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Why Doesn’t Religion Care About Saving “God’s Country”?

Sat, Dec 7, 2013

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by Scott Erickson, an award-winning humor writer. This article is an excerpt from his satirical novel The Diary of Amy, the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth

At this point in the story, our 14-year-old protagonist – Amy Johnson-Martinez – has just finished meeting with the leaders of LifeFaith Church about her appearance at the upcoming “Environment and Religion” conference.

October 23

I’m afraid the meeting didn’t exactly go as well as I’d hoped. I’m not sure what happened, it got off so such a great start.

I met with Reverend Robert McCallister and Reverend Susan Angleborg. They told me right away to just call them Bob and Sue, and not to be nervous because they’re just regular people even though they talk to God.

Reverend Sue asked me, “Amy, would you call yourself a religious person?” I had never thought about that, so I said just what came into my mind.

I explained that I’m not exactly “religious” in the sense of going to church. But I’m not “spiritual” like Tiffany is, because the word “spiritual” makes it sound like there are “spirits” running around, and I’m too scientific to believe that. But I don’t believe that molecules bouncing around somehow created life and all the beauty of the world and the universe. Everything is so amazing and beautiful that I know it’s kind of a miracle.

Reverend Bob asked me if I knew what the word “religion” means. I was excited that I could answer! I told them what I knew, about how it’s a Latin word that means “re-link,” and how religion started when humans got separated from the Garden of Eden, which is a metaphor of when we lived in harmony with nature. That meant we lost our connection with life and the universe and everything, so religion is how we “re-link” to that connection.

They looked at each other with very surprised expressions! Reverend Sue said that was a very advanced answer. She said most people define “religion” as an organized church that offers a community of people guidance in their relationship with God and a place to hang out on Sunday.

Then Reverend Bob said, “Well, Amy, we’re here to discuss the conference ‘Environment and Religion.’ What would you hope for the conference to accomplish?”

I said that I hoped the conference would encourage religion to become more “activist” in environmental issues, just like they were active in the fight to stop slavery and promote civil rights and all the other social justice issues they’ve helped with. Reverend Sue said, “Of course! How can we, as stewards of God’s creation, sit back when ‘God’s Country’ is destroyed?”

I was SO EXCITED at this point in our meeting. I said that since millions of people are religious, it would be great if all religious people became activists for the earth. I said it would be amazing to see huge marches of religious people demanding that we live sustainably and stop destroying ‘God’s Country’!

Reverend Bob asked, “What do you plan to discuss in your presentation?” I said that I wanted to talk about the Save the Earth Act and encourage all religious people to totally support it.

I was very surprised that they didn’t know about it! So I tried to tell them about it in a short amount of time which is not easy. But I was able to include the really important stuff about how we need to stop our addiction to economic growth, because there are many ethical religious reasons that the church would agree with, including things from the Bible.

I explained about how money isn’t evil, it’s the LOVE of money. Before our meeting I even researched exactly what it says in the Bible. It’s from 1Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

I said that those words are very wise, because they predicted thousands of years ago what is coming true now, that our addiction to economic growth is piercing ourselves with many sorrows, such as destroying the earth! We are forced to “covet after” money or else our whole economy will collapse!

I also explained about how for hundreds of years the church has been against loaning with interest, or what it calls “usury.” But then I realized how silly I was being. I said, “Oh, but of course you already know all that! It’s so good that you’re against it, because it’s the root of our addiction to economic growth.”

I also talked about Jesus being against the “money changers” which in the parable was just a few people destroying a temple in Jerusalem, but in modern times is the big banks that are destroying the temple of the entire earth. Back then, Jesus used a whip to “cleanse the temple.” Of course, now we can’t use whips – but we can use the Save the Earth Act.

I was very proud of myself for being so prepared!

Which is why I’m so confused that while I was saying all this, Reverend Bob and Reverend Sue had worried looks on their faces. Reverend Bob was the first to talk. He said, “Well Amy, I want to let you know that we are very committed to sustainability. For example, here at the church we’ve switched all our lights to compact fluorescents.”

I asked about supporting the Save the Earth Act, and they stopped smiling and started acting “weird.” Reverend Bob said, “If I understand you correctly, for the church to condemn usury now would be to basically condemn the entire economic system. Is that right?”

I said, “I’m so glad you understand!”

Then Reverend Bob started talking and he KEPT talking. (I think he was doing a “sermon.”) He was saying that the name of their church is “LifeFaith Church” because they are a church of faith, He talked a LOT about faith, and said they have faith in earthly things but ultimately their faith is in God.

I said that I couldn’t understand how having “faith” could help fix the economy.

Reverend Sue said they have earthly faith that people will figure out how to get the economy growing again, but we must pray for God for guidance on how to do it.

That made me VERY CONFUSED, because I just explained how economic growth is based on usury which the church is against! So I said, “What about passing the Save the Earth Act so we don’t need to depend on economic growth?”

Then both reverends were quiet for a minute and bowed their heads, like they were praying. Then Reverend Sue said, “I just asked God for guidance on that question, and God said he didn’t think so.”

Reverend Bob said, “Look kid, I’ll give it to you straight.” He explained that a reverend trying to be too radical has the same problem as a politician trying to be too radical. In both cases, people won’t vote for you. With a church it’s not exactly the same, since people don’t actually vote for you. But they can vote “against” you by walking to a church that’s less radical. He called it “voting with your feet.”

I figured out there was one more thing I could say that I was SURE would convince them to support the Save the Earth Act. I said it had to do with the name of their church, LifeFaith Church. We already talked about the “faith” part, but we didn’t talk about the “life” part.

Reverend Sue said they put a lot of thought into the name of the church. Including the word “life” was very important, because one of their core values is “to preserve the sanctity of life.”

I said I was SO GLAD to hear that, and I explained how the definition of “natural” is “according to life” therefore saving NATURE is actually saving LIFE because they’re the same thing. So all the churches that say they’re “Pro-Life” also have to be “Pro-Nature” because that’s two ways of saying the same thing.

As they were backing me out the door, they said they weren’t sure there was actually enough time for me to give my presentation in the conference, because suddenly the schedule got all full, but if there was a last-minute opening they would let me know, but they were pretty sure there wouldn’t be.

I’ve thought about this over and over, but I STILL can’t figure out what happened. I did my research and presented my ideas very clearly. What went wrong?
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McPherson’s monthly essay for Transition Voice was posted Friday, 6 December 2013: Before it goes dark, let’s live
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A guest essay from 13 February 2012 titled, “A rewilding community toolbox” has been updated with a single pdf file. It’s here.
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Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power and by P. Schneider at Amazon. As with my other books, Going Dark will lose money even before I start giving away copies.

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101 Responses to “Why Doesn’t Religion Care About Saving “God’s Country”?”

  1. Artleads Says:

    I guess the word to Amy is: “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

    But all is not lost. Since the church might get behind issues of social justice fairly predictably, we could start there. Let the church in America and South Africa (in honor of Mandela, say) start an urgent movement to eliminate wealth discrepancy. (Which Mr. Obama plans to promote.) The downside is that closing this wealth gap appears to mean increasing consumption. So now what?

    Closing the wealth gap is generally seen in terms of money. But wealth is not money. Wealth is the ability to have basic needs–maintaining body temperature, having nourishing food and clean water and community–met. Mandela compromised with the apartheid regime to have peace and a measure of inclusiveness while maintaining industrial capitalism and white privilege. I guess that was all he knew how to do…and that was clearly not enough. So what next?

    Create a way to have the above basic needs met without money. What’s the new compromise? Build a wall around the one percent (or just call it Babylon). Build a wall around Babylon, and prevent it from fucking over the 99% to the degree that it can be prevented. Give everyone who needs it free land and a means of shelter and leave them to educate themselves and to exercise the prerogative to live freely without destroying the biosphere and without oppression-as-we-know-it.

    Can the church get behind that? Hmmm…

  2. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    Thanks, Scott!

    What went wrong? I think there are several reasons, enough to fill a rather large book. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. These are my observations.

    First, faith or belief in an unproven religious concept, like the god of the Bible, sets people up to automatically believe any insane facts propagated by their essential authority figures. Thus, they can be easily brainwashed and manipulated. It is basically a fear based, conditioned existence.

    Secondly, the xian religion vents many of the basic teachings of it’s ‘god’ of the New Testament, which are, in a nut shell, teachings about love, peace, sharing and inward spiritual growth. However, xians are not guided onto a path which empowers the flock to make these teachings a present force for good in the real world. Without real guidance, xians participate in, support, (actively and through lack of resistance), acts of extreme evil. This renders them basically psychotic! In the ‘service of two masters’, they are unable to LIVE their faith either inwardly or outwardly.

  3. Denise Says:

    Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #89

    Lost the internet
    in my divorce. Going dark
    gets lonely. Hi y’all!

  4. Queenie (Marian Veverka) Says:

    I remember when “Liberation Theology” started in the Latin American countries. Its premise was back tro basics. I was very successful in the poorer countries = not so sucessful in Rome.

    But the times grew better, more money was tossed to the poorer areas, and when living is good, people are not ready t o upset the system.

    What we need is a new wake-up call. See what Nature t hrows at us next.
    In WW2 they used to say “There are no atheists in fox holes.” Maybe not exactly true, but danger, especially danger from a turbulent earth will nudge people into action. Not all people, perhaps not all faiths.

    Frustation is one of the key words here. People will demand that “Something should be done”, when those “somethings” should have been
    done many years (decades, centuries) ago. Saying “Too little, too late,” will not help. Working to save” an earth that is beyond any saving that mere mortals can do, might be a waste to some, but it will keep people occupied.

    Let those who believe in the power of prayer pray. Any kind of action should be tolerated. Not eveyone will turn to religion, but it is better than throwing off all restraints of law and order. Taht is another place where the churches can help. And any help at all, even too late help can protect our society as it tumbles down the drain.

  5. Wren Says:

    Just to note – I have been to way more than weddings and funerals. But at least the church I grew up in left me with a functioning intellect – How could it not, when our bishop disappeared in the desert without a trace, while taking LSD? ;-)

  6. ulvfugl Says:

    @ B9K9

    But people typically despise self-serving people like you who collaborate with the enemy, and admire people others, e.g. Guy, or Chris Hedges, who express defiance and refuse to do so.

    @ Wren

    Too bad they aren’t here now.

    Maybe they are. They went underground. They just need to be recognised and rescued.

  7. ulvfugl Says:

    3. THE ASPECTS AND METHODS OF CULTIVATION

    Cultivation must be carried out in all aspects in the course of the long and strenuous struggle to free the working class and the masses of the people from capitalist exploitation. Cultivation is needed in studying Marxism and in applying it to answer questions and to solve practical problems, in sharpening one’s class outlook and political thinking, in shaping one’s moral character and behaviour; in hard work and ability to withstand hardship, in preserving the unity of the Party and conducting inner party struggle; in loyalty to the Party and complete dedication to the cause of the Communist Revolution.

    The life of a Communist revolutionary is no bed of roses. It consists of serious studies in Marxist literature, of hard work and of constant participation in numerous and endless mass struggles. He has no time for worldly pleasures and his whole life is devoted to one thing, and one thing only, the destruction of capitalist society, the removal of all forms of exploitation and the liberation of mankind.

    A Communist revolutionary always combines thought with practice. He studies for the sole purpose of putting into practice what he has learnt. He regards Marxism, as ….. action and takes part fully and without reservation in mass struggles directed by the party or by other political organisation outside of the Party.

    In South Africa, a Communist Party member must take part in mass struggles initiated by the S.A.C.P., the Congress movement or by other political bodies within the liberation movement.

    Nelson Mandela

    http://www.rhodesia.nl/goodcom.html

  8. R. Datta Says:

    Here’s to trying yet another comment with a different (but valid) name & email address:

    native earth based religions in the countries they invaded, religions that had evolved alongside the cultures to meet their needs. Too bad they aren’t here now.

    There is at least one still extant. The Vedas each (Rigveda, Samaveda, Yanurveda and the Atharvaveda) each have four parts. The first part is a collection of hymns, including recitations to be chanted at sacrificial rituals. Many of the hymns are devotional prayers to the forces of Nature personified as gods, as manifestations of the Divine in Nature. They have ancient Aryan origins. For instance the god of Fire is Agni, which is cognate with the English ignite.

    The second is the part describing in great detail the rituals including sacrifices into fire, even the sacrifice of animals. This has striking similarities to the Hebrew traditions of sacrifice of animals into fire. Those sacrifices were carried out primarily at the Great Temple in Jerusalem, and ended with the destruction of the Second Temple. In India they ended with the advent of Buddhism with its message of non-violence. Even the days of the week are of ancient Aryan origin, with correspondences between the names for the days in Scandinavian and Indic languages (and perhaps even earlier, with extant correspondences even in Hebrew).

  9. Bob S. Says:

    B9K9 Says:

    “There is no reason to be dirty, tired & poor while walking the plank. Why not go out with a full belly, a woman left in bed, and an adoring crowd admiring your aplomb and grace?”
    —–

    Perhaps if a full belly, woman to seduce, and crowds adoring your greatness are the things you most value, walking the plank might be a good strategy. :) Or, changing your name to LiLo and getting naked.

  10. TR Says:

    One figure that I’ve seen is that there are ~2870 supernatural beings that are considered deities. I might start worshiping the one that can stop NTHE,eliminate nuclear waste & solve all other problems for which I don’t have any responsibility. rofl

    BTW, I had a great day.I woke up this morning.

  11. Gerald Spezio Says:

    What is Wrong with Our Thoughts? A

    Neo-Positivist Credo,

    Chapter 7 of David Stove, The Plato Cult and Other Philosophical Follies (Blackwell, 1991).

    Early in the fourth century Constantine made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire, and at once had reason to regret his having done so; for now not only the Church but the state was convulsed by controversies about the Holy Trinity. These controversies raged for over two hundred years, after which the bishops found new intellectual outlets, if not more rational ones, for their animosities. But Trinitarian trouble was not dead, only sleeping. The Great Schism of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, which split the Western from the Eastern Church, took place, on its theological side, over a question concerning the Trinity. This was, of course, that most famous of all theological questions, the question of the procession of the Holy Ghost, or of the filioque. The Orthodox theory was that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father alone. The Western bishops, however, were equally adamant that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father filioque – ‘and the Son’.

    It is obvious enough that these two opinions could not both be right, though both could be wrong. It is equally obvious that both opinions are wrong, or at least, that they each have got something dreadfully wrong with them, and the same thing. They both have some fatal congenital defect, whatever the exact nature of this defect may be. And it is equally obvious too, that this defect will also be shared by any other answer to the question, what or whom the Holy Ghost proceeds from. It does not matter much how you answer this question: something has already gone fatally wrong with your thoughts, once you find yourself so much as asking it.

  12. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Our best science teaches us that our world is a physical & material world, & that our ideas must be conditioned by physical & material forces.

    It is the most mandatory & demystifying lesson that I ever learned.

    Once learned you will see mentalism expressed by the most prestigious academics.

    Michael Parenti offers an antidote to easy mentalistic solutions here;

    http://www.autodidactproject.org/other/newagemp.html

  13. Gerald Spezio Says:

    “THE NEXT STEP” ????

    “With-it yuppies fly in on fossil fuel sucking – CO2 producing jet planeS for some expensive new age MENTALISTIC horseshid in pristine NATURE.

    “Let’s do some body work & interpret our dreams.”

    PHEW.

    The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 March 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America. I will be included with an otherwise-excellent group of facilitators for this remarkable two-week experience.

  14. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    Hi Queenie, thanks for making reference to my response. Thanks to you, more people are likely to scroll back to take a look at it.

    I was able to say something that had been bugging me for a long time. It did my heart some good to be able to type it out. But, if I could do it over again I would make one change.

    Instead of writing, “faith or belief in an unproven religious concept, like the god of the Bible, sets people up to automatically believe in any insane facts propagated by their essential authority figures.”

    I wish I had said, “faith or belief in an unproven religious concept,like the god of the Bible, sets people up to automatically believe in any insane LIES propagated by their essential authority figures.”

    Throughout history and up to this very day, almost 100 percent of xians have, without fail, unthinkingly swallowed lies of politicians and other leaders that have resulted in the deaths of millions, through wars and economic exploitation. And though they never touch a weapon, their support of these many evils makes them as guilty as if they had been in on the planning! Exactly what kind of a faith IS that? What kind of god would lead it’s own flock to perdition?

    Anyway, it’s all too sad to be a joke. Too much death.

    BUT HEY! Got to try to figure it out without becoming depressed! :)
    Betty Bowers, “The World’s Best Christian”, does it for me:

  15. Gerald Spezio Says:

    CHRISTMAS – THE OLYMPICS OF CONSUMER CULTURE

  16. mike k Says:

    There is nothing quite so satisfying as beating up on and totally demolishing a carefully constructed Strawman. Whether the made-up figure supposedly represents Religion, Science, Politics, or whatever, the fun is the same. As you stand towering over the smoldering remains of your hapless victim, you can beat your chest and shout, “I guess I took care of that sucker!”
    The satisfaction of one who stands back from their potential victim, and observes it’s obvious admixture of positive and desirable attributes, is of a different and quieter quality, but satisfying nevertheless. The possibility of remaking the chosen thought creation to include some of these good qualities and possibilities offers perhaps an opening to a more constructive approach. Is there a Religion, Science, or Politics that doesn’t immediately evoke the urge to destroy it? Maybe we could actually learn some things from our monster Strawman by carefully considering how it came to be what we see it as. There might even be clues as to how to make a Strawman we would admire and seek to defend, if we could eliminate the defects that caused us to hate the version we wanted to destroy…

    Someday we might come to understand, as did Plato, that all our institutions, and even our ideas are shaped by who we are. Our outer world is largely what it is due to our inner reality. That we do not entirely create our world by our inner thought is obvious; but this should not cloud our understanding of the very large share we have in determining what we experience.

    @Gerald S. – It would be helpful if you explained what you would put forward to replace all the things you deconstruct. What’s your program?

  17. TIAA Says:

    That was awesome! I laughed but mostly something deeply sad inside was dredged up. It is a narrative on my childhood in a nutshell. I was stuck in that realm of clarity much longer than others and it didn’t help to be raised half wild in nature on top of that thanks to my parents take on the counter culture life style. But even when my mom was forced to take us all back to captivity and I started to have the veil of civility thrust upon me, it just didn’t stick with me. I did not become civilized, I only taught myself to act like I was. Acting something I was not and never could be. Knowing that while I still had that wildness, hidden behind, in others I realized it was all but dead. Sacrificed on the alter of a megalocivility. Out of balance and in the overwrought obsession to make the world a reflection of self, we have almost won and we all here know what we are losing.

    Save life on earth or have faith in humanity’s current ‘civilized’ take on life? We all know that human faith is winning and life on earth losing and that human mantle of faith and hope once grafted onto the child we all once were, comes off only in an excruciating and purifying journey back to the mother and so to God. But there is no hope found here that humanity will do that work. None at all and because of that, that death of hope, we are free ourselves to return and the veil that grafted from the hopes of our parents, burns away as we return, that, the only goal, and that is all and was all we ever needed. This is how we save life. One person at a time and who knows what will come of it.

  18. mt Says:

    Do not read this if you are adverse to anger.
    I am angry. I am angry at the multitudes of fearful, sleepy or confused individuals that continue to spread their phony crap about. Guy is one of the very few, knowledgeable, honest and courageous public figures out there speaking the blunt and harsh truth. I think what really drives me crazy are those that say, they believe, yet they hold the door open, just a crack, thinking something will happen. There is no fix, sorry, we are done—SOON.
    There is no gadget, or cool new invention on the horizon, that will save us. There is no god or goddess, sage or spirit that we can invent (those are all false perceptions and created mirages courtesy of our incredible, complicated though confusing brains). I could be wrong, but I could be right. We do not know.
    Fukushimsa is bad, but it isn’t going to kill us ALL for perhaps a hundred years (perhaps quicker?). If the economy collapses, it will be bad, too, but we won’t ALL die. Oil depletion is sure to cost lives. Again, we won’t ALL be gone. Overpopulation is inevitable, and sure to wreak havoc. Still, not ALL dead….
    Climate change dooms ALL—SOON.
    Quit with the alien shit, the other earth-like planet shit, the bioengineering, and whatever other goofball notions you have.
    For the last 30 plus years, I have figured we fucked up. I was silly enough to give us 100 years or better. Granted, I didn’t know it would be climate, I actually thought we could, and would, correct that. We didn’t.
    Let me tell you this. I nearly died once of thirst, and it makes no difference if you are in a castle or a cave. IT SUCKS.
    OK, I feel better, now.
    Carry on….

  19. Sabine Says:

    @B9K9
    I think that you might need to read the posts and articles on NBL a little bit more carefully and not assume too much about the people who come here. Nobody is “outraged, depressed, surprised or otherwise incapacitated to do anything” as you put it. Nonetheless, I’m so pleased for you that you are the 1% of the 1%. You’re truly privileged and, as I gather, completely prepared. You must be Superman. Good for you!

    @Queenie

    Dear Queenie, I think you’re being a bit hard on Kirk. This is, after all, a godless blog. For that reason, we may voice our opinion about the religious if we want to. We’re not treating anybody in the way that the churches, when they had real power, persecuted the “other”. For me here in Europe the witches and other heretics come to mind. It was relentless! I’m sure you know something about that. Since the enlightenment, the churches have lost most of their power over secular institutions (though that might be changing). This is one of the reasons why they are meek and mild and play the compassion card. It’s always good to view a manmade institution in its entirety, and that always includes its history. Power always leads to corruption. It seems inevitable in a civilisation based on the dominator model. And always remember that they don’t even leave us nonbelievers alone when we’re dead because “we’ll be resurrected to everlasting damnation” That’s the christian creed, and they used to call it HELL.

  20. Gerald Spezio Says:

    HEADLINE; Carbon police arrest Guy McPherson at Guatemala airport for excessive fossil fuel consumption & prodigious CO2 pollution.

    Carbon police accuse McPherson of criminal acts against poor & downtrodden pilgrims in the third world.

    Inuit people call Professor McPherson a duplicitous Gringo scumbag.

    How can international flying NOT be a part of industrial civilization?

    Fly to third world cultures to lecture on the simple life?

    Down with industrial civilization by flying at 500 mph at 35,000 feet for four hours

  21. Guy McPherson Says:

    Gerald Spezio lives in a large city in North America and complains about my flying. What’s your ecological footprint, Gerald? Living in Phoenix is easy unless you actually think about the origin of the cheap food, cheap energy, cheap water, and so on. Keep on not thinking about it, and you’ll be fine.

  22. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Kirk, Betty is terrific. Grazi.

    Andres, like Sisyphus some of us keep pushing the rock until Yogi tells us that it is over.

    My rock has slipped a long way since the observations of arctic methane release have gone bonkers.

  23. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    @mike k. So it’s the battle of the straw men, is it. When the apologists of religion, science, or politics pick apart someone like, say, me, don’t I become a straw man? That’s OK, that’s fair. But, most often defenders of the faith and other institutions use the idea of the straw man in defense, as a subtle lever to question the ethics or motives of the lay person’s ideas or criticisms. It’s just another way TPTB attempt to silence the truth and complicate issues so unmercifully that common people are left behind in the intellectual dust.

    I could never say that arguing against the morals of a large institution, even the Church, is creating a straw man. Most of these institutions, that you appear to admire, have had a hand in destroying mankind. They are so powerful and so damaging that if they are to be likened to straw men, let them be seen as greedy, murderous, lying straw men! They are as needing to be shot down intellectually as a rabid dog is with a real gun!

    It’s too late to create the “Strawman” you hope for, one we would admire and seek to defend! Institutional evil has birthed NTE. And institutional evil IS NOT brought into balance by institutional good works, as you imply. That imbalance is the foundation for mankind’s duality of mind, the psychosis from which we rage, seeking that which we may devour.

    So, before we seek to be soooo “goodie goodie”, and defend the Church and other institutions like politics, the military, etc. Let’s remember that, “the goodie goodies are the thieves of virtue”. And that almost every hideously stupid, wrong or evil act that resulted in death and destruction was done by people who righteously BELIEVED that they were doing GOOD. But, in fact they lived and live in disgrace, openly participating in the most degenerate group behaviors of all time.

  24. Andres Jimenez Says:

    Andres, like Sisyphus some of us keep pushing the rock until Yogi tells us that it is over.

    My rock has slipped a long way since the observations of arctic methane release have gone bonkers.

    Gerald, I don’t have a rock. I am a rock. It’s good to be a rock. Rock on.

  25. Librarian Says:

    Enough. There’s no point. Everything that needs to be said about religion has now been said…and guess what, the religious are not listening. They never have.

    You’re not attacking their beliefs, which are “conclusions”. You’re attacking their “premises”, which are “starting points”. And the basic “starting point” of Christianity is that if you are not a believer, then you are an opponent of the faith and don’t deserve a hearing.

    This means you are attempting to persuade Christians to listen to criticism, when the faith STARTS from the premise that all criticism is persecution of the faith.

    You are attempting, in effect, to persuade a lawnmower not to mow the lawn. It’s a non-sequitur of an undertaking.

    You cannot persuade…well not just Christians, but also Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc….that something is wrong with their institution, because the very definition of what it means to be religious is that you don’t have to prove yourself, and your opponents are damned.

    We should probably drop the subject. Criticize a religious person, and the ONLY argument they will EVER offer in religion’s defense is:

    “Your institution causes harm TOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

    That is all religious people have ever done to defend themselves when accused of committing harm.

    “No you! No you! No you! No you! No you! No you! No you! No you! No you!”

    “How dare you even SAY that! How dare you even SAY that! How dare you even SAY that! How dare you even SAY that! How dare you even SAY that! How dare you even SAY that! How dare you even SAY that!”

    It’s getting boring to argue with them, and I’m getting tired of it. This debate will never go anywhere. You cannot persuade them that your opinion even has the right to EXIST with any influence, let ALONE the idea that your opinion has some merit. Remember, they get upset when atheist books are even PRESENT in bookstores, let alone whether or not anyone actually buys them.

    Stop arguing with religious people. If you’re a nonbeliever, your very existence is persecution to them, so you are in effect beating on a stone wall.

  26. Apneaman Says:

    I too am a Rock.
    A 21st century Rock

    I have my books
    And my internet to protect me

  27. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    @Librarian. Hey, babe. Don’t get mad, get glad! It makes me feel good to get my ya-yas out. ;) I got a suggestion for you. Whenever you see my name at the top of a response, just skip right over. You’ll be happier for it.

  28. Artleads Says:

    What if we are at a stage in time where triage is all that’s appropriate? That would entail forgetting everything else but clean up, stabilization and hospice treatment for a god-awful bloody mess.

    That would also require sewing back on all the useful parts (with immense care and compassion), suturing wounds, bypassing useless parts, etc..

    The Department of Transportation would not build new roads, but instead retrain workers to maintain existing ones. New living units would go under or over existing living units… Meanwhile, the sociopaths want to build McMansions our in the boonies, and use taxpayer money to access and safeguard them…

    People of conscience would be practicing triage, and sociopaths meanwhile want to blow up more people, including even the triage workers… War is needed, they say.

    But what, if we could, should we do or not do on a planet dealing with triage?

  29. Ram Says:

    @ Guy and Gerald

    In any event, this is a global problem and one has to use the tools of globalisation to inform people about its emerging risks. Something of a paradox but given the circumstances, we have no choices.

  30. mike k Says:

    @Kirk Hamilton – Thanks for your critique, Kirk. In rereading my post, I realize that I did a poor job of expressing my thought. In this extended online conversation I fall into the error of thinking others “know me” and vividly recall my every post. I am not a member of any religious, spiritual, or philosophical tradition. I consider most of what is said and done under those banners to be deeply wrong and harmful. Every institution of every part of our global “culture” is insane, evil, and doomed. I am a bit like Groucho Marx – any group that would have me as a member has got to be totally screwed up!

    It was certainly far from my intention to imply that religions do not need to be ruthlessly criticized and exposed. Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Love, Justice – not so. These are the real McCoy, and I take my stand on them – call it what you may. Thanks again for critiquing my sloppy attempt at writing. Feel free to lay into my stuff anytime, I need it!

    Dear TIAA – Your despair is so beautifully expressed! Your sincere inner reflections must find a receptive ear in many of us Beach Goers. But the Truth is a mysterious and elusive affair; rarely if ever can we claim a full stop conclusion in our seemingly endless quest. Whether to curse and condemn this uncertainty, or see it as a blessing, giving the almost expired ember of Hope a chance of survival, is a recurrent question among the thoughtful and compassionate.

    You touch on the death of God, one of Nietzsche’s concerns. All such statements need to be interpreted, and N apparently meant that the Old God was dying (he said dead in Zarathustra for dramatic emphasis) and the new central concern and meaning of human life was yet to be known. We are in the gap of the one dying and the one yet to come….hence the special angst of our age, an age which threatens to be our last unless we find a guidance for our culture adrift. “…and who knows what will come of it…?”

    Therein lies our slim chance and hope in my opinion. Modern Man in Search of a Soul – interesting book by Carl Jung… Man’s Search for meaning by Viktor Frankl… Keep searching lonely beautiful souls. Join others on the quest as you find them. Together we can learn more, do more. The Aquarian dynamic is still in its infancy. Let us not conclude it was stillborn. Materialist philosophy holds most in its unloving grip. Break free from its narrow and limiting beliefs. You will certainly be ridiculed by the “realists”. Endure that; don’t waste your energy fighting fundamentalists of any stripe.

  31. Denise Says:

    Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #90

    Walking, not driving-
    road closed for yearly footrace.
    What lovely quiet!

  32. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Mr BelleIslander

    I wonder if you might be over simplyfing somewhat ? After all, some might take a different view..

    In the Ancient Greek times the Order of the Sacred Five incarnated in the persons of: Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Parmenides & Plotinus. The 3 subsidiaries incarnated as Socrates, Democritus and Empedocles…

    According to the Druze, the same man who came in ancient Greek times as Pythagoras and taught his students the mysteries of the number ONE, came centuries later as Jesus Christ to reveal to them the Divine Identity of the LORD ONE, and before then as King Solomon and later as Jethro and the Angel Gabriel who (according to the Druze Doctrines) was not a ghost but an actual man otherwise known as Salman El-Farisi…

    http://www.druzenet.net/dn-thefifthscience.html

  33. mt Says:

    I feel like we are in the 4th act of a 3 act play. Life, as we know it, is over. We’re just hanging around discussing the ending.
    “That was wild, wasn’t it?”

  34. Pilot Says:

    “CONSUME!” “CONSUME!” “CONSUME!” This has become my latest “mantra” as I see, during this horrible and record-breaking capitalistic shopping season, that we have become a Culture of over-consumption and mindless disregard of our consequences. I am utterly disgusted and repulsed by the “shopping culture” that we’ve become (at least here in the USA). Tonight I witnessed first-hand an (otherwise) lovely holiday consumer event at a Minneapolis retail store. Food and fine wines were being served to an exclusive consumer clintele after store closing hours– and profits were rung up at the registers later on! Of the many items that were for sale that GREATLY disturbed me were salad bowls made from tropical wood from the South Pacific! All I could think of were the trees that were sacrificed for this “bowl” only to end up on some back shelf in someone’s kitchen in the frigid Midwest. Needless to say, I am sick to my stomach of what we, as the “Human Race” have done to pillage and destroy our planet. Our “Ecological Debt Day”– the approximate calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year –was August 23rd for 2013. When I was in University in 1988, the same date fell on October 21st! What will 2014 hold for it’s new adjusted date? On average, it has been moving back three calendar days per annum. So, I bet that the new date for 2014 will be about August 20th. Our Industrial Civilization is NOT sustainable!!!!!!

    In closing, I want to fully admit that I paid my admission to this event in Minneapolis. So, in part, I am part of “the problem”. I did not, however, buy anything. I only wished to witness first-hand the mindless capitalistic consumption by my fellow Humanity. I SO wanted to scream out to them as they tasted their paella and shrimp gourmet crackers (prepared by local chefs) that this was all going to come to an end very soon. I wanted them to stop their shopping and just go home. But I know that Western Civilization has created a capitalistic beast. The cat is out of the bag.. I honestly feel that it’s too late. We’ve created a Monster. And the Monster is now consuming us. And we totally deserve it. And for the two glasses of Malbec that I purchased at this blood feast tonight.. please accept my apologies. I just feel that we have already crossed the “Final Tipping Point” so many months ago and I needed to drown my sorrows amidst this frenzy of mindless consumer spending. My apologies to all….

    Pilot in Minnesota

  35. Mister BelleIslander Says:

    @ ulvfugl SAID: “I wonder if you might be over simplifying somewhat ? After all, some might take a different view.”

    Dear U, Of course I was merely joking when I said that anyone might be inclined to agree with me. After over nearly 30 years of trying to teach myself how to view the cosmos as I think the fundamentally-structured atomists of old might have done, I’ve yet to meet anyone amidst the contemporary world who actually seemed inclined to agree with me. Rather, all our my prior efforts to try to inform others of this undoubtedly ancient fundamentally-structured and strictly atomistically-minded way of mentally examining the workings of the surrounding physically-manifested cosmos, would seem to have finally added up to nothing but an entirely lost cause.

    As for over simplifying? I clearly advised everyone in that last post that I also tended to view the cosmos in the very same utterly simple ways that I suspect that the fundamentally-structured atomists of old had. Meaning, that I know of but three seemingly always unbreakable cosmological-laws. And, I know of but 100 basic types of clockwise spinning Alpha Existing Particles and but 100 basic types of counter-clockwise spun Beta Existing Particles – with both contrarily spinning groups being in turn further possibly subdivided into but 50 basic types of Heavy Existing Particles and but 50 basic types of Light Existing Particles. And, that is in fact quite all the possible intellectual tools that I have to work with whenever I should try to mentally comprehend the actual workings of the cosmos. Let me also add that I am of course well aware that my own use of the word ‘alpha’ and the word ‘beta’ should certainly appear to be completely at odds with what most of today’s nuclear-physicists would claim to think in respect to the subject of the currently understood particle sciences. But, I cannot really bring myself to anymore really care about the toes of any of the presumed experts that I might at this point appear to step on in respect to my own efforts to presently try to explain the actually thinking nuances behind fundamentally-structured atomism. Rather, I long time ago learned that while I might well try to re-explain the cosmological thinking of the ancient atomists to a much more modern group of people, I couldn’t also be expected to have to also completely invent an entirely new language with which to try to tell that story with. Instead, I have time and time again learned that the only way that I could ever come close to finally telling the kind of story that I wanted to tell was by simply re-casting or re-molding the formerly presumed meaning of quite many otherwise commonly spoken words so as to subsequently serve my own purposes.

    Then, in your message you supplied the names of several ancient Greek philosophers, and I really don’t know why you might had done that. First, I in no way believe that the utterly simple tenets behind fundamentally-structured atomism might have only been discovered in the area of ancient Greece. Rather, I suspect that many persons – living at many times and amidst many places throughout the whole of the previously known world – must have most certainly tended to think about surrounding physically-manifested cosmos in very much the same atomistically-minded way. Furthermore, on that list that you included I saw but one name that can presently be directly connected to the subject of atomism. And, in respect of that but one listed ancient atomist, I am simply not aware of any currently available evidence that would cause me to have to overwhelming conclude that he was also a fundamentally-structured atomist. And, isn’t that strange? Strange that of all the written works of the ancient philosophically-minded Greeks that is reported to have survived, none seems to have been as thoroughly looted, as totally adulterated, or as simply outright destroyed as that which might have once been attributed to the atomists?

    Also, on your list I also saw the name of Empedocles. And, since I wasn’t quite certain of what he might have purportedly thought, I decided to look the avowed principles of his stated philosophy up on Wikipedia. There, I saw Empedocles being credited with having devised the idea that “All matter is made up of four elements: water, earth, air and fire.” And, that he also “proposed powers called Love and Strife which would act as forces to bring about the mixture and separation of the elements.” Just what kind of totally woolly-minded would-be thinking is that? Hell, he might have just as well been talking about present day imagined quantum-states in respect to what that sort of apparently completely unfocused thinking might actually explain! So, it comes as no real surprise to me that his purported written works might have thus far well survived the by now several thousands of years old near total rule of the man-worshiping sects throughout most of the supposedly civilized world. Since, plainly, his similarly fundamentally-unstructured and but materialistically-minded thoughts should have probably not seemed so very different than that sect’s own usually quite impossible to precisely define cosmological ideas. Thus, with the exception of the atomist Democritus, and of course the humanistically minded Socrates, probably none of those other mentioned ancient philosophers might have been perceived as being much of a threat by the man-worshiping sects. And, thus their written works would not also have been caused to almost completely vanish from all of the reported historical records as most certainly appears to have been the case in respect to Democritus.

    In any case, it does not appear at all likely that any of the fundamentally-structured atomists that must have lived in the ancient past might have ever bought into the idea that man’s world might really be regarded as being at the very center of all so-called creation. Or, that man had actually been granted supposed ownership over the whole Earth. Or, that man had really been created in the purported image of his unfortunately seemingly all too figure-head type of merely imagined God. Or, that the atomists might have ever believed in a purported after-life for any potentially-living being. Indeed, the atomists apparently did never perceive human-beings as really being all that cosmologically important. Which is probably why throughout the course of human-history, whenever the actually quite easy to comprehend tenets of fundamentally-structured atomism might have again threatened to take root amidst the minds of many potentially-thinking men, that most nearly all who might have then professed to hold such beliefs were probably also almost immediately ruthlessly crushed by this unfortunate world’s seemingly ever reigning powers that be.

    Yes, me trying to presently advocate the by now very old ideas of fundamentally-structured atomism as a way of possibly better comprehending the actual workings of the surrounding physically-manifested cosmos, would at even this rather late date, appear to be an almost a quite impossible task to ever actually achieve and I am not at all hopeful that it could ever be done. So, please bear with me whenever from time to time I might also be caused to rant here about many things that maybe no one else might ever appear to understand. Because that just seems to somehow automatically come with the kind of currently not well understood territory which I have been trying for a very long while to mentally stake out.

  36. OzMan Says:

    Never had much interest in the Churches. Too bossy.
    OAM…..

    ‘Be Prepared: Climate Change and the Australian Bushfire Threat’

    http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/bushfirereport/

    The actual report:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zxzcyxkucnqt3o0/cc.bushfire.report.web.pdf

    ‘Inside climate news-
    Worst-Case Scenario for Oil Sands Comes to Life, WikiLeak Docs Show’

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-05/worst-case-scenario-for-oil-sands-comes-to-life-wikileak-docs-show.html

    An excerpt:
    “As environmentalists began ratcheting up pressure against Canada’s tar sands three years ago, one of the world’s biggest strategic consulting firms was tapped to help the North American oil industry figure out how to handle the mounting activism. The resulting document, published online by WikiLeaks, offers another window into how oil and gas companies have been scrambling to deal with unrelenting opposition to their growth plans.

    The document identifies nearly two-dozen environmental organizations leading the anti-oil sands movement and puts them into four categories: radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists—with how-to’s for managing each. It also reveals that the worst-case scenario presented to industry about the movement’s growing influence seems to have come to life.

    The December 2010 presentation by Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a global intelligence firm based in Texas, mostly advised oil sands companies to ignore or limit reaction to the then-burgeoning tar sands opposition movement because “activists lack influence in politics.” But there was a buried warning for industry under one scenario: Letting the movement grow unopposed may bring about “the most significant environmental campaign of the decade.”

    “This worst-case scenario is exactly what has happened,” partly because opposition to tar sands development has expanded beyond nonprofit groups to include individual activists concerned about climate change, said Mark Floegel, a senior investigator for Greenpeace. “The more people in America see Superstorm Sandys or tornadoes in Chicago, the more they are waking up and joining the fight.” ”

    Food for thought.
    Cheers

  37. Martin Says:

    @ Librarian

    Stop arguing with religious people. If you’re a nonbeliever, your very existence is persecution to them, so you are in effect beating on a stone wall.

    True enough. Religions are exquisitely calibrated paradigm traps that imprison their believers in almost impenetrable armour, and your average believer likes it that way. But these people are living in a cloud of cognitive dissonance, which is a tremendous drain on energy, not to say good cheer and goodwill, and doubt has a way of creeping in when the dissonance becomes too much, and they survey the emotional desert of their lives and wonder “WTF?”

    You never know what effect a good argument might have, especially one pitched at the disjunction between what their religion promises and what they’re getting out of it. Some of these people are deeply unhappy and desperate to escape. Our own Carolyn Baker is an outstanding example of a former fundie who got out and lived to write a book about it.

  38. Martin Says:

    There is the ethical question of whether you should be trying to separate the baby from his dummy. Religion has its consolations, and who are you to try to deprive a person of such things, etc., etc.

    So B9K9 says it is blindingly obvious where we are on the arc of empire, not least because the PTB have a terrible tell.

    Something like this?

  39. Andres Jimenez Says:

    Our own Carolyn Baker is an outstanding example of a former fundie who got out and lived to write a book about it.

    Is there such a thing as a “former fundie?” If there is, I’ve yet to encounter it. Every “former fundie” I’ve ever encountered or witnessed is still very much a “fundie.” They’ve merely swapped stripes or lipstick, meaning one fundamentalism has replaced another. Let’s take Carolyn as an example. “Fundies” are all about public proclamations and scathing judgments. They go to lengths to let you know what they believe and that belief is unwavering. By virtue of that, Carolyn is still a “fundie,” but since she’s embraced your non-fundamentalist fundamentalism, she gets a pass. It’s still fundamentalism though. Just a different catechism.

  40. Robin Datta Says:

    If you’re a nonbeliever,

    But these people are living in a cloud of cognitive dissonance,

    There is no cognitive dissonance about one thing: does the believer exist / does the nonbeliever exist? If they do, WHO exactly exists? That is the beginning of the quest.

  41. ulvfugl Says:

    Seems to me I have to keep on doing this, over and over again, trying to explain science to the mystics, and mysticism to the scientists…

    Listen to what this guy says… well the intro anyway.. that God is everywhere and everything, and how do you find, connect with God ? through meditation.. ( not that I’m endorsing the Rosicrucians, btw, but many others will say the same message)

    Well, the scientific atheistic materialists will reject that, because it doesn’t fit their paradigm, they don’t want it to upset THEIR belief system, do they.

    But, very sorry, because your own science is telling you that meditation changes what you are, it changes the form and function of your brain, that has been shown irrefutably by empirical brain scanning research that nobody can argue with.

    And now “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131208090343.htm

    That’s from just one brief session of mindfulness. What can be expected from dedicated prolonged meditation over years ? A person’s material physical being is changed by their mental and spiritual practices, at the fundamental level of genetic expression.

    So perhaps some of you might bear that in mind before pouring scorn and contempt upon those who are ‘religious’. I have met plenty of Christians in UK who are perfectly sane reasonable pleasant generous kind mild self-effacing harmless decent people, who have nothing at all in common with the rabid so called evangelical fundamentalist variety which seem to be common it the USA.

    And please don’t take this to mean that I support batshit crazy antiscience people who deny evolution and so forth, because I do not, or that I endorse Christianity, because I do not, I’ve met plenty of loathsome hypocritical Christians too.

    Untangling beliefs is not simple and stupidity is abundant.
    The beliefs that have got us into this mess are the legacy of history, and they come from many different sources and cultures. Imo, 90% are no longer viable and should to be scrapped as rapidly as possible. But it’s not going to happen, I expect they’ll fight to the death.

    Materialist science, capitalism, biblical Christianity, atheism, etc, are all abusive and guarantee that we annihilate ourselves and most everything else.

  42. Andres Jimenez Says:

    Why Near Term Extinction Changes Nothing

    Not even the exploitation of capitalism via the marketing of fear. Until the very end which is always just around the corner. Until then, squeeze out every last red cent any way you can, and if that means sell them shit you yourself say is useless, meaningless and irrelevant, then that’s what you should do. Who are we to judge? Get it while the getting is good. If you don’t, someone else will.

    http://survivalacres.com/

  43. Grant Schreiber Says:

    “Why Doesn’t Religion Care About Saving “God’s Country”?”

    And of course, God is Mammon, and in Mammon we trust, which little Amy gets to witness up close and personal.

    Why Near Term Extinction Changes Nothing: The essay seems to deliberately miss the point, that NTE condemns us to carry on anyway. Walking nude into the woods to die is giving up, and involuntary responses to the cold via shivering, hopping about and finally falling asleep are NOT the body struggling to survive, it’s the body dying. There’s nothing to “give up” in accepting NTE. This is not a surrender, it’s an understanding. Telling someone in stage four lung cancer to keep on trying and keep on having hope isn’t helpful, useful or kind or at all.

    I have no interest in Survival. I want to Live. Surviving is for people who hate society and want to outlast it so they can be King at least once in their miserable existence. I’m going to live until I stop. No better or worse than any one I know.

  44. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Guy, your well phrased & truthful wlords about booting industrial civilization & living a “simpler life” do NOT coincide with your CO2 production from flying – whatever the reason or excuse.

    I know; “the plane is going anyway?”

    Producing tons of CO2 in a few hours by flying is the epitome of our selfish consuming lives, including my own.

    Guy, as we drive & fly, literally, to extinction; we are murdering our fellow humans & killing ourselves with our energy largesse.

    Infrastuctural determinism made me do it, Mama.

    There is NO escape from this observation, even with law school training.

    Is this NOT true? WE FLY – YOU DIE.

    Parama & John Seed Bearer MAY be sincere & conscientious, but they are still new age fluff headS, who are selling a glaring, expensive, & utterly destructive yuppie farce.

    Fly to learn about a simpler life? – there is plenty of fire & industrial civilization in those massive jet engines.

    Your participation in such expensive nonsense is NOT worthy of your life’s work.

    It is glaring.

    Like patriotism, spirituality is often the best refuge of hypocritical scoundrels.

    I am visiting my few remaining relatives in Phoenix while I await the ominous ugly future developments of the NOW runaway methane time bomb.

    Amen Bro, Phoenix is our fossil fuel sucking car culture with a malicious vengeance.

    I already put about 3000 tons of CO2 into the atmospheric commons by playing Jack Kerouac for much of my life.

    If anybody “done his bit” to fugg this planet, I did.

    I didn’t mean it, but I still dunit.

    My culture gave me Lotka’s exosomatic tools, & I polluted like crazy.

    Guy, this is scandalous bullshit & pure yuppie hype.

    http://nextstepseminar.wordpress.com/

  45. Gerald Spezio Says:

    If NTE “changes nothing,” all the typing here must be nothing, eh?

  46. Gerald Spezio Says:

    NTE & Guy’s axiomatic claim that we might consider behaving as though are all in hospice, NOW.

    Five Top Regrets People Have At the End of Their Lives

    There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’.

    Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
    Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”
    Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

    1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
    “This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

    2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
    “This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

    3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
    “Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

    4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
    “Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

    5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
    “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

  47. Martin Says:

    @ Andres Jimenez

    There are people who embrace one form of fundamentalism after another. I find this unexceptionable, like having an appetite for olives and figs. If you enter into anything with enough nous and passion, a door will be opened to you and you will enjoy repose in a nice, self-referential world, replete with all manner of temptation. As any young buck knows, church is where the chicks are.

    With luck the moment of clarity will come when you will rub your chin in amazement at how many self-contained yet weirdly interlocking worlds their are in our strangely reflexive universe, and develop the habit of laughing heartily at it all.

    By coincidence, if that is the word, the latest c-realm podcast is an interview with Carolyn. She’s no fundie or, if she is, she hides it well, making her a non-fundie by the criterion you gave.

  48. pat Says:

    yes, there are divisions among us, many irreconcilable divisions.

    B9K9 has always fascinated me. My position has become one of just do the least that I can to support Industrial Civilization – although, even at a standstill, I am still consuming at a rate wholly unacceptable. I’ve always said, the only way for me, in my current situation, to TRULY walk away from Empire is to strip naked and wander into the woods – to quickly die of exposure, starvation, or animal mauling.

    So, I sit on this runaway train, staring out the window.

    Sure, if I could, I would move to a sustainable hunter-gatherer community and learn to eat roots, grubs and berries…

    Yes, I’m guilty, I grew up chasing the American Dream and I have paid taxes that supported the Empire’s atrocities. Since discovering John Michael Greer, Xray Mike and Guy McPherson, I have realized my guilt and the inability of The Resistance to form a congruent plan to implement The Solution. The few of us willing to admit our guilt and eschew Empire will ultimately make no difference.

    My life is in shambles as measured by the prevailing Conventional Wisdom. My home is in foreclosure, I’m defaulting on my debts, and I will be filing for bankruptcy in 2014. I have a part-time job, just enough to survive, and I can actually live where I work (although not zoned for such). I have no savings, no 401k, no healthcare, no future.

    I was hoping that Collapse would happen quicker so that my personal financial collapse would just be lumped into the greater chaos and, thus, be hardly noticeable. I have been Collapse Aware since 2006 and I’m Still Waiting…

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  49. buz painter Says:

    My childhood was generally evenly divided between the wild outdoors and the familial cocoon of fundamentalist (Baptist)religion. Upon graduation from High School I faced the decision of going away to a bible college to study for the ministry or to register at my local school ( University of Arizona). At the time I felt not only the pressure to go and “serve God” but an inner draw to fulfill that destiny.

    Financially it made sense to attend the local school. I remember that tuition for one semester amounted to $93 in 1962. Can you believe that? Being 18 I was curious. When I discovered the fine library at University my earlier faith melted away like a spring snow.

    I was only one of a fair number of young Turks who slithered out from under the protective (stifling) care of the Church to become empirical seekers in the newly discovered secular world. We filtered, one by one, into San Fransisco in 1967.

    In the years since then I have come full circle. (I actually see it more as a spiral because I haven’t arrived at the same place.) I was a militant Atheist, then an open-minded agnostic. Now…?

    All I am really saying is that the impregnable wall of institutional religion is not as impregnable as one might believe. That is why I continue to engage everyone. You never know, they may be teetering on the precipuss

  50. buz painter Says:

    My childhood was generally evenly divided between the wild outdoors and the familial cocoon of fundamentalist (Baptist)religion. Upon graduation from High School I faced the decision of going away to a bible college to study for the ministry or to register at my local school ( University of Arizona). At the time I felt not only the pressure to go and “serve God” but an inner draw to fulfill that destiny.

    Financially it made sense to attend the local school. I remember that tuition for one semester amounted to $93 in 1962. Can you believe that? Being 18 I was curious. When I discovered the fine library at University my earlier faith melted away like a spring snow.

    I was only one of a fair number of young Turks who slithered out from under the protective (stifling) care of the Church to become empirical seekers in the newly discovered secular world. We filtered, one by one, into San Fransisco in 1967.

    In the years since then I have come full circle. (I actually see it more as a spiral because I haven’t arrived at the same place.) I was a militant Atheist, then an open-minded agnostic. Now…?

    All I am really saying is that the impregnable wall of institutional religion is not as impregnable as one might believe. That is why I continue to engage everyone. You never know, they may be teetering on the precipice of transition to a new paradigm. Your words might be enough to propel them over the side.

    Now – do they sprout wings or plummet into oblivion?

  51. Denise Says:

    Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #91

    Public radio
    now raffles thousand dollar
    corporate gift cards.

  52. wildwoman Says:

    Why doesn’t religion care about saving the earth? Probably for the same reason that religion justified slavery….there is profit to be made.

    Chris Hedges, in the latest talk, takes aim at religion for not stepping up to the plate. He calls out people in one sentence: You don’t need 3 years at Harvard Divinity school to realize that Jesus didn’t come to make us rich.

    So, when you guys are talking religion, what I see is “quack, quack, quack, quack.”

    Grant, I’m still loving what I’m calling the Quack Doctrine. I’m practicing at home, so that when I hear a lie, I’ll quack instinctively, like a Tourette’s tic. Lie/quack.

    Denise, welcome back. Missed the haikus.

  53. mike k Says:

    @Ulvfugl – If I say to someone, “NTE is a certainty” and they respond, “So what”, I know that I am dealing with a zombie, and further conversation is pointless.

    Survival Acres is selling to “doomsday preppers” so NTE is only of value to them as a scare tactic to enhance buying, but as a reality it is a turnoff, hence their automatic statement that it doesn’t change anything (keep buying!)

  54. Robin Datta Says:

    If I say to someone, “NTE is a certainty” and they respond, “So what”, I know that I am dealing with a zombie, and further conversation is pointless.

    That someone may also be a Fully Realised One, one who has gone through The Great Death, and has only one little death ahead. In that case too, many will find further conversation pointless.

  55. Ram Says:

    @ Gerald Spezio

    Infrastructural determinism as it presents in globalised capitalism is possibly an extremely good basis for travelling the world educating the masses of the consequences.

  56. Apneaman Says:

    RE: Gerald Spezio
    RE: Five Top Regrets People Have At the End of Their Lives

    Well at least everyone knows you will never suffer regret #3

  57. mike k Says:

    @Robin – If I met such a Fully Realized One and he/she said “so what” to the horrible tragic failure and extinction of humankind, then I would think, “fully realized, and still a zombie…”

  58. Christy Says:

    “religion started when humans got separated from the Garden of Eden, which is a metaphor of when we lived in harmony with nature. That meant we lost our connection with life and the universe and everything, so religion is how we “re-link” to that connection.”

    A few thoughts on that…

    This separation is the primal trauma. When and how and why it happened… a complex subject with many theories, but I would suggest it was connected with the invention of private property, clock time and exploitation/profit based currency systems. These may not have been the initial cause of the separation, but they have definitely been used to instill and spread the illusory reality of humanity’s separation from life.

    All humanity suffers from the trauma of the mental/intellectual severance from life. We as indigenous people, all people, who come from and depend on the aina (Hawaiian “that which feeds us”), who are a part of this planetary process existing as a wholeness, all experience this trauma. Awareness of oneness, or unity, or interdependence, is in our ancestral memories, and we all long for this to be healed, to re-member, to bring our fragmented selves back together into the wholeness of life.

    This trauma is what blinds us to the truth of our essential nature. Religions claim to be an intermediary between us and our true nature, a link, but there is no between. People get stuck in the forms of the religion, hoping it will give them something, answers, relief from suffering, when what we are looking for is what we all already are. And some “spiritual traditions” may tell us “thou art That,” but they also say a lot of other stuff, usually related to patriarchal power trips, which creates a lot of confusion and disempowerment for the “seeker.” Religion, imo, is ultimately a distraction from the truth, because the truth does not require a pointer, because it simply is. With religion the pointer becomes the focus and the truth “far away” and hard, or impossible, to “attain.”

    There is no away. We are it.

    I don’t know how this existence began, if it ever did have any beginning, and neither does anyone else. The difficulty of holding the awareness of that mystery also makes religion seductive.

    There is so much that we so not understand, that we may never understand. And we try and try to explain those things, meanwhile without actually making the most use of what we do understand, what we can observe, with our own senses. The senses are a doorway into fully experiencing and hence understanding life. But religion often tells us to negate the senses, to transcend them. Meditation, quiet attention on the body experience and specifically the breath, makes our senses acute. What we discover through meditation is what is already here/everywhere. We just have to become quiet and still enough to attend to what is here/everywhere, to notice more layers of reality, to notice who we are.

    @Gerald Spezio

    Thanks for that about the 5 things people regret when they are dying. I am going to send that in an email to my husband. He might be too busy to read it, but it is worth a try. :)

  59. izzy Says:

    Well, if your basic premise is that, thanks to Industrial Civilization, our goose is cooked and there’s really nothing to be done about it, then being a jet-age Paul Revere is a curious contradiction that doesn’t actually produce much of value. But we have to choose something to do, even it’s just sit on the porch and get drunk or stoned. Considering its now global scope and expression, “Walking Away from Empire” makes a better slogan than a real possibility, but the sentiments are the true nugget in such a case. All the intramural carping and bickering is a little discouraging. Someone recently observed that the Right seeks converts, while the Left looks for traitors. Does anyone sincerely doubt our sponsor’s stand on the big issues?

  60. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Apneaman, Merci.

  61. Robin Datta Says:

    If I met such a Fully Realized One and he/she said “so what” to the horrible tragic failure and extinction of humankind, then I would think, “fully realized, and still a zombie…”

    Exactly!

  62. Artleads Says:

    I don’t care what belief systems people have. Where is the time to be concerned with that? If there is an emergency (which there is), the place is on fire (which it is), there is only time for practical things. Heading for the exit in a straight line would be best. No time for philosophy ad airing differences. Help the next person. Avoid panic in yourself, and promote the same among others. (People follow leaders.)

    While there is no known or proven path to salvation, distraction, irrelevance and poor behavior certainly decrease the chances thereof.

  63. TIAA Says:

    Dear Mr. Belle Islander, I found your ideas of atomism very interesting and not confusing so much as cometely new. I look forward to your sharing further. Surely such info must be boggling to your own mind.

    Dear ulvfugl, bravo on the science of meditation on the brain thing.

  64. Robin Datta Says:

    No time for philosophy ad airing differences. Help the next person. Avoid panic in yourself, and promote the same among others.

    Acting in accordance with rational anticipation, but without expectation: according to preference for but without attachment to outcomes.

  65. FriedrichKling Says:

    An Open Invitation for Those Attending The Next Step Seminar;

    For those attending The Next Step seminar with Guy in Guatemala, I encourage you to visit our recently created 5,734 acre wildlife reserve named Sierra Caral. We were in competition with a narcotics smuggling operation looking to launder its profits by purchasing this property and converting it into a cattle ranch. We threatened the seller, Guatemala’s largest bank, with a media campaign should the bank refuse to accept our bid. Fortunately we prevailed. We are now engaged in the acquisition of neighboring properties. SIERRA CARAL IS THE SINGLE MOST BIO-DIVERSE FOREST REMNANT IN CARIBBEAN GUATEMALA and is an unparalleled center of endemism for amphibians, reptiles, and insects. Seven endemic species of amphibians have recently been discovered in the region, plus the arboreal Blue Pit Viper (Bothriechis thalassinus), named for its amazing blue tonality.

  66. the virgin terry Says:

    kirk, thanks for the intro to america’s best christian and the fictitious Landover Baptist church. great satire and info. i agree that dogmatic religious faith conditions sheeple to believe/accept all sorts of lies… probably a very unappreciated reason why tptb have always been supportive of it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etgDxSUKLqc

  67. Bob S. Says:

    FriedrichKling Says:

    “For those attending The Next Step seminar with Guy in Guatemala, I encourage you to visit our recently created 5,734 acre wildlife reserve named Sierra Caral.”

    I didn’t know you and Guy started a wildlife reserve in Guatemala.

    And you had to fight narcotic smugglers! Were they dangerous? Did they have guns? Your guns musta been bigger since it was you all who the seller most feared.

    Good work – wish I coulda been there.

  68. Tom Says:

    Another, even MORE potent greenhouse gas has been “discovered” and it’s man-made (yep, we’ve been carelessly venting this stuff since the mid-20th century):

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/greenhousr-gasses.html

    Tuesday, 10 December 2013

    New Long-Lived Greenhouse Gas Discovered: Highest Global-Warming Impact of Any Compound to Date

    Scientists from U of T’s Department of Chemistry have discovered a novel chemical lurking in the atmosphere that appears to be a long-lived greenhouse gas (LLGHG). The chemical — perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA) — is the most radiatively efficient chemical found to date, breaking all other chemical records for its potential to impact climate.

    Science Daily,

    9 December, 2013

    Radiative efficiency describes how effectively a molecule can affect climate. This value is then multiplied by its atmospheric concentration to determine the total climate impact.

    PFTBA has been in use since the mid-20th century for various applications in electrical equipment and is currently used in thermally and chemically stable liquids marketed for use in electronic testing and as heat transfer agents. It does not occur naturally, that is, it is produced by humans. There are no known processes that would destroy or remove PFTBA in the lower atmosphere so it has a very long lifetime, possibly hundreds of years, and is destroyed in the upper atmosphere.

    “Global warming potential is a metric used to compare the cumulative effects of different greenhouse gases on climate over a specified time period,” said Cora Young who was part of the U of T team, along with Angela Hong and their supervisor, Scott Mabury. Time is incorporated in the global warming potential metric as different compounds stay in the atmosphere for different lengths of time, which determines how long-lasting the climate impacts are.

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is used as the baseline for comparison since it is the most important greenhouse gas responsible for human-induced climate change. “PFTBA is extremely long-lived in the atmosphere and it has a very high radiative efficiency; the result of this is a very high global warming potential. Calculated over a 100-year timeframe, a single molecule of PFTBA has the equivalent climate impact as 7100 molecules of CO2,” said Hong.

  69. ulvfugl Says:

    @ TIAA

    Thankyou.

    People have known this stuff for thousands of years. Science catches up.
    I try never to lose touch with my chi, keeping conscious attention so I am always connected at some point, even when 90% absorbed in thought or conversation, then return to crown chakra, tanden, etc, always moving…

    The Science Behind Posture and How It Affects Your Brain

    http://lifehacker.com/the-science-behind-posture-and-how-it-affects-your-brai-1463291618

  70. Andres Jimenez Says:

    I’m quite satisfied here, wrapped in sheepskins, leaping about amidst the boulders. Thousands of years go past and nothing happens, and we’ve managed to get by without ANY of those things, so why is it that you people in Chicago just have to have them ?

    I knew it. The internet was always here, it just took some clever scientists to clarify it for us just as ancient shamans clarified the ripples in the waves to decipher ships on the horizon. Surfing on the rocky, barren hillsides of Wales is as old as man himself. NBL is great. There’s so much to learn here.

    It reminds me of that scene from The Jerk where Nathan said, at first, all he needed was his blanket but then kept adding to his austere list. Gots to have me my Internets.

  71. ulvfugl Says:

    Yes, the old will die, but that’s ok. They were responsible for deaths of many over truly inconsequential things like debt. Hell, in the early decades of the 21st century 1 child died every 4 seconds from preventable poverty — with that kind of track record to compare against the old shouldn’t worry huh?

    https://medium.com/5-viridian-years/5bf9407bd010

    @ A Jimenez

    That was some private ironic humour between myself and Schreiber. Obviously way above your paygrade.

  72. the virgin terry Says:

    ’5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
    “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” ‘

    i don’t know about this one, gerald spezio, assuming, as it does, that we possess enough ‘free will’ to ‘choose’ happiness. in fact, it rather strikes me as similar to the christian idea that we’re free to ‘choose salvation’, and if we fail to do so, only have ourselves to blame. it should go without saying that everyone wants to be happy, but obviously, there are limits to our freedom to choose (who in their right mind would choose such a world as this to be born into?).

  73. Tom Says:

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175781/

    Tomgram: Chase Madar, The Criminalization of Everyday Life

    The Over-Policing of America
    Police Overkill Has Entered the DNA of Social Policy

  74. Denise Says:

    Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #92

    Record highs last week.
    Record lows this week. Mixed up
    lemon tree freezes.

  75. Guy McPherson Says:

    With thanks to Scott Erickson for his contribution, I’ve posted a new guest essay. It’s here.

  76. mike k Says:

    @Ulvfugl – Posture? Buck up! The end is near….eh? J

  77. Mister BelleIslander Says:

    @ TIAA – Thanks for your kind words. I have been working on another piece that will probably go over like another leaden balloon since it’s likely even more controversial. But, what the hell! These just may be the very last days I get to speak my mind whilst I still have a voice. Please continue your own postings here as well. It’s usually good to be exposed to host of wide ranging ideas and that’s why I keep coming back here. BTW…. ‘cometely’? Best Wishes,

  78. Scott Erickson Says:

    Denise, thanks for the Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku!

  79. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    Grant said,”God Is Mammon And In Mammon We Trust”.

    BRILLIANT! I want that on a bumper sticker!!! I’m currently sporting two bumper stickers on my old heap of a Chevy. One reads, “Come The Rapture, Can I Have Your Car?” The other says, “Nader For President, 2008.” Grant’s comment on my bumper would make driving even moor fun. ;)

    As this thread passes into oblivion I want to take a moment to acknowledge a living, breathing oxymoron, if ever there was one, the military chaplain. GOOD GOD! WHAT A BUNCH OF JUMBO SHRIMP!

  80. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Kirk Hamilton

    Yes, but I don’t think your fight is with God or religion or spirituality as such, it’s with basic human stupidity, ignorance, wickedness, immorality, hypocrisy, greed, malice, gullibility, etc.

    Doesn’t matter what idea someone comes up with, however brilliant and wonderful, someone else will manage to ruin it and exploit it and turn it into something it was never intended to be.

    There seems to be good evidence that Jesus’s teachings and his power were being being co-opted and corrupted right from the time of his death. His family wrote down what was happening and complained about it at the time.

    This pattern is obvious throughout history.

    You know, the guy said, his first commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ and Christians have been killing for Jesus ever since. But you can’t blame HIM for that, can you. He said give away all your possessions to the poor, and Calvin and others turned that around and said if you’re very rich it means God loves you a lot. Can’t blame Jesus for that either.

    I’m not arguing in favour of Christianity, or organised institutionalised religion, I’m pretty much against both. But who are ‘the good guys’ ? There aren’t any, are there. You turn to the secular, materialists and atheists, or the scientists, or the people of no religious belief, are they people to ADMIRE ? Ffs, they are just as bad or worse when it comes to consuming and exploiting and polluting and going to war and thieving and everything else.

    I’ve trawled through the cultures of the world trying to find examples of peoples who have even tried to live in harmony with their environment, to do minimal harm, who have respected the non-humans, who have tried to treat all members of their communities as valuable beings to be cherished and respected… examples are very few and far between…

    I don’t share Gail’s view (if she still holds it, or if I’m representing it correctly) that ALL humans are intrinsically genetically programmed to devastate the environment and eliminate other species, etc, because there are, or have been, some exceptions.

  81. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    Yep, religion can be more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

  82. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    @ulvfugl. Hey, I just finished a response to your last post. It took an hour to write but appears to be lost. Sorry! I just don’t want you to think the goofy scene from Apocalypto, I posted above, was my response to your last writing. I would take the time to retype but I’m beat and 6AM rolls around awfully fast. See ya! :)

  83. Lidia Says:

    @Tom re. The criminalization of everyday life. I sent my sister an article with “The Criminalization of Normal Behavior” scribbled on it a few weeks back. Story was that the cops were call and a school was put under “lockdown” because a woman was knocking on the locked door, desperate to use the bathroom…

    Sometimes I wonder what is going to be more psychologically corrosive, real privations and diminished material standards of living (which, however dire, are at least comprehensible if not resolvable), or the growing range of gratuitous insane behaviors and situations which will be forced upon us by institutions and their authoritarian followers.

  84. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Kirk

    I believe you, I’ve had it happen too :-)

    Some music

  85. mike k Says:

    @Ulvfugl – Thanks for the above excellent post. We humans always seek someone or something to blame. Whether it’s religion, or science, or government, or terrorists, etc. – it’s never US. Pogo was right, we have met the enemy. And it is US! The first step on any valid spiritual path is to admit that I am the problem. First things first. Set your own house in order. You will then have less time to blame others, God, etc.

  86. ulvfugl Says:

    @ mike k

    Well, I suppose I agree with you. I used to think that, sit down, sort yourself out, because if you are a confused mess yourself, your actions and ideas are only going to make things worse.

    But the problem is, that it can take a very long time to sort yourself out. It can be, or can become, a self-indulgence. I don’t think we have that luxury now. If the building is in fire, pass water buckets, it doesn’t matter whether you’re Enlightened or not, it’s common sense.

    We are all already there, already here. Where else can you be, but in this moment ? This, and this, and this..

    You can be passive, or you can be active, alternating.

    How you understand yourself and your learning journey depends upon the paradigm or belief system that you choose. They all have different terminologies and maps of reality, ways to structure time and space and inner experiences.

    There are already zillions of teachers professing to cater for people’s spiritual needs. I don’t need to do that job. I don’t even like humans very much. The last thing I want to be is someone who gives other people spiritual guidance and advice. I can tell anyone everything useful that I know in about fifteen minutes. How to do zazen, which teachings I’ve found that worked for me, etc. After that, it’s up to them whether they do them or not. None of my business.

    My major concern is for the non-humans that have no representation or voice. None of the spiritual traditions pay much heed to that. I often find the anthropocentrism here pretty hard to take. You know ‘We going to become extinct, oh dear, poor us’. Well, it’s the fault of the humans. What about all the REST of the species whose fault it is NOT ?

    D. Jensen interviews Lierre Keith

    http://prn.fm/2013/12/resistance-radio-120813/

  87. Gerald Spezio Says:

    Tom, PFTBA is real information.
    I didn’t know jackshid about PFTBA.

  88. ulvfugl Says:

    Radioactive spill: uranium processing halted and mine audit under way
    Gundjeihmi leader calls on government to seek international help in clean-up of spill at Ranger mine in Kakadu

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/09/radioactive-spill-full-audit-sought

  89. Kirk Hamilton Says:

    @ulvfugl. Thanks for the excellent video. It helps to make clear some things I’ve been wondering about. It too, opens up a way to some very interesting looking study in the Book of James.

    You’re a very wise fellow. I know that some people can really get my back up! I try not to become too cynical and start thrashing about. I’m working on it. Anyway, thanks again.

  90. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Kirk

    Thanks for that fine compliment :-)

  91. mike k Says:

    Since my comment below was sent but not published, I will try again with this header.

    @Ulvfugl – It is true that not only the house is burning, the whole Cosmos is on fire, dissolving, mutating – as in Buddha’s Fire Sermon. One is ready to pass buckets, but has a fire brigade been formed? What if I pass a bucket and there is no one to receive it, and it spills uselessly on the ground? That has been my experience; plenty of fires but a scarcity of firemen/women.

    In the Sixties, after spending a couple of weeks alone deep in the Hawaiian forest, I was sitting by a stream, and a dragonfly spoke to me. She/he said, “We creatures of the forest sense that something terrible is happening that is changing our world in a bad way. We sense that you humans are doing this, but we have been unable to speak to them because they are not telepathically attuned. You seem able to understand me, however. Would you be our voice and go to your kind and tell them to please stop destroying our world?” To my subsequent shame, I answered that I would do so.

    As I began exploring how I could fulfill my promise, the overwhelming difficulty of this mission became more and more evident to me. Those who I wished to awaken to what they were doing were not only incapable of hearing the voices of Nature imploring and warning them, they could not hear my feeble attempts to make a difference either. In fact most were not only indifferent, but hostile to my ideas.

    After many years of further study and contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that the only hope for all beings on this planet is a profound change of consciousness on the part of a large number of people. Of course this opens a very large can of worms (symbolic of the neural snarls in the brains of our demented population). I am all too aware, as anyone who tries to deprogram another’s errant operating system will learn, that resistance to new and uncomfortable ideas is endemic to the “well adjusted”.

    Given this current stubbornly closed addictive system prevailing in the general population, what is to be done? To try to approach this with a direct rational methodology will not be effective. We need to find a way to trick people to be good. Sort of like Edward Bernays realizing that the unconscious was the royal road of changing behavior. Of course a lot more needs to be developed for this approach to bear fruit; I’m working on it…

    PS – I have read Keith’s anti-vegan book and agree with much of it. Also her DGR book, much of which I disagree with. I have also read most of what Jensen has written and agree with all of it except his recommendations as to what to do about it all.

  92. mike k Says:

    Just testing. My posts are not going through…

  93. mike k Says:

    This will probably be my last attempt to publish this comment. I get a message that says, “ you have already said that”. Yes but it has never been published!

    @Ulvfugl – It is true that not only the house is burning, the whole Cosmos is on fire, dissolving, mutating – as in Buddha’s Fire Sermon. One is ready to pass buckets, but has a fire brigade been formed? What if I pass a bucket and there is no one to receive it, and it spills uselessly on the ground? That has been my experience; plenty of fires but a scarcity of firemen/women.

    In the Sixties, after spending a couple of weeks alone deep in the Hawaiian forest, I was sitting by a stream, and a dragonfly spoke to me. She/he said, “We creatures of the forest sense that something terrible is happening that is changing our world in a bad way. We sense that you humans are doing this, but we have been unable to speak to them because they are not telepathically attuned. You seem able to understand me, however. Would you be our voice and go to your kind and tell them to please stop destroying our world?” To my subsequent shame, I answered that I would do so.

    As I began exploring how I could fulfill my promise, the overwhelming difficulty of this mission became more and more evident to me. Those who I wished to awaken to what they were doing were not only incapable of hearing the voices of Nature imploring and warning them, they could not hear my feeble attempts to make a difference either. In fact most were not only indifferent, but hostile to my ideas.

    After many years of further study and contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that the only hope for all beings on this planet is a profound change of consciousness on the part of a large number of people. Of course this opens a very large can of worms (symbolic of the neural snarls in the brains of our demented population). I am all too aware, as anyone who tries to deprogram another’s errant operating system will learn, that resistance to new and uncomfortable ideas is endemic to the “well adjusted”.

    Given this current stubbornly closed addictive system prevailing in the general population, what is to be done? To try to approach this with a direct rational methodology will not be effective. We need to find a way to trick people to be good. Sort of like Edward Bernays realizing that the unconscious was the royal road of changing behavior. Of course a lot more needs to be developed for this approach to bear fruit; I’m working on it…

    PS – I have read Keith’s anti-vegan book and agree with much of it. Also her DGR book, much of which I disagree with. I have also read most of what Jensen has written and agree with all of it except his recommendations as to what to do about it all.

  94. Timothy Says:

    In my mind religion is only interested in preserving itself. None of it’s tenants are based in reality. Although some eastern philosophies and religions are more reality based than the Abrahamic faiths.

  95. ulvfugl Says:

    @ Timothy

    Define ‘reality’ please.


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  1. […] I agree with Nietzsche’s critique of religion and religious (i.e. supernatural) faith: that fundamentally it’s a hatred of the self, a hatred of life, and a hatred of the material earth—including its many inhabitants. Put another way, by the character Amy in “The Diary of Amy, the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth” by Scott Erickson: Why Doesn’t Religion Care About Saving ‘God’s Country’? […]

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