Hopi Adventures Remain

hopi-butterfly-festival-300x217 These are stored memories, I’ll be coming from off the top of my head, no research really, maybe for spelling, names and such. These are memories etched into my head, they are scenes of the best and most interesting time of my life; allow me to revive them just a bit here, I need that.

In 1995 I was working in good old St. Louis for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE), I was their Membership Director at the time. Eventually I became Administrative Director, I suppose what you’d call the highlight of my employment life, and since has been, but you’ll see that it also clashed with a major turning point in my life.

It came vacation time and my mother was living in Pinehill, New Mexico, I headed out for a 6-day visit with her at the end of June that year (1995). I was heavy into fishing at the time and going to the cow pastures of New Mexico was not my dream vacation, I was a water boy. However, I needed a visit with mom, so I packed up my 1972 Chevy 1 ton RV, and headed for the wilds (literally) of New Mexico. After nineteen hours of continuous driving I arrived at Pine Meadow Ranches, Lot 33 located in western Cibola County. There are several places like this in various forms across the Southwest. Here at Pine Meadows it’s a hundred down and seventy-five a month for ten or fifteen years, two and a half or five acre lots, hell of a deal really. Nearly twenty years later I own and live on one of those lots. It is a long and dreamy story, both nightmares and adventures.

The six days I spent at my mother’s were epic in my life. I had parked my RV at the top of a hill on my mom’s land; it was 4am at the time. At 8am, I found myself being woke to the smell of dried horseshit, burning outside my cabin window. My mother, who had lived there for two years by now, was gone New Mexico nuts. The purpose of this effigy is to ward off gnats, no-seeums, some would call; angry little bastards, bitn’ motherfuckers. Anyway, I actually found the smell quite romantic, in a manly sort of way. I still like and use it today. In any case, it was there in the waft of horseshit–my adventures began–June 26th, 1995.

After a day of driving around with my mother and seeing the locality, we returned to my mothers place and got ready for a campfire evening. Please understand that my mother’s place was quite primitive, in modern standards anyway, she spent the first year living out of the back of her 1980 something Chevy Hatchback.  By now, she had a nice 12 fit. camper trailer, no juice yet, she was 63 I believe, maybe 64, me 40. She did have a well by then I believe, with a generator to pump it, but no, I think she was hauling, yeah, she was a water hauler then. She got the well a year or so later. I made several journeys from St. Louis to New Mexico from June 1995 to March 2000, at least eight round trips, so it gets a little combobulated on the details.

Before the campfire was sunset, my mother asked me to maybe go off somewhere while the sun set cuz she had a quiet time at that moment. I’m like, “yeah, mom, I’ll be back.” My mother has taken many journeys in her life, ‘this was one of them’, I thought. Truth is, throughout my life I had vicariously lived many of her adventures, from afar at least. So’s I head off to a spot on a high hill, comparative to the landscape, to leave my mother be. It was on a lot just north of my mothers. At the crown of this hill is a fence, the other side belongs to Dean Bond, the last remaining rancher in his family going back to the 1850’s, there about. At the time, they were part of the Mormon invasion of this area, but a beautiful spot at sunset, nonetheless. I found a post to lean on at the very crest of the hill. Staring out to the south, looking at a mound the locals call Black Mountain, I suddenly was struck by the events of the day, for lack of a better explanation. Thoughts of a Great Spirit overwhelmed me. I could see myself in this spot a thousand years ago, whew!

Well, call it what you will. I’ve given it every description I can think of, from a vacation high to a life changing moment. Turns out, it’s somewhere in between. One thing for sure my life has never been the same since. The little vision could be summed up in one phrase that came to me at that moment, and has plagued me in so many ways since; I’ve come to accept I never will get it, this “walk into the desert” crap. My god the roads that phrase have taken me down, whoa! Still is, nearly twenty years later.

Well at that time, what the experience turned into was a ravenous desire to head for the rocks, for the truly wild, Indian lands. Yeah, I became an Indian-wanna-be in a about two seconds. I had seen some rock formations over on Bonds land, a place they call Bond Mesa, a ten thousand acre stretch of canyons, buttes, mesa tops and low laying grass bottoms. From a distance, it looked like a place riddled with ancient history, the same now as 10 thousand years ago. My blood on Indian fire, I had to see it, feel it, and experience it. I’m kinda big on experience stuff, was highly into it at that time in my life. At this moment I was blinded by it. Hard to explain, my mind and thoughts were obsessed by wanting to be in those rocks. No shit, I’d never been taken over by anything so powerful in my life.

From my mother’s to Bond Mesa was about 4 to 5 miles, but there was a way to drive to the north end of Pine Meadows sub-division and cross the fence over to Bond’s ranch land; making my hike a little less than two miles to the rock buttes I had my eyes on. There was a way to gently rise to the mesa top from its backside, but I choose to walk the bottoms and perhaps climb up the buttes once arriving to my destination. As I came to a clear view of the front side of the mesa and its buttes, a Golden Eagle swooped off the edge of the highest butte, then glided its way down about 200 feet, into the trees below. Now the fire was raging, from there, the day was full of prayers, rock stacking, all the stuff mid-westerners do who go ga-ga here. I was no special case. Nevertheless, the day never had a moments rest from awe, and I’ll give no shame or embarrassments to it. I spent the next four days spending my time in those rocks, hiked there everyday, probably covered at lest 50 miles in that time.

This love affair with Bond Mesa carried on through the last five years I lived in St. Louis. This was a difficult time, but made for majestic experience at the same time. I was torn everyday of those five years. My wife of the time was not into my wanna-be status, rightly so. I was wanting to move to New Mexico, I became a backpacker of the Missouri Ozarks, went nuts on it, spent as much as three weeks sometimes in the woods, by myself, being wild and…Indian.  However, it was also disrupting my marriage and my work with the environmental group. We were in the process of finding a new Executive Director. I actually had a fair chance at getting the position. I would have had to study up and groom myself for it, but the search took two years, I could have easily become a contender. Big job, a very popular group as state groups go, in the top five of the nation I suppose, long history, big names on the board, supported by Emily Pulitzer of the famed literary family, likely more prestige than I could have handled, truth being.  Nevertheless, my eyes were on New Mexico and nothing was going to stop from me getting there, I started arranging for my departure in 1998, both at home and at work. I got my dream in March of 2000, been here every since, 14 and half years now. It was a very disturbing time prior to getting here. I was either heavy involved with the group I worked for or in the woods. My wife was quite distressed behind it all, we’ve since divorced and remain friends. But what a hard time, I was so confused, so wrapped up and selfish. I only felt at peace when I was in the woods. I see-sawed from frustration to wonder like I was in a contest of endurance.

But it passed, for awhile anyway. In the end, my ex-wife actually was the one who wound up arranging to move to New Mexico, an irony of sorts. She’s still here, in Albuquerque doing good. I’m out here on my land, the same lot I had my little vision on, my mother bought it for me in December 1998; so much history now.

Hopi Time

In June of 1999 my now ex-wife and I took a trip to Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez CO. While there, I found a book by Thomas Mails titeled, The Hopi Survival Kit, after one read my Indian adventure took an entirely new turn, one that still goes on today. During the first 5-years on this stent with the Native American life-ways, I studied and read many books on Indian culture, mostly the Plains Indians, but this book by Mr. Mails, redirected my path.

The first week of August 2000, I was finally able to take my first trip to Hopi Land. My destination was to the village of Hotevilla. There was to be what they call the Home Dance, the ceremony dedicated for the return of the Kachina’s to their home in the San Francisco Peaks of Arizona; where they live in spirit until the monsoons come and they leave their home to become the Cloud People bringing rains for the corn, beans, squash and melons. Goes something like that anyway, I’ll not get too picky, besides, there seems to be many aspects and interpretations to the Home Dance ceremony. This is close enough.

I missed the dance though, was a day late, came on a Sunday and the dance was Saturday. By now, I had learned from books quite a bit about Hopi, and particularly about Hotevilla. It’s located on Third Mesa. There are three mesas where the pueblo style residents reside, thirteen villages in all. The original village is Oraibi, which was founded over 900 years ago and is the longest continuously inhabited village in America and now still has about 30 residents, last I heard. In 1904, the residents of Oraibi came into dispute over the ideals of what is best described as the progressives vs. traditionals, which pretty much explains it all if you take the two words literally. Today, the clash is not so distinguishable, though still awake a plenty, but it is rare to find a true traditional, mostly folks are somewhat mixed about it. The hard-core traditionals can be disguisable by their dress, look and is age discriminate, usually it’s the elders, but not many of them left.

Again, there is no one way to look at this; the perspective always has to be wide concerning the Hopi. They stand out as the mother tribe as Indian spirituality goes. They are much like the Tibetans, lots of weird coincidences between those two worlds. Hopi astrology will match just about any of that in science or culture anywhere. Everything happens by stellar arrangement. There was at one time 265 days of ceremony per year spreading across all three mesas, all based around stellar timetables. That has dwindled heavily since the 20th and 21st centuries arrived, I would be surprise if there are thirty practiced now, outside of the kiva’s anyway, a kiva is their spiritual center and meeting place for elders, there are usually more than one per village, more like three on average.

Well this dispute got out of hand in 1904, by then the US government had pretty much invaded and had taken control of the Hopi, the last tribe for the government to deal with actually. Did you know that the Hopi were the only tribe to never sign a treaty with the US government? So technically, they are not bound by the American constitution…yeah right. That made no matter to the missionaries, BIA agents and the forces of the American government. The Hopi were gathered up, sent to schools in Winslow AZ, and assimilated into the American way of life…that’s another “yeah right”. I don’t think any tribe has been able to avoid the white indoctrination’s of the American lifeway better than the Hopi people.

You would be amazed to still see that in 2014 Hopi Elders are out with there planting stick, there hoe, and a hand full of corn seeds; in the desert sun planting one plot at time.  My girlfriend and I were with two of them as recently as October 2013, Roosevelt and Loretta, they had just finished their harvest of corn, white corn and were out shucking in front of there rock stacked home in Oraibi when we arrived. The traditional Hopi home as laid down by their God of the present Fourth World would have the Hopi with only a table, a chair and a bed, that’s pretty much the home of Roosevelt and Loretta. A beautiful tribute to the Hopi tradition, these two are.

Back to the dispute. How was Oraibi gonna settle this debacle? Finally, the village chief declared a tug-a-war, whichever side caused the other to cross the line in the sand, would have the loser leave the village, so the Hotevilla inhabitants of today are decedents of those who lost the tug-of-war, the traditionals of Oraibi in 1904. But because they were the traditionals that has since given Hotevilla an unspoken title as the spiritual center of Hopi Land, leaving Oraibi to be lost spiritually and decaying there forward, while Hotevilla has more or less flourished, especially given the times.

Well you can see why I was pretty hopped up about being there, walking thru the streets of the village. Though the village is only a little over a hundred years old, Hotevilla still has the ancient feel and look of any pueblo anywhere in the Southwest, more so actually. After a touring the village awhile, I decided I had been present long enough and so decided to head back to my car outside the pueblo. As I was coming out of the village, I saw a Hopi man, probably about 60 or 70 years of age, restacking some fallen rocks from a wall at the edge of his home, the last home as you come out of the village.

Out of nowhere I found myself approaching this man, he was breathing heavy and kind of bent over. As he was stacking the last rock, I came out with something like, “Hard job, eh?” He replied, “Oh, my nephew was drunk last night and hit the wall with his car and knocked the rocks down, so I am picking up after him”. I don’t know why, but I just came right out with it, “Hey sir, I am very interested in the Hopi culture, would you mind spending a little time with me and give me your thoughts about being a Hopi in the 21st century? And give me your impressions of the Hopi way as well?”

To my surprise, he accepted the request gladly. I told him I’d be back in about an hour after I had some lunch. Upon my return, I found him more or less eagerly awaiting his discourse. He talked very slow, very Indian and hard to understand, he was full blooded Hopi, likely spoke his own language most of the time, but his English was good enough and his slow talk helped a lot. We talked all afternoon, I was invited for supper and wound up moving my vehicle next to his house to sleep in that very night. I don’t think I could have found a better mentor, not because he was so knowledgeable, but his stories were more fascinating to me than anything I’d read thus far. I came to learn that he was a well-known and loved figure in the village of Hotevilla, known as ‘Uncle Ben’. Along with Ben, his sister Nona, her daughter Melody, and Melody’s two kids Zoi and Skyler made for the household, a wonderful bunch of people. I came to know the Hopi child thru the two kids, I loved them dearly, haven’t seen them now for at least ten years, they probably wouldn’t know me anymore.

From that day forward I had many visits to Hopi and to see Ben and his family. I usually slept in my car at the Hopi Cultural Center. There is a grouping of picnic tables a couple hundred feet from the center, I would park, get set up and do my domestics there. Or sometimes I would stay next to Ben’s place and do the same, perhaps eat with his family. Their food though simple, I actually found to be quite delightful. If you are going to have mutton stew, do it at Hopi, but not at the cultural center, get it from a dweller there. Also, try the “pudding”, it’s not a desert, but a mix of wheat shoots, corn, sugar and whatever else but it is a great snack. Traditionally it sits in a bowl on the table, you just simply dip your finger in it and lap it up. It is something that the people ‘share’ together, in that case, it feels right to dip with the finger right behind someone else.

Ben liked to take me around and show me things about Hopi. He even gave me directions to Prophesy Rock, a petroglyph scribed by Masaw (various spellings), their God of the Fourth World, probably the most sacred place in Hopi, though I am sure many a non-Hopi person has been there to see it. I have taken three people there, I think I should not have done that as it was an attention getting thing. I apologize now for that, to Ben and to the Hopi. The ego gets a bit wieldy when becoming a wanna-be-Indian. Hopefully, I have gone past that stage…well, I’m fairly sure I have, thank god.

Probably one of my most enduring memories with Ben is when he took me way the fuck out into Hopi Land to have me try and catch an eagle chick. Yeah that’s right, an eagle chick. The Hopi use a grown eagle at the Home Dance to sacrifice at the end of the ceremony, which is a long day, let me tell you. I don’t know how those Kachina dancers make it through the day. I once watched the dance all the way through, started at daybreak and went till nearly dark. Eight separate dances with less than an hour of rest in between, usually at least 30 dancers, heavily adorned, it’s July and hot, and each session is about 30 to 45 minutes of non-stop moving your body dancing. I did once see a Kachina dancer drop to the ground, they picked him up and put him right back in line. He immediately continued.

Anyway, back to the eagle catching thing. So we do this long drive across the sandy roads of Hopi, so sandy that I nearly got stuck several times, and finally came to a place where we parked and then walked about 20 minutes to a particular location Ben was intending for. I mean this was so far out in the desert it kinda scared me. I thought, ‘what if my truck don’t start?’ So after the walk we finally came to a place where there was a nice rock for both of us to sit down on comfortably, I believe this was a rock Ben had sat on many times in his life. Immediately he starts into stories. I didn’t even get a chance to ask, “what the fuck are we doing here?” I don’t remember all the stories, he must have told stories for an hour straight and me maybe getting in one or two questions the whole time.

I do remember one story he told, it was the last one actually.  The story was about what made the black bug of the desert Southwest a black bug. He said that black bugs in the Southwest are the people who have died and they were bad, or something. So they had to take one step a year to the West and eventually, after about 800 miles, they came to a furnace or maybe a horno oven or something. Anyway, they had to go inside this thing and burn and be burned down to this bug, then to walk the southwest deserts for their remainder of eternity I suppose. So, be good I guess. This is a very short version with much left out, but don’t remember the details. Ben had lots of details and sidetracks in his stories.

Oh yeah, back to catching the eagle chick. Well he seemed to be done with his stories, and so I ask if we should maybe get back. He said, “No! We gotta catch the eagle chick!” (They catch them at chick stage in May so they’ll be grown by July). He said, “there are chicks up there on that tall rock butte”. Well, this butte was about 50 feet high and one round column about 20 feet thick, standing alone in the sand, with fairly smooth sides, in other words, nothing to cling to. I said, “Ben, how the hell we gonna get up there?” He replied, “You’re gonna get up there!” I didn’t know what to say. I told him there was no way for me to climb the damn thing, I was starting to panic and get a bit mad. Suddenly he shrugged and said, “OK then, let’s go back.” He didn’t seem mad at me or anything, he carried on as if it was totally fine with him to forget about the chick, it baffled me. I mean we had traveled all this way, it was at least 6 pm by then, and we going to come back with nothing? But, that’s what we did, and nary a word said again about it.

This last episode I told you was an event that seem to regularly occur in my dealings with the Hopi, of some order anyway, though usually much smaller scale, subtle things I wouldn’t remember except that they occurred, more or less indefinable. Remember, the Hopi are a culture set apart from many of the tribal cultures of America. You will find yourself quite lost much of the time, but it doesn’t matter, as long as you are feeling it. It’s like poetry, you can read Wordsworth, coming away scratching your head, but still feeling enlightened.

This experience happen to me another time when I was invited to go out again to the wilds of Hopi and participate in a round up of cattle, another all day and into the night adventure. The eagle adventure with Ben was all day as well and we only had two ears of white corn and some crackers I had in the truck to feed on for the day. And only one liter of water. Well, on this roundup trip it was exactly the opposite. God damn the food, it was around all day then when the cattle were all rounded up we sat down to a feast such as I have never seen before. The roundup cattle pin was were an old adobe home was, it had been abandoned for decades I’m sure. Had holes in the ceiling, large cracks in the walls that sunlight came thru, and the furnishings only consisted of a long table made from rough cut wood that appeared about to fall over, it was at least 10 feet long. Other than that, there were two wood cooking stoves, one outside and one in, the women brought camper stoves to supplement the cooking, massive amounts of cooking.

Oh, dust everywhere, did I mention that? The women were actually there before the men early in the morning doing the cooking, cooked all day. Well when we sat down to the table, (they brought chairs and benches) there were at least 15 to 20 people squeezed around it. Me and a guy that married into the clan (this event was a clan thing) were the only non-Hopi there, he was white also. OK but the FOOD! It was literally stacked on top of each other. I mean that if there was a pan of chicken there was a pan of round steaks stacked atop of it. A salad bowl would have a pan of potato salad on top of it. I don’t believe there was single item on the table that didn’t have another item under it.

It was another wonderful day in Hopi, but I have to say, I am not sure the majority of the clan was happy with Ben that I was invited; some treated me nice, others made me uncomfortable and perhaps not wanted. Nothing obvious or serious, but the vibes were there from time to time. I experienced this off and on over the years with Ben’s clan and some family members outside his home. It was something that told me I was doing something wrong by getting this close to Ben and his family. Ben didn’t seem to mind and even when I asked him about it, he’d nod it off. But Ben was a very friendly guy to whites, he said he liked them a lot, I think that confused and bothered his peers, but he was so liked I think they ignored it.

There was one time when Ben’s ease with me should have been checked closer, I was disappointed at him for it. I was heading out after a visit and he said, “I want you to go to a dance in Shungopavi today before you go home.” The village of Shungopavi is on Second Mesa, and is very strict about not allowing whites or non-Hopi’s into there ceremonies. I reminded him of that but he said, “It’s OK, if someone gives you trouble tell them that Ben Wytewa from Hotevilla invited you.” I said, “yeah well Ben I actually gotta be getting back, I don’t think I have the time.” Then he insisted that I go, almost got irate about it, so I said I’d go and stay for awhile. He said, “No! I want you to stay until the dance is over.” I humored him and said I would. He didn’t give me any good reason for his insistence even though I ask, he just repeated that he really wanted me to go.

Shungopavi is a good size village and has probably the largest plaza where the ceremonies and social dances are held. A social dance is just a dance and not a traditional ceremony, though the social dances that I attended seemed not to differ much from the ceremonies, but I suppose to the Hopi eye there is a world of difference between them.

So I pulled in the entrance of Shungopavi and immediately I see tons of cars and people, all Hopi folks. I almost turned around right then. But I remembered that Ben was insistent that I go so I pressed on and found a place to park that gave me an easy exit and far away from the plaza. As I walked toward the plaza I was getting a shit load of stares like, “what’s that fucker doing here?” Everyone seemed to be dressed quite traditionally; I thought ‘what the heck is Ben doing, is he trying to get my ass kicked for not catching the eagle or something?’ This was the same weekend of the eagle event. Finally, someone actually approached me and told me kindly that this event was for Hopi only; I hadn’t even made it to the plaza yet. I told them Ben Wytewa from Hotevilla invited me to the ceremony, they said, “Oh OK, that’s good enough.”

I am sure they could see I was scared down to my britches and perhaps that is why they accepted my explanation so easily, I really don’t know cuz I’m sure they didn’t even know who Ben was, maybe they recognized the Wytewa name, his dad was a big wig at one time. Whatever, so far I was in unscathed. But then just as I was about to approach the plaza and enter, there were two Hopi police cars right before the entrance. Immediately one of the cops got out of his car and stopped me quick and said I could not enter the plaza if not Hopi. So I bravely told him the invite thing again and sure enough, he bought it just like the citizen did… I slowly entered the plaza scared to hell. I was thinking I otta get out of here and go ask Ben what the fuck he was up to, but I instead quickly found and empty chair. These chairs were just inside the plaza as if they were there for folks wanting to leave early, that suited me.

I sat down, still enduring the stares, there must have been nearly a thousand people there, crowed all around like beans in a sack, on roof tops, edged into the dancing area, a mass of people, Hopi people. I kept looking for some white folks, and though the crowd was big, I did spot an elderly white lady, by herself like I was, sitting quietly like me as well. And then I saw a young woman at the other end of the plaza, very white looking, like a yuppie, but it appeared she was with some Hopi folks and was talking with them.

About five minutes later the dancers came onto the plaza. OK, I don’t know how to describe this but, the immediate intensity of the crowd and especially the dancers was literally overwhelming to me, and scared me even more. I was excited to be witnessing such a thing, but felt so out of place I could almost cry. It was as though the crowd was as much a part of the ceremony as the dancers. Their movements were so in time and the beat was so rhythmic that Buddy Miles would have died of envy. And the intensity, well, I just can’t describe it, I felt like I was literally on an acid trip, and all the Hopi present as well, like were all dropping acid from the same bottle. This happened like this within seconds of the dancers coming out; hit me like a bullet.

It never let up, in fact, it grew more intense as the dance went on. After about twenty minutes of gong thru this, I decided I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like I was losing my mind. Before I knew it, I realized I had gotten up and was practically running out of there. I got back to my car, I was breathing so heavy you’d think I had just sprinted a quarter mile. I drove home in silence, trying to figure out what had just happened. Ben never gave me an explanation for why he sent me there, it’s still a mystery to me 12 years later, and since that day and that dance, I find that Shungopavi is a place I rather just bypass.

Beyond Hopi

Between the years 2000 and 2003 I must have made at least ten trips to Hopi.  Since I have only been there maybe five times the last 11 years. There are many reasons for backing off, the Shungopavi incident the least of them, but a small part of it. One major reason is that Ben died near the end of 2002. Now, the Hopi, like many Indian tribes, do not like to talk about someone after they have passed. There was a time that I held to that tradition for their sake. But what an egotistical thing that was for me to “attempt” to follow Hopi tradition, like I was Hopi or some damn thing. So the other day, I finally decided to write extensively about Ben and the Hopi experiences he gave me. I am not Hopi, and Ben was my friend, more than a friend, he was an experience. One that I’ll never forget and will always treasure deep, deep inside me.

We weren’t like hotshot buddies or anything like that, we were both experiencing each others cultures, mainly his to me. But I shared with him much of what my life as white man was about. I did not speak of whites very kindly, and still don’t. Ben and his nephew Frank, both scolded me for being so down on “my people”. They felt I should stand up for them, regardless of their shortcomings. I didn’t buy it. I stood fast to my critiques. I feel as though our coming to these lands and taking over like we did was an abomination. We said, “a good Indian is a dead Indian”. And we meant it. For that, I can’t seem to find any reason to be understanding, and so it remains.

My adventures continued though. I have probably been over to Bond Mesa at least 30 times since 2003. I’ve spent the night over there wrapped in tarp while it rained. I’ve been face to face with owls, had eagles swoop down over my heard, Watched them lift off from Ponderosa’s while being above them on cliffs. Have encountered almost all types of wildlife in the area, including mountain lions, but have not yet seen a bear. I took on totem animals as a spiritual walk, prayed to the spirits on a daily basis at my shrine where my vision first took place. I am still a wanna-be-Indian, only now I have no shame for it.

Yes Indians are just people, and have committed atrocities unthinkable, yeah I know. There are tribes of all kinds and some I wouldn’t have given two shits about in their time. Yet there are tribes, like the Hopi, that if we just listen to them, our world would evolve like corn making it’s first break through the soil. Our white culture has so much to learn from indigenous peoples. We were indigenous at one time; we have it in our blood. I would encourage us to listen deep for that knowing, and perhaps we may become caretakers of this earth instead of its ravenous consumers as we are now.

There is much more I could share about Hopi and my wanna-be life surrounding it, but I think this is all I can muster, Nevertheless, thank you for sharing with me my story. Kwakwa Kwakwa and Kwakwa again, two more times. And thank you Ben, most of all.

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As Aliens Pass By

download (2)I often wonder what aliens think about our world as they pass by to check us out. Of course, they are going take note of who’s running the show and focus on that, and that’d be we humans. Not that we’re so omnipotent, but it’s just that we seem to have the most influence on the direction of the planet, in a species sort of way that is. The aliens will know all this.

Let’s pretend there was just such an event about three months ago. Two young aliens and their captain have come here from planet Botnonim located in the fourth quadrant of our galaxy. They begin to orbit our planet and collecting data. One of the young aliens says to the captain, “Have you ever seen a place like this before? It’s so beautiful isn’t it?” The captain replies, “Yes, it is, but there is something wrong going on down there, I don’t know yet what it is.”

So the aliens continue making their orbits as they finally come to the last orbit, only the seventh, and now have collected all the data they need to take back to the home base and have it analyzed. Within two days they are back home and are now facing their superior. As the alien captain gracefully hands over the databank to his Supreme Commander, the commander says, “So, Captain Vegosalow, you have been to the planet Earth have you? I was there as a young Botnonim, I was a captain just like you on a visit there 10,000 years ago. What a beautiful place it was, the greenest greens and the bluest blues, what did you think?” The captain replies, “Well sir, I think you’d better have a look at the data, I’d rather not say.”

So the commander pulls from his pocket his little data analyzer, slips the data chip in and waits for the analysis to complete, takes about three seconds. “Humm” says the commander, “What’s this? Planet Earth is on a death spiral? Their climate has been altered? Their water is disappearing and is becoming contaminated? The population is out of control? They are in continuous war? What has happened?”

So the commander continues to examine the results of the data. The captain watches him as his face begins to flush and contort. Finally, the commander slowly lowers the data analyzer to his waste, he stares long into the captains eyes and then says, “I’m sorry for you Captain Botnonim, you have witnessed something I have seen happen on other flourishing planets. It’s called the free enterprise system of economics. It was originally used in a sector near us to help their infant planets get started on development. In every case, it worked beautifully. Economies grew, there was ubiquitous innovation, incredible speed in medical advancement, all kinds of good things happened.” The captain says, “well yeah we saw all that as well sir, but somehow we could see, even without the final analysis, that planet Earth was on a path to devastation and extinction, why is that?”

The commander turns to his seat and eases himself down and says, “Just as every planet benefited greatly from this particular economic mechanism, also everyone eventually perished, some in as little as hundred years, others it took as much as a thousand, it varied. But what was for certain that every time a planet was introduced to this ways and means operator, the propagating species of this operator, and most all other species, were destroyed from the propagators self annihilation, every time.” As the captain sits in confusion, the commander continues, “You see Captain Botnonim, this operator has two elements within it that make it work, self-interest and competition, without them the operator ceases to exist. Eventually we saw it was these two elements that was what made this operator turn deadly, it literally made the propagators go insane and turned them into ravenous, consuming creatures who became trapped in what is called unending economic growth. A growth where so much product is continuously produced that its byproducts begin to overwhelm the health and destination of the propagating species themselves. They would find themselves so locked in, that it became impossible to stop the deadly growth of product, thus, the consumers eventually were consumed.”

“God damn commander! Oh, sorry sir, but I am devastated.” “I understand” replied the commander, “I too am devastated, because this operator was banded over 4000 years ago, and now it has shown up again, some evil is out there has rediscovered it and is using it to destroy life on planets, I suppose so they can take them over when the extinctions are complete.”

As the two aliens sit in silence and despair, the commander arises and says to the captain, “I’m sorry captain, but there is noting we can do for planet Earth, according to the data analysis, it is too late to reverse the process. What we must do now is go the Utmost Supreme Commander of All and tell him we must gather our allies, and go to Earth and destroy it to nothingness, we must make sure there is no trace left the free enterprise system of economics, and hope that it never rises its ugly head again.” The captain weeping now, turns to the commander and says, “Oh great Supreme Commander, I’m so scared, so scared…but we must do what we must do.” The two arise and slowly make their way to the Office of the Utmost Supreme Commander of All. As they stand at the door ready to knock, voice cracking and hands shaking, the Supreme Commander says to the broken captain, “God help us all, Gallamanitis is back.”

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The Tribal Way

February 2002

At one time the people of the earth lived in such a way that all of us were more or less in constant contact with each other.  We acted as if we were one mind.  Spirits were with us in visual form and the animals communicated with us and did not run from us nor did we run from them.  The important thing to remember here is that we acted and thought collectively.  In doing this we were very conscious of our actions and choices.  Since we were always thinking about the whole body of life we were naturally more careful about our choices in living out this life.  We did not do things that were harmful to the earth and our collective selves.

We were given instructions by the Creator on how to live life, called a Lifeway. These instructions were very specific, yet very simple to follow.  We were to live by the natural law of mother earth, and by her life giving properties in their natural form.  She had all we needed.  Food was available to us, materials were there for shelter and clothing, water was abundant and readily available.  We just had to live by her natural ways.  We could not manipulate her in any way as to take away her natural form.  There was no need to do so because all we needed was to stay alive and walk in the beauty of our earth mother.  After all, she was a living being and a supreme caretaker; there was no need to change her in order to get more from her, she had all we needed.

But, somewhere along the way, probably about 1500 to 3000 years ago, we decided she was not enough for us, why I do not know.  We slowly began to sever our connection with the earth mother as the earth mother.  And as this connection to her was lost so in turn was our connection to each other lost because she was the reason we stayed connected in the first place.  In short, we moved from living an outwardly functioning spiritual life to a life geared towards non-dependence on spiritual ways.  Now that we were not connected anymore we began to view the earth in a totally different manner.  We were now alone in our effort to survive.  Our common purpose to perpetuate living in beauty with mother earth had turned to an individual purpose to survive and beauty, except for that of our own making, no longer had anything to do with living.

It is important to avoid a sarcastic tone about this change we went through.  It is a change and nothing more.   If we, having free will, choose to live apart from the earth and each other it is our right to do so.   After all, there is an advantage to making this severance.  In certain ways life does become more interesting.  Not having a collective to worry about allows us to explore all sorts of fascinations, and we surely did, as you now can see in the 21st century.

The problem is that this change has eventually come to be harmful to not only the earth but to the future of all life on the earth.  Now that we live for ourselves we are not always aware of when we are hurting others.  Not having a collective mind anymore blinds us to our common need to preserve the earth for survival reasons.  Even though we no longer serve and worship the earth mother does not mean we still are not absolutely dependent on her or “it” as we call her now.

This is not to say that our lives today are not meaningful.  Before we made this change we had two “participation’s” in life.  One was to our collective, we participated in the care and nurturing of our collective survival through our earth mother.  The other was our individual lives, which were not individual in the way they are now, but suffice to say there was an existence outside of the collective.  This was generally thought of as family life.  We participated in relationships with our spouses, children, parents, grandparents and so on.  Life in this way had a very similar look to it as it does today.  We lived together in homes, we laughed and cried together, we worked together for our survival and so on.  These things definitely have meaning.  In this way, life has not changed, but while we used to do all the same functions in family life as we do now, back then, we as families did these same functions with the collective, and the collective did the same functions with our families.  This is what is no longer with us and is essentially the only difference, though it is a massive change to our basic ways living.

So we do live meaningful lives today.  We still have our families; we still love and care for each other at least at the family level.  And of course there is even still quite a bit of involvement with the community (though it would be wrong to even hint that there is an active collective consciousness).  Yet, it is well known that we are in grave danger of destroying ourselves.  This can or will happen through a number of causes: war, atomic catastrophes, environmental decay, starvation and so on.

What many of us these days portend is that this severance with the earth is the root cause of our demise, that today’s lifeways are lived in a bubble.  We see, feel, experience and live as though we have meaning, but it is in a bubble. And our family lives are bubbles living within this larger bubble.  The big bubble is the collective no longer knowing it is even a collective and we as individuals are inside that bubble severed from ourselves as a collective and not knowing that we are part of a collective.   We have lost connection as a collective mind and as individuals.  We no longer know who we are, but we think we do, because we don’t know what happened to us in the first place.  We do not know that we, by choice thousands of years ago, severed our relationship with the earth mother and our collective consciousness, which she held together.

Living in this bubble we feel secure because we have our families.  We have a life, and we cherish our lives.  This is a natural thing.  But there is another natural aspect to life and that is the awareness and function of the collective mind in harmony with the earth mother.  We only have the one of the two “participation’s”  of life going on.  So, we are out of balance and we do not realize it, and if some of us do realize we are out of balance, in most cases we do not know why.  Some of us do know why, but we are few in comparisons to those that don’t.

Living without this essential collective experience is why we are destroying ourselves.  We would have never allowed ourselves to get in this condition had we kept our relationship with the earth mother and our collective mind.  Because we would have been conscious of each other as one being.  There would have been no reason or circumstance to create self-destruction because we could clearly see each other.  Loosing the collective relationship brought blindness to each other and therefore blindness to our choices.  And so here we are.

As we live in this bubble we are participating both collectively and individually in destruction.  We think that, as individuals we are innocent.  We say it is the corporations, the government and so on.  We don’t think of ourselves as part of a collective, race, creed or societies.  We only think of ourselves as members of these entities and that they are there for us and that as individuals we are not responsible for them.  But we are.

This is the great lie of our separation from the collective and the earth mother.  We think we will be judged as individuals and not as a collective.  Though there may be a judgment for the individual, make no mistake there will be a judgment for collectives.  Races will be judged as races, nations as nations, tribes as tribes, religions as religions, societies as societies.  If you are a member one of these whether you want to be or not, and you have to be a member at least one, then you as a member of that collective will be judged. Yourcollective will be judged and you will be a part of it, no escape.

You may say, “Hey look, I just go to work everyday and do my part. I take care of my family, I do not harm anyone and I try to be of service to my friends and my community, what’s the beef?”  The beef is this; when you go to work you drive your car.  When you are at work you are making money for yourself and for the company.  You may be involved in the making of a product, let’s say its baby rattles.  Ask yourself, “Are these ‘normal activities’ destructive?” We all know what this destruction is: the rain forest, the perpetuation of child sweat shops, dirty air, corrupt governments, crime, child abuse, weakening family life, loss of resources and so on.

So, when you drive your car to work you are emitting poisons into the air that is causing the oceans to rise and people to not be able to breathe.  When you are working for money for yourself and your company you are participating in an economy that perpetuates destruction just by its mere existence.  The making of baby rattles promotes the use of petroleum based products that further promotes a petroleum based economy which is the root cause the decay of our earth mother.  Not to add that our economic system promotes and preserves the isolation of the collective by its TV’s, mass communications, intangible mobility or the use of cars which put us inside a cubical and away from contact with the earth when we travel.  Don’t get me started!

You may feel as though you are detached from the destruction our economy causes.  But you are most certainly not, you buy the products that make the economy sustain itself,you are a functioning unit in its existence. You can not escape the responsibility becauseyou buy and use the products that people in third world countries are dying from the production of. Of course, your excuse is, “Well, I have to make a living, I have to eat, I have to clothe myself, you know, how else can I survive?”  But hey dude, you are doing way more than surviving!  You watch a TV, you eat McDonalds, you drive two cars, you have a computer, you have three coats, ten pairs of shoes, and three suits.  You have a complete dining room set and two sets of bedroom furniture.  You have 60 CD’s and three places to play them.  And you know what, you are lower middle class!

And guess what, every thing mentioned above was made at the cost of the earth, and some poor native in a foreign land.  Just so you can survive?  You are not detached, you are very much a part of a destructive force called the modern society, and guess what, you are not innocent.

I do not know where we exactly crossed the line.  Was it the ability to grow our own food instead of directly getting it from mother earth?  Was it the invention of the wheel? Was it fire?  Was it the train, car, telephone?  I do not know.  But I do know what and when ever it was; it destroyed our connection with each other and our earth mother.  To turn this around we have to go back to the ways of the earth.  We must seek these lifeways to the point we begin to see each other again and come to understand the earth is a living being.

The last known time that we lived in this way was when the tribal and clan system was in place.  Believe it or not we are fortunate enough that there are still some tribes with the clan system in operation today.  Though they are almost gone and in danger of being lost with every day that passes.  The time is critical to turn this around.  It is not too late.

The reason the tribal system works to preserve the original instructions we received from the Creator on how to live with mother earth is, one, because it came from the Creator, and two, it supports the existence of the collective mind.  It has to.  A tribe has a system that goes beyond the family unit by itself.  The old saying is “it takes a village to raise a child”.  Everyone is in touch with everyone.  They depend on each other for their food, clothing and shelter.  All other material goods are in existence for the tribe and for the earth mother in ceremony; not exclusively of course but predominately.  In short, the tribe is there for the tribe and nothing else.  ‘You’ then, are a part of the tribe and it is intentional, you know that you are a part of something and that it is a part of you and you live by that knowledge.  From that, the Earth stays in balance and you walk in beauty once more.

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Free Enterprise vs. Humanity

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Below you will find wrtings from a section of the book I wrote back in 2012. Some of it I’ve changed on, especially coming to understand the concepts near term human extinction. but much of it remains the same.

Part 3

Chapter 1

What is ‘self interest’ and what is ‘competition’?

June 2012

I’ll tell you what they are; they’re a load of crap that’s what they are. This is a short chapter with a very short, simple but vitally important message.  When America came to being “America” we got there by competing with each other and we competed with each other out of self interest.  So here we are in the 21st Century self interested in the extreme and competition has become so refined you need everything from a ruthless mind to steroids in order to keep up.

You see when good old Ben Franklin and his scholarly peers got their minds cooking on this idea I’d imagine they felt they had discovered masturbation or something.  As brilliant and profound as it was it still was right under their noses all the time. It was so natural in its make up it would seem it didn’t even need to be invented, that it would just appear out of need. But no, we thought it up, you know, our spotless American ingenuity.  We are some smart mother fuckers, can’t argue that.

How’s it work?  First off, know that free enterprise economics are dead without self interest and competition.  There has to be motive, drive, and ambition in the economic systems of the free world. Why? Because they run on freedom, what this means is our economies run on the choices made by the ‘individual’ consumers of said economies. It goes like this: 1.63 million consumers are demanding they have talking computers.  Microsoft goes immediately to work on supplying their need. Why? Self interest; Microsoft wants to make money.  And so it goes, comes a demand, then comes a supply. To have a demand you gotta have money, so you gotta work. To have a supply you gotta have raw materials and workers and once this happy scenario is complete you’ve enclosed yourself in the miracle loop of the free enterprise system of economics.  You’ve worked and now you got money and because you got money there is loads of shit on the store shelves so you can buy it.

Self interest and competition relate directly to the above scenario.  First there has to be self interest. You have to want. If everybody in the free enterprise world didn’t want things then there would be no free enterprise world, thus the motive.  And if no one had any interest in themselves thus wanting even more new and improved things, then there would be no growth of capitol which the free economy must sustain or it dies, thus the drive.  And how does an economy needing growth keep going if no one competes to make something even better than before? “Microsoft makes talking computers? Well ours not only talk, they listen too!”  It was some new employee with a desire to make it to partner that brought about the listening computer, thus the ambition. So between motive, drive and ambition all being derivatives if self interest and competition you can see how important they are in the scheme of things.  When all goes well with these consumer conditions, you get a robust and growing free economy.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Guess what? It is good, but only for about 300 years. Then of course the growth begins to collapse under its own weight resulting in guys like me writing books about it. The simple thing that goes wrong with this sort of system is the very fact that it is based in self interest and competition, the opposites of what we need to have moving us if we are going to be the caretakers of this planet as natural law deems us to be.  We need concern for our community’s survival, not self interest; we need cooperation so we can maintain our survival as a species, not competition amongst each other.  We’re doing just the opposite of what worked to keep us on evolution’s path for hundreds of thousands of years. We always made sure the collective was in tact, but ultimately as civilization grew we came to know free enterprise which introduced self interest and competition.  So now here we are, an insane species threatening to annihilate ourselves and every other thing we can take down with us.

I think old Ben Franklin and his peers were not looking for this to happen. They just didn’t do enough calculus to foresee the bad math that free enterprise espoused.  No one is to blame really. It’s all just human nature and human nature makes mistakes when left unchecked.  We made a mistake when we took on this system, that’s all. There are no evil conspirators, no illuminati, Mason conspiracies, none of that.  We thought it looked like a good idea, and like I said earlier, it was a good idea that worked quite well for a time before its polluting byproducts gained on its net value.  Oh sure, we have greedy bankers getting big unwarranted bonuses, all that crap. But again, that’s just human nature, unforgivable, but expected from humans. In other words, we can’t point a finger at anyone one person or entity to blame for all this. It was simply a miscalculation by the founders of this system of which I sincerely believe meant very well and had no intentions to have us suffer for it, but we are.

“We” are suffering as a collective species but a fair portion of individuals within our species has gained from self interest and competition.  All of us are suffering the byproducts, climate change being the most deadly byproduct, but in the here and now we are only seeing the beginnings of these sufferings. Many if not all of the ‘haves’ are not suffering much at all in comparison to the ‘have not’s’.  And the have not’s in the developed world are not suffering anything like the have not’s in the developing world.  It’s a about hierarchy at this point, but of course all that will fall in due time.

In free enterprise you have winners and losers. It’s very necessary actually both in dealing with types of people and also for getting the shit shoveled. You have some who have no self interest (of the free enterprise variety anyway) at all and are therefore no competition and will shovel shit, and some who have so much self interest (of the free enterprise variety) they’ll compete with a grizzly bear and become politicians. Given that, on the face of things this would look like a pretty good way to deal with human nature, at least within an economy needing production.  It sort of separates the wheat from the chaff. It’s an “only the strong survive” scenario but not necessarily a harsh one. Its overall functioning allows for at least a small chance for ‘anyone’ to become a have (by the way, Joe and his family are haves).  So, on the surface it appears not only to be brilliant, but fair as well. It becomes understandable why our founders would have taken this on.

Well, it was a good try. It sure got us a lot of invention, no doubt. There are gains from it and in the end we will see that many of these inventions are going to serve us well. But I’m tellin’ ya, we won’t use them properly until we get rid of self interest economies that promote separation via competition. Not anymore anyway, we’ve gone too far.  From here forward we need to be recreating the tools of cooperation and community interest, not self interest and competition. We need to come to understand how cooperation works and why we can not do without it. Cooperation within our species is a natural phenomenon. We’ve only been without it for a few centuries; before we’d had it for millions of years.  It will come back, it is natural law.  We can only hope it comes back by our choices within nature, not by force of nature. Good luck with that.

 

Chapter 2

Poverty Consciousness—A four Letter Word

May 2012

The straight dope is there is no such thing as poverty consciousness. It’s a made up word by the wealthy to ease the guilt of their condition.  It’s actually a name calling. The poor call the rich fat cats, porkers, rich fucks, etc. But the rich think they have gone beyond name calling, instead they tag the poor with a condition, they say, “He’s fraught with poverty consciousness, poor fellow”. However, since there is no such condition, it’s nothing but name calling. Now, I’m going to be knocking the rich pretty hard in this chapter. Just remember this; we are all caught in this trap. The rich are no more to blame than anyone, even though you will see I am going to blame them, but the blame is only by default; not by person or class.  Both the rich and the poor are playing their parts in the world of free enterprise. We are all culprits and we are all victims.

The first paragraph tells it all very simply, it’s not complicated. But I know you’re going to want a further explanation. After all, the term is accepted in general society. The person known to be in poverty consciousness is immediately believed to have a condition of the mind where thoughts and opinions are skewed the wrong way about money and the rich.  They are believed to be taken with bad thinking and are in need of an attitude adjustment giving them the “good” side of money and the rich while at the same time coming to understand that the rich are people just like them. But no, the rich and the poor are not the same, in fact; they are as different as cats and dogs. Both suffer guilt and shame for being poor and being rich, but for entirely different reasons.

Poverty consciousness is also falsely associated with low self-esteem, falsely because the portion of low esteem in supposed “poverty consciousness” is nothing more than just low self-esteem on its own merit; you can see this in the rich or the poor. And the portion that is poverty consciousness is a skewed view of an interpretation from the rich towards the poor and their mind set. What the rich are seeing has nothing to do with esteem of any kind.

The rich are really just doing a finger pointing when using this term. Of course not all finger pointing is bad, as long as there is no deception.  However, the life of the term poverty consciousness was born in deception and has continued on to become a righteous concept while being increasingly deceiving. The phrase has caught on. It’s pretty cool to hand out the tag on someone, it’s very brave. I will say that those doing this tagging are innocent; “they know not what they do”. They have bought into the term as official, as though it came from the American Medical Society. It didn’t, I don’t know what book, but that’s most likely where it came from, some book.

As always, there is a deeper culprit in this game of words and that is the free enterprise system of economics. I’ll get into that later. For now, let’s examine this name calling wrapped in the guise of an authorized word construct.  I think it best to understand the other end of this name calling scenario, the poor.  After all, they are most likely to be the ones tagged with the term. I know that you will say that even the rich can be afflicted with poverty consciousness. But no they can’t, since there is no such affliction.

The poor do not have poverty consciousness. They have a perspective view from the lower level of the economies of our present day global market structure, based now in the free enterprise concept. The wealthy have a converse perspective that the poor do. However, the poor can see the perspective of the rich, but the rich can’t see the perspective of the poor. Ultimately that inability has become the vehicle for the term poverty consciousness to evolve.  Being unaware of how the poor really think and thinking they actually knew how they thought, they eased into the term.

What the rich do not understand about he poor and their perspective is that their perspective primarily comes from looking at the rich and seeing what they are, porkers.  The rich don’t know how much the poor can see this.  But it’s like this, they don’t call them porkers and rich fucks for nothing, because that’s what the rich are, get it? Notice there is no ‘official’ term for the condition of the rich. We can call them names, maybe at best workaholics or overachievers. But these terms actually have some appeal these days, so it’s a wash.  Put it this way, there is no term for the rich that equates with the term poverty consciousness, not with its weight anyway.  For the rich all we have is name calling; but so do the rich as poverty consciousness is no more than a four letter word.

OK, here’s why. Since the rich can’t see the poor’s point of view it puts them on a defensive, especially given that they know the poor can see them, they just don’t know how much. They know it enough it bugs them. And then when some poor fuck calls them a porker, well then they can just say to themselves, “he’s got a poverty consciousness” and be done with it. The poor guy calls the rich guy a name; the rich guy thwarts it with a tag. It is a sticks and stones thing nothing more.  But see the poor guy may be being rude and an asshole, but he see’s the truth, he see’s a rich fuck porker.  And that is the poor man’s supposed poverty conscious condition, but it isn’t a condition at all, he’s just calling a spade a spade. Alright I know that I can’t just say the rich are porkers and not show that that is what they are. I can do that.

I realize that when I say that the rich are deserving of the name calling they receive I am making is a pretty big accusation. And yes, it holds for all the rich, or every person that has enough money to not have to worry about money (though that doesn’t mean they won’t worry about money).  This is where the free enterprise system of economics comes in. The reason the poor can see the rich but the rich can’t see the poor is because our entire system, or the paradigm of modern democracy in the developed world, or the free market system, or the industrialized world, etc. works in such a way that the flow of perspective for society in general comes from the bottom up; that perspective being the view of how things work within the constructs of our world.  When the system works for you, then your view of it cannot be seen because you can only see it from the bottom up and being that you are on the up side you can’t see the view that comes from the bottom up.

Now by understanding this construct I can explain why the view is only one way.  Within the system of free enterprise is a built in propulsion of growth of product, it has to be there or the system dies. This propulsion is so constant and so steady that its motion tends to cause everything to move one way, even perspective. In the developed world the motion goes upward the social, political and most of all economic hierarchies. It plays into everything of the developed world, from wealth to poverty to emotional and mental perspectives to spiritual philosophy, everything.  It’s the biggest disease to ever hit the planet.

Let’s look at this closer. To be fair I have to say that within the social norms of the developed world the term poverty consciousness can make a lot of sense. I believe that considering the type of evolution we’ve be on the last 300 years, an economic/product evolution, this term fits in the lines of its hierarchy. Therein it is natural to say that one’s thinking themselves poor—thus they remain poor. They remain this way in defiance of the rich, in false pride and arrogance.  So, they ‘think’ poor.

Ok, that’s more or less correct. That is exactly what happens, the poor think poor and stay poor.  The problem is our society has deemed this wrong; it’s called bad thinking, emotional disorder, mental dereliction.  What’s the matter here is that these poor people wishing to remain poor are doing the right thing.  However, the majority of them do not know this fully; they buy into the social norms and thus are rewarded with the burdens of guilt and shame. And that’s the sham; this is where it’s all screwed up because they are the ones whose ways and means we should be idealizing.  Instead…well, you already know the instead.

My guess is that at least 80% of the poor do not know this about themselves, that they are actually icons, and also do not know why they remain poor in spite of the guilt and shame bullshit.  They remain that way because of how they got that way. They got that way because by the time they were about 12 years old they began to see that life in the modern world was sort of out of place, something was wrong and they couldn’t buy into it. This has nothing to do with a consciousness of poverty or anything remotely like it. It has only to do with having the good sense of knowing when something is wrong. But of course, social norms are as powerful as mothers and so those “something is wrong” thoughts quickly fade as we move forward into seventh grade algebra.  But the thing is, at the subconscious level the thoughts never leave, they influence your life for the rest of your life.  You become a “worker with a job” with a thousand dollar credit limit and oh yeah, McDonald’s hamburgers. You are a poor bastard with no morals, no ambition, drunk half the time and always on the edge of crime; you are either white trash or a wetback nigger indian, yet, you are the Earth’s hope.  Yeah you, you mother fucking poverty conscious bastard.

And so what happened to the rich? Why are they the nigger here? To answer, allow me to repeat the above:

Within the system of free enterprise is a built in propulsion of growth of product, it has to be there or the system dies. This propulsion is so constant and so steady that its motion tends to cause everything to move one way, even perspective. In the developed world the motion goes upward the social, political and most of all economic hierarchies.

As you read the rest of this book you will learn that it is these very economic hierarchies that are in due course of killing us. Within these confines, those who have been on the benefit side of this system are by default the ones doing the killing. Therefore, they are rich fuck asshole porkers. But they truly do not know what they do and are actually innocent, I mean that. None of us know what we do, we only know of the things the free enterprise system of economics invents to sustain itself which in turn gives us our grand life of illusion.  The poor only know they have an attitude towards the rich, but they don’t know where it’s coming from, they too are lost. We think we know many other things, we think we are very educated. But see we actually know very little. We limited our knowledge capacity when we took on free enterprise, hopefully you will see and understand this by the end of this book.  Put it this way, here we are going around using a term as something ‘valued and concrete’ when all the while the term itself was born out of a flawed perspective of value and the only thing concrete about it is that its given the rich a way to deal with the poor man’s eye gazing into their soul.

 

Chapter 3

La-La Land

January 2012

I am finding myself returning to an old, passive point of view, feeling less an activist, more an escapee.  My motto then was, “I can’t save the world, but I don’t have to participate in its destruction”, thus the cultural escapee.  It is a good and solid motto to live by and I think it holds a great truth. Though it creates a conflict, or a dichotomy I should say. I feel good about not being a part of the destruction, but not so good about doing nothing about it. I find that it is so easy to just float away into my own little world, build my farm, pray to the spirits, and then do my best to make a life of that and let go of the rest of the world. So given that, I need to talk to you about a place called “La-La Land”; it’s where I live; maybe you do too.

La-La Land is the place of no worries, no news, all smiles and “fuck everybody else” who doesn’t live in La-La Land. And yes, it is my home address. In my case you can take that literally. I live in a beautiful place; it’s stunning. It is nothing but mesas, canyons and buttes, need I say more? Then top that off with a community of superb people, all very cool, intelligent, educated, artist, poets, actors, liberals, gays…it’s like living in San Francisco but the only time you can see people is when they gather intentionally. So you get the wilds of the Southwest, and at the same time you can hang your art in the local gallery, its heaven…I mean…La-La Land.

Of course I am being “a bit” sarcastic about this place I live.  In truth I would not live anywhere else on earth.  But if I were looking to depend on a community of people during the coming collapse, then I might as well be living in Los Angeles.  I can sum the mind set up in a statement I overheard a friend of mine make the other day. She said, “We’re so lucky to be living in a place of no worries and away from all the craziness and negativity of the world. We can live like there is no ‘rest of the world’ in this place and just be ourselves and take care of ourselves.” Of course, she is not saying anything out of line, or necessarily wrong, at least within the norms of our societies. So don’t get me wrong, I am not singling her or this community out by themselves, this is happening everywhere with everybody, including yours truly.

Nevertheless you see, it’s that “ourselves” thing that is all screwed up.  Here’s how this sort of thing can happen. It’s simple; don’t listen to what’s going on, even when you listen to it.  There are all sorts of well informed people out here, but they have a filter that says, “don’t listen to it, be happy, that’s your job here in La-La Land.” And they take that job seriously.  Now, from here I am going to get on a slippery slope and tell you why this mind set has gotten such a strong hold on so many people theses days, particularly liberal pagans and especially the liberal elite.

The past few years there has been a—let’s call it an Idea—going around that says we all manifest our own experience.  That we are all responsible for what happens to us because of what sort of things we let into our minds. So if we let negative things into our minds like the possibility of global collapse, then we are being—well—sort of bad.  You know, had I caught onto this back in the 70’s I may have joined the ride.  But this ain’t the 70’s no more.  I don’t need a philosophy telling me that it’s OK I if listen to the world’s leading scientists on climate change, but then I gotta say “yeah right no thanks”. See? Something’s off.

La-La Land is a very warm and cozy place, it has many defenses. But it is nothing more than a very dangerous yet subtle philosophy; because it looks like a rose, but smells like crap. If there ever was a case for the tricks of the devil, this particular mind set we’ve bought into would be a trophy on his wall. This is what I see going on here in La-La Land all day long and all night long. In short, these folks are in deep, deep sleep. On the contrary I believe this philosophy is good if ones own foundation and ones own view of reality are in tune with his or her fellow human beings. But I also would think you can’t hold this philosophy and at the same time have your head in the sand and then expect to have a good conscience.  If you are doing this and you feel you have a good conscience then you need to do none other than to snap out of it.

The question of this trend being something that is ‘a right’ or ‘a wrong’, then I guess it wouldn’t matter so much if our collective tit weren’t in such a ringer. We are in desperate need of cooperation among our species. We need to be jumping out of ourselves and as far as possible into the collective mind.  The collective mind is asleep right now and it needs to wake way the hell up and get to work.  It still exist, there is always a collective mind as long as there is a species to have one. What is important is what sort of state that collective mind is in.  As for humans, ours is catatonic.  It has been asleep so long that it has reached a state of psychosis.  It was caused by a lack of use, any brain goes catatonic if it is not used, but the thing is, it is still there—alive.

And so it is we exist here in La-La Land, living as individuals with no collective to be concerned about, in fact, it appears that we’ve worked it out to shun those who speak of the collective, as though it were—not spiritual.  As individuals we enjoy this sleep because we are not responsible to the collective, we can be selfish and it’s OK with everyone else because they’re doing he same damn thing. It’s elementary really. We as individuals are using this collective sleep to avoid our responsibility for being a member of the most powerful species on this planet. Once enough individuals get honest about doing that, the collective mind will awaken and by natural intuition we will become the caretakers of this planet again and not-just-its-consumers. This is not just a belief; it is also somewhat academic in an evolutionary sense and is also directly correlated with the economics of our time.

This is my opinion, of course. Allow me to abbreviate and say that it was the free enterprise system of economics that ultimately delivered this message to us. I’ve gotten into this in other writings but to put it simply here, the free enterprise system doesn’t like bad news. So it makes sure that its consumers are not bothered with it either, get it? And yes, even to the extent of influencing not only the media, but modern spirituality as well.  Keep them happy, keep them fat headed, keep them spending.  By the way, most of these folks I am referring to here in La-La Land have a fare amount of dough.  La-La-Land goes even better with money.

If our collective mind were awake, it would immediately put a call to end free enterprise as we know it. It would instantly put its concentration on survival only, it would see that its body is dying and it would be pissed for having been put down for so long. Nevertheless, it is pertinent that we concentrate as individuals on what it is we can do to waken the collective mind so that we can get some god damn direction around here.  We won’t get it with the collective mind in a state of psychosis.

I’ve said it before that we only need the collective mind to wake up long enough to help bring us out of this mess.  We can hope that it stays awake and that our quick burst of evolution will stick and not just have been an emergency shot of adrenaline.  In any case, the collective mind has to kick in gear or we are screwed.  It is only the very young living right now that ultimately will see this sort of evolution happen, but if they don’t see it then we can say by-by to the human species.  It won’t happen for them unless we begin right now, especially those over 50, to put our efforts into becoming a collective species once again. The clock is truly ticking.  Please, enjoy your life as best you can, be positive, think good thoughts, but don’t forget to put some legs to those thoughts, maybe you can go to one of those Occupy rallies after your yoga class. Get it?

I said earlier that I was on a slippery slope to broach this subject. There are many people in this world who are very devoted to the philosophy of positive thinking. As well they should be. I do not mean to trample on a very sound spiritual belief; especially given that positive thinking is vitally needed right now.  But to use it as an excuse to not get involved and then to leave it to the babies of this world to defend against our mess…well then…I am speaking out against it as an abuse of truth.  Maybe you are one of those who are living in La-La Land and you believe you are doing the world a favor by staying out of the rat race. I understand the logic, but when it comes to the human condition, the present human condition, ask yourself ‘why am I so lucky’, and then ask yourself again, am I really so lucky to be so lucky when 4.5 billion of my 7 billion fellow species have less luck for their entire lives than I give away at the ball game? Why am I not outraged? What’s happened to me?

Those of you who are still alive in 2050 will be seeing why you should have been outraged right now in 2012. I would hate to be an old person at that time. Well I’d be 96, I could be here. Will I say I did all I could to ‘help’ avoid this collision? Will it make me sick to think about how stupid I was? Will I see that I and “all-those-around-me” are awakening into a living nightmare?

I can tell you one thing for sure, I won’t be seeing La-La Land anywhere; it’ll have been long gone by then. And that is what I am trying to wake people up to. As I said, keep thinking positive, good thoughts and keeping feeling happy too. But thinking and feeling good are only a part of manifesting from the consciousness; you also have to move your ass, that is, if you care about your descendents as well as yourself. Bottom line: La-La Land is wrong and it is the number one block to our collective consciousness. We have to shake it off.

 

Chapter 4

Free Enterprise Spirituality

June 2012

This chapter is more or less a continuation of the previous chapter as it goes deeper into La-La Land. I call this chapter “Free Enterprise Spirituality” because I do actually believe there is such a thing as free enterprise spirituality. It comes in many different shapes and sizes of ‘meanings’. But pretty much all of them are saying the same thing—be selfish. Yeah, it’s OK now. You don’t have to be of service to your fellow human beings, just yourself.  Cool, eh? Nah, the truth is I am bringing this subject in because hopefully it will show just how far free enterprise, self interest and competition have affected our very beings. The group of people I am targeting in this and the last chapters are have’s that are liberal and also practice variations of old religions coupled with new spiritual thought, I’ll just call them pagans from here forward, hope you don’t mind. Why this narrow group is singled out here is because as I said above, they show how far free enterprise has affected us and I believe are the best example.  Also, they are the very people ignoring the origins of pagan teachings where fundamental answers to all our problems reside. Those teachings would not tell us to seek self improvement, at least not in our present world situation; they instead would tell us to get our asses to work on food and water, period.

I ain’t no Christian, but I’ll say one thing for them, they feed the hungry.  I think of myself as a pagan of sorts, but I’m not necessarily proud of us. As far as I can tell we’re a bunch of idiots.  For one thing, paganism came out of hunger; the need for food. All the ceremony was for harvest, their spirituality was about staying alive, fertility, and the creation of life itself. Their practices were about the living of life outwardly and the tangible issues of living that life, not the shit floating in their heads.  That’s what we do as modern pagans; we let shit float around in our heads. We get our heads full up of thoughts about self, what as individuals we can accomplish—for ourselves, and what the latest book on self improvement said that gave us a spiritual high—about self. Anyway, I don’t know if Christians feed the hungry anymore than pagans, but at least they give that image and it looks good. We pagans just look stupid.

But hey, we’re OK because we are using the religions of old, I mean way old like Buddhism, Tai Chi, Hinduism, Yoga, Native American beliefs, etc. No, no, like I said before I ain’t no Christian. So don’t label me there. But we pagans need to wake way the hell up, we got it all wrong.  You can blame free enterprise for that.  Of course we were naïve enough to follow along, but then again its message was just too alluring. Free enterprise told us it was OK to be all about self, it said it was OK to try and win over your work mates to get ahead and made serious competiveness a desirable quality when before it was only something to be enjoyed among friends and family and was not something to take serious. And yes of course Christians are just as afflicted, in some cases more. There is a difference though, I could say it like this, at least Christians know they are Christians, pagans don’t know what they are. Christians’ thinking is part of what brought about the concepts of free enterprise, so they live with it well. However, pagans fundamental philosophies tend to run contrary to free enterprise. Yet, the people I see who practice “pagan thought” the most are on the benefit side of free enterprise…umm?

Free enterprise literally changed the meaning and use of emotions and attitudes, that’s why these people can benefit from something they don’t fundamental believe in. As we (Christians and pagans) became more and more pampered by our inventions we also were changing our minds view of what was important. We sat in our whirl pools, enjoyed our massages, and blew our minds on meditation until eventually it started to become the norm.  Now in the 21st century we not only have made self-indulgence a virtue, we lavish in it.  No, you’re wrong; I’m neither a prude nor an old fashioned hick. I’m simply looking square into the eyes of a monster called free enterprise spirituality who has seduced a large portion of the world into its favorite ally, selfishness. It came to us because free enterprise runs on self interest and competition.  I’ll say it again, self interest and competition.  Free enterprise tells you to buy that thing for yourself, it tells you to go within and be all YOU can be. It tells you to compete with others to get ahead of others, it tells you to work hard for money, be ambitious so that YOU may enjoy the fruits of YOUR labor. What free enterprise will never tell you is to feed the hungry before you make that extra dollar. If you have time and some extra change, it ‘might’ say give it to the sick and hungry but only after you’ve made that extra dollar first and only after you have spent all of that dollar on yourself that you want to. That’s right, you first them later, it’s OK, it’s normal.

Put simply most of today’s books on spirituality are about how you can make you better. Yeah well OK that’s great, but what about those dying children in third world countries?  Is that ‘better you’ powerful enough to feed them? No it isn’t, but what will feed them is you sacrificing your way of life so that they won’t starve, that’s real spirituality and that is also what will feed the hungry. Your ability to sit in your nice apartment or house so that you can meditate without interruption from the masses is also what is causing the masses to die, get it? That luxury, and by all rights it is a luxury, is their illness.

I know I am putting it rather blatant here. I realize that within much of the teachings and philosophies of modern spirituality there is some pretty good shit being said. Though it is so that many of these teachings are beneficial and as individuals one by one improve themselves we could see a change in the collective, I get it.  However, I fear that the change we could see would become more of the same—self flagellation.  If this worked out for everyone on the planet then I’d say let’s party. But could you imagine what sort of byproducts would come of it? Because believe me, this thing we are talking about here needs a fair amount of dough to get and keep it going.  That means tons and tons of production and then there we go; we’re dead. I’m saying this because the origins for something like this to happen would have to have of come out of free enterprise. However, this actually can never happen because in free enterprise there must be winners and losers.

I know this chapter is about beliefs; not money, but listen, I can guarantee you that at least 95% of people who practice and stays with these philosophies are haves.  Of course there are have not’s that will float by these teachings in hopes that maybe their poverty can vanish into thin air. But they soon realize the only thing that’s going to put food on their table is going back to flipping burgers at Hardees’s. Besides, in case you didn’t know it, have not’s generally don’t have much of an environment for meditation and even less for mind powering their way out of that environment.

I gotta tell ya, this chapter makes me nervous. I am afraid I will be misunderstood and I will offend many people. Of course this book is going to offend everybody, including me. Yeah that’s right, me, did you think I would be looking forward to the results of collapse and would be ‘happy’ to bust and shovel rock? It ain’t happy to write this book, it’s very depressing, that’s an FYI. But I am writing this book and though most of it is a bitch, it had to be written. Particularly this chapter because I actually believe free enterprise spirituality is one of our greatest blocks to forming a much needed collective mind. How are we going to come together if so many of us are tucked away safe and happy in our own little worlds?

For those of you practicing free enterprise spirituality I am truly sorry to have offended you. I ask that you give it some thought. Again, I submit that these practices are very beneficial to the “individual”, but I fail to see where they help society at large, more so, they seem to shield the practitioners from getting involved. In final review, those practicing become the problem instead of the solution by virtue of being spiritually fatheaded rich fuck porkers who have become major participants in the destruction of the planet. I am asking you to consider that perhaps the greatest gifts we can receive from practicing spirituality of any kind are those that put you in service to your fellow human beings. It is community service we need more than anything these days. Do that first, then maybe your search for ‘self’ will be complete.  I realize that happy individuals are an asset to any society, but right now we have an unhappy Earth. Let’s fix that first; it is more important than your own happiness. It always has been and always will be. You see, this is the part those involved with free enterprise spirituality don’t seem to understand, in fact, many have managed to make concern for the issues of the world sort of a sin because to give them 5 minutes stops everything from being beautiful, and we can’t have that, can we?

It is the fundamental request of this entire book that we become a species that gives of ourselves so that all species can live first, and secondly that we are happy about it. See? It’s real simple, many of your fellow humans are suffering tremendously right now and add to that your entire species has real threats to its existence, get it? Given that, how can you sit in meditation on your mind/body experience, then turn on NPR for jazzy afternoon, while literally some poor fuck father in Bangladesh has just threw his daughter on the dead pile? Look, don’t stop meditating, don’t stop going to Zumba, don’t stop journaling and don’t stop all the other practices that make “you” better. Keep up your spiritual pursuits. Just don’t forget to add sacrificing your entire way of life for the good of human kind (yes, I mean that literally) to those pursuits. You will only do this sort of sacrifice if you have made your species health a higher priority than your own. Yeah…I think that’s about it…yeah, that’s all ya gotta do.

 

Chapter 5

The Contradictions of Saving the World

June 2012

To those of you out there trying to save the world, have you noticed that when trying to do this thing how much you contradict yourself?  If you’ve read this book from the beginning I believe you’ll see in this chapter I am going to prove this point.  I am going to talk about how great America is, how great democracy is, and yes I am even going to talk about how great the free enterprise system of economics is…wonders never cease. Well maybe it isn’t too big a surprise, after all I have mentioned several times in this book that we are going to need much of what these “systems” brought us the last 300 years.

Ideology

I’m an American and though I am writing this book to the world, in this chapter I can only speak as an American. However, I am sure that anyone in any country of the free world will be able to relate in there own way. I’ve been to France, they are free, they practice free enterprise and they practice democracy.  Yet I know they are not anything like America, both in good ways and in bad ways. France is much closer to the world I hope for given that they are a social democracy. And I think it’s pretty obvious by now I’ve been promoting a sort of socialism if not flat out communism so you’d think I’d be shouting let’s go the way of France, but I ain’t. If I had to shout to go the way of a country…well, it’d be America.

“What the fuck”, you say.  Well yes, I’d go America.  Why? Because America for all its lies, deceit, warmongering, decadence, imperialism, and most of all its un-evolved cultural trends like cage boxing or moonshiners on the History Channel…god, what a sick country. Anyway, in spite of all our crap, we still have the best constitution in the world.  When it comes to ideals America can’t be beat.  You see, within the confines of America’s ideology is the greatest ideal of them all, freedom to choose your path.  In America I am free, free to do what I don’t know but god damn it I’m free! I’m not being sarcastic, I mean it, I don’t know what to do while being here in this country, I don’t know how to live according to its very materialistic ways; I am a fish out of water here. BUT, I’m free to try or I’m free to give up, either way it’s my choice. When looking at the history of civilization you have to admit, having the choice to be a somebody or a nobody is a pretty cool thing.  When a citizen of Rome you might have got to go to the games and watch people kill each other, but that was about it. All the real fun went to the guys in the big house over there on the other end of town. ‘You’, the everyday Roman citizen, had about as much chance of entering that big house as your half dead cow.  Though it is hard to be a success in America with competition being so ubiquitous, the chance is there for all who wish to seek it; it’s our policy at the core.  One can not ignore this very special aspect to America’s paradigm.

Of course I can knock the shit out of that last paragraph with about a thousand contradictions of it.  But that’s not the focus this time; the focus is what we can take from this great ideology that America espouses.  In looking to the future I’d say we can and certainly must take a whole pocket full from the ideologies of America.  We must remain free. If you have gotten the idea from this book that I am calling for a controlling of the masses you have read me very wrong. The masses must be free!! They must be free to choose to act; they must be free to choose to want to save ourselves from ourselves. Everything I’ve written in this book about coming to a new paradigm, about cooperation, about ending self interest and competition, about ending the free enterprise system of economics, about ALL of us working together and living life on an equal basis, about doing away with money and wealth and all of us becoming farmers, knocking our education system, knocking our family values, and even my ranting about our phony spirituality…all of that must dovetail into the philosophy of personal freedom and what that freedom means is to choose to live life how ever the hell you want to live it.  I mean, who wants to get rid of that? It’s been great! And because of it I am proud to be an American…so there.

Everything in regards to finding solutions to the problems presented in this book is about making choices. It is not about succumbing to the demands of a tyrant, or a totalitarian government, or anything resembling being forced to act. There is only one tyrant on this planet, we have only one Hitler to face who will cause us to do things we’d rather not be doing and that is the forthcoming collapse of the modern world. Just as a car coming at you forces you to jump off the road, the manifestations of our over producing past are going to force you to pick up a shovel and scoop rocks into a bucket for the good of humankind.  But it will be your choice to do so if I have anything to say about it.

Perhaps now you can see why I have devoted so much of this book to awakening the collective mind.  Without it tyranny is the only way to go, get it? If “we” are not making the choices then when the shit hits the fan it is very likely you’ll see guns, helmets and shields making the choices for us. Though a collective consciousness is vital to our future survival does not mean you won’t have your own mind. All that it means is you have agreement from the members of your fellow species on how to proceed with society, not your personal life.

Logistics

Well of course the coming paradigm not looking anything like our current one puts a little spin on what I am talking about here. There are logistical issues that make the preceding paragraphs a little skewed on the side of happy. Let’s put it this way, we are not going to look very free when you see a line of people 8 miles long and all of them carrying 5 gallon buckets of rock. I think more that it will look like something from 1984. Seeing something like that one would have to look around and see if Stalin had reincarnated or something.  But like I said, if I have anything to say about it then all of those people in that line will be there because they chose to be or they’ll not be there at all and we’ll just have to die.

It is the logistical aspects of the future that really do make all this come off just a bit weird, no not weird, not strange, but impossible, that’s the word. Impossible because how the fuck does a country get enough people that would make for an 8 mile line to each carry 60 pounds of rock while standing in that line? It wouldn’t look like freedom, that’s for sure. If I were an alien flying by from another world the first thing I’d be looking for in that line were the guys with the whips. But see once again, there will be no need for whips, no need for guns, no need for tyrants, we’ll have all the impetus we need when we see the seas beginning to sink Miami, when we see that cars are useless because there is no gas, when we see that the store shelves no long carry food, that taps no longer bring forth water and that banks no longer house money, but instead are used to shelter the sick and dying. From collapse onward it is these things that will make for our choices, our governments, our markets; our entire paradigm. Everything that will happen will be the byproduct of our collapsed civilization. But to survive it we must be free or we won’t survive; we won’t live under bondage. I don’t think I need to explain that, you know that already.

What I do need to explain is a little more about these logistics because this is where free enterprise, technology and innovation will come to save the day. Without them, our freedom in the coming paradigm is screwed.  I would be a complete idiot to say we should do away with innovation and technology, I am not a Luddite.  I do have to say I was one up to about 8 years ago, but I was wrong…so there…again.  You see free enterprise has been brilliant, I mean that when I say it.  Had we known its end product maybe then we would have planned a calculated end to free enterprise then all would be well, but we didn’t and so here we are about to die.

It is death ‘as something to avoid’ that we are now faced with. It is coming our way and coming with a fury.  We need some technology dudes.  It’s not only going to get hot, it is also going to get cold, especially given that our power source is going to fail. We are going to need some very smart heaters and coolers if we are to survive. The weather is just going to be too radical to not have to alter our environments. I’m sorry to you Luddites, I know this is your chance to shine but…we can’t live like apes in trees, sorry.  Maybe sometime in the last 10,000 years we could have, but not with the future that’s headed our way. We need some very good scientists kicking some technology butt.

Personally I don’t care how we get it. Maybe we got to put these people up in mansions and feed them the best foods, the best booze, sex, drugs, whatever the hell they want. Whatever it takes to get them inventing the things we need to save our ass; they can join our equality train later. It’s an emergency, no time for picky ideologies to get in the way.

“Hey, am I sounding like a free market man?”

So be it.

The problems we face here in the 21st century are unique to the 20th and 21st centuries.  Our solutions will surely need to be likewise.  We have to be smart. Many these days are preparing for the collapse of society. They have TV shows about it now. Just like me they are growing and storing food, they are getting ready to live off grid, all that, I’m sure you’ve heard about it by now.  The difference between me and many of these people is I am calling for the collective mind, most of these folks are choosing to go it alone and don’t even want anything to do with other people let alone a collective mind.  If this problem is not corrected within the next 10 years our chances of avoiding mass death are very slim.  I want you to be free to do what you want, but what I hope is that you will want to help save your species, if not your world. You can’t do that if you build walls around your camp.

So this is where the American spirit has to kick in, it has to. The American spirit is a very powerful thing, I mean fuck, we didn’t get to having a 600 billion dollar military budgets by being a bunch of do nothings, get it?  Look what we did in WW2, every freaking body went to work making bombs, even this old lady neighbor I had once; that old bitch wouldn’t make biscuits for her starving husband, but she made bombs for her country. We need that spirit again, only this time it pretty much has to be worldwide.

 

Chapter 6

Mr. Right’s Emotional Disorder

July 2012

In this chapter I am Mr. Right.  Yeah that’s right—I’m right.  I am right about everything in this book…well, quite a bit of it anyway.  Let me put it this way; I believe with all my heart everything I’ve written in this book.  Given that, it means I try my best to live out what I say here and though I wish my best was better,  I still know that I’ve given it my all.  You’d think that because of my great effort to do good that I’d be someone who feels good about themselves therefore giving them a fair shot a having emotional stability.  Wrong. I’m about as fucked up as Hogan’s goat.

I do have “some” good feelings about myself for what I am doing in my life, in fact, I am quite proud of it. But those feelings don’t override all the other instabilities that seeking this way of life entails. So, before you go off on your high horse to save the world like me, you’d better give it many thoughts because you will be in for one hell of an emotional ride and I am sorry to say most of those emotions won’t be very happy.

Within the confines of our present societal norms I will tell you that trying to get away from the system, trying to shout the coming peril to your fellow human beings, and trying to think in a way that is completely the opposite of those around you is exactly the wrong way to find emotional security. You will be banished and it is quite possible no one will even know it, but you will know it because you will be the one who has banished yourself from life as it is and as you grow deeper into this quest you will realize what you have done and man o man does that one hurt, but you get used to it.

Its common sense really, anytime a person runs against the grains of society you are going to be an outcast, you will rub people the wrong way, people will rub you the wrong way and in the end you will find that quite literally you have put yourself in mental and emotional exile.  It doesn’t matter if the society in question is good or bad; it is the mainstream that dictates what happiness is. If you live in a society that believes murder is a good thing, then if you are not murdering then you are going to be considered mal-adjusted and you will become emotionally and mentally crippled by it. If you are murdering then you’ll have friends and emotional security because you will be normal.

Believe me, leaving the system is a very rough road and the irony is though I wish this road for everybody, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. In the end it becomes none other than a life of loneliness and isolation; not good conditions for a happy life. Oh yeah it’s true; what I am saying is you actually find your self coming to a rather hideous state of poor health.

There is no way around it, you can’t take on becoming a reject of society and keep an emotionally healthy state of being. You want friends don’t you? Well, if you do this thing you will see friends quietly pass you by. And perhaps now I’ve convinced you that the free enterprise system of economics is a bit of a devil and if you believe that then you may find yourself hating your job even though you may have loved it before.  This is because you will be making money and you will see that when you are making money you are supporting the very system you just turned against. But you need money because you gotta eat and then it gets even crazier when that kicks in because it becomes this insane loop of wanting to not participate in this system but having to, it’s a bitch.  The only exception to this is when you have money enough to buy your way out of the system (see Article 2, Appendix 1, Dreams and Debt—A Dichotomy). However, I know that the majority of the folks who will take this on don’t have much money. People with money tend to stay that way…go figure.

A quick admission: If I would have had money before I got into this in 1995 I most likely would not be writing this right now, instead, I’d be spending my money.  I could perhaps say that the only reason I ever got into this is because I failed within the system to become financially sound (not even close) which left me open to something other than what the system offered and it so happened I had the mind to recognize that and began looking for that something. But was I looking because I was some sort of special guy who cared so much about his fellow human beings he was willing to take a cultural dive into never, never land? No. Actually, I am very selfish and I have no natural tendency towards being anything like the Good Samaritan.

So what made me take the final leap?  One word: knowledge.  There is no other reason really. Being a failure was what opened my mind.  But since I didn’t have the character traits that make for a giving man, there wasn’t much impetus to forgo a life of comfort.  The impetus came out of knowledge. I simply knew too much to turn away, get it?  It’s like this: If you worked in a factory that made lethal injection equipment, then how would you feel about your job if your son were on death row? With that knowledge could you forgo your love for your son and do your job, even though it could be that the machine you are making could be the one that kills him? Well get this, when you get a head full of the truth about what the hell we’ve been doing the last 300 years and why, then you really don’t have much choice but to run like hell as far away from what’s happening as you can.  Because see, unless the dad making the kill machine has no heart at all, he will have to quit his job.

As it goes, god damn it, I am still working ‘for money’ and it fucks me up.  I think many times to just quit and walk into the desert or something. I literally get ill behind this scenario and I am continuously an emotional wreck.  I only work just enough to live, about $150 a week, sometimes less.  I have subjected myself to deep poverty in order to do this thing and I wish to hell I could say I am happy about that but I’m not, I want some fucking money.  Of course I want it for the right reason now, which is to invest in a subsistence farm so that from there forward I would not need much money at all and could rejoice in that fact. Thankfully, I no longer want money for money’s sake, at least that feels good and I have emotionally adjusted to it.

But that’s about all I’ve adjusted to. Otherwise, I am nearly clinically depressed, I suffer physical symptoms as well, I have no social life, without friends I continually feel as though I am no one in this world, I am not in the success game and even though I know why I sometimes feel like a looser, and the loneliness becomes unbearable at times.  Finally, there’s the anger and bitterness. I’m sure you’ve picked it up in me thus far. The frustration of not being able to get free of the system’s grip really gets to pissing me off. I’ve come to understand it more, but only recently.  It comes to the point that you realize you are going to get pissed about all this so don’t fight it too much and don’t try to hide it. In any case, the road can be an unhappy one and you should know that. But I hope you travel it anyway so good luck.  I hope I haven’t scared you off because maybe we’ll all get to being whackos someday and as soon as we all get whacko, we won’t be whacko anymore.

Who are we?

I’ll speak mostly about myself in this part as an example but allow me to say that many of the people who will and do get involved in this sort of thing are just about whacko before they even start, just like I was. If you are happy and well adjusted within the system, then why would you leave? No, instead you are likely very mal-adjusted within the system and that makes you…sick.  I’m telling you straight if you do not get honest about this you will find yourself continually taking the wrong turns, take my word for it. I finally realized this about 11 years ago, that is, I realized I had become quite mentally and emotionally affected by this quest. And even before that, about 3 years earlier, I realized that something had happened to me in regard to my impulse to succeed within this economy. I found I’d lost all connection with that impulse, it was sort of weird to come to this but at that time I didn’t think it was affecting my mental state. Of course later on and certainly by now I am fully aware of the condition this has put me in. Oh by the way, it doesn’t really get much better…you more or less adapt.

What happened to us?

I talked about this in chapter 2 of this part of the book “Poverty Consciousness—A four Letter Word”.  But I wish to go deeper into it here. As I said earlier, most of us are whacko before we even begin a quest like this, the quest to leave the system that is. In the chapter I mentioned above I said, “by the time they were about 12 years old they began to see that life in the modern world was sort of out of place, something was wrong and they couldn’t buy into it.”

In the above quote I was referring to the poor who are supposedly afflicted with poverty consciousness but it applies with this topic as well, especially given that most of you wishing to leave the system will have experienced poverty at some time in your life.  If you haven’t most likely you will if you really try to leave the system and don’t have lots of dough to catch the bus. What happens to us within that quote above is somewhere from around 10 to 14 years old we begin to see that what mom and dad do is work. We see all those damn grownups out there—working. And the teachers at school seem to be slipping you the notion that good grades are pretty important if you are going to make it “out there”. Everything happening in the world seems to be revolving around economy and you get the feeling its something pretty serious; that bugs you. Though you may not really understand what you are feeling and seeing about these scenarios, something about them seems wrong.

It is at this moment that a jolt comes to your system, you get sort of scared and timid about what’s going to happen to you. You don’t really seem to jive with what you are seeing but everyone seems to be on the train so what-a-ya-gonna-do? What you do is recoil from these thoughts and bury them.  That’s when you start to get whacko as the guilt and shame begins milling you into a derelict.

From there you can most likely become a struggling student. You may be a trouble maker, but not as likely as you will be sort of a loner. Whatever will be happening to you, most likely you won’t blend to well. And get this, that’s even if you are popular and a good student. Nevertheless you will at least try and keep up, but as you are making that attempt way deep inside that original fear of “what’s gong to happen to you” remains. The reason it remains is because you never have resolved those thoughts of how you can’t jive with the system and so those thoughts also remain deep within you.

I’m sure there are all sorts of case scenarios of how all this turns out. If you are from a “have” family you stand a fair chance of dousing this awakening and perhaps you may carry on to do the same as your parents. If you come from “have not’s ” you’ll have a slim chance of overcoming yourself and most likely you’ll either wind up a drunk, a bum, a neurotic or maybe even psychotic, whatever…you’ll be something fucked up as far as the system goes. OR, you’ll decide to leave the system and find out who you really are.

Again, this is a different group of people I am talking about here as oppose to the poor in general that were talked about in the afore mentioned chapter. Though the poor in general are subject to this line of thinking very few of them will recognize it.  Those that do usually don’t see it until they are long past their youth.  It takes some hard knocks to eventually return to those thoughts you had when you were 12 and pay heed to them.

In conclusion I think I can safely say that if you are someone attempting to leave or have left the system then it is likely you’ll fit somewhere in the preceding paragraphs. In my case it will get better when I am able to get my subsistence farm at least in a little bit of a swing. But the truth is it could be many years, as of last week I’ve been at this for 17 years. It could happen that I may not get to have this farm before I am gone. If that is so, I’ll have lots of accepting to do. But you see there is no way I’ll ever turn away and go back. Even with the pain it has all been worth it. As I look towards my future I can not see myself becoming a cordial member of the free enterprise system ever again, even to death.

Hopefully many of you out there will find a softer easier path than mine has been. I am sure there are many of you who will, I hope so, we need some success on this. There will be many of you who will suffer like I have; many of you are suffering right now I am sure. But hopefully, like me, you will find that it is no loss in your life and that as a 21st century human being you will still feel fortunate to have known what to do, or at least try to do and why.

 

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The Great Debate Among the Advocates Has Begun

download (1)I think there’s a bomb gonna go off sometime within the next couple of years, at least I hope it does. It’s the debate for action on climate change, what do we do? There are essentially three camps in this debate, the optimists, the pessimists and the realists.  I would appreciate it if you could read this post of mine, Seeking An End to Chaos, before you finish this one as it will make this more clear, or at least more meaningful. In this case, I won’t include the pessimist point of view as they generally do not offer any sort of action other than to prepare for death. I am not knocking this, there is some sense in it, but I don’t believe it’s completely all over just yet, it’s gonna be real shitty even if we do all the right things from here forward, but total extinction I still believe may have a chance to be avoided though many, if not most, are going to perish.

So yes I will examine the debate already started between the optimists and the realists. I am doing this as a result of a minor debate I just had with an optimist, me being the realist.  I want to use this little debate to show what’s headed down the path and is already happening; it’s just not a bomb yet. I say I had a debate but actually it never got off the ground. I started it out with a more or less smart-ass comment (mistake) and that set this person off to start nothing much more than using false accusations and name calling. Hey, I’ve done worse than this person did, I understand. We’ve all been through the asshole part of this debate, if you haven’t been that way you’ve been lucky or have not gotten very involved, it goes with the territory, though I can not condone it from me or anyone.

Let’s look at some of the conversation we had. The optimist started the thread off with this comment:

Oh the irony that Australia tops decarbonization rates the year before they repeal their carbon tax. Our children are doomed.

 The subject matter obviously changes, but what I found interesting in our discourse is that this person makes the statement, “Our children are doomed” and then suddenly turns around and chastises me for not doing anything and that there is hope.

It went from there like this, the optimist was in a conversation about population with another fella, she says, (let’s make the optimist a women, I do not know the sex of this person), so, she says:

I used to have that mentality (about overpopulation, and how anything we do is pointless), but fighting poverty will inevitably lead to better education on family planning in third world countries. Already, most first world countries cannot keep up with their death rate without immigration. To quote a song from the 90’s “only stupid people are breeding”. There is hope!

I realize the projection is 10 million by 2050. Can we feed 10 million sustainably? No, probably not. But hopefully the ensuing panic will force us into a more sustainable economy where; resources are no longer treated as infinite, the atmosphere is not a pollution/carbon dumping ground, and the profits of the few do not trump the needs of the many.

I realize this none of this will happen. We will cook, clear-cut, and mine the planet for every last dollar, and billions of impoverished will suffer. Might as well try though!

So here’s where I jump in, rather rudely, and say:

You gotta a lotta hope there (name). What you are hoping for is a miracle, logistically it is an impossibility. The ONLY hope is massive reductions in the GDP’s of the developed world. Something tells me you don’t think that’s needed. But if you do, then keep talking, but if you don’t, I’d rather not know.

 I was wrong here.  If you look, she really wasn’t showing much hope at all. And if I would not have started out accusing her of too much hope, then our conversation may have taken a better turn. When she said, “But hopefully the ensuing panic will force us into a more sustainable economy where; resources are no longer treated as infinite, the atmosphere is not a pollution/carbon dumping ground, and the profits of the few do not trump the needs of the many” I assumed that she was talking about a continuing growing economy. Turns out my assumption was right…well, maybe not, I really can’t tell. She really never made it clear what she meant about that and as to what sort of economy would make those things happen. For all I know she may have had the same things in mind that I do. But then her reply confused the hell out of me:

Why the hostility? A more “sustainable economy” would inherently require a massive reduction in planet-wide overconsumption. I know we’re screwed, so let’s just give up and post counterproductive comments when people contemplate trying to fix it?

So I replied:

 No (name) it ain’t quite that simple. I’m sorry if i came off hostile. I am not being counterproductive, I am countering a line of thinking that is sure to bring us down. It’s that “holding on” thing. But there is hope in your comment in that you hope for reductions in overconsumption. But here’s the thing, if you are hoping for that and still expect to keep the same system of free enterprise with its two sisters, self-interest and competition, then your hopes will be heavily dashed. Get past that and you’ll understand my original response to you.

 And then she replied:

Extreme oversimplification of a complex issue that requires development in every aspect. You just told me that the ONLY hope is basically a change in the innate human nature. Remind me which one of us is hoping for miracles? Waving your finger at society is not going to do anything, so we might as well try to develop a more renewable/sustainable one.

And so I replied:

Oh hey, I couldn’t agree more about the miracle aspect, it’s all gonna be a miracle no matter what your opinion is, that’s the whole point. More to concern ourselves with is how to live thru the next 50 years. But as for finding a happy way through free enterprise, no way. Renewables yes, but will it be happy? Not likely. The more we realize this and plan by it, the less the negative impacts because we’ll be ready for them. But my sense is you think of all this as an opportunity for a better world, is that right?

And oh hey (name), remember you are the one who started this thread off with “Our children are doomed.”

 Then I continued with another ranting comment:

 Another thing, I am not waving my finger at society, I am warning them, big difference. Because of the level of our standards of living in the developed world we have a very hard time seeing reality. We just can’t believe that all this massive growth and resource use is coming to an end and we are going to have to change dramatically in our everyday living, that is, if we live thru the next 50 years. And yet, here we have the mainstream of the climate movement calling this an opportunity. There is a level of insanity there, but is that something to wave a finger a? No. It is an illness and you don’t judge people who are ill.

 (Name), you said “You just told me that the ONLY hope is basically a change in the innate human nature. Remind me which one of us is hoping for miracles?”

That is basically correct, and yes it is short of a miracle, you bet. Right now emissions are still rising, right now we are only at 21% of global energy output from renewables, right now we have little happening politically, it’s peanuts to what we need. You are ‘trying’ to say I’m telling everyone to quit, no fucking way. The fight has barely started, the problem is, we are missing the ball on what the fight actually is “at this point”, it ain’t more malls and trips to Jamaica. It ain’t to build more new cars, having 3000 sq. ft. homes. You wanna get serious about action? Then you’d better wake up to what the real action needs to be.

 So she replied:

  You ramble much too incoherently when your point is simply “free market capitalism and their ilk will be the death of us”. No one who is trying to fix this problem believes massive growth and resource use will come to an end. We are trying to solve the issue IN SPITE of it.

 Here, let me change my original post more to your liking:
“Humanity will never change their ways, we will consume and destroy everything, you’re all stupid for trying to do anything because free enterprise will always win, our children are doomed.” So counterproductive and stupid. Go spend time on some philosophy forum while the rest of us try and save the planet.

Well you can see she is starting to make big assumptions here, worse than mine by far I’d say, you be the judge on that. Nevertheless, I replied:

 Nobody says you are not trying to save the planet and that your effort is not noble, no more or less than mine. And you are acting as if I am not giving solutions. Maybe I did not state that clear enough. In short, to have any chance at all to escape the worst of this, we will have to get an entire new economic paradigm, we will all have to sacrifice our high standards of living, we will have to go through of period of hard work with little pay. Now, if that is not giving you solutions then I don’t know what is. But the only thing is they are solutions that are not fun. Our current movement is set on making this something fun, an opportunity, that’s nuts. In stead of addressing me in such hostility, why not answer to that. 

 Tell me what has changed in your personal life b? Have you dropped your income level, have you moved into a smaller house, do you drive less? In my case I have done all those things and much, much more. Don’t tell me about action, please, you don’t know what you are talking about.

 Then she came back with this bomb:

  EVERY ONE OF YOUR POSTS MAKES SENSE NOW!!! The unemployed artist in the ivory tower, telling the rest of us to live more meagerly. The pretension is thick. I’m an engineer. I just quit my high paying job to get NABCEP solar training and lead the charge into a renewable future. Your “action” will fall on deaf ears, but I’ll let you figure that out for yourself. Have a nice life.

 So I replied:

 Well it is sad that you’ve taken this hostile attitude. You accusations are completely uncalled for and unfounded. From what I see, you appear to be running from truth, or a debate, either one. This saddens me because it is very representative of what we are headed for, and it will be a debate much greater then the one we’ve been having with flat deniers; judging by what I have been seeing lately I think this debate has already begun. Don’t be so quick to say my form of action will fall on deaf ears, it is a movement growing rather fast, not by me of course, but gaining ground in the overall public, that’s a good thing. Good luck with your efforts.

Oh forgot, yeah good for you on that training. Now, will you make less or more money? Just curious, and I think it is a fair question.

 And one more request. I have a blog and I have been doing a lot of writing there lately and I would like to take this little comment thread between you and I and do an analysis at my blog. Would you object to that? I can be very objective with these kinds of things.

I also said this before her last comment:

If you are going to accuse me of not doing anything, then you owe it to me to read this:

http://dannyheim.wordpress.com…

 Oh, one more thing. Are you up on the science, have you read AR5 yet, the summaries at least? Our solutions scenarios need to match the science, mine does, but the present mainstream movement is about a hundred miles off. Are you aware of that?

 And we finished here with her reply and my response:

 Much, much less money, thanks. Again, asking that just confirms the picture of you in my head. You accuse me of running from a debate and you offer up no actual arguments other than “all the other climate activists are wasting their time because they haven’t addressed free enterprise and the greed of human nature”. I’m telling you that’s extremely limited and will get you nowhere. Don’t jump in on other people’s debates with your completely off-topic, utopian vision which will never come to pass. Sure, go ahead and analyze our “debate”, I’m sure all four of the people who read your blog will find it gripping. NO MORE RESPONSES. IM OUT.

 So I replied:

 My, my you are a nasty one aren’t you? Anyway, thanks for your permission, I’ll leave a link here for you to check it out if you like. There will be many more read this than four, but don’t worry, I will not be running you down, in fact, I won’t even be using your name or this article for reference though I will stick to the facts of our conversation. As for me getting very far, I will get as far as you I can tell you that for sure. I used to get just about as nasty as you have here with me, never worked. But hey, much less money, that’s a good start. Good luck with your endeavors.

So now I want to look at the dynamics of this little so-called debate. First off, the level of animosity in this debate is nothing compared to what I am afraid it is going to become. But I’ll take it no matter as we need to have this debate, however ugly. Obviously my debate with this person was silly, did not accomplish anything, and was showing great misunderstandings from both parties, though I would easily claim having been more on the rational side than her. She accused me of not giving any solutions when the link I gave her was a detailed government plan stating specific measures to deal with climate change, read the link I gave her and you’ll see what I mean.

On the other hand, I believe my handling of this was nearly as bad as hers in that she was right, I jumped in with an agenda and it was rude. Of course that’s about all she was right about, I gave no utopian answers and she completely distorted my responses with false accusations. I hope I can say that as it appears to be abundantly clear, she made huge assumptions about my life, and my stance.  At least when I made assumptions I ask he if they were correct, she gave no answer. She could see fairly clear were I was coming from, but reading her comments I can’t say I know a thing about what she is promoting.  These are the facts of our conversation. In short, it was a dumb thread and I hope to do much better in the future though it will take someone much less hostile than this person to get a two way street going.

Which brings me back to the analysis I wish to make here.  First, let me get something straight here about my being a realist and what that means.  My stance comes right out of the conclusions of the IPCC reports. If you read the science there and set editorializing aside, and then look at the mainstream response to them, it should become very clear that we are not addressing climate change in any meaningful way. I’ll give an A for effort to mainstream concerning the vigorous pushing of their solutions scenarios, but an F for having a clear vision of reality. There are a growing number of people coming into line with this opinion. They are seeing that we have most likely taken this too far, and that hopes of solving climate change to a state that allows us the high standards of living the developed world are being dashed with everyday that passes and emissions still rise. To many of us it is so obvious that we are stunned by the lack of reality in the mainstream.

The mainstream on the other hand appears to have an inverse but equally intense view about the hopes of solving this thing and not only solving it, but that jobs will increase, GDP will rise, we’ll have clean air, in short, life will be better than ever. Whether or not the woman I was debating with feels this way I do not know cuz she never really gave an answer to it as she was too busy knocking me and had no intention to give her opinions on solutions with any sort of clarity. Again, that’s the facts of our conversation.

I have this question, is this what we are to expect here forward? Is this how the debate is going to shape itself with false accusations, name calling, vague responses and simple dismissal by undefined associations? This is how the debate has gone with advocates and deniers, I certainly hope it doesn’t become as useless as that between the advocates. At the same time, the debate between the advocates needs desperately to continue and become constructive and actually get somewhere. It is the most important debate existing on the planet today. The debate between advocates and deniers has just been a warm up to the real debate about to explode.

The reason I believe it will explode is because climate change itself will set the stage for it, in fact, that has already begun, notice the change in conversation just since Sandy, the California drought and now the recent rise in methane burst. When I used to say “we need to reduce our GDP’s in the developed world” I would get twice as many down replies as up, now in the last two years it is just the opposite. That means that most likely within the advocate community there has been a statistically significant change in the numbers of people who are diverting from the mainstream line of thought. Hell, I’ve turned a number of them myself. It is so much more common now to hear people I’ve never heard of talking the same way as me and others I know that we can hardly believe it sometimes, it’s been a clear and present change of late. As the planet heats up, more will come awake I’m sure.

If the person I debated with has read this, I do apologize for interrupting and trying to turn the conversation, I was clearly at fault for that. However, from there you’ll have to come to your own honesty. I am happy that this debate has gotten started and I hope it grows intensely, but I hope it goes better than what I witnessed yesterday with me and the optimist (I think). I will do my part to remedy that. but the main point I wish to leave you with, both the optimists and the realists, is that let’s please do have this debate. The mainstream puts out a sense that those in the realist camp don’t matter, that they have it under control and not to listen to the advocates that have these radical solutions scenarios. I do not think that assessment of opinion from the optimists is very far off, this appears to be their message. I say to the realists, don’t put up with that lie, argue your points, just like we have argued with the deniers. In a sense, it’s the same thing all over again only this time it can actually mean something.

 

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Vanity and Vexation of Spirit

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Well this is what it all comes down to, so said The Preacher.

“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” Ecclesiastics 1.

This essay will be inconclusive really, and maybe even quite contradictory of itself. Can’t help it because sometimes you just gotta shit in one hand and pray with the other. The definition for vexation is “the state of being annoyed, frustrated, or worried.” We don’t use words like that much anymore, but we otta. We got vexation all over the god damn place. I got vexation, do you? If you don’t then go see a doctor.

I wish I’d of pay attention to this chapter in the Old Testament when I was a kid. I remember I didn’t quite get it. I thought if knowledge was so bad, then why did I have to go to school? But I get it now, for sure. Yeah I’d like to have never known about climate change, over population, war, pollution. greedy bastards, all that. But of course I got into it and I’ve tried to change it. I haven’t changed a damn thing but I will say I have come to at least feel the pain of it all and have also come to understand that that is exactly what I should be doing.

The Preacher also said:

“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.”

You got that right preacher. It’s a good thing that the “earth abideth for ever” cuz that’s one consolation to this merry-go-round. Well actually, the earth will not live forever as someday the sun will blow up and take planet earth with it. Nevertheless, the earth has seen these cycles for four and half billion years now and she always gets through it. I suppose I should set my vexation aside and be glad of this.  I should be happy for the earth that can sustain everything we and other entities have thrown at her and realize the  punches will only hurt for a time, then it will pass, and the green of the earth will be appreciated by something other than destroyers.

Negative? Well yeah I guess. Real? You bet. I’m trying to find the way to internalize this reality and yet not have it bring me to vexation. But is that real I wonder? I think maybe not. To embrace the knowledge of our times is a task towards sorrow, just as the preacher said. It brings pain, and as I said earlier if it doesn’t, then go see a doctor.

OK, what I am getting to in this essay is a vexation about vexation. Many of the earth’s 7 billion humans escape this vexation; that isn’t right. Whether it be by having all the money you need to do whatever you want or because you are very spiritual and get high on god or yourself, or the cosmos, or whatever. If you are escaping vexation of spirit then you are not the good human you think you may be. Does it hurt you when your child gets picked on at school? Sure it does. You don’t go to the bank and gloat over you balance and forget about your kid, you don’t go to the closet and commune with the universe, do you? Um, well I guess some of you may do that but the point is if your have any humanity at all you’ll feel the pain about your kid. But for a fair portion of our society that’s as far as it goes. Their pain is limited to their immediate environment.

We accept this. Yeah it’s ok to limit your pain to your surroundings. But somehow I think we have lead ourselves to a state of denial about pain. I see activists for climate change doing this. They put on the happy face and say, “don’t worry, we are positive that all will be well cuz we’re gonna switch to renewables. Happy!” There is something terribly wrong with this. Not only that it’s not real, but it is so schizoid that it literally freaks me out.

The saddest thing about this is that it is primarily centered in those who have found favor with the developed world. People of developing nations are not much different I’m sure, they have tv just like us. But in the developed world if you have any sort of enlightenment on this, then the smiles of these people will make you sick. We not only accept these people as normal but we put them up as those to admire, “She does yoga? Damn, I wish I was that positive”.

No, there is nothing wrong with doing yoga, going to church, book circles, all that. It is only wrong when it conceals the feelings of the deep pain you should be experiencing about the state of our planet and all therein. But there is also nothing wrong with not doing those positive things cuz you are so depressed that you are living in a world that is spiraling out of control and you can hardly get out of bed in the morning. There is nothing wrong with that, do not feel inferior. Of course this only true if it is actually due to the pain in question here and not some other thing you could deal with if you wanted to.

You may ask how can I justify this criticism of what most of us consider something not only normal, but envious.  Well looking at our situation right now I’d say that it becomes harmful when the avoidance of this pain causes you to fall for something as unrealistic as “we just need to switch to renewables”. It is a problem when you see that there is hunger, disease, violence, destruction and deceitful death smacking you right in the face and you can trudge along happily having your morning coffee. My hat is ‘not’ off to you. Because if you do not feel that pain all the way down inside and if it does not affect your everyday life, then you have become a major block to our evolution as a species. No one grows without pain and you gotta feel that pain to deal with it. Yeah sure feeling it may cause you to lose your job, so what. Until the majority of the human population fully embraces the pain of a possible 6th great extinction then actually doing something about will be precarious to say the least. You can sit on the coach while the doctor makes notes but if you don’t cry then eventually that doctor will tell you to just go home.

The Preacher was around what, 3 or 4 thousand years ago? I think maybe he wasn’t writing a poem but more a prophesy for the 21st century when he wrote there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”. I don’t think our time is a time to laugh and dance, no, we should be crying our eyes out. See, it is needed, desperately needed because without it you will be caught in the great illusions of the 21st century and those illusions will have you falling for anything. It’s like being drunk and you think you are on the right side of the road when you’re actually on the left.

From where we stand right now, pain is our greatest hope. We need some heavy duty crying. Not forever of course, but enough to see reality and then act accordingly. We are far, far away from that. I said in the beginning that this essay might be inconclusive and contradictory. I suppose I said that because I am in this pain right now and it has caused me to want to do nothing to activate solutions, so it’s confusing and contrary. And I also suppose that is because it ain’t gonna be my pain alone that saves the world.

So I believe I am sitting in this pain and waiting for humanity to join me. I suppose I will need to get past this eventually…or will I? You see it is reality I seek, particularly about climate change and that reality is horrible. So to get past this, especially as a climate activist, will I have to join the climate activists with their smiles? This is where it is inconclusive because I don’t have a clue about that. The subject matter in this essay is for the collective of the human race, not necessarily for the individual, though each has to do their part. If we all start crying then it’ll be a mess I’m sure; society as we know it could collapse. Is that what we need, do we need to collapse like alcoholics need to when they hit bottom? I’m telling ya, don’t ask me cuz I don’t know. When I do know I’ll be the first to share it.

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Choose While You Can

At-UN-Climate-Negotiations-U.S.-Continues-‘Too-Little-Too-Late’-Mandate It is vitally important to understand the difference between mitigation and adaptation when it comes to climate change. Mitigation primarily attempts to reduce the impacts of climate change via reductions in emissions and the sequestering of greenhouse gases, whereas adaptation is an effort to find ways to survive climate change through infrastructure changes and living conditions. In short, mitigation ask you to fight it, adaptation ask you to surrender to it.

I think any intelligent person knows that both are needed, the key to success lies in which do you give the highest priority. You can’t do that blindly, you gotta know what the deal is, you gotta know if you “can or cannot” fight it. If you discover you can fight and win, then throw all you got into mitigation, if you discover you “cannot” then do likewise with adaptation. The problem is we really don’t know in any absolute terms if we can defeat climate change, even with the best mitigation efforts. On the other hand, we also don’t know if we can adapt to it if we can’t fight it. What to do?

Right now we are putting our money on mitigation and doing very little (almost nothing) with adaptation. Is this wise? Well let me put it this way, it certainly is not wise that we are doing almost nothing to adapt and when you compare the two efforts, it makes mitigation look like we are going full tilt. But the truth is we are not really doing a hell of a lot with mitigation when you consider we have been at this for nearly 30 years and at this point only 21% of the global energy output comes from renewables. If we were really going to have put our money on mitigation, we should have been nearly 100% fossil fuel free by now. Instead, CO2 emissions are still rising. Let me repeat that, CO2 emissions are still rising. See? That means not being mitigated…whoops.

So considering this, we better be getting our shit straight. We really are not looking at this squarely, actually, not looking at it at all. And it appears to me that since we are so freaking far behind on mitigation, maybe it’s time we switch our priority to adaptation. Worse yet, given that we are even further behind on adaptation, maybe we otta just set our priorities on getting right with our gods. You choose.

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