Tag Archives: philosophy/mysticism

Desiderata

This has gotten me through some bleak and dark times. I am under the impression that others are now or are about to face times like these themselves on a scale that I don’t believe we have seen in some time, more than my life time.  Kt isn’t the end of the world but we all need something at times like these.  With this in mind I leave this prayer, though it can be used for reflection, an affirmation or m meditation.  I hope it helps yo9u as much as it did me.

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there maybe in silence.  As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.  Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.  If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; dor always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.  Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.  Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.  Especially, do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.  Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.  But do not distress yourself with imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.  Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and he stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, there is no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.

 

 

I have no idea who originated this prayer and I believe that it is public domain.  It it is not I apologize.

 

In all things, be blessed.

Understanding Power Part II

I tend to think of Part I as Simple power while Part II deals more with complex power.

Before I continue I wold once again like to state that I believe that every human being has the right to defend themselves.  It should be understood that some believe that a good offense is the best defense but the moment that one makes the argument for any form of preemption in the name of self defense that one should always suspect that it is, in reality, an argument for aggression.

Complex power, for the sake of thus discussion is dependent on developed societies in order to exist.  Developed societies is a polite way of saying civilized.  Civilized societies have institutionalized structures, the peculiarity of division of labor and more often than not hierarchical leadership structures.  These concepts are all part of the discipline of sociology a part of academia I sort of backed my way into in an informal sense.  The first limitation I wish to place on this form of moderate power is that it is an aspect of social systems whose reach could be the size of a county, a township, a municipality,. a state or providence, a medium sized corporation, a small religious tradition or even a small country.  The key in understanding scale is firstly realizing that these entities have little or no ability to project power much beyond the region in which they dwell.  This inability to project power and the small scale of this tier of power allows the people who both compose the organs of the system or systems as well as the individuals that cohabit with the system to know each other or at least have the possibility of knowing each other.

Television, mass media and yes, even the internet create the illusion of knowing another person but that is not the same, for the sake of this discussion, of knowing a person in the sense of sharing any given three dimensional space.  The holders of power and the rest of the population can actual be on good speaking terms, go to each others birthday parties, visit each other when they are sick and attend functions both social, educational or managerial.  This is an effort to get across the scale of these intermediate systems.  Let it be understood that just because you can or the possibility exists to share 3D space with a person doesn’t mean that you do, only the possibility must exist in a probable and realistic manner for it to qualify.

Also in the realm of intermediate power there is at least the illusion of accountability for those who hold said power’s actions.  What this means is that if a person who holds a position of power commits a crime in the codified sense then there are criminal consequences or at the very least the illusion of consequences.  This means a trial and the possibility of prison just like those of us who live around, under or work with in said system.  What is important here is that the illusion of consequences be realistic so that it could be said that on occasion some one has to pay the piper as it were.

So what are the prerequisites to hold said power?

Power can be obtained several ways,  it could be a question of status of family, by election of your peers,by accreditation and possible do to personality and appearance (Charisma).

Here are a few quick illustrations.

Family Status is usually connected to both wealth and influence.  Those two things, wealth an d influence, regardless of the nation state or region you might examine, seem universal.  The was a gentleman, who had recently passed beyond the veil, that I had become familiar with through the local historical society.  His family was long established in my community and still held some considerable capital though not as much as they had in the past.  He worked as a middle school  principal.  He was always being quoted in the paper as though his thoughts on our little community had any real relevance and he traveled to Washington D.C.  once a month for some sort of a panel at the capital.  This was mentioned as an aside and I didn’t pry.  There is no doubt that he had much experience that would have been valuable to any inquiry specifically round the topic of education.  I am also certain that most people who have been seriously involved in education for any reasonable length of time would also have ideas and experiences that would be equally valuable.  I was left wondering why the preference?

My grandfather was also a school teacher and a high school coach, basket ball, Football and base ball.  His power came from accreditation as he was the first person in the state of Ohio to earn a masters degree in education.  He also had a gift for turning some coin in the world of investing so he was something of a self made man.  He too held a great deal of sway in my small city.  He could get people, especially minors out of jail on his word alone.  He had the ear of judges, lawyers, doctors, members of law enforcement, school teachers and even people in the government at the state level.  This power was able to change someone in my locality circumstances when it came to their status with the various systems that govern the world in which I lived.  He also held elected office in my small city.

And we must not forget Doctors, They have power too. They have the power to not take you as a patient.  If you should pass from inability to receive medical care they will not be held liable in any way though they may be held liable in the case of malpractice thus the illusion of consequences.  People will talk about health care reform (Health Care affordability and Portability Act) as though it has revolutionized access to medical services.  Down here where I live and most of my friends live the system has some serious kinks to be worked out.  People are having a harder time finding the kind and quality of care that they could before the Acts passage.  I have no idea what it is like in the big cities, I can only speak of the few cases of which I am aware.  This aside, I know of three cases where a Doctor decided they weren’t going to see a patient any more.  They did not state a reason why and continued to practice in the local community.  My point of view on this may seem a bit harsh and in all honestly I don’t care whether doctors only treat people that can afford their services and the rest be damned.  I am simply using it as an illustration of power.  Meta and I have debated whether or not the Hippocratic oath is still taken when doctors finish their education.  She feels that it is not, I feel that it is but it is nothing more than smoke and it been like that for a long time.

Then there is all that chatter over law enforcement with in the realm of police brutality.  I am mixed on this but for the sake of this conversation, if a person, due to the position they hold, can cripple or kill another human being under circumstances other  than self defense then what we are seeing is an example of power.  There are occasions when charges are brought against police officers for  improper use of force which creates the realistic illusion of accountability.

I’m sure that you can come with examples better than mine.  In any case, for what ever it was worth, i hope this was worth the time you spent reading it.

Understanding Power Part I

Before I Begin I want to say that I believe that every human being has the right to self defense.  Self Defense, in my view, does not include preemption.  You or I do not have the right to attack some one or aggressively defend ourselves against the notion of a potential threat.  This aggressive form of self defense also know as preemption isn’t really self defense.  Its aggression, its an attack, we would be going on the offensive.  We can’t just run around attacking people because we don’t like the way they look, that they make us nervous, have different beliefs or look at us funny.

None the Less I support an individual or a populations right to defend themselves by any means once they are under attack, once the lead starts flying as it were.

This is about understanding power and this first installment is about simple power.  I began this post with the statement that I believe in a person’s right to self defense because to a considerable extent simple power deals with the second amendment.  I am 51 years of age and the debate around the second amendment, gun control, has been going on as long as I can remember.  People older than me yet remember this debate as a sort of a back ground noise of their life.  First I’d like to admit that I support the second amendment.  This of course has caused me some concern as I have listened to the last round of debate on the issue of gun control.  It seems to me that the bulk of the people supporting the amendment and resisting any form of gun control make all gun control advocates look like lunatics.  There has been this phrase I have been hearing, now it may have been said in the past and often but this is the first time that I have heard it, and that phrase is “Gun Culture.”

What the Fuck does “Gun Culture” mean?  When I hear the term used, whether the speaker is a citizen of our fair country or a foreign devil, it sounds like some kind of a slam, an insult.  I really had to think on the term for a while to try and get a handle on it.  The internet as a tool for enlightenment was useless in this endeavor and there was no hard copy dictionary definition.  It was frustrating and annoying, all those grinning jar headed, glassy eyed, slack jawed idiots grinning and muttering the word “gun culture” left me with the same putrid feeling as some other pudding for brains, soft bottomed, over privileged turd using the term “White Culture.”

What were these phrases?  Where they some kind of a code, an inside joke, or the result of a group of demographers with a few carefully selected focus groups and their careful search for a phrase that would have some desired effect even though it didn’t actually mean anything?  The thing was, though it kept nagging at me something terrible, that the phrase “Gun Culture” does mean something.  We need to come to grips with the fact that if the citizenry of the United States did not possess military grade firearms in the distant past then our country would, in all likelihood, bear little resemblance to what it is today.  The destruction of the Native population, Genocide if you will, would have been impossible with out an armed citizenry.  The institution of Slavery, which went a long way to making the U.S. a rich country as only free labor can, also would have been impossible with out an armed citizenry.  I realize that these ideas may make people uncomfortable or uneasy but to say otherwise would be grossly unfair and dishonest.

The U.S. expansion into South and Central America after the Spanish American war, our participation in WW I and WW II would have been far less spectacular without a populous that was familiar with the use of fire arms.  Just imagine how quickly forces could be mobilized and fielded when the population already know how to use a gun then when they have to be trained from scratch.  Then of course there is F.D.R and the great depression.  Doctor Richard Wolf has a very interesting interpretation of Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and why they occurred.  It seems that the depression had brought our fair nation to the brink of civil war.  Back then not only where we armed we were also organized.  That’s a damn scary combination.  There were labor unions, political parties, progressives, Communists, Socialists, Antichrists and they shared members, meaning one person could be a member of more than on group union or party.  So when we retell the tale we simple talk about what a Commie FDR was because we most certainly don’t want to encourage the population of our fine nation to organize for a better life.  Maybe these kind of ideas are what is meant by the phrase “Gun Culture.”

In the past these far Left organizations use to scare the shit out of the government but decades of propaganda appealing to individual enrichment and anti union sediment have left our country with out a left wing any longer.  Now the concern is the far right, The Militia, Radical Religious Groups. and Anti Governmental organizations.  When I hear the media discuss these groups, which is rare since I don”t get cable in my home, they fix their side of the argument around the criminal threat and the threat of Terrorism if they are in favor of gun control and if they are against Gun Control them the argument revolves around protecting national sovereignty, defending our boarders (Illegal immigration) and being able to resist the government if it should get to big for its britches.  Then of course there are all the conspiracy theories around the NWO, Agenda 21, Chemtrails, death camps and the coming economic collapse and lets not forget about the Apocalypse although I am not sure what good guns will do a person if the world is ending.  At some point, when the debate turns serious it becomes simply, gun control prevents crime versus an armed citizenry prevents crime.  This is known as framing the argument.  Setting the terms of the debate so that no concept out side of the accepted spectrum of conversation can be discussed.  What is it they don’t really want to talk about?

The more I think about it the more its seems to be true.  What is it that guns represent to most people?  IN the simplest term guns, rifles or pistols represent power.  A firearm is the simplest form of power that any person can grasp.  It is power over your own life, power over other peoples lives, it is your independence and it is your ability to affect your world if you should feel the need.  We in the United States are an Nation of individuals so we lack the large organizations that other developed or Western nations have to affect change in their countries, all we have is fire arms.  It was while I sitting and thinking about this that I realized another very powerful tool we littel people have at our disposal.  That other powerful tool is the ability to say NO.  It is true that first few of us who say NO may pay with our lives.  It is also true that it is hard to say NO, especially to something or someone you care about.   Maybe it is just easier to pop a couple rounds off into a crowd.  Remember that the next time you decide to, or see footage of, somebody walking down the street with an AR 15 over their shoulder to protest for their right to bear arms.  I guess in the end its a lot easier for us to kill each other then it is to negotiate or organize or to simply say NO and stop participating.  Remember this the next time you witness a debate, whether in person or on television, as the discussion devolves into some ridiculous sensationalist piece of political theater that turns your stomach, because it should.

Those jar headed grinning idiots are trying to marginalize the whole of us because what the debate is about is power and taking away yours.  If you can’t own a fire arm legally, a weapon competitive with military hard ware, you can’t work up the courage to say NO and you refuse to organize, Well, what are you gonna do?  Where will you find your power?