Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Depth

It seems to me the prerequisites for emotional depth are solitude, silence, and time. I was tempted to add pain, but pain comes out in any long enough contemplation of the human condition.  So, too, does joy, if the person is wise enough to attach themselves to a useful tradition.

Is it any wonder, though, that so many people in modern America are so superficial?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Back Channel Communication

Is it not obvious that Trump cannot trust his own government to keep his secrets?  He is literally going to need to engineer means of conducting foreign policy which do not touch most of our intelligence and diplomatic apparatus.  As Head of State, and Chief Executive of the United States of America, he is granted wide latitude in how he does business, and trusting people who leak everything he trusts them with does not need to be part of his job description.  Nor should it.

Our media are so concerned that he is sharing secrets that they release all the details on the front page.  Am I the only one who sees the problem here?  I don't think so.  His approval ratings are astonishingly high, considering the 24/7 media hate campaigns being waged against him.

I will add that if Sean Hannity is forced out at Fox, I will start watching and listening to him wherever he goes.  I think Bill O'Reilly and him could do quite well somewhere, perhaps the network where Mark Levin and Michelle Malkin are broadcasting.  I would pay just to support the concept of a press not dedicated to daily lies supporting global fascism.  We need that, and have far too little of it.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Psychological infantilism

It is an odd fact of our present hour that many people have rejected the Western tradition of not just valuing reasoned discourse in practice, but even of principle.

I interact with people on the internet who seem to have never grasped that life has limits, that pain is a part of life, that their side could be wrong, or that we have to make decisions, and that every serious decision precludes necessarily all the other options.

They seemingly believe that life should consist in never-ending cake which they can eat their fill of, and which will magically replenish continually.  Because that is their experience: their overprotective, neurotic mother always made more, and in their own lives they traded one mother for another, if they got that far.

What does one do with people afraid of life as it is?  Any reasoning which leads down a path which frightens them, angers them.  They become filled with rage at the temerity of anyone who would suggest they can't have it all, and that calling for manna to fall from the sky is anything but the perfection of virtue.

It is hard to know what to think, and even harder to know what to do.

Our tradition is based on the notion that a multiplicity of viewpoints is best able to approximate the truth of a matter, that the best way to form a viewpoint is through the application of reason to the facts as we think we know them, and that the best way to reconcile disparate views is through the use of reason and science.

When one founds ones Reason on Materialism--I would argue all serious logical streams begin with a position on the nature of life--the end result is the meaninglessness of life.  This is why, as I understand the matter, Nietzsche argued for passion, for artistry, and in effect for rebellion against life as it is.  He argued for myth, in a world denuded of it, which amounted for a call to self delusion, again as I understand the matter.

Perhaps infantilism is the logical end result of this process.  If you can't stand the world as it is, back off, lie to yourself, and pretend.  One can only stand heroism for so long, most of us are not born with heroic temperaments, and the air conditioned world, of course, breeds out what courage might remain.

And so we are left with permanently crippled minds and personalities occupying our best universities, preaching drivel, thinking insipid and unclear thoughts, and possessed of the arrogance of youth--a youth, to be clear, which never fades--and universal sanction outside of a few people who remain committed to the ideals of our culture, like me.

As William James pointed out at the very beginning of his lectures on Pragmatism, the question of God is not really A question, but in important respects THE question.

The question of atheism is not "can one find morality", but "in what direction does this system operate in aggregate, as a result of the complex logic of the system"?

And as I keep saying, the question is empirical.  We know psi exists, we have compelling physical evidence to believe the soul and brain are severable, and in the Zero Point Field we have a good guess as to what God might be.

There needs to be a "God Science".  We need people dedicated to researching what, within the various religious traditions, can be scientifically validated.

In my personal view, biology, specifically, needs a massive paradigm shift in the direction of resurrecting currently moribund ideas about life as systemic.  As I have said before, the work of Cleve Backster, as the most obvious example I can think of, needs to be revisited.  He demonstrated over and over and over and over and over--thousands of times--replicable work which cannot be explained by current paradigms.

Some people generate a sense of self worth and power by feeling like they know everything.  Their knowledge is their mastery of the world, and by extension of the people they interact with poorly.  Their psychological defects blind them to  new truths.  Rather than get EXCITED when something challenges what they believe, they become defensive, lie to themselves and others to make it go away, then continue, complacent, stupid, and wrong.

I hope we survive this era.  But if we don't, there is ample blame to share all around.  Substantially every biology department in every university in the world will be complicit.  So, too, will every Psychology Department.  I dealt with that a few posts ago.

Don't lie.  Don't cheat.  Don't steal.  This is a simple enough moral code.  This includes "don't lie to yourself.  Don't cheat yourself.  Don't steal from yourself."

Friday, May 26, 2017

Call of Duty

I read first person shooters are good for your brain, and have overcome my initial scruples and started playing Call of Duty.  The two I have are Modern Warfare 1 and Modern Warfare 2.

Released in 2007 and 2009 respectively, the enemies in the first one are Russians and Syrians (the guy we are looking for is named Al-Assad, and at a certain point he detonates a nuke he allegedly got from the Russians), and in the second one the Russians invade Virginia.

It is odd to me that these two countries specifically would have been chosen back then.  The Iranians, the North Koreans, and even the various Al-Queda groups in Iraq and Afghanistan would have made more sense.  We were fighting them then, and the possibilities were and remain considerable.

When the story of the modern era is told honestly--if it ever is--we may all wonder how we were collectively so stupid.

Extraordinary

https://newrepublic.com/article/142821/nazis-made-art-fascist

As I have pointed out to the point of tedium, National Socialism, and actual Fascism, both spring from utopian impulses.  This makes them Leftist projects.

True conservatism, "rightism", is the process of valuing and where necessary returning to the old. In France, from whose revolutionary "Assembly" we get the term "rightist", it implied Monarchism.  There had been a king, the king was overthrown and killed, and they wanted--and got--one back.  This is conservatism.

NOTHING that contains the word "new" can be called "rightist".  Yes, Hitler through and with Wagner invoked the old Germanic myths, but they had not been present when he came into the world, and they can't possibly have meant exactly to old German tribes what he made them mean in his modern Germany.

His Aryan--which is a Sanskrit word--was the result of philological study which indicated it was POSSIBLE that his neck of the woods was the original homeland of those tribes who became the creators of the Sanskritic, Greek, and Latin traditions and cultures.  They were the Urheim, in other words, of most of the best ideas of the world.  This was his myth, his claim.

It is astonishing to me that in a world where we are being told gender specific pronouns are wrong, that concepts of gender dating back to the first births of human consciousness--being based, as they are, on measurable differences in brain structure and of course biology--need to be discarded, and that all received views of our common culture are outdated and harmful, that those who seek to preserve some connection with our past would be conflated with the utopian projects of the Nazis.

That this is propaganda is obvious.  That the author does not see this is equally obvious.

I wonder sometimes about what I am beginning to think of as "the mind in the air conditioned world", which is so soft that it sees almost nothing, all while spewing words like a waterfall of acid.  So many are unconnected with the world, with reality, with common humanity, which is not common to them at all.

So many, so active on the stage of public affairs, are Sophists, while believing they are scientists.  Nothing to them is true, which makes their words the only truth they care about.

It is scary, and very hard for me to comprehend.  I have said to people often: I do not know how you function with your brain in such a small box.

JFK Assassination

I hear that according to a Congressional Act dating to 1992, all records concerning the Kennedy assassination must be made public by October of 2017, unless specifically blocked by Trump.

This would seem to be a no-brainer: the CIA is actively trying to overthrow the democratically elected leader of THIS country, which makes them his enemy, which makes anything that weakens them good.  It is hard to see how anything vindicating the CIA would be contained in those files.

Alternatively, depending on how desperately they want those files suppressed, he could use this as a weapon to force them into a MAJOR house-cleaning, one which would happen long before the October deadline.  We need an agency that works FOR America, and it seems to me a lot of heads need to roll to make that happen--and in the process they need to just be retired, not allowed to hire on immediately with a private corporation that seeks the same ends, but funded by foreign governments and who knows who.

It is interesting that Obama had the opportunity to allow--apparently it happens unless stopped, which means he stopped it--the release of the files on the Bay of Pigs invasion.  All accounts point to a feckless and cowardly JFK abandoning his soldiers on the beaches of Cuba at the first sign of resistance.  The historians I read argue that the Russians saw this and concluded he was a pussy, and this is what created the Cuban Missile Crisis, which far from being a sign of his genius and leadership, was the outcome of more or less secret failures he had been able to suppress.

By law the cycle is 25 years.  However, it does seem to me that the President ought properly to be able to order the declassification of anything he chooses, at any time he chooses.  He runs the intelligence agencies.  The law simply states that there will be an automatic declassification.

If I am right, this might be an interesting project for Trump: combing through secret files and determining what will most embarrass the people trying to embarrass him right now, and releasing that data, or holding it, subject to them acting like fucking patriotic Americans.

What he could do IMMEDIATELY is put somebody intelligent that he trusts on the project of reading through these files, which could contain very, very explosive information, and figuring out some combination of what is right and what is practical.  Those decisions would depend on the details.

And what if the CIA WAS in some way behind the assassinations?  That would mean they have been involved in internal regime change since at least the early 1960's.  Surely that is something Trump would want the American people to know, especially since that same CIA was capable of hiring, in 1977 or so, a John Brennan who voted for the Communist in 1976.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sybaritic Leftism

When people react not with rage and anger to the purposeful, planned murder of innocents--murders called for publicly by people known to the government, and supported by large numbers of the Muslim community--but with calls for "love", and "can't we all just get along", then these are the people I identify as nice but useless.  They are also on the path to evil.

I talked about these things about 7 years ago in this piece: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/files/Download/Website--Sybaritic%20Leftism%20and%20Cultural%20Sadeism.pdf

As I said, the main problem is not primarily that people choose the decadence implied in asking the government to take the risk of living out of their lives, but that such people have no means of defending their system from those who want to crash and destroy it.  They can't even bring themselves to stop bringing such people into their countries.  The whole thing is ludicrous, and based on emotional weakness, and sloppy thinking--thinking which in important respects rests on the ideas of humans as finite animals in an infinite universe, one in which everything comes to nought, no matter how hard we try.

Ideas have consequences.  This is why serious people have to honestly question their own first assumptions, particularly when it is OBVIOUS that they are emotionally rooted.

There are no atheists out there who consistently reconcile their positions with the best data available.  This is impossible, because the best data implies some form of theism, and requires of anyone honestly committed to the scientific method at least agnosticism.

No: it is a belief system, one which, once adopted, becomes prey to the same Confirmation Biases they can see in everyone but themselves.  What makes it impossible to escape is that they conflate their dishonesty with honest science.  Atheism then becomes not a scientifically defensible position based on science, but becomes SCIENCE itself, and all dissent inherently ignorant and psychologically rooted.

Multiculturalism

Their motto is "anybody but us".

Unanswered, because unanswerable in a formally post-rational context, is the question: has human civilization advanced in the last 1,500 years?  If not, then Muslims following their religion scrupulously--and the rules are set out VERY clearly and are not supposed to change, ever, for any reason, until the end of time, at least formally--are no different than those who believe in universal human rights, the importance of an accountable government, and the value of political and moral freedom.

The man who beats his wife for disobedience--or even to prevent it in the first place--is EXACTLY equal to the children marching in the streets for his right to do so.

The man who participates in a gang rape of an infidel woman, as he sees it, is EXACTLY equal to a feminist who argues for women's rights.

There is no difference, because where no morality exists, no progress is possible, and no basis for judgment exists.

It is a short step from here, to labeling residual efforts at morality "false consciousness", and then formally embracing evil as a creed, as all hard core Leftists--what I call Cultural Sadeists--tacitly and not infrequently explicitly, do.

All of this is only made possible by bad ideas, advanced by mental and emotional defectives, and amplified by well funded sociopaths.

Everything good is good

JJ Grey has a song, "Everything good is bad", and on some level I think most of us have felt this.  If you have been married a long time, the odds are overwhelming you have at least thought about infidelity.  JJ Grey himself--who I have seen, and who is a fantastic performer--is also, as they say, a "recovered" alcoholic.

At some point he could not stop himself, or, at any rate, he didn't, regularly.

I think there is such a thing as "self enabling".  In some cases, of course, there is some sycophant who secretly takes pleasure in your self sabotage, but I also think that only augments something already there.

Let us say as an example that you decide to give up cookies for one week.  White sugar, calories, self discipline, etc.

Two days in, the temptation becomes overwhelming, and some voice comes in your head and says "it's no big deal.  It's only a couple cookies".  We all know this little devil on the shoulder.  Or most of us do, in any event.  We all mostly get by, but fail often in small things.

What is this?

What I would suggest is this is poorly regulated biological drives, combined with insufficiently developed self calming capacity directed by the frontal cortex.

Our addictions--and addictions can be very, very small, like binge watching Netflix--connect our sense of self with our more primitive gut intelligence.  The gut is the energy behind everything nasty and everything good.  It is a primal force, which has to be channeled, and which is mostly, but not entirely, channeled by most modern Americans in positive ways.

Freud told us that sex was the primary drive.  But so many people are having so much sex, and it is not making their lives much better, and seems in a great many cases to be alienating them from themselves, and from others.

Given the current obesity epidemic, over and above the abysmal stupidity of the anti-fat movement, it is not hard to argue that as a culture we have switched from the sex drive to the gut drive, instinctively.  It is more primal, and better at helping at least immediate self regulation.  It, too, has a hunger, and unlike when we speak of "sexual hunger" this one is literal.  Gut imagery underlies much of our speech and thought.

"We", as emergent properties of the complex interaction of many nervous system inputs--which would in my view include spiritual inputs as well--have as our task moving from matter to spirit.

I would like to suggest that the main point of life on Earth is learning to choose the Good, which is to say what we choose from our higher Selves, and choose consistently, and do so calmly and reflectively.

When you DECIDE something, really decide it, the process is perhaps not easy, but is automatic.  You don't have to choose repeatedly.

For myself, I can imagine a world where sticking to a diet and exercise and work program is easy.  I decide what is good for me, and lose along the way that competing voice which tells me that this choice--like every other choice--has forgotten some other part of me which feels the need to make itself heard through what we call self sabotage.

Ponder this conception of self sabotage.  For me, I was watching a war in my dreams last night between the bad Transformers, and the good ones, led reasonably enough by Tony Stark.  I of course wanted the good ones to win, but as an adult in the waking light, I realize that the bad ones are me too.  They are parts of me trying to get a voice, and which having obtained a voice, will become allies.

The word integration is overused, but it certainly includes incorporating--look twice at that word--our own evil, with all the energy for good it held hostage.

I do believe there is a teleological element to life, that this world in some respects is a breeding ground for choosing beings.

And the point is not to punish evil doers, but to herd all of us gradually in the direction of good.  Without negative--and positive--feedback, the system does not work.

Here is a mantra I have decided to use for myself "Everything good is good".  You need this idea of goodness to support yourself in your own decisions.  The idea is invaluable.  Do you not think it has to compete with the idea that self denial is bad?  That we are basically animals characterized by anxiety in a herd much too large for us to compass, and that anything which meliorates any sense of unease for any period of time is defined, by our culture, wrongly, as "good", and perhaps even "god"?

These are some deep ideas.  I offer them to you in the hope they nurture your spirit.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

False flag blackmail

Let us say US intelligence DOES have incriminating information about Trump--or for that matter any OTHER person they want to influence, which for example could include members of the Supreme Court, the FBI, and of course Congress: would they need to identify themselves in any way?  Could they not pretend to be anyone they wanted?

Could the whole Russian campaign be a false flag intended to make Trump himself believe that someone who might be sending anonymous notes is Russian, when in fact it is John Brennan, through many intermediaries?

Again: walls need to be put in place, if this is technically possible, which protect civil rights, and they need to be guarded by honest people.  This may be hopelessly naive, but perhaps we could hope that rival spy agencies will spy on one another, and that the patriotic one wins.

Todays conspiracy theory

We know our intelligence agencies  (we apparently still have some whose names we are not allowed to know, just as the existence of the NSA was for a long time classified), certainly including the CIA (which literally has and had no legal warrant for eavesdropping in the USA--other than, of course, their political support of Leftist causes), placed global surveillance on Trump and those around him, extending a currently unknown distance. [This itself, and possibly law breaking involved in it, would in my view be properly a topic for Mueller].[Sorry for this sentence: it demonstrates well how my wandering mind works, often]

Here is my thought: what if they found something to blackmail Trump with?  They keep talking about the Russians blackmailing us, but what if they are blackmailing Trump right now?  In addition to the opposition of the Republicans, the Democrats, and the media, this will make it nearly impossible to accomplish anything.

What if they further have incriminating evidence against nearly every member of Congress?  It is hardly a stretch.  We have the capability of seeing and hearing nearly everything, and it would be a rare individual who never in their life did something they would not want on the front page of a paper.

This might be why, other than his congenital commitment to principle. Rand Paul continues to be one of the only ones willing to ask hard questions, and to pursue conservative causes honestly.

Certainly I think Trump has done things we still don't know about that would make for, shall we say, an unusually busy news day.  At the same time, the people who put him in office (I do think Trump won the vote honestly, although I also think hacking the election is something that is current project of US intelligence)  GET that this system is broken, and getting every year worse, and trending to the end of US sovereignty.  We would--and have--forgiven nearly anything.  If framed as political blackmail, I think truth telling might well work, particularly when combined with criminal charges against those responsible.

And let us assume that Obama was the illegal immigrant, here on a long-expired Indonesian student visa, an ardent homosexual, and son of Frank Marshall Davis.  Do you not think that they had him by the balls, even if he was in any event inclined to their cause?

Ponder carefully a largely unsupervised intelligence apparatus capable of gathering instantly a nearly unlimited quantity of highly personal data on any human being on the planet who has spent any time in our networked world.

Do the math.

In my view, our future depends on honest patriots--honest idealists and visionaries--within our system.  Part of my writing, here, is trying to build support for alternative futures, other than a global totalitarian state framed as our friend and family.

All of us have been poisoned by a system which teaches us to distrust our best ideas, to distrust our instincts, and to elevate a vapid niceness to a God we place on high, to be used as needed by the psychopaths among us to render us defenseless, and helpless.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"Recovery"

It might be useful to see most addictions as "life abcesses".  Addiction is merely an outer form, the one taken by the pain which cannot be felt and cannot be expressed in a healthy way.

The word recovery seems to indicate that everything was fine, then you hit a bump in the road, and now you just have to "get back on track".  No: in a great many people things simmer and fester for long periods of time before they erupt in measurable anti-social or self destructive behavior.

I am in my middle age, and am only slowly feeling what happened to me all those years ago.

There is no addiction recovery.  There is a reinvention of self.

And there is no healing.  There is a release from a cage.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The South

A different vision, for some: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvaEJzoaYZk

Watching

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvUI-s4Azw4

I have long identified with this woman.  Oh, but more is possible than the slums and clouds of Dublin.

Sometimes I watch troubled clouds drift over me and rain.  Sometimes they thunder and lightning.  Sometimes I feel relative peace. I try to feel the sun.

But I feel at the moment that I would not exchange anything for my pain, for my visions, and for what wisdom they produce that may prove useful.

I am a Mountain Goat butting the heads of all who would oppose this.  I won't quit, and you won't break my skull or horns, or equal my skill in the mountains, or capacity to see and appreciate the sun in the higher altitudes.

The acceptance of pain is a blessing.  Because pain is nothing more or less than a teacher.  It is not an end.  I am not a masochist.  But I am one who watches, and to the extent I can manage, sees.

Learn: this is our shared destiny.

Trauma Yoga

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_pkgi-qdyQ

About 3:40 Levine starts talking about the traditional Buddhist paths to surrender.  And he talks about surrender near the end, but for my own purposes I would call it "the end of continual struggle with a self sustaining victory".

The four means he discusses are ecstatic sex, long term meditation, death (e.g. the Tibetan Book of the Dead and what might be called "Death Yoga"), and trauma.

Pondering this, and my own experience, and my INTERPRETATION of my own experience, I was wondering tonight if trauma could not just be a part of a spiritual path, but an INTEGRAL part of it, a planned part of it, a chosen suffering which was a necessary precondition for creating the struggle and the strength to do and become interesting.

What if people have horrible things done to them do so as a matter of a life plan which is intended to point them in the direction of Enlightenment, of a break from the compulsive attachment to this world, this way, this place, this time?

What, I was wondering, is WONDERFUL about feeling unloved, abandoned, and under constant emotional attack?

It is a bit different, I suppose.  It creates what we might call after Churchill the "Solitary Tree" mindset and aptitude. It forces creativity.  Over some time horizon it creates a capacity for the recognition from one's own experience the suffering of others.  I have felt what most people have felt.  I can relate on some level to most of the people I meet on an empathetic level.

It creates grit.  Nobody who is worth a shit is without courage and determination.  Those qualities can come in many forms, and for some go unrecognized.  But those with those qualities, I feel, recognize their own.

I am someone capable of jumping into the abyss. I am not sure what to expect, but it is far from clear to me that the abyss can take from me more than I can take from it, or that I have more to fear from it than it has to fear from me.

Can one take nothingness from nothingness?  Is this not the definition of creation?

Few thoughts. I've had a few, but am far from drunk.  I'm now actually going to go hit my journal.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Principle

To become Good, you have to become human, and to become human, you have to understand evil.

And by understand, you need  know intimately what it feels like, why and how it makes sense, what problems it solves, and where those problems exist within you.

So much evil is done in the name of Good that Goodness itself has largely come under attack as a meaningless word.

This is, of course, ludicrous, and the product of inferior minds.

But it is worth remembering that all of us have the capacities of all of us.  All of us have both Ted Bundy and Albert Schweitzer in us.

Enabling

An enabler is someone who has tuned into your self hate and who feeds it regularly, without either of you realizing it.

I will add, I am not sure this is true.  I don't have any enablers in my life, but this feels right to me.

Feelings

I woke up this morning with the keen sense that feelings are great blessings.  They constitute an extensive network of receiving stations which expand our capacity for perception immensely.  We are provided with a security and monitoring network that will tell us everything we need to know, and do so automatically.

The issue is with recurring emotions, emotions which properly belong in another time.  We get those when we are absent when they are trying to tell us something.  We also get those when they are imprinted on our nervous system in trauma.

I have for most of my life viewed feelings as a curse, because they torment me, and almost never give me anything good to feed on.

But, again, to get to a better emotional reality, often it helps--and often it is necessary--to plant the seed of a better idea.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Chris Cornell

http://www.menshealth.com/guy-wisdom/chris-cornell-death-depression-suicide-interview

“Most of the guys I grew up with ended up with the same struggles that I’ve had, which is you have every desire to communicate with your friends, family, with anyone, and absolutely no skill as to how to do it. And male-female relationships require that so much.”
I do not preach from a void, or, I hope, to a void.

I see the pain around me.  I feel it.  It tears me apart.  But I reassemble.  That is my superpower.

I will be fine.  And I will come for you one day, after I finish my map of Hell, and all the ways out of it.  It is a porous place, and the security is horrible.  In fact, it is designed with escape in mind.

Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of the previous sentence.  I have some booze in me, because I continue to wrestle with awful feelings, but I am slowly, slowly winning.

I don't quit.  I have that going for me.  I made persistence a primary value for a reason.

Hang in there, if you can.  And you can.

The paradigm of Complexity

It seems to me most socialists dream of a return to the "music of the spheres" which animated the social orders of the middle ages.  They dream of planets describing fixed orbits, and lives which revolve around clearly defined social roles.  They dream of fixity, of an end to existential angst, to what they see as an overabundance of freedom.

But complexity is how the world actually works.  It is how nature works.  Even if we cannot see it within our very short lives, everything is in flux in ways which are in principle and reality very different than the machines built by those who modeled Ptolemaic models of the universe.  Everything is in a continual process of change in ways not best described as linear, but only approximately linear.  In an infinite universe, we can in principle never know enough.  God does play dice.

The paradigm of Complexity says that things tend to work out over time, given good organizing principles, within human social systems, and without top-down efforts and control and ordering.

It takes some faith, as one example, to believe in our economic system.  But it manifestly works so well that the concern is not feeding people, but that we might grow to consume all the planets resources, which we have learned to use and exploit efficiently.

But even there, there are inherent limits in the system.  Even now, ones sees a market which brings to the table "sustainably sourced fish".  One sees drives to recyling, and the reduction of waste.  Because there is an expressed need for this, our system brought it into being.  All it takes is awareness and time and economic freedom.

The faith required to believe in our system is vastly less than that required to believe in the individuals who claim they can do better.  No one has ever done better, and in the modern era those who have tried have not just failed, but created mass horrors.

The obsession with abstraction which is BEST, not least, seen in Socialism, cannot by its nature return us to stable social relations, and qualitatively better emotional connection with one another.  Economics, as I have said often, needs to be seen as a separate preoccupation from the system of meaning formation, truth formation, and political relations.  All are logically distinct, even if connected in formally complex ways.

I was listening yesterday as long as I could to some silly person pointing out that direct exchange is more socially meaningful.  This may be true, but in the eras and places where it predominated, so too did war, rapine, and plunder.  War has happened everywhere and always, in a great many cases because somebody somewhere had something that somebody else wanted, and had no other means of acquiring.

Human relations exist within an economic system.  We can choose to value people over things, but this choice must be made and expressed on an individual level.  There is no return to Eden if we try and mandate people get along in a certain way.

This truth emerges from the fundamentally crucial idea--paradigm/way of looking at the world--that social relations are Complex.  Love does not emerge at sword or gunpoint.  Connectedness cannot be coerced if it is to be valid and vital, real and lasting.

No, real change is gradual.  Seeds are planted, the soil is watered, and time is given.

Perhaps it would be most useful to speak of Social Gardening, not Social Engineering.  The topic is not machines: it is living beings, and the goal is growth and health and flourishing, not rounding up and managing.  That, we might with equal justice, call Human Husbandry.

Such an activity is the obsession of Leftists, who do not in any meaningful way connect with life as a whole, or with God, which we might call the Great Life.  They want to provide nothing more or less than the bookend to the process begun with the first emergence of self awareness in a biologically modern human.

This is what I see.

Social inclusion

It seems to me that the bar can be set very high to feel like you belong.  Nothing is given in at least our suburban and urban worlds.  You have to conform to mutable trends of fashion.  You have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, be familiar with various types of media, have goals that align with the dominant--but mutable--group consensus.

This is the Gesellschaft/Gemeinschaft distinction Ferdinand de Tonnies drew.

Many critics of what they call "Capitalism" point to the transactional nature of our social relatedness, how people are seen for their values of various sorts.  Perhaps they offer a means to social climbing, which is to say, a means of bolstering a fragile and highly contingent ego through the means of attaining the envy and admiration of others.

Perhaps the people you meet on the golf course provide a means to making money.

Perhaps you are just lonely, and need someone to fill the slot "friend", without really knowing what this could mean, or what could be built if you both only had more vision.

When one is "nested" in a Gemainschaft, you are to some extent unfree.  Belonging comes with commitments, with expectations of behavior which are NOT mutable, not negotiable.

But it does seem to me that in some respects stable, rooted social orders also provide more freedom.  Take as one example the treatment of "madness" in various societies.  Within many traditional societies behavioral forms which would get one imprisoned in a madhouse here, and heavily medicated, are treated as emergences of something qualitatively new, and potentially highly useful.  Most shamans go through periods of "madness" to earn their titles as wise men and women.

Where to go and what to do in a highly successful economic order are, or can be, very confusing questions.  There are so many possibilities.

I have things to say on this, and of course have said many things, but my introspection on our world continues.  I do believe a life philosophy built on first principles rooted in science is possible.

True kindness

It seems to me that true kindness often says and does nothing, because it is not compulsive.  The drive to "help" people often hurts them, and to the extent this drive is unconscious this fact will be invisible to them.  They hurt and hurt, and manage to maintain a self image of being compassionate, thoughtful, and kind.

What I feel is that the deepest need most have is the need for connection, and even if you say or do nothing but see people as they are, and forgive them, this is always helpful.  We all need to "feel felt".

I have lived in a harsh world all my life.  To use an analogy Bessel van der Kolk offered, alarm bells are going off in me 24/7, and have for my entire conscious life, even if I was able to suppress my awareness of them for a very long time. "Life" has always felt dangerous to me, and offered no right answers.  My main solace has been oblivion, both that offered by alcohol, and that offered by abstraction and emotional distancing.

I cannot say I have been a kind person.  I have, on the contrary, often been an asshole.  I have been rude, presumptuous, entitled, impatient, condescending, and sometimes outright mean.  I speak this merely as fact.  I can't see how I could have been any different and survived.  And I am not done being an asshole.  I have many triggers.

But I can see how on some level I will be able to forgive, through a deep, heart level understanding, people who are mean. I'm not there yet.  It will take much more work.  But I can see a path, or at least the beginnings of a path, and it leads through a complete understanding of myself, who I am, and feeling my continuity with not just the rest of humanity, but of life itself.

Feeling the life all around you: this is how you begin to live.

Work

It seems to me this morning that work is best understood as the expression of creative energy.  As such, we are all Creators--gods of a sort--when we sweep the floor, or do the dishes, or cook a meal.

I've seen often this Zen-ish call that "when you wash the dishes, wash the dishes."  I've tried this, and all that happens to me personally is I feel the misery that walks with me every step of every day.  This is information, I supposed, worth knowing.  It is better to know who you are than to not know who you are, but I want something even from mundane tasks more than an absence of everything else.

What I want is a feeling of connection, of value even in the trivial, but I have not yet figured out how to do this, although I do have a current hypothesis: what I see clearing the blockages is the flow of energy through me, from God to God.

One of the most important Kum Nye exercises is called the Gold Heart Thread, and consists in nothing more than standing with your arms straight out to your sides, slightly bent, with your head straight or perhaps pointing slightly upward.  You do this for 10 minutes.

If you try this, most will find that your shoulders start hurting rapidly.  10 minutes is a long time.  But reportedly people work up to an hour or more, not as a feat of muscular endurance, but by enabling a specific type of energy flow.

The key, I am realizing, is that energy flows out from the heart through the arms.  But most people have many blocks.  They stop the energy unconsciously.  We oppose work.  We oppose difficulty.  We have in America today this notion that work is either a bad word, or something to be done simply to survive, or something to be done obsessively, so we can "get ahead" in the "rat race", so we can "succeed", and everybody look at us in envy.

But most people work for the work  for the weekend.  Most people are waiting on retirement, so this thing they dislike will be done, and they can do something close to nothing, and quite frequently the same as the day before.

What happens when you embrace difficulty, take it into your heart, not in a spirit of resentment, but as a wind beneath your wings, without which you could never fly?

And I will add that there are intermediate positions possible between the idea that God is all loving and that everything always works out no matter what decisions we make; and the idea that God either does not exist at all, or is completely indifferent or even malevolent.

It is possible we live in what I might call an Adult universe, in which our decisions count, and in which relative failure is always possible.  It is possible God is a sort of parent who gravitates to those who try, and distances himself from those who do not.  Our decisions may matter, as the Bible teaches.

And this may be true even when our decisions are very difficult.

Particularly when you add reincarnation to the mix, it may be that all of us have ample time to get things right, although it may be that people also suffer the consequences of their decisions for hundreds of thousands of years.

This is all a little hippy-dippy, but what I am searching in my own self for is the next step I need to take.  What I have found is that important change is gradual, and often happens before we realize it, but most of the time the ground has to be set with IDEAS, which, when seeded in an unconscious which has been prepared, bear fruit almost automatically over some time horizon.  Thoughts matter.  They are not all that matter, or even the most important thing, but they cannot be divorced from primary experience.  There are no real advantages to stupidity or naivete, except in contradistinction with truly bad ideas.

That, in my world, is my form of optimism.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Destiny

We can't know if it is our destiny to succeed, but we can know it is our destiny to give everything in the effort.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Robert Mueller

What is seemingly not obvious is that once you have a Special Prosecutor in place, they have very wide authority.  Kenneth Starr wound up far afield of Whitewater.

I read Mueller is Ranger qualified, served as a Marine officer in Vietnam, and was initially appointed by George W. Bush.

It seems to me that he can not just put to rest the propagandistic memes created by the Hillary camp, and spread by a hysterical media taking its cues from Goebbels and Lenin, which seems to have taken the Big Lie not as a possibility, but a real idea to be tested, again, in the United States of America, in the 21st century.

No: he can go the places Trey Gowdy could not.  He can go the places Comey dared not.  This could very easily wind up being an investigation of the Clinton Foundation.  After all, the nominal idea is that our elections should be sacrosanct, and that nobody should be selling influence to anyone.

This will of course depend on his character, his understanding of his proper role, and to a very great extent his courage.

But there has never been any evidence of the alleged crimes.  On the contrary, it seems not just that Seth Rich was the "hacker", but that he was murdered ("made an example of") and those responsible for his murder covered up by a D.C. police force seemingly corrupted by persons as yet unknown, although we can make some very good guesses.

It will be interesting to see where this goes, but one thing seems clear: Trump is not going to be impeached, much less removed from office, which has never happened.  The temper of the American people, what it wants, was made clear in the last election.  The tide is clearly in the direction of mistrust of our national politicians, Democrats in general, and contempt of our complicit and completely venal media.

I will add that although I continue to be filled daily with many ideas--many of them likely useful--that I need for a time to deny myself this access to emotional distancing from my issues, which I am trying to take on directly, and seeing success in so doing.

I will ultimately be more useful as someone living in the world, rather than floating somewhere above it.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Typos, rather Tipas

I post on my phone sometimes.  I am a right pointer finger typist, and it hurts after a while.  If you see typos, this is to blame: both my use of my phone, and my sore finger, aka "fuckititis".

My pedantic, perfectionist side compels me to point this out.  IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!!

Well, not completely, in any event. Goddammit.

This was typed on a computer.  I have a couple posts for tomorrow I did not feel like inflicting on my poor booger finger.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The General Will

What I understand Bloom to have understood Rouseau to have been saying is that if there is no price to be paid for non-conformity there is no social order. And logically, if there is no order--what might be termed a cultural implicate order--then one cannot belong to it. One does not belong, cannot belong, anywhere in which there are no givens. Everything must be negotiated continuously and based upon ambiguous, mutable, and diverse rules.

One can readily infer from this the great social comfort Americans derive from "getting ahead", since this form of rationalism retains some hold on this, and comfortably avoids the issue of who we ARE, by defining us by what we DO. But there can be no rest in this system.

And equally logically, the authoritarians--like the kid in the anecdote he relates who asked if we "should go back to sublimation"--infer that if non-conformity is punished, there must be an order, that the way back to Eden is to stomp out and destroy all outliers.

One sees many people desperately trying to break rules to affirm the presence of an order. At the present moment I see this in transgenderism, with perhaps bestiality, pedophiles, and necrophilia waiting as final possibilities. They want to hated, in some respects, since that hate implies an order they can juxtapose themselves with, and in so doing find a community of sorts.

This reminds me of gays I have read publicly lamenting their success. When they were outside they had something. Now that they are inside they suffer the same Last Man Syndrome the rest of us do.

To my mind, nothing could be more insipid or uninspiring than to define oneself by ones sexuality. We all feel sexual urges, but that urge, as a simple physiological tension, is easily dispelled through masturbation, and I think much contemporary sex is scarcely above that. I read kids are having less arc now, and I think it is because they too have realized this, that sex does not imply emotional intimacy, and that the feeling of being felt, as Dan Siegel puts it, is vastly more important, and vastly harder to satisfy.

I see kids experimenting with fluid gender red not out of innate psychological need, but as a means of forming SOME identity in a world denuded of way-markers; where, because everyone belongs, no one belongs.

This effort, it also seems to be, is a vulgar misinterpretation of the already bad ideas of Sigmund Freud.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Comey

Would it have been better for Trump to fire Comey day one, as many expected, or for him to wait, to allow some testimony to happen, to give him a chance to vindicate himself, and THEN fire him?  Is the latter option not more professional, more fair?

And if the Democrats don't want to let this Russian thing simply fade away as the puff of smoke it is, why not start taking seriously the investigation of and prosecution of Obama and Hillary, both of whom have committed ACTUAL crimes, not the made up ones?

The history of this whole thing, as I understand it, is that one of the Baltic States cooked up some flimsy and evidence free bullshit against Trump.  The British ran with it.  Obama got wind of it, and used it as a pretexts to eavesdrop on an unknown number of people around Trump and including Trump, during the Presidential campaign, and afterwards.

The news media, since, being utterly unable to process the degree of irrelevance their continual lying has relegated them to, continues to insist with no evidence that "The Russians" somehow cost their Dear Leader the election.  The whole things is ludicrous.

But, again, if they want to play fucking games while living in a glass house, I say Game On.

Allan Bloom

I looked him up last night.  He only made it to 62.  That's not very good, but it may have been overwork.

But it may have been grief from being misunderstood. I read he was generally regarded as a "conservative" among most intellectuals, but this is a misperception.  That this is a misperception is obvious within the book itself.  From my own perspective, one need only note the seriousness with which he regarded Rousseau, and the esteem he held him in, to see this.

Bloom's book might well have been titled "The Etiology of an Error: how modernist stupidity ruined my fun."

All he is really doing is pointing to the manifest and sundry contradictions within modern intellectual history, which like Ouroboros use rationalism to destroy rationalism, and, not surprisingly, then have nothing useful or practical to say.  In the symbol, the image is intended to connote both destruction and creation.  In the modern Academy, the snake succeeds, somehow, in digesting itself, leaving nothing, as Bloom says, but disingenuous but absolutely clear nihilism.

Another title might be: "How the modern University became civilization and democracies greatest enemy."

Bloom is sympathetic when Rousseau talks about the General Will, and people being forced to "be free".  He sees in Rousseau a foreshadowing of the later distinction de Tonnies drew between "Gesellschaft" and "Gemeinschaft."

In his portrayal of the problem of the Last Man, Bloom is absolutely useful, though.  Who is this person in the strip mall, and what is their purpose in life?  What could, and what should be their purpose, and who are we to comment, criticize, or commend?

And where do we go from here?  Unlike Bloom, I retain what gets called a "normative" disposition.  I think the Big Questions can be settled in flexible but relatively fixed ways.  I might say it this way: I believe the beginning of a path can be described which will always lead somewhere interesting and useful if followed with diligence and courage.

He thought that some questions were inherently sufficient in themselves, and that the process of answering was the process of diminishing and eventually the process of destroying through innervation and starvation the culturally creative energies of the human race.  This, in any event, is what I understood him to have said.

I am in the 3rd part now, and should finish in the next week or so. I understand his fascination with universities and the life of the mind.  I have felt it myself.  I felt it at the University of Chicago, in fact.  I used to find bookstores enchanting places, because there were so many places to go.

That feeling has diminished to a great extent.  Where I saw endlessly magical places in the past, now I see a long series of dead ends, generalized admission of failure, and the marketing of niceness, novelty, and career success.

When I want the answers I seek, my most useful resource is a meditation mat in my room, looking at candles, and inhaling incense and listening to very pleasant music.

Why seek the counsel of neurotics if the goal is seeking an end to neuroticism?  All fools have solutions to the problem of foolishness, but . . .

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dualisms

Would it not be much more useful and accurate to speak of inter relating fields of thought and actions than "opposites"?  Predator/prey as one example could be seen simply idealization related to what level of the food chain a given entity derives the energy to exist from. Bacteria are predators, in many cases, as are deer, which eat plants.

Take any given Is-Ness, say "the rich". There are many interconnecting fields, which I think would most usefully be visualized as clouds in motion. The "rich" sometimes become poor. Many are on the bubble. Poor become rich. Some rich, like some poor, are heartless. Some rich, like some poor, are very open hearted and philanthropic. Some are political and some are not. Some are reactionaries, some genuine Liberals, and some, like George Soros, are open opponents of democracy and political freedom.

I would submit that binary distinctions by means of which we confuse reality with our map of reality are artifacts of times when sime distinctions helped survival, and that exist not just in our brains, but our gut brains as well. Above the neck: one of us/one of them. Below the neck: safe to eat/not safe to eat.

But we have, now, the capacity for nuance, and I would suggest that capacity depends for full expression on the capacity for relaxation, which is to say the relative demobilization in a conscious way of our lambic system, and a following heightening of remaining perceptual capabilities.

And I will continue to insis on the PHILOSOPHICAL importance of Kum Nye as a fantastic answer to the question "how do we return to feeling?"

The Last Man, more serious

I continue marveling at Blooms book. Here is an spproximate quote: "Nietzche said that the Last Man would consider mistrust of ones neighbor as mental illness, and would willingly go to the madhouse as a result."

The 2017 version of course would read "and would willingly submit to social censure and teeducation".

Do you not see Macron and Metkel in this?  Does this make Le Pen and Trump supporters "Penultimate Men"?

I love this metaphor, which we might also call the Problem of the bourgeoisie, and will have more to say. I am listening to the book, but need to get a hard copy to quote at length where he anticipated the non-debates on gay marriage and transgenderism.

Me being stupid

The gluten free diet is the final perfection of the Last Man, and in an unexpected twist it turns out the last Last Man is in fact Gwyneth Paltrow.

Eben, as the Germans say

In connection with my previous post.

http://www.dailywire.com/news/16171/progress-harvard-hold-blacks-only-graduation-amanda-prestigiacomo

The headline might well have read: "Harvard Graduate School plans separate but equal graduation for blacks."

The KKK itself could ask for no more.

Norman Lear and the N word

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/norman-lear-n-word-chant-carmichael-1001209

The path forward is not considering black people to be an alien race we only speak about in certain ways--from whom, to be clear, we can distill the feeling of personal virtue without interacting with them or helping them in any way--but actual human beings capable both of emotional pain and resilience, who we want to integrate in an authentic and honest way into the waters of the larger society.

Virtually everything done by the Left is intended to separate and isolate them.  This is because their manias make them anti-Humanistic, blind, and profoundly savage.  They think that directing their hateful energies against whites--rather than in support of blacks--is somehow different than the emotional underpinning of any other authoritarian regime.  It isn't.

the Gaze

There is an often-quoted saying of Nieztche that "if you gaze into the abyss long enough, it gazes back into you."

What if this is translated as "modern cultural conditions destroyed my mother"?  This, of course, would be an odd phrase upon which to project, but my intuitive sense is that, if I might continue, I am on solid ground here.

All of us contain within us what I tend to call "moments".  If there were a wax museum of our lives, there are scenes which never completed, which we never processed, which conjured overwhelming emotion which was simply passed through and never fully seen, never imbibed.  Which persist over time, until we find the doors and open them and walk through with open eyes.

It is interesting, to me at least, to note that it is quite impossible to know the inner conditions of earliest childhood for nearly anyone. One can assume that a mother who is cold later was cold earlier, but this is not necessarily the case.

I was reading an article yesterday that Ted Bundy's house, which was recently renovated, is reportedly haunted.  Odd things happen.  But to the point, he himself said his parents were great, and all the neighbors said they were a "nice family".

What I would submit is that he was the victim of a double bind, a dual communication at least from his mother which he was unable to ever consciously process.  One can receive "niceness" on one level, and literally unspeakable rage and violence on another.  Sometimes the communication happens not directly, but tacitly, in terms of what is NOT said, and NOT done.

I am getting into and healing the deepest places within myself, and these are interesting caves. I am trying to record some of my explorations, and what I am finding written not just on my walls, but those of humanity.  We are all, after all, connected, as the cliche would have it.  I do believe in a collective unconscious, and something beyond it.  If I go deep enough, I will find a path back to you.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Stepford Parents

It is possible to be nice without the gut, but not to be a complete human being.  The gut provides the impetus to evil, yes--evil in the main is regressing to being a wild beast while being a human being--but it also provides the energy for good.

All children have unique personalities, but my feeling is that in our world of abstraction, of obsession with work and status, with our manifold creature comforts and distractions, very often the child assumes a place at the table, but not recognition as an individual.

In previous times, as I have said, this was perhaps not a problem, because the child was given a ROLE to play.  There was a script.

But there is no script in our world for most children in most families.  They are expected to be successful, but in most cases that means making money.  It says nothing about developing the soul, or becoming wiser as a human being.

The psychological skill needed for contemporary parenting is immense, and I really feel a great many parents simply lack the patience for it.  They are interested in work, and only occasionally in their children.

To be sure, they may obsess over parenting books, and "building" the perfect child, but this still treats the child as an inert object.  The important thing is knowing your childs essence, what makes them who they are, and both feeling it deeply, and connecting with them in such a way that they know they are felt deeply.

In my own case--and this chain of thought is what occasioned this somewhat incoherent post--I literally feel like my mother would be much, much happier with me if I were replaced by a lifelike facsimile of me which complimented her often, laughed at her jokes, and which was obedient to her will.  This facsimile would be NOTHING like how I really am, but she has never seen me as I am, because she is not able to see past her own reflection in my eyes.  She has often pretended to try--and in her own mind I have no doubt she feels she did try--but something large and important is simply missing: there is no genuine empathy, even for her own child.

The emotional tone of this whole image is very, very cold, very plastic, very unpleasant.

I am no doubt sharing too much again, but I continue to hope these musings may be useful for someone out there.

To some extent, I am wrestling with what Allan Bloom, pace Nietzche, called the "Last Man Problem."

How can we remember value in a world of price?  To point to the value of free markets is not equal to supporting Consumerism.  To point to alienation is not to point to a coercive economic and political system as the solution.

The Negempath--if I might coin a term--is perfectly suited for commercial success in our society.  Most all of us are perfectly conditioned to living--sometimes across a life--at a superficial level.

And how do I deal emotionally with a mother who can look me in the eyes and fail entirely to see me, even now?  Who is for all intents and purposes a complete stranger, and always has been?

And how, more generally, do we find one another?  This is not uniquely my problem.  I see it everywhere.

I am going to go do some Kum Nye.  I have come up with one solution I will share eventually.

Principle

I think it can be accurately stipulated that no person voluntarily does evil on a sustained basis who understands the alternative at an emotional and spiritual level.

The people who do evil no doubt rationalize it somehow--perhaps something as simple as "I enjoy it", but they see no good alternative.

My standing claim is that Goodness is by far the most interesting, most fascinating, most creative game in town. Everything else is repetition, and in most cases compulsive repetition.  As I have said, quantitative variation is obviously possible, but reimagining the self and the world in new colors and with new music is not.

Evil is the despair of the blind.

Macron

What better symbol for the decadent modernism the French did so much to inflict on our world than a young man married to his mother who does not believe in French "culture"?

I'm OK, You're OK

Accepting yourself "as you are" is a uniquely modern concept.  In previous eras, I suppose (not having lived in them), one simply found oneself within a complex social landscape defined by tradition and habit.  One could inhabit ones place with varying degrees of skill and enthusiasm, but the question of "self" acceptance did not evolve, could not evolve, until the notion of the "self" as a quasi-anti-social being came into vogue.

On some level, the question being asked is: how do I feel about myself as divorced from concrete social contexts, as a "Sein an sich"?

In a world where there is no givenness, there must be continual creation of the self, and of course since we evolved to be social animals, there is inherently some anxiety--the social emotion--created.  This is what I understand the Existentialists to have largely been saying, although I am not well read in their work.

We are up in the air.  The question is how we keep the freedom, but provide grounding, safety, and less arduous means of feeling a sense of self, belonging, and rootedness.

These are psychological and spiritual and sociological questions that are most usefully assumed to have good answers.  It is the second assumption, the one made after assuming we can survive our Scientism and the next 100 years as something close to spiritually alive beings.

Self Discipline

Self Discipline is really nothing more or less, on one level, than being able to predict your own behavior.  In a world where people are not reliable, where the future is uncertain and certainly largely beyond our control, it is creating a small idyll of predictability.

The cost is occasional discomfort.  The reward is a sense of safety.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Anti-Fragility Motto

There is never any loss, only gain.

I have offered this phrase before, but am only slowly realizing the life changing potential of treating EVERYTHING that happens as an opportunity for growth and following happiness and effectiveness.

We cannot control loss, outside of exercise of common sense and prudence, nor can we directly control our reactions.  You cannot force yourself to feel anything.  You feel what you feel.

But what you can do is add a cognitive filter which looks at situations in one way, and not another, and which is primed not to wail and moan only, but to see what is there that is positive and has been missed.  This applies both to the situation itself, and to emotions which are latent and possible, but suppressed.

I really do think many people make themselves much weaker by assuming what they are capable of, rather than allowing their actions to do themselves.  Not sure that's the best way to put it, but allowing is a big part of my current focus for myself.  I had no idea I could feel good in the morning, feel good at work, and feel good in the evening.  This is not my habit, but I see it is only possible by suppressing natural corrective energies which emerge spontaneously if allowed.

Crazy Stuff

https://www.infowars.com/ex-banker-claims-he-was-invited-to-take-part-in-child-sacrifice-rituals/

Think this through: imagine he goes to these orgies, and they film everything.  That is already a basis for some blackmail.  He is more or less describing Eyes Wide Shut.

But imagine a ritual where someone is killed, and all but ONE of them wear masks, and that, too, is filmed.  All you have to do is get someone to do something they had not even planned to do, document a serious crime, and you have them by the balls.

It would seem obvious that any serious secret society has to have the power to get you jailed for life before they will even begin to share anything serious with you.  This guy likely did not even scratch the surface.  He is merely making informed guesses about the nature of the whole thing, and cannot begin to know how far it goes.

I do feel there is a spirit of this Earth.  It is trapped here.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Further observation

Samuel Johnson famously asked (approximately) "how is it the loudest yelps for freedom are coming from the drivers of slaves?", and I thought I might render an answer (and then, if I am candid, wander around a bit trying to say I'm not quite sure what, but don't have time to edit further.)

The Southern slave holders were the closest thing to a British style aristocracy we have ever had.  As such, they had ample time to read philosophy, law, and what we would now call political science.  They had time to contemplate it, and to reach reasoned conclusions.

In this, they were no different from Plato and Aristotle and Socrates, who also benefited from slavery.  They were no different from many Roman writers, who also benefited from slavery.  They were no different from medieval writers, who benefited from the feudal system, which amounted to slavery.  They were no different from the many Islamic writers, who also benefited from slavery.

Today, many think of Southerners as ignorant and stupid.  This is because their best and brightest--at least one, and in some cases two generations--were slaughtered in civil strife, and the survivors condemned to conditions in many cases only slightly better than the "freed" slaves.

People forget that wars leave invisible scars.  Those who survive often do so missing a leg, or arm, or eye, or with pieces of metal permanently stuck in them.  They survive with psychic wounds which make them permanently different than the person who left.  Particularly in defeat, it makes them mean, cold, and hostile.

Given the Union's decision to humiliate the South in defeat, to boss them around with blacks uneducated to the task, and egged on in their hatred and aggression, all while using and abusing them every way possible, it is no wonder that a paramilitary force--the KKK--came into being as a means of the defense their governments could no longer provide them.

I can't and won't defend the KKK's racist abuses.  But they were no different in kind or outcome than the mass slaughters and mass shames inflicted by the North on the South.  Shit rolls downhill.  There were multiple single battles in the Civil War where more Confederate troops were killed than were killed in all the lynchings in all the South in all of American history up to the present day.

We have been conditioned to view Lincoln as a great man.  But in my own view, based on my own reading, slavery was in any event on its way out.  It was not an efficient economic institution.  We could have tolerated two nations for a time, and it might well have been possible to negotiate the South's reentry in the United States within a generation, and possibly with the simple alteration of a moderate in the White House.

Trump and Jackson

We live in a Looney-Tune world.  Much of our chattering class really ought to adopt Porky Pig as their most articulate spokespig. You know, the pig who is more smarterer than the others, as well as being more articulater.  Stuttering is the least of the crimes when idiocy is being preached.

History in some respects is very simple.  The Civil War was not fought because the South seceded.  It was fought because Lincoln reacted with military force, and an invasion of the seceding States.  This decision was made on April 15th, 1861--or in any event announced--making it one more addition to the already awful history of this date (which, karmically, also includes Lincolns death, four years later).  [One wonders, should it not be 4/16, not 4/20?]

That Lincoln started the war proper is obvious.  Yes, South Carolina did fire on and storm Fort Sumpter, but mainly as a means of arming themselves for what they rightly perceived was going to be a full scale invasion.  That is how I remember the history, in any event.

One can argue about why they South seceded--in addition, obviously, to their never refuted claim that they had the right to do so in the face of what they perceived to be a tyrannical Federal government--and one can argue about the wisdom of Lincoln's decision to end the lives of some 650,000 Americans, with a multiple that in casualties which radically altered lives, but one cannot dispute that if Lincoln had not responded as he did, that there would not have been a Civil War.  The South had no intention of invading the North.  They only did so after several years of war as a means of trying to get the North to cease its incursions.

Had Jackson, in other words, been in Lincoln's position, there would have been no war.  Period.

And that it was possible to foresee the Civil War is obvious.  It was predicted when the Constitution was passed, and was only narrowly avoided several times in the decades leading up to the final split.  Jackson himself was categorically in the States Rights camp (as was Jefferson).

Men and women

By nature, it seems to me most men become more rigid under stress, and most women more compliant.

Both tendencies, of course, can be pattern interrupted with mindfulness, but this seems to be the tendency.

And I would add, that  most men fail to see when women are being compliant.  They fail to see when they are going along to get along and assume that an equal bargain has been struck, when it hasn't.

At the same time, I do think many American women expect too much of men.  Men naturally act like men, but they are now supposed to always know when they are supposed to be men and when they are supposed to be women.  They are supposed to change roles malleably and instantaneously, which is just not something that will ever be realistic.

Gender roles evolved--and I am am invoking both culture and biological evolution here--for reasons.  All of us can become better human beings.  This is our task.  But the start of all real progress is recognizing with honesty and wisdom the present realities, and not attempting to build on any other foundation.

I would add that all these gender confusions are in my view really attempts to escape from life itself, which is overwhelming for many.  Rather than take on a task in life, one takes on a role, in the same way an actor plays someone else.  This is ignoble.

Some men have always felt the need to dress as women, and some women, men.  This is very old.  And there is no reason to treat these people with the cruelty their alleged advocates devote to people who persist in traditional beliefs.  At the same time, they are also not special because of their particular obsessions, and even if they are harmless, they are also not role models for any of us who are not by nature driven in that direction.

No society thrives by making ideals of the peripheral and unhealthy.

Resistance

No, not pouting and throwing tantrums in the street in a Halloween mask, playing make-believe revolutionary in one of the safest and certainly most prosperous countries in human history, while being largely protected by cops and a mob of fellow travelers.  This is mere farce.

No, I want to speak of acts of actual courage, and actual potential usefulness.

Psychological resistance is what I have in mind.

I would like to submit again that for many modern Americans, some of our most potent mythic symbols are comic book characters.  Certainly, that seems to be the case for me.  Growing up, my four favorite superheroes were Wolverine, the Beast, the Vision, and Warlock.  There are really two groups of two: one is animals, channeling aggression and "bestial" energy; and the second two are both artificial beings, above the fray in some ways.

The Wolverine particularly is the essence of resistance.  No attacks go around him.  Avoiding things is just not something he does.  He always heads straight into the middle of everything, and it always hurts him.  But his core is the hardest substance known to man, and he himself heals from everything.  But not without suffering.  Not without countless cuts and bruises.

As I have shared, I have had dreams of being the Wolverine, fighting everything and everyone.  Wolverine is also the symbol of the wounded man, the PTSD sufferer, the lone wolf, the misanthrope, who spends all his time licking internal scars that never fully heal, even if his body does.

Last night I was the Vision.  I could walk through walls, through people.  Whatever anybody threw at me went right through.  I could go into basements, and below basements.  I could see peoples lives, their secrets hidden in places no one else could get to. I could go forbidden places fearlessly.

And it was a very different feeling.  What you allow, you do not have to fight.  This is the essence of integration, which is allowing things to flow.  This is the essence of Kum Nye, which in important respects is about diluting the sense of self so that it blends with surrounding space, and exists not so much as a point, as a wheeling circle of energy in continuous motion, which objects to nothing and can be made to include everything.

I have not fully worked my way through all this.  I am going to do a Kum Nye session now, but my dreams of the past week or so have been very interesting.  Something that was dead is now in motion, after many years of effort.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Truth

I watched the movie Assassins Creed the other night and wanted to make a point: the idea that there is no truth is the flip side of the coin upon which is stamped "there is only one truth". Both are what I might term Monoidealisms.

Likewise, "everything is allowed" is the flip side of Nothing is allowed. In a world where all is equal, it is impossible to value anything. Being given no means of identifying and building a self is as absolutistic as being coerced into a social role and place.  What could be worth doing, if all acts are equal to all other acts, and nobility a lie?

The deepest human needs are connection and a sense of meaning. We want to belong with others and we want to belong within ideas and shared words and images. This is how we balance our need for growth with our need for belonging.

Within the mythic universe of this game, the Assassins are more or less Satanists following the dictum "Do what thou will", fighting an authoritarian Universal Church ( even if outwardly the Assassins are tacitly Islamic their creed clearly is not).

There are countless healthy ways to behave, countless solutions to the problems of meaning and belonging. The notion, though, that there is only one truth is very pernicious.

But, and here is my point, you have stayed in the same ideational and cultural space if you vehemently deny ALL truths. You become, actually, more stupid, and we see evidence of this everywhere.

Communism

Ideology in general, and Communism in particular, is a coping mechanism for wounded people.  The Communist states "because I belong nowhere everyone must belong everywhere."  They want to attack in other people what they loathe, fear, and avoid in themselves.

They want a global devaluation of culture, of nesting, of belonging outside coercion, of identity, of honest friendship, of self, and in its place a global superstate where one cog fits as well in one place as another, where names may as well be dispensed with, along with families, because everything is a machine where things are put where they belong.  And they are put there, not by people, not by agentive entities, but by an abstraction called History or Science, made all the worse no one can posit with any plausibility at all "its'" actual existence.  It is a grinding horror film, an awful play, enacted by monsters who, in seeing only evil around them, do only evil.

They want horror, because they live in horror, and because one of the ways they protect themselves from consciousness of the horrors within themselves is using congenial, friendly sounding words, as if it were possible to murder and enslave people for their own good.

Follow up

Where is it still common for people born American to grow up in an extended family?  The country.

Where is nearly everyone culturally and emotionally isolated?  Large cities.  There are no cultural givens in large cities. They make of this a virtue, but if no one belongs, it is hard to see how this fosters better human beings.  In fact, it seems to breed emotional dissociation, a fixation with abstraction--which is why intellectuals congregate in cities and long have--and thickened senses.  City dwellers are no longer in touch with the air, with the earth, with natural life.  Yes, it is present in confined areas, like zoos from plants, but not everywhere as it is out the country, where bonfires are common, hunting is common, and laying out at night looking at the stars is common.

No person who had retained an ounce of their God given sense could have contemplated ingesting whole and without vigorous objection the propaganda we were fed about the Clintons.  And fortunately, many American have not yet lost their God given sense, the best efforts of the media whores attacking them notwithstanding.

Deep problems require deep solutions.  What I am trying to provide here is perspective.

Progress

I spent this morning dreaming of protecting a defenseless baby, at times one as small as a bean, one I could barely see and was worried about stepping on.

When I don't drink I face the night largely defenseless, and I often regress to infancy, when I was helpless and terrified.  I wake up shaking in terror often.

So of course finding and protecting "the bean" is a good sign. At one point my mother dropped it into 5' of water, and I rescued it.

And I am of course intelligent enough to realize this is deep stuff, and psychosis not an impossible concomitant.  But if I were going to go crazy, it would have happened long ago.  You don't go crazy when you contact deep realities: you go crazy because you cannot.

And it is odd to me to think that the whole Western world was obsessed with the ridiculous Freudian ideas of psychosocial development for so long, especially since he saw, then discarded, the only true part of it, which is that the sexual abuse of children and adolescents was common then as now.

What children need is warmth and understanding, and it is a trauma and crisis of our age that we have multiple generations of emotionally superficial, wounded people providing the care to the next generation.

What is natural for humankind, what is in our genetics as they have developed across at least hundreds of thousands of years, but which likely stem from much deeper roots, is for a child to be raised by multiple generations of women who are from his or her family.

I think generalized neuroses really began in this country at least when we became mobile, and women were separated from their mothers and aunts.  One woman, alone with an infant, is a herculean task.  I really believe this.  And this situation will amplify the fears and maladjustments of that woman in ways which no one is there to see or correct.   The husband is gone.  There is the child, housework, and TV.  There is the telephone, too, of course, and my mother make ample use of that.  She was lonely, and she was often angry at me, in no small measure, no doubt, because I was a rambunctious and nearly compulsively disobedient child.  For her part, she was obsessed with appearances, and obsessed with the horrifying idea that I might be, as they said, "a brat".

I look at all this, and I look around me, and I see dead children everywhere.  They are the ones who use heroin, knowing it will kill them eventually.  They are the alcoholics, and the cruel.

My path forward is to forget about saving other people.  That has always been a distraction.  I think I might come back to it--I hope I do--but it will only be intelligent and useful when I have walked through my scars and inner landscape and returned to this very moment as a single human being.

It is hard, being someone working on these issues in a world which is manifestly frightened of deep emotion, but I have done it my whole life, and see no reason it won't continue.  I feel, in fact, all this is slowly getting easier, as I let the largest things express themselves, and as I, in turn, mirror with attention my own inner experience.

Depth is not a place you get lost if you anchor it in your body.  Your body does not lie, and contains within it the seeds of everything you need.

Just within the last week I realized I have been suppressing positive emotions.  They come up, they show up at my door, and I tell them to go away.  I'm having a fucking pity party and I don't need no fucking good cheer.

But why?  Oh, we are all ludicrous--perhaps not, actually--but I certainly am.  Habits run deep.