Monday, April 20, 2009

headlong rushing fool

My Dear Friends,
I am a total idiot when it comes to that real world kind of physical labor that would be the staple chores of a primitive society. Help! Tell me what you know from experience, conversation, reading, and/or pertinent links I can check out, please, please, please... see the lazily developing story:

Don't let the perfect stand in opposition to the possible.

I just happened to be watching a History Channel program about Eastern religions -- Hinduism and Buddhism. As the representative was talking about Buddhist rules, I was realizing that such "rules" or "teachings" or lectures from the learned are all well and good. They can inspire or otherwise take us into a different perspective, realm of thinking. The point is (at least for me) that they are only ideas in the marketplace to wander, picking up this or that for the moment, until the spark touches the tinder they have built up and I have the realizations meant for me.

I consider myself ambi-sexual. Gender is not the issue. I believe all of us are bisexual, along a continuum. Anyone who insists that you cannot be bisexual is selling something (you don't have to sell for money).

As a lifelong liberal in the original sense, of valuing human liberty over societal concerns, I applaud standing up to the raging pro-Zion crowd. Anti-Zionism is far and away not Anti-Semitism. The Zionist tradition is one of either ancient prejudicial feuding based on "my God is better than yours" or an outgrowth of the unfortunate colonial era that has left the Middle East like one working through PTSD on a grand scale. I also like to remind those who preselect their history that the Jews were far from the only recipients of the terror of the Holocaust. Where is the Gypsy state, the Homosexual state, the Political Dissenter state, the Differently Directed state?

Researchers with big drug profits swirling around note that big stress seems to knock holes in our brains, deplete our internal pain ameliorating system, mess with our memories, et al. Then they rationalize that "oh, you've got holes in your brain; obviously you are quite ill and need medication to fill in those holes." Yet, to me it is seeming more and more obvious that the holes are there for a reason, the imbalance is there for a reason, the pain is there for a reason -- because the system is too stressed to function properly. What's needed is not medication. This is not an illness as such, but a message. What we need is to learn how to decrease, eliminate, work with, reframe or otherwise make peace with what we can, find effective strategies for fighting what we can't make peace with.

I am thinking that disempowerment, whether through drugs or discouragement from taking responsibility for one's life or through encouraging one to believe they are in the throes of a disease that can only be cured by outside influence, can not be a good. Yes, of course, there are so very many influences in our lives over which we have no possibility of control. Then there are all the social pressures to conform. Then there are the familial pressures toward guilt and taking the wrong kinds of responsibility -- responsibility for that for which we can not be responsible.

It seems to me that if one is counseling or working towards self-improvement, or in fact working toward social improvement, it would be best to concentrate not on what one cannot do (for whatever reason) but on what one can do (no matter how seemingly inconsequent).

Children at play
learning the lengths of their fingers
reach for external visions
If fingers are never burned
those lessons are never learned

Responsibility - ability to respond - to the situations in our lives toward our own best enlightened self-interest is not about blame or even what others may think or say. It is an attitude of entitlement to self-empowerment, within whatever box we may have been enclosed. Even if we can't get our life situations out of the box, we can frame them in ways with which we can find personal advantage.

I recently read an article about new discoveries regarding what the psychiatrists call borderline personality disorder. As was mentioned in the article and by a comment on the original article page, anti-psychotic meds are ineffective. It seems to me that if people lack naturally the capacity to figure out social cues, the appropriate "cure" would be education in social cues (which is done, though I'm not sure how extensively, with people on the autism spectrum).

A placebo is an inert substance which the power of belief imbues with the desired effect. These pharmaceuticals far from being inert are seriously distressing the systems of those who take them. We would be so much better off with real placebos.

Robert Heinlein is a much more usefully readable author of libertarian fiction than Ayn Rand. Give me Jubal Harshaw of John Galt any decade.

Why is it so difficult to understand that parents are people, any people who happen to reproduce. There are no guarantees of any specific kind of family life. Since we all take what we get, and often get drama, tragedy, painful stressor, we would all do better to accept that as given and go about finding useful ways to destress and do what moves us.

Open your windows
Air out the damp and drear
Feel the warm breeze
rewind the beat
of your weary heart

I don't know that there has ever been a true free market society. Perhaps after the original tribal communism, when there was rudimentary trade between neighboring tribes. Probably not then either. There are always groups with agendas, people who usurp power, unfavorable or favorable politics keeps markets anything but free.

Back in the formative days of what has become the USA the idea of separating church and state was part of the newly emerging liberal enlightenment philosophy. It was not to denigrate religion, nor to elevate the state. It was to make it clear that unlike in Europe, where church and state were considered a cohesive ruling body, matters of the spirit would not have to take a second place to matters of the body politic. It was pointed out that this was the will of God, that His areas of concern and those of the secular state be separate.

My understanding is that this wave of "tea parties" came out of the Ron Paul campaign's fund-raising events last year. That this anti-corporate-capitalism-as-we-now-know-doesn't-work-so-tell-our-"representatives"-we're-mad-as-Hell sentiment has been co-opted by Fox and friends does not make these feelings any less real. Why not give up being so attached to our individual identity groups and have a real dialog among the nonwealthy 95% of Americans about how our country can start working for us?

The logical outgrowth of a war on drugs -- the drugs are winning and infecting our water supply. But wait, I thought that was the illegal drugs (oh yeah, they make eagles ill as well).

If it's too big to fail, it's too big. There ought to be a law.

"Allowed" implies legislation, which the the province of Congress.

How come the states' rights crowd doesn't get all over this. Even Justice Thomas thought that marijuana ought to be a states' rights issue.

Yes, there are more important national emergencies than the often critical personal emergencies involving medical marijuana. However, if we should dare to look at a bigger picture: precious state and federal resources are still being wasted on hunting and jailing those in the marijuana trade that money could be taxed, the trade regulated, and much more resources would be opened up at both ends of savings and revenues medical marijuana often treats illnesses more cheaply, with lower side-effects, and more effectively than more expensive pharmaceuticals, thus offering a savings in medical costs if legal, regulated, taxed marijuana were available in the capitalist scenario, people who wanted or medically needed the herb would not be funding death-dealers in foreign lands

The critic, like the artist opening their art to criticism, must work from that side of the mind that can reason, feel and relate without getting personally involved. I am a lousy critic. I can't seem to come up with coherent reasons for what I feel works or does not. The best I can do is try to respond in kind or actually rework the piece as if it were mine.

I know I don't say it enough: Thank you you critics who care for your thankless efforts on we writers' behalf!

That space between eternity and neverwas
the difference engine
to keep the wheel turning

swirl multi-colored soft silk
touching face to face
splendid entrancement
dancing to night's promise

Remembering scents and sounds
secreted within dreaming
awakening to emotions
from alien eyes of wonder

true shamans aren't ready for this world; when we are the only stoning will be of our choosing

Letting go of Earth
wrapped in a cloud of moonbeams
to remember we only borrow time
on our return to eternity

crafty synaptic flow
dreamcatching from all hallowed and harrowed
tasting subtle essence in the bitter grain
of sanctified harvest sacrifice

sweet, bitter sweet, salty sweet as candied seaweed
answer and call; answer and call
eerie yet wondrously apprehended
private seas pulling grand tiding

It irks me how theoretical concepts (socialism, capitalism, communism, liberalism, conservatism) are both seriously misconstrued and vilified as if they were other than manmade musings. Real concerns would be how do we best allow for personal liberty and social welfare (no, not that damned "welfare state" but what is actually to the benefit all of us who make up the society) in a spirit of enlightened self-interest.

chilling sentiment
for sentimentality is not the province of only romance
or sweet tidings
the brave have learned
to carry it all

Music may well be what makes us human

The disastrous results of Reagan's "trickle down" (called by Bush I "voodoo") economics was not due to greed or other human failings (other than stupidity). The true way to have not only a fair but actually more useful system is to flow up from the work on the ground. Financial work is not "real" work, more like gambling and ponzi scheming.

God doesn't have religion, that is the province of man.

Or maybe God is a metaphor for our relationship with dance?

I believe, in fact, that the mind/body connection is such that it is not a chemical imbalance causing mental symptoms, but stress reactions causing mental symptoms portrayed in the body as chemical imbalance. Perhaps this is why so often even drugs that have been effective lose their effectiveness. This could also be some explanation for the feelings you describe of notrightness in the drug effects -- your body is doing what it perceives as right for you in response to the stressors you are trying to live with. Thus, the effective treatment would in fact be teaching the sufferer how to better cope with what is happening or has happened in their lives. I believe this is the basis of cognitive-behavioral therapies, often cited in studies as being generally more effective than drugs.

This idea of the rich paying the bulk of taxes may be technically true in that having the bulk of the money some percentage of that is bigger than that percentage for the rest who combined have less. The rich are also the biggest benefitters from governmental spending. Further, if those who have amassed wealth were to be more self-enlightened about the use of and respect for the labor that actually creates that wealth, we wouldn't be having this discussion or this financial "crisis".

Perhaps some of the problem is the dependence upon the "educational system" to create an interest in knowledge. Perhaps those parents and community members who are not bigoted against intellectual pursuits need to open more avenues of wonder to their tv bred, public school ignored young.

standing under the circus tent
breathing in excitement and bliss
mountaintop view eternally new
what more to be wanted than this?

if you look at the rhetoric spouting from true believers, it is often made up of very partial truths and drivel. Thus, actually spelling out in clear language what is meant by liberty might lead to an occasional "aha!"

Once people get the hang of the unreality of money, that finance is a social concept thus malleable to social change, maybe we'll get somewhere.

dream sweet dreams
dripping with oceanic splendor
deep tears and tensions will mend there
beautiful stories so rendered
completing unconscious schemes

I just learned through reading a totally speculative book of fiction not (ghost)written by Douglas Adams' ghost that the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything, 42 is the I Ching equivalent of "Increase"

I really think we should realize by now that the best we could do to avert murderous crazed terrorists is to pay more attention to the mental health of those around us.

We do need to take responsibility for the drug cartel profit-related violence that has grown around our seriously stupid "war on drugs."

The whole concept is quite a mess. We have people suffering severe reactions to forced pharmaceuticals (and the biggest "illicit' drug usage -- as always has been in my long memory -- is pharmaceuticals taken by those for whom the prescription was not written). Then we have people whose lives are ruined (ruined, from an early age) because they were caught getting high. Then we have the big-violence drug cartels so we say "oh drugs are causing violence" when all we would have to do to stop that right quick is legalize. Do we still have violent bootleg alcohol cartels since Prohibition was repealed?

you get a certain small percentage of people who have a large tendency toward drug abuse. They will abuse drugs, whatever they can get, however they can get it. We are more likely to have fewer bad results if instead of treating this as a moral/legal issue we treat it as a social/medical issue.

Not that I haven't personally experienced unexplained largesse, getting what I need when I need it. However, as I observe, there are a great many people for whom the universe is not providing. What am I to make of this?

Passion resurrected in Spring
uplifted from meager ground
sent back into sensuality
the essentiality of life
well-lived, well-succored, well-said
brought up from sacred water
into prophetic air

This blaming naming self as knave,
no good girl
Expecting to be always brave,
a good girl
Caught in walls look what befalls -
no good, girl.
You'll always be the best to me,
so good, girl

The problem with thinking governmental officials will do, or want to do, anything of the nature you are suggesting is that these people R or D are entrenched in the false conservatism of what is needs to continue along the well-worn path. This is not so much out of cowardice or stupidity, though there are those as well, but the understanding that their jobs depend on being applauded by the least common denominators of entrenched values.

This is a point I keep trying to make. It absolutely doesn't matter whether "global warming" as anyone defines it is the Truth. What matters is that we have a responsibility to our planet if we intend to continue to live here. This is in fact not so much about the planet (notice, no matter your position on global warming, in the article I forwarded that the trees enjoy the extra carbon). Gaea seems to be quite capable. Responsible stewardship is about enlightened self-interest (so much more useful than morality or love).

Money? Money is a servant of man, not having anything to do with Mother Earth. We don't need to spend money on Mom, we need to spend the mind time engaging in respect.

I have read The Bible (old and new in English translations). Those books are NOT written by a god. They don't claim to be. They are quite clearly written by men who thought they knew something.

As to the biblical stuff, probably mostly history related by those who kept the stories, therefore like most history, interwoven with whatever fiction made the story better. It does amaze me that 21st century human beings try to pass this collection of stories off as "the word of God." Why would God need to quote Himself? The only word of God I remember in The Bible was inscribed on clay tablets and given to Moses to bring down from the mountain. Tellingly, these include injunctions against worshipping other Gods. Yahweh knew he was one of many, as did the people he coopted as His.

So many kids these days of the diagnose and drug paradigm don't get to learn how to be and belong within themselves, how to learn the gift of their difference. Not saying that I would wish that kind of solitary hell on them. What we need is a paradigm of caregivers that teach rather than drug.

My understanding is that Satan is the manifestation of hubris -- acting as if one is the great judge against men. Each of us is our own manifestation of the possibilities of creation. Better to enjoy that sacred role, which if accepted completely leaves no room for the negativity of dividing our neighbors into this or that.

Markets are inflated in their array of nonessential products. Marketing makes the nonessential seem essential. Some, aware of time's purpose of keeping all from happening at once, money's purpose of keeping a reign on consumption, prefer to wait for more propitious times to invest in products they have decided to want. Or maybe they like the anticipation of delayed gratification. Especially when stressed out beyond reason, though, people tend to grasp for the quick fix of the consumption drug.

There are those who scoff
at the mere physical
the mere technically "real"
Can reality be more compelling
than the retelling
drenched in redolent imagination

blood commands power
lifeforce, dripping toward death
"Give to me! I offer most precious payment."

delicious sweet juice
fingertips to lips

America is meant to be a liberal state: experimenting with the radical idea that individual human liberty is more important than group think.

It is truly sad that there are so many people with such boring lives.

Wind is the wildest metaphor
swift, strong, fleeting,
or warmly wisping, gently
lapping, coolly emoting
storm of sensory excess
creating clarity of the moment's

If we don't want single-payer healthcare administered by the government, and we can't get it together to have private nonprofit single-payer, at least there ought to be a system in place for medical facilities to be required to work out reasonable payment plans with their patients, possibly sweetened with tax advantages or backed by philanthropic funds or subscriptions paid by those who can (kind of like PBS). In any case, some way has to be found by this society to make medical care a blessing rather than a burden.

Kids, older people, we're all those nasty creatures with our own internal dialogs telling us who knows what as far as mere onlookers are concerned. We all go off sometimes quite inappropriately. What the kids get to learn is how to negotiate the often rocky social play of those around them as they learn to take their place. Thus, letting them know that the nasty remark of a grown-up is inappropriate makes hearing that remark in the first place worthwhile.

My high school years were certainly hell. That was back in the ancient 60's. It's not what's being done or not done today. It's the fundamental nature of imprisoning a large group of hostile hyper-hormonal energetic youth without acknowledging their frustration thus incubated.

Do you know what the most common "high" that impairs drivers often causing horrendous accidents? Lack of sleep. How are you going to test for that? The sensible course is to demand that those on the road are driving safely. How do you know if they're driving safely? Watch them. How do you stop them from driving unsafely? Traffic patrols.

many studies have shown cigarettes (or probably now that cigarettes are less cool, good old beer) as the "gateway" to drug use. We first use what is around us all the time.

The genie cannot be returned to the bottle
The law cannot control the lawless
or those who are laws unto themselves
As the cure for bad speech is more speech
not silence
the cure for violence is not suppression
but enlightened advantage

First they tortured the logic, but as we weren't logic, we did nothing

remember the old (was it in the 50s?) meaning of "tea party" (like Alice's?)? That would be something we could tax and save money by bringing into the legitimate economy.

dream imagery can be so evocative
without making sense
without kowtowing to the senses
to scientifically observable fact
running without legs or pavement
smiles lingering without cats or mirth
dense, immediate quarrels
never begun nor ended
I roll over crimson seas in a rollicking
ferryboat, bartab with no way to pay
dreaming, outside responsibility
catching glinting glimpses
open to interpretation

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