Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Moon Month reflections

If we are presupposing a consciousness which purposely creates all that is, why would we in our limited experience have any way of apprehending that purpose? If we presuppose a growing spirit, expanding into all of creation as a manifestation of pure energy, there is no need for a conscious purpose.

We shape ourselves, chiseled
from inherent potential
with the cutting edge
of life.

My belief system pretty much includes all possible belief systems, yet probably most would disagree. The basic point is, we each create our own reality out of the combination of personal experiences as they accrue throughout our lives. Our brains function such that we take in information and process it based on previously developed categories that we have built up from past experience, back probably before birth. Then, by acting on our own experiential world, we impress it further into our psyche and build on further. Thus we create our world, our belief system, our feedback loop and our methods for building on these, each individually. Yet, we as collective create group realities which our interactions and mutual belief structures impress upon us collectively.

Anyway, this is the basis. I would be happy to discuss further.

There are personality types all along the spectrum, from a need of order to a need of chaos. These are not symptoms of disorders or problems in life skills. These are life skills as we each find what kind of environment is most comfortable and conducive to our individual work styles. However, there is nothing wrong with breaking pattern to see where that goes for you.

We each do create our own reality, in a very real, yet totally
subjective, sense. We each perceive reality through our own filters
and experiential networks. The reality we perceive being, generally,
the reality we react to and work with, we continue to create that
network, which we nonobjectively control. Thus, by paying attention
to certain ideas/objects/desires/possibilities we bring them more
actively into our lives. We skew our world view to reflect what we
expect and interpret consequences and events in the way that keeps us
in that frame.

As to the experience of "enlightenment," that is part of this whole.
No matter where or how or by what means we get to such an experience,
it is a valid experience of enlightenment in that we experience and
self-validate it as such.

We are all all-important, and of no importance at all.

You live your own experience, no matter how many have lived similar experiences, because yours is unique to your uniqueness. You have that very serious conversation with yourself that never ends, and put the pieces here and there until you see them arranged in that very personal puzzle, which you continue to puzzle out into your own eyes, mind, voice, creative expression.

Everything that ever was or will be is all happening eternally. We, with our limited senses, see the birthing and fading as disappearing in time. Nothing truly ends, but ceaselessly changes.

It is not about punishment or God's glory, or because you are being tested or otherwise denigrated. Life is a learning experience of all that you do and perceive here on planet. Some of those lessons are very, very harsh indeed. Some are pleasant and fun. And I don't mean lessons so you can become say more compassionate or more cynical or more anything. These are experiences for your soul to become just more. Some of these experiences may well break you, even kill you. We all experience death, though. Again, some more pleasantly than others. It's not that you get more of the good stuff or more of the bad based on "karma" in the sense of payback. It's that you get what you need to become all you potentially are, not in the ways that we measure these things, but in an eternal sense.

childhood is so fraught with tragedies, deep disappointments, traumas that haunt dreams for a lifetime, every little day.

People seem to have kids for all kinds of reasons or nonreasons. Perhaps that is as it "should" be so that a good mix of humans abound? I don't know that asking the kid in advance would matter if they need the Earth School experience for whatever cosmic/karmic/comic reasons. It's not so much about parenting as such, I think, but the whole relationship model that needs reassessing. If we made the effort to be the kinds of people who are good parents, good friends, good stewards of the Earth, good to ourselves, it might make childhood, adulthood, humanhood a whole lot better, don't you think?

This Obama-is-a-Muslim smear campaign honestly ought to be attacked on the front of those it most abuses. There is nothing wrong with being Muslim and a US citizen and a US presidential candidate. Of course Obama is a committed Christian. I clearly see in his public appearances the shining faith, spiritual humility, deep love of public service that I have always seen in the best true Christians that I have known. Of course many Americans have crazy notions about Muslims, mindlessly blaming people for political situations totally outside of the lives of the vast majority. Think blaming the Christians for Hitler. My point, though, is if candidate Obama is serious about wanting to mend wounds and get beyond rancor to a country of people who can work together for common good, he could well respond on some level to these attacks by showing disdain for those who attack him on the basis of a nonissue. There is nothing wrong with being Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Pagan or any other faith. We have a First Amendment (Number 1!) to our Constitution guaranteeing that. We have what is meant to be a proud tradition of religious tolerance, of people emigrating to the US (and previously the Colonies) for religious freedom. This is one of the precious freedoms we say we fight for.

There may be a component of bliss in love (or not). There may be a component of love in bliss (or not). These are subjective experiences.

Love, however, has to do with relationship.

Bliss has to do with nonrelationship -- with an experience beyond any duality or division.

"Love" is problematic. The definitions are long, varied, self-
contradictory at times, amorphous. Awareness of what is is a
continual evolving awareness, unattached to preconceptions, language,
or individuated consciousness.

In eternal multi-verse where all exists, manifestation
comes in infinite array.

The medical model is not the only or necessarily the best one for people suffering from cognitive-behavioral disorders. Drugging the problem away does not fix it, but makes the "patient" dependent, unempowered even more. Using drugs judiciously while working with people to figure out better ways of coping is fine, but our easy fix society often lets the important part of that equation go.

I think what we do is get the best we can from the benefits and stave off as best we can the harms by keeping well-informed, alert, aware of the potentials all along the continuum. Can I get the results I want with fewer harmful considerations with say diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, meditation, noninvasive treatments, a little bit of pharm along with any/all of those, and so forth? If I am using pharmaceuticals, which for me would have the best ratio of benefit to cost? Do I really understand what this drug is doing to my system? Am I aware of possible interactions with other chemicals, foods, environmental factors, lifestyle choices? Just what exactly is the result I am looking to achieve?

So many people take dangerous pharmaceuticals to correct conditions that essentially they allowed by not being well enough educated about dietary options.

Of course it is not the map we are looking for, but the territory. Yet, especially in this insurance ruled medical culture, the almighty label which brings forth the largesses of healthcare payment takes charge. Then we have a realm worthy of Lewis Carroll in which the label is treated, the child ignored.

Childhood is massively anxiety producing. Many children suffer all manner of abuses and deprivations, but even for the lucky ones with good homes and lives, they have no real control over much of anything. The world can be a very scary place, for everyone. Adults, at least, have some control and a lot more life experience to back them up. Kids just get to have nightmares and scary thoughts that they have no idea what to do with. Exactly, drugs are not going to give them the skills they need to deal with a scary world. They need loving conversation, education, and safe outlets for expressing their fears and learning to have more control over what is controllable.

You don't need fancy labels or psychiatric diagnostics. People act out when needs are being ignored. Kids forced to spend most of what should be a very physically active time constrained to seats, facing an authority, expected to maintain silence except when given permission to speak, and we insist they need drugs to keep them in line because they are "sick"? People ignored or used as family system scapegoats, or dealing with lifelong abandonment issues, ptsd, no useful feedback to learn appropriate behaviors, put into double-bind positions where unprocessed anger percolates, made to feel unwanted or less-than by those around them, over-stressed from too much work/too little recreation/way too much responsibility without the necessary authority/traumatic life situations which are never appropriately worked through -- eventually these people often crack. This doesn't make them a "crackpot" or "crazy" or anything but human.

I have read on the website of Dr. Thomas Scheff, a retired psychotherapist, his theories that the only really useful way to treat people who have "cracked" is with real live personal relationship, helping them to learn better coping mechanisms while learning that they are indeed worthwhile and worth knowing. You don't need a degree to give this help.

There was a conversation on another venue about whether children should have a right to weigh in on whether they want to be torn out of paradise and born into life on Earth. Some say we do choose our lives, others that we are paying for past karma, others that god wants us here for some unfathomable reason, and so forth. Basically, I see it as a learning experience. Many lessons are quite harsh. Some are so very lovely. I think it helps when we are willing to learn, not tied into restrictive thinking.

Of course, what god provides us is the universe, unfolding, unfolding. We make what we can of it, bit by bit. I do have confidence that humankind, a very clever bunch, will search out the solutions in time to keep us going, searching out further solutions. We are at the very infancy of our scientific understandings. Ultimately, once it is sorted out, I believe the whole system is quite simple, elegant, and easily accessed for use. We are moving toward that whole system theory now that we've had some millennia to sort out discrete bubbles of information.

I too have stories
unbelievable as fiction
creeping through dream imagery
holding dripping red candles
broken bits of mirror
tiny rips in red, red fabric
I cannot breathe this story
I cannot hold a heartbeat
or a cogent thought
or pulse to a level
Beaten into rubble
crazed in simple sunlit
afternoon as if a moon
were racing in
stolen arteries
We all have known this story

What is "terrorism"? It's not an ideology or a sovereign entity or a loosely affiliated group or a religion or even a tactic. It is a frame to place around whatever you think or feel might be, well, terrifying.

The acts which might be listed under a fairly mainstream definition of "terrorism" also have another frame. They are crimes. There are criminal codes, laws, procedures, penalties and individual words for these acts. The defense against them necessitates no special agencies or exotic twistings of law or mores of decency. All we need do is understand these acts as we do our normal terrors of street gangs, organized criminals, crazed seekers of revenge and other outbreaks of violent paranoia. We protect ourselves best by being alert to danger and keeping our minds and bodies agile.

If the media dictates what we believe and who we vote for, where are our minds and personal responsibility? The media folks are doing their jobs, selling their products, working for their marketshare. We citizens need to do our job, or stop whining and admit we are governed by popular media.

Lots of people complain that watching tv is lowering our cognitive abilities because we passively watch pabulum and emotionally charged cheap thrills. There is plenty of annoying, boring, mind-numbing, or otherwise petty programming. However, there is plenty of intellectually challenging, informative, engaging, and even beautiful programming. You need to figure out which channels or programs are most likely to be worthwhile for your viewing.

I am all for self-protection, family protection, community protection. I even have situational ethics about private violence. I am totally, irrevocably, passionately against giving the government (you know, the guys we always joke about not getting anything right) the right to murder us, no matter the offered justification.

Imagine that you are you, going about your normal business. Imagine that someone who has some vague similarity of appearance, or even name, has done something horrible. Everyone is up in anxiety, blood vengeance, mob rule. This is why we have a rule of law, because sometimes it can make a difference, or at least the thought of it can give alternative to unthinking reaction.

It bothers me, often, the black magic of making profit (an imaginary concept, as is money itself) killing the real reasons for trade. Sure, if you want to play this game of sticks and carrots, rich and poor, speculator and government back-up vs. condemning the monetarily challenged, then play you will. I just want a parallel track for those of us who have other goals and motives for our energy and time.

Religion is not specifically about believe or faith. It is a tool to hold together tribes over distance and larger than face-to-face numbers through a system of ritual and mythology. Belief, in any case, is self-reflective, a nonobjectively existent creature of conscious interpretation of unknowable reality. Agnostics, as far as I have experienced these, seem to be about taking a stand against orthodox beliefs through a clever device of rationalized exchange of "belief" for "knowledge" -- "I don't know that your beliefs represent reality."

The thing is, there is no "God" in the sense of some great white-bearded grandfather in the sky telling us all how to behave with appropriate rewards and smiting. So, to deny knowledge that such a construct is true is an equivocation. Instead, truth here and in this whole realm, is attempted to be defined metaphorically, since objective truth is beyond language. Then, the metaphor is treated as if it were the truth, the map taken for the territory. In truth, we are all agnostic: we don't KNOW; we speculate and create religions within which to lay our questions to rest.

I feel the movement
pain and resolution
caught in the pattern
released in the dance

It's not the blaming that is the problem. It is natural to blame, and sometimes appropriate. But that is only step one in a process of rectification. The South Africans in the time of transformation from Apartheid understood that bad blood would fester from evil done but not acknowledged. They created a Truth and Reconciliation process to allow people to confront those who had sinned against them, and for the sinners to admit what they had done and apologize. This is going along a process toward change. We admit our culpability, even without denying the culpability of others. Then we can start the triage: changing what we can, in ourselves and in the system; recognizing what we have no power over, and finding ways to ameliorate those influences; learning to work through our emotional reactions to pain and powerlessness until we are ready to look squarely at where we are and where we want to go so we can map out the journey.

Sometimes we can't afford to forgive without first being given acceptance of guilt, sincere apology, and comfort from they who have offended because our hearts are naturally too soft.

The mindset behind the violence is not Bush's fault. It started long before he bumbled into the Middle East. It is not Mohammed's fault either. It is not about religion, but politics, not a struggle over beliefs, but power. A heavenly reward can be reached after a full and well spent life. Suicide is about despair; suicide bombings about despair and anger.

One of the reasons I was originally interested in Obama was George Soros's support. Soros is a brilliant man, maverick high-stakes capitalist with deep thinking ability and follow-through. He has lived a long and colorful life, including intellectual and social contributions to society. His Open Society Institute funds projects in the interest of promoting freedom. Anyone denigrating George Soros, and by implication of association Barack Obama, obviously has grave ignorance (I am sorry)

The problem is not McCain changing his mind, it is his giving over his mind to campaign expedience. Yes, they all do to some extent, but McCain is really over the top here. I really appreciated the "straight-talking" 2000 McCain, would have voted for him had Karl Rove not given him the shiv. Apparently he has come to believe that he can win by lying, but not by sticking to his outside party politics gumption. I don't want to encourage that.

People seem to enjoy hating, any group they can define as some way not them. Thus, the issue of immigration degenerates into name-calling, hate speech, ranting and raving about some big bad them who turns out to be some hardluck hardworking poor folk, or even sick little children or otherwise non-enemies. There's plenty of work to be done for everyone, which is why these people get jobs, which is why they come here looking for work. We who are concerned about low wages, poor working conditions, or economic ripples of illegal practices need to work toward solving these problems. I said work toward solving problems, not propagate hate.

People do not exist for the benefit of some social system, but rather social systems, in theory, are meant to exist for the benefit of the people? What people do for their private gratification with other consenting adults is their business. It only becomes the business of society if their behavior is blatantly harmful to specific others -- not because it may be seen as wrong, or mimicked by the young, but because their is actual, definable, articulable, harm as would be easily assessed by reasonable people without an axe to grind. Even if individual members of a definable group do some harm to some others, that does not indict all members of that group. For instance, apparently priests evidence a high incidence of child molestation. This does not mean priests as a group need to be condemned and thrown out of society -- only those who actually do harm.

Libertarianism is not taking on ideas of Democrats or Republicans. They have a firm grounding in personal freedom on which they base their platforms. In that sense, they are more true to the vision of America as a land of the free governed by the people, for the people.

The idea of an economy in which the costs to the natural resources, the workforce and the general well-being are included at its base is being explored by many people from many background perspectives. This is not about "love" but enlightened self-interest, and an understanding that these costs are always paid, usually in the least comfortable way at the worst possible time if they are not honored upfront.

Happiness is not a place to arrive nor prey to pursue. It is a state of mind, sometimes fleeting. It is not happiness that can be given or guaranteed, but the opportunity to find those activities and ideas that reward us with that emotional lift. Thus, what can be offered by the social construct to the individual is the greatest possible freedom within which to find one's own rewards.

If we really want to be good self-governing citizens we would do well to incorporate into our required public school curricula a multi-disciplinary/multi-year course including history, sociology, psychology, and political science covering what citizens really ought to know to take back our responsibility and power. Race would be one of a great many issues to be covered, in a general background of history, as well as immigration policies, analyses of Supreme Court cases, legislative histories, the vast panorama of power struggles, political philosophies, and daily analyses of stories in the current consciousness.

Far from spoilers, they are preservers of what democracy is meant to be. Candidates not of the major parties do know their likelihood of getting the job is kind of on par with the election being cancelled due to an asteroid hit on D.C. They understand that it is their job as activist citizens to enlarge the scope of the political conversation, to bring positions further from the center to take in minority views, to look beyond conventional wisdom for solutions, to bring more excitement to the mix by bringing more to think about.

Why were some drugs made illegal? Because of ignorance. It would save orders of orders of magnitude more money, effort, and a whole host of really bad "side-effects" to do away with the "War on Drugs" policies and mentality and treat people with problems like people with problems, addictions like the easily medically solved nonissues they could well be, and let consenting adults have their sought after experiences in a reasonable atmosphere. We could work out nonpublic areas for this kind of behavior to avoid offending passers-by.

Privacy is a big issue, and complicated. There is no "right to privacy" in the US Constitution -- the 4th Amendment being about security in papers and possessions which can't be taken without proper judicial oversight. Yet, we tend to believe in a very basic right to be left alone, to have private inviolate spaces in our lives, both physical and mental. In fact, this can be said to be the very basis of freedom.

I totally disagree that privacy is about lack of trust or hiding. It is simply about personal integrity in the sense of having a personal life not given to the public. We tend to like private relationships, private activities that we share with specific others rather than having to be open to any and all who might want to impose their definitions. Maybe this is one of those extrovert/introvert things.

In the West, privacy has been related to freedom because we had to come together as private people to overthrow public rulers who denied our rights. Asia, no doubt, has different history, and cultural norms. Western democracy still depends on interest groups coming together privately to work out policies for that group. Freedom depends on privacy that we really have the space to work out our private thoughts and create our own inner independence. Look at Winston Smith in _1984_ starving for privacy to be his own creature rather than just another puppet.

As to the safety issues of modern anonymous society, of course lack of relationship leads directly to fear and hostility. If we can only guess about who these others might be, what might motivate their actions toward us, how can we open into trust and mutuality? Yet, like in everything, the middle road calls. We can keep our privacy private and our community life communal if we understand the benefits and act accordingly.

It is disgraceful and incredibly disrespectful that grown-up people are subjected to such gross indignity for the "privilege" of working way too hard for hardly livable wages and "benefits' that nickel and dime you into an early grave. No, people who get government checks should not be subject to such indignities for the privilege of being allowed to survive, whether those checks are wages or Social Security benefits (which we pay for in our employment taxes instead of getting that money as wages to pay our bills) or Unemployment benefits (see comment on SS benefits) or programs for the needy. This is just another of the endless examples of government overriding our Constitution-given and basic human rights for their little games of gotcha or bogus terror tactics to keep us begging for any little freedom. May I go to the bathroom, please, oh great leader, without you watching?

There are plenty of slovenly workers with or without drugs. There a people who take prescription medications for conditions they may not want advertised. There are also lots of people who use drugs recreationally (including alcohol and tobacco) on their own time, without any impact on their jobs. The big debilitatetor that no one seems to think or talk about is lack of sleep, which, with pressures of too much to do in too little time, is overwhelmingly common.

As I understand, they are finding health improving qualities in wine all the time, and occasionally in coffee, and most especially in chocolate. Perhaps we enjoy these because they are good for us, despite popular myth based on the follies of overconsumption.

They say history is written by the winners, and for the mainstream this is probably true. These days, however, there are many enthusiasts who delve into the primary material and find much more diverse histories, which give a greater range and more useful stories for we who look to lessons from the past.

I was recently pondering the strange and contrary views and behaviors surrounding sex in 21st Century America. Of course, these have roots back to the religious sects of original colonists, and branches going out to a diversity of absurdity. It seems to me that if we had sane ideas, policies, and communication regarding this fundamental biological and social commonality, there would be much less dangerous coercive and outright outrageous acting out.

Of course you can have it both ways, or as many ways as there are. We can believe it is wrong to kill, including an unborn human, yet understand that there are situations in which it is less wrong than the alternatives. We make these distinctions all the time.

You know what, they have not yet made computers that are also transporters or giving the ability to move body parts through into someone else's laptop. Your kids may be in danger online from learning about inappropriate matters, or more likely learning harmful misinformation. They are not in any kind of physical danger (except for maybe eyestrain and the degradations of lack of exercise). You want to keep your kid as safe as possible? Always keep an open dialog, without prying or judging.

On C-SPAN there was a panel talking about foreign aid from the perspective of poor nations, and how the current method is bad for everyone. Apparently the donor nations or UN work out deals with the leaders of the country getting aid involving legal and political machinations worked out with no real thought to the result. Of course, leaders get the money and use it for their own projects or whims, while the poor get poorer. The solution offered was to set up a process whereby a certain sum is designated for a region, but each village gets the money for their project only after they have a direct democratic process within the village to designate a project leader, decide upon what project is their most important need, devise a plan to create the project to fulfill the need, and deliver their plan, budget, and project leader to the offering agency. This method would result in much fewer funds being needed, real useful projects being developed, local people creating jobs for themselves and growing the local economy, the people who need the funding being the ones deciding how it will be used and getting empowered to fix the problems in their own region.

We have been warned and tested in the late 70s and warned about depending on foreign oil, or fossil fuels in general. Being human, mostly we only actually get creative en masse and do something meaningful when our backs are at the wall. There have been breakthroughs and research and useful ideas about all manner of alternative fuel sources, which are only alternatives and not just fuel sources because of a foolish dependence on a cheap supply which is no longer cheap or certain or ours.

The only reason we use petrochemicals to fuel cars is that at the time when cars were first being designed commercially, oil was really cheap. People of an engineering persuasion have been examining other possible fuels for years. I would think that there are all kinds of useful methods of transportation to be worked out, tried out. It could be alot of fun. Maybe a good reality tv show promoting such inventiveness would help?

Energy is being harnessed from within the Earth in various locales and projects. There are many sources of energy which can be tapped. If we use each as it is best used, we are less likely to tap out any source and more likely to make more efficient use of diverse resources. The thing in any creative endeavor is to not get boxed in to "the way it is done."

We all have the God-given right to spread false information. I forget why God gave us that right, but quite obviously She did.

Jews, Christians, Muslims, Mormons, maybe others worship the same upstart minor Middle Eastern god who took the Jews out of Egypt to get them to fight his enemies and do his bidding. He grew in power as he gained more and more worshippers.

The New Testament was written by different people at a different time from the Old, but there were a great many writings that never made it in to the Bible. Whose message got told, whose censored can tell us about the politics of those times.

it is so easy to each be our own purveyor of truth, to step out of the circle of lies and obfuscations, and simply live.

Journals are certainly a medium of infinite expressive and creative potential. Interestingly, to me, I have been creating a character who is becoming a friend through her journal entries, which of course I create, but from another part of me. By letting her express freely by journaling, I am giving myself opportunities to look at my views and such recreated from another life perspective. I don't have to own her attitudes, because they are hers not mine. Thus, I am exploring these perspectives in some sense objectively, in some sense subjectively.

I've learned it's not just you (me), it's everyone. Every kid had something others could pick on. Glasses, a strange-sounding name, overbearing parents to make fun of, overbite, overweight, underweight, lisp, stammer, limp, stringy hair, frizzy hair, large nose, large ears, short, tall, too smart, not smart enough goes on forever.

People talk about the healing of love, the beauty of love, the great goodness and higher power of love. That love is all for you. Each and every you (me) can learn the power and beauty and healing of our own love.

The sky hardens
pinpoint diamonds
Ivory flowers
jungle grown
softly converse
knowing the sharp hardness
of thorns
Diamonds cut deeply
through psychic skin
like sweet flower scent
Hardness does not protect
gem, rose, or heart

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