Saturday, April 29, 2017

Visions

As is likely obvious, I have fairly strong misanthropic tendencies.  People suck, often.  Not all, not all the time, but this week, in one example of many, somebody is dicking me over because they can and because the normal human emotions of basic empathy and giving a shit are completely absent.

But I was sitting in a bar tonight pondering how much happier I would be if I saw the good in everyone, the Light in everyone, and rather than getting angry when they behave in ways which are hurtful, that I look deeper, and see that for some reason an important aspect of their divine inheritance--the Truth we are all born with--is unavailable to them.  They are like people eating cat food when they have a pile of uncashed winning Lottery tickets.

Disappointment on their behalf, and/or pity are better reactions.  Anger has its place, but it often accomplishes and heals nothing, and often makes things much worse.

And it seems to me that seeing the best--which is to be sure in pretty much all cases is the possibility, not the reality--makes it much easier to love myself.

Ponder: what is the psychological effect of imbibing an ideology which views all human beings as inherently depraved and wicked?  If you are human, you must loathe yourself, too, and loathing oneself it is impossible not to loathe others.  To be sure, if this misanthropy is welded onto a corresponding ideology of "love", then compulsive actions with regard to love become possible too which mask the unhappiness inherent in this belief system.

Satanism is merely the Shadow of Christianity.  It shows what was present but hidden in church doctrine as it evolved.  There were countless acts of evil committed by the Catholic Church in the nominal name of Goodness, Piety, Truth, and Love.  This goes on even today.

Neither the forward Mass, nor the Black Mass, done backwards, make any sense to me as representations of important truths about God and humankind.

The Hindus, with their Namaste--this, "I salute the Divine in you"--are much wiser.  Yes, they had their Kali cults and Thuggees and some awful people, but they were shadows of humanity itself, not a necessary counterpoint to the highest beliefs they hold.

They do have their Dalits, too, so I don't want to go too far in my admiration, but suffice it to say I am trying to evolve a world view and way of interacting with ugly people--who I will see along the way as long as I live--which either does not diminish my happiness, or which in fact increases it.

Generosity is generative for the giver.  As an old Sufi adage goes "The Sufi begs to give himself to you".  He wants you to take everything, leaving nothing.  Because when nothing is left, there is nothing but Light.

There are no lies

It came to me just now that "there are no lies in this world", and I felt and thought on it for a moment, and what I am tempted to say is some part of all of us sees the full truth all the time.  It is in the light.  It is not hidden.  We merely forget the way to the room with the windows to these insights, and we also pretend we have lost the key.

There are no lies: this is an interesting perspective.  I listen to my inner voice, and sometimes things come to me I don't understand for a long time.  Deep insights are often like that, though.

But how liberating this idea is!!!  You already know what you need to know.  You know the path.  It is a question of bringing into your conscious awareness what you know, and have forgotten you know.

Abstraction

The origin of abstraction is feeling, and its proper purpose is a return to feeling.  I have spoken often, although not recently, of Perceptual Breathing, in and out.  You breathe in, and go up to the most condensed abstractions imaginable, like F=MA, then out, and you go out the limits of feeling and direct body perception.  In the middle, you are gathering and spreading facts, which are mini-abstractions.  A "fact", if you think about it, is a symbol for a large reality, such as "most birds fly".

But the reason someone built a motor car was for the feelings of accomplishment, of speed, of perhaps becoming wealthy and powerful, of safety.  There are many possibilities, but the only reason anybody does anything is to get a feeling.  The most uptight, cerebral, dissociated people you have ever met are seeking the feeling of having suppressed their feelings, of having escaped something really bad.  Usually, they are also seeking the feeling of power which the feeling of intellectual superiority gives them.  Many smart people become so because they are compelled by emotional conflicts to seek out knowledge, to thrive on abstraction and things that most people take no interest in.

I am meandering, and to some extent describing myself, but the point I wanted to make is that all abstractions are stepping stones, and if they become ends in themselves, this is inherently a sign of compromised and defective mental and emotional health.

In health, one decides what one wants to do, creates a plan based on abstract understandings and perhaps concrete observations, and then executes the plan.  The abstract becomes the concrete, and the concrete results then become the food for further and more accurate abstractions.  There is a corrective process in place, because there is a feedback process in place, and a firm clarity about the desired end result.

When one sees a phrase like "the consolation of philosophy", it is stating directly that the goal in thinking a certain way is to feel a certain way.

Even when thoughts are made ends in themselves, they never can be.  You cannot divorce the process of thinking from the process of feeling.  You can merely tell bad lies by willing yourself to be stupid.

You cannot not feel.  You can only do it more wisely, or more foolishly.

I am, again, speaking to a part of myself which is unclear on all this.

I will add, I have a pile of diaries that is at least 8" tall, filled with my scribblings.  I never go back and read them, and I realized the other day the reason I don't  is that I fear that I will find there the same thoughts, the same struggles, the same lack of progress across decades.

And I likely would.  But these things take as long as they take.  Life is a school, and the curriculum lasts until the needed lessons are learned.  And I chew small things many times over.  I am like a cow with many stomachs.  But I also digest things deeply, or am in any event learning how to do so.

This will be my abstraction for the day.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Gravity

I have had Spotify for some time.  It is wonderful, in that I can listen to anything from Beethoven to Neil Young (but not Bob Seger), but I understand, I think, why so many kids especially are listening to records.

It is possible to have too much.  Studies show too many types of ketchup make people LESS happy, not more.  It is possible to feel too many options.

A physical record is anchoring.  You can touch it and feel it.  It has weight.  There is an album sleeve, with large pictures on both sides and sometimes in the middle.  You will typically listen to one side, turn it over, then listen to the other side.

Digital media has no weight.  It is ineffable, like air.  As gratifying as some songs may be, it is hard to feel grateful for the whole.  It is impossible to imagine the whole, whereas it is very possible to look on an album collection with satisfaction.  Nothing will be added or subtracted during the night.

So many people worry that our greed has no limits, that our destiny as a species is to consume the resources of the Earth like a pack of locusts.  This seems as misguided as the concern that population growth is destined to be immense in all places forever.  In what we might call the developed Old Worlds--I include Japan in this--population has already started dropping.  I think a big part of this is pessimism about life itself, about its point and purpose, and a following sense of unwillingness to inflict it on children, and as far as that goes, to waste ones life on the pointless exercise of parenting.  It will all be gone soon, one can hear them say, even as they join the Chorus on the future terrors of Global Warming, in this massive global tragedy.

But I think humanity has within it the capacity for self correction, for moderation, for choosing satiety over rapine.

And I think, as small as the fact is that more vinyl was sold last year than digital music--or so I hear--it is relevant to the whole.  It represents a small self similarity to a much larger trend which is less obvious, a correction to the excesses of the Baby Boomers, who as a pack of locusts do still want to claim to have been responsible custodians, when they were nothing of the sort.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Loneliness

It hit me today that much of what I have called loneliness is really the pain of being alone with myself, my conflicts, the chronic sense of not belonging, of having no home and no possibility of a home, which I have avoided sensing my whole life.

And it hit me too that the parts of me which are at war with one another are both noble.  One part of me has always sought to accomplish great deeds, and think great thoughts, in the hope of winning love which was impossible so many years ago.  Another part of me knows this is futile, and is trying to point this out, that these are not my goals, or at least, not the energy underlying them.  And the two fight.  If the one loses, I live forever without love, and the other side cannot possibly win.  No amount of success could ever be enough.

And I was contemplating this tonight, drinking a beer, and a vision of myself walking shirtless in a snowstorm hit me.  I can handle the cold. I do not fear the wind.  But an enormous demon emerged from the snow and confronted me.  And it hit me that I could fight it, I could tear it down to nothing, but that what was really needed was harnessing it, and making it mine; not just facing it, but seeing my own face in it, and claiming that power.

And it seems to me that most of what we call wounds are really disorganized energies.  What was plain and given and obvious and flowing becomes stuck, hard, and confusing.  But there is never any path backwards.  There is no "healing".  There is only transforming.

Yes, of course you can attempt to claim your saintly crown by turning yourself into a shadow of a human being, but that is not what this life is for.  We are meant to live with balls and fire.

Love

Love is not an action. If it were, it could be willed.

Rather, it is a spontaneous emergence within a relationship.

I would say that when love is made a virtue, it becomes virtually impossible.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chris Stapleton

Please ascribe a precise life value to this performance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClrBiMp7_Uk

You are allowed plus or minus 2 points, so please do not stress.  I just want you to measure what should be measured, and surely musical performances should all generate numbers.  We are a precise society after all, and number everything that should be numbered, which is everything.

Easy Rider

Added this to my "watched" list tonight.

I am a Pisces.  I am an Ueber-Pisces.  This means that if I make it to breakfast without believing two contradictory things at the same time my day is wasted.

I am very sympathetic to the hippy lifestyle.  I am very understanding of the rebellions made necessary by the cultural poverty of much of this country.  We are profoundly stupid in some important ways.

At the same time, I am a defender of traditional culture, but--and here is the important point--not so much in the specific as in the general.

I did some work last week in a redneck town in the South somewhere.  The thing is, I live in a city where most people are not fucking idiots, at least compared to most of the rest of the world.  But I FORGET that there really are inbred imbeciles out there, who really are indefensibly stupid.

Today, in fact, I was listening to this guy trying to invoke the Civil War, but he kept saying the Silver War.  I don't get this.  This is not remotely where I live, obviously.

I defend Christianity in general, forgetting often that much of what these people believe is farcical and harmful, at least in some cases.  Certainly, I am no fan of the Catholic church, even if I do my best to protect faith in general from its many critics.

I want to have my cake and to eat it too.  I want to support the dominant culture and at the same time to support rebellions against it.  I want to support culture as an idea, knowing that quite often stupidity is an inexorable concomitant.

The reconciliation of contradiction is perhaps the most important human task.  My sense is that it is not best done with thoughts, but with perceptions without names, that pass through once, leaving no form to remember, but which change everything.

My work will continue.  I recognize many, if not all, the problems.  Carry on is my motto.

Sanctity

What is the cultural effect of universal sanitation and cleanliness?

To this day, much of the world wipes its ass with its left hand and a bowl of hopefully but not necessarily clean water. Women are still sequestered on their periods (at least in Nepal: NatGeo recently did a piece on this) and for their part often do not have access to tampons. The opposite of sanitary napkins is unsanitary napkins.

Does the importance of the sacred--that which represents sanctity--become greater when people are confronted daily with filth?

Does it, in contrast, become less when our shit is invisible, and separated from us by toilet paper? How many Americans have EVER defecated without toilet paper?

Again: we are spiritual  animals. We can with justice look to the heavens and connect with our angelic nature. But we are also not so different than we imagine from dogs, who will not shit in their cage, instinctually.

I was in a very nice building yesterday, taking a dump in a restroom that smelled nice, with luxurious tile and wall covering and beautiful sinks, and I was thinking; this would be the nicest bathroom in the entire country in many nations. This would be how the rich live. And it was a generic building, and me a construction worker who happened to be passing through.

Anger

I had some dreams last night I won't share that showed me clearly that the path to managing anger is accepting it, and recognizing its importance for mental health.  It is as unhealthy to never feel righteous anger as it is to continually be angry.  All emotions serve purposes, and pretending otherwise is a recipe for self deception and for the same emotions to come out anyway, but in all the wrong places and at all the wrong times.  They have innate wisdom, but when you push them down, they become profoundly stupid.

And it occurs to me that anger, too, is a profoundly social emotion.  It tells us when someone is transgressing community standards.  We feel anxiety when we ourselves break the rules, and anger when others do.  The two go together.

And what I feel is that unexpressed anger leads to emotional and thus perceptual rigidity.  As I have commented from time to time, conservatives by at least one standard of measurement are more complete, and thus arguably more healthy, human beings than leftists.

Jonathan Haidt posits five moral foundations for all human societies, which like musical notes and colors can be combined and recombined endlessly: Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheating, Loyalty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, and Sanctity/Degradation.

Conservatives tend to have some concern for each of these, whereas Leftists focus only on the first two.

What I would submit is that, in making of "Compassion" a rigid ideology, the proper role of spontaneous anger is completely destroyed.  The way markers which would be offered automatically disappear.  The very capacity for non-ironic social inclusion is eradicated.  They become a society unto themselves, and at that one based only rhetorically on actual compassion, and actually based on the expression of the anger they do not know how to allow themselves to express in the right places.

As one obvious example, when you invite someone into your country, and care for them, and they attack, degrade, and very literally shit on your streets, anger is the appropriate response.  That is the worst imaginable affront to hospitality and kindness.  This has been utterly unacceptable behavior in substantially all human societies for recorded history.  But the Left makes of their complicity in such assaults on decency--here, sanctity and loyalty--a virtue.

As I have said often, you cannot make of any one virtue a god.  Or, if you choose, an idol.  At least, not in historical senses.  I have made of persistence, the rejection of self pity, and perceptual movement gods, but there is no content in this, inherently.  Persistence and movement and time will allow what was stuck to fix itself, and not feeling sorry for yourself prevents self obsession and all the delusions which follow.

In theory and to a great extent practice, any democracy is a self organizing system, and what it creates as Emergences depends nearly entirely on the ideas in play.  Bad ideas will INHERENTLY and ineluctably lead to bad things.  The quality of thought in a democracy is vastly more important than in any other possible system, and as I think has become obvious, we have been trending stupid for a very long time, and I will again submit that this rests on a dogmatic rejection of spontaneous social feeling,and particularly righteous anger.

Hell, we see some on the Left trying even now to justify crimes against children, and a resolute desire to ignore Islamic crimes against women and gays, even though these are groups they have invested enormous effort claiming they care about.

There are no actual principles in play.  I cannot say this enough.  There is a smoke screen, and uncontrolled, completely unconscious anger which seethes through everything they do.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Anxiety

Anxiety is a quintessentially social emotion.  When you look at a school of fish or birds in a swarm that turns on a dime, whatever it is that does that is an analogue for anxiety.  Anxiety tells us, in a social context, when we are out of tune or out of step--or it prevents this from happening in the first place. It is a way of orienting oneself within a social world.  You instinctively avoid what makes you feel anxious, although of course your frontal cortex can override what your gut is telling you.

As I said the other day, the culture where an individual belongs is one where he or she is self similar to the macro, and the macro is an expression of who and what they believe.  There is an up and down motion.  There is change, of course, and decisions that need to be made, but all within a known range, using known principles, ideas, traditions, and prejudices.

The tragedy of our contemporary age--and people often speak of this world as in decline, as if we were not perfectly free to make of the world what we want, and thus free to build something better--is that "culture" per se has in fact changed to the point where most of what we have in common is movies, TV shows, and if we are lucky a religious community.  It is very shallow.  Very little can be assumed.

It is not common to talk about views of death, and differing views of death are not considered sufficient reason to form a negative opinion of someone, in what are supposed to be conditions of universal tolerance.  Simply because one of is an atheist, and the rest of us are functional agnostics, that matters not at all.  It's a quirk.  What used to be matters of life and death have been reduced to individual ideosyncrasies.

I am of course in part channeling Bloom here.

But what I would submit is that what I would argue is an intermediate period between global conflict and global peace--at least potentially--is characterized by a great difficulty in calming that anxiety which oriented people traditionally in cultures where they were embedded, nested.

This anxiety--this social need, and the biological imperative as an animal to reduce chronic tension--is an important factor in the splintering of our society along countless lines, into immoderate and largely intolerant pseudo-communities.  To question that community is to risk bringing back the worry, or what amounts to a disease of self, which belongs nowhere, to no one, to no purpose.

So much of life is just hanging on, just continuing to move in the hope of insight, or revelation.  Our world is miraculous--it does speak to us--but far too few of us listen.

I continue to view with trepidation and no small amount of horror how eagerly so many people want to become Dr. Frankensteins and create mechanical monsters which will one day have the capacity to kill us all.  This is not creativity: this is purging.  It is driven by fear, by dissociation, by confusion, and by power lust. 

Black Mass

I was in a bar last night trying to remember the Johnny Depp movie where he played Whitey Bulgher (or however you spell it) and I was saying "Devil's picnic?"  "Devils Dinner"?

The name of course is Black Mass.  But it his me this morning that in some respects my unconscious was telling me an important truth. Is not the height of a traditional Catholic Mass the offering and consuming of the Eucharist?  Is this not where Jesus is symbolically cannibalized?  It is where the spirit of God becomes material, and is ingested by the faithful for their purification and improvement.  Jesus died willingly--this is pointed out in the Mass--and was innocent.  But he is often compared to a lamb, and lambs at that time were sacrificed and eaten.

Logically, a black mass would include the consuming of a victim which did not give its life willingly.

And both could be said to have aspects of feasts to them.  Food is a vitally important part of lives.  As I have said, arguably the digestive "drive" is more important than the sexual one, although of course both can be and often are combined.

What soothes the wild beast within us is one question.  How do we tame it?

But the second question, and the reason there are two masses, is "how can I use the animal within me to feel more alive?"

Neither mass is quite satisfactory from an individual pursuing optimal mental, emotional, and physical health.  We do not want to be animals or pretend to be angels.  We do need food, after all, and killing is a necessary element of that even for vegetarians.  The only alternative is the logical one of the Jains who fast themselves to death.

I am meandering a bit, but perhaps there is something useful here, for you, or for a future me.

Narcissism

My work, of course, continues.  I found the other day that I could contact conflicting elements within myself--effective solutions to real problems at different times which have outlived their usefulness--and hold them in a shared space.  I did not try to reconcile them: they must do this organically.  Intrapsychic force never works.

Perhaps I could stipulate a principle: the coming together of the components of psychic conflicts can be allowed, but never compelled.  Not, in any event, if true organic integration is the goal.  Again: there is a self similarity between this fact, and social integration, which also cannot be compelled, if the goal is true integration.  We tried to compel it: it didn't work.  And what progress has been made has been made in spite of the spokespeople for integration and "progress" of all sorts, not because of them.  When they understand one another, people tend to get along.  It is that simple.  And the same process applies intrapsychically, in that you in effect have to "introduce" disparate elements to one another.

I was talking to a guy last night in a bar who is a hard charger one minute, and a nervous wreck the other.  When he is a hard charger, he is putting important elements of his emotional self on hold, suppressing them.  But you cannot suppress things forever, or at least not without considerable cost.  Most alcoholics and drug abusers fit this profile.  "Functional" alcoholics, like me, fit this profile, although in my own case I see the problem and work daily--nearly continuously--to solve it.  This idea here, for example, is new to me.

I had some interesting dreams last night, that brought some ideas to mind, which I wanted to share.

Looking at my mother, she never loved me, because she does not know how, but she loved the reflection of herself she saw in me.  I am her.  I am a part of her.

And I started looking more deeply at what is called Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and I feel it really ought to be recategorized as a form of Developmental Trauma.  In fact, I would agree with Bessel van der Kolk that much of the DSM should be restructured to reflect the pervasive effects in later life of very similar traumas that happen early in life.  Depression, anxiety, phobias, compulsions: all have the same roots, and it is stupid--and in the case of the psychiatrists who receive so much remuneration from their moral equivalents in the pharmaceutical industry--venal to pretend otherwise.

Narcissists lack the mirroring necessary to develop a core sense of self, so they seek to force mirroring on the world.  They force the world to look at them, to pay attention to them.  Their every moment is a struggle between psychological disintegration, and revivification through being seen.  Everywhere they look they want reconfirmation that they exist and are recognized.  This is a continuation of a basic process which every infant goes through, where they look to the world, and ask it to see it, to recognize them as human beings, to recognize their needs.  But in a narcissist this world exists at such a primitive level that they cannot get to the root feelings, which are horror and complete confusion, to the point where psychotic breakdown is perhaps a real possibility in some of them.  This is why it is so hard to treat.

In effect, you have psychological infants out in the world, continually consuming what some theorists call "Narcissistic Supply", because they need it like vampires--who are perhaps one mythic emanation of this basic dynamic--need blood.  They need the life of others, their attention, their generosity, their openness, their giving.

I have to be honest: I don't know why I am still alive, other than that I seem to have been born with an enormous capacity for endurance and suffering.  The last therapist I saw was asking me where I got emotional support in my childhood from, and it was a very short list.  It amounted to, "well, I had a dog, and there were a couple teachers who were nice to me, and my grandfather who I saw once a year I always liked."

But all this is also extraordinarily interesting.  It is like a gave myself, in planning my life, a scavenger hunt, and intentionally hid some of the prizes in the deepest darkest places so I knew I would have to go there, would have to do deep introspection as a condition of survival.

I am gradually integrating.  In some respects the only fact that matters is that I DID survive, and did so with the capacity for internal focus.  I am gradually learning how to learn.  This is by far the toughest task any of us undertake.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Interesting

Given that the Constitution declares that Congress shall have the power to declare war, I have been wondering what options Trump might have in dealing with North Korea.  To some extent, the original Korean War never ended; this is why we have stationed troops there for over 60 years.

Obviously, it would seem stupid to put declaring war to a vote publicly in Congress, since North Korea would then likely launch a nuclear strike against at least South Korea. They have no hope of winning a war, of course, but they very much have the power to create a lot of pointless destruction, which is to say, to export what they produce internally as a matter of long term policy.

I had wondered if Trump could call each Congressperson and record their response as a de facto vote for war, so that he could prove he had "Congressional Authorization" without putting the whole thing to a public debate.  For that exercise, he would only need to involve enough people to get a majority.  Obviously, we have many traitors in Congress who have never met an American enemy or tyrant of their sort they didn't like, so leaks would be inevitable if too many people were involved.

But inviting the Senate to the White House?  Perhaps this is brilliance.  He could get a vote taken there, and claim that he upheld the Constitution while also making sure there were not leaks which would get people killed.  Hell, he could order the attack before they left the building.  The Senate is not the entire Congress, but it is by general legal and historic consensus the most important legislative body in the country.  The House was to be the home of rabble-rousers and lunatics like Maxine Waters.  She belongs there.  But the Senate, which in its name implies age, experience, and wisdom, was to be the most consequential body.

We have no obvious good options with North Korea.  Kim Jung Un is young, bellicose, utterly convinced by the sycophants around him that he is invincible, and apparently fully dedicated to building nuclear missiles which can deliver the nuclear warheads he keeps threatening surrounding nations--most recently Australia--with.

I have proposed building a Disneyland or whores paradise, or Shangri-La or whatever floats his boat, but it seems likely he is a grandiose sociopath who is utterly convinced of his military superiority.  I have proposed inviting some of his commanders to see the full array of weaponry arrayed against them.  He obviously could decline this offer, and our own commanders, for understandable reasons, could refuse to cooperate, or at least strongly advise against it.

The core truth about North Korea, though, is that every indication is that at some point he likely will launch a nuclear weapon at an innocent nation, and perhaps do so with no warning or provocation.  This is the height of recklessness, but a clear and very present danger to the United States, Japan, and many other nations.

Life at the mall

I will do a post soon on some thoughts on the notion and cultural history of the notion of bourgeois, but I want to offer s brief comment from s strip mall somewhere in America.

Where I used to see superficial, silly fat people, most of whom could not find France or Germany on a map of Europe or give even a rudimentary account of Smerican history, I now see people with all the equipment for powerful enthusiasms who await an honest revelation, a better reason to live than the ones they've been living for, if I might quote Bruce.

Nothing has changed here, but I am changing, and of course "the world" changes with me.

Observation

Many women have one identity with make-up and another without. And this identity can be mutable.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tension

Humans, like all animals, are naturally relaxed when not in immediate danger.  But because there is no limit to the potential dangers we can create in our minds--or which our minds create in the face of the active resistance of some other part of our selves--continuous tension is not just possible, but in modern society almost ubiquitous.

Tensions arise from present fears and worries, from psychological conflicts, and as the residue of a systemic charge created in trauma which has never been denuded through awareness of its on-going potency.

And most of what most people strive for, every day, is the reduction of tension. In important respects, this is the ACTUAL intention behind nearly everything everyone does.  Obviously, people conform even when they would otherwise be disinclined to do so because of the fear of being rejected, which is painful, which is to say, creates emotional tension, which we process as painful.

But even serial killers, pedophiles, and monsters of other sorts ALSO seek to reduce tension.  It is simply the case that their particular maladies are so severe that only extremely anti-social means will allow to actually accomplish their goal.  I think of the killer in "The Lovely Bones" relaxing in his bathtub.  The tension he lived with daily, of the pain he could not see much less process, of the fear of being caught he was very much aware of, was gone for a brief moment.  That is why he did it.  The anger and rage had to be put out into the world and someone or something had to die.

I have said this before, but if we make this very obvious--but rarely made (actually, I don't think I am copying anyone, as I have not seen this claim made elsewhere that I can recall)--observation that tension and the means to reduce it fuel nearly everything everyone does, we can readily affirm that learning to reduce tension is a principle purpose in living. So much of what drives us would not drive us, would not be necessary, if we could simply DIRECTLY address the tension fueling our manias and ambitions.

And I suppose I could mention sex, but is sexual tension really the main one?  It does not seem so to me.  I felt sexual tension earlier today, but I made it go away.  This is not the root of the problem.  If it were Mick Jagger would have been the picture of mental health.  Sex is a part of tension overall, sometimes admittedly an important one, often a secondary or even absent one.

But what philosophers talk about the existential importance of physical and emotional tension, and the logically following importance of learning to release them?  None that I know of, although I am hardly a serious student of philosophy (although I'm also not ignorant, having read a lot of books, and listened to a lot of lectures).  Picture Sartre, sitting at his coffee table, high on meth, chain smoking, drinking glass after glass of wine, writing 10-15 pages or more across much of a fairly long life.  What if he had learned to enjoy the simple pleasures of pleasant days, the songs of birds, and the joy of being?  What if he were that exquisitely happy man in the corner, friend to the world?

I have felt nauseated by the world.  I can get this sentiment.  But I did not see any need to attach ontological status to it.  I knew it was not "life".  It was the relic of a disease I did not choose, and have long sought to tame and master.

Go sideways.  None of us live in true hierarchies.  We live in a giant cloud, where relationships and directions are what matter.

Definitions

If we stipulate, as appears scientifically well grounded, that the mind by nature seeks to create order, then we can define culture as the Emergent Property of this effort, with regard to the following domains:

The creation of meaning, purpose, and human connection, all of which are biological needs.

The formation of clear ideas about what is true, and methods for determining it.

The proper way for people to relate to one another, from the family to the entire planet.

The proper means of ensuring physical survival, comfort, and perhaps even prosperity.

Cultures are in a constant process of formation, destruction, and alteration, and we all of necessity live within them, and are shaped by them.

The Self, society and culture are all self similar.  This does not mean, obviously, that a person from one culture can be fit within another, but that we all exist within cultures, and it cannot be otherwise.

What is absent in the modern era is compulsion to FORCE people to adopt specific behaviors which we also used to call culture.  In America, arranged marriage is uncommon, but very common in India.  Young men and women both have to accept it to remain a part of their native culture. If they do not, the link of self similarity is broken, but since cultures evolve continuously, the meaning and extent of this break can evolve continually, as perhaps new understandings are created.

The desire to avoid violence and war is also a cultural attribute, one of modern Liberal culture.  It is not a rejection of culture per se.

Cultures cannot be created.  This is the core error of Rouseau in his concept of Legislator, and the countless gallons of blood which people attempting to enact his ideas have spilled uselessly.

Cultures--like a bacteria culture--can be planted and watered and fed, and may or may not take root.  But they have a fundamentall chthonic character.  When deep, they arise from unconscious roots.

We are all continuous cocreators both of our sense of self, and of our culture.  Every wink, nod, shaking of the head, widening of the eyes, choice of words, participation or boycott, every social decision we make, has an effect on this thing which is not a thing, but which is also not not a thing.

The skeleton of a culture, what holds it together, is ideas.  This is true even if it is a tribal or traditional culture based on ancestral stories.  There is still the idea that these stories are true and relevant, and that the ritual activities associated with them are important.

Our culture currently rests on bad ideas.  The formation of meaning in important respects is inseparable from the formation of truth concepts, and it is difficult to overstate the importance of the notion of materialism, that we are machines made of meat, destined to be hurled into blackness after a short period of pointless activity and in many cases no small amount of emotional and physical pain.

The idea of materialism--now apparently called Physicalism--matters.  It matters a great deal.

Cultures, like selves, change over time, and like a rain shower are never replicated even day to day in exactly the same way.

An idea I would like to stipulate is that we can work slowly and gradualistically to shape our own culture, both by internalizing notions of the possibility and desireability and path to personal spiritual growth, and the idea that we are immortal beings, which is what the best, most honest science indicates.

It is logical to seek endless distraction from an endless void one cannot escape.  But it is not logical to ignore paths forward to greater happiness, physical well-being, and social harmony and connection.

A continuum can be drawn between a very specific cultural type where all details of life are more or less choreographed in full--let us say among traditional Vedic Indians--and a condition in which the physical body is COMPLETELY relaxed.  All of us are the same in relaxation.  Our cultures arise, I think I can argue, from our thoughts, and our tensions, which are related.  What thoughts make you tense?  This will vary from culture to culture.  What should one pay attention to?  This varies culture to culture.

But body awareness, human biology when healthy, is the same everywhere.  There is no language when there are no thoughts, and without language--including imagistic language, which is to say the pictures in our heads--there is no difference among humans.  We are all the same.  We can call this nature.

Rousseau apparently used to do a primitive form of Kum Nye by lying on a raft on a lake and just feeling his being.  Would that he had known about Kum Nye.  Perhaps we might have avoided the 100 million or more deaths in the 20th Century that attended the efforts to legislate and change human nature.

The one thing Allan Bloom makes very clear is that bad ideas produce shitty cultures, and that the idea that there are no shitty cultures is an example of a bad idea.  Well, he perhaps did not quite say that--he is keeping a very high level and honestly professorial attitude--but that is what I in any event will say.

And I would say that the point of culture is for all of us to become gods ourselves.  We all have sparks of the Divine in us, and our job in this life is to fan those sparks into flames, and become as self similar to the Creator as humanly possible. Our political path is to meet Madison's criteria for ending governments: making of all men and women angels.




Saturday, April 22, 2017

Every man a king, every woman a queen

I continue to listen to Bloom, and am really enjoying his lucidity and willingness to use clear language to express clear ideas, but I would object to what I understand him to be saying, which is that the American project, in its reliance on a theoretical and abstract individualism, is inherently monadic, which is to say atomizing and reducable in the end to economic values.

America was founded as a nation where private pieties, in the plural, could be shared openly.  It was founded as a place where thousands of churches could form congregations and masses of the faithful which worshipped God as they saw fit, and where they pursued their own understanding of virtue.  It was to be a place of countless small communities which tamed the wild beast without caging him.

This notion of the bourgeois keeps coming up over and over in his treatment of European thought, and I am going to need to put some thought to it.  Since I am listening to this, I also may need to read some of the passages several times, since his summations are extraordinarily useful, but warrant close reading and likely rereading.

But I would stipulate that from my own perspective I have not seen Chaos/Complexity Theory incorporated into the fields of morality and philosophy, and that this addition in my view helps solve many of the tensions and polarities.  With concepts like Emergent Properties, one can speak of things both existing and not existing, and not solely as a feature of language.  In my perhaps overly limited understanding, it seems to enable the solution of important problems, a project which seems, again in my view, to have been abandoned much too prematurely.

It would perhaps be more true to say not so much that the project was abandoned, as the incompetents operating the system painted themselves into a corner, and have been justifying their folly theoretically since.

And I would stipulate as a general rule as well that reason can help us get what we want, but cannot tell us what we DO want.

Axiom: If it has to do with machines, consult science; if it has to do with humans, your heart.

Definition: machine: any fixed or definable complex system which exhibits regularities in nature such that general principles can be stipulated, as well as the creations of the human mind expressed within the field of matter intended to be of practical use.

Not sure if I agree with all that, but I am tired so it will have to do.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Life

It came to me today that a good life is continually throwing off sparks: sparks of happiness, of creative insight, of originality of mood and behavior.

And I was sitting, contemplating loneliness and its alternative, emotional satiety, and it hit me that a happy spirit, one who has contacted the roots of life, is like a fountain, continually flowing outward in all directions.

The opposite of this is someone who is always leaning, leaning on people, on ideas, on distractions, on jokes, on drugs, on alcohol, on cruelty, on work, on a fixed identity which is absolutely rigid.

People who need each other can never see each other as they are.  There is no distance possible when both are leaning into each other for support.  Someone who says to another "I can't imagine life without you" is, perhaps, really saying "I will never fully understand you."

I have flickers of really interesting emotions cross my field of awareness sometimes, and I had a lot of them today.  It's becoming a better and better thing to be me.  God knows its been pretty shitty for a very long time.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fate

I had something happen the other day which convinced me that Fate is a real thing.  We all have destinies.  What this means, who chooses them, I don't know.

But I have decided that the way soldiers make peace with horror is wise and what I want to pursue.  When it is your time, it is your time.  You can't escape it.  And when it is not your time, then all your worry is wasted.  Practically, this means almost all worry is wasted.  No need to duck when you hear the bullet whistle by your head: it is far beyond you now.

Expand what is beautiful.  Expand hope.  Expand generosity and kindness, at least to your self.  None of it is wasted.  You become, slowly, what you dream.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Excuses

As a sort of way of sewing myself to the path of persistence, I had "Don't whine/Don't complain/Don't make excuses/Never quit" tattoed on my arm, or at least the abbreviations, some ten years ago.  It is 3/4's John Wooden's father, whose name I really should find out.  John Wooden did not spring like Athena from the forehead of the God of Basketball.

In reality, these were always distant targets I shot for not enough, and missed regularly when I did.

But slowly I am rounding a corner, and have determined that I need to define these terms for myself.  What do I mean?  This is part of my creed, one I chose freely from many possibilities.

This will be a project over the next week or two.  What I mean is in part who I am.

Do you wonder who you are?  Pick a direction, travel it, and see how you feel.  Repeat until your heart meets your will, and there you will likely find peace and success.

North Korea

In any way, especially in the modern era, there are more variables than can be accounted for by even the best mind.  It is always best to avoid war, but at the same time I cannot see us standing by idly watching as a man who has nuclear weapons works continually to develop the means to deliver them, all while threatening nuclear war.

It seems to me one major barrier to peace is Kim Jung Un's complete ignorance as to our ACTUAL military capability.  Perhaps we should invite one of his senior officers on a tour of our battle fleet, of our actual supplies of weapons and munitions, and allow him to film significant portions of them.

Perhaps we could bring them to the United States to see how we ACTUALLY live, versus what their propaganda teaches them.

And I continue to believe that Kim Jung Un has ZERO idea how much luxury and pleasantness we would be willing to shower on him for abdicating what amounts to his throne and opening North Korea to foreign goods and investment.  People could operate sweatshops paying close to nothing there and their people would be still be MUCH better off than they are now.  Hunger is a regular feature of their lives, as is sudden death from political activism, which could amount to no more than saying publicly "I'm hungry".

I have said this before, but building a Disneyland for Kim Jung Un on some uninhabited island in the South Pacific--in paradise--would still be cheaper than war.  It may have been his father obsessed with Disneyland, but he likely has his equivalent.  There is likely something he craves that he simply can't get where he is.

South Korea, which is our ally, is prosperous.  North Korea could be too, if only he would relent and allow his people their freedom.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Equality

It occurs to me that two dead people are more equal than any two living people can be made, if we do not ask what the  POINT of equality is.  Free to what?  Why?

Even if we get everybody at the same spot on the same line, some are naturally faster than others.  If the goal is to tear them down, to thwart them, to prevent them from demonstrating natural or social superiorities in talent and/or drive, then, again, what is the point?  Of what value a life where nothing matters but life, and equality?

Since the people articulating these lunatic creeds are not speaking from places of humanity, from their hearts, from any felt connection to the human condition, from any real sense of compassion, or even capacity for empathy, they have no answers, because these are simply not questions that interest them.

When one looks at the Fascists who claim to be fighting Fascists, the degree of disconnection from the whole of humanity and from obvious social realities, is such that they really become not people who think differently, but an example of psychosocial pathology which warrants explanation.

How, we can ask, in conditions of freedom, have Soviet Union levels of absolute brainwashing been achieved?  My personal opinion is that the long term Communist strategy of dehumanizing all of us, of tearing us from our roots, from groundedness, from belongingness not connected to economic factors, has had the effect of creating a whole generation of radically Other Directed people, who by the nature of their predicament MUST seek out and imbibe propaganda.  They need it like junkies need drugs.

It is quite a feat that has been achieved.  But for what?  It is no secret of history that murderous lunatics can be operationally and socially clever.  Should one admire the serial torturer, rapist, and killer who is never caught?  Research seems to show they all eventually commit suicide anyway, because they live their lives in hell.  There is not, and never can be, anything beautiful in violence.  It is sometimes needed, but far too many people, in denying this, bring it out anyway in the wrong ways and wrong places, and have no principled means for self correction or moderation.

Getting better at life

I find myself alone today, which is not surprising, since I am alone most days.  But what I found this morning, which was unexpected and new, is a newly functioning capacity for positive thinking, for ACTUALLY believing myself when I say things will get better.

Loneliness is never a lack of people.  There are people all around us.  In my own case, I push people away often, in irritability and mistrust.  Even though my adult experience has been fine, primitive parts of me continue to enact survival scripts from my early childhood.  I try to catch myself, to pattern interrupt, and sometimes succeed, but it is like facing a steady and strong wind.

So I do my practice, and recently I have been allowing up the most painful feelings I have ever known.  And what I am finding is that when they are allowed to speak, to expand as much as they want to, they diminish, and I find myself slightly more present to my own experience, and this, over time, will make me more present to others, and them, in turn, more present to me.  I have to be there, after all, for them to notice and care about me, or at least for me to be able to accept what they offer.

And it occurred to me that this skill--that of being present to experience, of enjoying life, of enjoying the company of others who are in turn attracted to my own lust for and embrace of life--is a skill which can be gradually improved across a lifetime.

What I am wrestling with in my Kum Nye practice is the tacit truth that what matters most is who you ARE, not what you can do, or what you have done.  Being--how you interact with the world through your senses and what underlies the senses--can be improved; or, perhaps, awareness of what was already there can be improved.  The two amount to the same practically.

It is an odd fact of Socialism is that it takes the same economic logic of Marx's version of "Capitalism" and makes them worse.  People have concrete and very specific values.  Life is about material comfort and progress, with nothing said about the more subtle aspects of life which make it genuinely worthwhile.

Socialism, if I might put it clearly and bluntly, has no means of placing high value on old people.  Their economic use is gone, and they are now net burdens on a system which simultaneously insists everyone must be within it, and also insists that it can decide which lives matter.  There is nothing moral or beautiful about this.  It takes the bottom line of Capitalism--which only there applies to business profit/loss statements--and applies it generally as a morality based upon naked utility.  Hence Shaw's poison--but humane--gas.  Hence some senior Japanese some years ago wishing out loud that old people would just get on with the business of dying.

This vision is anti-Humanist.  It sees no inherent worth in ANY human life.  It takes the logic of valuing people according to their economic productivity to the final possible extent, that of making of men machines in a massive assembly line, and denying them all other dignities and possibilities, something which cannot be said of what is called "Capitalism".

What is the point of life?  What is the VALUE of life, and how, philosophically, do we even begin to answer this question?

Economics only speaks in principle to how to get more stuff produced and distributed.  The most efficient, the best, economic system ever developed is free markets, free trade, enforceable contract law, and enforceable property rights.

Socialism, as I keep saying, is not an economic system at all.  It is a poorly constructed, utterly imbecilic system of MORALITY.  But because within its value system only material things matter, and since economics is historically what deals with things, it finds itself obsessed with HOW goods are produced and distributed, with the only real things in life being those which can be counted and weighed.

I am feeling a bit sad, and abstraction of course is how I deal with these things sometimes.  I would not change what I wrote if I were happy, but it's quite possible I might not have written it at all.

But I also feel cautiously optimistic, genuinely.  I am feeling the capacity to generate and maintain for increasing lengths of time positive feelings.  I do feel this will be a good day.  It is beautiful weather, and I will go for a long walk after doing my Kum Nye practice, and possibly smoking a cigar and reading for a couple hours.

Here is the thing: I cannot directly affect world events.  I cannot even affect the emotions of people close to me, at least directly.  How could I, when they themselves can't control them ? Most of what you see in the world is utterly beyond your control.  It will happen or not happen according to many factors, many of which cannot be foreseen by the actors themselves.

But connecting ones happiness and sense of well being to a massive world like this is a surefire recipe for unhappiness.  Something will always be wrong somewhere.  And being overwhelmed takes away what power we DO have.  There are many occasions to make small impacts here and there, and the Big Picture in many respects is an Emergent Property of countless small acts.

It is undoubtedly more useful to make oneself an excellent meal than to worry about anything.

I requoted Corrie Ten Boom somewhere, but I don't think here: "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows.  It empties today of its strengths."

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Trump and Syria

It remains to be seen how things will play out, but I wanted to point out that acting in apparently erratic and even contradictory ways is part and parcel of the Trump interpretation of the Game Theory of negotiation.  If you give people absolute confidence in who you are and what you want, they can make very precise calculations intended to get the best deal possible for them.  If they can't figure you out, you carve out a large space which is potentially negotiable, and thus potentially a better deal.

Trump said he wanted to get along with Russia, but now he is sounding war drums over Syria and calling for regime change.  This could be honest confusion, honest emotionality, and thus honest incompetence.

At the same time, we are not Russia's allies, per se, and they are not ours. Their interests and our interests do not precisely coincide.  Both of us have an interest in avoiding war, and both of us would like to see ISIS destroyed, but is Trump's best play inherently to suck up to Putin?  Not necessarily.  What if there WERE chemical munitions stored where he sent the missiles, weapons both Putin and Assad knew about, even if they were not using them, and in fact WERE the targets of a false flag attack, as I believe? It's hard to justify chemical weapons in that environment, even if they were not being used.

The whole thing has to confuse Putin, frustrate him, and make him wonder where he stands.

It also worked to shut up most of the media which was obsessing on their made-up story about Trump colluding with the Russians.  Now Trump is making nice with China.  What is one to think?

Add to this the North Korean situation and the decision to drop that huge bomb in Afghanistan (am I the only one wondering how the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria got into Afghanistan?), and it is POSSIBLE that a very complex game is being played.  It is also possible he is shooting from the hip, stupidly.

Either way, the path forward could easily include asserting tacitly that this was all well planned.  So if you make being erratic your MO, you can still seem a genius even when you fuck up.

Where do we go from here?  Well, obviously we want regime change in North Korea, and we want a ceasefire in Syria, some concessions of human rights to non-terrorists, and we want ISIS destroyed utterly.

Where I think focus should be placed, because this is interesting and important, is how do we get to a genuine return of something like the status quo ante in Syria, ideally with some political improvements?  What are the conditions, politically, economically, and militarily, which must be met for this to happen?

You can ask: what could Trump get from alienating the Russians?  For one, he makes clear that although he does not want hostilities with them--he did not target any Russian troops or planes--that he is also not necessarily their friend, especially if they are complicit in making it even POSSIBLE for Assad to engage in gas warfare.

As far as I know, nobody died in the missile strikes.  I may be wrong.  I don't know.  But it was certainly not MAINLY an attack on troops.  Sometimes when dealing with dangerous determined people--and Putin is that--you need to put them on notice.  You don't need to do anything that cannot be smoothed over, but you also need to show you have balls too.

The proof of the pudding will be what happens in the next six months.  If Trump commits significant troops to fight alongside and effectively in support of serial killing psychopaths, then he has lost his way and will lose my support, at least in that aspect of his Presidency.

But if he gets involved in serious negotiations and helps broker a truce and honest ceasefire, then I will call his game playing successful.

I personally would like us to ally with the Russians and yes the Syrians in destroying ISIS, which is an enemy of all humanity.  We don't have to be the best of friends, but we can and should help each other.

Time will tell what is really happening, and what Trump is really thinking, IF he is thinking.

Issues of the moment

1. Bill O'Reilly.  From a business perspective, the only argument that could be made for firing the top rated member of your network would be if he was going to start costing you money.  That seems very unlikely.  Whatever is alleged to have happened has already happened, and will be duly investigated by the State.  Their findings will be the same whether O'Reilly stays or goes, as will his and Fox News liability.

More generally, it should be obvious that as a top rated conservative, all the witch hunters on the planet have him in their sights.  The Left doesn't debate because it can't.  Their ideas and the outcomes based on their ideas, are uniformly horrible.  They seek to silence and intimidate those who will not agree to their lunacy.  For that reason alone--EVEN IF he is guilty--he should stay.  We need him.

And in the hypocrisy department, was there ever any doubt that Bill Clinton not just serially harassed women but routinely committed acts of sexual aggression up to and including rape?  Where was and where IS the Left on all that?  They don't care about it.  They don't care about women.  They don't care about human beings.  All they care about is expressing their obsessions in the public domain, no matter the human cost in suffering and misery.

2. Sean Spicer.  Spicer was right.  Hitler never used chemical weapons in his conflicts with foreign enemies, even though Germany easily could have.  The Holocaust was not a a civil war.  The Jews, with only extremely rare exceptions, never shot back.

This whole tempest in a teacup, again, has to be contextualized within the general environment which seeks to make of EVERYTHING Trump or anyone connected to him does a horrific and willful crime, which this time will FINALLY cause his supporters to cease supporting him.

What this mindset fails to feel in the air is that Trump is not so much loved as the Left--and its use of tactics JUST LIKE THIS--is hated.  We hate those abusive, cynical, evil mother fuckers with every fucking ounce of patriotic loyalty and pride we can muster.  There can only be small swings a few points one way or the other.  The vast majority of us see Trump as the last possible line of active defense and counterattack.  That won't change.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Kum Nye versus Plato

I will have to ponder whether or not I am grossly oversimplifying, but I think it could in any event be argued that the Western tradition rests on the idea that all important truths can be spoken.  This would seem to be the claim implicit in Plato, where the examined life--which is the proper life--is in large measure a conversational life based upon the use of reason.

This makes Wittgenstein's dictum "Worueber mann nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen" a de facto demolition of the Western tradition, and it would seem that in practical cultural terms, this is exactly what has happened.  Moral valuation as a consistent process grounded, at least in theory, in the use of analytical reason based upon clearly articulated principles is gone.  It is dead.  You have people condemning Fascism using Fascist tactics, and embodying the Fascist mindset and cultural and sociological gestalt of radical Other direction and authoritarianism.  This cannot be pointed out within the system, because the system admits no principles.

But if we make the simple alteration that philosophy proceeds from Truth, which is embodied in our sense of self as consciously experienced in, say, a Kum Nye practice, then it recovers.  Truth is ineffable, inexpressible, but what comes FROM Truth IS expressible.

Put another way, most of the time what is to be done is obvious.  It is intuitively and instinctually obvious, but the obvious needs defense in our modern world, where abstraction from abstraction--the use of bad reasoning to destroy good reasoning, which includes the destruction of those categories--has led most of our thought leaders into full dissociation from their bodies, from their intuitive selves, from their basic natural impulses which alone can cause them to feel real and their lives genuinely worth living on a deep level.

Our system persists only because economic success has made emotional superficiality on a long term basis possible.  Our griefs can be managed, and in no small measure medicated.  Distractions and distractions from the distractions have proliferated everywhere and become a vastly important part of our economic life.

But how many Americans can sit in silence for an hour in tranquility?

All of our problems can be solved, but we must first decide that we want to solve them, and that humanity is worth saving. Their hyperventilations to the contrary, I think most Leftists long for death.  They conflate their personal selves with the collective, and they want release from their interminable and--within their world view--insoluble problems.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Project Gaia

Most "intellectuals" (morally reprobate half-wits with degrees from prestigious schools) today seek global peace and harmony through centralized government.

Why not, I was wondering today, seek global peace through what we might term centralized, or global, IDEAS?  The Greeks already took such a project a long way.

Why not develop a plan, embraced by all of humanity, to decentralized the world, while slowly reducing global populations in a steady but continuous way, making for less people competing for resources we can harvest more efficiently with better technology?

Central governments are the tool of war.  They have always been the tool of war.  But there are no aliens attacking us, although I'm sure many globalists wish there were, and watch wistfully movies portraying global attacks.

We know, scientifically, that psi exists, and that we are all connected.  We know that our spirits survive the death of our brains.  All of these facts can be integrated into a global vision which will serve the purpose of religion better, and to which countless interesting myths--understood as lies which are true--can be appended.

Why not think big?  Why not assume that the survival of the human race in conditions of dignity is not just possible, but extremely realistic?

Toxic Feminity

As a general rule, men are physically stronger than women, and generally more aggressive.  They are usually less emotionally intelligent, and particularly less socially sensitive, for both good and bad: good, in that their feelings rarely get hurt in normal circumstances, bad in that nuance flies right by most of us.

But it is wrong to infer from the fact that men can rape and beat women either that women are helpless, or that they are not capable of horrific cruelty.

On the contrary, from petty bitchiness to outright psychosis transmitted through children, women are if anything more dangerous than men.  I would stipulate, in fact, as a general rule, that the most violent, fucked up men, had the most insidious and silently or overtly cruel mothers.  Men who are mistreated by their fathers take it out on other men.  Men who have been psychologically raped by mothers take it out on women, then get blamed for "toxic masculinity".

I was reading that some group of lunatic women somewhere finds biological boys inherently objectionable, so, presumably, they plan to torture such children in ways which make happiness for these poor souls absolutely impossible.

Where I think we need to be clear is that CRUELTY is what psychologically normal people object to, and normal people object to it in all forms.  They object when someone kicks a dog, and they object when some deluded bitch tries to bring up a boy as a girl.

And to take a more general tack, the reason racism is wrong is that it facilitates cruelty against other human being by providing an ideological justification.  It begins as an attitude, but all dehumanizations of others begin as a form of social violence, and end in actual violence.

Thus some forms of advanced--let us call it Stage 4--feminism treat men as less than human.  They prescribe cruelty.  They prescribe denigration, humiliation, punishment, not for specific crimes, but for crimes of birth, of being the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is ludicrous.

There clearly is a feminine nature, which is nurturing, compassionate, caring, and warm.  There is a masculine nature, which is daring, aggressive, curious, and highly protective.

It may be--I think it clearly is--the case that human advancement will involve better integration by both sexes of the best attributes of the other, but the pathway is THROUGH what already is, what is already given.

To deny what is given, what is there, is violence.  It is violence of the sort which permeated all the countless crimes of those robotic regimes run by the Communists.

To doubt who you are is to become a robot, and we have become a world filled with robots.

All this is a sketch based on some of the text from Allan Bloom I listened to today.  Some of it is mine, much of it is my interpretation of him.

2 comments

1. The left wing agenda is really a corporate agenda. Why else would so many massive corporations and billionaires support it?  Government  equals wealth and control for those who are connected.

2. Positive thinking is not about ignoring the bad but rather allowing in the good. Bad things will happen whether we want them to or not, but there is absolutely nothing necessary about taking risks based on the hope for something better. Most people, in fact, never do, and leave life with all the bad that was coming anyway, but none of the possible good that required belief.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Parenting

Allan Bloom talks about how our culture is affected by the knowledge on the part of both children and parents that at some point they will likely leave and never return.  They will travel for education, then career or marriage, and even if there is a reunion in a happy family once or twice a year, the relationship will have changed permanently.

And as he points out, the possibility of separation is already the fact of separation.  You have to prepare yourself psychologically.  And one has to wonder how this changes the relationship between parents and their children.  They know they will not depend on their children in their old age, as was the habit of the world until the present age.  Their children view it as their job to get out of their control, and to become economically and psychologically independent as soon as possible.

Do parents--especially mothers--sometimes unconsciously soften their children, make them more dependent and less able, in order to reduce the chance of their figurative voyage overseas, leaving them all alone?

And how has the nature of the necessary relationship between children and their parents--again, especially the mother, who is the emotional center of most homes--altered the maturation process.  In past ages, you would stay or--if at war or engaged in commerce--return to your home and extended family, your community within the community.

We no longer have communities within communities.  Most of the time, we do not even maintain the so-called nuclear family.

Now, I am speaking here of suburbanites and city people.  In the countryside, much of the old ways remain.  People are born, stay, and die in the same small place, where they have family, and know everyone.  This makes their culture, their expectations of others, very different than those who live in continual anxiety brought on the necessary social separations which their very different acculturation causes them to view as necessary.

People need people.  We all need to feel we belong, are understood, are valued independently of our economic worth, and can love and be loved without fear of loss outside of those which come with life.

I have made some significant progress in my own healing in recent days.  I may post on it, and I may not.  But I do continue to ruminate about how we get from here to a healthy global culture 100 years from now.  It is quite possible.  All the elements are there.  But we have to stop acting like and making love to machines. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Taxi Driver

I'm slowly going through an inventory of old movie "classics", and watched this one yesterday.

My take is that the plot would have been equivalent and in most respects better if it had chronicled a cabby in San Francisco slowly having a nervous breakdown, then jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, surviving, then finding a new lease on life.

I don't know why people think it is deep and "real" covering seamy stories we all know about, but doing so without any higher purpose, without any redemption.

Travis wanted to kill himself.  Option A was taken--that of killing a Presidential candidate whose only crime was being supported by a woman who, with considerable justification--had rejected him, so he went with Option B.  Iris was an after-thought.  His plan was if he couldn't get death by cop, he would get death by mobster.  Option C, which also failed, was simple suicide.  He ran out of bullets.  That's all.

Scorsese seems to think that extreme violence equals depth.  In the respect that it mirrors latent violence within so many people trapped in this giant rat cage, yes, it is deep.  But violence in itself is not redemptive.  It teaches nothing.  There is no lesson to be learned.  This is not an old school western where the bad guys are punished, and the rule of law and principle upheld.  This is a chaotic emergence from a world where everyone is venal, dark, sick, and lost.  Travis is not a good man.  He is suffering from undiagnosed trauma--likely traumas--of various sorts.  This is why he can't sleep.  He would have been more honest as a full blown alcoholic who spent his money on whores.

As Iris said, Sport was not a killer.  Nor was he abusive, even if we can all grant that having sex with a 12 year old is sick.  Travis was a killer.  But we are supposed to side with him, apparently.

I can check that movie off, but I can say with some finality that I am not a Scorsese fan.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Thought on insanity

On a pretty regular basis anymore when doing my Kum Nye practice, I will enter moments where words are acidic and damaging.  I feel fields of motion, perceptual domains where things are moving, where colors exist, where SOMETHING is, but where calling things out by name is ridiculous.  Change happens without planning, without thought.

And what I feel by extension is that the evolutionary purpose of psychosis is qualitative change within fixed brains.  There has to be nothing there for a moment, for something new to emerge.  The problem in our contemporary world is that if you cannot embrace this radical change, then the process can never complete, and you get stuck in the intermediary ground between one sanity and another.  And our system, by labeling, encourages people accidentally to stay there.  It medicates them so the process cannot complete.

I think many rituals of past tribal peoples, who knew much more about many important aspects of life than we do with what we assert to be our "science", understood that a butterfly is nothing for a period of time after it is a caterpillar, and that if you break open the cocoon too soon, what you see and get is a muddled mess.  You cannot conclude from that that nothing was happening, or that butterflies are impossible.

Sanity

I would like to define sanity for the moment--I may change my mind or heart tomorrow--as being consciously connected to the spirit of Goodness in a dynamic and adaptable way.

There is a wind blowing through the world--it has been called the Way--which suffuses the lives of those who breathe it with delight, resilience, compassion, and higher level intelligence.  If you can feel it, and know how to breathe it, how to be in it, then you are sane.

And if you do not, then you are some level of insane.  This is most of the world, certainly most of the "developed" world.  It continues to feel odd to me that Socialists--who as a cultural group are very amenable to diverse ways of doing things, to some forms of artistic culture, and certainly to oddness as a discipline--are so utterly unable to realize that there are rewards in life that have nothing to do with money, and that the rich are often miserable, and poor Africans who pound oil barrels into wood burning stoves they can dance around on cold nights are much happier.  God forbid they get rescued by professionals, which in most cases in the 20th century meant do-gooders creating the economic means for them to be reenslaved by their own people using Western money.  They went from one frying pan into another, while those, like Mugabe, who were copying the Western imperialist model using socialist rhetoric were praised by the "rescuers".

I watch people: at work, in bars, on the street, in restaurants, in the gym.  Everybody I see is hiding something.  Everybody I see has secret pains they in many cases cannot even admit to themselves, but which show up in behaviors they can explain but not really defend.  It is not what they really want.

This is Duhkha.  The Buddha was counseling nothing more or less than better mental health.  If your house is on fire, and you continue living there: insane.  Do you really need a reason to change other than realizing you are miserable and have been all your life, compared to what is possible?

I get this wind sometimes, for moments.  It only takes a whiff of perfume to process it, and this experience is the same.  It feels like the world is nurturing, soft, close, fascinating, and my own ability to respond with excitement and interested engagement even in the face of obstacles (which I faced literally today while I was trying to remember how wise I am (I am very wise until some mother fucking piece of shit gets in my way, then I start swearing, but, uh, in a spiritual way.  OM)) is robust.  Even bad things become interesting.  All experience becomes a source of growth and moving closer to continual contentment and frequent joy. Nothing shocks you, because you know that even in fabrics of grief there are threads of consolation, and that frustration and continually reinforced indignation are childish, churlish, and warrant starving, not feeding.

Becoming sane is, in my view, the point of life.  It is only accomplished rarely, but approximated by many.

Professor Bloom

I will likely make notes from time to time as I go through this book.  His is the sort of clear mind which is sorely lacking in nearly all universities, and which I would have loved to have encountered in my own education. He taught himself to see what was in front of him, while retaining a memory of what was ideal.  Put another way, he deals honestly with life's contradictions, a feat which is perhaps the summit of what education at its best makes possible.  Certainly, that is what I hear him arguing thus far.

He makes the point that whereas parents and grandparents in the past viewed it as their task to inculcate notions as to what is good and desirable, parents today focus more or less on vocational preparation.  He comments as well that with the ubiquity of media, parents have lost much control over their childrens moral development, even when they do try to instill what they consider moral values.

One point I found particularly interesting is the importance of music in culture, and thus in political life.  I think I have always sensed this.  I worked hard to bring my kids up with good, wholesome, honest, "life" music.  Both of them have thanked me specifically on a number of occasions for raising them with good music.

In any home there is always what is said and what is present but not said.  You want both to be in harmony, in congruence.  Music is a beautiful way to speak without talking.

Allan Bloom on Antifa in 1986

"Openness to closed-ness is what we teach."

The Closing of the American Mind

I finished listening to Confederacy of Dunces.  I really do believe that Ignatius Reilly--with his continual outrage, compulsive lying, emotional detachment, grotesque self obsession, and delusions of grandeur--really does represent an Ideal Type in a Weberian sense of the typical Leftist.  If you take Michael Moore, he even more or less LOOKS like him, although he likely has trouble sourcing Dr. Nut.

Likewise Myrna Minkoff (spelling approximate, since I listened to the book) is obsessed with saving people.  She wants to save HERSELF through her crusades to save others.  This, too, is the model behind the Daily Cause.  You have large numbers of emotionally fucked up people who want to feel better about themselves by finding--or inventing--people in "need", who in turn need them as saviors.  Being saviors, their lives are not without meaning, and being saviors, they are superior to SOMEONE at least.

I would add in that vein that it is odd to juxtapose the obsession with material wealth which suffuses socialist thought with the grandiose, Olympian detachment which intellectuals direct at the "bourgeois".  On the one hand we are to believe that only material equality matters--social inequality merely being a means to material inequality--and on the other that the culture of intellectuals is superior to the mere pursuit of material things, which are thus signalled as unimportant.  Unimportant, to be clear, to THEM, but not the poor fools who need them to agitate on their behalf.

Bloom himself, turning to my main point (as a segue I should note this is the new audiobook I am listening to), noted all this 30 years ago.  He points out that the intellectuals want to make of minorities the majority, with themselves as aggregators and shepherds of the minorities taken as a whole.  This is where we are today.

But the main point I wanted to make is that he predicted the outrage at Trump 30 years ago as well.  Trumps absolute core sin is positing such a thing as "American Interest", which might also be called the "Public Good".  He speaks of improving the lot of the "American People".

This is a sin because it posits as an absolute truth that such a thing exists, that positive coherent action is possible in support of clearly defined objectives; and positing an absolute truth is exactly equal to Fascism.  Since he speaks of the Public Good he is therefore, through a short chain of tortured logic, a Fascist.

I would encourage our public intellectuals, such as they are, to revisit this book, which was describing 3 decades ago the world we live in today.  It has simply become much worse.  Public lunacy is now tolerated in far too many places, and embraced by far too many people in power who should know better.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This is awful

The claim made is that this voice matches John Podestas. If true, this can be verified with s high level of precision.  And should be.

Actually, the video--which was audio of someone torturing a child--seems to have been removed already, while I was typing. Still, it hit the public domain and I'm sure HONEST law enforcement can find it and investigate it.

John Podesta is connected to everyone.  If he is a violent pedophile, as alleged, then some very powerful people in this country are very sick, which has been the allegation.

I found the video. I won't watch the whole thing. The voice needs to be identified: https://youtu.be/7b273RhFHCY

Shining light on pedophilia

Say what you want about Alex Jones, but he is right in nearly all cases about important general claims he makes.

Dr. Phil has embraced the idea that a large, global network of members of the power elite who engage in sexual deviancy and evil exists: https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/25713-dr-phil-interview-exposes-global-elite-pedophiles

Here is a group working to fight them, founded by a Seal Team Six veteran: http://www.vets4childrescue.org/

I am going to give them money.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The demonic

Last night, I think for the second time, but I really can't remember, I had some turbulent force erupt 1' from my face, in one of those dreams where you are more or less awake, and awake instantly when it is done.  I just watched and felt it.  My capacity for fear itself seems to be slowly fading.  You can only have so many bad nights before some fatalistic part kicks in, and I am hoping that is soon.

But the energy got me to thinking this morning.  The demonic is everything a properly socialized, intrapsychically healthy individual is not.  One acronym I have introduced in the past that I got from Dan Siegel is FACES, which is flexible, adaptable, coherent, energized and stable.

I would invert all but one of these for the demonic to inflexible, controlling, chaotic, and completely unstable.  The one I would keep is energized.  In fact, I would make the energy completely compulsive.

Thus, a demonic person is one who needs to control others because they are inflexible, and who need that power because what they are asking for, what they need, varies continually, all in a context of hyperarousal, fear, and furious energy.  A whirlwind.  That is what I felt.

Once again, I will channel my own inner pedant and point out that this describes the Left.  It is not that they want concrete things--actual amelioration of any human conditions, for example--but a channel for the expression for incoherent and destructive energy.  It is demonic, as I continue to say regularly.

As for me, I will add as a goal something the 109 year old also said, which is that he would sleep just fine with all his doors unlocked.  He was not afraid to die, and figured when it was his time, it was his time.  I'm not going to go to that length--I haven't lived a century after all, although I suspect he's been like that most of his life--but it is worth asking the question: what do we LOSE through continual thought about and preparation for the worst?

I have seen demons.  They did not hurt me.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A good life

I was watching a video on a man who has aged to 109 beautifully. And what struck me is that he has numerous things throughout the day and week that he likes and which make him happy.  He likes to smoke cigars. They make him feel good.  He likes soup.  He likes to drive.  He likes to go to church.  There are a number of small, controllable things that bring him comfort and small pleasures.

Over and above the wisdom of this, I suspect small things which make us happy also enable us to live longer.

Spring flowers do not last forever.  Enjoy them when they are at their peak.  It is beautiful around here right now.  And eat cookies and candy from time to time.  I suspect the stress of orthrexia is more damaging over time than the shortfalls of the pretty close approach.

My fellow Americans

I am house watching for someone, and they said I could watch TV and grab a beer from time to time, which I took advantage of tonight.  I watched the end of one of the Transformers movies, then 2 and a half episodes of the Walking Dead.  Tonight is the season finale, but I needed to go to bed, and in any event I don't follow much of what they are talking about.

But I could not help but feel I was participating in American culture.  This is what we do.  There is a morphological similarity between knowing that everyone in your culture is performing a certain ritual at a certain time, and the ritual of TV.  It is a talking point.  It is a means of bridging individual gaps.

And I see that we are all confused.  TV really is in important respects our culture.  When people want to talk about something shared, it is usually mass media in some form, whether it be TV, music, movies, or something on the internet.

Where people did things slowly and together--as in church, as in Rotary, as in the Masons--half a century ago, now it is solitary, but shared later (although sports, of course, many still watch together, which is good).

And I felt, too, that interacting empathetically with the characters made me feel less lonely.  Emotions were going on, and I felt like I was sharing them.  There is a sociality with TV and movies, where we create the feeling of being with others, and participating in their lives.

It is an odd fact of our age that we are culturally disconnected already, and vast segment of our thought leaders in the universities and political arena are working HARD to deconstruct what few cultural markers and shared assumptions remain.  The crowd is getting lonelier.

It is odd that watching normal TV makes me feel like a part of the human race.  I should do it more.  Really, I should get cable, and a better couch.

I am an odd duck.  I often feel I am in the wrong time and place.  I have, I feel, so much to offer, but few people seem to have any interest in my many ideas and projects.  Misunderstood: ah, there is a word one sees often with outliers.

Shit, I do still need to get cable.  I find sports relaxing too, especially baseball, golf and tennis, because I could not care less who wins.

Peace

So I spent an hour or two listening to Shostakovich, and I cannot escape the idea that what we need to eliminate is not nuclear weapons--and all the other things that could destroy us, like weaponized AI, and germ warfare--but the IDEA of all of these.

Everyone at some level wants peace.  All nations--the people of all nations--want peace.

What we need to figure out is who wants war. There are many people in positions of power who want war.  Who need war, despite the cost.  At any cost.

Nations who do not want war still prepare for war, because so many people in this world are still insane.

My sense is that we need to eliminate those who cannot be negotiated with, and negotiate with the rest.

Why can't we all want a world where we are all free to live and die as we see fit?

Life principle

There is nothing there, until something is there.

Feelings

I am day drinking.  I might make Sundays the day for it, and swear off more than one or two anywhere else, but it is interesting and, I feel at the moment, productive.

Ponder for a moment the emotions latent within a single person interacting with the world at home via the internet, TV, and movies on DVD.  It is overwhelming, and it is small wonder that so many of us shrink our perceptual domains so much.  The world is large, and it is all in our rooms.

This morning, after taking my dog on a long walk, where I listened to and failed to find several woodpeckers, watched robins chasing squirrels, watched tall trees gently dancing in the wind, and felt how beautiful this world can be (bon mot: Beauty is fleeting, but eternally refreshed), I spent half an hour watching Alex Jones talking about pedophile rings after talking with an ex-Seal Team 6 member who is saying that based on information conveyed to him privately that most of what Alex has claimed to be true is in fact true.

Then I watched Sunset Boulevard, which had long been on my to-do list.

There is a feedback loop here, in that the plot of the movie revolves around a certain latent insanity in the movie business, but that it itself was a movie, one which talked about how so many of the makers of our popular culture are in some respects insane.

And I can only process, myself, so many emotions while drinking.

I say process: of course, anesthesia is coming short of a full reckoning, but in my own case my own feelings are so powerful that I need an intermediate or softening step.

Look at all of us, with our TV's, our news, our video games.  No one can possibly process the world.  We are not strong enough.  We are not evolved enough.  Everybody falls short, and goes into belief and abstraction.  We create filters.  We dissociate, then call the remaining sense of outrage profound.

One can never know--I can never know--if I speak for others.  We cannot read one anothers minds.  But I continue to believe William James basic insight that introspection must be one tool for figuring out what applies generally.  It is that, lab rats and white coats, and some combination of the two.  That is all we have.

We are not meant to care for the world.  The world is much too big.  I only recently memorized all the countries in Africa.  The NAMES.  That is all.

All order must of necessity be local.  There can be no other kind.

But I see, and feel, those who would make of information technology, of computers, of AI, something bigger than all of us, which CAN see and know and thus "feel" through distancing and analysis all of it.

We can build a perfect world, we are told implicitly, if we can just build monsters which CAN process all of this, which have no human limits.

And thus some of our best minds dedicate themselves to a world where humans really have no place, where souls are not a recognizable category, where "life" is merely an accidental machine which has yet to be fully analyzed.

Where, to be clear, their fears, and doubts, and confusions, disappear into an abyss of perfected matter.

Goethe said that nothing human was foreign to him.  I am no Goethe, but I understand why he would say this.  We all operate according to simple codes, which in cases of profound dysfunction proceed from an existential premise that none of us are loveable and life has no purpose.  This "premise" proceeds, in turn, from primitive realities, from truths such people cannot remember.

A perfected world is small.  Many, many people see this, without perhaps being able to articulate the reason.  This is the root of "Keep Austin weird".  Keep Portland Weird.

Local knowledge must be in the hand of local control.  This is the essence of Liberalism as I define and embrace it.

I see sometimes in my reveries screams from the future, saying "save us, save us". I am but one man, perhaps half a man, if you factor in all the ways I don't work properly, but I do what I can.  It is small, but all I can do.