Category Archives: philosophy/mysticism

The Gun Question

I have stated in the past here that I support the second amendment.  I wanted to make sure that this is clear at the beginning.

When I was young, before I started high school there was this thing called a seriel killer.  These were people like Bundy, Gacey and Manson.  They were a new phenomena,  This isn’t to say that this type of thing hadn’t happened in the passed.  It was just that it was so rare as to not be significant.  In the late 60s and early 70s it became significant.  It was a trend.  I suppose there are always predators in our midst.

It seems to me, I have no sources to quote here, that this type of crime began to fall off sometime in the 90s.  I always thought that the Vietnam war had something to do with it and it just took that long for the curse to work its way out.  That war was a war of aggression.  It was about control.  It was ugly and our military was largely conscript.  Of course that could be utter bullshit.  It just as easily could have been due to the presence of lead in the atmosphere.  You know, from leaded gasoline.

All of this is simply prelude.

Over the last two decades there has been a rise in this thing people and the media call Mass Shootings.  Again these acts happened before.  Back in the 80s it was called going postal.  These early shootings most often happened at work places.  Not that schools or churches were exempt.  They were just less common.  There were explanations at the time as to the whys of the event.  They were highly individualized.  It was unusual to hear the term disgruntled employee.  These crimes seemed to be rage related.  A final straw that broke the camels back incident.  I haven’t really researched this so I might be very wrong and or terribly biased.  For simplicity’s sake lets just say that these mass shootings were not only rarer but also different in nature.  This doesn’t excuse the incidents.  We are talking about degrees.  I am also letting you know that I have lived here in our fair country for some time.  I have memory, as faulty as it may be.

This trend in mass shootings over the last two decades though is different.  It seems to be hyper predatory.  Serial criminals were predatory too but their crimes were committed in private.  Their targets were vulnerable individuals like the elderly, those that lived alone, prostitutes, the inexperienced youth.  These were often the kind of individuals that would not be missed.  These new events that the media calls Mass Shootings are more like a spectacle.  Their target looks to be more often than not crowds.  These things are real attention grabbers.  Even those on the internet can’t help but to talk about them.  The targets are often schools, places of worships, night clubs, concerts and other public places where crowds gather.  They seemed to be designed to create panic during the incident and gather the most attention.  They look as if they are designed to cause the greatest possible fear among the citizenry and the media appears to amplify this effect.  The news coverage often describes so political motive or ascribes some type of mental health history.  That allows for the label of terrorism which may be true but I don’t understand it as such.  What effect are these killings hoping to achieve?

There would be a tendency for one at this point to drift into some Conspiracy Theory.  This is understandable as the crimes described are so hard to understand.

Some of these Mass Shootings are so frightening and disturbing to the public that the government must weigh in on them.  Some declare that there is need for more and stricter gun control.  Others insist that there is need for more funding to mental health services.  There is some arguing over which is more important, just enough arguing until some distraction comes along and the disaster disappears from the public consciousness until it happens again.  It seems as if this phenomena is beginning to be accepted as normal which I believe is what is referred to as normalization.  This is not to say that nothing has been done as some states have passed red flag laws.  Still this is nothing more than the treatment of a symptom.

I wonder about the Federal Government sometimes.  It seems to me that as a group, in the most general sense they are most afraid to do anything that would upset the domestic status quo.  That they want to do as little as possible other than cut taxes and increase military spending.  It feels as though their livelihood depends on doing as little as possible.  That actually following through on any statement about possible solutions to this problem might cost them in the next election.

I personally feel that both mental health and simply supplying enough cash to enforce all ready existing gun control regulations would be a good start.  These though only treat the symptoms.  I honestly think that we have not dealt with the cause.  There is this term, Gun Culture.  I don’t understand what it means.  I don’t know anyone that worships guns.  I haven’t heard of any gun holidays or parties you have to bring a gun to.   But the in film criticism there is the term Male Gaze.  That took me two years in which to gain some understanding.  Academics and the academically minded tend to speak in a code that leaves the rest of us out of the conversation.  It could be just a way of stating that we Americans are violent.  It could be that all people are violent by nature.

I don’t know.  Are we Americans violent?

Do we have the right to kill other people and if we as a group don’t have this right do some of us under certain circumstances have that right?  Well. women have the right to choose, at least in most states.  Is terminating a pregnancy violent?  I think in the simplest of terms it is taking a human life.  There fore I think it is violent.  I support a woman’s right to choose but I can also admit that it is a violent act.

What about the death penalty?  Is that violent?  We can say that our death penalty is humane but that does not change the fact that it is a premeditated act of killing or murder.  We can agree murder is violent whether you support the death penalty or not.  I generally don’t support the death penalty but I also don”t actively work against it.  It is like I said with a woman’s right to choose, just because we agree with a policy we should still be able to be honest with ourselves.

Police related shootings are obviously not premeditated but they are violent.  I have felt for some time that the internet has been amplifying the number of police related killings.  That the reality is that they haven’t actually been increasing as a percentage of population.  I don’t know this.  I haven’t done the research.  It is just a feeling.  There is a problem with this feeling though.  The idea that the rate of police related homicides hasn’t increased.  That we simply didn’t know or if we did we didn’t care is alarming.

I think that it is safe to say that our military possesses the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction of any group or nation on God’s little green earth.  This fact is a statement about the intent to do something very violent.  Does that massive ever present arsenal create some unknown complex in our national sub conscious?

When we look at our governments foreign policy it is hard not to notice that we (in the national sense) tend to support groups and nations that are engaged in violent activity.  We ourselves, as recent history has shown, willfully engage in the use of military force to achieve our policy goals.  As I have said previously, the individual is free to take what ever position they feel strongest about, this is something like a democracy after all.  It appears to me that the state can easily engage in violence as it sees fit.

This is not the results of some scientific study.  This is just how things look from where I sit.  It is simply a statement of what appears to be obvious to me.  That we are a violent people.  Maybe all humans are violent but I have never lived any where else.  We can have a long conversation about how we got here, to this place.   We can look at the custom of the open hand whether it is over head, at the side or waving a greeting or farewell.  We even offer an open hand in friendship with a hand shake.  These motions, I have heard it said, are a sign that a person is not armed.  That they are vulnerable.  A handshake is an indication that both are unarmed and vulnerable.  I have always heard that this tradition comes from Europe but I can’t say that I know that to be so.  Simply put it is a tradition in my country, America.  The idea that there would be a need for such a thing indicates a wild and violent nature that is in the very least we subconsciously acknowledge.

Whether this violence is part of the nature we were born with or is a thing we have learned or even some combination of the two.  This though doesn’t matter for the point I am trying to make.  People, individuals, are complex beings.  The vast majority of our own minds are unknown to us.  There are impulses and influences that contribute to how we think and how we perceive the world and our role in it.  We often obscure the darker less pleasant aspects of our own self, our own motives.  In essence we lie to ourselves.  Sophisticated people can use this mental habit against us and mislead us.  This is rarely for our own benefit.

If we believe that we are the bestest, the brightest and the most free people, nation, group of individuals but we are not willing to look at the monster that lies with in then we are unaware.  We create monsters out of the others, those that are not ours who are otherwise just like us.  We build enemies out of rage and paper or stand in fear of shadows with gun in hand.  Being moral, even if it is just one moral is hard.  There is risk in such behavior.  Being moral means having less, less money, less food, less medical care, less security and less recognition.  It is a quiet thing.

In the very least, if we cannot admit that we are a violent people.  That this violence sometimes makes up our minds for us, decides our course of action, then maybe we aren’t grown up enough to own fire arms of any kind.

I find this conclusion uncomfortable as I have supported the second amendment my whole life.  I still support it, if we are adult enough to have the right.

I don’t know.  It just a thought.

Have a better than average day.

Does Justified Equal Moral?

Objective and Subjective are such strange phenomena.  They seem so simple, separate and obvious.  I vaguely remember when I started to become aware of the the way the two very different realms of reality began to bleed together and obfuscate each other.  It was a slow process and it had an element that I could only call seductive.  I think I was largely lucky and nothing more than that because I caught it before it caught me.

I began to have strange experiences when I was 13 years old.  I freshman was  high school when I started to see my first occasional shadows.  They came at times of severe stress generally when my family was having some kind of a problem.  Mom and Dad were going through a bad time in they’re relationship and they were fighting once or twice a week, sometimes more often.  I cannot ever remember these times resulting in violence b ut I do recall sitting in the shadows at the top of the front stairs to the second floor listening.  I rarely slept as it was.  These shadows started to appear late at night in my bedroom on the walls or ceiling.  They didn’t have any particular form although my mind was capable of seeing some kind of a shape.  The experience was intense, I was alone at night when it happened and it was frightening at first.  I told no one about these things.  Over time gear changed to curious and then finally I felt a strong urge to protect myself.

I was raised catholic and I remember praying to God for help, but God did not answer.  This caused my stress to increase.  I had been reading my school assignments.  I read some political books my mother had given me, books I still have and Pulp Fiction for leisure.  Feeling abandoned by God, the increased stress and the intense sense that I was under some sort of spiritual attack I decided to meditate.  In these meditations I went inward and started to listen to my own thoughts.  I also learned to feel and relax my body.  If I focused on anything it was to try astral projection but that never happened.  There was a part of me that truly believed that this was a spiritual phenomena and I still think it is easy to see why.  At the same time that another part of me thought that it had to be something else, something with a scientific explanation.  The spiritual aspect was extremely seductive.  It felt good to think their might be something extraordinary about me.  That’s the seduction and if it was true I wanted to understand it from what I took to be an objective point of view.  Thus my reading changed.  I started reading out side of school nonfiction, psychology, philosophy, physics, biology, mysticism and the occult.

I still kept this a secret but when I asked my Mother to find something for me, on any particular topic she would get it for me.  She was an RN but she had close friends that worked at NASA.  I didn’t ask often, which I regret now and I never told her why.  I think she knew something was going on but she didn’t ever press it.  I didn’t talk to my father or ask him for books and such because at the time he didn’t strike me as the type, a thing I also regret now the he too has passed.  At the time it struck me as the kind of thing one didn’t bring up in casual conversation.  I felt there might have been negative consequences.  IN retrospect I realize that this was an assumption.  It is true that ridicule was likely but not guaranteed.  It was at the age of fourteen that I first read General Relativity: A theory any man can Understand. I remember thinking that Einstein must have had a strange idea about what any man was, but I did take something away from the effort.  The World you live in is dependent on your perspective, your frame of reference.  The way the world looks, how it feels and smells is all dependent on your inner world.  Its more than attitude.  I fully realized that this wasn’t what Einstein meant by “frames of reference in motion.”  That’s just what I took from it.  Correct or incorrect it didn’t matter as the experiences began to fade and I became more relaxed.  By the time I graduated High School I only had memories of the original experiences left and you all know how funky memory can be.

My Mother always regretted that she didn’t try for medical school.  I remember her saying that she didn’t think it was possible as no one told her she could.  So she made sure to tell all three of us that we could do anything we wanted to do.  I feel to this day that she really believed that and so did I.  Its in this way that the pendulum swings from far on one side to way far on the other side.  Otherwise I was woefully unprepared for college.  I made the mistake of thinking it was just an extension of High School.  I also chose a hard science major, Physics and Chemistry.  My private readings had shifted more towards history and the Occult.  I had taken an interest in perception, with the physical senses.  I was taking psychology on the side because I was interested in it and was unaware of the fact that it wouldn’t count for any of my electives.  Like I said, unprepared.  That was the first blow to my world view.  How can Science be objective if the very tools we use to observe, our senses, are subjective in nature.  Nobody likes to hear that and sometime they get really offended when I bring it up in causal conversation.  I’ve been yelled at about it rather than given a constructive counter argument.  I must have struck a nerve.  I know I found it unsettling.

I started my collegiate journey at the local community college.  That was where I encountered the notion that we are only front of the mend aware of about 1% of all the information our Brain (?) processes.  Discomfort changed to fascination and curiosity, you know, the thing that killed the cat.  College was a more open environment.  There was always some one talking about the stranger things.  While I was at the community college I listened more than I spoke.  I tend to be more or less silent in new places until I get comfortable.  There was topics like Mysticism, the Occult and various subjects from the worlds of New Age and Paganism.  This would continue at main campus when I made the transition.  There I had a broader circle of friends, some old many new.  It was there that the shadows returned.  Maybe it was a stress reaction as the subject matter I was studying had increased in pace and difficulty.  It might have been that I was over complicating the whole mess.  It also could have been that I was undermining my subject matter subconsciously while I was trying to master it.  I can’t really say for sure.  The shadows though no longer inhabited the night, they now came out in the light, in crowds and in small groups.  I began to watch the people around me as these odd shadows crept across the floor.  I wanted to see if any of them noticed.  None of them ever seemed to or if they did they in now way acknowledged it, I though of it sort of like living right next to train tracks.  The first few days you can’t help but notice the trains as the pass, rattling the apartment and waking you in the middle of the night.  But in a short time you no longer notice.  I thought this might be the thing with the shadows.  Of course there was always the possibility it was some sort of mean trick or twisted practical joke.  There is danger in these types of thoughts, I understand it now but at the time it was truly a mystery. The shadows looked so real and I couldn’t figure out how they were being cast.

I was sleeping less and meditating more.  My mind was getting noising and fucking with me, causing me to react in ways I didn’t understand and didn’t like.  I felt I had to get on top of this thing before it got on top of me.  So the meditations became about quieting my mind.  I was looking for something Carlos Castaneda called internal dialog.  The mind talks to itself it seems, not that unusual of a concept I thought.  I found myself in a small experimental group.  I was gently nagged into it.  We started with the Ouija Board and moved on to ghost hunting and other stuff.  I was the baby sitter, for the most part, watching to be sure things didn’t to far out of hand.  Emotions and moods can run high and become unpredictable in these types of circumstances.  A lot of baffling, weird and frightening stuff happened.  Now I wonder if I unwitting contributed to it.   Shadows became things, demons mostly.  I started hearing things.  Voices and clear words.  There was no murmuring and whispering to start, just voices, some familiar, some not, almost all of them unpleasant.  One might say the the occult experimental group and the change in the visions and the appearance of voices are some how connected.  I can understand that.  There was something about these visions though that was different, they had a two dimensional quality like a movie.  That didn’t change the way my body reacted to them.  The same physiological sensations as if one is surprised or about to be attacked or even shot at.

The things about running head long into one’s limitations is that the experience is most profound when the individual doesn’t believe thy have any limitations.  The experience can be crippling.  Needless to say college and I filed for divorce.  The hallucinations and voices only became louder and more present.   Even people I knew, except for two, would change, growing horns or taking on a demonic visage.  I would begin to worry that I had said or done the wrong thing and upset people.  I did seek treatment.

People tend to project onto other people their own experience, their own frame of reference of world view.  I became aware of this by accident, I guess.  Along with the increased psychotic symptoms there was also a growing, burning rage.  I was keenly aware that I might hurt some one and I didn’t want to do that.  It was becoming very difficult to baffle that surge of energy.  Part of me felt that the person about to take the brunt of it deserved it, they had it coming.  My mind had constructed the argument all based on several assumptions about their motives and their moral inclination, whether they were good or bad.  It was my realization that these assumptions might be wrong, they were assumptions after all, beliefs shouldn’t be confused with facts.  That baffled the rage and gave me the time to deal with it.  I still paid a price, high blood pressure.

It is uncomfortable, but true.  We all drink the Kool Aide.  Often we don’t even know its Kool Aide and can’t discern who’s is filling our cup.  That is the nature of the drink.  IN a time with the reemergence or various ists and isms, though the on fringes it is good to be aware of the certainty that comes with that cup of Kool Aide.  Humanity suffers from a terrible form of moral relativism.  We understand that a action is immoral, such as beating some one or killing them.  We all get this.  Yet that damn Kool Aide helps to create an illusion of some great threat, a threat that must be confronted violently.  This logic often has an appeal to vanity and fear.  Once the point of view sets up like concrete then the actor is justified.  If an opponent used the same tactic then its is simply more proof of their villainy.  Dynamics like this have a way of becoming self perpetuating.

There was a time when I believed that if everyone would just settle down and try and talk to each other that this friction could be eliminated.  I was young and Idealistic.  Through dealing with the hallucinations I realized that some things or people will simply resort to violence.  There will be no discourse.  It is impossible for me to tell who will be and who will not.  I am at an impasse.  What to do in such a situation?  Resist Violence with violence and risk becoming that which you fight.  React peaceably and passively and run the risk of being crushed under foot.  It will either be just a short period of a few years Nothing at all.  or the beginning  in a shift in the moods of populations everywhere.

When I called out to the divine in my youth I felt I got no answer, He or she, didn’t come, didn’t appear in my heart.  I had always assumed that I had been abandoned.  Maybe I have.  Or, Maybe the Divine came to my aid.  Just not in a way that I could see or feel.  I don’t know how I managed to navigate all that.   We human’s so desperately crave objective validation.  If it was just luck I think I’ve blown probabilities out the window, not that my thoughts on the subject matter all that much.

In the end its simple faith, not in a book, or a place or a gender.  The Divine is alien to us.  I don’t know how it works,  I don’t know what it is.  It simply is.  I try to listen for the sound of it.  I make the effort to treat each person as an unknown until I know them.  Respect is nothing more than simple manners.  It is not torture, it doesn’t take extra effort.  You just have to slow down and try and see clear and straight.  So if you feel the current begin to drag you in a new direction remember to taste the Kool aide before you drink  We may not be able to change the world but we can change the way we interact with it.

If you got all the way to here, I thank you and hope that it wasn’t too difficult of a read.

Have a better than average day.

Think About it?

We will all loose and we all will be lost.  It is an existential question.  The terrible limitation on our little mortal lives.

We all know this to be true.

I have heard it said, more often in movies and stories than in real live conversations that no one wants to die alone.  The reality, I think, is that we all do.  Though there may be people around us who care or whom we care about and possibly that we all start to travel this road as a group, in the end it is a journey that we take alone.  It is the same way that we cone into the world.  There are people there when we finish but we still take the voyage by ourselves, even in the case of twins.  These processes produce in us a great unknowing.  We know that we came from some place and we suspect we are going someplace, possibly the same place, but these regions are beyond our reckoning as a group at the very least.  As an individual one or many of us may have has some experience that causes us to know or believe we know something of one of these places or possibly both.  This is individual knowledge and this knowledge is difficult to translate into the shared reality, that is the nature of the Mystical Experience.  This is why I hold various ancient religious text within a narrow gaze.  What ever experiences generated said text have been lost to the efforts of other more scheming individuals,.  This topic is about as popular as death and politics.  But it is important none the less for us living today.

We remain silent on these things mostly as rooted in them is the most powerful fear any human, except the foolhardy, experiences, the fear of the unknown.  Our defense is to ignore.  Humans with certain noteworthy exceptions, myself included, possess an amazing power hidden in their ability to concentrate, to focus.  They can ignore so profoundly as to blot conscious knowledge from their minds.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it is still there like a great stone wheel slowly grinding toward us from behind.  We cannot out run it and we cannot hide from it.  We do the only thing we can, we ignore it.  The result is a creeping stress.

Add on top of this the stress of every day life as most of us experience and it becomes easy to see why people are getting sicker and sicker.

I have no idea what if anything can be done about it.  Even if something can be done will the greedy powers that be take the time to even consider it?

We shall have to see.

I’ve said it before and I will say it  now.  We each have to find that thing we love and make time for it, be it thing, hobby, place or person.  The only other suggestion is spend as much time as you can in the moment, after all we have only a few and it is best not to waste them.

Have a better than average day.

Now just One Minute

I remember, when I was a bit younger, hearing that the life of a butterfly, once freed from the prison of its cocoon, lived for only a day.  I’m not sure how true that is as the Monarch Butterfly lives for six months, if memory serves.  Even if it is rarely true it is still an interesting fact.  I always wondered if that single day of life felt like a single day to the flutterby?  Does it feel as short as it sounds?

When I was about the age of 10 years I was struck by a strange near fatal illness.  I have always been under the impression that it was diphtheria, but I don’t know that as fact.  When I think about the butterfly flutteringby for its single day I wonder how long that passing day seems to the little critter.   I wonder if the butterfly can even conceive of the notion of time much less one as complicated as ours.  I wonder what it would be like for a lifetime to be such that the first half occurred in the light and the second half in the dark.  There is a point to this, I think.

We humans are quite curious in the way we understand our world.  Appointments, work schedules, bank accounts, credit cards, maps and countries are just a few numbers we use in almost every moment of our existence.  Nations, distance between cities and the diameter of our little planet and even the date of our birth and death are other numbers we use often.  Complicated ideas like force and velocity are also based on these strange numbers.  Weight, which is the effect of gravity on mass, length, height and time allow us as intelligent beings to develop an understanding of our reality.  These things, weight, length, time are metrics or units of measure are created by we humans and we accept them for the sake of simplicity.  They do not exist on their own in nature, there is a tree that grows yard sticks, meters, kilogram measures or seconds.  In my experience that is where the weirdness begins.

I don’t feel the passage of time naturally.  A clock does it for me but with out one I have no sense of time what so ever, unless I am smoking, tobacco.  Yes, I know it is bad for me.  Its been like that since my breakdown.  Maybe it was different in the respect of feeling times passage pre-breakdown but I have no point of reference, after all it was a long time ago.

I know this sounds crazy.

Really it came home to me after my fathers passing, when the ancient photos of a life so foreign to me came  back out into the world.  I knew the people in the photographs and yet I didn’t know them.  They were like a glimpse into a world that never existed even though I was pretty sure they had.

Over these many years with my strange occasional bouts of melancholy as though something had been lost, a thing that could never be regained, I found myself wondering as to the very nature of that thing.  After The old man’s death, when I became the old man, that sense had become exquisite ad sweet like some exotic food or strained alien mental sensation.

I wondered if I too was dead.

Would I know if I were?

Have my last many years of life been like that of the butterfly, just a day or a few hours as death was in the process of taking me?  I don’t think I would know the difference.  We have such definite ideas about the world but all of them are based on the measurement of our perceptions.

I find my self perplexed by the idea that these many years may be nothing more than phantasms of my dying brain.  My wife and friends and all these efforts to express my thoughts and even my brothers all figments of a sequence of neurons firing in those last few minutes while I lay in a hospital at the age of ten dying.

Does any of this really matter?

I think not.

Look for your Muse.  Only she can be your guide.

Equality under the Law

It is a phrase that we hear from time to time, depending on what we read, watch or listen to, that no one is above the law.  The law that is being discussed is either civil or criminal law, it is the law of and for citizens.  Every country, just about, has these laws on both a national and local level.  In my watching, listening and reading experience, when this phrase is used, no one is above the law, it is in the political arena.  It becomes apparent in the debate that this term is commonly applied to our political leadership and or our captains of industry.  For instance, the term war criminal gets bandied about one political or corporate leader here or there.  Kissinger, George W Bush, Barack Obama and soon, I am sure, Donald Trump will all stand accused of one crime or another the most interesting being a War Criminal.   Who is accused is largely partisan although there are some dissident voices from both extremes, left and right who seem to apply the term with an even hand.  There is a problem though, with the term, as it has little to do with civil or criminal law.  It deals with the laws of and between Nations, International Law.

This is where the weird and illuminating difficulty lies hiding.  There is the same problem with in International Law that there is with in national law.  That problem is that some nations are above the law and others under it lay.  It is evident that great nations or powers benefit from the laws of nations while weaker nations or states find that they are bound by these laws.  This becomes most apparent with respect to War Crimes. The side that wins the war, the most powerful, in American vernacular the winners, have never be tried for war crimes, they will never be seriously accused, in effect war crimes and the laws that define them do not apply.  In other words, regardless of lofty rhetoric War Crimes are exactly that, words designed to get a response and nothing more.  These Crimes are for the Losers, also a term common in American phraseology.

This may seem cold at first but there is a point.  While good citizen’s of the United States worry over serial killers and wax rabid about the crimes of great corporations horrendous things, criminal actions are being undertaken in our name.  At the very least that is how the victims of these actions see it.  The United States is not alone hear, it is in interesting company to say the least.  China, Russia and a couple of key members of that group of nations collectively known as the west, principally England and France.  Notice that The United States, Russia, China, England and France all have one thing in common, they are the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.  Nothing passes with out their agreement, each has the ability to veto any measure the general assembly tries to pass and none of these nations has ever had to have any of its leaders, civilian or military face the charge of War crimes with the possible exception of France.  Instead they prefer the charge of treason.

Why am I talking about this?

We talk about peak oil, terrorism, global warming, nuclear war and other threats to our liberty and our lives.  The system, even the internet system, has away of putting our fears and problems on another level like a land separate or better yet a distant planet.  The secrecy that national security requires and our own elite notions of ourselves as a nation has put us in an unusual position.  We have faced the abyss and closed our eyes instead of taking the leap, letting our own eye wander inwards to survey our own inner world not only as individuals but as a people.  We as a people, I am beginning to believe that this a problem that effects all of humanity, have been put to the test and found lacking.  We are Morally corrupt and have no grasp of ethics while at the same time, we are sitting on a pile of the most destructive weapons ever conceived in written history.  Nuclear, biological, chemical and conventional weapons that until now were unimaginable in the hands of corrupt, confused or simply stupid politicians leading a populations dazzled by bright lights and shiny things or lost in the shadows.  People worry about global warming or rising opiod addiction as the war drums begin to bang and sabers rattle.  The idea of War Crimes like the death penalty, is as a deterrent to violent acts of aggression.  If a person or group of people are above this law then they have no consequences to worry them.

That’s real power, the lack of consequences.  So when the Trump haters and the Trump lovers are dukeing it out in the street and as the war over what words are legal and which are not continue just try and keep that in the back of your mind.  The current President is the type of leader that can find himself trapped in his own rhetoric and then boom.

It won’t be the end, just major set back with lots of pain all around.

That is the thing about Power.  It isn’t the wealth, the admiration of the masses, all the free or cheap stuff, the comfort, multitudes of people to boss around, markets to establish, resources to exploit or the access to the worlds best medical care, it is the absence of consequences.  Real power can kill and rape on a scale that would make Ted Bundy or Charles Manson’s eyes turn green with envy.  Like the old saying goes, Kill one man and you are a murder, kill a million and you are a conqueror.  That is the problem with power.  That is why so many desire it and why it will be our undoing.

We are entering an interesting time.  I can only offer this advice, mostly to myself.  When the abyss finally opens at my, our, feet don’t close your eyes and I won’t close mine either.  Always give those you love a hug. Finally always try and remember that you are blessed.

Have a better than average day.

The Power of Hesitation

It is easy, I have found, to get caught up in the moment.  The mob is both frightening and enticing.  Once caught in its grasp there is this shifting of responsibility away from the individual  to the seething throbbing whole.  In this surrender of free will one find’s themselves trapped without feeling trapped,  Now if you are into this sort of thing then you can feel free to stop reading,  This is a piece about exercising free will and its not for everyone.

Any given individual is either a part of an event, acting with in their own sense of agency or in a neutral, observer state.  Rephrase, we are reacting, acting or hesitating.  The professor who taught the Action Theory class I suffered through back in college, one Doctor Robins, might have referred to this as a folk analysis or a folk understanding.  Well everybody has to start somewhere.   We do not just live in a world of events, we also live in a world of agents.  This is why an understanding, in an individual sense, is so important.  This debate, in my limited experience, breaks down between Predestiny (Determinism) verses Free Will (Action Theory).  Determinism is the idea that whatever choice you make today, at this second is based on all of the previous events, experiences and choices that you have made in the past.  Action Theory is dependent on the idea of Agency.

Agency means that some entities are actors and that they possess a thing or an ability that allows them to act that is known as Will.  There is an intellectual tendency to choose a camp but I prefer the quantum equivalent.   That any given individual exists in two states simultaneously.   The predestined state and the free will state coexist and that our resting state is the predestined state.  In the Predestined state we are simply reacting to the events taking place around us.  There is no exercise of free will.  Think of it like breathing.  You do it with out thought, it requires no exercise of will, it simply is.  A person simply breaths because their body demands it.

On the other hand there is Agency.  We are all born with this ability, we are all made to be Free Agents and we all have Free Will.  The choice, though, is like a muscle, it has to be exercised.  There is where the problem lies.  How can any individual tell the difference between a reaction and a choice, choice in this case requiring the exercise of Free Will?

This is where hesitation becomes important, the previously mentioned third state.  If one carefully observes others they have the opportunity to notice instant reactions when they occur, like the knee jerk response.  I swear to you I have seen people jerk their knee when they hear something or see something that they instinctively react to negatively.  Hesitation takes a great exercise of will.  It also involves some risk.  When The Christ stated turn the other cheek, he is talking about denying the reaction and concentrating on the action.  The act of Hesitating has to become trained, instinctive, it is through the act of Hesitating that any individual might be able to begin to detect the difference between reacting and acting.  Hesitating is an exhaustive process as it denies the instinctive response.  It also requires that part of the individuals attention constantly be cast inward in a semi reflective state.  Any one following this path needs a quiet space where they can just be.  This will give them the opportunity to rest and recuperate.  The path of Hesitation takes discipline and patience.  In time the difference between the two states, reacting and acting, will become easily discernible.  This will give the individual the opportunity to act when they think or feel they must and save their energy for pursuits closer to the heart.

The test is a simple one.  People, especially educated people, are experts at pushing other peoples buttons.  That is saying or doing something that will provoke a reaction.  So the next time some one hits you, out of the blue and for no apparent reason, or says a thing that cuts deep, that causes your body to scream and demand a response, hesitate.  While hesitating watch the reaction of the provocateur.

That is where the real education begins.

Deep State Clues (2/3)

Before I continue I need to acknowledge that not every thing mentioned here is my own idea.  I mean I’d like to think it was my own thinking but I am not entirely sure that this is true.  At the end of the final installment I will include a list of references for your perusal.  I encourage everyone to think this through, it may help them maintain some form of sanity and assist in any effort to make a better life out of what ever is leftover.

So what is setting of my psycho vibe?  It seems to me that the last election might be something that Scott has labeled a Deep Event.  That’s not to say that Peter Dale Scott himself has called the election a Deep Event, just that he coined the term.  A Deep Event is a event that for just a moment reveals the existence of the Deep State.  It allows the citizenry to get a glimpse at something that is normally hidden from view.  Either that or it was an amazing piece of choreography put on with precise and flawless perfection by all whom were involved, which I find highly unlikely.

What I am referring to here is the election of Donald Trump.  Now take a breath, I am not now nor have I ever been a Trump supporter but I admit that he is our President and I try to show him some respect.  To put it mildly this was a major surprise to Both the Trump Campaign and the Clinton Campaign, it was an even bigger shock to the media and the Congress.  I guess there was a far larger population of deplorables and conspiracy theorists out there than previously indicated in the polls.  What?  You didn’t poll any one on those topics?  Oooops. These statements were incredibly divisive and if the population were a regular minority group all the bitching and whining would have stopped by now.  Instead we have developed an extremely polarized electorate and I suspect you all ready know about that.

Believe it or not this is going to take us into the Russia Hack Ordeal primarily because Congress was equally freaked out, temporarily.  The reason The election freaked congress and the media out was because they didn’t think it could happen.  It indicates a shift in the electorate’s voting habits, luckily it wasn’t severe.  I know that there has been a serious feeding frenzy around the Trump Presidency but realistically the shock could have been much worse.  The electorate stayed with in the republican/Democrat dynamic so as unsettling as it was the electorate hadn’t jumped ship on either of the two parties.  If the Greens or the Libertarians had gobbled up all those pissed off voters shit really would have gotten unhinged in the media.  The fact that Trump was a Republican means the current two parties jobs and income are safe so realistically much of what is happening is nothing more than  pot stirring and ratings creation after all its all about the money, that is the heart and soul of Capitalism.  There is nothing humanitarian about it, I’m not knocking it but I feel that we should be honest with ourselves.

I personally don’t see much of a difference between the two parties when you look closely.  There is an exaggeration of the differences at the presidential level simply to keep it interesting but once you remove the politics of identity and religion you quickly find that they both suddenly sound a lot a like.  I prefer to refer to the two as Republicrats. Think of a two headed coin.  Every presidential election we flip it again and again and it never comes up tails.  Members of the house are far more sensitive to the constituents than senators.  The President, on the other hand has an entirely different set of difficulties.  I am trying to be polite because there is a dehumanizing quality to political rhetoric which is not new, but it has been intensifying since the late 1990s.  The population is broken down into four basic groups, the most politically active that we tend to refer to as left and right although realistically, in my eyes, they both currently seem to be from right to far right and wildly mixed are the first two groups.  You can find plenty of footage of them on the net fighting each other which is entirely pointless but we just don’t seem to be able to help ourselves.  A third group of dissidents and activists from the old right and left.  Basically pre-fall of the wall on the side lines, some old and some new, some speakers, some organizing, some on campuses and some in the press mostly online who are producing some useful perspective and when it comes down to it I tend to agree with both sides more often than not.  When Louis Farrakhan suddenly sounds like a leftist it is simply a sign of how far to the right the political spectrum in my homeland has slid.  Most interesting is the fourth group, by far the largest, the depoliticized.  These have been giving up in droves over the years, more apathetic then ever they have reached a state of anti politic and have settled into a calm do your own thing state.  They make up, it seems to me, more than half of the population that are of voting age.

There would be a tendency for anyone to wax conspiratorial at this point and although I find this perfectly understandable for every conspiracy you can think of there are two other sets of arguments that can just as easily explain the phenomena.  I don’t really want to get into this here, suffice it to say that however the American population got here, the political class is not the least bit interested in changing anything.  Especially at the Federal Level.  I think the reasons are pretty obvious as the only thing that can force a change in the system through legal means is an organized electorate.  Members of congress, the president and his or her cabinet along with the bulk of bureaucrats understand where their interests lay.  They want to keep there careers and improve their conditions just like the rest of us.  One of the signs of organized resistance is in the way voting habits change.  If we look back to the last Great Depression and check what parties are represented in the house and the senate we can understand better why the New Deal happened.

These Statistics are from the 2005 Time Almanac, yes, I know its not a primary source.

70th Congress 1927 – 1929

Senate: 94 Dem/Rep  1 independent.    House:  432 Dem/Rep.  3 independent

71st Congress  1929 – 1931

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  1 independent    House:   430 Dem/Rep.  1 independent  4 vacant

72 Congress  1931 – 1933

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  1 independent    House:  434 Dem/Rep.  1 independent

73 Congress  1933 – 1935

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  1 independent    House:  430 Dem/Rep.  5 independent

74th Congress  1935 – 1937

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  2 independents    House:  425  Dem/Rep.  10 independent

75th Congress  1937 – 1939

Senate:  92 Dem/Rep.  4 Independents   House:  422 Dem/ Rep.  13 Independents

76th Congress  1939 – 1941

Senate:  92  Dem/ Rep.  4 Independents    House:  431 Dem/Rep.  4 Independents

77th Congress  1941 – 1943

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  2 Independents    House:  429 Dem/Rep.  6 Independents

The same period looking at the ratio of Democrats versus Republicans in Senate and the House from the same source

CONGRESS      YEARS    SENATE:  DEM/ REP          HOUSE:  DEM/REP      PRESIDENT (D/R)

70th               1927 – 29                       47/48                                  195/237             Coolidge (R)

71st                1929 – 31                       39/56                                  163/267             Hoover (R)

72nd              1931 – 33                       47/48                                   216/218             Hoover (R)

73rd               1933 – 35                       59/36                                   313/117             Roosevelt (D)

74th               1935 – 37                       69/25                                    322/103             Roosevelt (D)

75th               1937 – 39                       75/17                                    333/89               Roosevelt (D)

76th               1939 – 41                        69/23                                   262/169             Roosevelt (D)

77th               1941-43                          66/28                                   267/162              Roosevelt (D)

As far as the Russian Hack Ordeal, I can’t say definitely that there wasn’t Russian interference in the 2016 election but the reality is that thia type of behavior is standard for great powers especially when they feel threatened.  I have no doubt that somebody had candidate Trump under surveillance.  When Barack Obama became the president the Secret Service made him give up his personal Black Berry and replaced it with a Secret Service approved Black Berry.  It seems that the president doesn’t have the right to that level of privacy.  If that is so then why would candidate Trump expect anything different.  It can always be argued that this protocol is simply an extra safe guard for the president, but it all struck me as a bit suspicious.   The other thing that I found fascinating was how the debate broke down over whom was surveilling whom.  It seems the debate in the on line community was between the Russian’s or our own set Intelligence agencies.  There was little or no debate over the role of private or corporate intelligence firms.  This also struck me as interesting.  Congress has been getting pretty squirrelly over the whole thing so I have no doubt that the Trump Candidacy was under Surveillance.  The question is, by whom?

More importantly the members of both houses are worried about their jobs.  Politics is a career like any other profession the point of said career is to succeed and climb the tree, reach so apex in your chosen career path.  Any Member of the house or the Senate that is there for more than two years wants the power and the comfort that comes with their prospective office.  To put in the simplest language, they want to get paid and try to reach some apex of power just like the rest of us.

Politicians haven’t been upset by low voter turn out yet, it just makes it easier for them to keep their jobs or get a job.  What does freak them out is unpredictability in the electorate.  What this means is that one or both parties may be out of work, a whole party out.  Think about that.  Imagine that a whole group could no longer find any work in a profession that they mastered a decade ago.  It is the big screw.

There are three forces acting on the electorate right now.  The first is the economy which is tied directly to Neo-liberal corporate favoritism.  The second is the unresponsiveness on the part of congress to their constituents tied with growing isolation between various identity groups and growing inequality.  The third and most stressed is the lack of transparency.

Back in the late 70s and 80s they referred to economic stressors as pocket book issues and I am sure that some still use this term.  One of the keys here is health care.  The health care program we have is not run by the government, is paid for by the government.  It is run by insurance companies.  In essence it is an insurance subsidy wrapped in a healthcare plan.  As Health care reform attempts to move forward just remember that its not the expense that worries either party, it is who pays for it.  Serious healthcare reform is unlikely since both parties, remember there is always at least one exception to every rule, see that cutting off that subsidy would cause a major crisis in the insurance industry (Bankruptcy anyone?) and a massive lapse in healthcare for most every one.  Imagine if you all in the middle class had to put out collection jars at convenience stores and gas stations or beg at your churches for the funds needed to get a loved one vitally needed health care?  If you haven’t seen anything like that then you’ve led a sheltered life.  This is besides the issue of dwindling buying power.  Wages have been flat or declining since the middle seventies for the bulk of the working people in our fair society.  This growing inequality is irritating the bulk of the lower classes and stifling both innovation and growth in our economic sector.

The second issue is congressional deadlock which is the worst I have ever seen it, not that I am that old.  This is frustrating for the voters and fuels the tribal elements to grow with in our current political tone.  While on one hand this is a huge driver of De-politicization it also creates an environment that serves the political class without the risks associated with legislation.  Redistricting is creating more and more seats in the house where it is only the party identity that matters.  This is allowing a stagnation to occur in the legislative process which eliminates risk.  Put on as nice show at these Russia Hack hearings and when your constituents get upset because they live in an economic waste land with dwindling opportunity you can simply state, I tried but such and so or the other party blocked me.  You know I wouldn’t let you down.

Finally there is a lack of transparency.  This feeds into the fear that an autocratic system might be on the rise in the United States of America.  The Kook Conspiracy Theory grows best in am information vacuum and nothing creates a more powerful or profound information vacuum that the national security state.  Kook Conspiracy theories are like weeds in a garden that has long been left unattended.  National security is secrecy and secrecy, especially among powerful, people and organizations breeds suspicion.  Add to that the rising awareness of these otherwise hidden organization, if not hidden then not advertised as such in the very least and you have rising levels of suspicion and tension.

Considering all of this and assuming that politicians at the federal level are not brick dumb then you can begin to understand the importance of the idea of the Russian Hack and the Russian interference probe.  These guys are worried about keeping their jobs and the pensions like many other Americans.  As long as enough of the electorate buys this idea and the butt backwards lack of issues anti Trump boondoggle keeps rolling then both houses of congress have that sense of job security that so many others crave.  The only thing they truly fear is an organized and motivated electorate ready to vote for a third party, it has happened before.

It has been said that there is a war in the deep state.  I have heard it said to be clear, I am not saying that it is definitely so but I can understand why it would be.  If this war exists then what is it like and what is it over.  First the wars fought between major corporations and other massive entities along with their billionaire comrades aren’t like the wars we fight.  They don’t generally shoot each other and kill each other in droves, that is just for us regular everyday citizens.   In the deep sate there is jockeying for position and power and merging and acquiring a larger market share.  There is another problem with growing wage inequality and that is an absence of cash in the economy.  Credit will only get you so far.  The wealthiest of us and their various entities are fighting over crumbs and so are we the people.

So in the end The Russian Hack Ordeal is an attempt to blame shift and and move the focus of the electorate of the house and the senate.  The Same thing can be said of the media’s handling of the coverage of the Trump Administration.  Both houses and the Traditional media are in mortal fear of poverty, you know poverty don’t you?  Well they don’t and they find it terrifying.  They want the population looking somewhere else for the source of their troubles, that is the purpose of the Russian Hack and when it finally fails you can expect to hear the sabre start rattling.

Try and have a better than average day,

Be blessed,