Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Her Prophet On Religion

"[F]rom a legal and an epistemological stand point, The Pentavalence is a Religion in that it emanates from Revealed, and not Empirical, Knowledge, and it is meant to operate in a religious manner. However, we in The Temple of The Pentavalence view it as a Metaphysical Operating System and, in part, this is why.

The entire concept of Religion has itself has become problematic. Religion almost always implies Dogma, a fixed ideology that says, “The world is this way. Period!” and for a modern technological civilization, that is really a non-starter. Very few things ever stay 'this way' for long in such a civilization. And the Religions that now dominate our world clash with that paradigm more and more every day and with steadily increasing violence.

The problems the JudeoChristLamic Father/God Cults have with our modern technological civilization are fairly obvious. All three are the 'metaphysical operating systems' of Bronze Age desert nomads ruled by tribal Patriarchs. Their world view is narrow and provincial and their God is a Small God, one confined, at the very least, to this world alone.

Confronted with the modern scientific reality of The Universe, He is positively Lilliputian. For His faithful, such a situation evokes Fear, then Hate, and finally, Rejection.

There are a growing number who consider Atheism to be the ideal replacement for Religion, but it too says, “The world is this way.”, though the “Period!” usually goes unspoken. Plus Atheism has two major failings, both fatal from our point of view.

First, as presently constituted, Atheism is essentially reactive, specifically a rejection of the JudeoChristLamic Father/God Cults, and every one of its tenants seem couched as a direct rebuke of said. That tends to allow the Father/God Cultists to frame all the debates and every time.

Second, Atheism also does not in any way, shape, or form, address the existential questions of Human Purpose and Existence in a vast and seemingly indifferent universe. It is utterly cold and denies the need for Spiritual solutions that Humans have sought ever since we could form the concept.

Hinduism and Buddhism contain many useful concepts, but each has its own crucial limitations.

Hinduism is really a 'cultural religion', that of India and of its people. It 'exports' poorly. Her Prophet has watched Westerners practice Hinduism and, to him at least, it always seemed a bit embarrassing, while the experience of Indian practice is usually very moving. That latter gave him an understanding of why some non-Indians would be drawn to Hinduism, but that is much akin to white folks wanting to be 'black'.

True Buddhism is essentially Nihilist, its real practice requiring a total rejection of The Material and as such it must be a rejection of any modern technological civilization, which is by its very nature is ferociously materialist. Buddhism can suit individual practitioners quite well, but is basically unsuited for a civilization. We do not include the types of Buddhism where The Buddha has been remade as a 'god'. We consider them 'apostate'.

Modern Paganism is rather a mish-mash and barely any kind of an 'ism' at all and that in and of itself makes it unsuited as the Spiritual Path of an entire civilization. Plus, it too is deeply provincial.

Pagans - at least those that we know - are humans, so their Paganism is Anthropocentric. They are generally born of two genders, so their Paganism is Dualistic. They live on Earth, so their Paganism is Geocentric. And the large majority of them here in the United States are culturally - and often racially - European, so their Paganism is Euro-centric.

But, as with Hinduism and Buddhism, Paganism contains a number of useful concepts and, like those, we of The Temple have incorporated many of them.

So, in barely five hundred words, we have just dismissed the world's five major religions and two of the most significant contemporary philo-religious movements. Such is the nature of this work."

Her Prophet Explains: Part Three - "The Temple's Grand Strategy"

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today We Are Six

~There are a number of calender events that are important to The Temple.

May 27th, 1996, Memorial Day of that year, when I saw The Craft and was inspired to create the stories of the Vēkkan Sisterhood's Universe, the key element in leading me to the actual Craft itself and to calling myself Witch.

January 31st, 1997, the evening when the mad and lovely Sarah L held open the portal that E came through, a Being who informed me that She was now going to be my Spirit Guide and then began to tell me in no uncertain terms just how that was going to work.

Those few days in early October of 2001, their specific dates now lost to me, when E first dictated
The Pentavalent to me, the Precepts that are shaping and guiding The Temple into becoming The New Matriarchy, that Global Amazon Republic I'm so fond of promoting.

These are all important dates. But...

Today is The Most Important Date, The Temple's actual birthday, August 30th, 2004. On that day, late in the afternoon, I first set the words The Temple of The Pentavalent upon paper and then wrote a brief outline of what it could become. I still have that thin spiral notebook.

As I have said in
The Explanation, the idea for a 'house of women' had been put forth to me back in the previous March by Kat K, my oldest friend and the Sister who began this Path with me when were teenagers.

Note that I do not include my own birthday here. I am merely a vehicle for this Work. Today shall become a Festival Day, the day that celebrates not the birth of the guide, but The Birth of The Path.

Today marks The Birth of Our Future.

Note: In 2004, August 30th was the 243rd calendar day, as '04 was Leap Year. So while the present calendar is in use, we shall use 8/30, which is usually the 242nd calendar day, as The Temple's Birthday Festival.

But the calendar will change.

I do not see a Matriarchy using months named after Roman male gods and autocrats. Then, whatever day of that calendar is 243rd, that day shall be designated for The Temple's Birthday Festival. How the years themselves will be numbered remains to be seen, though I fully expect a Matriarchy will defenestrate Anno Domini as well.

Also See The Temple's Flag Here

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ill Fares the Land

From The New York Review of Books
By Tony Judt
April 29, 2010

Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: Is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them.

The materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears “natural” today dates from the 1980s: the obsession with wealth creation, the cult of privatization and the private sector, the growing disparities of rich and poor. And above all, the rhetoric that accompanies these: uncritical admiration for unfettered markets, disdain for the public sector, the delusion of endless growth.

We cannot go on living like this. The little crash of 2008 was a reminder that unregulated capitalism is its own worst enemy: sooner or later it must fall prey to its own excesses and turn again to the state for rescue. But if we do no more than pick up the pieces and carry on as before, we can look forward to greater upheavals in years to come.

And yet we seem unable to conceive of alternatives. This too is something new. Until quite recently, public life in liberal societies was conducted in the shadow of a debate between defenders of “capitalism” and its critics: usually identified with one or another form of “socialism.” By the 1970s this debate had lost much of its meaning for both sides; all the same, the “left–right” distinction served a useful purpose. It provided a peg on which to hang critical commentary about contemporary affairs.

On the left, Marxism was attractive to generations of young people if only because it offered a way to take one’s distance from the status quo. Much the same was true of classical conservatism: a well-grounded distaste for over-hasty change gave a home to those reluctant to abandon long-established routines. Today, neither left nor right can find their footing.

For thirty years students have been complaining to me that “it was easy for you”: your generation had ideals and ideas, you believed in something, you were able to change things. “We” (the children of the Eighties, the Nineties, the “Aughts”) have nothing. In many respects my students are right. It was easy for us—just as it was easy, at least in this sense, for the generations who came before us. The last time a cohort of young people expressed comparable frustration at the emptiness of their lives and the dispiriting purposelessness of their world was in the 1920s: it is not by chance that historians speak of a “lost generation.”

If young people today are at a loss, it is not for want of targets. Any conversation with students or schoolchildren will produce a startling checklist of anxieties. Indeed, the rising generation is acutely worried about the world it is to inherit. But accompanying these fears there is a general sentiment of frustration: “we” know something is wrong and there are many things we don’t like. But what can we believe in? What should we do?

This is an ironic reversal of the attitudes of an earlier age. Back in the era of self-assured radical dogma, young people were far from uncertain. The characteristic tone of the 1960s was that of overweening confidence: we knew just how to fix the world. It was this note of unmerited arrogance that partly accounts for the reactionary backlash that followed; if the left is to recover its fortunes, some modesty will be in order. All the same, you must be able to name a problem if you wish to solve it.

I wrote my book Ill Fares the Land for young people on both sides of the Atlantic. American readers may be struck by the frequent references to social democracy. Here in the United States, such references are uncommon. When journalists and commentators advocate public expenditure on social objectives, they are more likely to describe themselves—and be described by their critics—as “liberals.” But this is confusing. “Liberal” is a venerable and respectable label and we should all be proud to wear it. But like a well-designed outer coat, it conceals more than it displays.

A liberal is someone who opposes interference in the affairs of others: who is tolerant of dissenting attitudes and unconventional behavior. Liberals have historically favored keeping other people out of our lives, leaving individuals the maximum space in which to live and flourish as they choose. In their extreme form, such attitudes are associated today with self-styled “libertarians,” but the term is largely redundant. Most genuine liberals remain disposed to leave other people alone.

Social democrats, on the other hand, are something of a hybrid. They share with liberals a commitment to cultural and religious tolerance. But in public policy social democrats believe in the possibility and virtue of collective action for the collective good. Like most liberals, social democrats favor progressive taxation in order to pay for public services and other social goods that individuals cannot provide themselves; but whereas many liberals might see such taxation or public provision as a necessary evil, a social democratic vision of the good society entails from the outset a greater role for the state and the public sector.

Understandably, social democracy is a hard sell in the United States. One of my goals is to suggest that government can play an enhanced role in our lives without threatening our liberties—and to argue that, since the state is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, we would do well to think about what sort of a state we want. In any case, much that was best in American legislation and social policy over the course of the twentieth century—and that we are now urged to dismantle in the name of efficiency and “less government”—corresponds in practice to what Europeans have called “social democracy.” Our problem is not what to do; it is how to talk about it.

The European dilemma is somewhat different. Many European countries have long practiced something resembling social democracy: but they have forgotten how to preach it. Social democrats today are defensive and apologetic. Critics who claim that the European model is too expensive or economically inefficient have been allowed to pass unchallenged. And yet, the welfare state is as popular as ever with its beneficiaries: nowhere in Europe is there a constituency for abolishing public health services, ending free or subsidized education, or reducing public provision of transport and other essential services.

I want to challenge conventional wisdom on both sides of the Atlantic. To be sure, the target has softened considerably. In the early years of this century, the “Washington consensus” held the field. Everywhere you went there was an economist or “expert” expounding the virtues of deregulation, the minimal state, and low taxation. Anything, it seemed, that the public sector could do, private individuals could do better.

The Washington doctrine was everywhere greeted by ideological cheerleaders: from the profiteers of the “Irish miracle” (the property-bubble boom of the “Celtic Tiger”) to the doctrinaire ultra-capitalists of former Communist Europe. Even “old Europeans” were swept up in the wake. The EU’s free- market project (the so-called “Lisbon agenda”); the enthusiastic privatization plans of the French and German governments: all bore witness to what its French critics described as the new ” pensée unique.”

Today there has been a partial awakening. To avert national bankruptcies and wholesale banking collapse, governments and central bankers have performed remarkable policy reversals, liberally dispersing public money in pursuit of economic stability and taking failed companies into public control without a second thought. A striking number of free-market economists, worshipers at the feet of Milton Friedman and his Chicago colleagues, have lined up to don sackcloth and ashes and swear allegiance to the memory of John Maynard Keynes.

This is all very gratifying. But it hardly constitutes an intellectual revolution. Quite the contrary: as the response of the Obama administration suggests, the reversion to Keynesian economics is but a tactical retreat. Much the same may be said of New Labour, as committed as ever to the private sector in general and the London financial markets in particular. To be sure, one effect of the crisis has been to dampen the ardor of continental Europeans for the “Anglo-American model”; but the chief beneficiaries have been those same center-right parties once so keen to emulate Washington.

In short, the practical need for strong states and interventionist governments is beyond dispute. But no one is “re-thinking” the state. There remains a marked reluctance to defend the public sector on grounds of collective interest or principle. It is striking that in a series of European elections following the financial meltdown, social democratic parties consistently did badly; notwithstanding the collapse of the market, they proved conspicuously unable to rise to the occasion.

If it is to be taken seriously again, the left must find its voice. There is much to be angry about: growing inequalities of wealth and opportunity; injustices of class and caste; economic exploitation at home and abroad; corruption and money and privilege occluding the arteries of democracy. But it will no longer suffice to identify the shortcomings of “the system” and then retreat, Pilate-like, indifferent to consequences. The irresponsible rhetorical grandstanding of decades past did not serve the left well.

We have entered an age of insecurity—economic insecurity, physical insecurity, political insecurity. The fact that we are largely unaware of this is small comfort: few in 1914 predicted the utter collapse of their world and the economic and political catastrophes that followed. Insecurity breeds fear. And fear—fear of change, fear of decline, fear of strangers and an unfamiliar world—is corroding the trust and interdependence on which civil societies rest.

All change is disruptive. We have seen that the specter of terrorism is enough to cast stable democracies into turmoil. Climate change will have even more dramatic consequences. Men and women will be thrown back upon the resources of the state. They will look to their political leaders and representatives to protect them: open societies will once again be urged to close in upon themselves, sacrificing freedom for “security.” The choice will no longer be between the state and the market, but between two sorts of state. It is thus incumbent upon us to reconceive the role of government. If we do not, others will.

The Way We Live Now

All around us, even in a recession, we see a level of individual wealth unequaled since the early years of the twentieth century. Conspicuous consumption of redundant consumer goods—houses, jewelry, cars, clothing, tech toys—has greatly expanded over the past generation. In the US, the UK, and a handful of other countries, financial transactions have largely displaced the production of goods or services as the source of private fortunes, distorting the value we place upon different kinds of economic activity. The wealthy, like the poor, have always been with us. But relative to everyone else, they are today wealthier and more conspicuous than at any time in living memory. Private privilege is easy to understand and describe. It is rather harder to convey the depths of public squalor into which we have fallen.

Private Affluence, Public Squalor

No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.

—Adam Smith

Poverty is an abstraction, even for the poor. But the symptoms of collective impoverishment are all about us. Broken highways, bankrupt cities, collapsing bridges, failed schools, the unemployed, the underpaid, and the uninsured: all suggest a collective failure of will. These shortcomings are so endemic that we no longer know how to talk about what is wrong, much less set about repairing it. And yet something is seriously amiss. Even as the US budgets tens of billions of dollars on a futile military campaign in Afghanistan, we fret nervously at the implications of any increase in public spending on social services or infrastructure.

To understand the depths to which we have fallen, we must first appreciate the scale of the changes that have overtaken us. From the late nineteenth century until the 1970s, the advanced societies of the West were all becoming less unequal. Thanks to progressive taxation, government subsidies for the poor, the provision of social services, and guarantees against acute misfortune, modern democracies were shedding extremes of wealth and poverty.

To be sure, great differences remained. The essentially egalitarian countries of Scandinavia and the considerably more diverse societies of southern Europe remained distinctive; and the English-speaking lands of the Atlantic world and the British Empire continued to reflect long-standing class distinctions. But each in its own way was affected by the growing intolerance of immoderate inequality, initiating public provision to compensate for private inadequacy.

Over the past thirty years we have thrown all this away. To be sure, “we” varies with country. The greatest extremes of private privilege and public indifference have resurfaced in the US and the UK: epicenters of enthusiasm for deregulated market capitalism. Although countries as far apart as New Zealand and Denmark, France and Brazil have expressed periodic interest in deregulation, none has matched Britain or the United States in their unwavering thirty-year commitment to the unraveling of decades of social legislation and economic oversight.

In 2005, 21.2 percent of US national income accrued to just 1 percent of earners. Contrast 1968, when the CEO of General Motors took home, in pay and benefits, about sixty-six times the amount paid to a typical GM worker. Today the CEO of Wal-Mart earns nine hundred times the wages of his average employee. Indeed, the wealth of the Wal-Mart founder’s family in 2005 was estimated at about the same ($90 billion) as that of the bottom 40 percent of the US population: 120 million people.

The UK too is now more unequal—in incomes, wealth, health, education, and life chances—than at any time since the 1920s. There are more poor children in the UK than in any other country of the European Union. Since 1973, inequality in take-home pay increased more in the UK than anywhere except the US. Most of the new jobs created in Britain in the years 1977–2007 were at either the very high or the very low end of the pay scale.

The consequences are clear. There has been a collapse in intergenerational mobility: in contrast to their parents and grandparents, children today in the UK as in the US have very little expectation of improving upon the condition into which they were born. The poor stay poor. (See Figures 1 and 2.) Economic disadvantage for the overwhelming majority translates into ill health, missed educational opportunity, and—increasingly—the familiar symptoms of depression: alcoholism, obesity, gambling, and minor criminality. The unemployed or underemployed lose such skills as they have acquired and become chronically superfluous to the economy. Anxiety and stress, not to mention illness and early death, frequently follow.

Income disparity exacerbates the problems. Thus the incidence of mental illness correlates closely to income in the US and the UK, whereas the two indices are quite unrelated in all continental European countries. Even trust, the faith we have in our fellow citizens, corresponds negatively with differences in income: between 1983 and 2001, mistrustfulness increased markedly in the US, the UK, and Ireland—three countries in which the dogma of unregulated individual self-interest was most assiduously applied to public policy. In no other country was a comparable increase in mutual mistrust to be found.

Even within individual countries, inequality plays a crucial role in shaping peoples’ lives. In the United States, for example, your chances of living a long and healthy life closely track your income: residents of wealthy districts can expect to live longer and better. Young women in poorer states of the US are more likely to become pregnant in their teenage years—and their babies are less likely to survive—than their peers in wealthier states. In the same way, a child from a disfavored district has a higher chance of dropping out of high school than if his parents have a steady mid-range income and live in a prosperous part of the country. As for the children of the poor who remain in school: they will do worse, achieve lower scores, and obtain less fulfilling and lower-paid employment.

Inequality, then, is not just unattractive in itself; it clearly corresponds to pathological social problems that we cannot hope to address unless we attend to their underlying cause. There is a reason why infant mortality, life expectancy, criminality, the prison population, mental illness, unemployment, obesity, malnutrition, teenage pregnancy, illegal drug use, economic insecurity, personal indebtedness, and anxiety are so much more marked in the US and the UK than they are in continental Europe. (See Figures 3, 4, and 5.)

The wider the spread between the wealthy few and the impoverished many, the worse the social problems: a statement that appears to be true for rich and poor countries alike. What matters is not how affluent a country is but how unequal it is. Thus Sweden and Finland, two of the world’s wealthiest countries by per capita income or GDP, have a very narrow gap separating their richest from their poorest citizens—and they consistently lead the world in indices of measurable well-being. Conversely, the United States, despite its huge aggregate wealth, always comes low on such measures. We spend vast sums on health care, but life expectancy in the US remains below Bosnia and just above Albania. (See Figure 6.)

Inequality is corrosive. It rots societies from within. The impact of material differences takes a while to show up: but in due course competition for status and goods increases; people feel a growing sense of superiority (or inferiority) based on their possessions; prejudice toward those on the lower rungs of the social ladder hardens; crime spikes and the pathologies of social disadvantage become ever more marked. The legacy of unregulated wealth creation is bitter indeed.1

As recently as the 1970s, the idea that the point of life was to get rich and that governments existed to facilitate this would have been ridiculed: not only by capitalism’s traditional critics but also by many of its staunchest defenders. Relative indifference to wealth for its own sake was widespread in the postwar decades. In a survey of English schoolboys taken in 1949, it was discovered that the more intelligent the boy the more likely he was to choose an interesting career at a reasonable wage over a job that would merely pay well.2 Today’s schoolchildren and college students can imagine little else but the search for a lucrative job.

How should we begin to make amends for raising a generation obsessed with the pursuit of material wealth and indifferent to so much else? Perhaps we might start by reminding ourselves and our children that it wasn’t always thus. Thinking “economistically,” as we have done now for thirty years, is not intrinsic to humans. There was a time when we ordered our lives differently.

—This essay is drawn from the opening chapter of Tony Judt’s newly published book, Ill Fares the Land (Penguin).

  1. The best recent statement of this argument comes in Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger (Bloomsbury Press, 2010). I am indebted to them for much of the material in this excerpt.

  2. See T.H. Marshall and Tom Bottomore, Citizenship and Social Class (London: Pluto, 1992), p. 48.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Death is My Co-Pilot

...originally posted on Sep. 20th, 2002 at 12:54 AM...

~Today, in 'another universe', I died in a car crash.

I drove up to Glendale this afternoon, taking Mulholland Drive on the first leg. Going around one curve, one I've gone around many times, I saw a man on the verge of the cliff, videotaping some the incredible houses that line that stretch. I had a powerful urge to look back at him, but resisted.

However, I felt that 'somewhere else', I had not resisted. And that I went straight over the edge of that curve. I could really see and feel the vehicle become airborne as it flew out and down into the canyon. I shut that off before...well, before.

The vision was crystal clear. Rarely have I had one with such a full spectrum of senses: visual, [I could see everything sharply] auditory, [I could hear the silence as the vehicle lost contact with the road surface] knistetic, [I could feel the pull in my stomach as the vehicle plunged].

I'm not sure how to interpret this. E tells me that is to 'confirm' my presence here, in 'this plain'. You see, I was driving to an STD clinic. I have a slight discharge, probably because I have been 'abusing myself' a bit too vigorously and irritated my urethra. I've done that a couple of times before, though not for decades. My last sex partner is fine, no symptoms. And we used protection.

But my negativity tells me that I have...well, you know, and that I'm going to die, because I do not deserve to live, I do not deserve to be happy, that I do not deserve to be loved, that I only deserve misery and a painful death. Alone.

I won't have the results to two weeks. Meantime, I'll go to the DV Cam seminar on Saturday* and pretend "I'm fine."

*I was trying to get a small film off the ground at the time.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


~Next Saturday in my birthday. [please save the 'best wishes' for later..that's not the point of the statement]

Throughout most of my adult life at the beginning of August I would start to slide into a depression which by this time of the month would be pretty dark and deep. And with each passing year it got darker and deeper and started earlier and earlier.

The Central Issue was that I was trapped by both my own emotional damage and by my insane family system and each birthday was a benchmark of that captivity.

Being 'the scapegoat' I was not allowed to get better. When I was younger and an active dope fiend, that was an easy gig. But as I got sober and older and found my skills as an artist, then things got brutal. Overt sabotage was now required to keep me in my 'proper role'.

Two simple examples...

The first is when my brother showed me this Notary Public gig. It could start a cash flow for me and was mobile. I only needed a $170 to do the certification course, which included the seal and the whole nine yards.

Mumsie was very supportive until it came time to pony up the cash. Then she choked and at least had the decency to be embarrassed as this was something practical that had come from within the family system.

The second was when I sold my old SAAB. The tranny was shot and my buyer liked to rebuild them. I got $500 for it which was going to be my production budget on Night And The Stars. I had made it clear that was the only reason I would let go of that car.

But Mumsie demanded every fucking penny of it and did so with anger. That I dared make even a lil piss-ant movie when Evil Step Father could not get fucking arrested in Hollywood was utterly unacceptable.

This is not to 'cry victim'. I had painted myself into this corner and to get out I would have to confront some terrible fears, which it turned out were not as bad as I had expected, though they were no cakewalk either.

But every effort was being made to keep me locked into being the scapegoat. That's not an exaggeration. There were times when I was literally told that 'everything would be fine' if it were not for me.

When I would ask for specifics or bring up Mumsie's alcoholism or how the Evil Step Father had let his partners steal roughly forty million bucks from him over the years, I was screamed at for being 'ungrateful' and threatened with being thrown out.

By March of 2002 things had gotten so bad I had decided that unless something significant changed in my life I planned to kill myself a week or so after my fiftieth birthday. However a girl showed up and gave me reason to live. [yeah, that was easy]

But shit was still heinous come 2003 and finally The Universe manifested my Worst Fear and I did in fact become homeless...and free.

So, what is all this about?

The last few weeks I've been fucking twitchy as fuck. And I was getting worried. But then this afternoon, while I was trying to nap, it hit me like a smacker-o-blurdy! “It's your fucking birthday!!” I felt the twitchiness drain away.

I'd basically forgotten how this still carries pain and trauma. I'm a fuck load better these days. I have support and Purpose and even a long shot chance at doing what I've set out to do. But while some of the old wounds have healed, some are still raw and some may never heal. That's just the way it is....

PS By talking about this publicly I am committing the worst sin in that family system. I'm violating the Law of Looking Good. Well, ya know what, shit's tough all over.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Quote of The Day

"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~George Santayana

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mae West

On August 17, 1892, Mae West was born in Brooklyn. A talented child performer, she became a regular on the Vaudeville circuit and Broadway stage while still a teenager.

In the mid-1920s, she began writing, producing, and starring in her own plays, the most famous being "Diamond Lil" in 1928. Her plays were filled with suggestive dialogue and sexual innuendo, shocking many at the time. West served several brief jail sentences for obscenity, garnering great publicity for her plays.

After moving to California in 1932, she became part of cinema history for starring in (and often writing the scripts for) such classic films as "She Done Him Wrong," "Klondike Annie," "My Little Chickadee," and "I'm No Angel." West was a talented writer, a dazzling stage presence, and the most famous sex symbol of her time. In her career, she wrote and delivered many immortal lines:

"I used to be Snow White . . . but I drifted."

"Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."

"It's better to be looked over than overlooked."

"Why don't you come up sometime and see me?"
(often misquoted as "Come up and see me sometime").

"When women go wrong, men go right after them."

"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it."

"I always say, keep a diary and someday it'll keep you."

"Give a man a free hand and he'll try to put it all over you."

"It's not the men in my life that counts, it's the life in my men."

"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."

"When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better."

"Marriage is a great institution--but I'm not ready for an institution."

West also gave great repartee. In a scene in her 1928 play "Diamond Lil," a woman looks at the jewelry worn by West and says admiringly, "Goodness, what beautiful diamonds." In her inimitable manner, West replies: "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie."

The line became so popular that West reprised it in her Hollywood film debut, the 1932 movie "Night After Night." As the years went by, the line became a film classic, and so indelibly associated with West that she titled her 1959 autobiography, "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It."

In the early years of WWII, British pilots named their inflatable life jackets "Mae Wests" in honor of West's voluptuous figure. In 1941, after learning that the term and usage were being formally entered in a British dictionary, West wrote a letter to the Royal Air Force saying: "I've been in 'Who's Who' and I know what's what, but it'll be the first time I ever made the dictionary."

...via [info]manifestress

Sunday, August 15, 2010


~I've been unable to write anything these past few days. This week just about every one of our Sisters has needed serious emotional support in one form or another and part of my job is to give as much of that as possible. It did drain me badly because there was no space to really recharge.

In that regard I do note that we are not only in the Retrograde Shadow, but the Red Letter 'unstable' days started Thursday [8/12] and continue on into the Retrograde itself this Friday [8/20] and then all the way to Sunday the 29th. [Source]

The heaviest issue was some fucking Drama from a fucking Drama Queen. I'm constrained from sharing details at the moment, except to say that it was not actually going on under this roof, but off in a virtual milieu. However that has thrown the energy off in this house.

I can say that I did not have to carry the whole load myself. Each of the Sisters in question has been giving the others support where possible. That is most gratifying and the key to our future.

I'd gotten hardly any sleep Thursday/Friday and ran around a lot on Friday. But I slept a lot the past 30 hours, three sessions of six, nine, and two hours respectively. Probably take another day or two to get back up to speed.

Okay, I just sighed with relief at being able to type all that in, disjointed as it is. I've been staring at the blank page all fucking evening. Whew!

More later...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Comment...and a commentary

"Her behavior patterns are classic alcoholic behavior patterns.

First, there is the 'charm offensive' where all the best traits – often real ones too – are rolled out all bright and shiny.

Next comes the Honeymoon period [your millage may vary] where everything is Wonderful.

Then, the first act-out, some bit of Drama that gets written off as a 'passing bad mood' or 'being tired from work'.

Then more Drama, with the same excuses...often followed by profound and profuse apologies which are supposed to paper over any and all hurts “I said I'm sorry!”...but never any examinations of Causes....and Don't You Fucking Dare try to examine the cause of the Drama, you self centered bitch!

And More Drama and More Drama and More Drama...and when you finally call them on the Drama, you're either 'not understanding' or 'poking at them' or 'being selfish' or a thousand other 'me, me, me,' excuses/accusations..because THEY are Damaged and Hurt and Tired and various other things..and they usually really are those things, but such never ever gets looked at or worked on. Ever.

And it gets worse and Worse and WORSE...until the whole relationship explodes...and it's aways Your Fault because You Don't Get It or You're Selfish or some such shit. The alcoholic is never responsible for anything. It's always being done TO them.

This works for the Professional Victim, too. In truth drinking [or drugging or whatever] is never the real cause. It makes the behavior worse, but is not absolutely required. All this stems from The Thinking, that “I have been Terribly Abused and that justifies every nasty fucking bit of shit I dole out to the rest of the world...Forever.”

That they usually have been terribly abused at some point merely makes that 'alright'. And until they are Willing to take a long hard look at themselves, nothing anyone else does or does not do will make any difference.

Only hitting a Bottom will bring that about...and Bottom for a lot of folks is Dead."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Secret Agent Barbie": The Fate of Men Part 3

...originally posted on Jan 5th, 2002...

I was in Staples, the office supply store today and I saw an interactive video game called: "Secret Agent Barbie". There, on the front of the box, was America's Little Blond Sweetheart, in a black leather cat suit, preparing to 'break into enemy headquarters'. Yes, she was smiling, but it was a decidedly cold smile, very Xenia Onotop. I was rushing, so I did not read if "Secret Agent Barbie" was authorized to "Terminate with Extreme Prejudice", but, being Barbie, who is Top Of The Line all the way, the 007 scenario is a logical conclusion. However, I would not be surprised if Mattel has ducked the issue entirely, fearing the mothers who would freak out if Barbie was allowed to kill.

But that is the key to her empowerment as "Secret Agent Barbie": The permission to kill. To deny her that power is to make a mockery of the construct. And it would re-enforce the barrier upon which all women's empowerment movements have broken: the unwillingness to accept the True Nature of Power.

You are driving down a street. Your tags are current, you have obeyed all traffic regulations, you are a law abiding citizen in all ways. Flashing red lights appear in your rear view mirror. Of course, you pull over and stop. Of course. You are a law abiding citizen. You also know that if you do not stop, even though you have done nothing wrong, the police officer is authorized to stop you be all means at his or her disposal, up to, and including 'the use of deadly force'. And that is the True Nature of Power.

All societies must have a means to enforce their laws, whether a tribal village or a global superpower. Ultimately, those means have to include 'the use of deadly force'. Optimally, the laws are just and wise and fairly applied. But there are always those who choose 'follow their own law as it suits them'. Even if they commit offenses that would only bring imprisonment, if the society is unwilling or incapable of using force to bring them to justice, then 'justice' is hollow. At the very least, 'the threat of deadly force' is required to bring order. Otherwise, chaos and destruction ensue.

Woman is Mother, Nurturer, The Vessel of Life. She splits open her own body to bring forth new life, clutching that life to her, feeding it from her body. It is a connection, a bonding, that even the most loving and devoted father can only mimic. And Patriarchy has learned how to use that against Women. By re-enforcing all the 'Feminine i.e. nurturing, etc.' Aspects of Women, and striping away all the 'Masculine i.e. aggressive, etc' Aspects of Women, Patriarchy has created an Internal Slave 'aspect' that Women use to hold themselves down. "Good Girlism" is one manifestation of that. ["Good Girls don't ~you fill in the blank~"] Another is The Myth of The Peaceful Mother.

In endless Women's Studies programs and books, you will come across the tale of an "ancient prehistoric agrarian Matriarchy" that was peaceful and benign, a Golden Age that was destroyed by marauding nomad tribes, dominated by men and who worshiped a Male Sky God, the theological 'ancestor' of God The Father. Now, there is very little evidence of this society. Mostly, its existence is extrapolated from the numerous Goddess statues of pre-historic Europe. But that it existed is taken as an Article of Faith, and the lack of evidence blamed of 'male dominated archeology'.

Sounds reasonable, knowing what men are like.

But, there is an 'inconsistence'. These same Women's Studies studiously ignore The Amazons. Oh, there is a gratuitous 'tip of the hat' to them, but, mostly, silence. The Amazons make many of these scholarly women uncomfortable because they are violent and brutal, 'masculine' qualities that women 'should reject' as 'unenlightened'.

The irony here, especially for dedicated Xenites, is that the evidence for the existence of The Amazon Nations is fairly considerable. The Pontine Amazons fought several long and bloody wars with the Greeks, who recorded them extensively. [The Pontus is the ancient name of the Black Sea.] The Amazon Nations of The Pontus were believed to originally come from an Amazon Navel Confederacy that flourished in the Canary Islands in pre-historic times. There is little real evidence of them, however.

But the Pontine Amazons are part and parcel of ancient Greek history. Up until the end of the 19th Century, Troy was considered to be myth. But, there is in fact a city on the site. Several cities, built one upon the other. And during the Trojan War, a large contingent of Amazons fought alongside the Trojans against the Greeks. In fact, the story of Theseus ends with his defeat of a great Amazon army at the base of the Parthenon, which is supposedly what finally broke the power of The Pontine Amazons.

Greek history and 'legend' is populated not only with the names of Amazon Queens and Nations,complete with geographical specifics, but also with the names of Amazon warriors, formidable opponents, who obviously terrified the Greek kings and warriors. During the Trojan War, Achilles was so fearful of his Amazon opponent Penthesilea, that after he defeated her in battle and slew her, he raped her dead body to demonstrate his power over, and unrequited lust for, her.

One Greek state, Sparta, copied the Amazon system of government. The Amazons had two Queens, one was the 'civil' Queen who was responsible for 'domestic' policy. The other was a 'war' Queen, who was responsible for the preparing for, and the waging of, war. Being surround by male dominated kingdoms, she was usually kept very busy.

In the end, I believe it was biology that brought down The Amazon Nations. Not the 'weaker sex' argument, but the need for men to reproduce. [A need that modern genetic engineering will soon eliminate.] The Amazons tried several different approaches. raiding for males, 'sex' festivals on the borders to get pregnant, girl babies being kept, boy babies returned to the male kingdom. But, you can see that there is still dependence.

So, you say, this is a very lovely tale, but what is your point? It is that barrier I spoke of, the one that Women crash and burn against throughout history: the unwillingness to be Violent, which denies Women True Power. Do really think, My Sisters, that my brothers are going to give up Power to you just because it is 'the right thing to do'? If any of you do, at best, you are fooling yourself. At worst, you are betraying your Daughters. The only successful 'women's movements' in history were the one's that were willing to 'use deadly force'.

If you want to be truly free, then you had better be prepared to fight. And to kill, as well. Begin by picking up weapons. Learn to shoot: hand guns, assault rifles, swords, the various martial arts weapons like nun-chuks and tonfas. And learn to fight with your body: kick boxing, kung-fu, karate, and so on. Most of all, cultivate the willingness to use all of these weapons to the 'ultimate': the killing of another human being. If you can truly obtain that willingness, you probable will never have to use it. If you can not, stay home and bake cookies.

As a race, we are approaching an 'endgame'. Overpopulation is strangling us in many ways. And there are only two solutions to overpopulation.

One, a catastrophic event that causes a Major Die Off.

Two, the world's women gaining Absolute Sovereignty over their own bodies. And that requires True Power. A man cannot force you to do anything if he is dead.

In closing, I propose a bumper sticker: "Let Barbie Kill". It will be the beginning of a wonderful new world for Women.

..this could probably use a minor 'clean up'..


~I'm having one of these 'who you kidding?' moods, you know where I step back – or whatever – and look not at the world but just this fucking country...

The AIG Bailout Scandal

Real Estate: The Worrying Numbers Behind Underwater Homeowners

6 Charts That Suggest The Unemployment Crisis Is WORSE Than It Looks

Labor Force Loses Half a Million Women in last 3 Months

Google and Verizon's net neutrality proposal explained

...and I think about my 'path' and my 'mission' and I say to myself “Who you kidding, buddy? You really think you can change all that fucking insanity?”

That's why I was hiding out in The Imperium a few days ago. I can change things over there because I am God in that universe.

That mood always passes however and I get back to work because I do know that sometimes one person with The Right Idea at just The Right Moment can have a disproportionately powerful impact. I suppose I worry more about timing than the power of this idea. Of course “Am I too late?” is a question I sometimes ask myself six times in a day. “Am I too early?” gets asked maybe once a month.

So I confess my fears to you, my loyal readers, and to whomever else pays attention – like The Last Troll Standing – and then continue on. Really, it's not like I have anything better to do, ya know?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tepid Text [x-posted from Stalkbook via Live Journal]

Okay, I'm doing this in the new FB posting window and while it appears to be a 'rich text' type, it's not really, hence the title.

~It does not support copy/pasta'd hyperlinks as actual Rich Text does.

~It does not support HTML at all. That italizing[sic?] was part of the faux 'rich text' function.

~It disables my Firerfox spell check.

~You cannot high light and drag text; you can only copy/pasta

~And the fucking 'blog link' they offer threatens to shut you down if you 'post too much'.

Really, this piece of shit window does in fact suck pus from a dead dog's ass.

Note: here I did this with LJ's Rich Text option...and it seems I did misspell 'italicizing'.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Fate of Men: Part 1

...originally posted on Oct 3rd, 2001..I'd been on LJ about a week or so...

These will be ramblings about, well, The Fate of Men. I reserve the right to change my mind about what I say. [My Feminine Aspect ;) ]

The thought that first comes to mind is that Men have built a Civilization, a Social Order where they can no longer be authentically 'Male'. The main thing I love about "Fight Club" is how it so clearly demonstrates this dilemma. I love to be aggressive, to have physical fights, not to the death, just the "Hey, fuck you!" kind of 'punch up's' I used to have back in NYC when I was a teenager. Try that now, you get your fucking ass shot off!

When I ran anti-war demonstrations back in the late 60's (using techniques I had learned as a National Socialist. Hectic, eh?) after the cops would come and 'break skulls', me and my girlfriend would run back to my house and have the best sex in the fucking world. We even got into this thing of having physical fights, and then having sex, because we loved how the sex felt 'after battle'.

Joanne was a big (5'10/ 155lbs) Italian girl from Redhook, a very tough neighborhood in Brooklyn, and brilliant graphic artist. She owned her 'Masculine Aspect' simply by virtue of being bigger than her longshoremen father, a mean, bandy little Dago. He hit her until she outgrew him, then she started to hit back. I don't believe he ever stopped, he would just 'take his hits'.

She and I went to Art an Design HS in NYC. [That's where I ran the demonstrations. "Nazi" techniques and leftist art students. 'Balance'.] But I saw in Joanne the ability to shift back and forth from 'Masculine' and 'Feminine' that I did not perceive in myself at that time. I have achieved it now after a lot of work both as a poet and through sleeping with men.

But that combination is not practically available to the vast majority of men. Sex with each other, yes. The transcendent experience of poetry, well, not really. Now I'm not talking about a homosexual life style. I connect with women in ways that I never will with men. There is a Spiritual component that shifts my whole being. I can write poetry for a woman with ease. I have tried to write poetry for men, but it will not manifest, not even frankly pornographic poems.

Sex with [and for] men is largely a physical event, with minimal emotional exchange. And that is more common than most people, especially women realize. Go on the 'gay' sex phone lines. Those are mostly married men out there, getting a uncommitted form of fucking that they can't ever get with women. I'm not sure women can do that without suffering some serious psychic damage. We men get some damage, too, but nowhere near the same. We are always about 'becoming', so the hunt for random sex partners is more 'organic' to us.

But in this hunt there is the dominance issue. Who is "Top" and who is "Bottom". This is a sublimation of Men's True Nature in this narrow sexual arena. Because, out in "The World" all males are repressed. [Except at the very top, and the very bottom, of society.] You have to be 'nice'. You have to 'get along'. Struggle is 'feminized' into emotionalist constructs that have no room for overt aggression, which a male needs to be 'masculine'.

This 'be nice' construct does not serve women all that well, either, but they are more suited for it in their 'Feminine Aspect'. "Title IX" has helped somewhat in this regard, (team sports, ect) but most women are still "Good Girls" i.e. 'slaves'. Women need learn to shoot and fence and fight hand-to-hand, to 'internalize' Xena, not merely watch her. I shall say more on this. .

The talent for poetry is something else entirely. That allows me as a man to explore Mystery in a way that is 'Feminine' without repressing me. But I am a small minority. That is not ego. I do not own the talent that I have. It is a Gift that I am responsible for. I shall say more on this, as well.

...I have refined my thoughts upon this over they years, but some of the above has a raw clarity that I some times worry I have lost...

My Third 'Official Channeling' Post

...reposted from Jun. 7th, 2002 at 6:16 AM with a few edits...

~This fall it will be thirty [eight] years since I journeyed to Mexico. I'm not talking about a day trip to TJ. I went all the way down to Chiapas, down by the Guatemalan border.

1972 had been a rough year. My draft lottery number had come up 39 the previous year, which meant there was a very good chance that I was going to Viet Nam. I was torn over this. Military service is part of my heritage. On one side of my family, the men had served as career NCO's in the British army as far back as the War of the League of Augsberg in the 1680's. On the other side, they had ridden with Bobby Lee as officers in the Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War.

But by 1971 it was obvious to nearly everyone that Viet Nam was a disaster. I had studied the war extensively: read books and reports, talked with over a hundred returning Viet Nam veterans, etc. I knew without a doubt that we were done. But I still felt the pull.

My step father got completely hysterical at any mention of my doing military service. As a child of Eastern European Jews, the military was still seen as an instrument of racial oppression [Czarist Russia drafted Jews to 'assimilate' them.]. Plus his own control issues were raised by the thought of my becoming a soldier of any kind. My father was in the Air Force in the UK when he met my mother, so all this challenged my step father on several levels.

As usual, the issue was resolved with an over expenditure of time, money, and energy that left all concerned emotional drained. If I had just said, "I'm gay" it would have been over in an instant. As it was, I told that lie, along with several others, and that is what finally ended the whole exercise.

Afterward, I needed to escape. It would be a quarter of a century before
a past life regression
lifted the pain and allowed me some peace about my actions to avoid military service. In the meantime, I desperately required some sort of 'passage' into manhood. Fate made a trip to Mexico available to me.
In the fall of '72, I left New York with a rather motley group. Bobby Hall, who put the trip together, was someone I knew from high school. A mutual friend, Kevin Cooke, had been Bobby's dealing partner in New York. They both felt it was time to get out of town for a while. The rest are not worth mentioning. Except for Danny, who we picked up in Memphis. He was a Viet Nam vet from Blue Mountain, Mississippi and a former Hell's Angel. We talked small arms and biker club social structure and became friends.

It took us a week to drive to Mexico City, where we stayed with Bobby's sister for two weeks. She had married a wealthy Mexican industrialist. Funny thing is, he was a Jew who originally came from Poland, but had grown up in Mexico. We got along because I could already speak a fair amount of Yiddish even then.

The drive to Chiapas took another week. After a few days of messing around in San Cristobal, the regional capital, Danny and I decided to hitch hike to Comitan, which was supposed to our jumping off point into the jungle. [Bobby's plan was to build a research center in the Usumacinta River valley.] We got there in a day. The rest followed two days later.

Danny told me that the rest of them were fuck ups and that Bobby's plan wasn't going to happen, but that I should stick it out unless it became too dangerous. He said I could use the 'seasoning'.

We headed into the jungle to a village called Tziscao. These people were [and still are] pure Mayan. We erected up a large tent by the side of a lake and settled in. After a week, Danny left, wishing me well. After a month, Kevin, with Sal from Brooklyn, took off in the car and never came back. We got a letter saying then had wrecked it and split the country. Bobby's fiance, Nancy came down to stay with us. Ray, who I despised, left soon after. So, it was just the three of us. All this in two months.

My mother wired me $200.00 every two weeks. That was a lot of money down there, back then. That is what we lived on. And fairly well, too. Every two weeks, on a Friday, I would go into town and pick up the money from the bank. I would get a hotel room, go out to dinner and go to the movies. Saturday morning, I would take the bus up to San Cristobal to see my friend Enoch. [He had helped get me out of jail. That's another story.]

I was reading a lot of books on the occult and psychic phenomenon. One Saturday morning I got on the bus to head north. I had a copy of "Psychic Discoveries Behind The Iron Curtain" with me. I was half way through it. I wasn't a 'morning person' even back then. Through my grogginess I heard a voice that sounded like wind chimes, "Come sit by me," it whispered. I looked around the bus, which had seemed empty a moment ago. And I saw her sitting toward the back, right where I would usually sit. She smiled.

As I sat next to her I saw a slim, attractive woman in her mid thirties with wide blue eyes, weathered from an outdoor life, but still pretty good looking. Her name was Zora Lita Chavez and she said she originally came from Montreal, but had lived in Los Angeles with her mother for the last few years. She was fascinated by my book. I told about some of what I had read so far, my favorite story being Mrs Mikailova of Leningrad. She could move a glass of milk across a table telekinetically. But only milk. And she would lose two or three pounds and have blurry vision for an or so afterward.

Zora Lita told me that she was a witch. I told her about how my high school sweetheart Kathy and I had planned to make a Hand of Glory three years earlier. We were going to chop off the hand of a Bowery bum and dry it during the Dog Days. The Hand of Glory is a very potent Majikal tool. But we didn't have the nerve to go through with it.

I was surprised that I told her that. But she laughed and said it was just as well that we didn't, because only a truly experienced practitioner could handle such a powerful tool.

Then, she spoke to me about her trip. She was returning from Guatemala. She had been recuperating from a Majikal journey in Oaxaca. She had danced with Mescalito and traveled 'up' several levels, until she had encountered a creature she could only describe as a 'vampire', though not what we would recognize as one. 'He' was a creature of energy and he was going to eat her soul and occupy her body. She knew that she was not strong enough to resist him, so she 'came down' and fled to the south. There a shaman she knew stood guard over her while she slept and regained her 'self'.

As she is telling me this, my memory of the event, the two of us sitting on that bus, surrounded by the locals, mostly Indians, is that we were in a small pocket of light in the middle of shadow. And her face started to become younger and brighter, glowing from within. She had shielded us and revealed herself to me. Then, she began to tell of her encounter with The Goddess.

A half dozen years earlier, she had dropped acid in the Central Valley of California. It was good, clean acid, made by people with clear energy. An artifact of the Sixties. As she peaked, she was surrounded by Monarch butterflies. When they parted, like a curtain, she saw a large elaborate stone temple in what had been an empty field. She 'knew' that it was a Temple of The Goddess.

She ran up its stairs and inside found a cauldron filled with swirling fire. She leaped into the fire and was 'transformed'. Then, she found herself, once again, outside the temple, which had subtly changed. Once more, she ran up the stairs and this time found the cauldron filled with swirling water. She leaped in and was 'transformed' once more. Again, she found herself outside the temple. Again, it had 'shifted' in appearance. She ran up the stairs and found the cauldron filled with swirling air, like clouds, she said. She leaped in and was 'transformed'. This time, she found herself in an empty field. But she could feel those three temples inside of her Spirit.

At this point, the 'shadow' began to fade and we were coming into San Christobal. She once again looked like the woman I had first met only a few hours ago, though it seemed years. When we got off the bus, she gave me her phone number in LA and drew three Majikal symbols in my address book. She looked at me as if to say, "Would you like to be my lover tonight?" I was twenty and strong and handsome and full of vitality. But, I was in a trance and could not respond. She smiled wistfully at me, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and disappeared into the crowd. I never saw her again.

Five months later, I was in LA. I called and got her mother. She told me that Zora Lita was in the south of France, at a Sufi encampment. I left a message, but I never heard back from her.

I have thought of Zora Lita on and off over the years. But it wasn't until the summer of '96 when I was telling someone about Megan and how she was one of a group of women [there would be one more: Sarah] who had lead me to, and upon, The Left Hand Path, that the meaning of that encounter hit me. Zora Lita had started me on a twenty two year cycle to that place I found that year. And it was Sarah, who I met two months later, who would help me open The Door through which my Spirit Guide
E would enter my life.

...and most of you know what that event has led to...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What collapsing empire looks like

Nebs Sez

"Spend enough time on the Internet and you can begin to understand Stalin's view of humanity."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Paraniod America: Birthers vs Truthers

...reposted from Sep. 28th, 2009 at 4:49 AM...

~I have managed to scrape together some Wisdom in the fifty odd years of my adulthood and that has led me to realize that the most Essential Spiritual Lesson is how one takes Responsibility for one's Powerlessness. That may seem a bit contraindicative, so let me say it again with more emphasis:
the most Essential Spiritual Lesson is how one takes Responsibility for one's Powerlessness.

Okay, hold on to that thought, we'll get back to it.

There is a man who has demonstrably saved more souls than Jesus Christ ever did or ever will and most of you have never heard of him. His name is Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov. He is a former lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defense Force.

"On September 26th, 1983, Colonel Petrov was watch officer on duty at the Serpukhov-15 bunker near Moscow, monitoring for a US missile attack on the Soviet Union.

Suddenly, the computer-based warning systems reported several US Nuclear Missiles approaching Soviet territory. Colonel Petrov believed the information to be false and did not alert the Kremlin to the data he was receiving. Given Cold War tensions at the time, such information would likely have convinced the Soviet leadership that the US had launched a first strike attempting to "cut off the head" and they would have launched their forces in the belief it was a "counter-strike", not a first-strike."

In other words, he prevented a global thermonuclear holocaust provoked by a computer glitch. [

That could certainly be a good example of 'taking Responsibility for one's Powerlessness' - Petrov certainly would seemed have been utterly Powerless in that moment, but choose to take on a terrible Responsibility - but that is actually not my point in relating the incident. I relate this because I believe this event was the key, the turning point, to what has happened globally in the years since.

Clearly, this would have scared the crap out of the Soviet leadership and then their American counterparts once they found out about it. But most importantly, I believe it laid the psycho-political ground work that caused the Soviet leadership to reject the Cold War paradigm and that led to the ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev. And his efforts to reform the unreformable led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“Hold on a minute,” you're thinking, “What does this have to do with the title?” Trust me, I'll get to that.

Many had predicted the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union, most notably Zbigniew Brzezinski, but all those predictions largely cited Muslim demographics as the principal cause and estimated the collapse would take place, well, right about

That it came two decades 'too early' badly disrupted American planning on several levels. The key areas of disruption were economic and domestic politics.

The American Economy has been – and largely still is – centered around War Production since World War Two. Having a war that we had been planning to continue for another twenty years or more suddenly
just stop threw the war planners and manufacturers into great confusion...and distress. A lot of money was at stake and there was all this talk about a 'post-war dividend'.

The problem for domestic politics was less obvious, but actually more acute. In the later course of The Cold War, The Powers That Be had made alliances with two volatile groups, the Neo-Conservatives and The Religious Right, in order to maintain political control.

With the end of The Cold War, these alliances now become problematic, something that was clearly demonstrated in 1992 with the defeat of George Bush Senior for a second term in the White House and then underscored with the ongoing troubles of the Clinton presidency.

These groups needed to be neutralized and how better than to give them a president they could love who would turn out to be a total dud:

Remember pre-9/11 2001? Remember his numbers were in the crappier? Remember “That's My Bush”? He was well on his way to a single term, watched over by a loyal courtier of The Powers That Be:
Richard M Cheney.

But Evil Dick was a very resentful man and he had plans of his own.

The vigilance of the Clinton White House regarding Jihadis was defused into wild goose chases after suicide doctors in Oregon and hookers in New Orleans, all in the hope that 'something would happen', maybe on an Oklahoma City scale, and then Dick and Rummy, backed by one faction of The Powers That Be, could proceed with their agenda regardless of what most of the rest of The Powers That Be wished.

We now see how that turned out; two unwinnable wars, the Patriot Act, a global financial meltdown, and finally the most marketed president in our history. Some days it seems like we've been living out an alternative history scenario. This was not The Future that most of you envisioned ten years ago.

In the context of 'taking Responsibility for one's Powerlessness,' we've done a pretty lousy job, being terrorized and bullied by madmen, ours and 'theirs', into coming very close to destroying our entire country and possibly the rest of global society, as well.

It is out of this decade of madness that both Truthers and Birthers have been born, mirror images of each other, both driven by an existential paranoia and deep seated feelings of impotence, and seeking some reason for that solely outside of themselves. Of course, this type of paranoid thinking is an American tradition, going back to the Masonic Conspiracies of the 1820's.

A key metaphor to explain how this works is the FEMA Concentration Camp meme. Under Bu$hCo, it came from The Far Left. Under Obama, it's now coming from The Far Right. And each is saying
exactly what the other said, only the focus has changed, the paranoia simply shifting with 'the party in power'.

That the so-called 'camps' are abandoned military bases 'converted' by KRB, an old Cheney company, is the giveaway; it's a corporate boondoggle. Billions were allocated for “National Security”. KBR ran up some new concertina wire and slapped on a few coats of paint, and 'poof!' new Detention Facilities. If they spent even ten cents on the dollar I'd be surprised. And these joints probably could not keep my cats detained.

But they make a great excuse for freaking out and ranting endlessly about THEM [The Hosts of Evil Motives] and, in the final analysis, really just giving up. “How can I prevail in the face of such concerted evil?” That is NOT 'taking Responsibility for one's Powerlessness.'

This brings us to
Shit Happens.

Remember Colonel Petrov? In that situation, there were vast amounts of War Panning and Command Structure in place, set up over decades and costing trillions, and in spite of all that is was only the action of a single, and highly ethical, military professional that saved the world from
a disaster of obscene proportions.

I don't know about you, but that turns my bowels to water. So, yes, I abuse the metaphor, but Shit Does Happen.

Most of us cannot face such a random form of terror.

A sociopath games his way into power and randomly allows nineteen lunatics to kill three thousand of his fellow citizens so he can implement his personal political agenda.

A mass marketing blitz propels a highly charismatic member of a traditional underclass onto the presidency, something that tens of millions of the so-called 'Superior Race' will never, ever have a chance at doing.

No, that is a Loss of Control that is utterly intolerable for all too many people. Even if an Evil Cabal is controlling things, well, shit, at least
somebody is In Charge!

Funny thing is, the Birthers have a far better case than the Truthers.

Over four or five years all the various documents could have been switched out. That would be an easy low key operation and in venues where no one was really paying attention at the time.

As opposed to running miles of wire and planting tons of explosives in three of the most heavily trafficked buildings in the world, all in utter secrecy and with not a single one of the large crew of highly skilled technicians ever saying a single word about it.

I'll let y'all 'do the math' on those. But both are just delusions used to avoid the far more frightening reality that
no one is really in control, that all too often Shit Just Happens.

That certainly does generate "existential paranoia and deep seated feelings of impotence.” To deal with that level of discomfort, one that makes you want to claw your skin off, that requires a lot of Spiritual Work, which brings us full circle:
the most Essential Spiritual Lesson is how one takes Responsibility for one's Powerlessness.

Most do not have either the Patience nor the Willingness to do that kind of Work. They're much 'happier' indulging in the above types of paranoia. Those have a comfortable structure, much like porn does, and to surrender that would cause both embarrassment and a form of withdrawal, as well. Like the addict confronted with recovery, an 'old self' would have to 'die'.

One can change
nothing in the thrall of such delusions.

To change the world, one needs Power. To understand your own Power, one must acknowledge one's own Powerlessness. That is a relative, not an absolute, state. When you see what you are Powerless over, then you see where you
do have Power.

Then, and
only then, can you take Responsibility for your own life and begin to change what can be changed...and being in that place is both terrifying and invigorating.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Now Just Hold On A Cotton Picking Minute There, Pardner!

~I ran across The Transcendent City on BLDGBLOG. It is described as "an autonomous artificial machine that extends across the earth adapting to the natural eco-systems it encounters while deriving its energy from the renewable resources available at each particular site. The systems desire is to maintain homeostasis within itself whilst maintaining homeostasis within the greater system, Gaia. Its processes are engineered on the molecular scale by nano technologies controlled by molecular computers that monitor and analyse the environment." Whoa!!

I commented; “I strongly recommend Mr Hardy read Greg Bear's "Blood Music". Unleashing such an untested entity - and how could one test this except upon a world? - on the surface of the only world upon which we presently live is, in a word, insanity. "Suicidal" is another word that comes to mind.

If we wish to play with concepts like this one, which could in fact be worthwhile in the long run, then they have to be taken off world. Start off with a closed mini-world like a biome, then, if the results seem favorable, try them out on Mars...and wait. When one Plays God, one must have the Patience of a Divine Being.”

Sure, it's real pretty an' chit, but I mean really, wtf are these guys smoking? Pure distilled Hubris?

Nebs Sez

"I am grateful for this life. Had to go through sixteen flavors of hell to earn it."