Sunday, May 31, 2015

Add Harvard

I like the word "erledigt".  It is a German word for "done" or "finished', but has a strong tone of competence and finality.  Done, and done right. You can trust in this done-ness.

I in the process of erledigen the mails to Harvard.  I just sent one to Larry Summers, clearly one of the power elite.  I sent emails to a number of Nobel Laureates at the University of Chicago.

And you might say "it's pretty ballsy, sending emails to these people telling them they have missed the forest for the trees--or implying that they are a part of a conspiracy to end what they call "global Capitalism" using trickery"--and all I can say is: yes, it is.

So what?  The fucking Emperor has no fucking clothes. If I am the only one who can see both this fact and propose what to me is the only rational solution, then so be it. I am accustomed to solitude, and to being misunderstood.  Neither frightens me.

My IQ is 150 or so. It's high, but not super-high.  Most of these people likely test significantly higher than me.

But I would argue that courage and imagination and openness, so-called "Beginner's Mind" is of primary importance, once you reach a certain level of intelligence.

Vanity and habit and cowardice fuck so many things up.

Edit: Schon erledigt.

Let the silence begin.

I may never hear a word from anyone, but I tried.  And I will try again.  And again.

There is a scene in Gates of Fire where they practice "tree fucking", which is pushing with all their might against an immovable object.  Nothing can be done there.  But it is good training for things which DO move.

Email to Economists

As may be obvious, I am a bit stubborn. I can fail all day every day for years on end.  I can and often have persisted for long, long periods in the face of unrelenting criticism and personal attack.

One of my on-again, off-again projects is trying to get a professional economist to take my ideas seriously.  Towards that end, I will send them emails from time to time.  I've sent letters or emails to the faculties of Stanford, Yale, Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago, Yale, and Princeton (except Paul Krugman: he is an asshole, and clearly beyond any hope of redemption).

This is the latest iteration of this email, which I tweak from time to time.

Professor X,


I have developed what I think is a unique perspective on our financial system and am soliciting feedback from credentialed economists. If it would make a difference, I would be willing to make a $200 donation to a charity of your choice in exchange for a substantive response, if only a short one. My concern is with my children's future, and social justice.

The logic of my idea is quite simple: anyone who creates money creates nothing of intrinsic value, but is still able to make a claim on our actual, material wealth. It is quite appropriate to call this theft, even though we are of course long accustomed to it.
I would contrast this with what I would call true Capitalism, in which the only way to make money is to provide a good or service people want and are able to afford. As we all know, per capita productivity has been increasing for some time, but wages have not. This requires an answer, which I think relates to the system as a whole.

In making loans banks create money which had not existed. This places more money into circulation, with a resulting decline in the overall value of existing money. We call this inflation, and expect some amount of it every year, since deflation is feared.
Deflation is feared because in conditions of widespread debt the amount of money to be repaid--the labor hours required to satisfy it--rises steadily, resulting in higher rates of default, and thus higher rates of banking insolvency, which propagated enough, generate economic troubles.

However, if there were no public or private debt, then a steady increase in the value of money would be a good thing. We see many people asking why wages have been stagnant or even declining for the past 15 years or so. My view is that the purchasing power of money has been transferred via monetary inflation from workers and corporations to bankers and governments. The sheer quantity of money in existence has increased HUGELY since 1981 or so (M2 at least five-fold), as has the wealth controlled by the worlds largest financial institutions. The two are obviously related.

I propose that in the coming economic collapse--it appears overwhelmingly likely both that our debt will soon be downgraded, and that this will have vast rippling effects throughout our economy (and this is assuming we are not attacked economically)--a plan be proposed somewhat similar to the Chicago Plan of the 1930's, with some significant differences.

Specifically, I propose that the Fed be brought in-house and made an accountable and controllable instrument of government. I propose that it then use its power to create money to pay off ALL debts in the United States, public and private. All mortgages, all cars, all credit cards, the national debt, State debt, municipal debt. Everything. This will transfer wealth from the banks to the people. In the short term this will of course be hugely inflationary, but I think things would settle down within a month or two; and at that, far quicker and with much, much less suffering than would be the case with a prolonged Depression.

Then we end the Fed, require all banks to be 100% reserve (they would make money by loaning the investor's principle, by offering check cashing and account services for a fee, and by warehousing money and other valuables), and never alter the quantity of dollars in circulation again. This should then, with productivity increases, gradually cause an increase in the purchasing power of the dollar. This, in turn, will enable self financing of new business, and completely eradicate business cycles.

My view is that in a just, properly ordered financial system people should be able to make a good living on 20 hours of work a week. Health care, retirement, unemployment: all will quickly cease to be problems.

I have a longer treatment of this topic posted on the internet, but I think the factors involved are quite simple. Self evidently, this is a radical plan, but in my view we are facing desperate straits at some point in the next 15 years or so, if not sooner.

Please let me know what you think. If you don't have time to respond, I would be happy to hear from a graduate student, or anyone who might be able to render a knowledgeable opinion. Thanks for your time!!!

Regards,

[The Beast]
[Decent School Pedigree]



P.S. As you might imagine, nobody replies to these. I doubt most even open them. The reason I continue is that this is an enormously important topic. If you have any feedback as to how I might more productively solicit feedback or discussion, please let me know. There is no ulterior motive other than a general amelioration of the human condition, and the advancement of true fairness. This confuses nearly everyone.

Fetish Clubs in Berlin

I was watching a video of the bassist for the Scorpions (Rock you like a Hurricane, etc.) saying that he once attended a party where people were killed for entertainment.  TMZ treats it like a joke: http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?tid=51997  This was in 2012, so it's an old story.

Most people nowadays are incapable of taking anything seriously: not their own lives, not those of others.

But they also mentioned a robust "fetish" club scene in Berlin.  Here is one sample link: http://bear-rikers-berlin.de/berlins-bdsm-scene/

At the risk of stating the obvious, Berlin was the epicenter of the Nazis, and much of the sexual and emotional energy that gave rise to the Nazis is apparently still there.  Dire Straits had a song about it 25 years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neBIzWZDaP4  He talks about SS caps, and S & M for fun.

What I am feeling is that my gut instincts are correct.  There are groups of evil in this world.  There are people who can find NO WAY OUT--for his part, Sartre clearly was not able to--and this can only lead to power lust.  That and suicide are the only answers to this illness.  Absolute emotional solitude is a given.  Only the shared exercise of power relieves it, and then only temporarily.  It is a mania that cannot heal itself.  Only growth can do that.  Only Goodness can do that.  Otherwise, it is an endless and ultimately very dull circle.  The Time Warp.

What I am finding is that my shaking is fading.  Fear is falling away from me.  I am developing an indifference to life, not in the sense that I am unengaged with it--but that the thought of dying doesn't frighten me.

At the end of the day, all fear is fear of death.  There are deaths and there is Death, but they are all of a kind.  When my fear falls away finally, then I will sleep peacefully.  It seems that is the only solution: and it is a good solution.  I like it.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Did you know Roots was BS?

Same idea, developed further

If you want to pursue spirituality in any form, I would argue that what you want, in the end, is a felt SENSE of the presence of God, of Spirit, of Light, of inherent Goodness, of Love.  Does it not then make the most sense to cultivate the senses?  You can't think your way to a sense of anything, merely to a thought about a sense of something.

I am good and bad about my Kum Nye practice.  Some weeks I do it daily, but others I don't do it at all, because I am doing it ALL DAY.  I spend most of the day, every day, alone.  If you want to increase your self understanding, I would encourage you to try it.  But what I have been doing is allowing feelings to come up, and then expanding them, filling them with light, and letting them be. I stay with feelings, off and on, for hours at a time. As should be obvious, I have very powerful focus and ability to concentrate.

There is a large form of my terror.  I was having what I will call traumatic intrusions yesterday, in which my mother tied me to a bed and gagged me, because she "loved" me so much. I share this only because it is actually a sign of sanity, of increasing clarity.  The image was always there, just hidden.  It was the REALITY when I was a baby. I was fully helpless.  I could neither talk nor move, and I lived in terror of her.

But I am increasingly fearless.  I went into these sensations, and ballooned them up, filled them with space, and yes I can see this sense, floating massive across the sky.  But nothing in it is hard.  Nothing in it can hurt me.  I am beyond it.

And I feel clearly that learning the PROCESS of doing this is the key to liberating myself from the cage of reflexive reactions, and trapped in cycles of emotion.

With regard to that last term, I was contemplating the time warp in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  That movie is and remains in my view quite emblematic of the nihilism of the 70's, which has since put on a suit, and is running this country.

The basic plot element that concerns me here is that Dr. Frankenfurter lives in a circle.  He does his demonic work of reducing everything to physical sensations--and I would emphasize here that when I use the word "sense" I include far more than merely pleasurable physical sensations--reaches an end point, then goes back in time, in a circle.  He only appears to move, but he is in reality stuck.

And I got to thinking about what I might term "Ritual Motion".  The thing about trauma is it encapsulates some part of you in a moment, in a wax museum, in a scene in a horror film that plays over and over and over.  But outwardly you move. You go to school, and get a job, maybe you have kids, and buy a house, and water your lawn every Wednesday and Saturday.

Many people never live down their trauma, their horror, their shame.  They get on, but they never get over it.  Increasingly, I look at everyone on every street as "walking wounded". The meanest son of a bitch you ever met has a story.  The biggest fuck up you ever met has a story.

In terms of its effect on me, my favorite Bruce Springsteen album is his darkest: Darkness on the Edge of Town.  He has a line in there that I've always liked:

Everybody's got a secret, Sonny, 
Something that they just can't face, 
Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it, 
They carry it with them every step that they take. 
Till some day they just cut it loose 
Cut it loose or let it drag 'em down, 
Where no one asks any questions, 
or looks too long in your face, 
In the darkness on the edge of town. 

Here's the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg0ekQBmzKs 

So where the hell was I going?  I lit a cigar, so somewhere deep, for me.

In graduate school, I read a lot of the work of a French literary critic/theorist named Rene Girard, who wrote a lot about sacrifice and religious violence.  The gist of his ideas was that sacrifice was a way of creating an "outside" within a homogeneous social order.   That's greatly simplified, but let's run with it.

We all have this existential task of figuring out who we are, and what that implies about what we should do.  In terms of what is written in the stars and rocks, there is no instruction manual.  I would argue that we can and should use the testimony of those who have died and returned (NDE's), the testimony of mediums, and the direct information of spirits who manifest in this world.  These things are all, I am convinced, quite real.  All tell us that love is the answer.

But we are part animal.  Some part of us wants to tear things apart and eat them.  And true love is an enormously advanced emotion, in terms of psychosocial development.  Most people are trapped by one or many traumas, that for most of history could not even be labeled such, at least in civilizations that existed as ritual orders.

So here is the thing: ritual evolved both to centralize and control the impulse to kill and eat, through sacrifice, through ritual violence (which is seen in every religion I have studied and of course central to even Christianity); and to create a sense of motion in a very stable social order in which full emotional freedom of expression was impossible.  Holiday=Holy Day.

We do not have true rituals in the modern world.  We did not understand their importance, and called them irrational. I think, though, that we could see war as a ritual, and a particularly important one in the cults of Communism and Fascism, where the paradigmatic Communist war is against the citizens, and that of Fascism hated others in other countries.  Fascism is much more human than Communism, because at least there is an inside, although of course both are insane, until we understand them as large scale reactions to important and unmet emotional needs.

So someone has this trauma inside them, and no good way to get it out.  You can watch horror movies.  You can play video games.  You can listen to appallingly violent and dissonant music.

The executions in the French--I am going to call it the Confusion--were ritualistic.  They were popular.  They appealed to the gut sense, the animal instincts.  It would not be off to call it mass human sacrifice.

Everywhere you look, there are people who have within them a taste for killing, for death.  Just look at what people watch in large numbers on TV every night.  It is not just about solving the murders, about appreciating cleverness.  It is about watching the murders, and participating vicariously in them.

This is the human condition.

And I continue to have the sense that forms of Satanism appear logically necessary, for people unable to creatively grow beyond these contradictions.  In its simplest form, it is nothing more or less than feeding our gut energies as they exist, rather than transforming them by connecting them to higher energies.  [have you read about this: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/charlie-charlie-challenge-vatican-exorcist-5783395 .  It is kids seeking some transcendent reality, in a world which is focused on the machine-like aspects of our existence, which everywhere tells them that only evanescent pleasures and death are real.]

It must be a circular process.  The rituals must be done regularly.  You have your outwardly normal life, then a liminal phase preparing for a sacrificial ritual of some sort (and it could be a "sacrifice" of common virtues, common decency, through profanity, blasphemy, use of intoxicants, grotesque sexuality, etc.), then a climax, which releases the pent up energies for a time, then a return.

But there is no true emotional motion.  There is and can be no learning, no growth. It merely creates the APPEARANCE of motion, by transiting a circle, and pretending it is a line.

It is a paradox of human nature that we both fear change and fear cages.  What is so terrifying about a cage?  You cannot move freely.  What is so terrifying about change?  It CONSISTS in moving freely, in new ways, along unconditioned, newly discovered paths.

I think I have said what I needed to say.  I will need to smoke some more on all this.  None of these ideas are particularly new to me, but ideas have textures, and soft scents.  They have forms which are malleable like mists.  They both exist out there, and as watered growths within us.  It is good to revisit them and see what is new, what is happening, where they have traveled and what they can tell us.

And it seems obvious to me that humanities task is to evolve a post-Ritual order.  The thirst for contained realities and the task of self liberation are at odds. It may be that we devolve into a new ritual order, but my hope is that we can learn enough, fast enough, to avoid that.  I will do my part to help in that process.  I am one man, but I am one man.  There can be no other unit for the New to enter the world.

And to make a practical, concrete suggestion, I will encourage you to go here: http://kumnyeyoga.com/

Start the practices.  It is an odd fact of my personal history that I bought the two original books back in the mid-1980's, and carried them all over in my travels, but never really did anything with them.  Only once I started SOMETHING flowing with Holotropic Breathwork was I finally able to start doing that work, and I've continued to need alcohol to have the emotional strength to keep doing it.  That need is slowly fading, thank God.

Tarthang Tulku rarely appears in public.  I suspect even the people who live at the retreat centers rarely if ever see him.  He has done his work.  He has created bodies of practice which will work on anyone to open them up to the possibility of spiritual growth.  Everything he can teach in words is out there.  One path forward is an open secret. I do think the whole thing can and should be marketed much more aggressively.  I have never met anyone who has heard of it, and have only seen it mentioned once, in Peter Levine's book.  One feels the sense of hope in the books, that if the world only embraced this practice, it would be transformed.  But people are stupid.

Try not to be stupid.  This might be a good motto for all of us today.

Buddhism

I think if you have one book on Buddhism--of any sort--on your shelf, that is sufficient.  The task is to master desire and attachment, and neither of those exist or arise at the cognitive level.  They arise in sensations, and that is where their cessation must be found.

And if I posit that thoughts, too, arise from a non-thought place--from sensations and emotions, except when thinking is needed as a tool to solve some concrete problem--then that place is where you must look to control them.

I was thinking last night about the process of what I guess gets called mindfulness meditation, where you focus on just sitting, or on your breath, or on a mantra, and try to keep your mind clear, letting thoughts arise and then pass on.  And it felt to me like you are taking the output of the end of a tunnel, and trying to use that to work backwards, such that if you don't feed thought, the part of you which creates thought will in turn cease creating them, being malnourished.

This could work, but I also read that meditation quickly becomes stressful for many people, and it is easy to see why: you are not fundamentally liberating the trapped energy, because you are not starting with sensation and emotion and learning to allow it to flow freely.

My reasonably erudite opinion, therefore, is that there is no faster or better path to the heart of Buddhism than Kum Nye.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ghosts

I think I am making progress.  It occurred to me I am a ghost.  We are all ghosts.  We are insubstantial, misty, in constant flux.  If I ask you who you are, you might poke your arm.  That is a correct answer, but only a very partial one. You might tell me your occupation, ideas, personality quirks.  Also correct, but also incomplete.

As I am increasingly arguing, we are characterized by both an Unconscious related to our animal instincts, AND an unconscious related to our spiritual side.  We exist in the middle, stupid.

And we are ghosts in machines.  It is our task to learn to operate the machines, but it much more our task to learn that we are ghosts.

This is the essence, in my view, of the Buddhist Anatta/Anatman doctrine, the "No Self" creed.  Your self is so much more vast than you can possibly imagine, so much more in flux and change and evolution than you can imagine, that you may as well say that on this level it doesn't even exist, and needs to be discarded; this is particularly true since anything we can think or reason at this level can only contain and hinder us.  If I say "that", but you can't see it, then I must leave you behind.

On a related note, I have made a major change, as these things go in my world.  I don't change avatars or names.  I have had the same Facebook avatar since changing it once when I first signed up however many years ago.  I have had the same handle here.  But I changed it, to one of my psychological/spiritual animals. I  discussed all this several years ago, and have no desire to rehash it here.

I grew up in a physically and emotionally violent home.  It was not the quantity of violence, but the quality.  I am very sensitive, and I have always seen more than was likely good for me.  I have many, many pictures from all ages where I am the only one looking at the camera, because I was the only one who sensed it.  My very first prized book as a child, which I perused over and over and over and over, was a book of World War 2 weapons. I had a G.I. Joe and a Lone Ranger, and I always idolized the military.

Even as an adult, I would seek out military metaphors. I would beat myself up to get things done.  I was an early and militant adopter of CrossFit, because of the militaristic ethos. I may in fact bear some blame for some of the less attractive cultural elements there.

And I have often thought about doing things like the Bataan Death March (in New Mexico every March), not so much because I want to honor the soldiers--although they certainly deserve it--but because it would be painful and difficult for me.  All my life I have faced pain and difficulty, and sort of internalized a need to think about it.

But I really don't want to do the Death March.  That is why I haven't done it.  We all do the things we actually want to do, and don't do the things we don't.  This is a little spoken truth of life.  And it's OK to not want things as much as you think you ought to.  Desire works the way it works, not the way we might prefer it to work.

All of this to say I don't think I have anything to prove.  I know what it is like to spend years fighting on in despair with no hope.  I know what it is like to have to use a powerful will each and every day just to get through it.  I don't know what it is like to get shot at, but I do know what it is like to face things which scare the shit out of you, and what it is like to do it daily for long periods of time.  Terror is terror, even if it is rational in one case, and completely (outwardly) irrational in another.

Long story short, I am tired of aspiring to butt heads. I am tired of anger and violence, and using conflict to sharpen my spirits and take me back home for a while.  I will continue to say my say, and I'm sure reply to the innumerable idiots and shitheads on the internet.  But no longer as Mountain Goat.

Work

I was trying to decide if I should get some "New Science of Mind" thing--which I doubt has anything truly new at all--and it hit me that I don't want to improve my thinking.  I want to improve the part of me that throws off thinking, that projects it, that generates it, like a fountain.  Thought is an outgrowth of something rooted in sensation and emotion.

If we think of all our possible affective states as the frequencies on a radio, I want access to all of them, all the time, and you can't do that consciously.  You can teach yourself to tune into certain frequencies.  You can pinpoint the positive self talk at 102.9, and that is all good, but that leaves a lot missing.

I want my work to be sensual, in the sense that I want to develop a relationship with it of friendship, companionship, comfort, play.  In America particularly so much material exists which teaches you how to succeed, how to set and achieve goals.  But it seems absolutely obvious to me that if you learn to love work, success is a foregone conclusion. I have taught both my kids that any activity they can learn to love, they will eventually excel at.

So what I'm realizing is its not even the process, but what you bring to the process, WHO you bring to the process, who you are, deep within.  Something within me seems to be coalescing which can bring something good to the table of life.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Question

How is it that those who are concerned that government can be bought want more government?

If I currently have to go to the butcher shop, produce shop, dairy shop, and bread shop to get my food, is it not MORE efficient if I can go one place and get everything I want?

People who demonize money makers are doing one of two things: 1) planning to destroy them, and thus the economy, aka Communism; or 2) put the competition out of business so they can make fat profits with no competition, aka Fascism.  Both of these models are anti-free market, and thus exist as polar opposites of true Liberalism.

Motivation

I think those of us who were brought up in the operant conditioning model of parenting--who mainly were punished for actual or alleged failings, usually physically, but certainly by yelling too--find it hard to make peace with the voice in our heads telling us what to do.  It is the voice of a parent who was often cruel, and at least in my case completely lacking in empathy and understanding.

I should lose weight.  I can stand to lose 45 pounds of fat, which would make me a lean, mean 225 (my lean body mass is around 200).  But what I find is some part of me rebels every time I get serious about diet. It doesn't like being told what to do.  That stentorian voice breeds resistance, which is overcome by force.  When this is an intrapsychic conflict is involved, that force is will, which as I have noted repeatedly wears out eventually.

There are ways to deal with this.  I continue to pursue personal growth, and have decided to try visualization again, but I did want to point out that in my view a PRINCIPLE task of life is learning to be on easy speaking terms with, to be friends with, the processes of learning, growth, and mastery.

I hearken back again to John Wooden, who every day pursued perfection gradualistically but passionately.  He taught his young men how to put on socks.  He not only taught perfect guarding, but taught himself how to TEACH guarding, and how to develop better and better drills for it.  He was not just perfecting how to PLAY basketball, but how to COACH it, which included motivation.  He was perfecting how to perfect the process.  If he had done anything else, he would have seen equal success.

This should be the model for all of us, in my view.  He was very healthy psychologically, or at least that is my clear impression.  Could he have done more?  Of course.  I would have added spiritual disciplines.  But if you DO add those, and take his process, you can scarcely do better.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lara Croft, Part 2

Wow. That was one of the worst nights sleep I can remember.  I think I dozed for about 15 minutes about 3am and again for about 30 minutes around 5.  Surprisingly, I feel pretty good, but there are lessons to be learned.

First and foremost, I am going to hypothesize that video games are a method for dealing with anxiety by consciously invoking it, then creating situations of mastery.  The fight or flight response gives us the power/fear dichotomy, does it not?  I think this seems reasonable.

As Lara, I kept getting killed in really unpleasant ways, which made me mad, which made me go again.  As anyone who has played video games can readily attest, some levels are just damn hard, and you have to do them repeatedly, at least if you are an old geezer like me.  I started playing about 5pm, after pouring myself some tea and feeding my dog, and I awoke from my spell about midnight.  I don't think I walked the dog, and the tea was cold.

That is a powerful focus.

What I want to say about it, though, is it is not play.  It is not the reconciliation of the social instinct with the hunter instinct.  It both creates and provides the solution for acute anxiety.  This is why it is so addictive.  When you finally get through a level, it is a huge relief, but then you want to do it again.  And again.  It fills you with energy, which is why I think I'm not that sleepy, despite having something less than 2 hours of sleep.

But what you are NOT doing is learning to deal with the anxieties of real life in an appropriate way. I was feeling very keenly the  passage of time yesterday.  I was clearing out old clothes and art projects and the like from my kids room, and going down memory lane.  I am getting older.  So too are they.  Their lives are in front of them.  This is a common enough happening for people of my certain age.

And it occurs to me that NOBODY wants to do this mourning, wants to deal with this change, but it is a fact of life.  It is a fact of life if we believe in God and if we don't.  It is a fact of life if we have a fundamentally optimistic mindset, or if we are pessimists.  The former in both cases make it easier, but not effortless.

We have to--I have to--throw myself in the stream of life and let it carry me along.  I have to accept it. This is my task.  And what I did was short circuit that process somewhat yesterday.  I have had more than my share of sadness and change and bereavement.  Much, much more.  But that does not change the facts of the matter.  Happiness is courage, true courage.

I can't say or tell where all these video games are leading, what the long term effects of social isolation and the weird sexual expressions that pornography (that is one addiction that has never tempted me) likely causes will be.

What I know is that the future exists in the future, and that I am capable of living in the moment contentedly and in peace, and can commit myself to doing what I can to build a better future, knowing that I may fail--we all may fail--but waiting to feel that grief, to feel that anxiety, until it actually comes.

As far as me playing these games, I am going to have to ponder if I want this energy in my life.  In small doses, these games are supposedly good for your brain, but me being me, I am going to periodically binge on them, and I have to wonder if Lumosity isn't sufficient.  Of course, I have the Kinect and some dance games.  That might be fun.  It would be at least more social.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Lara Croft

So I finished Assassin's Creed 4, which set up a dichotomy between the authority loving Templars, who had a secret surveillance weapon that allowed them to spy on anybody at any time, and the Assassins, who were understood to be more or less anarchists, although of course the game was not overly developed philosophically.  Not too hard to read commentary on current events in there.

But I was feeling agitated today.  I am starting to engage with the world, and it feels weird.  I allowed myself to disengage after nearly a days good work.  I started up Tomb Raider.  It starts up nearly immediately with very macabre images, with dead bodies hanging upside down everywhere, corpses and skulls everywhere.  I don't know if this is a feature of this series, but it was a bit disturbing to see the imaginative outputs of some very creative and probably young people.

Then I got to thinking about it.  In the game thus far I have seen perhaps 200 bodies, of people who were killed by some sort of sacrificial cult.  That may be on the low side.  Some of these scenes were quite over the top.  We react with horror to sacrificial cults, to human sacrifice.

But we killed some 100,000 Iraqis.  The number may be higher, or it may be lower.  But it was oceanic compared to even the awful scenes in this game.

And there was a lot of religious imagery, Buddhist and East Asian iconography, and it struck me that most of humanity has been crazy for most of human history.  War is craziness, but it has been a feature of human life for all of history.  History was CREATED to chronicle a war.

I get sometimes at a state I suppose the Existentialists would call authentic.  I feel keenly the shortness of life, the perishability of all relationships, and everything we build, and the constant possibility of the eruption of atavism into the order we think we have built.  Our animal natures are unseen by most, and fully tamed by virtually none.

And it struck me what a perfect thing it was that the Buddha came upon a method for NOT being crazy.  Very few of us value the knowledge that is handed to us on a silver platter daily.

I can honestly say I take my Kum Nye practice seriously.  I do the work.  I try to focus.  I try to learn the lessons.  But I can do better.

And I just threw the game away.  The game creators derived far too much pleasure in killing Lara in grotesque ways.

The lesson here, though, is that humanity has always been crazy, at least most of it.  It may be that some tribes of people for periods of time have not been crazy.  The Australian Aboriginals, and maybe some Native American tribes, and some African tribes, and some Asian Indian tribes, etc: some of them may have been largely sane.

But kings are insane. War and violence are insane.  Being stuck in a ritual order is insane.  Being other than happy, connected with people, and engaged with life is insane.

And I think about our troops and the wars we have fought.  I support our troops, but something in me has popped as far as wanting to emulate them.  All wars are tragedies.

We need to secure our borders, harden our grid to an EMP, rationalize our financial markets, develop an effective missile defense system, and vastly increase our HumInt capabilities.  And then we need to bring everyone home. I'm fine with the fleets being out there, but everyone else needs to look after themselves. It somebody attacks us, we hit them so hard nobody thinks about it again any time soon.

But particularly once you realize 9/11 was much larger than we have been told, and that beyond any doubt government investigators both suppressed information and outright lied to get the conclusions they did, then much of the past decade makes a whole lot less sense.

Obvious truth

You really do need to clean out the past to make room for the future.

Being a soldier

As I've said in many ways, directly and indirectly, I identify strongly with the values of duty, honor and courage.  Going the extra mile, and the mile after that, and the mile after that, because it is my job. Now, nobody assigned me this job.  I volunteered, for the simple reason that THE WORK NEEDS TO BE DONE.

Every day, without exception, I wake up trying to solve problems, trying to understand myself, trying to heal, trying to perceive something new about the world, and to dream something new about how it might be improved, how it might be led in a better direction.

And there is a cost to this: solitude.  The one unquestionable benefit of being in an actual military unit is shared difficulty.  Your buddies understand you, and you them, at least in important ways.  Me, nobody understands me.  I am a tribe of one.  I walk through the world largely unseen.  I do manual labor.  I walk in the construction entrance, and use the construction elevator, and spend my days with people who got their GED's.  It's better this way: I feel less misunderstood with people no one expects to do any hard thinking, than with people who theoretically could, but choose not to; who are encumbered with a variety of emotional issues even they can't see; who are enmeshed in a political field which requires constant maintenance and tinkering.

Somewhere, though, there is a tribe of people who will get me.  It may not be in this world, but we aren't here so very long after all.  I'm not feeling melancholy.  It is, I think, a good thing I am allowing myself this line of thought, though.  I have been alone so long I forget there are alternatives, and it's always good to remember alternatives: it is a part of perception.

I was told many years ago by a hot Austrian "don't think so much". In this country especially, people who think too much are not held in much esteem, and as a general rule, those who do identify as "intellectuals" are leftists.  There are not a lot of conservative intellectuals.  But that may change.

At the end of the day, I am what I am.  I am not going to change to suit the winds.  I am not going to change to make things easier.  I am going to continue to do what I perceive as my job, until time takes this job away from me and assigns it to someone else.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

10 of Swords

Can you see why this card would excite me? Other than me being really weird, and screwed up in the head?  Why would this excite a psychologically healthy, but very contemplative person? Answer it for yourself.  Your answer may differ from mine.  That's good.

Guess before you look it up, if you even give a shit.


PTSD

I think PTSD is fully healed when you can survey the landscape of that epic battle, that place where your nervous system failed you through no lack of will, no fault of your own, and see it with curiosity.  This is a connection freed from the chains of horror.  This is of course a follow up/continuation of my previous post.

I will add to this that battles only need to be fought once. They are won, lost, postponed, or cancelled, but only once.  Ever after, you need to be either learning from them, or letting them disappear.  Preferably the first, then the second.

Nothing can be worse than a battle you can't win, and can't stop fighting.  You can't change the past, but it can continue to change you if you give it the power to.

Never impose on yourself a guilt you would hesitate to hang on the neck of someone else.  Excessive guilt is actually a theatrical way of avoiding the responsibility of growing through failure and pain.

Curiosity

The more I grow, the more I realize the value of curiosity.  I truly think, in the end, this is the most important virtue.  It is the virtue which connects you with life. Love, in my view, flows from curiosity, which is the first step in an affirmative life path.

Specifically, what I am realizing is that every grain of our bodies is suffused with experience, some of it good, and some of it what we label bad.  And what I am realizing, in my own healing, is that my task it not just to accept the bad, but to enter into it with curiosity, which, again, is the opposite of trauma.

You have to be able to explore a house of horrors--something from a Saw movie--with openness and curiosity.  It is all gone now.  The terror is gone.  The novelty and newness and unexpectedness is gone.  But it is still there. The memories are still there.  There is a gallery in my consciousness that welcomes me, that welcomes my visiting, that wants to make my acquaintance, that wants to tell me its story openly, rather than through symptoms it is forced to use to capture my attention and maintain its own sense of existence.

The task is to do this exploration, not with fascination or repulsion, but with curiosity and interest.  To CONNECT with it in a relaxed, perambulating way.

My shaking is not going to kill me.  Accepted, it is not that unpleasant.  My task is to "massage" it--to take a term directly from Kum Nye, where mNye means "massage": to loosen it up, to give it space, to let it breathe, to give it life and wings and release it.

I get glimpses of light sometimes.  I felt a powerful rainbow last night, and it made me very sad.  That was a small blink of the home we all come from, and are destined to return to.  It is so hard to remember light, living in such a dark place.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Freedom

A free society is one in which people are free to speak their mind without fear.  It may and should be the case that for every one viewpoint there is a vigorous counter-point. If I question whether or not homosexual marriages are intrinsically and qualitatively no different from two parent heterosexual homes--and of course I'm leaving aside the fact that homosexual marriages can and do break apart as well (I have no idea what the rate is, or if anyone does)--then I accept, absolutely and with an absolute sense of duty, that someone may dispute this.  All I ask is that reason be used.

Researching this, it appears most studies that Google links to show that the parenting outcomes are equivalent: http://www.apa.org/news/press/response/gay-parents.aspx 

And here: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20051012/study-same-sex-parents-raise-well-adjusted-kids

Here is a different angle: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/06/gay_parents_are_they_really_no_different_.html

Instead of relying on small samples, or the challenges of discerning sexual orientation of household residents using census data, my colleagues and I randomly screened over 15,000 Americans aged 18-39 and asked them if their biological mother or father ever had a romantic relationship with a member of the same sex. I realize that one same-sex relationship does not a lesbian make, necessarily. But our research team was less concerned with the complicated politics of sexual identity than with same-sex behavior.

The basic results call into question simplistic notions of “no differences,” at least with the generation that is out of the house. On 25 of 40 different outcomes evaluated, the children of women who’ve had same-sex relationships fare quite differently than those in stable, biologically-intact mom-and-pop families, displaying numbers more comparable to those from heterosexual stepfamilies and single parents. Even after including controls for age, race, gender, and things like being bullied as a youth, or the gay-friendliness of the state in which they live, such respondents were more apt to report being unemployed, less healthy, more depressed, more likely to have cheated on a spouse or partner, smoke more pot, had trouble with the law, report more male and female sex partners, more sexual victimization, and were more likely to reflect negatively on their childhood family life, among other things. Why such dramatic differences? I can only speculate, since the data are not poised to pinpoint causes. One notable theme among the adult children of same-sex parents, however, is household instability, and plenty of it. The children of fathers who have had same-sex relationships fare a bit better, but they seldom reported living with their father for very long, and never with his partner for more than three years.
The rest of it is worth reading.  Methodologically, they point to the fact that most studies citing "no difference" depend on the data input of volunteers who are in general better educated than the population as a whole, and who understand the political implications of this work. They are, in other words, arguably not truly representative, and the work--which clearly has a mandate to reach a politically popular conclusion--therefore skewed and less helpful than it could or ought to be.

They go on:

When simply and briefly asked if their mother and/or father had been in a same-sex romantic relationship, 175 said it was true of their mothers and 73 said the same about their fathers—numbers far larger than has typified studies in this area. We interviewed all of these respondents (and a random sample of others) about their own lives and relationships, as well as asked them to reflect upon their family life while growing up. The differences, it turns out, were numerous. For instance, 28 percent of the adult children of women who’ve had same-sex relationships are currently unemployed, compared to 8 percent of those from married mom-and-dad families. Forty percent of the former admit to having had an affair while married or cohabiting, compared to 13 percent of the latter. Nineteen percent of the former said they were currently or recently in psychotherapy for problems connected with anxiety, depression, or relationships, compared with 8 percent of the latter. And those are just three of the 25 differences I noted.

They conclude:

On the one hand, the instability detected in the NFSS could translate into a call for extending the relative security afforded by marriage to gay and lesbian couples. On the other hand, it may suggest that the household instability that the NFSS reveals is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and still—according to the data, at least—the safest place for a kid. 

I do not want to render a firm decision here. Indeed, it is not my job, my role, or my right to render a firm verdict.  What I want to underscore with exclamation points is that debate and discussion by informed, concerned, responsible adults can and should take place.  Our children are too important for this to be decided by paid demonstrators doing everything in their power to coerce behavior and law without debate or consideration.  That is the point I want to make. 

Gay Adoption

Let us suppose that the Supreme Court rejects the right of any legal authority anywhere in the United States to treat other-than-heterosexual couplings differently in any respect.  Gay and transgender, and cross-dressing and all other couples have the same rights to adopt and raise kids, and nobody can say otherwise without an expensive lawsuit they will lose.

Let us say 20 years go by, and sufficient freedom still exists for someone to survey the children of these groupings, and they find that there are consistent, negative outcomes associated with being raised in an other-than-heterosexual home.  Let us say there are higher rates of alcoholism and drug abuse.  Since homosexuals are alcoholics and drug abusers at higher rates, this seems not unreasonable.  Higher suicide rates.  Higher rates of depression, both of which already are more common among homosexuals, and in my view not primarily because of alleged "homophobia".

Does the Left take account of these facts and reconsider?  When does it EVER reconsider?

Over 100 years ago, John Ruskin, in his essay "Unto This Last", argued that a minimum wage should be paid to people--a high minimum wage at that--EVEN IF this caused increases in unemployment.  His reasoning: we can only be held accountable for the principle upon which we act, not for outcomes.  He actually said this.

As I say over and over and over, though, Goodness is wisdom, and wisdom seeks the best possible outcome for all involved.  It does not privilege one group and ignore the rest. This is the very dynamic it theoretically opposes, not what it supports (although of course in practice it is quite anti-egalitarian, and quite elitist).

As a society, I feel it is incumbent upon us to give children the very best possible chance of thriving.  This experiment, of course, has not been done, and I cannot speak to its results.

But ask yourself, if you have seen the movie Bird Cage, if that was a healthy family?  Ask yourself if this young man is not wanting to get married in no small measure to establish his own masculinity and heterosexuality in a home dominated by a neurotic cross-dressing homosexual?

These can be asked.  They SHOULD be asked.  This is not unreasonable, and it is not hate.   Hate is making of people objects.  That is not my task here. That is never my task.

The Gay Marriage Non-Debate

There are two things that bother me, not about the outcome of allowing gay marriage, but the process used to make it happen.  As I've said repeatedly, I'm not gay, so I don't care.  Like exactly what heterosexual couples do behind closed doors--and that can get quite weird, too, as we continue to see from the popularity of 50 Shades--it doesn't affect me.

I do care about the future of children, though, who in theory are under the protection of "society", of which I am a member.

Here are my two issues:

1) The debate is not a debate, in the sense that both sides treat the other with civility and respect.  What has happened is that one side--well organized, and well funded, presumably by radicals--has initiated and sustained a campaign of relentless attack against anyone who still believes, now, what nearly everyone believed 15-20 years ago.  We are called bigots if we even question the idea that homosexual couples are in EVERY respect identical to heterosexual couples.  We are called hateful.

We can legitimately question any popular narrative which uses the category "thought crime", which this movement clearly does.  They don't have the power, yet, to arrest and "educate" people who disagree with them, but I get the clear sense that if they did, they would do it.  That is the level of hatred, and narrow self righteousness, and intolerance.

And I was thinking the other day that all you need to indoctrinate/propagandize a population are two things: an Other-Directed populace, and control of the information sources, which in this and most countries would be the universities and mass media.  The churches would be nice, but they aren't there yet, although the current Pope seems willing to play ball on some issues.

How do you create Other Directed people?  Eliminate moral principle.  Moral Relativism is both necessary and sufficient for this purpose.  Once you cannot reason your way to a moral conclusion based on basic principles which are unquestionable, then you are cut adrift.  The only principle, really, that remains in play for these people is conformity.  I have said this often.  They claim to hate hate, but if they use the vehicle of hate--which they plainly do, as you can see in less than a minute if you visit any hard core left wing website--then hate, per se, is clearly not something they reject, or really even have the psychological sophistication to recognize. If somebody tells them to shout because someone is being "oppressed"--even if that alleged oppression is actually the long term outcome of policies they are touting on other days--then they do it.

This is an ugly dynamic, and should be opposed for that reason alone.  I say this based upon the principle that mutual respect and toleration and peaceful dialogue are essential elements in a truly Liberal order, and are necessary for the maintenance of personal and political freedoms.  I can derive this principle from observation.  I need appeal to no immanent element in Reality.  I need appeal to no God.  Simple contemplation and reflection offers this up readily.

And we need to be clear that on the reading of nearly all Christians homosexuality is wrong.  Historically, the wickedness of sodomy was understood clearly.  This makes homosexuality very different from racism.  There is nothing in the Bible that says black people need to be persecuted.  It does reference slavery in the Old Testament, but in those days most of the slaves would have been Semitic, and even those were to be released into freedom every 50 years.  You cannot reference a Bible verse saying a black man cannot marry a white woman, or vice versa.

Thus, the entire enterprise RESTS on an assumption that Christians have NO RIGHT to practice their religion as they see fit. It seems obvious that some of these gays SEEK OUT Christians--PERSECUTE Christians--not because no one else has an interest in practicing their business and making the money their business was set up to make by baking them wedding cakes.  Making the cake is the most obvious thing.  Like every other small business in the Obama Economy, I would assume cake decorators are facing tough times.  The overwhelming presumption is that absent STRONG objections, they will take gay cash as equal in every way to any other cash.

But you really can't compare this issue to the civil rights movement, for these reasons.  This entire issue is very plainly a wholesale and State-sponsored assault both on religion, and the right to freedom of speech and conscience.

2) The violence of this non-debate prevents the very important discussion of whether or not gay-ness tends to be a function of sexual or other trauma. I personally think it does, in a very high percentage of cases.  This does not make it wrong or right, but it makes it a symptom of something which, in itself, creates unresolved unhappiness.  If you take some other symptom, say cutting, there is no moral content to it.  It is a reaction to something that person cannot process.  This does not make it healthy.  It is unhealthy, not in the sense that it does not provide relief to that person, not in the sense that it is not in some respects a healthy reaction to the situation, but in the sense that it indicates something deeper is not right.

I read this study, which could only be published somewhere like this: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2013/06/identical-twin-studies-prove-homosexuality-is-not-genetic/

Identical twin studies, in my understanding, are pretty much the gold standard for teasing out genetics versus non-genetic correlations.  You can compare it with, say, this study which no doubt sought to address it: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26572-largest-study-of-gay-brothers-homes-in-on-gay-genes.html#.VWBuQ9JViko

But brothers have different DNA.  Non-identical twins have different DNA.  The New Scientist has a clearly left-wing bias.  They still believe in global warming, which in this day and age is farcical, in my view.  The SCIENCE does not support it.

So our best evidence, in clinical work done in the face of an enormous lobbying and bullying machine which no doubt opposed it, seems to be that homosexuality is the result of ENVIRONMENTAL factors.  Given that, as I have chronicled, homosexuals are prey to nearly every negative more than heterosexuals--emotional problems, substance abuse problems--is it not reasonable to at least SUPPOSE that we are dealing with the after-math of some traumatizing event?

And I will speculate what it is: a young 12-14 year old kid, alienated from family and friends, is seduced by an older gay man.  I have read articles by gays--current and former--who have said this was the mechanism of their own sexual imprinting.

Self evidently, child abuse can cause this.

Overall, what I want to say is that no good ever comes from suppressing ANY truth, no matter how painful or difficult, because in the end YOU CAN'T.  Truth always outs, even if in distorted, weird ways.  It can out through pervasive violence against those who disagree with the idea of gay marriage.  This is a psychological defense mechanism: violent suppression of difference.

Goodness is being able to live happily on your own, and taking genuine pleasure in the happiness of others.  What it is not is angry screaming, shaming, threatening, and suppression of honest dialogue.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Selves

I think it could be said that dissociated parts of ourselves are like ghosts trying to get our attention.  It is like they are trapped on the other side of a door, but they can pound on the door, whistle, and otherwise make noise.  This is what creates outwardly irrational behavior.  It is perhaps like they briefly take control of our bodies and make us do and say things we otherwise would not have.

The ONLY way to deal with this is to establish contact with them, through deep silence, and by making the effort to open communications.  I think most people have aspects like this, although it may be limited to trauma endurers.

I just made contact with some part of myself which got over the fence, and is back in-house.  It is like an old and wanted family member.

This all sounds crazy, but the fact is most of us ARE crazy but don't know it, and the only way to go from being crazy while pretending to be sane is to pretend to be crazy while being sane. I believe I am well justified in my view that my reality testing is significantly better than most.

Responsibility

With an actual sense of responsibility comes thoughtfulness.

If there is no thoughtfulness, there is no sense of responsibility.  And with no responsibility there is no caring.

I think one could generalize and say that no thoughtless person can be said to be a good person.  Each will think according to their ability, of course, but it is the effort here which I have in mind.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Global warming, again.

I see the Usual Bastards are pulling the Usual Bastard nonsense.  I want to reiterate that, in my long considered view, NO ONE who knows the actual science is telling the truth when they claim to believe in this mythical nonsense, Anthropogenic Global Warming.  I posted the following on Facebook to address this link:http://www.infowars.com/climate-blockbuster-new-nasa-data-shows-polar-ice-has-not-receded-since-1979/

But I will add this: in the latest Avengers, Captain America tells Iron Man that "every time somebody tries to win a war before it happens, innocent people die.  Every time."

We need to look at the environmental nuts as trying to win a war against a disaster before it has even BEGUN to manifest.  The Earth is as likely to be cooling as warming, but the point is that they have revived the same arguments Malthus made over a hundred years ago, and that Paul Ehrlich and others made in the 1970's.  Even though there is no sign of disaster, the solution must be the same, even if past solutions have already caused mass death and suffering.  The elites, self evidently, need fear none of the results of the policies they want to foist on the rest of us.

And self evidently there are always people in every time and place who crave power for the sake of power, and they are quite willing to ride the coattails of anyone who can hand them a throne and scepter.

I have spent more time than I care to contemplate debating global warming, and as far as I can tell, the only two GOOD data points for being able to tell if any of these computer models are even remotely correct are the maximum and minimum ice extents on each pole, and temperature readings in the upper atmosphere, where CO2 is the predominant forcing agent. Ground based temperature readings are a methodological nightmare, and seem in fact to have been deliberately skewed to yield the results wanted, which is the opposite of science.  


But we can take good pictures from space of both poles, and we can get good, real-time readings of temperatures in the stratosphere without any issues with things like "heat islands", or lack of sensors. By BOTH measures, there is ZERO evidence that accumulating CO2 is causing warming. On the contrary, CO2 EMISSIONS have gone up a LOT since 1979, but the ice has not budged, and we are not seeing anything even close to what would be needed in the stratosphere. 


Anthropogenic Global Warming is a falsified hypothesis. I see no other credible way of looking at it, and my near certainty is that everyone at the core of the thing knows it. Their agenda is other than truth, or saving us from at least this species of environmental catastrophe.

Poem for a Fall Spring Day

I reflected the Autumn,
Mirrored the Summer.
I witnessed winter,
and saw the Spring.

I felt the dryness in the leaves,
and the wet of the rain.

I wandered the Earths winds
an infant Zephyr,
neither going nor coming,
never resting because I never
worked.

Not seeking, not finding, until
I realized my home was Change,
and it was the only home I would ever
know.

Fear

I woke up wondering this morning what would happen to our civilization (by the way, I looked up the etymology of this, and it amounts to "citizenification", or making into citizens, which would bear some interesting observations I don't have time for at the moment; my thought was that it came from city-fication, making into cities) if I could wave a magic wand and eliminate fear everywhere.

Why do people go to work?  In a great many cases, because they fear getting fired.  They fear not having money and shelter.  The gears of our mechanical order would stop working smoothly.  It depends on fear.  Much of what you see built depended in part on fear.  Not all of it: much work happens through creative engagement and interest. This is good.

What would happen in the Middle East?  I suppose the descendants of those who lived in the Ottoman Empire and British Protectorate, and were displaced by a war they supported but lost, would still hate the Jews, because that conflict is about vanity, greed, and hatred, but I wonder if people like those who populate ISIS would not evaporate.  Their whole creed depends on fear.  The entire Koran consists in little but operant conditioning, little but offering rewards to the pious and infinite pain on those who fail to submit to the Islamic structure of behavior and belief.

What would happen in totalitarian states?  Cuba?  What if everyone stopped fearing the government en masse and at once?  What would happen in Cuba, if the massive forces responsible for repressing the many thousands of very justified riots they see--because their system is fundamentally inhumane and injust, and vastly inferior in every respect to our own, as imperfect as it is--stopped fearing losing their jobs and being themselves repressed?  What if everybody rose up against the creatures who enrich themselves by enslaving the masses in the name of democracy, freedom and equality?

What if I had no fear?  What if you had no fear?

Reality would be no different, but our relationship to it would be more honest, and our perception of our actual options broader and deeper.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Growth

What does it mean to accept yourself?  Does it not mean to stop attacking yourself?  And why do we attack ourselves? Is it not a relic of operant conditioning, in which we are (sometimes) rewarded for good behavior, but always punished for bad behavior? You associate pain with failure, with failing to meet some standard.

And to associate, I feel strongly, is to ANTICIPATE.  I think we fear sudden violence more than expected violence, so some part of us generates it before the world can.  We attack ourselves before anyone else can.  And in what does an "attack" consist?  In the spontaneous generation of exactly the psychological and physiological states that would have attended an actual attack.  But the whole thing happens inside your skin.  Unless they are attentive, other people may miss it completely, depending on the severity of the thing.

And the particularly pernicious thing about this dynamic--which I think among other things is clearly a factor in chronic guilt and anxiety--is that reality testing only enters the picture if careful self examination is done.

And I think a lot of efforts at personal growth are affected by the fact that you can't ever be perfect, which means that there is never an end to guilt, until there is an end to guilt.

In my considered view, the first step therefore is to achieve deep relaxation, which implies at least a temporary cessation of attacks.  And I think the sense of being relaxed, unattacked, unguilty, needs to be expanded, and the sense of chronic guilt released fully.

To grow, in a sustainable and organic way, you must give up the idea that you need to grow.  This may seem intellectually contradictory, but it isn't, even on the intellectual level.  You must accept yourself, exactly as you are, knowing damn well that you skipped the workout, ate two bars of chocolate, and still need to send those damn letters.

The self that sabotaged you will ALWAYS sabotage you, in perhaps increasingly clever ways, until you accept it.

And I think we are so used to the notion that a sense of duty (guilt) should compel us to grow that many will feel that I am advocating stasis.  No, of course not.  You know what drives organic, sustained, qualitatively deep and rich growth?  Curiosity.  Exploration.  A light and interested and open connection with life.

I am getting close, I think, to a reasonably comprehensive worldview and personal psychology.  I should add that pain, of course, can also drive people.  But it rarely makes anyone smarter.  To find a way out of the rat's maze, you need to stop and wait for the doors to open, and the signs to light up for you. And you need to be looking for them, and you need to follow them.

Selves

I have some interesting nights.  Clearly, something in my early past just overwhelmed the nervous system circuits, and blew them on both ends.  This is what creates dissociation and is an effect of trauma, aka PTSD.  But I am increasingly realizing this shaking (and other symptoms) is a part of me that is trying to establish communication.

And pondering this, I was reminded of this Sufi story I posted a year or two or three or four ago: http://betweenbothworlds.blogspot.com/2009/02/paradise-of-song.html

I think on one level it represents spiritually something like Plato's Ideal, as applied to our selves.

But I move all day long along emotional/sensory continuums.  I do Kum Nye all day long.  I generate and expand experience all day long, while breathing it in. And today it struck me that if I have an ideal self, it would look different than this self, which is struggling and wounded and often ineffective.  On some level, this thought is a natural corollary of the idea of the Spiritual Self which they teach in the Hoffman Process.  I have multiple selves, even understood purely psychodynamically.

[Edit: what I intend here is that I am repressing both my spiritual self, which is otherwise available: AND my--oh, hell, let's call it the IT (Das Es, kids), after Freud.  I write enough that it should be clear what the range is which I intend.]

The important point, though, is that it is both OUT THERE, and already arrived.  Then: why would not my wounded self be the same? My dark self?  That part of my psyche--where you locate it--which is not readily available to my conscious mind, but which still must be accounted for? Is there not some skeletal, half dead, starved, sick version of me wandering in the rain with a crutch?  Is some equivalent of Miss Haversham (read or listen to Great Expectations) stuck forever in a room with halted clocks?

Would this self disgust or terrify me, if it presented itself directly?  And it occurs to me I need to learn to--am learning to--welcome my nightly adventures.  Just last night I expanded the whole thing mightily.  I was able to take the external shaking internal, so that it was really a species of energetic vibration.  And it seemed it went up, from my navel center, to my heart, to my throat, where it stopped.  I could not pull it any higher.

And of course, there are strong parallels between what skilled trauma practitioners see in treating trauma, and what Kundalini Yoga teachers see in helping facilitate that form of energetic awakening.  My view would be that the two are closely related, with each side seeing the same coin from a different angle.

You cannot reconcile "selves" rationally. That is why it is so hard to learn there.  Rationality can guide you, but you cannot learn an emotional lesson intellectually.  This should be obvious, but it obviously isn't, to many.

Benghazi

I posted the following on my Facebook page.  I really don't view this blog as somewhere to disseminate news that would be available to anyone else willing to make a token effort, but I do view it as a place for original analysis.

What you will note in reading all this is the all documents came from the DoD.  What I infer from this is that they are telling Obama to fuck himself, despite having felt the need to kowtow to his threats and blackmail for some years.

We need to be clear that this administration is the most suppressive, most secretive, most abusive of public acknowledgement and discussion of abuses, probably in our history.  Nixon didn't hold a candle to Obama.  The only competitor is FDR, who routinely eavesdropped on opponents, and used all sorts of dirty and awful tricks on opponents to keep his hold on power.

One can hope that our military understands that the most pressing existential threat to our freedom is the leftwing movement and agenda, as embodied currently by Obama, and in the future by Hillary Clinton, and nearly anyone else the Democrats may propose.  We are threatened with national bankruptcy, and all the economic devastation that will follow it, a bankruptry chosen and planned for the purpose.  We are threatened by a Federal government which is daily transgressing the boundaries prudently set for it by our very astute, very wise, historically very literate Founding Fathers.

No one values the unique experiment which is the United States Republic, can fail to grasp the very real danger we are in, caused by people who in private are very candid about their intentions and means.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/05/the-truth-about-benghazi-slowly-emerges.php

Here is the deal:
1) Stevens murder was almost certainly planned well in advance, and Clinton and Obama were told this the day after the attacks. They are both fucking liars, and this should matter, even in this degraded age.
2) Weapons WERE being shipped to what became ISIS, from Benghazi.
3) The potential rise of ISIS was obvious even then. Obama and Hillary were cautioned in the following specific language:
"The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:
This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory."
If enough Americans fail to care that our leaders hold us in such contempt that they can be CAUGHT in lies, without consequence, I can't see how our democracy has a future.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ender's Game

I watched the back half of this the other night in a hotel room, and was reminded of my initial impressions reading the book some time ago, at the strong suggestion of a friend. I think she wanted me to weigh in on the morality of some of the violence, but all I kept thinking was that this book was an extended reaction formation--if I might allow myself to use the term of someone and a system I mostly disagree with--to early childhood events.  A sense of powerlessness.  A sense of being under attack.

And what is that reaction?  Effective violence, and genius, all at very early ages.  Ender was 10 in the final battles.  He had mastered violence, mastered strategy.

As a purely practical matter, most minds and reflexes peak at about 17 or so.  This is the rough age of many Israeli fighter pilots, who are chosen to be the best possible, accounting for all factors.  12 is still prepubescent for most.  The brain has not fully matured.

But emotionally, this must have been a powerful liberation for Card.  And what does he wind up with?  A caring Mother--displaced psychologically by being made an insect--and a de facto child for whom he must now take responsibility, which I would suggest could be viewed profitably by taking it to be his own unrealized self, his own thwarted--but no more?--possibilities.  That egg is innocent.

And I would suggest his brother represents another aspect of himself he is or was wrestling with, another possible path, one not hindered by considerations of empathy and compassion.  These, too, are common enough outcomes of trauma.

We tell ourselves in our stories.  We cannot but do so, and this is a powerfully good thing.  I am telling myself, am I not, in my Rorschach?  It is a good thing that stories are told.  As I near the end of "Great Expectations", I can well imagine how this may have done a great deal to build sympathy and empathy among classes and people in that very cold nation.

But I relate to Ender.  My own reaction, like most, was one of emotional disconnection, depression, a ruthlessly elevated self importance at times, and sense of a loss I could neither define nor express.

I continue to map out hell, to measure its textures and moods, its landscape.  I continue to learn how one lives in hell, how one gets there, and how one stays there.  This is all highly useful information.  I could think of no higher compliment than that which I will offer myself: map maker.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Spoken Word

Where fiction is concerned, I see value in audiobooks over and above the ability to listen to them in your car. If my kids were younger, I would likely try--and truthfully likely fail, as I did in fact try something close to this--to get them gathered around for the reading of Dickens.

Good stories benefit yet further from good tellers.  There is a qualitative difference between reading a book, and having it read to you by someone skilled in it.

I am particularly enjoying the ability of this story teller, his name is Simon Prebble, to conjure the endless British accents on command.  What are there, hundreds?  Many, to be sure.  Even Brits would likely have to do their research, but I think he has done his.

As I think I've mentioned, I am also listening to Shakespeare this way.  I had an unanticipated tragedy: I lost the damn CD set--but I will presently be taking my lumps, paying for a new one at the library, and starting anew.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Little Poem

I am trying to tighten up on my Kum Nye practice, and be sure I get at least 5 good practices done each week.  Toward that end, a little ditty came in my head:

Practice done poorly,
Practice done well:
It is of practice DONE
Which I shall tell.

And I will add a short and mostly not interesting story.  I travel a fair amount, and found myself in New Orleans last week, and sought out a place called Jacque-Imo's, which had a sausage and alligator tail cheesecake I had heard was quite good.

The meal was good, not great--although the place itself is a lot of fun--but sitting there pondering the whole thing it occurred to me that happiest thing that happened to me that day was in my Kum Nye practice, where I often, lately, pull out interesting and forgotten or new emotions.  This is a sort of discovery which is the end goal of physical travel, which does not always yield it.  Quite often, you just move your blindness from one location to another.  This can be repeated endlessly, to no profit.

National service

I have often called to make States the locus of most of our military, leaving only something like the Marine Corps, the Navy, Strategic nuclear capabilities, and SOCOM as our main standing services.  I have wrestled with how to make this a likely outcome without the Federal government forcing it in any way.

I think I've come up with the answer: veterans pay a permanently lower rate of taxes, perhaps in absolute percentages, as well as perhaps being granted more deductions/allowances.

And as I have said a number of times, I envision both military training, and search and rescue training.  Both are useful.

4 Nervous Systems

I was doing my Kum Nye practice the other day, and found myself ascending a long set of white stairs up into the sky.  I reached the top, and there was a layer of darkness hanging there, like a layer in the atmosphere.  I poked my head through, and a voice asked me what I was seeing, why it was dark.

I pondered it, then decided it was because the light of that place existed at a frequency I was incapable of perceiving, and that what we call light is in fact a species of darkness.  I had in mind a quote from the Tao Te Ching: "darkness within darkness: the gateway to all mystery." I was told this was correct.

Then I got to thinking that we have both an unconscious self that arises from remnants of our animal nature as encoded in our primitive nervous systems, but also an unconscious spiritual side, which is what we are moving towards.  We are doubly unconscious--at least, until we cease from being so.

Thus: Immobilization/trauma/sense of belonging/sense of connection with life, fight or flight/play, social consciousness, spiritual consciousness.

Tranformations

I was lying in bed the other night, being attacked by shaking, as I had chosen not to drink, and it occurred to me it was a teacher, and should be embraced.  After this realization, I had a  major insight into my own psychodynamic history come into my awareness.

And I was pondering in the Tibetan tradition how demons and angels are the same; it is the understanding which differs.  And then it occurred to me that when we are presented with demons, it is our job to transform them.  They are uncooked.  It is our job to cook that experience, which becomes useful and transformative in the process.

I keep my ear to the cultural landscape, and have followed at a small distance the work among others of Nassim Taleb.  He has this concept of Anti-Fragility, which I believe was the title of a recent book.  The gist of the idea, as I understand it, is that there is a difference between resilience--which might be summarized as "hard to break"--and something which BENEFITS from chaos and assault.

I don't like negatives.  I don't think it is ever good to include within a word what it is you don't want.  Thus: transformation-capable.  Phase shift capable.  Informationally absorptive and self organizing.

And I got to thinking about this concept of being emotionally "vulnerable".  We assume being emotionally open makes us vulnerable and we are supposed to simply accept this as the risk of living, of loving.

But what if I open to something which tries to wound or kill me, and I am able to process it, and TRANSFORM myself in the process, accepting both hurt and the following growth?  Over time, does my very vulnerability not become a positive virtue?  Is it not what pushes me forward, ahead of the winds of chaos and destruction which hang everywhere over the world in which we live?

Within Kum Nye, the task is to take all emotional "sensations" and open them up, and expand them.  And I saw that if you take a hard thing, and add space to it, you can imagine it like a blown up toy, filled with air in the middle.  You can enter this, and look around.  You can see dots of darkness, and dots of open space.  No evil is fully continuous. And you can expand this, such that the dots of darkness are very far apart indeed.  You can denude the sensation of its impact, its effect.  I have in mind here the Buddhist conception of dharmas as dots or points in a discontinuous universe.

Friday, May 15, 2015

England

I am listening to Dicken's Great Expectations on audiobook, and enjoying it immensely.  Dicken's ability to turn a phrase, and his droll sense of humor I quite like--to borrow from his phrasing.

Listening to it, though, I am struck by English society as characterized by this massive and national game called "Don't piss people off and know your place."  One must always be calculating.  Pip is always calculating.  Nothing is spontaneous.  There is no dancing.  The whole thing is quite grim, and only peppered here and there with clever word play, which is the only spontaneity allowed.  Wit is the only dancing in this world, as thus far represented.

One can feel the need for empire, as a way of expressing pent up energies.  And in that regard I would note the remarkable cultural similarities between the Japanese, who also subsisted nearly entirely on etiquette; and the Indians, whose caste system the English order closely resembled.  Everyone to their place, a place typically made obvious by the use of language.

These thoughts occasioned yesterday's post.  I was thinking it was all a very dismal game, one which satisfied the emotional needs--the social connection needs--of no one, and then I realized it was not a game at all: it was a ritual.

If we think of play as a reconciliation of our social system with our lower nervous system energies--as a way of expressing and releasing "fight or flight" energies, and countering the immobilization response--then its necessity for social harmony becomes obvious.

But there are layers of harmony.  At the lowest level is the totalitarian "order", in which a handful of savages inflict pain on the masses until they become prostrate and helpless.  Whether he articulates it as such or not, this is what Obama and his handlers want for the world.  This is because they have wild beasts within them--savage, angry, aggressive, unempathetic energy--and keep them from controlling them on an emotional level only by being controlled by them through the intellect.

Above this is the ritual order.  Throughout the book, one is struck by the closeness of violence of some sort, for perceived slights.  In this order, there are rules to follow, to prevent the outbreak of violence.  Unlike in a totalitarian order, though, some spontaneity is allowed, but only so much.  Thus: play without trust.  One can engage in witty banter, but only go so far.

A true order is one with cognitively and morally sovereign individuals--the creed of Individualism contains within it the only possible non-contradictory morality (societies do not exist, making an appeal to social morality inherently an X=0 proposition)--who interact in spontaneous and formally complex ways, forming a complex, and thus robust, order.

I would add that I think honest laughter is a good indicator of an authentic social order.  There was some honest laughter in Great Expectations, as for example between Pip and Joe, but not much.  Virtually everyone suffers from some sort of mental disorder brought on in large measure by social disconnection, and a sense of inner isolation.

Rock Lyrics: "English blood runs hot".  Stones

"Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way." Floyd.

I will continue to develop this.  I have had some major personal breakthroughs I will be focusing on and not talking about.