anything but generating strong feelings to mask their inner incapacity to be fully human.

This is a rich mine.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Movies

Saw "The Hobbit", part 3.  I don't like the Hobbit movies.  I like the Tolkien universe, but the Hobbit was a modest little book, intended more or less as an appetizer.  It had, by my recollection, far less drama, and far more fun.  I won't be buying any of them, because they simply dilute my respect for the substantial accomplishments of the Lord of the Rings, which I do own and watch periodically.

I will offer this: dragons will not give up their gold without a fight; and always remember that even when you win what you thought was so important, it may turn out to have been of little value after all.  The Way requires both commitment and agility.

Theory of Everything: Atheism virtually from the first sentence.  "Cosmology is a religion for those who don't believe in God."  And quantum physics SUPPORTS God better than General Relativity Theory did (it has been cast on the waste bin of intellectual history as a final explanation of what is "really real").

Then they go and insert liberal socialism in there.  Oi.

Being a somewhat proud contrarian, I will conclude by posting a paper posted some years ago doubting the Big Bang Theory.  I have not studied up on this topic in detail--cosmology is not one of my topics, other than a basic familiarity with the ideas and problems--but it is my HUNCH that something closer to Thomas Gold's Steady State Theory will win in the end, if intellectual diversity prevails over dogma.

I was reading another article the other day with yet ONE MORE way to finesse a materialistic universe out of the math of quantum physics, but I fail to see how being a clever mathematician merely making internally consistent but unverifiable faith claims constitutes science at all.  String Theory is not science, and neither is the new version of it.

At the end of the day, people operate within the context of cultural paradigms.  "Science" is both a theoretical ideal for work, AND, more practically, a concrete set of personal relations which can color everything with unperceived subjectivity and error.  Scientists astray are fish who do not believe in water.