Thursday, January 20, 2011

a new hope (RAOS)

This is a very special year. It ends in lucky "11" -- which I feel signifies hope.
I am ready to create a magical, beautiful year. Please, feel free, feel hope, feel your creative energy surge. We can co-create this year to be the year we've always hoped for.
Random Acts Of Sharing - RAOS Theory
tiny pleasures, endearing secret smiles, nape of the cat's back as it purrs
The actual hard question is:  What can we do in practical, "real world" ways to create a future in which the default position is to act with respect for all?
Keeping stillness
forsake frustration,
refrain from the pleasures of remorse
Thought by thought 
blossoming rain fragrance
subtle touch
birdwings streak
creating sky
Imagine yourself in the story, and bring it back with care and love.
All is art as I as we as you as they appreciate it
Sweet words
dancing words
beautiful colors enthrall my mind
Happy words
miserable words
keep their rhythm mark my time
Words are simple sweeps of tone and cue
Never meant to hold back but to hold to
in the dark
shadow for
the Pan to lark and lounge
remark on what he's found
escape in buoyant bound
return as twirl of lasso  
to astound

Falling from dream to dream
I arise
seem to be alive
the source of will and power
to decide,
to describe
Falling into habit,
into easy lies
While in times of dream
hours disappear
will flies
All those falls are scales
from what I called my eyes
Demonic is not evil
A silly sprite, lesser deity,
running hamster supplying energy
to a whim
A devil is not
"Him we must obey"
nor first cause of pain
and good is not the only
useful, cheerful, medication
Meditation on where we've
gone and been
may find acts of balance
shunting ballast
hunting and hunted
in close embrace
No case proven for
goods v. cloven
Existence Is
If Neopagans indulged in being as hypersensitive as many Abrahamics, half the world would be toads.

Bright fire countenance
rainbow delight
casts shadow play
lilting shoulder to twinkly toes
Dance of the dark
and dawn holds mystery
twirls her away
still caught
never still
flashes of color 
her cloak of magicks
Blocking the effect of the drug will not "cure" the addict. There are so many ways to give up one's life to something, anything, out there. Rather than mess with some specific substance, find an addiction the person can better live with and transfer. Or, of course, help them to find a better life.
Thinking of people as sheep who need herding is not helpful to you, those people, or the concept of sheep (who actually can be quite aggressive and self-directed).
Of course folks will want you to think for them if they are given to believe that you think better than they. Why not throw out some tools and thought games for them to play in? Or simply inform them that you are not their guru.
If you still believe in Santa, if you still believe in family, if you still believe in holiday good cheer
No wonder you feel betrayed
Forget Christmas, New Year, 4th of July, et al
Create your own holidays
To one degree or another, in one guise or another, those in power do their damnedest to be more powerful. But then, those who are not impressed by the power game create their own lives, sow the seeds of their own values. Which fruit tastes better, is more nourishing?
The problem with shutting down the wars is economic (as well as political). Where would be put those who have gone into the military as a means to survive? What would we do with all the people currently living on the war industries? When the military budget is seen as sacrosanct, this is not about security/defense so much as the defense industry, which is to some extent the backbone of our current economy.

The real problem with the American economy is that it is being strangled from the top. If we would rethink our policies geared to the interests of the major corporations, let them loose, we could more easily develop the mean, lean competitive instincts of the American entrepreneurial spirit creating plenty of wealth and employment for us all.
 often corporations create "needs" and "wants" to sell their products -- subtle (or not so) forms of mind control. I am beginning to believe we need to take the profit motive out of business.

In the healing temple
Dark circles wander through halls of wonders
Taste the ashes, tuck forgivenesses into pockets
long shredded with unbound despair, disrepair
Deep into the night of chanting and sacrifice
mist, coalescing water, acid rain
cleanse for slaughter
Most trenchant fear, angers and traditions painted into blood
run free into droplets
mix with rain
mix with mist
mix with ritual
Expunged, ready for journey
Arise, give thanks and alms,
Touch the hand of healing
Join and be free
We can eat whatever we are drawn to eating, and enjoy it to the fullest. A luxurious taste carries few calories. Keep up the quality -- not the quantity.
Everybody hates the mystics, which is kind of weird as we tend to come from a place of peace and love.
We are told we need to be treated like cattle because of terrorist violence. The kind of terrorist violence that actually happens (more than once and then boosters of fake attack scares), that actually results in the deaths of innocent bystanders in the USA is the lone lunatic who has had too much going berserk with firearms in crowded public venues, usually before offing themselves as well.
I am in the thinking stage of writing a story about magic/desire/living the life we desire, as a kind of meditation to help me learn the essence of my desires, of my life, of giving up on restriction and punishment in the pursuit of joy.
I am tired of the silly reactions of so many "believers" to those who believe differently.
obviously you can't tell those folks anything. They are too full of their own mythologies for anything else to filter through. However, they are a very small minority of folks in general. We can let them enjoy their fantasy as we learn the practical lessons of life.
perhaps all people of good faith need to come together and protest those of bad faith (whatever "religious" excuse is attached to those who "worship" by attack).
It's a conundrum. No law will keep someone intent on ill-doing from doing ill. What will? Or, failing keeping ill-doing from occurring, what can be done to keep it to a minimum and ameliorate its effects? Personally, I believe more freedom is better than less. Perhaps, as in Louis Brandeis's opinion on Free Speech, the remedy to bad acts is not inaction, but better acts? I have been feeling what is missing from our understanding of "freedom" is that true freedom requires utmost responsibility. (something like what Dylan said: "To live outside the law [we] must be honest.")
Hatred is certainly not a useful tool in working out conflict. Even if we believe someone deserves the epithets, calling them out is not likely to result in a happy result. Yes, we get angry and frustrated and need to vent. Vent away within your circle; then figure out how to give peace a real chance.
Kind of the point of mental illness (or maybe more the useful definition) is that one is operating from a delusional perspective. However, dreadful acts on the public stage can be used to good effect in bringing up dialogs about how to better treat each other, how to better serve common goals in public discourse. The kinds of socially acceptable hate rhetoric could be said to be evidence that we are socially operating from a delusional perspective. Perhaps we could meditate on the idea of usefully treating that insanity.
Personal responsibility is the only viable solution. When we are responsible we do come together and create laws to help us to live together. Without responsibility as the underpinning, law means nothing more than brute force.
On a more practical level, what I do to you affects what you do to me or others. Karma is not just some woo-woo mystical crap. In the very real world actions have consequences.
 we ought to listen to our kids all the time and take what they tell us seriously. And most especially, after all this time and all these tragedies, we have to take bullying out of the schools.
People change all the time, every day. The way they change is what we care about.
Mindfulness Meditation is not just for Buddhists anymore. There are more and more scientific studies indicating its effectiveness for a variety of issues having nothing to do with religion.
The only one who can change you is you. But you have to have the resources to even learn how to change, what you can change, what would be the changes that would be of benefit or harm. Instead of teaching, we tend to preach or complain or think somehow kids figure it out for themselves -- which they do, but not necessarily well. People usually "abuse" not substances, but themselves because they are trying to feel better. If we could be a more balance-oriented society we might find that a little bit of medicine goes a long way when we have a better idea of the whole picture, or that there are better ways to feel better when we understand what better actually might be.
The buzz about mental illness seems to be about some monolithic disease that we can devise solutions for. Yet, mental illness is not "brain disease" but a catch phrase for a large variety of situations. There are the learning disabilities and the autistic spectrum and the schizophrenias, mood disorders, personality disorders -- and none of these are even well understood. For the most part we are looking at different ways of processing information from the norm. And the norm is not really normal or any kind of fixed definition.
The problem is not with mental illness, but with the often concomitant social illnesses -- people treated as "other" and kept out of the mainstream social maelstrom both through their own confusions, overwhelmed sensitivities, and such and from the responses they get from those around them.
Perhaps we need more public dialog on mental illness, that we all better understand the kinds of dissociative and delusional thought that, really, we all experience at times. I have recently seen a tv ad talking about how important friendship is to those with mental illness. It has been shown in various studies that real, honest human interaction can be better than drugs or other treatments that do not adequately show respect for the mentally ill person's humanity and healing ability. Yet, I do understand we often feel uncomfortable in the presence of those who are not "normal," probably for good reason in terms of what may be a threat to our own safety. Perhaps we need safe havens in all of our communities where people can relate in more meaningful ways than is usual.
This kid was nothing like "pure evil." He was disturbed, confused, agitated beyond control, fixated on getting seen. He did not need locking up or medication or shock treatments or the pariah status he lived with. He needed attention and compassionate interaction and easily found solutions that did not come from the barrel of a gun.
Mental illness does not make one a killer. Social ignorance, shame, the ugly fighting that we accept as norm, these progress into murder.
Their child was never born. They are confronted by a stranger with their familial cast mocking them. The child has no world, has no fixed identity or safety. It doesn't understand why it is wrong, only that it is wrong and needs punishment or fixing or maybe its the world that is wrong and there is nothing to be done or maybe I can make it right. Delusions ensue, because, you know, reality is not real. And they (the parents, the world, the school, the neighbor, the doctor, anyone, any crumbling spirit that can see and learn a way to say) could make it better, could reach out a rope, a net, a hand -- but they look away, embarrassed, fearful, angry for what they have lost that they had told themselves they earned. Or, if they look it is only for a moment, until something better attracts their attention, or it is with misery or hatred or blame. No protocol? No useful response? What is needed is true human to human communication that keeps reaching.
The original idea with the deinstitutionalization movement was to get people out of the sick warehouses with shock treatment and general degradation into community halfway houses in which they could learn to be more socially functional. In that era of cutting any costs for "social welfare" while increasing the debt through various insane initiatives to look "tough" (I guess the whole meme was "tough"), we got mentally ill former patients on the streets getting crazier all the time.

There are all kinds of environmental and health policy issues affecting health. Perhaps our well-touted high cost of healthcare ought to be ameliorated by sufficiently fining those who contribute to unhealthy conditions.
People talk about free-market, let the mystical/practical hand of the market decide -- kind of like that whole "Zeitgeist" movement, don't ya think. The thing is, actual "capitalism" of the kind they think they yearn for is only ever reality in unregulated places ("failed" states or social chaos), like look at Somalia. Capitalism, like Socialism, like Communism, like Keynesianism or any economic theory is just a theory, ideas, mental sex to keep us warm on dark cold nights of the soul. Reality is never so straight-forward or easily managed. In the places that have relative economic success (people pretty much trading at will and getting what they need) there is no serious state economic theory, but a giving and taking, a compromising and sharing, based on the current conditions.
We ought to have a discouragement tax on "Wall Street" invented investments, a sales tax for each transaction on this gambling that gets legitimized as investment. The investments usefully encouraged are those that help businesses prosper, not those that make a virtue of cynicism.
People like to complain about the government. It gives them a slice of cold wind through their throat that may soothe them into feeling like they are doing something.
 We don't have to sit back and complain about the government. We can, if we can find like-minded or at least motivated and intelligent co-actors, develop small community solutions that spread like memes.
The "left" is scared of violent rhetoric and possible action from the "right". The "right" is scared of government takeover and possible tyranny from the "left". The fear coagulates, solidifies, engulfs. Couldn't we just, you know, talk, nicely, clearly, as if we care about getting along and making the whole better?
Partisans get so locked into the fight of all against all. Talking points become the fashion, get the attention, while actual thought goes unnoticed.
I have noticed in Republican rhetoric a tendency to ascribe to the opponent that which one (if sufficiently self-aware) sees as faults in the ascriber. Thus, if I am hyperbolically vicious in my rhetoric, I fault my criticizers as being that way toward me, kind of a preemptive defense.
 The US Constitution is remarkably concise and clear. People who make these big arguments are doing so for their own benefit, as with any structure made of words -- what the meaning of "is" is..
I think it needs to be pointed out that First Amendment "Freedom of Speech" is (like most Constitutional protections) about the balance of power between the individual and the state. There is no restriction as such on private or other nongovernmental restrictions. Thus shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater could be covered by private rules of theater owners who want to avoid the expense or loss of business that could result.
The 2nd Amendment speaks to a well-regulated militia, implying if not outright yelling that rights demand responsibility and well-regulated control is not tyranny. Look: we have people with conflicting fears -- those who fear that not being able to keep and carry any weapon they may currently like is a first step on a slippery slope to tyranny in which the government has the guns and the citizenry is f__ed; those who fear their armed neighbors who may become intoxicated or angry or mentally ill or otherwise irrational and shoot them for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. To denigrate either set of fears is to be whistling in the dark and hoping all is well. Much better to pretend we are, you know, a democracy, people discussing, debating, coming to compromises that, if far from perfect, at least everyone can feel they have a voice in.
There is no need or even possibility of regulating guns. Guns have no self-awareness. We are only talking about regulating human behavior -- which we do in public and private, consciously and unconsciously, all the time, with mixed results.
Simple logic dictates that guns are not self-aware; people are. This is a statement of fact, certainly understood by the Founders. They made no Amendment attesting to the governability of inanimate objects.
I would like to see the kinds of regulation we have for operating deadly machinery on public roads as a template for gun control. Simple written and operation exams before licensing; licensing before public carrying.
Doesn't it give pause and discomfort, though, to realize the extremity of anxiety on the part of many who vociferously advocate for uncontrolled arms?
The argument that laws don't stop criminals because criminals don't obey laws is to some extent a fallacious assumption. Most criminals do obey most laws. They obviously have broken the laws that result in their definition as criminal; but there are an awful lot of laws. In fact most people probably do break some laws, knowingly or unknowingly. Thus, most people are criminals, while being basically law-abiding.
There is always plenty of work to do for those who are so inclined. The perceived need for monetization of work seems to keep people from doing what could in fact lead to developing skill trading and mutual benefit.
Maybe it is time we stopped acting as if economists were "professionals" or scientists or any more than fiction writers.
Economies are collapsing, like ice caps are melting, in response to rapid change. Sooner or later, if we keep our heads, we'll figure it out. Long before that, the general trend of people needing and wanting will trigger more intelligent business models ... or not.
Job creation is not up to big business. It is up to us, individually and in collaboration.
Socialism is the society getting together and deciding to share as they agree. Communism is ownership of the means of production by those who do the producing as opposed to those who gamble with the lives of labor in an effort to make money equal wealth.
The only free market capitalism exists in failed states where the strongest warlord rules by market demand.
The point is that economic theories are THEORIES -- and not like scientific theories such as "evolution." They are ideas that people worked out, wrote about, discussed. In the real world, "on the ground," life is not so well-organized. We have no pure economies. It makes sense to not cling to some impossible ideal, but work out what works best for the people of a given time and place.
 the haphazard nature of reality does not provide an ideal environment for testing theories. The actual is so much more complicated. Thus, of course we don't do well if we try to fit reality to our ideals. However, if we keep clear values central in our planning, the result is more likely to reflect those values. Thus, as we plan we look to providing useful service to the populace while allowing for as much individual liberty as we can. We keep business as honest as practical with disclosures and targeted restrictions. We continue to reevaluate and evolve our plans as the realities manifest. Thus, at best we are both flexible and strong. Equity is about balance, is about moving and making adjustments.
If we really want to stockpile for a post-apocalyptic future, I suggest seeds. Also, learn how to make potable water from whatever is available.
I've been mentally constructing a system I think I'd like to see (may fictionalize it and see how it works in that universe). Money would be created by a governmental office as needed to fund public projects, including government as such. Businesses would form around the prospect of providing goods and services to sell to government, those employed as government workers and on the publicly decided upon projects as well as the ever widening spiral of goods and services for those workers and the workers serving those workers and the workers serving ...
The scope of projects would not be limited by lack of money. We would by necessity understand that money is not a resource, just a means of exchange. The actual resources needed for the projects that are finite would be the restrictions. We would have policies to usefully, fairly, and conservatively manage our common resources, including growing those that can be (including, especially, knowledge, imagination, creative energy).
Sing for our love
Sing for our fears
Tones from above
Taste of our tears
The song keeps us warm
Keeps us strong and in tune
So sing up a storm
and let that storm
sing you

Saturday, January 1, 2011

creating 2011

This is a very special year. It ends in lucky "11" -- which I feel signifies hope. I am ready to create a magical, beautiful year. Please, feel free, feel hope, feel your creative energy surge. We can co-create this year to be the year we've always hoped for. Peace (and a very, merry New Year to you [plural]), L.