What Collapse Feels Like, Part 5: Hijacking Joy: The Civilized Cerebesphere And New Age Nausea

by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power

JoyPerhaps the last emotion a collapse-aware reader would expect to see in a series on “What Collapse Feels Like” would be joy. Fear, anger, grief, and despair yes, but not joy. Yet I believe we have every reason to expect that the end of life as we have known it will be attended by joy as much as by any other of the so-called “negative” emotions.

 

To reiterate from other contexts where I have mentioned joy, I believe that joy always needs to be differentiated from happiness. The latter is circumstantial, depending on things like one’s financial security, physical well being, the status of one’s love life, whether or not the kids are doing well, or when we might be able to take the next vacation. Joy, however, has nothing to do with these, and even when all of these factors register well below negative, it is possible to experience joy.

 

Joy is a sense of connectedness with one’s deeper self and with life itself. Joy is a natural, irrepressible response to resonance with the earth community and our human allies within it. Experiencing joy is a byproduct of a bone-marrow awareness of “The Thread” of which the poet William Stafford wrote:

 

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

Joy is possible, even under horrendous external circumstances because one is intimately connected with “the thread.”

 

Unfortunately, some individuals do not understand this principle and assume that because humans have so abhorrently trashed the planet, they do not deserve to experience joy or cherish any part of themselves that may hold kindness, compassion, empathy, justice, and generosity. Occasionally, I receive feedback from such individuals who label me as naïve because I find anything valuable in humans or argue that we deserve to feel any joy whatsoever. I can only wonder what the emotional state of such individuals is and what it is like to be in their presence. No, strike that. I already know the answer because these people are essentially dead, and their contempt for humanity and the emotion of joy give new meaning to the word “zombie.”

 

The Civilized Cerebesphere

 

However, we should not be surprised at this unbridled suspicion of joy because joy has been hijacked in the culture of industrial civilization. The two culprits are what I call “the Cerebesphere” and New Age Nausea.

 

The Cerebesphere is the domain of intellect and reason. It was canonized in the eighteenth century by what was dubiously named “The Enlightenment” which, unfortunately, shed a great deal of light on the human mind but left the soul pathetically in the dark until some of the remarkable luminaries of the nineteenth century such as Jean Jacques Rousseau, George Sand, William Blake, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau championed its indomitable reality.

 

Sadly, since the triumph of the Cerebesphere, men have been socialized to live in that domain to the exclusion of the territory of heart and gut, relegating those functions to the domain of women. The result: A binary culture in which a false dichotomy exists between intellect and emotion, not to mention endless, heartbreaking conflagrations between men and women in virtually every type of relationship—romantic, professional, or platonic.

 

Confinement to the Cerebesphere necessarily produces a reaction to the word joy as naïve, fainthearted, overly-optimistic, and of course, impotent. Impotent is important because that’s what this is actually about, isn’t it? For some, experiencing joy “has to” be about abdicating one’s defense structures, surrendering one’s sense of empowerment, and risking getting whacked by the powers that be or a culture in chaos in the aftermath of the collapse of industrial civilization.

 

Joy immediately takes one to the heart, and the heart is an exceedingly dangerous place to be when one believes that one can control outcomes. Feeling joy softens the physiology and blurs the bulwarks of hyper-vigilance. In the Cerebesphere, the closest thing to joy are those wispy, teal-blue scenes in Viagra commercials where the nitty-gritty tough cowboy with horsetrailer in tow behind his pickup finds his way home to the “little woman” in the dark of night after a long, hard stint on the road. The Cerebesphere, untempered by the heart, is patriarchy’s most ghastly gulag.

 

Looking out through the dingy windows of the Cerebesphere, we analyze our predicament with polarized vision. On the one hand, we’re screwed, and damn it, we should act that way, whereas if we allow ourselves to savor or express any joy, then we are naïve, sycophantic twits who have no idea how dire the situation actually is and will be. How dare we experience joy when we orchestrated our predicament in the first place! We have no right to do so as a result of our status as human scum who have trashed the planet! Furthermore, considering the plethora of suffering beings that inhabit the earth, how could we possibly feel gratitude for being alive at this time in human history? After all, near-term extinction is upon us. What the hell is there to laugh, dance, sing, paint, or write poetry about, unless of course our artistic expression is dripping with rage and despair?

 

I cannot thoroughly answer these questions, but they catapult me to a number of indigenous elders I’ve been privileged to know. Incisively knowing in every cell of their bodies how precariously we stagger on the knife-edge of death, they do not live as if that were so. Instead, on the same day that they may find themselves in the wilderness wailing and sobbing for the loss of the earth, they might join with other elders around the fire to tell jokes or bounce a grandchild on the knee, playfully telling her stories of the ancient ones with reassurance that the community will always be there for her no matter what. Carrying the gargantuan burden of a dying planet, these elders dance, play music, initiate their young, and give thanks for every new day they are fortunate enough to greet, holding both joy and sorrow in the cup of their broken hearts, and thus walk, talk, and exude the most profound essence of joy. Their connection to “the thread” is rarely far from their awareness.

New Age Nausea

One of the natural outcomes of centuries lived in the Cerebesphere with its “Enlightenment” origins is New Age Nausea, that is to say, the delusional cult of positive thinking. Barbara Ehrenreich has written extensively on positive thinking in which she criticizes the “happiness industry” for encouraging the poor to look on the bright side of things and all of us not to look at things as they are.

 

Some three decades ago the New Age movement began its rise in popularity in the United States. Drawing from the teachings of non-traditional, metaphysical movements in the Middle Ages, Eastern spiritual traditions, and the Transcendental movement of the nineteenth century, the New Age movement offered an alternative to the rigid theology of orthodox religions by emphasizing positive thinking and personal growth. While incorporating a plethora of teachings from ancient traditions which address both the light and dark sides of the human condition, the focus of New Age thinking has been on “living in the light” while negating (denying) darkness.

Not unlike its predecessor, the Christian Science religion in the United States based on the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, the New Age concurs with William Shakespeare when he stated, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” New Age teachers emphasize the power of one’s mental attitude to draw to oneself either adversity or advantage. A number of New Age teachers such as Ernest Holmes, Eric Butterworth, Alice Bailey, Louise Hay, and others have written extensively on the power of positive thinking to manifest personal, financial abundance in one’s life. Drawing (largely erroneously) from the principles of quantum physics, many New Age teachers speak of the “law of attraction” or the notion that like attracts like. That is to say that if one is thinking positively about one’s financial situation, one may draw abundance to oneself; whereas, if one is feeling deprived or focusing on a lack of monetary resources, such negative thinking is likely to perpetuate or even worsen one’s financial situation.

It is worth noting that New Age teachings on abundance and the law of attraction have consistently arisen in the context of wealth or in a time when an emphasis on wealth rules the day. Just prior to the Great Depression, in 1928 Napoleon Hill wrote the book, The Law Of Success In 16 Lessons, and in 1937, influenced by steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, Hill wrote Think And Grow Rich. In the 1980s when the Reagan Administration was in power in the United States, New Age spirituality achieved unprecedented popularity. Reagan referred to his election to the Presidency as “morning in America,” and his administration marked the beginning of some of the most dramatic cuts to social and poverty programs in the history of the nation.

In 2006, during the Bush II Administration, the film The Secret was released, followed by The Secret book in 2007. According to Wikipedia, the film, “consists of a series of interviews designed to demonstrate that everything one wants or needs can be satisfied by believing in an outcome, repeatedly thinking about the outcome, and maintaining positive emotional states to ‘attract’ that outcome.” The book and movie were touted by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Larry King, and millions of readers and viewers began practicing the principles of the law of attraction.

Attend any Unity or Science of Mind church in the United States on any Sunday morning, and you are likely to hear or read about some aspect of the law of attraction and how positive thinking can manifest abundance in one’s life. Similar to Christian Science, the Science of Mind or Religious Science denomination trains practitioners to be available to those who desire healing in a variety of areas of their lives. At the Science of Mind-oriented website, Enrichment, the reader will note an article entitled “Treating For Abundance And Supply In Challenging Economic Times.” The article states:

These economic times are stirring great anxiety among many; and at Enrichment.com, we wish to share the thought that it is more important now than ever to remember that the Universe is infinitely abundant, which it surely is, and that as individuals we can connect in mindset and consciousness with this Infinite Spirit of Abundance. Science of Mind teaches that out-loud “treatments” – statements of affirmation as to what one hopes for as that which is already real – leads to a connection with the All-giving Source – and combined with creative action, results in manifestation from the higher plane of consciousness to this material plane.

 

The late Dr. Holmes, the founder of Science of Mind, would counsel us not to give in to fear, for fear closes opportunities for prosperity – but rather through intention to stay positive, optimistic and open to receiving the blessings of abundance. Another great New Thought teacher, Elizabeth Scovel Shinn, offered one of many treatments in this area, such as, “I draw upon the abundance of the Spheres my immediate and endless supply.” It is important to follow treatment with action, and to be open to new vocational and entrepreneurial possibilities, if needs be.

 

The reader may argue that in a time of economic collapse, whatever one finds useful in terms of economic sustenance should not be judged. If the law of attraction helps an individual keep his or her head above water while facing all manner of economic challenges, what’s the problem?

 

Understandably, people in dire economic straits are desperate for quick fixes. However, The Secret is yet another gimmick of individualistic entitlement devised by privileged, white purveyors of New Age Nausea. Currently, every developed nation in the world is in one stage or another of economic collapse. This conundrum is larger than any individual who attempts to remain financially solvent by being employed, saving money wisely, investing, or making charitable contributions. In the macrocosm of collective consciousness on planet Earth, we are experiencing a state of profound contraction, and none of us is exempt from the deprivation that global economic collapse is already visiting upon our communities. We will not all suffer in the same ways, but we will all suffer, and no amount of positive thinking or practicing the law of attraction will spare us from living on and with less. Rather than seeking to “have it all,” one of the fundamental tenets of New Age Nausea, we must transform the way money works and find refuge in sharing, mutually-supportive human community as elucidated in Charles Eisenstein’s Sacred Economics—a splendid antidote to The Secret.

 

Nor will positive thinking spare us from the deadly consequences of catastrophic climate change which threatens to make much of the earth uninhabitable within the next century, if not sooner.

 

But how has New Age Nausea hijacked our joy? Quite simply by seducing us to bypass the so-called “negative” emotions which when followed and consciously worked with, can deepen our capacity for savoring and sharing joy beyond any artificial stimulants of Disneyland happiness or smiley-faced, law-of-attraction amphetamines. And while New Age Nausea offers incessant “bliss bounces,” it is yet another mechanism for inhabiting the Cerebesphere, disengaged from the red-blooded, wild, animal angst of fear, anger, grief, or despair. Rather than joy resulting from avoidance of these, it pours forth freely in the aftermath of allowing the rivers of heartbreak to flow through us as we engage with the treasures of the inner world and the richness of human and earth community.

 

A Marriage Proposal In Auschwitz

 

Last year I received an email from a woman who told me that one of her principle goals in 2013 was to attend Bernie Glassman’s Zen Peacekeeper’s “Bearing Witness” Retreat at Auschwitz/Berkenau. I asked her a number of questions hoping that some day I might be able to attend this annual event. While I did not have the opportunity to participate this year, I had the stunning privilege of speaking last week with someone who had just returned from the retreat, and I was riveted.

This man, we’ll call him Christopher, had only been back in North America some 13 hours, and of course, many parts of him weren’t back as he sat with me and a small group of friends pensively processing his experience. Christopher related the heartbreak and horror that the retreat participants felt as they mindfully visited Auschwitz/Birkenau daily upon leaving their lodging in a nearby town. They wandered throughout the camp, sometimes alone, sometimes in groups. Some women sat mindfully in what had been the women’s barracks; some men sat mindfully in what had been the men’s barracks. There were tears, wails that echoed throughout the camp, and of course, long interludes of silence. The heaviness became heavier, the sadness became sadder, and then something shifted.

 

According to Christopher, after some days of sorrow, a shift began to occur in which people started feeling lighter. On one of the visits to the camp, one man brought a guitar with him. At some point he began to play, and people slowly began to sing along. The singing increased and grew louder and more vigorous. Soon people were dancing and laughing. Not censoring themselves or even noticing their joy, they surrendered to it and allowed themselves to descend into the incomprehensible paradox of the moment. One man who had been in a relationship for some time with the woman who had accompanied him on the retreat, suddenly turned to her and said, “Will you marry me?” She accepted, and they then turned to one of the rabbis in the group and asked if he would perform the ceremony. After asking the couple a number of questions, he agreed to marry them, and the singing and dancing continued.

 

As Christopher continued to relate his experience of the retreat, he compared it to my writing and speaking on the topic of collapse, catastrophic climate change, and near-term extinction. What most deeply moved him as he contemplated the horrors of the death camp was what he called “the death of the human dream” which he saw as the ultimate psychological effect of the holocaust on its victims.

 

In that moment, I realized the profound similarity between the Nazi holocaust and near-term extinction—the death of the human dream as well as the death of all life on earth. Do other species have dreams of the future? How can we know with certainty? For the most part, they live entirely in the moment, yet humans have never had and will never have the right to intentionally or unintentionally exterminate them.

 

Often, patients in hospice find themselves laughing or sometimes even discover that they have learned to laugh deeply for the first time in their lives. During a recent visit by volunteers to a hospice facility in Brant, Ontario, one patient remarked, “You can laugh and celebrate your life until the day you die and that’s the way it should be.”

 

Yes, humanity may be in hospice, as may be the entire earth community, but it is time to reclaim our joy. In order to do so, we must spend more time out of the Cerebesphere than in it, and we must move beyond the yellow smiley-faces of positive thinking and New Age Nausea. Time to feel the other emotions highlighted in this series on “What Collapse Feels Like”—fear, anger, grief, and despair, but also time to laugh, dance, create, read poetry to one another, deeply listen to each other, speak our truth with compassion, make music, make love, and make peace with our failures and our fellows.

 

As we allow ourselves to stare down myriad holocausts with clear-eyed honesty, as we open to the heartbreak in which we are immersed, may we viscerally grasp and celebrate the joy of which Jack Adam Weber speaks in this excerpt from his poem entitled, “Something More Than Happiness”:

 

The joy we see in a newborn child, in any sprout, new ground,

Is also a taste of the rebirthed, integrated human

Whose growth is checked and channeled

By the heart in full embrace, full flower

Of all experience, especially those rare beauties

We are taught not to feel only because we have lost

The way of alchemy, the intuition to allow them

To turn us into sunflowers, then meadows,

Which is fulfillment, the joy of ultimate fruiting

Made possible by all of what makes things grow.

 

Welcoming exuberance, passion, fulfillment,

Joy, purpose, courage, and the dark sisters

Of all these qualities, what is more than happiness?

Oh, the sun does not have to learn how to shine.

Clearing the clouds, effortlessly it gives its light.

 

[Parts 1-4 of this series may be read at Speaking Truth to Power.]

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McPherson’s latest essay for Blazing Kat Productions was posted yesterday, 19 November 2013. It’s here.

McPherson was interviewed Monday, 18 November 2013 on the Vinny Eastwood show. The show is archived here.

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Please take note of the following two seminars in Central America. These seminars promise to be life-changing experiences.

The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 March 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America.

The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 7-day seminar, 24-31 May 2014, Moho Creek, Belize, Central America.

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GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth will screen totally free, on the Internet, around the world. Join the global conversation before and immediately after the film. For details and an invitation, click here.
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Thanks to ulvfugl for pointing out a technical fix to the problem of the disappearing comments: “I’m using Chrome browser. Go to top right corner, click three horizontal bars, says ‘new incognito window’, get NBL, and everything is immediately updated. Can’t advise for any other browsers, but I assume it’s something to do with cookies and being tracked, etc, because being anonymous fixes it.”

Thanks to Roger Ellis for this technical tip: “I use Firefox with an extension called ‘CookieKiller.’ The icon will appear in the lower right of the browser window when installed. Click it and it gives you the choice of killing just the NBL cookies or All cookies. When you kill NBL cookies and refresh the page all the comments are updated properly. You don’t have to go into anonymous browsing mode to correct the WordPress cookies from hell bug.”

Comments 142

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #85

    Grinning puppy leaps-
    joyfully licking his first
    raindrops in mid-air.

  • Time to make music…

  • The death of the human dream – that’s a big one. Well, we’re certainly headed for the death of this particular iteration of the dream, and apparently a lot of us are ready for it to be over. Once disembodied, there will be nothing to do but dream. Meanwhile, a good Farewell Party is in order. Better luck next time.

  • I really appreciated this courageous stab at understanding how we ended up here. Thank you Carolyn.

    I wrote this poem many years ago as I grappled with the death of old nightmares and a birth of new dreams.

    Forgive the clumsy poem, slightly modified now for this forum, that takes a stab at my own understanding….

    Evolution

    Ego didn’t take joy from me
    It hid it away
    So I could not see

    How faithfully joy stayed day after day
    To rest near by and wait its turn to play

    Ego there
    First in line
    Demanding attention
    Stealing time
    Refusing to let joy
    Take a turn in time

    Joy
    My oldest friend
    Mate hidden behind in sin

    But Joy was abiding
    Second in line
    So close to ego
    It made it shine

    Ego so blessed by the joy of light,

    Making ego first in sight
    Bitter poisin
    Sweet in mind

    My secret?

    I dared to step out of line.

    Now I know better as joy I find
    To bravely challenge ego’s line
    It’s domination was the bind

    Our duty now to reject it’s fear
    But still it shines with what is dear

    Oh tricky, tricky, divided mind, minus soul, leaves us quite blind
    Stealing light for it’s delight
    Making darkness seem so bright
    Hiding joy and sealing fate

    Loving our ego? Finding joy in hate?
    This is not and never was our fate.

    We were born of the sun, body in spirit forever one.
    Forgotten by the speed of ego’s run.
    Now the time has finally come.

    We must remember, recall to mind, joy as a natural giving kind.

    Joy was first, and ego came after.
    In ego alone we are left with dying laughter.

    Who would have known,
    Who would have guessed,
    As we blame ego for why we hate,
    Turning on joy becomes our fate.

    Will we discover together the secret of ego’s ploy
    Using fear to hide our joy?

    So it is time to pay the real price
    For ego’s bitter apple slice.
    Walk away from all fear,
    Make again, ego whole and dear

    Bring joy back up and keep it there.
    Let the shadow of ego rest
    Behind our joy, so it is truly blessed
    By clear light and eternal sun,
    Bringing finally an end to this run.

    Keep ego close, keep it dear
    Never lose sight of it’s pain and fear

    Joy gave birth to ego child, ego’s joyless choices drove us wild
    Now ego prisons are barred in blame, in that crazy civilized game
    Fear the chosen answer? Our only claim?
    Nonsense! What a silly game.
    Unwillingness to see what brought us here,
    Joyless ego and endless fear.

    Now ego is over due for a mundane feat,
    Gift of looming death you see,
    to live again,
    and enjoy complete.

  • On the previous thread, MT said “I have concluded that there is no way the many, powerful and intelligent forces that rule our governments could possibly not be unaware of the NTE situations. Therefore, these narcissistic and cruel sociopaths have chosen to gain as much as they can while time last, be it five, ten or twenty years.”

    Welcome to awareness of the ultimate truth! I find it fascinating observing how others are finally crossing that final threshold to mental freedom. Hedges, Denninger, Yves, et al are seemingly waking up to the scam that is our modern representational democracy aka state/corporate fascism. (Kunstler still seems to deny collusion, preferring to believe it’s all one gigantic, cosmic clusterfuck.)

    Obamacare is turning out to be mechanism driving this moment of clarity for many ‘mericans. It’s similar to when cattle are run up the ramp, and that bloody fellow up ahead with the bolt gun is getting ready to send your soul to perdition. As the dawning realization that it’s just another state sponsored corporate take-over, only this time, your wealth, health & life that are at stake, the shock & dismay is really something to behold. But like the cattle in the chute, it’s too little, too late – your fate is sealed.

    As Morris Berman so astutely observes, it takes a con to get conned. It’s always been a con, going back to the very beginning.

  • As I interpret it, the best of New Age is not about money. (I agree that money has featured prominently, but I see that as an aberration within the philosophy). I see it as being about reinforcing what one already deeply believes. If one is not so concerned with riches, one might be concerned with other things that one feels connected to. For instance, if one is a so so athlete, but is young enough and really gung ho on competing, one can benefit by New Age thinking, combined with the sacrifice required to reach the goal.

    It was good to see mention of those stalwart resisters of the enlightenment. Some were included, with the addition of Ruskin and perhaps William Morris, in “The Alternative Tradition” by Raymond Williams.

  • @Ulvfugl – The Flight thread seems to be closed to comments, so I will continue our conversation here. Thanks for the Madsen piece, interesting.

    I went to a group today that I have been attending for several years,. We had decided that we would each cast the I Ching to help find a new direction for the group. One counsel from the Ching struck me:

    “Waiting is not mere empty hoping. It has the inner certainty of reaching the goal. Such certainty alone gives that light which leads to success. This leads to the perseverance that brings good fortune and bestows the power to cross the great water.

    One is faced with a danger that has to be overcome. Weakness and impatience can do nothing. Only a strong man can stand up to his fate, for his inner security enables him to endure to he end. This strength shows itself in uncompromising truthfulness (with himself). It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any sort of self deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized. This recognition must be followed by resolute and persevering action. For only the man who goes to meet his fate resolutely is equipped to deal with it adequately. Then he will be able to cross the great water – that is to say, he will be capable of making the necessary decision and of surmounting the danger.”

    In the course of our deliberations, it was made clear to me that my dwelling on “gloom and doom” was not agreeable to at last two of the participants. As a result of thinking about this, I realized that all we had studied and done in the group over several years was just intellectual exercises that avoided the real nightmare unfolding around us. As some of these folks are my friends, I will continue attending the group for socializing purposes, but I cease to have any expectation that our “studies” will result in anything but a cover for avoiding and denying the real issues in the world. These friends are not unusual, they are representative of 99.999% of people in the world today. The air on this Beach we are sharing is rare indeed!

    @TIAA – Thanks for the poem!

  • States of elation & dejection are transient, as in happiness, joy, mirth, hilarity, etc.

    The non-dual (Sanskrit: advaita) tradition in Vedanta, Theravada, Vajrayana and Mahayana refer to Ananda, not characterised by elation, and having no opposite state. (Siddhartha Gautama’s eminent disciple and successor to his ministry was also named Ananda.) A common English translation is “Bliss”.

    It is a concomitant of the extinguishment (“nirvana”) of the “I”, the end of all conditioning of awareness by time-space-causation: pure awareness aware of “ItSelf” in the Emptiness, the Void. The Vajrayana tradition also refers to it as the Maha Mudra.

    It does not preclude the continued functioning of the many body-mind complexes:

    “For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.” (Amṛta-bindu Upaniṣad 2)

    “The Mind is one’s only friend, and one’s only enemy as well.” (Bhagavad Gita 6:5)

  • Glad someone is putting the ‘New Agers’ in their place.

  • Dear All

    Guy McPherson did not leave the University of Arizona voluntarily, he was pushed after an illicit affair with one of the academic staff came to light.

    Ask his long suffering wife what he is really like.

    Trust this “guy” at your peril.

  • @ mike k

    Yes.

    @ Liz Smith

    Dear Liz Smith,

    What if Guy had sex with every man, woman, turtle, gila monster and cactus on the campus ? Who cares ? I certainly do not.

    Do YOU want to discuss some science perhaps ? Or YOUR sex life maybe ?

  • Liz Smith (although I doubt this is your name):

    Who cares. What relevance does this have to NTE? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    Your comment speaks more about who you are than Dr. McPherson.

  • @ Liz Smith

    Lol. You are just going to prove us right about the sheer stupidity that IC is made up of and why humans have no future, one more time 🙂

    I beg to differ with one point that @ ulvfugl made. Please don’t discuss your sex life, let’s just stick to the science.

    ~

    @ ulvfugl

    Dude Cactus !
    Ouch 😛

    ~

    @ Guy

    As always, thank you for keeping the beach open.

    And for a moment I thought, it couldn’t get any worse than death threats and such…

    What a way to go…

  • @ ulfugi

    Thanks for that clarifying response. And so now we can move on. 🙂

    @ mike k.

    What a quote! I’ll copy it to a friend after this. I was lying in bed just now thinking along these very lines. I forget the term for when things that you’re ready for mysteriously appear. Something in line with this: When the student is ready, the master appears.

    I’ve also been repeating one principle from that quote. There can be no resistance to IC without attending the beach of doom. How can there be resistance without full awareness of the gravity of what is to be resisted?

    And I don’t see light only as a visual manifestation; there is lightness when weight is lifted. Imagination (enlightened vision) transforms heavy obstacles into light and joyous opportunities. You think you’re stuck in one place, and then you look around and see others who are capable, and only too happy, to help drag you out…

  • @ Artleads

    I forget the term for when things that you’re ready for mysteriously appear.

    Synchronicity?

  • Carolyn: thanks for your latest installment, I’m enjoying the conclusion – laugh and celebrate your life until the day you die. This is the result we came to here at NBL a while ago after discussing how bad it will continue to get over time.

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/canada.html

    Canada dead last in ranking for environmental protection

  • I skipped every comment until Liz Smith’s. It was interesting. The rest are boring claptrap which is what constitutes 98% of the comments at this space these days. You all need a suitable acronym. How about BUTE – Boring Until The End. It’s perfect.

    No Martin, it’s not synchronicity, the word he’s looking for is psychotically delusional. Check the mirror. It’s written backwards though, like redrum.

  • Dear mike k, you’re welcome, thank you in return. 🙂

    I can just imagine meeting the self appointed losers like ‘skirt chaser’ in person at a real life convention. Yep they would be the one’s wearing the name tags filled out as ‘skirt chaser’. He would sit around, picking his nose and butt no doubt and grousing about how ‘boring’ life is, while the rest of us talked together, wrestling amicably about the realty we now face.

    Real winner there, ‘skirt chaser’. But he’d have one friend, liz, protesting his/ her rage against all those having sex. Peas in a pod. We can make educated Freudian guesses about what this all hints at.

    Talk about social pariahs.

    The only place for them is in the virtual world of trolldom…… as they would never show this sorry shadow side in reality, so we must let them be, knowing their burdens are less and much more.

    Perhaps Carolyn can write a part six for this small and anguished minority? Maybe it is just me but I cannot imagine a deeper despair and virtual collapse in society than the troll figure epitomizes and lets face it, this face of humanity was just waiting for a place to express it’s self.

    So it goes.

  • @ Artleads @ Martin

    I forget the term for when things that you’re ready for mysteriously appear.

    Synchronicity

    or maybe, Serendipity

    I have been experiencing a very serious surge in similar events and connections.

    There is the triple lightening bolt I just experienced in personal life. A lot of conversations over here that are as clear a set of answers as I can ever get to questions running in my mind.

    Thanks for sharing the I Ching message.

    Keep the comments coming 🙂

    ~

    @ Skirt Chaser

    No Martin, it’s not synchronicity, the word he’s looking for is psychotically delusional. Check the mirror. It’s written backwards though, like redrum.

    It is called finding faith. No, I don’t mean finding religion. Religion has probably done more harm than good.

    I mean, finding faith in the totality of life. The dance of living and dying. Order and chaos. Emerging and evolving. Taking infinite expressions.

    Faith that makes you a better “human” being.

  • The word is serendipity.

    Anyway, snowing now in Denver.

  • Repent all those who question the models’ conclusions before it’s too late. Wait. Skip that. It’s already too late. Still, it’s your fault, so may you rot in hell.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/11/12/super-typhoon-haiyan-suffering-and-the-sin-of-climate-change-denial/

    ‘Super’ Typhoon Haiyan: Suffering and the sin of climate change denial

    Christian theology distinguishes between “natural evil,” that is, destruction and suffering that can be caused by natural phenomena like earthquakes or storms, and moral evil, the kind of evils that result from the interlocking effects of human sin.

    Is the destructiveness of Typhoon Haiyan a tragedy of “natural evil,” the kind of horrible occurrence that occurs randomly in nature? Or, is it actually moral evil, traceable to human sin?

    There is no doubt this storm is a massive evil. Haiyan, with its sustained wind speeds of 150 to 170 mph, is among the strongest storms on record and it has produced mass suffering and death, as well as widespread destruction.

    The fact that we are having to invent new language to describe such massively destructive storms, like “Super Typhoon Haiyan” or “Superstorm Sandy” suggests we need to take a different look at such violent storms today and theologically assess the human responsibility for them.

    These “superstorms” aren’t an “act of God,” but an act of willful disregard for God’s creation, and the neglect of the human responsibility to care for the planet.

    There is moral evil to be seen in these “superstorms, I believe, on two levels. First, there is the moral evil of continuing to pump fossil fuels into the atmosphere, producing global warming. Second, however, is the moral evil of climate change denial, that is, those who would continue to deny, in the face of mounting evidence, that violent climate change is upon us and it is accelerating. A recent Pew poll shows political conservatives deeply divided over the validity of climate science.

    But as some argue politically, the evidence continues to mount, and more people continue to suffer and even die from extreme climate events. According to the Philippine government, the area’s typhoons have been getting stronger. “Menacingly, the Filipino typhoons are getting stronger and stronger, especially since the 90s,” said Romulo Virola, head of the government’s national statistics board.

    There is a stronger and stronger case to be made that these “superstorms” and “supertyphoon” phenomena are product of abrupt climate changes due to global warming produced by the continued (and increasing) burning fossil fuels. As the Environmental Protection Agency notes, “The primary human activity affecting the amount and rate of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.”

    These “superstorms” then are likely the result of human activities that have contributed to the warming of the oceans. According to the scientists from the intergovernmental panel on climate change in their recent special report on extreme events, the steady warming of the oceans is likely to lead to fewer but stronger tropical typhoons.

    “Superstorm Sandy” was nicknamed “Frankenstorm” because it grew massive in such a bizarre way. Climate Central, a Web site devoted to the science and effects of climate change, observed that hurricane Sandy became a giant “Frankenstorm” because it was blocked in to land and not pushed out to sea because of “blocking patterns” which have appeared with greater frequency and intensity in recent years due to changes in the jet stream. These new patterns could be linked to 2012’s record Arctic sea ice loss.

    As these massively destructive storms capture our attention, our compassion, and hopefully our charity as well, they are also convincing many more Americans that human activity is the cause.

    There is a theological prescription, in a classical sense, for what we must do: confession, repentance and change. In the case of what we are up against in terms of planetary destruction, those theological directives look like this:

    Admit human caused, violently destructive climate change is happening. The harm to God’s creation is real, it is happening and human beings bear enormous responsibility for it.

    Repent for what we have already lost by inaction. Those who talk about “reversing the effects of climate change” are also engaging in a form of denial. There is no reversing, but that does not mean the climate change is unstoppable at current levels. But action to stop what we have already done, and slow down future changes, is urgent.

    Change personal practice and public policy. The World Health Organization has a good analysis of climate change policies that are needed. So do many other reputable organizations. Individuals need to take responsibility as well, both to move toward less of a carbon footprint, and to vote for those who will make positive policy changes.

    But above all, right this minute, compassion for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan is most urgently needed. Here is a list of places to give.

    Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, M.Div., Ph.D., is Professor of Theology and Immediate Past President of Chicago Theological Seminary. She is the author of many books, including Dreaming of Eden: American Religion and Politics in a Wired World, a work that examines theologies of climate change, war and economics.

    Satire writ large, yet unacknowledged and unappreciated.

  • @ KK, mike k, TIAA, others,

    Possibly the most accessible model for Westerners, to comprehend divination, synchronicity, and the other anomalous phenomena, may be Bill Tiller’s, and the more you extend consciousness, awareness, the more common these experiences become. So I Ching, etc, are ways to connect to the powers of the Unconscious. I don’t like the class room idea, I don’t like his definition of chi, and I don’t much like the rest of his videos, so I don’t go along with all he says, but as a rough map I think it’s helpful, because I think we need some common cross-cultural general understanding we can share, that is accessible to scientists and to mystics and so that the many wisdom traditions with their different terminologies can realise where they are speaking about the same thing but using different names, and where they are talking about very different things.

    You see, when R. Datta posts these statements about ananda and nirvana and bliss and so forth, imo, they only add confusion for most english speakers. The names in the original languages are technical terms referring to something quite specific discovered by ‘meditation’, which is itself a totally inadequate word to translate the original terms.

    I agree with much of what Carolyn says. I don’t know if I like this term Cerebresphere, or whether it helps, or will catch on. I suppose it corresponds to what I think of as left brain, analytical thinking ? more or less ?

  • Liz Smith (aka Solaris, Warning to all, Guy McPhony, Liar Liar, and other monikers), I caught your libelous statement the first time you posted. But this time you waited until I had gone to bed. It’s still libelous, although I don’t have time to pursue legal action against you and the many other people who commit libel against me.

    I had no affairs with staff or students (as indicated by your prior comment). I was not “pushed” to leave.

    Your agenda is clear: Destroy the messenger. The message is unimpeachable (simply ask any climate scientist to refute my work, and let us know the response).

  • @B9K9
    Yep, I’m slow, but awake now. Hi, all.

  • @ ulvfugl

    I don’t know if I like this term Cerebresphere, or whether it helps, or will catch on.

    Oonosphere, which is similar in meaning, hasn’t caught on.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #86

    Using himself up,
    salmon pushes upriver-
    destiny unknown.

  • Liz Smith was a gossip columnist with the NY Post (or NY Daily News). It’s just someone who has nothing better to do than libel.

  • @ Denise

    Did you ever read this, Paul Kingsnorth, Glyn Hughes, ?

    PK: There are a lot of mentions of salmon in the book.

    GH: Yes, the symbolism of the salmon. These creatures, these fish, swim two or three thousand miles across the Atlantic to come back to the place they’re born in. And they’re such a mystery. What fascinates me is that they live these extraordinary lives and nobody has the faintest idea why. We have a few faint clues as to how they do it, but there’s no understanding of why. How can we say that we understand life and death when we can’t even understand these strange creatures that occupy the nearby stream?

    http://www.paulkingsnorth.net/journalism/the-salmon-god/

  • I meant to say noosphere! I think oonosphere is a giant egg!

  • Dear Ulvfugl,

    I agree. The use of that word did not work and I was mulling that over. Glad you brought it up fully. First off, the delegation of rational or intellectual thought to the mind brain, what is in our head, while ignoring the heart brain, that in our chest or the gut brain, that in our stomach etc., is the foolish priveledged white man trade mark. His own ‘refined’ to death reality. I appreciated the Tiller interview and yes, probably the simplest model for grasping this idea of evolving ones self. Using the word ‘ego’ in the right context is something most people get, even at a heart or gut level. None of this need be complicated once we have a collective will and understanding to integrate it. It still can and should be done, but I don’t know what that would do in regards to NTE. Just make the process as hospitable as is possible, right? I still cling to a thread of belief it would help a small number of humans survive, depending on the level and kind of changes humanity could, but will unlikely, make. Carolyn is digging like mad into this maligned reality of the unconcious, bless her soul, but her tools of empire fill in unnecessarily ( as you note) even as they probe. We need freedom in self from the old pattern before we can journey and lead others into the new. To let that creative force in you have to make room through earnest concious cultivation, as Tiller points out. This is the old way however. As I understand it we can, once we are educated have direct unimpeded contact with that force. Call it our own super nature if you will. Not that I don’t champion Carolyn’s efforts, every effort an invaluable gift toward reducing the pain of what we face. As you and I have previously agreed, what else but the viable threat of NTE help us on our way? That makes this space the foremost birthing room for that process. Nature in the end will create balance and lucky us, we get to go along free for the ride. Their is one question that springs up for me as the counter punch to it all. Is this the first such trip or are some of the older tribes right in saying humans are in their fith round? So round six is our hope for glory? No doubt I look forward to seeing you in that life Ulvfugl. ( In a few hundred thousand years, or should we make it a few million?) merely a blink on the cosmic scale.

    I went out this morning and I saw clearly in a frosty patch of blue sky which the moon hung so perfectly within, that this beauty we witness has always been, will always be. ‘I’ was no longer for that moment and it was perfect.

  • Speaking of divination and the unconscious… The unconscious, in its widest generic sense means everything that we are not conscious of. It certainly includes all that we are not conscious that we are not conscious of. That’s quite a large domain, eh? One of the differences between wisdom and ordinary knowledge is that the wise take into account the vast regions and influences of the unconscious in determining our thinking, feelings, and behavior. The problem for Oedipus was that he didn’t know why he was behaving as he did, and hence was out of touch with the currents of his own hubris. Freud pointed out that often we moderns are in the same state of disconnection with the deeper levels of our being. Jung took things a step further, saying that we were in the grip of cosmic scripts that we acted out in unawareness. Both recommended becoming conscious of these hidden springs of our lives. Oracles are invitations to explore hidden dimensions. It is impossible to know in advance what one will experience in these meditative excursions, although very general maps can be somewhat helpful. A basic feature of the hubris that is destroying our world, is that those who are most involved in perpetrating it are the least conscious of what they are doing. When we seek to change people’s behavior we realize that reasoning only touches the outermost layers of themselves, and as Freud’s cousin Edward Bernays realized, access to the deeper levels of a person could be acomplished more effectively through using powerful emotional symbols and images, bypassing the conscious mind.

    As pernicious as the uses of modern propaganda, advertising, and mind control have been, for those seeking deeper knowledge of themselves and the hidden realms within, a proper use of appropriate meditative methods can be most useful and enlightening. User beware however, since the currents and energies that may be contacted are quite powerful and can produce rather nasty results on a par for example with tampering with the hidden structure of the atoms that make up our world. Nevertheless, we are condemned to access deeper knowledge in our efforts to free ourselves from the misuses of those powers that has thrown us willy nilly into the deadly confusions of the present age. As Indian sages have said, sometimes we must use a thorn to pluck out a thorn. For example we may need to develop a new “religion” to heal the grievous damage that the current major false religions have caused…

  • @Paul Chefurka – Because you have shared your ideas here about population and the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and because overpopulation is so crucial in pushing us to NTE, I want to share a letter I wrote to you on another thread. Let me make clear that I have great respect for Paul and his ideas, and have learned a lot from him, but I do disagree with his interpretation of the second law as it applies to human behavior.

    Friends, The implication of Paul’s article is that we are each and all powerless tools in the hands of implacable cosmic laws, and are incapable of changing our determined behavior. Many years ago I recognized the problems caused by excess human population, and decided to not participate in engendering children. When I met my wife we decided together not to reproduce. I have been together with her for over 45 years now and we have lived our decision. To say that some superhuman effort to defy laws of physics was involved would not be descriptive of our experience. It was easier than falling off a log. Having reproductive sex is far from the only way two people in love can be together. The absence of parental duties and expenses has been quite opposite to a problem; we have been freed to explore other avenues in our lives. That a large number of humans living on Earth now choose to have kids is not in my understanding due to their being helpless to do otherwise in the face of overwhelmingly powerful physical laws, but rather can be explained by their ignorance of the dire consequences of their reproductive activities, and an unwillingness to do the right thing, abetted by society’s constant encouragement to be fruitful and multiply for religious, capitalistic, and nationalistic reasons, which will inevitably lead to human extinction unless curbed. That there are many among us now who refuse to be taken in by false cultural ideology, shows that thermodynamics is not the all-determining force that Paul and others would like to make it. How to get more of us to choose freely not to engage in reproductive sex is a problem of social re-education that is there to be solved. The forces opposed to that are psychological, social, and political, not physical in my opinion.

  • This is bound to go up like CO2 & methane in coming years:

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2013/11/losses-from-extreme-weather-rise-to-200.html

    Losses from extreme weather rise to $200 billion a year over past decade

    18 November 2013

    WARSAW (Reuters) – Global economic losses caused by extreme weather events have risen to nearly $200 billion a year over the last decade and look set to increase further as climate change worsens, a report by the World Bank showed on Monday.

    A United Nations’ panel of scientists has warned that floods, droughts, and storms are likely to become more severe over the next century as greenhouse gas emissions warm the world’s climate.

    “Economic losses are rising – from $50 billion each year in the 1980s to just under $200 billion each year in the last decade and about three quarters of those losses are a result of extreme weather,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development.

  • Carolyn, I liked your comments on New Age Nausea. As a failed environmental activist, besides opposition from the usual corporate sources, we were also criticized by the New Agers for not staying ‘in the light’ and focusing only on the ‘good’, and for not ‘trusting that everything will turn out for the best’.

    I guess it’s our nature to be anthropocentric. Most likely mice are mouse-o-pocentric !
    Bur why do you say that most mammals ‘live in the moment’? How do you know they don’t contemplate the future or the past? Elephants mourn their dead. Maybe they think humans only live in the moment. My opinion is that some mammals, like whales, most likely sense impending NTE.

    And regarding anthropocentrism, who are we anyway? I read recently that humans are 90% extraneous microbes, and 10% human. When we sense things from our guts, who are we listening to? Are we the clever apes, or are we mobile armatures for microbial communities? When we eat things (or other creatures) raw, we are taking in their microbial communities into our own bodies, cementing the web of our connectedness.
    All food for thought….

  • A couple of signs locally that the smoke may be clearing a little and a mirror or two cracking.
    A recent editorial in the local paper, commenting on the death and destruction north of here and urging that debate should end and action start, ended with the words “if it’s not too late!
    And the day the DOW hit 16,000, Radio NZ’s midday finance report, which normaly parrots the usual BS straight from goverment and conventional sources,followed up the dow report with Jim Rogers doing his “it’s a house of cards that will soon crash! I was so surprised I said “great god in heaven” out loud!
    @ Badlands…I may well have enjoyed the Ben Harper track u posted, I certainly loved the opening one minute 46 seconds that was all I got to hear! I miss a lot wih my setup, but am reluctant to buy into that whole “your life will get better if u just upgrade” thing.
    Can I recomend u listen to someone few here may have heard of, given I never heard him on radio and found “Nashville Dirt” in the bargin bin years ago. It was a much played album at my place. Rob Galbraith is still going as the Rob Galbraith Band, Shame Shame Shame, is on youtube as is a track off Nashville Dirt. Also if you don’t know John Prine’s work u should. Start with “Illegal Smile” and go from there :-).

  • @ TIAA

    Dear TIAA,

    Thank you for your thoughts which are as engaging as ever.

    I appreciated the Tiller interview and yes, probably the simplest model for grasping this idea of evolving ones self. Using the word ‘ego’ in the right context is something most people get, even at a heart or gut level. None of this need be complicated once we have a collective will and understanding to integrate it.

    I don’t especially favour Tiller, but I put him forward because his model might provide some common ground for us all.

    At the moment we have the Tower of Babel model, which is hopeless, and makes everyone frustrated.

    It still can and should be done, but I don’t know what that would do in regards to NTE. Just make the process as hospitable as is possible, right?

    As I see it, this is a secular zone, regarding the science, and regarding Earth systems, climate, biology, NTE, etc, etc.

    But then we are human beings, from highly diverse backgrounds, and responding in all sorts of ways, and so whether we like it or not – some do, some don’t – we are plunged into all the areas of psychology and spirituality and emotion and beliefs, and all the controversies, altercations and disputes that go with that.

    Personally, I don’t think an individual’s spiritual state, so to speak, makes any difference to, e.g. the CO2 levels, and so it makes no difference to NTE.

    Personally, I think that to believe otherwise is magical thinking, wishful thinking, fantasy. That will not defeat the enemy.

    If one wants to change the world, I think one needs to take effective action, and that means material results, that don’t happen by magic, or by subtle spiritual means.

    That does not mean that I dismiss or denigrate or mean to deny or diminish the spiritual domain. (I’ve just discussed all that with mike k). I think we all need spiritual insight and strength to cope, and if someone with sufficient spiritual strength came forward, to provide leadership for millions, they could make a vast difference.

    But we’ve seen what happens, historically. Imo, we each have to be our own ‘leaders’. Nobody else is going to do anything, because they can’t. It’s no good looking to Guy or McKibben or to Graeber or to Obama or to any other individual, and expecting to be told what to do.

    You have to start inside your own self. Unless you decide to completely give up and end your life, which I personally will never do, then you have to accept that things are not going to get better, they are going to get worse.

    Which means that if you cling to ‘hope’, every single day, you are going to get smashed over the head by the latest news, and you’re going to feel bad all the time, until you understand that you have to lose that ‘hope’ thing, and face the reality in a different way.

    It does not stop there. There’s lots of steps. But I think that’s what Carolyn has been working through, in her way, and what she’s been trying to explain, and what Guy worked through, in earlier blog posts, about ‘Let go, or be dragged’, etc.

    For better or worse, I’m quite good at this, because for some years I was taking medicine that could kill me anytime. So every day, I’d take this stuff, and have the thought, ‘I might die any minute because of these horrible chemicals’.

    And it was sort of depressing. The whole day would be totally miserable because it began with that thought. So, I might as well already have been dead, really. So I decided, okay. So far, so good, not dead YET, let’s enjoy this one minute at a time, until it does kill me. So I had a very happy, joyful day. And then another one. And still having them, because I choose to have them 🙂

    The sports psychologists know all about this stuff. The solo round the world sailors know all about this stuff. You wake up. You optimise everything in your inner being to the max, and you fix it, and you keep it like that. You train yourself. Otherwise, don’t bother being a solo round the world sailor, or solo mountain climber or whatever, because you’ll just die. Stick to shopping and watching tv and being an internet troll.

    Spiritual exploration is not the same as that demanding physical danger stuff, but there’s still a lot of common ground. It’s not about being tough and macho and testing your limits of endurance. It’s about paying very close attention to exactly what goes on inside, in your inner being, introspection, watching, without interfering, observation, being intensely aware. The learning just happens naturally.

    Once you get a clue and it takes off, then there’s more and more advanced stuff to get into, of course. I’m learning all the time. I do accept that we may well be some weird beings that have unlimited potential, we needn’t be confined by any of the paradigms that we have so far conceived of, for ourselves. I’d actually go so far as to include the Buddha among those paradigms. I think all of the old stories get broken.

    Several revolutionary teachers have spoken about not wasting time and energy trying to destroy the old, you just put all your resources into building the new. Mao, when he took over China, didn’t waste time besieging cities that didn’t surrender, what was the point ? the inhabitants knew he was the winning army, he just kept on going.

    I think there is no point in trying to ‘destroy’ capitalism, or ‘destroy’ the American Empire. It’s a waste of energy. The whole thing is like Detroit, it’s in a death spiral, eating itself. Sure, it’s killing everything as it threshes about, but I don’t think we can stop that, it just has to run it’s course, I guess.

    But we can build our own ‘new’, by being whatever we wish the ‘new’ to be. It probably won’t work, it probably will not survive or get anywhere, it’s maybe totally irrational and pointless. Who cares ?

    People do pointless irrational stuff all the time. What the hell is the point of sailing around the world, risking your life, on your own ? It’s just plain stupid. Yet people applaud it.

    I mean, these days, it’s probably easy, because of all the gadgets. You can probably go to sleep, and the fucking automated gadgets get you home safe and dry. But some people used to do it in little wooden boats, without radio….

    How do we get to where we want to be ?

    We make a bridge…

  • mike k,

    I liked your brief assessment and look at Modern ‘Unconscious’ dynamics.
    I grew up with Jung in my family, an influence from a parent at home, and several issues came up for me which may appear semantic but to me not really.
    One big one is: how can an Unconscious exist? Your definition is spot on: “The unconscious, in its widest generic sense means everything that we are not conscious of.” This is catch 22-ish, or using the term in its definition. The definition only works positively if somewhere something has the conscious realised. I am crossing wires on the personal, tribal, and collective here, but what is not conscious has a repository in some literal real domain..no?
    So where is it ‘housed’, or residing, exactly?
    I followed the thread to trauma counseling theory, of sorts. The Buddhists have a great understanding of knowing what is now is all the rub. If it is not now that we heal, it will be somewhere down our path. Trauma actually causes the unconscious! This is a kind of schism, but it is well trodden path. Civilization trauma, the violence that preceded our individual emergence, and is embedded in commerce, property laws, family histories, tribal battles, and modern day TV/films, all echoes the trauma, that is ‘hived off, or schism-ed off, to an unconscious ‘zone’.
    I asked myself at the age of 13: why would I dream a scenario out of Greek or Roman cosmology, Theseus, or Persephone etc, if this was not the place, or time that the creative urge to ‘know thyself’ was halted? I certainly did not directly absorb all of it from childhood books, cartoons on TV, and folk stories. Some hiving off has taken place, culturally, but I noted I never had dreams of Christian significance. This was outside my timeline, so to speak, and it seems to me that Christian Salvation-ism has been the Schizophrenia of our modern age. The violence in the past is the key, and Christianity, not alone in that I grant, is full of the violent imposition of suffering, as a way to being saved. How odd. Not sayin you go for any ‘view’ on these matters.
    So what is it that is conscious? I don’t by this idea it is all unconscious at birth. There needs to be a time in prehistorical past, when it was all conscious, or at least there was not a slurry of traumatic scar tissue sealing the shell. This would not mean everyone was conscious of everything, but had access to the forms of daily instincts, and had relational happiness, so that by processes and cultural mechanisms, all that was needed to be recalled could be. That time to me may have been when our brains were 10% bigger, in the Hunter/Gatherer past.
    Modern neuroscience shows infantile violence directly shrinks the brain, loses billions of ‘connections’, and locks the individual(culture?) into pathways to further violence and morbid physical and psychological disease.
    What have we now? A lot of that.
    The concept of ‘the Unconscious’ is certainly weird to me, but results from the earlier violence now taken as ‘history’ and ‘culture’.
    Pre-Christian tribal, and cross-cultural spirituality is what we are dreaming, and novelizing, because we are stuck there, and the failure of Christian salvsationism to make humanity, freeer, happier, and greater is very evident.
    We would not dream these patterns, if the deeper spiritual landscape were not halted in development with the Christianising of Rome.
    To rehash is not to grow, but like the Buddhists know well, the seeds of one’s own healing lay in the Earth where we stand right now. Now is always where we can start.
    Cheers.

  • The word would be murocentric.

    Tradition has it that when the Divine embodies in a physical incarnation, it is fully at home in that embodiment. At one time the incarnation of a sow was needed to kill a certain demon. After the mission was accomplished, the sow started raising a litter of piglets, and was so content with its status that it began to desire that others great beings too should be embodied as pigs. The gods became alarmed that the Divine Force would cause them to become embodied as pigs, and as a consequence they killed that sow.

    The subconscious/unconscious it a repository of the mountains of trash that were, as it were, “swept under the rug”, and delving into that realm one would have to deal with it. Some such effort may be necessary sooner or later, but the focus on the nature of the “I” as a bundle of baggage is one method that can guide in the divestment of that baggage. There are other methods as well, and they are not mutually exclusive.

  • Hahaha, so much for my idea to use Tiller as a model to find common ground… well, perhaps all is not lost.

    I have absolutely no idea what Ozman is talking about, random mish mash of fragments from here and there.

    I reject Robin’s The subconscious/unconscious it a repository of the mountains of trash that were, as it were, “swept under the rug”.. What nonsense !

    First, the subconscious and unconscious are very distinct. Subconscious we can access, even though we may usually be unaware, so it’s an an intermediary layer between the easily conscious parts of the mind – or whatever you wish to call the waking self, the ‘me’, as it were, that is aware and knows it is knowing – and the true unconscious, which cannot be accessed directly.

    But where the hell does this notion of ‘mountains of trash’ come from ?

    We’ve got a whole crowd of models from the 20th C of what the Unconscious is supposed to be, and what it is supposed to contain – Adler, Reich, Jung, Freud, etc, etc, – and prior to Freud there were various other theories, and prior to that we have all kinds of other theories, but basically, the Unconscious was the Otherworld from which everything peculiar that entered ones mind emanated, gods, ghosts, demons, spirits, it was heaven and hell and everything that was inexplicable.

    For me, the Unconscious is MY BEST FRIEND. Far from being a ‘mountain of trash’, it’s a treasure trove of miracles, its a supercomputer.

    I keep my conscious silent, a quiet still pool, and the Unconscious does the work for me. The Unconscious does not just contain the wisdom of the ancestors, the human forebears, it contains the wisdom of all life on Earth, because it’s the chemical linkage between the cells, the DNA, the gut that’s doing the digesting of the food, the hormones in the blood stream, the physical body with all it’s fabulous intricate complexity, it’s the connection between all that and the conscious ego, the me.

    It talks to me, by telling me stuff that I need to know. It’s vastly more intelligent than my little ‘educated ego’ is. Just as Tiller says. I think that’s one of the best bits of that video.

    In other words, you could paraphrase this by saying that when I say I’m listening to my unconscious mind, another person could say they are listening to their God, and we’d both be talking about the same thing, and we’d both be talking about listening to the same source of wisdom, which would be a biological intuitive wisdom, the same wisdom which the animals have.

    What appears to happen,- maybe this is what Ozman was trying to get at – is that when we, as animals, gets domesticated, forced to live like farmed animals confined in artifical sheds, cities, then that instinctive intuitive wisdom has to be stamped on, repressed, and that makes for Freud’s model of the Unconscious. Everything gets screwed up.

    But his model is thoroughly horribly pathological and toxic, the soceity he lived in was diabolical, the values were appalling. If we want to know what human consciousness and the mind should be like let’s look to Sorenson, and similar.

    @ Kirk

    Thanks so much for the reminder, great film, I could only find a short clip of ‘the holy moment’, fantastic conversation, which was the best part I thought

    Anybody else had those ? 🙂

  • U said, “I think there is no point in trying to ‘destroy’ capitalism, or ‘destroy’ the American Empire. It’s a waste of energy. The whole thing is like Detroit, it’s in a death spiral, eating itself. Sure, it’s killing everything as it threshes about, but I don’t think we can stop that, it just has to run it’s course, I guess.”

    I agree, heartily. Anyway, why make yourself a target?

    Another poster said the same thing in an interesting way. It was on the climate summary feed a few days ago. I memorized it: “Industrial civilization is a Doomsday Machine, it’s not meant to be switched off.” Sweeet! 🙂

    @Carolyn. NTE has caused an inner ‘quantum leap’, so to speak, for me. I value meaning and closeness much more and am regularly finding and opening new pathways to joy before it’s too late. But, I can’t help it, I still despise humanity and believe I always will. It’s the incredible overburden of unnecessary suffering we’ve inflicted. And the rampant, wanton, willful stupidity I see daily. The arrogant strutting of moral cripples as they crowd out almost all but a whimper of good. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Good riddance to bad rubbish!” I haven’t been a member of the human race since the day I first saw napalm fry a village of grass huts on the TV news.

    “Crackeling babies in napalm coats stretch mouths to receive burning tears on splitting tongues.”

    I was reading recently how a US Marine general used to talk about how Union soldiers had forced his widowed grandmother out into the snow because they found her dead husbands spurs hanging on the wall of her cabin and considered them war materials. She died of exposure. That story from a man who had spent his career kicking in the doors of the victims of his industrial society. And WE’RE still doing it as I type!

    Lilly, you were right, “No matter how cynical I get, it’s never enough to keep up.”

  • @Ulvfugl – I do that. Ask within and it will be answered. By Higher Self, Inner Guide, Wise Woman, Universal Wisdom, God, Cosmic Intelligence… All of those and none of those. (The Tao that can be named is not the Eternal Reality.) Better guidance than Google or your neighborhood shrink for sure. Always there, always ready to chat. Not a top dog guru either. No charge, no obligation – unless you sign up to follow the guidance, then the sense of serving That is up to you. Quit anytime, no blame…

  • (3rd post, o, well, so shoot me) A holy moment? Hell yeah! Here’s one of my favorites.

    Was stoned, arrived at the beach, technicolor sunset! Ran to the seawall and yelled, “OH MY GOD!” at the most fantastic thing I’ve ever seen, that setting sun! Shiver me timbers, what a rush of holy…whatever! I’ll never forget it!

    Thank you sun!

  • @ KK and Martin

    Thanks. Synchronicity it is.

  • @ Kirk Hamilton – That is a truly great video. Got any more?

  • @ Belle
    For more, check out the whole movie that clip was from – called “Waking Life”.

    Here’s another holy moment :

  • @ Carolyn—I had a difficult time with some of your posts—felt like hopium—but this latest one hits home better. Probably ME changing! 🙂

    http://www.apocadocs.com/book/converge.html

    A compendium of all that is hitting the world, but with a lot of interconnectedness; another summary, but resonated with me, so I thought I’d share (linked from Desdemonadespair website). I especially liked:

    “The one-step idiot is someone who can only see one step ahead. Kill animal, I can eat it. Hit nail, it will go into the wood. Bury this toxic waste, it’s gone. If I wash this shit downstream, it’s no longer my shit and I don’t have to worry about it. If I spray this crap, I won’t have borer worms.

    Two-step idiots are those who only see two steps away: kill animal, I can cut it up and store it for later. If I hit this nail, I will have a hard time getting it out if I need to. If I bury this toxic waste, it could be trouble if it’s near a watershed. If I wash the shit downstream, I better worry about someone upstream washing their shit down. If I spray this crap, I’d better wash my apples.”

    Well, that pretty well summarizes homo sapiens, and explains why so few people are here On The Beach.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #87

    Big Chief sees storm brewing
    pipe of peace
    lies in corner, illusion broken

  • ulvfugl

    I think the second reference to me by you above is closer to what I intended. However, I am not in the camp of ‘the unconscious’ being a trash heap, by definition. You once wrote of ….trash in trash out, and I think this applies to the subject as far as it goes. Perhaps I quote you here out of context- if so apologies in advance.

    The fairy tales of older European derivation that have the impossible task being done by the ants, or bees, like counting how many grains in a cellar or the maiden losses her head at sun-up – these are metaphors for the work of ‘the creative power of the Unconscious’.
    My point it must be conscious somewhere, in some domain for the work to be performed…no?
    I’m not specifying where, or by any identity/deity as such, just the idea of the unconscious invokes the condition of the Conscious, and that is strange to reflect on the implications.
    If a power, a content, a feeling is unconscious, then to be freed and able to be active, it must work ‘through’ consciousness, and in a free manner, unlike compulsive actions for example.
    These comments are unsolicited side remarks to your discussions with another poster.
    Alternatively they may be a mishmash of gibberish as well. It all depends how much time and energy one has to peruse another’s thoughts and see how it turns out, doesn’t it ?
    I hope the forest is doing well near you.
    BTW, do you suppose that it means anything that wild animals, say birds, wombats, lizards and kangaroos let me get much closer now than at any other time in my life that I can recall ? Can’t be a negative can it?
    Best wishes.

  • I awoke this morning fully transformed. Then I heard a loud knocking. It was pest control.

  • @ Martin

    Hahaha, apologies for disturbing you all, I was merely expressing my annoyance.

    Perhaps Guy can delete both when he wakes up.

    I’m pursuing my normal ambulations upon this Beach of Doom and do not like my ankles being nipped by foul filthy poisonous disgusting leeches as I muse and ponder… curiously, this hazard is not listed…

    http://www.countercurrents.org/blackwelder211113.htm

    @ Ozman

    It’s such a big subject. You see, prior to Freud, et al, where did all that stuff, dreams, fairies, spirits, visions, ghostliness, fears and passions and inspiration, the realms of the gods, come from ?

    People imagined a locality, imagined a topography, a cosmology, every culture had a structured Universe of some sort with heaven and hell and so forth. But then that got changed, and everything got sourced to the physical brain and the concept of an Unconscious.

    And then the neuro-scientists take it further, with brain research, and their model became even more materialist, saying everything is explicable by emergent properties of electro-chemical activity of the very complex interactions of all the neurons, etc.

    But then there is so much evidence to counter that theoretical position, because it cannot explain the many anomalies. We don’t need to go into that now.

    But ‘the Unconscious’ seems to return to where it was, at least to some degree, prior to Freud. It’s sort of ‘out there’. It’s what we are not able to perceive directly, but it’s not just limited by the central nervous system’s links to our physical form. There is something else going on.

    Not many people are able to investigate this in an intelligent manner, because it instantly presses all kinds of emotive buttons and the discussion gets side tracked into defending some -ism or other against some other -ism.

    What the intelligent conscious thinking mind has to do, what it can do, what it is good for and at, is to make mental models, maps.

    So, it can strive to map, both what it itself is like and what the Unconscious (and Subconscious, as a liminal area) are, and how they relate, and so forth.

    A great many people have done this already, all the way from the Buddha, and the people Robin Datta often mentions, to the people Peter Kingsley talks about, Empedocles and Parmenides, and of course, Plato, and many, many others. We have hundreds and hundreds of maps, just from Western culture, and many, many more from cultures all around the world.

    If an idea comes into your conscious mind – say ‘I’d like a coffee’ – where has it come from ? A moment ago, it wasn’t there. Then it appeared. It arrives, by definition, from the Unconscious, From ‘somewhere’, an area of which one is not conscious.

    Everything coming into consciousness is coming from unconsciousness, isn’t it ? Consciousness is like a small bubble that floats on a huge sea of unconsciousness. And there’s a filter, the subconscious, that’s deciding what needs to get through, what’s important, what needs attention, which voices need to be heard. If you don’t listen to the ‘coffee’ signal, it starts to shout a bit louder.

    This is a message that’s coming from the physiology, from the cells. Just as if you felt thirsty for water, or hungry for food, or if you feel tired and must sleep, or injured and feel pain. A lot of the information coming from the Unconscious is from the biology.

    And I’d go along with Jung, there’s basic archetypal stuff that comes that way, deep powerful imagery, like the notion of the Mother, stuff that is instinctive and fundamental and represented symbolically across all human cultures, in art and in dreams, and so forth.

    But getting back to the split between the scientists and the mystics, which I’d explain by Iain McGilchrist’s left brain / right brain thing, and the logos / mythos thing, and Robert Pirsig’s Classical v. Romantic thing, it’s interesting that Wittgenstein came to the same position, but seems he wanted to put the philosophers into the right brain camp, along with the poets and artists, v. the scientists, sort of.

    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/ray-monk-wittgenstein/#.Uo9OZVVX-pj

  • http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/deepwater-horizon.html

    BP Pays PR Trolls to Threaten Online Critics | Interview with Dahr Jamail (video interview)

    Abby Martin speaks with investigative journalist Dahr Jamail, who has uncovered BP’s online scheme to silence critics of their Gulf of Mexico clean-up, with methods such as bribery and death threats

    Just like in the case of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, we’re seeing the government of Japan “cover” for Tepco in the case of Fukushima. Now they’ve decided to simply dump the radiation into the Pacific – just like cushngtree says above (a one-step solution). Oh, and it neatly ties in to all the troll activity we’ve seen here of late. It’s just more distraction to keep us away from dealing with the sources of the problems. None of these giant energy companies want to be regulated (to keep us safe) because it will cut into their profit margins, and, well, we just can’t have that. So we’re locked in to dying oceans and all the consequences of unleashed radiation in continuing amounts via air and ocean currents. Just add it to the other pollution we aren’t interested in curtailing and the list of civilizations “problems” grows and our predicament worsens.

  • @Carolyn Baker – Thanks much for the Stafford poem “The Thread.” It really spoke to me, as so much of his stuff does. Keep doing what you do, we need to process our inner reactions to collapse and possible NTE.

  • if you’ll permit me one more [“You want MORE?!” – Chas. Dickens]
    from a link over at apocadocs

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118193127.htm

    Global Carbon Emissions Set to Reach Record 36 Billion Tons in 2013

    Nov. 18, 2013 — Global emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels are set to rise again in 2013, reaching a record high of 36 billion tonnes – according to new figures from the Global Carbon Project, co-led by researchers from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

    The 2.1 per cent rise projected for 2013 means global emissions from burning fossil fuel are 61 per cent above 1990 levels, the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol. (read the rest)

  • Thanks Carolyn, for your thoughtful words on joy.

    I sing with a group called “Sing for Joy”, and that’s what we do, sing because like dancing, it’s one of the most spontaneously joyful things do. One of the songs I’m learning for our concert at the moment is “Black is the colour (of my truelove’s hair)”. The melody we use is the (original?)Scottish version which is slightly different to the one you Americans might be familiar with on your side of the Atlantic.

    I’ve written my own words, which would be a real shock to all my lovely co-singers, to go with this melody. I’m sharing it with you because TIAA was brave enough to share her lovely poem which I don’t find clumsy in the least.

    Here it goes:

    Black is the colour
    I wear to mourn
    Because Earth is dying
    Poisoned and torn
    I’ve done all my crying
    Over and over again
    So all that’s left
    Is do what I can.

    I love my Earth
    And well she knows
    I love her soil
    Where all things grow
    For I know well
    That the day is past
    When man could work
    To make things last.

    I go to the woods
    And notice the tress
    And seeing their suffering
    I’m on my knees
    What am I to do
    When they’re not there
    Then I’ll be dying
    From final despair.

    And trolls, don’t analyse and patronise me! I won’t work. This is NOT proof of belonging to a death cult.

    @ FriedrichKling

    Lieber Friedrich, just to pick up on your analysis of me on the last thread.
    You read me wrong. I’ve never been the self-flagellating type. Surely you must know that. After all, you’ve been watching mankind for so long. Just play back you records and home in on me when I was a child and young person in Germany. Your advanced technology can do that, can’t it? And thanks for mentioning “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee”. Please also home in on me when I was living in London (1975) and bought and read the book. I’ve still got the copy, now very yellowed. I’ve just looked at the photos again, and I’m haunted once more by the trauma in their eyes. As you are so clever, maybe you should learn not to patronise women. It would be so kind of you. For me, you’ll find, it’s water of a duck’s back. Like most women, I’ve been patronised by many mortal men. But being patronised by an alien is definitely a first for me!
    P.S. I’m not American but British.

  • THE HISTORY of the WORLD A to Z

    Delusion, illusion, confusion, conclusion.

  • On the beach of doom… That just about nails it.

    BTW, I much prefer Myers’ terms subliminal, supraliminal and superliminal to describe the different attributes of consciousness. Yes, I am coming around to the idea that the mind is not an emergent quality of the brain. This, of course, opens the door to the possibility of soul,spirit,higher self. What a can of worms.

    What can I say? Faced with NTE here on the beach of doom it begins to help me get a grip on myself. At this point whatever works looks good.

  • Dear Sabine,

    Thank you immensly for your poem. Much more in the now. Mine was written years ago when I was getting to know myself better. Your poem hit me deep in the gut and relieved something in my mind because it shares with total piercing clarity what we face. Hugs to you. 🙂

    Dear Ulvfugl, Ozman, Robbin Datta, mike k, Artleads, and all interested in this discussion of the mind:

    These talks might be more productive if we had a grasp on what the concious and unconcious are. I would, for simplicity, encourage people to think of them as energy and one carries a negative charge and the other a positive charge, not as in good or bad, but pure energy. Like our functioning universe these charges more often than not work together to express the dynamics we experience. As a average, we are on the whole unconcious which is why we are here at this blog scratching our collective asses 🙂 (said with tongue in cheek) concious activity or libido is gained with much effort and anguished struggle. The net energy drag on average pulling us toward unconcious. The value of understanding this cannot be understated. Once established through the normal processes of learning from infancy to childhood and adolescence, a normal human gains enough libido to function as intended in society. This carries us through our first adulthood (approx) ages 16-35. However, the concious mind needs free libido to accomplish new tasks. This exchange of goods, so to say, goes on smoothly in greater to lesser degrees in our psyches. This particular development as a basic framework for being human started over 100,000 years ago. It’s carried us quiet well up to this point, though it’s consequence in making us irrational did cause problems, as the bloodied pages of history attest, it never was terminal as it has now become. Our task is not that we are concious and need to become aware of unconcious aspects, but that we need to become aware of unconcious data to be concious in a complete way. The dynamics of the reciprocal exchange between these two energy aspects of psychic power is something that takes study and participation to become familiar with but it is no different than other parts of our body that work in conjunction to provide us with our faculties for life. They work together as one and separating them out to identify their individual values should be done in a scientific not mystic vein. The mysticism happens already as a normal process of psychic function and that can be pondered and played with at will after the scientific basis for understanding has been accomplished.

    Our main problem today is the collective psychic imbalances that are developing as a tragic loss of belief in religion as a way to oil the process, is not so far being replaced by a new tradition to take it’s place. The old value in religious rites, for that delicate balance is simply ignored and the fact the old religious rites cannot accomodate our modern mind also ignored.

    The psychic imbalance prevents us from doing anything but what we have always done, and even in knowing we need to change, or die no new blueprint is emerging. That is something for scientists and the religious and any one of us to realize and to fix. Or it was, it seems like it is too late, but who am I, with my own psychic inheiratance to say? Doubt or question in ones conclusions, the antidote to ego domination is valuable here.

    Endnote: sorry if the punctuation or grammar is poor. I get tired of trying to polish up via a tiny smartphone, what I write. I can’t afford internet right now. I’m just lazy and not trying to sell myself as perfect. Nope I’m marred. 😉

  • One source of joy is resistance. How can resistance be done well, while harboring no expectations? Kevin Anderson on Democracy Now mentioned traveling by train, never by air. He gets lot’s of work done on long train rides (which he views as merely symbolic) and finds that train travel promotes a host of other sustainable practices. He stays longer in one place. He maximizes his stays by doing more while there, etc.

    A kind of resistance that is similar concerns holding on to what is here already instead of going for the ever new (which depends on producing and marketing more, creating technical breakthroughs through scaling,etc., while fucking up the planet thereby). Sticking with the old, clunky, less efficient technology might have virtue, especially if the emphasis is transferred from innovation to preservation. That principle applied to preserving historic places locks in more sustainable behaviors, like walking and public transportation…

    Random thoughts on the beach of doom.

  • @ buz painter

    Yes, Myers, one of the many maps.

    There’s so much either/or thinking. Either it’s emergent or it’s non-material. Can be something much more complicated. Same with being against Industrial Civilisation. Either fight it or submit. There’s so many kinds and ways to respond and resist.

    @ TIAA

    You seem to be thinking of consciousness in a generalised way, spread across time, history, etc.

    I am thinking of it as specifically focussed on the individual, present at a particular point, here and now. These are very different frameworks.

    ————————————-

    Thanks to Tom for posting the Dave Pollard and Carolyn Baker video, and nice to see what Carolyn looks like in person.

    My take. Sorry, put the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, do not care that you do not know what to tell your children, and they do not care about your stories.

    Sorry again, but I think both are a year or two behind. I don’t believe there will be any bottleneck and some new culture in a couple of centuries. I gave up on that after Dark Mountain, and I don’t think any visions or inspirations get us past a mass extinction event.

    I hate saying this. It hurts me saying this. Somebody HAS TO say this.

    Look, what we have now is the effects of the CO2 from 40 years ago. Emissions have risen ever since and are still rising faster than ever and there is no sign of any agreement to limit them, and the latest attempt to get an agreement was just sabotaged by the USA once again.

    We are out of time.

    Even if we stop emissions NOW, we still get increasing warming for another 40 years.

    The story we would have to be telling, for the children, would be how we wrest power away from the present decision makers, who are clearly completely reckless and insane.

    I have no idea how that can be done, and I don’t know of anybody else who has got any plan, or any proposal, as to how it could be done.

    You have to destroy the power base of the CIA, and of the people who are running China, etc, and the people who control those big corporations, and the people who run those big banks, and so on and on.

    This is not some simple problem to solve.

    Please, try and be realistic. Most people are not going to be in favour. They will not support what needs to be done, because they will not understand. They WANT their cars and their electricity and their jobs and their money and their hospitals and their schools, and when some lying bastard like Tony Abbot or whoever it is, comes on TV and says that global warming is a hoax and the Murdoch media supports the lies and they promise all kinds of crap, like fracking and clean coal that will ‘save the economy’, then the masses will be happy to believe them.

    China very likely can’t stop it’s growth, because they’d probably have a revolution and it’d be won by some uber capitalist. Same for many other countries.

    So we are stuck, between the evil capitalist leaders and the stupid ignorant brainwashed masses.

    Yes, if it wasn’t for that – and a few other impossible problems – we could fix this mess, and tell the children a better story, because we do know how to fix just about everything.

    I just listened to Vinay Gupta’s latest talk. He’s sort of insane, and channeling Buckminster Fuller on rabies, but he’s talking about the materials revolution, which is actually very interesting.

    ‘Stuff’ is going exponential. The understanding of materials and manufacturing means we can make all kinds of stuff that’s never been available before incredibly cheaply, which means we can provide for people’s basic needs – clothes, shelter, cooking, etc, – fantastically cheaply and efficiently. All we need is to get the previous generation of idiots out of the way so that it can happen.

    Someone objected that it’ll just mean more junk and garbage and wrecking the environment, but his reply was that 90% of what’s in the shops is useless crap that we DO NOT NEED. So STOP making crap that nobody needs, but make the new stuff that solves our real problems.

    See, we have the answers. Same as Henry Liu and Geoff Lawton’s rebuilding ecosystems, and all that. But power and authority and ignorance prevents it happening.

    You see, what’s the good of planting hundreds of trees, as I have done, if the emissions from flight of one jet plane overhead cancels out thirty years worth of work in five minutes ? This is the insanity that we are faced with.

    People think this is about ‘saving the human race from extinction’. That is nonsense. If you do not save the biosphere, as a functioning system, then there will be no human race.

    To retain the biosphere as a functioning system, you’d have to retain the ecosystems of which it is constructed. Most of them are already wrecked and degraded. But we, theoretically, could stop further damage, as much as possible, and give them a chance to recover, and nature is very resilient.

    But is there any likelihood of that happening ? Fix the oceans ?
    Australia and Canada used to be environmentally responsible countries.
    Africa is being chewed up and exported all over again.

    Please, be realistic. Look at the data, and the statistics, and the reports from the NGOs. Everything is getting WORSE, not better.
    So WHO is going to do anything about this ?

    Please, be realistic.
    I do not think that anybody will. All of my life, I have been watching and hoping and arguing and urging and working, and it has got worse, not better.

    Two more China’s worth of people expected to be born onto the planet over the next two or three decades and we are at peak everything, and, well….

    You know, all those fantastic sea creatures in the oceans, about which we know so little, getting hoovered up by massive trawlers, to be made into fish meal to be fed to pets and pigs and chickens and farmed salmon for the people in industrial cities who never even think about it…

    Does anybody think that is going to stop ? So long as there is money to be made ? They can’t even stop human trafficking and slaughtering the last few rhinos and blue fin tuna…

    I don’t say give up, I say never surrender, but face this thing absolutely for what it is… All I see is the mass extinction event. Sorry.
    ………………..

    http://www.coumunity.com/

  • @ulfvugl

    Please don’t be sorry. You’re right, you have to say this because you can say it so well. All the things I also see, know, feel and think. I hope (the only hope I have) that this is why we come to this very beach – the ones who have come to terms with this reality and the ones who are still learning.
    If I could do such a thing as blessing you, then bless you for this.

  • Thank you for the lovely essay, Carolyn!

    For me, joy and despair are pure states of experience, with all of the baggage and judgements and expectations let go of, which is maybe why we hold these powerful states of being at arms length. Our society has ingrained fear of loss and lack in us which leads to grasping and clinging, and thus smothering of everything pure and life giving, things that die when clung to because they are fleeting, just as life is. Why is this so painful to accept? Why do we pretend otherwise?

    When I was in high school, my english teacher gave everyone a book of Khalil Gibran poems, where I found the following:

    When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

    For a long time I thought I understood what this meant. Oh, I had the despair part of the equation down, having already lost my mom to a drug overdose. But joy? I think I never really felt or recognized it as such until having children, not because parenthood is some elite club of ‘real love’, but because until I realized I could not protect the little ones from life’s assaults, I really couldn’t cherish and enjoy them fully. We have had to accept that our son is likely going to die from his food allergies, he has come very close a couple times, and so death has a seat at our table, his place permanently set. So I despair from time to time, but I don’t reside in that place for long, because I have felt joy, and so despair doesn’t have to consume all of me. It helps to spend a LOT of time around two year olds, because they have no boundaries, no filters, it is all live and in technicolor, and I don’t want to miss this show! The tricky part seems to be finding and keeping the balance.

    @44 south
    Hey! Thanks for the link-Rob Galbraith Band is great! Affirmative on the Prine. Can’t help but love the man. ‘Souvenirs’ is my favorite of his and ‘Everything is Cool’. These days, I am listening to this: https://youtu.be/x0Y63UaWNIE Their album O’ Be Joyful is a must have, a must play, a must get up and dance. I hear you on the whole ‘upgrade’ thing and despise the attempts at manipulation, which I wish more people could recognize. Thanks again for the response! Peace.

    @Kirk Thanks for posting Waking Life! I haven’t seen it in years, but my son went through a phase around age two where he found the disc and wanted to watch it all the time, which threw me for a loop, being unsure if it was age appropriate. Your ‘holy moments’ sound a lot like mine! They often involve the vast sky, stunning cloud formations, and even a few tears for the gifts life gives freely.

    Dear trolls, stop with the spam already. Yes, you are good at disrupting the conversation, but really, allegations of affairs and such, is that all you’ve got? I must say, if someone is paying you, it must not be top dollar, because that is some WEAK SAUCE, as the youngsters would say. Even if every word were true, what does any of it have to do with climate chaos or collapse of everything? You will not sway anyone here, because we have a habit of standing by the truth, and Guy so happens to speak it. So if you want to play, BRING IT, otherwise you are just embarrassing yourself.

  • @ Wren – WOW! That was a holy moment. Thanks.

  • Dear Ulvfugl,

    You win. I hereby crown you lord of the NBL blog.

    Dear Guy,

    I thank you from my heart for all you do in reality. I hope to meet you if you are ever in the Eugene OR area. Know that I also did my walk away from empire, and failed misearably, much more than you. There is something life transforming to that huh?

    Dear All, bless your hearts and know, that for those of you who are sincere, you changed my life in a time I needed change. How can I repay you?

    Blessings to all and may we meet again on the other side, where ever that is.

    Goodbye for now.

  • @Sabine – Thanks for your beautiful poem from your heart. It helps me know you better. We need that on this Beach…
    And I got a much needed laugh when you wrote: But being patronized by an alien was definitely a first for me! Delightful, lol.
    (No offense intended Kling.)

    Buz painter – You are not alone. Soul, spirit, higher self – things I had no use for for many years – have proved to be good companions on this Beach of Doom…
    *****
    Way back in our evolutionary past what was needed to avoid the subsequent disasters of civilization, was that higher levels of our nervous system needed to gain control of lower levels. Didn’t happen. No blame. It really didn’t have a chance to happen. The fragile emerging structures were no match for the lower microanatomy evolved over hundreds of thousands of years, millions really, to deal with the difficult conditions of competing forms of life struggling in an ever challenging environment. Lower chakras were in control, and eagerly seized any instrumental acquirements made possible by the slowly emerging intelligence for their own purposes.

    Thus the fruits of early intelligence and the powers they bestowed were hastily and improperly used….to bring us to where we are today. Our problem remains to find ways to rein in our lower evolutionary chakras, and put them under the control and guidance of our more recently evolved higher centers. In brief this has been the core program of all valid systems of spiritual practice and development. It is very late in the evolutionary day to accomplish this, but it remains the necessary precondition for our further life and development on Earth. Sorry about that. In some ways of understanding this is called a crucial Global Initiation. Learn or die.
    —————————–

    @TIAA – Your recent sign off sent me a chill. Not thinking of leaving permanently are you? I want you to stick around…

  • Lovely song Badlands, this is a favourite of mine:

  • Well, if we are talking about songs, here is a good one my mother played to us as children

  • I’ve been hacked. Just gotta love it. Good song choice, though! haha

  • So I suppose that the verminous troll who is now impersonating regular commentators here, is probably being paid to do this.

    Tom posted the video about internet trolls being paid by Ogilvy and Mather who were hired by BP to try and hide all the nasty stuff they had done to the Gulf of Mexico.

    But it seems this is widespread corporate behaviour, really not surprising.

    A newly released report from the watchdog group Essential Information alleges that powerful corporations spy on and sabotage the very nonprofit groups dedicated to keeping them in check.

    According to the report, titled “Spooky Business,” a global network of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA) employees work at the beck and call of corporations like Walmart, Monsanto, Coca Cola, Burger King, McDonald’s, Kraft, Shell, BP and others, undermining consumer protections and enforcing a pro-business agenda.

    Walmart, for example, has an in-house “Threat Research and Analysis Group” that, according to a former employee, targets citizens’ groups and critics of the corporation’s policies. The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2006, the company wired an employee with a hidden microphone and sent him to spy on a meeting of Arkansas activists planning a protest. Operatives reportedly “followed around the perimeter with a surveillance van,” listening to every word of the meeting.

    Read more at

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/22/report-corporations-use-professional-spies-for-hire-to-monitor-and-undermine-nonprofits/

    So I suppose maybe someone is going to have to moderate every comment if we are to have a discussion that is not interrupted by such people.

    Perhaps a membership registration, so anyone new gets put into moderation until approved.

  • @ Sabine

    Thanks, but I said sorry, because I don’t know what Dave and Carolyn and others here can say to their children. I don’t know what to say to them.

    As for the filthy trolls, and the disgusting corporate scum, what are they going to say to THEIR children ? We loved money much more than we loved you ? We destroyed your future so we could be richer ? I wonder what their kids and grandkids will think about that. Why is the world is in such I mess, why did you do this ? Why didn’t you stop it when you could have ?

  • The plot thickens even more ….. monsanto bought the company formerly known as blackwater awhile back.

    @ulvfg!
    You’ve turned the sport of troll trouncing into an art!

  • @ ulvfugl

    You brought this to mind…

    Keep swing’n away, man

  • Lack of wisdom

    Means Disaster.

    Too little time

    Left to learn

    All we need

    To know

    To grow.

    A sad story

    Finally ends

    Too soon

    Too late

    Too bad

    Reality

    Kills

    Dreams.

  • Song for trolls,

  • Thanks, Wren, Jacob. That Eric Schmidt who started Blackwater is now doing the same in Africa, for some Chinese investors, so he’ll soon have mercenaries killing black people for profit, to plunder whatever the locals have got that corporations want..

    Latest thoughts from Kevin Anderson and Alice Bowes Larkin.

    Personally, my opinion is that they are constrained in what they can say, because they want to keep their jobs and if they said anything too radical they would’nt even get interviewed on Democracy Now.
    A lot of this is just fanciful nonsense, e.g. Americans should buy smaller fridges, in fact the only remarkable thing at all is that anybody calling themselves a climate scientist is willing to come out and and say anything much that’s even slightly controversial…
    Will anybody take any notice ? Of course not. He says ‘We have known about this for 21 years and no action has been taken, emissions have risen… ‘ etc. Yes. So what’s different now ? Nothing !

  • This also came to mind, but later…

    “Where can you go — even in your imagination — if you’ve got grandchildren in this world?”

    “It’s a measure of human adaptability that should climate change and civilization’s collapse be spread over fifty or a hundred years, people will go about their daily routines without much awareness that their yesterdays were different than their todays. They may remember visiting the unshielded outside, but it won’t be home to them. Home will be the dark basement of an abandoned building when it isn’t a subway tunnel, but it will have its comforts. Lifespans will shorten and chromosomes will be ionized, but not so much that people won’t have the occasional normal child, and those children will have the occasional normal child.
    Even were we to project the darkest trends forward to that day when the last band of humans is fighting the last band of cockroaches for the last cache of civil-defense crackers, I’d put my money on the humans. And I’d make a side bet that shortly thereafter, the cockroaches would be a domesticated food-source. And one last wager: I’d bet that the children of that last band, wandering with cockroach-breath through the dark underground corridors of a ruined city, will look up through holes in the concrete, see the too-bright glint of the morning sun, and will greet the new day with awe, and joy, and wonder at the miracle of their existence.”
    From “The Uncertainty Principle” by John Rember…4/15/12 on Nature Bats Last

    The Uncertainty Principle

  • I got hacked too, have no idea about the song link Badlands!

    Someone, or many, really has and have it out for this site, like this site is an extension of this beautiful natural world and some people want to kill for profit at all cost every vital and living expression. Troll as a label does not sum up this evil. Pathetic, I am beyond disgusted. I have no idea what Guy can do. All the best to that end of making this place a buffer zone from the scum Guy.

    Dear mike k,

    Leaving for the time being. It’s all good. Another beautiful poem, yours, btw

  • These talks might be more productive if we had a grasp on what the concious and unconcious are.

    Indeed. Recognising that “awareness” is not dependent on an “of”, that the “awareness” is the same, whether it be “awareness of” a table, “awareness of” kindness or “awareness of” Pythagoras’ theorem.

    The “of”s are ripples and waves that distort the reflection of the sky and clouds on the surface of the water. The closer to perfect calmness, the more of what was not be perceived comes within perception.

    put them under the control and guidance of our more recently evolved higher centers

    All the evolved stuff is part of the material world. The mind is an intrinsic part of the body-mind complex, and neither of them have awareness. With a flower in sunlight, the sunlight takes a form that is perceived as a flower; so too in the presence of awareness, configurations of the brain take on forms that are perceived as objects, thoughts, concepts, that are the “awareness OF”… and the concatenation is labelled as “mind”. In the absence of light a flower bush has no colour; in the absence of awareness the “mind” has no awareness of its own. Those who have had the direct experience of a voluntary shutting down of the mind (as I once had) can attest to this.

    Until one’s has awareness without the “of” there will continue to be endless speculation on the nature of consciousness. The term “consciousness” is a label for a concept, as is the term “awareness”. But one can more directly relate to one’s own awareness, and is less likely to stray far from it.

  • Jacob Horner Says: This also came to mind…

    That is a remarkable commentary, I’ll have to look it up. Also, can someone fill me in on what that hacking business had been about?

  • Badly Channelling Poe

    So, there now, the wall. A silent wall. A neat wall boxing in all… the… future… there… is. The wall of human extinction. Between our present position and the wall there is a finite space, neat, predictable. Certain. The perceptive know it is so.

    A control freak’s paradise invented. Not so welcomed by those less inclined to control others or be controlled, or limited. Or confined. Not enjoyed by those who are perfectly happy with an unknown future, a future that would be open to possibilities of every sort. Not by those who would stand such a future, courageously, with a loudly thumping heart.

    Now, there it is… this wall has appeared by evil conjure. Thick and heavy and absolute. Of a color uglier than dirt gray. Rough in texture, high and unscalable, wide beyond detour or embrace, low below all depths. The wall is damp and reeks of cesspools overflowing with ripe cadavers. Beyond this impervious surface, we do not exist. Before it we cringe, cry, beseech, lament, and curse. Some go mad. They hit the wall until their numb fists drip blood. Others turn and face away, dragged on their heels by the driving clock, back to the wall.

    At the end of tears, we sit and face the wall. The space between us and the wall expands within consciousness. Carefully examining, exploring, the perception of this wall, even the mechanism of its perception, in minute detail.

    The change is unsettling and permanent. Realization solidifies out of foggy notions. No heart beat is coming through the wall. Nothing heard at all. Just a still and silently pressing chill… nobody’s home on the other side.

    (Note: For those who do not know, the vague reference is to Edgar Allan Poe’s: The Telltale Heart)

  • Sabine:

    Sturmbannfuhrer HEINRICH KLING, Kassel, Deutschland

    http://desertwar.net/heinrich-kling.html

  • To all you lovely real human beings on this beach;
    You know I didn’t post this video. After all, it’s quite easy to identify people by their writing style. Trolls, it’s like a finger print. So don’t waste your time.
    How can we stop these b…….? with their disgusting infantile behaviour? Registration and initial moderation might be a good idea.

  • There’s an excellent RSA Animate clip in which Ehrenreich skilfully covers the “happiness industry” Carolyn talks about called Smile of Die. Apologies if others have linked to it.

  • @ ulvfugi

    “Latest thoughts from Kevin Anderson and Alice Bowes Larkin.

    Personally, my opinion is that they are constrained in what they can say, because they want to keep their jobs and if they said anything too radical they would’nt even get interviewed on Democracy Now.
    A lot of this is just fanciful nonsense, e.g. Americans should buy smaller fridges, in fact the only remarkable thing at all is that anybody calling themselves a climate scientist is willing to come out and and say anything much that’s even slightly controversial…
    Will anybody take any notice ? Of course not. He says ‘We have known about this for 21 years and no action has been taken, emissions have risen… ‘ etc. Yes. So what’s different now ? Nothing !”

    All perfectly true…to a degree. Glad you put us on to Kevin Anderson. Lovely guy. He’s doing the best he can with those constraints. I’ve learned to read between the lines. I take his signal and amp it up. It’s a game, and we have to play it despite being clobbered by the other side. It takes heart and imagination…and there’s an aspect of joy to it too–rejoicing as a strong man to run a race. It requires total focus on the game, none on the outcome. Thoughts on the outcome jam up the game. It’s like applying a bandage to a wound, then taking it off after five minutes to see if it’s working. As you have said, given total expectation of defeat, there’s nowhere to go but up.

    @ TIAA

    My mom would always say, go with God, but oops, you can’t say that here. 🙂 But you know what I mean.

    @ RD

    “With a flower in sunlight, the sunlight takes a form that is perceived as a flower;”

    The mystery of light. Good image. Please keep working like this to simplify your message. I think we’ll get it in time.

    @Jacob Horner

    Yes. That does seem to sum up our condition (to a large extent).

  • http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/tepco-workers-deaths-not-reported.html

    such is the value of human life to corporations

    TEPCO -Workers deaths are not reported

    According to Ms. Chikako Nishiyama, a former member of the Kawauchi village Assembly, the official announcement that 3 Tepco workers being the number who died during their work at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. Ms. Nishiyama commented that Tepco doesn’t count the workers if they died after their contracts ended. She also said that there were 100,000shifts shared between the work force that have worked at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant so far, also, 4% of 100,000 (4300) workers have reportedly died. Most of them have died of heart attacks. If they died suddenly then Tepco paid a huge amount of money (about 3 million yen )to their families, to keep them silent about the deaths. If they talk about the deaths then the money that would be taken back. Therefore, nobody has said anything about it in the public domain.

    Apart from Tepco workers, 64 members of the Self Defence Force and about 300 policemen have also died. They said that those policemen who work at the security check points of the no go zones in Fukushima prefecture are not wearing any protection, therefore, they have been exposed to huge amounts of ionizing radiation.

    The above information came from a whistle blower, Prof. Seto at professor at Tohoku University and was also a Disaster control headquarters inspector general (in 2011). After releasing the information, his blog account was suspiciously closed.

  • some humor for the beach (ties in with the Holy Moments theme):

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/buddhist-extremist-cell-vows-to-unleash-tranquilit,34623/

    Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West

    WASHINGTON—In a 45-minute video posted on Tibetan websites Thursday, Tsuglag Rinpoche, leader of the Buddhist extremist group Kammaṭṭhāna, threatened to soon inflict a wave of peace and tranquility on the West.

    Speaking in front of a nondescript altar surrounded by candles, burning sticks of incense, and a small golden statue of the Buddha, Rinpoche did not specify when or where an assault of profound inner stillness would occur, but stated in no uncertain terms that the fundamentalist Buddhist cell plans to target all Western suffering.

    “In the name of the Great Teacher, we will stop at nothing to unleash a firestorm of empathy, compassion, and true selflessness upon the West,” said Rinpoche, adding that all enemies of a freely flowing, unfettered state of mind will be “besieged with pure, everlasting happiness.” “No city will be spared from spiritual harmony. We will bring about the end to all Western pain and anxiety, to all destructive cravings, to all greed, delusion, and misplaced desire. Indeed, we will bring the entire United States to its knees in deep meditation.”

    “Wisdom and virtue to America!” continued Rinpoche. “Wisdom and virtue to all living things on earth!”

    (there’s more including a video)

  • @Ulvfugl

    Concerning your comment at 10:55 AM on Nov 22:

    Should be framed, and submitted, to every newspaper editorial department in the world. Not that any good would come from it.

    I’ll second TIAA’s proclamation. You have a gift. And you use it well.

  • @ logspirit

    Very profound. I’ve always used the metaphors standing on the edge facing the abyss or even the Dark Mountain which sound quite unimaginative compared. Yours is so much better. A wall as in “running your head against” it and the powerlessness experienced by its looming nature. This expresses the emotions I feel so much better. Thanks for that and bless you.

  • Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Führer!

    Steely Dan 2006-Bodhisattva

    Trolls? Ye shall know them by their unimaginative screen names and the attitude they cop from eating too much red meat.

    The whitetail deer are in the rut now. A six point buck around 170 lbs./77.110 kilos (estimate) was observed recently lying down and chewing his cud in amongst the invasive Berberis thunbergii. Tick city man! He blended right in. There were two does nearby when another doe decided to saunter down and check him out. I reiterated this story to a friend recently and her remark was, “isn’t that just like a male?”. Got me laughing. Thanks to all for your contributions to NBL.

  • With thanks to Carolyn Baker for her contribution, and her entire series, I’ve posted anew. The film-filled post is here.

  • Thanks for the compliment, John S.

    Love that track and their guitar riffs, ogardener

    Another day on the Beach..

  • Down here at the end of the comments it remains for me to introduce myself:
    [Carolyn- I didn’t comment on your essay. As always you probe to the interior of reality. It is much appreciated. I escorted my wife onto the beach of doom via your books.]

    I grew up in Tucson and attended University of Arizona some years before Guy’s tenure there. I have always thought that it was so cool that he taught at my Alma Mater. I don’t have a degree to show for the years that I spent there. However, I can say that my real “education” began at U of A because of the wonderful library on campus. I began my search in that library.

    At the time I didn’t know what I was searching for. Yet, there was a driving curiosity which pushed me on. Like some others here it was only in middle age that I became aware of our (humans) dire predicament on this planet. 911 was the triggering event for me.

    In my mid forties I finally grew up and became an adult. Now I face the age of seventy in March. Yes, that doesn’t compute. Anyone here older than seventy? I see evidence that those of us who are older seem to have an easier time with the Paradigm change which is necessary in order to see the reality of our situation. I don’t know why that is.

    @ Kirk Hamilton- The Dylan song was perfect. I brought Dylan with me when I crept into San Francisco in ’67. I staggered out in ’71 wondering what had happened to me.

    At any rate, I have been reading on Guy’s site for some years now. Never felt the need to comment, what with the heavyweights already here saying it for me. There are probably hundreds or thousands out here like that. We’re here.

  • @ Robin Datta

    It must be a year at least since I have been challenging you over these oracular statements of yours, and attempting to get you to engage in discussion, which you always refuse to do, although from time to time you suggest that I am a poisonous fish or a devotee of makyo or whatever.

    I think you fear losing face, or having your persona as a guru figure damaged by this dangerous Welsh lunatic.

    Well, you are partially correct. I’m a great one for plain speaking. I do not see the point in pretentious language and mystification and I don’t like fakes and snake-oil salesman. Although I’m not suggesting you fall into either of those categories.

    But what good is this stuff that you spout on every thread if, either, it is incomprehensible to ordinary people, or, it is plainly incorrect ?

    You know what I am like. It is in my nature to chop you into little pieces, in public, like a Samurai mercilessly demonstrating sword cuts upon some poor condemned victim. But you deserve more respect than that, because you have deep insights into many things and make major contributions here.

    My only issue with you, at this moment, is over these particular matters, which I will try to elucidate with whatever politeness, clarity and charity I can muster.

    Recognising that “awareness” is not dependent on an “of”, that the “awareness” is the same, whether it be “awareness of” a table, “awareness of” kindness or “awareness of” Pythagoras’ theorem.

    The relationship between the words is irrelevant here. We are not concerned with the signifier, the label, the pointer, but with the thing that is signified.

    That is awareness. Your analysis is poor, muddled. I don’t know where you got it from, but anybody can check by testing against their own direct experience.

    Become aware of the soles of your feet. Previously, you were not aware of them, but now direct your full awareness to the soles of your feet. Do that, please.

    Now, become aware of the top of your head.

    Can you be aware of soles of feet and top of head at the same time ?

    I hope so, I can, it is not very difficult. Retain awareness of both, please.

    Now, become aware of Pythagoras’ Theorem. Can you do that too ?

    I can, although it becomes a little difficult, and I must circulate awareness, back to feet and head to maintain contact, and to maintain a mental image of the triangle and the idea, as a concept.

    Now, what next ?

    A map of America ? Or what you can hear ? Or what does your tongue feel like in your mouth ? Please keep on going see how much you can perceive and hold in your field of awareness, and keep their simultaneously, before it all collapses, and you lose some of it… have you lost touch with the feet yet ?

    What has this got to do with ‘of’ ? Nothing.

    Robin will maintain that there is no ‘I’. But then, who or what is it, that is doing this ? Someone or something has just willed this little exercise, and just had the experience.

    Someone or something just directed awareness to the soles of the feet, and read these words.

    If I ask you who did it, you’ll say that ‘I did’.

    This, in my understanding, is the normal state of the normal human being, experiencing themselves and their sensory data.

    Agree ?

    Yes ?

    No ?

    (I’ll skip the floral stuff.)

    Then come other stages or states of consciousness that can be learned and experienced by practising meditation. This means that instead of letting the awareness be distracted by whatever attracts attention, or by merely observing this fairly simple and obvious relationship between an I or me or self which wills and controls a faculty, one goes into various deeper and more subtle levels and areas. It’s not just one thing, there are very many kinds of meditation and practices one can pursue.

    in the absence of awareness the “mind” has no awareness of its own. Those who have had the direct experience of a voluntary shutting down of the mind (as I once had) can attest to this.

    But Robin. Now you have nowhere to hide. You are stripped naked.

    You do not know. You only repeat what you have read and been told.

    You are speaking about an experience you ‘once had’ ? Gosh. So you are speaking about a memory. You must know that there are people who can do this ‘shutting down of the mind’ (which is a very poor description) any time, any place, at will ?

    And are you not forgetting also that it happens, in a somewhat different form, every time you fall asleep ?

    I mean, if you want to sit on your cloud and play the guru, can we please have some useful teaching that actually helps ordinary people understand, instead of opaque stuff which sounds wise but that you yourself do not understand or are incapable of putting over ?

    You see, I can explain to anyone how to reach, to find, nirvikalpa samadhi, should they wish to. I can do it in ordinary simple english language.

    You see, you cannot bullshit me. Your ‘once had’. It’s like saying you once visited Paris for a day. To a person who was born there and lives there. And you start telling them what Paris is like ? Others may listen with rapt attention to your entertaining descriptions of life in Paris. But the true native Parisian Frenchman ? What will he be thinking ?

    I hope that was not too painful for your no-I, your not-self, hahaha

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvikalpa

    And remember, Bodhidharma (supposedly) took that Indian wisdom which you are so fond of, to China where it met Chinese taoist wisdom, which you seem to know nothing about, and all that was a thousand years ago… much was learned since and is still being learned

    http://www.psychologytomorrowmagazine.com/inscapes-enlightenment-and-science/

  • Dear Artleads,

    The old Irish saying is ‘May God hold you in the palm of his hand.’ 😉

    As Robbin Datta might say, there is no secular without a secular ‘of’

    Speaking of, Dear Robin Datta, thanks for your thoughts on conciousness which you gave without prejudice and judgement. I think I finally got what you are saying (a bit of an aha moment) but I think it applies to the old paradigm, which, since we are still sadly stuck in, with no reason to believe we will escape the power ‘of’, makes perfect sense. But too little awareness too late?

  • @Jacob Horner – Thanks so much for “The Uncertainty Principle.” I had not read it before, but it triggered many thoughts and feelings in me. Certainly beautiful writing that speaks for so many of us on this Beach.

    In any situation there are at least two perspectives one can take: “Well that’s just the way it is” and “What can I/We do to change this?” In case anyone reading this has not been exposed to the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I have been thinking about the challenge this sutra or koan represents a lot this year. It relates to the certainty or not of NTE, hopium, what can/must I do in the light of my dark knowledge of the fate of our human world, and other deep issues that face each one of us Beach Goers.

    In the Disney version of reality all these questions do not arise, indeed they are verboten. The dreamers rally to protect their collective dream, deny, and if necessary (or just for “fun”) persecute and silence the bothersome ones speaking from a more wakeful position. They can be pretty nasty towards anyone threatening their precious sleep; I have felt their wrath first hand.

    The question that inevitably arises for us awakening ones is this: Is there anything that can be done in this horrific nightmare? Or is it as Ulvfugl reminded me “vanity of vanities, all is vanity” ? Has this delusional bonfire of the vanities destroyed the last scrap of possibility? Are we simply walking dead men and women? We continue to draw breath in spite of our grim knowledge. What to do with these long days on the Beach?

    @Buz Painter – Thanks for sharing. To much of what you wrote, I said inwardly, “me too.”

    @Tom – Thanks for the Buddhist humor. My wife is deep into Tibetan Buddhism, and she loved it!

    @Robin Datta – There really is no way out. This world is the other world.

    @TIAA – Glad you are sticking around. You help me be OK with a lot of this…

    @Ulvfugl – Journey on….Passez outre…. Gate, gate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha…

  • @ mike k

    u’r welcome…Rember is my favorite of the writers Guy has featured over the years…you can find his essays here…

    https://guymcpherson.com/?s=john+rember&x=9&y=7

    You said…”The question that inevitably arises for us awakening ones is this: Is there anything that can be done in this horrific nightmare?”

    Phil Rockstroh…another of my favorites…ponders that question yet again…

    “Pain and pathology are extant. A crisis is imminent. The sooner the process of listening to soul-borne dispatches begins the sooner the dissonance attendant to the culture’s cacophony of shattered minds and occluded hearts will begin to dissipate. If not, prepare yourself for a dark night of the soul that will seem endless in duration.”

    Read it all here…

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/22/fear-in-a-handful-of-dust/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fear-in-a-handful-of-dust

    Sorry, but Carolyn just doesn’t get way deep down there like Phil does.